Sunday, February 18, 2018

And the Winner Is. . . . .

I love giving away stuff, and as promised, to celebrate my 10 years of BOM-ing I am giving away not one, but two prized each month.  The winners get a charm pack and a free pattern.

Winner One:  Carlita Brown - who left a comment on my last blog post.
Winner Two:  Robin Goodgoin - who posted a picture of the January block on my Facebook Group Page.

Congratulations!!!!!!  Please contact me with shipping info so I can send your gifties.

NOTE:  Winners are chosen at random from all pictures submitted and all comments published.  A winner for February will be posted the end of the month.

So do you want a sneak peak at the next Block in this year's Block of the Month??????

OK, but don't tell anyone.

And yes, it is orange.  Don't we all need a little bright tulip nonsense on the Ides of March?  Coming to a blog near you (this one) the first of March.  Which is not that far off because February is a short month.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Starburst Blossoms Block 2 - Periwinkle is now available

On gray blustery days (like today in Kansas), where the threat of snow is in the air and my birds are flocking to the feeders, you need something bright and cheerful to lift your spirits.

Well, at least I do!

So what better cheer-me-up than a new free block for the 2018 Block of the Month 
Starburst Blossoms!

I thought it would make you happy!  Hehe

So here it is, the February installment of Starburst Blossoms: Periwinkle

Block 2: Periwinkle

Download this block for free by clicking on the link on the 2018 BOM tab at the top of the page.  Or go to my website.  It will be free for 30 days so be sure to pick up your copy by March 1.

Can you stand more cheerfulness?

Then pick up the second Bonus Block too!  It is free to Newsletter Subscribers.  Others can purchase it on my website.

Bonus Block 2: Sunflowers

What?  Not a subscriber????  
Well you could be!  
It's free and fun and furry.  
Ok, not furry.  
But its free and you can sign on by clicking on the 2018 BOM tab 
or on the top left sidebar of this Blog Page.

Ok, now smile big!  Thanks 😊😊😊😊

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Fabric Chart for Starburst Blossoms Available

Every year I am asked what the yardage requirements are for the new BOM.  Most of the time I give sketchy (but generous) fabric lists, usually because I change things throughout the year as I post new blocks and finalize all the yardages and fabrics when I post the border patterns.

Well, after 10 years of doing block of the month  patterns, I got 'er figured out.  At last!  Check out the 2018 BOM Page on my blog for the complete list.  I am using Toscana textures and blenders by Northcott for my sample.  I will also be making another version in batiks from kits offered again from

Kits will be available on a monthly subscription from  The kit includes all first quality gorgeous batik fabrics for the top, border and binding, and includes postage.  You will be able to go to to sign up for the monthly kits very soon.  Kits will ship in February.

Several shops have contacted me about carrying fabric for this pattern, so check with your local quilt shop to see if they are carrying Toscana or if they are putting together other fabric packs for this quilt.  I will list the names of the shops I know are promoting the BOM and have fabric set aside for it.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

10 Year Block of the Month Celebration

The Morning Glory Designs company began modestly one afternoon in 2006 when I was sitting in my office at school, tired of grading papers, and wishing I was home quilting instead.  I had designed my first commercial pattern for my local quilt shop, Quilting Bits and Pieces in Eudora, KS, and needed to come up with a name to put on the pattern cover.

I was in the process of designing a table runner for every month of the year featuring a one-patch pieced background and an applique of the flower of the month.  I started with July Waterlilies.  This is the little quilt that started it all.

 I came up with a name for the series of runner patterns first:  Charming Botanicals.   Charm, as in charm patches, or one-patch quilts.  And Botanicals for the flower motifs I was adding to the runners.  I thought it was a great name and proceeded to design the first 10 months, one after another.  One each month for 10 months.  I was nuts.  Or I went nuts, or perhaps I just found the gold at the end of my rainbow.

I realized that I needed a company name and spent several hours on the computer at work, -- I am only now admitting this because I am retired --  looking at images of flowers and thinking I ought to have a name with a flower in it.  When I spotted a morning glory photo, I knew that was it.

I remembered my mother's garden at the old farm house in Avon, Ohio, where I grew up.  Mom had morning glories growing up a trellis on the side of the house. In the spring the huge yard around the house was circled with trees and flowers:  lilacs, cherries, rose of sharon, buckeyes, apple, and a huge weeping willow.  And flowers.  Tulips daffodils, iris, gladiolas.  Annuals and lots of perennials.  It was my own private little paradise where I played out all my childhood dreams and wishes apart from all my other siblings.  It was my happy place.

So Morning Glory Designs it became, and that same afternoon on the computer at work, I found a picture of a little morning glory and adopted it as my logo.  Later that year, in September, I designed the runner of the month which featured morning glories and asters.

 I used one of the morning glories from that quilt as my logo for the next 8 years.

I did notice that there was another company in the quilt industry with a similar name.  They were Mornin Glory Desigsn (no g on the end of morning) and they designed quilted jackets and vests.  I noticed they had the domain name for their website so I had to spell mine with 2 g's next to each other.  I bought my first domain, for $15.  I was thrilled and wasted no time setting up a website to announce to the world I was in business.  Well, actually it took some time to get that done and I had to hire a person to do it for me since I was pretty clueless about that sort of thing.

And that is how Morning Glory Designs came to be.

It was 3 years later, 2009 when I started this blog and kicked off my online presence with a free block of the month pattern I had designed as a teaching pattern.  Many students made the quilt in the beginning quilt class I offered at Quilting Bits and Pieces for several years.  When I moved on to other teaching patterns for that class I dusted off the first quilt and used it as my first BOM:  Midnight Posies.

It started out with a simple 9 patch daisy.  Each block was a flower and I designed it in EQ 5, and added a new technique with each block.  By the time you completed block 12 you had most of the piecing techniques you needed to move onto most any pieced quilt.  I put an applique vine border on it with flowers plucked from the EQ5 block library to add one last technique to the new quilter's repertoire of skills.

I was pretty much a novice at applique when I designed this quilt.  I realized that the pattern might look better (and sell better) with a pieced border, so I revised it and gave the border diamonds.

The readership on my blog grew to almost 100 people!!!!  Whoo Hoooo!  But it was the beginning of a tradition that has "blossomed" into a "growing" business.

10 years later I am offering a new Block of the Month programs with a few similarities:  a diamond border, 12 flower blocks, and a whole lotta free stuff.

May I present the 2018 Block of the Month: Starburst Blossoms

The votes were cast on my Facebook BOM page "name the quilt" poll and Starburst Blossoms was the runaway winner!  Thanks to all who cast a vote!

Peggy from is going to offer kits each month for this quilt.  Watch for an announcement here on my blog and on my Facebook page when they are ready.

The pattern for Block 1 is posted!

only a bit later than I planned to have it ready.  It literally takes hours and hours to design the final version of the quilt and then write the pattern, calculate yardage, and so many other tasks that have to happen before I feel confident to post the pattern.

In addition.  a good friend (with a very successful design business) once told me:

 "FREE is not a good business model."

Of course, she is right.  However, I built my business on offering a free block every month for 10 years, and it has been pretty darn successful for me.

So Block # 1  is the Roses Around Block I posted as a teaser.  It is not the first block in the quilt, but it is the first block I designed and could be my favorite.

The block is 16" square and the applique center is snugged into an 8-1/2" block within the pieced star background.  The pattern will have 2 parts:  1. the pieced background, and 2. the applique templates and placement guide.  Check out my 2018 BOM Page (tab on the right at the top of the blog)  for the instructions, fabric, tutorials, and links.

Finally, I have a challenge for each of you to win something each month in two ways.

Win patterns and charm packs in my January Giveaway:

1.  Complete this month's block by the end of January, send me a picture, or post it on my Facebook BOM Group page, and be entered to win a free fabric pack from Northcott featuring their Beautiful Basics line of Toscana.

2.  Send me a picture of your completed Midnight Posies quilt (yes the one from 10 years ago!), or post a pictureof it to my Facebook BOM Group page.

There is so much more to tell you, but that's it for now.  Thanks for hanging out with me again this year.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

2018 Block of the Month will be coming soon.

My new block of the month for 2018 has been a wee bit slow in getting finished.  Of course, that is because I have been moving pretty slow all winter so far.  I wanted to do another blue and white quilt really badly, but I resisted the urge and put together something really colorful to help ease us out of the winter chill.

I will be posting the whole quilt on a new page tab on my blog in the next few days, so look for it.  But I have to give you a sneak peak of one of the blocks in this new BOM.

These are HUGE blocks!  They are going to be 16" big and there will be 12 of them.  The are pieced with a center applique wreath.  Some of you may recognize the flowers if you were reading my blog back in 2011-12.  They are new and revised adaptations of blocks from my Vintage Sampler BOM pattern.  I just had to haul them out and play with them again cuz they are just too pretty to stay buried in the pattern archive.  I hope you like them.

As in the past, one block will be available each month for free, and a bonus block will be available for free exclusively to our newsletter subscribers. Others may purchase the block from my website.  Once a new block is posted the previous blocks will be moved to my website for purchase.  A border pattern will be supplied at the end of the year in my newsletter.

I would love to hear your feedback on this sneaky peak block.  Exrta hint:  each month the block will be a different color!  And yes, batik kits will be offered again from

Monday, January 1, 2018

Give Away Winners!

WOW, there were some really great suggestions for my 2018 Block of the Month.  Thanks to all of you who offered suggestions and comments.  I loved hearing your suggestions.

I selected two winners from among the comments.

The Mickey Mouse Charm pack goes to. . . . .

. . . . . . Lady Jane.  Congratulations!!

The Santa's Stash Charm pack goes to. . . . . 

. . . . . .Sue Green.  Congratulations

Winners must contact me by January 8 to provide a mailing address.  After that, I will select a new random winner from the comment list.

If you are a Newsletter Subscriber, watch your mailbox for the January edition coming soon.  It will provide the link to the free border pattern for the 2017 BOM.

If you have been collecting the 2017 BOM patterns, I have updated the complete fabric requirements on the 2017 BOM tab on my blog.  They include the requirements for the whole quilt setting pictured on the BOM Page.

Keep an eye out for news of the New 2018 free BOM coming soon!

Happy New Year to all of your incredible quilters and readers.

Friday, December 1, 2017

December free BOM is now available

The block for December is called Specter Star.  I think it's the prettiest one yet.  But then, like a mother, we think all of our babies are beautiful!  😊

Click on the tab (at the top of the  blog) for the link to this pattern. 

It is the last block in this Fair Isles Winter block of the month series.  I have had a blast designing these blocks and I will miss moving on to a new project.  I am still working on my blocks in hopes of having my quilt finished to publish as a complete pattern in January.

There are still two more installments to this BOM, however.  The border blocks will released in January and February.  They are applique blocks, but if you prefer to use pieced blocks in your border be aware they are smaller than the 12" published free blocks.  You can size blocks down to a finished size of 10" to get them to fit.  Yea right, I can hear you now. . . . stop cursing under your breath.  I'll do a tutorial on how to do that in January.

Every december I design a free poinsettia block for my newsletter subscribers.  This year I am working on block # 3.  You can now download blocks 1 and 2 for free on my website.  Here are the first two free blocks from 2015 and 2016.

The 2017 free Poinsettia block (pictured below in a free runner pattern - coming soon) will only be available to my newsletter subscribers.

Not a subscriber?  Click here to join.  Its free and you only get 2 emails a month and links to my free blocks and bonus blocks every month right in your email.  What's not to love?

Oh, here is the new bonus block for December: Fleur de Lis which is available to subscribers.  The link will be in your newsletter (not in this blog post).

Hope you like it.  Still taking suggestions for next year's BOM (see the previous blog post for more info).  I am giving away 2 charm packs to 2 random commenters who suggest ideas for next year's free BOM.  Leave a comment to be entered to win.  Contest ends December 10, 2017.  

Hope you are enjoying the upcoming holiday season.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

2017 BOM Wrap-up

The 2017 Fair Isles Winter BOM has been so fun to design and make.  I love doing the paper pieced blocks using the yummy blue and white batiks.  The last block is nearly ready and will be posted on December 1.  Be sure to get your free November block while it is still available.

Free November Block

There are two more installments for the Fair Isles BOM.  They include the inner and outer borders.  The borders use some of the bonus applique blocks.  Of course, if you are using the setting provided, you can use any block from 12 pieced blocks for the borders if you don't do applique.  However, the block size will be different to you may want to get the border patterns so you can resize your blocks for the borders.

Here is the December block which will be coming soon.

BUT WAIT --- while 2017 is winding down, I am hard at work on 2018 Free BOM!!! 

I would love to hear from you. . . do you want another pieced BOM or are you ready for some applique?  Floral or geometric?  Modern or traditional?  Batik, prints, blenders, or solids?  Scrappy or planned?  Stash buster or new fabric lines?  Easy, medium, advanced?

Leave a comment with your suggestions.  I will pick one comment at random to receive a free Holiday themed fabric charm pack!  I also just got a stack of Mickey Mouse fabric charm packs.  I will choose another random comment to get a pack of Mickey charms.  They are adorable.

Thanks for hanging out with me again this year.  You are the best!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Every once in awhile something you have anticipated for a long time finally arrives.  Sort of like waiting for Christmas when you were a kid.

Well my kind of Christmas has arrived!  EQ8 has been released.  Wow.  As a designer, a day doesn't go by that I don't use my EQ7 computer design software.  I was thrilled to be given the chance to help beta test the new EQ8 and had a chance to play and learn.  The new EQ8 has some features I really love, and will be telling you about a few of them over the next few weeks.

The really good news, however, is that the order I placed for EQ8 upgrades is shipping today!  That means that those of you who pre-ordered on my website last week (when my newsletter came out) will be getting your copy very soon!

In addition, the EQ Blog is listing the top 10 new features of EQ8 and you might want to take a look at that if you want to see what's new and improved.

Here is my favorite new feature:  the updated user interface (start screen).

The new interface is task-oriented making it so much easier to work with.  When you open the program you have three options.  Design a quilt, draw a block, or import fabric.  Wow.  Now that is smooth and simple.  

If you want to design a quilt you have 3 options:  open a file you already created, open a new file for a new project, or use a Quick Quilt project.  If you have never explored quick quilt, it has dozens of pre-designed quilts, even a new t-shirt quilt layout, that you can use as a starting point.  Of course you can edit the color, fabric, size and style of any of these quick quilts.

If you want to draw a block you have 2 options:  design a block from scratch using the block drawing tools (more powerful than ever), or search for a block in the amazing new updated block library with more than 6000 blocks!  

The coolest new feature of the interface is the ability to scan fabric right from the start screen to get your fabric into the program first, before you start to design.  Many new features for cropping, sizing, straightening, and scaling your fabric scans are at your fingertips, and not hidden away in menus you have to hunt through.
Images are from the EQ website:

Can you tell I am excited?

Of course I will be offering classes this fall and winter at Quilting Bits and Pieces in Eudora, KS.  But I am also available to travel to your shop or guild to show you a preview (so you can decide if you want to buy it or not), or to teach you how to use the new version of EQ8 once you have purchased the program.

Two things you should know.

If you have EQ7 you can purchase EQ8 at a discount price right now!  Currently it is $74.96 on the EQ website, but that price is an introductory special and won't last for more than a week or two.  

I have it on my website as well:  along with a few other EQ products I carry.  I am not a big retailer, but carry items which students typically request when I travel and teach. 

If you have EQ6 or EQ Mini you can still upgrade for a special price.  Check out the EQ website for more information.

The new stand alone EQ8 will be $239.95.  It won't be available for a few weeks yet, I was told this morning, but you can still pre-order it for 25% off on the EQ website.  I have ordered a few copies of the complete EQ8 and will also offer them at a discount when they arrive.

Both Mac and PC versions are available.

Want to know more?  Stay tuned.  I will be working on tutorials all winter which you will find on my website.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Christmas Carol Row A Long

Frosty the Snowman.  .  .

I always think of the animated cartoon film of Frosty and the two children when I hear this song.  So when I designed my row based on this Christmas song, I wanted Frosty and lots of snow, but opted to leave the cartoon kids out.

I hope you have been enjoying this incredible Christmas Carol Row A Long for the past several weeks.  Each day you have been able to download a FREE row pattern and enter some fabulous give-a-ways.

Here is my original design for my Frosty row.

You can download the free pattern HERE for one week.  The PDF file is large so give it a minute to download before freaking out.  Save it to your computer first, then open and print the file.

I made a few changes as I built my row, mostly some fabric choices trying to draw from my stash as much as possible.  My finished row is 10 x 30" (10.5" x 30.5").  Here is how I put it together.

I auditioned a variety of fabrics from my stash and decided on the background fabric first, and then chose the applique fabrics which would contrast well with the background.

I traced all of my applique templates onto the back of my fusible web.  I use Steam-A-Seam Lite 2.  I prefer it because it is very light weight, and has a slight sticky surface which adheres to the fabric while you are positioning pieces.

When drawing large applique shapes I cut the fusible web out of most of the middle of the shape before fusing it to the fabric.  This is called "windowing" and keeps your applique from getting stiff when you are working with overlapping layers.
For the snowman body and head you can see how I cut out most of the inside of the fusible web leaving about 1/4" around the inside of the traced line.  On smaller pieces, like the arm in the bottom of the picture, i don't bother cutting out the middle.

You can see how I cut out the fusible web from the middle of the tree shape in this picture.

Once I have traced all my templates I cut them apart and separate them by color and fabric.  Then I press each fabric and fuse the templates onto the BACK side of the fabric.  Since there is paper on both sides of the fusible web, be sure you are tracing on the side with the web attached.  

Then remove the loose paper before fusing but leave the paper on the web intact.  This paper will be removed after the template is fused and trimmed and ready to position on your row.

My tree was the first element to put on my background.  I sectioned off my background into equal segments and marked the segments on my block drawing.  That allowed me to position pieces on the background more easily.

Since I cut my background slightly larger than my finished size (11" x 31") I positioned my tree just a bit in from the edge of the background.  When all the applique is applied and stitched down I will trim the finished row to 10-1/2" x 30-1/2".

I only needed half a star for the top of the tree so I assembled the pieces on an applique pressing sheet (parchment paper also works) on top of my fabric so I could see the tree through the pressing sheet.  I pinned the pressing sheet to the fabric so I could position the star parts right on the edge of the row.

I like to use bent nose tweezers to position the applique on the pressing sheet.  Then I iron it to the pressing sheet using a hot steam iron.  Allow the motif to cool before peeling it off the pressing sheet.

After it is removed I place the pressing sheet UNDER the background fabric.  That way when I fuse the star to the top of the tree and the background fabric, the parts that hang over the edge won't get fused to my ironing board!

After the star is fused I want to trim off the excess.  I move to the cutting table to trim this with a ruler and my rotary cutter.

You can see that I have left enough to get caught in the seam allowance when I join rows or add sashing.

Next I assemble the snowman on the applique pressing sheet.

Can you see him?  He sort of blends in to the applique pressing sheet!  But I wanted all his parts to fit together before I positioned him on the background fabric.

Once Frosty was altogether I placed him on the background fabric and started to add his hat, hatband, and flower.  I fused all of this in place at this point because all the rest of the details sat on top of Frosty.

Here I added his face.

I kept my template reference and picture nearby so I could check my placement.  The last step in assembling Frosty was the greenery I used to decorate his bottom.  You could leave this off if you prefer him sitting in the snow.

I had "help" from my Siamese cat "Buster" who was determined to assist with the placement of the buttons on Frosty's front.  He insisted on overseeing most of the assembly, although I strongly urged him to oversee from the floor instead of from my ironing board!!

Next were the snowflake stars.  I love the way they turned out, but I have to admit they were a booger to cut out. That being the case I opted for three snowflake stars instead of the four I had originally designs.  Small sharp embroidery scissors really made the cutting out much easier.  I fused the white diamonds to the blue center first, then tucked the ends of the 8 branches under the edge.

Once the whole snowflake star was positioned on the background fabric I fused it in place.  I started with the largest snowflake star and then did the two smaller ones.

Here is my final finished row.

The last thing I will do to complete my project is to layer my batting and backing, and edge stitch all of the applique pieces in place through all the layers.  This will quilt and applique in one step.   When all the quilting and edge stitching is done I will bind the row to make a door hanging for my front door this winter!

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and have fun making this row!

Here is the whole list of bloggers and free rows:

Christmas Carol Row Along Participants!
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Cheryl LaPlante  (sponsored by Quilt In Piece)
Morning Glory Designs
Pampered Pettit
Fun Threads

Now the Giveaway

Hoffman 15 Fat Quarters Bundle From The 1895 Bali Watercolors line

Shipping Is Anywhere / Shipping Cost must be paid by winner.
Value $45.00

Starts September 26, 2017 / Ends October 03, 2017
Sponsor URL:

To enter the giveaway click on this link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rules and Guidelines For Giveaways
Please take the time to read it.

Giveaways offered by sponsors are assigned to the various bloggers for their featured day.

There are no prior announcements on who is doing which sponsor except to the sponsor themselves.

You'll have to visit the blog or the featured blog to enter the giveaways.

Not all giveaways can be entered at Seams To Be Sew.

I will start announcing winners on September 12, 2017, and finish announcing winners on October 12, 2017.

In most cases, the blog where you won at also will announce their winners.

You must give a valid email address when you enter the giveaways, any email returned to me, loses the ability to win automatically.

With the exception of Show and Tell Day, all giveaways run for approximately one week.

You are given 3 days to answer the email, if you do not answer within 3 days a new winner will be drawn. Check those spam/junk mail folders, you may miss that winning email if you don't do so because there are no exceptions to this rule.

If you are notified that you are a winner, in most cases, you will need to provide your name, address, city, state, zip code, country, telephone number, and email address.

In some cases, you will be asked to comment on the blog to enter the giveaway... do the right thing and thank them for the time it took to create the pattern, thank them for the pattern and...

Thank the sponsor by buying their products for the giveaways. This helps them continue to offer great prizes for these types of events. You can also comment on their social media pages. Even if you don't win, letting them know you love their products is a huge incentive and they really do love hearing from you.

No purchase whatsoever is necessary.

You must be 18+ in order to win a gift.

You are responsible for claiming and paying any tax owed on the value of any gift that you win. Prizes valued at $500.00 should be claimed.

All winners are chosen at random.

All winners will be announced on the blogs via the Rafflecopter entry form and/or post by the blogger at the site where they won and here at Seams To Be Sew. All winners must allow for their first name and first initial of their last name to be announced on this blog.

Odds of Winning a prize are based on a total number of rafflecopter entries during each week and in total for all giveaways.

This giveaway is void where prohibited by law.

Participating bloggers may enter any of the giveaways.

The word giveaways in the rules and guidelines are also known as sweepstakes.

Most of the giveaways are international shipping this year
in some cases, you will be asked to pay for shipping your giveaways.

I am not rich and I do not ask sponsors for money, they provide prizes only.

If they shipped the prize to me, you will be asked to pay for shipping.
All giveaways will be shipped that are in my home within 48 hours of my having heard from you.

An invoice will be sent to you via Paypal, and shipping will take place via Paypal, so your Paypal email will be needed to send the invoice. You will receive a tracking number except for overseas shipments. All shipping will either be first class which averages out at 2.77 to 4.00 up to 13 ounces. Paypal fees are added to that amount to cover that fee. All fabric bundles from Michael Miller, Hoffman, and Moda will be shipped via Priority Mail to protect the fabric itself.

Please note, every effort is made to protect the prizes. They go into a plastic bin when I receive them, and it is covered by an air tight cover. I have a dog in my home and I have a smoker in my home, so I do everything possible to protect the prizes.

Most companies are very good about getting prizes off to customers quickly also, but some companies are overseas, so please allow all sponsors a 2-week time period before you report to me that you still haven't received your prize. When the company is overseas, it can take 6 weeks to 90 days for an item to also arrive.

Whether or not you read the above, the rules for giveaways are in place to protect everyone. I do not want to hear you didn't read them, they will be posted on my blog daily during each featured day. There is no excuse for not reading them.