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Alison Glass Ventana Quilt

I usually am not such a sucker for holiday deals and sales…but when Alison Glass had her twelve days of Christmas, I couldn’t resist.  I ordered the pattern below (picture from Alison Glass’s website) in the kit format.  And I have to say…I have NEVER purchased a quilt kit before.  I take immense pleasure in selecting fabrics and design for a quilt, but it was so nice to not have to think about those things for once.  I opened the pattern, cut up all the fabric that was sent to me, and I whipped this quilt top up in about 4 days.  

I have yet to quilt the top…I’m thinking of adding some applique to the center of the white parts of the quilt to add a little more to it, but haven’t quite decided yet.  I had allowed myself a few days of selfish sewing prior to the end of 2016, and this was the project I chose to do.  It’s a great pattern–especially if you want to just follow someone else’s instructions (the blocks are foundation paper pieced), and you don’t even have to worry about being too mindful of the piecing process.  
foundation paper pieced blocks ready to be assembled
The kit I purchased came with Alison’s newest line of fabric-Seventy Six.  I added a few blocks to the standard pattern to increase the dimensions slightly.  I really didn’t think this pattern would come together as quickly as it did, and didn’t really have a backing in mind for it when I finished.  So I just wanted to share my bit of selfish sewing for 2016.  And while this isn’t really a pattern review, I have to say the pattern is extremely easy to follow (and the kit even came with enough fabric for me to make 12 extra blocks–increasing the size from a 5×6 layout to a 6×7 block layout.) and such a pleasure to make.  

My nearly finished quilt top 

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Longarming Apron-Tools of the trade

If you use a long arm quilting machine, you probably have noticed that it isn’t always easy to keep your most valued tools at hand while working.  I know this was an issue I had, as I currently rent time on a community machine and couldn’t just keep my items laying around wherever I pleased.  

I used to be big into making aprons, but since I took up sewing…my cooking time has long diminished.  The need for aprons in my household had kind of gone away, until I realized a sewing apron would really solve a lot of my problems.  

I had written a pattern for a simple pocketed apron a few years ago and tweaked a few things to make sure it would accommodate my needs.  Plus…Alison Glass’s Ex Libris fabric had just come out and I had to have something showing off that wonderful panel print.  I really wish that I had bought an entire bolt of that color way of the corsage print, because I can’t seem to find more of it anywhere.  When I adjusted my pattern, the bottom patchwork section of the apron had been a complementary strip of fabric–so I just added in the extra 1/4″ seam allowances for the little squares and pieced them to go with the center.  The pocket on the front of the apron is actually 3 pockets, which easily contain my seam ripper, scissors, and a water soluble marking pin.  The top flap that folds down on the body of the apron is where I slip my needle for burying threads so I always have it handy.  

If you have a spare apron laying around, you wouldn’t even need to make a special one for quilting.  I really love mine, and it has seriously uncomplicated my life in the quilting room.  Instead of wasting time searching for my scissors or seam ripper, I know where everything is and they’re always within reach.  

I know I’m surely not the first person to do this, but I hadn’t seen other quilters suggest this, so I thought I would put it out there.  If you can’t tell, I’ve got a serious Alison Glass fabric love going on.