Thursday, March 31, 2011

Doll Quilt Swap Update!

Well I'm coming up on the deadline for the Doll Quilt Swap quite quickly...so many people have already shipped theirs out.  But I'm still working away.  I need to finish this up before I do anything else so that I can have it done in time.  So you may just be seeing this little quilt for a bit.  I'll see how much I can multi task.  ;)


This is a secret swap so my partner does not know that I am making a quilt for her.  Fun!  There is a story behind this quilt, but it must be revealed with the quilt itself because that would COMPLETELY give away who will be the future owner.  I did some more work on the upper part of the quilt last night....



DQS10 Mountain progress


I added in those mountains piece by piece.  Layering each over the next one.  They are  just fused in place right now but they will be appliqued with thread when I quilt it.  And the little village houses are a sweet addition to the mountain scape.  I still need to add the moon and some more stars as well as some detail on the houses, but some of that will come with the quilting.


So here is where I am currently.  I have the top and bottom pieces together.  So from now on you are seeing the finished quilt size.  I still need to add three sailor boys to the ship...that is probably what I will tackle next!


DQS10 Progress

Edited to link to Lynne's Fresh Sewing Day.


Fresh Sewing Day @ Lily's Quilts

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fun Purchases

Well I had hoped to have the circle tutorial done for you all by now, but it's just taking a little longer than I expected.  Doesn't everything?  I uploaded 50! pictures today just for the tutorial...that's a lot of pictures folks.  So I'm trying to get rid of things I don't need.  But I feel like I need them all!  So then I'm trying to put together some mosaics to consolidate the post.  Even with that, I may still split it into two posts.  We'll see.  I like to have everything together.


So, since I can't share that, I wanted to share some very fun items that have joined my sewing room this past week.  First up are these fabulous zippered boxes covered in one of Sandi Henderson's Henna Garden prints.


Henna Garden Boxes


Now I have to give a huge shout out to sweet Amy/Swanky Seahorse from Flickr.  She posted that she had seen these at her local TJ Maxx.  So I took off the first moment that I could and drove all over the city to Both of our TJ Maxx stores AND a Marshalls.  But to no avail.  As usual, my local stores did not have the cool stuff. :(   But then, the sweetest offer ever!  Amy volunteered to purchase them for me from HER local store and ship them to me.  Such a doll!  She doesn't even "know" me!  And she had quite the experience at her post office getting these to me.  So I'm forever grateful and quite confident that I do NOT want to go to her post office. lol.


Then, since I really am trying to not purchase fabric because it is sooo out of control at my house, I happened upon a great deal on thread from StitchSteals.com.  Have you all checked them out yet?  Watch out...I'm being an enabler!  They have fun deals on all things sewing and this thread deal was too good to pass up.  This box is normally sold for $80!  Trust me, I checked!  (although you can find a decent price on overstock.com if anyone is interested) Plus, how pretty are they?!

Lovely thread



I've had some people ask about them, so I will tell you that they are from a company called Melrose Threads I believe.  They are 100% polyester and have 600! yards per spool.  They are marketed towards embroidery machines, but I love this type of thread for machine quilting.  It adds such a pretty sheen to the quilt.


New Threads

Yum!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Circulation

Well I decided to finish the quilt top that I pulled out last week after 3 or so years.  2?  I can't remember!  Regardless, it's been a while.  This quilt was originally begun as a row robin swap.  The bee was set up so that we each made an entire row for the other people in the swap each month.  It was quite a bit to tackle at the time and there were no parameters set about style, fabrics, or design.  So I actually feel quite blessed that I received the lovely rows that I did.


I started my quilt out by making a row for myself with a white background and navy, green and blue fabrics.  Though it is far from perfect, this was my first attempt at a double wedding ring pattern.  It is done by applique and I followed the pattern from Eleanor  Burns "Egg Money Quilts" Book.  I think what I made they actually had designed as a table runner!


Double Wedding Ring Row


an arty shot that I did back then. ;)

Double Wedding Row for row swap


Double Wedding Ring Detail2



When I did the measurements this weekend, it turned out that with the sashing fabric I planned on using that 4 rows was perfect!  Too bad I figured that out after I started work on a fifth row.  Ahh well...something for another project. ;)  And I did use it to make my pieced circle tutorial too! (Which is coming tomorrow hopefully...it's very picture heavy and that takes a long time to edit).


So here it is! Isn't it fun how the circles go from largest to smallest from top to bottom?  I did not consciously plan that.  I was looking more at the use of negative space and the business of the rows for balance.  But it just so happens that also ended up meaning that the circles fell into a pattern of gradating sizes as well!  Woohoo!

Circulation



I used a couple of fabrics from an Anna Griffin line that works really well with the colors of the rows.

Circulation



The blue and white circle fabric is actually what I am going to use for the whole back as well.  I had enough and it works...so I'm not going to make my life overly complicated by piecing a back together from bits and pieces.  Sometimes simple is nice. ;)  (or just a good excuse for laziness!)


Circulation


With the sashing and the borders, I believe that this quilt is a twin size.  But it's certainly large enough to snuggle with.  And it will be going to an unnamed relative (just in case she reads this!) who needs a quilt from me.  It's been my intention for over a year to get one to her.


Here is a close up on the lovely row that sweet Tacha/Hanies (now of the FatQuarterly!) made for me.  Her row is probably my favorite of the four.  I wish I could claim that I made it...but even better...I get to keep it!  At least for a couple more months.  And then it should be in the hands of its new owner.


Circulation


I'm not completely sure how I will quilt this yet.  But I do know that I want to use the long arm machine at our local store and try something out.  Maybe some free form circular quilting.  I'll have two quilts to take in...let's see many more I can accumulate!


Circulation

A winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered the scrap pack giveaway from Hawthorne Threads.  It was so fun to read what you all had to say about rainbows.  They really do make everyone happy.  The geek in me particularly loved one of the last comments about someone's chemistry professor who created the colors of the rainbow in test tubes all to the Muppet's Rainbow Connection.  How can you not love science?!

Okay, my geekiness aside, one lucky lady won the scraps.



Christie, Describe Happy said...74

Rainbows make me think of Lucky Charms... those commercials were the best! Really looking forward to starting this quilt-a-long and those scraps would be so very welcome in the mix!



Congratulations Christie!  I'm so glad that you are going to be making the quilt too.  It really is quite fun.  And Lucky Charms....yum!  Gotta love a cereal with rainbow marshmallows.


I'll be back later today with pictures of the quilt top that I finished over the weekend. Yay!  I threw together that row quilt....just a few years later. ;)

Friday, March 25, 2011

What's on the Design Wall Today?

So I have been working away, but I'm tackling lots of projects and ideas at once, so progress in any one looks a bit slow to me.  But my design wall is COVERED with fabric right now for so many things.  Here's a little glimpse.


3 projects on the design wall


You can see my Bottled Rainbow blocks up there.  Yum!  They make me very happy!  My almost finished first row of the rainbow zig zag quilt I am making for our quilt along here is up there as well.  The rest of that quilt is strewn about throughout the sewing room.  I think it will come together pretty quickly. (Oh yesterday I even made a blog button for the quilt along.  But more info on that later!)


There's a blank spot on the wall because for some reason I had pulled off the pieces of my doll quilt already and had them on the floor.  But they really need to be on the wall to keep them out of the way.

DQS10 - more progress



And what is that other project?  The one that has mysteriously appeared and is covering the whole right side of the wall?


Design Wall March 2011



Well that is my second oldest project that I have hanging around in my sewing room just waiting to be completed.  It is all from my very first swap, a row robin swap from about 3 years ago or so.  Maybe 4.  I have very mixed feelings about this swap which is partially why I have never finished it.  But I'm going to let those go and tackle this again.



Fabric pieces for the sashing

Those are some fabrics that will be used in sashing or binding or backing.  I also have a fifth row that I am making because I (gasp!) THREW OUT one of the rows I received.  Yup.  I did.  Not going to apologize for it.  Long story, bad row...enough said.

But I will be replacing it with some (hopefully) fabulous blocks that I make that are whole pieced circles.  I've been meaning to write up that tutorial for you all on pieced circles ever since I made these blocks and others months ago...

My blocks for the 3 x 6 Bee - Beehive 16 - 4th Quarter


So be on the lookout, because in the next couple of days I will have that tutorial up for you all.  I will be showing you some different centers, but it's the basic technique that matters. ;)



Just another look at the wall...


What's on the design wall?


Must get to work...but first I have to get the little girlie.  She's letting me know that she's ready. ;)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hawthorne Threads Scrap Pack Giveaway!

*the giveaway is now closed*

Hello All! It's that time again. We haven't had a giveaway in a little while so I felt that we really should do something about that. So hopefully you've been following along and know why I'm doing a giveaway of scraps (from Hawthorne Threads!). What? You don't? Well then go check out the previous post on my Bottled Rainbow Quilt that I'm making as part of Rachel's/Stitched in Color's quilt along!


I know that a lot of people want to make this quilt but some people have had concerns about having enough scraps. I wish you all lived nearby because I would just invite you to come over and take some of mine! But since that is not the case, I'm doing what I can. Having a scrap giveaway.







Now the reality of "scraps" from Hawthorne Threads...first of all, they are all yummy because every fabric they have is yummy. And secondly, they are much more than small square pieces of fabric. These scraps easily can reach an 1/8th of a yard. So you will have some for another project as well. If you have not heard of Hawthorne Threads (shame on you! lol) then you should definitely check out their store to see all the luscious fabrics they have. You will also be interested to know that they have scrap packs in "cool", "warm", and "fresh" colorways. So you can try to figure out what colors you are missing and pick up one of those!



So, what do you need to do in order to get these yummy scraps?

1. Leave a comment about rainbows...anything about them. I just love rainbows. ;) (hey! that could be YOUR comment. lol)


2. Add my blog to your side bar on your blog (I am always forgetting to update this and I like it when giveaways do this because I can decide whether or not I like them enough to add to my sidebar. lol. Hopefully you all like me.)


3. Blog about Rachel's Quilt along and link to HER site in your post. (she doesn't know that I'm doing this!)


Good luck to everyone!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Blue Bottled Rainbows

Well first of all, thank you everyone! You are all sooo sweet! You definitely know how to make a girl feel good about herself. I am overwhelmed by how many of you like my haircut. lol. I definitely should have made the move sooner. ;) I'll make an effort to keep myself pulled together but I can't make any promises. Sometimes the girlie is slightly grumpy (like now because she some more teeth coming in) and it is all we can do to keep her peaceful. Strangely my ability to get out of my pajamas and get ready seem to have no effect on her demeanor. Hmmm.... Could she not care what I look like? Gasp! The Horror! That's okay...I know that she'll care in a couple of years. Or so I hear of little girls.


But in between getting my hair cut and dealing with a grumpy little one, I did manage to get some work done on my bottled rainbow quilt. I know...it's supposed to be a slow quilt along that I take at a leisurely pace. And yes, there are at least three other projects that are more "important" on my plate right now. But hey, sometimes you just need to work on what makes you happy. And these blocks have been doing that for me lately. So I'm rolling with it. Although I will seriously take a little break for a couple of weeks from them now.



I worked on the three bright blue blocks. (there is still a very dark blue/indigo one left) Oh how blue makes me happy. Come on...admit it. Blue makes you happy too.


Blue Bottled Rainbow Blocks



I had a fun time going through my blue scraps to find the perfect fabrics for these blocks. Yet again, some of my colors are a little different than Rachel's I believe. I used Kona cotton colors Peacock, Cyan and Marine for those who are interested.


The light blue one has some of absolute favorite fabrics of all time.


Peacock Bottled Rainbow Block


Right? Seriously cute fabrics. I love having a place to finally put some of the little pieces that I have been hoarding. One of those scraps is about 3/8" wide! I would NEVER keep scraps that small if it were not for the fabric that it is. ;)



The medium blue block has become what I like to call my "good folks" block. The blues in that line were just the perfect match for the Kona Cyan.


Cyan Bottled Rainbow Block




And the dark blue block has some scraps that have been gathered from here and there and every where!


Marine Bottled Rainbow Block



The Kona Marine is a Perfect match for the Ann Kelle Flowers! Love it! And aren't the giraffe's just the sweetest? That scrap I got almost a year ago from my friend Kaelin who won them in a giveaway online with many other luscious scraps.



It's so fun to see all the scraps come together and start to form a new life in this quilt. And I'm not only using scraps just from my scrap bin but I'm also using all scrap batting! Finally! A project that makes all those pieces of batting I couldn't bare to throw away worth keeping. I'm zig zagging the pieces together like Rachel shows on her blog and it's working sooo well. I'm feeling quite industrious! :)



One last look...just because they're so pretty.


3 Blue Bottled Rainbows



Now, are you still awake? Who's fallen asleep?

I think that it is time for another little giveaway! I'm having such a fabulous time going through my scraps making these blocks and I think you all would really enjoy this project as well. I'm ahead...so don't think that this project is too far along for you to join. It's really not. Like I said above, I worked on these, but now I need to put it aside and work on some other projects. So there is still plenty of time to start and join in Rachel's Quilt along. The link is in my sidebar.


But...for those of you already playing or have been putting it off because you don't feel you have enough scraps, I'm going to have another giveaway of a Hawthorne Threads Scrap pack! Woohoo! We love them and their awesome scraps. Seriously...they do not have one bad fabric, so you know the scraps will be good! Now we're not doing the giveaway today. Oh stop groaning. It's okay. We're doing it tomorrow. It's just easier to keep replies in a giveaway to one post. So go check out Rachel's quilt along and check back in tomorrow!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A new look...!

Well I have been sewing this weekend, but one of the bigger things that I did was get a new haircut. Now I don't normally post about getting my hair cut, but I changed things up a bit. I was feeling a little too "mom-ish" with my hair. I was simply pulling it back in a pony tail every day. Which is okay if you do a good ponytail. But I wasn't. lol. Nope. It was getting worse and worse. I really needed to perk myself up.

So I've taken (or rather had my husband take) some pictures that show the before and after. I saw the pictures and my first comment was "makes you wonder why it took me so long to do this." But my husband was very sweet and said that I'm normally more pulled together; it's just that I was about to get hair cut so I didn't "spruce up". However, I'm quite aware that it takes a lot these days for me to be pulled together. Hence the need for the change. ;)


So here are a couple of before shots. No makeup either, just to make things more dramatic. lol... Really...see what I told you about lazy?


Haircut - Before



Haircut - Before



and then....




really.... I was a little scared to do this....




but I trust my hair stylist....



so....





Here's what I looked like this morning!



New Haircut



Amazing what a little makeup does as well. I'm hopeful that this haircut will look effortless and actually BE effortless. That's what this quilting mom needs!



We'll be back to our regularly scheduled discussions on all things quilting tomorrow. But I wanted to make sure you could recognize me. ;)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Nothing but Sneak Peaks

Sometimes you don't have any finished projects to show...I mean really, how quickly can I throw together all these quilts?! I just don't have the time anymore...not with a 15 month old. So I humbly show you sneak peaks of works in progress. I have sooo many works in progress right now! I can hardly remember the days when I purchased fabric only for a project that I would be completing in a timely fashion. Oh how I used to think the ladies were strange that bought fabric just because it was pretty...ahh..youth. That's what can change in 15 or so years!



So in no particular order, here is a smattering of things that are on my plate...or rather on my sewing room floor.


This is a very very sneak peak, because I won't be showing you anything on this for a very long time. But it's too pretty to not show at least a peak. ;) Yum!


Project in the works



And thanks to all of you lovely readers, I was able to get a hold of the fabric that I needed for my doll quilt. It came in the mail yesterday and I just had to start working on the doll quilt again right away. So a little more progress has been made.



DQS10 Progress



I want to do all of the pieced parts first before I do any applique. So that's why you are just seeing a bunch of water right now. But there is lots more to come!!


A ship at sea




And finally a little sneak peak for all of you who said you would do a quilt along with me. I know that there are a number of them going on right now, but I'm still working on one for you all. I'm confirming measurements, colors and techniques...but here's a little something for you all to think about. ;)


Rainbow zig zag quilt along



So what do you all think? Anything you'd like to see more of?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A start on a rainbow!

I really feel like I should save this post for a couple of days from now on Saint Patrick's Day because I'm about to inundate you all with a lot of green. LOL. But sometimes it is hard for me to move on to the next project until I blog about the previous one. So in the spirit of moving forward, here's the work I managed to get done over the weekend on my bottled rainbows quilt.


My three green blocks for the Bottled Rainbow Quilt along



The quilt along is based on a rainbow as you might guess from the name, Bottle Rainbows. There are a number of colors in each shade, but I started out with the greens. I think I was just in a green mood...whatever that means. There are three different green blocks in the quilt. My colors I don't think are all the same ones that Rachel picked out because I am trying to go with what I have in my stash. Woohoo! So if my quilt looks a little different along the way than others, it's because I can't be troubled to purchase new fabric. Oh wait, because I'm trying to use up fabrics that I own. Right.


I started off with the darkest of my three greens and the one I think is the most different from the actual colors we're supposed to use. LOL. Little rebel me. No, really, I think it was just the one on top.


My "dark" green block



As you can see from that picture, this is a ticker tape quilt as you go style quilt. Both are methods I have not used in a full sized quilt before! So that is fun. It's always good to try something new! I'm using the zig zag method to secure my pieces because I want to have as few stray threads as possible. I'm not a huge fan of loose little strings.



Notice my helper in this picture? :)

Here comes trouble!




I was planning on making this quilt for myself, but I think that someone else wants it!


Someone thinks that this quilt is for her!




I'm trying to use only actual scraps that I have for this quilt top, rather than "creating" scraps from my stash. I don't know if I'll be able to do that for every shade of every color. But let me tell you, my green scrap box does not even look like it has been touched three blocks later! That's partly why I started with the greens!



Yummiest of scraps!




I have such a mix of scraps at this point that I couldn't even tell you where many of them came from...many bees, swaps, giveaways, scrap purchases and projects later, my scrap bins are over flowing! And I'm trying to pull out some of those "coveted scraps" and give them a happy home!


Medium Green Block for Bottled Rainbows Quilt along



This light green block might be my favorite of the three, but really I love them all!


Lightest of the green blocks



It's been really nice to work on something for no other reason than because I want to. I'm not making it for anyone (well maybe the girlie) and I don't have a time limit or deadline. I'm not running it, designing it, selling it, or publishing it. I'm just enjoying it.



Light green bottled rainbow block




I'm making the scraps bigger than some people because I really like a less cluttered look and it means less chances of stray threads. I'm too OCD for stray threads! lol. I like a nice mix of large blocks and the very occasional tiny scrap. The back looks really cool too with the batting...


Quilt Block Back



I'm happy to use the Quilt as You Go method with this style quilt because it helped me with the lack of stabilizing that often happens with these ticker tape quilts. I'm just not laid back enough to make something that deliberately frays and doesn't have the proper stabilization for the amount of stitching that is needed. So when Rachel decided that we would do the Quilt as You Go method I was thrilled. ;)



Oh yes, and this really is a leisurely quilt along. I got ahead. I didn't really mean to, but it just made more sense with my scraps and my brain to do all the blocks of a certain color at one time. So three down, and many more fun colors to come. I haven't decided which to do next though. Maybe the blues? I have tons of scraps in those colors as well. ;)



Three green blocks!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Help me find this fabric!

*thank you all of you fabulously wonderfully sweet people! I now have ordered my fabric! I'll be sure to post pics of the doll quilt as it progresses.*

Okay, I'm desperate. I have a fabric that i NEED for my doll quilt and I need to get it soon. Yes, perhaps I procrastinated a bit and could have found this earlier, but honestly I didn't realize that I would need more!


You see, I'm making a special doll quilt for a special someone...and this is just the beginning of it.


Doll Quilt Swap 10



I've paper pieced a paper hat boat. It's too cute isn't it? I'm very much in love with it, even if it a little dodgey because I really didn't design it as well as I would have liked. And thus begins my need for more fabric. You see, the water needs to be much wider around the boat. And I've already used up every scrap of the fabric that I'm using. I really must have more!


So I'm looking for this fabric: It's Patricia Bravo's Living Elements in Blue.

Patricia Bravo - Living Elements



I did have some sweet international offers, but I really need it more quickly than that. I can't wait two weeks for it to get here. :( So I'm searching for someone who knows that their local quilt shop has some, or has some in their stash that they can swap or sell, or knows another friend who has some. Or maybe you've found an online store that won't charge me $15 a yard for it!


Can anyone help? I promise it will make this quilt more beautiful!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My Pal Penny! All Mixed Up and on a Retreat!

My friend Penny, rather famously known as sewtakeahike on Flickr and her blog (don't you just love that name?!) is enormously talented. Yup. She is.


Penny is in my bee, Busy Bees, and has made some killer blocks!


Lucky Tacha got this fabulous block.

Tacha's block


and Penny gave her this one too as a little something extra...Tacha has a robot screen printed fabric that she makes...

Robot



She recently made these spools and scissors for Kathy for our Joy of Sewing challenge. So cute!

Happy Sewing for Kathy (pinkchalk)



Here's her All Mixed Up quilt top based off of the Curlicue pattern by Chasing Cottons. Gorgeous!


all mixed up quilt top




She's also a part of the fabulous Bee Ringo Pie. I'm completely jealous that I am not part of this bee because they all make the MOST fabulous blocks for each other. Now THAT is the kind of bee you want to be part of! lol. But it's okay, I'm in plenty of bees of my own...



Look at this delicious log roll cake she made for Anna during a desert theme. See...she's crazy talented at paper piecing!

Anna's dessert block



Most recently, the theme for her own month in the bee is "All things Kitcheny". She made this wonderful mixer block for herself. And it almost makes me want to bake. ;)

Kitchen Aid




I keep jokingly asking her when she is going to teach me all that she knows. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that she actually is going to be teaching people what she knows! Oh how I would love to be there!! It won't work for me unfortunately, but I thought that maybe there were some of you who could make it to her weekend retreat. You'd be in for a treat. Where is it, you ask? When is it, you ask? Well I'm so glad that you asked because I have all the information for you. ;)


When: The evening of Friday, April 15 through the afternoon of Sunday April 17
What: We will have workshops focusing on improvisational and paper pieced blocks including basic block design and construction as well as a workshop on advanced block design.

INN AT CITY PARK
1734 W Mountain Avenue
Fort Collins, Colorado 80521
PHONE: 970.672.4725 • Toll Free: 866.870.3246
EMAIL: innatcitypark@yahoo.com
http://innatcitypark.com/quilt.html


Someone please go and support Penny and make us all envious of the wonderful things she teaches you! I know if will be a great time!

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