Sunday, April 29, 2012

100 Blocks Blog Hop & Giveaway!!!

Quiltmakers 100 Blocks Blog Tour has arrived and one of it's first stops is here, at Happy Quilting!!! Yippee Skippee!!!   And with that . . . here is my block :)  It's called Gear Works and I am so excited to finally get to show it to you all!!

This block was inspired by my sons.  A while back they were watching some cartoons and there were characters inside a clock.  They thought it was "so cool" how the cogs spun together.  (of course, maybe that had more to do with the fact that they were trying to get someone out of a cog before they got squished :) So I used that inspiration to come up with a block that created a  "cool big boy" bedspread :)  And here it is in a twin size bedspread layout :)

Or, if you wanted to make one for a little baby boy you just make a few less blocks :)  And you can add some color into the background as well for a fun little mixup :)

And the fun thing about this block is you can really speed up the process of putting it together by strip piecing your rows together instead of doing individual blocks.

Just decide the width of the quilt and then strip piece your top rows, your middle rows, and your bottom rows to that length.

Then go back and piece your little "cogs" to create an entire row of cogs.
Then it is just simply sewing the rows together to recreate the block but creating 4, 5, or however many blocks at once.  And who doesn't love time savers!!!

And I am super happy to get to share another little secret.  Remember this little stack of strips.  Well it is now transformed into a new quilt using this block in a really awesome layout.  It will be published in Quiltermakers Quilts from 100 Blocks!!  But it won't be out until the fall so you will have to wait a little longer to see that.  (But think totally awesome, It is one of my all time faves!!)

But you don't have to wait to get get Quiltmaker;s 100 Blocks volume 5!!!!  It's available now!!!  And since no blog hop would be complete without giveaways, you can try your luck and see if you can win a copy!!  I have 3 copies to giveaway to 3 lucky winners.

And for fun, those 3 lucky winners will each receive copies of my patterns!!!  Yippee Skippee!!!


So . . . .  What do you have to do for a chance to win?????

Simple . . .  Just leave a comment.  How about you tell me one of your favorite blocks to make :)

Easy right.  The giveaway is open to everyone and will end on Sunday May 6th and winners will be announced shortly after.

Oh, and by the Way . . . If you are stopping by for the first time, Welcome!!  You can tell by now that I like to use a lot of  ! and :) in my writing.  I am so glad you stopped by and hope you will come back often.  I have so much sharing my passion for quilting here.  If you would like, you can follow Happy Quilting and ensure that you catch all of the Quilty Goodness going on here :)

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

TNT Thursday - My Big New Thing!!!

So I have actually been trying my new thing for a while now but didn't want to post about it until I really got a feel for it.  What is my new thing I have been trying??   I'll give you a hint . . .

Did you guess it??  Yup, I got a new sewing machine!!!!  Well, new to me that is.  Obviously they don't sell the Artista new anymore.  My husband gave me this wonderful surprise for our anniversary.  He knew I had been wanting to upgrade from my little Bernette but it still worked great so I couldn't justify just ditching it.  So, being the great guy he is, he got rid of all the excuses I came up with and just set aside a nice allotment for me to choose a new machine.

So I choose and have been trying it out for a little bit and I love it!!!!!!  I love it, I love it, I love it!!!!!!!!   What do I love about it . . . .
     So much faster than my old machine.
     Has a perfect straight stitch
     Sews a whole heck of a lot quieter than my old machine.
     Has a larger bobbin so I can go a lot longer before changing my bobbin.
     Makes a perfect tension FMQ stitch.  (Seriously, I have done 3 quilts on it and it is a million times better)
     Has lots of fun stitches to play with, still needing to explore all these options ;)
     Can breeze through multiple layers, I so love this!!!  No more pulling fabric through for me.

 Now, I know some of you are going to ask Why this machine and why Bernina??  Well, first off . . . Why Bernina, well basically, I really didn't look at anything else.    My Mom always used Bernina, my MIL always used Bernina, I guess Bernina is in my blood.

Why this machine.  Well I was looking for a machine that had a larger harp space for when I am doing FMQ and was a bit more of a work horse.  That was the main focus.  The newer Bernina's with the larger harp space have all been upgraded to the BSR system (and I really wasn't looking to spend that much) so I immediately started looking at used machines that fit my 2 basic needs.  Quickly it was down to an Artista or an Aurora.  The Artista won out basically on price :)

And the cool thing about buying a used machine is all the extra little goodies that come with it.  Like this awesome Sew Steady Table.  This is one of those things that I wonder how I ever got on without it.  It makes quilting so much easier.  You just don't have to deal with near the tug and pull issues.   I also love that I can line up pieces on the table and they stay lined up!

It also has the super nice Bernina Walking Foot.  Now I had a walking foot on my old machine but this one puts it to shame.  I love how heavy duty it is, and I love having the measuring bars that attach to it!!

Lastly, and this might be my ultimate favorite thing about it, which is probably silly, but true!!   The 1/4" foot!!!!  Oh my goodness, does this make piecing so much more accurate!!!  You know before when you were trying to pay attention to a tiny line on your foot (I didn't even have one on my machine).  Now I just feed my fabric through keeping it even with the edge of the foot!!!   Heaven!!!!  My seams have never been so perfect!!  I love it!!!

And of course, there is lots more that I haven't had time to explore.   I really liked that this machine came with the embroidery unit as well.  When I have a few seconds I am going to sit down and figure that out.  I already have a project I want to embroider.  Guess that will be a future TNT :)

And just in case you are wondering, yes, she has a name.  This is Abby the Artista ;)

So that is what I have been trying (for the last month or so :)  What have you been up to :)  Link on up!!!

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling

These blocks are just so exciting!!  I can't wait to put this quilt together, it is going to be so much fun!!!  So here are the latest Semi Blocks for my Dad's Quilt.

Laura made this super fun "Candy Haulin" Truck.  Who wouldn't love to be hauling an entire trailer full of candy!!!

Erica made this super dellightful "Toy Hauler" Truck.  With the beautiful weather we have been having here I would love to get out on that boat and soak up a little sun :)

And Karen made this super awesome  "Hay Balen" Truck.  My kids got a kick out of this one.  Ever since we actually sat and watched hay bales being created by the big tractor machine my kids have affectionately called them "Tractor Poops".   (It lifts up the back and out comes a hay bale, what else are they gonna call them :)   Now they can't get over the idea of Grandpa's quilt having Tractor Poops on it :)

This quilt is going to be so awesome!!!  I am hoping to have it done for Father's Day.  Well see if I am up late the few nights before :)
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Monday, April 23, 2012

Salutations - A New Pattern

Well, here is one of those secret projects.  I have been writing a new pattern!!!  I call it Salutations and I am so very excited about it!!! Salutations is a Twin Size quilt measuring 72 x 84.

It has such a whimsical feeling to it, don't you think :)  The fabric is Riley Blake's Apple of My Eye and it was so much fun to work with!!  The prints are so adorable!!   Here it is out in the beautiful sunshine!!

I just love these windmills.  The pattern teaches you how to make them without using a paper template.  Bonus!!

I quilted it with an all over flower and loop design.  The lighting on this picture is horrible but you get the general idea :)

This pattern is a great for beginners and up.  It goes together fast (I got the fabric a week ago) and has so much movement to it.  It really is a lot of fun to make :)

So what do you think???  I hope you love it as much as I do.   And, if you do happen to love it, and want to make one for yourself, you are in luck!!!  Julie, at The Intrepid Thread, has made up a Salutations Quilt Kit featuring the same adorable Apple of My Eye prints I used!!  The kit also includes the PDF pattern for free.  What a deal!!!  So pop on over and grab a kit for yourself so you can get going on your own Salutations quilt.  I can't wait to see  them, although, I don't expect you to finish in a week, tee hee hee :)

And if you just want to purchase just the pattern you can find it at Julie's shop here or in my little Etsy shop here :)  Thank you so much for stopping by today.  I just love how all your support is continuing to make Happy Quilting grow.  I can't wait to see where it leads me next :)

Linking up :)

Fresh Poppy Design
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

TNT - The Video Edition!!!

So what did I try new this week??  Did you see my guest post on Sunday???  I made a two part video series!!!  I called them Applique Basics - From Start to Finish.  And here they are :)

I am so excited about these!!  I created a new tab for video tutorials.  I hope you like them and that the information in them is helpful and informative.  I would love to hear your feeback on them.  I am hoping to put some more video's together in the next month and your thoughts would be greatly appreciated :)

Oh . . . and did you notice something a little different in the second video?? More on that tomorrow :)

So what have you been up to  Link up your TNT post here :)

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