Monday, January 31, 2011

Love Nest Quilt Contest

So have you heard of Gen X Quilters?  It is a super fun little blog ran by AnneMarie.  She happens to be hosting a Love Nest Quilt Contest  right now.  The request is for quilts that are finished bed sized quilt and Modern.  I figured my Braided Irish Chain is a perfect fit.  So here is a blast from October past :)



 I love Irish Chain quilts.  My mother made me a double Irish Chain queen size quilt for my wedding that resided on my bed for years.  After the children "loved" it a little to much I decided it was time to make a new one.  I wanted to make an Irish Chain Quilt but add some Modern twist to it.   So I began designing.   My design started with a simple Single Irish Chain, a very large Single Irish Chain.  Then I started adding "braids" for that modern flair.  And wha-la, The Braided Irish Chain pattern was created!   I had some much fun designing this quilt and was so surprised and pleased with the secondary patterns that came from it.



This quilt became my second Moda Bake Shop tutorial.  That's right, you can click right here for step by step directions on how to make it.  This was the largest quilt I have made as well as quilted.  Yes, I quilted it on my little Bernina, and yes, my shoulder was sore the next morning :)    I put this quilt together in a two weeks, however, those were some sewing intense 2 weeks :)  This quilt was a blast to put together and I am so super pleased with the final result!!  (Oh, but if I were to make it again some day, I would add a border along the 2 sides so that it hangs a little lower on the bed :)


Oh, and tomorrow is February 1st, and you know what that means, the start of my Quilt-A-Long :)  See you tomorrow!!!!
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Friday, January 28, 2011

Block-A-Palooza #2

Okay, so this post is going up about hour after it was planned, but unfortunately, I didn't have my full attention on my blocks and sewed 4 of the little 9 patch sets completely backwards.  Enter Mr. Seam Ripper.  Ah well, that is what happens when you are doing a few to many things at once.  So, here it is.  Block #2 designed by Elizabeth Fransson.  (I varied slightly from the design to keep all of my blocks the same size, but that is something probably only I will notice :)


I also put this little block together and will soon be turning it into an adorable mug rug.  There is a challenge to make a mug rug that represents you.  I thought what better than my new quilting mantra :)


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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hugs and Kisses from the Park

It's Here or I guess I should say They're Here!!!!!  Surprise, it is a 2 for 1 special this time around!!

So after all the sneaky peeks I am so happy to say that my Hugs and Kisses from the Park tutorial is out at the Moda Bake Shop today!!  Yippee Skippee!!!



 Don't you just love Central Park!!!  Kate Spain is quickly becoming one of my favorite designers.  I just love her fabric lines.  And if you love it you'll be happy to hear that the amazing Leah from Burgundy Buttons has made a Hugs and Kisses from the Park kit with everything you need to make up both quilts!!  And of course, she has it at amazing Burgundy Button prices.  But wait  . . . It gets even better.  The amazingly talented KATE SPAIN, (yes, the Kate Spain, as in the designer of Central Park, Kate Spain) has designed a quilt label  that comes with the kit!!!  Isn't that just awesome!!  Ya, there has been a lot of happy dances going on here!!!  So click on over while supplies last :)



And as if I wasn't already doing happy dances all morning . . . Kate Spain is featuring me and my tutorial on her blog The Drawing Board.  Now I am totally blushing, Thank you Kate!!  It is an honor :)



And lastly, I wanted to leave you with a little tidbit from the tutorial about where the inspiration for this design came from . . .  Growing up, we visited Grandma and Grandpa each summer and the trip was always filled with lots of laughs and more importantly, lots of love. Our favorite to do was to play at the park across the street with Grandma and Grandpa.  When I saw Kate Spain's collection of Central Park I knew I wanted to design something inspired by my grandparents.  Grandma and Grandpa would always sign letters to me with XOXO.  My mother explained that it meant hugs and kisses.  I always cherished those little X's (kisses) and O's (hugs) from my grandparents.  And that is how Hugs and Kisses was inspired.

I love you Grandma and am thinking of you and Grandpa often!!!  Sending lots of XOXO your way!!



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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It Starts - Block-A-Palooza!!!!

Okay, so now begins my WIP that will last until the end of March, which is a long time for me to be working on one project :)  But I am so super excited about this.  If you haven't heard of Block-A-Palooza, it is a quilt-a-long but there are 18 designers of the one quilt.  Oh, and ya, they happen to be some of the biggest names in the virtual quilting world.  Check it out :)  I have been anticipating this for the last month.  I decided that this was the perfect candidate to knock off my "using up some of my stash" goal.  I grabbed the following prints out of my stash to rock the Block-A-Palooza :)

And yes I took this picture on my treadmill. I figure since it never gets used to run on it might as well be good for something :)

And here is Block One designed by John of Quilt Dad.  He calls it Flying Over Fields.  I am loving the way this block turned out.


I am super excited for this Quilt-A-Long and excited to share you the Work In Progress along the way :)

And a final reminder . . . Check back tomorrow for my Newest Moda Bake Shop Tutorial.  I can't wait!!!


Linking up to
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

And The Winner's Are . . .

Alright, lets get right to it.  Oh, and one of these days I am going to figure out how to add the little Random.Org generator boxes.  Every time I try and cut and paste them they just go back to their original look, without the generated number.  If anyone knows how to do this, I would appreciate the enlightenment.


The first winner choosen by Mr. Random.org himself is  (drum roll please)   -   #65 -  Jan
   She choose Prize #3 first so she will be receiving the Fat Quarters





The second winner choosen by Mr. Random.org himself is  (drum roll please)   -   # 7 - KristyLou 
   She choose Prize #1 first so she will be receiving the Holiday Charm Pack

  



The first winner choosen by Mr. Random.org himself is  (drum roll please)   -   #35 - Jessica
   She choose #2 first so she will be recieving the Custom Appliqué.





Congrats to the winners, I have sent you emails :)  

And if you didn't win, don't be sad . . . I have a prize for everyone!!!  Come back Thursday when my next Moda Bake Shop tutorial will be released.  Don't you just love free tutorials? I know I do!!   I am so super excited about this new pattern.  I will leave you with this hint . . .Kate Spain and Central Park!!  Oh ya!!!

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Monday, January 24, 2011

One (huge thing) One Week Challenge

Just A Reminder . . . Today is the last day to enter my 300 follower giveaway here :)

So this week Amy had her One Thing One Week Challenge.  I love when Amy does these!!!  They always get me into super sewing mode.  This week was no exception, in fact, it was probably the biggest One Week Challenge I have set for myself.  My goal was to finish my twin size quilt top for my February Moda Bake Shop tutorial.  The reason this goal was so huge was because as of Monday I had 1 block of 20 done.  Thus began the sewing marathon!!!  Oh did I have fun!!!!  Here is a sneak peak of a "portion" of the block  (Ya, I am a tease, you'll have to wait till the end of February to see the rest :)  I am so happy to say that as of Saturday morning the quilt top was done . . .Ya, Goal Completed!!!!!




But of course, when I get a quilt top all done I just can't wait to get it finished.  I love free motion quilting and had some pretty specific ideas of how I wanted to do this quilt up.  So Sunday afternoon began the free motion quilting marathon.  It went into the late hours of Sunday evening :)  Just before midnight the dryer buzzed and the quilt had that wonderful finished snuggle me feel.  Oh, I am so super happy for how it turned out.  I am so excited about this quilt.  Want to see the quilting??



You didn't really think I would show the front, did you.  Tee Hee Hee.  Sorry, I know you really can't see any of the quilting but trust me, it is pretty awesome.  And just in case you are wondering, Yes, I quilted this twin size quilt on my little Bernina :)  Lots of pins and :."slightly" sore shoulders :)
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Styling :)

Side note - If you are looking for the giveaway it is here :)

I received my first "blogger award".  I have to admit, even though I know these circle around and around, I was pretty stinking excited when I saw it :)  Kati over at from the blue chair nominated Happy Quilting for the Stylish Blogger Award :)  Thank you Kati, and if you haven't checked out her blog, head over there!!  She is amazing!!


Okay so the rules for accepting this award are as follows :
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.  (So I did 5, I have to go make lunch for the kids)
3. Pay it forward to 7 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact those bloggers and tell them about their Blog Award!



So I thought it would be fun with each random fact I share to also share some of the new additions to the blog recently that have helped to make it so "stylish".  So here we go.

1 - BLOG - I had my friend (Cute It Up) design me a new header and buttons that I absolutely love!!!
     ME - I am an identical twin and my twin sister is expecting her first little girl, I am so excited for her!!!
2 - BLOG - I recently created a Facebook Page for Happy Quilting and added a "like" widget to make it super easy to "like me".  Does that sound silly or what??
      ME - Being a twin, I really, really, really, want to have twins of my own.  (Yes, even though I already have 4 children I want 2 more :)
3 - BLOG - Per request two days ago, I figured out how to add a feed burner so that you can get email updates every time I post, if you want that is :)
      ME - I recently had a fight with my stove top and the stove top won with a 5 foot fire ball.  Some of my hair was sacrificed in the fight :)  I am not as talented in the kitchen as I am in my sewing room :)
4 - BLOG - I added pages to my blog so that you can easily link to my tutorials and quilt archive.
     ME - I was an accountant before I became a mom.  I love how everything is always neat and tidy in accounting.  Everything must balance.  That is probably why I have a harder time with abstract and wonky :)
5 - BLOG  - Maybe this isn't stylish but it is certainly helpful, I added numbers to my comments.  No more buggy eyes after giveaways :)
     ME - I am a can't stop reader.  Once I start a book, I tend to drop everything else until I finish it.  I find I am the same way with quilting,  I don't have a lot of projects going on at once.  I like to finish one and then start a new one :)


Okay, enough about me . . .On to my nominations . . .In no particular order here are blogs that I think have a style all of their own,  some quilting, some not :)

SewCalGal
Kindred Monologues
The Plaid Scottie
Just a Little Bit of Quirky-ness
Freckled Whimsy
House of Henrie
Cut to Pieces

Enjoy!!!!
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

WIP Wednesday

First off . . . If you are looking for my 300 follower giveaway it is here

I had to laugh a bit when I was thinking about my WIP to post because I think I currently have 8 things on the drawing / cutting board and 1 actual work in progress.

So first - Something from the drawing board.  I decided on my design for the Modern Quilt Guild #2 Challenge. The challenge this time around is a completely monochromatic quilt.  2 nights ago I got the design all laid out and grabbed the fabric from my stash.  So it is ready to go.  Can you guess what color I choose :)


And second . .  My actual WIP.  Which happens to be something I don't want to show off yet.  How is that for mean??  I am working with the amazing Sunkissed line from Sweetwater to make a Moda Bake Shop tutorial for February.  And this quilt is a little intense - time wise that is.  I will show you this.  These are my clippings from the last 2 days work :)  Aren't they cute :)


So that is it for WIP - There is a lot going on over here at Happy Quilting just not a lot that I can show for it.  Sorry :)  I will show more as some of those other drawing board ideas actually meet fabric :)

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

300 follower Giveaway!!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED :)

I am blown away at how quickly this little blog is growing!!  I started this blog on July 11th of last year.   So just over 6 months and I find there are over 300 people that are interested in my day to day quilt dabbling.  Wow!!!  All I can say is Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!

And the best way to say Thank you is with a giveaway, right!!!  Since we are at 300 followers I figure it is best we have 3 opportunities to win.   I tried to mix it up a bit.  I hoped to find something on our vacation but we never dared venture outside the resort, ah well.  Okay, enough side track, here they are.

Prize 1 - A Holiday Charm pack.  Last week I decided I needed to make something for me and that my house was severely lacking in holiday decor.  So I started cutting up all of my holiday scraps into charm squares.  The result, an adorable charm pack that is perfect for making a table runner or the like for each holiday.  (you can see my post from yesterday for some of the specific prints in the pack)


Prize 2 - Your Choice of Custom Appliqué.  I love the look of appliqué, but I hate cutting it out!!  So last year I bought a slice machine.  Scrapbookers use it to cut  all their paper but guess what, it works for fabric too.  So this prize is your choice of appliqué . . probably 20-ish pieces.  They come out super cute and perfectly cut.  Letters, numbers, trains, frogs, princess crown, reindeer, snowman etc. etc. etc.  If you win, I will send you your options (they are vast.)  Here is an example of it at work.  Perfect letters and a train, car, plane, and bus :)


Prize 3 - 5 Fat Quarters from Robert Kauffman's Zoologie line.  I figured we had to have one prize that appealed to the fabric stasher in all of us :)


Rules Rundown :) 

Since this is a follower giveaway I am going to say that you have to be a follower.  You know, reward those that made this type of thing possible :)  

So if you are a follower simply leave a comment stating - "I am a follower" and then the order of prizes from your favorite to least favorite - ie . . .I am a follower 2, 1, 3

If you are not a follower don't despair, you can become one :)  Simply click on the Follow link or button up on the top left hand of this blog and then leave a comment stating " I am a new follower" and the order of your favorite prize to least favorite - ie  I am a new follower 1, 3, 2

Easy enough right!!!  If you want to be a bit chatty after your required part of your comment  and tell me you love the blog or so on (I know, shameless) that would great but please keep it to one comment per person, duplicates will be deleted :)

I would love it if you added me to your blogroll, liked me on facebook, blogged or tweeted or facebooked about the giveaway, etc, etc, etc, but they won't get you an extra comment for this particular giveaway, but they will make me smile :)

I will close the giveaway Monday night (24th) and use Random.org to choose the winners.  Winners will be announced Tuesday Morning (25th).  

Oh an please, make sure I have a way to contact you :)

Good luck to everyone and have a Happy Quilting day!!!
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Holiday Table Runners

So is it just me or has there been some super cute table runners popping up in quilt blog land over the last few weeks.  I have a few holiday table runners that have been made for me and I have made several that I have given away, but I don't have any that I have made for myself.  (Isn't that the way it always is :)  So last week I decided it was time to change that up.

So I pulled out all of my holiday scraps and started cutting charm squares.  I ended up with a rather large pile of prints and several squares of each print.  More than enough to whip something up with.


So I stacked them up in an adorable bundle in order of holidays through the year.  And this is where it gets fun. The goal is to make a table runner (or some sort of decoration for my house) with each holidays square before that holiday. We'll see if I am up to the challenge :)


Could you use some adorable holiday decor??  Check back tomorrow for my 300 follower giveaway where you could win your own Holiday charm pack :)
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Friday, January 14, 2011

Featured with an Announcement

Well I am back!!  My sweet husband and I spent the last 4 days in the beautiful sunshine of Montego Bay.  It was a wonderful trip and a super nice way to celebrate our 10th anniversary.  We tried lots of new water activities including snorkeling and sailing which I throughly enjoyed.  And we ate, and ate, and ate!!  It was so nice to just spend time relaxing and enjoying. And now the snow here has kicked me back into reality, so here it goes.


Back to some quilting, Yippee Skippee!!  I really did miss you Bernina :)  I am super excited to say that I got a nice welcome home present from the lovely ladies over at Quilt Story as they are featuring my Nature's Pathway quilt today.  Isn't that fun!!!  Click on over to check it out :)


What is even more fun and exciting, is that you will notice in the write-up a certain mention of doing this as a Quilt-A-Long come February.  That's right, I am making it official!!!  I am planning a quilt-a-long of this quilt, or a similar variation to it some time next month.  I am super excited about this.


What makes me totally super excited about this is that I get to use my Anniversary present to design it.  My sweet husband got me EQ7 and I can't wait to try it out.  So stay tuned for future details.  I am so excited :)

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Half Square Triangles - Start to Finish!!

 Half square triangles are such a versatile little piecing block and can give you so many different variations.  This tutorial will go through the basics of cutting, creating, and trimming Half Square Triangles.

Start with cutting your squares.  2 squares of different fabrics make 2 half square triangles.  You want to cut your squares 1/2" larger than you want your unfinished half square triangle or 1" larger than your finished half square triangle. (same thing just depends on how you like to calculate your sizes.)   So in this example, I will be making 2" finished half square triangles so I will cut my squares 3" x 3".  Also, you are almost always making half square triangles in a mass quantity so cut all of your squares to start and then to save time be sure and repeat each of the sub-steps for making your HST's in an assembly line fashion.

On the wrong side of the darker fabric using your ruler, draw a pen line diagonally from the top left corner to the bottom right corner.

Lay your dark square on your light square with rights sides together.  Pin both sides of each square adjacent to that drawn line.  Make sure to put them out far enough that your presser foot won't hit them as you sew on by :)  Now stitch a 1/4" seam along both sides of the drawn line (the black lines represent your stitching lines :)  Remember, you are doing these assembly line so go ahead and chain stitch all the sets on the right hand side of the line, and then go back and do all the sets on the left hand side.

Clip your threads and then align your ruler along the drawn center line.  Cut your pieces apart along that drawn line.

Now press towards your darker print.

And now you are ready to trim up your HST.  You will trim to your pre-decided unfinished size. (1/2 smaller than you started with)  In this example I am trimming to 2 1/2".  Start by aligning the 45 degree line on your square ruler with the seam line on your half square triangle.  Make sure that the raw edges of the half square triangle are over the 2 1/2" line's on your ruler.  Trim the 2 sides along the edge of the ruler.

Now spin your block 180 degrees.  Once again, align the 45 degree line on your ruler with the seam line on your half square triangle.  Align the raw edges of the half square triangle under the ruler on the 2 1/2" lines on your ruler.  Trim the 2 sides along the edge of the ruler.

And now you have Perfect Half Square Triangles.  They take a bit to trim but are totally worth it for perfect points!!

NOTE***

If you don't have a square ruler you can use your long ruler to trim like so . . .

Once again, You will be trimming your half square triangle to a 1/2" smaller square than you started with. So, since this started as a 5" square, I will be trimming it to 4 1/2". To do this, align your ruler so that the 45 degree line is along the diagonal seam of your block and that the left side edge is on the 4 1/2" line of your ruler. Trim the excess on the right that is sticking out.


Rotate your block 90 degrees and align your ruler just like before. Trim away. Sometimes, there isn't a whole lot to trim away. Keep rotating your block until you have trimmed all 4 sides and have a perfect square :)


Now just start playing with the layouts . . .  The possibilities are endless :)


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Flying Geese - The No Waste Method

Okay, so how many of your get scared and run for the hills at the through of flying geese.  They can be a little intimidating :)   This is a great method of making Flying Geese that have no waste. And you won't be sewing any triangles along the bias which helps to keep everything nice and straight.  It's simply sewing down the center of squares.  Let's get to it!!!

To start you need to cut your squares!!  Each set of squares cut (5 total) will make 4 flying geese.  From your first fabric (the goose or large triangle) you will cut a 1 square that is 1 1/4" larger than the finished width of your flying geese block.  From your second fabric (the sky or small triangles on the sides)  you will cut 4 squares that are 7/8" larger than your finished height of your flying geese block.  Just make sure that when you are picking your sizes your keep your geese proportional to twice the length as the width (ie 2 x 4, 2 1/2" x 5",  3 x 6, ect.

So in this example picture I am making 4 sets of flying geese (12 green geese and 4 red geese).  My finished  geese blocks will be 2" x 4".  By finished I mean the size they will be when sewn into a block.  When I am done making the individual geese block they will measure 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" and are considered unfinished.  (a little confusing some times :)  So I have cut (4) 5 1/4" x 5 1/4" squares (4" + 1 1/4")  and (16) 2 7/8" x 2 7/8"  (2" + 7/8") squares.  I will end up with 16 flying geese unfinished at 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" and when I sew them into a block they will be finished at 2" x 4"

Oh, and one last note before we start sewing, since you are almost always making this block as a flock (aka a lot of them) it is best to save time to do all of your cutting first and then be sure and repeat each of the sub-steps in an assembly line fashion rather than making 1 set of  geese at a time.

With right sides together, lay two white squares onto your large print square as shown.  Using your ruler, draw a pen line diagonally from the top left corner to the bottom right corner.

Now go ahead and pin both sides of each square adjacent to that drawn line.  Make sure to put them out far enough that your presser foot won't hit them as you sew on by :)  Now stitch a 1/4" seam along both sides of the drawn line (the black lines represent your stitching lines :)  Remember, you are doing these assembly line so go ahead and chain stitch all the sets on the right hand side of the line first, and then go back and do all the sets on the left hand side.

Clip your threads and then align your ruler along the drawn center line.  Cut your pieces apart along that drawn line.

Now you will want to press your seam up towards your 2 little triangles.

Now, take 2 more little squares and align them on your two stitched pieces as follows with right sides together.  Once again, draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the little squares from corner to corner.

Now pin each piece far enough out that your foot will go by and then once again, stitch a 1/4" seam along both sides of the drawn diagonal line.  (Remember to chain stitch to save time :)

Clip your threads and then using your ruler aligned along the drawn line, once again, cut your 2 separate pieces apart.

Press up toward the little triangles again.  Lastly, trim off the little corners.


And you are done!!!  Perfectly precise flying geese blocks without throwing away any scraps and without sewing a single triangle.  Fabulous!!

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