Friday, 24 October 2014

Take Time for Yourself Giveaway

If I could make a wish for something, it would be for a just a few more hours in each day. There never seems to be enough time for everything that needs to get done. Between work, kids, cooking, housework, homework and everything else, my weeks go by in a blur--and I never ever seem to get caught up on anything. I feel like I'm always one step behind trying to play catch-up. If I had just a few more hours then maybe I could get actually fold all the laundry instead of haphazardly launching it into drawers and closets, clean the fabric-explosion in my sewing room, or organize the closets enough so that I wouldn't be afraid of opening the doors. Or maybe I could sleep a little bit longer so I didn't feel like a zombie all day, or I could actually bake the cookies for the school party instead of donating boxes of Little Debbies.

And if I got really lucky maybe I could read a book, or catch-up on the last however-many episodes of Downton Abbey that I've missed, or I could even quilt during daylight hours. That would be pretty amazing.

And I know you probably know exactly how I feel.

So, for this giveaway I wanted to do something for you that will hopefully motivate you to take some time for yourself. If you win you'll get a Cath Kidston Clocks tea cup and saucer, a tin of tea, and Issue 14 of Love Patchwork and Quilting. The giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere, and all you have to do is leave me a comment and tell me

If there were more hours in a day, how would you spend them?

Make sure you leave me an email address if you are a no-reply blogger. Giveaway closes on Monday, Oct 27th and winners will be announced on the 28th. I have a second gift set that I'll be giving away on my instagram, so check me out over there @prettylittlequilts

Good luck, and I wish everyone could win!!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Love Patchwork and Quilting: The Magazine with Heart

If you've been following me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I recently had some super-exciting news to share. Many months ago, I submitted a quilt design to Love Patchwork and Quilting. I was ecstatic to find out that the design was accepted, and then shocked when I found out my quilt made the cover!!

image courtesy of Love Patchwork and Quilting

The funny thing is, the quilt you see in the photos was not even the original quilt design I submitted. This was actually an alternate design I sent to the editor, Jenny Fox-Proverbs, when the first quilt didn't work out. Yes, you heard it right. The first quilt I was supposed to make for them was a total fail and the fact that Jenny even gave me another chance is nothing short of amazing. Later Jenny told me that it was probably all meant to be and I think that she's probably right.

image courtesy of Love Patchwork and Quilting

Originally,  I was supposed to make a lone star quilt with Anna Maria Horner's fabric, Pretty Potent. I made that quilt, and when it was all together I realized something.  IT WAS UGLY. Horrendously ugly. In the planning phases I made a mini version that turned out beautifully, but when all those prints and diamonds were enlarged for the big version it somehow changed and ended up looking like a trashy jungle quilt out of a quilting nightmare. I couldn't send that quilt to them, and my deadline was coming up, and after a few days of panic, I finally emailed Jenny and told her the terrible news. I assumed that my quilting career was over and I would have to shut down my blog and go into hiding, but Jenny did something crazy. She gave me another chance. I'll never understand it.

I heard her say once that she thought of her contributors as her children, and since she's not old enough to be my mother I'll just think of her as my fairy godmother. Because really, she could've let me fall on my face, but she didn't. She was understanding and believed in me, even when I was having a hard time believing in myself. Her and her amazing team walked me through the process with kindness and encouragement and I'll forever be grateful to them. Thank you so much Jenny, Alice and Lin!!

Quilt details: Chevron Snowflake, 80" x 80", Issue 14, Love Patchwork and Quilting

Next week I'll be doing a giveaway with the copy of the magazine and a few other items, but if you want to order one now, you can do that here.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Lovely, Lovely Lone Stars: Circle of Sparrows Tutorial

circle of sparrows quilt tutorial

For the next block in my Lone Star Tutorials, I'll be showing you how to make a Circle of Sparrows quilt block.

This tutorial will make a 24" x 24" block.

What you'll need:

8 - 2.5" x 21" strips for sparrows in different prints
1 - 4.5" x WOF strip of fabric for the "star"
     Subcut strip into two 4.5" squares and four 4" squares
2 - 8.5" x WOF strips for the background
     Subcut into two 8.5" squares and four 8" squares

First, cut each of your eight 2.5" x 21" strips into three diamonds by completing the following steps:

Line up the 45 degree angle of your ruler on the top edge of the strip ensuring the bottom left corner of the strip is covered by the ruler. Then use your rotary blade to cut a 45 degree angle.

Next, line the 45 degree angle of ruler on the top of the strip, and using the inches on the 45" degree line, measure 2.5" and cut your first diamond.

Continue moving your ruler down the strip every 2.5" (as measured on the 45 degree angle line), and cut two more diamonds. You now should have three diamonds for your sparrows. Repeat for each of the seven remaining sparrow strips.

Now, take your 4" squares and cut each in half diagonally. Cut your 4.5" squares in half diagonally, and then diagonally in the other direction.

Now, we will assemble of each of the sparrow star arms. Take two of the 4" HSTs and four quarter-square triangles and arrange them as pictured below:

Next, sew the diamond (on the left) to the outer HST. Make sure to extend the HST 1/4" beyond the corner of the diamond as pictured below. Keep that in mind when sewing on your remaining HSTs and quarter-square triangles. Press towards diamond.

Next, sew a quarter-square triangle to the diamond. Press towards diamond.

Now, sew the quarter-square triangles to the center diamond as pictured below. Press towards diamond.

When the two quarter-square triangles are sewn on the center diamond, flip over and trim the the excess fabric.

Now sew the remaining triangles to the diamond on the right. 

And sew all three sections together. Repeat for remaining seven arms.

Square up each "arm" by measuring it 5.5" inches on the 45 degree line as pictured below. Turn the arm clockwise and repeat with the other side.

Then, arrange the sparrow diamonds the way you want them...

And take your background triangles (8" HSTs and 8.5" quarter-square triangles) and use "Adding your background" section of the Basic Lone Star Tutorial to finish your block. Square according the directions and it should finish at 24.5". 

Please leave me a comment letting me know of any feedback you have for this tutorial. My goal is to make my tutorials as clear and concise as possible, so if there's anything I'm leaving out, please let me know!!