Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding Edition

Today a little bit of UK inspiration in honor of Will and Kate.  (Hope you're not already suffering Union Jack overload.) If you've been around for a while you know I'm a bit of an Anglophile. (Hence the desire to make my own Union Jack quilt.) I've lived in England a couple of times, 3 months in London as a student and later 18 months in the northwest (Manchester, Liverpool and the Isle of Man). I think I left a piece of me over there.

Here are a few pictures I'm loving:

Room Seven USA - Spring 2011 Collection Childrens Clothing Bags and Bedding

 Children around the World Set-- Paris, Tokyo, London, Amsterdam

Allsorts Bunting

You can see more of my favorite British images on my Rule Britannia Pinterest Board.
And a few more of my own blocks. Maybe this summer they will finally get sewn together.

Enjoy the festivities, that is if you enjoy that sort of thing. I'll be setting my dvr (not enough of a die-hard to sacrifice my precious sleep.)  When I lived in London, we lived very close to Kensington Palace and we could hear Diana's helicopter over head sometimes, but I never actually saw her. I did see Charles and the boys (they were young lads then) at a Royal Shakespeare performance in Stratford. (We had a great view from the balcony of Charles' bald spot).  Never saw much of the Royals in Liverpool. But they have their own British royalty. (I did visit Penny Lane and see George Harrison's home.)

And speaking of the UK, anyone watch Upstairs, Downstairs? Thoughts, opinions? Comparisons to Downton?

Have a festive weekend. Cheers my dears.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sponsored Giveaway from Canton Village Quilt Works


Today I have an enticing giveaway for you sponsored by Jackie at Canton Village Quilt Works.

Jackie is also having a sale in her shop this week for 15% off everything (except Kona solids which are only $5 a yard anyway.) Use the code entire15 at checkout to get your discount.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

A huge thanks for the response to the Soul Blossom project.  I got some teal for the cornerstones and I'm going to check it out. I'll keep you updated. My sewing machine is feeling very neglected these days. My computer is being far too demanding.

Also, the Quilt Market Meetup reservations are now available at the QMM Blog.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Soul Blossoms on my design wall ...

Pardon the hasty, not great picture. I'm working on a Soul Blossom quilt for the shop where I work. (That fabric isn't moving - I'm not sure why. Well, I kind of am. It's cool decorator fabric, or even apparel, but trickier for a quilt.)

Anyway, I'm trying to do something with it and I'm not sure if it's a hot mama or a hot mess. Up close it's hard to tell.

Opinions welcome. (Keep in mind the white sashing will be wider and more uniform - my wall is too small to really spread it out. That should help.)

It's snowing here. Boo.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bloggers Quilt Market Meetup

Blogger\
We are excited to announce the details of the Bloggers Meetup during Quilt Market in Salt Lake. 
We will be meeting on 
Saturday, May 14 from 5:00 to 7:00pm 
at the Blue Lemon restaurant. 
Reservations are $6 and will be available starting Wednesday, April 27 at 9:00 MST. For more information visit the Quilt Market Meetup site. The Blue Lemon is a fabulous place for a party, but sadly, due to limited capacity at the restaurant, there will only be 80 reservations available.  (We really wish we could have found bigger location within our price range.) So if you're wanting to come, please register quick.
I can't believe it's in less than 3 weeks! I'm so excited to visit Market for the first time, but at the same time have SO much to do before then. Gulp.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter


I love the simplicity and hope of this message. Happy Easter to you and your loved ones.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Jennifer Paganelli and Girl's World

Have you seen Jennifer Paganelli's new book, Girls World? I got a sneak peak when Jennifer sent us a few for giveaways at the Quilt Market Meetup.  This book is gorgeous. And I am not even being overly dramatic when I say that. It's such a beautiful, colorful book. Even the pocket for the patterns is really pretty.
 Let me give you a sneak peak as well.
This book has 21 sewing projects to make for or with little girls, such as dresses, aprons, bags, headbands, quilts, and an adorable puppy. The photos, design and projects are so beautiful and inspiring. Even if you only make a hand full of these projects, you'll love this book just for the color, inspiration and sheer joy that it exudes. (Nice word, eh?)  But trust me, there are so many good projects, you'll find many you want to try. (That is an important quality for me when investing in a new pattern book = multiple patterns that I will use.)
 This is something I'd love to make for my own girls - I've always loved those pretty memory boards.
 And a few of these cute pillows. (Another great photo, right?)
I especially love all the details in this book, including Jennifer's signature Casey Scroll print.  I was first introduced to the Casey Scroll fabric by my friend, Aunt Spicy (who is a Jennifer Paganelli die-hard) when she made her own adorable Union Jack pillow. (This is actually when I first knew that Aunt Spicy and I were long-lost kindred spirits.)
In a gesture of extreme love and sacrifice, Aunt Spicy even gave me a little piece of her beloved Casey Scroll stash. And so of course, I had to pay homage to her original Union Jack. I'm think this one is one of my favorites.
Girl's World: Twenty-One Sewing Projects to Make for Little Girls
Thanks again Jennifer Paganelli for sharing your wonderful new book with us. We will have 3 copies to give away the night of the meetup!  But if you can't win a copy, I still highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of Girl's World.  It will be released next Wednesday. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Strawberry Fields Work in Progress

I recently got my hands on some of Moda's Strawberry Fields Layer Cakes (pre-cut fabric). I'm using the Hour Glass pattern from my shop for this particular quilt. I have another one in the works as well. Stay tuned on that one.
Strawberry Fields is such a beautiful collection - kind of Cath Kidson-ish.  I especially love the grays and blues. A bit of a change for Joanna Figueroa's collections. Now I'm just waiting for the yardage to come out so I can put some borders on.

If you are looking for the best price on the latest Moda Pre-cuts be sure to check out Green Fairy Quilts - their prices are awesome. Sadly, they are currently out of Strawberry Fields, but she's got lots more beauties to choose from!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring, an App, and a Sale

We had a gorgeous spring weekend around here. (Finally!) And I'm kicking myself for not taking outside pictures of some current projects while the weather was beautiful. Because today it is raining, which is nice for my tulips, but bad for quilts.

Las Vegas
Since I don't have any project photos, I will share this cool little App from Robert Kaufman that April showed me over the weekend. It's free from the App store and SO handy (if you have an App device.) It's a quilting calculator and helps you quickly calculate things like how much batting or backing you need for any size quilt, how many pieces (of any size) you can cut from a piece of yardage, bindings, borders, set-in triangles, etc. It rocks!!

I am so not 'in-the-know' on cool things like that.  Any other cool Apps, links, calculators, and the like, that anyone wants to share? Please tell!

And in celebration of finishing your taxes (if you're in the US) Burgundy Buttons is having a great sale on lots of yardage, including Bella Solids and lots of new Moda collections like Central Park, Chrysalis, Sunkissed, Lollipop - even Sherbert Pips! It all ends tonight! Something to brighten up your tax day. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I'm a Stranger

Have you heard of Justin Hackworth? He is a local photographer here in Utah and does amazing work. (Maybe you've seen some of his pictures of Nie Nie or Designmom?)

Anyhoo, for the past 3 years Justin has done a project called 30 Strangers to raise funds and awareness for the local Women and Children in Crisis center. Justin takes photos of 30 strangers for the month of April. The participants are chosen randomly from comments left on his blog.  I've entered for the past 3 years and this year I was chosen! I was so excited because I think Justin's images are wonderful.  My mom and my girls accompanied me to our shoot on Monday. You can see some of our pictures here.

I am looking forward to seeing more. I have a history of bad luck with photographers. Photographers lost my Jr. Prom pictures, my high school graduation picture, and some of my wedding pictures! I'm glad to know I am in good hands this time with Justin.
And to make Justin that much cooler, his wife is named Amy AND she is a quilter. (A fine combination, no?) She took this photo. While fortunately I officially qualified as a stranger to Justin, I have met Amy briefly a couple of times. Including the time she was there to reassure me in line at Costco one day when the older woman ahead of me complimented me on the lovely children I was with and asked me if they were my grandchildren. 

Thank you, Hackworths!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Union Jack Quilt Blocks

I've started making new Union Jack blocks. (Here's where the last round went. And here.)  
I worked on them almost the whole time I was at the Retreat a couple of weeks ago. I even showed this one to Sandy Klop because the blue with white dots fabric is from one of her first collections, Apple Pie. (I've been hoarding it for just the right project. And here it is! This is the "just the right" project where I'm finally pulling out a lot of those lovingly-saved fabrics.) 

I'm also pleased to report Sandy liked my block. She's just nice like that. (I felt kind of like a proud Kindergartener showing my teacher my play-doh sculpture.)
Many people have asked what pattern I am using for my Union Jacks - I'm using this pattern by Busy Bee called Victory Garden. It is a great pattern and very easy to follow, even if you are new to quilting. I've modified it a little so that I don't waste as much fabric (the 'blue' field of the Union Jack wastes a lot.)  So I end up kind of paper piecing those blocks (the ones with the diagonal stripes) instead.
And yesterday I found a way to break away and run to JoAnn with out too much childhood trauma inflicted. A lot of the Denise Schmidt collection was already gone (including the dots!) but I got a few pieces. I'm thinking these will work in my Union Jacks as well.   I'm going to try and check back in the future for more. 
Because I'd also love to make a quilt like this one that my mom made in the 1970's. Or this one that crazy mom quilts just made. I love them both. Puts me in the mood to just sit around and cut up fabric. But this is not the week (spring break). Instead we're off on an exotic adventure to the Library and Costco. (If I could just shower already.) Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Two worlds collide: Denyse Schmidt at JoAnn Fabrics

(photo shamelessly pilfered from Lori Holt)

People. Did you hear that Denyse Schmidt has a new line of fabric at JoAnn Fabrics? Yes, you heard me right.  I read it today on True Up and Bee In My Bonnet. Lori even has said fabric in her possession. (Check Lori's post to see more pictures and colors.) I have to admit I didn't love Greenfield Hill (forgive me if that sounds blasphemous.) But this stuff is calling my name.

Lori also assures that the fabric quality is good and is found in the Fine Fabrics section. It retails for $9.99 a yard.

Wouldn't you know it, it's Spring Break around here.  "Hey kids! Let's bag the zoo and go to JoAnn Fabrics!"  uh . . . probably wouldn't get a very welcome response. But next Monday, I am there. Coupon in hand.

Monday, April 11, 2011

New Fabric and a Keeping it Real kid birthday

 I recently got a sweet bundle from The Fat Quarter Shop.
 A few cute Cosmo Cricket prints on clearance as well as some sweet Lecien prints also on sale.
But this one is my favorite: a new Lecien print called Sweet Broderie. I love it. I've started making a new round of Union Jack blocks and I want to add this one. The Fat Quarter shop has also generously agreed to sponsor our Quilt Market Meetup and will be giving away 3 $75 gift certificates that night!
In non-fabric-quilt-world stuff, life has been full around here. Last week we started the soccer season (I had my coaching debut), had grandparents and uncles in town which was a lot of fun, and celebrated a 5 yr-old birthday.  I was really hoping that my new 5-yr-old would go for the idea that we could have fun celebrating his birthday with family (we did a lot of fun things that day) and forgo a party with friends. But he was having none of that.

So I agreed to a a friend party on my terms (because by the end of last week, I was feeling pooped): only 4 friends (who came home with us after preschool), coloring pages printed off the internet, a homemade cake with store-bought frosting, sprinkles and  handmade lego-sculptures on top, and BYOLS (bring your own light saber.)  Oh, I also gave them each a glow stick to wear around their neck. We played some Star Wars themed music and had light saber duels, ate cake and ice cream and the kids just played. And I'm happy to report, they were very happy with it all. And so was I.
Don't get me wrong - I like cute-themed, well planned kid parties.  For some people it's something they enjoy and look forward to doing, but sometimes it's just not going to happen. So I share the mundaneness of this party in case you are like me and looking for permission to not hire a pony and a bouncy castle and a Darth Vader impersonator for your child's next birthday party and to not feel guilty about it either. Throw some cake and permission to fight with light sabers with the Imperial March playing in the background at most little boys, and they will be totally thrilled.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Lori Holt - Quilter Extrordinaire

Sandy Klop was not the only incredible quilt maker/fabric designer at the retreat a couple of weeks ago. Lori Holt was there as well. If you don't know Lori, you soon will.
 Here is Lori, busily working away at her happy dresdens.
She was sewing away getting ready for Market in May using the fabric from her first fabric collection, Sew Cherry for Riley Blake. Lori's style is classic vintage and her fabric is perfect for any vintage inspired projects. So sweet.  Keep an eye out for her fabric to hit shops in the coming weeks!
All the most important supplies in place. Lori has a wonderful blog Bee In My Bonnet where she shares lots of vintage happiness. She even sews with a vintage Featherweight machine.
Lori is not new to the quilt design business.  She has been designing  incredible appliqu├ęd quilts for over a decade.  This is one of my favorites - it's called Grandma's Kitchen. I love all the retro apliances and other comfortable kitchen nostalgia.
Here are some others at a recent trunk show at American Quilting. From left to right: Paper Dolls, Comforts of Home and Family Reunion.  Lori's blog has a list of sites where you can order her patterns online. (Look down the right hand column of the blog.)
Here's some of the detail from the Paper Dolls quilt. I can't even imagine possessing the creativity or the patience to create such amazing works. Fabulous.
Good luck with your final Market prep, Lori! Can't wait to see what you come up with next!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Aurifil Threads and Pattern Offer

I'm a cone thread user. I love knowing I'm not going to run out of thread for a LONG time.  I've been using Aurifil's 50 Weight thread for a while now.  There's almost 6500 yards of thread on these suckers! I have a thread stand like this one so that I can use them with my regular sewing machine.  I just buy one neutral color of thread and use it on everything.
This weekend was the first time in months that I had to get out a new cone. Someone (I forget who) suggested writing the date on the inside of the new cone, just so I could see how long it would last. I'm excited to see how long I go. I guess a more accurate measure would be to know how many projects I sew with one cone of thread. But there's not enough room to write all that inside my cone. 
I'm a little bit of a thread snob, so I really love Aurifil.  I get it at the quilt shop where I work. But to be totally honest, I didn't know a lot about the different weights of thread and what their uses are. Until I found this awesome Pat Sloan demo video on the Aurifil web site with explanations of which thread works best for which project. So helpful. They also have an AMAZING range of colors

My only wish is that they would come up with a bobbin that lasts as long as the cone! 

To learn more about Auriful theads and to see the range of colors and products available visit the Aurifil webpageAurifil Buzz blogFlickr, or like them on Facebook for lots of giveaway scoops.  Need help finding Auriful threads closest to you? There's an App for that. Alex has a FREE Storefinder App here.  I'm excited because we will also have a bunch of 5,000+ yard 40 wt. cones to giveaway the night of the Quilt Market Meet-up!!

In other exciting news, we have a Giveaway winner! It's:
Jenny said...  great pattern, great fabric! thanks for a chance.

For those of you who didn't win, but still want the Chain Linked pattern, for the rest of the week I've marked it down to only $6 if you use the BUY NOW button right here.   Your pattern will be emailed to you instantly for down load.

Thanks so much for the love. Happy Sewing!