Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pioneer Quilts

September is my favorite month - I can't believe we're already at the end!  It's been a gorgeous one, so I won't complain. I've got a sick boy this week and as a result I'm feeling a little thrown out my rhythm. I have nothing new to share today so I thought I would post some pictures I took last month as we wrapped up our summer. 
These pictures come from a place called This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City. (It's called that because it's at the mouth of the canyon where Brigham Young first saw the Salt Lake valley in 1847 and said "this is the place" where they would stay and build a city.) 

The village consists of mostly-original structures relocated to recreate an early pioneer western settlement -think Mormon-pioneer version of Old Sturbridge Village or Williamsburg. I've shared pictures from here before. 
This time I had a little bit of time to run in the Utah Quilt Guild museum and catch a glimpse of their display of pioneer-era quilts. Quilts from this era are among my favorites- especially because of their resourceful, scrappy coolness.
This is an irish-chain pattern made from squares about 3/8 of an inch big. Some wear and tear, but still incredible. I don't think I've ever seen a quilt with smaller pieces.

Tiny hexagons and tiny flying geese.
 This signature quilt was made about 1885 in Illinois and Tennessee and has the signatures of Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison. Who knew they were quilters??
This Star of David quilt made in the 1880's was my favorite. I loved the colors and the pattern  It would be fun to make this same pattern in a more contemporary color scheme too.
Log cabin made by Ellen Dougherty in 1870 in Illinois. Look at the pieced borders on this one. I've never seen something like it.
Another beauty: Rose of Sharon probably made in the 1850's in amazingly good condition.
And there you go. 
And now, a moment of silence for the end of September. :(

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sponsored giveaway from Honey Be Good

I'm excited to introduce you to a newer online fabric shop, Honey Be Good.  HBG specializes in organic and sustainable quilting fabrics.  

Organic cottons (you can read more about them here) are a fairly recent addition to the quilting- fabric world, and the variety is growing quickly.
Some are from familiar designers such as Amy Butler, Betz White, or Robert Kaufman solids.  

Others are from new companies such as Cloud 9, Daisy Janie, and Monaluna.

Have you seen the Wombat Wonderland by Saffron Craig? Had you ever dreamed that you could finally get pastel wombats on fabric? Well, now you can!
And it's not just quilting-weight cottons that are available. There are also prints in 7 oz canvas weights for totes, home dec, and hats.

Karen of Honey Be Good fabrics is generously giving away a $25 gift certificate to one of you.  To enter to win, check out Honey Be Good and then leave a comment here, telling me what you'd buy with that gift certificate.  Giveaway closes Saturday, September 29, midnight MST. GIVEAWAY CLOSED.

 Terry@ a quilting blogSeptember 26, 2012 11:29 AM
I'd get an assortment of Pure Organic solids by Robert Kaufman. Thanks for the chance!

You can keep track of the latest arrivals and sales at Honey Bee Good fabrics by following them on Facebook and Twitter

Monday, September 24, 2012

New Quilt Blocks

A really nice weekend here. A combination of time with extended family Friday night and Sunday night and a Saturday with next to nothing on the calendar (SO rare) made for a perfect combination.  Since our Saturday was not as crazy as usual, I forced myself to get out into the yard and clip back all my dying flowers (I'm so sick of yard work by this time of year.) But that evening I also had time to work on tidying-up my sewing room (made even better by watching Anne of Green Gables with my 11-yr-old) and catching up on some quilt blocks.
These blocks are part of the Bloggers Block of the Month from Canton Village Quilt Works. I contributed a block back in February. You can see my last round of activity here.  I haven't made any all summer, so it felt good to catch up! The block above is month Block 9 by Cabbage Quilts.
And here they are so far. The blocks have a finished measurement of 8".  Tomorrow block 13 will be divulged and then next month Jackie will share her assembly of all the blocks. I love seeing the different versions of the same block - it's cool to see the different personalities they assume, depending on the fabrics, colors, etc.  One of my favorite parts of quilting - the endless possibilities.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The City Quilter, New York

It's been a month already (time flies!) since our recent trip to NY but I still wanted to share my visit to The City Quilter, so that I can add it to the list of my favorite Quilt-y places to visit in NYC.
The City Quilter is located in the 'Chelsea' area of NY at 133 West 25th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues.  It's just a few blocks south of the Garment/Fashion District. We were there on a Wednesday evening and it was hopping - the store was full of customers.
The shop has a large selection of fabrics including many of the latest collections by the major fabric manufacturers as well as a collection of Oriental prints and batiks.
Some collections, including the newest, are grouped together, but the majority of the bolts are grouped by color along a L O N G wall on one side of the store. Of the quilt shops I've visited in Manhattan (each has their niche), The City Quilter has the most bolts of fabric and the biggest variety.
There is also a selection of wool projects and kits
and a large selection of the latest quilting books.
Attached to the City Quilter is a small quilt gallery.  This amazing Dear Jane quilt wasn't officially in the gallery, but close by.  Cool to see a traditional Dear Jane quilt created from batiks and other bright prints for an entirely different feel.
The City Quilter offers a large selection of classes, long-arm quilting services, and is a Bernina machine distributor.  It was great to finally get a peek inside. I'd tried once before a few years ago, but went on a Monday - their day off (the shop is closed.) Just FYI so that you don't make the same mistake.
And of course I could not walk away empty handed.  I found a few odds and ends: a map of Paris by dear Stella, Crowns by MakowerUK, and an in house print of the Manhattan subway system. The girl who cut my fabric wisely warned me not to count on it as a reliable method of finding transportation routes (as the Bronx and Brooklyn kind of overlap in the repeats) but a perfect NYC souvenir nonetheless.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

New quilt book: Springtime in the Rockies

Last Spring the very talented Konda Luckau contacted me about contributing to a book project she was putting together called Springtime in the Rockies.  I was so honored to be invited.  And now the book here - it is so much fun to see my name in print! 
This book is a collaboration of 15 quilting projects by 9 different designers who live here in the Rocky Mountains.
My contribution is this basket quilt. 
 Ta Da! There it is! 
And just in case the weather (here in the northern hemisphere, at least) has you in more of a 'fallish' mood, here is another version I created using a more 'fall' color palette.  I'm thinking I'd really like to try this pattern in all solids at some point for another completely different look. 
Springtime in the Rockies can be purchased hereAs part of the Springtime in the Rockies Blog Tour, I have a copy to give away.  And I'll even include a bundle of fabrics to create your own spring baskets quilt in time for next spring!  To enter just leave a comment on this post.  Giveaway closes Sunday, September 23 at midnight MST.  Giveaway CLOSED.

Winner: Random Number Generator #3 (how often does that happen?):

Congratulations and thanks for the giveaway!

For other opportunities to win, visit the other stops on the tour:

Sept 20 - Amy Smart (Me!) and A Quilting Life  
Sept 23 - Emily Herrick and Kathy Miller 
Sept 24 - Karlene Riggs and JoyLyn Rigby 
Sept 26 - Machelle Preston  and Kim Walus 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Zippered Pouch palooza

A few weeks ago I received one of the sweetest gifts ever.  My friend 'Pink', who I originally met through blogging, and who's since turned into a real life friend made this AMAZING zipper bag for me.  I was speechless when I first saw it.
I love everything about it.  The hexagons, the color spectrum, the colors, the navy blue (one of my all-time favorite colors - so happy it's making a comeback) and the Liberty-looking print in the lining and hexy-flower on the 'back.'  I am still quite overwhelmed by the perfection of it. I immediately made the bag a home for my own hexagons and other hand-sewing projects.  I've been carrying it around with me to piano lessons, soccer games, pretty much everywhere I go.

One day I was showing off it's beauty to some local friends.  We all admired the sheer awesomeness to behold and one by one began expressing the desire to learn how to make one ourselves.  So Pink offered to show us how.
We used Anna's Open Wide Zipper Pouch tutorial, which is great. I, for one, still have a hang-up with zippers.  I'd learned to sew with them when I was about 12 at the hands of an experienced sewing teacher, but it has been a long while since then.  I was so grateful for the hands-on encouragement and feel pretty darn proud to have produced my own zippered item.

What's that old adage? Give me a zippered pouch and I zip for a day, teach me to install zippers and even though I bug you for a day, I bug you a lot less that I would have before? Something like that...
Not to mention the fact that it was fun to sit and sew with real live people.  A rare treat. Fun women who 'get' my fabric-obsession-weirdness. And who bring good food like Apple Crisp!
I also stepped outside my normal color palette - using some of Pat Bravo's Rock 'n' Romance collection for my pouch.  I feel a little more chic than usual, not to mention quite proud of my newly acquired zipper skills.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Westwood Acres Fabric Shop

Happy Monday morning.  Today I'd like to introduce you to Westwood Acres, a new etsy shop run by Amanda Woodruff that fills a unique and oh so helpful niche!
image via A Crafty Fox
Westwood Acres specializes in putting together fabric bundles and pre-cuts of collections that normally aren't sold in pre-cuts from companies like Michael Miller, Free Spirit fabrics, etc. For example: the Madrona Road jelly rolls (above) - precut 2 1/2" strips of all the prints from the Madrona Road collection
Bella 19 Fat Quarter Bundle by Lotta Jansdotter COMPLETE
or fat quarter bundle of Lotta Jansdotter's new Bella collection. Charm packs of Bella will also be available this week!
Out To Sea Fat Eighth BOY Bundle from Sarah Jane
She also cuts Fat Eighth bundles like this collection of Sarah Jane's Out to Sea (just right for the half-square triangles of the Map Quilt!) as well as Riley Blake's Chevrons and Dots, and Denyse Schmidt's Chicopee.
Free Spirit Westminster Tula Pink Nightshade Layer Cake COMPLETE 15 Ten Inch Squares
Also available are a collection of specialty cut Layer Cakes (10" squares) from collections like Nightshade, Flea Market Fancy and Lizzy House's Outfoxed. So fabulous to be able to get smaller amounts of fabric, if you're only in need of a smidgen of each piece in a collection.
image from A Crafty Fox
Also, be sure to check out Amanda's blog A Crafty Fox, not only to keep up on the latest and greatest in her shop, but to see Amanda's beautiful projects and tutorials, including this Hexagon/Chevron quilt project (officially on my to-do list now) and helpful hints for curved piecing

Thank you dear readers for your support of the sponsors of this blog.  I love sharing these shops because I know they are as much labor of love as they are business for these owners. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Farmer's Wife Quilt Along meets Modern Solids

A few months ago I was invited by Andrea of KnittyBitties to participate in a collaboration project called Farmer's Wife for the Home.
If you've been around quilting-blog-world you'll remember the popular inception of the Farmer's Wife Quilt Along by Angela and Amanda last fall.  And it was so much fun to see the variety of quilt-block creations out of classic quilt-block patterns.  At the time my plate was full and I just knew I couldn't add one more project, but I loved seeing all the creative inspirational eye-candy floating around flickr and blogs.
Well, KnittyBitties Andrea had a brilliant idea for those of you out there like me: mini creations using the The Farmer's Wife blocks, thus joining in the FWQA fun, without the serious, long-term commitment of making all 111 blocks.  To add to the fun, she invited a few of us to play along and to only use the fabric she sent us: A Kona Solids colored charm pack and some yardage of gray and neutral off-white Kona Solids (generously donated by Robert Kaufman fabrics.)
I love all those pretty solids and used them to create monochromatic (for the most part anyway) blocks from The Farmer's Wife collection. I don't think I ever would have tried it with out this challenge, and I think the results are fantastic! Isn't it amazing how the vibrant solids give those very traditional quilt blocks a modern twist?
I decided to make them into a mini-quilt/table-topper using this Table Topper tutorial. I substituted the Farmer's Wife blocks for the 9-patch blocks in that tutorial.
Not wanting to let any of that fantastic color go to waste (in true Farmer's Wife fashion), I used up the rest on the back and the binding.  And I think I like the back equally as much as the front.
The quilting is super simple, straight line quilting. Not perfect at all - I just eyeballed it as I went, so there's a little bit of imperfection going on. Pretty much all I'm capable of, but it kind of adds to the modernity (good word, eh?) of the quilt.
Be sure to check out the rest of the inspiration as part of this collaboration. You can see the other posts and projects here:

Monday, September 10th - Erin of Two More Seconds
Tuesday, September 11th - Kerri of Lovely Little Handmades
Wednesday, September 12th - Jodi of Pleasant Home
Thursday, September 13th - Jody of Everyday Beatiful
Friday, September 14th - Amy of Diary of a Quilter
Saturday, September 15th -Andrea of Knitty Bitties

And believe it or not, all of the projects for this collaboration are going to be given away, including mine. Yes way. To enter, Andrea has set up a snazzy Rafflecopter entry system that can give you lots of chances to be entered to win one of these projects or a bundle of your own Kona Solid goodness. All entries go through the Rafflecopter system. If you're feeling a little baffled by Rafflecopter, here is a quick video to show you how it works
a Rafflecopter giveaway
But the best take away from all of this - for me anyway - is the reminder to step out of your comfort zone once in a while - you might be pleasantly surprised by the results.