Hello Friends, it’s Thursday — and we kick off our Leaders/Enders Sewalong for my Aunt Grace Sew Charming Heart quilt. I already decided the Aunt Grace Sew Charming that I had designed for Marcus Fabrics is a quilt I am making leaders/enders style. And I thought — why not see if some friends would like to join in for a stress-free “not-a-race” sewalong. Join in anytime!
If you post your progress pictures on Instagram, please use hashtag #iloveleadersandenders so that I can follow along your quilt progress.
Click HERE to purchase the kit from Hancocks of Paducah.
Click HERE if you just want the pattern to sew along with your own fabrics.
This is supposed to be a stress-free sew along because you will just be sewing the blocks as leaders-and-enders when you work on your main quilt! It’s never a race. And you are more than welcome to join in if you just want to make the quilt at your own pace, or make the quilt a main quilt project. I will, however, have a few dates (12/16/21 – 3/21/22) where I check in with you on your progress.
In case you need a break from baking cookies or wrapping presents, by all means sneak in some fabric cutting — we are going to cut a total of (224) 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ rectangles!
So if you are going to make the quilt exactly as shown in the image above, refer to the following chart for the number of 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ rectangles you would need to cut for each fabric. If the fabric appears in 10 blocks, you will need to cut (10) 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ rectangles from that fabric.
AFTER YOU CUT – sort the rectangles by the block colorways, whether they go to the LEFT or RIGHT halves of the heart blocks.
If you are using your own fabrics, and want to do a completely scrappy layout, you will need to cut a total of (224) 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ rectangles. There are (56) blocks, and each block has (4) 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ rectangles.
AFTER YOU CUT – divide the rectangles into 2 groups of 112 for the LEFT or RIGHT halves of heart blocks.
Here are my rectangles sorted:
And that’s it — the next date I will check in with you is December 29, 2021! Again, this is not a race — it’s just something you can work on to break the monotony when you are working your main quilt project!
Hello Friends, I hope you have been well, and that your week got off a great start. I do apologize for missing 2-Cent Tuesday last week. Things have been a little bit crazy over here. But all’s well, and so I am not complaining.
Before I go on, I thought I would share with you news of my First French Feature in the latest Quiltmania magazine. I am very excited about my Cherry Cordials quilt being featured! The quilt traveled to France safely and back. Too bad, the quilt couldn’t put me in its pocket for the travel.
At 95″ square finished, this is the largest quilt I have ever pieced!
Since I missed last week’s 2-Cent Tuesday, I am going to try to make this week’s 2-Cent Tuesday worth 4 cents!
2 Cent #1. I used strip-piecing to make the 9-patch units in the quilt shown above. In strip piecing, instead of piecing long strips (usually width of fabric or 40-42″), I cut my strips into four sections of 10-11″, and strip piece that way. I find that strip piecing shorter strips keeps me having to deal with wonkiness of the pieced strips. And my 9-patch units turn out looking SO much crisper — and no wonkiness!
2 Cent #2. I told you my Cherry Cordials quilt finishes at 95″ square. I found that fork pins really help with securing the long border strips before I sewed them to the quilt center. Here are two types of fork pins I use. I want to thank my quilting teacher Barbara for sending me the ones in the first picture. I love the “handle” on the pins. They make grabbing the pins super easy. The pins in the second picture are made by Clover. They are a little finer, and VERY sharp. I like them too. So I actually use both types. If you have had trouble pinning long strips, you might like the extra strength of fork pins.
Well, I hope my couple of tricks are worth 4 cents. Now it’s your turn to share your 2 cents, or 4! I want to thank you all again for writing and telling me how you have liked my 2-Cent Tuesday posts! The pleasure is all mine.
Hello Friends, I hope you had a great weekend. How is it that we are in late January already?
I thought today is a fun day to share a poem Gwen recently wrote of the elephant.
by GKS, Jan 2021
Oh, creature of colossal height!
Oh, creature of such stately might!
Your trunk is like a garden hose
But bigger. And, as for your toes
They are huge! Oh, Mighty One,
When most see you they want to run.
Your trumpeting is louder than
An orchestra. And, having no fan
You slop black mud between your ears
Which takes care of your sweaty fears.
Your tusks! Well, they’re something to see!
For they are made of ivory!
Oh, wonderful! Marvelous to behold!
What a brave creature and bold!
I think we overlook your tail.
You show it off, but to no avail.
So I will help. Oh, lovely tail!
It’s quite thin, quite as thin as a rail.
And your legs! Oh, gracious, they’re like trees!
And just look at those giant knees!
Oh, how could I forget the ears?
With them, one most assuredly hears
Things that us humans do not know
Such as ‘Elephants know their friends from foes!’
Your physique is clumsy, I’m afraid.
It is the truth, it must be said.
However, you can run, if needed.
Your wise advice is quite best heeded
Because of your great memory
And because you are quite, quite free.
And now, my poetry must relent –
Goodbye, my friend, the elephant.
So, how’s your stomp going if you decided to join the fun? Feel free still to jump in anytime. Pat Sloan has the information HERE. Pat’s schedule has 2 more Mondays left after today.
Check out Pat’s Facebook Quilt Along page HERE and see all the different versions of Elephant blocks. Just looking at the fabric choices is most inspiring. Pat Sloan has the information on the quilt along on her blog HERE.
You may purchase the Pattern PDF here. And Fat Quarter Shop has both paper and PDF formats here. I am sewing along and making a second quilt. This is one of my blocks using Woodland Song fabrics by Poppie Cotton.
Hello Friends, Merry Christmas to you! I hope you had a blessed one. I know that many of of us weren’t able to do what we usually do for Christmas this year, but I was comforted to know that Christmas is Christmas no matter what I usually do! So this year without our usuals, I was able to focus on the FIRST Christmas, and enjoyed the simple things. My daughter and I even “binge-listened” to Bach’s 6-part Christmas Oratoria in one sitting on the radio, as opposed to, say, watch a group perform live. “Mom, this is really old-fashioned, and I love it!” – said my daughter.
Watching the wildlife that come through our yard is always special.
Earlier in December, my daughter hosted a Christmas party for her American Heritage Girls troop. My oven was working almost 24-7 for several days there while I dried orange slices while my daughter was in school. The orange slices were then used to decorate the centerpieces. I ended up with tree upon tree after the party. What you see aren’t all. I ended up scattering the rest throughout the entire house.
During the hectic craziness leading up to Christmas, I had a red and cream quilt published in the Feb 2021 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting. This quilt has the most half-square-triangle units I have EVER made that go into one quilt – 936 of them! The quilt isn’t hard – just lots of repetitive parts! I had to say the whole process was made really fun because of the pretty fabrics I used. For this quilt, I used La Rouge Rose fabrics by Moda.
And if you subscribe to Pat Sloan’s blog or YouTube channel, you know TODAY is the day! Today starts the sewalong Pat Sloan is doing with my Stomping Ground pattern! Here is a screen shot from Pat’s blog post dated December 21, 2020. Click here for her YouTube episode on how to cut pieces for an elephant with a 10″ layer cake square.
Here are pictures of the quilt I had made before. This version is made with Pat’s Morrison Park fabrics.
Here are a few more color options if you want to join the sewalong but aren’t sure about what fabrics to use:
I am making this quilt the second time with Woodland Songbirds by Poppie Cotton! These fabrics are really sweet. Look me up on Instagram later to see my blocks. My handle is ivory_spring.
Hello Friends, I want to take this time to wish you and your family a very Happy & Blessed Thanksgiving!
This turkey was from last year. For some reason I ended up with a 19 lb turkey this year. I told my family we will be eating leftover turkey through the entire month of December.
It’s been a busy and crazy year! Nonetheless, I have jotted down the last couple of weeks in my planner to remind myself that God is good, and to make being thankful to Him a lifestyle.
In case you didn’t see, Gwen shared her trinket stitching pumpkins on Aurifil’s blog. You may download the chart there. You may read her post here.
I have been making blocks for my Basketful of Blessings in November. These blocks go really quickly. I like that I am able to incorporate the Ohio Star unit in my blocks. You will get a chuckle if you have attended my How Many Ways to use the Ohio Stars presentation.
This design works well with anything from your stash. 10 FQs + fabrics for background and border. Of if you want yours scrappy, you could use 20 different fabrics for the 20 blocks. Or you can just make 3 or 4 blocks for a table runner.
My house is cleaned. My table is set. I have a few hours still before I have to work on Thanksgiving sidedishes. I am going to sit and just do some handstitching for a couple of hours while listening to my daughter chatter on.
Some of you might have seen QuiltShopGal’s feature on Gwen’s call for sponsorship for Wreaths Across America. If you haven’t, here is the link.
Click HERE if you would like to sponsor any wreaths at Arlington Cemetery this year. We were going to help lay the wreaths this year, but just got news that this year’s laying will not be open to the public.
And with that, I hope you will remember in your thoughts and prayers the gold star families in our country as you gather amongst your loved ones in commemorating Thanksgiving this year.
Love and blessings to you, from my house to yours!
Hi Friends, I hope your week has gone well for you! We are about 2 weeks from Thanksgiving, and it seems to me time only flies these days!
I know many of you sew gifts for gifting for Christmas! I will do some as well this year. My daughter and I stitch at least one Christmas ornament each year to add to our tree. She already stitched hers for this year with the two sled ornaments I had shown you here. I just have to finish mine.
If you indulge in hand applique projects, I am sharing with you a gift item you could possibly add to a gift list for yourself — the Maxie Yazzii (CA375). You may read the specifications of this bag here,
So, it’s a large-sized bag, but narrow, compared to the many other Yazzii organizers. I like the large size, and the not so bulky depth of the bag. I can definitely see it used as bag one would bring to a multi-day class or retreat — because this bag actually stores a small-sized cutting mat!
So, what I really really like about this package deal is that the bag comes with 4 pouches – all see through so you know the contents of the pouches. It comes with a large square pouch, and 3 much smaller organizer pouches. The large square pouch is perfect for storing the fabrics you would bring to class, while the pouches and organizers within the bag are great to bring all your notions and tools.
BUT, I am actually using the Maxie Yazzii as a bag to hold what I need for one major hand applique project! It is one that I was teased that my granddaughter (!) would have to finish for me one day. But I persist… it’s the Mary Brown quilt. Do a search to see an image of the quilt, and you will see the teasing is quite justified.
I am NOT starting another hand applique needleturn project until I get this one completed. The only problem is that this is my “ME” project, and I don’t get much of any “ME” time. So, most of the time, it would be months before I get a block of time to work on my “ME” project. And I lose track of my blocks, patterns, and fabrics because they end up all over the place. With Maxie Yazzii, I am able to consolidate all my hand applique supplies into one spot, and best of all, this is conveniently portable. I tend to work on my ME projects when I go on trips — so, I can easily bring the bag with me, versus lugging a plastic tub + a pizza box for the blocks!
You can see that I am using the large square pouch to store my completed blocks. The smallest pouch has my essential notions – toothpicks, scissors, needles and a thread spool.
[My thread of choice for hand applique is the 80wt made by Aurifil – which I use for hand applique as well as for machine quilting. I have written about them here, and here.
I am using the other pouches to store fabric pieces for my next block. I don’t have my fabrics picked out yet. But it will be pieces for a pineapple block in the Mary Brown quilt.
So you open up the actual Maxie Yazzii bag — this is what you see. See the large see through pocket on the left? That is where my little pouches will go! One thing about these pouches, if you have them in another color, they are even better for identification purposes when they are in the pocket.
Then, the see through pockets on the attached sleeve are where I sort my Aurifil 80wt spools by color.
Then I turn the sleeve over, and there are more see through pockets for me to organize my bits and bobs specifically used for hand applique.
And on the other side is the another pocket for me to store my patterns.
I hope you can see from the picture that is where the “depth” of the bag is, where I will lay my large pouch (on top of the pattern pocket).
I like this bag a lot to organize my applique project. IFI were to have another applique project, I would not hesitate to use another separate Maxie Yazzii bag to organize my project that way. I said IF — haha! The only thing I would like is a front zipper pocket like the Quilters Project Bag (CA880). I have written about the bag HERE. I like the front zipper pocket to either store my phone or keys. Being able to find my keys/phone easily in a front pocket would come in really handy if I were to bring my Maxie Yazzii to a class.
Yazzii is having a giveaway on their Instagram feed at the moment – check out their feed for more information. So, do give them a follow. They also regularly post vidoes on how to use their bags. They are fun to watch, and are great for organizing ideas!
For my list of reviews on Yazzii’s bags, click the following:
Stay tuned — my daughter will have a say on another Yazzii bag in a few weeks! She is using hers for cross-stitching purposes, and she is definitely doing much better keeping track of her stitching things with her own Yazzii bag. One thing I really don’t like to hear as a mother is… “Mom, where is my….?”
That’s all for now, Friends. It is close to 2am, and I need to catch a few zzzz’s before I do it all over again!
Hello Friends, I hope you have been well. There’s no pressure or anything, but it would seem like there are only 46 days till Christmas! I thought I would share with you my completed Christmas quilt made with my pattern Maisons de Patchwork.
The fabrics are Christmas Figs II by Moda Fabrics. The fabrics are current at the moment, and I have seen many have made different quilts with this beautiful fabric line.
You may purchase the pattern in PDF format by clicking HERE.
Most of my patterns from my pattern line are written non fabric-specific fashion. But I have been asked about the fabrics used in my Maisons de Patchwork Christmas quilt. If you are interested in making the quilt using Christmas Figs II fabrics, click HERE for the Fabric Chart.
Hello Friends, Happy Friday to you! I hope you have had a good week. I want to thank you for all the comments you left for beloved Pat Sloan last weekend in my Morrison Park fabric tour post. It is evident that we ALL love Pat! Click HERE if you had missed it.
I had mentioned to you in the Fabric Tour post last week that we were on the last stage of the editing process for the Stomping Ground pattern. I am excited to share the news that the pattern is NOW available. Many thanks to my editors Laurel and Sue for working hard to get this ready.
IT’S YOUR TURN TO STOMP!
Click HERE to purchase the pattern in pdf format from my Etsy shop. Pattern copies in paper format are available exclusively to shops – shops may order directly from me, or United Notions.
This pattern is Fat-Quarter Friendly, and totally fabric independent. Here are a few versions using a few different upcoming fabric lines.
Tochi by Moda Fabrics
Forget Me Not by Dear Stella Designs
Woodland & Songbirds by Poppie Cotton
And of course, you have seen the quilt in Morrison Park by Benartex.
Construction Tip: Now there are a few small pieces in order to make the shape of the elephant’s trunk, body and ear happen.
My tip in working with tiny pieces is this:
#1. Starch press fabric to stiffen the fabric before cutting.
#2. When piecing, finger press first, use a fine fine pin to hold fabric pieces in place while sewing. I will remove the pin (if necessary) if I see that the needle will hit the pin directly. Otherwse, I slow down my machine, and have the needle just glide over my pin. These are the pins I use when piecing. You may purchase them HERE.
THEN, finger press again before press with iron to set in seams.
Otherwise, the block construction is straightforward.
There you have it, my friends! I hope you will have fun making these elephant blocks. Send me pictures of your blocks so that I can brag about you!
Top of the morning to you, Dear Friends! I hope you have had a good week so far!
I want to thank ALL of you for your amazing comments for Pat in my Morrison Park Fabric Hop post last Saturday. It is evident to all that Pat is much much love in the quilting community.
I am happy to announce the winner for the giveaway — Jayne P from the UK! Please watch for my email, and reply with your shipping address! Congratulations, Jayne!
I am also very thankful for all the lovely comments you left for my Stomping Ground quilt. Many have asked for the pattern. Pattern will be available on my Etsy shop this Saturday (or earlier). So, do check back! I will announce on my Instagram feed once the pattern is ready.
I do have a rather fun piece of news to share. My daughter (whom many of you have known since almost the beginning of thi sblog) is now 11. She recently had her own editorial feature in the December 2020 issue of Just Cross Stitch, on newsstands now. She is now almost as tall as me, and more often than not, things that she says make me feel like she is the parent! She remains to be the joy of my life.
I want to thank you all for your friendship over the years. It’s a milestone like this one that makes me stop and think back on the journey I took the last 11 years. And as always, Soli Deo Gloria!
Hello Friends, it’s been a looooong time since I last visited with you. Please forgive me for my absence. Life took a really hectic turn when I started having to play teacher earlier this year, and then, it seemed like the pace never let up due to one thing or another. I do hope you are well, and are enjoying the fall season. Can you believe 2020 is almost over?
Well, I am back today to celebrate Dear Friend Pat Sloan‘s new fabric release with Benartex, with my newest finished project. But first, have you see Pat’s Morrison Park fabrics?
Have you been following Pat’s Morrison Park Blog Tour?
The prints are sweet, adorable, and quite Liberty-like, and so cheerful and happy too — much like Pat herself! Andthese fabrics are in shops now!
There are so many prints I like from Morrison Park. But my favorite is actually this one! I am always on a hunt for a good background fabric that is interesting (not too loud, but not too dull), effective in highlighting other prints, and yet not overshadowed by the prints.
And with that I shall show you my quilt made with Morrison Park fabrics!
You can see that even the elephants have busted out from the zoo to celebrate Pat’s new fabric line! Let’s take a closer look at the elephants! You can see how well that background fabric plays with the other prints in the following pictures.
This quilt is actually made for one of my upcoming patterns called Stomping Ground. We are going through the final edits for the pattern as I write, and it will be ready within 7-10 days, if not sooner! Watch my Instagram feed. This is a Fat-Quarter friendly pattern — so, start collecting your favorite Morrison Park fat quarters. You can make the blocks with using a background fabric + 10 FQs.
While I haven’t used all the fabrics in the entire Morrison Park collection, you may click HERE to view all the fabrics!
I hope you have enjoyed seeing my Stomping Ground design in Pat’s Morrison Park fabrics!
NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY
There will be one winner for this giveaway.
– Prize Option 1 is US prize – of a Morrison Park layer cake and a Benartex Fat Quarterly club newsletter w/charm pack.
– Prize Option 2 is outside the US – Pat’s Aurifil Perfect Box of Neutrals.
Between now and Oct 13, 2020 (23:59, or 11:59pm EST), leave a comment here and tell me:
If you follow Pat on any of her social media sites (if you aren’t, you should!), or
If you have made a quilt from Pat’s vast offerings of patterns and books, or
Something appreciative you would like to say to Pat!
I will pick and announce a winner on Oct 14 at 8am EST!
Thank you for spending part of your Saturday with me! I wish you a most lovely weekend — and those who are in Louisiana in the path of Delta, do stay safe! Hugs to you all.
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!
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!
With this fabric, I made a gingerbread man block from my You Can’t Catch Mepattern. Pattern is available for sale HERE.
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!
You remember my You Can’t Catch Me pattern, don’t you?
And these sneak peeks I have shared?
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!
And here are a couple more fun versions for you!
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.
With that, I shall wish you a Merry Christmas in July, my friends!
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.
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.
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.
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.
The second one is Plum Creek. Click HERE to purchase the kit.
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.
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!
Meanwhile, I am working on these blocks…. details coming soon!
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!