Monday, October 31, 2011

May the Force Be With You

I'm off to the elementary school Halloween parade with my favorite glamour witch, wizard,. and a couple of Jedis. (What is the plural for Jedi?)  And to gorge myself on candy. I can't do the sticky stuff with my braces this year, so I'll just have to pound down the chocolate. :)

See you tomorrow!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Modern Churn Dash Quilt

Early last spring I made a red and white Churn Dash quilt as a challenge from a quilt retreat out of pretty traditional quilting fabrics.  I really enjoyed making it and liked the finished product. All summer I wanted to try the same block with a modern feel. Finally this fall I picked the fabrics and went for it. And here is the Modern Churn Dash quilt.
This quilt has been on a journey.  
The quilt was nearly finished with the binding machine sewed  to the front of the quilt, and I was planning to hand sew the back before the Sewing Summit.
Well that didn't happen. I just showed the quilt with the binding unfinished. Sigh. (Picture thanks to Trish.)

So I took the quilt with me on our recent road trip to a couple of the National Parks in southern Utah.  (I'm so grateful that I don't get carsick.  I love all that time for hand sewing!)  I thought while we were there I would snap a quick picture by the side of the road to change things up from all the pictures I usually take at my backyard fence. My husband realized what I was doing and convinced me that since we literally at Bryce Canyon National Park, for crying out loud, we should use that one-of-a-kind landscape as a backdrop.
I'm glad he talked me into it.  He even climbed out onto a ledge to get a good shot (at his own insistence. I was trying not to freak out.) So there we were with all kinds of tourists walking past us, my husband on the edge of the canyon holding up a quilt while I took a bunch of pictures.  Our kids hid from embarrassment while we did it. But it's a pretty awesome shot.
Here's what Bryce Canyon looks like without quilts in the way. It's pretty amazing.
So is my husband. He even figured out how to make children's clothing out of plastic bags once.
To make this quilt I figured out a quick method to put two blocks together at the same time with next to no fabric waste.  I finally put it all in a pattern which is now available here or on etsy.

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy the rest of the Blogger's Quilt Festival!


Also linking up to Sew and Tell, Tea Rose Home, and Quilt Story

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Lily and Will II Baby Quilt

In the wild, happy, fun craziness that this month has been, I did not get a chance to properly show-off this quilt with it's most adorable accessory. This is my new little niece who is now a month old. Is that hair to die for? I'm having baby-hair envy.  My own sweet babes had a few lovely wisps, which is better than their mother had. My parents called me Kojak when I was a baby. In the most loving way, of course.
I SO love the prints and patterns and colors in Anne Sutton's Lily and Will II collection.  Girly and babyish without being cliche and saccharine. The fabric came out last year and is harder to come by now, but there is still some yardage available at Fat Quarter Shop.  Burgundy Buttons is out of yardage, but does have some pre-cuts.The tutorial for this quilt is at Moda Bake Shop (here).
 [And due to my post-summer brain mush, there was a corretion in the sashing yardage that was required. I had not listed enough. So if you already printed the tutorial and headed off to your local quilt store before last week, I am dreadfully sorry. All is correct as of 10/19.]
And there you have it. Isn't life sweet?

We had a great family vacation to a couple of the National Parks in southern Utah. Gorgeous scenery and weather. It was good to get away from life for a bit.  And the greatest part was my kids were so great in the car. I think there is a distinct possibility that road trips may actually be fun for the next few years. We're going to have to capitalize on this golden age we've got going before we're inundated with teenagers. And I mean that in the most loving way.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A little Fall break

Midway Utah, on the way home from this place
It's Fall break from school here in Utah and we're having a little bit of family time. 
But I wanted to pop in and say  hi.


I'll be back next week with lots of new stuff, including some finally finished new patterns. 

Hope you're having a great weekend where you are. 
\We're enjoying gorgeous fall weather and foliage. I love it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

An Autumn Quilt Show

 A few weeks ago, a quilt group that my mom is a part of hosted their annual garden quilt show where they display the quilts they've made over the year, serve a delicious lunch, and in the process raise money for a local charity. These ladies are so prolific and the show is always fun to attend.
 This quilt was made by Judi Sears. One day I want to make even just one of these blocks. I love it!
This quilt was made by my own dear mum. She has been carrying around these Aunt Gracie flowers for a while now. She hand appliqued them with the black thread to give it an extra vintage look. She has a great 30's stash and it was fun to watch her pull from it for this quilt.  (Not the greatest pictures on a bright sunny/shady day. We may need to re-shoot this one sometime.)
Here's another quilt by my mom. She had so many blocks left over from this quilt, she made another. This one now happily resides on my sister's red couch and looks smashing in the process.
After lunch there was a trunk show by this dear lady, who's name I did not catch. (Clearly, I am not a very good journalist. But thanks to Shanda for the head's up - her name is Maxine Oakeson!) Maxine brought some AMAZING vintage quilts.  After taking pictures of about 20 vintage quilts, guess who realized they'd forgot their camera card?  Fortunately I had an extra in the car and at least got pictures of these two.
This applique quilt was to. die. for.  Maxine bought this quilt as a kit on clearance from a department store in the 1960's. It came with all the fabric and the pre-marked backing fabric that showed where everything was to be placed and even has quilting lines marked.  It's a Queen size quilt. She does not enjoy applique (even though she totally rocks at it) and has steadily put it together over the years.  I loved how current the colors are even though they're from 40 years ago. LOVED it.
This is another antique quilt that was on display. Such a sweet quilt and check out that amazing hand quilting!! I've never seen a quilt so heavily hand-quilted - which is probably why it has survived in such amazing condition.  This one is OLD. I'll have to do some-more sleuthing to give it a date estimate.

In other news, if you're a Utah local and want to come hang out and sew with other stitch-y friends, check out this little quilting retreat hosted by Pam of French Knots. I'm keeping my fingers crossed to get away for one of those days of sewing.

Also, the winner of the Sewing Summit Swag has been notified. Thanks to all those who entered for your sweet comments.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Quilting tip: Scant 1/4 inch

As you know, a 1/4" seam allowance is the gold-standard in quilting.  Keeping your seam allowance consistent is an important key to good-looking quilts but using a scant 1/4" seam is even better. Let me explain.

Typically lining up the edge of your fabric with the right side of your presser foot is a good guide for keeping your seam allowance consistent.  You can buy a specific quiter's foot with a 1/4" seam allowance for your machine (newer ones may come with it) but if you're like me, I didn't want to spend the extra money and it seemed close enough.  Then I took a class from Leslie Ison where she explained how much more effective it is to use a scant 1/4" when pieceing - especially when you are piecing a more complex block.

Above is are two seams on either side of a drawn line. On the right I just used my regular presser foot with the needle centered. On the left I adjusted my needle one space to the right and still used my regular presser foot.
Here is the difference. On the right you can see that the seam allowance is actually slightly bigger than 1/4". On the left you can see that the seam lies just slightly inside the 1/4" line. This, my friends, is a scant 1/4".

So get out your ruler and measure your seam allowance.  Making adjustments may be as simple as moving your needle one notch to the right, but sewing with a scant seam allowance will make a difference in your piecing. Especially if your piecing smaller, detailed blocks - like those cute Farmer's Wife blocks. Give it a whirl and let me know if it makes a difference for you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Sewing Summit - a recap

The Sewing Summit has come and gone. Holy cow, it was fun. I think I'm still in a daze and trying to recover from the sewing/people/fabric/fun overload. I loved every minute of it. I don't get to hang out with sew-y friends very often, so this felt like such a treat. Sadly, I was terrible about remembering to pull out my camera. And the pictures I did take didn't turn out so hot (inside a hotel is not the best picture-taking environment.) But I have enough (and stolen a few) to give an impression.
The fun began with this group on Friday. After a morning of visiting fabric shops and running into new Sewing Summit friends along the way, I visited Art Market - a collection of handmade goods by local artists - with Amy, Amy, Dana and Leigh, where we ran into Kristie and Samantha fresh from Canada.  Kristie and I have corresponded and she had sent me an adorable Union Jack purse this summer. It was so fun to meet her in person! (Photo thanks to Kristie @OCD Obsessive Crafting Disorder)
Also oven-fired pizza was consumed and we were entertained by Dana in the process.

Here are a few more of the great folks I happened to get  pictures with. There were so many fabulous people I did not get pictures of. (Kicking self.) Including my hilarious roommate. How did that happen?From top left moving clockwise: Lee, me, Amy, Elizabeth, AnnMarie, me, Amy, Allison, Melissa, me, Amanda, Amy, Emily, Leigh, and me again.

And this is only a smidgen of the many fabulous people who were there. 
Too many sewers (sewists?), so little time!!

Can I just say that it is kind of surreal to walk into a room full of people that you "know" but don't actually recognize in real life.  It's kind of an intimidating feeling.  I wished that everyone could have walked around with their blog headers tattooed to their foreheads so I would have recognized them instantly. Instead I was trying to nonchalantly look at the name tag hanging on their chest (which is kind of awkward, as you can imagine.) But it is so much fun when you do connect a face with a blog - esp when it's someone you know well!  I felt like all weekend I was saying "OH! YOU'RE . . . (insert blog name here)!" A HUGE thanks to those who kindly introduced yourselves to me - I loved meeting every single person!
Also awsome and severely under-photographed by me were the many hand-made bags, name tags, clothing, etc. Again, a couple I finally snapped in the final hours of TSS: Jeni, Amanda's houndstooth bag (made by Colleen), Jessica  rocking the Denyse Schmidt and this AMAZING paper pieced lanyard. Tiny!

I think one of my favorite classes (and the one where I remembered to bring my camera) was Improve Piecing taught by Jess of Urban Patchwork. Jess is an amazing and inspiring quilter. I made an improv-pieced block (see photo at the top of the post) and was reminded how much I enjoy it. I need to do it more often. The gal on the right with this pretty pile of scraps is Jennifer of Ellison Lane. Jennifer was my fabulous TA/Vanna White who was invaluable helping me during the class I taught.
I think that Saturday night was my favorite.  Ate downtown by Temple Square with a bunch of great ladies including the wonderful Melissa, Trish and Amy again. (There were SO many Amy's there!) 
I also hit the BabyLock sewing room for a late night sewing binge.  That place was humming. It was so much fun to be surrounded by lots of other talented and happy sewers. (Not mention people with fabric addictions and hexagon enthusiasts. Kindred spirits.) I even completed a quilt top that has been in my 'to-do' pile for WAY too long. I'm excited to get 'er finished!
Many thanks again to Amy of Amy's Creative Side and Erin of Two More Seconds for all of their hard work pulling this conference together. I can't even fathom how much work they did to pull it off. And they're going to do it again next year! Check out these fabulous quilts created in secret by some very generous attendees. I was so impressed. 
Also, (are you still with me? Sorry, long post!) There was some fabulous loot! And GUESS WHAT?! As I was carrying my ironing board through the posh lobby again on the way out, Erin offered me another set of swag. And I want to share it with one of you who was not able to be there in person. Yes way. Leave one comment here before Saturday October 15, midnight MST and I'll pick a winner. 

(If you are a no-reply blogger please be sure to leave an email address so that I can contact you. The last giveaway I picked a winner and had no way to get a hold of her.) Also the winners of the blogiversary giveaway have been posted.  The party continues!

Giveaway CLOSED. The winner is MEREDITH! Congratulations, Meredith!

Monday, October 10, 2011

New Baby Quilt Tutorial

I have a new baby quilt tutorial up at Moda Bake Shop.

After making the large squares-on-point quilt last winter, I decided it would be fun to make a baby-size version using 5" Charm squares. This one is for my brand-new baby niece!
Also many thanks to Sew Mama Sew for linking to my Easy-Stocking Tutorial yesterday as part of their Handmade Holidays series. There are some fun projects worth checking out. Because it's never too early to start that Christmas Gift prep, right? (eek.)

This past weekend was awesome. I came home yesterday to a busy family day, so today I need a nap.  I'm excited to share some pictures and things that I learned from The Sewing Summit - as well as some loot! Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Have you ever carried your ironing board through the lobby of a posh hotel? Neither had I until yesterday! (I would have taken a picture, but it would have only made the situation even more bizarre.)  I'm at the Sewing Summit and having a grand time. It's so fun to meet people in real life. A blast.
So while I'm here, I will leave you with some fine fall foliage pictures of a drive up the canyon near our house a couple of weeks ago, to one of my favorite spotsCascade Springs.
Too bad I don't have some nice Muzak playing to enhance this experience for you.
I'll be back soon with stories (and maybe pictures if I would just remember to get out my camera) to share from this weekend. Plus a winner from the giveaway. Have a great one!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Let's sew.

Pinned Image
I saw this sign by Rosanna Geissler about a year ago and loved it. 
Thanks to the magic of Pinterest, I found it again. Seems appropriate for this week.

And next . . . wow. Thank you so much for all of your nice comments on my blogiversary. You have made me dangerously close to getting a big, fat head. It is gratifying to know that this silly little blog is appreciated and even enjoyed. Thank you, thank you!

And now I am off to finish up preparations for The Sewing Summit which starts tomorrow. (!) Wow. Feeling excited and nervous all at the same time.  It's been a crazy busy week around here and I haven't even started to pack.  I've been working on my class presentation and I'm feeling muy anxious. I'm a little scared because, thanks to 4 pregnancies and the results thereof, my memory is shot and so I'm terrible at remembering names, details, anything really.  Also I got a haircut last week that was not what I was expecting and I feel like that guy with the mushroom on his head from Mario Brothers.  Combine that with a fact I have not yet shared on this blog: I got braces 3 months ago, and I'm feeling like I'm back in those awkward junior high years all over again. (Any other adult braces people out there? Please tell me I'll survive.)

But I'm so excited to be with so many fun women who share the same interests as I do. I know that there are so many who would love to come and can't because of distance, cost, etc. I got lucky that it happens to be only 40 min away from my house.  If you can't make it this year, I totally suggest looking for a local guild or group at a local quilt shop. Women who sew are so much fun - even when they're complete strangers. (This is what I keep telling myself this week!)  It is so worth having an occasional sewing-fest wherever you are. And then one day, we'll all sit and sew together at that great Sewing Summit in the sky. ;)

If you're going to be at The Sewing Summit, and you see me, PLEASE come say HI!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Blogiversary and a Giveaway

Guess what? Today is my 3rd Blogiversary. I know you've had this day marked on your calendar, waiting with baited breath for this significant milestone to arrive. Just kidding. Even I almost forgot. Last year I totally forgot about it, and this year, by sheer luck, I happened to think to check before it came around, so I thought it would be fun to have a little giveaway!

First of all, thank you so much for visiting this corney blog about quilting.  Thank you for the kind comments and encouragement that you leave.  I will be honest - some days blogging stresses me out.  I worry about getting my pictures to look the way I want them to in my mind, I often kick myself for writing blog posts late at night when my brain has already shut off for the day and then worry that what I wrote sounded whiney or incoherent, and I'm often plagued by that nasty, un-healthy 'comparison/inadequacy' menace to all bloggers.  Throw in the guilt I often feel about not always having the time I'd like to respond to every comment or meet everyone's requests (I'm a chronic "pleaser" so this can get rough), not to mention the guilt and worrying whether my time at the computer is the best use of my time. :)

BUT I'm so grateful for the nice feedback you give me regarding my hobby, for supporting my little etsy shop, and for the fun opportunities that have come since starting this blog.  By far my favorite part of this adventure has been the great people I've met (some times in real life and sometimes in cyberspace) since jumping into the blogosphere. That is by far the funnest part - you awesome people!
So to thank you, I have a few giveaways with no-strings attached. Thanks to the generosity of Amanda Murphy and Robert Kaufman fabrics I have 2 Ten-Square (42 10" squares) collections and 2 Roll-ups (42 2.5" strips) of Amanda's newest collection, Veranda to share. I'll be giving away one set of both and one of each. (see top photo.)

And I wanted to give away something totally "Diary of a Quilter." So I've got a little bundle put together of an I-spy charm-pack, some American Jane pennant triangles and a few goodies I collected at Market last spring. This means we'll have 4 winners! First winner gets first pick of the prizes, and so on.

Leave one comment until Friday, October 7, midnight MST.  I'll randomly pick a winner sometime over the weekend and announce on Monday.

Thanks again for being my "peeps" in blogland! Mwah!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED. Winners are: Amy, luckymom, WandaFish, and Funky Kim. Congratulations ladies! I'll be contacting you!