Saturday, November 28, 2015

Christmas Quilts: Tis the Season

Hello friends.  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.  It is bitter cold already in Minnesota.  Although we don't have snow yet, it is time to prepare for the Christmas season in my home.  So I thought it would be fun to share my Christmas quilts with you.  I have two new quilts and a pillow this year, along with some old favorites.  

Winter Wonderland (2015)
New in my home this year is my version of the "Winter Wonderland" sew along quilt by Sherri Falls, sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop.  When I purchased the book (Winter Wonderland by Sherri Falls of This & That Patterns published by Fat Quarter Shop's pattern company "It's Sew Emma") and learned about the sew along, I really wanted to participate, but I didn't feel like I needed a full quilt.  So I chose my favorite blocks and put them together in a long runner for the quilt ladder in my kitchen.  I used mostly Fig Tree & Company fabrics, but also used a few other scraps from my stash. 

I am really happy that I was able to use a cream-based print from "Aloha Girl" for the border.  This is one of my favorite fabrics from that line.  Isn't it just like Joanna at Fig Tree to design a tropical/summertime fabric that is versatile enough to use in my Christmas quilt?  This long runner is so cheerful and festive.  I know I will enjoy bringing it out every winter season!  The darling machine quilting was done by my friend Barb at Quilts on Broadway.  We chose a design called Baby Curls.






Mini Juniper (2015)
My second new quilt this year is "Mini Juniper," which I purchased as a kit from Fig Tree & Company.  This quilt looks a bit intimidating, with 60 degree angles creating the little trees.  But Joanna's instructions are excellent, and my little trees came out lovely if I do say so myself!  I did change out my borders just a bit, as I wanted a more neutral quilt overall. I used the pebble/cream criss cross from her "Farmhouse" line rather than the floral that was indicated.  (Note:  that floral found its home in the mitten in the quilt above!  All pretty fabrics find a home!) "Mini Juniper" was a fun and challenging quilt to make.  Someday I hope to make the full sized "Juniper." I imagine it is stunning in person! Once again the quilting was done by Barb at Quilts on Broadway.  We chose a very open, swirly four-leaf clover type design that is new to me.  I will definitely use it again.








Finding the Family Christmas Tree Pillow (2015)
I came late to the game in learning about the Snapshots Quilt Along hosted by Fat Quarter Shop.  There are just too many projects and too little time, and somehow I missed the boat on this one.  But this fall a few Instagram friends started sharing pictures of a variation of block 10, the "Gone Surfin' " car block. Greg from Grey Dogwood Studio provided inspiration and instructions for changing out the original surfboard atop the car with a Christmas tree.  I made mine into a pillow after seeing several other Instagram friends do the same.  This block is easy enough to put together in one night.  Every time I look at it I start thinking . . . Over the river and through the woods!

I encourage you to check out both of the links I included above!  The Snapshots Quilt Along monthly patterns are available for immediate PDF download.  You are asked to donate $5 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for each pattern you download.  What a great cause!  





Countdown to Christmas  (2011)
So my new Christmas pillow found a resting spot on one of my favorite, cheerful Christmas quilts.  I made this quilt during a retreat in 2011 using a pattern called "Sunday Picnic"  from the book Livin' Large by Heather Mulder Peterson of Anka's Treasures.  The rich, festive fabrics are "Countdown to Christmas" by Sweetwater for Moda.



Navajo Star (2014)
During a quilting retreat in 2014, I put together this single star wall hanging using some of my favorite red and green Fig Tree & Company fabrics and their pattern called "Navajo Stars."  It is a striking quilt hanging on the barnwood in our entry area, and although it is red and green, it could probably hang year round.  The lovely vine quilting was done by Barb at Quilts on Broadway.





Fruitcake Table Topper (2010)
Every year when I bring out this quilt for my kitchen table, I take some time to re-admire the stunning free motion quilting done by Nancy of Nancy Jolene Quilting. I've included some pictures of the back so you can see the full effect of Nancy's talent. In fact, this is one of those quilts you could hang backward just to make people stop and stare! It really is a treasure!

The fabric used in this quilt is "Fruitcake" by Basic Grey for Moda. The pattern comes from the book titled Simply Charming Two by Moose on the Porch Quilts.






Joy Wall Hanging (2010)
In 2010 I purchased this quilt kit from a favorite local quilt shop that has since closed.  I really love the mix of the deep Christmas red with a softer green and pale blue. The pattern is from Cottage Creek Quilts and once again, the amazing quilting is courtesy of Nancy Jolene Quilting.






Feathered Star Small Quilt (2007)
And last but not least, in 2007 I took a class at the Minnesota Quilt Convention with a friend of mine, and our project was the "Feathered Star Made Painless" by Gwen Lundgren. It was a paper pieced pattern, and I remember feeling very intimidated until I got the hang of thinking "backwards" when piecing with paper.  Paper piecing requires a lot of brain power for me, but the results sure are worth it!  The finished quilt is just 25 x 25 inches, and Nancy Jolene's teeny, tiny curly-q quilting is so lovely.





Well, that ends my Christmas quilts show and tell.  Thanks so much for visiting my blog and sharing my enthusiasm for quilts!  Here's hoping you get carried away quilting often!

~Taunja


Friday, November 20, 2015

Farm Girl Vintage Sew Along: The Quilt is Done!

On October 5, I posted photos of my completed sampler top for the Farm Girl Vintage Sew Along led by Lori Holt of Bee In My Bonnet. Today I want to share some final photos with you, including a few shots of the lovely, happy, swirly quilting done by Barb at Quilts on Broadway.  The binding has been sewn and the quilt is on the wall.  My project is complete.  The Farm Girl Vintage Sampler is in the books.  Truth be told, I feel a little sad.  Time to pick up my chin and get carried away with the next project.

Thank you for letting me share this sew along journey with you.

~Taunja
















Sunday, November 8, 2015

Pattern Giveaway Winner

I want to say a sincere thank you to those who read my silly ramblings about my out-of-control pattern situation in my last post.  It is comforting to know that I am in very good company with quilters who have the same problems that I have.  ;)

To offer full disclosure on how I randomly selected the winner of my pattern giveaway, I want you to know that I collected the comments from that post, copied them into an Excel spreadsheet, did a number of random sorts, and then hollered to my husband in the next room to pick a number. He did.  And so, drumroll . . . the winner is Pam L.  Pam, I will be contacting you to get your address so that I can mail you this little treat.  

Thanks all!  Here's hoping you get carried away quilting often!

~Taunja

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Sunday, November 1, 2015

Pattern Giveaway and A Quilter's Confession

I've made a few quilter confessions since I started this blog.

Recently it dawned on me that I should come clean about another grave issue.  I have 70 (S-E-V-E-N-T-Y) quilt patterns in my cute little black wire pattern basket.  To clarify, I have 70 purchased patterns in my cute little black wire pattern basket.  
  • I also have about 20 free patterns or tutorials that I've received from various quilt shops or online blogs. Those are printed and also tucked away in my cute little black wire pattern basket.
  • I also have several quilting books in a cabinet, but that is another issue for another day.
And so, the remainder of my confession is this: I counted very carefully and I've only made 30 of the patterns I own.  Yikes!

Doing a little math, I see that means I have completed roughly 43% of the available patterns in my little library.  I'm no math major, but it doesn't take a genius to realize that at the rate I purchase patterns and the rate I complete quilts . . . my percentage is only going to get worse!

Recently I made up this autumn "Mini Shine" quilt.  The pattern was written by Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life.  It is a gem of a pattern and I adore this little quilt. As I was tucking the pattern away when I was done, I felt kind of smug.  "Look at that," I thought, "I've made six mini quilts this year. Woo Hoo!  You go, girl!"  But then I leafed back a little farther through my patterns, and found I had five more mini patterns I had not made.  Worse yet, I knew it was on my radar to purchase a few more.  And that is when the pattern count began in earnest!


 


In an attempt to reprimand myself and get on the right path, I am giving away a brand new mini pattern that I own but have not yet made!   It is kind of killing me to do this, as it is a darling pattern.  But I feel like I need to be the adult here.  I need to set some boundaries. I'm going to give away my copy of "Mini Daisies" by Fig Tree & Company.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am a Fig Tree NUT, so I do not take this lightly.  I'm hoping this will land on the sewing table of a fellow quilter who has a better buy/sew percentage than I do!

Please leave a comment below if you are interested in winning my copy of "Mini Daisies" by Fig Tree & Company.  Chances are I'll also tuck in a fat quarter or two, given the crazy abundance I have of those as well!  ;)

Comments are open through midnight (CST) on Saturday, November 7.  On Sunday, November 8, I will draw a random winner.

At which time, my percentage will go up to 44% . . . until I buy another pattern. :(

Thanks for reading my blog today.  Here's hoping you get carried away quilting often!

~Taunja