Wednesday, September 9, 2015

French Connection Sew Along - Week 4

Hi Everyone!

Thanks for stopping by to get the last instructions for the sew along.  Click here to get the final instructions.

You know when they say that you should move every 10 years so you can weed out all your stuff?  Well, I am totally agreeing with whoever "they" are!  I am moving after being in the same home for 25 years.  I have accumulated a lot of great stuff but when you move, it doesn't feel so great!  So, this is what I've been doing for the past few weeks instead of sewing the final steps of the French Connection Sew Along.

I hope that you understand and thank goodness for Celine!  She has finished her quilt and it looks fabulous.  Check it out on her blog:

Now, back to packing...

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

French Connection Sew Along - Week 3


I hope that you all got your blocks done and are ready to start the first border.  I finally got my alternate block done and here it is:

To download Week 3, click here.

Week 3: Border Construction

The border is done with large flip corners on one side of a rectangle and small flip corners on the other side.  I wanted to use my Fit to be Quarter 6.5 & Companion ruler set so the first thing that I did was cut my main light to 3 1/2" x 5" and my greys larger than needed, 4 1/4" square, cut diagonally once.

Then using my Fit to be Quarter 6.5 & Companion, I trimmed the top right corner off of the light.  I put wrong sides together so that I could get mirror images.

Next, I lay my piece on the triangle cut from a 4 1/4" squares of grey.

I sewed using 1/4" seam and pressed out. Then I trimmed the pieces using the Fit to be Quarter 6.5 ruler with the 3 1/2" diagonal line across the seam.  I repeated for the mirror image.

Next, I trimmed the adjacent corners.

I sewed on a red triangle cut from a 2 3/4" square and trimmed using the Fit to be Quarter 6.5. I did both mirror images and sewed them together.  Follow the instructions for pressing.

I repeated this step to make a total of 8 with the alternate block grey and main block red and 4 with the alternate block red and the main block grey.  I had to think about which grey and which red went together because I used 2 different reds in my blocks.

The next thing I did was I made my 1/2 square triangles using the grey from my main block and the main light.  I repeated to make 4.

The final step is to make your 4 corners for the border.  I haven't made mine yet because I haven't decided on my borders. 

Have fun sewing this week and make sure that you post your pictures on our French Connection Sew Along Facebook page.

See you next week!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

French Connection Sew Along - Week 2

Are you ready to start sewing??  I know I am!  So, here we go!

Download the directions here:  French Connection, Week 2.

This week we are making the two blocks for the center of the quilt.  I did mine a bit different so that I could use my Fit to be Quarter 6.5 ruler.  The ruler is handy because I can oversize the pieces and square them down.  This is how I did it:

For the main block, unit 1, I oversized my pieces.  For Q, I cut it 2 1/4" x 2 1/4" and for E, I cut it 2 1/4" x 3 1/4" and for I, I cut it 4" x 5".

Follow the same instructions to construct the square.  When you are squaring the finished square up, they will be larger than needed so you can make them exact. 

To square up the piece, line up the 1 3/4" line up on the rulers with the red square and the 3 1/2" diagonal line along the long diagonal seam.  Trim.

Rotate and line up the 3 1/2" diagonal line of the ruler along the diagonal line of the piece.  Also, line up the 3 1/2" markings of the ruler along the already trimmed edges.  Trim.
For the 1/4 square triangle, I cut my squares 4 1/2" as directed and trimmed them with the Fit to be Quarter 6.5 too.

Line up the 3 1/2" diagonal of the ruler along the diagonal of the square and the diagonal line of the ruler that goes from top right to bottom left along the other diagonal on the square.  Trim.  Rotate, line up the square directly on the 3 1/2" line of the ruler and trim.

Once you have the center square done, sew the pieces together to make your main block.  Make 5.

Next, make the alternate block the same way and using the different colors. (Picture to come...still catching up!!)

See you next week! 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Reconnecting and French Connection Sew Along

Hello!  I'm finally back and plan to be blogging more. 

My friend and fellow designer, Celine Perkins of Perkin Dry Goods and I reconnected at Quilt Market in May.  We decided to collaborate and came up with the French Connection sew along. 

The idea of the sew along is that we each designed a quilt center and gave the centers to the other designer to design the border.  We are starting with Celine's center and my border design.  We will be doing our second sew along starting in October and we'll be creating my center with Celine's border design.

We are both super excited to share our designs with you!  The first month is picking your fabrics and cutting. Click here to get the first week's instructions. 

Selecting the fabrics is one of my favorite parts of quilting.  My imagination runs wild with the possibilities!  I decided to use Joyeux Noel by French General for Moda Fabrics.  I'm a huge French General junkie and have A LOT of their fabrics.  So pretty! 

Next Wednesday we will start making the blocks but here is a sneak peak.

Make sure that you join our French Connection Facebook group! 

Thanks for stopping by and hope you join us!!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Quilt Market

After much debate (with myself), I decided to vend at Quilt Market.  I'm super excited for many reasons.  First, I haven't vended at a trade show since Kansas City, MO show and I think that was 3 years ago...yikes!  Second, I miss seeing my customers and friends at Quilt Market.  It's an awesome place to make friendships and connections.  Third, I LOVE going to Quilt Market!  It  renews my excitement for quilting and let's me see what's new and show what I've been working on. 

Although Quilt Market is wholesale only trade show, keep your eyes open for what's new from all the designers, quilt shop owners, bloggers and companies out there. It's a great way to see the newest trends and ideas.

 Don't forget that my classes for Craftsy are available.  Here are some video trailers for my classes:
Hope you like them!  If you are interested in signing up for a class, here are the links for the discounted classes:

Meanwhile, I am working on new patterns for Quilt Market and enjoying the time sewing and designing!

See you soon!!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Quilts and More

Okay, you are probably thinking, "Wow, another post?!"  Well, good things have been happening lately and I want to share my excitement.  It was such a tough beginning of 2014 and I'm grateful that things are going better.

Here is the latest.  I was asked to be one of the designers for Quilts and More Scrap Lab along with 2 other designers. 

They gave us 42-10" squares of fabric and 1/2 yard solid cream and asked us to come up with a design, so here is mine:

This is what Sherri from This & That Patterns made.  What a great little table topper!

And the other designer is Amy Sinibaldi of Nana Company.  (  Here is her interpretation of the fabrics.

So cute!

The images were used with permission from Quilts and More magazine. 2015 Meredith Corporation. All
rights reserved.

Pick up a copy on the newsstand today!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Discover Design Playing with Half Square Triangles

YEAH!!  It's finally live, my latest class with CraftsyDiscover Design Playing with Half Square Triangles.  

Discover Design

You are probably wondering, what, where, when?  Well, one of the things about classes for Craftsy is that they ask you to keep everything quiet until the launch date.  So, now I can talk about it and I'm so excited!  

Let's start with how I got to make a second class with Craftsy.  In the summer, I was contacted by June Dudley, the acquisition editor for the Quilting category for Craftsy.  She had recently moved from Quiltmaker and was now looking for new classes for Craftsy.  I proposed the Discover Design Playing with Half Square Triangles.  They accepted it in October, I filmed right before Thanksgiving and now it's live!  Needless to say, October and November was crazy busy getting ready for the class.  

Here is some info about the class:

Unleash your inner quilt designer with versatile half-square triangles! Join me, author and instructor Monique Dillard, in my online Craftsy class Discover Design:Playing With Half-Square Triangles, and discover how to use half-square triangles to easily customize blocks, resize quilts and create an array of your own gorgeous designs.

Jumpstart your design journey with five easy ways to make half-square triangles! We’ll start class with an exploration of lovely half-square triangle projects; you can use these pre-sewn half-square triangles not only to make inspiring quilts, but also beautiful blocks and borders! Find your favorite half-square triangle method as I walk you through a range of techniques, and get ready to start our first project!

Go from half-square triangles to a fabric work of art –– it’s easy! Using the half-square triangles you’ve created, we’ll explore setting options that enable you to quickly modify any design. Discover my timesaving technique for chain-sewing your pieces, and try out my foolproof sewing and pressing tips for polished results. By the end of this lesson, you’ll complete a display-worthy project, and I’ll show you how to mount it for your friends and family to admire.

Then, sew a stunning batik quilt! I’ll walk you through selecting fabrics that create harmonious color gradation, and then we’ll explore a combination of four-patch blocks and half-square triangles for a new design dynamic. Experiment with color placement and block rotation to create a variety of units, and arrange them with my guidance on creating a cohesive design. I’ll also help you construct a plain border, to complete your quilt in style.

If you’ve always wanted to know how to resize a quilt, you’ll love our next lesson! I’ll reveal an assortment of easy ways to enlarge your quilts, from inner borders to secondary designs. We’ll also review standard quilt sizes, including pillow tuck and bedspread variations. Plus, you’ll discover a simple way to resize quilt blocks, so you can modify any pattern piece by piece.

Next up, get started on a dazzling diamond-effect quilt top! Follow along as I combine two sizes of half-square triangles to create a range of unique patterns, and find out how to arrange your finished blocks to enhance the overall design of this striking quilt.

Sign up today for Discover Design: Playing With Half-Square Triangles, and you’ll also discover how to use half-square triangles to create exquisite, pieced borders to complete any quilt!

I’ve loved quilting for many years, and I’ve been an instructor for nearly two decades. I run Open Gate, my quilt design business, and I’ve authored three books: Fat Quarter Winners, Diamond Traditions and Traditional Fat Quarter Quilts. I teach quilting workshops around the United States, and I’m so excited to be back for my second Craftsy class to explore half-square triangles with you!

Bring your design dreams to life! Use fun half-square triangle techniques to customize, resize and design quilts for the results you’ve always wanted.

If you click on any of the links for the class, you will get 50% off of your class.  

Hope you enjoy and let me know what you think!