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Monday, September 15, 2014

Pretty Potent Crosses

Over the summer, when I made Vintage Closet for my mom, I fell head over heels in love with the Anna Maria Horner Dowry collection.  About that same time, I got a little bit AMH-impulsive and I found a bundle of her Pretty Potent line on sale.  I was so excited when I ordered it, but when it came in, I just didn't love it.

I like the colors overall (although I wish there wasn't quite as much brown), but whereas I loved almost every single print in the Dowry line, there are several fabrics in this one that I could really do without.  There were even a few that I couldn't even bear to put in this quilt (someone will love them in my guild's next FQ swap).  I still think that AMH designs some of the most gorgeous fabrics around, but I'm just not in love with this collection.

That being said, I find AMH fabrics a little difficult to blend with others because of their boldness, so instead of breaking up the fat quarters and letting them sit for eons in my stash, I decided to just suck it up and turn that bundle into a quilt.  I think the modern cross pattern fits the feel of the prints pretty well, and I definitely like the fabrics as a whole collection much better than the individual parts.

All in all, this quilt is still not one of my favorite creations, but it does feel good to get that bundle off the shelf.  And it just might grow on me.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Treasures, News, and a Giveaway!

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of spending the day with Janet from Simply Pieced.  As you may know, Janet and I live pretty close to each other and are in the same awesome MQG.  We try to get together every once in a while and we always have a blast.  Yesterday, we decided to have lunch, go to the antique mall, and of course, finish up with some fabric shopping.

Since I converted my dining room into my (much more useful) sewing studio this summer, I have been on the lookout for an antique ladder to display some of my quilts.  I even have the perfect place beside the window (and out of the sun).  I searched all summer long and could not find exactly what I was looking for, but yesterday, Janet and I hit the jackpot of quilty treasures.  Not only did I find my ladder, I ended up with a couple of other great finds as well.

Edited 9/15- Several of you have sent messages to me about protecting my quilts on the ladder from anything that may leech out of the wood.  Thanks so much for your concern, but don't worry, each quilt has a hand towel underneath it!  :)

You know, antique shops often have quilts (or unfinished quilt tops), but they are often threadbare, have a weird smell (or stains), or else they are in colors that just don't suit my style.  I completely respect the number of hours that have gone into the making of one of these quilts, it's just that I already have quilts coming out of my ears!  So, I don't always take the time to rummage through them.

Yesterday though, Janet and I looked at every single quilt in the whole antique mall, and she found this cute unfinished quilt top for only $9.50!  What a steal!

Janet has tons going on right now, so she didn't have time for it, so I snatched it up.  The fabrics are in good condition, with no stains, rips or smells, and the piecing is well done.  It was machine pieced, which actually I like, because that means I will have no qualms about finishing it on the machine.  Those hand pieced masterpieces deserve hand quilting and that's not happening (no hand quilting for me!)  Anyway, I digress.  This little quilt top measures about 32 inches square, so with a small border and a good washing, it will be a cute little boy preemie donation quilt.

I also came across this old sewing drawer, and it was ridiculously cheap as well.  I've decided to use it as a pretty place to keep my remote controls, a coaster, and anything else that usually sits on top of my sewing cabinet.  Anything to help battle the clutter that seems to gather on top of my workspace.

Yesterday was so much fun, and I could not be happier with all of my treasures.  It has been a super busy weekend in more than one way though, because I am also happy that I get to welcome Fort Worth Fabric Studio as my newest blog sponsor!

                                                                Fort Worth Fabric Studio

I love Fort Worth Fabric Studio's selection of fabrics, quick shipping with reasonable rates, and excellent customer service.  Perhaps my favorite thing about their shop though, are their one-of-a-kind fat quarter bundles!  Jodie has such a wonderful eye for color, and mixes fabrics from several different lines to create bundles that are so much fun!  In fact, she has created a special bundle specifically for my awesome readers!

Here's the info on the bundle-
SHERBET & LACE FQ Bundle:   Featuring the Modern Lace fabrics by Amanda Murphy for Blend Fabrics, along with our favorite selections for a palette that is as pleasing as a bowl of sherbet!

This bundle includes 15 Fat Quarters, as pictured!
Fabrics included (from top to bottom):

1.  Modern Lace Reticella Yellow - Blend Fabrics
2.  Squared Elements Watermelon - Art Gallery
3.  Joyful Blooms Naples Yellow Damask - Studio E
4.  Modern Lace Chantilly Ivory - Blend Fabrics
5.  My Sunshine Raindrops - Riley Blake
6.  Polka Dot Coral - Dear Stella
7.  Dream Cream - Timeless Treasures
8.  Up Parasol Persimmon Lulu - Free Spirit
9.  Modern Lace Passementerie Pink - Blend Fabrics
10. Cotton Shades Peach - Riley Blake
11. Littlest Heartfelt Snow - Art Gallery
12. Modern Lace Torchon Pink - Blend Fabrics
13. Ahoy Matie Small Dots Yellow - Northcott
14. Floral Elements Tangerine - Art Gallery
15. Modern Lace Ribbon Lace Pink - Blend Fabrics
Isn't it scrumptious?  So many lovelies from several different lines, all perfectly coordinated for you!  AND guess what? Jodie is giving one of these fabulous bundles away to a lucky reader!  To enter, just leave a comment below!  You can let me know if you've ever found any quilty treasures while antiquing, or you can just let me know what your favorite color combo is these days.  

Mr. Random will choose a winner on Wednesday afternoon, and I'll announce the lucky person in my next Needle and Thread Thursday post (Wednesday evening).

If you don't win the bundle, or if you decide that you just can't wait, this bundle is also available in the FWFS shop!  Check it out!  Good luck y'all!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

NTT and an Unruly Finish

Hello all!  Welcome to another Needle and Thread Thursday!  The weeks are flying by these days!  Last Sunday, I hosted our monthly MQG meeting, and worked to finish up my Unruly quilt beforehand.

 I look forward to our monthly meetings so much.  Don't get me wrong- I wouldn't trade the online quilting community for anything, but it is such fun to share laughs and quilt obsessions in person!

Y'all know I love a pieced backing, which is good, since I'm really trying to make a dent in my Amy Butler fabrics.  I still have enough for another quilt or two though.

I used a pretty shade of aqua Kona, but I didn't pay attention to the name of it.  While I do like it, I really wanted to find a shade of red or coral to really stand out.  I suppose I could have ordered the perfect shade, but I'm just not that patient.  There is so much color and pattern in this quilt that it really may have worked out for the best!

The finished quilt measures 54 x 72" and I'm hoping to get the pattern for this one finished up this weekend!

So, let's get down to last week's highlights, shall we?  Jess at Quilty Habit linked up these TWO Sisters Ten BOM quilts.  I love the block layout, and the two colorways!

Michelle at Renewing Mrs. Sew & Sew shared this eye-catching rainbow quilt.  Gorgeous quilting!

and Carol Quilts Sometimes showed off her solid sampler.  I love the pops of color against that black background!

Time to show me what's going on in your sewing space this week!

1.  You can link finished projects or WIP's , but just keep it about quilting and sewing!
2. Link to your specific post (not to your home page!) to make it easier for others.
3. Please remember to spread the word and post my button or a text link.  
4. Spread the comment love far and wide!
5. Following me is not a requirement to link, but is so very appreciated!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Loud and Unruly

After school this afternoon (which was a whole different kind of loud and unruly), I finished up my Amy Butler quilt top, and I'm really loving the way it turned out.

Yes, the colors are loud.  Yes, the prints are busy, and the design is a bit unruly, but truth be told, that's what I like about it!   Amy Butler fabrics are so vibrant and bold, and I think they really work in a pattern like this.

One of the best parts about this quilt though, is that it was so fast and easy to put together!  It really looks a lot more complicated than it is.  I enjoyed designing and making this one so much that I think this is going to be my next pattern!

I'm hosting our monthly MQG meeting at my house on Sunday afternoon, and maybe I'll have to pull some late nights to finish it up before then.  It's only a throw size (54x72"), so that's totally doable...just maybe...

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Thursday Again!

Welcome to another NTT, y'all!  I feel like today sneaked up on me with the short week, but I'm loving that it's already Wednesday afternoon!  almost Friday- woohoo!

Since finishing Framed over the weekend, I have started a new quilt (of course) with these lovelies.

I am not ashamed one bit to say that these 18 fabrics are not even half of my Amy Butler hoard prized collection.  I counted my AB prints the other day...42 different prints from 6 different lines.  Umm yeah... maybe I do have a bit of a problem.

The pattern I'm working on is something that just popped in my head a few days ago, and I just couldn't wait another minute to get started.  I love projects like those!

I also have some news!  I am ecstatic to welcome Shabby Fabrics as my newest sponsor!  Shabby Fabrics is a huge shop with tons of fabrics, notions, kits, and BOM Clubs.  They have beautiful fat quarter bundles and other precuts, and an extensive Christmas Shoppe!  Of course, I can't tell you about their shop without tempting you with some eye candy-

If you choose to create a customer account (free!) you can even rack up loyalty points as a reward for your purchases!  If you haven't checked them out, you definitely should!  You can always find the button on my left sidebar, but here it is as well!

                                                                Shabby Fabrics

Now it's time to announce the winner from the Labor Day giveaway from Dragonfly Fabrics!  Mr. Random helped me out and picked lucky number 20.  Yes, that is a photo of the widget on my computer screen.  I have *still* not figured out how to copy and paste it properly into my blog post.

Anyway, I digress...  Comment number 20 was Mary Ann!

I would choose a gorgeous fat quarter bundle.

I'll be sending your contact information to Amy at Dragonfly Fabrics soon, Mary Ann.  So, be on the lookout!

Let's get to last week's party features, shall we?  Katie at Karma Willow Designs showed her finished Gypsy Wife quilt!  This pattern is so fascinating to me, and I kind of regret not doing this QAL.

Carole at Fresh Off the Frame linked up this stunner, and OH MY.  There are no words to express the amazement I have over the whole effect of this quilt!

and finally, Leland Ave. Studios shared this mesmerizing quilt- gorgeous!

Just WOW!  I can't wait to see what you share this week!  I don't always get the time to comment, but I love browsing each and every link week after week!  Let's do it!

1.  You can link finished projects or WIP's , but just keep it about quilting and sewing!
2. Link to your specific post (not to your home page!) to make it easier for others.
3. Please remember to spread the word and post my button or a text link.  
4. Spread the comment love far and wide!
5. Following me is not a requirement to link, but is so very appreciated!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop and Framed

Happy Tuesday, all!  I know lots of you have seen posts by others on the Around the World blog hop lately, and I was lucky enough to be tagged to participate by two bloggers- Jess at Quilty Habit, and Carole at From My Carolina Home!  ps- since they tagged me on different days (Jess last Monday and Carole yesterday), I'm not posting exactly on the "correct" timetable.

There are a few guiding questions for those who participate, so I guess I'll get right to it!

What am I working on?

Actually, I've finished up a couple of big things over the holiday weekend!  First, I finished up my Stacked Squares quilt and decided to call it Framed since the blocks look like picture frames to me.  It's exciting to have the opportunity to share it in this post!

In case you missed my last post on this quilt, I modified the original pattern to use fat quarters or quarter yards, rather than precuts.  I love precuts, but I don't always have them on hand.  Check out my modifications (including cutting diagrams) HERE!

I decided to piece the backing with all of the scraps on hand, along with some wide stripes, and I like the way it turned out!

The 3D effect of the stacked blocks is so much fun, and I really had a great time making this one!

The other big thing that I finished up this weekend is my third quilt pattern!  I wrote the pattern for my Slingshot quilt in three sizes (lap, twin, and queen), so it took plenty of time (and math).  Check it out in my Etsy or Craftsy shop!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

That's a tough question because I don't necessarily think all of my quilts fit into a specific genre.  Modern quilting has such a wide range of fabrics and pattern styles, and I've made quilts spanning that range.  It's hard to put a label on it.  I guess I gravitate toward fresh twists on classic styles, and I love bold, modern fabrics, and I LOVE quilts with tons of fabric variety.  I will often use more prints than necessary so that there is lots of variety in the quilt (then I just use the rest in the backing).

Why do I write/create what I do?

I blog and quilt because I just love the whole creative process, and I love being able to share it with such a vibrant online community.  I'm a teacher, which is not exactly a low stress career, and all of the lesson planning, grading, deadlines, and worry about students can easily consume one's thoughts at all hours of the day and night (not a good thing!).  Quilting gives my mind something active to do that is positive and fulfilling, and blogging is really just an extension of that.  By occupying my "down time" with quilting, I am actually more productive!  I have always loved to write, so blogging combines my love of writing, teaching, and quilting!

How does my creative process work?

My creative process varies from quilt to quilt.  Sometimes, a bundle of fabric will inspire me, and I just have to find the right pattern to show it off.  Other times, the pattern comes first, and I purchase fabrics specifically for the project.  Regardless of the way my quilt ideas start, I always plan everything out before I make the first cut, and if I'm buying fabric for a specific pattern, I plan it out before I even purchase anything!  Unless I'm using a written pattern (which is rare), I sketch on graph paper or play around on the Threadbias Design tool to be sure I don't waste any fabric!

With rare exceptions, I am a one-project girl.  I plan, cut, create, photograph, and blog one quilt before starting another.  The biggest exception to this rule is when I have a "eureka" moment and come up with a new quilt design in my head.  Then I sketch it out before I lose it, even if I'm in the middle of working on another quilt.

I'm so excited that I got to participate in the Around the World blog hop.  As part of the fun, I get to tag three bloggers who inspire me.  I'm tagging Janet from Simply Pieced, Maryse from Maryse Makes Things, and Hilary from Young Texan Mama.  Be on the lookout next week for their posts!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day Giveaway!

Good morning, and happy Labor Day quilty friends!  I hope you are enjoying your Labor Day as much as I am.  I am currently still lounging in my pajamas with my coffee in hand, planning out my next quilt.  Can it really get any better?

I have been pretty productive this weekend, and finished my Stacked Squares quilt yesterday.  We've been getting lots of rain, so I hope it will dry out enough to squeeze in a photo shoot.  I do have a couple of things to share with you though.  A couple of weeks ago, I finished up a couple of donation quilts that I'm giving to the local children's hospital for preemies, and I just realized that I never posted about them!

This rainbow quilt was so quick and fun!  When I made the backing for Shattered Rainbow, I ended up with a perfect sized piece of each fabric.  I hated to put them into my scrap jars, so I decided to make a mini rainbow quilt, and give it a little bit more interest by doing a strip and flip.

Since these preemie quilts are small (36ish inches), I did solid backings on them, and I absolutely LOVE the rainbow flower print I found for this one!  The front is so straight and square that I think it's the perfect compliment!

You may remember my second preemie quilt from my stop on the Fat Quarter Style book tour.  I made the Tapestry block, and although I would have loved to make an entire quilt, my beginning of school schedule just would not accommodate.

I think the Chic Flora fabrics look great in this block, and I like the style of the block with the borders.  The shape of the block, with the star in the middle almost have a medallion feel.  With the borders, it is a perfect size for a preemie quilt, and I was able to use some Kona Navy that was in my stash.

This one got a sketch print backing in that pretty shade of cornflower blue.  Since these are so small, I didn't label or name them, which felt totally wrong.  You know I always label and name my quilts!

Okay, y'all!  Ready for the giveaway?  Amy at Dragonfly Fabrics is giving away $25 to spend in her shop!  The timing is perfect, because she is also extending her Labor Day sale through Wednesday, where there are coupon codes for 20% off of everything in the shop.  Check out some of her gorgeous fabric lines.  Keep in mind that these are just a few!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post, and let me know how you would spend the $25.  Easy peasy!  I'll use a random number generator on Wednesday afternoon to choose the winning comment and announce the winner on Wednesday evening's Needle and Thread Thursday post.

Edited 9/3- this giveaway is now closed!  :)

The button for Dragonfly Fabrics is always on my left sidebar, but I'll also add it here so you can easily pop over and browse!  Good luck in the giveaway!

Dragonfly Fabrics

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