Mini quilt for Blogger’s Quilt Festival

Right now, the Blogger’s Quilt Festival is going on at Amy’s Creative Side.  This is a virtual quilt show that we can all enjoy from the comfort of our own homes.  Amy has been hosting this quilt festival twice a year for the past several years.

I have a mini quilt that I’ve decided to enter into the Mini Quilt Category.  It could easily fit into the ROYGBIV (rainbow) category as well, but it’s more of a mini quilt to me.  I made it a few months ago for a rainbow mini quilt swap on Instagram.

Rainbow Geese Mini copy

My swap partner was Rebecca Silbaugh who has a longarm quilting business and blogs at Ruby Blue Quilting Studio.  On top of that, she has written two books!  Yes, she was a little intimidating to quilt for.

This little quilt is my own design and it started with the center block.  The rest of the quilt evolved after that.  I love adding a little personalization to my quilts, so I appliqued the letter “R” in the center.  I wanted hexagons to be a part of this project, so the easiest thing was to applique those onto the border (in color order).  I was a little random in the placement of each set – trying to add a modern element in spite of myself!

Rainbow geese mini 2 copy


I had a few firsts on this quilt.  I added some big-stitch embroidery (not sure if that’s the correct term) around each color group of hexagons (before quilting).  And, I tried some organic, match-stick quilting around the hexagons to add some texture.

Matchstick quilting detail copy

Hexagons close up copy


A little stitching in the ditch, some FMQ in the flying geese and pebbling around the letter “R” completed the quilting.  It sounds similar to making a recipe with a dash of salt and pinch of pepper!

fmq detail copymonogram


I used this great text print on the back of the quilt along with a rainbow-hexagon label and hanging sleeve:

rainbow geese mini back copy


I love the opportunity to make cards and this was definitely one of those times.  I really enjoyed making this one:

inspire dream create card copy


I hope you get a chance to check out all of the other quilts entered into the Mini Quilt category, as well as all of the other categories.  You can still participate by entering your own quilt or by voting for your favorites.  There are prizes to be had!  Amy has some amazing sponsors that are supporting this quilt festival.  A big thank you to all of them!

Thursday, 5/21, is the last day to nominate up to three quilts for the Viewer’s Choice award.  Make sure to go HERE to do that!  Then, all of the actual voting will begin on Friday, May 22nd.

Enjoy the show!


Star Crossed Pattern and Plan B

I’m so glad to be participating in the Star Crossed Sew Along going on at the Fat Quarter Shop’s blog, The Jolly Jabber!  They are celebrating the newly released pattern by It’s Sew Emma titled Star Crossed.  It’s a beautiful interpretation of a vintage star quilt that was found at Quilt Festival.



This pattern was so much fun to work with and the instructions were perfect.  I made a much smaller version using grey and cheddar yellow.

Star Crossed baby quilt by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


My Star Crossed quilt went in a very different direction than I originally intended.  Let me tell you how it began, and then I’ll share some tips for piecing the blocks.

I love starting a new project.  It’s my favorite part of the quilting process!  Sometimes I start a project with the fabric in mind and other times it’s a pattern that gets me going.  Since this is a sew along, I had the pattern to begin the process.

I wanted to do something with solids and I had a color scheme in mind.  My inspiration was this Vintage Sampler BOM from Fig Tree Quilts (which has ended).  I absolutely love these colors together.

Vintage Sampler BOM from Fig Tree Quilts

Vintage Sampler Block of the Month at Fig Tree Quilts


With that picture in mind, I chose grey, tan, yellow and rose as my colors for Star Crossed.  I used Kona solids and I was excited during the whole piecing process.  Until I put my blocks together.  Ugh.  Nope.  Not happening.  It might have worked if I did a scrappier rendition with more color variety.

Star Crossed baby quilt by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


This is where Plan B can be very handy to have around.  I even dipped into Plan C.  And I’ve made a Plan D.

Plan B:  I liked the grey and yellow (cheddar) together.  Unfortunately, I don’t have enough of those fabrics to make a lap size quilt.  But that’s o.k.  It’s perfect for a baby quilt, so, baby quilt it is!

Star Crossed baby quilt by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


It’s gender neutral and has a modern-vintage feel to it.  I really like it and I love the quilting possibilities in all of that open space.  I have a grand baby coming in July and he/she is going to be the recipient of this sweet baby quilt.  I can’t wait to be a grandma and start reading some of my favorite books to him/her!

Star Crossed baby quilt by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


The other half of the blocks that I made in the rose and tan fabric are being criticized studied.  Plan C is not as easy as I thought it would be.  I like the sashing around the blocks.  It really makes the stars stand out and I think it’s a great design addition for this quilt.  I’m having a hard time with the colors on this one, so let’s put it aside for now.

blocks plan c


Each Star Crossed block is 16 1/2″ (unfinished) square.  One block would be the perfect size for a pillow.  So, that’s my Plan D.  I just can’t stop with all of the planning!  I’m making a pillow from Cotton & Steel’s Black & White collection.  So far, I have the block pieced.  I need to layer and quilt the top and then add the pillow back.

Star Crossed pillow by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


You’ll notice that I added a different square of fabric for the center of this block. It’s perfect for fussy cutting and it could lead to all kinds of possibilities for quilts and pillows and….

Star Crossed pillow by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


TIPS for piecing the blocks.  When you sew the flying geese unit to the center square, feed it through so that the flying geese unit is on the bottom.

Star Crossed baby quilt by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


I know most people say to have the flying geese unit on top so you can see the “x” (where the point is) and stitch right through the center of it.  However, on my machine, the presser foot has a hard time going over that big hump.  It’s hard to sew straight through, and I end up with a wonky seam.  You can see below that my stitching missed the “x”.

Star Crossed baby quilt by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


When you feed the flying geese unit through on the bottom, the feed dogs help move it through and I get a straight seam that goes right through the “x”.

Star Crossed baby quilt by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


Another tip:  Make sure to match the points of the stars by using a setting pin.  To do this, you place a pin through the center “x” of the top seam and bring it through to the center “x” of the bottom seam.  That’s your setting pin.  Then pin on both sides of that, close to the seam.  (You can also see this technique in my Pinwheel Star Block Tutorial.)

Star Crossed baby quilt by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


Take the setting pin out and when you’re sewing, make sure to stitch through the center of the “x” so you get nice, sharp points.

Star Crossed baby quilt by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter

Star Crossed baby quilt by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


Cooper has other ideas for this quilt.  He’s just going to have to learn how to share.  (Don’t worry, he already has his own quilt).

Star Crossed baby quilt by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


I’ll be posting pictures of my progress of each of these “plans”, so make sure to visit again soon.  Thanks for stopping by!


Burlap Brights Block Hop & Giveaway!

Hi everyone!

Today, I’m participating in the Burlap Brights Block Hop sponsored by Benartex at Sew in Love {with fabric}.

burlap brights hop


They sent me a fat quarter bundle of some of their latest Burlap Brights fabric collection. These fabrics are rich in color and texture.  We were asked to make a 12 1/2″ (unfinished) block using some, or all, of the 6 colors that were sent.  I had a great time coming up with my block.  I’m calling it Rainbow Geese Rotation.  (I’m not very clever when it comes to names).  It looks like a rainbow of flying geese rotating around the sun.  It’s simple and fun to make (really)!

Rainbow Geese Rotation


You can find the full tutorial to make this block at Sew in Love {with fabric}Plus you’ll learn a few tips for making perfect flying geese units.

Make sure to check out all of the other participants and their blocks, too.

Burlap Brights Block Hop Schedule:
May 11: Chris from Made by ChrissieD
May 12: Mary from Mary on Lake Pulaski
May 13: Alison from Little Bunny Quilts
May 14: Debby from Debby Kratovil Quilts
May 15: Kristen from KD Quilts
May 16: Benartex design team
May 17: Stephanie from Stitched Together Studios
May 18: Julie from The Crafty Quilter
May 19: Cynthia from Quilting Is More Fun than Housework
May 20: Jessica from Quilty Habit
May 21: Wendy from Ivory Spring


How would you like a chance to win your own fat quarter bundle of the six Burlap Brights that I used in my block?  That’s where the GIVEAWAY comes in!

burlap bright giveaway


All you have to do is head over to Sew in Love with Fabric and sign up to follow their blog by email or blog reader. (If you already do, that counts, too). Then leave me a comment here, letting me know that you did so.

For a second chance to win, follow Benartex on Facebook ( and leave a comment letting me know that you did so.  The giveaway will remain open through Monday, May 25, 2015.

Good luck!


Spring Petals Quilt Along Link Up

The Spring Petals Quilt Along link-up is finally here!  I’m so excited to see everyone’s finished project.

Spring Petals Quilt Along @ The Crafty Quilter


I want to remind everyone that I have some great prizes to motivate you to finish your table topper and link up.  The Fat Quarter Shop is giving away TWO $25 gift certificates.  I LOVE browsing their fabric selections, and it’s always fun to see what they’ve chosen for their precuts sale of the week and their 24-hour flash sale. 



I’m also adding a prize package of my own that consists of a pattern, two mini-charm packs, one charm pack and a few notions.

prize package


Link-up rules:

  • The link-up is open to anyone who has made a Spring Petals table topper using my tutorial.
  • It does NOT need to be quilted and bound; tops only will be fine.
  • You can link up more than one completed table topper, but not two pictures of the same project.
  • You don’t need to have a blog or website to enter the link-up.  However, I think your photo needs to have a URL code.  This is my first time hosting a linky party, so I’m learning how it’s done (along with many of you).  If you have a Flickr account, you can use it to generate a URL. Go here to see how to add images with Flickr.  If you don’t have Flickr, and you’re not able to upload an image, then please email a photo to me, julie at TheCraftyQuilter dot com, and I will add your image to the link-up.
  • The link-up will remain open until June 5, 2015.  Three winners will be drawn at random on June 7, 2015.
  • International entries are welcome.

So far, I’ve got two completed table toppers of my own, and I have two more that need to be quilted and bound.

I love my first one, made in all solids using Cirrus Solids from Cloud 9 Fabrics.  I’ve become obsessed with this line of fabrics.  They are a chambray-weight, yarn dyed, cross-weave fabric and so dreamy to work with.  I’m not getting paid to say that – they are just that awesome.


Spring Petals Table Topper by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter

Spring Petals Table Topper by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


The backing material for this one is a fun yellow and white polka dot that accents the single, yellow circle in the front.  Plus, I love the way the black binding looks against it.

Spring Petals Table Topper by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


The second one I made has a touch of sweetness with the Pam Kitty Garden fabric I used.  This one really brightens up the table.

Spring Petals Table Topper by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter

Spring Petals Table Topper by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


And the back of this table topper is pieced with left-overs of the same fabric.

Spring Petals Table Topper by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


So, get busy you guys!  You have almost a whole month to finish your table topper.  You can find all of the tutorials for this quilt-along at the Spring Petals QAL page.

Thanks for playing along with me!  If you have any questions, you can email me or leave a comment.  I’ll be in Austin, Texas this weekend visiting my daughter and her husband and my soon-to-be grandchild.  I will try to respond to your comments/questions as soon as possible.





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Sew Thankful Sunday, May 2015

{I am frequently visiting other blogs and I’m always amazed at the talent and passion that I see along the way.  Since I love sharing these new “finds” with you, I created Sew Thankful Sunday.  My way of giving back to the quilting community and sharing great content with you at the same time!}

Sew Thankful Button

Happy May, everyone!  It’s a great month to celebrate mothers, spring time, and sewing of course.  I hope you enjoy this list of awesome, quilty, and springy ideas.

(Remember, you can click on any of the images in this post and it will open up a new tab to the associated link).

1.  A new block of the month is starting in June called Cozy Afternoon.  Follow along with Jacquelynne Steves to get the free patterns, and you’ll have the sweetest quilt to cozy up with when the weather turns cold.  I’ll be one of Jacquelynne’s guest bloggers each month, making the blocks with my own fabric.  I hope you’ll join us!



2.  If you’re new to embroidery or you just need a refresher, then you’ll want to follow along with Jennifer Jangle’s How to Embroider Stitch Along.  I’ve already printed out my pattern and I’m ready to go!

How to Embroider with Jennifer Heynen at


3.  Did you know that Martingale has quilting guides from That Patchwork Place that you can download for free?  They are a fantastic resource for your quilting library.

Martingale banner quilt


4.  I recently discovered a new-to-me blog, The Cozy Pumpkin.  Amanda has lots of inspiration and tips to share, and I especially like her recent Tuesday Tip: Fussy Cutting.  I’m sure you will too!

fussy cutting tips


5.  You probably know that I love bags, especially the handmade kind.  Jennifer at Ellison Lane recently shared a free Sew South Tote Bag pattern on her blog.  Check it out and you’ll also see a roundup of 20 other handmade items to inspire you.



6.  If you have an extra jelly roll lying around, you should check out this free pattern from Connie at Free Motion by the River.  You’ll find options to make a few table runners with or without applique.


Piano Keys Table Runner by Connie @ Free Motion by the River


7.  If you have girls at home, you’re going to love this Flat Iron Case by Sherri at Rebecca Mae Designs.  This would be great for travel and could fit a curling iron, too.  I am definitely going to make a few of these!



8.  I love row quilts, and this All in A Row Quilt Tutorial by Melissa at Happy Quilting for the Moda Bakeshop is no exception.  It’s so soft and sweet looking!



9.  If you’re looking for a great pillow design, check out this Quilted Star Pillow from Lindsey at Fort Worth Fabric Studio.  She was busy last month with a mystery series of projects and this is one of my favorites!

quilted star pillow


10.  I have a thing for mason jars.  Now I really have a thing for these Embellished Mason Jar Containers from Michelle at Dandelion Patina.  She’s sharing her tutorial at one of my favorite DIY blogs, Hoosier Homemade.  These would be perfect for Mother’s Day!



11.  Make your sewing room more organized with the #10 Caddy pattern from Caroline at Sew Can She.  This would be a great gift idea, too!

caddy tutorial


12.  Here’s a great gift idea for the organizer or book lover in your family:  a Magnetic Planner Book Mark.  You can find Jennie’s full tutorial at her blog, Clover & Violet.



13.  I’m adding a personal “Sew Thankful” today to all of you!  I appreciate all of your kind words of encouragement and congratulations on my recent magazine publication.  It’s a small step in the right direction for me.  I’m so glad I got to share it with you all!  Thank you.

Thank you vector stock


I hope your month of May is full of flowers and showers (at least in California)!  A special thanks to all of the bloggers featured today.  It’s always nice when we can show our appreciation by visiting our favorites.

Have a wonderful day!