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 (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 22 Comments
A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Lucky Spool’s Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making in the mail. I finally had some time yesterday to sit down and look through the book…and I’m very excited by what I saw!
Lucky Spool’s Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making is a collection of 10 “Workshops” (or chapters) that cover everything from Color to Curves to Improvisational Piecing to Quilting. Check out the chapter listing.
Each workshop begins with an expert spending between 4 and 12 pages talking about their subject.
These lessons are then followed by a pattern that is based on their topic. I love this quilt by Kari Vojtechovsky in her Principles of Color Design Workshop.
There are a lot of names I know and respect in this book – Jacquie Gering teaching The Alternate Grid…
Denyse Schmidt teaching Improvisational Patchwork…
Penny Layman teaching Paper Piecing…
Angela Walters teaching Modern Quilting…
The end of the book contains A Study of 50 Modern Quilts, starting off with one of my favorite examples of Modern Traditionalism by Victoria Findlay Woolfe, Double Edged Love.
Each page has a grouping of quilts, organized by design and color.
And the reason I received this book early, my This Way, That Way quilt was included!
Although I haven’t made any patterns from this book yet, I really enjoyed digging into it yesterday. I think Lucky Spool’s Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making would be an awesome resource for quilt guild libraries, as well as home libraries. If you are interested in Modern Quilting techniques, I highly recommend checking it out.
July 9, 2014 20 Comments
This afternoon I head to Quilt Market in Pittsburgh. If you are attending, I hope you will stop by the F+W booth Friday at 11:45. I’ll be there signing copies of Vintage Quilt Revival! For those of you not able to go, I thought I’d post some pretty fabric here for you today.
I received this fabric last week from designer Laura Gunn – her latest line Flutter for Michael Miller Fabrics. Last Winter I bought some of Laura’s bird prints from her Etsy Shop. I used them to decorate my guest room, so she knew I was going to be excited when I saw her new line. I can’t wait to use these to make some coordinating pillows!
I am planning on pairing them with some of Laura’s Painter’s Canvas that I have on hand. Most likely I’ll keep in simple with either log cabins or just squares.
I also wanted to share that I officially have two more patterns available in print.
You can find those in my pattern shop, along with PDF downloads. Any printed patterns purchased this week will ship once I’m back from market on Monday. If you are a shop and would like wholesale information, just email me!
Finally, I started Lisa Congdon’s Creativebug class this week. I decided it would be fun to do some drawing with my 7 year old daughter. That’s hers up top with all the colors. She is loving it! I’m not sure she has ever spent so much time on one picture. And I am not someone comfortable with drawing, but Lisa really breaks it down into simple idea and shapes. I highly recommend it!
See you all next week!
May 15, 2014 9 Comments
What a weekend! Between the two Pottery Barn quilting trunk shows on Saturday, my son’s 5th birthday party on Sunday (at Chuck E Cheese’s no less), and daylight savings time, I’m pretty much running on fumes. But oh, what a great time we had on Saturday. I thought I’d share some photos from the trunk shows. I didn’t bring my “real” camera, just my iPhone. I thought it’d just be too hard to manage keeping track of the good camera – and that was the right call because we were busy – but I do wish I had brought someone with me to take nice photos. Live and learn!
When we arrived at Pottery Barn in Naperville, this sign was out front with balloons! Really exciting! We met the store manager who was just exceptionally nice and welcoming, it really put my nerves at ease! We decided that we’d have more room to set up on the second floor and brought all our things up.
There were these awesome railings that overlooked to the first floor. We were able to drape all our quilts on them – you could see them from below as soon as you walked into the store.
We treated the event as a meet and greet. It was so much fun to talk to everyone one on one, answer questions, let people come and touch the quilts. Lots of quilters visited, some planned and some just happened to be in the store without knowing about the event. We met people from all experience levels – from expert long armers to women who sewed but were looking to learn to quilt. The hour flew by – it was just such a great time!
We packed up the quilts, loaded up the car, and drove to the Oakbrook Pottery Barn to set up for round two. This store was one floor (so no railing) and really long with different nooks and sectioned off areas. We were placed in a side bedding area, so deciding how to display the quilts was harder. But luckily they had a Visual Stylist (fancy!) who came over to help us. He was an expert quilt hanger.
If anyone is looking to display quilts like this at home, it was really a great set up. They had installed a nice, solid curtain rod. The stylist took the quilt by the corner and folded that over the back of the curtain rod. Then he used super heavy duty clamps to clamp the corner to the back of the draped quilt.
I am guessing you could get the clamps at a hardware store. Lee had a hard time even opening them when we took stuff down, so they were pretty strong. We also hung some quilts on a coat rack!
We met even more quilters at this stop, and again we were able to talk to everyone one on one. I know I’ve gushed this entire post, but I really can’t stress enough how fun it was to get to share our quilts with a new audience and in this setting. And look, they let us each take home a sign! You better believe that’s now hanging up in my sewing room.
I just want to thank everyone who came out to visit as well as Pottery Barn for inviting us to share our quilts at their shops. We have 2 more trunk shows planned – Lee and I in the Milwaukee area and Katie in Arlington, VA on March 22nd. If you happen to live around those cities, I hope you will come!
March 11, 2014 30 Comments