What’s your inspiration?

Most people have one shadow, I usually have two.  The only way I am able to find time to sew is when I can also find something for my girls to do nearby.  I spend most of my day with the littlest, Lola, at my side.  When school is out, we are joined by Isabelle.

My sewing room is cluttered with toys, ready to inspire them to play.  I decided along time ago that the mess was totally worth the reward of having time to sew.  I’m also pretty lucky to have a large sewing space that doesn’t need to look perfect on a daily basis.

This past month I’ve had a number of sewing deadlines to meet including finishing up the instructions for my 2017 Fabric Fan Club Sampler Quilt.  It is being quilted as I type and I will share a picture next month.  If you’re in the Club you’ll get your finishing instructions in your February shipment.

Curious about what the Fabric Fan Club is?  I started it 3 years ago as a monthly fabric subscription and it has evolved through the years.  Next year I’m launching the Scrap Sewciety as the 2018 Fabric Fan Club.  I know we all have plenty of scrap fabrics sitting around.  And I’m guessing, if you’re like me, you have very good intentions on using them.  With the 2018 Club I plan to take you on a year long journey through your scraps.  I will be designing 4 brand new quilt patterns that will utilize your stash.  Each month you will get sent on a little mission into your scraps to find fabrics that we will incorporate into the quilts.

The other really fun part of the Fabric Fan Club is that I also select a small gift that I send with your shipment each month.  Oh and don’t forget about the fabric! What kind of Fabric Fan Club would it be if you didn’t also get fabric? Each month you’ll also get a fat quarter of fabric.  If you are interested in joining me in 2018, the first shipment will be March 1st. You can register on our website, http://www.baywindowquiltshop.com

This year we decided to offer a new type of Block of the Month program called Inspiring Stitches.  It’s actually a calendar for 2018 that has instructions for each month of the year.

We loved this idea so much we made up two different versions- dark or light. Full disclosure here, I didn’t sew them.  A huge thank you to Missy Stine for making both models!!

Each month the designers will be sharing additional patterns that feature the month’s block (with the exception of this month). So look for a new blog post from me each month that includes a link to that pattern.  You will need the calendar to complete each project (it will give you the first set of instructions).

Here’s a look at the January block in both colorways:

One of the things I love most about this sew along is that you can honestly start any time.  You only have to make a few blocks each month which means it will be easy to get started whenever you want.

You can find kit information and the calendar on our website.

As January comes to a close I am excited for what February will bring: a new View From Bay Window issue, the start of Schoolhouse class preparations, our annual Liquidation Sale at the PACC, plus who knows what else will inspire me to create!  Happy sewing- Katie

 

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Week Seven- Moda Sampler Shuffle!

I had such good intentions of posting this week’s blocks early so you could get a jump start on them before the big holiday next week, but alas sometimes life just gets in the way! Better late than never, here are the blocks for week seven.

week seven picCan you feel the end is near? This week we are on blocks 19, 20, & 21. That means there are only 9 blocks left after this week!! I’m starting to get excited to put my quilt together, and this week I started to spread my wings a bit with changing up the block designs.

Block 19 is pretty straight forward.  It features my new favorite method in the corners and when you take a look at the pattern you’ll notice I decided to add a third color- the pink. The original design features one print and one background, but now that I have my pile of completed blocks I’m wanting to see more colors in them.  So, with only a handful of blocks left I’ve decided to spice things up a bit when I can.

Block 19

Block 19

Click on the link below to download the instructions for Block 19, designed by Kansas Troubles Quilters.

my_sampler-shuffle-block19

Block 20 proved to be something new for our Sampler- a tiny bear paw variation block.  Very cute- albeit not my favorite one to sew! Teeny tiny and I don’t always get along.  Not to mention trimming down half square triangle blocks to 1 1/2″, but I made it through and so can you!  In the end, it didn’t turn out as bad as I had thought.  I’m glad I made it, just don’t hold your breath waiting for me to make any more!

Moda Sampler Shuffle Block 20

Moda Sampler Shuffle Block 20

Click on the link below for the pattern designed by A Quilting Life.

my_sampler-shuffle-block20

And now for Block 21.  I was excited about this block when I looked at the pattern.  Again, something different, a zigzag or chevron design.  “What? a zigzag?” Correct- that’s what the block is supposed to look like.  Remember how I said life can sometimes get in the way? This week my usual routine got a bit interrupted when my son Jack was home sick for 3 days.  He was great- he just laid on the couch in my sewing room while I sewed up my blocks but my mind wasn’t necessarily working at 100%!

Block 21 Moda Sampler Shuffle

Block 21 Moda Sampler Shuffle

First, I decided to use two different fabrics instead of just one for the print.  When I looked at the pattern, I saw that I was supposed to sew the background squares onto the print rectangles to make the little sliver of print in each rectangle.  What I didn’t pay attention to was that I was supposed to make 4 with the sliver of print running one way and 4 with it running the other way.

I got all of my rectangles made and when I tried to lay them out in a zigzag it wouldn’t work. Now I’m not one to resew pieces when I have perfectly good pieces in front of me.  Instead, I changed up the design and created my own block! So lucky you- now you have an extra “secret” design no one else has!!

Click on the link below to download the pattern for Block 21 designed by Minick & Simpson.

my_sampler-shuffle-block21

So that’s it for this week.  I am hopeful I’ll be able to post next week’s blocks early so you don’t have to think about it during Christmas. Until then, happy sewing. – Katie

There’s nothing like a good book!

Recently I found a lovely little surprise waiting for me on my desk in my stack of mail.  It was a new children’s book called, “Gabby Quilts for Friends” and a letter explaining that is was from a new publishing company in Eugene, OR called Bambini Book Club.  I thought the cover looked cute, but I set it aside and didn’t really look at it again until later that day when I decided to take it home and read it with my kids.  Honestly, we’re sent stuff all of the time in the hope that we will order it to sell in the shop.  And most of the time we end up donating whatever was sent because it really isn’t the right fit for us.  I knew my kids would be a good indicator of whether or not it was a good book!

gabby quiltsLet’s just say that the first time through Jack and Izzy (6 and 4) both sat silently and listened intently to the story.  It has a lovely rhyming quality that makes it easy to listen to and fun to read.  Izzy demanded a repeat performance right away and then it was whisked away to her room to be one of her bedtime stories for the night.

As a quilter, I love this story about a little girl who decides to make a quilt for herself to keep warm for the winter.  What I love even more is the fact that she includes her three friends’ requests in her quilt.  It teaches a great lesson to kids that we make things for others as well as ourselves.

izzy and lolaIzzy has already requested making her own “Gabby Quilt” for her bed for the winter.  I can’t wait to see what colors and patterns she picks out and which of her bedtime friends will get to have a say in her design! (Lola just likes to be doing whatever Izzy is doing).

The folks at Bambini Book Club have a quick and easy downloadable quilt pattern for you to get started making your own quilt.  Visit their website, www.bambinibookclub.com for more information and to learn more about Gabby! And, you can purchase your own copy of “Gabby Quilts For Friends” here at the shop or on our website: www.baywindowquiltshop.com.

I think it would make a great Christmas gift for all those kids who love to be creative!