Wednesday, November 8, 2017


Introducing Summer Picnic!  My 3rd quilt pattern.

This pattern was inspired by a contest requiring a quilt or mini be made with only 5 fat quarters for the blocks, along with 2 other fabrics for the background, sashing, cornerstones, etc. 

I had previously designed the original sketch with squares in place of the half square triangles. At first I wasn't wowed with the pattern and pretty much just forgot about it.  When I heard about the contest, I thought about this pattern.  I had to change the squares to HSTs due to the fabric limitations and that was just what the pattern needed.  I loved it!

The fabrics I chose inspired the name Summer Picnic.  The quilt reminded me of a vintage table cloth my mother used to cover our picnic table when I was a child.  

I am so thrilled with this pattern, and it has quickly become my favorite of all the patterns I've designed so far.  Whether you like vintage, modern, or holiday, this pattern transforms with the change of the fabric.

The photo below shows the fabric choices from one of my pattern testers. The pattern took on a more modern, and even a Wintery, icey feel.  You can see the versatility of the pattern with just 5 different fat quarters!


So grab your fat quarter stash and head over to and download your Summer Picnic pattern today!   Follow me on Instagram and post your finished quilts with #tillalilisummerpicnic.  I would love to see them! 

"Summer Picnic"
designed and written by Gwen Sager

©2017-2019 Tillalili, LLC - all rights reserved. Contents and photos on this blog are the property of Tillalili, LLC. No portion of this blog can be used without written permission of the blog owner.

Monday, May 8, 2017

2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop - Tillalili

Hello and WELCOME to my stop on the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop! 

This is the final week of the hop. If you've been following along, you've already had great explanations of what this group of talented ladies is all about.  If not, I'll give you the quick, condensed version.  We are a group of quilters who want to learn how to create a spectacular "quilt" blog you'll want to come back to. We shared tips, tricks, and critiques.  So far my blog has never looked better! I'm still learning though.

We were split up into hives for the hop.  I was really happy to have my button design (above) chosen to represent our hive "Let's Bee Quilt'n".  If you would like more details about the the group and all the hives, there will be links at the bottom of this post you will want to check out.  

A little about me.... (or maybe a lot, haha)

I've been involved in color and design as far back as I can remember.  After graduating from a high school that offered a large selection of art classes, (which I took most of), I majored in Interior Design at Paier College of Art.  I also went on to business school and earned a degree in Accounting, which was my smart mother's idea.  I have fallen back on that degree all my life, especially since running my own business. 

In my mid 20's I opened a brick and mortar craft shop. I was at the shop all day, gave classes at night, and sold my items at craft shows on the weekends.  I closed the shop within a few years, worked from home, and sold at craft shows. (It was before Etsy). 

Fast forward to about 4 years ago I found myself with an abundance of beautiful cotton quilting fabric from Riley Blake and Moda so I decided to open an Etsy shop just to sell off my stock. Little did I know that decision would make a major change in my life.  I started working with talented quilters and curated beautiful bundles of fabric.  Before I knew it, I was working 12 to 15 hours a day, 7 days a week selling fabric.

I have always been interested in quilting, and now that I was selling the fabric, it was time to learn to quilt. Late at night I started watching a Missouri Star Quilt YouTube video over and over until I finally got up the nerve to try it.  I don't know what I was so scared of because it turned out to be a lot of fun, and was fairly easy.  After another video with Jenny, this time on binding, I hand sewed the binding.  I love to hand sew! Not a bad corner for my first time! 

After joining Instagram I quickly got into testing patterns for quilt designers.  In 2016 I tried designing my own original quilt design.  I loved it!  So with sketch pad in hand, I started drawing quilt designs at night.  But taking a pattern from a design on paper to illustrated instructions isn't as easy as it looks, and it takes a lot of time.  I'm very proud to say, in January, 2017 I published my first official quilt pattern called "Oh Those X's" which only requires ONE print Charm Pack! (available on Craftsy and Etsy).

pattern back and front cover

I have many more patterns to come. I'm also finding easier ways to construct quilt blocks.  You will love my innovative shortcut to cutting cornerstones.  No more cutting each individual cornerstone! yay!

Here's a sneak peek at my next pattern that's almost ready to publish...

From the Heart

(jelly roll friendly)

A few tips...

Designing patterns has made me aware of just how important it is to accurately measure and cut your quilt pieces.  Take your time.  Use the right tools, such as a grid ruler.  Have a sharp blade in your rotary cutter.  All these things make a difference.

Another VERY important part is to have an accurate seam allowance.  If you aren't sewing with an accurate 1/4" seam allowance, no matter how accurately you cut, your blocks won't be the correct finished size.  Sew a seam and measure it.  You may be surprised.

If you find your block is a little short, try sewing it with a scant 1/4" seam.  Pressing your seams open on certain blocks will also help.

About the name...

I'm often asked about the name Tillalili.  Tillalili is named for the two crafty influences in my life. One being my maternal grandmother, and the other, my Aunt Lilly. 

My grandmother immigrated to the U.S. in 1913.  I looked up the ship's manifest and her name was listed as Tilla.  She was an amazingly talented seamstress. She made men's suits, my mother's wedding gown, all the draperies in my childhood home, etc.  She was my first introduction to sewing.  

My Aunt Lilly, also my Godmother, was my introduction to knitting, crocheting, and painting. She was a talented artist, among many other talents including a non-professional opera singer. Her and I were extremely close.  She was a great source of encouragement and support. 

They are my Angels watching over me. ♥♥♥


Well, that's it for my stop on the blog hop. Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you enjoyed it!
Follow me on Instagram for the latest fabric news, giveaways, and pattern releases.

Please take a minute to jump over to the other members of my hive that are posting today and see what they're up to.  Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Sharon  - Yellow Cat Quilt Design 

Becca  -  Pretty Piney

Wendy  - Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life


Click on any button for detailed info on the hive, it's host, and Rafflecopter giveaway.



©2017 Tillalili, LLC - all rights reserved
Contents and photos on this blog are the property of Tillalili, LLC.
No portion of this blog can be used without written permission of Tillalili, LLC.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Hugs All Around

I love making pillows!  When you don't have enough time for a large project and need some instant gratification, a mini charm pack pillow is a great, quick project.  

I recently got on board with a project planner, and I'm so glad I did.  Choosing a planner wasn't easy. There's so many good ones.  I ultimately chose the "Scrappy Project Planner" by Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet.  Not only can you plan and design your own projects, Lori also included patterns. There's a great section on Tips & Organizing, too!

So the other night I grabbed my new planner and a Coney Island Mini Charm Pack and sketched out a simple design I'm calling "Hugs All Around". With a little help from my calculator, I did the math.  Some times the calculations are trial an error, but you can always add to the border if the "calculator" didn't work. (wink wink)

I like to lay out my mini charms and take a photo once I find what looks good to me.  There's no right or wrong to this step.  It all depends on what looks good to you. Having the photo saves a lot of time if the mini charms get mixed up while stitching.  I like to chain stitch when I can and most times the layout gets messed up.  Just refer back to your photo and save lots of time! 

Once the top was pieced came the decision all quilters struggle with.... How do I quilt it? 
I, personally, love straight line quilting and crosshatching for pillows, but this pillow will be used in my quilt show display among other pillows with those types of quilting.

I wanted to do something different this time to make the pillow, and display, stand out. I tried circular quilting once before and it was a disastrous fail.  I didn't think I would ever try it again, but I felt my quilting skills have steadily improved enough to give it another try.

I've been asked several times how I did the circular quilting.  I started by making a small circle in the center.  I actually used the bottom cap from a spool of Aurifil thread.  Did you know the bottom cap comes off?  I didn't know that for the longest time.  That's where the end of the thread is to start the spool. (ugh)  I traced around the cap for my starting circle.  For the next circle, and all the circles after, I followed the previous stitches as a guide for my pressure foot.

You have to go slow and ease your project into the curve. Don't lift your pressure foot and turn the pillow.  It will give you jagged points. Have patience and go slow. This pillow took more than 4 HOURS to quilt, so I quilted it over 2 days.  

Once the quilting was done, I squared it and made a simple envelope back.  I didn't have any Coney Island yardage yet for the binding, but rather than wait, I chose a complimentary print from Strawberry Fields Revisited I had in stock.  It had most of the colors in Coney Island and matched beautifully. 

Hope you like my new pillow pattern "Hugs All Around"  

I would love to know if you are interested in a free tutorial for this pillow pattern.  
Please leave a comment and let me know.  Thanks!! 

Fabric Shown:  Coney Island
Designer:  Fig Tree and Co.
Manufacturer:  Moda Fabrics
20" Pillow Insert:  IKEA $6

©2017 Tillalili, LLC - all rights reserved
Contents and photos on this blog are the property of Tillalili, LLC.
No portion of this blog can be used without written permission of the blog owner.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

My 1st Printed Pattern

 "Oh Those X's" printed pattern is here!!!   The excitement level exceeded my expectations!  This is as exciting as the first time I sold a PDF version! It's thrilling to think someone wants to make a quilt I designed! ...and very humbling. 

Let me tell you about the printed pattern....
The cover is a heavier weight but not quite a card stock.  The 
instruction pages are a medium weight, satin paper. 
I chose satin since it has less glare than glossy, but still has clear crisp text and diagrams. If you like a printed pattern, you will love this pattern!

"Oh Those X's" PDF pattern and printed pattern are now available on my website

I h
ope you enjoy making it!

 I would love to see your finished quilts.  
Tag me on Instagram @tillalili. 

Quilt shown on pattern:
Block fabric:  Lulu Lane by Corey Yoder
Background:  Moda Bella Solids 9900-98
Binding:  Sundrops by Corey Yoder

©2017 Tillalili, LLC - all rights reserved. Contents and photos on this blog are the property of Tillalili, LLC. No portion of this blog can be used without written permission of the blog owner.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Pattern Testing

Did you know that a quilt pattern is tested by several quilters before it's published?
The testers follow the pattern word for word to be sure all the instructions work, are clear, and all the measurements are correct. 

I went one step further.  Not only did I make a quilt while I was writing the pattern, I made a second quilt with the finished pattern.  By following the finished pattern myself, I am able to insure you are getting an easy-to-follow great pattern, without errors.

For the first quilt I used a Vintage Picnic Charm Pack by Bonnie and Camille for the blocks, white yardage for the background, and Vintage Picnic prints for the border and binding.

For the second quilt I used a Lulu Lane Charm Pack for the blocks, white yardage for the background and borders, and a print from Sundrops for the binding.  Both collections are by Corey Yoder of Coriander Quilts. 

As you can see, I added a printed border on my first version on the left.
When I saw the quilt (below) made by Lindsey, one of the testers, I loved the way her version looked with a white border.  I changed the pattern and gave directions for the white border.  It can still easily be a printed border if that's what you prefer. 

I give several different options for fabric in the pattern so you can use what you have, and what you like. 

tested quilt by Lindsey of Pen and Paper Patterns
Lindsey used scraps for her blocks and white yardage.

Several talented quilters tested the pattern.  It's always fun to get updates while the pattern is being tested. I'll be showing peeks at the progress photos so check my blog again soon! 

I'll also be posting tips and tricks for easy pattern construction.  You won't want to miss it! 

The collections mentioned in this blog post
are available in my shop at the time of this posting.
Vintage Picnic 
Lulu Lane
and more!

©2017 Tillalili, LLC - all rights reserved
Contents and photos on this blog are the property of Tillalili, LLC.
No portion of this blog can be used without written permission of the blog owner.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Oh Those X's

It's official!  Today I became a published quilt pattern designer!

Oh Those X's is a fun baby size quilt for skilled beginners and above.  

Prior experience and knowledge of squaring HSTs is required. 

The quilt has 9 blocks and finishes at 40" x 40".

Best part, it only takes ONE print Charm Pack, and ONE white Charm Pack.
I also included options for using scraps and yardage. 

The pattern includes: 
-- 6 pages of fully illustrated instructions. 
-- Pressing directions to minimize bulk in seams. 
-- AND, a fun and innovative shortcut to making cornerstones. 
Once you've tried my shortcut, you won't want to cut another individual cornerstone!

Check out "Oh Those X's" on

©2017 Tillalili, LLC - all rights reserved. Contents and photos on this blog are the property of Tillalili, LLC. No portion of this blog can be used without written permission of the blog owner.