Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sew Lux Design Challenge :: The Tutorial

Accepting the Sew Lux Design Challenge consisted of several steps. First was picking a bundle of fat-quarters from the shop at Sew Lux Fabric & Gifts.
Next was the interview

And finally, creating a new project for you! The tutorial is now available for my Mod Angles Cushion. Head on over to Sew Lux, then let me know what you think!

Linking up with {sew} Modern Monday and Fabric Tuesday.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

W.i.P. Wednesday

Well my 'good' machine has been in the shop for over a week, but I hope to pick it up tonight! Meanwhile my trusty little Elna has served me well. So W.i.P. Wednesday can go on!

Finished projects
Trick or Treat Tote - I started the embroidery on this little project at Sewing Summit, and finished it up just in time to give to grandgirl for Halloween. The pattern is by The Sometimes Crafter, and finishes at 9" x 11". I cut the size down just a bit to make it more manageable for grandgirl, who is yet a toddler.
The orange dots and interior fabrics (including spider webs on the front lining that you can't see) were perfect, swag from SS shop-hopping.

Sew Lux Design Challenge project - The interview was posted here, and my project should be up very soon. At least I can show you the fabric bundle I got to work with! {Revised to say the tutorial is now available at Sew Lux Fabric & Gifts!}

Ongoing projects
Mod Pop Quilt-along - I have all my curves pieced!

Christmas lap quilt & Modern Crosses quilt - I've gotten plenty of cutting and piecing done, but it all needs a good press before continuing on.
Please call me on it next time I start three quilts at once! I'm making progress on all of them, but don't have much to show for it!

Upcoming projects
* UR Priceless Blog Hop project
* October & November bee blocks
* scrappy Metrolink
* more frame purses
* Polaroid block projects
* placemats
* Binary quilt using blocks from Modern Blocks Bee
* Christmas!
* Dresden project - back on the 'sometime' list, and probably no time soon

Linking up with W.i.P. Wednesday.

Tuesday at the Table

There was a wedding in our family last weekend. It was small and short and simple, but the most important bits were there. What I really want to tell you about, though, is the table. As a way of celebrating the new union, as folks often do, we gathered around the table and shared a meal. Two things struck me about this. One was that though there were only about 15 of us at the celebration, no one knew everyone else in attendance except the groom. And I was reminded what a fine thing it is to gather strangers around the table. How it helps put folks at ease and gives them a familiar ritual to take part in, helping them then, to reach out to each other. The other thing was how the meal came together. That the groom's best friends prepared the food, that his sister provided flowers to decorate the tables, that his daughter made the delicious and Pinterest-pretty cherry-chip wedding cake. It was people who cared about him most that provided for him on his special day. And that touched my heart.

Also, I really had intended to share a recipe with you today. I haven't been able to get these Apple Cider Doughnuts out of my mind ever since I saw them on Pinterest last week. I bought the ingredients on Saturday and had big plans. But after checking five(!) stores for a doughnut pan, I had to resort to ordering from Amazon, so I'll be trying these out later in the week instead.

Luckily, I did get a chance to unpack my Sewing Summit swag though, and packed up a box for the random winner of this month's Tuesday at the Table linky party.
I guess I indulged in more neutral fqs than anything else while shop hopping in Utah, but we all need those too of course. So I'm sharing 8, plus a fq of my stashed Heather Ross snails just for fun and color. There will be some other miscellaneous notions in the box as well as some really good reading.

So feel free to link up through Wednesday night, October 31! Do you have a seasonal project to share, some pumpkin or other Halloween-y treats, or by chance any Apple Cider Doughnuts?? ;-) Really, the criteria's pretty loose! Just link up here!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sew Lux Design Challenge :: The Interview

Chrissy of Sew Lux and I have been stitching together in the FAITH circle of do.Good Stitches for a year now. Recently she asked me to join in her Design Challenge Series

Today, there is an 'interview' with me over on Chrissy's blog {here}, and in a few days, there will be a tutorial for my challenge project. Part of the fun, of course, was choosing the fabric from Chrissy's shop!
My fabric bundle is now available in the Sew Lux shop, and is even on sale through November 2! You can check it out here. And thanks to Chrissy and Sew Lux for this fun opportunity! I'm anxious to share my project with you soon!

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Long Weekend Winner

Thank you for all your comments on my post about The Long Weekend Blog Hop! There are many considerations and concerns reflected there about making the Weekender and bags in general. Know that all the hop participants are here to help you through, and it'll be so worth it! Stay in close touch with the flickr group, where there will be plenty of conversation and encouragement! And have fun with those bags - You can do it!!

Meanwhile, it's time to choose that winner, and chose #85.
Congratulations to Montseta of Montse Cose Cose! Montseta, I'll be emailing you!

Thanks to Heidi of Fabric Mutt and Lori Lori H. Designs for hosting The Long Weekend blog hop. Participants have started some really awesome bags already, and things have hardly gotten started! Here's the schedule for the rest of the hop!

October 29: Beth at Plum and June/Two assorted Fat Eighth Bundles - Pink Castle Fabrics
November 5: Jenelle at Echinops and Aster/$25 Fat Quarter Shop Giveaway
November 9: Jennifer @ Ellison Lane Quilts
November 10: Courtney @ Mon Petit Lyons
November 11: Sarah @ Bluprint Textiles
November12: Leanne @ She Can Quilt
November 13: Lori @ Lori H. Designs
November 14: Heidi @ Fabric Mutt
November 15: Taryn @ Pixels to Patchwork
November 16 - 18: Project Link-up at Lori H. Designs
November 19: Prize Drawings Announced

And thanks again to sew fresh fabrics for their generous sponsorship!

Blogger's Quilt Festival :: The Stars of Summer

When it came time to choose a quilt to share in the Blogger's Quilt Festival, I chose one that is in fact, quite simple. It began with five star blocks that had been languishing in my stash closet for a while with an uncertain future. I loved them, but didn't know what to do with them. 
There was always the option of making more blocks to keep them company in a quilt, but in the end, I decided on a more modest approach. And as I explained in my original post, I did trade out one of the original stars to improve the cohesiveness of the color palette. Soooo, I proceeded to stitch the stars in a vertical row.
And I chose a couple of solids to really set them off - Marcus Fabrics Royal and Kona Zucchini. I swear I had every blue and greenish-yellow bolt of fabric out on the floor at the fabric shop to 'audition' them with my quilt blocks! But when I added the large swaths of solids to my column of blocks, it was clear my final choices really pulled everything together.
So you see what simplicity was there in the construction of the quilt? I kept it fairly simple with the quilting too, though by doing something unique in each section, it added alot of interest. I machine-quilted horizontal straight lines in the blue and vertical in the yellow-green. Then one big zig-zag down the blocks, echoed at 1" increments.
For the binding, I revisited a technique I had done just a few times before.
And that would be matched binding, which I really love on certain quilts, this definitely being one of them!
So in the end, I used those blocks that had been set aside and made a quilt I really love, exploring new territory by incorporating more negative space than ever before. With the quilting pattern variances, and the matched binding, it has a style all its own.
Blogger's Quilt Festival stats:
Name of quilt: Stars of Summer 
Completed quilt measurements: 48" x 60"
Special techniques used: Matched binding (tutorial here)
Quilted by: me
Best Category: Lap Quilt, Home Machine Quilted Quilt
Entry # 110

Linking up with Blogger's Quilt Festival and End of the Hallway 2012.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I Love Random

Here's some fun randomness I've been collecting up to share with you!

First up, an awesome Polaroid quilt from OccasionalPiece-Quilt! Isn't it fun? Read all about it here.

Snippets of Sweetness shared her "Top Ten Things I Learned at Sewing Summit", and they are definitely worth checking out!

Katie from Katie's Korner invited several of us bloggy friends to join in making a quilt for a special little boy a while back. Just look at the colorful Snowball quilt she made! It was awesome to be a part of this project!

Oh, Fransson! posted a really helpful post about making patchwork panels for a structured bag this week. Ie. Think Weekender! Though the technique would be useful in a myriad of other projects too! Just look at the sweet wristlet she made!

Speaking of Weekenders, verykerryberry shared recently about crazes, and I agree with her about that bag!

Lastly, somehow the fall Blogger's Quilt Festival totally snuck up on me! It starts tomorrow!!
Amy's Creative Side

To Participate : : 
1 – Write a new post the week of the festival, featuring one of your finished quilt.
2 – In your post link back to the festival.
3 – Share a link to your post, in the linky on the festival post.
4 – Leave a comment on the festival post to be entered into giveaways.
5 – Visit the other quilters sharing their quilts and be inspired!
In your Blogger’s Quilt Festival post, be sure to include a few specifics about your finished quilt: 
Quilt Measurements 
Special Techniques used, if any 
Quilted by… 
Best category it fits into (see here)

If you haven't participated before, this is a huge online event! You really don't want to miss it!

Linking up with Really Random Thursday.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

W.i.P. Wednesday

There was a moment or two of sewing room crisis this last week when
1) the needle fell out(!) of my sewing machine while I was quilting an upcoming feature project; and 2) after switching to my back-up machine, the walking foot broke(!). Needless to say, my 'good' machine is in the shop for 10 days, getting an unscheduled checkup. And thankfully, the back-up machine is doing straight stitching just fine. W.i.P. Wednesday waits for no one, so on to what I managed to accomplish . . .

Finished projects
Metal Frame Purse - After my fun first glue-in metal frame purse, I really needed to make another right away. Seriously, I can't wait to make another one!

Sew Lux Challenge project - I did manage to finish this up. Once the tutorial is done, it'll go public.

Ongoing projects
Halloween Stitchery - Almost done, then I'll make a sweet little goodie bag with it.

Mod Pop Quilt-along - TWO blocks done!

Christmas lap quilt - Finally got the center 9 blocks sewn together, and 3 of the next set done!

Modern Crosses quilt & Dresden project - Unfortunately, no progress.

Upcoming projects
* October & November bee blocks - soon!
* scrappy Metrolink - who knows when, but I still really want to!
* more frame purses
* Polaroid block projects
* placemats
* Binary quilt using blocks from Modern Blocks Bee
* UR Priceless Blog Hop project - excited to start working on this!
* Christmas!

Linking up with W.i.P. Wednesday.

Tuesday at the Table

It's been a tad slow in the meal planning department at my house. With vacation, that nasty virus, and Sewing Summit, I just plain got out of the routine. So this weekend, I actually looked up some recipes, even bought the ingredients for them AND made one of them for dinner tonight!
Unassuming as it looks, the Three Cheese Stuffed Shells was fun to make (used fresh herbs even!), was tasty and comforting, and the fam gave it rave reviews. (Still on the docket for later this week are Roasted Sweet Potato and Quinoa Soup and Lemon Chicken with Orzo.)

As much as I enjoyed getting back in the kitchen with a new recipe, what really made my day, was this. 
Yes, that's grand-girl, who loves to dig through Grammy's kitchen drawers and cupboards, proceeding on to stir and whisk and scrape. There's the occasional, 'Help, Grammy,' which is her way of saying, "Show me again." And of course, I do. Never mind that there's a whole 'nother load for the dishwasher once she goes home. This girl likes to be in the kitchen. And I'm going to join her and encourage her every chance I get.

Do you have something to share from your table, your stove, or even your kitchen floor? If so, please share by linking up here.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Long Weekend Blog Hop

If you missed the kick-off of The Long Weekend Blog Hop hosted by Fabric Mutt and Lori H. Designs, do check it out here or here. It's all about making Amy Butler's Weekender Travel Bag. And if you've ever even slightly considered it, now is the time. What better idea than to make it along with others. Watch The Long Weekend flickr group for fabric choices, bag progress, and tips along the way.
I had just finished my own Weekender when Heidi asked me to join the blog hop and share my experience. You can read my reveal post here, where I share all about the construction, but since using my bag, I've come up with a few more things for you to think about:
  • Add a label. If you have them to add to your quilts, for sure add one to your bag.
  • Add a zipper pull. This bag has one long zip, and a pull just makes sense.
  • About that zipper length - I've read some complaints that it's too long. It does go down into the end pockets a bit, which I really don't mind as the bag is intended for travel. But just the same, it's good to know before you start and is something to consider.
  • I made a patchwork version of the bag, as you can see, layering quilting cotton on batt on duck and using the quilt-as-you-go method. So for the lining, I naturally used quilting cotton, and in reality, it seems quite light-weight and a tad baggy. "Next time" (totally hypothetical!) I would definitely consider using fusible interfacing on the lining.
  • Lastly, and this is a biggy for me, I experienced a strap fail. This is a big bag, which means it holds plenty. I found the straps too skinny and 'lightweight' when I actually used the bag. Some threads even popped. If you read my Oh, My Weekender! post, you'll know I added to the length of the straps, but I'd also definitely make them wider, interface them heavier, and maybe even use polyester thread for some 'give.'

Well, I think that's plenty to contemplate for today! I hope some of it is helpful! Meanwhile, I'm pleased to host a giveaway as you gather supplies, do all the cutting (and cutting), and begin to construct your bag!
*** This giveaway is now closed! ***

Here's a beautiful fat-quarter stack of Amy Butler's Cameo from sew fresh fabrics!

Just leave a comment on this post by Thursday night and I'll choose a random winner on Friday! If you'd like, share your plans for your bag, your biggest apprehension, or any adaptations you are planning on making. I can't wait to follow your progress and see your bag come to life!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

It Really Is the People

You've probably read it on oodles of other blogs this past week as Sewing Summit attendees recap their weekend. But of course you knew it to be true even before that. With all the great classes, swag, and sewing, the heart of the experience really was the people.

Daughter dear and I had not even boarded our flight out of town before we met out first new friend. And I confess, it was my Weekender Bag that brought us together!
Katie of there & back came right up to us in the boarding line, excitedly asking if we were headed to Sewing Summit! We hooked up again at baggage claim in SLC and managed to catch a shuttle to our hotel plum full of others SS attendees! (Hi to Ellie of Craft Sew Create, Amy of form work, Amanda of Patchwork in Paradise, and Stephanie of providence handmade.)

I felt really inadequate recognizing even my bloggy friends, but thankfully, several of them came up to me to meet and greet while we waited to check in!
with Karen of capitolaQuilter

with Shawn of Creative Inspiraciones

with Darcy of Modern Cozy

Day one's shop hop was my first ever, and for that reason alone, it was exhilarating. Add to that the swag, the awesome shops, {the philly cheesesteak}, the fabric frenzy, and just traveling around in a new-to-me town . . . well it was just plain fun.
Rachel {daughter dear} of Snippets of Sweetness

with Jennifer of knotted thread

Once Sewing Summit officially started, our days were plum full {recaps here and here}. From our brisk run for coffee each morning, till we closed down the open sew each night, we were going, going. It didn't take long before we were waving at familiar faces in the halls and chatting before class. Everywhere we went there were new friends to meet, moo cards to exchange, and sharing to do about our experiences.
with Coutenay from Three Sisterz and Rachel

with Amy/Sukie {finally!} of Sukie Don't you know who I am 

with Allegory of {sew} Allegorical

with Bianca of sweet diesel designs

with January of Sew Sew Go, Tiffany of This Crafty Fox, and Sara of Sew Sweetness

About the time we thought our awesome weekend was all over, that Weekender Bag led us to more new friends at the airport! What fun to end our time in SLC just getting acquainted and chatting about sewing and stuff.
with Amber of One Shabby Chick 

Megan of lucy and norman

And there were many more meaningful connections I made, meet-ups to cherish, and friendships I'll continue to nurture. Yes, it was definitely about the people.