pinwheel o'strings.

27 August 2013

quiltmaker's block network. (pinwheel o'strings by rachel griffith)
so, about a million and a half years ago (more like 3 years ago) i designed a fun quilt block.
i had just discovered string piecing.
i decided to couple string piecing with my love for half square triangles and pinwheels.
boom. pinwheel o'strings was created.

the block was featured in volume 2 of quiltmaker's 100 blocks magazine.
read more about it HERE.

quiltmaker recently started releasing nifty videos featuring different quilt blocks.
they showcase blocks from the 100 blocks magazines and teach techniques, tips and designs ideas.
well, guess which block is featured in their newest video.
yep, my pinwheel o'strings.
and just like that, my quilt block is brought back to life.
thanks, quiltmaker.

if you’ve wondered about string piecing, watch this episode of quiltmaker’s block network.
i personally enjoy watching videos of people creating things.
i'm a visual learner.

also, check out the post over at the quilty pleasures blog today.
they're having a giveaway for a few different string piecing books.
direct link HERE.

have you ever tried string piecing?
if yes, do you enjoy it?
if no, after seeing the video, don't you want to try it? go on. you know you do. :)

xo, rachel

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26 August 2013

can i get an amen, a high five, and maybe a delicious celebratory treat from starbucks? #firstdayofschool #thankbabyjesus #ahhhhyeah #starbucks
do y'all hear that?
it's the delicious sound of silence.

miss lindsey & i have big plans today.
we're going to cuddle and watch a movie, then make a yummy after school snack for "the guys."

what do y'all do on the first day of school?
treat yourself to coffee? or a pedicure? or a nap?
i could so go for a nap.

xo, rachel

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five more days.

21 August 2013

this has been my life the past week.
not. even. joking.

there's only five more days until school starts.
and two of those five days, i'll be in pittsburgh teaching.
thank goodness.
*wink, wink*

don't get me wrong, i love my kids.
i just love when they go back to school and i have a reason to miss them.
know what i mean jelly beans?
just say yes. lol.

so, how are y'all?
are your kids driving you crazy?
or are you already celebrating back to school?

xo, rachel

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thread catcher bag.

15 August 2013

used with permission from quilts and more® magazine. ©2013 meredith corporation. all rights reserved.

it's a happy, happy day, folks.
well, because the new quilts and more magazine is here, that's why.
not only is it my favorite quilting magazine, this issue includes something of mine!

tread catcher bags
used with permission from quilts and more® magazine. ©2013 meredith corporation. all rights reserved.

i'd like to introduce y'all to my tread catcher bag.
cute, huh?

my thread catcher bag is one of the projects featured in this issue's scrap lab.
if you're not familiar with scrap lab, let me enlighten you.
basically, there are two super awesome designers plus a guest.
the current two awesome designers = patty young and carrie nelson. (holy awesome, right?)
well, i was asked to be their guest. (i know!)
and it was super fun to work with both of these ladies.

the theme for our scrap lab was bag bonanza.
we were all given the challenge of making a bag or some sort by using 6 fat quarters.
fabrics = road 15 by sweetwater for moda

after brainstorming, here's what we came up with:
patty young made a super cute laptop bag.
carrie nelson made a gorgeous tote bag. (with polka dot handles, people!)
and i made a fun thread catcher bag.

all of these projects are quite simplistic to make.
and both patty and carrie's bags are on my to make list.
no kidding.

one of the patterns is available for download via
guess which pattern that is ... mine.
(direct link HERE.)

thread catcher bag.
used with permission from quilts and more® magazine. ©2013 meredith corporation. all rights reserved.

i experimented and made two versions of the thread catcher bag.
one has machine quilting, and the other does not.
not to mention, you can fold down the top so that it's shorter. (as shown above.)
OR you can stand it up nice an tall and fill it to the brim with threads.
it's your call.

so, check out the magazine.
and download the free pattern for my thread catcher bag!

if you're going to make your own thread catcher bag, raise your hand! ;)

xo, rachel

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12 August 2013

i give y'all reverie.

a million and a half years ago i bought a wholecloth quilt from target.
it had a printed design of hexagons with frames and sashing.
i tried (for years!) to figure out how to easily break down the construction and avoid y seams.
not to mention, making sure it was something that could be pieced quickly.
hello, mom of four.

in all honesty, i just couldn't figure out how to do it.
so, this design just sat there. for like ever.
then, miss julie herman came to the rescue when she designed the hex n more ruler.
(hey, jules. xoxo.)

hex n more ruler.
now, don't let the fact that you need to use a specialty ruler stop you from making this quilt.
it's so very easy to use.
and it makes this quilt a breeze to construct.

well, the construction was figured out, but i needed the perfect fabrics.
i had these two stacks of lovelies hanging around.
i knew that i loved them together, but i wasn't sure how to implement them properly.
so, i said to heck with it, untied them, and mixed them all up.

left stack: honey honey by kate spain for moda
right stack: simply style by v and co for moda

reverie fabrics.
the result was this lovely stack.
to me, it was perfect.

and here's the end result.
*big, dreamy sigh*

oh, and i have an all prints version in the works now.
i'll show y'all that one when it's finished.

i love this design.
i'm hoping y'all will love it like i do.

quilt stats:
size = 66" x 84"
fabric = honey honey by kate spain AND simply style by v and co (both of moda)
piecing = karrielyne winters
quilting = darla padilla

so, if you're looking for your own reverie pattern:
the paper pattern is available for preorder HERE. (shipping august 31st)
the pdf pattern is available HERE. (ships via email after your purchase.)
shop owners can contact me directly or see their united notions, brewer or checker rep.

xo, rachel

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09 August 2013

would you look at this fabric?

fabric = sunnyside by kate spain for moda
(available september 2013)

that kate spain, she sure knows what she's doing.
it's no secret that i'm kind of biased when it comes to kate, but can you blame me?
she's one of my favorite people in the business.
and not just because she's a genius at fabric designing, but because she's sweeter than pure sugar. honestly. ;)

so, the first time i saw sunnyside, i knew it was THE fabric i've been waiting on.
i've been planning a quilt, for quite some time, that needed just the right fabric.
it's going to be a new pattern in my pattern line.
and i'm SUPER excited to reveal it once the pattern is complete.

in the meantime, let's play a game!
this new pattern is a follow up, a part 2, if you will, of an existing pattern of mine.
so, which pattern is getting a sequel?
do you have a guess?
i'd love to hear what it is.

oh, and i'll even raise the bar.
for leaving your guess, you'll be entered into a giveaway for a set of my 4 new patterns!
note: new patterns are being released between august and november.
winner will be announced when the quilt & pattern cover are revealed.

xo, rachel

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06 August 2013

have y'all heard of the ohio outdoor quilt festival?
basically, it's a quilt show held at an elk farm here in ohio.
they have hundreds of quilts hanging on the barns and on the fences.
it's one of my favorite ways to see quilts displayed.

i entered a few quilts into the show in 2009.
(click HERE to see my pics from the 2009 show.)
i actually won a gold medal that year for the jurist award.
and the medal still hangs in my quilty room.

i missed the 2010 show because i was SUPER pregnant with miss lindsey.
the 2011 show was cancelled due to a family sickness.
so, when i saw that the show was back on this year, i made plans to enter.

well, this past weekend, the fam & i took a drive out to bonnie brae farm.
i entered 16 quilts in the show.
i'm excited to see my quilts hanging on barns.
the hubby is excited to eat elk.
it's what i like to call a win/win scenario.

the ohio outdoor quilt festival is this coming saturday.
so, if you're in or around northern ohio, i highly suggest you check it out.
oh, and say hi. i'd love to meet you.
and if you're not, i'll take some pics for you. promise.

quilt pictured = reverie.
pattern will be available august 2013.

xo, rachel

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spooktacular mini quilt tutorial.

02 August 2013

spooktacular mini quilt tutorial.
today is my day to share a yummy halloween-ish project for the spooktacular series.

spooktacular mini quilt:
finished quilt: 18" x 18"
finished block: 9" x 9"
fabric: spooktacular by maude asbury for blend fabrics

spooktacular materials
materials needed:
4 squares, 9 1/2" x 9 1/2" (grey fabrics)
2 strips, 2 1/4" x WOF (binding)
1 circle for pumpkin, desired size (i used a large stockpot lid to make my template)
3 triangles for pumpkin eyes and nose, desired size
1 rectangle for pumpkin mouth, desired size
1 rectangle for pumpkin stump, desired size
note: i used a pair of scissors and freely cut the shapes for the eyes, nose, mouth & stump.

spooktacular piecing
quilt top assembly:
using diagram as reference, sew 9 1/2" x 9 1/2" squares together to make a simple 4-patch block.
attach pumpkin and face using desired method of applique. (i did raw edge applique.)
note: i actually quilted my quilt before attaching the jack o' lantern.

finish quilt:
layer quilt top, batting and backing; baste.
quilt as desired.
bind with binding strips.

and don't forget, there's four other delish halloween-ish projects this week. (with a giveaway!)
the schedule:
july 29th: ellison lane quilts
july 30th: alida makes
july 31st: the sewing loft
august 1st: sew happily ever after
august 2nd: ps i quilt

so, happy hopping.

xo, rachel

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practical bag.

01 August 2013

my practical bag.
one of my besties came over and we decided to make bags.
this is what we do, jamie & i.
we either get together and sew or we get together and do fun girly things.
like get mani/pedis and hork down chipotle burritos. lol.

she actually came over just for the sake of hanging out.
well, hanging out turned into, "let's look at my fabric/pattern stash."
so, the next thing i knew, we were pulling fabrics for new bags.
funny how that works out, right?

we chose the practical bag by grand revival.
i bought this pattern from the fat quarter shop like a million years ago.
then, it just sat there.
i'm good at doing that. you too, right?

after much deliberation, my fabric of choice was this yummy tiled primrose print.
(bijou by heather bailey for free spirit.)
i chose the turquoise colorway and jamie chose the rose colorway.
pssst: thanks jennifer for adding these to my stash a million years ago. xoxo.

here are my two cents on the bag/pattern:
- the bag is a great size. meaning it holds all of my crap stuff.
- the pattern is pretty simplistic.
- although i love the curves in the overall design, i had to ignore the matching "dots" in the pattern to ensure that i caught the seams within my stitching. (i think this part needed a bit of extra detail within the written instructions.)
- the handle construction is completely unconventional, but it totally works.
- the bag can easily become a black hole. i think it needs at least one pocket. obviously, this is personal preference.
- i think that one day i would definitely make this bag again.

all in all, i really do like this bag.
i've been carrying it everywhere.
it goes perfectly with my tshirt, jeans & flip flop summer wardrobe.

have any of y'all made this bag?

xo, rachel

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