Summer Sewing Contest

Crabtastic Picnic

Summer is here! Ok, not really, but today is Memorial Day in the United States, which is the day we set aside to remember those who died serving our country in the United States Armed Forces. It is also known as the unofficial start to summer around here. There are tons of cookouts and the pools open. Which was nice here yesterday when it hit 101 degrees at my house! It’s also when I start to get the itch to begin sewing for summer – you know, sun dresses and new bags and picnic quilts. And I hope you are motivated to sew for summer too, because Jennifer over at Ellison Lane Quilts has organized a Summer Sewing Contest that I hope you will take part it.

First for a bit of inspiration… I was hoping to have this quilt finished in time for today’s post, but things got crazy around here and it just didn’t happen. But I am working on a new, giant (for me) picnic/beach quilt for the family. My daughter wants pretty much everyone we’ve ever met to fit on it. So, it’s going to measure 80″ x 80″ and I think we are guaranteed to at least fit her and 10 of her closest friends on it at the park.

Crabtastic Picnic

Each block uses a print from my stash and a print from Maude Asbury’s Crabtastic line.

Crabtastic Picnic Block

I also threw in a couple prints from Sweetwater’s new Lucy’s Crab Shack line. Confession: I don’t eat crab. But I can’t resist the designs and soft colors of this fabric.

Crabtastic Picnic Block

I created a 16-patch for each block using 4.5″ x 4.5″ squares, resulting in 16.5″ x 16.5″ unfinished blocks. I plan on making 25 in total. (So far 15 are finished.)

Crabtastic Picnic Block

So here is how the contest will run:
1. Sew something fun for summer in one of these 4 categories:
You may enter one item in each category.
· Quilts
· Home Decor
· Clothing
· Bags & Accessories
2. Link up your entry at Ellison Lane Quilts:  June 10-17.
3. Finalists are chosen in each category: June 18
4. Voting Begins: June 18- June 23
5. Winners announced: June 26

The Prizes:
The winner of each category will receive a $100 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop.

A randomly chosen winner in each category will win a Fat Quarter Bundle of fabric from Westminster Fibers / Free Spirit Fabric.

A wild card winner will be chosen by Jennifer’s husband and will receive a $25 gift certificate to The Intrepid Thread.

Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog hop to help you start thinking of ideas for your entry.

Grab a button and spread the word! Then get sewing!

Summer Sewing Contest at ELQ



Pick Up Sticks

quilt_1_sm

This is one of those posts that for the last 5 months I couldn’t wait to share…but then that changed to dread over the last 2 weeks. Last December I made this quilt and pattern for Issue 2 of Modern Quilting Magazine. For those of you that haven’t heard, this UK based magazine, owned by All Craft Media, went into bankruptcy about 2 week ago. There were a lot of people with subscriptions that will probably lose out on the magazine and their money. Some did receive Issue 2…not me though so I haven’t actually seen my quilt in it. Lots of artists have projects still with the magazine and may never see their quilts and projects again. I actually thought I would never see this particular quilt again, but I did receive it back about a week and a half ago and for that I am very grateful. I don’t really want to make this post about ACM though, so let’s just focus on the quilt. :)

quilt_3_sm

These quilt blocks were made by placing fabric strips improvisationally through square blocks. I used all solids – a combination of Kaffe Fassett Shot Cottons, Moda Cross Weaves, Art Gallery Pure Elements, FreeSpirit Designer Solids, and Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Solids. The blocks measure 9″ x 9″ unfinished. My blocks alternate warm/cool/warm/cool… colors.

quilt_2_sm

I decided on a scrappy binding and quilted this in a free motion meandering design. I am really happy with the finished product and it will probably now live in my daughter’s room.

quilt_4_sm

So, I’m sure I don’t need to say this, but just because I like to keep my blog a positive place, please let’s focus on the quilt in the comments and not negative or disparaging comments surrounding the now defunct magazine. I know for those involved, emotions are high. Thanks everyone!

Updated:
Wow, I am really overwhelmed by all the emails and comments from you guys offering to send me a copy of the magazine! I am actually practically speechless over it, this is just the best community.

Since people are just now getting their magazines late, I’m going to wait a couple weeks and see if mine makes it over here. Looks like there is hope! Thank you so much everyone. xox

Another Update (early July):
Thanks so much to one of my readers who let me know she found the magazine at Barnes & Noble. I just found and bought a copy there! So if you are interested in making this pattern, check your bookstore for the magazine.

Up a Notch ~ Quilt and Pattern

Up a Notch Quilt and Pattern

I am a true believer that you don’t always have to make an intricate quilt to make a beautiful quilt. I find this especially encouraging for beginner quilters who may not have mastered paper piecing or y-seams or perfect points (yet!), but still want to make something that catches the eye and wows their family and friends.

Up a Notch Quilt and Pattern

I recently made this quilt and pattern with all levels of quilters in mind. The underlying design is simple and one you have probably seen many times, but I decided to break the quilt into color blocks, changing the look of the quilt.

I just love these colors, perfect for a little girl I think.

Up a Notch Quilt and Pattern

I decided to quilt this using densely spaced free motion meandering, but I only quilted the white, negative space. This makes the prints pop.

Up a Notch Quilt and Pattern

For the back of the quilt, I used one of my latest favorites – FreeSpirit Designer Solid Jade as well as a print from Moda’s Hello Luscious called Blissful Floral.

Up a Notch Quilt and Pattern

This quilt measures 45″ x 60″ and the digital pattern is for sale for immediate download in my pattern shop!

Up a Notch Quilt and Pattern

And speaking of my pattern shop, if you missed out on my Prism pattern in Quiltmaker magazine, you can now buy a digital pattern for that quilt there too.

Compass Quilt

Quilt Front

Despite the beautiful weather we’ve had here in Chicago over the last week, I managed to finish another quilt. I’ve had these blocks done for awhile now, waiting to assemble into a quilt top. I finally was able to work on that last week and then finished up the binding while we went on a trip to northern Michigan this weekend. Check out this cool photo my mom edited for me of my husband and daughter flying a kite.

Kite Time

This block is no doubt attributed to many quilt designers, but one of those happens to be…Nancy Cabot! She called this block the “Thrift Block” and you can find a paper piecing template for it created by Tamiko of Patchwork Notes in this blog post.

Quilt Block Detail

When I first made these blocks, I thought I would make about 25 and turn them into a mini quilt. Then I started brainstorming alternate quilt layouts and decided on a bit more unexpected layout. I am really thrilled with the finished quilt. Almost equally thrilled when we drove past this apple storage building on our trip and my husband suggested we stop for pictures!

Quilt Front Back

The backing is Kona Ash, the binding is probably my favorite deep blue print, Lizzy House’s Outfoxed Jewels in Blue. The white is Moda’s Bella solids white. I have a bolt of it and I really just think it is the softest white. I quilted this in a free motion meandering design and the finished quilt measures 53″ x 59″.

This quilt is headed for a local charity auction here in Chicago in May, raising money for the Melanoma Research Foundation.