Friday, December 29, 2017

My Best of 2017

With just a few days left in 2017, it is a perfect time for reflection and revisiting favorites from this year as we get ready to wave goodbye to one year and welcome the next.

Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs is hosting a Best of 2017 link-up to highlight our 5 best blog posts of 2017.  (For reference, my 2016 post).

I really love sharing my creative journey through my blog.  I meet new friends and have a written record of everything that I've made.  I am so glad you've come to visit!

I made lots of quilts in 2017 but my favorite quilt finish is the one I made for my mom in celebration of her 80th birthday.  I collected signatures and messages from everyone in the family and choose a design that highlighted the signatures.  It was really special to see her put the quilt on her lap and read every message.  Happy Birthday Mom!

You can also read more about the process of creating a signature quilt on this quilting tip post.

Every year, I run a blog link-up event called Bag It.  I share new bag tutorials plus the work of some talented designers.  This year's event was bigger than ever and so much fun.  From my new batch of tutorials, the most popular tutorials are the Project Bag and the Sewing Machine cover.

In addition to bag tutorials, I've posted other quilting tips throughout the year.  My most popular quilting tip is Prepare your Quilt for Binding.

A goal from 2017 that will become even more of a focus in 2018 was to get  a magazine publish of one of my designs.  I was thrilled to be part of Quiltmaker's 100 Block Volume 16 issue with my block Scattered Triangles and it is my favorite (and only!) magazine publish.

Finally, my most popular posts are the link-ups associated with One Monthly Goal.  (If you haven't participated in One Monthly Goal, check out the sponsor announcement for 2018 and give it a try!)

Goals for a given month need to be something associated with making with thread, fabric or yarn.  You don't need to actually finish a project each month - for example, you could have a goal to make ten blocks from a project along.

For this Best of 2017 post, I revisited all my monthly goals for the year and created a collage of some of the projects that were my One Monthly Goal projects.

Some of the quilts I completed are pictured above -  GoldilocksGalaxy, and Autumn Hexies (top row), Woodland Animals &  Our Land (middle row),  Playful, Be Bold  and Christmas Holly (bottom row).

Thanks Cheryl for a chance to link-up!

Happy New Year to everyone!   

Come back on Monday, January 1 and join the One Monthly Goal link-up.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Announcing One Monthly Goal 2018

2018 is just a few days away - let's announce our sponsors for One Monthly Goal 2018!  

The basics for One Monthly Goal remain the same - pick a goal and link-up and then return at the end of the month to share your achievement.  (Need more information?  Read all about it on the One Monthly Goal page.)

The goal can be whatever you want - any step of the process in making something with fabric, thread or yarn.

Each month, there will be a random drawing from those who joined both the finish link-up and the goal link-up to select 3 participants who will win a prize from our sponsors!  Fat Quarter Shop and Make Modern magazine along with a featured designer are providing prizes each month.

But there is more!

At the end of each quarter (i.e. March, June, September & December), an extra prize will be awarded randomly from those who met their goals in any/all of the 3 months in that quarter.  Aurifil and Green Fairy Quilts have provided prizes for the quarterly winners.

Finally, each time you join the linkup, you earn an entry into the Grand Finale prize drawing! Link up in the goal setting and the finish linkup each month of the year earns 24 entries into the Grand Finale prize drawing. Link up goals one month but never quite got to the finish?  You still earn an entry for participating in the goal link up!  Fat Quarter Shop and C&T Publishing are offering prizes for the grand finale.

Exciting isn't it?

And now, let's meet our wonderful sponsors.

Fat Quarter Shop 
sponsoring each month plus Grand Finale

Make Modern Magazine
sponsoring each month

(Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram)
sponsoring  Quarterly Prize March, September & December

Green Fairy Quilts  
sponsoring Quarterly Prize June

sponsoring Grand Finale

One of my favorite parts of the OMG 2017 event was the opportunity to share information about my favorite quilt designers.  The line-up in 2017 was full of tremendous talent and I am just thrilled that I can say the same for 2018.

Introducing our designer sponsors for 2018!!

Amy Friend of  During Quiet Time, sponsoring January

Christa Watson of Christa Quiltssponsoring February

Sherri McConnell of  A Quilting Lifesponsoring March

Violet Craft of  Violet Craftsponsoring April

Yvonne Fuchs of  Quilting Jetgirlsponsoring May

Wendi Gratz of  Shiny Happy Worldsponsoring June

Pat Sloan of Pat Sloansponsoring July

Elizabeth Hartman of Elizabeth Hartman, sponsoring August

Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Sidesponsoring September

Natalia Bonner of  Piece N Quilt, sponsoring October

Michelle Wilke of   Factotum of the Arts, sponsoring November

Amy Bradley of  Amy Bradley Designs, sponsoring December

I just can't wait to share more about these lovely ladies.

In the days remaining of 2017, take a few minutes and think about your creative goals for the new year and how One Monthly Goal can provide an extra bit of incentive.

Now grab a button and make sure you tell all your friends about One Monthly Goal and the exciting sponsors for 2018!

Elm Street Quilts

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

One Monthly Goal December Finish Link-Up

Ready to link-up your December finishes?  
And don't panic, link-up is open until 11:55 pm EDT on December 31!

New to One Monthly Goal?  Welcome!  You can read about the event and the rules on the main event page.  One Monthly Goal will be back for 2018!
Sign up to receive email notifications when the One Monthly Goal linkup is open.  Think of it as a helpful reminder!
My goal for December was to make 15 zip bags for holiday gifting.  I did it!  All gifted and hopefully being filled up with important things!

Now it is your turn to link up - share your goal finish for December.

Please only link up if you finished your goal and if you also participated in the December Goal Setting Link-up.

There will be three winners this month - Fat Quarter Shop is offering a $25 gift certificate, Make Modern Magazine is offering a 6 month subscription to their digital magazine and Elm Street Quilts - that's me! - is offering two patterns from my pattern store.

(updated 1/3) - Congratulations to our lucky winners!
December OMG link-up:  Chris, Lori & Katie
OMG Grand Finale: Kathy & Laura

Aurifil and Fat Quarter Shop supplied prizes for the Grand Finale.  Winners were chosen randomly from the full list of everyone who linked up during 2017 to either the goal or the finish link-up.

Winners have been notified by email and accepted their prizes.

Visit the One Monthly Goal event page for the specific requirements for links and social tags. 

And remember, to be eligible for the prize(s) by random drawing you must linkup at both the goal setting and the accomplishment linkup in a given month. (
December Goal Setting Link-up.

Make sure you add a link to this OMG post so others can follow where you are linking.   Let's make that easy -  just paste this into your post:  

Thanks for linking up!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

I quilted a whole bunch of gifts for this Christmas.  As far as I know, these gifts are still wrapped and waiting under the tree so I can't share.  All but one that is.

Mom already opened (at my request) her new tomte pillow.  Isn't he sweet?  (Link to the FPP pattern.)

I had great fun embellishing his beard and the tassel on the end of his hat!

My warmest wishes for a wonderful holiday for you and family.  Hoping Santa brings you plenty of fabric under your tree.

Enjoy your holiday! 

For those looking for the OMG December finish link-up, it will post on Tuesday, December 26.  Then come back on Wednesday to see the sponsor announcement for OMG 2018.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Congratulations to the Bag It Prize Winners

I had a blast with Bag It this year and hope you did too!  Over 600 - yes 600! - bags were shared on the link-up and in the Facebook group.

See those 600 + bags on the link-up on in the Elm Street Quilts QAL Facebook group!

Thanks to our amazing sponsors!  They supplied so many wonderful prizes and I really appreciate the support they brought to this event.

Winners were chosen randomly.  Entries were earned by sharing completed bags via Facebook group, the link-up or via email.   Winners have all been notified by email and have accepted their prizes.

Congratulations to -

(Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram)
Winners of the thread set:  Martina, Holly & Kat

Bagmaker Supply   
Winner of the $50 gift certificate: Brenda

By Annie   
(Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram)
Winner of $25 gift certificate:  Diane & Irene

Fat Quarter Gypsy
Winner of patterns to make several pop-ups plus Wingman:  Danice

Fat Quarter Shop 
 (Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram)
Winners of $25 gift certificate: Corne, Michelle, & Lisa

Green Fairy Quilts  
 F8 bundle  Moda Autumn Reflections: Daryl

 (Website   | Facebook  |  |Instagram)
Winner of Splash Rotary Cutter, folding cutting mat and and the new 45MM Endurance™ Rotary Blade - Terry, Ann, Chris  

Sew Demented
 Winner of the Sew Together Bag plus a starter fabric pack:Kelly
Winner of a pattern of their choice: Dorothy 

Sew Sweetness 
 Winner of $40 gift certificate to her pattern storePaige

Zip It   
  Winners of $25 gift certificate: Alida, Sandra & Tracey

Congratulations everyone!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Christmas Holly

My final large quilt finish for the year - Christmas Holly!

This is my Splendid Sampler quilt top, blocks made every week of 2016 during the QAL.  Several of these blocks introduced new to me techniques.  I really love the variety in this sampler.

I wanted to challenge myself to improve my FMQ and decided to tackle this quilt block by block.  In some blocks, I custom quilted to emphasize the block itself.  Other blocks were done in an all over swirl or meander.

The backing fabric (which I didn't seem to take a picture of) was gifted to me from a guild friend who was moving out of the area.  It is a perfect fabric with some lovely red stripes (I used it for a binding here.)

The fabric was from a Fat 8th bundle of a Christmas line designed by Sandy Gervais from Moda.  I really love all the colors.

My warmest wishes for a wonderful Christmas.  I hope Santa brings you wonderful times with family and friends and maybe, perhaps, some fabric!

(I knitted this Santa in 1982 or 83.  He comes out to visit every December.)

I'll be linking up my quilt with  Freemotion by the River,   WIP Wednesday's,  Let's Bee SocialMidweek Makers.  Needle and Thread Thursdays, Finish it Up Friday and Finished or Not Friday. Also linked up at the SS Finish Gallery.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, December 18, 2017

Reflecting and welcoming 2018

The end of a calendar year gives us the opportunity to reflect on the year behind us and set our focus for the year ahead. Thank you for taking a few minutes to read my thoughts.

2017 was a year of firsts for me.  
  • First time attending QuiltCon.  (See my personal reflections post.)
  • First time seeing a total solar eclipse.  
  • First time publish - a block - in a quilt magazine.  (Read more.)
  • First quilt pattern accepted for publish - more on this in 2018

August 2017 Eclipse
I completed lots of quilting projects.  I made exercise an important part of my day and found time to see friends.

For 2017, I choose the word brave - I wanted to be brave enough to finish a good draft of my novel (I did) and be brave enough to show it to someone (not yet, but soon.)   (See my 2016 reflection and 2017 post here.)

Recently, I read about the concept of lagom which translates to "enough, sufficient, just right" .  While I had not heard the actual term lagom before, the concept appeals to me and I am going to explore this in 2018 in several ways - for example,
  • Find homes for finished quilts
  • Balance my day with writing, exercise, quilting and family
  • Deal with my scraps - plan a project or find a home
  • Buy fabric only to support a project and not to build a statsh
This will provide balance with the word I've chosen for the year -  bold - especially when it comes to my quilt designs.  (Be bold was the message I carried away from Jaquie Gering's trunk show - my blog post).   Another way to say this is to find the sweet spot between status quo and the extremes.

My specific goals for 2018 are:
  • Be bold in my choice of color and design.  Step outside my comfort zone (a bit!) in my color choices
  • Submit quilt designs to magazines for publication
  • Create a new quilt for submission to QuiltCon 2019 and other shows
  • Sew a quilt by hand
  • Improve my FMQ
  • Finish the novel
  • Grow participation in One Monthly Goal
  • Practice my photography
  • Collaborate with other quilters / bloggers on a project (interested, drop me an email)

I'll be linking up my post at Quilting Jetgirl's 2018 Planning Party.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, December 15, 2017

Bag It Wrap-up

Time flies while you are having fun!   I've really enjoyed this year's Bag It event and hope you have as well.  The link-up closes tonight at 11:55 pm ET.

I'll be drawing the random winners over the weekend so watch your inbox for an email from elmstreetquilts.  The prizes are just amazing - take another look at what these wonderful companies have offered :

Each year (this being the 3rd one), I create a series of new bag tutorials hoping to inspire.  My favorite part of the event is when someone made a bag from one of my tutorials.

Creating bags from a designer pattern was a new add for this year's Bag It event.  I enjoyed sharing a bit about each of the featured designers and their companies.

Special thanks to Joanne Hillestad of The Fat Quarter Gypsy Designs for being the overall sponsor for our event.  I use my pop-ups every day.  These were loads of fun to create.

 (See the Fat Quarter Pop-up post.)  

I've been a fan of Annie Unrein of Patterns by Annie and for a long time and enjoyed sharing a bit about her and her company almost as much as I enjoy using my Get Out of Town Duffel bag. 

  (See the Get Out of Town Duffel bag post.)

When I made my Kismet Trinket Box, I intended to gift it to a friend.  But, I love it so much, I'm keeping it myself.  Thanks Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness for supporting our event.

(See the Kismet Trinket Box post.)

I use my Sew Together Bag all the time and it was fun to feature Michelle Tucker, designer of the Sew Together Bag.  On my list for post holiday sewing is another of these bags - I'd like to make one in rainbow colors. 

(See the Sew Together Bag post.)

Thanks Annie, Michelle, Joanne & Sara!

Photo credit to designer pictured

Annie Unrein from ByAnnie  &  Michelle Tucker from SewDemented (top row)

Joanne Hillestad from Fat Quarter Gypsy &  Sara Lawson from Sew Sweetness (bottom row)

And thanks to all of you - I really appreciated your comments, your support and I enjoyed seeing photos of your bags.

Best of luck to everyone in the random draw!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Gift for Me - A new Pillow

Yes, I am up to my eyeballs on Christmas gift sewing.  Progress is being made on all fronts but sometimes you need to just work on something you want to finish.

So I made my pillow!  A gift from me, to me.

This quilt (that I turned into a pillow) design is by Melissa from Happy Quilting as part of her Roundabout QAL.  I've played along with many of Melissa's QALs - her directions are great and I love her designs.

I downsized everything, even doing those drunkard path blocks by hand.  The fabric is from a Moda line designed by Amy Ellis.  I quilted organic wavy lines with my walking foot.

My quilted pillow front measured 18 1/2 x 18 1/2 '' and I stuffed a 20 x 20 '' pillow form inside.  I put a zipper in the back using my tutorial.  I love the way it looks on the back.

Melissa is posting a parade today of other Roundabout finishes - make sure you stop by and visit!

I'll be linking up my pillow with  Freemotion by the River,   WIP Wednesday's,  Let's Bee SocialMidweek Makers.  Needle and Thread Thursdays, Finish it Up Friday and Finished or Not Friday (here).

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, December 11, 2017

Bag It - Needle Case Tutorial

Need a quick gift for yourself or your BQF (best quilting buddy)?  What about a needle case?  I need for a couple of these to store with my various hand stitching projects.

My finished needle case is 5 x 3''.


Note - a slightly wider piece of hook & loop tape will also work.

Fabric Prep

Adhere fusible fleece to wrong side of outer fabric.  Quilt and embellish as desired.

Right sides together, sew the two pieces of lining fabric together, leaving a gap in the seam of about 2'' for turning.  Lining will now measure 5 ½ x 8 ½ ''.  Press seam open.


Sew one part of the hook and loop tape to the outer fabric, centering it top to bottom and lining the tape edge slightly more than 1/4'' from the outer fabric edge.

Sew the other part of the hook and loop tape to the lining fabric just slightly more than 1/4'' from edge. It should be sewn to the large lining piece - the blue fabric in my sample.  (See photo below for placement.)

Place the two units, right sides together, making sure that the hook and loop tapes are aligned on opposite ends, i.e. are NOT on touching

Sew 1/4'' seam all the way around.  (See photo A.)

Carefully turn unit right side out through gap left in lining.   (See photo B.)  Trim seams as needed to get crisp edge.  Press.

Top stitch around all four sides, slightly less than 1/4'' from edge.  (See photo C & D.)

Close hole in lining by hand.

Center felt over seam line in lining and pin. Sew from top edge stitching to bottom edge stitching.  This line of stitching serves several purposes.  First, it secures the felt to the needle case.  It also creates the fold line for your case.  As a bonus, the stitching also hides the hand stitching you just did to close the lining hole.  (Brilliant, right?)

Fold over needle case on the fold line the stitching created.  Align a ruler and mark along case edge for second folding line.  Stitch along this marked line.

Enjoy your new needle case!

Make one for every quilter on your list!

Linking up to Tips & Tutorials on Quilting Jetgirl

Have a wonderful day! Patty