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Christmas Ornament Mini-Quilt

img_9579Happy December, you guys! If you’re looking for a quick, fun little holiday project, head over to the Bernina blog today for a complete tutorial to make my Christmas Ornament Mini-Quilt!

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It uses super-simple raw-edge appliqué, so no need to worry about curved piecing, and the half-square triangles in holiday brights give it a clean, modern look.

While you’re enjoying that, my goal for the day is to finish the Christmas decorations around my house. Have a lovely Monday!

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WIP Wednesday: Decking the Halls

How are you all doing on your holiday preparations? I still need to get out my white Christmas tree for my studio, but other than that holiday prep is on more or less on track at my house. As are my WIPs!
First, I finished knitting that Christmas stocking! And it turned out a normal size and shape and everything! It’s a Christmas miracle! I still need to line it with fabric and rig up some sort of hanging loop, but the actual knitting is done, so we’ll call this one a finish. This is the “Falling Snow Stocking” free pattern by Jennifer Hoel, available on Ravelry—you can get it here.
Also, still plugging away at those Greek Key blocks for my upcoming quilt-along! The quilt-along will start in early January on the Bernina We All Sew blog.
One quick housekeeping note: Don’t forget that you can get a FREE PDF copy of my Sparkler pattern if you sign up for my email newsletter by Monday, Dec. 14! Click here to sign up. Once you confirm your subscription, a discount code will be emailed to you to claim your free pattern. (Sorry, this offer is not available to customers in the European Union.)
And finally, here was the focus of all my energy this past weekend: Two days of Nutcracker performances (and two rounds of performance hair-do’s) for this little one. She’s been an angel in our dance studio’s production of the Nutcracker for three years in a row now. All our fingers and toes are crossed for a different part next year, because I am getting soooo tired of paying for angel costumes (yes, it’s a different costume every year!). She does look (deceptively) sweet though, doesn’t she? LOL.

What are you working on? Let’s see it!

LINK-UP RULES:
1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the “Add Your Link” button below, then click on the Instagram icon at the bottom of the screen that pops up. You should then be able to select any of your recent Instagram photos. Where it says “Link,” use the URL of your Instagram feed (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/lee.a.heinrich). Please hashtag your IG post #wipwednesday.
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!
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WIP Wednesday: Stocking Up

Well, I’m still working on that stocking that I’m knitting … which means I’m pretty far short of the FOUR stockings I said I would knit by Christmas this year. I had all year to do it—how did I not manage it again? LOL. But look! I finished the heel on this one, so all I’ve got left is the rest of the foot. So for sure I’ll at least have this one done by St. Nick’s Day, which is Dec. 6. (Famous last words.)

What are you working on? Let’s see it! And happy Thanksgiving to all my U.S. readers!

LINK-UP RULES:
1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the “Add Your Link” button below, then click on the Instagram icon at the bottom of the screen that pops up. You should then be able to select any of your recent Instagram photos. Where it says “Link,” use the URL of your Instagram feed (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/lee.a.heinrich). Please hashtag your IG post #wipwednesday.
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!
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Holiday Forest pillow tutorial

Looking for a holiday project to tackle? I’ve got one for you, on the Olfa website this month!

My Holiday Forest pillow is a fast little project that uses the quick method of making Flying Geese (you make them four at a time). A few color changes and the flying geese are suddenly a forest of Christmas trees. : ) I think I overdosed on red and green during the making of my Fair Isle quilt last year, so for this one I decided to go with non-traditional holiday colors. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I think I was envisioning the pink aluminum Christmas trees from the Charlie Brown Christmas special. But it would look great done up traditional, too!

And I’m the subject of their November Designer Spotlight, so head over there for full project instructions, as well as an interview with me. Thank you, Olfa, for featuring me!

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WIP Wednesday: Spin Cycle

After last week’s lack of progress in virtually everything, I was hoping for major productivity this week, but alas, my machine had other ideas—it decided it needed some time out at the sewing machine spa instead. So with Thanksgiving bearing down on us, I decided to keep busy with another one of these knitted Christmas stockings. You might remember that I knitted one last year and it turned out comically huge. This one looks like it’s actually for a normal-sized human being—so far, so good.

Also this week: Now that sewing is my job instead of “just” my hobby, I’ve found that actually washing and using my quilts has become something of an act of courage. I mean, what if somebody wants to put that quilt in a show or photograph it for a magazine? What if it’s no longer 100% perfect for my trunk shows? (Okay, it wasn’t ever 100% perfect in the first place, but you know what I mean.) But an important tenet of modern quilting is that quilts should actually be used, and I’m still very committed to that. So today, my Fair Isle and Wavelength quilts are taking their first trips through the spin cycle (accompanied by several Shout Color Catchers!), and then they will join the pile of quilts next to my couch that are available to be used by the whole family. That’s not to say you won’t still see those two quilts in my future trunk shows—it’s just that when you do, they might show a few more signs of being “loved”.

LINK-UP RULES:
1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the “Add Your Link” button below, then click on the Instagram icon at the bottom of the screen that pops up. You should then be able to select any of your recent Instagram photos. Where it says “Link,” use the URL of your Instagram feed (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/lee.a.heinrich). Please hashtag your IG post #wipwednesday.
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!
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WIP Wednesday: Productivity!

I’ve had a busy week of teaching, finishing projects, and starting new ones!

The flying geese project that I started last week is done—you’ll be seeing more of this, plus complete project instructions, on Olfa’s website in a few weeks!

Next up: I’m starting to work on my next quilt-along! It’s a Greek key quilt, and you guys will not believe how fast and easy these blocks are. I always thought it would be a feather in my cap to design a quilt with ZERO seams that have to line up, and this one might be the closest I’ve ever come. So newbies take note, this will be a good one for you. : ) Let’s all do it together! The quilt-along will be starting on Bernina’s website in the near future—but I’ll give you plenty of advance notice here, so that you can get your fabric together and be ready to start it along with me.

Finally, I have something exciting to share with you: My friend Stephanie from Late Night Quilter is coming out with a Quilter’s Planner! This planner includes everything you need to organize your life and plan and track your sewing projects, plus it includes bonus block instructions and quilt patterns. Such a great idea, isn’t it?

Inside the spiral-bound planner, you’ll find monthly calendars, weekly calendars, sewing project planning pages, graph paper for quilt designs, a swatch-saver, free-motion quilting practice pages, beautiful and inspiring pull-out artwork, 52 original quilt block designs, AND 8 full quilt patterns, including one from me! (I’ll be blogging more about my pattern that’s included on another day.) All for only $35—an impressive value.

You can learn more about it and pre-order your Quilt Planner right here. I’ve already ordered mine! Be sure to watch Stephanie’s video about the planner at the top of the page—what she says really resonates with me, and I’m sure it will with you too!

Okay, so what are you working on this week? Let’s see it!

LINK-UP RULES:
1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the “Add Your Link” button below, then click on the Instagram icon at the bottom of the screen that pops up. You should then be able to select any of your recent Instagram photos. Where it says “Link,” use the URL of your Instagram feed (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/lee.a.heinrich). Please hashtag your IG post #wipwednesday.
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!
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WIP Wednesday: Handwork

I spent the past weekend on retreat with some quilty friends from around the midwest—Faith, Anna, Holly, Jeni, and some newer friends too. While it was definitely a sewing retreat, I guess I just wasn’t motivated to pack up my sewing machine and all my fabric and supplies, so I brought a couple of handwork projects with me instead.

Last week I did a little embroidery with my daughter and her friend, which inspired me to try something new to me: Cross-stitch. I picked up Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery’s Summer Sampler pattern and got as far as one whole square finished. See, it’s a camper! : ) Faith asked me as I was working on it, “Do you think you’ll ever finish that?” Gotta be honest/realistic: I kinda doubt it. LOL. But it’s fun for now! And I do like having a TV-watching project. So we’ll see how far I get.

I also got this knitting project back out. Some of you might remember I knitted a Christmas stocking last year right before the holidays that turned out ridiculously, comically oversized. So I’m starting over with smaller needles, and this attempt looks a lot more reasonable so far. I made some good progress on it this weekend—maybe I’ll even have one done in time for Christmas!

Okay, so what are you working on this week? Let’s see it!

LINK-UP RULES:

1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the “Add Your Link” button below, then click on the Instagram icon at the bottom of the screen that pops up. You should then be able to select any of your recent Instagram photos. Where it says “Link,” use the URL of your Instagram feed (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/lee.a.heinrich). Please hashtag your IG post #wipwednesday.
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!
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Making my Fair Isle quilt? How to keep those seams straight!

Just dropping in with a quick tip for those of you who are working on my Fair Isle pattern!

Do you find that your seams bow a little when you’re sewing together long strips of fabric? (And of course, you have to sew together long strips for Fair Isle.) Click here for a quick video that shows how to keep those seams nice and straight. Wish I would have thought of it myself. : ) Enjoy!

You can buy my Fair Isle pattern here, and don’t forget, my Fair Isle Quilt-Along posts from last year have lots more tips for making this pattern!

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WIP Wednesday: Home Stretch

It’s the Christmas home stretch, you guys. Are you ready? Not me, but it will all get done somehow. It always does, right? Right? : )


So remember that second baby quilt I needed to make? It’s now officially for a boy. So I need to finish up one girl baby quilt and one boy baby quilt, like, yesterday. This photo shows how far I’ve gotten on the boy one—i.e., not at all far. : )

In other news, I managed to finish that Christmas stocking I’ve been working on, and it turned out great—except for the fact that it is strangely, comically gigantic. I mean, this thing is ginormous. The pattern says it should be 20″ from the top of the cuff to the bottom of the heel, but mine is more than 26″. A full 6 inches too big! (No, I didn’t check my gauge before starting, and yes, I have now learned my lesson about that little oversight!) Anyway, I’m contemplating washing it and then throwing it in the dryer, in hopes it will shrink. Is that crazy talk? (It’s alpaca yarn.) Any other suggestions, or am I just stuck with this oddly gargantuan stocking? It’s like something Hagrid would knit. LOL.

What are YOU working on this week? Here’s how to link up:

1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the Instagram icon at the bottom of the link-up screen, and use the URL of your IG feed as the link (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/lee.a.heinrich). Please hashtag #wipwednesday.
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!
Scheduling note: WIP Wednesday is taking the next two weeks off for the holidays. Our next WIP Wednesday will be on January 7. Happy holidays and have a wonderful new year!
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Fair Isle Sew-Along: The Big Finale!

Welcome to the final post in the Fair Isle Quilt Along! This week you should be ready to make the back, baste it, and quilt it! : )

So, this is where I admit: I haven’t started quilting mine just yet. Yes, you heard me correctly, I have not kept up with my own quilt-along. LOL. My excuse is that I already have one Fair Isle quilt to keep me warm this holiday season. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. : ) But my top is done and ready to go—I just need to come up with some time to make the quilting happen! I have to admit, I’m sorely tempted to send this one out for long-arming.

First, let’s talk about the back! For the back of my original Fair Isle quilt, I used the Riley Blake Christmas Chevrons, Medium Size. I can’t even tell you how much I love this print for a Fair Isle back. You’ve already got the zig-zag rows on the front, so the chevrons play up that element nicely. I’m strongly considering ordering this same print again for the back of my new red-and-white Fair Isle!

But of course there are so many other cute options when it comes to Christmas fabric. You can keep up the reindeer theme with this one:

This Mid-Century Christmas print is perfect for a back:

Or go full-on folk art with something like this:

 

As for the quilting, I just went with a classic stipple on my original Fair Isle. I’m thinking about a nice diagonal cross-hatch for my new Fair Isle, which somehow seems to play in with the knitting theme.

But this is the kind of design where you could really go crazy with the quilting (long-armers, I’m talking to you!) You could quilt each row differently if you wanted to, to highlight the differences in the rows. I could see that being really fun.

Or you could do some star/snowflake details like Cornelia did (silberregen1 on IG). This is beyond my quilting abilities, but I love it so much! It’s perfection for a Fair Isle quilt, don’t you think?

Okay, this is it—it’s finally time to link up your completed Fair Isle quilt! It’s so exciting, I can’t wait to see what you all did with the pattern! This link (along with all the Fair Isle Sew Along links) will stay open indefinitely, so you can link up your Fair Isle quilt whenever you finish it, to share with everyone who’s working on the pattern now or in the future!

Thank you all for sewing along with me, I hope you enjoyed it! This is the type of quilt that’s always more fun to do with others. Now go wrap up in your new Christmas quilt!