Monday, December 31, 2018

~ Good Fortune, Clue 6 ~

Hello Quilting Friends!  Can you believe it's been almost a week since I last stepped foot in the Studio?  So now it's time to play catch up with my Good Fortune Clues 5 and 6.  Thank goodness Clue 6 is fairly small.   I should be able to make all of the units without cutting into my yardage.

Some of the creamy scraps are about 20 years old while others are a little more recent.  But they all play nicely together.  The cherry fabric on the left side of the picture below is one of favorite prints.  You all know me and my love of cherries! 

The instructions for this clue called for stitching the strips onto paper.   I really can't find one good reason to do that.  If this were a complex paper piecing design or if we needed the strips to line up in a certain order to make design I could see using paper.  But this is simple straight string piecing, nothing needs to line up.  So I'm living life on the wild side without paper.  To be honest I very much dislike removing the papers.  That's why I almost never do paper piecing.  And when I do on a rare occasion use that method of piecing I do it paperless.  Have you ever seen paperless paper piecing?  If not, you really must give it a try.  Here's a tutorial, click here.  

This improv style of sewing is so fast.  Within minutes I had several scrappy units.

Not bad for about an hours worth of work.  I should be able to finish these up in no time at all.  And the best part is there's no paper to remove!  Yeah!  

So how many of you are with me living life on the wild side and sewing paperless?

This post is being linked with 

#quiltvillemystery #goodfortunequilt #podunkpretties #stringquilt 

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Sunday, December 30, 2018

~ Best of 2018, Part 3 ~

For the final day of the Best of 2018 I'll be choosing posts that meant the most to me.   Notice I said important and not favorite posts.  A lot has happened over the year but there were a few key moments that stuck with me for one reason or another.  In the last 2 Best of 2018 posts I listed them in order of views or comments.  There is no possible way for me to list these in any order.  Each one is special in its own right.  

This was a huge moment for me and my quilt pattern sales.  Learning to publish patterns has been quite the adventure.  To actually have them in print was overwhelming to say the least.  When I started quilting years ago I never dreamed I would someday design and publish my own patterns.  It's been a gradual process fueled by the people in my life.   Some of those people were you, my followers, wanting patterns of quilts I would make.  A big ole THANK YOU to all of  you that believe in and support me on daily basis.  I love quilting  and I love sharing the love of quilting.  I'm looking forward to new quilt adventures with all of you in the years to come.  So this is where I start plugging my pattern shop on Etsy.  Click here to see all my patterns

Turnabout Tulips, 4-13-18.
This quilt was released on a very important date to me.  Not all dates that are important are good.  In hindsight I wish I had waited another week to release the pattern.  It really is a great quilt with a fun layout with lots of room for quilting.  I also feel like the colors I chose where not the right ones to make her shine.  Maybe someday I could make another with brighter colors.  

Who doesn't just love a quick and easy quilt?  Add patriotic to the mix and you have FUN!  This was a marathon quilt from the word GO.  I was looking for something quick, fun and bright to get me out of a blah blah blah mood.  I had so much fun following someone else directions.  From start to finish it took less than 5 days!  It gave me a much needed boost of quilting mojo!  

This post was all about my first quilt designed with fabric that hadn't even hit the market.  It was a blast!  A quilters dream!  But boy does it put the pressure on a gal when she is used to working at her own pace and sharing the progress as she darn well pleases.  Cindy Cloward at Riley Blake fabrics has no idea how happy it made me to work with the Autumn Love fabric.  She made this a summer to remember for years to come. The pattern for Autumn Memories can be found in my Etsy shop by clicking here.

Trunk Show, 8-11-18
I had no idea when I started publishing patterns that so many quilters would want to see the quilts up close and personal.  Quilt guilds started contacting me almost immediately.  I wasn't ready!   I had no idea what to do at a trunk show.  But after a few months of turning down invitations I decided to jump in with both feet and do it.  I learned a lot from this first show and I'm looking forward to many more to come.

Be sure to jump over to Meadow Mist Designs for more Best of 2018 craft and quilt blogs. 

#autumnmemoriesquilt #autumnlovefabric #rileyblakefabric #podunkpretties 

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Saturday, December 29, 2018

~ Best of 2018, Part 2 ~

For part 2 of the Best of 2018 hosted by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs I decided to once again leave it to my fabulous followers.  Today's "best" is the top 5 post that generated the most conversation.  Boy do we quilters love to chat!  Once again I'll be going listing them in order from small to large.  I also didn't include giveaway posts in the list.

What a patriotic group!  This quilt stirred up quite the conversation on all my social media.  I've had several quilters ask for the pattern.  Well I started writing it and when it came time to add the instructions for the border I stopped.  The reason? Finding a way to describe how to made the border on this quilt.  I would hate to have someone buy the pattern, cut the fabric, and then my instructions for the border be unsatisfactory.  The border is what makes this quilt so wonderful.  So if you've been waiting on this pattern I've a question for you.  Would you be ok with no templates for the border?  The instructions would be to measure and eyeball the curve because that's how I made it.  So if you are okay with that, then I would be more than happy to finish the pattern.

I can tell I've a lot of followers that love babies.  This post was to announce my newest grand child, Mason.   We all go ga-ga over babies!  I have to admit every time a see a baby picture I can't help but smile.  I'm not sure why we do this.  Is it because we reminisce about our own children or is it a instinct of being a woman to love all babies?   He has grown so much and soon will be a year old.  But you'll have to wait till then to see how big he has gotten.

Oh How Do I Quilt Thee, 12-17-18, comments 20
The comments on this post were so much fun to read.  It's always interesting to hear what other quilters like and why.   Sometimes something someone says can alter the way I design a quilt or quilt a quilt.  Inspiration can come in many forms.  This post was also hard to share due to I don't have a big fancy machine.  My hope was to inspire others to do the best they can with what they have and keep trying.  It breaks my heart when quilters get discouraged and think the only way to improve their skills is to buy the newest shiny object.  Many beautiful quilts have been made with the very basic of tools.  

Blue Quilt Marker=Brown Marks, 1-16-18, comments 22.
Who hasn't had issues with marking a quilt only to find the marks are permanent.  Over the years I've found there is not one fail safe method.  Just when I think I've found the perfect product to mark my quilts it will fail me.  So all I can do is find a way to fix the problem.  Recently I was thinking about making the switch to Crayola Washable Markers.  They were on my shopping list until a fellow quilter shared her devastating story of the marks staying on the quilt.  Oh that poor lady!  But I was also grateful for her honesty.  And we won't even talk about the horror stories I've read about Frixon pens.  For now I'll stick with this method of marking my quilts until they come out with a fail proof method.

Fudging It, 12-6-18, comments 29.
You just never know when you're going to stir up commotion in blog land.  This turned out to be a great post about getting real.  So many quilters felt relieved knowing the accurate piecing challenge is real.  We all struggle to make great quilts.   I want to thank everyone who came forward and commented on this post about their own quilting struggles.  It was a great discussion that encouraged many quilters to keep moving forward even with a few errors.  We tend to show our best in most situations whether it be about quilting or in our real lives.  It's nice to just let it all hang out and be truthful.  We've all heard the old saying....."Honesty is the best policy".   I think one of my biggest pet peeves in the quilting community is on Facebook and other social media sites when quilters ask other quilters to stop mentioning their mistakes and faults.  If you never acknowledge a mistake you can never improve.  You must first know there is a problem before you can fix it, right?  Right!    But just because we are honest and share our faults does not mean we dwell on them. 

Thanks again for following along on my quilting journey.  I'll see you tomorrow for the last of the
 "Best of 2018" series.  You can see Part 1 by clicking here.  Don't forget to hop over to Meadow Mist Designs to see more Bests of 2018 posts.

#bestof2018 #meadowmistdesigns #podunkpretties #baileyhomequilter

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Friday, December 28, 2018

~ Best of 2018 ~

When I saw the new linky party hosted by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs I thought it would be an easy blog post to write.  The topic is The Best to 2018.  Cheryl gave several ideas for a blog post.
Posts with the most view
Posts with the most comments
Posts that provoked the best discussions
Posts showing favorite 2018 finishes 
Posts of your best tutorials 
Posts that are simply your favorites
All of these are great ideas, how could I choose only one?  Well after about a hour of trying do decide on one topic I decided to write several different post over the last few days of the year.  Each with a different list of the best. Today's list is based upon you the readers.  I'll be sharing blog posts with the most views.  As many of you might have guessed giveaway posts almost always get more views and comments.  While I love the visitors and the comments on giveaway posts,they are not a true measure of my followers.  So they will be excluded from this list.  The next group of post that gets the most views is tutorials or free patterns.  It was no big surprise that 4 of the top 5 were tutorials or free patterns. So here's my list of the 5 blog post with the most views.  Starting with the smallest of the 5 first.

Attack of the scraps, posted on 2-19, 814 views.
In this post I share the starts of a new scrappy quilt for my spare bedroom.  I had a little giggle when checked on the progress of the quilt.  4 Blocks made!  Oh my, that's not real progress.  The plan was for a leader and ender project.  But I find the leader and enders a pain and they slow down the progress of the quilt I'm making.  So I think this leader and ender that has become a UFO needs to be completed in one big sewing marathon sometime soon.

2 HST's a Time, No Drawing lines, posted on 12-4, 938 views.
This is one of my more recent posts where I shared a quick and easy way to make half square triangles with a easy to make reusable template. 

Autumn Star Tutorial, posted on 10-23, 968 views
One of my favorite tutorials this year was the Autumn star.  This tutorial used some bonus 2.5" HST's leftover from my Podunk Plaid quilt pattern.  The quilt block could be easily resized to use any size HST.  It would also look super cute with scrappy HST's.

First Day of Spring, posted 3-20. 1096 views.  
In this post a follower has shared her quilt an very touching story about the quilt she made using my free Podunk Posy quilt pattern.  It's stories like this one that make everything I do in the quilting world worth every minute.

Bee Skep Pin Cushion, post 7-27, 5330 views.
This year I was a featured blogger for the Save the Bee's quilt along hosted by Jacquelynne Steves.  The cute bee themed blocks inspired so many cute sewing projects.  The Bee Skep was the one I just couldn't resist making.  It was a big hit.  And it's still free!

I hope you enjoyed this list of " The Best of 2018" and found a project or two to start out your New Year.  Check out the linky party over at Meadow Mist Designs for some great quilting inspiration.

#bestof2018 #podunkpretties #meadowmistdesigns 

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Monday, December 24, 2018

~ My Goodness Clue 5! ~

 Well we are moving along at lightening speed!  The Good Fortune Mystery by Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville is one of the best quilt along's of the year.  I like it because it moves fast.  No messing around for a year like most BOM's, mystery or quilt along's.  So this week I may get a tad behind due to the holiday festivities.  No worries there's plenty of time next week to catch up.  I'll be making most of my units using a technique not mentioned by Bonnie.  This weeks clue/unit has several different names.  Bonnie calls it Triangles in a square, which I've never heard it called.  Then there's the more common names
Split Quarter Square
Shaded Quarter Square
Shaded Double Triangles
Shaded Half Square Triangles 
Three patch Triangles
Whatever you call them they are a fun little units to make. As long as you( I ) remember to reset your sewing machine to the proper seam allowance.  I'm so glad I made a test block before cutting and sewing all of them.  This first little batch had to be trimmed down.  UGGG...Luckily I still have my homemade square up ruler from the En Provence Quiltville mystery.  It had all the right markings.
If you are interested in  making your own plexi/acrylic rulers you can read more about making them here and here.

The method I used also can be made using the no marking method I've been talking about lately.  The reason why I've been talking about it so much is because I'm making two Bonnie Mystery quilts at once.  Lots of flying geese, half square triangles and triangles and TRIANGLES!  Bonnie has a preferred technique of making units from strips.  Since my scraps are not always cut into strips I can use different techniques to get to the same result, and I don't need to cut so many pieces.  My 4 units started out as 4 squares.  And then the magic happened!  You want some magic too, don't you?  Okay, I did a little leg work for you because I love ya'll so much.   Here's the best tutorial I could find for making the Split Quarter Square Triangles and you will need to do some math.  But ya'll are smart, you have calculators that can add!  Ain't no shame, there's a calculator on my desk all the time.  It's part of the golden rule of quilting "measure twice, cut once".  In order to measure I need the right size, so math it is!

I found this quicky technique in the book Quick Quilt Tricks by Billie Lauder.  I've had these books for years and they come in handy when designing quilts.  For those of you who would like Billie books of your own, they are hard to find but I found a couple of the books I have at Soft Expressions.   Billie also has a few Youtube videos that are worth watching.  But she has been MIA for a long time.  That happens with actors, rock stars and yes quilters.  They run their course in about 10 yrs and then they'll pop up when you least expect it for one last YeeHaw!  

The shaded double triangles are right there on the front cover.  Inside the book is the quilty math for making several different units along with cutting charts for several different sizes of each unit.

Billie and many other quilters of that era rarely get the credit they deserve for doing the math and finding new and creative ways to make our hobby a little less painful.  In the 1990's quilting was on it's way back after a long lull.  Women like Billie Lauder, Eleanor Burns, Pam Bono, and lets not forget Georgia Bonesteel were  are just a few of the pioneers in the modern quilting movement you see today.  And I would almost bet money(if I wasn't so broke from Christmas) that most of you have a book or two from one of these amazing quilters hiding in your quilt library.

This post is being added to a linky party!  Who doesn't love a party? So hop on over and have some fun!  Click below.

#goodfortunequilt #quiltvillemystery #bonniehunter #mysteryquilt #billielauderquiltbooks #quiltingtricks #quiltingtips #podunkpretties #splitquartersquaretriangles

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Sunday, December 23, 2018

~ Autumn Memories by Anne Taylor ~

Nothing makes me happier than to see quilts made with my patterns.  Anne Taylor sent these pictures to me a few weeks ago. Sadly I forgot all about them until yesterday evening when cleaning out my emails.  I have folder just for customer quilts.   Anne please forgive me for letting you adorable Autumn Memories quilt set tucked away for so long.  
Look closely at the amazing quilting!  Butterflies and a cobblestone road, how creative!

This pattern can be found in both my Etsy and Craftsy shops.  Links for both shops are at the top of this blog.  When ordering from my Etsy shop if you purchase more than one mailed pattern the shipping overages will be refunded.  I can normally get 4 or 5 patterns in one envelope for the same shipping.

The little red truck quilts in my pattern shop have been my best sellers.  So much so I'm thinking about designing 2 more this year.  Well to be honest one quilt is already in the works but I need a theme for the second quilt.  If you have any suggestions feel free to leave me a comment below.

Christmas Memories Truck has been my best seller all year.    It out sells every other quilt pattern every month.  Both of my truck quilt patterns are being sold as kits at Regal's Fabric and Gifts.

Christmas Memories pillow is a great little project for an afternoon quicky.   You could have this one stitched up and ready for this years Christmas.  And as a gift to my loyal followers, if you spend at least $8 in my pattern Etsy pattern shop by the end of the day December 25, I will send you a free copy of Christmas Memories Pillow.  This offer is for MAILED orders only.  Shipping overages are refunded.

#autumnmemoriesquilt #truckquilt #podunkpretties #christmasmemoriespillow #christmasquilt #patchworkquilting #scrappymakemehappy

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Saturday, December 22, 2018

~ Tips for piecing Flying Geese ~

Just one more day for sewing and then the holiday festivities will be in full swing.  Today I'm trying to get as much done as I can.  Is there anyone else thinking about taking a sewing project along with them while visiting the family?  Is that rude?  My Mother in law has a sewing, with a sewing machine so I could take these with me...I won't, I'm just kidding.

Pushing the sewing process will often times result in simple errors going unnoticed.  So I'm trying to use a quality control check list as I sew.  This idea comes from years of working in a factory.  The checklist is a mental list that is repeated the same with every piece.  Before layering the next square of fabric on top of the flying geese unit below I noticed my first quality check was bad.  It looks good from here and it's easy to miss.  So lets take a closer look.

 See those stitches showing at the end? Those will cause some big issues.   It's just an error in pressing.  All that needs to be done is to roll the white fabric back a little bit more.  Then give it a little press.

I didn't even get out the iron.  Just a quick finger press.

So it's back to the sewing machine to add the last square of fabric.  The first stitch line goes great. Peddle to the metal!  ZIP! ZIP! ZIP!.....KERCHUNK!

The first few units were giving me fits.  The seam on the bottom was being pushed forward by the presser foot.  The seam would either bunch up causing a big ole knot of thread and fabric or it would completely flip in the other direction.

Another simple fix.  Just flip it over.  I can still use the same method of lining up the corners with the presser foot and the lines on the bed of the machine.  Perfect!  Now it's peddle to the metal!

Hopefully this is the last of the sewing hiccups for today.  And these geese will be flying into the done box by supper time.

I've got my work cut out for me.  But just look at all this scrappy goodness!  Makes me smile!

#flyinggeesetips #onpodunkpond #onringolake #bonniehunter #quiltvillemystery
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