Saturday, November 30, 2013

Quilt Finishes and Progress

I've been going about the last couple of days doing little bits of this and that...finishing up a few things, making progress on a few others, and thinking of new projects to start! I did get my Mini Swoon quilt bound and am so excited to have two completed mini quilts now.

I used the aqua diagonal stripe from Scrumptious for my binding and just did a simple straight line quilting with lines 1" apart.

I am planning to make the mini Spools quilt right away, too...although these mini quilts are so addicting they are keeping me from my Christmas sewing.

I really want to get my scrapy Christmas trip around the world trip finished up in time to use this year as well, so I cut up some  more of my Christmas fabrics and made 5 more blocks yesterday.

One more batch of blocks and I should be able to get the quilt ready for quilting!

I also finished up another "stripey" binding on a Dresden Christmas pillow using the Christmas Dresden pillow pattern from my book A Quilting Life: Creating a Handmade Home .

I did a zipper back with a covered flap...I sure do love these Kate Spain Christmas fabrics!  Hope you are enjoying your weekend!  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Oh...just a little information on some of my upcoming posts...Schnibbbles parade tomorrow...a tutorial for the 2 1/2" squares table runner Monday...and my American Patchwork and Quilting Process Post Tuesday--see you soon!

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Final Solids Quilt Post and Happy Thanksgiving

I've been taking this evening and getting ready for the Thanksgiving festivities tomorrow. Our holiday is going to be a little smaller than normal with both of our daughters spending the day with their in-laws and our youngest son away serving a mission for our Church. But Thanksgiving is Thanksgiving, and as the 11th great-granddaughter of William Bradford I'm determined to celebrate at home with all of the fixings. Even if it is just my husband and oldest son and I (we are going to get together for a dessert party with friends later in the afternoon).  Anyway...I've had this post in draft stage for a little while and realized I'd never shown the final photos after my solids quilt was quilted.

Natalia did an amazing job with the quilting...I couldn't have been happier!

After auditioning several of my favorite Moda Bella solids I went with the grey for the just seemed to work best.

The whole quilt is just one happy ray of sunshine...I love each and every block!

I can't wait to make another solids quilt...this one was so much fun! (All the finishing details for this quilt can be found here).

I have a bundle ready for my next quilt!

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday if you are celebrating tomorrow! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Also, here are a couple of terrific holiday sales from some of my blog sponsors you might want to check out...first the Black Friday sale from Southern Fabric here. 

Rustic Rooster also has 20% off your total purchase (excludes Stella Lights) from now through Monday. Just enter the code TG13 in the coupon box at checkout!

Finally, go here to read about all the specials going on right now at Fabric Fly.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Weekend Quilting

Saturday was  the perfect rainy day--not only were we blessed with a steady and much needed rain, but I didn't have anywhere to go or anything on the calendar. To top it off, I had the house to myself. So with nothing to do but stay inside and sew I had created a pretty long list for myself. First up on the list was to sew Block 6 of the Fat Quarter Shop Mystery Designer Block of the Month. This month's block was designed by Kate Spain, and it was a fun one! I also decided to sew the first six blocks together to make it easier for finishing up this spring. The Fat Quarter Shop setting is a real beauty!

 Just a close up of the block...because it really was such so much fun to make!

Another project on my list was to work on my Christmas Scrappy Trip Around the World. This is my Bee's Knee's project for this year, and since I've received blocks from all but one bee member I decided to start sewing. I'm making a 30 block quilt, so I have some I'll need to make myself, but it sure felt good to get this much put together.

 I had some other things on my list, too. But then Camille posted her latest pattern...a mini Swoon. And of course I had to stop everything and make it. Because we all need mini Swoon quilts on the wall, right? Anyway...this filled up my Saturday evening, and by10ish when I finished I wasn't a bit sorry I'd put everything on the back burner to make this little quilt. I can't wait until I have a few minutes to quilt and bind it. I did get the binding ready, so it's all set! (Also, on a side-note, Camille also designed a mini Spools quilt which has already moved ahead of everything else on my list)!

 Now, I couldn't have felt good about working on all of these things without first catching up on my Bee blocks. I really like being involved with the Bee because it is so much fun to get to work on projects I might not have chosen on my own. First up were Melissa's improv Christmas trees. I was kind of dreading this project, but they ended up being pretty fun to piece.

Next up was Sinta's "Starry Eyed" block. This is a free Moda Bakeshop pattern, and I really, really loved working on it. The wonky stars are a perfect way to use charm squares, and I can really see making a scrappy version for myself using this pattern.

Finally, I finished the oldest block I had...Trish's smaller Swoon block.The bundle Trish used for her blocks had lots of pieces that weren't full fat quarters making it necessary to size down the pattern (thanks Lori). Unfortunately, since I'd already done a lot of cutting, some of my pieces weren't usable with the new design. Thank goodness for Etsy!

I'll be paying for all of this sewing on Monday when I have to grade an entire stack of papers before class Tuesday morning. Oh well, I think it was still worth it. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Christmas Quilting

 If you're here for my first post in the #APQquiltalong series you can find that post here. I'll have another post for that series coming up soon, too!

 My other sewing/quilting progress these days has been stitching up holiday gifts. Although I started a lot later than I planned, I'm starting to get a good little assortment finished up.

 I finished up my 2 1/2" square table runner with an aqua binding with just the perfect amount of red. The full tutorial for this runner is coming soon (hopefully this weekend)!

I also made a ruffle dish towel using this kit and pattern by Sweetwater. (I couldn't find the pattern separately on their site, but I think it's worth it to buy a kit and get the pattern...then you can use the pattern for as many dish towels as you'd like). I think I'm going to look for some plain white waffle towels and embellish them with Christmas ruffles as well. They go together quickly and easily, and who doesn't love a decorative dish towel or two at the holidays?

I'll definitely be making more potholders for Christmas this year, too. I love using the Moda Candy squares and being able to put these together quickly. I published a pdf file on Craftsy with my directions and some tips for making these.'s back to sewing for me. I'll be back soon--thanks so much for stopping by!

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Monday, November 18, 2013

American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt Along

Recently I shared this photo of some fabrics I've been collecting for a little while. Actually, some of my older American Jane fabrics that I've been saving for several years aren't even pictured here, and I'm using them along with these for a very special quilt.

A little while ago I was asked if I might be interested in joining an on-line quilt along for an upcoming quilt in the American Patchwork & Quilting magazine. The quilt was designed by Lissa Alexander and appears in the February 2014 issue which debuts tomorrow! Be on the lookout for this issue if you're a subscriber (or you may have just recently received it). My issue hasn't yet arrived, but it seems that I'm always a week or two behind every one I see in blog land. The issue should also be available soon at your local quilt shop.

This quilt is one of those quilts...incredible...amazing...wonderful...the kind that goes on your quilting bucket list at first sight. can be made using scraps--fat quarters, jelly roll strips, small pieces...even extra layer cake squares work with this pattern. I've certainly had a lot of fun collecting and assembling my fabric stack for this project.

Lissa's quilt is named "Tone it Down" and features scrappy brights along with an equally eclectic mix of low-volume fabrics. Her quilt was quilted by the incredibly talented Natalia of Piece N Quilt.

I knew my American Jane reserves were the perfect place to start...and I've been happily cutting strips from a lot of different collections and mixing and matching bits and pieces. I'm  finally using some fabrics that literally have been sitting in a drawer for more than 5 years...and they add so much variety and interest when mixed with the more recent American Jane fabrics (I even snagged a FQ bundle of the upcoming Ducks in a Row at Sample Spree knowing it would add just what I needed for this quilt).

 The instructions in the magazine offer two different options: a strip pieced method of block construction and a "super scrappy" construction method. I found the best way for me to work was to use the strip piecing method for my brights. I was able to use a lot of layer cake pieces for my strips; however, I also cut into some fat quarters.  The cutting went fast, and soon I had all of the neat little piles I needed to  piece my entire quilt.

The next thing I needed to decide was what to do about the "low volume" or background fabric selection. And you know what...I happily found that there are a lot of American Jane "low volume" prints out there. I've been having a little fun on Ebay and Etsy and have ordered some of these prints from as far away as Alaska! I have a couple more pieces that should be arriving any day to add into this mix. For some of these low volume pieces I used fat quarters or 1/2 yards, but there were a couple that I purchased an entire yard of: the black dot on cream and the small floral on cream. I've also used extra charm squares, layer cake squares, and jelly roll strips of the American Jane low-volume pieces to cut my backgrounds.

I'm having a lot of fun with this quilt and can't wait to share more of my progress. Now, there are quite a few others participating in the quilt along...

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
and Jennifer Keltner, executive editor of American Patchwork & Quilting, at All People Quilt 

I, along with each of these women, (I'm so honored to have been asked to quilt along) will be making a unique version of the quilt and sharing  thoughts and tips on the construction along the way. We will be posting updates on our progress for you to follow along on our blogs and social media. I hope you'll join in the fun in creating this wonderful quilt and use the hashtag #APQquiltalong when you post about it!  So, are you ready to join in and Tone it Down?!

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Things: Quilts and More...

Happy Friday! I have several fun things to talk about be sure to keep reading! First of all, I finished my "On a Whim" quilt (pattern by Camille Roskelley). I really did start this quilt on a whim, so the pattern is appropriately named! I decided to use 20 different fabrics instead of the 10 the pattern called for, and it seemed like a perfect way to use up my Anna Maria Horner fabrics (some I'd been hoarding saving for years). I used Moda Bella white (9900 97) for my white and the grey dot from Happy Go Lucky for the contrast background. You know, for some reason this was just a really fun finish. Even though you enjoy the process and watch a quilt coming together over the period of time you're working on it, there is just nothing like finishing up and ironing that final border!

I had purchased one of my favorite AMH prints from the Lou Louthi collection for the backing and think I'll use the orange feather print for binding.  I hope I haven't over-grammed or over-blogged this quilt, but it is truly a favorite.

Thanks so much for the wonderful response to Simply Small Sewing, too! It did take quite a bit of time to send out those emails, and I appreciate all of the kind comments and thank you's. To think I thought I'd be emailing only about 50 people! I've sent out all the free patterns now, and if you didn't get one, it means I wasn't able to contact you through your comment (your comment account is set up as "no reply"). The patterns are available in my Craftsy shop for download, though. And, I have already received a couple of photos of table runners that have already been made. Thanks so very much for the support! I'm already planning next month's project, too! In fact, if you love 2 1/2" squares as I do, you might want to hop over to the Moda Cutting Table blog for another 2 1/2" square post I've got over there today. (But be sure to come back here to finish reading this post).

And...I'm happy to announce that I'll be teaching at the Small Town Quilt Show this summer at the Zermat resort! I'm so honored to be teaching--when you see the other teachers you'll know why--Natalia and Kathleen have assembled a phenomenal group of teachers, and yes, I think I want to take just about every class!

And, here is what I'll be teaching. First up is a class for my Hexagon bag, first published in American Patchwork & Quilting and also published in my first book A Quilting Life: Creating a Handmade Home . I always enjoy teaching this bag as a class--it's a terrific bag that even a beginner sewer/quilter can finish up in a day. The hexagons are machine sewn, and I've also made some terrific updates and additions to the pattern, so you have a few more choices as far as interior pockets and handle construction.

I'm also doing a fun lecture on my upcoming book Fresh Family Traditions: 18 Heirloom Quilts for a New Generation (it will be out by the date of the retreat). I'll be sharing the book quilts, some of my family quilts (which were the inspiration for the book) and will also be talking about finding inspiration for your quilting.  Registration opens TODAY at 8 a.m Mountain Standard Time. Go here for all of the information and details!

Okay...well that's all of my news for today...thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Simply Small--Projects with 2 1/2" Squares

Hello! And welcome to the first month of Simply Small Sewing! On the 10th of each month I'll be presenting a project idea (and sometimes several ideas) to help you use up your 2 1/2" squares. If you participate, please send in a photo of your finished project for me to share the next month when I present the next project idea! I even have Moda Candy squares, patterns and fabric to give away to participants. I'll feature all sorts of patterns and ideas and also share tutorials on some of the techniques so beginner sewers and quilters can participate  as well.

For this month's project I wanted to feature a project perfect for your holiday gift giving. I've designed a simple table runner with 2 1/2" charm squares and have instructions for two different sizes of runners. These runners will be perfect in holiday fabrics or in everyday fabrics for year-round use.

 The pattern is available for download in my Craftsy shop.

Just leave a comment on this post, and I'll email the PDF file. If you are a "no reply" blogger be sure to leave an email address in your comment. (I'll e-mail patterns as soon as possible after getting your comment).

I made my two sample runners the other day in just a couple of hours. I used Fig Tree 2 1/2" squares from the upcoming Mirabelle collection, and I also made a holiday version using the Winter's Lane collection for Moda (I still need to bind my Christmas version).

If you're at all concerned about adding the side setting triangles, don't worry...I have a tutorial coming up soon to help with that technique.

So what do you think? Are you ready to start using your 2 1/2" squares?

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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