Fabric geek news

Today a fabric-y post. Some currently available, and some sneak peaks of up and coming collections. 
This past week I’ve been sewing with these cheerful prints from Michael Miller called Happy Tones. (Project to be shared at a future date, but I couldn’t not share these bright, sunny colors. They are a nice antidote to the end-of-winter blahs around here. My kids keep saying looking at these prints makes them crave jelly beans. (I think they’re trying to give me hints, or something.)
All of these colors and prints come in one charm pack. Happy Tones pre-cuts and prints are available right now at the Fat Quarter Shop.
How about these cute, retro-inspired prints are from a new collection for Windham Fabrics called Cream and Sugar? I love the colors and prints in this line. Check out all the adorable projects made with them at the designers’ blog, Ampersand Design Studio. I can pretty much guarantee it will make you want some. Cream and Sugar prints are also available at the Fat Quarter Shop.

Another collection due out shortly is Glimma by Lotta Jansdotter, also for Windham fabrics. I am such a fan of Lotta and her scandinavian minimalism design. I especially love those trees. I’m thinking these will need to be part of a new bag, similar to my Bella bag from last spring.

A few Glimma prints will also be available in canvas. (I’m so in love with that gold stripe!) Might be the perfect bag lining. Stay tuned… And while I’m here, can I just say I think that Windham has some hot new collections and designers, as well as future collections on the way by Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew and the return of Heather Ross to quilting cottons? So excited to see both of those!

Finally, I got my first up close and personal look at Moda’s new Honeycomb precuts. Can I say, brilliant? These are laser cut (meaning straight, non-fraying edges) 6″  (from point to opposite point) hexagons. They come in a stacks of 40 and you can get them in one solid color or in prints by collection, like charm packs. They are so neato.

The coolest part is that each stack of honeycombs comes with a sturdy plastic template with little holes at each point.

These holes can be used for quickly marking the 1/4″ point where you will start and stop your Y-seams when you piece your hexagons. (For a great machine-piecing-hexagons tutorial, visit Kati). SO COOL.

And check out these pretty prints from Fig Tree’s upcoming line, Honey Sweet. Mmmm.
And there’s the latest episode of fabric geek news. The only problem with all this awesome fabric-ness, is that there are not enough hours in the day to create all the things I’d like to make with my favorite creative medium. At some point I need all the fabric companies to just take a break for a few months so that I can catch-up on everything before they start making more tempting  pretty stuff!
Speaking of fabric, if you’re looking for some good deals right now you might want to check out Bloomerie’s awesome March Madness sale with fabric starting at $5 a yard. Also, everything at Pink Castle Fabrics is 20% off with the code SPRING 20.

Specialty circle, tumbler, and hexie rulers!

Not long ago I was contacted by the amazing Lori Holt to see if I would like to play with her new acrylic rulers/templates she designed for Riley Blake. Of course I said yes! The rulers come in multiple sizes in three different shapes:

All of the rulers are sized perfectly to go with pre-cut fabric, whether it’s 10″ squares, 5″ charm squares or 2 1/2″ strips. I’m so excited to try lots of ideas with these. You can get Lori’s rulers in her Etsy Shop or from the Fat Quarter Shop.
Today I’ve been asked to be a part of Project Polkadot at Melissa Mortenson’s blog, The Polkadot Chair. So I put those circle rulers to use for this project!
Inspired by Riley Blake’s new tone on tone polkadots (which you can find at the Fat Quarter Shop) I decided to make some tone on tone circles.
To get the variety of colored fabrics I used a Riley Blake Stacker – a collection of their light solids
The colors are so perfect for Spring! I’m excited to turn this into a pillow. You can read more about how I created my little circle mini quilt by visiting Project Polkadot at the Polkadot Chair.
(And lest anyone out there is under the misconception that I totally have my act together, here is proof that I often do not. I had hoped to have this pillow done for Project Polkadot, but this is as far as I got. Life comes at you and it’s all about just doing what we can right?)
Happy Weekend!
PS For any interested locals: I’m teaching a Use-Your-Scraps class this coming Monday, March 18 at American Quilting in Orem, Utah at noon along with the very wonderful and delightful Marilyn Yerkes. It’s not too late, if you want to come. You can contact American Quilting at 801-802-7841.

Hexagon Baby Quilt with Sarah Jane fabrics

Guess who has a brand new, cute baby niece this week? 
Every cute new baby deserves a cute new quilt, so… I made one. Shocker, right? I let my sister go through my stash and pick out favorite fabrics and colors, because I’m a super nice sister that way. She is much more artistic than me and has a great flair for color and style, so it was fun to let her do her thing and see what she came up with. You can see what I mean – this is what she picked for her first baby.

She choose lots of Sarah Jane prints and colors. (Those narwhals get me every time.) My sisters and I have been Sarah Jane groupies for a long time. It’s so fun now that we can play with her art via fabric as well. I threw in a few more prints in the colors she chose and I love the way it’s turned out.

For the back we used Sarah Jane’s pinwheels and for the binding the orange polka dot from Children at Play.

I love the balloons print too. This new little gal has an older brother that LUVS balloons. So this print is in there for him. Maybe he can play I-spy with some of the other pictures in the quilt too. I’ve found that big brothers are often in need of good forms of distraction when new babies show up.

When I asked her what design she wanted, my sister was drawn to hexagon quilts. Which kind of freaked me out a little. I love hand-sewing hexagons together english-paper-pieceing style but had only ever completed small projects. The thought of a bigger quilt felt daunting to me.

Until I took a class from Kati about machine pieceing hexagons. So awesome! She has great tutorials here and here showing how she does it. Takes some patience, but so much faster than hand sewing. I also found an awesome 9″ Hexagon die from AccuQuilt for my GO cutter and got it for myself for Christmas. Made the cutting SO slick. I think it’s my new favorite die. I plan to put it to good use.

The custom quilting on this quilt was done by Emily of Emerson Quilting. I love how she custom quilted each hexagon. All of Emily’s work is done free hand. Check out her website to see some of her amazing samples and great pricing.  If you’re looking for Sarah Jane fabrics they are still available at Fat Quarter Shop and Poppy Seed Fabrics.

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.

Off the Grid

Briefly checking in.
I’m doing some of this, this weekend.
It’s been good to have some uninterrupted time 
with the family and to get off the grid for a while.
I’m also doing some of this while I play navigator. (Well this, and trying to keep my boisterous kids from annoying other travelers or scaring away any local wildlife.)  Be back again soon. I hope you can relax and get off the grid a little bit yourself this weekend.

Hexagon pillow

A finally-finished project that I’ve been working on for, oh, maybe a year now? It’s been a little carry-along sewing project since the end of last summer, at least.  You can see it in progress here and here. I hand pieced the hexagons, and hand quilted after they were all attached.
I loved working on this one because I used little bits of many of my favorite fabrics.  Some are old from the stash, some are new Flower Sugar or other Lecien prints. I think I need to do another. Besides, I need a new carry-along project! 
I’m slightly worried that this cushion is going to get requisitioned for building forts and jumping over hot lava.  I may need to have a family meeting specifically to announce that this cushion is off limits. (At which point I’m sure they will all collectively roll their eyes and wonder why Mom is such a weirdo.)
Now quickly, a couple of Public Service Announcements:
The Sewing Summit
It’s the last week to register for The Sewing Summit! I can’t believe this party conference starts in less than two weeks. I’ve been excited to go since I first heard about it a year ago. Woo!  This week is the final week for registration.  If some of you are still on the fence on this one, Erin and Amy just announced a special Saturday-Only deal that includes 4 classes, catered lunch, swag and other conference perks for Saturday, October 8. Go here for more details.
De-Stash 4 Malawi at LilypadQuilting

Finally, many thanks to Jacque for the heads up on this awesome opportunity to not only destash, but to feel totally heroic while putting that fabric you don’t love anymore toward a superb cause. Jacque is hosting an opportunity to donate your un-needed fabric to the Kropfs who make clothing for orphans in Malawi, Africa so that they can attend school. I was so inspired when I heard about their efforts.  Visit LilyPad Quilting for the details.  Give away your fabric and your guilt all at the same time toward this sweet project – you could even win a prize. Thanks, Jacque for coordinating all of this!

PS. Thanks so much for the chair makeover love. I’m thinking you are all right – I’m going to leave as is. It’s easier that way too. :)