Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March ALYOF: Bound to be finished!

My March goal for the fantastic light-a-fire-under-my-butt ALYOF was to stitch the binding onto a quilt that I'd finished back in August. And special thanks to my friend Joanne who helped me with her technique for machine stitching binding to the back side of a quilt.


And...keep an eye out for a newer version of this quilt, coming soon to a magazine near you...details to follow closer to the publication date!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Recreating Antique Quilts Winner!

Thanks to everyone who left a comment after reading my post about Wendy's new book, Recreating Antique Quilts! 

Random number generator chose:

Congratulations Linda!
I've sent you an email to get your mailing address.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

March ALYOF Goal

My ALYOF goal for March is simple...bind the quilt below, which has been hanging around waiting to be finished since August. Here's to a little motivation!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Recreating Antique Quilts blog hop (+ giveaway!)

I was thrilled when my quilting and blogging friend Wendy Sheppard asked me to be part of the blog hop celebrating her new book, "Recreating Antique Quilts" from Landauer Publishing. I've enjoyed seeing Wendy's work for years--she's amazingly prolific and has a wonderful eye for design--so I couldn't wait to see what was in her book. 

Wendy takes inspiration from five antique museum quilts and gives them her own interpretation in ten different projects. Some quilts have a more traditional feel, some are just bright and happy (like the "Oh Happy Stars!" quilt I chose), some use the inspirational block in ways you'd never expect, and some have a decidedly modern feel. All feature Wendy's phenomenal quilting--inspiration in itself!

The best part about this book? No matter your style, you can make these patterns work for you. Make the quilt as Wendy shows it, or play around with color palettes, fabric choices and layouts to change things up.

The second best part? All the projects are do-able, with plenty of diagrams and instructions to help you along the way, as well as useful tips to improve your skills.

I'll be honest--the project I chose to recreate isn't even my favorite in the book--my favorite would be a very cool two-color modern version of a Baltimore Album quilt, shown here:
"Ivory Baltimore Wallhanging"
Photo credit: Landauer Publishing 

However, I had an idea for a version of "Oh Happy Stars!" that I was really excited to try. So I'll have to save that Baltimore Album quilt for another day...maybe when I learn to like actually doing applique instead of just admiring it! :) 

The cover quilt and the project I chose to use: "Oh Happy Stars!"
Photo credit: Landauer Publishing

Here's the second version of this design in Wendy's book:
"Stars & Snowflakes Table Topper"
Photo credit: Landauer Publishing

And here's my version:

I wanted to play up the modern feel this pattern can so easily have, so I sewed a wonky star for the center and used a variety of low-volume and text prints for the surrounding patchwork. Wendy has some great tips for piecing small squares accurately too. 

Here's a close-up of the block from Wendy's quilt; I simply added some pieces from the alternating (non-star) blocks to complete my wall hanging.

My version needed a pop of color, so I used an orange flange inside the black border.

I really enjoyed making this low-volume version of Wendy's colorful "Oh Happy Stars!" quilt--I do love seeing how a pattern can look so different based on color and fabric choices!

Make sure to check out the other stops on the blog hop today--I can't wait to see how these talented ladies interpreted Wendy's work!

Stop by Wendy's blog as well! 

To read Wendy's post about "Recreating Antique Quilts," click here.
You can purchase the book here and find out how to get a signed copy here.

But...thanks to Landauer Publishing, you also can win a copy of Wendy's book right here on my blog! For a chance to win the book, leave a comment letting me know which of Wendy's versions of this quilt (Oh Happy Stars! or Stars & Snowflakes) you like best and make sure I have a way to contact you. US entries only, please. The giveaway will remain open through March 12 and the randomly drawn winner will be announced on March 13.

*International readers, here's how you can find the book: Consumers will need to contact their patchwork shop and let them know that they are interested in the book and urge the shop buyer to bring them into stock.  They can also order directly from us online or they can also order them through Amazon.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

February ALYOF Goal Complete, but....

I'm not loving it.

My ALYOF goal for the month was to create a fabric pouch for my husband's family's baptism gown. And I finished it, so I'm glad.

But I'm partly frustrated because the orange chalk I used to mark the crosshatch quilting lines didn't come out when I washed it (any suggestions?). And my two attempts to stitch a Velcro closure were both crooked, so I opted to forgo a closure completely. And there was a tiny pucker where I joined my binding strips, and when I redid it, I ended up with two tiny puckers instead.

But...it's done! And I love the fabrics together, and love having The Lord's Prayer fabric surrounding a baptism gown. A baptism gown that has been worn by 17 people over three generations deserves a better package, imperfect or not!

I'll be handing the gown in its new pouch off to my mother-in-law in a few weeks for safe keeping until it's needed again.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A finished quilt top! (But not for me!)

I have been dabbling in a bunch of different projects lately: a few for the Curves class I took at Stitched in Color, a few original designs for magazine submission and my own patterns to sell, a commissioned quilt, and another for a blog hop (posts on all of those things to come!). 

But the one project that did get finished is the quilt my two older boys (6 and 3.5) made. They are really proud of it, and I am proud of them! 

(And it's Batman Thursday, in case you couldn't tell. Every Thursday is Batman Thursday here.)

Here's the finished quilt without goofy boys in front of it. They are MUCH more interested in sewing blocks than in assembling the blocks into the quilt top. The last couple seams dragged on for several weeks, and I almost just sewed them myself, but I really wanted the quilt to be made by them. 

I think I will have some fun quilting it--great for practicing some new machine quilting motifs, because the stitching won't show much with all the action in the quilt top! 

I asked each boy to show his favorite block. They both chose the last block they made, which had some fairly appealing fussy cut sections.

Here's Josiah's:

A close-up of the block:

And Thomas':

And a close-up:

As for me, this is still my favorite block, because Thomas drew it first with crayons and then wanted to make it out of fabric. You can read more about that block here.

I'm off to finish my February ALYOF goal...darn February with only 28 days!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Valentine's Day: It's not just about the chocolate!

(Although quality chocolate makes for a pretty darn good Valentine's Day in my mind!)

With Valentine's Day around the corner, I wanted to share links to a few tutorials I've featured in past years. 

First up, a travel tic tac toe board:
(There are still a couple of these available for sale in my Etsy shop!)

And then the Valentine's themed version...with hearts instead of Os!

Click here for the tutorial and here for the heart-themed version.

And then an easy last-minute project you can do with scraps--fabric postcards!

Click here for the tutorial.

Happy Valentine's Day!