TGI Thursday

What to do This Weekend – #1

Canva - This Way to the Weekend


CONGRATULATIONS!

You did your part – survived the climb up and over hump day! Now it’s my turn to deliver a road map that leads you to the weekend.

As of today, Thursday’s are no longer considered “Friday Wannabe’s”.

Thursday now has it’s own special significance. It is the day when Friday calls to give you a head’s up that, ready or not, she will be here tomorrow! But before she arrives, you need to be prepared and there is no better place than My Quilting Space to get started.

This is the place where, each Thursday, I offer a variety of ideas and inspirations I’ve collected throughout the week, all wrapped up and ready for you to enjoy just in time for A Best Weekend Ever!

So let’s get started!

1. Christmas in July.

Christmas Ornament

Approaching this final weekend in July it seems fitting to squeeze in at least one more ‘Christmas in July’ project. OK, so I already have 3 Christmas projects going but when I came across this “Pine Tree Strip” quilt pattern in my stash by Deb Eggers of “The Cottage Rose” I knew I had to begin a search for the perfect fabric – as a jelly roll precut. I may have found it here . I will likely purchase this online but if I had the time, I would much rather make that 1.5 hour drive to what I consider to be the most wonderful road trip “quilt fabric or bust” destination in the entire Midwest!

2. Barn Quilts.

Etsy Listing - Barn Quilt

Continuing on the subject of quilts – barn quilts to be exact, I’ve had my eye on these. A Google or Pinterest search will locate several articles and videos however, I found this short, sweet and to the point instructable to be a great place to start for those who seriously want to give this a try. I know I do…and will…eventually!

So, you like the idea of a barn quilt but not ready to take the DIY route take a look here – you’ll find so much inspiration you’ll be adding another day to your weekend!

3. Cutting Edge Design.

Cricut.com - Cricut Maker

Another item I’ve kept my eye on for sometime. When I first learned that this and similar cutting machines could cut fabric for quilting I have been all eyes and ears. I’ve been reading reviews mainly to find a reason NOT to buy one these…no such luck – at least not yet. However, now through the end of July you can get a substantial savings on all Cricut machines and accessories.

4. Creativity Part 1.

anva - Creativity

Each Monday a set of unique fonts and templates are available as a FREE download for a limited time. Re-discovering the powers of power point, I found this template to be as interesting as timely. Follow their TOS and while you’re there take a look around…the level of creativity showcased on this site is truly awe-inspiring.

5. Creativity Part 2.

Canva - Make Something

I’ll finish this round-up of goodies with a visit to my go-to platform for all things graphic: blog banners, Pinterest pins and Twitter posts, etc. I continue to use the FREE service and pay for individual elements as I go but I also recognize that at some point it will be to my benefit to go Pro. It’s FREE for 30 days!

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you found at least a little inspiration and a few ideas to carry you through the weekend.
I’ll see you again next Thursday with another collection of ideas and inspiration designed to fill your weekend with discovery and creativity.

As always, I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments about any of the topics listed above and…

Have the Best Weekend Ever!

Susan

Blog

Christmas in July

How Did This All Get Started?

The phrase “Christmas in July” likely has its origins dating back to an 1872 French opera, “Werther”, where a group of children are overheard rehearsing a Christmas carol in July. The English translation of a character’s responds is as follows: “When you sing Christmas in July, you rush the season”.

My own personal response: July carries its own bitter-sweet perspective. To some, the word July produces a restless cry of impatience…” Christmas is still 6-long-months away!!!” However, for those of us who craft, sew and quilt, that 6 month mark can instill a frenzied sense of fear and panic. “What? Only 6 months to finish _____ and _____and_____and_____?!?”

X nay on the Arolcay

That’s right – we don’t need to sing Christmas carols to “rush the season”. We’re already doing our part by allowing the fear of not “getting it all done” before Christmas carry the same proportion of responsibility for hastening the season as those children rehearsing a carol in July.

Whether the calendar reads a short or long 6 month duration between now and Christmas, we can embrace this timeline with joy and enthusiasm. Save the fear and anguish for another day…a rainy day maybe?

So, how do we accomplish that?

By choosing a project that is: 1) quick and easy; 2) offers guaranteed success using no-fail techniques and, as a bonus, 3) looks complicated but is actually very easy to do. In this heat, the last thing you want is a project that causes even 1° of heat to slip under your collar!

Keeping Your Cool

Today it was 95° in the shade with a current heat index of 107° – it seems this is the new norm for a Mid-west day in July. So how does one begin to even think about Christmas…in July? This July? Below are a few ideas to help you get one foot moving in front of the other:

1) Pour a frosty glass of strawberry lemonade or if you really want to divert your attention from the weather try this!

2) Dig into your stash of cool Christmas projects, patterns and fabrics.

3) Adjust the thermostat so your sewing room is as cool as a meat locker and,

4) Get the air moving with a few Pinwheels!

There is no better way to cool things off than revisiting one of my favorite Christmas projects. These pinwheels are quick, easy and so much fun to make. If time isn’t on your side right now, check out this short video I created which allows you to quickly view, in less than 3 minutes, the entire process from beginning to end.

However, if you feel more inspired by the summer sunshine than Christmas cheer, raid your stash of bright, colorful charm squares and make something fun like these:

Pinwheels in Summer Fabric

Pairing a citrus solid with a petite print – these would look stunning appliqued on a solid quilted top and maybe used as a wall hanging to brighten up a neglected space on a wall. (Oops! I may have just added another item on my To-Do list!)

If pinwheels just aren’t your thing no worries! Below you will find another cool project perfect for a hot afternoon!

From Pinwheels to Paper Piecing

A new-to-me technique that has become my new favorite is paper piecing. I happened upon a paper piecing block pattern here . This star has a Nordic appearance that I felt would be a perfect match for the pretty Christmas themed fabric (Scandi 5 fabric collection by Andover) I had on hand.

The specifics of paper piecing are somewhat complicated so I will not attempt to go into great detail here but show you my condensed version. These first two images illustrate the basics of paper piecing: sew thee foundation paper onto the fabric then tear it away.

Paper Piecing a Star Block

These next images show what I really love about paper piecing – the ease in getting seams to match! This is the most frustrating part of sewing triangles.

Paper pieced star block unit

Another bonus – the neat appearance of each unit. Having a consistent seam and cut lines makes piecing each unit together a cinch!

Below are my first two finished blocks.

Paper pieced quilt block

Paper pieced star block

My next decision: make each into a hot pad or try to find more of the same fabric and complete 25 or 30 blocks and make into a throw or bed sized quilt.

Want more Christmas in July?

Quilter's Digest

The “hot” little gems pictured above are from Quilting Digest and just happen to be the perfect inspiration to start singing your own Christmas carol in July.

Stay tuned…more Christmas in July projects are in the works!