Mini Quilt with Cotton Supremes Fabric

A few months ago I was contacted by RJR Fabrics about creating a project with some of their Cotton Supreme solids. I had never used Cotton Supremes before and was really impressed. They are a nice weight – not too sheer – with a tight weave, but still have nice drape. I was given the choice of what colors to choose and when I saw the soothing, beachy shades of blue I was immediately drawn to them. (Maybe because they brought back happy feelings about our beach trip last year.) 
RJR has hosted a series featuring their Cotton Supreme solids. You can see the other designers and links to their projects at the RJR Facebook Page. It’s really inspiring to see the variety of styles, projects, and colors used.

This is the little mini quilt I made solely with the solids. The colors I worked with are: Sea Glass (234), Blue Skies, (264), Cove (294), Notting Hill (309), Beach House (242), and Nile Green (90).  This little quilt (22.5” x 22.5”) is a mini version of a quilt in my book, Fabulously Fast Quilts.

Here is the big version (63″ x 81″) from the book called Roundabout.
I had a little text print remnant on hand that worked perfectly for a pieced back. I quilted this little guy myself on the BERNINA 710.

And if these colors look slightly familiar, I liked them so much that I also used all of these solids in the Churn Dash quilt for the Quilt Along.

The official names of the colors I worked with are: Sea Glass (234), Blue Skies, (264), Cove (294), Notting Hill (309), Beach House (242), and Nile Green (90).  And RJR has a fat quarter bundle of these Cotton Supreme solids to give away. To enter, just leave a comment on this post. Giveaway open until Wednesday, April 30 at midight, MST. GIVEAWAY CLOSED.
I love the soothing colors! Can’t wait to have a take me away moment at the beach! Summer can’t come fast enough.
For a great selection of RJR Cotton Supremes, check out Pink Castle Fabrics. They have most of these colors, as well as a huge variety more, in stock.

Playing with Kona Solids

Later this month I am teaching a class at a social media conference called SNAP. I am so thankful to Robert Kaufman for sponsoring the fabric for this class. So you can imagine my excitement when a heavy box arrived at my door last week with this gorgeous visual feast inside.

This is a class geared toward newbie quilters, so I’ve been working on a simple project that we could sew all together in class. Obviously Charm Squares are the perfect basic to start with – no cutting involved and we can just sit right down and sew.

The Kona Solids Classic Colors charm squares give a great variety of color with lots of options to choose from, so I figured that would give everyone a place to express their own identity. I divided one collection of charm squares into five different color ways to create five different blocks. I’m excited to put each one to work.
I decided to teach 16″ blocks made from good old half-square triangles. Hard to beat the options available there – and with the variety of color choices, combined with the myriad of HST layout options, I think it’s going to be a fun class. I’ll also teach the option of turning it into a quilted pillow cover. I need to finish making my samples quick. These are the ones I got done yesterday. (And you can bet I used my new favorite method to square them up!) I’m excited to play with the other colors as well. 

Definitely one of my favorite parts of the whole quilting thing, is playing with colors. I’m kind of enamored with solids, I think ever since my classic solids Farmer’s Wife Mini quilt and then the Virtual Quilting Bee version made with solids. Also evidenced by two other solids quilts in the works right now. I guess I’m a little infatuated.

P.S. If you are looking for a special new dress just for the First day of April, you may be interested in this Vintage Sheet Dress tutorial. 😉

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.

Farmer’s Wife Quilt Along meets Modern Solids

A few months ago I was invited by Andrea of KnittyBitties to participate in a collaboration project called Farmer’s Wife for the Home.
If you’ve been around quilting-blog-world you’ll remember the popular inception of the Farmer’s Wife Quilt Along by Angela and Amanda last fall.  And it was so much fun to see the variety of quilt-block creations out of classic quilt-block patterns.  At the time my plate was full and I just knew I couldn’t add one more project, but I loved seeing all the creative inspirational eye-candy floating around flickr and blogs.
Well, KnittyBitties Andrea had a brilliant idea for those of you out there like me: mini creations using the The Farmer’s Wife blocks, thus joining in the FWQA fun, without the serious, long-term commitment of making all 111 blocks.  To add to the fun, she invited a few of us to play along and to only use the fabric she sent us: A Kona Solids colored charm pack and some yardage of gray and neutral off-white Kona Solids (generously donated by Robert Kaufman fabrics.)
I love all those pretty solids and used them to create monochromatic (for the most part anyway) blocks from The Farmer’s Wife collection. I don’t think I ever would have tried it with out this challenge, and I think the results are fantastic! Isn’t it amazing how the vibrant solids give those very traditional quilt blocks a modern twist?

I decided to make them into a mini-quilt/table-topper using this Table Topper tutorial. I substituted the Farmer’s Wife blocks for the 9-patch blocks in that tutorial.

Not wanting to let any of that fantastic color go to waste (in true Farmer’s Wife fashion), I used up the rest on the back and the binding.  And I think I like the back equally as much as the front.

The quilting is super simple, straight line quilting. Not perfect at all – I just eyeballed it as I went, so there’s a little bit of imperfection going on. Pretty much all I’m capable of, but it kind of adds to the modernity (good word, eh?) of the quilt.

Be sure to check out the rest of the inspiration as part of this collaboration. You can see the other posts and projects here:

Monday, September 10th – Erin of Two More Seconds
Tuesday, September 11th – Kerri of Lovely Little Handmades
Wednesday, September 12th – Jodi of Pleasant Home
Thursday, September 13th – Jody of Everyday Beatiful
Friday, September 14th – Amy of Diary of a Quilter
Saturday, September 15th –Andrea of Knitty Bitties

And believe it or not, all of the projects for this collaboration are going to be given away, including mine. Yes way. To enter, Andrea has set up a snazzy Rafflecopter entry system that can give you lots of chances to be entered to win one of these projects or a bundle of your own Kona Solid goodness. All entries go through the Rafflecopter system. If you’re feeling a little baffled by Rafflecopter, here is a quick video to show you how it works

a Rafflecopter giveaway

But the best take away from all of this – for me anyway – is the reminder to step out of your comfort zone once in a while – you might be pleasantly surprised by the results.