weekly update

QuiltCon Recap (aka QuiltCon Recovery)

I am tired and worn out but attending QuiltCon this year was incredibly worth it; it was nothing short of amazing!  The quilts in the show were so incredible, and I have quite a few to share below.  I didn’t get photos of all the paper tags, so sorry I am not listing the makers.  Good thing there are lots of these quilts tagged on Instagram via #QuiltCon2017.  The best in show quilt, Bling, was absolutely breathtaking made by Katherine Jones.  I have a new goal in life:  get a quilt accepted into QuiltCon.

I took as many classes a person could take during the 4 day show.  I was very blessed to get into all the classes before all the registration issues happened. Next year, I need to remember this course load was probably too many classes to take because of how tired I got by the evening classes. My days consisted of class from 9am-12pm, lunch from 12-2pm, class from 2-5pm, dinner from 5-6pm, and an evening class from 6-9pm.  Sunday was the only day that there wasn’t an evening class.

On Thursday, I took a 6 hour class from Victoria Findlay Wolfe called Intuition and Trust: To the Nines.  The quilt consisted of improvised blocks in groups of 9 that were then duplicated 4 times with a 90 degree rotation.  We started with coloring paper pieces of the block pattern, cutting them out, and arranging them in a nine block pattern.

Playing with the layout and our phones, we were able to duplicate the block 4 times with the 90 degree rotation to simulate what the final quilt will look like.  We used PhotoGrid, a free app, to do simulation.  This was so amazing to be able to see all the different types of quilts we could come up with.  I’ve had PhotoGrid on my phone for years, but never thought to use it with quilting.

Once we picked a layout that we liked (with slight modifications), we started to make the actual blocks out of fabric! I was able to complete 5 of the blocks during class.  The “improv” part of this quilt seemed so intimidating at first, but this method of testing before you sew was so much fun!  I am definitely incorporating it into my sewing toolbox.


Thursday night, I look a class from Jacqueline Sava, the founder of Soak, called Maker to Making a Living.  This was such a great class to learn the business side of how to start thinking about making a creative business.  The class was definitely too short for the amount of material we covered, so I have lots of homework to do now about how I want to expand what I’m doing into a viable business.

On Friday, I took another 6 hour class from Victoria Findlay Wolfe called Thunderstuck.  This quilt is a stunner, and I was so excited to have been able to get into the class.  The quilt consists of diamonds that make a star shape.  We used slashing on the larger diamonds and pieced smaller diamonds together.  I completed almost a quarter of the diamonds for the star before lunch.  Using the technique from Thursday with PhotoGrid, I was able to simulate what the quilt was going to look like.


Outside of the star portion is a square with slashing and a triangle to fill in the space.  We learned how to do Y-seams, so that all the seams lay flat and how to align all the points for precision piecing.  I was able to get almost everything I needed cut out for the quilt as well as completing all 4 squares with slashing before class was completed.  This quilt top will hardly take any time to complete!


Friday night, I took Quilting Small Things from Lee Monroe aka May Chappell.  I didn’t know who she was at first until she gave her business name, and I was already following her on Instagram, go figure!  We talked about quilting minis, table toppers, and lap quilts, all of which are small things…hence the class.  We worked on specifically 3 types: clamshells/paisleys, infinity loops/cursive Ls/wishbones, and pebbles.  Apparently there are lots of different names for the same type of shapes.  One of the big takeaways is doodling helps.  I’ve been doodling infinity circles since junior high and guess what?!  The only thing I didn’t struggle with quilting were the infinity loops.  I see lots of doodling in my future!


On Saturday, I took a 6 hour You Do the Math class from Elizabeth Hartman.  I re-learned the basics of quilt math and some tips and tricks on how to calculate everything.  The best thing that came from the class is figuring out a strategy on making my first design into a viable quilt block.  The premise before the class is that it’s a 9in square block that would need 1in finished squares that were Quarter Square Triangles and Half Square Triangles; it would have been miserable and no one would want to make it.  I think I figured out a way to do it faster, but I need to test it.  Future pattern in the works!

Saturday Night, I took Facets – An Equilateral Triangle Workshop from Rebecca Bryan.  This was the first time that I worked with equilateral triangles, and it was pretty fun.  She also did a paper piecing tutorial with freezer paper, and the method involved ZERO ripping out of paper at the end.  It’s a method I’m going to have to test at home and see if I like it.  So far my favorite method is what I learned for the Good Day quilt from Winter Quiltfest.  Because I had all the fabric cut out, I was able to complete 5 blocks in class.


On Sunday, I took two 3-hour Free Motion Quilting classes from Christa Watson.  I’m a huge Christa Watson fan, and I’m so excited that I took her classes: Free Motion Alternative to Straight Line Quilting and Improv Machine Quilting.  I definitely loved the Free Motion Alternative class way more than the Improv.  I think the biggest takeaway from class is that I need practice, and I think there are going to be designs I love and designs I hate. I have lots of quilt sandwiches that I need to make and practice with in the coming weeks and months. Anyone want to do a Free Motion Practicing Challenge with me?


In addition to the amazing classes and instructors, I met awesome people from around the world.  I even ran into Kim from my Serendipity Woods Modern Heritage BOM group.  It was so sweet to actually meet one of the women in person!


I met my swap partner Nikki Moshier.  She made me this lovely mini inspired by @poppyprint, and it was actually in the show this year.  So we took a photo in front of the inspiration, how cool!


I also gifted my mini to Kathy Cook!  It was such a nice little swap to participate in.  Everyone’s looked so great.  Shout out to everyone that was on my team!


I also am getting better at not completely freezing when I fangirl!  I met Kate Spain and got to show off my Maker’s Tote made in her Latitude Batik line or in my eyes not your grandma’s batiks!  I think it’s funny now, but I’m so proud I actually talked to her rather than just freezing and never approaching her.


It was a whirlwind of a long weekend at QuiltCon, but I’m so excited for next year in Pasadena and Nashville in 2019.  For all my new friends who decided to follow my blog, welcome and keep in touch!  You can follow me here – right scroll bar and/or follow me on Instagram @poweredbyquilting.  Till next week!

2/28-3/7 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Friday PM, Saturday and Sunday Afternoon, and Monday PM

Projects I want to work on:
Quilter’s Planner Block
Modern Building Blocks
Modern Heritage BOM (I’m like a month behind!)
Chic Country

Goals for the Projects:
Quilter’s Planner Block: Complete this week’s block
Modern Building Blocks: Complete 8 blocks
Modern Heritage BOM: Complete Month 7 blocks (I actually forgot which month’s blocks they are, oops)
Chic Country: Finish assembling the quilt top
Thunderstruck: Finish assembling the quilt top
^Again, I’m super aggressive, but shoot for the moon right?!

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weekly update

1 Day before QuiltCon East!

I leave for QuiltCon tomorrow, and I am so excited to go!  I feel a little bad I signed up for so many classes…I was one of the lucky ones that was able to get into all their classes before the registration site crashed last summer.  But I am so ready to LEARN all the things!  One of the classes I’m taking is called “You Do the Math!” to do the math for quilt patterns.  I have a couple ideas that I would love to get written up for my next pattern, but I’ve been struggling with how I want to break up the quilt into easier blocks to make.  All of these classes are taught by some really awesome instructors, so I’m going to need to control my fangirling.  Hopefully I will still have time to go look at all the awesome quilts and the vendor show.  I’m actually tempted to bring some of my books to see if I can get them signed.  The only issue: books are heavy!  Next year is QuiltCon West so the chances of me getting my sister to come join me should be higher. (Hey Jie, *nudge nudge *wink  wink, mark your calendar for this time next year!)

This past week I have been working really hard to get things done before leaving.  I have been obsessed with the Chic Country quilt so my goal was to finish making the white centered blocks. I overachieved and got all the blocks done!  I just need to sew them together into rows then the quilt.  This is such an amazing quilt, I LOVE IT!  I will be so ready to bring this to next year’s Winter Quiltfest to share.  I took the photo before I realized the top-right corner piece was rotated incorrectly; it’ll be fixed when I sew the row together.


I caught up on the Modern Building Blocks Quilt Along by completing 8 blocks.  Too bad with QuiltCon I’ll get behind again.  @kupitis is also going to QuiltCon so I’m hoping to meet her in person too! 😀  Have I mentioned how excited I am yet?


Block 38 – This block is the same as Block 41
Block 44 – Divide the block into a 4 grid and press seams in alternating directions
Block 16 – Seam direction don’t really matter
Block 18 – Divide the block into a 9 grid to press seams in alternating directions


Block 48 – This block is the same as Block 35
Block 33 – Divide the block into a 4 grid to press seams in alternating directions
Block 12 – Divide the block into a 9 grid to press seams in alternating directions
Block 14 – This block is very similar to Block 9, just with different dimensions in the center

This past week’s Quilter’s Planner Block was the Irish Rose Chain By Shelly Folkerts of The Carpenter’s Daughter Who Quilts.  This block used a foundation paper piecing method for the Half Square Triangles (HST).  I never really understood why anyone would use paper piecing to make HSTs.  I kept an open mind and used it for this block, and low and behold, I fell in love with it!  I can definitely see how it’s much faster for sewing HST if you need to make a lot at one time. Quilting and What Not has HST paper you can print in multiple sizes.


I deviated from my plan of what I was going to do this week.  I didn’t actually work on the America’s Garden Quilt this week.  I instead decided to finally make a Farm Girl Vintage Layer Cake Block for my sister for her birthday in March!  This block was released on the one year anniversary of the Farm Girl Vintage book by Lori Holt.  It is so cute and darling! The one difference I made from her tutorial on her site was I did not press my seams open.  All my seams were pressed to one side, typically to the piece that has the least number of seams.


I also finished my Starkiss Pillow top.  This was another project from Winter Quiltfest 2017.  It is also going into my ever-growing stack of to-be-quilted items!  Someday I will need to hunker down and quilt up all these tops that need to be quilted!  Hopefully QuiltCon will help me feel more comfortable with Free Motion Quilting.  I will need to do some sort of personal challenge of daily FMQ practice, maybe I’ll do that next month!


2/21-2/28 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:

Projects I want to work on:
QuiltCon Classes

Goals for the Projects:
Have Fun at Class!

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weekly update

Happy Valentines Day!

Hope everyone is having a great Valentine’s day!  The Husband and I went to the west coast this past weekend to do our annual V-day celebrations.  Brewery trips for him and (new this year) fabric shops for me! I found some old circa 2012 Bonnie and Camille, Kate Spain, and Alison Glass in different stores.  Pretty amazing I saw those bolts still in stores.  It makes me wonder what other treasures are still hiding on local quilt shop shelves.  One of the best quilting things that happened, my sister messaged me that she wanted to start the Ombre Gems Quilt Along.  She is totally going to get hooked!  As long as she eventually gets her sewing table set up!  Thinking back to when I was starting quilting and the things I wish I knew back then, I figure I can at least help her out with some tips on all the things I wish I knew when I started out quilting.   So here are some tips below! (Maybe I’ll add a few tips each week since I’m sure I won’t be thinking about all of them in this one post)

Let’s talk about seams today.

Typical quilting patterns are 1/4″ seams or seam allowance, meaning you are sewing a straight line 1/4″ from the edge of the fabric.  Easy, right?  Wrong.  Typically, you want to sew what’s known as a scant 1/4″ seam.  A scant 1/4″ is just a hair smaller than a real 1/4″ because once the fabric is pressed open, it accounts for the folded fabric to be 1/4″.  Still confused?

Here’s how to test your seam allowance:
Get 3 blocks that are 2 1/2″ square.
Sew 2 blocks together and press the seams to the dark (don’t worry about pressing to the dark yet, I explain that below!). The length should be 4 1/2″.

Sew the 3rd block to one of the ends and press the seams to the dark.  The length should be 6 1/2″.  If it’s shorter, then your seam allowance is larger than 1/4″ and conversely if it’s longer, then your seam allowance is smaller than 1/4″


Seam allowances are very important for blocks that have a lot of seams within them.  It not uncommon to have a block turn out to be larger or smaller than the finished size due to seam allowances being incorrect.

Once you’ve sewn your seams, you will need to press them.  Pressing is more of an up-down motion rather than ironing which pushes and distorts the fabric. There are a lot of different ways you can press your seams.  Before pressing the seams, make sure the iron on the seam itself.  The sewing process actually makes the fabric pucker a little.  One of the most common ways is to press the seams to the dark.  This means you will press the piece open with the seams on the side of the dark, where dark means the darker fabric. The other popular way of pressing seams is pressing the seams open.  This is used to eliminate some of the bulky seams and help the piece lay more flat.  It is usually not preferred because the threads are the only thing keeping the pieces of fabric together rather than being reinforced with the seams when pressing to the dark.


One thing to note is pressing to the dark is relative, there are times where you would need to press to the lighter fabric to get the seams to nest properly. The phrase is used because older fabrics would show through the lighter one and to hide the seams you would need to put them to the darker fabric therefore pressing to the dark.  The example above has the seams in the middle pressed open and then there are seams pressed to the dark or light on the others.

The last method of seams is a twist to pressing to the dark and it adds another step.  It’s spinning the seams, but that is a discussion for another day.  Spinning the seams also helps reduce bulk but can only be used when the seams intersect.


2/14-2/21 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday PM; Saturday afternoon, Monday PM

Projects I want to work on:
QuiltCon Projects
Modern Building Blocks
Quilter’s Planner Block
American’s Garden Quilt
Chic Country

Goals for the Projects:
QuiltCon Project: Prep for QuiltCon 2017!!!
Modern Building Blocks: Complete 8 Blocks
Quilter’s Planner Block: this week and next week
American’s Garden Quilt: Complete 2 Blocks
Chic Country: Finish the white centered blocks


weekly update

Dream Quilting


In the last week, I’ve had like 4 nights in a row of dreaming about the Chic Country quilt.  The dream ends up being about the same every time; I debate for what seems like forever about fabric choices and always end up with a black and white quilt with a pink pop of color. The Pink is the Kona Color of the Year 2017, Pink Flamingo.  This happened every dream, over and over again.  So I think my brain is telling me something.  Conveniently, I got a charm pack of Kona Color of the Year from last month’s Sew Sampler from Fat Quarter Shop.  Not so convenient, you can’t use a charm pack to make this quilt. I tried, but the side pieces that I need in pink will not be cut from a 5″x5″ square.


Note:  the camera is not color corrected, and the Pink Flamingo doesn’t actually look like that charm square.

I was thinking maybe all is not lost and I could just order more Kona Pink Flamingo.  However, I’m really trying not to buy more fabric and to focus on using up my stash. (please ignore the fabric package that arrived today, I’m not perfect!)  I got some Hoffman fabric on clearance from my local quilt shop over the New Years sale that is a bright lime green. I think that color will be great for the color pop and the backing/binding. My problem is solved, and I just so happen to have enough yardage to cover it all! This green is like a bright lime green, similar to the color I wanted my bridesmaid dresses to be.  I was smart enough not to do that seeing as my friends and sister would probably have quit on me. Either way, they will see what they missed out on once the quilt is done.

I sat down on Sunday and started cutting out the fabric on this quilt.  I finished all of the black and almost all of the white before I quit cutting because I wanted to sew.  Chain piecing this quilt is amazingly fast, and I think if I have another day or two to just work on this quilt, I could be done!

Because of this little detour, I did not get as much stuff on my list done as I wanted to.  Here are blocks for the 52 Weeks of Quilter’s planner Challenge I needed to get done.




I had to finish this week’s early because I am heading out on vacation this weekend and won’t have my sewing machine on me.  I’ll probably go through withdrawal.

I caught up on the 4 Modern Building Blocks I needed to get finished, but I haven’t done the 4 for this week.  I will need to catch up at some point next week to finish more blocks!  And I know, with 20 out of the 48 complete I really need to work on a tutorial page for the blocks.  Maybe that is something I’ll work on this week as I won’t have my sewing machine!


Block 9: Press the seams away from the square when you make the corner blocks, then press seams to the brown when assembling the block.
Block 11: Press seams away from the middle.
Block 34: The center part, press seams to the darker pink.  The outer frame, press seams to the lighter pink.
Block 47: Press the HST seams to the green.  Press the block seams to the square pieces.

One of the things I was able to finish while at the cabin this past weekend with friends was the Garden Charm Quilt aka Craftsy 2016 BOM.  The quilt is so pretty, and I have started to love the journey it shows how my quilting skills improved throughout 2016.  The center of the quilt was not nearly as well pieced as the outside, but that’s okay.  I’ve also updated the Completed Quilts 2017 page, so everything is posted that I’ve finished so far.  Because of the finishing push at the end of last year, I feel like there is going to be a big lull before I finish the next quilt.



2/7-2/14 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Monday PM (so little time this week!)

Projects I want to work on:
Modern Building Blocks

Goals for the Projects:
Modern Building Blocks: Complete 4 Blocks

^more realistic,  but not a lot this week. Progress is progress though, right?