Monday, July 29, 2013

Playing with new fabric

I have a few new fabric crushes. If you've been a long-time reader, this first one will come as no surprise: Sandy Klop's (aka American Jane) latest collection, Potluck for Moda Fabrics. (I have long-documented my Sandy Klop infatuation, borderline-fettish. She's one of my all-time fave's.) 
Whether you too are a Sandy-stalker, or not, this is a great new collection full of primary colors and good, basic prints. I'm so excited to see the tone-on-tone ginghams back from her Peas and Carrots collection. And if you were part of the Pez craze, you will be happy to see the return of those too.
 As well as those awesome ruler prints!
There are also some adorable new prints, such as those baby chicks! I'm thinking of making some colorful Dresden blocks to take with me on our end-of-summer road trip later this summer.  
Potluck yardage will hit stores in October, but precuts will start appearing sooner. (Fresh Squeezed fabric has a few on hand.) You can also preorder Potluck precuts from Green Fairy Quilts.
One of my favorite collections that is available in stores is Baby Jane by Moda. I am SO smitten with this color palette right now (red, aqua, and mustard yellow) - they're some of the same colors of those vintage tea-cups I found recently. 
The prints in this collection are retro-inspired and so, so cute. How I love those bias-stripes. Also some great low-volume prints. I'm currently sewing a baby quilt with these jelly-roll strips. I'll share the final outcome in the next few weeks. Baby Jane is available now from the BloomerieFat Quarter Shop, Fabricworm, and Southern Fabrics.
As further proof that I love bias stripes and that I'm digging the red/aqua/yellow color palette, my recent order from JAQS Fabrics looks coincidentally similar! I ordered a bunch of the red and gray bias stripes from Tasha Noel's Little Red Riding Hood collection for Riley Blake. Perfect for future bindings. Plus some Moda aqua stripes and a bit of yellow Seaside. (Such a good print and color.)
And finally, I even sat down to sew with a friend this weekend. I'm working on a Union Jack pattern, and she was my guinea pig. While I cracked the whip, I also caught up a little on my Virtual Quilting Bee blocks #9 and #11.
One more and then I'll be caught up. It's kind of exciting (and fun) to see them all together!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Virtual Quilting Bee Block #11

It's time again for a new block in the Virtual Quilting Bee! Man, this summer is flying!  Today's block is by the talented Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side. I LOVE this lock! I can't wait to make it! Maybe today! (I'm still not caught up. But hopefully this weekend it will happen...)

If you're looking for more details or links to past blocks for the Virtual Quilting Bee go here.
VQBQA--Half Way Point!
And don't forget, if you're looking for inspiration and other versions of the the blocks from this series, check out the Virtual Quilting Bee group on Flickr for pictures of lots of other colors and fabric choices. I'm loving this collection by The Confused Quilter

Have fun! (And NO stress. This is supposed to be a stress-reliever, not stress-adder.) If you have questions, leave a comment and I will answer them there.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I'm teaching + sewing bee blocks

A quick little head's up today: I'm going to be teaching a class at the Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City in September! 
I'll be teaching a class where we'll make a super-easy quilt top and finish it in class! There are lots of options for the design, so you'll be able to personalize it and make it your own. I've had fun playing with the design for this project.
In other news, I'm hoping to catch-up on my Virtual Quilting Bee blocks before we get Block #11 tomorrow. I've fallen behind a tiny bit this summer, but I'm planning to get back on track this weekend.

In case this happened to you too, when making Block 10 my block ended up small, but one simple fix worked. Instead of cutting my corner triangles from two 2 7/8" blocks, I cut two 3 1/8" squares and cut them on the diagonal. Voila. My block was bigger. If this one, or any of your blocks, end up smaller than 8 1/2" unfinished, don't panic. The layout for this quilt will solve any block sizing woes.
I also finished a few more scrappy-trip-along blocks, this time Christmas ones for a bee-swap for Sherri. Any little bit of sewing finishes count, right?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Giant Indie Star Quilt

Guess what friends? I actually sewed. And I even finished a project. Finally something to share!
The story of this quilt began last Christmas when I made a paper-pieced star pillow for my Grandma using a few pieces of Pat Bravo's Indie collection for Art Gallery Studios. My sister really liked the pillow, so I decided to use the rest of my Indie pieces to make her family a quilt.  I've always wanted to try Jeni Baker's Giant Star Tutorial, and this turned out to be the perfect project. I made one modification, and that was the scrappy, pieced-border so that I could make the quilt just slightly bigger and use up the rest of the scraps in the process.
I love the rich colors of this Indie collection. The patterns and colors are so gorgeous together.Very outside of my usual primary-color comfort zone, but I think that's what made me love it even more. I felt more exotic. :) The Indie collection came out last year at this time, but it's still available from the Fat Quarter Shop and Moona Fabrics.
This project was quilted by Melissa Kelley of Sew Shabby Quilting. Because there is so much 'negative space', I wanted I busy-ish pattern that would create some texture in the background of the star. This "swirls" pattern turned out so awesome. Melissa is great! I used Robert Kaufman's Quilter's Linen (not real linen, but subtle printed lines to create the look of linen) for the background. I think it's one of my new favorite neutral fabrics. It "reads solid", but the subtle lines create more depth to the fabric. I want to stock-up in a bunch of shades and colors.
Yay. Feels so good to finally take something out of the work-in-progress pile. Also, thanks for the well-wishes on my epic fall last week. I'm happy, and relived, to report that my hand continues to improve daily. Whew.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Pink Castle Fabrics Giveaway

Pink Castle Fabrics
Pink Castle Fabrics is one of my favorite online fabric shops. They have a great selection of modern fabrics, plus it's well-organized and easy to navigate. 
Sketch - 20 Fat Quarter Bundle
Pink Castle specializes in pre-cut bundles.

I also love Pink Castle Fabrics keeps well-stocked on "Stash Builders" - that is fabrics with only one color, or one color and white. And they are easily searchable by color on the Pink Castle Fabrics site.
     
If you are looking to start gradually building a stash, Pink Castle Fabrics is also home of the Stash Stack Club.  I love this concept.  Brenda has combined with color-maven-extraordinaire, Jeni to create a monthly bundle of stash-building fabrics, one color each month.  You can sign-up for the bundle of six or twelve fat quarters per month.  Such a brilliant way to build your color stash a little bit at a time.
Here are all the prints from the Stash Stack Club over the past year. And in celebration of the first anniversary of the the Stash Stack Club, owner Brenda is having a special Golden Ticket event. Basically for every $50 spent you will recieve a Golden Ticket (or prize) and every one is a winner! One of those prizes is that collection of last year's prints - that's 36 yards of fabric! To find out more go here.
And today Brenda is offering a fat quarter bundle of this month's Stash Stack to one of you. To enter, visit Pink Castle Fabrics and come back and leave a comment telling me something that you love in the shop. Giveaway open until Wednesday, July 24 at midnight. GIVEAWAY CLOSED.

Winner: KateJuly 20, 2013 at 12:00 PM
I like the Pepe fabrics a lot. Thanks for doing this!

To keep up with the latest happenings, sales and deals at Pink Castle, you can sign up for their newsletter or like them on Facebook.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Modern Holiday - new book of Christmas quilts and projects


Modern Holiday
It's hard to believe that it's already time to start talking about Christmas, but if you're anything like me, than starting the sooner, the better is a good idea. And today I have some pretty inspiration to share. It's my turn to review a new book from Stash Books, Modern Holidayby Amanda Murphy.
Modern Holiday
This book has 18 projects - 9 quilts + multiple other projects such as a tree skirt, stockings, pillows, stuffed trees and a cute advent calendar with pockets. Each project is gorgeous and full of beautiful details. 
Modern Holiday
All of the projects in the book have a beautiful, contemporary take on traditional blocks, patterns and motifs.
Modern Holiday
I especially love this quilt called Snowfall. Truly, every quilt in the book is stunning. The patterns are also well written and beautifully diagrammed. If you'd like to see more pictures of projects from the book, visit these other stops on the blog tour:
And to make things even more exciting - I have a copy of Modern Holiday to giveaway! Just leave a comment on this post and I'll randomly draw a winner on Saturday, July 20! Thanks Amanda and Stash Books!

Winner: Misty said...
I have heard so much about this book! Christmas is my very favorite holiday. I love the colors this book is showing. I would love to win it. Thanks for the chance.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Vintage Finds

I have wanted to create a plate wall in my kitchen for some time, so I've been on the lookout for pretty plates for some time. Committing to holes in my wall is something I'm pathetically slow about. But as I've accumulated enough plates that I like, I think I'm going to finally bite the bullet and hang the plates. Maybe. I'll share pictures when they are finally on the actual wall. 

Some are plates that were my Grandma's, some are plastic melamine from Target, and some are vintage finds from the thrift store. So while I had the plates out, I thought I'd share a few of recent thrift-store finds with some cool, graphic designs.


While we're on the subject, a few other recent vintage finds. Cool vintage buttons still on their original cards.
I am totally digging these vintage, melamine (plastic) teacups. I haven't decided what to do with them - maybe make them into pincushions?
I love the colors...
Finally, a vintage crocheted granny-square blanket that caught my eye. I've seen them from time to time, but never actually bought one. I liked the colors and size of this one and the price was right, so I went for it. Still not sure what I'm going to do with it though.

And finally, believe it or not, I've actually done some sewing. It's been a while but perhaps by the end of this week I'll actually have something finished to share. It would have been today, except last week I took a massive trip off my front porch and broke the fall with my right hand/wrist on the cement three-steps down. Turns out your right hand comes in pretty handy. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's just a bad bruise and that it will continue to get better. If only someone had got that fall on video, I could have put it on YouTube and made a fortune. It had to have been an entertaining moment for the neighbors.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Virtual Quilting Bee block #10

Here it is: Block #10 of the Virtual Quilting Bee! (I can't believe how fast we are clipping along!)
New? Wondering what the Virtual Quilting Quilting Bee is? Want to find tutorials for the past blocks? Go here.
I am so excited to make this block. This one is taught by Leigh of Leedle Deedle Quilts. After you use the tutorial be sure to check out Leigh's other quilts. She's got some beauties!

GO HERE FOR THE BLOCK TUTORIAL

POST EDIT: my block ended up small, but one simple fix worked. Instead of cutting my corner triangles from two 2 7/8" blocks, I cut two 3 1/8" squares and cut them on the diagonal. Voila. My block was bigger. If yours, or any of your blocks, end up smaller than 8 1/2" unfinished, don't panic. The layout for this quilt will solve any block sizing woes.
Now that the Happy Go Lucky fabric collection is in shops, I want to give you the fabric requirements for fishing the full quilt before yardage starts disappearing.  I know it's tricky to choose fabric when you don't know exactly what you're choosing for, but keep in mind that this quilt is going to be the same layout at as this sampler quilt.  
With that here's what you'll need:

Sashing fabric: 1 1/2 yards (I'm using the white on white Lucky Penny dot)
First border: 1/2 yard
Outside border: 1 1/2 yards
Binding: 1/2 yard
Backing 4 yards

Keep in mind that the color you choose for the outside border, is going to become the dominant color in your quilt.

For the corner stones and the fabric framing the blocks, you can use a variety of scraps from your fat eighth or fat quarter bundles. You will need at least 32 squares 6 1/2" x 6 1/2". Set them aside for framing the blocks at the end.

You can find Happy Go Lucky yardage in these online retailers: Poppy Seed FabricsSouthern Fabrics, Fabric Worm, Pink Castle FabricsThe Little Fabric Shop, and the Fat Quarter Shop

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Easy Double Wedding Ring Challenge

Does anyone remember last year's EZ Dresden Challenge sponsored by Simplicity? It was a contest using Darlene Zimmerman's EZ Dresden template and there were so many cool projects that came out of that contest. This year the New York Modern Quilt Guild is joining with Simplicity, Juki, and Interweave to host a new challenge using the Double Wedding Ring templates.
I have set of Double Wedding Ring templates to give away to get you started with your own project. I have loved double-wedding ring quilts, but been a little intimidated to make one. I'm so excited to start playing with these. You can find these templates on Simplicity.com (here and here) as well as places like JoAnn's and your local quilt shops. There are lots of other stops on this tour with pretty inspiration of projects  already started using them.


July 8th
​NYC MOD​ Quilters – http://nycmetromodquilters.blogspot.com
Interweave – http://quiltingdaily.com
July 10th
Amy Ellis – http://amyscreativeside.com
Faith Jones – Me!
July 11th
Amy Smart – http://www.diaryofaquilter.com
July 13
Jenny Cameron – http://Fiberlosophy.blogspot.com
July 14th
Jane Davidson – http://quiltjane.blogspot.com
July 15th
Joanna Wilczynska – http://shape-moth.blogspot.com
Jackie Kunkel – http://cvquiltworks.blogspot.com
July 18
Pat Sloan – http://blog.patsloan.com
Jessica Alexandrakis – http://lifeunderquilts.blogspot.com
July 19th
Jacquie Gering – http://tallgrassprairiestudio.blogspot.com
Lee Heinrich – http://www.freshlypieced.com
NYC MOD Quilt Guild Double Wedding Ring Quilt Challenge
As with last year's challenge there will be different categories to enter (as in you don't have to make a whole quilt - you could even just make one ring!) as well as amazing prizes! To find out all the details, visit the NYMQG Blog. I'm excited to see all the new inspiration this year! If you would like to win one of these sets of templates, just leave a message on this post. I'll pick a winner next Monday, July 15. GIVEAWAY CLOSED.

Winner: JeanneJuly 12, 2013 at 9:00 PM
Winning the templates would be great as I have always wanted to make a double wedding ring quilt.