Pinwheel Quilt Giveaway!!!

Quilt Giveaway Slow Down and Sew

It's 12 days until Christmas and I am feeling generous, so I'm giving away a quilt!

Specifically, the Pinwheel quilt from my book A Month of Sundays. A bold yet soft design. Quilted by Angela Walters, no less.

Here are the details:

... Quilt is 76'' x 76''. Made with 100% cotton fabric and 100% cotton batting. Designed, pieced, and bound (hand finished) by me, quilted by Angela Walters.

... All you have to do to be eligible to win is sign up for my newsletter. Scroll down to the bottom of the page here and the sign up is there. Don't worry, I don't share or sell my newsletter list. And now you get a biweekly newsletter full of tips, the exciting and interesting things I find online, and personal musings that I don't share anywhere else. Current newsletter subscribers already entered.

... Bonus entry if you repost the photo on Instagram with the hashtag #slowdownandsewgiveaway. It has to have the hashtag to be eligible.

... All international entries are welcome.

... I will make the draw on Christmas Day and ship the quilt by the end of the year. 

That's it! Nothing fancy. I just want to share my love of quilts, via a quilt, with you all. You think you are getting a present, but my husband thinks he is winning in the big picture - one less quilt in the house. 

Thank you so much for being here, for supporting my ramblings, for buying what I'm selling, and generally being awesome people. 

This giveaway is not sponsored, promoted, or administered by Instagram or Squarespace in any way. Each entrant releases both Instagram and Squarespace from any responsibility of a missed prize.

The Mug Club Mug Rug

The Mug Club Kid Giddy

Confession: I've never made a mug rug before.

If you know me at all you know I have a hard time working small. And a mug rug is very small. I absolutely could not resist, however, when Kerry Goulder at Kid Giddy asked me to participate in The Mug Club Sew Along. I'm rather an obsessive tea and hot chocolate drinker so capturing the best vessel seemed like fun.

There are 12 different patterns in the Mug Club. You can buy one or both series, each with six paper piecing patterns. Kerry sells Series 1 and Sue sells Series 2. They come in 6'' or 10'' finished sizes. Cozy tea time quilt anyone?

Did you know Kerry is a paper piecing master? It seems she can take nearly any shape or image and turn it into an easy to make paper piecing pattern. I'm in awe. Roller skates, Land of Magic, pugs, mugs, and more

The Mug Club Luchadores on a quilt

I'm also in love with my little mug rug. I picked the Vardagen mug from Series 1. It reminded me of one of my favourite mugs, the kind you can wrap your hands around to warm yet not so big that the tea gets cold before you finish it. I picked the silliest of fabrics because that's just how my sense of humour works. Luchadores on a tea mug?!

Check out all the other mugs made during this sew-along by following the #TheMugClub or #TheMugClubSAL on Instagram.  Both Kerry and her sister, Sue, are leading a beautiful parade of mugs!

A Blue Quilt for The Blue Gala

Blue Quilt Hattori Wiliamson Charity Quilt

From one demo block in a quilt class to this finished top. Oops, I did it again.

It truly did start as a demo block in a string piecing class. Then my friends from H/W Ballet asked me if I would donate a quilt to a silent auction for a gala ballet event. Well, of course I would. The event is called the Blue Gala. And wouldn't you know it my sample block was from some blue scraps? Not to mention the event raises fund for Pancreatic Cancer research and guess what stole my father-in-law?

Truly, it was all meant to be.

Blue scrap quilt

The quilt came together in the morning hours. I could sew together strips and square up about 4-6 blocks in about 20 minutes of Morning Make. Every day I made a few more blocks and threw them up on the design wall. A few weeks ago I added a short yoga practice to my mornings so I would then stare at the blocks and make rearrangements when I was supposed to be in downward dog.

Now to get this quilted for the early February Gala. Should be plenty of time. Then it will be up for silent auction. Don't hesitate to shoot me a line if you are interested in bidding...

Hattori Williamson Blue Gala Charity Quilt

From 0 to 125 - A Survey of Unfinished Quilts

quilts under construction sep 2017.jpg

Where do you fall when it comes to unfinished quilts? Earlier this year I conducted a survey of readers on the topic. Everything from true confessions on the number of quilts under construction to attitudes towards these projects.  Over 400 people answered the survey and I am finally able to share the results. My own current number sits at 47. It certainly creeped up this year!

What counts as a quilt under construction? I left the definition of unfinished open, by design. For some people a stack of fabric counts as an unfinished quilt, for others it is a quilt top. I let everyone define that personally. 

Just how many quilts under construction do you have? A few of you have 0, zero! unfinished quilts. A a few of you have over 100 quilts sitting unfinished. Most of you, however, are in the 10-15 unfinished quilts range. 

What I think is more telling is how people feel about their number. I asked people does this number stress you out?

does this number stress you out?.jpg

Unfortunately, it didn't occur to me to have these questions link so I could figure out the statistical correlation (I am not a survey designer by trade). Same goes for the next question, where I asked people how many is too many?

how many is too many?.jpg

In looking informally through all the responses though, it appears (but is not proven) that those that have a higher number don't seem all that stressed by the number. Nor do they think there is such a thing as too many. I have a theory about that. 

It comes down to perspective. If people view quiltmaking as a means to an end - a process by which we make a product - they get hung up on numbers and checking things off lists. Must finish becomes a mantra because their goal is a finished quilt. But if people view quilting making as an end in and of itself - a process that may or may not result in a product - then the number doesn't really matter.

Of course it should be said that at some point the majority of us do want to finish quilts. We are, ultimately, trying to make quilts here. If the emphasis, however, is on the finished product over the process we might as well go to the mall and buy a factory made piece. 

Back to the survery results.

Let's get practical. I asked where in the process do you generally stop working on a quilt? The question about process was left open ended, so the numbers don't add up to 100%. But the results are still telling. 

Hung up at?.jpg

I know, for me, making a backing and basting are my blockades. Quilts pile up there. It seems I am not alone. Those are tedious tasks, no doubt. 

One question and the most popular answer probably tell the story here. The question was asked, what makes you stop working on a quilt?

Overwhelmingly, the answer was what one respondent referred to as Shiny Object Disorder. Something else becomes more inspiring in that moment. Or we get bored. It's pretty simple. Other answers included uncertainty about quilting plans or skill level. And that ever present need to wash the floors to baste a quilt!

I was able to present these results and my take on them in a lecture at QuiltCon in February. For the rest of you who weren't there I am happy to both share the results here and my full take on them in the latest issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited. In the article I defend all these unfinished quilts as markers of creativity. If we take on the Five Ps of quilt creativity we can all see it this way.

  • Perception - how you view your quiltmaking in general makes a huge difference in how you view unfinished quilts, your skill level, and creativity
  • Planning - approaching quiltmaking willy nilly is fine for some, but most of us require a more thoughtful approach to a project and practical considerations of space, time, and money
  • Process - there should be as much joy for you in the process as the product
  • Practicality - how we manage the unfinished quilts in our space and minds
  • Play - bringing that spirit of playful joy to our quiltmaking

Long time readers will recognize these themes from posts. After nearly 20 years a quilter I've learned a few things, and I don't just mean hand applique. When we start our quiltmaking we almost always all start with products in mind. Some of us stay there and some embrace process more. Neither is more right than the other. When it comes to quilts under construction, however, I do need to defend every single one you have as a mark of creative action. Even if it's been years since you touched that project it does not represent a failure, it celebrates creativity! Own it.