Friday, September 30, 2011

Fun Giveaway!

*the giveaway is now closed*

Oh I'm excited for this giveaway! It's not to celebrate anything other than all of you loyal readers making me feel just a little bit special in this great big world of blogging. So hugs to you all!


I've been listening and I know that you all love giveaways that are not always fabric. (but really...I'm a prime example of the fact that you can't have too much fabric! or at least want it!) So I decided to find someone who would help me share with you a new love of mine: Washi Tape!




Do you know what Washi Tape is? I didn't until one of those days of blog wanderings and found out about this lovely product. And let me tell you, I'm hooked!! I actually resisted buying any for at least a year after I learned about it, but I was missing out. I will always have this product from now on.





First of all, it's super cute. And I'm a sucker for super cute. AND it's super practical...and that ALMOST beats out super cute. I love that it sticks so strong and yet removes easily. I use it all the time to temporarily tape my customs forms to packages while I transport them to the post office.






I think it is really reasonably priced too. I don't buy tape all that often but when I do I'd much rather have really cute tape. ;) So I'm all over this! Which is why I'm completely jealous that Glenda from PrettyTape on Etsy and Cutetape.com is generously offering one reader a $30 gift certificate! That's a lot of tape my friends!! Send me some if you win. No I'm kidding. Or am I? There are lots of fun items at the stores, so you will of course need to go check them out and become completely hooked on these pretty things.






To enter the giveaway:

1. Go to either Cutetape.com or PrettyTape on Etsy and find your favorite item. Come back here and let us know!

2. Follow Cutetape on Facebook or Twitter (I'm not on twitter so I have no idea how to do that...but those of you who are can probably find it. lol)

3. Give a word of encouragement...to me, to you, to anyone. I could use some encouragement and I'd love to see anyone being encouraged! (It's late, don't ask. lol)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hometown Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to all of you who left such sweet comments and suggestions here and over at Moda for my latest quilt. It's so fun when someone enjoys your design, let me tell you!


But we did have one lucky winner of the Hometown Fat Quarter Bundle from The Fat Quartershop!

The random number generator has spoken and chose #156, Cameron!





Congrats Cameron! Please contact me and let me know your contact info so we can get that sent out to you ASAP.



Sad that YOU didn't win? Well no worries, there are a few more giveaways coming up. And I've been looking for things other than fabric for all of you faithful readers. I know that you all love fabric, but there are other things to love too. So keep a lookout! We'll be doing another giveaway lickety split!


In the meantime enjoy this horrible picture I took with my phone of a magazine add of the Flea Market Fancy Reprint coming in 2012! Woohoo! I somehow missed this the first time around, but I won't be missing it this time!


Yay!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hexagon Pillow Tutorial

Rainbow Hexagon Pillow


I recently joined the most current pillow talk swap on flickr.  We all get to make a beautiful pillow for our secret partner and tease them with pretty pictures while simultaneously being teased with dozens of pictures that just may be for you!  It's a little intoxicating to see all the beautiful pillows being made in one place.  Pillows are great to make because you use a technique or fabric or quilting style that are all out of the box because you are just making a 20" or so square.


I can't tell you who my partner is because it's a secret. ;)  But I will tell you that I think she should really like this...in fact, she may have even commented on it.  But I'm not saying a word...

What I can tell you is how I made this pillow.  It took a lot of work, but I used some great tools to do it.  Some of you might remember that Accuquilt recently gifted me with a Go! Baby cutter.  And one of the dies that I chose was the Hexagon die.  I chose this die in particular because hexagons can be a bit annoying to cut out...all those sides. ;)   I also had a lovely Kona Solids Charm pack that I was given when I lived in New Orleans as part of the Modern Quilt Guild's challenge with Kona solids.  I wasn't able to make anything before I left, but I've been planning on something for a while. Regardless, I was quite happy to discover that with careful placement on the Hexagon Die, I was able to quickly cut the whole charm pack into a lovely stack of rainbow hexagons.


using the go cutter to quickly create hexagons



I wanted to hand sew the hexagons together using the English Paper Piecing Technique. But since I have the accuquilt cutter and will be able to make this size of hexagon easily over and over, I chose to make some plastic templates to wrap my fabric around. With the help of another hexagon template, I was cut enough templates for a charm pack. I believe I ended up with 3.5" hexagons.


creating plastic templates



Using some lovely Aurifil thread that I was also given (boy I'm a lucky gal!), I made fairly quick work of basting the fabric around the plastic hexagons.


Pillow in progress


My little stack grew and grew!


my little stack is growing


I then played around with the fabrics until I found a layout that I liked. I did end up tossing two green charms and adding in a few other Kona solids to make this work...but that's just because I'm picky like that. I hand sewed each piece together. Such a small sentence for the most work! lol


Rainbow Hexagon Pillow



You might notice that at this point, the hexagons are not square. Hmm...what a concept. That's what that a math major gets you. A keen eye. ;) So, the next step is to square up the pieced hexagons. You might think that you can just slice up the piece, but you need to be a little more careful to account for the seam allowances.


I lined up the edge of the hexagons so that there is a quarter inch past the folded finished edge.


Rainbow Hexagon Tutorial



Then, I use some small scissors to snip some of the basting threads to undo the folded edges adjacent.


Rainbow Hexagon Tutorial




Rainbow Hexagon Tutorial



The adjacent sides could be sliced and diced because of the measurements...20.5" I believe. I marked a line and cut!


Rainbow Hexagon Tutorial



You should now have a squared up, hand pieced rainbow hexagon design. From here, you can use your favorite technique to turn this into a pillow. I spray basted some batting on to this piece and then quilted the hexagons with another geometric pattern. Here it is partially quilted so that you can get an idea of how I did this particular design.


Rainbow Hexagon Pillow - Quilting


I was being all fancy dancy, so I also quilted a pieced backing for the pillow as well as lining the pillow cover and adding a hidden zipper. All of that adds up to one pretty pillow!


Front:

Rainbow Hexagon Pillow


Back:

Rainbow Hexagon Pillow - Back detail


Lining and Zipper:

Rainbow Hexagon Pillow - Lining



This is one rainbow that should have gold at the end!


Rainbow Hexagon Pillow

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sneak Peak at my Pillow Talk Swap Pillow

Well it's all complete and actually in the mail to my secret partner!  I love how it turned out and I think that my partner will love it too. ;)  She doesn't know which pillow she's getting but this is handmade just for her.


I'm actually planning on sharing all how I put this together, but that sounds like too much work for a Monday.  So for now, just enjoy a little eye candy.


Rainbow Hexagon Pillow

Friday, September 23, 2011

Picket Fences - A New Quilt for Moda Bakeshop!

*the giveaway is now closed*

picket fences



I'm so excited to share my second Moda Bakeshop quilt! It's appropriately (if not obviously) titled Picket Fences and I was thrilled to work with the fabric of one of my favorite set of designers, Sweetwater. Hometown is just fun and I loved searching through all of the names to find cities that are special to me.


This particular quilt is being donated to a local fundraiser for a women's center here in South Bend. I'm thrilled that it will be shared by someone who will both love it and who is willing to donate to charity. What a win win for this sweet quilt.



And I'm also excited to have a lovely giveaway hosted by The Fat Quarter Shop! They are generously giving one reader a petite fat quarter set of Hometown. What a fantastic way to get a taste of this line.


Hometown-petite-



To enter to win this petite fat quarter bundle, I'd love if you went over to Moda Bakeshop and left me a comment on my quilt there.  Then come back here and leave me a comment that you left a comment there.


For those of who really want extra chances, I'd love any phone apps that you all can recommend. As you may have gathered from my previous post, I'm quite new to the smart phone world. I would love to know what I'm missing. So if you have a suggestion for one, that gives you an extra entry. Please leave it as a separate comment.


I know that not everyone has a fancy dancy phone. So in lieu of an app recommendation, please feel free to share any other recommendations you have! lol I'll let you all decide what that might be about. But let's keep it clean. ;) (Unless you're Lynne and you're going to suggest some Afternoon Delight).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fancy Phones and Fancy Hexagons

I recently entered the world of technology with a new "smart" phone. I'm having fun starting to explore just the tiniest bit of things you can do with an iphone...and yes, that means I now play Angry Birds. ;) But one of the best things about a new phone? Why a new phone COVER! I found the cutest cover designed by none other than one of our favorite fabric designers Cosmo Cricket.


New Iphone Cover


How cute is that?! I found it on Gelaskins.com I believe...too lazy to go look it up. But google is your friend and I'm sure you could find it if you want. Is it wrong that I am so impressed at how perfectly it fits the phone with all of the cut outs? lol



New Iphone Cover



They even give you little sticker covers for the sides! And it is all one seamless design.


New Iphone Cover!



I love that I can now find my phone more easily in my purse and that there is just a little more protection for the outside. Plus...IT'S SUPER CUTE!



Anyway, just wanted to share my new pretty cover for my new pretty phone. I do have actual sewing I have been doing as well. I feel like I've been sewing a lot, but in all honesty I may just be thinking about sewing a lot. I have definitely been HAND sewing a lot. Paper Piecing Hexagons! Here's a little peak at that.


Pillow Talk Swap - Sneak Peak


Rainbow Hexagon Tutorial


I'll be sharing more about that for sure later on...but also be sure to tune in tomorrow for the reveal of my next Moda Bakeshop Quilt!! Plus a fun giveaway sponsored by the Fat Quarter Shop! Woohoo!


Off to play more Angry Birds. ;)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cracker Scraps

Cracker Scraps


Here is the newest block that I have been working on. I'm naming it Cracker Scraps as it a variation on a quilt commonly known as Crackers or something like that...I'm using scraps and it all kind of sounds like Cracker Jacks. Yep. That's how my brain works. Aren't you all lucky to know that. ;)



Cracker Scraps



I made a couple of trial blocks as I'm having my two bees both work on this block for me for the month of October. The VIBees and the Stash Trad Bee will both be working it. One group will be getting fabric from me and the other will be using their own scraps that coordinate. The background is Kona Bone. They all need instructions on how to make the block, so you all are getting instructions too!


The block is made of two mini blocks that are mainly based on Kona Bone and two mini blocks that are mainly based on the color. So that is four mini blocks all together for each large block.


Cracker Scraps



For each Kona Bone based block you will need:

(1) 6" square of Kona Bone
(2) 6" squares of Color
(1) 2 3/4" x 7 1/4" rectangles of color
(2) 2 3/4" x 7 1/4" rectangles of Kona Bone


Cut each 6" square into (2) triangles by cutting along the diagonal from one corner to the opposite corner. You will use both Kona Bone Triangles and (1) of Each of the color triangles. (save those other triangles for another block or simply discard them)


Sew together the rectangles with the colored piece in between the two Kona Bone pieces, sewing along the long edges.


Cracker Scraps



Before sewing on the triangles, you will need to find the center of all four sides of your new fabric piece and all of your triangles. I do this easily by folding my fabric pieces in half and quickly pressing the edge of the fold.


Cracker Scraps Block



Sew a Kona Bone triangle to the set of three rectangles.(longest edge of the triangle/hypotenuse to short edge of rectangles) Remember to match the centers together first and pin out from there.

Press seams toward the triangles.

Sew the Colored triangles to the long sides of the rectangle, again matching first at the centers. Press the seams toward the triangles.


Cracker Scraps Block



I've deliberately oversized this, so that you can trim it down and have a nice square (quarter of a ) block. I find it easiest to square up a block using a square ruler. I square the block so that there is a 1/4" seam allowance along each edge based off of the intersections. These square up to about 10" square.



Cracker Scraps Block



To make the other type of square, follow all the same directions as the first, except cut two color rectangles and one Kona Bone rectangle. Sew the color triangles to the SHORT side of the rectangles and the Kona to the long sides.


With a nicely squared block, it is easier to sew together the four smaller squares. I pin them together first at the points that I want to make sure match up.

Make two of each type of block and then sew them together in an alternate pattern as you see in my examples.

Cracker Scraps




Pretty soon you'll have a whole quilt...especially when you have the help of bees!


cracker scraps quilt

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Patchwork Baskets

I'm so excited because I FINALLY was able to make one of those items that has been on my virtual "to do" list for what seems like forever!  The item in question?  Ayumi's Patchwork Basket Pattern available for free on her blog Pink Penguin.  It's super adorable (as are all of Ayumi's patterns!) and I've been wanting one of my own forever.  And make one I did...in fact, make THREE I did! lol


Fabric Baskets




I started this project with some extra motivation from Lynne's Dead Simple Quilt Along over at Lily's Quilts. She had the lovely idea of using a color palette from a generator. I chose a pretty color combo from an inspiration picture over at Design Seeds. If you missed my post about that selection, you can find it over at Lynne's Blog.


Fabric Baskets





The baskets are little, but I find them a fun size for storage for smaller items. I now have a new beautiful place to store my medications! lol. One is currently storing my hexagons for the pillow swap (more on that later) and the other I gave to Caitlyn for "food" storage.


Fabric Baskets




Caitlyn is enjoying her new kitchen with her new basket. It's the perfect size for her!


so happy with her new basket




Playing in the kitchen!


Playing with her new kitchen




Playing with her new kitchen




Too cute!


Playing with her new kitchen




If you are thinking at all about making one of the patchwork baskets, then do it! I love mine and I'm pleased I made more than one.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Quilting Around the World - Featuring Krista

quilting around the world


Today I get to share with you the delightful Krista aka Poppyprint who lives in far away in Canada! lol She's lead such a fascinating life and is now an equally fascinating quilter! She does have an aversion to country music but don't hold that against her. ;) I think country music can get to all of us sometimes. So come ride the Krista train and see all the beautiful things that she makes.








I'm Krista. I used to be a geologist and environmental studies coordinator, but now I'm very happy to call myself a quilter. Even though a lot of my friends think that means I knit sweaters. I live with my amazingly supportive husband, two young teenagers and one obnoxious wiener dog. Aside from quilting, running a day-retreat business, teaching a workshop or two each year, belonging to two guilds, blogging and occasionally making dinner before 6:00 p.m., I also love photography and have happily returned to cycling on a shiny new road bike!


Amy Butler Blossom Bags by Poppyprint & Friends



Questions:

Where in the World are You?

North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada







How long have you been sewing/quilting? How did you become interested in quilting?

I started quilting ten years ago after my second child was born. Our new house didn't have space for woodwork (which I had started when our first child was born a couple years earlier) and the local village had a lovely quilt shop that I couldn't stay away from. I succumbed to my love of fabric and signed up for a row by row class that claimed it was suitable for a confident beginner. While I have never looked back, I have never finished that first quilt, either.


Aida's quilt




Is quilting common in your area or are you a lone crafter?


Super common! The largest community guild wavers from 150 to 200 members, depending on the year and there are 2 smaller guilds that meet in the daytime that each have 50 members. Sadly, three local quilt shops have had to close in the last 5 years. They have been replaced by one new one, though.


Potholder Pass 3 'cooking'



Do you find it difficult to get quilting supplies and fabric in your area?


Not at all. The letter carrier knows my address and several online stores know my Visa number. Plus, as I mentioned, there is a local shop as well as two more downtown. Typically I am not patient enough to wait for the latest lines to make it across the border into Canada, so I shop online. I appreciate being able to colour match a particular fabric in person once in a while, though. Because I edned up working at the LQS where it all begain, I was exposed to a lot of notions, threads, books and patterns, so generally I know what I'm looking for and can find it online. I also love to shop merchant malls at quilt shows and there are plenty of those in B.C. annually!


Queen of the Dresdens by Poppyprint




What designer/designs are you exposed to the most as a result of living where you do?


The majority of quilt work being done here is still traditional. I would say that 80% of the quilts I see at shows around my province would fall into the traditional category, 10% art and maybe another 10% what the online community would consider modern. For many traditional quilters here, batiks are still considered 'modern and different', which is quite a different view from the online blogging/flickr community that I participate in. Due to import costs and lag time, we don't get exposed to a lot of the designer fabric that you find online. With our dollar at parity (and some days even worth more that the U.S. dollar), I'm hopeful that more shops will bring in the designer goods and realize a market for them. I am exposed to various designers and designs online at the blogs I visit.


Full Circle by Poppyprint




What is your favorite part about the international nature of the online quilting community?


New friends! That is exactly the reason I wanted to start blogging. I would read blogs about swapping with friends, or meeting up with friends, or admiring friends' work and I thought, hey, I want to be a part of that community! I have a massive quilting circle of friends here mostly due to my involvement in guilds and my retreat business. However, I love travel and have a great interest in knowing people around the world. It's tough to do all the traveling we'd like to with a family, so meeting bloggers from around the world helps satisfy my wanderlust and keeps me hopeful that one day I might meet some of these amazing quilters in person (and hopefully crash on their couch).


Allium mug rug by Poppyprint




How good are you at filling out customs forms for the postal service?
I rock it. I have a stack right here beside my laptop so I am fully prepared when I get to the P.O. I cannot tell you how much I've spent on postage in the last two years. I did 15 swaps in 2010 and not one was with a fellow Canadian. I also have regular giveaways on my blog that are invariably won by people in Australia, Turkey or England! It's a small price to pay for the fabulous things I get in return, but it always stings a bit when I see how little postage is in the U.S. by comparison. I have been known to take a little roadtrip across the border to take advantage of the USPS.


280511 Bright Sky DQS9 by Poppyprint



If you could own any fabric at all in the world, what would it be?


Honestly, I can't answer this question. I have such wide-ranging tastes in fabric, but I covet nothing in particular.


QR Code Quilt by Poppyprint





What sewing machine do you own? Do you love it or hate it?!



I have three. My day to day machine is a Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0 that I love some days and hate on others. Free motion quilting is a challenge with this machine at times. That's ironic, because I specifically bought it for the huge harp and resulting space so that I could free motion quilt my own quilts! I also have a Pfaff 1212 and a Featherweight, both of which belonged to my late Mother in Law. I love both of those machines.

300511 black - starry night treeskirt complete- by Poppyprint






What does a typical sewing session look like for you?



30 minutes of sewing, followed by 2 hours on the laptop! I am terrible. My sewing productivity has really gone down since I started blogging and I hear that a lot from other quilt bloggers, too! I get a lot done on retreats, though.


RSR Thread catchers





Anything else that you want the world to know about you?


My family and I really want to visit France next summer and do so on a house exchange. If you or any of your friends live in France and want to spend some time in Vancouver next summer at our home, while we eat croissants in your home, let me know!






Thank you so much for sharing with us Krista!  It's so delightful to get to know you and Canadian quilting a little more.  Your projects are so inspirational too.  So many of my favorites!

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