Monday, November 18, 2013

Lush Uptown Layer Cake Lemonade | A free pattern and discount

So, despite my lack of blogging, I have been doing a bit of sewing lately. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I can't share much of it with you yet. However, I can share a cool new quilt top that I recently finished up.

I was excited to be asked by Kimberly, Chelsea, and the team at the Fat Quarter Shop to help celebrate the launch of their newest free quilt pattern, Layer Cake Lemonade. This pattern is part of the FQS' Shortcut Quilts series, featuring patterns for quilts that are quick to piece and make good use of fabric pre-cuts. You can find the free quilt pattern here.

For my version of the Layer Cake Lemonade quilt, I decided to use the recent reprint of two of my favorite fabric lines -- Lush Uptown by Erin Michael for Moda. I knew it would be a great collection to showcase its beautiful large focal prints.

The pattern was well-written and a breeze to put together. In fact, I both cut and pieced this quilt top in just one afternoon. A Shortcut Quilt indeed!

The quilt top finishes at 48" x 61". I added a narrow 1" border using a solid Moda Bella solid in teal to frame the prints a bit more. I'm also planning on adding some additional solid borders in other colors pulled from the collection to make this more of a sizable throw quilt -- after all, I am 6'5" and I want to keep this one for myself. I'll post more pictures of the quilt top after I add those extra borders.

I'm always a big fan of quick quilt projects. And of free patterns. Lucky for us, this one hits on both counts!

As part of the pattern's launch today, Kimberly put out a great video with more information about the quilt. I've embedded it in the post below, but you can also find it -- and more information about the Layer Cake Lemonade pattern -- on the FQS blog today.

Once again, here is the link to the free quilt pattern.

Also, in honor of the release of the Layer Cake Lemonade pattern, the Fat Quarter Shop is offering 20% off of all layer cakes this week only for all of you that want to make your own version. Happy shopping!

Want to see a bunch more variations of the Layer Cake Lemonade quilt? Check out some other bloggers' awesome versions of the pattern:

  • Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts
  • Vickie of Spun Sugar Quilts
  • Kristyne of Pretty by Hand
  • Jo of Jo's Country Junction
  • Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew
  • Karrie of Freckled Whimsy
  • Brigitte of Zen Chic
  • Lisa of Primitive Gatherings
  • Polly & Laurie of Minick & Simpson
  • Karla, Lisa & Susan of Sweetwater
  • Barb & Mary of Me & My Sister Designs
  • Kate of Kate Spain
  • Lori of Bee in my Bonnet
  • Bonnie of Bonnie & Camille/Cotton Way
  • Tammie of Moda Fabrics

  • Thanks again to Kimberly and the entire team over at the Fat Quarter Shop for inviting me to be part of the celebration!

    Sew & Stitch Embroidery WINNER

    Thanks for all of your great replies to my embroidery questions. It's always great to see my love of a craft shared by so many others. Bog congratulations to the winner of the book giveaway, Julie, who wrote:

    JulieOctober 22, 2013 at 12:46 AMI stitched a sampler as a girl to earn a Girl Scout badge--hated every minute of it. Started stitching again a few years ago, and now can't get enough.

    Julie, please contact me with your mailing address so we can get you your book straight away. And if you're not Julie but love embroidery, I still suggest you pick this book up. I highly recommend it.

    Back later with a quilt top finish!

    Tuesday, November 12, 2013

    Fat Quarterly Holiday Issue & some news

    Issue 15 of Fat Quarterly, the annual holiday edition, is out today! It looks to be yet another fabulous issue chock full of holiday project ideas and inspiration because -- whether you choose to believe it or not -- 'tis the season, y'all! So head on over to the Fat Quarterly site and purchase your issue or subscribe today.

    From Fat Quarterly Issue 15

    It's also the perfect time for me to let you all know that I am no longer an official member of the Fat Quarterly team. Stepping down from the magazine was an extremely difficult decision for me but, with the twists and turns my life has taken of late and the changing demands on my time, it was the best decision for all parties.

    From Fat Quarterly Issue 15

    Of course, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Fat Quarterly and I love the ladies of the FQ team even more. Katy, Brioni, Lynne and Tacha have become some of my best friends in the world. This move was nothing less than love-and-hugs all around (and, in fact, I am already planning on some visits with the gang when I am in Europe!) I still believe in the mission of Fat Quarterly -- to be both of and for the modern quilting community -- and will support it to the end.

    Back tomorrow with the winner of the Sew & Stitch Embroidery book giveaway!

    Monday, October 21, 2013

    Sew & Stich Embroidery Blog Tour & Book Giveaway

    Hello and Happy Monday, everyone! I'm checking in today to support my friend Alyssa Thomas and the release of her great new book, Sew & Stitch Embroidery. Yes, I think it will be my sewing friends and their continued successes that might ultimately draw me out of this somewhat unwanted but self-imposed leave of absence from blogging. I just can't help but share in the excitement of good news and good products from really good people. And Alyssa is most definitely one of those people.

    I first "met" Alyssa online a few years back when I began experimenting with and teaching myself some embroidery skills. I was immediately drawn to the overall vibe of her artwork -- simple and accessible, chock full of character, and just SO DARN CUTE. I was also lucky enough to participate in a few embroidery swaps with her and visit her very first quilt market booth! Her embroidery designs are perfect for new & experienced stitchers alike -- relatively simple to complete but the end results are sure to impress. Since then, I've been delighted to follow Alyssa's journey in building up her embroidery-based business, Penguin & Fish -- great freebies over there, by the way -- as well as her forays into fabric design and book publishing.

    Here's an original design that Alyssa first drew and stitched for me as part of a swap piece, the pattern for which she is now including in the book!

    Isn't it gorgeous? And I have the original (soon to be pieced into a special quilt!)

    Here's another great project from the book (Octopus twin quilt & pillow sham):

    If you find yourself even remotely drawn to Alyssa's work, you'll absolutely love Sew & Stitch Embroidery. In this book, Alyssa infuses her embroidered characters into over 20 different sewing projects, from pillowcases and table runners to toys, scarves, and tablet sleeves. Along the way, Alyssa includes 30+ embroidery patterns that can be used in the book's projects and beyond. With 20 sewing patterns and 30 embroidery patterns, this book earns an A+ in value.

    You can buy your very own copy of the book on the Penguin & Fish site here. When you buy directly from Alyssa she'll not only sign the book, but draw you a little doodle inside. Take it from me and my own experience: receiving a package from Alyssa is always a delight, since she tends to doodle on everything! With the holidays rapidly approaching, Sew & Stitch Embroidery gets the Quilt Dad seal of approval as a great gift idea for the crafters (and wannabe embroiderers) on your list. And as the father of 3 young children, I can vouch for the fact that Alyssa's designs are PERFECT for the creative kids in your life.

    I'm also giving a copy of the book away to a lucky Quilt Dad reader! Simply leave a comment on this post and tell me a little more about your experience with hand embroidery. Are you a new stitcher? More experienced? What is the favorite project that you've made? I'll randomly select a winner from all of the comments later this week.

    *** Giveaway is now closed. Thanks for participating! ***

     Be sure to keep in touch with Alyssa and everything Penguin & Fish via social media!

    Monday, August 12, 2013

    Sneak peek

    Although I haven't been blogging much lately, I've mentioned that I have been keeping busy with some sewing.  For now, all I can share is a quick sneak peek at some bits & pieces of my next project.  Stay tuned ...

    Wednesday, July 31, 2013

    Fat Quarterly Community Retreat | LONDON

    Well, hello there!  So yeah, the whole "blogging more regularly" thing hasn't been working out as well as I had hoped.  It doesn't mean I haven't been busy, though ... especially when it comes to sewing and quilting.  But more on that soon.

    I was fortunate enough to spend an inspiring weekend in London last week for the second annual Fat Quarterly Community Retreat.  You know, after last year, I didn't think it could get any better.  I was wrong.


    I can't go much further without first talking about the amazing people I got to hang out with.  In the picture above you'll see some shots of Katy, Brioni, Laura Jane, Lu, Justine, Mandy, and Jenna.  These ladies -- along with Lynne and Tacha and many others, of course -- made the weekend an even more incredible experience than I could have hoped for.

    See that tall stack of quilts in the top left?  Those beautiful quilts were all made by attendees of the Fat Quarterly Community Retreat and donated to Siblings Together.  Brilliant!

    I had the pleasure of teaching two classes this year.  The first was a hand embroidery workshop in which I introduced some basic stitches that I like to use to a room full of eager crafters, both novice and experienced.  The real fun, of course, came in the form of the many goodies I was able to round up and give away.


    Many thanks to Alyssa Thomas of Penguin & Fish, Alison Glass, and Spoonflower for their generous donations to my class.  Alyssa provided several copies of her adorable iron-on transfer patterns (see the hedgehog, unicorn and yak above).  Alison sent along a sneak peek of her newest Clover Sunshine embroidery patterns (see the birds and rabbit above).  And since Alison's paper and iron-on patterns weren't available yet, I teamed up with my friends at Spoonflower to print the embroidery patterns directly onto some Kona cotton.  Perfect!

    You can find these patterns here:
    Penguin & Fish hand embroidery patterns
    Alison Glass Design Shop


    My second class was on blogging; i.e. how to create a successful blog and build your blog following.  I must admit, I was extremely nervous about teaching this class -- I mean, have you seen the cobwebs and thick layer of dust that's been sitting on my blog for the past year?  In the end, I pulled together a "Top 10" list of blog best practices that I think led to some very rich and meaningful conversations with the attendees of both sessions of my class.  I'll post that Top 10 list soon but, in the meantime, Leila wrote a really nice blog post on the class that you can read here.  I think that teaching that class has inspired me to come back and revisit this space.  I hope I can stay a while.


    And while teaching the classes were most definitely highlights of the weekend, there were so many more: getting to meet and hang out with long-time online buddy Krista of Poppyprint; a lovely mid-day 4-mile run in Hyde Park; presiding over the fun swaps and pub quiz; hang-out time on the Baden-Powell House's fab terrace; late night clubbing with Justine and Laura Jane; pizza night; and our now-legendary final night dinner where we drink, laugh, drink, reminisce, and drink some more.

    From having never left the USA until last year's retreat to now having visited London 3 times in the past 12 months, it's beginning to feel like a second home.  And I say "home" because I also feel like I have family there now.  Can't wait to go back.

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013

    Giveaway winners

    Time to wrap up two of my open giveaways.

    First up, I owe a lucky reader a selection Luxe in Bloom fabric by Art Gallery Fabrics.  Congratulations to Erica of Happy Fabric who said:

    EricaFebruary 5, 2013 at 10:25 AMI love this palette and the quilt pattern is great! I am most looking forward to a Disneyland holiday with my husband and our son & his wife at the end of the month - woot!

    Hope you had a great time at the Happiest Place on Earth, Erica!

    Next, let's see who won a copy of Martingale's Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe. Congratulations to Charlotte of Quilters, Books and Bindings who said:

    charlotteFebruary 11, 2013 at 7:19 PMI would love a copy of that book. I think maybe I would use the Lizzy House Pearl Bracelets in all those amazing colors.

    Can't wait to see your Pearl Bracelets version, Charlotte!

    Erica and Charlotte, please contact me with your mailing address and I'll be sure your prizes are sent out ASAP.

    Remember, my Art Gallery Fabrics Indian Summer giveaway is still open.  Head over to the post and comment to enter!

    Monday, April 22, 2013

    Indian Summer Mini Quilt & Giveaway

    OK, OK ... so I  keep saying that I'll be posting more and then I disappear again.  Sorry for that.  Still trying to figure out how to fit blogging back in to my schedule.  The good news is that a lot of the time I used to spend sewing and blogging has been spent instead focusing on my health!  I completed a 10-mile run this past weekend, which was fantastic.

    I was also able to work on my last project for the Art Gallery Fabrics Fat Quarter Gang.  I was lucky enough to get to work with the new Indian Summer line by Sarah Watson for Art Gallery Fabrics, and I fell in love with it.  I decided to make a mini quilt to show off some of the adorable prints and also to share my no-handwork, no-hassle hexagon technique.  You can find the project on the Art Gallery Fabrics blog today.

    And to celebrate the release of the project, Art Gallery Fabrics will send one lucky reader their very own bundle of Indian Summer fabrics!  Simply leave a comment on this post letting me know if you've ever sewn a project with hexagons, and what your experience was like.

    As with all AGF Fat Quarter Gang giveaways, you must follow Art Gallery Fabrics on your favorite social media platform (PinterestFacebook, or Twitter). Subscribe to the AGF blog to stay up to date on all things AGF & the Fat Quarter Gang!

    If you make an Indian Summer mini quilt, I'd love to see it.  Be sure to add it both to the Quilt Dad is my Homeboy and Art Gallery Fabrics Flickr groups.

    Winners of the last two giveaways will be posted later today!

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

    Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe | A book giveaway

    I am so excited that the fantastic book Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe has finally been released!  I have of course known about this project for a while, and it's been a challenge keeping it under wraps for so long.  I was honored to be asked to be part of this book along with some of my oldest and best quilting friends, including Katy (I'm a Ginger Monkey), Monica (Happy Zombie), Jeni (In Color Order), Heather (Olive & Ollie), Lee (Freshly Pieced), Allison (Cluck Cluck Sew), and many, many others.  Seeing everyone contribute such diverse designs united by a love for modern patchwork was such an inspiration, and the bloggers' efforts yielded what I think is one of the best modern quilting books available on the market.

    My quilt, A Shift in Perspective, was conceived while pulling together some of my favorite fabrics into a bundle that I knew I wanted to turn into a quilt.  Because I loved the prints and patterns so much, I designed something that would really highlight the combination and bring it to life.  The quilt is a variation of a simple strip quilt with some movement (the shift referred to in the quilt name) for visual interest.  As the quilt came together, it not only showcased the lovely fabric combination but also seemed to represent an abstract interpretation of a tree trunk -- a nice complement to the nature-inspired feel of the prints themselves.

    If you haven't already, be sure to check this book out -- the number of patterns you'll surely want to make make it a great value for the price.  Already on my list: Jolene's Tree quilt, Krista's Everything's Coming Up Rainbows quilt, and Jessica's Petal Pod quilt.  Awesome, each and every one.

    I'd love to hear what you think of my quilt pattern, and if you happen to make one I'd be thrilled to see it!  Be sure to add it to the Quilt Dad is my Homeboy Flickr group.  In fact, I just saw A Shift in Perspective quilt pop up this week on the Dear Stella fabrics blog, where they sewed one together to show off their new Ravena fabric line.  Pretty cool, huh?

    Giveaway time!  Martingale has generously offered a copy of Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe to a lucky Quilt Dad reader.  All you need to do is leave a comment on this post telling me what fabrics you'd use to make A Shift in Perspective.  I'll select a random winner next week.  Good luck!

    *** Giveaway is now closed. Thanks for participating! ***

    Monday, February 4, 2013

    Lap of Luxe Quilt | An Art Gallery Fabrics Project

    I'm excited to be back over on the Art Gallery Fabrics blog today with another free project tutorial.  I had a blast working with AGF's new Luxe in Bloom line, and although I originally intended on making a small project, I couldn't stop myself from making a quilt.

    This lap-sized quilt was made using fat quarters of the new Luxe in Bloom line along with some yardage of Art Gallery's Pure Elements solids.  I used two different shades of grey for a bit more of a scrappy feeling, but you could easily unify the solids for a cleaner look.  Made simply from squares and half-square triangles, my Lap of Luxe quilt pattern is perfect for showing off large prints and is easy enough to be considered beginner-friendly.

    The Luxe in Bloom collection is great in that it is clearly cohesive and looks great together.  Yet, without a single unifying theme, the prints still seem eclectic enough to look like a more diverse fabric pull.  While the florals and patterns are sophisticated, I still think the size of this quilt would make it perfect for a little girl or baby gift.

    Art Gallery Fabrics is generous enough to let one lucky Quilt Dad reader win a bundle of fabrics to make this project.  Interested in getting your hands on some Luxe?  Simply leave a comment on this post and let me know what you're most looking forward to this February.

    As with all AGF Fat Quarter Gang giveaways, you must follow Art Gallery Fabrics on your favorite social media platform (PinterestFacebook, or Twitter). Subscribe to the AGF blog to stay up to date on all things AGF & the Fat Quarter Gang!
    If you make a Lap of Luxe quilt, I'd love to see it.  Be sure to add it both to the Quilt Dad is my Homeboy and Art Gallery Fabrics Flickr groups.

    Friday, January 25, 2013

    Rock & Romance fabric winner

    Thank you all so much for your comments and kind words on my last post.  Y'all really know how to make a guy feel loved!  The warm welcome back was exactly what I needed to start feeling comfortable in this space again.

    Thanks also for your patience with this giveaway.  I am so happy to report that the amazing team at Art Gallery Fabrics is still willing to fulfill the prize, despite my delay in selecting  winner.  So, without further ado, the winner of the Rock & Romance fat quarter bundle is Cori from Let's Eat Grandpa (great blog name!) who said:

    I hit both ends of the spectrum -- I spent a lot of time sewing and I did a Tough Mudder. :)

    Congrats, Cori ... and congrats also on finishing a Tough Mudder!  Those things are hardcore.  Send me your mailing info and we'll be sure to get your AGF fabrics out to you ASAP.

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013


    Our 2012 Christmas card

    Hello, friends & readers.  Happy 2013.  It's been a while.

    The more observant of you may have noticed that I haven't posted since October 29th.  (Note: and I even left a giveaway open.  What terrible blogging etiquette!)  And the truth is, the longer I've gone without posting, the more intimidated I've become to post again.  So I'm just going to dive right in with a quick update and hopefully make it easier to start posting more regularly again.

    The #1 question I've always received on my blog is "how do you do it all?"  Sewing, quilting, blogging, swapping and Fat Quarterly, all on top of a full-time corporate job and raising 3 small children.  In short, it all caught up to me in 2012.

    Professionally, the summer and fall brought a whirlwind of activity resulting in a major promotion at work.  Now leading a global team, I've been on the road a lot more than I had been in the past.  If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you've probably followed me along on my trip to Argentina as well as countless trips to Boston, New York, and Atlanta.  In fact, I finished up this post in the Munich airport and am posting it while on the Heathrow Express on my way into London.  You can imagine how all of this travel has impacted my sewing time!

    Personally, my family went through a major transition in 2012.  Without going into too much detail, my Christmas card above shows that the face of my family changed over the year.  Everyone's healthy -- don't worry -- but I've spent a lot of time working through this transition and I'm currently adjusting to a new pace, a new schedule, and a new lifestyle.  To be frank, I went for several months without the desire to even walk into my sewing room.  There was just too much on my plate.

    So, yeah -- a lot has been going on.  But I've missed this space.  I've missed being creative and making things.  I've missed the community and camaraderie of blogs, Flickr, Twitter, sewing events, and my local quilt guild.  Most of all, I've missed you.  The past few months helped me to realize how many true friends and kindred spirits I've met and been blessed with through this very blog, and it's too much of a valuable treasure to give up.

    And now we're all caught up.  I promise my next post will name the winner of the Art Gallery Fabrics giveaway -- quite possibly the longest giveaway ever open in the history of blogging!  I also have some fun new stuff coming up both with Art Gallery and Liberty of London fabrics.  I have about 8 draft posts in my blogger account of things I've made and meant to blog about in 2012, so I'll try my best to catch up on those.  And Portland Quilt Market and the 2013 Fat Quarterly retreat are both on the horizon.

    There's much to blog about, but I can't promise that I'll be able to get to all of it as quickly as I might have in the past.  I'm hoping to ease back into things.  If I can post once a week or even 3 times a month for a little bit, I'll consider that a success.  In the meantime, I'll continue to be more active over on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram -- let's face it, they're MUCH easier to handle on a phone!

    Thank you all for your patience and support.