Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cabin Fever Recap

Wow! What a weekend!  Can you tell how much fun we had by the fact that it's Thursday and I'm just now getting around to posting? :o)
Hosting a retreat was never something I thought I would do. But once I got the idea the wheels just kept turning. And I sure am glad they did. What a fun time with some truly wonderful women.
Here's one of the two carts we had overloaded at Sam's the day before heading to the cabin. We had plenty (almost too much) food!

I had my kids work as minions to helps stuff all the goodie bags. They kind of took over my family room for the evening!

On Day 1 Amber Johnson from Gigi's Thimble gave a trunk show. I'm so embarrassed of the picture quality on my phone. Amber stayed for the whole retreat and it was so much fun having her.

I LOVE this pattern of hers. It's on my pattern bucket list. :o)
Please click on the link so you can see the patterns for real. These pictures are sad!
Day 2 brought Natalia Bonner from Piece N' Quilt. This girl and her quilts are AMAZING!

She shared quilts from her book Beginner's Guide to Free-Motion Quilting. That book is fabulous!

One of my favorites of Natalia's!!!
On day 3 Kati Spencer of From the Blue Chair braved the blizzard to come up and show us her quilts.

LOVE her Honeycomb pattern!!!

This mini is fabulous!

The colors are gorgeous and the finished 1/2 square triangles are 1"!!!

I could not have done this retreat if it wasn't for Shannon helping me with all the meals. Her husband Stuart is an amazing cook! He came up and made us dutch oven roast dinner and turned around the next morning to make a mountain breakfast for us. I sure am a lucky girl to have these two as friends. Don't worry, he managed to get a nap in! :o)

I had a few friends warn me not to plan on getting much sewing time in since I was the host so I didn't pack very much to work on. By day 2 I was bored and needed to sew! :o) Luckily a car load ran down to the Corn Wagon and picked me up a charm of Honey Honey to play with.
For those of you wondering if I would do it all again- ABSOLUTELY!  The thing about quilters is we're really just one giant family spread all around the world. When you get together as a group of strangers that all share a common thread (pun intended!) you form a friendship. The ladies that were at the retreat with me made it so wonderful. I really do mean it when I say I think I had more fun than they did. :o)  Thanks ladies for a fabulous weekend!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Modern Basics II

(Sorry this is late. Thank you Blogger for not posting as scheduled)
I am so thrilled to be sharing with you my thoughts on Amy's new book Modern Basics II. I had the privilege of rooming with Amy at this years' Sewing Summit last fall. She was just finishing up this book and I got a little sneak peak. Can I just tell you- this girl is AMAZING!  I love her eye for color and design. Her first book was fantastic and hard to beat- but this book goes above and beyond.
One of my favorite patterns in this book is PATCHWORK WEAVE. I love how she takes two different ideas and combines them for a stunning quilt. The pieced sections of each block are like pieces of candy- so tasty!
The title of the books says "14 Easy Patchwork Quilt Patterns" and it's true! These patterns look impressive and complex but Amy's little tricks and tips make them easy to put together. These patterns are easy enough for beginners but still fun and fulfilling for experienced quilters too.

When making blocks like these (and any quilt blocks for that matter) I use MAGIC SIZING when pressing. It's very inexpensive and available at most grocery stores and it doesn't leave a residue like starch can. It leaves my seams nice and crisp and easy to work with. And of course it washed out when the quilt is laundered.
Another section of this book that I just love is the Quiltmaking Basics. Lots of books have this section which is a nice resource to quilters. I especially liked Amy's because it is easy to understand for beginners but also interesting and informative for experienced quilters. I read the entire section and learned a few things too!
If you want to WIN a copy of Modern Basics II Amy has set up a fun way to enter.
 Fill out this form to win! Make sure you visit all the blogs in the tour to find the answers you need.
Good Luck!
Emily Herrick
Amy Newbold
Dana Bolyard
Amy Webb
Victoria Findlay Wolfe
Katie Blakesley
Chelsey K
Terri Harlan
Mary Kolb
Pat Sloan
Natalia Bonner
Candy Glendening
Vicki Christensen

Any's book is available through Amazon or you can purchase an autographed copy in Amy's Bookshop.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

In the midst of a crazy Saturday (you know, getting the kids to stop fighting and do their chores) I got a pleasant email from Scott at Blue Nickel Studios. I met Scott a few markets ago and we've been corresponding regularly over the last few months regarding a special project. You see Scott is the "Community Editor" for Generation Q Magazine- my most favorite quilting magazine! And more recently we've been talking about my retreat which he has donated a box full of goodies for. THANKS SCOTT!!!

Anyway, you know how these magazine submissions go. A design is submitted months before it goes to print and therefore I can't really talk about it. However I think it's safe to mention it now since Scott's email revealed that I'm featured on the GenQ website today! Hop on over and check it out! :o)

I just signed up for a subscription of this mag. so I thought I would tell you why I like it to much.

First of all, it's funny. They don't take themselves too seriously which I like.

Second, their articles are interesting. Honestly I don't remember the last time I actually read an article in another quilting magazine. My method for deciding on buying is to flip through and if there's a pattern I like then I buy- no reading necessary. But GenQ is a different story, literally. That sense of humor and understanding of today's generation of quilters makes every page worth reading. I actually read cover to cover, usually more than once.

Third is the patterns they offer. Fun, Modern patterns. There are usually 3 or 4 in each issue that I want to make as opposed to the 1 that I would find in other magazines.

Forth, I'm in it. I mean really, that's a reason isn't it? Actually, I loved the magazine before I was in it (haven't even seen the issue in print yet) and that's why I stalked Scott until he relented and allowed my pattern in. :o)

So go check out the site, and my pattern, and find out where you can get your issue of GenerationQ Magazine. Or better yet, get a subscription like I did! :

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

You've got mail!

The other day I had an idea to make a skirt. That idea turned into the idea to make 3 skirts. Which then resulted in several online shops gaining a little business from me.
A few days later they started to show up. For 3 days I got packages in the mail. Fabric mail is so much fun!

Most of my purchases were Voile. Mostly Anna Maria Horner from a few of her collections and a couple from Amy Butler, too. Of course no 1 store had all that I wanted so I needed to get a few here and a few there. Also, since most stores sell 1/2 yds as their smallest cut and I only needed 1/4 have extra for a little throw for me. :o)

I just looked through the pictures I took of the process. I'm not done yet but when I am I think I'll post how I did it.
Speaking of tutorials---
A few days ago my phone was getting sluggish so I decided to email myself the pics of my Hexes and Exes progress and delete them from my phone. I should've checked first because I just looked at the email and only 1, yes 1! actually sent. Waaaa!!!

I went through IG and stole a few of the pics back but I am so frustrated. All those "Y" seam pics gone. GONE!!!  The only saving grace is the fact that I had a few blocks leftover so I can re-do those pics. But still! Grrr!!!
In the meantime I'll enjoy this stained glass pic I took right before heading to the quilter. I love the look of the seams with the light shining from behind.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


I'm almost finished with my #hexesandexes quilt! I sat at the machine for quite a while yesterday and a few thoughts came to mind. I thought I'd share them with you. :o)

- 'Y' seams aren't that bad after all. I think I should re-name them "Why are people so afraid of these- seams" I took lots of pics so I can share them in my tutorial.

- Sewing is like exercise. When you do it often your body gets used to it. When you don't do it as often you can get injured and become sore. My finger is sore from lifting the presser foot up and down so many times. I burned my arm on the iron. And my back is tight from sitting at the machine for 3 hours.

- Making a quilt using OOP fabrics has been an adventure. I've recognized the kindness of quilter friends around the globe as other fabric enthusiasts have shared their prized stash with me. I've been able to pay it forward. The other day at the fabric store a woman needed more of a print than the 1/3 yard the store had left. I recognized it as one I had at home. Once I located it I called her and took it to her. Her smile and gratitude was payment enough.

- When you are excited about a project/ quilt it is so much easier to sit (for hours) and work on it. "Have to" projects just don't have that same pull.

- Writing a tutorial for a quilt requires a lot of pictures. I forget to take pictures sometimes. Other times I take a million. I think I have over 50 for this tute so far. I have a lot of editing to do!

Now for a question for you:

I can't decide how to finish the back of this quilt.
On one hand I can use leftover scraps and blocks to piece a back and then quilt the quilt myself.
On the other hand, I don't have a minkie backed quilt so putting minkie on it would be so cozy. But then I'd have to buy the minkie and pay for the quilting as I can't do it on my home machine (I've tried- it's not pretty). So what are your thoughts? Pieced back or minkie?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Keeping it real

The other day I decided enough is enough! This sewing space has got to be organized.
This is me- Keeping it real. Actually this is after I started organizing. It always has to get worse before it can get better, right!? It looks a lot better now but I want to wait until I have my new shelves up before the final reveal.

I pulled all my little piles and separated them into colors. I still have some bundles of certain collections or projects I have pulled them for- but I wanted the majority easy to find by color.
My cutting table sits on top of a cubby shelf. I've been eyeing these Martha Stewart bins from home Depot for a while now. I finally broke down and bought them. Each bin coordinates with the fabrics inside. I LOVE them! My daughter has already re-arranged them several times but I'll always know where each color is.

With my space finally shaping up I got to work on a project I've been needing to finish. This is my #hexesandexes "Before" quilt. I finished all these blocks and realized the quilt just wasn't big enough.

Thanks to the generosity of friends on Instagram and me putting aside the notion that "this-quilt-could-only-have-tulapink-fabric-in-it" I was able to make the rest of the blocks.
Now to tackle those 'Y' seams today!
I'm working on a pattern/tutorial that will be out soon. :o)