Monday, August 18, 2014

Kraft Tex Style

The other day I got the best package in the mail :)  It was this unbelievably cute book Kraft Tex Style published by Stashbooks.  Roxane compiled the projects and she did a fantastic job.  I wasn't expecting the delivery and I was so delighted.  I was able to contribute a project to this book using the Kraft Tex material. 

The book is offered through your local quilt shop and online.  Although, if you would like an autographed copy I have a few available in my Etsy shop.

The project that I included was inspired by Katie, my sweet friend.  The project is a bike bag.  What is  neat about this material is that it stands up to the elements more than a cotton fabric would.  So I thought it would be a perfect bike bag.

Here is the project inside.  It has a small pocket and key fob.  The outside uses some simple embroidery.  It is a small project that you can create in a day and would make a wonderful gift or a special item you can create for yourself.

So I was kinda speechless when I checked the book out.  All the projects look so fun.  Plus I had to pinch myself that I am officially published in a book.  I can't tell you how special that is for me.  This is definitely something that I am going to treasure.  So if you are out and about check this little treasure out.

Summer's End

I feel like this quilt represents summer for me.  There were a LOT of things going on.  We had a super fun schedule.  There was a lot of work sometimes too.  Busy, busy, busy.  And now it is coming to and end.  The kids are soon back in school.  We had such a good time together.  I am going to miss having them here with me.  But the good thing is that they will learn lots and I will hopefully get a lot of work complete.  

We started this quilt for our 2014 block of the month in our Quilting Guild (if you want more info concerning this pattern, click the BOM 2014 link at the bottom of this post).  It has been a challenging quilt with all the difficult blocks and not to mention all the fabric combinations.  I muscled through the inner quilt over the last month.  It was pretty excited as I was piecing the final blocks.  When I see a end in sight I kinda kick it in to high gear.  Here is the inner top quilt all finished and sewn together!!  Then…

Here is the whole top quilt finished with borders!  The borders used a vine and continued more of the circle flowers and leaves and a few berries.  I turned all of my appliqué... which was a little daunting when I traced all the flowers and leaves for the borders.  I had to take a big breath.  I just made little goals that were manageable: trace all the appliqué, sew the tracings to fabric, turn all the appliqué, trim, sew vine on, pin the appliqué, sew one side a day, missed days, finish.  This all went on over the last few weeks.  SO MANY STEPS.

But I finished it just in time for summers end.  I needed to have little quilt holders because it is kinda big (see the one little hand and the one big hand, thank you helpers!).

All my favorite blocks still stand out to me.  I love ALL the flowers.  They are so sweet.  I think the vine around the edge of the quilt is a perfect finish.  I did add a stop border to my quilt along with sweet Crystal.  She mentioned it and I thought it was a fabulous idea.  I think it really sets off both the inner quilt and the border.

I didn't know how much I was going to like this quilt.  It is my absolute favorite.  I mean my ABSOLUTE favorite!  I am a little nervous to quilt this quilt because I want it to turn out perfect.  I might try some new techniques too.  Or not.  ???

Quilting will have to wait until November because, I am starting to prepare for Quilt Market.  I am going to be exhibiting again in Houston this fall.  I've got four new patterns that I am so excited to share.  As soon as I get them sewn together I will post pics.  They are just in individual block form at the moment.  Starting Sept I will begin the Quilt Market Countdown again ;) and sharing all the preparation.  Yay!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Oh Baby :) Baby Crush

When a baby is added to a family it is always a call for a celebration!!  Oh Baby!  I can't help myself to get excited for people I love to add these new little additions.  I am pretty sure I will get to be an aunt to a few more babies in the eventual future and that is super special because I feel apart of that little one's life.  I even will give them little neck kisses because that is my favorite place to kiss my kids/nephews/nieces when they are brand new.  So I am excited for that to eventual happen although I am patient concerning that.  

But currently a pretty great second to a new niece or nephew is that I have a very close friend that is having a baby ASAP.  Yay!!  She is a great friend that is very deserving and I know I am so lucky to call her my friend.  A new baby is a great opportunity to make some little items that are special for her new arrival to express how special she is to me.  

I came across a wonderful Pattern by Annie.  It is the cutest!!!  I knew it would be perfect to sew up for Crystal because I am positive no one will be making/giving her the same thing.  Which is a score.  The pattern includes directions to make a changing pad, bottle holder, and binki holder.  Also before I forget, I made a super cute stuffed ladybug by Melly&Me.  The ladybug is so freaking cute too and it was fun to make.  I have NEVER made a stuffed doll and I would definitely venture down that path again no question.

So the Binki Holder is suppose to have both of the mesh pockets on the inside and mine isn't exactly made that way.  Well, because I pinned it to the wrong side and then when I realized... I didn't really want to unpick all those little stitches.  SOOOO it is completely unique :)  And I think it will work out really well for Crystal.  I think that it would be really cute with a little jar of baby food inside and then a binki on the outside, so there ya go.  Improvisation.  I have used a combination of laminated cotton and regular quilter's cotton fabrics.  I think the laminate will be great to wipe clean.  

The pattern is a wonderful concept because it is a circle that opens for a playmat.  Her patterns call for a foam batting that really helps things hold their shape.  I have used her Soft and Stable a few times before in my backpack pattern plus a few other projects.  The strap in the center of the mat holds the changing pad together once it is folded up.

The underside of the playmat includes four pockets to tuck wipes and diapers into and perhaps a change of clothes because those babies are MESSY.  I have the little ladybug tucked so you can see how the pockets work.

Here is the pad all folded and stacked next to all the baby delicious items.

The little lady bug is cute.  Look at that flower!

Annie also carries zippers by the yard.  Can ya tell that I might have a pattern designer crush as well (well I am just so impressed with her, I can't wait to make another pattern she has designed).  I have never bought zippers in this fashion but it is so smart.  I thought about mixing zipper heads because I have a cream set as well but in the end I didn't.  I know I am boring.  Maybe one day I will get crazy and change my zipper heads.  I now have on my list to get a zipper set in every single color, because you just never know when you need a zipper.  I find that I love to keep things on hand and that it works well in my creative process, lol.  It is just a matter of slowing building up those supplies/stash.

I am not going to tell you that I didn't have to unpick because I did a few times.  I know I would have a much easier time making these again.  Perhaps I would have to unpick less the second or third time.  I feel like that with most sewing patterns.  I usually can ease through quilting patterns with NO PROBLEM AT ALL, but sewing patterns sometimes I need to make two.

Speaking of TWO.  I did make two of these changing pads.  The first one I made on my domestic machine and it was made in boy colors for another baby that is on it's way for a friend of my husbands.  The second changing pad I thought "hey I wonder if it would be fun to make this on the long arm".  The whole while I was thinking of the redneck jokes - like you might be a longarmer if you starting sewing projects on your long arm.  :)  If you are a longarmer you should get a chuckle because I am absolutely sure I am not the only one that laughs at how much we rely and love our long arm quilting machines.  Plus I am sure I am not the only one that has ventured to sew a complete project on the the long arm.  

It really was a piece of cake sewing it on the long arm.  I quilted the squares and then added the velcro strap.  Then I unloaded the project and loaded it back on the opposite direction.  Then I added the pocket.  What made it easy was having the whole piece flat when quilting/sewing.  I liked that.

Well I am excited to pass these on to the new baby as soon as she arrives and I definitely have a little Baby Crush because I keep thinking about when she will make her debut and I am super excited to show her that I am happy for her to come into this world and make Crystal's life a little more complete.  Plus babies are adorable!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

BOM Progrès

J'ai perdu mon coeur à paris (I lost my heart in Paris).  I have been working in a couple French lessons when I can.  I would LOVE to go there someday.  I took french classes in high school, so it is coming back to me pretty quickly.  I can still picture my teacher up there explaining the how to's of the language.  It is funny what your mind will keep up there.  I was just thinking that it is something that I want to do: be fluent in another language.  I have always loved the french language.  I think it is beautiful (très beau).  

Speaking of romantic stuff… I am making progress on my BOM (if you have interest in this pattern, just click on the label at the bottom of this post and it will link you to all my posts on this quilt).  So these aren't the best pictures in the world but you get the idea.  My "Design Wall" happens to be to flannel strips of fabric on my floor ;) It works.  

Actually I am teaching this block of the month for our quilting guild and I do need to transport the blocks so they are pinned on there and ready to be toted around.  But just so you know that normally my design wall is still on my floor although without flannel sheets.  But either way you get the idea again.  

I really am enjoying parts of this quilt.  There are some blocks that I really love and then there are some blocks that I really loved making.  In some cases they might be in both categories.  For now I will say the hexi block and the flower appliqué blocks on the newspaper print are in both categories.  They are my favorite.  I have a couple more blocks to finish before I am complete with the top half of the inner quilt.  Also, there is one block that is doubled up because I am running out of flannel sheet room!  

See aren't the hexies and flowers cute?

I know I am not getting a prize for my orange peel blocks but that is okay with me.  Another project I made awhile back that I wanted to share because the fabrics kinda play on the block of the month fabric choices is a little bag I made.  The only color that I am not using is the purple.  This fabric is so cute though.  I love the little hearts and swirls.  It is randomly perfect.  

I have recently used cording for ties in a lot of the bags I have been making.  It is so fun to mix it in.  I originally bought it for clothing ties and I didn't even know if I was going to use it again.  Crazy how when you have it you think "hey this would totally work in here".  And then it does.

Attaché avec un arc (tied with a bow).  Mon coeur au vôtre (My Heart to Yours)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Spring Quilt Market 2014

As always Quilt Market is a joy to experience.  This time in particular it was quite the adventure.  I can't tell you how many planes I took to get there… because umm yeah.  Anyway, I think that I am a little bit of an flying enthusiast it seems.  I am just so inspired by our beautiful world.  I completely enjoy seeing it from all perspectives but to gaze at it from way up high is amazing.  I took so many pictures from the plane and this is just a sampling of them.  It is so crazy that I can see these beautiful mountains and a couple hours later I am across the country in a complete different landscape, it is unbelievable.

Also, I kinda have a thing for clouds.  I always try to get the window seat.  I look for awhile and then I read/stitch/sleep for awhile.  Then I take pics when I can.  But oh my goodness the clouds.  

The fluffy one below is my most favorite.  It looks like you could just jump right on top of them, sink in, then take a nap.  

So this is what it looks like when I am traveling.  I have my boots on so I don't have to tie shoes and then I have my quilted bag to carryon.  This bag has had some really great adventures to date.  Under no circumstances would I check this bag and it was kinda comical because I had a younger women tell me that she would never check her "name brand" bag and I wasn't too impressed.  I guess I am partial to handmade, lol.  But either way we both felt the same.

Pittsburg was incredibly beautiful.  The bridges, the old construction was so neat.  Again, the hotel, the city, the bridges, the rivers, the parks - All beautiful.

Well how do I fit in to all of this.  I wake up every morning weary-eyed.  Then I get a cozy enough outfit on and venture to the convention center.  This time I was on my own and it was kinda nice.  I got a chance to meet a lot of people and spent a lot of time explaining who I was and why I was there.  The biggest reason why I keep going back each Market is the incredible knowledge I end up taking away.  The industry is such a vast one that requires a lot of education.  These markets allow for a person that wants a future in fabric to figure out where they are going to fit in.


New for this market : I made a new bag with the Hoffman challenge fabric.  I was sewing the handle up the night before I left.  It was so cute and simple and I know that this is really where I like to stay with design.  I am simple.  

The convention center was striking with it's glass ceiling.  While attending the first day of classes it was a real treat to peak in and see all the booths being assembled.  I will exhibit this fall again for the second time and I have a few ideas brewing on how to change up my displays.  

Once the floor opened, this year I made sure to check out all of my items I finished for Riley Blake in their booth, below is Washi Tape pictured which was one of four projects in their market booth.  Then I also enjoy the quilt show and was adding to my bucket list a quilt representing a realistic photograph (below is a awesome quilt that I don't have the info on but thought it was really neat to see the iconic people that were chosen).

I was able to go to quite a few book signings.  To meet the authors and then appreciate their hard work they have invested into their publications is so awesome (Vintage Revival).  I plan on sharing these books and working on such fun projects.  The talent is astonishing.  What a incredible world we are apart of where we can add our talents to others summing up to create a wonderful world of art.  

It also is inspiring to know what the buzz is in the industry.  This year I am very sure it was the new fabric manufacturer Cotton and Steel a division of RJR fabrics.  The novelty fabric is pictured behind me on the bolts.  It is always fun to know what is fascinating, new, and why.

I have a few other pictures of market but I wanted to include the one below because I did love this particular booth with it's children focused patterns.  So cute!

When I am not at the convention center I am walking back and forth to my hotel.  I know, not too exciting.  Luckily I shared a couple meals with some awesome people (Hey Hoffman Group and Breakfast Club and Cluck Cluck Sew).  And got a lot of exercise.  There is nothing better than walking in the wrong direction for a long time, then walking back to your original starting point, and then walking in the right direction for a long time, then finally walking back to your hotel.  So much walking.  Best part = walking it with a amazingly nice wonderful person.

So the last day came and I was able to pack up strategically to avoid getting charged for way too much weight.  Then, heading to the airport on the bus to soak up more Pittsburg.  

To get upgraded to First Class!!  Holy Cow!

Then sharing a laugh with a stupendously smart cookie (Ali) and enjoying her book Quilt Lab as my reading material on the plane.  Here is a huge plug for her new book Quilt Lab!!  Amazing, fresh ideas, fresh quilts, fresh taste, fun person, sweet personality, she is so beautiful.  Go. Buy. It.

One more plane. One and a half movies. One more time in first class.  One more smile.  

Then I got back to these cuties one day before this picture below, just in time to hear the little sweetheart sing in her rock band at the school carnival.

I can't wait to get to my next market and learn a whole bunch more.  In the meantime, I am going to get all the amazing work boiling in my mind out and share what I love to do.  Back to wonderful work and the summer (with kids).