MCM #31 – Christmas in July Blog Hop

Hi everyone – today is my stop on the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop hosted by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. I hope you have been following along. (The full schedule of participants is listed below in case you missed any of them.) There have been so many great projects for gifts and decorating and I have another for you today. Yay!

If you are new here and visiting from the hop, Welcome! I hope you’ll look around and visit for a bit. I would also like to invite you to join in on the Main Crush Monday linky party we have here each week. It’s a fun time and full of inspiration from so many quilters – be sure to check it out at the bottom of this post!

For my stop on the blog hop, I have designed an easy paper-pieced table topper. It’s great for Christmas, but can be used any time of the year just by changing the colors you use.

(I have decided I’m a big fan of tiny polka dots. 🙂 That red fabric with those tiny pin dots is freaking adorable! Must. Have. More.)

Paper Pieced Table TopperThe finished topper is 24″ square and very easy to assemble. Of course, you can always make it bigger by adding more blocks and use it as a baby or lap quilt.

This is only the second quilted project I have made for decorating for the holidays. I know!! Last year, I made a quick table runner for our coffee table. It will be nice to add this table topper to the dining room table. Maybe next year I can make a tree skirt?

Paper Pieced Table TopperI kept the quilting light and easy – just simple stitch in the ditch and a bit of stippling in the dark green squares. You can see the quilting detail in the pic below:

Quilting Detail - Paper Pieced table Topper

This is the first paper pieced pattern I have written; I hope you enjoy it! I call it Double Diamonds and it is available for free download on the Pattern tab above, through my Craftsy shop, or through this link so you can make your own. The pattern includes information for making four sizes – Mini (Table Topper), Baby, Lap, and Throw.

Since this is my first attempt at writing a paper piecing pattern, I would love to receive feedback from anyone who downloads a copy, specifically:

  • is the pattern easy to understand
  • is there information not provided that you would like to have added
  • is there too much info provided
  • general thoughts

I would also love to see any projects you make using this pattern. You can post them on Instagram and tag @cookingupquilts or email a pic and I’ll share it on the blog if you like.

I hope you are enjoying the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop. I really want to say thanks to Sarah for putting the hop together. Now is a great time to start making those hand crafted gifts, and maybe get a bit ahead for the holiday season. If you missed any of the posts, here are the participants:

July 14th:     Sharon Vrooman @ Vrooman’s Quilts
                    Carole Carter @ From My Caroline Home
July 15th:    Yanicka Hachez @ Finding Myself As An Artist
                   Chris Dodsley @ made by ChrissieD
July 16th:     Marsha Hodgkins @ Quilter in Motion
                    Leanne Parsons  @ Devoted Quilter
July 17th:     Tonia Conner @ All Thingz Sewn
                    Selina @ Selina Quilts
July 18th:     Lara Buccella @ Buzzin Bumble
                    Soma Acharya @ Whims and Fancies
July 19th:     Joanne Harris@ Quilts by Joanne
                    Suzy Webster @ Adventurous Applique and Quilting
July 20th:     Vicki Schlimmer @ Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting
                    Jennifer Fulton @ The Inquiring Quilter
July 21st:     Michele Kuhns @ Crayon Box Quilt Studio
                    Jan Ochterbeck @ The Colorful Fabriholic
July 22nd:     Alla Blanca @ Rainbows. Bunnies. Cupcakes.
                     Zenia Rene @ A Quilted Passion
July 23rd:     Joanne Hubbard @ Everyone Deserves a Quilt
                    Paige Alexander @ Quilted Blooms
July 24th:     Carolyn Jones @ …by CJ
                    Tisha Nagel @ Quilty Therapy
July 25th:     Susan Arnold @ Quilt Fabrication
                    Beth Sellers @ Cooking Up Quilts
                    Linda Pearl @ One Quilting Circle

And now, on to Main Crush Monday! What are you working on that has you excited to be in your sewing space?  Your crush can be any project, fabric, handy gadget, LQS…you get the idea. I can’t wait to see what you share! You can link up any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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Posted in Blog Hop, Christmas in July, Main Crush Monday, Paper Piecing | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

The Twelve Year Quilt

Catchy title, right? 🙂

Winning Hand Flimsy Quilt Top

I made this quilt top in the summer of 2004. It was my very first quilt and I made it with the guidance of three wonderful ladies I worked with at the time. We worked at our community college and when it came time to spread out our tops for viewing, rearranging, or basting we would lay everything out in the hallway. So much room! Summer meant very few students around, so we had lots of space to work in.

I made this top using a pattern called Winning Hand. The pattern book is 62 pages long! 62 pages people! I find it a bit amusing that this pattern is a ‘Quilt in a Day’ publication and it is as long as it is…. I still have it, along with the cardboard templates I used to cut the pieces. Looking at that now, I feel so old school. Ha!

Winning Hand Pattern Book

At the time, I didn’t know anything about quilting. I didn’t know there was a movement starting where people quilted their own tops on their domestic machines. I thought the only way to finish this quilt was to send it to a longarmer.

When I got the top put together I was hooked on quilting, so I immediately started on a log cabin quilt for my oldest son. I was able to finish that one and have it longarmed by a local person. Shortly after I picked up the finished quilt, the longarmer moved, so my Winning Hand quilt was packed away and eventually forgotten about.

Fast forward to 2014 and I started quilting again. I was so excited to learn I could quilt this top myself and not have to find a longarm person I was comfortable working with. But other projects kept jumping line and this one never seemed to be a priority. But you all know I am now in the process of organizing and purging my sewing space. That means cleaning up some of the WIPs I have hanging around, and this one finally made it to the top of my list to finish.

Yesterday, I basted the quilt and started stitching. Can you all do the happy dance for me??

Winning hand Flimsy Quilt Top

The Basting Process Has Started!

I’ve decided it will probably take me a while to quilt. I’ll be working on it between other paying projects, and I really want to just enjoy a project with no deadline. I will be doing a crosshatch background in all the blocks so there will be lots of marking. But I’m good with that decision. After all, I’ve waited this long so I can wait a bit longer, right?

I know you guys have WIPs that need finished. Are any of them as old as this one?

Linking up with Let’s Bee Social and Needle & Thread Thursday.

 

Posted in 2016 Quilts, WIP Wednesday | Tagged | 7 Comments

MCM #30 – Shop Hop Time

Once a year I visit my sister (a four hour drive away) and we take a few of her friends and hit up several quilt shops in their area. It’s our own mini, informal shop hop. It is always so much fun and I look forward to it every spring.

There is a local shop hop that takes place in my home state every summer and it starts this week. The WV Mountain Quilt Quest is scheduled for July 20 – 23. This year there are eight shops participating, with the theme being “West Virginia Wildflowers.” I have seen these fabric panels and they are gorgeous – I can’t wait to start collecting them.

shop hop logo

I’m ashamed to say I have never attended this shop hop before….all my quilty friends live far from me and who wants to go alone? But this year I have decided to join in the fun – I’m just going to take my non-quilting friends! 🙂

I am particularly excited because I have four of my quilts hanging in the local shop, Bolts & Quarters. Brian (owner), and Warren (manager) have been wonderful to work with and are so supportive of me as a quilter and pattern designer. They will hang Spinning, Floating, and two versions of Oomph, and paper copies of those patterns (as well as Snap, Crackle, Pop!) will be available exclusively at their shop.

I would say I am crushing on Brian, Warren and their shop this week – big time!

Last week was a bit messed up with all the fun of Christmas in July going on, so MCM was actually a Tuesday edition. But you still linked your crushes – thank you so much for doing so! Here’s a couple in case you missed them.

Karen of TuNaQuilts shared her Little House on the Prairie quilt she made for her grandson. Isn’t it adorable? I love how she changed it up and made it her own.

Karen

Photo by Karen of TuNa Quilts

If you haven’t visited Olena’s blog Quilt Art by Olena Pugachova I hope you get a chance to do so. She shares wonderful pieces of fiber art. Last week she linked her ‘Who Took The Candy’ quilt which was the result of a personal challenge to only use the fabric in a FQ bundle – so fun!

Photo by Olena Pugachova of Quilt Art

Photo by Olena Pugachova of Quilt Art

Finally, Denise of crafTraditions shares how she restored this antique quilt. So interesting!

Photo by Denise of crafTraditions

Photo by Denise of crafTraditions

 

Now it’s your turn to show off your crushes for this week! You can link up any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic, and be anything sewing or quilting related – here’s how:

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Posted in Main Crush Monday | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Quilting as Therapy

My sewing room is my happy place. No matter what kind of mood I’m in, when I walk through that door my mood instantly lifts and I’m just happy. I don’t even have to do anything in there – sometimes I just sit, stare at fabric and think. It’s the brightest room in the house, it’s full of sunshine and fabric and I love it.

Generally, I work to keep this blog a happy place too. I mean, who wants to visit and read a mood killing, depressing post? I wouldn’t. Occasionally though, topics need to be discussed that aren’t all sunshine and roses.

While I don’t think this post is actually a mood killer, it does come from a place of sadness. It has to, because the sadness I feel is the inspiration for this mini quilt.

Neutral 2 inch squares pieced background

Lately, there have been so many brazen acts of cruelty and hatred happening in our world. So much. One right after the other. Seems I can barely catch my breath from hearing of one, when something else happens. And last week, when I heard about the police shootings in Dallas I sat down and just cried. How much more will there be?

Straight Line quilting texture

After the massacre in Orlando, it felt good to be able to donate a quilt to Quilts for Pulse. It was my way of dealing with the sadness I felt at so much human loss and suffering. Such a small gesture, but those small gestures add up and an entire community and city will know how much love is still in this world.

Remembering that feeling, I decided to try to use quilting as therapy once more to work through all this sadness I feel.

Those white scraps I talked about Wednesday? This is what they look like now.

Tearful Mini Quilt

I love, love, LOVE the way this came together. The background is exactly what I hoped it would be. It is light, and full of hope for the future, and represents me – how I usually feel about my life and those around me.

I have been wanting to make a neutral colored quilt for a really long time and now I know when I make it that it will look exactly as I hoped it would. So I have started cutting many more squares for a much larger quilt.

The appliqued tear drop symbolizes the deep sadness I feel. So much sadness I can barely contain it. There are days that I’m not successful and the sadness comes pouring out in the form of tears. I didn’t want to cover the quilt with lots of tear drops; this one large shape represents all the tears that I have cried.

When I initially quilted this piece, I left the tear unquilted. But it just didn’t feel right. It stood out too much…it practically screamed ‘look at me’.

Tearful MIni Quilt Applique

Tear Drop Unquilted

Then I realized, even though I feel this deep sadness, underneath is optimism – I still have hope for the future. And that hope must shine through my tears. That’s when I added quilted lines on top of the tear drop, to symbolize the hope that lay underneath and that it will work its way back and conquer all the sadness.

Tear Drop - Quilted

Tear Drop – Quilted

Now when I look at this piece, it doesn’t scream at me. It speaks gently, and helps me see that yes, there will be dark days but there is also hope for something better.

This quilt soothes my soul and I’m so glad I was able to make it as I envisioned it.

Tearful Mini Quilt

If you’re still here, thanks for reading through to the end and allowing me to share a deeper piece of myself. This quilt really has served as therapy for me, and I am happy to share it and its’ story with you.

Have you ever made a quilt that has helped you through a rough period of your life?

 

Linking up with Needle & Thread Thursday,  Crazy Mom Quilts and a new linky, Finished or Not Friday @ Busy Hands Quilts

 

Posted in 2016 Quilts, Friday Finish, Mini Quilts | Tagged , | 16 Comments

The Bundle Sale has Ended!

Thanks for all your support! I hope you enjoy all the fabulous patterns. Don’t forget to share your projects – all of us want to see what you make this year. 🙂

 

Sale Ended

See you next year!

 

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