Friday, December 29, 2017

2017 In Review

We're fast approaching the end of the year, and what better send off than reviewing the quilts of 2017?

I must admit, this was a strange year for me. Starting off with great intentions of using up the many pounds of scraps by participating in RSC17, I got as far as two months.

RSC17 purple
Purple and Pink, Violet Riot, Purple Passionflower, Garden Stars

RSC17 teal
Diamond Chevrons, Fluctuate

The most important finish of the year was Santorini (below, right), with help from a Book of the Month selection. There were a lot of quilts made from book patterns, which helped to use up the stash. 

Book of the Month January, February, March April
Stika Rose, Perennial Pinwheels, Santorini

Some of the book patterns allowed me to use the scrap poundage,

Book of the Month May and June
Pixie Sticks, Big Spin

while others were created from yardage.

Book of the Month July and August
Summer Picnic, Steps, Open Sesame

Some quilts were created to show off the quilting,

Book of the Month September
Joy, Jess

others to use up charm squares,

Book of the Month October and November
Seaglass, Lickety Split 1, Lickety Split 2, Scrap Happy

while the last book pattern for the year was this fun quilt made with Christmas fabric.

Adorn from Make Wall Quilts

Every so often, I was inspired to use up some special scraps, which made one-of-a-kind quilts.

Special scrap quilts
Squares in Squares, Ducks in the Pond, Pinwheel Ducks

But what I'm most proud of are the creations that started as a small idea in my head and came to be these wonderful quilts!

Fireworks and Slots quilts
Fireworks, Slots

Let It Snow, Poinsettia Coasters, Santa's Helper quilts
Let It Snow, Poinsettia Coasters, Santa's Helper

Of course, there were a few other QAL's thrown in the mix, and a few other unfinished projects, but they haven't resulted in a quilt top yet. Guess those will go into the 2018 Review.

So, what does 2018 hold for me? 

1. Probably won't participate in any QAL's. I started out with three, and managed to stay with one. Unless I host one of my own, I'm taking a break from QAL's.

2. Do away with odd shaped scraps. After working with them for a few months, they got to be a drag, and brought me down. I'm done with making quilts from diamonds, hexies, etc - anything that leaves funky leftover shapes. 

3. Sell, donate, or recycle the older pieces in the stash, those that I know I won't use. I'm ready to bring in some new prints!

4. Continue to create quilt patterns, those to snuggle under and those to view on a wall.

5. Make more videos - those are fun!

That's it for the moment. 2017 was an interesting year, but now I'm ready to start fresh, and achieve new goals. Maybe you'll want to adopt some of these ideas for yourself?

Cheers to 2018!

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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Midweek Makers 104

Welcome to the last Midweek Makers of 2017!

This week is devoted to the entire year, a celebration of projects finished in 2017. I have my own personal list, which is much too long for here. Instead, my quilts of the year, a "2017 in Review", has it's own post, coming Friday.

I encourage everyone to share any and all projects they are working on, past or present - this week is about sharing what you've accomplished this year! 

New post, old post - doesn't matter! The point is to look at what was accomplished in 2017. So come link up!
  • Please link directly to your specific post, not your main blog page.
  • Visit and leave a comment to two links: the one before and the one after your own. Everyone loves visitors and comments!
  • Bring a friend! Invite your fellow bloggers to the party by spreading the word! 
  • Please link to on your post. 

Have fun!

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Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Celebrating everything Christmas-y today - enjoy!

Santa's Helper quilt
Santa's Helper
Scrap Strat

O Tannenbaum

Simply Woven Christmas

                                   Kids Christmas D9P

Peppermint Candy

Poinsettia Coasters


Merry Christmas!

Holly and Berries

Friday, December 22, 2017

Winter Feed

Introducing my latest quilt creation, Winter Feed.

Winter Feed, a cardinal and winter quilt scene

This one has quickly become another of my favorites for the year!

Why's that? Because it's a bright, cheerful celebration of winter, with food bringing everyone together, including birds. I love everything about it - the simplicity of the bird feeders, the fresh snow, and the beauty of the red cardinals. 

Plus, I get to view it for at least two months, because this celebrates winter, not a holiday. That's my kind of decoration!

Some closeups:
the birds on the feeders,
Winter Feed closeup 1

and the bird in the snow.

Winter Feed closeup 2

These two are busy on this feeder, with one looking like he just landed, and the other busy eating.

Winter Feed closeup 3

While this guy looks like he's full, and just checking out the scene.

Winter Feed closeup 4

This one is pecking away, while his buddy takes it all in - he's considering eating what's dropped from the feeder.

Winter Feed closeup 5

One way or another, they're happy to be together, and grateful to have seed to eat. Isn't the company of friends and good food during the holidays what it's all about?

I, too, will have the joy of food and friendship over the next 10 days. So much so, that it delays the pattern release for Winter Feed, which will be both the full pattern, and the bird feeder block/applique birds.

I'll keep you posted when it's available - look for it in January!

Happy Holidays!

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Midweek Makers 103

Welcome to another edition of Midweek Makers! 

As I typed out the title to this post, my first thought was "Do I continue with the numbering?" It seems awkward when the number is in the hundreds. I have mixed feelings about it, and want to hear what you think. Leave a comment of either 'stay' or 'go', to help decide the fate of the MM numbering.

Aside from that, there's five days left till Christmas, and Midweek Makers is still featuring holiday projects, my latest included. After working faithfully yesterday, it's now on the frame.

with the big reveal Friday, as my last quilt for this year. Have any more guesses as to what it is??

From party-goers last week, were more gorgeous holiday projects, including:




                                        Quilted Heart Tutorial @ The Crafty Quilter includes a printable template for two heart sizes. This is a quick and easy project to add a charming touch to your decor and it makes a great gift!



Anyone else have last minute holiday items to share today? Even if you don't, we'd love to see what else you're working on!
Keep in mind these guidelines in linking up:
  • Please link directly to your specific post, not your main blog page.
  • Visit and leave a comment to two links: the one before and the one after your own. Everyone loves visitors and comments!
  • Bring a friend! Invite your fellow bloggers to the party by spreading the word! 
  • Please link to on your post. 
Happy Holidays!

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Monday, December 18, 2017

New Favorite Applique Tool

Applique: love it or hate it. Most quilters have strong feelings one way or another, and I think most love how it looks, but don't like the process of making it.

I like applique, though I'm choosy about what I'm willing to do. I've tried hand applique, and dealt with small pieces, but I'm not willing to spend the time on that anymore.

My favorite applique technique uses fusible interfacing. I love the smooth edges that are possible after sewing, then turning the interfacing/applique piece. Seed Mix and Unlimited used this technique.

But when pieces are too small, I have the choice of turned-edge applique, or fusible. The decision of which to choose is ultimately decided by what the purpose of the final quilt is. Wall quilt, not much handling - fusible is great. Kids quilt, lots of handling - turned edge probably better. Would definitely be a bummer if those edges peeled up after a few washes.

Personally, I opt for turned-edge if possible. It's that smooth edge that I like! And how to obtain that smooth edge? Well, it requires turning and pressing the edge over a template, usually with the aid of starch.

I used to apply starch via painstakingly brushing it on. And then I discovered these: thin needle dispensers.- what a time saver!

fine needle applicator bottle

This little needle dispenses just the right amount of starch quickly and easily, saving time and not drenching the edge.

So much easier than using a brush! It certainly helped speed up the applique prep for Santa's Helper, and - hint hint, the new project. Plus these can also be used to make a fine line of glue, to hold pieces in place.

If you do a lot of applique, give these thin needle applicators a try - check out the link I gave above (no affiliation), and also search 'thin needle applicator' for several other brands. 

Oh! Now that's there's a red clue above, any more guesses on the new project?

Happy Quilting!

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Friday, December 15, 2017

New Project in the Works

Another quilt idea is bouncing around in my head, and is slowly coming into reality.

block sneak peek

This is just a little bit, 'cause I'm still not sure if it will be what I envision. Though the Electric Quilt software is fantastic for designing quilts, it's one thing to see the quilts on the computer, and quite another when they're in fabric.

That's because design, fabric choices, size, and placement all go into the making of a quilt, sometimes with great success, and other times, not.

So far, this quilt has challenged me with the main block. Attempting to get the point out of the seam allowance took four scrap fabric practice blocks. 

The points are either too close, or too far from the edge.

point at edge
Too Close

       point too far away from the seam allowance in attempt 1
Too Far - attempt 1


point too far away from the seam allowance in attempt 2
Too Far - attempt 2

Like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, this one is just right!

point one-fourth inch from seam allowance
Just Right!
To get 'Just Right', I tried marking the center of the strip,

marking strip center point

then lined it up with the edge I was stitching it to.

matching center point with edge

And amazingly, it worked, giving me that 1/4" seam allowance from the point. Is that luck or what???

quarter inch seam allowance from point

Now that I have the magical placement technique, making this block is simple and the rest of the quilt can proceed - I'm back to sewing and creating this vision!

Happy Quilting!

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