Wednesday, February 29, 2012

SLICED | A Moda Bake Shop Competition

Are you as big a fan of reality show competitions as I am? I love Top Chef, Project Runway, Work of Art, Chopped -- basically, if skilled and crafty people are showing off their stuff, then I'm in. My kids even have me hooked on Cupcake Wars. Which is why I'm excited to see the latest (and fiercest) sewing and quilting competition unfold. I'm talking about SLICED, the latest activity brought to you by Oda May and the master bakers at the Moda Bake Shop.

Haven't heard of Sliced? Well, here's a quick break-down of how it's gonna work:
Sliced is an online sewing competition where four crafty people will compete before a panel of judges. They will have 5 days to use their creative talents to develop a project with a sewing basket of mystery items given to them on the first day of each week {crafters must provide their own items}.

Once they have completed their project, the panel of judges will critique the projects from each challenge and will decide who will be SLICED and who will continue on to the next week and a new challenge. We will have a surprise guest judge each week of the competition. The competition will run March 4 - 31, 2012. Each week, someone will be "Sliced" from the competition until only one winner remains. Do you have what it takes to become the next Moda Bake Shop Chef?
More details about the rules of the competition can be found here.

And there are prizes, too. Oh, are there prizes ...

Unfortunately, the call for entries ends tonight -- so if this is the first you're hearing of the contest, then you'd better work fast to enter! The good news is that we can admire all of the entries in the Sliced Flickr group, and watch the action unfold the Moda Bake Shop blog.

And who knows -- you may even see a friendly face pop up as a guest judge later in the competition ... ; )

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Basic Charity Challenge 2012

Basic Charity Challenge 2012

For the 2nd year in a row, Cara Wilson from Cara Quilts has issued a challenge to the quilting community. Cara, the host of the ever-popular weekly #talknt chat on Twitter for quilters everywhere, is asking for us all to help those less fortunate in our communities and, in return, she's offering up some fantastic prizes. Here's more from Cara's post on the 2012 challenge:

In our daily lives we have a lot of things we think of as basics.

This morning you brushed your teeth with a toothbrush and tooth paste.

You used toilet paper.

Had soap to wash your hands.

Put on some deodorant.

Ran a brush through your hair.

Maybe took a shower with shampoo, conditioner, body wash and a razor.

Put some make-up on.

You were able to put on clean underwear and socks, that no one else has ever worn.

In the kitchen did you grab some paper towels to clean up a little spill?

At some point during the day you probably grabbed a coffee or tea.

Used some tissue to blow your nose. Maybe sanitized your hands after.

I could go on but you probably have the point by now. We have a LOT of things that we consider basics.

In each of our communities there are places that people don’t have the very basic things we all take for granted. Shelters -- for abused women/children, homeless, men’s missions -- exist in virtual every community. They are a necessary safety net for people in our communities who for an array of reasons need help. But these shelters are almost always in need of the basic items. Many of the people have had to leave everything behind, or don’t have anything to begin with.

So here's Cara's challenge: identify a local shelter or charitable organization in your local community. Ask them what they need. Check online -- they probably have a website and most have a list of what is needed at that particular time. Make a donation of basic goods, and upload a picture of your donation to the Flickr group. That's it! By doing so, you'll be eligible to win some great prizes from Cara's very generous sponsors, like fat quarter bundles, jelly rolls, quilting books, patterns, and more.

But the best prize of all will be knowing you made a difference.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My two Fat Quarterly quilts

My kids 1/21/2012
Regarding Ms. B on the right: yes, that lone, wobbly tooth in the front has since fallen out!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had not one but TWO quilt patterns featured in issue 8 of Fat Quarterly. I wanted to show them both today in their entirety, as well as some outtakes that the kids and I had during our photo shoot!

(Quick note of clarification: issue 8 of Fat Quarterly has a paper-piecing theme, but both of my quilt patterns are traditionally pieced (i.e. easy)! Though there are several great paper-piecing projects in the issue, we wanted to be sure we still offered a variety of project types for all sewists.)

Kingdom Courtyards

First up is my Kingdom Courtyards quilt. I made this quilt to showcase Jessica Levitt's Kingdom line, and it was on display in the Windham booth at Spring Quilt Market in Salt Lake City last year. I love this quilt pattern -- mostly for its versatility and its ability to showcase large prints -- and finally had the chance to write it up to share with Fat Quarterly readers.

Kingdom Courtyards was masterfully quilted by the uber-talented Angela Walters (who happens to have her own book coming out soon!)

Kingdom Courtyards

Kingdom Courtyards

Kingdom Courtyards

Kingdom Courtyards Quilt

My second quilt is called Double Happiness, and I made this quilt with Kate Spain's newest line, Good Fortune. The ever-talented Jackie Kunkel of Canton Village Quilt Works did an amazing job with the quilting. I LOVE Jackie's work -- she always seems to take what I send her to another level with her quilting choices. Thanks, Jackie!

The kids and I had a great time staging an impromptu photo shoot to get some good pictures of the quilt at a local nature center on a grey Sunday afternoon!

Double Happiness Quilt

The twins

Double Happiness Quilt


Double Happiness Quilt

Prince Sean

Double Happiness Quilt

Princess Bevin

Double Happiness Quilt

Princess Megan

Double Happiness Quilt

Love these little buggers!

They're crazy ... but I love these guys!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Can this quilt be saved?

When we were up in New York for the holidays, we had a lovely brunch at the home of one of my wife's best friends, Kim ... who also happens to be one of my good friends, since she and Mrs. Quilt Dad were college roommates when I first met them both. In fact, it was Kim who played a key role in convincing my wife to go out with me in the first place, so I guess you can say I am somewhat indebted to her!

That's why I was happy to help Kim out when she asked me for some advice ...

Can this quilt be saved?

As we were getting ready to leave her house after brunch, she asked us to hold one for a minute while she ran upstairs to grab something. She brought down a small, folded up bundle of fabric which, when opened, revealed the well worn (and torn) baby quilt you see above.

She explained that this quilt was her husband's baby quilt, a sentimental family heirloom from his childhood that was very important to him. But, as you can see, the quilt was ... ahem, well loved. It was stained, had holes in the top, inconsistent stitching throughout, and the borders and backing were completely shredded, exposing old and worn out batting. It was wrinkled & puckered, and the colors were severely faded in the creases.

Can this quilt be saved?

She asked if I had any thoughts or ideas of how to preserve the quilt, and although I've never tried my hand at deconstructing and reviving old quilts, I agreed to take it home with me and take a look ...

Can this quilt be saved?

This post was originally intended to ask you all for advice, but I was so eager to dive in that I am already several steps in to the process! Here's what I've done so far:
  • Completely deconstructed the quilt by picking out ALL of the quilting stitches.
  • Cut off the borders and backing, and threw it all away (along with the batting).
  • Hand washed and gently pressed the main panel, taking care to flatten out all of the wrinkles and puckers.
  • Adhered a layer of thin fusible interfacing to the back of the main panel. I felt that it really needed to be stabilized because the fabric was paper thin in parts, and I was afraid it would basically disintegrate with any further handling.
  • Selected a bunch of gorgeous oliver + s prints (from the City Weekend and Modern Workshop lines) to complement the panel. In my head, I was always planning on buying some 30's reproduction fabrics for this project, but the colors in these prints were a near-perfect match for the panel, and I fell in love with the idea of giving it an updated contemporary-yet-vintage vibe.
oliver + s prints for a special baby quilt project

I've added several borders to the panels using these prints, and I am thrilled with how it looks. As soon as I can pick up some fresh batting, I'll quilt and bind it and send it back up to New Jersey so that Kim can surprise her husband with it. I hope they're happy with my approach to bringing their family heirloom back to life!