Monday, December 31, 2012

Year in Review and What Will 2013 Bring??

Just a note . . . This is a bit of a long post without a lot of pictures.  I like to make goals every year to help keep me focused.  So a lot of this is for my personal accounting.  Feel free to skim as you like ;)

So what did I do in 2012????  Well . . . .



Wow, what a year!!  On December 31, 2011 I listed some goals here of the things I wanted to accomplish with my quilting in 2012.  Now I get to see how I did.

Goals for 2012

1 - Create some form of a blog hop.  These are always so much fun and I think I can figure out how to run one :)  I hosted the Simply Charmed Blog Hop for Valentine's Day.  It was a huge success and most of all, I loved working with so many great friends.  
2 - Host 2 more Quilt-A-Longs, at least.  I so loved having so many amazing quilter's sewing right a-long with me.  I really want to make sure I leave time to do that again.  This year we did the Tetris Quilt-A-Long and the Stars Quilt-A-Long.  I had so much fun with both and loved seeing all of the amazing completed projects.  
3 - Work on some of those Semi-checks from 2011 ie . . .curved piecing, paper piecing, and pillows  I worked more on curves with some improv projects and joined the Pillow Talk Swap this year.  I also drew up my first Paper Pieced pattern for my Dad's Semi truck quilt.  
4 - Write some more patterns.  I have several planned but plans don't always equal product :)  I wrote an additional 5 patterns this year for a total of  6 Happy Quilting patterns.  This was a big part of my year and I am so excited about it.  I am most excited that the process of writing gets a little easier with each one and my patterns get a little better, including size options and such.  
5 - Make some videos on free motion quilting.  I just have to get over the fear of my voice on tape.  I still don't like the sound of my voice on tape, but I made several video's this year, several on Free Motion Quilting as well as some on Finishing a Quilt and Applique.  I still need to learn how to edit them better though.  
6 - Teach a class.  Doesn't matter where, or to how many to preferably fewer, as the idea sort of scares and excites me at the same time.  I taught a class to my church's women's group.  I will also be teaching 2 classes in January at the Cedar City Quilt Retreat and 5 classes in June at the Panguitch Quilt Walk.  I really loved teaching and am so looking forward to these opportunities in 2013.  
7 - Start teaching my daughter to quilt.  She is starting to show some interest and I want to make sure I set some time aside for her.  We did a little bit of quilting, which she enjoyed.  This one needs to move into 2013 for sure.  However, she really enjoyed sewing clothing with her Grandma.  
8 - Design and create for my family.  Is it crazy that I made so many quilts in a year and only 1 of my children have a quilt I made for them on their bed??  (Although I have 2 in progress :)  I want to focus on making these works of love for the people I love.  This year I made new bedspreads for 2 daughters, 1 son, 1 husband, 1 father, 1 grandmother and 2 nieces.  I also made quilts for 2 nieces, 1 nephew, 1 grandmother, and 1 teacher,   Lots of Quilt love!!  I am so pleased with how this goal turned out!
9 - Make Christmas Stockings for my family.  Now that we know our family is not going to grow anymore I have no excuse not to make us a matching set of stockings.  I had plans, but then my surgery poo-pooed those plans.  For sure moving to 2013!
10 - Keep Balance!!!!  I want to really try to make sure I am on top of things enough to keep quilting time to nap time and bed time so that it doesn't interfere with family time.  It was a busy year!!  I think I did better on the balance thing than the year before.  That's not to say that there weren't some times where it got a little crazy, but all in all, I think I can honestly say it was a decently balanced year.  But ya, there's always room for improvement here, right :)  



So ya, I am feeling pretty great about the Quilting year of 2012.  In fact, I am feeling great!!  It has been such an amazing ride. When I think over it I still can't believe it all happened in 1 year.  I mean seriously, this year found me published in a book, attending my first Quilt Market, establishing a pattern line, being published in 5 magazines, hosting 2 Quilt-a-Longs and 1 Blog Hop and creating 9 quilt tutorials, 16 other tutorials, and 9 video tutorials.  Hoolay Smokes, What a Year!!!



So now it's time to look forward to 2013!!  I always like to make goals for the new year because they give me something to strive for.   I find goals help me to continue pushing forward.  However, this year in making my goals I decided I wanted to do it a little different.  My plan is to be a little less specific and have a few less goals.  Trying to keep track of 10 for a year get's a little overwhelming :)  So here they are, my 2013 goals :)

1 - Keep trying to expand my skills, ie . . paper piecing, doll clothes, dresden curves, stockings, and challenging myself with bee blocks -   I have signed up for Don't Call Me Betsy's  Paper Piecing BOM so I think that will for sure expand my paper piecing skills, so excited!!!  My daughter has also picked out several patterns for doll clothes so I think that will be a learning opportunity as well.

2 - Be Happy with Me -  Okay, so this one could be an entire post on it's own.  In fact it could be a series of posts.  But I really don't want to get to much into it.  (I am sure I am not the only one that floats in this boat of comparing and putting oneself down, but it is still an awkward boat to talk about.)   Let's just leave it at I am going to try to do better in 2013 :)

3 - Tell the story - Often I find that in an attempt to write a clear crisp tutorial I miss writing about why I liked a design, or what inspired me, or who it is for, ect. ect.  I wan't to try and write more about the story.  If that means I need to make 2 posts about a quilt, then that's what I will do.  (I mean, let's be honest, no one wants to read an entire personal story before getting into a tutorial ;)    I am also working on redoing my Quilt Archive, so that I can go back and see the story behind the quilts.  I think I might include some sort of linky party for the super old ones that never got blogged about.  They need to be recorded in some point in time.

4 - Seize opportunities while keeping balance - Balance is always, well a balancing act.  I don't want to say that I need to say no more in  2013.  In fact the complete opposite.  I love to sieze opportunities of projects that come my way.  I find I make such wonderful friends in joint projects and that is what this is all about to me.  I just need to make sure that as each opportunity comes along that I plan my time wisely, and not waste time, so that I can continue to keep balance in my life and still enjoy all the amazing oppotunities that come along.

So that's it.  I think these 4 goals will really help me learn and grow in the New Year to come :)  I can't wait to see what 2013 brings!!



Now . . . Before I sign off to this year and begin a new one, I would like to take a moment to Thank You!!!  I am overwhelmed by the growth of Happy Quilting in this last year and realize that without each of you amazing readers, it would not be possible.  I am humbled by the sweet comments that you leave on my projects, they truly make my day and encourage me on.  I am thrilled to see your version's of my tutorials and patterns, I do a little happy dance each time I am sent a picture.  And most importantly,  I am overjoyed at the amazing friends I have because of this online quilting community, you truly are the best part of quilting.

Thank you for your support, your kindness, and your friendship!! Here's to a new year!!!



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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Year in Bee's

I just love participating in Bee's.  I love a new creative challenge each month.  I love that the block I make often expands my quilting skills.  And I love the ability to put a super amount of time and effort into 1 block because you only have to make 1.  But most of all, I love getting to know new friends through these shared quilting endeavors!!  This year I was able to participate in 2 bees with some absolutely amazing women!!

The Beejeebers group!!  We sew from our stash in this group and I love that, because we all know I have a mass of scraps to whittle down.  This year was filled with some super creative blocks.  From game boards, to trees, to pictures, and trucks, the creative basis was totally covered.  The the favorite color scheme seemed to be blue and green, and there was some major precision quilting with lots of points in stars and strings.


The Sew Bee Create group!!  This group was an International group which is so much fun because when your quilt comes together it comes from all over the world!!  This group covered a whole variety of blocks from precision piecing to total improv   I always looked forward to the beginning of the month for that squishy package of fabric to arrive.  So fun!!

Here is my Beejeebers quilt.   I call it Convoy and it was a gift to my Father to keep in the cab of his Semi.  That middle truck is a paper pieced truck based of a picture of his rig.   I asked the ladies to make the Semi Truck blocks around it.  They did an amazing job!!!  The creativity blew me away!!  Needless to say, it was a very treasured gift for my father.  Thank you to each one of the Beejeebers ladies for being a part of it.


Here is my Sew Bee Create quilt.  I call it Spinning or Spiraling.  I designed this block and then did a tutorial for that gals to make it up.  Countdown to Christmas is probably my all time favorite Christmas line so it was a little hard to cut it up.  But I just love the way it turned out.  It has been snuggled with daily over this Christmas season.  Thank you to the ladies of Sew Bee Create for this fabulous Christmas treasure!


The Beejeeber's group will continue into 2013 absorbing a few new members from Sew Bee Create.  I can't wait to get going on another fabulous year of Bee's!!

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

End of Year Pattern Sale!!!

I can't believe it's almost 2013!!  What an amazing year it has been.  To celebrate 2012 coming to a close, I thought it would be fun to have a pattern sale.  These patterns, after all, were a large part of my quilting journey in 2012 :)

So from now until the end of the year all 6 of my patterns will be on sale for only $5.75 each!!!!

You can find my patterns on sale here:

     Purchase pattern from Craftsy - Instant Download 

     Purchase pattern from Etsy - Emailed within 24 hours



          

          


Oh, and I found out that Craftsy has Free PDF downloads as well (I have downloaded 3 already :)  So I added my I Spy Diamonds PDF Tutorial and my STARS Quilt-A-Long PDF to my Craftsy shop for Free download.  I love that the pictures come out clearer than google documents :)  Enjoy!!! 

 


Have a Happy Quilting 2012 Day.  There's only 4 of them left :)
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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

May the love of this beautiful holiday season fill your homes and bring peace, hope and happiness!!




From our family to yours - Merry Christmas
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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Starburst Quilt-A-Long - Coming Soon!!

So do you remember way back when I asked  if you you wanted to do a  Starburst Quilt-A-Long??   We'll it's time!!!   We'll get started  in the new year. I am so super excited!!  I just love Quilt-A-Long's and I really love this pattern, win - win!!!  And remember, you can choose from 3 different size options ;)



Of course we will be having great fabric discounts, fabulous fabric prizes, and most importantly lots of fabric fun with friends!!!   More information on all of this coming soon :)  For now, just get excited!!!

So what do you say??  Do you want to Quilt-A-Long with me???  Grab a button and get ready for fun!!

 
 

Edit  - Here is a quick link reference to all of the posts in this Quilt-A-Long

Teaser Post
Introduction, Fabric Requirements, and Prizes
Deciding on a Layout and Cutting
Goose in the Corner and Half Square Triangles
Flying Geese
Building Blocks - At least 2
Finishing Blocks and Sashing
Baste It, Quilt It, Bind It
Parade and Grand Prizes






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Friday, December 21, 2012

Hip to be Square

I am so excited to finally get to share Hip to be Square, my latest published quilt!!!  (Squeal)  This quilt  quickly became one of my all time favorites and I have been dying to share it!!  I used Moda Bella Solids in beautiful earthy tones to give modern flair to this highly geometric design.


The arrangement of colors and changes of strip sizes gives this quilt an endless amount of movement.  I just love how it looks like it is converging on itself in one minute and then the next minute it is exploding outward. So cool!!



You can find Hip to be Square in McCall's Quilt Quilts Feb/Mar issue which is in stores now.


And I can find the original Hip to be Square on my bed!!!  Yup, I finally made a quilt for my own bed, and I love it!!  Now I think some pillow covers are in order.  Another project to add to the list :)


And even though I finished this a long time ago, I am just now getting to share the finish, so I am linking it on up to Crazy Mom Quilts ;)
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

I Made a Doll Dress :)

Well my first attempt at making doll clothes wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be and I am pleased with the outcome. Now the reason it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be was because of the help of my wonderful mother-in-law.  I still read an instruction and it would go way over my head, but then Mom would explain what part we are adding to where and then the instruction would be a whole lot more clear :)  I think I will need my pattern interrupter for a while, but I am hoping to pick up the lingo with more practice :)  Yup, that's right, I want to do it again :)   I can't wait for my daughter to get to pick out the fabrics and patterns, we are going to have so much fun!!!


Since I was sewing with mom she took some pictures along the way.  Gotta love that tongue stuck out in concentration :)  That ruffle just kept trying to get away from me :)  These are some of my daughter's favorite prints from my stash, I think she is really gonna love it :)


And this picture represents a valuable lesson learned.  When attaching the bodice to the skirt, it is best to pin down and not up.  Pinning up results in a lot of pricked fingers :)


So here she is, ready for Christmas Morning.  I picked this dress because it seemed like the least complicated outfit for my first try.   The funny thing was that as soon as I was done, I started thinking of way's that could dress it up a bit, like a tie in the gathered neckline, or gathering the sleeves, or a ruffle on the sleeves :)  I guess with practice, I will learn to see these things before it is all sewn up :)  But for my first attempt, I am quite pleased and excited for my daughter to find my old doll on Christmas Morning :)


Here's to hopefully a few more outfits next year.  Have a Happy Quilting (and happy clothing sewing) Day!!!
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Matching Doll Quilt

So remember yesterday I mentioned I was going to turn these scraps into a new doll quilt??


Well I did, and I am just head over heels about it!!!   I wanted to use all of the prints so I decided to use the star pattern that I used for this block tutorial, I just used solid pieces of fabric instead of scrappy ones and scaled the size down just a bit.  I alternated the darker prints and the lighter prints to really make each blade of the star stand out.


Then to finish the quilt, I added a 1" white border around the star block, added a scrappy tile row to the top and bottom for length, and then one more 1" white border to the top and bottom.  I even had a little bit of the binding left from my daughter's Star quilt, so I used that to bind it.


 I am so excited how the quilting turned out!!!  I really wanted to star to pop so I stitched in the ditch around it and the scrappy tile rows.  I think it really helped to add definition to the blades of the star and I love the bit of puffy!!  (Although, there are a few places that aren't quite in the ditch, I still need to work on that :)


Then I quilted the the background in the same echoed paisley design (see video tutorial here)  that I did on the stars quilt but just did it in a micro size.  Isn't it just so stinking cute.  I love small stitching and I finished at about the same time I was starting to regret doing it so small.  That's such a perk of small quilts :)


So that's the last minute Christmas gift checked off :)  Yippee Skippee!!!


But you know I couldn't leave it at that, tee hee hee.  I am totally inspired.  With this cute new modern quilt the doll needs a cute little modern outfit.  And I talked to my MIL and she agreed to guide me along the way.  So sewing today will be tackling one of these.  Wish me luck!!


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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Last Minute Christmas Project

Do you know of the American Girl Dolls??  They were big when I was a young girl and have only gotten bigger with time.  I have held on to my doll hoping to pass it down to my daughter some day.  Imagine my excitement when she brought home an American Girl doll magazine that a friend gave her at school and just loved the dolls and wanted one for Christmas so, so much.  (Although, she wanted one of the newer dolls, but to be fair, this one isn't even available anymore, I think she will still love it)  Anyhow, I found my doll in storage and pulled her out to place under the tree for Christmas morning.


When I pulled the doll out I ran down to my little pattern box and pulled out some of these cute doll patterns that I had planned to make to go with the doll when she was old enough for it.  Ya, that didn't happen.  Honestly, I have looked over the instructions and get totally intimated and then just stuff them back in the envelope.  So this might be a next year Christmas, or the next, or maybe I will just end up buying them (I really am not good at 3D sewing).


But I still wanted something to go with the doll this year to make it a little more to date . . .  so I decided that what I can make before Christmas is a new bedspread for the dolls bed.  And how cute would it be for your doll's bedspread to match yours!!  My Star's Quilt-A-Long quilt is on my daughter's bed so out come the Heirloom scraps and now for some star making fun.  I just can't decide which one to make :)


And I couldn't help but add this last photo.  This is what happens in my house when I get an idea and start hunting fabric while the little one is awake ;)  She is walking now and gets into everything!!!  (But seriously, how cute is this, she played with the noodles for 45 minutes  had a blast, and it was just a quick sweep to clean up :)


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Monday, December 17, 2012

Playing with Pinking

I got a fun new little blade for my rotary cutter this weekend . . .


And it makes the prettiest pile of trimmings :)


I was a little worried about cutting with this as the blade isn't always directly right against the ruler but for the most part, it has gone really smooth.  I swerved a little once but mostly because I was getting comfortable with it and not paying to much attention.  There will be more to come on this lovely pile of goodies as  I keep trimming away!!
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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Winner!!

Thank you to Fat Quarter Shop for sponsoring the amazing Fat Eighth Bundle of Noteworthy Giveaway!!!  It was so fun to get to read what fabrics everyone was excited about arriving in store!!


And the one lucky reader that win's the Fat Eighth Bundle and 3 of my patterns is . . .



Congrats Liz!!  Glad to see you love Noteworthy because now you have a whole bunch of it!!



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Friday, December 14, 2012

Kami's Room Makeover

When we moved into our house we painted the upstairs room blue because my younger son and daughter were planning on sharing it.  2 weeks later, the son decided he was old enough to be in the basement with his older brother and our little princess was left with a blue room.  Fast forward a year.

My mother was visiting a few months ago and we decided it was time to finally repaint the room to a more girl friendly color.  Out came the paint chips and we ended up with a soft yellow that is soft, warm, and that matches her bedspread.  (Kami is not very pleased at this point that I am not painting her room pink but I appease her by promising there will be lots of pink in it :)


So off to the paint store we go and a few hours later we have transformed the boy room into a soft girly yellow room.   And that is as far as it went.  (Don't we just look stunning in our painting garb)


So now that my Mother is visiting again, we decided we should finish up what we started.  First off, time to repaint some picture frames to add that pink I promised.  The girls had so much fun painting with their grandma, and Josie had fun pulling out all the pots and the pans while everyone was to busy to bother her.


Today we hung everything up, including that adorable curtain that my Mother made at the last visit and I never got around to hanging.  (Sad, I know.)  Kami loves the little jewels that hang from it.  I ordered the vinyl letting online and love how cute it looks over all of her dress-ups.  (And I am glad my mom was here to help put it up as I have never worked with vinyl before but she is a pro!)


The other side of the room has her cute little book canopy and her newly painted pink frames.  There is enough fabric left from the curtains to make a little pillow that will go in the book area.  My mom is tackling that WIP so that I can get to the final one.


A second bedspread to match the first.  I have the fabric bought, the idea planned, and just need to get cutting.  It's on next weeks list and I plan to do a little tutorial for it too.  I always get so excited to start a new quilt, I can't wait :)


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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Whilst Lying About

I mentioned a little while ago that I was having surgery.  Well, that was Monday and it went very well.  Now I find myself lying about to let myself heal and trying not to overdo it.  (Which pretty much means not standing for more than 5 minutes.)   This is hard for me (as I am sure it is for any mom).  So, I am trying to catch up on some computer stuff since I can lie down doing that and finally add my patterns to Patternspot and Craftsy.  This is something that has been on my list for a while but I just hadn't taken the time to sit down and do it. Now, that's all I can do so it seemed like a good plan :)

       

       

I have to admit, it is kind of fun to see all of them together.

Thank you to all the well wishes that have been sent on my surgery and recovery.  I so appreciate your thoughts and prayers.  I am sure I will be up and sewing soon, cause I have lots of projects I want to do :)

P.S. If this post sounds jumpy, know that I am still medicated :)
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