floating stars quilt pattern

my first pattern.

it’s like my baby.

plus, i just really love this quilt.

Floating Stars Quilt Pattern

this picture is a bit washed out.

but you can see how wonderfully it shows off the charm squares.

my friend patricia pointed out that the charm four patches can be replaced with any block.

*gasp*

she’s right!!

so i asked two friends if they would make the quilt pattern up but to change the blocks.

here’s what they came up with:

lisa’s charming quilt

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“I had this awesome charm pack I had been wanting to use for something. I added the cream from my stash and coordinating fabric. I picked a pieced block and added the sashing around the blocks like in the pattern. After a math error on my part and getting ahead in the directions I was able to get under way on the sashing around the blocks and borders. This was a fun and easy pattern I cant wait to quilt it and give to my niece. I will make another one maybe using a big floral or fun fabric I just cant cut up. Thank you Heather for letting me have the chance to make this up.”

you’re very welcome lisa!

i love what you came up with and appreciate your hard work.

: :

wilma’s striking beauty

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“I initially thought I would buy some “fun” large children prints, but when I got to the store, there was nothing that really grabbed me…until I saw this Andover fabric line. I had to put my math skills to the test to determine yardage (well, actually, it was converting yards to meters plus the math) to be able to fussy cut enough “flowers” from the fabric. The flowers were not large enough for a 9″ block, so I then had to calculate how much fabric was needed for a border to make up the difference. I love the completed blocks. This has been one of my favourite quilts, and I don’t think I am going to give it away! Thanks, Heather, for allowing me to be a quilt sampler!!”

thank you, wilma!!

your quilt is beautiful and almost wish i thought of it myself.

you can find wilma at her blog: http://www.wilmascraftcorner.blogspot.com

: :

so there you go!

a few ideas for you.

what have you come up with??

please share and i’ll add them to this post!

vacation

for several years now i’ve determined that vacations are for rejuvenating.

i never quite understood how one can go on vacation and not rest.

it always seems there is this constant need for moving, seeing, doing.

go, go, go…

getting up at a certain time, getting out the door to an activity and then when one returns home…

they need a vacation from their vacation.

right now i am on vacation.

a heather-style vacation.

sleep in.

no schedule.

meander from one thing to the next.

it. is. heaven.

i have had just two goals to meet:

1) finish binding 4 quilts (long standing unfinished quilts, that is)

2) get the fall mystery quilt top made.

i’ve got two quilts done and started the third the night before last all while watching north & south.

such a wonderful show/movie!

as for the fall mystery quilt, well, with a little determination i’m thinking i’ll get it done today.

:)

here’s the jelly roll i’m working with.

IMG_3404it’s charlevoix by minick and simpson from moda.

isn’t it pretty??

here’s what they look like opened up.

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and it’s very pretty in a quilt too.

:)

right…so…back to vacation…

we are in beautiful lake chelan, washington.

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staying at my friend debbie’s house.

her and her husband have gone up-lake on their boat with some other boating folk and we are house sitting.

here’s the view from their house.

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they have blueberries

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and peaches.

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we went and saw despicable me 2.

(which was so good…we highly recommend it.)

ate at a taco wagon, played bocce, sat in the sun and the girls even

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touched a butt.

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lol

i had fun thinking that up.

but mostly we’ve sat around reading and resting.

i will be ready for the fall now!

on a different note:

if you’ve not all ready seen my posts on Facebook then i’ve got an announcement for you.

yesterday (august 6th) i entered a contest (which i never do) for small businesses.

the prize??

a commercial during the super bowl.

yep.

you read that correctly.

how cool would it be for a quilting business to have a commercial during the super bowl?!

right.

so i need you to do me a favor and stop by to vote for me.

it’s super easy and will take as long as it takes for the browser to load the page.

click on ‘vote’ and you’re done.

https://www.smallbusinessbiggame.com/wa/Heather-Spence-Designs/374638

i don’t know what my chances are…there are so many really great businesses vying for this spot.

i’m done now.

going to go back to my vacation!

have a lovely day!!

connect the dots parade

it’s taken me awhile to get all the bits and pieces of the spring mystery quilt finalized.

sorry for that.

:)

but i’m getting caught up!!

(can you believe it?)

so here it goes…

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this is my quilt.  :)

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this lovely was made by my friend sharyn.

without knowing exactly it looks like she used an assortment of darks and two lights with one medium.

isn’t it great??

i want to make one just like it!

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laurie made this gorgeous one.

she used three fabrics.

the skinny blue border is actually a flange, which turned out beautifully.

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okay…okay.

you got me.

this isn’t actually a photo of the individual quilts but the ladies (and their quilts) who attended the retreat.

minus mine.

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debbie made two…the first is this one and the second is…

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this one.

she made it for her hubby (and one of my girls has slept under the last few nights).

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here’s leslie’s quilt.

she told me she went rogue and turned the block to generate the four patches instead of solid squares (the blue four patches).

then she added more borders to make them bigger.

this is why i love the mystery quilt group.

they come up with the best variations!

so this is what i’ve got so far.

if you’ve completed one email me a photo and i’ll add it!

thanks for stopping by and taking a look.

thoughts and actions

such an ominous title!

but, nonetheless, that is what has taken place.

you see my business, family and mystery quilt has grown by such leaps and bounds that i’m at a point where i can’t manage it all.

this last spring incredibly overwhelming.

so much so that i’ve decided to make a few changes that i believe will help me immensely.

the first part was bringing cris on to help with the online shops and orders.

she will be able to be on top of what needs to be done.

i’m extremely thankful for her, her willingness and time.

i’m confident that you will see a marked improvement.

the other thing i’ve decided to change is mystery quilt.

namely, the recipient.

since starting the mystery quilt we’ve raised over $6,000 for cancer patients.

this is huge in some ways and still felt quite under-whelming in other ways.

holding all things in balance (because that’s what i’m shooting for at the moment) i had to consider what the best use of resources is.

am i/we doing this to it’s fullest potential.

so considered for quite some time changing mystery quilt to a 501(c)3.

however, it quickly became obvious that this course of action would place MORE responsibility on me.

not less.

so…back to the drawing board.

in doing some online research i came across an organization called CancerCare.org.

their mission and goals line up with mystery quilts but with the added benefit of being able to expand to provide in more areas than i ever could.

bingo.

there’s an added bonus: it’s tax deductible to you, me AND anyone who wants to can contribute as much or as little as they’d like.

this will run quite similar to the new years day mystery quilt where we raised money for sewing machines.

here’s the link to my fundraising event:

http://community.cancercare.org/MysteryQuilt

i’ve set the goal at $3000.

once you are done there you can purchase your mystery quilt for $5 each either in the etsy shop (especially if you want to use credit card and the link is below) or the shop here at heatherspencedesigns.com (best if preferring paypal).

if you have any questions at all you can send me a message through the contact page or email.

thank you for all your love and support!

i’m confident that these changes will make our mystery quilt fundraisers more effective.

~ h

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one quilt, two quilt, three…

quilt, four.

while the girls were away i quilted.

a lot.

as in, i got through all the client quilts and started on the stack of mine in the closet.

that’s four quilts that are quilted and i also got the bindings on.

shock and awe.

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i’ll show you the almost full view of the top three.

the bottom one you’ll just have to wait.

(i promise it’s far more torturous for me than for you but i love a good surprise and this one will be so worth it.)

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in the spring after we returned from australia i donated to a local school auction a quilt.

super simple quilt.

here it is…i know the ‘g’ is funky.

really have no idea how that’s supposed to look!

right…onward…

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this guy is three years old.

it’s an american heroes quilt.

if you don’t know about them you can find out more at this link:

http://www.americanheroquilts.com

it’s a great organization that gives quilts to wounded soldiers that have just returned from overseas at joint base lewis/mcchord here in washington.

and the last one to share right now…

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this is my new years quilt, 1600 with a twist.

almost finished!!

i’ll post a full pic when the binding is done.

right now the stack is growing but it feels good to have my closet empty (for a change).

not to worry…i’ve got three more projects cut out and three waiting to be cut.

:)

i’m a glutton for punishment.

on the home front:

girls are home from camp and ‘re-entry’ has gone pretty well.

surprisingly.

though as soon as they got home friends were at the front door.

today i finally banished the girls to their rooms to rest.

my little introvert (chloe) is turning into a crabapple because she’s not had enough alone time.

abi’s turning into a crabapple because she simply hasn’t had enough sleep.

i’m turning into a crabapple because their crabbiness grates on my nerves.

so i sent the friends away and shoo’ed them to their rooms for books and resting.

i think that come tomorrow everyone will be much (MUCH) happier.

:)

quilt details!

: :

rang quilt:

quilt top from new Stof fabric.

i drew the branch with leaves.

large meander in coordinating signature thread.

90″ warm & white batting

: :

american heroes quilt:

blocks were collected from several quilters so i have no idea where the fabrics came from.

quilted with ‘stars and ribbons’ pantograph.

king tut 100% cotton ‘freedom’ thread.

90″ warm & white batting

: :

new years day mystery quilt ~ 1600 with a twist

strawberry lemonade (me & my sisters designs) jelly roll (super old)

white background

signature 100% cotton white thread

90″ warm & white batting

double bubble pantograph

(as a side note the pattern is almost finished…we’ll let you know when it’s in the shop!)

a new person

she’s not new to me but she’s new to you.

her name is cris haake.

now before you go saying her last name in funky ways i want to clarify that if you say ‘hockey’ you will have gotten it correct the first time.

please…no ‘hake’ (like ‘rake’ or ‘fake’).

she’ll know that you don’t know her.

it’s a dead give-away.

every time!

so without much ado let me introduce to you to my sweet sister…

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isn’t she gorgeous??

:)

i know.

she looks like me.

that’s the thing about genes.

and i’m proud to say that we share them.

so here’s the thing about cris and why i’m introducing her.

since the mystery quilt and patterns have been added to my business i have become swamped.

as in, i can’t handle it all.

and while we were in australia it became painfully obvious that i really need someone who can take on this side of the business for me.

enter cris.

she’s been looking for a job.

but she wants to stay home too.

and what better job than to be able to do a job that needs to be done in the privacy and comfort of one’s own home?

i know!!

so she’ll be taking on the shops on my website and the etsy store.

she’s so smart and i trust her.

plus she’s just a really cool person.

if you get a chance please give her a hearty greeting!

ciao!!

a hard thing…

today i did a hard thing.

i put my girls on a bus and sent them away to overnight camp.

four nights without my babies.

the house is very quiet.

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i keep expecting to have to leave to pick them up.

and check the clock accordingly.

it feels quite odd.

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it’s stressful but in a non-pushing sort of way.

for 10 years i’ve been pushing against the things that encroach upon the person that is ‘heather’.

today none of that exists.

d is at work.

the girls are at camp.

i get to dictate what occupies my time without reason or justification.

it’s been a very long time since i’ve had to do that.

so what do i do?

i head off to ben franklin for a job interview!

LOL

i’m crazy!!

actually, it isn’t a proper job but a teaching position.

and guess what?

i got it!!

(not that i doubted but it’s still exciting!)

and i’m really looking forward to this new opportunity.

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i celebrated with a pizza.

(the celebrate plate was a happy coincidence…made even happier that the two pieces i ate showing me that i can celebrate.)

i don’t start until october so i have time to plan what will go down.

so there you go.

leaving my kids is a hard thing to do but i got a job the same day.

it all balances out, doesn’t it?

:D

cleaning house

that is both literally and figuratively.

for those of you not in the know,

both my machines died last week.

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well, technically, one wasn’t working properly a couple of weeks ago but i delayed taking it to be serviced for fear of how much it would cost.

never would i have thought that was exactly the right thing to do.

(yes, i was in the middle of a client quilt when the older machine decided to die.)

i’ve been in shock.

but i kept my head about me.

(i was in shock about that too…normally i would’ve lost it multiple times.)

in my state of shock i:

finished a quilt top

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(okay…i finished two but don’t have a pic of the other one)

made three backings and four bindings

(which isn’t so satisfying when you can’t actually quilt the quilts),

finished the you are my sunshine wallhanging

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(i did stitch in the ditch since i couldn’t quilt it on the frame, then used leftover bindings that matched so well with each other you simply can’t tell they’re leftovers.)

worked on a block of the month i started two’ish years ago…then screwed up and had to order more fabric so there it sits…again…

here’s the two sets of blocks finished…

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and the one block i screwed up…

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it’s a bit pathetic, really.

but it’ll be gorgeous when it’s finished!

then i did a block for one of my shop hop quilts

and

*drum roll please*

my alaska block!

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a few years ago d went to alaska for his job.

while there he found a quilt shop (such a good guy).

and at the time the great alaska shop hop was going on.

so he bought the block the shop was offering.

isn’t it great?

i’ll quilt and bind it then use it as a small wallhanging…or give it as a gift.

the other thing i did?

cleaned house.

vacuumed.  dusted.  washed windows.  organized.

the organizing has started to become a joke in our house.

doing all that helps me 1) not focus on what i should be doing (working)

and 2) makes me feel good for accomplishing something even though it’s not what i need to be accomplishing (working).

in and amongst all that we went to whidbey island (d’s birth mum is visiting) and had a gander…

we went here…

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and we saw this…

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and we smelled these…

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(i’ll give you a hint:  chocolate cosmos.  they really smell like chocolate!)

then we bought some at The Garden Shed.

the owner of that little shop in langley also owns the chocolate flower farm.

you can visit them at www.chocolateflowerfarm.com.

trust me, this is not a wasted trip.

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see how happy we are?

(of course with ice cream everything is happiness.)

all that aside, over the course of the week i spoke to the manufacturer, the dealer, the service center for the dealer,

my insurance company and today, finally, i got some answers and made some decisions about my machines.

we used the good parts from one machine to get the other machine up and running.

it cost far less that way too.

then i’ll start a conversation with the manufacturer.

we’ll see how it goes.

in the mean time, the machine(s) is fixed and i’ll go get it (them) tomorrow.

back to work with me!

right.

so now we’re off to get pizza at farrelli’s.

doesn’t that sound heavenly?

and i don’t have to cook.

*dance of joy*

~

details:

you are my sunshine wallhanging

handprints: my girls

book: calendar kids handprint quilts throughout the year

~

my alaska block

block by mary thompson of very mary alaska designs

various batik fabrics

~

paris in the fall bom

it’s old by several years.

the fabric is maison de garance by french general

challenge: no feathers

in the outsider border that is.

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that’s what debbie said.

it took me a little while to decide what would be appropriate.

though she really loves cross hatching i have some hang-ups in that department.

i’m too much a perfectionist.

so i decided to do straight lines.

oh so much better.

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then there was the matter of those teeny tiny borders.

i always do swirls.

this time i wanted to do something different.

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the leaves echo the leaves that are in the fabric.

you can see the third set of borders there.

large swirls with a leaf accent that matches the little border.

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continuous line curve in these blocks.

there were a total of eight, two each of four different designs.

i love how continuous line curve accents these types of blocks.

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the biggest challenge i had was to NOT feather everything.

so in this area i did swirl pinwheels.

it really turned out lovely.

had the same feel as the vines in the fabric.

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of course, i needed some feathers.

and more lines in the red to echo the outside border.

which really turned out beautifully.

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a little stippling (which is debbie’s favorite)

and veins in the leaves.

this was such a fun quilt!

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here it is finished…can’t really see the quilting so here are some close ups…

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and the backing

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the backing was actually quite dark but the lighting gave it a gray look.

which is kind of good.

you get to see the quilting.

p.s. i actually wrote this post days ago but the website froze up.

i was so frustrated that i closed it and walked away then completely forgot about it.

busy life

after a week of weird rain we have sun.

it’s hot and humid.

not quite a combination washingtonians are used to.

the rain totally decimated my rose garden.

the roses were so heavy with water that the stems were snapping.

they were hanging off the cane looking like broken finger.

it was sad.

so yesterday at 7am, when it was still cool, i got out and tidied up.

this last week (since our fishing trip) has been full.

i quilted this beauty…

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d and chloe painted her room…

here’s the before

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and the after

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it’s very blue.

her room is officially arranged the way she wants it with all her bits and pieces hung.

she loves it.

and, i’ve got to say, it suits her perfectly.

then i put this bad boy on the frame…

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still working on it.

so far there are two and a half days of work into it.

should be able to finish it up today after church.

it’ll be hot sweaty work.

the girls were busy creating this week.

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chloe made this bag for her doll.

she also made a hat, a ring and a necklace.

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you can’t see it well here (because an arm is in the way…chloe took the pic with my phone)

but she made a little pillow for her doll’s sore ankle.

as well as a painters palate, a necklace and a few other bits and pieces.

grandma genelle has arrived from sydney (yesterday) so now our fun really starts.

we’re going to have a splendid time with her here.

and finally, we went to my friends wedding yesterday.

they had lovely pink champagne cupcakes (which i didn’t eat…but they were still lovely.)

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and the food was amazing.

the chef actually went and cooked some salmon for the girls and i that had no butter.

i was such a happy girl!

the brides was beautiful and glowing.

it was a happy ending.

and now i’m going to eat some breakfast and get ready for church.

i’ll post pics later of the quilting with all the details you want.