Monday, February 24, 2020

Homespun Hearts in Huntsville


I really enjoyed my visit to Huntsville, AL last week. The Heritage Quilters are almost 300 strong and they are an enthusiastic and friendly group. I enjoyed every minute with them.


We had a fun trunk show "If Quilts Could Talk" which is a variety of quilts from my collection that have fun stories to tell. Sometimes the stories are what the quilt was inspired by, memories from the making of it, or adventures the quilts have had along the way. Sometimes my quilts live a much more exciting life than I do. It's always a fun way share quilts and their stories. And I always use one on the hotel room bed!


We had a RULERPLAY workshop the next day. It is an intense workshop filled with LOTS of information, concepts and ideas. We look at the quilts that have been quilted using rulers and talk about how that is accomplished (which rulers and quilting paths). We also explore options for quilting tops that are brought to class. And, of course, we sit down and get to business of quilting with rulers. We practice filling spaces, changing directions, and the best hand placement for holding different rulers. I share handouts with all of the info we cover, so that it can be referred to once they go home and start quilting.


On Saturday, we loosened things up quite a bit and enjoyed a variety of skills and techniques for Homespun Hearts. We cover different cutting and piecing methods for both half square triangles and flying geese. We touch on needle turn applique and wool applique using several different stitches. We even spend some time doing big stitch hand quilting and how to combine it with machine quilting for a fun effect.


This sweet quilt has so many opportunities for personalizing and I love seeing some of the options that are explored. Combining skills and creativity in new and fun ways is what quilting is all about.


I even got to stop in Rome GA on my way home Saturday night and have dinner with my daughter and her boyfriend! Obviously I needed some coffee and cake to keep me awake for the final portion of the drive.


It was a really fun road trip. The snow and beautiful scenery, along with the wonderful quilters, and seeing my girl made it really magical. I'm so lucky to have a job I love and get to see my kids as a bonus!

Image result for map of virginia blacksburg
Now, if a guild in Virginia could just invite me, I could see my boy at Virginia Tech! I'll keep my fingers crossed, because I miss that kid a LOT!

Enjoy,
Diane

Thursday, February 20, 2020

On the road again...


This traveling quilt teacher is off to Alabama today! This is the first of 3 visits to Alabama in the next 3 months. I'm excited to be going to Huntsville for the first time this week. We are going to have two days of workshops after the trunk show so I will try to remember to take photos to share.

Don't worry, he shared that pie with me!

I had a great visit with the guild in Athens, GA last week. The bonus was that I got to see my sweet boy who lives there! He is currently a junior at UGA and was more than happy to go out to dinner with his mom. I also took him to the grocery store for additional supplies (including a razor!) I've got to squeeze in my 'mom time' when I can!
Workshop info found HERE.

I'm also visiting some groups here in GA later this spring. It is so nice to do all of my traveling by car this spring. This fall I'll be flying back and forth to TX multiple times along with other visits to new places I've never been before! I'm really looking forward to those adventures.


I love my job and I love that I get to share quilting with so many amazing folks. I have been signing contracts like crazy lately for next year. If your group is considering a visit from me, please don't hesitate to contact me. I want to try to accommodate all the groups that I can, but I also need to pace myself. I'm working on new designs and patterns and ideas, and I need a day at home every now and then for that to happen! LOL


And if you're local, don't worry, I'm still teaching at Tiny Stitches the first Wednesday of every month. Have you signed up for the March Skill Builder Series yet? We will be covering lots of fun techniques to make tiny quilts with all the great details!

I hope to see y'all on the road!
Diane

Monday, February 17, 2020

New Longarm Designs Available




Funky Chicken - Pantograph



I love my Handi Quilter Amara with Pro Stitcher Premium. I have so much fun shopping for new designs for the pro stitcher. I have a whole pinterest board full of designs and am always adding to it.
A few of my new designs are here...



Espresso - Pantograph

intelligent quilting circuit path - Google Search
Parchment - Pantograph

intelligent quilting lazy hearts - Google Search
Malachite - Pantograph

raindrops on water pantograph - Google Search

You can check them all out here.
If you would like for me to quilt for you, go here.

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Valentine's Day 2020


I love Valentine's Day and all that goes with it. How can you not love chocolates, flowers and romance? My husband thinks it's just another holiday invented by Hallmark to sell cards. He is many things, but a hopeless romantic is NOT one of them. LOL

He did send me over to the flower section at the grocery store to pick out my own flowers. They are gorgeous and I think I did well! He also made heart shaped crab cakes for dinner. Okay, Whole Foods made them heart shaped but he did an excellent job of cooking and serving them!



Then we watched the season premiere of OUTLANDER. I am so addicted to the series and find myself wanting to reread the books every season.


I may have a few Valentine quilts to help celebrate the day as well. I just released my new pattern HEARTSY which is currently hanging at Tiny Stitches.


And there is this fun free wall hanging that continues to be one of my most downloaded patterns.

But I'm pretty sure I have more heart quilts in my future. I might even be working on one now! You'll just have to stay tuned to find out.

Diane

Monday, February 10, 2020

Snow Day Sew Day!!


We had a beautiful day of snow this weekend! It was soft and fluffy and wet, perfect for making snowballs. Boomer loved to chase the snowballs but he couldn't figure out why he couldn't find them. He's so funny.


I snuggled up with an amazing book for most of the morning, then I hit my sewing room for some stitching.


I quilted a charity quilt (made by someone in my guild) on my longarm while I also pieced the blocks of my next quilt into rows. I can't wait to share it with you. It is such a fun block with some crazy pieces that are made by combining simple squares sewn into triangles and then a few folded corners. It sounds complicated but it is really so simple and fun, it's addictive.


And since the snow is all melted and just a memory already, I'm off to teach for a couple of days in Athens at the Cotton Patch Quilt Guild. It will by my third visit to them and I love what a fun and creative group they are! I know I will be amazed by their show and tell as well as their fun colors and combinations. Isn't it wonderful how we can always inspire each other with our unique skills?

I hope you are staying warm and stitching something fun too!

Diane

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Seeing Stars Sew Along Step 6



Step 6

12'' star block

Block as it appears in the quilt.

Cutting:
Background fabric- cut 4 squares 3 ½’’ x 3 ½’’ for the corners.
Background fabric- cut 4 rectangles 6 ½’’ x 3 ½’’ for the sides.
Star Points- cut 8 squares 3 ½’’ x 3 ½’’
Center Square- cut 1 square 6 ½’’ x 6 ½’’ *

Center triangles- cut 4 squares 2 ½’’ x 2 ½’’

Make 1

Sewing:
Arrange the center triangles (squares) on each corner of the  6 ½’’ center square mark a diagonal line.
Sew on the diagonal line. Trim away the excess, leaving a ¼’’ seam allowance.
Press the seams toward the triangles.

Make 4

Layer a star point square on the end of each background 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. (These are the same units from step 5 flying geese)
Repeat with the remaining four squares on the opposite end of the rectangles.
(Or use your favorite method for making flying geese 6 ½’’ x 3 ½’’)
Make 4

Arrange the corner squares, flying geese and center square as shown in the diagram.
Sew the units into rows. Press the seams away from the flying geese units.
Sew the rows together and press the seams toward the center row.


Make 1 block for each panel.

Options:
*If using a focus fabric, use the squares cut in Step 1 for the center of the blocks.
Substitute any 6’’ block for the center of the star block.
Fussy cut a fabric to feature the design in the center of the star.
Crazy patch leftover bits for the center of the star.

Use background fabric for the center of the star or for the center triangles.

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
Go here for a printable version of Step 6

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane

Monday, February 3, 2020

Donation Quilts...Sharing the Love!


What happened?

I was looking at my quilt closet (attempting to sort and clean) and realized I had several quilt tops and UFO's in various stages that I no longer was interested in. Ever the optimist, I decided that just because I wasn't interested in these quilts, maybe someone else would be! So I decided that I would finish the quilts in all their forms and various stages (not necessarily sticking to the original plan) and finish them so they could be released into the world for someone else to love.

Why?

There are so many great organizations that provide wonderful services to people in need. My local guild donates to a crisis center for women and children who have suffered from domestic abuse or trafficking. The brave folks who help these people are setting them up in new lives and coordinate resources for food, shelter, jobs, and all the things they need to start a new life.

I love the idea that my quilts can be of comfort to someone that I've never met.

How?

So I pulled out the bin and started going through it, project by project. These quilts were all abandoned for various reasons, but mostly due to lack of interest. Something new caught my eye and I was off on another project before these were completed. I know I'm not the only one guilty of this, so I feel like it's okay to be honest. Y'all are my people, you understand.

And just like that I started with the ones closest to completion, and finished them off! I finished 5 in January, and hope to complete many more before the year is over. I know that some of the projects will take much longer than others (based on their current stage) and that's okay.

These are the quilts I gave away last month...


Blog post HERE about this quilt.


This was a quilt I made using all batiks, and one of the first I quilted on my longarm. There are many imperfections, but overall, it's are really cozy quilt, and hopefully it will make someone smile.


These blocks were sewn together but I had additional blocks. Let's just agree that they are not all the same size or extremely accurate, and that's okay, because the overall effect is still very cheerful. I added another row of blocks and quilted it, then bound it by machine. So this was finished up in a day. I hope it makes someone very happy!


This was a fun stack of string blocks that I started when Lori over at Humble Quilts encouraged us all to have some fun with strings. The blocks were super fun to make and play with, but I just never got around to sewing them together. So I did, and then I quilted a fun pattern on it, machine bound it with a super cute stripe fabric and it's done! I hope whoever gets this really likes bright colors. LOL


And the final quilt I chose to donate was one that was a finished sample for the pattern above. It was a cute quilt that I plan to make again and again. It is made entirely from 2 1/2" strips, so it's great for using jelly rolls. It's a twin size, so large enough for a bed but still a good snuggle size too. 

Going forward...

I plan to donate more sample quilts as well as my UFO's as I finish them. I'm working on one right now that was a 'good idea gone wrong' but just might be the perfect quilt in someone's eyes. 

So my challenge to you is to look for a UFO in you stash that you no longer feel suits you, and finish it for someone else. It will make you feel good and it will give you a little more space for something else in your closet!

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane

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