Win a Quilt – Photo Contest

On January 28th, Southern Charm Quilts turns 9 years old!! In celebration, we are having a little contest.

Yep, yep, we are giving away a quilt! Have a look…

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about the prize quilt:

The size of this quilt is a lap quilt. It measures approx. 55″ square.

The fabrics are called “When skies are gray”. They feature umbrellas, raindrops, and other sweet little lovelies.

The colors are palest blue, bright white, gold and black.

I’ve used two different fabrics for the back, a gingham and a turquoise fabric. It blends with the front beautifully.

Then I’ve quilted it with wavy lines both horizontally and vertically.

Then finished off with a black and white scallop print for the binding.

how can you win this quilt:

To enter the photo contest you just need to send a picture of one of my quilts in use or displayed like the pictures below.

HOW TO WIN:

I will be selecting my favorite picture from all the entries I receive, the more creative the photo the better. I love to see my quilts in YOUR life. I love to see people in the photos or around landscape or just a beautiful place spread out in a meadow. There is absolutely nothing you can do wrong with your picture so feel free to make it your own.

RULES:

– any photograph is eligible as long as it features an item handmade by me. So if you have purchased from me before and are willing to take a picture of your item you can enter the photo contest.

– all entries must be received before January 27, midnight. That gives you 10 days to take your picture and send it to me.

– you may enter as many times as you like as long as each entry features a different photo.

– it doesnt matter if it is professionally taken or you take the photo yourself as long as you own all rights to it.

– by entering you are giving me the photo to use in my shop, blog, marketing, etc.

– I’m happy to allow my international customers to enter as well, but the shipping will not be included for the prized quilt and must be paid if the winner is from outside the US.

HOW TO ENTER:

Please email me at mel.tray@gmail.com, with your photo as an attachment. Please put in email subject “photo contest’. Please make sure all your contact details are in the body of the email OR tag me on instagram @southerncharmquilts and comment that this is your entry for the photo contest.

On January 28th, I will send out a newsletter announcing the winner. Good luck!

pictures from some of my customers:

15% off

Since we are turning 9 years old this month, I thought we’d finish off the month with a sale. Take 15% off all purchases for the remainder of January. Use code ‘happybirthday9’ at checkout on any purchases from today through January 31.

SHOP NOW.giveaway-quilt

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Lately in january

One of my favorite quilt buyers is a photographer (her website is here).  She takes the most amazing photos, but I particularly like it when she takes photos of the quilts she has bought from me.  Like the one above.

You might remember the quilt.  It was my first hexagon quilt.  I made it last year.  Still in love.

Quilters Planner

I hope everyone is having a bright and shiny new year.  For Christmas, I was gifted this planner from Quilters Planner.  I am loving it.

I have used a planner since the beginning of 2016 and find myself much less scatterbrained.

This one is full of quilt patterns and block patterns and has plenty of pretty pictures to look at as well for inspiration.

Sewing Machine Drama

There has been some drama in my life lately.  That is what happens to someone who uses their sewing machine ten hours out of everyday and then it suddenly locks up and won’t perform a single stitch (my husband doesn’t understand this).  It’s quite dramatic.

My bernina machine’s timing is off.  Yesterday I took it to the shop and they said it would be four weeks.  My mouth hit the floor.  Four weeks!  There is no other Bernina dealer anywhere near me and even that dealer is almost an hour away.

This all would be workable if I had a back up machine that I loved.  BUT I DON’T.  I have a backup machine that I tolerate.  And I also learned that that backup machine will no longer do FMQ.  It just decided that it didn’t want to and no amount of petting could turn it around.

I have orders.  I have people waiting on their quilt.  So I bought a new machine.

And no I’m not happy about it.  It was not in the budget.  I can’t afford it. But these are things that happen.  I can’t get my job done without it.  But now that the decision is made, the stress has been lifted, and my drama over the whole ordeal is over…. I might be a little excited about this thing.

I’ve made a smart purchase.  Let me tell you why.

This is a juki.  Juki’s are incredible machines.  I already own a tank of one.  It’s industrial strength, it’s my husband’s machine and we only use it for the rag quilts.  It’s too powerful for anything else.  I tell you this because I KNOW what a good machine Juki makes.

I couldn’t afford another Bernina, obviously (if I’m being honest is exactly what I wanted).

And if I had to spend this much money on a machine that could handle the amount and size of quilting I do, I wanted to buy a machine that could one day work on a long arm machine.

Here is the machine I purchased.  If you take the time to read about it, it actually sounds quite amazing.  And quilters review had nothing but good things to say about it as well.

And then one day that juki machine will be apart of this.

So basically, I’m less than two thousand dollars away (best I can figure) of having a long arm machine.  Now that is something to be excited about!

I’ll let you know what I think of the machine soon.

Wandering Quilt Stuff

I’ve been working on my journal for my wandering quilt.  It’s a slow process.  And I’m taking my time with it, doing a little each day.

We have two weeks before we have to have these shipped off.

Photo Contest

For my quilt buyers of the past, I will be holding a photo contest this month (details to come tomorrow).  This is the prize quilt.

This is fabrics called: When skies are gray by Riley Blake.

and you can see below me quilting on that Juki I mentioned earlier, the one I’ve had for years.  I’ve had to do straight lines because that is all it does and I’m just having to be very careful since it’s so fast, but I wanted this one done and couldn’t seem to wait on the new machine.

The Whimsical Dresden

I’m also still working on this quilt.  I did completed all 77 of my dresdens and they just need sewing down.  I’ll be doing this for most of the week.

Miscellaneous

I took a little test (not really a test) at MakeLight.com.  They have a look at your Instagram pics of 2016 and then decide what your color palette for the year is.  This was mine.

Not sure if I like that.  Must add in more colors for 2017.

So I’m drowning in scraps and they actually stress me out when they get too full.  So there is a link in my shop now where you can purchase almost any size square 2-7″ in almost any colors that you prefer  in sets of 50 squares eac.  We will even draw a line on the back of them for an extra fee just in case you want to make half square triangles and want some extra help.  Read the details of that here.

Recent Meals

I really don’t talk about food much here (I take horrible food pictures), but I REALLY like to cook with real ingredients.  When I was a child we always ate hamburger helper and food similar to that, as an adult, Hamburger helper and similar foods are not allowed in my house.  We eat real food.  And I love to cook.

Sometimes I get uninspired and we end up eating some of the same meals to often.

Foods that I cook way too much of:

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo: my own recipe.  It takes me over an hour to make and then we eat on it for three days.  This is a winner.

Jambalaya

Chicken Bacon and Ranch pasta

Chicken Dumplings

Taco Mountain

and so on.

The family wants some new meals and some lighter-ish meals.  I always head to pinterest when I need to be inspired.  I was and thought I’d share the new meals I tried.

Tried last week:

General Tso’s chicken.  I even went and bought some of the never heard of ingredients, like hoison sauce.  It was good.  It didn’t taste like General Tso’s (my favorite chinese food) to me, but it was good and different.

Chicken Enchiladas with sour cream white sauce.  This was amazing.  REALLY amazing.  The white sauce was perfect.  We will add this to our meal rotation.

Creamy Herb Chicken.  Heaven help me.  There was not enough of this to go around.  We all wanted more.  I served it over mashed potatoes.  In love.

And finally, Chicken Lazone.  I loved this one too.  I prefer the white sauce I normally make, so I’ll prob tweak this one a bit, but the chicken was incredible with these seasonings.  I also added a little Creole seasoning to it, because I’m obsessed and add it to everything.

Are you seeing a trend?  Chicken, chicken and more chicken. Yep, that’s us.  Tonight we are having chicken and waffles.  I have skipped lunch in preparation of the heaviness.

If you have any recommendations for food, I am always in need.  Leave a comment or a link.

xo, Melanie

Starry Patch Quilt

I’ve been quickly falling in love with novelty prints.

I used to go out of my way to avoid them, but now I find myself hoarding them.  I even created a little basket with a ‘fussy cuts’ label on it.

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So when my eyes fell upon Vintage Market by Tasha Noel, I sighed dreamily and hit the purchase button with a big gulp.  I bought a few bolts that Riley Blake fabrics had left at the time, and mixed them with some of my basics that I’ve had awhile.

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Girls on bikes, one of my faves!  Actually, I love all prints with bicycles on them, but if you add a basket of flowers to that bike….. ((sigh)), I might start swooning.

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I’ve had a star quilt on my ‘must make’ list since I started quilting, but for some reason it always gets pushed back.  Sometimes I feel I will never finish the ‘must make’ list.  It’s in a constant state of checking things off and adding things to it.

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This print reminds me of an antique fair I go to every year over in Stone Mountain.

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This one, I’d like to make some of these cute little banners into stampy looking labels on a bag, pouch or pillow soon.  It’s just pure cuteness.

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I made a crib size quilt.  I listed the quilt here for sale as a made to order item.  This particular quilt, I’m going to make a nursery set to match it and then have that is ready to ship.  I’ll definitely post that when I do.

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I backed this one with pale pink minky.  Super soft and plush and ridiculously difficult to quilt over.

What is it about those little dimples that make quilting twice as hard?  When I quilt with minky I am always highly irritated during the process, but then once it’s done and fresh out of the dryer, it’s completely worth it.  There is nothing softer.

Is it trying to tell me something?  The best things are worth putting a little extra time into, maybe?  Probably.

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New-ness Around the Shop

I have several new listings in the shop to show you.

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This is ready to ship for the time being.  It’s crib size and made with Francis Newcombe’s Cherie fabrics.  Swoon!  My favorite fabrics are the script print and the girls on the bicycles.  LOVE!

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You can find it here.

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I’ve been trying to work through some of the never ending supply of fabric in my stash and this is where this quilt comes from.  Just an array of gorgeous, gray, teal and aqua fabrics.

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This is a lap quilt measuring approx. 56×56 inches and it can be found ready to ship here.

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You have seen me use these fabrics before, but I haven’t gotten to use them in this way.

This was a custom order for crib quilt and flounce skirt.

It’s all made with Amy Butler fabrics.

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This set is made to order, but you can customize the skirt fabric if you prefer one of the other fabrics in this collection.  See all the details here.

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The cute and adorable granny square banner can be purchased here.

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Thanks for looking!

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Honey Butter is Finished! + Another Irish Chain Quilt

I have FINALLY finished my Honey Butter quilt.

This is one of my favorite quilts I ever completed and I enjoyed making it very very much. It might look complicated, but it’s very easy once you break it up.

The quilt consists of two kinds of blocks: a large churn dash block and then a small one within a border. It was easy to break this one up into steps. Such as one day, I did all the large block HSTs, then the small block HSTs. I chain pieced all of it and put the blocks together at the end. Once the blocks were together, stitched them up was easy since it actually doesn’t use that many blocks.

This is a throw size quilt and measures 60×60 inches squared.

I used a brown medium dot on cream from Riley Blake for all the centers of the blocks and for the binding.

All the fabric came from strips from my stash. Half colorful, half low volume.

Here is an up close shot of one of the little blocks.

I quilted in a serpent meander stitch.

The backing is Tula Pink’s topiary in sprout.

I’ve listed this Honey Butter quilt ready to ship in my Etsy shop here. But if you prefer to customize the fabrics, I can make you one here.

If you’ve been following along with me on Instagram you’ve seen it coming together for awhile, but if you have not, then I invite you to follow me there. You can me @southerncharmquilts. I tend to post a lot more there as well since it’s so quick and easy.

I have also finished another irish chain quilt. See all my irish chains here.

This one is for a custom order. Another custom order where the customer told me the colors to use and then let me be free. I know I’ve said this a thousand times, but I really enjoy it that way, but it makes me nervous. What if she doesn’t like it?

I was told dusty blues, grays, creams and for it to be manly.

How do you think I did?

I used Parson Gray’s Empire fabrics and the background is Riley Blake’s solid in vintage white.

The binding which is my favorite binding I’ve ever done of all the bindings ever is a script print called Telegrammes Nuage from Frances Newcombe at Art Gallery Fabrics. I think it compliments the other fabrics well and I’ve been digging script and texty fabrics lately. You can also find that fabric here.

This quilt is a king size quilt that is enormous. I’ve got it folded in quarters just so I can take a picture of it.

I quilted this one differently than the other two I’ve made and I think I have finally figured out a good way to do it. I quilted only on the blank solid blocks of this quilt and left the 9-patches unquilted. I love this effect. Especially on the back of the quilt that makes a cool design.

I hope you’ve enjoyed have a look. Thanks for following along. I hope to finish the pattern for Honey Butter and have it in the pattern shop soon, but I’ll announce that soon.

Next quilt up: I’ll be finishing my Instamini quilt for the swap due out next month and then I’ll be working on a new design called Black Butterfly.

Order Progress

Hello, hello!

I’ve been working on this for almost three days straight. I should have done a better job of working here and there, but we are talking about me here, so it came about all at once.

If you following along often, then you probably know that I’ve made this exact same quilt in a crib size before. It’s been available in my shop for a few months, well now, you can get it in any size.

It is called Follow Your Arrow and it features ALL Riley Blake basic fabrics. I have got myself quite a collection of them happening here in the studio. In an array of colors. I just sold a quilt recently that will feature pink gray and black, so look out quilty people, it’s coming.

I quilted this in a chevron pattern, I LOVE the look this gives it, but I am not a fan of quilting that way, it way too much pivoting, but I have to do what I have to do for loveliness.

If you are interested in purchasing a Follow Your Arrow quilt, you can find them all here.

So…

Kelly K, Brook H, and Jessica T: your orders were completed yesterday, packaged and shipped. Done.

I mailed the following guest book blocks out yesterday as well: Chelsi N, Yasmin, M, Whitney M.

Lynne B: I washed your linen fabrics all up and now they are soft and ready for me to start cutting.

Nancy C: I completed your quilt.

Jane S: I worked on creating your HSTs yesterday. I’ve got them all sewn up. It’s time to cut them open.

Have a good weekend!!

Date Night is Listed and Ready to Ship

Black, white, and light gray make up this quilt with florals, scrolls, houndstooth prints and polka dots. This one is one of my favorite new fabric collections. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to have it. The main floral pirnt in black and there is also one in gray is just gorgeous.

My lighting in these pics must not be too good or maybe the gray is just such a pale gray, but the blocks are looking white and they are not. They are gray.

You can see it a little better here.

Most of these are Emily Taylor Designs from Riley Blake, but I’ve thrown in some basics to make it my own.

I’ve got one of these made up, ready to ship in queen size and the rest are listed made to order. Find them all in my shop here.