Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Vintage Vibe Book–The Blog Tour

Vintage Vibe

Today is my stop on the Vintage Vibe Book blog tour!  My very talented friend Amber is a blogger, pattern designer and now author!  Her book, Vintage Vibe is filled with lovely quilts, great ideas, and gorgeous photography.  

 Vintage Vibe quilt book

I first got the chance to flip through her book at Quilt Market and I instantly fell in love with this quilt – called Dashing.  I just love a classic black and white quilt, but also I saw all of the fun possibilities with this pattern. 

Dashing quilt pattern

I pulled this stack of fabrics (Best Day Ever by April Rosenthal for Moda + some various low volume prints) as a possibility.  I’m still thinking about this though – all green and grays would be fun too.  Sometimes it's just so hard to decide.

Best Day Ever fabric

The other quilts from the book that I love are this one called “Vintage Vibe"...

Vintage Vibe quilt
photo courtesy of Martingale, photographer Brent Kane

…and this one called “Skipper.”

Skipper quilt pattern
photo courtesy of Martingale, photographer Brent Kane

You can buy a copy of Vintage Vibe here or from Amazon or add it to your Christmas list - it's not too late, right?  You'll love this book!

Be sure to check out the other stops on the blog hop.  Each blogger has chosen a different project to highlight so if you follow the entire tour, you’ll get to see all of them!  I’ll tell you now, it’s tough to choose just ONE favorite. 

11/6/14 - Amber @ http://www.alittlebitbiased.blogspot.com/
11/11/14 - April @ http://www.aprilrosenthal.com/
11/13/14 - Jessie @ http://messyjessecrafts.blogspot.com/
11/18/14 - The Fat Quarter Shop @ http://fatquartershop.blogspot.com/
11/20/14 - Corey @ http://www.littlemissshabby.com/
11/25/14 - Sherri @ http://www.aquiltinglife.com/
12/2/14 - Jodi @ http://www.pleasant-home.com/
12/4/14 - Melissa @ http://www.happyquiltingmelissa.com/
12/9/14 - Pam @ http://pamkittymorning.blogspot.com/
12/11/14 - Heather @ http://quiltstory.blogspot.com/
12/16/14 - Andy @ http://www.abrightcorner.com/
12/18/14 - Amy @ http://www.diaryofaquilter.com/
12/23/14 - Melissa @ http://www.polkadotchair.com/
12/30/14 - Lori @ http://beeinmybonnetco.blogspot.com/

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Quilt WIP + giveaway winner

 I’m so behind on Christmas prep this year!  And now a nice bout of Strep Throat has come to visit us here at our house.  At least our tree is up and decorated finally.  So that’s something.  And I do have this quilt which I started LAST YEAR.  I pulled it out of its storage bin this week and tried to remember what my original plan for this was.  Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this!?!

Christmas Quilt WIP

Here’s what I figured out - I’m using a charm pack of Cherry Christmas (designed by Aneela Hoey) and adding in a few coordinating fabrics for all of the circles. 

This 5” circle ruler (by Lori Holt for Riley Blake) is perfect for cutting circles from charm squares. 

Christmas quilt

Then I’ll raw edge applique each circle to a 7” background square.  These are the prints I’m using for background squares, along with a little bit of Kona Snow too. 

Christmas quilt

Once the squares are sewn together (probably 10 rows of 9 blocks each) I’ll have a nice sized Christmas throw quilt.  And if I get the circles cut out this year, and the background squares cut out next year, then I figure I’ll have the quilt done and ready to use by 2019!  How’s that for planning ahead?

And now for the winner of the Simply Strings book giveaway – Congratulations to Jenny L!  

simply strings giveaway winner

I loved reading everyone’s comments and was surprised that so many of you have  mostly blue scraps like me!  You can purchase copies of Rana’s book here in her shop, and if you make a quilt from the Simply Strings book I’d love to see it!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Burlap Christmas Ornaments Tutorial

Alright – show of hands – who has their tree up and their house decorated for Christmas??

I’m hoping to get around to it today.  (Fingers crossed)  I had big plans of getting our tree decorated the day after Thanksgiving, but it just didn’t happen.  Then we took a 4-day trip to Disneyland and a part of me was hoping that some magical Christmas elf would come and decorate my house while I was gone.  That didn’t happen either.  Instead, we arrived home late last night to a broken thermostat (no heat – ugh!) and a dark and very non-Christmassy house. 

So today’s goal (after I do these last few loads of laundry) is to decorate the tree!  But first I wanted to let you know that over on the Therm O Web Blog today I’m sharing a tutorial for these easy, scrap-friendly burlap Christmas ornaments.

Burlap Christmas Ornament Tutorial

Each ornament is about 3.5” x 3.5” – a nice size for an ornament, but small enough that it could also be used as a gift tag!  I just wrote on the back of this one with a Micron pen, but I’m sure a fine point sharpie would work just fine too.

burlap ornament tag

The tutorial has templates for each of these little ornaments – a wreath with berries…

Burlap Christmas Wreath ornament

a star…

Burlap Christmas Star ornament

a little bird…

bird ornament

and a tree.

Burlap Christmas tree ornament

And now for one more Christmas related bit of news.  Each year I get requests for Christmas Star Table Runner kits.  I just wanted to let you know that I have a few left in my Etsy shop.  Once these sell out I won’t be adding more until next year! 

The kits include the pattern and all of the fabric needed to make one 12” x 40” runner (binding, background, backing and stars.)   The kits are listed here, and if you’d just like the pattern (no kit) you can find that listed here for $4.00 (PDF instant download pattern)

christmas star table runner kit

Have a great weekend everyone! 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Twinkle Toes–a string block star quilt

 So a couple of days ago I introduced you to the new Simply Strings book by Rana Heredia and today I wanted to show you my finished project from the book.  This is Twinkle Toes! 

Twinkle Toes quilt

The finished quilt measures 41” x 41” and is made up of two different types of string blocks – what Rana calls “random string blocks” and “classic string blocks”.  In the past when I’ve made string blocks (like for this quilt) I just used regular printer paper for my foundation.  This time I wanted to try a new (to me) product called Stitch n Sew EZ Print Quilt Block Sheets.

Stitch n Sew EZ Print Quilt Block Sheets

Each sheet measures 8.5” x 11” which fits nicely into your home printer.  If you need to print out your foundation pattern you can do it right onto the sheet.  In this case, I needed both 5” and 5.5” squares so I just cut the sheets down to size.  You can see in the photo below how thin each sheet is, and how easily you can see through it (that's important when you're doing paper piecing.)  However, when you’re working with it, it doesn’t FEEL thin.  It’s sturdy, yet flexible and easier to sew through than my usual paper is. 

Stitch n Sew EZ Print Quilt Block Sheets

As you add each layer to your string block you press each one in place.  The foundation sheets cause no problems here either.  In fact, sometimes when I use paper I find that the paper can tear away from the back before I want it to, which can cause problems when trimming and squaring up the blocks.

colorful string blocks

As I was making this quilt, I would sit for awhile and make quite a stack of blocks before heading to the cutting table to trim them down.  It really sped up the process.

scrappy string blocks

Then later I sat and watched some classic Star Wars with my boys as I tore off the foundation papers.  They tore easily and neatly, leaving no bits behind like paper can sometimes.

string blocks

Once I had all of the blocks made, I was ready to put together the quilt top.  It was such a fun quilt to make – I really wish I would have added a few more blocks to make a throw size!

scrappy string stars

Here's one of the finished blocks.  The dot print used as the background is Essential Dots from Moda (Black on white yardage) and is one of my favorite low volume background prints.

scrappy string star block

As I finished the quilt, I thought it was just begging for a binding that was as fun and scrappy as the top was.  To bring some order to the chaos, I chose to just use all blue scraps.  Perfect - just the look I was going for!

scrappy star blocks

Would you like to make your own Twinkle Toes quilt?  There’s still time to enter the giveaway to win your own copy of Simply Strings!  To enter, click here to leave a comment on my last post (any comments left below are welcome, but will not be entered into the giveaway.) 

Scrappy stars quilt

Monday, December 1, 2014

Simply Strings + A Giveaway!

First of all, I'd like to congratulate Vicki H who is the winner of the Jolly Bar giveaway from last week.  Thank you all for your lovely comments!

Simply Strings book

A few weeks ago while at Quilt Market, I had the chance to meet Rana Heredia – a pattern designer and new book author.  I met her in her awesome booth, which was full of scrappy loveliness. 

quilt market booth

One quilt in particular literally stopped me in my tracks.  We were walking down the aisle on our way out and when I saw this fabulous scrappy house quilt, I had to stop and ask about it.  Well it turns out that Rana has just published a book and the pattern for those cute little houses, along with the other quilts in her booth can be found in her new book.

Shantytown quilt pattern

The book is called “Simply Strings” and it includes 12 different unique using different types of string blocks.  If you’re needing to use up some of your scraps (and I definitely am!) then this book is a must-have.

Simply Strings quilt book

Obviously the house quilt (called Shantytown) was my clear favorite from the book, but there were three others that I’ve added to my quiltmaking wish-list.  I love this one, called “Color Me Happy.” 

Color Me Happy quilt pattern

And this “Master Sergeant” is on my list as well.  I think I’ll make this in greens with a gray Color Weave print for the background.

Master Sergeant

My other favorite quilt from the book I started on right away!  In the last couple of weeks I’ve enjoyed pulling out my red, blue and green scrap bins and making lots of lovely, colorful string blocks. 

string blocks

Because of their small size, it’s easy to sit and just make a block or two.  They sew up fairly quickly!

string blocks

I’ll show more of my finished quilt on Wednesday, but for now let’s have a giveaway!  Rana generously sent me home with a copy of her book to keep, and a copy to share with one of you

scrappy binding on a scrappy quilt

To enter, leave a comment below telling me what color of scraps do you have the most of?  For me it’s blue.  I have almost twice as much blue as any other color!  

To see more of Simply Strings, visit Rana’s blog.  And you can buy her book here in her shop.

The giveaway will be open until Sunday, December 7th at Midnight.  I’ll randomly choose a winner and announce it here on Monday the 8th.  

Monday, November 24, 2014

Jolly Pinwheels–a Jolly Bar free quilt pattern

Have you heard about the new Jolly Bar precut?  The Jolly Bar is a 5” x 10” precut that is exclusive to the Fat Quarter Shop.  You can see all of the Jolly Bars (and patterns) available here.  I got the chance to play with this Boathouse (by Sweetwater) Jolly Bar last week and see what fun idea I could come up with.

Boathouse Jolly Bar

Before I show you the finished quilt, I want to show you these fabulous Boathouse fabrics.  I’ve always loved nautical prints and colors and this line is right up my alley.

Boathouse Jolly Bar

The quilt I designed is called Jolly Pinwheels and I’ve created a free downloadable (and printable) pattern as well!  The finished quilt measures 57” x 63.”  It was fun to work with a precut that fell between the charm pack and the layer cake.  Sometimes I find that the charm square is too small for what I want, and the layer cake is just too big.  It's nice to have another option now!

Jolly Bar quilt pattern

The Jolly Pinwheels pattern shows a fast and easy way to make the half square triangles (used on the top and bottom borders) at the same time you’re making the blocks.  

Jolly Bar quilt

I wanted to give the appearance of wind swirling around the pinwheels so I quilted it with all over swirls.

Jolly Pinwheels quilt pattern

My youngest son and I went down to the lake near our house the other day to see if it was frozen yet (and to throw rocks, of course!) and I brought the quilt along to get some photos.  It was such a gorgeous, clear day and the water was so perfectly calm.  

Jolly Pinwheels quilt

The harbor area was a bit frozen – the smaller rocks we threw sat on top of the ice, but larger rocks smashed right through with a very satisfying sound.  We had a fun hour down at the lake and honestly if you're needing to take photos of a nautical quilt you really should head to the nearest body of water, right?  

Jolly Pinwheels quilt pattern

You can find the free pattern here  or print it right from the window below.  If you make a Jolly Pinwheels quilt I’d love to see it!  To see the other Jolly Bars available, click here.  Would you like to win one?  The Fat Quarter shop is giving away a Jolly Bar to one of my lovely readers!  To enter the giveaway for a Jolly Bar of your choice, just leave a comment below.  Any ol' comment at all.  That's it!  Giveaway will be open until Saturday, November 29th at midnight.  I'll announce the winner here on Monday Dec 1st.

Giveaway is now closed -thank you!  

Be sure to stop by and see the other Jolly Bar quilts created by some other blogging friends:

Amy from Diary of a Quilter
Dana from Old Red Barn Co.
Denise from Pieced Brain
Vickie from Spun Sugar Quilts
Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts
Stephanie from The Modern Sewciety

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Head Start

Happy Friday everyone! 

My plan for the morning was to work on some quilt ideas that needed to be done in the next few weeks.  However, I’m not so good at setting aside time for the “thinking” types of projects projects.  I tend to procrastinate those.  I much more prefer the “doing” kinds of projects!  So today instead of finalizing design ideas for those future projects, I pulled out my scrap bins and started making some small string blocks. 

Small string blocks

I thought maybe I'd make 4 blocks and then do other things, but I started up a movie and before I knew it, I had 18 blocks done.  It was a delightful way to spend the morning!

So now I’ve found that I’ve gotten a great head start on my next project, but still need to work on those “thinking” projects.  Or maybe I’ll go make cookies.  Or vacuum.  Or clean up the stringy mess from this morning.  Or…..

Small string blocks

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