Hi there! Hope you are having a warm and wonderful week. We had a fabulous weather day yesterday- 68 degrees and sunny! Haven’t seen anything approaching that in months! Today, we are back to “seasonal” temperatures and gusty winds. Brrrrrrr! And Friday- get this- I heard rumors of snow! Yes- Friday IS the first day of Spring… Sounds like some kind of joke but it is not funny!

Our bathroom renovation continues… it seems to be the project that never ends. Whenever the contractor tells us that “tomorrow” they will be finished, seems they add one more day. But fingers crossed, I will have my house back by the end of the week. I really need to clean- every inch, nook and cranny is full of fine dust and I can’t seem to stop sneezing.

In the studio, I have just put the finishing touches on the applique design for my next Block of the Month. It is sooooooo cute- I was practically jumping up and down when I finished it! Now I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the UPS guy- my delivery of fabric is scheduled for today and I can’t wait to get started on the applique! A tiny little preview:

JacquelynneSteves_FreeBlockoftheMonth_AppliquePreview

The fabric shown above are the fabrics that will be in the Moda Fabric Kit Prize (retail value $100)! Find out about my contest and how you could win the fabric kit- click here.

I just finished doing all of the embroidery for the embroidered version. Here are a few more snippets:

JacquelynneSteves_FreeBlockoftheMonth_EmbroideryPreview

POST NOTE- THE NEW BLOCK OF THE MONTH SHOWN ABOVE, CALLED COZY AFTERNOON, HAS BEEN OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED! PLEASE CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW TO GET YOUR FREE PATTERNS.

In the next week or two, I am going to show you a proper preview of the quilt. (I am so anxious to show you!)  It’s quite a long process to put together- I started last November. So much “unglamorous” stuff goes on behind the scenes.

Here is how this is going: I designed the blocks and the setting back in November, then I needed to choose the fabrics. I had to figure out some basic fabric requirements, so I’d know how much to order (buying fabric by the bolt is a BIG commitment- you don’t want to get that step wrong!) so I could put kits together. I made an appointment with a Moda representative, and ordered the fabrics at the beginning of December.

Next, around January, I started drawing my embroidery patterns. Also at that time, I made a couple of the blocks with scrap fabric, just to see if I liked them, and I scribbled down some basic instructions. In the meantime, I started stitching the embroidery for the embroidered version of the quilt (the blue and gray one). Then, I made a sample with all of the blocks, writing down instructions as I went (this quilt version was just pieced, no embroidery or applique). I finished that quilt and sent it out to the long-arm quilter the other day.

Next, I figured out more precise fabric requirements and cutting instructions. Now, I am taking those hand written/scribbled instructions and writing them on my computer, and drawing up the diagrams as well. Then, I will use those instructions to make the next sample, the blue and gray embroidered one, to test the instructions and edit as necessary, and also to check the fabric requirements. I will send those instructions to my bloggers/pattern testers so they can test it as well. Finally, I will make the “official” sample (the appliqued version) with the fabric which will be in the kit, doing a final test of the instructions. So, before you see the first block pattern, I will have made at least 3 compete quilts, as well as some leftover “orphan” blocks from the design process.

(And that is just the design part- it doesn’t include all the technical stuff like uploading the patterns, promoting it on social media, organizing my bloggers/pattern testers, etc.)

All 3 versions of the quilt that I am doing are VERY different- and I love every one of them!  I REALLY hope you will enjoy this next Free Block of the Month as much as I am enjoying designing it. We will start the sign ups in mid-April, and the first block pattern is scheduled to go out in June. This is going to be some really fun summer stitching!

I’ve also been working on The Art of Home e-magazine, which is scheduled to go out on April 1. Are you signed up yet?? Make sure you are- this is going to be a great issue! I’ve got a FABULOUS interview with a very well-known and FUN quilt and fabric designer, some really quick and cute sewing projects, and the winner of our Photo Contest… Don’t miss it! And please, tell your friends! You can use the ever-so-handy “share” buttons below- I’d be so appreciative!! Thanks!

Lovely Day Tulip Art- Jacquelynne Steves

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