I have exciting news to share with you! I have finally entered into the next stage of life, and I’ve become a grandma! My oldest daughter, Kelly, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on Friday morning. She weighed 8 lb. 15 oz.! I don’t know how she fit inside my daughter’s small frame.
Mom and baby. (Photo credit – Harmon Li)
The delivery went smooth, and mom and baby are healthy and happy.
Kelly and her husband, Steven, live in Austin, Texas, so that will be a frequent destination for me and Mr. Crafty Quilter. We’re flying there in one week, and I can’t wait to hold this baby!
Kelly, Steven and Amelia. (Photo credit – Harmon Li)
Of course there’s a baby quilt. It just needs two more sides of binding stitched down, plus a quilt label and then it will be ready to go. Since we didn’t know whether to expect a girl or a boy (I love surprises!), this quilt is gender neutral. You may remember this pattern from the Star Crossed Quilt Along that I participated in a few months ago.
I think I should make another quilt specifically for Amelia (but not too pink and purple or my daughter might disown me). And I’m always looking for an excuse to make another quilt. Girls are so much fun to sew for!
Currently, I’m working on a big project for Blank Quilting. I have this week to finish a quilt top, quilt and bind it, photograph and edit it, then send it off! I may not come out of my sewing room at all this week. Oh, the life of a quilter/blogger/grandma!
I have picked a winner for July’s Cozy Afternoon BOM giveaway. It’s comment #104, Marlene, who prefers the look of hand applique, but finds that some projects don’t warrant the effort and time of hand work. I agree that you have to pick the right project for all of that special attention. Marlene, you’ll be receiving a pdf package of the patterns shown below. Congratulations!
I appreciated all of the comments I received on this month’s Cozy Afternoon BOM. I asked you to tell me if you have ever tried applique and if so, which technique you prefer. I enjoyed reading all of your answers. I even tallied them up and thought I’d share the results with you.
The most popular method in this group was machine applique, with 30 of you preferring that method. The biggest reason: it’s quicker! One person said that poor eyesight prevents her from doing hand applique. I’m beginning to “see” what she means!
The next popular category I showed was BOTH. Many of you (24) like to switch it up, depending on the size of the project and the time frame you’re working on.
Hand applique was a close third with 19 of you preferring that method. I enjoyed reading some of the reasons for this technique: “I don’t drive straight by machine” and “It’s soothing to my soul”. I can relate to both of those!
I was happy to see that 9 commenters wanted to learn applique soon and five people enjoyed doing wool applique (something I’d like to learn).
There are SO many ways to do applique. Some of the methods mentioned were freezer paper, needle turn, blanket stitch by machine, envelope style, back basting and edge color applique (a new one to me).
I’ll be doing a round up of applique methods and tutorials soon. I hope you all have a great day!
It’s time for the third block of Jacquelynne Steves’ Cozy Afternoon BOM. If you haven’t joined the fun, it’s not too late! You’ll receive all of the previous block instructions as well as the current month. You can sign up here. Invite a friend and it will be twice as much fun!
This month’s block is another adorable tea cup centered in a pieced frame.
I had one of those “Wow” moments when I was following Jacquelynne’s instructions for this month’s block. She has a really cool trick to make the type of units which are located in the corner squares (shown below). It’s worth signing up for the BOM just to find out how Jacquelynne made this unit super easy and precise.
For the sides of this block, I strip-pieced the center rectangle and the squares together which improved my accuracy (and speed). I used a 3 1/2″ x 9″ rectangle for the center and two 2″ x 9″ rectangles on each side.
The applique turned out really well. I used a small zig zag stitch to mimic the string of the tea bag. I also used blue thread to stitch around the tea bag which is a great way to accent a color like yellow that might not have shown up well otherwise.
This block of the month is so much fun! I love how it’s turning out. If you missed my first two months, here they are all together on my design wall.
Jacquelynne has provided another generous giveaway this month. You can win her Amelia Quilt & Round Pillow Pattern plus her Savannah Wool Runner pattern. All you have to do is leave a comment here and tell me if you’ve ever tried applique before. If so, which method do you prefer? You have until midnight (Pacific time), July 19 to enter. Giveaway is now closed.
You’ll have more chances to win the giveaway (now closed) if you visit the other featured bloggers and leave a comment on their blog. It’s also fun to see what fabrics they’ve chosen to work with and any tips they might have. Here’s the list of participating bloggers:
I am loving all of the Christmas in July happenings in the crafting world. It’s not always easy to get into the Christmas mindset when it’s summertime, but Fort Worth Fabric Studio is helping with that. They are putting on a Christmas in July series that includes some great tutorials. Today, I am participating with a tutorial for a Frosty Cabin Tree Skirt.
You can find the full tutorial at Fort Worth Fabric Studio. I’ve been wanting to make a tree skirt for awhile, and this has been a great opportunity to get it done!
If you’re visiting here for the first time, welcome! I’m so glad you stopped by. You can find many more tutorials for Christmas quilting and gifts at my Christmas Once a Month page. If you want to know a little bit more about me (and some random facts), you can check out this post.
It’s not easy photographing and staging a Christmas project without the usual wintertime props, so I relied a bit on editing and PicMonkey to help. PicMonkey is a free program that is really easy to use and one of my favorite blogging tools. If I can figure it out, anyone can!
This is what the tree skirt looks like without any tree or presents to adorn it:
I think this would be so cute in a red and white color scheme. There are so many cute Christmas prints out there. For this project, I used some of the Frosty Forest collection from Benartex. I love the owls in this one!
Make sure to stop by Fort Worth Fabric Studio to see all of the other Christmas in July tutorials. Here’s the schedule:
Hey everyone! I have a special guest on the blog today, Emily Taylor. Emily is an artist who designs fabric for Riley Blake Designs, and she is the creator of a fabulous website, Pattern Jam. It’s a great design tool that I’ve been playing around with recently, and I’m so happy to have Emily share more details with you!
Take it away, Emily:
Thank you, Julie, for giving me the opportunity to introduce your readers to me and my new web-application for quilters! I have been designing fabric for Riley Blake Designs for 6 years now, and have created over a dozen collections for them! I really love what I do because I love beautiful fabric, I love quilts and I love the community of compassionate people that are quilters!
Here is a snapshot of my newest collection, “Chatsworth”, that will be arriving in September:
Part of what I do to promote each collection is design quilt patterns for use at the International Quilt Market to show off my fabric. About 18 months ago, I decided that it was time to create a web-application that enabled quilters to design a quilt pattern but to also preview their choice of designer fabric in their pattern! This was the idea for PatternJam!
On PatternJam, users can interact creatively with the most current designer fabric to determine what their project will look like prior to investing time and money into it. And the best part is that the functionality on PatternJam is FREE to use! In addition to designing your own quilt pattern, there are many patterns created by well know designers, like Bonnie Christine, Amy Smart, Crazy Old Ladies, Allison Harris and more that are available to customize, purchase and download!
Here’s a quick video to illustrate how fun and easy it is to use PatternJam to customize a quilt pattern with your choice of fabric:
Now, you can see this exact quilt pattern here: https://patternjam.com/emily/design/52 for details about the pattern and fabric that I used! When you sign up and your credentials are activated to use PatternJam, you can customize your own profile page~ here’s mine:
One thing that quilters have requested is the ability to take a photo and upload their OWN stash of fabric into PatternJam. Guess what? That is exactly what you can do (if the thousands of new and upcoming fabrics don’t catch your eye)!
My team and I have just launched PatternJam, and we invite you to head on over to PatternJam.com to sign up to be among the very first users on the platform! When you bring along 5 of your friends, I will send you a nice little bundle of fabric for helping me to spread the word!
I look forward to having you join me on PatternJam~ I can’t wait to see what you create! Please stay in touch with me… give me your feedback and suggestions about PatternJam, would you? Find me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram and FOR SURE find me on PatternJam!
Cheers, Emily Taylor
Thanks, Emily. It’s nice to get to know you better! I have been so excited about PatternJam and how easy it is to use. I love playing with different fabric collections and creating new quilt patterns with them. Here’s an example of a mini flag quilt that I designed:
You can decide how big you want your blocks to be, whether or not to include sashing or borders, and how many fabrics to include. I’ve had my eye on the fabric collection, Festive Forest, ever since it was released and I was able to see how it looks in this quilt design before buying the fabric:
There’s a nice array of fabric collections at PatternJam, and I love the fact that I can upload my own fabric stash, too. It’s just as much fun to play with virtual fabrics, plus I can mix and match different collections (and it’s free)!
I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think!