With the kids in school, it’s been a remarkably productive couple of days over here. The house is clean, dinner has been planned ahead each night, I’ve actually gone to the gym (shocking!!) and I’ve even spent busy chunks of time in my sewing room.
This week I also received a great package in the mail. Last week I ordered Moda Fabric’s Modern Building Blocks pattern and kit. I remember seeing this quilt at market and it was one of those stop-you-in-your-tracks moments for me. I love Moda’s Bella Solids and the colors in this quilt, along with the layout of the blocks, really spoke to me. I cannot wait to make this (even if it will have to wait in line a bit until I’m done with other commitments).
Also, I love the packaging of this kit. I was joking on Instagram that whoever came up with it deserves a promotion! Wouldn’t this make a beautiful birthday or Christmas gift for a quilter? (Husbands…hint hint!)
The inside has all the fabrics, layout and assembly directions, as well as this handy set of double sided cards with all the block patterns.
You can buy this kit at a few of my sponsors:
The Loopy Ewe (fabric kit with pattern)
Fat Quarter Shop (fabric kit with pattern)
Fat Quarter Shop (fabric kit with pattern – PREORDER if link above sold out)
Fat Quarter Shop (pattern only, no fabric)
So, besides drooling over this kit for the last few days, I’ve also been working on my sadly neglected Arkansas Traveler quilt! I basted it yesterday while watching Call the Midwife on Netflix. Wow, what a great show (even if it does make me cry at every episode!).
I started quilting in the blue fabric areas using a coordinating blue thread I had on hand – Aurifil’s Color Me Happy by V & Co’s set. It’s #2775 in a 50wt (orange spool). I’m still debating whether or not to quilt the cream fabrics (with an off white thread) or leave them unquilted, giving it a slightly poofy look.
I’m using my Bernina Stitch Regulator (BSR) which I just realized I’ve been using for 5 years! Obviously I’ve had a lot of time to practice with it. I’ve had some people ask for tips on using it.
• I don’t go too slow or too fast. I try to find a nice, middle of the road speed and stick to it. It might help to get some music (not too crazy now!) with a consistent rhythm and play that while you sew, to get in a nice groove.
• I use Bernina’s single hole stitch plate when stitching straight lines.
• For a while I found that when I was stopping stitching (like to remove a pin), I was taking my foot off the pedal while still moving the fabric slightly. Not good, this leads to messed up stitches. Stop completely before taking your foot off the pedal. When you stop moving the fabric, the stitching will stop as well. (At least does when I use BSR 2).
• If you are feeling like your fabric is getting stuck and you have to pull it (leading to messed up stitches), lessen your pressure foot setting. I’ve had to do this with some fabrics that just didn’t seem to slide well under my foot. Other’s swear by using something called the Supreme Slider on their machine. I don’t have one though.
• And then just practice, practice, practice. When I first sat down to use the BSR I thought I would turn my machine on and suddenly my quilting would be perfect. Um, it wasn’t. lol I needed to still practice. If you still aren’t getting the results you think you should be getting, ask if you can bring your machine into your dealer and have them watch you quilt on your machine. I’m sure they will have tips as well.
I’m halfway finished with the blue and about to go upstairs and get cracking again. I can’t wait to (finally!) share this completed quilt with you soon!
August 27, 2014 30 Comments
Vintage Quilt Revival schoolhouse session
Photo courtesy of Tracy Mooney/Generation Q Magazine
I’ve been back from Quilt Market a few weeks now, but it seems like just days. Things have been crazy busy at home and I’ve finally had a chance to go through my photos. (All on my phone, I just had no more room to pack my nice camera.) I wanted to share a bit about my trip. Mostly photos, but everyone likes new-fabric-eye candy, right?
This was my first trip to Quilt Market (trade show). I’ve been to several Quilt Festivals (open to public show), so I wasn’t completely flying blind, but it was pretty exciting to see the “business” side of things. Katie, Lee and I were there to promote our upcoming book, Vintage Quilt Revival. A huge surprise arrived at our doorsteps just a couple days before we left – a real, life, actual copy of the book!
We knew we’d be getting one advance copy about a month before the first big shipment arrived at the publisher, but we weren’t expecting for several more weeks. To say we were excited would be an understatement. And also, to have the book in person and be able to show it to people in Houston was awesome.
We arrived Thursday evening and had our Schoolhouse presentation Friday afternoon. For those that haven’t been to Quilt Market, Schoolhouses are timed sessions where you get a chance to present your product (fabric line, notion, book, etc) to a group of people (shop owners, press, etc). There are tons of Schoolhouses going on at any given time, in rooms all over the convention center. I was quite nervous because 1) I’d never been to a Schoolhouse before and 2) what if no one showed up to ours?? We spent the morning visiting other Schoolhouses and I started to get more comfortable. Everyone in the audiences was so kind and all the other presenters said they were nervous too. It was just one of those times where you realize everyone there is human and wants to see each other succeed.
So Friday afternoon we had our Schoolhouse session and it went really well! We were able to share our book, how it’s broken down, and probably 80% of the projects. We had a great response! After that was over we were able to officially relax and enjoy the rest of the weekend.
I went into Quilt Market thinking there weren’t a ton of upcoming fabric lines that I just needed. Boy was I wrong! Haha I think there were 2 lines that excited me the most. First, Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander.
This line follows Carolyn’s hugely popular Architextures line. Carolyn uses the same small scale style, but this time the line is inspired by the organic world. She works a bit of gold into some of the prints in a really, really amazing way. This was the only line I actually spent money on over the weekend, coming home with a Fat Quarter set.
The next collection that really excited me was by Anna Maria Horner (of course, would you expect anyone else?!)
FreeSpirit Fabrics has coordinated new collections by various designers called True Colors. These are fabrics that can be used as blenders and will be available for longer periods of time. I love Anna Maria’s fabrics so much, her sense of color is always right up my alley.
Probably the biggest surprise and talk of market was Cotton + Steel: the new collaboration between RJR Fabrics and Melody Miller, along with designers Rashida Coleman-Hale, Alexia Abegg, Kim Kight, and Sarah Watts.
My head is kind of exploding at the amount of talent in this group and I cannot wait to see what they have to show us later in 2014.
I think what I love most about this group is their willingness to think big and take chances. That’s not something that comes naturally to me and I have so much awe and respect for people that can do that. They’ve shown they have a great mix of artistic talent and business savvy and I think that is a rare (and powerful) combination. If you haven’t had a chance to watch their video, be sure to check it out.
It was fun to just walk the show and see friends and celebrate their success.
Jeni Baker with her bright and happy new line, Dreamin’ Vintage. I predict this line is going to fly off the shelves.
Vanessa Christenson’s new Color Me Happy line. I even got my hands on her new pillow patterns – you’ll be seeing more of them later!
I seriously have a million pictures.
It was great to meet designers in person whom I have admired their work so much. Camille Roskelley of Bonnie and Camille.
Leah Duncan with her second line for Art Gallery Fabrics. LOVE her artwork!
Sarah Jane with her adorable new line Wee Wander – and her new baby! Check out in the teepee on the right!
and another by Denyse Schmidt for FreeSpirit Fabrics.
Ok, I could go on and on. I think I already have! It was a great time, I’m finally not exhausted anymore and really just inspired to get back at the sewing machine. I hope you enjoyed the photos!
November 11, 2013 11 Comments
What’s better than starting one new project this week? Starting two! Yes, I’m *finally* jumping on the Swoon bandwagon. I’ve wanted to make one ever since I saw Angela’s Good Folks Swoon quilt. I knew the blocks were big. But I don’t think anything prepares you for the size until you actually make one.
I only get my yardstick out for 3 things:
1. Measuring those big Chicago snow storms.
2. Reaching toys the kids throw under our King sized bed.
3. Showing people how big a Swoon quilt block is. 24-1/2″!
I’m planning on mixing some prints from Avalon by Fig Tree & Co. with others from my stash. I actually haven’t picked all my fabrics yet, so there still may be a bit more ordering. I am using Kona Snow for my background. I’m not going to stress too much over a timeline for this one, but can’t wait to make more blocks and share my progress along the way.
September 20, 2013 35 Comments
Remember the last Arkansas Traveler quilt I made and gifted? I’ve known since I sent that one away that I wanted to make one for myself. So as a bit of a reward to finishing up some UFOs and deadlines, I decided to start this week.
For the last several months, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about making a quilt where the background was a nice, dark blue and the focal fabrics were cream with black accents. (Many of those here are from Sweetwater, Summersville, Comma and Collage.) I spent a bit of time last week with my solid color cards and decided to go with Moda Bella Solids Admiral Blue for this quilt.
I changed up the Arkansas Traveler block a bit. I reduced the size some to make an 8″ finished block. I also decided with this smaller size, I would just use one fabric for the diamonds (rather than piecing in 4 smaller diamonds to make a larger diamond). I’ve started and finished cutting the fabrics for the quilt yesterday and am ready to start my chain paper piecing. Can’t wait to share more!
I also wanted to let you know today that one of my sponsors, Christa Quilts, is starting a new quilt along on September 25th called Modern Trees. It uses scraps to create a fun Christmas themed quilt from “Tri-Recs” trees. Make your trees solid or improv – the choice is up to you. Visit Christa’s blog for the complete quilt along schedule!
September 18, 2013 19 Comments