Thursday, December 28, 2017

Prized and Popular {Best of 2017}

Last week I posted my goals for 2018 and this week is my post of my Best of 2017! I'm linking up with Cheryl's Best of 2017 party!

This year, I went through and picked a few posts that are statistical bests and a few posts that are just favorites.

In addition to being a giveaway post, this is probably my favorite tutorial post this year!

2. Most comments on a non-giveaway post:
This was actually a tie between two posts that I posted only three days apart!

3. Favorite Island Batik Project: Mystical Mermaid quilt
I made 12 different Island Batik projects as an Ambassador this year (wow!), and this one is far and away my favorite! Little baby Laney absolutely LOVES it!

4. Favorite New HBD Pattern: Christine's Kitchen
If you've read my blog for any length of time, then you know that I am addicted to paper piecing! I'm already considering making another version of this quilt in an alternate colorway for my mother-in-law.

5. Favorite WIP finish/Most likes on Instagram: Clover Sunshine Sampler
This year I really tried to finish some of my long languishing WIPs. Not only was this the biggest of my WIP finishes, it was also the oldest -- started in 2014! 

Thank you, as always, to Cheryl for hosting this fun annual link-up! I'm looking forward to reading all of the posts over the next few days with big mugs of coffee. :)

Don't forget to check out our end-of-year HBD Etsy shop sale! We've already listed kits for Valentine's Day placemats if you, unlike me, are ahead of the game!

Friday, December 22, 2017

On Ringo Lake {Clue #4}

I'm currently over 300 miles away from my sewing machine in Ohio, but I did want to pop in and share my On Ringo Lake progress!

I finished up Clue #4 this week before we made our pilgrimage to the Midwest for Christmas. As with the first three clues, I did my cutting on Friday night while we finished Season 2 of The Crown.

About half of my yellow squares came from my stash of small already cut squares, so that cut down what I needed to pull from my yellow stash. I had to cut all of my oranges and made a pretty big dent in them. These units didn't use any of the background fabric.

I did all of the sewing on Saturday and Sunday in between all of our Christmas activities -- including but not limited to: picking up a toy for an angel tree present, brunch on Sunday at one of our favorite places, opening presents, and having friends over for dinner. 

The second half of the pressing got pushed back to Monday night. I was rather impressed that I neither under nor over-cut for these units, and didn't lose any units (since I made over 100 and I'm only making a half-sized quilt!)

My best estimate is that I used at least 20 different prints of each color. Some are well represented (like some of the yellow floral fabrics or the orange feather print!) and others are only used once! Here are some of my units all laid out together -- I still am confused by the units from last week, so I left them out!

Clue #5 is out today but I won't be starting on it until at least next Thursday. I'll plot about what fabrics to use (and potentially raid my mom's scrap bins while I am in Michigan!) I think I might need to add in some of each of my colors depending on how many clues are still in the pipeline!

Sharing at Quiltville and Oh Scrap!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

2018 Goal Setting Party with Quilting JetGirl

It's that time of the year for reviews and resolutions! Today I'm linking up with Quilting JetGirl's annual goal setting party!

2018 Planning Party

But first, let's see what my goals were in 2017!

1. Busting my WIP list -- I finished 5 projects that were on my WIP list this year.
2. Improving my FMQ skills -- I have done lots of FMQ this year!
3. Posting one tutorial per month -- I posted 13 tutorials this year.
4. Host a new QAL --This year I hosted the Christine's Kitchen QAL!
5. Participate in the RSC -- I made blocks each month for my Happy Houses quilt.

I would count all of these but #1 a success. I had a lot of "outside commitments" as far as sewing went this year, and I think that ate up a lot of time that could have been spent on WIPs.

This year my goals are similar but a little more specific.

1. Quilt and finish some of my completed (or nearly completed quilt tops)
This is the corollary to last years #1. I have 5 quilt tops that are complete or nearly complete and these are the WIPs I want to focus on first. I also have two quilts to pick up from the long arm quilter that should be done by year's end.

2. Host a new QAL and improve engagement
I already have the QAL quilt designed in two sizes and made in the smaller size! I also want to expand my QAL reach by partnering with my quilty friends, offering QAL specials in the HBD Etsy shop, and putting together a Facebook group for the QAL. Lots of logisical things to make the QAL more engaging.

3. Say "no" with more frequency.
It's bad when your husband asks if you sew for fun anymore. I still want to keep up my established relationships, but I think I just need to step back how often I commit to blog hops and outside designing. I have a few scheduled things for next year, but I am going to cut back significantly.

These are my goals for this year! Short and sweet and to the point.

Check out everyone's goals at Quilting JetGirl!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Blue In Bloom {Finished Blue Version}

With the finish of this quilt, all of my quilting commitments for 2017 are finished (resounding echo: FINISHED!) The second of my two Blue in Bloom throw quilts is now finished!

This version is the "blue" version -- you can see the green version here. These two quilts are gifts for college girls that I advise. Last year I made my Little Firecrackers quilts for the previous ladies I advised.

As I mentioned in some of the past posts about these quilts, most of the fabrics for these quilts came from my stash. This quilt added in Kona Snow for the background and I bought the backing fabric.

For the quilting, I did all over loop-de-loops. I considered quilting this one the same way that I quilted its green twin, but I needed to change it up!

While the green version used a lot of stashed fabrics I hadn't used in other things, this blue version has a lot of fabrics from other projects! The aqua floral and dark green floral fabrics were both used in my Gathering quilt, the cobalt blue floral was used on the back of my Starburst quilt, and the multicolored diamond print was used in my Wishes quilt.

The binding is a navy, aqua, and green dot print from my stash. The backing came from one of my local quilt shops -- I think the yellow, aqua, and grey print is a fun match for the quilt top.

I am so happy with both of these quilts! I need to get them both in the mail to their recipients to enjoy for the holidays!

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Blue in Bloom, throw size
Size: 55" x 75"
Fabrics: mainly from stash, Kona Oyster for background
Quilting: meanders with daisies

(PS. Don't forget that our Etsy shop is still on sale -- you can get this pattern for 10% off or more, along with all of our listings!)

Sharing at Finish It Up Friday!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Penguin Paradise {Finished Table Runner}

Hooray for Fridays and finishes!

This month's Island Batik Ambassador theme was table toppers and I have had so much fun working with our Seasonal Table Runner pattern to make a penguin table runner!

Here's the runner pre-quilting:

And here it is finished:

For the quilting, I did all over sharp stippling or "zippling" as some people call it! I chose this motif to look like icicles or crackles in ice! I didn't quilt in the penguins so that they would stand out and I used an off white thread.

For the binding and backing, I used the tan print since I had whole yard. It looks great next to the blues!

While this looks great under the tree, I might actually just keep this for myself!

This was such a quick and easy pattern, I will definitely be going back to it as a base pattern for all sorts of future gifts!

And of course I need to announce the winner of the giveaway!

Almost 2 yards worth of beautiful Island Batik fabrics are on their way to you!

This weekend my husband and I are celebrating our Christmas and spreading it out over the whole weekend! We are baking cookies tonight, going to see The Last Jedi tomorrow, going out to brunch on Sunday, opening our presents to each other, and having good friends over for dinner! It's a jam-packed weekend before we make the pilgrimage to the Midwest for Christmas! I hope you have something fun and special planned too!

Sharing at Finish it up Friday!