FREE PATTERN: Star Dust

Happy Friday, Friends.  I hope you have had a great week.  Mine went by too fast without enough things checked off my list.  So I will be working this weekend.  But enough about my trials and tribulations…

I am happy to share with you a free-to-use pattern, Star Dust, that I had designed to support Benartex‘s Brittany fabric group.  Brittany has a very Provencal look, which many of us love!

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Click here to view the entire Brittany fabric line.

Click here to download Star Dust free-to-use pattern instructions.

So what do you think of Star Dust?

I will catch up with you again next week!  I hope you have a most blessed weekend.

***

My 2016 Line-up

Note:  You may click here for the exhaustive list of my published work.

Editorial Features:

American Patchwork & Quilting 2016 Calendar: In Your Corner

McCall’s Quick Quilts (December 2015/January 2016): Rows of Roses

McCall’s Quick Quilts (February/March 2016): Early Birds

McCall’s Quilting (January/February 2016): Sherbet Stars

 

Free-to-use Designs:

January: Heads Up Crib Quilt & Playmat (Quilting Treasures)

January: Big Love using Go Big or Go Home (Windham Fabrics)

January: Star Dust using Brittany (Benartex)

 

An exciting heads up: Giveaway of my Aurifil Subtle Strings thread box!

I wouldn’t spill the beans here.  Click here to find out more how to win my Aurifil Subtle Strings thread box! :)

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And of course, these threads were used to construct and quilt my Thread Journey quilt, shown below.

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Something exciting is a’brewing with Thread Journey — the quilt is journeying with Aurifil‘s Alex Veronelli as he visits and lectures at different quilt shops.  There is something else going on with the quilt — check back on this blog often for the big reveal!  Meanwhile, do check out where and when Alex will be lecturing.  His lecture is well worth it!

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That’s it for today, Dear Friends.  I am running a bit behind… so, I’ve got to fly for now.  I shall catch up with you later.  Stay warm if the temperature where you’re at is below 20.  I am such a winter wimp and am about to turn into an icicle here… :(

Thread Talk From My Sewing Machine #67

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Hello Friends, today’s post is a mixture of looking back and looking forward!  You will see what I mean.  I quilted with 100wt silk thread when I first started machine quilting on my domestic machine back in 2006.  Undoubtedly the effect of quilting with 100wt silk thread on fine fabrics is spectacular!

Very soon after that, I heard about the Aurifil Mako 50 cotton threads being used for machine quilting.  I would still quilt with the 100 wt silk threads if the opportunity arises, but I feel like Aurifil Mako 50 cotton threads allow me to quilt fancy as well as practical — I can still have amazing quitling results, and have the Aurifil Mako 50 cotton threads hold up the quilt sandwiches well enough for practical uses.   I personally wouldn’t use a quilt made with silk dupioni that is quilted with silk.  To me, a silk on silk quilt is something the beholder “admires with his eyes and not his hands” — something I tell Miss Baby whenever we are around breakables at the stores! :)  The following shows a few quilts (out of many) with which I have quilted Aurifil Mako 50 Cotton.

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I highly recommend Aurifil’s Mako 50 weight cotton for beginners and advanced machine quilters alike, and especially beginners because the fine weight is very forgiving.  It’s as if the threads “melt” into the fabrics!  So ALL these years I have only quilted with Mako 50 weight cotton threads, because they work beautifully!  I am also the type that always orders the SAME dish at the SAME restaurant almost every time (well, every single time) once I find a dish I like!  I get that from my Dad…. So, I have just been quilting with the 50 wt, and haven’t tried out the other weights.

This past week, I was asked to experiment quilting with Aurifil’s Mako 40 wt (slightly heavier than the 50wt), and then their Mako 28 wt (a little heavier than the 40 wt).  So, I broke out the Aurifil sample thread pack that many of you probably also have to get out the 40wt and 28wt spools.  Here is how my experiment turned out…. (green = 40wt, and silver gray = 28wt).

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I mainly wanted to see how tiny I can quilt with the 40wt and 28wt threads… You can see from the penny that is used as a reference, I can quilt pretty tiny with both the 40wt and 28wt threads.

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I think the tiny pebbles are a little “cleaner” quilted with the 40wt compared to the 28wt. However, considering how tiny my pebbles are compared to that penny, I think the effect is really not bad with the 28wt.

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Here is the back with the 50wt being used as bobbin thread.  Compared to the front picture, you can see that the effect of quilting with 50wt being finer and more subtle in the picture below.

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Here in this picture, you can see how the 28wt silver gray stitches show up more prominently than the 40 wt green stitches.

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SO…. what have I concluded?

  1.  28wt definitely showcases the quilting more prominently.  But as a personal choice, I probably wouldn’t use it for areas where I will have to stitch over previously stitched stitches too many times where the thread buildup will be noticeable.  With the 50wt, oftentimes, I would quilt the same path at least 5-6 times before I would start to see a thread buildup.
  2. I love that the 40wt shows the quilting a little better, and it will probably be my choice to quilt wholecloth quilts, especially when I want a strong contrast.
  3. I will, of course, keep loving to quilt with 50wt, and am now thinking about expanding the uses of the 50 wt (beyond the appliacations for which I already use) for tone-on-tone micro-fillers in a wholecloth settings, and for accents here and there.
  4. You already know I am not a fabric hoarder!  BUT I have to confess I am somewhat a thread hoarder.  I love threads more than I do fabrics.  AND…. discovering the 40wt and 28wt is not helping me with the thread hoarding issue.  HELP!
  5. Now, if you are a beginner — I encourage you to still quilt with the 50wt, until you are more comfortable in moving your quilt sandwich before you try the 40 wt and 28wt.  I think when you are still familiarizing yourself with domestic machine quilting, you will be happier with the very forgiving effects of quilting with the 50 wt.

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So you see, looking back, I loved quilting with Aurifil Mako 50wt threads. And looking forward, I will still love quilting with the 50 wt, but I will now add 40wt and 28wt in my quilting tool box!  I call that my “machine quilting growth spurt!”. :)

Thank you for stopping by, Dear Friends.  Happy Monday and Happy Week to you!

FREE PATTERN: Big Love with Windham’s Go Big or Go Home

Happy Friday, Friends!  I am making baby-step progress with what I have to get done this week!  But overall it’s been a great week for my little family.  We are back to our normal routine with school, music practice etc!

I think I had mentioned to you I have been doing some design work for Windham Fabrics.  I am happy to be able to start sharing with you some of the designs that highlight the current, new and upcoming Windham lines.  First off for today, I have Big Love using Windham’s Go Big or Go Home fabric line.

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This is a fun and colorful contemporary line.  I had the most fun working with the fabrics because they got me out of my usual stuffy and reserved self.  I also have an additional project done with these fabrics that I will share with you later!

Click here to view the fabrics.

Click here to download the free-to-use pattern instructions.

Click here to view my other designs I had done for Windham.

Thanks so much for stopping by — I hope you have a lovely weekend!  I will catch up with you next week!

***

My 2016 Line-up

Note:  You may click here for the exhaustive list of my published work.

Editorial Features:

American Patchwork & Quilting 2016 Calendar: In Your Corner

McCall’s Quick Quilts (December 2015/January 2016): Rows of Roses

McCall’s Quick Quilts (February/March 2016): Early Birds

McCall’s Quilting (January/February 2016): Sherbet Stars

 

Free-to-use Designs:

January: Heads Up Crib Quilt & Playmat (Quilting Treasures)

January: Big Love using Go Big or Go Home (Windham Fabrics)

Giveaway: Annie’s Machine Quilting Level 2 Online Class

Hello Friends, I did mention to you there would be an imminent giveaway, and well, the giveaway is HERE, TODAY! :)  Annie’s is sponsoring the giveaway of a copy of my Machine Quilting Level 2 online class.

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This free-motion quilting class covers slightly more involved quilting motifs (compared to the ones in my Learn to Machine Quilt class) by working on this class project, and quilted using a domestic sewing machine.  I will be stitching along with you ALL the motifs you see in the pictures of the class project below.  Due to time constraint, sometimes I would just let you finish out a section and move on to the next motifs.  BUT, I will get you started.

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The class is yours to keep once you win it – you may access the class anytime you wish!  You will also get a chance to interact with me should you have any questions.

After completing in the class project, you will have a chance to make 3 additional projects (instructions included in the class) that will give you a chance to quilt the motifs you learn from the class project on the additional projects.

Additional Project #1: Quilting a pieced quilt with Star Bright:

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Additional Project #2: Quilting an applique quilt with Carolina Tulips:

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Additional Project #3: WOW Project with Fanciful

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Here are a few comments from the official class page on Annie’s:

“I was not confident to do quilting. But listening and following your classes has made everything simple for me to follow. I have started quilting now. Nice and well explained.”

“I have been following Wendy on Ivory Spring for several years and love her feather work… I have tried to make your feathers for some time and your demonstration “fix me real good.”

“Wendy does a great job of breaking designs down so they are easier to quilt. She is a wonderful teacher and is very pleasant to listen to. I love everything she does and would definitely sign up for a feather class if it is ever offered.”

Awwwww – THANKS… I am made the happiest of quilters with the feedback!

In order to enter to win the prize:  Just leave a comment or about what you look for in an online quilting class between now and next Thursday (January 14, 2016).  Winner will be announced and contact on the following Monday!  Open to international quilters!

And that’s if from me for today.  I am running late this week, and desperate need to get something solid accomplish before the weekend.  School started this week, and we had a slightly rocky start.  First, Miss Baby had so much fun during her Christmas break she was most un-enthusiastic to go back to school.  So, I made her favorite cinnamon raisin break on the first day of school as a “pick me up”, only to realize an hour before she woke I had forgotten to add the yeast!!!  Then, we found out she forgot her lunch box after we got to school that first day.  So, Mom had to make a second trip back to school to deliver the lunch box.  And then, I have been doing house-keeping stuff for work to move and hopefully “propel” me to productivity.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hugs to you all!

FREE PATTERN: Heads Up

Hello Friends, I am excited I am finally able to share with you the news of a new fabric line Heads Up that is released by Quilting Treasures.  I loved this line as soon as I was shown the color card for the fabrics – the reason being I felt like these fabrics would work just as well for home dec purposes in additional to quilty creations despite them being kid-themed.  I designed two child quilts with this line… one was shown in American Quilt Retailer‘s Summer 2015 issue:

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The other was shown in McCall’s Quick Quilts December 2015/January 2016 issue.  Oh look, on the opposite page is my Rows of Roses quilt. :)

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Click here to view the entire fabric range.  And don’t forget to check out your local quilt shops to see if they carry these fabulous fabrics!!

Click here to download free to use pattern for this crib quilt.  From doing a quick search, I found that you can purchase the kit (and individual fabrics) here.

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Click here to download free to use pattern for this baby playmat.

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And I thought I would give you a heads up (so, the pun was totally LAME, haha!) that there will be a giveaway of a really nice fabric bundle in the very near future… probably by this weekend.  So, be sure to check back for details. And with that, I shall sign off for now!  Thanks for stopping by.

***

My 2016 Line-up

Note:  You may click here for the exhaustive list of my published work.

Editorial Features:

American Patchwork & Quilting 2016 Calendar: In Your Corner

McCall’s Quick Quilts (December 2015/January 2016): Rows of Roses

McCall’s Quilting (January/February 2016): Sherbet Stars

Free-to-use Designs:

January: Heads Up Crib Quilt & Playmat (Quilting Treasures)

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Friends, I cannot be more excited my project of stitching these 12 Days of Christmas ornaments is finally #done, #finished, #completed, #nomorehangingovermyhead – after three long years!!! I am not fishing for accolades as I am a little sheepish in admitting to you it took me three years to get these ornaments stitched. After all, as you can see, the stitching does not really require any advanced skills.  But to have these done is an immense relief because now I can go on to finishing some of my other stitching related UFO’s when time allows.

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Incidentally, there is a story associated with the song.  Here goes (thanks to Creative Hare who sent it to me!!)

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.
-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.-
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

***

Would you join me in “singing” the carol one more time before we pack our Christmas stuff away?  Oh, good… here goes.

On the first day of Christmas
My true love *gave to me
A partridge in a pear tree

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On the second day of Christmas
My true love game to me
Two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree

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On the third day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

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On the fourth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree

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On the fifth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

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On the sixth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Six geese-a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

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On the seventh day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Seven swans-a-swimming,
Six geese-a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

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On the eighth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Eight maids-a-milking,
Seven swans-a-swimming,
Six geese-a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

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On the ninth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids-a-milking,
Seven swans-a-swimming,
Six geese-a-laying,
Ohhh, awww-e-awww,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

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On the tenth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Ten Lords-a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids-a-milking,
Seven swans-a-swimming,
Six geese-a-laying,
Five Limousines,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

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On the eleventh day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Eleven Pipers Piping,
Ten Lords-a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids-a-milking,
Seven swans-a-swimming,
Six geese-a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree

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On the twelfth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
TWELVE DRUMMERS DRUMMING!
ELEVEN PIPERS PIPING!
TEN LORDS-A-LEAPING!
NINE LADIES DANCING!
EIGHT MAIDS-A-MILKING!
SEVEN SWANS-A-SWIMMING!
SIX GEESE-A-LAYING!
FIVE GOLDEN RINGS!
FOUR CALLING BIRDS!
THREE FRENCH HENS!
TWO TURTLE DOVES!
AND A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE!

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You all sounded great – thank you so much for humoring me and “singing along”!  And that concludes our Christmas 2015 at Ivory Spring.  Miss Baby has been dreading the day we put our Christmas things away.  I will be very nice, and do it ever so gradually…. to lessen the pain.
Thanks for stopping by.  Have a most lovely day.  Hugs to you all.
p.s.  *I learned that traditionally, the song was sung with “my true love sent to me” instead of “gave to me”.  The “gave to me” version is more 20th century and American.

Creative New Quilts & Projects Project Highlight #3: Crossings (Cover Quilt)

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Hello Friends, I hope you had a wonderful time wrapping your last year end and stellar start to your new year!  I have appreciated all the New Year wishes you have sent my way!  You all are sweet.  Let’s start off our new year at Ivory Spring with something colorful, shall we?

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There was not much doubt in our minds (mine and my publisher’s) that this quilt would probably be the book cover quilt as soon as it was completed.  The quilt very effectively captured my love for colors.  I think I have mentioned to you I am not classically trained in art, and so, I actually do not use a color wheel to pick colors for my designs.  I have a rather haphazard approach when it comes to incorporating colors in my quilt – I just throw them all in to see what I get.  BUT, I do make sure I use a ground color or two to balance out all the colors.  In my Crossings quilt, I used a really light gray that is almost white.

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This quilt is made with fat quarters from Quilting Treasures’ basic lines – Lola Textures and Quilting Temptations.  I actually really like designing with basic fabric lines.  You can see the actual fabrics I use better in the picture below. You will also be able to see the really light gray polka dot fabric I used as the ground fabric.  It is the soft gray mini dot fabric from Quilting Treasures’ Sorbet collection.  Do check with your local fabric stores to see if they carry these very versatile fabrics.  Nonetheless, I imagine you can easily come up with substitutes to make your own colorful Crossings quilt!  I want to talk to you if you are going to use batiks!

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I am not sure if you remembered my “Engineer vs. Artist” post from last year.  Well, my Crossings quilt was the battleground where the battle between the Engineer and Artist took place within in.  You can read more about it here.  In the end, I am really glad the Artist won in quilting this quilt.  The entire quilt is free-motion quilted with my Roundabout Feathers, only placed randomly all over the quilt.  The stitching path and schematic of the basic Roundabout Feathers are included in the book.

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Here are a few pictures of the quilt front.

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I used Aurifil Mako 50 Cotton threads to quilt over Hobbs Tuscany silk batting.  The slight poof from the feather quilting over the silk batting complemented the quilt top colors nicely.

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I thought I would also point out to you the yellow thread I used to quilt the quilt instead of the tone-on-tone light gray or white.   Nowadays, I have pretty much used slightly contrasting threads against the quilt fabrics for added visual interest in the final quilt.  So, don’t be afraid to buy color threads when you out shopping. :)  The thread color below looks almost taupe-ish, but it is yellow!

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Speaking of slightly contrasting quilting, have you checked out my Subtle Strings collection that has all my favorite quilting colors?  These shades work equally well for hand applique.  I am working on a hand applique project in my spare spare time… I will share pictures once I get enough done, and guess what thread I am using for the hand applique?  :)

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Click here to read more about my book Creative New Quilts & Projects from Precuts or Stash.  Do also send me pictures of your quilts made from patterns in the book.  I always love to see your projects.

Before I sign off for today, I thought I would share another picture from my artist-in-residence. :)

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Thanks for stopping by.  Happy Monday, and Happy Week!  Blessings to you all.

Looking back 2015…

Hello Friends, looking back at the year 2015…. my heart is full.   First of all, my Miss Baby has grown and matured a lot this year.  I am glad that I have been able to spend her formative years with her.

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She is growing up quickly.  Yesterday, she taught me a new word before the new year even began… “moulting”.   From the back of the car…

MB: Mom, it’s good that Enid Blyton knows about moulting.

Me: What?  You mean melting, right?

MB:  No, Mom… it’s moulting.

Me:  Huh?

MB:  It’s shedding of feathers, for birds.

Me:  Seriously?  How do you spell it?

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My little family had many adventures this past year.

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This year, I filmed a total of 4 quilting classes – one (Machine Quilting Level 2) is already released, the other three forthcoming.

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And of course, through it all, I had made and designed many(!) quilts.  Here are a few of your favorites…

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Some of those quilts made it into my second book, Creative New Quilts & Projects from Precuts or Stash.

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There is also an Aurifil thread box released based on my subtle quilting concept.

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The Subtle Strings threads were used to make the following quilt, which I had called Thread Journey, because it represents all my years of quilting fun and lessons learned.

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I am most thankful for a very understanding and supportive husband who knows that I am one of those who needs to always be working on something.  I am thankful for these two who occasionally act as armchair quilt designers giving their takes on my designs, whether I want them or not.

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I am thankful to the people with whom I work on a regular basis, and with whom I have become fast friends.

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I am thankful for YOU — my bloggy friends!  Your comments or emails that sometimes come in late at night never fail to encourage me when I am pulling all nighters.  So many of you have shared with me your life – pain and joy.  I have rejoiced with, and prayed for you!   And thank you to those who hold me in your prayers.  I am convinced that I have been able to do what I did because of your prayers – and though not shared publicly on this blog, there had been quite a few high-stress moments in my life this year.

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Over and over again, God has proven to me His grace is sufficient for me.  And it is with that thought, I have designed all my quilts — as an effort to reflect His glory and beauty, albeit the effort being a feeble one.

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Happy New Year to you all, Dear Friends, for walking with me the year 2015.  Here’s to a great year in 2016!!  I LOVE YOU ALL!

Merry Christmas 2015 continued, kind of…

Hello Friends, I hope you have had a blessed Christmas celebration with your loved ones.

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We three retreated for a getaway, just to enjoy a slightly slower pace of things!  We had handmade gift tags (courtesy of Miss Baby – she was the official gift tag girl this year!).

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Our Christmas this year was a bit gingerbread man-nish.  We had one of the outfits with matching hairbow,

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and artwork showing the nativity scene.  The artist requested that the viewers take note of the “cascading light rays” (her words, not mine!) brought upon by the angels singing praises to God.

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We also had amazing weather.  I was in sleeveless dresses, and we weren’t in the tropics or Florida!

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I am back to work.  I actually worked right up till Christmas Eve this year.  I managed to eek out a quilt top for a 2016 editorial feature.  Darlene of Sew Graceful Quilting (my quilting angel) is quilting the quilt as we speak…

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… while I work on another editorial feature using these really colorful Basically Patrick fabrics from RJR Fabrics.

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Despite having to work, we are continuing with our Christmas celebration… after all, it’s only the 4th day of Christmas! :)

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So, have you put up your Christmas things yet?  Or are you waiting till after the New Year, or after the 12th day of Christmas?  You could probably guess when we put up our Christmas things at the Ivory Spring household, haha! Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you have a lovely week!

Merry Christmas 2015

Dear Friends, it’s HERE – finally HERE.  It’s Christmas.  Blessings to you and yours from my little family.  Miss Baby’s quote of the year: “Mom, I am already looking forward to the next Christmas while I am still celebrating this one!”  Yes, I agree, child!  Let’s keep Christmas all year round in our hearts, honoring and loving the One who didst His royal throne and kingly crown — for us, for you and for me!

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Once in royal David’s city,
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her Baby,
In a manger for His bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ, her little Child.

He came down to earth from heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall:
With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
Lived on earth our Saviour holy.

For He is our childhood’s pattern;
Day by day, like us, He grew;
He was little, weak, and helpless,
Tears and smiles, like us He knew;
And He cares when we are sad,
And he shares when we are glad.

And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love;
For that Child so dear and gentle,
Is our Lord in heaven above:
And He leads His children on,
To the place where He is gone.

[First published in 1848 in Miss Cecil Humphreys’ hymnbook Hymns for little Children.  Processional hymn of The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s College since 1919.]