Win a Quilt – Photo Contest

On January 28th, Southern Charm Quilts turns 9 years old!! In celebration, we are having a little contest.

Yep, yep, we are giving away a quilt! Have a look…

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about the prize quilt:

The size of this quilt is a lap quilt. It measures approx. 55″ square.

The fabrics are called “When skies are gray”. They feature umbrellas, raindrops, and other sweet little lovelies.

The colors are palest blue, bright white, gold and black.

I’ve used two different fabrics for the back, a gingham and a turquoise fabric. It blends with the front beautifully.

Then I’ve quilted it with wavy lines both horizontally and vertically.

Then finished off with a black and white scallop print for the binding.

how can you win this quilt:

To enter the photo contest you just need to send a picture of one of my quilts in use or displayed like the pictures below.

HOW TO WIN:

I will be selecting my favorite picture from all the entries I receive, the more creative the photo the better. I love to see my quilts in YOUR life. I love to see people in the photos or around landscape or just a beautiful place spread out in a meadow. There is absolutely nothing you can do wrong with your picture so feel free to make it your own.

RULES:

– any photograph is eligible as long as it features an item handmade by me. So if you have purchased from me before and are willing to take a picture of your item you can enter the photo contest.

– all entries must be received before January 27, midnight. That gives you 10 days to take your picture and send it to me.

– you may enter as many times as you like as long as each entry features a different photo.

– it doesnt matter if it is professionally taken or you take the photo yourself as long as you own all rights to it.

– by entering you are giving me the photo to use in my shop, blog, marketing, etc.

– I’m happy to allow my international customers to enter as well, but the shipping will not be included for the prized quilt and must be paid if the winner is from outside the US.

HOW TO ENTER:

Please email me at mel.tray@gmail.com, with your photo as an attachment. Please put in email subject “photo contest’. Please make sure all your contact details are in the body of the email OR tag me on instagram @southerncharmquilts and comment that this is your entry for the photo contest.

On January 28th, I will send out a newsletter announcing the winner. Good luck!

pictures from some of my customers:

15% off

Since we are turning 9 years old this month, I thought we’d finish off the month with a sale. Take 15% off all purchases for the remainder of January. Use code ‘happybirthday9’ at checkout on any purchases from today through January 31.

SHOP NOW.giveaway-quilt

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A new tshirt quilt

I have mentioned previously that I have been making memory quilts out the wazoo.  See all my memory quilts here.

My happiest of customers are usually folks who has had me make them a memory quilt out of their child’s clothing.

Making them in the rag style way, makes things a little easier.  They are soft, cozy, and absolutely adorable.

I started making these around 2011 when I was already making rag quilts.  A lady emailed me and asked if I’d make a rag quilt with her daughters clothing.

I’ve been doing it every since.

They are THE most popular item in my shop by far.

I have had several ask me to make them a memory quilt, but not in the traditional quilt style and I’ve always turned them down.

Until now.

These are a little more complicated.  My customer requested that all the blocks be different sizes.  I didn’t use a pattern, I more or less puzzle pieced it together.

I had to break out my math skills.  When I do math, I have to turn everything off including music.  I need my full brain concentration to add and subtract.  I’m not the bestest at it.

All tshirts were backed with interfacing to make them sturdy and not sag (I’m not a fan of all those tshirt quilts with the sagginess).  The interfacing was key for this.

I did my all over meander quilting stitch.  This makes the quilt more sturdier and will also keep and sagging from happening.

I’m very pleased to now be offering these in my shop.  You can find them here.

They are more pricier than the rag quilts, but they are much more involved.

I’ve already been asked which is better and I’m not sure how to answer that, but I’ll make a list to try.

NEW TRADITIONAL TSHIRT QUILT

Pros:

can use large blocks to fit the whole shirt on the quilt

the shirts pop individually more

uses less clothing

more open to being creative and unique

gets bordered with a fabric that blends with your clothing

Cons:

not as soft (though this might change after several washes)

more expensive

can’t use baby clothing (I actually can, but it would be a little pricier due to the amount of clothing I would need)

Can’t use as many clothes

THE RAG QUILT STYLE

Pros

much more versatile as far as any fabric goes

can use substantial amounts of clothing

can use baby clothing

less expensive

has a floppy soft feel to it, ready to snuggle out of the box

Cons

all the blocks are the same size

Uses set size blocks so some of your graphics might be cut and not shown on quilt

Needs a substantial amount of clothing or I’m forced to use fabrics as filler

So I’ll let you decide for  yourself which is better for you.  If you have ordered both my style memory quilts, then please feel free to help me out with the pros and cons of each.

If you are wanting to make one of these yourself, I will give a brief description of what I’ve done.

there were MANY patterns on pinterest,  but I wanted it to measure a certain size and I also wanted all my blocks to be different sizes AND i only had so many tshirts to work with.  For that reason, I felt it was best to wing it on my own.

I decided on a size first.  The quilt in the picture measures 60×70″ and 5″ borders, so I needed my tshirts to measure across 50″.

Here were my rules to keep things simple:

All tshirts need to be cut EVEN sizes and on the 1/2″.  For example, all my tshirts measured 24.5″ or 14.5″ or 8.5″ and so on.

I interfaced as I cut up clothing instead of all at once. Here is interfacing by the yard, and by the bolt.  I always buy by the bolt.

first I cut the shirt, to utilize the graphics on it.  I cut, interfaced, and then stuck to my design wall across for the top row until they equaled 50″ across when sewn.

I did this very same step, but going down to measure 70″.  This kinda gave me a frame.

After that, I just added tshirts to square everything up.  It sounds complicated, but it was actually pretty easy to do it this way.  Once I got the frame done, it was just filling in.  Adding my tshirts together to make sure everything was the correct measurements to fit in the frame.

I used tshirts without graphics to use as fillers when two tshirts didn’t quite meet up.  I also, kept little slips of paper with each blocks measurement pinned to each tshirt so that I wouldn’t have to constantly measure them to see how wide I need to cut the next tshirt.

I’m sure there may be easier ways to make these such as set size squares and predetermined measurements, BUT this way every tshirt was cut into a different sized block and determined what was best for that particular tshirt.

Also, it’s very important to have SECTIONS.

showing-sections

In the picture above, I’ve added borders around my sections.  This is important so that you never have to sew any Y~seams.  Everything will fit together easily.  After you have each section done, then you piece by piece put them together.

I hope I haven’t been too confusing.  I’m happy to help if you need me to.

xo, Melanie

Christmas Tree Forest Quilt

This was the first time I’ve been asked to a custom quilt for Christmas before.  And only my second time making a Christmas quilt. Here was the one I made last year.

Anyway, you will note my lack of Christmas-y fabrics.

I honesty don’t like to have themed fabrics in my stash.  It’s because they sit there and staring at me and I seldom have any reason to use them.

Like the football fabric sitting in my stash or the halloween fabric or the pink ribbon fabric or the camo.  You see?  They bother me.  It’s ridiculous, but that’s how I feel.

So I was asked to use some of these fabrics.

These are not like regular Christmas fabrics.  They are GORGEOUS!  So I didn’t mind buying them so much for this quilt.

Here are my blocks and my toes.

I followed Amy Smart’s pattern at Diary of a quilter.  It is a GREAT pattern.  Well written and easy to follow.

and look at my forest!  I’m crazy thrilled with this one.

I pulled quite of bit of stash fabrics as well to go in with the Brambleberry fabrics.  Quite a bit of low volumes and some more greens.

I added a big chunky white border to the quilt and backed it with red polka dots and green solid.

I’m thinking next year I want to make this again, but in pink and red and white.

You can look at many other quilter’s versions of this same quilt here.

If you are interested in me making you a Christmas tree forest quilt, read all the details here.

Swooning

I’ve never made a swoon quilt. Most modern quilters probably have, so once again I’m behind the times. 

But I recently chatted with a lady who wanted me to make one for her daughter. All pastels. 

I get usually two types of customers for my custom quilts: one that wants to pick every single fabric that gets used and really steers the quilt in the direction it ends up in and the other kind that will give me minimal input. 

I don’t mind either.  My quilt making supports my family and I’ll let my customers have it their way. 

Occasionally this will mean I end up making a quilt I don’t love (though this isn’t very often, it does happen), but more often than not a customer will give me a color palette or just a little bit of inspiration and let me take it away. 

Obviously, this is my favorite. I get to pick fabrics (and that’s the best part 😊). 

So this particular customer asked for a swoon quilt and wanted it done in pastels.  So I pulled here and there from my stash (nothing purchased) and got busy. Happily. 

I didn’t have a lot of pastels and I might have  used every thing I did have in these particular colors. 

My Aqua stash is almost non-existent. I keep using all of them. My coral, orange and yellow is overflowing, but mostly too busy. A mint green stash barely exists and the pinks are laughable. But I managed. 

I keep buying fabrics with multiple colors on them and I’m trying to focus more on fabrics that are more tonal, that seems to be what my stash lacks the most, basics and fabrics like that. 

It seems silly that I have a dresser full of fabrics and think I don’t have what I need, but sometimes that is the case. I promise I’m not just saying that to buy more fabric (like some people that I live with think). After all these years I really need to work on how I choose fabric. 

What I want to do is if my stash is low on pinks to visit a fabric store and choose a bunch of shades of pinks in maybe half yard cuts. That way it’s in my stash when I need it. I’ve been doing that the last few weeks and I like it. This doesn’t mean to completely cut out seeing a fabric I like and buying it, but I need to start addressing my needs more instead of “Ooh, pretty fabric.”

Rant over. Back to the quilt. 

This block is by far the prettiest of all other quilt blocks. It’s a giant beauty and I can see why it’s so popular among quilters. 

BUT it is extremely complicated to chain piece. I had to be careful and keep colors pinned together to be sure that I didn’t mix things up. Color 1 and color 2 business. 

Even with my intentional carefulness I loved making them. I watched Netflix and chain pieced for 3-4 days.  Finished the whole series of ‘Happy Valley’. 


I think I’ve spent 4 days on the blocks. And that’s with my husband trimming HSTs and the geese. 

But it’s together now and quilted. Tomorrow I’ll bind and wash it up and take pictures before it heads to Canada to its forever home. 

💜, melanie

Hexie quilt completed

Finished pictures…


You can see my work in progress photos and see a partial tutorial for this quilt here

I’m pleased with how this quilt turned out. And I just LOVE the backing fabric I chose for it. It’s Amy butler print that’s one of my favorites. 

For the binding I used an older fabric from The Quilted Fish. It’s white with little red flowers. 

This quilt features:

  • 198 pieces of fabric
  • 99 hexagons
  • Was a great way to bust some stash
  • Meander quilting

If you are interested in having a hexie quilt made for you, find the details here

💜, melanie

Hexies 

Unless we are talking about embroidery or cross stitch or crochet, I am not a fan of hand stitching. I LOVE it, it’s beautiful, but I do not have the patience. Maybe one day, but not now. 

And you EPP piecers are just amazing, but I’m just lacking and drive to go down that road. However, I do love hexagons. Like love them. Like really really love them. 

And it’s about time I gave them a go. In a way I don’t mind trying. And I had a special request from a customer so that gave me the push I needed. 


Color palette: bright, happy. Red, green, yellow, aqua and coral. There was also a few fabrics that were specifically requested. 


I bought the hex n more ruler specifically for this quilt. It made cutting half hexagons extremely easy. And with half hexagons, one can piece in rows like normally and still end up with a hexagon shape. 

My hexies are 8.5″.  I cut (50) 4.5″ strips and subcut each strip into 4 half hexagons. There are directions on the ruler. 


I laid out my quilt top 9 rows across and 22 rows down. It’s a twin size and ended up fairly close to 66×88″. 

It wasn’t bad at all. Not to cut up or to piece. 


I did end up cutting off the triangular edging. I started to fuss over it, but I worried about the binding so much that I just made it straight. Maybe one day, I’ll try that. 


I’m pretty pleased. And I want to make another one in my own color choices very soon. 

This ruler too does so much more. It has three differ t size hexies, equilateral triangles and more so I’m excited about the possibilities. 

Finished pics to come soon

💜, melanie

A finished Ireland quilt

   
I completed the triple Irish chain quilt.   

One thing I’d wish I’d done different is the point of time which I put the Dresden plates on. 

This is a constant decision that changes over and over in my head. 

  
If I put them on last, they can become part of the quilting, BUT moving around a queen size basted quilt around and around thing to stitch on Dresden plates is nobody’s idea of a good time. Even if it looks fabulous in the backside of your completed quilt. 

So I prefer to make things less stressful for myself, thinking the easier I make things the less fed up I will become. 

  So normally I will put dresdens on after the blocks are put together, but before you stitch them altogether into your quilt top. 
However, for this quilt, the spot for the dresdens only came available AFTER I stitched the blocks together.   I could have put them on per row but did not, I waited until the quilt top was complete, thinking a quilt top would be so much easier to maneuver than a basted quilt and it WAS, but not as easy as if hoped it would be. 

  
There is always this panic with the quilting on a Dresden quilt too, for me anyway. 

AGAIN, if you wait to the end, they get quilted as you put them on, but I’ve already crossed that out. And quilting on top of them is ….. worrisome, maybe. Or for myself, I’ve never quilted top of them and liked the end result, so for this quilt I left them unquilted and just moved the ma gone around them careful not to touch. 

  
They were such small dresdens that this worked this time. 

  
It also made the back look pretty cool too (dummy me did not take a pic.  Someone was complaining that there arms hurt from holding the quilt up). 

  

During the making of this one, I got a really cool idea for a new Dresden quilt that I’m excited about.   Hopefully I can find time to slide that one in soon.  I’ve got several orders coming up for some quilts I haven’t made before…. maybe even a hexagon quilt 👏🏻. 

This quilt is listed in my shop under custom quilts so that you can choose your colors for it. Find it here

💜, melanie