Monday, June 19, 2017

Let's finish the Dresden Blocks

This month's designs are the last of the Dresden plates. So when you have time, if you haven't done so already, it's time to sew your Dresden plates onto your background 12 1/2" x 12 1/2" squares. You should have a total of twelve Dresden plates done so far for the quilt. Appliqueing the centers goes fairly quickly once you have everything pinned, so plan an afternoon or two for sewing this section of the quilt. I have been using plastic scrapbooking bins to store my blocks, it's just the right size. They are tucked away until I am ready to work on the next section of the quilt.
So let me show you how I appliqued my Dresden plates onto my fabric squares....

I have centered my finished Dresden plate onto my fabric square, remember we want these to be on point.

I am using a small buttonhole stitch that is on my machine. Here is my setting that I am using for length and stitch width. A small zig zag or blind stitch would also work.

Stitching along the edge.....
I want to show you a close up of my stitch... I am using a cream InvisaFil thread so that it doesn't show too much. You can see that it sorta blends in nicely.

I also stitch along the inside edge of my Dresden Plate too... I think it just finishes it off very nicely.

I then give it another good press.

The supply list can be found on my website along with this month's directions. June's directions are only FREE this month, then after that they will be found on my Etsy site for a small fee. You can also find the directions in my Craftsy Shop too. So let's get started....

This is the last set of Dresden plates for this quilt. Next month we will move onto another design element for the quilt. Can't wait to show you!
Patterns can be found on the Quilt Doodle website and on Crafty (Not until the 1st of the month):
Fat Quarter bundles of 16 fat quarters are available in my Etsy store to get you started.
Tag me on Instagram with your photos #quiltdoodledesignsBOM2017 #quiltdoodledesigns @quiltdoodles
If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

My favorite picture of grandma and I, taken in front of her flower garden.
I'm off to work on the garden for a little bit. I'm so thrilled that I have a new garden fence and it's deer proof! I actually have bean plants this year instead of 'little sticks' with no leaves!

          Let’s have some quilty fun!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Sunflower Fields
When I was a kid, every summer was spent at my Grandma and Grandpa's farm in North Dakota. Back in  70's I remember fields of sunflowers and wheat. It is burned into my memory how golden it was. It was a golden time in my childhood.... lazy mornings waking up to the smell of bacon and eggs, homemade sweet rolls,  4th of July fireworks, family barbecues, kittens, homemade cookies and grandma's apples and banana salad. I can always count on inspiration from my childhood and memories, so I have yet a new pattern, capturing the golden fields of sunflowers and the waves of golden wheat fields. This pattern has been a long time coming. Somehow I stalled out at the editing phase and this project has been in the works for a couple of years. So over the last couple of days, I finished it, sewing on bee wings and doing the final edit on the pattern. I also need to thank my testers! You guys rock and I'm so sorry it took me so long to finish this project.

What I love about this quilt is that you can have fun and make it scrappy. You can work out of your fabric stash or go run to the quilt shop and buy a bunch of fat quarters in both light and dark fabrics. (Light-cream for the background, Dark- the chevron stripes and sunflowers) I made mine using all yellow and gold fabrics, and then a bunch of cream fabrics. This quilt is done in all pinks, or blues or whatever  your favorite color is. Sunflower Fields would also be adorable made scrappy with all sorts of colors. To give it a retro feel, 1930"s fabrics would be fun to work with.

I love embellishing my quilt with these sweet little bumblebees.
The wings are 3D... I love the added touch!

I didn't want to wings to be 'flapping' so I stitched them down using a blind stitch.

I also had fun doing a running stitch using #12 pearl cotton to make the 'flight'
of the bumblebee. I also embroidered the bee antennae using the pearl cotton.

My new design seems to also be Maddie approved.
Yes, silly girl, you look adorable sitting on the quilt...
No, it's not for you.

I wrote this pattern in three sizes... Pattern includes directions to make a
lap (50" x 65"), twin (65" x 75") or double (80" x85") sized quilt.
I hope that you enjoyed my little blog posting today. Give my Sunflower Fields quilt a try. It does go together pretty quickly and would be a great retreat project. I just love making quilts that have that scrappy feel. I also use flannel for the backing to make it extra snuggly.

I'm off to organize my office and studio, it looks like a bomb went off in there since I've gotten back from quilt market. It's so much more fun to make a mess....

Happy quilting,

Thursday, June 1, 2017

June's Block is Out!

I have been busy trying to do some gardening in between all of the Quilt Market craziness. Do know that my gardening attempts have been feeble.... almost laughable.... I've cheated and bought hanging baskets, cut the hangers off and have plunked them into my urns that I have outside around the house. This is shameful since I had worked for many years for a local greenhouse before they closed down.  I was one of the go to gals on gardening. Something I like to think that I inherited from my grandma. She had such a green thumb. She grew most of her flowers from seed, something that I have not quite mastered. It's not from a lack of trying! I do so much better buying the little four packs of flowers that are ready to bloom. I've been working on my perennial garden in hopes to attract bees and butterflies. It's been a challenge since my flowers also need to be deer resistant. So one of this month's designs is a butterfly. I hope that you have fun and enjoy making your butterfly bright and colorful!

The second design for this month is a little pony. When growing up, my grandparents surprised me with a Shetland pony named Lucky one summer. (Lucky was on loan from my aunt's family) I was seven years old. It was a little girls dream! I had my very own pony to ride and take care of for three weeks. Lucky was a gentle pony and was very patient with me. We rode on  many adventures around the farm. I've been tearing the house apart looking for the one and only picture I have of Lucky and me. But I put it in such a safe spot that I can't even find it! It was an adorable black and white picture of me in my cat eye glasses and cowboy hat on the saddle. I'm sure Lucky was looking forward to me going home so that he could get some rest. I used to sneak down to the 'Chicken Coop' and feed Lucky apples and carrots after dinner. Old George, (my grandparent's farmhand) used to shoo me back to the house and tell me that it's Lucky's bedtime. One of my fondest memories of Old George was riding circles around him, shooting him with a squirt gun. George would just laugh. In the evening George would sit at the dining room table and play solitaire. I would spy on him thru the heating grates in the bedroom floor, he would wave and give me a wink. Those are the childhood days I fondly remember and wouldn't mind reliving them time and time again.

This year's BOM is a very traditional design using 1930's fabrics. These fabrics remind me so much of grandma and her cotton dresses. I hope that you have fun with this pattern. April's pattern has everything you need to complete these two blocks. You will get the directions on how to make the Dresden plate block. Feel free to make all 12 Dresden circles if you would blocks are set on point. The supply list can be found on my website along with this month's directions. April's directions are only FREE this month, then after that they will be found on my Etsy site for a small fee. You can also find the directions in my Craftsy Shop too. So let's get started....

HINT: I have been throwing all of my scraps as I cut 'plates' into this little bin on my cutting table.
Why? It's been very useful for some of my applique pieces. But also, we will use some of these towards the end of the quilt....

Using the blade template cut 1 blade for each fabric.
16 different fabrics total for each block.
You will make 12 blocks all together for this quilt.
Fold the blade in half lengthwise, right sides together and sew a quarter inch seam along the short straight edge (Top edge). This will form the 'point' when you turn it right side out.

Here I have all my blades pressed for one block.

Sew your blades together in pairs, right sides together. Continue to sew blades together along the long side until you form a 16 section plate.

I love the scrappiness of this 'plate'.

I ironed the circle in half, then in half again. And one more time so that I have 'markers' for lining up my circle with my plate section.

I line the seam up with the folded marking and ease my circle and plate section together.
I hold it all together with pins. A lot of pins...
I sew the two together with a 1/4" seam.

The center is the perfect spot for an applique!
HINT: The circle will 'lay down smoother if--- iron the Dresden plate from the back side and iron the circle seam out towards the points.  Then press the front side of the Dresden block.
I don't know what it is, but the block will iron out so much better when done this way.

I set my machine for a 2.5 length and 2.5 width for my blanket stitch.

This is the last set of Dresden plates for this quilt. Next month we will move onto another design element for the quilt. Can't wait to show you!
I have not appliqued my Dresden plates onto my 12 1/2" white squares yet.
Patterns can be found on the Quilt Doodle website and on Crafty (Not until the 1st of the month):
Fat Quarter bundles of 16 fat quarters are available in my Etsy store to get you started.
Tag me on Instagram with your photos #quiltdoodledesignsBOM2017 #quiltdoodledesigns @quiltdoodles
I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's butterflies and ponies.

My favorite picture of grandma and I, taken in front of her flower garden.

          Let’s have some quilty fun!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Market Wrap Up

It's a wrap, another quilt market in the books. Whew, it sure flew by. I was amazed how quickly my week in St. Louis went. I'm so glad that I penciled in tourist days for us. Lesson learned from last year...we tried to fit in a state park while in Utah the evening after we packed up from market. I was tired and cranky and crashing mentally after months of work. My roadie (hubby) and assistant (best friend, Lynn) were all excited to finally see some of Salt Lake City (other than the mountains seen from the Ikea parking lot and the inside of the convention center) and I was Mrs. Grumpy Pants. I just wanted a glass of wine and sleep.  I totally didn't want my help to quit on me this year and tell me to get a grip, so we did some sight seeing before the show even started and I am so glad that we did. Well worth the extra days. We visited a few wineries on the way to St. Louis. It sure helped to break up the road trip. Once we checked into the hotel and unloaded our luggage and all of the 'Quilt Doodle Booth', we spent time walking around St. Louis. The Arch was fun to see and I'm happy to say I did not have a panic attack on the way up to the top while being crammed in an egg shaped pod with four other people. Once I recovered from the ride up and being a ka-gillion-million feet up in the air, I have to say it was pretty cool to look out the little windows. It's a pretty amazing story on how the arch was built. It's totally worth the time watching the movie on how the arch was built. (Checked this one off the bucket list- although I have to confess, it was never on the bucket list to begin with!)

Getting the Quilt Doodle Booth from point A to point B is a trick and requires a couple of hand trucks, and several cups of strong coffee. I usually go into market with a vague idea on how my booth is going to go together. I pick up display pieces because I like them but then have no real idea how it will work in my booth. I know designers that put the booth up at home, take pictures and recreate it when they get there. I'm sorta willie nillie about my booth. Pray it will all work out when I get there. Luckily it all fell together with the help of Mark and Lynn. Couldn't do all of this without their support.
Market itself is always so much fun to participate in. It's such a pleasure to meet all of the shop owners and their sweet staff. It's also such a great opportunity to talk face to face with people that I have been in contact with all year thru emails and on the phone. Then there are my quilt market buddies that I love seeing. It's so much fun to see their new patterns and booths. I did get away a couple of times to walk around, love seeing the new fabrics and colors. I always come home wanting to just lock myself up in the studio and sew away.
It's always so inspiring to see all of the art quilts. Shhhh..... I took pictures of a few of them to share with you. The quilting and threadwork is unbelievable! I love, love, love the one of the dog...

I've been home a week and haven't yet made it to my studio, next week I shall sew... It's hard to believe that after months of preparation, it is done.... time to start preparing for the next one.

Get ready Portland, we are planning on being there.

Happy quilting,

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day 

Mom, two of my sisters and I
So I found this fun picture on my Instagram account and thought it would be fun to  share with you. It was taken at the lake several years ago at the lake. Love that we are all relaxing in our lounge chairs. Hope that you find some time to relax today too! I also hope you find time to do your favorite things. I'm going to try to relax although it may be hard since I am feeling the pressure and excitement of Quilt Market. My head is swimming with details since we leave Tuesday morning for St. Louis...

Have a wonderful day! 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Chicken Envy

Something really special arrived at my sisters home last week. Baby chicks!!! They are the most adorable thing on this planet, besides puppies of coarse... I have been patiently waiting the arrival of her chicks and squealed in excitement when she sent me pictures. They are round, fuzzy balls of happiness. I can't help but smile when I watch the sweet videos she's been posting. The names she's given them just make me giggle... here are some of the sweet names.... Gertrude, Agnes Ann, Oakley, Chauncey, Duck and Zeus. I am looking forward to meeting her little brood of chickies.
I'm planning on a visit after quilt market. Although she tells be they will be in their 'ugly' stage. I laugh, there is no ugly stage, chicks are still adorable! I of coarse have chicken envy, but someday I will have a little brood of chicks. But for right now, I'll just have fun and draw cute little chicken designs to hang around the kitchen.
My sis is so lucky, when these babies are full grown, she'll have farm fresh eggs!
What a wonderful treat for her family!
Now to brighten your day and make you giggle, here's a sweet little clip of her baby chicks...


Hope you have a wonderful day!
I'm off to do some more planning and organizing for Quilt Market.
See you in St. Louis!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

For the Love of Chickadees

I have always love chickadees. I'm sure my love for these sweet little birds is a direct result from all the mornings I shared a cup of coffee with dad watching the comings and goings at his bird feeders. There was Vivian, the albino squirrel, the cardinals and of coarse the sweet little chickadees. During this long winter here in Minnesota I spent many mornings remembering days gone by and watching my chickadees flit and flutter from feeder to feeder. Now that spring is here and still have been enjoying these little birds.
Spring is also that time of year that I'm running around getting ready for International Quilt Market. "Pinecone Chickadees" will be one of the new patterns that I will be showing in my booth at market. This pattern is totally hot off the presses! The finished size of this mini quilt is 11 1/2" x 13 1/2". I used some civil war repo fabrics for the pieced border. To create the chickadees, I used bali batiks from Hoffman fabrics. It was a fun project to put together and looks adorable hanging up in my 4 season porch. To hang this mini quilt I used a 12" Double Scroll Split Bottom wire hanger from Ackfeld Wire. (Any of their 12" hangers will work too)  Hanging this mini quilt is optional of coarse, it is also a nice mini quilt to display on a table too!

I think dad would have really liked this design.
Happy quilting!