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

Off to a retreat… last minute!

So some time earlier this week I had a mini panic attack that I was not getting nearly enough stuff done.  Stitch Supply Co. is having one of their “per person” retreat weekends, which means anyone can sign up to claim one of their 16 beds at their retreat center without renting out the entire space!  So that’s where I’m headed today and can hopefully focus on getting stuff done!

If you follow me on social media, you’ve probably noticed a slow down in progress in general, and that’s partly due to secret sewing but really it’s the effect of my life getting super hectic. And if you don’t follow me yet, you should! Here are my Instagram and Facebook pages.

Here is a quick rundown of the projects that got some focus this week.  S.W.A.K, the quilt I’m making for a blog hop later in August has all the HST units trimmed, and I’d say it is 50% assembled into blocks for the quilt top.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to finish the quilt top this weekend, but now I’m not quite sure how to show a sneak peak without giving it away.  So maybe I’ll try to take photos if and when I decide to quilt the thing.

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I made a little bit more progress on my Peacock EPP project.  I had divided the papers into little baggies by strips and of course didn’t label them.  So by the time I figured out the baggie I opened on the very right hand side, I decided just to sew those together. I was trying to go left to right on the piece, but that plan is now out the window.  What are quilters, if not flexible?

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Last but not least, can you guys believe it?  The I Wish You a Merry QAL starts in 4 days!!  It’s seriously time to get hyped!  So here’s a little bit more information about prizes, and I’ll repeat this on Tuesday just in case you forget.  Each block release, there will be a prize for people that share their block on Facebook, Instagram, or the Linky party on the designer’s tutorial site.  The giveaway time frame will be from the release date at midnight Eastern to 11:59 PM Eastern the night before the next block is released.  For example, Block 1’s giveaway timing is going to start at 12:00 AM Eastern on August 1 and run through 11:59 PM on August 14. Be sure to share your completed blocks! There are lots more prizes during this entire QAL so I hope you will join us!
If you haven’t checked out the QAL Facebook page, what are you waiting for?!

Anyway, I gotta run to the retreat, have a great weekend everyone!

7/28-8/4 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Weekend Retreat!, Monday PM, Wednesday PM

Projects I want to work on:
I Wish You a Merry QAL
PBQ104
S.W.A.K.
PBQ103

Goals for the Projects:
I Wish You a Merry QAL: Block blocks and more blocks, the QAL starts Aug 1!
PBQ104: Start sewing the pieces together to make the top
S.W.A.K.: Finish the quilt top!
PBQ103: Finish the pattern for the testers.  (I’m behind, eeekk!)

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weekly update

Let it snow!

It’s definitely winter in Minnesota now.  The snow is really pretty…but only for about the next 12 days.  On the 13th day, it’ll be annoying and I’ll wish it away for spring and some warm weather. But alas, this is only the beginning of snowy days and below freezing temperatures.  The only good thing about the winter is a break for quilting and sewing.  I saved up enough vacation to have a week and a half off for the holidays, and I’m going to be putting it to good use!

This past week I have been busy in Santa’s workshop making No-Sew Christmas Ornaments!  They are so beautiful and are going to be given away as presents this year for Christmas.  My In-Laws have given ornaments every year to my husband growing up, and this year we inherited them all from year’s past.  It’s time to fill their tree back up!  (Or is this the “easy” way out on figuring out what to give them for Christmas?!)

There were a few tips I’d like to share about making these cute little things!  First, make sure you have a thimble or a thumb pad like you would use for English Paper Piecing.  Do not do any assembly of the ornament if you do not have something to protect your thumbs; your thumbs will hate you about half way through if you don’t have a thimble or any other way to protect your fingers.  You have been warned!  Second, on the first set of 4 triangles you make, I couldn’t get the corners to line up at all!  The YouTube video tutorial looked perfect, but it just wasn’t working for me.  Here’s the tip, don’t worry about that.  Just make sure that the points are perpendicular to each other and if the corners don’t align, they get covered up by the next layer!  Last piece of advice and most crafters know this, glitter is not your friend.  I very stupidly got glitter ribbon to match the metallic fabric, forgetting that glitter gets everywhere!  I have glitter in most of the common living spaces in my house, and it’s nearly impossible to clean up.  So the glitter ribbon looks lovely, but it’s up to you to decide if the self-induced glitter bomb is worth it.

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I’ve made 6 of the gold colored ones and 2 of the silver ones so far.  I have more pins coming to my from Amazon and still at least 4 more Styrofoam balls at home.  I need to decide if I want to make another set of 6.  I used Jingle Pop fabric from Hoffman Fabrics for my ornaments.  The metallic in the prints are so beautiful, and it makes them sparkle so much!

The Cozy Christmas quilt that I got back from Rhonda was AMAZING! I wish I could get all my quilts custom quilted!  I was able to finish it Sunday night right before leaving on my LAST business trip this year! (woohoo!)  Isn’t it just amazing?!  I’ve update the completed quilts page too!

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I keep getting distracted lately on what I want to work on.  It seems that I change my mind so often, but I think I’m still making progress on the goal.  One of the bigger announcements is that the next pattern I’m making is a free pattern!  The quilt is beginner friendly and will be jelly roll friendly as well.  I can’t wait to show it off and write the pattern!  Because of this, I think I can get the pattern launch faster than the original timeline, but I don’t want to commit just yet!

I hope everyone is getting all their Christmas shopping completed, only 12 more days left!!!

12/13-12/20 Weekly Goal:

Available time for quilting:
Thursday and Friday Night, Saturday and Sunday afternoon

Projects I want to work on:
Christmas Ornaments
Treehouse Quilt
Goals for the Projects:
Christmas Ornaments:  Finish the last 4… maybe go buy more Styrofoam
Treehouse Quilt: Quilt and Bind (I’m going to do it! I said so on the internet!)
 

weekly update

Massdrop is my new love

Since it’s the holiday season and I’ve been purchasing a lot of items online, I have been keeping a running list on my Google Keep of items I’ve ordered but haven’t received yet.  Lately I’ve noticed that the items that take over the list are from Massdrop.  Massdrop is a website that utilizes group purchasing to get a cheaper price on items by buying in bulk.  They organize “drops” with vendors then offer them up to the people that are subscribed to the website for discounted prices.  The more people that join a particular drop, the cheaper the price gets!  Once the drop ends, Massdrop orders from the vendor.  The items get shipped to Massdrop and then repackaged and sent out to the individuals who joined the drop.  The normal delivery to customer is typically a month out, but the deals are worth it!

I first learned about Massdrop from an Instagram comment and I went to investigate.  Since then I’ve purchased quite a few items from the site.  I’ve gotten a large range of items from scissors to patterns to a lightbox to a sew steady for my machine!  There was an article on the Craft Industry Alliance a few months ago about if Massdrop was hurting other quilt shops (local and online).  I personally feel like I gain more value seeing all these different tools that I wouldn’t normally have been introduced to on the website.  There are a few things that have been drops that haven’t been the best deal on the internet either so that’s something to be aware of.  There are other categories of items that get sold on Massdrop, but quilting is the only one I believe specifically targets women.  I think it is pretty cool that they recognize quilting is a thing and there are definitely people out there enjoying this hobby!

Also I should mention that you need to become a member of Massdrop to see the prices; you can’t do a direct comparison of prices without being signed in.  I should also mention I am no way affiliated with Massdrop and received no compensation for writing this on my blog.  I am just really excited that I’m started to get some of the items that I ordered!  If you want to sign up, if you could use my referral link that’d be awesome! https://www.massdrop.com/r/WY5ZFX

Anyway, this past week I definitely suffered from anxiety working on Pattern #102.  There is always this anxiety that what I create is not going to look good or the fabrics I’ve chosen are terrible and don’t work.  I dragged my feet all week to work on it.  What I can say is that I’m very happy with how my sample turned out.  That’s right, when I started working on it I went all in and finished the sample quilt top!  It’s going to be a strip quilt, so it will take a honey bun (mini size) or two jelly rolls for the full quilt.  The sample I made was from a honey bun just to test and make sure everything worked out well.  I’ve ordered some fabric from sample spree so the full-size finished quilt will be from new fabric coming out in January.  I decided to use my extra bits and pieces from my small sample to make some hexies.  Here’s a little sneak peak!  Do you recognize the fabric? It’s Sundrops by Corey Yoder!

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I must have been in a mad dash finishing mood this week too.  I finished 14 of the steampunk blocks, 4 more than my goal!  Now I just have one more to finish all 41 blocks! (and then of course, I need to applique the centers on)  This quilt is going to be so wicked…I can’t wait till it’s completely finished!

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One thing I was very aggressive about this week was finishing the Treehouse quilt.  I got the basting down, but haven’t started machine quilting.  Oops. As I was pin basting, I realized I am not a fan of basting whatsoever.  I think I need to figure out how to glue baste, maybe I’ll like that technique better.  I wonder how much space I will need or if I need a hardwood floor (those are rare in my house).  Hopefully I can get time to finish quilting it this next week.  Maybe I’m not a machine quilting fan either, I feel like I fight my quilt so maybe a good goal will be to finish quilting this calendar year!  (way to set achievable goals!)

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I was super bummed I didn’t get my Christmas fabric I ordered from Fat Quarter Shop this weekend.  The post office messed up because it criss-crossed the Twin Cities before it finally got to me on Monday.  I really wanted to make some Christmas Ornaments as gifts this year.  So this is going to heavily influence my goals this week…

12/6-12/13 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Thursday and Friday Night, and Sunday afternoon

Projects I want to work on:
Christmas Ornaments
Treehouse Quilt
Cozy Christmas  (Since I’ll be getting it back this week from Rhonda!!!)

Goals for the Projects:
Christmas Ornaments:  Make at least 5 (I think I only have enough straight pins for 5 right now)
Treehouse Quilt: Quilt and bind (who am I kidding, I most likely will be making ornaments!)
Cozy Christmas:  Bind

Tutorial · weekly update

Break out the Christmas Décor

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving Holiday!  I definitely had a lot of fun traveling back home to Dallas to visit my parents and have a mini family reunion for the holiday.  Airports don’t seem to understand that it’s perfectly normal to travel with a sewing machine and a carry-on full of fabric… at least it is for quilter.  But I got everything there and back home without too much fuss.

So this Christmas stocking that I made with cathedral window was fairly epic.  I used the technique on the Missouri Star Quilt Co. website, however I did not use the 5 inch charm squares.  I thought for a stocking, the fabric variety should be smaller.  I used 2 1/2″ squares for the stockings.  Half way through making the stocking, I realized I that I could provide a cheat sheet for those that want to make something similar.

Cathedral Window Stocking
Materials:
1 Fat Quarter for the lining
1 Fat Eighth for the cuff and loop
3 mini charm packs or 1 charm pack of Christmas Print
3 mini charm packs or 1 charm pack of white fabric (I used Bella Solids White)

If you are not using mini charm packs, cut the charms into 2 1/2″ squares.  There are 106 print squares needed and 112 white squares needed.  Iron all of the white squares’ opposite corners together to form a triangle.

Now you will need to layout the printed fabric as shown in the photo below.  This is really to cover the part that is going to be cut for the stocking size.  Make sure that you make one that has a MIRRORED layout to get both sides of the stocking.  The layout must be mirrored or else your stocking will have 2 of the same side!

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I decided that I wanted to glue baste the white triangles, so they did not move while being sewn together. I ended up not glue basting the squares together, just the triangles to the squares.  I did attempt to glue baste the pieces completely together, but it caused too much bulk.  If you have never glue basted, you can use Elmer’s washable glue with a micro fine tip or something similar to help get a small line of glue.  Then you use your iron to heat set the pieces together.  If you made a mistake, no worries just pull the fabric apart and re-glue.  I used a walking foot to piece the squares together due to the bulk of fabric.

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Once the pieces are sewn together, pick prints to go in the windows of the stocking.  When making a cathedral window with 5 inch squares, you don’t need to cut the pieces down.  However, we are using the mini charm size, and the pieces will be too big for the window.  The mini charms for the windows only will need to be trimmed to 2 1/4″ square to fit.  Once you trim them down, you can lay it out to show how the stocking will look.  I glue basted the white edges down on the print square so it would be easier to sew together.

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Once they are all glue basted, I used my walking foot to sew on the white edges to secure all the fabric in place.

I used Sew Like My Mom’s free stocking pattern as my template to trace on the cathedral window fabric for my stocking outline.  I sewed on the line around the stocking so when I cut the stocking out, the fabric would not unravel in some places.  You can use her tutorial for how to assemble the rest of the stocking together here.

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I love how this stocking turned out!  It was so much fun to make, and it looks so good.

I also found this really neat No-Sew “Quilted” Christmas Ornament YouTube video by Shabby Fabric that I can’t wait to make.  I ordered some fabric and got supplies to make the ornaments later this month.  It looks like a great project for some scraps left over from a Christmas quilt.

I think this upcoming year I’ll have more time to plan quilt gifts for friends and family.  I don’t really have any quilt Christmas gifts planned this year so sorry to everyone that was hoping to get one!

11/29-12/6 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Wednesday and Friday Night, and Saturday and Sunday afternoon

Projects I want to work on:
Powered by Quilting Patterns
Steampunk
Treehouse Quilt

Goals for the Projects:
Powered by Quilting Patterns:  Cut fabric for Pattern #102, start sewing
Steampunk:  Complete 10 Blocks
Treehouse Quilt: Machine quilt and bind.