Holidays



Hopping!

First of all, I was hopping around the other day when these two magazines hit newsstands.

Why? Well, see that cover quilt up there on Simple Quilts and Sewing? I made it!! (And it made the cover!! Wooo!)

I’ve got another quilt right at the front of this month’s Quilt Trends magazine, too. I had a ton of fun making these quilts, and I’m excited to get them back so I can show you something fun. See, these magazine opportunities came because my Big City quilt was shown in the Free Spirit booth last quilt market. Each magazine contacted me and asked if I’d do a quilt for them using the same fabric line (Grand Hotel by Jenean Morrison). So, I did. And I can’t wait to show you how different three quilts made from the same fabric line can look, just by being selective about your color and design choices.

Another reason I’m hopping around? Today (actually yesterday) two different blog hops started, which I’ll participate in later in the month. Both are super fun, so for sure follow along! A little info about each:

The Moda Sweet Celebrations Blog Tour!

Come visit the blogs of the contributors to the Moda Bake Shop’s newest book, Sweet Celebrations. We’ll answer some strange questions, talk a little about and share our favorite recipe from our chosen holiday! Also, at each stop, you can enter to win a copy of the book (not even in stores yet!) and a Moda precut! Here’s the schedule:

Blog Tour Schedule

October 1 – StashBooks and Moda Cutting Table
October 2 – Melissa Mortenson and Melissa Corry
October 3 – Mary Lane Brown and Natalia Bonner
October 4 – Lissa Alexander and Corey Yoder
October 5 – Jane Davidson and Angela Yosten
October 6 – Jo & Kelli Kramer and Stefanie Roman
October 7 – Sherri McConnell and Megan Jimenz & Heather Andrus
October 8 – Angela Mitchell and Ellie Roberts
October 9 – Katie Blakesley and Aneela Hoey
October 10 – Amy Smart and Angela Pingel
October 11 – Vanessa Christenson and April Rosenthal
October 12 – Moda Bake Shop
October 14 – Readers have until midnight on the 14th to comment on all the blogs for the giveaways.
October 19 –Winners announced on all the blogs.

The Blogger’s Bar Hop Quiltalong!

Remember last year how I did the Chevron Dreams block for the Quilt Uberfest Quiltalong? Well, this year Scott of Blue Nickel Studios is at it again, which means you get 14 more free blocks to add to your repertoire! So hop along and get your free downloadable block pattern from each of these fine blogs:

October 1 Amy Ellis

October 2 Lynn Harris   

October 3   Heather Jones

October 4   Jacquie Kunkel 

October 5 Ashley Jones

October 6  Emily Cier 

October 7 Scott Hansen

October 8 Jan Peoples

October 9 April Rosenthal

October 10 Amy Lobsiger

October 11  Cara Quilts

October 12   Konda Luckau

October 13  Alethea Ballard

October 14 Charlie Scott

 

Finally, a lot more hopping happening because market is only a mere 3 weeks away, and I have an inhuman amount of work to get done. I may have to call in some reinforcements. Wish me luck (and hop along with me!)

xoxo

April



Cathedral Window Pillow (aka Birthday! part 1)

Two of my loveliest friends had birthdays last week, and I couldn’t help but pull some things together for them. I could picture in my head exactly what I wanted to make for them, and no matter how many times I tried to think of something store-bought that would be just as good, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t settle.

So I just did it.

First, an oh-so-fun Cathedral window throw pillow in red and lime green, to match her bedroom makeover! (Lucky girl got some really cute beadboard and shelving in there too!) She said it matched just right, and I’m so glad. A few fat eighths of Ruby by Bonnie and Camille for Moda and some white yardage and I was on my way!

I’ve wanted to do a cathedral window pillow for quite some time, and lucky me, there was a great tutorial on the Moda Bake Shop that walked me through it. I was SHOCKED at how much fabric it uses. So much folding! It’s like origami magic with fabric.

Super fun, super time consuming, but super great results. I’m going to have to refrain from making about 5 for my own room, whenever I get around to redoing it. (In case you’re curious, the walls in my bedroom are a striking shade of mauve, a gift from the previous owner. I avoid my bedroom in daylight at nearly all costs.)

I’ve got one more gift quilt to finish for my sweet baby nephew (I’m in love with him) who’s already 3 weeks old (mini-Swoon, anyone?), another for a sweet little girl fighting cancer, and then I’m on to spring pattern writing frenzy! I’ve got all the quilts made up, and several of the patterns written and tested, but I’m waiting on fabric for the last two.

Have you ever made a Cathedral Window pillow or quilt?

xoxo

April

PS Stay tuned tomorrow to see the quilt I made for my other awesome friend’s birthday…she used to be a Disney princess.



Elizabeth Hartman’s Perfect Zip Bags (or What I Made the Craft Night Girls for Christmas)

Sometimes I get a little carried away.

Or a lot carried away.

Sometimes, I start a project thinking it will be no big deal. That it will only take an hour to make 14 million zip pouches.

In the middle of this project, I asked the Mister why it was that I start huge projects and don’t realize how huge they are until I am in the middle of them. He just smiled, because I always do this, and he always warns me.

The conversation went something (exactly) like this:

Me: “Am I just really dense or something? Do I just live in a complete fantasy land? Am I just really full of myself and think I can do super human things? What is my problem??”

Him: “No, not any of those things. Really, I just think you have no concept of space and time.”

I couldn’t stop laughing.

And now (much to his dismay) I can’t stop quoting him. Not because his assessment is particularly flattering to me. But because it is so, SO true.

When I get a creative idea, it is so large and full of newness and excitement for me that I tend to overlook critical factors.

Like, hypothetically, if the longarm machine will actually fit in our house.

Or like if there are actually enough hours between now and the craft night before Christmas to make fourteen zip pouches and still have time to sleep and eat. (Let alone enjoy the holiday with my kids.)

Turns out, the answer was Yes, just barely to the longarm question, and yes, just barely to the pouch question too.

Someday I would like to say that I have a better concept of space and time. But until then, I’ll be very, very grateful for patterns like this one, that go together in a snap and have perfect instructions for the novice and expert alike.

And believe me, if there had a been a problem, I would know. I made fourteen in the space of about 36 hours.

Thanks for the great pattern, Elizabeth. You saved my tail feathers.

If you’d like to make a pouch or two (or fourteen), you can find Elizabeth Hartman’s Perfect Zip Bags pattern here or here.

PS: I made these pouches exclusively from scraps I had sitting around. The only thing I bought new were the zippers. The twill and denim came from pairs of my husbands old pants that I couldn’t figure out what to do with but felt bad throwing away. The back of each pouch is made from a piece of solid twill or denim to match the solid strip at the bottom on the front.

Did you handmake any gifts this Christmas?   How good are you at figuring out how long something will take? Please tell me I’m not the only one.

xoxo

April

 



A surprise {fast and easy} quilt for Great-Grandma

We had no idea what to give her for Christmas.

Especially because she was quite adamant in saying she didn’t want anything (which is of course not acceptable).

She doesn’t need anything.

But she’s always cold.

Turns out, that, I know how to fix.

A darling layer cake of American Jane’s Fairy Tale Friends (thanks Moda!) some really snuggly backing, and a few hours later?

Voila.

She loved it.

“Oh, I’ve just never felt something so soft!”

It just might have been the only gift that got her to smile this year.

But I might be biased.

It now lives on her bed along with the matching pillowcase.

That, my friends, is what quilting is all about.

xoxo

April

 



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