February Bite Size – Wool Felt Your Valentine

Feb Bite Size ImageBe My Valentine? And how can you resist with this lovely wool felt project just in time for Valentine’s Day?! Enjoy this free wool project designed my mother, Material Girlfriend Carolyn Wooldridge, as a “heart felt” gift of our appreciation of your support of the Material Girlfriends. This adorable 12″x 13″ block is easy to put together and fun to embelish. My mother added bling and beads as delightful finishes. Mine looks a little plain in comparison! But all the same I love it, love it, love it. I had never tried wool felt before and was so surprised at how fun such a project is. If you can’t remember your basic embroidery stitches, you can find a variety of tutorials on youtube. Double click for the pattern Feb.Felt.Pattern.F and  for the instructions FebBiteSizeBlockValentine. If you’d like a color version for the pattern you can use this file Feb.Felt.color. Since the image is larger than your standard printer pages, print at 100% and select “tile image” in your printer settings. (Sorry, free download expired 11/16. For pattern, please purchase Bite Size Valentine Banner)

This is also a class at In Between Stitches, Sunday, February 9 1-4pm. And kits are available for $15.95. Kits are limited so contact In Between Stitches right away if you’d like one. Enjoy your project!



A Quilter’s New Year Resolution – Learn Something New

“School is just learning, learning learning.” My 13 year son grumbled as he was preparing for school this morning. The holiday break is over and school begins again today. (“Hoorah!” cheer the parents). I told him he should  strive to learn something the rest of his life, not just 7th grade. Which is the second resolution on my list – Learn Something New. I’m going to tackle circles and curves this year. What about you? 8525994045_cc13acaf0f_oHas there been a certain block that has intimidated you? Did you want to learn paper piecing, appliqué, or hexagons? There are a bagillion tutorials online to encourage you in learning a new technique. More fun, however, is taking a class. The ladies you meet in a class can become life-long quilting friends. Check out your local quilt shop for a list of classes. If you’re local to Livermore, In Between Stitches has a new list of classes. I will be teaching new techniques every month through my 2nd Sunday afternoon, Bite Size Quilt projects. I teach a new technique or trick every month with just a 12″ square. No big commitment. I’m also teaching a t-shirt quilt, Anita’s Arrowhead, and Simple Sally.



January Bite Size Quilt

JanBiteSize copyI love a new year. New things to do, new things to try, new expectations. It is a starting point, a “do-over” point. The old is gone and the new is here. I don’t plan on this year being Pointless. I’ve made New Year Resolutions and created plans on how to achieve them. First off for the New Year is January Bite Size Quilt with piecing tips on “Don’t Be Pointless”. (Don’t you hate it when you make a beautiful star and the star points get swallowed up in the seams or misaligned? You’ll like these tips.) This beautiful pieced square is a block from 1941, originally call Blackford’s Beauty. It is also known as Arrow Point, Arrowhead, Black Beauty or Stepping Stones. In the center of the star, I fussy cut a polar bear from a fat quarter brought home from Alaska. Brrr, perfect for our chilly January. You can choose to fill the center of the star with a character print of your choice or fill the center with tan. Download the free instructions to create this star here, Jan.BiteSizeBlock.Instructions. (Sorry, free download expired 11/16. For pattern, please purchase Bite Size Vol. 2)

Happy New Year!


A Quilter’s New Year Resolution – Finish my Quilt Projects.

The Material Girlfriends were emailing back and forth wishing each other a Happy New Year. We wandered into the danger zone when I brought up my New Year’s Resolutions. I had decided that at the top of my Quilter’s list would be to finish projects this year. (cringe) I told the gals that I had 15 unfinished quilt projects. Judy accused me of being modest about the number so I wrote a list. Okay, I lied. I have 20 unfinished quilt projects and I didn’t dare open the closet to see if I had forgotten any.  My sister Lora, emailed her list. She spent the day organizing and listing her projects. She had 101 sewing/needle art projects to finish this year. What the…? Here is her list. I felt sew much better about myself.

images“I counted 23 quilting projects,  9 potholders (Shop Hop cast offs), an apron, an ironing board cover, 7 quilt items (small and large) that need long arm quilting, a lace bed skirt for Rachel, 2 dresses and a summer suit for Emily, kitchen valances (2), sitting room draperies (2), 5 Christmas stockings, 1 set of felt Raggedy Ann Christmas ornaments, 1 Christmas quilted ornament, 2 pincushions and bags, embroidered tea towel – from Lisa, felted snow flake, a partially knitted scarf, smocking, punch needle art, 3 red-work embroidery projects, 29 pillow cover ideas (Pinterest – yikes), 4 foot warmers, (I think I’ll need to buy more rice) and newly added to the list is 2 hand warmers for my pockets. This could be the reason why my sewing room is feeling so cramped…Nah.  At least I won’t get board!”

How do we justify having sew many projects? It’s called Project Saturation. We’re excellent Starters, but then we grow weary of a project, we stop and do what we do best. Start another project. The discipline comes in completing the projects. How to stay on track?? Any New Year Resolution needs a plan to achieve it. Here is my plan.

1. Finish the projects that are almost done. Quilting, binding, and label projects are first. Whew! Immediately off the list.

2. Next, ask yourself if you still like certain projects or were they “a learning process”. No rules are written that say you have to complete anything you don’t like. Give unloved projects to other quilters that may like to finish and enjoy it. Or if it is really bad, consider a pot holder project, use it to practices your machine quilting or trash it. A few more off the list.

3. Next, which projects have a deadline? Graduation, birthday, anniversary, baby quilts, those are next to work on. If it is a large project, I’ll work on it until “project saturation” begins, set it aside and work on another deadline quilt.

4. Last, I’ll complete the projects that need the least amount of time to complete. Thereby diminishing my list quicker and making me feel like I’ve accomplished more.

fabric-stack2Today, I’m going to do what Lora did and organize my projects according to my plan above. I’m confident my plan will help me achieve my first resolution for 2014. I also started a new class on the second Saturday of every month from 6-10pm at In Between Stitches called Lisa’s Finishing School for Wayward Quilters. If you’re local, join us for a fun evening of completing projects. If you’re not able to join us, schedule Finishing School for yourself. Cut out some time once a month to work on finishing your quilts.

What are your Quilter’s New Year Resolutions? I’ll share more of mine in future blogs.