Saturday, December 18, 2010

Coming in January ...

Header graphic

By now, many of you are busy making the final push towards the holidays. But what are your crafty plans as we enter 2011? Well, clear your plate, because we have a great quilt-along planned that will begin in January!

18 quilt bloggers have collaborated to bring you the first-ever Bloggers' Block-a-palooza. We'll jump from blog to blog making 2 quilt blocks per week, wrapping up with a custom setting and layout design to help complete your quilt. I am so excited to be one of the participating bloggers.

We're calling this quilt-along "Waiting for Spring" because we'll be using the brand new Sunkissed line by Sweetwater for Moda, and the bright colors and botanical prints should help you (or at least those of you in the Northern hemisphere!) push through the cold winter months and have a fresh new quilt ready for the Spring.

More details will be available soon, but in the meantime feel free to grab our button below and spread the word.

Edited to add: click on my blog page here to learn more. I'll be adding information as it becomes available. I have already attempted to answer a few frequently asked questions!

Grab our button!

Quilt Dad

Friday, December 17, 2010

Giveaway Day Winners

Thanks to all who entered my Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day raffle! I have let the random number generator choose my 3 winners, and here they are:

The Branch Family said...176

Very nice giveaway!

Annie said...55

Great giveaway! Thanks for the chance to win, and thanks for your great blog!

Amanda said...177

These are so cute, and now I'm totally inspired to make some!

If you're a winner, please contact me at with your mailing information. Thanks again to everyone who participated, and thanks to Sew Mama Sew for hosting yet another great Giveaway Day.

Sherbet Pips!

Today's the last day to enter my giveaway celebrating Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day. Jump here to enter!

Yippee skippy ... look what arrived in my mailbox a few weeks back!

Sherbet Pips

Yup, it's like an advance copy of my friend Aneela Hoey's debut line for Moda, Sherbet Pips! Many of you know Aneela as the creative force behind the comfortstitching blog, as well as a fellow founding member of Fat Quarterly. I've been able to catch just a small glimpse behind the scenes as Aneela was planning and working on this, her first major fabric collection (but surely not the last).

I know this line is going to be a BIG hit, based upon the major buzz that's going around the blog and Flickr communities and further evidenced by the fact that I believe it was the first line to completely sell out at Sample Spree during Quilt Market in Houston last month.

Want to see what the buzz is all about? Let's take a quick tour through the collection ...

First up, some whimsical illustrations in the inimitable Aneela style. These little guys (and girls) on scooters should look familiar to anyone who has followed Aneela's blog, and specifically her brilliant embroidery pieces. I am so happy to see them translated to fabric.

Sherbet Pips

And did you notice the little puppy chasing after the scooters in the photo above? Well, he's featured in his very own print. And one of the things I love most about this collection is the color tone -- the reds, pinks, and aquas are a bit ... dusty. Not sure if that's the proper term, but they're a bit more muted than most, which I think will immediately give quilts made from this line a cozy, worn-in, and already much-loved feel. Oh, and are you starting to see the amazing fussy-cutting potential here?

Sherbet Pips

OK, ready to be blown away? Take a look at the ingenious way that Aneela incorporated a stripe into the line ...

Sherbet Pips

... SCARVES! How brilliant is that? The pièce de résistance of the line, IMHO.

But what I'm most excited about are the GREYS. Grey, grey grey ... I love it. I can't get enough grey fabrics, and this line really delivers. Instead of dots, Aneela designed squares. Squots, maybe?

Sherbet Pips

Here are our scooter friends again, this time in the beautiful shade of grey. The exciting news is that I've heard from some of my other fabric designer friends that we'll be seeing a lot more grey prints next year. And I am a big fan of that news.

Sherbet Pips

Little girls on swings -- another of Aneela's more popular illustrations. Have you seen her mini quilts based on this design? If not, check out this tutorial. It's great!

Sherbet Pips

Another great grey print, and another riff on dots. This time, it's reverse dots. Yes please!

Sherbet Pips

I guess I can only fondle these for so long until the edges get frayed, so I'd better cut into it soon. I already have a half-dozen or so patterns in mind, but I'd love some more ideas. Can you suggest some patterns that would best highlight this line?

Oh, and here's a tip: I've found that several prints from the "Blush" line by Basic Grey for Moda coordinate really well with this line (like this one and this one and this one), so if you like pairing prints from across different lines (like I do), you might want to pick up some Blush while it's still available.

Big congrats to Aneela on what I am sure is only the beginning of a successful journey in the world of fabric design.

Sherbet Pips will be available in Spring 2011 .... April, I believe.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tinkerbell Charity Quilt

Tinkerbell Charity Quilt

Those of you who follow me on Twitter might remember talking about -- OK, if I'm being honest here, complaining about -- a Tinkerbell quilt that I had agreed to make earlier this Fall. You see, my wife's aunt asked for my help in making a quilt to be auctioned off for a function at her church. And I wasn't complaining at all about agreeing to make the quilt (after all, I think I've proven my willingness to make things to help others, especially of late!), but moreso that the request was very prescriptive. The quilt had to feature a Tinkerbell panel, which was the only piece of material provided, so that it could coordinate with some pillows and other items that some of the other church members were making.

Tinkerbell? SO not my usual style. But I have two young daughters and consider myself fairly attuned to what they like, so I forged ahead.

Tinkerbell Charity Quilt

I headed over to my local Jo-Ann fabric store to purchase all of the coordinating fabrics for the project. I quickly found two other Tinkerbell prints that matched the panel and had a small amount of them cut, but didn't want this quilt to be too over the top with the licensed characters. So I took the panel to the great big fabric wall and started pulling some other prints.

Tinkerbell Charity Quilt

I should have known that this is where the project would start to become fun for me. Pulling different prints and colors and combining them together is always my favorite part of the process. I took my cue less from the Tinkerbell character and more from the border of flowers that surrounded the panel. With garden imagery in mind, I found some purple and blue prints that featured flowers, dragonflies, and butterflies. I also selected some smaller scale prints like swirls and dots in shades of pink and green. Overall, I loved how the wide variety of prints was eclectic yet coordinated, without seeming too matchy-matchy.

Tinkerbell Charity Quilt

I actually have to credit my daughter Megan, a budding quilt designer, with finding this perfect backing fabric. She was with me on the shopping trip and, while I was finding some of the other fabrics, her little voice asked me "what about this one?" It reminded me of a vintage sheet, and I thought it was perfect for this back of this twin-sized bed quilt. To this day, she is still so proud that she found this fabric!

I made up the pattern as I went along, basically beginning with strip-pieced rail fence blocks and improvising some borders around them. The only tricky part was calculating the size of the blocks, since I had to base the whole design around the panel and it was (of course) not a standard size.

Tinkerbell Charity Quilt

So after a bit of early complaining, I have to say that I really enjoyed this project. Although it's not really "my style", I enjoyed the challenge of the fabric selection and pattern design. I loved seeing it through my daughters' eyes, who oooh'd and ahhh'd the whole time I was making it. And, of course, I'm satisfied thinking abou the little girl whose mom or grandma (or dad!) brought this home to her from their church auction.

And the silver lining of the whole experience? I entered this quilt in Jo-Ann's Quilt Your Colors contest, which is open to any quilt made from fabrics purchased at Jo-Ann stores. I don't have too much hope in winning anything -- Jo-Ann carries much nicer fabrics than the ones I selected for this project, and I am sure there are some people out there making amazing things -- but it's exciting to think that I might be in the running!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rectangle Swoonerie

Rectangle Swoonerie

I showed a sneak peek of this quilt a few posts back. I'm calling it Rectangle Swoonerie, and I think I'm in love.

A few weeks back, I read a post on Melissa Averinos' yummygoods blog about a project she and Beth were organizing called "Handmade for the Holidays". What's that, you ask? Here's brief description from Melissa:

Handmade for the Holidays is an annual holiday charity crafting event in which we invite folks to create hand-knit (crocheted, sewn, etc) items for donation to local (Cape Cod, MA) women and children in need.

The idea is: warm, soft, cozy things. You know, things that convey love and comfort.

I immediately shot Melissa an email and said "I'm in". It took me only a few more minutes to decide what I wanted to make.

The first decision was easy. I came home from Quilt Market with a few fat quarter bundles of Melissa's new line, the aptly named "Swoon". I was chomping at the bit to create something with it, and a quilt to help Melissa's cause was the perfect fit.

I headed to my local shop to pick up some coordinates, and decided on a creamy solid and some Anna Maria Horner Garden Party dots that I thought played really nicely with Melissa's prints.

Rectangle Swoonerie

The next decision to make was what pattern to use. I had just picked up the latest Quilts and More magazine and found my inspiration. In that issue, Monica (aka the Happy Zombie) has a wonderful pattern called Rectangle Reverie. It was just perfect for showing off Melissa's large prints. And I love the supporting role that it would allow the dots to play.

Monica also has a really fun story about where her inspiration for the pattern came from. Here's a hint: "Make it work!"

Don't you love this pattern? You can find it here (and PDF version here).

Rectangle Swoonerie

Now I have some good news for you guys. After I completed the quilt top, I received a note from Melissa asking if I would hold the quilt a bit longer rather than donate it to Handmade for the Holidays. You see, she is planning something even bigger and better for the Spring, where the donations she has received might make an ever bigger difference to those in need. I don't know the final details yet, but if I was a betting man I'd bet that this quilt will be auctioned or raffled off, rather than simply donated. That means that you might have a chance to become its new owner! Of course, I'll let you all know as I learn more.

Rectangle Swoonerie

In the meantime, the quilt is laying on the back of my couch, pin-basted but not yet quilted. (And on that note, would any longarm quilters like to donate their services before I most likely ruin it by trying to quilt it myself? I can't offer to pay for quilting services since this will be a donation quilt, but I will be sure to sing your praises here on my blog and wherever the event is publicized!)
Edited to add: WOW! Less than an hour after my post went live, I was contacted by the amazing & generous Jackie of Canton Village Quilt Works. She offered to quilt Rectangle Swoonerie for me. Thanks so much, Jackie -- you're my hero! Please head over to Jackie's blog & help me thank her for her generous spirit (she's even got a giveaway going on at the moment) ... and check out her shop while you're over there!

I love the backing & binding that I picked out for the quilt, too. I'll show it off when the project is complete.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

{Modern} Relief winners!

The winners have been selected for our {Modern} Relief fundraiser, and the grand total has gone up a little bit since my last update! Together, we all raised $5,852.36. Very, very impressive, people. Quilters rule.

But now for the fun part. Who will be the lucky few to receive handmade quilts this holiday season? Well, we had 621 total donations, and we let select our winners:

Heather from { House } of A La Mode 263 Fat Quarter Shop
Amy from Amy’s Creative Side #1 378 Michelle E.B.
Amy from Amy’s Creative Side #2 210 Eileen D.
Elizabeth from Oh, Fransson! 371 Suzanne G.
Nettie from a quilt is nice 43 Trish P.
Aneela from Comfortstitching 95 Lesley E.
Brioni from Flossyblossy 337 Lori M.
John from Quilt Dad 215 Karen A.
Kate from One Flew Over 594 Jane L.
Ashley from Film in the Fridge 93 Megan H.
Katy from i’m a ginger monkey 24 Nicole M.
Tacha from Hanies 248 D’Ann P.
Amanda from Sasikirana Handmade 111 Monica H.
Jennifer & Jessica from Twin Fibers 550 Burgundy Buttons
Nova from a cuppa and a catch up 279 Judith D.
Ryan from I’m Just A Guy Who Quilts #1 358 Maeve B.
Ryan from I’m Just A Guy Who Quilts #2 469 Steven B.
Julie from Jaybird Quilts 108 Merryl F.
Jacquie from Tallgrass Prairie Studio 86 Katy J.
Alissa from Handmade by Alissa 515 Kate S.

Congratulations to the lucky winners! If you are the recepient of a handmade quilt, hang tight -- your quilter will be contacting you shortly for your mailing information. I'm off to email Karen right now!

I also wanted to send special thanks to Heather, the mastermind behind {Modern} Relief, and Julie, who was instrumental in pulling the whole thing off. These classy ladies understand the true spirit of this season. Please take a moment and go thank them for their efforts.

Stay tuned for our next {Modern} Relief project ...

November Quilting Bee Blocks

Thanks for all of the nice comments on my giveaway post! Keep 'em coming -- the giveaway will remain open through the end of the day on Friday.

I've been pretty good lately in keeping up with my quilting bee commitments. It really helps now that I am down to a much more manageable number of bees (2).

November was the supremely talented Rita / redpepperquilts' month in the {Bee} Imaginative bee. She sent an assortment of strips in prints featuring red and white, with some splashes of pink and orange for good measure. She requested large-scale (15") log cabin blocks. The simple yet scrappy design, using a limited color palette but featuring modern prints, is going to be a stunner!

{Bee} Imaginative | November

I was able to make 2 blocks for Rita and had a lot of fun pulling a few fabrics from my stash to add in.

{Bee} Imaginative | November

Over in the Buzz Cuts group, November was Sara's month. She is making a quilt for her husband and asked for traditional (i.e. non-wonky) blocks using brown, orange, and black fabrics from our stash.

I made this block up on the fly. It's not traditional in the traditional sense -- and by that, I mean that it's not a star, or pinwheel, or another more traditional pattern -- but the construction is based on simple log cabin squares. I think it looks more modern because of the fabrics I chose to use (Joel Dewberry woodgrain, Moda grunge in black, an orange stripe from Moda's Wee Woodland collection, and a featured square in the center from Rosemarie Lavin's Spa line).

Buzz Cuts | November

December's an off month for {Bee} Imaginative, and it's MY month in Buzz Cuts! I was so excited to send off my precious stash of Tula Pink's Flutterby line, and I asked for spiderweb blocks. (A spiderweb quilt made from bug-themed fabrics? How meta!)

A few have already popped up in the pool, and I can't WAIT to put this quilt together ...

BUZZCUTS December Block
from Arnden's Space

Spider Web block for JQAdams
from jgmehlin

Monday, December 13, 2010

SMS Giveaway Day | Holiday 2010

SMS Giveaway Day

Today is Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day! If this is your first time visiting my blog, welcome. And for all of my regular readers, I'm always happy to offer up some giveaway prizes to thank you for being such a wonderful support network for me.

Today, in the spirit of the season, I'm giving away some really fun holiday-themed prizes. Three different winners will each win one of the fabric-covered Moleskine journals pictured above. I made these with Kate Spain's wonderful "12 Days of Christmas" fabric using my favorite tutorial from the wise craft blog. I made these to feature the tutorial in the holiday issue of Fat Quarterly, and now I want the journals to come live with you!

Each journal will be paired with 3 fat quarters from Kate's line. I was planning on taking photos, but the weather gods have been less than cooperative. It's been raining here in North Carolina all weekend and I am WAY behind on my picture-taking. I'll update this post as soon as I can get some decent photos.

Edited to add ... here are some pictures of the three prizes:

Giveaway Day - Prize 1

Giveaway Day - Prize 2

Giveaway Day - Prize 3

I always do my giveaways the same old way: simply leave me a comment. That's it! Everyone has an equal opportunity to win. I'll leave the giveaway open until Friday, December 17th ... after which I will let select my winners. Good luck!

PLEASE NOTE: this giveaway has now ended. The winners will be posted shortly.

For more information about Giveaway Day and learn about all of the the other great prizes being given away all around the blogiverse, head on over to Sew Mama Sew!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Children's Charity Quilt Project

I've seen it all over Twitter, Flickr, and the blogs ... people are de-stashing their fabrics in a big way. Maybe it's the impending holidays, the fresh start of a new year, or everyone making room for all of the fantastic 2011 fabric line releases. In any case, wouldn't it feel good to know that your unwanted fabric scraps can be put to good use? And by children learning to appreciate quilts, no less?

I was recently contacted by Tiffany of This Crafty Fox about the Children's Charity Quilt Project. I'm happy to help spread the word about this great program. From Tiffany's post:

Youth sunday school groups across the state of Delaware have teamed up to motivate the children to read their scriptures daily and combine this wonderful activity with a service project!

The challenge: Read in the scriptures for ten days straight

The reward: A quilt block for every 10 days of reading tracked and a celebration in October to show off the fruits of their hard work.

Each child will have the opportunity to earn up to 3 quilt blocks a month from Jan-Sept. At the end of this time all of the quilt blocks, collected by the entire Sunday School group at each church, will be made into beautiful quilts which will be displayed at the October celebration and then donated to various charities for children and adults to enjoy.

How can you help?:
Our group consists of 45 wonderful and motivated children. They are excited to read and earn their quilt blocks but we are rather limited right now with our supply of fabrics and any donations of cotton quilting fabric would be greatly appreciated by myself (the main quilter of this project for our group) and our Sunday school group.

If you are interested in donating to this great cause and helping me to reward our wonderful children for their efforts and bless some local charities, please email me at:

I'll be pulling together a scrap box for the kids -- won't you join me?

And since no post is complete without a picture, here's a sneak peek at a quilt top I recently completed. This one will also be going to support a good cause. More on this soon ...

Rectangle Swoonerie

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thank you, thank you!

I am constantly reminded that the sewing and quilting communities are full of kind and generous people, like you!

Thank you all so much for your heart warming donations and participation in our first { Modern } Relief fundraiser in support of World Vision’s efforts to end hunger.

The drive has officially closed, and we finished with a whopping $5810.00 raised. Wow! This far exceeded our wildest expectations, and blew away the $4000.00 goal we set when we launched the effort.

What can this money provide?
  • 863 apple, orange, mango, and other healthy fruit trees to provide the vitamins and nutrients growing kids need.
  • 143 farm animals that will provide ample protein and vital nutrition — including milk, eggs, meat, and more — to a needy family for years to come.
  • 49 sheep, whose wool can yield soft, warm, long -lasting clothes for impoverished families.
  • 18 oxen and 2 plows. With oxen-power, a family has more food, and children can attend school instead of work in the fields.
  • 11 dairy cows to help boost a family’s protein and calcium intake.
  • 7 bulls to produce the livestock — and the milk, meat, and income — that can help an entire village thrive.

In short, you guys rock.

Although the raffle for the quilts has closed, you can locate information regarding World Vision efforts and how you can continue to support their mission throughout the entire year through their website at

Stay tuned -- we will be announcing the winners of the raffle over the next two weeks.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rubans pour les cheveux

... which, thanks to the ever-trusty Google Translate tool and my online pal Cara (thanks, Cara!), I know means "hair ribbons".

It's also the name I decided to give the quilt I designed and made using Tula Pink's new line, Parisville. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Allow me to step back a few months ...


Back in August, I was asked by Tula herself and the nice people at Free Spirit / Westminster if I would be interested in designing and making a quilt featuring the Parisville line. The quilt would hang at Quilt Market in Houston to showcase the line, and the pattern would be made available as a free pattern to accompany the line on the Free Spirit site.

It took me all of about two seconds (just enough time to pick my jaw up off of the floor) to say "yes!" A chance to play with the as-yet unreleased Parisville? And have something actually on display at market?! Duh.

My mind began thinking of a bunch of different directions I could go in with my design. I was a bit overwhelmed and anxious about it, to be honest. It wasn't until I actually spoke to Tula on the phone about the project that my idea really started to come together. You see, she told me a little more about the line itself and her thinking and design process in pulling it all together. The thing that stuck most in my mind was a single comment that Tula said: "it's really ALL about the hair."

Hence, an idea was born -- a quilt pattern depicting hair ribbons & bows! Hey, I thought it had more mass appeal than my other idea: a quilt featuring guillotines in honor of Marie Antoinette. I wasn't sure how that would go over with the quilt market crowd. (Tula, I'm still going to make you a mini quilt based on that idea!)

I sketched out some ideas on graph paper, and realized that the ribbons could be assembled from some of the most basic of quilt blocks: simple squares and rectangles, half-square triangles, and flying geese.

By this point I had the precious cuts of fabric in hand and headed over to my local shop (Wish Upon a Quilt) to pick out some coordinating fabrics. (Here's a tip for anyone who has purchased the Mist colorway: the Free Spirit solids in ICE, ORCHID, CREAM, & OLIVE (an Amy Butler solid) coordinate wonderfully with the prints. I can provide the FS#'s if you want them.) I couldn't decide on a single solid to use, so I decided to use all of them. I created a rugby stripe-like effect with the four different colors.

And here are some photos that I took along the way ...

A close-up of some of the ribbons (and a hair bow!) after I had finished piecing the top:

Parisville Sneak Peek

The entire quilt top laid out on my living room rug:

Rubans pour les cheveux

Here's a shot taken on my back deck in the sun. The quilt had just come home from the quilter:

Parisville quilt ... quilted

And now, some beauty shots of the quilting. Once again, I collaborated with Bethany (of to work on a design that would really highlight the quilt pattern and prints. Bethany really delivered the goods!

Parisville quilt

Bethany alternated between two different quilting designs -- one in the blue and cream layers, and one in the purple and green layers. They remind me of intricate lacework, and the dense quilting on the solid portions of the quilt really allowed the ribbons featuring Tula's masterful design work to pop.

Parisville Quilt (sneak peek)

Some more shots of the quilting ...

Parisville Quilt (sneak peek)

Parisville Quilt (sneak peek)

Parisville Quilt (sneak peek)

And what it was all leading up to ... on display at Quilt Market in Houston!!

My Parisville quilt!!

I was so fortunate not only to have my quilt hanging at market, but to be able to attend and see it in person. It was really a big moment for me, for which I am very, very grateful.

The quilt was hanging in the Free Spirit / Westminster row, where the company reps were holding all of their customer meetings. Every new line was showcased by a single quilt.

By the way, I also designed and made a second quilt for market that was also hanging in this row! It was a last minute request because some yardage of David Walker's new line, "Baby Talk", had become available. Here's a picture of that quilt on display:

My David Walker quilt

I'm calling this one "ABC Menagerie":

ABC Menagerie Quilt

I'll post on that quilt separately, but let me just tell you -- the line features both unicorns and narwhals. That's a sure sign of a winner in my book.

But I digress. Back to my Parisville quilt ...

I received the most wonderful feedback on the quilt from Tula herself, the folks from Free Spirit / Westminster, and my many quilt market buddies. The one comment I heard over and over again was that it was just so original and "didn't look like anything else". And I take that as the highest compliment.

Neither of the two patterns ("Rubans de cheveux" nor "ABC Menagerie") have been posted to the Free Spirit site yet. I will be sure to let you all know when they do. Or, let me know if you see them first!

Tula Pink + Quilt Dad!

Here's a picture of me and the woman herself, Tula Pink. It was great to finally get to meet her in person after striking up an online friendship so long ago when I first posted my Full Moon Forest quilt blocks. I only wish we could have hung out more ... but there's always Salt Lake City!

Tula's booth at market was absolutely stunning, and I am ecstatic that Parisville is finally hitting the stores so that all of you can have as much fun playing with it as I did.


And no post about Tula would be complete without a picture of my puppy (also named Tula!) She's getting SO big -- way bigger than I ever expected her to get. She's a GREAT dog. We really lucked out.