Monday, December 24, 2012

Scrappy Days Are Here Again... and a Ton of Stuff!!!

Hi Everyone! Just wanted to let you know what I have been up to over the last couple of weeks. I also still haven't announced the winners of my last two giveaways (here and here). They were contacted the next day and both have already received their respective prizes.

Barbara from Cat Patches won the fat quarter bundles:

Gabriele from Gabriele's Boutique won the Holly Jolly Christmas fabric assortment:

This also brings me to an important point. Gabriele was NOT a no reply blogger, but her email on her profile was out of date and kept bouncing back to me. I was able still to click through to her blog and find her Facebook page where I left a message on her wall. Sometimes it's really easy to find the person even if you do not have their email. I wanted her to get her prize and I wanted her to know that her email was bad! She did not realize it and was probably missing out on giveaways that she had previously won.

As a segue, I also wanted to point out that if you link Google+ to your blogger profile, it will make you automatically a no reply blogger!!!!! But... and most people don't realize this, your name in your profile and in the comment (if the blogger receives the no reply email) is linked to your Google+ page where the person having a giveaway can obviously contact you. It's just not by email.

Anyway, on with the show. First off, happy holidays to everyone!

I just wanted to let you know what I have been up to. Here we go:

Work in progress: I have been sewing these 320 hexagons on the train while I commute back and forth to work everyday. It's finally coming together, but I have quite a bit of whip stitching left to do. I did it in blocks and now I am just sewing the blocks together. Oh my, the people I get asking questions all the time!

90% of the fabric comes from my very first giveaway win from about a year ago. I haven't decided what to do with the charms yet. I have been working on it since about June of 2011, and I sew on it some everyday pretty much (every work day). And, if you can believe this, I have not blogged about these hexies at all. I know you all got tired of hearing about hexies the last time!!!

Work in Progress: I have started my first rag quilt. It is all owls mostly. They had a great sale on flannels at Joann's. I still have tons left over too. I am going to alternate the prints so they form diagonals (matching) across the quilt. I am coordinating the solids as shown in the picture. The solids will be on the back. 

Finished: This table runner is finished. I made a nice simple nine patch block with HSTs. I used scraps and leftover fabrics from my stash. This was the first one I had ever made :)

This is the back.

Here it is loaded an ready on the machine. I haven't decided yet if it was worth the trouble to load it on the long arm since I know I could have done it FMQ on my home machine. I did enjoy using the machine for the third time though.

Work in progress: This one is my first truly scrappy quilt. I literally hit the bucket to find anything that would make a 5.5 inch square. It's mostly random, but I still tried to make sure there were no similar squares too close to each other. It is really going together fast!!!

Well, if you made it this far, I wanted to let you all know that I have a new sponsor. I'm not doing a giveaway yet, but if you would like to stop by and see Nicole at 1 Choice 4 Quilting her button is at the end of this post and at the top of the right side bar. The store has an awesome selection and I am pleased with their shipping rates. $2.95 for orders under $10. $4.95 for orders $10-50 and anything over $50 ships free!!!

Also, my Facebook page has been really hopping since the last two giveaways. If you haven't liked The Amateur Quilter yet you should. I always try to share any useful or interesting blog posts I read as well as any giveaways I come across.

This week I am going to link up at Richard and Tanya Quilts Link a Finish Friday and Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesdays!

Enjoy your holidays!

Until next time!


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Monday, December 3, 2012

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!!!

Hi everyone! Just wanted to let you know that it is time for Sew Mama Sew's semi-annual giveaway day. Hundreds of bloggers will be participating including myself! I know, I already have a giveaway going on right now! But, I did not realize it would coincide with SMS's! Sew, I am having another! And, I'm giving away a nice load of leftovers from the two Christmas quilts I made. That's right, including 3/4 of a yard of each of the mouth watering boot fabrics (Holly Jolly, Robert Kaufman). In total I have about 2 1/2 yards of fabric here:

I blogged about these quilts here in case you want to take a peek at how I used the fabrics:

1. Christmas in New Jersey

Feel free to enter my already going giveaway (the number 2 link above).

So what do you have to do to win? I've been trying to build up my Facebook page, so all you have to do is like The Amateur Quilter on Facebook and leave a comment telling me you did or that you already have. In the SAME comment if you want to also tell me your favorite color or type of fabric, I might be inclined to throw in another nugget of fabric. I've been known to do that :) For example, "I liked your facebook page, and I love fun prints and the color green!"

The giveaways will be open until Friday, December 7, 8 p.m. EST. I will ship internationally :)

Until next time,


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Friday, November 30, 2012

It's finished! Christmas in New Jersey (part 3)

Don't forget to enter my giveaway from my last post. I was also thinking of having another on Monday since it is Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

Anyway, here's the finish:

 The top
 The back

This is the first quilt I finished on the new long arm :)

I learned a few things too. Make sure you have plenty of extra batting and backing fabric on the sides. If you don't, then you get too close to the clips and it makes it difficult. Also, if you have extra, it makes it so you can have an area to test on. 

Also, I used the King Tut beige colored cotton thread that came with the machine. I don't usually use cotton thread, except hand quilting thread which I use to sew hexagons together. I'm also faithful to Gutermann brand thread. 

Does anyone have any experiences with long arm quilting and cotton vs. polyester, or what are good brands (and value)? I did notice that the bobbin and needle area get loaded with lint buildup. That is definitely a downside to cotton.

Well, I have to get back to finishing the twin sister quilt to this one.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway. I will probably have another one Monday. I am thinking of giving away some leftover Christmas fabrics, including the fabulous Robert Kaufman boot fabric that everyone keeps asking about!

Until next time,


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Friday, November 23, 2012

I'm here. I'm alive. I'm having a giveaway! Christmas in New Jersey (part 2)

I know it's been almost 2 months since my last post "Christmas in New Jersey." You can probably figure out why. We were bombarded by Aunt Hurricane Sandy. Well, we got power back about 2 weeks ago and we got internet last week! We were very happy about that! I thought maybe it is time to start sharing again :) I've been working on the twin sister Christmas quilt with the boot fabric. I have finished the top:

I've also been working on the back:

It's mostly fabrics that were given to me and I was only trying to just sew a bunch of fat quarters together to make it. The twin sister boot Christmas quilt is a gift for some very good friends of mine. The backing fabrics were some leftover scraps from a mutual friend that lives in Massachusetts. She likes to sew, but doesn't quilt. So, I thought it was appropriate to put her fabrics on the back and give it to our friends.

On another note, I have not been honest with everyone. I have been hiding a very important piece of information. In September I went to a quilt show in Pennsylvania. I bought a long arm quilting machine :) It was supposed to arrive during the hurricane. It's now arriving on Sunday (after Thanksgiving). I'm stoked. I love quilting on my home machine, but as you all know, I work too much and have very little time to sew. So, now I have a great time saver (and muscle saver), especially since most of my projects are larger quilts. I will still be creating my own quilting designs (I did not get the automatic/computerized thing). I already have these 2 Christmas quilts in the "almost ready to quilt" stage, so they will be my firsts.

I've decided to have a giveaway too. I was waiting until I had 200 followers, but I figured "why not just go ahead?" I'm alive, still here, the sewing machine has power now :) I am giving away a couple of bundles of fat quarters, 10 in all. They are not your fancy "quilting quality" fabrics. They are just some that I picked up at Joann's (my LQS). I hope you like them. I don't have sponsors, so I paid for them with my hard earned money :)

I took the ribbons off so you could see the prints. I will put them back on before I send them.

So, what do you have to do to try to win them, you ask?

Sign up for "following by email" in the upper right hand corner of my blog. That's it. If you are already signed up, you're entered.

If you want to leave a comment, that's up to you. I love them. In fact, if you leave a comment telling me what your favorite color/type of print fabric is, I might throw something else in the package :) For example, "I like green and I like medium to large prints" or "I like blue and anything solid or with a small print." You don't have to leave a comment. It will just possibly add to the prize.

Also, I am excluding my close friends and family that already follow me through email. But all you quilt bloggers out there. Don't fret. We may be online friends, but you are still in the game :)

The giveaway is open internationally. (Thank you to all I have won that was shipped that way.) You also have 2 weeks: it ends Friday December 7th (east coast time) at midnight.

I'm linking up at Richard and Tanya Quilts link a finish Friday. Hope you all are having a wonderful holiday weekend!


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Friday, October 5, 2012

Christmas in New Jersey

Well, I have time for a quick post. I've been working on two Christmas quilts lately. This week I finished the top for one of them (sans borders).

Several people have asked about the boot fabric. It's Robert Kaufman's Holly Jolly. My Aunt saw it and she knows I like cowboy stuff. She sent me two yards in the mail by surprise! :) It also comes with a natural cream background as opposed to black. I bought some of the cream fabric with the boots for the second quilt. It was only about $7.50 a yard on They were also out of the black last I looked.

I made the design myself using EQ5. I'm going to link up at Link a Finish Friday at Richard and Tanya Quilts.

Happy Friday everyone!

Until next time,


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Friday, September 28, 2012

Men Quilt Too!!! and LAFF (Link a Finish Friday)!!!

Well, I was saving this for the Men Quilt Too competition, but it was cancelled this year :( Although, they are having a linky party for the guys who still want to participate (also a button on the right at the top). The rules were that it had to be new and "unshared." So, I had been holding it in all this time!!!

I won the fabric from Cotton Blossom Farm on the Quilt Story Blog (Heather & Megan). It was a Bungle Jungle 12 fat quarter pack. I decided to make a baby quilt out of it. I know of a few babies coming up in the family :) I just fired up my EQ5 (I know the un-user-friendly version), and put a basic block together then just randomly placed the fabrics where I thought they should go ;)

There were so many medium to large prints, that I thought it would be a shame to cut them up into small pieces. I also wanted to make the Elephants look like they were travelling across :) I did a little fussy cut on those.

 Working on the back (on the right).

Spray basting.

I used some Timeless Treasures bumble bee fabric that I had in my stash. There were not enough leftovers to make the entire back.

I also had to add a border for which I used a Kona Cotton Solid (Avocado???). I can never remember what the color names are after I wash the fabric and put away the receipt :(

The finished back. (Dresdens on the left for Craftsy BOM. Marbled Fabric that I won on the right.)

The grey fabric had loopy lines in it, so I used a loopy FMQ all over with a Gutermann light yellow polyester thread.

It finished out at 36" x 48". I finished it a couple of weeks ago, all in a weekend. I still have to put a name and a date for the baby on there, but I don't know that yet!

So I just want to say thank you to Cotton Blossom Farm for the bundle, Quilt Story for hosting and Thearica at Pigtales and Quilts for hosting Men Quilt Too!!!

I will be linking up at LAFF (Link a Finish Friday) and Richard and Tanya Quilts (this week) and, on October 15, 2012 when the linky party starts for Men Quilt Too!!!


Until next time,


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Friday, September 21, 2012

BOMs Away!!! & Link a Finish Friday!

Well, it's been a couple a weeks but I finished a few more of the Block of the Months. Maybe eventually I will be making the blocks during the month in which they were intended to be made :)

The theme for the Craftsy Block of the Month in July was Dresdens, so here you go:

 First time I've ever made a Dresden plate. Left is traditional, right is modern version.

 Me appliqueing with a zigzag stitch for the first time. Good thing you can't see the closeup. It's pretty bad.
Let me know if you have any suggestions for zigzag stitch on applique.

Chain piecing the Dresdens and thought it looked cool! I won the EZ Dresden tool from Barbie and the Quilting Mill awhile back. It really saves you time and is EZ to use :) especially with my rotating cutting mat!

And now on to the Quilt Story Block of the Month for which the theme was simply "rounded."

So I said, let's just make another Dresden plate!!! It's round, why not? Then on the right, you can see I got little play happy with the EZ Drezden ruler and just started randomly sewing them together. For the applique on that one, I did a really tight zigzag so it looks shiny (and uses lots of thread). It was a raw edge, so I wanted it covered. No one ever really taught me the best way to applique, so I will take tips or tricks. I have been using my 505 spray to stabilize. I noticed though that the tighter the stitch it seems to kind of "shrink" your block, like it is slightly puckering up the background fabric as you stitch. Is there a way to avoid that? I suppose I would have made the purple background a bit bigger had I known, then squared off the block to 12.5" Now I will have to remember on that block to do less than 1/4 inch on the seam when I sew the blocks together. Oh well.

I also wanted to mention that the purple thread on the applique I won from Craft Nurse Quilt as part of Kelie's giveaway package.

Happy Friday everyone!

Until next time,


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