Friday, May 31, 2019

Desire to Inspire - May Challenger - Meet Brandy Pettit

 Meet Brandy Pettit- She took on the challenge of using "Jolly Ole Soul” by Barb Tourtillotte in the month of May 2019.

Hello everyone! My name is Brandy Pettit, and I am so glad to meet you!  I live in Walla Walla, WA with my husband John and our cats, Thomas and Belle.  John and I are both hands-on crafty people, he likes to work on his motorcycles (he has 5, 2 of them are works in progress and one is a race-only motorcycle) and I like to fiddle around in my garden when I am not quilting.  We celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary two weeks ago and went out to one of our favorite local restaurants, Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse.  We knew it might take a little time for our food to come out so we took our travel cribbage set and played a couple rounds before eating, which made the couple who was a few tables away laugh.  I taught John how to play cribbage when we were first getting to know each other, so we have been playing each other for over 10 years now!  It makes the game pretty special for us.

I have been quilting for 7 years now and just love it.  The desire to create a quilt just came to me one day, so I took my grandma's advice and took a beginner quilting class and was pretty much hooked.  I started blogging a year later in order to participate in a blog hop and in the hopes that it would keep me more on task (I am a victim of the "Ooh shiny!" syndrome...) and it helped, for a while anyway!

I joined the Walla Walla Valley Quilt Guild two years after I started quilting so that I could be around like-minded people and have made some really wonderful friends.  I have been in charge of sew-ins for the last two years and was nominated for vice-presidency this year.  That means I'm in charge next year, woohoo!

In October of 2017, we purchased a Handi Quilter Infinity and I started my longarm business, Blue Spool Sewing Room.  I have had so much fun getting to work on all the different quilts my customers bring me!  I tend to share photos on Instagram the most, as well as on my business Facebook page and occasionally on the blog.

Another thing I have loved with being part of the quilting community is the opportunity to test patterns for some designers and I really enjoy that process.  Proofreading runs in my family from my mom's side so I love being able to help get a pattern all ready for release!  I also really enjoy getting to make something no one else has yet, it's kind of thrilling.  Except for the part where you can't share it with anyone until the pattern writer is ready, sometimes that is months of waiting!
If I had to choose a favorite part of the quilting process I would say the part of piecing when the blocks start coming together and you really see the progress you are making, followed closely by those last couple stitches of quilting, when you know you are very nearly finished with the project.

So a little explanation on my Jolly Ole Soul projects: First of all, I am so happy that I had the good fortune of being chosen as May's Desire to Inspire Challenger.  First of all, I am pretty obsessed with Christmas fabric, and second, Barb, the designer of Jolly Ole Soul, is from Washington State too!  How awesome is that?  I hope I get to meet her someday! :)  When I first saw the Santa Blocks I knew I wanted to make a Walk About quilt (pattern by Ann Lauer for Grizzly Gulch Gallery) since it would give me the opportunity to show off some of those great prints.  I was originally planning to make a double-sided quilt using the large Santa panel as the "back" for the WalkAbout that I put together as the "front".  But when I got the panel side put together with those adorable present blocks, I couldn't part with it!  My sister (Jen) had claimed the quilt before I even received the fabric, so I said I would back her quilt with some snuggle fabric and she was actually pretty excited about that.  I chose a fancy edge-to-edge design with holly and berries for her quilt and gave her the quilt a couple days ago, along with a matching pillow, and you can see she is pretty happy.  I had a BLAST custom quilting the Santa pillow, I hope you can see the swirls in his beard!  The pillow was made using the leftover Santa block that I added 3-inch borders to (those were cut off the edges of the Repeat Santa Panel), making it finish about 16 inches square.  

I backed it with two pieces that were 16.5" x 10.5", which gave a nice overlap for the pillow sham.  I have not yet quilted the other top, I am waiting for John to decide whether or not I need to increase it to being bed sized or leave it as a lap quilt.  I also have to point out, two of the present blocks use fabric from the Desire to Inspire line I got to play with last year called Just Beachy, and they make me so happy!  Then I used the super cute cookies and letters to Santa fabric to make a cookie plate!  I used Mod Podge to glue it on the back side of the plate and it turned out so good!  I think I will have to make up some more, I still have a bit of fabric left and they will make excellent gifts for Christmas.  Especially when I fill them with cookies and candy!
I had a really lovely time working with this line from Henry Glass and I sure hope you feel inspired to get some Christmas gifts going!  I hope you will come to visit me on my blog (, on Instagram (@bluespoolsewingroom), or on Facebook!  You can even check out my quilting on my website,  Happy Quilting!

Additional Quilt Photos:

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Get Quilting - "Helping Hands" Yarn Dyes Bundle Giveaway

We are giving away the yarn dyes portion of "Helping Hands" by Kim Diehl which is IN QUILT SHOPS NOW! Additionally, there are two FREE quilt projects available for download.

Helping Hands
Helping Hands Yarn Dyes Table Topper

Monday, May 27, 2019

Desire to Inspire June - Looking for a Challenger!

"Snow Days" by Barb Tourtillotte ships in June 2019! This 14-SKU collection will make you want to go play in the snow! This line features faded stars, swirling snowflakes, pine cones, and cardinals, as well as red berry wreaths. Two panels are included, a 24" repeat block panel and a 24" snowman panel. PLUS there are two FREE quilt projects available for download.

In this month's Desire to Inspire Challenge, the winner will receive this collection to make something great. The caveat is... it MUST BE made in the month of June, and pictures of your finished project(s) must be provided to us by the end of the month. Along with your picture and bio, too, of course. 

Are you ready to take on this challenge? 
 Send an email to to put your name in the hat!

Kim Diehl's Simple Friendships II Stitch-Along Mystery Sampler - Week 3

We’ve passed the half-way point of the Simple Friendships II Stitch-Along! Stitching for Week 3 includes the patchwork UNITS to make two 4 1/2” Flock of Geese blocks (beginning at Kindle location 895). Please note that I said UNITS, not finished and assembled blocks because we’ll be changing things up when we piece the quilt top together.
For this week’s homework, Kim encourages you to fearlessly tackle the small triangle units - if you’re not used to stitching small pieces, think of them as little skill builders. And, with only four units, what have you got to lose? With all of that being said, if you’d like to keep things simple and ditch the four small triangle units, Kim is offering an easy “Plan B” substitution: simply replace the four small triangle units by repeating the cutting and piecing directions to make a grand total of eight large half-square-triangle units (instead of the originally specified four).

To access this week’s instructions, Click Here

Please continue sharing your weekly progress using the #SimpleFriendships2QAL label so we can ogle your patchwork.

Here are a few tips for this week’s patchwork:
 1.) For the large AND small half-square-triangle units, use the previously shared tip for using a scant 1/4” seam allowance and trimming the units to the specified size.

 2.) For this week’s smaller scale patchwork, Kim suggests applying a misting of Best Press (or starch) to the prints you’ll be cutting from, and then press them flat with a hot iron; this will stabilize the fabrics for the sewing steps. 

3.) Kim's favorite “secret weapon” for stitching small patchwork is to use a slightly smaller needle in my sewing machine, such as a size 75/11 machine quilting needle. Finer needles slide through the cloth more easily and reduce the chances of the pieces becoming snagged as they’re fed under the presser foot — she hates it when her machine eats her patchwork!

Get Quilting- Road Trip Bundle Giveaway

"Road Trip" by Bonnie Krebs is IN QUILT SHOPS NOW! This Road Trip collection was inspired by the true friendship and the camaraderie of BFF's. Their laugh-out-loud attitudes show in each adventure. Grabbing a gal pal and racing off to a spontaneous holiday, these gals are all about fun – who wouldn’t be? This 18-SKU collection is perfect for all of your projects or gifting quilts to your favorite girlfriends! Did we mention there are two FREE quilt projects (Quilt #1 and Quilt #2) available for download as well?

Road Trip Quilt #1

Road Trip Quilt #2

Monday, May 20, 2019

Kim Diehl's Simple Friendships II Stitch-Along Mystery Sampler - Week 2

Ok, Week 2 of Simple Friendships II Stitch Along ... here we go! This week you’ll be sewing one 5 1/2” Goose on the Loose block (beginning at Kindle location 1366) and one 5 1/2” Hearth and Home block from the Field of Greens project (location 550).

Please continue sharing your weekly progress using the #SimpleFriendships2QAL label so we can enjoy the eye candy. (By the way, did you know that you can click or tap on this hashtag label in any stitch-along post to see all the shared blocks? Give it a whirl!)

Hints and Helps for this Week:
 1.) For the half-square-triangle units in each block, be sure to apply last week’s tip for using a scant 1/4” seam allowance and trimming the units to the specified size for spot-on patchwork!

 2.) For these smaller scale blocks, reduce your sewing machine’s stitch length slightly (I adjust from 2.2 down to 1.8) and use thread in a neutral color (not white) for more invisible stitches. 

3.) For the “stitch-and-fold” triangles in the Goose on the Loose block (step 4 in the block directions ), an open-toe foot makes it easy to see the drawn line, and Kim suggests stitching NEXT to the line on the side closest to the corner you’ll be pressing the triangle toward, NOT exactly on the line (second photo); this will compensate for the tiny bit of cloth lost to the pressed fold.

 4.) If the pressed triangle doesn’t quite meet the corner edge, this is easily fixable! Trim away the middle cloth layer ONLY under the top triangle to keep the unit an accurate size and shape (shown in three-part photo).

Get Quilting - Buttermilk Autumn Bundle Giveaway

"Buttermilk Autumn" by Stacy West of Buttermilk Basin is IN QUILT SHOPS NOW! This 21-SKU collection features oak leaves, dot weaves, bud vines, and more! Also included are a border stripe and a 36" x 44" panel. Additionally, there are two FREE quilt projects available for download.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Kim Diehl's Simple Friendships II Stitch-Along Mystery Sampler - Week 1

This week you’ll be sewing one Small Ohio Star Variation block and two center-square patchwork units. Kim has shared her progress to give you a little bit of a visual guide. Remember, have fun with your prints and color choices — no rules!

To access this week’s instructions:
Instagram stitchers can use the link in Kim's profile; Facebook participants can tap this link: Please share your weekly progress using the label #SimpleFriendships2QAL so we can enjoy your blocks, and this will also enter you in the gift drawing at the end of the stitch along!

Enter the Henry Glass Giveaway Below
Make Sure to Use the #SimpleFriendships2QAL in Your Posts!

Each week, Kim will share a tip for your current block assignment. For this week’s Small Ohio Star Variation block, here’s a quick summary of how she pieces the hourglass units (pics included!).

1.) Use a slightly scant 1/4” seam allowance to stitch the triangle pairs for the hourglass units.

 2.) Grasp the pieced and pressed triangle pairs firmly between your thumb and fingers as shown, sliding them in opposite directions to nest the seams together. 

3.) Pin the unit at the nested seams and flip it open to check your results — if the seams meet nicely, finish pining the unit. Less than perfect nested seams should be repositioned and repinned!

 4.) Stitch the pinned unit, again using a scant 1/4” seam allowance. 

5.) Use an acrylic ruler and rotary cutter to trim the slightly oversized stitched unit to the size specified in the directions, removing the dog-ear points in the same step. This approach will help you achieve perfectly sized patchwork units.

For General Information Visit:

Get Quilting - Berries and Blossoms Bundle Giveaway

"Berries & Blossoms" by Janet Rae Nesbitt of One Sister Designs is loved all over the world! This line features rich red berries and tones of vanilla cream. Mix and match to create a soft and sophisticated palette. This collection’s prints have a sweet essence, as warm and inviting as a berry cobbler on a cool spring day. You will be drawn in for hours of quilting pleasure. IN QUILT SHOPS NOW!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Designer Spotlight - Jan Mott

Meet Jan Mott

As a young girl growing up in rural upstate New York, Jan was surrounded by a family of artisans consisting of a variety of artistic talents from painting to sewing and woodworking. Being a country girl, she was always surrounded by natures landscape and wildlife.

As a high schooler, she met her now partner in life and business Jay Harbachuk. They dated, but for a short period and moved on to focus on their education. Jan, after graduating high school, pursued her education, attending college to become a graphic designer. After graduating from college, she took her artistic talent home and began working as a print media advertising artist for a large local department store, illustrating home goods merchandise for newspaper ads.

Then she moved on to pursue a career in graphic arts, marketing and advertising sales for a large nationally known newspaper chain. She worked with local businesses developing advertising campaigns and also worked with the editorial department illustrating for special news features.
Twenty-five years into her career, Jan and Jay re-met. Their relationship would become much different than before. They combined their talents and started an antique business, "Snoopn2gether". 

Now, as life and business partners and best friends, Jan and Jay spend their private time working in the flower garden and taking country rides pursuing antique treasures and more inspirations to share in the near future.

Crane Design

About 11 years ago Jan discovered an age-old textile art called penny rugs while out antiquing. It renewed her interest in textiles and started to dabble in the art of wool applique. Wanting to use her illustrative talents, she started to design, following her heart of realism and nature, making her creations more than a stitching project, but a piece of art.

Her style started to catch on with stitchers across the country wanting to replicate her designs. Hence developing the pattern company know as" Crane Design". Over time she expanded the line to include realistic country & seaside patterns to include a large selection of realistic bird designs, that everyone can relate to from their own backyard. She has also developed a line that carries the nature theme into punch-needle ... And now to a fabric collection.

Crane Design offers nearly 200 patterns sold throughout the US and Canada to quilt shops and stitching enthusiast. Jan through trunk shows and social platforms has gained a strong fellowship and inspiration from shop owners to the stitching community. She believes it is important to work one-on-one with the quilt shops and is passionate about doing marketing for and with them so that they can continue to be a destination for quilters in the future.

Jan's Artistic Mediums and Inspiration

·   Jan is well-skilled in various art mediums from wool applique to clay and watercolors. Her work is greatly inspired by nature, particularly the Atlantic Ocean along the New England coast from Maine to Massachusetts, and her very own backyard.  

"Country Journey" by Jan Mott is a 15-SKU collection that features a novelty toss, pinwheel ombre, wheat star calico, winding vines, and more. Additionally, there are a border stripe and 24" x 44" banner panel. Also included are two FREE quilt projects (a quilt and pillows). Ships in January 2020.

·  This collection was produced based off of a four-part series that was originally created as a wool design in four separate panels as displayed in this panoramic series. It is incredible to see how this line has transformed from wool to illustration. Jan worked with Jaftex Lead Designer, Lisa Loessel to embellish the collection so that it was more appealing for the cotton version by emphasizing more elements of art.

Country Journey Quilt #1