December 31, 2016

2017 Planning @ Busy Hands Quilts

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My plans for 2017 include as much quilting as possible with these specific goals:

Plan Several Quilt Alongs

I'm hosting a Postcard From Sweden Quilt Along beginning in March 2017 and am looking ahead for quilts appropriate for Quilt Alongs to make later in the year.  Prizes are my PDF quilt patterns.  Please join me!  


List made-to-order items in my Quilt Shop, not just ready-made

I've already begun this, and it has increased business.  Thanks to Lindsay, daughter of Shannon of The Flemings Nine, for the idea!!  Below are the quilts I've listed as made-to-order so far.  Some are quilt kits I've had stashed away, and some are quilts I've made in the past for which I have enough fabric to make another similar quilt.  I don't sort my scraps by color, but I leave them together by collection or project I used them in, so it's easy to pull them again and make the quilt a second time.  {No, I don't recommend NOT sorting your scraps; they are hard to use this way.}


Make scrappy backings to use up more of the stash

I plan to piece more quilt backings from the fabrics leftover from the front to get more fabrics off the shelf and into quilts.  I will continue to buy extra-wide backings for bed-sized quilts as it's most often more economical {and much simpler}.  I started this goal with my recent Honey Honey lap quilt finish.  My ulterior motive is moving out more fabrics that aren't my favorites and moving in more of the awesome fabrics that are continually released.  It's self-serving, really!


Learn more free-motion quilting on Mrs.Singer

She'll never be able to do really intricate, detailed work because the rail system doesn't run smoothly enough, but she can do more than the allover meander and organic wavy stitch.  Whirls and loops are within her capabilities.  The picture above is an example of where I've already begun this.

Keep track of fabric yardage in and out

I have long dragged my feet about this one because it takes being brutally honest.  Accountability!  I will periodically share yardage in and out.  Most of the time I will not share with you pictures of what I buy because it can encourage coveting in others. This post by Diane of From Blank Pages totally opened my eyes to this.  Go read it, it's an amazing post about fabric buying addiction, then come back ... I'll wait.

Continue Writing Quilt Patterns

In 2016 I wrote 7 quilt patterns, and I plan to continue at a similar pace.  I have many quilt designs ready to go in EQ7 and many half-written patterns that just need a few days' work and they'd be ready to go.  What hinders me most is making a cover quilt.  I will make more effort to get these quilts made!

And last but not least, get off the computer and sew!


Happy 2017!  Don't forget, today is the last day of Craftsy's Winter Clearance Sale!  And since it's still 2016, I could buy a whole bunch and not have to tell you since that doesn't begin until tomorrow!  Ha Ha!


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2017 Planning Party

December 30, 2016

Honey Honey Patchwork Lap Quilt + Finished or Not Friday {a linky party!}

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Welcome to Finished or Not Friday where you can share your finished {or not} projects!

My Finish is a patchwork lap quilt in Honey Honey.  This is why I like hosting Finished or Not Friday - this quilt wouldn't have been finished today if I didn't.


This quilt is a regurgitated chunky race quilt.  Yep, regurgitated.  It turned out so bad without fabric placement planning that I had to cut the strips into 5" segments and sew them back together.  This is why a few of the blocks are made from more than one fabric.  If you'd like to learn how to do a planned Chunky Jelly Race quilt, go check out Jasmine and Shannon's tutorials.  They will save you the headache I gave myself because I didn't follow any plan when sewing the pieces together.


I played around with whirly quilting and had a lot of fun!  I ♥ that border print!


In 2017 I'll be piecing more quilt backs to get more stash off the shelf instead of buying more yardage to match!


The quilt finished at 44" x 60" and is made entirely from Honey Honey by Kate Spain, quilt top, backing, binding, and all.

This quilt is for sale in my Etsy shop.

The most viewed link from last week was A Flock of Cardinals by Not Afraid of Color.


But wait, did you all see this one????  It measures 120" square! It's Changes in the Stars by Quilts and Cakes.  Hop on over to see the actual pictures of the quilt.  {The pictures have people in them, so I didn't share them here.}


Save up to 70% off quilting supplies and kits at Craftsy through Saturday!


You might pick up a Postcard From Sweden kit for the Quilt Along I will be hosting in 2017!  It will begin in March after the rush of other quilt alongs has ebbed and I have returned from visiting my parents in Arizona!

Here's what I bought:

Aria FQs by Kate Spain // Kaleidoscope Kit // Split Square Jewel Kit

All patterns in my Pattern Shop are 25% off through Monday!


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It's your turn to share your finish {or not}!  What's welcome at this party?  
  • Any in-progress or finished project made with fabric, yarn, or thread is welcome!  
  • Projects from this week only!
  • ♥ ♥ PLEASE!  Link to the actual blog post, not your home page.  We'd like to see your post and don't have the time to go hunt it down.
  • Include the Finished or Not Friday button or a text link that links back to this week's link-up in order to share the fun.  No, I won't delete your link if you don't, but hey, adding a link in your post is just being friendly, so be friendly and share!!
I will pin your links to my Finished or Not Friday Pinterest board to get your link more exposure.
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

To grab the code for the button above, left click in the box, press Ctrl-A for Select All, then Ctrl-C for Copy, then go to the HTML code for your post and press Ctrl-V to paste it where you want it to appear.


December 27, 2016

Picket Fence Quilt by Wendy

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Wendy posted her Picket Fence quilt on Instagram.  I ♥ the subtle gray sashings! It looks so different than white.  Picket Fence is a layer cake pattern that includes instructions for 6 sizes from baby to king.

A photo posted by Wendy (@wensharpe) on

I'd love to post pictures of your quilts made in my patterns, so drop me a note or tag @busyhandsquilts on Instagram or use a hashtag with busyhandsquilts or the pattern name.

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December 26, 2016

Best of 2016 @ Busy Hands Quilts

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I've enjoyed looking back at 2016 and discovered I made a lot more quilts than I thought I did.  You can see all of my 2016 projects HERE.

Brick Cottage Lane had the most page views and the most comments. 


Kite Flight ranks pretty high on my favorite list of 2016.  This was a custom order.


Castle Dreams made with Handmade by Bonnie and Camille and Moda Crosshatch in Black is my favorite fabric used this year.  You will be seeing this color combination again in 2017!!  This quilt was a gift for my parents.


This is my favorite rainbow quilt from 2016 which I made as part of the Trip Around the World Quilt Along I hosted this year here on the blog.  I ♥ wrapping up in it on these cold evenings.  I keep very few of the quilts I make, so you know this one is my favorite for 2016!  This quilt kit is available here.


I released 7 new quilt patterns and 2 tutorials in my Pattern Shop!  My patterns feature up to 7 sizes and include traditional piecing as well as strip piecing instructions with precuts whenever possible.  My goal is to give you the greatest value for your dollar.



I bought two new sewing machines this year, a Juki TL-2200-QVP mini (identical to the TL-2010q but with a few more feet) and a Brother cs6000i.  Of course I love the Juki more because it's like comparing a Mercedes to a Geo Metro, but the walking foot on the Brother cs6000i works better, so I use it quite a bit.  On the Juki, I ♥ her amazing speed (more quilts, faster!), the knee lever for the presser foot, and the automatic thread cutter; and I love the needle down option on both of them.

Here's the breakdown in numbers:
  • 2 King quilts
  • 3 Queen quilts
  • 1 Full quilt
  • 7 Twin quilts
  • 10 Lap quilts
  • 5 Baby quilts
  • 14 Wall Hangings / Table Runners / Curtains
  • 12 Pillows
  • 13 Custom Quilting projects
Total: 67 quilted items.  13 were rainbows, and 20 were custom orders.

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Check out the Best of 2016 on other blogs at the Linky Party hosted by Meadow Mist Designs.



Kite Flight Lap Quilt {a Finish!}

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Kite Flight in Summer fabrics enjoying a frolic in the snow!


Flight Kite is just H.A.P.P.Y.!!


It happens every time I begin quilting in organic wavy lines.  I see my hopelessly unordered lines with no apparent rhythm, and I wonder why I didn't just do a safe allover meander, I wonder if I am ruining the quilt.  And then something magic happens in the process of quilting.  At the moment of great reveal when it's taken off the rails and spread out in its fullness, all doubt vanishes, and I see I have not ruined the quilt; the quilting is actually perfect for the quilt.  Modern quilts need modern quilting.  Organic wavy lines win again!



I added a rod hanging pocket on the top because this custom quilt order is a gift that is intended to be hung.  I suggested my customer buy a Hang It Dang It quilt hanger which requires only one nail in the wall, and I sized the rod pocket to fit the hanger.


Kite Flight is available as a custom quilt in my Quilt Shop.  This fabric collection is no longer available, and you may choose the fabric collection of your choice in an oversized lap or twin size.  

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Linking to:
♥ Linky Tuesday ♥ Let's Bee Social ♥ Needle and Thread Thursday ♥ Finish It Up Friday ♥ TGIFF ♥ Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?!? ♥ Fabric Frenzy Friday ♥ Off the Wall Friday ♥ 

December 23, 2016

Finished or Not Friday {a Linky Party!} + Triple Barn Star Lap Quilt

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Welcome to Finished or Not Friday where you can share your finished {or not} projects!

My Finish is a made-to-order Triple Barn Star lap quilt in Birch Farm fabrics. This was a last-minute Christmas gift order, and, having promised delivery in time for Christmas, it was in the mail within two days!


The quilt measures 72" x 72" and was a kit that Craftsy sold several years ago.  It was a well aged quilt kit in my fabric closet, so I decided to list it as a made-to-order item in my Quilt Shop.  I have enough fabric left to make another quilt as a made-to-order item in my Quilt Shop.




The most viewed link from last week was Garden Party by Inch Art!


Follow Busy Hands Quilts!

It's your turn to share your finish {or not}!  What's welcome at this party?  
  • Any in-progress or finished project made with fabric, yarn, or thread is welcome!  
  • Projects from this week only!
  • ♥ ♥ PLEASE!  Link to the actual blog post, not your home page.  We'd like to see your post and don't have the time to go hunt it down.
  • Include the Finished or Not Friday button or a text link that links back to this week's link-up in order to share the fun.  No, I won't delete your link if you don't, but hey, adding a link in your post is just being friendly, so be friendly and share!!
I will pin your links to my Finished or Not Friday Pinterest board to get your link more exposure.
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

To grab the code for the button above, left click in the box, press Ctrl-A for Select All, then Ctrl-C for Copy, then go to the HTML code for your post and press Ctrl-V to paste it where you want it to appear.


December 16, 2016

Finished or Not Friday {a Linky Party!} + Kite Flight Quilt in Progress

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Welcome to Finished or Not Friday where you can share your finished {or not} projects!

My Not Finished is a custom Kite Flight quilt in the Summer palette.  This kit is available at Craftsy.  I've completed the full blocks and have begun the side setting blocks.  It's going together much quicker than the red version I made because I'm pressing the seams open and pinning rather than pressing and repressing to try to get the seams to nest together.


The most viewed link from last week was Preeti's Angel's Midnight Garden!  It's  a great use of large prints!


Follow Busy Hands Quilts!

It's your turn to share your finish {or not}!  What's welcome at this party?  
  • Any in-progress or finished project made with fabric, yarn, or thread is welcome!  
  • Projects from this week only!
  • ♥ ♥ PLEASE!  Link to the actual blog post, not your home page.  We'd like to see your post and don't have the time to go hunt it down.
  • Include the Finished or Not Friday button or a text link that links back to this week's link-up in order to share the fun.  No, I won't delete your link if you don't, but hey, adding a link in your post is just being friendly, so be friendly and share!!
I will pin your links to my Finished or Not Friday Pinterest board to get your link more exposure.
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

To grab the code for the button above, left click in the box, press Ctrl-A for Select All, then Ctrl-C for Copy, then go to the HTML code for your post and press Ctrl-V to paste it where you want it to appear.