Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020 and 4 Final Finishes a Year in the Making!!!

Well, 2020 was a different year for sure.   And it was super apparent as I began to write this post.   I had no mini or projects finished this year, no bee blocks, very little teaching, and 25 Quilt finishes.   And I know that is still a lot of quilts, but for me, the number is small ;)  

But I do have a story that includes 4 very special finishes that were a year in the making . . . I will get to that in just a minute.

But first, let's see some of my Happy Quilting from 2020!!! 

 
First off, the biggest excitement of the year was the release of my  Charming Baby Quilts  Book!!   I can't begin to say how happy I am over all of the Charming Baby Quilts love I have seen ;)   I am just thrilled that so many of you are just loving this book and using it as your "go-to" baby quilt book.   I have loved seeing all of your Charming Baby Quilts and can't wait to see more in the new year!!!! 


Charming Baby Remix Quilts 

Along with the release of my book, I was super excited to make 10 additional Charming Baby Remix Quilts this year.    This idea came to me when I was chatting with a friend and she mentioned that she wanted to make quilts from my new Charming Baby Quilts book,  but didn't have any babies to make them for.   So I set out to Remix all 10 quilts in the book, making them bigger so they could be used from Lap Size quilts up to King Size Quilts.  I just love that it basically doubles the value of Charming Baby Quilts and what you can make from it!!!  

Each quilt has a Charming Baby Remix Pattern Alterations PDF, that goes along with the directions from Charming Baby Quilts  (yes, you need a copy of the book for the Remix's :)    All 10 of the Pattern Remixes are in this Full Pattern Download PDF.   Or you can go to this post and download the individual PDF's. 

And this year, I also hosted the Charming Baby Sampler Sew Along, which took a block from each of the 10 quilts in Charming Baby Quilts and made it into a fun sampler quilt!!!   You can find the  Full Pattern Charming Baby Sampler Download Here (and again, you need the book to go with it :)  



Happy Quilting Quilts 

I also finished up 9 other quilts this year, (one I can't show yet) and loved making each one!!   3 of these are new Patterns that I released in 2020 and I am just tickled pink with how much you all loved the new patterns.  Thank you so much for your love and support!!




So there is a quick view of the 2020 quilts.   But as I mentioned, there are 4 more to join the group today and they are the main reason (and Covid, of course) for the smaller number of quilts I finished this year.   And here they are . . . 



This is Good Morning Sunshine.


This is Winter's Magic.


This is Beach Days.


and This is Tangiers.  


Now I know you are wondering, how can 4 simple patchwork quilts take a year to make??  Well that is where the story comes in and I will start at the beginning.

 

As you all now, I love to teach quilting.  I just love being able to share my passion for quilting and hopefully share some helpful tidbits along the way.   Well, whenever I am teaching, the most common question I get asked is "So, when are you going to start designing fabric?".    And it makes total sense, as I have asked myself that question over the years as well.   

 

So when I saw that Carina Garden was offering a Fabric Design Academy class, I started to wonder if I should take that question seriously.   I talked to my sweetheart, and he encouraged me to give it a try as it is something I have always wondered about doing.  So I signed up and classes stared in early 2020.

 

And I can not say enough good about this Fabric Design Academy.  (I highly recommend it!!!)   Carina is an amazing teacher and walked the class through each lesson step by step.   I was amazed that having never used Illustrator or Photoshop before, Carina taught me how to use both programs to design fabric and made it so easy to follow along.   The class was wonderful and I fully immersed myself over the next month on learning the basics of fabric design. 

 

And I found, it was fun.   So I decided to really start trying to design fabric lines.   I took the basic knowledge I had learned from Carina, and began to practice, practice, practice.   (Yup, it always comes back to that. )   I spent the next several months working on 4 lines and when I say "working on" I mean like several hours a day pretty much 5 days a week.    I found that I really enjoyed certain aspects of design, and others I had to push through.

   

Here is what I loved . . . I loved the feeling of creating.   I loved seeing a design all come together and knowing that I had made it little bit by little bit.   I really loved the programs, as they gave me so much ability to create, especially playing with geometrics.    I also loved that I was trying something new and realizing I could do something that I had pretty much wondered about for years.  

 

Here is what I struggled with . . . I am no artist, (seriously, it took me hours and hours to draw a simple bird.)  I felt confined in my designing by my own artistic limitations.  Hence why I liked geometric designs so much.  With those,  I could manipulate lines, and curves, (a lot like designing a quilt) to create beautiful images.    I also realized that choosing colors is not easy.  I was hoping this would come naturally, especially with how much quilting I do.  But I quickly realized there is a reason I love pre-cuts so much . . . all that color is already done for me.  Creating color palettes was difficult, but I still enjoyed the process of working through it.  


So after months and months of working on designing, I got to a point where I figured I was ready as I ever was going to be and I submitted my "4 lines"  to a fabric company.  (which will remain anonymous :)     I really had no idea what would happen after that.  I was afraid of being accepted as I had no idea what all that would entail.  Would I have to change my blog, my patterns, my my business model???   But I was also afraid of not being accepted as I had put my heart and soul into this work.

 

Well, I went back and forth with the company for a bit, and after a while, I was very gently told no.   My design style was to similar to other designers in their employ and that would not be fair to me or them.   I totally understood!!  So then there because the question . . . do I submit to another company or let it go???   

 

So I took it to my family and to prayer.   And I am so happy to say that the decision came very easily to let it go (at this time).    I knew that I could probably submit to other companies and possibly be accepted.  And there was always the option to keep practicing and resubmit.  

 

 I truly enjoyed designing, but honestly, when it came down to it, I looked back over the past year and realized one thing most of all, I really missed quilting!!!!    And then I looked forward to the future and it was easy to see that I think I was more enamored with the idea of becoming a fabric designer and being part of a fabric family than what actually being a fabric designer entails.    And again, the decision was easy.

 

Now this isn't to say that I never will try again and that it wasn't hard to take the initial "No".    I really did enjoy the process of designing and am so glad I learned so much about creativity and honestly, myself over this last year.   It was a wonderful journey in trying something new.  

 

But I also wanted to have something to remember all of this learning and growing from.  So I uploaded my designs at Spoonflower and order a cheater print of each of my 4 lines.  (and I can say, when they arrived actually in print, it became all the more clear I needed more practice, tee hee hee. )    I promptly cut up my squares and added sashing to them to make for these 4 Simple Patchwork Quilts that will now always be a treasure for me.   



So for now, I really just want to get back to designing quilts and stitching them up as fast as I can :)   Meaning you can expect lots of Happy Quilting for 2021!!!    I have New Patterns in the works, I have Publishing submission in the works, and plenty of fabric to keep me busy all year long!!!  


So here are my 4 Goals again for 2021

1 -  Priorities, Priorities, Priorities
2 -  Daily Enjoyment and Accomplishment
3 -  Remember the Big Picture
4 -  Family First and Foremost



And One Last Thought Before I Wrap This Up . . . Thank you!!!!

I really can't say it enough.   It was so amazing this year to celebrate 10 years of this blog and I am daily grateful for the decision to start it back in 2010.   I am just so blessed with so many friends that have come through this industry and this little blog!!!    Thank You so much for sharing my quilting journey and I hope you are finding joy and happiness in yours as well!!!

So long 2020, Time for 2021!!!!!  Here is looking forward to lots and lots of Happy Quilting!!!!!!
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Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Charming Baby Quilts Remix - A Star is Born

 And here it is . . . the very last one!!!  This is quilt 10 of my Charming Baby Quilts Remix's and I am so excited to share it.      I think it is easily the most popular quilt from the book so I thought it would be fun to save it for last.   And here it is . . . the A Star is Born Remix quilt!!!!   Isn't it just so fun and happy!!!! 

Ohh, I just love it!!!!  This is another one that I plan to change out on my bed ;)     I remixed the original design by changing out Layer Cake pieces for Charm Pack Pieces.  So it is pieced the exact same way as the original only bigger, finishing at  King Size 108" x 108".   Oh, and I used Chambray for the background and I love that it gives it a fun denim look without the weight of denim.   (Pattern Adjustment's here)  


And speaking of the original, here is my A Star is Born quilt from Charming Baby Quilts.   As I said before, it has been the most popular quilt from the book, and I think it is obvious why ;)  You just gotta love a good star quilt!!!   And the King Size is just the same, only bigger.   So whichever size you decide to make, it is truly a fun quilt to make!!!!


For this A Star is Born remix, I used At Home fabrics by Bonnie and Camille for Moda Fabrics!!!  You will need 2 Layer Cakes for this and I used one of Bonnies and one of Camille's :)    I used  Royal Chambray for the Background and it is just the perfect finish for this bed size stunner!!!   


And when it came time to quilt it, I decided I on all over echoed paisley.   I kept them fairly medium to large size as I wanted to quilting to match the large patchwork.   And I am happy to say that the tension issue from the previously bad bobbin was totally fixed for this quilt and I was able to load, quilt and trim this entire king size beauty in under 3 hours ;)  


And doesn't it just shine!!!  I used a lovely denim colored thread that just blends so perfectly with the Chambray!!  And I love how much texture it adds to the Chambray, which already has a great woven quality.   So fun!!! 


So do you want to make your own Charming Baby Remix A Star is Born quilt??  Just download this free  PDF A Star is Born Remix Instructions  document.  You will need a copy of my Charming Baby Quilts book to make the Remix as the download just includes the alternations and not the complete instructions.  You use the book and the download together ;)


And that is my A Star is Born quilt!!!  I hope you love it just as much as I do and want to make one of your own, either in the king size or baby size ;)  And if you do,  I would love to see it!!  You can email me a picture at happyquiltingmelissa@gmail.com or post it to social media with the hashtag #happyquiltingwithmc and/or #charmingbabyquilts ;)  I can't wait to see your A Star is Born Quilts!!!

And for easy reference. . . This A Star is Born Charming Baby Quilt has been added to my Charming Baby Quilts, All the Quilts, All the Details post ;)  It's a great place to bookmark to see everything Charming Baby Quilts all in one place!!

And that is the end of the Charming Baby Quilts Remix's!!!   

But I have one more little surprise . . . I have made a Charming Baby Quilt Remix's PDF that has all 10 remix instructions all together, just to make it a little more convenient.  I hope you enjoy it ;)

Thanks for stopping in today and I hope you have a very Happy Day!!

I will be back tomorrow with my end of the year wrap up :)

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Charming Baby Quilts Remix - Just Blooming

  I am so excited to share the final quilts in this fun little series we have been doing!!!  This is quilt 9 of my Charming Baby Quilts Remix's and I just love it.    And here it is . . . the Just Blooming Remix quilt!!!!   Isn't it just so pretty!!!! 

I just love a chain design, and when it is over a lovely queen size quilt with  little blossoms popping out of the chain, well that is just wonderful!!!!       I remixed the original design by simply making it 4 times and that made it Queen Size finishing at 96" x 96".   Oh, and I also added a dark background that is actually a print.   I loved the white's in this line and didn't want them to fade into the background, and this taupe print did just the trick!!!     (Pattern Adjustment's here)  


And speaking of the original, here is my Just Blooming quilt from Charming Baby Quilts.   And even though it looks like there are a ton of tiny pieces, I include a fun fast way for sewing them up with charm packs.   So whichever size you decide to make, it is just so great to make up the patchwork chain and blossoms!!!!


For this Just Blooming remix, I used Strawberries and Rhubarb fabric by Fig Tree & Co.  for Moda Fabrics!!!  You will need 6 Charm Packs of your print and 4 of your Background   I used the 20407 16, the tape dot, for the Background and I am so happy with how it adds so much garden goodness to this quilt :)  


And when it came time to quilt it, I decided I on all over loose feather.    The main reason I decided on this was because the long arm was having a bit of an issue, and I know this would be the easiest to quilt on it.   After dealing with breaking threads for a while (and later discovering my bobbin had a burr in it) I was able to get this all quilted.    And I just love that it has the added effect of vines trailing across this garden goodness!!!  


It also has the wonderful effect of amazing texture!!!  I just love adding so many curves to that patchwork chain, it just adds another dimension to the quilt.   And this design is also loose enough that it will still be super snuggly!!


So do you want to make your own Charming Baby Remix Just Blooming quilt??  Just download this free  PDF Just Blooming Remix Instructions  document.  You will need a copy of my Charming Baby Quilts book to make the Remix as the download just includes the alternations and not the complete instructions.  You use the book and the download together ;)



And that is my Just Blooming quilt!!!  I hope you love it just as much as I do and want to make one of your own, either in the queen size or baby size ;)  And if you do,  I would love to see it!!  You can email me a picture at happyquiltingmelissa@gmail.com or post it to social media with the hashtag #happyquiltingwithmc and/or #charmingbabyquilts ;)  I can't wait to see your Just Blooming Quilts!!!

And for easy reference. . . This Just Blooming Charming Baby Quilt has been added to my Charming Baby Quilts, All the Quilts, All the Details post ;)  It's a great place to bookmark to see everything Charming Baby Quilts all in one place!!

Only 1 more Charming Baby Quilt Remixes to go, so be sure to pop back in  (real) soon.  

Thanks for stopping in today and I hope you have a very Happy Day!!

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