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Bernie's Mittens QAL: The Finished Bernie!

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Thank you, thank you, thank you for joining me in my first-ever quilt along!  I hope you had as much fun as I did!  My quilt-along version of Bernie is my favorite Bernie, but I always say that when I finish a new version of a quilt. I took the picture in the same spot I've taken all of my Bernie pictures.  These amphitheater remind me of the picture of Bernie Sanders that inspired this quilt pattern so there's no need to reinvent the wheel each time I finish a new version. I've talked at length about my fabric selection before - the main fabric is Memories by Cecile Metzger for FIGO fabrics and the accent is Chalk and Charcoal in Rose by Jennifer Sampou .  We play a lot of board games in our house (we finished our family challenge to play all 172 games we own in 2021 before Thanksgiving), and the tiny playing card suits spoke to me as soon as I saw this fabric.  From a distance they just look like flecks in yarn.  Plus the soft neutral colors fel

2021 Monthly Recap: November

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It's been a busy month on the blog!  I enjoyed writing my weekly quilt-along posts for the Bernie's Mittens Quilt-Along and seeing all different versions you made.  I finally shared my Zephyr quilt pattern and I hope you love it as much as I do!  If that's not enough, I also finished one of my oldest WIPs, a quilt I started back in April 2016.  It was a great way to end my sewing "year" - December is for small fun projects and lots of time baking holiday goodies in the kitchen. Quilt Tally WIP List at beginning of month: 13 WIP List at end of month: 12 Untouched in 2021: 3 Active QAL Projects: 2 Kid Projects: 2 Quilts Finished Sudoku Quilt (April 2016) Flannel Bernie aka the Quilt-Along version (October 2021) Quilts Started Christmas Zephyr - the third version of my new pattern mentioned in the intro above. I've been stashing Christmas prints for a long time without using them and seeing them all together in one quilt makes me so happy! It&

Introducing Zephyr: A Scrappy Pattern in Five Sizes!

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 Today we are welcoming a new pattern to the BluePip Designs library.  Meet Zephyr !! Zephyr is a scrappy rail fence quilt, perfect for beginners.  Everything is pieced traditionally, and there's no sashing.  Much like Chalk Stars , it's just a clever illusion that the blocks are on-point!  Sets of rails come together to form pinwheel shapes that dance across the quilt top.  Zephyr was inspired by the many fat quarters that I buy impulsively, use a bit in scrappy projects, and then let sit for years.  If you don't have the same problem, the pattern is fat quarter friendly too (you'll just have a little bit left over from each)! I made the Pink Zephyr version first.  The gray background fabric and all of the pinks were pulled from my stash.  All of these pinks are no longer part of my stash and scrap drawer!  Because some of the pinwheels aren't complete, I was able to use multiple sizes of scraps in my quilt top.  There are even a few di

Bernie's Mittens QAL Week Five: Assembly

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Welcome to Week 5 of the Bernie's Mittens Quilt-Along!  It's time to sew all those beautiful rows together! There are only a few places that need to line up perfectly when you are sewing your rows together, but consistency is key to making your finished quilt look polished.  First up are the pluses in the middle of the quilt.  I line these up by folding the white sections in half in opposite directions and finger-pressing the center of each. When I'm pinning, these two creases line up together.  Next, make sure the multi-colored pluses at the top of your quilt nest together in the center.  If you followed the pressing instructions in the pattern the seams will face in opposite directions to reduce bulk! Once those two spots are pinned together, you can pin the rest of the length together with as many pins as you want.  Repeat with the other side of the plus after you've sewn the first side together and you'll have your pluses made!  Even if you aren't really a p

Bernie's Mittens QAL Week Four: Stripe 1

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 Welcome to Week 4 of the Bernie's Mittens Quilt-Along! One more week of sewing stripes!  These are the very easiest of the lot - the top sections are the same as last week and the center section is just a single piece of fabric!  Easy-peasy.  Once again, I started off by organizing my stripes into thirds. Then I sewed them together into the long stripes.  We've moved into winter weather here so I did another indoor photo - these skinny stripes are no match for the wind!  They look a little wonky here but it's just the weight and camera angle; in real life they are perfectly straight. And Week Four is done!  Next week I'll have a much longer post explaining how to join the stripes together.  I'd love to see your progress - tag me @bluepipdesigns on Instagram and use the hashtag #BerniesMittensQAL so everyone else can see it too! If you signed up for my newsletter, you saw one version of my newest pattern, Zephyr !  If not, I'll be posting it on social med

Sudoku Quilt

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One of my 2021 quilt goals was to work on four old WIPs that weren't touched in 2020.  I started off strong, finishing the Gypsy Wife Sloth quilt back in February, but then got distracted by shiny new quilt patterns and didn't do anything with the goal in Q2 or Q3.  Today I'm happy to report that I have finished a second quilt off of that list, the Sudoku Quilt! I started this quilt way back in April 2016.  I decided I wanted to make it on a family vacation and even impulsively bought some backing fabric online when I was up in the middle of the night with a child who didn't want to sleep in a strange spot.  That fabric actually got used on the back of my Sparrow Party quilt and might be the reason that I finally pulled out the Sudoku blocks again to finish them up. The blocks came from a variety of places: testing out new rulers, books, things I saw on Instagram, random ideas for new patterns that I wanted to try out.  They all have a bit of orange in them because t

Bernie's Mittens QAL Week Three: Stripe 2

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 Welcome to Week Three of the Bernie's Mittens Quilt-Along! We are sewing more stripes this week!   Last week I gave a detailed description of how I assembled my stripes, and this week the construction is the same.  Once again, I divided my stripes into thirds and sewed each section together first.  Remember all seams are pressed down this week! These stripes make up the centers of the pluses, so there are only four of them - twelve more short seams and Week Three is done!  This wall in my sewing room is just wide enough to hang all the stripes together.  The stripes aren't all that interesting on their own, but combined with the stripes made last week you can see how the center pluses will come together. I'd love to see your progress - tag me @bluepipdesigns on Instagram and use the hashtag #BerniesMittensQAL so everyone else can see it too!  Only one more sets of stripes to go - next week we are making the spacers that go between the pluses. ======================= To ge

2021 Monthly Recap: October

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Happy Halloween!  A bit later than normal because of the Bernie's Mittens Quilt-Along post (pattern on sale until midnight tonight!), but still an accurate picture of my month.  I spent all day today riding roller coasters and saying good-bye to our local amusement park until next May, and now I'm manning the candy dish while the kids are out trick-or-treating.  No homemade costumes this year, but they are still carrying the bags I made them years ago when they were toddlers!  Quilt Tally WIP List at beginning of month: 13 WIP List at end of month: 13 Untouched in 2021: 4 Active QAL Projects: 3 Kid Projects: 2 Quilts Finished Summer Scrap (June 2021) Sew Happy Banner (September 2021) - A fun mini quilt I made sewing along with the Fat Quarter Shop .  I reduced the scale of the pattern by half to make a cute banner.  It's hanging in my family room for now but will get moved to my sewing room soon! Quilts Started Mac

Bernie's Mittens QAL Week Two: Stripe 3

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Welcome to Week 2 of the Bernie's Mittens Quilt-Along!  Today is the last day to get the pattern on sale and help out a local food bank with your purchase.  This is our first week of sewing, so there's plenty of time to jump in and join us! Week 2 is the busiest sewing week of the QAL; we are making the most strips with the most pieces. My best tip for sewing the pieces together is to make sure your seam allowances are exactly a quarter-inch; there aren't very many spots that need to line up exactly in this quilt but the ones that do matter! The best way to assemble the Bernie's Mittens quilt is to divide each stripe into thirds.  I started with the center sections, piecing one gray rectangle to the top of each white square followed by a second gray rectangle to the bottom of the same white square. Next, I separated my black squares into two piles, those that needed to be sewn to white and those that needed to be sewn to pink, and sewed all of those pa

Bernie's Mittens QAL Week One: Cutting

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Welcome to Week One of the Bernie's Mittens Quilt-Along!  I'm so glad you decided to join us!   The pattern is still on sale in my Etsy shop if you need a copy, and I'm donating $2 from the sale of each pattern to my local food bank through the end of October! Full disclosure, I am not normally a pre-cutter.  And if you feel the same way and plan on starting next week and cutting as you go, I completely understand.  I tend to get impatient halfway through the cutting stage and have to start sewing just to see how things are going to look.  I've never regretted pre-cutting a quilt, I just don't do it often!  But for this quilt-along, I buckled down and did it.  Everything is the same width, so it is less daunting than a pattern with completely different-sized pieces.  I started by ironing all of my fabrics and cutting them into long strips (the pattern tells you how many of each color to cut). After a quick look of admiration at my

Summer Scrap Quilt

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Today I am sharing Summer Scrap, my summer quilting project.  I love a good quilt-along, and while this was a quilt-along of my own making I think it still qualifies!  I spent the entire summer working on this quilt - each day I added a single* plus sign and a few low volume rectangles.  Even when I didn't have time to sew, I'd still pop into my sewing room to pick out the fabric for that day's plus. * Full disclosure: Of course, some days I added more than one and some days I just didn't feel like it and skipped working on it entirely.  This was a low-stakes, low-stress project! The pattern is Modern Rail Fence, found in  Issue 40 of Make Modern Magazine   (affiliate link) .  My version is a little wider (extra pluses) and I pieced my border with single rail fence blocks.  This was an extremely fun quilt to put together.  Sometimes the pluses came from other projects I was working on, sometimes they came from my scrap bins, and sometimes it was just a fat q