Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What I'm Working on Wednesday




So...it's probably no surprise what I'm working on today...



I sewed 8 strip sets together on Monday, and today I'll be making Scrappy Trip Around the World Blocks.




I love every block, but these two strip sets are definitely my favorite out of this batch! After I stitch these up, I'll have 20 blocks completed with 16 to go. If I cut 80 medium/dark strips and 16 light strips I'll be ready for a marathon strip piecing session.

Also, I've only repeated two fabrics so far. They are two of my favorites, so I'm not going to worry about it. Since they are favorites they deserve to be represented twice, right?! One is an Amy Butler print, and one is a polka dot by Bonnie and Camille. Both are aqua...go figure!

Thanks so much for stopping by!



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Vintage Cottages



Lori's house row was not really on the list yesterday...



But as always, I found out that you can't make just one...


So before I knew it...



I had made all 5 houses.



As usual, I used scraps from my Bonnie & Camille fabrics. I've used every line but their first so far, I'm going to have to put some of that in a few of the remaining rows!





My box of rows is getting full! Just over a week until the next row is posted! Are you rowing along?




Monday, January 28, 2013

Baskets, Stars, Houses, and Flowers!

I have four favorite types of blocks...baskets, stars, houses, and flowers. And guess what? The next Fat Quarter Shop Mystery Designer Block of the Month will have all of these types of blocks!


 
The quilt will be made using the Avalon collection by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Company for Moda. This collection is absoutely gorgeous...I've sewn with it already, and it's a definite "must have."
 


Also, I can't say enough about the Fat Quarter Shop block of the month programs...I have made every Mystery Designer quilt to date, and I love that they send you a generous amount of each fabric. I always have enough scraps left over for other projects throughout the year! Last year I was able to pattern test the Mystery Designer quilt, and I know the patterns are checked and double-checked for accuracy.




The block of the month program will feature 12 pieced blocks at the easy to intermediate skill level. I'm definitely signing up for this one!  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Note: This is not a sponsored post...I just had to let you know about this!



Saturday, January 26, 2013

Twelve




I finished blocks 9 -12 of my Scrappy Trip Around the World the other day. Now I need to gather more strips, fast.

 
Of course I had to look at all 12 together. I can't even describe how much I love this quilt. It's just so scrappy and so much fun! I can't wait to finish it, but at the same time I feel like I don't want to finish...it's so much fun to work on!
 
 
Some bindings from my marathon sewing afternoon on Wednesday. I probably should explain that I would never have finished up so many things had I been at home. I was sewing with some friends, and I was completely amazed at how much one can get done when the phone isn't ringing and you aren't doing laundry and dishes between sewing tasks.
 
Also, I need to congratulate Michele who won the Kaffe fat quarters from the Canton Village Quilt Works giveaway! I'll be sending you an email, Michele!
 
Things have been a little crazy around here...I have 3 classes I'm preparing to teach at a retreat in a couple weeks, and I also have some pretty big deadlines  with some quilts I can't share just yet. School also started this week, so now I have papers to grade to add into the mix. But I have a plan to be pretty much caught up by the time I head off to the retreat...so I'm looking forward to some good relaxation when I'm not teaching. Thanks so much for stopping by!
 


Friday, January 25, 2013

More Bella...









 
I had a wonderful afternoon of sewing the other day...I finished 4 bindings, 1 backing, 4 new Scrappy Trip Along blocks, and 48 blocks for a new quilt! It's been pretty overcast here, so I'll get some photos as soon as I have some good light! In the meantime...


                                                              Photo by Camille Roskelley

I do have a post over at the Moda Cutting Table Blog today! Camille, Joanna, Kate, and Carrie are sharing some of their favorite Bella solids. Do you have a Bella solid you can't live without?

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Scrappy Trip Along


Just a couple of weeks ago I posted here about my "Scrappy Trip Along" blocks (tutorial for the blocks here). As I mentioned earlier, the Scrappy Trip Along craze sort of started on Instagram where I resisted as long as I could. After making the first four blocks, however, I knew I'd be making a whole quilt. After all, who doesn't want to make a good-sized quilt entirely from their scraps/stash?!  After getting my sewing room back in order, the first thing I did was make a few more blocks.


This time I cut all the strips for 4 blocks at once, and sewed them all at once...and...well...it went pretty fast! If I make 36 blocks I'll have a 72" x 72" quilt.

Every time you make a few blocks, you'll want to look at them all together...here are blocks 5 - 8.


And here are blocks 1-8. Yes, I'm definitely going to make 36! I heart this quilt already. (In fact, I already have strips ready to sew for the next 4 blocks)!


I decided to get caught up on Bee Blocks before the Scrappy Trip Along quilt takes over...here is Trish's January block which was so much fun to make!

Thanks so very much for stopping by! I've got something fun to let you know about this week...can't wait to share my plans!  Have a great day!



Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sorting & Studio Tour


 Well hello! I thought I'd kick off the weekend with a little studio tour! I'd also like to share a few of my thoughts on fabric and saving and sorting. Taking everything out and bringing it back in has been quite the process; I've done a lot of thinking about which fabrics I need and love (and why I need and love them)!

Okay...well a little more on that later. We'll move around the the room counter-clockwise starting at the entry (the door on the right in the photo above). First, I have to say my room isn't large--it's about 10 feet by 11 feet. I could have moved into a bigger room, but I just really love the natural light that this room gets--and this room also has the built in bookcase and cupboard which is perfect for fabric storage.



 I finally organized my pieces fat quarters and larger by color. I've been doing this with smaller scraps for a while now, but for some reason, separating the bigger pieces was hard for me. I was a little surprised at the piles I finished with: a smallish stack of red, two large stacks of pinks, a medium orange stack (must get more orange--ideas?), a large yellow stack (but truly not a lot of yellows I love in there...I'm officially on the lookout for bright sunny yellows to add in to the mix--any suggestions?), two stacks of greens, two stacks of blues, and one stack of purples and grays. I'm not a big purple fan, so it's okay that the purple stack is small; I love blues and greens, so there wasn't a surprise there, either. I do love red, though, and was surprised at the little selection I had. I certainly use red for a lot of bindings, so maybe that's why the red stack is smaller.


 Okay, moving around the room now, this area is just on the other side of the closet door (door on the left in the first picture). I love having my inspiration board right above the sewing machine. I can easily clear everything off of the board and use it as a design wall.

 Here is a close-up of the worktable. Rulers are in the back along with much of my thread. I'm still going to need to do some thinking about what I really want on this table--I really want the things I use most easily accessible.



 Just to the left of the machine is my ironing board. I'm hoping to leave it like this for most small pressing and then rotate it out into the center of the room when I'm pressing larger projects.

 In front of the window is a table I heart--it belonged to my husband's grandmother. I was always going to re-paint it, but I kind of like the yellow with the aqua. I'm not sure yet about what I really want to keep on this table. Again...I'm going for functional here. I do have a cutting mat on this table which I use for small cutting jobs. I do most of my big cutting projects out on my kitchen counter with my large mat--that way I can be with the family and not always be back in the studio. The quilt rack on the left has been in our family room for a couple of years. It was my husband's idea to bring it into the studio, and I really like having it in there...it just really makes the room seem "homey" to me!


  
Another bookshelf...plans are to one day turn this wall into a wall of built-in white shelves. But for now, again, I'm trying to decide which things are most important to have readily available.



 And the closet...basically lots of bins. You can't see all the way to the floor in this photo, but I have several of the 3-drawer rolling carts in the closet as well. Some of the things in here haven't been sorted yet...I basically moved them out and moved them back in "as is." So cleaning out the closet will have to be an on-going project.



So, this is where I'm at. There are still some things on my dining room table that need to be sorted out. Sorting has been a good thing for me--I've thought a lot about everything in the room. I came across a copy of the first pattern I ever used...what a life-changing project that was ( Quilt in a Day Double Irish Chain by Eleanor Burns)! Yes, I love fabric, and I've loved it since I was a very young girl--so happy that my Mom signed me up for a Singer sewing class at the age of 10! On the day I turned 16 I got my driver's license early in the morning. By lunch-time I had run my first errand...a trip to Cloth World to apply for a job. When in college and deciding on a major, I decided on English because of my love of literature and composition, but at the time, forgetting about the traditional college path and going to design school was also a real temptation. How happy I am that I've been able to travel both of these paths...(if I'd only known then that I'd really get to work with print and pattern and color and textiles one day).

When I started the sorting, I worried that I might have too much fabric. But I've come to realize that I don't. I use this fabric every day as I work and play. I do need to keep care to keep my "stash" better organized. Doing this will be an on-going process, but it is a process I love.

If you're still here, thanks so much for reading this quite "wordy" post. There just seemed to be so much to say about the whole "event." And thanks for being such terrific readers...I truly appreciate every comment! Have a wonderful weekend!

Finally, congratulations to Cindy who is the winner of the Pearl Bracelets giveaway! I wish I had a bundle to send to everyone who entered--there were so many entries and so many wonderful comments and suggestions!


Friday, January 18, 2013

Canton Village Quilt Works Giveaway





Good Morning! My friend Jackie from Canton Village Quilt Works is offering a giveaway today! The giveaway is for 5 fat quarters from Kaffe Fassett's Fall Collection. This pattern is Jupiter, and these are all the colors available. (You can purchase the bundle here).




Jackie will also offer a special discount to my readers for 15% off all Kaffe Fassett Collective items for the duration of the giveaway. You'll just need to use the code kaffe15 at checkout.




If you're not familiar with Jackie and Canton Village Quilt Works, I encourage you to visit her blog and shop. She has been a quilter for 18 years, a longarm quilter for 12 years, in business for 12 years, and has had her fabric shop for 3 years. On top of all of this she is a designer for Quilt Magazine, a National Certified Judy Niemeyer Instructor, and a quilting podcaster (you can find her podcasts here and on I-tunes here). If you follow her blog you will see the most amazing quilts on a regular basis! It was a treat for me to finally get to meet Jackie at market in Houston last fall, and I'm happy to present this giveaway for her!

So here are the details: the giveaway will be open until Monday night when I'll pick a winner. Here are a few ways to enter:
  • First, leave a comment on this post with your #1 quilting goal for the new year.
  • Second, for another chance to enter, sign up for Jackie's newsletter, then come back and leave a comment letting me know you did that.
  • Finally, for a third chance to enter, follow Jackie's blog! Come back and leave a comment for this one, too!

Thanks so very much for stopping by! My sewing machine is back in the sewing room, and  I'm just about finished moving everything back in...so I'll be back with some "quilty" posts soon!

PS. I just realized I haven't yet picked a winner for the Pearl Bracelets giveaway...so I'll announce that over the weekend!
 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Shop Talk: Christa Quilts




Whew...things are crazy here at A Quilting Life...but...I think I'm moving back into my sewing room today! Painting and installing laminate flooring has taken up much of my time over the past week or so. There are just a few touch ups to be made, and then my days of sewing in the living room will come to an end (although there were times I actually kind of liked it)!

I'd like to do some "Shop Talk" posts and introduce or re-introduce the shops listed on my side bar. Today's Shop Talk (sponsored) post introduces you to Christa and her shop ChristaQuilts!

Christa from ChristaQuilts has been quilting for nearly 2 decades, and her store is filled with an eclectic mix of unique, modern and traditional fabrics.

Christa loves to make it as fun and easy as possible to browse her store and go shopping! She offers Daily Deals, Weekly Specials, and Free Gifts with purchases of $25 or more.

She also offers Free US Shipping all the time on every order, with no minimum purchase. She has an incredibly low international rate, too - just $10 for worldwide shipping, no matter where you live or how much you buy!

Christa is also a pattern designer and she shares weekly quilting tutorials on her blog at christaquilts.wordpress.com.

Christa has a special offer just for my blog readers: use the code B13AQL to get an extra 5% off your first order from ChristaQuilts!

Once Christa sees you use the code, she'll flag your account to receive 5% off every order in the future, with no further coupon needed. It's like a permanent group discount!

I love how Christa's site is organized. It's great that you can search for fabric by collections, brands, designers, styles and themes, and colors. Christa carries yardage, precuts, kits, patterns, notions, and gifts. Have a browse around ChristaQuilts and see what you think!








Thanks so much for stopping by!



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Another Row...And More!


I finally got around to finishing up the latest row in Lori's row along! Her "stars" row is just adorable...I had so much fun picking my twinkling stars fabrics!


The only problem with finishing a row early (I actually made this last week) is that you then have a really long time to wait for the next row!


Back in the early part of December, Lori sent me two of her new rulers to try out...the Hexie Half for 5" squares...



And the Hexie Half for 10" squares. Both rulers are acrylic and have the mitered corners to make sewing easier (no pesky corners to trim off). I love the fact that these rulers are perfectly sized so you can cut 2 per 5" square with the smaller size or 2 per 10" square  when using the larger size. These rulers are going to come in very handy...because I love hexagon projects! The rulers will be available soon here!




I also have a post up today at Moda's Cutting Table blog where I'm sharing some ideas on Moda Bella Solids...I even have a couple of ideas over on that post from Carrie Nelson!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Sherri