Saturday, August 25, 2012

It's a PAR-TAY!

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

Love parties?  Love give-aways?  Then you are going to love this blog hop.  Each stop is an opportunity for you to WIN!  

Since the Think Christmas blog hop, I haven't been able to get Christmas off my mind.  I found one more Christmas themed charm pack in my stash - 42 pieces of Joy by Kate Spain for Moda.  To get your name in the drawing for this charm pack, leave a comment below.  Any comment will do, but if you prefer a prompt tell me what kind of quilty Christmas doodads you like to make.  On Monday, September 3 at 8pm (CST), one winner will be randomly selected from the comments received.  Limit one comment/entry per person.  I will ship internationally, so everyone is welcome to participate.

BUT.....that's not all.  I'm getting very close to my first 100 followers and I appreciate each and every one of you.  On Monday, September 3 at 8pm (CST), if I have 100 or more people following me through Google Friends Connect (GFC)...I will randomly select one follower to receive a 

$25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop

To be in the running for the gift certificate, all you need to do is follow my blog through need to leave an additional comment.  

Good luck and don't forget to check out the other blogs on the Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways!


Spiral Squares?

Several years ago I picked up a coloring book - not for a kiddo....just for me.  The coloring book was called OptiDesigns by  I searched their website recently, but wasn't able to find this particular title on their shelves any more, but they do have other titles that look like they would be just as much fun.  So, why am I telling you about this crazy coloring book?

I love geometric shapes and as I was browsing through the coloring book, I was inspired to try to recreate those spiral squares you see on the bottom left corner of the cover in a quilt block.  I blew the photo up on a copy machine and attacked this project using paper piecing.  I'm fairly pleased with the results, but it's not exactly what I was hoping to achieve.  I'm hoping that once I quilt them I will be able to emphasize a bit more of the spiral shape.  

This block was submitted to the QuiltCon block challenge.  While it probably will not win any awards, I enjoyed going through the steps to create this piece and I hope it will be put to good use in a quilt for a child in need.  

After making the block for the QuiltCon block challenge I wasn't quite ready to stop so I pulled out my Christmas fabrics and created a spiral block to add to my Christmas table runner....a work in progress.

Of course, in recent weeks, I have come to realize my spiral squares are not a unique idea.  Others call this block the twisted log cabin.  I'm not sure if others are creating this block using improvisation, paper piecing or some other method.  I utilized a log cabin approach with a paper pieced foundation as my guide to construct the block.  It worked well for me, but it was a time consuming process.

I'm still in a Christmas mood.  I'm focusing my attention on the Vintage Holiday Quilt Along right now.  I'll have some pictures of that project up for you next week.

In other news I am participating in the Blog Hop Party with Giveaways!  Check back tomorrow for the details on what you can win.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

And The Winner Is.....

Congratulations to Lisa Marie, winner of the "Joy" charm pack by Kate Spain for Moda.  Lisa Marie wrote, "So cute! I bought one of those tabletop stands and really need to get busy making something to hang on it. That wreath may be just the thing!"  This should help you get started on your own wreath.  I hope she will share pictures with us of her finished product.  Lisa Marie, I will be sending you an email shortly.  Email me your address and I will get the charm pack out to you! 

Thanks again to everyone who stopped by on the Think Christmas blog hop.  The blog hop might be over, but there are plenty more Christmas goodies to come. 

-Until Then
Happy Quilting!

P.S.  Only 16 followers away from another giveaway!  Send your friends and quilting buddies on over.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cathedral Windows and the Desi Quilters

I have always been attracted to the traditional cathedral windows quilting technique, but I never took the time to learn it.  -Until recently!  

For the past couple of months, I have been part of a group known as the Desi Quilters.  Desi Quilters are a group of phenomenal ladies who share two things:  1) a love of quilting and 2) a love of India.  Most are of an Indian ethnicity, but in spite of my lack of an Indian heritage, these ladies have warmly welcomed me into their circle.  They have quilting bees, monthly challenges (like complete a quilt project using only squares or using only monochromatic prints, etc), and small project quilt alongs designed to build  skills.  The small project quilt alongs are my FAVORITE!  Because they are small projects, like pillows or table top decor, they are a quick and easy way to learn and practice new skills.  

For the past several weeks, Chumki at My Favorite Things has guided us through three different techniques that can be used to construct a Cathedral Windows project (the Orange Peel Method, the One Seam Flying Geese Method, and the Traditional Cathedral Windows Method).  So far, I've only tried the Orange Peel Method, but I love the way it turned out.  

I've added a page for the Desi Quilters.  Take a second to check out what these wonderful ladies are up to.  I find them to be so inspiring and supportive.  I love checking in with them each day.  You will, too.  

Don't forget Wednesday (8/8/12) at 8:00pm CST, I draw the winner of the Christmas Charm Pack.  Get in the game by following this link.

-Until Next Time.
Happy Quilting!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Think Christmas Blog Hop Stop + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the Think Christmas Blog Hop!  Special thanks to Lesley of The Cuddle Quilter and Madam Samm of Sew We Quilt and Sew I Quilt for their amazing dedication and organization.  Without their efforts, I'm afraid I would be sweltering in the heat with no thoughts of Christmas at all!

Before I show you my Christmas blocks, I should warn you that we take Christmas decorations very seriously in my house.  Last Christmas we had four decorated trees in our home and my husband went to great lengths to defend his title of "Best Christmas Decorations" in our neighborhood.  He has won for the past two years and is committed to keeping his title this year!  

This year, I'm taking my holiday quilting more seriously, as well.  Today, I've tried to provide an assortment of Christmas quilt blocks that may appeal to a variety of tastes.

To begin, I'd like to share with you a more traditionally pieced Christmas wreath with bow.  The pattern came from Moda Bake Shop.  Measurements are provided to make a 24 x 24 wall hanging, but I adjusted it to create a 12.5 inch block.  This little bugger has more than 100 pieces and is sure to qualify as more of a mini-quilt than a quilt block, but I wanted a beautiful wreath to include in my quilted holiday decor.  I plan to finish it and display it on a table near the entrance to my home this year.

For the more modern quilter, this is a 12.5 inch block called "Free Wheeling."  I've been drawn to this block many times.  Every time I see this block, I think it looks like a bow.  I had to include it in my Christmas plans this year.  Free Wheeling was made using improvisation, paper piecing and traditional piecing.  The block was designed by Natasha Bruecher and can be found in "Modern Blocks" by Susanne Woods.  

For the whimsical quilter, no Christmas is complete without Santa's Little Helper....

Oops...wrong helper.  How about this one?

Santa's Little Helper is an example of raw edge applique.  I typically avoid this technique because I'm always concerned about how it will hold up over the years, but he was just too cute not to bring to life this year.  

I hope you have enjoyed my stop on the Think Christmas Blog Hop.  (Could you tell this was the first time I ever participated in a blog hop? - I hope not!)  Be sure to visit my fellow quilters on the hop today.  

Quilty Doodads (YOU ARE HERE)

One last thing before you go...

I purchased one extra charm pack of Joy by Kate Spain for Moda that I will share with one lucky winner.  To register for a chance to win this holiday charm pack, leave a comment below.  Become a follower of my blog and leave an additional comment letting me know that you are now a follower for another chance to win (Limit:  two entries per person).  One winner will be selected via a random number generator on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 8:00pm (CST).  International entries welcome.  Winner will be notified by email.  If you are a no reply blogger, please leave contact information in your comment or another name will be drawn.  

Thanks for stopping by....Happy Quilting and Blog Hopping!

The Charm Pack Giveaway is now closed.  Comments are welcome, but will not be considered in the giveaway drawing.