Once a month, we highlight blogs our staff is reading right now!
Melissa’s blog is one of our go-to blogs for clothing pattern and inspiration (hey, we may be quilters, but we enjoy looking at cute clothes, too!). From sewing for girls and boys to adult sizes, Melissa’s free patterns and tutorials are easy-to-follow and super stylish! She also has easy pillow, place mat, and other small patterns available. And if you visit her site now, you’ll be summer ready with her 30 days of sundresses blogs and cute swimsuit coverups!
Amy’s Creative Side
Amy’s blog is perfect for all those sewers who want to be in the know! Not only is her blog a smorgasbord of gorgeous projects and giveaways, but she also features a weekly quiltcast, where she (and friend April Rosenthal) share tips for getting things done, the tools that work best for them, and other quilting and piecing tricks!
Simple Simon and Company
Written by two Elizabeth’s, this blog is perfect for everyone trying to make more time for sewing! They’re both two busy moms, so their patterns and tutorials are easy, quick, and super fun! From clothing to bags to great sewing tips (especially on topics that we’ve all wondered, but never asked), their personalities shine through, inspire, motivate, and most importantly, make us feel like it’s ok to take time to enjoy family and life in addition to the creative process.
It’s official. 2014 is half over! And I have to say I’m proud of how much creative time I was able to schedule into my past 6 months. Making a larger effort to take time to work on my own projects (rather than just gifts or work) is not only relaxing and expanding my creative boundaries, but is also pushing myself to learn new techniques and discover more about my own quilting style. (Find out more about my goals this year in my resolutions blog – read it here.)I was able to get a lot done in June. This month I’m taking a week long vacation and play to give work and sewing a rest to enjoy my family and the beach! I made pretty lax goals for this upcoming month, but hopefully I can continue my momentum on these projects!
On my to-do list this year:
- Tula Pink‘s City Sampler (See all my blocks here.)
- American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt Along (Read more about it here.)
- Pat Sloan‘s Globetrotting Block of the Month with Free Quilt Patterns (Get details here.)
- Finish my Passion 48 (See our staff’s Project 48 rules here.)
- Quilts and More Welcome Home wall hanging series (in Quilts and More Summer)
I got 10 more blocks done for the City Sampler quilt, finished off the light green bunch. Only 20 more blocks to go! Can’t wait to get this one crossed off my list and on my bed! (I blogged about these 20 blocks and about color choice tips. Read it here!)
I got four more of the American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt Along blocks done. I have some darker reds and oranges coming to help balance the Irish chains a bit more. These blocks take about an hour each (unless I work ahead on some strip-piecing). I love the process of picking out the fabrics that go together, but it’s hard for me to do more than one every few days unless I have a lot of extra time on my hands. Only 11 more blocks to go! Check out everyone’s blocks on Instagram if you need motivation or ideas (search: #apqquiltalong).
Seven of the blocks for the Globetrotting Block of the Month are done (I snuck the July one in before writing this blog)! Each month I’m loving this quilt more. As I lay each new block done and take a picture I’m so surprised at how it’s coming together and balancing the lights and darks of this quilt (especially since I deviated from the instructions choice of prints).
I finished the Welcome Home door decor from Quilts and More Summer (except sewing on the buttons…they’re just posing in place for this picture!). Since the Fall issue doesn’t come out until August, I get a month off from this project while I work hard on the others on my list!
I have some tips for keeping your motivation going when life gets busy. (See my tips for making your list here.)
1. Schedule it into your day. Work and life get busy. Sometimes the thought of squeezing sewing in after a long day does not sound appealing–especially on days when the weather is nice. This month, I made an effort to go into work 30 minutes earlier each day, so I could use the extra 30 minutes at the end of my day to sew. Making a conscious effort to set my alarm earlier and reward myself with creative time after a productive day was just what I needed to keep my motivation going.
2. Mix it up. It’s hard to keep yourself interested if you’re working on just one project or if you’re only cutting/only sewing. In order to make sure I can make progress on something, whether I have 10 minutes for cutting or a few hours to sew binding on, I keep a variety of projects in different stages, so I can always work on something that fits my time-commitment and mood.
3. Make it (more) fun. I’m a huge fan of combining hobbies when possible. So instead of making time to watch my favorite TV show AND time to cut my fabrics, I do them both at the same time. Or take some applique to the beach so you get some fun in the sun at the same time you’re making progress on a quilt. It’s amazing how time flies (and how much you get done) when you can enjoy all your favorite things at once!
Happy quilting in 2014! Share your own quilting to-do list in the comments and make sure to check back to see my progress.
All my light green blocks for my Tula Pink‘s City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks are done! I now have a total of 80 blocks. I’m racing toward the finish line on this project and can’t wait to get the last blocks done and start on this scrappy bed quilt! I have a great mix of scrappy green, blue, teal, and brown blocks, which you can see in my previous blogs. (See my past blogs here.)
These 20 blocks have taught me an important lesson about looking at the whole quilt rather than always judging individual blocks. For example, I chose a neon green color, which I used in three blocks. I don’t necessarily love the look of it in those blocks and the color was hard to match. But it will provide an unexpected sparkle and a little surprise to the overall quilt. There were other fabrics in previous blocks that had a standout pattern or a crazy color that I included. These fabrics will be little charms to find throughout the quilt and (hopefully) a pleasing overall look!
My last 20 blocks blocks will be dark green! I have all the fabrics picked out and a list of the last blocks I need. I’m getting sad this project is coming to an end, but am looking forward to the process of laying all the blocks out and deciding placement! I’m sure this will take me longer than I think. Follow our blog to watch my progress! And follow us on Instagram at @allpeoplequilt to see weekly pics of the blocks I’m making.
Buy Tula’s book here and play along with us!
Every month, we highlight a trend in quilting and show you how you can add this hip style to your projects!
At Spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh, we noticed a lot of butterflies! From fun fabric motifs to sophisticated designs to quilt patterns, this cute trend was floating around everywhere (pun intended). With summer right around the corner, we’re excited to add butterflies to our must-have list so we can start quilting.
Butterfly items for your shopping list (in order going clockwise):
- Winged by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics
- Emma’s Garden by Pat Sloniger for Michael Miller Fabrics
- A Field Guide by Janet Clare for Moda Fabrics
- Harmony by Jessica Swift for Blend Fabrics
- Spring Symphony by Dan Morris for RJR Fabrics
- Stonehenge Kids Little Girls by Deborah Edwards and Linda Ludovico for Northcott
Once a month, we highlight blogs our staff is reading right now!
Jennifer and Jessica are the cutest! They love all things vintage, so their blog makes you yearn for years past, but also inspired to bring that history to more modern projects. Showcasing fun custom slipcovers, sewing projects, and quilts, their blog is eye candy for fabric lovers. They even delve into knitting, which is so fun to see for those of us crafting addicts.
Piece N Quilt
We’ve ooh’ed and ahh’ed over Piece N Quilt before on our Instagram account. But if you’ve never seen this blog by Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting, you’re missing out! Not only do they feature the most beautiful quilts and quilting (both personal projects and ones they’re doing for others), but they also sell machine embroidery and machine quilting patterns, so you can get your own amazing designs on your home machine.
Heather’s fabric is happy, bright, and full of florals! Her blog offers the same creative, breezy, and infectious vibes. Featuring beautiful photography, free patterns for little projects, great tutorials, and drool-worthy embroidery designs, this blog not only inspires, but educates.