Sunday, January 30, 2011

giveaway at A La Mode fabric!

Heather over at {House} of A La Mode has scored a giveaway of this fabulous new fabric designed by Sarah Fielke (of Material Obsession fame) from Fat Quarter Shop!

Head on over here for a chance to win one of these beautiful FQ bundles. Or don't, cause I'm pretty sure I'm gonna win...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

we interrupt this winter

to bring a little summer sunshine and flowers...

Presenting Vicki's row in the SewMod Row Quilt Challenge. It's already killing me to have to give this one away! I need another one to hang in my sewing room :)

The applique shapes are from Nancy Halvorsen's book, Garden Song.

I still need to zigzag stitch around all the shapes with some Mono-Poly thread to secure them permanently - right now they are just fused with Heat n' Bond Lite. I think those flowers also need some button embellishments. But hey, the deadline isn't until Wednesday - I've still got time!

Bloom where you're planted!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

wonky stars pillow

New pillow love!
Wonky stars!

20" pillow using some Amy Butler Soul Blossoms, Moda Grunge, Michael Miller and Moda dots, and Moda Bella Bleached White background. One teeny little square from Kaffe's buddy - can you find it?

Random stipple quilting.

And Amy's Soul Blossom Peacock Feather in Sea Glass on the back (with a little flash of MM dots!) Yummy!

There is one 12" finished star and five 6" finished stars. I used this tutorial from The Silly Boo Dilly, but I cut my star point squares 1/4" larger than she recommends. I found that little extra bit gives me more room to be even wonkier with the points :)

And did you notice the watermark on the photos? Yep, this old dog can be taught one new trick... well two tricks if you count the fact that I can now watermark in either grey or white :) Wow, that Photoshop is a powerful bit of software - what a marvelous bunch of possibilities! Any advice on the best way to get some training without breaking the bank?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

pillow GIVEAWAY at SewMod

How's this for some embroidered cuteness??

My good friend Lorrie at SewMod made this supremely cute design as part of the Birdie Stitches Quilt Along at Little Miss Shabby. Turns out she decided to go with a different background color for the embroidered blocks, so she made this one into a pillow and is now GIVING IT AWAY on her blog along with a hand-dyed skein of variegated embroidery floss. The floss is the very same color she used to make the birdie's cute little earmuffs and the snowman's scarf.

The border fabrics she used are Hideaway by Lauren and Jessi Jung for Moda. The background is a Moda Bella solid - Robin's Egg, I believe.

You can register for the giveaway through Thursday, January 27, with the winner announced Friday, January 28.

Now get on over there to the SewMod blog and leave a comment to get a chance at winning this pillow... and to see what other lovely things Lorrie and Paige are up to!

Good luck!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

organization - baby steps

I'm a big fan of organization. I love a tidy closet where all the towels are uniformly folded (with the folded edge to the outside, thank you very much) and arranged by color. But the actual act of organizing? Uh... I think I have a dentist appointment that day.

Here's a small section of my sewing room closet. Looks pretty organized, huh? I mean thread sorted by color - you can't get more organized than that, right? What do you say we step back and take a big-picture look at the entire closet?

Good grief, what a nightmare! So it's mostly tidy, but definitely not organized. Who could find anything in there?? And that's just the closet!

One of the main reasons for this state of affairs is that it's just too darn overwhelming to tackle all at once. So I'm going to take some baby steps here.

You know how all the "organization experts" tell you to take 15-30 minutes and organize ONE thing? Yep, did that today on this one bin - my bright stash of batiks (as opposed to the earth-tone stash of batiks which will be organized on another 15-30 minute jaunt - stay focused here, Shelley!)

Put on some music, plopped myself on the floor, and got busy folding and sorting. And look what happened! (Ignore the canine lack of enthusiasm...)

Most of these are fat quarter and half-yard cuts. The pile in the back right is yardage, but generally I don't purchase yardage for stash - only for backings and specific projects.

I'd love to show you a photo of these lovely organized stacks on the shelf, but I think I'll wait and do a big reveal at the end of "Project Organize" when ALL the bins have been sorted. For now they are safely tucked back (but uniformly folded and sorted!) in the bin.

I've got to do some research on shelf dividers. Any ideas on how to keep the stacks from falling over onto each other??

Monday, January 17, 2011

like, hate, LOVE

This was like...

This was hate...

And now this is LOVE...

It's finished and I couldn't be happier. Happy with how it turned out, and happy I can cross this off the list and move on to other things :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

are they log cabins or hexagons?

It's getting near to deadline time for the SewMod row quilt challenge (February 1- yikes!). I made a great start last fall and got 4 of 8 finished and then the holidays took over. So today I grabbed some fabrics and started cutting strips for Kelly's log cabin row. Her focus fabric is a black and white swirl - the squares in the upper left corner. I have several scraps from my month in the Fresh Modern Bee, so I decided to add them in for some color punch.

I found the free pattern for this paper-pieced log cabin variation at late last year**. The row needs to be 40" finished and these blocks are about 7" wide so I've got some sashing to do, as well as some corner triangles - I'm thinking the black and white swirl again for corners. We'll see how it all comes together.

Hope she likes them!

** I can't seem to locate the exact URL for this pattern right now. I'll post an update later if I find it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

quilting the New Wave/circling the globe

Finally after many starts, stops, frustrations, and exasperation, the New Wave is quilted!!

I used an all over free-hand design of swirls - large, medium and small - to fill the entire top edge to edge.

Thread on top is King Tut variegated (40 wt) in Crushed Grapes; bottom thread is one of the purples (50wt) from Connecting Threads. Paige (my machine quilting guru friend) suggested in a recent post of hers here, that a lighter weight thread in the bobbin can make for a more successful machine quilting experience on your home sewing machine. And she was right!!

It took me SIX FULL BOBBINS to get this baby finished - SIX!!! I've never used that much thread before on a single quilt top. So much thread in fact, that while I was quilting (and filling bobbin after bobbin after bobbin) that I'm sure it must circle the globe at least three times!

Someday I'll give you the whole sad story about how I marked this quilt three times only to have the chalk rub off -Ultimate Quilt Pounce and I are NOT on speaking terms. But for now, though my neck and shoulders are killing me, I'm just so giddy to have this task done and (I think) done pretty darn well.

And now I see lots of TV couch time in my week ahead to hand-stitch the binding :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

quilting at the White House

I saw this today on Facebook, maybe you did too. Too funny! Apparently Larry King can "app-lee-kay" like nobody's business...


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