Friday, October 24, 2014

Gift Certificate Giveaway from Connecting Threads


Quilting Fabrics, direct from the mill, starting at $5.96 per yard. Quilting Kits and Fabric Samplers with no charge for cutting. 100% cotton Quilting Thread, plus Quilt Books, Free Patterns and more.
For those of you who are familiar with Connecting Threads, you know that they are an inhouse design company that markets their own collections directly to the public through their catalog and their website, which allows them to sell high-quality quilting cottons for a lower cost.
Connecting Threads just released two new collection this week including Royal Tea for only $5.96 a yard
and Yosemite Park flannels for $7.96 a yard.
In new news, Connecting Threads has also started carrying fabric collections from other Fabric manufacturers, while still trying to provide quality at the best possible price, such as this Aunt Ruthie's Farm Stand from Red Rooster 
 and Victory by Gudrun Erla from Red Rooster as well. Other outside collections include RJR fabrics and Cotton+Steel (which are on sale for only $8.76!)
Connecting Threads also specializes in carrying a wide variety of basics - called Quilter's Candy - in stock and they just added 70 more prints to the Quilter's Candy selection. There's a huge variety of basic solids in different shades for only $4.96 as well as basic prints and mottled for $5.96 per yard. This stack is a collection of the Faux Burlap.
 This stack is made up of all the shades of the Quilter's Candy Lotta Dots.
Also new for Connecting Threads is 25 new colors of their Essential Cotton Threads. All spools are only $2.96 each for 1,200 yard spools. Such a great price. I haven't used this thread personally, but I have read many great reviews. And for that price you can easily stock up on a lot of colors. They also stock Cones for $9.99. 

The Connecting Threads site has just recently been updated. It is so efficient and easy to navigate. It also includes lots of free stuff like tutorialspatterns, and other downloads. You can follow them on Facebook to keep up with all the latest releases and news.

And today Connecting Threads wants to give away $50 Gift Certificate to three of you! To enter take a quick trip to Connecting Threads and come back and leave a comment telling me a collection that looks appealing to you. Giveaway open through Thursday, Oct 30 at midnight MST.

Thanks Connecting Threads!

And thank you to all of you for supporting these awesome sponsors. I'm very choosy about who I accept as sponsor's of this blog. I know from personal experience that selling fabric is not always as glamorous as it sounds. It's a lot of work for not a huge financial windfall and I'm so grateful to these independent businesses for supplying our fabric addictions needs. In turn, I am so grateful for the support of these sponsors so that I can justify the many hours spent sharing here. Huge thank you's all around!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fabulously Fast Fall Quilts

I decided to take advantage of the beautiful fall weather and scenic foliage to finally take some photos of the remaining three quilts from my book, Fabulously Fast Quilts, that I hadn't shot yet. And since they each had a nice autumn vibe, this felt like a good time to show them off.
These quilts were still with the publisher last spring when I took pictures of the others and then spent the summer hanging local quilt shops as part of a couple of trunk shows.
This one is a Jelly-Roll-friendly quilt called Diverging Diamonds. 
This one was quilted with all-over Pebble quilting by Natalia Bonner. I love the texture it gives to the quilt as well as the way it echos the circle motifs in the various prints.
(This is a crib-sized quilt called Butterfly Effect and comes together super quickly. (There are also instructions for a twin-size version.)
The quilting on this one was done by Melissa of Sew Shabby Quilting.  
And finally, this quilt is called Floating Shoo-fly. It is a great quilt for using up scraps - especially low-volume prints. This version is very monochromatic, but I'd like to try it in bright contrasting colors as well.
The figure-eight quilting on this one was done by Emily Sessions. It's so subtle, but I LOVE the way it finishes off the quilt!

As I mentioned, each of these quilts is in my book, Fabulously Fast Quilts. You can see most of the other quilts in this post. I still have signed copies in my shop and it is also available on Amazon.
If you make or have made something using the patterns from Fabulously Fast Quilts I would love to see them! You can add photos to the Fabulously Fast Quilts Flickr group, tag them #fabulouslyfastquilts on Instagram or Twitter, or email them to me at amy(@)diaryofaquilter.com.

xoxo

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fall Break

We had a great trip for Fall Break last week. It was such a nice thing to get away with minimal internet or phone access for a few days. In addition to hiking and spending time in the great outdoors, I think I also started catching up on some much needed sleep.
I always like bringing along some handwork on road trips. This time I brought my baby Hopscotch quilt so that I could finally finish the binding. And then decided to take advantage of the dramatic backdrops available and snap a couple of pictures where I didn't use my usual white fence.
Here's a closeup of the finished quilt with the amazing quilting my Melissa of Sew Shabby Quilting
As I've been going through my pictures, I found some that were pretty and share-worthy, so I thought I'd add them here, since this kind of scenery is somewhat unique. We visited Capitol Reef National Park in central Utah. We'd been once before in the spring, but it was even more spectacular in the fall!


One of my favorite parts of Capitol Reef are the old orchards that are all that's left of the little pioneer town of Fruita. They are so beautiful in the shadow of those tall, red cliffs. And those trees still grow fruit that tourists can pick and eat!
There is one house remaining in the Fruita area, the Gibson house, that's become a little museum and shop.
 It's mostly a gift shop now. They stock fresh preserves and pies and a few quilt souvenirs.
With a setting like that, I'm wishing now that I'd brought a bunch more quilts to photograph!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Dritz Mystery Box Challenge + new quilted bag

A few weeks ago, Jennifer of Ellison Lane invited me to participate in the Dritz Mystery Box Challenge. To participate in the challenge I would be sent a "mystery box" containing a variety of Dritz sewing tools and notions and then get to create something using at least five of those tools. 
This is the box that showed up at my house. Whoa! Look at all of those goodies! It was fun to see what was available and get my wheels turning. Who out there hasn't used some kind of Dritz sewing notion? They've been around for almost 100 years. I remember my mom using them when she sewed and when I first started taking sewing lessons in my neighbor Pam's basement when I was 10.


Dritz has a fantastic new site, www.Dritz.com where you can see the wide variety of their products as well as find tutorials and patterns for using them.
Here are a few of the Dritz products I used for my project. I've had a specific bag project in mind for a while and this finally gave me the push to make it.
I got these mini charms of Robert Kaufman prints last spring at quilt market. While I was there I saw Lee Chappell's amazing bag she made with a similar palette and had to do something like it. So this bag is a shameless copy an "homage" of Lee's beautiful style. My bag shape is different, so it's not a total copy, but I definitely need to credit her as my inspiration.
The sewing clips came in handy for assembling the bag.
A few other fun new-to-me notions that I used were the Swivel hook on a tab for keeping track of my keys, the awl for making holes for the grommets. I have to admit, grommets have always slightly intimidated me so I've never actually used them. This was a perfect way to push me out of my comfort zone and just try it! 

I used the handy grommets and tools tutorial to walk me through it, got out my hammer, and success! I felt so empowered. Why did I wait this long? (All of you who have successfully used grommets for years are chuckling and those who are like me, and feeling intimidated by them, let me be your grommets-empower-er!) 
And here is the finished bag. I brought it with us on our family Fall-break trip to Capitol Reef National Park. I think it coordinates nice with the scenery.
I will be writing a tutorial for this bag in the coming weeks so you can make your own, if you so desire.

Dritz notions prize pack from ellison lane
In more fun giveaway news this week, Jennifer at Ellison Lane has three more boxes of Dritz supplies to giveaway. To enter, visit Jennifer's giveaway post here.

You can see the other items created using the Dritz Mystery Boxes by visiting these bloggers:

Jennifer at Ellison Lane - 10/13
Amy at Stitchery Dickory Dock – 10/14
Caroline at Sew Can She – 10/15
Heather at The Sewing Loft – 10/16
Amy at Diary of a Quilter – 10/17 (here you are!)
I hope this provides you with some fun inspiration of your own to pick up some fun new notions and try something new!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Project Teen + Free Quilt-tag Printable

I'm excited to share a new book with you called Project Teen: Handmade Gifts Your Teen Will Love by Melissa Mortenson. This is such a fun book full of 21 great patterns geared at the tween/teen in your life. With lots of books out there with projects for babies or young children - it's so awesome to have a great resource with ideas for big kids.
The book is divided into categories of items like bags and pouches, things to wear, and stuff for their rooms like quilts and pillows. Many of these projects can easily be made in an afternoon, or would be great projects to do together with your tween/teen.
And it's not just ideas for teenage girls. This book is great because includes a full section on hand made stuff to make for boys - that they'll actually love and use!
In addition to the 20+ projects included in the book, Melissa also teaches techniques such as printing on fabric, ideas for incorporating your kid's school or favorite sports team, and how to make, cute personalized appliques so that you can make unique and highly personal gifts for your tween/teen.
Melissa is also good at coming up with smart projects using things you already have on hand or upcycling something you'd maybe throw away. Like these clever t-shirt pillows - such a great way to put to use that collections of sports or travel t-shirts. Other ideas include using upcycled wool jackets for a clutch or old ties for headbands.
Reading Project Teen, I remembered an old wool jacket I'd reclaimed from the thrift store and decided to make my own tablet clutch.  
This project was so do-able and fun. (It's fun to make something you can finish in an hour! I need to do more things like that.) Plus now I can feel kind of tweedy-chic with my snazzy new clutch.
Another project on my to-do list are these cute canvas flag pouches. I'm thinking they would be fun to make for my kids for Christmas as a memory of our trip abroad this year.
Project Teen is full of ideas for hand-made gifts for the upcoming gift-giving season. And to go along with those handmade gifts, Melissa has designed this awesome free printable to make your own gift tags! I LOVE it! I'm always needing a cute gift tag for the quilts I give away and this one is perfect! I'm going to print a bunch of these.



To see more projects and inspiration from Project Teen as well as collect more free printable gift tags (a different tag at each site!) visit these other blogs this week:

October 13th: Sew Can She and Piece N Quilt
October 14th: Generation Q Magazine and UCreate
October 15th: Diary of a Quilter (moi) and Noodlehead
October 16th: Flamingo Toes
October 17th: Simple Simon and Co  and It's Always Autumn  

**this post contains affiliate links