Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Congratulations Helen!!!

I used the random number generator to select a winner, and it chose #54, Helen, who said 

"Of course, I would spend the extra hours making quilts for family and young patients in the Pediatric Infusion Therapy Unit (kids chemo) that I have adopted. There never seems to be enough time for quilting. Love the idea of a tea time giveaway - thanks!"

Helen, send me your address so I can get your gifts out to you! Thanks to everyone who participated and I still hope you all get to take a few moments for yourself!!!

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Moda Spell it with Fabric


I'm so happy to post this today because it seems like it has been forever since I've had a finish to show you! This one took me awhile because I kept changing my mind about what colors I wanted to use. When it was all said and done I think I made about 40 letter/blocks, so I have almost enough for a second quilt. I want this quilt to be the one that is on my sofa everyday, so I just quilted it in a wavy line stitch, which makes it soft and drapes really well.

I used the Moda Spell it With Fabric pattern, and at one time it was available for free, but now I can't find the original posts for you, but if you want to purchase it, you can do that here.


Although I had wanted to make this quilt for a while, I was only really inspired to get started during the summer when my daughter and I were spending much of our time reading together. My daughter really struggled with reading, and did not enjoy it at all. It baffled me at first, because she is such a bright child, but it seemed like it was just never clicking for her. For her entire second grade year she went to additional tutoring every day, but not much progress was made, and her reading level was that of an early first grader. Her Lexile score (tests used to determine reading level) was at a 167 and for a beginning 3rd grader it should be at 500--so we had only a few months to get her where she needed to be. I was worrying myself to death about it. It's not that I wanted her to be the smartest kid in school, but I don't want her to lose confidence in herself if she was behind. Mostly, I just wanted her to love reading, because there's so much enjoyment to be found in books.


At the end of the school year, her teacher sent home a recommended summer reading list that were appropriate for her reading level. The list had books like "Clifford the Big Red Dog" and other books that I felt were never going to help her progress. Those books only have about 14 words in them and although they might be appropriate for her reading level, they are not suited for her age level. So I went online and started buying books that I remembered loving at her age. When the books arrived, we started slowly making our way through them. At first it was really slow, but even if we only read a half-page in 20 minutes then I was okay with that. I just wanted her to read enough to where she would fall in love with story, which I hoped would motivate her enough to keep reading. And then it happened. We where reading "The Chocolate Touch" and she thought the story was so funny she didn't want to stop reading! Chapter after chapter we just kept reading, and when I was ready to stop, she finished it on her own.


We read four chapter books over the summer--over 600 pages of words. It might not seem like a lot for some children, but for us, it was a great achievement. When it was time for her to start school again I was so nervous about her next reading-level test and kept pestering her about when they were going to take it. Then, one afternoon, a couple of weeks after school started, she called me at work and said "Mom, I took the test today and I scored a 499!". Well you can imagine, I was ecstatic, and I started crying tears of happiness, and even as I write this tears are springing into my eyes! I am just so proud of her I can hardly stand it, and this quilt will always help me remember this awesome achievement.


I must admit, I imagine her at her high school graduation, standing up at the podium to give the Valedictorian speech, and she says, "...and this would not be possible without the support and guidance of my greatest teacher--my mother."

But my fantasy about the future is broken with the sound of her saying (in real life), "Mom, can you pleeeaase microwave me some bagel bites?"


Have a great week everyone!

Linking up at My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday!

Friday, 24 October 2014

Take Time for Yourself Giveaway

If I could make a wish for something, it would be for a just a few more hours in each day. There never seems to be enough time for everything that needs to get done. Between work, kids, cooking, housework, homework and everything else, my weeks go by in a blur--and I never ever seem to get caught up on anything. I feel like I'm always one step behind trying to play catch-up. If I had just a few more hours then maybe I could get actually fold all the laundry instead of haphazardly launching it into drawers and closets, clean the fabric-explosion in my sewing room, or organize the closets enough so that I wouldn't be afraid of opening the doors. Or maybe I could sleep a little bit longer so I didn't feel like a zombie all day, or I could actually bake the cookies for the school party instead of donating boxes of Little Debbies.

And if I got really lucky maybe I could read a book, or catch-up on the last however-many episodes of Downton Abbey that I've missed, or I could even quilt during daylight hours. That would be pretty amazing.

And I know you probably know exactly how I feel.

So, for this giveaway I wanted to do something for you that will hopefully motivate you to take some time for yourself. If you win you'll get a Cath Kidston Clocks tea cup and saucer, a tin of tea, and Issue 14 of Love Patchwork and Quilting. The giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere, and all you have to do is leave me a comment and tell me

If there were more hours in a day, how would you spend them?

Make sure you leave me an email address if you are a no-reply blogger. Giveaway closes on Monday, Oct 27th and winners will be announced on the 28th. I have a second gift set that I'll be giving away on my instagram, so check me out over there @prettylittlequilts

Good luck, and I wish everyone could win!!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Love Patchwork and Quilting: The Magazine with Heart

If you've been following me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I recently had some super-exciting news to share. Many months ago, I submitted a quilt design to Love Patchwork and Quilting. I was ecstatic to find out that the design was accepted, and then shocked when I found out my quilt made the cover!!

image courtesy of Love Patchwork and Quilting

The funny thing is, the quilt you see in the photos was not even the original quilt design I submitted. This was actually an alternate design I sent to the editor, Jenny Fox-Proverbs, when the first quilt didn't work out. Yes, you heard it right. The first quilt I was supposed to make for them was a total fail and the fact that Jenny even gave me another chance is nothing short of amazing. Later Jenny told me that it was probably all meant to be and I think that she's probably right.

image courtesy of Love Patchwork and Quilting

Originally,  I was supposed to make a lone star quilt with Anna Maria Horner's fabric, Pretty Potent. I made that quilt, and when it was all together I realized something.  IT WAS UGLY. Horrendously ugly. In the planning phases I made a mini version that turned out beautifully, but when all those prints and diamonds were enlarged for the big version it somehow changed and ended up looking like a trashy jungle quilt out of a quilting nightmare. I couldn't send that quilt to them, and my deadline was coming up, and after a few days of panic, I finally emailed Jenny and told her the terrible news. I assumed that my quilting career was over and I would have to shut down my blog and go into hiding, but Jenny did something crazy. She gave me another chance. I'll never understand it.

I heard her say once that she thought of her contributors as her children, and since she's not old enough to be my mother I'll just think of her as my fairy godmother. Because really, she could've let me fall on my face, but she didn't. She was understanding and believed in me, even when I was having a hard time believing in myself. Her and her amazing team walked me through the process with kindness and encouragement and I'll forever be grateful to them. Thank you so much Jenny, Alice and Lin!!

Quilt details: Chevron Snowflake, 80" x 80", Issue 14, Love Patchwork and Quilting

Next week I'll be doing a giveaway with the copy of the magazine and a few other items, but if you want to order one now, you can do that here.