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It’s Giveaway Day!

I nearly forgot it was Sew, Mama, Sew’s Giveaway Day, but thank social media for the reminder! (I knew it was good for something..)

full_6225_203059_Mirthapaperpiecedwallquilt_3In the holiday spirit, I’m giving away a PDF copy of my Mirth wall quilt pattern! It uses 9 different fabrics to create a nine-block quilt. The full-size paper piecing template is included (you’ll make some copies of it) for easy and precise piecing.

All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me something you’d like to learn about sewing and quilting in 2017.  I want to know what you want to know. Maybe I can help you learn or maybe it’s something I want to learn, too!

And then head back to Sew, Mama, Sew to see what else people are giving away today!
Mirth quilt pattern by Teresa Coates _Crinkle Dreams
Winner will be announced on Monday, December 12, 2016.  is Kathy E.! Thanks to everyone for their input–it’s given me some great idea for tutorials in 2017.

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A New Spin on the Drunkard’s Path {book}

I first heard about this book a year ago when I was chatting with John Kubiniec at Quilt Market and he mentioned he was working on a book devoted to the Drunkard’s Path block. Drunkard’s Path?! That’s one of my top five! I love love love this block and its million different combos. I pretty quickly begged him to let me get a sneak peek at the book and he agreed. Months and months down the road, the book was finished and I got a copy to review.

11182_frontcover-1John’s “A New Spin on the Drunkard’s Path” was just released from C&T Publishing and is available directly from John (and he’ll sign it!), as well through many fine shops (and I’d encourage to seek it out at an independent quilt shop or book seller near you).

It wasn’t until I’d started reading it that I realized I’d met John’s work long before I met him. Like many quilters, I’m always tearing patterns and inspiration from magazines. Back in 2013 I found a beautiful red and white Drunkard’s Path in McCall’s Quilting magazine. I tore out the picture and put it into my files, ready to inspire me again when I had the chance. Come to find out, that was John’s quilt design and it was his first foray into the Drunkard’s Path block! That block layout is the one he used on the cover and so, of course, it was the one I had to use, as well.

I started with a half-yard bundle of Indie from Art Gallery Fabrics. I’ve been holding onto it for three years, as well, so I figured it was a great fit. I kicked out a couple of the fabrics in the bundle, choosing eight to work with, then combined it with Kona White.

His advice for manageable bits is wonderful and exactly the reassurance you need to keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed. You can do this, really, but take your time and John’s advice to make it a fun, productive process. As he suggests, I simply did the cutting on the first day. And then let it sit there in a pretty little pile for longer than I should have, but hey, at least it was a lovely addition to my view.

You’ll notice that I cut out my triangles. I did much of the construction slightly differently than John, but only because I’m very comfortable sewing curves the way I sew them and prefer trimming before I sew.

His tips on sewing the curves are great and I totally recommend them. You’ll learn ways that make it easier for you along the way.  John suggests you pin at the ends and in the middle. I don’t pin at all, but you can see that I don’t always get it right in the pic to the left.  I have one block that is perfect and another that ended being 3/16″ off. John’s method  But in the end, I had a whole big pile of Drunkard’s Path blocks to play with.

Drunkards Path blocks in Indie
I really like how they play together and create these little bow ties in there.

I love how the fabrics play together and am so glad I held on to the Indie bundle for all this time.The view from above. Right now it measures 48″ x 42″ (approx) and is great crib size quilt. I’m pretty sure I’m going to keep growing it though. :) big-rig-quilting-bow-tiesIt’s fun to compare this quilt to what John originally designed in the red and white combo and what he shows in “A New Spin on Drunkard’s Path” with the black background. And honestly, this is one of my favorite aspects of quilting–the never-ending ways you can put together the same thing. Same block, same construction, totally different look. It keeps quilting fresh and fun and intriguing to me.

In his book, John shows several variation of each quilt to give you some ideas, spark a little creativity in the reader, which is a much-loved feature for me. But I think the winning aspect of the book is his attention to detail and accuracy. It’s clear that John is a teacher who wants his students to succeed.  He walks the reader through each step with clear photos, tackling the curves and adding interesting details to the block.

If you’re nervous about sewing curves and need someone to hold your hand through it, John is there for you, explaining and reassuring you at each step. He shows you just how easy it really can be and then opens a whole new world of quilts for you with 12 beautiful variations of the Drunkard’s Path.

I’ll be giving away a copy of the book to inspire you to get started on your own curvy quilt. Just leave a comment here and tell me what has stopped you from taking on the Drunkard’s Path or if you have, what you love about it. We’ll pick a winner on October 9.

Congratulations to Lori Morton for winning her very own copy of John’s “A New Spin on Drunkard’s  Path” book!

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Handmade Holidays Time!

hh2015I’m excited to be the one to kick off the Handmade Holidays over at Sew,Mama,Sew! If you’re new to the series, you’re gonna love this. Every year Handmade Holidays runs through November, each day offering up tutorials gathered by a variety of designers, authors, and bloggers.

My focus was Gifts for Crafty People and I included tutorials for a pincushion, apron, clock, lanyard, crochet hook case and my own needle book. Plus there are a couple of my favorite recipes (mmm!) and some printables. Continue reading Handmade Holidays Time!

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How to: Make a Needle Book

Crinkle Dreams Needle Books
photo credit: Robert Hart for Fabric Depot

For the Sew Mama Sew needle testing blog post I made up a few little needle books. They’ll be giving ten of them away, filled with the eight different needles we used in the testing. Go comment over there for a chance to win one for yourself.

In case you don’t win and want to make one up for yourself, I thought I’d let you know how I made them.  They are pretty quick and a  great way to use up some scraps.

You’ll need:

  • 4” x 7” piece of outer fabric (I used the Tula Pink Elizabeth collection)
  • 4” x 7” piece of inner fabric (I used RK’s Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Chambray)
  • 4” x 7” piece of batting
  • 3” x 6” piece of wool felt
  • hair elastic cut in half or 2” piece of elastic braid
  • 3/4” button
  • coordinating thread

Mark center of one short end of outer fabric. This will be the back of the needle book.

Baste elastic at center point, creating a loop.

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Layer batting, then outer and inner fabrics (RST) and pin at corners.

needlebooktutorial2

Sew around edges with a 1/4” seam, leaving a 1 1/2” to 2” gap on one long side.

Trim batting close to stitching line around entire rectangle.

Trim corners.

needlebooktutorial3

Turn inside out, using a point turner and press.

needlebooktutorial4

Using a ladder stitch, sew the hole used for turning closed.

needlebooktutorial5

Press again and top stitch, if desired.

Mark proper button placement by pulling elastic band around to front.

needlebooktutorial6

Sew button in place.

Fold felt in half and press to mark stitching line.

Fold needle book together with outer fabric touching itself. Mark center with pins.

Place felt on unfolded needle book, matching stitching line with pins. Pin in place.

needlebooktutorial7

Stitch along fold line, from top to bottom and back-stitching at each end.

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Trim threads, put some needles in the felt, fold in half and button to keep it closed.

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I decided to add a little tape measure ribbon, muslin for holding buttons and/or safety pins, and a pocket to the back for my own, but you can make it as simple or complicated as you’d like.

needlebook measuring tape

needlebook pocket

Don’t forget to read the post and enter to win, if you’d like one already made and with a trial array of needles!

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Winner!

I bet you thought I forgot, didn’t you? Well, I sorta did, but not really.

Mostly it has been nagging at the back of my mind, poking me every so often to tell me that I was supposed to have already announced and sent the book off to the winner of the Modern Quilt Perspectives book. Life’s just been crazy lately with too much work and not enough fun, so my apologies for begin tardy.

So without further delay, the winner of the book is…drumroll please…

Jennifer Dewing!

Congrats and I will get this book out to you asap! I promise not to forget for two weeks again. Lucky you, I’ve got other things to mail out, as well.

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Winners!

I bet you thought I forgot all about the giveaways, didn’t you? But it’s not true!

20131209-094250.jpgI remembered, I just haven’t had much time to get to actually posting thanks to a bout of the icks that have hit our little household. With people sick at my work and at her school, it was bound to get to us and this weekend it knocked the daughter for a loop and I got to play nursemaid.

All that to say, sorry, I’ve been distracted by life.

So without further ado, the winner of the fat quarter bundle for Sew,Mama,Sew’s Giveaway Day is Janet  and the winner of Megan Dougherty’s new book, “Quilting Isn’t Funny,” is Joyce!

Congrats to you both and look for an email from me so I can get those out to you right away!

 

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Quilting Isn’t Funny, but I sure am laughing

Bias: The irrational inclination to believe that holding down a job or cooking some food for once is a more productive use of time than quilting.

QuiltingIsn'tFunny

Are you familiar with The Bitchy Stitcher? Megan Dougherty is the mastermind behind the blog that takes the idea of a stitch-n-bitch to a whole new level and she cracks me up.

I’ve been enjoying her sarcastic little rants for some time now, but now that I’ve read her new book, Quilting Isn’t Funny, I realized I’d missed out on some real gems.

Like everyone else on this book’s blog tour, I’ve snickered and snorted my way through it, publicly embarrassing myself and left unable to explain why it’s funny. You have to be a quilter to understand why I choked on my mocha when I read:

…But like all things of this world, fabric and tools and machines are impermanent and imperfect, and let’s face it, the only person who is going to bitch about my seams not aligning is that snotty lady from the quilt guild, and she can suck it.

This is what I love about Quilting Isn’t Funny. You’re just reading along, nodding “impermanent and imperfect” yeah, totally;  “that snotty lady from the quilt guild” haha, I know exactly who she could be talking about  and then bam, Megan hits you with her snark. “She can suck it” and I bust out an exhale of laughter.

And can I explain to my daughter why that’s funny… the imperfection, the snotty lady, the quilt police and the pointed dismissal of all criticism? No. I’m left laughing to myself in the kitchen while my daughter does homework and throws awkward glances at me.

Thanks for that, Megan.

Quilting Isn’t Funny is available now in softback on ebook versions. Whatever suits your fancy. Personally, I loved the electronic version, tucked neatly into the Kindle app on my phone,  but you (or the loved ones you buy it for) may very well love the paper version.

Megan also offers up some fabulous pins with her witty little phrases that you should probably check out, too. My favorite is “Don’t make me cut you.” And that’s because of Miss Bon Qui Qui:


I could watch that another fifty times and still LMAO every single time.

And I’m pretty sure the same can be said for Quilting Isn’t Funny. It’s just good stuff. Buy yourself a copy and pick up an extra for your quilting pals.

Want to win a signed copy? Leave a comment and tell me something funny. Anything goes, but if it’s quilting/sewing/fabric related, I’ll throw in an extra entry for you.