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!

Willow QAL: Week 3

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Good morning friends!
Welcome to week 3 of the Willow QAL!
I've really enjoyed seeing all of the Instagram posts 
you guys have tagged me and Jessica on with your blocks!  
They're all so pretty!  Keep tagging us @jessicadayon and @gigis_thimble 
and be sure to use the hashtag #willowqal!


We're enjoying getting to know each other and you guys a little bit more!
This week's get-to-know-you questions is, what are some of your other hobbies besides quilting 
(or ones you've had in the past)?

I love to run, hike, bake and decorate!  I've also gotten into having and caring for indoor plants.
I used to scrapbook a lot and even taught creative lettering classes!
So what about YOU?  What are some of your hobbies?
Tell us in the comment section below.


The assignment for this week is the same as last week - make 4 Grace Blocks.
Check out THIS blog post if you need the pattern again.
After this week you will be done with 2 of the 3 main blocks!


I didn't get a chance to make mine ahead of time so I'll be sewing these 
last 4 blocks with you this week.


Be sure to visit Jessica's blog HERE to hear what her hobbies are 
and see how her Grace Blocks are coming along.   
I just love the beautiful color palette she is using! 

Well that's it for now.  Let us know if you have any questions and happy quilting!

Willow QAL: Week 2

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Hey friends!  How are you?  
I hope you are doing well and enjoying this Quilt-Along so far!
I'm enjoying having some purpose during this quarantine 
and time at my sewing machine 
(which is my happy place - as I'm sure it is for most of you!)


The get-to-know-you question for this week is:
"How did you get into quilting?  Who taught you and what was the first quilt you made?"

I was newly married, my husband traveled a lot and I didn't have a lot of family close by.
I needed a hobby so I asked my grandma to teach me how to quilt.  
She was thrilled since she was an avid quilter and no one else in our family quilted.  
I chose to design a pattern based on a quilt I saw in a home decor store.  
I'm still baffled why I decided to design my own pattern when I could've just bought one! 
It would've been so much easier! 
But we went shopping together, had several lessons and then I was left to make most 
of the blocks on my own.  Well, that quilt took me 3 years to finish LOL!  
But after that I was hooked!

[My first quilt]

Check out Jessica's response HERE and be sure to tell us how 
you got into quilting while you're there!

Now onto this week's assignment...
This is the Grace Block and you'll need to make 4 of them this week.


You can find the tutorial for the Grace Block over on Jessica's blog.


It's a fun little block to make!
Make sure you are using an accurate 1/4" seam allowance so your points don't get cut off!


All of my Grace blocks are going to be the same except for one
because I ran out of fabric on the last one, haha.
I knew I might run into this problem since I'm using my stash but I really don't mind.
It's very similar to the others and I really don't think you'll notice 
when the quilt is all finished.


So that's it for this week!
We'd love to see progress, so if you are on Instagram, use the hashtag 
#willowqal and tag us both - @jessicadayon and @gigisthimble.

Let us know if you have any questions!
Happy quilting!