October 6, 2019

First Snow Quit Along- Week 6

Hi there!! We've passed the half way point folks! This week we are making two more blocks, bringing us to 8 total, and next week we'll do the same. Here's how it's looking over here:

I've actually done 9 blocks and I'm going to try to finish up this week since we are supposed to be moving next week! It doesn't seem like they will be able to finish everything in time- we still need floors, exterior trim paint, and I'm sure other things that aren't obvious to me, but maybe they'll hustle and stick to their word. I have been packing, sorting, sanding, painting, you name it. It's been a busy but happy time.

I am loving this version by @gardenvarietyquilts with Lella Boutique and Grunge Basic. There are lots of beautiful things happening on #firstsnowquilt!

This week's prize is a fabric bundle from Starlit Quilts. Do you guys know Star? She is really a very special person. She is energetic, hard-working, upbeat, passionate, and kind. I feel honored to know her and call her friend! She offers wonderful longarm quilting services and also has a fully stocked Etsy store, which has been my most frequented shopping place over the years. I love that she offers 1/4 yd cuts, my favorite size to collect.

I got sidetracked talking about the wonder that is Starlit Quilts there, but the winner of her bundle is @courtcrafts82! You can DM or email her, or me, to claim your prize. Thank you for sewing along! It's so much more fun to do it together.

September 25, 2019

Shiny Brights Quilt Pattern Release

Remember the Shiny Brights quilt from this time last year? Well it's time to release it in my shop! It's now listed as a PDF and Paper copy, discounted through the weekend to celebrate the release. It's really hard to find the magazine now, and lots of you have been asking for this one!

Best news of the day is- Fabric Bubb is carrying Shiny Bright kits! These are the exact colors that I used in my quilt. When choosing these colors, I used my Kona color cards and pretty much just chose all my favorites. I didn't think too much about what would go well together, I just pulled colors that made me happy that day. As a usually very meticulous color planner, this felt really wild and free for me!

In the end it really wasn't very wild, it was the colors that I always use and love, just a lot more of them all together. Haha! In fact it looks very much like the solids shelf in my fabric collection at this very moment :) You love what you love! This is definitely the most colors I've ever used all together in one quit though, I usually stick to 3-6 range.

I added some useful tips and tricks to the pattern this time. I thought I would share a few insights here as well. When matching pieces for blocks, I generally tried to contrast light and dark fabric within each block. I also tried to challenge myself and put colors together that might normally make me cringe! For example, never in my life have I put orchid and mustard together, but I loved the result of this little personal color challenge. It was fun!

Emilee Hathaway of Paisley, Prints, and Polka Dots quilted this one for me. I told her to choose whatever design she thought would work best, and I love it! She's is wonderful.

I kept the binding and backing very calm, with Kona Shadow (also used in the blocks) and Bonnie and Camille Basics grey dot. The background is Moda Bella 97, which I find to be identical to Kona Snow, though I never actually mix the two within one project!

The American Patchwork and Quilting pattern differs a little from the one I wrote. I always like to make my HSTs a bit larger and trim down to size. The point matching just goes so much better that way for me! I use this rotating cutting mat along with the Bloc Loc ruler, which makes it easy to make them perfect! 

And just because they did such a stinking cute job of styling it for Christmas, let's see it with the pink tree one more time. Thanks again American Patchwork and Quilting! (and today is 3 months until Christmas by the way!!)

Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. 
©2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

Don't forget that the Shiny Brights paper patterns are a preorder, they will ship next week! Catch them while they're on sale. And if you're a shop wanting to carry them, shoot me an email :)

See you in a week or so for more First Snow prizes!

September 22, 2019

First Snow Quilt Along Week 4

Welcome back to the First Snow Quilt Along. This week will be making two more blocks, bringing us to the halfway point! Woo hoo! We have a lot of flying geese behind us, and just as many ahead, ha! It will be so worth it.

I failed to get a well-lit photo of my blocks so far, but here they are. I couldn't be happier with how this is turning out. I have also been delighted to see all the beautiful versions you are making. Bravo!

A favorite of mine is this icy blue beauty by Debbie McDonald @debilanemcd. Isn't it lovely?

There are so many great ones, you guys are just doing a wonderful job.

This week's winner is Sherrye @sherrye552018! You won 20% off longarm services with One Sweet Bee Quilting. You two can be in touch on IG. Thank you so much for sewing along, and Barbara for donating the prize!

Here's a timeline review for the weeks remaining if you need it-

Sept 23- 2 blocks
Sept 30- 2 blocks
Oct 7- 2 blocks
Oct 14- 2 blocks
Oct 21- sashing and borders
Oct 28- catch up week
Nov 4- wrap up

See you back here in two weeks, and in the mean time don't forget to post your progress with #firstsnowquilt on Instagram! Have a great week :)

September 19, 2019

Patchwork Picnic- Dragonfly quilt block

Today I am happy to take part in the blog hop for Gracey Larson's new book Patchwork Picnic. It's an adorable book of 6" or 12" block patterns. They are all so cute,  I wish I could make the whole quilt!

The book is published by Martingale and features outdoor themed blocks. I am sharing the Dragonfly block today. I made the 12" version, put it on point, and turned it into a pillow! Surprise surprise :)

I had such a good time with this block. I love Gracey's patterns, they are easy to follow and so whimsical. After I sewed the block and put in on point (simply cut two 10" squares, cut in half diagonally, sew long edges to outside edges of 12" block to put on point!) I quilted it up in straight lines, then added some hand quilting detail by drawing some swirls and stitching over them. If you're interested in more details about this process you can check out my hand quilting tips and supplies post

I also have a very helpful post about how to put zippers into pillows easily! I really, really love to make pillows, which you probably already knew. You can always check out more pillows at #wwpillows.

For my block I used all Riley Blake Basics- black and white gingham, green Swiss Dots, and cotton solid. The back is a Stacy Iest Hsu tiny heart print for Moda. 

I planned this pillow so that it would go in the boys' reading corner in the playroom in the new house. We are moving in one month! One thing that we will really miss about this house is the big backyard with sunset views. Often there is a whole group of dragonflies around that time that swoop and dive and circle overhead. I have become rather attached to those little guys! They remind me of many happy evenings spent in that yard playing, gardening, jumping on the tramp and working and playing together. I know when I look back on my life those will be some of the happiest times! 

This isn't the first time I've made one of Gracey's adorable patterns into a pillow. A year ago I made her cute owl pattern and I can't recommend it enough. Adorable, easy to follow, and you can't beat the price! I made two of the 6" blocks and turned them into a lumbar pillow. 

Anyway, back to the book. Make sure you check out Patchwork Picnic by Gracey, you won't regret it. Look at the cuteness! There's a sew along happening right now with different blocks being shared every Friday on Instagram.

See you Monday for a First Snow update. Have a wonderful weekend!

September 11, 2019

Red and Aqua Nine Patch Quilt- Birthday Bee!!


Some quilts rate way higher on the special scale than others, and this is one of those for me- the main reason being, it was a group project with friends! A birthday bee quilt to be exact.

In late 2017 I decided I wanted to do a birthday bee, and since I didn't know how to get into one, I started my own. I messaged a few quilters that I liked and knew through IG to see who would be interested. They talked to their friends until we ended up with 12 ladies for the swap. Angel Natalie Smith @smileyannn was the brains of the outfit and organized a schedule for us, aligning birthdays as closely as she could, each month having a Birthday Queen. We all chose blocks and colors at the beginning of the year and Natalie shared them on a Google Doc. Then when it was each person's month to be queen (somewhere on or near their birthday), they received blocks in the mail from each of the 11 other people in their chosen colors and design.*

Some blocks were more complicated than others. If they were small and simple, we each made several. For larger or more complicated ones we only did one each. I chose to have them help me with this scrap project I'd already started, so each friend made 2 reds and 2 aquas. The math for mine was very simple:

Block: Simple 9-patch, finished size 6”

Fabric requirements: 
(9) 2.5” cut squares for each block-
Block A: 4 red and 5 white
Block B: 4 white and 5 aqua
(always press toward the color for nesting seams)

I had it quilted in a design I believe is called Abacus by Knot and Thread. I love it so much! Kaitlyn's work is always lovely. The white is Moda Bella 98. I backed it in an Elea Lutz Strawberry Biscuit print I've been keeping forever, and bound it in a Bonnie and Camille Smitten aqua heart print. I put two tags on it, one by Riley Blake, and personal quilt label that I ordered on Etsy.

There's something special about having a quilt made by so many hands, and from so many many different fabrics. Most of the quilts in my house are made from fabric that I purchased and therefore know all about, but many of the fabrics in this quilt I've never seen or heard of before, so that makes it extra fun for me to look at.

If you're interested in what other blocks we used in the swap, I scrounged up some photos from my Instagram of some of the ones I made for others. 

Two people in the group- Kristen Olson @HeartfullyHandmade and  JaNae Johnson @jjsews chose the Economy Quilt Block by Red Pepper Sews. It was really a delight make these ones! I took lots of pictures because the fussy cut center details are just so cute. 

@JessicaDayon came up with this cute heart block with low volume background. I always love making heart blocks!

Hers had:
28- 2.5” low volume squares
17- 2.5” pink or red squares
4- 2.5” half square triangles-- half red/pink and half low volume

Sue Ellen Hafen @sweetsueellen chose Diary of a Quilter's Patchwork Christmas Tree and I failed to get a photo of mine before I mailed them.

Cami Groethe @littleyellowbicycle chose the adorable Scrappy Crossroads Block by Lori Holt in navy, green, and grey. 

Susan Vaughan @thefeltedpear chose free strawberry block pattern. I can't find my picture of that one, bummer!

Cristina Anderson @jbcmom3 found a very striking free block on the Art Gallery site

Natalie Smith @smileyannn chose my Rise pattern!

Jessica Feddema @jfeddema1 chose A Quilting Life's string block in pink, green, aqua, and low volume. 

Ginger Parker @wifeoferp chose similar colors in a log cabin design that she figured out herself.

Fabric requirements:
Center block: (A) 3”
(B) 2”x3”        (C,D) 2”x4.5”
(E,F) 2”x6”     (G,H) 2”x7.5”
(I,J) 2”x9”       (K,L) 2”x10.5”
(M,N) 2”x12”  (O) 2”x13.5”
(P) 2.5x13.5    (Q) 2.5”x15.5”

I'm looking at the old Google Doc for reference and there's one that has been erased, so I can't remember the last one!

*Disclaimer: I do have to say that it's not always sunshine and roses with these swaps. I don't think I got blocks from every person (though I didn't keep track so I can't say for sure), some of them were done inversely and couldn't be used for this design, and after I had the whole thing quilted I noticed some of the whites were wrong. None of that bothered me or made me love the quilt or the swap any less, but I felt it would be dishonest not to mention. It's not perfect, life's not perfect, and that's perfectly fine :) It's very possible that I did some of the blocks I made for others wrong, who's to say!? We are all busy people trying our very best. 

Overall it was a great experience and one that I hope to repeat, I already have several ideas for ones I want to do! Many of the friends carried on and did another this year, but I had to many commitments in 2019 and needed to sit it out. Maybe next year! It is so fun to be able to have a very small, quick, fun project to make for someone else every month, I really loved it. 

September 8, 2019

First Snow Quilt Along Week 2- Blocks

Hello and welcome back! Hopefully you have your fabric all cut and ready and are prepared to start sewing your First Snow blocks! I love it when the cutting is done and it's time to start stitching away. I am excited about some of the fabric pulls you guys have shared on #firstsnowquilt, there are going to be some good ones!

This week we are sewing 2 blocks! I added some video highlights about pressing on Instagram. (Highlights are the circles below my information on Instagram, if you click on them it will take you to the videos, which you can skip through or return to by tapping on the right of left sides of the screen. You can also hold a finger down anywhere to pause it!) Basically, pressing is more of a personal preference on this one. 

This week's winner is Amy @eamylove! Please send me your address to claim your package of Riley Blake goodies.

Remember that the only way to enter to win participation prizes is to post your progress photos on Instagram with the hashtag #firstsnowquilt. If you're unsure how to do that, you can always use Google or YouTube to watch how-to videos, or ask any person you know between the ages of 15 and 30. They will be able to help you out for sure :)

Next week is the same assignment- two more blocks! I'll see you back here on the blog in two weeks with 4 blocks total, and another prize (fabric bundle from Starlit Quilts!) and update.

If you have any questions let me know. I had some trouble last week with Blogger not letting me respond to comments, but I will do my best!

September 1, 2019

First Snow Quilt Along Week 1- Cutting

Hello hello! Welcome to the official start of the First Snow Quilt Along! I am thrilled that you are here. This week we are going to be cutting out the project.

Don't panic if you don't have fabric yet. You can still get kits from Simple Stitches Fabric shop or Jewel's Fabric Stash. Or you can still design your own using this First Snow coloring page that Alissa Strouse so kindly made for me. (This is only for Variation B.) Thanks Alissa!

I am using fat quarters from my stash in red, green, navy, and teal, and a lovely peach background from Riley Blake called Just Peachy. I like to keep my pieces all together in a drink/serving tray. I don't know what its intended purpose is actually, I bought it for keeping quilt pieces, haha! I think I got this one from Target a while back, I'm not sure. This keeps it all safe from little hands, mostly. The rascaliest hands aren't tall enough to see over the lip at table height!

Though I've made Variation A before, this is my first time making a large version of Variation B. I was a very new quilter at the time, and still learning, a lot! (Really.) While the cutting instructions were all correct, I found that I wished I had a little more information about how many strips to use to cut each size, so I've added to the instructions here. These don't include fat quarter cutting instructions, just background and sashing (if applicable).

Variation A

Variation B
I realize I'm giving away all the cutting instructions for the pattern here, but if you're dedicated enough to figure out how all those pieces go together, you're a dedicated free pattern finder! :) If you have any questions about that let me know in the comments or over on IG.

To enter to win this week's prize, a cute bundle of fabric and notions from Riley Blake, post either a picture of your fabric pull or your cut fabric and use the hashtag #firstsnowquilt.

Here's a reminder of the timeline for you. I will only be doing blog posts on prize winner days. All other updates will be on Instagram!


Sept 2- cutting
Sept 9- 2 blocks (Riley Blake notions & fabric bundle)
Sept 16- 2 blocks
Sept 23- 2 blocks (20% off quilting card from One Sweet Bee)
Sept 30- 2 blocks
Oct 7- 2 blocks (Starlit Quilts fabric bundle)
Oct 14- 2 blocks
Oct 21- sashing and borders (free longarming by House of Elle)
Oct 28- catch up week
Nov 4- wrap up (free longarming by Quilting by Amanda)