Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Terrific Tuesday Giveaway Day!!

It's Terrific Tuesday Giveaway Day . . . let's have some fun :)

First, we need to announce the winner from last weeks Terrific Tuesday Giveaway!!   The winner of the $20.00 Gift Certificate from Bear Creek Quilting Company is . . .   Number #191 . . . Congrats Jessica Jo!!   I have emailed you :) 
    

    






    
And on to today's

Today's Terrific Tuesday Giveaway is being sponsored by Rustic Rooster Quilt Shop!!   Along with hosting the giveaway, Trina is having a super duper sale starting today and running until Saturday the 7th of  20% off your entire cart with the coupon code SP15!!!!!  That is going to be some fun shopping :)



And the Terrific Tuesday Giveaway is for a super fun The Sweet Life Jelly Roll designed by Pat Sloan for Moda.  These prints are so Bright and Happy!!!



You have two entry chances, the second being optional, and please leave a separate comment for each.  All Entries are welcome, including International Entries.  Please just be sure to leave an email address if you are a no-reply blogger ;)  

ENTRY 1 - Simply leave a comment that tells me what is Sweet in your Life right now??

 ENTRY 2 - Show your Rustic Rooster Quilt Shop love. You can follow them on  Facebook.  (and they are just launching a new facebook page so if you leave a comment with your like, you will be entered for a $25.00 GC :)  You can Sign up for the Rustic Rooster Quilt Shop Newsletter (top right hand corner)  or you can visit the Shop and then share a favorite item ;)   Just be sure to leave a comment of how you showed your Rustic Rooster Quilt Shop Love!!!

And that's it ;)  The giveaway will be open until next Tuesday, March 10th when I will announce a winner at the beginning of next weeks Terrific Tuesday Giveaway Post :)

Good Luck and Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Nightstand Reading

So for the last few weeks, I have had these 3 amazing books on my night stand.  I love ending my day with a little unwinding reading about things that just inspire and amaze me!!!


First off, Craft a Creative Business by Fiona Pullen.    This one has been on my night stand the longest and that is because it is jam packed!!!  You don't want to "flip" through this book, you want to read it cover to cover, mark it up, and keep coming back for reference :)  It is like the perfect study guide!!


The book is broken down into 6 sections, and trust me, these are meaty!!  I have learned so many helpful tidbits already.  This really is an amazing book if you are thinking about turning your hobby into a business, whether that be big or small, there will be lots to help you out!!


And when I need a little light reading, I have been turning to step-by-step Free Motion Quilting by Christina Cameli's   I love just flipping through the pages and being inspired by all the quilty goodness!!  Christina does a great job explaining each design and she even has a Craftsy Class out now that goes into some of them in more detail ;)


This book is jam packed with Free Motion quilting all over designs.  Every page gives your step by step instructions to create the design and then a full page layout of the design drawn up.   Yup, now that I have flipped through it extensively, it will be going next to the long arm for a perfect reference when I sit and stare at a quilt and can't decide what to do with it ;)


And finally, the last book I have been reading over the weeks has been Scraps, Inc.  published by Lucky Spool.     I was in love with this book the second I heard about it.  I have so many wonderful friends that contributed to it and if you saw any of the  blog tour you know there are some amazing patterns in it!!!   And it's all Scraps!!!!  And don't we all need to use our scraps more often!!!


I will be sharing more about his one in the coming days.  Love it!!!!

So what Quilty Books are you reading??  Now that my nightstand is going to be cleared off, I need some new suggestions ;)
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Friday, February 27, 2015

Pillow Collective - Think Big Edition

I was so excited when I was asked by Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side to participate in her Pillow Collective Blog hop!!  I haven't made a pillow in quite some time and I forgot just how rewarding it is to be able to make a project, start to finish in 1 day!!!!   And here's my pillow ;)


Amy has just finished writting her 4th book and the pillows for this blog hop have all been inspired by patterns from her book, Think Big!!!  This book is filled with awesome designs all starting with 18" blocks and then giving you the tools to make those blocks into any size project you want to make!


My pillow is from the Amy's Moving Mosaic pattern :)  I have been wanting a new pillow for this chair in my living room for some time and this pattern was the perfect fit for it ;)


I used some of the prints sent to me by Little Miss Shabby in this wonderful bundle she curated ;)  I have been waiting for just the right project to use these, and this was perfect as the purples, golds, and olives match the pillows on my couch ;) 


 This pillow was a lot of piecing, and oh so much fun!!!  Amy has such wonderful directions in her book that makes something as intricate as this seem like a piece of cake ;)

When it came time to quilt, I knew right away that I wanted to use some "special" thread.  I am almost using neutrals to quilt, but I knew I could pull off a little fun with this one.  So I used this beautiful variegated Golden Glory Rainbows thread by Superior Threads ;)


And I opted for a little straight-ish line quilting.  I was using my walking foot on my home machine, but I didn't worry to much about if I was quilting in a totally straight line.  I love the overall effect it gives, And I love the multi-color shine of the thread!!


And for the back, I did a simple envelope enclosure with a binding on the raw edges.  I just love this beautiful floral on the back.  And the polka dot binding!!!!  I can never get enough polka-dots ;)


And just like that, I had a brand new pillow!!!  So fun!!!    I just love the way it came out ;)  It adds such a happy pop to this chair ;)


Seriously, if you haven't made a pillow lately, maybe it's time to give one a go.  They are so fun to make and give you a finished project that adds so much to a room in a small amount of time ;)  Pillows are an all around Win-Win!!!


And to get you thinking in the Pillow Making Mood . . . Amy has some amazing Pillow Collective Prizes and all you have to do to win them is Pin.  Pin.  Pin. ;)   To win some of this yummy fabric goodness or even the quilt in the background made by Amy . . . Simply Pin Pillows to Pinterest and add #ThinkBigBook and #PillowCollective in your description ;)  Before you know it, you will have tons of Pillow Making Inspiration ;)


Thanks for stopping by :)  I have loved being a part of Amy's awesome Pillow Collective - Think Big Edition hop ;)  It was so fun!!!


And for more Pillow Collecting, Think Big Inspiration, (and lots more places to pin :)  be sure to stop by all of the Pillow Collective Stops and see what everyone made up ;)  Loving all of this Pillow Goodness!!


Have a Happy Quilting Weekend!!


Linking up this Pillow finish to Sarah's :) 



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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Irish Chain Twist Quilt-A-Long - Twists On Tradition Units

**  NOTE  - This post is part of a series of posts for the Irish Chain Twist Quilt-A-Long.  If you would like to join (and have a chance to win $100.00 or $75.00 Gift Certificate grand prizes sponsored by The Intrepid Thread and Fat Quarter Shop ) you can find a list of the post links here :)  Here is the schedule:

Improvisational Piecing Units
Improvisational Piecing Block
Twists on Tradition Units - Feb 26th
Modern Patchwork Block - Mar 5th
Appliqued Chains Block - Assembling - Mar 12th
Appliqued Chains Block - Stitching - Mar 19
Piecing Top and Grand Prize Linky - Mar 26th
Parade and Grand Prizes - April 13th




Before we get any farther,  we need to pick a winner for last weeks Improvisational Piecing Block assignment.   And great job to everyone that finished up their Blocks!!! I loved seeing all of your first sets of blocks for the QAL, so fun!!!!

The Improvisation Piecing Block winner who gets a Autumn Lily Bundle and Mini Charm pack  from Shabby Fabrics is . . .
#26  -   Colleen!! - Congrats :)

  

So here we are, moving onto a new set of blocks:)  If you are just finding this QAL, it's never to late to join in the fun :)  Just see the schedule above for the posts you missed and start quilting along ;)  


THIS WEEKS ASSIGNMENT - TWISTS ON TRADITION UNITS

Today we are going to have so fun Strip Piecing.  If you have never Strip Pieced before you are in for a treat.  It is a great time saver ;)  So let's get to it :)


STRIP PIECING


 So first off, we need to match up our strips.   Your 3" Print Strips are going to be sewn with the 2 1/2" Background Strips  and your 2 1/2" Strips are going to be sewn with your 3" strips.  Group them together like I have shown below and keep them separate, because it is super easy to mix them up ;)


And now are strips matched up, we are going to do some strip piecing.   In strip piecing, you don't have to worry about ends lining up perfectly.  I already trimmed my prints selvages but didn't on my background selvages.  So when I sew, I will just overhang my selvage ;)  And a quick double check for you each time, you should always be sewing a Print and a Background strip and the widths shouldn't match up ;)


When I Strip Piece, I always turn my stitch length down a bit.  It doesn't have to be a lot, but it is best to use a slightly smaller stitch than normal.  This is because when you sub-cut them you are going to be cutting right through your stitching, so you don't want it to unravel ;)


So, with your stitch length smaller, you are ready to start stitching.  I started with the 2 1/2" wide Print fabrics and 3" Background Fabrics.  I find it easier to put the wider strip on the bottom and the skinnier strip on the top with right sides together.  Now just  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the long edge of your first matched strip set. And again, it doesn't matter if the edges match perfectly.  Just align the two fabrics as you go, stitching all the way down the length of the strip.


And when you get to the end of one strip, oh ya, more chain stitching ;)  Just feed the next strip set through, sewing a 1/4" seam and aligning as you go ;)  Repeat this for all of the 2 1/2" wide Print fabrics and 3" Background Fabrics sets.  Clip your threads when you are done.


And then, it's time to move on to the 2 1/2" wide Background fabrics and 3" Print Fabric Sets.  These are sewn the exact same way as the previous strip sets.  Just align as you go, this time with the Print fabric strip on the bottom and the Background fabric strip on top ;)  Chain Stitch all of your strip sets and then clip your threads.


And now it is time to move to the ironing board.   Now, let me start with a disclaimer here, you will be ironing a lot of long strip sets, and it is very easy to get going to fast.   Slow down  and really take the time to press each set perfectly :)   You will be pressing the seam allowance towards the Print Strip.  To do this, I like to press strip sets from the front. This helps me from pulling and stretching the long strip.    I run my finger along the seam, just in front of my iron to ensure that I don't have any little bubbles creeping into my seam allowance.  Use lots of steam and keep them nice and crisp ;)  And just press, press away ;)




SUB-CUTTING UNITS

And with all of your seams pressed, you are ready to move on to sub-cutting your strip sets.   We will start with your 2 1/2" Print and 3" Background Strip Sets.   Double check that these are what you are working with as the different strip sets are subcut at different widths.  It would be so sad to cut the wrong sets.

Fold a strip set in half, aligning the smallest raw edges and lay it out on your cutting mat aligning the top of the strip set with a horizontal line on your cutting mat.  Now, you might think to stack these up on top of one another to speed up your cutting, but it often ends up with crooked cuts.  You are already cutting over 4 layers where the seams meet up ;)  So rather than stacking up, spread out as shown below.  You can easily fit 3 strip sets on a large cutting mat ;)  Just be sure that your raw edges are close to matching up on the left hand side of all your strip sets.



To start your cutting, you will need to make a straight edge.  Place your ruler along the Vertical line of your mat that is just over the raw edges of all 3 of your strip sets.  Cut along the edge of your ruler to create a nice straight edge.  Discard the scrap.


Now, measure in 2 1/2".  You can check your measurement in 2 places.  The raw edges of your strip sets should align with the 2 1/2" mark on your ruler (white arrows) and the edge of your ruler should align with 2 1/2" in on your mat.  I like to double check both to ensure I am getting a super straight cut ;)  With your measurements double checked, cut along the edge of the ruler.


And now, it is just rinse and repeat ;)   Once again, move your ruler in 2 1/2", double-check your 2 places of 2 1/2" measurements, and cut along the edge of your ruler.


You will repeat this process a total of 8 times and have a little bit of scrap left at the end that can be discarded.  This will create 16 2-patch units per Strip Set :)


Repeat this process for all of your 2 1/2" Print and 3" Background Strip Sets.  You will end up with a pretty pile that looks something like this ;)



And then, you are ready to move onto sub-cutting  the  3" Print and 2 1/2" Background Strip Sets.  This is done using the same process, there is just a little extra at the end ;)  So once again, align 3 folded strip sets along the horizontal lines of your mat with your smallest raw edges aligned.


Align your ruler along the Vertical Line closest to your smallest raw edge and cut a straight edge.


Now measure in 3", yes a different measurement!!  We will be cutting 3" wide this time :)  Once again, you can double check your measurements.  The raw edge of your strip sets should align with the 3" mark on your ruler and your rulers edge should align 3" in on the vertical line of your cutting mat.   And with your ruler aligned, cut along the edge of it.


And then again, move in another 3", double check that you are aligned, and cut along the edge of the ruler.


Continue in this fashion sub-cutting 6 times.  This will create 12 units per Strip Set and have a larger piece of scrap at the end of your strip set.  We will be using that piece of scrap ;)


Unfold the scrap and lay it on your mat open with the raw edges all aligned on the same Vertical Line on your mat ;)

One last time, measure in 3", double check your measurement, and cut along the edge of your ruler.  Now you can scrap that little bit of leftover ;)


So in the end, you will have 13 2-Patch Units Strip Set.  Repeat this process for all of your 3" Print and 2 1/2" Background Strip Sets.


And now you have a pile of 3" Two Patch Units and a pile of 2 1/2" Two Patch Units and you are done for the week!!!!



So here is the summary.  This is how many 2 1/2" subcut units you made up and how many 3" subcut units you should have made.  As you can see, you are going to have a few extras depending on the size you make. (just hold on to them for now, more on them next week ;)   If you were using Fat Quarters, these charts might just come in handy.  Depending on your sub-cutting, you might find you need a few extra units that you will just need to stitch up by cutting 2 1/2" and 3" squares ;) 



And with your Assignment all complete, you are ready to link up for a chance to win the Weekly Prize!!!!


This weeks Weekly Prize is being sponsored by Bear Creek Quilting Company and a huge thanks goes to them for their support of the Irish Chain Twist Quilt-A-Long.

This weeks prize is 2 Dear Stella Charm Packs!!!  Love the polka-dot goodness!!!





So what do you have to do for a chance to win these goodies?  Simple . . . Just link up your Twists on Tradition Units at the end of this post :)  You can link to a blog post, flickr picture, Instagram, Facebook . . .  or whatever.  Just make sure to link up by next Thursday morning as I will be announcing a winner at the beginning of next weeks post :)



If you don't get your Twists on Tradition Units done by next week you can still link it up :) (just not in time for the prize :)    The linky will remain open until the end of the Quilt-A-Long.  So if your out of town, or just had a busy week, no worries!!!  Just link up when you can :)

And Don't forget to add your sewn units to the Happy Quilting Quilt-A-Long Flickr group and to post it on social media with using #irishchaintwistqal.    I am so excited to see your blocks!!!!

So let's get strip piecing !!!  And if you have questions, don't hesitate to email me at happyquiltingmelissa@gmail.com.  Have a Happy Quilting Day!!



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