Benartex Christmas in July Blog Hop

Hello Friends, I hope you have been well.  You know what July 25 is?  It is National Merry-Go-Round Day, and that also means there are 152 days till Christmas!

XmasInJuly_logo_projecthop

I am happy to be a participant in Benartex’s Christmas in July Project Hop this year.  And my fabrics of choice are from the Ode to Joy collection.  You may click here to view all the fabrics in this metallic Christmas line.  Of all the prints in this fabric line, I think my personal favorite is this one.  It’s Christmasy cheerful, and whimsical at the same with the gold accents!

9663M-10

With this fabric, I made a gingerbread man block from my You Can’t Catch Me pattern.  Pattern is available for sale HERE.

Ode to Joy GBM

The gingerbread man block finishes at 9″ x 9″.  I added border strips around the block to make it into 15″ x 15″ finished block for a Christmas throw pillow.  I have a secret to share.  While I can make quilts, I can’t make much of anything else, except throw pillows!

IMG-5547

You remember my You Can’t Catch Me pattern, don’t you?

IMG-0170

And these sneak peeks I have shared?

Gingerbread Man 24

IMG-0169

IMG-0168

Heart Blocks

Well, in the case of using Ode to Joy for the gingerbread man block, the take-away lessons are:

#1.  Gingerbread Men don’t all have to be brown!

#2.  If a quilt pattern has a distinctive block design, chances are you can easily just make one block, and turn it into a throw pillow, or small wallhanging.

#3.  The advantage of making just that one is two fold — it serves as a test block to make sure you have cut the pieces, and followed the instructions correctly, and to determine whether you like making that particular block enough to invest the time to make a larger quilt with the blocks!

And here you see that I used the Ode to Joy fabrics to mock up a 9-block quilt using the gingerbread man blocks in keeping with my suggestion earlier that not all gingerbread men have to be brown!

Ode to Joy GBM Quilt

And here are a couple more fun versions for you!

High Res_Norma Rose

Kingston3

So you see, the different fabrics chosen give the design totally different final looks, don’t they?  Therefore, I hereby declare that quilters don’t have to feel guilty about their large fabric stash.  How else would quilters decide for the final looks of their quilts without a large fabric stash to play with? Haha.

If you are thinking about attempting these gingerbread men blocks, I shared a few construction tips HERE.  There is also a block diagram available for you to print if you would like to note the measurements of the different pieces cut for the block.

Block

With that, I shall wish you a Merry Christmas in July, my friends!

***

Find me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ivory_spring/

My Etsy Shop (THREADS SHIP FREE to US addresses): https://www.etsy.com/shop/ivoryspring 

My Online Machine Quilting Classes: https://www.anniescatalog.com/onlineclasses/instructor.html?id=16

***

Be sure to check out the projects from the other participants here:

Monday July 20th – Nancy Scott, Winterberry http://masterpiecequilting.blogspot.com/

Tuesday July 21st – Heidi Pridemore, Rejoice https://www.thewhimsicalworkshop.com/

Wednesday July 22nd – Laura Piland, First Frost http://www.sliceofpiquilts.com/

Thursday July 23rd – Lisa Ruble, Camp Joy https://lovetocolormyworld.blogspot.com/

Friday July 24th – Debby Kratovil, Festive Chickadees https://debbykratovilquilts.blogspot.com/

Saturday July 25thME! Wendy Sheppard, Ode to Joy https://ivoryspring.wordpress.com/

Sunday July 26th – Debby Brown, River’s End https://www.debbybrownquilts.com/

Monday July 27th – Charisma Horton, Deer Festival http://charismascorner.com/

Tuesday July 28th – Sandra Walker, Better Not Pout https://www.mmmquilts.com/

Wednesday July 29th – Kate Colleran, Joy https://seamslikeadream.com/

Thursday July 30th – Tammy Silvers, Snow Village & Rustic Village Christmas https://www.tamarinis.com/

 

Answers to a few questions…

Hello Friends, I hope your week got off a lovely start!  I am still chugging along at my end tending to the different irons in the fire!  First off, the second round of flowering has begun on my rose bushes.  Due to the heat, the flowers aren’t as pink as in the early spring.  And they don’t last as long either.

rose5

I actually tracked the “life” of a rose on my Instagram stories a couple of weeks ago, trying to see how long it took for a bud to mature into a flower.   With the growing conditions in my reason, I say it’s about 14-18 days.  I never thought it would be that long.

rose6

****

Every week I receive emails from quilters asking where they can purchase stand-alone patterns for kits they see in catalogs like Keepsake Quilting.   Most of the time these patterns are not available as stand-alone for sale patterns because they are exclusive collaborations among all the parties involved in offering a design as kits .  The only way to get the pattern is to purchase the kits.  I have also learned that Keepsake Quilting almost never re-kit a project after their kits sell out.

So if you like a kit you see, it’s probably best to purchase it while it is still available.  Click HERE to check out the kits that I have designed for Keepsake Quilting.  

I thought I would share with you the newest kits available that I had designed with the Walnut Creek fabrics by Windham Fabrics.

Walnut Creek

The first one is Homestead.  Click HERE to purchase the kit.  Remember the house blocks I had shared with you a few weeks ago?  The design is offered as quilt kits using the Walnut Creek fabrics.

Recolorr4_60 x 72

The second one is Plum Creek.  Click HERE to purchase the kit.

Recolor1_Larissa_93 x 93

****

Receiving frequent requests for my stand-alone patterns is a big determing factor for the launch of my own pattern line in December 2019.  I want to thank those of you who have purchased the patterns.  I am appreciative of your support.  Please know that my editors and myself work really hard to make each of these pattern happen!

Click HERE to see the current offerings.  More will be added within the few weeks.  

All my patterns are non-fabric specific, and oftentimes precuts friendly.  And chances are I am sewing my quilts right along with you!

What if you really like the version(s) of my quilts I have shown in my fabric choices?  Email me, and I am more than happy to share with you names of fabric lines, and pertinent details.

Please also let your quilt shops know that copies of paper pattern are offered exclusively to them.  They just need to email me for details.

Precuts Friendly_FQ_Elliptical

This is one I am working on.  It is actually a log cabin quilt.  In case you missed it, I had blogged about it here.  Pattern is available here.  And here is my latest progress picture.  A quarter of the blocks are made!

Apricot & Ash2

Meanwhile, I am working on these blocks…. details coming soon!

Just Need Shortcake1

Morrison Park1

That’s all for now, Friends.  I am burning midnight oil trying to get a huge quilt completed…. This quilt has more than 850 HST units!  I am crazy, but I have thoroughly enjoyed it.

Take care, and may the bluebird of happiness fly up your nose!

Bluebird

Till next time!

***

Find me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ivory_spring/

My Etsy Shop (THREADS SHIP FREE to US addresses): https://www.etsy.com/shop/ivoryspring 

My Online Machine Quilting Classes: https://www.anniescatalog.com/onlineclasses/instructor.html?id=16

Elliptical Quilt: Construction Tips

Hello Friends, Happy Thursday to you.  I am glad you stopped by today!  Here is a fun tip for you before we go further!  I am guessing you probably have folded fabric stacks somewhere in your sewing space.  I find these fabric stacks a great way to keep track of units I construct for my quilt blocks.  Just stick a pin and the units to a fabric stack — and chances are, you won’t lose them like I would if I place my units somewhere on my sewing desk.   I have tried using trays, but I think because I work on more than one or two or three quilts at one time, it’s harder to keep track of various block units using the trays.

IMG-4080

Now, onto my newly release pattern Elliptical Quilt.  Pattern is available HERE.  Elliptical Quilt is a fat-quarter-friendly design.  So, get busy raiding your stash.  You will need a total of 18 FQs + backgroudn fabric!  You can also use jelly roll strips to cut the print pieces as well.

Precuts Friendly_FQ_Elliptical

DESIGN SUMMARY: This is actually a quilt made with log cabin blocks with a twist!  The conventional log cabin blocks end up being square blocks, but these log cabin blocks have to end up being rectangular in order to achieve an overall elliptical look!

apricot & Ash block

THINGS I LEARNED FROM MAKING THE BLOCKS MYSELF:

Because of the elliptical nature of the quilt design, here are a few things to watch for —

1. Follow the block cutting diagram CAREFULLY when cutting the pieces because the pieces are not cut at the more regular or familiar dimensions.  For example, one of the pieces is cut 2 1/2″ x 6 3/4″ — be sure to cut at those dimensions and not 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″.  Or there is a narrow piece that is cut at 1″ x 6″ — be sure to not cut 1″ x 6 1/2″.

All those dimensions are necessary in order for us to achieve the elliptical look.

2.  Therefore, I find it easier to cut the pieces piecemeal as I make the blocks instead of mass-cutting.  The following pictures show how I organize my pieces.  I find that index cards are great for keeping my pieces organized because I can write down the dimensions of my cut pieces.

Elliptical Organization

3.  The other thing to watch for when constructing the blocks is the block orientation.  The left and right blocks are mirror-imaged, and will need to be constructed as such.

Elliptical Quilt Left

Elliptical Quilt Right

4.  One more thing, the mirror imaged concept applies to inside blocks as well.  If you look closely, you will notice that the inside blocks has an extra rectangle at the tip so that the center makes a secondary 9-patch design.

[Note:  If you don’t want to be bothered with making the inside blocks, you can always just make the outside blocks, noting the block orientations of course, and you will be fine!]

Elliptical Quilt Inside Block

5.  It’s also helpful if you sew with an accurate scant 1/4″ seam allowance, especially for the pieces cut 1″ width.  You could cut the 1″ wide pieces at 1 1/4″, and then trim to size after you sew.  For example, when the pattern calls for a 1″ x 6″ piece, cut the piece at 1 1/4″ x 6″.  Sew, and then trim to 3/4″ width measuring from the seam line.

Elliptical Trimming

6.  There are raw edge to raw edge measurements listed after you complete certain steps in the construction process.  Be sure to use those measurements to double-check your cutting!

I am making mine in the upcoming Apricot & Ash by Moda Fabrics.  I think they are shipping to stores sometime in August this year.

Elliptical Fabrics

Elliptical Blocks

I hope with these tips that I learned from making the blocks myself, you will find that it’s really fun making these hipster Log Cabin blocks!  Once you get the details figured out, it should take about 15-25 minutes max to sew up a block.  For me, the effect from the overall layout is the best part about this design.

By the way, did you know that the log cabins are a Scottish invention?

Thank you for stopping by!  Happy Sewing, Everyone!

Thank you for stopping by, and I wish you a lovely rest of the week!

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Find me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ivory_spring/

My Etsy Shop (THREADS SHIP FREE to US addresses): https://www.etsy.com/shop/ivoryspring 

My Online Machine Quilting Classes: https://www.anniescatalog.com/onlineclasses/instructor.html?id=16

We have a winner!

A great shoutout to Karen of GA who inspired me to organized my sewing tools!  Meeting you and seeing your sewing organizer was one of the memorable moments in my travel-teaching adventures.  I hope you keep inspiring others to organize their sewing tools!

****

Hello Friends, I hope you are still keeping well.  I want to thank all of you for entering the giveaway for the pink Yazzii Quilters Project Bag, and sharing the different things you consider important in a sewing organizer bag!

Giveaway is now closed for the bag shown below (CA880 Quilters Project Bag), but you can read about how I am using it HERE.

QPB1

Many of you expressed —

#1.  Good quality zippers is a must!

#2.  Multiple sized organizers to organize the various notions.

#3.  Durability is a must!

#4.  See through pockets so you don’t have to hunt for notions already organized in your organizer.

#5.  Appearance of bag is important.

I think the Quilters Project Bag definitely meet the requirements!  AND I AM HAPPY TO ANNOUCE THE WINNER of the giveway is: JoyceO — CONGRATULATIONS!  I will be sending you an email.

giveaway winner

Yazzii is offering free shipping for any orders over $50 in the US.  You may purchase the Quilters Project Bag (CA880) by clicking HERE.

NOW — I would like to offer a quick note of caution.  Since the pocket systems of Yazzii organizers provide easily see through plastic windows, I personally would not place sharp-tip scissors straight into the pockets for fear the tips would poke through the plastic.  

2 solutions:  Store your scissors in the pocket with a scissors sheath, or store scissors in a separate pouch before placing the pouch in the organizer pocket.

Yazzii has some fun pouches that would fit the window pockets… like the CA405.  Click HERE for more information.

yazzi pouch

And I would advise buying contrasting color pouches to go into your organizer, like I have done here.  That way, you can easily spot your pouches!  I organizer my pouches according to the notions I need for various techniques.  The one below is my hand applique pouch.  Just in case I can only take my hand applique supplies with me, I would grab that pouch and use the notions in it.  After I am finished, pouch goes right back to the organizer.

QPB7

For those of you who travel to classes, or retreats, I think the Yazzii Carry All (CA120) might be for you!  It allows you to fit a cutting mat!  I think that’s absolutely cool!  I have never seen this item in person, but from the website, it looks like the ultimate of the ultimates!

I am also thinking with the shoulder straps, it could even double as a travel bag if you travel to classes or retreats.  As long as you don’t have prohibited items, I am thinking this would be a nice bag to take when traveling by plane and have long layovers.  How nice it is to be able to sit at the airport and just break out a sewing project to work on, AND have everything for the project right there!

Click HERE for more information of this CA120 Carry All.

yazzi carry all

The other bag that I found intriguing is the Maxie Yazzii (CA375).  I think this is a great bag for taking to classes or retreats because this bag actually holds fabrics (2-3y according to the website information!) + notions and tools.  Click HERE for more information.

Yazzii Maxie

Now I personally LOVE large purses because I pack almost my entire house in my purse — because one never knows what one might need at any given time! Hahaha.  So I am naturally gravitated toward large totes or purses.

Some of you expressed a liking for a more compact sized bag.  I highly recommend the Oval Organizer (CA140).  I have written about it HERE.

IMG-1907

Well, window shopping for you was really fun!  I hope you will take a look at Yazzii’s website, and hopefully you will find the organizer after your own heart!  Take a look at their smaller organizers — I think they would be perfect for organizer EPP pieces if you are into it.  EPP is on my to-do list (I already have designs in mind), but right now my life schedule doesn’t allow taking on EPP.  One day…

Thank you for stopping by!  I hope you have a lovely day.

I hope to be back later this week to share with you tips on my Elliptical Quilt.  Log cabins that have gone hip is how I describe these blocks.  You may purchase the pattern HERE.

apricot & Ash block

But I have to run for now — the dreaded deadlines await.  Take care, Friends!!!

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Find me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ivory_spring/

My Etsy Shop (THREADS SHIP FREE to continental US): https://www.etsy.com/shop/ivoryspring 

My Online Machine Quilting Classes: https://www.anniescatalog.com/onlineclasses/instructor.html?id=16

 

Update, Upgrade & Giveaway!

A public announcement:  If you had commented in my last post, I have responded to all of you – either by visiting your blog and leaving a comment, or emailing you!  HOWEVER, if you had provided a yahoo  or aol email address, the reply from me will come from my gmail account.  For some reason, yahoo or aol always return emails sent from my primary email address.  A little frustrating!  If you aren’t seeing my email in your inbox.  Please check your junk folder!

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************Hello Friends!  I hope you had a restful weekend.  We took time over the weekend to pray for the gold star families, as one of the gold star mothers had said, “Everyday for a gold star family is Memorial Day.”

Memorial Day

The weather where I am at has been great for my roses.  It’s been mild and cool, and the bugs aren’t out in droves yet!  After 300+ blooms produced in the First Flush, I found the pinkest of them all.  Here is a no-filter picture of my Oliva Austin Rose from two days ago!  I spent an entire morning cutting back the remnants of the First Flush.  I am keeping my fingers crossed on the second round…

Oliva Austin

Speaking of pink — I have an update and upgrade confession to make!  I have upgraded my Yazzii red oval organizer to a PINK QUILTERS PROJECT BAG!

QPB1

You have read about how much I liked my oval organizer in THIS POST.  And at the end of the post, I mused about being curious about the larger Quilters Project Bag!  Well, here it is — all MINE!  Right off the bat, this bag stands!  I like my bags to stand, and not limp.

QPB2

The technical information on the Quilters Project Bag is HERE.  The truth is there still were a few things I would love to fit in one place as far as the organizer goes — a few more notions, and the needlework projects that have my present attention, as well as the patterns that I couldn’t fit in my oval organizer.  And I was straining the oval organizer to its full capacity.  So, I decided to try out the Quilters Project Bag.  Below I will show you what I am able to fit into this 13 x 10.5 x 5 inches bag:

QPB3

The top pink pouch is what I use to store cleaning supplies for my sewing machine.  That way, I don’t have to hunt for my little lint brush that I keep misplacing!  And of course, I have quite the stash for handwork needles.

QPB4

The Quilters Project Bag has large built in pouches with windows that I love!  I can easily see what I have placed in the pouches.

QPB5

QPB6

I like to combine the use of the pouches offered by Yazzii to organize my notions based on techniques, and store these pouches in my Quilters Project Bag.  This is my hand applique pouch.  You can view the pouches HERE.  The pouch below fits into the window pocket of the Quilters Project Bag.

QPB7

Here are more of  what I can store in the next few pages of storage windows.

QPB8

QPB9

QPB10

QPB11

Now comes the fun part — I have a brand new Quilters Project Bag to give away, a $107.95 value!  It is also in PINK!  Between now and next Tuesday (June 1), please leave a comment answer this question:

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU LOOK FOR IN A SEWING ORGANIZER BAG?

You have to answer this question in order to qualify for the giveaway drawing.  Winner will be announced on June 2.  Giveaway is only available to US addresses.

Thank you for stopping by, and I wish you a lovely rest of the week!

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Find me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ivory_spring/

My Etsy Shop (THREADS SHIP FREE to continental US): https://www.etsy.com/shop/ivoryspring 

My Online Machine Quilting Classes: https://www.anniescatalog.com/onlineclasses/instructor.html?id=16

 

Happy Wednesday!

Hello Friends, I hope you have been well.  It’s been a crazy last couple of weeks trying to juggle everything that is going on!  I fully believe one of these days, I will be able to impress my friends and family with the real juggling act at the park!  But until then…

We have had some windy days, but temperature-wise, it has been great for my rose bushes.  I am a novice rose gardener, and am bumbling my way through this rose gardening (or rather, gardening in general) business.

Rose 2

Rose1

Rose3

Rose4Meanwhile, I am not sure if you had seen this quilt.  I set out to see just how many quilts I could make with the Ohio Star block.  Over the years I have built up a collection of about 20 quilts using the Ohio Star blocks, enough to do an entire quilt lecture just on the Ohio Stars!  I named this one Twinkle, Twinkle as a tribute to my daughter playing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Stars for a little over a year when she first started learning to play the violin (4 years of age at the time).  It became a running joke among friends in that they would ask me if Gwen had graduated from Twinkle, Twinkle yet.  Truth be known, seven years later, sometimes she still uses Twinkle, Twinkle to hone her skills.

Twinkle, TwinkleTwinkle, Twinkle is now one of the latest patterns added to my Etsy Shop.  You may purchase the pattern HERE. This design is FQ friendly — so, start raiding your stash!  In the near future, I will do a blog post to share the tricks I use to make the Ohio Stars!

Cover PageHere are a couple of versions of Twinkle, Twinkle.

Sheppard_Eleanors Endeavors_Twinkle, Twinkle

Moda Bitter Sweet2_70 x 90And then, I have these patterns on their way to quilt shops — perhaps yours?  If not, they are available as PDF downloads from my Etsy Shop HERE, or you could certainly have your local quilt shop order the paper pattern from me.

Acorn pattern2ws

babyelliptws

I am also really excited to have the quilt center of my Maisons de Patchwork (Christmas Edition) completed!

Maisons1

Maisons2

Now I just need borders!

Christmas Figs1Click HERE for pattern!

IMG-1844And then, if I get all my ducks in a row, I will be cutting into these fabrics sometime this week…

Apricot & AshAnd with that, I shall say good night/morning!  It’s 1:57am!  YIKES!

Have a lovely rest of your week — chat soon!

****

Find me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ivory_spring/

My Etsy Shop (THREADS SHIP FREE to continental US): https://www.etsy.com/shop/ivoryspring 

My Online Machine Quilting Classes: https://www.anniescatalog.com/onlineclasses/instructor.html?id=16

Thursday This & That!

Hello Friends, I hope you have been well.

What does one do when the gingerbread men decided to go crazy on the outfits?  Look at how different the gingerbread men look in Norma Rose fabrics.  Norma Rose is an upcoming fabric line for Windham Fabrics that is shipping fall this year.

gingebread man1

gingerbread man 2

Notice how the chain units in the heart blocks kind of disappear with these fabrics.  I like the somewhat unpredictable look with these heart blocks.

High Res_Norma Rose

The pattern is avaiable for purchase HERE.

IMG-0170

Meanwhile, I am chugging along with my Quilting Klatcsh quilt in both the blue and rainbow versions.

I now have 53 blue blocks out of 225 total.

Quilting Klatsch1

QAL5

And I just finished the aqua blocks for my rainbow colorway.

Quilting Klatsch2

QAL4

And if you haven’t seen on my Instagram feed, I finished the last of my Annies House blocks.  The quilt top won’t happen for a little while as I am thinking on whether I should set my blocks in a different than my original design.

Information on the free pattern is HERE.

Annies House9

I hope you will keep staying well, and hopefully, you have had some fun sewing time as well!

Till next time!

***

Find me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ivory_spring/

My Etsy Shop (THREADS SHIP FREE to continental US): https://www.etsy.com/shop/ivoryspring 

My Online Machine Quilting Classes: https://www.anniescatalog.com/onlineclasses/instructor.html?id=16

It’s May!

Hello Friends, can you believe it’s May already?  I hope you are still keeping well.  Life remains busy for me, especially last week, in meeting deadlines and now also my little one’s personal assistant with her various online meetings!  Since I last chatted with you, it was as if all the new leaves on the trees in our backyard decided to go “poof” one night, and now everything is green.  I took this picture of our hosta bushes before they become deer salad…

IMG-3718

Living through the last couple of months, I have been encouraged and comforted by the immutability of the Creator, and the rhythms of His creation.  The migrating birds still come at the appointed time (hummingbirds for us); the flowers still bloom; and the sun still rises and sets.  And in that consistency brings hope within the heart.

IMG-3770

I am not sure if you have heard that many children in Italy have turned to artwork as an outlet for encouragement during this time.  Much like in the early days of the virus in their country, residents in apartment complexes sang to each other.  Now, these rainbow artwork serve as symbols of hope for many.  Last week Gwen and I collaborated to make a mini quilt to support Aurifil’s Andra Tutto Bene effort.

042920b

This mini quilt is entirely a wholecloth project.  I let Gwen work on the lettering using fabric markers on a the quilt top, and then, free-motion quilted the rest of the design.

042920o

042920d

Here are a few close-up shots of the letters, click here to go to my original post on Aurifil’s blog to see what the artwork around the each letter means, Gwen-edition.

042920e

042920h

042920l

And then, my part came in with the free-motion quilting.

042920n

042920r

042920q

042920s

042920t

If you have a child, this would be a fun little project preserve a child’s art.  If you don’t have a little one at home, you could make this 15″ x 15″ mini quilt and turn it into a pillow to cheer up a child, or a relative, or even a hospital room .

042920a

As I was working on this little quilt, I was reminded of the first rainbow mentioned in the Bible.  What a sight that must have been!

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”  ~~ Hebrews 10:23

Thank you for stopping by, and I wish you a most blessed week!

***

Find me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ivory_spring/

My Etsy Shop (THREADS SHIP FREE to continental US): https://www.etsy.com/shop/ivoryspring 

My Online Machine Quilting Classes: https://www.anniescatalog.com/onlineclasses/instructor.html?id=16

An almost hold-all sewing bag!

Hello Friends, it’s me again!  I hope you have been well.  I want to thank those of you who have left comments on my last blog post!  Please know that I always read all your comments, and do appreciate your friendship!

Today I am happy to share with you about my “almost hold-all” sewing bag!

Backstory:  I taught at a guild in GA early spring last year, and one of the ladies there had the most amazing hold-all bag for all her sewing supplies that she uses for all her at-home and away-from home sewing purposes.   What a neat idea — if I have my sewing essentials with me in one place at anytime, and no matter where I am, that will definitely cut down on my stress level as I prepare for my teaching trips.  I am always worried I don’t bring something important I need for a particular teaching trip.

SO ON TO MY SEARCH!

I came across the Yazzii bags years ago, and really didn’t look into their products until my search for the ultimate hold-all bag progressed in earnest!

MY CRITERIA:

#1.  It has to be a manageable size for travel!

#2.  It should reasonably store ALL my hand and machine sewing essentials like my most used machine feet, thread spools, needles, scissors, markers, embroidery hoop, pins and clips and such.

ENTER YAZZII’s OVAL ORGANIZER!  Click HERE to learn more about this item.

yazzii1

And here you can see how I have used RED my oval organizer —

Here is where I keep my basic machine tools and feet, including my cleaning brush and machine oil.

IMG-1616

Next up are my bibs and bobs.

IMG-1907

And I use one of the pockets to store one of my current handwork projects.

IMG-1911

And of course, threads.  I always bring my own threads when I travel… because I get a chance to share my threads with ladies who haven’t used my favorite Aurifl threads!

IMG-1910

So now, I keep this organizer by my sewing table with me as I sew.  And I make myself return the notions I use BACK into the organizer.  Now I don’t have to worry about what I might not have brought on trips etc!  And it saves me time having to hunt for my notions even when I am working at home.

The reason I wanted to share about my oval organizer with you is because I received an email a couple of days ago (valid as of 4/21/2020) with the news that Yazzii is offering free shipping to the US for orders $50 and above.  I am not sure if it is exclusive to their email subscribers, but do check out their website HERE.

The ONLY thing I wish I could fit in my organizer is a 8″ x 11″ pattern for my cross stitch piece.  It would have been nice to be able to have everything I need for my leisure handwork in one place.  I probably should eventually upgrade to their larger bags like the Quilters Project Bag or the Crafters Companion.  

Meanwhile, I am most thrilled that my notions are finally organized to my liking!

Happy Shopping, Friends!

***

Curious mind wants to know — how do you keep your notions organized?

This and That!

Hello Friends,  Happy Monday to you!  I hope you had a great weekend, and are still staying well and healthy.

041420a

I am very happy to share with you the news that I had my first editorial feature in a cross stitch publication – Just Cross Stitch.

M53394_JCS-June20_SM_cvr_Watermark SM Just CrossStitch

My project is a “scrappy” blue and white stitching project that is based on an antique quilt.  You know, scrappy isn’t just for quilting!

2199867309_21B_M53394_Antiq_Watermark SM Just CrossStitch

And of course, some of you probably remember seeing this work-in-progress sampler I have been working on for years…. another scrappy blues!  This will be my magnum opus, as Gwen would call it!

10668

The really sweet thing about the editorial feature in Just Cross Stitch is that it is actually a mother-daughter feature — because Gwen also contributed an easy pillow ornament project to entice the little people in your life!  Stay tuned, as Gwen is doing more with her original designs!

2199867309_21C_M53394_Antiq_Watermark SM Just CrossStitch

The reason I started teaching Gwen to stitch when she was a mere 5 year old was because I want her to have a quiet hobby she can have from her childhool after she is grown!  Stitching opens up another world of connection for the stitcher, and it is my hope that Gwen will find for her a support group through stitching when she is grown. It will also serve as her connection to me after I graduate to heaven.  In fact, she sweetly told me she would finish some of my projects for me in my memory in case I don’t get to them before I go to heaven.  So, I am now making sure the new projects I start are ones Gwen likes to, haha!

Gwen’s curated embroidery floss collection for Aurifil is available for purchase and ships free HERE:

***

Speaking of SPOOLS — did you see my Spools Quilt on Aurifil’s blog this past week?  The pattern in pdf format is available HERE.

Additional1

Additional4

Additional2

I designed the quilt to celebrate my love of threads as well as my latest thread collection, Candies!  Available for purchase and ships free HERE.  I have two boxes available at the moment, and as far as I know, I won’t be able to get more until shipping from Italy resumes.

041420b

These blocks were so fun and FAST to make.  I actually made mine as leaders and enders while piecing other quilts.  Truth be known, when I am not in a rush meeting deadlines, I am piecing 3-4 quilt tops at the same time.  It keeps things from getting boring for me.  I love keeping track of the Math for the different quilt tops I am making!

041420d

In CANDIES, you get the following threads:

041420g

5 spools of 50wt (orange spools) – because the 50wt is my go-to all purpose thread! I use 50wt for machine quilting, piecing, and button-hole stitching around my fusible applique shapes. I even used the 50wt for hand needleturn applique until Aurifil released their game-changing 80wt a few years ago.

2 spools of 40wt (green spools) – I use 40wt mainly for machine quilting and general sewing for my crafting projects. 40wt gives such a striking definition to my quilting when I want my quilting show a little more than the 50wt. While I personally do not construct garments, I know garment sewists love the 40wt.

2 spools of 28wt (gray spools) – Many find interesting that I use 28wt for hand sewing my binding! I do! Many of my quilts have been made for editorial features in magazines, and so my quilts pass through many hands before they return to me. So for extra durability in holding down the binding, 28 wt is perfect!

I also use the 28wt to machine baste my hand applique pieces. Machine basting eliminates the use of pins to hold down my needleturn applique pieces. The 28wt creates the perfect “perforation” for me as I cut away the excess fabric before turning the raw seam under for a Hawaiian-type quilt! Yellow shows the basting stitches done with 28wt.

011620k1

011620k2

1 spool of 12wt (red spools) – I mainly use 12wt for hand embroidery. The 12wt stitches up beautifully for all handwork.

***

Keeping with the Staying at Home theme recently, I shared a free House Quilt last week on Instagram.  It is one I had designed for Windham Fabrics a couple of years ago.  In case you missed it, it’s this Annies House quilt.

Design 4b_60 x 72

Pattern is available for download HERE.

I am making mine with slightly different fabrics – I am trying to use only reproduction fabrics.  I hope my small stash of reproduction fabrics can do the job!

Annies House1

And that’s all for now, My Friends!  I hope you have a lovely week ahead!  Till next time!

***

Find me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ivory_spring/

My Etsy Shop (THREADS SHIP FREE to continental US): https://www.etsy.com/shop/ivoryspring 

My Online Machine Quilting Classes: https://www.anniescatalog.com/onlineclasses/instructor.html?id=16

268 Days Till Christmas!

Hello Friends!  I hope you are still staying well and healthy!  For the rest of the school year, I will be playing teacher’s aide during the day on top of everything else.  We keep strictly to the the school hours to keep the normalcy going.

***
I want to thank you for leaving your comments on my last post.  Please know I read EVERY comment.

***

It’s April — can you believe it?

IMG-2606

And there are 268 days till Christmas!  My houses and the peppermint chain units for my Christmas version of Maisons de Patchwork are all done!  Onto the star units next.

o4o120

040120b

This is how the quilt will look with these beautiful Christmas fabrics from Moda.

Christmas Figs1

You may purchase the pattern HERE.

IMG-1844

And here are 10% of the blocks done for my Quilting Klatsch Project quilt, blue version!  These blocks are SO quick to make.  I use them as my leader and ender blocks as I am piecing blocks for a couple of other quilts.  In case you missed it, click HERE for the details.  If you are participating, leave me a comment or email me about your fabric choices etc!

040120a

And I thought you might like to see the last progress picture I shared on Instagram a couple of weeks ago.  The sampler has grown yet a little bit since this picture.

040120

I have a few other work-in-progress projects.  It’s all a matter of chipping them away a little at a time, and doing so consistently!

That’s all for today!  I hope you have a great rest of your week.  Take care, and may God bless you — Dear Friends!  I will check in again.

***

Find me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ivory_spring/

My Etsy Shop (THREADS SHIP FREE to continental US): https://www.etsy.com/shop/ivoryspring 

My Online Machine Quilting Classes: https://www.anniescatalog.com/onlineclasses/instructor.html?id=16

The Quilting Klatsch Project #1

Klatsch per dictionary.com:

noun

a casual gathering of people, especially for refreshments and informal conversation.
*************************************************************************************

Hello Friends, I hope you are staying well still!  As I write, the public schools in my state are closed through the rest of the year.  I wonder if that’s happening more and more.

QAL16

Shelley (I just love her!), the owner of The Iowa Quilt Block Quilt Shop, asked me if I would do a quilt-along for kids who are out of school!  I never refuse a great idea!  So, of course!

QAL26

I came up with my Quilting Klatsch Project #1 that are suitable for ALL ages!  Just scroll down to the age group that applies to you.  Due to time constraint, I won’t be doing a daily post on what to do for the quilt-along.  Rather, I am giving all the information here because I want you to have the flexibility to set your own pace.  All the timeline related information is merely suggested.

*************************************************************************************

HERE IS OUR QUILT — remember,the BASIC QUILT is designed with mainly children in mind.  Scroll down for the young-at-heart options that are a little more involved!

QAL7

QAL2

QAL8

FINISHED QUILT SIZE: 18″ x 18″

FINISHED BLOCK SIZE: 6″ x 6″

CUT SQUARES: 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″

CUT RECTANGLES: 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″

NUMBER OF BLOCKS: 9

FINISHING –  you can finish this as a wallhanging, throw pillow case or even a library book tote for the summer!  I also added an outer border to mine to give me a bit more space for quilting.

QAL25

***

For PLUS block:  you need (4) 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ background square, (2) 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ print square, and (1) 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ print rectangle.

Step 1.  Sew (2) 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ background squares and (1) 2 1/2″ x print square to make a row unit.  Make (2) row units.

QAL10

Step 2.  Sew the row units to the opposite long sides of (1) 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ print rectangle to complete (1) block.  This should measure 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ raw edge to raw edge.  You will need to make (5) blocks for the Basic Quilt.

QAL11

***

For DOT Block: you need (2) 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ background squares, (1) 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ print squares, and (2) 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ background rectangles.

Step 1.  Sew (2) 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ background squares and (1) 2 1/2″ x print square to make a row unit.  Make (2) row units.

QAL10

Step 2.  Sew (2) 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ backgroudn rectangles to the opposite wrong side of the row unit to complete (1) block.  This should measure 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ raw edge to raw edge.  Make a total of (4) blocks for the Basic Quilt.

QAL12

***

Quilt Assembly

Step 1.  Pieced Row 1,3: Sew together (2) PLUS blocks and (1) Dot block.

Step 2.  Pieced Row 2:  Sew together (2) DOT blocks and (1) PLUS block.

Step 3.  Sew together pieced rows to complete quilt top.

QAL13

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Note:  Supervision is paramount for all the steps where little people (yes, teens too!) are involved.  I am going to let the adults determine how much assistance are needed for the particular little people with whom you work!

AGES 3-4 – QUILT PUZZLE

Day 1 (after kiddo is in bed):

Print out (5) copies of Block A and (4) copies of Block B.  Tape them to make into a “paper” quilt.  If you child loves puzzles, you could mount your paper quilt onto a card board. These block diagrams should print out at 8″ x 8″ to allow a little extra room for the cut pieces.  Little hands might not have the motor skills to place the fabric pieces just so on the paper quilt layout.  Cut all the fabrics pieces required for the entire quilt.

Click PLUS Block Diagram and Dot Block Diagram to downalod block diagrams pdf.

Day 2 -3 (after kiddo is awake):

This is a great way to teach or reinforce with your child the concept of squares and rectangles.  Then, let him place the pieces on the taped paper quilt, matching the squares and rectangles.  Be prepared to see your child’s quilt completely different from the Basic quilt.  The adult here gets to decide whether or not it’s okay for the child to veer of the original design.

QAL17

Repeat and take pictures to share with grandparents and relatives!  Maybe repeat the puzzle game for a couple days.

Day 4 (after kiddo is awake):

The day has come for your child to decide which fabric piece goes where.  Once decided, snap a picture, and you or you and child will now put together quilt top!

After the quilt is completed, you can just cut the squares and rectangles out of card stock for continual play on the paper quilt.  My daughter used to love her paper quilt.

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

QAL20

AGES 5-8 – COLORING PAGES

Day 1:

Print Basic Quilt Layout Coloring Page.

Children in this age group should be able to pick up the pattern.

This quilt is a great way to teach contrast (backgroud vs print fabric), as well as alternating pattern.   Point out to your child that the PLUS and DOT blocks both use the same squares and rectangles, just different in number of pieces needed and arrangements.

After teaching the concepts, it’s time for your child to color the quilt layout image with their favorite colors to design their quilt on paper.  You could limit the number of main colors to be included in the quilt — that might make stash raiding later a little easier to clean up.  Ask me how I know.

Day 2:

After they have come up with their design, they can hunt for fabrics from your stash to sew up their quilt.

Day 3-4:

Pieced the blocks with your child, and complete quilt top.

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

AGE 9-TEENS: QUILT MATH

Day 1: 

You child will get to decide the size and layout of his quilt.  Right now, the Basic Quilt finishes at 18″ x 18″, and each side has (3) 6″ finished blocks across.

Math question #1 — if I want to make a quilt that is 27″ x 27″ with the 9-block configuration,  what would be the finished size of each block?

Math question #2 — And what would be the finished size of the squares in a 9″ finished block?

Now it’s also a good time to introducted the concept of seam allowance, and how the pieces are to be cut 1/2″ larger than the finished size to account for 1/4″ around each side of the piece.

Math question #3 — For a 27″ x 27″ quilt with (9) 9″ finished block, what are dimensions to cut for the squares and rectangles?

Here is a chart for you to check your children’s Math.

QAL14And if you have an over-achieving child, she might want to make a 5 x 5 quilt instead! In case your very smart and over-achieving child needs to work out his design on paper… here is the 5×5 Quilt Layout Coloring Page.

QAL3

QAL6

QAL9

Day 2: 

Cut fabric pieces.  At this point, the concept for fussy cut may be introduced for older children.   I chose Windham Fabrics’ Far Far Away II for the very purpose of fussy cutting!  Also I want to point out it’s perfectly okay to rotate the PLUS block 90 degrees in order to make fussy cutting work.  Here is a block I made that shows the PLUS block being turned 90 degrees (the rectangle piece in the block is vertical instead of horizontal) to accommodate my fussy cut rectangle.

IMG-2791

Day 3-5:

Pieced the blocks with your child, and complete quilt top. I worked in Day 5 in case your child is attempting a the larger 5 x 5 version.  But then, the blocks are quick to construct, you might have the quilt top done in a day!

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

ADULTS or YOUNG AT HEART!

Basically, for the adult version, I recommend just sewing up a bunch of blocks that finish at 6″.  I am like one of the UN-cool kids, and was never on the cutting edge of things.  I totally missed the wave of plus quilts that so many have made a few years ago.  I am taking this as my chance to make my plus quilts!

I am making 2 versions… a scrappy cream/blue, and a scrappy rainbow version.  Making the blocks to finish at 6″ x 6″ will give a 90″ x 90″ quilt with this (15 x 15) layout.

QAL5

QAL4

The rainbow version is inspired by two rainbow wallhangings I made last year.  I had so much fun I wanted to make a bed-sized rainbow quilt.

QAL15

Here are my blocks so far.  I have made (11) for my blue/cream version, and (7) for my rainbow version.

QAL19

QAL18

Obviously you would just sew these blocks up at your own pace.  I know I certainly am…

HOWEVER, during this time of staying home, it would be so fun to get with your guild or club friends via text or email to do a block exchange of the PLUS blocks.

A suggestion.  So there are 113 plus blocks, and 112 dot blocks.  If you are doing an exchange, you could just get a group of 10 friends (you included).  Each friend will make (10) sets of (11) plus blocks.  Then at the exchange you will end up with a total of 110 blocks.  You just need to make 3 additional blocks yourself for the total of 113 blocks.

Another suggestion.  If you are working on this quilt by yourself.  You will make (15) blocks a week, and in 15 weeks, you will have the complete set of blocks to make the bed quilt!

Yet another suggestion.  If you want to have some practice fun on domestic machine quilting.  Make the Basic Quilt, and you will have a nice size of an 18″ quilt to quilt on.  Here are a few pictures of my quilted Basic Quilt.

QAL21

QAL22

QAL23

QAL24

***

Taking the project to a meaningful level, whenever your children work on the plus blocks, it’s great time to pause with them and recount and reflect on the “plusses”/blessings in life!  Whenever you work on the dot block, it would be so nice to pause to pray for those in need.  And that might even generation conversation on how we can show kindness and encouragement to those who are in need in practical ways.

***

I hope you have fun with this!  If you are participating, tag me #ivoryspring or #quiltingklatsch on Instagram so that I can see your pictures of your project/progress.  You may email your project pictures to me too.  Depending on how your children at home like this particular Quilting Klatsch project, I have more ideas swirling in my head!  We might just have enough little projects to keep our little ones busy throught the rest of the school year.  In any case, we will have more Quilting Klatsch projects coming up…. the next one being the heart quilt!  In case you missed it, click HERE to read about it.  I just received my fabrics for that quilt — will be starting that one soon!

***

Find me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ivory_spring/

My Etsy Shop (THREADS SHIP FREE to continental US): https://www.etsy.com/shop/ivoryspring 

My Online Machine Quilting Classes: https://www.anniescatalog.com/onlineclasses/instructor.html?id=16