Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

Project Special Delivery

Project Special Delivery
Photo from Pam – Mama Spark

Several months ago I blogged about a secret project I was heading up, Project Special Delivery. The plan was to make surprise baby gifts for a secret, special mom to be. I was part of a team that made improv blocks for a quilt. We were each assigned a color, I was in the pink/purple group.

Project Special Delivery

Now that the quilt has been mailed and received, and the baby has been born, I can finally share the details! The gift was for Heather Ross. Heather’s fabric has been such an inspiration to so many of us. She also really connects personally to her fans with her weekend workshops and classes. Many people that participated in Project Special Delivery had also met Heather in real life and always talked about what a warm, kind person she is. We wanted to shower Heather with handmade gifts from the virtual world that she has become a part of.

Project Special Delivery
Photo from Pam – Mama Spark

I want to say we had about 35 people create this single quilt. This included blocks for the front, back, long arm quilting, a beautiful hand embroidered message and binding.

Project Special Delivery
Photo from Pam – Mama Spark

Pam collected all the blocks and coordinated the assembling, photos and mailing. She was such a HUGE help and we could not have pulled this off without her.

Project Special Delivery
Photo from Pam – Mama Spark

Heather was touched when she received the quilts and even created these beautiful thank you cards for us, a painting of the quilt. Talk about leaving us speechless.

Heather Ross Thank You Note

It was such a fun project and I had a great time working with so many talented and kind quilters. This quilt was just one of many gifts. Check out the Flickr group for photos of others.

September 2, 2011   15 Comments

Improvisational Piecing Workshop with Malka Dubrawsky

Boy did I have a good day yesterday. After a few months of anticipation, I attended the Improvisational Piecing Workshop with Malka Dubrawsky at the CREATE Mixed Media Retreat. It was 8 kid-free hours where I got to sew all day, learn from a talented artist who has been inspiring me ever since I started quilting, meet Lee for the first time in person, and be with an entire classroom of fun ladies! I’m not sure how I ended up so lucky!

Malka brought several awesome class samples, including the photo above. Speaking of class samples, she brought in her new fabric line that is going to be available through Moda early next year and it is amazing. Start saving your pennies people, because you will not be able to pass it by.

Here is Malka explaining our class project to us. We made nine log cabin blocks, warm colors on two sides and cool colors on two sides. We didn’t use rulers and even the use of the rotary cutter was pretty loose. But I did learn that there are actual “rules” being followed on these pieces that seem to magically come together with no planning. (Such as use of warm and cool fabrics in certain places.) And those deliberate “rules” are what makes the projects work so well.

This is the wonderful Lee of Freshly Pieced! Hi Lee! I had a great time sitting next to her all day, she is so nice. :) I will see her again in October in Salt Lake City at the Sewing Summit.

These are my blocks coming together – the first four. Notice how the cool color sides are all meeting in the middle. That’s the planning portion of the project.

Malka also did a quick demo of how to make improvisational string blocks. No paper piecing, just eyeballing it. I am definitely going to try this.

This made me laugh – my blocks are on the left and Lee’s blocks are on the right. Think we have the same taste and fabric stash? LOL Isn’t the hotel conference center carpet nice?

All the ladies hard at work!

Yep, I got a photo with Malka! She was such a wonderful instructor and genuine nice person, I would definitely take a class with her again. Maybe we can talk her into coming here and doing a fabric dying workshop?

And here is my final product! I really love it. I showed it to my 4 year old and she said “I love the pink and purple! Why isn’t it big? Where’s the edge?” (binding) Well, she is starting to pick up the details of quilt construction so I was a bit proud of her comments. She *really* wants it so I am considering making more blocks and then giving it to her.

Overall, it was a fantastic day!

August 26, 2011   21 Comments

Improv Strip Block – A Tutorial

Improv Strips Block Tutorial

This morning I was looking around at the unfinished projects in my sewing room, trying to figure out what to work on next. Then my eyes settled on the Kaffe Fassett stripes I bought at the quilt show in Cincinnati and I thought, why not start something new? :) They are really so beautiful, it’s amazing I haven’t cut into them until now.

Kaffe Stripes

I thought I would share my process for making the above block. It is improvisational and hopefully you will find it quite simple to make. I am using fat quarters for this project, but really this would work using strips of scraps as well. Just make sure your scrap strips are at least 12.5″ long.

Step 1

Step 1. Select your fabric and cut it into strips of random widths. I cut 2″ to 3.5″ stripes.

Step 2

Step 2. Randomly sew 2 to 3 strips together lengthwise. The resulting rectangles should be at least 5″ wide.

Step 3

Step 3. Cut a 3.5″ x 3.5″ square for the center of your block. Select 4 strips from Step 2. From these strips, cut 2 pieces 3.5″ x 5″ and 2 pieces 5″ x 12.5″.

Step 4

Step 4. Sew the 3.5″ x 5″ rectangles to the top and bottom of the center square.

Step 5. Sew the 5″ x 12.5″ rectangles to the left and right of the block.

Improv Strips Block

June 14, 2011   13 Comments

Blocks to Share

Princess and the Pea

First I want to thank everyone for the pattern love from my Kaleidoscopic Kites quilt. I really hope that if anyone makes a quilt from it, you will send me a photo. I would love to see them!

I was planning on waiting to share these (and more) blocks when I had one of my next projects finished, but I am just horrible at waiting. So I will share, but I will save the final plan for them to be a surprise. No, they won’t be in a quilt together. :)

The first block features fabric from Heather Ross’s Far, Far Away I collection as well as bits and pieces I somehow have of F lea Market Fancy. And speaking of Heather Ross, she just unveiled her fabric for Far, Far Away III.

Circus

The second block was made mostly with fabric from Laurie Wisbrun.

I hope everyone had a happy Easter holiday. I had to share these pictures with you – I figured anyone with a toddler and/or preschooler could commiserate. These are just a few of my failed attempt to photograph them together. Oh well, maybe next year!

Toddler + Preschooler = Impossible to Photograph

April 25, 2011   7 Comments