In the Meadow Blog Tour

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Hi friends!  Welcome to stop no. 3 on the 
In the Meadow Blog Tour!


 In the Meadow is a new fabric line designed by my friend Shari Butler of Doohickey Designs.  Shari is also the creator of Binding Babies (which I totally love!) as well as, several other darling fabric lines!  In the Meadow is being distributed by Sweet Bee Designs.  Look for it soon in a quilt store near you!


Today I am excited to share with you a project that I've been working on that's made with several of the In the Meadow fabrics!  The pattern comes from the book, For Keeps by Amy Gibson.  It's called Potluck but I adjusted the instructions to make a table runner instead of a quilt.  


These blocks were really fun to make!


Block no. 1...


No. 2...


and then there were 3!


I am loving all the sweet prints and the clamshell/leaf quilting that Cathy Barney did on it.  


Those little clamshells are so tiny!


I used up a few fat quarters on the back side of this runner and machine bound it to finish things off!


This was such a fun project!  It was an absolute delight working with Shari's In the Meadow fabrics!
They're so sweet, I think you'll love them too!


Be sure to visit the other bloggers in this tour:

Tuesday April 17: Jedi Craft Girl | www.jedicraftgirl.com
Thursday April 19: Jina Barney Designs | http://jinabarneydesignz.blogspot.com 
Tuesday April 24: Gigi's Thimble | www.gigisthimble.com
Thursday April 26: Debby Brown Quilts | higheredhands.blogspot.com
Tuesday May 1: Piper's Girls | www.pipersgirls.com
Thursday May 3: Go Go Kim | http://www.gogokim.com
Tuesday May 8: Kea Bee | http://keabee.com
Thursday May 10: Doohikey Designs | https://doohikeydesigns.com/blogs/gethescoop

Happy quilting!

The 5 FASTest Baby Quilts I've Ever Made [Friday Favorites]!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Happy Friday Y'all!  
As part of my Friday Favorites series, today I am sharing the 5 fastest baby quilts I've ever made!  Because let's face it, sometimes you need something quick to gift - that's made from the heart.  So here's five quilt ideas that you can get done in a day.


1. Modern Baby Quilt
(See original post HERE)


There's not really a pattern for this modern baby boy quilt (above).  Basically, just cut (7) 6 1/2" x 38" strips, cut each one into 18" and 20" lengths, then add in a 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" blue rectangle between the two white strips.  Alternate the white strip lengths so the blue rectangles are offset and voila!  This is seriously the fastest quilt I've ever made!


2. Big Baby Quilt from my Vintage Vibe Book
Click HERE to go to my Etsy Shop.


I've made this a few times now.  It's quick and great for boys or girls!


3. Simple Strip Quilt
Click HERE for the free PDF instructions.



4. Lulu 
This pattern comes with instructions for two different sizes (crib and throw) 
and is Jelly Roll friendly!  
Click HERE to go to my Etsy Shop. 


I actually didn't make this exact version.  My friend Christine Cook did.  
But I've made a couple other versions and it goes together pretty quickly!


5. Simple Squares Quilt
Click HERE for the free PDF instructions.


Well, that's it!  Five simple baby quilts that you can get done in a day!  
What's one of your go-to, fast, baby quilts?  Do share!

I hope you liked this installment of Friday Favorites!  
Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend friends!

IronEZ Winner

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Well, I had a busy week and didn't get a chance to announce the winner of the IronEZ last Friday like I had hoped.  Please forgive me!


I'm happy to announce that Robin Westendorf is the winner!  Robin, please email me your shipping address and we will get that sent right out to you!  


For those of you still wanting your own IronEZ, please use THIS LINK and coupon code: AJ20OFF to get one (or two) for yourself!  That code will give you 20% off and if you order two or more you get free shipping as well!

These things are so handy!  I think you will love having one as much as I do!

Have a great day friends!

IronEZ Coupon Code + Giveaway!

Friday, March 9, 2018

My friend recently introduced me to the IronEZ and I just had to get one for myself!  


It's a new product that clamps onto your ironing board to hold your 
water and starch bottles so they don't fall off your ironing board!  
Tell me I'm not the only one that has this problem!!!  
My bottles fall off every time I iron, without fail!  It's so frustrating! 


Let me tell you about it.  
First, it holds standard water bottles, starch bottles and Best Press.  
But it even comes with a good quality water bottle!

.
 I've been using my IRonEZ for a few weeks now.  I love it so much that I decided to get another one.  One for each of my ironing boards (I have my standard one and then I have my ironing board tray that I keep by my sewing machine).


Even if you don't have two ironing boards like me, you might want two to hold both your water and spray bottles!  Whether you press linens, shirts or beautiful fabrics, I think this is super handy for anyone that irons (not just quilters!)  




The other thing I love about the IronEZ is that it folds up with your ironing board when you need to put it away.  Check out this video my husband took of me showing how it works.


The IronEZ retails for $24.99 but I have a coupon code for you today!  Use the code "AJ20OFF" to get yours for $19.99 + shipping.  OR, if you buy two or more you get free shipping.  Give one to a friend or enjoy 2 for yourself (it's definitely nice to have two!)  Click HERE to get yours!


Because I love you (and the Iron EZ) so much, I want to give one away! 
To enter, leave a comment below telling me if you're tired of bottles falling off your ironing board too and/or how you feel about ironing.  My mom tells me she really enjoys ironing but I, on the other hand, hate it (unless it's a couple of cute fat quarters!  Then I don't mind it!)  Hmmm...maybe I need to get my mom an IronEZ!?!

This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end at midnight MST on 3/16/18.  Good luck!

Quilting: Tips for Staying Focused and Motivated

Monday, March 5, 2018

I'm the kind of gal that doesn't do well with too much on my plate.  I don't do well when my house is too messy, I don't do well when I have too many works in progress, too many deadlines, too many family "situations" all at once...you get it, right?  Honestly, when I'm stressed, tears will most likely be coming in the near future if I don't get a handle on things quickly.  Oh I hate that about myself! So I do my best to not overcommit myself and keep my house and projects in order.  Today I want to talk about the latter.  I want to share how I keep the number of projects I'm working on - at bay, as well as, how I stay motivated to finish projects.


First, let me tell you, at any given time I only have about 4-6 works in progress (WIPS).  I think that's pretty good!  What about you?  How many do you have?  There was a time in my life, many years ago (when I first started quilting) that I had more like 12-15 WIPS at any given time.  I hated it!  It took up a lot of space in my sewing room AND a lot of space in my mind!  If you relate to the high volume of WIPS, don't you find that most of those projects are old and you're kind of "over" most of them?  So I try really hard not to have a lot of WIPS and most of all, to only keep the ones that I still really, really like.


I'll go through my WIPS (or kits) from time to time and if I'm "over" some of them, I will do one of three things.  (1) If I like the fabric but just don't want to make that quilt anymore I will take the fabric out of my storage box and integrate it back into my stash.  Can I tell you how liberating that is!?!  It's like, within seconds, you've cleared that project from your plate!  Try it!  It's one of the best things I can suggest if you have a million WIPS and you're "over" most of them.  (2) The other thing I do sometimes is I'll give small kits, random blocks, extra half-square triangles, scraps, etc. to quilting friends OR if I don't think they'll be too appealing to anyone I will donate them.  I always start with good intentions and want to make all the things and use up all the leftovers but sometimes I just don't have the time or a use for those extra projects so I want to give them to someone else that can enjoy them.  I love seeing what they make of them and many times that old saying is true, "One man's trash is another man's treasure!"  (3) Once in a while, I will do a destash sale if I think something is worth some $$$.  I don't do this very often, as it does take a lot of time to list items and process orders.  I also know that not everyone has a platform to do a destash sale through social media but you could consider a guild or neighborhood yard sale to sell your items.


As far as staying motivated to finish projects that I'm currently working on, I try to set goals for myself.  Recently I started a new project that requires SEVENTY-SEVEN eight-point stars!  That's 308 Flying-Geese!  About halfway in I got the urge to put it aside and start a new project.  But I really want to finish it!!!  I really want to enjoy it at the foot of our bed!  So what's a girl to do?


Here are my best tips for staying focused and motivated so I (and you!) can get those projects done!

1.  Make a plan with small daily goals. The thought of making 77 (or even 35) star blocks all in one shot sounds exhausting and totally daunting, right?  So what I like to do is set small goals that I can do every day.  My goal is to do 2-3 star blocks every day until I'm done.  Make sure your goal is achievable and print off a calendar so you can put a little check mark on the days you accomplish your goal and keep it where you can see it!  Those check marks feel so good and before you know it you will have met your goal!  You might miss a day here and there or you might only make 1 block instead of 2 or 3 but you will be making progress towards your goal and that's all that matters!

Inspirational Quote about Life and Success - Visit us at http://InspirationalQuotesMagazine.com for the best inspirational quotes!

2. For a really tedious project (like my star quilt) I prefer NOT to cut out everything first prior to sewing.  I did cut all the white upfront because it is faster to cut it all at once but picking out each of the blue fabrics is kind of my treat.  As soon as I'm done with 2-3 stars, I get to go pick out the next set of fabrics.  It breaks things up, allows me to get up from my sewing machine and I enjoy that part so I look forward to getting a few blocks done so I can go pick out the next set.


3. If you really feel like starting something new, how about just making a block or two to donate to a charity quilt?  That might feed your craving to work on something new, without the time and $$$ commitment of making a whole new quilt!  I just found out about a great opportunity that my friend Briawna Hugh is spearheading.  Every month she is collecting blocks for a charity quilt, then raffle tickets will be sold (the winner of the raffle receives that month's quilt) and all the ticket proceeds go to a different charity organization each month!  I think that is an absolutely fabulous idea!  Visit her blog, Purple Poppy Quilts for all the details.

 [Here are two blocks I made for Briawna's charity quilts.  You can use scraps and make two blocks in about 30 minutes!  A quick detour from my star blocks and now I'm ready to get back at it!]

4.  Instagram is a great community to find support and a whole lotta friends who will cheer you on!
In fact, my friends Heather @quiltstory and Megan @quiltstorymeg (who just so happen to be sisters!) recently issued a challenge to everyone to finish their WIPS this year!  All you have to do is post your WIPS on Instagram with the hashtag #qswipchallenge.  They're giving away prizes each month so if that's not motivation I don't know what is!  Follow the hashtag and support other makers!

[One of my current WIPS]

Finally, I asked the question "How do you stay focused and motivated to finish projects?" on Instagram and here are some of the other great suggestions that were mentioned:

"I try not to have deadlines, but just grab moments.  10 minutes here or there.  I got a quilt bound while I had a cold.  Keep a stack of piecing next to the machine.  I sit down and do 5 or 10.  Eventually, project complete!" - @idahob

"I take cutting days and cut for two or more projects at once.  When I sit to sew, I can work on one or the other, but both have to be sewn up before I cut more for either one...kinda forces me to keep working on the less favored one." - @crazyboutquilts

"I can't simply do "one" piece at a time...I usually have 3 on the go at different stages.  So...depending on how much time I have to do "something" sewing/quilting related, I can pick and choose which project to work on.  At some point one and all are finished." - @winkowl

"I don't have anywhere to store unfinished projects (on purpose) so they're always sitting out!  That means they get done!!  I just finished a project that had been sitting in pieces for 6 weeks!  Now I'm so excited to be able to start something new!!! - @jedicraftgirl

"I plug along on my current projects on weekdays and "play" on weekends.  I also give myself a few "anything goes" days after a finish (a project quilted and bound)." - @arlynparker

"Long ago, when I had Fridays off, someone had a photo blog going called Finish it Friday.  I took that very seriously.  I actually got a lot done knowing that at the end of the day I got to add my project photo to the lineup.  Now I'm best motivated by the deadline of someone's special occasion that I'm making for.  I need to get back to Finish it Fridays." - @alaskacandie

Aren't those all great ideas to help you stay motivated and focused!?!  If you've had luck with any of them or have something different that works for you, please share below!  If you're here seeking help in this department I hope one or more of these ideas will speak to you!  Go ahead and try it and start whittling down that pile of WIPS!

Happy quilting!
  

Wonder - A New Pattern by Gigi's Thimble

Monday, February 26, 2018

Good morning!  I hope you all had a great weekend!  Ours was pretty relaxing.  Nothing to write home about though (which is just the way we like it!)

I just wanted to take a minute to let you know about my new pattern, Wonder.  Some of you may have seen it on Instagram and a few of you may have gotten your little hands on it already
if you were one of the lucky recipients of the January Quilters Candy Box box!


I was honored to be asked to curate the January's Quilters Candy Box which included some of my favorite things:  
1. A Dream Bar (which didn't even last a day in my house) from Pot Belly Sandwich 
2. Some pretty fabric (I'd hoped it could've been Project Red from Sweetwater but unfortunately it wasn't available at the time the box contents were purchased).  But these pretty red & pink fabrics were simply lovely!
3. Two sweet little donut pins from @quiltypie on Instagram.  I can't resist donuts.  Crullers are my favorite.  What's yours?  Also, Susan (@quiltypie) makes the most amazing pins!  See my post HERE.
4. A SOTAK Needle Book kit.  I try to stay organized and this kit with it's linen cover is just my style!
5. Linen quilt labels (so excited about these!  I've been wanting some forever and what quilter can't use some labels!?!)
6. Graph paper notebook and Micron pen ~ essentials for quilt designing and planning!
7. An exclusive quilt pattern called Wonder.



I designed Wonder exclusively for the box recipients but the time has come that I can finally make it available to the rest of you.

It's fat quarter friendly and includes instructions for FIVE different sizes!

I used fabrics from the new line Project Red by Sweetwater for Moda.  I love all Sweetwater fabrics but this might be one of my favorite collections of theirs.  


Whatever fabrics you choose, may I suggest a good variation of lights and darks to achieve a similar look?


Wonder is a fun one to make and easy enough for beginners.


I want to thank Kaylene Parry for quilting it for me.  I chose a beautiful feather/swirl/pearl pantograph called Moulin Rouge by Urban Elementz for Kaylene to do and she did a fabulous job!  Kaylene lives in Lehi, UT. and I have used her many, many times over the years.  Thank you, Kaylene!


If you'd like to purchase Wonder in either a paper or PDF version they are now listed in my shop.  Click HERE.

Have a happy Monday friends!