Tag Archives: pattern testing

Giveaway Winner, Sneak Peaks and Other Exciting Stuff

In the excitement of the holiday weekend, Black Friday sales activities and other distractions, I forgot to draw the winner of the Make Wall Quilts e-book.  This morning, using my scientifically random system of drawing names ( Hey Julia, what is a number between 1 and 42?), Nancy was selected as the winner of the book.  Nancy, I hope you enjoy it and make some fun projects with it!  Remember, if you want a copy of the book – it is a bargain on Amazon. Truly – only $2.56 for the hard copy of the book.  Great gift for yourself or your quilty friends!

Now that business has been taken care of, want a peak at the quilt I am making?  Sarah Goer is a talented quilter, pattern designer, and blogger. We both started our blogs at roughly the same time and became friends at that time.  This is the second time I have pattern tested for her and I really enjoy it.  Before having children she was a math teacher at the junior high school level.  I think this gives her a great background for pattern writing.  An affinity for math and puzzles gives her the skills to write a clean, well understood pattern.   For now though, this is all I am going to say!  Here is a look at what I am working on.

I asked for opinions on color choices on Facebook and Instagram about a week ago and got lots of feedback.  This blue and yellow combo was quite popular and I am very happy with the look so far!

Finally, I was reading the news this morning and saw an article about Facebook that caught my eye.  Facebook gets a bad reputation from the way fake news is often generated, hysteria builds based on ridiculous, irresponsible posting, the cyber-bullying that occurs etc.  Much of this is due to poor decision making on the part of the Facebook user community as well as lack of parental monitoring of the youth that use social media.  When Facebook introduced live video options last year some really disturbing videos were posted. In response to this, Facebook hired a large team (3,000+ employees) to monitor the videos for harmful content or intent.  For quite a while now, they have monitored text for any disturbing conversation that may indicate children and potentially abusive adults (sexual predators)  They will notify authorities when suspicious text is found.

Now Facebook has expanded their use of Artificial Intelligence to scan posts for text that indicates possible suicidal tendencies.  When such information is picked up, there is a team of interventionists ready to contact the person posting as well as persons who may have responded to the posts with supportive information such as suicide hot line phone numbers and other resources which may be able to assist.  Realizing that this sort of intervention has to happen quickly, Facebook has trained employees available at any hour to speak with authorities in the language of their country if something suspect is found.

Facebook is a powerful social media platform with over two billion users.  Many would say Facebook noses around where they shouldn’t.  That they push annoying ads targeted at users and monitor conversations to be able to do so.  However, it is my belief that people using Facebook are making a decision to be posting on a highly monitored platform and thus making their lives somewhat public.  I think it is a good thing to know that the company uses the tools they have to try to protect the safety of the users. I am curious to hear your thoughts on this. To me it shows a very responsible use of the incredibly powerful technology developed by Facebook.

Off to the sewing room!  I want to make some good progress on the baby quilt I am making with Sarah’s pattern.  Hope everyone is carving out a little creative time in their day.

Note: This post contains affiliate links meaning if a reader clicks a link on my page and makes a purchase, I will be paid a small amount.  This payment does not increase the price of the sale to the customer.

Pattern Testing a Great Beginner Quilt Pattern

I have followed Sarah Goer’s blog, for a long while now. We both began blogging around the same time and somehow we became blogging buddies. Sarah is crazy busy these days. A stay at home mom of two little ones, she also blogs, quilts, and spends a lot of time teaching her two (very young) children to quilt. Now she is adding pattern design to her list of talents. When I heard she was soon to release her first pattern, I threw my name in the hat to be a pattern tester for her.

This is the second quilt pattern I have tested. Last year I tested for Mihaela of A Beautiful Day. You can read about that here if you like. Sarah’s pattern is very different from Mihaela’s Urban Folk Quilt pattern. She wanted to develop a pattern for beginner quilters. I think this design is just perfect for new quilters. It has very basic cutting and piecing which ensures success. That is just what a new quilter needs so they will gain confidence and feel good about their progress. Sarah did an excellent job with the pattern. Her instructions are very clear and easy to follow.

 

I chose to make Sarah’s pattern with this colorful bundle of fabric from the Fiesta Fun line produced by Art Gallery Fabric.  Sarah’s pattern uses directional fabric to create some movement within the design. A focal fabric is placed in the center and the directional fabrics surround it. This pattern came together in an afternoon. I cut it and pieced most of it the day before we traveled to Toronto. Because of its simplicity, I think this would be an excellent pattern for quilting instructors teaching a Basic Beginner Quilting class.
I love the bright colors used in this quilt. The top finished at 36 inches square; perfect for a baby quilt. I have some fun ideas on how I want to quilt it. Maybe with a spiral? Maybe a spiral that begins in a corner and works its way across the quilt? Time for some doodling to figure out which motif to go with and then there is the torturous decision about thread colors (never an easy one for me). I also need to dig through my stash and find a backing fabric. I do have the perfect binding though, a bright polka dot fabric. Hopefully I will get it quilted soon. The size is reasonable and won’t take too long to do.

This pattern will be given to anyone who signs up for Sarah’s newsletter. Her first issue will be published next week. If you are interested, you can sign up here. I am looking forward to receiving the first issue.

Linking to my favorites this week. See the list at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Pattern Testing

This week we have been reading and talking about the idea of supporting all of the Indie pattern designers that are working so hard to design and release original patterns. Besides purchasing these lovely patterns we can also offer our time as pattern testers.  Two weeks ago I was reading a couple of posts by Mihaela of A Beautiful Day. She blogs from Romania  (don’t you love the ease with which we are able to befriend quilters from all over through this blogosphere.)  Mihaela is working on a new pattern she calls Urban Folk Quilt. In one of her posts she asked for some testers that would help to verify that her English all translates correctly. I happily volunteered. It is hard enough to design patterns, figure out the measurements, draw up the instructions etc. But to do this in a language that is not your primary one must be very challenging.

You can be sure, language isn’t an issue for Mihaela. Her English is just wonderful and I did not  find even one problem with her pattern and/or the translation to English. She includes every detail of instruction and sometimes more than one would expect. She discusses how to confirm that your blocks line up correctly, how to properly bind a quilt, and suggests ways to avoid block distortion. Overall, this pattern is complete and a great tool for the beginning quilter. I loved making it and would happily make another (and probably will!)

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For this project, I chose colors that would work in our master bathroom.  There are lots of bare walls in there. Bathrooms don’t rate very high on my need-to-decorate scale. Especially the master – who sees it besides Ray and I? I decided to make something to spruce it up. These colors work wonderfully.

I had so much fun quilting this. Finishing at 16 1/2″ squared, it was small enough to feel secure in trying new things.  This quilt design feels a bit southwestern to me. It reminds me of a couple of throws that Ray bought some years ago on a trip to Mexico.  This inspired me to quilt wavy lines, in three colors, across the horizontal stripes. Using the dark and light gray as well as the brown gives nice texture to the stripes.

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Within the two rows of pieced blocks I used matchstick quilting. Having never quilted these narrow stripes before, I tried quilting with my darning/FMQ foot and with the walking foot.

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Both work – the walking foot creates much straighter lines but oh my, it was taking forever! Having to stop and turn the quilt at each end was more than annoying. If it was a larger space being quilted, I would try the walking foot again. After a short stint of this though, I switched to my darning foot and FMQ’d the lines. They have a bit of an organic wobble to them but it still look ok. I love how the purple blocks have a bit of a puffiness to them from the tight quilting that surrounds them. Above and below each pieced row, I did some teeny tiny FMQ. Those rows are only one inch tall – it was a challenge to keep the movement flowing in such a small space.

What a fun project this was. Testing this pattern was an easy way to help another quilter out. There are lots of opportunities to test patterns. Be sure that you can meet the timeframe of the pattern designer though. Most likely she is relying on you to complete the task by a certain date so she can release the pattern. Speaking of which, Mihaela is releasing this pattern today!   Check it out and show her some quilting love. It would make a great mini, table topper, or you could use it as a pillow cover if you add the backing to it.

Linking to several of my favorites, including Freemotion Mavericks, Finish it up Friday, and Off the Wall Fridays. Links to all of these are available at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

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