Welcome to my stop on the Back to School Blog Hop organized by the talented Sam Hunter of Hunter's Design Studio. We're on day 25 in a month of helpful sewing tips and tricks, and there is so much wonderful information being shared! Today I'm going to talk starch - what is it, when you should use it, and what to avoid - and I'll share my favorite recipe for making it yourself.
I've been doing a lot of sprucing up here at BBD during the past few months, and it's all been to make it easy to find my new patterns and to have a place to offer pattern extras for my customers. I encourage you to take a look at my new Shop tab above. (And while you're at it, my new Teaching tab, too!) I also encourage you to hop over to Instagram and enter to win my newest pattern. I'll be posting more about the Topiary Quilt in the next few days, but in the meantime, you have a chance to win your own PDF copy!
I haven't entered a fabric challenge before, but when I heard about the Michael Miller Our Yard Fabric Challenge, my curiosity was piqued. I'm heading to QuiltCon 2018 (my first time attending! so excited!) and I thought it would be fun to have something in the show, so maybe I'll get a chance with my entry.
I've had this Wee Gallery Dress Me! fabric squirreled away along with these adorable kids' coloring books that coordinate, thinking they'd make for some fun play mats and a little travel book & clothing set to chase away boredom in a waiting room or restaurant. So when my kids complained "there's nothing to do!" the other day (school starts here in ONE week! ; ) it reminded me that this might be just the thing for an August giveaway: a "kids entertainment" set, including two yards of fabric (one yard of each Wee Gallery print pictured), plus two Wee Gallery dress up books!
It's been hard to squeeze in blogging this summer because - as I'm sure so many others can attest - it's busy and hot and my kids have kept me on my toes. Plus, just this week I started a new job as library assistant at my children's elementary school, which will keep me even busier (but with books! so that's pretty much perfect : )
Last weekend I did manage to sneak away for a day to the Sew Cozy Quilt Lodge in Wakefield KS, which is just thirty minutes from me, yet worth a much longer drive if you're not as local. I was invited by Laura of Slice of Pi Quilts to join an awesome group of friends that she had visited there with once before; they had such a great time that they returned, and I was fortunate to join them for a day of their long weekend. (And I see why they came back! If anyone else visits, I'd love to hop over and sew with you, too - it's a delightful getaway!)
Another month of summer sewing under our belts! In May my girls created their own first Kids Quilt Round Robin block, and in June they worked on their first partner's block. Norah (her mom Katie blogs at SwimBikeQuilt) sent us her flying geese row for her quilt and asked for something very similar. We used a blue ikat she had sent along, and added some of our own stash, and voila!
This year is all about "action" and in the three years since I implemented a focus word, it's been the best year for sticking to my word! I don't have any giant successes to share (it's all slow & steady baby steps over here), but in addition to fun finishes and hosting the Kids Quilt Round Robin, so far 2017 has been the year of:
Did you read my June newsletter? (Not a subscriber? Join here!) If so, you saw I've sent out the call for pattern testers. The time has come for me to grow my pattern tester pool, and if that's something you enjoy doing, I'd love to have you on board! I've written up the "fine print" (you can find it here) and I encourage anyone who's interested to read it thoroughly. If it sounds like a good fit for you, please fill out the accompanying Pattern Tester Application so I'll have your information the next time I have a pattern that needs feedback. I'm excited to be adding this step to my pattern development process and look forward to both hearing the critique you can offer, and seeing how my designs look in your capable hands!
Ok, so "phobia" might be a bit dramatic, but it's no secret that I have strong aversion to one important step in quilting: the binding. I enjoy sketching designs, I love pulling fabrics, and I adore quilting. Heck, I even don't mind all the cutting and piecing that happens in between. When I get to that very last [crucial] step, though, I often stall out and my quilts languish in almost-completed limbo. Making and attaching binding just feels like a huge, boring chore that happens at the end of all the fun stuff. But I as time goes on, I want to make (and bind!) more and more quilts. So I've been trying to find a way to trick myself into enjoying binding... and I think I've found the solution with my new two-pronged approach!
And just like that, it's summer vacation! My girls are staying busy in the studio working on the Kids Quilt Round Robin that I'm hosting along with Sarah Goer Quilts. They began with this raw edge appliqued block for the "Treehouse Quilt" they're making their brother, and they're asking all their round robin partners to add treehouse/outdoor play inspired blocks to the project.