Monday, October 20, 2014

#NGAQB Mr. July: Ryan Walsh

I'm pretty much caught up on my #NGAQB commitments, but I am still WAY behind in blogging about the block I've made for my bee buddies. (For more about the No Girls Allowed Quilting Bee, or #NGAQB, see here.)

July was Ryan Walsh of Ryan Walsh Quilts' month, and he asked us to make him a colorful block using Elizabeth Hartman's fun Knee Socks Block tutorial. I had fun combing through my scrap bucket to piece together this rainbow block for Ryan:

Ryan has been a friend and quilting buddy for years -- so much so, in fact, that I can still remember when he, I, and Scott Hansen were the only manquilters running in the modern quilting blog & Flickr circles. But for those of you unfamiliar with Ryan and his work, here is some more about him:
Ryan Walsh is a self taught quilter and quilt designer who enjoys taking classic quilt designs and updating them with a modern twist. He’s employed full time as a NYS Licensed Funeral Director and manages a funeral establishment in his hometown. A busy dad, the majority of his quilting adventures occur in the late hours of the night after his kids are in bed! (Boy, that sounds familiar.) 
Ryan uses quilting as a vehicle to satisfy his never ending need to be creative. His work is based around combining traditional piecing methods with free-style construction techniques. As a way to challenge his ability, Ryan participates in several online bees and quilt related swaps every year. 
When he’s not quilting, Ryan also enjoys photography, embroidery, collage, crocheting, sightseeing and spending time with his family. Ryan currently resides in the Catskill Mountain region of Upstate New York with his children. 
Instagram: ryanwalshquilt
Twitter: @ryanwalshquilts
Flickr: ryanwalshquilts

Happy Monday, friends! I hope your week is off to a great start.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Winners winners chicken dinners

It's time to close out a bunch of open giveaways that I've been hosting here on the blog. Are you ready to see if you're a lucky winner?


From my Beyond Neutral Blog Tour post:

A copy of Beyond Neutral (courtesy of Martingale) and a Nature's Elements fat quarter bundle (courtesy of the Fat Quarter Shop):


A Nature's Elements fat quarter bundle, courtesy of the Fat Quarter Shop:



From my stop on the Quick Column Quilts blog tour:

A copy of Nancy Zieman's book, Quick Column Quilts:



From my blog post celebrating the release of Sarah Fielke and Amy Lobsiger's book, Little Quilts:

A copy of Little Quilts, courtesy of Cico Books:



And from my Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration challenge post:

A fat quarter bundle of Hadley, courtesy of Denyse Schmidt and Free Spirit Fabric:



Congratulations to all of the winners. Please email me with your mailing information and I will pass it along to the appropriate benefactors. Thanks for reading and for your continued support of my blog!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Modern Solids Challenge | It's time to vote (and give away some fabric)

Hello & Happy Friday, everyone! And a special welcome to anyone who's visiting after reading about the Modern Solids, Traditional Inspiration challenge hosted by FreeSpirit Fabrics and Denyse Schmidt. I am honored to be competing against such amazing and talented quilters, who I am also fortunate enough to consider my friends.

I couldn't be more thrilled about how my quilt turned out. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I used Angela Pingel's Petal Pusher block pattern from her book A Quilter's Mixology as my jumping off point for my design. I let each block tell its own color story, and I weaved in some scraps from Denyse's many amazing fabric lines that helped tell that story. I then sliced up some of the blocks and rearranged them all on point, allowing the blocks to be oriented more in a diamond pattern. And while a diamond pattern can be considered traditional, I think the curves and the scrappy block composition help me achieve my goal of making it more modern.

I backed and bound the quilt in some dark prints from Denyse's Ansonia line, and enlisted the help of my friend Sarah's super long-arm quilting skills. Together, we decided on an all-over Baptist Fan quilting pattern -- a choice that plays with the curves in the quilt design and is both traditional and modern at once.

And now, friends, it is time to vote! As much as I would love and appreciate votes for my quilt, I would  sincerely be happy if you voted at all. I encourage you to please go admire the amazing work of the other participants and show some love by casting a few votes for the one you think best met the challenge. FreeSpirit Fabrics is accepting votes via their social media channels and voting will end on October 14th:

FreeSpirit Pinterest Board - 

I am also thrilled to be able to award one lucky Quilt Dad winner with a Hadley fat quarter bundle, designed by Denyse Schmidt and courtesy of FreeSpirit Fabrics. Simply cast a vote in the contest, come back here, and leave me a comment telling me that you've voted. The vote can be for any quilt in the contest, and you don't even have to tell me who you voted for! I will randomly select one lucky winner from the comments.

Thank you again for all of your love and support in my journey to bring this quilt from concept to reality.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Jolly Bar Blog Hop with the Fat Quarter Shop

My friends at the Fat Quarter Shop are always up to something fun, and today is no exception. Today is especially exciting though, because the FQS gang is announcing the launch of their very own exclusive  PRECUT with Moda Fabrics, the Jolly Bar! The Jolly Bar precut is 5" x 10" (twice the size of a charm square, half as big as a layer cake) and I was lucky enough to get to play with one.

Jolly Bars are currently available in four Moda Fabrics collections, and each collection offers a different free pattern packaged in with the fabric. I made my quilt from the Persimmon collection by Basic Grey using the new Picket Fences pattern. I paired the Jolly Bar with some squares that I cut from a piece of orange Grunge fabric from my stash, though making this quilt with a coordinating charm pack would make the process even easier.

The colors of this quilt are PERFECT for the burgeoning Autumn weather here in North Carolina.

You guys, I love this new Basic Grey collection. There are some killer basic and blender prints in here that are totally stash-worthy. Can't wait to stock up on some more.

Want to learn more about the Jolly Bars? Here is Kimberly from the Fat Quarter Shop to tell you more in a fun video:

But wait … there's more!

For every Jolly Bar collection, the FQS sneaked in four Golden Tickets, and each is a $50 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop! That means, there are sixteen total Golden Tickets that are up for grabs, but they are only in the first batch of Jolly Bars, so you must pre-order for a chance to get one. And I'm only requiring a small finder's fee for the winners.  :)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Modern Solids Challenge | Progress ...

Finally took the leap and cut into my beautiful box of Denyse Schmidt's Modern Solids collection for Free Spirit Fabrics. I had been waffling between several different ideas for my entry in the Modern Solids, Traditional Inspiration challenge -- with this box of 75 full-spectrum fat quarters, the possibilities are literally endless! -- but ultimately decided to pick a direction and take the plunge.

Inspiration came to be in the form of my friend Angela Pingel's new book, A Quilter's Mixology: Shaking Up Curved Piecing. I fell in love with her Petal Pushers quilt and envisioned a version in Denyse's bright rainbow of colors, but with a few slight alterations.

First, I had planned on 3 shades of a particular color for each block. But these blocks are BIG! Finishing at 24", the fat quarters don't stretch quite far enough to make a complete block. No worries! I decided to dive into my Denyse Schmidt collection to pull out a couple of coordinating scraps to help complete each block. I thought this felt in the spirit of Denyse's classic log cabin blocks, but with a bit of a twist.

Second, I decided that I am going to assemble the quilt top with the blocks on point. As much as I like Angela's original layout, I prefer to look at these blocks tilted on a 45-degree angle. On point, they are more diamond in shape and remind me of paper lanterns.

I had mentioned previously that the challenge would also entail some fun giveaways, and I am so excited that Free Spirit has provided me with a fat quarter bundle of Denyse Schmidt's Hadley collection for one lucky Quilt Dad winner. Stay tuned for details on how to enter!

Little Quilts Book Tour + Swap

Have you been following Sarah & Amy's Little Quilts book tour? It's to celebrate their adorable new book, Little Quilts, of course. And, like any good party, the fine folks at Cico Books are making sure there are goodie bags for partygoers; this time, in the form of a free copy of Little Quilts. Read on for more on how to win.

Mini quilts aren't for everybody, but long-time readers of my blog know that I love them. I love to make them, swap them, and receive them. To me, they scratch an itch when you want to play with a particular fabric, or try out a new idea or technique, or create something from start to finish when you don't have time for a full quilt. Plus, the whole aspect of swapping lets you make design decisions with someone else in mind. And I LOVE giving gifts.

That's why I was so excited not only to peruse this beautiful new book -- and, lets face it, everything that Sarah and Amy make is spectacular -- but also to participate in the book tour, because the tour is also doubling as a little quilt swap!

With my secret swap partner in hand, I had to decide what quilt to make in the book. On first glance, I passed this quilt (called Not Quilt Hawaiian) right by. Gorgeous, but … applique? Not my thing. I was deciding between two or three of the other projects in the book, but my mind kept coming back to this one. I figured that a little bit of fusible interfacing and the blanket stitch on my Bernina could be my best friends. And, with my partner in mind, I envisioned the most perfect color and fabric combination to bring it to life for her.

Flowers. Cats. And a little bit of bling in the form of gold ink in the Cotton & Steel background. Perfect for my partner. Any guesses on who it could be?

Honestly, this might be one of my favorite things that I've ever made. All of that machine stitching took a while, but it was totally worth it. The way the teal of the floral print matches the background and the use of pink Aurifil thread just makes the whole thing sing.

And really, who can resist those peek-a-boo cats?

I'm totally not a cat guy -- AT ALL -- but this print won me over. I don't remember the name of the print or the manufacturer, but I picked it up at Pink Castle Fabrics when I was there a few months back.

My bottom line on the book itself? It's fabulous. But I didn't expect any less. Gobs of great designs and color and print inspiration -- definitely a book I'll come back to again and again. And it's all wrapped around a wonderful story -- one of two friends living oceans apart that were brought together by a shared love of their craft. It just doesn't get any better than that.

Want to win a copy of Little Quilts, courtesy of Cico books? Simply leave a comment on this post and answer one of these two questions:

  • Who do you think this quilt was made for? (Hint: all of the stops on the blog tour are listed on Sarah and Amy's blogs.)
  • What two fabrics do you think would make an amazing Not Quite Hawaiian quilt?
I'll randomly select one winner next week. Good luck!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Modern Solids Challenge with Denyse Schmidt and Free Spirit Fabrics

** thud **

OK, now that you've picked yourself up off of the floor, let me introduce you to the fabulosity that is the Denyse Schmidt Modern Solids box by Free Spirit Fabrics. What's inside this veritable treasure box? 75 fat quarters from Denyse's new Modern Solids line … and a whole lot of creative potential.

You can imagine the squeals of delight when Free Spirit contacted me a few weeks back to see if I would be interested in receiving this magical box in exchange for my participation in their first ever Modern Solids, Traditional Inspiration Challenge with Denyse Schmidt herself. Cue the immediate "D'UH … I  mean, YES!"

The challenge: make a 60" x 60" quilt with Denyse's Modern Solids Collection. In the spirit of Denyse's book "Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration" (a personal fave of mine), the design should be inspired by – or be my own interpretation of – a traditional quilt pattern. And quite a challenge this is turning out to be. With a few weeks left to complete my quilt, I am still considering no fewer than 5 different ideas of what to make.

Gorgeous photo courtesy of Faith at Fresh Lemons Quilts

And speaking of challenge, this isn't just a challenge against my own indecision. It's a full-fledges competition, with my finished quilt to be pitted against those of some other famous, fabulous quilt bloggers. And there will be prizes! Prizes that I'd really like to win!! (I'll be hitting you up for help on that later.) Rumor is, there will be prizes for you here on my blog as well ...

Though it's all been quite hush-hush cloak-and-dagger so far, social media breadcrumbs have revealed that the other challengers are:

          Faith at Fresh Lemons Quilts
          Heather at olive and ollie
          Latifah at The Quilt Engineer
          Lee at Freshly Pieced
          Megan at Canoe Ridge Creations

A noted (and notorious) group of amazing quilters, for sure. Let the games begin!

Gorgeous photo courtesy of Faith at Fresh Lemons Quilts