Saturday, April 28, 2012

I-spy Baby Quilt

We had a new baby in our extended family which means time for a new baby quilt.
(Pattern available here.)
This new little guy has a big sister, so I thought I would send them an i-spy quilt to give big sister something to distract entertain her as well. (I am experienced with the reaction of older siblings to new babies. Distraction is a good thing.)
In keeping with my "no-more-hoarding" mentality that I mentioned in the Reunion quilt post, I even broke out the American Jane stash for the back and borders. I know. Shocking right? But you are so proud. I can feel it.  The 'i-spy' blocks (squares with the novelty prints) came from the i-spy charm packs in my etsy shop. (EDIT: They are sold out! So sorry.) The offset blocks are Essex linen/cotton blend. I love the contrasting texture. You can find it here.
Speaking of American Jane, a little doll quilt for big sister to take care of her own babies. The novelty blocks from this quilt are from a collection called Look and Learn and is a few years old. Again, part of the stash.
In other exciting news, I got my braces off! Yeehaw!! Even though I tried to tell myself the braces made my lips look full like Angelina Jolie's, in reality it was more of a Jar Jar Binks look.  Yesterday I passed some chocolate covered cinnamon bears in the store and thought, sadly, "Those look good, but I can't have them." And then I realized, "YES I CAN!" So I bought a ton. Happy day.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Quilt Blocks and tutorials

Being the 25th of the month, there is a new, free quilt block tutorial in the  Block of the Month series over at Jackie's blog, Canton Village Quilt Works. This is month 8. I have had so much fun making each new blocks. This month's design is by Amy of Mrs. Schmenkman Quilts and you can find the tutorial here. I love it!
Last month's block was designed by Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew and you can find her block tutorial here.
And here are all of my blocks thus far.  They are looking so cheerful all together.  I'm starting to work on ideas for assembling. I can't wait to see how Jackie assembles hers. And, can I just say here, isn't it fun to see how different the same block looks just by using different fabrics?
And while we're on the subject of quilt blocks, here are a couple for a new quilting bee that I'm a part of called The Bees Knees.  This month the quilt is for Sherri and she sent us each a fat 1/8th of Monica's Happy Mochi Yum Yum and asked for a 12" block.  
The Bees Knees - A Quilting Bee
It is so much fun to see the blocks people come up with and there are already some cute ones. You can see the progress at the blog which as been oh so cutely designed by talented Shari of Doohikey Designs. (Who also has a crazy cute new fabric collection for Riley Blake called Dress Up Days. Man, some people are just talented.)
I also made this block for Sherri. I'm not trying to be an over achiever, I swear. Here's the story. Sherri said she wanted a 12" block, and gave some ideas of things she likes, one of them being houses.  I loved the big yellow print she sent and thought it would be a cheerful sun above a little cottage. So that is how this block came to be.  But seeing that the other blocks submitted are all star blocks, I felt like this would be too much of an outlier, so I made a quick star with the rest of the fabric so it looks more cohesive. But I'll still send the little cottage to Sherri as a little bit of extra love. 

Next month is my turn. I have some ideas but I need to start cutting fabric!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Finished Reunion Bricks Quilt


Finally - a new finish.  Hooray! This quilt is mostly made from the latest Sweetwater collection for Moda fabrics, called Reunion.  I love the colors and prints in this one.  I used my Brickyard pattern for this quilt. I've been wanting to try that design again (esp since I don't have the first quilt), but do it in a completely different color scheme.
I used a Layer Cake (stack of pre-cut 10" squares) for the bricks, which gave me lots of prints and colors to play with. The sashing is Kona charcoal.  I did not do the quilting - it was done by Becky Heslop (hi Becky!).  I gave her free-reign to do what she wanted, and love the outcome. 
I especially love the simple way she quilted the chevron fabric on the borders - totally changes the look of the fabric.  The binding is a red dot leftover from Freebird.  I'm trying to only use the fabric I've already got on hand - even if it's something I was saving for another project. (gasp!) Because who knows if that project is ever really going to happen.  It's time to use that stash.
I think that I love the back equally much.  That little pennant print is charming.  I also used the left over 10" squares from the layer cake to piece the back, but I needed more fabric to supplement so I used some solid red. In looking for a few more blocks to add, I pulled this plaid from Denyse Schmidt's latest collection, Aunt Edna at JoAnn's. It was perfect! It was so perfect - I wished I'd used it in the front too.
Reunion fabrics are available at Fabricworm, Little Fabric Shop, and Burgundy Buttons. Pattern available in my pattern shop

Linking to

Friday, April 20, 2012

Want to be a fabric designer?

Want to be a fabric designer? Well, now's your chance! Robert Kaufman Fabrics and Spoonflower are sponsoring a new fabric design contest.  Go to Fabric8 to learn more.  Entries (one design) are due next week so don't delay. If you win, can I make something with your fabric?
In other news, I am thoroughly enjoying the SNAP conference.  Sorry I was being Eeyore yesterday. (Why do I worry so much?) I have been inspired and motivated and met such lovely, creative people. (No junior-high behavior at all. Not even one person has called me 'brace-face.') Some of my favorite thoughts from today: "Don't be afraid to share. Creativity is contagious" and "Don't compare yourself, blog, etc. Be genuinely happy for the success of others." Equally great: the tulips. 

Not great: the part about trying to publish a pre-scheduled blog post from my phone. Somehow I deleted it instead. D'oh! Sorry if you were wondering what the heck was going on with the blank post earlier.

Happy weekend. I'm off to get ice cream with the kids. :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fabric + taxes + feeling dorky

I'm starting (another) new project, this time all solids.  I think this is my first all solids quilt and I'm excited. I'm using Konas: Aqua, Peacock, Snow and Corn Yellow. I promise to share an actual finished project later this week. (Finishing the binding tonight.)

Today I am going to a blogging conference called SNAP here in Utah.  I'm excited because I've watched how much work has gone into it and I'm sure it will be very cool, but at the same time, I'm feeling nervous. I always feel kind of like a dweeb at things like this - sometimes feels like the first day of Jr. High all over again. And the fact that I'm the one wearing braces adds to that lovely dorky-jr-high feeling. :[ 

But I know it's good to get out of my comfort zone, and each time I've done something like this, I've met some really lovely people and been glad that I made myself go, even though I'd much rather stay home with my sewing machine and watch reruns of MASH and Downton Abbey.  Plus, I'm SO technically un-savvy, that it's always good to learn something new in the realm of html or seo. 
Finally, I laughed when we submitted our taxes this year.  I guess it's official: according to the IRS I am a professional Quilter. I wonder what the accountant thought on that one - probably doesn't see many of those. :) Got to do something to keep those accountants entertained during tax season.  What it should really say is "vacuumer-washer-chauffer-soccerfan-chef", but I guess there wasn't room.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Summersville

A week or so ago I received a very welcome little parcel in the mail.  (Is there anything more fun than getting a bundle of fabric in your mailbox? Well, maybe not if you're an anxious 6-yr-old waiting for a turtle Webkinz stuffed animal to arrive for your birthday. But for me? I'll take fabric.)  Anyway, this bundle is a sampling of Lucie Summers' upcoming fabric collection for Moda, aptly named, Summersville.
I love Lucie's hand drawn designs. The words 'clever' and 'whimsical' come to mind.  I mean, there's even a cute little fabric shop right there in Summersville. Who wouldn't want to live there?
If I had to pick, I think that this print is my favorite.  I need to get a bunch more of this one - it would be so much fun to fussy cut for blocks or to use for a whole quilt back. Love it. Especially in red.
I've been itching to play with these fabrics ever since they arrived and now that spring break is done, this is what I've created so far. I love using the Bella solids for some colorful contrast. It's still a growing work-in-progress.  Stay tuned for further developments...
Thank you, Lucie! Summersville will be available in real live fabric shops this month! Lucie also has a very charming etsy shop with screen-printed fabrics of her designs and other fun things. This tape is seriously calling me.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Scenery + quilts + time to sew

This past week has been Spring Break from school for my kids.  Since our family is on a bit of a National Park kick, we decided to hit another one this past week. (Did you know there are 5 National Parks in Utah? Well, there are.) This time we visited Capitol Reef National Park.  (Normally I would try not to bore you all with the minutia of a family trip, but I figured the scenery was unique enough, it might be mildly interesting. So indulge me.)
There is a lot of history ancient and less-ancient at Capitol Reef. It was my first time visiting this area. The Southern Utah landscape is pretty dramatic with the red rocks, etc. As a kid I wasn't a fan - or it just seemed to be 'same-old, same-old' when we went south. I overheard an older gentleman at the visitor's center mention that you finally start to appreciate scenery like this when you get old. I guess I officially qualify for that category now.
In the middle of the park are the remnants of a little town that was there for a century, named Fruita because of the orchards that thrived there. The orchards still exist.
 One of the homes also still exists, the Gifford House, and is open as a small museum. 
(Check out the blossoms on that tree!)
This house was used mostly in the first half of the 20th Century, and was set up as it would have looked during that period, including old quilts. (So of course, I whipped out my camera for those.)
A 'swoon'-y/carpenter's wheel block. 
They had a shop with fresh pies and breads and preserves and salsa made from the fruit from the orchards.  Very vintage charming + delicious. A winning combination, if you ask me.
It was great to get away from the routines at home and see some new scenery in our own backyard.  Well, three hours away, but you know what I mean.  I didn't bring a finished quilt for my husband to pose with on a precipice this time, but since no road trip is complete without a sewing project, I did manage some good hexie time in the car.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

This year's crop of Union Jack quilt blocks

While I was at the quilting retreat a couple of weeks ago, I worked on my Union Jack quilt blocks. Which is exactly the same thing I have worked on for the past three years, at this same quilting retreat. In fact, Amy McClellan, the retreat orchestrator, laughed when she saw me pull them out again this year. Here's last year's finishes. And here are the blocks from the year before.
To my credit, even though I've been creating these blocks for the past 2+ years, I've given a bunch of them away to other people. Like the pillow for my old friend, the flag quilt for my Norwegian friend who was a flat-mate when I lived in northern England as a Mormon missionary, and the cancer-love quilt for my friend Jenny, who was a flat-mate when I was a student in London.
This year was the year I determined to sew enough blocks so that I can finally FINISH my quilt.  I've got the sashing cut and I need to just assemble them all! I used this Victory Garden pattern.  (I modified it slightly to have less fabric waste.) My blocks and fabrics are inspired by Cath Kidston, another UK love. 
keepcalmldn.jpg
image from here
I'm such an Anglophile.  I loved my time living in England in my early 20's.  My dream is to take my family back and live there for a summer, or maybe longer.  I will keep dreaming that dream and feeding my Britain Pinterest board...
...in the meantime I'm lucky to have nice friends who feed my love for all things British like sending me Cath Kidston buttons and making me the world's cutest Union Jack needle book. Now I just need to find some good fish'n'chips.
Britain in Fabric. I'm in trouble.
POST EDIT: Thanks to the kind readers who reminded me about this new fabric collection. Also available here. Just when I was vowing not to buy more fabric. But how can I pass this one up?

Linking up to Lee's WIP Wednesday.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Giveaway from sponsor HeartSong Quilts

Heartsong Quilts
Today's sponsored post and giveaway is from HeartSong Quilts.  
HeartSong Quilts is a brick and mortar shop in Hot Springs, SD as well as an online shop with a very unique collection of fabrics. It offers visually stunning fabrics including Australian Aboriginals, primitive moderns, urban and edgy fabrics, and fabrics evoking African mudcloth and homespun. They also sell traditional fabrics, panels, quilt kits, books, patterns and notions. They have an extensive clearance fabric department with savings up to 50%. They provide long arm quilting service, too. 
Ann and Brian Powers, owners of HeartSong Quilts, have a passion for bringing new and exciting fabrics to their customers. Ann started quilting in 1997 in South Florida, and the family moved to South Dakota in 2008, introducing their urban contemporary tastes to the Black Hills. Brian is Vice President of the Quilt Trade Association, a national trade organization providing education and training for independent quilt shop owners. They are such lovely people to work with.

Ann and Brian Powers, owners of HeartSong Quilts, have a passion for bringing new and exciting fabrics to their customers. Ann started quilting in 1997 in South Florida, and the family moved to South Dakota in 2008, introducing their urban contemporary tastes to the Black Hills. Brian is Vice President of the Quilt Trade Association, a national trade organization providing education and training for independent quilt shop owners.
Today, Ann and Brian are giving away a hand-selected bundle of fabrics to one lucky Diary of a Quilter reader. The bundle, pictured above, consists of 8 fat quarters from HeartSong’s Australian Aboriginal fabric collection from M & S Textiles - Aboriginal fabrics combine bright colors with tribal designs and have great washibility. Ann and Brian suggest pairing these with any of the Marcia Derse fabrics, the Fassett Collection, Jason Yenter designs or any of the other contemporary designers using bright colors.

There are a couple of ways to enter the HeartSong Quilts fabric giveaway.
You can do one or both of the following:
1) Sign up for the HeartSong Quilts newsletter on their homepage
2) “Like” Heartsong Quilts on Facebook

Leave a separate comment for each entry. Giveaway open until Friday, April 13 at midnight MST.

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Ann and Brian are also offering a special discount of 15% off everything in the shop (except clearance items) for the duration of the giveaway with the code: DIARY

Thank you so much Ann and Brian!

Winner: Erin said...
I like heartsong quilts on facebook.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Happy Easter from our family to yours. As much as we love the bunnies and eggs and candy (esp the chocolate kind) we're watching this with our children to help them remember what Easter is really about.  

It's so fitting that Easter comes in the spring - it's such a hopeful time of the year. I love the real meaning of Easter for the same reason - it's a reminder that despite our darkest times (and we all have those times) a brighter day will come. I truly believe that.

Sending love and hope to you and yours.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Finished Scrappy Rainbow Quilt

Ta-dah! Finally pictures of the scrappy, rainbow quilt that has been in the works since Christmas.  
A full-body shot. I am SO happy with how this quilt turned out.  It's kind of a step away from my usual primary color palette. You can see the original progress on this quilt here and here.  All the pieced portion of the quilt was made entirely from scraps. So that makes it a mostly free quilt, right??  A lot of the scraps are leftovers from cutting the kits for the Soul Blossom quilt last spring. 
Here is a close-up of some of the fabrics. Most of them are so wild.  There are fabrics from Amy Butler's Soul Blossoms, Amanda Murphy's Veranda, a little Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet, Deena Rutter, Sugar Pop - just a really eclectic mix. The colors are so much brighter than the rest of my house - most of my house is much more muted coloring. But I love how bright and cheerful it is. I may keep it on my bed in the winter just to cheer things up. The quilting was done by the talented Becky Heslop. (Hi Becky!)
With such a loud front, I wanted to choose a print for the back that would be equally loud and cheerful.  This fabric is from Dena Design's Taza collection for Free Spirit.  
I choose a tangerine-y binding because I've been digging orange for a while now. I used Jenean Morrison's Silent Cinema - also for Free Spirit. I ran out with only a small chunk left, so I used some leftover Deena Rutter Happier Strip to finish. I like it. 
And since I'm sharing the quilt, it must mean that the pattern is finally finished! I am not too inspired at naming quilts, but since we're on a Muppets kick around her, thanks to the latest movie, I couldn't resist Rainbow Connection. I still remember loving singing my little heart out to that song in the 1st grade. :)

This pattern includes sizes: Baby, Twin, Throw (same as mine 80" x 80"), Queen, and King. Woo! (and Whew!) The pattern is $9.00 and available for instant download by clicking on the Buy Now button.

It is also available in my Etsy shop.