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

T.G.I.F.

Finally Friday!  For a short week (Labor Day holiday), it definitely felt like a really long one!  I didn’t have much time this week to work on projects since I was traveling for work.  I didn’t even get much hand sewing in, shocking!

So today, I’m going to share a little bit about how I test my designs without EQ7.  I do own EQ7 and use it for mocking up patterns that I end up making, but for quick tests of block designs I’m old-fashioned.  Using pencil and paper, I draw my block design and color it in.  I love using Prismacolor color pencils because they shade in evenly, a 24 color pack is plenty of different colors for mocking up designs.

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Blog Hop · Feature

S.W.A.K. Revealed (Piece and Quilt with Precuts Blog Hop)

S.W.A.K. is the 4th quilt in the Piece and Quilt with Precuts book by Christa Watson.  I am so happy to finally be able to share my finished quilt after all the sneak peeks on my Instagram!

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This quilt uses Charm Packs for the half square triangles (HSTs).  So keeping with the spirit of the precuts theme, I decided to use Airmail (quantity 2), Modern Background Ink (quantity 2), and Bella Solid White (less than 1) Charm Packs.  Here is the first lesson:  Not all Charm Packs are the same size! Seriously. You’d think they should all be 5″ square, but with the pinked edges the square is sometimes larger or smaller.

I used my Frixion pen to mark the diagonals on all the lines and centered the two pieces the best I could.  However, it didn’t help with the finished size of the HST.  The pattern calls for 4-5/8″ HSTs, but mine were so inconsistent due to the charm pack size that I made the decision to trim them to 4-1/2″.  So I then started my long process of trimming all 168 HSTs.

I used my design wall to lay out the entire quilt before I made the blocks.  I realized with the Red and Blue blocks I could make the fun Xs and Os in different colors.

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Because I trimmed my HSTs, the final version of my quilt is slightly smaller than what is listed in the pattern, but it’s crucial to have consistently sized HST to have a square quilt!  I tried spray basting this quilt for the first time!  Christa gave a demo of spray basting in her Start Up Quilting Craftsy class, and I was definitely intrigued. I must say, I think I have fallen in LOVE with spray basting. It makes quilting so much easier without having to take out pins all the time.  I followed the square spiral walking foot quilting instructions in the book, and I can only imagine how hard that would have been if there were pins!

So what are my overall thoughts about the pattern and the book?  It’s a great book that goes from piecing instructions to how to quilt that specific design.  Christa has great instructions and great tips throughout the book to help build your skills.

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You can purchase a signed copy of the book from Christa’s Shop or you can purchase a copy using my Amazon Affiliate link.

Don’t forget that the blog hop continues through August 30 so be sure to check out all the other amazing designs and quilters!

Blog Hop Schedule

Last but not least, since I spent all weekend migrating my blog to be self hosted and now can have Rafflecopter giveaways… Here’s a giveaway for an E-copy of Piece and Quilt with Precuts!  The giveaway is open until the Midnight CDT on August 31.  Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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weekly update

Friday Finishing Update!

Happy Friday everyone!!!

Surprise! There’s now going to be posts on Friday for my weekly updates!  I decided I will keep my Tuesday post for feature posts, and Friday will be my time to give an update on what I’m working on or what I’ve finished that week! Since I didn’t have an update this past Tuesday, this post covers about a week and half of happenings.

Summer Games Done Quick finished last Sunday with a whooping $1.78 million raised for Doctor’s Without Borders!  That is such an amazing amount of money raised by people watching others speedrun video games.  It was also super amazing to see my quilt on Twitch.tv.

I got the first month’s kit for the new Long Time Gone Quilt Along hosted by Serendipity Woods!  Pam sent us a project box with all the fabric to keep us organized during this journey.  She is always so thoughtful with her Block of the Month Participants!  Here are my month 1 blocks, the bowtie blocks!

Since I finished the PQB103 quilt top, I’ve taken a little detour in other things that aren’t ordinary machine piecing for quilts.  I had 4 more remaining 16″ zippers, so I decided to make 4 more tiny zippy bags.  I have made 6 of these so far and realized they are the perfect size for traveling or storing items.  They are so cute and are complete minus the bias binding on the inside.  The pattern, Tiny Box Zippy, is by Michael Ann Made.

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I also decided to start on an English Paper Piecing (EPP) project.  I used to do quite a bit of EPP last summer, but haven’t really touched anything in over a year.  EPP is a method of basting fabric to a piece of cardstock aka wrapping the fabric over the cardstock, then sewing pieces together with a whip stitch.  Violet Craft came out with this BEAUTIFUL peacock pattern, and I just had to make it.  I’m using Me and You batiks by Hoffman Fabrics for my colors.  With batiks, there isn’t a “right” side to the fabric, so I’m able to better utilize the fabric.  I’ve gotten quite a bit of progress on this peacock!  This is typically a much slower process for me since it’s entirely hand sewn.  I started with the numbers that are printed on the papers, but abandoned that idea when I realized the pattern could be sewn together in “strips.”

As I mentioned a few week’s ago, I am also going to be participating in the Christa Quilts Pieces and Quilt with Precuts Blog Hop.  These pieces have been my enders and leaders for the last few weeks, and I have a sneak peak of all the Half Square Triangles (HST).  I was putting them on my design wall in a chevron pattern to count how many I have created thus far.  I still have a lot more to go, but I can’t wait to see how this turns out.  I’m using Airmail by the Comstocks, Modern Ink Fabric by Zen Chic, and White Bella Solids.

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I used to cross stitch in my life before quilting.  It’s a great portable craft to bring while traveling.  I have been working on these Mario Kart sprites for my husband for quite some time now and I only have Donkey Kong and Koopa left.  I finished all but the last 4 stitches of Donkey Kong in April and just finally decided I should finish him on my work trip this week.  Koopa might take me another 5 years to finish…

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I am so pleased to be announcing the “I Wish You a Merry QAL” that is going to be starting August 1.  I will hosting AND designing a block!  More information to come on Tuesday, and I hope you decide to join us!

Image uploaded from iOS

PBQ104 Status:  I started learning EQ7, so I can digitally simulate the quilt designs.  Hopefully, I’ll pick a design soon to start working on it!

Last but not least, a HUGE shoutout to my sister @sanhawaii08 for finishing her first quilt top!!! It’s the Ombre Gems pattern by Emily Dennis.  I am so proud, and I love this so much I should probably think about making one. (Or just “borrowing” it from my sister, 😛 haha)

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7/14-7/21 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Saturday, Sunday, and Monday PM

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

Goals for the Projects:
I Wish You a Merry QAL: Start working on the QAL blocks to prepare for hosting!
PBQ104: Finalize the design and pick fabric for sample
S.W.A.K.: Using as my ender and leader project.

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weekly update

Paper Piecing Design

Yesterday, I mailed by Maker’s Birthday Bash present to my partner!  I am so excited to share my process on how I made the diamond quilt I posted a few weeks ago.  Diamonds are the birthstone of April babies, so what better quilt to make!

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The Diamond is paper pieced from a sketch I made on graph paper.  I drew and redrew the diamond until I found the proportions to be correct for what I wanted.

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I then exploded the figure to the two different paper pieced parts.  If you notice, I numbered the pieces in opposite directions so the seams would lay in alternate directions.  One of my pet peeves with paper piecing is when all the seams are to one side.  It makes sewing the pieces together a little harder to have the points align.  I also designed this block to have a strip of fabric down the edges of the block after the pieces are sewn together to stabilize the block.

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Progress photos!

I decided to reverse the background in my 9th block because I was using gray as the diamond color. Once I got all the blocks done, I quilted the mini with my walking foot!

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I posted a paper piecing tutorial a few weeks ago that shows you step by step how to do the technique.  Now with some graph paper and some ideas, you can design your own paper piecing patterns! I think designing paper piecing patterns are fun and quick to do.  Some can get super complex and others can be used to simply extreme angles.

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Also the Giveaway winner from last week is Cecilia who commented on the post with my blocks correctly identified!  Please use the contact page to email me your details so I can get the giveaway prize to you!

An update for the Quilter’s Planner blocks from the last few weeks.  First up is Due North By Abby King of Hashtag Quilt.  This is a paper pieced block.  One tip is that the A6 and B6 pieces from the cutting instructions are unnecessary.   A5 and B5 are plenty large to cover both sections.

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Last week, the block was Intermingled By Bernie Kringle of Needle and Foot.  There are some corrections to the downloadable tutorial instructions.  Use the block labeling on the third page rather than the second.  There are a few blocks labeled with the wrong number.  Also piece #8 should be 2″x9″ not 8.5″  I wish I knew this before I started piecing because I definitely realized these errors as I was making it!

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This week’s block (I’m early!) is Spanish Tiles By Diana Mattoni of Red Delicious Life.  There is one little typo about the trimmed size the flying geese.  The correct size is 4.5″x2.5″ not 4.25″x2.5″.

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I also finished up the Megaman quilt for my husband.  He was so happy to have it finished because I definitely have a knack for starting projects for him, but never finishing them! Megaman is my finish #7 for the year and is updated on the Completed Quilts page.

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Last but not least this week, the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers blog hop is kicking off this week!  I am a part of the Better Bloggers Hive run by the awesome Beth Sellers of Cooking Up Quilts.  My week is May 1, but there are giveaways every week from some amazing sponsors.  So check our Beth’s blog for the list of people participating in the blog hop this week!

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4/11-4/18 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
??? – traveling for work internationally!

Projects I want to work on:
MQG Fabric Challenge
Birthday Mini

Goals for the Projects:
MQG Fabric Challenge: Finish the applique
Birthday Mini: Finish the binding

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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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