MY TURN: The Aurifil DOM 2016 Block #7

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Hello and Happy Friday, Friends!  It is an exciting day at Ivory Spring because… today is the day my Aurifil Designer of the Month block is released!!!

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Click here to find out more about my block done in the blue colorway to go with this year’s blue/white theme!  You might also learn a couple of deep dark secrets about me you haven’t yet known. :)  And, more importantly, you just have to make and share a block to be entered in the giveaway of a whole box of Aurifil large spool threads!!!  A really generous gesture by Aurifil!  Details are mentioned on Auribuzz.

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Meanwhile, here is the block I made for myself using Windham Fabrics’ Blush & Blooms fabrics.  I added two primitive birds onto the block.  Because of the fabric choice, the block ended up taking on a “Shabby Chic” primitive look! :)

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You may recall seeing the same bird being embroidered in my Block #5.  I enlarged the bird for this month’s block.

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I used the yellow in my Subtle Strings thread collection to buttonhole stitch around the pink birds to give a bit of contrast.

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You can add the bird to your block too if you would like.  Click here to download the bird applique template.  Use the image below for placement guide for the birds.  Just think of the quilting possibilities in th negative area.  I know I certainly am for my block. :)

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I am so glad my spring dishes came out to play.

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Thanks so much for stopping by.  I hope you are still sewing along?  If not, there’s no better time than now to join in the fun. I have thoroughly enjoyed making all the DOM blocks, so I imagine you would too.

Have a great weekend!

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So, below are Blocks #1-6.  You have seen Block #7 today.  I am now ready for Block #8!

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Block #2

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Block #3

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Block #4

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Block #5

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Block #6

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DONE: My Aurifil Designer of the Month Block 6

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Hello Friends, my Aurifil 2016 DOM Block #6 is finished!!  Click here to download instructions for this block if you haven’t done so.

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The block construction of my block follows exactly the June block.  The only thing different is that I did the hand embroidery a little differently.  Instead of embroidering the wreath, I hand embroidered around a fused and fussy cut floral bouquet from one of the Blush & Blooms focal fabrics to give my block center a bit more visual interest.

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I have been wanting to use the Blush & Blooms focal print in the Aurifil DOM blocks, but haven’t been able to because the scale of the print is on the large side.  I thought June’s block gave me the perfect opportunity to just fussy cut out a particular bouquet from the fabric to be fused on the center of the block.  I would normally use buttonhole stitches to finish off the raw edge fused applique, but I felt those buttonhole stitches would look a bit intrusive.  So, I outline-stitched (by hand) the applique instead.

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I used 2 strands of Aurifil’s Aurfloss for the embroidery.  Handwork is always fun for me.  So I enjoyed the stitching.

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And with that, I am ready for Block #7.  Oh wait, my Block #7 is already ready… because next month’s block is MINE!  That’s it for now, Friends.  Lots to get done still.  Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you have a lovely rest of your day!

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If you haven’t seen my previous blocks, here they are.  All my blocks are made with Windham Fabrics’ Blush & Blooms fabrics.

Block #1

Block #2

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Block #3

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Block #4

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Block #5

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DONE: My Aurifil Designer of the Month Block 5

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Hello Friends, thank you for visiting again!  I completed my Block #5 of 2016 Aurifil’s Designer of the Month program!! Block #5 is designed by Amy Friend.

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For an added interest, I embroidered a bird in the block center using Aurifil’s cotton Aurifloss! I have absolutely loved stitching with Aurifloss.  I stitched with 2-strands of floss for the bird embroidery.

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Have you been following and sewing along?  If you haven’t, you still have time to join in the fun. Click here to download the instructions for making Block 5.

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Now I am ready for Block #6.  Some of you have asked when my turn is for Aurifil’s Designer of the Month 2016… VERY SOON! :o)

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If you haven’t seen my previous blocks, here they are.  All my blocks are made with Windham Fabrics’ Blush & Blooms fabrics.

Block #1

Block #2

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Block #3

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Block #4

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Aurifil DOM 2016 Block 5 is here & Patchwork Bears

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As many quilters know, this week is Spring Market in Salt Lake City, and it affects the goers, and the non-goers alike! For non-goers like me, besides waiting with great anticipation for pictures posted online, I will be working on the new Aurifil Designer of the Moth 2016 Block!!! Click here to download the instructions for this month’s block.

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Some of you wrote to ask about the patchwork bears I posted last week.  I have no pride, and thus I am going to admit to you I didn’t make those bears!  I can quilt, but most of the time, I can’t sew to save my life!!  Many years ago, we hosted a Japanese exchange student.  Upon the return to her home country, this Japanese girl’s mother made and sent me the large pink patchwork bear.  When Miss Baby was born, this sweet lady sent me two more (the large blue and the baby-sized) to complete my bear family.

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As for the pattern, I think it is similar to the one featured in The Embroidered Patchwork Bear, written by Carolyn Pearce.  You can still get the book from Amazon here.

I have been busy getting last minute things happen for a few companies for Market this week. But I hope I will finally be able to make the rounds and visit your blogs sometime this week.  Have a great week ahead.  Hugs to you all!

So…. what are you working on this week?

DONE: My Aurifil Designer of the Month Block 4

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Happy Friends,  I was quite a bit late completing Block 4 of Aurifil’s Designer of the Month Program.  But I finally got it done last week, just in time for the May release on May 15th.  Here it is, done with Windham’s Blush & Blooms fabrics.  Block 4 is designed by Kate Spain.  It is a fun and quick (!) one to make.  Click here if you haven’t downloaded the instructions.

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Here are a few outtakes — as a general rule, I throw out 5-10 shots for every shot I keep.  So you see, I take this blogging business quite seriously. :)

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And here are the previous three blocks I had made with the same Blush & Blooms fabrics.

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That’s all for now, folks.  I have lots more piecing to do within the next few days.  Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have had a good week so far.  I shall catch up with you later!

Tuesday Tidbits & Editorial Features

Hello Friends, I have been out of the country… and now I am back.

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While I was gone, I have had a couple of editorial features.

#1.  Quilts and More (Summer 2016) – Tutu Cute using Benartex‘s Little Dancers.

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You may recalled I had a free-to-use pattern using the same fabric line.  Click here to find out more.

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#2.  Quiltmaker (May/June 2016) – Lavender Love using Northcott‘s Lavender Market 2.

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#3.  Fons & Porter’s Easy Quilts (Summer 2016) – Estelle baby quilt using Windham‘s Stella.

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Now that I am back, I am working on a few projects… here are a few sneak peeks.

#1.  Smokey and Friends — ask your local quilt shops to contact Windham Fabrics about this pattern.

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#2.  New quilt using Windham’s Holiday Traditions.

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#3.  Aurifil’s Designer of the Month Block #4 – click here to check out this month’s block!  I will show you my version very soon!

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So, I got myself all ready to play with my newest “sewing machine”…. and found out that my Aurifil thread spool won’t fit on it.  What is a girl to do?  #SewingHumor

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So – tell me what you’ve been up to while I was gone.  Thanks for stopping by!  Hugs to you all.

DONE: My Aurifil Designer of the Month Block 3

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Hello Friends, thank you for stopping by again!  I always enjoy hearing from you.  You have seen my blocks #1 and #2 of the Aurifil Designer of the Month blocks!

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I completed my Block #3 over the weekend!

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Block #3 is designed by Christa Watson.  Click here if you haven’t downloaded the block instructions, or would like to learn more about the block.  Christa’s block features an improv-pieced block center.  Instead of piecing mine, I stitched out the improv look with Aurifloss, Aurifil’s 100% cotton embroidery floss.

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I separated outall the strands from the thread, and re-assemble 3 strands for my stitching using Aurifloss.  The floss stitched out beautifully – the coverage was amazing!  I will have a later post reviewing with the floss later, but one thing I can say is that the quality that is so evident (and well loved) in the other Aurifil threads is definitely in the floss as well.  It was fun improv-stitching out the block center.  For now, if you want to get those springy colors for yourself, the colors are: 2135 (yellow), 2210 (copper), 1147 (green), 4020 (pink).

The really neat thing is Aurifil makes the floss for ALL the colors they make for the other cotton weights!  So break out your color card, and do what I do — bring the color card along to your activities, and daydream about them!  Now you know what I do when I take Miss Baby to her violin lessons. :)  In all seriousness, I do take notes!!!  This violin thing – it is a family affair!!

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Editor’s update:  Something came up and needed my immediate attention.  So, I am not sure how often I am going to be update my blog!  Please know that I will be back just as soon as I can!  Hugs to you all.

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!!

Aurifil Designer of the Month 2016 Block 2 is out!

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Hi Friends, you probably remember my version of the Aurifil Designer of the Month 2016 block from last month. Here you see my block in the obligatory “snow shot” from the blizzard 2016 a few weeks ago. :)

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I am excited to share with you that Block #2 is now available!!!  Click here to find out more about the beautiful block designed by Kari Carr!

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AND — you again have another chance to win a box of big Aurifil thread spools by making a block.  Click here for the details (be sure you scroll down to the bottom of the post!).

And with that,  I hope you have a fanta-bulous day!  I have to run for now — too many things to get done, and SOOO very little time.  Hugs to you all!

p.s.  SO — are you sewing along??!!  Very nosy mind would like to know. :)

Aurifil Designer of the Month 2016 Block 1 & Mini Giveaway!

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Hello Friends!  I hope you are well.  Check out this Windham Fabrics’ Blush & Blossoms FQ bundle!  I am sure you know the feeling of owning beautiful fabrics.  These fabrics are seriously beautiful.  I actually didn’t want to cut into these fabrics…. but I have a quilt to make! :)  Click here to view the entire fabric range.

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I am using these Blush & Blossoms fabrics to make quilt with the Aurifil Designer of the Month Blocks. And here is my first block, completed!

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Are you following the fun project, and making the quilt?  If you are, do share your block on Aurifil’s Flickr page. And you will be eligible to win exciting prizes from Aurifil!  Click here to find out more about Block #1 by Heather Valentine.

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I piece all my quilts with Aurifil 50wt cotton thread – the main reason being the thread is so fine that I don’t lose any “real estate” when I press my seams, and that ensures a more than satisfactory accurate finished size for the quilt blocks I make.  If you have never pieced with Aurifil, leave a comment and let me know you would like to.  I would love to know if you are participating in the Aurifil DOM 2016 quilt along.  I will pick two of you to receive a spool in my favorite color (2310) for piecing.  I know, I don’t exactly have a loud personality. :)

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Thanks for stopping by!  Life is a bit crazy busy at my end at the moment.  But my little family is doing well.  And we are almost back to our pre-blizzard routine!