Friday, February 24, 2017

A Touch of Spring...'s hard to believe that just last week I was running errands in a light weight sweatshirt and actually had to ditch the scarf and hand warmers because I was too warm. Winter is back in Minnesota... just about 30 miles south of my home they are being bombarded with snow. 12 plus inches of the white stuff. Friends are posting snowy pictures all over facebook. Yesterday I was getting prepared for the storm of the year. My phone kept lighting up with alerts, storm warning... I was secretly thrilled with the idea of a snow day, hunkering down with my quilting by the fireplace. One last hurrah before spring. You would laugh, not a flake of snow at all here, just windy and cold. I stopped watching TV, the weathermen were coming up with all sorts of excuses why their state of the art weather tracking systems didn't work. It's hard to admit, but I feel like I was gipped. I was looking forward to that one big snowfall before spring would actually arrive.  I was so spoiled last week with the warmer weather that I have a horrible case of spring fever. I had the mindset, 'just one more big snow storm...' I'm dying to see bright colors and flowers. So I have been working on some springtime designs and have one done. I'm loving it! It's been awhile since I've added any new animals to my woodland themed patterns. Well, now there's a bunny. A sweet little bunny hiding among the flowers. It's a great project to use up some of those brightly colored scraps that you  have left over from other projects. If you are dying for a touch of spring, this is a fun project.

For those of you stuck in the snowstorm, I'm secretly envious. As I look out my window, I see only gray suckiness... no sun, it's cold, no pretty white, frosted trees.
I am returning to my studio to play with some more pretty fabric, as least I can dream about spring.

Happy quilting,

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Love These Blocks!

I just love the Quilt Doodle BOM 2017 blocks when they are done with embroidery instead of being appliquéd. While you guys are following along month by month, I am attempting to make two quilts! One that is done with fusible applique and one that is embroidered. I know that applique isn't  everyone'should cup of tea so by showing the blocks can be embroidered presents another sweet option for doing this quilt. I want to show you how easy it is to do! I am not the best hand stitcher, my mom, grandma and friend, Colleen are awesome at it! I always marvel at their perfect tiny stitches. They do such beautiful work.  My stitches are not so even and perfect... but I still enjoy the hand stitching. There is just something about it that is so calming and peaceful. I also love that I can sit in my favorite chair and watch a chick flick while stitching... oh wait, maybe that's why my stiches are so perfect.... it's the TV distracting me!

I have a light tablet that I love! It so portable and easy to use.Here you can see I have my design
sheet laying under the fabric, ready to be traced. I use a pencil normally.

Here's my chicken design, all traced and ready to go. I am
using #12 pearl cotton.

I love using the orange for the outline on the dog.
Just am loving this puppy design.
Here are three of my embroidered blocks...
I don't included a stitching guide for doing this in embroidery. Have some fun with the pattern and stitch the designs using a variety of colors that match your fabric and it will turn out wonderful. I am using a #12 pearl cotton. I mainly have been doing a backstitch, but every so often I do a lazy daisy stitch to make my flowers. My grandma was big into embroidery. I am blessed to have a set of dishtowels and pillowcases that she made for me when I go married. They are sitting in my linen closet. I hardly ever use them because I want them to stay 'nice' since grandma is no longer with us. I remember sitting at the kitchen table talking over coffee while she embroidered. I was so lucky to live close to her and grandpa when Mark and I were first married. I loved visiting with them whenever I could. So many wonderful memories.

Have a wonderful day!
Happy stitching,

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February's Blocks, A Cute Puppy and Chicken!

This month are a couple of cute blocks, a puppy and chicken. I can't even count how many dogs my grandparents had over the years while all of us were growing up. I can say my least favorite dog was Barney, a St. Bernard. Barney was a sweet dog and I probably would have loved him if we would have started out on a better foot. Here's my version of the story.... Imagine a thirteen year old who, well was a typical thirteen year old girl, fussy about her hair and outfits. When I first met Barney he was all excited to greet a car full of kids. I'm sure he saw our arrival as a litter of playmates. Being the oldest, I was the first one out of the car... it had rained... it's the farm.... mud everywhere... mud puddles EVERYWHERE....  I'm foolishly wearing all white.... I was styling the hippest 70's look not realizing that I would be greeted by a two hundred pound bundle of love and mud.... everyone had a pretty good laugh as I stomped my way into the house full of paw prints the size of my head. I do think of Barney fondly now, I'm sure he was a sweet dog. I don't remember chickens on grandma and grandpa's farm, but my mom talks about when they had chickens when she was a little girl. I love farm fresh eggs! My sister in law has chickens on her farm and it's always a treat to get a dozen of eggs from her. Someday I would love to have a few chickens. Just love them!

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. February's pattern is chock full of info. You will get the directions on how to make the Dresden plate block. Feel free to make all 12 Dresden circles if you would like. The left over fabric from the Dresden Blades will be used for the applique designs. Remember the blocks are set on point. The supply list can be found on my website along with this month's directions. February'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....

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!
When tracing your shapes onto your heat n bond, group the same colors together.
Also remember the shapes appear reversed until you iron them onto your fabric.

Use the pattern placement drawing to lay your pieces onto
the fabric circle. Remember some of the pieces overlap.

This puppy is so adorable when done! Reminds me of a
friendly golden lab! (Doesn't really look like a Barney)

Chicken is adorable sitting on her nest... wonder if she has any eggs for me!
I made my chicken blue, what color will your chicken be?

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 Craftsy (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 little puppies and chickens.

If you have a blog please help promote it and post my button on your sidebar!
Thank you!!!

          Let’s have some quilty fun!
 photo BOM 2017_zpsfwh6tg76.jpg

Friday, January 27, 2017

Heart Garland Tea Towel...

It's a couple of weeks away from Valentine's day and I'll be doing a little decorating around the house for the February holiday this weekend. My boys are all grown up so there's no class parties to plan for or class list to help put together valentines for, so I'm doing a little decorating here around the house. To be honest, I'm packing away the Christmas tree and taking down the socks, twinkle lights and the house will look so darn bleak, I need to hang some pops of red so these long Minnesota winters don't seem so dreadful. Besides, I love Valentine's Day because it also gives me a really good excuse to buy chocolate.

I have a really good beginner project for those of you who are new to iron on machine applique. (Which most of my designs consist of) It's a garland of hearts and yo-yo's that embellish a tea towel. This cute towel looks adorable draped out of a basket or hanging on a towel rack. I have mine displayed with my all time favorite kitchen gadget, my mixer. It's a great project to use up those left over scraps (which I cannot throw away), and makes a great gift. It would be super cute paired up with a brownie mix for a special Valentine.

Isn't it cute in my mixing bowl. I love the red and white combo. So fun and cheerful.
So let me show you how fun and easy this little project is....
Following the directions for the Heat n Bond lite, I traced, ironed, and cut out eight hearts with the Heat n Bond.
Then I evenly spaced them along the bottom edge of the towel and ironed them in place.

Using a dark brown thread, I machine applique around each heart using
a small stitch setting. You can also hand buttonhole stitch this too.
To finish off your heart garland, I made seven yo-yo's using various
scraps of material to sew in between each heart.
So isn't this a fun way to use up some of your red and white scraps? My Heart Garland Tea Towel was super fun to make! Hanging tea towels here and there is a sneaking, easy way to decorate in the kitchen. It doesn't scream, look at me, I'm a decoration.... it's sorta like those cute potholders. Looks adorable, but it's useful too.

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Love Bug Mug Rug

Valentine's Day is right around the corner and here in Minnesota I needed a fun project to brighten up my day. It's soooo gloomy outside. So I spent the afternoon making a couple of 'Love Bug Mug Rugs'. This was a quick and easy project. I dug thru my stash and found a couple of fat quarters, one pink and one blue. (Just for fun!) I was able to make two mug rugs, along with the binding out of these two fat quarters. I found some scrap fabric for the design that matched my fabrics. This goofy bug reminds me of those fun classroom valentines that I received from my classmates. I wish I would have saved some of those cheesy cards from my childhood. I know that if I dig in my closets I will find Valentine's from when my two boys were in school!

Most of my projects use heat n bond lite. It works
best with my sewing machine. Here you can see I have
been cutting out my pieces and laying them out onto my mug rugs.

I use a dark brown thread to do my blanket stitch around my ironed on
pieces. I use a stitch setting of 2.5 for both length and width.
Feel free to play around with you stitch settings to get a stitch
that you like best.

I'm all ready to make the binding. I cut 2" strips from my fat quarters
to make the binding. Of course I will have to sew a few strips together to have enough
length to go around each mug rug.

I'm all ready to do some hand stitching in front of the TV.

Love Bug Mug Rug is a fun little project to give to your family and friends. I'm sure if you dig thru your fabric stash you will find some fun colors to work with. Mug rugs are also a great way to use up batting scraps from those larger projects. So I hope you have some fun this afternoon and find the time to make up some Valentine mug rugs for the sweeties in your life.

Have a wonderful day!
Happy quilting,

Saturday, January 21, 2017

My First Week

'Wilson & Maddie'
~My Office Staff~
I did something considered to be brave or insanely foolish a couple of weeks ago. I quit my day job and gave my two weeks notice. It had been something that I had been thinking of doing for quite some time and it took having some down time over the holidays to finally make the decision. You see over the last couple of years I have been juggling two full time jobs. And juggling badly... I was crabby, tired and drinking way too much Mountain Dew and Diet Coke to keep me going. So with a lot of soul searching, I quit my job and started working full time doing what I love from home, quilting. My announcement at work was quite a shock to my supervisor. I have to say I felt quite guilty for being so damn happy about leaving. I practically was skipping up and down the halls my last two weeks grinning from ear to ear. I am very blessed to have the support from my family and friends.

My first week working from home was somewhat uneventful. I still continue to get up and five in the morning and answer emails. I drink a couple of cups of coffee and make a list of my Quilt Doodle tasks for the day. Wilson and Maddie love that I'm home working. They both lie by my feet as I doodle away or work on the computer at my make shift desk in my extra bedroom. They have become my office assistants. They seem to know when I need to get up and move around, remind me when it's lunchtime and announce the arrival of the mail and UPS man. I have to say, I haven't regretted my decision once in the last week. Being a much happier person has brought a smile to my hubby's face. (and mine too!) I no longer feel stressed and have been able to make plans to attend Quilt Market in St. Louis and prepare for a few quilt guild visits. Having this new found freedom has given me more design time. Lucy and Ethel are happy to see me in my studio again ready to sew and create new designs. I'm hoping that you, my followers, will notice a new happier me too. You should see more designs come out over the next few weeks, and continue to see new items throughout the year. I am hoping to be able to manage my time better and get orders out quicker. I'm also hoping that with the freedom to work from home, I will be able to blog and share more with all of you. I am also happy to announce my six plus cans of pop a day have whittled down to one.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and find some time to quilt. I'm heading on down to the studio to have some well deserved sewing time.
Happy quilting!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Mystery Piece...

There seems to be a mystery piece in the January directions for the Quilt Doodle BOM. I've gotten tons of email about the mysterious 'B'. I have no great explanation.... the software I use for designing kicked the 'B' piece out for me. I left this 'B' piece on the pattern sheet, it was a complete oversight on my part to leave it there with no explanation. While working on this block I decided there's an easier way to make this 'piece' of the quilt so I drew up the wedge piece with the 'fold' marked on it. For our grandmothers and great grandmothers they would have more than likely used the 'B' piece and fussed with folding the edges over and ironing the finished edge using a bit of spray starch.... I don't know about you but I will find a shortcut if I can, so that is when the other piece showed up.... the one you fold over right sides together and sew the one end and voila! a finished edge. I can't say that I didn't find piece 'B' useful, I did.... let me show you how I used it in a quirky goofy way to check my blades.....
Here is the wedge shape I have you cut for the blades of the Dresden plate.

Then following the directions you fold it over, sew the edge and then turn it right side out to form the blade  that is shown in the picture. (You can see the directions explaining this in the background.)

Here's where I probably break a few quilt rules.... I used the mysterious 'B' piece to measure my single blade for my block... I line up the 'finished' solid line with the finished edge of the blade, and the unfinished edges line up with the dotted line on the 'B' piece. This is how I checked my blades.

I hope that this answers your questions about 'B'. It's not a necessary piece unless you want to be old school about putting the block together or use it to check your sizing. I didn't mean to add any confusion to the first blocks.
January's directions are only FREE this month, then after that they will be found on my Etsy site for a small fee. The patterns can also be found on Craftsy but since their new redesign of the website, it has been harder to find. Remember the patterns can also be found each month on the
Quilt Doodle website
I have a special 2017 tab. If you are viewing the website on your phone or mobile device, you may not be looking at the website in it's full version. So scroll down to the bottom of the 'page' and click on the view full version so it expands the page so that you get everything.
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 little piggies and kittens.

          Let’s have some quilty fun!