crossroads quilt along - month 4 - and a giveway winner!

It's month 4 of the Crossroads quilt along. This month's "Family" block represents the bonds that quilters have with our families. It's also traditionally called the Mother's Choice block, and you might also notice that it is similar to the Weathervane block. But whatever we call it, it's a cute block!

They're cleverly disguised, but there are 32 flying geese in these blocks. Maybe they represent the family of flying Canada geese around my home?! (It's definitely easier to WATCH live geese than to SEW flying geese!)

Watch the video tutorial with Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts and Kimberly Jolly of Fat Quarter shop here, and download the block pattern here. A donation of $5 or more is requested to March of Dimes for the use of the pattern. I'm using the kit with Fig Tree's Strawberry Fields Revisted fabrics. It's available here.

I took this past week as a vacation "sewcation" and it was very productive. I spent the week sewing something that I'll show you in a few months - my fingers, arm and neck hurt from all that rotary cutting and pressing. I was also able to FINALLY finish planting the flowerboxes, hanging baskets and flowerpots on our balcony. The geranium and lavender plants are covered with flowers and the herbs need to be harvested (who knew that sage grows as quickly as a weed?!) The strawberry plants are already bearing fruit, and they're yummy. (Never mind that the berries are the size of my fingernail... they still taste much better than the local Amish market's "first strawberries of the season" that I should have never baked into a tasteless strawberry pie.)

And I'm sorry that I forgot to announce a winner for the Maggie's First Dance quilt along pattern giveaway. Congratulations to Liz Horgan! And I hope that you'll join me for the upcoming sew along hosted by Jacquelynne Steves. You'll find all the details on my blog right here.

I'll be back in a few days to show you some other fun things that I'm working on. Until then, happy sewing!

farm girl vintage again!

Happy Monday! I hope that you all had a great weekend! I finally had a chance to pull a favorite book off the shelf, dust it off, and start sewing. It's Farm Girl Vintage by Lori Holt.

So let me tell you about my experience with this book. I was so excited about it LAST MAY. I picked out my fabrics...

They're a blend of Ambleside by Brenda Riddle and Aloha Girl by Fig Tree. I happily sewed the first 19 blocks...

And then you can probably guess what happened. I found out that we'd be relocating to Indiana, and my focus became all about finding a place to live, buying some new furnishings and then the fun drive here from NYC with the cats in the car (anyone with a cat knows that I'm kidding about that!) I brought my sewing machine with us in the car because I was afraid that something bad might happen to it in the moving truck! But I didn't bring any fabric or projects to work on. So of course, by the time our stuff was delivered and my sewing space was set up, well, I had completely lost interest in the Farm Girl Vintage quilt.

But then something happened. I saw everybody posting their finished quilts on Instagram and I thought WAIT, I NEED TO FINISH MINE! So a few days ago, I pulled out all my blocks and started to sew. First, I made Grandma's Quilt block, and then the Kettle's On block.

I kept going and made the Haystack and Kitchen Window blocks. Would you believe that I spent two hours choosing these fabrics? The blocks took just minutes to sew.

The partial block lineup! I love how they look together so far.

half done!.jpg

But I could see that I was running into an obstacle. There are several blocks that almost need an orangey fabric. Yes, I could substitute... but you need orange prints to make a pumpkin! And I really, really wanted to make the Homemade Pie block. Of course, pie crust isn't grey or pink. So I asked my Instagram friends about if I should add orange prints. The comments came in quickly, and it was unanimous - everybody told me to not be afraid of orange. I'm now adding the more pale Fig Tree oranges - the butterscotches and softer pumpkins. (I'm adding a few prints from other Brenda Riddle and Fig Tree collections, too.) So here is Homemade Pie! And I needed the Pie Cherries block, too.

I actually finished the Homemade Pie block on Saturday at 1am (yes, 1am) and the fork tines looked bent. Ugh. That would never do. So after a few hours of sleep, I unsewed the block and fixed it. It quickly became my very favorite block.

l'm going to keep sewing blocks from the book, and I'll add in some of the extra bonus blocks like the hand mixer and the pig.  I even bought embroidery floss today for the electric cord on the mixer and the tail on the pig. I'm serious about finishing this quilt!

The Farm Girl Vintage book is available from many retailers, but I got mine here, and the pie block pattern here. There are also several other companion blocks, such as the mixer, a cow, a barn cat, a honey bee and more. You can find all of them here.

Thanks so much for stopping by today... see you soon... probably with more Farm Girl Vintage blocks!

maggie's first dance block of the month and GIVEAWAY

Hi everybody! If you're visiting for the first time, welcome to my blog. Today, I'd like to tell you about a fun new block of the month quilt along! And I'm sure that you know I've already signed up, because I seem to be completely unable to resist a good BOM! (And if you're still with me in a few minutes, I might have a giveaway!)

Let me tell you all about it. First, it's designed by Jacquelynne Steves. I've followed Jacquelynne on Instagram for quite awhile and I've always admired her cheerful quilt designs and watercolor art. She has also designed several fabric collections and is contributing to the Splendid Sampler (I know that many of you are making those blocks!). But I didn't know that she designs a FREE block of the month every year. Do you want to see what we're making?

I love it - four different focus blocks, five setting blocks and a border to showcase a special print. You have three options for the pieced blocks - applique the center, embroider the center, or just leave them plainly pieced. I've chosen to piece my blocks and I'll use a fun retro print for the center of each block. 

The BOM will run for 6 months, and it begins in June. We'll make blocks in June, July, August and September. Then we'll make the alternate blocks in October and put it all together in November.

You can choose any fabrics that you'd like to work with. I've changed my mind about fabrics many times, but I think that I've finally settled on an assortment from three collections. I'll be using Strawberry Biscuit by Elea Lutz, The Shabby Strawberry by Emily Hayes and Calico Days by Lori Holt. Plus a few Riley Blake ginghams for that extra-retro touch. My fabric order just arrived today. And here they are!

The monthly patterns are FREE. All you need to do is visit Jacquelynne at the link here and sign up for her newsletter. She will email the pattern directly to you each month of the quilt along. She even put together a line drawing of the quilt so that you can color it in with your favorite fabrics. How cool is that?! I'm sewing along with other quilt bloggers, and I hope that you'll visit them, too.

It will be fun to see everybody's blocks as we sew together. And there will be monthly giveaways from the quilt along sponsors. Read more about Jacquelynne's quilt design inspiration and her sponsors here. I'll be showing my blocks every month right here on my blog and also on my Instagram page.

And we are kicking this off with a GIVEAWAY! Jacquelynne will be providing two digital quilt patterns shown below to one lucky commenter on my blog. Super cute, right?

All you need to do is leave a comment here. Let me know what crafty project you're working on now or are hoping to start soon. (I'm not picky, so you can tell me anything!) The contest is open to US and international readers and will close at midnight Central time on May 4. I'll chose a winner at random, maybe with the assistance of a cat paw. Just make sure that your email is included in your contact information so I can notify the winner (I'll chose another winner if I can't reach you).

Ok, so don't forget... go here to register for the free BOM patterns, and follow my progress on Instagram here!

crossroads quilt along - month 3!

It's Crossroads quilt along time again! We're up to the third month, and making the "Friendship" block. I really like the circular, almost ring-like design. And it's loaded with flying geese!

We now have 12 blocks made. Yay! But so far there's only one pink block. I need more pink! And when the quilt along is finished later this year, we'll have this beautiful quilt:

Crossroads is the annual charitable quilt along sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop and Moda Fabrics. The monthly patterns are free, and a donation of $5 (or more) is requested for March of Dimes. It makes me happy to know that we are sewing for a great cause. You'll find the block pattern here, a new video tutorial with Joanna Figueroa and Kimberly Jolly here. Also check out the special Jolly Jabber Crossroads quilt along blog here for lots of great information about the prior month blocks.  You can use your own fabrics, or make blocks just like mine with this kit featuring the Strawberry Fields Revisited collection by Fig Tree Quilts.

(And I just returned from my week of meetings in Scottsdale. Now I am officially ready to SEW again!)

finding time for a mystery

Hello quilters! I've missed chatting with you! The past month has been full of real-life work activity, and that's involved preparation for client presentations, an action-packed trip to New York and an upcoming trip to Phoenix and Scottsdale. I'D RATHER BE QUILTING! In between all this craziness, I've managed to squeeze in a few minutes to sew this month's blocks for the Fig Tree Mystery Sampler BOM.

I love those Homestead house blocks. Remember how I made the large Homestead quilt a few years ago? It was just quilted by Melissa and I'm working on the binding. So of course I was more than happy to make more Homestead houses!

And these "x" plus blocks - I couldn't have guessed that I'd love this black cabbage rose print so much. (Really, I should have known. I don't think I've ever "met" a cabbage rose print that I didn't love!) I might need to buy some yardage of this print before it's gone forever (It's from the Farmhouse collection by Fig Tree.)

Ok, about these 4" basket blocks. They're cute, and they're small. I think that the aqua basket with the busy background looks a little blurry, but it's done and it's a keeper!

And now about that trip to NYC last week! Here's the view from my hotel window. That's the LIpstick Building on the right. It's an oval shaped skyscraper, and it's and rosy colored... like a lipstick. The building in the center is my employer's headquarters. Staying in a hotel in the city that was my home for 30 years was just surreal.

This was my first return trip since September. I dropped my luggage at the hotel and immediately hopped on the subway to go downtown for lunch and some quick shopping. What made it feel weird was that I acted like a New Yorker, but it was no longer my home. It was fun to run around to my favorite places, and I'm glad that I was able to do that. I even ate dinner at my favorite burger place near my old apartment. (And I walked by my old apartment building. What a dump. LOL) My big purchases? A used, out-of-print cookbook and a bunch of imported pasta from Eataly!  I was happy when my seven meetings had ended and I could get on a plane and leave. I guess home really is where you make it - or, home is where you cook your pasta!

And now I need to pack that suitcase again. The cats will not be happy.  But I'll be back on Friday with the latest Crossroads quilt along block!

two by two - part two

I wasn't kidding when I told you that I have a LOT of blocks-of-the-month programs to sew! I'm now getting caught up on the Two by Two sew along. It's hosted by McCall's Quick Quilts magazine and designed by Holly Holderman of Lakehouse Dry Goods. (I'm guessing that the name of the quilt refers to how we are making two blocks at a time. Surely it doesn't refer to the two enormous Canadian geese that I see every day, or the two mallard ducks that seem to fly back and forth between the nearby Target and my home. I call them "my" ducks. And probably not the two cats that stretch out on my ironing board. No, it must be two quilt blocks.)

So, I made two blocks in November (you can read about them here), and two blocks this week. This month's blocks have the exact same construction, and very similar fabrics.

Two by Two is a series of patterns which will appear every two months in Quick Quilts magazine this year. The blocks each use preprinted scallop fabric for the outer flower petals, and then it can be anything goes in the center! I'm using an assortment of happy prints from Pam Kitty Morning (some are fairly current and some are from prior seasons) mixed with Sunrise Studio prints. I'm sticking to red and pink blooms with just a bit of sunny yellow, although the scallop fabric also comes in green, periwinkle and pewter. Here is the magazine that you'll want to look for on your newsstand or local quilt shop, or you can order a copy here.

I love that quilt on the cover, too, and I even have those exact fat quarters!

Happy sewing!

 

 

 

crossroads quilt along month 2

Welcome back for the second month of the Crossroads Quilt Along! I am sewing along with Fig Tree Quilts and Fat Quarter Shop to create a great vintage-inspired quilt, and to raise funds for March of Dimes! And this month, we're making Diamond blocks.

Even though I've been quilting for many years, I still like learning new techniques. For example, the square-in-a-square elements of this block (the taupe print with the strawberries, set on point). I've always pressed my seams out, toward the solid. Then I've always watched helplessly as my feed dogs gobble the unit up when sewing it to an adjoining unit. (I do hope that this makes sense!) But this pattern tells you to press your seams open and guess what - no feed dog gobbling!  And while I don't use taupe or brown prints often, I think that they'll provide some interesting contrast in the finished quilt.

And now for the obligatory let's-put-all-my-blocks-together-for-a-group-photo shot. Or maybe this is just an excuse to trot out those cute pink and aqua houses again!

Now for all the specifics. The pattern is free, but a donation of $5 or more is requested to March of Dimes. You can download the pattern and see which other bloggers are sewing along with me by clicking here. Please consider making a donation by clicking here. Use your own fabulous collection of fabric, or purchase the kit that I am using here. And don't miss the block tutorial video here.  In the video, Joanna Figueroa and Kimberly Jolly discuss what diamonds mean to them (it's all about family). And are you one of those Strawberry Fields fabric junkies like me? There's also a video where Joanna talks about the similarities and differences between the new Strawberry Fields Revisited and the original Strawberry Fields collections. You can watch that video here.

Be sure to show us your blocks! When you post them on social media, be sure to tag them #crossroadsquiltalong. Thanks so much for stopping by, and have fun making your own diamond blocks!

mystery sampler 2016

Hello! I hope that you all had a great weekend. I cannot believe the beautiful weather here in Southern Indiana. After a week of rain, all the magnolia trees are in bloom and daffodils are popping up everywhere. All my little birdfeeder friends are starting to find other sources of food, but I know that the hummingbirds are flying back from Mexico and will be here soon. (Hopefully they'll bring some enchiladas for me, because I'm not happy with our local Mexican restaurants. But that's a whole other story. Let's now return to quilting...)

I have a little confession.

I'm a block-of-the-month addict.

I just can't help myself! I'm currently working on FIVE of them: Fig Tree Wool, Fig Tree Yuletide Christmas (from last year!), Fig Tree Crossroads (new blocks are coming this Tuesday), Lakehouse Two by Two (help, I'm falling behind), and now, Fig Tree Mystery Sampler 2016.

I might need an intervention soon. Somebody please stop me from signing up for any more BOMs.

These pics are all from the Fig Tree Mystery BOM. Isn't that star cool? It's from a pattern called Sweet Sugar Swirls. No templates or Y seams, just some creative cutting with the angle lines on your ruler. I'd really like to make a whole quilt full of them, but you know... I've got other blocks that need to be sewn! The individual Sweet Sugar Swirls pattern is available here.

February's fabric/pattern pack had instructions for a lower case "a" but I quickly realized that if I reversed the pattern I'd have a lower case "g" block! I flipped the pattern over, placed it on my lightbox and traced it from the back. It could also easily become other letters, too.

Last year's Mystery Sampler BOM was one of my all time favorite quilt tops. I loved making it, loved the completed top, and I'm sure that I'll love the finished quilt when it comes back from being quilted by Diana. So, lots of love for that quilt. And that's why I didn't hesitate to sign up for this year's Mystery Sampler!

But here's what isn't a mystery: the new block for the Fig Tree Crossroads sew along is coming on Tuesday. The blocks use Strawberry Fields Revisited fabric, and we're all sewing along to raise funds for March of Dimes. You can join us! Click this link for details. I'll be back in just a few days with those blocks.

Have a great week!

 

classic yuletide block of the month, or, the tale of the big, scary star block

Block 1 Puzzle Star

Block 1 Puzzle Star

Block 2 Carolina Lily Variation

Block 2 Carolina Lily Variation

Did I ever tell you about the Fig Tree Classic Yuletide block of the month? I think I totally forgot about it! So, this started in April 2015. I loved sewing the first two blocks - Puzzle Star and Carolina Lily Variation. And then May's block patterns arrive in the mail, and they included a big, scary Feathered Star. I choked. I despaired. I stuck the fabric into a box. (That always makes a problem go away, right?!) Then, the monthly packages piled up and I felt guilty. I'm a little weird in that I like to sew my blocks in the right order, and that meant that I wasn't going to do any of the other blocks until I got over my fear of the big, scary Feathered Star. I KNEW that I needed to just get it done when I saw Sherri's finished quilt. So beautiful! And now, here's the star block!

Block 3 Feathered Star

Block 3 Feathered Star

It wasn't so scary after all! Yes, it took me 4 days to make, and no, I don't ever want to make this block again. I think I finished it at maybe midnight a few days ago and was too tired to even feel happy. But I'm happy now. Knocking off the next several blocks was all downhill after the star!

Block 4 Flying Geese Criss Cross

Block 4 Flying Geese Criss Cross

Block 5 Goose In The Pond

Block 5 Goose In The Pond

What makes this fun is that there's actually an assortment fabrics from different Moda designers. There are two Minick & Simpson red prints and two Bunny Hill cream prints in the Nine Patchwork block. They all play together very nicely. (I'm not sure what that green confetti print is. I think it could be Sweetwater.)

Block 6 Nine Patchwork

Block 6 Nine Patchwork

Now the first three month's blocks are done. I'd love to just work on this, but of course, there are other distractions - such as the FOUR other blocks-of-the-month that I'm working on! My goal is to do two blocks each month from now until October and then I can assemble the quilt.

Don't be like me. Don't hide your big, scary stars in a box. We learn to be better quilters when we practice. I gotta remind myself about that! Have a star-filled day!

crossroads quilt along, AND the name game!

Hi everybody! The Crossroads quilt along officially kicks off today and I am SO EXCITED! You know how much I love Fig Tree fabrics and quilt patterns, so do I really need to say more?!

These four house blocks make me happy in so many ways. House blocks are one of my all-time favorites (like my pink house logo!), and there they are in the sherbet-y goodness of Strawberry Fields Revisted fabric! I'm sewing with the kit, and for once, I am resisting the urge to make fabric changes. But you never know what the future might bring!

Crossroads is a 10 month quilt along designed by Fig Tree Quilts and Fat Quarter Shop. We'll be making blocks for six months and then we'll put it all together in August and September.

One of my favorite parts of the pattern is that after each step, the pattern tells you what the size of that sewn unit should be. It's a great way to make sure that your sizing is accurate throughout the construction of the block. I always take a measurement of my unit and make corrections if needed. And guess what? There are NO templates in the roof unit!

And of course, while I was sewing these blocks, my local radio station was in the midst of a Big 80's weekend, and John Mellencamp's "Little Pink Houses" came on! (Now if only the lyrics were "little pink strawberry houses for you and me.")

And part of my love of house blocks comes from my very BIG interest in becoming a first time homeowner. I've lived in 18 different locations (there might be more, but I've lost count) and I've never actually owned a house. Maybe home #1 can be aqua and covered with big roses?

The pattern download is free each month, but a minimal donation of $5 is requested for March of Dimes. Together, we'll raise funds to help prevent premature births. You'll find LOTS of additional information about Crossroads here - you'll see fabric requirements, a calendar of the blocks that we'll be making, and a list of the participating bloggers. And be sure to watch this new video with Joanna and Kimberly, where they discuss what "home" means, as well as a house block tutorial. 

But wait, there's more!

Have you ever wondered where my name - Grey Dogwood Studio - came from? I'm playing The Name Game today on Cindy Wiens' blog,  Live A Colorful Life. Learn all about how I came up with my moniker (it's more complicated than you might think!) and check out all of Cindy's other fun posts. Just click here to learn more!

 

 

 

Seedlings

Do you sometimes wonder how we all keep starting MORE new quilts? For me it almost always begins with the fabric. So when the UPS man showed up one day a few weeks ago with a box of Brenda Riddle's upcoming Bespoke Blooms fabric collection for Moda Fabrics, well, I knew that a new quilt was just waiting to be made! 

And those are just a few of the prints. Aren't they pretty? Yes, I can see you nodding your heads. There are also some white-on-whites and some grey-browns. I think that Bespoke Blooms will be in stores later this spring. I even managed to untie the Moda ribbon and mix them in with my collection of Brenda's Ambleside fabrics. I love when collections can be mixed together. I like lots of prints and texture!

I needed a new pattern, and Brenda's website, Acorn Quilt and Gift Company has lots of beautiful vintage-inspired quilt patterns. I saw Seedlings on her home page. Sigh. I needed to make this now! (ps - Brenda is having a sale on her patterns now!)

You all know about my phobia of applique. I think I need to stop saying that because I'm actually starting to enjoy applique! Brenda's pattern has fusible applique, but I really wanted mine to be hand stitched for a more heirloom look. I searched for tutorial videos on YouTube, and found two by Jill Finley that were amazingly helpful. I learned how to make bias stems here, and freezer paper leaves here. I just watched them a few times, then paused and replayed them while I made the stems and leaves. 

Then came 120 3 1/2" nine patch blocks. There is a peaceful feeling about making the same block over and over and over. I've never made a nine patch quilt!

Ok, it's applique time! Brenda accented her heart wreath with embroidery (and I watched videos about how to do that, too!) but I really wanted to make berries. I traced a dime on freezer paper and used that as my template, then just placed them by eye. (There was plenty of "is this enough berries" and "oh no is this too many berries?" going on here.)

Then came a blue checkerboard border around the appliqued heart. I really had a difficult time with this. All those little seams didn't add up the right length strip, and I spent an entire Sunday doing that one little border. Rip, rip, rip went the seam ripper! (I don't think I got to have my cheeseburger at DQ until 4pm that day!) Adding the nine patches was quick and easy.

I love the way this looks so far. Now it's time to make the 80 nine patches (gulp) for the outer border. Brenda's pattern shows them in alternating blue and green blocks. I'm thinking of doing them in blue and grey. Or blue and pink. But not blue and yellow. And maybe blue and green. Hummm let me go think about this one. Let me know if you have any ideas!

three figs

Hi everybody! I may have been quiet lately, but I have been sewing, appliqueing, binding and designing. I've got lots to show you, but I need to start somewhere, so how about with a trio of new Fig Tree projects?

First is the upcoming Fig Tree Crossroads quilt along. I hope that you're excited about it! The kit arrived from Fat Quarter Shop and the fabrics are beeeautiful (never mind that I haven't even untied the fabric bundle LOL).This is going to be so much fun. As usual, the quilt along will benefit a charity, and this year we'll be raising funds for March of Dimes. The quilt was designed by Joanna Figueroa exclusively for Fat Quarter Shop. You can choose to sew with your own fabric collection or purchase the kit. There is LOTS more information about the sew along here, along with the fabric requirements. The first block pattern is the house (yay!) and it will be posted on February 15. I can't wait to get started! And I hope that you'll sew along with us.

Isn't this the most beautiful wool bundle ever?! Fig Tree has partnered with Weeks Dye Works to create this Retro Farmhouse wool bundle. There's also a new Aurifloss collection that matches. When people describe fabric as "yummy" I always think, no, you cannot eat fabric. But... isn't this wool... yummy?! It's part of a 12 month wool BOM that just started. I've heard that the program is full, but wool bundles (and wool mini quilt patterns) are available here

And finally today is the new Fig Tree Strawberry Fields Revisited Frivol. So what's a Frivol? It's a collectible tin decorated with polka dots and strawberries. It comes stuffed with lots of goodies - 42 7" squares tied with Moda's signature tape measure ribbon, a pattern for a churn dash quilt, an individual block pattern, and a surprise. The surprise is two strawberry quilt labels. I bought the tin just to get those labels! (And of course I love the fabric, too.) Oh how I wish that Moda would print bolts of assorted labels! There are many more pictures of the Frivol items on Fig Tree's blog here. I ordered mine directly from Fig Tree but it appears to have sold out. You might find it in your local quilt shop, or you can order one here.

You might think I'm crazy, but there's ANOTHER Fig Tree BOM that should be shipping soon. Yikes, I am going to be busy. And remember last year's Fig Tree vintage mystery BOM? It's being quilted right now, and I cannot wait to see it.

And now I must get busy sewing! 

great granny twist blog hop with lori holt

Hi everybody! It's my day on the Great Granny Twist blog tour, and I can't wait to show you my project!

We're here celebrating the first birthday of Lori Holt's book Great Granny Squared (has it only been a year?!) It's a fun book with a super easy-to-make block, several quilts and a pillow.

To keep things festive this December, Lori and Fat Quarter Shop asked us to put our own fresh twist on the block patterns shown in the book. So... what could I make that would be honor Lori's great block but also be very me? Well, how about Christmas stockings!

Would you like to make your own Great Granny Squared stockings? Yay! So let's talk about how to make them. I thought that a mini-tutorial would be helpful. You'll need a copy of the Great Granny Squared book. First, pick out some cute fabric! I used two current Moda collections that I'm obsessed with - Fig Tree's Farmhouse and Bunny Hill's Mistletoe Lane. Then make two of the 6" blocks shown on page 26 in the book. Now you'll need to turn them into a larger chunk of "fabric" from which you'll cut the stocking shape.

Sew a 1" x 6 1/2" background strip between the two blocks and press toward the strip.

Add a 2" x 13" strip to the right side and a 6" x 13" strip to the left side. Press towards the solid fabric.

Sew a 4" x 13 1/2" strip to the bottom and a 3" x 13 1/2" strip to the top.

Now you have your chunk of fabric! For the rest of the stocking construction, I used a pattern from Kristyne Czepuryk (of Pretty By Hand fame). The pattern is in the Winter 2015 issue of Quilts and More magazine (you can find a copy here and here or at your local shop). I cut out the stocking template. Yes, I know that I destroyed my magazine, but I was just too lazy to make a photocopy! I layered the stocking template behind the fabric so that I could center the blocks.

You can see that I'm a bit maniacal about pinning! Then cut out your stocking front.

Now layer your stocking top onto rectangles of batting and backing and "quilt as desired." I needed to get it done fast, so I did a simple grid, then trimmed the batting and backing flush with the stocking shape.

Now just follow the rest of Kristyne's instructions and you'll soon have a stocking! Her pattern actually shows several different types of stockings - one with a lace cuff, one with applique, and one with the top ruffle that I made. I'd suggest using a walking foot to sew your stocking together (if you have one) because you'll be sewing through a LOT of layers of fabric and batting.

And here's where I got a little crazy. I decided that our cats, Chloe and Mia, also needed their own stockings. They're tiny, but the perfect size for a felt mouse or two.

(Oops, I forgot to put the felt mice into the stockings! That's Santa's job, anyway.)

For the mini stockings, I used a pattern by Fig Tree Threads called "Mini Stockings." It's from a few years ago, but it's still available on the Fig Tree website here.

Now just bring on the cookies and we are all ready for Santa!

Fat Quarter Shop has created their own fun version of Lori's block. It's called Great Granny Circled, and Kimberly has a tutorial video for the block here. Several bloggers have already showed their own twist on the block earlier this week, and the full lineup is here. Today's bloggers showing their GGST (that's Great Granny Squared Twist!) blocks are:

Thanks for stopping by today! I hope that you enjoy putting your own twist on the Great Granny Squared blocks. If you make the stockings, please provide a link back to my blog - and besides, I'd love to see them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

crossroads charity quilt along 2016

crossroads quilt.png

Well, my quilty friends, we are at a quilting crossroads. The Snapshots charity quilt along is nearly finished. It's been fun, right? I've seen SO many great blocks from everybody. My Snapshots quilt just returned from my longarm quilter, Kaylene just a few days ago, and now I can stitch the binding! And the generosity of the quilting community has really been amazing - together, we've raised $38,000 - nearly double the original goal. That's awesome (and I don't use that word very often).

We all need another sew along!

Next up is the 2016 Crossroads charity quilt along. And omigosh it features my all time favorite fabric collection, Strawberry Fields Revisited! Just look at this strawberry-licious fabric. 

You can read all about Strawberry Fields Revisited here. And yes, I was one of those people who asked/begged Fig Tree Quilts and Moda Fabrics to pleeeease reprint the collection. There are some new prints and colors this time, along with the return of some favorites. Strawberry Fields Revisited will coordinate perfectly with any older Strawberry Fields that might be in your stash.

Isn't this quilt perfect? It was designed by Joanna Figueroa and it's reminiscent of a vintage quilt. It's the kind of quilt that I always hope to find at a consignment shop, but of course, I never do. It's definitely a future heirloom for today.

The "crossroads" theme is an excellent way to describe the year that I've had. Many of you know that I was recently at a crossroads with my housing, and we made a huge decision to relocate from NYC to Indiana.  Sure, I wanted more living space and clean air and a modern kitchen. I had many doubts about moving. I knew absolutely nothing about Indiana, and it doesn't even have a tour book! But the decision to move was made very quickly, and all I can say now is... why didn't we do this sooner?! My quality of life is SO much better. I miss almost nothing about NYC, and that really surprises me. My boss told me today that I always readily embrace change and I thought "really, I do?" So this major crossroads changed my life for the better.

Next year's quilt along will benefit March of Dimes, which helps families with premature babies. It's surely a very worthy cause, and I'll be learning more about them throughout the year.  I am confident that quilters can make a difference. We did it this year, and we can do it again.

Okay, so here are the details. The eight month sew along will start in February 2016. Fat Quarter Shop will post a pattern download on the 15th of each month. Each pattern is free, but a $5 donation to March of Dimes is requested for each pattern download. A quilt kit with all the fabric you'll need is available here, and there's also a pieced backing kit. Designer Joanna Figueroa has shared a story about her own personal crossroads, as well as the inspiration for this quilt on her blog here.

I do hope that you'll join me (and a group of bloggers!) as we sew together. I can't wait!

snapshots month 12 - picnic basket

Hi there! Did y'all enjoy/survive Thanksgiving? We took a quick, three day trip to see family in Ohio. We definitely spent more time in Cincinnati traffic than at the dinner table! We came home with LOTS of leftover turkey (thanks, Carole!), so now comes the fun leftover part. So far, there's been a basic turkey dinner with newly made garlic mashed potatoes, turkey noodle casserole and 12 cups of turkey stock for some unknown future use (if you happen to have old Martha Stewart Living magazines hanging around, the recipe is in a February 1995 article on making stocks). What can I make next?

I'm now back at home and back to sewing! Here's the FINAL Snapshots block called Walk In The Park. Never mind that I've probably only had a handful of picnics in the park... it's a cute block! You can find this month's pattern download here. And take turkey sandwiches on your picnic.

My Snapshots quilt top has been completely finished and I shipped it out to Kaylene for quilting. She sent a sneak peek of the quilting today and it resembles loopy nautical ropes. I'll show it to you just as soon as it comes back to me.

Kimberly and Fat Quarter Shop are now auctioning the signed, original Snapshots quilt on eBay to raise additional funds for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. Quilts from Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill and Pat Sloan are up for bidding, too. Get the full scoop and links to the auctions here.

And I almost forgot something! I have two winners for the Quiltmaker 100 Blocks giveaway. Copies of the magazine are now on their way to Renee Lange and MaryAnn Scanlon. Congratulations!

bitty blocks

Hi everybody! I have a quick post today before you start your weekend. Recently, the folks at Quiltmaker Magazine asked me if I'd like to contribute a design to their Bitty Blocks series. Bitty Blocks are mini blocks ranging from 3" - 4" finished. The blocks fit into a row quilt, or you could use them in lots of different ways. So I started with a pile of Fig Tree's Farmhouse fabric (36 days until Christmas!)...

...and I made one 4" block...

...and I kept on sewing, and sewing....

For the instructions on how to make the Jacob's Ladder Bitty Block AND lots of different setting options that you can do with these blocks,  visit Quiltmaker Magazine's Bitty Blocks Blog Tour here!

And don't forget, the giveaway for a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Magazine with my own East Side Rose pattern is open until Friday at midnight! Leave a comment on my earlier post (not this one) for a chance to win!

And have a very happy weekend!

quiltmaker's 100 blocks volume 12 - my block! plus giveaway!

Y'all know that I love to sew. I could sew 12 hours a day if I really had the time. And I love fabric too. In my head, I'm always designing a fantasy fabric collection. That's a dream. But I never thought of myself as a pattern designer.

And then came an email from Pam Kitty Morning. Why don't I design a block and submit it to Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 12?

What?! Me design a block? I didn't even know if it was possible. And yet, it was an intriguing idea. I procrastinated for months. Then it was nearly deadline time. In a flurry of activity, I sketched out a block, stitched it up and mailed it to Quiltmaker with my application. I waited (im)patiently for months. Would they like it? Was it good enough?

And there it is in print! I am SO EXCITED to present my block, #1183 East Side Rose!

It's actually a really simple block to construct, with LOTS of stitch-and-flip corners. Let me tell you about my inspiration.

East Side Rose was inspired by my great love of classic rose gardens. There have been many, many visits to the Cranford Rose Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden over the past several years. Roses have amazing velvety petals, and intense (or sometimes non-existent) scent. The gigantic bees love them. And their names are quirky, like the pink Linda McCartney rose shown above. Would you believe that there's a Betty Boop rose? How about a Betty White rose? Bob Hope? And then there are the diminutive climbing roses from the mid 1800's. Always such a variety.

I sketched out my rose on graph paper while in a hotel room, and then colored it while on a plane. Oddly, nobody thinks it's strange when I start coloring from my tiny seat in row 34. (There is not enough space on those tray tables for a drink AND colored pencils, so I sit with art supplies in my lap and hope I don't drop anything.)

My original block was sewn using Pam Kitty Garden fabric which perfectly replicated the roses of the garden - bright, happy, clear colors. But once I learned that my block was being published, I realized that I had used up those prints! So I started to think of the softer shades of roses - the ivories, pinkish apricots and faded reds - and they were all there, in my stash of assorted Fig Tree fabrics.

How about a more intense, all red rose?

While East Side Rose is fairly easy to construct (each petal is constructed almost identically, but there are 32 petals), it will take some time to put it together because of all the pieces. The instructions in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 12 are very simple to follow. I thought it might be helpful to show how I pressed my seams.

I pressed the seams between each petal OPEN. Then after joining each row of petals to the center, I pressed the whole seam to the outside of the block. This will give you a nice flat block.

The inspiration for the block name? When I submitted the block in February, I lived on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Hence the "East Side." But since then I have relocated to the Midwest. I'm now living on the North side of a town in Southwestern Indiana. Got that?! LOL

Thanks to the editors for choosing my block. I'm humbled and proud to be in the magazine. And many thanks to Pam Kitty Morning for believing that I could really do this. (Pam is in the issue, too... she's been in all of them! And her Hollyhocks block would look perfect paired with mine.) The issue is on newsstands and quilt shops this week. Or you can order a print or digital copy here.

GIVEAWAY TIME!

The editors of Quiltmaker Magazine have graciously provided a copy of the magazine as a giveaway prize. Just leave me a comment letting me know your favorite flower by Friday, November 20 midnight Central (hey, your favorite flower might inspire my next block design!) and I will pick a winner on Saturday, November 21. Be sure that I can reach you, as I'll need the winner's name and address by Monday.

And for even more GIVEAWAYS - visit Quiltmaker Magazine's Quilty Pleasures blog to see what they have for you, as well as links to the other designers on the blog tour. 

fat quarter baby blog tour!

The Fat Quarter Baby blog tour begins today! Fat Quarter Baby is the first baby quilt book by It's Sew Emma for Fat Quarter Shop. The book features 20 crib-sized quilts, perfect for baby... as well as for grown-up babies! There are ten quilts for baby girls, and ten quilts for baby boys. Any of them could easily be made larger by adding more blocks.

I chose to make "Laura" because it's full of STRAWBERRIES. I think that my strawberry fabric obsession is well documented. So here's Laura:

It's just five large, appliqued strawberries and four 4-patches. I knew right away that I'd be using Fog City Kitty and Sunrise Studio fabrics with all those ripe strawberries. So, I have strawberry printed strawberries - I think that makes these double strawberries? This quilt needs just 9 fat quarters, some background fabric and a tiny bit of accent fabric. You'll even have plenty of leftover fabric! (I think that I could probably have made two of these quilts with the unused fabric.)

My applique skill is still a work in progress, but I'm learning. Luckily, Lori Holt showed three applique techniques on her blog a few weeks ago. I opted for the lightweight, non-fusible Pellon method, and it was super easy. I even had fun making the strawberries!

I stitched them to the backing fabric by hand. I do like to just sit down and quietly stitch before bedtime. (Now if could just find somebody to thread those miniscule straw needles for me...ugh!) Or you could easily applique them by machine, too.

Add a few little speedily pieced stems and leaves and you're done!

"Laura" was a super-speedy quilt to make - it took me just a few days to piece and applique the top. 

Check out the other bloggers on the tour - in the next few days, they'll show you the other 19 quilts in the Fat Quarter Baby book. You'll want to make all of them! I'm also a bit partial to the whale and bowtie quilts for boys (in other words, I want my own bowtie quilt!), and the tiara quilt for girls. Get the whole scoop and links to the other bloggers on the Jolly Jabber blog here. The Fat Quarter Baby book is in stock and can be ordered here.  The fabrics that I used are Fog City Kitty by Pam Kitty Morning and Sunrise Studio by Holly Holderman. You'll find them all here by the yard. And finally, there will be a Laura quilt kit, featuring Fig Tree's upcoming collection, Strawberry Fields Revisited (I love this collection!). The kit will be available in January here

Thanks for visiting with me today! I'll be back on Wednesday with... my first published quilt pattern in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 12! I can't wait to share my block with you, and there will be a little giveaway, too.

snapshots - sail away

sail away 1.jpg

It's Snapshots quilt along month 11! I can't believe that this year's fundraising quilt along is almost over. This sailboat was definitely the easiest and fastest block to sew. This month's recommended Daysail fabrics are just perfect. Kinda reminds me of those sailboats that I saw on my Florida trip last summer.

So by now you know how to get the pattern, right? Head over to the Fat Quarter Shop's Jolly Jabber blog to download the pattern and to watch a tutorial video. Please consider donating $5 for the use of the pattern to St Jude's Children's Research Hospital. You might even want to start to do the photo border sashing on your blocks - see how to do it here.

I'll be back tomorrow (really!) with a fun new baby quilt from the new Fat Quarter Baby book. Hint... it has strawberries!

And thanks so much for your love of the little Christmas tree tutorial that I provided last month. It's been really exciting to see so many of them popping up all over Instagram. I love seeing how you've all customized the tree and car with your own fabrics. Please keep on tagging me so that I can see your trees! (And also, please credit me for the tree tutorial. Don't create or sell kits using my pattern without asking or linking back to my blog tutorial, okay? Nuff said. :-) )

 

two by two sew along

Hello! I'm awake and drinking my first cup of tea really EARLY this morning so that I can tell you about a new sew along! Have you seen the McCall's Quick Quilts Dec/Jan 2016 issue yet? (I am SO not a morning person. Even the cats are looking at me as if to say "what are you doing out of bed so early?")

It's the Two by Two sew along! Holly Holderman (of Lakehouse Dry Goods fame) designed this quilt. It's a 7 part series, and the patterns will be printed in McCall's Quick Quilts throughout 2016. The first six installments will be blocks (each block comes in two coloways) and the final installment will be quilt assembly and finishing. The blocks measure a generous 12 3/4" unfinished.

The flower blocks use an engineered scallop print to make the flower petals - it's the look of applique without all the fuss! For my flower centers, I'll be using an assortment of Lakehouse fabrics, but really, any stash could be used. Maybe you already saw the scallop prints in your local quilt shop and wondered how to use them... now's your big chance! The magazine is on newsstands and in bookstores now. Copies of Quick Quilts are also available here and here (I actually ordered one by mail because I'm impatient). A kit is available on the Quick Quilts website here. Or if you just want the scallop fabric to pair with your stash, I found the best assortment of colors here (you'll want the largest scallop print, not the medium or small versions).

And all fun quilts deserve a sew along! Join me while I make this quilt throughout the year with some of my quilting buddies. We'll be sewing and showing our blocks on Instagram. There are already some blocks that are very different than mine - even some with appliqued touches! I will be sewing along with:

  • Pam Kitty Morning (@pamkittymorning)
  • Amber Johnson of Gigi's Thimble (@gigis_thimble)
  • Nanette Merrill of Freda's Hive (@fredashive)
  • Gayle Brindley (@gaylebrindley)
  • Susan Guzman of SuzGuz Designs (@suzguzdesigns)
  • Holly Holderman - the designer herself! (@hollyholderman)