Friday, October 21, 2022

Coastal Stars Quilt, Pattern, and Kit in the Connecting Threads Catalog

Photo of Coastal Stars quilt by Connecting Threads

This is the Coastal Stars quilt.  I went a little outside of my usual color styling and tried a new combination with this pattern.  The terra cotta, green, purple, and gray together give this quilt a bold, yet restful look.  Finishing at 46" x 58", this quilt is the perfect size for a cuddly couch throw.  

Photo of Coastal Stars quilt by Connecting Threads

The Coastal Stars quilt is available as a kit through the Connecting Threads website.  Click here to learn more and order the Coastal Stars Quilt Kit.

If you would rather choose your own fabrics, a PDF Download pattern of the Coastal Stars quilt is also available through Connecting Threads.  Click here to learn more and order the Coastal Stars Pattern Download

If you sew a Coastal Stars quilt, please share a pic with me on Instagram @curlicuecreations.  I would love to see it!

Be Creative ~ Sew Something Beautiful Today.

Jennifer Thomas

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Friday, October 7, 2022

Blog Hop Winner Announcement!

Congratulations goes out to Sew Girl!  She was chosen by random number generator as the winner of these 5" charms from the new Bee Hive Buzz fabric collection by Island Batik.  

When asked what her favorite flower was, she commented:  "Beautiful quilt! My favorite flower is the rose. My dad used to really have a green thumb with them!"

I used the Bee Hive Buzz collection to make my quilt, Beeswax.  If you missed my post on the hop day, you can read it here:  Island Batik Ambassador Studio 180 blog hop featuring Beeswax

I love this fabric collection so much, I have another quilt I made with it for the Island Batik catalog.  Stay tuned for a post about my Nectar quilt, coming soon!

Be Creative ~ Sew Something Beautiful Today.

Jennifer Thomas
Curlicue Creations

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Arrow Classic Sewing Furniture by Arrow Sewing
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Monday, October 3, 2022

Pinktober Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to the first day of the Pinktober Breast Cancer Awareness blog hop.  This is the quilt I made for the hop, Heart Match.

When I heard about the Pinktober blog hop, hosted by Brianna at Sew Cute and Quirky I signed up right away.  I've experienced breast cancer first hand and am happy to say I've been cancer free for 15 years.

This hop is being sponsored by Island Batik.  They sent me this beautiful 10" stack of Positively Pink precuts, plus some coordinating yardage in pink and white that I used to make my quilt.  There were two different Island Batik breast cancer awareness fabric collections available for the hop.  I have 10" stacks and 2-1/2" strip packs available for sale in my Etsy shop if you want to snag some for yourself.

Aurifil thread also sent me this beautiful pink thread #2435.  It's lovely!  I used it for piecing, zigzag stitching around the fusible applique hearts, quilting, and binding.  

Quilters Perfect Klip sent two 25 piece bags of their pink clips.  This was my first time using their product.  They are wonderful!  The clips are a little bigger size than my other clips, so easier to handle.  I used them for my binding and I'm already using them for my next project, a ByAnnie bag.

I knew right away I wanted to make the Heart Match quilt because it is connected to my breast cancer story.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 34 years old.  The lump was mostly in my underarm, and I went to the doctor to find out why my underarm was swollen and painful.  I never suspected it was breast cancer.  This is why self exam is so important.  At 34, I was too young for a regular mammogram.

At the time I was also unemployed, going through a divorce and raising my first two boys, ages six and one.  It was a lot to experience at one time.  Instead of going back to work, I became a full time cancer patient.  I was at a doctor's office for different treatments, tests, and procedures 5 days a week for 2 years.  I was so tired I had to take a daily nap. I had $60,000 in bills on my desk after the first month, but I was unable to work, and denied temporary disability.  I was too weak to squeeze a garden hose.

I was very isolated at the time and had to go through most of this experience on my own.  I went to chemotherapy alone.  I was the youngest patient at the chemotherapy clinic and the only one without a friend or family member to drive me and sit with me during the chemo.  Sometimes chemo would be only an hour or two, sometimes it would be all day.  To pass the time and help me stay awake, I started my first Heart Match quilt.  I hand appliqued enough hearts during my chemotherapy sessions to make two Heart Match quilts.

For the Pinktober version of the Heart Match quilt, I used the fusible applique method.  It's fast and fun.  I prefer to use Heat 'n Bond Lite for fusible applique.  I love pressing the hearts in place and zigzag stitching around the edges.  The pink Aurifil thread gave some definition to the white heart patches and helped them stand out from the white background square. .

Here's the Heart Match quilt coming off the quilting frame. I cut both hearts and squares out of each fabric in the Positively Pink collection.  The white fabric I used for the heart blocks is Flour, my new favorite Island Batik neutral.

I used the pink coordinate fabric for the outer border and binding of the Heart Match quilt.

The Quilter's Perfect Klips worked wonderfully to hold my binding in place while I did the hand stitching part.  

I tried a new photo spot for this quilt.  This is right outside the quilting studio part of my house.  There was a lot of sunshine and shadow, so it may not be the best photo spot, or it may be better at a different time of day.  Overall, I like it.  I'll be using it again for future quilt photos.

It's so pretty!

If you have a friend or family member going through breast cancer, there are a lot of different ways you can help out.

Find out if they need a ride to chemotherapy or other appointments, but especially chemotherapy.  The medicine makes it dangerous to drive.  I'm sure from my experience you could get a DUI driving after chemo.  Thankfully, I never did.

Make them a quilt to take to chemotherapy sessions.  Your body gets really cold, and a warm cuddly quilt would be helpful.  If you want to make a Heart Match quilt, PDF instant download patterns are available in my Etsy shop.  Heart Match Pattern

Buy your friend or family member a really soft pillow.  When your hair falls out it makes your scalp hurt!  A super soft bed pillow is heavenly.

Do they have children?  Offer to babysit during appointments, or even come over to help with the kids so the breast cancer patient can get a much needed nap.

Cook a meal, help with the housework.  Be a kind, listening ear.  Realize that even after treatment, it will be a long time before your friend or family member recovers.  They will not instantly be back to normal.  They will still need a lot of caring and kindness.

The Heart Match Pinktober quilt is available for purchase in my Etsy shop.  After much contemplation, I decided to put it up for sale in hope that someone who doesn't have time to sew can give it as a care gift.  It's a nice size for a lap quilt.

The Heart Match Pinktober pattern is available as a PDF instant download in my Etsy shop.  If you make a Heart Match quilt, please send me a pic on Instagram @curlicuecreations.  I would love to see it!
I also have limited numbers of the Positively Pink and

Hope and Heart precuts available.  The 10" stacks of either collection are perfect to make a Heart Match quilt.

I want to thank Brianna of Sew Cute and Quirky for creating the Pinktober blog hop!  And thank you to Island Batik, Aurifil Thread, and Quilter's Perfect Klip for providing beautiful fabric, thread, and pink clips to create the Heart Match quilt.  And thank you dear readers, for visiting today and reading my post.  I hope my story inspires you to take good care of yourself and others. 

Here's the complete list, with links, for the Pinktober blog hop:

October 3 ~ Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations (you are here)
Be Creative ~ Sew Something Beautiful Today!

Jennifer Thomas
Curlicue Creations

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Saturday, October 1, 2022

Island Batik Ambassador and ByAnnie Challenge

For the month of October, the Island Batik Ambassadors were challenged to sew a ByAnnie bag.  I made the Ultimate Travel Bag 2.0.

Disclaimer:  The products used to make this project were given to me by Island Batik and Industry Partners.

Here's the pattern.  You can find this pattern, plus a helpful add-on video on the website.  This is the third ByAnnie pattern I've sewn, and my favorite so far.  The step-by-step directions are written clearly and each step has a little box to check off, which keeps me on track and feeling accomplished.

I chose to use the Midnight Glow fabric collection from Island Batik.  As I've mentioned many times recently, this is my new favorite fabric line.  It's so dramatically gorgeous.  You can sink right into it.

One of the first steps to sewing a ByAnnie bag is the cutting and prep.  A sheet is included in the pattern that you can copy and use to label each piece as you cut and prep.  I chose to print my labels on some light sticker paper so they are super easy to use and remove.  No pins needed.

The outer shell of the bag is made from a main fabric, a lining fabric, and ByAnnie's Soft and Stable.  Here I am quilting the layers together with matching Aurifil thread. 

Zippers are prepped as well.  This bag has three zippers, one for the main closure, and two pocket zippers.

I cut bias binding strips from this gorgeous coordinating fabric.  The bias binding makes it easy to sew around the curvy elements of the bag.

In this step, I am prepping the bag straps.  I did all of my pressing on my Prairie Spirit Alpacas pressing mat.  It's wonderful.  I love it more with every project.

One of the features of the ByAnnie bags that I love is the beautiful and sturdy coordinating hardware.  

Here's the bag front pocket, prepped and ready for bag construction.

After all the bag parts are prepped and sewn, the bag itself is sewn together.  The inside seams are covered with bias binding for a beautiful finished effect.  I used Quilters Perfect Klips to hold the binding in place.  Sewing this part can be tricky.  I used a stiletto to help feed the layers under the presser foot evenly and also switched my needle to a Schmetz leather needle.  A jeans needle would probably work well for sewing through all the layers, too.

This is actually the inside zipper pocket of the bag.  This is showing the lovely finished seam binding.  At this point my bag is ready to be turned right side out!  Exciting!!!

And here it is!  The Ultimate Travel Bag 2.0.  This is the front side of the bag, with a pretty zipper pocket.

The back of the bag also has a pocket, and a trolley sleeve.  Notice the padded, adjustable carrying strap.

There is a nice poochy pocket on each side of the bag.  This will be just perfect for carrying a water bottle and a small snack, or anything else you need quick access to.

Inside view.  This is a roomy bag!

Inside three section, elastic edged pocket.

Inside large zipper pocket.

Inside the large inner zipper pocket.

Ultimate Travel Bag 2.0

Bag Stats:
Size:  13-3/4" x 18-1/2" x 8" (at bottom)
Pattern:  Ultimate Travel Bag 2.0
Fabric:  Midnight Glow by Island Batik
Thread:  Aurifil
Needles:  Schmetz

All the Island Batik Ambassadors are making bags this month!  Visit their blogs throughout October to see what they made.  Here's a list:

Brenda Alburl ~ Songbird Designs
Megan Best ~ Bestquilter
Pamela Boatright ~ Pamelaquilts
Elizabeth DeCroos ~ Epida Studio
Jennifer Fulton ~ Inquiring Quilter

Preeti Harris ~ Sew Preeti Quilts
Mania Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for quilts
Jane Hauprich ~ Stitch By Stitch Custom Quilting
Reed Johnson ~ Blue Bear Quilts
Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs

Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood
Denise Looney ~ For The Love Of Geese
Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights
Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack Made Mine
Anorina Morris –

Lisa Pickering ~ Lisa’s Quilting Passion
Claudia Porter ~ Create with Claudia
Gail Renna ~ Quilt Haven Threads
Brianna Roberts ~ Sew Cute And Quirky
Michelle Roberts ~ Creative Blonde

Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail
Andi Stanfield ~ True Blue Quilts
Sandra Starley ~ Textile Time Travels
Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations
Suzy Webster ~ Websterquilt


Be Creative ~ Sew Something Beautiful Today.

Jennifer Thomas

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