Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

Sewtopia Retreat ~ Chicago 2015

I’ve been to several sewing retreats – Sewing Summit (twice), QuiltCon, Camp Stitchalot (back when it was called Quilt Camp), and weekends here and there with friends. They are always so much fun, but I was never lucky enough to attend one here in Chicago. Until now!

Sewtopia Retreat recently announced their next event would be in downtown Chicago next April 16th – 19th, 2015. And what an awesome location. I’ve driven by The Drake more times than I can count. It’s right next to Lake Michigan and once I actually saw the filming of a movie there, the giant cameras pointed in through a window.

Not only is Sewtopia in a great location, I was thrilled to hear who would be there teaching classes. Rita Hodge of Red Pepper Quilts and Latifah Saafir of The Quilt Engineer! Seriously, what talent!

Latif is one of the cofounders of the LA Modern Quilt Guild and known for her use of curves and color. Latif will be teaching her new quilt pattern, Molehills.

I’m definitely going to need some hand holding as I make this!

Rita is coming over from Australia. Her blog is always so bright, fresh and she seems to whip out a new quilt every week! I’m always in awe of her style and attention to detail (and hopefully it will rub off on me as we are in the room together!)

Rita will be teaching the Kansas Dugout block and help us all not to dread sewing Y-Seams.

Super important registration details below ~

Registration opens August 1st at 10am MST. Registration fee is $375. They will be offering a discount to any past attendee of Sewtopia Salt Lake and Sew OK.

Registration includes:
 · Shop Hop Thursday, April 16, 2015
 · Open Social Thursday night, April 16, 2015
 · Classes and lunches for Friday and Saturday
 · Access to Sewtopia’s Sewing Lounge after classes are done
 · Swaps and any challenges (if you choose to participate)

You can find all the details on their website and email the Sewtopia staff at info@sewtopiaretreat.com with any questions! I hope to see some of you there!

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Cotton + Steel

Cotton + Steel : Fresh Lemons Quilts

You’ve probably seen a lot of Cotton + Steel fabric popping up on blogs and Instagram. After being announced last Fall at Quilt Market and then unveiled last Spring at Quilt Market, it’s now arriving in shops!

Cotton + Steel : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I made an attempt to limit what I bought…really, this isn’t all of what’s for sale! I bought half yards of all the Basics – which are completely awesome. Great colors, love that some have metallics worked into them too.

Cotton + Steel : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Then I picked some of my favorites out of the designers’ different collections. The fabric lines all coordinate with each other, making it really easy to mix and match a few prints from each.

Cotton + Steel : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Many of my sponsors either have Cotton + Steel arriving now at their shops, or over the next month.

Connecting Threads (arriving August 5th)
Cuts of Cotton
Fabric Spark
Fat Quarter Shop
Fort Worth Fabric Studio
Fresh Modern Fabric
The Intrepid Thread
Lark Cottons (arriving August)
LiMa Sews (arriving August)
My Modern Quilt Shop
Pink Chalk Fabrics
Southern Fabric
Stash Fabrics

I’ve already cut into mine, and I can’t wait to see what everyone else creates with these new lines. :)

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Checking In

Flying Geese : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Just checking in during a busy week of stitching and driving the kids to summer fun. Remember those Kona swatches I showed you not long ago? The fabric arrived and I’ve been busy cutting and piecing. Lots and lots of flying geese!

Radiant Splendor : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I also made a second modified Radiant Splendor Block. Can’t wait to have more time to dive into this project and finish writing the full quilt pattern.

Sewing Room : Fresh Lemons Quilts

And in anticipation of school starting in 5 weeks, I’m getting my sewing room more organized and efficient. I just put together a new cutting table (see the back corner of the room). This is the Martha Stewart Living Craft Space Three Drawer Flat File Cabinet from Home Decorations Collection (part of Home Depot). I’ve always cut on my sewing table which I love…but it’s made of reclaimed wood and is a bit “hilly” – not an entirely flat surface and it just hasn’t been an ideal cutting area. I’m really happy with this new table which is totally flat and taller so I won’t need to hunch over anymore. The top drawer is full of my quilting rulers and the bottom 2 have some current project fabric and notions.

Ok, back to the station wagon and sewing machine! Talk to you again soon!

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Olfa ~ 35th Anniversary

Olfa Quilting Tools : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Did you know the Olfa Rotary Cutter turns 35 this year? Which means I’m actually older than the rotary cutter. I think this gives me some sort of quilter street cred, right? Except that I never actually quilted without using one. I honestly can’t imagine creating a quilt without these handy little cutters and I’m guessing most of you feel the same way.

At Quilt Market last Spring I was lucky enough to attend a breakfast with the Olfa team – and we were able to see that original invention. The first one was yellow and everything!

First Olfa Rotary Cutter : Fresh Lemons Quilts

In celebration, Olfa asked me to participate in a project and make a 6-1/2″ quilt block for a big birthday quilt. They sent this very fun box of goodies to use – a mini rotary cutter (I’m told these are great for cutting curves!), a 6-1/2″ frosted quilting ruler, and a spinning cutting mat. I was most excited to try out the cutting mat. I’ve been eyeing these for quite some time.

Olfa Quilting Tools : Fresh Lemons Quilts

These mats are fun because you can place your fabric/block once – trim.

Olfa Quilting Tools : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Then spin the mat – trim again. You don’t need to pick up your fabric and reposition.

Olfa Quilting Tools : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I decided to make my block using 3.5″ flying geese blocks. (Get it – 35th anniversary…3.5″ blocks?) For the background I used some scrappy patchwork which reminds me of the 1970′s.

Olfa Quilting Tools : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The flying geese are yellow because – well Olfa = Yellow!

Olfa Quilting Tools : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Happy 35th Birthday Olfa! :)

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