Monday, September 30, 2013

Kona Solids giveaway from Canton Village Quilt Works

Canton Village Quilt Works
Toady we have a sponsored giveaway from Jackie of Canton Village Quilt Works. Canton Village Quilt Works is owned and operated by Jackie Kunkel who has been quilting for 20 years. 
Jackie is an amazingly talented quilter and her quilts are always full of beautiful, saturated color. Check out this beautiful Feathered Star quilt she made this summer.  Jackie has been a professional long-arm quilter for 13 years and opened her fabric shop 4 years ago. She is also a designer for Quilt Magazine, a podcaster and a gifted teacher. You can follow Jackie's quilting adventures on her blog, Canton Village Quilt Works as well as on itunes and YouTube.


Canton Village Quilt Works specializes in bright, saturated colors including batiks, prints and solids with collections from the likes of  Kaffe FassettTimeless Treasures, and Robert Kaufman. She also carries a fabulous variety of Kona Solids. I love this Sunrise Fat Quarter Bundle!  I have stocked up on Kona Solids from Jackie many times.

This week (Sept 30-October 4, 2013) CVQW is offering 10% off all Kona solids, including bundles with the code 10kona at checkout.



And today, Jackie is giving away a Kona solids original Pastel Palette Roll-Up  from Robert Kaufman to one of you lucky readers.  (Wow, this would be so fun to play with.) In order to enter please visit Canton Village Quilt Works and come back here sharing something you love. Then leave a comment on this post with that item listed. For additional entries you can sign up for the Canton Village Quilt Works newsletter, and follow the Canton Village Quilt Works Blog. Leave one comment for each entry. Giveaway open until Friday, October 4 at midnight MST. GIVEAWAY CLOSED.

Winner: Four dogs and one quilterSeptember 30, 2013 at 8:21 AM
Jackie carries such a great selection of patterns. Would love to make a Cactus Rose.

Thanks Jackie! You can also keep up to date on the latest from Canton Village Quilt Works by following them on Facebook.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Baby Blanket tutorial with Cuddle Fabric

Don't you love Cuddle fabric (aka minky fabric?) Today I'm sharing a quick tutorial for making a self-binding baby blanket over at the Cuddle Corner blog for Shannon Fabrics
I used the Aqua Dimples Cuddle fabric with some Valori Wells Novella zigzag I bought a little while back. (I did see it was still available here.)

And then, just for silliness, look what comes up on the hashtag #amysmart on instagram. Lol. The poor actress Amy Smart will always have random quilt pics on her hashtag thanks to this crazy quilting lady with the same name.  If you're looking for more quilting pics on Instagram, you can find me @diaryofaquilter on Instagram. I can't promise pictures of Ryan Reynolds though.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Sewing Summit 2013 - what I learned

I spent last weekend at the third annual Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City. Look at all these busy-bee sewers playing on those beautiful Bernina machines. I thought I'd give a quick recap of what I learned from attending the Sewing Summit this year. 
Have you ever wondered what it's like to attend a sewing conference? I mean, at what other fancy conference can you sit and listen to lectures while hand-sewing? Be aware going in that sleep-deprivation is part of of the gain-cost ratio. (Think of it as a giant slumber party for grown women.) I'm normally not much of a soda drinker, but caffeinated stimulation was called for. 
Quilters are Quirky. This hotel staff has probably never seen the likes of a bunch of sewers and their odd behaviors before. Here is my traditional grand arrival in the swanky lobby with my floral ironing-board. Also, you'd think the floor space of those giant hallways would be a great place to layout a quilt - and you'd be right! Until...the hotel staff has to ask you to pick-up the quilt blocks off the floor in front of the door to the ballroom where the Utah Truckers Association is about to start their fancy shindig. Whoops!!
Enthusiasm is contagious. This year the sewing machine sponsor was Bernina USA. Not only was it amazing to sew on fancy new Bernina sewing machines, but the support that came with them from both national corporate Bernina to the local Bernina dealer, Nuttals, was superb. This is Sylvain who helped assist everyone on their machines while I taught my class. He was so awesome, he even matched the quilt sample for my class! ;) 

I learned to sew on a Bernina and have sewed on and loved my 30+ year-old Bernina Sport 801, but I have been feeling the desire to upgrade. Especially after trying these new machines. I frequently get asked for information about buying a new sewing machine, so I will keep you updated on that process and what I model decide to go with!
Bringing people over to the "dark-side" is fun. I LOVE showing people how fun and rewarding quilting is. (I don't tell them right away that they will soon have a new addiction. I just let them enjoy finding that out on their own.) I taught a very simple class using giant half-square triangles, which allowed opportunity for a lot of personal creative expression. The pinwheel quilt I'm showing above was made by SewSara. It was great to see a bunch of people even finish their quilt tops before the conference ended! The one on the bottom right is by my new friend, Amanda. The quilts laid out on the aforementioned-convention-center floor are also from this class. These ladies made such fun group!
Act on your creative inspiration and do something bold. This year's keynote speaker was Heather Bailey. She was fantastic. I heard Heather speak once a few years ago and have been a huge fan. She attended the whole conference and was very gracious and involved the whole time. The story she shared was amazing. 

She talked about going to Quilt Market for years to help her mother-in-law with her booth and sadly watching the decline of the quilting industry. She loved to sew and wanted so much to connect with and encourage other younger sewers. And then in 2005, with only a month before quilt market, she had the inspiration to try designing a collection with contemporary colors and fresh designs. What she had created was so different from what traditional fabric companies were selling at the time. The response from the industry decision makers was an unexpected enthusiasm for what she'd brought. One of the unusual things she requested was that her name be on the selvage because she wanted to build a relationship with the people who used her fabric and she started a blog to do so. 

I still remember when that collection, Fresh Cut, was first released. I was working in a quilt shop at the time and it was so new and different and modern. I remember it being a change in fabric styles and design, but hearing Heather tell that story, put those memories in context. That collection triggered a huge shift in momentum among the quilting movement for younger quilters and the way we interact with the fabric industry, designers and their collections. 
With Sew Sara (who also matched my quilt), roomies Rachel and Amanda, Andrea & Melissa, and cute Jeni.

Sewy and quilting friends are fun. I've said this before, but for years I felt like a sewing weirdo. None of my real-life friends my age sewed and I never talked about my granny-hobby. Enter the world of blogs and social media about 5 years ago and I felt like I'd found a bunch of new best friends. Women who liked talking about fabric and quilts as much as I did!
#Wafflesummit, Pat Bravo (for real!), Angela, Amy, Colleen, Holly, Deedrie, and Jeni again
Then after interacting with many of these women online, I began to meet some of them in real life! The first Sewing Summit 3 years ago was the first time I'd met many of them. It has been so lovely to look forward to reconnecting with some of them each year - especially the ones that come from out of state. And at the same time, so fun to meet and get to know new friends each year! Thank you SO much to all those who came and introduced themselves! Each one made my day better. But there were so many people! At every meal I tried to sit with a different group so I'd have the opportunity to visit with lots of people, and yet I still didn't get to meet and visit with everyone I would have liked. 
Even if you can't go to a Conference, find like-minded friends close by. This is a group of the local friends I've come to know through online social media who have become wonderful real-life friends. I feel immensely grateful for each one of them, as well as for others who are not pictured. (The Sewing Summit is held in Utah, so there is a high proportion of Utah folks able to attend.)
Abundance. This was my favorite thought and emotion of the weekend. There is truly enough creativity, opportunity, and friendship for everyone to have an abundant portion. I think we are often so prone to competing and comparing to the point that we see people tear others down thinking they'll get more, and indirectly destroy their own opportunities and creativity. The greatest thing I took away from this was an appreciation for the people that came who contributed to that feeling of encouragement, celebration, and support. I stood on my chair and snapped this picture right after Heather Bailey's speech because I wanted to capture a little bit of that feeling that was so palpable in the room.

Thank you so much to all to came and contributed to that feeling. And to those who couldn't come this time, keep connecting! There are so many opportunities now to find "your people" both online and in your real live community. It's totally worth the effort.

And now, after 2 sewing conferences in 2 weeks, I am totally pooped and content to be a homebody for a long time. I missed my family (and my fabric.)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fabric Giveaway from Connecting Threads

Quilting Fabrics, direct from the mill, starting at $5.96 per yard. Quilting Kits and Fabric Samplers with no charge for cutting. 100% cotton Quilting Thread, plus Quilt Books, Free Patterns and more.
Today I am excited to officially welcome Connecting Threads as a sponsor of Diary of a Quilter. If you're not familiar with Connecting Threads, let me introduce you. 
Quality Affordable Quilting Fabric
Connecting Threads is a family-owned company that produces and sells their own lines of fabric. All of their fabrics are sold via their own catalog or through the online store. Because they cut out the middle man they are able to offer high quality quilting cottons at lower price ($5.96 a yard!) and orders over $50 are shipped free.

Here are their current fabric collections. I love these great basics!
Some of their recent collections include this nice "fallish" looking collection called Heather's Garden

This pretty collection of blues is called Indigo Patchwork. I'm a sucker for blues and whites. They always look classic and seem to never look dated.

Finally this collection called Mix It Up full of good blenders including dots, stripes, and plaids. 

Not only do they carry fabric, there are also patterns, kits, notions, and thread. It's a great one-stop shop! The Connecting Threads site is so efficient and easy to navigate. It also includes lots of free stuff like tutorials, patterns, and other downloads. You can follow them on Facebook to keep up with all the latest releases and news.

And today Connecting Threads wants to give away a three fat quarter bundles - one from each collection pictured above - to three different winners! To enter take a quick trip to Connecting Threads and come back and leave a comment telling me a collection that looks appealing to you. Please make sure there is a way I can contact you if you are randomly selected as winner. Giveaway open until Friday, September 27 at midnight, MST. GIVEAWAY CLOSED. Post Edit: This giveaway is only open to participants in the US or Canada.

Winners:

Denise said...
I just received the new Connecting Threads issue yesterday, and I've got the Indigo Patchwork on my wish list!! Can you ever go wrong with blue and white? 
Dolores said...
I have purchased from them before and their service has been great. I have been eyeing the Indigo collection since it came out not too long ago.
Thanks for the chance to win.
NW Patchwork said...
Great giveaway! I've always wanted to try their fabric and thread. I love all 3 of the new collections. Esp. Heather's Garden. Those colors would go perfect in my home :)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Virtual Quilting Bee Block #15


Here it is friends! Block #15 for the Virtual Quilting Bee. Only one more to go! This block is by the very lovely Lynne Goldsworthy of Lily's Quilts. Lynne is someone I've only met through my computer screen and whom I enjoy immensely. We even discovered that we lived just block apart in London at the very same time. How's that for small world. She doesn't know yet that I may just show up at her door one day and move in. So don't tell her and spoil the surprise.

CLICK HERE FOR BLOCK #15 TUTORIAL

POST EDIT: This block is a foundation paper-pieced block. If this is something new for you here is a tutorial that explains the foundation paper-piecing process. There is also this video from Connecting Threads on YouTube.


If you are are new to the Virtual Quilting Bee, looking for more information and details, or trying to find links to past blocks so you can catch-up (like me) visit the Virtual Quilting Page here
Vqb sept 2013-all 14 so far!
Check out this pretty collection of blocks in the Virtual Quilting Bee Flickr group by Lakejewel.

One more thought for the road: Block's 15 and 16 are going to be skill-builder blocks. These are both going to teach you new quilting techniques. Keep that in mind as you approach them - they might stretch you a little bit. And that's a cool thing!

But at the same time remember that this is YOUR QUILT. There is no final exam, no quilt police, pageant or jury panel. You are making this for you. So you can make (or not make) any block you want. If you want to skip one and make another version of your favorite: go for it! Remember this is FUN, not stress. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Riley Blake's Fabric Fest - a recap

I had to do a quick recap of Riley Blake's Fabric Fest last week. The preparation consumed my life for the past weeks, but it was so fun to finally get there and be around lots of fun people and all kinds of fabric-y inspiration. It was also a little bit surreal to see quilting legends like Eleanor Burns and Jenny Doan live and in person. (Did you know Eleanor Burns has written over 100 books? Ho.Lee.Smokes.)
The folks at Riley Blake went all out to make it a great event! They even had a fashion show (that included quilts too) one night - sadly, my pics didn't turn out great of that.  Local Las Vegas quilt shop Quiltique set up shop in one of the Ballrooms with dozens of bolts of Riley Blake collections and basics. It was hard to resist, I tell you.
I taught a few different classes. (Four actually. Hence the reason my life has been crazy the past few weeks.) The first class was an introduction discussion of Modern quilting, which included an improv-inspired, quilt-as-you-go project. I was so nervous but everyone in the class was great and it seemed to be a new technique for a lot of people. I loved seeing what people came up with.  The bag on the right wasn't made in the class, but was another quilt-as-you-go project that I spotted and loved.
The ladies in the class for the Union Jack bag did such an awesome job!! We ran out of time to finish in class, but many of them came back to open sewing that night and finished! I was so proud of them. I am planning to write and publish the pattern for this Union Jack block and bag. When life calms down a bit. A HUGE thank you to Pellon for sponsoring the batting and Peltex for this project. We used the Utlra Firm Fusible Stabilizer (Peltex 71F) for this project and it worked splendidly.
My other two classes didn't have specific projects attached to them. One was a scraps class with lots of ideas for sorting and using fabric scraps. It was so fun to see the creativity that came out of there. We also made storage cubes inspired by Amanda Jean's tutorial.
Remember this bunch of solids I was bundling together into kits? It was SO MUCH FUN to see the way the different class members used those solids.
This class was about Modern Quilts inspired by traditional quilting. (I started a pin board with some of the examples I used.) We talked about staying true to our aesthetic and style, but pushing the boarders of that box a little. I LOVED what everyone did and the variety of ideas that came out of that same bundle of solid prints.
This one is by Heather. I think I need to make a whole quilt inspired by her creation. Loved it.
Finally, the best part of sewing retreats are the people. Always. Thank you SO MUCH to all those who introduced yourselves to me. Each one made my day even better. I have loved the people I've come to know through quilting and through writing this blog. My roommate Melissa from the Polkadot Chair is one of those people I came to know virtually and has become a great friend. We rarely see each other in person, so this was fun.

Jenny Doan was one of the key note speakers at lunch one day and said something to the effect that "People's hearts are changed through this (sewing and quilting) hobby." We start out creating something for ourselves, then loved ones, and then sooner or later, you're creating with the desire to share and bless other people who need some love in their lives. I loved when she said that because it rang true to me. I've always tried to pin down why quilter's are such good folks and I think Jenny summed it up - because something about this kind of creativity changes our hearts.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Easy Baby Jelly Roll Quit Pattern

I'm so excited to share this little project I made this past month. It's a simple little scrappy baby quilt made from part of a Moda Jelly Roll in the Baby Jane collection - one of my current favorite collections. I've wanted to make a 'low-volume' quilt for sometime and these prints were perfect for this project.

The pattern I used for this quilt is a brand new free-download pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop called the Jelly Roll Jam. Using this pattern you can create two quick and easy, scrappy baby quilts, each measuring 36" x 36". Or you could easily modify the pattern to make a bigger quilt using more of the Jelly Roll strips.
To make it even cooler, there is also a free 20 minute video tutorial that will show you how to quickly assemble this project. 
I loved making this little quilt - it came together SO quickly - easily in one afternoon. I love simple scrappy designs, and this one showed off the prints perfectly. The aqua, gold, and red is one of my latest favorite color combos. My quilt was quilted by Melissa of Sew Shabby Quilting.
I made one modification on my quilt and that was to add a 2" border on all four sides to make a 40" x 40" quilt. I just used 4 more of the jelly roll strips for the border. I used another 4 strips for my binding as well. I'm so smitten with how it turned out. Is it weird to keep a baby quilt for myself?
In other fun news, the Fat Quarter Shop has a Baby Jane Jelly Roll to give away to one of you! Just leave a comment (click on the word Comments) at the bottom of the post telling me your latest favorite color combination. Giveaway open until Friday, Sept 20 at midnight MST. GIVEAWAY CLOSED. 

My favorite colors right now are Aqua/Turquoise and Orange shades. I am not a orange person except for lately they have just appealed to me so much. Thanks, kathy

Want a different Jelly Roll? Fat Quarter Shop is offering 20% off all Jelly Rolls through 9/20/13.
Want to see other versions of the Jelly Roll Jam quilt? Check out some of these blogs. I can't wait to see what they've done!

Friday, September 13, 2013

All kinds of fabric-y fun

Why hello again! I've spent most of this week teaching at Riley Blake's Fabric Fest convention in Las Vegas. It was all kinds of fabric-y fun. And I'm totally pooped.

Post Edit: The above pattern is called the Allyson Quilt found here.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: quilty-sewy people are always the nicest and I met some of the funnest, sweetest ladies.  I will share more of the inspiration from there sometime next week after I've had time to gather my wits again.
In the mean time, have you ever walked through a casino with an armful of floral fabric? Well, now I can cross that one off my bucket list.

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Moda Fat Quarter Bundle from Green Fairy Quilts

Today I get to share a giveaway from one of my kind and generous sponsors, Green Fairy Quilts.  Green Fairy Quilts is run by Judi and Clint Madsen and is an online shop that specializes in Moda and Riley Blake pre-cuts and bundles at great prices.
Moda Fat Quarter Bundle - Pot Luck by American Jane
New arrivals are in stock such as PotLuck (on of my favorites!), Scrumptious, and Bobbins and Bits. You can also pre-order future collections now that will be sent out as soon as they arrive with free shipping! They have an amazing clearance selection as well. All worth checking out.
3
Judi also writes a blog where she is just wrapping up her Flower Patch quilt-along. You can see all the tutorial posts here. Judi is also an incredible quilter.  To see more of her work, visit the Green Fairy Quilts blog. 
And, as always, Judi has a very generous giveaway. Today she is giving away this Moda fat quarter bundle, for the upcoming collection, Nature's Bounty by Blackbird Designs.
To enter to win, visit Green Fairy Quilts and sign-up for their newsletter (click on the SUBSCRIBE button on the left hand side) 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. Giveaway open until Saturday, September 14 at midnight MST. Thanks Judi! GIVEAWAY CLOSED.

Winner: Terri said...
I subscribed and am super excited to find that website. I love the fabric combos and the blog. Thanks so much!!!