Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Quilting in 2013: The Big Quilts

 Hello! As I usually do at the end of each year, I'm posting some of my finishes for the past 12 months. Each year I resolve to be better organized and save my monthly finishes in a folder; however, that wasn't the case this year--maybe next year I'll have it more together. So here are most of the big quilts...and one mini! I did also make several smaller quilts and projects, and hopefully I can get those together for another post in the coming week or so.

In January and February 2013 I finished a lot of quilts. In fact, I finished 18 quilts for my upcoming book--I'll be sharing all of those projects with you soon!  My first "other" finish of the year was my "Marcelle Medallion," pictured above. I finished it in March after "instagramming" along with hundreds of other quilters to finish this quilt!

 In April I had a few finishes I can share: first I finished my "Row Along" quilt designed by Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet.

 Next, I finished my first scrappy "Trip Around the World" quilt using the method by Bonnie Hunter and again "instagramming" along with so many others!

Another April finish was my very first pattern.."Cross Roads." This quilt really convinced me that designing patterns is something I truly love to do!

In May I finished my Tula Pink sampler quilt. This was a pretty big finish, as this quilt was a couple of years (or more) in the making!

 In May I also finished "Sugar Cookies" which was my second pattern release. It's a fun and fast layer cake design!

 June brought some time to sew just for me...and the first finish of the month was my very own "Hopscotch" quilt. The pattern is by Camille Roskelley, and I had sewed the sample quilt when the pattern was first released. This quilt had been on my radar for quite a while, so it was one of my favorite finishes of the year.

 In June I also made my own scrappy "Painted Ladies" quilt (pattern by Fig Tree & Co.). This is another instance of me wanting to make my own version of a sample I'd previously sewn.

 In June I also made my very first red and white quilt using my pattern "Tribute." This quilt can be made using a jelly roll.

In July I finished my first blue and white quilt using the blocks from Monique Dillard's "Blogger Girl's Block of the Month 2013." Guess what...she is starting a new free block of the month quilt for 2014, and it begins tomorrow...of course I'll be quilting along again!

 In July I also finished "Shine," another of my quilt designs. This is another quilt that was a lot of fun to make!

By August I had already started some market sewing, but my Fig Tree "Farmer's Wife" quilt came home from the quilter that month...and I was able to add the binding! September was spent doing market sewing and some upcoming magazine projects that I'll be able to share soon!

 In October I finished up two new patterns-- "Splash" which is a terrific quilt for using your scraps (and those versatile 2 1/2" squares)...

And "Blossoms"...another quilt great for jelly rolls or your scraps.

My Moda Bella solids sampler quilt was another October finish. I detailed all of the progress on this quilt throughout the year on the Moda Cutting Table blog where I have lots of ideas for posts for 2014.

 While looking through my November photos I realized I was full-swing into making Christmas gifts...and the only quilt I finished that month was my favorite mini--my "Mini Swoon" (pattern by Camille Roskelley). I have more mini quilts on my list for 2014 for sure!

Of course there was more Christmas sewing in December, but I did manage to finish up my scrappy Christmas "Trip around the World" quilt.

And I finished up my "On a Whim" quilt (pattern by Camille Roskelley) using my Anna Maria Horner fabric stash. I'm actually just finishing up the binding on this one today. My husband has to work tonight, so I'll be sewing and quilting for New Year's Eve!

In reflecting on the past year, I must say it was a good one--an amazing one, in fact. I know such incredible amazing people in "real life" and on-line and must thank every one of you for your kindness and generosity--truly, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I learned a lot, appreciated the support of family and friends everywhere, and really did come to have a good understanding of where I want to go in 2014. I hope you and yours have a wonderful New Year!

PS. I'd love to know if you have any thoughts about what you'd like to see in the new year here on A Quilting Life! Please leave a comment if you have some thoughts on this topic!

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Fresh Family Traditions Pre-Orders

Hello and happy Monday...the last Monday of the year...amazing how fast 2013 has flown by!

March is just around the corner, and with it will come the release of my second book, Fresh Family Traditions. I can hardly wait to see it in print! I'm now taking pre-orders for signed copies (US shipping only--if you are interested in international shipping please email me so I can research the shipping costs and set up a custom listing).  My copies will be available in March, about a month before they will be available on Amazon. There is a link to purchase these copies directly under the book cover photo on the right hand side of this page.

I'd also like to share some year-end sales information:

 *ChristaQuilts.com is having a huge inventory reduction sale! Christa is

 clearing out all of her yardage fat quarters, notions and patterns so she
  can have for time for the fun stuff - quilting! Everything is on sale at
  20% - 50% off the regular prices. Shop early for best selection and pick
  up great bargains on some of the best premium fabrics for both modern and
 traditional quilts!*

Southern Fabric is also having an end of the year sale--save up to 50% on hundreds of items. Also, sign up for their newsletter on their blog to receive a 10%  coupon for your next order..  

Dragonfly Fabrics also has some after-Christmas sales with 10-50% off select items.

Hope you enjoy the last couple of days of the year--thanks so much for stopping by!

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Quilt Block Piecing 2: AP & Q Quilt Along

Well...Christmas was wonderful...the halls haven't been "un-decked" yet, but I was anxious to get sewing again, and so I spent a good amount of time yesterday working on my "Tone it Down" quilt for the American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt Along. When I last posted I had completed just 3 of the 20 blocks, and I've now finished up 10! I am absolutely in love with this quilt!

 As I mentioned in my previous posts, I first made a test block (or two or three) and then decided to utilize chain-piecing to get all of the small segments pieced for every block. I believe it really saved a lot of time. I also went through and made piles of the background pieces--making sure that there was a good mix of my different background fabrics in each pile.

On Friday I went over to Camille's to sew, and the plan for the day was that we would both work on this quilt. It really is fun working on a project with a friend so you can talk about different ideas. I was able to watch as Camille played with the layout of her sashings and began sewing her quilt together. And she was able to give me some great tips! As I started to lay out a block on the floor...she suggested I just put all of the pieces for one block in individual piles right at my sewing area. Then, with a quilt diagram right in front of me I could easily chain piece the sections together.

She suggested sewing the first two sections in row one then the first two sections in row two followed by the first two sections in row three...and so on. Then I went back and added the third section to each row, continuing on until all the rows had the proper sections. Since I had the block diagram right in front of me everything stayed in proper order. I took the whole chain-pieced block to the ironing board, ironed every piece toward the background fabrics, and then returned to my machine to sew the rows together.

This method went incredibly fast, and when I got home I put together 6 more blocks in no time at all! 

 So here I am...10 more blocks to make...all of them stacked up in neat little piles. I think I might be able to finish up the blocks this afternoon!

 I am really in love with the quilt. All of my blocks don't have the perfect contrast, but I love them anyway! I'm pretty partial to chain quilts, and this one is perhaps the prettiest design I've made.

Camille snapped this photo with her phone when we were sewing yesterday...I just had to post it because her fabric shelves in the background are just so dreamy!

Okay...here are the links to the other AP&Q "Quilt-a-Long" blogs. Each quilter is making a stunning version of this project, and they all have wonderful tips and insights to share. No matter your preferred style, you are sure to find a version of this quilt that inspires you, so be sure to visit these blogs and look for their Quilt A Long posts.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Amy Ellis from Amy's Creative Side
Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs
Camille Roskelley of Simplify
Carrie Nelson of La Vie En Rosie
Jane Davidson of Quilt Jane
Kimberly Jolly of the Fat Quarter Shop Jolly Jabber
Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings
Lissa Alexander--Moda Lissa (the quilt designer)
and Jennifer Keltner, executive editor of American Patchwork & Quilting, at All People Quilt 

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Just stopping by...

to wish you a Merry Christmas from our house to yours! (This is our first picture without any of our children in I don't know how many years...but three of the four will be here today...yay!)

And we get to talk to our youngest...this funny kid who is in Virginia serving a mission for our Church...tomorrow! Merry Christmas!!!

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Monday, December 23, 2013

A Little More Christmas Quilting

On Friday I had some time to do one last bit of Christmas quilting...but first I stitched up the latest block in the Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery Block of the Month. I absolutely love house blocks and couldn't wait to make this one. I even added the sashing strips so the next block is ready to go. I can't believe this was block 7...the year has gone so quickly!

 I tried something new this time and used the "Alphabitties" Fat Quarter Shop had sent over for me to try. I have to say they worked wonderfully. I normally cut my block and arrange the pieces in alphabetical order on my design board. But sometimes after using a few of the pieces it's hard to figure out which pieces are which. Using these little squares made it a cinch to sew my block together. I'll definitely be using them again and again.

 Later in the afternoon on Friday I decided to make a pattern I'd been wanting to try for a little while. These are curling iron/flat iron storage travel cases from the "Travel Essentials" pattern by ForAnnie. Now I don't know about anyone else, but I am always the last person to put my bag in the car when we travel because I'm always waiting for my curling iron to cool down. This nifty case solves the problem.

Your hot curling iron or flat iron slides into the large main pocket, and the cords tuck neatly into the outer pocket. I made these for some of the girls in our family...hopefully I got the colors right. I have a daughter who loves browns, a daughter whose favorite color right now is coral, and a sister-in-law who loves purples. Oh, and the aqua one...I might have made that one for me!

Finally, I stitched up a couple of these "Abby's Treasure Box" bags (terrific pattern by Sherri Falls of This & That). These have been my "go to" bag for a few years now...I've made dozens and have even taught these as a class. Seeing 20 women all finish this pattern in less than a couple of hours was so much fun!  Anyway...it's on to the cleaning and final menu preparations...we have 12 coming for dinner on Tuesday evening!

Also...congratulations to Lynne Tilley who is the winner of the Dragonfly Fabrics giveaway!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Quilting Projects and a Winner

It has definitely been busy around here...but I finally finished the last gifts that have to be mailed, so I'm kind of feeling like I'll be able to get everything finished up. Along with working on Christmas gifts this week, I've been trying to sneak in the time to bind two quilts that just arrived home from Abby.  

 My "On a Whim" quilt (pattern by Camille Roskelley) made with Anna Maria Horner fabrics, the grey dot from Camille's Happy Go Lucky collection and Moda Bella White is home! Abby did a perfect large-scale Baptist Fan pattern that adds to the modern look and feel of the quilt but yet doesn't overwhelm the strong pattern and prints. Abby has a terrific sense of proportion when she chooses the pattern size for quilting, and I'm so happy to have found her! I am absolutely in love with this!

The back of the quilt is fun, too. I'm so glad I went with the large-scale Lou-Louthi print for backing. I'm hoping to get the binding sewn on in the evenings this weekend!

 I've also been making "Divided Baskets" (pattern by Anna of Noodlehead). I've had this pdf for a while and am glad I finally tried it out. I highly recommend this pattern--It was extremely easy to to follow and very well-written. I did go with the recommendation to use Shape-Flex and Fusible Fleece for a sturdier basket, and I'm glad I went that route. I will definitely be making more of these fun baskets--they are so "useable." The basket is a great size...I'm going to store fabric in mine (of course), but this would be awesome for a child's room...a baby's room (cute diaper storage) and even for storage in a family room.

 I was so worried about making the divider, but it was super easy--again--the directions were excellent.

 My scrappy trip around the world--Christmas version is almost finished, too. It arrived in the same box as my Anna Maria Horner quilt, and I've been doing a little binding each night.

I'm using a solid red Moda Bella solid for the binding which is just perfect. I can't believe I'll be using this in time for Christmas! Thanks again, Abby!

Also, congratulations to Anita who is the winner of the Southern Fabrics  $25 gift certificate giveaway! 

I'll be back soon with another post on my American Patchwork & Quilting quilt!  Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Dragonfly Fabrics Giveaway

Hello! I have one more fabric giveaway to share with you today; this is the last one of the year, and it's a good one! Dragonfly Fabrics is offering a $25 gift certificate to one of my readers! Dragonfly fabrics offers beautiful designer quilting fabrics, pre-cut quilt fabric, and luxury minky bubble dot fabrics.

 In addition, they feature a new SALE each week, and this week's sale fabrics are Reminisce and Tule by Art Gallery Fabrics. These fabrics are all 20% off (discounts are applied in the shopping cart, so add items to the cart to see the discount).


You can browse Dragonfly Fabrics by collection, color, designer, manufacturer, or style--so it's easy to find what you're looking for. To enter the giveaway, just visit Dragonfly Fabrics then come back to leave a comment mentioning your favorite fabric collection...for a second entry, sign up for the Dragonfly Fabrics newsletter at the top of the home page.

I'll keep the giveaway open through Saturday the 21st. Also, Dragonfly fabrics has provided a code for A Quilting Life blog readers to use through the 21st: Enter the code AQL15 into the coupon box at checkout for a 15% off discount of your purchase order total.

Thanks so much for stopping by...good luck with the giveaway. I'll be back soon to share my weekend sewing!
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