Books



Super Speedy Quilt Borders (Quilting Hack): Fabulously Fast Quilts Blog Tour

SuperSpeedyBorders Hello friends! I’m checking in today to share with you one of my favorite FAST quilting tips–because my lovely friend Amy Smart from Diary of a Quilter asked me to! And well, when someone that sweet asks you to do something, you just do it! Plus, she has a super fun book that’s just come out, and I wanted to share it. I had the fun of quilting two of the quilts in the book, and one of them even made the cover (so cool!).

 

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Her book is called Fabulously Fast Quilts, and so she wanted all of us to share our secrets for faster quilting! So here’s my tip:

Super Speedy Quilt Borders Quilting Hack

Let me tell you–this little gem saves me SO. MUCH. TIME. Of course, it may be a little controversial for those of you who have been quilting for years and years, but hear me out. This just might change your life.

Here’s my confession: I don’t measure or pin my borders. Ever. At all. True story. No math, no measuring, no pins.

HOLD ON! Before you picture super bad borders with waves and puckers and stretching and all that horrible-ness, let me state for the record that my borders are square, and the perfect length. No waves.
Yep.

So here’s how it goes: I sew all my border strips together lengthwise to make one. long. strip.
photo 1-6 Then, I attach my best friend walking foot to my sewing machine.
photo 2-7 Then, I sew my border on. I give myself an inch or so of extra at the top, and when I get to the bottom, I give myself an inch or so there, too.

photo 3-4 I cut off the rest of the long strip, and set it aside for the rest of the border.

photo 4-5 I press my border, and trim it using my ruler and rotary cutter to make sure it’s square. Then, I attach the other borders. Usually I will do both sides before pressing and trimming, and then do the top and bottom.

Super Speedy Borders SO. FAST.

None of this crazytown measuring and fussing with pins, and averaging, dividing, and yuck.

Just quick, easy, square, FAST borders. Every time.

You should really get a walking foot. I mean it. (A walking foot is a presser foot for your sewing machine, that allows the top and bottom fabrics to feed evenly. It’s like magic.)

Also, you should really get Amy’s book. (It’s available here, here, and here.) She’s a doll, and her quilts and fun, and easy, and FAST! Win, win, win!

I mean really, check out these quilts! (I also got to longarm the pretty green one!)

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So head on over and say hi to Amy, and tell her congrats and good job on her book–because hey, you’ll have lots of time to read blogs now that the borders on every quilt you make will be done in like 10 seconds.

xoxo

April

PS This post is just one of a bunch of fast quilting tips being shared by a bunch of awesome chickadees. You should really go follow along–your quilting speed will increase exponentially, I’m sure!

Monday April 28
Sachiko Aldous of Tea Rose Home
April Rosenthal of April Rosenthal
Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane
Tuesday April 29
Jen Wilding Cardon of Stitch This! Martingale Blog
Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side
Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet
Wednesday April 30
Faith Jones of Fresh Lemons Quilts
Melissa Mortenson of PolkaDot Chair
Amy Gibson of Stitchery Dickory Dock
Thursday May 1
Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced
Lynne Goldsworthy of Lily’s Quilts
Jeni Baker of In Color Order
Friday May 2
Katie Blakesley of Swim Bike Quilt
Lindsay Conner of Craft Buds
Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life



Win a copy of Modern Neutrals! {Blog Tour}

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Hey there chickadees! I’m here participating in the last stop of Amy’s blog tour for her new book, Modern Neutrals. I know, I posted about the book a couple months ago, but I’m going to tell you a little more about it so that you can win one. Sound like a deal? Besides, this book rocks. I promise.

So. Modern Neutrals. It’s a pretty little book. More than that, it’s a book that is full of patterns you can use for everyone. Read: there are no appliquéd flowers or hearts or girly things in here–just crisp, clean lines. You can make something for your son, or husband, or boyfriend, or pool boy, or whatever. They’ll like it. You can also make something for your mom or sister or new baby niece. It’s that darn versatile. I mean really, can you imagine this quilt made in greys and pinks? Why hello gorgeous, tactile, baby quilt!

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Amy does a great job with her explanations and diagrams (she’d better, this is her third book!), and gives great tips on how to be successful at piecing the blocks. There’s a project or two that require paper piecing or partial seams but they’re minimal and explained well. You can make these.

If you’d like to win an e-copy of this book for yourself, head on over to Amy’s blog and visit the other stops on the tour. Then, click over to the form and answer the questions, press submit, and you’ll be entered. Amy will draw a winner on Tuesday from everyone who answered the questions correctly. Simple as pie. Then, when you win, you can thank me by making the cover quilt and sending it my way. Oranges, greys, and dusty aquas, please. Because that cover quilt? It’s my favorite.

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Hooray for awesome books, and hooray for pretty quilts. Double hooray for awesome, pretty, quilty books.

xoxo

April

PS If you’d like to just purchase your own copy, you can of course do that too. Amazon has it, and some other places.

 

 



Modern Neutrals: A fabulous new book by Amy Ellis

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Let me tell you about my friend Amy. She blogs over at Amy’s Creative Side, and was my roommate at QuiltCon.

She writes books. Three books so far, and many more to come, I’m sure of it. This is her new book, Modern Neutrals. It’s amazing. Also, if you’re looking for a quilt book that isn’t all flowers and girl stuff–you’re welcome. This is that book.

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I was the lucky duck who got to piece this quilt here, called Circuit Board, and though I almost gave Amy a heart attack by finishing it at the last minute, she’s nice enough to still be my friend.

She’s got about a million great ideas, and a whole lot of awesome ahead of her.

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You should probably follow her blog, and keep track of what she does, and get a hold of her books, because well, if she’s designing mind-blowing quilts like this?

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You definitely want to know what’s she’s got up her sleeve next.

xoxo

April

PS Congrats on the new book, my friend, it’s gorgeous.

 



Sweet Celebrations Blog Tour: Happy Hanukkah!

Hi everyone! Welcome to mine and Vanessa’s day on the Sweet Celebrations blog tour! I’m just overjoyed that I get to be a part of this fun group of designers and can’t wait to talk a little bit about my project–first though, a quick introduction for those of you who are new here (Hi! by the way, and welcome!).

My name is April Rosenthal. I design quilting patterns for my little business called Prairie Grass Patterns. I am a work-at-home mama to my sweeties: 4 year old twins, a boy and a girl. I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart (awwww) for over 10 years, and I love the traditions that we’ve created together–which brings me to my project!

When I was told that the book would focus on celebrations, I was SO excited to see that they were looking for a Hanukkah project–I couldn’t wait to get started. One of our family traditions each holiday season is to celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah. My husband’s father grew up in a Jewish household, and though he later joined another faith–he always taught his children about Judiasm and celebrated some of the holidays with them. We’ve continued the tradition in our home, and love the added depth that these holidays bring to our more Christian-oriented celebrations.  We love lighting the menorah candles, singing songs, and playing with the dreidels. We love the reminder that miracles happen, and that God is merciful. We also love the potato latkes. Seriously.

So, I made a Hanukkah quilt.

I adore it.

And although I would wager that a majority of you don’t celebrate Hanukkah–don’t count this design out. It is remarkably versatile, and would look so fun in traditional Christmas colors, if that’s more your style. In fact, I mocked up a little example to show you what I mean.

See? Told you so. (Those fabrics? Aneela Hoey’s Cherry Christmas. So cute.)

And besides my fun quilt, you also get about a billion other projects in the book too. I can’t wait to get mine!

Oh, just for fun, I’ve got a couple questions to answer:

What is your favorite apron? My husband and I got matching white canvas aprons for our wedding as a gift. Monogrammed with our names and everything. It’s old, it’s stained, and it works like a dream. So even though there are much, much prettier ones out there–I wear this one most because I don’t feel bad getting it dirty. In fact, it’s a must when making those latkes I was talking about.

Do you prefer to celebrate with cupcakes, cake pops, or just plain old cake? Spice cake with cream cheese frosting. Every birthday. Yum.

When you picture Oda May, what does she look like? A hip chick who’s always mixing up something great with her precuts, her hair tied up with some scrap fabric, wearing a really great Tova top, and possessing some ninja-like skills with a rotary cutter and a 1/4″ seam allowance.(See Vanessa’s post for more about the ninja skills.)

SO. If you want a copy of Sweet Celebrations hot off the press, before anyone else, you should enter the giveaway here on my silly old blog. Because one lucky person will win not only a copy of the book, but also a Fat Quarter bundle, which you’ll want to use to make this really cool star quilt. Just saying.

If you want to win, here’s the deal:

Comment on this post answering this question: What is a tradition or belief your family has that is uniquely yours? It can be something fun, or serious, an activity or a food. Anything really.

For another entry (but just one extra) you can be my friend on Facebook , Twitter, Instagram (amrosenthal), Pinterest–whatever makes you happy. Make another comment to tell me which kind of friend you are.

You have until the 14th to get your entries in at each blog on the tour. Winners will be announced on the 19th.

As a final yahoo, I’m going to share the highly coveted Potato Latke recipe that I use every year for our annual Hanukkah party. Trust me, you’ll want to make these ASAP, and only when you’re ready to be worshipped by everyone who tastes them. Heh. Make sure you’re wearing a cute apron for all that attention.

You can download the card here.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Hanukkah!

xoxo

April