Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Pat Sloan's MEGA FUN Book Tour!

Piecing quilt tops is my hands down favorite!  I LOVE to make blocks.  I have hundreds of blocks and some quilt tops to prove how much I love to piece...LOL!

When it comes to the actual quilting, the dragging of the feet starts.  How to quilt, how not to quilt, how the HECK am I going to fit all of that through my machine starting playing in my already overactive brain and makes it next to impossible to go any further.

Pat Sloan to the RESCUE!

If you have not heard, Pat Sloan is having a MEGA FUN Book Tour to celebrate the release of her book Teach Me to Machine Quilt!



Make sure to also check out her other fab "Teach Me" books  Teach Me To Applique and Teach Me to Sew Triangles.

I am always on board when Pat has any event because she is SO MUCH FUN and she makes learning easy!  If you ever hear of her speaking at a guild near you...GO!  Pat is a great speaker and makes everyone feel at ease when quilting!

Pat is aka "The Queen" in my house as she IS the quilting world!

With 30 books, a podcast for American Patchwork and Quilting, more patterns than I have fingers and toes, fabric lines with Moda Fabrics , multiple Aurifil thread collections and her own shipping department ( her husband Gregg is the BEST) anyone would be hard pressed to find a better teacher than Pat!


Here we are at a shopping trip to IKEA!





Teach Me to Machine Quilt is filled with great projects to get your creative juices flowing and jump start you on your way to making a quilt from start to finish!


Included in the book are nine quilting projects for every sewing level. Pat is honestly the most passionate person I know when it comes to quilting! She wants to teach the world to quilt ( I am singing the Coke commercial in my head) and she is definitely the right person to do it! You will love the ease in which each quilt is explained in this book!  

Pat and I share a LOVE of the color red!  This Mini Charm Star Quilt is a wonderful way to work on a smaller scale while learning how to quilt with your machine.


Photo courtesy of Martingale


When you are ready for a larger project, Pat's Cherry Pie Quilt is an absolute beauty! This would be stunning in any color but I am really in love with the red.

Photo courtesy of Martingale




The book is filled with everything you need to know for successful machine quilting!

Not sure of the proper threads to use?  Pat provides details on what her favorites are for machine quilting.

I am going to ruin the surprise on this one...AURIFIL threads are her favorite! If you have never tried the different thread weights, Pat gives a overview of what threads to use for either low, medium or high impact quilting.


Photo courtesy of Martingale



When I was a beginning quilter, I was a straight line only quilter.  If you are hesitant to try free motion quilting, Pat shares her tips on how to make this technique stress free and more fun!



Pat is also hosting a fantastic giveaway for you to WIN a copy of her book ( there will be FIVE winners) !!!!  To read all of the details and enter for your chance to win visit HERE!

Photo courtesy of Martingale 





And because it is not a party without TONS of friends ( Pat is friends with everyone she meets), make sure to visit all of the PARTY Hosts and hostesses:
Nov 18 
Nov 19
Nov 20
Nov 21
Nov 22
Nov 23
Nov 25
Nov 26 - My Birthday!!!
Nov 28
Nov 29
Nov 30

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Have you been participating in the Aurifil Designer Block of the Month?

Every year Pat Sloan organizes a fabulous and FREE Block of the Month from quilting industry designers!  There is a theme every year and this year it is Blue and White!  I am the Designer of the Month for November and my block is Geese Feet, an updated variation of the traditional Goose Tracks block! You can get the pattern for the block here.

The only quilt combination that is more exciting than blue and white to me is RED and WHITE! Yesterday I was thinking about Christmas decorating ( only thinking because actually doing it is way too much work).  I saw red fabrics on my cutting table from another project and had to make a Red and White version for cushions for my sofa.



The BEST part about this block is you can use charms for all of the prints!  I grabbed some reds, the pattern ( did I mention the FREE part) and the white background and had a block made in no time flat!



There have also been Geese Feet blocks popping up on Instagram!!!! 

This pretty red and white is by Elise & Emelie.



And this classic blue is by Kim ( Quilty Stitches).




I hope to see many more Geese Feet!  Remember that after you make the block to visit Pat Sloan's Blog and Link up your photo for Geese Feet to be automatically enter for the chance to WIN a LARGE Spool Aurifil thread collection! LINKY PARRTY HERE! 
















Saturday, November 26, 2016

City Sampler Fussy Cut Blocks Almost 100!

I am almost to the end of the 100 Days 100 Blocks!  Although I am behind a few days,  with only two blocks left to make I am pretty excited!

All of the blocks shown have been made using the City Sampler 100 Modern Blocks by Tula Pink.   I had been making two sets, one completely fussy cut and scrappy and the second with thrifted, gifted and found fabrics.

The second set I am further behind making.  Other projects took up some of the sewing time for the garment blocks but I will be making them here and there to catch up!

Here are some of the most recent fussy cut blocks.


This sailboat is in a lovely sea of perfect dots!



Pinocchio is from Heather Ross's Disney collection.  I love this fussy cut paired with all of the blues!



I had made a Brown Joel Dewberry Aviary block but could not resist another in pink!


I made this one while thinking about my friend Kim from Persimion Dreams whose family also runs and apple orchard!


This Alexander Henry fabric was perfect with the colorful birds and a rainbow heart!

Munki Munki cowboys are too much fun!



Paper airplanes and childhood go hand in hand.  I adore the tiny plane that made its way from the first block perfectly into the second.


The colorful Panda block is a favorite in this house!


I love to take photos so this purple Echino camera was a must have for this quilt!


I have also included fussy cut knit fabrics in this quilt.  By using a lightweight fusible stabilizer, it makes knits as day to use as quilters cotton.


Fussy cut block 99/100... yes, I am THAT close...is a lovely Japanese bird print.


I am going to be SO HAPPY to finish up my blocks and start moving forward with other projects! All of my blocks have been sew with perfect 1/4 in seams using Aurifil 50wt thread!

It has been so much fun to make a 100% fussy cut 100% scrappy 100 blocks!

Linking up to 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Pincushionmania!

Pincushions are so easy to make and are perfect for scrappy sewing.  These pincushions I have been creating here and from last week have been from tiny strips, bits and pieces from used garments that have been thrifted, gifted or found.  

After using the main parts for sewing quilt blocks, what is left can be used to make pincushions.  There is little to no waste! 


Courthouse Steps are one of my favorites and this one is so adorable.   Like most of my projects, red makes its way into the designs.  It is only 1/4 in of red but it has a fab impact! 




I made a tiny start and realized I had run out of crushed walnut shells to fill it.  I really just half fill with shells, for weight and half with polyfill for fluff.

This is my sad flat star.



The two kids were thrilled to go to Pet Smart because they have chinchillas, fish and cats!  These keep them occupied while I seek out the goods for my pincushions.

The clerk was able to guide me to the right section after I was found wandering kind of aimlessly somewhere between the fish and bird section.

I apparently needed to be in the reptile section specifically in the Bearded Dragon area.  The clerk was surpassed to find out I use bedding ( meant for poop) in my pincushions.

Back to making I went once I had the much need weight ( I am now the proud owner of 5 lbs of the stuff)  in my hot little hands!





I did take a couple of days off of my everyday sewing schedule to take kids to the dentist and for a day a giving thanks.  

I loved bringing out some of my good dishes to enjoy a small dinner with my family.  The colors in vintage dishes make my heart sing!  



Today is back in the sewing room to tidy up ( I somehow lost six blocks) and hopefully get back into sewing!  


I hope you had a wonderful holiday with your family and friends! 


I am linking up to 



Monday, November 21, 2016

Monday Motivation {sewing tools}

Welcome Back to Monday Motivation!

Every week I make an effort to bring you free ideas to make and try. This week is something a little different. We all have to spend some money on sewing gadgets for our swing studios.  I started thinking about sewing tools this past weekend and which ones I like the best.  I have also asked some of my friends which ones they like the best.  

Sewing enthusiasts seem to be always on the lookout for tools to help them sew more efficiently.  I am convinced it is part of the reason we have collections of gadgets in our sewing studios!  Or maybe that is just me!  Here is the first of my series of Monday Motivation posts about what I think to be the best sewing tools!

(For disclosure purposes, there are no affiliate links in this post, I tried my best to seek out the best prices and companies to help you get the most for your money! That way you can buy more fabric and thread 😊) 








I love the Qmnigrid 5in square ruler!  I have been using this for trimming most of my half square triangles. This is a ruler you will reach for time and time again!   It is available on Amazon by visiting here.


*Made from durable premium quality acrylic plastic and laser cut for a smooth edge that allows for easier deeper cutting of fabric layers
*Can be used with rotary cutters or straight edge blades
*Featuring right and left handed numbering and angle system and diagonal lines for triangle cuts




Best Press is a go to favorite for many quilters!  The lighter than starch is perfect for helping keep fabrics that are more difficult in place.  I love starch and starch alternatives for keeping my blocks from warping too much.


If you have not tried this product here is a great description:

"This is a clear starch alternative with soil guard and wrinkle resister. This starch alternative makes ironing easier and more enjoyable with wonderful scents. It is non-flaking even on dark fabrics, non-clogging, acid-free, leaves no residue behind, relaxes stubborn wrinkles, gives clothing a crisp, new finish, makes clothes soil-resistant, does not attract bugs and make fabrics look like new."

Joann Fabrics has it on sale and this product can be found here.








I have tried many hand sewing needles with huge disappointment.  Anytime I would bind, my needles would bend and my fingers would end up being very sore. I was introduced to Bohin Needles.  I went from using three or four needles to bind a quilt to just one that would still maintain both sharpness and strength.  My favorite so far has been the Betweens.

Fat Quarter Shop has a few options for Bohin needles here.







Do you need to poke edges out or stuff?  I have been making lots of pincushions lately and this tools came highly recommend from a friend! The Purple Thang ( such a fun name!) by Lynn Graves is a muti-use tool that will be in my sewing space very soon!  I was told that if you have cats you need to buy more than one 😂

"It pushes, pokes, pulls, turns and makes it's own uses! Every accessory maker, seamstress, quilter and crafter absolutely needs this!"

This product is available in local big box stores and found for a great price at Discount Office Supply here





A stiletto is a must have in a sewing arsenal! My stiletto never leaves my sight!  I have the ByAnnie's Stiletto. It helps with sewing tiny pieces accurately, It help with opening seams safely when ironing and more...

Here are just some of the highlights of this amazing tool!  

"The stiletto point enables you to hold pieces in place easily and is especially helpful when piecing or attaching bindings. 

You can keep the tip of the stiletto in place on the fabric almost until the needle reaches the point. It is impossible to keep your fingers in place when you get that close to the needle.

We added one step which sets this tool apart from any other on the market: The point of the stiletto is sand ground which means it is lovingly "roughed up". This prevents the point from sliding off the fabric and really helps you grab, pull, and hold pieces in place. We looked long and hard to find a company who could provide this feature for us and ended up having to send the points to a needle-manufacturing facility to complete this step. It adds to the cost but it is SO worth it! 

The high-carbon German-made steel point is strong and inserted deep into the handle for long-lasting wear.

The other end of the tool is angled at just the right degree to make a surface for pressing seams open. There is no need to move to the ironing board for just a small seam. You can press right at your machine!

The stiletto/pressing tool is very lightweight so hands don't get tired." 


There is more information on this item and ordering information on By Annie's here







I have a variety of pins in my possession but, as a quilter,  I like the glass headed the best.  When I do pin, these do not melt when ironing.  I do sometimes forget that I have pins on my blocks especially when there are many ( yikes) so this saves my sanity and my iron!


The highlights for Clover glass head pins:

*Pin head is made of iron proof glass
*Comes in closeable case
*Extra fine pins

You can find 100 Clover Patchwork glass head pins on sale on Amazon here.







Thread cutting is a task that cannot be avoided so why not make it something to smile about with the The Original Thread Cutter by Sunflower Quilts.

"The quickest and easiest way to cut threads while chain piecing. Hold fabric with both hands and slide thread across blade. Thread cutter can be used to cut all types of thread, including yarn, string, and fishing line."

You can find this product on Fat Quarter Shop here.




Although FriXion pens have had their controversy in the quilting world, I love them!  If you do not use them on very dark fabric ( there can be a light mark left on the fabric see the great post about them on Connecting Threads here), live where the temps are really cold or not making a show quilt, these pens are super helpful for very precision marking and ease of removal.  I also LOVE them for embroidery projects!

These can be found at almost all local quilt shops ( please support local whenever you can!) and office supply stores.

If you cannot find them locally there is a 3 pack at Office Depot here.



Seam rippers are MANDATORY!  

I am of the opinion that the first lesson to any beginning sewing class is seam ripping.  It is the one thing that we ALL have to do, so why not learn how early on! 

To any sewing project you HAVE to have at least one seam ripper handy!  I have been brought to tears when I have had my favorite seam ripper lost.  It was later found hiding in a heating duct that is under my sewing table.  I think that it was hiding from over use 😉 My favorite one, Jack is a small vintage one that cannot be found any longer.  

The Seam Fix Seam Ripper by Dritz is nice and sharp, fits nicely in the hand and has an end for literally erasing the threads away!

"Make the inevitable job of having to rip seams a little more pleasant with this useful tool. Rip out your seams with the sharp seam ripper, then use the rubber head to catch and remove all of the little threads. The rubber tip will also help to close up needle holes."

This great tool is available at many local shops and also at Connecting Threads here.

  




The scissors that I cannot live without are Havel's 5 1/2 Embroidery Scissors.  They are very sharp, they do not drag on fabric, they cut with excellent precision when I am working on small piecing ( like my tiny log cabin blocks) and they feel good on my fingers. I do not like when the scissor handles get too cold or slip in use. 


*These 5-1/2 inch embroidery scissors with purple comfort grips with large finger loops and safety cap
*They cut fabric precisely all the way to the tip; excellent for fine detail cutting
*The light serration on one blade grips slippery fabrics and multiple layers for crisp clean edges every time

You can find these scissors on sale now at Amazon here.




I think I have five rotary cutters.  I have tried many and have settled on one that meets all of my needs.  It is lightweight, easy to use and BY GOLLY!  It is also cute!  The Olfa Splash 45mm Rotary Cutter is hands down the easiest rotary cutter for me.  

"Ideal for: Cutting straight or curved lines and cutting fabrics into shapes, strips and pieces

Other Features:
Ideal for medium to heavy-weight projects, this razor-sharp blade easily cuts through up to six layers of fabric. Made of high-quality tungsten carbide tool steel, it's sure to deliver precision project after project."

This item can be found at your local quilt shop, a big box sewing store or online at Craftsy , on sale now here.




These are items to start with, I have more coming in next week's Monday Motivation so I look forward to sharing more with you next week!  I would also LOVE to hear what sewing item's you cannot live without!  Please let me know, I am always looking for new an better ways to sew!


Please join me for more fabulous tutorials, inspirations and humor that I share everyday on:








































Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sunday Stash Coney Island Fig Tree & Co.

Sunday Stash this week is a delightful collection by Joanna from Fig Tree & Co. for Moda Fabrics.

I am completely jazzed by the rainbow of colors included in this vibrant line!  There is even a lovely orange!  All of you lovers of orange, you will not want to miss the opportunity to have these in your stash!






I had the pleasure of choosing the fun colors of Aurifil 50 wt to compliment the fabrics.  I was drawn to 4659, 2130, 2886, 5007, 2745 and 2340.  

You can see all of the 270 colors of available Aurifil here.





This wonderful line of fabric will be available March 2017 ( that is right around the corner based on how fast this year flew by) in your favorite local or online quilt shop!

Joanna is making your holiday shopping EASY by having a pre ordering of kits on her site! To read more information, please visit here.









You can see more of the complete collection by visiting Moda Fabrics.  Ask your local shop about this collection!


Friday, November 18, 2016

Pincushions and other fun!

Whoever said that you can have enough pincushions never met me! I have loads but that never stops me from making more!

The past couple of days I have been making pincushions.  Tiny little blocks of beautiful used garments.  There is a mixture or denim, chambray, and some other unknown origin fabrics. They are all spectacular together!

The first one I made is a simply log cabin.  The strips are 1/4 in finished.  I had to make the center red because that is what I do.  It is easy to stitch together using my 1/4 inch foot for my Bernina.  It is therapeutic after the first round.  The log cabin is my favorite block of al time. It always looks great and takes dry little effort.



The new addition today is a wonderful paper pieced Pineapple quilt block.  Again, the center is red.
I really enjoy using thrifted, gifted or found garments for projects.  The feel of the fabrics are different than quilters cotton.  The texture is wonderful.  Each piece is unique.

For this pincushion, I even used the flip side of the dark grey fabric to create the lighter grey for the next round.  I did not have the perfect color and this made an interesting alternative.


I also received some very happy mail from Lucy Brennan from Charm About You! She sent me a lovely brooch with TEENY TINY hexagons!  She also include a very sweet note and the most darling bag I have even seen! 

Thank you Lucy! 



And...

If you did not see...



I am the Aurifil Designer of the Month for November! I am SO EXCITED to be a part of this exciting event! 




This my block Geese Feet!  It is an updated Goose Tracks with NO Y seams!  This year the Block of the Month is all Blue and White!  

To get the FREE pattern for this block, visit Aurifil Auribuzz!  You can also WIN a LARGE SPOOL Aurifil collection by making this block and linking the photo up to Pat Sloan's page!  
So be sure to make a block for the chance to WIN a thread collection and then grab some old clothing to make some fun pincushions!  


Linking up to Finish It Up Friday



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Aurifil Designer of the Month for November is ME!

Aurifil has a Block of the Month every year that starts in January and has free blocks every month for you to print up and make.  Pat Sloan coordinates the event every year with twelve industry designers and a theme.  This year the theme is "Blue and White."

I am over the moon and stars excited to be the Aurifil Designer of the Month for November!



My pattern is Geese Feet inspired by the traditional Goose Tracks but better because there are no Y Seams! You can get the FREE pattern for this block here. The full year of Designers and their blocks can be found here.

For the blue and white, I used Pat Sloan's gorgeous blue batiks from her new line Sunday Drive for Moda Fabrics and Bella Solids white.  You will want to ask your favorite local quilt shop or online shop about this fantastic collection! I pieced my block using Aurifil 50wt thread for accuracy and you know it is virtually lint free making it better for your sewing machine! 




There are two ways to make this block, both are equally as good , it is just what you prefer.  You can make the flying geese as it shows in the pdf pattern or you can also make half square triangles if you do not like to make flying geese.  

If you are unfamiliar with making half square triangles, this is how I make them:

For this block ( in place of the flying geese) you will need to make 16 half square triangles.  

Cut 3 1/4 in squares 16 in the solid ( white) and 16 print.




You can draw a line down either side of the center  1/4 in with your preferred marking device



Or you can do what I do that requires no line drawing at all!   I love the ease of a simple washi tape line 💗








After you have your lines sewn, separate the hst down the center.



This is one of my all time favorite rulers!  It is a must have for every sewing room!  You can check your local quilt shop for availability or you can find it here ( this is not an affiliate link, it is just a great ruler). 


Line up the center of the hst and the edges of the block to the 2 1/4 mark and trim the edges. 



Trim the dog ear of the opposing side and you have a lovely half square triangle! 



Here is the placement for the half square triangles for this block.  




I love having multiple options for blocks!  It makes for a wonderful way to either make something easier ( if you are familiar with the technique) or more challenging if it is something new!

I really hope you enjoy making this block!  




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