April 19, 2014

Open to beauty

I loved reading the responses to my last post. You all are drinking in the beauty around you! You're thrilled about spring. You love your families. You love quilting. And even where some of you are in the midst of sorrows, you are still finding what is precious and lovely. Thank you for sharing this all with me.

For the giveaway the winner of the fat quarter pack of Jennifer Sampou's Shimmer is Lynne Tilley #43, picked by random.org. And I just have to tell you, as a midwife, I got a thrill that the "atmospheric noise" of random.org chose the very person who left this comment:

"I'm about to see the most beautiful thing, my new grandson who is being born at this very moment. I'm waiting on the text message to tell me he's here :)
Reading sewing blogs is my only way of staying calm until he arrives :) Thanks!"

Just perfect. I hope you all have a great weekend, new and old and in between.

April 10, 2014

Shimmer Shimmer Shimmer

On my first-ever trip to Quilt Market last fall, I developed a complete crush on Jennifer Sampou. Not only was she warm and welcoming to a bewildered newcomer, she has a unique sense of style that looks effortless. Awesome boots, a cowhide bag lined in her own fabric. Mercy. She is that kind of artist-Jedi that makes you feel at ease but inspired at the same time.

So I loved it when she asked if I would make something with her upcoming fabric line, Shimmer.  Of course it's like Jennifer, natural, classy, and, with the iridescent printing, a little different without being weird. It's subtler than your standard metallic fabric. Touchable. I like it. 

I lucked out that Jennifer wanted me to use her snakeskin fabric. I loved the way it looked quilted and I thought, "Shimmer indeed!" I really want this print in every color now.

I made the messenger bag from my book. Jennifer and I each contributed leather scraps for the belt. That was her idea of course! Jedi-level, right? 

You'll be hearing lots of other bloggers tell you about Jennifer's fabric I think, so I won't say much more. If you're inclined to pre-order it you can do so at the Cotton Patch. Definitely stop by Jennifer's blog to get entered to win a fat quarter pack of this fabric before her drawing on the 21st. And visit the other participants in the blog hop too, each one of us has a charm pack to give away!

April 1Robert Kaufman/Jennifer Sampou
April 2Janice Ryan- Better off Thread
April 3Alissa Haight Carlton- Handmade by Alissa
April 4Julie Herman- JayBird Quilts
April 5Natalie Barnes- Beyond the Reef
April 6Stash Books- C&T Publishing
April 7Amanda Jean Nyberg- Crazy Mom Quilts
April 8Lee Heinrich- Freshly Pieced 
April 9Cheryl Arkinson- Naptime Quilter
April 10-Christina Cameli- A Few Scraps
April 11-Elizabeth Hartman- Oh Fransson
April 12-Faith Jones-Fresh Lemon Quilts
April 13-Gemma Jackson- Pretty Bobbins
April 14Katie Blakesley- Swim Bike Quilt
April 15-Amy Smart-Diary of a Quilter
April 16Laura Nownes, Jennifer Rounds, Pati Fried, Darra Williamson- See How We Sew
April 17-Holly DeGroot- Bijou Lovely
April 18-Jennifer Sampou-Wrap Up
April 21-Jennifer Sampou- Announce Winner of Giveaway FQ Pack of entire Shimmer Collection.

So to enter the giveaway for the charm pack, leave me a comment below telling me about something beautiful you've seen recently. Mine: as I type this I'm watching drops of rain sparkle in the cedar tree after a rainstorm. I'll draw a winner at random, after April 14th. Thank you to Jennifer Sampou and Robert Kaufman for the giveaway! 

April 07, 2014

60 degrees

I am enjoying playing these days. I have this 60 degree ruler that I'm becoming friends with. I used it to cut up some strips to test a theory. It worked!

The strips are different sizes to prove that it doesn't matter if the strips are different sizes. Cut at 60 degrees they will all turn the corners just fine.

There are so many ways you can arrange the triangles!

I like what I settled on. It was a fun experiment. I'll set it aside for now so I can keep playing.

March 21, 2014

Good Ideas

Good Ideas sometimes won't leave me alone until I do what they want. These graduated triangles have been bothering me for quite some time now. I've finally put them into fabric and hopefully that will make them hush.

The triangles started all the same size.

Then they were cropped.

And now I can relax.

I haven't been blogging much so it probably seems like I'm relaxing left and right but no, not so! See, I  keep letting these Good Ideas in my head to sit down and have some tea and then I feel like I know them and then I feel compelled to bring them into reality, because I don't know if anyone else will and wouldn't it be so sad if they never got to play in the real world?

And that's why I fell off the face of the interwebs. Because in the matter of spreading Good Ideas I can either blog or write a book and for the last couple of months it was the other one! No one is happier than my family that this book has gone to live with C&T Publishing so that they can work their magic and I can act like a human being again.  The book will be out in January. As soon as there's a title and a cover I will tell you more, I can hardly wait!

Feels good to be back here. Happy spring everyone!

January 10, 2014

Pat Sloan and my double geek-out

When I was a kid I wanted to be an astronaut. So Bad. I tried getting a scholarship to Space Camp. I hung out in the back yard with my telescope. I knew when the major meteor showers happened. I was part of the Space and Astronomy Club in high school. Yeah, oh yeah.

So now I am a quilting geek instead of an astro geek and I just about fell over that quilter Pat Sloan recently interviewed astronaut Karen Nyberg.

And then I really fell over because Pat Sloan also wants to interview me! This Monday January 13th! It's almost like getting to be in the same room as Karen and Pat, and both the 37 year old me and the 15 year old me are thrilled. If you want to hear the words "free motion quilting" like 100 times, you should listen in. You can reach the show from the American Patchwork and Quilting podcast page at 1pm Pacific time.

The show Karen was on is at the above link too and Monday's show will be archived and available there after it airs as well.

Now, might I introduce you to NASA's Gangnam Style Parody (in which Karen Nyberg has a cameo)? You can thank me later. Happy New Year quilters!

December 13, 2013

My new use for batting scraps

I have a collection of skinny strips of leftover batting, and I know I am not alone. At about 2 inches wide they are too small individually for any little quilted project.  I know I don't have the patience to piece them together to make a larger piece, though I happily do that with bigger pieces to get enough for a quilt top.

But now I have it. I know what to do. I take little fabric scraps and sew-and-flip piece them onto my batting strips!

And then when I have several strips...

I piece those together with one-inch wide strips of fabric.

(here's what that looks like from the back)

And then bigger things have formed from littler things, and I feel happy.

This completes a veritable trifecta of quilting waste prevention:
Using practice pads as pre-quilted piecing foundation
Joining little quilted bits into bigger quilted panels, and now,
Piecing fabric onto batting strips

Sigh of satisfaction.

Best wishes for your to do lists and self-care my friends! Make a little time to sew, you know you'll feel better.

November 20, 2013

All the news that is news

I have a new job, which is downright wonderful unless you like reading my blog (hi grandma!).

I have sewn a few things. First, an iPad cover for my husband. He loves it. Seriously, my man takes something I quilted for him to work. That is a major achievement.

Side note: I will make a tutorial. If you need it before the gift giving season let me know so I can take my attention away from peanut butter cups and Netflix.

I also made more nesting buckets. I love these things. They are a fun way to get people to try free motion quilting and have something to show for it at the end. I have one more class coming up to teach them. I wish I had better pictures but right after this the toddler photobombed me! Little man is into everything these days. Everything. Exhibit A:

Also, I have two patterns in the just-out issue of Stitch Gifts 2014! (The sewing industry is like the automobile industry with years now!). In one of the patterns they autocorrected my last name to Camel.  Hah! It's good for a laugh at least. I hope life is equally joyful around your parts!