Virtual Cookie Exchange Blog Hop and Giveaway

You can find me today at Creative Latitude, a new blog by yours truly.  I’m participating in a Virtual Cookie Exchange Blog hop, hosted by Carol Swift of Just Let Me Quilt.


Carol has lined up a wonderful group of blogging quilters that will be sharing yummy cookie recipes. I think you’ll also find holiday fun, #CreativeGoodness, and various giveaways along the way.  To clarify, this blog hop starts today and goes thru December 7th.


Here is the schedule:

Super Cute Paper Piecing a book review (and a Giveaway Alert)

I think I’ve come across the most unique and creative book I’ve ever seen.  Needless to say, I’m thrilled to be able to share insights with you today about this new book:  “Super Cute Paper Piecing – Designs For Every Day Delights“, by Charise Randell,   recently published by Martingale.  

badge for books with #CreativeGoodness copy

This book is totally packed with #CreativeGoodness.


Paper piecing’s never been cuter! Discover delightful designs to paper piece; then sew them into even more delightful projects. Photographs walk you through the technique, so you’ll be paper piecing like a pro in no time–and get perfectly precise results.

Feature the motifs in a pillow, wristlet, cross-body bag, coasters, pouches, and a mini-quilt. Or, sew these happy little blocks into any project you like!

About the Author

Charise Randell has been a womenswear fashion designer for more than 20 years, creating collections for brands including Halogen for Nordstrom, Sergio Valente for Union Bay, and women’s knit and woven sportswear for Eddie Bauer. A frequent contributor to Stitch, Sew News, Sew It All, and Quiltmaker magazines, Charise is known for her charming vintage-look paper-pieced designs. You can find her online at



This book is a “must have” for those that enjoy paper piecing, as well as those that may want to learn to paper piece.  It has the most unique projects that are perfect for you to use, decorate your home, as well as make for gifts.  I also see this book being an excellent resource to Quilt Guilds, as well as friendship groups, that want to create super fun challenges.  All the projects come with easy to follow instructions which also have great visuals, perfect for quilters of all levels.

I hope you get a chance to check out this book at your local quilt shop, as I think you’ll agree with me that one block quilts do not have to be boring!  Of course, if you don’t see it I hope you’ll let them know you are interested in having them make it available. It is such a new book they may not be aware of it.  But you can also check it out online at Martingale or Amazon.



Martingale is hosting a fun giveaway where one lucky winner will receive a copy of this new book Super Cute Paper Piecing.  To enter, simply visit Martingale’s blog Stitch This and follow instructions on their post that shares more insights about this creative new book.  Just be sure to enter soon, as Martingale will randomly be selecting a winner this coming Friday.

I hope you get a chance to check out this new book at your favorite quilt or sewing store.  But if you don’t see it, as it is so new, be sure to let them know about this creative book and that you’d like to have them make it available.  It is such a new book they may not be aware of it.  Of course, don’t forget you can also check this book out at Martingale’s online store, as well as Amazon.

You can find Martingale at:
martingale logo

You can find Charise Randell at:


EQ8 – Tutorial: Design A Simple Baby Quilt

Learn EQ8 with just 15 minutes a day of “Playtime”.  Seriously, you’ll be surprised how much you learn in a very short time.  And for those that have already gained expertise with EQ7, or prior versions I want to also encourage you to try 15 minutes of play with EQ8 while you gain familiarity with the new look and enhancements.  It really is playtime!


Don’t have EQ8 software?  Check out this overview video from the Electric Quilt Company to learn about this new software that was designed to be user-friendly,  faster, more intuitive, and more creative!

note:  Should you have a problem viewing this embedded video, here is a link to watch it directly in Youtube:

There are a lot of tutorials available from the EQ Team: Do You EQ  is  a great site to find tutorials and more to learn EQ8.  The EQ Channel on Youtube also has helpful video tutorials.  Plus, there are a lot of bloggers and teachers that have shared free tutorials on their blogs and/or Youtube channels.  Using the approach of 15 minutes a day playtime, these tutorials can be started/stopped and repeated on your schedule.  When repeating any tutorial use it as a learning opportunity to see how much you remember and can do on your own!  Then progress to learning by playing with the software to create your own designs, 15 minutes at a time.  Just commit to 15 minutes a day (or when you can) and remember it is learning fun!

I’ve created a simple and short tutorial for EQ8 users to create a simple baby quilt.  This tutorial is also structured where you can start, stop, repeat anytime you want.  I also encourage you to do so, until  you are confident with the steps and can do it on your own.  Once you are comfortable, I want to encourage you to take this simple design and modify it to make it your own.  Punch it up in design and/or size, as you desire.  Possibilities are endless.

Let’s start playing with EQ8 for 15 minutes.  Game on!  If you have any problems, questions, feedback feel free to email me or leave a comment.  I will try to assist you, as well as update this tutorial, as appropriate, based on your feedback.

STEP 1 – Open EQ8 software and create new project









The PROJECT HELPER Menu  will appear.  In the CREATE NEW PROJECT tab, type the name of your project.  For this tutorial, we will call it “EQ8 Baby Quilt Tutorial”.  Then click “OK”.







STEP 2 – Design a block scratch:



Click on the “BLOCK WORKTABLE”







Underneath the BLOCK STYLES, you’ll find a helpful list of tips:












The Block worktable will now appear.





STEP 3 – Define the block


Set the size of the block width and height to 30″



Set the Snaps to 30″ for Horizontal and Vertical



Enable the snapping options:



STEP 4- Line Tool


Our quilt block is going to incorporate 4 rows of 2.5″ strips vertically and 1 horizontally. We will use the line tool to draw these rows on our design. Click on the line  tool.  



We are going to design in 4 four vertical strips (8 lines) where we will eventually use 2.5″ strips.  To start, click on the node that is 3″ down on the left side, hold, drag and release on the node directly on the right side.  Repeat same step at the 5″ side of the quilt.

2nd strip gets added to our design by repeating above at the 7″ and 9″ points.

3rd strip gets added to our design by repeating the original step, to add a strip, at the 23″ and 25″ points.

4th strip gets added to our designn by repeating the original step, adding our final vertical strip, at the 26″ and 28″ points.

Now, we have our quilt block with all of our vertical strips.








Next we use the line tool to add a 2.5″ strip (finishes as 2″) horizontally.  We’ll draw from top to bottom at the 3″ mark, as well as the 5″ mark.








As we want to optimize our strips with the least amount of cutting and sewing, we need to remove a few pieces of the lines where the strips overlaps.  Click on the vertical line and click on the the ADD NOTES AT INTERSECTIONS button.  Repeat for the other vertical line.



Our block now looks like this, with nodes at all intersections.








Click on the PICK TOOL. And then click on part of the overlapped line that we want to remove.  I recommend making the strips going vertical all one piece, but the strip going horizontal will need to be pieced.  Once we have clicked on the part of the line we wish to remove we simply press the DELETE key.  Repeat, as appropriate to remove unnecesssary pieced seams in our design and we’ll end up with a design that looks like this:








Lines can also be moved.





Simply click on the EDIT tool.



Click on the node for the line you want to move, hold, drag and release where you want it to be.






STEP 5 – Color

Click on the COLOR tab.


Click the Paintbrush tool






Click on the fabric or color you wish








Using the paintbrush tool, color the areas of your block as desired.








STEP 6 – add to Sketchbook

Click the “ADD TO SKETCHBOOK” button.



STEP 7 – print

Click the PRINT AND EXPORT button



The Print Options will appear:






Underneath, PRINT TIPS will appear:











Click YARDAGE to get your fabric requirements for this project.






Ooops. I just realized this quilt will take 1 + 1/4 yard of my primary fabric (if I use the primary fabric for binding too).  As I only bought 1 yard of my fabric, I can see 2 viable options: 1) Buy more fabric, or 2) Modify my design to make it smaller!  Stay tuned, to see what I do and how my finished Baby Quilt looks.  BTW – I’ll be sharing it on my new personal blog – Creative Latitude.  As I have to have this baby quilt ready for a baby shower on December 9th, I don’t have a lot of time.   Bet you could figure out how to use EQ8 to make this design smaller (or larger).  But whew, am I glad I used EQ8 software to design this quilt and provide fabric requirements before I began cutting up my fabric!

To print rotary cutting steps, we need to click on the block in the center of the quilt.  Then click the Rotary Cutting button.



A Rotary Cutting pop up chart appears, allowing the option to change default settings.  We will use the defaults and click













A step that is a must at the end of the project, but always good to do periodically throughout the design of a complex project is to “save”.  There are several ways to do this. From the main file menu 
FILE > SAVE AS > (name of your project)
Don’t forget “Playtime” in EQ8 broken into daily 15 minutes sessions can be great fun and excellent way to learn.   And, if you have feedback on this tutorial, or any questions, feel free to email me, or leave a comment. I’ll try my best to help you, as well as create future tutorials based on your feedback.
You can find the Electric Quilt Company at:

The Big Book of One-Block Quilts a book review (and a Giveaway Alert)

Do you ever think about making “a little something”, for a gift, or for you?  Today I want to share insights about “The Big Book of One-Block Quilts”, a new book recently published by Martingale.

badge for books with #CreativeGoodness copy


It’s so easy to create quilts that repeat a single block–make just one and you’ll have the confidence to fly through the rest of your quilt! Choose from a whopping 57 quilts to piece one block at a time, or make blocks in multiples with quick chain-piecing methods. Star designers including Kim Diehl, Country Threads’ Mary Etherington and Connie Tesene, Pat Sloan, Carrie Nelson, and Jo Morton will help you along the way.

Pair your repeated blocks with plain squares, rotate blocks for a playful spin, or simply line them up row by row. From fun make-in-a-weekend designs to stunning quilts to cherish and pass on, you’ll find the perfect block to repeat in this colossal compilation of quilt patterns!

If you are reading this via email, here is a link to watch this video via Youtube:


With 57 quilt designs shared in “The Big Book of One-Block Quilts: 57 Single-Block Sensationsthis is a “must have” book that is also a great value.  It is packed with fun designs that have easy to follow instructions that can help you create projects for your home and/or gifts that are fast and easy to make.  Don’t overlook the endless possibilities of using the block designs to mix and match, to create your own unique design too!  Quilting books also make great gifts.    And what about the fun a quilt guild could have with challenges based off of this book?  Total #CreativeGoodness.

I hope you get a chance to check out this book at your local quilt shop, as I think you’ll agree with me that one block quilts do not have to be boring!  Of course, if you don’t see it I hope you’ll let them know you are interested in having them make it available. It is such a new book they may not be aware of it.  But you can also check it out online at Martingale or Amazon.


Martingale is hosting a fun giveaway where one lucky winner will receive a copy of this new book One-Block Quilts.  To enter, simply visit Martingale’s blog Stitch This and follow instructions on their post that shares more insights about this creative new book.  Just be sure to enter soon, as Martingale will randomly be selecting a winner this coming Friday.

I hope you get a chance to check out this new book at your favorite quilt or sewing store.  But if you don’t see it, as it is so new, be sure to let them know about this creative book and that you’d like to have them make it available.  It is such a new book they may not be aware of it.  Of course, don’t forget you can also check this book out at Martingale’s online store, as well as Amazon.

You can find Martingale at:
martingale logo


Free-Motion Quilting Challenge – Pumpkins, Sponsored by Martingale

If you have not yet tried free-motion quilting, or not yet feeling comfortable with it, I hope this challenge encourages you to give it a try.  Likewise, for those that have tried FMQ, maybe comfortable with it (or not), I hope you’ll also give it a try.  Learning/improving our FMQ skills does require practice, practice, practice.  Even 15 minutes a day can make a big difference.  Initially practice is needed just to learn the basics and feel comfortable.  Then, practice is needed to learn more FMQ motifs.  But every FMQ Expert I’ve ever talked to tells me that they still practice FMQ before they begin to work on a project, even when they know the designs. And, they spend more time practicing when working on a new FMQ motif.

I’m hosting this FMQ Challenge to help encourage everyone to learn/improve your FMQ skills. And, I hope those with experience will also participate to share and inspire others.  This simple challenge has a Fall theme and incorporates two FMQ tutorials for beautiful pumpkin motifs.

Pumpkins are perfect for decorating anytime in the Fall, not just for Halloween.  Actually, they look beautiful anytime of the year.Thus, this Challenge is not just a FMQ Challenge, but a pumpkin challenge that showcases two FMQ tutorials, by two amazing quilters, teachers, designers and authors.  I hope you will join the fun and use this challenge to learn/improve your FMQ skills, as well as inspire others with your sharing.  Participants that share, automatically get entered to win a prize with each project that they share!

Plenty of ways to enter:

 1.  Learn/improve your free-motion quilting skills by utilizing one or both FMQ tutorials for stitching pumpkins, by:

LORI KENNEDY  (The Inbox Jaunt) – 2015 FMQ Challenge  Reboot – practice, practice, practice this tutorial to learn and improve your FMQ skills, as well as create a beautiful project with a pumpkin motif.


LEAH DAY – MAGICAL PUMPKINS – practice, practice practice this FMQ tutorial to learn and improve your FMQ skills, as well as create a project that incorporates this beautiful design.

2.  You can create and share any type of project, or practice sandwich that you desire  But of course, finished projects are very inspirational.  Maybe you’ll want to incorporate this challenge into a table runner, wall hanging, mug rug, pillow, quilt, etc..  The possibilities are endless.

3.  While you can practice and learn FMQ by one or both of the above FMQ tutorials, if you have previously done so you can share any project you previously created.  Of course, I want to encourage everyone to practice again, and again, to improve your FMQ skills, ideally practicing more than once with each of the above tutorials.  So, to clarify, the more projects you create the more entries you get, regardless of when you make them. They just need to be shared before this Challenge ends in November, to qualify for an entry to win prizes.

4.  Practice, practice, practice and share your results with us no later than November 30th, to be eligible to win a prize.  To share,  you have two options:  a) post a copy on my facebook page at  or email me your photo entries with your contact info, no later than November 27th,  and I will post on Facebook no later than November 30th.  To clarify, you need not have a Facebook account, nor be a blogger.  But, for those who are bloggers if you opt to do a blog post to share what you create, you are also encouraged to add a link when you share on my Facebook page or share the link in your email to me so that I include it when I share your photos on my Facebook page (only applicable for those that don’t have a Facebook account).

Thanks to Martingale for sponsoring this Challenge.  One lucky winner will be randomly selected early December and have their choice of one of the following books, which QuiltShopGal will ship directly to the lucky winner, anywhere in the world!

This Challenge is open to WW participants.

Please email me if you have any questions.   



You can find Lori Kennedy at:

You can find Leah at:

You can find Martingale at:
martingale logo


Note:  I’m currently researching to see if I can replicate this challenge with a Winter of Christmas theme, as well as one for Spring.  It will also depend on how many participate in this challenge.  Thus, I hope if you are interested in seeing such challenges you will encourage others to participate too!  

Who Turned 34 and Celebrating with a Great Sale ?

Did you hear Leah Day turned 34 this week?  Happy Birthday to Leah and thank you for all you do to make our world of quilting so wonderful.  She shared her heartfelt thoughts in a sweet video that I found very positive and want to encourage everyone to watch:

To celebrate her 34th birthday she is hosting a 40% off sale on all her downloadable books, patterns and workshops available thru her online store at



Click thru and check out the amazing deals for her workshops, downloadable books & patterns, even fun machine embroidery designs all at 40% off (what a steal).

If you don’t yet have a copy of Leah’s 365 Free Motion Quilting designs I recommend this book as a “must have” for anyone interested in FMQ.  It is a great resource to plan out your projects, as well as to plan out designs you want to master.  A downloadable copy can be helpful to have on a laptop when traveling and/or a tablet, that you can also set near your machine when you are quilting.

There are also other items on sale, while not 40% off, there are still more deals on her site. Plus, her regular prices are always reasonable.  So click thru and check out her Birthday sale.  What a fun way to celebrate Leah’s 34th birthday – where you get to buy yourself a present.  Heck, if you don’t have time to take the workshop now, this is such a steal you can wrap it up and give it to yourself for Christmas and complete the workshop next year.



Don’t forget this sale ends tomorrow, Monday at midnight.


You can find Leah at:

Call for Quilts – #QuiltsForVegas

Thanks to Christa Watson for sharing a post on her blog (Christa Quilts), which caught my attention for #QuiltsForVegas.

The Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild has a call for #quiltsforVegas and today I’m trying to heighten awareness and ultimately encourage quilters and quilt guilds to participate.  Help is needed to make and donate quilts, even quilt blocks that will be turned into quits.  But I also suspect that more ways to volunteer would be appreciated (e.g. donation of batting, fabrics, longarm skills, etc.).  Help is also needed to contact your guild board members, even local quilt store owners, to see if they can help rally volunteers for this very worthwhile cause.

The Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild has stepped forward to help quilters, from around the world, help give much needed quilty hugs to  get quilts to the victims and first responders.    Using block patterns from Cluck Cluck Sew, using the 10 inch finished block size, where a heart block (located anywhere in the quilt), will certainly provide the recipient a good quilty hug of comfort. Grayscale blocks, in any arrangement along with one heart block somewhere on the quilt. They want you to use 2 fabrics in each block; white and a happy contrasting color but feel free to mix it up however you like!  


I love the cheerfulness from these quilts.

The easy to sew design is also very versatile.  There is no right or wrong.  And, the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild is also open to receive quilts from other designs that could offer good quilty hugs and comforts to those impacted by the Las Vegas shootings.

For more info:

If you have questions email:

Don’t forget, help is needed to increase awareness for this call for quilts #quitsforvegas  – you can make a difference by helping to spread the word.  Let your quilt guild, quilt shop owners and quilting friends know.  Even making a quilt block for this cause can make a difference, but the word needs to get out to let people know how they can help spread much needed quilty hugs to those impacted by the shootings in Las Vegas.


I’m back

Whew, what a summer.  Traveling with limited internet, my laptop died, lost access to edit my blog and my primary quiltshopgal email address.  But looks like I’m back in the saddle again and all is well in the world (or the world is sorta ok).  How have you been?  Anyone miss me?  I can honestly say I missed you and hope you had a wonderful summer and all is well in your world.   I have some news to share this week, so stay tuned.

Pets On Quilts Show – 2017

It’s time.  I can honestly say this is my favorite event of the year – The Annual Pets on Quilts Show, hosted by Snoodles of Lily Pad Quilting.

Pets on Quilts 2017
I love seeing all the cute pets on beautiful quilts.  This is a super fun event for bloggers and non-bloggers who love animals.  I’ll confess I love all sorts of animals and I love quilting, so this show is meant to be.  Plus, Snoodles does such a great job hosting this event and has lined up amazing sponsors who have donated generous prizes.  But while winning prizes can be great fun, the fun is really all about seeing all the sweet pets and beautiful quilts.  And, you’ll even find pet themed quilts that are inspirational.


I’ll also confess, I don’t have a pet.  All my pets are now in pet heaven.  While I’d love to adopt a pet from a shelter, I’m a few years off from being able to offer a furr-ever loving home. In the meantime, I volunteer to pet watch and walk where ever I can.


I thought I’d share a picture of a sweet dog on a recent quilt I made.  The quilt was a free pattern and video tutorial from the Fat Quarter Shop for a classic Jacob’s Ladder Quilt.


This cute dog is a long hair Corgi.  He was all about food and fortunately I had dog biscuits that his 2 legged mother approved me giving him one.  He wanted to explore everything and became super excited once he found my quilt.  He actually didn’t seem to want to get off of it.  While I would have approved him to stay for an extended visit (even longer than a summer), his 2 legged mother insisted that he had to go with her when she left.


I want to encourage everyone to check out the Pets on Quilts Show which officially begins today.  You can find a Linky Party tool on Lily Pad Quilting.  Participants can share anytime during the show (linky tool is live), so you may want to bookmark and go back.  I love to click thru all the entries to learn more about the sweet pets, as well as the beautiful quilts.  IF you have a pet or a pet themed quilt, don’t overlook the fact that even though this show started today, there is still time to snap some photos and enter.  Just pop by Lily Pad Quilting for more info on this super fun event.  And, I hope you’ll help spread the word too!

The Brain of a Creative Person

For generations, many have felt that the brain of an creative person was better (memory, creativity, communication skills, etc.) than a non-creative person.  You have probably seen this artwork before, but I wanted to share it today, as well as get us all thinking about our creative brains.

quilters brain patchwork

I’ve personally witnessed designers design and I’m convinced they have fireworks going off in their brain when they create.  I’m convinced that Creative Souls, not just musicians, have amazing brains (far better than mine).  So when I came across this Youtube video about the brain of a musician, I knew I wanted to share it with you today.

What do you think?  Would we  get similar results if such a study was performed on creative individuals, who might be quilters, embroidering enthusiasts, sewing enthusiasts, jewelry designers, painters, or any form of #CreativeGoodness?  Watch it and let me know what you think.

CNN also shared an interesting article “This is your brain on crafting” that shows evidence that creative activities may protect against aging, be a natural anti-depressant, and offer similar effects as meditation.

Personally, I’m convinced your brain is firing on my pistons than the non-creative brain.   I hope you’ll consider leaving a comment to share insights about your creative brain.  Maybe ideas for how you fuel it, re-energize it, or even your observations on others with creative brains.   Of course, I also want to encouraging sharing of ideas for how we inspire future generations with creative brains.  So please share your thoughts on this topic.

  Full Disclosure - Affiliates with QuiltShopGal