July was one of those non-stop months. We were on vacation from the 1st to the 12th. Came home and got caught up on household and gardening chores and then hosted a bridal shower last weekend. Of course amidst all of this there was the usual number of migraines. Because of all of this, I did very little sewing and not a whole lot of blogging.
Yesterday I found a little bit of time and did the July piecing for Tish’s Fireburst Mystery Quilt. Fortunately, the piecing for July consisted of a number of flying geese blocks in different combinations and one little square in a square block. I like the fabric combinations and look forward to the instructions for August. I chose to make the baby size quilt and these fabrics will be so sweet when assembled.
Speaking of which, hurray for August! I am really determined to get back on track. I think this is doable as we have very little planned for this month. I am eager to get back to my routine and spend some time in the sewing room.
I just basted my Twisted quilt. The dining room table had the extra leaf in it so I took advantage of that space and got the layers pinned. I am vacillating between a few ideas for quilting it though. I need to do some doodling and make a few decisions.
Remember I mentioned I was hosting a bridal shower over the weekend? It was a lot of fun and I think the bride-to-be enjoyed it. Four of my sisters were able to come to the shower which was so nice.
One of my sisters, Cathy, brought me a big bag of fabric scraps! I have talked about my sisters’ shop, 6 Monkeys and Co, where they offer handmade children’s clothing. Because neither of my sisters do any quilting, they tend to throw away any remaining scraps after cutting out their project. (While I am talking about my sisters, I need to do a little shameless promotion! Their sewing skills are amazing and it really shows in the sweet dresses, shorts, shirts and hats they make. If you have kids or grandchildren, you need to check out their shop!)
Cathy offered to start saving scraps for me and now I have all sorts of fun children’s prints to play with!
I am itching to cut these into usable pieces but for now they are going to be organized by color and then they will have to wait just a bit.
Finally, Julia is getting ready for the fair which is next week. Saturday morning Julia gave Olive a bath because she needed a picture of herself and Olive to hang on a sign above Olive’s pen. It was rather comical trying to get a decent shot because Olive wasn’t having any of it. Finally, bribed with an extra meal, she cooperated. Silly pig.
When I was in Vermont at the beginning of the month, I noticed the table runner on my daughter-in-law’s dining table. It was really simple and didn’t have any batting in it. I liked the flexible, casual look of it. I decided to give it a try and grabbed my stack of charm squares.
I have a rather large collection of Benartex charms. Have you heard of the Fabric Club at Benartex? (No affiliation – I just think it is kind of a fun subscription.). For $25 per year, Benartex sends the subscriber a newsletter and a set of 5″ squares from a new fabric line every three months. It is a rather inexpensive and fun way to see what is new with Benartex. Each set has a minimum of 20 charms, some have more than that depending on how many pieces are in the line.) The newsletter usually has a suggestion or pattern for the charms. I did this for quite a while (maybe two years?) and as a result have a number of these sets.
For this project, I decided to use a set called Pansy Noir. It is a rich collection of shades of purple, gold, black and green. Using a set of charms like this can be satisfying because the designer has already made sure there are a variety of scales and values in the set.
In this set, I love the contrast of sweet pansies, such a simple flower, with the rich swirls of purple and black. How do these designers come up with this?
I didn’t add anything to the set and made the runner with 21 of the 22 squares in the pack. So it measures about 14 x 30 inches. Using a silvery Sulky thread, I stitched straight lines going down the column (at the seam line) and across the rows (again at the seam) to hold it together when laundered. No binding makes this a 1/2 hour project. The backing is a pale lavender fabric from my stash.
This was a fun project to whip up during a time when I am getting very little sewing done. This summer I have noticed a large uptick in the orders rate at my shop. It is really rewarding to see this happening now that I have been in business for 18 months. Of course it takes away from my sewing time which is a trade off!
Otherwise, summer has been busy with house projects, gardening and taking pictures of Julia and Olive!! The fair is in two weeks so Julia has been really focused on training Olive for showing her at the fair.
Julia and Olive walking in the yard.
To increase stamina and muscle mass, Julia has been taking Olive on long walks. For much of the summer she would walk Olive around the perimeter of our property which was a nice long walk. Well, Olive is a very smart pig and learned that route quickly. Soon as she knew she was close to the end of the route, Olive would take off running to the pen (her source of food and mud!)
Strolling down the street!
Julia decided to mix it up and started walking her in our neighborhood, much to our neighbor’s delight. It is hysterical to see Julia and a pig strolling up our driveway and down the road. But Olive does really well. She is sometimes a bit startled by a horse or dog and it is nice to see Julia can redirect her when this happens. I think they will do well together in the show ring.
Heading down the driveway for home.
This weekend I am hosting a bridal shower for my soon-to-be daughter-in-law. Her parents are coming up here for the weekend which will be fun. I have met her mother only once and haven’t yet met her father. We will enjoy getting to know each other. Once again, another no-sew weekend – Such is life! Whatever your plans are, enjoy your weekend.
Here we are in the last half of June – this means it is time for the blogger bundle of the month! If you are reading about these bundles for the first time, I started this project in January. Read about them here and here. The previous blogger bundles will be available in my shop through the end of 2018 – it is really fun to look at the variety of fabrics others have curated into collections. Click here to see all of them!
The bundle for June was curated by Paige Alexander of Quilted Blooms. I cannot remember exactly how I learned of Paige’s blog but I do know I have read her posts since the very first one. I believe a blogger (maybe Cheryl Brickey?) introduced the me to Paige and suggested I check out her work. I did so and never left! Paige’s style is very modern and also relatable. I am not sure if that is the correct word but I love her work because I understand it. Her quilts are meticulous, clean and very effective.
Pieced and Quilted by Paige Alexander
Above is Paige’s Cursive quilt, She made this about two years ago and it has been juried into several shows and won several ribbons. It is one of my favorite quilts she has made. Partly because she constructed the background, quilted it and then did the appliqué. Look closely and you will see she quilted line after line of the alphabet in cursive. This was a genius technique. I really encourage you to check out her work if you are not yet familiar with it.
June Blogger Bundle
On to the bundle! Paige selected a grouping of summery pieces that all hail from Windham Fabric. As we head into summer, this fresh palette of green, orange, yellow and pink are akin to a bouquet of flowers. She chose pieces that are really cheerful and bright – I love each one of them!
I think this bundle would be excellent used together in a project or added to your stash to give it a bright pick-me-up! Paige has been working on a piece with these fabrics and I am really excited to check it out – I had a sneak peek a few weeks ago and it is going to be really pretty! While the project is not yet finished, Paige is sharing her progress with us today. Make sure to take a look!
June Blogger Bundle
As with prior blogger bundles, this one is now available as either a fat quarter or 1/2 yard bundle in my shop. I have placed it on sale, 20% off, for the next couple of days. Sale ends Friday. Paige is hosting a giveaway for one lucky winner (US only due to postage expense). Be sure to go to her site to enter!!
I hope you are enjoying this Blogger Bundle series as much as I am. I have learned so much about color choices through working with these talented quilters!
Have you signed up for my newsletter? It is published every month or so and is full of information about my shop, new arrivals, sales, and events. Click here to sign up!
Have you seen the gorgeous floral collage quilts popping up lately? I have seen a number of them at the last couple of quilt shows I have attended. One was a dressmaker’s form made of flowers and at the last quilt show, there was a really pretty rooster wall hanging made of floral fabrics collaged together.
The patterns are the work of Laura Heine. The more I see these, the more smitten I become. She has designed all sorts of patterns that utilize this collage method.
Potpourri Collage Pattern; Giraffe on Newsprint Fabric Background
I love this one. The giraffe was created against a background of Carrie Bloomston’s Story Newsprint fabric. This is one of my very favorite Bloomston fabrics. (If you want a better look at it, click here because I carry it in the shop.). It makes a fantastic background for this design.
Laura doesn’t just use animals (though she has many) but also cars, campers, birthday cakes, pin cushions and even Santa.
She uses the collage technique across all sorts of fun themes.
Last week, while I was shopping at Ben Franklin, I picked up three floral pieces, just 1/4 yard each. I’ve decided to start collecting florals and to attempt one of these patterns. I think smaller floral pieces are adequate and in fact, I could have even bought an 1/8 yard cut. These three are really pretty florals and the colors vary greatly. I did that intentionally as I don’t have any plan yet so I am unsure if I will only use certain colors or the whole rainbow.
This particular Timeless Treasures fabric is so pretty. It looks like a water color to me. Cutting it up for the floral bits will be perfect for this sort of project.
When I got home and went to put these away, I decided to do a quick scan and pull any florals I already had. To no one’s surprise, I had plenty! Isn’t it amazing what we have tucked away, here and there!
Florals, florals, and more florals.
Reds, purples, teals, blues, pinks and greens. All kinds of flowers!
Before I go any further with this, I need to pick which pattern I want to attempt. Then I need to do some research and see whether anyone has any tips on these patterns. In fact, have any of you tried one of these? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts on the pattern and the collage process. I don’t think I should purchase anymore florals until I have a plan. Also, I have a few things in the works that I need to finish up before starting this. It is fun to look forward though and add this project to the list (the long, never-ending list!)
Linking to Molly Sparkles Sunday Stash link up as well as Main Crush Monday!
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have seen the pictures I posted over the weekend. Julia and I took a road trip and visited Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. This college is a favorite in our family – I graduated (class of ’82) and two of my sons plus one daughter-in-law also graduated from there. Julia is planning to apply there next fall. We thought it would be fun to do the college tours and see the campus as it has been several years since we have been there. Plus she was pretty young when we last visited and I thought she needed to see it with a more mature viewpoint.
It was a beautiful day of tours and walking… oh, so much walking. Julia is deciding between Biology or Animal Science as her major. It is so hard to know what you want to do at this age but Cal Poly is a university that requires the applicants to declare their major right away.
She was thrilled to be able to visit the Swine Unit. The manager of that unit, a senior at the university, was incredibly friendly and let Julia hang out for quite a while. It was helpful to find out Julia can volunteer at the animal units even if she chooses Biology over Animal Science as a major. Either way, she can work with the animals..
It was a quick trip but well worth the drive (which is a bit of a pain because we live 350 miles from campus).
When I got home I had a package waiting for me! A couple of weeks ago I entered a giveaway on Instagram. Kim over at Leland Ave Studios was celebrating the launch of her 52 Week Creativity Project where she will be posting discussions with various artists each week in 2018. I read the first one which was really good. I am looking forward to this series.
Kim generously gave a fat eighth bundle of Alison Glass’ new line, Diving Board- to me! What a treat.
Oh my gosh! I was so tickled to win this bundle. The colors fall in line with the shades of blue, pink, greens, yellows and oranges that Alison often uses. This is nice because her older lines work so well with the newer pieces. Oh the colors are gorgeous !!
This bundle is a big one at 24 pieces. I will surely let it sit for a while – until I think of the perfect use for it. I have several projects on-going at the moment so I am in no hurry to start another one. Thank you Kim for this gorgeous addition to my stash.
Linking to Molli Sparkles Sunday Stash link up. I haven’t written a Stash post in such a long time. Receiving this bundle was such a fun surprise! Now I am going to go pack orders. The shop was busy over the weekend and I need to get caught up,
It has been a long time since I have written a Sunday Stash post. Maybe because I have been buying fabric constantly over the past months for my shop and it would be really boring if I wrote about each addition. Technically, that isn’t my stash, but it is fabric and I do acquire it on a regular basis.
But today I want to share a couple of finds I had at the thrift store over the last several weeks. Every once in a while, I get lucky and find nice quality duvet covers in the thrift shop. I remember finding one a couple of years ago and using one half of it to back a scrappy quilt I had just made.
Duvet covers tend to be a quality cotton with more heft than quilting cottons. Thicker than sheets, they can be really durable. The first one I found is a pretty green color, maybe sage green or a dusty green? It has a gingham pattern on both sides, one check larger than the other. After separating the fop from the bottom and removing the hemmed or finished edges, both of these pieces netted out at 77″ x 84″. I should be able to back two lap size quilts with these and I paid a whopping $5.00 for the entire thing. There are no worn spots or stains – they look wonderful.
This is the next one I found. It is heavier than the green gingham – maybe similar to ticking or duck cloth? I took it home and laundered it. Then after removing buttons along one open edge, I split the top from bottom and removed the finished edges. It is a bit smaller, finishing at 60″ x 76″. As with the green pieces, it is free of spots or worn areas. I am thinking of a few different projects I may use these for. I am not sure if I will back a quilt with it because it is a little bit narrow. The neutral taupe color will be easily worked into a number of projects, I am thinking I will use this for some Christmas projects I have yet to begin. You’ll have to wait until later to hear about these. 😉 For whatever reason, this duvet cover was a little bit more expensive but I happily paid $9.50 for it. It is still a lot of great fabric for the price! (Side note: I no issue paying a little more for items like this because the main thrift shops I frequent are in support of our local Hospice organization and I am very happy to support such an important group of caregivers.)
Anyway – that is the latest with regard to my stash. If you venture into a thrift store, take a quick peek at the linens area – I am thrilled when I find something like this because backing a quilt can be an expensive part of the project!
This week I received a fantastic box of treasures from Island Batik. You may have seen some of the pictures I posted on Instagram last week. When I found out I was selected to be a 2017 Island Batik Ambassador, I had no idea (seriously) of what I was signing up for. I had read about projects that Connie Kresin had shared on Freemotion By the River because she has been an ambassador for a few years. Other than that, no clue. Anyway, when i got the email, I was so excited. A few days later I received a series of documents from our fearless leader, Katie. She works in media relations at Island Batik. I am incredibly impressed both by her clarity and organization as well as the scope of projects that are planned out (already – completely) for the entire year! I feel organized if I have a few blog posts planned out over the next couple of weeks. But to have this structure in place through the end of 2017, that is amazing.
I want to share some of the fabric they sent to me to work with. The company is incredibly generous and asks that we plan some fun giveaways for our readers. This way you have the opportunity to share the wealth so to speak. These rolls are made up of about four 1/8 yard cuts in each.Aren’t they gorgeous?
There is also a selection of 1/2 yard cuts (see below) and two pieces that feel like they are probably two yards each? I haven’t measured them. But they will be great for sashings, borders, bindings and backings.
I love this sweet Valentine bundle of FQs.It is Just what I need to make a little Valentine for myself! I hope to share that with you later this week. The biggest part of being an Ambassador is to promote the newest line at Island Batik. It will release in a few months and they generously shared a large number of 1/2 yard cuts with me. I will share more on that soon. There will be some really nice giveaways coming your way soon.
I hope you will enjoy sharing this quilty adventure with me over the course of the year.
Good morning! Looks like we are in for another rainy day. This is fine with me as I have lots of projects to work on. Yesterday I spent the day at a seminar that one of the local agriculture colleges hosted for the 4-H kids that have swine projects. Lots of information was provided and Julia is one step closer to bringing home her piglets. But it did mean we were away for most of the day. It will be nice to be home today.
I wanted to finish my story about my trip to Toronto earlier this month. Remember I mentioned I was able to have coffee with another quilt blogger? It was a pleasure to meet Lisa of Sunlight in Winter Quilts. Lisa also began blogging in 2014, right around when I started. We met through the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. (If you haven’t participated in this event, and you are fairly new to quilt blogging, you might want to check it out. It is a great way to learn about blogging and to meet others. The link I provided will take you to the 2016 event for a general idea of what it entails.) Anyway, I digress. Back to my coffee date. Earlier in the fall, I mentioned in a post that we would be traveling to Toronto for the wedding. Lisa emailed me and said she would love to meet if I had time. There is always time, right??
Lisa lives about 1.5 hours outside of the city proper. She graciously made the trip in, even though I told her I wouldn’t have too long to hang out. She made a weekend out of it. Her post about her weekend explorations is here. Both of us forgot to take a picture, which I regret. It was a lovely visit though – it is so fun to catch up in person, isn’t it? We had coffee, talked about our blogs, quilting projects, and of course, our families. She is just as sweet in person as she is in her blog posts. In fact, because she knew I wouldn’t have time to explore any shops in Toronto she brought me a little bundle of fat quarters. She wanted me to take something home from this trip. She is really a thoughtful person.
I have a love for Ankara wax prints. I have used them in several projects, including this tablecloth, and think they have a wonderful character to them. These fat quarters are also wax prints. Love the guinea fowl and the elephants! It will be fun to think of a project for these. Thank you Lisa for the gift of the fabric, and more so, of your time. Hopefully the next trip to Toronto will allow for some fabric shopping.
When I got home I there was a package that had arrived in the mail. When I mentioned the baby quilt I am making for my new grand baby, Mari, of Academic Quilter, asked if I would like some light gray Kona to use in it as the background. She had also sent me a lavender print earlier to contribute to the baby’s quilt. She is such a thoughtful person! The print works well with the others I had selected and the pale gray is perfect for the background. Now I need to start cutting.
In the same Q1- FAL post where I talked about the baby quilt, I also mentioned I wanted to try making a baby quilt by enlarging one block to about 36-40 inches. For inspiration and reference, Mari added her copy of the book, Sew One and You’re Done. It basically does just what I was saying. I have hardly had time to take more than a quick peek at it but I think it will be helpful. Thank you Mari!!
My stash has grown just a bit and I now have all the fabric for the baby’s quilt. Time to get busy!
Another Monday! The weeks just keep flying by. We are enjoying a sunny day today after an incredibly rainy weekend. It was looking like we all might float away on Saturday. I think we got over five inches of rain which, for us, is a huge amount in a day’s time. Our basement took on some water but luckily Ray is good about keeping things that matter up off the ground. No damage to anything, just a mess.
We hunkered down on Saturday and enjoyed the rain. Then on Sunday we picked out our tree. Julia and I decorated it between her study sessions for this week’s final exams. Look – we are all Christmasy now!
Sunday was also the day that my kitchen sink decided to clog up. Not a whole lot of draining going on in there. That’s why we have plumbers. I have a call in and they are supposed to come late this afternoon. Kind of yukky but not a huge deal (as long as he can come today.)
This morning I had Julia pick a number between one and 262 for the winner of my Sew Mama Sew giveaway. Lucky Amanda is the winner of the bundle of three half-yard cuts. After a quick run to the post office, the package is already on its way to her in Texas! Thanks, everyone, for participating in this event.
Speaking of packages, look at the bundle of beauty I received last week! This is my second installment of a gift subscription to Pink Castle’s Color Inspirations club. It is just as gorgeous as last month.
I think the blue piece in the center sets this grouping over the top. It will add a beautiful bit of depth to the project. Makes me really excited to use it.
The only sewing I have going on today is a few sets of burp cloths for my shop. I had a these sweet pieces of flannel from Connecting Threads that were calling to me. I couldn’t ignore that, right? The colors are wonderful. I made sure to prewash so I could check for any color bleeding issues. But all three were fine.
I think I will spend an hour wrapping gifts before Julia needs to be picked up. May this Monday allow you at least a few minutes in the sewing room and a kitchen sink with a clear flowing drain!
I will be sure to link up with a few bloggers – check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
This week I have continued to work on the challenges set forth in Amanda Jean Nyberg’s lesson for the Mighty Lucky Quilting Club. She suggested a few ideas for creating fabric pulls; not so much to create an actual project, rather just to go through the exercise of gathering fabrics for a certain element. This has been a lot of fun, not as easy as one would think, and a total mess making experience in the sewing room!
For one pull, I selected two pieces of fabric and pulled a selection that would work with them. This is the fabric I selected as the basis.
Both of these fat quarters are Dear Stella prints. I bought them a long while back and they sit, along with so many others, waiting to be used. For the initial pull, I just quickly selected pieces of yardage or larger scraps in grays, blues and greens that might work with them.
Next, I pulled some pinks and reds that complemented the fabric and added different scale and density to the mix.
I also took a quick minute to put a grayscale filter on the pictures to check for value differences.
Finally I just put them all together and took out those that were misfits. The Allison Glass text print was a red that leaned to orange. I wanted reds that leaned to pink. The green floral print looked weird and the Henry Glass light blue print (with the keys on it) was the wrong shade. Ultimately, I kept these in the group.
This would be a fun pull for a project, right?
Another idea from Amanda was to take a pretty photograph and develop a pull around it. I chose this picture from our peach tree last summer because there are a limited number of colors in it.
I thought it would be a good challenge to work out a grouping with greens and orange to peachy tones. Here is the first pull.
Working quickly, so as not to overthink it, I removed both the brightest green and the green/yellow check – both shades were wrong. That left this set of five greens.
Next I pulled the from the orange, yellow and peach grouping, leaving these.
All three of the brown fabrics were kept, making this the final pull.
This is a good pull of cohesive color, different values and large to small scale fabrics. It was very easy to sort through, leaving me convinced that it just takes practice. I doubt myself when I am putting colors together but these little exercises have really been helpful. I think the second pull is more interesting than the first. What could be added to the first one to make it more exciting??
Playtime is over and I forced myself to put all of these pieces back where they belong and get back to the sewing machine. It was fun though and an easy task to do while I endured a wicked cold that Julia so lovingly shared with her mama.
A few more quick things… I want to share what I think is a really cool event that is coming up next week. Mari, of Academic Quilter is holding a Gratitude Sale. She has decided to do a huge destash (after recently moving, she unpacked her quilting stash and realized there are lots of pieces of fabric that she doesn’t want or need, as well as quilting books and notions). Rather than do a destash sale on IG, she wants to hold a “sale” where the buyer selects the items they are interested in, contributes to a charity and once Mari sees the receipt, she will ship off the fabric. I think this is hugely generous on Mari’s part. She has a list of three very deserving charities for you to choose from. She asks that the buyer pay for the shipping which won’t be terribly expensive with the use of the flat rate envelopes that the post office offers. If you think about it, purchasing fabric in this fashion has now made it a tax deductible event. It’s absolutely a win-win. Mari’s sewing room will be less chaotic, your stash will grow, charities will be supported, and you have another tax deduction come April 15th. I can’t find a problem in any of it! Check out Mari’s sale, running for the duration of next week! See you there. 🙂
If you want an idea for any book lover on your Christmas list, I just read the sweetest book.
Provided to me for review by Blogging for Books, I read through this book in an enjoyable afternoon. Light and interesting, this book takes approximately 50 sayings from various cultures and explains them to the reader. Ella Sanders, the author of the book, does an excellent job of tying the phrases to a similar phrasing used in the English language. It was entertaining to get this small glimpse into other culture’s idioms and colloquialisms and gave me a bit of insight into what that culture values as important. She chose a collection of phrases and proverbs that are sometimes humorous and always very descriptive. Where possible,Sanders gives a bit of history around how the saying came to be. I think this is an excellent book to gift to a lover of language and vernacular. The illustrations are adorable and the brevity of each page (there is a different colloquialism on each page) makes it a fun book for the coffee table.
Another book I just finished is The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins. I picked up a copy at the thrift store and it grabbed me from the very beginning. Have you read this? It was a thriller that is along the lines of Gone Girl. Crazy good and on the dark side, this was a gripping read. Just a suggestion if you are in need of a suspenseful, somewhat twisted, read. It has been made into a movie which was just released. I haven’t seen it yet though.
Linking to Lorna at Let’s Bee Social today as well as a few others. Find the URL’s at the top of the page, under Link Ups.