Skopelos Blog Tour!


I’ve been a fan of Katarina’s designs ever since I came across her first collection for Art Gallery Fabrics at Market.

I’m so pleased to have a chance to work with her next collection, Skopelos, for this blog tour!

I set eight of the prints from Skopelos against Pure Elements in Mystic Grey.


That lighter grey plays really well with the deep navy and magenta while still giving the low volume prints a chance to shine.

The block pattern is my own design which I’ve named Pirouette:



That Fish Scholeio print in Aqua featured at the top and bottom of the block is my favorite print from this line.

There’s also a stunning large scale floral that I just couldn’t find a way to work into this quilt because I couldn’t bear to chop it into little pieces (it’s featured in the Blog Tour banner).

I’ve yet to decide how to quilt this top because I’m bouncing back and forth between something loopy or a more angular design. Which would you choose?


The schedule for the tour has just started! Here’s a list of who is participating:


2. ALLEGORY LANHAM – April 21st

3. ERICA TOOLE – April 22nd

4. RACHAEL GANDER – April 23th

5. AMY FRIEND – April 24th

6. MARIJA VUJČIĆ – April 25th

7. DANA BOLYARD – April 26th

8. ERICA JACKMAN – April 27th


10. SVETLANA SOTAK – April 29th

11. KATHLEEN RIGGINS – April 30th

12. APRIL RHODES – May 1st

13. PAUL HALLINGER – May 2nd


15. CAROLINE HULSE – May 4th

16. JANE DAVIDSON – May 5th


Also, if you use Instagram be sure to check out #skopelostourgiveaway for a chance to win a bundle of this beautiful line!

Perfect Center Bow Tie EPP!

Perfect Center BowtieWhen working on the Bow Tie block for last month’s traditional block I found myself becoming frustrated that I couldn’t fit a perfect fussy cut center into it.

A couple of samples later and I’ve found a solution:

Bowtie EPP


I’m calling it a ‘Perfect Center Bow Tie’…I know… but I really couldn’t think of anything cute.

Now that the sample is done and the pattern is worked out I keep wavering on which fabric I’d like to use. Scrappy tends to reign in my studio so I might just pull pieces out while I’m working on bigger projects. Or maybe I’ll stumble upon the perfect collection.

In the meantime, I’m sharing the templates for free over on my Craftsy page.

Make sure that you don’t scale the page to fit when printing.

Bow Tie : Starter Block



I’ve been in love with this month’s traditional quilt block for a very long time and realized that I’ve yet to make a quilt full of them.

Sure there was the odd block here and there for a bee or a sampler but I think that this block really starts to shine when there’s a whole quilt full of them.

Let’s Make One!

Block Size: 12.5″

All seams are 1/4″ and pressed open

Materials Needed:

  • Two 6.5″ squares of print fabric
  • Two 3″ squares of print fabric
  • Two 6.5″ squares of background fabric
  • Marking Pen



  • To start, align your 3″ print square with the top right corner of your background square right sides together. Using a ruler and a marking pencil, draw a line down the diagonal center on the back of your print square.  Repeat with your other 3″ print square and background square.




  • Sew down your marked lines. You’ll notice in my photo that there’s two lines of stitching. This second line is completely optional. I hate to have those wasted corners and sew that second line a little over 1/4″ away from the first so that when I cut it away I have a bonus HST. Press open.



  • Arrange your 6.5″ squares like the photo above. Sew each pair together. Then sew into your finished block, matching center seams.



Now you have a Bow Tie block (and two tiny HSTs if you like)! Repeat, repeat, repeat.

I’m hoping to put together more blocks with mixed prints and backgrounds. Here’s hoping Christmas projects don’t eat up absolutely all my sewing time.

°318QAL° Thank You!

The link-up is all wrapped up now and the 318QAL is officially closed.

Thank you to all my sponsors and contributors. And thanks to y’all for all your hard work and lovely comments!

I’ll definitely be looking for another project to QAL with y’all in the Spring/Summer. (Any ideas? Let me know!)

318QAL Final Draw

The Random Number Generator picked Indianna for the winner of the Final Link-up! I’ll be emailing you shortly to arrange delivery of your prizes!

There’s still so many awesome blocks left in this book! I know I’ll be mixing some into projects throughout the year. Be sure to tag me if you make any more blocks! The thing that I’ve loved the most about the whole event is having y’all share your blocks with me!


°318QAL° Guest Post from Lindsay at World Book Media!

For this week’s sewing post and link-up, please go HERE

World Book Media doesn’t have their own blog so I’ve offered up my own to give Lindsay a space to share some info about her block! 


We were so honored when Al invited us to be the final guest for the 318 Patchwork Patterns Quilt Along! We’ve really enjoyed seeing all the blocks you guys have made so far and have been so inspired by the amazing projects that our very talented blogger friends whipped up for the 318 Patchwork Patterns Blog Hop.

When we first started stitching up these blocks, we quickly realized just how addicting they are to make! One of our favorite blocks to put together was the slice of cake (#3 in the book). This design is constructed with several large, rectangular pieces, so it is one of the easiest blocks to make. We enlarged the block about 200% then hand sewed the pieces together using a simple backstitch.

WBM CakeOnce we got started, we couldn’t stop sewing these blocks! We ended up adding a backing to each block and displaying the completed squares on a message board. The book includes a full alphabet, numbers, and some symbols, so we plan to make a few more blocks in order to create fun messages!

–World Book Media, Publisher of 318 Patchwork Patterns by Kumiko FujitaWBM 318

After seeing all the wonderful projects everyone has made, we’ve come to believe that this book is even more special than we realized. Thanks for all the support and enthusiasm you’ve all shared for this book!

°318QAL° Final Sewing Week!

We’ve come to the last set of blocks. Thank you all for joining me in this event! I’ve loved the chance to connect with you and share blocks/tips/ideas.

318 Quilt


This week’s blocks are the trickiest of the bunch. I have no doubts that y’all will be able to conquer them, though.

  • Scissors (#13)
  • Whale (#66)
  • Elephant (#127)


Our guest block for the week was picked by Lindsay at World Book Media . Without Lindsay taking the time to meet me at Quilt Market, this event would have never happened. I’m so thankful that I’ve gotten to know her! This is definitely a company that you want to keep your eye on. They’re working to bring more English translations of craft books into the market (and single patterns too!).

World Book Media doesn’t have their own blog, so I offered up my own so that Lindsay could share her block with you!

The guest block is: Cake (#3)! Take a look at her guest post HERE.

My version:

318CakeMy strawberry is a little shiny because it’s actually a piece of laminate that I found in my scrap bin. When I held it up to my pattern piece and saw that it was almost the exact same size and shape…I couldn’t resist throwing it in.

  • Scissors (#13)

318ScissorsI’m gonna say that this block was the hardest for me to piece in the whole set. I split the pattern up separating out the handles from the blades. I’m still wishing that I had decided to hand-piece this one as putting it through my machine left a bit of a knot in the center of the handles. I was able to press it out mostly, but there’s the slightest bubble there.

  • Whale (#66)

318WhaleAnother block with a bit of cheating by strategic fabric choices. I didn’t piece the triangles in the wave sections because I knew that my machine would most likely chew up those points (all those baby triangles in the Farmer’s Wife quilt taught me that). So I grabbed some chevron fabric and cut it to mimic the waves. Seeing the block on it’s own like this and right next to the pattern it doesn’t have the same effect but it is similar enough that I’m happy.

Maybe I should have pieced those triangles after all.

  • Elephant (#127)

318ElephantI love everything about this block. The second that I saw the design I knew I was going to include it. I agonized over every bit of fabric for this one and I think it shows. His hat is a bit rough to distinguish from the background fabric but I love how the blue sits against it.

I’m trying out something a little new with this block and putting together a little flipagram video today to show the sections I pieced this one in.


And that, my friends, is it. We’ve made all 16 blocks for the QAL! Because mine had so many different background colors, I pieced my mini quilt together with some 2″ sashing. It pulls them all together just enough.
318 Quilt


I arranged them all in a bit of a mixed order, focusing more on splitting up similar background fabrics.

And since this is the last week…we’ve got the Grand Prize Giveaway brought by our sponsors!


The giveaway is going to be open until the end of the month to give y’all enough time to pull everything together.

For your first entry: link up a pick showing at least TWO of this week’s blocks. It doesn’t matter when you made the blocks, just as long as they’re pictured together. You can link up an Instagram or Flickr photo or a blog post.

For your second entry: Put them all together into a mini quilt! All you need to show me is your finished quilt top. It can be sashed…not sashed.. it’s all up to you! All I ask is that the mini quilt have at least EIGHT out of the sixteen blocks picked for this event in it. If you’d like to add more blocks from the book, that’s great too! Link up a photo with your quilt top in it.

Grand Prize Sponsors: 

FQS logoAurifilFlatterBySoakLogo

I’ve got a whole bundle of goodies to giveaway for the last link-up of this event.


Gift Certificate50-01

Fat Quarter Shop has generously donated a $50 Gift Certificate! This certificate will be emailed to the winner after the drawing on Dec. 1st. Just in time for a little fabric christmas shopping.


I’ve got one last box of pink Aurifil 50wt thread to send off to the winner. This will be shipped by me.


soak  will send the winner a bottle of  Flatter and a bottle of Handmaid. I can’t possibly work in my studio without Flatter since I was introduced to it! They have an unscented version as well that is wonderful for anyone with a sensitive sense of smell.

Thank you again to all of y’all, my sponsors and the guest bloggers. I’m so glad I got to share making these blocks with y’all!


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°318QAL° Week Three Sewing

Good afternoon, y’all! I’m getting a bit of a late start today because my brain is overwhelmingly convinced that today is Wednesday.

Poor brain.

First things first: RNG has picked #1 for last week’s giveaway which is Tiffany! Yay! Congrats!

Thank you for all the tags and #pp318qal love on Instagram. I love seeing all the blocks y’all have been making!


Let’s Get Sewing!

We’re halfway there! This week’s blocks can be a little trickier. I am *always* happy to answer any construction questions y’all might have. People have also been leaving some great piecing tips for some of the blocks in the comments so those are worth looking at too!

This week we’re making:

  • Car (or maybe I should call it a truck) (#47)
  • House (#161)
  • Daisy Flower (#204)

My guest this week is the amazing Kerry. I’ve always been in awe of her piecing skills and fabric choices. I feel incredibly lucky that she joined in for this event. Her block choice is: Dog with a Bone (#136).

Let’s kick this week off the same as last by starting with the guest block first. I’ll admit that it is a little tricky.

Here’s my version:



Kerry’s fabric choices and construction are just divine…I’m really not afraid to say it. I was so concerned with the white of the bone showing up in this block that I picked a dark background fabric and I think that might have been a ‘meh’ choice.

I really want to tell y’all to ignore the guide marks that I’ve made on the pattern and go take a look at Kerry’s post HERE. You can see the super cute project she turned her block into as well.

  • Car/Truck (#47)



I have a lot of pieces of very silly fabric in my studio. It’s not something I talk about much but the Mister will occasionally let me drag him to a fabric store and he has this unique ability to find the strangest/silliest fabric and then make up a story about it. I’m a sucker for a story so that fabric always comes home with me.

This week I found that little robot/alien fabric and knew that he had to be the driver of my truck (because robots live in my house block this week too). I didn’t think he’d drive an ice cream truck though…so now my quilt has a sushi truck.

I wish there was a real sushi truck….

This block isn’t too terrible. There’s luckily a number of straight-seam sections that you can evenly split the block into. That center piece between the tires can be a little tricky.

  • House (#161)



I will easily admit that this block I cheated a little. I really wanted to use that scrap of Lizzy House fabric in the star but couldn’t get it to cut right to use in one of the small pieces….so I just substituted that whole square in.

It’s hard to see in my pattern but I split this block into two sections right on that seam above the house. I kept from splitting my window pieces as well because I had some perfect robots to live in this house.

I also kinda like to think that background fabric looks like snow.

  • Daisy Flower (#204)



I knew when I started this event that I was going to pick at least one applique block because I love doing applique. This flower was the easiest layout (just in case y’all hadn’t done much applique). I chose to do raw-edge because my hands were refusing to cooperate with a different technique.

The benefit to picking raw edge is that you can cut your pieces out exactly as-is with no additional seam requirements.

To make things a little easier I did use a Clover bias tape maker  (affiliate link) to make my stem. I find it’s a tool that I never thought I would buy but now use more often than not, especially for flower stems. This at least gave my stem a nice edge that I could just straight stitch along. The other pieces were appliqued down with a tight zig-zag.


Sponsor Giveaway:



This week is sponsored by Soak who makes the most lovely starch-free spray. I use it a million times a month. I have three bottles that I’ve bought for the studio because I just have this fear that I will run out when I need it most.

They’ve generously donated a bottle of flatter and another product of theirs Handmaid to this week’s winner.

To enter: You just need to enter a picture with TWO of this week’s blocks in it. It’s perfectly alright if a block was made at an earlier date as long as it is from the same book. Instagram pictures are totally okay to enter!

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Link-up will close next Wednesday!

Happy sewing!

°318QAL° Week Two Sewing!

Week Two is here which means time for four more blocks in our quilt!

This week we’re working on:

  • Mug (#9)
  • Apple (#32)
  • Duck (#95)

Our guest block this week was chosen by Penny at sew take a hike! I was super excited when Penny agreed to pick out a block for this event. Her blog is one of the ones I turn to for help whenever I get stuck with a paper piecing project.

Penny has chosen the Chicken block (#99).

Let’s start with our guest block this week because Penny has written up some tips for reducing the number of pieces in this block! You can see in my version below that things got just a little bit wonky.

Make sure to stop by Penny’s blog to see her tips for this block!  If I decide to make another Chicken block in the future, I’m certainly going to try her pattern changes.

  • Chicken (#99)



  • Mug (#9)

This is one of my favorite blocks in the book. It’s great for beginners and goes together smoothly. I still used Freezer Paper Piecing to put mine together but think it could definitely be done with Foundation Piecing as well. I started by piecing the handle section first and then working across the center section of the block.



  • Apple (#32)

I’m actually slightly regretting my fabric choices in this block. I was worried that with some of my other scrap pulls that I might have too much red in the quilt so I went with a green apple. As I’m putting my blocks together this week and quilting I think it’ll look a lot better with all the others but doesn’t quite pop on its own. The stem section can be slightly tricky because it extends up past where I split the block. If you’re uncomfortable with using partial seams (attach to the apple first and stop 1/4″ from the top of that section), then you could make the top of the apple one piece (very similar in shape to the base of the mug above) and then applique the stem onto your block after it is pieced.



  • Duck (#95)

When I started picking blocks for this quilt, I had a hard time choosing the last one so I turned to an Instagram vote for help. The Duck block one and I love the way this one has turned out. It’s pretty straight-forward construction-wise. I attached the duck’s beak to the face first and then added in that upper background block, just pivoting at the corner point which worked out well.


Sponsor Giveaway: 

Knotted Thread

Our sponsor this week is Knotted Thread! I’ve really loved watching Jennifer’s shop grow from when she first started it up!

She’s graciously donated a fat eighth bundle of Mochi Mochi dots for this week’s giveaway. These dots are great for projects like the 318 blocks!



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Link-Up will close on Wednesday afternoon!

Happy sewing!

°318QAL° Week One Sewing!

318 Patchwork Patterns QAL at A Thousand Needles

Are you ready to get sewing?

Each week of the QAL we’ll be working on four blocks for our mini quilt.

The blocks that I have chosen to start off with are:

  • Shooting Star (#59)
  • Heart (#90)
  • Tulip (#104)

And our Guest for this week of the QAL is Brenda from Pink Castle Fabrics! She has chosen the Ice Cream block (#5) which is one of my absolute favorites.

PS: If you still need a copy of the book you can order one from Brenda HERE .

For all of this week’s blocks, I’ve used Freezer Paper Piecing to put the blocks together. If you aren’t familiar with this technique, I have an intro post (featuring the Heart block) to get you started here. 

Kerry from very kerry berry also has a great detailed post HERE where she goes through the process of scanning and reversing the blocks so that you can put your paper templates on the wrong side of the fabric (and therefore see them when you sew).

Let’s take a look at this week’s blocks!

I’m including my original enlarged copy of the block from the book in each photo. You’ll notice that there’s red dotted lines marked on it. I thought that it might help some of y’all to see exactly where I split the block when piecing. If there was ever a chance to split on a straight seam I took it, but it’s not always the case with these block designs. When piecing the blocks, I would focus on building all the pieces in *each* section. The red dotted lines are my final seams to piece the block together.

  • Shooting Star (#59)

The curves here are gentle enough to not be too much of a problem. I split this block into the star section and everything else. I originally picked that star fabric because it’s silver metallic with a purple design but now that I see it in photographs I wish I had picked something a little more bold. I’m always a sucker for a metallic though.

318 Star



  • Heart (#90)

I would recommend starting with this block if it is your first time using Freezer Paper Piecing. There’s a long straight seam to split the block into two manageable sections. It comes together easily without any y-seams which is a great confidence builder.

318 Heart

  • Tulip (#104)

I feel like this block looks a lot trickier than it actually is. There’s no real sections to split the block into (even though I included a line to split the base off). I started by building the top part of the tulip and working down.

318 Tulip

  • Guest Pick: Ice Cream (#5)

Have I mentioned how much I love Brenda’s pick for the QAL? This is a great and beginner friendly block. I pieced the cone half and then the ice cream half, joining with that final seam. This block makes me dream of a whole ice cream quilt. Be sure to check out Brenda’s Instagram (@justabitfrayed) to see her Ice Cream!

318 Ice Cream

Sponsor of the Week: 


Week One of the QAL is sponsored by Aurifil! They’ve generously donated three of these thread boxes that include ten 50 weight spools of cotton thread. I’ve got two boxes of pink and one box of white (the boxes will be randomly shipped out to the winners since there isn’t an even color split). That means I’ll have three winners this week!

Aurifil Giveaway

Use the Link-up below to enter the giveaway! Any blocks from this week of sewing are eligible. I’ll be shipping these boxes out and I will ship out internationally so anyone from around the world can enter.

I’m also happy to report that you can link up Instagram photos now! No need for a blog entry. Please be sure to tag the picture with the #pp318qal tag.

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I’ll be checking out all the links and the Instagram tags! Link-Up will close on Weds. and I’ll announce the winner’s in Week Two’s post!

Also! Please feel free to leave me a comment or tag me on Instagram (@a1000needles) if you have any trouble/questions with your blocks. I’d be absolutely glad to help out!

Happy Sewing!

°318QAL° Freezer Paper Piecing

Freezer Paper Piecing

I consider myself lucky that my Mom introduced me to Freezer Paper Piecing years ago. It’s a great technique to have available in my toolbox (even if it is one that I don’t use often).

With the first sewing week for the 318 Patchwork Patterns QAL starting on Thursday, I realize that some of y’all may be unfamiliar with Freezer Paper Piecing and how it works.

The blocks in the book are designed with hand sewing in mind but Freezer Paper Piecing, Foundation Paper Piecing and English Paper Piecing are all additional options.

So I thought I’d write up the way in which I Freezer Paper Piece to help introduce y’all to this technique.


To get started, I enlarged the heart block from 318 Patchwork Patterns 250%. Then I cut a rough square of freezer paper and used a lightbox to trace the heart block onto the paper side of the freezer paper.

A note on numbering: Numbering/Marking my block is partly where I differ in this process. My numbering system might not make much sense to anyone else. I think numbering should always be something that works for *you*, not necessarily what someone says you should do. Sometimes I don’t number and instead just used a colored pencil to lightly color each piece. If you’d like to follow my numbering system today the heart pieces are numbered 1, 2 and 3 while background pieces are B1 – B5.


You’ll want to cut out all the individual pieces from the block next. Since this block only has a few pieces, I cut them all at once. For blocks with multiple pieces, I’ll cut the block into sections and then cut them down into individual pieces one section at a time. With a two to three second press of the iron the freezer paper pieces will stick to the fabric. I iron all my pieces to the right side of the fabric. If I ironed them to the wrong side, then the block image would be backwards once I pieced it.


These pieces don’t have any seam allowance included in them. Using a Add-a-Quarter Ruler, I’ll add all the seams to each of my pieces. Under the fabric in the picture above I have a small rotary mat. I set the ruler against each side of my template and then cut along the edge of the ruler. You could also mark all the seams with a pen and then cut your pieces out.


I’ll piece this block in two halves. I try to piece into straight sections whenever I get a chance. To help keep everything in order, I’ll set all my block pieces up on a table near my machine.


This step is the trickiest one to get used to doing. To begin piecing your block, you’ll take the first two pieces (in my case, the top left corner B1 and heart section 1) and place the freezer paper templates together. I find that the light on my machine is enough to see through the fabric and get them aligned properly.


It can be a little slippery, especially on smaller pieces, so I keep some Wonder Clips nearby and use them to hold the two pieces together. Next you’ll run the pieces through your machine and sew with a 1/4″ seam. You’ll want to avoid sewing through the freezer paper (it’s surprisingly easy to feel where the paper is sitting in your pieces).


When you open your pieces up, your templates should sit right next to each other. Press with an iron (and leave the freezer paper templates on until your whole block is together).


Continue to add the pieces in order until you get your two sections together. Above you can see my top and bottom sections.


All that’s left is to join that long seam to complete the block! You can see that I still have my templates attached to my block. It’s a good habit to establish to leave them on until the block is finished because you’ll come across a lot of Y and partial seams with more complicated designs. Leaving the templates on also ensures that I can focus on accurate piecing (even with a simple seam like the last once in this block).


Pull your paper off and admire your block! You can reuse the freezer paper templates so you can save them if you’d like. I’ve been able to use my templates three times before they won’t  adhere to the fabric.

That’s how I freezer paper piece! I hope that you’ll experiment with this technique during the 318 QAL. This Heart block is part of the first week of sewing and is a great practice block for using freezer paper.