I Wish You a Merry Quilt-a-Long

I’m excited to share news with you about a new quilt-along that starts August 1.

I Wish YOu a Merry Quilt Along

The “I Wish You a Merry Quilt-along” is being hosted by 11 bloggers who met through the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop this year. They have designed holiday blocks and will be sharing them on their blogs and through the I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long Facebook Group so you’ll have time to complete a Christmas quilt before the end of the year!  Prizes are up for grabs for participants who complete blocks, and many other new bloggers will be sewing along and sharing their versions of each block.

For more detailed information on the quilt-a-long, visit one of the hosts below:

I hope you’ll support the group of bloggers and participate in this fun quilt-a-long. They are an amazing group, and I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to work with them in the blog hop.

 

 

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MCM #80 – Star Blossom Finished & Ready for Delivery

Happy Monday to you, and welcome to Main Crush Monday! The quilt I’m crushing on this week has been in the works for a good while and I’m happy to finally have it finished. You’ve seen a few pictures of the quilt in progress, and today is the day you get to see the quilting up close.

Remember this picture?

Star Blossom Quilt PatternThe pattern is Star Blossom and was designed by Tish of Tish in Wonderland and Dave The Quilt Engineer. I tested the queen size of the pattern and have to say it is well written, and super easy to understand. It’s also a fun quilt to make.

The picture was taken before the binding was put on, and it took both my boys to hold it up. You can see it was still draped on the ground – that’s how long this quilt is.

I enjoyed quilting this top so much. This was the first big project I completed on my new longarm, and it taught me a lot of lessons. You can read more about those lessons here. It was on the frame for almost a week, and I spent late nights and long days working to get it done. There was some happy dancing going on when I unloaded it!

Now for some eye candy!

FMQ HQ FusionThis is one of the blocks. The blocks finish at 24″, and I used a combination of straight lines and spiral quilting. I used a ruler to help keep the lines straight, so I really got to test out the ruler base and my ruler skills!

Here’s a close-up of the stitching in the arrows:

fmq ruler work

I hate that my swirls aren’t better. In fact, after doing the first two blocks I seriously considered picking out all the stitching. I was feeling a tiny bit defeated at that point; my stitching on my Sweet Sixteen looks so much better – I feel like I have better control. My husband came to the rescue and gave me a pep talk so I powered through. I’m glad I did. By the time I was half way through my swirls were looking much better and I was loosening up. This longarm thing is just going to take some practice – I need to keep reminding myself of that.

FMQ HQ FusionThe sun peeked out as I was taking a few pictures – this shot really shows the quilting and the texture.

The quilting shows so well on the back. I used a wide back (I can’t remember the name), and I’m becoming a big fan of wide backings. Just load them up and quilt, no piecing required. Look at that yummy texture!

FMQ Quilting Texture

The binding looks lovely, especially against that floral border print. When I chose the fabrics for this quilt, I found the border fabric and pulled the other fabrics to coordinate. This quilt is for my mother-in-law and I hope she likes it. I know I do. 🙂

Binding Star BlossomSo there’s my crush for this week. I’m glad I can check it off my To Do list and move on to another project. I hope you’ll share what you are working on. I had so much fun last week reading about your projects. There were several inspiring stories – I hope you had a chance to visit some of the others who linked up.

Now it’s your turn to share your quilty crush!  You can link up any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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Music Saturday

In keeping with the ‘Christmas in July’ theme going on in quilty blogland this month, I thought it would be fun to pick a Christmas song for today’s musical selection.

Music Saturday

I love to listen to Christmas music year round. I mean, why limit those beautiful songs to just a few months out of the year, right? My friends think I’m nuts and you may too, but I’m still going to listen to holiday themed music all year. 🙂

I hope you enjoy this song. It is Angels We Have Heard on High by David Dunn. Yep, I’ve recommended his music before. But I can’t help it, I love this man’s singing voice. I especially love it when he goes high, as he does about midway through this song.

Click here to listen.

Enjoy!

 

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The Bundle Sale is Live!

At exactly 3:00 pm EST today, the Christmas in July Bundle Sale goes live. The sale will last for 72 hours only, so be sure to grab your bundle while you can!

Bundle Sale Logo

What is the bundle sale, you ask? Here’s the details:

  • The bundle includes 21 PDF patterns. You will receive:
    • 11 quilt patterns, many include instructions for multiple sizes
    • 3 paper pieced mini-quilt and block patterns
    • 1 scarf & cuff patterns
    • 1 table runner pattern
    • 1 tree skirt pattern
    • 1 Advent calendar pattern
    • 1 pattern each for the following: notebook cover, Christmas bunting/swag, soft baby blocks
    • 1 book on block design

The Sale Has Ended – See You Next Year!

Due to the generosity of our sponsors, you have the opportunity to be entered to win one of several great prizes, as well as a discount code from Sulky Threads!

Purchasers also will receive a discount code to use at Make Modern and Sulky Threads.

The bundle is available for 72 hours only

And the best part? The price. All of the above for only $25 USD. The total value of the bundle is $212 USD.

Designers who are participating this year are:

  • 13 Spools – Broken Dash by Amy Garro
  • Blossom Heart Quilts – Making Merry Poinsettia & DIY Block Design by Alyce Blyth
  • Carrie Actually – Half and Half Quilt by Carrie Merrell
  • Cooking Up Quilts – Spinning by Beth Sellers
  • Daydreams of Quilts – Pixel Tree in a Pixel Heart by Anita LaHay
  • Emkie Designs – Cozy for Eternity by Emma Wengier
  • Faith and Fabric – Bird Houses by Jen Frost
  • Hilltop Custom Designs – Scrapbook Quilt by Amista Baker
  • Live Love Sew – Tree Farm by Keera Job
  • Meadow Mist Designs – Cookies & Cream by Cheryl Brickey
  • Night Quilter – Constant Flux by Kitty Wilkin
  • Quiet Play – Geometric Christmas Tree by Kristy Lea
  • Quilting Jetgirl – Sprig by Yvonne Fuchs
  • Radiant Home Studio – North Pond Notebook Cover by Sara Curtis
  • Said With Love – Peek-a-Book Calendar by Anne Boundy
  • Stitches Quilting – 8′ Giant Christmas Tree Skirt by Deanna Wall
  • Sunflower Stitcheries and Quilting – Christmas Swag by Raylee Bielenberg
  • Swoodson Says – Christmas Baby Blocks by Stephanie Woodson
  • The Crafty Mummy – Hopscotch Table Runner by Tonya Grant
  • The Cloth Parcel – Woodland Wander by Audrey Mann
  • Woodberry Way – First Snow by Alli Jensen

Here’s some great eye candy of the patterns included in the bundle:

 

I am so excited and honored to once again participate in the 2017 Christmas in July Bundle sale! There are so many patterns you can use for unique and original gifts that everyone on your gift list is sure to love.

If you have any questions, be sure to let me know. I’ll be happy to answer them. Now, go grab your bundle! 🙂

*No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. To enter to win one of the prizes listed without purchasing the bundle, send an email to: patternbundlesale@gmail.com with your contact information.

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MCM #79 – Four Surprising Lessons from my Longarm

It’s been several weeks since Freddy, aka HQ Fusion, came to live with me. As you know, we had a bumpy start but we are getting along better every day.

Fusion HQ quilting

That being said, there are some things about quilting on a longarm that have surprised me and I thought I would share those with you.

I have to say I’m really glad I had a sit-down machine prior to buying the longarm. While I don’t think it’s necessary to start with one, I am so comfortable using my Sweet Sixteen and very familiar with the machine and how the tension, etc. works. It eliminated the anxiety that I otherwise might have felt moving to such a big machine when I bought Freddy.

Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen

The first issue I had when I started longarming was with ruler work. On Star Blossom (which still isn’t finished!) I did a LOT of ruler work. Each little section was quilted with a straight ruler and with different spacing. I found that I needed to write down the measurements for each section, because after I advanced the quilt I couldn’t see what was already quilted. After I unrolled the quilt for the second time, I remembered to write everything down!

Ruler Work

The next issue I had to work out was the thread that Freddy likes to use. My favorite thread to use is Omni by Superior. Thank goodness Freddy likes Omni! He’s not so keen on King Tut though. Every time I tried to use KT, the alarm would start buzzing at me telling me there was a thread break, but there wasn’t. I finally remembered hearing someone say their machine only liked to stitch in one direction with certain threads. Changing the direction I was stitching in (switched from left to right to right to left) eliminated the alarm and the stitches were beautiful. Who knew such a little thing would make such a difference?

Lesson Three – Picking is a PAIN! My goal now is to avoid it at all costs. Picking out my stitches was so much easier on a sit-down machine. I’m sure I should have tried to avoid it then too!

Finally, and most surprising to me – longarming is physical! When doing ruler work I tend to lean over and hunch my shoulders. This gives me a catch in my upper back. After about an hour I have to take a break and stretch everything out. I’m also on my feet a lot. I like that I’m not sitting for hours stitching, but it’s taking my body some time to get used to all that standing. I found myself taking frequent breaks.

I’m sure there will be other things I’ll discover as I do more quilting. I am so happy I have Freddy and I have a lot of learning to do. Quilting curves is not as easy as it is on my sit-down, so I’ll be doing lots of practice with curvy designs. This machine has made quilting so much easier, and I’m seriously crushing on how quickly I can load, quilt, and trim a quilt now. It makes me smile just thinking about it!

On a different note, later today I will be posting about the Christmas in July 2017 Bundle Sale. The sale starts at 3pm EST and runs for only 72 hours, so be sure to check back in this afternoon for more information. You won’t want to miss it!

Before we get to the linky party, I’d like to say Congratulations to Sarah of Cedar Fork Stitches. Sarah’s quilt – Four Square Float – is featured in McCall’s Quick Quilts. Her quilt was the most clicked on link from last week’s party, and understandably so. Her quilt is gorgeous!

Photo by Sarah of Cedar Fork Stitches

Now it’s your turn to share your quilty crush! You can link any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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