The beginning of a new year always seems to be a great time for change … a fresh start. I’ve been mulling over how the last year has gone for my family and for my business. Actually, my husband and I and our kids have been doing a lot of chatting and praying about what changes should and need to be made. Because I work from home at all hours, my family and my business are intertwined.
I’ve been doing a lot of reflection over the last few days, as well. What kind of legacy do I want to leave behind? Surely, one of hard work and dedication, but I don’t want to miss out on life to have a successful business. With that in mind, some things will be changing for Fishsticks and for this blog.
How are the holidays going at your house? We’ve been enjoying our traditional advent calendar activities, visiting with friends, cooking, crafting, playing … all the things that I want our Christmas memories to be made of. I posted a picture on Instagram a few days ago of a fun (and messy!) afternoon spent decorating some very yummy but not very pretty sugar cookies hashtagged #notpinterestworthy, and a sweet friend reminded me that life is not Pinterest-worthy! Before I move on to my crafts for today, I forward that reminder on to you. Have fun, make a mess, and enjoy this Christmas season!
Last month, the folks at Soak Wash put together a quilter’s photo-a-day challenge on Instagram. I thought I would join in because I really like the motivation that a challenge offers, and while I don’t do a ton of quilting, I’ve really been enjoying it lately. (For tons of inspiration, check out all of the photos that were shared during the challenge by searching #soakphotochallenge on Instagram.)
The first lesson teaches you how to sew a traditional courthouse steps block using basic paper piecing, and I was able to finish it really quickly. You can see my sweet little block above. Once I felt like I had a grasp on what paper piecing involved, I cheated a little and jumped ahead to lesson #4, and I made this!
From there, I pieced it all together, backed it and did some straight line quilting using my regular sewing machine.
I finished it with navy blue binding to match the clock above it and hung it up on the dining room wall.
Woohoo! I finished all twelve of the blocks in the Patchwork Posse Around the Block Round Robin! All that’s left to do is piece them all together with sashing … and then add the border, and then the quilting, and, of course, the binding. I will finish this quilt! It just might take me a little bit. This final block was super fast and easy — my favorite kind. The Boxy Pinwheel Block tutorial is from Susan at Living with Punks.
Did you think that I’d given up on the Patchwork Posse Around the Block Round Robin? No way! I just got a little bit waylaid by Quilt Market. I’ll be a bit late finishing up, but I’m going to do it!
Block #11 is the Ribbon Star block from Jennifer at Ellison Lane. I’m so happy with how well this block came together! My points lined up so nicely, and all I did was follow Jennifer’s instructions very closely. My “need for speed” was very pleased by her directions for sewing four half-square triangles at once, too!
Wheeee! Only two more blocks to go! I think I’ve learned something new with every block in the Patchwork Posse Around the Block Round Robin, and this week was definitely not an exception. Remember how I said that last week’s block was a bit of a challenge? Well, this one was like climbing the quilting version of Mt. Everest! I’m only sort of kidding. Piecing together lots of tiny pieces stretches my attention span to its limits, and this block has 50 – five zero – pieces. I wondered aloud (meaning, I yelled from my sewing room), “Can you even fit 50 pieces into a 12″ block?!” But, look! I did it! AND, without a single seam rip! Isn’t it pretty?
The Six Stars are Better than One block was designed by Kate and Elizabeth from Seams Like a Dream, and while it is a challenging block, their instructions are really easy to follow. My favorite part is their Quick, No Waste Flying Geese method! It’s like magic!
Quiet Sunday afternoons are perfect for catching up on sewing projects and prepping for others. I marked Block #9 in the Patchwork Posse Around the Block Round Robin off of my list this afternoon. This Spins & Squares Block from Crafty Tammie was a little more of a challenge than the last few blocks — a bit of seam-ripping was involved in getting those corners matched up. I’m really happy with the end result, though, and I loved being able to use up some tiny pieces. This is the first of these blocks that I incorporated some white into, and I really like it! I think I might have to mix some into the remaining blocks, too.
I’m also working on a few new patterns this weekend and cutting out some projects for Kids’ Clothes Week which starts tomorrow!
A whole week without blogging! It’s been quite a while since my blog posts were that far apart. I promise that I have been busy behind the scenes … working on PDF pattern updates, readying new patterns for testing, planning for Spring Quilt Market. I did find time for block #8 in the Patchwork Posse Around the Block Round Robin, though! This week’s block is a wonderful traditional one from A Quilting Life: the Churn Dash.
Yay! I’m over halfway through the Patchwork Posse Around the Block Round Robin. I think this is the longest that I’ve ever stuck with a quilt-block sew-along … only five more blocks to go!