Monday, February 28, 2011

Pinwheels Quilt

I finished the pinwheels quilt this weekend.  It feels like a fresh breath of spring. Perfect for this time of year. 
I was a little worried that all the white made it boring and flat, but the quilting (thanks Becky!) + a good run through the wash/dryer really made it come to life.
Most of the fabric is from the Erin McMorris Weekend collection that came out last fall. As with many fabric collections in quilt shops - they sometimes seem to sit around until a sample is made.  So I finally took it upon myself to no longer let these pretty fabrics sit idly by.  Threw in a few other prints we had on hand including some of the new Sunkissed collection by Moda.
For my pattern I used this tutorial from the Riley Blake Cutting Corners blog.  I really loved the tutorial for making the pinwheels. She has a slick method. I changed a couple of things - made it bigger, made a solid border, etc. I also changed the method for the solid block on point because I didn't want to have any fabric waste. You could do either method. Here's the notes for what I changed:
For each solid block on point I cut 1  7.5" print square and 2  6.5" white squares.  Cut the 2 white squares in half on the diagonal.
 Sew two triangles on opposite sides of straight edges.  Press open. Sew 2 triangles on remaining sides, press open. Square up the block to 10.5". Be careful to leave a 1/4" seam allowance at all 4 points of the solid square. There you go.
I bound the quilt (using the cute Sunkissed pink pin-stripe) Friday night while we watched the original Star Wars with the kids. They'd seen bits and pieces here and there at friend's houses and on the Star Wars Lego website.  So it was an epic night at the Smart Household. First time (of probably thousands more) watching the whole movie. This week, Empire Strikes Back.

We have fallen into a hard core Star Wars obsession around here. It was good for me to re-watch just so I can answer all the questions my 4-yr-old throws at me all. day. long.

Kits for this one should be available later this week at American Quilting.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Prairie Grass Patterns

Let me introduce you to April Rosenthal and her wonderful quilt designs from Prairie Grass Patterns.  
Turns out, before our last move, April and I lived in the same neighborhood and frequented the same quilt shop but it took the internet to get us introduced! Crazy the way that happens.  April not only has great quilt design talents, but she's also got html skillz which I am sorely jealous of.  Talented girl! Check out more of her patterns and her blog.  She's also getting ready for her first visit to Market! Good luck, April!

Many thanks for all the Vintage Notions love this week!  I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets sentimental about wooden bobbins and My Friend Mandy patterns. :) (It's such a great thing in life when you find other awesome people who 'get' you.)

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Own Vintage Notions

(First off, an apology to anyone whose head might expload if I say the word Vintage one more time this week. Next post - something more contemporary, I promise.)

After reviewing the book Vintage Notions last week, I realized I had never shared some of my own vintage notion collection.  And so today, I will. 
Last year for my birthday, my mom put together a collection of some of the notions and sewing related items that belonged to her mother. I think was probably one of my favorite birthday presents ever. Love the old thimble, the wooden spools and the old needle case.
This was at the same time I was working on my daughter's pink, aqua and red retro quilt. So my mom tied the gift into that color scheme.  Until I pulled out these items again, I'd forgotten she'd included this vintage hankie. I need to do something with it to go in my daughter's room! Maybe frame it?
This item was probably my favorite - my grandma's needle book with her name on it. Roma - don't you love that name? It was probably always a little exotic for her era. My grandma would be 101 right now. She was a classy lady - and probably an iconic 50's housewife.  I extra love that it's in the aqua and pink color scheme.
My mom also included these items from the slightly-less-vintage-but-still-dated-era of my own childhood: the 1970's. I remember helping my mom make clothes with this pattern for my own My Friend Mandy doll. We made a blue dress and bonnet with the coordinating white eyelet pinafore.  That enfamil can was from when I was born and my mom used it for years to hold her own sewing notions. I still remember it sitting next to her sewing machine. Throw in the fact that it's pink and it was a very appropriate addition to this three-generation-sewing nostalgia.
 Then, last summer, my other grandma brought me this unassuming, old yellow canister.  She said, "I never sew, and since you do, I'm giving this to you."
I was so excited when I opened the lid. 
 Inside were a bunch of vintage wooden spools of thread. Some of them probably belonged to her mother.
 I think they're just pretty to look at. 
I'm still trying to decide what to do with them or how to display them. Suggestions?
There were some other vintage notions in the bottom of the canister.
I love this kind of stuff.  But I love it even more because of the family sentimentality. (I don't know how many of my grandma's other grandchildren would have got so excited about a bunch of old spools of thread.) I'm so glad she didn't just throw them away.  There's something cool about handling and using something one of your fore-mothers used. I like it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Vintage Sheets Baby Quilt

After a couple years of collecting vintage sheets, swapping fat quarters and amassing a collection, I've finally made something with them. (Well, I take that back, I did do my hoops.)  But I've finally pieced a quilt with them!

As I laid out the blocks one night I was worried that I was creating a hot mess. But when I came back to look at the design wall the next day, I felt better about the situation.  The colors looked so much better in the daylight and I accepted that the wild prints give it personality.

You realize, not everyone appreciates a quilt made from, what some might consider other people's grandma's cast-off sheets found solely at thrift stores. You have to have just the right person who would appreciate such a gift.  Fortunately I was making this for just such a person. My friend, Steph and her husband (who is a good friend and co-worker of my husband), just had their first baby girl this past fall (they already have 3 adorable boys).  Steph is a thrifting diva. She finds the greatest stuff. She's also an amazing knitter and even reclaims her own yarn from thrifted sweaters. (Steph shares some amazing creations as well as great knitting tutorials at her blog Snickerdoodle.  She's also very funny.) 

So, as you can see, it was a thrill for me to have just the right person to motivate me to finally cut into my vintage sheets stash and start sewing.  Also throw in the fact that it's for a baby with a gorgeous vintage name like, Stella? Match made in heaven.
Here is happy Stella with her happy quilt. Oh the cuteness.

I was stoked to find just the right tangerine-y orange for binding. Perfect.  Adorable quilting by my friend, Meridee.
I cut my fabric into 6" squares - so they are 5.5" finished.  I had a bunch of vintage sheet fat quarters so 6" squares was the easiest size to cut.  Now I need to make a quilt for myself.  Once I get my quilt laid out, I will probably sell the rest of my pre-cut squares as well as some fat quarters. I make no promises as to how soon this will happen, but hopefully sooner, rather than later.

Linking up to QuiltStory, Someday Crafts, Creations by Kara, Sew & Tell with Amylouwho

PS Vintage vs Modern pattens giveaway winners announced.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Let's have a party!

International Quilt Market (aka:  just "MARKET" in quilt world lingo). Have you been? Me either.  But this spring it is coming to my home town, Salt Lake City.  I am so excited to check out this vast realm of fabric overload.

And because there are so many fun bloggers who seem to show-up when Market hits town, not to mention the vast number of quilty-sewy-crafty bloggers in Utah, some of us local gals (Calli from Make It Do and Nanette from Freda's Hive) decided it would be a great excuse to have a quilt-blogger's shin-dig where everyone could meet-up in one place and talk to people in real life. (As I've been looking at venues I explained to one staff about the idea of hosting a 'blogger's meet-up' and they assumed it would be a bunch of people sitting at computers blogging the whole time. NO! We blog at home, when we see each other in person we gab! and eat! and everyone has a camera.)
Blogger\
If you're a local or you're going to be in town for Spring Market we would love to meet-up with YOU.  We are planning the event for the evening of Saturday, May 14 in downtown Salt Lake.  More details to follow, but we want you to save the date now.  You can keep abreast of the details at the Quilt Market Meetup Blog.  If you're coming, link your blog to the bottom of the page there - it will be fun to see who can come! And it's not limited to people who have a blog themselves - come if you like to read blogs too!




And feel free to grab a button and spread the word. Can't wait!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Vintage Notions Review and Indygo Junction patterns Giveaway

I was recently contacted by Amy Barickman and the folks at Indygo Juntion (Amy's pattern company) to see if I would like to review a few of her patterns and a copy of her latest book Vintage Notions. I jumped at the chance, mainly because I'm a vintage junkie.  Also, I love the timeless quality of sewing and the inspiration found in vintage patterns, pictures, etc.
I'd seen the beautiful cover of Vintage Notions, but I'd never had the chance to really sit down with the book. It was right up my alley.  It's not necessarily a pattern book (although there is a great collection of vintage patterns with diagrams included in the book), but more of an "inspirational guide to Needlework, Cooking, Sewing, Fashion and Fun" featuring gorgeous images of vintage illustrations, textiles, and, of course, notions.
Vintage Notions is an introduction for this generation to Mary Brooks Picken - the Martha Stewart of the early 20th Century.  MBP founded The Women's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences in 1916. Much of the material for Vintage Notions is taken directly from a newsletter she published between 1916 and 1934.  She was also a best-selling author and successful business woman who's goal it was to empower women (beginning in an era when they didn't even have the right to vote) and to recognize and elevate the value of the domestic arts. (Hopefully she was also able to do it with out any unauthorized biographies or cheesy made-for-TV movies involved.)
I loved all the retro illustrations and images (of course). But the content was fun to read as well. And proved that there are some pretty timeless aspects to this sewing revival we've seen over the past decade.  (Just when you thought re-fashioned men's shirts were a trend of the 21st century!)
Vintage Notions is also full of recipes, household tips, fashion advice and 'lifestyle tips' such as these two for "Calming Your Nerves During the Holiday Season":
  • If you find your mind working overtime, pick up a magazine and read a story that has a wholesome bit of humor or pathos, the entertaining sort that is light but agreeable reading.
  • If you play golf or tennis, play to win

See? Good advice, never gets old. :)
I think there are some pretty timeless aspects of the domestic arts - they're still like comfort food. And it was a lot of fun to read about how it was done in the early 20th Century. I plan to keep this book by my bed for the weeks to come, enjoying the other tips and tidbits Amy Barickman and Mary Brooks Picken have to offer.
Amy is also designs wonderful pattern, distributed through her pattern company, Indygo Junction. And there's something for everyone - whether you're a vintage junkie too, or your tastes are a little more modern.

Above is a book of vintage embroidery patterns called A Stitch in Time with Mother Goose. The book contains over 25 vintage nursery rhyme embroidery designs and baby quilt and bib patterns.
And for those of you who are a little more modern in your tastes, there are lots of fabulous options including this great apron pattern, a fabulous applique bag pattern, and two patterns to make trendy zipper and wool roving accessories.
I'm always impressed with the Indygo Junction patterns - they're well written and include good instructions and clear diagrams.  Here is a little zipper corsage I made for myself with the My Garden Zips pattern. (FYI -it's very tricky to take a picture of a corsage while you are wearing it.  Also, sorry to blind you with my pasty white arms.)

(As a matter of full disclosure: all of these items were provided for review with no other compensation.)

Giveaway moved here

Contest now closed.

Congratulations Ladies. Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by. Glad to know I'm not the only one who happily straddles the vintage/modern divide.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Love, Exciting and New. . .

Sorry, that post title has pretty much nothing to do with anything. I just had that song running through my head.
I realize you've seen this pillow before, but I wanted to add it to the Bloggers Pillow Party.
Wow, there are some pretty pillows there!
(There's even a Darth Vadar pillow!
We are falling deep into a Star Wars obsession around here.
Mine doesn't stand a chance compared to Darth.)

Also I just wanted to give a heartfelt thank-you to those who supported the Cancer Auction.
And those of you who endured a few posts about it. Bless you and thank you. 

Tomorrow. . . a giveaway!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love Day Cancer Auction

We Love Jenny Auction

Happy Valentines Day! Today I am celebrating by participating in an auction for my wonderful friend, Jenny Reeder who is fighting cancer. As a PhD student obviously funds are tight and some friends of hers have put together an auction to raise money for her cause. Because it's our cause too. Because we love our Jenny and we want her around for a very long time.

I have donated three items to be auctioned:
AND a CUSTOM baby quilt made with your choice of colors, fabrics and simple design. 

100% of the money donated goes directly to Jenny's cancer fighting.  
I will cover the costs of shipping the quilts. 

There are lots of other great items as well, including other quilts by:
I was so touched by Christine's donation. She doesn't even know Jenny, but heard about her story and the auction and made a lovely contribution. Thanks again, Christine!! (And thanks to the rest of you who have expressed love and support for someone you don't even know.  I'm touched by your kindness.)
Aunt Spicy even donated one of her adorable Scotty Dogs and a Nicey Jane quilt.

And there is SO MUCH more. Hats, photography sessions, jewelry, carseat covers, nursing covers, and the list goes on. The Auction will go through tomorrow (Feb 15) at 10:00 EST.  (bidding instructions here)
Paypal accounts required.  Donations are also accepted using the DONATE button on the Auction Blog - even just $1 makes a difference, right?

Thanks for indulging me in sharing my love for my sweet friend on Valentine's Day. Other happenings around here include, 1st grade valentines party - where I'm supposed to bring a game and I still don't have that all ready to go (eek!), follow-up doctor's apt for my husband, a fun visit from my father-in-law who is in town for one night and maybe we'll squeeze in some Rubio's take-out with the family as our romantic Valentine's dinner.  Happy love day folks!