Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Shimmer Stars Quilt

Last spring at Quilt Market, one of the fabric designers that really caught my attention was Jennifer Sampou in the Robert Kaufman booth. So when Jennifer contacted me earlier this year to see if I would like to play with her upcoming collection, Shimmer, I totally jumped at the chance.
Metallic in fabric prints are a huge trend right now and Jennifer's collection celebrates the spectrum of metalics in a subtle and contemporary way. I've been redecorating parts of my house and right after Christmas I found a bunch of great mercury glass pieces on clearance at West Elm and Target that were the perfect accents in my new room. 
So I chose the Steel colorway from Shimmer to work with because they play so nicely with those silver and gray mercury-glass-tones. I wish the camera captured better the subtle sheen of the metalic prints.
For years my taste in fabrics has been the bright primary colored, retro/vintage style. I feel like my tastes have evolved a lot and I am finding myself drawn more to of the sophisticated, sleeker designs. I really loved playing with these fabrics.
I did, however, use them in a very traditional design. I've made a similar quilt in bright solids. It was fun to try it with the more monochromatic Shimmer prints.
Because of the metallic sheen, the fabrics are just slightly heavier and stiffer, so to soften this quilt and give it some added texture I quilted it pretty heavily. I LOVE the result.
Jennifer has invited a number of other quilters to create with her fabric - I have LOVED seeing the variety of creations using the Shimmer collection! There are some seriously inspired quilts on this tour. You can check them out on the following blogs/dates.

For more Shimmer inspiration, checkout Jennifer's gorgeous Shimmer LookBook too. Shimmer fabrics are available at the Cotton Patch, JAQS Fabrics, and Hawthorne Threads.

Today I have a Charm pack of all the prints in the Shimmer collection to giveaway to one of you. Just leave a comment on this post. Giveaway open until Saturday, April 19 at midnight MST.

Jennifer Sampou is also giving away a full Fat Quarter bundle of Shimmer on her blog. To read more about how to enter and the rest of the Shimmer blog tour click here.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring Break (?)

It's been Spring Break from school here with gorgeous weather that is making me crave summer, but I fear is just a tease with plenty of cold days to come first. 
We had part of the week in one of our favorite spots - Zion National Park.  It was nice to get away from life (Internet included) for a couple of days. The weather was gorgeous and warm. I grew-up taking the red rocks of southern Utah for granted as a kid. Now I can't get enough of them. I love Zion especially because the river that runs through it creates lots of green as well. In the fall it's spectacular.
Unfortunately we needed to cut our trip short because of a couple of sick kids. One who was throwing up and one who had what turned out to be pneumonia! Not fun. The epic week also included celebrating a birthday, Lacrosse practices, first bike-rides and sprinklers, and a trip to Ikea. So in other words, the usual. I'm kind of pooped. Maybe I'm not ready for summer after all.
In good news, my first shipment of Fabulously Fast Quilts arrived the night we got home! I'll start shipping out the pre-orders this weekend! A million thanks again to all those who ordered one. I'll be sharing more of the quilts inside as well as Fabulously Fast quilting-tips in the coming weeks. Hopefully you won't be utterly sick of it by then.

See you next week with an actual finished project to share!

PS: Craftsy is having a sale on bunch of their classes this weekend (including 50% off classes by Camille Roskelly and Angela Walters.)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Quilting giveaway from Sew Shabby Quilting

I have mentioned Melissa from Sew Shabby Quilting many times on my blog. Melissa has quilted numerous quilts for me. I am not ashamed to say that the actual 'quilting' part of making a quilt is my least favorite part of the process. It's the part I am least confident in and as a result, I just don't enjoy it. Plus I find I get more of my projects actually completed if I turn them over to someone else for quilting.
So I am SO grateful when I find a professional long-arm quilter who I can trust with my quilts. Melissa has been that for me - she's been a lifesaver for me many times over.
Melissa has multiple options when it comes to quilting - she has the capacity to do the computer-programmed all-over quilting, which I've done on many of my quilts (like the giant Indie star quilt above) because it's such a reasonable price and I like the all-over texture it gives. You can see the variety of patterns she has here. (Keep in mind the all-over computer programmed patterns can be sized to different scales, so if you choose one, help your quilter and be sure to specify how open or dense you'd like the design scale on your quilt.)
Melissa does beautiful custom work as well, such as on my Safari Moon quilt. I love the pebbles in the borders and the free-hand swirls in the big blocks. You can see more of her free-hand quilting for Elizabeth and Maureen on Melissa's blog.
Melissa also has an etsy shop with popular fabrics marked 10%-50% off.

Today Melissa is generously offering a $50 gift certificate towards quilting to one of my readers! To enter leave a comment on this post sharing what you'd use it towards. Giveaway open until Monday, April 14 at midnight MST. GIVEAWAY CLOSED I'll randomly select a winner.

I would use it towards having My Fat Quarter Shop Mystery 2012 BOM quilt quilted

Melissa frequently gives great deals on batting, quilting, and fabric. To keep up on the latest offers, you can follow Sew Shabby Quilting on Facebook, or sign-up for their newsletter on their homepage.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Modern Quilt Perspectives

I am regularly asked to review new publications in the sewing and quilting industry and I'll be honest, I don't review all of the books that I am offered. But this is a book I have been REALLY intrigued and excited to see. It is Modern Quilt Perspectives: 12 Patterns for Meaningful Quiltsby Thomas Knauer. (I was scheduled to share my thoughts last week, but things were delayed because of a mix-up with the publisher. I apologize if you stopped by earlier as part of the scheduled tour.)
I have met Thomas in person on a few occasions and really enjoy his perspective on the quilting craft and industry. He is not only exceptionally thoughtful, but he's exceptionally articulate. (I envy that. I feel like I think about stuff and have my own opinions on things, but have a hard time really expressing what I think intelligibly.) So I really appreciate - and enjoy - reading thoughtful opinions on this creative outlet that I love. Not that our opinions are always the same, but I admire when someone uses their gifts to share their deepest feelings. Not only is Thomas a passionate artist and creator, he is a passionate father. The last time I talked to Thomas he was sewing a Word Girl costume for his daughter to wear for Halloween. Which I loved on SO many levels.
book review: Modern Quilt Perspectives || imagine gnats
Modern Quilt Perspectives contains patterns for 12 modern quilt designs. Some are new interpretations of traditional designs and others are completely original. I love this Ampersand patchwork design made from the shades of blue solids and the awesome i-spy novelty prints.
Other quilts are a re-interpretation of a traditional pattern with a twist, characteristic of modern quilts. But this book is so much more than just the quilt patterns. Thomas is a gifted writer and this book is such an entertaining and thought-provoking read. He discusses the symbolism and creative expression of quilts past and present and what he's learned from other quilters. Seriously, if you love the "whys and wherefores" as much as you love to sew or to be inspired by pretty pictures, I think you'll enjoy this book. I thought more deeply as well as laughed out loud multiple times.
AND I have copy to give away today. If you would like a chance to win, leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite quilt inspiration. Giveaway open until Saturday, April 12 at midnight MST. Giveaway CLOSED

I have been looking for this book and havent been able to find it, so thank you so much for the opportunity to win it! I really love the ampersand quilt and the thought and joy with which these patterns are written.

For other reviews and opportunities to win a copy of Modern Quilt Perspectives check out these other blogs. Thank you again for the opportunity to dig into Modern Quilt Perspectives. It's helped me look at my own projects and quilts in a new way. 

March 14: Thomas Knauer
March 15: Lisa Sipes
March 16: Robert Kaufman
March 17: Victoria Findlay Wolfe
March 18: Katy Jones
March 19: Bill Volkening
March 20: Kelly Biscopink
March 21: Audrie Bidwell
March 22: Mary Rachel Kolb
March 23: Rachael Gander
March 25: Cloth Paper Scissors
March 26: Cheryl Arkinson
March 27: Quilting Daily
March 28: Fat Quarterly
March 29: Pellon/Erin Sampson
March 30: Sew Modern
March 31: Rachel May
April 1: Quilty
April 2: Amy Smart
April 3: Quilter’s Connection
April 4: Teresa Coates
April 5: Generation Q
April 6: Cloth Paper Scissors
April 7: Sara Lawson
April 8: Kim Niedzwiecki
April 9: Rashida Coleman Hale
April 10: Thomas Knauer

**all images are from Modern Quilt Perspectives

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Block of the Month - Block 4

Yesterday I worked on Block #4 from the Aurifil Blogger's Block of the Month. This one was designed by Angela Yosten. You can read more about it in this post. Here is the tutorial for the block itself. 
Here are my blocks so far. I'm still loving working with this color palette. I'm finding myself especially fond of gold/mustard lately. You can find the rest of the block tutorials here. Don't forget to join the Aurfil Thread Flickr group to share you current block of the month to win a large (and I mean super generous!) Aurifil collection. There is a new winner drawn each month!
A few other glimpses of projects behind the scene. I pulled out some serious cross-hatch quilting on this project. I've never done it that small before. That BERNINA 710 made quick work of it, that's for sure.
Some more playing with Kona solids. This is for a new quilt design that I'm SOOOooo excited about. This will include a new pattern too.
Happy weekend to you. I'm looking forward to mine! Hopefully it will include some of this.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Applique Name Pillows

For Christmas this year my sister asked if I would make name pillows for her kids. I think they turned out pretty cute. And finally they are done and will be on their way, only a couple of weeks late. Oh wait. When did it get to be April?! Well, you know what they say about better being late... Right?
My sister wanted to do something that would be distinctly boy and girl, not matchy-matchy, but still coordinate with each other. I loved pulling the fabrics for this and I think they worked out rather well. Can I just say again how much I love that navy is so popular right now? Works perfect for both boys and girls, I think.

The letters were appliqued by my friend Sara. (Thank heaven. She did a much better job than I would have. Thanks again Sara!) I have learned that I am not a precise sewer and have come to terms with and accepted the fact. With quilting I can kind of fudge things, and my imperfections are hidden by multiple seams, big picture, etc. But I wanted these to look nice as well as be durable (since they are for kids) and since I can't sew an outline - especially a curve - to save my life, I'm so glad Sara came to the rescue.
These are the backs we used. It was so fun to pull solely from my stash. And I especially loved putting that Sarah Jane Children at Play Rockets print to good use. (I googled it and saw some still available here.)
Pulling for this project, I really fell in love with the color palette. Now I'm itching to make a baby girl quilt in with this group. I'm going to have to leave this stack together for a little while longer.
One more important thing checked off the list. Merry Christmas in April! Now to get working on the other 43 things...

(If you are checking her for a review of Modern Quilt Perspectives, I will be reviewing it on Monday, April 7. Seems there was a little mix-up with the warehouse shipping the book. Whoops. I'm so excited to see it and share it!)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Playing with Kona Solids

Later this month I am teaching a class at a social media conference called SNAP. I am so thankful to Robert Kaufman for sponsoring the fabric for this class. So you can imagine my excitement when a heavy box arrived at my door last week with this gorgeous visual feast inside.
This is a class geared toward newbie quilters, so I've been working on a simple project that we could sew all together in class. Obviously Charm Squares are the perfect basic to start with - no cutting involved and we can just sit right down and sew.
The Kona Solids Classic Colors charm squares give a great variety of color with lots of options to choose from, so I figured that would give everyone a place to express their own identity. I divided one collection of charm squares into five different color ways to create five different blocks. I'm excited to put each one to work.
I decided to teach 16" blocks made from good old half-square triangles. Hard to beat the options available there - and with the variety of color choices, combined with the myriad of HST layout options, I think it's going to be a fun class. I'll also teach the option of turning it into a quilted pillow cover. I need to finish making my samples quick. These are the ones I got done yesterday. (And you can bet I used my new favorite method to square them up!) I'm excited to play with the other colors as well. 
Definitely one of my favorite parts of the whole quilting thing, is playing with colors. I'm kind of enamored with solids, I think ever since my classic solids Farmer's Wife Mini quilt and then the Virtual Quilting Bee version made with solids. Also evidenced by two other solids quilts in the works right now. I guess I'm a little infatuated.

P.S. If you are looking for a special new dress just for the First day of April, you may be interested in this Vintage Sheet Dress tutorial. ;)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Saturated Rainbow Fat Quarter Bundle giveaway

Canton Village Quilt Works
I was recently asked by Jackie Kunkel, owner of Canton Village Quilt Works, to put together a "Blogger's Bundle" of fat quarters from her shop.
Since I am really feeling the vibe of saturated color lately, this is the bundle I chose. It makes me want summer! The bundle consists of fabric from Kaffe Fassett, Australian Aboriginal, and Batiks. This Over the Rainbow bundle is available for sale from Canton Village Quilt Works.
image from Jackie's blog
Jackie has been quilting for over 20 years and is a gifted quilt designer and teacher. If you follow her blog, you will see her amazing, detailed quilts in deep, saturated colors. 
Kaffe Fassett Collective Fat Quarter Bundle - Sampler 2
It was really fun to go through then entire Canton Village Quilt Works shop. CVQW has a brand new online interface that is so beautiful and easy to navigate. Jackie has been selling fabric for over four years and her inventory is a great reflection of her personal style. She stocks lots of deep, saturated colors and unique prints. Of all my sponsors, Canton Village Quilt Works has the biggest selection of batiks and Kaffe Fassett prints including some shot cottons. (Kaffe's are even on sale 15% off this weekend - March 29-30.)
Kona Cotton - Summer '13 - Fat Quarter Bundle
Canton Village Quilt Works also stocks an amazing selection of Kona Cottons. CVQW is often my go-to source when I stock-up on Kona's. Jackie has a huge selection of not only dozens of different shades, but also Kona bundles and pre-cuts such as jelly-rolls, charm packs, and hexagons in multiple palettes. Another one of my favorite basics CVQW keeps in stock is Essex Cotton-Linen blend. I have ordered those frequently from Jackie for the past few years as well. Her service is excellent.
Today, Jackie is generously giving away one of these Over the Rainbow fat-quarter-bundles (a $25.00 value) to one of you! If you would like to enter to win this bundle, sign up for the Canton Village Quilt Works Newsletter. This is full of information and frequent specials and sales (perfect for stocking up on basics like Kona solids!) For a second entry you can also follow the Canton Village Quilt Works blog.

Leave a separate comment for each entry. Giveaway open until midnight MST on Wednesday, April 2. GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Signed up!

You can also keep track of Jackie and Canton Village Quilt Works on Facebook and through Jackie's podcasts here, on itunes, or on YouTube.  Thanks so much for the giveaway, Jackie!