Friday, May 29, 2009

Simple Abundance

A lot of post titles were running through my head for this one...but when it came down to it...Bonnie, Camille, and Moda got it right...Simple Abundance is the perfect name for this fabric. This jelly roll arrived yesterday...and it is absolutely wonderful, perfect fabric. (Thank you, thank you, thank you to my Blog friend who was able to purchase this for me at market)!!!

It didn't take long for me to unroll the strips so that I could really get a good look at the fabrics...and they're all wonderful and perfect! I love the reds, the pinks, the blues, the greens, the browns, and the soft prints. There is a tonal beige (not pictured here) that goes great with everything...I think I'm going to need a bolt of that one for my stash.

I already had a project in mind...I went through all of my books and patterns looking for the one that would use as much of each strip as possible while showcasing each fabric. And really I had no waste...I already have a project in mind for the few scraps that remained after cutting.
I plan on sewing all the blocks this weekend. Then, I'll have to put them away until September when the fabric becomes available to purchase by the yard (so I can get the border, backing, and binding fabrics). It will be worth the wait, though. This fabric is amazing--really amazing!
Have a wonderful weekend...hope you get to sew!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Playing With Color

Wow...I've been busy with family things...track meets, recognition dinners, and graduation activities (my younger daughter graduates from high school next week, and my younger son graduates from 8th grade tonight). But I've been sewing, too--fun things--it's just that I can't share many of them...yet.

I have taken some time to go through my stash and play with color. I have pieces from a lot of designers--Amy Butler, Heather Bailey, Sandi Henderson, Paula Prass, and Anne Sutton here; I've used the lines Midwest Modern, Daisy Chain, Freshcut, PopGarden, Ginger Blossom, Farmer's Market, Flights of Fancy, and Angel Houses along with a Moda Bella solid and a Michael Miller polka dot.


Looking at my blocks, I realized rather quickly which colors I need to get in my stash--and, I'm really in need of reds! Well, actually I have lots of reds--Christmas reds and my French General reds--but not the reds that will work in this quilt!

I need to add to my stash so I can make some more of these fun 9-patches!



Oh, and I finally made myself one of these little bags--I've made a lot since last fall and given them all away, but I'm going to keep this one! I hope to be able to show some of the other things I'm working on...soon!
Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Gorgeousness

Gorgeousness...I looked it up--Webster's says it means "splendidly or showily brilliant or magnificent." And "gorgeousness" is the only word I can think of to describe today's mail. Last week, during the Spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh, The Fat Quarter Shop posted wonderful pictures from market on their blog and also had a fantastic give-away of two different bundles of new Moda fabrics. You could enter a comment on their blog or via Twitter (I love following their Twitter updates to learn about give-aways, sales, and new fabrics and patterns). My Twitter comment was one of the winners, and I received a fat quarter bundle of Rouenneries by French General for Moda. Thank you to everyone at the Fat Quarter Shop!!!

Words can't even begin to describe how gorgeous these fabrics are (yes, I had to take them out of the bundle as soon as I took a picture)! The colors, designs, and texture (there is even some linen) are magnificent! I have about a hundred things I want to make with this wonderful fabric...not a scrap will go to waste! First, I'll be making a project I've been wanting to design and make for quite a while...I've never been able to find the right fabric, but this will be perfect! I also want to make fabric bowls from Joanna's new pattern, pillows, table runners, wall hangings and quilts...how will I ever decide?!

The mail also included a package from Stina who lives in Sweden! Stina sent me a Pay It Forward package (which means I'd really better get busy finishing up the ones I'm sending)! The candy is wonderful...and look at what was inside the package...


The most gorgous bag with an angel holding the most darling mini-quilt. The mini-quilt is even bound with a tiny binding! Absolutely precious! Inside the bag was a beautiful pincushion with a perfect crocheted flower! The gifts from Stina are also pure gorgeousness! Thank you Stina!!!



Hoping to sew soon...but first I need to straighten up my sewing room!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fig & Plum Goodness

This is what I did yesterday when I got home (after being gone nearly ten hours and fighting through rush-hour traffic in Las Vegas for over an hour before my hour drive home)--I went to this Moda page and looked at all of the new lines of fabric. There are so many coming out that I can't wait to sew with! My favorites so far are Mill House Inn by Joanna of Fig Tree Quilts, Odyssea by MoMo, Simple Abundance by Bonnie and Camille, Rouenneries by French General, and Wiscasset by Minick and Simpson!

After dreaming of the new fabrics, I set about putting the borders on and finishing my "didn't go to Quilt Market" therapy quilt...it's 62 x 72 of wonderful Fig & Plum goodness! I really love this quilt, but the soft colors didn't photograph well this morning.
I wasn't going to use the blue fabrics since this quilt is going in the master bedroom where there isn't any blue, but I'm so glad I decided to use them--they just seemed to add a certain sparkle of freshness to the quilt and didn't look out of place at all when I took the quilt into my room.


I'm going to piece the back today and get this off to be quilted.

Since Monday will be Memorial Day here in the United States, I got out one of my favorite red and blue quilts. This is a "Laps from Fats" pattern made up in Nantucket, a line from Moda that I was in love with a couple of years ago...it reminds me of everything about the beach! I used to hang this quilt on the wall, but decided to wash it and use it for a couch quilt this year! I'm always a little apprehensive to wash a quilt for the first time, since I don't pre-wash my fabrics. I used a Color Catcher in the washer--and no problems...in fact I've never had a single problem with any of the Moda fabrics I've used.


I can't wait to sew today...I think I'm going to make this Layer Cake pattern!
Have a wonderful day!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Therapy

My Fat Quarter Shop 2008 Designer Mystery Block of the Month quilt is finished (well, ready to be quilted anyway)! The last block arrived last Wednesday, and I finished the top on Friday. I really love this quilt, and it's been put on the very top of the "to be quilted" pile!

With spring market last weekend in Pittsburgh I was feeling a little "market envy." In fact, with all of the wonderful market posts I wanted to be there even more. I needed some therapy; I thought about retail therapy, but that didn't seem to make sense (I need to save my quilt money for all the new and wonderful fabrics that will be out shortly)! I finally decided on cake therapy...layer cake therapy, that is!

I've had this Fig & Plum layer cake for a little while now. I even bought some yardage of some of the fabrics...and the cream from Patisserie matches perfectly and was my fabric of choice for the background. I had a design in mind that I've seen in a few places and so decided to make the quilt without a pattern.

I cut my layer cake into 5-inch squares, and I cut my background fabric into 2 1/2" strips. I needed to cut the strips into squares, so I got out my Mini Square Quilter's Rule; I learned about this ruler from some of the ladies I quilt with...and I love it! I think my squares come out "more square" using this ruler.


I'm "snowballing" two opposing corners on the 5 inch squares...and I'm sewing again 1/2" away so that when I cut my corners off the scrap pieces are already sewn into a 1/2 square triangle block. I sewed a lot (I needed a lot of "not being at market" therapy). The only breaks I took were to watch my daughter run in the Division finals for track (she added some more medals to her pile, including a gold in the 1600 relay, her favorite event, and is going to State next week to run in three races...yay)!

Here are the results...248 1/2 square trianges and 124 blocks for my quilt! I might need to make just a few more blocks--I'm going to figure out how big I want the quilt and borders and finish it up today! Oh, and I have another Moda layer cake ready to go in case I need more therapy!
Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Trunk Show



Tonight I attended a delightful presentation and trunk show in the small town where I live. Lynette Bingham and Sariah Mortensen, two owners of the new shop Main Street Quilt Cottage in Hurricane, Utah, were the featured speakers (Lynette is the daughter of Blanche Young, a renowned quilter in southern Utah who recently turned 90). The third owner of the shop, Wendy Lemmon, was unable to attend.


There were quilts of every style...some new and some older!


Of course, I loved both of these Christmas quilts.


And isn't this a great Halloween quilt?




Below are a couple of recent quilts.


These two were amazing...


Sariah loves tumbling blocks quilts...I believe the one on the right was actually queen-sized. The tumbling block pattern is one I haven't made yet, but Sariah said these were easy to do and were made without any "y" seams!


The Main Street Quilt Cottage ladies brought patterns, notions, fat-quarters and kits for sale; they also gave out a couple of fun door-prizes! It was wonderful to have some "quilt goodness" without having to travel! Thanks so much to Kathy for arranging everything...and to Lynette and Sariah for a wonderful evening! Driving home (only a mile!) I thought about how wonderful it is that we quilters can share our quilts and our stories, our ideas and our lives...I'm grateful to be a quilter!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Had to...and Wonder If...

Last week I was in a quilt shop looking through the Moda pre-cuts (just to see if there was anything new, of course)...when I spotted a jelly-roll of Shangri-La. Shangri-La is one of my favorite lines, and I've used nearly every bit of it I ever bought...so of course I had to get it! And then I had to make a Dresden block out of Patisserie since Stephanie's was so cute.
Yesterday I was at another quilt shop, (Quilted Works in St. George, Utah)...and they showed me a brand new book that had just arrived. Nancy Halvorsen is at it again; her new projects were just too cute to pass up--plus...it's never too early to start working on Christmas gifts. (You can probably see where I'm going with this... I had to buy it)!

This is the May 2009 issue of Cotton Time. I had to buy it because I heard there were a lot of really wonderful projects inside (and there are...hexagons and yo-yo's and great quilt studios and even whirlygiggles)!


Oh, and I've had to work on the "Baby Bloomer" quilt from Heather's new book Stop Drop and Roll because it looked so fun and easy to make!



I wonder if the food from the Farm Chick's book could just magically appear in my kitchen to feed my family so I could spend more time sewing???!!!
Have a wonderful day!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday, Monday

Whew...last week was a busy one...I hardly had time to catch my breath! We had so many family, community, school and church activities that the week just flew by, and not much sewing was accomplished other than the prom dress! I did receive two patterns that I had recently won in a give-away from Gracie Lou's. Both patterns are ones I want to make...it is like they were hand-picked for me! Thanks so much!
In the little time I did get to work on quilting projects, I worked on old and new. I made a little headway on my binding pile; I've been playing with a new pattern with some of my Cotton Blossoms fabric, and I've been making more Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks! I also finished my May "Tisket a Tasket" block from Anne and decided on sashing and cornerstone fabrics.

Oh, and one last "prom" picture...I thought the corsage was beautiful and that they looked stunning in their prom attire! There is a lot on the to-do list this week...but happily it's mostly quilt related!
Have a great day!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Prom Dress


The prom dress is finished! It took a lot longer than I expected and required a lot of fittings since I combined three patterns. The bodice is Butterick 4918, the sleeves are Butterick 5184, and the skirt is McCall's 5321. Both fabrics, satin and organza, frayed very easily, so I used french seams in all of the skirt pieces (doubling my sewing time). The bodice is lined and underlined, and all of the bodice seams have boning in them as well.

Here is a close-up of the skirt. The organza has tiny rhinestones that really sparkle and add a lot to the look; however, the rhinestones made it difficult to sew, especially when doing the rolled hem. Younger daughter is pleased...now she just has to figure out how she is going to do her hair before Saturday. Her date is going to wear a white tuxedo...they'll be a cute couple.
Now that it's finished I'm happy that I made it...but, wow, it really took over my life for the past few days! I'm looking forward to getting back to some quilting!

Stop, Drop and Roll


Monday's mail brought something wonderful...Heather Mulder Peterson's new book, Stop, Drop and Roll--thank you Heather!!! This is a terrific book; not only do I want to make every single quilt, but I also love the fact that Heather gives measurements for using either jelly rolls or fat quarters for every project. There are some great applique' patterns inside as well that go wonderfully with her designs. You can see the quilts on Heather's blog post here (she also has another new book coming out that you can see here).

I've been sewing, sewing, sewing the last few days...18 yards of beautiful sky blue satin and organza into a prom dress that is coming along well (last night younger daughter said she liked it)! I've sewn nearly every seam with french seams, the bodice is lined and underlined, and I've even used my rolled-hem foot that worked beautifully. The bodice and skirt are done; once I sew them together and put the zipper in I will be breathing a lot easier. Thankfully, my friend Dawn was at a quilt shop Monday and picked up the latest issue of Quilt Sampler for me--I love this magazines and can't wait to read it (thanks Dawn)!

I just had to share a picture of my lovely honeysuckle...I have several honeysuckle plants in the back yard around the patio...and this time of year the aroma is wonderful! I wish I could just sit outside all day and sew.
I've had a lot of requests for more information on the Dresden blocks. First, there is a wonderful tutorial for making the blocks on Stephanie's blog here (her post today has some WONDERFUL Dresden blocks, too). The template manufacturer also has a great web-site here with free tutorials, information and patterns for their templates. It takes 20 dresdens to make a complete circle, and then you also need fabric for the center circles. Since all charm packs have different numbers of squares in them, there will still be a little math left for you to do, but here are the numbers I put in my notebook to have when shopping. First, you'll need to decide how many blocks you want to make and then multiply that number by 20 (that will give you the number of templates you'll need to cut ). Dresden templates from one inch up to and including the five inch size can be cut from charm squares (these sizes can also be cut from jelly roll strips). The first number in the following list will be the template size, and the number following it in parenthesis is the number of templates you can cut from one charm square. 1 (16), 1.5 (9), 2 (6), 2.5 (6), 3 (3), 3.5 (2), 4 (2), 4.5 (2), 5 (2). So to make 6 blocks using the 5" template I first multiply 6 by 20 to make 120 templates; then I divide 120 by 2 (the number of templates that I can cut from each charm square). That gives me 60...so I need 60 charm squares plus an additional 6 charms for the 6 circle centers (or other fabric for the circle centers). I hope that made sense. I really think using a charm pack (or several) is a great way to make these Dresden blocks and get a great variety of fabrics. Using charm packs from different fabric lines is also a great idea!
Have a wonderful day...oh, and this morning my husband asked what I wanted for Mother's Day--of course I told him fabric!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Moda Charm Plus Easy Dresden!


I've been anxious to try the Easy Dresden ruler Stephanie sent me...and so I gathered the ruler and a Moda charm pack of Collection for a Cause Legacy by Howard Marcus. Using a charm pack you can make the smallest size (one inch) up to the 5" sized Dresden blocks. I decided to start out with a 3 1/2" Dresden which meant I could get two Dresdens cut out of each charm square; since there are 44 squares in this charm pack, I'll be able to make four complete Dresden blocks. I actually did the math and realized that by using a 3" Dresden I could get six complete Dresden blocks from this charm pack--and with two charm packs I could make an entire Dresden quilt using this size template. (If anyone is interested in all the numbers... comment or e-mail me, and I'll give you the numbers of templates that can be cut from each charm square depending on the size template you use).
I love the way this block turned out...what do you think about the Moda Beach House polka dot fabric I'm thinking of using for a background?

It's going to be fun seeing the other blocks come together...they'll all be different since only 20 different Dresdens are needed for one block. I used freezer paper applique' to do the circle for the center...and one charm square is large enough to make each circle.



Making the Dresden block was a lot of fun! I loved the Dresden block made by Vanessa of V and Company and had to make one similar to hers (made out of the "Sweet" line by Moda); however, I used both "Sweet" and "Swell" (the same fabrics I'm using for my Tisket a Tasket blocks by Anne) in my block.

I'm looking forward to a lot of quilting this week...as soon as I finish my daughter's prom dress! Have a wonderful week!