Sunday, July 23, 2017

12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop

Welcome to my day on this amazing pre-holiday blog hop.  The 12 Days of Christmas in July hop run by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict is a fabulous way to get some inspiration for those holiday gifts and crafts. Starting early will ease the stress that comes with that time of year as well.

Confessions Of A Fabric Addict

Make sure to check out the other bloggers for today.  There are some pretty amazing prizes for those that comment on every post for each day.  I will post all of the past day's blogs at the bottom of this post because there were some excellent projects and you should visit all of them.

Monday, July 24

I knew almost right away what I wanted to do for this blog hop once I signed on to participate.  As many of you know, I don't decorate much.  Especially when it comes to holidays.  I just don't have the room to store different themed decorations.  So, that means I prefer simple decorations with an impact that don't take up much room.  I opted for a "wall hanging" in the beginning, but it has evolved a bit into a "door hanging".  It is a piece that is the perfect size to hang on your front door or the outside of your coat closet door in the entry.  It would look great anywhere really.

I stepped a bit outside my comfort zone with the fabric choices on this one and went with gorgeous muted fabrics that I just could not pass up.  I found them at a little shop called Momma Made It in Longview, Washington.  They were so friendly and while the stock was of a certain style (Warm, Homey, Civil War type fabrics), there was a great variety and I will be visiting there again.

Aren't they the prettiest?

I don't know what possessed me to choose a directional, lined print for the background of this, but I learned something new.  Matching up all those prints when there are lots of HST's is a bit of a pain, but the end result is gorgeous. If you didn't have to line up a print, you should be able to finish this project in a day.

I made sure to put hanging corners on the back so I could use a dowel and pretty ribbon for hanging (even though I don't have that yet in the photos).  You could use a sleeve or any preferred hanging method.

If you notice, my quilting on my test "Sweet Gift" is not ideal.  I had wanted to try a poofy  lofty batting and it didn't work out so great.  I would suggest something flatter and more dense unless you happen to like this poofy look.  :)

I have not had time to complete an actual pattern for this "Sweet Gift" yet, but if there is interest then I will try to get it done sooner rather than later.  So, let me know if it is something you would want to make.

Make sure you check out all of the great Holiday ideas from the days that have already passed on this fun-filled blog hop.  Show your love with some comments (there are prizes!!)

Here are the blogs participating in the 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop!
And don't forget about Confessions of a Fabric Addict!  Sarah has a QAL as well as a roundup of posts and details about the prizes, but hurry because we are almost at the end of 2017's 12 Day of Christmas in July Blog Hop!

Friday, July 14th

Saturday, July 15th

Sunday, July 16th

Monday, July 17th

Monday, July 10, 2017

New projects and upcoming surprises

I have been working on a few different things lately besides getting ready for my retreat this week.

The first thing is a few little gifts for a You Tube channel crew that i have grown to enjoy immensely.  They are in Ireland and I will do an entire post once they receive the package.  So, I will write more about them in that post.
Sneak peek:

Hi, My name is Jen and I have a crafty addiction.
Last weekend I could not get it out of my head that I wanted to learn how to needle felt.  My mom started awhile ago and it seemed like a lot of fun, and something to check out one day. Then I woke up Saturday morning and the thought would not leave my brain.  I became obsessed.  And it is fortunate (or unfortunate) that I live less than five minutes away from The Pendleton Wool Mill.  I went down and browsed all the pretty wool things.  And I bought a huge grab bag of wool.  And some needles.  SOOO addicting!  It was so much fun.  I know!  I know!  It isn't like I have all kinds of free time to fill in.  I am busy enough.  The struggle is real people!  On the plus side, I have no interest in scrap-booking.  Hahaha

Here is what I came up with that first weekend:

Not bad for my first try.

Joltik (I think that is how you spell it)

Now my son wants me to make all kinds of Pokemon creatures.  
I am working on putting together an Etsy shop with my mom and wasn't sure how selling licensed characters in a new form worked.  I know I have seen things out there, but I wanted the facts for myself.  Help me Google.  How do you phrase a question like that?  How about "Making a famous character with crafts to sell".  Sounds like magical Google would at least make an effort for that.  Oh it made an effort alright!  Funniest auto-correct ever!

Ooops!  This might be news to some, but most of us already know what getting into crafty hobbies can do to a person.  :)

And with that, I will leave you to continue your quilting and crafting!  

Quilt Retreat Series Part 3: Planning Projects

Eeek!  I can't believe I get to take a week off and quilt until my heart's content in only a few days!  I am so excited.  This post in the series gets a little more specific and personal to my current retreat.  As always, each retreat and each quilter has their own opinions and needs.  If you want to start at the beginning of my series, you can find the Intro HERE.

I have know for a few weeks what projects I needed to get done at the retreat, but that isn't always the case.  Deciding what projects to bring to a retreat can be very stressful.  How much room do you have?  What if you forget something?

I always try to pack about 5 projects and then a spare fabric or two just in case.  The past retreats I attended I basically just put ideas into a tote and off I went.  I worked on whatever struck my fancy at the time.  I didn't have deadlines or commitments then.  This time around, I have at least FIVE commitments that need to be finished by the end of July.  Most of them are fairly simple and will be easy to complete once I get my ducks in a row.  My primary one is getting my late (SOOOOO sorry Karen) June Bee Block done.  And then getting the July one done as well.  Ooops, make that SIX projects because I think I am September and have to get my blog post ready for that.

Then I have two blog hops that I am participating in that I have written small patterns for.  They are both Christmas themed.  I'll try to remember to come back and link to those posts after they are done.

Then I have a new quilt pattern to test and post about.  Sorry, this one is secret.  :)

After picking out some fabrics for those and adding a few things to my shop hop list, (because of course we will hit many new quilt shops along the way) I added the old UFO, my Midnight Lemonade quilt and a stack of batiks that I was working on when my old machine went kaput.  Then I threw in a little box pattern with some fabrics and the materials (like zippers) needed to make a few of those.  I highly recommend having at least one quick finish project.  It will be satisfying to finish it in one go and it gives you the memory of the trip.  Plus, a lot of retreats have something like a show and tell at the end and even if you don't complete a full top, you will have something.

Now, I know a few quilters that don't like doing their cutting when they are at a retreat or even with others.  They feel that they need more focus when cutting.  I am not like that.  I don't mind cutting while chatting, so I don't do that ahead of time.  If you are one of those people that prefers to do all of your cutting ahead of time, don't forget to bring just a little extra fabric just in case.  Things can get lost when you are not in your own space and mistakes always happen when you have no way of correcting them.  

If you have room, pack more than you need.  And quite frequently I would say to expect to get caught up in that quilting whirlwind we are all familiar with and leave some room for new purchases.

I would also recommend bringing a notebook and pencil.  There is so much inspiration at a retreat that you might need to take pictures and make notes.  It is also handy to jot down new friends contact information.

I will be documenting my shop hop and retreat visit.  Mostly on Instagram.  But, I'll certainly do a roundup post after the retreat.

I would love to hear about your favorite things to encounter on a quilt retreat.  Let me know in the comments what gets you excited.

Happy Quilting!