Finished Willow Quilt

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

I finally finished binding my Willow quilt and wanted to share it with you today.

The Willow pattern is a free pattern that Jessica Dayon and I published together 
for the Willow Quilt-Along back in March 2020.  Click HERE to go to the homepage 
of the Willow Quilt-Along.

Linda Childs of Alpine, Utah quilted it for me.  She did a custom quilting design 
that I predominantly left up to her to decide.  The only request I had was that she do 
the arches in the sashing to create "circles" around some of the blocks.  If you squint 
your eyes do you see "circles" from the white space around some of the blocks?  
I love how it turned out.  Linda did a fantastic job.

Linda did a different design in each of the 3 different types of blocks.

I used my stash for the blues (blocks, cornerstones and binding).  I was hoping
I would've put a bigger dent in my stash but I probably added to it because 
I had to buy the background and the back (and of course I had some leftover of both).

The main blocks finish at 6".  This was a good skill check in working with tiny pieces!
The overall finished size of the quilt is 61" x 61".

I bought these labels from Border City Quilts on Etsy.  I love them; so simple 
but a nice fishing touch.  They are the 2" x 2" cotton fold over label but you can 
customize most of their labels to your own desires. 

Thanks to those of you that joined us for the Willow Quilt-Along!  It was really fun 
seeing all of the different versions pop up on Instagram.  This design looks beautiful 
in any colorway!  I can't wait to see more photos of your finished quilts.  
Please continue to tag Jessica @jessicadayon and me @gigis_thimble as you finish them
and use the hashtag #willowqal so we don't miss a thing!

Finally, I want to thank Jessica for asking me to collaborate with her on this!  
It was fun getting to know her more.  Jessica is an amazing pattern designer 
and she inspires me every day!

Happy quilting!

Willow QAL: Week 7

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Welcome to week 7 (the final week) of the Willow Quilt-Along!  Jessica and I are 
so glad you joined us for this quilt-along!  We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did 
and we hope you learned some new skills along the way!

The get-to-know-you question for this week is:
"What is your 'death row meal'?"
Gosh, who came up with these questions!?!  (Haha, whoops, I did!)
This is a hard one.  All I know is it would involve lots of carbs and lots of sweets.  
In fact, maybe it would just be a plate full of desserts!   Yes, that sounds about right.
And if you want me to get specific a box of vanilla cream doughnuts from 
5 Daughters Bakery in Nashville, TN would work just fine.
So what is YOUR "death row meal"?  Answer in the comment section below.

So the assignment for this week is to assemble the quilt top.
I had so much fun assembling mine and seeing it all come together.

I dropped it off at my quilter's house about a week ago.
I can't wait to see what she does with it!  I'll be back soon with pictures!

Be sure to visit Jessica's blog HERE if you need the instructions for assembling the top
and to find out what her "death row meal" is.  We've loved seeing your progress on Instagram.
Keep tagging us - @jessicadayon and @gigis_thimble and using the hashtag #willowqal
so we don't miss a thing!  We can't wait to see your finished Willow quilts!

- Click HERE to go to the Home Page of the Willow QAL. -

Happy quilting!

Willow QAL: Week 6

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Welcome to week 6 of the Willow Quilt-Along!
I hope you've been enjoying the Willow pattern designed by 
Jessica Dayon and myself (Amber).  We've sure enjoyed seeing your posts on Instagram!

We like to answer a get-to-know-you question each week 
so we can connect a little bit more!  The get-to-know-you question for this week is 
"Do you listen to or watch anything when you sew?"

I usually listen to music.  It keeps me going while still being able to concentrate 
on what I'm making.  Sometimes I listen to Instagram Stories or Podcasts 
but I find it a little difficult to hear details over the humming of my machine.

Please answer the question below.  I'd especially love to hear Netflix or podcast 
recommendations if you have any!

The assignment this week is to cut all the layout pieces and make the cornerstones.
You will need the finishing instructions, which you can find on Jessica's blog

You will be making lots of  Half-Square Triangles for this assignment.
They are so tiny!  They finish at 1".
How are you feeling about all the tininess in this pattern?
I am loving how small the pieces are!  I don't do a lot of tiny piecing 
and this is pushing me to improve my skills in that department!
Plus, everything is cuter when it's tiny, right?

When making the cornerstones, I found it a little difficult to do the 
Webbing Piecing Method because the pieces are so little so I suggest using 
the regular Chain-Piecing method to help things go a little faster.
If you haven't heard of the Webbing technique I have a PDF tutorial 
that you can check out HERE.

Keep tagging Jessica @jessicadayon and me @gigis_thimble on Instagram
when you post your Willow progress.  Use the hashtag #willowqal so we don't miss it! 

You can click HERE to go to the Willow QAL landing page.
By the way, I recently added a PDF version of the schedule and materials list to that post.

Let me know if you have any questions. 
Happy quilting!

Quilters' Spring Cleaning 30-Day Challenge

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Jessica Dayon and I were just talking about how much fun we've been having 
collaborating on the Willow Quilt-Along.  Jessica asked if I'd like to do some kind
of 30-Day Challenge with her next so we came up with the idea of doing a 
Quilters' Spring Cleaning 30-Day Challenge!

Spring is almost over so we better get started!  
The challenge will begin on Friday, May 1st (that's in just TWO days!) and will end on May 30th.
It will include 30 tasks that will help you get your sewing space clean and organized!
We are aiming to spend approximately 30 minutes each day on a task.

Here is the list of tasks:
1. Organize a drawer
2. List all projects & kits
3. Organize rulers
4. Purge unwanted projects/kits
5. Sort scraps
6. Organize red, pink & yellow fabrics
7. Change rotary blades
8. Clean off one surface – chair, table top, etc.
9. Organize orange & green fabrics
10. Organize threads
11. Pre-wind bobbins
12. Organize blue & purple fabrics
13. Organize books and magazines
14. Piece batting remnants
15. Organize black, grey & brown fabrics
16. Clean & oil sewing machine, replace needle
17. Wash or replace ironing board cover
18. Organize white & low-volume fabrics
19. List 12 WIP goals & make corresponding slips of paper. 
Each month pull out a slip of paper & work on that goal.
20. Organize patterns
21. Clean iron
22. Organize a drawer
23. Organize pre-cuts
24. Inventory supplies & notions, make shopping list
25. Dust shelves, tables, window sills & baseboards
26. Clean cutting mat
27. Organize yardage 
28. Make backings for WIPS
29. Make bindings for WIPS
30. Remove all trash & vacuum

If you'd like to print the list out, click HERE
for the Quilter's Spring Cleaning 30-Day Challenge PDF we've created for you!

We'll be posting about this challenge mostly on Instagram but wanted to provide 
a landing page with all the details and the printable list of tasks.

So who wants to join us in getting our sewing spaces in tip-top shape?
Are you up for it?
Be sure to tag Jessica @jessicadayon and myself @gigis_thimble
on Instagram if you decide to join!  We'd love to be there to cheer you on!  
Oh, and we'll be using the hashtag #quiltersspringcleaning for this challenge.

Talk to you soon!

Willow QAL: Week 5

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Welcome to Week 5 of the Willow Quilt-Along!
This is a free Quilt-Along hosted by myself and Jessica Dayon.
Click HERE to go to the homepage of the Willow Quilt-Along for all the details.

Each week, Jessica and I are answering a get-to-know-you question.  
We hope you'll play along too and answer the question in the comment section below.  
This week's question is, "What is the best vacation you've ever been on and why?"

I've been to London, Japan, Hawaii (as well as many other states) but one of my 
favorite vacations was when my husband and I visited San Diego/La Jolla, California 
for our 20-year wedding anniversary.  There were no kids, no other couple; 
it was just the two of us!  It was romantic and the perfect combination of relaxation 
and adventure.  I paraglided (he couldn't because the winds weren't strong enough that 
day for someone his size - he's not a HUGE guy but you know, bigger than me.)  We also 
kayaked to some caves, ate incredible food, shopped and picked out special anniversary 
gifts together.  It was just wonderful.  So what's your favorite vacation ever?

[photo credit: my Instagram stories]

So, onto the Quilt-Along!
The assignment this week is to make 5 more Hope Blocks.
Click HERE for the instructions.

I don't know if it was my imagination but I felt like the blocks went together
a lot faster than last week.  I chain pieced all of the sections and was able to get them 
done in a few hours.  It may be a little easier for me to chain piece because
all of my fabrics are the same for each block (except one) so I didn't have to
worry about keeping fabrics in order.

Here's my one rogue block:

I ran out of the darkest fabric for the little squares so 
I just used the next best thing I had in my stash!

I hope you enjoy making these Hope Blocks!
After this week, we are done making the main blocks!
I'm getting so excited to see this quilt come together!

Be sure to stop by Jessica's blog today to see her blocks and 
find out what her best vacation ever was!

Let me know if you have any questions and have a great day!

Willow QAL: Week 4

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Hey hey!  Welcome to week 4 of the Willow QAL!
I love these Thursday posts!  Besides the fact that Thursdays mean a new QAL 
assignment, they're really the only thing helping me keep track of 
what day of the week it is!  Can you relate?

This week's get-to-know-you question is:
Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

I would say I'm a functioning introvert, ha!
I used to be a lot worse but I am getting better!  
I'm pretty quiet around people I don't know very well and in big groups 
but I'm a big goof around my family!
What about YOU?  Tell me in the comments below.

This week's assignment is to make 6 Hope Blocks.
Click HERE for the instructions.

Here's my test block.  The little squares and Half-Square Triangles finish at 1"
so this will be another good exercise in working with small pieces.
Just be sure to accurately cut and sew with a quarter inch seam allowance and you'll be just fine!

I got all my cutting done yesterday, as well as, 
my Half-Square Triangles and rectangle sections made (but not shown here).  
I'll finish sewing along with you guys this week!

I love seeing all the different colorways you guys are doing!
Keep sharing and tagging Jessica Dayon (@jessicadayon) and me (@gigis_thimble) on Instagram.
Be sure to use the hashtag #willowqal so we don't miss a thing!  

Don't forget to visit Jessica's blog HERE
to find out whether she's an introvert or an extrovert
and to see her Hope blocks!

Let me know if you have any questions.
Happy sewing!