Saturday, July 4, 2015

Giveaway: FQ Bundle from Sew Me a Song

I hope everyone is having a great weekend so far! We spent the day with our families for July 4th, and now we're just chilling. Lots of Parks and Recreation episodes and sewing are on the to-do list for tomorrow. I do love "lazy" Sundays. :)

It's been over a year now that Becca of Sew Me A Song has sponsored Quilty Habit. I can't thank her enough for her support! I feel very strongly about supporting small fabric businesses and local quilt shops, and I'm proud to partner with her.

Becca is offering up a special fat quarter bundle of fabrics picked by me! I chose an assortment of white, gray, purple, and coral prints that remind me of dusk in the summertime. There are some great prints in there - text fabrics, two Carolyn Friedlander prints (the one that looks almost solid white is Rings in White from Doe), and a couple Japanese fabrics. I hope you are just as inspired to create with these as I am. The bundle is for sale in the shop, too, so you can purchase if you wish! If you win the giveaway, Becca will refund you for the bundle.

To enter:
1. Leave one comment answering this question: If you could choose one fabric to back every quilt for the rest of your life, what would it be? (Linking to the fabric is optional, but I'm sure we'd all like to indulge in staring at beautiful fabric!). My favorite all-time fabric is the Summer Totem in Grapefruit print from LouLouthi by Anna Maria Horner. SO GOOD. I have about half a yard left and I'm saving it for something special.

2. Giveaway ends Saturday, July 11 at 9 pm EST.
3. Winner will be chosen with the Random Number Generator and emailed.
4. Anyone in the world who loves fabric can enter (if you don't love fabric, why are you reading this post, anyway? ;) ).
5. If you don't have an email address linked with your account when you comment, just make sure you leave one so that I can contact you if you win.

Good luck! Thanks again to Becca!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Palette: A Mini Quilt

There are people who step in and stay in our lives for a short while, and they linger in our minds. Mary Ann is one of these people to me (although I certainly hope she stays in my life for a long time). During my time working in our school district with her (4 years), I didn't see her every day, but every single one of our interactions was a positive one. She teaches art with feeling, and you can see and feel the students' enthusiasm for art class. Personally, she's encouraged me to try new things with my art and my career. She doodles in team meetings (one time I pulled out my notebook to show her all of my free motion quilting doodles!). We are two people who connect because of our dedication to children and art.

Mary Ann retired two weeks ago, and I made her a small mini quilt to remember her time teaching art to our students. I had the urge to create something rainbow-y but I resisted; instead, I reached for my cool scraps and pieced together an improv background. It seemed more calming. Then, I quilted words about teaching and art with my FMQ foot, adorned with various designs. I thought, as a fellow doodler, she might appreciate this (she did). I really enjoy writing words on my quilts. I'd like to quilt a larger quilt with just words one day.

I wanted to make something larger/more profound, but I wanted her to be able to take a small piece of art someone made for her wherever she goes. That's why, hopefully, an itty mini quilt fits the bill. I wish her joy wherever she goes next.

P.S. Speaking of art, Esch House Quilts posted an interesting blog post about quilters and art. I tend to call my work "art;" to me, an artist creates, and that's exactly what I do. What do you think? Do you prefer the term quilter, artist, designer, or no label at all?

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sunrise: AMH Mini Quilt Swap

The last mini quilt swap I signed up for on Instagram this year was the #annamariahornerminiquiltswap (which probably wins the award for longest swap hashtag). This is my favorite mini out of the three (see Teal Peek and Rainbow of Pearls). It was made using the process from Scatter, Breeze, Soar, and my Orange Peel and Improv classes (my July classes have only two spots left - register soon!)

Those who know me well are already aware that I keep my AMH stash separate from all my other fabric; this was definitely the right swap for me. Taking Anna Maria's class at QuiltCon in February was infinitely inspiring. Without sounding like a total goofball, I'll just say that it was truly a privilege to be there and learn from her (AND Denyse Schmidt, who was taking the class).

My partner (@c_wraestitch) mentioned that she loves warm colors (which is funny because I'm definitely a cool color girl!). Her mosaic showcased orange peels, and I was itching to make some smaller ones. Boom! My decision was made. She says she loves the mini!!

For the first time, I quilted my orange peels with my free motion foot in a veiny-leaf pattern. I feel like this extra detail really puts more "oomph" into the mini. Also, I used light gray (Aurifil 2600) on the bottom of the quilt, medium gray in the middle, and dark gray on top. You can see the thread color changes in the picture below.

The back of this mini is made up of scraps from my dealings with Anna Maria Horner Feathers (they leave a ton of awesome scraps). I love how you can see the quilted peels!


I hope this mini treats Claudia well. I know I'll miss it.

Thanks for reading all my mini quilt posts recently! I have a couple more finished projects to share soon and some progress on my two current large quilt projects. Also, the Dream Team (aka the husband, the sister, and me) are working on a project for this blog. And no, we aren't sewing together. :P Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Rainbow of Pearls: A Mini Quilt

The Lizzy House Mini Quilt Swap (#lizzyhouseminiquiltswap) on Instagram also drew me in this year (see my Cotton and Steel mini quilt). I've always admired Lizzy and I adore her fabrics (I'm Team Pearl Bracelets forever!). She's also visiting the CJMQG this August, which makes me want to sprout wings and fly over a rainbow. But really, I'm excited to meet her, hear her story, and learn from her.

My partner indicated that she loves Pearl Bracelets and rainbows - since I love those things too, it was easy to come up with a fun, unique design. I made the top at Mid-Atlantic Mod retreat and used it as an example in my Orange Peels and Improv classes that weekend. It was so relaxing to make orange peels that day, surrounded by so many of my friends who were also sewing!

It took a lot of willpower *not* to quilt this one to death. For the sake of design, I wanted the quilting to really pop and allow the prints to dominate. I've been really into pebbling lately, and as I pondered that fact, a crazy (but awesome) idea jumped into my head: outline the petals with pebbles. I usually go with my crazy awesome ideas, and I'm almost always pleased. I quilted with my signature light gray Aurifil 2600 (Dove), which makes the quilting show a little bit more than a white thread would have.

And below, hubby wanted to participate, too :D

Bound and backed in more Pearl Bracelets (did you notice that the white background is Pearl Bracelets, too?), I think it's safe to say that this mini quilt has been completely conquered by the PBs.

I also included these cute double-sided coasters as an extra because I love making scrappy things, and double-sided is always better than one sided. Especially when it comes to Oreos (like, just one cookie would be a bummer, right?).

My partner @melissa_mrf1290 received her package yesterday and she loves it - I'm relieved and thrilled!

I'm just waiting for my 3 mini quilts to arrive (!) and then I'm done with Instagram swaps for a while. As much fun as it was, I have other quilts to focus on (and I'd rather do a personal swap with someone I know). :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Herringbone Edition

It's time that I start a huge project: my best friend Julie's wedding quilt. She and Brian are getting married in October (and I'm a bridesmaid, sooo excited!) and I told them that, if they wished, I would love to make them a quilt for their bed as their gift. In the interest of making something that fits their home, I asked if they could plan it out with me. We decided one side is going to be black and white (and cream) herringbones with dashes of royal blue (for Brian). Each of these strips are 2.5 inches wide x 22" long,  and this thing is going to be between queen and king size... so you can imagine how long they actually are! The picture doesn't do it justice - there are about 40 strips sewn to each panel so far.

I'm using Maureen's quilt-as-you-go tutorial for a herringbone quilt; I'm sewing straight onto the batting (10" wide). Then, I just trim the whole thing down. I marked the first couple of strips and then just went for it. That may mean that the angle isn't perfectly 45 degrees all the way, but what's more fun: sewing, or marking hundreds of lines? I try to keep my priorities straight! I'm also going to quilt each panel before I sew it into a top. That's the beauty of "quilt-as-you-go," right? :)

Some of the fabrics are special: the third from the right ("Script in Noir" from Minimalista by Art Gallery) is doctor-like writing (Julie is a nurse), the circular one ("French Big Dot in Black" by Suzuko Koseki) has French words all over it (Julie loves Paris), and she loves Sudoku, too (far left). I bought all three of those fabrics, plus more, from the lovely Becca of Sew Me a Song, my sponsor! She always has what I'm looking for when it comes to unique prints.

The other side will be a fall theme, covered in red, orange, and yellow squares with notes from their wedding guests. I'll also add in some Modern Maple blocks. I can't wait to put the whole thing together and make an heirloom for their new family!

 Meanwhile, we took advantage today of the momentarily beautiful weather and drove up to Delaware Water Gap, PA for some biking. We had a blast. If you've never been to the Poconos, it's absolutely a place you must visit. I'm always astounded by the beauty. We saw a couple of small waterfalls and a frog! The trip ended with lots of mud everywhere but it was worth it! :) Hopefully we'll be able to invest in our own bikes soon.

Hope you are sewing this week, too!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Flutter Quilt: Busy Girl Sews Blog Tour

Fun fact: Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt was my first swap partner ever, way back in 2012! I received a GORGEOUS mini quilt, Perspective, that has hung in my sewing space ever since (in fact, I'm looking at it right now!). I also use the fabric basket she made me daily. Since then, Heidi has become a great bloggy/sewing friend of mine, and I'm so excited that she has written a book, Sew Organized for the Busy Girl: Tips to Make the Most of Your Time & Space (23 Quick and Clever Sewing Projects You'll Love). 

 Goodness knows I'm a busy girl, and I try to make time to sew every single day. And boy, do I like beautiful but simple quilts. That's why I jumped to make the Flutter quilt from Heidi's book: it's perfect for a little girl or boy, and it was an absolutely pleasure to make. I found this summery Design Seeds color scheme on my Pinterest Color inspiration board and pulled lights and darks from my fabric stash:


(I left out the peach)

I took inspiration from Heidi's original version (below) and made my background scrappy low volume. It's hard for me to do anything but that these days anyway. ;) Love it!

Quilting this was exhilarating. I decided to make pebbles my central theme because I knew they would make a bold statement. Small pebbles, large pebbles... they're all fabulous in my book. Plus, they don't have to be perfect. They have character.

For binding, I decided to split between two of the heart prints from Anna Maria Horner's Pretty Potent collection. I bought yardage of these specifically for binding, and I just LOVE how they mesh together. I almost went with just the warmer color but I'm very happy with my decision.

I backed this quilt in some leftover Anna Maria Horner flannel that I had from Breeze. It's perfect for a baby's crib!

One last awesome shot as the sun disappeared and then came out again. Texture!:

Besides this quilt and the gorgeous, modern traditional style projects Heidi highlights in her book, she has also scattered organizational tips throughout (from other sewists, too). I personally like to keep my projects separated in plastic boxes (purchased from Michael's), and I love Heidi's free download Project Bag Form!

Thanks for joining me on the Busy Girl Sews Blog Hop today! Make sure to visit the other stops and to check out Heidi's book for a slew of pretty, quick, and satisfying sewing projects.

March 30 - Lynne of Lily's Quilts 
April 6 - Jodi of Tales of Cloth & Angela of Cut to Pieces
April 13 - Lindsay of Craft Buds & Debbie of A Quilter's Table
April 20 - Leanne of She Can Quilt
April 27 - Fat Quarter Shop
May 4 - Erin of Why Not Sew?
May 11 - Jennifer of Ellison Lane Quilts
May 18 - Svetlana of SOTAK Handmade
May 25 - Lucy of Charm About You
June 1 - Maureen of Maureen Cracknell Handmade
June 8 - Becca of Bryan House Quilts
June 15 - Beth of Plum & June
June 22 - Jessica of Quilty Habit <<<<<<<------ You are here!
June 29 - Caroline of Sew Can She
July 6 - Heidi of Fabric Mutt (Tour Wrap!)

Stay tuned this week for lots of sewing! It's stay-at-home vacation week here!
Linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday, Fabric Tuesday
 Needle and Thread Thursday,
Crazy Mom Quilts 


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