Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day and a winner

It's a holiday weekend around here so not much computer time. We've been visiting family a lot this weekend so I have had some good hexi time in the car.

Outside the weather feels like early March instead of the first day of summer. (boo.) We had a neighborhood breakfast this morning which had to be moved inside a neighboring church. Since we've been home I've been on a cleaning rampage.  Now I'm off to tackle my sewing room/disaster area.

But first, a winner of the SewObsessed Fabrics giveaway:
Jodi said...

N Jane, of course, and the MM Poppy line

Happy Memorial Day to those in the States.

And wherever you are, I hope your weather is more pleasant than ours.

Friday, May 27, 2011

SewObsessed sponsored Giveaway

Today I have a nifty sponsored Giveaway from Sew Obsessed fabrics.

Giveaway Closed.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Giveaway winner and Help for tornado victims

Before we get to the winner I just want to share a way we can help those in the US affected by the horrific tornadoes and storms in the mid-west and the south.  Jane shared with me this site, 'Bama Bound Quilts, where they are taking donations for those who were made homeless by the round of storms in April.  If you are aware of other groups taking donations, please share in the comments. I will add them to the post.  You can also make donations through LDS Charities where 100% of your donation goes directly to those in need (none of your donation goes to administrative overhead) or to the Red Cross.

For more opportunities to help or contribute check here:
Old Red Barn Co.
Patchwork Times

I'm continually amazed by the generosity and the difference made by the blogging community coming together in service.

And now the Sew Mama Sew giveaway. Holy guacamole. I think that's the biggest response I've ever had. I'm really sorry I don't have something to give each of you. And now, the winner of the Robert Kaufman roll-up is #549:
Jess said...

drool... this is awesome!
Congratulations Jess, you lucky duck! But do not despair if you didn't win this time - I have another sweet giveaway tomorrow!
(And because a post is not complete without a picture, I finally pulled out these blocks and laid them out for a quilt last night. I think it's going to be a good one.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Fabric: Sarah Jane's Children at Play

I hope you won't mind indulging me in one final Quilt Market post. This booth belongs to Sarah Jane Wright, illustrator extraordinaire, who just released her first fabric collection with Michael Miller, Children at Play. Her booth was wonderful. But I'm a little bit biased.
Sarah's collection is fabulous with 4 color ways. I especially love this color way for boys - so fresh and contemporary, but very boyish.  And I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak at the fabric itself as I got to be one of Sarah's sewers in prep for her booth. 
Here are a couple of projects I got to work on from the above color way. The quilt is Sarah's design - I love the paper airplane motif which is a big part of this color collection. Below is a pillow I made using Allison's Sprockets tutorial. (I need to make a bunch of these - they're so fast and fun.)
If you can believe it Sarah didn't get her fabric in her possession until Tuesday, May 3 and had to have her booth complete and set up on Thursday, May 12. Just over one week to sew everything, can you imagine?! I seriously don't know if she and her husband slept that week.
Another fun project I got to help with was Sarah's family tree quilt. The panel in pink is SO darling. Sarah embroidered her family names, including her children's names next to the three children, I helped with the piecing and a friend, Monica, did the quilting. (Monica did the quilting on the paper airplane quilt too.)
Doesn't that floral look like a sweet little Liberty print?
Love the navy, red and green boy color way as well.  Goes with a great navy novelty print of little boys building rockets.
And you know I loved the red, pink and turquoise color way for the girls. I hand quilted this little pillow - the first hand-quilting project I've done in a while. I forgot how much I enjoy it - especially when it's a little portable project like this one.
Sarah and her husband pulled off a beautiful first-Market booth! You can see more of Sarah's pictures and details on her blog.It was so much fun to be able to attend Market in person and see some of my projects as part of the whole ensemble. 
 I think this fabric is going to be a hit. I'm already excited to see what she comes up with next!
Thanks again, Sarah Jane, for letting me play with your fabric!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

Don't you love Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day? So much fun and good stuff to see and try to win all over blogland. Well I have a little something to give away myself:
The nice folks at Robert Kaufman let me take home a brand-new roll-up of Robert Kaufman's O Tinsel Tree line for helping at Sample Spree last week. It contains 42 2.5" strips of this very cheerful, retro-inspired Christmas collection.  And I'm going to randomly give it away to some lucky soul.

Just leave a comment (only one per person) if you can provide this little roll-up with a loving home.  Be sure to provide a way I can contact you if you win. I can't tell you how often I've had someone win and had no way to contact them, so I always re-draw. (You may want to see if you're a No-Reply Blogger.)

Giveaway closes Wednesday, May 25 at midnight MST. I'll post the winner Thursday.  Have fun and may the force be with you.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Quilt Market Eye Candy

A little more Quilt Market eye candy to share.  Man, I took so many pictures -enough for multiple posts. But rather than dragging this out forever I decided to just overload you all at once and get it over with!  So without further ado, let's go. I loved the quilt booth above by Zen Chic- I thought the subtle colors and design of that modern quilt were so soothing.
Some Michael Miller love. Designer Sandi Henderson's award winning both full of thrift store finds. Her new collection Secret Garden is lovely.  Also new Michael Miller designer Emily Herrick and her collection Going Coastal. Fun, bright and cute. Emily's booth was also an award winner. Both girls were so lovely and yes, nice. :)
Moda favorites new and old: First my perennial favorite and new BFF (i wish!) Sandy Klop. Actually, Sandy is so real and genuine she really does make you feel like one of her old friends.  And she didn't even treat me like some lunatic stalker (which I totally am). And then new favorite Cabbages and Roses. I'd bought the Fat 1/8th pack  of their new collection the night before at sample spree and then, low and behold, Union Jacks! We are destined to get along well.
Bonnie and Camille's new collection for fall, Ruby. Super cute. (As I look at this picture, I am kicking myself for not snatching one of those little sample packs!)
More Moda designers: Aneela Hoey and her new collection Little Apples, lovely Liesl from Oliver + S, Joanna Figueroa (I didn't ask for pictures with many designers just because I felt like a geek, but I did ask for one with Joanna because it was the same day I was on Moda Bake Shop using her fabric, a cosmic coincidence. But I still felt like a geek), and Kaari Meng from French General who was, you guessed it, so nice.
The Kona booth and meeting Katy! (Katy sent me a lovely parcel once and I've loved her ever since. Plus, she's hilarious. And I just wanted to stand next to her all day, just so I could hear her lovely British accent.) And Joel Dewberry's gorgeous booth. Very impressed with Joel and his lovely wife Laurie.  My favorite touch of their fabulous booth was the family picture. Love it. (I think I take special pride in the Dewberrys because we share the same alma mater. As does Heather Bailey, btw.)
 Check out these amazing designs by Don't Look Now.  Blows my mind.
 I love all this inspiration and ideas from the Basic Grey booth. Cool stuff!
Beautiful color at the Anna Maria Horner booth. Love the colorwheel made of floss. Lots of great stitching going on - literally - in the AMH booth.
 Ahh! Japanese imports - my absolute favorites! The Kokka's and Echino's prints including Heather Ross's Far Far Away prints. Wonderful. I wanted to just sit and rifle through all their samples.
 Here's a tiny bit of the Riley Blake displays. Above is Lori Holt's new line Oh Cherry. Lori's quilts are amazing.  It almost made me sad to see them have to be folded up and squished together instead of spread out in their glory.  Lori is local so I'm hoping to get another peak at them in full some time. Also Deena Rutter's Happier line and the quilts I made for her. woot! Finally, I loved that Riley Blake had a Man Cave complete with flat screen TV playing the movie Hoosiers
Next Lizzy House. Her new collection 1001 Peeps is great - esp if you are a Castle Peeps fan. And my favorite? The pearl bracelet print in green. And it is the perfect shade of green, no less. I can't wait to get my hands on some.  Lizzy was beyond nice to share with me one of her coveted 1001 Peeps bags from Schoolhouse. (I need to get a picture.)
Speaking of young designers, there were some fabulous new designers with their first booths at Market. Wow - I am impressed with these girls. Some great designs! Clockwise starting top left: April Rosenthal of Prairie Grass Patterns, Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew, Amber of Gigi's Thimble and Julie of Jaybird Quilts. Good luck girls! I think you're amazing!  Perhaps one of them is the Eleanor Burns of tomorrow. (Speaking of EB - I'm totally kicking myself for not getting of picture of her in her astronaut costume.)
And finally, the award for nicest person at Quilt Market (okay maybe it's a tie with Sandy Klop) is Jennifer Paganelli. Talk about real and down to earth and super, super fun. She's a gem and she makes everyone feel like they're her funnest friend on the planet.

If you're looking for some more inspiration and insight into Quilt Market, check out these talented girls: Kim and Kris of the DIY Dish or Daria of Boutique Cafe. Daria will soon have video interview with lots of your favorite designers on Boutique Cafe, so stay tuned.

Okay, you are probably totally Marketed-out by now, as am I. But if you're somehow not, be sure to check KPKM for more Market hoopla.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Quilt Market Schoolhouse and Sample Spree

I thought I would give a little insight into what happens at Quilt Market for any other newbies out there like me. The first day (Thursday) is a series of  classes geared toward shop owners to introduce new books, fabric collections, designers, products or to give thoughts and ideas for improving business. Here's a little peek at some of the sessions I attended.  I have to say I totally enjoyed this - esp because it was day 1 (I wasn't totally overwhelmed yet) and it was so fun to see real life people that I'd heard of many times in quilt-cyberspace.

The first session of the day that I attended was the Lecien company's introduction of some of their designers and newest fabric collections. The quilt in the top left (above) is from Meg Hawkey's new collection Whitewash. I think it was one of my favorite quilts of the day. Love the subtle neutrals with the random pops of color.  You can find free patterns for this quilt here along with other new quilts and designs for Lecien. The red and white quilt is from one of the Flower Sugar collections.

Other pictures are of Lissa Alexander's quilt string quilt for the new Moda Bake Shop book, Fresh Fabric Treats. Also there were Vanessa, Natalia and Kim showing their projects from the book as well. (You can see more about this class at Kim's blog.)  Bottom left is Amy McClellan giving her presentation, "Baa Baa Quilt Store Have You Any Wool?" about selling wool in quilt shops. I am one of Amy's employees and she is an amazing designer.  You can see her patterns here.
Top left (above) is the super nice Scott from Blue Nickel Studios showing off Katy's quilt at the Jennifer Paganelli school house class. The rest of the above pictures are of Michael Miller designers, Sandi Henderson, Sarah Jane Wright and Patty Young, with her stylish model Julie wearing Patty's Kyoko dress. (I think I need to make one of these for my girls.)
Above left: Amy Ellis at her trunk show for Martingale hi-lighting her new book Modern Basics.  (I got to be her official photographer. She did great! That is one of my favorite quilts from the book.) Bottom left, Heather Bailey! (I'm a fan. Sorry not a great picture.) On the right is the trunk show with Alissa Haight Carlton and Kristen Lejnieks for their new book Block Party about Modern Quilting Bees. Wow - I have been a follower for a while and it was so fun to watch these girls in action and see those quilts in real life! But best yet at the end I won a copy of the book in a giveaway! I was SO excited. It's a gorgeous book! Also there was Jacquie from Tallgrass Prairie of whom I am also a fan. She was awesome. People are so fun in real life! And everyone is just really nice.
That night it was on to the infamous Sample Spree. It was totally an experience to behold and to make my Sample Spree initiation even more exciting, I got to do it from behind the Robert Kaufman table!  RK needed some local help and contacted Vanessa about pitching in. Vanessa then asked me if I wanted to join in. Um, heck yeah! Also there was Julie. Julie and I were in a bee together for a year and it was really cool to meet her for the first time in real life. And it wasn't until the end that I realized one of the other sweet ladies at the table was no other than Darlene Zimmerman! I felt kind of stupid for not realizing it sooner. Darlene was kind of surprised that I knew who she was but being a vintage-print-junkie I love a lot of Darlene's designs. She was very sweet.
So what is this infamous Sample Spree? It's basically a chance for shop owners (and other folks who find a way to finagle a way inside) to buy samples of upcoming fabric collections, patterns or other products. I think the line outside started hours before and the crowd bursting through the doors was like Black Friday at Walmart the day after Thanksgiving.  People were dropping mounds of cash that night. It was incredible.  Because I need more fabric like I need a hole in my head, I used great restraint. Until I saw the Moda bag with Utah on it and I HAD to have one, because I'm a Utah girl. The bag cost $10 or was free with a purchase so I decided I might as well get something in order to get the free bag and I got this Fat 1/8 pack of Moda's new collection Northcote Range by Cabbages and Roses.  I was also sorely tempted  by the bundles of 20 1/2yard cuts of Echino prints. But the fact that they were still 100 bucks kept me from doing anything rash.
with Calli, Aneela and Erin
After Sample Spree a few of us made our way over to a little soiree hosted by the Sweet Hot Yams at a nearby hotel. In probably one of my dorkiest moments of the day (it certainly wasn't the first) we get in the elevator, chatting with some local girls when I notice the name tag on a lovely, unassuming girl and see that it says Aneela Hoey.  Of Sherbert Pips fame. I think I scared her when I said, "Oh my gosh, you're Aneela!" She was totally lovely and so nice.  

Do you see a recurring theme here? As I was recounting stories to my husband he started laughing at me and said, "You keep saying that: 'They were just so nice.'" Well, that's because they were.  Quilters are just nice. (Not to say that there is an absence of drama as there probably is drama in any world of creativity.)  But for the most part, people were just . . . nice! More nice people to come. (I'll try to have more visuals and fewer words next time.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bloggers Quilt Festival Spring 2011

I work at a local quilt shop and I make a lot of samples for them, plus I do some custom sewing from time to time.  I enjoy all of that, but it keeps me busy and I don't often get to just play with the fabric that I love.  So starting last summer I decided I was finally going to cut back on some of those projects and do more sewing for friends and family. Two of my sisters were pregnant and I wanted to make quilts for both of them, which were both a lot of fun (see here and here, if you like). I also really wanted to make a quilt for my mother-in-law.  It was so liberating to be as creative as I wanted to be and to use up my stash.  

I had a pile of fabric under my cutting table for almost 2 years waiting to be made into a quilt for my third sister and before Christmas I finally decided I was going to FINISH one for her too.  I really loved the improv nature of this quilt and had a great time putting it together and using up a LOT of that fabric. (Feels so good, you know? And makes you feel less guilty about buying more fabric. Haha.)

The other part of this quilt that stretched me was the quilting. I don't often do my own quilting, partly because I just don't feel very competent in those skills and partly because I'm just lazy and partly because I'm terrified that I'll ruin the quilt. But this time I decided to gird up my loins and give it a go.  I used a long-arm machine at the shop where I work.  The process took longer than I thought it would and by the end the machine and I were practically in a rumble and I was feeling so frustrated and swearing never to attempt that again.

But when I took it home and looked at it again - especially the design in the brown solid on the back, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it.  Looking at it again now, I think it's pretty awesome.
I have had people ask me about a pattern for this quilt.  Frankly most of it is improv so I don't even know if I could re-create a pattern with directions shorter than War and Peace, but because I like you all so much, I'll give you some basic block measurements and give you free licence to copy my quilt if you want. 

The large blocks are finished at 15" and the small blocks are finished at 7.5".  Some of the small blocks are solid and so I cut 8" squares for those. I made a total of 12 of the 15" blocks and 15 of the 7.5" blocks (that includes the blocks that are a solid square).  All the pieced blocks I just kept adding scraps of fabric until the blocks grew and I squared them up to 15.5" or 8" (that includes the seam allowance). Use the first picture to see the block placement. The blocks are basically sewen into 5 rows before the rows are all sewn together.

Enjoy the rest of the Blogger's Quilt Festival. I always love all the inspiration I glean here. Thanks again Amy for putting it all together.

Amy's Creative Side

Tom and Lucy's Art Shoppe

If you are local and you love beautiful, handmade gifts be sure to stop by and visit Tom and Lucy's Art Shoppe this coming weekend in Lehi, Utah. The Art Shoppe is hosting its fifth shop and with over 30 unique and local vendors selling their products and designs, you're sure to find something you'll love. Local vendors from across the beehive state will be selling jewelry, candy and sweets, home decor, toys and games, soaps and lotions, clothing, pillows, vintage, chic accessories and lots of other goodies. Come and pick out something wonderful for spring.
Vintage Pennant Card - Happy Birthday - Blank Card - For any Occasion - Ready to Ship
I personally love the handmade jewelry and paper creations - since that is where my talents do not lie.

Tom and Lucy's Art Shoppe is excited to be co-hosting a Girls Night Out with the Sassy Scoops. Come and join us Thursday, May 19th from 6:30-9:00p.m. Bring your girlfriends and enjoy a night out with Tom and Lucy. Fantastic giveaways and prizes from every vendor, delicious food and music.....sounds fun. I'm hoping to be there.

 colorful felt garland with hearts and circles 12' mixed patterns
Mark your calendars for this May 19th, 20th and 21st at the Ivory Ridge Swim and Tennis Club in Lehi, Utah. directions on the blog.

And Tom and Lucy's is offering a $25 gift card to on of my local readers to spend any day of the Spring Boutique.
Enter to Win: 
Visit Tom and Lucy's and let us know which vendor's products (left side-bar of the T&L blog) you would love to see in person and leave a comment on this post. For additional entries:
"Like" on Facebook 
Follow on Twitter @artshoppeutah
Join our mailing list (right hand column)
Follow Tom and Lucy's Blog
Leave a comment for each one for 5 total chances to win. $25.00 Gift Card will need to be picked up the weekend of the Art Shoppe and used on any of the 3 days open: Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Hope you can make it - maybe I'll see you there! I'll pick a winner Wednesday night and let you know so that you have 3 full days to claim your prize. (Dang, I wish I could win.)

GIVEAWAY CLOSED. The winner is SewSara! Congrats Sara!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Quilt Market Overload

Here I am by my quilts!
Wow. I think I still have a Quilt Market hangover.  
First of all, let me just say: Oh. My. Stars. If you ever get the chance to go to Quilt Market, GO! It was quilt world Nirvana for me. Wow. This was my first experience ever going, and it was fun. FUN. And at the same time exhausting and totally overwhelming - and that's just for me, a little old peon in the quilt universe. I can't imagine what it must be like for the real movers and shakers of the quilt world! I don't know when I'll go again, but I sure do hope to get to do it again someday. (It must be like a drug - one taste and you're hooked.)
The Moda Display

I took many pictures and have much to share, but need some time to process all the bits and pieces. Truly, it is overwhelming.  I can't promise the most inspiring pictures and posts, but I'll at least try to capture the experience. Stay tuned.
I think the craziest part (and my favorite part) was seeing all the people and meeting so many of them.  It felt nutty to walk around a corner and go, "Oh look. There's Amy Butler." or Heather Bailey, or Sandy Klop. And they acted like just real, regular people.  I was struck by how most people were just nice and real and normal and gracious. The other thing I loved was the fact that I was among people who share my interests - or in other words, they 'get' my weirdness. :) I've been to a couple blogger-meet-up type deals and felt kind of like a dweeb when I explained that my blog is about quilting and sewing. This time I felt like I was sitting smack-dab in the middle of my kind of folks.
Finally - MANY thanks to those to sponsored, supported and attended the Quilt Market Meetup. Wow! I have never even attempted something like this before and I'll admit it was stressful. (read: SCARY. Many's the time I thought about how I'd rather be in my little basement, behind my sewing machine hanging out with Jane Austen.) I lost plenty of sleep over this shindig. (And I nearly had a panic attack when I started pouring buckets of rain and hour and a half before the party.) But the skies cleared just in time and the greatest people showed up and made it so much fun. THANKS  to ALL of you. Especially to Calli and Nanette for taking on this endeavor with me and to the SUPER awesome folks who sponsored the event.
More pictures and inspiration to come. And I need to get my Bloggers Quilt Festival post up too. And I need to get my house put back together. Yikes. It's pretty scary around here. My poor kids need some warm weather clothes in their drawers and my kitchen floor is in serious need of a date with a mop. I'm working on that today. Yesterday was about church with the fam,  puzzles and play-doh and snuggles on the couch. It was time to just be Mom again.