Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Free Block of the Month from Lecien - Block 3

They got ahead of me somehow, so Block 3 is already available......Time to download the next block of this beautiful applique quilt! Click on the photo below, to get block three:

Monday, December 26, 2011

Free Block of the Month from Lecien - Block 2

Time to download the next block of this beautiful applique quilt! Click on the photo below, to get block two.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas to you all

I would like to wish all of you a very Merry and Blessed Christmas. My prayer is that your family has a peaceful and joyous time together.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Quilt Guild Program, Project and Charity Ideas

After serving a year as President of our local quilt guild, I now know how hard it can be to keep things new and interesting. New ideas for programs, group projects, and charitable giving, whether big or small, seem to be hard to come by. I am not sure why, I know there are lots of busy guilds out there! I decided to start a page on my blog to keep a running list of program, project and charity ideas for quilt guilds. You can get to the page by clicking on the "Quilt Guild Ideas" tab at the top of the page. Feel free to use the ideas! Also, PLEASE send me information if you have participated in anything that would be good to list here.

Here is the first idea I am listing on the page:


Ugly fabric challenge
This one was a lot of fun for everyone. It ends up being a great program and charity project all wrapped into one.

Before the meeting - A month before the meeting: announce to your members and print in your newsletter as well - "everyone bring in at least one yard of the ugliest quilting fabric they can find in their stash."

At the meeting
Show and Tell - have everyone sit in a circle. First, have a show and tell about the fabric. WHY IN THE WORLD DID YOU BUY THAT FABRIC???? WHAT POSSESSED YOU? This part is a lot of fun and laughs.

Next you are going to do a fabric swap of a different kind! Have everyone pass their piece of fabric to the person on their right. Each person should tear the piece of fabric they just received in half (bring a pair of scissors to the meeting, as some fabric is hard to start a tear.) Place one half of the torn fabric in their "stash" under their chair. Pass the other half to the right person on their right.


Tear the piece you just received in half. Place half in your "stash", pass the other half. (Each person should now have two new pieces of fabric in their stash.) Tear the piece you just received in half, pass one piece and put the other in your stash............. Keep repeating this process until the fabric goes all the way around, or it gets too small (one-inch squares) to tear.


Everyone now has a new stash of ugly fabric! Hmmmm.....what should we do with this?


Now for the charity portion of the program.....our guild makes doll quilts for Christmas gifts for needy children. My challenge to the guild was to make a doll quilt (or two) using their newly acquired fabric stash. The challenge was that they could add anything they wanted to the stash, but they must use the entire stash! We had a great response to this. It boosted the number of quilts made for the charity and we ended up with some great show and tell items that people made from the ugly fabrics! Everyone was amazed at what you could do with such ugly fabric!


If you use this idea, I would love to hear about it! I would enjoy seeing your photos.Remember, if you have an idea to share - please do!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cookies Across America - another recipe


Are you participating in the Cookies Across America campaign? If so, I would love to hear about it!

 

Here is one more cookie recipe for you, from Nestle:

Jumbo Dark Chocolate Cookies Recipe

Jumbo Dark Chocolate Cookies Recipe 
Photo by: NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® 

  • 12 Servings 
  • Prep: 15 min Cook: 16 min

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) Nestlé® Toll House® Dark Chocolate Morsels, divided
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Nestlé® Toll House® Baking Cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease.
  • Melt 2/3 cup morsels in microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 30 seconds; STIR. Morsels may retain some of their original shape. Microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted. Set aside.
  • Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add melted chocolate and mix well. Add egg and vanilla extract, mixing until well blended, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture, mixing just until blended. Stir in remaining 1 cup morsels. Drop dough by level 1/4-cup measure 3 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs and the tops have a cracked appearance. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 12 cookies.

Originally published as Jumbo Dark Chocolate Cookies in NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Annual 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

A free Christmas Tree Skirt pattern

This year's Christmas Quilt Show is a celebration for me in more than one way! I have now officially been positing in blogland for one year.

My very first blog post was this Christmas skirt for last year's Christmas Quilt Show, hosted by SewCalGal. At that time, this skirt was just a flimsy. You may recognize it from last year. Well this year, in honor of my blogaversary, I have the pattern to offer to you - available on Craftsy.
Now it is sandwiched, quilted and the binding is on. Hopefully, we will have a Christmas tree this year to put it under! (We are in the middle of a kitchen remodel.)



As you can see, I simply did some outline quilting and some stitching in the ditch (click here for a useful tip.)
It seemed a little strange to bind a Christmas Tree Skirt in black, but I think it really made the rest of the fabric shine!


Over the last year, I have gained 115 new friends (followers) and enjoyed reading all of your comments. My humble little blog has had 50,000 hits (I was so excited just to hit 10! - LOL)




I have created 12 free mug rug patterns - traditionally pieced, appliqued, machine embroidery and paper piecing.

I am looking forward to a new year of designing and sharing patterns with you.

Thank you all for a wonderful first year! I look forward to the year to come.

This pattern was offered for free in 2011 and stayed that way for quite some time. I know that charging for it now will make some people angry. I have sent it out over 200 times and there have been countless other comments that couldn't be responded to, because they were posted by no-reply bloggers. I hope that you will understand.

In honor of my 1 year anniversary, I am offering this pattern to my followers for free. Please comment and let me know that you would like to receive that pattern. Also, if you are a no-reply blogger, or Google thinks you are a no-reply blogger, please send me an e-mail or leave your e-mail in the comment. I will e-mail the pattern out once a week, likely on Saturday or Sunday. I will not use your e-mail address for any other purpose.


Cookies Across America

Join Taste of Home on December 10 to "bake a difference."

Cookie lovers unite! Whether it's baking and sharing cookies with the needy or donating cookie ingredients to a food bank, you can make a difference in your community this Christmas.


As you may know, in addition to my passion for quilting, I have a passion for food. What you may not know, is that I also have a passion for those who are homeless - especially families. During this time a year, all of these passions seem to come together in many ways. One such way is through the Cookies Across America campaign. As a Taste of Home Field Editor, I have been asked to help promote this campaign. During December, I will be baking and taking cookies to two of our local homeless shelters.

You too, can paticipate in this campaign to reach out to others in need.There are more ways to participate than just making a batch of cookie. You could host a cookie exchange or perhaps organize a food drive (for cookie ingredients.)For more information you can go to the Taste of Home website:More about Cookies Across America


Won't you take a moment to deliver some special treats to someone during the month of December? Many of us have way more than we need, and sharing some cookies can be a great way to brighten someones day!

So how about a recipe?

Original NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Original NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe Photo by: NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Original NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe48 Servings
  • Prep: 15 min Cook: 9 min Cooling: 15 min

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) Nestlé® Toll House® Dark Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 4 dozen cookies.

    If omitting nuts, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour.

    PAN COOKIE VARIATION: Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.

    FOR HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (5,200 feet): Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 tsp. water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.

Originally published as Original NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies in NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Annual 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A new free block of the month quilt pattern

I just found this new block of the month pattern, which looks like it is going to be gorgeous!




For some reason blogger is giving me a hard time about attaching the link to the photo, so Click here to go to the pattern link............
I will be sure to download each of these as they come in......probably won't get started on it yet, as I am in the middle of my Florabunda quilt.  Just wanted to let you know about it though, so you can download as well!

2012 - Free Motion Quilting Challenge

I am excited to be joining SewCalGal's free motion quilting challenge in 2012.


SewCalGal will post more insights in December about this challenge and what you can do to get ready.  Preparation will be pretty simple, where you can make some sample quilt sandwiches (~18-24"x18-24"), as well as an optional sample quilt sandwich, and maybe pick up a few supplies.  Throughout this challenge you can always find the most current summary of information on the page for this event labeled "Free Motion Quilt Challenge".  Thus, you may want to check this page periodically.

Every month, starting January lst, a new FMQ tutorial & challenge will be posted by one of our 12 FMQ experts.  You can complete these exercises anytime, but if you complete them in the respective month you can gener to win that months giveaways.  If you complete all 12 months of tutorial exercises, anytime in 2012, you can enter to win one of the grand prizes.




Saturday, November 12, 2011

What I accomplished while I was gone

I had a wonderful time at my retreat with my quilting buddies. I didn't get started on the Bethlehem Star - I just couldn't decide on the fabrics I wanted to use!I did however make progress on my Florabunda squares. I have a few more hairy squares to show you.

First - the hairy one - I will tuck in the threads during my Wednesday bee days. This is the closest to hand work I get!
I am quite pleased with how these blues worked together!
A friend of mine asked me what flower this was? - how would I know? It is just me putting colors I like together! She is a quilter and ought to know better. ;-)

I don't remember what kind of flowers I have seen that were "green" but I do remember seeing them and liking them a lot.



This one just got fused down - no sewing yet, except for the bias stem.


There are sixty of those little purple petals!












I hope you have had a great week!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My newest project and a Free Bethlehem Star Quilt Pattern

So I am off with my bestest quilting buddies (some of them anyway - where are you?!) to a quilting retreat. Four whole days of laughter and quilting and eating (of course.) Since all of my unfinished quillty projects are at the quilting phase, I need to start something new. Machine quilting while laughing and carrying on is not a good idea. ;-) Soooo, for my newest project, I decided to make this Bethlehem Star.


My mom has been begging for a quilt to hang in her living room, so this one will probably be her Christmas present. (For once, I hope she isn't reading this!) Would you like a link to this free quilt pattern? Click on my free patterns page at the top of this page to get it. Now I am off to decide on my colors and pack my bags!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival Post - Rodeo Stars


It's Blogger's Quilt Festival time! While many quilter's are caught up in the frenzy of the Houston quilt market, some of us are content(?) to be at home blogging. I must admit that I am rather ambivalent about whether or not I would like to be in Houston for the International Quilt Market. While I would enjoy it for a short while, I think the massive crowds and OVERWHELMING amount of visual and tactile stimulation would get to me. I digress, on to my quilt!





This quilt is for my 7 year old son who loves everything cowboy. We go to rodeos as often as we can, and he stays as close to the fence as allowed, the entire length of the rodeo. After making a quilt for my 8 year old daughter, it was my son's turn for a new quilt. I asked him what kind of quilt he wanted, knowing it would be either cowboy or firetruck related, and he chose cowboys.

I finished this quilt at 1:30a.m. Christmas Day last year - just in time for Santa to get it under the tree!. It's now that I'm a procrastinator (okay maybe a little LOT) I just sometimes have trouble estimating how much time something is going to take. ;-) You don't have that problem do you?





I designed this quilt using EQ7. It was the first quilt that I designed start to finish and completed using EQ7. I even included the embroidery images on my EQ7 design. After designing the quilt, I used paper piecing to make my diamonds.

The machine embroidery is done on some denim that I had lying around that needed to be used. I was a little concerned about using the heavier weight of the denim with the light weight of the cotton fabrics, but once it was quilted, there are no worries.




My son has proudly displayed this quilt in his room. He was also proud when it won a first place ribbon at our county fair. He of course, felt like the ribbon belonged to him, since it was his quilt - never mind who made it! LOL.







Blogger's Quilt Festival
Thank you Amy for coordinating the Blogger's quilt festival! It is a great opportunity to get to know other quilters and to get inspired for Christmas!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

It's coming!!!

Yikes! can you believe that there are only 70 days left till Christmas? To help us get there, SewCalGal has a fantastic Christmas Quilt show starting November 28th. This one is a little special to me, because it is one of the very first things I participated in on my journey in blogland. My Christmas quilt last year landed more hits to my page than anything else for the first several months of my blog. It was so exciting to see people coming to my little spot in blogland to see what I had worked so very hard on creating.

The show is a lot of fun, and certainly a little motivation for me to get quilting now.




Have you made your Christmas list yet? I haven't............guess that should be first on my agenda huh?

Let's get busy and have some fun! It's definitely not to early to pull out the Christmas CDs...and if you are hot flashing like me - then by all means go ahead and turn the air conditioning on until the family asks for their long johns! LOL

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A little more eye candy

Today my closeups are featuring the white on white wholecloth quilt in this rack of hand quilted quilts.You might rembmer, these from my trip to Helen a couple of weeks ago. I hope you enjoy them!






















Until next time, Piece!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Boo! - a free Halloween Pattern

I have another free mug rug pattern, or free embroidery design, or free mini quilt pattern for you.....what you call it is up to you - I just think it was a lot of fun to make!

 This one is a combination of applique and machine embroidery, but I am also including the outline drawing, so that if you want to do traditional applique or even hand embroidery, you have those options as well.
 I am quite please with how this stitched out.....now I just have to get it sandwiched and quilted for Will's teacher! I am always a day late it seems.


 If you don't want to miss out on future free quilt related patterns, please sign up to follow me. I would love to hear your comments and certainly would like to see photos if you stitch out the design. To get the files:

Boo! - jpeg for traditional applique
Boo! - .xxx embroidery file
Boo! - .pes embroidery file
Boo! - .exp embroidery file

Until next time - Piece!

Quilting is finished!

Just finished the quilting of this queen-size quilt. Now to trim and bind. This is the disappearing hourglass squares- used fat quarter...