Thursday, June 30, 2011

Making Katie Jump

So,  I'm still on the path to finish up some of my bee quilts.  I have entirely too many as mentioned before because I was in a ridiculous number of bees the past year.  And to think that I had to leave at least three of them because I was so overwhelmed (don't worry, I did it the right way!).  I would have even more quilts to make!!


And the one I am tackling next is my quilt made from blocks from my Busy Bees group.  A year ago I sent out some khaki kona and a whole bunch of katie jump rope fabric.  My instructions:  make a 12.5" block with one word as inspiration, triangle.


What I received:  Some of the most beautiful blocks I've ever had the pleasure of owning!  Each one is as unique as the person who made it.  And there were some pretty fabulous people who made blocks for me.  This was my first "dream bee".  I started it because I had lofty aspirations of working with some of the people that I most admired around the quilting world.  And to my surprise, I had quickly acquired a group of really impressive women.  Still surprises me...they weren't there because of me.  Trust me.  People came for each other!  And I'm so grateful that they did.



But I've been baffled with what to do with the blocks ever since.

Some of my Busy Bee Blocks



I think in an odd way I've been intimidated to do something with them because I want to make sure I make a quilt worthy of all the people who contributed to it. I don't know why I get these hang ups. I also wasn't totally confident in my idea for the quilt and the fabrics I chose. I usually have a really strong vision for a quilt before I start (makes sense, right?), but with this quilt I just sent the fabric and relied on the creativity of the group to help make the blocks work.



Busy Bees Katie Jump Rope Quilt


But ask 12 different people to make a block with the same fabrics and same inspiration and you get A LOT of variance in the result. Fabulous...but different. So my quest became how to work all of the blocks into the same quilt.



Busy Bees Katie Jump Rope Quilt



And a huge part of that was contingent on finding the right background fabric. I had this obsession with making this an all "katie jump rope" quilt. But you know what? Those prints are all really busy. And I just couldn't see one acting as the background. I thought that you would totally lose the beauty of the blocks. So it took me a year to figure out that it would be okay to add a fabric that is not part of the line. Phew! I'm a little slow sometimes. But I love the fabric I chose.



Busy Bees Katie Jump Rope Quilt



And I'm attempting to be different, so I am grouping some of the blocks together in clusters. I'm still experimenting with the layout, but here is a general idea.


Busy Bees Katie Jump Rope Quilt




There are some sets of four blocks and a few single ones. I also plan on throwing in some smaller squares of just the KJR fabrics framed out in the Kona Snow.



Busy Bees Katie Jump Rope Quilt



I'll leave you with a pic of my absolute favorite block. I know that you're not supposed to say one is your favorite, but it's been a year and I feel okay doing it. ;) Plus I love plenty of things that these ladies have made over the year...this just happens to be the favorite one of MY quilt. And it just so happens that it is made by my lovely friend Lynne.


Busy Bees Katie Jump Rope Quilt



I'm thinking of giving this one to my nephew who is headed off to college in the fall. Is it boy friendly enough?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Zig and A Zag : First Sewing Instructions

This post is part of an ongoing series of posts for A Zig and A Zag Quilt Along I'm hosting here on my blog.  You can join in at any time!  You will find the links to all previous steps in my sidebar.


A Zig and A Zag : Sewing the Strips together


In what I hope is not THE most anticlimactic quilt along ever, I give you the oh so exciting next steps of the ZZ quilt along.  ( Ha!  I just realized I should have named this quilt ZZ Top!)


Ready?  It's complicated.  It involves sewing long strips of fabric together.  Can we handle it?


Please....you all can do this with one hand tied behind your back!  Drum roll please...



Sewing Instructions:
 
    • Separate your colored strips into groups of two strips by color.  You should have 4 strips per color, so you are just subdividing this into 2 groups of 2.

   • Place (1) white strip with each group of (2) colored strips (of the same color!)

   • Sew along the long edges of the strips, placing a colored strip on either side of the white strip.  Take note of your fabrics if they are directional and you care about that.  For instance if you are using a fabric like Tufted Tweets, you may want your chairs to lay in the same direction.


A Zig and A Zag : Sewing the Strips together


  •Pressing your seams:  I don't want to tell you how to press your seams, open or to the side...I think that is very much personal preference.  However, I tend to press mine to the side unless I need to press them open for a particular pattern.  Either way works with this quilt.   If you do press your seams to the side, then you will want to press all of the light colored fabric strips in one direction and all of the dark colored fabric strips in the other.  This will allow us to lock the seams together later on and eliminate bulk.  (Pressing all of your seams open will also let you do this.)

So, I will press all of my light colored strips down and all of my dark colored strips up.  This is where you may want to pay attention to the direction of your print...again think about those tufted tweets chairs....do you want them upside down or right side up?


A Zig and A Zag : Pressing the seams


And that is it for this week!  Hold tight and we'll start some fun angled cuts next week.


And if you are just joining us,  you can feel free to make this quilt at any time.  You can find the links to the posts about the quilt along in my side bar.  And let me know if anything is confusing.  I always respond as long as I can find your email!

And once again, for those who would like it, here is the code for the blog button for the quilt along!




A Zig and A Zag Quilt Along


<div align="center"><a href="http://cuttopieces.blogspot.com/" title="A Zig and A Zag Quilt Along"><img src="http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s316/pingpong4614/azigandazag.jpg" alt="A Zig and A Zag Quilt Along" style="border:none;" /></a></div>



And come over and join us on flickr in my group Cut To Pieces and share your progress!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Vulnerabilty

I'm a total Gleek. Yep, that's right a Gleek. I'm a geek too, but in this case I do mean the crazy word I said. What does that mean? Well some of you probably know immediately, but for those who don't...it means that I love the show Glee. I really just love getting to see musical numbers performed every week. I'm a singer and I just enjoy other singers!

But Angela, you say, the season is over. They are starting reruns of the last season and you've already watched every episode an obscene number of times thanks to your DVR. Why yes. That is true. But I have a new love..."The Glee Project". It's showing on Oxygen right now and is a reality show about hopeful actors auditioning for a reoccurring guest role on Glee next season. And I'm loving it. I'm such a sap...but it's more singing, more teen angst. And this week. More Vulnerability.



(pendant available from triplewordscore)


I know. Reality tv is such a mixed bag. Is it really reality for a bunch of talented actors and singers to audition for a show together for 10 weeks? No, probably not. But that's not stopping me from enjoying the heck out of it.



Maybe it's because I stayed up to watch the midnight showing or maybe it's because life is in a lot of turmoil right now, but the theme of vulnerability is one that really struck a chord (pardon the pun) with me. I can't tell you how vulnerable I feel every day when I put something out for the world to see. I'm always worried that someone will not like the quilt that I've made for them...or someone will see what I've made and think "that's nothing special".


It's difficult to find the confidence sometimes to post constantly and feel fresh and new and exciting and upbeat and enthusiastic and... I wonder sometimes if you really knew me if you would still read what I'm writing and check out what I'm making. I do know some of you would because you have indeed met me and still stick around. lol. But I'm just a normal person doing normal things. And I don't know why people are interested in someone so NORMAL.



(image courtesy of keepcalmgallery.com)


This normal gal is struggling to put together a quilt that contains some of the most beautiful blocks I've had the pleasure to be given. But it is alluding me. And it has been for a year! We're talking Katie Jump Rope blocks made by some of the most talented quilters out there in blogland...seriously. And I can't figure out what to do with them.


Some of my Busy Bee Blocks
(some of the blocks from the bee)


So feeling a little, and sometimes a lot vulnerable, (especially about this post!) this gal is headed off to bed...and will hopefully dream of a way to make this quilt make sense. Although I suppose life isn't too bad when you feel burden from a quilt layout. ;) I do try to occasionally keep things in perspective.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Circulation Complete!

Phew! Sorry I've been MIA for a few days. Life is still crazy around here as we're still at the in laws and my husband just took off for a much needed break with some friends. (it's okay because I abandoned him to go on my quilting retreat weekend when we were packing up the house the week before we moved.) I know that some of you think I am crazy...and I probably am...but I swear that quilting makes me feel just a slight bit more in control.

So I have been doing a lot of it. A lot.

I've been baking up a little something Moda style that I hope to share with you soon. It's yummy! And there's a little Baby fever GOing around that I will share soon too. (I told you it's been nuts! Oh and don't misinterpret...that wasn't announcement that my family will be growing!)



But today, I get to share with you another quilt that I finished up and just this hour handed over to its new owner, my darling Sister-in-law. She has always been there to help us when we really need it, flying across the country to help us out. I've been wanting to get a quilt to her for over a year! So I can check that off my list as of today. Woohoo!


I give you Circulation.


Circulation


Some of you may recall from when I finished the quilt top that I mentioned that this quilt was made up of rows from my very first online bee! I had very mixed feelings about how the bee ended up, so I put this aside for a few years. And I can honestly say now that I love it.


Circulation aka lots of Circles



It ended up the length of a twin sized quilt but not quite the width...my math went wrong somewhere. ;) But that's okay because it actually makes for a perfect quilt to snuggle with on the couch! I didn't realize that the width of a quilt can make it a little cumbersome when trying to snuggle (at least for me) but I always want the length. No lap quilts for me! I need my whole body to be covered.


Kissing Frogs!



It all started with the double wedding ring row that I made, and then went around the world with new rows being created by each person. I put them all together, quilted it on the now (in my mind) infamous long arm machine, and finally bound it here back in Indiana. It's been on quite a journey.


Double Wedding Ring



Circulation - Row by Tacha



Flying Geese row



The binding I had intended to be a solid green...but with all of the moving I simply cannot find the box that I put that fabric in. I know I put it some place odd, but I thought I knew. Oh well. I refused to buy any new fabric for a binding, so I simply had to find another green that worked. This print was about as close to a solid as I could get from my stash and I think I love it more than I do the solid! Yay for happy accidents!


Circles and Stripes



So I had a very fulfilling couple of weeks of finishing off a number of quilts. And two of them are already given away. But I had to capture this never to be seen again moment of a pile of completed quilts! These have been such a long time coming. I feel like a weight has been lifted.


Piles of goodness



My precious!



I hope to be able to start putting together more of my bee quilts now. I have all these blocks made just waiting to be put together into quilts! Let's see, the Ravishing in Red Bee, the Busy Bees, the Bee Modern Too, my blocks from the upcoming book (I made all of them twice...one in a set of coordinating fabrics), my 3 x 6 Bee blocks, my Bottled Rainbow blocks... the quilt along quilt I'm doing with you all... You see why I'm so happy to have some finally finished?! That's 7 quilts already begun. And don't let me fool you. There's more. I'll be honest.


So don't laugh. But I really want to get back to a place where I only have a couple of projects going.


Seriously.


I hear you laughing.


Come on...I mean it! So hopefully I can keep up a bit of the quilting hyper drive and knock off some of these projects. Hmmm...isn't quilting supposed to be a slow and ponderous craft?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Feeling a little sentimental about blogland

I'm sitting here, up too late, and going through just some of the many blogs that I try to follow. There are so many out there!! I know I can never keep up with them all. But I'm feeling kind of sentimental about this whole online quilting community and the support that so many people give to so many other people. I love to read blogs that clearly have really loyal followers and see that people are excited for that person's work and life. I love that as a blogger, I can post something random and at least one person out there will make me feel a little bit more normal about it by agreeing with me or consoling me or whatever.



I truly love the way the quilting community is so world wide spread. I literally never know when someone comments on my blog for the first time what country they are from. How awesome is that? Oh and I strangely seem to have a fairly strong international following. I'm wondering if it is because I post late at night and that works well time zone wise for others. I digress....



In a world where it is often easier to gripe about things than compliment people for their hard work, I would love to give you all a chance to say something that you love about blogland. And I'll start!

• I love that I can keep in touch with friends from all over the country now (especially my NOLA Peeps!)that I have actually met in person...and I know I'll meet a ton more at the sewing summit!

• I'm so appreciative of all of the tutorials that people take the time to write up. That's hard work and some people spit them out like it's nothing. But don't be fooled. They are working hard to do that for all of us.

•I love that one of the funniest people I know lives in England and I've never actually met her...and I can't even remember how we started chatting. But I'm so grateful for that friendship.


I could go on and on, but I want you all to feel free to share something you love about this quilting community of ours. Maybe it's your favorite blogger (who me? why thank you!)...or the fact that there seems to be a quilter for all of us. Someone we especially identify with. Whatever! Like I said, I'm feeling sentimental and I'd love if some of you joined me on this Anne of Green Gables - esque experience of sharing our feelings.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Neapolitan Dreams Complete!

I'm so excited to show you another quilt that I've finally completed. Neapolitan Dreams aka The Pink Quilt is finished and ready to go to its new 6 year old owner. I started this quilt with the help of my bee, Pretty in Pink. Each member made a quarter log cabin block for me and I put them all together with sashing and on point.


Neapolitan Dreams



The outer border of brown with colored polka dots helps keep this quilt from being just a little TOO pink. ;) After all, I do want her to love this when she is older too. I tried to pick fabrics that were not innately juvenile...so it really can grow with her.



Neapolitan Dreams - Complete!



One of the things that I am most proud of with this quilt is the sheer amount of fabric I used from my stash. I proudly decimated a good portion of my pink stash with this quilt. I found that I was not using my pink fabrics because people tend to shy away from the color. So I went all out and made a REALLY pink quilt. But strangely not too pink.



Neapolitan Dreams - detail




The sashing I fussy cut from a random running floral fabric that I bought on clearance from Joann's years ago. I felt very good the day that I finally found a home for that fabric! And I really love it in this quilt. I knew it had the ability to be something special, but it took a few years before it became part of this quilt.



Neapolitan Dreams - close up




The backing is the only fabric that I purchased in the making of this quilt (well at least for THIS quilt!). I did not have enough fabric for the back of this twin sized quilt, even with piecing things together. I tend to like a simple back to a quilt anyway, so I went with a full 5 yards of a lovely older Joel Dewberry Print. It turned out to be a great scale print for a quilt back of this size. And it has a different but complimentary look to the front.



Neapolitan Dreams - backing




I even made the binding with left over scraps from the strips used to make the quilt blocks. I pieced together strip upon strip and had enough to make the whole binding. But I'll admit, I think I'll be happy to see the end of some of that fabric. ;) Despite my random quilting attempt on the long arm machine, the quilt turned out okay. The busyness of the prints helps to hide the quilting in this case. ;)



Neapolitan Dreams - blocks and sashing




So yay! A completed quilt. It's been a long time coming. I've had the fabrics for a long time, the blocks were made a bit ago, the top was pieced, the quilt was quilted...and now years after the fabric purchase, a story has been told.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Zig and A Zag : First Cutting Instructions

This post is part of an ongoing series of posts for A Zig and A Zag Quilt Along I'm hosting here on my blog.  You can join in at any time!  You will find the links to all previous steps in my sidebar.


Okay! I know that some of you are anxious to get a start on this quilt and I don't want to keep you waiting. Don't worry if you don't have your fabric yet, you can start at any time. I'm not going anywhere. ;)


Just a quick reminder of what we are doing here.

zig zag quilt



I've had some questions about different background options if you are doing the rainbow version of this quilt. It's a little tricky because you are looking for another neutral that shows off the 14 different fabrics. But I threw together a few options for you to see. I really like the light aqua one personally but I'm such a sucker for blue.


Zig Zag Background Options



The aqua plus the original and a couple of other options.

Zig Zag Fabric Options



So...you want to get started?! I do! I do! Because this quilt is strip pieced, the first step is fairly simple...we'll be cutting some strips. Go figure. Since we are working on all of the colors at one time, there will not be too much to each step each week. Just realize that you are doing the step for 7 rows and 14 fabrics...so it adds up. But trust me, it is more efficient to make the quilt this way rather than a row at a time.



For my own clarity I will refer to the colors throughout my instructions from the original rainbow version with a white background.


Cutting:


Background Fabric

• Cut (2) white strips measuring 1 7/8" wide per fabric the width of the fabric. With 14 fabrics that adds up to (28) white strips measuring 1 7/8" wide by 45".

• Cut (1) white strip measuring 6 7/8" wide per fabric the width of the fabric. With 14 fabrics that adds up to (14) white strips measuring 6 7/8" wide by 45". Then cut each strip into (6) 6 7/8" squares. You will have a total of (84) white squares 6 7/8" x 6 7/8".


Rainbow Fabrics

• Cut (4) strips measuring 1 7/8" wide per fabric the width of the fabric. So you will have (4) strips of each of the 14 rainbow fabrics measuring 1 7/8" x 45".




And that is it for the first step! So there are a lot of strips to cut and many of them are just slightly less than 2" wide. Do yourself a favor and put a new rotary blade in your cutter. It will make your life easier. Also, I prefer to cut skinny strips like this with a really long ruler and cut across the folded width of the fabric. So you end up cutting about 22" at a time. But do whatever works for you!


And I've started a couple of threads in my group over on flickr for you all to share in. Unfortunately blogs aren't really set up for all of us to talk to each other. But flickr is...so hop on over there and share your blogs, your photos, your questions, your progress...heck share whatever you want! But that will be a great source to get support.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Blocks and Blogs

Oh goodness...I'm having one of those days where I find a link on one blog and it takes me to another...and then another... and before I know it, I've spent almost of all of the little girlie's naptime frittering away my time on things that are not my priority. But boy are they fun!

I'm getting desperate to do a blog makeover. I'm a designer by nature and I hate being limited by my own ignorance of computer code and programs like photoshop. People do such cool things!! There are some really helpful tutorials out there, but I definitely need to start with blog designing for dummies. Because I've about hit the wall on my ability to change anything. Hopefully I'll be able to sweet talk my brother (a computer programmer) into helping me out. But I really want to learn it all myself. I'm stubborn like that. Maybe when life settles down a bit I'll see if I can take a computer class at one of the local technical schools. I just want to get really comfortable with graphics programs so that I can make my own designs! That's not asking too much, right?



But blog hopping aside, I actually have been very focused lately with my sewing. One of the things that I've managed to work on are a couple of bee blocks. I have one more left to do, but hey...it's always that way.


For Busy Bees, Katy asked us all to make a block that she's delightfully ::cough:: termed "Scrap Vomit". Hmmm...I'm not sure I could sleep under a quilt named that after 9 months of total sickness with my pregnancy, but not everyone has my hangups. ;) I actually really love the design and it's even more awesome in person.


Scrap Vomit Block for Katy


It's going to look great when all of the blocks are together. But watch out, because Amber snuck in a creepy clown scrap into hers that apparently has been making its way around the world being passed from one crazy quilter to another. It finally has a home in scrap vomit. (Seriously...I can't even write that name and not shudder! lol)



And Stephanie asked us all to make a book block for her in Bee Modern Too. I've been wanting to make one of these for a while and I may have encouraged Stephanie to do this as her quilt for the bee. ;) She didn't want any embroidery or anything, so I tried to make the books look different with some creative piecing. I'm tempted to keep this little block, but I know that it really belongs with Stephanie.


Book shelf block for Stephanie



What's next? Well both of these glorious rolls have already been attached to their respective quilts by machine.


Bindings!



And just this morning I finished hand sewing the pink binding into place...so that means that I finished a quilt today!! Woohoo! But I need to wash it and dry it so that it gets all crinkly and quilty. Then I'll show you that one.


Then I just need to hand sew this one in place...and I will have another quilt done!

Green Binding



Woohoo for being productive even when your life is a bit crazy. Oh and the act of sale is finally supposed to go through on our house in NOLA, so we should be officially homeless today! Who knew that was such a good thing? We prefer to say "mortgage free".

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Stacked Coins

Well, the first of four(!) soon to be completed quilts is bound, washed and ready to head to its new little owner. Remember how I spent all that time right before I moved using the long arm quilting machine? Well, here is the baby quilt that I quilted on that oh so disastrous morning. I love how washing a quilt and letting it crinkle up makes everything seem okay. ;)


Stacked Coin Baby Quilt!



This stacked coin quilt was started at least 2 years ago...maybe three now. Who can keep track? I know at the time, stacked coins were UBER popular which is why I started one. ;) And I also know that I used almost all of my scraps in blue and green at the time for this quilt. Which really is the most funny part about this whole thing. I could probably make 15 of these quilts right now from my blues and greens alone (although they are the scraps I have the most of). I know that I bought that solid brown at a local quilt store in New Orleans that was never able to really reopen after Katrina. So I bought the whole bolt of it! Which again is funny to me because I hardly ever buy brown now. But it's all super cute together.



Stacked Coin Baby Quilt - made from scraps!



I used a simple meander stitch and as I mentioned above, I used a long arm machine. I KNOW I didn't save any time on this particular quilt but I really should have...so let's pretend that I did. ;) I had grand schemes at different times of adding applique or doing intricate quilting, but I think the reason that I kept putting off finishing this top is because I really knew that less is more with this little quilt. The light green thread is enough interest on the solid brown and I think that this will be perfect for a little newborn boy my good friend just had.



Stacked Coin Baby Quilt



There is a light green striped home dec fabric on the back of the quilt...which I love to do for baby quilts because you can buy a yard and a half of 54" fabric and not have to seam anything for the back. And it's durable for throwing on the floor...as all good baby quilts end up there. Let's be honest. They're not in the beds, so they may as well be on the floor! The binding is the fabric I showed the other day, from penny lane by riley blake. I purchased it on my first day in South Bend and I used it for my first quilting project here as well. Yay me for using my fabric within days of purchase. That so rarely happens these days.



And just because I know you've been missing some shots of the little miss, here she is being not so cooperative for the camera. But still looking super cute in her outfit from Kaelin! She turned 18 months a couple of days ago!!


Little miss in her outfit from Kaelin

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Zig and A Zag : The Beginning

This post is part of an ongoing series of posts for A Zig and A Zag Quilt Along I'm hosting here on my blog.  You can join in at any time!  You will find the links to all previous steps in my sidebar.


A Zig and A Zag Quilt Along



Well I hope that you are ready to dive into this quilt with me! It's finally time to start my quilt along, A Zig and A Zag. This is a double zig zag quilt pattern that I designed specifically to share with all of you. A little fine print before we begin. Please feel free to share the pattern with anyone who may be interested. Tell your friends, tell your family, tell your husbands (who I know will especially care. ;) ). However, please credit the pattern back to me and my blog here. Also feel free to create this quilt for small scale production and personal use, but once again, please give credit back to me for the design. Do not reproduce the pattern for distribution or sale without my consent. You all know the deal. Play nice and Have fun!


Phew! With all those details out of the way we can get down to the really fun stuff, like picking out the fabrics! Just a reminder of what the quilt design is:


zig zag quilt



This is a 7 row zig zag quilt laid out in a rainbow fashion with two shades per color. As discussed before, if you hate rainbows or just love other colors feel free to create this in whatever fashion suits your fancy. There are so many great options out there and a lot of you have already commented on what a boy friendly pattern this is. I'd love to see a little boy (or big boy!) option made.


This pattern is for a quilt sized somewhere in the 60" x 84" range. So it is intended to be twin sized. Again, if this is too much of a commitment or you simply prefer to make a smaller version, this can be easily downsized. I'll let you all figure out the adjustments for fabric requirements, but I will say that making this with 5 rows instead of 7 and 4 blocks instead of 6 per row should give you a nice crib sized quilt approximately 45" x 60".



But let's assume that someone wants to make the quilt as I have it laid out. ;) In that case, you will need the following.

Fabric Requirements:
• 1/4 yard cut of 14 different fabrics. There is a light and dark tone for each color of the quilt. There are seven colors: red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, and purple. So you will need a light red and a dark red, a light orange and a dark orange, etc. (Please note: this is a true 1/4 yard cut of each fabric NOT a fat quarter. Which is not to say that a fat quarter will not work, I just don't know. I didn't design the quilt that way.)

4.5 yards *the first measurement of 3 yards was incorrect! so sorry!* of a solid white fabric for the background. (Please note: this assumes that your solid fabric is two sided such as a kona or bella solid)

• backing and binding...if you want to go ahead and plan for this now, a single fabric back requires 4 yards of fabric. And the binding will need no more than a yard of fabric if you do a 2 1/4" double folded binding. But we'll talk more about options for this later on.


Other Tools:
• You will also need a cutting mat with a 45 degree marking (almost all of them have this!) anda straight ruler or a ruler that gives you a 45 degree angled cut. You will also need a rotary cutter.




The plan is to take steps over the next 8 weeks or so to put together this quilt. It will be strip pieced so we will be working on all the colors at the same time. This first week is dedicated to choosing and acquiring fabrics for the quilt. So, how do we do that?


Choosing Fabrics:

There are fourteen different colors along with a background fabric in my design. So it could be a little overwhelming to make all of those fabric decisions. Let me offer you a few suggestions.

• Think about continuity.

It's always a nice idea to have a sub theme running among your fabric choices. The main theme is a rainbow, but the fabrics can have more connection than that. Maybe you favor a particular designer or stick with all solids. Perhaps you have a variety of polka dots or a bunch of florals. Think about what you love in quilts that really strike you. Try to find that secondary design that helps the flow of the quilt.


• Think about tone.

You will want all the shades you are picking to be harmonious together. When selecting 14 different fabrics, it can be difficult to find ones that all work together. Look at your fabrics with a discerning eye. Step back a few feet or take a picture to gain some extra perspective on how well the fabrics relate to each other. Does one glaringly stand out? Did you suddenly become obsessed with neon green when all of your other colors have a grey tone to them? Adjust accordingly.


• Think about scale.

We will be cutting up the fabric into fairly small strips, about 2" wide. So you will want to think about how your fabric will look cut up. Different scale prints will work together but you will want to consider whether a large scale print should be included with an entire collection of small scale prints. It might! But it might not. ;)




Totally overwhelmed or finding this helpful? There are a couple of options.

I have pre-selected a bundle of fabrics from one of my lovely sponsors, Sew Fresh Fabrics. Peg and Becca will provide this bundle of 1/4 yard cuts of 14 fabrics for $32. It takes all the guess work out of finding the fabrics for the quilt.

zig zag sew fresh fabric bundle

(please note: there may be a couple of changes to this bundle depending on the demand...but no worries, it will always look good!)

You can find this bundle in their Etsy shop, Sew Fresh Fabrics. If for some reason you don't like one of my fabric choices, Peg and Becca will be happy to substitute any fabric of your choice. Oh and you can also buy your background fabric there. And silly me... I forgot to mention that they will be offering free domestic shipping/half off international shipping for all orders over $35 dollars. So throw something else in that cart and have a fun mail day. Just use the code ZZQAL to get your discount.



Also, Brenda from Pink Castle Fabrics is offering a 15% off coupon to anyone looking for fabrics for the quilt along. Perhaps you want to make your own bundle or just pick up a couple of fabrics to supplement your own stash. This would be a great option as well! Just use the code ZIGZAG in her Etsy shop Pink Castle Fabrics to receive your discount.



Also, join us on flickr and post your fabric selections in my group Cut To Pieces. Feel free to post questions, random discussion topics, whatever! Get feedback on your choices and just have a good time with other people making the same quilt.



Ready? Set. Go!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Goodies

Kaelin and I started a little swap on flickr a couple of months ago that we had been thinking about for quite a while. We thought that the perfect swap could be a BAG swap! All sorts of bags and all sorts of levels of experience. I put myself in the beginner category because I had actually never made a bag (other than one little box bag that Kaelin walked me through step by step at 3 am on our first quilting retreat!). I do have sewing experience I know, but I haven't done much with hardware or designing bags etc. But I felt that I would be able to follow someone else's pattern for a simple bag. And you may remember the one I made for my partner. (She hasn't received it yet! It had to travel a LONG way!)


Phoebe Bag



I loved making this bag and the size and style it was designed in. So you can imagine that I was quite delighted when I received this bag in the mail from Kati of From the Blue Chair.



My Bag from Kati!!!



She made me a bag from the same pattern! (The Phoebe Bag!) We didn't do this on purpose. lol. But she knew when she saw the one that I made that at least I would like the one she made! ;)



Isn't it yummy?!



Isn't it yummy? Aren't those pintucks gorgeous?! LOVE.


I'm so lucky! Look at those pintucks!



I happen to follow Kati's blog, so I remember when she posted about this. And I believe that she put the pintucks into the fabric first and then cut of the pattern pieces - for those of you wondering about construction methods. I've been wanting to try pin tucks forever and I'm so motivated to now.



DSC02429



It's seriously like a ray of sunshine!


And she filled it with "goodies" of the scrap variety! I love scraps. Heck, I just love fabric. And she did such a great job picking out scraps for me because I hardly own any of them. And those of you that have seen the amount of fabric that I have know that is quite a feat. ;)


Yummy goodies from the goodie bag swap



Sigh. I love fun mail.


Thank you, thank you, thank you Kati!



Oh! and I even managed to use one of the scraps already. And for the most random thing ever. My mother in law does a massive amount of work for her parish (seriously, the church would fall apart without her). And the priests will often ask her help with their personal sewing needs...like putting on a new button (really people...everyone should know how to sew a button! I promise. It's not that hard!) and sometimes trickier things like the project she got today. One of the priests has a pair of shorts that he apparently cannot live without, but managed to snag them quite significantly. In a non priestly area. ;) So they needed to be mended. He told her that she could "go wild" in however she fixed them. She immediately thought of my fabrics and only took the project with that in mind. I found a fun AMH fabric scrap from Kati and made a little patch for the shorts.



A Patch



I think that a) it is pretty funny that a priest wears this color shorts...you get so used to seeing them in garments or black. and b) that a priest is now going to be running around with a designer fabric patch on his shorts. I have a feeling that Anna would approve.


I think it's kind of fun and doesn't look half bad. lol.


Priest Patch

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