Friday, January 31, 2014

Quilting With the Next Generation and a Giveaway

Over the Christmas school break my almost 14-year-old daughter had some free time and requested to make a quilt with me.  I let her look through my patterns, and she chose "Yellow Brick Road" by Atkinson Designs.  She also looked through my fabrics and choose a fat quarter bundle of "Sweet Things." 

The two of us set to work cutting and sewing and pressing.  It was the perfect quilt to work on with a partner.  I did the cutting and pressing, and she did all the sewing.  Within a couple of evenings we had the blocks all assembled.  She then helped me arrange the blocks.

This week I was able to sew the blocks together, add the borders, quilt, and bind it.  

Do you have a daughter/son, granddaughter/son, niece/nephew, or neighbor girl/boy that would like to learn to quilt?  "Yellow Brick Road" is the perfect quilt pattern to do with a beginning quilter.  It doesn't require any matching of seams while making the blocks, and they are able to see progress quickly.  A smaller child who may not be able to use the sewing machine would enjoy helping you arrange the blocks.

I have put together kits for this quilt in a baby size, lap size, and full size.  If the "Sweet Things" fabric collection isn't your favorite but you have your eye on a different fabric collection I carry, contact me, and I will create a custom kit just for you. 


During the month of February I will be giving away one $25 gift certificate to my quilt shop each Friday.  To enter:

1.  Leave me a comment telling me if you have ever helped someone learn to quilt or if there is someone you would like to teach to quilt.  

2.  For a second chance at the giveaway, follow my blog (if you aren't already a follower) and leave me a comment telling me how you are following (i.e. Bloglovin', e-mail, Google Friend Connect, etc.).  There are places along the left side of my blog to enter your information to become a follower.   

Please be sure to leave me a way in your comments to contact you if you are a no-reply blogger.  I will contact the first week's winner on Friday, February 7.  You are welcome to come back to the blog each week of this month and comment again for the next week's gift certificate!

I hope you will plan a sewing day with a special little person in your life and pass along the quilting bug to the next generation!  -- Merrilee


Friday, January 24, 2014

Grow Your Blog - 2014

Welcome to those who are stopping by for the "Grow Your Blog" Hop!  My name is Merrilee.  I love quilting.  The part I enjoy most about quilting is choosing the fabrics and piecing the quilts, but I also own a long-arm quilting machine and do my own quilting.  

Some of the things I include in my blog are:  

- Pictures and stories of my quilts as I complete them.  I also like to participate in blog hops and linky parties.  Below is a Christmas quilt I recently finished.

- Pictures and stories of new quilting patterns I have tried along with helpful tips for you if you would also like to make the item.  One such pattern was the Abbey Bag pincushion with attached scrap/thread bag as shown below that I blogged about here.  Many times I will also have kits available in my online quilt shop, Stitchin' It Up Quilt Shop, for you to purchase.

- Ongoing projects such as progress on a year-long Block of the Month that I am doing with Quilt Doodle Designs.  See my completed January blocks, a row of adorable snowmen, that I blogged about here

- Several times a year I also host giveaways.  

Thank you to "2 Bags Full" for hosting this blog hop.  Stop over at her blog to see the list of nearly 600 blogs participating in this hop.  

I am fairly new to the blogging world.  I hope you will consider following my blog using your favorite blog reader.  I have places down the left side of my blog to sign up via Bloglovin', email, or Google Friends Connect.  I would love to hear how you are following me.

Happy Quilting!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bags, Bags, Bags

I tried a new bag pattern recently.  The pattern I used was the Margo Handbag by Lazy Girl Designs.

Its approximate finished size is 10-1/4 x 9-1/4 x 4 inches.  It is the perfect size for a handbag.  The bag closes with a zipper (but can also be made without the zipper), has shoulder-length fabric handles, two outside pockets, and several inside pockets which can be customized to whatever size you would like.  I used fabrics from the Riley Blake "Twice as Nice" collection
I had so much fun making the first one, I made a second one in different fabrics.  For the second one I used Michael Miller batiks.  These instructions were very well written, and they didn't take long at all to make.

I have kits available for both of these bags at Stitchin' It Up Quilt Shop.  I also have available the fusible batting, interfacing, and zipper needed to complete these bags.  

What other bag patterns have you tried and really liked?


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Chilly Silly Snowmen

While exploring some new blogs shortly after the first of the year, I came across the blog "Quilt Doodle Doodles." Cindy was introducing the first section of her Block of the Month that she has planned for 2014. I fell in love with the snowmen blocks that she designed for January that she is calling "Chilly Silly Snowmen" and decided I was going to participate this year.

Here is a photo of my first section completed.  Cindy gave the option of embroidering the eyes or using buttons or beads.  I opted to use buttons and had a fun time sorting through my button collection for some matching pairs of "eyes."  

Cindy's BOM is a mystery quilt.  The only information she has given is "this quilt will consist of ten blocks, sections, or strips, one a month."  The monthly pattern is free during the month that it is announced and then available for a small fee.  She also has a giveaway with nice prizes each month for those that participate.  Currently she is also having a Blog Hop of the completed quilts from her 2013 BOM.  I am so excited to see what she has in store for us for February! 


Saturday, January 11, 2014

One more Christmas project to show . . .

Back in September I showed here on my blog a collection of Christmas fabrics and the beginnings of a Christmas quilt that I was making.  My goal was to have the quilt done by Christmas.  I did make that goal, but I did not get pictures taken of it until today so did not get it shared on my blog.  I decided before I pack the quilt away until next Christmas I would share some pictures of my completed Christmas quilt.  

As I mentioned back in September, the blocks used to make this quilt were the Disappearing 4-patch.  Missouri Star Quilt Co. has made a good YouTube tutorial on how to make this block.  This is an easy and fun quilt block to make.  

The quilt spent the majority of the Christmas season draped over the back of our couch in the family room and was used to wrap up in for movie watching. 

If you look closely you will notice that yet another of my finished quilts for this year ended up with a striped binding.

Time to get the rest of the Christmas decorations packed away for another year. -- Merrilee