Thursday, April 28, 2016

New Jacquelynne Steves Block of the Month and a Giveaway!

Are you ready for a quick Block of the Month? The very talented Jacquelynne Steves is hosting an upcoming free Block of the Month starting in June!  You can join the fun by visiting and signing up for Maggie's First Dance  on Jacquelynne's blog! 






I am honored to be one of the bloggers that will be participating in making the monthly blocks with you, sharing my color choices, and maybe give some tips to help make the blocks presented.  This is the perfect way to play without the time commitment of a full year! 

The list of bloggers is so cool, be sure to check them all out and say hello! 




Now for the fun giveaway! 




To get this party started, Jacquelynne will be giving away a Merry Go Round quilt pattern and an Amelia quilt and pillow pattern to a wonderful winner.  

This giveaway will close May 4 and a random winner will be chosen and announced by May 7, 2016.
This wonderful giveaway is open to all of our international friends.  If you are a no reply blogger, please leave your contact information in your comment.  

You have a chance of winning by just leaving a comment on my blog! 

I would love to know...
Have you ever been part of an online Block or the Month or sew along?  If so,  Which one(s)?



When Life Throws You Lemons...

Winter seems to be back for at least the next few days.  This slows my sewing progress but I will prevail but it may be after the heater is turned on and I drag my wool sweaters back out from the back of the closet.  

In the meantime, I will look at the beautiful colors of the fabrics in the Rainbow Courthouse Steps quilt and think...



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A WIP WED quilt block tutorial a visit with Mr. Bernina

The first week of color for the #bescrappy was red!  Red is my color of choice when it comes to quilting.  While it is not my number one most favorite color, it is possibly my one and a half color but not quite my number two.  If there is an in-between favorite color this is IT for me!

To whittle down my red scraps, I started just cutting and sewing.  I am loving how the red cream and gray looks up on the design wall!  My intent was not to make a full quilt but that is the direction this project is taking. 

I decided to make a fast quilt block tutorial for this simple block! 



To make these fabulous blocks is so incredibly easy! I used Zen Chic Modern Background in Paper and Ink for Moda Fabrics.  I am piecing using Aurifil 50wt in a nice neutral color.

Cut four 3 in square and eight 1.5 in squares. Use 1/4 in seams.  The unfinished block size is 5 1/2.



On two opposite corners, fabric right sides facing, sew on the diagonal.  I am using my Clearly Perfect Angles Mat by New Leaf Stitches to bypass taking the time to marking!  You can get this great product by visiting Kari's website :o)


To save even more time (and thread) chain piece as you go! Press the seams to the dark side.  



Sew two of the units together and press seams open.  You will now have two rectangle units.



Line the two rectangle units up, matching the center seam and the two angled seams, pin and sew together.


Press and you will have this lovely block! SO EASY!!!! 




Today, I also had the great pleasure of listening to and meeting Mr. Bernina, Hanspeter Ueltschi, at Suzzie's Quilt Shop in Manassas, VA.  The participants has tons of questions and Mr. Ueltschi had many answers!



After the talk, it was on to signing machines, books and just about everything else!  If you want a beautiful new Bernina signed by Mr. Bernina, call Susy! This local quilt shop( support your local shop) also offers a great selection of thousands of bolts of fabrics, notions ( Aurifil) and classes.  She will be moving soon to a bigger lovely space a few doors down soon and will have even more to offer her quilters! Looking forward to seeing it in a few months!



Many thanks to Susy and her staff ( knowledgeable and helpful) and to to Mr. Bernina for making the trek to VA!  It was a fun morning.


F


Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday Motivation The Splendid Sampler Block 21

Welcome back to Monday Motivation!  This weekend I spent painting my home.  I stopped to see this fun block for The Splendid Sampler and had a great idea for how to make it using paper piecing for a peppermint center!

The Splendid Sampler Block 21 is an adorable sweet treat by Kris Thurgood from Girlfriend’s Quilt Shoppe!  Loving that Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson invited local quilt shop owners to create designs for this fun event!  Make sure to visit  and support your local quilt shop! Join in for classes, block of the month, community service projects or just pick out some new fabrics for the next blocks coming up!


I made my Sweet Candy using a variety of reds, a few Moda Bella Solids charm pack squares for the white, and the background is Zen Chic Modern Background fabric for Moda in Ink.  I pieced using Aurifil 50wt thread.

When I saw the block, peppermint candy popped into my head!  I wanted to make it as peppermintish as I could!  I decided to create a paper pieced pattern using 1/4inch strips to create the peppermint strips.  It is an easy way to make the center block have some fun texture!  


So pretty all trimmed up and ready to size for a perfect candy center! 



Hope you have been joining  The Splendid Sampler for the twice a week free block patterns from top designers with great support from designers themselves and a very active Facebook community! There are blocks using every quilting technique for you to try out different styles or build your quilting toolbox!  Join in for one or two blocks and stay for the rest :o) 


For more inspiration, fun, and links to free patterns 
come join me on






Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Stash #175

It is Sunday Stash #175!  While Molli is playing with his fabulous Juki ( lucky duck),  I am super stoked because Sara sent me some of my MOST favorite fabric of all time! Zen Chic Modern Background for Moda Fabrics.  This elegant collection is perfect for every quilting project and I have even used it in a garment and also two wallets with stunning results!

Prepare to be dazzled!


This collection has a great variety of prints that are all unique.  Paper is filled with low volume beauty.  The dots and text prints are incredible and the icing on the cake is the DOTS!  You can never go wrong with adding dots to anything! I have been using this collection for 90% of The Splendid Sampler blocks  I have been making and am overjoyed every time! 


I hate to unroll these beautiful layer cakes!  Today I will be using Ink for the newest block for The Splendid Sampler that was released this morning! Look at all of gorgeous color!  



Looking forward to checking out your stash Sunday Stash!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Your brain...on FABRIC!

I am sure you have seen the PSA ads for your brain on drugs.  This week my Throwback Thursday  went back to 2013 and getting ready for Quilt Market making a last minute bag using a last minute pattern by Sew Sweetness.  When I was posting the photo of the block used in all of its beauty and symmetry, the 80's PSA popped into my head of my brain before fabric and after fabric.  It was chaos before the block was made but after it was so stunning!






The conclusion is that quilters are much better AFTER fabric :o)



**scribble image found here**

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

How Make Freezer Paper Templates


Do you hate to trace out many tiny pieces or turn away from rotary cutting small bits?  I know I do! 

Freezer paper is the answer to your quilting dreams!  If you have not tried freezer paper to use for making small or appliqué templates, now it the time!   Here is how I am using freezer paper to make this adorable #bescrappy dresden plate that is rather small and includes beautiful vintage scraps from my collection. 





Freezer paper is not the same a parchment paper or wax paper.  When you purchase it make sure it says "PLASTIC COATED."  You do not want to know what happens if you hit your iron on wax paper!  Not pretty at all!


Freezer paper can be trimmed to fit into your printer or it can be traced onto with a permanent pen.  I snag whatever ball point pen the college kid is not using at the moment because he usually has the best ones in the house.




First roll out some of the paper and make it into a manageable sized piece.  I like the 8.5x11.  For this project I did smaller.  Notice that there are two sides to the freezer paper.  One is flat and one is shiny.

Pre shrink your paper by pressing over it with a hot dry iron *****SHINY SIDE DOWN****.   It will take only a second and then you can be sure that your templates will be sized correctly :)



After the freezer paper prep, grab your handy pen ( thank you boomerang boy!) and trace your template onto the paper.  My lines are not pretty, I hate to trace! But that is okay!




Lay the paper shiny side ****DOWN**** on your fabric scrap.  Hit it with a dry hot iron for a few seconds and it will stick!  This does not leave a residue and it reusable ( YAY)! 


Trim this up and save that bigger small scrap ;o) 





Freezer paper templates are also great for fussy cutting!  I am a bit of a fussy cutting maniac and will try to find and fussy cut anything I can.

If you hold it up to the light you can see how perfect your centered fussy cut will be.  This one should actually be a little more to the left.





After the trimming, you just peel the fabric off of the paper and on to the next piece!  I like to make a bunch of them and then use them and store them on clear bags to use again.


I hope you will try freezer paper templates as a great tool to add to your sewing studio to help use up your scraps!



Monday, April 18, 2016

Monday Motivation { #bescrappy Giveaway}

Scraps are a undeniable part of sewing.  In the quilting world, scraps, for the most part, are AMAZING!  Especially when you happen to be a scrappy quilter. The down side is that they accumulate and multiply at a pace that would make even the most productive bunnies blush!

I am at this point in my sewing room, I have more scraps than I have sense.  Last week my friend Susan from Instagram gave me the gentle nudge needed to not only organize but DO something with all of these fantastic scraps.  First up is a GIVEAWAY!





While sorting through the seemingly endless piles of epic fabric beauty, the idea struck me that not everyone has a stash of scraps or they do not have the same collections that I have been accumulating.  I starting making a side pile.  One to give away!  The decision was also made to include an Aurifil sample set, it includes all of the thread weights and a bonus Aurifil floss for your hand stitching!  


The scraps included are from many designers and manufactures.  There are many out of print and hard to find scraps included.  The sizes are varied from tiny to really not tiny ;o)  It is like a fireworks explosion at the end with all of the BEST stuff happens!

In the coming weeks there will be ideas for storage, projects and maybe more giveaways ( I found even more scraps this morning) to keep you excited about not only organizing but really being able to USE your scraps!

Susan is on Instgram only, if you do not know her...she is AMAZING!  Prolific quilter does not even come close to what she is!  She is a piecing machine! This is what she has been working on in just the past week!  And look at that lovely pile of scraps in the upper left box! 


This first week we are just sharing our piles of scraps!  How big are your scrap piles? If you are on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Ello, or anywhere else ( there is always someplace new) and want to share your scrappy projects, ideas, organization or piles of lovely scraps please use the hashtag #bescrappy and tag me ( gogokim) and Susan so we can see what you are up to!  


The fabulous giveaway will be as many lovely scraps as I can assemble by Friday ( there are already almost a basket filled to the top) and a sample set of Aurifil thread! 

To enter for your chance to win, I will be using Rafflecopter with a few different ways to enter.  You can just do one or to increase your chances of winning you can do all :o) The giveaway is open internationally and will close 23 April at 11pm EST.  A random winner will be chosen through Rafflecopter on or about 25 April ( weekends are crazy here). 










a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Splendid Sampler Block 19

The Splendid Sampler Block 19 by Jane Davidson from Quilt Jane was released today!  It is an adorable pieced block with embroidery named Measure Twice, Cut Once.  If you have spent even a week sewing you know that this is fantastic wisdom! Thank you Jane for a fab block!




In this house this block will forever be known as the "irony" block.  The wisdom of the embroidery was not followed completely and my block is 1/2 inch too narrow.  I had this great measuring tape fabric in my stash that was perfect for this block!  To make it work where just the measuring tape showed without overlapI had to make it smaller than the pattern was written.  I did get it to work, and remembered to add in for the top and bottom but completely had forgotten about the sides!  Silly me!  


The block was made using Moda Mochi linen ( yummy) and the beautiful tape measure that came with a scrap bundle as a bonus ( SCORE)!  I pieced using Aurifil 50wt and the embroidery was using six strands of Aurifil floss.

To find out more about The Splendid Sampler and join in on the fun of this FREE online quilt along, please visit the website to get your free patterns ( including bonus blocks and projects) read the FAQ, and get started!

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Splendid Sampler Block 18

The Splendid Sampler Block 18 is designed by the fabulous Pat Sloan!   I had to skip block 17 for now  because I am starting to run out of the background fabric I have been using by Zen Chic for Moda.  I will be visiting my local quilt shop today ( so much for sewing from my stash) to see if they are still carrying this incredibly versatile fabric collection.  The moral of this story is ALWAYS BUY THE FABRIC!!!!  LOL! I will have Kimberly's block hopefully tomorrow!



I love the happy yellow!  I need to find more buttery yellow to add to my stash.  I have a ton of gold yellow but there seems to be a lack of butter cream or soft yellow available in fabric collections. I am not a huge gold fan so I would be over the moon if designers started offering softer yellows.

I have been using Aurifil 50wt thread for all of my blocks.  The lovely 2 ply thread is makes for perfect piecing with less bulk and virtually lint free so it is better for your machine!


If you have not joined in on the fun of The Splendid Sampler, no fear!  Hop in at any time to start your adventure with the largest online Quilting Bee!  The block patterns are free, the designers offer great tips on how to make your blocks and the Facebook Group is filled with twenty thousand great international friends that come to gather daily for encouragement! Be a part of the fun! 






Thursday, April 14, 2016

Be Scrappy!

Ten million pieces of fabric is currently what is covering the foyer in my home.  Three to four weeks of accumulation of carefully chosen bits and scraps of fabric to make projects that make me smile ( I hope they make you smile too). What happens after the projects are completed is a massive mess that my lovely children have learned to walk around.  I am grateful for this act of kindness, since I would likely have a screaming Mimi if anyone trampled my out of print bits of this or that.  

I completely embrace that my life is that of someone who sews scrappy!  It has taken me some time to accept my "style."  Embracing this style has also meant embracing the messy creative life and the possibility that every block...every project...could take longer because of need to find the perfect piece that is almost always at the bottom of a stuffed full bin.  I have learned to accept that this is my life and have adopted a new motto to help with the stressful days when fabric is everywhere and  I cannot seem to find that ONE perfect piece...or find the foyer floor...




Wednesday, April 13, 2016

WIP Wednesday! Cat-Eye Pouch Finish

I signed up to be part of an online swap with The Scrappy Girls Club about a month ago since it has been forever since I have been part of a swap.  I have about 10 million scraps and Heather Valentine from The Sewing Loft is the swap mistress so I knew it would be AMAZING to participate in this fun and active group.



I choose the Cat-Eye Pouch pattern by Sherri Sylvester from Thread Riding Hood.  This pattern is FREE and also is one of the best written patterns EVER!  It makes the most finished looking pouch without the fussiness I have encountered before.  Easy Peasy inner lining and zipper construction :o) You do not even have to own a zipper foot!

I started a first pouch but, as it often happens, my original idea for that pouch was a complete bust!  Two full sewing days were lost!  That is okay because that bust lead to this beauty :o)


I used fabrics by Alison Glass for Andover.  The quilted front did made the construction a bit tricky. The layers were thick but going slow while stitching and using a larger needle were very helpful.
I used Schmetz Microtex 90/14 and Aurifil 50wt for all of the piecing, quilting and construction of this gorgeous pouch!

The Aurifil blog currently has a two-part series by Rhonda Pierce from Schmetz needles on how to match up your needles and threads for less thread skips, snaps and overall sewing headaches! Make sure to check it out before you start your next project!

Also, for sewing layers, I filmed a video with Martingale press for the book Kitchen Stitches sharing some of my tips for successful Sewing With Lots of Layers.  I hope you will check it out for help with those pesky layers!



I decided on using a vibrant lining fabric for a happy surprise!  It is always fun to unzip a pouch and see COLOR! And the purple zipper is AWESOME!



I had a great time making this pouch for my partner.  I will add in some lovely treats just for her!  I hope she enjoys it :o) I was so happy to have this WIP finally finished!

Linked up to Finish It Up Friday :o)



Monday, April 11, 2016

Monday Motivation { How to Create a Fussy Cut Template}

Welcome back to Monday Motivation!  The Splendid Sampler block 16 by Lindsay Mayland from American Patchwork and Quilting  is what I worked on this weekend.  I love the simplicity of this block and realized it opened itself up to one of my favorite things...FUSSY CUTTING!  I am excited to share with you how easy it is to make a fussy cut template!



This week I am sharing how to fussy cut by making your template for the project you are working on without having to guess if it will look fantastic, saving both time and fabric ( and also your sanity).  Fussy cuts are a fabulously fun way to take your sewing and make it more custom and in the case of this block, more personal.

I have a thing for ladybugs!  My daughter is named Katy and from the time she was born I have called her my ladybug.  If you have ever met me you may have seen I even wear a ladybug necklace all the time.  I love them! My friend Sara sent me the Charlie Harper ladybug fabric for Christmas a few years ago.  The ladybugs are wonderful in this print and the perfect size for fussy cuts!


The easiest way to make long lasting templates is to use Clear Template Plastic. The one I use is by Dritz.  There are different variations of template but the one I am using for this project is the basic one #3119. It comes in a 12inx18in sheet and you can make a lot of templates with it!  I purchased it from Joann's using a coupon and it is usually about $4 a sheet.  

For all of my piecing I use Aurifil 50wt thread.  It is a strong 2 ply thread that helps maintain more accurate seams and flatter blocks! You can read more about the wonderful 50 wt thread by visiting the Aurifil website.

Lets make a fussy cut template! 

The lady bug fussy cut is on the diagonal.  The pattern calls for the piece to start with a 1.5 inch square. I use a simple ball point pen and my grid ruler for tracing. 

**I needed to slightly increase my template size to accommodate the full ladybug. If you find that the fussy cut you need is larger than what this pattern calls for you can increase it ( this pattern lends itself to easy modification) by .5 in and it will make a slightly larger center without compromising the overall look. It works for this particular block but will not work for all blocks. Do not be afraid to try different things, you may be pleasantly surprised! 





Cut out in the lines you have drawn and you have a 1.5 inch square! You can see how awesome the clear template is!  It is no glare, making it perfect for clarity when choosing your bug :o)


If this was for a 1.5 in square, I would be done almost done ( always add in your 1/4 inch seam allowance) but this is going a little further with the angle.  When making the template, make sure to add in the quarter inch seam allowance on all sides. If the template does not accommodate for these seams, you can end up cutting off an important part and be very unhappy.  Using your grid ruler and pen again, draw these allowances in.  My lines overlap but it is only me and I am not super fancy.





You can see how the ladybug fits perfectly in the triangle.  This fabric also had perfect lines in the centers of the bugs, so I added in that line as another guide to help me to create a better template.  

Another tip is when creating fussy cuts on the angle and pieces need to meet in the center, find repeats.  The repeat was slightly off and I had originally wanted to use all different bugs but found that the centers would not create a nice visual.  I spent many hours with Jack the seam ripper!

To make sure that the ladybugs were going to line up, I also traced the location of the eyes, antennae and the part of the circular shape of the back of the ladybug that would be the focus.




I used my favorite new tool Clearly Perfect Angles by New Leaf Stitches to not have to mark before sewing angles!

With these being on an angle, starch was key to helping them keep their shape. Starch is your best friend!

And here are the ladies! I will probably make another using all four the same ladybugs :o)




I hope you will try to add some fun fussy cutting into your blocks! I am always thrilled to see what people are making with my free tutorials!  Please use the hashtag #gogokim on all social media outlets so I can see your beautiful projects! 




If you like what you see here and want to see more fun, inspiration, sewing, quilts and more, please join me on:



with 
Sew Can She 


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