Monday, March 31, 2014

Just In Time

So ya, it's the last day of the month, and I am mailing out my bee blocks today.  But hey, at least they are still in this month, even if it is just barely ;)  And this month brought two very fun bee blocks to work on.

First up, for the Bees Knees group, Amy asked us to make some framed square blocks.  I love the fabrics she sent and had so much fun putting this block together.  I was trying to embrace my inner improv skills and not plan this one out beforehand so I just starting adding strips.  Sadly, I missed and made the larger square another 2 frames larger before I realized it was to big for the size block requested.  Oh well, a little trim trim solved that.  But I have to say, it looked pretty cool with the additional frames ;)


And for the Beejeebers group, Erica asked us to make something a little familiar.  Yes, she is making a Star Light Star Bright Quilt and asked each of us to make a block.  She asked us to use shades of grey, teal, navy, and green and I can't wait to see it come together.  It is going to be so pretty!!


So now it is off to the post office to get these in the mail ;)  Just in time to start next month's blocks :)  Please tell me I am not the only one that procrastinates :)

Oh, and just to keep it real, Here is another little thing I procrastinated.  Hello Laundry!!  It is time to conquer this mountain, should be a fun day :)



Have a Happy Quilting (or maybe laundry) Day!!
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Friday, March 28, 2014

2 New Patterns!!!

I have been plugging away at the computer this week and am happy to (finally) share two new patterns today that have been on the list to do for some time.  First off, a Salutations Remake and second Starburst!!!


Salutations was my second pattern published but I have always wanted to remake it to add size options as well as to make it a bit less busy.  So when Barbara asked to use the pattern for a neighbor gift it was the perfect remake opportunity :)  Didn't Barbara do such a great job with it!!!


Don't you just love the way these modern pinwheels just seem to dance over the quilt. It creates so much movement.  The fabrics are a collection of Andover Prints we picked up at Sample Spree.  They are just so happy and bright they make me want spring to arrive.


This new Salutations Pattern has 4 size options, a Baby, Lap, Twin, and Queen.  So it works out great for whomever you need to make it for.  So fun!!!


So there you have it, the new and improved Salutations :)


And the second pattern is Starburst!!!!


I know, this has been a long time coming.  This is the same pattern as my tutorial and Quilt-A-Long but I had so many of you request it in actual pattern form.  Thanks for that ;)  I am happy to now have it done for you :)


Both of these patterns are available in my Craftsy Shop or my Etsy shop and are currently on sale for $5.00 for their opening debut ;)  They will remain on sale for a week and then go to my normal $8.50 pattern fee ;)


Thanks so much for stopping by today ;)  Have a Happy Quilting Weekend!!

Oh, one last note - I am also working on the Back to Basics Pattern and Star Surround Pattern.  Hopefully they will be coming sooner rather than later ;)


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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Jelly Beans - Published!!

So do you remember my "A Study in Quilting" quilt I made for Volume 8 of 100 Blocks??  Well I was super thrilled when the folks at Quiltmaker asked if they could publish the pattern for the quilt in the regular issue of Quiltmaker!!  So fun!!!


It will be in the May/June issue which will be hitting stores soon ;)  The quilt has been renamed Jelly Beans.  How fun for this time and year.  


It doesn't show up much in the professional pictures but I used all different tones of neutral solids in the background.  I love the look it created and it also cleaned out my solid neutral scrap drawer.  Bonus!!  The print fabrics are Terrain by the ever wonderful Kate Spain,


I just love how this quilt was created with such an easy block but has a wonderful secondary pattern created when those blocks are put together.  So if you loved it too and want the pattern, watch for the next issue of Quiltmaker.  There are tons of other great quilts in this issue as well, like that adorable sheep quilt on the cover made by Deonn Stott!!   

That's all for today.  Have a Happy One :)

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

One Week Left of the Star Light Star Bright Quilt-A-Long

Yes, that's right.  There is only one more week until the Star Light Star Bright Parade and Grand Prize Announcements!!!!   I am so excited!!!  I am just blown away by all of the amazing projects you are all creating.  They are absolutely stunning!!!!  Just take a look!!!

  

Okay, I know, that is a really small look.  But you can see them all here and click on the links to check them out.  You can also check out everyone's progress at Flickr by clicking here ;)  There are already 50 project top finishes.  Yippee!!!!  

We don't have many finishes for the parade yet, but I know I will see those start coming in this week,  we quilters work best under pressure, right :)

Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!!
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Quilting Away

I finished piecing the British Quilt yesterday and was ready to load it on the long arm this morning.


After a bit of debating I went with echoed paisleys in the background.  And  now that they are all done I am ready to pull out some Magnifico and add a little pop.  Magnifico is made by Superior Threads and I love the shine it has to it.  So fun!!!


More on this quilt to come ;)


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Monday, March 24, 2014

Girls Weekend Out!!!

This weekend I spent a lovely 3 days with just Barbara and my wonderful Sister-In-Laws.  We hulled up in this beautiful condo in Park City.


We were way up in the tippy top of the mountains and it was absolutely gorgeous!!!


Sadly, we didn't get to relax in the pool as it was filled with snow and the hot tub had a sheet of ice on it.  But there was plenty else to do :)


We enjoyed the beautiful scenery (and food, yummy!!) of Park City, Walked Main Street several times, took in a local art museum, and even went to see Divergent, which was awesome!!  (You always worry when you love the book seeing the movie, but they did a great job with it!!)  Mostly, we just enjoyed the carefree go wherever you want, do whatever you want, at any time of day, type of feeling you get when you don't have anyone else to plan for but yourself ;)  Such a fun weekend!!


And yes, I even did a bit of sewing.   I got these fun Half Square Triangles put together for a new quilt tutorial I will be sharing next week :)  The fabric is British Invasion and it will be a special quilt for my mother who was born and raised in England.  So fun!!!


And I would be off to finish up this quilt, but I came home to a house full of sick people.  So sad.    Even the husband had to take work off today he is so sick.  So I best go make some chicken soup ;)

Have a Happy Quilting Day!!
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Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Secret Drift

The last few days I have been busy working on a little secret project.  I know, another one, sorry.  This one came about sort of last minute so it was one of those peddle to the metal, get it done rather snappy type of projects :)  So Saturday was cutting.  I love the beautiful tones of Angela Walter's newest line Drift.  They are so soothing to work with!


Monday and Tuesday was piecing.  The top came together quick and it was a lot of fun to piece.  Then it was time to make a quilt back from this awesome oval element cappuccino print.  I love me a good polka-dot!!


And yesterday was quilting day.  I know I am so spoiled to have a long arm available for my use two doors away.  And I have to say, I love it!!!  It especially come in handy  for these super quick projects.  I quilted a combination of wavy lines with some good old swirls.  This is the first time I have tried that and I really liked the way it turned out ;)


Then it was a quick machine binding and this little Secret Drift project was in the mail by the end of the day.  Yippee!!  I promise to show more in a little bit :)

Getting this project in the mail yesterday was so very important because today starts Girls Weekend Out!!!   I get to spend the entire weekend relaxing with Barbara and my Sister-In-Laws!!!     We were given use of a condo in Park City so it's no kids and just us girls having a great time for 3 1/2 whole days!!!  Ya, I am totally excited!!!  (can you tell by all the exclamation points :)   Nothing but Rest and Relaxation, bring it on!!!

Have a Happy Quilting (or relaxing) Day!!
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Riley Blake Mail Surprise!!!

So I got a little box from Riley Blake yesterday and I have to say, I squealed just a bit when I opened it to find these lovelies!!!


You see . . . I knew this box had my 3rd place (still totally excited about that) prize for the Modern Quilt Guild Challenge .  But I was expecting to find the 3rd place bundle shown at the intro post which was these lovely stripes.  Now, I love stripes as much as the next girl . . .


But I am over the moon crazy about polka-dots!!!  So when these lovely pink and green basics bundles tumbled out that had chevrons, gingham, and lots and lots of polka-dots, well ya, I was pretty excited!!! There was a sweet note explaining that they were out of stripes and hoped I would like these.  Well Ya!!!!  Not to mention they are pink and green!!! And you all know how much I love pink and green together, I think the ladies as Riley Blake might have stalked me a bit, how sweet of them!!!!


They also included this 7" stacker of Unforgettable by My Mind's Eye.   I love these prints!!!!  That Hexagon print, so stinking adorable!!!  And now that I have already opened  I can get right to cutting it up.  I have never used a 7" stacker and am excited to design up a perfect little plan for it :)  I see an adorable baby girl blanket in the making.


Thank you so much Riley Blake for your sweet package.  It is fantastic and I can't wait to play with these wonderful fabrics!!!

Have a Happy Quilting Day!!
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Monday, March 17, 2014

A New Button

My wonderful friend and web page designer, Becca, made me a new little button.  Isn't it just so cute!!!   And now you can find my little corner of Instagram at any time ;)  You'll find it over there on the right under the Follow Follow Me buttons ;)




I am having so much fun with Instagram.  I think I just about have it figured out, although the #'s are still pretty new to me.    Oh, and for fun, here is a picture I posted on Instagram this weekend.   Isn't it just wonderful that we can capture these special memories :)     I know she won't want to be my little helper forever so I make a note to cherish these moments, even if she does hit me in the chin with her head several times over ;)


Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!
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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Worldwide Quilting Day!!!

Today is Worldwide Quilting Day!!!  How awesome is it that we have a day to celebrate our passion!! I do have quilting plans, but the day is full so we will see how they pan out.  But, I am determined to squeeze in at least a few minutes during some point of the day.  And of course, I will be thinking about quilting all day so that counts too :)



I also had the wonderful opportunity to celebrate Worldwide Quilting day by making a block to support St. Judes' Children's Research Hospital.  The wonderful folks at Chili's are making a quilt for St. Judes' and reached out to quilt bloggers all over to help them make the blocks.  They asked us to make a block that represented St. Judes', Chili's, or Hope.  I opted for Hope ;)

And here is my block.  It is called Pieces of Hope.



When I started thinking of hope I had lots of ideas but in the end I was inspired by quilting in general.  See,   I often find that when making quilts for gifts they involve an occasion that bring hope into lives and into the world.  The marriage of two people ready to start their lives together, the miracle of a child being born, the special birthday of a cherished love one, or the wonderful anniversary of two people I love and respect.  This block is made of bits and pieces of some of those quilts.  I see it as a small way to pass on the hope of each of those joyous occasions.  I added a sun to the patchwork orange sky because nothing says hope like the dawn of each new day. 

This block was a special block and it truly touched my heart to be able to use my love of quilting to help benefit the children of St. Judes'.  You can see other blocks over at Chili's blog.  There are some good friends over there that participated in this wonderful project as well ;)

Have a Happy Worldwide Quilting Day!!!



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Friday, March 14, 2014

She's 5 and a Special Surprise!!

Yes, Kami was born on Pi Day!!!  Lucky girl :)  And today she turned 5.  Wow, she is growing up so fast.  She loves her preschool and is so looking forward to Kindergarten.  She is a big helper for mommy when the older kids go to school and loves to play with her younger sister.  She got to open one special present this morning from her older sister.


 Jessi's Baby and Me quilts!!!  Aren't they just adorable!!  Jessica has been working on this project for over a year.  She started with me, and then Grandma Barbara jumped in to help as well.


Jessica did everything on these quilts from start to finish.  She picked out the fabrics with very little guidance, yes she has great color sense.  The cutting made me a little nervous as she is a lefty and kept using the rotary cutter "backwards" but we got through it with no missing appendages. She pieced all of her rows and sashings and it was fun to see how she got more confident and she moved along with it.


And yes, she even quilted each and bound them.  She quilted the larger quilt on the long arm and the smaller quilt on my home machine.  It made me laugh when she said the home machine was "way harder" than the long arm :)


Seriously, look at that concentration :)


And I just went in to the Birthday Girl's room to find her baby wrapped in it's mini blanket and Kami wrapped in hers.  Yup, I think it was a perfect Surprise Jessi ;)  Great job!!!


And Happy Birthday Kami Girl!!  We Love You!!!

Have a Happy Quilting Weekend, and have a piece of Pie for Pi day :)

Linking up to Sarah's and Fort Worth Fabric
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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mini Me

Last night I was totally blown away when I brought up the idea of getting an ipad for my birthday or Christmas or something and my husband informed me that the sooner I get it the more use it would be to me.  Twenty minutes later we were on our way home with this little guy.  Yippee!!


I later found out that he had been thinking for some time that I would benefit from one and was just waiting for me to decide I would be happy with it. Side Note - I was an accountant before I was a mom so I have this silly process of having to weigh the "value" of each of my purchases before I can make up my mind and know I won't have buyers remorse. Silly but true.  Anyhow, back to the topic at hand.  I decided on the Ipad Mini because I want it to be easy to travel with, super light (I have been having some issues lately with carpal tunnel, no fun), and honestly, I just think they look so cute!!!   And with the bubblegum pink cover . . .  ya I am loving it!!

Oh, and now look what I can do . . . see that little camera on the bottom!!!


Yes, that is right!!!  Now that I have a device that actually has apps  (Yes, I still use a flip phone) I can finally join Instagram!!!  I am so excited.   I am happyquiltingmc and you can find me here ;)  I can't wait!!!  So fun!!!

Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!


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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Star Light Star Bright Quilt-A-Long - FINISH TOP AND GRAND PRIZE LINKY!!!!

**  NOTE  - This post is part of a series of posts for the Star Light Star Bright Quilt-A-Long.  If you would like to join (and have a chance to win one of 4 of the $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




Okay, I am so super excited for this week!!  But first, let's pick a winner for the Block Corners assignment!!!  The winner who gets  their choice of 3 of my Happy Quilting Patterns is . . . .                                                                          #41- Bri!!! - Congrats :) 

  


Alright, this is the week we have been building up towards!!!  The last week's assignment.  Now this assignment is a little larger but you have lots of time to do it!!  And it means, we get to see all of those wonderful project tops come together!!!  So, So, So Exciting!!!!    I just can't wait to see them all :)  

Oh, one last note, be sure to read to the end of today's post as it has all of the details on the Grand Prize Linky and the Parade :)  

LAST ASSIGNMENT - PIECING PROJECT TOP!!!

So this final assignment will be done in two steps, Piecing the Block, and then Piecing the Project.  So let's start with piecing those blocks together!

PIECING THE BLOCK

Grab your Star Center, your 4 Block Sides and your 4 Block Corners for your first block (or only block) and lay them out as follows.  Just like piecing the units, you can choose to build one block at a time or chain stitch all your blocks.  Just remember, that it helps to lay out all your blocks in one large stack if you are chain stitching ;)



We are going to start by making rows.  To do this, place the pieces on the right and left onto the center pieces with right sides together.  Take care to line up each seam and pin them in place.  Sew a 1/4" seam along each of the pinned edges.  (If you are chain stitching, it is easiest if you do all of the left hand side first for all of your pieces and then repeat for all of the right hand side pieces :)


And remember, When stitching your seams, you want to use those same tricks you learned when making the block units.  We want lots of happy perfect points.   So at each pinned seam, take care to sew your seam directly at the bottom of the little V created in the seam allowance ;)



Once your seams are stitched, clip your threads and press the seams open to avoid bulk.  You will now have 3 rows that look something like this ;)


And now, the last 2 seams for the block!!  Lay your top and bottom row onto the center row with right sides together.  Once again, take care to align and pin each seam in place.  If you find you are having a little bubble from aligning your seams, simply smooth the bubble down and place a horizontal pin there to keep it down.   Stitch a 1/4" seam along the pinned edges, remembering your perfect point tricks ;)    Press the seams open.


And Ta Da!!!  You have a stunning Star Light Star Bright Block!!  If you were chain stitching enjoy all of your blocks!!!  If you were working on one block at a time, just repeat the process for each of the blocks in your project ;)



PIECING THE PROJECT

And now that your blocks are all made you can move onto the next step of piecing your project top together  I am going to use digital pictures from here on out to make it a little easier to work with each layout and honestly, I can't get back far enough in my sewing room to get a picture with all of the blocks in it ;)    Start by laying your blocks out in your chosen layout.  Mine is 3 x 3.  Play with the placement of the blocks until you get a color layout that is pleasing to the eye.


When you have a layout you like you are ready to add the sashing.  Now you don't have to add the sashing if you don't want to. As you can see from above, it creates a  whole new design  without sashing that is pretty fun.  It's your quilt, you make it as you like ;)

Let's address one block layouts first.  If you are doing a 1 Block Layout and you want to add the sashing it is just like adding a border.  Layout the sashing strips as shown with the short strips on the sides and the long sides along the top and bottom.  Sew the short strips onto the side using a 1/4" seam.  Press towards the sashing.  Sew the long strips onto the top and bottom using a 1/4" seam.  Press towards the sashing.  And your 1 Block Project Top is Complete!!!



Now, if you are doing any other layout, your sashing is a little different.  I will show the examples for a 3 x 3 layout but it is the same process if you are doing the 2 x 2 layout or the 4 x 4 layout.  Place short sashing strips at the beginning of each row, at the end of each row, and in between each block in every row.

Now, you are ready to sew the Sashing Strips and Blocks into rows.   To do this, I like to first sew the sashing strips to the sides of the blocks using a 1/4" seam.  Press towards the sashing strips.

Now sew the Sashed Blocks into your rows, adding one block at a time until the row is complete.  Always use a 1/4" seam and press towards the sashing.

And now with your rows made, you are ready to add the long sashing.  Place long sashing strips  (You will most likely have needed to piece these together first) at the top of your project, the bottom of your project, and in between each row of your project.


And now you can sew them all together.  This is just like sewing the blocks into rows only on a much longer scale.  Once again, start by sewing the Sashing Strips to the sewn Rows using a 1/4" seam and pressing towards the sashing strips.

Now sew each of the Sashed Rows together, adding one row at a time until your quilt top is complete!!!


And now, you can just sit back and enjoy your beautiful Star Light Star Bright Project top!!!


But don't forget, while you are enjoying it, to be sure to link your project top up to the Happy Quilting Quilt-A-Long Flickr group!!!  We all want to enjoy it ;)

And with your Project Top complete, you are ready to link up to the Grand Prize Linky!!!!


GRAND PRIZE LINK UP

The Grand Prizes that you are hoping to be picked for is   . .

A $75.00 Gift Certificate that you can spend as you like!!  There will be 4 lucky Grand Prize winners, 2  winners will receive a Gift Certificate to The Intrepid Thread and 2 winners will receive a Gift Certificate to Fat Quarter Shop.  Talk about some fun Shopping Sprees!!!

    


In order to be eligible to win the Grand Prize you need to Link Up your completed project top (not quilted yet, just the project top) at the end of this post!!!  You have until the early, early morning of April 2nd to get your project top sewn together and linked to be entered :)    But remember, You have to have a link at the end of this post to be entered to win one of the Grand Prizes.  


STAR LIGHT STAR BRIGHT QUILT-A-LONG PARADE

Now, as just mentioned, you only have to have your project top done to enter into the grand prize link up . . . However,  I wanted to encourage you to finish these projects and not set them in a pile of "to be quilted" so I am planning a Parade for the 2nd of April :)  The parade will show off all  quilted and bound Star Light Star Bright Projects!!  

So, how do you finish up those projects??? 

Baste It, Quilt It, and Bind It!!  I know, I make it sound all so simple.  If you are new to quilting, and need some help with these last few steps, you can see my Video Tutorials that go over the basics of how to do this ;)  Also, there are some helpful free motion quilting tutorials if you are stuck on how you want to quilt your project ;) 

Once you have your project Basted, Quilted, and Bound it is ready to be showcased it in the Parade.  In order to have it in the parade, I need you to please send me an email (happyquiltingmelissa@gmail.com)  with your favorite finished Star Light Star Bright Project picture attached as well as the name you would like your photo listed with, where you are from, and a blog or flickr photostream link if applicable.  You can email me anytime from now until the evening of April 1st and I will get you added to the Parade!!!  

I am so looking forward to seeing everyone's finishes!!!  You can decide if you would like to add your finish picture to the Flickr group now or wait until after the parade to keep it a secret :)  Grand Prize winners will be announced on April 2nd along with the amazing parade filled with all of your beautiful quilts, pillows, table runners, ect.!!!  I can't wait!!!  I know this is just going to be an awesome parade!!





So, in summary, Link up your finished project top (not quilted) at the end of this post by April 2nd to be entered for the grand prize linky :)  Email me a picture of your finished project (quilted and bound)  with your name, where you are from, and a place to link your picture by April 1st to be part of the parade :)  

Alright, I know that was a lot.  If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to email me at happyquiltingmelissa@gmail.com, I don't want any one to miss out on the grand prizes or parades because of confusion ;)

I can't wait to see your finished projects!!!  Thank you so much for quilting-a-long with me!!!!  Now, off you go to finish up :)  Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!



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