Friday, March 28, 2014

Saturated Rainbow Fat Quarter Bundle giveaway

Canton Village Quilt Works
I was recently asked by Jackie Kunkel, owner of Canton Village Quilt Works, to put together a "Blogger's Bundle" of fat quarters from her shop.
Since I am really feeling the vibe of saturated color lately, this is the bundle I chose. It makes me want summer! The bundle consists of fabric from Kaffe Fassett, Australian Aboriginal, and Batiks. This Over the Rainbow bundle is available for sale from Canton Village Quilt Works.
image from Jackie's blog
Jackie has been quilting for over 20 years and is a gifted quilt designer and teacher. If you follow her blog, you will see her amazing, detailed quilts in deep, saturated colors. 
Kaffe Fassett Collective Fat Quarter Bundle - Sampler 2
It was really fun to go through then entire Canton Village Quilt Works shop. CVQW has a brand new online interface that is so beautiful and easy to navigate. Jackie has been selling fabric for over four years and her inventory is a great reflection of her personal style. She stocks lots of deep, saturated colors and unique prints. Of all my sponsors, Canton Village Quilt Works has the biggest selection of batiks and Kaffe Fassett prints including some shot cottons. (Kaffe's are even on sale 15% off this weekend - March 29-30.)
Kona Cotton - Summer '13 - Fat Quarter Bundle
Canton Village Quilt Works also stocks an amazing selection of Kona Cottons. CVQW is often my go-to source when I stock-up on Kona's. Jackie has a huge selection of not only dozens of different shades, but also Kona bundles and pre-cuts such as jelly-rolls, charm packs, and hexagons in multiple palettes. Another one of my favorite basics CVQW keeps in stock is Essex Cotton-Linen blend. I have ordered those frequently from Jackie for the past few years as well. Her service is excellent.
Today, Jackie is generously giving away one of these Over the Rainbow fat-quarter-bundles (a $25.00 value) to one of you! If you would like to enter to win this bundle, sign up for the Canton Village Quilt Works Newsletter. This is full of information and frequent specials and sales (perfect for stocking up on basics like Kona solids!) For a second entry you can also follow the Canton Village Quilt Works blog.

Leave a separate comment for each entry. Giveaway open until midnight MST on Wednesday, April 2. GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Signed up!

You can also keep track of Jackie and Canton Village Quilt Works on Facebook and through Jackie's podcasts here, on itunes, or on YouTube.  Thanks so much for the giveaway, Jackie! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Short-cut quilt preview and new fabric

Today another sneak peak of a quilt in the upcoming Fabulously Fast Quilts. This book is a collection of of quilt patterns - some traditional, some all new - with some kind of short-cut method for assembling them. This modern version of a traditional buzz-saw pattern is one of them. (The quilting on this quilt was done by Melissa of Sew Shabby Quilting.)
This was the last quilt I finished before shipping them all off to the publisher last May. I took this shot as I finished stitching the last bit of the binding, the morning before I took all the quilts to the UPS store. I was feeling so giddy by that point to have this huge project done
For this quilt I used a lot of Vanessa Christenson's collection Simply Style - which I still really like. There are some great tonal basics in that collection. (Simply Style is still available from the Southern Fabrics (on sale!) and Fat Quarter Shop.)
Vanessa's latest collection, Color Me Happy, is hitting stores right now. I've sewn quilts for Vanessa to use at Quilt Market a few times and she super-generously sent me this bundle as a thank you. (whoa.)
This is another cheerful, colorful collection of prints and some great basics and blenders. I'm especially smitten with this micro-dots. I think this is one I need to stock up on for sure.
The bundle looks so pretty the way it is, I can't bring myself to break it open. I'm going to have to get really courageous to do it at some point. (Why is it so hard??) Color Me Happy is available from the Fat Quarter Shop, Green Fairy Quilts, and coming soon to Pink Castle Fabrics.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Latest projects behind the scenes

I'm being a busy little stitcher behind the scenes, with lots to share in the coming weeks, but not much to share at the moment. So a few glimpses of WIP's (works-in-progress) for now. I made the block above for a charity quilt sponsored by Chili's for St. Judes Children's Research Hospital. I sent it off, but I like how it turned out and I think I need to make some more to keep. 
I've started some new six-point English-paper-pieced stars as my latest hand work project. (No, I haven't decided what I'm going to do with them. I'm still working on that.)
I'm piecing them with my growing little collection of Liberty tana lawns. (I got them from Westwood Acres.) This is my first time sewing with tana lawns. It's like sewing through silk. Tana lawns are cotton, but they're different from regular quilting cottons in that they're a tighter weave and lighter weight with more drape.
Usually I baste my fabric over the cardstock templates with thread, but the tana laws are a little more slippery. With only 4 corners on the diamonds I found that the templates easily slipped out of the fabric diamonds. So I decided to try glue-basting for the first time. Not only was it so much faster, but it worked REALLY well holding the templates in place. I'm hooked. I bought this little glue pen at my local quilt shop. (With my own hard-earned cash. I was not asked to review this product.) I haven't tried a regular glue stick, but I assume it could work too as long as it's water soluble.

Post edit: More details: I like knowing that this product is specifically for fabric use. I put the glue on the cardstock template and then stick the fabric. It is plenty strong enough to baste the fabric to the template and hold it in place while I sew that pieces together, but the fabric releases cleaning from the template when I'm ready to remove it. I'm totally sold. I also like that the glue stick is thin - less mess.
I started another project last week using Jennifer Sampou's latest collection (for Robert Kaufman) called Shimmer. The collection is made up of metallic or iridescent prints and they're so pretty. And different from my usual go-to fabrics. I really loved this colorway because it reminds me of mercury glass, which I'm recently digging (along with the rest of the design world, I guess.) I'm excited to see this one come together. I'll share it in a few weeks when it's done.
Finally, one more upcoming project includes a Quilt-along for this quilt next month on the We All Sew blog. It's a good basic quilting pattern, but I think there are some good tricks for making it efficient and fast. I'm looking forward to sharing it!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Moda Sale at JAQS Fabrics

JAQS Fabrics is a well organized, easy to navigate online fabric shop and here's a fun sale alert today: JAQS Fabrics is having 20% off all their Moda collections.

This includes the brand new Mirabelle collection by Fig Tree as well as recent collections by Bonnie and Camille,

Other basics that I love included in this sale are: the texture prints from Bluebird Park collection, Asterisk and others from the Comma collecion, and Bella Solids. To get the 20% off use the coupon code MODA20 at checkout. This deal is only good through Sunday March 23, so act fast!

Other new collections at JAQS include Lotta Jansdotter's latest collection, Mormor,


Q also carries a huge collection of Robert Kaufman basics including Metro Living circles and Kona Solids.

You can also check out Q's specials and clearance section for other great deals! To keep up with future sales and promotions at JAQS Fabrics you can follow them on Facebook.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sneak peak of my new book, Fabulously Fast Quilts

I had a GREAT mail weekend this last weekend. An advance copy of my book, Fabulously Fast Quilts arrived and I got to hold it in my hands for the very first time. It still feels so surreal.
Also arriving in the mail were 8 of the 12 quilts I sent off last May. (The other 4 are still with the publisher for marketing purposes.) This was my first time seeing them againo. The book writing/publishing business is such an interesting thing. You create quilts, some as long as a year and a half before you ever get to show them to other people. I started making the quilts for this book in September of 2012!
As the book gets closer to coming out (it will start shipping to retailers the second week of April) I'll share more sneak peeks of some of the quilts that are in the book.
If you've been visiting these parts for a while now, you may remember this quilt I made at Christmas time over two years ago. Since that time I've had multiple people ask me if I had a pattern for this quilt.
Well, I'm excited to share that the pattern for the Countdown to Christmas quilt will be in this book! It's called Square Deal. Here's a sneak peak of version in the book. I tried to take it outside yesterday to get a picture, but the wind was CRAZY. So this will have to do for now. (The quilting on this quilt as well as the one with the red and white blocks was done by Melissa of Sew Shabby Quilting.)
Fabulously Fast quilts is a book about quick tips to speed up quilting projects and contains 12 quilting patterns. As I mentioned, it won't start shipping until the second week of April but you can pre-order it from Martingale or Amazon. If you would like a signed copy by yours truly, you can pre-order one from my shop and I will personalize it for you. (POST EDIT: International shipping rates have been added.)  As I mentioned before, I have been so touched by the amazing response and generous support since I first announced I have a book coming out.
Thank you again, for all of the generous and kind words, vibes, and thoughts you have shared. I'm excited to share more of the projects and quilts from Fabulously Fast Quilts.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring + Prioritizing

It's my month to send out fabric and block instructions for my BeesKnees group. Add that to the list of the bajillion things I am behind on right now. Finally I pulled out some fabric a couple of nights ago (which is something I always enjoy, but seem to be finding less and less time to do...). While I was at it I started setting aside fabric for a big destash. Who knows when that will actually happen, but it is a needful thing. Time to purge!
Last night I carved out a little time to put some of these beauties into piles to mail out to my group ladies. I'm excited to see what they come up with. 
These are the blocks they made last year. I LOVE how they all look together. This year I am having them each make one more block with a little bit of a twist to make the squares even busier. I'm so excited to see what they come up with. Of course, I had the instructions all typed up and ready to go and then blogger freaked out at me and it was all lost. I was way too drained last night to try to summon that brain-power again. I'll have to try again today.
my poor little favorite magnetic pindish is in need of some TLC
Speaking of brain power- mine feels a little fried at the moment. I think I'm just in one of my funks - you all know how that goes. And it's pretty much following the same pattern as most funks - a lot on my plate and feeling overwhelmed and just needing to step back and recharge. I'm not sharing so that you'll all throw me a pity-party - but because I think it's healthy to be real. I never want to present the image that I have it all together. Heavens no!
Life is good. It's full and busy with 4 kids and some weighty responsibilities elsewhere right now, but my life is full of things and people that I love. I just need to do a better job of prioritizing. I'm finding that there is less time for quilting and sewing and that's okay too. I'm glad I have something that I enjoy so much and that fulfills my creative needs, and at the same time has even become a business that I love, but I'm learning that I need to keep it in the realm of "stress-reliever" not "added stress."

In fun news, a new friend and fellow-quilter sent me the funnest little surprise in the mail, which was a great pick-me-up. Look at these numbered labeling pins! No more using random post-it note scraps for labeling my quilt rows. Thanks Nancy!! POST EDIT: Nancy has a tutorial for these Quilt Row Marking Pins!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Gift Certificate giveaway from Bobbie Lou's Fabric Factory

I'm so excited to introduce a new fabric shop today, Bobbie Lou's Fabric Factory. This etsy shop is run by Chelsea and inspired by and named after her grandmother Bobbie Lou who loved to sew.
Chelsea has a great eye for unique, colorful fabric and her shop is stocked with a great variety, including lots of fabrics that are rare finds. 
Some recent collections include Sweet as Honey by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics. I'm so in love with those Beehives and the Honeycomb especially.
Another recent Art Gallery collection in stock is Leah Duncan's Meadow. Fabric is available not only in yardage, but Fat Quarter cuts as well.
Chelsea also has a fun variety of nautical themed fabrics including collections from Michael Miller and Riley Blake. 
But I think the thing I love most about Bobbi Lou's is the huge variety of whimsical prints that are "off the beaten path". For example a large selection of Alexander Henry prints including bright dia de los muertos themed prints, as well as unique prints from Camelot fabrics and Cloud 9 fabrics.

Seriously, if your style is loud, whimsical, and full of saturated color, or if you're just trying to get out of a creative funk, you will love Bobbie Lou's selection! Also a great resource if you're looking for I-spy prints (including in the Clearance selection.) I think it's one of a kind shop.
And today Chelsea is generously giving away a $50 Gift Certificate towards anything in her shop to one of you! To enter take a quick trip to Bobbie Lou Fabric Factory and leave a comment here sharing something that you love. For a second entry, follow @BobbieLouFabrics on Instagram, and leave a comment letting me know. GIVEAWAY CLOSED.

WINNER: JoMarch 10, 2014 at 6:17 AM
Wow so many great fabrics! I love the boy section since that is all I seem to have in my life

And in even more good news, Chelsea is offering a 15% discount for through March 17 using the code AMY15 at checkout.  Enjoy Bobbie Lou's and happy shopping!

Friday, March 7, 2014

New blocks + new machine quilting technique

I feel like I've been working like a crazy-lady behind the scenes around here, but don't have a lot to share right away. I have been staying caught up on my Bee Blocks though, so I'll share those. This is the latest block from the 2014 Aurifil Block of the Month, this time designed by Emily Herrick. Here is the tutorial for this specific block.
I am still totally digging this color scheme and I'm having fun watching this quilt start to grow.
 Another Bee block for my friend Nedra from the Bees Knees.
This block was made using Triangles on a Roll papers to piece the flying geese. They were really cool! Nedra has the tutorial for this block here and explains more about Triangles on a Roll.
Basically, it's another method of machine paper-piecing, but this time you are working and sewing on the same side as the markings, which eliminated that flip and match-step. This kept the same accurate piecing, but there was less fabric waste because you can see where you were sewing. It took me a few minutes to get used to a new method, but then I really loved it. And the results were awesome.
A few more projects in the works behind the scenes that aren't ready to share yet. This quilt is for an upcoming quilt-along on the We All Sew (BERNINA) blog later this spring. For this quilt, I tried a new quilting technique and I was so happy with how it turned out. I am still not very confident in my free-motion-quilting skills. I know I just need to practice - it's finding the time to do it that's my problem, but definitely something I'd like to become more comfortable with in the future.
In the mean time, the only kind of quilting I've been comfortable with is straight-line quilting. So, if you're like me, this was a good step outside my comfort zone, but not TOO scary since I was just using my walking foot, going in straight lines and letting my needle do all the work. I love that it gives the quilting more of a stipple-organic look, without having to free-motion it. I'm not perfect yet, but the overall quilt looks really great. (Full reveal soon.) I have to admit the giant throat space on the BERNINA 710 has also given me more courage to quilt a big quilt myself.
I used stitch #4 on my Bernina 710. I think it's a pretty standard stitch for all newer Bernina's. (I think it's stitch 3 on my old Bernina Sport 801 - it looks like a wavy line.) The width is set to 5.5 and I used a stitch length of 3. I think I'd like to try it with a longer stitch next time and see how that changes things. Chime in if you know what stitch this is on other machines. 
And one last bit of eye-candy because it's just SO pretty and makes me want spring. A new quilt design in the works with this new Kona solids New Bright Palette roll-up. I'm itching to get started!