Feature · I Wish You a Merry QAL

I Wish You a Merry QAL Block 5!

I am so proud to share the Snowman block I designed!  I used Moda Grunge Evergreen, White Paper, Onyx, and Red for the piecing portion of the block.  Mr. Snowman’s nose is a Moda Grunge Orange scrap.

When we first started planning this QAL, I jumped at the chance to make a Snowman block!  Snowmen are my favorite thing about winter and the holidays, especially cute snowmen.  As you can see, I made a lot of not-so-cute and not-so-proportional snowmen through the different iterations of the design I tried.

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weekly update

Quilter’s Block

I feel I have a quilting version of Writer’s Block…so Quilter’s Block? The cause is Pattern #103, but I’m not quite sure why I’m not able to make progress on it.  It’s not technically a hard block, and it looks amazing in the simulated photos, like nothing I’ve seen done before. But why can’t I seem to get myself to make progress and actually work on it?  That’s the million dollar question.  With secret sewing, I don’t want to share until it’s completely finished and the pattern is written in fear someone else will take the design and get to the market faster than me.  I’m thinking maybe I need to make a smaller version of this quilt for the pattern and then make the larger one at a later time.  Any thoughts?

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I participated in the Starbucks Mug Rug swap in which we made a mug rug and then shipped it with a Starbucks mug with extras to our partner.  I decided to make a mug rug called “Orange Slice” designed by Lindsey Weight.

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The mug rug uses raw edge applique and bias binding. I finally looked up how to do a blanket stitch on my machine instead of the zigzag.  But in actuality, I think I prefer the zig zag look. I used a lightweight heat and bond to fuse the slices on the background and Insulbright as the mug rug batting. I love this mug rug so much, I think I need to make one for myself.

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This week’s Quilter’s Planner block, Ocean Fun By Jinger Snapp-Laplace of Trials of a Newbie Quilter, also used applique.  I used the same raw edge applique technique as the orange slice, but I used zig zag instead.

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I got the binding finished for Chic Country, and the quilt looks stunning!  I was a little concerned with possible shadowing that would occur since it was black and white, but I don’t see any of it.  Major props to my Longarmer, Rhonda Walker of Olie&Evie for doing such a great job.

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I have also updated the completed quilts page to include this week’s finishes!

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5/23-5/30 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Thursday PM, Friday PM, Saturday-Monday (I love Holiday Weekends!)

Projects I want to work on:
Quilter’s Planner Block
PBQ103
Modern Heritage BOM

Goals for the Projects:
Quilters Planner Block: Complete this week’s Block
PBQ103: Break the Quilter’s Block; either make a smaller version or make BLOCKS in the existing one.
Modern Heritage BOM: Redo Month 5 Blocks, Start the next(?) month’s blocks (I forgot where I’m at.)

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weekly update

When In Shanghai…

I’ve been in Asia for work since the last post and am not leaving until later this week. So obviously during the weekend I searched for a quilt shop to buy fabric, because I don’t own nearly enough. I wasn’t having much luck finding a quilting shop, but I was able to find a fabric market. The fabric market was this huge mall of tailors who would make clothing to order. A large majority of shops also had different types of silk, cashmere, wool, and linens on display for people to pick from for their garments or to purchase the fabric, but no quilting cottons. I didn’t end up buying anything while I was there, but I did find a stall that had my name up in lights! The suits and dresses below were items that they display advertising their tailoring services.

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I eventually found a quilt shop, but their hours were during the day Monday through Friday. I won’t be able to visit due to my work schedule so it looks like no fabric purchases for me this trip.

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Since I did not bring my sewing machine on this trip, I came armed with lots of handwork projects. The first one I finished on the plane ride over was the binding on my Farm Girl Cake Block mini quilt for my sister. Her birthday was in March, but I figured since I wouldn’t see her until later this month I’m technically not late! This has been updated on my Completed Quilts page.

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I also brought the applique for my Modern Quilt Guild Fabric Challenge sponsored by Riley Blake. The challenge is to use the Creative Rockstar line of fabric with any Confetti Solids to create something quilted. I wanted to create a piece that encourages my inner sewing rockstar and to hang it over my machine in my sewing room. The devil horn hand symbol is commonly used at rock concerts to rock on. So the design is modeled with that in mind, but with “Sew On” as the saying.

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Now to get it quilted and finished after I get home at the end of the week, then submitted before the April 30th deadline!

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My life prior to quilting included cross stitching little figures on hard plastic so I can create some magnets. I created 6 of the 8 Mario Kart sprites for my husband finishing the last one in August of 2016. Since then, most of the times I’ve travelled my cross stitching box went with me. It’s taken me months to get where Donkey Kong is almost finished! I just now realized I’m missing a color of thread in my traveling box so it’ll need to be finished later. Only one more left to go!

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At one point I thought cross stitching was fun so I purchased the 2015 and 2016 cross stitch along by Clouds Factory. Cross stitching is so tedious! I bought the kits thinking that I’d actually have time and enjoy making them, but I have not started them nor do I have plans to get to them in the near future. Funny enough, I tend to do this with quilt kits! Purchase and hoard them, but never actually create the final product.

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4/18-4/25 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Friday PM and Saturday AM (other time for hand work projects)

Projects I want to work on:
MQG Fabric Challenge
Quilter’s Planner Block
Windswept
Cross Stitch

Goals for the Projects:
MQG Fabric Challenge: Finish the quilt!
Quilters Planner Block: Finish this week’s block and next week’s block
Windswept: Work on applique of the Dresden pieces
Cross Stitch: Start on Koopa, the last Mario Kart sprite

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Blog Hop · weekly update

Blossom Blog Hop

It is Day 2 of the Stitching Stars Blossom Blog hop, and I get to share with you my project inspired by “Blossom.”  As much as I wanted to be inspired by Mayim Bialik from the Blossom TV show, I figured showing my blossoming quilting skills was a much better idea.  I also gathered inspiration from Cherry Blossoms to have that floral spring touch as well.  I started with wanting to create a foundation paper piecing pattern and I somehow thought a 5 petal cherry blossom inspired flower would be the best idea.  It takes a smarter person than me to create a repetitive pattern on a 72 degree angle. It ended up being way too complex for me and nothing looked good.

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So I decided to do an appliqued piece. I’ve done plenty of hand applique before so I sketched out an overall look of what I wanted the piece to look like.  I thought a mug rug size would be great!  I’m in a mug rug swap in May and was told they are typically 8″x8″ in size so that’s what I targeted.

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I forgot to take a photo of the poorly drawn PowerPoint art I did to create a flower petal to confirm the shape that I wanted.  But once I got the shape, I traced it to a piece of paper, and you can see the final design layout of what my Blossom project would be.  You can also tell which flower I started on and which one I ended with. (Hint: I got sloppier as I went)

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For the applique, I used sew-in lightweight interfacing to flip each piece and hand-appliqued them to the background.  The stems were made using 1/4″ bias tape maker and hand-appliqued to the background as well. I decided to try my newly learned free motion quilting skills by quilting this piece with paisleys all over.  This is the first piece I’ve ever completely free motion quilted, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.  It’s definitely scary for me to sit down and free motion quilt a project because I’m terrified that my quilting will ruin the piece.

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I think this turned out to be a super fun project.  The overall size seems to be slightly large for a mug rug, but I don’t think there are any set rules for sizing.  This is finish number 6 for the year, and the Completed Quilts page is updated!

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The Stitching Stars Blog Hop group is made up of ladies who all went to Sew Pro Convention last September in Chicago.  It’s been so helpful to have a network of great people to support each other as we all grow in our journeys.  What’s even more awesome is this giveaway quilt that had blocks contributed by people participating the blog hop!

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Special shout-outs to Lissa LaGreca of Lovingly Lissa for putting the blocks together into the quilt–she is also going to have the pattern for the quilt for free on her blog after the hop–and to Lisa Peterson of Lisa and Lorelai for quilting and binding this quilt!

How to enter the giveaway:  You will need to go to a Rafflecopter giveaway and complete the entries to enter.  The winner will be selected Sunday April 9.

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I am also hosting a giveaway for everything shown below, open to the US only (sorry to my international friends).

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How to enter to win:

  • Comment below with which 3 blocks I contributed to the giveaway quilt (hint, check my Instagram).
  • All followers of my blog will also get an additional entry to win!

Winner will be randomly selected Sunday, April 9, 2017.

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Here’s the Blossom Blog Hop lineup for the week.  Be sure to check all these fabulous ladies out with their Blossom projects!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Lissa LaGreca: Lovingly Lissa
Carmen Ross: See Carmen Sew

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Sherry Shish: Powered by Quilting (You are here!)
Becca Fenstermaker: Pretty Piney

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Lisa Peterson: Lisa and Lorelai
Pam Cobb: The Stitch TV Show
Deanna Wall: Stitches Quilting

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Vanessa Behymer: Vintage Barngirl
Paula Mamuscia: Creations by Paula

Friday, April 7, 2017

Andi Stanfield: True Blue Quilts
Nancy Scott: Masterpiece Quilting
Anne Beier: Hudson Valley Quilts

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For those of you who are new to my blog, I end each blog post with my accountability goals for the week.  I usually have a recap of progress made within the past week, but I’ll continue the updates next week.

4/4-4/11 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Friday night and Saturday

Projects I want to work on:
Quilter’s Planner Block
MQG Fabric Challenge

Goals for the Projects:
Quilter’s Planner Block: Complete this week’s block
MQG Fabric Challenge: Finish the design for the text and start applique

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weekly update

Winter Quiltfest 2017 Recap

Winter Quiltfest 2017 was absolutely one of the most fun weekend retreats I’ve ever been to!  It was my first quilting retreat, but that doesn’t matter; it was AMAZING!  I did the whole package for Winter Quiltfest; I arrived Wednesday afternoon and stayed all the way until Sunday.  I took 5 different classes and learned all sorts of different techniques.  The organizers for the event had table favors for every meal, door prizes, trunk shows, quilt raffles, vendors, and even the first ever quilt show.  I met people from all around the Utah area, and a few ladies from Columbus, LA, and Seattle. Everyone was so nice and friendly I definitely want to attend next year!

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The featured teacher(s) this year were the sisters from Sew Kind of Wonderful.  Helen and Sherilyn where there to teach, but Jenny had to be home with her kids.  They were so down to earth and absolutely a joy to learn from.  The first class I took was Chic Country.  I had actually bought the pattern and the Quick Curve Ruler (QCR) last April during the Twin Cities Shop Hop but never had the guts to actually start making the quilt.  When I saw these ladies were teaching this quilt, I was all in!  This pattern is so neat because it looks great but is really just one block repeated.  The colors and the orientation of the block creates the circular pattern in the quilt. The other thing is their patterns are really forgiving.  By forgiving I mean the blocks get trimmed down after the curves are sewn, and the points aligning or not getting chopped off isn’t a big problem.  The bias stretch in fabrics can inadvertently cause the block to be a little wonky so squaring the blocks after really helps compensate.  I was able to finish one of the blocks during the 3 hour class.  I had brought my scraps of Blueberry Park fabrics to create the block. Prior to the class, I had spent over an hour attempting to decide which fabrics I would use but couldn’t come up with any sort of resolution.  The Blueberry Park fabric looked great in this block!  If you look closely, you can see that I chopped off all my points on accident.  But it doesn’t detract from the overall look of the block.  I am still trying to decide what fabric I want to use to make this quilt.  I have been thinking I will do a black and white solids quilt with a accent color, definitely more to come!

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The next class I took was “Good Day” taught by Leslie Bergeson.  Good Day is a pattern in Yoko Saito’s Scrap Valley book and is a paper pieced pattern. Leslie is local to Utah and was so insightful for tips on paper piecing.  She taught us tips on not using the add-a-quarter ruler by folding the paper on the seams to align the fabric.  Also her tips on how to remove copy paper from paper piecing was awesome.  Tip: Score the seams on the paper side of the piece with a blunt stick (like a pen cap or chopstick) and then remove the paper from the inside of the piece to the border.  The only downside to this quilt is needing 126 blocks to complete it.  Each block is taking me about 30 minutes to do.  I completed 4 in class and another 4 during open sewing time, so only 118 left to go.  Yikes, this may be a long term project!

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Windswept was a class taught by Marian Gallian, the author of Dresden Carnival.  The entire book has all these cute dresden shapes.  The Windswept flower is made with the an appliqued part onto the dresden petal to create the rotating look.  I attempted to fussy cut my fabric which obviously was not the best.  I was able to confirm that I applique correctly even though I always have knots and use double thread.  It’s a habit from when I learned to hand sew as a child that I probably will never break.  The shapes in this quilt are all hand-cut from the fabric and will eventually be appliqued to the larger background.  The applique of the smaller pieces is actually great for things to do while I travel!  Hopefully I can get this quilt finished while on the road for work.

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I took another class with Helen and Sherilyn called Mod Dots.  This is a pattern that was written specifically for Winter Quiltfest. The pattern shows these really cool dots, but the pieces can be repositioned to be very different designs.  I am so enamored with the dots…my quilt will show the dots in the pink, blue, and black/gray colors.

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My sister also took this class with me and it was her very first quilting class.  She did the curves so well on her first time using the method that Helen and Sherilyn taught!  I am so proud and I think she’s hooked on quilting!

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The last class I took was called Starkiss by Maho Schwartz.  It was a star paper piecing pattern.  My sister also took this class with me and learned how to paper piece for the first time.  I believe I found a typo in the pattern when we got to the borders because mine didn’t turn out correctly in relation to the sample.  I’ll be emailing Maho so she knows as well since we tested the corrections on my sister’s block.  These will end up being pillow covers.

img_20170128_173141_042My Block

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My Sister’s Block

Before heading back to the airport, I went to visit Rhonda Walker for the first time!  I am so lucky to have her longarm my quilts.  She’s so nice and has such a great little shop and setup at her house.  I was able to pick up my 2016 Craftsy BOM quilt that she finished and also bought more fabric!  I can’t wait to get the binding on this quilt.  I feel like it shows my progression through 2016 from a beginner quilter to who I am now.

It was really sad to have to come home and back to reality, but I’m so jazzed about these new projects!  I hope next year, there will be even more people I know who will attend!

One last thing – I was able to put together my photo inspiration for the Mighty Lucky Challenge for January.

photogrid_1485365083250top left: rain drop patterns on the window
top right: the lights and windows in the red building
bottom left: the simplicity of the hotel lobby fire place
bottom right: the symmetry of the beds and artwork in the hotel room.

Now I just need to actually make a quilt design out of these inspirations!

1/31-2/7 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Thursday PM and Monday PM (so little time this week!)

Projects I want to work on:
America’s Garden Quilt
Modern Building Blocks
Quilter’s Planner Block
2016 Craftsy BOM

Goals for the Projects:
America’s Garden Quilt: Complete 1 Block
Modern Building Blocks: Complete 4 Blocks
Quilter’s Planner Block: Complete this week’s block
2016 Craftsy BOM: Finish Binding