Saturday, July 24, 2010

And now ...

... some pictures of my kids. Just because.

Summer fun

The twins!

Miss B



Little bear

Tae Kwon Do master

Summer fun!

Oh, and I can't forget the pup!

Tula 7.17

Tula 7.17

I'm blogging from Portland and the Heather Ross class is going GREAT! Can't wait to recap the weekend and share more.

Monday, July 19, 2010


My week is off to an auspicious start. Though there are three full work days standing in my way, I have a big trip to Portland to look forward to later in the week.

Yes, it's finally here -- my trip to Portland to take Heather Ross' fabric design class at the PNCA. I am equal parts excited and nervous. But at this moment, I can only worry about getting through the end of the workday on Wednesday.

FQ issue 2 | Sanctuary Quilt

So there will be lots of exciting things to blog about in the coming weeks, but in the meantime I will leave you with a sneak peek of my project for the second issue of Fat Quarterly. I'm calling this pattern "Sanctuary". It's made from Valori Wells' new line, "Nest". And I LOVE it.

FQ issue 2 | Sanctuary Quilt

For the first time ever, I had this quilt professionally quilted by a long arm quilter. I am SO GLAD that I did. I think I am officially converted. If you're looking for a quilter, I can't say enough good things about Bethany Pease. She came highly recommended, and I would gladly pass along that recommendation. Check her out at her website, Bethany Quilts, and tell her that Quilt Dad said "hi"!

FQ issue 2 | Sanctuary Quilt

You can get our second issue (featuring this pattern and many others by the uber-talented FQ crew) on Tuesday, July 27th.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

April, May, and June Bee Blocks

It's been kind of quiet on the sewing front. I'm chalking it up to it just being a busy summer with the kids, the new puppy, the on-again / off-again moving saga and, oh yeah, the full-time job. I actually have made something pretty major -- my new pattern for the next issue of Fat Quarterly, coming in just a little over a week.

More on that project soon, but in the meantime I thought it was a great time for a long-overdue recap of quilting bee blocks.

Here's the block I made for Sara / sames05 for the Buzz Cuts bee back in April. Sara asked for monochromatic blocks made up of squares, rectangles, strips or triangles from fabrics from our stash. My color was brown. Here's what I came up with:

Buzz Cuts | Block for sames5

April was Ashley's month over in {Bee} Imaginative. She requested square-in-square blocks in the style of Denyse Schmidt's popular Drunk Love pattern. Here are the two blocks I made from her lovely lilac, green and gray fabrics:

{Bee} Imaginative | April

{Bee} Imaginative | April

April was our final month over in the bee inspired group. I made these two square and rectangle blocks for Lisa / lharsma:

bee inspired | block #2 for lharsma

bee inspired | block #1 for lharsma

Moving on to May ...

This beast of a block is 16.5" and was made for Adrienne / Arnden's Space for the Buzz Cuts bee. She requested blocks made from this tutorial (scroll down) in shades of blue & green, made entirely with fabrics from our stash:

Buzz Cuts |May

May was Amanda / sasikirana's month in {Bee} Inspired. She sent a whimsical selection of prints along with a lemon yellow shot cotton and asked for any design that featured flying geese. After deciding to do some fussy cutting, here is what I came up with:

Bee Imaginative | May

Another bee that's wrapping up is my own SewConnected 2. Our final swapper was Kristen / kirbyloulou . She sent an assortment of "upcycled" blue and white pattern shirts and asked for blocks in the Gee's Bend / strip style. This was a fun challenge, and I loved working with the non-traditional materials! Here's what I came up with:

SC2 block for Kristen L.

And now, June ...

Over in {Bee} Imaginative, Jacquie of Tallgrass Prairie Studio asked for rectangular blocks in the modern / improv style. She sent two solids -- an aqua and a charcoal gray -- as well as a patterned IKEA print. Here's my interpretation of Jacquie's theme:

{Bee} Imaginative block for Jacquie

And finally, for Jennie / sunflowerquilt's month in Buzz Cuts, she requested a scrappy block made from this tutorial using our own scraps and a black & gray dotted print that she sent. Here's what I made for Jennie:

Buzz Cuts | June for sunflowerquilts

Another great scrap-busting pattern!

I hope you enjoyed this round-up of bee blocks. Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pillow Talk {Swap} 3

Another round of the Pillow Talk {Swap} wrapped up a few weeks back. This swap has quickly become one of my favorites. Besides the fact that it is expertly run by swap divas Heather & Kerri, the swap pulls together an amazing group of crafters that continue to amaze me with their creativity and craftsmanship.

Case in point: just take a look at the pillow I received from the awesome Ariel:

(By the way, these pictures are all pulled from Ariel's blog. Her pictures are so much better than the ones I was able to take before my daughter snatched this pillow up. BTW, she's been sleeping with it ever since!)

Anyway, I just love this pillow. It's a smaller pillow -- 12" x 16" or so, I think -- but I love the different and unique size. Ariel, as always, did a great job of pulling together fabrics that create a palette that is very, very me. The blue & brown with touches of orange is a wonderful combination, and I spy some of my favorite prints from the Lotus, Arcadia and Lush lines.

Plus, there are hexagons on this quilt! How cool is that? I know hexies are all the rage right now in the Flickrverse but, having tried one hexagon project rather unsuccessfully, I'm just not that into them. Making them, that is. But to receive them? FABULOUS!

And here's the BEST part:

Ariel is a talented and accomplished fabric designer, and she designed and printed (via Spoonflower) some fabric especially for me! Check out her depiction of our new puppy, Tula, in the middle of the hexie flowers. Isn't that just the most thoughtful, special, personal touch?

You can see more of Ariel's designs in her adorable Etsy shop, Pocketful of Pinwheels.

Thanks so much, Ariel! We love our new pillow ... best evidenced by my daughter's unwillingness to give it back to me! I've been a lucky, lucky boy in all 3 rounds of this swap so far. Can't wait for round 4!

Here's a shot of the pillow I made for my partner, the lovely Nanette:

Pillow Talk Swap 3 | for my partner

I also chose to make an unusually-shaped pillow. This rectangular pillow measures 14" x 28", and it's my absolute favorite size and shape for throw pillows. I think it looks great on beds, couches, benches, and chairs.

I decided on a fairly simple rail fence-like pattern using a stash of honey bun strips from the Wonderland collection by MoMo left over from my "Off the Grid" quilt.

pillow swap received
Photo from Nanette's photostream

This was a pretty simple pillow to make. Want to make your own? Well, since the dimensions of the pillow are a nice multiple of 7", I pieced together the honeybun strips in groups of 7. Since the strips are 1.5" wide each, that leaves you with a pieced strip 7.5" wide, from which you can cut 7.5" squares. I pieced enough strips to yield 8 7.5" squares, which I then pieced in a 4x2 grid layout with alternating strip directions. Pretty easy, no?

As with all my pillows, I layered the quilt top with a layer of quilt batting and free quilted a meandering pattern over the whole pillow top. I made a no-frills envelope back and I was done!

Pillow Talk Swap 3 | Rec'd

Pretty soon, my whole house will be filled with beautiful little quilted pillows from all of my Flickr friends!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Busy summer ...

Sorry it's been so quiet around here lately. Well, it hasn't really been quiet, but I haven't really had a chance to post to the blog much. You know what I mean. Besides dealing with the aftermath of taking our house off of the market (still not happy about that!) and just trying to enjoy a little bit of the summer with the family, I've also been hard at work on my projects the next issue of Fat Quarterly. See this gorgeous stack of fabric?:

Sneak Peek - Issue 2

Well, it's all cuts of Valori Wells' new line for Free Spirit Fabrics, called "Nest". It was one of my favorite new lines (if not the favorite) from market, and I was so lucky to be able to work with it. For those of you who (quite astutely) notice that I rarely make big quilts, stay tuned. Our next issue will be released three weeks from today, on Tuesday, July 27th. Eeeep, I'm so excited!

I haven't been able to do much else, but I did get a chance to play a bit with some of Kate Spain's beautiful Verna line. I made these 8" blocks from a pattern in the latest issue of American Patchwork & Quilting magazine called "Linked Together". Sometimes my favorite projects are ones with no end goal in mind -- I saw the pattern and was inspired to combine it with these prints. I considered using it for my Pillow Talk Swap pillow, but wasn't sure if it was a good match with my partner's preferences. At this point I don't know if this will become a full quilt, a mini quilt, a pillow, or something else ... but frankly, it doesn't matter. I'm just going to make more blocks until I either get sick of them or run out of fabric!

Verna blocks

PS. The solids in the blocks are some of Moda's Bella solids, and they coordinate perfectly.

Speaking of Verna ...

I haven't been able to play along in the Year of Schnibbles as much as I had hoped to, but I REALLY want to make the July pattern. It's one of Carrie's new ones called Joy Luck, and here's an image of the version used on the pattern cover. It's also made with the Verna line. Pretty, no?

Have you registered for camp yet? Summer camp, that is. Check out the Castle Peeps Summer camp hosted over on Lizzy House's blog. It'll be full of fun projects featuring Lizzy's new fabric line. The first project is already posted, so head on over and see what it's all about.

And finally, I've had a few more sightings of projects made from my tutorials. Katie of Katie's Corner made this super cute iPad sleeve as a gift for her friend. Don't you love her fabric selections?


One of my oldest online quilting friends, Sequana, made this gorgeous "Off the Grid" quilt from some Basic Grey fabrics.


Want to hear something funny? Sequana was the recipient of my first ever mini swap quilt a little over two years ago. Here is a picture of the quilt I sent. I stressed out about this quilt SO MUCH. And if you flipped it over, you would see that the binding is a hot mess. (I really had no idea how to bind a quilt. I kind of improvised.) Anyway, she assures me that the quilt is loved in its new home and is hanging on her wall!

ALQS Swap Quilt (front)

A trip to Sequana's Flickr stream revealed another amazing quilt that she recently made. This is made from the "Lantern Lounge" pattern by Scott of Blue Nickel Studios, and was featured on the Fons & Porter website. Read more about it on Scott's post (which includes a direct link to the pattern) here.

Wild Life

Isn't it amazing? Anyhow, I am sorry for the rambling post -- I know I was a little bit all over the place. I hope to get back into a more regular posting routine soon but, in the meantime, have a great week!