Saturday, June 27, 2009

Things I Heart


I heart this pattern.

This is Madeline, a new applique' design by Joanna of Fresh Figs. It was a lot of fun to make, and since the shapes were simple you don't need to be an expert at applique' to make it. The pattern comes with options to make two sizes; I made the smaller size which will fit into a 16 x 20 frame, but I think I'm going to add some borders and make a small wallhanging with it for my sewing room! I still need to add the embroidered handmade at the top as well.



And I heart this quilt. I finished my "Gift from the Sea" quilt! This is a quilt I've been wanting to make for about three years. It's in the Heather Mulder Peterson book Fat Quarter Five, and Heather calls it "Gypsy Girl." I had ordered some Jennifer Paganelli fabric to make a skirt and knew right away I had to make this quilt from her fabrics. The quilt has fabrics from several of her lines, "Dance with Me," "Pretty Please," "Flower Power," and "Sis Boom." Did I mention that I heart this quilt?!


It's a nice sized quilt with a great scrappy border around the edges (you can see it at the top of the first photo), and I think I'll make a scrappy binding as well!



I heart these wonderful gifts that came in the mail today from Bonnie at Calamity Jane's Cottage! Bonnie had a surprise giveaway and sent me a 4th of July package supreme...a darling apron (beautifully sewn), a cute potholder , a handmade coupon book, the most wonderful dish cloth ever, and two Romantic Home magazines! I love everything! Thanks so much Bonnie! And speaking of giveaways...I'm having a couple of them in July, one for my first blogiversary which is July first, and another later in the month to celebrate my birthday!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gratitudes and a Tip at the End!

I'm grateful that we have clouds! We haven't had measureable rain in a very long time, and so clouds always make me happy. Hoping, just hoping that some nice rain is on it's way.

I thought about naming this post "Why I Live at the P.O." after a Eudora Welty short story that I read several times in college--but really gratitudes seemed more appropriate. It's just that many wonderful things have come this week by way of the post office! Today I received six, yes six, brand new patterns from Mary of Mary's Cottage Quilts. I recently won them on her blog, and I can hardly wait to get started sewing! I'll probably make Figgy Pudding first, followed by Spare Charms and Crossroads. These patterns all use Layer Cakes and Charm Packs with small amounts of additional yardage...perfect for scraps too! Thanks so much Mary!

Yesterday I also received a wonderful package from Stephanie of Loft Creations. I recently had a wonderful time pattern testing her new West Linn Bag pattern; I knew she was going to send me a pattern but was completely surprised by the many other wonderful things she sent: charm squares from Superbuzzy (look at all of those polka dots...I love polka dots), two fat quarters of Wildwood by Erin McMorris, Laura Ashley page markers, and two patterns! I'm really feeling like this is Christmas in June...or my birthday a month early...or both! Thank you Stephanie!


Another package came yesterday too...from Darlene at Quilting Daze. Darlene and I had both oohed and aahed over the lunchbox sewing kits made from tins on this post over at the blog of Minick and Simpson. Darlene ended up making one for her 3rd blogiversary, and used a wonderful tin by Moda. She sent me a Moda lunchbox, and has already put a pincushion inside the lid (see the fabric at the top in the photo on the right)! I was so excited...I'd been wanting to make one of these, but hadn't yet! Thanks again, Darlene!


Had to sneak this quilt in one more time...yesterday I finished the binding on my Fig & Plum throw. I promptly washed and dried it so it has that crinkly-soft quilty goodness...it's always such a good feeling when a quilt is completely finished.

Okay, finally--here's my tip for the day! I finally hung my "Hope" quilt. I've used many methods to hang my quilts including special quilt holders, racks, and dowels resting on nails. This quilt is 67 inches wide, though, and our local hardware store didn't have a dowel that big. I purchased a large piece of a simple molding about 1-1/4 inches wide, and then my husband cut it to size. He then drilled a hole at each end big enough for a nail to go through. I slipped the molding through the hanging sleeve I'd made on the back of the quilt, positioned it on the wall, and then inserted nails. It hangs perfectly flat and straight, and this quilt won't fall off the wall since the nail goes through the molding (the quilt sleeve is a few inches shorter than the molding, leaving room for the nails). I hope that made sense...I thought it was a pretty nifty and inexpensive (less than $5) way to hang a wide quilt.
Hope you have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Busy with This and That

I've been busy doing a lot of small things...and some of the things don't necessarily make great pictures (like piecing quilt backs, making binding, prepping stitchery blocks and such). And I've been working on things I'm not quite ready to share yet, like the prizes for my blogiversary give-away coming up in just over a week...yes, I started blogging last year on July 1st!

I finished the quilt above (Flower Baskets by Joined at the Hip) quite a while ago, but only got the binding on the other day. It's now hanging on the wall, and every time I look at it I wonder why I waited so long to finish!

This is a quilt I haven't shared before, it also hangs in the hall, and I'm thinking of making another one soon. The pattern is Pocketful of Posies, and it is a pattern that you use with the X-block rotary cutting tool. You make 9-patches, then cut them with the special ruler. The outer border is made completely from the cuttings that might normally have been thrown away, so there is practically no waste. This is a great stash-buster quilt.


This is another thing I did recently...you might think it's kind of silly. I couldn't bear to throw away any of my Simple Abundance scraps, so I sewed them all together...not sure what I'm going to do with this (actually, I think it's going to go on the bulletin board for inspiration), but it's a great mini-collage of many of the fabrics in that line.



These are the books I've been reading...I can't wait to make projects from both books. The only problem is most of the fabrics I want to use in these projects haven't been released yet!



And these bits and pieces that I showed last week are quickly becoming the blocks on the right! This has been a fun quilt to work on...I should have the top put together in another day.
Finally, have you been to the Minnesota Designer Blog Hop? Prizes and free patterns galore! Today's free pattern is from Heather Mulder Peterson, and it's a great small wall-hanging! I hope you have a wonderful day and that you get to sew!

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's Here!

The new Fat Quarter Shop 2009 Designer Mystery Block of the Month arrived in the mail yesterday! I was heading off to sew with some friends, so I decided to cut it out right away! This months pattern is designed by Brenda Riddle of Little Acorns, and it's a terrific block. These blocks are always designed well, and there is always plenty of fabric to make the block with left-overs to spare! In fact I had so much fun making one block that I decided to make two! Using my Prairie Paisley leftovers from this Schnibbles quilt, I decided to cut out another block. That way, when next May comes around I'll have two Designer Mystery quilts, and I will have used my stash for one!

I can't remember if I've ever shared these little pillows before; I love getting them out and displaying them in June and July. I made them quite a few years ago from a Little Quilts pattern!


Oh, and I wasn't a very good blogger at the sewing get-together yesterday...I forgot my camera! But it was wonderful sewing (actually I just spent the time cutting fabric and visiting). And eating....the food was terrific! We had a wonderful chicken salad, delicious meatballs, an awesome salsa called "glop" and a fruit dip that was served with deep fried cinnamon-sugar tortillas...I quite possibly ate more than I worked on my blocks! Hope you have a terrific weekend!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fig & Plum Basket

Yesterday I had a chance to make a project that was high on my list...this wonderful basket from issue #10 of Fresh Vintage by Fig Tree & Company. I'd never made a round basket before and had a lot of fun putting this together.


I used some of my Fig & Plum (by Joanna Figueroa for Moda) scraps and loved how it turned out. I know I'll be making more of these...this basket would be wonderful in any fabrics--reproductions, Christmas fabrics or in cute prints for a nursery! And the basket is a terrific size to sit on a table or even to hold sewing notions or diapers (it's about 5 inches tall with a 10 inch diameter)!



I also got the borders on my Sugar Cookies table runner from the Moda Bake Shop. Glace' is just dreamy!


And I got started cutting fabrics for a quilt I've been wanting to make since 2006--yes, it took me three years to decide on fabric! Tomorrow is going to be a fun sew day and potluck with some of the local quilters--I need to straighten my sewing room so I can decide on a project to take!
Hope you have a wonderful day!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Some Quilts...

What is it about some quilts that just seem to hold a special place in your heart? Sometimes you're not even expecting to fall head over heels in love with a quilt...but it happens. It happened to me this weekend. On Friday I started working on the Schnibbles pattern "Good Fortune" by Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Company. I figured it was getting close to Flag Day and the 4th of July, and I ought to use some of my Prairie Paisley by Minick & Simpson for Moda. I used two charm packs--one of Prairie Paisley and one of American Primer (also by Minick & Simpson) and just a few 1/8 yard pieces for the borders.


As soon as I finished the center medallion block with the gorgeous 3/8" finished border I knew I couldn't work on another project before finishing this one. I made the first small star block and could have made a hundred...they were so cute and so much fun...have I mentioned that I love this pattern?!!! Then something hit me...(if you've ever made a Carrie Nelson pattern you know that the directions are written as if Carrie is right there guiding you through the quilt; Carrie mentioned in the pattern introduction that the pattern title "Good Fortune" seemed to fit a quilt with 13 stars)...I decided that since my quilt was in Americana fabrics each of the 13 stars represented one of the original Colonies! Anyway...it seems kind of silly now, but it made working on the quilt so much fun!
I didn't finish in time for Flag Day, but this quilt will definitely be hanging in my front entry before the 4th of July! And I still don't really understand why I'm so taken with this quilt...perfect pattern...wonderful fabrics...the combinations of pattern and fabric...whatever it is...this is one of those quilts for me! So, has this ever happened to you? Have you ever been completely smitten with a quilt without really understanding why?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Side-tracked

Do you ever set out to sew with a specific project in mind...only to work on something completely different? Yesterday I did not intend to make this cute table runner from the Moda Bake Shop. But I had been thinking about it for a while...and Glace' seemed like it would be great for this pattern (I had originally intended on using Patisserie but used my Patisserie charm pack in another project).

I loved using the Perfect Patchwork Templates for this pattern; I'll definitely be using these templates again. And...good news...shortly after I finished the center of my runner Fat Quarter Shop announced that yardage of Glace' is now available...so I can get the fabric I need for the borders and binding!

Not only was I side-tracked once yesterday...but twice! I started another project...I can only show a sneak peek...but I will tell you that I'm using a pattern designed by Joanna Figueroa. Well...today I plan to work on projects on my list...unless I get side-tracked!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Confetti and More

I finished the twenty blocks for my Confetti Cake quilt and got them put together; then, I realized I didn't have any fabric for an outer border--so I'll be doing some on-line shopping today! I love this quilt, and it was a lot of fun to make. Sinta over at the Pink Pincushion blog is making this pattern out of Aviary, and I'm sure it will be beautiful...almost makes me want to make another one!
I recently ordered some of the new Jennifer Paganelli fabric, Dance with Me. I ordered two yards of the print on the left from Pink Chalk Fabrics to make a skirt, and then realized I had to have some of this fabric for my quilt stash. I found a great fat quarter group at Fabritopia (Thanks Jona, for the Heather Bailey pattern you added to my order). Both on-line stores are fantastic and have great selection and prices.

These new fabrics arrived this week as well; I won some fat quarters of Deco Park by Robert Kaufman from Kathy at Pink Chalk Studio. She had several wonderful market posts and a terrific post market giveaway. The fabrics are terrific--so vibrant and fun. Thanks so much Kathy!



Two new issues of Australian Homespun arrived today. I heart this magazine. I'm hoping to sit outside on a loungechair and browse these this afternoon (we're actually having a nice break from our typical June weather here in southern Nevada...no 100 degree temps this week)!



And later today I'm going to start sewing with this...can't wait! Some sneak peeks coming soon! It seems like just the other day I was wondering where May went...now it's June 10th already! Next month will be my one year blogiversary and my birthday...so you know what that means...giveaways here at A Quilting Life! Have a wonderful day!

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Quilt Pattern Shoppe



Recently I was asked to review an on-line service which promises to make life easier for quilters. The Quilt Pattern Shoppe is an on-line quilt pattern shop with a unique twist: all patterns are available for immediate download. Patterns are searchable by type, designer, and even quilting technique; there are bag patterns, baby quilt patterns, holiday quilt patterns, home decor and even organizational supply patterns. Patterns are also searchable by difficulty level, making this an ideal way for a beginner quilter to choose a pattern.




I know many quilters do a lot of shopping on-line, and being able to instantly down-load a pattern saves not only time waiting for the pattern to arrive but also shipping costs. I think the idea is a great one! Pattern designers can also benefit from this website by arranging to sell their patterns through The Quilt Pattern Shoppe!

June Basket



I love the June Tisket a Tasket block designed by Anne of Bunny Tales..actually, each month I think the latest block is my favorite, until the new one comes out! Now that I have six blocks completed, I can put together the top half of the quilt!

Even though it's been pretty busy around here, I managed to finish a much-needed household project. Back when I first started blogging I won an ironing board cover kit and pattern from Nadine at The Material Girls Quilt Shop. Well, last week I finally got tired of my old, stained cover and made this! I love it...looking at this fun Michael Miller print actually makes ironing fun...sort of (of course all ironing is fun if it's quilt-related...it's just the normal, every day ironing that isn't always so fun)!

And...we survived graduation! Here is a four-generation picture of me, Chelsi, my Mom and my Grandmother. Now that all the festivities are over and summer has arrived there should be lots of sewing going on here!
Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Potpourri



A little while ago Sheri Howard offered a "pay it forward" gift to everyone who commented on her post; last week my gift arrived, and these notecards are the cutest ever!

Perhaps you saw her fun tutorial on the Moda Bakeshop...I can't wait to make some of these great cards for gifts. This is a great way to use up odds and ends of Honey Bun strips! The card with the S is going on my wall...it's just so cute!



I have a busy week ahead, so I didn't plan on much sewing; I had to put together one Confetti Cake block, though. And then I decided to choose strips for another.


Of course I had to sew the second block since the strips were chosen; I also had to put some sashing strips on to see how that would look. This pattern is a fun one, and since you are working with strips cut from a layer cake, the sewing goes quickly.


Also, I can finally show a project I worked on last weekend! Stephanie is designing some bag patterns, and I was able to be a pattern tester for her West Linn Bag! I love this combination of Amy Butler fabrics and linen (great service, by the way, on my order from Kathy at Pink Chalk Fabrics--I'll definitely be ordering from her again)! The pattern was easy and fun to work with--and now I have a great new bag as well! Thanks Stephanie!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Almost Summer

Thirty-one nine patch blocks are complete and framed--all made from one Simple Abundance jelly roll! But now they'll have to go into a drawer until September when I'll be able to buy the fabrics to finish the quilt! The pattern I'm using is "Around the Block" from the book On a Roll Again by Heather Mulder Peterson. The inner and outer borders on this quilt are great...Nicole just made a gorgeous quilt from this pattern using Patisserie--you can see what her finished quilt top looks like here.

These are just a few of my favorite blocks--did I mention that I love this fabric?!!!

I cut my Snippets layer cake into strips...they're all ready to go for my Confetti Cake quilt! Three more days of school and one high school graduation to go...and then SUMMER will officially be here! I'm going to try to sit down tonight and make a list of quilt projects for summer, and...dare I say it...make my list of Christmas projects!!! Hooray!
Have a wonderful day!