Thursday, January 16, 2020

Today's Quilter Magazine


What a fun surprise to find 3 of my quilts in the special supplement to the current issue (#56) of Today's Quilter magazine. Not only that, but the entire supplement is dedicated to SCRAP quilts and who do I share the honor with? None other than the fabulous Bonnie Hunter! I couldn't ask for better company than that!



The special feature includes an article and two quilts from Bonnie's books along with 3 quilts from my most recent book. It's a thrill to see photos of my quilts snuggled up next to Bonnie's. I think they look great together!





It's not often I open a magazine and find my quilts waiting without my prior knowledge, but it sure was a nice surprise! I hope you enjoy this special edition and if you don't subscribe, I know that Barnes and Noble carries them in stock in their magazine section. You can call your local shop and have them hold a copy for you. (Because I know you're just dying to get a hold of one!!!) LOL

I hope your week is filled with nice surprises too!

Diane

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Heartsy...A new quilt pattern!


Heartsy: (urban dictionary) the use of heart emojis when texting. A person who repeatedly uses heart emojis or multiple heart emojis when texting.


Some of you remember way back when I designed the scrappy block of the month for Craftsy (now known as Bluprint) and the blocks were made to celebrate each month/holiday/season. I made this sweet little heart block from 1 1/2" strips. The strips are all scrappy with one background fabric for each heart. 


And just like the quilt I made using the Pumpkins and the one using the Trees, I decided to make a quilt featuring these hearts. I lined them up around the snowball blocks, that when combined, look a little bit like X and O's. Mostly, it let me use lots of red and white fabrics. Some of them are valentine themed and many are not. If it was red and white, I threw it in the mix.

The pattern is available in an instant PDF Download or in a Printed Paper version. 


The quilt and the patterns will also be available at Tiny Stitches in Marietta GA starting on Wednesday, January 15. You will have lots of time to stitch it up before Valentines Day.

I sincerely hope you LOVE this new pattern. I put my heart in it! (too corny?) LOL

XOXOX

Diane

Saturday, January 11, 2020

The evolution of a Quilt



In the beginning...

I had the idea for this quilt from one I had seen. I think Edyta Sitar had made a smaller version perhaps? And because I always like to go big, I thought it would make the perfect autumn quilt for my king size bed.


How hard could that be? I would just keep cutting and sewing rectangles until it was big enough. That was my plan anyway. It got to be wide enough, at about 110". And I kept adding rows to the top and bottom but it never grew more than about 65 " tall.

It became a UFO...

Eventually I got bored with it. The fabrics started to look stale to me and I just wasn't feeling it anymore. So it went in a bin. Where did all the extra rectangles go? I have no idea. The bin got put in the closet and there it sat. For several years, or more.


A new direction...

And cleaning out the closet is one of my goal for this year so I grabbed a bin that had some UFOs in it. And I found this top! I knew it would never be the king size quilt I had hoped it would be, but I realized that if I turned it sideways, it was already large enough to be a twin size quilt! It was too large actually.

All I needed to do was trim the top and bottom 12" off and my twin size quilt top would be complete. So I did. I then had two large pieced units leftover, so I used them on the backing. I also used some leftover yardage from other projects to the back as well. One of those fabrics is so old it's almost vintage!


Finally Finished...

Then all I had to do was put it on the longarm (with a pieced batting!) and I quilted it using a fun new design called "Slipstream". I also had the binding fabric in the stash. So I finished this quilt in 2 days without purchasing anything new.


I now have one less UFO (unfinished object) and one more quilt ready for donation! Maybe it's time to start re-thinking more of the UFO's that I have and give up on the original plan. It feels so good to have a finish, even if it's not what I originally intended it to be.

I just hope that whomever ends up with this quilt knows that it was stitched with love.

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Happy 9 Patches!


Happy 9 Patches my friends! I've been working on this quilt in my spare moments over the holidays. I had two fat quarter bundles that had been sitting on my shelf for a while and I wanted to use them. Playing with them was sort of a Christmas gift to myself.

I have always loved Sweetwater designs. I find myself drawn to the clear colors and graphic prints with a nice variety of scale. I mixed the lines for this quilt so I could get the darks and lights to contrast really well. 

The design for this quilt is very traditional. The nine patches are made out of squares and 9 patches. It is super simple and easy piecing. Here's what I did.



Small 9 patches finish at 4 1/2" and large blocks finish at 13 1/2".
The finished quilt is 67 1/2'' x 81''.

Supplies Needed:

15 light fat quarters
15 dark fat quarters
3-4 additional fat quarters for strips
3/4 yard for binding
76" x 89" batting
5 yards backing

Cutting Instructions:
*Cut the squares first and use the leftovers for cutting strips.

Cut 15 matching sets of 4 dark squares 5" x 5"
Cut 15 matching sets of 5 lights squares 5" x 5"
Cut 68 light strips 2'' x 18''.
Cut 85 dark strips 2'' x 18''.

Sewing Instructions:

For the small 9 patches. 
Sew 17 strip sets of light/dark light.
Sew 34 strip sets of dark/light/dark.
Press the seams to the dark fabrics.
Cross cut all of the strips sets every 2".
Sew a dark/light/dark segment to a light/dark/light segment, nesting the seams.
Sew a dark/light/dark segment to the opposite side of the light/dark/light segment, nesting the seams.
Press the seams away from the center unit/strip.
Make 150.

For the dark blocks. 
Arrange the dark squares with 5 nine patches as shown.
Sew the units into 3 rows of 3.
Press the seams away from the 9 patches.
Sew the rows together and press the seams toward the center row.
Make 15.




For the light blocks. 
Arrange the light squares with 4 nine patches as shown.
Sew the units into 3 rows of 3.
Press the seams away from the 9 patches.
Sew the rows together and press the seams away from the center row.
Make 15.

Arrange the blocks as shown, alternating light and dark blocks.
Sew the blocks into rows. Sew the rows together.
Layer, quilt, bind and enjoy!


As you can see, I chose to make mine 5 x 5 after the directions were written. I love square quilts because they snuggle awesome and they are perfect for decorating as well. I quilted it with an edge to edge design called "Bias Plaid" that I love. I also bound it with red binding so I chose to quilt it with red thread. It is the first finished quilt of 2020 and ready in plenty of time for next Christmas!

I would love to quilt for you, for more information about my longarm quilting services go HERE.
Enjoy every stitch,
Diane


Sunday, January 5, 2020

Quilt Teaching Travel Update for 2020



The good news is that I have lots of travel planned for this year. I'll be driving and flying far and wide to share my quilts and teach lots of workshops. I do have a few openings available for teaching dates. Please see my calendar HERE and see my workshops and programs HERE and print my teaching brochure HERE to share the information with guild program chairs. I am happy to answer any questions you may have by email HERE.

Dates are limited at this point, but if we can't schedule for this year, I am booking 2021 and 2022.

Under the Mistletoe is my most popular workshop.
Machine Quilting with Rulers is my second most popular workshop.

Also, I have lots of new designs coming out, so if you don't want to choose a pattern from my first book, or my second book or one of my individual patterns, you can always wait until closer to the date of my visit before choosing the exact workshop or trunk show you prefer.

Getting on my calendar is the first step, contact me soon if you have dates you would like to ask about! Looking forward to seeing so many of you this year. We are going to have so much fun quilting together!

Enjoy every stitch,
Diane

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Seeing Stars Sew Along Step 5



Step 5

 6’’ x 21’’ flying geese row

Block as it appears in the quilt.

Cutting:
Background fabric- cut 14 squares 3 ½’’ x 3 ½’’

Geese fabric- cut 7 rectangles 3 ½’’ x 6 ½’’

Sewing the first square to the rectangle.
(Trimming line shown next to sewing line.)

Sewing the second square to the rectangle.
(Trimming line shown nest to sewing line.)


Make 7.

Make the flying geese:
Layer a background square on the end of each rectangle and mark a diagonal line.
Sew on the diagonal line. Trim away the excess, leaving a ¼’’ seam allowance.
Press the seams toward the triangles.
Repeat with the remaining squares on the opposite end of the rectangles.

(Or use your favorite method for making flying geese 6 ½’’ x 3 ½’’)

Sewing:
Make 7 flying geese, then sew them into a row.
The finished row of flying geese will measure 6 ½’’ x 21 ½’’.

Make 1 row for each panel.

Options:
Use multiple fabrics for geese. Or alternate two geese fabrics.
Checkerboard is made by cutting 7 background squares 3 ½’’ x 3 ½’’ and 7 other squares 3 ½’’ x 3 ½’’. Sew them together in pairs, press the seams away from the background fabrics. Sew the 7 pairs into a long unit, alternating background squares. Press the seams open or to the side.
Half square triangle unit is made my sewing 14 HST 3 ½’’ x 3 ½’’. Sew these into pairs, then assemble in the same way as the checkerboard option.

Can you come up with another fun option? 
String piecing? 
Checkerboard using 9 patches? 
Applique? 

Please post a photo of your blocks to the group Facebook page (link) and tag it with #seeingstarssewalong and #butterflythreadsquilting

or send a photo to me at
Butterflythreadsquilting (at) gmail.com and I will post it for you!

Go here for a printable version of Sew Along Intro Information
Go here for a printable version of Step 1 
Go here for a printable version of Step 2 
Go here for a printable version of Step 3
Go here for a printable version of Step 4
Go here for a printable version of Step 5

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane

Monday, December 30, 2019

20 for 2020


Welcome to the new year, the new decade and the new opportunity to make your life more intentional one choice at at time! I've decided to embrace the beginning of the new year by taking a few moments to reflect back and to look forward.

I am not a big 'resolutions' kind of person, but I do love my lists (as you all well know by now! ha) and I do like to use them to keep myself on track and going in a direction of choice rather than aimlessly wandering through my days, getting sidetracked by every sparkly thing that grabs my attention. While that might seem like fun, it leaves me feeling like I haven't gotten anything accomplished.

I also like to take a regular look at my list of choices and update it or make changes as I go. I'm not stuck in a rut of getting something done just because it's on the list. I make the list, I can change the list. I read a really great book recently called Big Dreams Daily Joys that really breaks down the process of being productive and getting the things done that matter most. I would highly recommend this book! It's a good resource to go back to again and again.

So all this is to say I have my list for 2020 and sharing it makes me a bit more accountable. So here goes...

1. Attend 120 Pilates classes. With my work and travel schedule this may be a challenge, but I love the way I feel when I make the time and effort!

2. Read 60 Books. I read 54 this year, and this includes the books I listen to while traveling.

3. Finish 10 quilts and donate them to charity. I have 3 almost complete.

4. Walk a 5K every week. I know this is good for me and the dog will love it! I think it will be more enjoyable if I learn how to do listen to audio books on my phone (see # 14)

5. Go on a trip with my husband. He travels for work and I want to go along with him on a trip. He likes it when I travel with him but coordinating it can be a challenge.

6. Learn how to use EQ8. I have had it for a year now, it's time to figure it out!

7. Finish a custom quilt on my longarm using rulers.This is half complete. I just need to schedule the time to get it done.

8. Publish 3 patterns that are in various stages of development. So excited to share some super fun stuff I've been playing with!

9. Submit a design to an international magazine. Very intimidating, but I like a challenge!

10. Reduce sugar in my diet. I'm addicted to sugar and I hate the way it make me feel.

11. Clean out my quilt closet. This is scary, as it's a big closet, but I need to purge and sort and remind myself what's lurking in there!

12. Attack the attic and leave only what is necessary. I know there are things up there that really need to go to a new home, it's time to make that happen.

13. Rework my office space for more efficiency. I have two different desk areas, I want to consolidate and make it more comfortable.

14. Learn how to listen to audio books on my phone/car. Technology can get the best of me but I don't want to be the old lady who can't do things for herself. I need to learn how this stuff works!

15. Clean out the closets. 

16. Develop a meaningful AM routine with yoga/stretching. I've never been a morning person, and I think I need a routine that will help me with that.

17. Design a new Block of the Month for fun. These have been so much fun to share the last few years, I definitely have some ideas, and I am looking forward to this!

18. Make pillowcases for charity out of stash fabrics. Leftover yardage from backings that is lingering in my stash needs to be put to good use.

19. Attend the Birmingham Quilt Festival. I have wanted to do this for years, maybe I can make it happen this year.

20. Remake a small version of Razzmatazz in neutrals. I love this quilt from my first book, but I want a small version in soft neutrals. I have the vision in my head, now I need to make it happen in fabric!



I am not under any illusions. I realize this is big and challenging stuff. I plan to track it on a weekly and monthly basis to see how I'm doing. I will update here occasionally as well.

So what are your 20 for 2020? Or are you just waiting to be surprised by it? Either way is great, no judging here. Whatever you choose, I hope 2020 is your best year yet!

Cheers,
Diane

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