Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Tis the Season for Giving! Island Batik Ambassadors

This month the Island Batik Ambassador's are bringing you into the Season of Giving with
different ideas of handmade items for charity! For me, Animals have always had a special place in my heart.  I look at my two little dogs, Anna and Lucy and think what lucky girls they are. I also think about the animals that sit in shelters needing a home and love.  So I decided to make some kennel quilts for pets in need. 

TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team was formed by TQPM (The Quilt Pattern Magazine) in cooperation with the Petfinder Foundation to help animal shelters affect by disasters.  TQPM Small Kennel Team is a team of volunteers that checks with Petfinder Foundation to see what shelters are in need of assistance.  Currently, there is a need for kennel quilts in Tennessee to help the animals that are need after the fires. The main contact is one of our Island Batik Ambassadors Nan Baker.  

The Kennel quilts are 12" x 18" in size and are made from 100% cotton material. These quilts are so easy to make.  There are plenty of patterns on the TQPM Website and Pinterest to use.  They would be great practice projects to for the beginner quilter, Child or Adult.  

Using my left over Island Batik I was able to make 9 kennel quilts. With Anna and Lucy's approval, I will be sending these to Tennessee Valley Humane Society to help the animals in need due to the wildfires.  

It feels so good to give back this time of season.

Make sure check back next month, the 2016 Island Batiks Ambassadors will be hosting a New Beginnings Blog Hop starting January 4th.  We will be using Fall and Winter 2016 fabrics from Island Batik.  So make sure you check back.

Happy Holidays, 


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Positive Mindset a Powerful Tool!

Last Month, I wrote how I overcame years of Yo-Yo dieting, lost 50 plus pounds and changed my life. If you missed my blog you can catch up Here. The key to my success was the support of the Facebook Challenge group, my family and my mindset. I went into the program determined to get the weight off; this was my mindset.

Mindset is defined as "a set of beliefs or a way of thinking that determines one's behavior, outlook and mental attitude". When entering into any program or new adventure in life you need a positive mindset, which can be a powerful thing.

So last year when I set my mind to stopping the yo-yo diets, getting healthy and meeting my weight goals, I was focused. There were many reasons why I wanted to do this and losing weight was only one of them. I wanted to gain the energy to quilt and make my deadlines for my fabric companies. In addition, I just wanted to feel good about myself. My focus and determination only grew stronger when I looked at pictures of female relatives on my dad’s side of the family that were obese. I wanted nothing to do with that. I wanted to be a great example for my family and friends who also wanted to lose the weight. Most important, I wanted to get out and be active with my family. The point of all of this is that I made a goal for myself to lose weight and get healthy. I focused on the reasons why I wanted to do it, came up with a plan and then set my mind on following through. Yes, my mindset was a choice to follow through and I believe that was the reason I succeeded.

Once you set your goal and focus your mind to following through. You need to trust the steps you laid out to accomplish them. In other words if you enter a program to get healthy, you should wipe away any doubt you may have and trust the system you signed up for. This is key to keep a strong mindset. I truly believe that if you join a program and start to question each step along the way, you are setting yourself up to fail. So to get healthy, do your homework and research different programs and then choose one that best fits your life style. Then trust in the program and believe in yourself that you will succeed.

That's what I did when I signed up for my first “Tina's 18 Day Challenge”. I researched it and also talked to high school friends that are RN's and have also joined in the program. In addition Tina Smith, the founder of Tina's 18 Day Challenge, is a Retired RN and she developed the program around getting healthy. Knowing that RN's are behind the program and many have joined, gave me and my family the confidence to trust the program. So I was able to set my mind that the program would work and I stayed focused on what I needed to do.

Almost a year later, I find I am almost an all new person. I still have as strong of a mindset as I did the day I started. Now I can focus on goals for my Quilt Pattern Business and Coaching others to get healthy. This strong mindset has brought me back to living my life, feeling healthy and strong. I can quilt and design all day long without feeling tired by afternoon. I love my new life. I look at myself today, and I'm just overwhelmed with emotions and I knowing I will not turn back. Tina's 18 Day Challenge, has shown me the way to live and eat the rest of my life.

2017 will be an exciting year for Tina's 18 Day Challenge. You will learn how to work on your mindset for the program. The first challenge of the year will start January 9th. So, if you would like to take your life back and make it a breakthrough year for you like 2016 was for me. Then please contact me Let me and Tina's 18 day Facebook group coach you to get your health and life back. 

Remember this is a lifestyle not a diet. Just keep telling yourself in the mirror daily that: YOU CAN DO THIS! 

Please feel free to comment or ask any questions below. 


Saturday, December 10, 2016

EQ7 Quilt Worktable Snap Grid Feature

The Custom Set provides a large area for placing blocks of different sizes.  The block sizes can be adjusted to any widths and heights.  These various blocks can be placed and aligned anywhere inside the quilt center.  

When designing with a Custom Set you can use all 3 layers.  Layer 2 will allow you to float applique elements and Layer 3 is for your quilting stitches. These layers allow us to multiply your design possibilities. 

One of the wonderful features of the Custom Set is the Quilt Snap Grid. This grid allows blocks to snap for the best accuracy when layout a custom set grid.  Just like if you were drawing on a piece of graph paper. This feature can be used in all 3 layers of the Quilt Worktable.  EQ7 gives you the ability to change the Grid Snap Settings.

There are three grid snap settings that can be changed in the Quilt Worktable Options.

There is two ways to locate the Quilt Worktable Option you can get there by clicking on the Quilt > Quilt Worktable Options. Or by clicking on the Quilt Worktable Options button (Button pictured below) found on the project tool bar. 
Under the Tools Options Click on Snap Settings, then under Grid Settings, you will notice 3 checkboxes corresponding to the 3 buttons on the Graph Pad. Below are the explanation of what the three checkboxes do.

Snap Grid Setting

Show Grid (Custom Set): allows you display the grid on a new Custom Set quilt. 

The grid increments can be changed on your grid by using the Grid Snap every: drop down arrow and choosing a different increments.  Please note that the program can only “draw” so many grid lines on the quilt layout.  So if you don’t see grid lines that doesn’t mean that they are not there.
Grid Snap Every
Below show the grid set up for every ¼” apart. 

It’s recommended you turn on the Quilters Ruler just Click View > Quilters Rulers to put a check next to it and this will turn on the ruler. 

Once the Quilters Ruler you may want to verify your Quilters Ruler Origins in the Quilters Worktable Options.  Under Tool Options > Click View Setting > Select Top left Corner of Quilt’s center layout so it will match the Graph Pad.

Snap block position to Grid: When moving a block, motif, stencil, embroidery, applique text with the adjust tool, the upper-left corner of the block snaps to the grid when released.

Below is an example of the block position grid turned OFF position, you will notice that the block didn’t line up to exact zero position.

Note: The position can be found on the Project tool bar.  It will be the first set of numbers.  The side arrows will move your block horizontally or vertically.  

Grid OFF
The next images shows you with the Snap Block Position Grid turned ON.  Once the position of the block was done is made the blocked into position automatically.

Grid ON

Snap block size to grid: When drag the corner or side handle of a block, motif, stencil, embroidery, applique text or photo with the Adjust tool the size will snap to the grid when released. Remember this button doesn’t affect how the block is set on the grid, only the size while adjusting with the Adjust tool.

Adjust Tool
Example 1 – Show the Snap Block Size to Grid button turned OFF. The Snap Grid is now set to 1”. You will notice that there will be NO snap to the nearest grid multiple of 1, the size was left hanging in between the grid lines.

Example 1
Example 2 – Show the Snap Block Size to Grid button turned ON. The Snap Grid is still set to 1”. You will notice that once the adjust tool was released that there was snap to the nearest grid multiple of 1 the size, block size was now 4” x 5”. 

Example 2

The quilt snap setting, can be a powerful tool when you are design any custom quilt projects.  Understanding how the settings can make your project more precise.  Please remember to refer to your user manual Chapter 5 for more information on these tools.

I would like to congratulate all the winners of the EQ7 25th Anniversary Grand Prize giveaway winners

Make sure your check out other Bloggers (listed below) Celebrating EQ7 Anniversary with themed EQ7 Blog posts.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Improved Me! A Lifestyle Journey

Today, November 30, 2016
As 2016, closes out I want to share a person journey that transpired in my life this past year. This journey transformed me as whole person to include my mind and my body.  I really hope it will inspire you a little as well. Introducing the new, improved and healthy, Tina Dillard, Owner and Designer at Quilting Affection.  I'm a new person and have a new lifestyle, that is a healthy and brought forth a self-confident one. This self-confidence was something I wasn’t even aware that I had before.

I have been YO-YO dieting my whole adult life. But let me give you a little background on myself so you understand what I am talking about. In High school I was a distance runner with a medium height and skinny frame.  After high school I started gaining weight due to the lifestyle I was living in college, eating my grandmother’s rich food and getting no exercise. The weight came on easy and very quickly.  I only spent a year in college but gained a lot of weight. I lost most of that weight shortly before getting married to my high school sweetheart the following year.

Me and My Hubby (High School Sweetheart)
After getting married the weight came on again with our eating styles. About that time, I enlisted in the Air Force and was told to lose weight before basic training and I did get my weight down.  However, during basic training and technical school I had to watch my weight, due to I was on the borderline of the maximum weight for my age by Air Force Regulations. 

Several months after getting to my duty station in Great Falls, Montana where my husband, Robert was already stationed we decided to start a family. I got pregnant and more weight came on with the pregnancy. I left the Air Force shortly after my one year mark and shortly before my oldest son was born. Sadly the extra weight from my pregnancy didn’t come off.  Three years later I had my youngest son.  Again the extra weight didn’t come off.  We didn’t have healthy lifestyle at all, eating fast food more often than what was good for us.  

Germany 2001
In 2001 we got stationed in Germany, I think the weight came faster there.  With the stress of being so far away from close family, in addition to enjoying the delicious, rich food and wine of Europe.  I was noticing mood swings in myself and also I was getting headaches. I found that if I ate something high in protein I felt better.  I knew at that time I need to change my lifestyle, but how? About that time a couple of my friends started the Atkins Diet. I tried it and it was working, but I got bored with it and the restrictions so I didn’t stay with it.  I did go back to the diet several times, each time ending with the boredom of the food.  In 2005 we moved back to the United States and I didn’t really diet anymore. 

A few years later I had a serious eye opener when I saw a picture of myself with my youngest son at a NASCAR Race. I was huge and I knew something had to change.  I tried several diets, I can’t even remember the names of all of them. They didn’t work and I knew that my family was not happy with my weight which brought on mood swings.  I was snoring at night, and easily got tired and out of breath during the day. At my heaviest, my weight was around 260lbs.

After Nutrisystem, 2012
In the fall of 2009, my family went through an earth shaking challenge when my oldest son went into Kidney Failure.  I told the lord and my husband as my son was recovering in the hospital, I needed to lose this weight before my heath turned bad as well.  I knew the weight I was carrying was not healthy.  So in December of that year, I signed up for Nutrisystem, started in January and lost around 60lbs, I was feeling better and looking good.  However, I stopped by the end of that year due to I was getting tired of the same old food all the time.  I watched my weight slowly climb over the next couple years.  I still tried to diet with exercise and portion control to lose weight, but had little success. 

October 2015
Which this brings me to October 2015, I was already watching what I was eating but I knew I needed to do something more to lose the rest of my weight. I was determined this time to get the weight off. Then I came across a Facebook post from a high school friend saying her husband had lost 40 lbs.  It was like the lord was speaking to me.  So I contacted Sonja and she told me about another high school class mate, now a retired RN that was running a life style changing program called Tina’s 18 Day Challenge. It uses Isagenix products (all natural products) with a combination of regular food to lost weight and gain lean muscle.  

April 2015
So I did my research and with long talks with my husband I decided to take my life into my own hands and signed up. Tina’s 18 Day Challenge group was designed for individuals looking to lose weight, decrease inflammation, increase energy the healthy way.  What I like about this program is it is designed for people with busy schedules, diabetics, food allergies, and so many other health problems and you do not have to exercise to lose weight on the program.

So in January 2016, I began my first 18 challenge at 210 lbs wearing size 18 jeans.  I went in with a mindset of I want to do this and I will do this. With Tina’s 18 Day Challenge and Isagenix, I have learned how eat the foods I want, under portion controls and with a high protein, low Carb, Gluten Free way of life.  My sugar levels now stay in balance allowing me to keep active all day long so I no longer have the mood swings. Tina’s 18 day challenge cuts out the GMO’s, MSG’s, focusing on eating natural foods. I no longer want fast or fried foods, and sweets, just the smell of these foods makes my stomach ache. I really want to eat clean foods. Since starting this lifestyle I have noticed that I no longer have Sinus and severe headaches. I’m running again, learning the love of hiking and feeling great. Now I’m currently down to 154 lbs. and in a size 6 jeans. That is 56 toxic lbs gone from my life. I have never had the results before with any other program I have tried. I feel great!!!!  I should also say that I gained a great support group and coaching with the program, which helps a lot.

November 2016
Now, I’m working to get the last 4 lbs or so off to reach my goal of 150 lbs. I’m so close.  But once I reach that weight, I know I can keep this lifestyle I have learned and maintain it for the rest of my life. Right now, I'm planning a long distance hiking trip with my husband and youngest son on the Appalachian Trail in the Shenandoah National Park Section next year. 

I’m also looking forward to paying it forward by coaching other who want and are willing to change and get healthy.  

With my lifestyle, new mindset, and self-confidence.  I plan to work even harder on my quilt pattern design company.  I am already planning some new and big changes in 2017 for Quilting Affection. So Stay tuned to my blog over the next couple months.

I hope this blog has inspired you a little and demonstrated to you that if you have a good mindset anything can be done, and that mindset can grow in time.

Please feel free share if you have someone that needs a little inspiration.  If you would like more information please contact me at  

Have a wonderful day,


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Island Batik "Winter Wonderland"

When trying to come up with a idea for the this months Island Batik "Winter Wonderland" project and was having a hard time.  Then late one night, I thought about my old Christmas stocking in a box out in the shed with the other decorations.  mice had started eating on the toe a couple years ago, I needed a new one, but was attached to that stocking.  My mom had made it for me when I was kid.  So there was some sentimental value with that stocking hole and all..

I decided to I was going to make me a new stocking this year and needed a pattern to make it from.  I took my old stocking and traced a rough outline pattern of it on a piece of paper.  When drawing out the pattern I decided I want to add a toe and heel patch to it also.  

With the pattern made, I went to my Island Batik box and dug out some strips of reds, greens and gold.  I trimmed the strips that where cut crooked into 2 1/4" strips.   Sewed the them together into long strips, And then cut them again into 2" strips and then sewed them together in to make a patchwork affect to my stocking.  

I then drew the outline of my stocking pattern on my rows of fabric with a piece of chalk, also drawing in where the toe and heel would be placed.  The toe and heal were made with pieces of red and green and blanket stitch in place.

I stitched in the ditch with my sewing machine. Which gave it a quilted look and puffiness. I decided to use my embroidery machine attachment on my Bernina and Embroidered my name on a piece of red fabric that matched the back of my stocking.

After sewing them all together.  I turned them right sides out and pressed lightly around the outer edges.  
Finally, added my little name decoration and my bell from my old stocking to my new stocking. 

Now, I have a new stocking that will get hung each year.  I still have my old one, I know the mice chewed on it a little but I still want to keep for sentimental reasons.

Thank you for stopping!  I hope you all have a great and thankful Thanksgiving.  


Thursday, November 10, 2016

EQ7 Designing Panel Quilts - Horizontal Layout

Last month, I showed you how to design a quilt for premade panels in a custom quilt layout. If you need a refresher here is the link to the tutorial. This month we are going to continue with Panel Quilts but we are going to design in a Horizontal Layout this time, and will be working in Layer 2.

Lets get started!

Step 1. Create a new project. Click Quilt > New Quilt > Horizontal.

Step 2. Create a layout sizing grid.  We are going to turn the layout into a grid for sizing.  This help in the placement of the blocks. To do this we will have to make changes within Quilt Worktable options.  Click Quilt > Quilt Worktable Options.

Step 2a. Under Layout Options > All Styles, change "Maximum number of blocks horizontally and vertically" to 100.  What this does is let you have as many as 100 blocks in one direction, horizontally or vertically.

Step 2b. With the Quilt Worktable Options still open, Click on Tool Options > Snap Settings > Grid Settings, click to check the Snap block position to grid.

Step 3. Click the Layout tab. Set up your quilt by changing the number blocks to 52 x 62 or use the size you wish. This will be the size for the center of your quilt.  You will also need to change the blocks width and height to 1".

Step 4. Now we need to create a plain block.  Select the Set Block tool. Right Click inside the palette and choose Add Plain Block.

Step 5. Click on Layer 2 tab at the bottom.  Select the Set Block Tool. Drag the Plain Block we just created from the palette onto the quilt. 

Step 6. To size the placement block now on you layout. Click the Adjust tool and then click the block we just placed.  I sized mine to be 23" x 42" for placement of the panel on the quilt top.

Step 7. Now add more blocks using the same step as before to make any design you wish. For my project, I added more blocks with borders around the panel.

Step 8. Then you can fill in the rest of the empty spaces with more blocks to finish the quilt layout.

Step 9. You can add your color or fabric to finish your quilt layout.  Don't for get your borders.

Using the Grid Horizontal layout and a plain block you can design so much more than panel quilts such as t-shirt quilts or a memory quilt.

Want to learn more check out the Electric Quilt Company Book "EQ with Me: Quilt Design".  It has a whole section on designing Panel, T-Shirt, & Photo Quilts. 

Make sure your check out other Bloggers (listed below) Celebrating EQ7 Anniversary with themed EQ7 Blog posts.  Also visit Electric Quilt to enter to win a Free Copy of EQ7 and Timeless Treasures Fabric. #EQ25

Friday, October 28, 2016

Flower Bloom Revealed Again

This week I'm revealing new patterns developed using the Island Batik Fall and Winter Fabric Collection.  

Today's featured pattern that I'm revealing is a remake of a pattern currently on my website. "Flower Bloom", was refreshed with a whole new fabric Collection "Blushing Blooms" part of the Island Batik Winter CollectionSee the samples at the International Quilt Market Island Batik Booth.

Delight your eyes and add color to your room with “Flower Bloom”.

This pattern contains instructions from wall hanging to king size bed quilt.

The pattern is already available on my website and Island Batiks

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my newest pattern.  What do you think of Flower Bloom?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Garland Reveal

This week I'm revealing new patterns developed using the Island Batik Fall and Winter Fabric Collection.  

Today's featured pattern that I'm revealing is "Garland". This 62" x 62" pattern was developed for the Island Batik Winter Collection using the Jolly Holly CollectionSee the samples at the International Quilt Market Island Batik Booth.

The quilt will add holiday cheer in any room! This festive pattern uses a combination of half square triangles and flying geese that will bring home the holidays.

The quilt blocks are designed around the awesome Bloc_Loc Rulers®.

Rulers Used in this Project:
Half Square Triangle Ruler - 4 1/2” or larger

Haven't heard of and never used Bloc_Loc Rulers, check out some great videos at their   webpageTry one of these rulers and you will be hooked.  They are a great tool that will help you make your blocks accurate with ease.

The pattern will be available on November 1st for purchase through my websiteIsland Batiks, and Bloc_Loc Rulers

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my newest pattern.  What do you think of Garland?