Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Celebrate Mom - A Mother's Day Event

Today I am excited to announce a wonderful little event that will go through all of next week here at Happy Quilting.  I call it Celebrate Mom and it is sure to be a fantastic week of celebrating motherhood as we lead up to Mother's day!!  But before I get into all the details . . .

Let me first tell you a little behind the inspiration for this event.  I find, that the question I seem to get asked more than any other is "how do you find time to do all of this quilting, blogging, teaching, ect. with kids??"  I normally respond with, "My kids take long naps" and go about things.  But honestly, it is much, much more than that.  We have tried this and that to help find a balance and make it all work. (and we continue to try new things daily, i.e. my baby is playing musical drums on my pots and pans next to me while I type this post :)  So I figured, what better time to share about the actual this and that process than right before Mother's Day!!!

Now I know I am not the only floating in this boat of finding a good balance between mom and this quilting hobby/business/obsession.  I mean, let's get serious, it would have to be a cruise liner to fit all of us :)   Even my Mom and MIL still have to find the balance with their grandkids.  So . . .  I thought it would be fun to have some of my good "mom/quilt juggling" friends come and visit and share some of their adventures in finding balance.

I  am so excited to be having Natalia, Maureen, Angela, Jenny, Megan, and Heather pop on over for a guest post at Happy Quilting and share a bit about their mom/quilting journey :)  There will be fun little stories, helpful little tidbits, and I am sure, plenty of laughs :)  And . . . because dinner is always the hardest thing to have ready after a day of sewing, these ladies will also be sharing their favorite go-to dinner recipe :) 


And one more thing . . . We wouldn't want to have a week of Celebrating Mom's without some Fabulous Fabric Prizes.  I mean, we all know new fabric can always put a smile on our face and a squishy package in the mail can turn a hard day into a great day!!  So, at the end of each guest post will be a giveaway sponsored by one of Happy Quilting's fabulous sponsors.  (Who happen to be Mom's who juggle running their businesses as well, wow!!!)  Thank you Fat Quarter Shop, The Intrepid Thread, Green Fairy Quilts, Southern Fabrics, Christa Quilts, and The Scarlet Thread Quilt Co. for your generosity in being a part of this wonderful event!!


Celebrate Mom starts next Monday the 6th of May!!!  So be sure to check back each day next week for lots of wonderful inspiration on Celebrating Mom and fun filled prizes!!  Oh, and if you would like to share a button for the event you can use this :)  And I think that wraps it up.   Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!


Melissa's Post
Heather and Megan's Post
Angela's Post
Maureen's Post
Natalia's Post
Jenny's Post

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Lots of Fun!!

There are so many fun things going on around here right now.  I just love it,  So as to make sure you don't miss anything, here's a bit of a rundown :)

 The Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol 7 tour starts today.  The tour visits many of the contributor's blogs, has lots of fun suggestions on how to use blocks from the magazine, and of course, has lots of opportunities to win a copy as well as other prizes and fabric goodies ;)  To see all of the stops visit Quiltmaker's Quilty Pleasures Blog each day this week :)  My stop will be on Thursday and I am so excited to share my block :)


The Between Heaven and Texas Blog hop also stars today :)  Between Heaven and Texas is a fantastic novel written by Marie Bostwick.  I was honored to be asked to participate in it's releases blog hop :)  Of course there will be prizes along the hop but this hop also will have quite a few Star block tutorials along with it :)  12 to be exact!!  To see the schedule of all the stops click here and have fun collecting those star tutorials :)  My stop will be on Friday, and I am so excited to share my star block.  Remember this picture, yup, this is what it was for :)


I also have another little event in the works for Mother's Day!!  I have a few more kinks to iron out and then I will share more.  Hopefully tomorrow or the next day :)  It is going to be so much fun!

And these last 2 aren't schedule things but they are still lots of fun!!  I was tickled to receive the latest copy of Quilts and More and find this fun little ad for the Moda Bake Shop right in the front cover.  Yup, that's little ol me in the top right.  So fun!!  Thanks Moda Bake Shop, what a treat!!!

And lastly, we need a winner for my stop on the Modern Baby Blog Tour !!  Thanks to everyone for their super kind words on my quilt, it really is so much fun to be a part of something like this.  And if you don't win, be sure to keep following along with the tour, there are still lots of chances to win a copy :)  So let's so who is the winner . . .

Congrats Erin Marie!!!  I will be contacting you soon.  By the way, your comment cracked me up!!

I think that just about covers it for today ;)  Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!
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Friday, April 26, 2013

Scrunchy Strips - A Finished Bedspread and Tutorial

Note - If you are looking for the Modern Baby Giveaway, you will find it here :)

Today I am so excited to share a finish that I have been working on for a little while now.    It has been my "ender" project as I squeak in a few strips each time I finish another project.  I decided to call it Scrunchy Strips and I took some pictures along the way for a little tutorial :)

First, the inspiration for the quilt :)   A little while ago, I decided that my daughter needed a new bedspread as the one she had was quite well loved, so I figured I could move it to the top bunk and make her a new quilt using the same fabric and then I would have a somewhat matchy quilts on the bunk bed  :)  The fabric in the original was Sunkissed by Sweetwater and the only fabric I could still find of it was 2 Scrap Bags, so I started thinking of ideas to work with long randomly sized strips and this is what I came up with :) 

So . . . Let's get to the tutorial :)

To make a twin sized bedspread that measures appx. 65" x 82" you will need
   A Stack of strips.  This is a great way to use up your string scraps.  The strips can be any length but the longer they are the less piecing you will have to do and you will want them to be at least 1 3/4" wide.  Leftovers from jelly rolls or scrap bags are ideal :)
   You will also need 3 2/3 yard of a solid to use as they whole cloth background.  I used Bella Solid White.
    For the backing you will need 4 yards and for the binding you will need 1/2 a yard.

And lastly, you will need a "pinking" rotary blade for your rotary cutter.

So, once you have all your supplies you can move onto cutting.  Insert the Pinking Blade into your rotary cutter.  Using your rotary cutter, trim each size of your strip to pink the edges.  I ranged the size of my strip widths from 1 1/2" to 2 3/4" and everything in between.  Be sure to cut similar fabrics the same width though so you can make long strips from them :)  Repeat for all your strips.

Sew strips end to end so they make at least a 78" strip.  Trim the excess of the strip past 78"  (Although, if you want your strips a little more scrunchy you can do longer strips and if you want them a little less scrunchy you can do shorter strips, I just found 78" was just about perfect for me :)

Repeat until you have about 40 strips.  (give or take a few depending on how close together you want your strips on the bedspread.)  I choose to match colors for my  strips but there are several in those piles that are made up of several different prints.  Don't be afraid to get scrappy with it.

And now you are ready to prepare your strips.  Set your machine to a straight basting stitch, (the longest stitch it will allow)  Sew down the center of the strip, you don't have to measure this perfect just eyeball it.

Continue to chain stitch all of our strips sewing down the center of each.  Just be sure when you move from one strip to the other that you leave a decent size tail to cut between so you have enough on either side to gather.  Clip the threads between all your strips and then set your strips aside for a bit.

Now it is time to prepare the whole cloth background.  Cut your 3 2/3 yards of fabric into 2 equal pieces each measuring 66" x WOF.  Sew them together along the WOF using a 1/2" seam.  Trim off the selvages and square the top up to 66" x 83".  (You will get some shrinkage with all of the quilting :)

Piece you backing in the same manner but cut the backing into two 2 yard pieces.  Make a quilt sandwich with your backing, batting, and whole cloth top and baste it.  If you are new to quilting and need a little more instruction on how to do this you can see my video tutorial on basting here :)

Now go ahead and quilt the entire whole cloth quilt sandwich.  If you are brand new to quilting and need some general directions on free motion quilting you can see my basics quilting video here.

I decided to do a straight line quilting using my free motion foot rather than my walking foot to give it a very organic feel.  Starting from the center, just back and forth with the lines from one end to another to you reach the edge.  Then return to the center and back and froth again in the other direction.  To see a video on Straight Line Quilting using a Free Motion foot you can go here.  It is pretty much the exact same except you don't echo in, you just go back and forth across the whole quilt.    And you don't have to do the same pattern I did, just make sure the whole thing is quilted pretty dense :)

Now, you are ready to add the strips :)  First though, lets add some markings to the quilt.  Now these don't have to be perfect so don't stress to much.  At the center of the quilt (use the fold in the quilt and the center seam to find) mark a reference point.  Then mark additional reference points every 10" away, moving to the outside of the quilt in either direction.  Repeat this process on both sides of the quilt.

Now, you are ready to "scrunch" your strips.  Pulling on one end thread gather half the strip.  Now pulling on the one thread on the other end of the strip, gather the other half.  You will want to gather your strip to about 65" long.  (you won't have to measure after the first few, you just get the feel of it.)

Using the center and end reference points, lay your strip across the quilt.  Adjust the gather as needed so that each end is directly along the edge of either side of the quilt.  Pin in place.  Be sure to pin pretty generously or you are going to have some major movement in your gathering while stitching.

Repeat this process for all of your marked reference points  You should have 6 strips now pinned to your quilt. Just eyeball that they are straight, don't stress to much as this quilt has a very organic feel to it.   Time to sew :)

Using a normal straight stitch, sew down the center of each strip, trying to stay on top of that gathered stitch line as much as possible.  I found a walking foot and my quilting gloves to be a great help for this task!!  It also helps to pull the gathers to the side while stitching to prevent things folding over.  Sew all of your pinned strips in place.

Now, it is just simply filling in the holes ;)  Starting at one end, fill in the white spaces with 3-4 strips (depending on how close you want them) pinning them in place.  Once again, just eyeball this.  The varied strip sizes just go with the feeling of varied widths apart.  Once you have a set pinned in place go ahead and stitch them in place.  (I recommend not pinning more than a group or 2 at a time or you end up with lots of pin scratches down your arm :)

Continue this process until you have covered the entire quilt.  Now just simply trim your excess batting and backing along the edges of the quilt.

And then cut 7 strips from your binding fabric to create your binding strip.  And then use that binding strip to bind your quilt.  Once again, if you are new to quilting, you can see my binding video here ;)

And now, just sit back and enjoy your beautiful Scrunchy Strips bedspread!!  

Don't you just love the texture!!!  So fun!!!

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial :)  And if you decide to make your own Scrunchy Strips bedspread I would love to see it.  You can add a picture of it to my flickr group here or email me one :)

Note**  Many of you asked what this will look like after washed.  The answer, just as scruncy and sweet as ever.  You can see more at this post ;)

Linking this finish up to Amanda's :)

Linking up to The Festival of Strings - Check out all of the other great String Quilts :)

Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Modern Baby Tour And Giveaway

Today is my stop on the Modern Baby Blog tour and I am so excited!!  If you are stopping by for the first time, Welcome!!  I hope you enjoy your visit and come back often :)  I was so thrilled to be a part of this fantastic book and to work with so many fantastic people on it!!!

My contribution is Daddy's Little Girl

We have three little girls that are totally wrapped around their Daddy's little finger.   Hence, the inspiration for the zig-zag that wraps up the quilt.   

I added an ombre-sk background moving from black to white to bring  lots of modern flair, and combined with the quilting (which I did myself and just love!!) the little wrapped zig-zags really pop!!  

The final touch was the adorable tiny applique that references those little cuties that inspired the creation from the start :)

The theme of this little Book Tour is Baby Showers, and I have to say, I have attended quite a few baby showers and am becoming quite the baby shower game expert :)  That's right, I can undress and dress a baby doll in 15.2 seconds, I can distinguish baby food flavors from sight with uncanny accuracy, and celebrity baby photo guessing, let's just say baby Justin Bieber still looks a lot like teen Justin Bieber.  

But after the games, and the goodies comes my favorite part!!  The gifts :)  I remember the joy of opening all of my adorable little outfits, toys, and blankets for my little ones and I just love to see a new mom ohh and ahh over cute little baby goodies.  And nothing get's quite as loved as a personalized handmade baby quilt :)

I have lost track of how many baby quilts I have made for sisters, sister-in-laws, friends, neighbors, teachers, and the list goes on.   At one point in time, a few years back, I had a whole group of friends and sister having babies all together and made over 20 baby quilts in about a year and a half.   I even remember to take pictures of most of them, which, as this was before the blogging days, is pretty amazing for me.  Please excuse the pre-blogging picture quality, but hey, at least they are finally making their debut here at Happy Quilting :)

I just love making Baby quilts!!  I have 3 in the works right now and I wouldn't have it any other way!!!  I am sure that you will just love Modern Baby and find lots of Baby Quilt Inspiration.  

And you can win a copy of Modern Baby just by leaving a comment on this post telling me your favorite baby shower game.  That's it, just one comment a person please.  I will pick a random winner on Monday the 29th and announce it here :)

And be sure to continue following along with the tour for lots more chances to win :)  

April 18, Thursday       Jenny from StitchThis! 
April 19, Friday            Shea Henderson from Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio 
April 22, Monday          Jake Finch from Generation Q Magazine
April 23, Tuesday        Audrie Bidwell from Blue is Bleu
April 24, Wed              Carolyn Friedlander from Carolyn Friedlander
April 25, Thursday       Melissa Corry from Happy Quilting  (That's Me)
April 26, Friday            Jen Eskridge from Reanna Lily Designs
April 29, Monday          Sarah Flynn from Fairy Face Designs
April 30, Tuesday        Dana Bolyard from Old Red Barn Company
May 1, Wednesday     Amy Smart from Diary of a Quilter
May 2, Thursday         Carrie Bloomston from Such Designs
May 3, Fri                    Victoria Findlay Wolfe from Victoria Findlay Wolfe Quilts
May 6, Monday            Lindsey Rhodes from LRstitched
May 7, Tuesday           Pippa Eccles Armbrester from Pippa Quilts

So that wraps it up :)  I hope you have enjoyed your visit!!  Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!

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