Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Quilting Round Up 2014



It's hard to believe that the last day of 2014 has arrived. It was kind of a different year for me and was actually filled with a mixture of life experiences both good and a little on the difficult side (I'm a "glass half-full" kind of person). I'm grateful for many things, and I'm filled with hope and anticipation for 2015. I also have some fun things I'll get to share with you sometime during the new year--I'll definitely keep you posted on those!

It was fun to go through my photos and kind of review the year in projects...I didn't add everything to the collage, but I tried to get a good sample of things that were true finishes for the year. As I went through the photos, I was reminded of a few projects that were started and that I need to get finished!



Just before Christmas I cut out Camille's "Starlight" pattern using Moda Bella White, Moda Dottie in aqua, and a Fat 1/8 bundle of Kate Spain's Sunnyside collection. Even though this is a jelly roll pattern, the bundle was perfect...I was able to cut the strips I needed and also cut a strip from each fabric for a scrappy binding.  I've actually made this quilt once before as I made one of the samples for Camille when she first wrote her pattern; I've been wanting to make one for me ever since. So...goal from 2013 accomplished! 

Finally...the most important thing I want to do in this post is express my appreciation for everyone who reads my blog. I truly appreciate your kind words and comments, your suggestions and inspiration, and your friendship and support. I'm happy to be able to be a part of this wonderful on-line creative community. I hope you have a wonderful and joyful New Year, and I'm looking forward to sharing and learning along with you in 2015. Happy New Year!
Shop Note: because of the VAT problem (a tax issue for anyone selling digital products to anyone in the EU). I'm going to have to discontinue my PDF pattern sales on Etsy and Craftsy starting January 1st until those sites work out the details for collecting those taxes. Paper patterns will still be available on my Etsy site as usual. Because of this...all PDF patterns are 30% off today in the Etsy shop with the code "THANKYOU1."


Thanks so much for stopping by!


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Monday, December 29, 2014

Dresden Plate Tutorial and Scrap Quilting





Happy Monday! There are just a few more days left in 2014, but I've already made some plans for the blog in 2015. While reviewing my posts from this year (I'll do a recap post later this week) I realized that I really need to make more scrap quilts in 2015. So I thought it would be fun to post about sewing with scraps every Monday in the new year. I'll share my scrappy progress each week and also have a linky tool here on the blog so everyone can post and link up with their scrap sewing for the year...I hope it sounds fun...I know it will motivate me to get sewing with more scraps. And it will be extra fun to be able to search the links and see even more scrappy inspiration.

I'll begin next Monday and have everything set up so you can add your photo/link that day as well! I will also have a blog button finished next week...and if you don't have a blog I'll have an option for you to share your progress as well.



One of my favorite ways to use scraps is to make scrappy Dresden Plate blocks...and so I've created a video tutorial on assembling this block.




The tutorial was filmed in two parts--the first part is up now and covers making and assembling the Dresden blade part of the block.




 

Or, you can watch the video on You Tube here. Hope you enjoy it!

Part 2 will be up next week--it shares my technique for making the center circle on the Dresden block.



Get ready for fun scrap sewing in 2015...thanks so much for stopping by!


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Friday, December 26, 2014

Last Minute Gifts




 I always love the days after Christmas. It seems like not only a good time to rest up from the holiday season but also a time to get organized for the new year. I have some fun things coming up in 2015, and so I will be taking the next few days to do a little planning! But first I want to share these quick boxy pouches I made on Christmas Eve.







 I used the pattern Quick Zip Cases and really loved the simplicity. I did make one using the larger size (not pictured), but these four cases were all made using the smaller size. The smaller size is definitely big enough for sewing supplies, makeup, device cords and chargers, or whatever you want to use them for. There are no unfinished edges as you bind the two raw edges on the inside. And do they ever sew up fast!  I used Soft & Stable for the stabilizer, and quilted with simple straight lines about an inch apart before beginning.



I made three for gifts and actually have one left over so I'll have a gift on hand!




I also have a couple of sales to mention in case you're doing any on-line shopping today...Fort Worth Fabric Studio has a site-wide 20% off all in stock items – includes already reduced/sale items!   Use code holiday2014, good through Saturday, December 27.




Lady Belle Fabric has:
  • Half Yards starting at $2.50
  • 15% off fat quarter bundles
  • 10% off jelly rolls
  • 10% off layer cakes
  • 10% off charm packs
  • 10% off Quilt Kits
With no coupon code needed! Sale goes from December 26 - 31.


Thanks so much for stopping by!


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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas






Merry Christmas! I love this video...it shows and shares what Christmas is truly about! I love the hashtag, too...#ShareTheGift!

May you have a wonderful Christmas holiday and peace and joy in the coming year!

Thanks so much for stopping by!



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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

More Christmas Gift Sewing


 I keep thinking of more things to make...as I usually do at this point in the Christmas season. But I'm a little further ahead than usual this year...I think. I've determined that after today there will be no more Christmas sewing--what gets done will be what gets done. I think at some point every year I just need to set a deadline for myself so I can really enjoy the spirit of the season.







 But on Saturday I used some of my favorite Christmas scraps to make one more stocking for a sweet baby celebrating her first Christmas. I especially love the fabric on the cuff, but there isn't any designer or manufacturer information on the portion of the selvedge I have. Does anyone know what fabric it is?

I actually used a Scrappy Trip Around the World block along with half of another Scrappy Trip block for the patchwork--it made a nice design on the front of the stocking.



 I also sewed a couple of super soft flannel pillowcases. I always use this tutorial for the Roll it Up method from American Patchwork & Quilting. They go together quickly and easily, and since I use French Seams there aren't any raw edges anywhere on the cases.




I just have a few more zipper bags to make...depending on how the day goes I'll either use a super simple pattern or maybe try to get some more Mini Sew Together Bags put together.

Then I'll get something ready to sew after Christmas that is just for me...my tradition every year! 




Oh, and did you see the first of four surveys this week over at Sew, Mama, Sew? The first survey asks about your favorite Sewing & Quilting books this year. I'm so very honored to have my book, Fresh Family Traditions included on the list. If you are interested in voting...go here...you can vote for up to five books.

 Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Mini Charm Mix



 Today I'm sharing my version of Fat Quarter Shop's most recent pre-cut pattern, the "Mini Charm Mix" which uses 3 Moda Candy packs. This was a fast and fun quilt to make...the hardest part was deciding on fabrics. I was going to use holiday fabrics at first, but then I thought a nice spring runner to brighten things up when I take down the Christmas decorations would be just the ticket.







I finally decided on Fresh Cut by Basic Grey for Moda which will be out later this spring. For binding I used Moda Dottie in aqua, and for my backing I used the Moda Quattro in Grey.



 For my solid off-white background fabric I used Moda Bella Snow...



 And now I have a runner all ready for my dining room table. The runner finishes at a nice size--14 1/2" x 59 1/2"--narrow and long enough for a dining table, but of course you can vary the number of blocks if you need to make it longer or shorter. You can download the free pattern for this runner here. The free pattern download also includes instructions for a crib size and lap size version.


Fat Quarter Shop also has a fun video tutorial for this on You Tube that you can view here.

This would make a great after Christmas project...simple, fun sewing!  

Thanks so much for stopping by!


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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Happy Saturday



Happy Saturday before Christmas! I went out shopping yesterday with the hope that it might be my last excursion for store-bought gifts (and I think I accomplished that goal). I still have some things to sew and quilt, and of course I'll be doing a bit more grocery shopping, but I'm home for the weekend...yay!

Pictured above is a stocking for my youngest son who is in Virginia for Christmas serving a mission for our Church. All of his packages were delivered this week, and it makes me feel good knowing he got something handmade from his Mom! I thought these penguins were perfect...they almost look like they are wearing suits and ties...and the flannel polka dot just seemed perfect for the cuff!

Before starting my final round of Christmas gift sewing I did a little cleaning up (amazing how often that needs to happen this time of year). And I couldn't help but sew my finished red and white Moda Modern Building Blocks together. I have two of the sections complete, and it's good to have at least these blocks all in one piece.
 



 
I know I won't have a chance to work on this again until after Christmas, but it will help me with my fabric choices for the remaining blocks to be able to pull this out when deciding on which fabrics to place where.


And...did you know that all Craftsy classes are on sale from now through December 25th for just $19.99. If you've been thinking about a quilting or sewing class, now is definitely the time to sign up!

I've got something fun to share on Monday...thanks so much for stopping by...and have a wonderful weekend!


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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

SnapShots Quilt Along



I'm happy to announce that I'm participating in the Fat Quarter Shop Snapshots quilt along benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital! (For information on donations, go here).


The Snapshots quilt along will feature Day Sail fabric by Bonnie & Camille, and you can now pre-order kits and patterns from Fat Quarter Shop here. These will be available in early February.

All of the information on this fun quilt along can be found over at the Jolly Jabber blog here.  And there is even an introductory YouTube video available as well...find that here.




I've already made my first three blocks...it's going to be such a fun quilt. I'll be posting about the blocks on the 15th of each month beginning in January. Hope you'll quilt along!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


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Monday, December 15, 2014

Red and White Quilt Blocks



 My Red and White (and low-volume) Moda Building Blocks quilt has been a lot of fun to work on during the Christmas season. I first posted about this quilt here and here. It's been hard not to work on it more frequently, but I still have gifts to make!

This weekend I promised myself that if I checked a few things off of my list I could make a block for this quilt.

As you can tell...







 I couldn't stop with just one block. At first I was just going to make this block from Section B. But it went together pretty quickly...


  
So I made one more (since it was just straight line sewing of course).




But then I realized that by making the giant block remaining in that section I'd soon be able to complete Section B and then join it to section A. I'll share that finish soon, I'm sure...but that will probably have to be it until the rest of my gifts are sewn.

What about you...are you still working on gifts? 




Last thing...I'll be sharing this soon...made with Moda Candy squares of Fresh Cut by Basic Grey for Moda.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Small Quilts: Candy Box Table Toppers



Happy Saturday! Today I have some fun small quilts to share made with my Candy Box Table Topper pattern. This time of year is always busy, and it's been fun to see the different versions--many of them made especially for this time of year!



First up is Sue's Christmas version...so fun!



 Next up is another fun holiday version by Donna.


 Hildy made this fun red and pink quilt...love it (and wait until you see her mini Shine for the January Schnibbles parade...she's already finished and sent in her photo)!


 Jackie changed it up a little...such a fun "peppermint twist" version!


 Janet used fresh fall colors for her version.

 And Lee is ready for spring with her quilt!


 Mindy sent in this beautiful photo of her quilt.



 And we'll finish out the parade with Sharon's mini!

Thanks so much to everyone who sent in their photos! We'll take December off and start back with Simply Small projects on January 10! 

Thanks so much for stopping by!


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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Favorites


 Happy Wednesday...for just a little longer...today was supposed to be my Simply Small post; however, this is the last week of my semester, and I have final papers, re-write papers, and final exams to grade. Then there are grades to figure and get turned in. So since I had my favorites post ready to go...here it is...and I'll post the Simply Small parade this weekend!

Of course Moda Bella Solids are my favorite...and since I just got a new color card recently, it had to be the first thing on my list. I love Bella solids...love the colors, but most of all I love the way they feel and the way they sew. I should also mention I love their quality!









 Today I also have a few books on my list...because somehow I got a little reading done this fall (other than English 101 papers). First up is this journal that I heard about from Camille a few years ago. One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book is a simple journal that even a busy person can keep up with. There are just a few spaces for each day, and it isn't dated, so the journal lasts for years. It's fun to see what I wrote a year or two earlier on the same day. I bought a couple of these for gifts this year.



 Because I have some new things I want to work on in 2015, I've felt the need to get organized before the end of the year. And this book is wonderful. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing is translated from Japanese, and some of the ideas are a little different than what I'm used to in terms of American culture; however, I have absolutely been delighted to read this. I've become aware of how some of my ideas on organizing need to be thought about differently; the author's ideas are refreshing, and her methods have made it easier for me to do some major de-cluttering and organizing.




I saw this book on a couple of blogs this fall...Carrie's I think...and Elizabeth's...anyway, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative is a quick refreshing read on creativity which I want to re-read. There are lots of great quotes and ideas inside, and I loved the fact that it can be read in one sitting.  Sometimes you just need a book like that.




  
I saw this on Instagram...another book suggestion from Camille. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less  was more than life-changing for me. I read it right before quilt market and want to read it again over the Christmas break. It really makes you think about what you want to spend time doing and gives you realistic and workable techniques to make the changes you want to make. I've read time management and organizing books for many years, and I can honestly say this is the one that has helped me the most.




 This one just arrived...and I can tell it's a good one. The Little Spark - 30 Ways to Ignite Your Creativity is another fun book on creativity with lots of fun ideas to get your own creative spark "ignited." I'm going to dig into this over the break, too.

If you have any inspirational/organizing/or creative reads to recommend...I'd love to hear about them in the comments section!




Finally...because...well there has to be fabric in a favorites post...right?! This is an upcoming collection by Basic Grey for Moda called Fresh Cut. I fell in love with it at quilt market and will be sewing up a new pattern with it as soon as those grades are turned in.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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