Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My first 241 Tote

I have seen many people make the 241 Tote by Noodlehead and finally decided to join the crowd. I used some Cotton + Steel fabrics. I adore their basics line. I purchased a FQ bundle, but have been really tempted to buy a 1/2 yard bundle. I can see them becoming my go-to fabrics for many projects. The designs are subtle and go with nearly everything. The colors are beautiful, and all coordinate. It's a perfect substitute for solids.


The main reason I made this bag in the first place was to try an embroidery idea. I wanted to do some embroidery on the front panel of a bag. I chose part of a design from the Just Add Color: Botanicals book by Lisa Congdon. I love this book! I want to use more of these color pages on designs down the road. The main panel is Yarn Dyed Essex in Grey by Robert Kaufman. I used Finca Perle size 8 for the stitching.
 




My only regret is choosing my lining fabric after finishing the embroidery. I stuck with fairly traditional colors for the stitching. Looking back I wish I had incorporated more navy in my stitching and chosen some non-traditional colors for some of the flowers. Maybe on the next bag, right?!

This bag is smaller than my other everyday bags, which is perfect when I'm out on my own. It's not big enough to carry all the kid-related paraphernalia, but it's fun one to add into the rotation!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Embroidery Bug

I have recently started to really enjoy embroidery. This is something I never expected. I don't like hand binding my quilts, and have always said I don't like hand stitching anymore. Before I became obsessed with quilting, I was obsessed with cross-stitch. I used to create some pretty intense designs on projects that would take me more than a year to finish at times. Until one day, when I just stopped. I have two projects in process that I never picked up again--nor do I have any desire to. That is why this embroidery thing surprised me so much.

Earlier this year while I attended Sew South, we had an embroidery class from Alison Glass. Honestly, I wasn't overly excited about class itself. I went in with the assumption that it wouldn't be my thing. I was so surprised. I really enjoyed it and found it calming and fun--especially while chatting with other attendees. I finished our needle book project in just a week or two after returning home.


I also came home from Sew South with these books which helped me learn a few more stitches and techniques. 

My next project was for the Modern Quilt Guild Michael Miller Challenge. Obviously, I didn't make the deadline as this is still the state of that project, but it was a great project for a summer road trip. It was a fun experiment. I simply traced my stitching pattern directly from the larger pattern on one of the fabrics. I used the Jaybird Hex n' More ruler to cut the shapes for this quilt. The project is now on the "someday" list. With no deadline, it will probably remain like this for a while. I didn't want to use interfacing on this piece because I planned to use it in a quilt. Instead I stitched on two pieces of white, secured with 505 in the middle. This spot will definitely be thicker than the remainder of the quilt, but it will be much less noticeable with fabric vs. interfacing.

My next "road trip" project was stitching some designs on the hem of one of my favorite skirts. It's subtle and on the side so it doesn't scream, "Crazy Embroidery Lady", or at least that's what I tell myself. I used the Clover Sunshine Flowers pattern from Alison Glass on this design.

By this point I was starting to run out of the thread I received at Sew South for my needle book project and decided to invest in some thread. I used regular DMC floss on the guild challenge project and didn't love it. I really loved the Finca Perle Cotton Size 8 so I finally ordered some colors. Isn't it pretty? I just need a color card now!

Finally, this is my most recent project. I'm created a stitched panel for a 241 Tote. Again I didn't want it to stand out and look crazy. I wanted it more subtle, so I chose not to fill in the flowers. Hopefully, I'll be able to share this finished bag very soon!

For the pattern on this piece I used a portion of one design from Just Add Color: Botanicals by Lisa Congdon. I love her work. I went with a pretty simple design on these flowers. Next time I am going to branch out and use one of her more quirky designs. In another post I'll show the process of actually transferring these designs onto dark fabric.

Have a great Wednesday! I'm off to get a little sewing done before picking up my kiddos from school!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Curve It Up Pattern Winner

In between getting kids ready to head back to school and some last minute summer fun, I actually sewed last week! I have not sewed hardly at all this summer. It felt so good to accomplish something on a project I'm enjoying.


I am in love with how my Metro Twist quilt is coming along. I've decided to make it larger than the pattern. The final size will be 60" x 66" rather than 40" x 55" as in the pattern. I'm still considering making it even larger still and extending it to 60" x 77". We'll see how much more fabric I decide to buy. I LOVE the low volume prints as the background on this design. Unfortunately, cutting fabrics for this quilt made a huge dent in my fairly small stash of low volume prints. I'm pretty specific on the ones I like. I might have to restock my favorites because I have a feeling I'll be doing using them again soon.


So now for our winner from last week's giveaway!

Thanks so much to all of you who participated in the giveaway this past week! The randomly selected winner is...#80, and that is Jo!


Congrats Jo! I'll be sending you an email. You will receive a free copy of the Curve it Up pattern courtesy of the kind ladies at Sew Kind of Wonderful!

Don't forget to head back to Sew Kind of Wonderful for the rest of the blog hop and the QAL coming up for the Quick Curves Pattern. Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Quick Curve Blog Hop from Sew Kind of Wonderful & A Giveaway!

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I'm thrilled to participate in a little blog hop celebrating Curve It Up pattern and Quick Curve Ruler from the amazing ladies at Sew Kind of Wonderful. I had the chance to meet Jenny and Helen recently. I'm constantly amazed at all the ideas they keep coming up with. You are likely familiar with their Quick Curves Ruler. They also have a large assortment of patterns utilizing their ruler. They are currently having a sale that ends today, so if you have been thinking about it, now is the time!

Discount Code: BLOGHOP

I first encountered the Quick Curves Ruler (QCR) a couple years ago when I received it to make this quilt for Fat Quarterly.


I used the ruler again when I put together these quilts for my cousin. She was expecting identical twins and asked me to create quilts for her girls. My aunt had been working on some quilt blocks when she passed away unexpectedly. My cousin wanted to use her mother's quilt blocks in the quilts for her girls. The border using the QCR was a perfect addition to my aunt's blocks. My cousin's daughters just turned two, and they are adorable. I love that they have these quilts as a reminder of their sweet grandma.

Now two years later, I'm starting another project with the QCR with a very different style. In conjunction with the blog hop, Jenny and Helen offered to send each blogger something new to try. I couldn't decide between their new book or the Metro Twist Pattern. Jenny offered to send out both!

I was torn between the cover quilt on their book and the Metro Twist Design. All of their patterns I have read through appear well written and easy to follow.
I decided to make a test block from each pattern and see what I thought after that point. I love the idea of making the 1/4 circles or ovals with the QCR! It is so much easier and forgiving than a standard curved block.

I was leaning strongly toward using my stack of Field Day from Alison Glass for the quilt and felt that Metro Twist would be the best fit for this fabric. The pattern was great and guided me through the process without a glitch.

I paired it with some low volume prints from my stash.

I cut everything out. There is relatively little waste which I really like about this design. Notice the low volume prints on the left in this photo have been trimmed while the ones on the right are untrimmed. Only a small amount is cut away. The trimming portion of the pattern was somewhat time consuming, although I'm sure I made it more difficult by cutting my background pieces from 15 different fabrics vs. just one as called for in the pattern.

The blocks come together easily, and chain piecing makes them even faster. Because the curve is fairly gentle, it's fast and easy. If you've never sewn curves, this is a great place to start. The blocks do require trimming after sewing and pressing. It definitely saves time to complete each portion of the project in batches.

This is what I have completed on my (thread covered) design wall so far! I love how it's coming together!

Please go and check out Jenny’s blog and shop. You can also join the Sew Kind of Wonderful mailing list to get news of any new patterns or promotions. There will be a linky party on the Sew Kind of Wonderful blog on Friday 29 through 31 August – you can link up any quilt or block made using the Quick Curve Ruler. If you haven’t tried a QCR project yet, never fear, there’s a chance to win a ruler during the bloghop and have a go. You can find plenty of inspiration on the blog hop so please go and check out the other participants!

Monday 18 August http://quokkaquilts.com
Tuesday 19 August www.cluckclucksew.com
Wednesday 20 August www.fromthebluechair.com
Thursday 21 August liveacolorfullife.net
Friday 22 August www.happyquiltingmelissa.com
Monday 25 August www.greenfairyquiltsblog.com
Tuesday 26 August http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.com
Wednesday 27 August www.pleasant-home.com
Thursday 28 August http://www.lucymade.wordpress.com AND http://msmidge.blogspot.com.au
Friday 29 August www.dontcallmebetsy.com

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The blog hop will be followed by a 'Curve it up' Challenge Quilt-a-long on the Sew Kind of Wonderful blog starting in September, so join in the bloghop, get inspired and get ready to Curve It Up!

Giveaway! CLOSED
The Sew Kind of Wonderful ladies are offering one winner a copy of their Curve it Up Pattern. They will be hosting a QAL for this pattern over on their blog starting next month! I love this pattern because it offers so many different block ideas for the QCR. To enter, simply leave a comment telling us which pattern on their site is your favorite. The winner will be chosen randomly on Monday, August 25th.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Sew Kind of Wonderful. I received two free patterns in exchange for my participation in this blog hop. My opinions are based on my hand-on experience with the products. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

My Quilting Bucket List

Lately my motivation to sew has been next-to-none. In fact I don't think I've sat down to my machine in almost a month. Summer does that to me. I also haven't had any amazing new ideas either. As I result I haven't felt inspired to create much. Several patterns have popped up recently (and not so recently) that do make me want to sew again. I rarely sew with patterns, but I am thinking I might break down and try one of these once the kiddos start school again in a few weeks.

Here are the ones I've been eyeing lately:

Celestial Star: Diane at from blank pages

Diane is having a very intense QAL on her blog in conjunction with this pattern release. Everything you could ever want/need to know about paper piecing, you can learn from her posts. I am amazed by what she is putting together over there. On top of it, her design is just beautiful. I'm not sure I have it in me to actually paper piece an entire quilt from this pattern, but I really want to. It's beautiful. I purchased the pattern a couple weeks ago. Now I just need to commit.

This post on color and design and this post on fabric selection are particularly great to start out the QAL. Diane designed the layout below. As soon as I saw it I loved it. Then I noticed she mentioned in her comments that she thought I or Faith from Fresh Lemons would like it. I guess she has me pegged because this design was what made me want to buy her pattern. I love this layout!

Source: Diane Bohn--From Blank Pages

Orange You Glad: Emily from Crazy Old Ladies

I have had the opportunity to get to know Emily through our local Modern Quilt Guild. She is as funny as she is talented. When she brought this quilt into guild months ago, I wanted to make it. Problem is, it's applique, and I'm not an applique kind of girl. It's never appealed to me, but I love how she puts this quilt together. It's simple, no raw edges, and the quilting tacks down the applique. Emily created a tutorial to share her technique.

Emily Herrick: Crazy Old Ladies

Tessellation: Alison Glass

I love this one! There's not much else to say. I'm thinking solids. Love it so much!

Source: Alison Glass Designs

Modern Maples: by Amanda Woodward-Jennings

I know this quilt pattern came out a few years ago, and everyone else has already made theirs, but I've wanted to do it for some time now. I have some shot cottons that would be great for a perfect autumn quilt. The pattern is free over at Lark Crafts.

Source: Lark Crafts

Metro Twist: Sew Kind of Wonderful

I had the chance to meet the Sew Kind of Wonderful sisters just two months at the Small Town Quilt Show. They are adorable, fun and talented. This is one of my favorite patterns made with their Quick Curves Ruler. It's on the list as well.
Source: Sew Kind of Wonderful

What is on your quilting bucket list? I could always use more suggestions!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Destashing



I am in the process of destashing a large portion of my fabric. Currently I'm listing it on my Instagram destashing account: bluechair_destash. It's quick and easy which is so helpful when going through this amount of fabric and supplies. I'm still in the process of listing a few more items as I continue to go through my stash. I have not included shipping costs with the listed prices because I found it easier to add shipping on to the end of an order when I can decide the best way to ship if multiple items are purchased. Most items and bundles ship flat rate USPS. Smaller items will ship first class. If you purchase only a book, it will ship media mail if requested.

If you are not on Instagram, but want to purchase an item, please send me an email at fromthebluechair at gmail. I will post a comment on the listing that an order is in process and send a PayPal invoice to you.

Thanks!



Friday, July 25, 2014

Olfa Winner!

Random.org selected the winner for the Olfa prize! That winner is #130:


Thanks for all who participated and thanks to Olfa for the great prize!

Congratulations to Emily! I'll be emailing you.

Have a wonderful weekend!