Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Year Of...

If January is any indication of what this year will look like, then 2018 will be "The Year Of The Quilt Top"... perhaps a small step up from last year's "Year Of The Pillow". In any case, January will boast at least THREE finished quilt tops... last week I shared my Summer Smoothie finish, today is Green Smoothies' turn, and the next flimsy finish this month, thankfully has nothing to do with smoothies... I just picked up on the repeating theme myself. 

With that being said, it looks like 2018 will also be "The Year Of Quilting"... with so many tops, what is a girl to do? I suppose I've been collecting so many quilt tops because quilting is my least favorite part of the whole process. I put it off, and I find that I really have to push myself and get mentally geared up to even get started.

... but January is the moth of goals, planning, resolutions, and good intentions, and since I've missed out on the last two Finish-Along quarters, there's no time like the present to get back on track... wanna a preview of what you'll be seeing with me? 

The first half of my year is pretty full and pretty planned out. The next quilt top you'll be seeing is my Home Sweet Home applique sampler quilt. This is my only quilt with a deadline... just in case you missed it - if you are in Germany (or close by), I am planning this quilt release parallel with teaching two classes at the Nadelwelt in Karlsruhe in May. It should be a good push to get this one quilted and written up by then, especially considering the fact that Lovebirds' Garden will be released in March - lots of corrections to do until then, but just to keep your appetite whet, check out what my pattern testers are doing in Instagram... don't you just love the diversity of projects?

The next pattern to be released will be Whirly Girl.... I suppose I better get a move on with this project considering how much progress Mell has made on her pattern testing version. Once I get a little further with the pattern, I will be looking for testers - no applique on this one! (how else do you think I could get Mell on board!?!

Lovebirds' Remix, which is a spin off pattern from my Lovebirds' Garden, is the next project lined up for a flimsy finish. My applique shapes are finished and just have to be glued on and stitched down... more than halfway there. Hmmm... maybe "Year Of Pattern Releases"  would be an appropriate title to throw into the lot? 

For fun, just to over promise, and under deliver, I'll throw my HST project on the to-do list... notice another recurring theme for one more title? "The Year Of Purple" Four purple quilts in one year, how did that happen?!? Seems a little fitting since it's Pantone's color of 2018, don't you think? Trust me, I couldn't have planned it even if I'd tried. 

Linking up with Finish-A-Long... so, what's on your 2018 list?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

That's A Wrap + First 2018 Flimsy Finish!

You may have noticed that it got quiet here. Last week I had to decide if I would finish my 2017 wrap up post, or take a spontaneous family vacation. Well, if you checked in last week, then you know which one I chose. But to make up for the missed post, how about if I start out the year with sharing my first flimsy finish for 2018?!? I'll give you all the specs once it's quilted, but at least for now, you can breath in a deep sound of shock when you hear that this bee quilt top won't be as big as I usually go. In the meantime, you can find the block tutorial here.

So, to get back on track with what happened this last year... I did manage two finished quilts in 2017. Do you remember my Tiptoe Through The Tulips quilt? This king size quilt is my biggest quilt ever, and due to it's sheer size and the fact that it was my second quilt pattern, it might actually be my proudest finish of the year.

My Prism Quilt finish was motivated by my self imposed deadline of finishing the first bee quilt before I start a new one. I wanted to get this one quilted before I introduced my new block to my bee mates, which just happens to be my flimsy finish for 2018! (Summer Smoothie)

I did actually I ask myself why I was only able to finish two quilts? Perhaps because it looks like 2017 was..."The Year Of The Pillows". In my defense, the pillows that I made were either gifts or smaller project samples from my pattern releases, not to mention that there is something totally satisfying in a fast finish without committing to a whole quilt... leaves room to try things.

But, 2017 was also "The Year Of Applique". I suppose when I look back, it's easy for me to fall into disappointment thinking that with "only" two finished quilts, I didn't get much accomplished... but I would like to argue that 2017 was my year in Rome... it wasn't built in a day, you know? Applique, specifically starch applique, has kind of become my passion this year... and if you have done applique before, then you know that it's not exactly production line quilting. Every little block with it's tiny pieces IS an accomplishment it itself. My aunt, who is a highly experienced quilter, reminds me that it's not about how fast you can finish a quilt, but about enjoying the process.

Another fun highlight of the year was the #30daysoffabricstacks challenge hosted by Stitched In Color... if you've been around for very long, then you already know that pulling fabric for a new project is my favorite part of the whole quilting process!... and here are a couple of my favorite stacks:

I actually had several flimsy finishes in 2017, and my Lovebirds' Garden is currently at the longarm quilter waiting for the magic touches to be put on. Writing my third quilt pattern, which is currently in my pattern testers hands, I still consider a "Finish"... the official release date is just around the corner in March!

With that being said, my fourth pattern is almost quilted, with my fifth and sixth patterns at the almost finished quilt top stage! More behind the scenes finishes than shared ones, but good things come to those who wait.

Hope you've had a great start into 2018, and as they say in Germany, have a "good slide" into the new year!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Deck The Halls

When I shared the start of my brimfield blocks project a while back, someone pointed out that my all green blocks kind of look like Christmas wreaths. Hmmm... maybe it's true, or perhaps at this time of year, everything seems to remind you that there are only so many shopping days left before the big day of peace and love is upon us. In any case, I thought it would be fun to share the progress of my holiday boughs and let you decide.

As I had shared before, I've had it in my head for a long time to make an all green quilt. As usual, I really don't know how large I'll make this, but it would seem that I simply can't do small. The background is actually quite large, with an unfinished size of 16.5". I suppose I can trim them down later if needed, but it seemed like a good starting size.

This sweet daisy fabric has been in my stash for so long... waiting to be used before it landed in the "never-use-it... put it in the destash pile". I'm so glad I didn't give up on her, because I think she's finally found her project to really shine.

So, just think of these green wreaths as my way of wishing you the brightest, warmest, and merriest Christmas ever!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Home Sweet Home Kitchen

Over the last weeks, I've been sharing blocks from my upcoming Home Sweet Home applique sampler that I will be releasing in May. These Home Sweet Home Kitchen blocks are the last that I will be sharing until the final reveal... just think there are still 16 blocks that you've not seen yet!?!

I would say that in most homes, the kitchen is the heart of things... it's where families gather and spend a good potion of time together. Even when entertaining, it's as if it is almost mandatory for everyone to crowd into the kitchen. So with these food blocks, it's a nod to the center of the home. A healthy home is a happy home, and what better way to keep the doctor away than an apple a day...

This peas-in-a-pod block really holds a special place in my heart... when I became a mother, for some reason, I started calling my new little addition "sweet pea". While he is no longer that tiny little bundle that he once was, my now 8 year old is, and always will be, my sweet pea.

When growing up, much to our displeasure at the time, my parents would always make us eat our vegetables. We tried every trick in the book to get out of eating them, but threats of double portions quickly cured our "upset tummies". I often hear my mom telling me, as if she's sitting on my shoulder... "a meal is not complete until there is green on the plate." 

When my oldest was little, and his food came out of a jar, I could always tell the foods that her really liked with this sweet little "hh..ummm" sound that he would make. Pears were one of his favorite foods, so I think it's more than appropriate, that it lands in a quilt that is all things home.

Are you going to Nadelwelt in Karlsruhe in May? I will be teaching a starch applique class and will exclusively introduce this pattern to you first! Would love you see you there!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Home Sweet Home Blooms + My BIG Annoucement!

For a few weeks now, I've been hinting at that I have some really exciting news coming... especially for those living in Germany. This year I will be teaching two classes in May at the Nadelwelt convention in Karlsruhe, Germany! This international needlecraft event would almost be the equivalent of a Quilt Market for Germany. For the show, I will be officially introducing my Home Sweet Home applique sampler, which I've been sharing a couple sneak peek blocks already... but would you like to see more?

I find that over and over again, I tend towards curves and organic shapes and forms, whether in my fabric choices, or my designs... flowers are a big part of that, especially for my own personal home sweet home. Every year, my mother-in-law has two huge flower pots in front of her house that are full with the most beautiful Agapantus blooms. It's not only the fact that these slender yet elegant flowers are the perfect shade of purple, but I love the mighty ball of concentrated blooms.

My brother has a theory that a person's favorite season is the same season that they were born in... hmmm? Perhaps that might explain why spring blooms are my favorites. Those first tulips and daffodils make my heart sing with excitement that winter is soon over, and warmer and longer days are on the horizon.

Even as a little girl, dandelions were always my favorite... I simply couldn't understand why my dad was so eager to mow them down?!? With their bright yellow tuft of sunshine, I will still argue to this day that they are one of the prettiest weeds you'll find.

What some consider weeds, are something that I consider as beautiful... and I have always been drawn to thistles. Despite the fact they are often lacking in color, there is a certain elegance in their prickly, yet interestingly delicate form.

I think it goes without saying that connections with other quilters is something special in itself, and I have to say that I am especially excited about the Nadelwelt show because I have made connections with so many quilters in Germany over the years, either through blogging or Instagram. Finally getting to put names and faces to actual people!?!... let me know if you are planning to go to Nadelwelt in May too!
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