A little celebratory piece of news!

Hello Friends, this is going to be a super quick post…. the following image, captured from my publisher’s blog, is self-explanatory!! :)

Award

Thank you, Friends, for your never ending encouragement!  My heart is full!  The recognitions are yours too… and my sincere gratitude to my God and my little family.

Click here to read about the book if you are new to Ivory Spring.

So, what are your thoughts on the place of antique quilts in today’s world of quilting?  I am curious.

Thank you for stopping by.  I shall catch up with you later!

APQ Calendar Girl for August 2015: Migration

Happy August, Dear Friends!  Time flies when one is busy, doesn’t it?  I feel like this year has gone by so fast.

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The “August” page of the American Patchwork & Quilting 2015 quilt features my Migration quilt. Click here for more pictures of the quilt.

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I hope you have had a great start to your week — I am finishing up a quilt to ship to the editor today and tomorrow!

How many quilts have you completed thus far for this year?  So, I was doing a quick mental count.  I think I have turned in at least 25 quilts this year for editorial/publish purposes…. which is why I have to fly off again…. for now.

p.s.  THANKS so much for commenting on my Machine Musings post – you kept me busy reading your comments. Love them all!  A quick update on that new machine… I haven’t turned it on just yet.  I am about done reading through the manual.  More about manual reading in another post. :)

Machine Musings

Happy Friday, Friends!  I hope you have had a good week.  One question I frequently receive from quilters is about the machine (make and model) with which I sew/quilt.  I have, at various times, indicated that I sew and quilt on a Bernina Artista 640 machine.  I had purchased this machine new back in 2006. And with this particular machine, I made 99.9% of the quilts in this list.  I loved this particular machine so much I eventually bought a second one.

I really like the precise stitches I can get with my machines.  Precision is quite important to me, coming from my research background.  The last I checked (around this time last year), this very machine (seen below) had logged about 21 million stitches, and yet the precision aspect of the machine stays strong.  So, you can see why I like and love my machines so much.

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The Bernina Artista 640 is no longer, and I think (!) the closest successor nowadays would be the B 560.  I have sewn on the B 560, and I love it just as much.  In fact, the B 560 was what I used on set for filming my Machine Quilting Level 2 class. You can read more about the B 560 machine here, and my class here.

Image Credit: Bernina

My quilting journey is going to be spiced up a notch…. as I just unpacked a rather large box.  In it is what I have lovingly called “the sewing machine that could and can”, because I think this machine can and will bring me additional quilting joy!  Come back next week for my first official posting on “the sewing machine that could and can”.  Until then, have a great weekend!

Now, I would love to hear about machine(s) with which you sew and quilt…. care to share?

FREE PATTERN: Dream Blossom

Hello Friends, thank you for visiting again!  I am happy to share with you about another newly released fabric line, featured in another free-to-use design — Dream Blossom by Hoffman Fabrics.

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Here you can see the quilts better…

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Click here to view the entire fabric range.

Click here to download pattern instructions.

So – tell me which colorway you like better – the blue or the peach?

Thank you for stopping by.  I have got to fly again to get some more work done before the weekend is here.  I shall catch up with you later.  Love you all!

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[My free to use designs from previous years are listed under “FREE PATTERNS” on the side bar.]

January: A Red Letter Day using Seeing Red (Benartex)

January: Star Struck using Caryl’s Feathers (Benartex)

February: Happy Home House Quilt (Quilting Treasures)

February: Happy Home Runner (Quilting Treasures)

February: Happy Home Throw Quilt (Quilting Treasures)

February: Farmville using Green Farms (Benartex)

February: Zoey’s Flowerbed using Zoey (Benartex)

March: Camp Cozy Quilt (Quilting Treasures)

March: Pretty Little Houses using Tango (Benartex)

March: Ariel (Quilting Treasures)

March: Flutter B’s using Butterfly Effect (Benartex)

April:  Baby Bunny using Bunny Hop (Benartex)

April: Yuki (Hoffman Fabrics)

April: Shimmering Constellations using Gold Standard (Benartex)

April: Bonjour (Quilting Treasures)

April: Baby Boutique (Quilting Treasures)

May: High Speed Racer using Vroom (Benartex)

May: Flower-Scapes using Blue Paradise / Sundrenched (Benartex)

May: Rusty’s Sleeping Hollow using Rusty & Friends (Benartex)

May: Christine’s Rose Garden using Christine (Benartex)

June: Treeline Drive (Hoffman Fabrics)

June: Frosty the Snowman (Quilting Treasures)

June: Jolly Old St. Nick (Quilting Treasures)

July: Memento (Hoffman Fabrics)

July: Monkey Business (Quilting Treausres)

July: Dream Blossom (Hoffman Fabrics)

Sew in Love {with Fabric} blog hop: Christmas in July

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I am happy to be included once again in Benartex’s Sew in Love {with Fabric} blog hop – this time in their Christmas in July hop!

I have a thing for banner quilts, and always love it when I get a chance to make them.  I made a banner quilt using Benartex’s Shades of Winter fabrics for the 2015 Christmas in July hop.

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These owl fabrics are unbelievably beautiful!

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Go on to Sew in Love {with Fabric} for the tutorial to make the banner quilt and further design ideas!  You will also get a chance to win these amazing fabrics!  I am turning off comments here so that you can comment on Sew in Love {with Fabric}.  Alrightie, OWL catch up with you later!

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Click the following links for my past blog hop participations at Sew in Love {with Fabric}:

Flower Favorites

Going Places

Christmas in July 2013

April Hop

Christmas in July 2014

Novelty Prints

Burlap Brights

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Click the following links for my other banner quilts:

A Mother’s Love

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Ivory Baltimore

Ivory Baltimore, Recreating Antique Quilts

3.  Nestlings

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4.  Out of the Nest

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5.  Silver Maple

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and, upcoming in my new book (Fall 2015)…

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Preview of Upcoming Project & Life

Happy Monday, Friends!  I hope your week got off a stupendous start!  Here is a quick preview of a project I completed over the weekend.  For this particular view of the project, I call it convergence

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Indeed, convergence seems to describe my life today!  I was out shipping the project to the editor at the Post Office. The Post Office was so crowded that I felt like the entire population of the city in which I live converged at that particular moment at the Post Office.  Then, I was at the gas station where there were at least 3-4 cars converging at each of the 12 bays.  And then…. the traffic, I honestly didn’t quite know from where all the cars had come!  I ran three simple and little errands only about 5 miles from where I live, and it took 2 hours!  I tell you…. city life!  I love where I live, 99.999% of the time.  But today on the way home, I longed for a retreat to the country where traffic jam is considered as having 5 cars on the road at the same time!

I also have deadlines converging on me this week.  So, I thought perhaps the “convergence” theme was quilted over the weekend as a foreshadowing of my life this week… ha!

Please don’t read that as me complaining about life.  I really have nothing to complain about. Life is just… life!  And I am reminded that God’s grace is always sufficient for whatever life circumstances in which He places me.

Have a great week, Dear Friends!  I hope you are all well, healthy and still enjoying your summer.

p.s.  THANK YOU for entering my Color & Count giveaway.  I read every single comment that you have left.  There is still time to win some cute fabrics!

Winner of McCall’s Magazine & All for the Kids giveaway!

Hello Friends, Happy Friday!  This has been an extremely full week for me, but nonetheless a good one because I was able to get things done!

First off, I want to thank you for entering my McCall’s July/August 2015 giveaway.

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I am happy to announce the winner is: Sharon!

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Congrats – please email me your mailing address so that I can get the magazine in the mail to you!

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Meanwhile, those of you (quite a few of you) who are waiting for your package — you should have it sometime next week.  Due to the unplanned increase in workload the last few weeks, it’s taken me longer to get all your stuff packed and labeled.  But I am getting there… thank you for bearing with me!

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Today I am happy to share with a new child-themed fabric line that has shipped to shops, Color and Count by Windham.  You simply have to see this AMAZINGLY cute fabric line. Click here to view all the fabrics in this line.   You can see here I divided the fabrics into groups of blue and red.

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Check out your local quilt shops if they carry the fabrics here.  Otherwise, you can order the fabrics directly from Fabric Shack here.  My personal favorite fabric from this group is the hot air balloon print!

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Windham graciously sent a FQ bundle to me as a giveaway prize to my readers.  Thank you (again!), Windham.  I know many of my friends have really enjoyed their Windham fabrics.  Please leave a comment between now and 7/31/2015, and tell me your favorite of my past kid-appropriate quilts (shown below), and I will pick 2 winners… one to receive the blue Color and Count group, and the other the red.

1.  Get Happy (American Patchwork & Quilting Calendar 2015)

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2.  Scrappy Jewels (Fons and Porter Easy Quilts, Cover Quilt, Winter 2013)

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3.  Owl Be Your Friend (McCall’s Quick Quilts, August/September 2014)

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4.  Elephant Walk (Quilter’s World, Winter 2013)

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5.  Hoppity Hop (Fons and Porter Easy Quilts, Winter 2014)

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It’s all for the kids, don’t you know? :)  Have a great weekend – thank you for stopping by!  I shall catch up with you next week.

p.s.  Click here if you are interested to see some of my other kids quilts.

Stars for My Friends: Preview & Thoughts on Making Flying Geese Units

There came a point in time in my life when I just had to get some sewing done in order to meet my sample work deadlines.  It might be weird to you, but I have been doing nothing but computer work for the last couple of weeks. And I finally told myself I had to get me to the sewing machine!  So I got myself to the sewing machine…

And, lookie here at what I made?  Sawtooth Stars!!!  Click here if you missed my Sawtooth Star post.

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There are so many ways to make the flying geese units.  I generally use the no-waste method when I have to make a bunch of them.  I have found the tutorial here by Patti Anderson of www.patchpieces.com helpful.

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For me, it is helpful to press the seams open when I construct my flying geese units.  Then, I cut off this little “nubbie” thingie so that I have more flexibility as to where I can press my seams.  If the nubbie is allowed to stay, I can only press the seam to the direction where it will show the least bulk.  With the nubbie out of the way, I can press the seams any direction I want, and I don’t get the “bulk” problem.  So, I would carefully cut it off while I am making my flying geese unit.

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Here you see the back of the flying geese unit after the nubbie is cut off.

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In order for me to make sure all my points work out nicely in my Sawtooth Star blocks, I also make my units a little larger and trim them to size later.  For these units, the finished size is 1 1/2″ x 3″ — so, I would make sure the valley of V in my flying geese unit falls RIGHT at 1 3/4″ on my ruler, and will cut my units to measure 2″ x 3 1/2″ raw edge to raw edge.

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Another little trick I use to improve accuracy in my piecing is using finer threads.  I use Aurifil Mako 50 wt threads for all my piecing.  For me, the threads doesn’t take up much of an “room” when I press my seams, especially when I have to press them to one side.

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My Stars for My Friends quilt is a tribute to all my friends (including you) who brighten up my life!  Thanks for stopping by!  I shall catch up with you later.

SO, what are the tricks you use when you make your flying geese units?  Also, do you match your threads to the fabrics when you piece?

Virtual Trunk Show #18: Sawtooth Star, Part 1

Hello Friends, thank you for dropping by again.  I hope you are well.  I thought I would devote today’s post on my Sawtooth Star quilts.  This is what I meant by the very basic Sawtooth Star block.

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It’s time for me to confess that I have a quilty guilty pleasure — I am on a personal quest to see just how many ways I can use the beloved Sawtooth Star blocks in my quilts.  So here goes… at least for Part 1!  You may click on the quilt names to view more pictures of the quilts.

1.  Stars Aligned (Australian Quilters Companion, Issue 68, July 2014)

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2.  Sunny Delight (Fons and Porter Love of Quilting, January/February 2015)

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3.  Oh, Happy Stars! (Recreating Antique Quilts, Fall 2014)

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4.  Stardom (Row Quilts, Longitudes & Latitudes, June 2014)

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5.  Starry Dance (Fat Quarter Shuffle, November 2013)

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So, curious mind wants to know if you have a favorite from this round of Sawtooth Star quilts?

And… can anyone tell me why quilty and guilty don’t rhyme even if they only differ in the first letter?!  The English language is such a beautiful language, but it can, at times, annoyingly defies any logical deductions!  Did you know I used to want to major in English and be an English teacher?

Alrightie – back to work I go.  More work came in when I checked my email after we got back from our mall adventure today.  It was a fun outing — and our chat was about Charlotte’s Web (the book).  Miss Baby wanted to tell me all about the Wilbur facts, as she calls them.  I got her a “Wilbur” magnetic bookmark for her copy of Charlotte’s Web. :)  “Wilbur” is part of a set of magnetic bookmarks that come in a pack of 6, and you can purchase them online here.  They are perfect for someone who reads multiple books at a time.

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I shall catch up with you later!

FREE PATTERN: Monkey Business

Happy Tuesday, Friends!  I am happy to share with you a free-to-use “Monkey” pattern, designed using Quilting Treasures’ Monkey Business fabric line.  Monkey Business should be shipping to shops right about now – remember to take a look see at these fabrics on your next trip to your local quilt shop.  My goal in designing this quilt is to interject a sense of playfulness by alternating the orientation of the ring blocks in various assorted prints  from the fabric line.

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Click here to view all the fabrics.

Click here to download the pattern instructions.

I was so happy to have been asked to work with these fabrics… because I have had quite a few monkey adventures in the past, and was more than ready for more at the time I was asked. :) The following are pictures from one of my past monkey adventures… you can click here to read more about it.

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Thank you for stopping by.  I hope your week is going well for you.  Tomorrow, Miss Baby and I are going to be mall rats.  I am not a mall person, but my little one wants to go to Claire’s… and have a chat while we eat at the food court, imagine that!

SO, ARE YOU A MALL PERSON?

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[My free to use designs from previous years are listed under “FREE PATTERNS” on the side bar.]

January: A Red Letter Day using Seeing Red (Benartex)

January: Star Struck using Caryl’s Feathers (Benartex)

February: Happy Home House Quilt (Quilting Treasures)

February: Happy Home Runner (Quilting Treasures)

February: Happy Home Throw Quilt (Quilting Treasures)

February: Farmville using Green Farms (Benartex)

February: Zoey’s Flowerbed using Zoey (Benartex)

March: Camp Cozy Quilt (Quilting Treasures)

March: Pretty Little Houses using Tango (Benartex)

March: Ariel (Quilting Treasures)

March: Flutter B’s using Butterfly Effect (Benartex)

April:  Baby Bunny using Bunny Hop (Benartex)

April: Yuki (Hoffman Fabrics)

April: Shimmering Constellations using Gold Standard (Benartex)

April: Bonjour (Quilting Treasures)

April: Baby Boutique (Quilting Treasures)

May: High Speed Racer using Vroom (Benartex)

May: Flower-Scapes using Blue Paradise / Sundrenched (Benartex)

May: Rusty’s Sleeping Hollow using Rusty & Friends (Benartex)

May: Christine’s Rose Garden using Christine (Benartex)

June: Treeline Drive (Hoffman Fabrics)

June: Frosty the Snowman (Quilting Treasures)

June: Jolly Old St. Nick (Quilting Treasures)

July: Memento (Hoffman Fabrics)

July: Monkey Business (Quilting Treausres)

Winner of Guide to Quiltmaking & “Summery” batiks!

Happy Monday, Friends.  I hope you are doing well.  I am happy to announce the winner of the giveaway of Guide to Quiltmaking.  You can read about my review here.  Thank you to all of you who entered the giveaway by sharing about your quilting and teaching stories.  I am sorry I haven’t been able to respond to each of you.

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The winner is Sylvia Strange (#11).  Congratulations, Sylvia.  An email was sent to you asking for your mailing address.  Please email me directly if you haven’t received the email.

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I am sorry I can’t give everyone a copy of this wonderful book.  Landauer Publishing is currently running a July in Christmas sale on all their books, including this newly released Guide to Quiltmaking (pdf). Click here to see the list of books on sale.

Meanwhile, we are experiencing the heat!  The rain is gone (so I don’t need a boat after all, ha!), but now we sort of need a portable igloo… all that to share with you these beautiful summery batiks by Island Batik!  These fabrics are from their Flower Fields collection!  Do check out their complete range of fabrics!  I think these fabrics would be perfect to make the cover quilt on Guide to Quiltmaking, don’t you?

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That flower fabric on the top is absolutely gorgeous!  But what really caught my attention is the “paisley” batik in the collection.  PAISLEY, I said!  And this particular fabric, the paisley is done in gray… my heart has gone afluttering again.  Check with you local quilt shops to see if they carry this beautiful line!

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Things are busy at my end.  I have been getting LOTS (like lots!) of fabrics that I will be sharing with you – that means lots of quilts to make!  I have been working lots (and playing Candy Land!), so stay tuned for details!

So – what is on your plate this week?  I have to start a new quilt, and finish one to ship.  But, I have to clear off my work list a bit before I can start on the quilts…  so, with that, off I go to work. Thanks for stopping by – hugs to you all!

Congratulations…

… to Rogers Sewing Center in Rogers, Arkansas!

So, I was out all day, driving myself to a rather unfamiliar area to me.  After wading through the rather frantic Friday traffic…. I got home and talked on the phone to two of my very favorite people – Dan and Rhonda of Rogers Sewing Center!  I heard the news that they had won the 2015 District Dealer of the Year Award (absolutely well deserved!).  I am SO very proud of my friends, well, more like my family, because they are my sewing family!

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My heart is full as I think back on the love they have given me all these years.  If you sew or quilt and live in the area, there is no better place than Rogers Sewing Center for support, encouragement, and friendship.  I know because I have personally experienced the support, encouragement and friendship from the Rogers Sewing Center team. They have been crucial in my quilting adventures…

Would you pretty please do me a huge favor, and go to Rogers Sewing Center’s Facebook page (click here) and leave them a congratulatory note?

Thanks so much, and have a great weekend!!

Congrats again, Rogers Sewing Center — I miss you all!

p.s.  My Fanciful quilt is on display currently at Rogers Sewing Center – I spotted it on RSC’s Facebook page.