Monday, May 18, 2015

Modern Maples - DWM

It's Monday and I have a flimsy finish! And a few news items to share :)

The New Quilt Bloggers blog hop is going to be hosted by several bloggers that participated in the hop last year. I participated last year and have to say, I learned SO much about how to make my blog more visually pleasing, blogging in general and most importantly, I made some very special friendships during that hop that remain strong today, long after the hop. If your blog is under two years old, I strongly recommend that you consider signing up to participate in this hop! Click on the icon to be taken to Yvonne's site, Quilting Jetgirl, for more information. Sign up is open now!! Don't miss out on this fabulous opportunity!

And, the 2015 Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative side is in full swing! You can read more about my entries here and here. If you haven't linked up, I encourage you to do so! This online quilt show is a feast for the eyes and a great way to find new quilty friends and great blogs! You can link up until May 21st. What are you waiting for? Jump in and have fun!! The Viewer's Choice voting is going on now through May 21st. Voting in each category begins May 22.

OK, OK, I know what about the flimsy??? :) Before I show the pictures, I just want to say that putting this one together seemed to take forever (Remember, I said I'd have it finished a week ago??? Yeah #1 fan, I know you do!) because I could not decide on a layout. Then when I thought I had it all figured out. . . I also figured out I did not have enough background fabric. And back to the design wall I would go. . . Right, the pictures ;)

Did you look at the pictures and think "Meh, it's ok. . . I don't know if I like it" . . . I did. I looked at it for an entire day. Moved the leaves around a bit. I told my husband it looked scattered. He agreed and may have insinuated this was not his favorite quilt. That's his pragmatic way of telling me he does not like it! LOL And then I decided I really like it! Falling leaves. Scattered leaves. Yup, that's what it looks like! Mission accomplished ;) I sent a picture to Sandra, here's what she said "I gazed at it for some time, because to be honest at first I thought hmm, I'm not so sure...but then the more I looked at it, the more it made my eyes wander all over (something I always like in a quilt) and I realized that there is no pattern. The leaves are blowing around ( I like the little swirl in the upper right) much like they do in nature. And I like that! I like that it's not matchy matchy and that your eyes roam trying to FIND that but they won't. I like the blue leaves too!" Exactly!! :) 

I ordered wide backing for it and that should get here on Tuesday. . . that might be a bit of wishful thinking. . . it will likely show up on Wednesday. I was hoping to get this one quilted by Friday, that's probably not realistic. . . sometimes being realistic is overrated! :) 

Linking up with Beth over at Cooking Up Quilts for MCM and Patchwork Times for DWM. Hop over and see what everyone else is doing! 

While I wait for the backing for this one and for Nod to Gees Bend, I am back to quilting on the rose linen. I spread it out to see where I was with it yesterday. . . Being away from it for three weeks has not been helpful! I did a little more ripping, a lot of studying staring at it trying to figure out what my plan was and now I am ready to  go! Today and tomorrow (provided the backing does not arrive) I will be happily quilting :)

Until next time, keep on quilting!
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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Twirling Aqua - Modern Quilts Category

My second entry for the Spring 2015 Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side is Twirling Aqua and I'm entering it into the Modern Quilts category. My first entry is Shock Waves in the Home Machine Quilted category. It was the making of this quilt that started my obsession with HSTs :) The versatility of the humble little HST is absolutely amazing! Since making this quilt, I have done several others incorporating these little gems. I think this might be an obsession that lasts for quite some time! This quilt was an absolute blast to make, from cutting those initial 8" squares to quilting to sewing on the binding (machine sewing the binding. . . I'm not a fan of doing hand sewing. LOVE the way it looks, doing it). I'll spare you lots of words, I know you are here to see the quilt! :)

And the back, improv pieced with the fabric left over from the front.

You can read more about the making of this quilt here, lessons learned in piecing the flimsy can be found here and and the final post here.

Voting for the various categories begins May 22. Viewer's choice nominations are being taken now! Make sure you head over and nominate your favorite three quilts for the viewer's choice award!

Thanks for visiting and enjoy the show! I'm off to visit more blogs and see more awesome eye candy!! :)

Until next time, keep on quilting!
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Friday, May 15, 2015

Shock Waves - Home Machine Quilted

It is time for the Spring 2015 Blogger's Quilt Festival! While Spring Market goes on in Minneapolis, MN, we get to party with the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy over at Amy's Creative Side. I am linking up this recent finish in the Home Machine Quilted category. I made this quilt to test a pattern for Yvonne over at Quilting Jetgirl. Yvonne has fabulously written patterns in her Payhip and Craftsy sites, including the one for this quilt. Her pattern is called Triangle Transparency. I call my quilt Shock Waves :) 
From picking the fabrics, to piecing, to quilting, I loved every part of making this quilt!
The quilting of this quilt was a collaborative effort between me and my husband. He is an engineer and he has an eye for art and design. When I laid out this top in the alternative layout, he looked at it, smiled and said "That is it." and then he said "It looks like shock waves." Hence the name. Then he told me that when I quilted it, the quilting had to radiate out from the center. He told me about Sacred Geometry. I did an image search and knew I had the design for the center of the quilt.

Close up of the center Sacred Geometry motif.
We then came up with designs that radiated out from the center of the quilt. 

All four of the sections were quilted with the same designs. I used threads that matched the fabric.
I also knew I wanted to accentuate the secondary diamond pattern. I did this by quilting in the triangle shapes in the negative space and then filled the triangles with designs that would continue to draw the eye outward. My husband picked the border design out of Christina Cameli's book "Step by Step Free Motion Quilting." It is called Port Holes. BTW, highly recommend this book!

Overall I think we achieved the intended effect of the quilting, my husband 'approved' the designs along the way :)
I pieced the back of the quilt with leftover fabric from the front.
Reversible quilt!
As you can see, I had a blast quilting this quilt. It is definitely the most dense quilting I have done to date. But definitely not the last! :) Thank you for taking the time to read a bit about the process of making this quilt. If you'd like to read more, my previous posts about this quilt are found here, here and here. Have a wonderful time hopping around blogland looking at all of the wonderful quilts!

If you have not heard about Amy's online quilt show, you really, really, really have to go check it out!! I promise, you will not be disappointed! Talk about inspiration overload :)

 Until next time, keep on quilting!
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Thursday, May 14, 2015

My Creative Space

Today is my day to share my creative space! Have you seen the posts related to where people create? Julie over at Pink Doxies started this game of tag so we could see where "regular people like us" create. Fun, right?? Sandra over at Musings of a Menopausal Melon tagged me. I did some upgrades to my sewing space last September (I cannot believe it was that long ago!!) and I have to say, I still love it and wouldn't change a thing! In that post, you can see what my sewing space looked like before I added my ironing table and cutting table. You might notice there is a bit of a difference in the amount of fabric that is being stored displayed under the ironing table! OK, it's messy. I have not been good about putting fabric on comic boards as it is delivered. . . Do you find it difficult to bust up those bundles??? I have pretty much emptied that magic fabric chest and most of the fat quarters to half yards are now out in the open and breathing fresh air ;)

My studio is on one side of the living room. It is a large open space which is great (15'x18'. . . room for a long arm in there!!!). The one thing I have not figured out completely is lighting. I live in the desert. There are patios around the entire house to keep the sun from beating down into the house. Natural lighting is a bit scarce not because there are no windows, but because the shades spend most of there time in the down position. I'm thinking floor lamps. . . I just need to find that 'perfect' one, or two, that will fit the bill. Want to see what it looks like today? Well, here it is!

Wide angle view:
Umm, yeah, the industrial sewing machine is once again covered in fabric and 'stuff'. . . No, it hasn't been used since that post in September :(

Front door close by so when happy mail arrives, I am right there to grab it accept the delivery :)
First the design wall, I don't know how I functioned without it!! This was something I put up about three or four months after I started quilting. It's been with me awhile and probably needs a little attention. . . It is two 4'x8' foam insulation boards covered with cotton batting. I covered the two boards separately. I think when if I recover these boards I will attach them so they are one board. I thought having two would be convenient but quite honestly, it has been more of a pain. As you can see, I have room to have the two boards together and I really have not had a need over the past year and a half to separate the boards. They are a pain to keep together since they are not attached to anything. And yes, that is Modern Maples hanging around. . . that is the fourth or fifth layout I have tried. . . I'm thinking this is it. . . . maybe. . . more on that in another post :)

My sewing table:
Notice that the cutting table is right up against the sewing table? Now the larger quilts do not fall off that side of the table! This has been a really cool added bonus of having a cutting table! :)
I have never had another sewing table so I don't have anything to compare it to. What I can tell you is that this one is fabulous!! LOTS of room to the back of the table and space to the left forming an L shape and even space to the right which as you can see has become my catch all for things like thread, needles, glue, rulers. . . whatever notions I need for the project on which I am working. AND the sewing machine is sunken to the level of the table. This makes for quilting heaven :) It is made by TailorMade and is the Quilter's Dream Model. The drawer unit on coasters is especially convenient as I can move it around at my whimsy. I have never regretted this purchase. Ever.

My cutting table:
Convenient little space to the left to store my light table :)
Love that this table is long enough that there is space for my rotating cutting mat and/or a space to put cutting scraps. Working on this larger, higher cutting table has been wonderful!
I researched for a very L O N G time before I settled on this solution for my cutting table. There are so many very clever solutions people have devised and shared and there are many very nice (read expensive, really expensive) cutting tables made by various different manufacturers. I looked at them all (OK maybe not all but it certainly felt like it!!). I was ready to bite the bullet and spend a fortune on a cutting table and then came to my senses. . . that money could be better spent on fabric right?? The cutting table top is a table top from Ikea! I put the top on three cabinets from ClosetMaid (Model # 898200). More storage!! For the cabinet that faces the wall, I left the doors off so it is the perfect place to hide stuff like starch, spray baste, water spritzing bottles (that's a technical term!!) and any other sewing related item that I need but don't need ALL of the time and would rather not have them displayed :) I keep batting scraps and tape for quilt basting on the other end and the middle cabinet is surprisingly . . . empty. . . ??? I know! The cabinets plus the width of the table top make this cutting table the perfect height for this short girl ;) I also bought a large cutting mat for the top. I think this is my most favorite part of this table!

My ironing table/fabric storage unit:
Lighting is not good in this corner. I'm on the lookout for the perfect floor lamp to put between the sewing cabinet and the ironing table. Yes, I have some organizing to do with fabric purchases stacked thrown in that top left cubby. . .

Probably should have moved that iron cord huh? :)
The ironing table top is the same table top from Ikea covered in batting and fabric! I absolutely LOVE having this much 'ironing area', another technical term :) The cubicles are from ClosetMaid (Model # 425600). The ironing table is tall and I had a major debate with myself about whether or not it would be functional. I am happy to say that after 6 months of continuous use, I really, really like it! Having blocks closer to these old eyes is a good thing! I have been known to use my kitchen step stool when ironing yardage :) Bet you'd like to see a picture of that! Definitely not going to happen. LOL

I absolutely love the fabric storage portion of this ironing table! I also store my rulers (what a collection!!) and books in these cubbies. I have yardage for background fabric and backings, flannel, books and a few bundles in the cubies that face my sewing machine. The majority of my stash is in those front six cubbies along with my rulers. I opted to put the third unit behind the middle unit and have just one cubby for storage and the other cubby to extend the width of the front cubby (clear as mud huh?). This works well for ruler storage since some of them are longer than the depth of the unit.

There you have it! The part of my world where I create. And let's be honest, spend the majority of my time! :) Now it is my turn to tag another to share their creative space! I have asked Preeti, who blogs at Sew Preeti Quilts, to share her creative space next week. Preetie makes the most beautiful quilts AND she has the most clever and creative tutorials on the web! I'm not kidding, check out her tutorials page and prepare to be amazed! I still look at her quarter square triangle tutorial and shake my head - clever, easy and how did she come up with this??? If you haven't had the pleasure of making Preeti's acquaintance, take a moment to check out Preeti's blog and say "Hi!" :)

Have a wonderful creative day, week, month ;) I'll be participating in the Bloggers Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side. It starts tomorrow!! Come back and to see which quilt(s) I decide to link and consider joining in on the fun! :) 
Linking up with Kelly for NTT!

Until next time, keep on quilting!
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Monday, May 11, 2015

And The Winner Is. . .

THANK YOU, to all who entered the giveaway and to all of you who are new followers! So much fun to read all of your comments on where you shop! Many of you suggested online shops that I had never heard of before and yes, I checked them out :) Of course, just window shopping at the moment but I'll be referring back to your comments next time that shopping urge hits! 

Drum roll please!! The winner as drawn by the True Random Number Generator (I think this is funny... is there a False Random Number Generator out there?? lol) is:

Congratulations, Donna! I have sent you an email with your gift certificate! Yvonne will be sending the patterns to you shortly! 

I'll be back later in the day (yes, I really am up at this hour!) to share my progress with my modern maples :) Will it be a flimsy? Will it be random layouts to comment about? The suspense is killing me too!! ;) 

Until then, keep on quilting!!
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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Vacation Fabric Buys. . .

First, if you haven't entered my giveaway -! It's only open until 5/10 at 12 a.m. PST. It's instant gratification, .PDF patterns and a Hawthorn Threads gift certificate. I'll announce the winner tomorrow!

Remember I said that I went a little crazy with the online shopping while I was on vacation? Well, most of the packages have now arrived. . . Still waiting for two cones (yes, the big big cones) of Aurifil thread. . . Actually, my shopping spree wasn't as bad as I thought. . . yup, might be justifying just a bit there. :) I had decided a couple of months ago that I really need to sew my stash and stop adding to it. To be honest, stash makes me kind of nervous. I love all of those colors and fabrics sitting there all pretty just waiting to be cut up into a quilt. But then I start thinking, am I ever going to use all of this?? My stash is pretty small compared to others I have seen around blogland (come back the end of next week, I'm going to be sharing my sewing space and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about). I'm more apt to buy fabric to suit the quilt that is striking my fancy at the moment. Which means I don't always look to my stash first. . . And sometimes a girl just needs new fabric!

OK, enough of my angst, here's what I bought and what my plans (if I have a plan lol) are for it:

Amy Butler True Colors.
It's early. No natural light. . . but you get the idea :)
I have a plan! I saw Sparkle Punch as made by Kati, From the Blue Chair. And I saw this bundle and decided it is perfect for this pattern and both the pattern and the fabric remind me of my niece. . . Ahem. Yes, I have fabric in my stash that would be just as perfect. . . but not as perfect as this bundle ;) Does it count that I'll use background fabric from my stash? . . . I can't wait to get started on this quilt. I have one or two things that need to be finished up. . . and then. . . :) Oh, and the pattern is from Oh Frasson! Her site is undergoing a makeover and is not fully functional. . . I panicked! The pattern is free on her site, but try as I might I could not get to it. . . A little obsessed and not to be deterred, I found it in an old Fons and Porter magazine. . . which I may have purchased as well. . . OK, enough on that one, on to the next!

Plaster of Paris.
No such thing as enough blenders right? Right??? ;)
LOVE this! The colors are absolutely fabulous. Much like the Handspray bundle I am using for the Modern Maples quilt I'm making (update post on that Monday!). Plans? Who needs a plan with a bundle that fabulous?? haha But seriously, I have plans for parts of it. I'm going to be testing a couple of patterns over the next couple of months and I think this bundle will come in extremely handy :) Other than that, I'll be staring at it lovingly :)

Handcrafted by Alison Glass
I'm thinking something with flying geese. . . But I'm not ready to commit!
I have had my eye on this bundle for months. . . and I caved. Plans? None. I'm going to stare at it for awhile. It makes me smile. :) Something will come to me!

Some of you will recognize all of these bundles as recent Massdrop offerings. . . yeah. I also got the Olfa blade replacements, the Simmons sewing gauge and the Aurifil cones. . . That is what you call absolutely no restraint. . .

See! that wasn't so bad! ;) Linking up with the fabulous Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash. Head over and be tempted ;) Also linking up with Patchwork Times for DWM.

Until next time, keep on quilting! And buying fabric ;)
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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Patterns and $25 Gift Cert for SMS Giveaway Day!

Welcome to my Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day post! 

I am giving away your choice 2 of Quilting Jetgirl's (otherwise known as Yvonne) patterns! Yvonne has a selection of instant download PDF quilt patterns for sale through Craftsy. Her patterns have been tested and/or reviewed by other quilters (one by me!!). Yvonne documents her process, ideas, and tutorials related to quilting on her blog Quilting Jetgirl. Yvonne has a giveaway today too. After you are finished here, head on over and check out her giveaway and her blog! AND, to enable your fabric habit grin a $25 gift certificate to Hawthorn Threads!

Here is a collage of the patterns available in Yvonne's Craftsy store:
I tested her most recent pattern release, Triangle Transparency. Click on the caption to find out more about Shock Waves and the pattern testing. The short story is this - Yvonne's patterns are really fabulous and well written!! :)

This was a quick quilt top to piece and an absolute blast to quilt!
How do you win this fabulous prize? It's easy, just leave a comment telling me which of the two patterns you would chose if you won this prize and for fun (and to enable my fabric shopping habit) what is your favorite online shopping spot? For a second chance, leave me another comment telling me how you follow me. Easy peasy :) This giveaway is open to everyone, international and domestic!

The giveaway will be open until Sunday May 10th at midnight PDT. The winner will be drawn through Mr. Random and will be announced here on Monday (5/11). Please, please, please make sure I can get in touch with you! If you are not sure, please leave your email in your comment. I will email the winner to confirm your choice of pattern and give you your gift certificate.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you around my little corner again soon!

Until next time, keep on quilting!

I always respond to comments but I may not be able to due to the high number of comments on giveaway posts. I appreciate your comments and hope you will come back and visit soon!
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