Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Polka Baby Polka Pattern Release!

Hi all,

Long time, no talk!  But the delay's been worth it - - I have exciting news!!!

I've been busy with two of my friends (Shannon Miller and Courtney Kyle) forming a new crafty biz, Rebel Craft Media. Shannon, Courtney and I have joined forces to develop and publish multi-craft media with a modern focus, including patterns, a bi-monthly mini-magazine (The WhipperCrafter) and a really swell blog full of tutorials and useful content. You'll see quilting, sewing, paper craft—the list goes on. So, check it out (and if you're so inclined, please tell your pals!).

Plus, I have just released a new quilt pattern over at Rebel Craft Media called the Polka Baby Polka Quilt. It's a fun and fast baby quilt that is easily customizable with your current favorite fabrics.

To celebrate the release, we're giving away one copy of the pattern at the end of this week (cut off to enter is Thursday, Nov. 13 at 11:59pm, EST). Go to the Rebel Craft blog to enter.

Thanks for all of your support in this new endeavor! And I'm not giving up this blog - - my posts just might be a little less frequent than they used to be, but I'm still here!

Again, thank you, and happy stitching!



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sew South Swap and Echino Weekender Bag

Is there anything better than a swap? (Nope!) I signed up to participate in a little swap following the Sew South Retreat. I decided to make a super modern mini quilt with neon pink, lemon yellow and linen for my partner. It's a little wrinkly in the photos, but I really love how this turned out. 

Construction was fairly straight forward once I figured out what I was going for. I basically cut in the colorful strips into the background—the pink first, then the yellow. 

I quilted parallel to the yellow strips at varying widths.

I shouldn't even show you the back because holy COW, did that sucker pucker up, but whatever—I still like it, even if it's not perfect!  I had this cool piece of gradated yellow fabric in my stash, and it went perfectly with the pieced-in yellow strips. It was a little thin, and I basted with pins instead of spray, both of which didn't help with the pucker situation. But I figure it's a mini quilt, destined for a wall, so it's fine. The pink corners on top are for hanging, and the one in the bottom right corner is a little label.

My swap partner, the lovely and talented Asha, sent me this amazing embroidery hoop bag. We all got a little addicted to embroidery during Sew South, thanks to Alison Glass, so Asha figured this was a safe bet - - - and boy was she right!

One of my (several) current cross-stitch projects is living in this bag, so I'm using my awesome swap gift every single day!

I think my favorite part are the little words of inspiration in the bottom corner . . . . 

Last but not least, I'm working on Amy Butler's Weekender Bag. Some of my buds in Charleston convinced me to jump on the bandwagon and make one of these (kind of terrifying) bags. We got a little kick in the pants to get started when a 2014 Sew Along was announced - - you can read about the Sew Along here, hosted by Modern Handcraft, Sew Lux, and Love By Hand.

I'm using an Echino print for the main panels, Pennants Waving by Rashida Coleman Hale for the lining and Domino Dot in Starfruit by Violet Craft for the piping. I'm using store-bought strapping for the straps.  Here's my progress so far!

 What have you been working on?

Happy stitching!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

"Once Upon A Time" Cross Stitch Sew Along

The insanely talented gals at The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery have designed a year-long mystery sampler, all themed around "Once Upon A Time." We are now 5 months in, and I figured it was time to show y'all what I've been working on!
On my scroll frame.

On the first of each month, the Pumpkins release that month's stitch chart. By the end of the year, the sampler will be done and ready for framing!  I LOVE fairy tales, so this was a "must-do" for me!

Snow White with laundry supplies, magic mirror and poisoned apple

I'm stitching on a hand-dyed crystal linen (it has sparkles in it!) from Picture This Plus. It looks a little gray in the pictures, but it's really more blue than gray.

The Frog Princess, her (pre-transformation) prince, and valentine's sweet treats.

The 3 Little Pigs, a huffing & puffing wolf, and the brick house.

Goldilocks, the 3 bears, bed, chairs and porridge.

Jack and the beanstalk, his cottage, cow, magic bean, and pot of gold.
I'm actually all caught up so far! I can't wait to see what June brings!  You can still buy the pattern here and join in the fun if you're interested in sewing along.

Happy stitching!


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Scrappy Improv Pillow

I was lucky enough to get to go to the Sew South Retreat this year, hosted and organized by the lovely Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane. One of my favorite things was that everyone who went took the same classes together.

This scrappy improv pillow class was taught by Kati (From The Blue Chair), and it was so fun to see how different everyone's projects turned out!

Kati told us to bring a bag of scraps to use to make our pillow, and I pulled (mostly) greens, blues and purples. That little piece of pink floral snuck in somehow, and I had to use it - - it's one of my favorite scraps! That piece of text print in the middle was rescued from the trash can at Sew South!  Total dumpster diving score!

I've always sewn my pillows right sides together and then turned out to finish, but I decided to bind this one. I'd been seeing a lot of bound pillows online and really loved the look, so I decided to give it a shot. I love how the binding looks on this - - a very clean finish. The back is a simple envelope style. I used Essex yarn dyed black, with a piece of my favorite Tula Pink Accacia raccoons thrown in, too.

In the background, you can see a little sneak peek of my Tula Pink Peaks and Valleys quilt from the Oct. 2013 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting - - - I want to bind it before I show you the whole thing, but soon. . .. very soon . . .  :-)

What have you been up to?

Happy stitching!


Monday, May 12, 2014

Rainbow Baby Quilt

I know it's been awhile since I've really posted - - forgive me!  I've been busy sewing, I promise!  :-)

This little quilt has just now been gifted to a very loved friend of our family who is expecting her second (a girl!) any second now - - - -so I can finally share this Rainbow Baby Quilt!

I really love how this easy quilt turned out. It's a simple variation on my Easy Baby Boy Zigzag Quilt tutorial. This quilt is the same interior, but I added a narrow white inside border and a scrappy exterior border.

This entire quilt was from my scrap stash - - woohoo for scrap busters, right?  The background is my fave - Essex yard-dyed linen in Flax. 

I did a lot of straight line quilting, following the lines made by the chevrons, which provided some nice, square filler in the empty spots. It crinkled up nicely after it was washed, too - - I love (and fear) that part of the process!

I can't wait to meet this little girl, and I hope she loves this happy little rainbow quilt!

Happy stitching,


Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Modern Quilt Perspectives" Blog Tour and Giveaway

I love books because I love stories. And not only do I love stories, but I love stories with a twist ending or a hidden meaning—something that isn't obvious, but is totally there. I'd never looked at quilts as a method of storytelling, but this book has changed that for me.

Let me back up . . .

A few years ago I was working as an editor for F+W Media craft books (super fun, right up my alley). I had the luck to attend Quilt Market several times to help man the company's booth, see the sights, source new trends and talent, and just generally rub shoulders with the glitterati of the quilting world. That's where I met Thomas Knauer.

I honestly can't even remember how we started talking, but I do recall falling very easily into a long conversation about quilting, post-modern art, the modern quilting movement, fabric - and a whole slew of other items - and needless to say, I was intrigued. I had just met this guy—a relatively new fabric designer—and he was blowing my mind with his perspective on quilting. To Thomas, quilting is more than just fabric and design—quilting can be a powerful art medium.

Long story short, that first conversation eventually lead to a publishing deal—and now I have in my hands "Modern Quilt Perspectives" - Thomas's first (of many, I hope) quilt book.

Honestly, I couldn't put this book down. The first flip through made me slow down to read, and then I was reading it cover to cover. The thing that struck me most is the additional level of meaning and story built into every quilt. This is a book full of beautiful quilts that you'll absolutely want to make. But in addition to the fantastic designs and color use, each quilt was designed to tell a story about a time or a place, a feeling or a goal. Some tell about shared moments between two people, and others represent political movements. Big to small, profound to simple—these quilts are about more than design, they're about the people that use them.

At the risk of sounding corny, this book moved me. I can't entirely explain that feeling, but it did.

I love lots of the quilts in this book (seriously, there are at least 4 I want to make), but this one is my favorite. "Ampersand" is pieced to be a jumping off point for story-telling and story-making. The "&" symbol is made up of fussy-cut fabrics, each showing a specific image that can be incorporated into a bedtime story—princesses, animals, trees, etc. Using "and" in storytelling allows the tale to keep building and building and building...  Thomas describes using this quilt to make up stories with his daughter, each pointing to an image and using "and" to help build their tale. Love.

This is a book you will want to read cover to cover, over and over again. I think you'll be touched by the meanings behind these quilts like I was. I know I haven't looked at quilt making in quite the same way since.

Thomas is kindly allowing me to give away a copy of "Modern Quilt Perspectives" to one of you lucky folks!  Just leave one comment below about why you would like a copy, and make sure I have a way to contact you if you win. The giveaway will close on Thursday, March 27 at 11:59pm EST.

You can buy your own copy here, too.

The giveaway is now closed. The winner is #80 (chosen by Random Number Generator) who said:

June D said...
I'm a fan of his - his blog is on my list to read and be inspired by. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of his book.
Congratulations, June! I'll send you an email about getting your prize to you!

Keep following the blog tour (posted below) and check out previous posts to see more from the book!

March 14: Thomas Knauer http://www.thomasknauersews.com/
March 15: Lisa Sipes http://thatcrazyquiltygirl.blogspot.com
March 16: Robert Kaufman http://www.swatchandstitch.com/

March 17: Victoria Findlay Wolfe http://bumblebeansinc.blogspot.com
March 18: Katy Jones http://imagingermonkey.blogspot.co.uk/
March 19: Bill Volckening http://willywonkyquilts.blogspot.com
March 20: Kelly Biscopink http://stitchyquiltstuff.com
March 21: Audrie Bidwell http://blueisbleu.blogspot.com
March 22: Mary Rachel Kolb http://maryonlakepulaski.blogspot.com
March 23: Rachael Gander http://imaginegnats.com/
March 24: Sew, Mama, Sew http://www.sewmamasew.com/
March 25: Cloth Paper Scissors
March 26: Cheryl Arkinson http://naptimequilter.blogspot.com
March 27: Quilting Daily http://www.quiltingdaily.com/blogs/barb/default.aspx
March 28: Fat Quarterly http://www.fatquarterly.com/blog/
March 29: Pellon/Erin Sampson http://pellonprojects.wordpress.com/
March 30: Sew Modern http://thatswhatshesewed.com/
March 31: Rachel May http://quiltingwithamodernslant.com/
April 1: Quilty http://www.heyquilty.com/blogs/
April 2: Amy Smart http://www.diaryofaquilter.com/
April 3: Quilter's Connection http://quiltersconnection.ca/blog
April 4: Teresa Coates http://www.crinkledreams.com/
April 5: Generation Q http://generationqmagazine.com/
April 6: Cloth Paper Scissors
April 7: Sara Lawson http://www.sewsweetness.com/
April 8: Kim Niedzwiecki http://gogokim.blogspot.com
April 9: Rashida Coleman Hale http://www.iheartlinen.typepad.com/
April 10: Thomas Knauer http://www.thomasknauersews.com/ - See more at: http://willywonkyquilts.blogspot.com/#sthash.6VQYysud.dpuf

April 1: Quilty http://www.heyquilty.com/blogs/
April 2: Amy Smart http://www.diaryofaquilter.com/
April 3: Quilter's Connection http://quiltersconnection.ca/blog
April 4: Teresa Coates http://www.crinkledreams.com/
April 5: Generation Q http://generationqmagazine.com/
April 6: Cloth Paper Scissors
April 7: Sara Lawson http://www.sewsweetness.com/
April 8: Kim Niedzwiecki http://gogokim.blogspot.com
April 9: Rashida Coleman Hale http://www.iheartlinen.typepad.com/
April 10: Thomas Knauer http://www.thomasknauersews.com

Happy stitching!


Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Mug Rugs

Hi all!

We did a little Valentine's Day-themed mug rug swap at my last quilt guild meeting. I made one and then wanted to make another . . . and another . . . and another . . . People, my place is lousy with mug rugs right now!

I made this first guy with this Newsprint/Collage fabric that seems to keep cropping up in everything I make these days, and a sweet little heart print. Love that print....

My second one was this little guy. I used this tutorial from Pile of Fabric to make the Xs, and just figured out the "o" so it was the same size.  I made two more mug rugs just like it to send to some friends who I thought needed a little quilty happy mail.

I swapped both of these suckers away at my January meeting, and I hope they're being enjoyed by their new owners.  :-)

Happy stitching!


Friday, February 7, 2014

Riley Blake Feather Quilt

Hi all!

I know it's been forever since I wrote, but that doesn't mean I haven't been sewing!  First on the docket after the Christmas holidays was to work on my Riley Blake fabric challenge quilt, hosted by the Modern Quilt Guild.

The lovely folks at Riley Blake sent a selection of stash-builder prints to participating Modern Quilt Guilds. Members could use the fabric to make anything they wanted, but could only add other Riley Blake fabrics and/or solids.

I'm sure you've been seeing the Anna Maria Horner "Feather Quilt" floating around the interwebs. It's super gorgeous, and I'd been wanting to make a few feathers for awhile. I decided to use my RB fabric, a bunch of solids to fill out the rainbow color scheme, and several linen/white/cream background fabrics to make a small feather quilt for my challenge entry.

I made an extra block and used this Collage print as the background to make a little quilted pressie for my BFF. I've never done any hand quilting, but this little project seemed like the perfect chance to give it a shot with some perle cotton.

Did you participate in the Riley Blake challenge? There are lots of fab entries that I've seen out there . . . . !  :-)

Happy stitching!