Friday, January 30, 2015

Taking Stock

I’m not much of a New Year’s Resolutions type of girl.  In years past, the thought of setting a few goals that would apply to the entire year was just too overwhelming.  Either I would aim too high in my goals and then never reach them, or reach too low and achieve them by March.  Neither was an effective way of using the whole “resolution” idea, right?  So now my goal writing happens on a weekly basis.  After searching and searching (and testing and trying) I finally found an app/website that helps me keep my to-do list and goals organized.  And I must say that it has helped me tremendously!

WIP stack

It’s called Todoist and it’s an app AND a website – so I can access it from my phone and my computer.  My favorite part about it?  There’s these little check boxes by each item so I still get the satisfaction of checking something off when it’s complete.  So.  Satisfying. 

I also love that I can break down a larger project – say for spring cleaning the house, or writing a new pattern – into smaller, more approachable tasks. 

Here’s what else is great – I can put things in categories.  For instance, I have a “sewing & piecing” category.  So if I set aside an afternoon for some sewing, I refer to that category for the things that need to be done.  And likewise, if I decide I need to sit at the computer one morning and get some design work done, I can take a look at my “design” category to see the design tasks that are waiting their turn.  Pretty nifty. 

WIP stack

Alright.  So I didn’t intend for this blog post to become a commercial for Todoist.  I just wanted to show you my pile of quilts and backings that are waiting their turn to be quilted. 

This week I’ve been making a complete list of my WIPS (works in progress) and stacking them together depending on the state they’re in.  These are all 6 of the quilts & backs that are ready for quilting.  I have another small stack of quilts waiting for their backings.  One quilt needs a binding, and a few quilts are just a rough stack of blocks right now.  It helps me to have projects grouped like that- similar to the categories I use for Todoist.  So now if I decide one day to get some long arm quilting done, the quilts and backings are right there ready to go!

WIP stack

Time to get some of these projects done! How’s your WIP stack coming along?  Do you set quilty goals for yourself?

Monday, January 26, 2015

February Quilts

So after mentioning my two Valentine-ish quilts in Friday’s blog post, I thought I would pull them out of the archive and let them have their day in the spotlight again- since February is a measly 5 days away and all.

Friendship Heart quilt

This first quilt is one of my favorites because it was mostly made by some friends!  We did a friendship heart block swap last year with a quilt group I attend and this was the result.  I originally blogged about it last February and you can read it here

Two of my favorite things about this quilt (besides the personalized hearts made by my friends) are the soft flannel on the back, and the wide ric rac I used as part of the border.  It was so easy to add, and I just love the look of it.  I had never tried that technique before!

Friendship Heart quilt

My second Valentine-ish quilt is this one – called Sweet Talk.  I made it last year in March and blogged about it once but never showed the finished quilt.

  Sweet Talk quilt pattern

This is made using my Sweet Talk pattern (available for purchase here and here.)  It’s my third Sweet Talk quilt that I’ve made, and my most favorite!  For this version I used fabrics from last year’s “Surrounded by Love” line from Moda. 

Sweet Talk quilt pattern

Right now it’s hanging in my local quilt shop for the month of February, but I get to stop by and visit it every now and then.  So now between my Cupid’s Arrow pillow and my friendship heart quilt on the quilt ladder, my home is starting to feel a bit more ready for February!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Cupid’s Arrow pillow tutorial

I’m not quite certain why, but for some reason here in my home certain holidays are decorated for and others just aren’t at all.  Christmas? Yep.  Decorations galore.  Halloween?  A few.  Thanksgiving? A few here too.  Valentine’s Day?  Nothing.  Well, I do have two Valentine-ish quilts hanging around during the month of February.  But that’s about it.  

So for my most recent tutorial for the Therm O Web blog, I thought I would make a pillow to add to my (non-existent) Valentine decor!

Heart and Arrow pillow

This pillow is a fast one to put together, with an envelope backing and some simple raw edge applique using Heat n Bond Lite.   

heart and arrow pillow tutorial

It takes just 1/2 yard of fabric for the pillow itself, and brown and red scraps for the applique. 

applique arrows

For the arrows and heart shapes I created a template that you can print out and use.  You can download and print that right from the tutorial itself.

  Cupid's Arrow pillow tutorial

Alright.  Now I have one Valentine pillow.  I think I need a Valentine banner, or a table topper.  Or ???  What do you decorate your home with for Valentine’s Day? 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

How Delightful!

So I gave myself a couple weeks off.  I slept in.  I read a lot.  I did sneak in a little pattern designing here and there.  We spent a lot of time as a family just hanging out and playing.  We celebrated Christmas and New Years and did so with all of our fun family traditions (except making gingerbread houses.  That one just did not happen this year.)  It has been delightful!  And now it’s time to get back to reality, right? 

Everyone heads back to school and work on Monday and we adopt some sort of schedule once again.  Confession time: I’m looking forward to it. 

colorful fabric stack

In the past couple of weeks I’ve started a just-for-me project and I’m really excited about it.  I’ve been working on it slowly here and there.  It started with pulling this stack of fabrics from my stash.  That’s 49 different prints to be exact.  I was a little lacking on the red blenders but a quick trip to my local quilt shop fixed that.   

rainbow project

I’m pairing these rainbow prints with some low volume prints – each colored rectangle gets one little low vol square in each corner.  I love the bright colors/low volume combo!   
rainbow project

Alright I’m off to enjoy the last couple of days of our vacation (and fold laundry).  Someone has to do it, right?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Vintage Vibe Book–The Blog Tour

Vintage Vibe

Today is my stop on the Vintage Vibe Book blog tour!  My very talented friend Amber is a blogger, pattern designer and now author!  Her book, Vintage Vibe is filled with lovely quilts, great ideas, and gorgeous photography.  

 Vintage Vibe quilt book

I first got the chance to flip through her book at Quilt Market and I instantly fell in love with this quilt – called Dashing.  I just love a classic black and white quilt, but also I saw all of the fun possibilities with this pattern. 

Dashing quilt pattern

I pulled this stack of fabrics (Best Day Ever by April Rosenthal for Moda + some various low volume prints) as a possibility.  I’m still thinking about this though – all green and grays would be fun too.  Sometimes it's just so hard to decide.

Best Day Ever fabric

The other quilts from the book that I love are this one called “Vintage Vibe"...

Vintage Vibe quilt
photo courtesy of Martingale, photographer Brent Kane

…and this one called “Skipper.”

Skipper quilt pattern
photo courtesy of Martingale, photographer Brent Kane

You can buy a copy of Vintage Vibe here or from Amazon or add it to your Christmas list - it's not too late, right?  You'll love this book!

Be sure to check out the other stops on the blog hop.  Each blogger has chosen a different project to highlight so if you follow the entire tour, you’ll get to see all of them!  I’ll tell you now, it’s tough to choose just ONE favorite. 

11/6/14 - Amber @
11/11/14 - April @
11/13/14 - Jessie @
11/18/14 - The Fat Quarter Shop @
11/20/14 - Corey @
11/25/14 - Sherri @
12/2/14 - Jodi @
12/4/14 - Melissa @
12/9/14 - Pam @
12/11/14 - Heather @
12/16/14 - Andy @
12/18/14 - Amy @
12/23/14 - Melissa @
12/30/14 - Lori @

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Quilt WIP + giveaway winner

 I’m so behind on Christmas prep this year!  And now a nice bout of Strep Throat has come to visit us here at our house.  At least our tree is up and decorated finally.  So that’s something.  And I do have this quilt which I started LAST YEAR.  I pulled it out of its storage bin this week and tried to remember what my original plan for this was.  Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this!?!

Christmas Quilt WIP

Here’s what I figured out - I’m using a charm pack of Cherry Christmas (designed by Aneela Hoey) and adding in a few coordinating fabrics for all of the circles. 

This 5” circle ruler (by Lori Holt for Riley Blake) is perfect for cutting circles from charm squares. 

Christmas quilt

Then I’ll raw edge applique each circle to a 7” background square.  These are the prints I’m using for background squares, along with a little bit of Kona Snow too. 

Christmas quilt

Once the squares are sewn together (probably 10 rows of 9 blocks each) I’ll have a nice sized Christmas throw quilt.  And if I get the circles cut out this year, and the background squares cut out next year, then I figure I’ll have the quilt done and ready to use by 2019!  How’s that for planning ahead?

And now for the winner of the Simply Strings book giveaway – Congratulations to Jenny L!  

simply strings giveaway winner

I loved reading everyone’s comments and was surprised that so many of you have  mostly blue scraps like me!  You can purchase copies of Rana’s book here in her shop, and if you make a quilt from the Simply Strings book I’d love to see it!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Burlap Christmas Ornaments Tutorial

Alright – show of hands – who has their tree up and their house decorated for Christmas??

I’m hoping to get around to it today.  (Fingers crossed)  I had big plans of getting our tree decorated the day after Thanksgiving, but it just didn’t happen.  Then we took a 4-day trip to Disneyland and a part of me was hoping that some magical Christmas elf would come and decorate my house while I was gone.  That didn’t happen either.  Instead, we arrived home late last night to a broken thermostat (no heat – ugh!) and a dark and very non-Christmassy house. 

So today’s goal (after I do these last few loads of laundry) is to decorate the tree!  But first I wanted to let you know that over on the Therm O Web Blog today I’m sharing a tutorial for these easy, scrap-friendly burlap Christmas ornaments.

Burlap Christmas Ornament Tutorial

Each ornament is about 3.5” x 3.5” – a nice size for an ornament, but small enough that it could also be used as a gift tag!  I just wrote on the back of this one with a Micron pen, but I’m sure a fine point sharpie would work just fine too.

burlap ornament tag

The tutorial has templates for each of these little ornaments – a wreath with berries…

Burlap Christmas Wreath ornament

a star…

Burlap Christmas Star ornament

a little bird…

bird ornament

and a tree.

Burlap Christmas tree ornament

And now for one more Christmas related bit of news.  Each year I get requests for Christmas Star Table Runner kits.  I just wanted to let you know that I have a few left in my Etsy shop.  Once these sell out I won’t be adding more until next year! 

The kits include the pattern and all of the fabric needed to make one 12” x 40” runner (binding, background, backing and stars.)   The kits are listed here, and if you’d just like the pattern (no kit) you can find that listed here for $4.00 (PDF instant download pattern)

christmas star table runner kit

Have a great weekend everyone! 

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