Happy National Sewing Month!

Posted by Lynn Merrill on Sep 8th 2014

It's September, and that means it's National Sewing and Quilting Month! We're celebrating by sharing some exciting features from some of our best-selling authors, free patterns, and big giveaways!

To kick off our celebration of National Sewing Month, please welcome  Jera Brandvig as our first guest poster this month! Take it away, Jera!

Hello, and thank you for stopping by! My name is  Jera Brandvig and I'm thrilled to be sharing my first book, Quilt As-You-Go Made Modern which comes out September 2014! 

Before I share lovely pictures of some Quilt As-you-Go (QAYG) projects, let me begin my telling you how I got started on this adventure that became  this book...

It began with my blog,  www.QuiltingInTheRain.com, which I started four years ago as a creative outlet from my 9-5 job, and as a way to share with the world that quilting doesn't have to be as daunting as it appears! I'm a self-taught quilter - the first quilter in my family! My motto has always been to "let your creativity Rain!" That being said, when it comes to quilting I like to bend the rules. I find quilting more enjoyable and creative when doing so. :)

After having my son (who is now 2.5 years old!), I found myself quilting in the wee hours of the night when handling a rotary cutter and trying to cut precise measurements from a pattern just  wasn't happening . Not to mention that my crafting room became my son's nursery so I was 'downgraded' to a little sewing nook in my dining room. That's when I started quilting as-you-go.

I started with making QAYG pillows and table runners and then decided to try making a whole quilt. I became obsessed and passionate about this technique because I was able to complete a full size quilt on my smaller sewing machine, from start to finish! It feels good when you can say that.

You can easily accomplish intricate quilting on a basic sewing machine because you're quilting onto smaller, and therefore more manageable batting blocks. Once all your blocks have been quilted, all you need to do is assemble them, add backing and bind it, then you're done!

People always ask how I crank out so many quilts so fast having a part-time job and a kid, and it's all thanks to this technique. I set totally doable goals and try to quilt at least 2-3 blocks/day. By the end of the week I typically have enough blocks for a whole quilt and since I'm literally quilting-as-I-go, I have a nearly finished quilt!

I started teaching QAYG classes and it was a hit because it's such of a practical technique. If you don't have long-arm machine, gone is the frustration and physical strain of trying to quilt and pull a big quilt sandwich through your sewing machine. And no more unfinished quilt tops laying around!

I am truly thrilled to be sharing this technique with you. It's a great technique for a new and seasoned quilter. In my book I discuss how you can follow a traditional pattern and still apply this QAYG technique, or you can make a quilt without a pattern using an improvisational style of QAYG. It's a really creative way to quilt!

Below is a preview of some of the quilts that will be in my book (if the exact quilt is not in there, the pattern will be!) Once you learn the technique discussed in the first chapter, you'll be able to look at any pattern and figure out to finish it using QAYG.

Also, a fun little tid bit: I'm from Seattle so I've named all my quilts Seattle-themed. The strip quilt below (top left) is called Solstice Parade (named after a parade that takes place every summer in Fremont, a neighborhood in Seattle) and diagonally below is Portage Bay (a bay located near the University of Washington).

Oh! And for all of you fans of my furry-child and quilting buddy Paige (pictured above), you'll be happy to hear that she has a whole page (no pun intended!) in my book dedicated to her, because she's a diva like that. ;)

Again, thank you for stopping by! Please visit me to see what I'm quilting on  FacebookInstagram, or at my blog: www.QuiltingInTheRain.com.

I hope this book brings you lots of creativity and many finished quilts! I am so happy to be sharing this simple and fun technique with you all!

Let your creativity rain, and happy quilting-as-you-go!

xo Jera


Follow us on Instagram @ctpublishing and share a photo on Instagram of a sewing project you're working on this month with the #QAYGGiveaway for a chance to win a copy of Quilt As You Go Made Modern, plus a Kona fabric bundle! 

See details and rules here: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway