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!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Out Exploring & Winners

We started our holiday weekend a day early and are having fun exploring together. We found this great dinner this morning that had the best omelets! And I just love the name "Banjo's."

I'm watching dinner cook on the grill as I write this and will be walking down to the river afterwards. Super excited to have some friends come enjoy a campfire with us tomorrow night.

I so enjoyed reading what all of you are planning on enjoying this summer!

Here's our winners:

The Calendar Countdown book goes to hueisei.

The pink fat quarters go to chibdani.

The Empty Bobbins Advent Calendar Pattern goes to Bailey.

And the Cotton Way Pipsqueak pattern goes to pianomama.

Congratulations and thanks to all if you who played along! I'll be contacting the winners by email.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pillow Stack

Home Sweet Home

This past week and weekend, I got to visit the International Quilt Market in Kansas City. I have a lot I want to share with you but I'm still trying to get caught up here at home, pack for a camping trip, and entertain Jenna now that summer vacation has begun. I'm still processing everything I saw. It was pretty amazing. I see pictures out on the internet of booths I was in several times and notice details that didn't register with me. 

I did snap a photo of my Home Sweet Home pillow that I tested for Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio. I came across it in the Moda booth hanging out with a couple of other very cool pillows. It was fun to spot some of the other projects my guild friends had tested in different booths. Kind of an Empty Bobbin I Spy!Have a great weekend, everyone! I might pop back in before Monday but I'm planning on some down time with the family and friends this Memorial Day holiday.

MQG Meet Up

The Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild and the St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild teamed up with the help of QuiltCon to host a meet up on Saturday night at the downtown KC Marriott.

There was an amazing turn out with close to 300 people, unbelievable door prizes and giveaways. Authors, tv personalities, fabric designers, shop owners, quilters, artists, publishers, bloggers, friends, manufacturers, pattern designers, guild members from across the world, a baby and so many more mixed and mingled. It was so loud! A room full of energy and excitement. It was such a great time and all the organizers from Kansas City and St.Louis did an incredible job.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

Today is Sew, Mama, Sew's Giveaway Day and if you are visiting for the first time, welcome! If you haven't been a part of the giveaway day before, you are in for a treat! You can visit here to find out more. I am giving away items to four different winners and I will ship any prize internationally. 

One prize will be this lovely Countdown Calendars book published by Stash Books. There are so many great patterns for a variety of calendars in this book.
You could win a set of four fat quarters,
or a wonderful Advent Activity Calendar pattern by Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio. Inside the pattern are activities printed on card stock to use with your calendar.
Another prize is The Little Pipsqueaks pattern by Cotton Way. It would make such a sweet baby quilt or table topper. 

Just leave a comment letting me know what you're most looking forward to this summer and which prize you'd like to win. If you'd like a second chance to win, become a follower or let me know that you already do. The giveaway will be open until May 25 when winners will be chosen at random. Have fun exploring all the giveaways at Sew, Mama, Sew!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival - May 2012

Bloom Strong
Blogger's Quilt Festival begins today and I'm sharing my Bloom Strong quilt. I wasn't sure which of my quilts to share because I love them all for different reasons. I saw this one at my friend's house today and the sweet little girl it was made for and I remembered how much I enjoyed making it.
Strong Hall
I love architecture, especially historical architecture. One night I was watching television and caught a local program that highlighted some buildings in my area. I was intrigued by the details of Strong Hall which surprised me because it's not a style that usually appeals to me.
Strong Hall Detail
In fact, I've had classes in this University of Kansas building and walked by it thousands of times and never noticed the clean and simple lines inside and out. I quickly started sketching and knew these details would eventually make it into a quilt.
Bloom Strong Close
While it's not the first quilt I've designed my self (I consider this one my first) it is the first pieced quilt I designed. It was lots of fun and it was great to stretch my brain in a new way. I quilted it with straight lines to keep it nice and soft for my friend's new baby girl.
Back of Bloom Strong
The back is pieced with lots of Kate Spain Verna prints so that the quilt could be loved and used, even outside on the lawn. I'd love to try it again with scraps, perhaps in fewer colors just to see what how it changes.
Amy's Creative Side
Enjoy the festival! I know I can't wait to spend time perusing all the inspiring quilts and their stories.
Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Noodlehead Bag

Noodlehead Bag
This is a bag I made for my friend Sheryl back in January. She and I had been looking for a pattern that was just right (not too big, not too small, pretty easy to construct) for quite a while. We both saw a picture of this bag come across our email on the same morning and knew this was it. 
Noodlehead Bag

Sheryl picked out beautiful fabric and the Noodlehead Runaround pattern was very easy to follow.

 Noodlehead Bag zipper

Not only was it the first bag I completed on my own, but also my first zipper and magnetic closure. All super easy!

 Noodlehead Bag detail
The only thing I'd do differently next time, is to just generously pin the bottom to the body of the purse to sew it on. I used a long basting stitch that I pulled to gather and I just couldn't get the fabric to stay nice and even all around. I may be too much of a perfectionist but I really wanted to have a little more control over where all the gathers were stitched. I have another bag for myself cut out, so we'll see how smooth it goes. Overall, I really thought this was a great pattern. I'd like to try one of her zipper clutches soon.

{Sharon and Kristin won the Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio giveaways from the last couple of posts! You should have emails waiting in your inboxes.}

Monday, May 7, 2012

Home Sweet Home and a Giveaway

Hey there! I'm so happy to show you this pillow! Why? Because ever since my friend Ingrid showed me a little bit about paper piecing at one of our retreats, I've wanted to give paper piecing a try. I've also been wanting to use my Basic Grey Blush fabric on something special for a while now. AND after seeing all of those Pillow Talk Swap photos on Flickr I've wanted to try making a pillow. To top it off, this project includes adding a flange to the binding for an extra special finish. So many items to check off my wish list in one easy little project!!! I tested this pattern for Shea at Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio and was so happy she let me dig into my stash for this one. If you are eager to try paper piecing, this is the perfect project. Shea's pattern gives clear, easy to follow instructions on how to create those wonky letters.
I used lots of Basic Grey Grunge for the background, flange, back and binding. I can't get enough of that Grunge fabric! When it came time to quilt the front and back, I knew I wanted to reflect some of the curvy lines in the Blush prints. I had seen Jacquie use this same curvy line on one of her quilts and instantly fell in love with the quilting and I finally got to try it myself. You'll have to take a look at the other color combos Shea and Jaime used in their pillows. Such a great way to showcase favorite fabrics or scraps!
Aren't the patterns so colorful and pretty? Sarah Sorell took all of these amazing photos and does the photography for Shea's patterns. I've seen these popping up at several stores already. Shea has generously donated a copy of this pattern for one of you to win! Let me know what new thing you've been wanting to try lately and I'll pick a winner around midnight on Sunday, May 13. (You still have time to enter the Bleachers quilt pattern giveaway here.)

****Giveaway Closed*******

Have a great day! I'll be back soon to show you some other "firsts" I've been working on.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Remember when I wrote that I really had been sewing, even though it was quiet here? Well, I really was. And here's the biggie I was working on! I got to test another Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio pattern! These lovely quilt photos were taken by Sarah Sorrell.
Bleachers is a quilt pattern designed by Angela Walters and written by Shea Henderson. When I first saw this design I knew this would be the perfect quilt to make for my husband. This pattern is just perfect for guys and isn't that elegant and masculine Parson Gray fabric used in the cover quilt amazing? Love it!
The pattern comes in the three sizes you see here. Mary Anne made the baby quilt on top, Carla made the lap size in the middle and I got to test the full/queen size on the bottom. I love seeing the different color combinations they chose. All of the quilts in this photo were made with Kona solids but if you take a look at Shea's post introducing the pattern, you can see how versatile it is. It even looks great with girly, pink prints!

{If you love the pretty pink and orange baby quilt colors, my friend Tammy at Marmalade Fabrics has put together a kit in two sizes.}

I suggested blues and grays to my husband and handed him my Kona color card to let him pick some of the shades he liked. Would you believe he completely picked out the blues based on their names! He chose Royal and Blue Jay (Royal was a nick name in grade school...there were two Roys and he was Roy L...and our high school mascot was a blue jay). How could I argue with that?

Even though it's a huge quilt, it was pretty easy to put together. Shea is a terrific pattern writer and she works very hard to make sure all of her pattern directions are clear and easy to understand. 

When I finished piecing the top, I sent it off to Angela to quilt (It's so great to see the different ways she chooses to quilt the same pattern). I had to snap a quick photo of this LONG binding before I mailed it with the top. I love hand stitching binding, but I have to admit that I was okay with Shea finishing that part for me on this huge quilt. I can't imagine how long it took her to bind all these quilts!

So now that you've read all about it, are you enticed to try one yourself? Shea was so generous and gave me a pattern to pass on to one of you lucky readers! No hoops, just leave a comment. I'd love to know what colors/fabrics you'd try with this pattern, though. I have plans for at least one more Bleachers quilt!

****Giveaway Closed******

Want another chance to win? Mary Anne is also giving away a pattern. Both giveaways are open until around midnight on Sunday, May 13. Good luck!


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