Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Retail Therapy...and Giveaway Winners

The summer is just flying by...and I'm spending lots of hours watching the Olympics and catching up on bindings and hand work...I've just been loving every minute! Because I can't post without a picture,I thought I'd share a little bit of my recent retail therapy. Above are some fat quarters of Aneela's new line for Moda, Cherry Christmas. For some reason the yardage is available before the pre-cuts, so I just can't wait until I can see the rest of the prints in the collection!

I've been looking for the Denyse Schmidt "Quilter's Quarters" for a while now and finally found them today...I had some coupons so picked out my favorite one with a couple of coordinating prints from her yardage. And now for a little "housekeeping" here on the blog...

Congrats to VickiT who won the copy of Simply Charming Mini's from the blog tour giveaway!

Congrats also to Heidi  who won the Salt Air Layer Cake and Panel from Quilt Essentials for my Blogiversary giveaway!

If you will both e-mail me your addresses I'll have your goodies sent right out!

I'll be back later tomorrow with the Schnibbles parade; later in the week I'll share the tutorial I sneek-peeked last week, and I'll have another blogiversary giveaway!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Farmer's Wife...all 111!

Well...here they are...all 111 of my Fig Tree Farmer's Wife blocks! I can't wait to really finish the quilt now! Even in a big group, there are those blocks that I'm just in love with...my eyes are drawn to them every time. I'm going to make a list and design some future quilts based on my favorites.

I think the mix of colors turned out okay...I didn't keep track--just kind of kept the blocks of similar colorways in piles and tried to make sure the piles all looked about even.

I'm definitely going to use Moda Bella Snow for my sashing and setting triangles...I do love having a "resting" spot for the eyes in scrappy quilts. As far as the posts...I'm not sure yet, I'll probably use something from Tapestry as soon as it's available.

I'm posting this block again, Block 17, Cats and Mice because I had to rearrange some of the pieces. I like it a lot better now!  Thanks so much to the blog reader who pointed out my mistake when I first posted this one.

This was my official "last" block, 110, Wood Lily.  This is one of the blocks I wasn't going to make because I just thought it looked too overwhelming. I'm so glad I made it; it's one of my favorites, and the templates were easy to sew for this one. Speaking of templates, Camille has some great tips on using the templates on this post.

Block 82, Spider Legs...so similar to the one previous. This one had fewer pieces, though, so was even easier.

Block 78, Shooting Star is not a favorite--I'm not sure why, though. It's one of the three blocks I paper pieced, although after paper piecing I think it might have just been easier with the templates.

I saved this one for last because it gave me the most trouble. In fact, I still need to make it again. I made two miserable attempts using the templates only to get on-line and discover that the two largest templates are reversed in the book. So I didn't feel so bad. I then made this version but then noticed the outer points will get cut off when I sew it to the sashing. So I'm going to paper piece a final one using these same fabrics.

These are the last 4, the ones I put off for a whole year! And then 2 of them didn't even end up being that difficult!

I know this is going to be one of my favorite quilts ever! I hope to have this finished to use this winter!

And...some of you might remember that for quite a while I worked on two versions of the Farmer's Wife quilt. I made 49 blocks total with Christmas fabrics from the collection Joy by Kate Spain for Moda. I'm going to use this setting for these blocks which should give me a really nice-sized quilt!

Thanks so much for a year full of support as I worked on this quilt!  Have a wonderful day!

PS...I shared some of these pictures earlier on Instagram (I know I'm super late jumping on that bandwagon...but I just love being  able to "instantly blog!" Look for sherrimcconnell on Instagram if you're interested in seeing some of my projects as I'm working!

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

It's a Mini Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on the It's a Mini Blog Tour!

Simply Charming Minis by Konda from Moose on the Porch Quilts is a delightful book with patterns for 16 mini quilts ranging in size from 13" to 21". Every quilt is charming...and every quilt is shown made in two different fabric collections. As I began reading the introduction I remembered that some of the first quilts I made were mini quilts. Mini quilts are terrific for that small space on a wall or on a table top. They make great gifts and are quick to piece. Most of the mini-quilts I've made I hand-quilted--giving me a great opportunity to practice my stitching on an "easier to finish" size project!

"Baby Birds" is one of my favorite quilts...it's one of the smaller quilts in the book and could easily be made into a pillow!

If you'd like to win a copy of Simply Charming Minis, just leave a comment on this post, and I'll draw a winner when the blog tour is over.

Konda is also having a quilt along from Sep 11 - Apr 2.  During the quilt along participants will be able to join in to make 12 quilts from the book.  Keep your eyes open for more information on this! 
Don't forget to stop by the remaining stops on the blog tour (you have a chance to win a copy of the book at each blog)!

Sun, July 29 April Mazzoleni
Mon, July 30 Vickie Eapen
Tues, July 31 Konda Luckau and Michele Foster

Thanks so much for stopping by...

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Farmer's Wife Marathon

Finishing the blocks for my Farmer's Wife quilt might have has turned into an obsession. I have so many things I want to be sewing, but I can't seem to stop making these blocks! I want to finish! I've made 11 blocks since Saturday! First up (and these are the last 4 I finished) is a group of blocks made in Strawberry Fields fabrics.

This is block 24, Country Path. I loved making this block, and even though I used mostly templates it wasn't too hard to put together.

Block 104, Wild Geese was also fairly simple even with a lot of template cutting. This is another favorite.

Block 65, Peaceful Hours. This block is far from perfect, but I just don't think I want to re-do it. I'm happy with the colors and contrast!

Block 37 Flower Pot. A cute block. This block has "y" seams. On some of these template blocks I think there should have been some more instructions...

Here are a few I made using fabrics from California Girl. These 3 blocks were all made with templates, too. Although I've saved most of the template-required blocks for the end, many weren't too bad, especially the ones with fairly large pieces (I guess the term large is relative considering these are 6-inch blocks)!

This is block 97, Waste Not. This one was simple...just 12 pieces!

And here is block 66, Periwinkle. This one was pretty simple, too. I should have realized early on that some of the template blocks would actually go a lot faster than blocks with jillions of pieces!

Block 83, Spider Web is a great block. I wish I had used a couple more fabrics in this one, though...I think it could have been a lot cuter!

Here is the last group...these are all made with the latest Fig Tree line, Tapestry.

Block 13, Buckwheat...not one of my favorites, but not too time-consuming, either.

Block 17, Cats & MIce was another one I wish I had used a few more fabrics in. This one turned out okay, but it could have been really fun with every block a different color.

Block 33, Farmer's Puzzle, turned out to be one of my favorites. By the time I made this one I was resigned to the fact that I'm using templates from here on out. I actually started to realize the aspects of template sewing that aren't too bad (kind of).

Block 47, Homemaker, is one that had me a little frustrated. Although there are some instructions given, I just felt like there could have been even more information that would have made putting this block together a lot easier. My block isn't perfect, but since it's flat and I have 1/4" left on the outside of all the points, I'm not about to make this one again!

And last, but not least, thanks so much for noticing that when I first posted this block I had one of the smaller pieces turned the wrong way. Without so many of you pointing it out, I probably wouldn't have noticed until it was in the quilt and quilted...so thank you!

I have just 4 blocks left...I'm hoping that 2 of them will go together without too much difficulty, but I have to say I'm a little worried about the 2 I'm going to do last...lots of tiny templates!

If you've followed along this far...thanks so much.  Really, I don't think I could have stuck with this without so much encouragement! I'll finish up the last 4 as soon as I can and then try to get a photo of all 111!

Have a wonderful day!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Simply Charming Minis Blog Tour

My friend Konda from Moose on the Porch Quilts has a new book....and to celebrate there is a blog tour that starts today!

The quilts in the book are all delightful mini-quilts...each one presented in two different fabric collections. This gives you a terrific idea of how you might want to make the quilts! Each stop on the blog tour will have a giveaway for a copy of the book...so be sure to stop by each blog.  I'll be back on Saturday with my giveaway post for the tour! For today, be sure to stop by Lissa's and Emily's blogs!

Tues, July 24 Lissa Alexander

Wed, July 25 Nannette Merrill

Thurs, July 26 Pam Lincoln

Fri, July 27 Brooke Johnsen

Sat, July 28 Sherri McConnell (That's me!)

Sun, July 29 April Mazzoleni

Mon, July 30 Vickie Eapen

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Odds & Ends

The weekend was good...it's always nice when you feel a little caught up and ready to start a new week on Monday! I was able to sew something just for fun and decided to do a tutorial for the project above which I'll be posting later this week.

I finished my Bees Knees July block for Nedra. Nedra is using the Spin Cycle pattern by Allison of Cluck, Cluck, Sew...and I had so much fun making the block that I'm going to have to buy the pattern!

And, I finally drew a winner for last weeks Blogiversary giveaway...thank you so very much for all of the lovely comments about my little painting project in the laundry room! Congratulations to Karen who won the Collections for a Cause Friendship Layer Cake. Karen, I'll be e-mailing you! 

For this weeks 4th Blogiversary giveaway I have another layer cake and fun coordinating panel from the Salt Air collection by Cosmo Cricket for Moda (pictured above).  This is such a fun line...I'm actually working on a fun quilt with these fabrics right now! This giveaway prize is being provided by one of my terrific sponsors, Quilt Essentials (one of my favorite "go-to" places for on-line shopping. Sina is absolutely the nicest...her prices are terrific, and the shipping is fast)! Just leave a comment on this post with your ideas for making the most of the last month of summer...which here in the northern hemisphere is just right around the corner! 

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great day!

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

More Summer Farming

I finished four more Farmer's Wife blocks this week...I was hoping to finish more, but it seems the lazy days of summer have been, well, a little lazy! I have three more blocks planned out, though, and hope to get to them this afternoon...then I'll have 100 completed and will just have 11 left!

This is block #86, Squash Blossom. I kept thinking I would need to use templates for this one then figured out I could make it with half-square triangles instead. I know I made more work for myself with this one...but not having to use templates made it worth it.

This is block #99, W.C.T.U.--it's been on my list for awhile. I used only one of the templates for this block.

Block #38, Four Winds was a welcome surprise...I didn't like this block at all in the book, but I really love how it turned out. I almost didn't use the solid red, either, and I think that fabric sort of made the block!

And finally, block #94, Tall Pine Tree. This one was another surprise.  I didn't think I'd like it, but it's kind of a fun block. I used the templates on this one, and they weren't so bad after all. Actually a few of the blocks that seemed impossible even a few months ago are starting to look "do-able." So I'll keep on keeping on!

I really appreciate all of the support from all of you as I've worked on this quilt (for over a year now)! It really helps to see others finishing and getting close to finishing this project and other big projects as well! I'm starting to think about setting...I've seen some set on point (as in the book) and others set with a straight setting. I love both settings but will have to choose one soon!

Thanks so much for stopping by...and Happy Saturday!
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