FREE PATTERNS and QUILT KITS with RJR Wildwood Way

Hello Friends, here we are again! I hope your week has gone well for you.  Last Fall Market Houston RJR Fabrics launched their first digital print fabric line, Wildwood Way.  I am happy to have been able to design quilts to support the fabric line.  This line is absolutely gorgeous — click here to view the fabrics.

Stargazer is a 40″ x 40″ wall quilt that is perfect to decorate a wall.  Purchase the kit by clicking here.  Download pattern by click here.

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This is a picture of the quilt at Fall Market last year.

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Garden Path is a queen sized bed quilt that uses entirely charm squares!  I absolutely love this one!!!  Purchase the kit by clicking here.

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Wildflower is 67 3/4″ x 90 1/2″ large throw/single bed quilt.  Purchase the kit by clicking here (you earn 539 points in Quilter’s Cash if you are a Missouri Star Quilt Company customer).  Download pattern instructions here.

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And I have another magazine quilt (using the same fabrics) upcoming for later this year in an Australian publication…. :)  This one is fun!

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That’s all for now — I hope you have a lovely rest of your week!

How would a President celebrate his birthday… AND MORE!

Hello Friends, Happy Washington’s Birthday!  General Washington is a big deal in our house!   So this is a special day where we are thankful for the life of our great General and President.  Click here to read about the real history on Washington’s Birthday/George Washington Day!

So, how might have General and President Washington celebrated his birthday?

It was said that Mrs. Washington had Japanese Fruit Pie made and served for the General’s birthday at some point. Click here for the recipe.

The historic Gadsby Tavern of the town Alexandria actually held annual Birthright Ball in the honor of the General’s birthday, and he actually attended twice!  It is This tavern is still in operation today, and we always enjoy dining there.  [Miss Baby feels like a “lady” whenever we ate at Gadsby Tavern.]  Gadsby Tavern also has on display the “ice house” – a historically accurate reconstruction of 18th century refrigerator.

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photo credit: http://www.alexandria.gov

Click here to see how well you know about General Washington.

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Meanwhile, if only empty thread spools can talk…. hahaha!  These are the empty thread spools I have collected since New Year — all from constructing quilts tops.  As life would have it, I have been spending the last couple of months making quilt top after quilt top.  The following empty spools represent about 11400 yds of threads – yeeeks!

For a long while, I never considered myself a piecer… but I think I am beginning to change my mind. I think I enjoy constructing quilt top almost as much as I enjoy free motion quilting!  Piecing lets the engineer in me to come out and play, out free motion quilting lets the artist out.  Artist has been confined inside of me lately because I have got to get to a few more quilt tops before Artist can come out to play.  But sometimes, that’s how the journey is made completed — when the journey is augmented by something out of the ordinary.

All that said — I am still eager to get these top done so that I can go back to machine quilting, ha!

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That’s all for now.  I hope you have a lovely week!!  Hugs to you all, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey!

Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along: Part 1

NOTE:  If you are just now hearing about the Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along, and would like to find out more, click HERE.

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Hello Friends, with your fabrics and supplies ready, get set, GO!  This is what I was able to accomplished for the Part 1 of Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along!

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This block took me 2 hours to make.  But then, it might not take you as long because I am an extremely slow piecer!

A few things that helped me in making this block.  Please note that what I am in no way dogmatic about what I am sharing below.  Please feel free to use your tried and true tricks! :)

#1.  Starch — I am the starchy type when it comes to piecing.  I always stabilize my fabrics by press-starching them, especially when I know I will be cutting small pieces.  I actually don’t have a favorite brand.  So I am curious to know what brand of starch you use if you press-starch your fabrics.

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#2.  In making the roof unit, I finger pressed my sew-and-flip piece first before trimming… and all that BEFORE I pressed my seam open with a hot iron.  Since I press-starch my fabric, I don’t use steam when I press.

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When matching the roof units, I made sure the diagonal seams on both units are right on top of each other.  Then I place a pin diagonally matching the diagonal seams, before sewing the units together.

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By doing that, I ended up with a nice looking eaves.

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#3.  Since there’s not butting of seams, and due to the fact that the window unit being made with small pieces, I pressed open my seams for the window and door units.  That way I don’t lose any “fabric real estate” which happens when I press my seams to one side.

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#4.  I was a little more careful than usual when sewing the 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ ground fabric square onto the green rectangles for the tree unit.  I pinned my square as shown so that it was kept nicely in place when I fed the pieces through the machine.

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#5.  So, you are supposed to sew (2) 1 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ ground rectangles in step 9 on page 5 of the instructions.  The ground rectangles should be (2) 1″ x 8 1/2″.  The dimensions are correct in the cutting directions.

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And after 2 hours or so, you should have a nicely flat block! :)  Your block should measure approximately 12 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ raw edge to raw edge.

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For those who are sewing along, you will have till March 13 to finish your block, and I do hope you will send me a picture of your block!

It was SO good to sew something for me and doesn’t really have a deadline.  But it’s time for me to go back to work on work-related things. :)

Feel free to share tips and tricks and thoughts you have on the block on this post.   Have FUN!

Are you smart, are you catty? Are you a Smarty Cat?!

Hello Friends, I hope you have had a good week.  My week went by all too quickly.  A quilt editor and I were just lamenting earlier today how we can’t believe it’s already Friday, because it didn’t seem like we had gotten enough accomplished…. but be that as it may I hope you have a lovely weekend!!

I got to play with a fun fabric line last fall for Windham Fabrics, Smarty Cats.  You can check out the fabrics here.

Cat Tales  – you can purchase this bed-sized kit here.  Click here for free pattern download.

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Faces All Around –  you can purchase this throw sized quilt kit here.  Click here for free pattern download.

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Smokey and Friends – you can purchase this crib/child size quilt kit here.

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The sweet people at Windham fabrics sent some Hot Dog Cool Cats fabrics for my “resident cat” (aka Miss Baby). She doesn’t necessarily want a cat (and we don’t have one), and is purr-fectly fine “being” the cat at our house.  So she goes around pretending to be a cat.  It all so compli-CAT-ted, hahahaha!  I had this P+S Oliver Ice Cream made for my house cat, by sewbeeitclothier.  Alison does great work.  Check out the self-covered-buttons!

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So, a question for you – cat or dog, or neither?

Thanks for stopping by.  I shall catch up with you next week.

My 2017 Line-up

Editorial Feature

American Patchwork & Quilting (Jan/Feb 2017):  Close Quarters (Cover Quilt)

McCall’s Quick Quilts (Feb/March 2017):  I’m Blue For You

 

Free-to-use Design

Jan 2017:  Stars and Stripes Forever (Hoffman Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  HOPE (Windham Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  Bleecker Street (Quilting Treasures)

Feb 2017: Sheeps and Peeps (Quilting Treasures)

Feb 2017: Smarty Cats (Windham Fabrics)

Virtual Trunkshow #20: Pinwheels

Hello Friends,  I hope you are well.  We are experiencing near 70-degrees, and we cannot be happier…. except we are supposed to plunge back into the cold again!

I was looking for a few pictures in my archive today, and came across this gem of a picture from summer 2013 when Miss Baby was 4! Many of you have seen this one, but probably my new followers haven’t… She was supposed to be painting, but NOT her hands, hahaha.  I should have gone and checked on her when I thought she was being suspiciously quiet… but at the time, I thought I would just get one more thing done before I did that.

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I am getting ready to start piecing another quilt top, which involves pinwheels!!!  So, I was curious just how many pinwheel quilts I have made/designed over the years.  Be sure to scroll down to very end of post for a little historical snippet on the pinwheel block, as well as my tip for “almost always” perfect pinwheels. :)

These are some of my early pinwheel quilts:

Joseph Pinwheels (Fons and Porter, 2011)

Summertime (Fons and Porter, 2011)

Starry Pursuit (Fons and Porter, 2011)

Holiday Spinners (The Quilter, Holiday 2010)

Spring Song (Spring Market 2010)

Pieceful Garden (The Quilter, 2008; UK’s Popular Patchwork, 2010)

China Blue (QUILT, 2012)

Forest Floor (2013)

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Rooster Royale (2013)

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Princess Aiko (2013)

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To Eternity and Beyond (2013)

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And the following are the more recent ones:

Flutter B’s (2015)

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Garden View (The Quilter, 2014)

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Pinwheel Parade (Fons and Porter, 2016)

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Winter Wind (McCall’s Quilting, 2016)

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Wind Chimes (2016):

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Bleecker Street (2016):

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HOPE (2017):

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And these are my upcoming pinwheel quilts:

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And now a little fun historical fact:

According to this link, the pinwheel quilt pattern was developed around 1795.

I shared about my tip on perfect pinwheels (at least where the points mostly meet) here.

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And that’s it for today!  I want to know if any of you out there love/use pinwheels as much as I do?! :)  Thanks for stopping by.  I will catch up with you before the weekend.

Happy “Miscellaneous” Monday!

Happy Monday and Happy Week, Friends!  I hope you had a great weekend, and your week has gotten off a great start!  I have projects in the works that will be official in a few months.  Here are a few sneaky peeks for you!

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[This following Aussie-bound quilt uses my Aurifil Designer of the Month block.  It is my original design.]

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Meeting project deadlines have kept me sewing and sewing lately.  I will need to take a picture of my empty thread spools to show you as proof. :-)  And as I type, I am getting ready to start another new quilt tonight!

Meanwhile, I am thrilled to see Marlene of Kissed Quilts used batiks to make the cover quilt on my book New Creative Quilts & Projects From Precuts or Stash.

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Notice how the quilt took on a totally different looked when made with muted shades of batiks!  And I also love how Marlene has quilted the quilt.

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Totally changing subject here, those who know me know that I imagine myself an armchair historian.  So, a couple of fun historical facts for you today…. ON THIS DAY….

Feb 6, 1952 – Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne of Britain.

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Feb 6, 1911 – President Ronald Wilson Reagan was born.  He would have been 106 today.

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And on this day Feb 6, 2017 — This is the day that the Lord has made.  We will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118: 24).

Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you have a lovely rest of your week!  I shall check in with you later this week – hugs to you!

FREE PATTERN: Sheeps And Peeps + This & That

Hello Friends, I hope you are doing well!  Happy February to you.  Can you believe the month of January is already in the rear view mirror?  A fun fact for you: I am actually a January baby! :)  So, it’s really exciting to see one of my designs, Sheeps and Peeps, being selected for Quilting Treasures‘ calendar this year.  It’s doubly special since I am a Sheppard, and a shepherd has got to love sheep!

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Click here to download the pattern instructions.  Don’t you think I did a good job in keeping the wooly creatures safe in the fence? :)

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Meanwhile, guess what’s on the table being cut?! :)  Yeap, I am getting pictures ready for the first part of Bleecker Street Sew-Along.  Click here if you want to find out more about it.

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That’s all for now, Friends!   BUT CURIOUS MIND WANTS TO KNOW IF THERE ARE ANY JANUARY BABIES OUT THERE?!

It’s been a busy week over here trying to piece two quilts at the same time.  I am trying a new trick in piecing.  I hope my experiment is productive enough to share a couple of tricks with you!  Till next time.  Hugs to you all.

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My 2017 Line-up

Editorial Feature

American Patchwork & Quilting (Jan/Feb 2017):  Close Quarters (Cover Quilt)

McCall’s Quick Quilts (Feb/March 2017):  I’m Blue For You

 

Free-to-use Design

Jan 2017:  Stars and Stripes Forever (Hoffman Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  HOPE (Windham Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  Bleecker Street (Quilting Treasures)

Feb 2017: Sheeps and Peeps (Quilting Treasures)

Weekend Instagram Takeover…

Happy Friends!  I hope you have been well.  It’s been a busy week finishing up another quilt top, and I am looking at a busy weekend ahead. Anyway, a bit of fun news for you.  I am going to live on the wild side this weekend by being a social media butterfly — I am taking over Instagram for American Patchwork & Quilting!

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Come find me at https://www.instagram.com/allpeoplequilt/.

Have a fanta-bulous weekend!

All Things BLEECKER STREET… and the biggest snowman!

Hello Friends, I hope you are well.  The sun is out where I am with a high of close of 60F!  I am so thankful for that – as I am a winter wimp.

1.  Spring on Bleecker Street Sew Along.  I just emailed out the preliminary email to ladies who most recently expressed interest in joining in the fun!  Please know that you are welcome to join in anytime.  And I just added a Sew-Along Tab on the top of my blog page which has the basic information.   Click here to access the special sew-along page!

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You may download the pattern instructions and templates here.  And start to gather your supplies!!!

I will be using the Bleecker Street fabrics from Quilting Treasures for this project!  I am totally in love with these fabrics!!!!  You may use fabrics of your choice for the project.  However, if you want to replicate the original quilt,  I know of places listed below that are selling the kits/fabrics.  For the embroidery, I will be using colors from my Aurifil’s Marmalade Meadows collection.  Click here to read about the collection if you haven’t known about it.  I would imagine any Aurifil dealer will be able to order the floss for you.  Please know that I will be showcasing more ways to use up the floss in a couple of months.

* The quilt and floss kits are available from http://thimblemouseandspouse.com.  I think Lynn is still waiting for the fabrics and floss to arrive.

* Quilt kits from http://www.northerncomfortquilts.com/sales-and-specials

* Fabrics from Quiltropolis.

* Quilt kits from Hancocks of Paducah.

2.  Other Bleecker Street Projects.  Now, Spring on Bleecker Street isn’t the only quilt I designed using Quilting Treasures’ Bleecker Street fabrics.

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Pinwheel Quilt

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Click here to download pattern instructions.

Click here to purchase quilt kit(s).

Alcott Quilt.  This quilt is actually inspired by a quilt made by mother of Louisa May Alcott.  Mother Alcott took on sewing projects to supplement her family’s income.  My interpretation of the design is a tribute to all mothers over the ages who did what it took for the sake of their families’ welfare.

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Click here to download pattern instructions.

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3.  Snowflake blocks and “Biggest” Snowman.  Due to upcoming travel, I have been sewing up a storm to make some my quilt samples happen for the appropriate people.  No, we don’t have snow, but I have been making these fun snowflake blocks. :)

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And here is Miss Baby’s suggestion on how to make the biggest snowman!  I found this on one of her school papers. [This might have come in helpful for your next snowstorm fun! :)

“First you have to build a big ball as big as the 2nd grade classroom, then a ball as big as the lunch room, then one as big as the second grade door.  Stack the smallest ball on the top of the medium one, and so on.  Then cut two trees down and stick them into the medium ball. Then get some beach balls and stick them in to make eyes, and so on.”

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Thank you for stopping by!  I hope you have had a great week so far.  We certainly have, as crazy busy as we have been over here.  Hugs to you all.  I shall catch up with you before the weekend.

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My 2017 Line-up

Editorial Feature

American Patchwork & Quilting (Jan/Feb 2017):  Close Quarters (Cover Quilt)

McCall’s Quick Quilts (Feb/March 2017):  I’m Blue For You

 

Free-to-use Design

Jan 2017:  Stars and Stripes Forever (Hoffman Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  HOPE (Windham Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  Bleecker Street (Quilting Treasures)

Comfort Quilt Patterns & More

Happy Monday, Friends.  I hope you are well!  This week will find me feverishly piecing quilt tops… so, here’s to productivity to you and me!

1.  A little Behind-the-Scenes.  I am often asked about my designing process.  What comes first for me: design concepts in my head or fabric choices?  For my “work” work, more often than not, it’s the fabric choices.  What happens is fabric companies would send me images of upcoming fabric lines, and ask if I could come up with supporting quilt designs for the specific lines.  So I would look at and start getting a feel for the mood and theme of the fabrics.  I would then do research related topics based on the theme of the fabric groups to get ideas on how best to showcase the fabrics through quilt designs.  For example, I was asked to play with an upcoming fabric line that has the 50’s theme.  Mind you, I am not a child of the 50’s — still a whipper snapper that I am, just kidding! :)  So, I read up on a bit about the cultural aspects of the 50’s, and came up with this Movie Night design, accented by the 50’s style glasses!  Click here to see this fun fabric group – details on the quilt pattern are forthcoming! :)

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2.  Comfort Throw Quilts.  Every so often I get to work fabric themes that aren’t as carefree as the 50’s.  Last year, I got to work with one fabric group related with breast cancer (Anything Is Possible by Windham Fabrics), and the other with heart disease (Quilting Treasures).  It is my hope that these quilts, when made, will bring comfort to the recipients.

HOPE Quilt:

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Click here to download free to use pattern.  I know Keepsake Quilting was carrying the kits, but the last I check, the kits are out of stock.

Kick Heart Disease Quilt:

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Click here to purchase the quilt kit.

3.  Giveaway Winners / Windham Fabrics Atlas Charm Packs

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Congratulations to the winners:  kathrie2013, Sandy Allen, and Lori Morton.  An email was sent to you – please reply with your mailing address so that I can have the charm packs sent to you!  Thank you to EVERYONE for playing along!

That’s all I have for now!  I hope you have a lovely week ahead.  Hugs to you all!!!

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My 2017 Line-up

Editorial Feature

American Patchwork & Quilting (Jan/Feb 2017):  Close Quarters (Cover Quilt)

McCall’s Quick Quilts (Feb/March 2017):  I’m Blue For You

 

Free-to-use Design

Jan 2017:  Stars and Stripes Forever (Hoffman Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  HOPE (Windham Fabrics)

FREE PATTERN: Stars and Stripes Forever

Hello Friends, lots of festivities are in town today!! It’s Inauguration Day!!!  Here is my fly-speck contribution to the patriotic festivities today!

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The quilt is designed with Stars and Stripes Forever fabrics by Hoffman Fabrics.

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Click here to download free-to-use pattern.

And I close today with a prayer for America by our first President, General George Washington:

Almighty GOD; we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection, that thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States of America at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of The Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech thee, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen

With prayers for the future, and always with thanksgiving to God, I hope you have a most blessed day!

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My 2017 Line-up

Editorial Feature

American Patchwork & Quilting (Jan/Feb 2017):  Close Quarters (Cover Quilt)

McCall’s Quick Quilts (Feb/March 2017):  I’m Blue For You

 

Free-to-use Design

Jan 2017:  Stars and Stripes Forever (Hoffman Fabrics)

Happy Monday & Sew Along & Scrappy Mystery & This and That

Hello Friends, Happy Monday and Happy Week to you!  I hope you are all well!  I will try to cover a few items today. :)

#1.  This is of utmost importance — I want to know who amongst you still has her Christmas tree up! :)  I found out over the weekend on Instagram there are quite a few still who are keeping their Christmas trees up to enjoy them longer.  With that, I will no longer feel self-conscious about keeping ours up for two weeks at least after Christmas!!! Truth be known, Miss Baby is still blasting Christmas carols and music at home.  And I sewed up these charm squares over the weekend.  So, Christmas is here to stay, I think!

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#2. Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along!  If you have expressed an interest in following with the sew-along, you will have received an email from me with a bit of logistics on how we will be doing things – all in an informal way!  Please know that you are able to join in the fun anytime!  It will be great if you just shoot me an email expressing your intention to join in the fun! :0)

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You may download the pattern instructions and templates here.

I will be using the Bleecker Street fabrics from Quilting Treasures for this project!  I am totally in love with these fabrics!!!!  You may use fabrics of your choice for the project.  However, if you want to replicate the original quilt,  I know of places listed below that are selling the kits/fabrics.  For the embroidery, I will be using colors from my Aurifil’s Marmalade Meadows collection.  Click here to read about the collection if you haven’t known about it.  I would imagine any Aurifil dealer will be able to order the floss for you.  Please know that I will be showcasing more ways to use up the floss in a couple of months.

* The quilt and floss kits are available from http://thimblemouseandspouse.com.  I think Lynn is still waiting for the fabrics and floss to arrive.

* Quilt kits from http://www.northerncomfortquilts.com/sales-and-specials

* Fabrics from Quiltropolis.

* Quilt kits from Hancocks of Paducah.

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Tentatively, I will be posting my first section on Feb 15th.  And then you will have a month between Feb 15th and March 15th to complete your section. :)

#3.  SCRAPPY MYSTERY Quilt-Along!  I asked, and you responded.  So, scrappy it is!  This will start in June or July 2017.  I am still working out the details, and will have more to share when I have more solid information.

#4.  Miss Baby’s Stitching Progress.  Some of you have written to ask about Miss Baby’s stitching progress.  Here is the last progress picture I took of her work.  Pattern is by Jardin Prive.  You may purchase the chart here. The latest completed house is the one right next to the letter “m”.  She actually messed up on counting her squares. Instead of correcting her mistake, she “improvise” to make her house work!  I am not quite sure how I feel about that yet… on one hand, I want her to follow the rules because I am pretty much a “dot my i’s, and cross my t’s kind of person.  But on the other hand, I thought she did a great job improvising!  Hahaha.  The original house has 3 windows, and Miss Baby’s version has 2 windows.  And of course, Miss Baby has totally ignored all the “suggested colors”, and picked out all her colors.

I have to say Miss Baby has made great strides in the last 6 months in that she has learned to thread her own needles, and finish her stitches etc.  She is now a totally independent stitcher.  For a while there, I had to cut the threads, thread the needle, show here where to stitch, and then help her bury her thread tails etc.  Now, she asks if I could get her a gold needle!  Well, I didn’t… I told her she would have to earn her own money to buy that as regular needles do just fine. :-)

I say all that to encourage mothers and grandmothers out there who are teaching their young ones in the art of needle and thread that it is possible to start them really young!  I started Miss Baby when she was about 5.  And it’s been really gratifying to see her progress and develop in her skills.

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That’s all for now, Dear Friends!  It’s past 10pm, and I still have a quilt to bind that needs to be shipped in the morning. :)  There goes my life whirling around again!  Hugs to you all, and I do hope you have a lovely week.