Saturday, November 29, 2014

Coupon Time

Hi there!  I am so thankful for sewing!!  I really really am.  I am also so thankful to everyone that supports my little pattern shop.  Thank you!

Use "ThankYou" as a coupon code in my Etsy shop for 30% off.  Have a super super good holiday!

Thank You! Thank You!  Thank You!

Also, don't forget the free Pie Placemat Tutorial included just two posts down (or click the link Pie Placemat in the labels section of this post).

Monday, November 24, 2014

ASAP Quilting

In our quilting guild we have, in all the years I have participated, a challenge for the end of the year.  It is called the Christmas Challenge for our Christmas party.  What's fun is number one the challenge, but also a very close second is seeing all those challenges displayed at our end-of-the-year-party.  It really is one of the neatest ideas that our guild has in my opinion.  It is a fantastic quilt show with all my favorite people as the stars.  It is a wonderful and a great opportunity to see all the beautiful quilts displayed in a way we don't throughout the year.  We have amazing talent in our guild and great personality.  This year in particular it is awesome to see each one's take on the same fabric where that personality shines through.  Another challenge we have had is a BOM each year.  The BOM is a challenge as well.  Typically we will use patterns with new techniques/styles/skill building.  It is a wonderful challenge to work on throughout the whole year.  This month I completed both of these quilts for our 2014.

This year our Christmas Challenge was to make a quilt using at least 20 squares from an exact same charm pack.  I was present when picking fabrics and happened to have a bundle from the same fabric line.  That was a good thing and kind of a bad thing.  It meant that I had a lot of fabric but it also meant that I needed to make a complete large-sized quilt in less than a week due to my hectic quilt market schedule (the Christmas Challenge runs from Aug or Sept usually through Nov, well that is peak getting-ready-for-Fall-Market time).  Fat quarter bundles are sometimes great broken up but when I bought the bundle I knew I wanted to keep them intact and make a bed quilt.  I was just saving this fabric and it has been about a year since I purchased the bundle.  Little did I know I would need to do this under a timeline and it probably was a good thing to be under that timeline because I am not sure I would have wanted to go about making this quilt slow.  It would have felt like a lifetime because it felt like a lifetime making it in a week asap - as soon as humanly possible (Log Cabins are monotonous).  So much sewing and cutting and pressing.  Then I came up with an insane way to piece the back.  Anyway, here is my log cabin Christmas Challenge: Log Cabin Chevron

The fabrics were so pretty.  The only thing I would change is taking out the tan but I still like it quite a lot with the tan included.  The tan was included in both the white and blue sides... I was really scared to see the finished result because I wanted to make sure you could tell the light/dark contrast in order to see the chevron with the tan weaved in.  Thankfully it did work.

I had some strips leftover so I made some Euro Pillow shams and then decided to piece the strips into the back in an Echogram style.  It took so so so so so long.  You would think after all the monotonous sewing I did on the front, when at times I wanted to stick a needle in my eye, I wouldn't throw more into the back.  Obviously, I do think it was worth it now that it is finished.

I quilted the quilt with a new pantograph that is super super cute.  It worked well because I was on a bit of a time crunch to get it finished asap and I was planning on custom quilting my BOM.  Saving that little bit of time using a pantograph helped.  Even though I was on this huge time crunch timeline, I still wanted the projects to be special finishes for me personally i.e. dilemma.

So one special finishing touch was involved in the fact that we needed a label.  For that special touch, I made this reverse log cabin block where I started with a dark and ended with the white.  Then I embroidered my name and date.  It is right under my absolute favorite fabric of the line.  Beautiful.  For me it was a very satisfying finish.  And thats that for the Christmas Challenge.  

The other big finish was the 2014 BOM.  Like I was saying before I custom quilted this quilt.  It took a bit of time, but I had fun the entire time.  I didn't stress.  I have had so much practice quilting projects like this which allowed me to feel so at ease.  All the long arming is adding up.  Which allowed me to get it finished looking fantastic and asap - as soon as prettily possible.  Also, the light fabrics that I picked made quilting a breeze.  It camouflaged any mistake.  And surprisingly I had very very few.  Another thing that was neat about this quilt is that I implemented a new technique I learned in one of the Panguitch's Quilt Walk classes.  I took the class with my friend, Crystal.  We had a blast and I have really wanted to include trapunto in a project.  This one was perfect for that.

Trapunto is basically sewing an additional piece of batting onto the back side of any appliqué, or even in a design you have traced on the front, that you want to pop out a little extra once quilted.  It worked really well.  In retrospect I would add two layers of the batting rather than just one because I would have liked them to pop a little more.  But that might just be my perspective.

This quilt represents so much time.  I feel like I am making huge strides in the sampler quilts.  They really are a test of fabric value/shade skill.  These skills, I think, are practiced and made perfect.  I would say that I am probably mid-range.  There are places to improve.  Although, I have improved.  Also, quilting these sampler quilts are like second nature for me now.  And I probably land mid-range in long-arming right now too.  For next year I would like to up that score a little asap - as. soon. as. I put. the work in.

Let's not forget about the designer of the pattern - Jen Kingwell (for more information on this pattern click on the BOM 2014 link at the bottom of this post).  She is a fantastic designer and a very sweet woman as well.  I had such a good time talking to her at quilt market again this time.

Each of the blocks have such a cute look.  She did a wonderful job pulling them all together.

They were fun to quilt too.

My most favorite blocks are the first two I quilted in the upper left part of the quilt.  Just simple and awesome.  When I finished these two I immediately knew this was going to be a fun quilting experience.

So thats that for the 2014 BOM.

These two quilts sum up this whole year.  I haven't had as many quick finishes that I know of although I've got to search through my pic archives to back that up.  It just feels like the finishes have all been a lot of appliqué/time consuming/large finishes.  It has felt satisfying for me.  The phrase Quality vs Quantity comes to mind.  Also, I noticed that I have only made about half as many posts here on the blog.  I am pretty sure that the finish quilts contributed to that, but I am sure other things contributed as well.  I am excited to make my finish collage for the end of this year.  That always puts it all in perspective.

Once more thing - I have a pretty big announcement coming up.  I can officially say that I authored a book and pics are coming asap - as. soon. as. people. send them to me which is pretty possibly soon.  So I do have to remember that I was sewing like crazy for that whole beginning of this year which seems like a lifetime ago and we are still in the current year.  I am being published by Martingale which have been wonderful to work with.  This is a dream come true for me and I have to pinch myself that it has come true.  I am so humble right now with so much gratitude.

Okay one, one more thing - I came across a really talented quilter that has begun her battle with breast cancer.  What a crazy thing to tackle.  I have tons of challenges and they aren't just ones in my Quilting Guild.  Although, I know for a fact that right now I don't have any challenges as big as Cancer.  And I am not even sure you could call Cancer a challenge because a challenge is a choice and Cancer isn't.  I wonder how I would prioritize my life if faced with something like that.  I wonder what I hold most dear.  I know the most obvious answers Weston and my children are my entire life.  Then after that I know I would sew because I truly love it.  These were things that just flashed through my mind while reading her amazingly moving journey.  This whole year for me has been an such a emotionally growing experience.  I have been working on prioritizing what is important to me.  I have made decisions about relationships/people.  I have realized that what others (and this is plural) want isn't always what is right.  These are people that are significant and not.  I have realized that those people aren't in my circles of priority.  I have learned to stay true to what I think life is all about.  Those aren't all the answers to life but they are the beginning stages of feeling whole.  I know I've got them and to watch others that just don't is just sad for me (and I say this only because they steal little moments of my life from me and make me sad, lots of sadness).  I look at them and think... wow, you have a long road to travel and they will travel it.  It just takes experience to "wake us up".  I definitely don't want Cancer to add to mine.  But I know this wonderful woman will do an amazing job because she is already and she touched my heart today.

"It might take a year, It might take a day, But what is meant to be will always find it's way"

"When you face difficult times, Know that Challenges aren't sent to destroy you.  They are sent to Promote, Increase, and Strengthen you"

"The Greatest Challenge in Life is Discovering who you are.  The Second Greatest is being Happy with what you Find"

"Challenges are what make life interesting, Overcoming them is what makes life Meaningful"

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Piece of Pie Placemat

Hello Everyone!!  I am alive and quilting :) 

We are nearing the end of our Sew Need a Break meetings this year and I wanted to make a fun project to say that I am thankful to all of the wonderful girls that are apart of our group and a chance to teach quilting to them.  This is the PERECT size project to practice quilting or for some to try out quilting for the first time.  Also, I hope that it is a project people can not only make for themselves but for gifts as well.  It is after all to me a time for giving Thanks.  So I want to share this pattern with anyone else that would like to do the same to say thank you.!.  I have prepared it in pattern form and it is available at the links below to download for personal use.

The files for this tutorial can be found here (coversheet) and here (pattern).  

I had such a blast coming up with the concept and I could hardly contain myself to wait to see the finish result.  It took a couple of days though because it was amidst all these other things I had to get finish in a time sensitive way.  But I did manage to get two finished!! Finally!! and the pattern written as well.  

So to show you how easy this is : I have a step-by-step shown below.  First simply appliqué pie, then add a little bit of embroidery, quilt, and bind.  Piece of Pie.

And just so you know that in my case this is meant for a semi-homemade pie.  Okay... I don't even know if this even counts as homemade ;)  But it is just delicious so that is what counts in my book.  I don't "love" pie crust but I do love graham crusts.!.

So since it is so so easy to make these kinds of pies you might need to make two Pie Placements just in case.

I cut kits for our group using a couple different fabric choices.  I am excited to see how they all turn out.





I am so thankful for Weston and my kids!!  and my life!!  It feels like we are headed in an upward climb to something wonderful.  So much to be thankful for.  But I am also thankful for the struggles that I have had along the way.  They have hopefully made me a stronger and more humble and more understanding.  

I hope everyone enjoys these little quilts and please share if you do.  Thank you!

See, Piece of Pie.

"Let our Lives be full of both Thanks and Giving"

"It is not Happy People that are Thankful, it is Thankful People that are Happy"

"Bless the food before us, the People beside us, and the Love between us"

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Quilt Market Fall 2014

We made it to Quilt Market!! I am so relieved because we got all set up and now we just get to enjoy the rest of the trip ;)  Everything made it! It is a laundry room where it is "Loads of Fun". I am so proud of it!! Because it represents so much time planning and working and working ;) But it is all finished. I appreciate the help setting up and carrying my stuff to the booth. I had little life savers :) It really is so nice to have people with me here.

Miss Katie and I are all decked out in our aprons enjoying the booth.

My cousins were able to come too and it sure is fun to have these sweet faces to look at. 

The booth is a laundry room. It was a pretty cute easy theme. The props were nice to pack. Everything worked out perfect.  I love the washer and dryer!!

The quilts are the stars of the show and it feels so good to have the vision all complete. 

So now I am just relaxin in the room and getting ready to head out to dinner in a bit :) yay!! Vacation!! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Vintage Holiday

The holidays are coming up so fast.  Being the planner that I am, I like to know what we are doing for each holiday.  The holidays for this time of the year remind me of a train moving with steady motion on a clear track first comes Halloween, then Thanksgiving, and then Christmas, and finally the New Year.  It stops at one right after the other.  I like to have a clear idea of gifts we might share with each other, places we will go in regard to those holidays, people we want to make sure to include in advance.  These are things I just keep in the back of my mind.  This year I am kinda uncertain.  

People that know me well are aware that I have distanced myself from my mom this year because keeping that relationship going was WAY to overwhelming for me at this time.  So there, I will just put it all out there.  If it were simple and things were perfect, then a lot of things would be different. 
Everyone has their own story, I know that.  I try to remember that when things feel too big to handle.  

One thing that I am certain about is that I have my husband and my kids and we trust each other right now and we are doing our best that we can right now.  And that plans are forming for these holidays.  We continue to make memories despite all of the challenges.  And we are growing closer together and stronger together.  So my theme for these holidays, to make things fun, is going to be vintage holiday.  Doing a little bit of research and finding how things were celebrated in the past.  I've had fun learning about the origins of Halloween ;) and understanding others stories.  So much Fun!!

Vintage Holiday: available in my Etsy/pattern shop

There is a really simple feel of this quilt for me.  It does feel a little bit from another time.  The quilt block has a really classy look that the larger quilt features.

This is maybe my first quilt design that features String Art.  This is something I have been working with for awhile.  I have a few projects that I never completed that includes this technique.  I am happy to share it finally with this pattern.  It was so much fun to string and I was able to have it finished in no time at all.  The stamp is the white and gray block on the right.  Out of all of the stamps that I have designed thus far this is my favorite.  I love the connection to gifts with the bows on each side.  I also love that it is on point.

The pom pom trim reminds me of popcorn which is something that was used to trim trees in a Vintage time.

One print that might be considered out of place is the Black and White crossword fabric.  My dad and my grandma loved doing crossword puzzles and I am sure other members of our family as well.  This cute print has Christmas inspired words scratched in like Hot Chocolate, Mittens, etc.  I had to include it.  Plus the firewood print reminds me of how our family uses our fire place during this season and we all adore it.

I need to remind myself to take joy in this life.  It is so special.  And I threw in tons of heart fabrics for my little Mixi Heart.

I use to have three plus trees I would put up scattered through out my house.  Now I put up as many as I have energy for which is usually just one.  But maybe this year my kids will be able to talk me into putting them all up.

The Quilt Block that was featured is a diamond that requires a little bit of trimming to add the center diamond.  Once trimmed you are left with perfect little smaller half square triangles if you take the time to add one more sew line you can create a bonus quilt!.  So from the scraps I made a little tiny table runner and ended up with the tinniest of tinniest waste for it's center diamonds.  Not even enough to sew together.  I felt pretty enterprising.

The larger quilt uses Riley Blake's Lost and Found Love fabric collection.  Wow, so romantically perfect.

I hope you all enjoy the wonderful Holidays that are fast approaching and thank you for letting me share my sweet quilts with you.

"Old is the new New"

"Collect things that you love and authentic to you and your house becomes your story"

"Too much of a Good Thing can be Wonderful"