Blog Hops

I Wish You a Merry QAL Recap

Well, the I Wish You a Merry QAL is coming to a close and I thought I'd recap it a bit. First, thanks to everyone that participated! The other designers and I are overwhelmed by your creativity and perseverance. For many of you, the blocks required skills that you'd never used before. But like the wonderful quilters you are, you pushed through the challenges and created beauty.

Thanks also to my fellow designers. Wow, you humbled me not only with your gorgeous inventive designs, but also with the way we worked so well together. I look forward to our next quilt along!

The final linkup will close today at midnight (specifically, January 15th @ 11:59 PM EST). If you haven't already, try, try to get your quilt top done so you can post it to the linky, Facebook, or Instagram and enter our final giveaway which is so huge it overwhelms me. I mean, look at all these prizes!

If you missed the final quilts you can see them in any of these three places:

Now, about my quilt. The last time you saw my quilt top, it looked like this.

The blocks were together, but I still needed to add borders and letters to the center block.

Well, then Christmas happened and it got busy at the quilt shop and so I didn't get back to finishing up my top. On Sunday, I decided to add the lettering. To do that, I typed the letters I wanted into Word, and played around with various fonts. I decided I liked the look of Impact, a sans-serif font.

Next, I played with the size of the letters then printed out the result and tried it out on my actual quilt. I also auditioned fabrics, deciding on a mostly solid piece from the collection.

After I decided the letters look okay, I flipped them over and traced them on fusible. I prefer Heat n Bond Lite. Next, I fused the back of the fabric and cut out the letters.

To keep things orderly, I arranged the letters on this handy tray that my good friend Susie recently gave me. I really love it--I can put the pieces of a block in the tray and move back and forth to my ironing board without messing anything up. Thanks Susie!

I used a ruler to arrange the letters on the center block and to keep them straight.

After fusing the letters, I edge-stitched them using a matching thread. I haven't added borders to my quilt top yet, but I plan to soon. Quilting though will have to wait as my big sewing machine is in the hospital. Crossing fingers that I get it back soon, all well and working good.

Stay tuned for an announcement coming soon about our next quilt along--fall themed this time!

Thanks again everyone, and don't forget to post your quilt top photo by midnight tonight!

You can follow me on social media or sign up for my newsletter if you’d like to watch me finish my quilt. You’ll find all the ways to follow me at the top of my sidebar. If you have any general questions about the quilt along or would like to where you can download the patterns, click the I Wish You a Merry QAL tab above. The patterns may not be available after midnight tonight (it's up to the individual designer), so be sure to get them now if you want them.

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Island Batik Four Seasons Blog Hop and Giveaway!

Hi and welcome to the first day on the Island Batik Four Seasons Blog Hop!

Today’s featured Island Batik collection is called Blue Moon, and it's simply wonderful!

Blue Moon is part of the Winter collection, and you'll find it in quilt shops beginning this month (January 2018).

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The icy blues and purples in the Blue Moon collection made me think immediately of a snowy forest in winter. I considered many designs for my quilt, finally deciding on this Bear's Paw variation. After putting the top together, I kept thinking of a snowy forest, and the light filtering down from a full moon. I call my quilt Freshly Fallen.

I played with the idea of adding a border, but finally decided it didn't need it.

For quilting, I used a large loop design for the big square in the block, and a simple curved outline for the HSTs. For the corner triangle in the block, I used a backwards question mark design. I quilted each block the same, which made the quilting go pretty fast because I had a firm plan.

I'm coming down with the flu or something, so my husband and daughter kindly took my quilt outside for these photos. I gave them a list of some of the shots I wanted, then told them to play. Didn't they have fun?

Here are the quilt details:

"Freshly Fallen"
32" x 32"
Fabrics: Island Batik Blue Moon collection
Pattern: Original Design
Batting: Quilter's Dream Request
Piecing Thread: Aurifil 50 wt. #2610 Light Blue Grey
Quilting Thread:  Aurifil 50 wt. #2740 (Dark Cobalt) and Invisifil 100 wt. #710 (Deepest Burgundy)
Pieced and quilted by Jennifer Fulton

Please visit Cheryl @ Cheryl Lynch Quilts, who is also featuring the Blue Moon collection today.

More Island Batiks!

My first year as an Island Batik Ambassador is at an end with this blog hop, but I'm excited to announce that I'm going to continue as an Island Batik Ambassador for 2018! Be sure to follow me if you'd like to see more projects featuring Island Batik. You'll find ways to follow me at the top of my sidebar.

Click here if you'd like to see my past Island Batik quilts and other quilts finished in 2017.

Enter My Giveaway!

To celebrate the Island Batik Four Seasons Blog Hop, I'm having a giveaway! Leave a comment below to enter to win a lovely charm pack from the Blue Moon collection by Island Batik (US residents only). The giveaway is open through the blog hop, and closes on February 1st at midnight EST. I'll announce a winner on February 2nd.

For International residents, the prize will be one free PDF pattern from my shop. I'm sorry I can't afford the cost of shipping overseas, but I wanted everyone to have a chance to win something. Thanks for stopping by and please leave a comment to enter!

Be sure to leave your email address when prompted. If your name is chosen and I can't contact you, I'll select another winner.

Enter the Island Batik Giveaway!

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter the Island Batik giveaway! Up for grabs are four precuts from the collections featured during the Four Seasons Blog Hop. So you have four chances to win!

Continue the Hop to Enter More Giveaways!

The blog hop continues through Feb 1. Be sure to visit the other Island Batik Ambassadors each day and see even more beautiful Island Batik fabric collections! There are additional giveaways, free patterns, and tutorials so be sure to visit each stop on the hop.

Follow me on social media to keep up with the blog hop and other happenings! You'll find the ways to follow at the top of my sidebar.

WEEK 1: Winter

Monday, January 8 – Blue Moon
Inquiring QuilterCheryl Lynch Quilts

Tuesday, January 9 – Mountain's Majesty
Fun Thread DesignsLittle Bunny Quilts
Quilting Affection Designs

Wednesday, January 10 – Alpine Ice
Freemotion by the River  •Slice of Pi Quilts
Seams Like a Dream

Thursday, January 11 – Alpine Jungle
Purrfect Spots Designs  •Bejeweled Quilts

WEEK 2: Spring

Monday, January 15 – Elementz
Den Syende Himmel  •Inspired Layers

Tuesday, January 16 –Southern Blooms
Yellow Cat Quilts  •Quiltologis Treasures

Wednesday, January 17 – Morning Sunshine
Quilt'n Party  •Dessert Bloom Quilting

Thursday, January 18 – Season's Shades
Inch Worm Fabrics Kauffman Designs

WEEK 3: Summer

Monday, January 22 – Paisley Dot
PamelaQuilts Seams Like a Dream

Tuesday, January 23 – Sunflower Serenade
Kathy's Kwilts and More  •Whispers of Yore

Wednesday, January 24 – City Culture 2
Mary Mack Made Mine  heARTs Creations

Thursday, January 25 – City Culture 2
The Quilting Rambler  •Lizard Creek Quilting

WEEK 4: Fall

Monday, January 29 – Autumn's Grace
BeaQuilter  •KISSed Quilts

Tuesday, January 30 – Pumpkin Patch
Ark Angel Creations  •Seams to be Sew

Wednesday, January 31 – Plum Delicious
Masterpiece Quilting  •Adventures in Applique and Quilting

Thursday, February 1 – Northern Woods
Moose Stash Quilting  •Vicki's Crafts and Quilting

 

Disclosure: The products featured in the post were provided to me free of charge by Island Batik.

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Tell me...what's your favorite Wintertime memory?

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

thanks everyone! be sure to leave an email address if you want to enter the giveaway!

Setting Ideas for I Wish You a Merry QAL and Final Linky

Welcome to the final linky party for the I Wish You a Merry QAL!

By now you've gotten all 12 block patterns and have made or are making all your blocks. Now it's time to think about how to sew all these blocks together! Obviously, the simplest and easiest way is to simply sew them into rows like Setting Example 1. Since there are 12 blocks, it makes sense to use four rows of three blocks each.

Borders are optional of course, but I like the look of a skinny inner border and a wide outer border for this.

Setting Example 1

Another simple way to finish the blocks is to set them in rows, separated by sashing strips. You can add cornerstones if you like, like shown in Setting Example 2.

Setting Example 2

Fancy things up a bit by piecing your sashing strips!

Setting Example 3

Need a bigger quilt? The easiest way to accomplish that is to add an alternate block like the one shown in Setting Example 4. How about a star block? They sure fit the Christmas theme! What do you think?

Setting Example 4

Don't forget to play with color! Sometimes it's the colors that throw us off when comparing setting ideas.

Setting Example 5

Setting Example 6

How about setting the blocks on the diagonal, using easy HSTs to separate them? This is the setting I had originally planned for my blocks.

Setting Example 7

Here's another variation of the diagonal setting, playing with the colors vertically.

Setting Example 8

In the end, I decided to go with a medallion setting using quarter-square triangles. In this version, I put a QST in the center as well.

Setting Example 9

In the end though I went with a plain block in the center. I plan on appliquing the words "I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along" on the center block.

Setting Example 10

Here's my quilt top right now. I still need to add borders and the applique but she's looking pretty good!

Well that's it! I can't see what you do with your blocks. When you're done sewing them together, take a photo of your quilt top and post it here in the linky below to enter to win the grand prize! This time, we hosts are sharing the linky party! Yep, no matter which blog you post your photo on, it'll appear on all of the host's blogs! Won't it be so cool to see a big gallery of everyone's quilts? I can't wait to see what you guys do!

Be sure to drop by the other host's blogs to see what setting choices they've explored. When you're done, be sure to come back to link up!

Abbie at Sparkle On
April at JANDA Bend Quilts
Becca at Pretty Piney
Bobbi at Snowy Days Quilting
Diane at Cwilt
Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter
Karen at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts
Sandy at SandyStar Designs
Sherry at Powered by Quilting
Vanda at Quilt in Piece

Wait! I've got a special announcement!

Thanks you guys for a wonderful quilt along! I have really enjoyed your creativity and your enthusiasm!

Great news! My fellow designers and I are excited to announce that we will be doing a Fall themed quilt along in 2018! We're still ironing out the details, but we'll let you know more soon.

As soon as I know, you will too! Be sure to follow my blog, watch for announcements in the Facebook group, or on Instagram with the hashtag #iwishyouamerryqal.

Be sure to enter the final giveaway!

After you complete your quilt top, post a photo of it online by 11:59 PM January 15th, 2018 to enter our grand prize drawing.

Yeah, yeah it's the holidays, but just take a gander at what you might win!

To be eligible to win the grand prize, you must post a photo of your completed quilt top (that includes all 12 blocks in the quilt along) by 11:59 PM EST January 15, 2018. Your top doesn't need to be quilted to enter for the grand prize, but it must include one of every block in the quilt along.

You can post your photo to one of these three places:

  • On Instagram, with the hashtag #iwishyouamerrychristmasqal

  • In our private Facebook group

  • To the linky below. If you need help linking up, click the Wednesday Wait Loss tab above. It'll give you detailed steps on how to upload a photo to a linky party.

You can follow me on social media or sign up for my newsletter if you’d like to watch me finish my quilt. You’ll find all the ways to follow me at the top of my sidebar. If you have any general questions about the quilt along or would like to see the complete schedule, click the I Wish You a Merry QAL tab above.

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I Wish You a Merry QAL - Block 12

Welcome to final edition of the I Wish You a Merry QAL!

Block 12 is here! Yep, that means all of the block patterns have been released!

Block 12 - Christmas Lights

If you've just stumbled upon us, it's not too late! You can still download all the block patterns in our quilt along until midnight January 15th, and you've got about a month to make the blocks and sew them together in order our grand prize giveaway!

Click here to learn more about the quilt along and the location of the patterns for blocks 1 to 11. Continue reading to find out more about Block 12 and how to enter both the block giveaway and the final grand prize giveaway.

For my blocks, I’m using the Shiny Objects in Holiday Twinkle collection by flaurie & finch for RJR Fabrics.

Block 12 (Christmas Lights) in our quilt along was designed by Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts. Here’s my version of her block.

This is such a great block! I took the opportunity to use as many of the fabrics from the Shiny Objects collection as possible. For the background of my block, I chose #2792-12 (Snow). For the lights I used #2792-13 (Cranberry), #3022-05 (Red Velvet), #3022-06 (Seafoam), #3022-07 (Tannenbaum), #3023-05 (Scarlet), #3023-07 (Crystal), #3023-08 (Pistachio), #3026-04 (Red Velvet), #3026-05 (Tannenbaum), #3163-03 (Crimson), #3163-05 (Seafoam), #3163-06 (Tannenbaum).

Tips for making this block

As a QAL host, I’m here to help you achieve success with this block. First, since this block involves applique, you might want to cut your background larger and trim your block after completing your applique. I cut my background square 13".

Now to start, you need to make black 1/2" bias tape, or buy some pre-made.I don't have a bias tape maker, so I kind of fudged my way through this. Let me tell you what I did. First, I cut my strips on the bias. To do that, place your ruler's 45 degree line on the bottom edge of your fabric and make a cut. Turn the triangle around and measure 1" away from the cut edge and cut your bias strips. Based on the width of my fabric, I needed only two strips.

Sew your strips together. Don't forget to line them up so you see dog ears on either side!

Next, I tried pressing the both edges into the center of the strip.Doing that manually only kinda worked for me, so then I created my own bias tape maker by putting two pins in my ironing board and sliding the strip under that and pressing to fold the edges in.

That didn't work easily for me either. I would swear I've used this method before to make bias tape, but this time all I got was frustrated.

My strips were looking a bit worse for wear at this point (and so was I!) so I recut my strips, this time at 1-1/4". Not sure why I decided to cut my strips a bit larger, but I thought I might have better luck that way. Anyway, this time round I simply folded the strip in half and sewed it together. Then I pressed the seam under and voila! a nice bias strip.

I laid the strip on my background and pressed it into place just like Laura said.

Next, I stitched it in place, edge-stitching along both sides.

For the bulb sockets, I cut my pieces 1" square instead of 1/2" so I could fold them under on the left and right sides. I would have tucked the ends under the bias stem at this point had I not stitched it down (did I mention I was fumbling my way through this?), so instead I opted to just bump the raw edge of my sockets against the bias strip and stitch them down.

Finally, I cut and fused my light bulbs, adding a few more than in the pattern because I wanted to feature as many fabrics as I could. I edge-stitched the bulbs with matching threads: Sulky 40 wt. #1272 (Hedge Green), Sulky Polylite #60 wt. #1104 (Pastel Yellow-Green), Signature 50 wt. #SN907 (Beryl Green), Cotton + Steel 50 wt. #1045 (Light Teal), Signature 50 wt. #278 (Cranapple), Wonderfil Konfetti 50 wt. KT302 (Christmas Red), and Sulky 40 wt. #1169 (Bayberry Red).

After I edge-stitched all the appliques, I trimmed my finished block to 12-1/2". Woot! Done!

Be sure to drop by Laura's blog to get your free block pattern. Also, don’t forget to visit the other quilt along hosts to see their versions of this block.

Abbie at Sparkle On
April at JANDA Bend Quilts
Becca at Pretty Piney
Bobbi at Snowy Days Quilting
Diane at Cwilt
Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter
Karen at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts
Sandy at SandyStar Designs
Sherry at Powered by Quilting
Vanda at Quilt in Piece

Be sure to enter the giveaway!

To enter the Christmas Lights block giveaway, you must make the block and post it in one of these three places by Monday, December18th at 11:59 PM EST.

If you post your Christmas Lights block by the deadline, you might win this wonderful prize package—a six month subscription to Make Modern magazine and a PDF pattern of your choice from Sandy @ Sandy Star Designs.

Share what you're working on!

If you like show and tell, I'd love it if you'd also share what you've been working on lately in my weekly Wednesday Wait Loss linky. We have a great group of quilters and the projects are inspiring! The atmosphere is so fun and encouraging. If you need a little incentive to join us, I'm having a giveaway so be sure to link up! The currently linky is open until midnight EST tonight, then on Wednesday, another linky starts.

Don't leave me! I need ideas on how to put these blocks together!

No problem! Click here to see my quilt top and to get more ideas on how to set your blocks together. After you complete your quilt top, post a photo of it online to enter our grand prize drawing.

I know it's busy this time of year, but just look at what you could win!

To be eligible to win the grand prize, you must post a photo of your completed quilt top that includes all 12 blocks in the quilt along by 11:59 PM EST January 15, 2018. Your top doesn't need to be quilted to enter for the grand prize, but it must include one of every block in the quilt along.

You can follow me on social media or sign up for my newsletter if you’d to see how I quilt my quilt. You’ll find all the ways to follow me at the top of my sidebar. If you have any general questions about the quilt along, click the I Wish You a Merry QAL tab above.

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I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!