Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Home Sweet Home Applique Sampler

My whole married life, I've heard my German husband quote from a famous American TV series that I've never really watched... "I love it when a plan comes together" (Hannibal's trademark statement from A-Team) As promised in my last post, January is "The Month Of The Quilt Top"... and not just one quilt top, but now three!?! So, how about if I formally introduce you to my third quilt top this month, which just happens to be my upcoming quilt pattern... "Home Sweet Home" Applique Sampler, and is to be released in May at the Nadelwelt in Karlsruhe.

With that being said, I suppose it might be obvious what nickname the month of February will have? I was thinking something along the lines of... "The Month Of Quilting" (no pun intended) Just so you know, quilting suggestions are more than welcome (wink, wink)

The whole concept behind my Home Sweet Home pattern is to offer applique shapes that are simpler, if you will, than many traditional blocks. I realize that a tiny Chuck Nohara block with a million leaves in one block is not exactly everyone's cup of tea, and can deter many quilters who have never tried applique, but would like to without feeling overwhelmed by all the tiny pieces.

I decided to highlight the applique blocks in a simple Irish Chain, and I love the delicate look of the Basic Grey Grunge in Freesia on the low volume background. I hope you are enjoying the purple, because it's going to be another repeating theme this year.

More about my Home Sweet Home Applique Sampler in the following weeks, but first thing first... I'm ready to kick off the "Month of Quilting"... what's on your list?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Year Of...

If January is any indication of what this year will look like, then 2018 will be "The Year Of The Quilt Top"... perhaps a small step up from last year's "Year Of The Pillow". In any case, January will boast at least THREE finished quilt tops... last week I shared my Summer Smoothie finish, today is Green Smoothies' turn, and the next flimsy finish this month, thankfully has nothing to do with smoothies... I just picked up on the repeating theme myself. 

With that being said, it looks like 2018 will also be "The Year Of Quilting"... with so many tops, what is a girl to do? I suppose I've been collecting so many quilt tops because quilting is my least favorite part of the whole process. I put it off, and I find that I really have to push myself and get mentally geared up to even get started.

... but January is the moth of goals, planning, resolutions, and good intentions, and since I've missed out on the last two Finish-Along quarters, there's no time like the present to get back on track... wanna a preview of what you'll be seeing with me? 

The first half of my year is pretty full and pretty planned out. The next quilt top you'll be seeing is my Home Sweet Home applique sampler quilt. This is my only quilt with a deadline... just in case you missed it - if you are in Germany (or close by), I am planning this quilt release parallel with teaching two classes at the Nadelwelt in Karlsruhe in May. It should be a good push to get this one quilted and written up by then, especially considering the fact that Lovebirds' Garden (also on the list) will be released in March - lots of corrections to do until then, but just to keep your appetite whet, check out what my pattern testers are doing in Instagram... don't you just love the diversity of projects?

The next pattern to be released will be Whirly Girl.... I suppose I better get a move on with this project considering how much progress Mell has made on her pattern testing version. Once I get a little further with the pattern, I will be looking for testers - no applique on this one! (how else do you think I could get Mell on board!?!

Lovebirds' Remix, which is a spin off pattern from my Lovebirds' Garden, is the next project lined up for a flimsy finish. My applique shapes are finished and just have to be glued on and stitched down... more than halfway there. Hmmm... maybe "Year Of Pattern Releases"  would be an appropriate title to throw into the lot? 

For fun, just to over promise, and under deliver, I'll throw my HST project on the to-do list... notice another recurring theme for one more title? "The Year Of Purple" Four purple quilts in one year, how did that happen?!? Seems a little fitting since it's Pantone's color of 2018, don't you think? Trust me, I couldn't have planned it even if I'd tried. 

Linking up with Finish-A-Long... so, what's on your 2018 list?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

That's A Wrap + First 2018 Flimsy Finish!

You may have noticed that it got quiet here. Last week I had to decide if I would finish my 2017 wrap up post, or take a spontaneous family vacation. Well, if you checked in last week, then you know which one I chose. But to make up for the missed post, how about if I start out the year with sharing my first flimsy finish for 2018?!? I'll give you all the specs once it's quilted, but at least for now, you can breath in a deep sound of shock when you hear that this bee quilt top won't be as big as I usually go. In the meantime, you can find the block tutorial here.

So, to get back on track with what happened this last year... I did manage two finished quilts in 2017. Do you remember my Tiptoe Through The Tulips quilt? This king size quilt is my biggest quilt ever, and due to it's sheer size and the fact that it was my second quilt pattern, it might actually be my proudest finish of the year.

My Prism Quilt finish was motivated by my self imposed deadline of finishing the first bee quilt before I start a new one. I wanted to get this one quilted before I introduced my new block to my bee mates, which just happens to be my flimsy finish for 2018! (Summer Smoothie)

I did actually I ask myself why I was only able to finish two quilts? Perhaps because it looks like 2017 was..."The Year Of The Pillows". In my defense, the pillows that I made were either gifts or smaller project samples from my pattern releases, not to mention that there is something totally satisfying in a fast finish without committing to a whole quilt... leaves room to try things.

But, 2017 was also "The Year Of Applique". I suppose when I look back, it's easy for me to fall into disappointment thinking that with "only" two finished quilts, I didn't get much accomplished... but I would like to argue that 2017 was my year in Rome... it wasn't built in a day, you know? Applique, specifically starch applique, has kind of become my passion this year... and if you have done applique before, then you know that it's not exactly production line quilting. Every little block with it's tiny pieces IS an accomplishment it itself. My aunt, who is a highly experienced quilter, reminds me that it's not about how fast you can finish a quilt, but about enjoying the process.

Another fun highlight of the year was the #30daysoffabricstacks challenge hosted by Stitched In Color... if you've been around for very long, then you already know that pulling fabric for a new project is my favorite part of the whole quilting process!... and here are a couple of my favorite stacks:

I actually had several flimsy finishes in 2017, and my Lovebirds' Garden is currently at the longarm quilter waiting for the magic touches to be put on. Writing my third quilt pattern, which is currently in my pattern testers hands, I still consider a "Finish"... the official release date is just around the corner in March!

With that being said, my fourth pattern is almost quilted, with my fifth and sixth patterns at the almost finished quilt top stage! More behind the scenes finishes than shared ones, but good things come to those who wait.

Hope you've had a great start into 2018, and as they say in Germany, have a "good slide" into the new year!
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