Friday, September 30, 2011

Tutorial link and GIFTS

My favorite magazine to buy every year is Quilting Arts GIFTS issue.  Always chuck full of things I want to make! I spied this at Hobby Lobby earlier this week and snatched it up.
Of course sitting beside it was this:
Which  upon flipping through I had to have as well.  Also very inspiring and I can't wait to play with some of those patterns.
I have been busy all week working on a Quillow tutorial which I posted on the Quilters Crossing blog so please check it out if you have time. Great for a quick gift!
 Below is one of the Quillows all folded up in its pillow form. For this sample I used Kate Spain's Terrain line which I am absolutely loving! 
I also made up the free pattern for Terrain from Moda's website. Here is a work in progress shot:(All the blocks completed and laying out) Check out the secondary patterns created...
Then I added the white border but I had a whole bunch of 2.5x 10" strips leftover from the layer cake so I made a piano key border to use them up. Did I mention I love this fabric line?????
I really like the end result, I can't wait to quilt it!
I think I am going to keep this baby for me after it has a run in the shop as a sample- we are going to make kits for this too!
Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Twister Finish

So I decided to try to make a Twister Quilt for one of the assistant dance teachers at my daughter's dance school who is having her second baby in November.  You can do a twister with a "layer cake" in other words, a stack of 10"x10" squares. I cut my own but, if you are lucky enough to find a Layer cake with the fabrics you want it saves you a couple hours of cutting.
I layed them out randomly and then tweaked to make sure the colors/prints and solids were all sort of balanced and ended up with this layout.
Then as the directions on the tool instruct I put a border all around the squares. I know... it doesn't look like much right now.
The magic happens when you start cutting the piece up with this tool. You match up the lines on the template with the seam lines in your grid of fabric squares.
You end up with some waste but....
when you put them back together you get this cool surprise effect:
It really went together quickly so I put a border outside my twisters, quilted it and bound it in time for Caitlyn's baby shower today! 
Plenty big enough for baby Joshua to roll around on with his big brother Jesse!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sewing with Oilcloth

I saw this book was being released and as I have followed The Oilcloth Addicts blog for a couple of years now I was excited that she put a book out. They arrived for purchase at the shop today.
Turns out the book is great! Full of detailed drawings and colorful photos.
Lots of tips on using oilcloth fabrics (suggestions on which machine feet cooperate best), advantages and great ideas on what to make with this stuff! Bags, table clothes, baby items, household items, containers etc... This is what I made first - The wallet.
I think it came out pretty cute!  
These are laminated cottons from the Moda line designed by Kate Spain's called Terrain, available at Quilters Crossing (of course :-))
 The directions are for only one quarter yard of the fabric but I wanted to use both designs so I bought a quarter yard of each- now I have enough leftover to make the wallet again in the reverse! Not bad price wise!
 I completed it in less than 2 hours- I am thinking some friends will be getting one of these for gifts! And I can't wait to try some other patterns from the book.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Quilt Across Texas

Quilters Crossing, where I work, is participating in the first ever Quilt Across Texas Shop Hop for the whole month of September! 
sorry for the shadows in the pic
We were asked to make a quilt using the fabric line designed for the shop hop. Each of the 111 stores had a block assigned to them. We were allowed to use any of the blocks but only allowed to give instructions out for our own block- I guess this is to add incentive to shop hoppers to get to the other stores and receive their block instructions so they can complete the quilts if they desire?  It seems weird to me to sell a kit for a quilt that has incomplete directions though....we'll see.

We only used blocks from stores in our region which we thought might help those wanting to duplicate it. My mom pieced the patchwork blocks on the top and bottom and the block with the yellow rose in the center of the quilt and bound it at the end, we got the four corners from the panel and I designed the settings and center and quilted it. 
I really drew on my experience doing a round robin to complete this project.  It was very much like that because I had to work with fabrics I would not have chosen myself and make them work nicely together. It was a challenge, and I can't say I am completely thrilled with the results but, customers have given pretty positive feedback so hopefully it is successful at selling the fabric!
We get a lot of requests for quilts from charity organizations in the area and we are thinking of donating this quilt to one of those in hopes that they can use it raise some money. I am open to suggestions as to which organization. I would have to say I would like it to be local and a 501c3 non profit though. 
Anyone with any ideas please leave a comment. Thanks!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

More happiness

 My brother Jim, and his girlfriend Abigail, got married last week among family and friends.
I made it through the whole ceremony without crying but got teary seeing my brother smiling like this during pictures, I have never seen him look so truly happy and no doubt the beautiful lady beside him is the reason.
My family traveled up to the Adirondack Mountains for the wedding, where we enjoyed absolutely heavenly weather here:
on the shores of Lake Champlain, the lake that divides New York from its neighbor Vermont. Most days the water was around 70 degrees and the air was too! Bliss. The kids tried their hands at any and all watersports available:
Water skiing

Boating, swimming you name it!
We also visited Fort Ticonderoga, a place once called by the French, "The Key to a Continent" during the French and Indian War.
View from the fort

It was amazing to walk through the archway ( above ) and know we were walking where famous historical figures like George Washington and Ethan Allen once stood.
The ornamentation on the cannons was beautiful.
Unfortunately, our stay in the beautiful Adirondacks was overlapped by that of another visitor- this one less welcome- Hurricane Irene!

And like the Gulf Coast hurricanes we have experienced at home....

there was a lot of clean up afterwards.
So we were delayed in coming home a few days while the airports got straightened up but we had a great trip. I am home now and hard at work on the Quilt Across Texas Quilt for the shop. Hopefully it will be done tomorrow!  Stay tuned!