31 Dec 2013

Let's Bee Social #1

Happy New Year!
Today is the first day of a quilty new year!
I am sew excited to begin this journey with you all. The subject for my first Let's Bee Social linky party post, is an introduction to my Quilt Along for 2014!

I am hosting the Oblongagonalong in February!  You can read more about the oblongagon here.  And the finished quilt I made previously can be seen here.  

I have posted a schedule on my new Quilt Along 2014 page which can be found just below the blog header.  And I have added the quilt along button to my right sidebar.  Sure hope many of you will be able to squeeze this quilt along into your busy plans!

Honey Bee Mine Fat Quarter Bundle Shelly Comiskey for Henry Glass Fabrics



I found this fabric line on the Fat Quarter Shop site and fell head over heels with the cute little bear and the colour scheme!  It has an expected shipment date of January 2014.

So I was thinking of beginning the quilt along the first week of February.


I don't know what I did that has caused the one block on the top left to not show as filled in!!!

This is a mock up of my planned quilt.  This is sized 70" x 85".
What I am wondering is, if you are interested in participating in the Oblongagonalong, would you wish to make a smaller quilt?  These blocks are made from 6" squares.  You would be able to get 7 blocks per WOF strip, and this layout would require 3 strips of each of the 15 prints, or 1/2 yard of each print.


These are some thing that you may want to alter for your planned quilt:
Size of block - You may want to use a larger square to make your blocks
Size of quilt - You may want to make a smaller or larger finished quilt
Layout of blocks - You may want to do a random layout or an alternate pattern
With or without borders - You may wish to add a border.

Here are a couple possible modifications....

This example is using 8" blocks.
This would give you 5 pieces per WOF strip.
This quilt shown is approximately size 50" x 56".

Again that top left block is blank!

This example is using 10" blocks.
This would give you 4 pieces per WOF strip.
This quilt shown is approximately size 51" x 56" and shows a random placement.

Blank block again!

This example shows another layout option.... A flower design.

I think I broke my EQ7!


For anyone who would like to participate, I am willing to custom design your project on my EQ7.  You want 8" oblongagons?  Done!  You want to make a smaller quilt?  Doable!  Don't hesitate to ask!  I will gladly work with you through email correspondence to work up your own personal design.

So please let me know if you are interested in participating in the Oblongagonalong!!!!
And if there are any questions or if you would like me to draw up an alternate plan for you, please just ask!
I would love to help!





Interested in hosting a linky party?  Visit InLinkz here to plan your party!!!




Have you heard about Craftsy?  I can't say enough good things about this site!
As an independent designer, I am tremendously appreciative of the Craftsy site.  Craftsy is the leading authority on all things craft related and is a wonderful source of online inspiration!

I started out taking a few of their Free Craftsy Classes. They also have reasonably priced classes for every technique imaginable. Want to learn more about Designing Modern Quilts?  They have a class for that!  Are you a fan of Star quilts? Then this is a class you won't want to miss.... Oh My Stars!  Have you always envied a person's ability to choose the perfect quilting color combinations? Color Play for Quilters is the class for you!

Check out the incredible selection of Free Quilting Patterns at Craftsy!  As a bargain hunter like me, you will be happy to know that Craftsy is often promoting sales on their quality Quilting Supplies.

Interested in earning a commission by promoting Craftsy?  Clicking on this link will allow you to sign up to join the Craftsy affiliate program, too.


Craftsy membership is free!  And they offer so many free classes!

Here are a few examples:

Learn How To Piece, Patch, Quilt!

A New Look at Longarm Quilting with Mandy Leins!

Free Quilting Patterns!

Free Embroidery Patterns!

Free Online Quilting Class!



Thank you for participating in the Let's Bee Social linky party!
Wishing you all a Quilty New Year!!!!
Keep On Quilting On!




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26 Dec 2013

Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday!



Welcome to this weeks TGIFF link up.
It is a pleasure to be hosting for my very first time.


Glad to see you have made it to the last link up for 2013!



My finish this week is a Scrumptious charm pack baby quilt.
This is where I left off on Tuesday!



And this is the finish!


Keeping it simple, I straight line quilted with my walking foot along the seam lines.
Using a blue variegated Fantastico thread from Superior, on top and in the bobbin.



The binding was made using this tutorial.  I wanted to add a little pop of red!

If you have any charm pack languishing in your stash and are looking for a great little pattern like this, you can pick up a copy, from my Pattern Store here.
All my patterns are ON SALE until the end of the year!





Before you run off ! ! !

Check out the great prices offered through Craftsy’s Year End Clearance Sale!
Enhancing your stash with up to 65% off fabric and up to 80% off yarn.  Don't delay!
Enjoy these fantastic deals while you can - this clearance sale ends December 30th!

Kaffe Fassett Classics Charm Pack (Blue & Purple) - 35% off!
Amy Butler Fat Quarter Bundle (Lark) - 60% off!


 Please join me for the NEW Linky Party beginning on January 1, 2014!


Sew Fresh Quilts
Let's Bee Social! is a Sew-Weet new weekly linky party for quilting bloggers.  A new post each Wednesday will allow you to add your own link to the Let's Bee Social linky party post.

Read more by clicking on the page tab I have added beneath my blog header or by clicking on this link.  And please add the linky button, found at the top of the right sidebar, to your blog to help spread the word!



Wishing you all.....
A Quilty New Year!!!!

Keep On Quilting On!



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24 Dec 2013

A Winner & Happy Blogiversary ~ to me!

Sew Fresh Quilts - New Year's Resolution
I have never been one to make (or follow through with) New Year's Resolutions.  But I followed through with last year's quilting/blogging resolutions!  Here is my list of Quilting Resolutions for 2014:

Sneek Peek of my TGIFF for December 27th!


1) Bee Social.  I can't say enough about how important the online quilting community is to me.  I have met sew many wonderful, talented, inspiring and encouraging friends during my first year of blogging.  It is my hope to focus on that positive influence we can be for each other.  So, I am hosting a new Wednesday linky party, which actually begins on January 1st!  This linky will focus on being social and will promote the encouragement and support of all who link up.

Sew Fresh Quilts

NEW LINKY PARTY - Let's Bee Social! is a Sew-Weet new weekly linky party for quilting bloggers.  A new blog post each Wednesday will allow you to add your own link to the Let's Bee Social linky party post.

Read more about the new linky by clicking on the page tab I have added beneath my blog header or by clicking on this linkPlease add the linky button, found at the top of the right sidebar, to your blog to help spread the word!



2) Sponsored GiveawaysIn November, I had my own very first Giveaway celebration.  I was pleasantly surprised with the number of entries and happy to meet so many new friends!  The wonderful feeling of GIVING away that fabric even surpassed the joy of winning fabric.  I have been hard at work soliciting sponsors for Giveaways to take place during the new year.  My sponsors are generous donors who are supporting the upcoming giveaways with donations of fabric or Stash Cash to be won.  Through our combined efforts, we wish to provide a fun event with a chance for some lucky winner to receive a thrill in the mail.  These sponsors are listed on the right sidebar.  You can visit their shops anytime by clicking on their ad!



3) Buy more Fabric.


4) Make more Quilts.


Scrumptious baby quilt


5) New Tutorials. Is there anything you would like to see a tutorial for?  I would love to hear from you!  You can get my email address by hovering on the little purple spool with the @ symbol on it.  The purple spool is on my right sidebar, just under my picture.  Any suggestions are welcome!


 
6) Host a Quilt Along.  I am really looking forward to hosting the
Oblongagonalong this spring!  You can read more about the oblongagon here.  And the finished quilt can be seen here.  When I have everything ready to go, I will post a schedule and add the quilt along button to my sidebar.  Sure hope many of you will be able to squeeze this quilt along into your busy plans for the coming year!



7) Quilt Design.  I spent the majority of 2013 gaining experience with new techniques in piecing and quilting.  My focus for 2014 will be on design.  I have been designing patterns using grid paper and the Paint program on my home computer.  Recently, I purchased EQ7 from Fat Quarter Shop and this program will require some serious time dedicated to learning just what I can do with EQ.  Not that I will ever give up the grid paper!


PS.  I threw # 3 & 4 in just for fun!








The Winners
       of the Pink Lemonade Quilt Shop
                                              Giveaway are....


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Congratulations to Gill - the winner of the $25 in Stash Cash!
Congrats also to Deborah - the winner of the Fat Eighth Bundle and PDF Quilt Pattern!



   
You are all invited back here on December 27th! 
It is my first time hosting the TGIFF Linky Party.
Please link up your last Friday Finish of 2013!




 


Wishing you all.....
A very Merry Christmas and a Quilty New Year!!!!

Keep On Quilting On!



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21 Dec 2013

Free Motion Quilting

As a new quilter, there is nothing scarier than the thought of quilting your quilt.
After all those long hours of work........... 
Carefully choosing the fabrics, 
Cutting with precision,
And lovingly piecing your quilt top.

The fear of ruining all that work can prevent us from taking that last step.....
The Quilting.

No wonder there are so many UFO sightings each year!

Free Motion Quilting


You can read all about how to do it.
You can try it on practice sandwiches or your pot holders from the kitchen.
But until you start using it on your projects, you just won't get the experience that you need.

Just like everything - Practice makes perfect.
Or in my case - Perfectly acceptable!


I do love to use my walking foot to quilt.  Even if I intend to do some free motion quilting on certain areas of a quilt, I use the walking foot to do, what is known as, anchor quilting first.  When using the walking foot, I always increase my stitch length setting to 3, 3.5 or 4, depending on the size of the project.

I am limited by the narrow throat space of my current machine.  My little Janome has only 6.5" between the needle and the body of the machine.  But that doesn't prevent me from doing my best.  And gaining experience.


The little advice I can offer, when learning how to free motion quilt, is the following:

Quilting gloves:  Being a frugal sort, I started my experience without gloves.  Then spotted a pair on sale one day and bought a Fons and Porter pair.  I knew right away that I would never again quilt - free motion or with the walking foot - without gloves.  It did not take long to wear that pair out.  And when I searched for a replacement pair, I was fortunate to find some Machingers.  Now those are the cream of the crop!  Reversible even!  Love them!

Photo from Leah Day's shop


Relax and think positive:  If you begin by thinking how terrible your results will be.... That is certainly how they will be.  If you are all worked up and distracted before you sit down to quilt....  Wait until a better time to do it.  If music relaxes you and puts you in a good mood....  Turn up the volume!  Make sure you have good support and are seated comfortably, with shoulders relaxed.



Try different designs.  I find that designs with curves are easier for me to do than sharp cornered designs.  The last project I worked on here, was my first attempt a free motion quilting a much coveted boxy meandering style of free motion quilting.  More experience under the belt on my pajamas!



Try different threads.  I normally use Gutermann polyester thread, in plain white, for all my piecing and quilting.  My Janome likes it.  And white goes with everything.  But then I received a sample spool of Superior Thread's Fanastico multicoloured thread.  And like WOW!  I was so pleased with the easy of free motion quilting using that thread!  I ordered two cones from Superior.  And then quickly sent away again for three more.  I now own five cones of different multicoloured threads!



Try different methods.
My first few experiences free motion quilting involved using my machine's start/stop button.  I quickly realized I needed to use the foot pedal to control stopping, starting and the speed of my machine.  And the needle down function is a must.  Remembering to always put your presser foot lever down after adjusting your quilt will eventually become second nature.  Sometimes stitching sideways does not get good results. You need to get some experience to tell if your machine prefers to stitch along the fabric as it is pulled toward or away from you through the machine.  I now quilt without lowering my feed dogs even though my machine does have this function.  Works just fine with them engaged!  Leah Day said it would.  And she should know.  I also set my stitch length to zero.  I don't know if it makes any difference in the stitching or not!





Get experience.
I used to get all tensed up.  My shoulders hurt.  My head hurt.  My mood plummeted.  I was a miserable free motion quilter.  But gradually, over time and with experience, that has all changed. Positive Thinking, Practice and Experience and the Right Tools are the keys to successful free motion quilting.


Remember to believe in yourself and your abilities!
No one could run before they could walk!



Linking up with the fun lovin' Jessica of Quilty Habit, where she is hosting
the Sewing With Certainty series. This theme for this week is Free Motion Quilting.
Her page showing all the posts in the series is here in case you missed it!
Or click on the pretty picture to visit Jessica!






And now.... A word from our Affiliate - the Incredible Craftsy!

CraftsyUnwrap the savings with Craftsy, for a limited time only!

Enjoy up to 50% off online classes in cooking, photography, sewing, quilting and more. Watch classes anytime, anywhere, on your schedule.

Never taken an online class? Craftsy offers a 100% money-back guarantee, and a variety of free classes you can try. Craftsy classes also make fantastic last-minute holiday gifts (and you don't have to worry about shipping).

 

Sale ends on Tuesday December 24th.  So don’t wait!






Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!
Keep On Quilting On!


19 Dec 2013

Layer Cake Quilt Pattern

A Friday finish!





I thought it would be fun to design some easy quilt patterns using the KYSS (Keep Your Sewing Simple) policy.  And what could be easier than sewing blocks together when they don't require points to match?


Meadow Friends Layer Cake from Christa Quilts


A while back I got this Meadow Friends layer cake from Christa Quilts.  Now everything in her shop has been discounted as she is looking to clear out her inventory to concentrate on quilting and design in the New Year.



Close Up Quilting Detail

I set to work designing an easy quilt pattern that would allow for the use of the entire layer cake along with some yardage in a solid.  However, this pattern is also suitable for use with fat quarters or scraps from your stash.

There were 42 - 10" squares in this Layer Cake.  Of those, 36 were used in the quilt top and the remaining 6 were used to make the pieced backing.


Pieced Quilt Backing


Anchor quilting was done in medium gray Gutermann thread by ditch quilting along each side of every horizontal sashing strip.  I then free motion quilted a geometric boxy design across each row of bricks using dark and medium gray threads.



Quilt Backing Close Up

This quick quilt, a twin size measuring 60" x 75", would be perfect for someone moving from the crib to a "big bed".  The Meadow Friends, by Deb Strain, are fun fabrics which provide lots to see - prints with frogs, turtles, lizards, and all kinds of bugs!  Those things are traditionally said to appeal to little boys.

 If flowers and butterflies are more to your liking, a layer cake or a stack of 10" squares in a more feminine line would also look just fine!

I used my new EQ7 program to show how this quilt would look!

Summer Breeze by Riley Blake Designs


And before you go........
If you haven't already, click over to enter this month's Giveaway here.


You are also invited on December 27th!!!!!!
It will be my first time hosting the TGIFF linky party!
Mark your calendars and link up to share your last fabulous finishes of 2013!







Merry Christmas!
And.....
Keep On Quilting On!

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16 Dec 2013

*Giveaway* Day!

Do you have a Thirsty Stash?
Refresh your Stash with Organics!

It is my great pleasure to introduce to you the Pink Lemonade Quilt Shop!


Pink Lemonade Quilt Shop is a brand new online fabric shop located in Spokane, WA.  There are three girls running the show: a mother-daughter team consisting of Janis and Teresa, along with their good friend Aurora.  pinklemonadequiltshop.com specializes in organic cotton fabric, precuts and quilt kits.  They currently have fabric from Monaluna, Robert Kaufman, Cloud 9, and Clothworks.  A little info on them:

Here are just a few reasons you will love our shop:

1.  Everything is organic!

2.  Fast - $5 Shipping.  If you order before noon (PST), your order will ship the same day.  All orders in the USA are only $5 no matter what.

3.  Out of this world customer service.  You want an easy shopping experience and we want happy customers.  Call or email us anytime.  We will get back to you quickly.

As an added BONUS - we are bilingual (English/Spanish) and this includes our customer service department.  Look for our Spanish tutorials next year!

We want you to experience everything we have to offer so we are giving away a $25 gift certificate to pinklemonadequiltshop.com.  Even if you don't win, we want you to enjoy 10% off your entire purchase with coupon code SEWFRESH10 now through December 31st.


Janis and I have gotten to know each other through the managing of our pages on facebook.  When it was time to open their online shop, Janis kindly asked if I would design a baby quilt using their cute fabrics from the Critter Patch line by Alyssa Thomas for Clothworks.  And I was thrilled to do just that!


Who wouldn't be thrilled to have the opportunity to work with these adorable prints?
These are just a small sampling!


The Pink Lemonade Quilt Shop also carries some sweet organic flannel prints.





Now on to the details of the GIVEAWAY!

This giveaway will have two lucky winners!


The first prize features $25 Stash Cash sponsored by Pink Lemonade Quilt Shop!



The second prize up for grabs consists of a Fat Eighth Bundle of the
adorable Critter Patch line by Alyssa Thomas.  That's a total of 18 fabulous prints! Plus the binding!


Sewww-WEET! 

 
 This winner will also receive a pdf copy of my KYSS Me Goodnight quilt pattern!
This pattern is listed in my Craftsy Pattern Store and the KIT for this quilt is available from Pink Lemonade Quilt Shop.

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/quilting/home-decor/kyss-me-goodnight/78009



How do you enter this giveaway contest?

Follow the instructions on the RaffleCopter.com widget below to get started!



a Rafflecopter giveaway



This Giveaway is open internationally.
Winners will be randomly chosen on (My FIRST Blogiversary!) December 24th and notified by email.
Please be sure to leave your email address if you are a Wordpress user or no reply blogger.



You are also invited on December 27th!!!!!!
It will be my first time hosting the TGIFF linky party!

Mark your calendars and link up to share your finishes!







Good luck in Giveaway.... And.....
Keep On Quilting On!

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