Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Distracted...



It's summer--wonderful summer with clear blue skies, relaxing days, and lots of "quilty-sewy" things I want to get finished.  But I've been a little distracted.  One of those distractions has been Strawberry Fields...this dreamy bundle just says "vintage summer" to me. And of course the possibilities are endless with this fabric--how does one decide?


And then I've been a little distracted by SarahJane's cute-as-can-be embroidery patterns.  The new stitcheries will all be available soon with iron-on transfers, but I couldn't wait and had to order one to get started on.  It really wasn't too hard to trace the design myself. Just one more lazy afternoon or evening should give me the time to finish this up.


Another distraction has been the new-to-me  British magazine Mollie Makes.  I found this copy today at Barnes & Noble.  This is the first issue, and the second issue just came out--I'll be buying that one as soon as I can find it. This new magazine is just full of page after page of gorgeous eye-candy, vintage inspiration, beautiful work spaces, and everything a "quilty-sewy" girl like me loves.

Hope you're distracted by some fun things right about now, too! 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Farmer's Wife Week 5


I am having a great time making the Farmer's Wife blocks--it's fun to see so many other bloggers participating in this quilt along as well! I think it's week 5...anyway, I couldn't wait any longer to make my next set of blocks.  First up are my Flurry versions of Block 21--"Contrary Wife" and Block 12--"Broken Sugar Bowl."




And here are my ten Flurry blocks together!  I promise I won't show them all each week--it just occurred to me that the last time I showed the whole set I didn't set them on point as they will be in my quilt.



And Block 21 and Block 12--the Fig Tree versions!




10 down--101 to go!  Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Simple Saturday


I'm going to keep it simple today.  No errands to run...no yardwork...nothing that has to be "checked off the list."



I might try to get the binding finished for this Blissful quilt...


And I might start this "bluesy" project that's been on my mind for a little while...


(I love how the blues from City Weekend, Cape Ann, and Puttin' on the Ritz work so well together)! I will definitely make next weeks "Farmer's Wife Quilt Along" blocks (because I can't wait until next week to make them...they are a little addicting)!


And I will definitely make time to read the latest Country Living (♥ that cover quilt) and also read a chapter or two of this amazing book. I'm so excited that the Cabbages and Roses company is now designing fabric for Moda.  I was able to meet the mother and daughter team at market, and they were so very nice.  Their fabrics are gorgeous--I can't wait for Northcote Range to come out this fall.

(By the way, I've really enjoyed reading the "process" comments from my last post--thanks so much to everyone who commented).

22 Free Patterns - Download Now



Oh, and have you heard about this...click on the link above to receive 22 free patterns from Accuquilt--that's a lot of patterns. 

Finally,  I'm super excited about an upcoming blog tour I get to participate in soon...you can read a little preview here!


Okay...hope you have a simply wonderful Saturday!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Process...


I know a lot has been written in recent months about the process of quilting.  I don't often write about it, but I think about it a lot.  What is it about creating through quilting that draws so many to love and cherish this art form? I had a few moments yesterday to hand applique' the basket handles on two of my blocks--and realized how long it had been since I'd worked on any hand-work other than binding.  I truly loved that window of time that I was able to sit quietly, think, and leisurely sew the handles.  I realized how much I have missed having an applique' project to work on in the evenings.



I've been avoiding the blocks with templates, so this week I challenged myself to make two blocks requiring templates--(Block #1 Attic Windows and Block #3, Basket).  I only used the handle template for block 3 though--sometimes it's just easier to do the math than to print out and make the templates.


I love looking at the blocks all together.  Taking photographs helps me to see which colors I might need to use more or less of in the upcoming blocks.


Two sets of blocks--that will make two very different quilts. I love both the comfortable dreaminess of the warm Fig Tree fabrics and the happy feeling I get from the bright Kate Spain Christmas prints. I love the ease and speed of machine piecing, and I also crave the serenity that comes from hand stitching. What about you--what are your thoughts about the quilting process right now?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lazy Days...



Well, the lazy days of summer are nearly here; it will officially be summer in my part of the world in just a few days.  Except the days haven't been so lazy.  I've been catching up on lots--quilt-related and not quilt-related (washing window screens and windows, cleaning patios, sorting and de-cluttering).  It feels good to be checking things off my list--and on my own time-table.  My RicRac quilt is quilted and bound and officially being used, too.



I just love the meandering hearts quilting pattern.



The quilting always looks so pretty from the back, too!



And this was kind of a surprise--I know the lighting isn't great here, but I was surprised to see how well my French General reds and blues looked with the Minick & Simpson reds and blues of this other quilt.  I might just have to make a scrap quilt combining left-overs from both of these quilts...



Yes, this is one of my favorites thus far this summer.


I've been designing quite a few projects on EQ lately--guess that has taken up some of my sewing time.  Oh, and I've also done a little stunt sewing lately--sewing that I won't be able to share for quite a while. Some of Anna Maria's Loulouthi sits on my cutting table...



And this stack of Terrain waits patiently for me--in fact, I have several plans for this bundle!  On schedule for today--a family BBQ, and hopefully some Farmer's Wife blocks!

Also, congratulations to Lindsay, who won the giveaway from Sew Obsessed!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Playing Catch-Up


The first couple of weeks of summer are generally a time when I get caught up on all those things that have piled up or fallen by the wayside during the traditionally busy last few weeks of the school year.  I really don't like to get behind on block-of-the-month projects, so I couldn't wait for a day to get caught up!  First I finished the last 3 FatQuarterShop Designer Mystery Blocks from 2010, and then I did block 1 for the 2011 Designer Mystery quilt.  I love them all, and now I can't wait to set together my 2010 quilt!


I made a couple more Farmer's Wife quilt along blocks too--Block 25, Cups & Saucers, and Block 6, Big Dipper, pictured first in my Fig Tree version.


And pictured here in my Flurry version!


I've been staying away from the templates, figuring out the math in some of the block sections with the help of these two amazing rulers, Monique Dillard's Fit to be Quarter ruler and Mini Fit to be Geese ruler. The Fit to be Quarter ruler is a new ruler, and I'll be talking more about it in an upcoming post--I absolutely love it and the range of block sizes you can use it for!


6 Fig Tree blocks, and as Monica says--105 to go! And I really do need to start making some of the blocks that require a template--I don't want to be left with all template-only blocks at the end!


And 6 Flurry blocks--not sure how many of these I'll make--50 maybe? I'll probably make a lap-size version with these!  Anyway...it sure feels good to be almost caught up--hopefully by the end of the week I can start on a few things I've had on the list for a little while!

Don't forget, you can still enter the SewObsessed Giveaway here!


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Giveaway From Sew Obsessed


Sew Obsessed is a new on-line shop that specializes in, well, gorgeous designer fabrics! But they have lots of other things, too--patterns, trims, and kits! And the on-line shop is just as cute as can be--complete eye candy!

Sew Obsessed is offerning a fun bundle of Kaffe fabrics (6 fat quarters from Kaffe's Spring 2011 line) to one of my readers this week!  You have a couple of ways to enter:

First, get one entry by visiting Sew Obsessed and then coming back and leaving a comment about your favorite item.

Get another entry by Following Sew Obsessed on Twitter (come back and let me know). For a third entry you can "like" Sew Obsessed on Facebook here (again, come back and let me know).




I'll keep the giveaway open until Wednesday night and announce a winner on Thursday. Oh, and for anyone interested in shopping now at Sew Obsessed...use the discount code "QUILT" for 15% off until June 19th!  Happy browsing/shopping...and good luck!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Had To...


I walked into the sewing room this morning to do a little "stunt sewing," and this Flurry fat quarter bundle caught my eye.  I'll admit it...I have started thinking about Christmas "to do's."  Anyway, one thought led to another...


And now it seems I'm making two of these quilts (The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt: Letters from 1920s Farm Wives and the 111 Blocks They Inspired).  Same blocks as yesterday...Flurry with a little 12 Days added in for good measure.

Oh, and congratulations to Jo who won the Dewberry Lane giveaway...I'll be sending you an e-mail!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Farmer's Wife


Well...the pressure was just too much!  For the past week or so I've watched as one person after another joined in the quilt-along using the book The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt: Letters from 1920s Farm Wives and the 111 Blocks They Inspired.  The quilt-along is hosted by Amanda and Angela and is based on the book written by Laurie Aaron Hird (to find out more about the book, go here). I really tried not to join in...really I did...I have a lot of things going on right now.  But I have a lot of ancestors who were farmers and farmer's wives...and so I bought the book thinking I'd just read it for fun.  However, the book is so amazing that within a day of receiving it I was making blocks.



I know we're only supposed to make two blocks per week...but I wasn't quite sure when week 1 ended, so thought I'd start with four simple blocks so as not to get behind.  I'm going to use Fig Tree fabrics from my stash--I shouldn't have to purchase anything until I decide on sashing. And I'm going to make the king-sized quilt--hey, if I'm making 111 blocks I ought to get a big quilt out of them! First I made Block #2, Autumn Tints.


Next, I chose another simple pattern, Basket Weave, Block #4.


And then I made Box, block #9.


And finally I made the Friendship Star, Block #41. I'm really excited about this quilt-along--it should be a lot of fun. I'm thinking about starting a second set of blocks using brights from my stash....there are so many possibilities for this project!  Oh, and there is also a Flikr group to go along with the quilt along.


Since I was posting those Fig Tree blocks...thought I would share this fun backpack I made using Butterscotch & Rose, Joanna's newest fabric line that will come out in the fall. The backpack is one of Joanna's newest patterns, the Daisy Girl Backpack, and this is one terrific pattern. I was a little hesitant about making this (I guess I just didn't believe you could really make a backpack), but it went together perfectly.  I used charm squares for the outer bag which is a little different than the pattern.  This pattern is perfect for a child, yet also has longer strap measurements for an adult. 

Okay...well...that's all for now...school gets out here tomorrow, and then summer will officially begin here at my house...can't wait!!!