Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Huge Craftsy Sale and a mini-class review

If you are one of the millions of people who start their holiday shopping this week, don't forget to stop by Craftsy.  They are having a huge sale NOW through Monday.  Fabric and yarn is already heavily discounted (Craftsy Yarn and Fabric sale up to 80% off from 11/27-12/2!), and classes will be if they aren't already (my link says the sale starts on Friday, but when I visit the site it looks like the sale is already live) Craftsy Class Sale up to 66% off from 11/29-12/2!

While this sale does appear to be THE time to stock up on classes for yourself (cough, cough, I mean you loved ones), I also wanted to share that they have recently added several new FREE classes!  I had some time earlier in the week to go through the new Learn How To Piece, Patch, Quilt Class: Basic Quiltmaking Skills.  It is great for beginners!

The class covers:
  • selecting, preparing and cutting fabric
  • designing a layout
  • sewing and pressing
  • sashing and borders
  • layering and basting
  • tying or machine quilting your quilt
  • hand quilting
  • binding***
The class even comes with 3 super easy quilt patterns.

I really thought the class was excellent and covered more than just the basics.  My only "bummer moment" came at the binding section.  The instructor does show you how to put a binding on, but it is NOT a continuous mitered binding.  This seems strange to me since it is the type of binding most people seem to use and she already covers how to join strips with a bias seam (the same technique used to make continuous binding strips).  I was surprised they didn't just go ahead and show you how to miter the corners, but perhaps they thought the joining of the ends would be too difficult??  Who knows?  Other than the binding section, the rest of the class is great and I recommend it to any beginners out there.

There is also a new free class for Longarmers called, A New Look at Longarm Quilting with Mandy Leins , which I didn't get as much out of since I am NOT a longarmer.  And a Free Pizza Making Class, which I haven't checked out yet, but definitely need to!  We made homemade pizza with the kids last week using a recipe I found online and it did not turn out that well.  Hopefully, this class will straighten out what went wrong.

I hope you all have a really delightful Thanksgiving, and those of you venturing out to battle the shopping crowds on Friday, be safe!!

Thanks for reading,


Friday, November 22, 2013

Penelope Star for Simply Solids December

Welcome fellow Simply Solids bee mates!  I first encountered this block when another bee mate from the Star of Africa bee wished it for her month.  Her blocks turned out so lovely that I was rather jealous at the time, so I am happy to have a chance to get my own Penelope Stars.  You can find the original tutorial here at Stitches and Scissors, but I have also put together a little tutorial of my own since I changed a few minor dimensions to help with success.

What you will need:

Penelope Star tutorial supplies
  • Eight 7 inch squares of Medium Gray (I will be sending you these in the mail!)
  • Four 7 inch squares of Color One (stash bust from your favorite colors)
  • One 6.5 inch square of Color One (stash bust from your favorite colors)
  • Four 7 inch squares of Color Two (stash bust from your favorite colors)
  • One 6.5 inch square of Color Two (stash bust from your favorite colors)


Set your 6.5 inch squares of Color One and Two aside.  You won't be doing anything with them but I need them for the final layout.

Take the four 7 inch squares of Color One and the four 7 inch squares of Color Two and cut them on the diagonal into two triangles.

Penelope Star tutorial

We are essentially going to make wonky star points by taking a 7 inch gray square and stitching a triangle of Color One to the right side of the square.

Penelope Star tutorial

I like to make sure my fabric will cover the square when flipped over after pressing before I sew it.

Penelope Star tutorial

Once you have your triangle sewn in place.  Double check to be sure when you press it, that it will cover the gray square (Ask me how I know this is important).  Then trim the extra gray fabric from the seam.  You can either toss these trimmings into your own scrap pile or send them back to me, your choice.

Penelope Star tutorial

Press the seam toward the gray regardless of whether you have chosen a dark color for your solid.  Repeat for the other 3 gray squares for Color One and 4 gray squares to be paired with Color 2, varying the angles of the triangle to make them all individual.  Your pieces should look, roughly, like this.

Penelope Star tutorial

Now sew another colored triangle to the left side of the gray square.

Penelope Star tutorial

Again, I like to just be sure that when flipped it will cover the gray square.

Penelope Star tutorial

Once sewn on, trim the excess fabric from the seam allowance and press toward the gray.  Again, either keep these trimmings or send them to me (I like to make improv blocks from these).  Repeat for the other gray squares and colors.

Penelope Star tutorial

It should look, roughly, like this, once pressed.

Penelope Star tutorial

Now trim your pieces to 6.5 inches square.  I purposely started everyone with 7 inch gray squares so that you would have some to trim away.  It may seem a little wasteful, but the first time I made these blocks I had a few corners come up short using the original instructions, and had to start over.  That was a pain!

Penelope Star tutorial

For each Color you should have one center square and four squares of star "points".  That is it.  Put them in a bag as is, and mail them to me.  I will assemble the rest.

Penelope Star tutorial "finished" star

In case you are curious, the stars will fit together something like this in the finished quilt.

Penelope Star tutorial stars together

Hopefully, I will have lots of different colors!  And I'm really looking forward to quilting the daylights out of those nice big stars.

Thank you in advance for everyone in my hive!  I hope I am not asking too much for everyone to do two colors.  It takes a lot of stars to make the quilt, and with your help, I'll have about 1/3 done!

Thanks again,


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Giant Chevron Pattern Winners

Giant Chevron at Veteran's Park

We have winners!

SewCalGal at SewCalGal and Fiona at Celtic Thistle Stitches will be receiving a free Giant Chevron pattern from Jess at The Elven Garden.  Congratulations!  I look forward to seeing your versions of this quilt.

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hiatus - giveaway

I read somewhere that you shouldn't apologize on a blog for not posting in a while.  I suppose that could be true in some circumstances, but I also realize that my timing for a bit of silence wasn't very opportune seeing as how I was just at the end of hosting a quilt along and pattern testing for a friend.  I am sorry, especially since I plan to continue my hiatus for a bit longer while I get my act together (Building Blocks Tuesday and Inspirational Sundays will be on hold).  But before I do....

Please let me announce the winners of the One Block Wonder Quilt Along!

  • Marci's beautiful quilt won the Viewer's Choice award.  She chose to use a beautiful print from Valerie Wells' Cocoon line.  It was a great choice.
    One Block Wonder Quilt Top
    • For the "Most Transformed" prize, I have chosen Tiffany's quilt.  She used a novelty print with aboriginal masks, and the kaleidoscopes she created were really interesting.  Congratulations!
      One Block Wonder top FINISHED

    • Both of our winners have been notified by email, and should be getting their prizes shortly.  Congratulations to you both.  I hope everyone who participated had as much fun as I did.


      I would like to finally show the quilt I made to test out the Giant Chevron pattern for my friend, Jess at The Elven Garden.  This is her first pattern release!   The pattern itself is SUPER beginner friendly, and also precut friendly (a layer cake can be used).

      Giant Chevron at Veteran's Park

      As you can see, I chose to use solids in the pattern and then I quilted the daylights out of it.  Jess's original quilt for this pattern uses a rainbow of prints on a black background and was published in the July Quilters Companion Magazine.  It is really lovely.  She also has several of the other pattern tester's quilts posted on her blog right now in case you want to see this pattern in action.

      Giant Chevron closer up

      Jess is incredibly talented and I can't wait to see what she does next.

      Giant Chevron at Veteran's Park

      Finally, the obligatory backing photo..

      Giant Chevron backing

      Jess has also been so generous to provide 2 copies of her new Giant Chevron pattern for me to give away to celebrate its release.  Please leave a comment below telling me what colors you would use to make this pattern.   Also, please make sure you are not a "No reply" blogger.  If in doubt, leave your email address in the comment itself like this, youremailaddress(at)domain(dot)com, so I can get in touch with you.  I still get a TON of no-reply comments.  I will randomly choose 2 winners next Thursday, November 21st.

      This Giveaway is Now Closed!

      Thanks for reading,


      Tuesday, November 5, 2013

      In a Slump - Building Blocks Tuesday

      I finally sat down yesterday at my sewing machine after not having touched it for over 2 weeks.  I made my Simply Solids block for November.

      Simply Solids November

      I admit, I am in a bit of a slump.  Not the best time of year to have a slump, but I am going with it and taking a bit of a break.  We all need breaks from time to time, right?

      What have you been working on this week?  I would love to see.  Link up your fabulous blocks.  You put a lot of hard work into them - show them off!  This free linky will stay open for a whole week.

      Quilter in the Closet


      1) Please link up only to the page in your blog showing your wonderful blocks, not just the blog homepage.  Flickr pictures are also OK.
      2) Make sure to put your blog name as the description so people know where they are going or the name of your block!
      3) Please grab my button and post it in your blog post or sidebar.
      4) Visit other linky participants!

      Thanks for reading!