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.
Who wants to see all of the fabric that I acquired through one means or another over the past week or so?? Of course you do. Here we go!
These two fat quarters arrived all the way from Fabric Please in Ontario. They are part of a line called With Glowing Hearts. I plan to participate in the Sew Fresh Quilt Bee, hosted by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts. She is heading up a bee where we will contribute blocks (or quilt tops if one is so inspired) as a way to participate in Canada’s Big Quilt Bee. I’m not Canadian but wanted to contribute to Lorna’s bee because the quilts from the event will be donated to Ronald McDonald Houses. I am a big fan of Ronald McDonald Houses and want to help. Everyone participating in this will be making slab blocks and each block must contain at least a bit of one of the fabrics from With Glowing Hearts. So, I ordered two fat quarters and will get to work making slab blocks. Also, because Kate from Smiles With Kate wanted to participate, I just sliced off a 5″ strip from each of my fat quarters and sent them to Kate in the UK. Isn’t it awesome? We can all participate in these events from whevever we are. Order fabric from Canada, ship to California, make blocks and return them to Ontario. Then send off a bit to the UK where she will make a few blocks and return them to Ontario. All of these blocks will be combined and lovely quilts created for people that are in need of a quilty hug. That makes me happy.
Know what else makes me happy? Winning a giveaway! Even better is when you receive an email on the morning of your birthday telling you that you won. Yep, that is all kinds of happy. I entered the giveaway at Val’s Quilting Studio. Val is the wonderful host of Tuesday Archives – a fun place to link up our older blog posts, depending on the weekly theme. Anyway, she held a giveaway of some Mary Englebreit fat quarters and other fun Mary Englebreit items. On my birthday a few weeks back, I sat down with my coffee and checked email. There was a note from Val for lucky me. I won and all of these treasures arrived in the mail. 🙂
Wait though, there’s more! Also for my birthday, my middle son, Kyle gave me a three month subscription to the Pink Castle Color Inspirations Club. This means that each month I will receive a curated collection of RJR Cotton Supreme solids. I am not embarrased to say that I was a bit giddy when I received this gift. My solids are lacking and this will certainly help with the situation. My boys have been such great fabric enablers over the past few years. I have received lots of fabric surprises from them. If you want to read more about these guys, click here and here.
This month, the folks at Pink Castle outdid themselves. The colors they put together are gorgeous.
I cannot separate them and put them with the other solids. No, they are the elite of the bunch and will be shamelessly put in a place of honor on the shelf – off on their own.
Don’t you think I should make something with just this bundle? They work so amazingly well together. How could I not?
Certainly I can come up with something that would be deserving of this assortment of sumptuous color. If you have any ideas, I am open to them. Leave me a comment. I am already excited to see what the colors will be next month!!
Just as an aside, while I am thinking about Pink Castle. I listened to a great interview with Brenda Ratliff, owner of Pink Castle on Crafty Planner the other day. If you aren’t familiar with Crafty Planner podcasts, they are wonderful. Sandi Hazlewood, the host of Crafty Planner, does excellent work selecting artists in our crafting community to interview. I believe she publishes a podcast each week. Listen to a few and you will be hooked… just warning you now.
Linking up with Sunday Stash and Main Crush Monday. Links to both are at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
My sister Patti came up for the weekend from the Bay Area. What a treat. Her youngest son (of five children) went off to college this fall so for the first time in 38 years, she has some time for herself.
She brought me a box of treasures. As she brought the box into the house, she said, “This is a weird pile of fabric. If you don’t want it, that’s fine.” Someone explain what those last seven words even mean??
A couple of years ago, Patti held a circus themed birthday party for the nieces and nephews and her grandchildren. My sister throws amazing parties – she goes all out with decorations, themes, games, and food. It is a lot of fun. For the circus party she used lots of red and white with a splash of turquoise.
These are large pieces of yardage. The blue and red dots are a Michael Miller and each piece is about 2.5 yards long. The small red dot is only a 1/2 yard cut.
The stripes, wide and narrow are at least 2.5 yards each (and I think there are two pieces of each). The red dots on white are from the Dr. Seuss collection and is also about 2 yards. Lots and lots of red and white. There is easily over ten yards of fabric that wants to be used.
Ok – here is the part where you all chime in. I think I should use some of this for a few Project Linus quilts. Throw out some fun ideas. Combining the blue and red piece with the narrower red stripe would be fun. They would all be perfect for quilt backs. But I think some simply pieced projects would be perfect for Project Linus. What would you all do? The really wide stripe will probably be best on the back of a quilt due to its size. The tiny polka dot is a win for binding. If I add just a color or two, I could do something fun. How would you build from here?
“If you don’t want it”… I thought she knew me better than that. 🙂 Thank you Patti!!
We had a few days of fall weather this week – it was mostly a teaser. The highs dropped to the mid 60’s which was so nice. Now it is heating back up. I am trying to be patient. I know fall is just around the corner.
To get in the mood, I have been playing with a bundle of fabric that screams Autumn.
I love the theme of Thanksgiving that permeates this line. The sunflowers are so pretty, such a deep yellow. The pumpkins provide deep green and orange accents and the turkeys are adorable (much more so than the turkeys that roam in our neck of the woods!)
There are three blenders, green, yellow and orange in the bundle.
Above is some additional yardage that I need for this upcoming project. These two are a nice pine green and a deep brown.
The bundle is called Golden Harvest and was provided to me by Paint Brush Studios. They are sponsoring a blog hop that I am hosting at the end of October. I am so excited to start the project for the hop – pieces have been cut but I haven’t done a lot of piecing as of yet.
Along with Needle and Foot, there are four more quilters participating in the hop. Mari (Academic Quilter), Janine (Quilts From the Little House), Tish (Tish in Wonderland) and Sandra (MMM Quilts). If you’d like to see the fall beauties they will be working with, hop on over and take a look. Otherwise, we will be back to share finished projects with you in about four weeks. Till then, happy quilting!
This weekend I had the opportunity to go to a small quilt show in the town of Georgetown, about an hour drive from home. The Georgetown quilt guild is small with about 30 members. They put on a quilt show each year, which is no easy feat with a small group! Last year the show was cancelled at the last minute because it was very smokey in the area, due to a wildfire. Their show is held in the park which makes for a really nice morning.
This year the show featured Lynn Wilder, of Sew’n Wild Oaks. She is a talented pattern designer and teacher that lives in Northern California. She has a book out on ways to simplify quilt math and was doing short demos throughout the day.
This year’s opportunity quilt for the guild was made with Wilder’s Toyland pattern. It was an adorable holiday quilt to raffle off. Funds from their annual raffle go to the Volunteer Fire Department, a wonderful cause. There were a number of quilts that guild members had made using this pattern and it was fun to see each quilter’s interpretation and color choice.
The show is not juried but visitors do vote for their favorites. Here are two of mine. This sunflower is a mini but I loved it. I took a close shot to save for inspiration.
I am a huge fan of barn quilts and this interpretation caught my eye.
Each block was embroidered and the stitches were lovely. Very precise. Love the way she used the FMQ in the background to show clouds or to define the ground.
What would a quilt show be without a fun table full of fabric to rummage through? I did my fair share, you know, to support their volunteer fire department.
There was a fun assortment of Christmas fabric that I plan to use to make more reusable gift bags. I have done this for the past two years and love getting away from so much paper at the holidays.
These two prints are just pretty. Especially the green and brown fabric on the left.
I found a book on the symbolism of quilts used during the Underground Railroad era. I picked that up as well and read most of it yesterday. I love learning about the meanings behind the blocks. There are a lot of patterns and instructions for making a sampler quilt with the blocks in the book and while I am not sure if that will happen, reading about the history is very interesting.
This week I need to set all of this aside to work on product for my Etsy shop. I did a bit of sewing yesterday but today I plan to devote the afternoon to it. Julia has a group of girls coming over this afternoon to work on a project and this is a great way to stay out of their way. Have a great week everyone! Linking to day with Main Crush Monday and Sunday Stash (albeit one day late!!) Links above under the Link Ups tab!
My sewing room is basically made up of bits and pieces that eventually come together to form something pretty – I don’t mean this to sound all philosophical. I am not like that. I mean to say it is a mess and I spent some time organizing and realized there are all sorts of fun bits in there that I want to play with. I have picked up a few things thrifting, made a few fun things and finished some others.
As far as thrifting goes, here are the most recent finds. This little stack of bits was a cute one. I love the roosters and the piece of white is totally clean and quite large; and really,- who doesn’t want extra white fabric on the shelf? The yellow bit is about 7″ by 42″ and my yellow scraps are next to nothing. These are washed and put away for now.
This block was in a bin and looked so forlorn. It was a dollar and I wondered who pieced this with such nice points and didn’t want to keep it. I usually imagine that these things come from a lovely woman’s quilty UFO pile and get donated when she can no longer sew. Take a look at the beautiful curve she did with the stem, it is lovely. I will make a little table topper with it because it is 14″ square and deserves to be finished.
When I was cleaning up, I somehow ended up with this pull from my stash. I kept seeing pieces that needed to be together. I don’t have a project in mind for it but if I put them back in their color area, they wouldn’t become used together and they should, don’t you think? Pieces are anywhere from fat quarter to 1/2 yard in size. I just love this autumnal bundle. When I put the photo on Instagram last night I was asking what other colors might need to be added. My IG/blogging friend, Gloria, suggested deep brown and I agree. I have a nice dark brown in the solids stack and will pull it to see if it belongs with the others. Am I crazy to just pull it and let it sit there until I figure out what to make with it? Do others do this? I have projects lined up right now and don’t “need” another but still??
Here is another little bit. This is a six-inch square made up of leftover pieces when I was making the border to surround my THREAD mini quilt. I didn’t want to throw them away. It will adorn my design wall for now, waiting to become something else. It is so cute.
Speaking of the THREAD mini, I put sleeves on both minis and got them hung up. My thread collection is a mess. I have some on the wall, as you can see. The pegs on these two spool hangers are too short for my Aurifil and Connecting Threads collections. So I have bins of those two and another of gorgeous, shiny spools of Sulky. What is the solution here??
This picture shows the slightly ridiculous state of affairs in the closet that holds my fabric. It was either show you the truth or close the door which is a mirror and show you me taking a picture, standing on a chair, in my nightgown. The decision came quite easily.
Lest you worry that I didn’t make any progress on my scrappy projects during August, let me assure you I did. But barely….hardly any….almost none. I made four scrappy HST blocks. Except, once again, I veered from the RSC16 color of the month and used yellow scraps instead of a second round of purple. I think I can no longer call this a RSC16 project. They are so cheerful – I was too pressed for time to lay them out with all the others though.
I will have to lay them out this month though and take stock to see what colors I need to finish it up. There are three months left and while it sounds like forever, we all know it will pass far too quickly! I also need to double up on the Pretty Gemstones project and do two colorways for that.
Finally – oh, you are going to be so proud of me for this one. I took a ton of bits and pieces – namely the receipts that support my Etsy shop – and got them organized into a spreadsheet for the 2016 tax year process. Oh my gosh, you don’t know how happy this makes me. To have eight months all organized – Paypal and Etsy reports downloaded, numbers entered in Excel. Amazing!! My usual process is to complete our personal taxes, and then become angry with myself because there are twelve months of nonsense to compile to figure out the numbers for my little business. Last year I was kicking myself over and over for having it in such a messy state. But, look! It is September and 3/4 of it is done. OK, I will stop bragging now.
There you have it. A whole lot of minutiae – somehow having written this up makes me feel like I took care of lots of loose ends. Simple pleasures, right?
Linking up to my favorites – please check out the tab at the top of the page, Link Ups, for all sorts of fun linky parties.
Also, if you haven’t popped over to check out the $5 Blowout Sale at C&T this weekend, please do. Lots of great sewing and crafting books to be had for only $5 each.
I have had some really good luck in the thrifting department lately. Of course, this was just after making the vintage patchwork quilt! When I saw these on the shelf at our local shop I decided to add them to my collection.
I love the colors – especially the one on the far left and the green on the far right.
Even if I don’t use them right away, they belong with all the others I have collected. For those of you that might want a piece or two of these, I have cut some fat quarters and added them to my shop. Sold as single fat quarters or a bundle, they are a bargain.
I also spotted a bundle of blue fabrics that I couldn’t pass up ($5.00 for the bundle… What quilter would pass that up?). These cuts are 1/2 yard to one yard each totally over five yards of fabric.
Moving on to fabrics a bit more modern, I received my order from Green Fairy Quilts. Honestly, they ship faster than any shop I know. It always amazes me how quickly I receive an order from them. I got two large pieces of Kona, one in Fig Tree Cream and the other in Stone. These will be for the wedding quilt for my nephew. (I really need to find a name for this project!) Since I was shopping, and since there was a sale, and since I have never, not even once, bought any mini charms, I chose two packs. Once of Chic Neutrals by Amy Ellis and the other is Black Tie Affair by Basic Grey. They are both really nice lines and will be fun to make a mini or table runner with.
Finally, I was lucky enough to win a giveaway on Instagram a couple of weeks ago. Brooke (@sillymamaquilts) hosted a giveaway and I won a charm pack of Pixie Noel fabric, designed by Tasha Noel. This line is adorable and I am happy to have this little win to play with. I will have no trouble using this sweet charm pack up on a fun holiday project.
Clearly I have lots to work on but the wedding quilt is my priority for now. These other bits will just have to wait for a while.