Monday, April 30, 2012

Slash the Stash--April Edition

It's been a bit quiet around the blog the past week or two.  I almost didn't get Slash the Stash up for April.  Life gets busy, hectic, and hard sometimes.  My grandmother passed away Thursday, and I've been dealing with lots of mixed emotions.  We have multiple family events planned for the week, so it will be quiet around here for another week or so.

Despite the lack of posting, I have done a fair bit of sewing.  I have learned when I'm dealing with stress and difficult things I tend to do two things--sew and eat.  Probably not the best coping skills, but both tend to be enjoyable when other things aren't.

Although I didn't finish any stash busting projects this month I started several.  Three of which were off-shoots from the quilts I made my cousin.  I originally tried to incorporate other pieced blocks with my designs for her quilts.  After auditioning these various blocks, I realized it wasn't working.  For some reason, instead of just making one block, I cut fabric from my stash for 10-18 blocks for each different design.  You will be seeing these made into baby quilts in the near future since they are all cut and ready to sew.

First up I cut 18 blocks for the Retro Flowers quilt from The Sometimes Crafter.  I love how these blocks come out, but they are not my favorite to sew.  It's a bit tricky getting everything to line up just right.

When the Retro Flowers weren't working, I tried this block.  I cut out 10 blocks for this design, and will be adding at least two more.  I love how the blocks work together to create a great secondary design.

Finally when that didn't work, I tried granny squares.  I was thinking of doing these as a design on the back but changed my mind.   I only have one sewn up for now, but have at least 12 cut and ready to sew.

I also made great progress on my scrappy improv quilt back for my color quilt.  I have loved this project.  It's been so fun to put together.  Improv piecing is such a great change of pace from the precision required in other projects I have going on.  This pieced section is about 55" x 55".  Almost all of these fabrics were pulled from my scrap boxes.  I thought this project would make such a great dent in each box.  It didn't.  In fact, I can hardly tell that I sewed anything from my scraps.  Those boxes are still just as full as ever.  It might be time to destash some scraps. I'll be sashing this in Kona white then basting and quilting this monster soon.  One of my goals for May is to finish this quilt.

Now it's your turn!  What did you make from your stash this month?!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Two special little quilts

Recently my cousin, J, asked me to create two little quilts.

These quilts are certainly different from my normal style, but very special.  After years of infertility, J and her husband chose to build their family through adoption and now have two adorable little boys.  Just a few months ago they were shocked to learn, out of the blue, that they are pregnant--with identical twin girls.  These special little girls needed special little quilts.

J's mom and my dad were siblings.  Her mom passed away nine years ago from a brain aneurism, just one year after my dad died from cancer.  Her mom was working on these flower applique blocks before she died.  J asked if I would create quilts for her daughters using the blocks her mom hand-stitched.  I was honored to have the chance to work on this project.

I struggled with these quilts a bit.  I just couldn't decide on the perfect pattern or design to use.  I honestly went through three other designs before deciding on this final design.  I debated adding other pieced blocks, but finally, I decided that these quilts needed to be simple, just accenting my aunt's work.  I used Jenny's Quick Curves Ruler to cut the scallops.   After searching and searching for fabrics that matched these flowers, I discovered that Art Gallery had two perfect pinks to match: Cherry Lip Gloss and Crystal Pink.

I wanted the quilts to be almost the same, but with slight differences.  Switching the colors of the borders achieved just the effect I wanted. 

I quilted little flowers with stipling on the white section.

I used two Michael Miller prints from the Children at Play line for the backings and bindings, again reversing them on the quilts. 


I feel my work might reflect my aunt's original intentions for her blocks.  I'm thrilled her granddaughters will have something from her.  It gives these little quilts so much more meaning.  Hopefully, one day, they will know what a wonderful woman their grandma was. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Brrr! Giveaway Winner!

It seems everyone is very excited about Laurie's new fabric!

Mr. Random chose #17! 

That is:
17 knottygnome said...
love the chevrons! thanks for the giveaway.

Congrats!  I'll be in touch!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Patchwork Prism Quilt-a-Long

Ready for another great QAL?  This fun QAL will be hosted by Bianca over at Sweet Diesel Designs.

Source: Anna Maria Horner

The pattern...

Anna Maria Horner designed this pattern for Janome, and they have made it available free of charge. You can find the download for the pattern here.  I admit I love this pattern.  It's such a simple, colorful design.  I might have to downsize the templates a bit and use up some of my color wheel charms for this quilt.

It’s going to go a little something like this...

The posts...{Bianca will share how she approached this pattern...}
  •     April 24: choosing your fabric {and if you need fabric, Fat Quarter Shop is offering a generous 20% discount, code announced soon}
  •     May 8: making templates and cutting your fabric
  •     May 22: laying out your quilt and sewing
  •     June 5: quilting
  •     June 12: wrapping it all up and then the party begins...linky party that is...
  •     June 26: submissions are due for the grand prizes!
The prizes...

Besides having an amazing quilt when this is over, you also have a chance to win some great prizes through the QAL:

Westminster Fibers:
  • One Valori Wells fat quarter bundle of her newest line, Cocoon. That’s 30 fat quarters!

  • One essentials charm pack
  • One Amy Butler charm pack of Gypsy Caravan

  • Aurifil Thread: five chances to win 10 spools of thread

At the conclusion of the quilt-along there will be a linky party where you will be able to show off your lovely project. Upon submission of your completed patchwork prism quilt, you will be entered into the pool for the grand prizes which will be judged by the overall appearance and layout of your quilt.

The grand prizes are:

    3rd prize... $25 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop
    2nd prize... $50 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop
    1st prize... $75 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop

GRAND PRIZE... Janome DC2012 sewing machine {a retail value of $699!}

Flickr group...

Feel free to join the flickr group. This is a great place to share progress photos and get to know everyone in the QAL!

Patchwork Prism button...

Bianca designed a button to promote the QAL...if you’d like to let people know what fun you are up to or invite your friends to join...grab the button from her sidebar.

Head on over and join the fun!

Friday, April 13, 2012

"Hello, My Name is Fat Quarter Bundle" Giveway!!--CLOSED

Remember all those fun Brr projects that have been popping up lately?

Lots of people have been having some fun with Laurie Wisbrun's new fabric coming out in June.

Now it's your turn!

If you want this fun little stack sent to you, just leave a comment.  Mr. Random will pick a winner Wednesday, April 18th!  Have a great weekend.

This giveaway is sponsored by Robert Kaufman.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I'm starting to purge a bit around here.  I've listed a number of fabrics and bundles in my Etsy shop. Hopefully they can find a home where someone else has time to make something fun with them.

I-spy charm packs

I have a fun little giveaway posting tomorrow...think polar bears!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The end of my last charm swap

Well, it's just about over.  I have just 14 packages left to ship in my monster color wheel charm swap.  This swap was my best one yet.  I've decided this is the way to do a swap.  It wasn't much more work to manage this swap than any other one I've done.  All the swappers pitched in and did their part by presorting everything.  That made a world of difference.  For the same cost in shipping swappers received 5 yards of charms instead of the normal 2 yards.  I can't wait to see the projects start popping up on blogs and Flickr!

My two little "helpers" made dropping off all these packages a bit interesting.  I chose to drop this first batch off at the small post office counter in a nearby grocery store.   Two big pluses for them--they have carts, and the woman who works at the counter is way nicer than the grumpy old men at our full-service post office.  

This is 35 packages.  I still have a ways to go, but hopefully they will all make it out by tomorrow.  

Whew!  I admit it's nice to have these packages on their way.  Now we have walking space in our storage room again!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bee Blocks and a Pouch

I've been frantically trying to get my bee blocks done early this month.  I have a few other projects that need finished up, but they were all on hold for a couple days waiting on fabric in the mail.  That was the perfect time to get all of these done for the month.

First up are some blocks made from this tutorial over at badskirt.  A couple weeks ago I received a fun little charm pack of Cosmic Burst from Mark Cesarik.  These blocks are for a scrappy charity quilt with our guild. I thought the Cosmic Burst charms would be perfect for this X-block.  The fabrics are so bright and fun.  I especially love the top left block with the blues and greens.

Next up is a block for Andrea in our local guild bee.

Next is a block for Elizabeth in our Stash Trad Bee.  She posted a tutorial for this block.  Her quilt will alternate warm and cool blocks.  I chose warm.  It came together quite easily with her directions.

Next is a block for Brooke using the tutorial on Oh Fransson for the Mod Mosaic.

Finally, I put together a fun pouch this week as well.  The idea was to make a pouch that fits my new notebook I had printed recently.  I planned the size perfectly, but unfortunately the zipper is just a touch too small, and it doesn't fit.  I was a little sad about that.  Back to the drawing board.

It would fit just fine if I could squeeze it past the too-short zipper.

I'll still use it for another purpose.  I love the chevrons and the orange zipper.

This is one of the stacks of fabric I was waiting on.  It arrived, and I can't wait to start cutting.  Some fabulous solids from Art Gallery!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A winner and 280 yards of charm squares

First up is our winner for the $25 gift certificate from Zipit.  That would be #45:

Lis said...

I haven't gotten much sewing done this month but I'm building my stash, just waiting for it to come in the mail.

Congrats!  I'll send you an email!

Finally, because posts are boring without pictures, I have a few pictures of my massive charm swap that is just wrapping up.  Last night I got together with some local friends to plan a quilt guild activity.  I brought along my charms, and we sorted all evening while we planned. Thanks so much to Colleen, Amy and Elisa!  I'm still waiting on one package which, it appears, the USPS has shipped via horseback.  Still waiting on that one.

This is what 275 yards of charms looks like:

One sorted stack.  Much to Colleen's dismay, we did not sort in color order.  I didn't have the brain power last night to do that.  The swappers will have to sort their own stacks.

I will be glad to ship all these out and regain some floor space in my storage room again.  It's been a fabulous swap.  Everyone did a great job, followed directions, and shipped on time.  When I run out of charms, I might host another like five years.  It's going to be a long while before I run out.