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!

Baby Lock Sashiko Machine Unboxing

I’m super excited to share with you my latest toy! When I create my Christmas Wish List, I often put impractical items. To me, a wish list isn’t a shopping list for people wanting to find me a gift, it is a chance to dream about all the toys that I’d love to own someday. And I’m not disappointed when I don’t get these things … because dreaming is fun, too! When I added the Baby Lock Sashiko machine to my wish list, it was a fun dream. I hoped to own one someday. But I had no idea that someday would be December 25th!

If you’re not familiar with the Baby Lock Sashiko machine, it is a very specialty machine. It isn’t designed to do piecework. It is designed to make Sashiko stitches by machine.

Traditionally, Sashiko is hand stitching. You may be familiar with white stitches on indigo colored cloth in geometric designs. The Baby Lock Sashiko machine makes stitches that look like these hand stitches – with a stitch, and then a space, and then a stitch, and then a space – without the time and patience needed for handwork.

I’ve already started playing with my new machine, and was able to take this quilt top from finished top to finished quilt in just one night!

You can see that from the top it looks hand quilted. Because I used Cuddle fabric for the back, you can’t see the stitching from the back of the quilt. If you could, you’d see that it looks like a single line of stitching.

Also unique to the Sashiko machine is that it doesn’t use a top and bottom thread. It only uses a bobbin thread to make these specialty stitches.

I have lots more playing to do with this machine – you’ll be seeing more about it here for sure!

You can use this affiliate link to see more about the Baby Lock Sashiko Machine, but you’ll want to contact your local Baby Lock dealer about pricing and to try one out in-store.

Best Gifts for Quilters

If you’ve got a quilter in your life, and you’re looking for a gift to give them for a holiday, birthday, or just because … I’ve got you covered! I’ve sorted these gifts into different categories to help you out, and if I’ve been able to find the gift in multiple places, I’m giving you multiple links so that you can compare price and shipping options.

This post contains affiliate links which provide a small commission to this site when you purchase through these links.

If you’re more of a home-shopping-network type shopper, I’ve shared many of these gift ideas in this video, in which I give you a more detailed look at many of these items.

Let’s get started on all the links!

Best Splurge Gifts for Quilters

If you have an extra special quilter in your life, or you’re feeling super generous this year, these spurge gifts are always appreciated! Quilters are known for our generosity in giving away quilts, and we often feel guilty for spending big dollars on ourselves. Treat your quilter with something from this list!

Sewing Machine – I love Baby Lock machines. They are easy to care for, and high quality. For a beginner, or a quilter who wants a machine for travel, the Baby Lock Jubilant is a great choice. You may want to check out Baby Lock’s Embroidery Machines for a quilter who wants to step up their game. I’ve added the Baby Lock Sashiko machine to my wishlist this year – it is a specialty machine just for quilting, but gives a hand-quilted look for a lot less work!

Accuquilt Go! Cutter. Accuquilt is a cutting machine designed specifically for quilters. They have so many different specialty quilting dies designed to make cutting fabric easier and more accurate. So that quilters can get to their favorite part – the sewing! The Accuquilt Go! Me is great for someone starting out. However, if you have a serious quilter on your hands, the Ready Set Go! Cutting System is an awesome splurge. Accuquilt does an amazing job of offering free patterns that compliment their dies, so this is really an investment that pays off in the long run.

Oliso Iron. Oliso is a well known brand in the quilting world. While the price point of an Oliso iron makes it a splurge, it is a high-quality iron that will last your quilter for years and years! It gets beautifully hot and makes great steam – though it can be used without steam for a steam-less quilter. Pair it with a wool pressing mat and a hot iron rest for a very thoughtful gift.

Creative Grids Stripology XL Ruler. Splurge on the big one! This ruler cuts strips, squares, squares up blocks, and more. It is a huge time saver and such a fun ruler! And yes – I absolutely own one of these!

Gifts Every Quilter will Love

These gifts won’t be as big of a splurge as the items on the list above, but any of these would absolutely be appreciated by a quilter.

Gift Card to their local Quilt shop
Oliso Mini Iron – available in four colors!
Wool Pressing Mat (also available here) (and available here)
Spot on Dot (also available here)
Creative Grids Specialty Rulers – Creative Grids has tons of specialty rulers! My favorites are the Strippy Star, Curvy Log Cabin, and Kitty Cornered rulers.
Plan to Quilt – this great book will help a quilter track their projects – use code MOORE for 10% off!

Best Gifts for a New Quilter

For someone just starting out, these gifts will be appreciated!

Gift Card to their local Quilt shop
Cutting Mat
Rotary Cutter – the Olfa Splash is my favorite (also available here) (find it here in pink)
Replacement 45mm Rotary Blades (also available here) (also available here)
Good Scissors (also available for left-handed quilters)
Replacement Sewing Machine Needles (these are also a good option)
Good Thread – Madiera is what I’ve been using.
Good Quality fabric – if you don’t know their favorite fabric designer, you can’t go wrong with AGF Elements in their favorite colors.
Good Rulers – this Creative Grids Quilting Ruler and Creative Grids Square are great for beginners.
Machine cleaning set

Best Stocking Stuffers for Quilters

If you’re looking to fill a quilter’s stocking, or you’re looking for a great gift to give a friend, these small gifts go a long way! And, if you’re a quilter yourself, make sure to add one to your cart for you as well! For a fun surprise, you can tuck the gift into a locked stocking made with my locked stocking pattern!

Mini Wool Pressing Mat
Spot on Dot (also available here)
(or the Spot on Dot Single Dot)

Mini Creative Grids Ruler
Creative Grids Seam Guide
Alphabitties
Seam Roller
Pin Points enamel pins for Quilters and Fiber Artists
“Handmade” hardware
Thread cutter caddy (also available here)

Hot Iron Rest (also available here)
Dritz Number pins (also available here)
Clover Wonder Clips
Scissors Mug
Perfect Pincushion
Purple Thang (also available here) (and here too)
Madiera Thread
Stash and Store (also available here)
Olfa Splash rotary cutter (also available here) (find it here in pink)
Machine cleaning set
Mini Scissors – there are so many awesome mini scissors, and one can never have enough! I have a small collection going, and always want more! Here are some fun options:
* Covered Scissors
* Wood Handled Mini Scissors
* Mini Heirloom Scissors
* Gold Unicorn Scissors
* Rainbow Unicorn Scissors
* Cat Embroidery Scissors
* Bronze Warm Crochet Scissors
* Pink Flamingo Scissors
* Christmas Themed Scissors

Gifts that are Sewing Themed

Bee in my Bonnet Puzzle
Thimble Blossoms Puzzle
Festival of Quilts Puzzle
Pin Points enamel pins for Quilters and Fiber Artists
Password Keeper (also available here)
Smartphone Lounger
Scissors Mug
“Quilt” Popsockets
Quilt Calendar

Family Crest Quilt Block

I’m so excited to share this Family Crest Quilt block with you! This is such a simple block to make. Yes, it does have two curved units in there – but they are really not hard to make at all (I promise!). This free family crest quilt block is for this month’s Quilt Block Mania, where the theme is “family.” There are a couple dozen other quilters who are sharing family-themed quilt blocks as well. Be sure to scroll down to check out all the other family themed quilt blocks!

I know some people have heard the vicious rumor that sewing curves is hard. I want to show you how easy it is to sew curved quilt blocks, so I made this video to show you how … click the link to watch the video!

https://youtu.be/BNwqcJ72qoY

This quilt pattern is a free download for anyone signed up for my email list. Sign up below to get added, and I’ll send you the download link to get your pattern!

 

Free Quilt Block!

Sign up below to get the free Family Crest 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.

About 3% of people have trouble getting added to the email list. If you don’t get the email right away (and you’ve checked your spam and promotions folders), let me know – carolina@carolinamoore.com.

As I mentioned, there are other quilt pattern designers who have designed family-themed quilt blocks. Check out all these other fun Family themed quilt blocks – some are free indefinitely, but some are free for a limited time only, so get them while you can!

Warming by the Fire
Paper Chain Family at Slice of Pi Quilts
Family is Love
Family Quote Pineapple Block by Blockofthemodotcom
Family Pumpkin Pickin’ Day
Family Crest at Always Expect Moore
Old Rocking Chair at Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Love@Home at Stash Bandit
Sisterhood by Michelle Renee Hiatt
Glimpse of Home at Scrapdash
We Are Family by Heidi Pridemore
Family Trees at Pretty Piney Quilts
Family is the Heart of Home by QuiltFabrication
Gathering by Blue Bear Quilts
Sister’s Choice at Perkins Dry Goods
Every Family Has One at Patti’s Patchwork
Orange Blossom Quilt
Wonky Nesting Hearts
Family Photo Block
Celtic Trinity Knot by Appliqués Quilts and More
Scarecrow
Family Ring at Devoted Quilter
Tartan Block at True Blue Quilts
FindSewingStuff.com
Flying Geese Family by Tacy Gray
Family Heart by Amarar Cracions

Find Balance Quilt

I’m so excited to share with you my newest quilt – the Find Balance Quilt!

This quilt is super fun and modern. I can’t wait to free motion quilt all the fabulous negative space in the Finding Balance Quilt. It is made using traditional piecing, fussy-cutting of the bottom units, and the Creative Grids Square on Square 6″ Trim Tool for making the Square in a Square blocks. If you’ve never used this ruler, I have a video that shows you exactly how it works!

I encourage you to purchase your ruler and other quilting supplies at your local quilt shop. However, if you need to purchase online, here are affiliate links which give me a small commission when you make purchases by clicking these affiliate links. You can purchase the Square on Square 6″ Trim Tool at Fat Quarter shop or you can buy your Square on Square 6″ Trim Tool on Amazon.

I also show my Spot on Dot in the video. Fat Quarter Shop Sells the Spot on Dot here.

You can purchase the Find Balance Quilt here:

Introducing QuiltMath!

I invented QuiltMath – an easy way to calculate yardage requirements for quilts… that doesn’t actually require any math! Use the simple QuiltMath Pages to easily see how much yardage you need to create your quilt designs.

I have been quilting over half my life. And while I do love a good pattern, I also love creating my own designs. Sometimes, pulling out the graph paper and colored pencils is just the best way to get creative. But then having to calculate the yardage requirements is the worst. And when I want to make the project with my stash, having to re-calculate and re-calculate to figure out how to make it work with the fabric I have on hand is enough to make me give up!

That’s why I created QuiltMath. A simple way to figure fabric yardages without using a calculator.

You can watch this quick video that shows you how it works:

Or, if you’re not into watching a video, here are the basics:

First, draw your design. As you create your design, figure out the scale of your quilt – how large will each block be.

Once you have your quilt sketched out, count how many squares and half-square triangles there are of each color.

Using the chart, find the finished size of each block along the top, and the number needed along the left. Using your fingers, follow where that column and row meet up. Here you will find the yardage needed for that color.

Repeat for each color in your quilt, and then you’re ready to buy your fabric!

If you’re working from stash fabrics, and discover that you don’t have enough of one of the fabrics, you can easily re-color some of your units to use another fabric, or you can change the scale of your quilt – making the blocks smaller will use less fabric.

It is important to note that the yardage requirements are exact. This means that if you’re purchasing yardage at a quilt shop, you’ll want to buy at least 1/4 yard extra to make sure that you have enough fabric for squaring up. If you tend to mis-cut, you may want to buy a little more. After all, having too much fabric is never a problem – it is running out of fabric that is the issue!

You can get your QuiltMath sheets at QuiltMath.com, or scroll down!

If you want to get your QuiltMath sheets, you can click the “add to cart” button below:

Announcing the Quilty 5k!

I am super excited to announce a new quilting series that I’m starting here, and on my YouTube Channel!

It is called the Quilty 5k! There are 7 blocks in a mile, and 3.1 miles in a 5k. So for the quilty 5k, we’ll be completing 22 blocks. Each will have instructions for stitching it in 3 different sizes, as well as different coloring options and a coloring sheet so you can design your own quilts using the quilt blocks!

Check out all the details in the intro video!

I hope you’ll join in!


Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt: Week 11 – Adding Borders

Welcome to week 11 of the Cricut Maker Block of the Week! This week we’re going to finish the quilt top by adding the borders that we cut in Week 1: Intro. Adding the borders means that the quilt top is complete, but our quilt isn’t finished yet. Next week I’ll show you how to quilt your quilt top, and the next week I’ll show you the final step: Binding. I promised you 14 weeks of making this quilt. In week 1 I shared both the into and the first block because I knew you wouldn’t want to wait to start sewing. So in the final week, I’ll share a fun bonus project with you!

If you have just found this series, start by going to the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Reference Page. That has all the links and videos to get you started from the very beginning.

Adding Borders

You can follow the written steps below, or you can watch this video as I show you how to put on the borders:

Start by laying out the borders. There are two long strips and two short strips.

lay out borders

Stitch the short borders to the top and bottom of the quilt top. In the video I show you how to pin the strip to the quilt top to keep them even. Here are the basic steps:

Place the border piece on top of the quilt. Line up the top edge and corners. Pin at the corners.

Find the middle of the border and quilt edge. Add a crease if needed. Pin to secure the centers together.

Add more pins as needed on each side. Often, either the quilt is slightly bigger than the border, or the border is slightly bigger than the quilt. Pinning allows you to ease the extra fabric into the seam without ripples or puckers.

Press. The seam allowance should go towards the border.

press borders

Now it is time to add the other borders.

add side borders

Follow the same steps to pin the borders to the quilt. Press again, and your quilt is complete!

finished quilt top

Come back next week as I show you how to quilt the quilt top!

 

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt: Block 3 – Diamond in a Square

This week in our Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt, we’re working on Block 3, the Diamond in a Square! You’re going to be so excited by how easily this block stitches up. There are a couple new things I’m showing you this week. The first is the bias on triangles. The second is using Snap Mat to conserve fabric.

If you’re just joining in, let me help you catch up! I’ve designed a small quilt that is cut entirely on the Cricut Maker. I’m showing you start-to-finish how to make the quilt, teaching you a new step each week. At the end, you’ll have a completed quilt, and learned all the steps for making your quilt! To get started from the beginning, check out the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt Resource Page.

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt - Block 3: Diamond in a Square

This post contains affiliate links. Clicking on these links helps support this site at no additional cost to you.

To make the Diamond in a Square, start by opening up the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Diamond in a Square file in Cricut Design Space. If you use a mobile device to connect to your Cricut Maker, you will first need to log in to Design Space on a laptop or desktop computer, then click on the file, then save the file to your Design Space files. From there, you can open it up on your mobile device or tablet.

You can watch the step-by-step video here, or follow the instructions below.

Cut out the pieces, just like we have been doing on the last 2 blocks. To conserve fabric, select mat 2 (the mat with the 4 triangles), and move the triangles over to the right. In the video, I show you how to use Snap Mat to do this.

Lay out your pieces.

lay out block

Your triangles are going to look WAY bigger than your square. This is the way it should look. I promise. You are doing it right.

When stitching triangles, you want to be extra careful that you don’t stretch the fabric. Triangles always have at least one edge that is cut “on the bias.” “On the bias” means that the fabric is cut at an angle. This cuts across all the threads, which makes that side much more stretchy. We want our fabric to keep its shape, so try not to stretch any of the sides.

Place one triangle on top of the square, with the long side of the triangle lined up with the square. The blue lines on top should line up with the blue lines on the bottom. If you need another reference point, you can fold the square and triangle in half to line up the midpoints.

line up

Stitch this side in place.

stitch

Stitch the opposite side in place.

stitch second corner

Press the seams, so that the triangles lay flat. Line up a third triangle, and stitch in place.

stitch the other corner

Stitch on the final triangle. You’re almost done! This is such a quick block!

Trim off the “Dog Ears” before you press these last two triangles. Dog ears are the extra points that are left over when sewing triangles.

trim dog ears

Press the triangles. You can trim the second set of dog ears now, or wait until you square up the block later.

trim dog ears

Block 3, the Diamond in a Square Quilt block, is complete!

finished diamond in a square quilt block

 

Cricut Maker Block of the Week – Week 1: Nine Patch Quilt Block

As promised, here is the first quilt block for our Cricut Maker Block of the Week, the Nine Patch Quilt Block! Each week I’ll share with you how to make another part of this quilt, until we have the whole quilt finished. The fabric is all cut and marked on the Cricut Maker machine. If you want the details, check out my Introduction to the Cricut Maker Block of the Week. If you want to join in and don’t know where to start, check out the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Reference Page. It will get you current, and give you all the information you need.

Cricut Maker Block of the Week - Block 1: Nine Patch

This post contains affiliate links. Clicking these links gives me a small commission at no cost to you.

Before you start here, you need to have followed along on the introduction, borders, and sashing instructions. Make sure you’ve done that before you continue.

You can watch the video here, or follow along the steps below.

Cut the fabric for the Nine Patch Quilt Block

Open up the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Block 1: Nine Patch in Cricut Design Space. You need to do this on a desktop or laptop computer with Design Space installed. From there, you can save the file, and open it up in Design Space on whatever device you like best.

Nine Patch Quilt Block in Design Space

We are using the fabrics you chose to be your “pink” and your “white” when you labeled your fabrics. Place them on the mats, right side down. Make sure to rub down the sides of the mat, as that is where the rollers can catch the fabric, and lift it up.

Press “Make It” in Cricut Design Space. You will see the two mats with the blue lines.

mats for nine patch

Press “Continue.”

select material

Select Material as “Cotton.”

load machine

Install the Cricut Fabric Pen. I like to put the cap on the back of the pen so I don’t lose it. Install the rotary cutter. Place the mat up to the rollers, and press the flashing arrows key. The mat will load into the machine.

Cut both mats. Peel away the extra fabric, and you’ll have something that looks like this.

cut on mats

Use your tweezers to remove the squares, and lay them out to create the block design. It will look like a checkerboard.

lay out the block

Sew together the Rows of your Nine Patch

Take the first two pieces in the top row – the teal and the red as shown in this image (the white and pink as labeled on the fabrics). Put them right-sides-together, with all the edges lining up. Stitch them together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. You can stitch right on that blue line, going all the way across from edge to edge.

sew rows

Congratulations! You’ve sewn your first seam! This quilt is officially underway!!

**pause for a happy dance**

first seam

Lift up that teal fabric, exposing the red. Put the other teal on top of the red, and stitch down. You now have a teal piece on each side of the red stripe. YES!

Repeat with the other two rows, making sure to keep the checkerboard design.

Press the seams to the side. Have all the seams go towards the “dark” fabric, whichever one that is for you.

press seams

Finish the Nine Patch Quilt Block

Here you can see the back of the block, with all the seams pressed. If you watched the video, you’ll notice that the seams are in the exact opposite directions from in the video. That’s because in the video the pink was my dark, and here the teal was my “dark”. If you’re not sure which of your fabrics is darker, just choose one. It won’t matter too terribly. I pinky promise.

What IS important is that if your seams go out in one row, that in the rows above or below it, they are going in. And vice versa. This allows your seams to nestle into each other, which helps your points match.

press the rows

Place your top row on top of your bottom row, right sides together. Stitch down one side… making sure it is the correct side (the side they are supposed to meet up on).

layer two rows

Then repeat, stitching the bottom row onto the other side.

last seam

stitch last row

Press these seams (I like pressing out, but it won’t make too much of a difference), and your block is complete!

finished nine patch quilt block

YAY!!

Make sure to come back next week. Each week I’ll be sharing another step in making this quilt. Next week we’ll make an uneven nine patch, using three colors! So fun to see what a difference a slight variation makes!

 

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