Sunday, August 18, 2019

Happy Birthday Kelly!

22 years ago, this beautiful girl made me a mom. I have been amazed every day since at what a loving heart she has. She was a sweet easy baby, a loving big sister (at 15 months) and a joy of a daughter. Her laughter fills our home, her kindness and love makes us all feel so blessed, and her dedication and determination inspire me constantly. Our lives are better and our hearts are full, because she gives so freely, shares so openly, and loves so enthusiastically. Happy birthday to the most amazing young woman I know. 

I love you so very much!


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Seeing Stars Sew Along...Choosing Fabrics

When I announced the Seeing Stars Sew Along, I had no idea what fabrics I would use to make my own version. I always lean toward scrappy. (no surprise there!) I just really didn't know what I wanted to choose color wise. I wasn't even sure what size to make.

Since most of my quilts travel with me to guilds and groups across the country, I needed to keep it 'travel size' so that eliminated the King Size version I made from last year's sew along. LOL

Throw size would give me enough to make it scrappy but not too large to pack in a suitcase. So I went to my sewing room and took a peek...

I like this text fabric that I have a few yards of, it would make a nice background. And there's this layer cake of grunge fabric that I've been wanting to use. Hmm.

And I love this black and gray and white bundle that's been sitting on my shelf for a while now.

I have several Allison Glass bundles, this one looks great with the background fat quarters!

This giant bundle of Cotton & Steel came home with me from QuiltCon earlier this year. Yum!

And I recently scooped up this rainbow bundle of prints at the local shop. I love the architectural/formula/math equation sort of feel it has.

Oh heck, there's lots more bundles on the shelf, but if you know me at all, you know I have a TERRIBLE time trying to sew from just one line of fabric. It feels too forced to me somehow.

So I went back to my original thought of the text background and the grunge layer cake, but I added another red floral (2yards) and some tone-on-tone fat quarters that will set the color scheme and coordinate nicely with the yardage.

This group of fabric just feels like my comfort zone. Interesting prints, text and grunge all in warm rich colors. It might not be as bright as I've been working with lately, but it feels cozy to me.

What fabrics are you choosing for your Seeing Stars Sew Along? Share on social media with  #seeingstarssewalong and #butterflythreadsquilting so we can all see the fun options! I can't wait to see the variety!

Enjoy every stitch!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Seeing Stars Sew Along ... before we start

Before we begin the SEEING STARS SEW ALONG, here's some basic information.

Panel Size 18 ½’’ x 27 ½’’ (before sewn into quilt)

The quilt size options are as follows:

Mini- 18’’ x 27’’ (1 panel)
Table runner- 18’’ x 54’’ (2 panels)
Wall- 54’’ x 54’’ (6 panels, set 2 x 3)
Throw- 54’’ x 72’’ (8 panels, set 2 x 4)
Twin- 72’’ x 81’’ (12 panels, set 4 x 3 vertically)
Queen- 81’’ x 90’’ (15 panels, set 3 x 5)

Fabric Requirements

One background option- ½ yard background per panel
2 color option- ½ yard of each color per panel
3 color option- ½ yard background, ¼ yard of 2 other colors
Fat quarter option- 2 backgrounds, 2 additional
Scrappy option- 1 yard of scraps
Focus Fabric option- ½ yard per panel (for fussy cutting)

Multiply the fabric choice by the number of panels you will need to make the size you want.

For example: A throw (8 panels) quilt with one background and fat quarters would need 4 yards background (8 x 1/2 = 4) and 16 fat quarters (2 x 8 =16)

Note: the yardage given is generous to allow for variations and substitutions. If you are making a larger quilt, you can easily reduce the amount of fabric needed as you will have some left over after each step.

While it is difficult to calculate fabric for this quilt because there are so many options, and variations and the background fabric can be swapped at any time for the other fabrics, this math is generous to accommodate all (hopefully) of the possible options.

That being said, I know you will use your best judgement, and hopefully shop your stash first! And remember, any leftovers can be pieced into your backing!

Focus Fabric:
This is not required, but those of you choosing to use a large print or focus fabric will notice that there will be options for this throughout the steps. Keep in mind, that the extra yardage for this allows for fussy cutting motifs or areas to feature throughout the quilt. You may choose to use your background fabric as your focus fabric as well. If you are using a light background, and choose to use it as your focus fabric, you'll end up with a low-volume quilt.  If you have a yard or two of a fabric you would like to use as a focus fabric but are worried you won't have enough, don't worry, just use it until it's gone, then substitute other fabrics. Once it's arranged in the final quilt, it will still sparkle!

Each step has options offered. This is so that you can add as much variety as you like. You can choose one option for a step, or you can choose several. You might want more consistency in your quilt therefore will make all of your star blocks the same. Or you may want variety and make all of them different. Perhaps you will make the star blocks the same but swap out fabric placement. This is entirely up to you! Your sew along, your rules! 

Please remember that I encourage you to make your own choices and variations so that you will be happy with your quilt. I am NEVER offended by someone making changes or alterations. That's the beauty of quilting, there are so many options!

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Yes, you may share this sew along with your guild or group. Please credit me with links to my blog and/or website if you do. 
  • Yes, please share your progress on your blog, website, facebook, or instagram. I would LOVE to be tagged so I can see the fun! 
  • If sharing on social media, please use #seeingstarssewalong and #butterflythreadsquilting so everyone can enjoy the fun. 
  • Start sharing your fabric choices as soon as possible!
  • If you want to share but don't know how, send me an email and a photo and I'll be happy to do it for you! My email is butterflythreadsquilting (at)
  • I reply to every single email unless you are a no-reply blogger. If you don't get a response from me, you need to change your settings so I can! Google a youtube video on how to do that, it's not hard!

The schedule will be as follows:
September 5- Step 1
October 3- Step 2
November 7- Step 3
December 5- Step 4
January 2- Step 5
February 6- Step 6
March 5- Step 7
April 2- Panel Assembly
May 7- Quilt Assembly
June 4- Grand Finale

Now go collect your fabric, print out the instructions, and find a box, basket or bin to tuck all of this into. Getting and staying organized is key to making this sew along a success!

See this post for the first announcement.
For a printable version of this information click HERE.

Enjoy every stitch!

Friday, August 9, 2019

Seeing Stars.. a new sew along starting in September

Last year's medallion sew along was such a smashing success (thanks to each and every one of you who sewed along with us, including 5 guilds across Canada and the US who are still sewing along!) local guild has asked me to lead another sew along this year. (No good deed goes unpunished! LOL)

What's New?

A different approach. Not a medallion, not a row quilt. This quilt will be made into panels, that are then sewn together. You choose what size quilt you want to end up with and then you will sew the number of units you need to make the total number of panels required for that size. Confused yet?

Not to worry, it will all be made completely clear as follows:

Mini- make one unit per month to complete 1 panel

Throw- make 6 units (blocks) per month to complete 6 panels

Twin- make 8 units (blocks) per month to complete 8 panels 

Queen- make 15 units (blocks) each month to complete 15 panels

How the schedule will work:
The first Thursday of each month at 8 am EST a post here on the blog will give the block with complete cutting and sewing instructions. Sometimes the block will be a set of flying geese or a set of four patches sewn into a row. You will sew the number needed for the size quilt you want to end up with. We will then sew the panels into a quilt.

Not all of the panels are identical. Some are flipped or rotated. Some have minor variations. These options will be given with each step so that your quilt will have a personality all its own! Don't like one of the units? Make your own variation! I highly ENCOURAGE you to make this quilt fun for you! If that means avoiding flying geese, then don't make any! Make four patches instead. Mix it up along the way.

There are several arrangements for assembling the panels. This allows the quilt to not look like it repeats. You can sew your panels in all different variations, then arrange the panels in any order you like. Or you can follow the steps exactly and have your quilt look just like the diagram. Do what makes you happy!

Who wants to SEW ALONG with us? Remember, just a few blocks a month, then by next summer we will have a finished quilt! So start thinking about what colors and fabrics you would like to use. Think about what size works for your schedule. Do you have any large scale prints that would look good in the unpieced strips in each panel?

As for me, you know I'll be sewing scrappy! I will probably use fat quarters and lots of colors! But I haven't decided yet.

Yardage Requirements and supply list will be provided at the beginning of September. 

Don't forget previous sew alongs that can be found HERE with all the instructions included.

Leave a comment if you plan to sew along...the more the merrier!


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Bonus Sewing Day!!

The last string quilt I made found in my recent book STRIP QUILT SECRETS.

I planned to quilt another customer quilt on my longarm today but I didn't have the right color thread. (Luckily I can pick it up at the shop tomorrow!) So I have 6 hours until Pilates this evening and you know what? I'm going to sew my heart out.

Just for fun!

I am joining Lori's stringalong that started a looooong time ago. But I've had so much fun watching.

And I'm going to put some of these strips to good use.

And I'm going to use this awesome foundation paper. It has 100 sheets. I am going to cut it into 8 1/2'' squares. That means, I'll be able to set the blocks 10 by 10 and get a queen size quilt out of this one package.

I'm putting this book on the CD player and the "DO NOT DISTURB" sign on the door!

Enjoy every stitch! (I plan to!)


Friday, August 2, 2019

Hello August!

I love August because it's the month my daughter was born. She and I have had so much fun this summer going to Pilates almost every day together. We have also enjoyed lots of smoothies and mani/pedi dates between her social schedule and my quilting.

I love the hot weather and the long sunny days. I love the easy going relaxed pace of August and how the sun shines long after dinner and greets me early in the morning. I love the crazy rain storms that blow through quickly.

I do NOT love that August is the month all three of my kids leave for college again. That never gets easier. Packing them up and sending them off sets the tears flowing. I will miss their messy rooms, piles of laundry, laughter and the constant coming and going of friends. I will miss baking cookies and muffins with them and making big dinners for them to devour. I will miss the shoes by the door and the general noise and chaos.

I took July "off" from making any big decisions about work, travel, or any quilting related issues. I have continued to book quite a few more teaching engagements (thank you so much!) and should probably let you know that I'm booking teaching dates in 2021 but still have some 2020 dates available, but contact me soon if you want to reserve a date, my calendar is filling fast.

I've enjoyed quilting for so many of you that took advantage of the longarm quilting sale I offered in July. That was such a smashing success that I quilted a quilt almost every day in July! I plan to offer another quilting sale this fall at some point. I continue to have a one week turn around so if you want me to quilt for you, let me know!

For now, I'm going to enjoy every minute I have left with these 3 kids. I'll continue to go to Pilates with Kelly and quilt and read a few more good books. I hope you are enjoying what's left of your summer break and find some time to relax and savor it.

I've been sharing lots of photos on my Instagram account. So follow me there for daily updates.


Monday, July 29, 2019

NEW Pattern for Christmas in July

Christmas in July at Tiny Stitches happened this past Friday and Saturday. You can still visit the shop to see all of the samples and beautiful new fabrics, patterns and kits for every holiday project you might want to make. 

Get the printed version HERE.
Get the instant download version HERE.

I created a new pattern just for the event. It combines star blocks around the outside and simple four patch blocks with folded corner triangles. The pattern offers 3 sizes for a throw (shown) as well as twin and queen sizes.

 The sample features a collection of various grays and reds with one white background fabric. You can pick up a bundle of these fabrics at Tiny Stitches. If you aren't local, they gladly take phone orders. But this quilt would be so fun in multiple colors or really special in patriotic red, white and blues.  I also think it would be pretty with black, white and gray. Or how about batiks?

While this star block takes a bit of time to make, it's not difficult at all. And the center blocks are so fast and easy that the quilt will go together faster than you might think. It's a great idea for decorating or gift giving for the holiday season.

What do you plan to make for the holidays? Can you even believe we are even talking about it? I guess that's what Christmas in July is supposed to do, help up plan ahead and avoid the last minute rush. As if...

Enjoy every stitch!
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