Once a month, we highlight blogs our staff is reading right now!
A Quilting Life
If you know Sherri McConnell, you’ll know that she truly does lead a quilting life. As a Moda fabric designer, quilt designer, and author, her blog serves as inspiration to the quilting community. Her blog posts range from current projects and new patterns to blog hops and creative tutorials. Plus, her projects are happy and bright, making it impossible to leave her blog without feeling better!
Ayumi Takahashi is a pattern designer and author with a playful sense of style! Her patchwork patterns are fun and practical–ranging from baby toys to bags. She has a creative eye for putting fabrics together for a unique project. Also, her paper-pieing skills are truly amazing and will motivate you to try her patterns!
Film in the Fridge
Ashley Newcomb is pretty much the cutest! Her designs (some free!) are hip, surprising, and still last the test of time. Her quilts are airy and work with lighter colors, which makes them easy to imagine in other colorways for anyone exploring for their next project. Plus, her blog posts pack personality, so you feel like you have a quilting friend through the computer!
Every month, we highlight a trend in quilting and show you how you can add this hip style to your projects!
We don’t know if it’s a sign of spring, but feathers are hot right now. We’ve been seeing them on fabric and in patterns–and we can’t resist. We’re flocking to them! Whether it’s an entire quilt with pieced or applique feathers for a modern twist on blocks, or little peeks of fabrics for a nod to nature, we’re ready to ruffle our feathers and fly with this trend! See how to add this hot trend to your quilting.
Feather items for your shopping list (in order going clockwise):
- Go! Heather Feather #1 by Sarah Vedeler for AccuQuilt
- Feathers quilt pattern by Alison Glass and Nydia Kehnle
- Social Club collection by Eric and Julie Comstock for Moda Fabrics
- Winged collection by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics
- Feather Bed Quilt by Anna Maria Horner
Happy May! I’ve been working on my quilting to-do list for four months (and a few days) since setting my goals on New Year’s. (In case you missed my resolutions blog, read it here.) April was a busy month for me–lots of traveling, late work days, and beautiful weather. But not as much time sewing as I would’ve liked. I have a hard time keeping up with something that seems like a “extra” activity in my life when all the other duties of life set in. But I did make some real progress on my quilts and have fresh motivation to get things done now that spring is here!
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 Spring)
I took a little break from my City Sampler quilt. And although the picture above doesn’t look impressive, it’s a stack of the 60 of the 100 blocks I have done and squared off. And I already chose my fabric for the last 40 blocks, so I’m ready to cut and sew when the mood strikes me! Since choosing fabrics was one of my biggest obstacles for this quilt, I’m excited I’m done with this step.
I got three of the American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt Along blocks done. I’m addicted to making these! Lots of little pieces and lots of scrappy goodness, and each block takes around an hour to make, but it’s so fun and rewarding when you get a block done. Check out everyone’s blocks on Instagram if you need motivation or ideas (search: #apqquiltalong). I have a bunch of the strip sets and four-patches made, too, so the next blocks should come a little faster.
I have four blocks for the Globetrotting Block of the Month done and have all fabric picked out. The May block is on my weekend to-do list. I look forward to this quilt every month. It’s a quick block and is so fun to see how it’s all going together as I add more to the quilt!
All I have left on my Passion 48 is the binding. I’m making a super scrappy binding, since it will really stand out against the black borders. I have a bunch of tiny pieces cut out and am starting to sew them together. It’s a time-consuming project, but I think it will really add something to the finished quilt!
The Welcome Home door decor from Quilts and More Spring is finally done! I still need to buy a few buttons to sew on, but I couldn’t resist the urge to hang it up! The next one in the series, the summer door decor, just hit newsstands, so I’ll be starting on that soon.
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.
Once a month, we highlight blogs our staff is reading right now!
Maureen Cracknell Handmade
Fresh and fun are two words to describe Maureen’s blog and her quilts! Using bright colors, modern designs, and super cute photography, her quilts are not only eye candy, but total inspiration for anyone looking for permission to draw outside the lines with their creations. Her step-by-step instructions make sewing look effortless! Or visit her Etsy shop and buy a handmade item to own her style without the work.
If you’re looking to kick your butt in gear, Pat’s blog is your go-to. She’s one busy lady–she hosts our American Patchwork & Quilting podcast, designs fabrics for Moda, is an author, and still has time to blog every day! Her blog is full of sew alongs, sewing challenges, and great tips and patterns for using your stash and finishing quick! Visit her blog for the inspiration you need to sew every day!
The Happy Zombie
Monica Solorio-Snow is one unique lady–both her fabric lines and her patterns! (If you haven’t seen her Ron Swanson quilt, you’re missing out!) She never does anything without giving 100% and she makes sure each creation reflects her style. Her blog is full of patterns, musings, pictures, inspiration, and of course, that wit we all know and love her for!
Once a month, we highlight our favorite free quilt and sewing patterns around the web!
This quilt is super easy to stitch up! Plus, babies and kids will love the texture, softness, and colors of this quilt that is perfect for all activities–from snuggling up for a movie night to playing with toys on the floor.
Mini Raincheck by Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms
Celebrate the rainy season with a mini umbrella quilt that’s perfect for hanging on a door or a wall. The umbrellas are so cute–and less than 4″ square!
We know it’s almost Easter, but have each guest at your table design a fabric egg. When they leave, you can stitch it together and have a heartfelt wall hanging for next year.
Black and White in Color by Film in the Fridge
Black-and-white prints pop against a rainbow background for a quilt that makes us smile! It’s perfect for chasing rainy spring weather away and using some scraps up!