Monday, December 11, 2017

The Simple Sampler Quilt-A-Long

What's a better way to start the new year than with a Quilt-A-Long?  

I'm hosting a 13 week Quilt-A-Long (QAL) on my FB Group: Masterpiece Quilting Design Group starting January 7, 2018 and continuing through April 7, 2018.  

Once a week you will receive instructions  for the block we are working on that week as well as either a FB Live (that you can always watch later) or a video for you to learn more about that week's block and some tips on making it.  

Since this is a sampler quilt, the first 12 weeks will focus on the blocks and week 13 will cover the sashing and borders.  

All you have to do is stitch along and post photos of your block if you want to share your progress with others and ask questions to get more help. 

This is a free quilt-a-long and you are only responsible for the fabrics and supplies you need to make the quilt.  While the QAL is going on you can download all the files for free.  After the QAL is over, I will compile the files together into a full pattern that will be available for purchase.  

So what quilt will we be making ?  It's The Simple Sampler!

This is one of my original designs and is the first time the pattern is being offered! The finished size is 79" x 100" and it is a beginner to confident beginner level quilt.  

The quilt uses just four fabrics and the materials list is now available on the Masterpiece Quilting Design Group

I hope you join us for this Quilt-A-Long - it's gonna be a lot of fun! 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Let me Introduce Myself ....

As I was looking through my blog posts, I realized I have never really introduced myself to you ....  so better late than never.  

I was grew up in Northern Indiana on a farm so my early years were filled with crops, cows and pigs.  Most of my time was spent with my Grandmother who quilted, crocheted and made most of my clothes including this matching outfit one year for Easter. 

Being a farm kid, I was active showing livestock and being in 4-H and FFA.  This experience allowed me to develop a strong work ethic, taught me time management skills as well as business knowledge I still use today.  I received the highest member award possible through the FFA which was the American Farmer Degree.

Like many farm kids, my goal in life was to become a veterinarian ... but chemistry and I didn't along.  So I ended up with a B.S. in Animal Production and a M.S. in Agricultural Economics both from Purdue. I then worked for Purdue for 15 years before starting my own business in 2006 and as they say the rest is history. 

Today I describe myself as an author, designer and teacher who loves being crafty. 

Growing up in a family of “makers”, I’m a proud DIY / MIY enthusiast. I always have at least two or three or more projects going at the same time. My current favorites include sewing & quilting, refinishing antiques, chalk-painting and photography.

When I changed careers from the academia / corporate world and started my business Masterpiece Quilting LLC where I was a sales representative and certified trainer for Gammill / Statler.  My business evolved to specialize in long-arm quilting, show quilts and custom-made memory quilts.  

In 2012, I submitted my first design to a magazine for publication.  It was accepted and my calling was found that day!  Since then I have sold over 50 designs to publications and fabric companies. I’ve established myself as a leading author and instructor for creating with sentimental textiles with my top-selling book “T-shirts, Memories & More” along with DVD’s on T-shirt quilting and Restyling Vintage Quilts.  
I love to doing video work.  It bridges so many gaps and let's me teach people 24/7/365 without either of us having to leave the comfort of our studios.  Plus videos are a lot of fun and I get to work with so many amazing people!

I would love to learn more about you.  Please feel free to leave me a comment about what inspired you to become a "maker".  
And if you want to keep up on all my crafty adventures, please follow along on Social Media.  I'm on IG @masterpiecequilting or at Masterpiece Quilting on Facebook.

Friday, December 1, 2017

31 Day Day Blog Writing Challenge

As many of you know, I'm a competitive person -
so when I saw "CHALLENGE", my full attention was captured.  

I'm participating the 31 Day Block Writing Challenge
by Cheryl Sleboda of, so for the next 31 days,
stay tuned, sit back and be prepared to read away :) 

Curious about the Challenge, read more about it on Cheryl's blog
and if you are a blogger, consider participating too! 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Thankful Thursday - November 16, 2017

I'm mixing things up a little this month with a Thankful Thursday blogpost.  It's good to be thankful in life!  This week I want to share how thankful I am for technology.  WHAT!  Technology.... said by the person who manages to hang up on everyone when a second call is waiting and who publicly asks at the AT&T store if they have a rotary dial cell phone! 

Yes, technology... after all, without it - you wouldn't be reading this blog post .... 

Earlier this week I was a  guest on the American Patchwork & Quilting Podcast hosted by Pat Sloan.  You can listen to the podcast as we talk about why I like teaching online classes.

And yes, without technology, we wouldn't have online classes, Facebook Live or any of the other video options that we have come to expect.

Online classes allow me to share my knowledge with so many more people than I could ever expect to reach if I were just teaching in person.  I would love to take a quick poll here - so give me a simple yes or no in the comments ... Have you taken an online class?  If you want to share more information about the class, that's fine. And if it's one of my online classes, then you get bonus points :)  - just kidding :)

I talk to a lot of people who are hesitant about taking an online class for a variety of reasons.  I love them not only as an instructor but also as a student.   You can see all my online classes available through Annie's Craft Store.  They are all professionally produced and some are even on sale right now!

Even though technology can be a big pain in the "you-know-where" some days, it is part of our lives and it is here to stay.  So we can either reject it, accept it or be thankful for it!  I choose Thankful!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Thankful Thursday - November 9, 2017

I'm mixing things up this month and am writing a series of Thankful Thursday posts - some will be "quilty" and some will not. 

This week I want to share how thankful I am to be working with Island Batik as one of their Brand Ambassadors this year. This is an amazing experience.  Not only do I get to work with beautiful fabrics, but it has challenged me as a designer to create outside of my usual style ... and we all know, when you are out of your comfort zone, that is when personal growth occurs!  And for that, I am thankful! I'm also thankful for all the other designers I have met and now become friends with through this ambassadorship. 

I always get a lot of questions about what does a Brand Ambassador do?  We aren't employees or independent contractors for Island Batik but we work with them to promote their beautiful fabric collections.  Twice a year Island Batik gives me the batik fabric that I used to make these projects as well as other projects for independent patterns as well as magazine and book submissions.   

Here is a quick look at three of my favorite projects I have made as a Brand Ambassador.

Early in the year I made the Blossom wall hanging and you can read more about it. This wall hanging really kicked off all the raw edge fusible applique projects I have designed this year - which has been a good thing!  The pattern for Blossom is available as a pdf download  on Craftsy. 

Another of my favorite projects was my Rory Baby Quilt pattern made using Island Batiks.  I don't know which version I like best - the original or the remake? You can read more about Rory here. The pattern for Rory is available pdf download on Craftsy. 

My absolute favorite quilt so far this year was made using my Black & White Express pattern but changing out the fabrics to Island Batik's Sakura Collection. My Back to School blogpost gives you all the details.  Again it's a toss up whether I love the original or the remake better.  The batiks lend so much color to this quilt and just make it so bright and cheery! 

I hope my Thankful Thursday posts have inspired you to take some time to think about all the things that you are thankful for too!  Have a great week and I will see you back here next Thursday!

The Simple Sampler Quilt A Long - Coming Soon

I just wanted to quickly let everyone know that I will be hosting a 13 week Quilt-A-Long using one of my latest patterns ... The Simple Sampler

I've given it a lot of thought and I will NOT release this pattern for sale until after the Quilt-A-Long is over, so this is your chance to get it first and it will be FREE to you!  

So here are the details - real quick...

The Quilt-A-Long will run 13 weeks, 1 week for each of the 12 blocks and 1 week for the sashing and borders.

It starts the week of Sunday January 7, 2018 and concludes on Saturday April 7, 2018.  

Each week you will receive full color instructions including drawings and / or photos PLUS a weekly FB Live or video that talks about the block and how to make it. 

The Quilt-A-Long will happen in my FB Group: Masterpiece Quilting Design Group, so be sure to join the group if you want to participate or get more information.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Thankful Thursday - November 2, 2017

I'm mixing things up this month and am writing a series of Thankful Thursday posts - some will be "quilty" and some will not. 

Many times we get caught focusing on what we don't have, wished we had or think we need.  Instead I want to flip that focus around to being Thankful .... 

There are a multitude of things in life we can be thankful for. It's pretty easy to categorize these things - family, pets, friends, health, job, a place to live.  Sometimes it gets a little harder when we try to narrow down to specifics. 
And other times, it's pretty easy to be specific - especially when looking at old photos - and you are very thankful your hair today doesn’t look like it did back in the 1980's!  :)