Friday, June 29, 2018

Quilting Doesn't Happen without a Top


I've finished up another block of the Splendid Sampler 2 this week.

Working on these blocks and sharing them with you may seem outside of my usual work, but ultimately my aim is to encourage you to quilt your own quilts and that can't happen in a vacuum that doesn't consider the blocks and piecing that is being quilted.

Read the rest of this post at my new blog over on the AmyQuilts.com site. Don't forget, this blog will be retired soon and left as an archive. Change your links so you don't miss a thing.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Splendid Sampler 2 Block 1

Today is the launch of the new The Splendid Sampler™ Quilt Along! We begin with 20 Free blocks and then the book comes out and continue making blocks with it. Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson authored this series of books with help from numerous quilt designers and I am delighted to be one of them for the Splendid Sampler II.

Pat and I first crossed paths when she interviewed me for her American Patchwork and Quilting Podcast. You can listen to the episode by clicking through the above link. We later met in person earlier this year where we were both teaching at Quilt Weekend Maysville. She is a hoot and has such a heart for quilters.

The first block was contributed by Alex Veronelli, spokesperson for Aurifil Thread, so you know there's going to be a giveaway involved. Get the download by visiting the Splendid Sampler site as well as other fabulous links and instructions.


Check out his block and the Splendid Sampler Facebook Group! There's all kinds of inspiration there as well as a bit of guidance for fabric selection and how to manage a Quilt Along that releases weekly and continues for nearly a full year!

My version of Alex's block is below....


Alex's block is simple but constructed a little differently than expected so to give you these great angles without fancy rulers. It's a bit like a french braid quilt. These six inch blocks of the SS2 is a bit of a challenge for me as I like to do bigger blocks or wholecloth projects so I can get to the quilting, but it's good exercise for my piecing skills.



I pulled my fat quarters several times for this project! I wanted scrappy, but coordinated. I didn't want anything too matchy-matchy though! Then I kept adding to the project box.


The designers were encouraged to stylize the block background which was a little new for me as I'm prone to just snap a plain pic of a block on a table or design wall. I had to throw in this great charm I found.

I hope you will follow along with me as I work through these blocks. Of course, once I get the top done, I'll share my quilting plan with you. By then, I'm sure I will have switched over to our new website and blog. I have started with a redesign of my current site which you can find at AmyQuilts.com. You'll notice two blogs there as I have listed one short post on the blog already which will eventually replace this one.

How about you? Will you join in the Quilt Along? Have you done the first one? Maybe started once upon a time, but never completed it? Let me know in the comments.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Amy's Quilting Juggling Act

Hard on the heels of teaching at the Janome Education Summit, I've been dabbling in quite a few quilty projects, though only a few or them involved quilting with rulers or ruler work. Click on the above link to read about the summit and links from other fabulous participants.


Janome passed along some photos from the event, so I thought I'd share them with you too. The Summit was my biggest class yet in teaching free motion quilting with rulers. Thank goodness we all had the same machine (Janome 9400), ruler foot and the Janome Ruler Work Kit for our rulers.  That made it a lot easier even though some of our participants hadn't done free motion quilting before.


Here's a great shot of Sarah Ann Smith! It was an honor to have her in class as she's been an inspiration over the years. She totally did her own thing with the project and gave a fabulous write up on the quilting with rulers class segment on her blog.


Have you seen the Jelly Roll Rug yet? Just had to make one of these fun things. I used a jelly roll and two rolls of pre-cut batting strips, but it's an excellent project for using up scraps of batting.


The trick to getting a nice flat rug instead of a ruffled thing my husband said looked like a swimming flounder is to make sure to sew on a large flat surface (pattern gives a suggestion how to set up machine next to a table if you don't have a machine cabinet) and to ease the fabric around the curves. I loved using my Horn cabinet for this.


As soon as I returned from the Summit, I had to get cracking on my shop's Row by Row pattern and project. Row by Row (aka rxr) is like a giant shop hop, all across North America (possibly elsewhere? Unsure) where travelling quilters collect either free patterns or buy the kit from shops. If you are the first to show a finished "row" quilt with 8 patterns from row shops, to a participating shop, you will win a bunch of fabric. It's something really fun to add during your summer travels.


My "row" is actually an 18 inch block as they are allowing different pattern sizes this year. I played with my machine's decorative stitches and a couple of different weights of Aurifil thread on it. I'll write up more about Row by Row closer to the launch date of June 21st. 


I'm really excited about this fabric line by Hope Yoder that we've got in the shop, especially the panel. I decided to order two more bolts of the panel in the thoughts that this might be the basis of my first either Quilt-along, or a new online class. I've got kits for this quilt featuring the panel in the shop right now, but I'll let you know more about what I want to do with it soon. Need to get the additional panels in before I launch something online.


Speaking of hosting a Quilt-along or a new online class, I'm working on two big changes for you  and my business/teaching.

Ever since we bought our bricks and mortar shop, Sew Simple of Lynchburg, I've been neglecting this blog and my video making. I've been scattered in several places online too and it's been quite a juggling act. To make up for my lack of blogging and video making, I've been shooting more live Facebook videos and they certainly helped me feel more connected to you in my online audience, but I've really been spread thin. Live videos are fun and easy to do, but lacking when it comes to organized instruction.

I finally reached out to a pair of mentors of mine and asked them what to do with my websites. I was afraid to hear how bad my sites were as I'm the one who set them all up, so they're a bit amateurish, though fit for my tiny budget. Their advice? It was that I need to condense the various sites into one site if possible and shorten the url. If you've ever heard me struggle in a video to say "I'm Amy from Amy's Free Motion Quilting Adventures," you know they're right!

So....I'll be transitioning everything over to AmyQuilts.com!


I'm excited about the change though it will take a lot of work and a bit of time to get everything moved. If you follow the blog via a feed reader like Bloglovin' or something else, I'll let you know when the blog makes the switch and you'll want to change your settings to the new blog. This blog will stay online, but I won't be adding to it once I make the switch.

Lastly, I'm looking at doing some of my own online classes! These will fit somewhere between the highly scripted classes I did with Craftsy and my very casual, informal Facebook live videos, or even my YouTube videos. This will give me better control over the content I teach and how I teach it. Some classes will be free, others will be paid. All will be full of great information and taught in my laid-back style.

I'm very excited about these changes and I hope you will be too! Let me know your thought in the comments.