Summer Sampler 2018 Just Announced

When I got the message from Lee at Freshly Pieced yesterday announcing the 2018 Summer Sampler, I have to admit I thought it was a mistake. Maybe one of those things where your email service gets a glitch and sends out a message from last year. I personally just finished last year’s sampler and haven’t had time to take any proper pictures of it. Here it is before I quilted it:

summer sampler quilt top

Fire & Water: My 2017 Summer Sampler

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Clementine Quilt Along: Block 3

Month three of the Clementine Quilt Along from the Fat Quarter Shop was released yesterday! This month’s block is called Peaches & Plenty, and it is just adorable. This quilt along benefits the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the free block patterns are published on the Fat Quarter Shop blog on the 25th of each month. They only suggest you make a $5 donation to St. Jude’s for each pattern you download. Here’s my version of the block:

small and large finished quilt blocks

Block 3: Peaches & Plenty block

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Hexy MF Redo Quilt

My very first post on this blog was a list of things I wish I had learned earlier in my quilting journey. One of those was following trends just to be a part of something. The Hexy MF quilt along was that project for me. I was excited about learning English paper piecing, and I’ve had a long love of hexagons that predates all those shows on HGTV using hexy tiles on floors and in back splashes.

But the more I got into this project, the more I knew I absolutely hated what the quilt was supposed to look like when it was done. So I put my flowers away for a really long time. I didn’t want to quit, but I knew I couldn’t keep going without another plan. I let the project simmer in my brain until I came up with the idea for the finished quilt.

full size Hexy MF Redo quilt

My final quilt, titled Hexy MF Redo.

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Monthly Report: February 2018

You know the saying “the days are long, but the years are short”? I don’t feel like that’s true at all! I think about it being March already and start to feel like 2018 is almost over. Maybe that’s just me. Who knows?! But I did get a lot done this month. You can read about last month too.

Know what I didn’t do? Take pictures of the two quilts I finished this month. We’ve had nothing but rain and cloudy days here, and it’s been horrible for photography. Even my indoor pictures need a little sunshine outside to brighten up the room. So this month’s finishes are showing pictures in progress.

This Month’s Projects

Milky Way sampler quilt top

My Milky Way sampler quilt top.

Alyce from Blossom Heart Quilts hosted the Milky Way sampler quilt along last year. Every block was paper pieced, and I really struggle with this technique. I figured having a dedicated project would improve my skills and my confidence. I was right. This is one of the projects I haven’t been able to photograph yet. I echo quilted around the stars, and I can’t wait to get some good pictures of it soon! Read More…

Clementine Quilt Along: Block 2

It’s month two of the Clementine Quilt Along from the Fat Quarter Shop benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This block is called Broken Berries, and it was just as much fun to put together as last month’s block. These blocks come out on the 25th of each month, and they only suggest you make a $5 donation to St. Jude’s for each pattern you download. Here’s my version of the block:

picture of two quilt blocks

Block 2: Broken Berries

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How to Choose a Rotary Cutter for Quilting

The rotary cutter revolutionized the way we cut fabric for quilting. Before rotary cutters, quilters would trace shapes on their fabric and cut them out by hand. Now we can cut an entire strip of fabric in less than three seconds. This tool that looks like a pizza cutter has made our quilting lives so much easier… but choosing the right one for you can be overwhelming. Today I’m going to compare different types of rotary cutters and some you of the other tools you need to use them.

Types of Rotary Cutters

I’ve been using a Comfort Loop Fiskars rotary cutter since I started quilting. It was super affordable, and I’ve only had to replace it once in nearly 20 years. I’ve learned if you take care of your supplies, they’ll last you forever! So much has changed in quilting and ergonomics that I waited for a sale and went and bought a couple different types of cutters to compare and contrast. The ones featured in this post are from Fiskars (truly just a coincidence; they’re not paying me to do this!), but many of the features exist across all brands, so if you have a favorite brand, look for these features. Also, I use my left and right hand for cutting, so I’ll point out features for lefties where they are.

Three Fiskars rotary cutters

Rotary cutters come with all sorts of features. The right one for you will depend on your cutting style.

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Monthly Report: January 2018

The first month of the new year has come to an end. Are you the type to make new year’s resolutions? Or do you do like me and just kind of wing it?  While my goal-making skills are “loose” at best, I do keep track of what I do in life so I can make sure I’m spending my time on things that are important to me. Like quilting!

I spent time quilting or working on quilting-related projects all but two days this month. That’s pretty awesome! Since I do keep track of my quilt life, I thought I would share a recap of this month’s projects.

This Month’s Projects

Three scrap buckets on a shelf.

Scrappy Scrap Buckets

I’m slowly starting to organize my scraps so I can actually use them. What a better start than with scrappy scrap buckets. The pattern is from Sunday Morning Quilts by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison. Amanda Jean is the scrap guru behind Crazy Mom Quilts, so I knew her pattern would be perfect! Three down, and who knows how many to go. Read More…

King’s Puzzle Quilt

Every now and then I take on a project that fights me each step of the way. As I get closer and closer to done on these projects, I swear I’m going to set it on fire as soon as it’s finished. If King’s Puzzle hadn’t been gifted so quickly after it was finished, it would definitely be in my fireplace right now!

King's Puzzle Quilt, a red and white bargello

King’s Puzzle Quilt

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Clementine Quilt Along: Block 1

I’m quilting along with the Fat Quarter Shop’s Clementine Quilt Along! Are you?!

This year’s quilt along is super cute, and it benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The first block is Watermelon Wheel, and you can get each pattern on the 25th of each month. They only suggest you make a $5 donation to St. Jude’s for each pattern you download. Here’s my version of the block:

A picture of the large and small Watermelon Wheel blocks for the Clementine Quilt Along.

Here’s my version of Watermelon Wheel. I think I’m going to absolutely love using my Tula Pink fat quarters in this quilt.

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7 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started Quilting

It’s been over 20 years since I first purchased some ugly fabric and inadequate supplies in a quest to make my first quilt. While that first quilt was a technical and aesthetic disaster, I was hooked and started learning everything I could about quilting. While I was soaking up as much information as I could, there were obviously some things I didn’t quite learn as early as I would have liked.

If you’re new on your quilting journey, or if you’ve been at it for a while, please learn from my mistakes!

Buy the Good Fabric & Thread

When I first started quilting my daughter was nearly four, and four year olds are not cheap! While I wanted to make quilting my hobby, I also knew that I couldn’t spend a lot of money on it. So… I went to JoAnn’s and bought the 70 cent fat quarters and $1.99 cotton fabric. And polyester thread. With coupons. Don’t get me wrong, JoAnn’s has really upped its quality game in the fabric department lately, but that was definitely not the case 20 years ago.

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