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…

bold 1

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

Advertisements

The scrapbuster quilts

The day before Christmas I gifted two quilts to my nieces, 11 & 13.  Sweet, thoughtful children these are and I am so pleased to get to give them quilts for Christmas.

Here is Emma with her quilt.

I blogged about working on these quilts here.

I have my scraps sorted several different ways.

One of my scrap baskets holds 7″ squares.  7″ squares sounds like a weird size, and it is.  When I first started quilting I discovered that I could (6) 7″ squares out of a 7″ strip of fabric perfectly, without any waste.  So this is the size I used in all my early quilts.

Still, I use them often.  I ended up with all of them because in my large throw rag quilt, I use 7″ blocks.  My wedding quilts use 7″ blocks.  They started piling up.

And now they still work out to be a great size for me.  When I need 6.5″ HSTs, what do you need?  7″ squares.

And they worked out perfectly for this quilt as well.  I pulled out (120) 7″ blocks from that basket and trimmed them down to 6.5″ for these two quilts.

They have 2″ squared corners that I pulled from a basket that just holds 2″ squares.

These were really great quilts to use up some of those squares.  For two quilts, I pulled 240 squares and looking at that basket you cannot even tell I did.  Why is it always that way?

How many squares could possibly be in that still overflowing basket?

I was careful to stay away from pink for this quilt, since it was not a loved color for Emma.

I could quite settle on a color palette for her, but I think it worked any way.

My husband, Wade, drew all the diagonal lines for stitching purposes on the 2″ squares.  He also trimmed the tails off of all the blocks after I sewed the corners on so technically he did help make these quilts.

For Alyssa’s quilt, I had a definite color palette chosen.  One that I have always wanted to use, seen several times in other quilter’s work and had plenty of the squares to pull off.

As always, I did an all over quilting design using a meander.  I find this step so therapeutic.

I recently heard someone ask why anyone would finish a quilt this way and I was a little surprised.

I know it’s simple quilting, but that’s one of the reasons I like it.  By the time I get to the quilting phase I’ve put in so many hours into this quilt.  I’m ready to zone out and just move that quilt here and there in twirly rounds until it’s done.

If I had a longarm machine I’d probably want to add even more creativity to the quilt.  I do understand that.  I wonder if it would give me that same relaxing feeling as the meander does on my standard sewing machine.

I love this simple quilt design.  It was easy to get done and it used up a lot of scraps.

I always feel like patting myself on the back for using my scraps, like I’ve done something frugal and good.  It also always feels like a burden has been lifted and I’m not wasting fabric or cluttering up my space with the continued holding on to them.

If you like my labels I sell them in my shop here.

They can be completely customized to fit you, down to the font, the words, and even the clipart.

Quilt Details

Blocks measure: 6.5″

There are 120 blocks. 10 rows across and 12 rows down.

Use your scraps OR cut (120) 6.5″ strips of fabric from yardage.  Subcut each strip into (6) 6.5″ squares.

The corners are 2″ squares.  There are 240 of those in this quilt.  2 per each 6.5″ square.

I drew a line down the diagonally of each 2″ squares then sewed them on two corners of each 6.5″ square diagonally.

Very similar to my snow ball pattern shown here except that instead of doing all 4 corners, I only did 2.

These are easy and quick quilts.

I’d like to do them again, but instead of using low volume corners, I use a bold color like black, or something that stands out more than the low volume does.

Hope your January is off to a good start!

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.

I finished my great grandmothers quilt

I’ve been excited about this for a while about this project.

If you remember this was my great grandmother’s quilt top gifted to me by my grandmother.  Read the whole story here.

Her work was just exquisite to me.  All her hand stitches were incredibly well done.  I could tell the great care she took with this quilt.

It was made completely with polyester clothing, so it’s heavy.  Like really heave.  Like I basted on the wall twice cause the first time it fell off while I was half way through the process.  I had to spray baste pretty generously to make this work.

I was torn on the edges of this quilt.  I wanted to preserve them, notice in my first, TOP picture that they are hexagon shaped on the edges.

I debated and debated and eventually I straightened everything up.

I knew this was going to be hard to quilt, polyester is thick and it doesn’t iron well so I had some bulk in my seams.

And last time I had to make bias binding, it was not a work of art.  And this was my great grandmother’s quilt.  I didn’t want anything to be wrong with it, so that was my reasoning for straightening up the edges.

I backed it with my favorite Tanya Whelan print of all time.  Plus, the fabric has a vintage-ish feel to it.  And it has roses on it, which I know my grandmother loves.

I quilted in a meander.  Probably not the very best choice for polyester, but I was kinda stuck on what to do.  It couldn’t have had dense quilting no matter what.  There was just too much bulk, so I did a meander that was very large and spacious.

And this is where it lives now.  Brightening up my living room with it’s bright happiness.

It was made in my great grandparent’s house and after they passed away, it lived in a bag in my grandmother’s closet and now it lives here with me.

A cheerful reminder of loved ones.

I will cherish it like no other quilt I have.

And I am completely smitten and madly in love with it.

If you have a quilt top by one of your family members or maybe you just found a quilt top in a thrift store or flea market and are in need of having it finished, I would be happy to do that for you.  You can read the details of it here.

A trippy quilt beginnings

Do you know that feeling when inspiration hits you? And your excited and cannot get your ideas started fast enough?

Not everything I make starts with this feeling. Some projects have a bit of it. And some projects I just want to finish. And then some projects I am jumping up and down, rubbing my hands together and giggling. 

That’s the feeling I have with this quilt. 

I was inspired by violet of stitchery sewist shop. She is currently making a trip around the world quilt that could stop traffic. (See her Instagram page here

I have been wanting to make a trippy quilt since I first started noticing quilts. So forever. 

My colors are shades of purple, gray and yellow. 

I’m using this pattern. And it’s SO easy! And it busts scraps like nobody’s business!  Which are all good things in my book. 

I’ve been just making a block at a time. Here and there. They are fairly quick though. 

I’ve also got scraps all over the place. I’m digging looking for strips that are long enough. And trying to dig through my scrap baskets before or ping my drawers and pulling out the half yard. I’ll be saving those for last resort. When I’ve completely run out of scraps to use. It may take awhile. 

I also put up another design wall (aka batting pinned to the wall) in my daughters room. She’s off to college so it should be fine. 

I like to watch my blocks coming together this way. It keeps me going and excited. 

But back to the trippy quilt…

There are two tips that I wanted to mention that I’ve noticed while making these blocks:

-after you have cut your ‘loops’ and you have seam ripped the first one. And now you seam rip the second and so on, seam rip at the block that is on top of the last column you have done. This will keep things in the correct order.  

-and lastly. Before seam ripping. Look at your loops and decide which fabric is your boldest and use that for the one single diagonal row in the block(middle diagonal). That fabric needs to be on the bottom of your first column. 

Happy sewing!

💜, Melanie 

The kitty quilt completed


It’s been a week since we took my daughter off to college. So many emotions. 

On one hand i’m very happy and excited for her, on the other I am so sad to see my baby go. 

She’s not even that far away, but the house is quieter and I find myself even missing all the little arguments we have on a daily basis. 

I finished this kitty quilt for her before she left. 

I wanted to show off my favorite parts. 

This was not a planned quilt. This is a quilt that over a few months I made blocks here and there. I didn’t worry about sizes of the blocks, I’d planned on making everything fit Later with bits of fabric. 

Instead I just worked on a block. Some were patterns and some were original ideas. 

When I hand a handful of blocks finished I arranged them and started slipping low volume where I couldn’t get blocks to match up. 

So here we go in favorite parts. 

My daughter picked out the backing fabric   I call this a dark mint, too much green to be Aqua. It’s a jeni baker fabric and I am just in love with the color. 

The binding was my choice. A black on white scallop fabric from art gallery fabrics that I’ve used many times as binding. 

The above fabric that the purple kitty is within is my favorite fabric throughout the quilt. It’s Lizzy house from her whisper collection. I just love it. 

The fishbone above. I have used this exact same fishbone in three different quilts now. 

I originally cut WAY too many pieces for an addition on a traveling quilt I worked on last year.   Then in January when I finished the last month of the beehive quilts, I used it in a mini quilt as an extra little gift. And here it is finally again making its appearance in my daughters quilt. 

That’s kinda cool I think. Like a signature of mine of the time. 

I’m not sure where these tumbling cats on yellow came from, but I laughed when I ran across them in my stash. I don’t remember buying them, but there they sat waiting for me as if they were meant to be. 

The dotted cotton and steel fabric with the kids playing in the wind and umbrella. I love this fabric. 

I originally purchased it last year when I was building my low volume stash up. Then I used it in my grandmothers 90th birthday quilt. I still had more of it so I thought I’d use it in my daughters as well. Kinda like another signature of the time and a link between both their quilts. Maybe that sounds silly, but it felt meaningful to me. 

As did this. That fabric that my finger is on above was part of my grandmothers fabric stash that she gave me. I was thinking I’d put some of it in every quilt I make for us. 

I’ve already spoken of this selvedge in an earlier post. It was perfect for my daughter raven. She wants to be a cat lady. 

And the finished pictures. 

It now lives in her dorm room and I hope it lasts and stands as a reminder of what she was obsessed with during this period of her life. And that people is obviously kitties. 😻. 

I’m starting to see a pattern of mine with fabrics. I like scrappy quilts, but even if they are not all different colors, if the scraps all match or are similar colors. I like using eighty different pieces of fabric in a single quilt. 

When I cut say low volume, I pull out almost all my low volumes and cut some from each one. So I’m seeing the same fabrics or mostly in each quilt I make from a given time frame. I love that. 

Kinda like a signature of the stash at the time. 
💜, Melanie

All my favorites economy block quilt

You might remember this quilts blocks being on my design wall for almost a year. I have made them here and there. Ever since about a year ago when I started collecting Heather Ross fabrics. 

See the start of that quilt here. 

I fell in love with how great those fabrics looked when fussy cut. I also started setting aside other designer fabrics I thought would make good centers for my economy block squares. 

And for almost a year I’ve made these blocks. No rush. No deadline. Just whenever I saw a fabric I must use. 

Last month I finished twenty blocks and was ready to finish this up. You know how that goes… My mind had already more than moved on to my next slow make and this one kept hankering at me and I needed it off the design wall. 

I’ve been wanting to make a floating block quilt for awhile. Using the big white border makes me think of the blocks floating plus also upped the size to a twin quilt. And all that negative space was an added bonus. I love how the quilting looks in negative space. 

You can see how much Heather Ross fabrics were used compared to other prints. I just can’t get over them. My stash of her fabrics has since quadrupled so I’ve got a quilt on my mind in the future with nothing but her prints. Hopefully sooner than later. 

You might notice that the four corner blocks are a little different. They were my first blocks and cut at a completely different size. 

I could have remade them, but laziness got the best of me. I added borders to bring them to size and called it a day. 

This quilt was sold right after I photographed it.

My next slow make is a quilt that I’m making for my daughter as a gift. She will be moving at the end of August to go to college and the quilt will be a going away present. 

We are working on it together, or should I say that I am working on it and she is supervising. I will post pictures on that tomorrow. 

💜, melanie