Free patterns

Check out 64 Free, Brand New Quilt Block Tutorials Starting Today

August 30, 2015
    

Welcome to Day 1 of the Fabri-Quilt New Block Hop! Over the next 4 days, you will have access to tutorials from 64 bloggers who are all creating brand new quilt blocks for you.  How cool is that?

If you’ve wanted new ideas for quilt designs, and want to see unique and modern blocks, this is the week for you!

Click over to my co-host Yvonne’s blog, Quilting Jetgirl to check out the amazing blocks designed by the first 16 bloggers.

Fabri-Quilt is also generously sponsoring a half yard giveaway of the fabric bundle put together for the blog hop, so don’t miss out on two different ways to enter to win (details at the bottom of the post).

All of the quilt blocks featured this week are going to be assembled into quilts and donated to charity. I hope you enjoy this fantastic creative endeavor.

I’ll see you tomorrow with news of the next 16 new block tutorials for you!

Giveaway

Inspired by Fabric

For a chance to win a half yard bundle of the Watermelon Summer palette, you have two opportunities to win today.  Visit Quilting Jetgirl and leave her a comment for one entry and visit Inspired by Fabric to enter to win there as well!

Tips and Tutorials Tuesday

Fabri-Quilt New Block Designs: Announcement of The Greatest Blog Hop Ever!

August 25, 2015

Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop

Hello!  It’s tips and tutorials Tuesday! I’ve been absent for awhile, so if  you’ve saved up some blog posts over the last few weeks that you’d like to  link up to share, please scroll down below.

I’ve got a hot tip for you today:

Next Monday is the start of a very exciting 4 day blog hop: the Fabri-Quilt  New Block Blog Hop. We have over 60 participants lined up to each  present a tutorial for a new quilt block design that finishes at 12-inches  square using a bundle of (6) fat 8th fabrics generously donated by Fabri-  Quilt.

That’s 60 new blocks for you to enjoy perusing over the four-day blog  hop!

Be sure to check in at each of the hosts’ blog posts each day for the whole list of blog participants.  All of the quilt blocks featured are going to be assembled into charity quilts.

Monday, August 31st
Host – Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl

Tuesday, September 1st

Host – Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs

Wednesday, September 2nd
Host – Stephanie @Late Night Quilter (me)

Thursday, September 3rd
Host – Terri Ann @Childlike Fascination

Another bonus will be the fabric giveaways during the hop!  There will be a total of 8 bundles containing 1/2 yard cuts of the 6 featured fabrics given away on the hosts’ blogs and the Inspired by Fabric blog.

Watermelon Summer Color Palette

I can’t wait to show you my block design and I am excited to see everyone else’s creativity. I hope you join us next week!



Tips and Tutorials Tuesday

Tips and Tutorials Tuesday

August 11, 2015

anatomy-of-a-strand-of-thread-feature

Hello friends. I’m traveling this week, visiting family on the east coast. So my friend Kitty, from Night Quilter, is hosting Tips and Tutorials Tuesday. She has a fantastic tip for you today. Please click over and visit her!

You can also link up your own Tips and Tutorials on Kitty’s blog this week.

I look forward to seeing your posts.

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Tips and Tutorials Tuesday

How to Fold a Fat Quarter Just Like The Quilt Shops – Tips and Tutorials Tuesday

August 4, 2015

Welcome to Tips and Tutorials Tuesday!

I visited Valli and Kim in Dripping Springs, Texas and my friend Kim, who owns the shop, showed me how they fold their fat quarters to keep their shop neat and tidy.  There are lots of ways to fold fat quarters, but I really love this one for the fabric on my shelves because the fabric stays folded even when my 4 little helpers at home pull them out to play.

If you’re looking for an online shop to order modern fabric, check out Valli and Kim online. You get great, friendly Texas service (there’s no place friendlier than Texas quilt shops!) and excellent prices.

I loved perusing the tutorials linked up with my Tips and Tutorials Tuesday last week.  There were two in particular that I am so excited about pinning for later.

Carley Biblin from Making It Up As I Sew Along, shared a really cool post that was featured on Sew Mama Sew about How to Make Your Own EPP Designs.  Carley has opened my eyes to a whole new world.  Seriously, it makes me want to drop everything and do this. After reading her tutorial, I actually think I can!! (I just need to make a quick run to Michaels to buy her secret weapon). Aren’t the colors and graphic prints she chose for the photo below so stunning?!

Making Your Own EPP Designs at Making It Up As I Sew Along.com

Debbie at the The Quilt Journal put up a wonderful YouTube video tutorial on her Twisted Triangle Free Motion Quilting Method.  She uses a straight ruler with the free motion foot on her domestic, just like you do on a longarm.  You should check it out.  It’s a simple technique that results in such an interesting, complex look.  My longarm idol, Kimmy Brunner uses this technique on the longarm, and I never considered trying it on my domestic.  But I sure will now.

Twisted Triangle Debbie The Quilt Journal

Thank you for all linking up and sharing your knowledge.

Do you have any little tips or great tutorials to share this week?  If you do, please link up below!

 



Finish it Up Friday

Advice for the Quilty Inclined

July 31, 2015

Dear Stephanie v2I finally finished up my first cozy rag quilt, made from some hard-to-find flannel Marmalade, by Bonnie & Camille. It was relaxing, thought-free sewing at its best.  My kids and I love cuddling up with it on the couch.  The snapshot of it made the perfect backdrop as a header for my newest project….

I’m starting something new in my blogging life called Dear Stephanie, which ties to my career as a psychologist. Friends frequently ask for my thoughts on tricky situations  because of my background… so I figure, why not just write about my opinions here?

Once a month I will post a question with my  response to it. The topics will be quilting related, with a social bend to them.  We live in a complex world of human interactions cocooned in social media, where subtleties and gray areas  abound.  You may or may not agree with me, but I hope it will be a fun way to start conversations about issues that often concern us all.

 If you have a question you would like me to address and publish, you can email me at  latenightquilter@gmail.com. I will not use your name, and will change any identifying  information, if need be.

Without further ado, here is the first question that a lovely acquaintance of mine recently invited me to address:


Dear Stephanie,

 I recently published a free pattern on a public, third party website, and  received a few negative and cruel comments.  I was excited about the pattern,  and thought it was really unique.  The commentors called my project odd and  useless.  I felt hurt and embarrassed.  It began with one rude comment, and then others seemed to join in. Although it’s a public site, I can choose to delete the comments if I want to.  Should I erase them and forget it? If not, how should I respond?

Signed,

Should it Stay or Should it Go Now

 

Compass Star by Stephanie Palmer of Late Night Quilter

Dear Should it Stay or Should it Go Now,

 There are a host of people who revere the attribute of honesty in interpersonal  relationships.  I would put myself in this camp.  However, there is a subset in our  culture who feel that in the quest for honesty, impertinence is acceptable.

This is where I disagree.  It is possible to be honest, without resorting to  rudeness.  Sometimes it may take awhile to consider how to phrase opinions in  order to avoid  hurting the recipient. Thank goodness for the frontal lobe of the  brain; most people are capable of this if they slow down and try.

Yet the cloak of anonymity and the lure of immediacy in the world of social media make it the perfect scene for the crime of impertinent honesty.

As the recipient of the comments, it’s your right to make the decision to delete.  This is not a government affair that requires ultimate transparency; if you are in control of the comment feed on your post, then make no mistake, you have the power to choose whether to ignore it, comment on it, email the person directly, or delete it.

One variable you should consider when making the decision is whether the commentor in question has a history of leaving you rude comments that fail to add to the collective conversation in a thoughtful, careful way. If this is the case, it’s like an unhealthy relationship that needs to be dealt with quickly and surely.   Click delete and don’t look back.

However, if there is no history, you may need to consider what the potential consequences will be in clicking delete. Depending on the size of your audience, the fallout from deleting the comments could be messier than the problem of withstanding the embarrassment caused by a few rude people whom you will never hear from again.  After deleting the comment, you may find that every quilter on the Internet feels the need to weigh in on the situation.

So if you choose to erase a comment, be prepared to hold strong and maintain that it’s your right to make the decision.

But I have another take on this particular situation.

Give yourself a pat on the back for getting a set of rude comments about how odd your pattern is. Those comments are keepers in my book.   Print them out to put it on your wall as a badge of honor.  When you push the envelope and do something truly unique, you are sure to get negative feedback.  It’s how the world works. The fact that you received these comments is a sure indication that you have done something totally outside of the box. And that to me is a sign of a true design genius.

I say leave the comments, and respond publicly with a comment of your own.  Let people know that you are proud to create things that challenge the norm in the quilting world.  Let them know that you are thrilled that your work causes people to sit up, take notice, and think a little.

Cheers to you! Keep on designing. Keep on challenging. We need more of you in this world.

 

 

 

 

Tips and Tutorials Tuesday

Tips and Tutorials Tuesday – What is A Fat Quarter? A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

July 28, 2015

TipsTuesdays

Welcome to Tips and Tutorials Tuesday at Late Night Quilter!

Do you remember the first time you heard the words fat quarter?  I recall my Aunt Ginger talking about fat quarters when I visited her during my childhood.  I remember it because it’s the most ridiculous sounding phrase I think I’ve ever heard.  No wonder normal people are totally confused by quilters; we have a secret language that rivals both Klingon and Dothraki.

What images first entered your mind when you heard the words fat quarter?  I bet you have some pretty entertaining answers.

You probably know that a fat quarter is simply a 18 inch  x 22 inch  (50 cm x 56 cm) cut of fabric.  This differs from a regular quarter yard cut, which is 9 inches x 44 inches.

Here’s a simple, pinnable diagram for your reference.

Fat Quarter Diagram:

Quarter yard cuts fat and skinny

Benefits of Fat Quarters:

  • We read a lot about the importance of avoiding cross-grain cuts of fabric, which may cause more stretching and distortion when we piece our quilts. Fat quarters allow us to cut more pieces parallel to the selvage, which is the lengthwise grain.
  • If you have a pattern that calls for a piece that is any larger than 9 inches (22 cm) wide, you’re out of luck if you have a long, narrow quarter yard of fabric. A fat quarter offers the same square inches as the quarter yard cut, but in a form that allows you to slice off a larger chunk when needed.
  • A fat quarter is a nice, manageable size for most home cutting mats; it doesn’t hang over the edge of your table.
  •  If you’re using your favorite Amy Butler large scale print, you’re more likely to get closer to the full repeat with a fat quarter, instead of just a sliver of the print with a long, skinny quarter yard cut.

In your experience, what are some other benefits of buying and using fat quarters?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

Since I’m talking about fat quarters today, I want to point out a few fat quarter friendly links from last week’s Tips and Tutorial’s Tuesday (there were some really amazing tutorials last week so click back and take a look if you missed it).

Leslie, the Seasoned Homemaker linked up a lovely post highlighting 13 Projects to Make With Fat Quarters!  Perfect timing Leslie!  Thank you for linking up with me.

FatQuarter Projects at the Seasoned Homemaker

And Jan, my friend who blogs at The Colorful Fabriholic linked up with a fantastic fat quarter friendly project, her Plus Plus Quilt.  I love the crosshatch quilting and the color palette.  This is one of those quilts that everyone should make at least once in their lives.  Be sure to pin her tutorial for later!

Plus Plus Quilt Colorful Fabriholic

And did you see these adorable fruity coasters by Vicky at Venividivicky?  It’s a free tutorial that is fat quarter friendly!

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Okay, it’s time to link up again!  I’ll feature some more of your fabulous projects next week when I show you my favorite method for folding fat quarters.



2015 New Bloggers Hop

Introducing the Fabri-Quilt New Block Hop for 2015

July 27, 2015
Thank you so much for following along with the 2015 New Quilter Bloggers Blog Hop! Yvonne, Cheryl, Terri Ann, and I really appreciate your support!

Before I get to the winners of this week’s giveaway, I would like to announce that the New Quilt Bloggers have teamed up with Fabri-Quilt  and we are excited to bring you the 2015 New Quilt Block Blog Hop at the end of August.  The hop will run from Monday, August 31st through Thursday September 3rd.

Each of 60 bloggers will be presenting a 12 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ (unfinished) quilt block with a tutorial to make the block using the following Watermelon Summer Color Palette including Chartreuse, Turquoise, Coral, Aqua, Lapis Blue, and White from Fabri-Quilt. They really have some beautiful new solid colors this year, and we are excited to have the opportunity to work with them!

And now onto the giveaway winners:
Giveaway Winners Week 4

Thanks again to our generous Week 4 sponsors of the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop: AurifilThe Fat Quarter ShopMeadow Mist Designs, and Quilting Jetgirl.
Without further ado, the 4 winners are:
Congratulations to our Week 4 Winners!
Below is a recap of all the wonderful posts from Week 4, in case you didn’t have time to check them all out.

Quantum Quilters

Quantum Quilters

Host: Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl
Geraldine @Living Water Quilter (Instagram: @livingwaterquilter)
Andrea @The Sewing Fools (Instagram: @andrealovestosew)
Irene @Patchwork and Pastry
New Bee Button

New Bees

Host: Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs
Kim @Leland Ave Studios
Cassandra @The (not so) Dramatic Life
Colleen @Colleen’s Custom Quilting
Sew-Fabulous-Hive-Button

Sew Fabulous Hive

Host: Stephanie @Late Night Quilter
Margo@ Shadowlane Quilts and Crafts
Josi@ Avocado Quilts
Deb @ The Farmhouse Quilter
sewcial-swarm-outline_zpsiykzozev

Sewcial Swarm

Host: Terri Ann @Childlike Fascination
Stephanie @Quilt’n Party
Jane @Jolly and Delilah Quilts
Deanna @Stitches Quilting
Kathryn @Upitis Quilts
2015 New Bloggers Hop

Dealing with Procrastination: Finish Up that UFO Today!

July 25, 2015

The Procrastination Blues

I would love to meet the person who can honestly say that she never procrastinates.  Procrastination is an integral part of humanity; it’s the down-side of being a highly evolved creature.

We are programmed to live in the here and now.  We need food now.  We need shelter immediately.

We need to go to the gym….. well, that’s really not an immediate need, is it? It turns out that nature doesn’t always care about our long-term plans to lose 10 lbs or to finish that quilting project on time.

Yes, you heard me.  I am saying that we are biologically programmed to procrastinate.  Don’t you feel better now that I’ve told you it’s not your fault?!

For many of us, quilting is a respite, the thing that we want to do instead of the thing we have to do.  In that case, procrastination is blighted, and has no interest in us.  But what about when we reach that last stage of the quilt… the last few hours of work before it will finally be completed? Or what about the times we have a deadline looming; the project that must be completed in time to give it as a gift, the blog post that has to be written.  I have found that whenever the words have to or must enter into the equation, even if it’s something I typically love, procrastination is there, lurking in the corner, beckoning me.

So what can we do?  How can we fight this illusive beast?

Temptation Bundling

Recent works by Milkman, Minson and Volpp (2013) and Ariely (2015), have shown that a specific type of reward system can be the answer to our procrastination problems. It’s called temptation bundling.  Milkman and her colleagues say that temptation bundling is:

“a method for simultaneously tackling two types of self-control problems by harnessing consumption complementaries.”

What are consumption complementaries?  Essentially you pair a undesirable activity with a pleasurable one.  Let me give you a few examples.

You love a good chick-flick, or worse yet, the guilty pleasure of The Bachelor?  Well, what if you only allow yourself to watch when you’re on the treadmill? Win-Win!

You love a spa pedicure, but feel like you shouldn’t waste time or money on it.  Well, you can get that pedicure if you bring your notepad with you and draft the blog post you’ve been putting off writing. Win-Win!

You crave a Starbucks latte but know you should cut back. Aha! You can only drink a latte while you finish sewing up the project that has been sitting in your UFO pile for months. Win-Win!

Sometimes you have to be creative to come up with two things you can actually do at the same time.   Yet when you do, it really works!  I’m sitting here right now eating Cookie Dough ice cream straight out of the container while I write this post.  If that’s not evidence, I don’t know what is.

Apart from the ice cream, my favorite part of this technique is that it encourages better life-balance. We all need a little more of that.

 

The 10 Minute Rule

I have one more technique that I personally use every day for fighting procrastination.  It’s my 10 minute rule.  Now, this is not a highly researched theory that I learned about in grad school.  This is just my personal observation.

When I have a long, complex, arduous task ahead of me, one that I know is likely to take several hours, I make a deal with myself.  I only have to do it for 10 minutes.  That’s it!  10 minutes then I’m done!

And typically, an amazing thing happens. Once I start, and see my progress, I usually just want to work on it a little bit longer.  After a few more minutes, I find myself begging my family not to interrupt me until I’m done.

It’s a small mind game, but it works wonders when you need to clean out the mini-van.

For more information on the topic of temptation bundling:

http://bigthink.com/videos/the-secret-to-kicking-procrastination-reward-yourself (Video featuring Dan Ariely)

Milkman, Minson & Volpp (Nov. 6, 2013). Holding the Hunger Games Hostage at the Gym: An Evaluation of Temptation Bundling. Management Science. Vol. 60 (2), 283-299.

 

 

 

Tips and Tutorials Tuesday

Tips and Tutorials Tuesday

July 21, 2015

There were lots of especially wonderful tutorials that linked to last week’s Tips and Tutorials Tuesday.  I want to highlight a few of my favorites today in case you missed them.

Leslie from Seasoned Homemaker shared a perfectly written tutorial for a zippered box pouch.  I can never have enough of these pouches in my life and my sewing room!  And I love Leslie’s fabric choices and bright, pretty pictures.

Zipper box pouch my seasoned home

Jenn from A Quarter Inch from the Edge linked up a post with the best title ever… The First Cut is the Deepest.  If you’ve read Jenn’s blog before, you’ll know she’s blissfully obsessed with Kona colors.  This time she’s gone completely and brilliantly over the edge and has chopped up all her color cards?  Why??????  Click over and you will see her mad genius at work.

Jenn Quarter Inch from the Edge Colour Card Chop (3)

Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl, my co-host from the 2015 New Bloggers Blog Hop (did you enter this week’s contest yet, by the way?), linked up a wonderful tutorial for her Lucent quilt, which was inspired by everyone’s favorite Swoon block.  I can’t believe she gave us the awesome, generous gift of such a thorough, beautifully written tutorial for a whole quilt! You’ve got to Pin this one.  It’s a keeper.

Quilting Jetgirl Lucent Tutorial

And Susan, from Super Mom No Cape, gave a little tip that is such a huge help!  Have you ever had your binding strips end up looking like this, even when you’ve tried to be soooo careful when sewing them together?

Imperfect Binding Strips Susan Super Mom No Cape

Susan has figured out a couple of small adjustments you can easily make that will give you perfectly joined binding strips every time.  Just like this…

perfectly-joined-binding-strip

Thank you all for linking up last week.  Let’s do it again!  Click on the LinkyTool button below to add any of your little sewing tips or your big, fantastic tutorials.


2015 New Bloggers Hop

Week 4 of the New Bloggers Blog Hop 2015

July 20, 2015

It’s the last week of the 2015 New Bloggers Blog Hop, and that means today I am sharing the last 4 new bloggers in the group with you.  I know you will enjoy the unique voice and perspective each one of these quilters brings to our blogging community.

Button Designed by 2015 New Blogger Deb McGregor

Button Designed by 2015 New Blogger Deb McGregor

The last 4 in my Sew Fabulous Hive are:

I love each and every one of the blogs I’ve introduced to you over the 4 weeks of this blog hop.  It’s been wonderful to get to know these new voices in the quilting community.  And I’ve developed close friendships with the other 3 co-hosts, Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl, Terri Ann @ Childlike Fascination, and Cheryl @ Meadowmist Designs. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to host this year.

If you’re interested in reading some advice on blogging issues, please check out these great new posts:

Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to our Advice Post series!  With the help of many bloggers in our quilting world, we’ve pulled together a wonderful little library of ideas that will be referenced by many writers in the future.

New Quilt Bloggers Week 4 Giveaway!

We are so thankful to our generous sponsors of the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. This week you can enter to win one of four fabulous prizes:

GIVEAWAY Week 4

You can earn up to 6 entries to this giveaway:

Just use the Rafflecopter widget to enter (click on image below to go to the Rafflecopter entry page)! ***Commenting on this post does not make you eligible for the giveaway!***

Click-here-to-Enter-Button-IMG

Giveaway will run from July 20th through June 25th 11:59 pm EST and is open to entrants 18 years or older. Winners will be announced Sunday, July 26th!

For a list of last weeks, winners, please click here.