Happy National (International) Quilting Day 2016

Happy National (International) Quilting Day!!!!  I hope you have a most lovely day, and that you might even squeeze in a bit of time to sew.

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Why do I quilt?

#1.  Quilting is fun, enough said!

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#2.  Quilting brings people together, just as the pieces of fabrics being brought together to make a quilt happen!

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Book signing, Houston Fall Quilt Market, 2014

#3.  Quilting is caring, the charity quilts, the fund raising etc!  I firmly believe quilters are some of the most loving people!

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#4.  Quilting is learning – it keeps the mind young!

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#5.  Quilting is history – I shall leave it at that because I can spend a day and a half non-stop to just talk about quilting and history!

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#6.  Quilting reflects my own life!  There is more about my life posted here to celebrate last year’s National Quilting Day.  But this year, one aspect of my life is the Work-in-Progress (WIP)-ness of my life.  My life is a work in progress, like quite a few of my quilts… I only pray that I will always be obedient and teachable under the loving guidance of my Lord and Savior.

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And so, why do you quilt?  Leave a comment below, and you will be entered in the giveaway of one of my brand new Learn to Machine Quilt Pieced Blocks class DVD.  You will learn 9 different ways to quilt Ohio Star Blocks if you are interested in quilting your pieced blocks beyond straight line quilting.  You may read more about the class here.  Winner will be announced on April 1.  Please note that the giveaway is for a class DVD.  Giveaway of the same class in online class format is forthcoming.

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Have a great day from your devoted quilting friend!  Quilty hugs and love to you all.

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Island Batik & Creative New Quilts Blog Hop Day 5 / Aurifil DOM Block #3

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Happy Friday, Friends!!!  I want to thank you all for following this first week of Island Batik’s blog hop using projects from my Creativew New Quilts & Projects book!  I hope you have enjoyed visiting the talented quilters who have put in the time and effort in giving my designs batik-y makeovers!

Monday, March 14 – Island Batik Intro – be sure to stop by for the giveaway of a free fabric bundle! You will also see what outfit I wore to church yesterday when you visit Island Batik’s blog today.  Totally unplanned… I chuckled when I saw the picture!

Tuesday, March 15 – The Fit Quilter – Adele is using the Desert Rose collection to make her version of Crossings! You have got to pop on over to see her quilt – simply gorgeous! Adele is a quilt designer herself — check out her work, and the patterns she has for sale!

Wednesday, March 16 – Pamela Quilts — Pamela gives a batik-y twist to my Flight of Colors pillows. Pam is also a Craftsy Designer, as well as Etsy Shop owner.  Do take a moment to check out her offerings!!!  And there’s a giveaway of a copy of my book!

Thursday, March 17 – MooseStash Quilting — Today featured hop project is one that is near and dear to my heart!!!  Joan made my quilt with the BUZZ – my coffee cup quilt! You simply have to head over to her blog to see her quilt.  I am tempted to reveal the colors of Joan’s quilt here, but I shall refrain!  And of course, as for the entire blog hop, a free copy of my book is given away by all the hop contributors.

TODAY!!!  Friday, March 18 –  Bejeweled Quilts — Barb is a talented designer, and I am thrilled to see her version of my Birds of a Feather placemats! Barb is also a Craftsy designer.  I hope you will check out her many best-selling patterns!

Monday, March 21 –  One Quilting Circle
Tuesday, March 22 –  BeaQuilter
Wednesday, March 23 – Freemotion by the River and KISSed Quilts 
Thursday, March 24 – Mary Mack Made Mine

Friday, March 25 – Lemon Tree Snippets

Today’s featured hop project is my Birds of a Feather placemat – super easy and quick to make!!!  My original placemats are shown below.  The instructions include the applique and non-applique version.  This is also a great project for teaching a class on easy piecing, as well as easy machine fusible applique method.  So, quilting teachers out there… just sayin’! :)

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Barb has incorporated both Batik and quilting twists in her placemats, and that’s all the spoilers I will reveal.  Head on over to Barb’s blog to see her pretty placemats!

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Meanwhile, I am not sure if you knew Block #3 of Aurifil’s Designer of the Month program is out?  This month’s featured designer is Christa Watson.  Check out Christa’s block here.  Remember, by posting your block (any block) on Pat Sloan’s website, you will be entered in the giveaway of a box of 12 Aurifil’s large spool thread!!!

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Here are what I have so far,

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And that rounds out our week, Dear Friends!  I will be making my Block #3 this weekend.  I hope you have a most lovely weekend.  See you next week!  Hugs to you all.

Island Batik & Creative New Quilts Blog Hop Day 4 / A question on beets!

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Happy Friends, I just came through a sewing marathon.  I am exhausted, but am glad that I got another thing checked off my list!  I am obsessive about making lists, and “me versus list” sums up my life most days.

Monday, March 14 – Island Batik Intro – be sure to stop by for the giveaway of a free fabric bundle! You will also see what outfit I wore to church yesterday when you visit Island Batik’s blog today.  Totally unplanned… I chuckled when I saw the picture!

Tuesday, March 15 – The Fit Quilter – Adele is using the Desert Rose collection to make her version of Crossings! You have got to pop on over to see her quilt – simply gorgeous! Adele is a quilt designer herself — check out her work, and the patterns she has for sale!

Wednesday, March 16 – Pamela Quilts — Pamela gives a batik-y twist to my Flight of Colors pillows. Pam is also a Craftsy Designer, as well as Etsy Shop owner.  Do take a moment to check out her offerings!!!  And there’s a giveaway of a copy of my book!

TODAY!!!!  Thursday, March 17 – MooseStash Quilting — Today featured hop project is one that is near and dear to my heart!!!  Joan made my quilt with the BUZZ – my coffee cup quilt! You simply have to head over to her blog to see her quilt.  I am tempted to reveal the colors of Joan’s quilt here, but I shall refrain!  And of course, as for the entire blog hop, a free copy of my book is given away by all the hop contributors.

Friday, March 18 –  Bejeweled Quilts
Monday, March 21 –  One Quilting Circle
Tuesday, March 22 –  BeaQuilter
Wednesday, March 23 – Freemotion by the River and KISSed Quilts 
Thursday, March 24 – Mary Mack Made Mine
Friday, March 25 – Lemon Tree Snippets

It is no secret I am a consumer of coffee.  Miss Baby dubs coffee my “stay awake juice”, and I have to admit she is quite right about that!  Here is my original Care for a Cuppa quilt!

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So, now you just need to head on over to Joan’s blog to see her version of the quilt.  She is also giving away a free copy of my Creative New Quilts & Projects book which has the instructions and full templates for making Care for a Cuppa!
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Thank you for all your kind words on Miss Baby’s penmanship.  I had only intended to share the laughs, but then I started getting emails and comments about Miss Baby’s handwriting, haha!  My mother was very particular about my handwriting when I was learning how to write, and I suffered a few consequences when I didn’t do a good job.  My Mom would erase ALL my work when she spotted certain discrepancies (shall we say), and I would have to redo everything.  So, I learned early and quickly I’d better just do things right the first time.  Now, I haven’t quite used my mother’s consequences yet on Miss Baby, but I have threatened!!!  So far, she has taken my threats to heart.

Being in line with pioneer-ish and all….. I resisted buying the cooked/steamed/roasted beets at the store 2 weeks ago, and decided to buy the raw ones!  I mean, how hard can cooking some beets be?  I bought these:

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I first baked them in the oven…. after 2 hours, they were still hard.  Then, I decided I would boil them, after 45 minutes in boiling water, they were still considerably hard.  Then, I started getting concerned about cooking off the nutrients, so I stopped, and just cut up the beets and served them at the table.  It is universally established that I would make a dismal pioneer, and that’s for another day, ha!  But I am wondering…  Might any of you have some words of wisdom concerning cooking of beets?  What is your favorite way to cook beets, and how do you like to serve your beets?  

Island Batik & Creative New Quilts Blog Hop Day 3

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Happy Wednesday, Dear Friends!  It’s pillow time for Day 3!!!!

Monday, March 14 – Island Batik Intro – be sure to stop by for the giveaway of a free fabric bundle! You will also see what outfit I wore to church yesterday when you visit Island Batik’s blog today.  Totally unplanned… I chuckled when I saw the picture!

Tuesday, March 15 – The Fit Quilter – Adele is using the Desert Rose collection to make her version of Crossings! You have got to pop on over to see her quilt – simply gorgeous! Adele is a quilt designer herself — check out her work, and the patterns she has for sale!

TODAY!!!  Wednesday, March 16 – Pamela Quilts — Pamela gives a batik-y twist to my Flight of Colors pillows. Pam is also a Craftsy Designer, as well as Etsy Shop owner.  Do take a moment to check out her offerings!!!  And there’s a giveaway of a copy of my book!

Thursday, March 17 – MooseStash Quilting
Friday, March 18 –  Bejeweled Quilts
Monday, March 21 –  One Quilting Circle
Tuesday, March 22 –  BeaQuilter
Wednesday, March 23 – Freemotion by the River and KISSed Quilts 
Thursday, March 24 – Mary Mack Made Mine
Friday, March 25 – Lemon Tree Snippets
 

Here are the original Flight of Colors pillows made for my Creative New Quilts & Projects from precuts or stash book.

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It is a stash-busting quick project if you are one who keeps the leftover triangles after you trim off your blocks when doing the flip-and-sew method.  I have amassed hundreds of these triangles myself.  And actually, the three pillows you see are made with triangle scraps from my Crossings Quilt!  Click here if you missed the blog hop post on my Crossings quilt.

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So, I am curious to know if you hoard keep these trimmed of triangles, like I do…. I always keep the triangle pairs as they are cut (right sides facing each other).  That way, I can just pick them up to sew/chain-piece.

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For a few chuckles today…. here is a paper Miss Baby wrote for her class a couple of weeks ago.  [For the new followers, Miss Baby is the joy of my life.  She is currently 7 years old and in first grade.]  In case you can’t read from the photo below, “If I were a Pioneer, I would live in a log cabin.  If I were a Pioneer, my husband would have an axe. If I were a Pioneer, I would live in the woods.  If I were a Pioneer, I would have a garden at the back of the house.  If I were a Pioneer, my husband would have an oxen.”

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So… I did ask her about why the “oxen” specifically.  Her reasoning, “In case we have to move, and we would need oxen to pull the covered wagon.”  Oh — right!!!  

Stay tuned for the sequel of the Pioneer series — I will share as soon as I find that sequel paper!  It’s amazing to me just how many papers Miss Baby brings home from school.  Thank you for stopping by – have a great day!  AND don’t forget to check out Pamela’s blog to see her batik pillow!

Island Batik & Creative New Quilts Blog Hop Day 2

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Hello Friends!  I am excited to see what the Island Batiks ambassadors have done with my Creative New Quilts & Projects projects!  Today’s feature is my Crossings quilt (cover quilt)!

Monday, March 14 – Island Batik Intro – be sure to stop by for the giveaway of a free fabric bundle! You will also see what outfit I wore to church yesterday when you visit Island Batik’s blog today.  Totally unplanned… I chuckled when I saw the picture!
 

TODAY!!! Tuesday, March 15 – The Fit Quilter – Adele is using the Desert Rose collection to make her version of Crossings! You have got to pop on over to see her quilt – simply gorgeous! I won’t show her whole quilt here, but this peek of the fabrics should make you curious. :) Adele is a quilt designer herself — check out her work, and the patterns she has for sale!

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Wednesday, March 16 – Pamela Quilts 
Thursday, March 17 – MooseStash Quilting
Friday, March 18 –  Bejeweled Quilts
Monday, March 21 –  One Quilting Circle
Tuesday, March 22 –  BeaQuilter
Wednesday, March 23 – Freemotion by the River and KISSed Quilts 
Thursday, March 24 – Mary Mack Made Mine
Friday, March 25 – Lemon Tree Snippets

Of course, the cover quilt looks like this on the book cover:

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And here are a few additional shots of the original quilt:

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Crossings was designed as my tribute to the friends I have made within the quilting community – we are all so different, and from different backgrounds and walks of life, and yet, our lives have crossed paths through the love of threads and fibers!  Quite astounding when one really ponders it.

Enough rambling from me – would you check out the Island Batik’s version of Crossings here? There is a giveaway as well in Adele’s post today.

Thanks for stopping by.  An extremely stressful and busy next 48 hours for me… pray for me, and wish me well!

Island Batik & Creative New Quilts Blog Hop Day 1 / Misc

Happy Monday, Friends!  Today kicks off Island Batik’s blog hop on my book Creative New Quilts & Projects using Precuts or Stash.  Remember, it is a 2-week long hop!!!  I hope you will be sure to stop by Island Batik’s blog everyday to check out the happenings!

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TODAY!!!!  Monday, March 14 – Island Batik Intro – be sure to stop by for the giveaway of a free fabric bundle! You will also see what outfit I wore to church yesterday when you visit Island Batik’s blog today.  Totally unplanned… I chuckled when I saw the picture!
Tuesday, March 15 – The Fit Quilter
Wednesday, March 16 – Pamela Quilts 
Thursday, March 17 – MooseStash Quilting
Friday, March 18 –  Bejeweled Quilts
Monday, March 21 –  One Quilting Circle
Tuesday, March 22 –  BeaQuilter
Wednesday, March 23 – Freemotion by the River and KISSed Quilts 
Thursday, March 24 – Mary Mack Made Mine
Friday, March 25 – Lemon Tree Snippets
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Linda F and Pamela R have won the giveaway of the McCall’s Quick Quilts (April/May 2016) magazine copies.  An email was sent to you – please respond with your mailing address so that I can get the magazine for you!  My Big Time quilt was featured in the very issue.  You can read more about it hereand here (McCall’s).  You still have time to win a free signed copy of my book Creative New Quilts & Projects using Precuts or Stash by clicking on the McCall’s link. They are giving away 3 free copies!

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Meanwhile, I have been making house block upon house block!  I think the quilt will be a statement maker once it’s done, but there is A LOT of piecing going on, like a lot!  You know how I feel about piecing! :)

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I am already the overqualified maid and underpaid chauffeur at my house, and now I have taken on being a construction worker!!!  Seriously, I have done it all.  Haha!  Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have a most lovely week!  I will chat with you again tomorrow.

QuiltShopGal Feature: EQ 25th anniversary celebration!

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Hello Friends, please head on over to Quilt Shop Gal’s today for the feature she is doing on little ol’ me!  Click here to check out her post.  Be sure to scroll down to see a few free to use patterns that I haven’t shared on my blog!  Just to give you a tease – there is a fun crayon quilt design!!!

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And of course, QuiltShopGal always has amazing giveaways you would want to enter!  I consider QuiltShopGal a dear friend of mine.  She looks out for me, sends me links, reminds me to rest, and she loves Miss Baby.  What more could I ask in a friend?

Creative New Quilts Blog Hop — Save the dates…

… and mark on your calendar!

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Something exciting is (has been!) a’brewing over in the sewing rooms of the amazing Island Batik’s Ambassadors! They are contributing to a 2-week long Creative New Quilts blog hop that is going to be happening at Island Batik’s Blog, giving my original book projects total makeovers with totally batik-y twists!  So far, I have only seen a sneak peek or two.  I love what I’ve seen so far, and I am excited (super excited!) to see what these wonderful Ambassadors have done!

Among all the quilty eye candies, you will get to see versions of my Winter Blues quilt done in new and upcoming Island Batik lines.  The original quilt (mine) is also made with Island Batik’s fabrics.  This quilt is actually a nod to my “former life”, more details on that later!

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So, here are the dates!  Be sure to visit these very talented ladies not just on the scheduled dates, but how about now…. to get to know them? :)  Each as something to offer!

Monday, March 14 – Island Batik Intro
Tuesday, March 15 – The Fit Quilter
Wednesday, March 16 – Pamela Quilts 
Thursday, March 17 – MooseStash Quilting
Friday, March 18 –  Bejeweled Quilts
Monday, March 21 –  One Quilting Circle
Tuesday, March 22 –  BeaQuilter
Wednesday, March 23 – Freemotion by the River and KISSed Quilts 
Thursday, March 24 – Mary Mack Made Mine

Friday, March 25 – Lemon Tree Snippets

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And I am grateful to all who have taken part.  Anything something like this happens, so often, we overlook the time and effort in coordination to make everything come together.  The idea of the hop happened sometime late summer last year, if I remember correctly, and then, it was pounding out the general idea, and then all the work at Island Batik’s end in finding out who wants to tackle which projects, and what fabrics, and how much fabric etc?  You get the idea. So, a huge shout out to Island Batik for supporting the quilting community!  One way to show our appreciation is to check out some Island Batik fabrics the next time we are shopping for fabrics?

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That’s all for now, Friends.  I need to get some sewing done today before it’s time to pick up my precious cargo from school.  You all have a most lovely and blessed day!

DONE: My Aurifil Designer of the Month Block 2

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Hello Friends!  It’s another exciting and busy start to a new week over here.  First up, my Block #2 of Aurifil Designer of the Month Quilt-Along is done!  Block #2 is designed by Kari Carr. Click here to find out more about Kari, and the block she designed, as well as for the instructions.

You have seen my Block #1, made with Windham Fabrics’ Blush & Blooms fabrics.

I am continuing to use the Blush & Blooms fabrics to make the rest of the blocks.  So here my Block #2.

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This block has many (like A LOT) of half-square-triangle units – a grand total of 40 that finish at 1 1/2″, and 1 at 6″.  My favorite method of constructing HST units is to make them larger, and then trim them to their unfinished size.  And I press open the seams to evenly distribute the bulk.  So for the HST that finish at 1 1/2″, I cut my squares 3″ instead of 2 3/8″ (normally, 7/8″ is added to the desired size).  I construct as usual, press the seams open, and trim the HST units to measure 2″ x 2″ raw edge to raw edge.

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I also constructed the block in sections, based on its “natural fault lines” to minimize having to deal with long seams multiple times.  I also piece my quilt tops that way – in sections – instead of row by row.  I have used red lines to indicate the fault lines in Kari’s block (in my fabric choices):

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Now, it is quite a feat (I think!) to fit 40 (1 1/2″ finished) HST into a 12″ finished block.  When you make these small HST units, I have learned that it’s important to keep your 1/4″ seam even and regular throughout.  After all, we have to somewhat match up all those points!  And I have also learned piecing with fine threads helps with the accuracy.  I have talked about my choice of Aurifil 50-wt for piecing here.  If you are wondering how to quickly spot the 50-wt versus the others… 50-wt is always wound on an orange spool.

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I had to borrow Miss Baby’s play table to take pictures of my block because my work desk is a total disaster at the moment (imagine that!).  So, all the toys came to play too while I was taking the pictures…. you have GOT to love Playmobil!  These cats (!) – they can’t resist playing with my threads!

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When word got around, Miss Baby joined in the fun and added more props etc.  You can see her hands for a sense of how tiny those kittens are.

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And that concludes my report on the Aurifil Designer of the Month Block #2.  Thank you again to Pat Sloan for hosting the fun!  Have you joined in this Quilt-Along? If so, how are your blocks coming along?

Have a great week!  Hugs to you all!!

Big Time in McCALL’S QUICK QUILTS (April/May 2016) & Giveaways!

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Hello Friends, you may recall I had shared with you a free to use Big Love quilt pattern, using Windham’s Go Big or Go Home fabric line.  Click here if you had missed the post.

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Today I am happy to share with you about my Big Time quilt that is featured in McCall’s Quick Quilts April/May 2016.   This is another quilt I designed using the fabrics from Go Big or Go Home fabric line.  Disclaimer: Please be assured that the name Big Time chosen for the quilt does NOT implied I have hit big time in any way.  In fact, I am still a very small timer! :)  The magazine copies are on newsstands NOW!

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This is actually a queen sized bed quilt, but is designed for you to finish piecing the top in a very very reasonable amount of time.  Click here for my guest blog post on McCall’s Quilting blog to find out why.  A big shout out to McCall’s for having me back again to guest-post.

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You can see I have grays in my quilt!  And the grays don’t really look all that gloomy when used with the other brights in the fabric line!

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This is another example of my potluck approach to designing – I just throw in all the colors, and see what comes of it.  Hot pinks, Lime greens, Aquas and Orange seem to get along well with each other.  I never know what I get — and I have to say, I am surprised every time by the result when I use my potluck approach.

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A big thank you to Karen M. Fisher and Cathy Messner for making the quilt happen!  Check out the aqua tonal fabric. Miss Baby is of the persuasion if I were to let her use the quilt on her bed, she would display the quilt with the quilt back on the top, showing the entire expanse of the aqua tonal fabric!  No comment on that, haha!

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Giveaway #1.  I am giving away two magazine copies to those who would like the instructions to make this quilt! Leave a comment and tell me if you actually use the quilts you make.  I will pick and announce the winner on next Friday (March 11, 2016).

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Giveaway #2.  You will have a chance to win a signed copy of my new book Creative New Quilts & Project using Precuts or Stash if you leave a comment on my McCall’s Quilting guest blog post!  So, be sure to make a stop there.

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That’s all for today – I hope you have a most fanta-bulous one!  I have to brave the traffic and run errands today.

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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

Fons and Porter Love of Quilting (March/April 2016): Constellation of Stars

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

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

McCall’s Quick Quilts (April/May 2016): Big Time

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

Quilters Newsletter (April 2016): Tartan Links

 

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)

January: Wish You Were Here (Hoffman Fabrics)

January: Farfalle using Whisper (Windham Fabrics)

January: Tulips Quilt using Flower Pedals (Windham Fabrics)

February: Dream Boat (Quilting Treasures)

March: Garden Maze using Emilie (Windham Fabrics)

March: Lattice using Emilie (Windham Fabrics)

All in a day’s work of a…

… thread-aholic quilter!

This is what happens when a thread-aholic quilter wakes up at 2:30am to sew, and then makes homemade bread for the family’s breakfast later. She can’t help but do a thread-match on that loaf of bread! Bread, thread….same difference?  Well, they do rhyme after all! :)

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So what do you think? I did pretty good on the matches, yes?

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have a lovely rest of what’s left of your day.  Check back tomorrow for a giveaway!

FREE PATTERNS: Soft and Sweet and Floral using Windham’s Emilie

Hello Friends, a while back I had asked you what particular theme of fabrics catches your fancy.  Many of you had responded that you like florals!  Check out Windham’s new floral line Emilie.  The Emilie fabrics are soft, subtle, sweet, and they even have a couple of Paisley prints included.

I have designed the following two quilts to support the Emilie fabric line.

#1.  Garden Maze

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#2.  Lattice

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Click here to download free-to-use Garden Maze pattern instructions.

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

Thank you for stopping by!  I hope you have liked these Emilie designs!  Hugs to you all!

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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

Fons and Porter Love of Quilting (March/April 2016): Constellation of Stars

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)

January: Wish You Were Here (Hoffman Fabrics)

January: Farfalle using Whisper (Windham Fabrics)

January: Tulips Quilt using Flower Pedals (Windham Fabrics)

February: Dream Boat (Quilting Treasures)

March: Garden Maze using Emilie (Windham Fabrics)

March: Lattice using Emilie (Windham Fabrics)