Tuesday, May 1, 2018

2018 Monthly Color Challenge: May = Green

It's a new month and time for a new color!  This month our color challenge is green and green is a perfect color for the month of May.  The grass is greening ... finally, after a rather long winter ... and the flowers are all blooming and green is good!

If you are finding this blog post for the first time and aren't sure what we are talking about .... To get all the scoop, be sure to check out Jen's post.



So let's show off all this greenness!  I'm using Jen's pattern (available on her blog - see link below) and I'm making both the 12" and 6" size blocks.



And to show off the beautiful Spring flowers, here are my blocks in the "wild" ... aka the flower bed :)  I love the way the greens match with the daffodil foliage. 


I wanted to take a few pictures of all my blocks together.  Here are the 6" blocks.  Don't they look adorable? 


And here are the 12" blocks. 


Of course in the process of trying to get photos with the blocks laying on the kitchen floor, my canine assistants thought they need to adjust the layout.  Here is Miss Zoey arranging it to her liking :) 



I can't wait to see what your block looks like.  On Jen's blog you have an opportunity to share your green block or anything made with green from May 21 to 31 to be eligible for prizes.  And speaking of prizes, the sponsor for this month is: Island Batik! 




Also be sure to visit the other bloggers who are participating this month.  It's so much fun to see what fabrics everyone has selected and how different the same block looks with different fabric choices!





Jen Shaffer of Patterns By Jen
Jen Strauser of Dizzy Quilter
Sherry Shish of Powered By Quilting
Jen Rosin of A Dream and A Stitch
Dione Gardner-Stephen of Clever Chameleon Quilting
Joanne Harris of
quiltsbyJoanne




And if you are playing along with us, make sure to use #2018monthlycolorchallenge on social media! And speaking of social media, be sure to follow me on IG: @Masterpiecequilting and Masterpiece Quilting on FB for sneak peeks and updates!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Looking Back, Vintage Quilts - April 2018 Island Batik Ambassador Challenge

I was super excited when I saw this month's challenge.  My specialty is designing quilts inspired by vintage quilts. 


I immediately knew what quilt I was making.  When I taped my Learn to Restyle Vintage Quilts video class a few years ago, I designed 6 different quilts options but we only used 3 in the class - so this pattern has been waiting in the wings for it's moment to shine :) 


Here is a photo of a vintage quilt that uses the same block. 



Keeping the block and the basic layout the same, I tweaked the borders and here is my Spinning Wheels quilt. 


I used fabrics from a variety of collections that I received from Island Batik as part of their Brand Ambassador program. I opted for scrappy pinwheels and selected a neutral for the background, inner and outer borders.  Since the colors all played well with the deep rose, I used it for the pieced border but since I was running out of fabric, I went with a darker purple for the binding.  Nothing like making design decisions on the fly :) 

Since I learned to quilt from my grandmother, I used one of her favorite patterns in the pieced border - a cable.  Since it was a vintage inspired quilt, a vintage quilting motif seemed appropriate. 


I pieced the quilt using Aurifil thread and used Hobbs 80/20 for the batting, both of which were provided from their respective companies as part of our Brand Ambassador program.  

Here are a few more photos of Spinning Wheels. 




The pattern for Spinning Wheels will be available in a few weeks.  

If you want to learn more about Restyling your own Vintage quilt, my class is available both online or in DVD format. 


To purchase Learn to Restyle Vintage Quilts, please click on my affiliate link to purchase. 
If you enjoy learning online, I have classes in a variety of topics and you can read more about my other online classes.

To stay up-to-date on my quilting adventures, be sure to follow Masterpiece Quilting on Facebook  or Instagram @masterpiecequilting 

This post contains affiliate links, please see my full FTC Disclosure.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Nancy's Top 10 Reasons to Join Annie's Creative Studio Today

As a nod toward David Letterman and his infamous Top Ten Lists, I've compiled my Top 10 List of why every one should join Annie's Creative Studio.



If you aren't familiar with Annie's Creative Studio, check out the post I wrote earlier this year to get the full scoop.  

10. Annie's Creative Studio is available whenever you are - 24 / 7 / 365 - with new video episodes added weekly.  It's like having me "on-demand" waiting to craft with you at all times - even in the middle of night - except you don't have to feed me :) 

9. Annie's Creative Studio has an amazing Facebook page where we can grow as a community and share the projects we have made. 

8. Annie's Creative Studio is instructed by 33 different experts who each are the best in their area - including ME!  You can read more about me and my crafty adventures in another blog post.

7. Techniques, Tips & Tricks.  Not only do you learn the techniques but instructors share their favorite tips for success along with some special tricks that you will only learn here. 

6. Annie's Creative Studio is technology friendly.  As an online video streaming service you can watch at home or on-the-go on your mobile device. 

5.  FIVE - yep, 5 different craft areas for you to enjoy:  Crochet, Home Decorating, Knit, Quilt and Sew.  

4. Giveaways... each month Annie's Creative Studio and their sponsors put together some amazing gift boxes full of products for you to win. 

3. You learn by doing.  When you make your project right along with the instructors you learn how we read the pattern, describe the process and see us demonstrate it. What a great way to achieve success and gain new skills. 

2. Annie's Creative Studio includes programming in Creative Living, Knit and Crochet Now!, Learn, Make & Create, Products We Love, Quick Stitches & Tips as well as Quilter's Skill Builders.  That's a whole lot of value wrapped up into one small monthly price. 

1. Annie's Creative Studio offers a 30-day free trial to get you started. What could be better than that!   




This post contains affiliate links, please see my full FTC Disclosure.


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Progressive Steps to Photographing a Quilt & a Dog

In honor of today being the 4th anniversary of Miss Lilly coming to live with us, I thought I would share some recent photos I took as I was attempting to get a photo of Lilly with a quilt top. 
When we first adopted Lilly, she was completely scared of the camera and would cower down with her ears tight against her head. In just the last 6 months, she has actually started posing a little for the camera ... so I'm really proud of her.  When you rescue a dog, or any animal, you never know what their past experiences have been. 

So here is the unedited progression of photos along with my captions.  Enjoy!

Photo 1:  Let's walk across the quilt laying on the floor and sniff your shoe. After all you have a camera and I'm ignoring that fact.


Photo 2: Oh, let's turn around and sniff the quilt.  Maybe if it smells good, I will fluff it with my paws and lay on it.  I'm sure you would like that after you spent all that time getting smooth on the floor. 


Photo 3: Here's another spot that smells good.  Gotta keep my nose to the ground.  Sniff, sniff, I need to sniff more.  These batiks smell good.  


Photo 4:  Ya, I know you've been calling my name - I heard ya the first time.  Oh you wanted me to look up at the camera.  Okay, I get it. 


Photo 5:  Sure you want to see my face. I will make this easy for you... I'll just stand on my hind legs and jump up on you ... that get's my face close to the camera. 


Photo 6:  Oh, I see ... you wanted me to sit on the quilt.  Why didn't you say so in the first place?  We could have saved a lot of time. Here ya go!  I'm sitting now. 


So every time you see a photo with a perfectly posed pet, be assured a lot of photos were taken as well as patience exercised (and sometimes exhausted) just to get that one amazing photo!

Fabric Credit:  Island Batik
Design: Ricky Tims' Convergence Quilt

Sunday, April 1, 2018

2018 Monthly Color Challenge: April = Orange

It's time for another new color and another new block in the 2018 Monthly Color Challenge.  Are you participating?  No?  Why Not?  If you aren't, there is still time for you to join in all the fun.  To get all the scoop, be sure to check out Jen's post.



This month we are celebrating the color Orange! 



Just like yellow, orange is another color that I don't use as much as I should.  I was thinking why do I not like orange.... My memories immediately go back to playing sports as a kid and our primary rivals' school colors were orange and black.  ....  Surely an athletic rivalry from 30+ years ago isn't influencing my fabric selections today ... or is it ???   

Anyway, again this month I made both the 12" and 6" version of Jen's free block.  You can get a copy of the block pattern on her blog - see link below. 



If you are wondering what all the blocks look like from the previous months - here is a quick photo that I took.  It's going to be really neat to see how all these blocks look finished together in the final quilt.  



I can't wait to see what your block looks like.  On Jen's blog you have an opportunity to share your orange block or anything made with orange from April 21 to 30 to be eligible for prizes.  And speaking of prizes, the sponsor for this month is: Island Batik! 



Check out the this gorgeous collection, Island Batik is giving the lucky winner a fat eighth bundle of these fabrics. Don't forget to enter to win - all you have to do is share a photo of something made with orange... it could be this block or any another project. 




Also be sure to visit the other bloggers who are participating this month.  It's so much fun to see what fabrics everyone has selected and how different the same block looks with different fabric choices!



Jen Shaffer of Patterns By Jen
Jen Strauser of Dizzy Quilter
Sherry Shish of Powered By Quilting
Suzy Webster of Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Jen Rosin of A Dream and A Stitch
Dione Gardner-Stephen of Clever Chameleon Quilting
Joanne Harris of
quiltsbyJoanne


And if you are playing along with us, make sure to use #2018monthlycolorchallenge on social media! And speaking of social media, be sure to follow me on IG: @Masterpiecequilting and Masterpiece Quilting on FB for sneak peeks and updates!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Try A Technique - March Island Batik Ambassador Challenge

Our challenge this month as Island Batik Ambassadors was to try something new - a sewing or quilting technique that we had not done before. 


Well, that took some thinking!  As ambassadors, we brainstormed a really long list but I had already done a lot of them.  So I decided to try a technique that was on my bucket list.  A Convergence Quilt using Ricky Tims method. After all, I had bought the book 6 years ago, so it was about time I tried it :) 



I selected four fabrics that I received from Island Batik as part of their Brand Ambassador program.   I cut 14" squares and arranged them in a four-patch layout.  


Next the fun began ....  Following the instructions in the book, I sewed, slice, rearranged and resewed ... and ended up with this.


Then I repeated the process - slicing, rearranging and re-sewing - and presto, my convergence was complete!


I was tempted to leave it as is but I decided it needed borders.  So using the gallery of quilts in the book as inspiration, I opted for a pieced outer border with a narrow strip of orange for my inner border.  Since the fabrics were bold, I quilted a basic allover meander that would hold everything together without detracting from the fabrics.  Since it will be a wall hanging, I used Warm 80/20 batting from The Warm Company to keep it nice and flat. 


I finished off the quilt with an orange binding that matched the inner border.  So I can now say I have made a convergence quilt!  I can cross it off my bucket list - which makes room for more quilting projects :)   

And, of course, Miss Lilly had to put her "paw of approval" on the quilt top while I was trying to photograph it.  


Be sure to follow me on Facebook at Masterpiece Quilting or on IG: @masterpiecequilting

Thursday, March 1, 2018

2018 Monthly Color Challenge: March = Yellow

Where has the month gone?  It's time for another new color and another new block in the 2018 Monthly Color Challenge.  Are you participating?  No?  Why Not?  If you aren't, there is still time for you to join in all the fun.  To get all the scoop, be sure to check out Jen's post.



Our color for the Month of March is Yellow... and I was really worried!  I'm not much of a yellow person.  I look horrible in it and I don't use it much in my quilts - but I was pleasantly surprised how much yellow I had in my stash.  I apparently I use it more than I think I do. 


Again this month I made both the 12" and 6" version of Jen's free block.  You can get a copy of the block pattern on her blog - see link below.  I did learn one thing - yellows are hard to photograph! If I were to make the blocks again, I would try to find more contrast between the fabrics or use prints to make it easier to distinguish them.  Apparently when I use yellow - I'm pretty focused on solids or tonals! 




I can't wait to see what your block looks like.  On Jen's blog you have an opportunity to share your blue block or anything made with yellow from March 21 to 28 to be eligible for prizes.  And speaking of prizes, the sponsor for this month is: Make Modern Magazine who is giving away 3, YES 3, six-month subscriptions to their magazine (which I absolutely LOVE!) 





Also be sure to visit the other bloggers who are participating this month.  This is always fun to see what everyone is making too!


And if you are playing along with us, make sure to use #2018monthlycolorchallenge on social media! And speaking of social media, be sure to follow me on IG: @Masterpiecequilting and Masterpiece Quilting on FB for sneak peeks and updates!