FREE PATTERN: Dream Blossom

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

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Here you can see the quilts better…

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Click here to view the entire fabric range.

Click here to download pattern instructions.

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

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

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

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

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

February: Happy Home House Quilt (Quilting Treasures)

February: Happy Home Runner (Quilting Treasures)

February: Happy Home Throw Quilt (Quilting Treasures)

February: Farmville using Green Farms (Benartex)

February: Zoey’s Flowerbed using Zoey (Benartex)

March: Camp Cozy Quilt (Quilting Treasures)

March: Pretty Little Houses using Tango (Benartex)

March: Ariel (Quilting Treasures)

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

April:  Baby Bunny using Bunny Hop (Benartex)

April: Yuki (Hoffman Fabrics)

April: Shimmering Constellations using Gold Standard (Benartex)

April: Bonjour (Quilting Treasures)

April: Baby Boutique (Quilting Treasures)

May: High Speed Racer using Vroom (Benartex)

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

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

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

June: Treeline Drive (Hoffman Fabrics)

June: Frosty the Snowman (Quilting Treasures)

June: Jolly Old St. Nick (Quilting Treasures)

July: Memento (Hoffman Fabrics)

July: Monkey Business (Quilting Treausres)

July: Dream Blossom (Hoffman Fabrics)

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

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

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

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These owl fabrics are unbelievably beautiful!

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

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

Flower Favorites

Going Places

Christmas in July 2013

April Hop

Christmas in July 2014

Novelty Prints

Burlap Brights

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Click the following links for my other banner quilts:

A Mother’s Love

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Ivory Baltimore

Ivory Baltimore, Recreating Antique Quilts

3.  Nestlings

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4.  Out of the Nest

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5.  Silver Maple

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

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Preview of Upcoming Project & Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I am happy to announce the winner is: Sharon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Virtual Trunk Show #18: Sawtooth Star, Part 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I shall catch up with you later!

FREE PATTERN: Monkey Business

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

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Click here to view all the fabrics.

Click here to download the pattern instructions.

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

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

SO, ARE YOU A MALL PERSON?

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

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

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

February: Happy Home House Quilt (Quilting Treasures)

February: Happy Home Runner (Quilting Treasures)

February: Happy Home Throw Quilt (Quilting Treasures)

February: Farmville using Green Farms (Benartex)

February: Zoey’s Flowerbed using Zoey (Benartex)

March: Camp Cozy Quilt (Quilting Treasures)

March: Pretty Little Houses using Tango (Benartex)

March: Ariel (Quilting Treasures)

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

April:  Baby Bunny using Bunny Hop (Benartex)

April: Yuki (Hoffman Fabrics)

April: Shimmering Constellations using Gold Standard (Benartex)

April: Bonjour (Quilting Treasures)

April: Baby Boutique (Quilting Treasures)

May: High Speed Racer using Vroom (Benartex)

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

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

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

June: Treeline Drive (Hoffman Fabrics)

June: Frosty the Snowman (Quilting Treasures)

June: Jolly Old St. Nick (Quilting Treasures)

July: Memento (Hoffman Fabrics)

July: Monkey Business (Quilting Treausres)

Winner of Guide to Quiltmaking & “Summery” batiks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congratulations…

… to Rogers Sewing Center in Rogers, Arkansas!

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

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

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

Thanks so much, and have a great weekend!!

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

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

Cozy Town in McCALL’S QUILTING (July/August 2015) & Giveaway!

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Hello Friends, I wanted to share with you my Cozy Town quilt before the next issue of McCall’s Quilting hits the newsstands.  So, here it is…. Cozy Town in the July/August 2015 issue of McCall’s Quilting!

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I have always wanted to make the “traditional” house blocks — and I was glad I finally had a chance.  With the neutrals and black, I was able to give my house blocks an “urban” feel.  You will probably find it amusing that the black for the houses is inspired by this Crate & Barrel saltbox house candle thingamajig… It’s one of those things that has a slot in the back where you would place a tea candle, and it would light up the windows.  I didn’t know if it is appropriate to call it a candle holder because it feels much to large to be a candle holder to me…

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I used fabrics from Quilting Treasures’ Happy Home collection to make Cozy Town.  You may recall these fabrics I had shown you months ago… However for Cozy Town, I did not use the focal print, but rather only the neutral prints in the collection.

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With the fabrics in the same line, I had designed another “row house” quilt, as well as a “hut” table runner that have totally different feels compared to Cozy Town.  Click here for more information.

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I love them all… but most of all, I feel with using only the neutrals in the line gave my Cozy Town quilt a sophisticated, but yet approachable and very COZY and traditional feel!

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Here is a closer look at the house blocks. You will notice that I mirror-imaged the house blocks from row to row to give visual interest to the overall look.

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I quilted an allover swirly vine motif, edge to edge on the quilt.  You may click here to view the stitching path of the swirly vine.  Aurifil Mako 50 wt cotton thread was used in the entire quilt – piecing and quilting (top and bobbin thread).  The batting used is Hobbs Tuscany silk batt.

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It was such a fun experience for me making this quilt.  It has a very special place in my heart because it draws my heart to my family!  Remember, complete instructions for making this quilt are printed in the July/August 2015 issue of McCall’s Quilting, and this issue is going to be displayed on newsstands till July 27. I just saw it at my ever-so-crowded local grocery store earlier today.  You may also purchase the issue in digital format here. And, exclusive Cozy Town quilt kits may be purchased here.

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A big thank you to McCall’s Quilting for the opportunity to contribute.  McCall’s Quilting has also generously sent me two magazine copies as giveaway prizes… leave a comment between now and 7/22/2015, and tell me either the following to enter the giveaway:

1.  what you like about McCall’s Quilting magazine;

2.  whether Cozy Town is a quilt you would likely make;

3.  or, whether the neutral color scheme is your thing.

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Some of you had already written to tell me about the “just out” McCall’s Quilting issue – another great one if I may say so myself…. but meanwhile, check out the July/August 2015 issue first!  You will have plenty of time still to go through the new issue! :)

Hugs to you all, and may a jug full of blessings from ABOVE come your way!

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My 2015 Line-up

Editorial Features:

American Patchwork & Quilting 2015 Calendar: Get Happy

American Patchwork & Quilting 2015 Calendar: Migration

Australian Quilters Companion (Issue 73): Over The Fence

Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting (January/February 2015): Sunny Delight

Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting (January/February 2015): Family Dinner

Fons & Porter’s Scrap Quilts (Spring 2015): Stars are Brightly Shining

Fons & Porter’s Easy Quilts (Summer 2015): All In Knots (Cover Quilt)

McCall’s Quilting (March/April 2015): Making Valentines

McCall’s Quilting (July/August 2015): Cozy Town

McCall’s Quilting (September/October 2015): Twilight Trellis

Quilter’s World (Spring 2015): Zigs and Zags

Quilts and More (Spring 2015): Exclamation Point

Free-to-use Designs:

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

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

February: Happy Home House Quilt (Quilting Treasures)

February: Happy Home Runner (Quilting Treasures)

February: Happy Home Throw Quilt (Quilting Treasures)

February: Farmville using Green Farms (Benartex)

February: Zoey’s Flowerbed using Zoey (Benartex)

March: Camp Cozy Quilt (Quilting Treasures)

March: Pretty Little Houses using Tango (Benartex)

March: Ariel (Quilting Treasures)

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

April:  Baby Bunny using Bunny Hop (Benartex)

April: Yuki (Hoffman Fabrics)

April: Shimmering Constellations using Gold Standard (Benartex)

April: Bonjour (Quilting Treasures)

April: Baby Boutique (Quilting Treasures)

May: High Speed Racer using Vroom (Benartex)

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

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

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

June: Treeline Drive (Hoffman Fabrics)

June: Frosty the Snowman (Quilting Treasures)

June: Jolly Old St. Nick (Quilting Treasures)

July: Memento (Hoffman Fabrics)

Sheer Sherbet : Preview

Happy Monday, Friends!  I hope you are doing well. I came through a rather stressful weekend trying to finish a quilt to ship this morning.  It’s really not a hard quilt, but for some reason, I kept making dumb mistakes.  A friend told me that happened to her a couple of weeks ago — and I guess it was my turn over the weekend.  BUT… I did get it done!  What’s the loss of a few hours of sleep especially when one gets to work with these Sherbet-ish fabrics, right? So, from these fabrics,…

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…. four fabrics made it into the quilt!

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I tried out this cheerful variegated thread from Aurifil — and loved the effect.  The color is 4659 (I call it Peach Cobbler) in case you are interested and want to get some for yourself. Here is a close-up to show you the peachy effect of the variagated thred. :)

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There are way cooler quilting effects in Sheer Sherbert – can’t wait to share them with you! Thank you for stopping by.  I shall catch up with you later.

Book Review & Giveaway: Beginner’s Guide to QUILTMAKING

When I made my first quilt, my sewing experience was next to none.  Words like feed dog, seam allowance, bias didn’t mean a thing to me.   My dear quilting teacher Barbara started me on piecing 4″ squares to make the quilt center of my first quilt…

Why, how hard could that be?  I was just sewing a bunch of 4″ squares together, right?! WRONG.  I began realizing very early on that there was more to quilting than just sewing a bunch 4″ squares together… after I found out rows of eight “supposedly 4″ finished” squares don’t all measure at 32 1/2″ raw edge to edge.   And to complicate the matter, the points don’t match.

I went on a quest to read books and websites in search of tips, tricks, and answers.  I found that some reads were tedious.  Although I am not bothered by heavy reading, sometimes when dealing with a sewing technique, I just want something straight to the point with good illustrations!

[First forward, almost 10 years after I made my first quilt, shown above…]

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“Where was Jeri when I needed her?” was my first reaction in reading through the newly released book, Jeri Simon’s Beginner’s Guide to QUILTMAKING.  The book was exactly what I was looking for 10 years ago, and I still can appreciate the book even after having quilted for a few years.

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You may read about and purchase the Jeri’s book here.  You may also purchase the book in pdf format here.

I happen to know and love Jeri.  I can “feel” Jeri from reading through the pages.  Read on to find out why I love this book:

1.  It is written in a “reference” style – the reader does not have to wade through wordy descriptions to get to the point.

2.  This book is FULL of illustrations – 450 photos showing step-by-step of processes.  I really like this part about the book.  The photography is great.  I know  (and some of you know too!) because Landauer Publishing did a super job photographing my quilts in Recreating Antique Quilts.

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3.  Jeri is able to break things down to the basics.  I really admire Jeri’s ability to be able to do that because I am not very good in that department.  In this book, Jeri starts from the very very basic in brilliantly explaining words like “grain” (NOT rice or quinoa!) and “block” (NOT streets!) mean when used in the context of quilting.

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4.  Jeri covers pre-treatments and finishing techniques of the entire quilting process.  When I reached the parts about hanging sleeve and quilt labels, I knew this book is a winner — because I know my quilting teacher WILL approve, and my quilting teacher is never wrong!!

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5.  You know how I feel about “that” first quilt.  Jeri included beautiful projects to engage the beginning quilters – with complete instructions and illustrations.  Jeri’s cover quilt totally stole my heart!  You will have to get this book to see what other projects are included.  And who says seasoned quilters can’t have fun with “beginning” quilt projects?!

6.  The CHARTS – Those charts made my (engineering) heart go a-fluttering.  Jeri included more than 20 charts in her book with FORMULAS!  The charts and formulas are helpful and essential in helping quilters get more out of quilting.  So I am really excited that Jeri include them in her book for beginners to use beyond that baby stage of quilting.

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I highly recommend the book, truly!  I can see this book being well used for a beginning quilter, and a valuable reference for a seasoned quilter.  If you are looking for a book to buy for a potential quilter – this is it!

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I have a copy of the book to give away to a US/Canada address.  Thank you, Landauer Publishing!  Between now and July 17, leave a comment to tell me any of the following to enter the giveaway:

1.  The reason(s) you quilt;

2.  If you are currently teaching someone to quilt; or

3.  A little about your quilting story!

And with that, I am going to fly and get my little one some help with her Math.  She can’t figure out what 14 minus 8 is, and that 14 minus 8 is “driving her crazy”!

Oh, one more thing… have you checked out Landauer’s blog or Facebook page lately? Click here and here to be apprised of the latest news!

Have a great weekend, Friends!