Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My Best of 2016

Hi and welcome to my stop on the Best of 2016 blog linky party!  I had such fun going through my posts from the year to figure out which 5 posts I would be highlighting today.  It was a great way for me to review the year and revisit some finishes from earlier in the year that I had forgotten about.

I picked my top 5 posts by the posts with the most views (minus any giveaway posts).  Click on any of the titles to be taken to the actual blog post for more information and pictures.

1.  Sheets as Quilt Backings
My post about using sheets as quilt backings (and tips for successful sheet selection) was my #1 most viewed post ever with over 14,000 views!  If you hop over to that post, be sure to read the comments as the quilters that commented added a lot of knowledge and value to the topic.  

2.  Meadow Mystery Quilt
The instruction posts each month for the Meadow Mystery Quilt have been some of my highest view posts for the year so I am going lump them into one best of entry.  We are piecing together some blocks this month, there is still time for you to join in :)

3.  Midnight Mystery Quilt
The Midnight Mystery Quilt posts have also been very popular, especially the quilt reveal parade post which has over 100 versions of the quilt! (You can see the parade right here).   The instruction posts will always be available on my blog so you can start anytime!

4.  Canvas Lines Quilt
I designed Canvas Lines with a slight tribal feel with alternating diagonal geometric shapes and negative space. Canvas Lines combined some of the prints from the Doe collection by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman with some crisp Kona white fabric. The Canvas Lines quilt and pattern are available in the Quilter's Planner (and my plan is to release a full pattern including baby, lap, and queen sizes early next year).

5.  Kiku Quilt
I made the Kiku quilt for the Quilts from 100 Blocks Magazine Fall 2016 edition from my block Cloud Burst which was a paper pieced block design. In Kiku I enlarged the block, added partial blocks on either side to finish off the secondary patterns, and added a bunch of negative space. Johellen George quilted a pattern of double swirls on the quilt.  I just found out that the quilt was accepted into QuiltCon in the piecing category (under the original quilt name Cloud Burst).

Thanks for stopping by my blog!  I hope you will consider linking up your favorite posts from 2016!  You can visit the Best of post right here.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Best of 2016 Linky Party!

Welcome to the Best of 2016 Linky Party!  This is the second annual "Best of" blog party to share your and read others top 5 posts of 2016.

To take part in the link party, simply write a blog post highlighting your "best" 5 posts from 2016 and linkup. There is no set way to pick your best, you can pick your posts anyway you would like, some examples include:
  • Posts with the most views
  • Posts with the most comments
  • Posts that provoked the best discussions
  • Posts showing your favorite 2016 finishes
  • Posts of your best tutorials
  • Posts that are simply your favorites

    The link party is open now and will remain open for 1 week, closing on Monday, January 2nd.

    I invite you to grab a cup of tea, coffee, apple cider, or your favorite blog reading beverage, relax, and have some fun reading the best blog posts of 2016 :)

    Wednesday, December 21, 2016

    Meadow Mystery Quilt {My Blocks 1, 3, and 4}

    This month for the Meadow Mystery Quilt we made pieced some of our units into blocks making Blocks 1, 3, and 4. The Facebook group so full of some wonderful versions. If you want to join in, it is not too late!

    Some links for more information:

    I am making two versions of the Meadow Mystery Quilt, a more traditional version using Gentle Breezes by Maywood Studio and a more modern version using some of my favorite text prints. I once again only have the Modern Text blocks to share today (I am hoping to get caught up on the traditional version in January).

    The instructions are given out on the first Thursday of every month so the next set of instructions will be posted on the blog on Thursday, January 5th.

    I am linking up with Let's Bee Social at Lorna @ Sew Fresh Quilts and Needle and Thread Thursday at Kelly @My Quilt Infatuation.

    Monday, December 19, 2016

    2016 Goal Review and 2017 Goals

    I can't believe that 2016 is almost gone!  It seems like it was just Halloween and yet we are just a few days away from Christmas.  

    My wonderful bloggy friend Yvonne, who blogs are Quilting Jetgirl, hosts an annual planning party to layout goals for the upcoming year.  I thought that I would use this post to first go back to my 2016 goals to see if I had actually accomplished them and then post my 2017 goals.

    2016 Goals with Clear Deliverables
    • Develop and publish the Pattern Writing Blog Series 
      •  Done - posted January-March 2016
    • Design and host the 2016-17 mystery quilt 
      • In progress, started in July and will finish up in April
    • Submit a book proposal 
      • Done - more info on this coming in 2017 :)
    • Co-host the 2016 New Quilt Blogger’s Blog Hop 
      • Done - summer 2016
    • Make at least two charity quilts 
      • Done - I made 5!
    • Develop at least 3 new quilt patterns 
      • Done - I launched 6 patterns: Vintage Star, Check Plus, State of Being, Half Circle Mirror, Canvas Lines, and Jelly Lanterns
    • Post at least 4 tutorials 
      • I posted the huge Pattern Writing Workshop, tips for using sheets as backings, and a tutorial for my Cloud9 blog hop blog.  So not quite 4 but pretty decent.
    • Take at least one multiple week long blogging vacation
      • Done - it was great to take a few weeks off and I will be doing so again in 2017
    • Host the Best of 2016 Linky Party (I have had such fun with the 2015 linky party!) -
      • Done (well will be done, the party starts on Monday the 26th, the day after Christmas)

    2016 Big Picture Goals
    • Continue my journey on growing as a quilter by learning new techniques and moving outside of my comfort zone.
    • Strive for balance – balance between being a mother and a quilter, between computer time and quilting time, between quilting for “work” and quilting simply for fun.
    • Work at carefully analyzing each opportunity I am presented with and have the courage to say no to the things that do not align with my vision, goals, and time restraints.
    • Become more organized

      • In 2016, I have gotten better at saying no to opportunities (and at least taking a few minutes to think about them before saying yes).  But my balance between quilting for "work" versus fun has been off these last few months and hopefully I will be able to get that back on track for 2017.
    I think that I made good progress towards my big picture 2016 goals, these are continuous improvement goals so they will never be done and I would like to carry these over to 2017.  

    So in addition to my carried over Big Picture Goals, here are my 2017 Goals with Clear Deliverables:

    2017 Goals with Clear Deliverables
    • Design and host the 2017-18 mystery quilt (yes this is happening and will start next July!)
    • Submit some quilt proposals to magazines
    • Make at least 4 charity quilts 
    • Take at least one multiple week long blogging vacation
    • Host the Best of 2017 Linky Party 
    • Learn needle turned applique and make the Rin quilt by Carolyn Friedlander (I already have the pattern :)

    Thank you so much Yvonne for hosting such a fun linky party.  Please take a minute to hop over to her blog and visit everyone else's 2017 Planning Links.

    I hope that you will consider writing a post and linking up to the Best of 2016 Linky Party on this blog the day after Christmas (you can find out more info right here).

    I'd like to finish up this post with pictures of the 27 finished quilts I have made this year, thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a happy holiday! (The pictures use inlinkz so if you are reading this on e-mail you will have to click through to the post on the webpage for the pics to show up.)

    Friday, December 16, 2016

    Warp and Weft - American Patchwork & Quilting Nine-Patch Challenge Quilt

    Today I would like to show my APQ Nine-Patch Challenge Quilt I have named Warp and Weft and take you through its design and production process.

    I had heard about the Nine-Patch Challenge in mid summer and knew I wanted to take part but really did not have a good idea for the quilt.  The requirements were that you had to modernize the 9-patch somehow and could make any size quilt and use any fabrics.

    In October, I was at work drafting a new patent application on a woven fabric (I write patents for a private industrial textile and chemical company).  The fabric was similar to a shot cotton where the warp yarns (that go along the machine direction) and the weft yarns (that go perpendicular to the machine direction) were different yarns and I noticed that it kind of looked like a 9 patch.  Thus my woven 9-patch idea was born.

    I thought that it would be good to use some Essex Yarn Dyed Fabric in black as my background as it has great texture and also has different warp and weft yarns.  I made a quilt sandwich with it and started quilting straight lines.  I was using whites, grays, and blacks of Aurifil in 50wt but it was difficult to see the quilting and it was not giving me the effect I was looking for.  So I switched to 40 wt Aurifil in gentle organic lines which showed up much better against the Essex linen.

    After quilting I blocked the quilt to make sure that it was nice and flat for the woven strips.  To make the woven strips, I sewed 2 1/2" x width of fabric pieces in half to make a slightly less than 1" strips (which happened to fit perfectly on my metal yard stick which made ironing the strips a lot easier).

    I played around with many different layouts of the strips and have to thank Paige for giving me so much feedback (and for putting up with me texting different pics every few minutes).  I settled on the center strips forming a true 9-patch with the patches on the sides looking to be unraveling.

    I used Heat and Bond Lite to attach the strips to the quilt and the plan was that I would hand stitch down the strips while on vacation over Thanksgiving.

    Just to hold everything in place I basted the strips on using some turquoise thread at the max stitch length of my machine.  When I finished the basting stitches I really liked the look of the turquoise stitching on the strips so I added some more lines to each strip (which also had the added benefit of eliminating the need to hand stitch the strips down).

    For a binding, I auditioned a bunch of options and had first picked a turquoise to match the quilting thread.  I decided that this quilt needed some more pop so I used an orange plaid fabric from Carolyn Friedlander that had some metallic printing.  I think that the binding is actually my favorite part of the quilt.

    So Warp and Weft was finally complete and finished at about 41" x 42".  

    🌟🌟 Happy News! I submitted Warp and Weft to QuiltCon's APQ 9-Patch Challenge and it got juried into QuiltCon East 2017 :)

    Friday, December 9, 2016

    Michael Miller QuiltCon Challenge Mini Quilt

    I am happy to show off my entry for the Michael Miller QuiltCon 2017 Challenge today, which I am calling Air on Strings.

    The challenge was to use Michael Miller’s new Luxe collection of superior 108″ cotton fabrics.  The rules were to use at least two fabrics from the Luxe line (one solid and one printed).  We could also use one coordinating Michael Miller solid.  

    (Here were all of the bundles for my guild, I chose to work with the dark blue bundle)

    I made this mini to break up some of the longer term, secret sewing I have having to do recently.  I have been doing a lot of paper piecing recently, so when I had a chance to take a break from that I went in the completely opposite direction with some improv sewing.  

    I gave myself a time limit to make the blocks, grabbed my fabric and started cutting.  I made the quilt top without a ruler until I squared it up for binding.  It was fun to see the blocks start to come together in their imperfect, wonkiness.

    Due to time and fabric constraints, my quilt finished up at about 18" x 21".  I quilted it using Angela Walter's signature design in a dark blue Aurifil thread (in 50wt) so that the quilting would blend in with the background.  I bound the mini in some more of the Luxe fabrics with a little bit of orange pieced in.

    I did submit this quilt for entry into QuiltCon, though with all of the amazing challenge entries I have seen, I do not have high hopes for this one getting in.  I had fun making it and that is what really matters :)

    Wednesday, December 7, 2016

    Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day 2016!

    Welcome to the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

    So who would like to win not one but two shot-cotton rainbow jelly rolls?  The jelly rolls are by Rowan with one being rainbow of lighter colors and one being a rainbow of darker colors.

    This is my fifth time participating in the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day.  I love Sew Mama Sew  and I enjoy spending few many, many hours entering giveaways and finding new wonderful blogs each SMS Giveaway Day. 


    For those who are new here, here is a little about myself (for those that are returning, thank you!).

    My name is Cheryl and I am a chemical engineer/patent agent by day and a quilter at night. I have a wonderfully supportive husband who allowed me to turn the guest bedroom into my quilting room, a 9 year old son and 6 year old daughter. I love designing quilt patterns and doing quilty math which allows me to combine my quilting skills with my engineering and technical writing backgrounds.

    Three fun events on my blog in 2016:

    The Meadow Mystery Quilt, my third and most recent mystery quilt-along which started in July and will wrap up in April. Instructions are posted monthly so there is plenty of time to join in and catch up!

    In the beginning of 2016, I presented a blog series called the Pattern Writing Blog Series. The 16-part series taught how to take a quilt design from a sketch book to a fully developed quilt pattern, demonstrating each step and concept using an actual quilt pattern example.

    Best of 2016 Linky Party will be starting the day after Christmas (Monday. Dec 26th) and continue through Jan 2nd.  Simply write a new blog post highlighting your "best" 5 posts from 2016 and linkup.  There is no set way or rules to pick your best, you can pick and highlight your posts anyway you would like.

    Favorite finishes of 2016:
    Here are some of my favorite finishes of 2016, you can see all of my finishes here.

    Now on to enter the giveaway!! 

    This giveaway is for two (2) shot-cotton rainbow jelly rolls and is open to everyone, everywhere in the world (if the winner is outside of the US, I reserve the right to substitute a gift certificate of equal value to a local quilt shop due to shipping costs.)

    This giveaway starts today, Wednesday Dec 7th, and will run until Sunday Dec 11th at 8 p.m. EST.

    To enter:

    1. Leave a comment, any comment. If you would like a topic, I would love to know the size of quilt you make most often.

    2. Followers of my blog (old and new) get an additional entry. Please leave a second comment letting me know how you subscribe. (Here are some links for different following options: Bloglovin, Email)

    Note: If you are a no-reply blogger then please include your e-mail address. If I can not reach you, you can not win.

    Thank you so much and I hope that you will decide to follow my blog and join me on my quilting, sewing, and pattern writing adventures!

    PS - On normal posts, I try to respond to each and every comment and visit the blogs of those who comment, but on giveaway posts I unable to due to the high number of comments.

    ** Giveaway now closed, thanks for entering! **

    Tuesday, December 6, 2016

    Best of 2016 Link Party Coming Soon!

    It is no secret that I love blog link parties.  One of the main reasons I started my blog was so that I could take part in the sharing of knowledge and inspiration through the parties and so I am very excited to announce that I am hosting my second annual blog linky party, the Best of 2016 Linky Party!

    To take part in the link party, simply write a new blog post highlighting your "best" 5 posts from 2016 and linkup.  There is no set way or rules to pick your best, you can pick and highlight your posts anyway you would like.  Some examples include:

    • Posts with the most views
    • Posts with the most comments
    • Posts that provoked the best discussions
    • Posts showing your favorite 2016 finishes
    • Posts of your best tutorials
    • Posts that are simply your favorites

    You can also go through the Best of 2015 posts here.
    The link party will open the day after Christmas, Monday December 26th and will be open for 1 week ending on Monday, January 2nd.

    I hope that you will consider writing a post to highlight your best of 2016 and link up!  Here is a button for your blog if you would like:

    grab button for Meadow Mist Designs
    <div class="meadow-mist-designs-button" style="width: 200px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"> <img src="" alt="Meadow Mist Designs" width="200" height="200" /> </a> </div>

    I am very happy to link up with Main Crush Monday @ Cooking Up Quilts, Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story, and Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts.

    Thursday, December 1, 2016

    Meadow Mystery Quilt - Blocks 1, 3, and 4 - December Instructions

    Welcome to the December instructions for the Meadow Mystery Quilt! If you just found this mystery quilt, there is still plenty of time to join in and catch up!

    In case you are new to the Meadow Mystery Quilt here are some links to all of the relevant information:

    Mystery Quit Tab (main page containing links to all monthly instructions and other information)

    Link to Signup for Easy to Print pdf Versions of the Instructions (via e-mail)

    Mystery Quilt Facebook Group

    And now onto the December directions :) This month we will be starting to take all of those units we have been making for the last few months and starting to piece them into blocks.  Just as a reminder, here are the corresponding fabric letters to colors used in these illustrations:

    Block 1

    Arrange and sew the following fabric pieces as listed and shown below, pressing all seams open.  Block  1 should measure 12 ½” x 12 ½”.  Make 1 block.

    Block 3

    Arrange sew the following fabric pieces as listed and shown below, pressing all seams open.  Block 3 should measure 12 ½” x 12 ½”.  Repeat to form a total of 4 blocks.

    **Note** Do not worry about the orientation of the seams in the B/E Half Hourglass Units

    Block 4

    Arrange and sew the following fabric pieces as listed and shown below, pressing all seams open.  Block 4  should measure 12 ½” x 12 ½”.  Repeat to form a total of 4 blocks.

    **Note** Do not worry about the orientation of the seams in the B/E and C/E Half Hourglass Units

    Be sure to share your progress in our Facebook Group :)

    Many thanks to our sponsors!!