Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Starting spring with some butterflies

Hello and happy spring!

The pattern for the April Minis and More Parade is Mini Painted Ladies by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Co. and I can't think of a better way to start off spring than with a Parade of butterflies!   

These are a few of my Painted Lady butterflies.  

I decided I liked them so much that I'm making twelve additional butterflies to make a total of twenty four, so you won't see my mini here this week.  I'm still sewing.....

Yesterday in my Florida backyard, we spotted what I think is an Easter Tiger Swallowtail butterfly and last week I was surprised to see a Monarch.

Fortunately, my milkweed plants are coming back nicely, so the butterflies should have plenty of food when they need it.

If your backyard is still too cold for you to be spotting butterflies and that appears to be many of you, no worries, you can see plenty here today!

We lived in Maine for a few years, so I certainly know how that cold weather feels!

Here are some fabric butterflies for you to enjoy.

These beautiful butterflies, were made by Mary, from the blog Needled Mom.  She made her project square so it could be used as a table topper.  Mary gifted this to her mom and her mom was especially thrilled since these are her favorite colors.  I think anyone would be thrilled to receive this butterfly mini as a gift!  Great quilting, Mary!  Oh, speaking of quilting, I just had to include a picture of the back of Mary's project too.  I love that you can see Mary's quilting so well on the solid white on the back.  

Here's an adorable little potholder made by Patty D. of Elm Street Quilts.  I think this was the perfect way to bring spring into her kitchen!  The bright blues and the straight line quilting really make the butterfly pop off the potholder.  I like the variety of ways that people are using the featured pattern this month.  It's fun to see the pattern put to so many different uses.  I may have to make a Painted Ladies potholder of my own for my kitchen!  

And don't forget to visit Sherri McConnell's blog, A Quilting Life to see the rest of the Painted Ladies Mini quilt Parade.

For the May 1st Parade, I'm so excited that we'll be using Sherri's brand new pattern  Be My Neighbor Mini!  
Picture courtesy of Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life Designs.

You'll only need a charm pack and some extra fabric to make this adorable little house quilt.

I love the detail in the houses!

This pattern was just released by Sherri along with her other new patterns and Sherri and Chelsi's new fabric line Clover Hollow.

I'm thinking about color combinations for those cute houses right now.....

You can pick up a Be My Neighbor Mini pattern in Sherri's Etsy Shop  or at The Fat Quarter Shop.  They're available now!

Let's start construction!

Are you new to the Minis and More Parade or are you just wondering how it works? 

Feel free to send me an email with any questions you might have.  Sherri and I always love to have new participants and we love to make new quilting friends!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Strawberry Social Mini

Hello!  We're looking at our Strawberry Social Minis today.

With warm weather around the corner, these strawberry mini quilts will get us ready for spring!

The Strawberry Social Mini pattern was designed by Margot Languedoc of The Pattern Basket. 

I'm excited about these, so let's get right to it!

Mary, our friend from the blog Needled Mom, made this cute version of our featured pattern.  I love what she did with the strawberries and the low volume background!  What a great idea!  The striped binding looks wonderful too. It's so fun to see different versions of the same mini quilt and Mary's changes to the pattern are so fun!

Danette sent in her Strawberry Social Mini and it's adorable!  She was happy that she already had the pattern and when she saw that it was our pattern of the month, she decided to join in. We're so glad she did!  Her Pam Kitty Morning fabrics really make a beautiful mini quilt.  Check out Danette's blog to see her cute strawberry backing fabric!

And here's my Strawberry Social Mini!  I was thinking about putting borders on it, but I decided against it.  It's interesting that the other participants like the mini without borders too.  I've seen a few strawberry prints I was pondering for the border, but I'm just not sure.  Maybe I'll leave it for a few days and think about it before I quilt it.  I used a variety of red prints and some green charm square scraps that were in my stash.  I'm happy to say that the green dot background was also some fabric that I already had in my low volume pile.  

Mini Painted Ladies designed by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree and Co. is our next featured pattern.

It'll be fun to pick out fabric and create some beautiful butterflies!

Pattern picture from The Fat Quarter Shop

You can find the pattern at the Fat Quarter Shop or at Fig Tree and Co.

And don't forget to see the rest of the Parade at Sherri's blog, A Quilting Life!

We'd love for you to join us for the next Parade.  Just send us a picture of your completed Painted Ladies project and a brief description and we'll put it in the Parade on the April 2nd, since the first falls on a Sunday.  If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask!

Happy quilting!  

Thursday, February 1, 2018

A Hometown Parade

Welcome to the Hometown Parade!

This month's featured pattern was Hometown Mini designed by my Minis and More Parade cohost, Sherri McConnell.

Let's start with Patty D.'s spectacular picture of her Hometown Mini!  What a beautiful photo Patty!  I just love how the snow looks with the red and white mini quilt. Patty made a variation of the pattern that looks beautiful in the reds she used.  She's calling her quilt Cardinal, which I think is the perfect name for it.  You can read more about Patty's mini quilt in her blog post.  

Our next Parade entry was made by our new friend Chris!  This is her second time in the Parade, although she has been following along for years.  I'm so glad she decided to join us this month.  Chris changed up the Hometown pattern by turning it into a runner that she needed for her newly redecorated family room.  She used leftover scraps from a quilt that she made for her grandson.  Since the scraps went so well with the new colors in her home, it worked out perfectly!

Hildy made a cute pillow version of Sherri's Hometown pattern. The fabrics are a combination of different fabric lines including the First Romance collection, Paperie, and Beatrice.  This is an adorable pillow!  I always admire Hildy's creativity and her ability to see a project through to the finish!

Sherri McConnell's blog, A Quilting Life, is where you can find the other half of the Minis and More Parade.  Don't forget to visit and look at the amazing mini quilts she has in the Parade today!

We're so excited about our pattern for next month!

I've seen so many adorable versions of this cute quilt and now we can get together and make our own.

It's the Strawberry Social Mini!

You can find the pattern at The Fat Quarter Shop in both paper and PDF versions and it can also be ordered from Margot Languedoc's site The Pattern Basket.

If you'd like to sew along be sure to send us a picture of your Strawberry Social project before March first, so we can include it in the Parade.

Everyone loves to see different fabric combinations and creative ways to use the same pattern.

We hope you'll join us!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Harper Quilt

This week Erica Jackman of Kitchen Table Quilting released a new pattern, The Harper Quilt.

I had a great time testing the lap size quilt for her.

There are two quilt size options in The Harper Quilt pattern, along with two different polka dot sizes you can choose from.

It took me a bit to decide which polka dot size to go with, but finally I went with the large dots.  That version really caught my eye when Erica showed the pattern for the first time.

I used the Bonnie and Camille Basics fabric line in different colors for my background.

The Harper Quilt also looks great with a background of different shades of the same color fabric as pictured on the cover of Erica's pattern. 

My stack of Basics fat quarters has been sitting on my quilting table for far too long, so instead of using all one color for my background, I decided to change it up a little and use my different color Basics fat quarters.

My dot fabrics are the neutrals from my fat quarter bundle, plus a few extra fat quarters thrown in that I found at my local quilt shop.

The Harper Quilt has easy to create templates which were a breeze to make.

I just printed out the paper templates from Erica's pattern and traced them on to some template plastic that I had in my sewing closet. 

Erica recommends cutting your fabrics using your templates and a rotary cutter, going slowly around the curve guided by a plastic ruler and cutting up to four layers of fabric at a time. 

I preferred to trace my shapes to my precut squares and cut them out one at a time using scissors.  It did take longer, but it was a great excuse to watch TV for awhile while I was relaxing with family on the weekend!

Sewing the curves was more fun than I remembered! 

I've sewn curves before, but it's been awhile. Erica gives lots of helpful hints to make the process easy and accurate.

Lots of pins and a little help from my iron, and I was happily sewing along!

Then it was just a matter of laying out the blocks and sewing them together.

I'm thrilled with the result!

This week I've been quilting The Harper Quilt with small wavy lines and I'll be sure to show it to you once I get it bound. 

I went with a backing that had circles on it to echo the front and I love it.

I wish I could take credit for finding the backing fabric, but the credit has to go to my husband who saw the bolt peeking out from behind a pile at my LQS.

 Now I'm just trying to decide if I should continue the circle theme with the binding or not.  I have a few fabrics in mind, but I haven't made a final decision yet.

I have decided that the next baby quilt I make will definitely be another Harper Quilt. 

Erica's smaller size quilt in this patten is adorable and it would be a great reason to make another, maybe I'll even go with the small dots next time.  We'll have to see!

For the full story on The Harper Quilt visit my friend Erica Jackman at Kitchen Table Quilting!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A new year and a new Minis and More Parade!

Happy New Year, friends!

Usually at this point in time I'm in the process of taking down the Christmas decorations and I'm ready to move on with a fresh clean slate in January, but this year I'm taking it a bit slower.

I'm not quite ready to part with our Christmas tree and all of the festive decorations.

I'm not sure why that is, maybe it's the cold weather we're having here in Florida right now.  It finally feels like the holidays!

There are even rumors of snow here tomorrow! Yes, snow here in Florida!

A few weeks ago, in December, it was ninety degrees and it didn't feel like the holidays at all and now that it's time to take down the tree, it's gotten cold.

I guess that's as good of a reason as any to keep the decorations up just a little longer!

The Minis and More Parade is also holding on to the holidays for a little more time.

This month's Parade is about the handmade gifts that you gave and received.

I'm certainly going to be taking notes for next year's gifts!

Patty D. from Elm Street Quilts made this adorable tomte pillow for her mom and lots of zip bags for family and friends. I had to look up the word tomte because I didn't know what it was and I discovered that a tomte is a customary Swedish character who is said to live a solitary life and safeguard a farmer and his family. Swedish families may acknowledge a tomte by leaving him a bowl of porridge on Christmas Eve.  I didn't know that.  Thanks for sharing your beautiful handmade gifts with us Patty and for encouraging me to learn something new!    

Our next handmade gift is from Sue H.  She worked on it and finished it over Christmas and she's now glad that she has it, since winter has definitely arrived in her area of the country.  It's beautiful, Sue!  We're so glad you sent it in!

Karen made this quilt as a gift for an longtime family friend.  She found making a quilt for a man quite a challenge and I can see how it would be tricky. She did a great job finding a pattern, fabrics, and quilting it, without a flower in sight!  I'm sure he loves it, Karen.  It looks wonderful!

Hildy had the great idea to put her own spin on a pattern by Gingiber when she made this cute cat pillow for her parents.  Hildy personalized it by making the cats look more like her own.  I love the  aqua background that Hildy used from the Desert Bloom fabric line.  Thanks for sharing, Hildy!

Nancy made this cute By The Chimney Mini with a pattern by Lella Boutique as a gift for her granddaughter.  She used both Holly Jolly and Merry and Bright fabric by Sandy Gervais.  The striped binding is the perfect touch!

Be sure to head over to Sherri's blog, A Quilting Life  to view the other half of the Parade and to take notes on some great gift ideas!

Our February Parade will feature the Hometown Mini Quilt Pattern by my cohost of the Minis and More Parade, Sherri McConnell.

Photo courtesy of Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life

I just love this adorable mini quilt!

A few charm squares, some scraps, and a little background fabric and you're ready to go!

If you participated in the December first
 Parade or in today's Parade, you'll be receiving this pattern free of charge by email as a participation prize.  I'll be sending them out very soon.

If you're new to the Parade, welcome!  We'd love to have you!  Feel free to make this month's mini quilt and email a picture to Sherri or to me to be in next month's Parade on February first.  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

And to everyone who has participated in the Parade in the past, we're so glad to see you again and we're looking forward to another fun year of projects!

Happy quilting!


Friday, December 1, 2017

Let's start December with a Vintage Holiday Mini Parade!

Here we are in December!

What an exciting month! 

So many fun things to do in the coming weeks! 

What are you looking forward to the most?  A festive holiday gathering, or maybe a quiet evening watching Christmas movies and enjoying some holiday cookies?

Lots to look forward to!

Before you start your December activities let's view the Vintage Holiday Mini Parade.

This adorable mini pattern is by Camille Roskelley and she has a larger version available also.

Mine is shown above and I used Very Mery (Yes, that's how it's spelled and my computer is not too happy about it...) fabric by Sandy Gervais for my ornaments and for my sashing too.  I just used the extra charm pack squares to make my sashing scrappy.  I also did something a little different by strip piecing my patchwork ornaments that were all squares to make the piecing go a little faster.

I'm so happy to welcome Barb to our Parade!  This is Barb's first time participating so let's give her a warm welcome.  Hi Barb! Barb made her mini in batik fabric scraps because she feels like batiks look like glass, which make it a perfect kind of fabric to use for ornaments. I think it looks beautiful! What a great idea!  I love the fussy cutting on the ornament in the lower right corner.  Thanks so much for sharing it with us Barb!   


The next project in the Parade is Patty D.'s ornament runner.  She tries to make a new holiday decoration every season, and this season she made this great runner.  The striped binding is amazing Patty! Patty did some organic wavy lines for her quilting and she used some Sweetwater fabric for her cute ornaments.  You can read more about Patty's runner on her blog Elm Street Quilts.  

You can view the rest of the Parade on Sherri's blog, A Quilting Life!

On January second be ready for a different type of Parade!

 We'd like you to send in pictures of your handmade holiday gifts that you've given or received over the holidays and we'll put them in the January Parade! 

Won't that be fun?

We can all get some great ideas for the new year!

Then for the February Parade, we'll be back to making our featured patterns

 Don't forget that if you participated in today's Parade you'll be receiving that pattern for free.

We'll get that out to you most likely in the beginning of January if you participated, so no need to be on the lookout for it right now.  Just enjoy you holiday season and send in pictures of your handmade holiday gifts!

Questions about how the Parade works? Don't hesitate to ask! 

We'd love to meet some new friends next year and we'd love to see our past Parade participants too, so get ready for another fun year with Minis and More!

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Mini Charm Chocolates Quilt

I've picked up lots of Mini Charm Packs over the years.

They're also known as Moda Candy.

Maybe that's why I have so many! Just like candy, Mini Charm Packs are hard to resist. 

Those 2.5 inch candy fabric squares are so cute and compact!

I do wonder how much of our Halloween candy we gave out last week and how much Halloween candy we actually ate ourselves.......

Maybe I shouldn't think about that right now and get back to talking about fabric.......

I've used Mini Charms for lots of small projects like bags and mini quilts and I've used them to simply check out a new fabric line to see if it's one that I'm really going to like. 

They're great to determine if I want to order a little fabric or lots of it.  And they can be helpful in deciding what prints I'm going to like for borders and backings, and what prints I won't use as much of in a quilt.

Recently, I was introduced to a new use for Mini Charms, which was surprising to me, making larger quilts out of Mini Charms!

I had the opportunity to join in the Mini Charm Chocolates Quilt Along with the Fat Quarter Shop and I jumped on it!

Mini Charms Packs are great when you have a few of them, but I was definitely interested in checking out a pattern with a variety of quilt sizes involving either 3, 11, or even 20 Mini Charm Packs! 

And there's a table runner option too!

After opening up 1 of my 11 Manderely Mini Charm Packs and gathering some of my favorite background fabric, Moda Grunge in the color Pool, I started on my lap size quilt.

I was able to start on the sewing part quickly, because the only fabric I had to cut was the background fabric, my Moda Grunge.

Thanks to the Mini Charms most of the cutting was already done for me! 

And you know I loved that, because I have to admit the cutting is my least favorite part.  The less cutting that's involved the more I like the quilt!

I found that the best way for me to make the 24 blocks for the Mini Charm Chocolates Lap Quilt was to only open one Mini Charm Pack at a time and finish it, before opening another. 

That way I would get the most fabric variety possible in a block. So instead of having hundreds of fabric squares to choose from, I only had a few.

Definitely a plus for me!

It forced me to use some of those fabrics that may not have been my favorites, before I moved on to the next Mini Charm Pack and I was sure to have a pretty even amount of each print left as I approached the end of the quilt.

After making 24 blocks, I was ready to start assembling the quilt!

Another advantage to using Mini Charms that I wasn't even expecting, was the small amount of time that it took me to arrange the blocks.

There were so many different fabrics in the quilt that it was a no fuss layout!

 I've been known to ponder and change my block layout way too many times before I start sewing them together,  just ask my family, but this time there was such a large variety of fabrics I could just lay it out and then sew it up! 

I added a few strips of the background fabric to connect the blocks, then added the borders, and I was done.

I now have a fun, bright quilt made with tons of little squares, involving minimal cutting!

You can't go wrong there!

The Fat Quarter Shop made this pattern as a mini Shortcut quilt, a tablerunner, a lap quilt, and even a queen size quilt, so you've got lots of options.

I chose all of my Mini Charm Packs in the same fabric for my quilt, but I love mixing fabric lines too, so I've already pulled out all of my Mini Charms and my wheels are turning with new color combinations. 

The thought that I can mix multiple fabric lines together easily in this quilt pattern really interests me.

  I could make a quilt with a 'scrappy' look without having to spend the time cutting up all the scraps!

Gotta love it!

For more details, head over to The Fat Quarter Shop's blog, The Jolly Jabber where you'll see other Mini Charm Chocolate Quilts, the free pattern, and a video tutorial!

While I'm talking about projects you can do with The Fat Quarter Shop, I want to mention a special opportunity coming up in January, the Clementine Quilt Along benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

The Clementine Quilt features bright prints form Mama's Cottage by April Rosenthal by Moda.

Photo used with permission from The Fat Quarter Shop..

This upcoming Quilt Along runs from January through July of 2018, but the Clementine Quilt Kit can be pre-ordered now so you don't miss out on this charitable event.

Moda Fabrics and The Fat Quarter Shop are partners in this Quilt Along with proceeds benefiting St. Judes Children's Research Hospital.

It's something exciting coming up from The Fat Quarter Shop that I thought you might like to know about!

 I hope you find time this weekend to sew!