Monday, November 23, 2015

Quiltmaker 100 Blocks giveaway winners!

As always, I thoroughly enjoyed every comment during last week's blog hop. By asking you to use the word "mini" in a sentence, I got lots of responses about mini towns, lots of compliments on my mini quilt (I knew I could drag those out of you), and many residents of Mini-sota were all clever in their semantics. I also thoroughly loved that by asking you all to let me know where you were commenting from, I could watch the world wake up as comments literally rolled in by rolling from Europe to Australia throughout the day. So cool! My winners are Loris from CA and Danette from PA. Each will receive a copy of 100 Blocks, volume 12. Thank you all for playing!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

More "And More" Fun with the QM 100 Blocks Mag!

I did it again...I sent Quiltmaker a block, somehow was accepted into the "And More!" fold, and then forgot entirely what the block looked like in the interim. I have three children. My brain is already compromised remembering their names. Don't ask me to remember names and details of EVERYTHING I create. Besides, just like someday my roommate in the nursing home will be my brand new friend every day, I get to have a nice surprise when I open my advance copy of the issue and see what exactly I made that was so cool. It's exciting stuff.

In this case, here's what I got to see.
Look at that!

Once I saw it, I did vaguely recall whipping it up one afternoon, enough so that I could with 95% surety claim to have made it.

I also was thrilled to see my block in a setting in the Block Tester Gallery, page 80. Megan Ferris decided to enlarge it and use it in the center of her sampler. Very cool!

I keep forgetting to thank her. If she's reading - Thanks, Megan!
 If you've followed me at all here, or on Facebook, or you know me in real life, you may say "Well, I like it (hopefully you like it, I'm just over here putting words in your mouth anyway so I might as well make them complimentary to me), but it doesn't really look like something YOU would design."

In answer to that, I maintain that it is boring to have just one style. I love trying new things, learning new techniques, and I step out of the box so often that the box is empty most of the time. But I will admit - this one has a lot of pieces for me. Sixty four pieces in the block. Definitely a new personal design record.

This has been the year of the mini for me. As I always like to show my block in a practical usage in these posts, I decided to shrink it down to 6" rather than 12" and make a mini quilt with nine blocks.

Are you starting to do the math? If so, you are way ahead of where I was, which was exactly in the middle of La La Land, certain this would be a project I would have finished by lunch time. Three hours in and I had maybe one little section done. However, once I start a project, I generally go all in, and this was no exception. So even though the first pieces of the block I made (the outside corners) were at 2 1/2" square dwarfed by my littlest scissors, I took deep breaths and soldiered on.

All was well (or as well as it gets around here when math is involved) until I got to the pointy sections. At that point (ha!) I just could not figure out how to cut the pieces properly as the templates as printed were the wrong size for my mini. Even with resizing it in EQ I still couldn't get my templates cut properly. (Disclaimer: this is clearly a PICNIC error - problem in chair, not in computer, or in this case pattern. With me it's always a PICNIC error and I've learned to deal with it.) So I decided to paper piece them. Paper piecing for me is generally a last resort, so you know I was starting to get shaky, but at this point I was what felt like millions of little pieces into this mini and I was not stopping now!

 Eventually, all 576 - five. hundred. seventy. six. Hold me - pieces were together, and in the words of Buddy the Elf: "I'm in love! I'm in love! I'm in love and I don't care who knows it!"

18" square of wow I can't believe I pulled it off.

As you may notice, I recolored the corners of the blocks which created a cool look to the whole thing. If I'd left them the same as the block is shown in the magazine, it would have looked like this:

Yes, it's just an EQ mock up. Did you REALLY think I'd make two of these?
 Check out some of the other ways you can make this block look just by recoloring. Honestly, sometimes I impress me because I really love these.
Recolor everything pointy and look at it sing!

I do love bringing a design out into the border.
On to the giveaways! By now you know the drill: I'm giving away a copy of the magazine, and so is Quiltmaker, enter to win below yada yada yada....BUT WAIT! There's More! "And more," if you will, to celebrate my "And More!" status once again. I'm also giving away a THIRD copy on my EvaPaige Quilt Designs facebook page. So how do you enter for all of this magazine-y fun?

To enter to win one of the copies of from either me or QM here at Quilting Hottie Haven, please leave me a comment telling me where you are from, and include the word "mini." This does not all have to be in one sentence, unless you live in a really teeny town, and then bully for you with your two birds. I know that is asking you to include two things, and possibly write more than one sentence, but I'm giving away two copies here on the blog. I know you can work with me! To make it easier, I'll put aside my grammar police hat for now, and any spelling or interpretation of "mini" will be acceptable.

To enter to win the copy from my Facebook page, head on over there and enter at the pinned post at the top. There I'll be asking you to tell me your favorite and least favorite holiday songs; my playlist for the studio this season will thank you. So check it out for some ideas of your own, too.

One final note: since submitting my block and paper work about a year ago, I have had a website change. The website listed in the magazine is incorrect, but please stop by my new, much improved, and way more user friendly site at

Thanks for stopping by! I hope to see you again!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Bloggers Quilt Festival - For Those Of Us Too Cool To Go To Real Festival

Thank you Amy's Creative Side for hosting the Bloggers Quilt Festival! I just love the semi-annual chance to see what everyone is up to while having a good excuse to put off work for an hour or two and enjoy an extra cup of tea while I drool over it all.
Click here to go to the festival!

It's been a fall full of minis, and I'm excited to share this little project in the Mini Quilt category. (Side note, I actually typed "hexcited" accidentally in that last sentence and almost kept it, but then decided it was too dorky. But now I'm telling you anyway, which may or may not make the whole thing even dorkier for you. But there it is. Let's get hexcited.)

So how did this little number come about? Somehow this summer I decided I simply must break every last rule I've ever made for myself about how I refuse to be trendy, am not a hand sewer, and don't paper piece by buying some paper piecing supplies on a total whim. Damn you, Pinterest. Seriously, even the owner of the shop I bought them from, who knows me well enough as a quilter, was like "What ARE you DOING?" As long time readers here at QHH know, summer can do weird things to me. Trying EPP was this summer's big weirdness.

This fabric (Carnaby Street by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics) was the impetus that had me  saying "what the heck, I will try something new." It almost killed me to fussy cut such a pretty piece of fabric, but I still have a good 1/2 yard to hoard so it's all good.

Out came my chalk marker, which I hadn't used since about 2005, my hand sewing needles (never did figure out if they were the right size, I just used what I had), the glue stick, and scissors. I'm not going to lie - it felt weird to use something other than my 6 x 24 ruler and a rotary cutter.

But suddenly I had a block. Or is that what they are called? I have no idea what six fussy cut jewel shapes sewn together are called. I'm new at this. But I was sort of in love with the result.

Not the worst first try ever.
 It was quickly followed by another block/flower/jewel shaped piece of wonderment...
 And then a third....
Triple fun
In looking at these photos, I'm amused by the random assortment of backgrounds, which top to bottom are my dining room table, the arm of a chair, and my kitchen counter top. This not only proves my inconsistency as a photographer, but also how portable these EPP projects are; for all you know, I put them together in three different places in my house. Maybe more.

At this point I noted that these blocks were looking a lot like a display of paperweights I had loved at the Chicago art museum. Coolness.

The paperweights would have looked way better photographed on my kitchen counter, of course.
Eventually I had made six little blocks, and chose a minty green Oval Elements (also Art Gallery Fabrics) for the middle. I won't lie, I was a little annoyed by how long it took to sew all seven of these blocks together, but I guess that's the "joy" of hand sewing. This teal solid seemed fairly awesome for the background, and because on the day I went to put it on a background I was in no mood to go shopping anywhere but in my stash, I made it work.
Smack that puppy on there.

A first go round of the quilting resulted in a disaster, and is part of the reason this mini is octagonal; the bad quilting was in the corners and very distracting to the beauty of the blocks, so I just cut them off. Drastic? Yes. Lazy? Oh, for sure. But a stunning if dumb luck choice? I think so. In the end, there is some simple quilting in each block and the entire shape is echo quilted once with matching teal thread. Easy enough.

I finished it off with a "made" binding, using circles of both pink and mint green Oval Elements fabric cut with the Hearts and More template by Sue Pelland Designs. I love Sue, and I love her templates, and I'm always up for something new (obviously, or this whole quilt never would have come about), so a non-binding binding it was to be. I cut a bunch of 1 1/2" diameter circles in both pink and teal, and had a vote on my EPQD Facebook page as to which color to use for the "binding," which is really just the circles folded over the edge, fused, and satin stitched. The result of the vote was pretty much a tie between green and pink and was no help whatsoever, but the couple of people who said "both" got me thinking, and I honestly think they were brilliant. The entire edge/binding is pretty awesome, I think, and I love how it gives the whole quilt a lacy effect.

I so love my EPQD Facebook community. Without them I likely would have thrown this back in the UFO pile, but instead it is a finished quilt and is in the BQF. What DID we do before social media?

One last look at the completed mini, which is 14" wide at the widest points. I really love it. I also will sheepishly admit that I kind of love EPP now too. As a scrap quilt designer, it really is appealing to my "use up the scraps at all costs" side, plus it is way more social to hand sew in the living room than hole myself up in the basement dungeon sewing studio.

The one thing (well, besides a sleeve so I can finally hang it on my wall o' minis) that this quilt is lacking is a name. If you have a great idea, please leave it in a comment below!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and enjoy the rest of the beautiful quilts in the BQF.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Teal Mini Swap Blog Hop

The third annual Teal Mini Swap (formerly Two for Teal mug rug swap) is in the books, and I could not be happier with how it all went. This year's event more than doubled participation from last year and raised $2000 for Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, as well as raising awareness of ovarian cancer as the silent killer of far too many women (and quilters in their prime!) that it is. We had participants from all but four states, and next year I WILL shame Hawaii, North and South Dakota, and West Virginia into participation if it kills me! The Teal Mini Swap 2015 FB page is a riot of reveals this week as everyone is receiving their minis, and the comeraderie has been amazing.

I was thrilled to receive this fantastic mini from my partner, Gina Tell of TX. Gina and I are like Sistahs from Another Mistahs in so many ways, and this mini, which she made in honor of her grandma who lost her life to ovarian cancer several years ago, is just gorgeous. I am completely honored to have it in my home to remind me daily of the women we have loved and lost. I absolutely love it.

It's just so beautiful. The kites are 3" blocks. She's way better than me.

Close up of the stunningness.

I made Gina a (rather cool, if I do say) little appliqued number using Sue Pelland Designs' "Hearts and More" templates to easily cut some teardrops from scrappy teals. It may not surprise you I have a few of those. As usual, I didn't know where this design was going exactly until I was done, but man do I love it. Sometimes I amaze me.

A collage was in order, I thought.
I was also lucky enough to receive an extra mini gift from my friend Barbara Gifford, whom I guess figured all my planning and organization was good enough to merit a little thank you gift. It is flipping amazing. It was completely unnecessary of her to make me a thank you gift, but man I love this one too.

Better Barbara than me with all the little squares, and they are SO PERFECT!

We decided a celebration of all the creativity in the form of a blog hop was in order. There was just so much teal-flavored awareness and beauty with these minis and we don't want to keep them for ourselves. Please join us October 12-16, 2015 as we show them off and try to convince you to join in next year - we're looking at you, Dakotas, Hawaii, and West Virginia!

October 12 - Twelo Quilting and One Quilting Circle
October 13 - Susan Brehm and Books Hooks Sticks Etc
October 14 - Teachpany and Bobbin's Lullaby
October 15 - Splitting Stitches and Purple Leaf Quilts
October 16 - Blue Ribbon Sewing and Quilt Art by Megan

While it will be another 9 months before I start ramping up for Teal Mini Swap 2016, I really hope you won't miss out next year. Go right ahead and join the swap facebook page, stay informed by making sure you are a member of my EPQD business page, follow this blog regularly, and/or join my newsletter. That way you won't miss out on all the fun, awareness, and virtual group hugs and high fives next year, AND you'll get to see what else I might have in store for you.

During the hop, I will donate 30% of any pattern purchases from my online shop which feature teal fabrics in the cover quilt to OCRF. This includes almost all of them, because I happen to love teal: Crystallize, Garden's Gate, Greta's Kaleidoscope, Happy Jacks, Harlequin Shake, Hexies a la Mode, Kickin' Stash, Syncopated Ribbons, and Modified Trees. Just because it's October now doesn't mean awareness for ovarian cancer or donations to the cause should be over!

I'm blessed to be in a position to create some awareness among a female-driven hobby, and I hope each year will just get better and better!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Expo-nential Fabulousness

Some of you may remember my sheer excitement and joy when I received the letter accepting my lecture proposal for WI Quilt Expo. Some of you may have even heard my squeal. It was pretty obnoxious, as I recall. Drove away a few stray cats and dogs.

Last week, the time had arrived for me to pack up the "Give it a Scrap Slap" lecture into two giant bags and head on out to Madison so I could inflict myself on a whole new region of quilters. I am happy to say that the only parts of my journey and experience that were less than perfect all centered around Midway airport not having their act completely together, which really only amounted to 4 hours of my whole four day trip. The rest? Seriously amazing.

First of all, all I knew about WI Quilt Expo before I went:

1. It's the brainchild of Nancy Zieman.
2. It is somehow a fundraiser for Wisconsin Public Television.

That's pretty much the extent of my previous knowledge. A little research might have led me to more, but who had time? Better to just go and enjoy. But my knowledge has vastly improved.

1. This show is HUGE.
Don't you love a bird's eye view?

I've been to regional, volunteer-based (read: not owned by a large quilting conglomerate but bigger than a guild show) shows before in various capacities. I thought I knew what to expect. I was SO VERY WRONG. With 30+ lectures a day, plus tons of sit and sew and hands on workshops, over 200 show quilts plus four special exhibits, tons and tons of vendors, probably 30,000 attendees and OVER 500 VOLUNTEERS, this is a crazy insane show. It was awesome.
One parking lot, filling up outside our hotel window.
 2. The Quilt Show part is nationwide.

"Well, obviously," you are thinking. It's a big show. But refer to point #1 to recall I had no idea how big this thing was. Quilts by national big names abounded. Quilts by regionally famous quilters abounded. Quilts by quilters of every ilk abounded. It took me three days to choose my Viewer's Choice.

This was amazing. And a winter scene by a FL quilter. I think she deserved a ribbon just for that.

Best in show

Remind me to start watching Sherlock

Fun quilt by my new friend Kim Lapecek

The best example of "consistency in the crazy" in a scrap quilt outside of my own I've ever seen!
3. Did I mention the Volunteers MAKE THIS SHOW AMAZING??

No lie - I woke up in a cold sweat about two weeks before I left because I couldn't recall if I had put on my lecture proposal that I would be needing handlers. Not so much for me, although someday maybe I'll rate those, but to help hold up the quilts I would be talking about during my lecture. I pull from the audience when I do lectures for guilds, and it is never a problem, but I felt weird doing it at a show.

Well, not to worry. From the second my friend Jen Eskridge (who was also doing lectures at the show) and I showed up, volunteers were swooping in to help direct us where to go, check our bags in a secure location when we weren't using them so we didn't have to haul them around all day, provide actual good tea(!), give us any info we needed, and most importantly every lecture was assigned our very own volunteer, with whom we could do whatever we wanted. A Minion for an Hour, if you will. Huge shout out to Pam, Nancy, and Karen, my amazing volunteers who kept all three lectures going smoothly, held up those quilts like rock stars, and made sure everyone had a handout. So simple, yet SO invaluable. Special shout out to Nancy, whom I kept running into later that day and she kept telling everyone near us how great I was. I heart her. I heart them all. This show could not happen without the volunteers and every one of them was awesome.

Because I loved all the volunteers I was encountering, I decided to join their ranks, and I became a workshop assistant for Eric Drexler Friday afternoon. Kind of on a whim, but it was way fun and I got to take his thread painting class for free - my only jobs were ticket and evaluation collection, and chocolate distribution. When no one was about to pass out from needing chocolate, I could make friends with Sulky blendables, which I always thought hated me but I may or may not now own 6 spools.

Coneflower? Daisy? Who cares! It was fun!
4. Madison is, as we say in New England, wicked cool.

Thanks in part to Trish Franklund, a local regionally famous quilter (it even says so on her business card, which is brilliant) who took Jen and I under her wing and shopped us around town, including to the Mad Mod Quilt guild meeting, and to Budget rental car for finally finding me a car after 2 hours at Midway, we were able to leave the hotel and see the sights. Madison is a very cool city indeed. Sadly, the only photos I have to prove this are of my beer choice from The Old Fashioned restaurant and a bunch of flowers from the Saturday morning Farmer's Market at the capitol. But trust me. If you haven't been, go.
I'll just say it was one of the IPAs.

So pink. So much more lifelike than my thread painting. Oh, wait.....
5. Wisconsin is the number one producer of cranberries. I may have died a little inside.

As every MA resident knows, the number one producer of cranberries is Cape Cod. This is a well known fact I learned in my cocktail waitressing days, when I was schooled on what goes into a "57 Chevy with a Massachusetts License Plate," a drink featuring cranberry juice. The drink names don't lie, people.

So imagine my utter dismay when Nancy Zieman herself, with whom I was lucky enough to sit down for lunch in a small group one day, informed me that WI had overtaken us. I just wasn't sure what to do. My dreams of living in a cranberry kingdom were shattered!

Side note: Nancy Z is absolutely what you see on TV. Kind, down to earth, real, unflappable, and surprisingly a little taller than I pictured.

6. I must go back.

That's all. Here's hoping!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Snowball's Chance

Summer is the time for snowballs, didn't you know? At least it was around here this year, as I finished up my latest scrappy pattern, "A Snowball's Chance." I woke up this morning to the happy email that a couple of people had discovered it on Craftsy last night, so I figured it was time to officially give it a blog post all its own in celebration. Around here a pattern has to prove its worth first, apparently.

So does everyone remember this quilt from last Halloween? It was one of my Scrap Squad projects and the first Halloween project I ever made, because in all honesty, I despise Halloween and never had felt I needed a quilt to remind me it was the time of year of gross disgustingness all around. I still haven't figured out what possessed me to make a Halloween colored quilt, but I also have to admit it really is one of my favorites now. I actually really love it. Probably because unlike other "celebrations" of Halloween, this one isn't dripping in gore.

Supernatural Snowball Fight
 I'd never really worked much with the snowball block, but I kind of found it a relaxing way to bust some scraps, so I decided try a little something for my "inspired by" quilt pattern using snowballs. Those paying attention will recall that each of my Scrap Squad projects resulted in an "inspired by" pattern or project - otherwise my "Give it a Scrap Slap" lecture would be very short indeed. After playing around for a while I came up with the these blocks, which have snowballs sort of in a frame, or if we are being honest, the grey fabric almost makes them look like snowballs in a dirty window. Whatever.

The blocks themselves were pretty simple to put together, and used up lots of my pink scraps in my bin. Not that you'd ever know.

As much as I know I'm not supposed to give big sneak previews of my new patterns on my EvaPaige Quilt Designs facebook page or IG, and as much as it is really not to my advantage because it takes me so long to get the directions like I like them and bring the pattern to completion, excitement always gets the better of me. I want to share, so I do. I am a rebel after all. So I did post this photo of the unbordered top, lounging on my outdoor lounge, back in June. You can tell it is June by the maple wingy things all over the deck and couch that I so fabulously didn't sweep away before taking the photo.

Almost immediately it garnered a ton of response, which let's face it, boosted my ego and sometimes you just need that. So that's another reason I break the rules. I'm a showoff. To their credit, not one commenter mentioned the maple wingies.

Obviously it needed a border, and I decided on some smaller snowballs to mimic the strippy borders of the Halloween quilt. So it was back to the old machine to chain piece my face off.

Eventually I was at the point where I had to face the fact that my cheapo fabric buying ways meant that I had no possible fabric in my stash that would both work color-wise or be big enough. Since my cheapo fabric buying ways also mean that I head directly to the sale racks for backings, always, this is the fabric I came home with. Another post on FB left the question of "Is this ugly or not?" unanswered, but was an entertaining debate.

This was the summer not only of snowballs, but also of teaching my girls how to sandwich a quilt, which left them little time to fight amongst themselves over the crisis du jour. While I won't set them loose on it quite yet, they did a great job helping, even caught a wrinkle or two I didn't see, and I was able to get down to quilting that much faster. I chose to "curvy wave" (a technical term) the snowball parts of the blocks, mimicking what I had done in the Halloween quilt. It was easy the first time around, and I liked how it looked, so why not. Sometimes decisions are just that simple.

The light green snowball shows it best here
More curvy waves, this time linear, filled the background and borders. I'm a big fan of Leah Day's ideas about "busting through" to fill in your quilt with machine quilting with big patterns. The patterns don't have to be complex to get the job done and look good. You might even trick people into thinking you know what you are doing.

Is there anything like that feeling of trimming a quilted quilt? Am I right?
Since despite my cheapo fabric buying ways I managed to way overbuy on the backing, because math schmath, and because the possibly ugly fabric was not offending me much by the time I was done quilting, I decided to use it as the binding as well. A extra pop of yellow with the pink and grey was actually kind of surprisingly okay. Plus who can see it in this photo anyway? You also can't see the pool toys under the deck, which we so cleverly disguised with the length of this quilt.

Using my Quilt Vannas one more time before school starts.
But a photo with headless children and lots of dying grass does not a good cover photo make. So it was up to my photo guru chick to fix that problem. And voila! Once again, she amazes me. I refuse to even listen to her apologies about the wrinkle she couldn't remove because for the love of all that is holy, it looks amazing!

"A Snowball's Chance" is available now; pattern includes two sizes (50" x 50" and 60" x 80") and is appropriate for confident beginners, which I define as "anyone who has used a rotary cutter successfully, made a quilt once on their own, and is ready for a new project."

I'm really excited to bring the actual quilt with me to Wisconsin Quilt Expo next week, where it will take part in my "Give it a Scrap Slap" lecture at 10am each day. I'm so looking forward to meeting several of my midwest peeps and bringing my wacky to a whole new area of the country. If you are coming to the lecture, I might even let you touch this quilt. If that isn't a reason to sign right up, I don't know what is!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Three years new website is here!

You just can't rush greatness. Or in my case, passable okayness. However I am thrilled beyond words to officially announce here on the blog that I am breaking up with my current website ( in favor of a new and improved website experience ( that for you features a clean look, easy to access info about my lecture and teaching schedule, and cool new products and for me features a way to update it that doesn't involve balding myself as I try to write code. Yes. Code. Me. There are oh so many reasons that was a disaster.

I'd love to know what you think, if you haven't already told me. Those on my FB page and newsletter already know all about it, but the blog suffers in summer. One more week! Until October, both sites will be live, so you can compare, contrast, and tell me how much better the new one is all you wish.

Anyway, to celebrate, I've been running a YAYNEWSITE sale on the products portion. When I lecture, I bring along all sorts of patterns and kits of my own, but I also like to include a few items for sale that I just couldn't live without for whatever reason, and neither should you. 20% off all purchases over $10 with code YAYNEWSITE through 8/31.

"Finally" doesn't even begin to express the feeling.
You have no idea how happy I am to have that checked off my summer list. Sadly a few other things didn't go as planned, but for the most part it's been okay. Number 8 certainly was accomplished, anyway.

Sigh. I used to have such nice nails before children.

One thing I totally forgot to add to the list was prepping for Teal Mini Swap, which of course takes a lot of time and energy, but the fabulousness of everyone helping to market this year has made the prep so much easier. With a week to go, we have almost the entire map teal! So exciting! If you are in a grey state, please join and help me meet my goal of all 50 states! If you are in a teal, please join and help fight ovarian cancer, which is way more important! The more the merrier - registration form HERE!

We see you, North and South Dakota. We know you have quilters.

With one more week to go before school is back in session, I'm losing my Quilt Vannas. But a second session of photography of "A Snowball's Chance" yesterday I think finally led to something my photo guru chick can use. God willing we are finally days away from the pattern release.

A Snowball's Chance, copyright 2015, pre photo fixer guru.
And as fall approaches, I'm looking at my schedule and hoping I survive the busy, but I can't stress enough how exciting it is to be booked solid for lectures and events this fall. I thank you for trusting your guild's entertainment and quilty inspiration to me for an evening. I'm especially excited to head to Wisconsin in a few weeks to give my "Give it a Scrap Slap" lecture at 10am every day, so if you are a midwestie, I expect to see you there!

Enjoy the final days of summer!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...