Friday, December 19, 2014

Vintage Vibe quilt book + Scrap Jars quilt

I'm excited to share this fun new quilting book today, Vintage Vibe: Traditional Quilts, Fresh Fabrics. Honestly, it's one of my favorite recent pattern books. For me the mark of a great book of patterns (and one worth spending the money on) is a book that has multiple good patterns - especially when they're something new and different. Vintage Vibe is one of those books! Plus, it's just pretty to look at.

Vintage Vibe is by Amber Johnson (her blog is A Little Bit Biased.) She has been designing patterns for a while now and I love her clean, fresh style. This book is a collection of brand new patterns.
Here are a few of her patterns from the book. All of them have classic quilt inspiration, but with a fresh new twist. This one is called Playing Favorites. (Book photos are shot by Brent Kane, courtesy of Martingale.)
I love the simplicity of this design called, Vintage Vibe. The color choices could give it a variety of looks. And such a great one for showing off amazing quilting.
A couple more cute designs from the book: Big Baby and Sugar. I love that they are so classic and pretty, but also so do-able. I want to make so many of them!
Check out these pretty dresden plate blocks in a quilt called Pretty Petals. If you've always wanted to learn how to make dresden blocks, Amber has great instructions.
This is a mini quilt called Scrap Jars and as soon as I saw it, I wanted to make one. It's so perfect for showing off favorite prints.
Here's my version in progress. All of the 'jar's are made from precious scraps to represent things I personally love: my kids, my neighborhood, the beehive is for my state - Utah, the Beehive State - England, Paris, sewing, a few Cath Kidston and Liberty prints I bought on our trip this summer, etc.
I was having a hard time deciding on what sashing to use since so many of my fabrics have a light background and I needed some contrast. At first I was trying to go neutral with a linen or gray, but the whole thing looked washed out.
Then Cheryl suggested a coral on Instagram. Genius! I didn't have just the right coral, so I went with a light red. I love how it looks! It's still a work-in-progress, so I'll share the finished result when it gets done. Sometime after the holidays...

Vintage Vibe
You can buy Vintage Vibe from Martingale, Amazon, or your favorite big or little local quilt shop. If you'd like to see more inspiration from Vintage Vibe, check out these other quilters:

11/6/14 - Amber @ 
11/11/14 - April @ 
11/13/14 - Jessie @ 
11/18/14 - The Fat Quarter Shop @ 
11/20/14 - Corey @ 
11/25/14 - Sherri @ 
12/2/14 - Jodi @ 
12/4/14 - Melissa @ 
12/9/14 - Pam @ 
12/11/14 - Heather @ 
12/16/14 - Andy @ 
12/18/14 - Amy @ 
12/23/14 - Melissa @ 
12/30/14 - Lori @ 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Southern Fabric Gift Certificate Giveaway!

Today we have an awesome giveaway from sponsor, Southern Fabrics. Southern Fabrics is an online fabric shop located in Georgia and happy to ship all over the world. They specialize in the latest from Free SpiritModaRiley Blake, Cotton + Steel, Dear Stella, and Art Gallery.  Fabrics are searchable by Collection, Designer, by Color and Theme. In other words, there are lots of ways to easily search for fabrics to fit your needs!
Southern Fabric also carries a great selection of Precuts, searchable by different sizes and collections 
as well as Bundles -both custom and from the manufacturer. Be sure to also check out the great Sale selection available right now.
Some fun collections in stock include Best. Day. Ever. (precuts on sale!)
and Flirt by Dear Stella (also on sale!) Southern Fabrics is taking pre-orders for the newest Cotton+Steel collections.

UPDATE: Today and tomorrow (Dec 17-18, 2014) Southern Fabrics is having a special discount of 20% off any full-priced items with coupon code DIARYOFAQUILTER. Good until midnight EST.

Also, Thurs Dec 18 all Bundles are 30% off - discount taken automatically at checkout! 

To keep current on Southern Fabrics latest arrivals and sales, I highly suggest you follow them on Facebook, the Southern Fabrics blogInstagram, or twitter

Today Aubrey of Southern Fabrics is giving away a $75 gift certificate!! To enter to win, sign up for the Southern Fabrics newsletter (scroll to the bottom of the screen and enter where it says, SUBSCRIBE). Leave a comment telling me you've done so. For a second entry, subscribe to the Daily Deals. (These are usually pretty awesome.) Enter your information here underneath where it says Get Daily Deals delivered to your Inbox.  Leave a second comment letting me know you've done that. Giveaway open until Sunday, December 21 at midnight MST.

And that's it! Don't forget, if you're looking for a great last minute gift for a quilter that you love, you can never go wrong with a Gift Certificate! :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Hello friends! I was recently invited by Jen Kingwell to participate in an Around the World Blog hop. After admiring her style and designs for a few years, I feel SO LUCKY that I got to meet Jen in person this year. You can read Jen's post here.
About a year ago I was invited to teach at the Fat Quarterly retreat in London this past summer. When the list of other teachers came out I literally shrieked out loud when I saw that Jen would be one of them. Getting to take a class from her was a something on my dream-bucket-list.
Getting to know Jen in person was such a treat! She is SO real and genuine and lovely.
Just act natural.
Now a little bit about moi. 

I learned to quilt from my mom when I was young. My mom was always a sewer and knitter growing up. In the mid-80's she took her first quilt class and came home and taught me to hand piece. These are my first quilt blocks. I'm still kind of amazed that they're around. Because who'd a thought where this quilting thing would take me.
I made a few more quilt blocks using that pattern and later my mom took one of them and designed and made a whole quilt with them and quilted it by hand. This quilt was on my bed for years!

It wasn't until I had my first baby almost 16 (gulp) years ago that I started to really make finished quilts. I was craving a creative outlet and this was so perfet. I haven't looked back since. 
I think my favorite part of the quilt-making-process is designing the quilt and choosing the fabrics. Sometimes it's finding the design and then finding the fabrics I want to work with, but most of the time it's the other way around. Usually its the pile of fabric that inspires me to create or find just the right design to fit the fabric. I guess fabric just inspires me! Whenever I feel my quilting 'mo-jo' start to sag, I go clean out my fabric. I am quickly restored and ready to start a new project.
Don't worry. It doesn't usually look this clean.
My sewing space is right off the kitchen - we converted our never-used dining room into a place where I can sew not far from the action of the house. (I have four kids, and I need to know what's going on...) I have a spot in my basement where I keep all of my fabric, books, junk, etc. but I rarely sew down there because it's just too far away. I try to contain the mess it the basement still, but having a place to leave my sewing set up and still be in the heart of the action has been amazing. And as a bonus, the room has two windows facing south and west for the best light in the whole house!
In 2003 I started working part time in a local quilt shop which I LOVED. I only worked for a few hours on Saturdays and it was my weekly escape where I could talk to other quilters, pet the fabric, and earn a little bit of cash to support my quilting habit. While there I also stared designing quilt patterns to make samples for the shop.

Modern Maples quilt here
In 2008 I first discovered blogs in general and shortly after that, discovered blogs where people showed their quilting projects. I felt like I'd found a new slew of best friends! Especially finding people around my age who shared the same love for fabric and cutting it up and sewing it back together.

Soon after that, I decided I wanted to share some of my own projects and started writing this blog. Six years and over 1,000 posts later (crazy!) I'm still at it. When I started writing this blog I never would have dreamed of the places it would take me - like teaching in London last summer. The best part of the experience has been meeting sewists and quilters from around the world who have become real life friends. Amazing.


This past April my first book, Fabulously Fast Quilts, came out. The first time someone asked me if I'd ever thought of writing a book was 3 1/2 years ago. And I was floored by the idea. It took me another year to think about the idea and decide if I was really confident enough to do it. And then it took another year of hard work to write 12 new patterns and produce the quilts to go with them. Then another year of waiting while the publisher did their magic. April of 2014 seemed so far away. And now it's come. Wow - it's still a little bit surreal. I think that maybe someday I'll write another book, but nothing in the works at the moment. Too much real life to deal with right now.

I was born and grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah and now live with my husband and four kids about 30 miles south of the city. We live in a pretty spot that is surrounded by mountains and still has some farms and open areas with a little town that still has an old Main Street with the library and the post office on it. But there's also a Target and a Costco not far away so it's a winning combination. :) We love to travel - whether it's close to home like the red rocks of southern Utah - or farther afield like our trip to England this summer.
So there you go. More about me than you probably ever cared to know. :)

Let me introduce two more bloggers and talented quilt designers that I'm tagging and who I feel lucky enough to call friends. Watch for their posts in upcoming weeks:

Sharon McConnell of Color Girl Quilts
I love every aspect of making a quilt, from choosing fabrics to designing a pattern, to the sewing. It’s fun to mix up lots of different prints, and I am not shy about using bright color. I like a challenge, so you often find me making curvy quilts, paper piecing, hexagons…whatever I can dream up!

Amber Johnson of A Little Bit Biased

I was born in California, raised in Washington state and have lived in Utah ever since I met and married my husband.  We love it here!
I have two children (a boy and a girl) and a cute little dog named Molly :)  
My two favorite hobbies are being a soccer mom and quilting.
I think the title of my new book, Vintage Vibe: Traditional Quilts, Fresh Fabrics captures my style perfectly.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Three small ways to give this Christmas season

A few years ago, I wrote about our warm fuzzy jar and the real meaning of Christmas. In the last week I've come across a few small ways to make a big difference for other people. And as a result you can receive your own dose of the "warm fuzzies." With a small contribution from many warm hearts I think the cumulative effect will make a profound difference. I firmly believe that through "small and simple things" great things will happen.
My awesome neighbor Cheryl is a recently retired Elementary school teacher and is volunteering as a missionary for our church, along with her husband, in Tulcan, Ecuador. While there they have identified some real needs and are trying to make a difference one life at a time. These sweet ladies with Cheryl have a small business selling aprons made from locally produced textiles.
Many of their husbands work 7 days a week to provide for their families, earning only $300-400 a month. These women have found a way to supplement their families' income by selling aprons and other handmade goods in local markets where there is a demand. The trouble is most of the work is done by hand because they only have one machine between them and it is an old, treadle (non-electric) Singer.
I want to help these women so they can help their families, by getting them at least two new sewing machines (if not more). The machines will be purchased locally, minimizing the cost. Want to help me? I've set up a GoFundMe account. I think if enough of us contribute about $3.00 (the cost of a Fat Quarter) we can do this easily! Wouldn't that be awesome?

(requires Credit Card and a $5 minimum)

OR to contribute via PayPal click the Donate button

(no minimum - I will add the funds to the Go Fund Me campaign)

Lauren is a young mom in Pennsylvania who has committed to make personalized quilts for children fighting chronic illness. I love Lauren's generosity.
Lauren is looking for donations to help offset the cost to her young family. You can read more about it at the blog FundaQuilt. She has a goal to have 100 $1.00 donations before Christmas.  Want to help? You can donate directly via Payal here or via credit card here

One more: I recently received an email from Sarah, a social work student a Fordham University who is doing an internship at a senior citizen residence in Brooklyn, New York. She has formed a Quilting group for the residents, teaching them how to quilt, and giving them something to enjoy. They just acquired a sewing machine but are in need of fabric donations for the residents to work with. Most of the textiles they've been given are too heavy for quilting. If you have some excess fabric to share, this would be a great way to contribute to a cause that could really use it. Go here for more information, or you can email Sarah directly at slee(@) (Remove the parentheses around the @ before you try to email.)

Obviously, there are dozens more similar causes where we can work together to make a meaningful difference for someone. If you're aware of other similar causes, please feel free to leave the information in the comments section for others to see.

UPDATE: Here are a few other links to great quilting/sewing ways to give:


By far, my favorite part of the Christmas season is finding ways to love others more than we love ourselves = that reminder that "perhaps Christmas means a little bit more." Wishing a happy Christmas (or Hanukkah or whatever holiday is most near and dear to you and your loved ones) to all of you! I feel blessed to know of so many good WiseMen (and Women). 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Finished Baby Quilt + Tutorial

Sewing has been minimal lately. Life's been a little full (hello December!) but I did get the Stick-Shift baby quilt quilted and bound. It was nice to have some mindless straight-line quilting to work on when I had a minute to sit at the sewing machine.
This quilt is made from Sweetwater's new Boathouse Collection for Moda. I used a Jolly Bar (collection of pre-cuts) from the Fat Quarter Shop. Yardage should be available soon from the Fat Quarter Shop and Fabricworm as well as other fabric retailers. I'm such a sucker for nautical colors.
For the backing I was determined to use something I already had on hand, and I found this home dec gingham from Ikea in my stash, waiting for just the right project to back. Check.
I love the way this one turned out. I haven't decided if I'm going to sell this one, or just hold onto it for a future baby present. Probably will end up being the latter.
Here's a little bit of the reality behind the scenes around here right now. (Avert your eyes if piles of stuff stresses you out.) We're still in the middle of remodeling our kitchen and family room. The kitchen is making progress - the family room is in flux. As a result a lot of junk from that room is currently piled up in our dining room/sewing space. It's not pretty, and doesn't do much to add to the Christmas ambiance, but I'm excited that we're making progress. It's also motivating me to clean-out and de-junk. I've made two trips to drop off at the thrift store this week!

Remember, there is a free tutorial for this pattern. I used the Jolly Bars, but it would also work with Jelly Roll strips. Click here for the tutorial for this quilt. If you make one, I'd love to see it!