Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

For Sew Mama Sew giveaway day, I have two giveaways to offer! I'm sharing yardage, scrap packs, and some swag from the Mid-Atlantic Mod retreat last month. :)

First up: this pack contains a purple fabric scrap pack (sharing the love of my favorite color), a little less than a half yard of the diamond print, two fat quarters (swirly purple Cocoon print and the pink print), a large scrap of Soul Blossoms by Amy Butler, and handmade-by-me key fob.

The second pack contains a yellow scrap pack, a True Luck mini charm pack, a charm pack of Basic Brights and Pastels from Windham, two rolls of washi tape from Cloud 9 Fabrics (love!!!), and a handmade-by-me keychain.
This giveaway is open to everyone in the whole wide world. On Sunday, May 10th at 9 pm EST, I will choose two winners using the Random Number Generator.

To enter:
1. Leave a comment about what you think you'd be doing if you weren't crafting in your free time. I definitely have joined the Sweet Adelines, which is an international woman's barbershop singing group (bet you didn't know I sang barbershop - bass voice part - for three years in high school! Any fellow barbershop singers out there?). I just can't make the quilt guild AND singing group commitment! I'd be reading a LOT more, too. Don't get me wrong though - I chose sewing for a reason. Because I freaking love it. :)
2. Leave a second comment if you are a follower of mine - you'll get a second chance (just let me know: Bloglovin, Feedly, Instagram, FB, etc.)

Thanks and have fun hopping!
P.S. I usually respond to all the comments that leave email addresses but I will be unable to respond to each person during the giveaway. Thanks for understanding!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Sunday Stash: Mid-Atlantic Mod Edition

After the 2nd annual Mid-Atlantic Mod quilt retreat in Lancaster, PA (my recap is here), I spread out all of my purchases and swag on the floor. A good way to look at it, right? I just love the Mid-Atlantic Mod messenger bag that all the swag came in!! Thanks Jess and Andrew!

The top three rows are purchases from Burkholder Fabrics, an event I documented in my recap post. Three of the prints (second row from top, on the left - Comma, Winter's Lane, and Terrain!!) are from 1 Choice 4 Quilting. They are all half yards or yards (and a couple finished the bolt). There are large cuts of some awesome low volumes (which I always seem to run out of fast), plus some black and white prints for my BFF Julie's wedding quilt this summer. I picked up some blues and Carolyn Friedlander fabrics that I was lacking in my stash (some of the CF prints I rebought because I used them all already!). There are some other gems in there, too, including that stripey purple and pink Collage print that I've used up. One of the best parts of visiting Burkholder's with my modern quilty friends was swapping bolts after one of us had cut from it because we just HAD to throw in that print as well... :)

 Oh fabric. I love you.

 And of course, there was this, which I made sure would be there before I visited:

LIZZY HOUSE FABRIC RAINBOW!! I didn't buy all of the butterflies or mini Pearl Bracelets - just the ones I knew I'd use the most. After all, I know I can buy more if I need... I bought half yards except for the blues and purples, which I use constantly (those are yard cuts). Clearly, fat quarters and I don't really work well together. On another note, I'd love to bind a quilt in the PBs. Soon, I hope.

Oh, and the bolt? We quilters were giddy to find an entire wagon outside of Burkholder's that was $4 a yard if you bought the whole bolt (all wrapped and newish fabrics). With our discount on top of that, I bought fifteen yards of this beautiful Eight Days a Week text print by Windham Fabrics. Plus, I sold several yards at the retreat, so I made out pretty well (I wasn't going to sell any initially, but spreading the quilty love is good!). :) 

Thanks to all the companies who sponsored Mod. We were thrilled! Thanks to Fabricworm, Cloud 9 Fabrics, Robert Kaufman, Windham, 1 Choice 4 Quilting, The Village Quilter, Old Country Store, Pink Door Fabrics, and The Quilter's Bazaar for the fabric and notions you see in the first picture, and ALL of these companies for donating prizes and more swag. You rock!

All in all, this was a big Sunday Stash. The only other fabric I want to buy soon is a few choice cuts of Lizzy House's Natural History... then I'll be good in terms of selfish buying. I swear. :)

Linking up to Sunday Stash.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Mid-Atlantic Mod 2015 Recap

The second year of the Mid-Atlantic Mod retreat in Lancaster, PA was an absolute blast, and I'm finally sufficiently rested and unpacked enough to blog about it. This was a gathering of five modern quilt guilds in the area (Central Jersey, North Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and D.C.) plus a smattering of non-guild quilters (74 people in attendance - around 10 more than last year!). My quilting BFF and partner in crime Jessica, along with Andrew from the Philly Guild, ran the whole event, and it's safe to say that they outdid themselves once again. Natalie helped with sponsors, and Chad and I helped with swaps and little random things. It was great to volunteer and still get to participate in everything.

Non-hazardous group picture, as compared to last year's ;)

 Most of my guild members who were present! Lots of <3 to my favorite sewing buddies, the Central Jersey MQG! I'm second from the right in the bottom row.
From Thursday to Sunday, we sewed, laughed, swapped, took classes, fabric shopped, and relaxed. Here's a fun time lapse of just half the room over four days:

A highlight was visiting Burkholder Fabrics, an intense event I've been looking forward to since the minute I left last year. The store has good prices on their fabrics (there's a lot of hard to find stuff, and half the fun is scanning all the shelves); plus, they give our retreat a nice discount (thank you!). I was thrilled to visit with my friends and to buy even more than last year (WORTH IT). I even cut into some of it at the retreat! I'll have a full fabric report on Sunday.

Stepping into Lizzy House fabric heaven. You'd better believe I bought it up.

I filled my cart twice with bolts!

I took Melanie's Peek block class and even finished the mini quilt! More on that soon - it's for the Cotton and Steel mini swap on Instagram. I chose my partner's colors and just went for it! Melanie gave some great advice on how to make the scrappy really stand out. Her block pattern is coming out soon - check it out. :) She's truly a wonderful teacher and I can't wait to take another one of her classes sometime.

I also had the distinct pleasure of teaching two sections of my condensed Orange Peels and Improv class. My students were so eager and creative; I love learning from them. We practiced the orange peel technique (many mentioned that they found it therapeutic and relaxing), and I gave some structure to the planned improv design of my orange peel quilts. I hope I get many more opportunities to teach this class (the next one is in July at my LQS and there are still spots available, if you're local to Central New Jersey!). Thank you to EVERYONE who took the class and gave me so much positive feedback. It means the world to me!

Scatter and Soar, together at last!

These were Melanie's (she took my class after I took her's!):

My friend Daniela pieced hers on improv backgrounds. Love!

Swaps happened constantly. I came home with so many beautiful things!

This was the mini quilt swap - all participants were invited to participate. Look how downright gorgeous these mini quilts came out!!

I got Neva's amazing purple mini quilt, which I've had my eye on for a couple of months. It's happily hanging in my dining area - I'll try to get a good picture. :) Neva is a good friend of mine and a very talented quilter, and I'm lucky to own two of her minis now.

Liz and I did a private swap, which we planned after the first retreat! You can read more about it here.

This is all the "loot" from my friends. Liz's AMAZING Aeroplane bag and the Anna Maria Horner cross stitch kit she so generously snuck in (thank you!!) and all my purple goodies from Alyson (@alysonwonderlan), who was my "secret sewist." More on that soon. She got me a crown because I'm the queen of the guild :D I just love everything. There's purple yarn and knitting needles in that purple Tula Pink and linen pouch! Swoon!

The retreat felt like one big party with new friends and old. Oh yeah, and I did do some more sewing...

For the Lizzy House Mini Swap on Instagram. I can't wait to quilt this (it's all ready now!). Many of these fabrics were bought that morning at Burkholder's.

The lighting was a little weird but here's one of the progressive quilts I worked on (Modern Neutrals, sponsored by Robert Kaufman and Pennington Quilt Works). Each quilter brought a couple of blocks from home, and at the retreat, we each worked on it for at least an hour. The quilt shifts and changes throughout the weekend. This was my favorite progressive quilt in the room and I can't wait to see how Amy (@amybob3kids) quilts it!

I also worked on the Bright Stars progressive quilt (sponsored by Robert Kaufman - they provided all of the blue Kona fabrics). Can you tell which block I made? (Hint: it's huge and purple!). Janet from our guild won this one - I'm glad I'll get to see it in person again when it's done.

So, that's a wrap for now, though I'll be talking about Mod again for at least two more blog posts. Weekends like this, even though they come just a couple of times a year, are rejuvenating and exhausting at the same time. I should have taken more time to relax (especially after taking a class and teaching two on Saturday), but I did get a massage and have some great meals with beautiful people. This community is what sewing is all about to me, and I'm hopeful that I'll be able to keep experiencing it firsthand for many years to come. Sometimes I think about when I wavered back and forth about attending that first CJMQG interest meeting... thank goodness I did. Quilt guild changed my life!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts

April is the end of our first round of quilt trading in our progressive quilts bee, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts. Six of us send around quilts that we started, and get them back as tops after a year. You can read more about my quilt starter and the fabric/ideas I sent out here and here.

I received Ashley's quilt starter, a row of gigantic green flying geese, at QuiltCon in February. She asked for a rainbow row quilt - pick a block (or a myriad of blocks) and create one riotous colorful 72" row of them. She had jokingly suggested that I make purple churn dashes (I love purple and she made churn dashes on my last quilt) and I figured I might as well! Though, I did weep a little as I cut into the last of my cerise Domino Dots. I guess it's for a good cause, because Ashley loves that print. :)

I always forget how much longer churn dashes take to make, even when I chain piece. I made three sizes (9", 6", and 3") and offset the smaller ones with purple scraps. I am really pleased with my row and I can't wait to see what Laura adds as the next quilter! P.S. I swear my row is straight - it's just the only angle I could take the picture in my apartment with some daytime light. :)

I considered taking a break from this bee because it is so much work, but we changed it to 2 months in between each quilt and I just love my beemates. I'm glad I stuck with it. :)

Now... to clean up all the purple scraps and start making for the next deadline!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday.

Monday, April 27, 2015

X Marks the Spot - A Mini Quilt

Making mini quilts is a lot of fun. Making mini quilts for friends is even better.

 Liz and I became friends a little more than a year ago, when we were getting ready to attend Mid-Atlantic Mod retreat for the first time. She found out about the retreat here on the blog (I'm SO glad!). Since we hung out pretty much all weekend a year ago in Lancaster, PA, we've been in touch about fabric (lots and lots of fabric), our projects, and our real lives. We've also "Skyped and sewn" a few times (she's in Maryland and I'm in New Jersey). It's easy to say that Liz is one of my best quilty friends. 

We decided to organize a private swap (the best kind, IMHO) in anticipated of this year's retreat (which happened over the past weekend - I posted a lot of pics on my Instagram [@quiltyhabit]!). She promised to make me an Aeroplane Bag since I haven't summoned the bravery to sew legitimate bags yet, and I promised to make her a "mini" quilt for her new sewing room. Seriously, look at the amazing bag she made me. Omg. Yes, that is AMH patchwork and purple shot cotton. I'll take more pics soon!

For the mini quilt: she loves the colors from the Priory Square fabric line by Katy Jones, so I decided to centralize the main print and surround it with the metallic roses. It needed something else, though, which is where the cross stitch block by Alyssa Lichner in color order came into play. It just worked well, and I did a little quilty math to make it all come together. I added the off-white in the borders to rest the eyes and bring out the neutral in all that busy. I think it works (it looks better in person - it was hard to capture by camera).

Liz requested lots of free motion quilting, so I couldn't resist small pebbles. I've been pebbling a lot lately and I just love it. Plus, my skills improve each time.

Quilty goodness on the back. Hopefully Liz will enjoy this quilt for a long while!

Thanks for a thrilling swap, Liz, and I had a great 4-day weekend hanging out with you!

I have a whole bunch of blog posts lined up now! I'll post a full recap or two of Mid-Atlantic Mod at some point this week.

Linking up to: Fabric Tuesday, Sew Cute Tuesday, Needle and Thread Thursday, TGIFF, Crazy Mom Quilts.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Soar: A Finished Orange Peel Quilt

This quilt has sucked me into its grasp and hasn't let go. It seriously makes me giddy. Just an experiment with color and different sized orange peels turned into something much more precious (isn't that the reason we sew?). May I introduce you to Soar, my third orange peel quilt and the inverse of Scatter (here's Breeze, the king-sized beast, too).

My favorite part, the ghost peel. All the petals are drifting off from this corner:

The orange peels were made using my additions to Emily Herrick's tutorial. It is a fun and addictive stitch and flip machine applique method. There is so much you can do with orange peels (I've proven this on Pinterest) but I don't think I'll soon tire of pairing them with improvised backgrounds!

I use my planned improv technique, which involves giving myself stipulations (here, it was one white piece and a gray piece per block). I'm teaching this technique a few times over the next couple months. Basically, I build the quilt from the bottom up, using strips, and I just keep adding where needed. I made sure to sneak in scraps of the next color into the piecing (mostly Anna Maria Horner - can you believe I'm actually using my precious AMH stash?). There is a bit more to it but you'll have to take the class to find out. ;)

Grainy nighttime progress picture. Improv is messy and so totally awesome!

Quilting it was an absolutely joy. I left the orange peels unquilted as I always have so that they stick out a bit more. I have a lot of respect for long arm quilters but after all the quilting I've done, I don't think I'll ever be able to hand one of my quilts off to be quilted. It's my favorite part!

 Baby orange peels!

 The back was a joining of several of my favorite large Anna Maria Horner prints. Usually I piece backs in a pretty complex way, but for this quilt, simple seemed best.


 Here's one last picture of the texture. It's funny how the quilt shows up differently when tilted in the sun.

And here's Scatter, for comparison's sake. :)

You can read more about Soar here.

I can't wait to show both of these at the Mid-Atlantic Mod retreat in three days! I've been taking lots of pictures of all the projects I've been working on lately, so hopefully you haven't given up on me as a blogger these last couple of weeks. ;)


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