Best of 2017

Friday, December 29, 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, I'd like to take a look back at my five best blog posts of the year! Thank you to Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs for hosting the annual linky party! (See my best five from last year here.)

My Best Five Blog Posts from 2017

2017 has been a fantastic year of growth for my blog. I've really enjoyed learning about SEO and the algorithms of social media. I started my blog as a quilt journal to record my quilty finishes, but it has become so much more than that! I love the online quilting community and have made many real-life friends through blogging and social media. I hope to meet many more quilters in 2018!

Based primarily on page views, my top five posts for 2017 are:

Hoop + Loop + Line

Thursday, December 28, 2017

I really look forward to the Curated Quilts mini quilt challenge every few months. The challenge provides a broad theme, limited color palette, size restrictions (10-16" square), and a short turnaround time.

Minimal mini quilt for Curated Quilts


This quarter's challenge theme was "minimal" and had a color palette of light gray, leaf green, gray, orchid pink, blue gray, and black. (Mini quilts must be linked up by January 10th - so there's still time to enter your own!) I actually had every color in my stash! The fabrics are a mix of brands. The only ones I know for sure are Kona Cactus and Kona Black.

2018 Planning Party

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Are you a dreamer? My husband and I have always been dreamers. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I'm also a realist. I keep my head up in the clouds long enough to catch a dream, then I come right back down to earth and start moving my feet to make it happen.

Yvonne at Quilting JetGirl is hosting the 2018 Planning Party. I am constantly evaluating things and crunching numbers, so I enjoy looking back on the past year to see what adjustments can be made so I can reach new goals next year. I also love putting my dreams and goals down on paper so I can start taking baby steps toward each one! Thanks for the prompt to get it done, Yvonne!

Planning my 2018 quilty goals

It's a menagerie!

Monday, December 25, 2017

I'm just going to be brutally honest with you - I think this quilt is ugly.


Rifle Paper Co./Cotton and Steel Menagerie quilt


The fabric is not my favorite. But (and there are a lot of buts!)...

Paying It Forward - Again!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

I just finished up my final Pay It Forward quilt for the year!


Pay It Forward Quilt

Paying It Forward

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Every January, I set out to make several pay it forward gifts throughout the year. I usually post on Facebook looking for volunteers that want to receive something from me. This year, I did it slightly different than in years past. This year, I asked for my friends to nominate other people to receive a gift! One nomination was for a friend of a friend that is a kindergarten teacher.


Lotta Jansdotter quick and easy throw quilt

A palette cleanser

Monday, December 11, 2017

This morning, I shipped off my final four secret sewing quilts for the year. I have had six large secret quilts in the works since September! It's been so hard not being able to share them with you as I finish them up! (One was my Christmas quilt, and I get to share another one in January and the final four in May!) Crossing the last secret quilt off my list was such a relief! I was ready to just do some quick and simple sewing to cleanse my palette before starting in on any new projects.


Metallic batiks quilted table topper

I Wish You a Merry QAL - A Finished Quilt!

Monday, December 4, 2017

This quilt has been months in the making! Clear back in June, April of JANDA Bend Quilts asked if any participants from this year's New Quilt Bloggers group would want to host a quilt along. The QAL started in August, and twelve quilt blocks later, my quilt is finished! I'm so excited to share my version of the quilt with you!

I Wish You a Merry QAL - Finished Quilt!

I Wish You a Merry QAL - Block 12 Tutorial

Today's the day! It's time for the FINAL block for the "I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along!"


Christmas Lights Quilt Block Tutorial

Merry Moda Christmas!

Friday, December 1, 2017

This morning while scrolling Facebook, I saw Aurifil's post asking if I had entered the Moda/Aurifil mini challenge. Well, no! I hadn't heard of it until then! I quickly followed the link to read about the challenge. Use a Moda precut and Aurifil thread to make a mini quilt - by the end of today!

Christmas deer quilt using Merrily by Moda and Aurifil thread


The View From Here

It's that time of year again! Time to submit quilts to QuiltCon!

Bias tape quilt using Michael Miller Our Yard fabrics

This year's Modern Quilt Guild fabric challenge used Michael Miller's "Our Yard" fabric collection. I received a bundle of four fat eighths from the collection and one fat eighth of a Cotton Couture solid way back in August. However, other deadlines and my indecisiveness of what to create prevented me from getting started. I ordered some Cotton Couture Lipstick and Plum to coordinate, then just stared at the stack for months.

I Wish You a Merry QAL - Block 11

Monday, November 20, 2017

Today's the day! It's time for Block 11 of the "I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long!"

North star quilt block for the I Wish You a Merry QAL

I Wish You a Merry QAL - Block 10

Monday, November 6, 2017

I'm in shock with how fast this QAL is going! I can't believe we're already to block 10!


Christmas Lantern quilt block for the I Wish You a Merry QAL

Fancy Fox Quilt

Two weeks ago, I won a bundle of Birch Fabrics' organic cotton chambray from Fabric Worm through an Instagram contest. As soon as the fabric arrived in the mail, I knew exactly what I wanted to make!


Fancy Fox quilt with organic cotton chambray

I Wish You a Merry QAL - Block 9

Monday, October 23, 2017

The weeks are flying by for the "I Wish You a Merry QAL!" It's already time for Block 9!

Reindeer Games Rudolph quilt block for the I Wish You a Merry QAL

Quilting Outside the Box

On October 6th, Cricut announced a mini quilt contest with a deadline of October 16th. That's exactly the kind of challenge I love!


Modern open weave mini quilt

Glow in the Dark Spooky Eyes Quilt

Monday, October 16, 2017

Happy Halloween!


Glow in the dark spooky eyes quilt tutorial

I designed this quick and easy glow in the dark quilt for the Halloween Sew Much Fun blog hop hosted by Jen at Faith and Fabric. The quilt is a quick make, and my boys love the novelty of it! It's perfect for hauling to our annual bonfires, hay rack rides, and trips to the pumpkin patch!

I Wish You a Merry QAL - Block 8

Monday, October 9, 2017

This week for the "I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long," there are two blocks being released!

Presents/gift quilt block for Christmas quilt along

I Wish You a Merry QAL - Block 7

It's time for the seventh block in the "I Wish You a Merry Quilt A-Long!" (Block 8 was released today too!)


Poinsettia quilt block for Christmas QAL

Autumn Lattice Quilt

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Have you tried fabric weaving yet? I have so many ideas I want to try! After my failed attempt at an open weave a few months ago, I've been wanting to try again. October's challenge for the Island Batik ambassadors was "creative borders and binding." It was the perfect opportunity to try some "crazy" ideas!

Open weave batik lattice quilt with prairie points



I Wish You a Merry QAL - Block 6

Monday, September 25, 2017

We're halfway through the "I Wish You a Merry QAL!"


 Block 6 is this angel block designed by Sandra Healy of Sandra Healy Designs. You can find the tutorial and pattern for the block on her blog here.

Walk Around the Block + TGIFF

Thursday, September 21, 2017

"Walk Around the Block" is my submission for Curated Quilts' mini quilt gallery for their second issue!

Modern log cabin inspired mini quilt for Curated Quilts


You may remember my first submission, which was accepted and will be in issue one! (The printed journal should ship this week!)

For their second issue, the inspiration was to be "log cabin" quilts with a set color palette. I'll be honest, the color palette did not trip my trigger. The only colors from the palette I had in my stash were pink and gray, and even those pieces were smaller than fat quarters.

Quilted Letters Tutorial

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Quilted letters are a quick project that are great for toddlers and young readers! My four year old loves to play with the letters and spell his name and words he knows. I recently designed the Speak Love quilt and love how the letters are a great addition to gift with the quilt too!


Quilted letters tutorial

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Interleave Quilt

Monday, September 18, 2017

It's time for the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side! Each fall, Amy hosts a linky party on her blog for other bloggers to link up two of their finished quilts so everyone can be inspired and meet new quilty friends!

The second quilt I'm linking up is my Interleave quilt! (The first quilt was my Sliced quilt.)

Interleave quilt using batiks

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Sliced

It's time for the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side! Each fall, Amy hosts a linky party on her blog for other bloggers to link up two of their finished quilts so everyone can be inspired and meet new quilty friends!

The first quilt I decided to link up is my Sliced quilt! (It's seriously so hard to only choose two!) (The second quilt I linked up is my Interleave quilt.)

Sliced modern watermelon quilt

Snowfall Quilt - My 100th quilt finish!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

I can FINALLY share my 100th quilt finish of all time! I actually made it clear back in June (and have made 11 more quilts since then!), but I couldn't share it until now!


Snowfall quilt using Island Batik fabrics

As you likely know, I am an Island Batik Ambassador. In addition to the monthly challenges where I get to use their fabrics, I also had the opportunity to have my "Snowfall" quilt pattern featured in their Fall/Winter 2017 catalog!

I Wish You a Merry QAL - Block 5

Monday, September 11, 2017

It's time for the fifth block release in the I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along!

Snowman quilt block for Christmas Quilt Along

Back to School with Island Batik

Friday, September 8, 2017

Welcome to the Back to School blog hop with Island Batik! The Island Batik Ambassadors are showing you all the newest collections from Island Batik all month long!

Scrappy Lonestar quilt using Empress Garden fabrics by Island Batik

Making Connections Blog Hop

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Welcome to my stop on the Making Connections blog hop!


Lonestar quilt with free motion quilting



I first met Dorie of Forever Quilting this spring at Quilt Market. She actually lives less than an hour from me, but we had never met in person! After spending some time together, she said, "I have a book signing I need to go to." I initially thought she meant that she was attending a book signing, but then I spotted an "author" ribbon on her nametag! Fast forward a few months, and I'm so excited to tell you about Dorie's new book, Making Connections!

Teal Mini Swap Quilt Revealed!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Beth of Eva Paige Quilt Designs hosts the Teal Mini Quilt Swap each year during September - ovarian cancer awareness month. The swap is a fundraiser for ovarian cancer research. Each participant pays $15, then Beth mails everyone a swatch of teal fabric that must be used in the mini quilt that you make. Everyone is paired up, and you make a mini quilt for your partner. Make a (mini) quilt, make a friend!


Batiks and solids for a modern Teal Mini Swap Quilt

Hearts for USS John S. McCain

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Deja vu?

Close.


Red, white, and blue heart quilt for USS John S McCain

Red, white, and blue heart quilt for USS John S McCain

On August 21st, the US Navy destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a commercial tanker in waters near Singapore. Just 65 days after the US Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a cargo ship in Japanese waters.

You may remember this quilt that I made for one of the families of the seven sailors killed in the USS Fitzgerald incident.

Well, I knew I needed to make another one for one of the families of the ten sailors killed in the USS John S. McCain incident.

I Wish You a Merry QAL - Block 4

Monday, August 28, 2017

For this fortnight of the I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along, blocks 3 AND 4 are being released!


Block 4 Christmas ornament block for the Christmas QAL

I Wish You a Merry QAL - Block 3 Tutorial

The I Wish You a Merry QAL is moving right along! Today, both blocks 3 AND 4 are being released!


Santa's Belt quilt block tutorial for Christmas quilt along

I designed Block 3 - Santa's Belt. The block is made with traditional piecing only and sews up quickly (a huge plus since there are two blocks this fortnight!). The block would be great for making into Christmas pillows!

DIY Solar Eclipse T-Shirt Tutorial

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Did you see the solar eclipse?!? Tell me you saw it! It was amazing!


DIY solar eclipse t-shirt tutorial

My husband and I would not be offended if you called us "nerds" or "geeks." We fit the profile! If it has to do with math or science, we're there!


2017 solar eclipse

Piece and Quilt with Precuts Blog Hop

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Welcome to my stop on the Piece and Quilt with Precuts blog hop! There have already been some really great quilts made so far, and even more are coming! Be sure to visit all the stops on the hop, as there are giveaways galore!

I am excited to be able to share with you my version of Dot 'n' Dash from Christa Watson's latest book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts!


Dot 'n' Dash made from Piece and Quilt with Precuts with Double Dutch fabric

I Wish You a Merry QAL - Block 2

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Christmas quilt along is off to a fantastic start! More than 250 people completed Block 1 since it was released two weeks ago!

Now it's time for Block 2 of the I Wish You a Merry QAL! The Christmas Tree Farm block was designed by April Adams at JANDA Bend Quilts. She lives on a Christmas Tree Farm! The pattern and tutorial are on April's blog (tutorial here).


Tree Farm quilt block for Christmas QAL

Batiks Go Modern

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

I've known for months what I wanted to make for this month's Island Batik Ambassador challenge. Then when I got my new shipment of Island Batik fabric a couple weeks ago, I completely changed my mind!


Modern batiks quilt as you go interleave quilt

Retreat Sewing

Thursday, August 3, 2017

This past weekend, I was able to sew all day and night at a quilt retreat! Have you ever been to a quilt retreat? They are great for being productive, but they are also so wonderful for your mental health!


quilting retreat in Wakefield, KS

I Wish You a Merry QAL - Block 1

Monday, July 31, 2017

Today's the day! The wait is over! The "I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long" starts today!

I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along - Block 1

Retreat Surprises

Saturday, July 29, 2017

I am currently at a quilting retreat, but I can reveal some secret sewing I've been doing!


Zipper pouches and key chains with Here Comes the Fun fabrics by Art Gallery Fabrics

The retreat is at the same location as the one I went to in February (read about that here), and most of the same group of quilters are here, too. I decided to make a few goodies for all my quilty friends to have something to take home from the retreat.

Have Sewing Machine, Will Travel

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Last week, I shared all the activities I had prepped for my boys before our long road trip (see that post here). I also shared that I had bought a battery powered sewing machine to try out in the car!


Battery powered sewing machine for travel sewing

Well, now that I've tried it, I'm excited for the possibilities!

Makin' the Bacon

Sunday, July 23, 2017

I really enjoy participating in quilting challenges. It lets me try new things and makes me push through to finish a project before the deadline. I enjoyed participating in the Project Quilting challenges earlier this year, and in the off-season, Kim of Persimon Dreams hosts a few other quilting challenges to encourage her readers to keep sewing. For July, the challenge theme was "Summer Sizzle." Well, it took me all of about 2 minutes to decide I was making a bacon quilt!

Improv curves giant bacon quilt

Christmas Quilt-A-Long starts August 1st!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Do you love trying new things and learning new techniques? Do you want to meet some new quilty friends? Would you like to finish a Christmas quilt BEFORE Christmas? Then you should join me and a dozen bloggers for the "I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long!"


Christmas quilt-a-long with free block patterns

Travel Prep

Saturday, July 15, 2017

I’ve spent my usual sewing time this week preparing some new and never-before-seen activities for my boys in preparation for a family vacation. We will be going to Leech Lake, Minnesota – a 13 hour drive (without stops) from where we live! I have two young boys (ages two and four), so traveling can be quite the chore! My boys are very good travelers, but this isn’t my first rodeo, so I want to be prepared!


Planning for a road trip with a toddler and preschooler

A Speedy Gonzalez Quilt

Monday, July 10, 2017

About a month ago, I received an invitation for a baby shower for a friend in the mail. The baby shower was less than two weeks away, and I had a million other things on my plate. It was already on my to-do list to make a quilt for my friend, but the baby shower moved the deadline up by several weeks!


Quilt-As-You-Go quick and easy baby quilt

Fruit of the Spirit - in Make Modern!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Do you remember this quilt from last September's selvage challenge? Well, fast forward 10 months and the pattern is in Issue 17 of Make Modern magazine! It's my first pattern in a magazine!


Selvage pineapple fruit of the Spirit quilt