Sunday, July 31, 2011

Quilt Stuff Giveaway Palooza

Wordy post ahead. But it could get you some fancy, schmancy stuff.

Have you heard of the Wantobe Quilter Campaign?
Sew we quilt
This is the brainchild of Madame Samm of Stash Manicure. As a recent partaker of the quilting kool-aid (which is delicious, btw, but as others can attest, is quickly addictive) Madame Samm has put together a 3-month campaign of giveaways to help kick-start other new (want to be) quilters. But she's offered to share with us long time quilt-addicts as well.

This means giveaways 5 days a week for 3 months. Seriously.  I know. And it's really cool stuff too like fabric, rotary cutters, mats, rulers, books, notions, die-cutters, irons and sewing machines. (You can get a sneak peak of some of the loot here.) This is truly something the likes of which I have never seen before in blog land. 

So because it's so crazy amazing, the rules to play are slightly different this time around.  Mme Samm has worked hard pulling together this crazy loot and she really wants it to get in the hands of real people who want to learn to sew - not hucksters who will just put it up on ebay.  So you need to be part of her giveaway registry in order to enter the daily giveaways.

Here's what you do:

1. Send me {amy (@) diaryofaquilter.com} your name, phone number and email address to forward on to Mme Samm. I will not keep any of this personal information myself (I stopped making prank phone calls when caller-ID was invented anyway) and it will not be used for anything but MS's giveaway registry and destroyed when the campaign ends. (If you're more comfortable sending this info to Mme Samm directly, here is her email: madamesamm@cogeco.ca. Tell her I sent you.) 

2. Be a Follower of the Stash Manicure blog.

3. After registering,you can comment on giveaway posts on Stash Manicure to enter. YOU MUST LEAVE A COMMENT ON THAT POST TO ENTER THAT DAY'S GIVEAWAY.

Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays are for 'want-to-be' quilters - folks just getting started -as in no experience quilting and no quilting supplies (mats, cutters, etc). 

Tuesdays and Thursdays are for old-time-quilters too. :)

4.  If you win a fabulous prize, you will need to be responsible to pay for the shipping of your prize to your house. 

5. If you are registered with me and you win a fabulous prize, I win one too. So it's literally a win-win. Nice!

This is all new to me too, so if you have questions look for details or more information at Stash Manicure. I am totally curious to see this unfold and to see the kind of sewing loot that will be given away!
Finally, I am feeling honored that my Orange/Arcadia quilt is featured in the new Stash Manicure banner! 
(If you are popping over from SM welcome!)
This is the picture of "the other front" of that quilt, hanging on my old fence.
I've had questions about a pattern for this quilt. Sadly, there is no pattern for this quilt - it was total improv piecing.  As in, I just started sewing chunks together and laying them out on my floor - which was a really fun experience. I totally recommend it sometime if you've never tried it.

So best wishes to all. May you all of your giveaway dreams come true.

Speaking of which, go here is for the winner of the $25 Crafty Girls Workshop gift certificate!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I sewed!

 A very good day around here yesterday. I actually pulled out my sewing machine and started a new project! This one is for a new baby niece coming in September. I love this collection from Lily and Will II by Anne Sutton for Moda. Anne Sutton is such a lovely person - I got to meet her briefly at Market and she was so kind. 
It felt so good to get out the rotary cutter and sit at my machine.
But not until I single-handedly filled about 63 of these suckers. And I have the sunburn/farmer tan to prove it!
And to top it all off, these goodies arrived from Poppy Seed Fabrics. Mmmmm...
A very good day indeed. Some of us crashed hard after so much fun.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sponsored Giveaway - $25 Gift Certificate!

Today we've got a giveaway for a $25 fabric shopping spree thanks to Crafty Girls Workshop. (They are having a great sale on Bella Solids for $5.99 through the rest of July!)

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
(Post Edit: Click the link above to leave a comment to enter the giveaway.)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Checking in

Well I thought I'd check in.  We're still here. 
As you can see, we're doing our darndest to live summer to it's fullest.

I actually did a little bit of sewing last week while my husband was in Zion Nation Park with a youth group from church. This weekend was a holiday weekend with a state holiday - Pioneer Day - in Utah. Nothing like another good excuse to have a parade, hit the pool, eat some barbeque and light some fireworks!

On top of all of that, I decided to re-read the last two Harry Potter books. It's the Pottermania in the air I guess. Actually, I read the Deathly Hallows four years ago when it came out - and I read it so fast that I can barely remember any of it and then I realized I couldn't really remember the sixth book either, so I decided to read that one too. I'm enjoying reconnecting with Harry (one of my favorite summer pastimes) and neglecting most of my sewing or other projects until I'm done.  

I saw this video this weekend and it was a great reminder of what my priorities should be for the rest of the summer. (Sorry, I feel like this has become a redundant theme of mine this summer. Many thanks for the encouragement and wise words many of you have shared on the subject as well.)


In the mean time, please no one remind the kid in the picture at the top how little of summer is left.  When I made the mistake of rattling-off the list of things on the calendar over the next month and finished by saying, "And then school starts!" we had weeping and wailing.  Whoops.

Thanks for putting up with another ramble-y post. I have good stuff (including giveaways) coming up so hang in there. In the mean time, enjoy those summer moments!


Friday, July 22, 2011

This little Piggy needs a Quilt

My cute little niece, N, turned 3 last week. I've wanted to make her a little doll quilt ever since her little brother was born last fall. When I saw this quilt by Amy I knew I wanted to copy pay homage immediately.
I made a crib-size quilt for this niece a couple of years ago out of the fabrics I used for the red, aqua and pink quilt I made for my daughter. (I think I've made 11-12 quilts out of those fabrics.) As a result I have a lovely little box of scraps left over.
 
This quilt is not for a doll, but for N's favorite friend, Piggy. Here is Piggy enjoying her (his?) new quilt.  N quite loves piggys.  Her favorite show is Peppa Pig (which could possibly be one of my new favorites - I just love hearing the Britishisms and British accents. Maybe I can teach my kids to talk like that.)
And since the quilt was for Piggy, I figured it needed some piggys on the quilt. Aren't those cute little Japanese piggys?
 And Piggy seems quite cozy wither her new quilt. I think I need to make more of these.

Linking up to QuiltStory Tuesday and AmyLouwho Show&Tell

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A few things

Some fun things to share. (Hopefully you think so too.)

First off, did you see that Sandi Henderson's Henna Garden is going to be reprinted? It's true! Go and vote for your favorite color. Or colors. For me it's Pumpkin. I'm a sucker for orange and this one is perfect. But I also love that spring pink too.

HennaGroupcoming

Second, Sarah Jane's new fabric, Children at Play has arrived in fabric shops!You can find some at Skye Reve and Fresh Squeezed Fabric. There are SO many great prints in this collection. Classic stripes, dots, and ginghams in great colors, not to mention the fabulous novelty prints from Sarah Jane's fabulous illustrations.  I'm in love with this stuff. (You can see what I've done with some of this fabric here.)
And speaking of Children at Play, Sarah Jane currently has a fabulous giveaway going on at her blog.

Third, the nice folks at the Sewing Summit just posted an interview with me (in case you don't get enough of me at this silly blog).  
The Sewing Summit
I'm teaching an intro to Quilting basics class at the Sewing Summit in October.  If you were going to an intro to Quilting class, what would you most want to learn about? I really want to make this class as helpful as possible so I would love any suggestions or requests.


Land of Nod (a)
Finally, today I have a guest post (making easy Super Hero capes) at the Land of Nod's new blog called Honest to Nod. It is an adorable blog with lots of cute ideas and tutorials.

Okay, that's all the business for now. I have a cute new project to share next time.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer log cabin quilt + moms and daughters

Last week I helped my mom finish a project.  She was making a log cabin quilt as a wedding gift for the daughter of her best friend growing up in Berkeley, California. It was fun to help her.

(Don't you love that little playhouse? I dreamed of having something like that as a little girl - and now my own kiddos have that to play in at grandma's house. They are lucky ducks!)
After presenting the bride-to-be with lots of options, and thinking she would probably want something modern, my mom was surprised when she requested a log cabin quilt in very classic colors. Nothing wrong with choosing a classic!

My mom pieced all the log cabin blocks. I helped with the borders, back and binding.
 The quilting was done by the talented Becky Heslop.  I loved the blue and white shirting for the back.
It's been a mother-daughter-themed weekend around here. After camping with the whole family Thursday night, my two girls and I came home Friday afternoon to take showers and go the the Justin Hackworth 30 Strangers exhibit - all photographs of mother daughter combinations at which 5 mothers (list here) read short essays that were both poignant and hilarious about motherhood. (If I find links to the essays themselves, I will share.)

Their words were just what I needed to hear - to remind me that I'm not alone in this crazy adventure called motherhood and that even though sometimes it is one crazy, demanding, exhausting ride, it is one worth taking. Then my girls and I followed that event with frozen yogurt, an introduction to the movie Hello Dolly, and Saturday morning breakfast at IHOP (the boys were still camping).

Then lunch Saturday with my own mom and all three of my sisters (this is a rare treat!) Hooray for moms and daughters. And log cabin quilts for another mom and daughter. (I had to tie it together somehow.)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer is rolling along

This is where I dream of spending some quality time, but it's just not the right season.

I continue to be amazed at how busy summer is. With four kids I often feel like Julie from the Love Boat trying to direct everyone to their next activity or destination all the while trying to make sure everyone is happy and having fun. (Although everyone happy and having fun all at the same time is just not that realistic.) This week's activities include hosting a birthday party, swimming lessons, and a family camping trip. whew.
So I'm grateful for those occasional breaks with fun sewy-friends at fabric stores while eating Cafe Rio food and laughing hard. I'm also excited to go to Justin Hackworth's 30 Strangers Exhibit on Friday.  As always, life is full, but life is good.

Happy Bastille Day.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sage Advice from a Seasoned Quilter

When I first started really quilting about 11 years ago I took a few classes from a very talented quilter, Leslie Ison. (I made this sunflower quilt, still one of my all-time favorites, in one of those classes.) Little did I know then that years later, her daughter Calli would become a very great friend.  So when Calli invited me to a 'trunk show' of her mom's quilts, I jumped at the chance to see Leslie's work again.  
Leslie is on the right. The show was hosted by Amber (a talented quilter herself - sorry Amber, not a great picture.)  Leslie has a way with fabric. I lover her use of color and her fabric combinations.  I don't think I've ever seen her make a quilt from a manufacturer's collection - she mixes and matches fabric lines in all her quilts. 
 This quilt is made up of 300 individually appliqued baskets. Wow.
And it's the second quilt like this that she's made.
 As she was describing her quilts, Leslie gave some sage advice (which I quickly jotted down on the back of a Costco receipt).

1. Make quilts that you love.  Amen to that. Isn't it hard to make something you just don't love?
2. Don't worry about perfection - it's overrated. Quilts need to have some imperfection in them.  Once again, Amen.  Perfection can be such an obstacle - I've seen too many people quit and give up because they were so frustrated by making their quilts perfect. Just enjoy the process and let go of the perfection.
 3. Label you Quilts. (Here's where I need to repent. I'm terrible about this. Vowing right now to do better!)
A work in progress
4. Document your life and your history and your family's history in your quilts. Leslie showed a bunch of quilts she'd made in memory of her mother's kitchen, her grandparent's farm, etc. They were wonderful.
5. Make quilts that mean something. Leslie made this quilt this spring after going to the Red and White exhibit in New York. This pattern is called Sunny Days and can be found at Geoff's Mom's Patterns (along with many others in this trunk show.)
6. When it comes to colors, there are no 'rules'.  Leslie shared the experience of learning to quilt from a master teacher who told her that the quilt she was working on needed more yellow. But she didn't want yellow in the quilt.  So when she teaches, she never comments on color or fabric choices.  Color is an expression of our own tastes and personality. Don't feel beholden to some color-rule-book.  Use what speaks to you and what you love.

You can see more about Leslie's trunk show at Calli's blog as well. Thanks again to Amber for hosting. I was inspired all over again by Leslie's amazing talent, quilts and by her love of this art form. Made me want to go home and lock myself in my basement for a week just start playing with color and fabric.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chain Link Quilt Kit from Poppy Seed Fabrics

Kimberly from Poppy Seed Fabrics has created a quilt kit using Amy Butler fabrics and my Chain Link pattern. (Don't you love it in the gray and white? I think I need to make another one of these.)  You can buy the kit here. Pattern available here.

While you're there check out Poppy Seed's fabric. I'm especially loving the Robert Kaufman Metro circles.

Happy Saturday.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Summer Table Runner

 
I found a little bit of time to do some summer sewing. So I made a table runner for my mother-in-law's birthday. I used the good old quick, quilt-as-you-go Table Runner Tutorial. I love how fast these come together.
Last summer when we were in Maryland I found some cool fabric with a beach and lighthouse theme and knew they were perfect for my mother-in-law who grew up in Maine and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The prints are from the collection Beachcomber by Clothworks. All of the rest of the fabric came from my stash. I love how it all came together. 
I especially love all the sand-colored neutrals. Now I'm in the mood to make a beach-inspired quilt in really subtle neutrals. Hmm...

Plant and pot from Ikea.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A flippin' sweet 4th of July

Pretty much nothing beats the 4th of July weekend in a small town in Idaho. 
 Throw in a trip to the sand dunes, a lake and a bunch of cousins
 followed by snowcones, awesome uncles, and a parade. How can you beat it?  
All that was missing was a llama, a game of tether ball and a flippin' skit.
Good times. Except the part where the small town fire truck drenches you unexpectedly at the end of said parade. But maybe that depends on who you ask.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Some tidbits to share

My summer work in progress

A few fun tidbits to share:
The Sewing Summit
The Sewing Summit. Can you come?  Have you checked in recently? There are lots of new announcements about sponsors, schedules and teachers. I must say I am SO excited about going to this event.  It is going to be awesome and Utah is so pretty in October. And it would be so much fun to hang out if you can come.

Do you like free quilt patterns? Right now if you sign-up for the Accuquilt Mailing list they will give you 22 Free patterns! Click the box below to sign up and to receive those free quilt patterns:
22 Free Patterns - Download Now

Have you heard about the Martha Pullen Sewing Awards?  This is a contest for sewing enthusiasts to enter a recent creation. You could win $200 gift certificate to the Martha Pullen store and a feature in Sew Beautiful magazine. For more information go here. Deadline to enter is October 1, 2011.

Burgundy Buttons

Lastly, check out the 4th of July Sale going on at Burgundy Buttons. Great reductions on everything - even brand new stuff like Strawberry Fields, Moda Christmas collections, Bella solids and precuts! The sale ends July 5 at midnight. 
Finally, thanks so much for your great responses to the Plastic Bag tutorial. So glad it was entertaining to some of you out there. :)  Also thanks for the response to the etsy shop update. It's been a busy week around here. And now we are enjoying some fun time with extended family together for the holiday weekend. Have a great weekend yourselves and we'll see you all next week!