Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sneak Peeks on Thursday...


I've been sew busy this week...nothing I can share yet, though!  Luckily, Lori said I could share a few peeks of the quilt I made with her new fabric line for Riley Blake, Sew Cherry...it's such a fun quilt, and I had so much fun making it (Thanks Lori)!


Just another sneak peek...more on this one tomorrow! Oh, and thank you so much for all the great spring cleaning tips and ideas!  I'll put them to good use this weekend.  Thanks for the fun ideas, too...there were several that made me chuckle!  Congratulations also to KaHolly who won the giveaway via Random.org! Have a great day!


Monday, March 28, 2011

Sponsor Giveaway Day!


Jenny from SewFabulous Quilt Shop has a giveaway for one of my blog readers!  How would you like a $25 gift-certificate from her fun shop?



 You could use it to purchase this Walk in the Park Fat Quarter Bundle...


Or this Amy Butler pink and brown bundle...


Or this Luck of the Irish bundle--perfect for building up your stash fabrics in green!

I'm starting my spring cleaning today...so how about if you leave your favorite spring cleaning tip...one comment per person...and I'll choose a winner Wednesday night!  Good luck!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday Stash

 I've chosen Saturday mornings to go over not only my weekly stash report figures but also my sewing goals for the week ahead.  It's really helping to stop and evaluate on a weekly basis what I need and want to work on in the sewing room.  This week I only purchased two charm packs and 1 1/2 yards for a backing.  One of the charm packs and the backing fabric was for a Schnibble for the April 1st announcement of our next "Le Petite" project.  I actually finished piecing the top last night but will wait and count the yardage out for next  week after it's quilted and bound.  Some of the new Moda lines coming out this spring are popping up for sale on Ebay and Etsy.  I was able to get a charm pack of Kate Spain's new Christmas line, Flurry, and it is wonderful! I'm definitely going to need more of this great line.  I think several of the prints in this collection will coordinate with Kate's first Christmas line, 12 Days of Christmas.


Some other fun fabrics came my way this week.  It was fun to receive a package of goodies from Lori!  I'm going to be making a market quilt from her first fabric collection, Sew Cherry! I'd seen some pictures on-line of Lori's fabric, and I can tell you that in person it's even more amazing.  Every piece has a vintage feel, and the colors and designs are wonderful!

So...3 1/4 yards in for the week with nothing out brings my totals to 108 1/2 yards in for the year and 77 1/2 yards out; this leaves 31 yards added to the stash.  Okay...well...that's all for now...I have quite a bit of sewing to do today!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Liverpool


Recently I made the Amy Butler "Liverpool" using some Soul Blossoms for a shop sample.  I love the pattern! (I made the tunic-length with the elbow sleeves). I didn't completely keep track of my time, but I know I spent a couple of hours cutting and about 5-6 hours sewing.  You could finish in one day if you didn't have anything else to work on.


My daughter Chelsi agreed to model for me...see this look on her face...this is sooo her! Anyway, on with the pattern review.  First of all, I think the pattern runs a bit small, so double check your measurements.  I normally wear a size 8, so I made the Medium (8-10)...and it's just a bit small for me to wear as a shirt.  It looks great as a jacket over a thin t-shirt, though, so I'll definitely be getting some great use out of it. (When I make the next one I will probably make the Large and then take it in just a bit in the side seams if I need to). Chelsi is about a size 5, and the Medium fits her great.


I love the style of the pattern.  Amy thinks of every detail; the construction and finishing are very professional.  Every seam is finished, and I love the french seam up the back (great directions for this, by the way).  There are  quite a few darts--8 in all--and they do take a little time to put in, but again, the directions are terrific.


I love the ties in the back--they allow you to get a great fit. I made the elbow length sleeve but didn't turn up the cuff.  Next time I might try the 3/4 length sleeve with the button cuff.  I was afraid of the sleeve being too long so went with this option first, but to turn up the cuff on this version would make it a little shorter than I wanted. The only directions I can complain about are the collar directions.  It's not that there is anything wrong with the diagrams or directions--it's just that I think there could have been more directions to make it more clear.  I ended up doing a little research in one of my old sewing books before finishing up the collar. I also trimmed the interior of the collar and collar stand sections a lot to remove bulk.

I'm excited to try other Amy Butler sewing patterns now that I've made this--I'm just really pleased with the professional results.  If you have any questions about the pattern that I didn't address, feel free to e-mail me!




Wednesday, March 23, 2011

WIP Wednesday


This is definitely a project to classify as a "work in progress."  I thought it would go a little more quickly, but sometimes it's good to have one of those projects that helps you slow down a bit.  I really want to make a full-size quilt using this pattern some day, but for now I'm just making a pillow using my Flea Market Fancy scraps.


 I'm piecing it completely by hand using these paper piecing templates.  As I sew I've been trying to decide what fabrics to use when I start my full-size version.  Scrappy? 30's Reproductions? Modern?  I can't decide.


Yesterday I finished the "Liverpool" tunic (pattern by Amy Butler).  I just need to take some pictures, and then I'll share them along with a pattern review.  Have a sew wonderful day!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekend Sewing


I did get to sew on National Quilting Day.  I can't claim any finishes, but a lot of "prep" work was accomplished. First I finished all 80 of my "Picnic" blocks using Central Park!  I can't wait to finish this quilt. This is the third quilt I've made with this line, and I never tire of the colors and prints!


I also finally cut into my Fandango stash I had been hoarding saving!  I've decided quarter-square triangles are my friends (as long as I can trim them down).  The trimming takes a bit of time but is so worth it!


I also workked on more quarter-square triangles for my "Eventide" quilt.  These still need trimming and then will become 8 more Ohio Star blocks.



Oh, and have you seen the new Schnibbles patterns?  I'm in love with all of them! Every single one would be wonderful in any combination of fabrics--traditional or modern.  I can't wait to start sewing these!  In fact, I'm starting one soon...(think upcoming LePetite project)! Have a great day!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Happy...


Happy National Quilting Day (here in the U.S.)!  I'm hoping to get to quilting at some point in the day...after the normal Saturday things are accomplished.  I finally have some good numbers for my weekly stash report, so that has me smiling today, too!  Also, my grandmother (who inspired me to quilt) is going to be 90 tomorrow, so that's another pretty exciting thing for me this weekend! In this week was 4 1/2 yards of wonderful Bella solids.  I ordered these after seeing this yummy rainbow on Lori's blog.  I'm also using her method of keeping track of which ones I have.  It was so simple to make some labels and pin them to each piece--and now I won't have to worry about forgetting which colors these are.


I was able to count 19 1/2 yards as used this week...yay! Two quilts were completely finished, packed up, and sent off.  I won't be able to share them until they come back home, and one won't be back for a year, but they're in good hands! I finished this "Peggy Sue" bag this week doing some pattern testing for Joanna.  This is a brand new pattern available here (it's on sale, right now, too). I really love this bag and might just have to make another one.  I made the smaller scrappy version, but it's still big enough to use everyday. There is a magnetic snap closure to keep it together, and it goes together quickly.  I added a bit of straight-line quilting to mine and used the cute red gingham to cover the decorative button.


So...4 1/2 yards in and 19 1/2 yards out...this makes 105 1/4 in for the year with 77 1/2 out and only 27 3/4 added to the stash. (I'm linking up here with my reports). Hope you have a wonderful Quilting Day!

Please forgive me for my absence to the inbox...I'll be answering e-mails today...it was pretty crazy around here this week with a lot of sewing and mid-term exams to grade (I'm not sure what made me give a 9-page short answer/essay exam to my students, but I did, and the exams have to be graded)! Oh, and congrats to Needled Mom who won the Art Quilt book giveaway...I'll be contacting you for your mailing info!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Some Secret Sewing Revealed!


Just a bit ago I shared these sneek peaks with you of some Strawberry Fields sewing I did for Joanna. This quilt has been one of my favorite quilts ever--because I loved the "dreaminess" of the fabrics, loved the simplicity of construction, and loved the vintage beauty of the pattern. (It's a layer cake pattern that can also be made with scraps)!


This was a picture I took before sending it off...

                                                                   Photo by Joanna Figueroa
And now Joanna's quilter Diana has worked her magic, and "Chintz" has come to life.  Read more about it on Joanna's blog here!



Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Strawberries, Sewing, and Stars


I've been sewing with Strawberry Fields--seriously, I love this fabric!  It's the kind of fabric collection that makes you want to re-make half of your quilts so they can be made out of Strawberry Fields too!



This was a little project for Joanna.  I hope to be able to share soon!



I've also been making some little sewing accessory bags...


I think the backs are pretty cute, too!  I used Bonnie's pattern along with Kim's extra directions.


And I've been working on "Eventide." I have 10 completed Ohio Stars and a whole lot of blocks in various stages of completion! Some of the ones pictured might end up on the back...I don't like the ones where I used a dark for my fourth fabric in the quarter-triangle blocks--glad I have a lot of fabric to choose from!


I love this design and the subtle patterns that come into play as you change and re-arrange the blocks.  Thelma posted an update on everyone's progress for this sew-along today...it's always fun to see the other quilts coming together as well!

Oh, and don't forget about the "Just One Star" blocks...yesterday I saw the cutest ones over at Pam and Monica's--think I need to make a few more!  Have a sew wonderful day!


Monday, March 14, 2011

The Art Quilt Collection (and Giveaway)


Recently I received a copy of The Art Quilt Collection: Designs & Inspiration from Around the World for review. I have truly enjoyed reading this book; it features beautifully photographed quilts along with a wonderful write-up on each one.  Each quilt description features not only a list of materials used but also a quote from the quilter/artist describing the inspiration(s) for their design. 



I wanted to highlight just a few of my favorites, although my photographs don't capture the beauty of the photos in the book.  The above quilt is "Tulips" by Ineke Berlyn; it is inspired by the stunning tulips of the Netherlands.  Amazingly, this quilt is applique'd on both the front and back of the quilt.


"Blue Ocean, Turquoise Sea" by Daphne Greig also caught my eye.  Since I love the beauty of the ocean, it is no surprise I was drawn to this quilt inspired by the Pacific Ocean. This is truly an incredible quilt with applique', beading, and hand embroidery.  I would love to see this amazing quilt in person.


There are so many awe-inspiring quilts in this volume that it's hard to pick just a few to share, but I had to preview "A Complete Basket Case" by Kent Williams. The artist's use of color and pattern in this machine pieced, machine quilted art quilt just amazed me. 


The Art Quilt Collection: Designs & Inspiration from Around the World also features close up photos of each quilt along with step-by-step photographs and illustrations highlighting some of the techniques used by the quilters. This is truly a gorgeous book, one that I've enjoyed--and truly a book that includes art quilts to inspire regardless of your quilt preferences.

And guess what... Sixth & Spring Books (the publishers) are offering a giveaway copy to one of my readers. Just leave a comment on this post, and I'll choose a winner in a couple of days.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Weekend Plans...


It's one of those weekends...I have so many things I want to work on--but not so much time! I'm really hoping to finish my "Picnic" top, sew  a couple of bindings, and applique' this Dresden (center fabric is Kona Aqua).



Stash report for the week...nothing out...nothing! One bolt of Moda Bella Bleached White (15 yards--eek) came in! My Fig Tree Club kit from FatQuarterShop also came in; this will make a great table runner and placemats and added up to 4 1/2 yards.  So..19 1/2 in and nothing out makes 100 3/4 yards in this year with 58 yards used year-to-date, leaving me with 42 3/4 yards added.

Please know also that my heart and prayers go out to all of those in Japan affected by the recent natural disasters.  The images are heartbreaking, and I hope that all of my Japanese blog friends and their families are safe.

Next week will be a busy one on the blog.  I have several book reviews coming up along with giveaways for a couple of them.  See you soon!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday Worktable--Color!



Every so often I pull out my color-block 9-patches to work on, and they always brighten my day! Today it was especially fun to work on this project because I realized I now have enough blocks to start sewing them together!



I also did a whole lot of chain piecing with some very colorful Central Park...now to cut apart and press!  Hope you're having a "sew colorful"day!