Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I'm hosting a Free Fast Churn Dash Quilt Along!

This week I am so excited to share a new free quick quilt pattern starting this week at BERNINA's We All Sew site. This pattern uses a "fabulously fast" technique for making a traditional Churn Dash Quilt.
You may remember some sneak peaks of the work on this quilt over the past months. It's so fun to finally be able to share the full pattern and tutorial.
This is the quilt we'll be making. A Churn Dash block is as traditional as it gets, but by playing with colors, prints and solid fabrics, you can create a very traditional or modern quilt design. The method for making this blocks is super slick with very little fabric waste.
For part one of this quilt along, we are talking about fabric choice. For this project I used a collection of solids including RJR Cotton Supremes (colors Sea Glass, Blue Skies, Cove, Notting Hill, Beach House and Nile Green) as well as Kona solids (Aqua and Leaf). I also wanted to incorporate a bunch of the "low-volume" (or low-value/contrast) prints that are so popular right now. This was a big switcheroo for my usual style of colorful prints combined with solid white.
The key to this fast design option is having two contrasting sets of fabric, in this case the bundle of solids and the bundle of low-volume prints. The low-volume prints and the monochromatic solids create a really subtle quilt. But this design works equally well in high-contrast, saturated colors and prints. For more discussion on choosing fabric and fabric requirements go Part 1 of the Churn Dash Quilt Along at We All Sew.

Come join the fun. This is a great stash buster. You've got a week to gather you fabrics. Next week we'll work on cutting and piecing the blocks.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

I love this time of year. I love dying eggs. It must be the same "playing with colors" that appeals to me with quilting too. I am trying to do a better job each year letting go of Martha Stewart expectations and just enjoy the process. The results are still pretty, right?

I love Spring. I've been getting out on my bike again (yay!) and I love finding hidden gems like this one pink tree in an old fruit orchard full of blossoms. It's so nice to see the world turning green again and the gorgeous contrasting colors everywhere.

And I love Easter especially. I hope you don't mid if I get personal for a minute. As a chronic worrier (in a long line of chronic worriers) Hope is an action that I love, but find that I need to make a constant effort to choose. Because of Easter and Jesus, I know that I always have a reason to HOPE. Peace can come during hard times, I can be more patient and forgiving with myself and others, and the separation of  death is only temporary. This brief video is a gorgeous reminder of that Hope!

Whatever your faith or beliefs, I hope that you have a sweet and happy Sunday with those you love! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Weekend Sale and Giveaway from Green Fairy Quilts

Moda Fat Eighth Bundle - Daydream by Kate Spain
This weekend Green Fairy Quilts is having an amazing Easter Sale as well as a generous Fat Quarter Bundle giveaway to one of you! Just enter the code EASTER at checkout to get a discount on your entire purchase.

Green Fairy Quilts
Green Fairy Quilts is an online shop that specializes in carrying the latest Moda and Riley Blake precuts including  Fat Quarter BundlesJelly RollsCharm PacksLayer Cakes, etc. They always have the latest collections at the best prices. Frequent sales mean the prices get even better. They also have the option to pre-order up-coming collections months ahead to guarantee a new favorite arriving asap with free shipping!

Look Mom, no computer!
Green Fairy Quilts is owned and run by Judi and Clint Madsen. Judi is an AMAZING machine quilter.
Solar Flares
You can see more of Judi's incredible work on their Green Fairy Quilts blog.
Today Judi and Clint are giving away a brand new Fat Quarter bundle of the Fete De Noel collection - French General's newest Christmas line for 2014. (Doesn't that feel crazy that Christmas collections are already being released? A good way to get a jump start on next year! :)
This bundle is a $96 value. Yardage hasn't even arrived in shops yet! For a chance to win, sign up for Green Fairy Quilt's newsletter, and then leave a comment here telling me that you've done so. This is a great way to be notified of all of their future specials and incoming collections. Giveaway open until Thursday, April 24 at midnight MST.

And don't forget the Easter Sale. Enter the code EASTER at check out and get an additional discount on already discounted bundles and precuts - not to mention FREE SHIPPING on all US orders. An amazing time to stock up on all your pre-cut needs!

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. GIVEAWAY CLOSED.

WINNER: HeatherK @ A Reformed Heath'nApril 15, 2014 at 7:51 AM
I love how traditional patterns can vary so much with different fabrics. The pattern really does seem to shimmer a bit with your choices.

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.