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

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

***

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

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

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

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You may order my book from:

Connecting Threads

Fox Chapel Publishing

Amazon

or email me for signed copies!

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

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FOR TODAY’S INSTALLMENT:

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

So there you have it, for today!  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ALWAYS mark before you start pinning!

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

Joint Venture with Karen Miller: Mystery Quilt Along

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

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***

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

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

***

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DETAILS on supplies:

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

Click HERE for participating shops who are selling the fabrics.

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

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

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

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

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

You may order the book from:

Connecting Threads

Fox Chapel Publishing

Amazon

or email me for signed copies!

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

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***

DETAILS on schedule (subject to change):

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

Operative word here is Last Minute!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do visit Michael Miller’s Facebook page HERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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PROJECT: Focusing on the spool!

SUPPLIES:

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

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

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

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

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

we will progress to this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now, how cute is this little spool ornament?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

PROJECT: Cross-stitching Primer Pillow Ornament

SUPPLIES:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Important Notes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

Back to blog-land just for a little bit…

A Day In Life

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

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

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

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

A Day in Quilt Life

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

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

Besides being excited to see my magazine quilts being published,

Rainbow Room in Quilty (July/August 2018)

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

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

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

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

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

No Scraps Left Behind Giveaway Winners & STITCHING PATHWAYS Giveaway

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

Box #1 — Thimbleberries — Barbara Glover

Box #2 — Useable Scraps — Rita Wilson

Box #3 — Sandie@crazy’boutquilts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Simple SPOOL-EN-DIDS project tutorial #2

Hello Friends — have you been sewing along with a little friend, or by yourself since I last shared “Happy To Be ME” ornament?  It’s time for me to share with you the second of six mother-daughter (adult/child) collaborative ornament project (Smar-kly), released to highlight Aurifil’s Aurikids iniatiative — an effort to pass on the love and joy and needle and thread to the next generation.


To dovetail with the release of Spool-en-dids my daughter curated for Aurifil, we will be highlighting 6 monthly projects to give you ideas on hand-stitching with kids. The colors selected are by a kid for kids!  You may purchase Spool-en-dids from the following sources:

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

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

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

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

Read more about Spool-en-dids HERE if you aren’t familiar with the Aurikids initiative. And to those of you who purchased the thread collection, please allow me to thank you from the bottom of my heart or contributing to Miss Baby’s college fund!!

***

PROJECT: “Smar-kly” Pillow Ornament

SUPPLIES: POLKA DOT fabric scrap, paper-back fusible and THIN batting scraps, Spool-en-did thread (s), Aurifil 50wt thread, a piece of ribbon, embroidery hoop, tapestry or embroidery needle, & basic sewing supplies. 
You will need pieces of fabrics – one for pillow top, and one for backing the pillow case.  I didn’t use a batting piece this time to stabilize the project because I wanted Miss Baby to be aware of the thread tension when stitching just on a fabric piece.
OPTIONAL – however, if your kid stitcher is tiny, it is always a good idea to back your ornament top fabric with a piece of batting and a piece of backing fabric.

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

GOAL: In ornament #1, we did the random no rule confetti stitching.  For ornament #2, we will introduce structure into stitching within the confine of a circle.

ALSO:  This tutorial will not cover how to finish the pillow ornament, as the steps are already covered in the tutorial for ornament #1.

***

Step 1:  This one is light on prep work for the adult.  Once you have the supplies, your kid stitcher is ready to go.  So, everyone has a polka dot fabric collection like I do, right? :)  I picked the polka dot print because the work is all done for us in this quick and easy project.

NOTE:  I notice with children (and adults alike), the excitement of the first project wears off over time.  I also believe keeping on with the projects teaches perseverance in children.  Keeping in mind both aspects, I picked this super easy project to make the experience stress free for both adult and child.

Step 2:  Once you have your fabric hooped, the stitching can begin.  Simply stitch the length of the diamater of the a circle four times (first do a cross, then, the two diagonals), and you are finished!  There is no ruler on how many circles to cover.  The stitching gives the polka dots a bit of dimensional sparkling twinkle!  I happened to find a fabric that provided the background for matching a few Spool-en-dids colors.  Feel free to do a contrasting effect!

Step 3.  To secure the stitches at the center of the circle, you could teach your kid stitcher French knots if she is older.  If not, you can just teach your kid stitcher to take a tiny stitch in the circle center, and your stitches are secure!

Step 4.  Finish up the ornament as we did before, and you will have added another Christmas ornament for your stitching buddy.  Do remember to store the ornaments in a nice clean box, so you don’t have to hunt for them when Christmas comes… ask me how I know!?!

We are actually using this as a sewing pillow companion as summer is just about here — we will be ramping up the stitching!

If you are stitching along — do send me pictures — the plan is to do a couple more of these, and we will have a nice giveaway for those who are participating!

*Smar-kly = Sparkly (Gwen’s version at 5), and we still say her 5 year old version at home.

I hope you have fun with this fun little project.  It should take no more than 20-30 minutes for handstitching.  I will show you additional ideas on stitching on polka dots in a couple of weeks.  And the next installment — cross stitching basics!  If you want to prepare ahead, you will need either 11- or 14- count aida that you can easily purchase at your local craft stores.  

Love and hugs to you all — till next time!

Long time no chat!!!

Hello Friends, looong time no chat!  I hope you have been well…. and spring has sprung!

DAY IN LIFE

If I don’t see another clump of monkey grass for the rest of my life, it would be too soon!  I don’t mean any offense at all to those of you who love monkey grass.  We are in the process of redoing part of our front garden, and that involved having digging up and digging up and digging up existing monkey grass!  I thought it was just going to be an afternoon to get the front garden on the path of living out my vision.  But it turned out to be a much bigger deal, and I am still not finished.  Part of what’s in place of the monkey grass are some new rose bushes.  So far so good — I check for new growth every morning, and keeping my fingers crossed!

Spring is my favorite season.  What is yours?

SOME FUN QUILTS FOR YOU

I have quite a few new designs out.  You might have seen this one on the cover of Keepsake Quilting catalog.  Sweet Berry Farm is my design, and I was so excited it made cover on the catalog.  I actually wasn’t aware of it making cover until my sweet quilting teacher Barbara texted me about it!  This is an exclusive design with Keepsake Quilting.  You may purchase the kit or pattern here and here.  The fun thing about the blocks is that I used Ohio Star units to be the strawberry stems!

Then, I have my Sleeping Cat kit offered through Hancocks of Paducah.  You may purchase the kit here.

And the latest release is my quick and easy Basket Toss quilt!  I love this quilt for its simplicity.  I can’t decide for now whether to use this on my bed or the guest bed.  Complete instructions are in McCall’s Quick Quilts June/July 2018 issue, and kits are available here.

Miss Baby’s Stitching Shenanigans

You remember the confetti handstitching Miss Baby learned to do through the monogram pillow ornament I posted here?  Well, there is a method to my madness…. the confetti stitching was meant to prepare Miss Baby for more structure stitching.

So from this random stitching…

to this…

We are beyond the moon happy a magazine in Australia, Handmade, feature Gwedolyn’s stitching story to celebrate her first thread collection, Spool-en-dids.  She had to answer a questionnaire in order for the story to be written.

THINGS ARE HAPPENING

Though I have been silent on my blog, things have been happening at my end.  Between home and mother responsibilities, and the regular things I do all things quilting, here are some upcoming exciting happenings.

Next week — I start my 2018 travels.  I will be speaking at Flying Geese Guild in Maryland on May 21.  Public is welcome to attend with an admission.  I will be bringing goodies!

Then, I will be in Tennessee later this summer/early Fall.

It’s to Berne, Indiana I go…. because I will be filming a new machine quilting video class!  Click here if you haven’t known about my existing classes.  I have some step-out samples from previous classes I found the other day that I will be giving away soon!  Stay tuned.  I am also arranging an event with a local guild while I am in IN.  I will share more once I have more details.

I will be home just in time to head to Houston for Fall Market.  Some fun things are being cooked up that I can’t share yet….

AND — I just found out I will be teaching 5 different classes at Road to CA in Jan 2019.  So I hope to see some of you there!

And with that, I need to get going with my day to squeeze in work before I pick up my precious cargo from school.

If all goes well, I will be posting my no scraps left behind giveaway winners tomorrow.  So, I hope you will come back!  Tootles for now.

A Simple SPOOL-EN-DIDS project tutorial #1

Hello Friends — I am happy to share with you my first mother-daughter (adult/child) collaborative ornament project tutorial, to highlight Aurifil’s Aurikids initiative — an effort to pass on the love and joy of needle and thread to the next generation.


To dovetail with the release of Spool-en-dids collection my daughter curated for Aurifil, we will be highlighting 6 monthly projects to give you ideas on projects suitable for hand-stitching with kids.

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

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

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

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

Oh, before we start, we picked up Gwen’s stitched piece at Woodlawn yesterday, with her blue ribbon!

***
PROJECT: “HAPPY TO BE ME” Pillow Ornament

SUPPLIES: Fabric, paper-back fusible and THIN batting scraps, Spool-en-did thread (s), Aurifil 50wt thread, a piece of ribbon, embroidery hoop, tapestry or embroidery needle, & basic sewing supplies.
You will need 4 pieces of fabrics – one for top, one for monogram, one for backing the stitched piecing, and one for backing the pillow case.
I used a piece of silk batting because it is not as dense. I have also used the Hobbs Tuscany bleached cotton batting which worked well too.

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

GOAL: This project is to get children familiar with the in-and-out mechanism of stitching. No rules — just random “confetti” stitching around an appliqued monogram.

PLEASE read through the entire project before attempting. You may let your kid stitcher step in and be involved in any of the steps. For us, my daughter participated in selected the fabrics and stitching. I did the rest.
***
1. Start with an appliqued monogram on a background fabric. Remember to reverse your letter(s) when you trace the letter on the paper side of fusible. Click here if you would like a crash course on fusible machine applique.

I always stitch around my applique shape after I fuse it in place. Stitching around the shape gives it a much finished look.  You can either do buttonhole or satin stitches around the edge of appliqued letters.

2. Then, I hooped the monogrammed piece (facing down), batting and backing piece (facing up).

3. My daughter’s work began at this point. She used a tapestry needle threaded with 3 strands of floss, and just went at it.

I would recommend a large tapestry needle for younger children, and an embroidery or even darning needle for the older children for the needle to penetrate through the hooped piece. Tapestry needles are more blunt, so they are a little safter than the sharp embroidery needles.

You little stitcher may use just ONE color, or as many as she wants — let her!

4. When stitching is completed, I first sewed around the area to secure the hand stitches before cutting to size for my pillow. I anchored a piece of ribbon as shown on the pillow front piece. I then cut the pillow back piece to size.

NOTE: I ended up sewing a back pocket to the back of the pillow ornament for storing stitching notions. To do that, I needed 2 pieces of fabrics. One to cut to size of the pillow front piece, the other to fold in half and placed at the bottom of the pillow back piece with raw edges matching.

5. Then, with the pillow front and back pieces facing each other, I sewed with a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a small opening. Turn pillowcase right side out, and stuff. I started using the stuffing made by Hobbs recently, and have ABSOLUTELY loved it!!

6. Hand sew the opening shut — and you and your kid stitcher will have made a (Christmas) ornament for her!  The back pocket I added to the back of the pillow ornament isn’t just for storing notions — how sweet it would be too to include a little note for a loved one if you gift this pillow ornament.

Imagine…
#1. making different ones with different initials of your children or grandchildren to give as gifts?
#2. making these to give for a handmade gift for your kid stitcher’s bff?
#3. making a real-size pillow with the same steps for a throw pillow on a chair, to go on a bed?
#4. instead of letters, you applique something that is near and dear to your kid stitcher, a kitty cat, a puppy, or an ice cream cone?

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

***

You may also read about my article on my journey with my best stitching buddy in the latest issue (May/June 2018) of Quiltmaker magazine — on newsstands now!

Quiltmaker May/June 2018

You may also read more further about the Aurikids iniative here.

Thanks so much for stopping by – till next time!

HOME TO ROOST in Quiltmaker’s May/June 2018 & MORE GIVEAWAYS & GIVEAWAY WINNERS!

DAY IN LIFE!

Quiltmaker May/June 2018

Friends, I hope you have been well!  Are you ready for spring?  I know I am… but the forecast says that we are supposed to have snow this Saturday, and possibly next Monday!  YIKES!!!  With the weather forecast as it is, I think I am going to just stay HOME TO ROOST this weekend (bad pun alert!).  My Home to Roost quilt is featured in the latest issue of Quiltmaker.

quilt-home-to-roost-flatThis is an easy project that I actually designed as a teaching project that can be used to teach beginning quilters to quilt, covering the basic piecing skills in making the different blocks in the quilt.  Because my quilting teacher Barbara was ever so patient with me when she taught me how to quilt (I am forever grateful to her!), a guiding principle in my quilt designs is that I always design something that is appealing enough to entice a non-quilter to take up quilting. :)  You can read more about my design process here.

In the same issue, you will also read a story about my stitching journey with Miss Baby!  It is my hope that my story will inspire many to pass on the love and joy of needle and thread to the next generation, whether with your own children, grandchildren, relatives or even in a school or church or community setting!

This issue is on newsstands now – pick up your copy today!

And of course, if you are looking for kids-friendly colors, do check out Miss Baby’s Spool-en-dids colors!  You can read more about her embroidery floss collection here.

If you have a stitching with kids story — either from your childhood on how you learned to stitch, or projects you are working right now with your daughters or granddaughters, I would LOVE to hear from you!

***

GIVEAWAY WINNERS

Well, you are the best for helping me de-stash!  Trust me, my husband and daughter are really grateful too!  Here are the winners from the last round of giveaways.

Box #1:  Dortha

Box #2:  Marge Prewitt

Box #3: Tanya

Box #4:  Mary S.

I have emailed the winners, with information on getting the boxes sent to you!

THANK YOU ALL FOR PLAYING ALONG….. but I have MORE to give away, see below!

 

NO SCRAPS LEFT BEHIND GIVEAWAY

So…. I am needing to work on guest room #2, and guess what I found?!  MORE FABRICS — please don’t judge, haha!  I have three more boxes to share!  If you are interested, please leave a comment and indicate which box.  I am only mailing these boxes to US addresses, and you will have to be willing to pay the shipping cost of $17.

Box #1.  Thimbleberries and mystery yardages.

Box #2.  Usable scrap pieces.

Box #3.  Usable scrap pieces + yardages.

 

Alrightie – Friends, that’s all I have for now.  I hope you are keeping busy, sewing and stitching!  Hugs to you all, and till next time.  Trust me, I have MORE to give away. :)