Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!!!

Costumes, check!  Pumpkins, check!  Bring on the Candy!!!!

Two kids have homemade costumes this year and one is new.  Grandma (Barbara) and Jessi made this Modern Musketeer costume complete with belt, cape, and hat.  I am just so excited with how much this girl is loving sewing!!

And yes, Barbara has amazing millinery skills.  Jessie really liked adding the sequins and feathers :)

Happy Halloween from our Family to Yours!!!

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bloc Loc Rulers

Have you heard of Bloc Loc Rulers??  I was first introduced to them this summer when a student in a quilting class was using one to trim up her HST's.  I noticed she was trimming super fast, so I walked on over to check it out ;)  Within a minute I was in love.  If you have been following Happy Quilting for any time, or if you happened to participate in my last 2 QAL's, you know that there is a lot of trimming going on around here.  So I am sure you can imagine why these have quickly become my favorite ruler :)

These are the Bloc Loc rulers for trimming HST's.  They come in 6 sizes from 1 1/2" to 6 1/2".  I have the even set, and I love them so much, I have already ordered the odd set and am stocking the post man awaiting their arrival ;)

The thing that makes Bloc Loc so special is the groove that runs down the middle of them.  This groove "locs" onto the seam allowance which allows you to apply very little pressure while trimming with completely accurate results.  Accurate results and no sore wrist, bonus!!!

The Bloc Loc rulers are simple to use.  Just place the ruler onto your HST that has the seam pressed to one side.  Loc the groove onto the seam allowance and check to make sure that the fabric is outside of your designated cutting size.   In this example I am double checking the 3 1/2" lines :)

Now just apply light pressure on the ruler and trim the two sides along the edge of the ruler.

Spin the ruler 180 degrees.  The seam stays locked while you spin.

Now slide the ruler down the locked seam and align the edge of the cut fabric with the desired cutting measurement.  The lines on the ruler are super fine which makes it really easy to align them exactly on the edge.  When you are all aligned, trim the remaining two sides.

And you have a perfectly trimmed HST!!!

Now, what is even more fun, is if you have the same size ruler that you are wanting to trim.  No having to double check lines or align here.  Just lock the ruler onto the seam, make sure there is fabric all the way around the end and you are set.

You can do like before and trim 2 sides and then spin your ruler 180 degrees and then trim the other 2 sides.  No sliding or realigning necessary.  Oh, and a rotating mat really comes in handy for this :)

Or I found it just as easy to just rotate my body and wrist and trim all 4 sides at once.  Since you don't need a lot of pressure to keep the ruler in place this is easy.  And in one swoop, a perfect HST.  (Hence, why I have ordered the odd rulers so I will have all 6 sizes)

And since I always trim in a mass assembly line process, I decided to give that a try as well.   And it worked great!!!  I just laid out my HST's on the mat and quickly locked the ruler onto the seam trimming 2 sides of each HST.  This was so fast because I never had to stop and look at measurement lines.

Then I rotated all of the HST's 180 degrees and once again, locked the ruler onto each seam trimming the other 2 sides.

And within minutes (seriously, just a few minutes) I had a whole stack of perfectly trimmed HST's and most importantly, my wrist didn't hurt at all!!  Oh yes, this is my favorite ruler!!!!

And when I went to get my HST rulers I was pleased to find that they also make rulers for Flying Geese!!!  I put a search into google to see what bloggers were saying about the Flying Geese ruler and found this from Rita of Red Pepper Quilts.  I figure if Rita loved them I was sure to as well, so of course, I had to have some :)

The flying geese rulers work in the exact same way, using the grooves on the ruler to lock onto both seams of the flying geese.  The rulers also come with instruction on how to oversize the geese slightly ensuring that you will be able to trim them perfectly :)  Flying Geese rulers come in 4 popular sizes and you can even use them to square up a square in a square block.

Just like the HST's, you loc the rulers onto the seams, trim 2 sides, rotate 180 degrees and them trim again.

So to summarize,  I am absolutely in love with my Bloc Loc Rulers.  They are the perfect tool to make the chore of trimming not so much of a chore!!!  So, if you are like me and happen to be doing a lot of trimming, you might find the Bloc Loc Rulers helpful.

Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!  I am off to trim some more HST's for my Riley Blake Challenge quilt and I am actually looking forward to it.  Yippee Skippee!!!
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October's Ending

Well the month is almost over, which means it was time to get my bee block in the mail ;)  I only had one this month for the Beejeebers group.  Bethany asked us to make this block based on Nancy Cabot's Boston Streets pattern.  It was such a fun block to put together.  I love anything that lets me do lots and lots of perfect crisp corners.  Look at those center pinwheels, so fun!!   And, I found a special new ruler that really made trimming the  HST's a breeze.  I will share more on it later this week :)

And of course, with the end of fall, comes the raking.  This weekend what started out as a family chore to clean up the backyard, turned into some family fun :)

Who doesn't love playing in a huge pile freshly raked leaves :)

And yes, the kids and dear husband did manage to get them all in bags by the end of their time outside :)

Which is probably a really good thing as there is snow on the ground this morning.  I guess that means so long Fall and hello Winter.  But hey, with winter comes staying inside more which means more time for quilting :)

Have a Happy Quilting Day!!
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Monday, October 28, 2013

Bits and Pieces

So did anyone besides me hound Twitter all weekend to see all of the Quilt Market happenings.  I can't wait for all of the blog wrap-ups.  It looked like a wonderful Market and I am super excited for some of the upcoming lines I saw ;)  And, I even managed to see a picture of my Lucky Stars quilt hanging in the Moda booth courtesy of the gals at Fat Quarter Shop :)  So fun!!!

And even though I didn't get to go to The Quilt Show of the weekend, I did get to go to a quilt show this weekend.   Cedar City celebrated it's 8th Heritage Festival this weekend complete with a tractor pull, rodeo, dutch oven taste contest (which was delicious I might add) and yes, quilt show :)   I was asked to display the quilts that I will be teaching in January at the Cedar City Quilt Retreat.  Here is my daughter with my Summer Breeze quilt (which totally needed to be pressed, but what ya gonna do :) 

And my Starburst Quilt along with some of the other retreat classes quilts ;)  It's so fun to see my quilts hanging among so many other beautiful quilts.  Just makes me smile ;)

And this quilt totally blew me away.  I know, looks pretty basic from far away right??

But get up close and you find all of those adorable haunted mansions (I suppose adorable might be the wrong word there) are all hand stitched.  Absolutely amazing. Oh yes,  I am pretty jealous of those mad stitching skills.  Here is hoping, I can show a little Halloween stitching this week as well, provided my daughter finishes in time :)

And . . . in all of my Festival weekend excitement, I totally forgot to pick a winner for the traveling stash.  So let me take care of that :)    And the Winner is . . . .  #82   Jen!!!   Congrats Jen, this stash will be making it's way to your house this week :)

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival : Lucky Stars

I just love Blogger's Quilt Festival.  I love seeing so many amazing quilts and finding great new quilting friends and their amazing creations!!  Welcome to any new friends stopping by for the first time!!

I am so excited to share this new quilt that I made for the Moda Booth at International Quilt Market in Texas this weekend.  The quilt is called Lucky Stars. The pattern is by Vanessa Christensen and uses her new fabric line Color Me Happy.   And this quilt is so happy making!!

Lucky Stars was so much fun to make.  It looks complex but it really isn't, just lots of little squares to sew together.  It actually pieces really quick, which is good because I had about 4 days to make it :)  I just love how the stars pop out of that pixelated background :)

The quilt measures 54" x 72" so it is the perfect size to throw on while watching a movie or curling up in front of the fireplace :)  I can't wait for it to come home and wrap up in it :)  And yes, that makes it part of the Throw Quilts category for Blogger's Quilt Festival ;)  

I quilted this on the long-arm.  I have to admit, I was a little nervous.  I have only practiced about 5 quilts on the long-arm so far and this one was for market.  But I decided the only way I am going to get better is to just keep practicing so I went for it.   I decided in the background to do all over swirls in varying sizes.  (It is by far what I am most comfortable with :)

Then for the stars, I practiced with my trusty little ruler again.   By the time I got to the last star, I think it was just about perfect.  The others have a few little babbles here and there, but I am happy with it ;)  I love the fun designs you can create using just straight lines ;)  

 I had so much fun making this quilt and just love the way it turned out.  It is just such a fun design and just makes me smile ;)    Oh, If anyone at Market happens to see it hanging in the Moda booth, I would love it if you snapped a picture and sent it my way :) Thanks.

And Thank you so much for stopping by and letting me share my quilt.  Now pop on over to the Blogger's Quilt Festival and check out all of the amazing quilts!!! 

Also linking this finish up to Sarah's and Amanda's :)

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

My First Webinar and other tidbits :)

Last night I had the wonderful opportunity to sit in on the Modern Quilt Guild Webinar on Copyright, Trademark, & Quilting - Oh My!!  I have to admit, I was super worried for about the first 3 minutes that I hadn't managed to "log on" correctly and that I was going to miss it all, but just as I started to stress, up came people and I could even hear them.  So fun!!!  

 The Webinar was given by Kristen Lejnieks, an attorney, quilter, mom, and co-author of Block Party.  She gave the address first at Quilt Con and and I am so glad she was willing to do it again in this medium.  I found the seminar to be very informative and most interesting.   With the ever changing case law it wasn't always easy to define what you can and can't do with copyright, but I liked that Kristen pointed out that more importantly, we should just be considerate of others and play nice :)

And since we quilters are mulit-taskers . . .  While listening I drew the lines on the back of my MQG Riley Blake challenge squares and pinned them so they are all ready to sew today.  I love having a prepared pile of sewing.  I mean, who doesn't love hearing their sewing machine hum away :)

Oh, and one last thought before I go.  Tomorrow is Blogger's Quilt Festival and I get to share the secret project I made for Quilt Market.  Yippee!!  I will give you a hint . . . It uses these two lovelies by Vanessa Christensen ;)


Have a Happy Quilting Day!!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Playing With Color Layouts

This morning I have been playing around with some designs for my MQG Riley Blake Challenge.   Since this challenge uses Riley Blake Basics I wanted to stick to the "basics" in my design using HST's, and Flying Geese, and squares.   After lots of playing,  I kept coming back to this design.  It just seemed to fit.

Once I decided on a design, It was time to start playing with the colors.  Here is the bundle we have to work with.    I love that every time I play with color layout in a quilt I create all new designs.  It really is a fun process.  So for fun, I thought I would share with you how the color process worked for me on this particular project.  Who knows, maybe it can give you a few ideas on different ways to play with color :)

I started out with a two color layout.  I love how this emphasizes the design and gives such a crisp modern look.  But, then I decided I wanted to use more of the fabrics sent.   (Although, you might very well see this again for a future project, as I really love the bold look of the two colors ;)

I loved the bold look so I thought trying it in a rainbow type layout might be the answer.  I still get to use lots of fabrics but have a great bold design highlighted.   I liked this, but worried that I lost some of the design in the layout.  Part of me felt like that was fine and part of me wondered.  So I kept on playing.

As I was worried about losing the design, I thought maybe I needed to do a layout that highlighted the actual design by putting same colors in same places.  I instantly did not like this.  Isn't it funny how you think it will be the fix and it totally isn't.

So, after deciding that highlighting the particular parts of the design wasn't the right fit, but still not being sure of the rainbow layout, I decided to just start throwing color at it randomly.  I figured this used all the colors like I wanted and stayed away from highlighting the design.  And I love it!!!

I love how it creates all different secondary patterns that really highlight the white space and bring out lots of sharp little angles.  I can still see a pattern in it but I don't get hit in the face with it.  It is just a montage of happy colors and the randomly layout just seems to be the perfect fit for the pattern.

isn't it just so much fun playing colors.  So now I am curious . . . How do you pick a color layout??

I'm off to the cutting mat to start working on turning this from a design to a quilt :)

Have a Happy Quilting Day!!
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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Blogger's Choice Bundle Giveaway!!!

First off, Thank you so much to all of you who left such lovely comments on my Shabby Hexie Twist baby quilt and tutorial.     They really mean so much!!  A particular trend I noticed in the comments is that you love the colors and prints.  Well today . . . You have a chance to win them!!!  Yippee :)

Fat Quarter Shop is giving away my Blogger's Choice bundle to one lucky reader.  All you have to do is pop on over to the Jolly Jabber and leave a comment answering a fun little question about me and my quilting preferences :)

And for those popping over to or from The Jolly Jabber, A layer cake in these beautiful prints would have also been a great plan for making the Shabby Hexie Twist quilt, hint hint :)

Good Luck to you all and have a Happy Quilting Day!!

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