Quick Fat Quarter Bag Tutorial

Today I’m sharing a new tutorial over at Make and Takes.  This tutorial is for a quick little bag made from one fat quarter and some ribbon.  Perfect little summer project.

Make and Takes

Make and Takes is an awesome blog full of activities to do with your kids, craft projects, and quick recipes.  Marie is amazing and is continually coming up with great ideas. It is one of the first blogs I ever started following consistantly and I’m SO excited to be hanging out there today!

Quilt Bee Blocks

A little catch-up on May and June’s Bee Blocks.
This incredible tulip pattern was designed by and made for Penny of Sewtakeahike.
You can see more of the tulip quilt blocks here.
Have you visited Penny’s blog? She is one of my Hexie inspirations.
These next blocks are for Julie (of Jaybird Quilts.)
I’ve seen all the Neptune (fabric collection) love in quilt-blog-land but hadn’t actually sewed with any myself.  It is so pretty!  This is going to be another amazing quilt. You can see more of the blocks at the Bee Beautiful Blog.

This is kind of a busy week around here – both in the blog world and in real life. A new tutorial is on the docket and some Fabric 101.  Also, my friend from Norway is coming this week.  I am binding her flag quilt and catching up on last week’s SYTYCD.  I love how the quilt turned out. If I didn’t love her so much, I might not part with it.

Also, I love summer. :) But I need more sleep. I’m trying to not be on the computer during the day while my kids are around, so I’m saving my computer stuff until after they’ve gone to bed. This is not a good system. Especially when the 4-year-old wakes up at 6:45 each morning. Saturday night we finally hung curtains over the blinds in his room and he slept in until 7:20 this morning. I’ll take it! Every little bit helps.

Field Trip Friday: M & J Trimming, Manhattan

I was so grateful for the list of great suggestions of things to do in New York when I announced that I was going to there about a month ago.  One of the suggestions that came up a few times was M & J Trimming.  Little did I know that this is somewhat of a NY icon.  It’s located on 6th Avenue between 37th and 38th, just up the street from Macy’s Department Store.
If you need it, this place has got it! Holy smokes. That wall is just ribbon.
And here is the wall of Crystals.
Buttons anyone? And this was only a fraction of the button collection.
My pictures just don’t do this place justice. Pretty much everything you need for weddings, crafting, making clothes, studs for your inner-motorcyle-babe wear, Renaissance Festival gown, you name it. You know that if this is where Martha Stewart comes to get her crafting supplies, it’s got to be fabulous. 
You can order from their huge selection online at mjtrim.com
They also have a great blog at blog.mjtrim.com

Once again (as with Purl Soho) expect to pay New York City scale prices. (And why not? After all, they do cater to the likes of Martha.)  Coming from Utah, Land of Abundant (and often Cheap) Craft Supplies, I didn’t buy much. But I couldn’t walk away totally empty-handed and found these cute little trims.  Love those dapper little Scottie Dogs.

If you’re going to the Fabric District in NY, M & J Trimming is totally worth the stop!  Next field trip: The Fabric District.

A Quilt Story

Don’t you love the stories behind quilts? They make them that much more meaningful.  If you haven’t discovered the new blog, Quilt Story already, run (click) over there. There are some beautiful quilts to see with beautiful stories behind them. Today, they are featuring one of mine!

Fresh Poppy Design
If you’ve been around my blog for a while, this quilt will be a familiar one. 
It is probably one of my all-time favorites, and always will be.

Hope Valley Bricks Quilt

Here is the finished Hope Valley Bricks quilt.
I’m ready to make another.  It was so quick and enjoyable. The colors are so different than what I have in my house, or what I’m normally drawn to (I’m much more of a primary colors type person) but I loved the way they all look together. I never would have thought I would.
Here is the back. This quilt was quilted by my coworker (and uber-talented person), Monica.
Which is why it got done so fast. :)
I don’t consider myself a magenta person at all, but it felt so right for this quilt’s binding.
I think it makes the whole quilt. Like I said, who knew I would get so excited about magenta and sour yellow-ish green (I’m sure there’s a much cooler JCrew name out there for that color – the one with the polk-a-dots – like Celery Root or Pureed Asparagus.)

If you want to make a bricks quilt like this I found out there’s a great tutorial at Randi’s Road to Spring quilt-a-long.

The Shop Hop last week was fun.  Each of the store’s picked a holiday/celebration as their theme. Our store’s was Father’s Day so I wore a white shirt with my 6-year-old’s clip on tie.  I felt more like an Olive Garden waiter though.

The funniest part of the day: a gal (Hi Kim!!) comes in and says, “I’m here to meet Amy.”  So I totally assume she’s there to meet Amy McClellan, the store owner, and send her in that direction. (I’m the employee that makes everything confusing at AQ – anytime anyone asks for “Amy” on the phone or in person, it’s pretty much always her they want, so I always defer.) Thirty seconds later, Kim comes back to me and says, “No! I’m here to meet YOU. I read your blog!”  I felt like such a dork (this is not an abnormal feeling for me, so I wasn’t distressed) and after she gave me a noogie, we had a great chat. Kim, you are a hoot!  And get this! Kim’s nice husband went WITH HER to a dozen or so quilt stores! What a man.

PS I’m linking up to last weeks Sew and Tell here! :)

Field Trip Friday: Purl Soho

One of my favorite stops on our recent trip to Manhattan was the new Purl Soho shop. Check out that front window alone. Does it get your creative juices flowing?? The pillows, the wool circle garland . . .

Purl was a knitting store opened in NY in 2002.  A few years later a fabric/quilting store was opened down the street called Purl Patchwork.  Just a few months ago both stores were combined into one larger location called Purl Soho. They also have a beautiful, inspiring blog called Purlbee as well as an online fabric store called Purlsoho.com.  I visited Purl Patchwork – a tiny little shop with gorgeous fabrics (and my favorite wall of Liberty prints in hoops) two years ago.  It wasn’t until later that I found their blog.  I’ve since been inspired numerous times and was so excited to go back and see their new digs.

And here they are.  A gorgeous, light, open space with high ceilings and everything beautifully organized. I loved how uncluttered the store felt. (Rather different than shops in the Fabric District.)
Once again – not an overwhelming amount of fabric, but each bolt was well chosen.  A lot of great Japanese imports, whimsical Alexander Henry prints, and a collection of good basics. Look at the fabulous collection of Echino prints at the bottom.
LOVELY collection of prints by Liberty of London. The real stuff. (Like $35.00 a yard stuff – which I still can’t bring myself to buy. But if anyone wants to give me some, I would cheerfully take it off their hands. *wink, wink*) So I didn’t bring any home, but it was nice to just oogle it and pet it for a while.
One of my favorite quilts from Purl is their Color Wheel quilt. 
I want to make one of these one day.
This pretty bundle is a kit to make the Color Wheel quilt.
I also loved how the whole store was grouped like a color spectrum. 
So appealing to the eye. And soothing.
The whole shop felt so clean, organized and conducive to igniting that creative spark. 
 Some pretty non-color items as well.

Lot of great fabric collections pre-bundled to choose from. This one was my favorite. How I wanted to take those little spaceships home with me.

If you go, expect a NYC (i.e. higher) price scale on everything.  I didn’t buy much (because I’m such a bargain fabric shopper) but I loved pretty much everything in the store.

The staff was really helpful and patient too. (I got a kick out of one girl patiently trying to explain to a customer why the lightweight, gauzy fabric she wanted wouldn’t be the greatest choice to re-cover an ottoman. The poor associate was trying to be affirming of this customer’s good taste in fabric, while helping her understand that some fabric is not made for furniture. The customer kept pleading, “yeah, but I love this one” as if the sales associate would just say, “Oh, okay. I’ll just pull out my magic fabric wand and make that fabric into sturdy upholstery fabric, impervious to any wear and tear.” In the end the customer decided she would just get double the amount of fabric and cover her ottoman in two layers – because quickly wearing out two layers of expensive gauze makes so much more sense. But hey- if you’ve got the cash, you can re-cover furniture – and re-cover again – in whatever you want!)

Anyway, visit Purl Soho – or at least the Purlbee blog – and I promise you will be inspired many times over.

Next week’s field trip: M & J Trimming.