Monday, April 29, 2013

Notting Hill Hexagons--Finished!

Well, I think I officially have Notting Hill out of my system. I have a bundle of the last colorway that I'll tuck away for a while. After my first and second messenger bags, my jumbo star quilt and now this one, I think I'm done.

This is a lot of pink-- much more than I'm used to. I'm really glad I decided to throw in the random white hexagons to calm it down a bit. This is a large twin at about 70" x 93". I might put it on one of my girl's beds. Although, we just moved them into the same room. With this on one bed, I would feel the need to make a second coordinating quilt for the other sister because they both love this one. I'm not sure I have another pink quilt in me for a while.

I used the larger hexagon die for the Go cutter, which I borrowed from sweet Amy over at Diary of a Quilter. Since I only have the Go Baby, I can't get this large die for my cutter. I'm quite tempted to buy the Hex N More ruler for the next hexagon quilt I make (because I'm sure there will be more). I've heard good things about that ruler.

I chose to slice off the points of the hexagons along the sides. I've bound them on a previous quilt and decided that although it adds a fun aspect to the design, binding all those points was highly overrated.

The back is pieced from some of the leftovers and a large piece of the poppy print which is one of my favorites.

I really don't think I'll ever get tired of hexagons. I especially loved this larger size. This quilt came together quite easily and relatively quickly.

I quilted this with my standard all-over loopy pattern.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Jumbo Star Quilt--Finished!

I have been just a little obsessed with this quilt lately. It seems most of my quilting posts and Instagram pics have been about this quilt. My husband even commented that I've been abnormally excited about finishing it up. I finished quilting it Saturday evening and put the binding on Sunday afternoon. I love it all finished!

It's about 80" square. The fabrics are primarily Notthing Hill with a few accent fabrics from Art Gallery (Pure Elements and Oval Elements). The back is made from a couple larger pieces of my favorite Notting Hill prints. The neutral is Kona Bone. The main quilting designs are swirls and pebbles. I chose to do the outer border in a combination of the two designs to tie it together. Adding the pebbles made quilting the narrow border easier as it gave me a filler to complete small spaces where a swirl wouldn't work well.

This is the most adventurous I've ever been on the actual quilting. I found these smaller swirls worked quite well on my domestic machine. I will definitely do this design again. It took most of my kid-free time last week, but was completely worth it. I'm glad I took the extra time on this particular quilt. It needed special quilting. As I mentioned in my last post, I plan to hang this with my guild's non-judged display at HMQS next month. All it needs is a sleeve and label and it's ready to go!

Tutorials for this quilt are located here and here. I do plan to write a tutorial down the road about piecing it all together, but that probably won't be for a while. With the nicer weather, I anticipate it will be a bit slower on the blog front. I know several people are creating their own star quilts inspired by this one. I'd love to see them! Please take a second to post them in my Flickr group or send me a couple pictures.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Jumbo Star quilting, done!

Just a couple Instagram pics for today. I finished quilting my Jumbo Star quilt last night. I can't wait to get the binding on. This was my first time trying to do real custom quilting on a special quilt. It's not perfect, but I'm pretty proud of it. It was a lot of work. I'm planning to hang this with the Salt Lake MQG display at the Home Machine Quilt Show here next month. This quilt is one of my favorites ever. It makes me so happy to have it almost complete!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Book Winners!

Here are our winners for the copies of Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe. I'll be sending out emails to collect your addresses. If you don't hear from me send me an email just in case. Have a great night!

LauraC said...
Thanks for your honesty about the process. As a working mom with a job (not a career), it's kind of comforting to hear that doing what you love isn't as lucrative or as stress free as I believed.
QuiltingRage said...
Looks like a super fun book!
Liz Brown said...
Congrats on getting published! That is awesome!
EmileeHope said...
Am I too late for an entry?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe: A Review of Sorts and A Giveaway (Closed)

More than 1 1/2 years ago, I received an email from an editor at Martingale Publishing asking if I would contribute a quilt design to an upcoming pattern book from bloggers. Of course, I was excited. This was my first big opportunity to start getting my name out there. As a blogger, I've taken a fairly low-key course. I try to minimize the extra things I'm involved in, especially with three little kiddos at home. I haven't aggressively looked for new opportunities because it's been hard enough keeping up with everything else I have going on. But, I immediately jumped at the chance to have a quilt in this book. There were definitely pros and cons to the experience.

Rather than spend the next few paragraphs touting this book, I thought I'd review my experience more than the actual book along with a few pictures of some of my favorite quilts from the book. Over the course of the next few months, I'm sure you'll see many more reviews of the book. I wanted to take a slightly different look at what it is actually like for me to have my name in here.

I've been asked several times, "How do you get published?" Basically my response is always, "Contact the editor, and submit an idea." Publishers, whether it be books or magazines, are always looking for new content. It never hurts to ask. Although, it can be really scary to ask. It was easy for me on this book since I was contacted by Martingale. When I submitted my first idea to Modern Quilts Unlimited Magazine, my heart was pounding as I sent off the email. I was terrified. What if they didn't like what I sent? What if they hated my ideas? 
My quilt

My experience submitting the actual quilt for this book ended up being quite stressful. It came at a difficult point in my life. Lots of other things were going on. I felt like I was in a creative funk just when I had to sew the quilt to meet my deadline. I also realized I did not love my design chosen for the book. It was hard to push through and create something I wasn't "feeling". I had issues with my basting process and my sewing machine. Sometimes it seems that things just aren't meant to be. 
Quilt by Angela Nash from My Three Sons

I barely made my deadline for my quilt and pattern draft. Then the pattern reviews started. Several times I received emails for clarification on my pattern, and they wanted the rewrite within 24 hours. Considering the craziness of life, that kind of turnaround is just hard. 
Quilt by Audrie Bidwell from Blue is Bleu

Despite the fact that this experience was stressful, it was also very helpful in the long run. First of all, I learned that I was not cut out to write my own book any time soon. I was able to get my feet wet and decided it was too much for me to handle right now. I used to think writing my own quilting book would be fantastic. It sounded really exciting. I've changed my mind about that idea for now. I've realized it is a lot of work and a lot of stress.

Between my book submission and the two magazine submissions I've done, I've also learned quite a bit about the pattern writing process. This proved to be invaluable experience as I've begun writing my own patterns. I'm not sure I would have braved independent pattern writing had I not had these experiences.
Quilt by Krista Fleckenstein from Spotted Stones
The compensation isn't great. For the most part, people don't do this for the money. My compensation for the Modern Quilts book covered my materials, shipping, and just a little extra. You aren't getting rich on this. What I didn't know when I made my quilt for this submission is that fabric companies are often willing to ship fabric to you for a specific project that will be published. With copyright considerations, it's generally recommended to seek permission to use a specific fabric line for pattern publication. Just slip in a request for the manufacturer to supply the fabric in exchange for fabric credit in the pattern. It's a win for both parties.

So after all of that, what about the book? 

I admit there is something really exciting about seeing my name in a real book. My mom is proud! I'm sure she even took her copy to work to show her friends. In the course of life, it's really just a little thing, but having my final copy in my hands was exciting. I was part of something fun.  I'm grateful to be included in this project with  many other quilters I know, admire and respect. There are some great ideas in this book. Many of them are simple and perfect for beginners. Am I in love with every quilt in this book? No. But, I can gain inspiration from each quilt in there. I love reading blogs for inspiration, but there is just something wonderful about holding a book in your hands and searching for new ideas. I own 20+ quilting books and have made just one quilt from all of them combined. I may have a different perspective than most people, but I don't buy books for patterns. I buy them for inspiration, and I browse through them frequently. My nightstand is piled with quilting books.

I'm still torn on the title "Modern Quilts". The debate continues to rage about what is modern quilting. I think this will always be up for debate, and opinions will constantly change. According to the new MQG definition, many of these quilts aren't modern, but it's just one definition. I'm honestly no longer sure of my personal definition of "modern quilting". I'm changing my perspective on "modern quilting" and what it means to me to be a "modern quilter". I'm learning to quilt what I love and forget about definitions.

I've been asked multiple times by friends and other bloggers about getting a project published. I am far from the expert, but I've learned it's worth asking. Despite the cons, I can look back and say this was a good learning experience for me. I'm glad I had the chance to take this risk.

The Giveaway (CLOSED)

Martingale has kindly provided me with several copies of Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe to give away. I'll be giving away four copies this weekend. To enter to win, just leave a comment. Please make sure your email is included in the comment or your profile. will decide the winners next Tuesday!

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Pixel Project Post 2: Choosing and Cutting Fabric

It's been a while since I wrote my first post on my Pixel Project. A lot has changed from my original design idea and intent for this project. This tends to be the way I work. I start out with one idea, and it morphs over the course of months to something completely different.

As I mentioned in my last Pixel Project post, here was my inspiration photo. I was inspired by the bright colors against the neutral background.
Source: Ann Cantelow's Photo of the Dav via Pinterest

I'm designing this project with 1" finished squares. Charm packs are perfect for pixel projects. Since I'm cutting 1.5" squares to sew, I can get nine from each charm. Using these charm packs gives me great variation in color. I chose my fabrics from seven different Kona charm packs I picked up Quilt Market Sample Spree last fall. I also bought a Michael Miller Cotton Couture charm pack that includes one of each color from that line. Pellon kindly sent me a bolt of Stick-N-Washaway to try out for this project. I'll be talking more about the pros and cons of the product in a later post. 

I pulled in some Pure Elements from my stash as well as several neutrals. I started selecting my fabrics from these piles.

This is what made the cut from my colored solids. For the most part, I was looking for very saturated, bold colors. I threw in a few lighter colors for variation, but most of the softer tones will come from the neutrals.

Then it was time to cut. I used a brand new rotary blade and went to work. When the pieces are this small, it takes more care to get precise cuts. I cut a lot of little squares, but this is just a beginning. I know I'll be cutting many more 1.5" squares from my neutrals, but this gives me a good start. I love all the little stacks. Now to start sewing!

On a side-note, it's the last day for the Craftsy Spring Sale. Nearly all classes are on sale today. I signed up for the Artisan Bread Making class and Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Sampler class which have both been on my list for a while. I'll let you know how they go once I get a chance to work through those videos!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Wonky Cabins--Finished!

I actually finished this quilt several months ago. I've been waiting to post it until my pattern was ready. This is another variation of my Crooked Cabins design that was on the cover of the premier issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited. I'm rewriting the pattern into a pdf to sell soon on Craftsy. In the revised pattern I'm including instructions for the original, this wonky version, and the solids variation (seen on the back of the original Crooked Cabins quilt). I'm also including instructions for paper-piecing blocks like those I used in my Broken Diamonds quilt. Despite the fact that a huge chunk of this pattern was already written for the magazine, it's taken me quite a while to finish it up. I'm nearing the end and am almost ready to list it. In the meantime I thought I'd finally reveal this new version.

I'm really in love with this one. I love all the scrappy color.
The finished size is about 68" x 68". Most fabrics are from my scrap bins for these blocks.

The back just makes me happy. I've wanted to try this for a while. It's just one giant wonky log cabin. I'm not including instructions for the back in my pattern because it's so simple. Just keep adding borders until it's big enough. It did get pretty cumbersome to work with as it grew bigger. I love the range of colors as I worked through the color wheel for each border row. The only regret I have is beginning with red. I wish I had ended with red as my outer border rather than the orange red. All the borders past yellow are longer than WOF. Some of them I pieced a little strip of a different fabric, but some I carefully matched prints so the seam wouldn't be noticeable. I really love how it turned out.
The biggest challenge I had was the waviness that resulted as I continued to add outer borders. I pinned really well when adding borders on this project which helped a lot. I still had to stretch it a bit when basting the quilt because it didn't want to lay flat.  Luckily, everything looks better after a run through the wash.

I included two layers of batting on this quilt to make it nice and heavy. I've heard of others doing that and thought it would be a great idea. My machine, on the other hand, did not think it was a great idea. I had lots of skipped stitches on this one. I changed needles and thread several times, but nothing worked. I finally resorted to quilting very slowly to get it finished. I was so relieved when it was all done. I probably won't be using two layers of batting again anytime soon. I do love the weight though. It's the perfect size and weight to wrap up in.

Pattern coming soon!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Madrona Road Challenge

Our local MQG participated in the Madrona Road Challenge. I already had a fat 8ths bundle from Westwood Acres so I was able to pair that with the new fabric I received from the challenge. The specific challenge for our guild was triangles. We could make anything as long as it incorporated triangles. I've wanted to try this simple design for a while and decided this was a perfect project.

I did wavy lines for my quilting using my free motion foot. I've done something similar in the past, but using my walking foot. This went much faster and the results were almost identical.

While I think this fabric is really pretty, I didn't want to keep any for my stash. The blues are not the shade I usually use. There are only a few fabrics that I know I could use in future stash quilts. I just sewed all my scraps together with the leftover fat 8ths for the back and used a light grey for the background.

This was a fun project, but I'm not sure what to do with it now. It's a large baby quilt, but with the blue and yellow, it's pretty non-traditional. It's not a boy quilt, but it's not really a girl quilt as well. I might hold onto it for the perfect recipient. It's always nice to have a couple baby quilts on hand.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

My Favorite Things: WINNERS

I'm finally getting around to posting the winners today for the My Favorite Things Giveaway! My kids are on spring break this week which means I'm getting next to nothing done, but we have been having fun with friends.

Congrats to all the winners! I'll send out emails to all of you by the end of the day, but if you beat me to it, just shoot me an email with your mailing address so I can arrange to ship you your prize.

Have a great Wednesday!

Prize #1 (with Olfa cutter): Winner-- Sheetal

Sheetal said...
my favorite tool is definitely my 6x24 creative grids ruler, I do almost all my cutting with it. I can't image life without it!

Prize #2 (with Wonder Clips): Winner-- Heidi Staples

Heidi Staples said...
My favorite fabric is anything by Denyse Schmidt!

Prize #3 (Pure Elements): Winner-- made by ChrissieD 

made by ChrissieD said...
Latest favourite fabric has to be Robert Kaufman Essex Linen :)

Prize #4 (Textures): Winner-- Canadian Abroad

Canadian Abroad said...
I don't think I can live without my seam ripper. Not even sure what make it is but it slips through the mistake stitches like a hot knife through butter and therefore keeps the swearing to a minimum. Thanks for the chance in a fantastic giveaway!

Prize #5 (Essex Linen): Winner-- Kristan

Kristan said...
I'm in love with Essex linen in flax. The yarn-dyed or the regular, both are fine for me!