Saturday, April 4, 2020

The Mini Charm Challenge


I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy at home.

Here's some of what you have been sewing up in March with Mini Charms!

I thanked Sherri for sending me this first entry to post, since she knows we are Florida Gator fans over here. 

Now that my son is doing online classes from home, we say that we are actually a satellite campus of the University of Florida! 

With exams and everything!  

In fact, that's why I couldn't get my half of the Parade posted yesterday.

My son had some exams and projects due, and I wasn't able to get the computer time in to get this done.  These days we all have to compromise in different ways.

Anyway, here is the Florida Gator quilt made with Mini Charm sized blue and orange fabrics by Melissa!  As a former nurse manager she needed an incentive to encourage her staff to fill out a survey. There were lots of Gator fans there, so she decided to make a Gator quilt to give way in a random drawing when they reached 90 percent participation.  An impressive quilt to make considering she is actually a fan of a rival team, the Florida State Seminoles!

Melissa had some leftover scraps and a pattern in mind, so when we announced the Mini Charm Scraps-Along challenge last month she made this wonderful quilt!  She's planning on donating it during Nurses Week this year.  What a great idea!     

Our next entry is from Bobbie.  She made the cute project below with a combination of cross-stitch and quilting.  It was her first time making prairie points, and I think she did a fantastic job!  She says the springy greens are great for this time of year and the message is also appropriate for the moment we find ourselves in today, and I'd have to agree.

Bobbie also sent in this photo with a tip about storing Mini Charms.  She likes keeping her Mini Charms and other small sewing items in these pencil cases for both short term and long term storage, including travel.  That's definitely something to keep in mind! 

This is a great project from Janet, in Kansas.  She made these zipper pouches from this video that Sherri made with The Fat Quarter Shop.  (At least I think this is the right video, if not someone please let me know.....)  Janet says this was a fun project and she thinks using Mini Charms for it was a great idea. I know this project has always been on my list, and Janet has definitely inspired me to get out my Mini Charms and start sewing some up!

Sharon stitched these mug rugs with Mini Charms.  They are just adorable! What a great use of Mini Charms!  I love the adorable gingerbread people too.  Really sweet!  Thanks so much Sharon!

And this pillow was made by Heather with a pattern by Corey Yoder and a Fat Quarter Shop tutorial on how to turn a block into a pillow. (Note- I looked around for this tutorial, but I couldn't locate it.  If anyone knows where to find it, don't hesitate to add a link in the comments below.  It sounds like a great idea for those extra blocks!) Heather used Lella Boutique fabrics and ended up with this spectacularly fun pillow!

Next month is Layer Cakes!

Give us your ideas and photos before the end of the month, and Sherri and I will post them in the next Scraps-Along Challenge Parade!

And of course if you haven't already, be sure to visit Sherri's blog, A Quilting Life to see the other projects that participants sent in for the Scraps-Along Mini Charm Challenge!

Sunday, March 8, 2020

March Charm Square madness

Being from North Carolina originally and graduating from UNC, I couldn't resist titling this post March Charm Square madness!

 We are all about our college basketball, and since the tournament is upon us and all of the Charm Square photos for this month's Scraps-Along are top notch, I thought the title was appropriate.

Let's get started with a picture from Bobbie.  She had some embroidery that she completed about 18 months ago that she spent about 500 hours working on.  That's impressive!   She added some coordinating Charm Squares and made a table runner.  I admire the use of purple here because I'm always saying there isn't enough purple in quilting. Bobbie went on to quilt it simply and use a stitch that mimicked the tendrils of her hand embroidery.  It's beautiful! 

This another picture from Bobbie with a Charm Pack storage and organization tip.  She found these CD racks at her Goodwill store for only $2.97 and put them to good use as Charm Pack storage. Brilliant, Bobbie! Thank you!

The next great idea is from Heather M. She made this beautiful 52 X 52 inch quilt with two Charm Packs and some background fabric.  That's a big quilt with only two Charm Packs!  She sent in a photo with the magazine that includes the pattern and the Charm Packs she used, so I added it below.  I'm going to see if I have that magazine, and you might want to look through your magazines for it too!

This is from Missy. She is a nurse and she recently acquired some scrub tops from another nurse who recently retired, so she cut them up into 5 inch squares, added a few of her own, and made quilt to donate to the Pediatric ICU.  I love that she cut them up and used them right away so they didn't just sit in her sewing room.  I need to channel some of her quickness over here.  My sewing room would really look much neater if I did!  This is a sweet and generous idea Missy! 

This fun Twisty Heart was made by Carol B.  She's had the tool for awhile and then decided to look through her stash for enough 5 x 5 inch red fabrics to create this beautiful heart, just in time for Valentine's Day!  You all are giving us such good ideas for Charm Packs!  I'm pausing for a moment to pull out my Twisty Tool so I don't forget about this.  I'll be right back...... 

This lovely Charm Party Tote was sewn by Donna F. for a friend who is going on a cruise.  Donna says this pattern is a tried and true favorite of hers. The pattern is by Penny Sturges of Quilts Illustrated.  I'm sure Donna's friend is thrilled with the gift of such a nice tote! 

There are many more tips and projects using Charm Squares, so be sure to check them out on Sherri McConnell's blog, A Quilting Life!

Next month's challenge involves Mini Charm Packs!

These cute little 2.5 inch squares are so versatile.

They can be a great way to see if you love a fabric line before investing a large purchase and they also make great little projects, and great big projects for that matter!

Some of my favorite Mini Charm projects are in the Little Snippets series of patterns by Carrie Nelson, like this one I made called Speck.

As I was typing, I remembered a project I did for the Fat Quarter Shop a few years ago that's a big project with Mini Charms. It's called Mini Charm Chocolates and here's a link to my post which will tell you where to find the free pattern at the Fat Quarter Shop.

And here's a link to a post I found that Sherri wrote about uses for Mini Charms called 15 Mini Charm Pack Projects that is really helpful.

Send in your tips and projects involving one of my favorite pre-cuts, the Mini Charm, before the end of March so we can share them.

Have fun with your Mini Charms!


Friday, February 7, 2020

Scraps - Along!

Hello and welcome to this half of the Scraps-Along!

It's a new monthly post that I'm helping Sherri McConnell with, that features projects and ideas made with your scraps.

Each month there will be a new theme to focus on, with tips and projects for those scraps that quilters always accumulate.

Today we're showing you the projects and ideas that were sent in featuring your Jelly Roll scraps.

You'll find some here, and others on my friend Sherri's blog, A Quilting Life where she will announce the prize winners too!

This month I went through and organized my extra Jelly Roll strips, and I found that I had enough to bind this quilt top with once it's quilted!  That was a great discovery for me. Instant binding! No cutting needed! 

Kathie K. made several projects focusing on a pile of turquoise Jelly Roll scraps.  Kathie has always wanted to try a scrappy seahorse wall hanging so she took this opportunity to do it. What a great use of scraps!  She also made a heart wall hanging and she's started a long term project of single color scrappy 12-patch blocks.

Bobbie Z. made this sweet quilt that she calls Fiesta, because she chose to do the borders in Fiesta Ware colors so she can use it on her table during special family dinners. Bobbie turned to a Missouri Star Quilt Company YouTube video as a resource to help her learn a method that she's never done before.  I think that's a great idea! 

I love this tip that Debbie sent in!  What an original storage idea! She's using several old doll houses to display fat quarters, Charm Squares, Jelly Rolls and other precuts.  I like how you can see and quickly find what you're looking for with this kind of fabric storage.

This month's challenge inspired Julie in Georgia to pull out a long forgotten Jelly Roll and make a beautiful new quilt top! She says it was quick and easy and so much fun.  Definitely inspiring, Julie!  Read more about it on her blog Julie's Quilts and Costumes. 

These scrappy Trip Around The World blocks were made by Heather M. She used leftover Jelly Roll pieces to make the blocks with Cookie Exchange fabric by Sweetwater.  Heather used a link to a tutorial that she found on Sherri's post to make these blocks.  She already had 27 of the 36 that she needs to finish.  That is going to be a beautiful quilt!

Nancy sent in this beautiful picture of her quilt called Lake Cabin.  The pattern is from Kim Brackett's book Scrap-Basket Sensations.  You certainly can't go wrong with any of Kim Brackett's patterns!  This is a super use of a Jelly Roll!  Nancy this is a wonderful quilt!

Now pull out your random Charm Squares and extra Charm Square packs and start sorting and sewing for the next challenge!

Sherri has some great Charm Square links that you may want to see before you begin.

When you're finished, send in your ideas and pictures to me or to Sherri before the end of the month and we'll show them off in the next Scraps-Along post at the beginning of March!

Happy Sewing! 

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Jelly Belly Bars

Hey and happy Wednesday!

I'm here today to tell you about the The Jelly Belly Bars Quilt!

It's a new free Shortcut Quilt pattern from The Fat Quarter Shop.

Just take one Jolly Bar and one Jelly Roll and you've got the makings of this sweet quilt!

I used a Lollipop Garden Jolly Bar by Vanessa Goertzen of Lella Boutique and a Strawberry Jam Jelly Roll by Coery Yoder of Coriander Quilts for my quilt.

The Jelly Belly Bars pattern calls for the Jolly Bar to be solid, but I love to mix fabric lines to give my quilts a scrappier look, so I went with the two patterned precuts.

A solid Jolly Bar would give this quilt a different look, so the possibilities here are endless!

Run on over to The Fat Quarter Shop's blog, The Jolly Jabber and download the free pattern and be sure to watch Kimberly's video tutorial too.

I've provided the link below, just to make it convenient for you.

This is one quilt that I'd definitely make again!

Super quick and easy.

I'd recommend it to anyone, if its your first quilt or if you've made a thousand quilts.

It would be great for a beginner.  

You get so much fun quilt with minimal cutting. 

And I was just discussing with someone today that I'm not a big fan of cutting, and come to think of it, I'm not really sure who is?

Someone in the Jolly Jabber blog comments mentioned that the Jelly Belly Bars Quilt would be great as a signature quilt and I think that's an excellent idea!

It would also make a wonderful quilt for using some novelty fabrics, either in the Jolly Bar or the Jelly Roll pieces.

For the quilting here I did some ruler work with my new Squiggy ruler by Angela Walters.

Rulerwork has opened up a whole new quilting world for me!

I'm really enjoying learning a new quilting skill.

I did the binding by machine, something I'd never thought I'd say.

I used to not be a fan of machine binding, but the more I do it, the more I love it!

With the increasing number of quilts that I'm testing these days, it really helps me get those quilts bound faster and I also love the clean finished look that it gives the whole quilt.

I'm considering getting a new walking foot with a stitch in the ditch attachment to help make the job that much easier.

And did you notice that the binding is purple?

My favorite color is purple and somehow I rarely use it in my quilts.

So when I realized how well this dusty purple fabric went with everything, it was a given that it was going to be the binding! 

Well, I've got another quilt to cut out, so I'd better get to it.

I just wanted to let you know about this sweet, new, free pattern from The Fat Quarter Shop!

You can thank me later!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Thinking about the new year?

The turkey leftovers are gone, holiday shopping season has started, and the busy season is upon us!

It's time to start thinking about the new year!

In that spirit, we are taking the month of December off from Minis and More and we'll be back in January refreshed and ready to share some fun new ideas with you.

Take this time to enjoy family and friends and to squeeze in a little extra special sewing for yourself!

We're looking forward to what the new year will bring!

What are you anticipating in the new year?

Any special plans, goals, or thoughts, for yourself or your sewing?

Right now, let's get started with the Parade and I'll share some great projects with you that were sent in by our quilting friends.

This is Brenda's Merry Mini Quilt from the Fat Quarter Shop SAL.  The fabrics are by Holly Taylor from Moda Fabrics.  Brenda took this picture when she was traveling in the mountains.  I love to see that snow!  It's impressive that Brenda is traveling so much and still finding the time to quilt!  How do you do it Brenda?  Be sure to check out what Brenda is up to on her blog, The Quilting Nook.

Vicki's pillow is beautiful!  She made with a scrappy pillow tutorial by my Minis and More co-host Sherri McConnell from A Quilting Life.  The fabrics she used are from a fabric line called My Back Porch.  What a cute pillow!

Red and white is a great color combination for Hildy's pillow cover!  Hildy used the Star Drop pattern from The Pattern Basket with fabrics by Fig Tree Quilts, Gingiber, and April Rosenthal too.  This would be great for Christmas, Valentine's Day, or any time of the year!


I'm so excited to include this Parade entry from Mary from the blog Needledmom!  Isn't this the cutest snowman?  Mary found this project hidden away in her stash when she was looking for another project to work on.  Just yesterday I was reminded of some Christmas pillow supplies that I had stashed away last year that I hope to make this year.  I guess if you look around in your sewing room you never know what will pop up!  I'm so glad Mary made her snowman project and shared it with us!  You can read more about it in her recent post. 

We're so glad you were here for the Parade today and we'll be back in 2020!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Parade Day

Hello!  It's Parade Day!

It's that crazy time of year when I'm tempted to get out my Christmas decorations because I see so much Christmas decor out in the stores.

I like decorating for Christmas so much, that I'm thinking about how I'd like the tree to be up for a long time.

On the other hand, I certainly don't want to skip Thanksgiving and take my fall things down yet.

Am I right?  Do you feel that way too? 

Where are you on the Christmas starts right after Halloween scale?

Right now, I've decided to hold off.

It's always possible I'll change my mind and pull that Christmas decor out of the attic and get started any day now.

Even if we aren't decking the halls yet, we can always discuss Christmas quilts!

As my cohost Sherri at A Quilting Life mentioned in her Parade post,  I don't think it's too late to make a Christmas quilt to display this year.

I've got at least one Christmas quilt top that I plan to quilt any day now,  and a few other Christmas projects in mind for this year.

Let's see what new Christmas minis our quilting friends have been working on since we were here last month!

Brenda from The Quilting Nook made this sweet Christmas Jars Pattern from the The Pattern Basket.  The red background really says Christmas!

This is a brand new pattern from Camille Roskelley of Thimbleblossoms called Homebody.  Hildy made her's look so Christmasy by using festive fabrics!

Since we're discussing Christmas, her's a few Christmas quits from my collection.

Some of these go waaaay back!

It was fun to look back at my blog while I was searching for these.

I was surprised at some of the things that I've forgotten about over the years!

If you haven't looked at your 'posts from the past' in awhile you might want to do that and experience some fun memories!

This is a quilt that I put together by combining some different blocks by Carrie Nelson.

It's a Wrap Pattern from Pieces of My Heart.

This is Prairie Point Christmas.

Cozy Christmas from a 2002 Fons and Porter magazine.

 Mini Juniper by Fig Tree Quilts. It's now quilted, but I can't seem to find a picture of it since then.

And finally, two pictures of my Christmas version of Carrie Nelson's Lincoln Schnibble.  I liked the setting of the unquilted picture better, so I decided to throw it in the mix too!

I've got more Christmas quilts to share on another day!

Next time on the Minis and More Parade Day, we'll be showing.........'

-insert drum roll here-

............whatever you want!

Yes, that's right!  It will be free choice!

A perfect time to do that quilt that's been on your list for awhile or that gift you intend to make.

It's totally up to you!

It'll be a great Parade, so send in your pictures before the end of the November and join us!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Happy October!

October is here!

I have to say it's one of my favorite months of the year.

Things begin to cool down, the seasons change, and the holidays are right around the corner.

That brings me to the theme of next month's Minis and More Parade, which will be Christmas!

You can't have too much Christmas, so send pictures of what you are working on for Christmas to me or to Sherri before the end of October and we'll include your project in the Parade at the beginning of November.

I have a few Christmas UFO's I'm hoping to finish up this year.

I've got a Christmas quilt top that I need to quilt and some small Christmas trees leftover from a mini quit that I could make into something, maybe ornaments for our tree or a small tabletopper. 

I'd like to get those finished before I start something new, but you all know how that goes!

Some quits are just impossible to resist!

Today's Parade is all about Jelly Roll projects!

September 21st was declared National Jelly Roll Day by Moda Fabrics and they had all kinds of fun events going on at various quilt shops and online too.

It was a great time to break out your Jelly Roll collection and start a quilt!

Vicki was creative and found that Carrie Nelson's Roundabout pattern could be adapted for Jelly Roll strips.  Vicki used some leftover Sweet Blend strips by Laundry Basket Quilts that she had after making a large quilt to adapt this beautiful table runner from Carrie's pattern. 


Karen also used some Jelly Roll strips that she had leftover from another project for her creation this month.  She saw the pattern Cartwheel on the Moda BakeShop site, but she was unable to access the information for the pattern, so she created her own version of the quilt instead.  You all are so creative this month!  

Isn't it a great feeling to find a home for those extra Jelly Roll strips?

The Christmas quilt that I was talking about in the beginning of this post is comprised of extra Christmas Jelly Roll strips and Charm Squares that I've saved over the years and then put into one quilt. 

Most Christmas fabrics go together I've found, so you might want to consider following Vicki and Karen's lead for the next Parade if you don't have anything in mind yet, and dig through your scrap bins to create your Christmas project from scraps you have around.

That's not necessary of course, it's just an idea!

Enjoy your spiced pumpkin drinks, carving your pumpkins, and pulling out your warmer clothes this month and be sure to visit Sherri McConnell's blog, A Quilting Life to see the other half of today's Jelly Roll Parade!