Saturday, November 29, 2014

Weekend Quilting

 I'm always ready for Christmas as soon as the dishes from the Thanksgiving meal are cleaned up and put away. And I couldn't wait to add the borders to my Instagram Sew Along quilt (pattern and sew-along by Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet).

 I had so much fun piecing this quilt from my Christmas scrap bin. I did add in some Moda Dottie, some Bonnie & Camille fabric, and even a piece from April Rosenthal's Best. Day. Ever. collection.

I even had a piece big enough for the backing in my stash...I got it on clearance a couple of years ago and have been saving it for just the right project.

And I did get a little Christmas decorating started as well. First up was to put some Christmas quilts on the quilt ladder in the front entryway!

Hope you have a wonderful rest of the weekend. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Sale Info

Happy Black Friday! I'm going to be spending the day doing a little decorating and a little sewing. If you're doing any on-line shopping today here are some great deals you should know about.

Fat Quarter Shop:

We have 25% OFF the entire store for 2 days only!
Starting on FRIDAY, November 28th at 12:01 am CST until SATURDAY, November 29th at Midnight CST.
*Terms: Coupon code not required, product prices will show at marked down price. Offer excludes clubs, programs, pre-orders and purchase of gift certificates.

Fort Worth Fabric Studio:
From November 26th through December 1 enjoy 30% off ALL Holiday House AND 20% of ALL, Bundles, Pre-cuts, and Kits.  There is no discount needed - discounts will automatically pop into the shopping cart!

 Lady Belle Fabric:

-half yards starting at $2.50
-fat quarter bundles only that day will be 15% off. 
-No coupon code will needed for anything. 
-free shipping on orders over $75

Southern Fabric:  25% off or more on the entire store.  25% off all full priced items and hundreds of markdowns for up to 50% off.

 Craftsy: Classes $19.99 or less! 

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Red & White Quilt & Binding Tutorial

I finally had a chance to start piecing my Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt. The pattern is absolutely wonderful, and Moda has also created a kit using Bella solids to make the original project. I've been wanting to make a red and white quilt for a while, and after seeing the Ruby exhibit of red and white quilts in Houston this fall I was determined to start right away.

 At first I was only going to make a couple of blocks...just so I could officially say I had begun. But the blocks were so much fun to make that I stayed up later and later, all the time saying, "Oh, I'll make just one more block and have another cut out and ready to sew tomorrow." Of course I didn't stop until all of the blocks for the first section were complete.

If you're making the quilt using fabrics from your stash, it's a good idea to piece everything section by section. If you're following the pattern and using the Bella solids kit you can piece the blocks in any order as long as you keep them organized.

Section 1 had one large block, three medium sized blocks and 6 small blocks. I saved the largest block for last...a little nervous about it since the measurements weren't standard sizes. But it went together beautifully--I did, however, measure, cut carefully and take it slow because of being a little nervous.

All of these blocks are ready to be sewn together into Section 1. I probably won't be able to make any more until after Thanksgiving, but I'm really excited to keep sewing this project.

I think I might need to make the original quilt now, too.

I've added two new YouTube videos: a binding tutorial in two parts you can find them on my YouTube channel or watch here. First is part 1:

And part 2:

Thanks so much for stopping by!

This post originally appeared on A Quilting Life
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Scraps Inc. Richmond

photo courtesy ©Lucky Spool Media, LLC

Meet Richmond, one of my most favorite quilts! About a year ago I was invited to contribute to a compilation book, Scraps, Inc.Vol.1: 15 Block-Based designs for the Modern Quilter, that would have fifteen different scrap quilt projects. I didn't even have to think twice about my answer (an immediate "yes") when I saw the email was from Susanne Woods, and when I saw the other contributors I was honored and quite a bit intimidated to be included in such an amazing creative group.

I had a lot of fun piecing my quilt almost completely from my scrap bin (I ended up having to order just a bit of fabric for the binding). The grey background fabric is actually the grey on grey polka dot from Bonnie & Camille's Happy Go Lucky collection--I love that grey and have used it in a lot of projects.

I love the quilting on this quilt, too...

The fabulous quilting was done by my friend Natalia Bonner; she created the perfect combination of feathers and more modern lines.Did I mention this was one of my favorite quilts? Even though I think it's more of a masculine quilt, both of my daughters have mentioned that they want it. I'm keeping it for me for now, though!

Every project in this book is perfectly suited for using your scraps; there are several I want to make right away. This book is a great addition to your quilting library and would also make a terrific gift for any of your quilting friends!

Use code “SCRAPS30” to get 30% off the original price of Scraps, lnc. (Vol.1).  Offer expires 12/1/2014 at 11:59 EST. Click Scraps30.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I'll be back tomorrow to share my works in progress!

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Vintage Vibe Blog Tour

Photo Courtesy of Martingale and Brent Kane, Photographer

Happy Monday! Today I'm happy to posting for the Vintage Vibe blog tour! Vintage Vibe is a recently released quilting book written by my friend Amber Johnson. It's a great book with 14 projects in a variety of sizes, all pieced in fun fabric combinations. If you visit all of the blogs listed on the blog tour list below you'll find there are even a few chances to win an e-copy of the book!

I love all things vintage, so as soon as I heard the title of Amber's book I couldn't wait to see it! And it is wonderful! Since I'm in love with vintage canning jars and have a collection of jars gifted to me by my grandmother and some good friends, I chose to feature Amber's "Scrap Jars" quilt for my post. Even before I saw the photo of this quilt I knew I would love it! I can think of quite a few fabric combinations I could use to make this quilt!

I hope you'll visit the other stops on the tour and see some of Amber's other fun projects. The complete schedule is listed below.

11/11/14 - April @
11/18/14 - The Fat Quarter Shop @
11/24/14 - Sherri @
12/11/14 - Heather @
12/16/14 - Andy @
12/23/14 - Melissa @

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Favorites: Quilting with Scraps

 I've been playing with a lot of my scraps this week: I'm making my Christmas sampler from Lori Holt's Instagram quilt along with scraps from several of Kate Spain's Christmas collections along with just a few other prints. I've added in some DaySail, some Moda Dottie, some Central Park and Daydream as well as a piece of Best Day Ever.

Because I've been working so much out of my scrap bins this week, I thought today's Favorites post could be a "scraps edition." I've got a few ideas on scraps, some pictures of some of my favorite scrappy quilts,  and a round-up of links to some of my earlier posts on scrap quilts and scrap organization, storage, and use.

 My scrappy "Marcelle Medallion" really was pieced completely from my scrap bin. I challenged myself not to buy anything for this quilt. There were a few times I was tempted to order something because I was just a little short of having what I thought might be a "more perfect" fabric, but I'm glad I made do with what I had.

 My Farmer's Wife king-size quilt was made with only Fig Tree scraps. Again, for this quilt I didn't purchase any fabric. It was a lot of fun to see how the different collections played together...some of the earlier pieces were quite a few years older than the newer ones.

My Nested Churn Dash quilt (also king-sized) pieced this summer was put together from my Minick & Simpson stash. At first I didn't realize I'd have enough fabrics for such a large quilt, but just kept going. I did end up buying a few fat quarters of reds and creams right at the end to have the color combinations I wanted.

 I raided my Fig Tree stash again this summer to make my "Jumping Jacks" quilt. This one was a little harder to piece from scraps since the pieces were so large. I had to break into a couple of my fat quarter bundles for this one!

 Another one of my favorite scrappy quilts is my Christmas "Scrappy Trip Around the World" (pattern here). I've collected Christmas fabrics for quite a while, so this one was a lot of fun to put together. I think I have an idea for next year's Christmas quilt all ready too.

Finally, my "Tone it Down" quilt (designed by Lissa Alexander, pattern now available here) was made with my American Jane scraps. 

I really do love to combine collections, but I also love totally scrappy quilts and projects.

My favorite uses for scraps:

  • Hexagons
  • Dresdens
  • Tumblers
  • Four-patch blocks
  • Nine-patch blocks
  • String blocks
  • Log Cabin blocks 
  • Patchwork bags
  • Patchwork pillows
  • Patchwork potholders 
  • Patchwork table runners
  • Scrappy binding
Some of my earlier scraps posts you might want to review (or read if you are new to the blog):

  • Scrap Storage (this post is from my summer organizing series and talks about what sizes of scraps I keep). 
  • Tips for Sewing with Scraps (this post from September gives hints for scrap quilting. You can also see some of my scrappy log cabin blocks on this post.

What are you sewing with scraps?

Thanks so much for stopping by!

  My Second YouTube video is up and running here.

Oh, and congratulations to gailss who is the winner of the Lady Belle Fabric giveaway; I'll be emailing!

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Works in Progress: Tips for Quilting

Happy Wednesday! On Wednesday I try to share what I'm currently working on, and along with today's post I'm sharing some of my tips for efficient project sewing!

First up...the stack of fabrics above will soon be on the Moda Bake Shop. I'll be sure to let you know when that project post is up and ready to view.


 I've also been working on some simple patchwork pieces for some Christmas gifts. I'm always amazed at how much fun I have just sewing squares together!
The fabrics above are mostly from Aloha Girl with a little bit of Somerset added in (both collections by Fig Tree & Company for Moda).

  I also sewed up some of my favorite pieces from Horizon by Kate Spain.

And finally, these patchwork pieces are all from the Weeds collection by Me & My Sister Designs.

As I've been working on all of these projects and a few others I thought of some simple steps I take with every project that might be of interest to some of my here they are:

Tips for Quilting: Process Helps

  1. Begin by pulling fabrics. If you're using a coordinated fabric collection, you're off to a great start. Add in a few pieces from other collections for interest. If you need help in deciding on your combination of fabrics from your stash, try taking a picture. Sometimes it's easier to evaluate fabric choices in a photo than it is to evaluate them in person. The camera seems to catch things our natural eyes just don't get.
  2. Make some notes from your pattern. This might seem silly if you're following a pattern, but it really does make sense to keep a notebook handy. With my patchwork sections above I have notes on the sizes of solid pieces I need to cut to add to them. It just makes it easier for me to do the cutting if I have some hand-written notes detailing my thoughts. I sometimes add notes on any changes I might want to make as well. I used to try to keep all of these things in my head, but it just makes it so much easier to have my own reference notes.
  3. Cut pieces for blocks and keep them on a project board so they are ready to sew. I've used a lot of things for project boards in the past: paper plates, cookie sheets, clean pizza boxes, plastic containers, and batting-covered foam core board. It really helps to have things all in one place and ready to sew.
  4. Get a container for long-term projects. If you know you'll be working on something for an extended period of time it really makes sense to get a container specifically for that project. Scraps can be kept together for use in other blocks, and the whole project can be neatly put away without any worry of losing anything. The container can be a large zip lock bag or a plastic shoe box. I don't worry about storing in plastic if I know it's going to be for a relatively short time.
  5. Set realistic goals: some projects are just not going to be finished in a weekend...or a week...or even in a month. It really helps me to have a clear view of how much time a project will take. I like to have long-term projects to work on at all times, and I frequently change them up with short-term and quick projects.

I hope some of these tips have been of help! If you have any ideas on the subject, feel free to leave them in a comment...I'd love to hear your ideas!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Christmas Sampler

 Over the weekend I was able to catch up on the #haveyourselfaquiltylittlechristmas Instagram sew along. I shared my first four blocks here. There are a total of nine blocks now; we added cocoa stir sticks to the mug blocks and pieced an ornament, candle, and star. I was behind on my Christmas lights and Gingerbread block, so I finished those up, too!

 Now I'm caught up...

Every time I think I have a favorite block a new one comes along, and I change my mind.  Can't wait to see what is next and how they will all be put together!

Hope you got to sew this weekend! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sponsor Giveaway: Lady Belle Fabric

Happy weekend! Today I'm excited to have a giveaway from one of my new sponsors, Lady Belle Fabric. 

Lady Belle Fabric is an on-line shop based in Tennessee and owned by Brooke and her husband Rob. They specialize in modern, fun and bright fabric and love fabric bundles and precuts!

Brooke says, "Our goal is for us to help our customers shine in all their fabric creations. As a husband and wife team, we pick out fabric collections together, searching for what we feel will be the prettiest and most adored fabric. We try to ship most of our orders same day so that they will get to our customers as quickly as possible. We’ve fallen in love with the quilting community and hope it shows in our efforts."

This giveaway is for a Miss Kate Jelly Roll and the Jen Kingwell pattern, "Gene Pool." Won't this be a fun combination?!

You have two ways to enter: enter here on the blog by first visiting Lady Belle Fabric and then leave a comment on this post mentioning your favorite item or items.

You can also enter on Instagram: follow Brooke at @becker1210 on Instagram...find the jelly roll/pattern picture on my feed @sherrimcconnell or Brookes, and re-post the photo with the hashtag #jenandkatejellyquilt.  I'll keep the giveaway open through Monday.  That's all...have fun and good luck!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
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Friday, November 14, 2014

Tutorials: Something New

 What I'm sewing with this weekend: Gardenvale by Jen Kingwell for Moda

For a little while now, I've been thinking of doing some video tutorials for the blog. It just seems like some quilting techniques and topics are better presented visually. Using video tutorials will especially allow me to share more complicated techniques and also add pattern tutorials. Although it's a little scary to get behind the camera (and even more scary to start publishing these tutorials), I finally made the leap...the first video is ready!

This first video covers a basic topic--the accurate 1/4" seam; however, this is a topic that is relevant for new quilters and experienced quilters alike. If your seams and points don't seem to be matching up, it might be time for a quick check of the accuracy of your seam allowance. 

You can watch the video here, or go to YouTube to watch. and if you like YouTube video tutorials, I'd love to have you  subscribe to my You Tube Channel. There will be lots of fun videos and tutorials coming up soon! I plan on adding one new video each week.

Also, if there are any topics you'd love to have me cover via video, please leave a comment on today's post.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Works in Progress

I spent a little time cleaning up in the sewing room over the weekend, and it has been amazing to see the effect it had on my quilting! I'm more focused and have been getting things finished up in a pretty timely manner; if only I could remember to do a major clean up a little more often!

I've started a few projects I'll be sharing soon, but I've also had a few finishes...

 My "Century Farm" quilt in Vintage Modern is ready to be shipped off to its new owner...

 It's kind of hard to send this one off...I love it so much. Luckily I still have a bundle of this fabric collection, but I'm not sure I'll ever be able to cut into it!

I'm also ready to hand-stitch the binding on my "Stems" quilt. This quilt just says "autumn" to me because of the Fig Tree Somerset prints. I know it could say any of the other seasons with different fabric choices, so maybe I'll have to make three more versions! I love it that much!

I finished up the fourth block for the quilt along I mentioned the other day; the mittens were so much fun to make. The next block, an adorable gingerbread man, has already been posted, so I'll need to get sewing that!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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