maggie's first dance bom continues! and a giveaway

Hi there, and happy Monday! I'm back with the final batch of blocks for the Maggie's First Dance block of the month quilt along designed by Jacquelynne Steves. This month, we're making the five connecting blocks. They're super easy and quick to put together. (And as I was making them, I thought of the Twelve Days of Christmas with "five golden rings.") I was really tempted to put a print into the center square but I liked the clean, simple lines of the blocks. Here's how they'll look when combined with the other four blocks that we made earlier.

Next month, we'll assemble the top with all nine blocks and some easily pieced borders. I might have cheated and jumped ahead a bit but all I can tell you is... you'll love the finished quilt. Are you sewing along with us? The monthly patterns are free, and there's only one place to get them - that's by signing up for Jacquelynne Steves' newsletter right over here. I'm also sewing along with these other quilters and I can't wait to see their blocks this month!

And now for this month's giveaway. Christa Watson of Christa Quilts has a fun package of quilt patterns valued at $30. Just leave me a comment below. The giveaway will close on October 10 at 11:59pm Central. As always, be sure that I can reach you by email if you're the lucky winner! (Visit the other participating bloggers and Christa for seven more chances to win!) 

maggie's first dance month 3, and a giveaway

Can anybody guess what I did on a rainy Sunday afternoon? I made this month's Maggie's First Dance block! It's a fun block-of-the-month project, and it only takes a few hours to sew each block. They're getting easier to make, because the same construction techniques are used throughout the project.  If you need to practice making flying geese and half square triangles, this is the project to try! The pattern is designed by Jacquelynne Steves, and it is free. All you need to do is sign up for her newsletter, and then a new pattern is published the first Monday of each month. You can sign up here. We've done 3 blocks so far, with one more to go, then four connecting blocks, and finally the big assembly.

And if you like to applique and/or embroider, Jacquelynne has cute floral motifs that fit into the center squares of each block. I went with a focal print instead - I needed a place to show off the little animals in the Strawberry Biscuit fabric collection by Elea Lutz.

I'm sewing along with six other bloggers (and Jacquelynne, too), and it's fun to see how we each interpret the same pattern. Be sure to visit them to see what they're up to with their Maggie blocks.

And now it's time for this month's giveaway, sponsored by Eva Paige Quilt Designs! One winner from each of the participating blogs will receive the Mod-ified Trees table runner pattern AND fabric kit. It's perfect for an early Christmas project. Just leave me a comment letting me know what your Christmas color theme/scheme is.  Red and green? Silver and gold? Pink and aqua? (Yes, I know that's a silly request, but I thought it might be fun. Lately, I'm loving the shimmery, frosty look, with a gazillion lights, and I cannot wait to put up the holiday décor again!) The contest is open to all, and it will close on Sunday, August 7 at 11:59pm CST. Just be sure that I can reach you by email if you happen to be the lucky winner!

maggie's first dance month 2, plus a giveaway!

Hi everybody! It's time for the second block in the Maggie's First Dance quilt along! It's a free block of the month, designed by Jacquelynne Steves. It was another fun block to stitch - just sign up for the newsletter which contains the FREE pattern, pick your fabric and start sewing. I'm enjoying using fun retro prints by Elea Lutz and Lori Holt in this quilt... plus a few Riley Blake ginghams.

I even learned something new while sewing this block. Jacquelynne has a super nifty way of making flying geese blocks. I thought I had seen just about every way there is of making flying geese, and then I received this pattern and thought "what a great idea!" - and I'm sure that you will, too. I won't give away the secret, but let's just say that you make them slightly larger and trim them down.

I was also able to whip up the second block in 2 hours - that's relatively quick for me. While I was sewing, there were tornado and hail updates on radio, literally every 3 minutes. I panicked a little - what if we lost power and I couldn't sew?! Then what would I do?! (Four hours later, we still have power. And my block is done :-) The rain didn't stop us from going out for pizza, but the roads are very flooded.)

I hope that you'll consider sewing along with me and my new quilty friends. We're all making the Maggie Quilt. Some quilters are using an appliqued center (where I've used the teddy bear on a turtle print), some are using applique, and one quilter is even doing two versions! First, visit Jacquelynne Steves at her blog The Art of Home to sign up for her newsletter - the newsletter contains the free block pattern! Then go check out the other Maggie Quilt blocks here:

And I know that you're all waiting for the giveaway. This week, we have a fabulous quilter's package from Thermoweb. You've probably already tried (and love) their products, including Spray N Bond and Heat N Bond. One winner from my blog will receive a prize package worth $60! Just leave me a comment letting me know what you're working on this week, or where you're vacationing this summer. For more chances to win, visit the other participating bloggers to enter their giveaways, too.

The giveaway is open to Continental US readers only. This is due to the limitation on shipping aerosol products. (Don't panic, there's another giveaway for all readers, so keep reading!) Contest will close on 11:59pm CST on July 11. Please be sure that I can reach you by email if you are the winner, or another winner will be chosen. 

There is an additional giveaway that is open to ALL readers (including HI, AK and overseas) over at The Quilting Gallery. Four copies of a digital pattern will be awarded. Follow this link for more details.

And finally, due to my oversight, I forgot to announce the winner of the Aurifil giveaway. Jodi Guerrero is the happy recipient of a designer box of thread, which is being shipped to her from Italy. I've already notified Jodi by email, and I can assure you that she is very happy.

Thanks for visiting today, and enjoy making your Maggie's First Dance blocks! 

maggie's first dance bom starts today! and an aurifil thread giveaway!

Hi everybody! Today is the official kickoff day for the latest monthly block of the month program from Jacquelynne Steves. It's called Maggie's First Dance. Let me show you the first block.

I had sew much fun making this block. Jacquelynne offers a choice of three centers for our blocks - you can applique, embroider, or leave them plain. I chose to use a cute focus fabric with some happy little critters.

The piecing instructions are super easy to follow. The hourglass segments are sewn slightly larger than needed and then trimmed down to the correct size. I always love that method because then I know that my pieces will fit together perfectly. And Jacquelynne even specifies which direction to press your seams so there's no guesswork there. Really, the most difficult part was just picking out my fabrics!

I hope that you'll join me as a quilty dance partner. To get your own FREE copy of the Maggie's First Dance quilt block, just sashay over to Jaquelynne's website and sign up for her newsletter. You'll then receive an emailed copy of the pattern. How easy is that?! And then do-si-do (or two step!) back over here to my blog because we have a GREAT giveaway!

My very favorite thread is Aurifil. It's the only brand that I use for my piecing. It's strong and doesn't break, it comes in a million colors (maybe more!) and it doesn't leave a linty trail like some other brands. I do all my basic piecing with Aurifil 50 weight thread in colors 2000 and 2021. They're both white and cream shades. I'll use the colors if I'm piecing something where I really don't want any cream thread to show, and they help to create a flawless hand-stitched binding. I'm trying to push myself to try the pastels when doing machine quilting.

Aurifil is offering a box of threads valued at $46.00 to one lucky winner. Just leave a comment here on my blog. Let me know what your favorite color is for piecing. Contest is open to US and international readers. Actual box of threads will be of Aurifil's choice, and Aurifil will ship the prize directly to the winner. Contest closes at 11:59pm CST on June 12. If you're the winner, be sure that I can contact you or else another winner will be chosen.

And be sure to check out the other bloggers participating in the sew along (I need to go visit them, too, to see their blocks!). Here's who is making the quilt with me:

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I do hope that you'll give this block-of-the-month a try!