Monday, April 17, 2017

Gridster Bee: February, March & April

Fortunately, I've been keeping up with making my Gridster Bee blocks much better than posting about them.
In February, Sherri of A Quilting Life requested scrappy pineapple blocks, which aren't the traditional kind that may come to mind. Coincidentally, you can find Sherri demonstrating the more common variation for Fat Quarter Shop's Bella Skill Builder on YouTube. If you're looking for a more realistic interpretation, use these Pineapple Block instructions. You can also check out Sherri's Mini that inspired her block request. Below is my creation. Sherri has already pieced her quilt top; she shows the progression on her blog here, here, and here.
Elizabeth of Occasional/Piece--Quilt! requested a pair of pigs in March, which she was kind enough to photograph for me since I packaged them without remembering. Elizabeth provided detailed instructions on her blog. Like Sherri, she's composed a top already
This month, Nancy of Patchwork Breeze designed a star block using EQ7.
I'm curious what next month will bring, but I wager I can find a few UFOs to keep me busy until then.
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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Big Plans to Finish Something

If there's anything I excel at, it's accumulating works in progress. However, since I've moved my sewing room to a smaller and more publicly visible location downstairs, I'm trying to par down the collection. (Wait 'til the in-law see how I've transformed the dining room!) Here's what I aspire to finish in the near future:
From the top left, we have:
The Wonderland Quilt is my April aspiration for: 

Elm Street Quilts
The remaining projects are for:
Charm About You
I best get back to sewing if I'm to have a chance of finishing any of these! See you soon.

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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Midnight Quilt Show

In case you haven't heard about it, I'd like to recommend the Midnight Quilt Show as a fun diversion. I'm a fan of both Angela Walters and free quilt patterns. Therefore, it wasn't entirely unexpected that I was won over. For your convenience, I've gathered the videos here and the accompanying free Craftsy patterns are linked just below the viewing screens. Enjoy!
Free Star Quilt Pattern

Free Strip City Pattern

Free Laurel Wreath Pattern

Free Town Square Pattern

Free Rail Fence Pattern

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Monday, March 27, 2017

10 Sewing Notions You Need to Know About: Giveaway & Recap

Over the past several months, I've been sharing some of the latest and great notions. In case you missed any of the fun, I'm going to give you a super-speedy run-down. What's more, Clover is sponsoring a chance for you to win a gigantic bundle of many of the notions featured!

1. Iron Shine Cleaning Pen

What It Does:
The reusable Iron Shine Cleaning Pen cleans your iron with its scrubby tip and water soluble cleaning fluid.
Why It's Awesome:
It doesn't have stinky fumes and actually works, even if your soleplate is in dire straits.

2. Hot Ruler

What It Does: The Hot Ruler helps you turn over fabric edges to precise measurements.
Why It's Awesome: It's made from non-slip nylon fiberboard that resists heat and doesn't shrivel up when you blast it with steam. The markings are easy to read. It's longer than the Hot Hemmer, so it's perfect for quilt sleeves, bag straps, and the finished edges of garments.

3. Fine Patchwork Pins

What They Do: Fine Patchwork Pins hold fabrics together for piecing or appliqué.
Why They're Awesome: They are extra fine so they don't misalign fabric layers. Their iron-proof glass heads eliminate the possibility of a melting incident.

4. Clip n' Glide Bodkin

What It Does: The Clip n' Glide Bodkin pulls elastic, ribbon, trims and cording through 3/4" or larger casing.
Why It's Awesome: It doesn't spring open half way through (I'm talking about you, safety pin!) and easily glides through even curvy casings due to its long, flexible design.

5. Point 2 Point Turner

What It Does: The Point 2 Point Turner serves as a hera marker, turner, and finger presser. It has two curved edges to push out long or curved seams.
Why It's Awesome: It's the ultimate multi-tool for marking, pressing, and turning.

6. 6-in-1 Stick n' Stich Guide

What It Does: The 2-Piece Interlocking 6-in-1 Stick n' Stitch Guide adheres to your sewing machine bed with a repositionable adhesive and provides an edge to align fabric for straight stitching, piecing strips, and stitching curves.
Why It's Awesome: You can rinse off the adhesive, so it's always as good as new. Multiple arrangement possibilities make the guide incredibly versatile.

7. Natural Fit Leather Thimble

What It Does: The Natural Fit Leather Thimble pushes the needle through fabric and provides a comfortable fit in three sizes.
Why It's Awesome: The leather matches the curvature of your finger and doesn't have seams obstructing the point of contact with the needle. The leather is durable, yet not unyieldingly rigid.

8. Wonder Clips

What They Do: Wonder Clips hold together layers of fabric without damage or distortion.
Why They're Awesome: These are the perfect answer to holding together fabric layers when pins won't do. They're great for vinyl, heavy weight fabrics, handles, piping, and quilt binding.

9. Self-Threading Needles

What They Do: Self-Threading Needles allow the thread to be inserted through a special opening at the top and come in a collection of 5 different sizes.
Why They're Awesome: You don't need perfect vision or a needle threader to get these prepped for use. They are a major time-saver when tying off and burying threads during free-motion quilting.

10. Wedge Iron

What It Does: The Wedge Iron is a perfect travel companion with three heat levels, a spray bottle, and a pointy tip.
Why It's Awesome: This straight-forward iron fits conveniently in a travel case due to its slender design. It's a must-have item for a machine-side pressing station, which I recommend to eliminate back and forth ironing board jaunts. 
Now is the moment you've been waiting for! Use the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to win an Iron Shine Cleaning Pen, 6-in-1 Stick ‘n Stitch Guide, Clip ‘n Glide Bodkin, Hot Ruler, Point 2 Point Turner, Wonder Clips, Patchwork Pins, Self-Threading Needles, and a Natural Fit Leather Thimble.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Worldwide/National Quilting Day

March 18 is Worldwide/National Quilting Day! How about some ways to celebrate?

1. Watch free videos online. The Quilt Show is opening up all their episodes for free from March 17-19.
Craftsy has a free 2017 Block of the Month class you can download and come back to any time.
2. Indulge in a quilting book. If you're looking to expand your library, Martingale has over 90 books on sale for $5 each during their semi-annual warehouse sale.
3. Check out what your local quilt shop has to offer. Many shops are having special activities and discounts.
4. Do a little sewing room organizing, or just pet your fabrics. I won't judge.
5. Reunite with your UFOs.
6. Check out free patterns online to plan your next project.
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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

February Stash Builder Box

When Amanda, owner of the Stash Builder Box subscription service that changes lives by contributing 20% of all purchases to help make quilts for kids, asked me to review the February Stash Builder box I said, "Yaaaas!"
After all, what's not to love about three yards of quilt-shop quality cottons produced by top-notch companies such as Art Gallery Fabrics, Cotton + Steel, and Cloud 9? The fabrics are from new collections and geared toward the modern aesthetic, but not too outlandish, so they appeal to traditional quilters also. To get an idea of the types of fabrics chosen for the boxes, check out the Stash Builder home page to see those selected for previous boxes.
Ever a collector of Cotton+Steel fabrics, I was gleeful when I sighted the selection of yard cuts chosen for the February box, Yours Truly by Kimberly Kight. Aren't those strawberries darling? This bundle reminds me of the Honey Pot Bee January block.
Three one yard-cuts is the perfect amount of fabric for starting a quilt project. I like to combine three yard-sized cuts of printed fabrics with a favorite neutral solid fabric, which serves as a low-cost background and makes the feature prints stand out.
Fabric and a contribution towards making quilts for kids, specifically the current donation organization Give Kids the World Village, isn't all that you receive in a Stash Builder Box. It also includes a spool of coordinating Aurifil thread, signature sewing truth pencil (Mine says "Makers Gonna Make."), and an exclusive quilt pattern. This month, the exclusive pattern was Kiss Me Red by Cheryl Brown from Quilter Chic. All the Stash Builder Box contents are immediately applicable, so you aren't paying for extras you won't use or already have. For even more fun, the Stash Builder Box blog has a free block pattern every month. To see the blocks being made, check out the hashtag #BOTMSBB
Stash Builder Box offers different subscription options, varying from a contract free, one-time gift box to a year-long subscription. The more months you purchase, the less you pay per month. Remember the cutoff for any given month is the 15th. To save $3 off your first month's box, use code IHEARTSBB.
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Monday, February 20, 2017

Four is Greater Than One, A Blue Moon Quilt Group Quilt Con Charity Quilt

I'm so excited about today's big reveal! I'm especially excited because the complete work exceeds what I could hope to accomplish individually. I am so fortunate to have found astoundingly talented individuals to collaborate with, that are not only extraordinarily talented quilters, but wonderful people that encourage me with their friendship. I speak of the Blue Moon Quilt Group composed of Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl, Renee of Quilts of a Feather, Sara of Blue Quail Studio, and I. We decided to take part in the 2017 Quilt Con Charity Quilt Challenge, and this magnificent quilt is the result.
We chose to use the Storm at Sea Block as a foundation for our design. Yvonne transferred our ideas into a working design using Inkscape, and we all began to play with color options. You can read more about the process in Yvonne's introductory blog post.
We narrowed the color palette down to Fog, Lagoon, Gold, and Royal Michael Miller Cotton Couture Solids. The Blue Moon Quilt Group is very grateful to Michael Miller for generously supplying the fabric for this quilt.
Yvonne is a professional pattern designer, and she worked up pattern instructions and fabric requirements for us. We printed out paper-piecing units using EQ7. Everyone helped with the cutting, and Renee helped me label the units with the appropriate colors. All of us took part in the piecing. My (literally) small contribution was the center block.
Composed of 25 units and 141 pieces, the center block finished at 7" before sashing was added.
Renee and I pin basted the quilt, and Renee began what we refer to as "quilting the life into it." She did a spectacular job. When the 2016 Quilt Con Frameless Machine Quilting winner spends over three dozen hours turning her hard-earned talents into art, the results are incredible.
Moreover, she bound the quilt and added a sleeve and label before it was shipped off to Savannah, where you can see it in person if you will be in attendance at Quilt Con East. Speaking of, who's headed to Quilt Con?
I am so appreciative of the sponsors who enabled us to create our charity quilt; The Warm Company was kind enough to supply us with batting, and Aurifil provided the thread. Thank you Michael MillerThe Warm Company, and Aurifil!
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