Final Blocks and a Big Delivery

Modern Solids progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I hope you aren’t tired of seeing these blocks, but I have good news for you if you are. These are the final few! I am done with the paper piecing and will be completing the quilt top and quilting this week. I’m really excited to share with you the finished quilt soon ~ and the story about how I came up with the blocks and design.

Quilt Patterns : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Last week I had a big delivery on my front porch – many, many, many copies of my paper patterns. I am happy to announce I’ve been picked up by a few wholesale distributors (Brewer, Checker, and E.E. Schenck Co.). If you are a shop owner and buy through one of these companies, I hope you will consider carrying my pattern line. They are already listed at Brewer, Checker (search Fresh Lemons Quilts as the Vendor) and hopefully will be up soon at E.E. Schenck Co. And for you non shop owners, you can still buy patterns (paper and PDF) in my online shop here on the blog.

Bird Wings : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I spent a bit of time yesterday working with my daughter on her Halloween costume. She really likes these bird wings (found here and here). I usually don’t really make costumes – I know, I know. But this one seemed pretty straight forward and we are able to make it together. She of course picked out 2 of my most hoarded out of print fabrics (the orange Henna Garden by Sandi Henderson and the Pink Coriander by Amy Butler). Looks good in the wings though! If we don’t mess the project up too much, I’ll share the finished costume here next month. :)

Ok, back to work finishing the Modern Solids quilt!

A New Adventure with Bernina

BERNINA Sewing Machines : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Hello everyone! Today I’m beyond thrilled to be sharing with you a new adventure I’ll be embarking on over the next year. I have partnered with Bernina USA and the We All Sew team to review the Bernina 750QE sewing machine, which they are providing for me, as well as contribute some fun projects on the We All Sew blog. If this is your first time here on my blog and you came over from Bernina, welcome!

Bernina's We All Sew Blog

Looking back over my life since I was old enough to have a job, there are two, what I think of as “life changing”, things that I have saved for and purchased. The first was in high school. I saved my money and at a point in time where everyone was buying clothes or a used car, I bought my first computer. I actually remember the day it arrived – and the monitor was late so I just had the CPU sitting there! (My dad loaned me his computer monitor so I could set it up and play). You see, I took my first computer programming class in High School and I loved it so much. This was the early 1990’s, I think before most teenagers knew anything about coding programs. I think I was either the only girl in the class, or one of two. I went on to major in Systems Analysis and work as a web developer until staying home with my kids.

Bernina 440QE : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The second “life changing” purchase that I made came in 2009 when I bought my first Bernina. My mom sewed on a Bernina and encouraged me to look at them and bring one home. I bought the 440 QE and when I set up and started sewing, everything seemed to change. The quality of the machine, stitches, the walking foot, the Bernina Stitch Regulator (once I got the hang of it)…I was in love. Each day I sat at my machine and knew I would get the best quality from my time there. The joy I have had at that machine has encouraged me to sew, sew and sew some more.

Bernina 750QE : Fresh Lemons Quilts
Included feet with 750QE

I am beyond excited about this new partnership with Bernina. I picked up the new machine on Monday and I will be sewing on it for the next year and letting you all know how it goes along the way. I have high expectations!

Bernina 440 and 750 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Above you can see the size difference between the 440 and 750. Honestly, when I was using it in the store I didn’t think it seemed much bigger. I’m going to go ahead and call that the “Costco effect”. Do you guys shop there? As soon as you walk in there are a ton of tvs. Big tvs. But they don’t look so big in the store. You think “wow, 55″ looks small. Maybe I need a 65″. Or a 70.” Then you get it home and realize “WOW, that is actually a very large television!” Right?? Anyway! It’s a lot bigger.

Here is a comparison of the throat space, with the 440 behind the 750.

Bernina 440 and 750 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I can’t wait to get a quilt in there, this weekend hopefully!

Bernina 440 and 750 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I do have some initial just-out-of-the-box impressions. To be honest, I’ve already sewn an entire quilt top on it. And a whole bunch of decorative stitches. Just a wee bit excited…

As soon as I got it home, based on the recommendation of the gentleman who trained me (Seth at Gentler Times in Naperville, IL), I oiled it and changed out the needle. For piecing I’m using a 80/11 Microtex Sharp needle.

I also purchased an additional stitch plate for piecing – the Straight Stitch Plate. You can see the difference below, the straight stitch plate is on the machine and the stitch plate it comes with is to the right. Many people feel they achieve more accurate piecing with the straight stitch plate so I’m trying it out. So far, so good!

Bernina 440 and 750 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

There are a couple things I noticed right away. It is very quiet. Much quieter than the 440 (which I thought was super quiet when I bought it!) The 750 has the knee lift I’m accustomed to but I feels much more solid that the 440’s knee lift, which despite the massive table where I sew, still shakes loose when I’m going super fast.

It has some “new to me” features like a thread cutter and dual feed system. That’s the white guy you see on the back below.

Bernina 440 and 750 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This helps evenly guide the fabric while I piece. It swings up out of the way when I’m not using it (which I’m guessing will be rare!)

There’s also a giant bobbin. Huge. Here it is compared to the bobbin in my 440.

Bernina 440 and 750 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It also has this cool feature where you can’t put the bobbin in the bobbin case backwards. As you can see, it just sets on top if you are doing it wrong. Flip it over and it slides right in.

Bernina 440 and 750 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The fancy touch screen controls are really nice. There’s a ton of information there and I have a feeling that even in 12 months I won’t have seen everything. I do love that when you change a setting, like for example increase the stitch length, it visually changes on the screen.

Bernina 440 and 750 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I hope you are as excited as me to go on this journey! I’ll still be posting regularly here, don’t worry. I will just be throwing even more sewing machine information into the mix! And keep an eye out on the We All Sew blog. My first project, a Summer Quilt Along, will be starting over there very soon.

Spring Fling Quilt by my Mom

Spring Fling Quilt by Lorellen Moore

You guys probably know my mom Lorellen is a quilter. I’ve shown a few of her awesome quilts in this space before. (See this and this.)

Spring Fling Quilt by Lorellen Moore

Well, I probably could have guessed that she was going to use my book Vintage Quilt Revival to make something – but not follow a pattern in any way. lol She is super creative and improvisational and this quilt she made really shows her style.

Spring Fling Quilt by Lorellen Moore

Isn’t it cool? The fabric is from Carrie Bloomston’s Collage fabric line for Windham Fabrics. To create the flowers, she used the paper piecing templates from the block used on the Star Bright quilt, shrinking and enlarging to create different flower sizes.

Spring Fling Quilt by Lorellen Moore

Then, and this would be hard to spot if you didn’t know it, she created a bird nest using some of the paper piecing templates from Katie’s Cut Glass baby quilt. She added texture though appliqué, inspired by the fabric designer Carrie Bloomston’s The Nest quilt pattern.

Spring Fling Quilt by Lorellen Moore

The leaves and stems all are appliquéd on. For the border, she used a 15 degree triangle plastic template, drawing around it onto the fabric. She then cut out the pieces and they fit together easily and perfectly.

What do you think? Award for the most creative use of the book so far? Thanks for letting me share it mom!

A Spring Mix

Spring Mix Fabric Pull : Fresh Lemons Quilts

When it comes to the weather outside, this time of year always feels like two steps forward, one step back. Last week we had a great day with temperatures in the 50’s, only to be followed by a day of wet, heavy snow.

Cardinal : Fresh Lemons Quilts

When that latest layer of snow melted and I just felt defeated by Winter, I looked out by our woods and saw these.

Cardinal : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The daffodil bulbs I planted last Fall, starting to pop up. I am telling you, this mess of mud and leaves and tiny bits of green has been so good for my soul.

I’ve been trying to make sure the kids get some outside time on those warmer days. Between that and a sewing deadline that I can’t share right now, I don’t have a finished project to show you this week. But I have accumulated some new fabrics recently and they inspired me to take a little break and build a project pile from my stash.

Spring Mix Fabric Pull : Fresh Lemons Quilts

My inspiration for this stack was a print from Leah Duncan’s newest fabric line for Art Gallery Fabrics, Meadow. I love the soft colors.

Spring Mix Fabric Pull : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I pulled some coordinating prints from my stash, including some new fabrics from Lotta Jansdotter’s Mormor, Skinny Laminx’s Up, Up & Away, Eloise Renouf’s Bark & Branch, and Violet Craft’s Waterfront Park.

I made a block from my Off-Centered Squares quilt pattern. I’m thinking of using one color family per block…we shall see!

Off-Centered Squares Quilt Pattern : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Back to work on deadlines! And fingers crossed for a warmer week!