Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in review

Pin It My finished quilts from 2010

2010 Finished quilts

1. I dance in circles, 2. Krista's doll quilt all finished, 3. bricks in bloom copy, 4. lawn hunky copy, 5. A little elephant for Everett, 6. title fruitcake copy, 7. "80's rock star" for dqs9, 8. Surfer circle around, 9. title garden copy, 10. scrappy mug rug - with father and son, 11. tula pink for Olivia Violet, 12. Scrappy mug rug, 13. Washed and crinkly baby quilt, 14. DSC_0186, 15. Not available, 16. 12 Days tree skirt, 17. for my nephew, 18. back of wool rag quilt, 19. MIL's quilt turned table cloth, 20. FIL's Christmas gift, 21. plume mini quilt, 22. Cherish Nature Easter table runner, 23. DSC_0246, 24. DSC_0055, 25. DSC_0205, 26. nine-patch?, 27. Frolic baby quilt, 28. DSC_0426

Created with fd's Flickr Toys

And Bags and pillows. :)

2010 bags and pillows

1. color wheel dresdie, 2. Modern Swappers pillow, 3. verna dresden garden, 4. pretty petal clutch - Explored, 5. Pillow Talk Swap 4 pillow, 6. little folks dresden - Explored, 7. a little improv pillow, 8. DSC_0354, 9. pretty little pillow, 10. pillow talk swap finished, 11. a pillow in neutrals, 12. Modern Swapper pincushion/thread catcher

Wanna know how many of these I still have in my possession?


The Nicey Jane bag, one of the Americana table runners, and the Fruitcake tree-skirt (oh, and Steiger still has his quilt too of course).

My resolution for next year --

Make stuff to keep for us!

I have learned my style much better though... so hopefully I'll know what I want to make to keep for myself. :) ;)

See you in 2011!

I've got some blog cleaning up to do (you like the new design?)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

reflections and predictions

Pin It
Sew Mama Sew asked for our Reflections and Predictions -- and here are mine!

Looking back on the sewing scene of 2010, what trends stand out in your mind?
Gray.  It's becoming the "new" neutral.

From Cara's (Me? A Mom?) Urban Lattice "manly" quilt, to the purl bee's New Year's coasters, to my pillow talk pillows, to Krista (Poppyprint's) cute mug rug, to Izzy Inspired's quilt for her son (that I'm dying to shamelessly copy), to Aneela Hooey's much anticipated Sherbet Pips -- gray is everywhere.

some examples of gray - reflection and prediction

1. Urban Lattice quilt (aka manly quilt), 2. New Year's Coasters, 3. Poppyprint - mugrug pears 3, 4. Sherbet pips!!!!!, 5. trenton's quilt, 6. Pillow Talk Swap 4 pillow


Linen paired with prints was also really popular (and I'm sure will continue to be)

Here were some of my personal creations using linen.

My creation

What were some of your favorite things? (Trends, fabric collections, patterns, blogs? Whatever you really loved.)

My personal favorite fabric collection of this year was Nicey Jane by Heather Bailey.  

I've got two quilts going in it -- 
My top from the Fat Quarterly Quilt Along, 
My Nicey Jane FQ quilt along top
My chubby stars (that I will finish even though it's going to be gigantic).

Chubby stars progress

You can see my blog roll for some of the blogs I love. :)
What was your very favorite fabric collection or print? (If not listed above.)

My favorite prints became blenders -- I love 'em.

Like these from the Bliss line

bliss blenders

and these for my Urban Lattice quilt

the prints for Urban Lattice Quilt along

and voile (also love it)

some more Little Folks voile
What was the best thing you made in 2010? (Be sure to share a photo!)

My "best thing" -- I think would be my Chubby Stars (photo above and in the header)... when it's finished. :)  But to be honest, my best thing is what I'm making next. 

On second thought -- maybe my Christmas quilt top was my "best thing" -- even though it was mostly made by my friends. :)

Christmas bee quilt top
What is one of the best things you saw that was made by someone else?

I saw so many things I loved... so here's a mini collage.

other people's creations I love

1. Fussy Flowers, 2. Pillow Swap Outside, 3. Triple Irish Chain with flowers 2, 4. DSCN0752, 5. munki starburst quilt, 6. Nicey Jane hexies

What do you think 2011 has in store? (Again, trends, fabric, patterns, etc.)
2011 undoubtedly has in store too many wonderful things.  I'm really hoping Heather Bailey comes out with a new line. :)

As a trend in neutrals, I think there will be a shift from gray and white to mixing creams.  I plan on doing it with my Urban Lattice Quilt, and I've seen it in quite a few places in flickr lately.

neutrals trend

1. Untitled, 2. scrappy - done!, 3. modern argyle pillow, 4. IMG_0047

I think there's also going to be even more of a shift to using more plain fabrics to make your design, with fussy-cut accents.  I think big prints will be down-played, unless they are a large focal area, and make a very big statement on their own.

In piecing -- I think these are some design inspirations we'll see more of this year.

cool geometry

1. October star block for Shelley, 2. String Knot, 3. November Hexagon Block for Lynne, 4. 3x6 Mini Bee Block, 5. Block 1 for Kristy/Handmade Retro, 6. Three by Six - for hanies, 7. Quilting Divas--Tracey, 8. 3x6 Bee 3rd Quarter Beehive 8 chez - j, 9. Oregon Star, 10. Sew New to Me VQB--July, 11. Doll Quilt Swap 9, 12. 3x6 Mini Bee 3rd Quarter

I think diamonds and curves will replace hexagons.

In color -- I think monochromatic, or clashing will be the thing.  I don't know what the relationship on the color wheel is exactly, 

Anything you’re ready for the sewing world to get over?

Not really.  I'm not wild about the crosses look, but I know a lot of other people like it.  

The whole point of sewing and crafting is to do what you like... so if someone else likes it, I'm fine with that.

Me personally - I'm pretty much getting over using a single collection for a quilt; I've got to mix things up, and that makes me happy, and I think makes the quilt less dated by the fabric line.

What’s on your sewing agenda for 2011? What are you excited about? What would you like to learn more about?

tomorrow I hope to post my personal year in review... 

In the mean time, on my list is:
- The quilting of four quilt tops
- My Chubby Stars quilt
- My Urban Lattice quilt
- A Schnibble in French General
- A couple Bakeshop quilts (so far)
- A baby boy and a baby girl quilt for the baby I hope we make soon... (but I'll need both because I'm really hoping to give my husband his wish of not finding out the gender early!)
- A big girl quilt for my niece
- A baby quilt for my niece due March 1
- A baby girl quilt for a good friend
- A couple baby boy quilts for other good friends
- the blocks for three bees

I really want to start writing some patterns, and I'm excited that I'll probably be going to Quilt Market in the Spring!

For learning -- my piecing got pretty good over the past year, so I would like to learn about quilting, now that I have a bigger and better machine!  I'd also like to figure out paper piecing.

Last but not least -- I'm excited to see what happens with Quilt Hope In!
  Because I want it to be successful, I'm still working out the details of getting items listed, getting funding to the right spot (so that it doesn't go through my personal checking account), and organizing sponsors! :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Four quilts in four weeks

Pin It Each of these quilts is a derivation from my typical choices and style, as they were all gifts...
Because gifts are about the recipient, and not the giver, I hope they are all loved.


The first was finished the weekend after Thanksgiving, so I could give it to my mother-in-law early... so she could enjoy it throughout the Holiday season. :)  Her favorite Christmas decoration motif is the snowman... so snowmen it was for her. :)

MIL's quilt turned table cloth

Looked pretty cute as the tablecloth methinks.

For the design, I chopped up a panel (kind of hard to see in this picture), and interspersed it with a nine-patch/daisy chain... kind of like with this quilt.


The second quilt I finished was for my nephew.

for my nephew

Poor kid -- he's 2 1/2 years old, and has yet to get his own quilt from Aunt Tracey (In my defense, I started quilting when he was already a little over a year old).

I actually had deliberated, and deliberated over his quilt design for months... hoping to have it finished by his second birthday.  And even though there were designs I "could" have done, none seemed right.

I remembered my sister-in-law mentioning though that they wanted minky... and my brother really likes camo... so when I found the camo minky (by Robert Kaufman... I found mine here), my design dilemma was solved.  Some Kona and Moda Grunge solids, the Fat Quarterly quilt along pattern, and voila.

for my nephew

I did "cheat," and didn't do a regular binding (was trying to save time), and just turned the thing inside out -- it worked well everywhere except where I left the top open for turning.  But I don't think I'll do it again -- because even though I was trying to save time, I don't think I really did.

The minky was fine to work with (though I was a bit chicken to free-motion with it)... and it is so soft and nappable.


Quilt number three is the most challenging quilt I've ever made.

Sometime last year, my mom saw a wool rag quilt for sale, and told me she loved it.  Having never made a rag quilt, and having never seen it myself, I wasn't exactly sure how to translate what she loved in to a surprise quilt for her, so I did my best guessing.

And it is a good thing I didn't know how much trouble this was going to give me, or else I don't know if I would have started (or I at least would have done things differently).

But here is my mom's really heavy wool rag quilt.

Since I like the back better than the front... I'll show it to you first...

back of wool rag quilt

And the front.


There is a lot I would have changed for this if I did it again (definitely a learning experience)...
- used either no flannel for the "batting," or one that didn't contrast
- Used a smaller seam allowance (I was using the Go! cutter rag quilt die)
- Undecided if I would have ragged the edges first with the die, or done it after???
- Got the strongest needle I could find BEFORE attempting to sew those rows together (I broke 3 needles while making this quilt)

But my mom likes it... so that makes me happy. (Rag quilts are so not my thing).


The last quilt I finished was for my father-in-law.

Last year, I had bought one of Holly Taylor's flannel jelly rolls on sale, because he's a fisherman, and I thought the woodsy flannels would suit him.

FIL's quilt

This one almost didn't get done in time, because my backing fabric was late in the mail!  But thanks to my husband watching Steiger, it was done on the 22nd (then I wrapped on the 23rd, and we were traveling the 24th).

I followed a free pattern from Lauren and Jessi Jung (they designed Botany), and even though all those blocks have set-in seams... they were fun to construct.

FIL's Christmas gift

The back was more flannel (can I say that Moda's flannel is incredibly soft), and it was quilted with simple diagonal lines.

Back of my FIL's quilt

 Now for the disclaimer:
If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you realize that none of these quilts are done in colors I would choose myself... so can I say I am very much looking forward to sewing whatever I want for a while! But I'm glad those are done, and I hope their recipient's love them. :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

almost there.

Pin It The Wise Men have almost made it to Bethlehem.



Where they will pick up Baby Jesus and Mary.


(you can see a tiny peek of my tree skirt in the corner of that picture too)

I've still got boxes to trim and wrap, but we are absolutely enjoying this season...


...I've even read the first book I've finished in... a year??? (Can you believe I was an English teacher before?)

And even though this gift quilt is finished, I've got one to quilt and bind (please show up Monday backing fabric!), and another to finish up.

But my niecey (and her parents) are here, and we've got brunch to enjoy later this morning (that I stayed up late preparing.

Overall -- we are having the most wonderful Christmastime.


Even if it is a little crazy.


So Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays) to all of you.

And Peace and Joy to you.


P.S.  Quilt Hope In will be having its Grand Opening in early January... please stay tuned!  (I have all the funding to sort through, as well as the form that will be filled out when an item is submitted for sale)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

brought to you by...

Pin It ...the letter V.

Victory, on the Go! Cutter -- for Amanda! :)

Congratulations Amanda!  I'll go hunt down your email... or you can email me your name, address, and choice of three dies. :)


And then Velveteen and Voile.

for me


I'm going to make some of these as last-minute Christmas gifts. ('s sale got me...ends today if you hurry!)

(And I am in serious need of some pretty fabric, after making lots of gifts in colors like this lately... 1 1/2 to go 'til I'm done!)

Monday, December 13, 2010

a Christmas tradition

Pin It
Each year, my grandma bakes up the houses, and we decorate. 

Here's my 2010 Gingerbread house.

cookie house!

I was hoping for a Scandanavian/folksy feel; I think I got it. 

Cookie house

My favorite part was the cute little walk... until my darling husband stole some of the pieces from it.

the cute little walk

Apparently I have to explain to both my boys that these cookie houses aren't for eating. ;)

Steiger's definitely having a hard time with the concept.

if only I was taller!

Speaking of Folksy -- looky what came from Moda today. :)
It's the new line, Hideaway, from Lauren and Jessi Jung.

I haven't heard much buzz about it, but I really ♥ it. :)  It's so cute.

(One post down -- the Go! giveaway closes tonight)

And go see what's going on at Quilt Hope In!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

wanna Go!?! -- closed

Pin It Just in time for the holidays. :)

Win an AccuQuilt Go! cutter. (and three of your favorite dies). :)
Q and A:
If you have a question -- please post it in the comments, and over the course of the giveaway, I'll post the answer here. 

-Question from Peris -- The accuquilt looks really cool but how do you store it...does it come in a bag or space means storage questions???

Peris -- It measures about 12" x 16" x 5" (with a little extra for the handle) when it's all folded up.  Mine is tucked next to my desk, and doesn't take up much room at all!  The top stays up with strong magnets, so it's secure, but easy to open -- like in the photo above -- when you need it. 

Here it is all closed up (next to the Go! Baby)

Someone asked me about the Go! Baby as well -- 
Yes, I've seen it, but I'd personally prefer the regular size Go! because it can use the wider dies (like the Rob Peter to Pay Paul, which I really love)... If you can't wait for a good sale, and if the cost of the full size is prohibitive, then the Baby is a great option.  Also, if you don't see yourself using the bigger dies -- then go for it! 

Calico Cat asked about wasted fabric -- 

I do have a question about the GO! - is there a lot of wasted fabric when you use it? The last thing I need is more snips and scraps of tiny fabric pieces, LOL - I'll feel obligated to keep them for "someday" or "just in case"!

Personally, I don't think the waste is much more than it would be cutting shapes yourself.  Irregular shapes will always have more waste, and that is no exception with the Go! cutter.  There is little waste with the geometric shapes (strips and squares) -- well, as much waste as you want there to be (based on how much overlap you make)

I don't feel bad throwing away irregularly shaped scraps, or anything smaller than 1 1/2" in width.

Here are my background posts and full reviews of the different dies I tried.

BUT -- to summarize:
- this product is really, truly easy to use -- sturdy and convenient
- makes piecing with tricky shapes much more manageable
- a nice tool to add to your quilty notions and gadgets
- would be a great investment if you make custom quilts or a lot of quilts
- If you can't afford it, it would be a great item for a wish list if your parents/rich great aunt/in-laws/fabulous sibling want to get you something, or if you find it on sale (they were just recently $200 at JoAnn's -- a great deal!)

I had wondered about a couple things from my experience, and I got a response from AccuQuilt directly: 
- When using the rag quilt die, you will probably want to have an extra 10" cutting mat, because it is very hard on them.
- Also when using the rag die, watch for the little blades to pop up, and just make sure you pop them back in.  If they don't pop back in -- call Accuquilt for help/replacement.

My personal favorite die I've used is the Rob Peter to Pay Paul.  I just finished a pillow using that die this week in fact. 
Modern Swappers pillow

The quilt top I made with this die (using a layer cake) is bordered, basted, and waiting for the holidays to be finished and donated

Breakfast at Tiffany's quilt top

I also really enjoyed making this little pillow -- made with the round flower appliqué die (tutorial here) -- which now resides happily in a baby girl's room. 

pretty little pillow

The next one I want to get my hands on is the Double Wedding Ring.


Now for the giveaway!

To enter:
(separate comment for each please--and make sure I can get a hold of you!)

1) Leave a comment -- it can be a question, a cute little note, a boring little note -- author's choice for this one. ;)

2) Become a follower of traceyjay quilts (or tell me if you already are)

3) Be or become a follower of Quilt Hope In (the blog of our coming soon charity etsy shop)

4) Blog about Quilt Hope In and this giveaway... (yes, that is two things you must blog about for entry #4) -- don't forget to leave me a link!

So, you each get four chances.  I am going to have an outside party pick a winner via next week (Monday, December 13)... 

Monday, December 6, 2010

time to visit the post office.

Pin It Pillow Talk Swap pillow -- done.

Pillow Talk Swap 4 pillow

Modern Swappers bundle -- done.

Modern Swappers bundle

For the Modern Swappers swap, the person sends a handmade item, something for the sewing room, and at least 1 1/2 yd. of fabric.

I used this tutorial by Oh Frannson's Elizabeth Hartman to make a thread catcher/pin cushion.

Modern Swapper pincushion/thread catcher

(yep, there's a Hera marker in there)

These are the fabrics I'm sending -- that check plaid by Momo (third down on right) is my new favorite...

Modern Swappers fabric

And of course -- the pillow I've been working on.

Modern Swappers pillow

Both my partners have similar taste; and I want to keep these pillows together... forever... but then I'd have more sewing to do (because I am not a flake), and I have enough to get done by December 24!

pillows for swapping

I hope they're both happy! :)

Steiger sure approves.

He likes it!

P.S. If you haven't done so yet -- sign up to follow our in progress Quilt Hope In blog!
And grab one of the adorable buttons designed by Lee!

Quilt Hope In - Quilts for Haiti

P.P.S  The next post -- a Go! giveaway!!! :)


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