Thursday, April 2, 2020

Keeping Busy

Occupying the Mind


I got busy the other day and stacked up some fabrics and other items in the studio for some good old photo therapy.  Always fun to pull items from this corner and that corner and make a nice little header for the website.  I love the kitty peeking out from the one side .... did not realize he would be so fun until I looked at the photos.  Nice surprise there!

Don't Forget About Easter!

Even with all the upheaval in the world we still need to take the time to celebrate the occasions that come along as they happen.  This year, for my husband and myself, Easter will be very different even without the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last Easter my mother-in-law and my father were with us ... this year they won’t be.  We miss them terribly, but I'm glad they are not here to see what is going on in the world right now.

My little Chocolate Bunnies wallhanging, and the bunnies on a stick, are in the dining room, right near where my dad always sat for special suppers.  Special bunnies!

I have received photos from a few gals who have made this pattern ... the color combinations have been wonderful.  Bunnies do not need to be chocolate πŸ˜€!

Quilt Alongs

To keep myself busy .... although really I didn't need any help with that πŸ˜”...... I started two quilt alongs.  In my own defence though, it was so very difficult to see all these announcements coming out and not join one or two.  I was feeling like a nice diversion from computer work would be just the thing to keep my mind occupied.

So I chose the Bonnie Hunter Unity Mystery quilt along to use up scraps and then I chose Melissa's Mystery quilt-a-long to use up some yardage (join Melissa's Facebook page).  I am enjoying both and kudos to both ladies for doing a fabulous job.

Here is the center of the Unity mystery quilt which was the first clue on Monday.  The next clue will be on Monday the 6th.  This mystery quilt is going to be a medallion style quilt so you can see it through to the very end for a big quilt or stop at any round along the way.  I have dragged out scraps from many, many years ago and am pressing and cutting as we go.  It is super fun trying to place all these different colors and prints into some semblance of order.  My color choices are red, blue and gold, plus neutrals ....  but of course, in true scrappy style, the tones are all over the map!  If you are on Instagram it is truly amazing to see how many people are participating and posting their completed center block.  Wow!

Now Melissa's Mystery, using the yardage and only three colors, is a true mystery for me!  I'm wracking my brain trying to think where we are going with these pieces πŸ˜ƒ.  So much fun!
I have had yardage of this green print for years .... always liked the tone of it and the understated print but never used it .... not sure why not.  And then the cream (which isn't showing very well in the photo) felt like the right tone to go with the green.  The third fabric we were to choose was to be a "pop" fabric ... something that really stood out from the other two prints.  I think the orange fits the bill for the pop.

I hope you will follow along with my progress on these two projects and I also hope that you are also doing these or one, two or three of the many that are currently being offered.  If you are on Facebook, Instagram or even just google “quilt alongs” you will find all kinds of other options.  Turn off the news, turn on some quilting videos or a music station (that doesn't have news), and keep your hands and mind busy with creating something .... anything.  It doesn't have to be something that you will use .... it is the process .... you can always donate your quilt to Christmas Cheer or another organization.  Keep busy and be happy!

'til next time,
QB

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Fun Things to Consider

A KEEP BUSY LIST

During this time of isolation it is good to occupy our minds with some mystery quilts and a few free patterns maybe.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been taking notes of some of the interesting places on the web that I have landed on and I thought I would share with everyone πŸ˜€.

I'm looking forward to starting a couple of these and I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Let me know what you think .... are you going to tag along?

Have fun!

Melissa's Mystery Quilt-Along
Three Color Mystery
Starts March 30th
Melissa's Mystery Quilt-Along

Lisa Bongean/Primitive Gatherings
Free Patterns and Tutorials
https://lisabongean.com/free-quilting-patterns/

Bonnie Hunter/Quiltville
Mystery-Medallion Style
Starts March 30th
Unity Quilt Along

Grand Country Quilters
Stay at Home Stitch Along Mystery Quilt - 63” x 81”
Fabric requirements (fat quarters) and cutting instructions were posted March 28th
Another clue next Saturday
Grand Country Quilters

Quilted Twins
Amazing selection of free scrappy patterns (be sure to scroll down)
Quilted Twins
also
Quilted Twins Mystery Quilt
First clue was March 28th
Not applique or a sampler

Lynette Anderson
Free Patterns
Wool, embroidery and traditional

'til next time,
QB

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Scavenger Hunt

COMMUNITY TOGETHERNESS

A local gal posted on Facebook the other day about the organizing of a town-wide scavenger hunt that people could incorporate into their daily walks, bike rides or even their little driving excursions .... all of course ensuring that a safe distance was maintained between individuals.  The scavenger hunt is over a number of days, so there would be no need for clusters of people to go at the same time.

There has been an overwhelming response from the community and many households have participated ..... sports jerseys hung in windows, flamingos on lawns, wreaths on doors, etc. etc. ..... People need to go around and find the items and match them up with the streets that they were found on.

Since I had put a quilt out on Worldwide Quilt Day on March 21st, it really wasn't a stretch for me to do the same for the scavenger hunt.  Just a minute ago we had a mom and her two little boys walk by, stop, and look at the quilt (from the street) and then mark it off on the list that they had printed out.


I LOVE this quilt .... it was a quilt along from 2016 by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings fame and it was called The Magic of Christmas.  This was the first quilt that I made using the starching method and the pieces are REALLY small in some of those blocks.  Blocks finished at 6" x 6".

Yes, you keen eyed quilters out there ..... I know .... it is still a flimsy 😁.... but I'm really stumped on how to machine quilt this little beauty.  You know how it is .... you are really super happy with how your quilt top turned out and you don't want to ruin it by choosing the wrong quilting design?  I will someday make a final decision and get it finished.

The instructions are no longer available for free on the Primitive Gatherings website but I'm sure you could contact them to see if the patterns are available for purchase.  You might not get a response right away as I had received an email yesterday advising that emails and answering phones may all be slowed down for a while.

I thought that this was the perfect quilt for the Scavenger Hunt as it matched the front door perfectly and I wanted to share in the community togetherness.

This is one way of how this small town is keeping people connected.  What other stories of community engagement have you heard about or are doing?  Share your stories .... maybe other communities can incorporate ideas for their own areas - rural and urban.

Thanks to Jen for putting this all together for everyone!

'til next time,
QB

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Chocolate Bunnies!

New Pattern!

It seems to have taken a bit to get this all put together .... a few interruptions with everything that is going on and a bit of a sinus infection that knocked me around for a few days last week.  Not to mention income tax organization and preparation!  Even with the extension to filing dates it just feels right to get it done and move along.  Just trying to keep some semblance of routine with all that is going on around us.

Enough about that though .... I’m so excited to unveil my newest pattern .....

CHOCOLATE BUNNIES!


Last year I started to play around with these little bunnies so it was just a matter of waiting for the perfect fabric colors to come along to finalize the idea I had formed in my brain.  I can now see these little bunnies being used everywhere .... on wreaths, decorating little Easter bags, little swags ... and on and on.  They are so easy to make ... if you don’t like blanket stitch appliquΓ©, do raw edge appliquΓ© and if you don’t like that just glue them on!  Use wool instead of cotton!  So many ideas.


Anybody that knows me, knows that I am not an Easter decorating person.  I'm a Halloween gal through and through 😊.  Somehow this bunny thing took over and the colors of this collection, Regency Sussex, by Christopher Wilson-Tate for Moda, just clicked for me.


The little cotton bunnies in the photos were made a very long time ago .... every once in a while I will trip over the paper templates stuck between pages of a book .... at least I think that is where I saw it last πŸ˜•.  I look at those little arms and ears and I'm shocked to think that I actually had the patience back then to make one .... actually two .... of these little creatures.  Amazing!

The decorated wooden eggs were inherited from my step-mom and they fit nicely with the Chocolate Bunny decor.

PDF patterns are available so that you can purchase, download and start creating right away.  You can definitely make this using scraps that you have on hand .... at least 5"x5" squares are needed for the half square triangles.  Your bunnies can be made in whatever colors your heart desires .... even purple, pinks and blues!

The website has a very limited number of kits available.  The kit includes everything except the fusible web, glue, thread and batting - everything you will need is in the kit .... even those cute little tails.

The website also has a very limited number of the Regency Sussex charm packs on hand which gives you the option to choose your own background, bunnies, backing and border fabric ..... and tails of course πŸ˜€.

The little bunnies on a stick (dowel) are the cutest!  And those little tails πŸ˜‰- yup, that sealed the deal for me ..... I LIKE TO DECORATE FOR EASTER!

Do you decorate for Easter?  Let me know what your favorite decorations are.

On a side note ..... I think I have the commenting option fixed on this blog!  You can comment now .... don't be shy .... say hello!

Here is the link to this week’s newsletter.

'til next time,

QB

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Worldwide Quilting Day - March 21, 2020

FREE SHIPPING UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

on all orders over $50.00

During this unprecedented and concerning time I know that many of us quilters are hunkering down and getting some of our UFOs to the finish line and placed into the stack of "soon to be quilted" pile.

I also know that some people (like me) need more of a distraction during trying times and working on a UFO just doesn't cut it.  A new intriguing project (and new fabric) is sometimes just what I need to kick my mind into creative mode and put my troubles off to the side and my mind into a different zone.
So far this week I have started three new patterns and will be pulling the fabric for those in the next few days and I have participated in a mystery quilt along on Instagram (#pickledpinkmysterydollquilt) by Betsy Chutchian.  I know .... there is pink in there .... I never use pink!  If you are on Instagram pop over and get the instructions .... I learned a couple of new techniques and that is always a good thing πŸ˜€!  If you are not on Instagram let me know and I can give you some direction.


There are so many options out there for us quilters right now ... a quick search on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, quilting blogs and lots and lots of websites offering quilt alongs of all kinds.  Quilters have lots of options for new projects and most of us now have some time to dedicate to our addictive lifestyle.

QuiltBitz is here for you if you need a shipment of fabric, a bit of inspiration, or some help with a project.  Let me know what you need!

Please stay busy and do what you enjoy.

'til next time,
QB

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!

ST. PATRICK'S DAY

SALE!

BLACK AND GREY SELECTIONS

$13.28 PER YARD

(WORKS OUT TO $3.32 PER FAT QUARTER)

FROM MIDNIGHT MARCH 17 TO 11:59 PM MARCH 18 (CST)

TWO DAYS OF SAVINGS!


BY LISA BONGEAN FROM PRIMITIVE GATHERINGS
LAYER CAKES AND YARDAGE AVAILABLE

 

BY BASIC GREY FOR MODA
YARDAGE AVAILABLE

STAY HEALTHY AND HAPPY QUILTING!

'TIL NEXT TIME,
QB

Friday, March 13, 2020

FRIDAY THE 13TH

SALE

On now until 8:00 a.m. CST March 14th.

13% off some of the most popular collections

$13.92/YARD

YARDAGE AND BUNDLES

THAT CALCULATES TO ONLY $3.48 A FAT QUARTER!



INDIGO GATHERINGS

by Lisa Bongean, Primitive Gatherings for Moda



BEST OF DAYS

by Janet Rae Nesbitt, One Sister for Henry Glass fabrics


LANCASTER

 by Jo Morton for Moda


REED'S LEGACY

by Jeanne Horton for Windham fabrics

WINTER WONDERLAND

by Anni Downs for Henry Glass fabrics

Happy shopping and quilting!

(REMEMBER:  arrangements can be made for FREE delivery to Brandon or pickup at the Studio)

'til next time,
QB

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Spring Dreams - FREE PATTERN

SPRING DREAMS - FREE PATTERN!

I'm very excited to share a free pattern with everyone today!

Quite a number of years ago I designed a few patterns for the Moda Bakeshop and this bright, beautiful quilt was one of them.  Over the years the Moda Bakeshop has had to drop some of the patterns to make room for all the new ones that they add.

I have been contacted by a few people that have seen this photo and were not able to find the pattern anymore . . . 

So here it is!


Click on SPRING DREAMS - FREE up at the top of this page and then click on the arrow in the upper right corner of the document to expand it into a printable PDF so that you can make it too.  Enjoy this beautiful free pattern.


Over the years I have received photos from all over the world from people who have made this bright quilt.  I love seeing these photos!  So if you do make this, or even just a table runner or smaller quilt, please send me a photo - I can't wait to see what fabrics and buttons you use πŸ˜€.

Have fun with it and keep dreaming of an early Spring!

'til next time,

QB
Thank you for supporting small business.


Thursday, March 5, 2020

Anna's Stars Update

Quilting Done ..... Binding is Next!

I have finally completed the machine quilting on the little Anna's Stars quilt and I'm pleasantly pleased with the results.


I have started watching machine quilting videos while I am quilting in the studio ..... my machine just happens to be facing towards the computer monitor and I can have the Youtube videos set to play and play and play.

So I was watching a few of these videos last week as I was meandering the body of the quilt and I thought that I should try and break out of my "always meandering" habit.  You know the one where you just can't put the effort into thinking about how to do something new and what would really fit into that space conversation that you have with yourself.  Plus it takes time to figure it all out and you could be done meandering in the time it takes you to plan and plot what to do.

But .... I did it!  I plotted .... I planned (just a little) .... AND I DID IT!!!! I broke away from the meandering 😁.


Not only did I break away from the meandering, as you can see in the above photo, I also stitched in the ditch (which I never do), I did little bow ties in the one border and I did wishbones in the outer border.  


BUT, and this is very important, I made sure that I used thread that blended really, really well on the front of the quilt and also on the back of the quilt so that everything looks fantastic .... at least to me!

So, let me be a lesson to everyone that is scared to branch out from the meander ---- you can DO IT!!!  I'm proud of myself for the moment πŸ˜†πŸ˜†, at least until I have the next quilt under the needle and I'm faced with a whole new blank canvas to work on 😲.

'til next time,
QB

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Oh, Deer, It’s Turkey Tuesday!

Deer and Turkeys

Doesn’t seem to matter what time of day it is we can glance out the window and see all kinds of wildlife walking down the street.




The girls like to watch the goings on but never seem to get too excited.  They have seen this type of activity ever since they were babies .... so nothing new for them.




I may be seeing a bit more of this wildlife in the next week ... hubby is installing my new wall cabinets in the studio and I will be moving into the dining room for a few days.  Income tax, pattern writing and binding are all on my list of to-dos while I’m banned from the studio.

No sewing for me for a bit .... how about you gals .... what are you working on?  Income tax done πŸ₯΄?

‘Til next time,
Marlene 



Friday, February 28, 2020

LEAP DAY SAVINGS!

Isn'  this awesome ..... an extra day for shopping and quilting πŸ˜† .... a special day for sure!


February 29th from 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM (CST)

QuiltBitz is celebrating with ......

29%, 20% AND 15% DISCOUNTS!

Signup for the Newsletter to see all future specials

Happy Leap Day to everyone and a special happy birthday greeting to anyone celebrating a birthday on February 29th.

‘Til next time
QB

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Anna's Stars Quilt Along - Week Six

ANNA'S STARS QUILT ALONG

FINAL WEEK

Well, here we are at week #6 - the final week of the Anna's Stars Quilt Along.  I hope that the six weeks has been happy and productive for you.  If you have had some life interruptions that have waylaid you a bit, don't fret - these posts are all listed up at the top of this page and you can access them anytime you need to.  Remember to post photos over on Instagram and also in the comments on the blog.  We would all love to see your progress!

For those that are just joining us for the first time on this post .... 

The pattern, the fabric bundles and the kits for Anna's Stars are on sale on the website until Sunday, February 23rd.  If you are interested in making this project or know of someone who would, please link over to the website and have a look around.

* * * * * 

Now, let's continue with finishing this little cutie!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

My Quilting Directors

National Love Your Pet Day!

I would like to introduce one of my creative directors .... meet Tia Maria.

Tia is five years old and is a beautiful Bengal .... maybe just a bit on the “tubby” side but such a big pussy cat 🐱.  Tia is in charge of my time management .... she ensures that I get up early EVERY morning -  usually around 5:00 a.m. .... sometimes 5:30 ....... way too early in my opinion but there is no arguing with her.


Whiskey is my very loving director of operations (she is a little camera shy 😞).


Whiskey is a beautiful, tall, and lean seven year old Bengal ..... Tia and her had the same Mom but different daddies.  Both girls enjoy the job of quilt quality control πŸ˜€.... although they are not allowed out in the studio (located in our backyard) ...... they only inspect the quilts that come into the house.

These two directors keep us on our toes and make our days very interesting - we wouldn't have it any other way!

We don't need a special day to love our girls 😊, and we love them to bitz every day!

Do you have directors in your sewing room?

'til next time,
QB




Saturday, February 15, 2020

Free Shipping!


FREE SHIPPING!

AND FREE PATTERN

USE CODE:
FREE2DAY

Sorry folks ..... we got a little busy yesterday and forgot to get this posted .... but you still have a few hours to get in on the free shipping.

HAPPY SHOPPING UNTIL

MIDNIGHT TONIGHT - FEBRUARY 15, 2020 (CST)



Anna's Stars Quilt Along - Week Five

Anna's Stars Quilt Along - Week Five

Wow.  Here we are at week #5 already!  How is everyone holding up?  Are you ready to show us your pretty stack of blocks ... we don't judge here .... remember I'm only showing you my good ones πŸ˜‰- I've got little ones hidden away underneath the stack that are not all that pretty.  A little uneven here and a few seams that could have been readjusted ... but I'm happy with my progress.  I hope you are happy with your progress also!


This week we are going to take all of our "G", "F" and "H" background pieces and the little "I" print pieces and get everything sorted out on the floor, the design wall, or wherever you lay out your quilts to admire, fine-tune and arrange.


I use a combination of my design wall, floor and cutting table depending on which sections of the quilt I am working on.  The photo below shows all of the pieces arranged on the design wall.  This is where I audition where I decide where everything will go and get a really good idea of how things are going to fit together.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Lancaster is Here!

Lancaster

This was such a wonderful box to unpack!

Beautiful yardage and jelly rolls by Jo Morton for Moda.



 Bundles, jelly rolls and yardage are now ready on the website!


What type of project does this inspire you to make next?

Drop me a comment and let everyone know what you would plan for this beautiful line of fabric . . . we can inspire each other!  I am thinking something Primitive Fall or Halloween related πŸ˜€..... I'm seeing crows and pumpkins .....

'til next time,
QB


Saturday, February 8, 2020

Anna's Stars Quilt Along - Week Four

Anna's Stars Quilt Along - Week Four

This is the week that we get to sew all those pieces into beautiful little blocks!  They are so sweet!

Starching them has given them a really nice crisp look and they feel like little pieces of cardboard .... well maybe not that crisp 😊.   Just crisp cute.


This was the perfect time for me to use my little design board that I made using this tutorial Bee In My Bonnet.  I can arrange my thirteen blocks on the design wall or the floor and then transfer one block over to the little board to carry over to the sewing machine. There are also directions for making a larger design board that will hold about six of these little blocks - very handy!

Friday, February 7, 2020

Country Charm Tablerunner - Free Pattern

Country Charm Tablerunner

This little project was designed back in 2006 as a freebie to say thanks to all of my business supporters and I wanted to pull it into the present to say a big THANK YOU to all of my new customers as well.

This tablerunner is the cutest!!  You can use 2.5” scraps or pick up one of those little mini charm packs by Moda.  I have some new ones coming in soon so you might want to wait until you see them before making this project.  Although, over the years I know I have made this one a good six or seven times, so be prepared to make more than one!

Like I said this is perfect for scraps, goes together really quick and makes a perfect gift whether it is for Halloween, Easter, Christmas or just because.  The embellishing with the buttons or appliquΓ© makes each tablerunner unique and so much fun to make.

Enjoy.

Your support of my small business is very much appreciated.  Thank you!

Be sure to check the website often as there is new stock being added all the time.  Also make sure and sign up for the newsletter (at the bottom of the homepage) to keep up on what is new!

‘Til next time,
QB

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Finally!

ONE UFO IS DONE!

What with everything going on in January .... family, business, etc., etc., ..... it has been very difficult to find some sewing time for myself, but finally I have a completed project!

Oh, what a feeling!!!

I have an embarrassing stack of quilt tops that need to be quilted .... it looks like I chose the smallest one to complete and that is true πŸ˜–.  Start small and work towards the big stuff is my philosophy.


This little 20" x 20" quilt is by the Red Button Quilt Co. (see the red button!) ... and is called Minnesota Flurries.  I purchased this as a kit at Quilt Market in 2015 and have been working away at it for FIVE years πŸ˜’.

I LOVE kits .... everything is at your fingertips when you need it .... right down to all those snowflake buttons!


Someone slept through all the excitement .... I wish I could close my eyes and sleep as soundly as Whiskey does.

How many UFOs have you finished this year?
'til next time,

QB