Monday, April 23, 2018

April Color Challenge Link Up

It's here! Time to link up your orange for a chance to win!

Did you make the free block provided or did you choose to make something else? Show us by linking up below, and you could win.

This month's sponsor was Island Batik...

...and by linking up your orange make you could win...

...a fat eighth bundle of their Pumpkin Patch line. Scrumptious!

The link up will run from April 23 - April 30th with the winner being announced May 1st.

If you are having trouble linking up read this post. If you are still having trouble please email me directly; patternsbyjen(at)gmail(dot)com and I will happily get you added.

Good luck and Happy Stitching!

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

The Border Quilt Quilt Along is coming August 2018

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Sew Much Fun Blog Hop - Adding flange to your borders

Welcome to the Sew Much Fun Blog Hop hosted by Faith and Fabric!

I'm going to show you how I add a flange to my binding. This little extra touch can really add a little flare to your project and it's really easy to do. Note, I hand stitch all of my bindings, so this is not for those who machine bind. Sorry, I struggle with machine binding!

You can read about the table runner I added the flange to HERE. It uses fabrics given to me by Island Batik as a part of their ambassador program.

I share how I square up my quilts in my Beginners Unite Series in this post.

I've changed my set up since that post, and am still figuring out how to use my cutting mat in the space I have, but if you have a longer piece to cut, make sure it's not hanging off and pulling it out of alignment.

Once you've squared up your quilt measure the sides and ends.  You will cut out four strips exactly to this size.  For my sides I need to sew two strips together, I did a straight seam, not a diagonal one, but you can do either.

What width do you use for flange? It's going to depend on what size you use for binding. I always use a 2" binding width. Which when all is said and done will give me a 1/4" binding on the front. I need my flange to be wider than 1/4". In the pictures, the flange is pretty thin, this is because I did the math after only 3 hours of sleep. I *highly* recommend not doing that. I ended up cutting it at 3/4 inch instead of 1" inch, but if you are careful, you can make that work. Fold your flange strips, wrong sides together lengthwise, just like you would your binding. (Sorry, I forgot to grab a picture of that step.)

Pin your flange along the longest sides first. I used wonder clips here, because I was working with Batiks, and my pins don't like to go through it very nicely. It should fit perfectly.

Baste these strips on using a long basting strip, making sure to be inside the scant 1/4" inch seam allowance you will be using to attach your binding.

Next sew your flange to the shorter ends, matching them exactly. (Another shot missed.) Once they are all basted on, attach your binding as you normally would. Go HERE to see how I do my bindings. There are helpful videos as well.

When you stitch your binding you will have extra fabric to cover, because of the flange. This will only really be noticeable when you reach the corners. I clip the corner off, carefully, to reduce bulk. The binding still fills up nicely, because there is the added fabric.

Enjoy your beautiful piece with the little added extra.

Happy Stitching!

Don't forget to hop over to the other bloggers and get their tips for binding!

Karen at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats
Melva at Melva Loves Scraps

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

The Border Quilt Quilt Along is coming August 2018

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Border Quilt Baby

I love the baby sized version of The Border Quilt.

It's a quick and easy sew, and is the perfect use for those sweet baby panels we can't help buying. The baby that received this one was born in Minnesota, so I used batting between the top and back for some extra warmth. It turns out, with the long winter we're having, that was a good choice.

I simply used my walking foot to stitch in the ditch and finished it off with flannel binding.

My next Border Quilt will be made using the Chloe fabrics from Northcott.  This one is going to be all for me. I think it will be the perfect quilt for snuggling under next to the campfire... you know, if winter ever leaves.

In August we will start The Border Quilt Quilt Along featuring Northcott's new flannel line Enchanted Forest.  Every two weeks we will be working on a new border and we'll have a finished quilt by the time the snow flies....again.

 The pattern is available now in three places and fabric requirements are shown:
Etsy (paper and digital)
Craftsy ( digital only)
Payhip (digital only)

If you are a store looking to order the patterns at wholesale, please email me directly!

Happy stitching!!

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Monthly Goal - April

My monthly goal for April will be the same as it was for Feb and March.

Even though you may have noticed I kind of went dark (Too many NCIS episodes? I think not.) in the blogging world during March, I'm not giving up on my monthly goal.

Monthly Goal

1) Finish the block from the BOM class in my LQS

1.5) Finish a block from a past BOM class

I'm going to add a new monthly goal for the rest of the year:

2) Finish one or more blocks that will go to the local group making Quilts of Valor

Sometimes we need to take time to keep our world balanced and blogging will probably always be the part that takes a hit when I need that time. Instagram and Facebook tend to be kept up-to-date, mostly because they are pretty instant.

Don't miss April's Monthly Challenge and a chance to win a fat eighth bundle of Pumpkin Patch from Island Batik, April's sponsor.

Happy Stitching!

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

April Color Challenge

April is here, how did that happen so fast?!

This bright and happy block is perfect for spring. I need a little sunshine and brightness in my life to help combat...well...the leftover March drearies.

12" block

Grab the instructions for a 6" or 12" finished block HERE.  Don't miss the first three blocks in the 2018 Color Challenge.

6" block

The block patterns and settings will be available for free until June 2019, at which point they will be bundled and sold as a full pattern.

12" block


Visit the rest of the bloggers to see their variation to the block and grab a couple extra free patterns while you're at it.

Joanne of Quilts By Joanne


This month's sponsor is Island Batik. Entering the Link up at the end of the month (April 23 - April 30) will give you a chance to win a Fat Eighth bundle of their beautiful line, Pumpkin Patch.

Beautiful, scrumptious, glorious, all of the above? However you choose to describe it, you will have a chance to win it at the end of the month. Don't forget to share your April Orange makes with #2018MonthlyColorChallenge so others can enjoy your work.

Grand Prize

Plus, each month you enter the link up gives you an entry for the Grand Prize.

Jen at Dizzy Quilter is providing the grand prize! 

For every month you enter the link up, you get an entry for the grand prize.

The generous prize provided is you will get your top quilted by her (up to 90" x 90"),  a $202.50 value!

You must provide the backing, 8" longer than width and length. Batting can be purchased from Jen, for $20, if you like.

Return shipping is included for US residents only.
**Please note, the quilt will not be trimmed or bound, those services are extra**

Piecing Hints

When choosing fabrics where you need light, medium and dark I find it helps to photograph them and then change it to black and white.

You can easily see the value of each pile when you convert to black and white.

Always remember you can use the wrong side of a fabric, too. It doesn't always work for each fabric, but these two pieces are the same fabric, the lighter one is the wrong side of the darker one.

For this block we need to have our quarter units the same all the way around, that means we can't sew up a bunch and cut on drawn lines, we need to cut triangles first.

After you make your first cut, leave the square where it is, and make the second cut. The less you move your pieces, the more accurate your cuts are.

When starting to sew a triangle, I always start with my needle in the fabric, not on the edge. This gives the presser foot and feed dogs a chance to grab the fabric, and should keep the fabric from getting pulled down into your machine.

At the other end of the triangle, I hold the corner and stitch slowly so that the fabric doesn't pull off to the side. This helps keep my seams straight and means I won't get wonky points.

Make sure you note which color goes where, and line up your triangles correctly. Taking an extra moment to double check can help cut down your quality time with Jack!

Happy Stitching!

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Try A Technique with Island Batik

The March Challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors was "Try a new technique."

I chose to try the Quick Curve Ruler from Sew Kind of Wonderful and make the Fun Poinsettia table runner. Confession: I have had this ruler for two years. I asked my LQS to order it for me, I took it out of the plastic and then it sat. And sat. And sat.  I am so sad I waited to use this ruler.

My version of Fun Poinsettia. 

I used four of the fabrics given to me by Island Batik as part of their ambassador program; Eucalyptus (the fabric with a a little yellow mixed in), Ivy, Branches in Light Smore from the Mountain's Majesty line, and the flange is Bubbles in Raspberry.

I found the Quick Curve Ruler to be easy to use and very accurate. Cutting the units larger than needed and then trimming makes getting accurate units easy.. I have only made this one project, but I look forward to making something else. Truly that only happens if I enjoy the use of this ruler. 


To see a video of how to sew curved seams (and press them) see:

*I added the band-aids shown in the first picture to try and help the slipping, becasue I couldn't get to the store, but on the pieces I used for this challenge, you can see I've added clear medical tape to the backside of the ruler. This makes cutting and trimming so much easier when you don't have to worry about slippage.*

I like to mark my fabrics with Frixion pens, but I have seen batik quilts that have been marked with them, and had the color wiped out, so I did a little test.


Pressed. You can see the x's have now turned white and there was nothing I could do to get rid of them, or find my color. I haven't had this issue with other fabrics, but I also only mark cutting lines iwht my frixen pens, so I don't worry bout it too much. However, I wanted to test the batik/Frixion pen mix for you. As with all things quilty, do what works for you.

Onto cutting out the units. I find it is very helpful in keeping your accuracy, if you line up the pieces you are marking, with the straight lines on your cutting mat. When marking my cutting lines I made sure that my ruler lined up straight along the fabric line. It's easy to just start marking 1/2 inch willy nilly, but there can be a slight varience to the mark if the ruler isn't squared up, and that can make a difference in your cutting and then your sewing. (Yes, I used my frixen pen to make these marks.)

If you happen to be making the Fun Poinsettia pattern, it calls for an exact measurement, no need to mark the 6" line. I found that if I lined up the cutting curve so the fabric was at the top of the open line, my pieces lined up well when we got to the sewing part of the design.

Once you start sewing your units together you will see that there doesn't seem to be enough space for a 1/4" seam allowance. This is ok for this pattern.

Once sewn together you get this great point within the curves.

I found that my pins did not like going into the fabric once there were layers. I switched to using my Wonder Clips to hold the rows together instead of trying to force the pins in and possibly ripping fabric or breaking pins.

When I started quilting the table topper I had issues with my thread breaking.  I remembered that there had been discussion about this issue with quilting batiks and switched out my needle. I usually use an 80/12, but I switched to a 100/16 for the quilting and to add the binding. I didn't have a single thread breakage the rest of the time. Way less stress that way!

I used my walking foot and thread I received from Aurifil to quilt the table runner. The thread is 50 wt, number 2915, Very Light Brass. I really thought this thread was a light green, and when I looked up the number and saw brass, it turned to a very pretty brass color. It was green until then, I swear.

I also added a berry colored flange to the binding. I will have a tutorial in a couple of weeks on adding flange to your binding. Spoiler alert: the most important rule to adding flange - don't do the math on only 3 hours of sleep. You're welcome. Ha!

I truly feel that this ruler is worth a look. If you take your time and cut accurately, you will have success when using it.

Happy Stitching!

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates.

Don't forget to visit the other Island Batik Ambassadors!