Quilting Resolutions NOT to Make

It is natural to want to make resolutions at the beginning of the year. New Year’s Resolutions and even Birthday Resolutions are always popular. And as quilters, it is natural for us to have some quilting resolutions.

But not all resolutions are created equal. I’m going to share some quilting resolutions NOT to make this year, and why. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments!

Going on a “Fabric Diet”

Better health, including exercise or eating better are common New Year’s Resolutions. Some bring that into the quilting world with a “fabric diet.” This often means abstaining from buying new fabric for a certain period of time.

If sticking to your stash fabrics helps to push you creatively, then by all means push yourself! But if your stash doesn’t inspire you, then there may be better ways to achieve your goals.

If you want to make space on your fabric shelves or in your fabric drawers, and hope that a fabric diet will help you to make room as you sew through your stash, consider a destash instead. Sort through your fabrics, removing any that no longer bring you joy. These might be fabrics that are no longer your style or colors, or even gifted fabric that you just don’t see yourself sewing with. You can sell these fabrics in an online marketplace, or you can donate them to a quilt-making charity. This will create the space you need in your stash, without sewing something you don’t love.

Perhaps you overspent over the holidays, and are choosing a fabric diet as a way to tighten your household budget. Instead of pushing yourself to sew with fabrics you bought years ago and no longer love, you can sell these fabrics online. Then use the money you make from selling your old fabrics to purchase new fabric prints that you’re excited about. This way your old fabric can find a new life in someone else’s stash, and you don’t miss out on a new line from one of your favorite designers!

Finishing Old Projects

We quilters are known for having UFOs. These are Unfinished Objects. Also known as PIGS (Projects in Garbage sacks), PhD (Projects Half Done), or a WIP (Work in Progress). If you have a stack of projects you started and still love, it can feel incredibly satisfying to make a list of these projects, set deadlines, and finish them.

However, if you have old projects that you’re procrastinating on because you no longer love them – it is okay to release them. Finished quilt tops can be donated as charity quilts to be quilted by a longarmer and bound by a volunteer. A stack of quilt blocks can become an inspiration for someone else’s next quilt or sewing project. If you’re struggling to complete it, maybe it isn’t yours to complete. If they are dragging you down, it is okay to allow old quilts to find new life in the hands of someone else. Working on a project you don’t love makes it a WOMBAT (Waste of Money, Batting, and Time).

Sewing every day

Sewing every day could be an excellent New Year’s resolution! Making a daily date for you and your fabric to hang out each day in the New Year sounds incredible. If creating and sticking to a schedule is something that works for you, and you can set aside sewing time each day, then absolutely do it! But, if your life doesn’t allow for this kind of daily time, don’t sweat it. And if you attempt this resolution, be sure to give yourself permission to move on guilt-free if there are days where you can’t find the time to sew. You don’t want your resolution to sew something you love to make you feel guilty or bad in any way.

Don’t buy fabric or a pattern or fabric without a plan

Sometimes you come across a pattern or fabric that really speaks to you. But maybe you don’t have time to work on a new pattern now, or the pattern isn’t the right size for your next project. Maybe that fabric doesn’t work in your current quilt and doesn’t match anything in your stash. With a resolution limiting your purchases to what makes sense, you would have to skip a purchase of this new pattern and new fabric.

But quilting doesn’t have to make sense! Quilting is a hobby where you cut up perfectly good fabric just to sew it back together again. Most of us have at least one family member who doesn’t understand why we do what we do. It is okay to lean in to the nonsense and get that pattern or that fabric with no immediate plan. Sometimes the plan comes later.

What’s Your Quilting Resolution?

As you read through this list, perhaps you let go of a resolution that no longer makes sense. Or maybe you’re holding steadfast to those quilting resolutions. Whatever you choose, I hope you continue to have fun on your quilting journey!

And if you’re looking for a great way to start your Quilty New Year … consider getting your quilting tools cleaned up and ready for a year of sewing!

The Stunner Quilt

When designing this quilt back in October, I remember looking at the layout and thinking to myself “oooh… that’s a stunner.” And that is how this quilt got its name.

The Stunner Quilt is the newest of the Ruler of the Month Quilts. Number 11 in the series, this quilt uses the 45 degree Kaleidoscope Triangle Double Strip Ruler. And yes, that is a mouthful! The ruler itself looks incredibly odd – with three peaks added to the side of what looks like a fairly standard Creative Grids ruler. Which is what drew me to this ruler in the first place. I love quilting oddities! It turned out that this ruler made incredibly complex looking blocks come together very easily. And combined with Sharon Holland’s new fabric line “Kismet,” it truly was the stunner I had hoped for. This quilt feels like laying down in a pile of leaves on a perfect fall day.

You can learn about how to use the 45 Degree Kaleidoscope Triangle Double Strip Ruler here:

Make sure that you have subscribed to my YouTube Channel so you don’t miss any of my quilty videos! I have some really awesome new videos planned!

If you’d like to make the quilt, you can purchase the pattern below in my shop.

I Spy Quilt Book Review

I am so excited to share with you this super fun I spy book! I first heard about this book (that the ladies from On Williams Street wrote) a couple months ago, and when I saw pictures of the blocks, I squealed out loud! When my boys were little I made an i spy quilt with different fabrics I collected and traded – but making an i spy quilt with pieced blocks is such a clever idea! You can absolutely make all the different blocks for a large quilt, or you can pick and choose blocks to make for a special kiddo, such as just the animal blocks for an animal lover.

I was offered a free copy of the book to play with, which of course I said yes to! How fun are these blocks??

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The blocks finish at 4″, which sounds really small. But, once I started sewing them I saw that it really was the perfect size. And they don’t feel small at all. They sew together very quickly, making them a great block-a-day project to do with a group of friends. Gather up some friends who all want to make the quilt, have everyone purchase the book, and then have fun making your way through the book one block at a time.

The book comes with the printable templates you need to make all the blocks. The blocks print two to a page, which is awesome for not wasting your foundation paper.

While the blocks in the book have all been made using solids, you can absolutely pick out fun prints to use in your blocks as well. I was committed to using at least one print in each, and was using mostly fabrics from my scrap bin. It was super fun finding prints that worked for each block.

To make the blocks, or the whole quilt, you will need:

I Spy Book (For 10% off use the coupon code ISPYBLOGHOP – good through Dec 16.)
Foundation Paper for printing the patterns (Quiet Play and Carol Doak both have great foundation papers)
Add-a-quarter ruler in yellow or in pink (and you may want the add-an-eighth ruler for the more detailed blocks)

If you’ve never done foundation paper piecing before, I have a video that will take you through the basics of how Foundation Paper Piecing works. It is such a fun technique for making “non-regular” shaped blocks like this.

Some others got to check out this super fun book as well, and are sharing their thoughts – go see what they have to say!

November 30: Kimie and Missy of On WIlliams Street December 1: Audrey Mann of The Cloth Parcel December 2: Jen Frost of Faith and Fabric December 3: Bea Lee of Bea a Quilter December 4: Sarah Goer of Sarah Goer Quilts December 5: Joanne Harris of Quilts by Joan December 6: Susan Smith of Stitched by Susan December 7: Simone Fisher of Simone Quilts December 8: Lissa LaGreca of Lovingly Lissa December 9: Catalina Barcelo of Amarar Creacions December 10: Laura Strickland of Orange Blossom Quilts December 11: Laura Piland of Slice of Pi Quilts December 12: Carolina Moore of Always Expect Moore December 13: Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis December 14: Kim Niedzwiecki of Go Go Kim

Chained Up Quilt

This super fun “Chained Up” baby quilt is inspired by the Irish Chain design. And, it is made with super-simple four patches. The 4 patches are made two different ways, with the smaller 4 patches being made using the Turbo 4-patch ruler.

I made the Chained Up quilt as this month’s Ruler of the Month pattern. You’ll love how easy it is to make!

To make this quilt, you’ll need the Turbo 4-patch ruler. You can get the Turbo 4-patch at the Fat Quarter Shop or buy the Turbo 4-Patch on Amazon.

I this video, I show you how easy it is to use the Turbo 4-patch ruler. Even if you don’t want to make this quilt, it is a super fun ruler to use when making a scrappy quilt.

You can purchase this pattern in my shop here:

Locked Stocking for Christmas

If you are looking for a fun teen gift, white elephant gift, or just a way to make Christmas morning even more interesting, this Locked Up Stocking is perfect! It has a flap that folds over the top and is then latched in the front and secured with a lock. You can hide the key at the end of a scavenger hunt, in a special box under the tree, on the tree itself, or use the clues included in the pattern (or make your own) for a combination lock!

This pattern is simple to follow, and fairly easy to put together. But, I filmed a video that shows you how it all works. You will still need the pattern for the stocking template, the cuff measurements, and all the clues. But this will help you with the step-by-step sewing.

The stocking has plenty of room for gift cards, stocking stuffers, or even a lump of coal. These stockings are sure to be a hit on Christmas morning!

How to Sew a Pin Cushion

These pin cushions make perfect gifts for friends and family who like to sew. They are quick and easy to make, inexpensive, and can be personalized for each recipient with specific fabrics and buttons!

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The pattern for these pin cushions can be downloaded here for free:

 

Free Pin Cushion Pattern!

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Watch this video to see step-by-step how to make your pin cushion. Make sure that you download the pattern by signing up for my newsletter above. This will provide you with the supply list and basic cutting instructions.

Two very specific supplies that you’ll need when making the pin cushions are buttons and crushed walnut shells. You likely have a button collection (or a friend or family member with a button stash you can raid). But you may want specific buttons for these pin cushions. I purchased these sewing themed buttons from the Annie’s Catalog.

Another important supply in pin cushion making is the filling. Crushed Walnut Shells are excellent pincushion filler. You can find Crushed Walnut shells at the pet store (they are often used in reptile habitats), quilt shops also may carry crushed walnut shells for pin cushion filling. If you’re planning to make a stack of pin cushions as gifts, I found this 15lb bag of crushed walnut shells that will fill 40-45 of these pincushions.

Pocket Advent Calendars

I’m so excited to share with you my new Pocket Advent Calendar Pattern! There are so many things I love about Christmas, and Advent Calendars are absolutely one of them! A little gift every day as we lead up to the big day? Count me in!! I’ve designed two different versions of this Pocket Advent, and included instructions for both in the same pattern. The Wall Hanging Pocket Advent is 22 1/2″ x 28″, with 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ gusseted pockets. The Mini Pocket Advent is 12″ x 12″ and has 3″ x 3″ gusseted pockets. The gussets make the pockets so much roomier to fit in fabulous gifts!

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To make the Pocket Advent Calendar, you’ll need the Creative Grids Strippy Star Tool. This is one of my absolute favorite rulers. It is inexpensive, easy to use, and makes stars in so many sizes – and so easily! The Pocket Advent is at least the fourth time I’ve used the Strippy Star Tool. Get your Strippy Star Tool at the Fat Quarter Shop.

Learn how easy it is to use the Strippy Star Tool in this video:

You can add numbers to your Pocket Advent however you like. You can put tags on the gifts with numbers on them, you can embroider numbers on the pockets, you can cut vinyl numbers with your cutting machine to add them… I chose to use these Tim Holtz Number Charms to add the numbers to my Advent. They already have holes in the top, and were super quick and easy to stitch on.

The 12″ x 12″ Mini Pocket Advent fits perfectly on this 12″ wire frame. This allows you to stand the Mini Pocket Advent on a side table or on the mantel.

My versions of the Pocket Advent Calendar were made using Maureen Cracknell’s “Cozy and Joyful” fabric for Art Gallery Fabrics.

You can purchase the Pocket Advent Calendar here:

The Mini Pocket Advent, it turns out, is perfect for tucking in leftover Halloween Chocolates!

Christmas Gift Block

This Christmas (or holiday) gift block is perfect for any gift-giving occasion. You can change up the colors to make a fun birthday gift pattern or other fun seasonal gift! Make one block for a mini quilt, or several to make a full quilt!

This quilt block is part of Quilt Block Mania – a monthly series where I connect with other quilt pattern designers, and we all share quilt blocks around a theme. This month’s theme is Winter Celebrations … so there are lots of fabulous quilt block patterns! Some designers only offer their pattern free for the first month, so be sure to head over and get your free patterns while they are still free! I have links to all the patterns down below.

Get your free Gifted quilt block pattern by signing up below:

 

Free Quilt Block!

Sign up below to get the free Gifted Quilt Block! You’ll also be added to my weekly e-mail list of awesomeness. You can unsubscribe anytime.

Yay! The link to your download is on its way to your inbox! If you have any problems, please email carolina@carolinamoore.com.

Check out all these other great blocks. Some are only free for a limited time – so get your block patterns now!

Christmas Wreath by Slice of Pi Quilts
Baby Sue’s First Christmas
Celebrate by Inquiring Quilter
Gifts at Always Expect Moore
Snowflakes by Blockofthemodotcom
Gifts of Friendship
Fireworks at duck creek mountain quilting
Wreath & Chain at Stash Bandit
Christmas Star by Michelle Renee Hiatt
Adirondack Mountain Quilt Block
A Present from Penny
Candlelighting at Pretty Piney Quilts
Poinsettia from QuiltFabrication
Harbor Holidays at Blue Bear Quilts
Christmas Cracker at Perkins Dry Goods
Sparkling Spruce at Patti’s Patchwork
Jingle All the Way at Orange Blossom Quilt
Snowflakes & Candy Cane Trees at Quilt Moments
Tower of Gifts by Oh Kaye Quilting
Winter Memories by Carolyn Burgess
Holiday Block by Seams to Be Sew
Ticker Tape Tree at Devoted Quilter
Evergreen by True Blue Quilts
Merry and Bright at Around the Bobbin
Ski Vacation

The Knit Quilt

When I saw the AGF Hooked Fabric collection, I knew I wanted to make a quilt that made reference to fiber crafts beyond quilting. Which is how I came up with the knit quilt. Yes, I know that “hooked” refers to crochet, and that crochet and knitting are two different things. So, this is an imperfect reference. I apologize in advance to any knitters or crocheters who may think that I don’t know the difference. I do. My mom tried to teach me. And while I don’t have any yarn skills, she was able to teach me that there is a difference between knit and crochet.

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This quilt is incredibly easy to make. Only marginally more work than stitching squares together to make a quilt, and so much more impact! This pattern will become your go-to pattern for making baby quilts and comfort quilts. It uses half yard cuts of fabric, and has very little waste. It is quick to cut, and quick to piece. You can make a quilt from start to finish in a day using this pattern. It is that simple!

The Knit Quilt uses the Creative Grids 60 Degree Diamond Mini. You can get yours at your local quilt shop. If you don’t have a local shop, you can buy yours at the Fat Quarter Shop or get your 60 Degree Diamond Mini on Amazon.

In this video, I show you how easy it is to create so many different shapes using this ruler. For a small piece of plexiglass, it sure has a lot of ways to use it!!

The Knit Quilt is a Ruler of the Month Quilt. You can purchase the Knit quilt here:

Make sure to check out all the other Ruler of the Month Quilts.

Showcase Quilt

Today I’m sharing something fun … I did a little pattern testing for Erin at Love Sew Modern. Yes, life around here gets busy, and having two kids at home doing pandemic school hasn’t made my life any less hectic … but I love being able to work with other quilters in the quilting community. Getting to pattern test is an opportunity to “play” in a whole different way. And usually, pattern testing takes a whole lot less time than writing my own pattern … so playing with someone else’s pattern is always a faster way to whip up a quilt!

Erin’s quilt is called the “Showcase” quilt. I made my version in Art Gallery Fabrics Spooky n Sweet. I used one of the panel designs for my center “showcase” block. This quilt is the baby size version of the quilt – perfect to clip up on my wall for Halloween or to throw over the sofa. The pattern comes in other sizes as well. And for those of you asking, the “showcase” design in the middle is seven inches finished – so it is the perfect spot to fussy-cut any favorite large prints that you’ve been hoarding!

I’m still working on getting it quilted … I wanted to do spiderweb quilting on all the background pieces. I did this same quilting on my Halloween Hexie Pillow and got a lot of questions. So, I made a quick video to show you the basics of how to quilt this design.

The baby version of this quilt came together pretty quickly – I had it done in about a day. So, it is a super fun make! Head over to Love Sew Modern to get all the details on the pattern, and to purchase your copy!