Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Patchwork Pumpkin

I was recently digging through my sewing wasteland closet in search of batting scraps when I found this little patchwork pumpkin that I had pieced probably 7 or 8 years ago. And I suddenly felt like rescuing it. (I'm sure it helped that it was a Halloween-y time of year when I found it.  I probably would have thrown it back in the pile if I'd found it in January or something.)

And voila - new life for a little patchwork pumpkin - now a throw pillow.  I was so in the mood to just do something with it that I may or may not have resorted to quilting with navy blue thread when I realized I was out of black. But that's between you and me.

I also made a very quick Harry Potter robe last night using some inexpensive rayon knit and the same method as the Jedi robes last year.  Two seams and it was done. I didn't even stop to think about hemming any of it. You'd think that because I enjoy sewing so much, I'd love putting Halloween costumes together. But no.  I even swallowed all pride and allowed Amazon.com to provide the Ninja costume this year. Worth every penny.

But I still need to scrounge up a witches hat and a Miss America costume. I swore I'd have everything ready before I went out of town, and here I am the eve of Halloween...ugh. Then I need to try to remember where I hid the candy from the kids before we went out of town.
But in the mean time my pillow looks happy on the couch next to my favorite Halloween quilt.

On a much more important and serious note, sending love and prayers to all those affected by hurricane Sandy.  It's surreal to see the images coming out of New York. Blessings and godspeed to all those involved in the recovery efforts!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

I've been on an adventure

Just checking in briefly. I don't like to publicize the fact that I'll be gone for a few days (not at home to protect my children and fabric stash), so thanks to the magic of pre-scheduled posts all appeared to be 'same-old-same-old' around here. But I've been away on an adventure.

My husband had business travel that took him to Geneva, Switzerland this past week and I got to tag a long! Since our flight connections just happened to be in Paris, we thought it would be a decent place to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary for a couple of days in the process. And it turned out we were right. We got home this afternoon and I'm already starting to pinch myself wondering if it was all a just a dream - a whirlwind of Renaissance painters and flying buttresses and people speaking French.

Maybe I'm in a crepe-induced coma. Or it could just be the crazy jet lag.  

So I'll share more once I've had some time to process the memories and pictures and conquer the mountain of laundry that lies before me.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Giveaway from Green Fairy Quilts

I'm excited today to share an incredibly generous giveaway from sponsor, Green Fairy Quilts.

Green Fairy Quilts  is owned by the incredibly talented Judi and her supportive husband. They specialize in Moda and Riley Blake precuts: Fat Quarter BundlesJelly RollsCharm PacksLayer Cakes, etc. They always have the newest collections at great prices and frequent sales mean the prices get even better. They also have the option to pre-order up-coming collections months ahead to guarantee a new favorite arriving asap.

Today Judi is giving away a FQ bundle of one of Moda's new collection Kissing Booth by Basic Grey - a collection of 29 fat quarters that retails for $98.00.

To enter to win, visit Green Fairy Quilts and sign-up for their newsletter (top left-hand corner of their home page) and leave a comment on this post telling me that you've done so. This is a great way to be notified of all their amazing future sales and specials.

For a second entry, follow Judi's blog, Green Fairy Quilts and witness her crazy quilting talents. 

And for a third entry visit Green Fairy Quilts pre-purchase page and pick out your favorite upcoming collection, and come back here and leave a separate comment sharing the one you'd choose.

Giveaway open until Sunday, October 28 at midnight MST. GIVEAWAY CLOSED.

WINNER:  Beth said...
I didn't know they were coming out with Nancy Drew fabric! But the one I'm looking forward to is Noteworthy.
And thank you, readers, 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 sharing here. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Blooma Quilt

I've been creating a quilt for the Blend Fabrics booth at Quilt Market. So even though I won't be at Quilt Market this week, I will have a quilt there to represent.
This quilt is made from Jessica Swift's latest collection called Blooma. The collection is full of saturated greens, pinks, golds and grays.  I especially like the giant zinnias. If you're going to be at Market, you can see this quilt in the Blend booth 756-762.
 A pattern is in the works for this quilt, but I'll give a little preview here.
Blooma fabrics will be available in November.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

New Blocks + New Fabric

I've been finishing a few blocks that I started at the Sewing Summit. This block was from Elizabeth and Lee's paper-piecing class.  I've done some foundation paper-piecing in the past, but it was really good to have a refresher. You can find the tutorial and pattern for this block here.
Another block using partial seams taught by Faith. Wow - pretty slick. This will probably become a throw pillow of sorts. The colors are my happy colors - rainbow brights. Most of them came from my stash drawers, but I pulled a few from some new FQ's.
I love a good royal blue, but usually have a really hard time finding them. I found a couple of good ones in Dear Stella's Maasai Mara collection. The same prints are also available in some good, warm grays and neutrals. I used one of them in the block at the top. (Both colorways are available from Fat Quarter Shop.)
In other recent fabric acquisitions a few new pieces of Sarah Jane's Out to Sea collection. I love the nautical blues (dot is from Children at Play) and couldn't pass up the cute little Narwhals. Out to Sea is available here, here and here.
Finally, a piece of yardage that I found at a local quilt shop this week that I could not pass up because it was calling my name.  Loudly. It's a Japanese import, so it was a bit pricey, but I still bought a yard. I don't know what I'm going to do with it, but who really cares. It's the perfect combination of two of my favorite things: Japanese kitschy design and London! The Union Jack umbrella, the postage stamp with the queen, the tube sign, post box, double-decker bus... the cuteness never ends. It's printed by Cosmo Textiles of Japan.  I searched online to find a link to share, but wasn't successful. Sorry to sorely tempt you with no help for relief.

There have been a lot of fantastic British-themed prints this past year. I've been collecting a bunch to make a London quilt (to go with my Union Jack quilt), but it's not very high-up on the priority list right now, so it will probably happen in the future. I like to think that I sparked the UK-themed resurgence this year, but it probably had something to do with the Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics too.
Finally a couple of quilts that are almost finished.  They went off to the quilters this week. I love the color combo on these ones - I can say that without bragging because I didn't pick the colors myself. They're for a friend's baby nursery. So stay tuned. Lots of sewing in the works here. But I need to set some of it aside to make black Harry Potter robes for Halloween. (sigh) I much prefer working with the pretty colors.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Giveaway from The Little Fabric Shop

I'm excited to share a giveaway today from The Little Fabric Shop, one of the adorable shops that sponsors this blog. The Little Fabric Shop has a fabulous selection of fabric, patterns and trims for all your sewing and crafting needs. 
Right now they also have in a sweet selection of Halloween and Christmas prints. 

The Little Fabric shop has some of my very favorite collections from all the big manufacturers:  Michael Miller, Riley Blake Designs, Moda, Robert Kaufman, Alexander Henry, Dear Stella Designs, Andover, Art Gallery, Timeless Treasures, and MORE. Such a well chosen selection and her site is so easy to navigate.

Gift Certificates are also available if you're looking for the perfect gift for one of your quilty friends. 
The shop is run by Angie who also has a great blog full of free sewing tutorials for a variety of items including project for baby and holidays.  One of her recent tutorials is for this cute Halloween Chevron Quilt- she makes the process so simple!
This week Angie is giving away a $25 gift certificate to The Little Fabric Shop - who couldn't use that?  Take a quick peak at the Shop and come leave a comment here telling me your favorite collection or that you signed up for their newsletter or both. Leave a separate comment for each. GIVEAWAY CLOSED.

 Carla A Few Of My Favorite Things said...
What great fabrics. It's a toss up for me between the sweetest thing and puppy park.

You can also keep up with the latest at The Little Fabric Shop by following them on Facebook.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Report from the Sewing Summit

As mentioned previously, I just returned from the second annual Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah last weekend.  I'm so lucky that it's a local event for me - makes it so much easier to attend.  I was amazed by the people who came from far, far away, like the UK or Australia!  And because I'm a local, I was asked to bring my ironing board for use during the summit.  This year I was sure to get a picture, because it's not every day that you get to carry your ironing board through the lobby of a swanky hotel.
Another fun part of being a local is playing chauffeur to folks from out of town and showing them around the local antique or quilting shops. It's usually one of my favorite parts of the weekend. 
The classes this year were really excellent. I learned great things from every one of them - everything from machine-piecing hexagons and inset-seams to blogging and website design advice. 

I even made myself an article of clothing that I will actually wear!  I took a Maxi Skirt class from Leanne Barlow that was fantastic.  We used sergers to construct the skirt and I succeeded in not only completing the skirt, but in not breaking the serger in the process. I've been sorely tempted to buy a serger for years, but I live in fear of it coming un-threaded and never being able to use it again.  I'm feeling slightly more confident now.
Another aspect of the Sewing Summit that I love is meeting people in real life that I have interacted with online for years, such as Anna and Audrie and a host of many others. Such a treat. (And look at that, I even remembered to pull out my camera occasionally.) A HUGE thank you to the Sewing Summit planners and staff for all of their hard work. I can't imagine the time and effort that goes into putting something like this together!
I continue to marvel at the talent of so many great people in the sewing community. I came home and told my husband how blessed I feel to have found real-life people who like petting, cutting and sewing fabric as much as I do and who have become real-life friends. (I'll admit, the swag and listening to cool people like Joel Dewberry [above] are nice aspects as well.)

I have to say, I'm always a little leary of writing posts like this because the last thing I want to do is sound like, "Neener, neener, look where I was..." So let me end by encouraging you to reach out to real-life people, whether online, or better yet, in your local community and find ways to facilitate getting together to sew and visit - sometimes those small groups are the best kind!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Quilt Show in a Barn

A couple of weekends ago I was able to visit a semi-annual quilt show at a beautiful old estate outside of Salt Lake City.  I've gone before and look forward to it every other year. The estate itself is gorgeous and the beautiful weather that weekend made it even better.
This weekend I am away at the Sewing Summit and so I will leave you with some pictures of beautiful quilts in a pretty setting to keep you entertained while I am gone.
It's called "Quilt Show in Barn" but this is a pretty posh barn.

While there I was able to meet some very nice blog readers. I loved it! Thanks again to you nice ladies for coming to say hi and introduce yourselves! I love when that happens.
The barn is the home of some very adorable Shetland ponies. It was very gracious of them to give up their home for a day. They didn't seem too put out.  There were also some charming rabbits hopping around. I had a difficult time capturing them with the camera, but you might be able to spot one in the picture below.
I am enjoying my time at the Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City. I feel so lucky that it is close to home so that I can be here. I'm feeling inspired, if not slightly sleep-deprived. I have very minimal computer access while I'm here, so I will check in with more details next week as well as announce winners of the giveaway.  Happy weekend!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sweet Celebrations Book Tour + giveaway

Sweet Celebrations with the Moda Bake Shop Chefs
Welcome to my pit-stop on the Sweet Celebrations Blog Tour!  In case this is your first introduction, Moda Bake Shop has compiled a book of all new patterns, Sweet Celebrations with Moda Bakeshop Chefs, with inspiring sewing creations to celebrate your favorite seasons and holidays throughout the year.
Sweet Celebrations with the Moda Bake Shop Chefs
Here are a few sneak peak pictures of the variety of projects found in this book. I was beyond excited to be invited to contribute. I have three projects in the book, including this Love Notes wall hanging (above).  (You can see little snippets of my other projects here. I'll share more about them in the months to come.)
Sweet Celebrations with the Moda Bake Shop Chefs
As part of this tour, Oda May of Moda Bake Shop fame, has asked us each a few questions. Here are some of my responses:

What is your favorite part of quilting – fabric selection, piecing, quilting, binding – and why?
Wow. I have so many favorite parts of quilting. I really enjoy the cutting, piecing and even binding, but if forced to pick a favorite, I would have to choose the fabric selection process. Picking the color palette and fabrics, laying out the contrasting prints and textures - I just love that part.

What sewing accomplishment are you most proud of?
I would have to say, finishing my Union Jack quilt this summer. It's been a long time work-in-progress and I'm so happy it's done. I'm glad I had the London Olympics as my deadline motivation.
What have you gained from the online quilting/sewing world?
I can't adequately sum up all that I have gained from the online quilting world.  I've been a closet quilt-lover most of my life, but always felt a little dorky telling people about my "granny" hobby. Discovering the online sewing world about 5 years ago was like finding a bunch of new best friends who shared my love of petting pretty fabric, and then cutting it up into small pieces and sewing it back together.  As a result of that discovery I have been able to connect with many real life friends who share that same love. Not to mention all the beautiful inspiration available and readily shared by so many talented people!
Sweet Celebrations with the Moda Bake Shop Chefs
As part of this tour, I've been asked to share a favorite family recipe connected with the holiday of my favorite project in the book. Well, my favorite project I contributed is a Gratitude Quilt where I embroidered the names of many of the people, places and events that I am most grateful for. It's something I've always wanted to make, and I'm so excited to be able to share the pattern in this book!  Pictures of that quilt coming soon!  

In connection with that project, the recipe I am sharing a recipe is from Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays. One of our new Thanksgiving traditions is to brine our Turkey. (I shouldn't say "our" I should say "my husband's" new favorite tradition, since he does all the work. I am merely the beneficary of his efforts. Wow. SO GOOD.)
But since that tradition is still evolving I thought I would share one of our very established Thanksgiving traditions: my Grandma's Pumpkin Chiffon Pie recipe (not pictured). This pie is a light, fluffy, chilled version of a classic Thanksgiving flavor. My grandma passed away 9 years ago and my mom has continued that tradition every year. One of these days I need to make one myself so that I can carry on the tradition.  Here is that recipe. Even if you're not a traditional 'pie' person (I'm not either) you might like this one!

And now the really fun part! I get to give away a copy of Sweet Celebrations with Moda Bakeshop Chefs to one of you as well as well as one of the latest collections of Moda precuts!

To Enter this giveaway, leave a comment on this post. Anything you want to say. If you're feeling stumped, tell me your favorite holiday to sew for.

And the good news is that you can enter to win at any of the stops along the tour! All giveaways are open until the end of October 14. Giveaway CLOSED.

Winner  cherylj said...
That looks like a great pumpkin pie recipe. Pumpkin pie is my favorite and I always love to try new ones.
October 1 - StashBooks and Moda Cutting Table 
October 2 – Melissa Mortenson and Melissa Corry
October 3 – Mary Lane Brown and Natalia Bonner
October 4 – Lissa Alexander and Corey Yoder
October 5 – Jane Davidson and Angela Yosten
October 6 – Jo & Kelli Kramer and Stefanie Roman
October 9 – Katie Blakesley and Aneela Hoey
October 10 – Amy Smart and Angela Pingel
October 11 – Vanessa Christenson and April Rosenthal
October 12 – Moda Bake Shop 

Good luck! And if you're new here, thank you so much for stopping by my blog.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sew Shabby Quilting + giveaway

This weekend I single-handedly bound three quilts. One for a friend and two of my own.
The two of mine were quilted by Melissa Kelly of Sew Shabby Quilting.  Here is the backside of one of them so that you can see the pretty quilting. I love it! I freely admit that the 'quilting' process of making a quilt is the part am least good at and therefore the part I least enjoy.  (I'm a firm believer in enjoying your hobbies. Life's full of enough 'must-do' tasks that aren't always fun. Hobbies should be way to relax, not add more stress. Therefore I say no guilt in out-sourcing something that does not bring pleasure.)

I always feel grateful when I find someone who I can confidently trust with that part of my quilt-making - and since machine-quilting can get pricey, I'm always grateful when I can find good quilting for a great price!
I so enjoy working with Melissa. In addition to her good prices, her completion time is generally around one week! She has many fabulous 'computerized' pattern options available to choose from (as is the one I chose above called Retro Leaves), and she can do amazing customized work as well. You can see examples of her work here.
So in case you're like me, and you need a little help finishing your quilt tops, here's a recommendation for you. You can find out more about Melissa's studio and the wide variety of quilting options and pricing details at her site.
Melissa is generously offering a giveaway to one of you readers that includes a Bungle Jungle Moda Jelly Roll and a $25.00 gift certificate towards any machine quilting order.
To enter to win this giveaway, sign up for Melissa's newsletter .  Come back here and leave a comment to let me know that you've done so. Giveaway open until Thursday, October 11 at midnight MST. GIVEAWAY CLOSED. 

Winner: Funky KimOctober 8, 2012 12:39 PM
I'm all signed up!

Melissa is also offering a 20% off discount on any quilting if you mention "Diary of a Quilter'.  That offer will not expire!