Christmas Carol Row Along

Deck the halls with boughs of holly!

When Marian (seamstobesew.com) put out the announcement that she was going to host a Row Along in the Fall, focusing on Christmas Carols, I immediately thought of the Christmas carol, DECK THE HALLS and signed up. This is my 3rd year as a designer in one of Marian's Row Alongs.

If you are new to a Row Along, you're going to have fun! On a certain day, each designer posts about the row pattern they created. The patterns for the rows are free (for one week from the designer's post date) during the Row Along. We really want to have each visitor download their own pattern; so please, don't share the patterns, but tell your friends to go to each site and download the patterns. Further down in this post, I have links to the designers.

Marian has spent a great deal of time gathering giveaway sponsors' for the Row Along. (The rules for giveaways are listed at the end of my blog.) Enter for a chance to win one of the great giveaways.

Northcott is a prime sponsor of Marian's Row Alongs. They have kindly supplied the designers with some fabrics to use in their rows and they have provided some fabric packs for giveaways, too. We thank them for their support. 

Giveaway on my blog!
You will find the Rafflecopter entry further down on my blog for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate from The Fat Quarter Shop.
There are other great sponsors, as well. You can find out about all of them at Marian's website.  

In researching the song and the tradition of decorating with holly, I found out that
"the ever-popular “Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly” has been sung since the Renaissance. In old England, more than the halls were decked with holly boughs. In some towns, so were the streets. A half-century before Columbus brought news of a New World across the sea, Englishmen were erecting upright timbers called standards in the streets and adorning them with “whatsoever the season of the yeere aforded to be greene.” But for most Englishmen, and most who immigrated to the colonies, Christmas decorations meant indoor greenery."                 (from http://www.history.org/foundation/journal/autumn08/holly.cfm)

More information can be found at the site above, including the origins of decorating with greenery in the winter months and how it came to be incorporated in the Christian celebration of Christmas. 

There are 300 species of holly and 15 are native to North America. Holly plants are male or female, only the female plant has the red berries (which are not really berries, but drupes). Woodworkers use holly wood as inlay in furniture. I am not sure what species of holly my row depicts, but it does have berries made of buttons, so it must be feminine.

Deck the Hall Row!
I enjoy piecing my quilt tops and projects. Applique is not my prefered technique; but, I will use raw edge applique when necessary. I knew ribbons had to be used in my row, and worked in a little raw edge applique with some red buttons. I chose to use prints from Northcott's 'Tis the Season line of fabrics and a solid red from their Colorworks line.

21738M-12 HERE
21740M-24 HERE

21740M-76 HERE

#9000-24 HERE

My row finishes 30 inches wide and 10 inches tall. 

Download the Pattern HERE.
I use Payhip for my pattern downloads. You will have to fill in your email address,
then you can download the pattern. 
Payhip will send you an email link as well. 
Sometimes Payhip does not download well to cell phones and tablets, 
so you will have to use a computer.

For the Giveaway
use Rafflecopter.

Other patterns!
Visit the other designers today and in the last few days of the Row Along!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Cheryl LaPlante (sponsored by Quilt In Piece)
Morning Glory
Pampered Pettit
Fun Threads
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Show and Tell Day
Designers participating will be announced prior to October 10.
Marian wants everyone to know the

Rules and Guidelines For Giveaways
Please take the time to read it.
  1. Giveaways offered by sponsors are assigned to the various bloggers for their featured day.
  2. There are no prior announcements on who is doing which sponsor except to the sponsor themselves.
  3. You’ll have to visit the blog or the featured blog to enter the giveaways. Not all giveaways can be entered at Seams To Be Sew.
  4. I will start announcing winners on September 12, 2017, and finish announcing winners on October 12, 2017 with the exception of the Calibre Art giveaway, those will be available after each featured day, starting September 06, 2017.
  5. In most cases, the blog where you won at also will announce their winners.
  6. You must give a valid email address when you enter the giveaways, any email returned to me, loses the ability to win automatically.
  7. With the exception of Show and Tell Day, all giveaways run for approximately one week.
  8. You are given 3 days to answer the email, if you do not answer within 3 days a new winner will be drawn. Check those spam/junk mail folders, you may miss that winning email if you don’t do so because there are no exceptions to this rule.
  9. If you are notified that you are a winner, in most cases, you will need to provide your name, address, city, state, zip code, country, telephone number, and email address.
  10. In some cases, you will be asked to comment on the blog to enter the giveaway… do the right thing and thank them for the time it took to create the pattern, thank them for the pattern and…
  11. Thank the sponsor by buying their products for the giveaways. This helps them continue to offer great prizes for these types of events. You can also comment on their social media pages. Even if you don’t win, letting them know you love their products is a huge incentive and they really do love hearing from you.
  12. No purchase whatsoever is necessary.
  13. You must be 18+ in order to win a gift.
  14. You are responsible for claiming and paying any tax owed on the value of any gift that you win. Prizes valued at $500.00 should be claimed.
  15. All winners are chosen at random.
  16. All winners will be announced on the blogs via the Rafflecopter entry form and/or post by the blogger at the site where they won and here at Seams To Be Sew. All winners must allow for their first name and first initial of their last name to be announced on this blog.
  17. Odds of Winning a prize are based on a total number of rafflecopter entries during each week and in total for all giveaways.
  18. This giveaway is void where prohibited by law.
  19. Participating bloggers may enter any of the giveaways.
  20. The word giveaways in the rules and guidelines are also known as sweepstakes.
Most of the giveaways are international shipping this year
in some cases, you will be asked to pay for shipping your giveaways.
I am not rich and I do not ask sponsors for money, they provide prizes only.
If they shipped the prize to me, you will be asked to pay for shipping.
All giveaways will be shipped that are in my home within 48 hours of my having heard from you.
An invoice will be sent to you via Paypal, and shipping will take place via Paypal, so your Paypal email will be needed to send the invoice. You will receive a tracking number except for overseas shipments. All shipping will either be first class which averages out at 2.77 to 4.00 up to 13 ounces. Paypal fees are added to that amount to cover that fee. All fabric bundles from Michael Miller, Hoffman, and Moda will be shipped via Priority Mail to protect the fabric itself.
Please note, every effort is made to protect the prizes. They go into a plastic bin when I receive them, and it is covered by an air tight cover. I have a dog in my home and I have a smoker in my home, so I do everything possible to protect the prizes.
Most companies are very good about getting prizes off to customers quickly also, but some companies are overseas, so please allow all sponsors a 2-week time period before you report to me that you still haven’t received your prize. When the company is overseas, it can take 6 weeks to 90 days for an item to also arrive.
Whether or not you read the above, the rules for giveaways are in place to protect everyone. I do not want to hear you didn’t read them, they will be posted on my blog daily during each featured day. There is no excuse for not reading them.
Thank You!
I am so happy you visited my blog. I hope you enjoy making my row and use the pattern in many other ways such as birthday or special occasion quilts or wall hangings. Send me a photo if you do make my pattern, I'd love to see it.

(I reply to comments via email) if I can. If not, I reply here on the blog.


Quilt Exhibit

In town there is a new venture. It is called Studio 37 Arts & Cultural Center. It is a studio space for working artists, display space for working artists, and classroom space for artists interested in instructing. Various classes are offered including guitar. 

They have a quilt exhibit running from September 15-21, in conjunction with The Fabric Frenzy Shop Hop (The New Ewe Yarn and Quilt Shoppe is located next door). I was honored to be asked to display some of my quilts along with many other wonderful quilts by friends and acquaintances. 

In a quick look, here are the quilts I have on exhibit.

Some of my smaller projects, 4 of them are from Four-in-Art Projects. 

I hang this one vertically at home, so this gives it a different perspective.

Photo isn't great--it is hanging near the top of a 12 foot ceiling.
Have you had quilts in an exhibit? What were your reactions?

Paducah Winners I know:

One of our guild members won a blue ribbon in the Paducah AQS Show this last week with her quilt titled MICHIGAN LIGHTHOUSES (in the Large Quilts: Pictorial sponsored by Superior Threads.) I found the AQS award ceremony video HERE and Phyllis got her award at video time stamp 46:34.

When I took the class in Grand Rapids from Kathy McNeil, we saw her entry for the Paducah show. We were not suppose to give it away before the show this past week. She won Janome America Best of Show (here).Up close and personal, this quilt was outstanding and deserved this award (IMO)!

Are you following the Christmas Caroling Row Along? 
Here is the line up for the rest of the designers:

Thursday, September 21, 2017
Martina Latimer
                                                     (site will open late next week)
Quilt Fabrication
Patchwork Breeze
Patti’s Patchwork
Miss Loreen’s Schoolhouse


Christmas Carol Row Along Begins

For the designers, the anticipation has been building for months. 
And, it is now here for all to experience! 

The Christmas Caroling Row Along 
Hosted and organized by Marian of Seams To Be Sew.
We have so many sponsors who have supplied giveaways. We thank them all.
Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway as you visit each designer's post
for a chance to win a giveaway.

Calibre Art
Northcott FabricsBarbara Dieges
The Broken Needle
Moda Fabrics
Anita Goodesign
June Tailor
The Fat Quarter Shop
Hoffman Fabrics
Just Another Button Company
Amy Bradley Designs
Electric Quilt
Michael Miller
Hobbs Batting
C & T Publishing
Purple Daisies LLC
Martelli Notions
Inspired LED
Ackfeld Manufacturing

Below is the schedule for the days of the Row Along.
Each of the designers has created a free row pattern
for those who visit the blogs (listed below) during the event.
We ask that everyone who would like a free pattern,
visits the designers' blogs during the days of the
Row Along to get there own pattern.

Some of the designers (including me) have made quilts
combining some of the Row Along patterns
and there will be a show and tell day in October to reveal these quilts.

Have fun and let the Row Along begin! 

Thursday, September 21, 2017
Martina Latimer
                                                     (site will open late next week)
Quilt Fabrication
Patchwork Breeze
Patti’s Patchwork
Miss Loreen’s Schoolhouse
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Cheryl LaPlante (sponsored by Quilt In Piece)

Morning Glory
Pampered Pettit
Fun Threads


Quilts for Charity and Blog Hop

I finished quilting 3 charity quilts during the sewing time with the ladies this week. I used Marilyn's longarm machine. I have bindings and labels left to sew. These were quilts the group at church sewed together.

These photos were taken this morning on our deck. A breeze was blowing and the sun was lovely, but distorted the colors a bit.

I am excited to be attending the Quilt Exp in Madison, Wisconsin this upcoming week. I am going with my friend, Sally, who I've known since 9th grade! This will be our first time at this show and the literature about the show promises nothing but wonderment for me! Are any of you going? It would be great to meet in person.

Also, on September 5, just a few days away, the Christmas Caroling Row Along begins. I am so excited to be able to download, for FREE, so many beautiful patterns. Think outside of the box with these patterns, tablerunners, banners, use a portion of a pattern for a gift bag, and so much more. There are outstanding products in Rafflecopter giveaways from sponsors that will amaze you! Click the link for the Row Along in the first line of this paragraph to read about all the products in the giveaways. My day to post is September 21, and my row is ready to show!

Make it a good day in whatever you do.


Pumpkin Patch Quilt

I spent Monday quilting with my 3 friends. We had fun, taking breaks every now and then to floow the eclipse with a pinhole in a piece of paper (should have watched the NASA channel). We were finally able to see it when Gloria went home and brought her husband's welding mask. By that time it was ending. (The news reported the welder mask isn't safe, but we used my dad's when we were kids and I didn't look but a moment.)

Back to quilting! I saw a banner online with a patchwork pumpkin and the word FALL below it. I thought I would make a few of those for my daughters. The night before I bagged up my scraps of orange fabrics, a large piece of green, one of dark brown and a background of grey with dots for the background.

The first one was so much fun to sew that I continued making more.

I am still working on them today and my pumpkin patch is growing. I will stop when I have no more background fabric left or when my box of orange scraps is depleted. I am not sure of the arrangement yet, maybe a small lap quilt (sorry girls).The largest block on the bottom right is 18" tall and 16" wide.

I have other projects to work on for upcoming events, but I think I needed this project to just relax me. Have you ever put a project aside so you could do some other one? Are you working on a fall themed quilt project?

Have fun creating.

Here are the links to last week's AQS class posts I wrote:

Bobbin Work with Phyllis Cullen HERE
Applique with Susan Cleveland HERE
Sheila Frampton-Cooper HERE


Improv Blocks Class

Sheila Frampton-Cooper introduced us to her techniques for creating improvisational blocks in the AQS class I took this past week. Her completed works (you can find HERE on her website) were marvelous and the samples for class were amazing.

It was a 3-hour class and we worked steadily on our blocks after Sheila demonstrated. I could tell everyone was working intently because there was very little talking and the sewing machines were humming.

We were shown how she sews curves and learned that gentle curves were best for beginners. Sharper curves can pucker when sewn. Sheila uses only a very fine spritz of water to press. She said heavier water application stretches the fabrics out of shape when presssed.

I am a literal quilter. I make quilts that show the object(s) in the theme. I want to see the object in every piece I make. Abstract and improv are difficult for me. As I discussed my first block with Sheila, I told her I saw a sunset. She advised against focusing on what the block will be, just cut, slice and construct. As I made more blocks and put them on the design wall, I would intuitively see how the quilted piece will come together.

I learned about a neutral color to rest the eye and allow the blocks to work together. She suggested using a color such as white, taupe, light grey, or black.

Sheila uses solid colors.I chose to bring some batik I had on the shelf. These are the blocks-in-progress that I made. No arguing, I have more work to do on these blocks! I must say I did like the freedom of creating.

I thought improv blocks like these might make some nice journal covers for Christmas gifts. Adding lots of embroidery threads for sheen, sparkle and color would be fun.

Two other classes I attended were
Bobbin Work with Phyllis Cullen HERE
and Applique with Susan Cleveland HERE.

Thanks for visiting.

AQS Quilt Week Classes

Hello. If you read my blog the other day, you saw the posting about my class with Phyllis Cullen on Machine Bobbin Work while I attended the AQS Quilt Week event in Grand Rapids, Michigan. You can read it HERE.

Today I will tell you about the great class I took from Susan Cleveland. I have been wanting to take a class from her for a few years now and was elated that she was scheduled to teach.


We could pick one of the two patterns she had available for us--Daisy or Joy.
I chose JOY. 

Susan recommended using Decor Bond (#809) by Pellon for these projects that become small hangings. She had drawn the image for us, in reverse, on the non-shiny side of the Decor Bond to save us some time (which was very nice of her). The Decor Bond is used in a manner similar to fusibles, but only one side has fusible.

We used a blanket stitch with decorative threads. I used a Wonderfil 12 wt. rayon thread that I got last year. Susan uses Razzle threads by Wonderfil. I bought a pack of them at the show after seeing how great they looked. Razzle comes in such a variety of colors!

I got the heart sewn down as the class was coming to an end. (I really wanted to continue sewing but they close and lock the room for lunch.) Susan said we should finish what we were doing because at home our machines might not get the same look of this blanket stitch. Using our own machines on all the other pieces would look planned. So I stopped with the heart and will take the thread ends to the back at home.
(The J and Y are showing the Decor Bond on the reverse of the letters.)

I look forward to finishing very soon. This is an easily do-able piece and I look forward to making some of her other patterns. Have nay of you made one of Susan's patterns? I want to try her piping on a small quilt, it looks fun and I hope easy. 


Classes at the Quilt Show

This past week I was fortunate to have attended the American Quilters Society "Quilt Week" in Grand Rapids, MI. Since 2013, AQS has brought this show to DeVos Center which is about 45 miles from my home. The show will be here in 2018, but I don't know if that will be the last year or not.

I have saved funds through the year so I could take classes. I was not disappointed in my choice of instructors! I have taken classes in the past and have added some new skill or technique to my repertoire.

Wow! What a wealth of quilting knowledge to be had. When I take a class I do not go with expectations of learning everything these quilters can do. But if I go away with one new idea, or accomplishment that I can try at home, I am very happy. I am extremely pleased if I take away more than one thing. And I never expect to complete a project in the class, there is just not enough time!

This year I attended these half day classes:

Machine Lace and Bobbin Work with Phyllis Cullen

Bodacious Big Thread Applique with Susan Cleveland

Introduction to Paints, Inks, and Foil with Kathy McNeil

Fearless Feather Fun with Linda Thielfoldt


Improv Blocks with Sheila Frampton Cooper

We used heavy, decorative threads or yarns in the bobbin. These are the threads and crochet yarns I brought.

The sewing machine dealer set the bobbin tensions for us. Phyllis suggested some ways to adjust our bobbin tensions at home--the one I would choose is to get another bobbin just for adjusting and leave my regular bobbin as it is for sewing. We used the bobbin winder spool, but held the threads with our hand and wound slowly!

We worked from the back side of the piece, layering the fabric, right side down on the table, then a layer of batting, and on top of those layers, a piece of embroidery stabilizer (with the drawing reversed on it).

An embroidery hoop held it all taut and we moved it as we sewed. This is what I got done in the class-- part of the body and the wings shown below.

Phyllis did say that the top thread color should match the heavier threads in the bobbin so they blend. It is sometimes impossible to get the top thread to pull tight enough to bury itself in the heavier threads. You can see that on my wings where the white thread shows over the black yarn.

As this week progresses, I will post more about the classes I took during the week. Tell us if you have taken classes while attending a show, such as the AQS and what you took away from it.

Happy Quilting!


Word Quilts

This week's Tuesday Archives at Val's Quilting Studio has the theme of WORDS.

I have made quilts with WORDS on them. Below I have highlighted some of the quilts I have blogged about. The link to the blog post is above the photo if you would like have more details about a quilt.

Thank you for visiting.

This is a pattern that I designed. This quilt is 54" x 66".

This quilt I made as a guild challenge and it was one accepted into the 
2016 AQS Show in Grand Rapids. 
I have looked back at my blog and can't believe I didn't blog about this first time experience for me!

The online group I belong to, Four-in-Art, has a challenge theme every 3 months during the year. 
In 2014, I used words as the basis of my quilted piece for the theme of Urban Structures. 

Another Four-in-Art Challenge was in Literature. I made this small 12" square quilt based on the book, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss. 

Another pattern I designed was sold through Cut Loose Press. 
I designed it so that one or more words could be appliqued on it. 
And the circles could use a variety of fabrics, appliques or embroideries.