Tuesday, August 13, 2019

New Holiday Block of the Month

Holy Smokes it has been a long time since I posted  on my blog.  I need to get my act in gear!  My excuse. . . . ?  None.  I have taken most of July and August off to rest up for my busy Fall travel season and working on new designs and writing patterns.  Lonely work at times, but so often rewarding.

Today I am posting a new Block of the Month for the rest of 2019.  It is a project I have been tossing around for a while now, and finally buckled down and finalized the design.  It is a fun and challenging pieced and appliqued holiday wall hanging featuring blocks I love and a few new techniques.

It is called Season of Lights and yes, there are a few bright objects in it.  I am offering it in two colorways:  Day Lights and Night Lights.  Kits are available in both light and dark HERE.

Each month I will offer a large 12" block for free and companion bonus block (available free with a coupon code from my newsletter).  There are 4 rows beginning in August, and each month a new set will become available for free.  After 30 days the block and bonus block will be available as a set for purchase on my website.  The last month I will provide instructions for the setting and border.

The first block is a 12" finished Feather Star block.  I have always loved this block and think it is so appropriate for the holidays.  The center is 4" square and would be perfect for some hand embroidery, a small 4" friendship star, or some pretty quilting.  I leave it to you to decide what you want to put in the middle.

The pattern is paper pieced.  It does not include instructions on paper piecing, so if you are a novice I hope you will view some of the many great YouTube videos on how to paper piece before starting on this block.   It is not a difficult block, it just has a lot of sections.

You can download it for free from my Website:  www.morningglorydesigns.com

If you subscribe to my newsletter you already got the code to the bonus blocks this morning.  Not a subscriber?  Pop over to the 2019 BOM page (tab at the top of the page) and subscribe.  I send out my newsletter twice a month and my subscribers list is a private list, shared with no one!  And it is easy to unsub if you don't want to get it anymore.  One click on the bottom of the newsletter does it.

Now for a short personal rant.  I don't do this very often, but thought I would run this by you.

This is the 12th Free Block of the Month I have given away. Next year I am thinking about charging a subscription for my block of the month.  I have given away thousands of dollars worth of patterns and am now thinking perhaps I may have been too generous. I am more grateful than I can say to the wonderful quilters who write and thank me for the free patterns. I received such a nice note from Deborah L. this morning acknowledging how much work it is to write these patterns and thanking me for doing it.  I was touched and grateful, and frankly, it made my day.   

Since posting my new BOM in my newsletter at 10 am this morning, more than 300 people have downloaded more than 1000 (yup, that is 1,000+) free patterns from my website.  I received one thank you note, and 3 notes from people complaining because they had trouble finding where to put the coupon code to get the bonus blocks for free.  I write a personal note back to each person, responding to their concern with instructions, suggestions, and a thank you.  

Then I started thinking about what it costs me to give away these patterns.  All of my expenses have gone up this year.  

  • My web hosting service raised my rate by $10 more a month.  
  • My credit card processor tacked on a $25 month fee in addition to the 2.9% + .15 per transaction fee.  That is in addition to the $100 annual fee I pay every September.  
  • Pay pal costs 2.9% plus .30 per transaction, but at least they don't charge an additional monthly or annual fee.  
  • Then there is the monthly cost for my internet service (which just went up another $10 month) and
  • the printing supplies I need to print and mail out patterns which don't go out as digital downloads.  For example, I pay $75 for a box of 10 reams of high quality 24# paper for printing and $600 to replace ink in three printers (one color laser, one inkjet, and one large format) about 2-3 times a year.  I send large runs out to a commercial printer but most block of the month patterns are printed on my equipment because they are too expensive to print commercially in color.  
  • Finally, I have lost count how many times the post office has raised postage costs this year.  I just know that everyone, including me, wants free shipping, but it costs me  $3.60 to mail a regular sized pattern first class mail, and nearly $8 to mail a block of the month pattern priority flat rate.

Ok, you get the picture.  My hope is that my free stuff is an incentive to purchase patterns, and I work hard to create beautiful patterns that people will want to pay for.  So far *today* after giving away an estimated $1,740 worth of patterns I have had $10.25 in sales.

So I would deeply value your feedback on offering a subscription block of the month next year.

Thanks for listening to my rant, and your continued patronage of Morning Glory Designs.  Time to clam up.


Saturday, June 22, 2019

New Patterns

A Morning Glory Designs pattern will be appearing in the next issue of the Quilt Pattern Magazine!

It is called "In the Pines" and was designed for my friend Tammy Silver's Globetrotter fabric collection for Island Batiks.  It hung in their booth last year at Quilt Market!

If you don't have a subscription to this terrific on-line Quilt Magazine you can get one for a discounted price  HERE using the secret code MGD.  
OOPS, the secret is out now!  :-)

Two new patterns will be on my website and in stores this Fall.

Wildfire was made using Accu-Quilt die cut tumblers.  Super easy to cut and sew.  This quilt hung in the Northcott booth at Spring Quilt Market in Kansas City.  I made it in red and black to honor those who were touched by the tragic California fires in 2018.   The purple and teal version is made in honor of those who were touched by the tragic midwestern flooding this year.

 The pattern features the newest Shimmer collections from Northcott.

Artisan Spirit Shimmer in Red and Black

Artisan Spirit Shimmer in Purple and Teal

The next new pattern is called Peony Garden and it features a panel from Timeless Treasures new Peony Dance fabric collection.

These fabrics are super yummy!  The pattern will be available at Hancocks of Paducahm who will be kitting it this summer.  It will also be available on my website and everywhere else this fall.

More new patterns coming soon!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Time to post a new edition to the Button Basket BOM.  Block 5 is now ready on the 2019 BOM page.  Check it out.

This installment includes instructions for the pieced borders and appliqued corner blocks.  Wondering where the flower circles and buttons are on the outer border?  They will be in the final installment (July) along with the finishing instructions.

If you are a subscriber to my newsletter you will get access to the 5th in a series of American Art Pottery Blocks.  This month is an elegant swan vase from McCoy Pottery.

Can you believe this BOM is almost over?  Yikes!!  Good thing I have another in the works for the second half of the year.  I am planning a holiday project. Which would you prefer?  Pieced or Applique?  Answer in the comments and be entered to win the whole pattern!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Quilt Market in Kansas City

My booth at Quilt Market featured my Block of the Month quilts.

 It was a great market and was fun to see all the new things that will be in shops later this year. 

This is a new design coming out in June. I made the quilt and it hung in the Northcott booth.  It is called wildfire and was made to honor the survivors of the California fires last year.

Watch for more big news from Morning Glory Designs this summer. 

Friday, March 1, 2019

Button Basket Block #2 is available for free in March

This block was totally fun to design and pattern.  Sooooo many circles!

Here are a few tips for making this block.  It was designed to be made with fusible web and machine applique.  If you prefer a different method, feel free to use your method of choice.

These circles are BIG and there are many layered and over-lapping pieces.  All the templates are reversed (although that doesn't make much difference with circles).  Trace one of each template on the paper side of the lightest weight fusible web you can find.  I recommend Soft Fuse of Misty Fuse.  Soft Fuse comes with a paper backing,  Misty Fuse does not, so you will need parchment paper with it.

Label every piece with template number/letter and fabric color.  This is critical with this many pieces which are similar in size and shape.

Smaller circles can be drawn inside the larger circles.  All but the very smallest circles should be "windowed."  That means you should trim out the center of the fusible web circles about 1/4 inch inside the traced line.  This reduces bulk when layer applique pieces.  Watch this video to see how to do this.

Get the applique basket you made from last month's pattern.  You will need it to make this month's complete block.

Cut out around each traced template and sort them by fabric.  Fuse the web to the back side of the applique fabric.  Trim each circle on the traced line.

Sort the circles into flowers, so all the pieces of a single flower are together.  Use a zip top bag for each flower to keep them organized.

Prepare the applique layout guide.  There are 9 pages  - yup this is BIG block.  Tape the pages together on the registration lines.  The complete block should measure 24-1/2" square.  Cut your  background fabric at least 25" square or more.

Pin the applique layout guide to your ironing board.  It may be bigger than your board so you might want to improvise with a larger surface.  Then pin your background fabric to the layout guide so it doesn't shift.  If you are using a light color background, you should be able to see the layout guide through your fabric. 

I recommend you use an applique pressing sheet to pre-assemble each flower.  CLICK HERE to see how to use one, if you have not used one before.  This will make it MUCH easier to position all these flowers on your background fabric.  Once the flowers are pre-assembled, arrange the basket applique and the flower applique on the background using the layout guide for placement.

Be careful about overlapping the flowers as shown on the layout guide.  Go slowly, and don't fuse anything in place until you are sure you have it placed correctly.  For example,  place the basket down first and fuse it in place.  Then slowly add flowers over the basket.  Work from the back to the front, if possible, to layer things in the correct order.

Be sure you use the correct iron temperature, time and pressure for your fusible product.  And don't forget to take the paper off the back of your fusible before placing it on the background.  A pair of bent nose tweezers are a big help in positioning applique pieces on the layout guide.

Once all the pieces are fused in place you are ready to stitch down the edges.  I will provide more detailed tips for how to do this in my next post.

By the way,  If you plan to sew on buttons (as I do) wait until AFTER the quilt is quilted.  Your quilter will thank you. 

Friday, January 4, 2019

New Block of the Month Announced

My favorite time of the year. . . . when a new Block of the Month is finally ready.  And here it is.

The Button Basket Block of the Month

Click on over to the 2019  BOM tab for all the details.  The first installment will be available on February 1, 2019, so bookmark the page so you can come back and pick up the pattern each month.