Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fine Feathered Friends

Here's what's sitting on my cutting table right now:

What I'm playing with ...

I am having a BLAST playing with Laurie Wisbrun's new "Nesting Chairs" fabric line, available via her Scarlet Fig Etsy shop. I've really enjoyed watching Laurie continue to put out limited release fabric collections via her Etsy shop ... in addition to her wildly successful lines for Robert Kaufman, like Tufted Tweets and Urban Circus. Besides Nesting Chairs, she's got some other great prints in her Etsy shop -- check out Polar Bear Dots, Modern Whimsy, and (of course!) Donkeys & Wellies.

I wasn't sure which color way of Nesting Chairs I wanted to work with, so Laurie sent both ... with one caveat:

Giveaway | Coming soon!

Whichever I decided not to use would be given away to a lucky reader of my blog!

Giveaway | Coming soon!

I had actually planned on using these grey and yellow prints, but went in the blue & orange direction once I pulled a couple of coordinates from my stash. These colors are amazing, though. Check out the pillow that Ashley made from this color story. So cute!

Want a chance to win this fat quarter bundle of Laurie's fabric? You know how I roll. All you have to do is leave me a single comment, and I'll let the random number generator pick the winner. Tell me what you'd make with these great prints, or simply say hello. I'll be picking a winner next Sunday, April 3rd.

Good luck!

Friday, March 25, 2011


Did you know that it's Mug Rug Madness week over on Erin's blog? She's pulled together a wonderful collection of posts about mug rugs (what the heck are they? how big should they be?) as well as giveaways and fun tutorials in case you're itching to jump on the bandwagon.

Which you should, because it's a fun bandwagon to be on. Case in point: check out the two mug rugs I made for our last Triangle Modern Quilt Guild meeting. We had a mug rug swap and here's what I contributed:

Mug Rug for TMQG Swap

First, a scrappy Parisville version using scraps from my ribbon quilt. I adapted Elizabeth's technique from her Map of the States block to draw up some templates for this one. The wonk is probably too subtle to get the full effect, though.

Here's the back:

Mug Rug for TMQG Swap (back)

For my next one, I used fabrics from Patty Young's Flora & Fauna collection. I love the colors and basic design of this one. Again, I made a scrappy binding which I think turned out great.

Mug Rug for TMQG Swap

Here's the back, featuring Patty's beautiful hummingbird design.

Mug Rug (back)

And here are all of the mug rugs that were swapped. I took home the amazingly crafted bunny one as well as the bright cross-design one right next to it.


Have you made any mug rugs lately? I'd love to see them!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

inspire. create. stitch.

Hoop Up for Jill

Just a short post tonight to share a piece of embroidery that I recently finished for Jill as part of the Hoop Up! embroidery swap. Jill's theme was "Text plus ...", meaning she wanted words with a little something extra. I decided on a few words that sum up my feelings about the swap (and swaps in general, really!) And for my little something extra, I decided to try my hand at doodle-stitched birds a la Kajsa Wickman and her book, Scandinavian Stitches. It was a fun technique that I'll definitely be using again ...

Hope you all had a great weekend! Go Heels!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

January / February Quilting Bee Blocks

Hi everyone! Wow, I haven't been around much lately, huh? I can't believe it's been nearly a month since I last posted. Thanks to everyone who reached out to make sure I was doing OK. Fortunately, my absence had nothing to do with my elbow -- it's almost 100% back to normal now and I officially graduated physical therapy! And with that has come a lot of sewing ... some stuff I can share, and some I can't! (eeeeee! don't you love secret surprises?)

So why haven't I blogged? A couple of reasons, but largely because Mrs. Quilt Dad dropped and broke our camera! Can you imagine what it's like being a blogger without a camera?? It's been rough, I tell ya'!

I've tried my best by taking some pictures on my iPhone but, as you'll see later in this post, it hasn't been the ideal solution. The good news is that I just got a suh-weet deal on a new DSLR camera this week ... so as soon as I figure out how to use it, I'll be back to my old tricks.

In the meantime, I thought it was a good time to catch up on my quilting bee blocks from the past few months.

These first blocks were made for my homegirl Heather in the { Bee } Imaginative group. January was Heather's month and she sent out some bits of solid fabrics and the fabulous Quilter's Tweed by Robert Kaufman. She requested mini blocks made improv-style. Here's what I came up with:

{Bee} Imaginative blocks for Heather

I can't wait to see how she pulls it all together.

January was Andrea's month in the Buzz Cuts bee. She sent us the grey print from Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley line that you see below as the background print, and asked us to use our own scraps to complete the following block:

Buzz Cuts | January

Buzz Cuts | January

The block was a bit work intensive, but is also a great scrap buster and fun to put together.

Now, I had vowed to go on a quilting bee diet this year -- no new quilting bees! -- but I couldn't resist joining Rachel's do. Good Stitches charity bee. All of the quilts made from this bee are donated to a charitable cause.

The group started in January but generously gave me a pass for the first month to let my elbow heal. February's block assignment was 2 blocks made from Elizabeth's Map of the States block in shades of orange and grey. I had been hesitant to try this block pattern -- freezer paper? who needs it?! -- but I'm hooked. It's become my new favorite block pattern and I've even made a mug rug using the technique.

do.good stitches charity bee

Cool blocks , huh? Jill has already put the quilt top together. Check it out here!

February brought a really fun design challenge from Nettie in the { Bee } Imaginative group. Take a look at the photo she provided as inspiration for her blocks. She sent some grey fabrics and an assortment of rainbow colored scraps. I made this block featuring a wonky block of color in the middle of sea of grey. I wanted the rainbow bit to stand apart from the neighboring blocks in Nettie's final quilt.

{ Bee } Imaginative | February

And now ... errrr ... Buzz Cuts' February block. Julie requested paper-pieced Union Jack blocks made from this free tutorial. Let's start off by saying that paper-piecing is SO not my thing. I love the fabrics I selected for this block but was doomed for disaster from the start.

Here's the travesty that I ended up with:

Buzz Cuts | February

Clearly this isn't acceptable to send to Julie, and I need to start over from scratch. I don't think I have enough of these fabrics to replicate the block, though. And I'm having a hard time finding the motivation to start all over again. Send me strength!