book, make something, Piecing Makeover, quilt, quilt block, quilt design, quilting, quilts

100Days100Blocks2018

If you don’t follow me on Instagram – you should, by the way ūüėȬ† – then you might not be aware of the #100Days100Blocks2018 Sew-A-Long going on right now. My friend, Angie, over at Gnome Angel, is the woman in charge and you can find all the pertinent information here.

banner 100 days

Basically, it’s a 100 Day sew-a-long making all 100 blocks from Tula Pink’s City Sampler book. You will need to book to participate but I¬†can tell you that the instructions are easy to follow and the blocks go together very quickly. It’s a GREAT way to build some skills if you are a beginner and a fun quilt to make for quilters of all ages. Besides, it’s a block a day. You can handle that, right?

I made Block 54 – you can read about that here. Online, you can search using the hashtag #100Days100Blocks2018 to see what quilters around the world are making. It’s been fun to see all the blocks people are making.

You’ll have to follow the appropriate people to win – there are daily prizes and larger sponsors. I’m giving away a copy of my book!

And, between now and the end of the sew-a-long I am offering 20% off at my store using coupon code 100Days100Blocks2018.

 

book, quilt, quilt block, quilt patterns, quilting, quilts, sewing

Tula Pink City Sampler, Block 54

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I’m really happy to be participating in the #100Blocks100Days quilt along, and hope you’ve been having a good time working your way through Tula’s City Sampler book (and blocks). Today I get to showcase Block 54, or as I’m calling it Block Studio 54. ūüôā

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I love this block because it has Flying Geese Рthey are my favorite! The block was really quick and easy to put together, and I could showcase some fabrics I love.

I’m going to show you how I put the block together, and give you a few tips so you can have piecing perfection.

Tula has easy to follow directions at the beginning of each section. Block 54 is in the Triangles section, and you can find instructions on page 85.

Start by cutting out your pieces according to the directions on page 123 (no, I can’t give you that info – you’ll have to buy the book).

Once I had the pieces cut, I started by assembling the Flying Geese units. You can’t really make the block until they are made ūüôā

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Once all four Flying Geese are made, sew them in a row. When I sew Flying Geese units together, I sew with the wrong side of one of the geese facing me. I do this so I can make sure the needle and thread go just above the point of the Flying Geese units, and I get a perfect point. This means I adjust my seam allowance,¬†if needed,¬†as I sew. I give myself up to 1/8” difference, so there’s a little wiggle room. This cheat means I can be a little off and still get a perfect point.

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Sew the Flying Geese units together, making sure you don’t do this.

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Once your Flying Geese units are sewn together, press them. I like to press towards the top of each Flying Geese unit (see above). I find that the fabric sort of naturally falls that way, anyhow.

You should have 3 sections that look something like this:

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IF your Flying Geese units aren’t quite perfect and square, go ahead and trim the edges. I take a small ruler, and run it along the side of my block between two points to make sure I am 1/4” from each point (look between my two fingers). Trim off any excess.

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Once you’ve squared up/trimmed any excess from either/both sides of the Flying Geese units, sew the left and right strips to each side of the block.

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You should have some perfect points to those Geese. If you don’t, that’s okay. Remember, you are better off having a point “float” instead of getting chopped off.

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See how the point floats a little? It’s okay. Leave it. No one will notice once it’s quilted.

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Voila! Enjoy!

book, personal, Piecing Makeover, quilt, quilt design, quilt patterns, quilting, quilts

The Quilt Show!!

Y’all!! I’m SO excited!!! TODAY IS THE DAY!! It’s been 5 months since I flew to Denver to film an episode on The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims.

I’ll start with the obvious:
Was it amazing? YES!!!
Was it fun?? YES!!
Is it a career highlight? A million times over it is!
Are Alex and Ricky as nice as they seem? ABSOLUTELY YES!! (the entire crew is really fabulous, as well!)
Should I have worn my SPANX? Yep

Now the story behind my days in Denver.

Mom came with me to the taping. She said she’d love to be a fly on the wall and, well, how could I say no??? She and I got to Denver, checked in to the hotel, then took all my quilts and supplies to the studio. I met a few people, saw the set up (it’s cool, y’all), then Mom and I headed out to have dinner with my cousin and his family.

Dinner was great and I loved catching up with my family, but shortly after we got there snow started to fall. And a LOT of it. Now, I know lots of people in the country (heck, the world) drive in snow all the time, but you know who doesn’t drive in snow? Me. Do you know why? Because I live in the South and we don’t do snow here. You see the clips of everyone racing to the store and clearing off the shelves? That’s legit. We don’t have the supplies and equipment to deal with massive snow (any snow) falling. 103 degree days with 90% humidity, no problem but send us some snow and we are out, plus it always turns to ice (I have driven on that and it is NOT fun). In the South we hunker down, make hot chocolate, and sled on ice or snow. We’re not particular if as long as the sled makes it down the hill.

Anyhow, the snow kept falling. For three hours I watched it coming down, and for three hours I enjoyed dinner but was secretly FREAKING OUT about how I’d get safely back to the hotel. Snow is covering the ground and, until March, I had never driven in snow. My cousin and his wife assured me that Mom and I would be fine. It’s a powder. Just go a little slower.

Let me tell you – going slower was NOT the problem. Seeing the road, however, was. I couldn’t see the lines on the roads and cars were RACING past me. I was SO glad Mom was with me to help navigate us safely back to the hotel. No way could I have listened to my phone navigate me to my hotel AND drive in the snow.

We made it safely back and, if I knew the next day wasn’t going to be so busy, I would have headed to the hotel bar for a cocktail. Instead, Mom and I wisely called it a night. Unfortunately, I had trouble sleeping. I was excited and anxious about the next day. Finally around 1:30 or 2, I got to sleep. You know, just in time for giant laundry cart bumper cars in the parking lot.

I kept trying to sleep but there was an awful noise in the parking lot. I tossed and turned and could not figure out why industrial laundry carts were being rolled around behind the hotel at 2am. When I looked out the window I realized it wasn’t hotel laundry cart bumper cars but the snow plow.

You know what I’ve only heard once in my life? A snow plow. And that was in Maine. I was 6 1/2 months pregnant with my oldest and was able to roll over and go back to sleep as pregnant ladies can often do. Anyhow, Mom stirred around that time and gave me a melatonin and some ear plugs. I fell blissfully asleep.

6 am came early, though, and I definitely needed a few extra cups of coffee. The adrenaline and excitement of the day helped, but wow! I was tired. It also turns out, unbeknownst to me, I was in the middle of a major health crisis that was wearing me down. Short version: my testosterone levels had plummeted and I was exhausted (like first trimester pregnancy exhausted) all the time and couldn’t recover AND, if that’s not enough, I needed to eliminate gluten and dairy from my diet – they were causing a myriad of issues for me (5 months later cue the increased energy levels, clear skin, and 15 pounds lost, and yes, I miss both those items of food).

Anyhow, filming was a blast but I was so nervous! I mean, I’m hanging out with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims!!! I had no idea what camera to look at, so there might be a few crazy eyes moments. haha!¬†It was beyond thrilling and I loved every single second. We talked about my book, Piecing Makeover, I show some of the techniques I have in my book, and we briefly chat about my journey as a sewist and quilter.

You can see the episode here: https://thequiltshow.com/watch/current-show

I hope you like it.

Happy Piecing!

book, Piecing Makeover, quilt, quilt block, Uncategorized

News(letter) from the Nook Aug. 2018

Can you believe it’s the middle of AUGUST already? Bananas! It’s muggy and hot in Atlanta so I’m happily staying inside, continuing to get my house in order post-renovation and grateful that my kids are already in school so I don’t have to entertain them in this heat. And, yes, we go to school so. early. here;¬†BUT we have lots of breaks, so there’s that. I guess. And also yes, I’d like to retire in the mountains one day.

I have a few things happening in the next few weeks.

The lovely ladies over at¬†Create Whimsy¬†recently reached out to ask if they could spotlight me on their site. Of course!!! The interview will be live today. It’s a Q&A and you can read about it¬†here. It was fun to reply to the questions. If I answered, or partially answered something and you want me to expand, please drop me a line. I’m happy to¬†¬†– I didn’t want to drone on and on and bore people.

My episode on¬†The Quilt Show¬†airs on August 26th.¬†If you are a member at www.thequiltshow.com you’ll have access to the episode as soon as it airs. If not, though the site is FULL of valuable information so you should (hint, hint), don’t worry – you’ll be able to see it a few weeks later. You can read about the upcoming episode¬†here.

At the end of taping, we took some photos (this one is courtesy of The Quilt Show). Here’s a fun out take…

I’m¬†participating in Gnome Angel’s 100Blocks100Days sew along. It began¬†July 7th and will end on October 14th. Angie has ALL the rules on her website (www.gnomeangel.com) or you can click¬†here¬†and get right to it.

I’ll be making block 54 and will share all my tips and tricks on August 29th. I’m excited to participate in this fun sew along and hope you will consider participating. There are a lot of talented quilters and sponsors this year, and I KNOW it’ll be great!

I’ll be teaching a Machine Piecing Hexagons class at¬†Intown Quilters¬†on September 16th.

You can sign up¬†here. If you’ve been wanting to learn this technique, this is a great class. I’ll go over several cutting methods and a give you a LOT of hints and help you troubleshoot.

I’m hoping to add another pattern to my¬†store¬†in the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for that, too.

Happy Piecing!
Patty

book, Piecing Makeover, quilt, quilt block, quilting

Back in Business

My Post

Y’all! First of all, if you don’t follow me on social media (fact: I’m far more active on Instagram than any other platform) you may have missed my big THANK YOU! Thanks to everyone that has supported me and my book. It sold out late fall and I’m happy that it’s back IN STOCK at C&T. So if you’ve wanted to get your hands on a copy, you can do it now.

Spring break ended Friday, and I’m hopeful that I can¬†finally knock out some items on my lengthy to-do list before school is out in May. It’s around the corner, and while I have done a lot this year, it’s not anywhere NEAR what I wanted to accomplish. So here’s to 7 weeks of insane productivity.

Speaking of, let me know if there’s something you’d like to see me demonstrate, or a tutorial and I’ll see if I can make it happen. Also contemplating a give-away of some sort, but I’m not sure yet??? Always happy to hear your suggestions.

book, quilt, quilting, quilts

Adventures in Hexagons Blog Book Tour

I’ve had my eye on Emily’s book for some time now and when I saw that her blog book tour was kicking off, I really wanted to be a part of it. Hexagons have been en vogue for some time now, and personally, I’m fascinated with all the great quilts that can be made from one shape. Hexagons are so versatile, incredibly fun, and really create dynamic, beautiful quilts.

Adventuresinhexagonscover

I’ve made one hexagon quilt (you can see it in the header image on my home page). I wish I could say I’ve made more, and will fess up to the fact that the only other EPP quilt I started to make (ahem) 8 years ago is still an unassembled mess of little hexagon shapes sitting in a box. I will get back to it, but I digress.

There are so many things that I like about this book. Emily includes instructions to machine piece AND English Paper Piece each quilt in her book so quilters have great versatility depending on comfort level, which method they prefer, etc. You can even mix methods if you are feeling wild! I like to machine piece, which explains the unfinished adventure in EPP from 8 years ago, but many of her tips and ideas work for BOTH methods, so you either way you win.

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Confetti in Times Square (above) and Superstar (below) are my favorites! I love the elegant simplicity of Confetti in Times Square and in Superstar, I see something new every time I look at the quilt.

11177 Breclaw S'17

Right off the bat, I was learning things, like the difference between a rosette and a sprocket (page 4). I didn’t even know there were names for differently pieced hexagon shapes. And I like that there are quilt shapes called sprockets. I smile when I say sprocket. ¬†Emily offers some great tips about measuring hexagons, kites, triangles, and other shapes, but my favorite tips show you how to string EPP pieces together, tie knots (much better method what I’ve done in the past), and how to cut shapes using strip piecing. It’s absolutely brilliant!

I also like how Emily discusses pressing the hexagon units. I use the same method, more or less based on the fabrics, and furling my pieces, but her rule of thumb is going to stick in my head for eternity. And that’s a good thing. It’ll stick in your head as well.

If you’ve been wanting to try your hand at making a hexagon quilt, this book is for you! If you comment on my blog you will have TWO chances to win. I will randomly pick 2 winners using random.org. One of you will get a copy of Emily’s book, and the other will get a copy of my book (continental US, only).

Be sure to check out all the blogs on the tour below. They each have some great giveaways!

July 24- C&T Publishing www.ctpub.com

July 25- Generation Q Magazine http://generationqmagazine.com/

July 27- Marti Michell https://www.frommarti.com/

July 28-Clothworks Fabrics www.clothworks.com

July 29- Cathi Godwin, https://quiltobsession.blog/

July 30- Paper Pieces , www.paperpieces.com

August  1- Mary Huey, http://maryhueyquilts.blogspot.com/

August 2- Linda Franz, www.inklingo.com

August 3- Patty Murphy,¬†https://pattymurphyhandmade.com (you’re here)

August 4- Cheryl Sleboda, www.Muppin.com

August 5- Wendy Sheppard, https://ivoryspring.wordpress.com/

August 6- Emily Breclaw, www.thecaffeinatedquilter.com

*C&T will send a hard copy to winners in the continental US and will send an electronic version to winners overseas.

book, family, kids, kids art, make something, personal

Raising a Mini Me

My littlest is an artist and was born with a crayon in his hand. For as long as he’s been alive, Q-man has always been coloring, drawing, molding, sculpting, creating, building, and generally in his imagination. He has gone from one obsession to the next – Thomas the Tank Engine, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Minecraft, Five Nights at Freddy, Spiderman….you get the idea. When he isn’t dressed up and pretending to be one of his favorite characters, he’s creating¬†something. Always creating something.¬†My house is covered with his artwork – most is on paper, in notebooks, some framed, some on the walls in his room. or furniture – and I don’t see that ending. Hopefully ever. Well, the drawing on furniture and walls can end.

Recently I read an article that really resonated with me. I can’t seem to find it, so I’ll paraphrase. The gist of it is that you should find something, anything, that you and your child love to do together, some shared passion, and cultivate it. That passion will get you through the tough years. My oldest is a mini version of my husband so I’m going to have to rely on my better half to handle S during the teen years. The littlest is a mini me….and let me tell you:

It’s hard to raise a little me. I’m a pain. A lovable, adorable pain, but a pain, nonetheless. I mean Q-man is a lovable, adorable pain.

I’ve thought about that article a lot over the summer and tried to find new ways to connect with my kids. The older one is more cerebral so baking, artwork, and coloring don’t appeal to him all that much. He’s definitely more of a challenge in the connecting with things that appeal to both of us (see above statement about husband picking up the work with this one in the teen years) but I’ve been better about listening to him talk about cars and space and other items that interest him, many of which I don’t know much about. I let him educate me, and love how his face lights up when he identifies planes and talks about rockets, spacecraft, and cars. He did declare that he wanted a quilt I was making, and I happily gave it to him, so that’s a win. And he’s been wanting to learn to cook so S and I have spent more time in the kitchen together. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed that. ¬†He picks one dinner meal we eat each week and has to help prepare it. That’s been fabulous!

While S is at drama camp this week (which he LOVES! it’s a nice change of pace and he’s having blast!), Q and I took a few hours to head to the High Museum of Art. We checked out the Warhol exhibit, excluding a section that was too mature in nature for him, and saw some other fun stuff. His little mind was blown. He couldn’t believe some of the art was art. You mean sitting on a log chair is art? whaaaa????¬†And as we went through the Warhol exhibit, what do you mean that’s a photograph that’s been enlarged, screen printed and painted on? Multiple times in different combinations…how is that done?! It was fascinating to see the wheels churning.

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On the way out, we browsed through gift shop and found a GREAT book. It’s called 642 Things to Draw. If you can’t get to the High, or find it at a local book shop, you can buy it here.

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The book is empty. Your young artist has to fill it. What a genius idea! Here are some of Q’s doodles:

The left side is a chocolate forest and the right side is a skeleton army, though it appears he forgot the army part, but one well drawn skeleton from the 7 year old is good enough for me.

The pages are subdivided differently so kids have an opportunity to work in different scales, and every section has something different to draw: a newborn ladybug, waking up as a zombie, happiness, an avocado wearing a coat, your junk drawer.

This book is an exploration in creativity.

Seriously, people. Get this book for your creative kid. He or she will love it! It’s been a BIG hit at my house.

Happy drawing!

book, featured, Piecing Makeover, quilt, quilting, quilts, sewing, Uncategorized

Piecing Makeover Blog Book Tour + Giveaway

What a week it’s been! Wow! Thanks for all the love, y’all! The week was such a success and I couldn’t have done it without C&T Publishing, AnneMarie, Jodie, Teri at GenQ, Sandi, Mary, and Kristin. Really big thanks to each of you!

My biggest tip to share is to ask for help. I mean – How easy is that!?¬†Seriously, though. When I first started to quilt I always asked my mom but not everyone has a mom that sews, or is near. However, ¬†if you are fortunate enough, your local quilt shop has staff on hand to help you work through your problems. Yes, it means another trip out, and you¬†might come home with more fabric but getting inspired while getting help is fun! And¬†I promise they LOVE to help figure out your quilting problems! If the shop can’t help, they will find someone that can. Honest.

If you don’t have a quilt shop near you, go online to see if you can find the answer to your problem, or send a message to a quilter via a blog or read a book – perhaps, mine? ¬†A little time to noodle on the issue might work for you, too. Don’t be afraid to explore possibilities. And if you are worried about messing up your favorite piece of fabric, experiment with some muslin, or old scraps until you’ve solved your problem.

Most importantly, remember it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s how we learn. I have quilts riddled with errors and almost every quilt I make throws me for a loop at some point or another – I really should plan more! But I’ve learned a lot. Some of my (ahem) older friends have been a valuable source of knowledge, too.

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C&T is giving away one copy at each stop along the way and today is your last chance to win a copy of Piecing Makeover  for yourself (printed copy in the U.S. and e-book outside the States). Leave a comment on the blog and we will announce the winners tomorrow.

Here’s the list again so you can check to see if you have won on another page. Winners will be chosen at random using random.org number generator.

9/12 C&T   http://www.ctpub.com/blog/
9/13  AnneMarie Chany http://www.genxquilters.com/
9/14 Jodie Carleton http://vintagericrac.blogspot.com/
9/15 Teri Lucas/Gen Q Magazine  http://generationqmagazine.com/
9/16 Sandi Hazlewood http://www.craftyplanner.com/
9/18 Kristin Esser https://kristinesser.com/
Happy piecing, everyone!

*edited on 9/20 – Congratulations to Sally for winning a copy of Piecing Makeover!