Tuesday, October 30, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Scrappy Sprouts

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(link to flick group here)

Scrappy Sprouts

A call for blocks... if you feel so inclined...

This is my friend Chelsa.

We went to college together.  She is a sweetheart of sweethearts.  And sassy, and kind, and genuine...

She lives in another state, so I rarely see her.  A few months ago, I was heartbroken to learn that she was diagnosed with bone cancer.  They told her it was incurable.  You can read her story here, but bring tissue with you.

Every time I thought about her, I got anxious and sad.  And I wanted to do something. 
I can't really give her money.
I can't see her easily.
But I CAN make her a kick a** amazing quilt.  One that is so beautiful it pains me to give it away.  And I can pour in to it all my prayers and love and blessings.

I thought, and thought -- and one morning, I decided her quilt was going to be made of scrappy sprouts.  Ones inspired by the famous Orla Kiely motif.  Ones that look like my favorite time of a garden (when those little sprouts are just popping up).  And ones that are made of perfect, beautiful little pieces of fabric.  (With mixed neutrals for the background of course.)

So I made a couple blocks.

scrappy sprouts

And as I thought about it, I thought -- maybe my other beautiful bloggy friends would like to put a block or two in to her Blessings quilt.

Kristie, and Michelle, and Cherie sent me some blocks to add to my own, and they are so beautiful together.

Scrappy Sprouts

I'm not writing up a full tutorial (there is a for sale pattern out there that is a little bit similar), but here are the cut sizes (unfinished), and I'm guessing many of you should be able to figure it out by this.  The block measures 13 1/2" x 6 1/2" unfinished, and each of those little square sections are 2 1/2" unfinished. 

Scrappy Sprouts

If you would like to contribute a block (or two), you need:
  • monochromatic scraps of any bright, fresh color for the sprout (quilt shop quality fabric please)
  • mixed neutral scraps for background (some solids or linen mixed in is fine)
  • a 1 1/2" x 6 1/2" scrap of green for the "stem"
  • all the love, prayers, blessings, good thoughts, and best wishes you can shove in to a quilt block
Email me when your block is ready, and I'll send you my mailing address.  

Chelsa doesn't know I'm doing this.  But I can't wait to send her her quilt.  I'd love to have it for her for Christmas, so if you could send blocks by November 20 or so, that would be wonderful. :)  (I need at least 40 blocks for the lay-out I have planned, if you were curious.)

In other WIPs -- 
- working on the pattern for my Cosmic quilt
- Trying to finish quilting the Pickledish!
- Trying to figure out buttonholes for a dress for Scarlet!
- Praying my dad's harvester stays strong for the last 10 acres! (Jay's already broke down! gah!)

Linking to Lee's WIP Wednesday! (when it's up -- yes I posted a little early)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Friday, October 26, 2012

It's Cosmic Baby - Festival Quilt

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Pattern is now ready!

Happy Bloggers' Quilt Festival!  Welcome!

"Cosmic" Quilt

Meet "Cosmic."  

Specs -- 
Measurements: 90" square
Techniques: This quilt is constructed with a combination of templates, and rotary cutting.  (Those of you interested in the pattern will be happy there are no Y seams)
Pattern and Design and pieced by me! 
Quilted by: Connie Adams at The Rabbit Hole Quilt Shop (thank you for the quick turn around time!)
Best Categories: Bed Quilt, Professionally Quilted, Quilt photographs

This is the quilt I've been so busy with the last few weeks, which is now hanging out in Houston with Laura Gunn, in the booth for her new line "Cosmos" with Michael Miller fabrics.

The pattern is in the writing/testing phase now, and I hope to have it ready soon!  (I'll be emailing those who are interested).

This quilt is built with BIG (28") blocks that were inspired by this vintage scarf I saw on pinterest.  I modified the design a bit, because I didn't want any negative space between the points.  After graph-papering, and then EQ-ing up a bunch of different versions to get it just right, I made up a few of the blocks.

Cosmic Block

When Laura contacted me about making her a quilt for Market, I thought this design would showcase her large-scale prints beautifully.

And it does.

Poppy Cosmic block

The quilt measures 90" square, and I was happy to find someone local who could rush the long-arm quilting for me.  I think I was a little bit crazy trying to get this done during harvest time, but it worked out thankfully!

"Cosmic" quilt

On the back, I pieced in some of the panel that comes with the Cosmos collection.  I love that Laura's collections really look like art.

"Cosmic" quilt back

A big thank you to my parents for holding up the quilt so I could get pictures before I sent it away, and to E @ pinksuedeshoe for editing my parents out of the shot, to Angela for sharing, to Connie for the quick quilting, and to Laura for this beautiful fabric and great opportunity!

Also -- thank you to Amy for hosting this fun festival! 

Amy's Creative Side

Harvest is almost over! (last field now!)
My plan is to work hard on finishing this pattern up as soon as I get my hubby back... so hopefully it will all be ready within a couple weeks! :) Check back if you love it! Which I really hope you do.

And link me if you see any pictures of this quilt hanging out at Quilt Market! I hope to join it in the Spring! :)

OK -- a couple more pictures --

"Cosmic" quilt

Cosmic quilt back

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WIP Wednesday - why not?

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Since I'm up at 2 am (my tummy was bugging me -- all should be well again soon I hope), I figured I might as well WIP Wednesday it up as well (I thought my husband might appreciate that more than me filling up some virtual cart somewhere and not having the sense to realize that I really don't need it before clicking through -- you're welcome Honey... actually, you owe Lee for giving me a task...)

What I really WANT to be doing is finishing quilting this.

kicking the quilt's proverbial ace

I know, I know... I want to sing songs to it too.

And yes, it kills my back and shoulders to quilt like this (I'm typically a straight shooter), but really... favorite quilt needed favorite quilting too.
If only long-arm set-ups didn't cost thousands of dollars...I digress again.  I used the "clams" all over design from Natalia's book.

What I am doing instead is --
- finishing up a little dress for Scarlet that I really really want to have done by her birthday pictures on Thursday!
- finishing up a little photo backdrop I'm making for the photographer as barter for those birthday photos
- trying to write a pattern for my new "Cosmic" quilt (grrr to learning new programs by mucking through them!)*
- trying to chase the mice out of the house.  I'm over-sharing here, but hey -- it's 2 am.  First rain of the year... they think they need to move in.  gah!  Thankfully our little mutt of a dog is half-beagle and alerts us to their presence by stalking random corners of the house.  She literally went in to hunting mode the day before the rain hit (smart little creatures -- I just don't want them in my house!  I think I hear one now running behind the stove!)  #countrylivingforyour  #notmyfirstruninwithrodents

And yes -- of course my big hero of a husband gets up to check the traps before I do.  Sensitive stomach and all.

You wanna see Scarlet's new favorite facial expression before I go?

She now does this -- all the time... she says "ooooohhhh..." like she's already practicing her sweet princess like reactions.

little Scarlet

I actually do sing songs to her.

*If you're a fairly savvy piecer (intermediate level -- no Y seams but does require cutting from templates) and would like to test a block for me that does not yet have full directions typed up (you're basically testing my templates), shoot me an email and I'll get you some templates.

Love you to you all!  I'm back to bed now and
Linking to Lee's! ♥
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, October 22, 2012

Treasure Boxes - Quilt Top

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So... don't know how that happened, but I thought that THIS week was two weeks from my last set of Treasure Boxes directions... it's actually been three!  Sorry about that (sheepish face).  This is harvest as I've mentioned, and it's been 7 weeks since my hubby had a day off (he had most of today off due to rain...which is a mixed blessing for sure, since they're still not done with their last field, but it was good to see him!)

Anyway -- I digress.

Our most recent installment had us piecing block quadrants in to blocks.

The charm size has twenty blocks and the fat quarter size has twelve blocks.

This week -- Arrange them all pretty-like and sew 'em together in rows.
Press seams in opposite direction when joining rows if you like nesting seams (I do).

Nothing fancy with the border... I actually figured on a 5" border for both of them.  Normally I wouldn't do that, but ironically, it feels balanced on both (to me at least -- feel free to adjust as you see best!).

Here are the directions for adding the border! (You can find a pdf here)

Treasure boxes adding borders copy

My apologies for being late.  ♥

Feel free to work ahead -- we'll be linking up finished and donated Treasure Boxes quilts for prizes from Julie at Intrepid Thread on the week of the U.S. Thanksgiving (which is the week of November 18).  So you have about a month to finish!


Other than doing my mommy duties, I was very busy with an exciting surprise project I mentioned to you before... 

Lots of binding (which I finished thanks to this favorite new to me show)...

binding, binding, binding

But I got it finished, and had to take it out to the field to get a decent picture (which I'll show you in a couple days!)

My parents held it up for me before driving off...

Harvester and bankout

Here's a little peek.

"Cosmic" quilt sneak peek

I will sigh audibly when I get my email from Laura saying that it's in her hot little hands and up in her booth (I mailed it last week). :)

(You can see a couple of the other quilts my quilt will be hanging out with in Houston on Laura's blog.)

Friday, October 19, 2012


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First business -- SewLindaAnn -- you are the winner of Natalia's new book!  I'll try to shoot you an email, or you can contact me. :)

Now -- my post --

This is, I think, my favorite quilty-type photo I've ever taken.  I love it so much -- it's even up there in my header.

2 blocks done

Maybe it's because of the subject -- but the colors, the shapes, the scrappiness, the lighting -- it all makes me happy.  The only downside is the WHEN the picture was taken -- in January of 2011, and blogged about way back then...

This year -- more than 1 1/2 years later -- I wanted a fall quilt.

I thought about starting a new project, but some good friends advised me to finish up something I already started (they know me well enough to know I have plenty of WIPS lying about).

So this weekend, while my big Cosmos quilt was at the long-armer, I finished piecing the arcs.

arcs, arcs, and more arcs

And added three more blocks to what I already had.



And quilting has commenced.

quilting commences

Seriously though -- this quilt makes me so happy I want to sing songs to it.  Can't wait to show it all finished up!

If you want to make one of your own -- Aneela has the Quilt Along details here.

Until later... ♥

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Natalia's Beginner's Guide to Free Motion Quilting - giveaway closed

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Welcome to the next stop on Natalia's Beginner's Guide to Free Motion blog tour!

Beginner's Guide to Free-Motion Quilting

I don't really remember when I first "met" Natalia, but she was one of my first bloggy friends.  Since that time, we have been in a couple bees together, added new babies to our brood (our kids are just a little bit apart in age, only she had her girl first!), and emailed back and forth about new projects, questions, ideas, and life in general.  She's definitely busy, but a real sweetheart.  I imagine many of you are probably familiar with Natalia from Piece and Quilt already, but have you seen her new book that was recently released?

Aptly titled the Beginner's Guide to Free Motion Quilting, this book includes photos, diagrams, pointers, and tips on how to use free motion quilting designs on your home quilting machine.  There are also some fun quilt patterns thrown in there.

Natalia's theme on her blog tour is "It's a Family Affair."  

My very, very first little quilt was when I was pregnant with this little dude, and in honor of him.  My first big quilt went to my husband.  My second to my niece.  My third went to my mom.  When I first started quilting, I didn't really understand that you could do the quilting yourself, other than hearing of this thing called "in the ditch" quilting.  "In the ditch" quilting didn't really appeal to me, and so I sent one of my early quilts, which was for Steiger, out to Natalia for her to long-arm quilt.  

Oh sweet boy!  You are too cute!

She free-motioned beautiful swirls all-over, and Steiger still loves this quilt to this day.  I remember wanting to do that kind of quilting, but still felt a bit intimidated.  I have since ventured in to all-over stippling, some loops, and even did a holly-leaf pattern on one quilt, but my free motion repertoire is severely lacking.  And I generally resort to straight-line quilting, but would like to try new things.  This book is going to help me do that!

So here's what I love about this book:  
  • Tons of basic free motion designs broken down in to their steps to show how they link and flow (Go click on the "Click to Look Inside" on amazon to see some more of what I'm talking about -- it doesn't show all the examples, but does show some of the all-over free motion ideas and how to make them).
  • Examples of how to incorporate designs to use all-over (like that one above), in borders or sashing, on a block, or in combination... I love this feature of the book.Beginner's Guide to Free-Motion Quilting
  • there are frilly/foofy (more feminine) designs, as well as more graphic/sharp (masculine) motifs
  • She has some really fun quilt patterns included that incorporate the quilting designs, thus making the concepts even more tangible
  • it is very approachable, and makes you want to grab some blocks and go for it!
  • It has given me an idea for how to quilt my next Linky Love Quilt I make. :)
"Amazed" quilt pattern from Natalia's book

See?  Natalia has a design in her book that is very similar to Linky Love  (though the construction of the blocks is a bit different), and I just love this quilting design!

I was hoping to have some new quilting to show you with this blog post, but alas, I just finished basting the quilt I want to use the new techniques on; nonetheless, I'm really excited to try out some new ideas from her book...come back to see my expanded free motion skills! ;)
Thank you for the inspiration Natalia!  I just wish I could sit with you in person to quilt it.  And maybe accidentally load the quilt on to your frame and then watch you work your magic. ;)

Here’s the rest of the “blogging family” Natalia has invited to help her celebrate the birth of her book! Check out their posts, too!
Amy Webb – October 6
Melissa Corry – October 7
Stash Books – October 9
Amy Ellis - October 10
Kimberly Jolly – October 11
Vicki Christensen – October 12
Candy Glendening – October 13
Angela Yosten - October 14
Generation Q Magazine – October 15
Here! – October 16
Vickie Eapen – October 17
And then Natalia wraps it up on Oct. 18 back at her blog, www.pieceandquilt.com,  with one final giveaway.

If you'd like to win a copy of Natalia's new book, Beginner's Guide to Free Motion Quilting, then please comment on a free motion design you really want to learn!  It might sound cliché, but I am hoping to learn feathers! :)
*International folks -- you'll win an "e-book"

Good luck, and thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October - Just Three!

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I'm in denial that it's really October.
This morning, I woke up extra early to go to the bathroom, and it suddenly hit me...
my baby girl is going to be 1 on Sunday! I of course couldn't fall back to sleep then, because my heart and mind were too full...
*sniff sniff*

Oh baby... how did you get so big???
You can be expecting a full, sappier than sappy blog post coming soon, I'm sure.

BUT -- she is a joy to watch grow.  And she and her brother are too sweet with one another...so alas, I will have the strength to face that, indeed, October started yesterday.

And here is my "Just Three" report.

traceyjay quilts

From last month:

1) Make a little Strawberry Shortcake for Scarlet's birthday, as well as a little dress for her Birthday Buddy (Scarlet has a little friend who lives far away who was born the same day as her -- little Addison will be getting a Very Hungry Caterpillar birthday dress). :)

Scarlet's birthday dress is in progress here, and birthday buddy dress just needs bloomers and it's done!  I completed this practice version of her friend's birthday dress to make sure it worked!

It did. :)

little lou lou dress

2) Publish my "Linky Love" pattern.  (So excited!)

This is done!  You can find the pattern here, or here for instant download. :)
I still want to re-make this one... in Tula's Birds & Bees fabric... 

Kelly was testing it for me, and I think I want to make one of my own too.

Round 2 complete! Feel free to harass Traceyjay to hurry up and list her pattern! ;)

3) Stay on track with the Treasure Boxes quilt, and also show you the finished Chubby Stars! :)

I've got all my cutting for Treasure Boxes done -- so I'm technically on track! :)  We're working on piecing now!  Join us in the group!


Now for October:

1) Finish playing with these pretty fabrics, and get this quilt for Laura Gunn done, sent to Lindsay for quilting, and off to Quilt Market!  It will also have a pattern!

Laura Gunn Cosmos

2)  Give my baby girl a handmade birthday.  She needs a dolly, and a dress.  I need to get started on some little handmade Christmas something's for Steiger as well.

3)  Make my pillow talk pillow!

I was helpless to resist.  I signed up for the Pillow Talk Swap again (after taking a few rounds off)

This is the inspiration board I made for my partner.  I'll be showing you fabric pulls and in progress shots soon!  (Must finish above quilt first!)

Pillow Talk Swap Inspiration
(click on the picture for links to inspiration pictures)

Harvest is in full swing! (would you guys like to see pictures from that?  To see what the heck it is I'm always whining talking about?)

Much love to you all!

Link up!  (I love reading all these reports) :)


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