Saturday, July 30, 2016

Splendid Sampler Saturday!!!

Time for another Splendid Sampler Saturday!!!  I am just loving this project, it is so fun to get to step away from everything and enjoy playing with new techniques each Saturday ;)  So let's see the blocks!!

First up, the Swirl Time block designed by Sarah J Maxwell.  I always love coming back to some simple piecing :)  It is just so fun to play with points and I loved how this one came together.   The movement is just so great!



Second is the Circle of Love block designed by Geta Gamma.  This one was some serious applique work and I absolutely love it!!!  The design is just so fun, and I really liked doing it in a basic 2-tone using the pinks and reds ;)   And I know it's crazy, but I really do enjoy secure stitching my applique, I just find it so relaxing ;) 



And finally, the Whim block designed by Faith Jones.  This was a paper piecing block, and I have to say, it was so nice to do some very easy paper piecing.  It went together in no time flat, and I just love that there is no rhyme or reason to it, it is just fun and whimsical :)


I am just so excited about all of these fun blocks!!!  I can't wait to see this one all come together ;)
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Friday, July 29, 2016

Ruby Jubilee Progress :)

So do you remember how I was "working on" a Ruby Jubilee version of my Braided Irish Chain Pattern??  Well I haven't shared much since I cut up all my 2 patches.   I actually made up the 4-patches sometime around April, but forgot to share them.  (sorry about that)   And I just saw them all sitting on my desk a few weeks ago and decided, it was time for some progress, Yippee!!!


And I am super happy, that the progress really multiplied as I have been squeaking these in among other projects.  And before you knew it, I had finished up all of my "small blocks".


These were a whole lot of chain stitching and oh so much fun to piece!!!   I just love how fast they go together once you have all of the 4-patches done ;)


And now all I have to do is turn the "small blocks" into "big blocks" and then it's just sewing them into a giant 9-patch for the quilt top!!!


I can't wait to get this one all finished up.    I am just loving how classic it is going to be in just red and white!!!!  So fun!!!   And here is hoping that it won't take quite so long to share the finish as it did the progress ;)  

I hope you all have a Happy Quilting weekend!!!

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Breaking Open Bundles

I am starting some new projects today and Breaking Open a few Bundles!!!!  I am super excited to have a plan for my Grand Canal Fat Quarter Bundle by Kate Spain that I picked up at Market during Sample Spree!!!  Aren't the colors just gorgeous!!!  You know I am head over heels for those purples :)


And then I am starting another little "secret project" using 3 stunning bundles of fabric goodness!!  I am mixing Sundrops from Corey Yoder, Chestnut Street from Fig Tree Quilts and the blacks, browns, and greens from Olives Flower Market by Vanessa Goertzen.   EEEkk, I am so excited to see this one come together ;)


And this leads me to the question that I had after pulling these off the shelf . . . Does anyone else have a bit of a hard time "Breaking Open" a bundle??  I just love to see them sitting on a shelf and admire the colors and prints.  And even though I know exactly what I plan to do with these bundles, I still had to take a second before breaking them open and enjoy the beauty of all the prints together ;)   

But, With that said, the second I get the ribbon off, I am pressing away and can't wait to cut it up and create something new.    So how about you . . . How do you Break your Bundles open??

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

180 Doodle Quilting Designs!!!

I am so super excited to share a new book that I was so very fortunate to have a part of!!!  It's called
180 Doodle Quilting Designs and it is packed with a bevy of Free Motion Quilting Designs to help aid you on your free motion quilting journey!!!


Each design in the book is shared in a block layout, a triangle layout, and a border layout, so you can use each design to really fill the space you need ;)  And its as simple as tracing, doodling, and then free motion quilting!!!   You can watch this fun little video Martingale put together to show just how easy 180 Doodle Quilting Designs is to use ;)  



And if you are wondering what you can practice tracing, doodling, and sewing from me . . . Well there just might be some of my all time favorites which you have probably seen around here in quilts time and time again!!!  You can learn the Swirl and Curl ;)


And then take it the next step to the Swirled Paisley


And then add in one more element with the Swirled-and-Pebbled Paisley :)


And not to forget, my favorite variation to the Swirl and Curl,  my Feathered Swirl.  


And I had one more design selected to share of a different nature . . .my Fireworks design!!!  



I can not even begin to say how excited I am to be able to share these favorite Free Motion Quilting Designs!!!  They really are my "go-to" favorites and I am so happy to be able to share them in a way that makes them easy to see, practice, and do!!!  

And there are bevy of additional free motion quilting designs from some of my wonderful quilting friends!!!  It is such an honor to be sharing free motion quilting inspiration along side of  amzing women like, Karen Burns, Lori Kennedy, Maddie Kertay, April Rosenthal, Vicki Ruebel, Shelia Sinclair Snyder, Angela Walters, and Christa Watson :)


I am just tickled pink to be a part of  180 Doodle Quilting Designs and hope you will love it and use it as one of your free motion quilting resources!!!  And . . . You can even win a copy of it!!!  Martingale is having a Giveaway!!!  So pop on over and cross your fingers that you get lucky!!!  (and watch for a TTGD giveaway day in the near future that will be featuring this wonderful resource as well, so fun!!!)  


Thanks for stopping in today and each day ;)

I hope you all have a very Happy (Free Motion) Quilting Day!!!!

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

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  $50.00 Fat Quarter Shop Gift Certificate  is . . .   Number #235 . . . Congrats  DebrafromMD!!! I have emailed you :)    

  


    
And on to today's


Today's Terrific Tuesday Giveaway is being sponsored by Happy Quilting!!!  Yup, little ole me today ;)  No need to tell you about any specials here, so let's get right to the giveaway ;)  One lucky winner will be receiving their choice of 3 Happy Quilting PDF Patterns.   Since everyone loved the free pattern in December, I thought it would be fun to start giving away some more ;)  




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 telling me what is making you Happy today ;)  

 ENTRY 2 - Show your Happy Quilting love. You can follow Happy Quilting on BloglovinEmail Updates, or RSS to get daily updates.  Or you can like Happy Quilting on InstagramFacebookPinterestTwitter or Flickr  Any one way will do . . . Just be sure to leave a comment of how you showed your Happy Quilting Love!!!

And that's it ;)  The giveaway will be open until next Tuesday, August 2nd, 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, July 25, 2016

July Sew Sampler Box!!!!

I was so super excited when arrived home today from a Family Reunion to find my July Sew Sampler Box in my mail!!!!  Of course, even though I had a mountain of laundry to start and bags to unpack, I couldn't wait to tear it open and see what was inside.  (And I didn't have much service while I was gone, so I didn't even see the surprise peeks on Instagram ;)    And can I just say, Whooo Hoo!!  Seriously, each box is a new favorite!!!



I am so super excited about these beautiful Dixie prints by Allison Harris for Windham Fabrics!!!  I just love Allison's wonderful designs and summery colors!!!  And this is a Fat Eighth bundle so I will have lots of it to play with ;)



And the notions in this Sew Sampler Box were fantastic!!!!  I love the Sewline Pencils, but I might have to hide them from my girls as they saw the little butterflies and totally wanted my pencil :)  And I can't wait to try out the Pie Ruler from Lori Holt ;)   I just love trying out new rulers!!!!   And finally, I have wanted an Olfa Splash  Rotary Cutter for so long but couldn't justify buying another Rotary Cutter just because I liked the color :)   And now, I totally have one and it is going to be my favorite, I can tell ;)



And that's not everything!!!  There was an adorable Quilt Block Needle Case, an exclusive Pattern to use our beautiful Dixie Fat Eighth's and of course, the Block 4 Recipe Card!!!  And you know I had to whip up the block right away ;)   I can't tell you how good it felt to be sitting at my machine after being away for 5 days ;)   Ah, it's like a little slice of heaven ;)  And how cute is this month's block!!!  I just can't wait to see these all come together ;)  



I just opened the box and already I want it to be August 20th so I can open another surprise box of quilty goodness!!!  You can find out all about the Sew Sampler Box right over here ;)  

Hope you have a Happy Quilting Day!!!
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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Summer Solstice Quilt-A-Long - Half Square Triangles

**  NOTE  - This post is part of a series of posts for the Summer Solstice Quilt-A-Long.  If you would like to join (and have a chance to win $100.00 Gift Certificate and Fat Quarter Bundle 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


July 21st - Half Square Triangles (Today)
August 4th - Drunkards Path
August 18th - Building Blocks
September 1st - Piecing Top and Grand Prize Linky
September 15th- Summer Solstice Parade and Grand Prize Winners



Now, first off for this week, we need to pick a winner for the Flying Geese Assignment.   And great job to everyone on their gaggle of geese!!!  It is so much fun to be quilting-a-long with you all!!!

The Flying Geese assignment winner who gets a  Volume II Jelly Roll by Sweetwater for Moda from Lou Lou's Fabric Shop is . . .
#19 - Marlene!!! - Congrats :)

  

So I know lots of you have been anxiously awaiting this assignment . . .  so let's get right to it :)  If you are just finding this QAL, it's never to late to join in the fun :)

THIS WEEKS ASSIGNMENT - HALF SQUARE TRIANGLES

Half Square triangles are fun and fast and probably the most versatile building block in all of the piecing units you can make.  (At least in my opinion :)

Start by gathering all your squares for the HST's, print fabrics and background fabrics.    These are the squares you labeled with HST and should measure one of the following sizes.  (They can easily be confused with the DP squares, so be sure to double check ;)
For a 20" Block - 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" squares
For a 24" Block - 4" x 4"
For a 28" Block - 4 1/2" x 4 1/2"
For a 32" Block - 5" x 5"
For a 40" Block - 6" x 6"


So just to help clarify . . .  if you are doing the 2 x 2 the 3 x 3, or the 4 x 4 layout, you should have 12 squares of each of your print fabrics.   So the 2 x 2 layout, 12 squares each of 4 different fabrics for a total of 48 print squares and 48 background squares.   For the 3 x 3 layout, 12 squares each of 9 different fabrics for a total of 108 print squares and 108 background squares.  And for a 4 x 4 layout, you should have 12 squares each of 16 different fabrics for a total of 192 print squares and 192 background squares.  


And if you are doing the 1 x 1 layout You should have 8 squares of your "Corner" print fabric and 4 squares of your "Surround" print fabric.  You will have a total of 12 squares in 2 different prints and 12 background squares as well.


So has everyone found their squares??  Excellent, let's make some Half Square Triangles!!!
Start by using a ruler to draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of all of your print fabrics (or if your background fabric is darker than your print fabrics, draw the line on those instead ;)  I like to draw my lines with a Frixion Pen as the lines will disappear with heat.   And depending on your machine set-up . . . you might be able to skip drawing the lines all together.


If you have a table around your machine, or if your machine comes with a large "table" you can extend your machines 1/4" mark with tape and then use that as a guide instead of having to draw a line.  There is a great You Tube Video from Fat Quarter Shop on how to mark your machines 1/4" line, I just don't bother to layer the tape as I am just using it for a reference, so just one layer.     Or, I recently discovered the Clearly Perfect Angle, which has both the 1/4" Mark and the Center Mark (for stitch and flip) marked.  I have quickly become a huge fan of this as it eliminates a whole ton of drawing lines!!!


So how do you use your extended  1/4" line guide.  Easy!!  Simply line your 1/4" foot up with the corner of your square, then align the opposite corner with your 1/4" guide.  Start stitching and just keep the corner of the square aligned with that 1/4" extended line while stitching :)  Easy as that!!!  And the nice thing is, we will be trimming these HST's so if you get a bit off, no worries ;)  But I will mention, if you are doing the larger squares, you are most likely going to have to draw your lines as you table will most likely not be long enough to see the alignment.  (Although the Clearly Perfect Angle uses those angled green lines to help with that ;)


Okay . . . With that little tidbit that can hopefully save some of you some time . . .Let's get back to our Half Square Triangles ;)  

Take a print square and a background square and align them with rights sides together.  Pin both sides adjacent to that drawn line, be sure to place them far enough out to leave room for your presser foot to stitch on by.  Depending on the size of the square will determine how many pins you want to use. (if you use any at all, if you are feeling confident and your squares aren't to large, you can stitch these without pinning :)   Stitch a seam 1/4" from EITHER side of the drawn line (the black lines represent your stitching lines :)


And just like our Flying Geese, the easiest way to do this is to chain stitch in assembly line fashion ;)  So just like in the Flying Geese, Start by stitching a 1/4" seam on the right hand side of the drawn line (or along the center aligned with your 1/4" guide if you don't have a line) . I chain stitched all 108 units at once making a very long snake, but feel free to break it up into blocks if  you prefer ;)  


  Then clip the threads between the squares, stack them up, and you are ready for more stitching.  Now stitch the 1/4" seam on the left hand side of your units.  Once they are all stitched,  clip the remaining threads between the squares  ;)  And if you notice my little ipod under the table, that's because I love to listen to a good audio book while doing all of this stitching :)


Now, with the stitching done, it's time to do some more cutting.   Align your ruler along the drawn center line (or from corner to corner)   Cut along the edge of your ruler, creating two triangles that each have a 1/4" seam along the long side.



Now Pressing.  (and this is where I like to watch a good movie :)     Press your HST units towards the darker fabric, so in my case that would be the print fabrics ;)  I recently found that I prefer to press them from the front rather than the back, but do  what is comfortable for you :)


And now the fun part, trimming.  You will be trimming your blocks to 1/2" smaller than their original size.  So that means trim to the following sizes :

20" Block - 3" squares
24" Block - 3 1/2" squares
28" Block - 4" squares
32" Block - 4 1/2" squares
40" Block - 5 1/2" squares

 I am making 28" blocks so this trimming example will have raw 4 1/2" HST's that are being trimmed to 4" square.  So lets start ;)  Begin by aligning the 45 degree line on your square ruler with the seam line on your half square triangle.  Make sure that the raw edges of the half square triangle are over the 4" line's on your ruler.  Trim the 2 sides along the edge of the ruler.  There won't be a whole lot to trim.


Now spin your half square triangle unit 180 degrees.  Once again, align the 45 degree line on your ruler with the seam line on your half square triangle.  Align the raw edges of the half square triangle under the ruler on the 4" lines on your ruler.  Trim the 2 sides along the edge of the ruler.



And you have perfectly square Half Square Triangles.  They are just so pretty!  And I know, it seems like a lot of work to just trim off a little, but having perfect HST's allows you to have awesome pretty points and really makes the piecing of the block easier ;)   I promise, it will totally be worth it!



Now, when I trim, I like to do some massive assembly trimming.  (again, this saves some time ;)   So I lay out as many units as I can fit on my large cutting mat at once and I trim the first two sides on all of my HST's.  (and instead of my regular ruler, I use my favorite  Bloc Loc HST ruler  for trimming, it has a groove where the seam lines up that "locks" the ruler in place, love it!!!! )


Then, I rotate them all of the HST Units 180 degrees, and I don't worry about all of the previous trims, they can be picked up later.  Now I trim the remaining 2 sides on all  the HST's.  I just move up and down the rows, quick as a bunny :)    Now just shake them off, and stack them up :)



And just like that, you have a whole ton of perfectly trimmed Half Square Triangle units ;)   You will have twice as many Half Square Triangle Units as you had squares to start ie 24 Half Square Triangle Units per block in your quilt :)  



And that is how it is done!!!  A pile of 24 HST's for each block in your project.   Now, I want to throw in a quick note here.  I know just how much trimming this is, a ton!!!  Especially if you are doing the 3 x 3  or 4 x 4 layouts.  So if your piles for linking look a little like this  (aka not trimmed) that is totally okay.  You can continue to trim over the coming weeks spreading the job out a bit.  Don't go making your hand unusable for 5 days because you trimmed all at once.  And please link up your untrimmed blocks if you cant finish your trimming.   Linked untrimmed piles are just as perfect as linked trimmed piles.  



Oh, and in case you don't have a square ruler you can see the end of this tutorial on how to square up your HST's using a rectangle ruler.  It takes a second longer but still works :)

And that's it!!    And now you can enter to win the weekly prize :)

The Weekly Prize is sponsored by The Scarlet Thread Quilt Co.   and a huge thanks goes out to them for their support of the Summer Solstice Quilt-A-Long.

This weeks prize is for a super adorable Moxi Charm Pack by Studio M for Moda.  Don't you just love charm packs, they are so much fun and these prints are just so happy!!!


    
So what do you have to do for a chance to win the charm pack?  Simple . . . Just link up your stacks of HST's :)  You can link to a blog post or a flickr picture, or whatever.  Just make sure to link up by the morning of Thursday August 4th when I will be announcing a winner in the next post :)

If you don't get your HST's done (trimmed or untrimmed)  by August 4th 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 beautiful  to the Happy Quilting Quilt-A-Long Flickr group and to post it on social media with using #summersolsticequiltalong.    I am so excited to see all of your stacks of Half Square Triangles ;)

So let's get sewing and trimming some Half Square Triangles ;)   Oh, and if you have questions, don't hesitate to email me at happyquiltingmelissa@gmail.com.  Have a Happy Quilting Day!!



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