Monday, April 27, 2015

Scrap Happy Sewing + Book Giveaway

Hi friends!  Today is my stop on the Stash Busting blog hop which means I get to talk about a gorgeous new book by Retro Mama (Kim Kruzich) and sew with some of my favorite scraps - sounds like a great way to spend a Monday!

Scrap Happy Sewing book

First of all, I love the photography in this book.  I'm a sucker for pretty books!  And then as you flip through, there are so many great scrappy projects.  I really had a hard time choosing which project I wanted to make first.

These pincushions are high on my to-do list (top left pic) as are those cute apple pot holders below them.  I think I’ll make a couple of those pot holders for teacher thank you gifts.
Scrap Happy Sewing projects
I also love this scrappy tote bag, and heaven knows I have plenty of scraps to use on any (and all) of these projects.
Craft on the Go Tote Bag

The project I chose to make first ended up being one of these Cozy Four Square pillows.  The instructions were clear and well-written and I was able to sew the pillow in a couple of hours one evening.  I think it actually took me longer to decide which scraps to use than to make the pillow haha.

Cozy Four Square pillow

Each night at bedtime I read a bit with my youngest son in his room, and I usually use one of his larger stuffed animals as a pillow.  Hello uncomfortable!  So this new scrappy pillow already has a home and a very specific use  - gotta love that!  And I do love an excuse to dig through my scrap bins to find fun bits to use up.

Cozy Four Square pillow

I really do love this book and I think you will too!  You can buy your own copy of the book and eBook here, and if you'd like to win an eBook copy of Scrap Happy Sewing, just leave a comment below!  (Please 1 comment per person, giveaway ends Monday, May 4th at Midnight.)  Thank you to the kind people at Stitch, Craft, Create for hosting both the blog hop and the giveaway.

Be sure to visit the other stops along the blog hop - it's a whole month filled with scrappy ideas!

Thu April 2nd - Retro Mama
Tue April 7th - SCC
Wed April 8th - S.O.T.A.K Handmade
Thu April 9th - Fabricworm
Fri April 10th - Clover & Violet
Mon April 13th - Robot Mom Sews
Tue April 14th - Vivid Felicity
Wed April 15th - Cut To Pieces
Thu April 16th - Straight Grain
Fri April 17th - Sew Take A Hike
Mon April 20th - Vintage Grey
Tue April 21st - Miss Print
Wed April 22nd - Pink Penguin
Thu April 23rd - Hello Creative Family
Fri April 24th - Follow the White Bunny
Sun April 26th - Cynthia Shaffer
Mon April 27th - A Bright Corner
Tue April 28th - Sew Justine Sew
Wed April 29th - LRstitched
Thu April 30th - Pieced Brain

And you lucky UK residents can also visit Stitch Craft Create here, to enter another giveaway - this one including a pretty bundle of fabrics and two great stash-busting books.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Titch Mini Quilt

Titch mini quilt pattern

This last weekend I finally had the chance to quilt and bind my mini quilt from March.  I first talked about this pattern here.  It’s called Titch from Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co and it sure was fun to make!  I had never worked with such tiny pieces before!

My Titch mini has found a home right next to my Division test quilt – that’s the one I made when I was first testing out my Division pattern.  The blocks are regular size, so I wouldn’t exactly call it a mini-quilt.  I love seeing it up there though!

Titch mini quilt

I’d been kind of frozen with indecision about how to quilt this little thing.  I kept going back and forth with different ideas and then on Saturday I just decided that a finished quilt is always better than an unfinished one so I just started quilting.

  mini quilt
In the end I love what I did simply because it’s done!  One more project crossed off my WIP list for the year – yay! 

So now that the Titch Mini is on the wall, I realize that I need another mini to fill the hole on the top left corner.  Do you have any recommendations for me?  What’s your favorite mini quilt pattern?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Little Hexie Project + giveaway winner

english paper piecing

Over our Spring Break last week I decided to start a little english paper piecing project (say that 3 times fast!)  I was out of town, up in Spokane WA and had forgotten to bring my current epp project with me.  So I stopped by one of the quilt shops and picked up a few supplies – enough to get me started. 

english paper piecing hexagons

While I was there, one of the helpful employees pointed me in the direction of this thread:

english paper piecing thread

She said it’s the best thread for epp and it’s the ONLY thread she uses.  With a glowing recommendation like that, I figured I’d better try it out.  Even after using it just for these few hexies, I’m sold.  Normally my stitches are completely visible from the front, but as you can see below, the stitches barely show.  I’m a believer.  The woman recommended this particular color of thread too – she said it pretty much blends in to everything.  So there you go!  I’m passing along the tip to you!

english paper piecing hexagons 
And now, for what you’ve been waiting for – the winner of the Home Executive Planner giveaway is….random

Heidi [Banks of Frog Creek] !!  Congratulations Heidi!  Thank you all for entering.  Now I've got to get back to that pile of laundry.  For me, that's the WORST part of taking a vacation - all of the laundry that needs to be done once you're home - ugh!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Jump Rings Quilt

Jump Rings quilt

Once upon a time there was a Jelly Roll.  (Have you heard this tale before?)  The Jelly Roll was called “Bluebird Park.”  Now this Jelly Roll was a favorite of mine, but no one could tell because it sat on a shelf while I waited for the “perfect” pattern to use it on.  The perfect pattern never appeared.  So one day, I decided to stop searching for the “perfect” pattern and just use the next pattern that caught my eye. 

That pattern happened to be found in this Block Magazine.  In fact, it was the cover quilt.

Block Magazine

The pattern is called Jump Rings and at first I had passed it by because it was written for a layer cake.  Upon a second look however, I realized that it would be pretty easy to use a Jelly Roll instead.  So in the end, our tale has a “happily ever after” ending – the pattern I used turned out to be the perfect pattern after all.  And a finished quilt is better than a stack of fabric, no matter how pretty those fabrics are!

Jump Rings quilt

   The quilt top was fun to make – I sewed it in a couple of days up at Quilt Bliss.  However, because I had held on to the Jelly Roll for so long, I could no longer find the print I wanted to use for the border.  Kind of a bummer.  The quilt was still a nice size without the wide border so I left it off!

Jump Rings quilt

For the quilting I tried something a little new to me, and I did sort of a swirls & shells design.  I like it, but next time I’ll do more “shells” than “swirls.” 

Jump Rings quilt

On the backing is a solid Kona cotton – a pretty peachie color.

Jump Rings quilt

I think I’ll be using the Jump Rings pattern again.  A friend of mine said she made a smaller, baby sized Jump Rings quilt to give as a baby shower gift.  I love that idea!  I like to keep my eyes open for good patterns that use pre-cuts and this one is going into the collection!

You can find individual issues of the Block Magazine here and you can subscribe here.

Monday, April 6, 2015

How I Stay Organized + a giveaway!

A few years ago I wrote a blog post about a new planner that I found in a local book store.  I had fallen in love with it, and since then I’ve used the next couple of editions of the same planner. 

It’s called the Home Executive Day Planner and the designer (Jen Boss) has just released the latest edition!  In the past, the planner has run from August to August but this time it has entries in it for Aug 2015 – Dec 2016.  Perfect!

Home Executive Day Planner

I really have used and loved my older Home Executive Day Planners – see here’s proof!  I found my planner from 2013-2014 and flipped it open -

Home Executive Day Planner

I’d say that was a pretty average week from 2014.

So I’m really excited about having a new planner to use starting in August.  Let me show you what I love about the new version.  First of all, there are now tabs for each month!  Love the tabs!  In the previous editions I just made my own :)

Home Executive Day Planner

For each week, you have a layout like this – now with five columns for each day.  What I love about this, is that the columns can be used however YOU want!  In other brands of planners that I’ve seen, there are pre-set categories (like school/work/home) but that hasn’t always worked for what I need.  In the past I’ve made the three on the left into the categories of morning/afternoon/evening.  That’s just what works for me.  (You can see here how another mom uses her daily columns.)

Home Executive Day Planner

For each week there’s also a spot for a weekly menu (I’ve done a weekly menu since my days as a food blogger) and a shopping list.  This isn’t the final shopping list that I take to the store, but this is the spot where I jot down things as I use them up – the last of the vanilla for instance, or when my son needs to bring treats to school for something.  Handy reminders!

I also love the recipe section, the Birthday list, the Christmas shopping list and the notes sections.  I think I’m going to use the first page of the notes section to keep a running list of my quilting WIPs.  How nice would that be to have an organized list of those?  Maybe I’d even get some of them done this year haha.

Home Executive Day Planner

How’d you like your own Home Executive Day Planner?  Jen has generously offered to give a planner to one of my lucky readers!  To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite time of the day!  (Mine is mid-morning, when the day has already started yet it still holds so much potential.)

Giveaway is open until midnight on Sunday April 12th.  Winner will be chosen randomly and I'll announce who the lucky person is here on Monday, April 13th!

Home Executive Day Planner

See the pretty ribbon bookmark in my planner?  If you order your planner from Jen’s shop the ribbon is included.  If you buy one from another store or amazon, you’ll have to add your own. 

To learn more about Jen and the Home Executive Day Planner, you can follow them on Facebook.  You can find tips on their blog and see more of the planner here.  

As always, thanks for stopping by!  I know there are a lot of ways to connect with others and be inspired by quilters and I’m just so glad you chose to read along here at A Bright Corner. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mini Quilt Madness

Have you caught mini quilt madness?  I hear that making mini quilts is addictive.  Can you believe I’ve never really made a mini?  I’ve made my share of small quilts, but it's not quite the same. 
A week or so ago I started a mini from this pattern -

Titch Mini Quilt Pattern
Titch mini quilt pattern

It was a tough choice, but I chose to do Titch #2 which is the top right option on the pattern cover.

First things first – gather all of the 2.5” squares that I wanted to use.  Having them all pre-cut and in a scrap bin sure helped.  (You can read more about how I store these scraps in this blog post.)

Titch Mini Quilt 4

It really is a different experience to make such tiny little blocks.  In the pattern she recommends making a tester four patch block.  That’s great advice since everyone’s 1/4” seam is just a bit different, and every thread width makes a difference when you’re working with such small blocks. 

Titch Mini Quilt 2

Each of these little four patch blocks measures only 2”!  The pattern has plenty of tips and tricks to help reduce bulk at seam intersections, and how to trim everything to make it accurate. 

Titch Mini Quilt 5

Have you made a mini quilt?  This month the Fat Quarter Shop is having a March Minis ChallengeMarch Minis Logo-01
All through the month of March, share your mini quilt creations on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and use the tag:  #fqsmarchminis.  For every mini you share, you will be automatically entered to win this fun giveaway of small things from the Fat Quarter Shop.  They’re going to randomly choose a winner on March 31st from all of the entries that use the #fqsmarchminis hashtag so be sure to tag your pics


You can watch my progress with my Titch mini over on Instagram and Facebook.  And be sure to check out the #fqsmarchminis hashtag on IG – it’s fun to browse through there and see all of the fun mini quilts!

The Fat Quarter Shop carries a ton of mini quilt patterns and mini charm packs (2.5" squares) - perfect for starting your own March Mini!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sew Pretty for Little Girls Blog Hop

Sew Pretty for Little Girls blog hop

I recently had the chance to review Alice Caroline’s new book, Sew Pretty for Little Girls.  Just like her pretty shop, this book is filled with Liberty fabric loveliness!

Sew Pretty for Little Girls book by Alice Caroline

The book is organized into three sections (Blissful Bedrooms, Twirly Girly Garments, Pretty Little Things) and has over 20 different projects.

Sew Pretty for Little Girls book Liberty fabric

Now wait- before you go asking what a mom like me (with my two boys) is doing with a book about sewing for girls, let me just tell you that there’s PLENTY of projects in this book that would be easy to boy-ify –- like a child-size quilt, throw pillows, a fun big floor cushion, duvet and pillow set, pencil cases, drawstring bags, and these fun fabric baskets (called the Isabel Basket)!

Sew Pretty  for Little Girls book fabric baskets

I think my oldest son could use one of these (without the handles) for all of his charging cables and plugs.  Those things are always a tangled mess on the floor.  I think I’ll use some of this ninja star fabric for the outside of the basket:

Year of the Ninja fabric from Riley Blake

And one of these drawstring bags would be great for carrying soccer cleats and a jersey to and from games on Saturday. 

Drawstring bag from Sew Pretty for Little Girls book

I wanted to give a friend a sweet treat the other day and needed a little something extra to go with it so I made one of the Isabel Baskets -

Fabric Basket pattern from the Sew Pretty for Little Girls book

This is the smaller sized basket (instructions for a larger size are also given) and I left the handles off so she could use it in a drawer as an organizing bin if she chose. 

While I was taking these photos I realized that the larger basket with handles would make a really cute Easter basket!  

Sew Pretty for Little Girls book

You can find Alice’s book here (a signed copy!), or here.  It’s also available as an ebook- no need to pay for shipping!

Here at this post at Stitch Craft Create, you can see the other stops along the blog hop – one every day for the month of March! 

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