Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Giveaway Winner!

Thanks for all of the great comments and love you sent my way in my last post! 105 entries ... wow, I really appreciate all of you that read my blog and give me such great encouragement. So thank you, again.

To select the winner of the two pillows, I turned to the trusty Random Number Generator ...

And Mr. Random.org selected #2!

Comment #2 was left by Leslie, who said:

Leslie said...

You are so talented!! These are so beautiful!!! And they would go great with our new couch that is on its way. Please enter me to get them!!!

Wow -- I love the thought of my pillows being used on a brand new couch! (And I especially love pulling #2 and not having to count through all of the comments to figure out who the winner is! : )

The only problem is that there is no email or blog address linked from Leslie's name, so I am not sure how to get a hold of her. Leslie, I hope you are reading this! If so, please leave me a comment or shoot me an email with a way to get in touch with you. If I don't hear from Leslie soon (or if more than one person claims to be Leslie! ... please don't do that), then I have already pulled a backup number.

Thanks again, and happy quilting!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Giveaway Today

Are you guys familiar with the Stitchin' Heaven Howdy blog? For the month of March, they've been hosting a Tribute to Male Quilters. You should check it out ... lots of other great guy talent out there! Nichole from Stitchin' Heaven reached out to me a few weeks back and told me that someone actually nominated me to be included! Well, you know how good that must make me feel. (And the culprits fessed up ... thanks so much, Dionne & Rachel!)

So head on over and check out the post about me!

And in celebration of the post, both Nichole and I will be hosting joint giveaways today. The winner of my giveaway will win this pair of quilted pillows featuring the ever-popular Katie Jump Rope line! (The pillowcases are not stuffed in these pictures, but the pillowforms will be included in the package. I will post better pictures of the stuffed pillows once I get the forms!)

You know the drill ... leave a comment to be eligible for the giveaway. I will leave the contest open until around 5PM EST tomorrow (Tuesday, March 31st), after which I will use the Random Number Generator to select the winner.

Good luck, and remember to visit the Stitchin' Heaven Howdy for your chance to win another prize!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fair Warning

My spiderweb quilt arrived this week! Many thanks once again to both Mary and Jenny for hosting this giveaway.

And because I've been on such a lucky streak with giveaways lately, I figured it's time to make a deposit into my karma account.

Check back on Monday for a pretty cool announcement and corresponding giveaway of my own.

Here's a sneak peek at what I'll be giving away:

Consider yourself warned!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Getting it back ...

... my mojo, that is! If you remember, a few posts back I worried that I had lost it. Well, as soon as I got back from my trip to Boston that week, I got to work. I was starting to feel overwhelmed by the ever-growing pile of quilting bee fabric packets that were piling up, so I dove head-first into working on them. And it was just the boost that I needed!

First, in the Cottage Quilting Bee, Nettie from A Quilt is Nice sent a really great and eclectic grouping of fabrics including prints from some of my favorite lines: Lush, Flea Market Fancy, and Mendocino ... along with some coordinating solids and dots. She wanted improv-style blocks in a variety of sizes. I drew my inspiration from Scott's free Woodland Garden pattern that's posted on the Free Spirit site. I have plans to make this entire quilt, so this was a great test run. I decided to finish the block when I got to around 10" x 12" ... I love the rectangular shape.

Next up is the block I made for Kathy in our Buzz Cuts group. I have to admit that I've developed a little bit of an obsession with string quilts. I think they're so cool, easy to make, and I love the effect. I think you'll be seeing some more of these from me in the near future ...

This next block is the block I made for Rachel from p.s. i quilt for the bee inspired group that she hosts, and there's a story behind this one. Rachel requested pinwheels and I was more than happy to oblige. I headed over to Quilter's Cache and started browing the block patterns over there. I came across a really sharp looking block called the Whirling Star and thought, "this is it!" It used a template which is a little outside of my comfort zone, but I really wanted to make something special for Rachel so I decided to go for it. Fast forward a few minutes later: I figured out my color and fabric placement, my pieces are all cut, and I start to assemble ... only to realize that the pattern calls for set-in seams.

Oh, cr*p.

I had never done them before. Actually, let me take that back ... I attempted them once -- that was a complete disaster and I wound up throwing all of the fabric away. Now here I am with someone else's fabric that I hacked to bits, and there was no turning back. I didn't have enough fabric to do anything else.

Long story short, I figured out the blasted set-in seams. It took a while, and I think I ripped out the stitches from the first quadrant three or four times before working it out in my head. I was pretty thrilled with how the block turned out. Take a look:

Audrey's block for SewConnected 2 was much more in my comfort zone. Audrey sent out a really great packet of red, aqua and green fabrics. She wanted blocks inspired by log cabin blocks, and I decided to separate the colors out into two different groupings and mix it up a little bit. I was definitely inspired by Rita's block from a few months back.

To the original SewConnected group, Jessica of twinfibers sent out envelopes containing cuts from some of her favorite vintage sheets and pillowcases. I had seen several quilts and swaps going on using vintage sheets, but never had the pleasure of working with them myself. They were super-soft and the muted tones were very, very soothing. Jessica didn't have any specific requests except that we use a small floral piece that she included in each packet. I had a lot of fun free-piecing this one:

Finally, this was the inaugural month for SewConnected 3, another virtual quilting bee with a new group of 18 fabulous quilters. With so many people, this isthe first of the SewConnected groups that will have some months where we make blocks for two different people. March was one of those months.

These first blocks are for Saranya (sew-do-I) from Thailand. Her fabric selection was so inspiring that I couldn't stop at just one block!

For this first block I once again turned to Scott's Woodland Wonderland pattern. That's where the part of the block to the left of the white bar comes from. To make it 12" square, I decided to feature the Heather Bailey "Pop Garden" flower on the right.

I used the basic principles of string blocks to make this 12" square featuring basic diaginal strips. I loved all of these fabrics so much that I really wanted to feature them and not cut them up into little pieces. I love this simplicity of this block. Saranya really chose wonderful fabrics.

And last but not least, a block for Donna (rocklilly) from the Sydney, Australia. I know I sound like a broken record, but Donna too sent a very inspired grouping of fabrics. That's been my favorite part of joining these quilting bees (and why some might say I'm addicted): ogling over everyone else's unique but amazing fabric combinations and actually getting to work with selections that I might never have put together myself.

The idea for Donna's block really started with that chain-like piece down the left side. I've really been wanting to make something like that ever seeing similar patterns from Jacquie and others. I added the mermaids next because (and this may sound cheesy), it seemed to me that the chain could be an anchor chain dropping down from a boat, and the mermaids, turtles and octopi are swimming up and around the chain. Anyhow, I just free / improv - pieced the rest of the block from there.

Whew! Enough for one post? I'm excited to report back next month because it's the first time that it will actually be my month in one of the quilting bees! I'm excited to see what I get from all of the other amazing quilters.

Monday, March 23, 2009


So I made reference yesterday to winning the mother of all giveaways.  Take a look and tell me if you think I was exaggerating!:

Mary, who blogs over at The Momoo, hosted a giveaway and the grand prize was this beautiful quilt.  These spiderweb quilts are popping up all over the web and, as much as I love them, I didn't have any plans of undertaking a project of this scope on my own ... especially still being a paper-piecing virgin and all.  So I'm choosing to believe that it was fate that my number would be pulled to win this masterpiece!

This quilt was actually made by Mary's uber-talented daughter, Jenny blempgorf.  Every time I look at the pictures I get even more excited; first, because I keep seeing more and more of my favorite fabrics that I've never had the pleasure of working with (I'm lookin' at you, Mr. Heather Ross gnome, and those rare Flea Market Fancy prints), and also because the choice of the soft tan rather than stark white is so my style.

And check out the backing fabric.  My daughters will absolutely LOVE the horses!  This quilt will live such a happy life in our home.  Mary and Jenny, thank you both so much -- I promise that this quilt will be loved and cherished.

Please take a moment to check out Mary's blog and say "hello" for me!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thanks, Heather!

I won these!
Originally uploaded by j_q_adams
First, thanks again for your warm reception for my wife's 2nd blog post ever. She really gets a kick out of reading all of your comments, and she's been answering your questions back in the comment thread ... so go check it out if you're waiting for an answer!

Now, back to business ...

A few weeks back I won a great giveaway on designer Heather Mulder Peterson's blog. Heather is the designer behind the Anka's Treasures line of patterns, which I have always admired at the store but never actually had the opportunity to use before. I really wanted to win this giveaway, because I was especially interested in the "Sweet Life" book, which features patterns specifically designed for layer cakes. I've been looking for some good patterns to make with them, and I can honestly say I could see myself making every pattern in this book. Plus, they are not too complex, which I love.

I am really coveting both a Wonderland and a Twiggy layer cake right now ... but trying to restrain myself. Too many unfinished projects at the moment ...

I have lots more to blog about, including the MOTHER OF ALL GIVEAWAYS that I just found out that I won (doing the happy, happy dance!) and a whole slew of quilting bee blocks that I've been making this past week. More soon!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Guess who's back?

Hello, everyone! It's me, Mrs. Quilt Dad. This past week I've been on Spring Break from teaching. It's been absolutely wonderful having a full week off, and I even convinced John to take a few days off from work, too! I also took this opportunity to get back on the sewing machine and do something to take my mind off of life's everyday tasks.

My best friend has been asking me to make her a bag for a very long time now. Between my return to working this past year and juggling life in general, combined with a crippling indecision about selecting just the right fabrics for her, I've just been putting it off. I've purchased some fabric here and there in an attempt to motivate myself ... to no avail.

I finally found my inspiration on Friday! John had to pick something up at our local quilt shop,Wish Upon a Quilt (hi Cathy! I loved your store!), and I tagged along. There I found the most beautiful Amy Butler fabric, and I was finally bitten by the bug once again. Paired with Amy Butler's Birdie Sling pattern, I had found the perfect bag for my girlfriend!

With Spring upon us, and because my friend works in a predominantly male, corporate environment, I thought this pretty, feminine and joyous bag would be just what she needed for our bright, sunny NC weekends.

The pattern was relatively easy, though definitely more time consuming than I expected (or remembered). Still, I started this bag after the kids went to bed last night and finished it up right after lunch today. (Thanks, John, for keeping the kids occupied all morning!) It was great to get back into making bags like this and the next item on my list is to make one for myself!

Here are some pics ... now back to you, Quilt Dad!

{Quilt Dad here ... I have definitely gotten my mojo back since my last post and I've been sewing up a storm. More on that soon!}

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

{choke} ... unreal sale!

Run, don't walk, over to Quilt Arts online. They are having a 50% off sale. Yes, that's right ... 50% off all fabric! And all the top designers -- Amy, Joel, Kaffe, Heather, Denyse, Tina, Sandy, and more. Kokka and Japanese fabrics, too. Fat quarters are only $1.25 ... WHAT??!!

And yes, they do have the coveted rocketship fabric that I've featured here on my blog a few times.

Thanks to Flickr pal lharsma for the tip!

DQS Works-in-Progress

DQS Works-in-Progress
Originally uploaded by j_q_adams
... aaaand we're off!!

Several DQS6 swappers are making great progress already on their quilts for their partners. Lots of great sharing and discussions over at the Flickr site, inspired (and inspiring!) fabric choices, and ingenious designs keep popping up.

These photos may or may not be from the people in my group ... I've got to keep you guessing!!

Still thinking ...

Still thinking ...
Originally uploaded by j_q_adams
I need your help!

I am still trying to decide what to make for my DQS6 partner. This is a mash-up of some of his / her favorites and some of my favorites. I need help not only with the pattern idea, but with the fabrics as well. I am deciding between the new "Fresh" line and the new "Soiree" line, both by Moda.

So help me envision something ... pattern + fabric combos ... any thoughts??

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hello Bridget!

This print is called "Bridget" and is was part of the Girlfriends collection by Sis Boom for Free Spirit fabrics. This was one of, if not the first quilting fabric that my wife purchased when she first got her sewing machine. She made some really great bags with it. There's even a baby blanket made from this print featured in the Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts book.

I've always loved this fabric. I started getting into quilting right around the time this line was discontinued, so I've been hoarding this fabric every chance I get. It remains one of my absolute faves. I still have a pretty sizable cut of it, along with some of the blue and green versions that I found on eBay.

So why am I sharing this today? Well, because quilting bro Scott over at Blue Nickel Studios recently posted a really fun interview with its designer, Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom. And, you guessed it, there's a giveaway involved!! Go check it out and tell him Quilt Dad sent'cha!

Friday, March 13, 2009


Fat Quarters!
Originally uploaded by j_q_adams
These are all of the spoils from some recent fat quarter swaps I participated in, including Darci's Wishing It Was Spring swap and the Sew Mama Sew swap. Also pictured here are three batik FQ's that I got from Rachel (of p.s. i quilt fame) in a private swap, and a few cuts of different owl fabrics that came with my mini swap quilt from Solidia.

Thanks to all of my partners for helping to boost my stash!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Swap Til You Drop | January

Yes, I realize that it's March 12th and I am just now posting about a January swap. Remember my last post when I said things have gotten a little out of hand? Well, it hasn't gotten any better! Remember when Austin Powers lost his mojo? That's kind of how I feel right now. I haven't sewn a thing in over two weeks -- unfortunately, sometimes quilting has to take a back seat to higher priorities, like my family and my job. In fact, I'm writing this post from a hotel room in Boston, where I'm traveling for business!

I'm still dealing with IT issues at home, but (cue angels singing) I finally got my MacBook! I just got it and I'm still learning how to use it, but I LOOOOVE it. I am so excited. And the other good news is that one of my teammates at work was able to save all of my files from my old computer. I'm still working on transferring everything over to the MacBook, but I am just so relieved that my music collection and my family photos are not lost and gone forever.

OK, so back to the swap. In January, Solidia and I were paired to make "plain jane" quilts in the Swap 'Til You Drop mini quilt swap. Solidia actually sent me a mini quilt once before, for my very first mini swap quilt ever back in July! As much as I love that quilt, Solidia outdid herself this time.

Isn't this such a great little quilt?? (The image is actually taken from Solidia's photostream ... I'm still not able to download photos from my camera to my computer). Solidia incorporated pictures of my three children into the design. I love it, Solidia ... thanks so much! I am glad we'll be swapping some more in SewConnected 3!

Here's the miniature quilt I sent to Solidia in return:

Just in time for Valentine's Day, I sent Solidia this 12"x12" quilt in shades of red, pink, and chocolate brown and an with all-over stippling design.

I hope you liked it, Solidia!!

I've got lots and lots to finish up this month, and I can't believe March is almost halfway over already. I hope I get my mojo back ... soon!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

SewConnected | February

It's getting crazy around here. Work's crazy, life's crazy and, to top it all off, our home computer decided to die on us. Man, I hate Windows. Fortunately for me, I work at a tech company and I've got a few resident geeks taking a look at it for me. If nothing else, I am praying that they can rescue all of my family pictures and my 3000+ iTunes songs. As soon as they do, I'm off to the Apple store. Grrrrr ...

OK, enough of that.

February was a great month for both SewConnected groups. In SewConnected 1, Stefanie (aka artsymomma) sent out a truly inspired selection of solids and requested "modern", "linear" blocks. Let me tell you, the blocks that were made for Stef are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. All of the already awesome quilters in the group really outdid themselves. Take a look at our Flickr page to see all of the modern goodness. (And pop over to Stef's blog to congratulate her on her newborn baby boy!)

When I first became interested in quilting, one of the books that I picked up was the Modern Quilt Workshop, and one of my favorite quilts in that book is the "jigsaw puzzle" quilt (also featured on the cover). I decided to use that quilt as inspiration for Stefanie's block. I loved working with the solids and playing around with their placement. I can't wait to see her quilt after it's assembled!

In the SewConnected 2 group, resident monkey Katy wanted traditional(-ish) blocks made from an array of Liberty fabrics (quite fitting for our UK-based member!) I received several different cuts of some of the most striking and original prints that I've ever seen, along with some plain linen for contrast.

I went very traditional with my first block -- a double windmill-type block highlighting my favorite fabric: the one with the horses (although it seems that I wasn't too successful in my fussy cutting -- I see more horse butts than I do heads!)

For my second block, I went somewhat less traditional with this block of my own design. Unfortunately, the pictures don't do the fabrics any justice. I love the flowers in blues and khakis, as well as the paisleys that I used around the edges. For contrast, I used a khaki-colored Kona solid.

Umm, yeah ... so I couldn't just stop after 2 blocks. I had plenty of the horse fabric left and really wanted to make sure Katy would be able to feature them in her quilt. I know it's hard to see, but there is some rhyme and reason to this block:

It's actually a pattern resembling four quarter-log cabin blocks. I know the pattern gets lost with all of the different prints going on, but I kind of like its craziness.

At this point I still wasn't out of fabric and couldn't resist starting a fourth. I didn't want a single scrap to go to waste! I decided to make another "X" block, but replacing the khaki with a solid pale blue (also Kona) that matched the blue of the Liberty fabric perfectly.

At this point, I actually did come up a bit short. If Katy likes this block (and I hope she does!), she'll need to add the final border from her stash.

Next month: SewConnected 3 gets off the ground!!