Friday, September 30, 2011

11 hours left to support a fellow quilter!

First, thanks so much for all of your generous comments and nice words regarding my announcement of the Fat Quarterly book. It's truly an exciting time and I appreciate all of your support. Quilt Dad readers are THE BEST!
Today, I am happy to give a big plug for an amazing sewist, quilter, and craftsperson. Many of you may be familiar with Alexia Abegg, who blogs at Craftopia. And if you don't, you should. Her work is amazing and I have drawn much inspiration from her beautiful creations. I've also been fortunate enough to meet her at Quilt Market, and she is as sweet as she is talented.

So many of us dream of how we can turn our creative passions into a career. Well, Alexia has taken the proverbial bull by the horns. She submitted a proposal to Kickstarter to raise funds to get her pattern business, Green Bee Pattern Co., off of the ground, and she was accepted!

(Not familiar with Kickstarter? They bill themselves as "a new way to fund & follow creativity." They help people kickstart their business ideas to the next level.)

She's nearly reached her goal but, with only a few hours left, she needs some help.

So, my plea today is this: help a fellow member of our vibrant sewing & quilting community realize her dream. Consider checking out Alexia's Kickstarter page and learn more about what she is trying to do. Let's demonstrate how we continue to support one another.

Thanks, all ... and good luck, Alexia!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Stash Happy Patchwork winner

Stash Happy Patchwork Book

D'oh! So I am totally late in getting this posted -- thanks for the reminder, Jennie! (And P.S., congrats on the good news : )

Guess what else, Jennie? -- and I swear, I can't even make this stuff up -- your lucky number got pulled by

Jennie said... 155

Oooh! I love the looks of that book. I am always on the lookout for boy-appropriate quilted gifts. Panda pillow is a must have I think..

Congratulations! I call that fate. It was meant to be. And if you make the panda pillow for your baby-to-be, I totally want to see it!!

Shoot me over your mailing information and I'll get your book out to you ASAP.

Thanks to everyone who entered! I've got some more book-related giveaways coming up soon, so stay tuned ... : )

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This is EPIC!

(... as my 7 year-old daughter would say!)

We let the cat out of the bag with some big news yesterday on the Fat Quarterly blog:


Yes, that's the real cover of a real book right there. With my name on it. And it's already available for pre-order on Amazon.

What?? I'm on Amazon?! I'm still pinching myself.

I wrote all about it over on the Fat Quarterly blog, so head on over there to read more.

There's a whole lot more to come about this book but, for now, I'll just state for the record that I am humbled. I'm grateful and excited and appreciative and nervous and humbled.

And I'm on Amazon, and I can't stop smiling about it.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Blogger's BOM | Starting tomorrow!

I have a soft spot in my heart for online quilt-alongs and block of the month-type programs. After all, it was Amanda Jean's quilt-alongs that really got me sewing and blogging in the first place! That's why I'm so excited to tell you about a new block of the month program that I'll be participating in ... and it's kicking off tomorrow!

The Blogger's Block of the Month quilt-along was put together by the fabulous Jackie Kunkel of Canton Village Quilt Works, and it features original blocks by 14 amazing and diverse quilters from some of our favorite blogs.

Because this is a monthly program it's a great long-term project. And with only a single 8" block each month, it's TOTALLY manageable for us time-starved quilters.

Here is the packet of beautiful Kaffe Fassett fabrics that Jackie sent to each of us to design our block ... though, of course, you can use whatever fabrics you choose for the quilt-along.

The quilt-along kicks off tomorrow on Sherri McConnell's blog, A Quilting Life, and each new block is posted on the 25th of the month. And since it's a monthly program, have no fear if you don't have your fabrics together yet -- you've got plenty of time to catch up. This is also going to be a GREAT stash-buster project, so why not just pull out some of your favorite leftovers from your other projects?

You can learn all about the Blogger's Block of the Month program (and grab your very own blog button!) on Jackie's blog post. She's even set up a Flickr group for everyone to post their blocks and progress. And here's the full list of block designers, along with the month their block will be posted:
I hope you'll join us on this fun journey! And I'll see you back here in January for my block pattern.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

do. Good Stitches Charity Quilt

do.Good Stitches | Finished Quilt

One of my ongoing quilting bees is do. Good Stitches, which is a charity bee. Each month, a different member of the group asks the other members to make a specific block or style of block from their scraps or fabric stash. Then, the requester collects all the blocks, puts them together, and sends it off to a charitable organization.

do.Good Stitches | Finished Quilt

Back in April, I asked the other members of my group to make a shoo-fly block from Malka Dubrawsky's great free block tutorial in shades of green and blue. My group members made a whole bunch of amazing blocks and sent them to me to assemble into a quilt.

do.Good Stitches | Finished Quilt

I have to thank my very patient group members, because all of this happened right around the time of my move. I wasn't able to get the quilt assembled in as timely a manner as I had hoped, but it was my first order of business after getting my sewing space set up in the new house.

And since the quilt came together in a way that, to me, made it perfect for a young boy, I finished it in the way I like to make baby quilts: by using an ultra high-loft batting, sewing it together right sides together and flipping it out, and tying it instead of quilting it. The result is a super soft, almost duvet-like quilt that's great as a floor mat for baby as well as for snuggling as the child gets older.

do.Good Stitches | Finished Quilt

So, 5 months after requesting the blocks from my group members -- again, thanks for your patience, y'all! -- I finally got it all packaged up and sent this week. I decided to send the quilt to a very worthy cause: my friend Victoria's Bumble Beans Basics Quilt Gather. If you have any quilts that you're willing to donate to needy families in the NYC area, please visit Victoria's site and learn more about the quilt gather.

do. Good Stitches Quilt

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Authentic Mini Quilt | Mini Quilt Monday!

Authentic Mini Quilt

So I'm just squeezing in under the wire, but I wanted to get this posted in time to link up to Faith's Mini Quilt Monday series on her blog, Fresh Lemon Quilts! I figured it was a great opportunity to blog about a mini quilt that I recently completed, and the swap for which I made it.

Authentic Mini Quilt

A couple of weeks back, Sharon (who blogs at Craizee Corners) asked me if I'd like to be a guest blogger this month on her blog in celebration of Sweetwater month. Sharon likes to feature a fabric designer each month, and invites her friends to come talk about their experiences working with that designer's fabrics.

"Sure", I thought. "I love Sweetwater's fabrics, and I'd even like to make something to show off on Sharon's blog!"

Authentic Mini Quilt

At the same time, I was planning a mini quilt for Kait as part of the Triangle Modern Quilt Guild's mini quilt swap -- a perfect opportunity, I thought, to pull out my small but beloved scrap stash of Authentic, Sweetwater's first line with Moda. These scraps were my leftovers from my pillow project featuring the line on the Moda Bake Shop.

I also decided on the perfect pattern for my quilt: the Bay Breeze pattern by Monica Solorio-Snow, a.k.a. the Happy Zombie. It's an oldie but a goodie -- I originally found it in the Summer 2008 issue of Quilts and More magazine. (I've made a mini quilt from this pattern once before -- WAY back when I first starting sewing!)

Authentic Mini Quilt

I really, really loved how this little quilt came out. You can read my full Sweetwater month post on Sharon's blog here, and see Kait's blog post about receiving this quilt here.

I mentioned this quilt was made for a swap, so want to see what I received in return?

Mini Quilt Received!

Julie, a fellow TMQG, made this amazing and beautiful mini quilt for me. Isn't it fabulous? It's made from hexagons -- which she machine pieced! -- from Tula Pink's "Prince Charming" line. (Oh, so she caught on to my weakness for Tula Pink fabrics. I guess I don't hide it too well.)

With those birds added and framed so beautifully with a chocolate brown binding, it's a beautiful addition to my wall decor.

MIni Quilt Label

Thanks so much, Julie -- I LOVE my quilt!

For more mini quilt love, be sure to check out Faith's Mini Quilt Monday series.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stash Happy Patchwork Book Review + Giveaway

Stash Happy Patchwork Book

I recently received a review copy of the book Stash Happy Patchwork: 25 Sewing Projects for Fabric Lovers by Cynthia Shaffer from my friends on the Lark Needleworks team. After having the chance to browse through the book and its many project ideas, I wanted to pass along some of my favorites ... and also give you all the chance to win your very own copy!

Stash Happy Patchwork

So what's this book all about? As you may have gathered from the title, it's all about sewing from your stash -- you know, all of those treasured little bits and scraps left over from your finished projects. According to Cynthia, the book features "a collection of projects to feature your favorite fabrics, make the most of your scraps, and offer fun ways to upcycle things you've never considered part of your stash before."

Panda Bolster Pillow

This adorable project is called the Panda Bolster, and it's definitely something I could see myself making for a newborn baby or a child's birthday present ... similar to my other favorite softie project, Owlie McPillowpants! The instructions look totally do-able, and there are even some notes on how to modify the project to be a pig, dog, or tiger.

Stash Happy Patchwork

I thought this Bento Box project idea was a clever twist on the homemade lunch bag, and it looks great made up with those Joel Dewberry fabrics.

Bento Box

A scoodie? I probably won't make be making one of these for myself, but I thought it was a really clever and unique idea. With the right fabrics -- maybe some Lisette prints, Ruby Star Spring, or even some coveted Liberty fabrics? -- I think this could make a really fun Christmas gift idea.

Scrappy Scoodie

Perhaps my favorite project in the book is this Log Cabin Bucket, made from four log cabin blocks and some study canvas & burlap.

Log Cabin Bucket

The book says that it would work great as a toy tote or for car trips, but I can think of so many different ways that this can be used. And since I've already mentioned Christmas gifts in this post -- it's September, so isn't it about time we start thinking about them?? -- how cool would it be to "wrap" your gifts in these fun totes?

Log Cabin Bucket

There are many more projects in the book -- 21, to be exact! -- and they range from aprons to children's garments, from bags to pillows, and from quilts to a wide variety of home decor items. I would certainly say that there's certainly something in this book for everyone.

Log Cabin Bucket

So what's my verdict? Overall, I think that Stash Happy Patchwork would make a solid addition to a sewist's library. Given the current price of single patterns, I consider most books a pretty good investment even if only 2 or 3 project ideas appeal to me. While there are certainly a few projects in the book that I won't likely make, it easily passes that threshold for me. Even better, I see a lot of versatility in the book's patterns -- with some new color and fabric selections, you can really personalize them in your own style.

Would you be happy to add Stash Happy Sewing to your library? You can win a copy for yourself, simply by leaving a comment on this post. Let me know what it is you look for in a sewing or quilting book, and what you wish there was more of in quilting books. I'd love to hear what you think!

I'll pick a random winner next Friday, 9/23. Good luck!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

August & September Quilting Bee Blocks

Hrm ... I notice that I haven't shown much sewing in my last few posts. I've been staying pretty busy on the crafty front, though! I hope to have some more finished products to share in the coming days, but for now I'll settle for some quilting bee blocks.

do. Good Stitches | August blocks

In August, I made these two Greek Cross blocks in shades of green, blue, and grey for the do. Good Stitches charity bee. We used a tutorial by Faith of Fresh Lemons Modern Quilts for these great blocks.

do. Good Stitches | September

I'm a little ahead of the game for September and was able to whip up these two blocks, also for the do. Good Stitches bee. We used Alissa's free block tutorial for her Modern Block of the Month quilt-along, hosted by the great folks at Sew Mama Sew! The pink, orange, and red block will be used in a quilt for a little girl, and the blue, green, and grey for a little boy.

Bass Line Blocks

And finally, these blocks aren't for a quilting bee, but they are for a very special project. They were made for the sweet Amy Lobsiger and her daughter, Annabel. As you can read here, Amy's husband -- a prominent journalist who covered the Detroit music scene -- recently passed away. And because quilters are the most awesome group of people together, Amy's great friends Sarah and Katy began rallying people to contribute blocks to a quilt project to honor Dan Sicko.

Amy loves Kaffe Fassett fabrics. Dan loved and extensively covered the techno music scene in Detroit. And so Sarah designed these blocks -- and the quilts they will become -- to suggest the stereo bass line of a techno track.

A wonderful idea, and one to which I am proud to contribute.

Friday, September 9, 2011

My latest FQ bundle

Fat Quarterly Fabric Pack

I had such fun putting together my last fat quarter bundle with the Fat Quarter Shop that I've been itching to do it again. And with bees on the brain, it's no wonder that I built my latest fabric pack around Melody Miller's Cross Stitch Bee print from her Ruby Star Spring line. I loved playing off of the shades of pink, plum, orange, teal and raspberry to pull together this fun mix.

Want to read more about it? Check out my post on the Fat Quarterly blog. You can also see this fabric pack -- and learn more about me! -- on Sharon's blog today.

Want to purchase this fabric pack? It's available at the Fat Quarter Shop.

Have a wonderful weekend! Me? I'll be playing host to 12 7 and 8 year-old girls tonight. It's my twin girls' 7th birthday, and they begged and pleaded for a sleepover party. Wish me luck ... and send me strength!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Skirts (& bees) on the brain

Ruby Star Spring 241 Tote

I've had skirts on the brain lately. And no, I am not talking about making some new kind of fashion statement. At 6'5" and XXX pounds, I don't think anyone needs to see me in a skirt.

I've been thinking about skirts for my twin girls. About how much they love to wear simple, elastic-waisted twirly skirts, and about how great they would be to highlight and use some of my favorite new fabric lines and prints. Unfortunately, I've also been thinking about how terrified I am to make any type of garment, no matter how "simple" everyone claims them to be.

Fortunately, a few of my Twitter friends have offered to help me out. I've set up a few swaps that will provide a few new skirts for my girls, let me scratch the itch of selecting the fabrics, and allow me to once again avoid any type of sewing that frightens me. Thanks, Jacqueline & Rachel!

I've also had Melody Miller's newest line, Ruby Star Spring, on my mind. I can't get enough of that giant bee print, and the linen-blend base cloth that the line is printed on is amazing. I'm totally inspired by the recent quilts that Heather & Ashley have posted using the line (check 'em out at the links), and I can't wait to make something with my small stash of the line (that is sure to grow.)

So with skirts and Ruby Star Spring on my mind, imagine my delight when Melody pointed me to an adorable little video she created featuring a free pattern by Deborah of Whipstitch for ... wait for it ...

... a bee skirt!!

And even though I won't be making one, I can watch the video again and again. It's just that cute.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Coming soon: Quilt Uber-Fest!

Ever since the Block-a-Palooza Quilt Along wrapped up a few months back, I've received a few questions about when the next quilt-along would take place. Though I'm not quite ready for a round 2 of Block-a-Palooza (yet), I don't want all of you would-be quilt-alongers to fret. That's because my buddy Scott Hansen from the Blue Nickel Studios blog is stepping up to host another awesome quilt-along to help tide you over.

He's calling it Quilt Uber-Fest, and the festivities kick off on October 1st right here on my blog! That's right -- I'll be designing the first block of the sampler quilt and hosting the tutorial, and then 15 of my awesome fellow bloggers will follow suit throughout the month. Consider it our Octoberfest celebration for quilters. Oh yes, there will be beer involved ... at my house, anyway.

To get us in the spirit of the season, we'll all be using some beautiful fall-inspired prints from a new line called Sleeping Beauty by Nel Whatmore for Free Spirit Fabrics. Scott's got a whole lot more information on his announcement post today, and there's already a Flickr group set up for all participants.

Hope to see you there!


Quilt Uber-Fest Schedule:

Oct 1 John Adams

Oct 2 Kaye Prince

Oct 3 Karen Linton

Oct 4 Konda Luckau

Oct 5 Amy Lobsiger

Oct 6 Ryan Walsh

Oct 7 Scott Hansen

Oct 8 April Rosenthal

Oct 9 Cara Wilson

Oct 10 Amanda Jennings

Oct 11 Susan Sobon

Oct 12 Jan Peoples

Oct 13 Erin Singleton

Oct 14 Charlie Scott

Oct 15 Emily Cier

Oct 16 Rachel Locke