Churn Dash Quilt 

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The churn dash block is a classic, and after having completed my first quilt using it, I can see why.

This block comes together quickly and are pretty to look at. I like how it could be done with varied fabrics, and can end up being not so girly, as the many flowered blocks available are. Hey, I’ve got four girls, so I’m overrun with florals and pink and everything girly. While I love those too, this was a nice change. 

For this quilt, I used a Tula Pink Throwback fat quarter bundle.

The kids love ‘hunting’ to find the animals Tulaoften hides in her prints. 

I used my Bernina BSR and just quilted a repeating wavy line. I drew the first one I in *gadp* pencil and then just shadowed the rest. 

I backed in in fuzzy flannel, the preferred backing my sweet girls are ever so vocal about requesting. With more snuggles guaranteed, I happily obliged. đź’• 

Patchwork Swoon, Done.

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As part of #swoonalong2017, I finished the top for this Patchwork Swoon quilt relatively quickly, but didn’t get it quilted and bound for ages. It’s finally done. I backed it with some fuzzy flannel as requested by Little #2. Little #3 quickly stole it to use in a fort, but once she’s gone to bed, 2 has said she’s stealing it back because it’s ‘so cozy’.

The pattern is a variation of @ThimbleBlossoms  http://thimbleblossoms.bigcartel.com/product/patchwork-swoon-pattern-200-paper-pattern original Swoon quilt, and comes together beautifully. It’s perfect for jelly rolls, and since I had found a long lost Scrumptious jelly roll hiding in the shelves at my LQS, the timing was just right.

Swoon, one is finished. :)

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Swoon patterns, Bonnie and Camille fabrics, the two go hand in hand like that perfectly sweet couple who have been in love since they first set eyes on each other. Over the last couple of years, the original Swoon pattern has been tweaked by Camille Rosekelley to include a mini pattern, a patch work pattern, and a Swoon 16 pattern. FYI, they’re all gorgeous and look so beautiful using any of the fabrics from the countless B&C fabric lines.

My love for Instagram is no secret (hello inspiration) and the #swoonalong was the push I needed to complete not one,( well, okay, I’ve only actually completed one so far) but two of the Swoon patterns. I managed to finish the original (that I started last year -whoops) and get the top done of the Patchwork version. Love them. They come together in such a beautiful way, and if  you haven’t done one, I highly recommend it. They are a classic.

 

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Basting Makes Me Sweary

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I loathe basting. LOATHE. I swear more when  I’m basting than I do when I’m driving. And that, my bloggy friends, is saying something. (continue reading below)basting1basting2I’m not sure this is even a strong enough word for the level of my dislike to this admittedly necessary step in the quilting process. If I could cue some Cinderellaesque forest creatures to complete the task for me, I gladly would. EVEN if it mean cleaning up after the little buggers for an indefinite period of time.

“Oh, you pooped on the carrot section of my garden? But, you basted my #patchworkswoon quilt for the #swoonalong? Carry on, little forest friend. I’ve got it.”

I’m not sure what’s worse. A diaper blowout from my now 8 month old, or trying to piece the backing for the heart quilt I chopped up my beloved Scrumptious jelly roll for. It’s a close call.

I did see, in the wild world of Pinterest, (hey, MIL, enjoying this post?) that they suggested rolling the layers in a giant roll. Well, the lovelies at my locals chain fabric store were kind enough to give me a giant roll that was headed for the landfill. So, I tried it, and it’s an improvement. But for real, if any of you are working on a profound device to make basting these beauties any easier, get on with it already. There’s a market. I effing promise.

I Heart You Mini – A Free Pattern

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Instagram strikes again. Cluck Cluck Sew is a great, and I mean GREAT sewing blog. (You can find it here ( https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiOxKayjf7RAhWm3oMKHVDGBl0QFggcMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fcluckclucksew.com%2F&usg=AFQjCNE88-dPIIJdjJY9Ql3RGvXN70mJEg&sig2=wPMlDBLnCoPJFn-89Ca2lg )   There’s a plethora of information, tips, patterns, knowledge, and encouragement. Best of all, inspiration. I’ve used a version of this free heart pattern and made my heart quilt. The hearts are really cute, and come together quickly. That’s a must for this busy mama.

Here is a link to the pattern ( http://cluckclucksew.com/2016/01/i-heart-you-free-mini-quilt-pattern.html ). For my fabrics, I stuck pretty close to the norm and used a few Bonnie and Camille pieces I had. I quilted it with simple straight lines and left a heart shape in the upper right hand corner in-quilted as I have seen done with this. It’s cute, easy, and adds a fun simple element. Plus, my helper enjoyed tracing a fridge magnet to get the shape and then using my Fons & Porter 1/4 inch rulers to draw on the straight lines for me.

To see lots of different versions of this super cute mini, search out #iheartyoumini on Instagram. 🙂

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Patchwork Swoon, Part 1

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It’s no secret that I adore Instagram. Endless inspiration comes from every angle there. As it turns out, so does a swift kick to the arse to get me sewing. There are several sew alongs that I would love to participate in. What’s a sew along? On Instagram, it’s where who ever would like to, commits to completing a project and updating their progress with  photos using the same hashtag as others who are committed to the same sew along.

One of the ones I joined this year is #swoonalong . Swoon is a quilt pattern designed by Camille Rosekelley of Bonnie & Camille. Currently, there are four versions of the pattern. The original, mini, 16, and patchwork. I had started an original Swoon last year, but only ever finished three blocks. The blocks are big, and at the time I was sewing on my dining room table and packing it up each time we had a meal was getting frustrating. Eventually, it was placed in a bin for ‘later’. The #swoonalong was great for getting me back at it. It is so helpful and inspiring to scroll through all the gorgeous blocks, colour combinations, and works of everyone taking part. Kind of like how Show and Tell at a guild meeting puts you in the mood to sew, so can a sew along.

When I signed up, I had no intention of doing a Patchwork version, but after seeing all the photos of how beautiful they turn out, and having a jelly roll of Scrumptious on hand, I started and was finished the top in just a few days.

Here’s some photos of the process.

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This Old Bag, Made a Bag 

Bags. With four kids, I’m always looking for a good bag to keep my stuff in. I’m also always looking for a bigger and better bag to carry everyone else’s stuff in. Cue Swoon patterns. They’re cute, there’s lots to choose from, and some are free.

I admit complete ignorance when it came to interfacing. That stuff was just the shelf at all the fabric stores with odd thickness pieces of shades of white stuff I knew nothing about. I still know next to nothing about it, but thankfully the Swoon pattern laid it all out in terms I could follow.

I choose the Swoon Ethel for my first attempt, and I’m pretty pleased with how quickly and easily it came together.

If you attempt a Swoon Pattern for a bag, there are lots of helpful tutorials both on YouTube and on blogs to help you on your way.

That’s a Wrap.

Christmas and quilts. I love ’em both. I am lucky enough to be an aunt to the most amazing nieces and nephews a gal could hope for. My goal is to gift each of them a quilt over the next 2 or 3 years. I managed to get one done this year, and hope that with this goal in mind early, I can do 2 or 3 more for next year.

This year’s is another Missouri Star Quilt Company pattern, called All Wrapped Up, which I found in an issue of their Block magazine (which I highly recommend as each issue is packed full of great patterns). I used some Christmas-y fat quarter bundles I had picked up from various places over the past year, and some solids for sashing I had stocked up on in Calgary before leaving.

This quilt comes together quickly, and works really well for showcasing the fabrics we all fall in love with. I kept the actual quilting pretty simple, thanks to a tight time frame, but it works. In total, I have three All Wrapped Up quilt tops made, one completed and gifted, and two for my own little family that I’ll finish and keep for two of my own girls.

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Tula Pink Cloudy Days – Part 2

It’s done! It’s done! Tula Pink’s bold designs came bursting onto my radar about a year ago when a lovely in my guild was selling some fat quarter bundles of one of her lines. I stopped and stared at the bold, colourful, completely out of my norm colors and patterns, and then realized I needed them.

Cloudy Days pattern is my second quilt using one of Tula’s collections, but my first time using a pattern of hers. I found myself somewhat limited with this one, being that I only had fat quarters and one print of yardage to work with. I quickly found out that the largest of the raindrops is not fq friendly, so I just made more of the small and medium ones.

It’s taken forever for me to get this one basted and quilted thanks to so many other projects catching my eye, and very limited time to work on quilting thanks to four happy healthy kids. That’s one reason I never balk at not having enough time. Those girls are my world, and I’m so happy that the two oldest, who are big enough to sew now, seem to enjoy spending time in the sewing room as much as I do.

Thanks to that limited time, I did no quilting in the grey borders/sashing etc. I simply did continuous inside tracings of the raindrops using my BSR and free motion quilting. Still not comfortable with my FMQ, but they say it takes practice, so we’ll go with that. img_9937img_9941

A Word About Encouragement, Perfectionism, and the Quilt Police. You’re Scaring the Newbies Away.

Perfectionism. Quilt Police. Whatever you want to call it. This crosses my mind often when I’m quilting. What will the quilt police say if I don’t go back and redo that entire row of blocks because they aren’t perfect? What will the quilt police say if I don’t do my binding to their standards? What will the quilt police whisper about my quilt if I dare enter it into a local show?

I have a fairly thick skin, in a few circumstances, quilting is not one. 

As a relatively newbie to quilting (just over three years in), the Quilt Police cross my mind much more often than I’m willing to admit. You see, the quilting community is an amazingly supportive one. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve made endless friendships, contacts, and experiences thanks to the many wonderful souls I’ve crossed this quilty path with. But, there are those who strike terror into the hearts of those of us who don’t strive for perfection, and perhaps those that do. They’re the Quilt Police.

The Quilt Police would never, ever buy their fabric at a Fabricland/Fabricville, JoAnn, Walmart etc. They shop exclusively at their LQS, who supply them with the most up to date, trendy, etc. lines. They wouldn’t dream of letting that seam go even a little crooked without redoing it to perfection. They scoff at machine quilting. They are intimidating AF to those of us who are new to this hobby. They scare hoards of us off, never to return. They may even draw a tear to our eyes when we overhear them shaming our entries that we poured our blood, sweat, and tears into at a local show. They are ruining the quilting community one harsh comment and side eye at a time. I know they don’t mean ill will, but it’s very intimidating to join the quilting world.

Okay, that might be a bit drastic. But, they are scaring scores of newbies off. Some of us have very thin skin and may not try a new skill, fabric, process, etc. for fear of not pulling it off as well as an officer of the QP (Quilt Police). How many amazing pieces, patterns, quilts, runners, projects, etc. are we missing out on thanks to this?

I ask you. No, I beg you. If you think you may belong to this QP force, please, put down your weapons. Yes, those harsh comments and side eyes. How about more support, more encouragement, more love? I mean, a quilter really just wants to make something that they love, or that they hope a loved one will love. Try biting your lip at that crooked row of blocks, that machine quilted top, and that wild fabric you would never have seen because it’s only sold at JoAnn. Some of us just don’t have the funds or the availability to be boutique only shoppers. But you know what we do have? Love of the art. And that is what will keep quilting alive for generations to come. Let’s embrace the newcomers. All of them.