Author: modalissa

Indigo Threads

A little bit about the Thread collection.
Drawing inspiration from the colors of her collection of blue transferware, Wendy Sheppard’s Indigo includes 5 spools each of 50wt and Aurifloss so that makers will have everything needed for regular sewing and hand- stitching projects. Wendy uses 50wt for piecing and quilting her quilts, as well as for hand appliqué. It was love at first sight when Wendy discovered Aurifloss, which she uses for cross-stitching, smocking, and hand embroidery. The legendary minimal lint feature which goes for all of Aurifil’s threads, including the embroidery floss, has been a true game changer in Wendy’s needle-and-thread pursuits. Collection Details: 5 Small Spools Floss: 4644, 4140, 2815, 5008, 2805 5 Small Spools 50wt: 4140, 2815, 5008, 2805, 2310. Thread box Stock # can be ordered from your favorite retailer. Just ask for Indigo Collection
WS5030WGI10 Aurifil

I have had the pleasure of working with Wendy Sheppard on several projects including her latest series, NORFOLK which is published in each issue of Quilter’s World. 

I didn’t really do anything on the project other than getting the fabric to her. I knew then she loved blue, and she had talked about an upcoming thread box. So when I was invited to be a part of her event with Aurifil threads I had to say, HECK YES. 


I just had to choose Nantucket Summer by Camille Roskelley for my project (s). The fabrics have so many yummy blues that were a perfect fit for the thread collection. Which came first the thread of the fabric? In this case the thread, then I picked the fabric.

Here is a sneak peek of one of my projects, but I also wanted to share a tip about picking thread. Most often the thread looks completely different on a spool instead of what it will look like stitched into your project. I like to unwrap the spools and drape them across the fabric. Both of these colors matched nicely, but the end result would be completely different. One is brighter and more graphic, one is muted and will disappear into the fabric. Visit  Aurifil’s blog, May 5th to see what color I chose.

The following people we will be sharing how they used the threads and share a project with you.

You can find all the details on Aurifil’s blog, May 4-6, 2022.

May 4th-

Susan Ache  @yardgrl60

Pat Sloan. @quilterpatsloan

May 5th-

Carol Inglis @caroling55

Me- Lissa Alexander @modalissa

May 6th

Wendy Sheppard  @ivory_spring

Karen Miller @redbirdquiltco

Happy Stitching,

-modalissa

Oh Scrap QAL- Sashing and nine patches

hello, Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving break. I so enjoyed the break and can never have enough food or family time. Not all my crew was able to come home but we did have a houseful.

I re-arranged my sewing room and did some SECRET SEWING and vegged on the couch some, so it was a productive break.

The countdown to Christmas has begun both at home and at work. At work we are working on getting the rest of Holiday 2022 out to our salesteam. They will be making their rounds showing stores fabric lines shipping info next summer. seams so crazy to be living in Christmas 2021 and 2022 all at the same time. FUN ! FUN!

Today’s assignment on the #OHSCRAPCHRISTMASQAL is to add your sashing pieces. I cut my sashing pieces first since they are a bigger piece and I wanted to make use of some of the larger scale prints.

The corner squares are nine patches so you can use parts and pieces from your four patches or following the directions in OH SCRAP to assemble these.

This should come together fairly quickly. I have heard from several of you that have completed your quilt top already. I know when I am excited about a quilt project I am working on, I cannot stop sewing.

As a quilter, I am so highly influenced by color so seeing some of the combinations other people have put together always inspires me. That is the reason I had to make this Christmas version, inspired by @happinessinthemaking and the Hustle and Bustle fabrics by Basic Grey.

I wanted to share just a few of the pics I found on Instagram of some of the progress happening on the QAL as more color inspiration.

This is where it all started. A fat quarter bundle and some extras. I love how Jennifer has her book on a bookstand for easy reference.

i

Richy’s from Basic Grey ‘s version is dreamy, using the greens where I used lights.

 

Kim Walus  of @bittybitsandpieces has finished her quilt top and I love it. It is always amazing to me how scrappy versions can be so different and intriguing to zoom in to see all the different fabrics.

I can’t wait to see Candee complete this one. It is going to be a classic for sure!


Love the romantic feel of Dianes’ progress.

This one just makes my heart happy. I love anything rainbow and this fun colorful set of four patches from Gina of @Games56 is a ton of fun! Gina is a long armer so I bet the quilting will be fun to see as well.

I fell in love with Jen’s 4 patches. Don’t they look like boxes of trusty fruity or mike and Ike’s? I was drawn in to the background fabric also but realized that is her Ruby Star ironing board cover.

 

Thanks so much for following along on this little quilting journey. Check back next week for my final post about the quilting  and maybe a few other surprises.

 

Enjoy,

 

-modalissa

 

 

 

Surrounded QAL- Blocks

I have had so much fun sewing with you on this QAL.   I have enjoyed the pictures you have shared and so proud of those of you that have already completed your quilt top. Kuddos to you!!

This stack of completed quilt blocks looks like a hot mess but will turn into a wonderful keepsake. What is your favorite part of the quilt making process? I love picking out the fabrics, planning what the project is going to be and making a test block. Then I am very inpatient after that. I just can’t wait to  see each part of the quilt develop.

Quilting is my job and my hobby but mainly it is my therapy. The hum of the sewing machine and watching bits and pieces of fabric put me in a mediative zone of some sort.  I sew and sew and sew until the quilt top is complete, then  I get to the point of second guessing some of my choices, kind of a lull in the process.

I send 99% of my quilt tops to be machine quilted. Once I get the quilt back from the quilter, it is like I receive a special package of magic that has made my quilt come to life. Not that the quilt is full of sparkles, glitter and neon thread, but there is just something so special about the artistry and texture that the quilter adds to my project. More on this in a future post.

I don’t have too many tips on how to assemble your blocks other than just do it and enjoy the process. Each block is a creation all it’s own when working scrappy.

What fabric is going to be the prom queen?

What fabric has a bit of the clash factor?

Squint at the blocks and see what fabric choices worked and some not so much.

Don’t dare rip anything out if you don’t like it, just learn from it.

I recently was on a photo shoot where some of my quilts were being photographed. Through the lens of the camera I saw things that were like, Oh Wow! that probably was not the best fabric placement choice.  This is where I get the saying, not all the fabrics can be the prom queen and only my over critical eye of my own work would have ever even noticed.

We are taking a break for the Thanksgiving Holidays and will be back to talk a little about sashing, corner squares, pieced backs, quilting and binding.

Enjoy your family, friends and health and I am praying for moving closer to some degree of normal. (fingers crossed)

Use the hashtag #OhScrapChristmasQAL so I can follow along.

SIDE NOTE! The global supply chain has been tough this past year and has created an overall upheaval in deliveries. This is tough especially for the  independent quilt retailers.  Be sure and support your favorite quilt or specialty retailers  during this holiday season. If you don’t have a quilter on your shopping list, then buy yourself a quilty present, wrap it, put it under the tree, act surprised when you open it and thank “whoever” bought it for you because they knew just what you wanted. (ask me how I know?)

Break for Thanksgiving
-Wednesday, Dec. 1st – Sashing
-Wednesday Dec. 8th – Assemble Quilt top

Enjoy,

-modalissa

Surrounded QAL- Week 5- Side Bars

Side Bars- That is kind of a funny name for the pieces we are going to be working on this week, but I had to name them something.

These little side pieces are interval in making the design happen. Thought I would share a little history about this quilt design and my inspiration for this color option.

The geometric pattern of this quilt–commonly known as Burgoyne Surrenders or Burgoyne Surrounded–is said to refer to one of the most pivotal events in the American Revolution. In 1777, the British failed in their attempt to take control of the strategic Hudson River, and in the end British General Burgoyne with nearly six thousand of his men were surrounded by American troops and forced to surrender near Albany, New York. Burgoyne’s army is represented by the squares at the center of the blocks, encircled by the American troops. This design design could have also been inspired by the simple, grid-like patterns seen in handwoven linens and woolen coverlets of the first half of the nineteenth century.

When my book, Oh Scrap launched there were several quilt alongs using this design, but I fell in love with Haley Anderson of @happinessinthemaking Christmas version of 2019. I knew I needed to make it just like that! Does that happen to you?

Katrina Thennis you are the winner of my book, SCRAP SCHOOL.

Next week we will start assembling blocks together. Several of you are already doing this and it is so great to see your progress. Be sure and use #ohscrapchristmasqal when you share your blocks so I can follow along.

Each  post will go live at 6:00 pm central.
-Wednesday, Nov. 10th – Assemble Blocks
Break for Thanksgiving
-Wednesday, Dec. 1st – Sashing
-Wednesday Dec. 8th – Assemble Quilt top

 

Surrounded QAL-Week 4- Center Blocks

 

 

I sew any chance I get. I quite often get up early so I can sew a little before work or stay up late to work on any project I am obsessed by. To be able to work on items in short little burst of time, I have a few processes to help keep me on task. Today I am going to share how I pieced the center section of the block together. The is somewhat a mindless, therapeutic method that lets me stop and start without loosing my place.

I shared with you that the main focus fabrics for this quilt were from Hustle and BustIe by Basic Grey and that I also added some of Christmas Morning by Lella Boutique. The fabrics above are from Christmas Morning and Red Barn Christmas by Sweetwater. Those of you that follow me often know that I am obsessed by dots. Everything I make has some dot fabric in it. I would buy an entire bolt of the red and green dot shown above. It is just that good!

I stack all my pieces on one design board and chain sew  working vertically down each section.  This helps me keep all my pieces in order. (shown above is just 1 layer, normally I would have layers for all the blocks needed for my quilt.) 

Shown above – all my center 9 patches chain pieced and ready to join into blocks.

I do not clip the threads so this keeps the sections in order and eliminates pinning. it is hard to see in the picture but there is a few stitches from chain sewing that hold these sections together. As I sew, I flip the seam allowance towards the dark and they nest together beautifully.  If you like to press your seams open, not cutting the threads can be problematic. You will need to trim the threads once you have sewn the pieces together to press open.  I press my seams to the dark side so don’t have to worry about that. (remember mindless, therapeutic sewing!)

 

Here you can see how one side of the block is sewn together and the other side is just “hanging on by a thread” waiting to be joined.

Last week I shared how I make some of my own design boards, so if you missed that post, click here.

Week 3 of this QAL is a perfect time to include a GIVEAWAY for one of my other books, SCRAP SCHOOL.  This book has a fantastic line up of designers like Kim Diehl,
Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts, Connie and Mary of Country Threads, Lisa Bongean, Susan Ache, Amy Smart, Sarah Huechteman, Gudrun Erla and Sherri L. McConnell.

Leave a comment and check back here next Wednesday to see who is the winner of their own copy of Scrap School. Also giving away a copy on my instagram so , visit @modalissa for another chance to win.

Join me back here, Wednesday Nov. 3rd  to make side bar section of the block. We are almost done with the sections!

Each  post will go live at 6:00 pm central.

Wednesday, Nov. 10th – Assemble Blocks
Break for Thanksgiving
-Wednesday, Dec. 1st – Sashing
-Wednesday Dec. 8th – Assemble Quilt top

I hope each of you have a fun Halloween and enjoy something sweet. What is your favorite Halloween candy?

#ohscrapchristmasqal

-modalissa

 

 

Surrounded QAL- Week 3- 9-patches

How did you do on your four patches? Did you get them all done? I know it is a crazy time of year to try and tackle one more project, right? Just do what you can each week.

What is a 9-Patch?
9 squares joined together to make one block or section of a block.

For this quilt, we will be making
2 different sizes
and
styles of 9- patches.

This week is a simple basic 9-patch where all the squares are the same size. Next week will be a combination of different sizes.

If you have time and want to keep sewing, go ahead and put together your 4-patches and 9- patches into units as shown in the picture. You will need 4 per block.

I don’t have any tips on making the 9-patches but wanted to share the design boards that I use all the time. (shown above)

These design boards come ready-made in variety of sizes but I use a ton of these so I make my own from left over batting. They aren’t as pretty but they work just the same.

Shown above a variety of boards I use. The black one is the back side of one of my boards. The 2 with trim are ones I have bought.

Foam core board is available at most craft/art stores in assorted sizes. I also use the boards that are sold for science experiments which is easily assessable at many stores. Cut the foam board to your desired size and using spray adhesive, coat the batting and board  following directions on the label. I wait to trim the batting to size until after I have glued it to the board. Flip over the board with batting on the bottom and using a rotary cutter you can trim the batting to the exact size of the board. 14″ is a good size for me. It fits nicely in the sewing space I have and works well with any 12″ block.

These come in so handy to stack up pieces to sew together.I don’t use a board for each block but instead use one board and stack the sections to chain sew. Plus I can put them away quickly without disrupting the pieces if I need to work on something else or the grandkids want to sew.

I can’t wait to see your progress.

Be sure and share using #ohscrapchristmasqal.

See you next week- Wednesday October 27- Center Blocks

-Modalissa

Each  post will go live at 6:00 pm central.
-Wednesday Nov. 3rd – Side bars
-Wednesday, Nov. 10th – Assemble Blocks
Break for Thanksgiving
-Wednesday, Dec. 1st – Sashing
-Wednesday Dec. 8th – Assemble Quilt top

 

Surrounded QAL- Week 2- 4- patches

WEEK 2 of  #OhScrapChristmasQAL

Wednesday, October 13th- 4 patches

Whew! that was a lot of cutting, right?

Last week when I mentioned cutting the biggest pieces for the quilt out first, we are going to do the opposite when it comes to sewing. Begin strip piecing lights and darks together. Sew, Sew, Sew. This is somewhat mindless sewing while binge watching your favorite show or listening to an audible book. This part seems like it will never end but just keep sewing.

GENERAL TIP: I like setting my seams by pressing the strips right after I sew them. This seems to help keep everything nice and straight before pressing the seams to the dark side. The picture below is charm packs, cut and chain pieced together. Use you favorite way to press, but for this project I pressed everything to the dark side to make the seams nest nicely. I put together a few videos to explain these tips.

 

 

 

I stacked up sections right sides together with darks opposing and sub cut into the size needed for 4 patches. This gave me sets to sew, already paired up and could chain sew them. The combinations can be as scrappy as you choose.

 

 

 

-Save any leftovers of strips or 4 patch sections for possible use later.

-Wednesday, October 20th- 9 patches
-Wednesday, October 27th – Center Blocks
-Wednesday Nov. 3rd – Side bars
-Wednesday, Nov. 10th – Assemble Blocks
Break for Thanksgiving
-Wednesday, Dec. 1st – Sashing
-Wednesday Dec. 8th – Assemble Quilt top

Use the hashtag #OhScrapChristmasQAL so I can follow along.

Enjoy!! ( sorry my videos are sideways!)

Surrounded Christmas QAL- Week 1- Cutting

Welcome! Hope you are here to join the Surrounded Christmas QAL. This is week 1 and the goal is to get your entire quilt cut out.

You will need Oh Scrap book available at quilt stores now for the actual measurements.

Today ‘s post is about yardages and cutting for the SURROUNDED QAL.

The original quilt used light sashing so the yardages from the book will vary some if you want dark sashing like I used in my version.

IF using a Fat quarter bundle, cut your sashing pieces first ( Listed under fabrics A in the book- qty 49) This is always a good rule of thumb when cutting fabrics, start with the largest cuts first in case of a mis cut. It is always easier to replace a small piece of yardage than to have to replace fabrics for bigger cuts. Most patterns/books are written this way but always pay attention to this..

Then cut your 80 block rectangles ( also listed under A).
On some of the blocks I cut 4 of the same so they would match especially on the fabrics that would add a bit of pop. This was also where I used some fabrics that I just had small bits.

Shown above where the aqua fabric is

 

Everything else is pretty much exactly like the book says regarding if it is a dark or a light.

I always cut extra. I don’t know if it is a character flaw or what, but I like to have options.

Keep your pieces together, labeling them by the size. Some of the same size pieces are used throughout and some pieces are almost the same size so it is easy to get then mixed up!

I did not subcut strips into squares for four patches and nine patches. Instead I strip-pieced and then subcut. Do whatever you are comfortable with. Next week we will start sewing 4 patches and I wanted to show you that I even cut strips from charm packs or scraps for this. Next week we will start sewing 4 patches.

 

GENERAL TIP: Sorting through scraps does add some time to the process. Anytime I straighten up fabrics, i don’t just cut a sliver to straighten the edge, I go ahead and cut at least 1 1/2″, sometimes 2 1/2″ depending on much fabric I have. Once I finish cutting any project I go ahead and submit the remaining fabric into “scraps” and sort them by size. I tend to do this the most with lights. I use lots of lights.

Use the hashtag #OhScrapChristmasQAL so I can follow along.

Hope you join me!

-modalissa

Time to Hustle – Quiltalong

On my “must make” list has always been a Christmas version of SURROUNDED from my book, OH, Scrap!

When I saw Hustle & Bustle by Basic Grey, I knew this fabric line was perfect for this project. There are enough big scale iconic fabrics to use for sashing and a nice range of greens and reds to be able to easily mix additional holiday lines.

The quilt takes a total of almost 10 yds which is what is in a Moda Fat Quarter bundle of 40 prints, but I wanted more variety so I added Christmas Morning by Lella Boutique and a few other bits and pieces that you will see along the QAL. Start gathering your fabrics!

I could say we are going to have to Hustle to get this done by Christmas 2021, but there is  no hurry. Just get started!!

Or if you have already started this quilt and need a QAL to help motivate you to finish, this is the time.

What about making this quilt in Red White and Blue? A combination of your
Minick and Simpson fabrics would be yummy. Just get started!

So here is the plan. You will need Oh Scrap book available at quilt stores now for the actual measurements. Each week I will share tips and what I did to make this quilt.

Each  post will go live at 6:00 pm central.

– Wednesday, October 6th-  Yardages and cutting
-Wednesday, October 13th- 4 patches
-Wednesday, October 20th- 9 patches
-Wednesday, October 27th – Center Blocks
-Wednesday Nov. 3rd – Side bars
-Wednesday, Nov. 10th – Assemble Blocks
Break for Thanksgiving
-Wednesday, Dec. 1st – Sashing
-Wednesday Dec. 8th – Assemble Quilt top

Remember this is a scrap quilt so any fabrics can be used.

Use the hashtag #OhScrapChristmasQAL so I can follow along.

Hope you join me!

SIDE NOTE! The global supply chain has been tough this past year and has created an overall upheaval is deliveries. This is tough especially for the  independent quilt retailers.  Be sure and support your favorite quilt or specialty retailers  during this holiday season.

 

-Modalissa

 

 

 

 

JELLY ROLL Big Heart

I recently shared a quilt that my friend made for her granddaughters 10th birthday on my IG feed. Several of you asked for the pattern, so I am sharing my notes. It is not officially a pattern because we made it up as we went along. So here is the story behind the quilt.

My BFF, Kay has decided to make each of her grandkids a quilt for their 10th birthday. She has 9 grandkids, 1 is starting college, 2 just turned 10, and 6 under 10. You may remember when I shared Piper’s quilt a few months ago.

Savanah turned 10 last week so she got a quilt from GRANNY KAY.  Kay sewed and sewed and sewed jelly rolls together to make a big square 65″. We didn’t have an exact size of quilt to make, but just big enough to throw on the end of the bed.

Kay picked Jelly Roll strips that reminded her of Savy and the colors she liked. Next step was to join the strips together to make a long strip.

Cut one strip 65″ and then start adding. It is best to add strips alternating sides of the starting strip and alternating what direction you sew. This is not absolutely crucial but does help prevent the strips to be wavy and stretch while sewing. If you have a walking foot for your machine, this also helps. Sew 14 strips together for one half of the heart and repeat for the other half. ( I added a strip to each side of the background fabric so the heart could float a little before the pieced border- this would make strip 15)

At this point Kay and I tagged teamed the quilt. She sent me the heart strips and I added  the backgrounds and borders. You know what it is like to be under a deadline and we had to get this off to the quilter and still have time to ship it back to Kay before the birthday.

 

3 yds background, I cut the borders first so I did not have to piece them.

Shown below is 45″ x 108″. Less yardage is needed if you don’t mind piecing your borders.

 

Adding the triangles to the strips can be a bit tricky only because they are so big. The measurements for the triangles are oversized so the quilt can be squared up once it is completed. Follow your favorite technique to add the triangles.  Save the strips that are cut away when adding the triangles. These will be used for inner border.

Repeat to make the other half paying close attention to where the triangles are added. You don’t want to end up with the other half upside down, speaking from experience!!   Trim your heart! My heart  was just a tad over 60″.

Using the leftover strips from adding the triangles and subcut them into 2 1/2″ sections. Join them together and add to all 4 sides.  ( 2 borders with 30- squares and 2 borders with 32 squares)

Outer border- add top and bottom first. ( I had you cut your borders a tad longer  since you may have trimmed up your quilt a bit differently than mine)

Repeat with 2 side borders.

I cut binding also from the leftover pieced strips. This is a tad bit bulky because of all the seam allowances. I was okay with that since I thought that was a perfect ending for this quilt.

Kay puts so much meaning into everything she does and this quilt was no different. She contacted close family members and asked for a few words that described Savanah. These words and phrases were quilted throughout the quilt. ( Thank you Maggi Honeyman for working your magic.)

 

Have fun and hope this info helps when making A BIG HEART quilt.

Thanks to KAY letting me be a part of this special gift.

 

Enjoy,

-Lissa