Friday, September 21, 2018

Travel Updates for 2019


I'm filling up my travel schedule for 2019. It's going to be an exciting year with a new book STRIP QUILT SECRETS and new WORKSHOPS so I am trying to make the most of my travel itinerary.

Here are the places I am scheduled to travel so far. I would love to tag a visit to your guild onto any of these trips before I buy the airfare. PLEASE let me know if your guild, group or shop would like for me to visit in conjunction with these visits.

2019 Calendar of Events:

January 24-27- Road to CA, Ontario CA (book signing)
February 7-8- Bulloch Hall, Roswell GA
February 21-25- QuiltCon, Nashville TN (book signing)
March 8- 17- Family Spring Break

April 11- Cherokee Rose QG, Douglasville GA (1/2 day workshop)
May 6-7- Lake & Mountain Quilt Guild, Seneca SC
June 3- Chattahoochee Evening Stars, Alpharetta GA
June 6-8- Heartland Quilters Guild, Columbia IL

July- Family and quilting time
September 9-10- pending

October 6-7- Patchers at the Lake Shore, Muskegon, MI
October 26-28- Quilt Market, Houston TX
November 4- Hall County Quilt Guild, Flowery Branch, GA
December- Family and quilting time


For example: this year I am visiting a guild in Houston the day after Quilt Market. So they are saving a huge amount on travel expenses and I am saving travel time. Isn't that awesome?

As always...I would love to visit your guild even if you aren't going to be able to join one of the visits already scheduled. EMAIL me at butterflythreadsquilting@gmail.com for more information.

I'll see you soon!
Diane

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Currently...




Currently I am...

PLANNING options for spring break. This year the kids all have the same spring break and it may be our last one to take a family trip. Unfortunately, the kids all have different ideas of what they would like to do. Luckily, they are used to 'going with the flow' and will be good sports. I just want it to be awesome for everyone.

DRINKING a hot cup of coffee, my morning (and afternoon) ritual.

FEELING like I'm going through withdrawal because I haven't even plugged in my longarm in over a week. I need someone to send me a quilt to play with soon, or I may develop a twitch!

READING two books that are both too good to put down. The struggle is real!

SEWING some blocks (photo above) for a Halloween quilt. Because you can never have too many Halloween quilts!

WORKING hard on 2 of the 4 new patterns that I am 'oh so close' to having ready to send to the printer. I have to be certain they are perfect, and I want to get them to the distributor before fall market.

HOPING I can add some teaching dates to my calendar next year that will allow me to visit multiple guilds on my trips to California, Tennessee, Illinois and Michigan. And hoping to add a few more local and driving trips to the calendar as well.

ENJOYING taking my 3 crazy dogs for long walks every day. I think I have finally trained them all to walk on the leash together in a somewhat orderly fashion. When they see a wild bunny though, all bets are off!

LOOKING FORWARD TO going to the Falcons-Saints game this weekend. Hubby surprised me with tickets last night! It will only be my second NFL game (we went to the playoffs last year). So I'm searching for a clear purse to take to the game. Any suggestions?

Diane

Friday, September 14, 2018

One Month Later...


I announced one month ago that I was going to make some significant changes (see post HERE) to better my health and increase my energy level as well as to 'remake' my daily life with less stress and more joy. Since I think accountability is what keeps us on track, here's what I can report.

1. I'm no longer writing blog posts for Craftsy on a regular basis.

DONE Not only have I done this, but it looks like Craftsy has as well. I've enjoyed the feeling of a weight lifted without this obligation nagging at me. 

2. I plan to re-open etsy shop.

PROGRESS I have and I've listed a few quilts. I need to list many more and get more items listed as well. I also need to overhaul my website so it reflects new and upcoming items.

3. I will be commuting less.




DONE I am only working one day a week this month and will continue to work a scaled back schedule for the next couple of months. This is allowing me to really take a few days a week to focus on 'catching up' and doing fun things like the 3 mile walk I took yesterday with hubby and the dogs.

4. I will be doing more customer longarm quilting.



DONE I enjoyed working on another customer quilt this week and it turned out beautifully. I will share it once it's been given as a gift. I don't want to 'spoil' any surprises! Please let me know if I can quilt for you! I would love to!!

5. I'm going to limit my computer time.

MAJOR PROGRESS I've stepped away after checking email/blogging every day. I have seriously reduced computer time, and I hope to continue (which can be tricky when pattern writing and website work needs to be done!) LOL

6. I plan to accept more commission quilting.

No new commission quilts are in the works, but I feel like I can take one on if it comes my way!

7. My kids are going back to school.



SAD BUT TRUE The kids are back at school. I have sent them each their first care package and I've had cookies delivered. I am working hard not to bug them too much with texts. They are all doing well and I do miss them terribly. 

8. I've got some new patterns coming soon.

PROGRESS While I haven't gotten any of these sent off to my amazing graphic designer yet, I am working on (oh so slowly) getting them ready. I've also spent time getting the sew along STEP 2 ready to be revealed next month. 

Other benefits of the changes I've made...

I've lost about 10 lbs. 
I'm sleeping a little bit better. 
I feel less stressed. 
I took a whole morning just to read a book. 
I'm choosing something fun everyday (non work related).
While I think 'balance' is a myth, I do feel better. 

I am making better choices about how I spend my time and I'm feeling the benefits of that. I have a long way to go. I need to schedule 'relaxation' and I need to schedule more time with friends. Overall, I'm proud of the changes I've made and the results prove to me I'm doing the right thing. 

What do you need to change? 
Now go do it! 
You deserve it.

Diane

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Step 1 of the Sew your Stash Along


If you are following along with the Sew Along that I announced last week HERE. You will notice that it is called the "SEW YOUR STASH ALONG" and is meant to help you use up your stash. I had a birthday recently and I decided to buy the new Christmas fabric bundle from Fig Tree. And while I was at it, I picked up 2.5 yards of the cream with green print for the background and .5 yards of the tiny red check for the binding.

Okay, I know what you're thinking. But aren't we supposed to use our stash!?!?! Technically, if I bought it and then put it in my sewing room, it's now part of my stash isn't it? Hey, I tried to stress that the 'rules' were merely suggestions. I wanted an excuse to buy this fabric and I've always wanted a Christmas quilt for my bed and it was MY BIRTHDAY!!! So now that we've cleared that up...

Let's start with Step 1


I chose the red holly fabric for my center star, the cream for the background and the tiny check for the accent fabrics for the first block. The red stripe is just for background (I bought the rest of the bolt of the stripe, not for this project but just because I love ticking. And did I mention it was my birthday?)

Cutting



I cut the 4 1/2'' square from the background and accent fabrics (layered right sides together). Then cut them diagonally to create the four triangle pairs.


I then cut the half square triangles from the background and accent fabrics (layered right sides together) for the four corner units.


And I cut the four triangles from the 3 1/2'' strips from the star fabric (shown top left with the triangle unit pieces) as well as the eight triangles from the 3 1/2" strips for the flying geese. They are shown on the 3 1/2'' x 6 1/2'' background rectangles for the flying geese.

Sewing


 Sew the corner unit triangles along the long side of the triangles, using a 1/4'' seam allowance. Press toward the dark side. Make 4.


Sew a triangle to each of the flying geese background pieces as shown above. Using a 1/4'' seam allowance from the edge of the red triangle. I have a seam line marked on my sewing machine that helps with this. Trim away the excess, press away from the background. 


 Repeat on the other side. Make 4.

Block Assembly


For the center units. Sew along a short side of the background accent triangles (the ones created from the square that was cut into four triangles) and press toward the dark side. Layer these with the star fabric triangles as shown above. Center the triangles on top of the pieced units so that the corner point lies directly on top of the sewn seam of the bottom unit. Use a 1/4'' seam allowance. Press toward the star fabric side. Make 4.


Trim the units to 3 1/2'' as shown above. Be careful to keep the seams in the corners when trimming.


This is what your four center units will look like once they are trimmed. If your units have the background and accent fabrics place differently than mine, no worries! Your star may spin the opposite direction, but does that even matter? Not a bit!


Arrange the units as shown by spinning them. Now sew them together like a four patch.


Pinwheel press the seam allowances (full instructions on page 95 in my book Scrap Quilt Secrets.)


Voila! The center of the star! This should measure 6 1/2''. Trim if needed.


Arrange the center, corners and flying geese as shown above. Sew these together like a nine patch.


This is how I press the seams.


Now the block measures 12 1/2''. It's ready for the sashing!


Arrange the sashing strips (two at 2'' x 12 1/2'') and (two at 2'' x 15 1/2'') as shown above. Sew the shorter two on opposite sides of the star. Press toward the sashing. Then sew the two remaining strips to the opposite sides and press toward the sashing. It will now measure 15 1/2'' square. Trim if needed.


I hope you like your pretty star block! Again, these are merely suggestions, feel free to make any star block you like, or any block at all for that matter. Have fun and tag me if you share them on Instagram or Facebook. Or email the photos to me at butterflythreadsquilting@gmail.com and I will share them!

The next step will be shared on the first Friday of October. All of the following steps will be shared on the first Friday of each month until we are done. I'm already working on Step 2 but you'll just have to wait.

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane





Friday, September 7, 2018

2018 Sew Your Stash Quilt Along!

2018 Medallion Sew Along (c) BTQ 2018

I am the BOM (block of the month) person for my guild this year and we've decided to a sew along!

I asked for opinions (when will I learn !?! LOL) and it was decided that the guild did NOT want to do a block exchange, and they did NOT want to do a mystery, and they did NOT want shop for lots of fabric and they did NOT want to be surprised or confused.

They DO want to sew their own step each month, and they DO want to be able to color plan the quilt in advance, and they DO want to use fabric in their stash. And they DO want to get to decide how large the quilt is. ALL of which I think are great ideas!

So I designed a Medallion Quilt Sew Along for the group. And since I'm sharing it with my guild, I thought I should share it with you as well. You're welcome. 'wink'

Here's the instructions that I gave to the guild:


Sew Your Stash Quilt Along 2018

1. Instructions for each step will be given out monthly. You can pick up a copy of the pattern at guild meeting or it will be available on the guild website. The coloring sheet is provided to show you the complete quilt and allow you to test color options. Make copies if you want to try more than one.
2. Sew at your own pace, we are not swapping or exchanging, so everything you sew will be in your quilt. The quilt will finish at queen size. If you prefer a smaller quilt, simply stop when you have reached the size you prefer.
3. We highly encourage you to use your stash! Make do with what you have if possible. If you want to have one consistent background fabric throughout the quilt, 2 ½ yards should be enough (no guarantees depending on the sewing methods you choose!)
4. Feel free to use which ever method works best for you. Directions will be printed using traditional strip piecing methods when practical. Other options will be demonstrated at meetings. We highly encourage you to make changes or modifications according to your personal preferences. Feel free to substitute any step. We will be offering suggestions for alternatives.
5. Bring your progress to share at show and tell. It will be fun to see how similar/different our quilts are. Feel free to send your questions or compliments to the committee!
Thanks for sewing along with us!   

STEP ONE 




The Center Block 12” (with sashing 15”)
Cutting for strip piecing method:
Background fabric            cut 4 strips 3 ½’’ x 6 ½‘’ for the flying geese
      cut 1 strip 3 ½‘’ x 7’’ for corner triangles
      cut 1 square 4 ½’’ for star center small triangles
Corner triangle fabric       cut 1 strip 3 ½‘’ x 7’’ for the corners
      cut 1 square 4 ½’’ for star center small triangles
Star Point fabric                cut 8 squares 3 ½‘’ for the flying geese
                                          cut 1 strip 3 ½‘’ x 7’’ for star center triangles
Sashing strips                    cut 2 strips 2’’ x 12 ½’’, cut 2 strips 2’’ x 15 ½’’

Make 4 center units
Layer the background 4 ½’’ square and the corner triangle fabric 4 ½’’ square right sides together. Cut in half diagonally from corner to corner, repeat in the opposite direction to make 4 triangles. Sew the triangles sets together along the short side (using a ¼ ’’ seam). Press toward the darker fabric.

Using the right angle ruler, cut 4 triangles from the star fabric 3 ½‘’ x 7’’ strip. Layer these, right sides together, with the units from the previous step. Sew them along the long edge (using a ¼ ’’ seam). Press toward the star point fabric. Trim these units to 3 ½‘’ square.

Make 4 flying geese
Use your favorite method for making flying geese units 3 ½’’ x 6 ½‘’.

Make 4 corner triangles
Use your favorite method for making half square triangles 3 ½‘’ square.

Assemble the block (make 1)
Arrange the units as shown in the diagram and sew the block. It will be 12 ½‘’ square.
Sew a 2’’ x 12 ½’’ sashing strip to opposite sides of the block. Press toward the sashing strip.
Sew a 2’’ x 15 ½’’ sashing strip to remaining opposite sides of the block. Press toward the sashing strip.

Highlight, copy and paste the information you need into your documents program. If you would like to share this with your group or guild, please email me at butterflythreadsquilting@gmail.com and I will gladly send you the documents for the coloring sheet and the steps that are ready for printing. There is never any charge, but if you would give me credit, that would be awesome! If you would prefer to run it as a mystery for your group, we can make that happen as well. I've enjoyed sharing my sew alongs with guilds in the US and Canada, and would be thrilled to share it with yours!

EDITED TO ADD: 
Click HERE for download copy of pattern.
Click HERE for download copy of coloring page.

Click HERE to see the Sunflower Sew Along.
Click HERE to see the Medallion Sew Along.
Click HERE to see the Scrappy Star Sew Along.
The other sew along has been removed because it will be appearing in my next book. 


I hope you will sew along with us. Please let me know if plan to and I would love to see photos!
Enjoy every stitch!
Diane

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Fifth Friday Fun Day at Tiny Stitches


I had the joy of teaching the Fifth Friday Fun Day at Tiny Stitches last Friday. We were making this quilt and learning all about triangles. Including the good, the bad and the perfect points every time!

We were using this pattern from my book Scrap Quilt Secrets. We were sewing both this version and the version that uses only the large triangles that I prepared for the workshop. (shown in first photo)






It was a great day of sewing and fun. I loved seeing all of the different fabrics and colors become triangles, then rows of triangles, then quilts!



But the best part of the day was the fun folks who were there sewing along. Thanks to the awesome quilters who attended, I had a fantastic time, laughing and sharing and spending the day with them. Teaching for 12 hours isn't easy, but they made it a joy!

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Happy Birthday Sale



My birthday is this month and I am celebrating by having a sale in my shop. All download patterns will be $5 for the month of September.  No code needed. I've updated the prices to just $5 for all of the digital download patterns in the shop.

Happy Birthday!
Diane
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