Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sarah Jane's Airplane Quilt Pattern!

All images by Sarah Jane used with permission

Last spring I had the very fun opportunity to play with Sarah Jane's new fabric collection, Children at Play, making some samples for her booth at Quilt Market.  I had been a fan of Sarah Jane's art prints for a few years before I ever knew she'd design fabric too - so this truly was a 'pinch-me' moment! This quilt was designed by Sarah and then I put it together in fabric form.
I've had people ask about a pattern for that airplane and now Sarah Jane has published a free template for this quilt! You can see her tutorial at the Michael Miller blog and you can download the airplane applique template here.

You can find Children at Play fabric here, here and here.
Did you know that there is now Children at Play paper too?
I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sponsored Giveaway from Green Fairy Quilts

Today I'd like to introduce you to one of my sweet sponsors, Green Fairy Quilts.  Green Fairy Quilts is a shop that specializes in Moda and Riley Blake pre-cuts at great prices.
Right now, Green Fairy Quilts is having a clearance sale on all their Jelly Rolls (rolls of pre-cut 2 1/2" strips) including very new collections at a GREAT price. Only good through Monday night!
Moda Northcote Range Quilt Kit
They also carry a collection of quilt kits.  You know I'd be a sucker for this Union Jack kit using Northcote Range. Love it.  Another great feature at Green Fairy Quilts is that you can pre-order upcoming collections ahead of time.
Green Fairy Quilts is owned and operated by Judi and her husband Clint.  Judi is also a talented pattern designer and incredibly gifted quilter.  What she does with a long arm quilting machine blows my mind.  You can read more about her quilting adventures on her blog.
Today Judi is generously giving away one of these Tend the Earth Fat Quarter BUNDLES to one of you lucky readers.  Includes 34 Fat Quarters. Wow. That is a lot of fabric.

You have two opportunities to enter to win.  Leave a separate comment if you do one or both:
That's it! Giveaway open until Friday, March 3 at Midnight. GIVEAWAY CLOSED Thanks so much, Judi!

WINNER IS: Dirt Road QuilterFeb 27, 2012 11:41 AM
I'm a fan of Judy's and love finding her newsletter in my inbox! She always has something wonderful! Thank you for the pretty bundle giveaway!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Star Quilt Block Tutorial

Hello and welcome to any new friends. Today is my turn to share a block tutorial for the 
I was so excited when Jackie asked me to participate. Fun times!
This block is the 6th block in the series. If you haven't joined the fun yet, it's definitely not too late! You can find out more about this free Block of the Month party here.

I'm going to share a tutorial for this very traditional star block. I certainly don't claim any credit for making it up, but I'll show you how I made this classic design into a finished 8" block (unfinished 8.5").
Cutting list:

From your background fabric cut: 
  • [4] 3" squares
  • [4] 2¼” squares
  • [4] 1½” x 4” rectangles. (not pictured. D'oh! Sorry)
From each of your 4 'point' fabrics:
  • [1] 3" square
  • [1]  2¼” squares
Center square:
  • [1] 1½” x 1½” square

Start this block by making each of your 'points'.  Begin by matching up a 3" colored square with a 3" background square.  Draw one diagonal line on the back of the lighter fabric.  Carefully sew a scant 1/4" seam along both sides of the drawn line.

Using a rotary cutter, carefully cut directly on the drawn line.  Press both blocks open, pressing seam toward the 'point' fabric.
Carefully 'square-up' both half-square triangle blocks to 2¼”
Take both half-square triangle blocks and match them up with the coordinating 2¼” colored square and 2¼” background square in this layout.
Sew top two squares together and bottom two squares together. Press seams away from the half-square blocks.
Now sew two rows together, butting the seam allowances up against each other to help line-up that center point.  *Optional: when pressing this portion, 'pop' the first couple of stitches in the center seam and open up where those four seams intersect to make it lie more flat. Press the seams as shown.* 
Repeat the same process to make all four of the points.  Take your [4] 1½” x 4” rectangles and your center 1½” x 1½” square and lay out the block like this. 
Sew the blocks together in three separate rows as pictured. Press the seams toward the center rectangle on the points rows, and press away from the center square on the middle row.  Sew three rows together.
And here is my version in a very different color scheme.  I love how versatile this block can be - modern or traditional, depending on the colors and fabrics used.
I have loved ALL the blocks so far. To see more block versions - or to upload your own - visit the BBOM flickr page.
Here are the other designers and their corresponding months: 

It's also a great way to bust some stash.

Have fun!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Simple Four-patch Baby Quilt

I love to make simple quilts and let the fabric do all the work. Especially when the fabric is large-scale or busy.  I created this simple four-patch quilt to show off pieces of the Lecien Merry Bon Bon collection.  The cute, retro-inspired prints create a quilt with a very vintage nursery feel.
Adding to the vintage-y feel of this quilt, it came out of the dryer especially crinkly thanks to the linen in the Merry Bon Bon fabric. I love the finished effect. So soft and snuggly.
This quilt was made as a sample for American Quilting in Utah where I used to work.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Good Getaway

We took a nice little family getaway over the holiday weekend here in the U.S.  We visited southern Utah including Kolob Canyon (snow) and Snow Canyon (no snow). This time I did not have any quilts to make my husband pose with unlike our trip to Bryce Canyon National Park last fall. :)
We stayed in the town of St. George - I love the pioneer architecture in St. George - party because I'm just a sucker for old stuff and partly because some of my progenitors helped to build these buildings: St. George LDS Temple, Tabernacle, and Jacob Hamblin home. Couldn't leave out the picture of the quilt! (My husband cracks up every time he sees me pull out my camera to take pictures of any quits that cross our path.)
I also got a lot of stitching done on the road. I love that time to talk with my husband and sit and stitch uninterrupted (well, mostly uninterrupted). Thank heaven I don't get car sick.  And now, back to the craziness at home. Time to catch-up on laundry, emails, school work etc.  Sometimes I think you need a vacation to catch-up after your vacation.

Okay, thanks for indulging me in the travelogue.  Later this week I'll be sharing my block for Jackie's Block of the Month.  Now's your time to catch-up on the others before Saturday. (At least, that's my plan. ;)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Block of the Month at Shabby Fabrics

Check out this adorable quilt, Sweetheart Houses available as a new 10-month block of the month series at Shabby Fabrics.  The quilt is an original design by Jennifer Bosworth and available only at Shabby Fabrics.  This Block of the Month will start in July. For more information, go here. The detailed, color pattern is also available for purchase on it's own.

For a limited time Shabby Fabrics is offering you lovely readers a 50% off discount on the sign-up fee for the Sweetheart Houses Block of the Month.  Enter code DIARY50 on the view cart page to receive this discount. (This is only valid for the Sweetheart Houses BOM sign up fee. Expires 4/10/12)
By My Hand BOM - Block of the Month Program  Carrot Patch BOM - Block of the Month Program Merry, Merry Snowmen BOM - Block of the Month
Shabby Fabrics has a great selection of many other Block of the Month programs available right now. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Another new project: Sarah Jane Family Tree

Well, I've done it again. Started another new project.  It seemed in December and January I did a really good job of finishing projects.  Hence a lot of posts with finished quilts, etc.  Lately it's all been about starting something new. Sorry for so many posts of random piles of fabric or blocks.  Hopefully the pretty colors and fabric will distract you.
We're going to have some good car time this weekend - which is also some of my favorite time to just sit and sew, guilt free.  So I needed to come up with a project to work on.  As I've been sorting and cleaning out my sewing stuff, I found this Sarah Jane Family Tree panel and decided this was it.  I fell in love with the panel again as I realized the children in the panel so perfectly represent my own kiddos. I've got an oldest brunette daughter, next a fair-haired sister, then two boys - one dark and the youngest a blondie. Seems this drawing was made just for us.

I put together one for Sarah Jane's booth at Market last spring and she kindly gave me one to make for myself and it just got added to the never-ending 'someday list'.  Well today is that day. I'm going to work on stitching the names while we drive.  I'm planning to make more of a pieced border for mine. So I went through my fabrics and picked out prints and colors that reminded me of my kids. Including some scraps and pieces of novelty prints that I've been hoarding saving for just the right project. Well, this is it. I'm excited to see it come together.
In my snatches of spare time I've been cutting 2 1/2" squares to make a pieced border for the panel. While I was at it I just kept cutting more so I can use them for granny squares or for mini hexagons.  One can never be over-prepared when it comes to 2 1/2" squares, it seems.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sewing Therapy Needed

Life has a way of feeling a bit full at the moment. One of those times in life when a lot of big things seem to hit all at once.  (I also think that the busy-ness of Valentine's Day might have had something to do with my fatigue today. I keep reminding myself that one day I will miss the hoopla of Elementary School Valentines Day. One day.) I won't bore you with the other details because I have a feeling you've got your own full plate, but lets just say that I needed a little bit of sewing therapy today.
It didn't take much. Just a little time spent made a big difference.  It was my first time sewing in my new room.  I have my machine on a different desk in this room and it's GREAT.  I have been sewing at a table mostly for the past few years and the height is probably pretty ergonomically not-good.  As we were getting ready to reshuffle I re-looked-at an old desk that I almost threw away.  It's not the prettiest desk -  I bought it at an office surplus sale where I worked about 14 years ago for $10.  It's got a big work surface and the height is lower.  Works very nicely.  Good job old desk.
I've got all my blocks put together for this quilt.  All from scraps. I'm just starting to assemble the rows.  Such a nice sunny quilt for blah, dreary February.  

Whew. That felt good.  Now, back to everything else.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sponsored Giveaway from The Little Fabric Shop

Well, it's Monday again and today I've got something to make your Monday a little bit better. It's a giveaway from a lovely online fabric retailer, The Little Fabric Shop owned and operated by Angie. You can meet Angie and see some of her adorable creations on her blog.

The Little Fabric shop has a fabulous selection of fabrics - I love pretty much every single line they carry.  Lots of brand new collections including Riley Blake's new Fly a Kite (so cute!), Hall of Fame (great boy prints that aren't too cutesy), Half Moon Modern, and Daisy Cottage.  
I also  found some hidden gems from collections that were very popular but very elusive these days such as Early Bird, Hometown, Amy Butler's Lotus, and Tufted Tweets!  Or just go here to see the full selection of prints available at The Little Fabric shop.  

Today The Little Fabric Shop is giving away a $25 Gift Certificate to one of you lucky readers. I love gift certificates - oh the possibilities.  If you'd like to be entered to win this gift certificate you can do a couple of things. 
Thanks so much Angie!  Giveaway will be open until Friday, February 17 at midnight MST.  GIVEAWAY CLOSED. Please make sure that you leave an email address so that I can contact you if you are a no-reply blogger.

Winner is: Jayme said...

I love the Fly a Kite fabrics!! So cute!!!

Dear readers, thank you so much for your support of these sponsor profiles and giveaways. Having worked in a fabric shop, I know that it's a lot of work and not a huge financial windfall - they're typically run by people who have a passion for fabric and sewing and not because they're in it to get rich.  I'm so happy to support them by spreading the word about who they are and what they carry - each one has it's own personality and specialties.  In return, I am so grateful for the support they give to this blog and making it possible for me to justify the many hours spent here. :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

New Sewing Room

too true
image source

Not much sewing time for me this week.  We're working on a giant basement room swap-er-oo right now, which includes all of my sewing stuff junk mess crapola supplies. It's kind of scary to find out how much there really is in that room. Yikes. But I've actually been so excited to just DO IT because it forced me to clean out, inventory, (try not to want to throw-up at the thought of all that's there), and get organized.
Everything has been relocated to a new room.  (Can I just say that I realize how lucky I am to even have a space like this at all. Incredibly lucky. I do not take it for granted.) This room is snug, but I really like the location of this room - much more a part of the action for one thing. It's right at the bottom of the stairs off the kitchen. I feel like I can keep a better pulse on what's going on in the house from here. My other sewing space was in the basement, around two corners and far removed from any crisis. So I rarely felt I could work from there and as a result, my projects seemed to migrate all over the house.  This space is going to be awesome.

Look how clean and organized it is already.
Oh wait. Maybe not.  There is still much to go through and reorganize before things are functional, let alone pretty. But fortunately the process is fun.
The best part of this room are the built in shelves. 
They were here when we bought the house a couple of years ago.
They are perfect for this. Fabric storage.  It's easily accessible and stays neat and tidy and lest dusty behind the doors. And I can still see the pretty colors through the glass. I love it! Thanks to whoever out there installed these babies. Little did they dream the amount of fabric they would hold. Probably the last thing on their mind, actually. (And this is again why I cringe at the thought of my neighbors reading this post. I mean who in their right mind needs that much fabric?)

I will promise to give a real tour when everything is neat and organized. I'm excited to actually have a sewing space (or what my husband calls "the place where the magic happens") that I actually want to show to people. First time ever for me.

A BIG thanks for the sewing machine input in the lat post. It's so much fun to hear the love out there for everyone's sewing machines. Some great advice in those comments. THANK YOU!
Finally, our friend Emily Herrick is giving away TONS of her newly released fabric collection Hall of Fame.  Check our her block contest for all the details!