Yes! You just finished a beautiful quilt top. All you have to do now is baste it and quilt it, so you can turn your UFO (UnFinished Object) into an AFO (Awesome Finished Object). ‘Just’ pick a quilt design and get started.

“Turn your UFO into an AFO”

Does this stage make you a little bit uncomfortable? Do you want to put your quilt top on your pile of nearly finished projects and just think about it for a little longer? You’re not alone! I’ve heard so many people hesitate to finish their quilts because they can’t decide on a quilt design.

So, I decided to make a video on it. Not that I am the expert. Not even close. Did you see the video where I show my 364 WIP’s? BUT, I do think I’m getting better on quilting my quilts. Best thing: I’m spending less and less pondering over which quilt design to choose for years before I finish my quilts.

Wanna become a master in finishing those quilts? Grab your copy of my free ebook and check out the video below for my five step master plan.

Just in case you want the sort version:

STEP 1: Take a good look at your quilt top. Are there any clues in there? Maybe it is a big design which would work well with a smaller overall quilt pattern. Maybe there are shapes in your design around which you can echo with straight lines? Maybe your quilt top is made from squares so you can stitch in the ditch or stitch just beside the ditch.

STEP 2: Go through the 101 ideas for quilting ebook with your quilt top in mind and see if there are designs that resonate with you. That call your name.

Step 3: The most important step. Make a choice. Just pick a design. The moment you decide, you can finally start quilting your quilt.

STEP 4: Go quilt your quilt. Hop behind your sewing machine, grab some thread and start quilting.

STEP 5: Might sound like a weird step, but I love this one. When your half way through quilting your quilt. Don’t hesitate and finish it! Don’t have second thoughts on your choice. The only way to get better at quilting, at picking quilt designs, is by doing. So go and practice. Finish a quilt so you can start a new project. Done is so much batter than perfect!

Well okay, maybe that was the not so very short version. But that’s it. No rocket science right? There is no better feeling than to get your machine running and finish some quilts if you ask me.

Love,
Irene

Ok. Well. I thought it would be nice to get a bit organized and finally get an overview of everything that was laying around in my studio as Work In Progress (WIPs). Wow. I suspected that there would be quite a few, but I didn’t know that I was working on SO many project.

I’ll talk you through everything that is going in on in the Sugaridoo Studio:

And for my own record.. Here’s the list:

My WIP’s

Quilts

  • Orange triangle quilt
  • Penguin quilt for baby Jules
  • Round robin for our quilt bee
  • Bunny mini Quilt
  • Finish binding on music quilt
  • And, believe it or not, the Sugaridoo Sampler
  • Tree Tree House
  • Music Potholders
  • Improv quilt

Crochet projects

  • Huge Polly the chicken
  • Bunny Bo
  • Crochet blanket
  • Charlie the Cat

New Patterns

  • Release Polly the Chicken pattern
  • Release Owly mini quilt pattern

Events

  • Crochet party 22nd of Sept
  • Brei en Haakdagen in Zwolle
  • Kreadoe
  • Crochet party 24th of Nov

 

Messy creative process

Quilting is a creative process. And creative processes can get messy, am I right? We quilters tent to always have more than one project going on. And well, sometimes fabrics pulls will be waiting in their basket because we also want to start that project, oh and also that one.

So, to keep track of all your quilty projects, I put together a printable planner just for you!

You could of course keep a list of projects on your phone, but than you can’t use your favorite markers and washi tapes ;)

So go ahead, grab your quilty planner over here:

I’d love to see what quilts you’re planning (and making!). Pop a link to some pictures in the comments below so I can check them out!

Love,
Irene

Last month we started making Round Robins with our quilt bee! We also finally named our bee the Kingfisher quilt bee instead of just calling it ‘bee without name’. This is the block I made as a starter block. Want to know how it was made? You’ll find a video and written instructions below.

What is a Round Robin?

Just in case you have never heard of a Round Robin, let me explain. (Before I joined our bee I never heard of it eigther.)

A Round Robin is a quilt that you can make with a group of quilters. Everyone starts with making one quilt block. We decided we’d start with a block between 9 and 12”. During your next bee, you pass that block on to someone else. So you go home with someone else’ block. You can also send your block to someone else by mail of course, we just exchange the projects during our bi-monthly bees

The idea now is to add something to the block that you took home. You can use the block itself as inspiration for style and colors. You could add a border around the block, or add triangles to put the block on point, or whatever you think would be nice to add to the block.

When everyone is done adding something to the starting blocks, you pass the blocks on to someone else to start the next round. You can continue this as long as you like. We agreed that you can take you quilt (with your starting block) back at anytime to finish it by quilting and binding it.

You could set some rules when organizing a Round Robin. You could for example state the width of the borders, if you’re allowed to turn the block on point, if you should make the borders identical on all sides etc. But we decided not to set any rules, so we’re completely free to do with the blocks what we want. Well, we’ll be keeping the starter and owner of the quilt in mind of course ;)

My starter block

I just got my hands on an improv quilt book (By Lucie Summers) I will share more about that next week, but it got me all inspired for making my Round Robin starter block. I decided to make little plusses. Bright colors combined with grey, but all the bright fabrics also include withe. So there would be a lot of room for the next quilter to work with this block. This was my fabric pick:

Here is how you can make a block like this yourself

Hop over to the video tutorial, or just continue reading to find the written instructions below.

Materials
We’re going to make nine plus blocks and join them together in a nine patch. I used different shades of gray as background fabrics, but using one background fabric would also be perfectly fine. So you will need nine 4″ squares of background fabric and some scrap strips in nine different colors for the pluses.

Let’s start
– Cut nine 4” squares. No need to be too precise, it’s improv quilting after all. Just make sure that your blocks are at least 4″ big, they don’t need to be perfectly squared at this point.

– Cut 18 strips, two from each color fabric. You will use two strips for each plus. The strips should be approximately 5” long and 0.75-1.5” wide. Just cut them without measuring too much ;)

– Take the 4” squares and slice them somewhere in the middle.

– Sew one strip in the middle of each sliced square

Yay! There is your first strip. No need to pin everything in place, just go go go, cut and sew and you’ll be fine!

– Now press the squares and slice them again, perpendicular to the first slice you made. Not precisely  perpendicular of course, remember, we’re improv quilting. You get the point by now I guess.

– Again sew one strip in the middle of each slices square

Whoop whoop! There we have a plus. Pretty Pretty. And soo very easy to make!

– Press the squares and square them up to 3.5 x 3.5”. This I did measure and square up precisely. That way you can sew the nine patch together matching up the points of the little squares. You could keep it wonky in this step as well, but I liked the effect of squaring up the random blocks.

– Sew the squares together to get a 9 x 9” block. Make sure to snuggle up the seams so the squares line up (almost) perfectly. Check out the video to see how I did this.

– Give it a nice press aaaaand you’re done!

Now go and take a picture and let me know how your block turned out! I would love to see. If you hace any questions, just leve them in the comments below.

Love,
Irene

Foundation paper piecing (FPP) and English paper piecing (EPP) are two well know techniques in the quilting world.

They both use paper, their names sound alike, so what is the difference between these two techniques?

The video below explains the two techniques:

I have never tried EPP myself, but luckily Ange and Lou allowed me to show you their work to illustrate what you can make with the English version of paper piecing.

You can find their Instagram accounts over here:

Isn’t that pretty? I loove those colors and the tiny polka dots used by Alittlepatchwork. And these racoons by ImstudioLou! Fussy cutting heaven.

So those are two examples of blocks you can make with EPP.

Foundation paper piecing is something I do almost every week. I love that technique! FPP allows me to draw something and turn it into a pattern to quilt.

I even wrote a book about it, collecting all the patterns I designed: the Sugaridoo Sampler.

If you would like to learn all the basics of Foundadtion paper piecing, go take a look over here: FPP tutorial.

Hope this explains the different about these two techniques!

Love,
Irene

September this year I launched the Once Upon a Pixel book togehter with Studio Koekoek. A book filled with maxigal pixel patterns to cross stitch and quilt.

Mean while we ordered the second print and translated the book to English So exciting! Because this all is more than enough reason for a little party we will host a blog tour from next week.

Blog tour

A what? A blog tour, a trip where we will visit different blogs :) In the coming week you can visit a different blog each Wednesday which will post about our new book.

Give away

That is not all. We will give away 6 e-books. Each week you get a change to win your own copy! For more information on how to win in a specific week, you just hop over to the blog of that week.

Blog tour program
22 nov – Paisley Roots
29 nov – Made By Melli
6 dec – Pattern Revolution
13 dec – Made By Sara
20 dec – I Have Purple Hair
27 dec – Sugaridoo

So from next Wednesday, keep an eye open for the blogs listed above for sneak peeks, reviews and projects form the Once Upon a Pixel book. Enjoy the blog tour!

Love,
Irene

Last week someone asked for the pattern of a cactus quilt block I shared a while ago on Instagram. I realized that I still haven’t shared the pillow which I made with those blocks here on he blog. So today time for a short show and tell :)

 

No green fingers

For a long long time now I’ve been a big fan of cacti. I’m not sure why, but I just like them a lot! Maybe it’s because I’m not so good with plants. (And then I put softly, really most plants don’t last longer than a few months under my supervision..)

A cactus doesn’t need much care or water and still can grow into a huge plant. And if you’re lucky it will even show some pretty little flowers.

So when I designed all the blocks for the Sugaridoo Sampler it just needed to include a cactus. It turned in to this cactus with a happy colored pot.

From the block in the book I enlarged the 10 x 15 cm block to a 20 x 30 cm block and and made three of them. Sewing them together with a few white borders resulted in the a 45 x 60 cm mini quilt which is a standard Ikea pillow size.

>> The pattern for the cactus pattern can be found here <<

The back of the pillow is made with two pieces of green fabrics which slightly overlap. And so it turned into an easy pillow case without a zipper. I like.

The pillow has been approved by our hairy pillow tester Jimi the Maine Coon (Jimithecoon on Instagram).

Thanks for stopping by!

Love,
Irene

Beginning of this year I published my first book. A super tick quilt book full of all paper piecing patterns that I ever designed. Now, half a year later I’m working on my second book. Together with Gerda from Studio Koekoek I’m writing a book about pixels.

Pixel patterns can be used in cross stitching (please do take a peek at the Studio Koekoek website) but of course also in quilting and crochet. In the book ‘Once upon a Pixel’ you’ll find a collection of pixel patterns in the once upon a time theme. Including many fun projects for a children’s room or nursery. It’ll be full of fairy tale figures, knights, princesses and castles.

The last months I’ve worked on making the quilts for the book. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen some sneak peeks of the projects. Also in my latest vlogs (YouTube – Sugaridoo) you can see some power quilting being done ;)

 

All test stitchers thank you thank you for all your hard work!

 

I can’t wait till it’s time to shoot the final product photo’s. Meanwhile we keep writing, stitching and quilting.

 

Would you like to be the first to place a pre order for the book? Then keep an eye out on the Sugaridoo Instagram and Facebook. With a week or 2 we will be ready to take the first pre-orders

The book will be released end of September 2017 on a craftfair in the Netherlands (Handwerkdagen in Rijswijk). On this same craft fait there will be an exposition of all the projects made for the book.

After the book release there will also be a digital version available as an e-book (in Dutch and in English) via our webshops.

Liefs,
Irene