Showing posts with label quilting/crafting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label quilting/crafting. Show all posts

Thursday, July 10, 2014

My book, Imagine Quilts, officially out in the world!

Um.  Ya.  I know this video is pretty rudimentary as far as self produced videos go.  It took me For.  Ev.  Er.  Not the videoing part, obviously, but first I did it on my phone, then couldn't get it onto my iPad, then reshot it with my iPad.  Then had to figure out iMovie.  And then how to get the whole thing to the PC.  And on and on.  I consider the fact that you can't hear my dogs barking in the background a success.

 So, as of Tuesday my book is officially out in the world.  You can find it directly from my publisher Martingale, on Amazon and at your local quilt and craft shops.  Later this month I will be giving away a remake of my cover quilt, Posy Patrol, and there will be lots of fun giveaways on social media in the weeks to follow.

Finally, I'm guest posting over on STITCHthis! today and talking about how I find inspiration for my quilts.  They are giving away an eBook copy of my book so I hope you'll check it out.


Monday, June 9, 2014

You ask. I answer. Volume I

I get emailed all the time with questions usually relating to something I've said here.  Though sometimes it's because of something I've posted on Pinterest or Twitter or Instagram. Some questions are easy to answer, others I have to google, some are strange, and others are repeatedly asked.  I think that every now and then I will share some of those questions and answers here.  Mostly it will be the ones that I'm asked often.  And of course sometimes it will be the strange ones.

Awhile ago I said that we drink raw milk, and I get asked about that at least a couple of times a month. Back in 2008 when we first found a source for raw milk we drank it and enjoyed it for several years. Then that farmer stopped milking and we were out of a regular source for awhile.  However, we've recently found a new farmer and are happily drinking the milk, enjoying the cream and the amazing biscuits it helps make, making butter and thinking about learning to make cheese this summer. Probably mozzarella because I've heard it's easy.  Any recipes you want to share?

Back in 2009, I hosted a quilt along that taught each step in making a quilt.  I still get a ton of traffic to those posts and end up fielding lots of questions about the quilt making process.  I love that! I love turning people into quilters!

When I first started quilting in 2006/07 I learned most everything I knew at an area quilt shop and from ladies from a long-standing traditional quilt guild in my area.  I remember the little lady that taught me how to bind a quilt and she explained that her mother taught her, and her grandmother taught her mother.  She taught me to bind in the exact way that I outline in my tutorial . . . and the way the ends meet up with the end tucking into the other was purposeful.  She explained that quilts got lots of loving and daily use and bindings often needed repaired or replaced over the years and that's the way they liked to do it. I honored that tradition and taught that same method during that quilt along in 2009. Whenever I sat and stitched with those ladies it garnered lots of approving nods and knowing looks of respect when they saw I was doing it the same way.  But, to answer your question, somewhere over the years since then I've stopped doing it that way and now connect the two ends of the binding before stitching it down.  I've gone back and forth on whether to amend the original tutorial but always decide to keep it as is.  It just feels like the right way to honor the woman that taught me and those that taught her.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014


According to Merriam-Webster sporadic is an adjective meaning happening often but not regularly: not constant or steady.

Sporadic can aptly describe both sewing and blogging for me for the next several weeks.  And perhaps the last several as well. I blame the end-of-the-school-year-beginning-of-summer-dance that I do each year. You know the one I'm talking about I'm sure.  It leaves me spun out on the floor like I took too many spins on the whirly gig at the carnival.

But that dizzy-I-don't-know-if-I'm-coming-or-going spell will die down and I'll find my summer groove soon enough.  After all, my book is being released on July 8th and I've got some fun things planned related to that.  I hope you will have found your summer groove too and can join me.

Until then, sporadic = me.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Two Quilting Events You Should Know About!

Two cool things every quilter should know about?  The 18th South African National Quilt Festival and a Mega Quilt Market Sweepstakes from Fat Quarter Shop.   

The South African National Quilt Festival is held every other year and in July 2015 will take place on the subtropical east coast of South Africa. Kaffe Fassett is the special featured guest and the event sounds amazing.

Now I'm tapping my fingers on the table and trying to come up with a scheme that involves traveling to Africa in July 2015. Think Razor will be on board?  Maybe I need to find an adventure race for him there at that time.  That could work. . .

Equally cool is the Mega Quilt Market Sweepstakes being hosted by Fat Quarter Shop.  To enter, all you have to do is answer the twenty five questions (in the survey found in the link.)  You don't have to be on social media or anything.  Easy peasy and over $6,300 in prizes.  Whoot!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My most favorite quilt ever

My king sized scrappy bear paw quilt with the velveteen backing.  We slept with it for the first time last night and it was blissful.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Looking for free quilt patterns?

The Internet is a mind blowing abyss of information. Understatement of the year, right?  The kind people over at Martingale have tried to tame that wily world wide web and have complied a list of over 18 free quilt patterns found across the Internet and one of mine is included.

Check it out if you are in the need for inspiration, quick project ideas, or have the zany notion to add to your "must make someday" list.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Needle & thread - hand embroidery

A few weeks ago I took an embroidery class from Alison Glass at Sew South.  She was incredibly gracious with her time, knowledge and supplies and made learning new stitches a breeze.  Once I learned the couching stitch, I wanted to couch all the things.  That is until I learned the chain stitch.  Then I wanted to chain stitch all the things.  And so on.  The needle book pictured above was a pattern supplied by Alison and the start of a new obsession for me.

Since then I've been stitching different random fabrics to get a feel for what weight works best.  I've also been trying to learn new stitches.

I liken hand embroidery to coloring for adults.  And now I'm looking for a website or hand embroidery stitch book that can teach me lots and lots of new stitches.  Any recommendations?


P.S.  Due to numerous requests, Alison is now selling the needle book pattern that she provided to Sew South attendees.  You can find it here.  You can even find the exact Perle cotton sampler that I used here.

Friday, April 4, 2014

My Circle 7 Quilt

Look what is home.  And quilted.  And bound.  And finished.  And making my heart go pitter-patter every time I glace at it!

Thank you Circle 7 ladies.  I adore it more than words can say.


P.S.  I've spoken about Circle 7 before hereherehere and here.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Dear Sew South,

Dear Sew South,
Has it really been a week that we've been apart?  Seems you have rendered this normally chatty girl silent.  The magic that is you makes me quiet, reflective, inspired, and emotional if I'm being totally honest.

Sew South, to say that you are sewing retreat is overly simplifying all that encompasses you.  You do, in fact, allow for lots of sewing and learning new techniques from talented teachers.  But I'm not all together sure that sewing is at the top of my list of favorites that you offer.  There is something magical about putting fifty people into the same room that have a similar passion and removing all the normal chores they each face daily.  No jobs, cooking, cleaning, running errands or doing laundry. Sew South, you provide a means for our hands to be busy doing something we love and our minds to be free.  That combination sparks conversation, sharing, problem solving and deep connections.

Sew South, I leave you feeling filled up and validated.  And as I drove the four hours home I kept thinking over and over how every person deserves a similar experience.  Sewing?  No, not if that isn't your thing.  What I mean is that every person deserves to be surrounded by people that share a passion for what you love.  It's life changing.

Jennifer of Ellison Lane is the mastermind behind you and she does an incredible amount of leg work to make you happen. It seems, however, that once the event kicks off that you take over and create a place that allows even her to sit back, unwind, soak it in and enjoy.

Sew South, you create a community.  A living, breathing, buoyant community that I want to live in each and every day but will gladly take for a few days each March.  Do you think it's too soon to start a countdown for the next time we meet? Hopefully by then my abs will have stopped aching from the profuse amount of laughing I did when we were together.

Let's do it again.  'Kay?


P.S.  This video sums you up nicely!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Want to Quilt Along? Round 15 Starting Soon!

Back in 2009 I hosted a quilt along and started a Flickr group for people to share photos, ask questions and offer encouragement throughout the process.  Since that time the quilt along group has continued and quilted along for fourteen different quilts.  Ready for fifteen??  Visit the Flickr group to find out more and join in the fun! My friend Dolores is leading this round and it promises to be a scrap buster and lightening fast.  So whatcha' waitin' for?


Friday, March 7, 2014

Creative freedom

Sometimes I work on a project with dogged focus and determination.  I'll be knee deep into it and know precisely the exact next step.  And the step after that.  My mind races and plans and knows just what to do once my fingers catch up.

Yet other times, focus eludes me.  I'll be itchy to make something but clueless as to just what it could/should/outta be. Yesterday was one of those days.  I had a window of time with no pesky chores to do.

And ended up making a pile of pin cushions.


P.S.  I was recently gifted a most perfect whale pincushion by my friend Kimberlee and can only figure I was inspired by her awesomeness.  

Monday, March 3, 2014

Crafty Traveler Blog Hop

Today I'm reviewing a zippy pouch pattern as part of Jennifer of Ellison Lane's The Crafty Traveler series. 

It should be noted that I sew quilts.  And pretty much only quilts.  I can tackle an easy pillow.  And curtains are a cinch.  But anything with a zipper is waaaaaaaay out of my comfort zone.  Like if I'm Earth then sewing a zipper is at least three galaxies away.

But, one thing I've wanted to add to my traveling gear is a few zippered pouches to hold things like cosmetics, my small video camera, and cell phone and tablet chargers.  So,  I looked around on the Internet with the search words "cosmetic case pattern" and then chose one from the much trusted source of Sew Mama Sew.  The pattern I chose is the Sew Spoiled Cosmetic Case by Leah Williams. The free PDF of this pattern can be found here.

The pattern calls for fabric, interfacing and a zipper.  I wanted to make mine a quilted zipper pouch instead of just interfaced fabric so as to have the additional padded protection for my video camera.  I made that alteration on my own.

Look!!  That is the first time my zipper foot has ever been on my sewing machine.  In fact, I needed my machine manual to even identify the zipper foot.

Anyway, the pattern's written instructions were clear but I was super glad that there were so many close up photos included with the pattern to show me exactly what to do.

The numerous photos in the pattern is what I credit for the success of my zipper installation.

The bag came together well but certainly doesn't look as professional as the pattern photos of the completed project.  I blame that solely on my choice to have quilted outer fabric panels, as I think that the interfaced fabric would have made the construction easier.  Plus, the trapezoid shape doesn't translate very well to a quilted version and I wish I had just made it rectangular instead.  That being said, however, I am kinda proud of myself for tackling a zipper and this bag will be a welcome addition to my traveling luggage arsenal.

Here’s the Blog Hop Schedule:
There are lots of tutorials and pattern reviews as part of The Crafty Traveler Series.  And you can link up your project over at Ellison Lane for your chance to win great prizes.  Good luck!


Monday, February 17, 2014

Thursday, February 6, 2014

My stop on the Pillow Collective

Amy Ellis is always up to something fun and when she asked if I'd like to participate in Pillow Collective I instantly said yes. Amy knows that I'm a quilter that sews quilts and only quilts.  That means I don't really make bags much.  Or cute little zipper pouches.  Or pillows.  I mean, I've made a pillow or two in my day but it's not really in my roundhouse.  

My friend Tara made me the cutest mini quilt several years ago.  For a long time it hung in my tiny sewing area.  And where it hung was only really visible when I was pressing fabric.  I liked it there because it was such a cute little surprise when you stood at the ironing board and looked to the left.  However, it struck me that this beauty could be better enjoyed and more readily seen if I made it into a pillow for our bed.

And that's exactly what I did.  The process wouldn't be different for any piece of fabric . . . be it an upcycled sweater, favorite sweatshirt, your own mini quilt or treasured vintage linen.  I simply used a pre-bought pillow form (available at craft stores and most big box department stores,)  cut the mini quilt 1" bigger in each direction than the pillow form, cut fabric for the back of the quilt similarly but with enough fabric to make an envelop style closure (here is a great tutorial for that from Freshly Picked) and sewed it up.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.  And now I get to enjoy it every single day.

Looking for more pillow inspiration?  Amy has pulled together a creative group of bloggers to help spruce up your living spaces with a collection of great pillow tutorials for you.  After all the tutorials have been shared, you will have the chance to make your own and enter to win prizes later in the month.  You can check them out by clicking on the names below and visiting their blogs.

        Amy Ellis
Now go forth and make pillows!