Monday, January 29, 2018

2018 Round Robin Quilt

I'm really excited about going to my Quilt Guild meetings this year!  I proposed doing a Round Robin quilt project and our president, Kim, liked the idea, so tomorrow I will be presenting it to the guild. 

My plan is to have everyone who wants to participate bring a 12 1/2" unfinished block to our March meeting.  They will need to put their block in a tote bag labeled with their names and can put extra fabric in if they desire.  In March, everyone will also get a Round Robin Booklet detailing each month's project with room for each participant to write notes for the quilt owner.

Here is my sample Round Robin quilt.  I'll be showing this tomorrow too, because it's hard to picture something without an actual image.

As you can see, my Round Robin quilt project will have a Log Cabin setting.  The center will be the 12 1/2" block that everyone brings in March.  Then we'll get started with the different logs around the center block.  I look forward to seeing how things will turn out, particularly as this is my very first Round Robin project plan.

I haven't made my own block yet, so you'll have to stop back to see what I come up with.  I'm thinking something modern featuring a collection of fun modern fat quarters that I bought at Quilt Market in 2016.  (Yes, I haven't used them yet.)

My goal will also be to show you what row I'm working on each month for the project.  Maybe you'd like to make your own quilt right along with me?  If you are interested, stay tuned in March for our first Round Robin row.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Scrap Stash Management

I am finally sitting down and writing my first blog for 2018.  It's funny how fast time flies.  Do you have this problem too?  Sometimes I wish the merry go round of life would slow down so that I could get off once in a while, even if it's only to take a deep breath and look around.

I had good intentions the beginning of January to get my quilting studio cleaned and ready for a new year of creating quilts and other fabulous items.  My cutting table was an absolute horror -- in order to cut anything, I had to remove piles of quilts, fabrics, and who knows what else was hiding there.  With all of the medical issues that I had in the second half of 2017, my quilting took on a PRIORITY ONLY status, which did not include putting things away unless I absolutely had to.  So, I ended up with one big giant mess.

The first thing that I did was to clean off my cutting surface.  I had a lot of fat quarters, yardage, and scraps to sort.  I folded and put the yardage and fat quarters away in their proper homes.   Now I can cut without moving a bunch of stuff. Time to move on to the pile of scraps.  Or should I say the first pile of scraps.

Everyone has their own system for dealing with the leftovers from their quilt projects.  What's yours?

 Mine has so many levels and if I can think of any way to make it more difficult or complex, you know that's the way that I would do it of course.  LOL!

Okay, here's what I do:

1)  If any scrap is less than 2 1/2" square, then it goes right into the trash.

2) As I sew, I toss strips and small pieces larger than 2 1/2" into a basket to be cut into usable pieces later.

3)  Large pieces sometimes get folded and placed by color in my fabric museum drawers.  Yes, I do indeed have a fabric museum now, don't you?

4)  If I'm working with a specific collection, I put everything together into a gallon-sized bag, box, or basket so that I can find them when I want to make another project with that collection (at least that's the general idea -- whether I can find the bag, box, or basket later is usually by chance in my studio).

 Once my basket of scraps gets full enough, then it's time to cut them up into usable pieces.  Since I do a lot of designing arund stand precuts, I tend to cut my scraps into the following:

Fat Quarters

10" squares

5" squares

2 1/2" squares

2 1/2" strips that are the width of the fabric 

Here is what my pile of scraps looked like after I cut it up.

Nice, huh?  Now I can add these to my overflowing stash of scrap precuts.  Then they will be ready when I want to put together something scrappy.  Hmm.  Maybe I'll pull out a copy of I Love Precut Quilts! and make some scrappy versions of the quilts.

Speaking of my book, I Love Precut Quilts!, did you know that Amazon has been selling copies at a deep discount?  If you haven't gotten your own copy yet, now's a great time.  Here's the link to find my book (paperback and ebook) on Amazon:  Buy I Love Precut Quilts!

If you already have a copy of my book and you liked it, maybe you'll leave me a positive review on Amazon, too. 

Did you make anything from my book?  Email photos to me -- I'd love to share them with my blog readers.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

On the 12th Day of Christmas...............

On the 12th Day of Christmas, I Give to Thee....................


The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines peace as:

 1.  A state of tranquility or quiet, such as freedom from civil disturbance.

2.  A state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom.

3.  Harmony in personal relations.

We need peace in our lives, communities, and in our world.  

Pray for peace.  Find peace.  Live in peace.

Let There Be Peace on Earth and Let It Begin With Me.

I chose the block Peace and Plenty for my Peace quilt along with a low contrast  blue and grey color scheme. This quilt is quiet and even feels peaceful.

My challenge to you is...............find peace and hold on.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

On the 11th Day of Christmas........

On the 11th Day of Christmas, I Give to Thee..........


The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines love as: strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties.  (There are many many other definitions, but this is the one that I going to use for this blog post.)

This IS the season for love.

I love Christmas -- it's my favorite holiday.  I love making and selecting gifts for my loved ones.  I love baking cookies and sharing them with friends, coworkers, and family.  I love sending and receiving holiday cards.  I love decorating my tree.  I love Christmas music and Christmas movies.  I LOVE everything about Christmas!

What do you love about the holidays?
I just wish I could find a way to extend Christmas behind the calendar holiday, but at the same time, maybe it wouldn't be as special if it was all the time.  There has to be a way to keep the love of Christmas in our hearts all year round, though.

It probably won't come as a surprise that I chose the True Lovers Knot block for my Love quilt.  This block is a bit more complicated with curved piecing, but what an amazing quilt.   I decided to use a classic blue and white color scheme.

My challenge to you those you love how much you love them.

Friday, December 22, 2017

On the 10th Day of Christmas...............

On the 10th Day of Christmas, I Give to Thee........


The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines joy as:

1.  The emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires:  delight;  the expression or exhibition of such emotion:  gaiety.
2.  A state of happiness or felicity:  bliss; a source or cause of delight.

Sometimes it's too easy to rush through our everyday lives and forget to find little moments of joy.  Like a ladybug on your shoulder.  Or a beautiful sunrise.  Maybe it's simply holding someone's hand or sharing a warm hug.  Whatever it is, we need to seek out and find more moments of joy because without joy, our lives would be very bleak indeed.

What brings you joy? 

For my Joy quilt, I found this delightful quilt block design in Electric Quilt.  It's called Joy Bells.  Isn't it cute?  I decided to put in on point and was pleased with the secondary design that happened.

My challenge to you is.............stop and find joy in a single moment.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

On the 9th Day of Christmas...................

On the 9th Day of Christmas, I Give to Thee........


The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines pride as:

1.  The quality or state of being proud:  such as inordinate self-esteem or conceit; a reasonable or justifiable self-respect; delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship.
2.  Proud or disdainful behavior or treatment.
3.  Ostentatious display.
4.  A source of pride:  the best in a group or class
5.  A company of lions.
6.  A showy or impressive group. 

Whew!  As I typed out this definition, I seriously considered not using Pride for my 12 Days of Christmas posts.  Then I took a deep breath and stuck with my original plan.

People should be proud (I'm not talking about being rude or callous or boastful).  We should be proud of ourselves and our accomplishments as well as the accomplishments of others.  We should take pride in the work that we do, giving our best, even if we fall a little short.

Have you ever heard this quote by Les Brown:  "Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars?"

For my Pride quilt, I chose the Grandmother's Pride block.  I really liked how it was reminiscent of a fan, but had some very unique shapes to it.  I also chose reproduction fabrics to give the quilt a more vintage vibe.

My challenge to you is.........take pride in all that you do and encourage others to take pride in all that they do.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

On the 8th Day of Christmas........

On the 8th Day of Christmas, I Give to Thee...........


 The Merriam-Webster Diction defines laughter as a sound of or as if of laughing.  (Sadly, not a very helpful definition.)

It's very important to have laughter in your life.  Every day.  I bet you've heard the saying "Laughter is the best medicine?"  That saying really is true.  Laughter can alleviate stress and anxiety and it even burns calories. Did you know that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile?  

Here's to laughter!

For my Laughter quilt, I chose a fun block called Scrap Happy.  Just looking at it makes me smile.  It reminds me of a beach ball, which can brings lot of happy thoughts of fun and sun.  As you can see by the quilt, by altering color placement within the blocks, or turning the blocks, you can get a lot of different effects.


My challenge to you laugh every day.