Thursday, May 28, 2015

Flag Day Quilt


I'm excited to share this quilt pattern with you all that has been floating around in my brain for so many years now.  I've shown versions of it before and had requests for the pattern, so here is your chance to finally get it.  It is featured in the McCall's Quilting July/August 2015 issueIt will be available on newstands starting June 2, 2015 though you may already have it in your hands if you have a subscription to the magazine.




I originally designed this quilt to be a toddler quilt for a little boy who was finally finding his forever home with his parents who are US citizens and he was from Guatemala. It was so exciting to welcome this new little US citizen to our country and I have loved seeing him grow up in his family securely loved.  I was there at the airport when his dad got to meet him for the first time (he was not able to go with his wife to pick him up in Guatemala) and I will remember that moment for my entire life.  It is one of the most precious gifts to watch a parent greet their child for the first time and fall head over heals in love.




I love this quilt for its simplicity but seeming complexity.  It is perfect for precuts and works well with both modern and traditional fabrics.  I have a mix of both in my quilt and I love it.  I need to make a large version for a picnic quilt for the fourth of July and such.  It is easy to make smaller or larger but just adding more blocks and comes together quickly.  I love when I make a quilt and I want to make it again...only BIGGER! Make this one and LOVE it.  Use it.  Spill drinks on it and dance with sparklers.  It's just begging for that.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Spring Quilt Market 2015

Well what can I say?  Life has been busy and then exhausting.  I feel I have so many things to blog about but I just haven't had the time or energy.  I hardly know where to start.  But I figured I should share one of the bigger trips that I've been on lately...and perhaps you'll be interested to see my view of Spring Quilt Market 2015 and enjoy lots of eye candy here.


Spring Market 2015


This is the third time I've attended Quilt Market now.  I've been to the three most recent ones.  And I have to say, there is something different about the third time.  I've lost the novelty and terror of the first one ( I had a schoolhouse and my first book signing).  The travel is getting a bit more easy...just a bit.  And I'm getting used to the wondering throughout the floor, chatting with designers and companies.


Me at Spring Quilt Market 2015


To my dismay, this time, I woke up the first day that the floor was open with an eye infection.  Unfortunately my eye doctor could not call in a prescription to another state without seeing me in person (clearly impossible) and I found myself in the position of trying to find a doctor and a pharmacy in another city without wasting too much precious time.  I think it made me a bit extra tired...it was an infection after all.  But I tried to take it in stride and hit the floor running.


Cotton and Steel - Spring Quilt Market 2015

Cotton and Steel continues to be epic in their endeavors to create beautiful individual but coordinating collections.  They were reflecting that this was only THEIR third market.  So hey! I have something in common with them. We both debuted on the floor at the same time.  ;)

Spring Quilt Market 2015


The room was FILLED with inspiration and HARD WORK from so many talented people.  It's a little surreal when you find yourself surrounded by so many amazingly creative people in one place.  It must rock the world off its core for a moment.  But as easy as it could be to get star struck or overwhelmed, you have to remember that this is their JOB.  It is work and they are there to work.  And they do.  They work hard. (which may entail some playing hard later on but trust me they deserve it)


Spring Quilt Market 2015


I myself was happy to be there for a DVD signing for my curves DVD that came out in January.  For one, I learned a good way to sign DVDs. Tip! Take the plastic packaging off or you will lose the signature as soon as it is opened.  lol  But the trip was filled with lots of other book signings going on and somehow I missed them ALL.  Darn it.  There was also lots of pins being swapped here and there and everywhere.  I gave out a good 100 just by personally handing them to people...and I think that's pretty good.  If you had a booth, it was easier because people could grab them from a container somewhere in your booth.  But I was carrying those guys around the whole time. 


Spring Quilt Market 2015


Minneapolis proved to be a chilly but hospitable city and their convention center was less confusing than many.  New friends were made and old friends were reunited.  Time will tell if I end up at market again.  I'm taking one trip at a time.  Soon I will be in Kansas City teaching the Modern Quilt Guild there!  I'm already nervous and excited for that next trip. 


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Ohio Canvas Art

Ohio Striped Canvas


I haven't made too many items for the year long birthday swap I've been a part of since July.  But every once in a while there is a project that I want to tackle...and it's usually crafty and involves paint and glue rather than thread or yarn.  So when Anna had a striped canvas with a big gold Ohio on it as part of her birthday pinterest board, I knew I had found a project for me.

Ohio Striped Canvas

Enter black acrylic paint, a cheap foam paint brush and painters tape.  I carefully taped off the canvas and applied the paint (lost the picture, but you get the point.) and when it was dry, I peeled it all away to reveal a lovely linen/black striped canvas.

Ohio Striped Canvas


Then came time to add a golden ohio.  I picked a particularly sparkly gold scrap book paper for this.  I needed something that would contrast as highly as possible with the linen.  It was fun to actually out sparkle my daughter for once.  I printed out an outline of the Ohio State and reversed it to on the back of the gold paper.

Ohio Striped Canvas


I cut the Ohio state out and then used some spray adhesive and applied it to the center of the canvas.  A very satisfying little project.  I was tempted to make one for all the states.  Don't worry...just tempted. ;)

Ohio Striped Canvas

But if you are looking for a quick gift idea, this is a great one.  You have to wait for the paint to dry but it can definitely be done in a half day.  It's a perfect gift for new graduates to celebrate their college state...maybe put a little felt heart on the approximate location of the university.  Or a gift for a family who is moving across country, in remembrance of their previous home or to help celebrate a new state.  The possibilities are endless! Your colors, your canvas, your state.  Have at it!!


Ohio Striped Canvas


Friday, May 8, 2015

Kansas Dugout Pillow

Kansas Dugout Pillow


I know I already showed you all the finished top for the pillow that I made at Sewtopia in the class by Rita of Red Pepper Quilts.  I absolutely love how it turned out!  I did a simple cross hatch quilting a la Rita to just play with the lines of the design.  I used a hera marker to mark out all of my lines and get them straight.  Have you guys used a hera marker before? It took me a long time before I hopped on the bandwagon but I'm totally sold on it now.


Kansas Dugout Pillow


Quite frankly I think that this post will mainly be eye candy.  I just love how the pillow turned out with the scrappy little japanese fabrics and the two different low volume fabrics.  I used a fun print I thought was in line with the front for the back of the pillow.  It's a special fabric that Laurie Wisbrun sent me and I've been waiting for the perfect place to use it.  I did an envelope closure with velcro...a new closure type for me.

Kansas Dugout Pillow

Kansas Dugout Pillow



This pillow happily belongs to my daughter and is on her bed.  It's a pretty big pillow at something like 22" square, so she can sit her little self down on it like a tuffet.  At first she told me she didn't want it because it wasn't "cushy" enough.  But she decided that it was good for jumping on.  So there you go.  It's clearly a sacred treasured item to be revered in our home, and she has a deep appreciation for all of the work that went into it.  ;) 


Kansas Dugout Pillow

Monday, May 4, 2015

Molehills Quilt

Oh I'm so excited!  I actually finished a quilt top from my Sewtopia weekend (I've finished both projects from our classes but one at a time here...gotta spread the posts out!).  The first finish I want to share with you (and disclaimer, by "finish" I mean I pieced the top) is the fabulous curved design, Molehills by Latifah Saafir.  I love this pattern!

Molehills Quilt


Eep!  Isn't it fabulous?! I went all out on color and print on this one.  No neutrals, no solids, no nothing.  Just fun fabulous fabrics.  And all of the fabrics were hanging out in my stash, so I love the collected look it has with fabrics from years ago and new releases.  Those are my favorite types of quilts.  Plus, bonus!  I actually used fabrics from my stash.  Gasp!  I know! 

Molehills Quilt

Latifah's original design called for all pieced arcs (and in fact you could have pieced each arc in sections first and then pieced them to the others in the same "hill".)  There are so many options though and I followed the lead of my gal pal, Rossie, who was super smart about adding full fabric hills to both cut down on the amount of piecing needed, showing off great large scale prints in my stash, and highlighting the pieced arcs as something truly special.  


Molehills Quilt


Because, come on, sometimes you just have to use a big chunk of a glorious fabric to show it off and appreciate it.  I love that you can get a full view of the two "cat" prints here, and the large florals can finally be seen not just on a quilt back.  

I also made my pieced hills slightly more subtle by piecing them from fabrics all from one colorway. With creative exceptions of course to mix things up. But I stuck with a coral, blue and yellow theme with dashes of a deep neutral here and there and I LOVE it.  (I may have mentioned that... lol...but I LOVE it)


Molehills Quilt

I've completely lost track of how many different designers ended up in this quilt but it was someone around 14 at last count.  And I LOVE that I could do that.  I don't always get a chance these days to truly mix and match between companies and designers, but for a quilt for ME it's a no brainer.  I'm treating myself to a long arm quilter for this which is why I'm showing it not "finished" but I'll be sure to inundate you all with more pictures when it is truly done.  Because remember: Quilts take time.  Sometimes we are under crazy schedules and it looks like they are produced over night...but that is not real life.  I finished this top quickly because I had a whole day to work on cutting out all the pieces and piecing the hills.  Then I was so excited about it that I brought it home and wanted to finish it! Excitement finished this, not necessity.


Oh and I do believe that Latifah officially has the pattern available for sale now!!  So you can all go and get it.  I PROMISE that is a doable quilt.  I was in a room with 80 people of all different levels of sewing experience and everyone was able to sew this.  These gentle curves are practically straight seams!  So go check out Latifah's site and get the pattern! Oh and I just saw that she is running a quilt along.  Get the tips from the expert!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sewtopia Chicago

Goodness!  How is it Thursday already?  I feel like the week just slipped away from me.  But before it goes entirely, I wanted to share with you all my very fun sewing weekend I had this past weekend in Chicago.

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I attended the second Sewtopia weekend, this time held in Chicago, and this time held with classes and teachers.  AWESOME teachers.  We got to learn from two greats in the industry whose work I have respected and admired for a long time, Latifah Saafir, The Quilt Engineer, and Rita Hodge, Red Pepper Quilts.  Uhm. yeah.  That was fantastic.


Latifah taught us her Molehills quilt (pattern available soon!).  I love Latifah's work because we have a common love of sewing curves.  You might wonder why someone who wrote a book on curves would take a class on sewing curves from another quilter.  But let me tell you, there is always something new to learn.  And if someone has a fantastic pattern, then go ahead and do it.  I'm LOVING my quilt from her class and it was pretty low stress for me.  Win win.  I loved finding out what we did in common and what we did differently.  Plus Latifah is just an amazing teacher and it was a pleasure to see her work in person and hear her talk about it.

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Back at home and trying to finish it up....

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Come on...that's pretty darn yummy!

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Rita was in all the way from Australia.  I know!!!  It was so delightful to meet her.  Rita is shy and quiet but feisty if you got her laughing.  And I made it my goal to make her laugh.  I know how hard it can be to be an introvert and teach.  She taught us a labor intensive, y seam filled patchwork piece.  And I seriously respect her even more now than I did before.  She can sew like no one else.  I'm proud to say that I actually finished piecing my mini there at the retreat (quite a feat, let me tell you) and I'm planning on turning it into a pillow for my daughter.

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Rita showing us her epic pin basting technique for getting those perfect quilts she does

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Just one of Rita's beautiful samples of this pattern

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The weekend was full of fun especially as I got to hang with some good friends Faith, Fresh Lemon Quilts and Lee, Freshly Pieced.  Oh and  Diane Stanley!  Plus the fantastic organizers, Amy and Jemelia, and the assistants, Jen and Rossie.  I had the bonus of road tripping with Rossie so we got to spend extra time together before and after.  

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Oh and I was shocked when my doll won second place in the Michael Miller challenge.  This is just maybe a 1/3 of the entries in the picture below.  Apparently I get a prize.  Woohoo!  Thanks for the doll love everyone.

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The swag was fun and fantastic...and be on the lookout on IG because I might just be doing a giveaway for you and a friend over there with lots of swag! ;) 

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Stash Busting Blog Hop



Today I'm excited to be the next stop on the Stash Busting Blog featuring projects from two books, 50 Fat Quarter Makes and Scrap Happy Sewing by Kim Kruzich (Retro Mama)




Before I forget, don't miss out.
Hop over to StitchCraftCreate to find out how to win the fabulous prize below for more fun!


I've been a fan of Kim's for years and I was so excited when I saw that she had a book coming out.  I've thought about buying her doll pattern on Etsy more times than I can count.  So when I spied that doll featured on the cover of her book and I knew that I finally had my chance.

I had some fat quarters in the mail from Michael Miller as part of the Sewtopia Chicago fabric challenge (I'm leaving for that today!) and just needed to find a solid Michael Miller fabric to match to start making my doll. Oh and some fun wool felt...although I'm definitely allergic to wool...itch itch itch.

Got started on my Sewtopia Candice challenge. I'm using a pattern by @retro_mama and I'm super excited. #michaelmillerfabrics #michaelmillerchallenge #mmfchallenge #mmfsewtopia


 The little shoes just kill me!!

Well that was harder to turn right side out than I expected but it's looking super cute. One leg sewn! @retro_mama #mmfsewtopia #mmfchallenge #michaelmillerfabrics #michaelmillerchallenge



And I love those adorable buttons from some Matilda Jane sweaters.  So many sweet details.

Oh she's going to be cute!! I'm having fun with her outfit from some renaissance ribbon to up cycled sweater buttons. My first doll is coming together!! Pattern by @retro_mama  And I'm killing two birds with one stone on this. This is also my @sewtopia @m


A hand embroidered face and machine stitched hair.  Oh it's so freaking cute!

Stitching down hair and the power just went out������. Stupid snow storm in March.


She came together just as she should.  The pattern was easy to follow, though the doll was not *quite* as simple to make as I thought.  So worth it though.  She's so cute (have I mentioned that yet?)  Oh and I used Michael Miller Cotton Couture Taupe for her skin color.  

My first doll!


My daughter requested that she have pig tails instead of a ponytail like the pattern has, so I simply doubled the hair and made two.  Then she went and got two of her hair clips that apparently she is now done with to put in the doll's hair.  Perfect!

My first doll!


And dolls and little girls are just meant to be.  This was such fun to shoot.  

My first doll!

My first doll!


I love that she has this new sweet friend.  I imagine that I'll end up making dresses for her.  I'm definitely fond of her myself.

My first doll!


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