Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Kiss 2013 Goodbye and Point Me to 2014

Well 2014 is waiting in the wings, so it is that time again. Time to make some mosaics and bring on the goal setting.  I think this is one of my favorite post days of the year.  It is just so fun to look back and see the progress and creativity of the year.  Yup, very happy making indeed.  So, here it is . . .

2013 - A Year of  Happy Quilting A La Mosaic Style

2013 Beejeebers Bee Blocks

2013 Quilt Tutorials

2013 Published

2013 Quilts and Projects Not Already Shown 

1. My New Rally Quilt, 2. Baby Refracted, 3. Refracted Rainbows - FLQS, 4. Tetris Quilt-A-Long Finished, 5. Lucky Stars - Flat, 6. Sister's Choice, 7. Back to Basics, 8. Blocks for Quilts for Boston, 9. Jelly Roll Jam x2, 10. Blocks for Quilts for Boston, 11. Josie's Sister's Choice Angle, 12. Gathered Clutches

2013 Quilt-A-Long's - Starburst and Star Surround (and sadly, mine aren't quilted)

And last but not least, I really wanted to remember some of the free motion quilting I did this year.  This has been a real focus for me, especially with the new long-arm. About half of these are on my home machine and half on the long-arm.   So one last mosiac.

2013 Free Motion Quilting

1. Wood Grain, 2. Read With Me - Quilting Detail - Ground, 3. Quilting Detail - The Way The Crow Flies, 4. Lucky Stars - Stars Quilting, 5. In Your Neighborhood Quilting Detail, 6. Flower Quilting, 7. A Study in Quilting - Quilting, 8. Interlocking Circles, 9. Hearts and Loops Quilting, 10. Lucky Stars - Background Quilting, 11. Steps To Tranquility - Quilting Detail 1, 12. Read With Me - Quilting Detail - Castle and clouds, 13. Steps To Tranquility - Quilting Detail 2, 14. Stars and Loops FMQ, 15. Feathers Detail, 16. Back to Basics - Quilting, 17. Refracted Rainbows Quilting - FLQS, 18. First Time Using a Ruler on the Long Arm, 19. Daddy's Little Girl - Quilting, 20. Swirls, 21. Pom-Pom Quilting, 22. Interlocking Rectangles, 23. All Star Quilting Detail, 24. Steps To Tranquility - Quilting Detail 3

Wow, 2013!!!  You were quite a Happy Quilting Year!!!!  

So now it's time to look forward to 2014!!  For 2013 I made 4 broad goals.  They were . . .

1 - Expand my Skills

2 - Be Happy with Me

3 - Tell the Story

4 - Seize Opportunities while Keeping Balance

I feel so incredibly happy with how 2013 has come and gone for Happy Quilting. It really has been such an amazing year with so many wonderful accomplishments.  And quite honestly, I really feel like these 4 little goals (that I had kept posted to my wall) really were a guiding factor in that success.  They really did change from "goals" to Daily Reminders.  Each time I sat at my machine and say those 4 little reminders I just couldn't help but smile.  They really did allow me to let go of stress, focus on ideas and creativity, smile at myself and my accomplishments, organize my time, and in general, helped me to continue to grow as a quilter.

So - I have decided that for 2014 - those 4 little Daily Reminders are staying on the wall!!!  So . . . Bring on 2014!!!  I am so super excited to see what it will bring :)

And One Last Note . . . I want to send a huge Thank You to each and every one of you!!!   I wish there was a way I could reach through the computer and give you each a hug because words just don't seem enough.   I am just thrilled to pieces with how Happy Quilting continues to grow and touch people's creative lives.  All of the sweet comments, pictures of your inspired creations, quilting-a-long with me, encouraging emails, goodness, I could go on and on.   You all put the Happy in Happy Quilting and your support, kindness and friendship mean the world to me.  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!!!

So here's to a Happy Quilting year in 2014!!!!!!
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Monday, December 30, 2013

Cotton Bliss Gift Certificate Giveaway

Well, today is an exciting day!!! As of this morning, Happy Quilting has over 3,000 followers on Bloglovin!!!   Yippee Skippee!!  So, I think news like that calls for a little celebration and my good friend Stefanie at Cotton Bliss is helping me celebrate with a $25.00 Gift Certificate Giveaway for all of you!!

Cotton Bliss is celebrating the coming New Year with a Huge sale!!  There is fabric, thread, notions, and patterns all at phenomenal sale prices!!!   The sale is going on through January 6th!!   So here is how it is going to work.

For a chance to enter the giveaway, simply

1 - Pop on over to the Cotton Bliss Year End Sale and choose a favorite item or two that you might like to spend a gift certificate on and then pop back here and leave me a comment of what it is ;)

That's it.  Super easy right :)  The giveaway is open to everyone and it will close Friday the 3rd and a winner will be announced Saturday Morning ;)

Good Luck to everyone and Happy Quilting!!!
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Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Dresses - A 3-D Finish!!

So clear back in June of 2011, (Yes, I know it was that long ago because I actually blogged about it :) I  found some beautiful fabric on clearance that I knew would be just perfect for some matching Christmas dresses.  I have always wanted to make matching Christmas dresses for my girls.  Well . . .2 1/2 years later . .   Those dresses are finally done!!  Yippee!!

Although I have to admit, I didn't do most of them.  See, 3-D sewing sort of scares me something fierce.  So over Thanksgiving my mom agreed to help "guide" me through making these dresses.  We worked on them for a good portion of a day, and got a decent amount done.  My wonderful mother did most of the pinning and matching and lining up, so ya, all I had to do was sew a seam ;)

And then more family showed up and the dresses got set aside,. which totally led to time running out.  So rather than sending the dresses back with me to try and finish, my mom offered to finish them for me.  And of course, I accepted!!

She worked on and had them finished in no time at all.  (Ya, I am pretty sure I was slowing her down :)  And my oh my, didn't they just turn out beautiful!!   I am so excited that my 3 girls finally had matching dresses for Christmas ;)

And they even got to wear their dresses to see the Nutcracker yesterday.  All the girls wanted fancy ballerina hair to go with their fancy dresses.  They were spinning and twirling all day.  So fun!!!

My Three Little Angels!!!!

I hope you all had a Very Merry Christmas!!!!  We had a wonderful day and are continuing to love spending time with family :)  I will be back soon after some more Holiday fun :)  Oh, and I have to share my Christmas present with you.  I will give you a hint . . . I took these pictures with it.   EEEkkk!!!!!

Linking this finish up to Sarah's and Amanda's :)

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Monday, December 23, 2013

The Masses Have Spoken

First off, Wow!!!!  I am so excited with how many of you weighed in on which block you like for the upcoming Quilt-A-Long.   I can tell already, this is going to be an amazing Quilt-A-Long.  I am so excited!!  And sorry I did not get a chance to write back and thank each of you.  Things are a little crazy around here with the Holiday's but please know that I so appreciate you taking the time to throw in a vote ;)

So I tallied all of the blog comments, facebook comments , and individual emails and the clear favorite was . . .  Option 1!!!!   So there you have it . . . This will be the block we will be doing for the Star Light Star Bright Quilt-A-Long   (Do you like the name??)

I thought you might like to get an idea of what it will look like in fun prints so I took some favorite bundles from the last QAL and threw them into our Star Light Star Bright  design.  Here they are!!

Doesn't that just make you so excited.  Eeekkk, I just love them!!!   This is going to be so fun!!!

Now, just a quick note. . . . if you were one of the folks who wanted the Star from #4 in the center don't fret.  It is easily changed. Just cut your four center squares 1/2" larger and turn those four squares into HST's :) 

Or if you liked that pop of yellow . . . Just remember when we are making our flying geese with the big square print, to substitute your pop color fabric ;)

This is your Quilt . . . So please, please, please . . . Customize it any way you like.   I won't be showing instructions on these customizations.  I tried to figure how how I could, but it just got really confusing.  But please know that if you have any questions along the way, general or customize ones, just shoot me an email :)  I am happy to help in any way I can ;)  

So, what now??  Well, give me a few weeks to get together all of the nitty gritty.  I need to get measurements, (remember, there will be multiple size and layout options, including a one block options for those that want to QAL but are a little swamped ;)  fabric requirements, some great custom bundles (like the ones above but with new fabrics) , a button, and of course, lots of prizes!!!!

Expect to see a little teaser post come the beginning of January with a button and then a schedule post mid January that will include fabric requirements ;)  I am tentatively planning for the end of January to get started with cutting  ;)   

I am just so excited for another fabulous Quilt-A-Long and I am over the moon happy to see how much you all love the design.  I am pretty sure the Star Light Star Bright Quilt-A-Long is going to be the biggest QAL here at Happy Quilting to date!!!

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Friday, December 20, 2013

January is Quilt-A-Long Time . . . What Do You Say???

Alright, the new year is fast approaching and it is going to be that wonderful time of year where all the Quilt-A-Long's start popping up.  Now if you have been around here for a bit, you know I love, love, love a good Quilt-A-Long!!!  The last one we had over 100 people participating, so fun!!!!  So I am thinking why not join the fun.  Of course, there will be lots of prizes, wonderful fabric bundles,  lots of size options, and yes, there will be one block quilt options (including a giant block!!!)  for those who want to join but are stretched thin on time ;)

And since you will be Quilting-A-Long, I figured you should get some say in the designing process :)  I decided to stick with a star design because they are always so popular. (See the previous Star QAL's Here)  So I was playing around in EQ and came up with a starting design and then changed around the color layout to come up with 4 options.  So now it's your turn.   Which design do you like??  Do you like a certain part of 1 but wish it were put in another??  Just throw out anything you want . . . This is your time to make your opinion heard ;)   (oh, and yes, these will have more color and prints, like the last QAL's but I kept them all the same for this part so we could focus on the design)

So . . . Here they are

Star Light Star Bright Version 1

Star Light Star Bright Version 2

Star Light Star Bright Version 3

Star Light Star Bright Version 4

So, what do you say . . . Do You Want to Quilt-A-Long with Me????

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wonky Star Quilt Block Tutotiral

Yesterday a good friend asked if I would show her how to make a Wonky Star Quilt Block.  I figured, while I was showing her I might as well show here, so I took some photo's along the way :)  I tried to make this really in depth, as I know the "wonkiness" of this block can scare people away.  Follow along, and you will see just how easy they are to make ;)

So to start, you are going to needs some squares for your background (normally neutrals)  and some squares for your star (normally colors).  We choose to use 2 fabulous charm packs, Kona Sunset and Kona Sandcastle.  I love how adding a range of neutral colors in the background adds a little something extra :)

Aren't those just so pretty!!!  I love the Kona Palettes Robert Kaufman puts together!!!    Now, you don't have to use Charm Squares, you can use any size square, just so long as they are all the same size to start.  (Although if you got to small, it would be a little difficult ;)  Just know that whatever size square you use, your finished block will end up being the size of your square times 3 and then less 1 1/2.  So for example, with the 5" charms the block will be 5 x 3 = 15 - 1.5 = 13 1/2" Square.  (so if you want a 12" block start with a 4 1/2" square :)

For each block you will need 8 Background Squares and 5 Color Squares.  Cut 4 of the Color Squares in half diagonally.   Note - If you are making more blocks than 1 you can add more variety by mixing the print triangles from other blocks so you have 8 colors instead of 4.

Start with a Background Square and a Color Triangle.  Place the Triangle onto the square with the edges of the triangle hanging over the square at least a 1/4" on the bottom and side.  Note - Here is where you might want to take into account the "overlap" of your star points.   If you want to have the overlap when you put your star together to be opposite on top and bottom and side to side (as mine is above) do all of your first triangles on either the left or right.  Don't alternate.  If you want your overlap to be the same direction all the way around the star, do half of your triangles hanging off the left and half hanging of the right.  If you want to add to the overall Wonkyness, just don't stress about it ;)

Stitch a seam a 1/4" from the edge of your Color Triangle.  You will see that I stitch from one edge to the other, which isn't necessary as the ends are being stitched together, but it makes chain stitching your pieces a whole lot easier.

This step is just to double-check.  Once you have made a bunch, you will start to really feel confident and will cut this step out all together.  But for the first few times, go ahead and finger press the seam and check that the Color Triangle is completely covering the background square on the side and bottom.

Fold the Color Triangle back down onto the Background Square and using your ruler, align the 1/4" mark on the ruler with your stitched seam.  Cut along the edge of the ruler trimming off the excess and creating a nice little 1/4" seam.

Press the seam towards the Color Triangle.  (You will see that in this picture I actually pressed towards the Background Square but father down the line I was wishing I would have pressed the other way ;)   Now just repeat this process to make a total of 4 for the 4 sides of your star.  And as you can see, you can really vary the angle of your triangle to create some super fun wonky points.   (Oh, And if you are doing more than one block, repeat for however many blocks times 4, this is where chain stitching can really save you some time ;)

Now it is time to add the second point to your star sides.  This process is the exact same as before.  Place a Color Triangle on the opposite side of your pieced unit with at least a 1/4" hanging over the side and bottom.

Stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge of the Color Triangle.  Once again, chain stitching at this step can save you a lot of time ;)

Now check to make sure the side and bottom are covering the background square by finger pressing the seam.  (And sometimes it might be a tiny bit off, that will be okay, just remember this is wonky, no need to stress :)

Now place your Color Triangle back onto the Background Square and align your ruler 1/4" over the stitched seam.  Cut off the excess along the edge of the ruler creating a 1/4" seam.  You will be cutting some of the first Color Triangle when you do this ;)

And once again press the seam towards the Color Triangle.  And you can see again, there is a lot of different angles you can try out.  It doesn't have to have a lot of overlap, just a 1/4".   Repeat this process (if you weren't chain stitching) to make a total of 4 star side units.

And now it is time to trim the star side units.  You will be trimming the units to the same size as your original square.  So I will be trimming back to 5" square.  Align your quilting ruler so that the 5" mark aligns with your raw edges on the three sides of your background square.  Trim along the 2 sides.

Now rotate your block 180 degrees and align your 5" marks with the two trimmed sides and the top of the Background Square.  Trim along the remaining side.  And you have a fabulous 5" Wonky Star Side.

And if you want to add a little more variety in your cutting, you don't always have to align right along the top of your Background Square.  On blocks that have a lot of Colored Triangles crossover on the bottom, you can align anywhere from top to bottom, as long as the the whole block fits within the 5" marks.  Still use the sides of the Background Square though to align the sides.  You will need to trim 4 sides doing it this way ;)

Trim all 4 Wonky Side Star Units.  Don't they just look so fun!!  (and once again, if you are doing more than one block, go ahead and trim them all now ;)

Now grab your Units and your remaining 4 Background Squares and 1 Color Square.  Lay them out as shown.  This is where you will want to watch your overlap if you were planning on it being a certain way.
But once again, don't stress to much here, it will add to the overall Wonky effect if you just want to place them however ;)

So now, you can start sewing your block pieces together.  Start by laying the center square in each row onto the first square with right sides together.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge of all three pieces.  I didn't bother with pins here as you aren't needing to worry about seams.  Press the seams towards the non-pieced blocks.

Now place the last square in each row onto the center square with right sides together.  Once again, sew a 1/4" seam along all three edges, aligning as you go.  Press towards the non-pieced squares.

And you should now have three rows like thus that are all going to "nest" together perfectly because of the pressing.  Let's do it ;)

Place the top row onto the center row with right sides together.  This is where the pins need to come out.  Nest each seam so they they are right next to each other and pin in place.  I like to pin either end as well so they don't shift when sewing.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.  I like to press this seam open to reduce bulk.

Now repeat for the bottom row.  Place the bottom row onto the center row with right sides together, nest and pin the seams, and then stitch a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.  Press the seam open.

And you have a fabulously Wonky Star Quilt Block!!   See, easy right :)  Now go have some fun getting your Wonky Groove on :)

I hope your enjoyed this tutorial and if you make some of your own Wonky Stars I would love to see them :)  You can add them to my Flickr Group here ;)   I can't wait to see what fun projects you come up with using this awesome Wonky Block ;)

Have a Happy (Wonky) Quilting Day!!!
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