Thursday, August 29, 2013

Stitching on the Go

So this is happening!
Do you look for fabric stores and quilt shops when you travel? I love to make stops at small, locally owned bookstores and toy stores but I especially love a local fabric store.

On our trip out to Colorado this summer I was thrilled to get a chance to stop by Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver. It was such a bright, open space with lots of knitting supplies and fabric. Everything was so nicely displayed and the number of samples and fabrics were just right. Enough to inspire but not overwhelm. I was blown away by a display with rolls of Liberty of London fabrics which I resisted. The Fancy Tiger said I had to check out Fabric Bliss. So I did! Much smaller but still pretty great. #patienthusband both times I bribed him with a coffee shop close by and they were disappointing.
The woman who helped me was very friendly and suggested I take a quick drive over to Fabric Bliss. (I love it when local stores support one another!) I was very happy that Roy was willing to stop by one more store knowing that we had an Ikea trip ahead of us. He was nice enough to find a coffee shop near both stores to hang out with our daughter so that I could really have time to look. It was a very nice shop, too. Smaller but filled with great fabric and ideas. Also very friendly! Both stores were in an area of Denver that was very interesting. Both were urban in a busy downtown area. Fancy Tiger was just a block off of a darling historic neighborhood that I would have loved to explore on foot. Fabric Bliss appeared to be in an art district filled with lots of galleries. I'm cutting into this today!
Later in the summer, I made a quick stop in Paducah, KY on the way to see my family in Tennessee. I made sure to stop at Hancock's of Paducah for a nice driving break. It lacks the charm of many shops but it has an extensive collection of fabric from many manufacturers. Heather Ross's Briar Rose fabric had just hit the shelves and I really wanted to make something with the hexie/bee fabric. I suggested to my daughter that I could make a pillow case and with it and she liked that idea but wasn't overly enthusiastic.

I was able to spend one day of my visit in the classroom at my mom's shop while my mom, dad and sister were working. My daughter and niece spent the day with me playing together while I was able to sew. I decided to use the Noodlehead Open Wide Zippered Pouch Tutorial and my new Heather Ross fabric to make a project bag big enough to hold a hoop and cross stitch supplies that I was traveling with. I just had to enlarge the dimensions a bit. It was an excellent way to spend a day!upload
The directions were very easy to follow and it was only my second time working with a zipper. I even added some straight line quilting since I used batting instead of interfacing. This will hold my Woodland Sampler project
Halfway through sewing the bag together my daughter walked up to me and gasped. "You aren't using my pillowcase fabric are you?!" Oh my goodness! I didn't know she REALLY wanted one. So I had to promise to stop and get more bee fabric on our way home. That was a huge hardship to stop and look at fabric again. Ha!

Enjoying the lake view while I stitch. Lots of sailboats out this morning.
It's worked out great to carry my stitching various places this summer. My favorite place to take it was camping at the lake. It was so relaxing to to find a spot in the shade and stitch for a while! I'm hoping I get to do a little of that this weekend.

Do you have a favorite store you like to visit when you travel?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Six Months Later

A long while ago I wrote about planning a trip QuiltCon and hoping I didn't get snowed in. Well, we got hit with two snowstorms. My flights were canceled. I was pretty sad!
KCMQG friends saved the weekend for me and I had so much fun sewing with them in downtown Kansas City at what will always be known as QuiltNon. I hand stitched binding and chatted all day while enjoying this fabulous view.

I got to help plan a weekend KCMQG retreat in April with Barbara and Douglas.
Learned a thing or two while sewing with friends.
Wonky cross block #kcmqgsr13
Including a Wonky Cross Block that Douglas demonstrated.
Less than two weeks left of summer to share with this kiddo. I've enjoyed all this time with her and I'm a little sad to send her back to school. But excited for her at the same time. #latergram
Had lots of fun with this wonderful girl this summer.
Visited Charleston to celebrate a girlfriend's birthday. The road is sooooo close to the barn! I see this everywhere here.
Spent some precious time with my family in Tennessee. upload
Soaked up as much mountain sunshine as possible. So this is happening!
Found a fabric shop in Denver. The Fancy Tiger said I had to check out Fabric Bliss. So I did! Much smaller but still pretty great. #patienthusband both times I bribed him with a coffee shop close by and they were disappointing.
Or two!
Tonight's sunset.
Camped a few weekends. Enjoying the lake view while I stitch. Lots of sailboats out this morning.
I even started a new cross stitch pattern to take with me while we camp.

And sometime this summer Google Reader ceased to exist and I started using Bloglovin. So far I like it even better than Reader.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
A new school year has begun and I always feel like it's the beginning of a new year. Even more so than in January. I love the beginning of fall! Mums made an appearance today at the entrance of the grocery store. And even though it's still in the 90's I'm starting to think about stew, pumpkin bars, applesauce, football games, golden aspen leaves in Colorado and red maples here in Kansas.

Is there anything in particular you're looking forward to this fall?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Five Things

Camera Roll-893

I'm excited to be saying that I get to go to QuiltCon, at least for the weekend. If I don't get snowed in with the storm heading my way this week. Seriously!?! Keeping my fingers crossed!!
The Modern Quilt Guild posted a linky party recently for people who are going to share five things about themselves so we can have faces to go with names. Even if you aren't going this year, it's fun to read everyone's posts and get to know them a little better.

So...My name is Melissa and here are five things you might not know about me:

1.  I am a huge reader. I was lucky enough to enjoy teaching elementary students to read before I had my daughter. Now I get to enjoy seeing her begin to read and it's something I've enjoyed sharing with her since the day she was born. I've probably read more blogs and magazines than books in the last few years but changing that this year. Into my fourth and fifth books so far.

2.  I love to explore new places. Historic towns, trails in the mountains or even a new store. Caves and coffee shops. Almost anywhere. I've never been to Austin before and I hope have a little time to take a peek around in between events.

3.  I married my high school sweetheart when I was just nineteen! I feel so blessed that I meet him so early in my life. We spent 16 years together before our daughter finally came along. They are both a ton of fun to be around.

4.  I love snow days! Even though I haven't taught in several years I still love to stay up late watching the weather roll in (or not) and watch the news in the morning see which schools are closed. And my dream of sledding down "The Hill" and KU came true this year. Having a kiddo around comes with lots of perks!! And lots of snow up your pant legs.

5.  My two favorite places in the world besides home are the mountains of Colorado and my mom and dad's living room. The mountains should be obvious as to why and my mom and dad's living room because my brother and sister end up coming by with their families and I love getting a chance to hang out with all of them.

If you happen to see me at QuiltCon, please say hello! It's so great to meet new friends. If you aren't making it to Austin this year, follow me over on instagram (I'm undertheeveningstar over there). Hopefully I'll be taking lots of photos of all the fun (and not lots of snow pictures here).

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Snow Day

Snow Angel

It's been a week full of tender moments and a few tears. With last week's shocking news from CT always on my mind and so many people in my thoughts its been a challenging week and yet one full of blessings.

The biggest comforts have been a phone call from my mom and just getting to spend extra cuddle time with my girl. She had a snow day today and all she wanted was me to sit next to her while she played, read to her, and take her outside to play in the snow. So I let go of the idea of sending out Christmas Cards this year and we just had fun together. Snow angels, sledding, snowballs fights for two, and hot cocoa with Christmas books was exactly what we both needed.

Tree 2012

I hope your holidays are filled with peace, love and much joy.

Tree 2012
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Blush in Progress

Blush Quilt
I've disappeared from the blogging world a bit this fall. I'm taking classes to renew my teaching certificate and trying to keep up with the family comings and goings. Not a ton of sewing going on but with a retreat in September and sneaking in a few minutes here and there, I've made a little progress. 

I've been struggling with deciding on a plan for this Blush fabric for a looooong time. I finally came up with this and I love it. The background is my favorite shade of Basic Grey Grunge fabric. I'll piece some blocks for the back next.
Blush block detail
The bird on the text print is a favorite. Actually there are several favorites in this quilt. I can't wait to get it quilted. This one is for me! Jumping back into another class tomorrow though. Perhaps I can make a little progress at the KCMQG retreat this weekend.

Friday, September 7, 2012

30 Days Journal

30 Days Scrappy Journal

Happy Friday Everyone! Thought I'd show you my little scrappy journal after I added a bit of embellishment. I decided it would be fun to use it for a 30 Days of Lists project.

I started 30 Days of Lists on September 1 while I was out camping and have been using the Notes app on my iPhone to keep up on the go. It's an easy project to do in the school parking lot waiting for school to release, over breakfast or just here and there through the day as something crosses my mind. I used to journal quite a bit and have gotten away from it in recent years. I think this pretty journal will be a nice place to keep my lists and jump back in with some writing.

I added a few adhesive backed pearls, a crocheted flower, number stickers (that I covered with a black sharpie marker), pom pom trim and some handwriting.

A Stitch in Color squares

I'm finally ready to move forward with my A Stitch in Color quilt. I have some Kona Snow that I planned on using for the white pieces I needed. I noticed though, that Snow is just a tad off white and the white in the print pieces is a pure white. I was torn between using the Snow I had or going out to buy some pure White.

I saw this quilt by Rita at Red Pepper Quilts and noticed how well she mixed prints with different shades of white/cream and was reassured that it would be okay to go with the Kona Snow. I'm ready to cut now and maybe I can come up with an idea while I'm cutting on how to use all those extra colorful squares I have now.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Scrappy Little Journal

Scrappy Journal

I've had this little moleskin journal floating around for while and I've been thinking about adding some strips of washi tape to add a little color. I rounded up my washi tape and then I thought of all the pretty fabric scraps that I have and started wishing I could find a quick easy way to use them instead. Hmmm? How to turn fabric into washi tape? I thought I'd seen someone online use double stick tape but of course it wasn't in my drawer. (Someone in my house loves to tape her art work up on random walls. And she's six. And the tape doesn't always make it back where it goes.)

Scrappy Journal

Then I remembered that I had some adhesive in my scrapbook supplies that might work well. It's strong, double sided and also comes in rolls with different widths available.

Ticker Tape Scraps

I headed to my bowl of ticker tape scraps and then to my bowl of selvages to pull out some colorful pieces.

Scrappy Journal

I peeled off one layer of the adhesive covering and arranged the scraps on two pieces.

Scrappy Journal

I flipped the adhesive over, fabric side down and trimmed the scraps with a rotary cutter and ruler. I was surprised at how easily the rotary blade went through the adhesive without gumming it up. I did use the cutter reserved for paper though. I didn't want to dull my sharp fabric blade.

Scrappy Journal

After I trimmed up the scraps, I played around to find a pleasing arrangement.

Scrappy Journal

And played a little more to see if everything would fit. I had to do a bit more trimming.

Scrappy Journal
I peeled the final layer of adhesive covering off and pressed all of the scraps into place.

Scrappy Journal
And there you have it! A journal decorated with fabric scraps! Once this little journal knows what it's destined for, I'll add some words and embellishments and fill it with great things.

Friday, August 31, 2012

QuiltCon Block

QuiltCon Block
Have you heard about QuiltCon? Wondering what it is and why so many people are talking about it?

"QuiltCon is the inaugural international conference and show by and for The Modern Quilt Guild. The first modern quilting event of its kind, QuiltCon features top modern quilting instructors and will attract attendees from around the world. It includes a juried modern quilt show with cash prizes, vendors, lectures, workshops from top modern quilters, and more." {from the QuiltCon website}

Members of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild participated in QuiltCon's Block Challenge. We used colors from QuiltCon's logo to create a quilt block that reflects what modern quilting means to us.

I knew I wanted some scrappy element in my block because I've always loved scrappy quilts (both traditional and modern). I also knew it had to have some wonky element to it. I like wonkiness contained and controlled a bit so I added the white frame around the scraps. And while I love solids and negative space, I knew a large number of my scraps would have to be prints because they are my first love. I didn't really plan for my block to be so long but I found more and more prints I wanted to include. The challenge in making such a long block is to keep that white frame straight and even. And it's not perfect. I quickly snapped a photo before I squared it up and headed out the door to the KCMQG meeting.
QuiltCon Blocks Challenge 2
  Here are some of the members' blocks.
QuiltCon Block Challenge 1
And a few more. I never fail to be in awe of the quilters in our guild!
QuiltCon Block Challenge Participants
Here are the designers' showing off their blocks. {photo by Lauren Hunt}
Challenge Winner Lisa Hirsch
Lisa Hirsch is showing her block that was voted as the guild's favorite. Way to go, Lisa! {photo by Lauren Hunt}

Members of Modern Quilt Guilds and modern quilters from around the world participated in this challenge. 20 blocks will be used in a quilt to be raffled at QuiltCon and the remaining blocks will be assembled into quilts by local Modern Quilt Guilds and given to Austin's Children's Shelter. 

If you would like to see more examples of QuiltCon Blocks, head over to The Modern Quilt Guild's website. They'll be featuring the blocks over the next four weeks beginning here. I'm certainly enjoying seeing all of them!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Playing with Quilting Modern

Quilting Modern

Every time I hit a bump in my quilting plan, I tend to




I don't know why I find it so easy to loose my momentum. When I hit the bump on my A Stitch in Color Quilt, I decided to pull out Quilting Modern and some of my scraps to play a bit.
Quilting Modern
There's a whole section about the Stitch and Flip technique so I just picked one and jumped in to make a few blocks.
Stitch and Flip Play 2
Then I tried a layout.
Stitch and Flip Play 1
And another. I like how this is going and I think I'll play a bit more until I get the white fabric I need for the other quilt.

As fun as all of these are, I have a third quilt in my head that I can't wait to start. I can picture it completely except for the fabric choices. So much fabric and ideas but only so much time! Anyone else with that problem?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fall Begins

A Stitch in Color Quilt-Plan A
A very fun summer full of family, swimming, carnivals, camping and time with friends has come to a close. School started and we're beginning to find a new routine while I catch up on so many things that were set aside during our busy summer activities. My sewing room has been a bit neglected except to open the door and pile up some fabric purchases from my summer travels.

During the last week or so, I've been able to sneak in and start sorting through the piles and put some blocks on the design wall. I started this quilt at the KCMQG retreat at the beginning of April with some quarter square triangles made from A Stitch in Color fabric and a little bit of Laura Gunn fabric mixed in. Just hours before the retreat, I'd sorted though a pile of magazines and patterns looking for something I hadn't tried before and something pretty simple. I found a pattern in an American Patchwork and Quilting magazine that had quarter square triangles alternating with a nine patch block. Right off the bat, I knew I didn't want to cut all the triangles out individually like the pattern directed and used a different technique instead. I recently started making the nine patches and after just a couple of those blocks were added to the design wall, I knew I needed to make a change. There was just so much color and patten happening that I felt like my eyes needed a place to rest. I debated what to do and starting throwing up small squares in the empty spaces. I instantly loved it and thought the white space balanced all the color nicely.
A Stitch in Color Quilt - Plan B
So now I just have lots of white to cut and sew together. After I find my floor!
1st Grade
Here's a photo for my family. My girl on her first day of First Grade. I miss her already but she is having a great time at school. As a former First Grade teacher, I know how much she'll learn and grow this year and I'm so excited for her! 


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