Wednesday, November 27, 2013

We Have a Winner!

Amy from Amy's Crafty Shenanigans! Amy's a Canadian living in London, England, so I'm about to enter the exciting world of international shipping...wish me luck! Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway, and I hope you'll check back now and then to see what quilting adventures I'm up to. Thanks again to Michele Foster for organizing the hop. It's been great fun!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Welcome to the Party!

This is a big moment for my first prize giveaway! Thanks to Michele Foster for organizing this blog hop party, which runs today through November 26. It should be lots of fun. You can find the entire list of participating blogs right here.

I'm giving away one mega-prize, a group of 17 fat quarters of fabric from the Mellow Yellow collection by Red Rooster plus 4 patterns by the talented designers at It's Sew Emma (, all written to use with fat quarters. Anyone can enter, as long as you have an email address and a mailing address. And now for the goodies!

Love these cool prints

So much energy in these large florals

Who doesn't love a pindot?

Scattered still my heart

Really cool stacked circles prints

Are you drooling yet? And here are the patterns:

Here's all you have to do to enter this giveaway. Leave a comment below with your email address and the name of your favorite fabric precut (fat quarters, jelly rolls, charm packs, honey buns, whatever). On November 27, I'll use a random number generator to pick the winner, and notify you by email if you're the lucky quilter. That's it...easy, huh? So, leave your comment and then check out the other blog hop participants. They have lots of great stuff to give away, too. Thanks for visiting, and I hope you'll come back soon!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Blog Hop Starts Tomorrow!

Don't forget to stop back here tomorrow to enter for a chance to win a wonderful pack of fabric fat quarters and some extra bonus goodies. Here's a little preview:

The actual prize is way bigger than these 4 florals, but you get the idea. Blog Hop Giveaway, November 21-26. Be here!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

My Fancy Flowers Finale

Today I finished the binding on my version of Fancy Flowers, the new McCall's Quilt Along project designed by Erin Russek. The quilting was done by the talented Karen Dovala. Here's the whole quilt:

If you'd like to try this project, the videos and pattern are all free until March 31, so there's plenty of time to watch, learn, and create. Click here for links to everything you need (except fabric, which you likely have plenty of!). I'll always have a special place in my heart for this's the quilt where I learned to love appliqué.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Top 10 Time Management Tips for Quilters

Clock available at

10. Keep an achievement list. It's energizing to see your quilting accomplishments named all in one place.

9. Learn to say "no". Your time is valuable, and you get to spend it on doing the things you love, including quilting.

8. Make a schedule. One of the most productive quilters I've ever known did this at the beginning of every calendar year, planning projects, due dates, retreat weekends, and even "play time" for her quilting. You don't have to stick to your schedule 100% of the time, but it helps to prioritize what you want to accomplish.

7. Break projects into easy-to-achieve tasks, and then complete one task at a time. Want to make a Baltimore Album? Task One may be finding a pattern you love. Task Ten may be making all the leaves you need.

6. Disconnect. Make your sewing space a cradle of creativity, and don’t allow anything into it that distracts or disturbs you. If electronic devices keep you from concentrating on your quilting, turn them off.

5. Give yourself the gift of time. Put a timer in your sewing space and set it for that hour, or three hours, or 15 minutes, that you can fit into your day. Hang a “do not disturb” sign on the door to protect that time if needed.

4. Organize and declutter. Any time you invest in making your work space efficient will pay off many times over in productivity and fun.

3. Keep it fresh. Change what you’re working on as you tire of a task to keep your energy level up.

2. Know yourself. If you’re most productive early in the day, make Saturday morning one of your quilting times. If mid-afternoon is a sluggish time for you, don’t start challenging tasks then. Save some simple stitching for low-energy times.

and the very top tip of all:

1. Do what you love. Life is too short to stick with a project that’s lost its appeal. Quilting is supposed to be relaxing, exciting, creative. If you’re not enjoying yourself, you're wasting valuable quilting time. Stop and switch gears. HAVE FUN!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Combining Patchwork and Foundation Piecing

Here are some more how-to samples I made this weekend: 

The Snail's Trail Block is foundation paper pieced, but it starts with a traditionally-pieced four-patch. It sewed up quick and easy, with nice accurate results. I had never tried this technique before, and I really liked it. It opens up all kinds of other possibilities for foundation pieced blocks that incorporate pre-pieced patchwork. The step-by-step instructions for this technique will be in the March/April 2014 issue of McCall's Quilting.

What did you sew this weekend?  :)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Saturday Stitching

Today I made how-to samples for the March/April 2014 issue of McCall's Quilting, including these cute little pieces of patchwork, made with Simplicity's new EZ Quilting mini keychain templates:

Darlene Zimmerman helped design these and there are over a dozen shapes available, all scaled to work with Jelly Roll strips (you can also use them with fabric scraps and yardage, of course). I think they'd make wonderful gifts for quilty friends. At $4.99 each (on the Simplicity website), you could probably give them to your whole quilting bee!

And while I was upstairs sewing, here's what was going on downstairs:

Yep, Zuzu made herself a quilt tent. Extreme cuteness.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Quilt Along with McCall's!

The new McCall's Quilting Quilt Along launched today, and I'm so proud of it. Although I'm not onscreen talent for this one, my quilt top is shown in this first episode, and I served as quilting advisor/gofer for the whole taping process. The project, Fancy Flowers, was designed by Erin Russek of the McCall's staff and One Piece at a Time, and it was so much fun to make. Check out the video...maybe you'll want to give it a try!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

New Piecing Tips Video Is Live!

Precision Pathways Block, McCall's Quilting Jan/Feb 2014

The Block Builders Workshop video I taped awhile back with tips for precision piecing is now live at Click here to watch! It's seven and a half minutes of totally FREE tips and techniques. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Miniature Bonham Beauty...Ta Dah!

It's miniature version of the Bonham Beauty design is ready for the 2014 Yesterday & Today special issue. I enjoyed all the hand work, but found out that when I'm under a deadline, it takes some of the meditative quality out of my stitching time. Still, it was a fun project. Here's a detail of the quilting:

Cross this one off the list. On to bigger, if not necessarily better, things!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead)

My Taos weekend happened to coincide with the Day of the Dead celebrations (Oct. 31, Nov. 1, and Nov. 2), which unfortunately meant we couldn't go out to Taos Pueblo (it was closed for ceremonies). But it also meant we got to see loads of amazing costumes on the trick or treaters and other residents, and to take in all the Day of the Dead goods for sale in the local shops. Common Thread on Bent Street had lots of Dia de Muertos related cotton prints available, like this:

Midnight Pastoral toile by Alexander Henry
Love the spooky toile! And how about this print?

Folklorico Cartas Marcadas by Alexander Henry 
So there you go...Dia de Muertos, quilter's style!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Taos Time

Taos New Mexico has been inspiring to me since the first time I visited back in 2003. I love the colors, shapes, and smells of this part of the world (though I have to take the tastes just a little at a time). One of my favorite places is the old adobe church in Ranchos de Taos, dedicated to St. Francis.

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous...a dusting of snow on the ground Thursday, crystal blue skies every day, a nip in the air. Today I did a lot of textile shopping; here's one of the finds I had to bring home with me:

It's a fat quarter pack of 11 fabrics from the Simply Southwest collection by J. Michelle Watts, who is a local artist in Roswell, NM. Moda does it again! I have no idea what I'll do with these, but they sure make a pretty souvenir. Thank you, Taos Adobe Quilting...I enjoyed my visit!