Joint Venture with Karen Miller: Mystery Quilt Along – Part 5

Jan 7: Announcement post
Jan 21:  Planning, basting, batting, etc
Jan 28:  Stabilization quilting or just to catch up
***Feb 4, Feb 11: Inside center panel
Feb 25: Top and Bottom Rectangles
March 4: Top and Bottom Squares
March 11: Left and Right Side panels
Mach 18: Narrow Sashing
March 25: Outside (wider) Border
April 1: Binding & Hanging

***

Hello Friends, here we are again on our Quilt-Along Monday!  There’s not a new installment because Karen and I know the hustles and bustles of life all too well, and sometimes we just can’t get to quilting like we would like.  The panel center is a relatively large area, so, we though we would give folks a couple of weeks to get that done before we move on to the subsequent sections.  If you missed my post 2 weeks ago on quilting the panel center, here is the link again!

I am starting to see pictures of your work, and have interacted with some of you on your project.  I am so excited to see how you have chosen to customize this panel quilt with quilting.

***

Now, some of you might still be gathering your supplies.  That’s okay — jump in when you are able to. Click HERE where Karen keeps a list of shops where you can purchase the supplies.

2019c

I have heard positive responses from many regarding my book.  THANK YOU!

You may order my book from:

Connecting Threads

Fox Chapel Publishing

Amazon

or email me for signed copies!

I will be using Aurifli 50 wt threads from my Subtle Strings collection.  You may read more about the collection here, and here.  You may order your collection here for $99.99 (regularly selling for $140)!  The collection is IN STOCK again as of this morning!!!

Meanwhile, you may also order the collection HERE and HERE.

My Subtle Strings colors are specially selected to achieve a subtle contrast effect in the quilting.  That is to say, we get to quilt with pretty colors on our quilts, but the colors aren’t really visible from afar and are not competing with the overall look of the quilt, until one looks at the quilting close up.  These colors are also perfect for piecing, machine or hand applique — definitely my go-to!  Why limit yourself to using only beige and light brown, or white?!

subtle1-1

subtle2

So far, here are the Subtle Strings colors I used for the different sections!  It’s a great time to experiment with subtle colors in quilting!  I hope you like subtle contrast quilting as much as I have!  Where the spool is indicates the area quilted with the color.

Since we are on a downtime installment-wise, I thought I would chat with you briefly on quilting results and personality!  One observation that has been consistent from all the free-motion domestic machine quilting classes I have taught is that different quilters will quilt differently the one motif that is being presented.  For example, we would be working on pebbles (pages 50-51), and students will end up with different shapes or sizes for their pebbles.

Last week I shared how our quilting looks is like how our signature looks!  And that solves the mystery why we often end up with different looks when we quilt one motif.  And you know what, THAT is perfectly fine!  Your quilting reflects and celebrates you!!!

***

This week, I want to share a rule I have for my students who take classes with me.  So often, students are alarmed because the quilting they see right at the moment of them quilting isn’t looking so nice!

I get it!  I am the same way!!  When I am quilting, I see the not so perfectly formed curves, or the slight jerk from moving my quilt sandwich too fast — it’s like seeing all the imperfections in real time.  However, I have learned if I just focus on quilting the piece, and not worry so much about the results and come back to look at my quilting later (36-48 hours!), I would have forgotten about all those real time imperfections and would decide that my quilting looks pretty good after all.

SO — always wait 36-48 hours before you decide how your quilting turns out!  

Here is a real life example…. as I quilted this part of the cloud, I thought I made a tactical mistake in placing the spiral here.  Truth is I went a little further than I would like quilting that front spiral.  I call it my wayward spiral.

I thought of ripping out the stitches.  I then reminded myself I should just wait and see…

I waited and looked at it again, and decided it doesn’t look bad after all as a whole.  So, I was 94.7% satisfied with that wayward spiral, and I am okay with it because I didn’t have to take out stitches!

Remember, the more you quilt, the better you will be at it!  I hope you are having the time of your life working on this piece.  I know I have!  See you again next Monday, but not before you check out Karen’s post for today!  Click HERE to go to Karen’s blog.

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Joint Venture with Karen Miller: Mystery Quilt Along – Part 4

Jan 7: Announcement post
Jan 21:  Planning, basting, batting, etc
Jan 28:  Stabilization quilting or just to catch up
***Feb 4, Feb 11: Inside center panel
Feb 25: Top and Bottom Rectangles
March 4: Top and Bottom Squares
March 11: Left and Right Side panels
Mach 18: Narrow Sashing
March 25: Outside (wider) Border
April 1: Binding & Hanging

***

Hello Friends, here we are again on our Quilt-Along Monday!  There’s not a new installment because Karen and I know the hustles and bustles of life all too well, and sometimes we just can’t get to quilting like we would like.  The panel center is a relatively large area, so, we though we would give folks a couple week to get that done before we move on to the subsequent sections.  If you missed my post last week on quilting the panel center, here is the link again!

Now, some of you might still be gathering your supplies.  That’s okay — jump in when you are able to. Click HERE where Karen keeps a list of shops where you can purchase the supplies.

2019c

I have heard positive responses from many regarding my book.  THANK YOU!

You may order my book from:

Connecting Threads

Fox Chapel Publishing

Amazon

or email me for signed copies!

I will be using Aurifli 50 wt threads from my Subtle Strings collection.  You may read more about the collection here, and here.  You may order your collection here for $99.99 (regularly selling for $140)!  The collection is IN STOCK again as of this morning!!!

Meanwhile, you may also order the collection HERE and HERE.

My Subtle Strings colors are specially selected to achieve a subtle contrast effect in the quilting.  That is to say, we get to quilt with pretty colors on our quilts, but the colors aren’t really visible from afar and are not competing with the overall look of the quilt, until one looks at the quilting close up.  These colors are also perfect for piecing, machine or hand applique — definitely my go-to!  Why limit yourself to using only beige and light brown, or white?!

subtle1-1

subtle2

So far, here are the Subtle Strings colors I used for the different sections!  It’s a great time to experiment with subtle colors in quilting!  I hope you like subtle contrast quilting as much as I have!  Where the spool is indicates the area quilted with the color.

Since we are on a downtime installment-wise, I thought I would chat with you briefly on quilting results and personality!  One observation that has been consistent from all the free-motion domestic machine quilting classes I have taught is that different quilters will quilt differently the one motif that is being presented.  For example, we would be working on pebbles (pages 50-51), and students will end up with different shapes or sizes for their pebbles.

I always remind my students how our quilting looks is like how our signature looks!  And that solves the mystery why we often end up with different looks when we quilt one motif.  And you know what, THAT is perfectly fine!  Your quilting reflects and celebrates you!!!

Of course, quilting adds personality to a quilt.  If a quilt is quilted with puppies and bone treats, you know that it is a lighthearted quilt, versus a quilt quilted with 1/4″ cross hatches and feather plumes.  I encourage you to find ways to add personalities to the panel as you quilt it.  I quilted “grass” to the face of one of the sheep — to give him (I think of it’s a him!) a  mischievous personality.  Doesn’t he look like he KNEW BETTER than to chew with this mouth open?!

So, let’s try to analyze my personality from how I have quilted the panel center.

#1.  I tend to be OCD on things — especially when it comes to feather quilting.  I see anything and everything as excuses to quilt feathers.

#2.  I can at times major on the minor — from the way I like to keep my quilting dense.

#3.  I like movement with the curves and swirls — I like things to be non-static.

Anything you can deduce about my personality from the quilting?  NOSY and VERY CURIOUS mind would like to know! :)

I hope you are having the time of your life working on this piece.  I know I have!  See you again next Monday, but not before you check out Karen’s post for today!  Click HERE to go to Karen’s blog.

Joint Venture with Karen Miller: Mystery Quilt Along – Part 3

 

Jan 7: Announcement post
Jan 21:  Planning, basting, batting, etc
Jan 28:  Stabilization quilting or just to catch up
***Feb 4, Feb 11: Inside center panel
Feb 25: Top and Bottom Rectangles
March 4: Top and Bottom Squares
March 11: Left and Right Side panels
Mach 18: Narrow Sashing
March 25: Outside (wider) Border
April 1: Binding & Hanging

***

Hello Friends, Happy Monday!  I hope your week got off a great start, and that those of you who lived in last week’s extreme cold have thawed out nicely, and are ready to do some quilting on your machine.

Now, some of you might still be gathering your supplies.  That’s okay — jump in when you are able to. Click HERE where Karen keeps a list of shops where you can purchase the supplies.

2019c

I have heard positive responses from many regarding my book.  THANK YOU!

You may order my book from:

Connecting Threads

Fox Chapel Publishing

Amazon

or email me for signed copies!

I will be using Aurifli 50 wt threads from my Subtle Strings collection.  You may read more about the collection here, and here.  You may order your collection here for $99.99 (regularly selling for $140)!  I saw that some of you have bought up the stock available on Pumpkinvine Corner.  But don’t worry, more has been ordered according to the website.

Meanwhile, you may also order the collection HERE and HERE.

My Subtle Strings colors are specially selected to achieve a subtle contrast effect in the quilting.  That is to say, we get to quilt with pretty colors on our quilts, but the colors aren’t really visible from afar and are not competing with the overall look of the quilt, until one looks at the quilting close up.  These colors are also perfect for piecing, machine or hand applique — definitely my go-to!  Why limit yourself to using only beige and light brown, or white?!

subtle1-1

subtle2

BEFORE WE START, here are the Subtle Strings colors I used for the different sections!  It’s a great time to experiment with subtle colors in quilting!  I hope you like subtle contrast quilting as much as I have!  Where the spool is indicates the area quilted with the color.

FOR TODAY’S INSTALLMENT:

#1,  If you have a needle down function on your machine, USE IT!  That way, when you have to turn your quilt, your needle won’t lose its spot if you have to turn your quilt.

#2.  It’s also time to shelf the walking foot for a little bit!  For the rest of the quilting, I foresee myself only using my free-motion quilting foot.  The far left foot attachment is the one I use, in fact, the ONLY one.

I like to use the open-toe foot because I can see better, and therefore decide where to go from one spot to the next when I am quilting.

#3.  I started off doing outline stitching and some on the sheep — just to warm-up a little.  Here I am showing you a few options.  References from my book: pages 30, 35, 50.

Outline quilting around the fluff – and continue with the echo inside the sheep.

Outline quilting around the fluff and tuft above the head.

Outline quilting in oval shape around sheep.

Outline quilting with swirls in the body.

Outline quilting, and then echo closely a few times around the body.

Outline quilting, and a few pebbles in the body to give a bit of texture.

And you know how quilting adds personality to one’s quilt, I added a bit of a personality to one of the sheep.  CLEARLY, he forgot what his mother has told him NOT to chew with his mouth open!!!

#4.  I then worked on the sky.  I outline quilted and then echoed around the clouds several times.  

Then, I quilted swirls with long tail (like a bean sprout almost).  This is a variation stemmed from the basic swirl in page 35 in my book.

#5.  Next I divided the grass into sections.

Section 1.  I quilted pebbles (page 50) and sand dunes (page 33) in this section.  I love the sand dunes because it’s like echoing without having to worry about the equal distance between the echoes.  It is much more freeing and forgiving.

Section 2.  More sand dunes in this one, except I added pebbles in between the pebbles.  And that’s another reason I like sand dunes because you can add bits and bobs in between the echoes.

Section 3.  This section is quilted with horizontal and vertical lines (not necessarily straight) that make a wavy cross hatch (page 72).  I then go back and fill in alternate boxes with closely quilted lines to make a basketweave effect.  Spot the pink quilting? You can also see the occasional grass sprouting on a couple of the empty squares.  Feel free to add any accents to your liking!

Section 4.  I have to admit, I couldn’t help myself with the feather quilting!  I quilted the foreground of the panel center with feathers.  Once you are comfortable doodling feathers (pages 54-59), you could mark your feathers on the quilt itself and quilt by following the line…. OR you may mark the spines of the feather plume as a guide on your quilt, and free-hand quilt your feathers (page 79).

I was so proud of my students in my De-mystifying Feather Quilting Class last week at Road to CA, who were able to free-hand quilt their feathers, having NO prior feather quilting experience, and AFTER learning the basics of feather quilting well.

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT, for today’s installment!  You noticed how the colors I used in the quilting don’t jump out at you?  That’s the beauty of subtle contrast in quilting!

It might look like it is a lot to quilt the panel center, but wait, you actually get to quilt the panel center over the next three weeks!  I will still check in the next two Mondays.  The next installment isn’t till Feb 25.

I timed myself.  The panel center took me about 4 1/2″ hours of solid quilting.  But it’s all good fun.

However, if all this is overwhelming to you. Tackle one section at a time.  Even if you have to mark on your quilt before you quilt with a washable fabric marker, it is ALRIGHT!  I use either a Frixion Pen or this blue marker.

***

Remember, BABY STEPS!

NOW, I wonder what Karen has done …. remember, it’s ALL a mystery between the two of us!!!  I am heading on to her blog to see what she has been up to.  Click HERE to go to Karen’s blog.

See you next week!

My stop — Splendid Sampler 2 Quilt Along

Hello Friends!  I hope you who are in the northern hemisphere are keeping yourself safe and warm!  It’s amazing to hear some of the wind chills experienced by some in the country!  Anyhow, I hope you have had a great week.  I got home on Sunday night, and jumped straight back to work the next day in my quest to check off things on my long list.

Cover art

Many of you have joined in the fun Splendid Sampler quilt along, hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson!  You probably already know of the reprise in Splendid Sampler 2.  I am so excited to share with you that I am one of the Splendid Sampler designers!!

#1.  Click here if you haven’t known about Splendid Sampler 2 to read more about it.

#2.  Click here If you would like to order the Splendid Sampler 2 book that has instructions and templates included in this quilt along,

And TODAY is my turn to share about my Snail and Pail block!  This block is what you’d see in the book.

This original block is inspired by Miss Baby’s beloved watering can she has had for years.  And here is the block I made for my Splendid Sampler quilt.  This quilt is actually for Miss Baby, thus the monogrammed G on the watering can.

I used the embroidery floss from Miss Baby’s Spool-en-dids floss collection to add the embroidery on the block.  Click here if you would like to read about the collection.  You may purchase the collection here.

Have you seen some of the other Splendid Sampler 2 blocks I have made for the quilt?  I have documented all the blocks on my Instragram account under ivory_spring.  Follow me on Instagram to follow along my Splendid Sampler 2 progress. Fabrics are Uppercase Vol.2 by Windham Fabrics.  Click here to view fabrics.

Back to Snail and Pail… I also used the design to make a 10″ x 10″ mini quilt!  I am using it to show that you can place the snail WHEREVER you wish!  Fabrics are Forest Gifts by Michael Miller. Click here to view fabrics.

This picture shows the quilting I did over Hobbs Tuscany Wool batting.  I taught machine quilting all week last week at Road to CA — I was more then ready to do some quilting myself after I got home.

A quick note on the blanket stitches I do around my fusible applique shapes.  I like the buttonhole/blanket stitches small.  You may read more about how I do the stitching here.

 

Does this Quilt-Along look fun to you?  It is SUPER FUN — trust me!  I like, with the book, that I am able to make the blocks at my own pace.  And the blocks are so versatile I can easily add my own spin to them.  AND the best part is that I am able to see what others have made their blocks on social media sites.  If you haven’t joined, you know you want to!!!

***

For those who are participating in the Quilt Along, and have actually make the blocks — comment to enter the giveaway of a copy of my book below.  Make sure you indicate in your comment that you have actually make the block(s).  I am interested to know which is your favorite block so far!  This giveaway relies on the honor system — again, ONLY open to Splendid Sampler 2 participants!

CreativeNewQuilts&Projects

I will announce the winner next Thursday (Feb 7, 2019).

That’s all for now, my quilting friends!  Chat with you again soon!

p.s.  I came across a fun article on beginning quilting that would make a great resource for any quilts.  Check it out here.

Joint Venture with Karen Miller: Mystery Quilt Along – Part 2

Jan 7: Announcement post
Jan 21:  Planning, basting, batting, etc
***Jan 28:  Stabilization quilting or just to catch up
Feb 4, Feb 11: Inside center panel
Feb 25: Top and Bottom Rectangles
March 4: Top and Bottom Squares
March 11: Left and Right Side panels
Mach 18: Narrow Sashing
March 25: Outside (wider) Border
April 1: Binding & Hanging

***

Hello Friends, I just spent a better of last week at Road to CA show.  It was a fun show making new friends, and sharing the love of domestic machine and feather quilting with my new friends!

I even met some who already heard about our Mystery Quilt Along, and for those heard about it from me at the show, they were excited.  So, today is another minimally demanding day for those who already sandwiched their quilt.  Some might just now be getting their supplies in the mail.  All’s good — you just catch up whenever you are able.  If you are just now joining, click on the previous dates above for more information.

Now, I have heard that certain shops sold out of the panel, click HERE where Karen keeps a list of shops where you can purchase the supplies.

2019c

You may order my book from:

Connecting Threads

Fox Chapel Publishing

Amazon

or email me for signed copies!

I will be using Aurifli 50 wt threads from my Subtle Strings collection.  You may read more about the collection here, and here.  You may order your collection here for $99.99 (regularly selling for $140)!

subtle1-1

subtle2

FOR TODAY’S INSTALLMENT:

#1,  If you have a needle down function on your machine, USE IT!  That way, when you have to turn your quilt, your needle won’t lose its spot if you have to turn your quilt.

#2.  We are stitching straight lines.  So, you have the option of using your walking foot, or  your dual feed foot.  Both feet ensure all layers are moved at the same time!  Please note that your walking or dual feed foot might not look exactly as what I have.  If you have any doubt, please reach out to your local machine dealer for help.  I learn so much from my machine dealer.

 

 

Today, we are going to stabilize our quilt sandwich.  I try to stabilize, but not over-stabilize, my quilt sandwich by first stitching down the edge of the quilt.  I stitch very close to the edge of quilt top just to anchor my quilt top so I don’t have to deal with “loose leaves” so to speak with the quilt top, batting and quilt back.  It’s totally fine if you don’t catch all of the fabric edge.

If you have a needle down function on your machine, USE IT!  That way, when you have to turn your quilt, your needle won’t lose its spot if you have to turn your quilt.

One of my tips I share in my book Stitching Pathways is instead of using the quilting foot as a guide, watch your needle to see where it lands to ensure accurate stitching.  A student of mine told me in one of the classes I taught at Road to CA this past week, that tip was the game changer for her.  So, in order for you to practice that, we will stitching around the large center of the panel where the dotted boundary is.  Try to stitch slow, and keep your eye to the needle.

So the previous image also illustrate a very important point — if you see any basting pins that are too close to your needle ensemble, go ahead and remove the pin before you stitch.  That will keep the pin from catching the needle ensemble and produce poor quality stitches.  Generally, I leave my stitching area about 3″ around and all all sides my needle clear  of any obstacles (basting pins).  So in real, before I quilt any further, I would go ahead and remove that basting pin.

So there you have it, for today!  

qal13

Now a quick note on starting and stopping…. I like to pull up my bobbin thread before I start.  You can do that by rotating the hand wheel, and tugging on the top thread.  Once you have the bobbin thread up, you will have two thread tails on the quilt top.  I hold on to the tails, and take a few small stitches (if it’s with feed dog, I just reduce the stitch length) before I quilt normal.  To stop, I will reduce the stitch length of my stitches as well.  This time, I will only have the top thread on top.  So, after those mini stitches, I will have my needle up, pull my quilt sandwich out from the needle, and cut off enough top and bottom thread to have tails, and then, I bury all the tails into the quilt batting.

To get us ready for next week — when we get to the actual quilting part, WOOHOO — you might do some practice quilting on a practice piece using my Stitching Pathways book, specifically the motifs covered in pages 30, 32, 33, 50 and 52.  I think I am going to add a bit of feathering in there too.  Feathers are covered in pages 55-66.  

In today’s baby step, we stabilized our quilt for stress-free quilting on the machine later.

NOW, I wonder what Karen has done …. remember, it’s ALL a mystery between the two of us!!!  I am heading on to her blog to see what she has been up to.  Click HERE to go to Karen’s blog.

I CAN’T WAIT TO SHARE WITH YOU NEXT WEEK HOW I AM QUILTING THE PANEL CENTER NEXT WEEK — SEE YOU NEXT MONDAY!

Joint Venture with Karen Miller: Mystery Quilt Along – Part 1

Jan 7: Announcement post
***Jan 21:  Planning, basting, batting, etc
Jan 28:  Stabilization quilting or just to catch up
Feb 4, Feb 11: Inside center panel
Feb 25: Top and Bottom Rectangles
March 4: Top and Bottom Squares
March 11: Left and Right Side panels
Mach 18: Narrow Sashing
March 25: Outside (wider) Border
April 1: Binding & Hanging

***

Hello Friends, today is the day we start working on our Free-motion Quilt Along!  We are so happy to hear about the warm responses indicating you will be participating.  Again, this is low-maintenance stress free!  If you haven’t already joined us on this sheepish adventure and are thinking about it, I say, “Just do it!”  Click on the announcement post above if you aren’t sure about the details.

Now, I have heard that certain shops sold out of the panel, click HERE where Karen keeps a list of shops where you can purchase the supplies.

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So, today I will share with you my tips on planning, pinning and basting.

#1.  I first starch-press my fabric pieces – panel and backing fabric piece.  You don’t have to use starch if you’d rather not.  I find that starch helps keep the fabrics nice and stiff for the pinning process so that I don’t end up with unexpected slack.

#2.  I am not doing anything to the panel.  I then trim my backing fabric to be about 1.5-2″ larger than the panel itself.  Then, I cut the batting piece to the size of the backing fabric piece.  The reason I don’t like to cut the backing or batting pieces larger than that is because I don’t like to deal with too much excess with the quilt sandwich.  I have had cases where I had too much excess on the backing piece,, and I would accidentally quilt the excess to the back of the quilt in the process of scrunching and pushing the quilt sandwich through that little throat of my machine.

#3.  This is a light-hearted and really cute panel.  So, I decided to add a little something fun to the quilting scheme.  Besides quilting the free-motion quilting motifs, I am going to quilt the word BAA along the left and right wide borders.

To fit the mood, I just scribbled the letters A and B about 4″ in height onto a piece of paper.  This piece of paper from Miss Baby’s stationery drawer has seen better days.  But I am a frugal Mom.  My daughter will never use that piece of paper, so I get to do the honor!  I did darkened the letters with a Sharpie.

Then, I just slipped the piece of paper under the panel, and use a Frixion pen to mark the letters onto the panel.  I am SO excited about these letters!

ALWAYS mark before you start pinning!

#4.  And let the pinning party begin.  A quilt sandwich is made of quilt backing piece (wrong side up), then batting piece, then panel (right side up).

a.  So, before actually pinning, it’s a good idea to tape down the backing piece with painters tape to make sure the fabric is taut all around.  This should take care of any slack as well as any puckering that might happen otherwise during the quilting process.

b.  Then smooth your batting piece down on the backing fabric before placing the panel.

c.  Starting from the panel center, pin outward in all directions with nickle-plated safety pins about 2″ apart until your quilt sandwich is securely basted and more than likely covered with pins.

d.  Pat yourself on the back — you have done well!

***

For my quilt, I am using the Hobbs Silk Tuscany batting.

And I will be using all the colors from my Subtle String Aurifil 50wt collection to quilt this piece.  You may purchase the threads HERE (a $140 value offered right now at $99.99).

subtle2

subtle1-1

This panel piece is perfect for us to try out the subtle contrast quilting concept that I so love!  Basically, I got tired to being relegated to only using gray, beige or white threads for quilting while there are so many other beautiful threads out there.  So, I began using pastel colored threads to quilt my quilts for a subtly colored effect.  I have been more than pleased!

Alrightie, FRIENDS!  I call it a smashing success if you have done this part.  Remember, successful machine quilting is made of baby steps.  In college, I was taught to set up the equations right for engineering calculations.  In today’s baby step, we set up the quilt sandwich correctly for stress-free quilting on the machine later.

NOW, I wonder what Karen has done …. remember, it’s ALL a mystery between the two of us!!!  I am heading on to her blog to see what she has been up to.  Click HERE to go to Karen’s blog.

Joint Venture with Karen Miller: Mystery Quilt Along

Hello Friends,  a very blessed New Year to you all!  I hope you had a great holiday season.  It was an extremely busy year for me last year, and this year is looking like it will be just as happening!  But I am hoping I will finally find a happy medium in my schedule where I get to interact with you more on my blog.  I appreciate many of you who emailed to check on me.  You are all so very sweet!  Again, if you are on Instagram, that is the best place to find me right now.  Look me up at ivory_spring.

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***

I have exciting news to share… it’s been simmering for a while now!  But the soup has finally boiled over, and I have no choice but to share the exciting news!  Ha!  The super sweet and VERY talented Karen Miller of Redbird Quilt Co and I are teaming up for a Mystery Quilt-Along! Karen and I had been online friends for a while, and were able to meet up two Fall Markets ago!  She has been a bright spot in my quilting journey.

2019b

This is a special quilt-along — because this one focuses on Machine Quilting, and we will be using motifs covered in my book Stitching Pathways.  You can read about the book here.  This will be a multi-part quilt-along where Karen, and I won’t know ahead of time how we each quilt the different parts of the quilt, making the quilt-along rather mysterious!  Think a really fun Quilt-Off!

***

2019c

DETAILS on supplies:

1.  We’ll be using one of our favorite panels from World of Susybee, Lewe the Ewe.  This panel is a 1 yard cutThe product code for this panel is SB20042-710.  You’ll need one panel — or one 36″ x 42″  cut. There is NO additional piecing because we are impatient and want to jump RIGHT into the quilting part.

Click HERE for participating shops who are selling the fabrics.

2.  For backing — we are using the Susybee Lewe the Ewe allover design.   Product code: SB20049-810.   For this fabric you’ll need about 42″ in length (or 1 1/4y) — that will give you a little extra around the edges of your quilting.

3. For the binding we choose the Susybee Black and White Dot.

The product code on this is SB20171-199    A quarter yard of this fabric is perfect for your binding.

4.  I will be using the Hobbs Tuscany Silk batting because that is my go-to.  You may also use wool or cotton.  A crib size is is all you would need (45″ x 60″).

5.  My book Stitching Pathways.  Karen gave the most gracious review on my book. “In my opinion this is one of the best Free Motion Quilting books on the market.  Not only does Wendy give you awesome beginner information and tips, she includes a wide variety of quilting motifs and shares in great detail HOW to quilt them… You won’t be disappointed — I promise!  Best Book Ever!”

You may order the book from:

Connecting Threads

Fox Chapel Publishing

Amazon

or email me for signed copies!

6. I will be using Aurifli 50 wt threads from my Subtle Strings collection.  You may read more about the collection here, and here.  You may order your collection here for $99.99 (regularly selling for $140)!

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DETAILS on schedule (subject to change):

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We are all busy — so, we are trying to keep this Quilt-Along very non-demanding!

Jan 7: Announcement post
Jan 21:  Planning, basting, batting, etc
Jan 28:  Stabilization quilting or just to catch up
Feb 4, Feb 11: Inside center panel
Feb 25: Top and Bottom Rectangles
March 4: Top and Bottom Squares
March 11: Left and Right Side panels
Mach 18: Narrow Sashing
March 25: Outside (wider) Border
April 1: Binding & Hanging

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And of course, what is a Quilt-Along without a giveaway at the end?  Check this link here for information.  This will updated as we quilt along. :)

I hope you will get your supplies ready, and join us on this really really fun adventure!  Just think — by the end of this Quilt-Along, you will have a completed quilt, and have honed your quilting skills!  WIN-WIN!

GIVEAWAY!!!! Michael Miller Last Minute Gift Blog Hop 2018

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Hello Friends — Happy December, and Happy Christmas to you all!  I hope you have been well!  For those of you who have started to follow me at Instagram (ivory_spring), THANK YOU!  I have enjoyed your visits and comments, and chatting with some of you even!   I have lots more to share, but for today… I am going to focus on my contribution to the Michael Miller’s Last Minute Gift Holiday Blog Hop!

Operative word here is Last Minute!!!

Christmas is in full swing at my end despite a really busy work and life schedule, and I am sure it’s about the same at your end.  No matter how prepared I think I am, I always end up with something last minute to do!  If you are looking for a last minute gift to make — a pillow is always a quick one!

TIP:  Make a quilt block (pieced or even cut from a panel), and add border pieces to the size of your pillow form.  Then, construct your pillowcase, and voila!

HappyElephant copyI got to work with Hollywood Pixie fabrics for my blog hop project.  This is a most adorable line, especially if you have a precious girl in your circle of influence who fancies herself a fairy or pixie.  I have just such a girl living in my house!  These fabrics are currently available in local and online quilt shops.  Click here to view the fabrics.

So… I made a tree block from my Santa’s Tree Farm pattern, and added enough pieces to make a 24″ x 24″ square because I have a 24″ square pillow form from Hobbs Batting — softest pillow form ever, by the way!

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I get asked a lot how big is that little star tree topper — it is 3″ finished!  It is possible to make as long as you are careful with your seam allowances, with your seams pressed open.

IMG_9906Constructed throw pillowcase with the pillow form inserted — in the “kids” Christmas corner at my house.

FROM START TO FINISH — a little over an hour — can’t get more “last minute” than that!

IMG_9926I used the easiest “envelope” method to construct the pillowcase back  because I don’t know how to insert a zipper!  There — I said it!  I just used the pixie print for the entire back.

Do visit Michael Miller’s Facebook page HERE

GIVEAWAY:  To win a fabric bundle from Michael Miller, please comment and tell me if you give handmade Christmas gifts!  Winner will be announced on December 12th!

I hope this gives you an idea for a quick gift to make this holiday season!  In case you haven’t checked out the other blog hoppers —

That’s all for now, Dear Friends!  Have a great weekend.

Spool-en-dids Ornament Project #4 – Focusing on the Spool!

Hello Friends, it’s good to be back to re-connect!  Summer is over for us.  Miss Baby started school this week.  I have to say it took me a bit to get used to the quietness during the day while she is at school.

Have you been sewing along with a little friend, or by yourself since I last shared “Happy To Be ME”, Smar-kly and a Primer on Cross-Stitching ornaments?

It’s time for me to share with you the fourth of the six mother-daughter (adult/child) collaborative ornament project, released to highlight Aurifil’s Aurikids iniatiative — an effort to pass on the love and joy and needle and thread to the next generation.

All the ornaments use embroidery floss Spool-en-dids, a thread pack my daughter curated for Aurifil.

Read more about Spool-en-dids, and find out the names my daughter has for her selected colors HERE.

#1.  YOU may now purchase the collection from FAT QUARTER SHOP by clicking HERE.

#2.  YOU may purchase the collection from Donna — email her:  followthatthread@yahoo.com

#3.  YOU may also purchase the collection by clicking HERE.

#4.  OR, ask your local Aurifil dealer to order the collection for you.  Click HERE for a dealer near you!

Miss Baby is saving the royalties for her college fund, as well as supporting the medical missions of Samaritans Purse.

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PROJECT: Focusing on the spool!

SUPPLIES:

7-8″ square piece of Cross-stitch Aida fabric (11 or 14ct — I recommend 11ct for younger children 7 and under, 14ct for older), Spool-en-did thread (s), Aurifil 50wt thread, a piece of ribbon, embroidery hoop, tapestry or embroidery needle, stuffing material & basic sewing supplies. 

To make the ornament like what we have done here, you will need 4 pieces of fabric scrap to frame your stitched piece, and one for backing the pillow case.  Time to go dig through your scraps pile.

NOTE: This tutorial, as well as all pillow ornament tutorials in this series, is not for a specific finished size. You may make it as big or as small as you wish. Since we hang our pillow ornaments on our Christmas tree, our ornaments do not finish larger than 4″.

GOAL: We will just be practicing on crossing the crosses row after row to get used to cross-stitching, until your child complains about being cross-eyed (JUST KIDDING!).  But in the end, the rows will result in a spool of thread.

From ornament #3, (if you missed the tutorial, the link is here),

we will progress to this:

Here is the fun part about this spool stitching — you may choose the colors you would like to use, and you may stitch as many rows as you would like as well.

Step 1.  If you would like to stitch your spool just like the one that is shared, first you will hoop the fabric with an embroidery hoop!  You will just start a little left of the center of your 7-8″ cross stitch fabric square,

a.  stitch a row of 13 cross stitches using the brown floss.

b.  stitch a row of 11 cross stitches using the brown floss, off setting one stitch from the previous row.

c.  stitch subsequent 14 rows of 9 cross-stitches using red and yellow, alternating 2 rows of red and 1 row of yellow.

d.  stitch a row of 11 cross stitches using the brown floss, mirroring row b.

e.  stitch a row of 13 cross stitches using the brown floss mirroring row a.

Step 2.  After stitching is complete, remember to praise your kid stitcher to the sky!  Trim and square up your piece, and frame with fabric scraps to make pillow ornament top.  Then, with the pillow front and back pieces facing each other and folded ribbon piece tucked in the between, I sewed with a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a small opening. Turn pillowcase right side out, and stuff. I started using the stuffing made by Hobbs recently, and have ABSOLUTELY loved it!!  Hand stitch opening shut, and there you have it!

Now, how cute is this little spool ornament?

Imagine…
#1. having a stitching party of stitches of all ages, and have everyone stitch out the spool in their favorite colors – solid, variegated etc!
#2. making this as a gift change for a stitching or quilting group
#3. stitching a row of multiple spools during the different colors to make a horizontal pillow ornament

I hope you will enjoy this little stitching project with your kid stitcher, and jump start a lifetime of sweet stitching memories.

Meanwhile, Miss Baby has a new progress picture to share on her Patchwork Aux Chat sampler using ONLY colors from her Spool-en-dids collection.  She has mixed up floss of different colors to achieve additional colors besides the ones in her collection.  I have learned to zip my mouth and let her run with her color choices for her sampler because I think her choices produces striking results!

She tried her best to finish this sampler up before school started, but it didn’t happen.

Thank you for stopping by — and let’s get some stitching going!

Spool-en-dids Ornament Project #3 – A primer on cross-stitching

Hello Friends — have you been sewing along with a little friend, or by yourself since I last shared “Happy To Be ME” and Smar-kly ornament?

It’s time for me to share with you the third of six mother-daughter (adult/child) collaborative ornament project, released to highlight Aurifil’s Aurikids iniatiative — an effort to pass on the love and joy and needle and thread to the next generation.  This third ornament is a simple primer on cross-stitching, to get us ready to do cross-stitching for ornaments #4 and #5.

Read more about Spool-en-dids, and find out the names my daughter has for her selected colors HERE.

#1.  YOU may now purchase the collection from FAT QUARTER SHOP by clicking HERE.

#2.  YOU may purchase the collection from Donna — email her:  followthatthread@yahoo.com

#3.  YOU may also purchase collection by clicking HERE.

#4.  OR, ask your local Aurifil dealer to order the collection for you.  Click HERE for a dealer near you!

Miss Baby is saving the royalties for her college fund, as well as supporting the medical missions of Samaritans Purse.

***

PROJECT: Cross-stitching Primer Pillow Ornament

SUPPLIES:

Cross-stitch Aida fabric (11 or 14ct — I recommend 11ct for younger children 7 and under, 14ct for older), Spool-en-did thread (s), Aurifil 50wt thread, a piece of ribbon, embroidery hoop, tapestry or embroidery needle, stuffing material & basic sewing supplies. 

You will need 4 pieces of fabric scrap to frame stitched piece, and one for backing the pillow case.

NOTE: This tutorial, as well as all subsequent pillow ornament tutorials, is not for a specific finished size. You may make it as big or as small as you wish. Since we hang our pillow ornaments on our Christmas tree, our ornaments do not finish larger than 4″.

GOAL: This project is to get children familiar with structured stitching associated with the “holes” on Aida/cross-stitching fabrics.

PLEASE read through the entire project before attempting. You may let your kid stitcher step in and be involved in any of the steps. For us, my daughter participated in selected the fabrics and stitching. I did the rest.

So — you would want to start with a piece of cross-stitch Aida fabric that amply fits your hoop.  The stitches are done with (2) strands of embroidery floss.  The Aurifloss consists of 6-strands of individual floss, just like the conventional embroidery floss.  So, you would have to cut a length of the floss, separate out 2 strands for the stitching.

Step 1.  Refer to the photo below to teach your kid stitcher stitching just straight lines, half-cross-stitches, and then cross-stitches! Notice all the Spool-en-dids come out to play on this one!

Important Notes:

#1.  It’s really important that you hoop the cross-stitch Aida fabric so that the stitches will turn out nicely.  If not, hooped, your kid stitcher might struggle with the tension of the stitches.

#2.  Your kid stitcher may choose to stitch more than just 15 squares in a row.  She might want to stitch long lines for a nice throw pillow.  Since we are doing ornaments at our house, we do a limited number of stitches so that our ornaments do not end up being more than 4″ x 4″.

#3.  To make it fun, feel free to mix colors – using 1 strand of yellow and 1 strand of brown for example for a fun effect.

Step 2.  After stitching is complete, remember to praise your kid stitcher to the sky!  Trim and square up your piece, and frame with fabric scraps to make pillow ornament top.  Then, with the pillow front and back pieces facing each other and folded ribbon piece tucked in the between, I sewed with a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a small opening. Turn pillowcase right side out, and stuff. I started using the stuffing made by Hobbs recently, and have ABSOLUTELY loved it!!  Hand stitch opening shut, and there you have it!

Next month, we will be cross-stitching a thread spool ornament!

Meanwhile, Miss Baby is stitching a Patchwork aux Chats sampler (designed by French designer Jardin Prive – I highly recommend her designs for children).  She is mixing her colors to stitch the cats.  Follow me on Instagram for work-in-progress pictures.  My handle is ivory_spring.

I hope you will enjoy this little stitching project with your kid stitcher, and jump start a lifetime of sweet stitching memories.

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p.s.  If you missed the article in a recent Quiltmaker issue about my experience in teaching Miss Baby to stitch, it is now available online here.  Enjoy!

Back to blog-land just for a little bit…

A Day In Life

Happy Summer, my dear Friends!  I hope you have been well!  One reverberating question that has been playing in my mind is where the time has gone!  It seemed like it was yesterday I picked Miss Baby from school on the last day of her school year back in May, and now we are way into the month of July!

I have really enjoyed having Miss Baby home this summer although she claims I work her harder than her teacher at school! Haha!  I think she is probably right, but I am certainly not keeping score.

Miss Baby is ever inquisitive and happy to go along with my impulsive outings.  We were at a lavender farm where shortly after this picture was taken, my partner-in-crime left me out in the field cutting lavender sprigs while she enjoyed herself in the shade of the farmhouse porch.

Lavender is the thing on Miss Baby’s bed at the moment.  She even made herself a pillowcase because she thought the one I had out for her was too bland!

A Day in Quilt Life

Quiltingwise, I have kept a demanding pace.  But I am not complaining.

A couple of weeks ago, the great and gracious Pat Sloan had me on her podcast!  It was so much fun chatting a little with her about machine quilting, and stitching with Miss Baby.  If you missed the show, you can listen to the show here.

Besides being excited to see my magazine quilts being published,

Rainbow Room in Quilty (July/August 2018)

Playground Plaza in Fons and Porter Easy Quilts Fall 2018 (click here for kits)

I have been doing a bit of hand applique for my Celebrating Mary Brown quilt.  I am using only Lynette Anderson fabrics for this quilt.

I am also a designer included in the Splendid Sampler 2 this year!!  Are you sewing along with the Splendid Sampler since its launch about a month ago? It is a great sew-along especially if you want to challenge yourself to new skills and techniques.  Here is a picture of my Block #3.  Follow me on Instagram (handle: ivory_spring) to see my other blocks.  Due to time constraint, I haven’t been able to update my blog as often as I would like, but if you need anything from me, just send me a direct message to me via Instagram.  I normally respond much quicker on Instagram.

That’s all for now, My Friends!  I would love to hear from you what you’ve been up to this summer.

p.s.  I have MORE fabric boxes to give away — if you can even believe it!!  But it is what it is, haha.  I will post on the giveaway soon!

No Scraps Left Behind Giveaway Winners & STITCHING PATHWAYS Giveaway

Happy Friday, Friends!  I was running late finishing up a quilt on Thursday, and wasn’t able to do a post.  But here I am today, briefly, to announce the three No Scraps Left behind Giveaway Winners from way back when.  An email has been sent to you asking for your shipping address.

Box #1 — Thimbleberries — Barbara Glover

Box #2 — Useable Scraps — Rita Wilson

Box #3 — Sandie@crazy’boutquilts

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To kick off a series of posts to celebrate my STITCHING PATHWAYS book, I am giving away a panel — the SAME one used in my book’s panel quilt project so you can follow along my notes in the book to quilt this panel.

To enter the giveaway:  Comment in the comment section a challenge you have when it comes to domestic machine quilting.

Thank you to those who have purchased the book, as well as your kind comments on the book.  

Connecting Thread is having a sale on the book.  Click here to purchase your copy.

You can still purchase signed copies of the book from me as well.  Please email me for details.

That’s all for now.  I hope you have a great weekend!  I shall catch up with you later.

p.s.  There will be more giveaways of fabric boxes.  I have been working on re-organizing my wardrobe, and happened to find MORE fabric boxes.  At this point, I am truly embarrassed to admit just how much fabric I have hoarded!