Sunday, November 30, 2014

30 Quilts for 30 Days Kona Blog Hop: My Eternity Ring Quilt

It's no secret that I adore working with solids, so when I found out that Kona was celebrating their 30th birthday, I wanted in on the fun! I love the crisp, graphic look at that solids bring to any project, and Kona has the largest selection of colors so I'm often sewing with Kona solids! Today is my stop on the Kona 30 blog hop, in which thirty fabulously talented designers are sharing the fantastic quilts that they've sewn up to honor Kona and their 303 amazing shades. The quilt I've created for Kona's big birthday is my Eternity Ring quilt and pattern!

For my contribution, I created a new pattern which I'm calling Eternity Ring. I wanted to play around with the idea of a paper pieced wedding ring quilt, as curves and I have yet to really play nice with one another. My Eternity Ring quilt is sewn up in gorgeous, rich Kona solids in shades of emerald and fuchsia, with one singular block sewn together in grayscale. I love the contrast the one gray block brings to the whole quilt. I pulled some of my favorite shades of Kona, like Kona Pond (quite possibly my all-time-favorite Kona solid), Kona Cerise, Kona Iron, Kona White and Kona Black and threw in some newer favorites, Kona Kale, Kona Dark Violet, Kona Charcoal, and Kona Lemon for this beauty. The blocks alternate to create a faux double wedding ring look, which is created through four paper piecing templates, which come together to create the quarter-block units for completing the blocks.

Never paper pieced before? No worries! The pattern comes with detailed instructions, accompanied by photographs to help visual learners work through the pattern. You can also take advantage of a great deal on my new Craftsy class, Start Foundation Paper Piecing, which has boatloads of tips and tricks to make paper piecing a fun, addictive experience!

This foundation paper-pieced quilt pattern is now available through my Pattern Shop as well as through Craftsy, yay!! The pattern also includes a complete cutting list and fabric yardage instructions for four different quilt sizes: baby, lap, twin, and queen.

And to celebrate the wonderful 30 Years of Kona Cotton Solids, I'm doing a little giveaway today - you can enter the Rafflecopter below to win a beautiful charm pack of the Kona Brights and a copy of my Eternity Ring pattern as well! You must enter to win by the end of the day today, November 30th, so hop to it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

There's only a few more stops on the 30 Quilts for 30 Years blog hop, but there's plenty to catch up on if you haven't seen all the fabulous quilts! You can also see all 30 designs in Kaufman's 30 Quilts for 30 Years Lookbook. Check out the great collection of Kona quilts by all of these fabulous designers listed below!

Week 1: 
Saturday, November 1st: Johanna Masko 
Sunday, November 2nd: Alyssa of  Aria Lane 
Monday, November 3rd: Dorie of Tumblingblocks 
Tuesday, November 4th: Megan of Canoe Ridge Creations 
Wednesday, November 5th: Daniela of Cozy Quilt Designs 
Thursday, November 6th: Faith of Fresh Lemons Quilts 
Friday, November 7th: Anita Grossman Solomon 
Saturday, November 8th: Debbie of Esch House Quilts 

Week 2: 
Sunday, November 9th: Alex of Teaginny 
Monday, November 10th: Darlene Zimmerman 
Tuesday, November 11th: Nichole Ramirez with Aurifil 
Wednesday, November 12th: Rita Hodge of Red Pepper Quilts 
Thursday, November 13th: Lee of Freshly Pieced 
Friday, November 14th: Julie of Jaybird Quilts 
Saturday, November 15th: Latifah of The Quilt Engineer 

Week 3: 
Sunday. November 16th: Elizabeth Hartman 
Monday, November 17th: Erica of Kitchen Table Quilting 
Tuesday, November 18th: Karrie of Freckled Whimsy 
Wednesday, November 19th: Valori Wells 
Thursday, November 20th: Marilyn of Quilt Moments 
Friday, November 21st: Cortney Heimerl 
Saturday, November 22nd: Shayla and Kristy of Sassafras Lane Designs 

Week 4: 
Sunday, November 23rd: Shea of Empty Bobbin Sewing 
Monday, November 24th: Carrie Strine 
Tuesday, November 25th: Rachel of Stitched in Color 
Wednesday, November 26th: Liz of Lady Harvatine 
Saturday, November 29th: Carolyn Friedlander 

Week 5: 
Sunday, November 30th: Elizabeth of Don’t Call Me Betsy - You are here :)
Monday, December 1st: Emily of Carolina Patchworks 
Tuesday, December 2nd: Ken Kaufman 
Wednesday, December 3rd: Grand Finale!

Looking for my Black Friday Sale? It ends tonight! Grab the coupon code right here!
Friday, November 28, 2014

My Black Friday Tradition - Hanging the Stockings!

The last several years I've been more of an online Black Friday shopper, so I'm not heading out to get in any crazy long lines or anything like that today. Rather, I'm spending the day at home trimming the house (and the tree!) with festive Christmas decor. And this year, I'm super excited to be adding handmade stockings to our holiday decorations.

Each stocking features a 6" finished block from my Lucky Stars Block of the Month clubs from the last two years, and I'm so glad I chose to add them. They add so much sparkle to the finished stockings! Here they are, in all their glory!

I used Shea's great Sleigh Bells Stockings pattern, which was super easy to follow and wonderfully well-written. If you're thinking about making stockings this year, I cannot recommend this pattern enough. The shape of the stocking template is just what I was hoping for and the instructions were super clear!

Not a Lucky Stars subscriber yet? Check out my big Black Friday pattern sale as well right here so you can treat yourself to a little something today! Have a wonderful Friday!
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Introducing my new Craftsy class, Start Paper Piecing!

Drumroll, please! It's finally time to share my newest Craftsy class, Start Paper Piecing!

If you've followed my blog for more than five minutes, then you probably know how much I adore paper piecing. It's hands down my favorite kind of piecing, and one of my favorite topics to teach. Learning a new technique can be a daunting experience, but with this class, I'm right there with you, on demand, to help you build your paper piecing confidence! Most of the blocks I sew these days are paper pieced, and I love to share my tips and tricks for making the technique as simple as possible.

Start Paper Piecing walks you through a total of seven different paper pieced blocks, ranging from some interesting angled blocks to a few star blocks and even some pictorial blocks. There's a wide variety, and there's me to hold your hand the entire way. I'll tell you about how I fell in love with paper piecing, and give you all the information you need to get started with paper piecing!

If you haven't checked out Craftsy before, let me tell you, you can learn just about anything there. Seriously, they have such a wild variety of classes! Want to prepare a new dessert for your Thanksgiving dinner next week? No worries, Craftsy has you covered with their Sweet & Simple: 10 Classic Desserts class with Nick Malgieri. Are you interested in trying out garment sewing? Let Deborah Moebes help you with her Design & Sew an A Line Skirt class. Itching to make some quilts for the holidays? 3 Blocks 30 Quilts with Kate Colleran has some great setting ideas that will get your creative juices positively flowing. I'm itching to check out the Design It, Stitch It Hand Embroidery class with Jessica Marquez, which looks super fun, but I think you get my point - they really have something for just everyone. The best part is that whenever you purchase a Craftsy class, it's yours to watch as many times as you want, to rewind and fast forward as you please, and to ask as many questions as you want - that's been one of the most fun parts about my first class, Start Free-Motion Quilting! I love getting to interact with other quilters.

So what are you waiting for? Jump in and fall in love with paper piecing! Get a $20 discount on your class registration when you click right here to register. Have a super day!
Monday, November 17, 2014

Coffee, coffee, coffee!

It's all paper piecing all the time these days in my sewing room, and this weekend I finally finished off a little pattern that's been half-finished for an embarrassingly long while, the Coffee Cup block. This is a mini-pattern, available as a PDF pattern now both at my Pattern Shop and Craftsy. There will be a few other mini-pattern releases over the next few months. Every mini pattern will include a paper pieced block template in two sizes, in this case 6" and 8", as well as complete cutting instructions. These mini-patterns, however, are intended for those with some paper piecing experience, as step-by-step instructions are not included.

If you've done more than a block or two with paper piecing, you've probably noticed that the process of paper piecing does not change from block to block, the technique is identical, so that's precisely why I'm introducing these mini-patterns. Quick and easy fun paper pieced blocks are a great way to add some fun pizzazz to a zipper pouch or a tote, or to use in a mini quilt!

Each mini-pattern also includes a piecing diagram to show you exactly where each piece in the block winds up.

Love the idea of paper piecing but haven't given it a try yet? Stay tuned tomorrow for the official release of my newest Craftsy class, Start Paper Piecing! I'm super excited to share the projects with you all. Have a fantastic day!
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hello New Juki

You know you really love a sewing machine when you buy it twice! And that's what I did just recently - I've been sewing on a used Juki TL98Q for over the last year, and after a completely-my-fault-mishap with it in which I broke the presser foot lever, I decided it was a sign that I ought to buy the new model, the TL2010Q. So that's exactly what I did from my local Juki dealer Gigi's Fabrics, and oh my goodness, it's true love :)

I loved my TL98Q, which I bought used via Craig's List last year, and didn't know it was possible for it to get any better...and yet, with the 2010, Juki really hit a home run. They took a fantastic machine, and somehow made it more fantastic! Here's a few of the upgrades that I've noticed that I've really appreciated thus far...

The telescoping thread stand is another great addition. There's also a nice stand (hidden by my giant cone of Aurifil) to really secure your cones to keep them from teetering when the thread is spooling off super fast, as is so often the case with this machine! 

The speed limiter is possibly my favorite upgrade on the 2010. Unlike the 98, you can now control the maximum speed of the machine, so if you have a lead foot, like I do, and maybe don't want to be stitching at lightning speed, you can control that. I never FMQ on this machine at full speed, so this is a feature that I expect to be using pretty often!

I also think there's better lighting on the 2010, which is especially nice since all of my sewing these days seems to be at night!

All in all, I'm super happy with the new machine. I've done a good bit of free-motioning on it so far, plus some paper piecing and some binding-making, so I feel like I've put it through its paces, and I cannot recommend this machine enough. The level of durability and sturdiness it provides and the quality of the stitches is just fantastic. I wouldn't trade it for any other machine out there! 
Monday, November 10, 2014

The Arcadian Star - November's Lucky Star Block of the Month

Goodness gracious, how is it already the second week of November?! Deadlines and work has been fast and furious over the last several weeks, hence my absence here around the blog, but I'm trying to get back into the swing of writing and setting up posts in advance. First up is catching up with the Lucky Stars Block of the Month Club!

The November Star is the Arcadian Star. As usual, this star has loads of potential, and can be really quite unique depending on your color placement. Here's mine for this month:

I also made an Arcadian Star for Spring Market for Robert Kaufman, with a bit of a different look. I'm not usually much of a purple fan, but I really like it in this block!

We've got just one more Lucky Star Block of the Month coming up, for December, and that will be a wrap on the Lucky Stars Block of the Month Club! Not a member yet? No worries, you can still join in the paper piecing fun right here. And not to worry, I do have some new paper piecing patterns coming very soon through my brand new Craftsy class, Start Paper Piecing, which will be coming out later this month. Stay tuned!!

Welcome! I'm Elizabeth, mom to a very busy nine year old boy and a one year old baby girl and I sew for my sanity. Let's get to quilting, shall we?
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