Machine Quilting Monday

#MachineQuiltingMonday :: Meet Leopold!


Welcome to a new week, everyone!

First of all, thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway for a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting! You all said such lovely things about the hop and about my work-- Thank you! And congratulations to our winner, Lynn T! Lynn, please email me at stringandstory (at) gmail (dot) com so we can get your book on its way!

Now, you may have noticed that a new hashtag titles this post. Just because the #MachineQuiltingBlogHop has come to a close doesn't mean we should all stop practicing! Each Monday, I'll share what quilting I've been up to and, as best I can, share a video each week about a different motif (I kept a list of all the ones y'all suggested in your Week 9 comments!). Just like with the #MachineQuiltingBlogHop, we can all use the hashtag on Instagram to show our work. And I'd love to feature y'all here from time to time, so don't be shy. Remember, practice makes progress!

Without further ado, I'd like to introduce Leopold the Longarm! He is a Tin Lizzie 18 and was generously donated to Quilts for Cure. Because he lives at my house, the donor has also given permission for me to use him generally. She's very excited that he will be used regularly and loved very much. Yesterday, we rented a van, picked him up in pieces, then I spent the whole afternoon getting him put back together. 

Honestly, the frame was bulky and time consuming, but the real kicker was getting him threaded. Can we all just take a moment to give a dirty look to the engineers who haven't figured out a less crazy way to do that?? Until I got it right, I had some cuh- RAZY eye lashing going on with the bobbin thread, but, with some help from Vicki, I got it sorted. 

I thought that starting on the longarm would be like going back to square 1 with my machine quilting skills. In reality, I can do all of my motifs pretty well. The difference, is that they are much larger than they were on my domestic. While they may never be quite as small as if I were working on my domestic, I know they will get smaller and more detailed, more precise, as I continue to practice. For now, though, I'm very excited that my practice piece can be bound and be an "accidental" baby quilt for Quilts for Cure. I'm also very excited to load an #OperationSmiley quilt on tomorrow and get to work! 

I'll be back on Wednesday with a general update on the projects in my sewing room (spoiler: I'm cutting into my Wonderland fabric!). In the meanwhile, share your quilting with #machinequiltingmonday, and please take a moment to follow me on Instagram @stringandstory and to sign up for my weekly Newsletter. Oh, and if you haven't already, be sure to check out my new pattern, Perfect Fit!




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Quilt Pattern

Perfect Fit Quilt :: Pattern Launch and Giveaway!

Good morning, everyone!

I am so excited about today's big news that I could pop! Today, for the very first time, I have published a quilt pattern! It's called Perfect Fit-- it's bold, graphic, and, if you ask me, quite mesmerizing. This idea began over a year ago with a quilt I called Here Comes the Sun. I love playing with value, and I wanted my first pattern to have a lot of contrast and movement. Now, I'm not the only one playing-- you can too!

Perfect Fit is just the right quilt for that hard-to-quilt-for guy in your life or for anyone who loves a bold graphic look. Customize this quilt to match a room, show off team spirit, or feature favorite colors.

This pattern is for three sizes:

Throw: 62 x 72 inches

Twin: 62 x 96 inches

Double/Queen: 84 x 96 inches

Also included: 

Full color photos and diagrams

Fabric requirements and cutting instructions, all arranged in an easy to read chart

Detailed, tested instructions and diagrams

A coloring sheet to try out your favorite color combos

Color inspiration from pattern testers

Walking foot and free motion quilting ideas

As part of celebrating the pattern launch, I'm giving away a PDF copy of the pattern! Follow me on Instagram @stringandstory and follow the instructions on the Perfect Fit Pattern Launch and Giveaway post to enter! 

Also, be sure to sign up for my weekly newsletter which will go out tomorrow-- there just might be a coupon code inside!

 Indigo Kennedy,  @vagabondindigo , one of my lovely pattern testers, made this breathtaking version of Perfect Fit. 

Indigo Kennedy, @vagabondindigo, one of my lovely pattern testers, made this breathtaking version of Perfect Fit. 

Y'all are going to make the most gorgeous Perfect Fit Quilts! Be sure to tag #perfectfitquilt and #stringandstorypattern on Instagram so we can all enjoy them!

Much love,


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WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday :: AKA Lots of Finishes

Happy July 5th-- the day we and our children are exhausted and perhaps a little sunburned, but hopefully still basking in the glow of fireworks and long hours swimming. 

We had a fabulous holiday swimming and having a cookout with some friends earlier in the day, then watching the neighborhood fireworks with my parents. They boys always do really well at the pool, but John being with us meant that I could do more swimming rather than just lifeguarding, and it felt so good to really move in the water. A sparkling blue pool is definitely my happy place, and I know we'll only spend more and more time at the neighborhood pool as the boys get older. 

While the boys napped in the middle of the day, I, as usual, headed to my sewing room. My original plan was to get going on the first Grandma's Kitchen block, but I immediately got sidetracked rearranging my space. As I mentioned Monday, a generous local quilter has donated a Tin Lizzy 18 to Quilts for Cure that we'll be picking up on Saturday. I've named it Leopold, and now there's a nice space waiting! I have to admit, I'm stinkin' excited to have bolts of fabric (most of which is destined for various QFC endeavors) out of my closet and onto my bookshelf. All the heart eyes. 

As I also mentioned on Monday, my Perfect Fit test quilt top is DONE, and I'm totally in love. Below you can also see the versions made by Indigo Kennedy (@vagabondindigo) and Caro Giunco (@carochristi). I'm still making some pattern publishing related decisions, but the pattern will be out very soon! 

My other big accomplishment this weekend was finishing all the blocks and sashing units for my En Provence quilt, which was the 2016 Quiltville Mystery Pattern with Bonnie Hunter. I totally changed the colors, and I LOVE it so much.

It's super scrappy with lots of fun things to find in the fabrics (hedgehogs, faces, silverware...). I still have to get the top together and the borders on, then after I've had some time to get the hang of the long arm, I'll be quilting this for our guest room bed. 

I finished the binding on the Florida quilt on Sunday, and I shared the front on Monday, but I wanted to let y'all see the back. Also, Jem is the cutest little photobombed and wanted so badly to help Daddy hold up the quilt. Jem is arguably the biggest fan of my quilting and will point at any quilt and declare, "Mommy make this!" I don't think he's realized yet that other people in the world sew quilts too!

 Fabric pull for my Grandma's Kitchen Quilt

Fabric pull for my Grandma's Kitchen Quilt

I guess my Grandma's Kitchen Quilt (Pat Sloan's new block of the week) is my only actual "WIP" this week as we usually think of them. I have a couple things I'm still quilting, but since I lack good photos, I'll save those for Monday. I've made the first block (see top), and I'm already super excited for the rest! As you can see, I was hustling a bit too much, so my points didn't match perfectly, but we'll just call that "endearing" and carry on. Also, I hope to be adding another WIP to the list this week as I finally decided on a pattern for all that yummy Cotton + Steel Wonderland fabric I bought way back in the spring. I'm making a quilt for our room, and I'm getting really excited about that, too! 

That's all for now, folks! I'm hoping to be back here on Friday, but if not then, I'll see you Saturday morning for the Newsletter (sign up here to join the fun!) and on Monday for our first #MachineQuiltingMonday! In the meanwhile, follow me on Instagram @stringandstory to see what I'm up to. I'd love to be quilty Instagram friends!



PS Don't forget the #MachineQuiltingBlogHop giveaway is open till Friday! All the details are in this post. 

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