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! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Heading Home

I'm heading home today. I'm sad to leave my family in TN. I never feel like I had enough time to visit with my mom and dad, play with my niece and hang out with my sister. I'd love to be there when my bother and sister-in-law return from D.C. And hear about their museum visits. At the same time, I'm anxious to be home. It was a great trip. I suppose it's good I always leave wanting more!

I talked Roy into stopping in Paducah at Hancocks of Paducah. They have a great remnant table and a huge selection of fabric. It's interesting to see the employees pushing shopping carts around to collect bolts to be cut for online shoppers.

I also picked up my Hunky Dory Hexies and did a little stitching. I'm not exactly sure where I'm heading with this but it's something fun to do in the car.

Hoping to catch up on emails and such this weekend. Hope you are all doing well!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

They Do!

My brother got married tonight to a very sweet and lovely young lady. They make such a great couple and I wish them all the happiness in the world. I know from experience how wonderful it is to share your life with someone you love. I get the feeling they'll have lot's of fun together as they begin this new chapter of their lives.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mountain Views

It's been a very full week for us here in Tennessee. We've been to Splash Country and Dollywood, visited with family we haven't seen in a very long time, and did some exploring around the venue for the rehearsal dinner. You can see the view of the mountains above Douglas Dam. Such a pretty spot!

If you are anywhere near the Kansas City area tomorrow, you'll want to go to the KC Modern Quilt Guild's monthly meeting. Jacquie Gering (who blogs at Tallgrass Prairie Studio) will be the guest speaker. I'm so sad to miss it!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Bit of Fabric Shopping

My sister and I wandered down the road to another quilt shop yesterday and I found a few fun fabrics to play with.

We realized today that one of the girls left a baby doll there so we HAVE to make a quick trip back sometime soon. I have to figure out how to put the blinders on!!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mountains All Around

Hello everyone! Hope you are all doing well. We've had a great couple of days. We got to spend part of yesterday and today with my sister's family. My sister and I got to have a few great chats, watch some reality tv, stay up late working on our own projects but visiting a bit which helped us through to the finish, did some fabric shopping, and watched the girls play on the Slip and Slide. It was all great fun but it never seems long enough!

She has such a beautiful view of the Smoky Mountains from her back yard. You can see in the photo below what we got to look at while the girls played in the water.

Tonight we headed back to GiGi and Papa's. After I dressed Jenna in her pajamas, I whisked her outside to see all the lightning bugs (fireflies) flickering around the front yard. It was magical!

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Few Stitches at Mountain Stitches

I'm here in Tennessee and was so glad to finally get to see my family again. My niece is growing up so much and it's so good to see her smiling face!

My parents, sister and brother don't actually live that close to each other and so I have to rotate around a bit to visit with everyone which is hard because I want to be 3 or 4 different places at once.

I got to spend the day at Mountain Stitches, my Mom's quilt shop. Jenna got to go with me and I love that she'll have that memory of being there with her GiGi. I have very few memories of my grandmother and I want very much to help Jenna tuck some away with her's.

It felt so good to cut into some fabric and sew some samples for a demonstration. I got to work in the new classroom space across the hall from the shop. Mom worked on the long arm, my dad minded the shop, Jenna played and I got to sew. Super great day!

I'll head back over for a bit tomorrow and then go over to my sister's in the afternoon. I can't wait and I know the girls are ready for some more play time together.

Hope you're all doing well. I'll try to pop back in again soon.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Spring Quilt Market 2012 - Part 2

Michael Miller Booths
I have a few more Market photos to share with you. I think I mentioned in my last post how overwhelming it all was. I walked around and little details of things would pull me in and after a while I'd have to remember to step back and take in the whole picture. Then time would pass and I'd have to remind myself to look at the small details again. It was just impossible to process everything. (This could just be the way my brain works though. I remember when I was expecting my daughter I had to walk around Babies R Us three separate trips before I could concentrate on actually shopping for what I needed) I looked up once and noticed there were elephants standing in the middle of the aisle in Michael Millers area. Elephants!
PMQG Quilt
I must have been focusing on this gorgeous quilt by the Portland Modern Quilt Guild. So many great block designs!
PMQG Quilt Detail
I love the colors and it's made with Michael Miller's Cotton Couture Solids. A charm pack of Cotton Couture was in my goodie bag from the MQG meetup and it's very luxurious!
Another striking quilt made from Cotton Couture solids by NYC Metro MOD Quilters. I really love the quilting on this one and the way the blocks appear to be constructed.
Violet Craft
I was so pleased to get a chance to talk with Violet Craft. Her new line of fabric for Michael Miller is Madrona Road. The colors and prints are fantastic but what I love most is the story that goes along with the collection. The story is actually written in a text print that you see used in the black and white background fabric in the quilt behind her with the key holes. The font in the text is beautiful and the story is clustered in a small area and repeated on the fabric instead of it being written across the width of fabric. Love that! I'm very much looking forward to playing with these fabrics! And I think I MUST have a version of this keyhole quilt in my foyer.
Sarah Jane Booth
I've been a fan of Sarah Jane's illustrations for a long time and I just love her next line for Michael Miller called Out to Sea. I'm not usually attracted to nautical themes but I just love the playfulness of the prints and it really reflects the imagination of children. I'm so happy she included girl pirates and mermaids because I have a girl that pretends to be both.
Here's a playful mermaid and you can see a little bit of another great print on the hat and dress in the photo. 
 She has some great embroideries to go along with the collection too.

Well, I've probably overloaded you with pictures! These a just a few of so many great things that are coming soon.

I'm off to get busy organizing for an upcoming trip to Tennessee. I'm so excited that my brother is getting married to a very nice young lady who loves to sew and craft. She's going to be a fun addition to the family. And my sister and I are already plotting fun with our girls! I can't wait for some of our late night chats. And how lucky am I to be able to spend time working with my mom and dad in their quilt shop?!  It'll be interesting with the big NE Tennessee Shop Hop happening.

I'm hoping I can pop back here now and then amongst all the celebrations and activities.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Spring 2012 Quilt Market

Bonnie and Camille
I've had a little time to process my visits to quilt market and I have to say the overwhelm is still coming in waves!

Let me tell you a little about my experience.

I attended market thanks to Camille Roskelley. I helped a bit with her and her mom's booths. I'm sure you've seen their Cotton Way and Thimble Blossoms patterns (Swoon, anyone??). They also design Bonnie and Camille fabric together for Moda. I've loved their fabric designs for quite some time and discovered Camille's Simplify blog through the Artful Blogging magazine a couple of years ago. It was no surprise that they are genuinely sweet and wonderful to visit with in person.

Their Vintage Modern line of fabric is beautiful and their newest line is Marmalade. It has many of the same colors but they've added some orange and yellow that really makes me think of spring. 

Bonnie and Camille

I've been in Bartle Hall several times before, so when I walked in on Wednesday by way of a loading dock, it appeared as I anticipated with piles of boxes and crates and all the pieces of booths being carried in bit by bit. When I walked in on Friday, it was magical. It reminded me of watching the Wizard of Oz in black and white and then suddenly you're in OZ with brilliant color everywhere.I only had about two hours to explore on Friday and just walked through quickly. Lots of smiles everywhere and an underlying sense of anticipation.
Empty Bobbin Booth
After I stopped by Bonnie and Camille's booth I was focused on finding my friend Shea's booth. She creates the amazing Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio patterns. And when I say amazing, I really mean it. Shea has really set the standard for patterns with the way she prints a little booklet with fabulous color photos of quilts in optional fabrics and sizes. I know I'm a little biased since I've tested a few of her patterns but as a visual learner I appreciate how clearly each of her steps are illustrated.

I zipped through the rest to get an overview of what was there. Notions, software, threads, quilting and sewing machines, embroidery patterns, quilt patterns, books, clothes patterns, batting, modern and traditional fabrics with everything in between.

I was completely awestruck in so many ways. I'm mostly amazed knowing how much passion and hard work goes into putting fabric, patterns and books into my hands.

I returned on Sunday morning with my friend Sarah and walked the entire floor again together. Everyone was much more relaxed. Even though I felt more comfortable taking pictures, I was just too absorbed in looking to snap many photos. There's so many images of things I loved that keep floating to the surface of my mind. Luckily, I picked up a few cards and brochures to jog my memory.

I'll share a few photos of things that caught my eye.

Kona Modern Quilts
Kona's Modern Quilt fabric line.

Green Bee Booth
Green Bee that first quilt on the left.
Denyse Scmidt Booth
I could have spent hours in Denyse Schmidt's booth looking at all the details on her inspiration wall. Denyse Scmidt Quilts
I'm intrigued with the quilts from her new book. They have such a vintage, antique feel that seems so comfortable and stimulating at the same time.

I do have a few more things to share with you but I'd better stop for now. Everyone here went to bed long ago and I should follow!


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