Thursday, January 3, 2019

Handmade gifts and some new quilting ideas to start off the new year

Happy New Year!

I just finished putting some Christmas decorations away.

This Fig Tree mini quilt is one of my favorites! 

It seems like taking them out is always fun, and I look forward to it, but putting them back is not my favorite thing to do

 Somehow that doesn't stop me from getting a few more decorations each year, and I still try to put them back into the same amount of space.

I really need to get a few more Christmas storage boxes or give away some of the older decorations that I'm not as fond of anymore.

That seems difficult for me to do.

I did finally toss the artificial evergreen wreath that I had on my pantry door for years.  Every time someone opened or closed the pantry door, needles would fall off and scatter everywhere.

It was getting to be ridiculous.

My oldest son 'wore' that wreath when he was in a wreath in the first grade Christmas play.  He's graduated from college now, so you know that was an old wreath.

It did have some sentimental value to me, but after continually sweeping up those old needles every time someone wanted a snack, I decided it was best for that wreath to move on.

I took a picture of it and let it go, because pictures fit much better in the Christmas storage boxes! 

As I put back the Christmas decorations, I do a little bit each day, I'm going to try to part with a few other items that I've probably been hanging on to for a bit too long, even thought it's not easy.

In the spirit of out with the old and in with the new, trying new things, and refreshing your home or your quilting habits, this year Sherri and I have a fun and different idea for next month's Minis and More Parade.

We'd like you to share your favorite quilting or sewing tips and tricks!

Tell us one or more of your favorite shortcuts or maybe a clever idea you have for sewing storage. You know, a helpful hint that you'd like to share with your friends.  Send in a picture too if you can!

For example, I've used more painter's tape over my quilting career than I've ever used for painting, and we've done lots of painting!

I use it to mark quilting lines on quilts, I use it all the time on my  cutting rulers to mark lines so I don't have to look at the ruler as closely when I'm cutting the same size over and over.  I also use it on my quilting rulers, now that I'm doing some ruler work on my new sewing machine.

As far as storage goes,  I like to store my old cutting mats vertically between two bookcases full of fabric.  They occupy what used to be wasted space. I use the old cutting mats on the floor when I trim the edges of quilts before binding.

So share your tips by sending a few to me or to Sherri McConnell at A Quilting Life.  Then visit both my blog and Sherri's at the beginning of next month to start out the year with some new tips and tricks to try, inspired by your friends!

In December,  Hildy did an amazing job at making lots of handmade gifts, which is the theme of today's Parade.

This cute drawstring bag was made by Hildy using a combination of a patchwork gift bag tutorial of Sherri's and a Santa pattern by Nadra

This pillow and the next one were Christmas gifts for Hildy's parents.  This one uses Bonnie and Camille's fabric........

........and this one uses a Fig Tree fabric collection.

Although it wasn't a Christmas gift, Hildy made this cute quilt for a friend's new baby boy.

This adorable butterfly mini is also a pattern by Nadra that Hildy made for her brother's girlfriend.

Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful handmade gifts with us Hildy!  You gave me so many great ideas for next Christmas!

Don't forget to send us your best sewing tips with pictures before the end of the month and be sure to visit Sherri's blog, A Quilting Life to see the other half of the handmade gifts Parade.

See you there!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Stitched With Love

We just got back from a marathon holiday shopping excursion and I'm happy to say we got a lot accomplished.

From great gifts to some things that we just needed to have for the next few weeks, the car was pretty full of bags.

I've got a few more Christmas items on my list of things to do, but overall I think I've got it under control.

At least for the moment! 

How about you?

Are you progressing with your holiday to do list or are you just getting started?

Sometimes I think that a little bit of last minute rushing around is part of the fun!

Cookies are the next item on my list and I'm looking forward to trying a few new recipes this year. 

I try to make a few new kinds each year to go with something different.

Sometimes I get to the new cookies, sometimes I don't. 

Kristin, of Yellow Bliss Road, has this great list of over 50 Christmas cookie recipes that look absolutely amazing. 

The recipe for Christmas Magic Layer Brownie Bars is first on my list to try.

But before I start baking, it's time for the Parade!


These Stitched With Love Minis are just so cute!

It's a perfect pattern to make for a sewing friend or to display on the wall of your sewing room.

Here's Hildy's with some flying geese that she added to her finished mini.  That aqua background really pops, and of course I'm a fan of her red striped binding!

This one was made by Brenda. Another one with a great binding!  I love that navy fabric!   And we all know that you certainly can't go wrong with a gray background, and Brenda's mini is no exception!   

After the holiday rush, the January Parade will be something to look forward to, because its free choice!

We'd love to see any handmade gifts you gave or received for the January Parade.

If you have more than one to share, feel free to send them in!

It's so fun to see the projects that you choose!

It's a great time to get new ideas and to see what your friends are working on.

Just send a picture of the finished gift that was completed before the end of December to Sherri McConnell from A Quilting Life, or to me and we'll be happy to get it in the Minis and More Parade in early January.

We welcome new participants and we're happy to answer any questions that you may have.

Have fun with your projects and enjoy the holiday season!

I'm off to open a bag of M&M's and make those cookie bars!   

Thursday, November 1, 2018

It's fall, y'all!

As I write this post, I'm waiting for trick-or-treaters to arrive!

I can see my neighbors out the window setting up chairs to pass out candy in their driveway.

In our neighborhood, most people sit in lawn chairs in their driveways to pass out candy, and some even have a table set up with music and lights too.

After I'm finished writing, I plan to go out there and join the fun! 

Now that we're well into fall, we thought it would be a good time to show the fall quilts that everyone's been making this season.

Our theme for the Minis and More project last month was free choice fall.

Any fall pattern you made was eligible to be in today's Parade.

And we have some cute ones to show you! 

This one is mine.  The pattern is The Maple Leaf Quilt from The Fat Quarter Shop's Classic and Vintage series of patterns.  I used plum Mode Grunge for the background, and batiks for the leaves.  You can read more about it in my previous post

This cute table runner was created by our friend Patty from Elm Street Quilts.  She used the same Fat Quarter Shop pattern as I did, but she turned her's into this wonderful table runner.  She offset the leaves, so it would look like they were tumbling across the table.  If you check out her blog post, you'll see that she made a cute trivet with the Maple Leaf block too! 

This is the cutest witch hat ever!  It was made by Mary who writes the blog, Needled Mom.  She chose a paper pieced pattern by Soma of  Whims and Fancies. Mary likes Soma's patterns because of the impeccable detail and I couldn't agree more!  This is just adorable!  Did you notice Mary's background fabric?  It's a dot to dot!  Mary completed the dot to dot with orange thread.  That must have been fun!

Go over and visit my friend Sherri, at A Quilting Life, to see the other half of the fall Parade!

If you'd like to join us next time, just send a picture of next month's completed project with a short description, to either Sherri or to me, and we'll put it in the Parade. 

It's that easy! 

We give away free patterns to participants from time to time, as a fun, random, 'thank you' prize!

Are you wondering about the pattern for the next Parade?

Camille Roskelley created a cute sewing machine mini pattern that would look great in your sewing area, or it would make a great holiday gift for that sewing friend that already has every quilting gadget on the planet!

I'm planning on making one to put on the wall of my new sewing room.

Oh, I've also seen this pattern made into a sewing bag and I think I've seen it made into a sewing machine cover too.

Well, I need to wrap this up!

There are trick-or-treaters at my door, and boxes of Christmas decorations to put on the tree if I decide to stay inside while I'm giving out candy!

Just kidding about the decorating the Christmas tree part, but I am feeling like it's coming up that fast!

I try to wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate for Christmas, but if I do, I feel like I'm behind.  Is it just me?

When do you start decorating for the holidays?

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Maple Leaf Quilt from the Classic and Vintage Quilt Series

I'd love to show you my Maple Leaf Quilt today!

It's a part of a Fat Quarter Shop Quilt Along featuring the Maple Leaf Quilt from their Classic and Vintage Series of patterns.

Recently, I've been thinking about making a fall quilt with a purple background and when the opportunity came up to make a quilt block for this quilt along, I took it farther and made plenty of blocks, because I thought it would be the perfect time to break out the plum Moda Grunge and make that purple fall quilt I'd been dreaming about!   

I paired the plum Moda Grunge background with lots of different batiks and created some fall leaves.

This is the crib sized quilt. 

I chose the crib size because wanted to make a few leaves of each color, and a few that were mixed to give the quilt a colorful feel with a definite fall vibe.

This Maple Leaf pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop is great because it gives you four different size options, so you can make a few leaves if you want to, or you can go crazy and make a large quilt with leaves all over the place if fall is on your mind!

Batiks seem to show up in so many of my fall quilts, whether I start out planning them that way or not, I've noticed.

I guess it goes back to our time living in Maine when the array of fall colors was dizzying!

Here in Florida, I've got to take my fall leaf quilt pictures with a palm tree background like the picture below, so I've got to work in my fall colors in through my quilts!

Too bad palm tree fronds don't change color in the fall.

Now that we live in Florida, we don't have much of a fall season, which I may have mentioned just a few times in previous posts.  

So, y'all know I miss having fall!

I think that's why I go overboard when it comes to the number of fall quilts I make each year.

This Florida girl still has to get some fall in somehow!

These fun, chunky, offset maple leaves make this pattern a breeze for anyone from a beginning quilter to the more advanced quilter who is looking for a new, fun, fall quilt to make.

Plus, The Fat Quarter Shop has a Maple Leaf Quilt video tutorial on their YouTube Channel that you may want to watch if you decide to make your own Maple Leaf Quilt.

One more fall quilt down for me, only a few left to go before the Christmas quilts kick in.

Have you made any Christmas quilts yet?

Sending the husband to the roof to hang lights now!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Endless Summer Minis

It certainly is an endless summer here in Florida!

We've had record high temperatures recently and September was actually a warmer month than June, July, or August this year.

So our Parade pattern, Endless Summer Mini by my friend Sherri McConnell is perfect for this time of the year.

I made my blocks with some Halloween Layer Cake squares that I had in my stash because I felt like I needed a little more fall in my life right now.

If you're fortunate enough to be experiencing some cooler temperatures where you are, please send them my way.

I'm ready for jeans and sweaters!

I love Karen's bright Endless Summer Mini.  The green contrast fabric and binding really highlight the floral stars!

Mary, from the blog Needled Mom, made her mini quilt in navy and cream fabrics.  She plans on giving it to a friend as a birthday gift.

This is the back of Mary's mini quilt.  The quilting is beautiful!

This Endless Summer Mini is the one I made with the blocks I showed you just a minute ago.  I used Deb Strain Halloween fabric from the Midnight Masquerade fabric line and Moda Grunge for the background.  You know how much I like Moda Grunge!

You can find Patty blogging at Elm Street Quilts.  She plans to make her Endless Summer Mini quilt block into a one block mini quilt and do some big stitch quilting on it.

Catch the rest of the Parade on Sherri McConnell's blog, A Quilting Life and join us next month by emailing a photo of your finished project to me, or to Sherri, and we'll be sure to get your photo in the Parade.

We'd love to have you! 

Well, we have some fun in store for you for the November Parade.

It's free choice fall project month!

Make the fall themed quilt project of your choice and enter it in next month's Parade.

Sherri and I came up with a few suggestions to give you some ideas to get you started.

Some of these are free tutorials and others are great patterns that you might be interested in.

Keep in mind that these are just suggestions.

You can make any fall project that you'd like!

Now's the time to get started on that pumpkin project you've had your eye on.

Here are a few ideas-

Happy sewing and have a great October!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Scrap-Basket Bounty

Have you heard? 

Kim Brackett has just come out with another great quilt book called Scrap-Basket Bounty!

I have every quilt book Kim has ever written, so I'm excited to have another to add to my collection.

When I was offered an opportunity to have an early look at Scrap-Basket Bounty, I couldn't say yes fast enough!

I remember when I ran across my first Scrap-Basket book. 

It was in a quilt shop in Cary, North Carolina. 

I picked up the book and flipped through it, this was Scrap-Basket Surprises, and I decided I had to get it. 

I bought the book, and I've been a huge fan ever since!

 I think Kim's Scrap-Basket books should be the foundation to any quilter's library and Scrap-Basket Bounty is no exception. 

I want to make every quilt in the book, and try all the variations!

I love that Kim encourages you to experiment with the quilts and the blocks in the book and put your own spin on them if you'd like to give it a try.

There are 16 single-block quilts in the book. 

Each quilt has two additional block arrangements or two color variations at the end of the pattern to get you thinking about other options for your quilt.

 I don't think I can pick just one favorite block or quilt in Scrap-Basket Bounty because there are so many that I love, but Falling Stars did stand out to me right away as the one I need to make first.

The variations for Falling Stars are just amazing!

Kim likes using scraps, and all of the quilts in this book are scrap friendly, and a great way to make your scrap pile, or in my case scrap piles, a little smaller.

 You might find yourself mixing fabrics by the same designer, or mixing different fabric collections, or maybe you'll be rummaging around in your scrap basket to find some special fabrics to make the quilts in Scrap-Basket Bounty.

I wouldn't be surprised if you want to make every quilt in the book!

You can read more about Kim's quilting and her new book on her blog, Magnolia Bay Quilts.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Welcome September!

I don't know about you, but I can't wait for fall!

We're definitely not feeling any fall weather here in Florida yet, but that hasn't stopped me from pulling out the fall decorations and the pumpkin spice coffee K-cups and acting like fall is in the air.

 I'm even wearing jeans today, despite the heat!

No matter what the weather is like where you are, it is the beginning of September and you know that means, it's time for the Parade!

 The Trip Around The World Mini Quilt from Samantha of Aqua Paisley Studio was the mini we were working on last month.

With a fun construction method, this free tutorial was something a little different for us and I'm excited to share these projects with you!

You'll see some here, and there are more to view on Sherri McConnell's blog, A Quilting Life.

Mary, from the blog Needled Mom, has been wanting to make this pattern for a long time and I'm so glad that she was able to make it and share it with us, because it's gorgeous!  I love the yellows and grays she used here. The placement of the prints just really makes this quilt shine!

Patty made this smaller version of the project and it looks great!  The fallish colors she used and the cute fall leaf print really make this cute little mini appropriate for this month.  I'll bet she has this out on a table somewhere right now!  You can read more about what Patty is up to on her blog, Elm Street Quilts.  

Our mini for next month is something special!

Sherri and I have chosen her brand new pattern,  Endless Summer Mini.

It was just released a few days ago, so I'm really excited about making it!  I love making a pattern when it's hot off the presses.

As soon as I saw it,  I asked Sherri if she would be okay with us using it as our next Minis and More featured pattern. 

Photo of Endless Summer Mini by Sherri McConnell used with permission.

The name is perfect for this time of year, don't you think?

Sherri mentioned to me that you could make this quilt very fall like and I think you could also go with a summer vibe if you were feeling that way. 

Any way you make this mini it will be lovely!

Send us the photos of your completed Endless Summer Mini by the end of the month and we'll be sure to get them in the Parade. 

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to send me an email.

Oh by the way, you can find the pattern in Sherri's Etsy Shop by clicking here.   There's also a large version of this quilt if you're interested. 

We would love to include your work in the next Parade!