If you’re on social media with other quilters/sewers, you’ve probably been watching as many of them prepare to descend on Austin, Texas, for QuiltCon 2015. New bags and outfits have been made, buttons prepped for swapping, #HelloQuiltCon introductions made. Like me, maybe you’re relegated to watching not just the QuiltCon prep but the entire event unfold on social media.
What’s a non-QuiltCon attendee to do?
Since you’re already going to be “liking” and commenting on the flood of pictures that are about to fill your screen, why not take part in the Unofficial 2015 QuiltCon IG Scavenger Hunt? (Not affiliated with nor endorsed by QuiltCon, The Modern Quilt Guild or anyone involved whatsoever with QuiltCon.)
Head over to IG and follow me (thatcraftaddict). I’ll post the scavenger hunt list on Thursday, Feb. 19, at 9 a.m. Austin time, along with a link to the form. There are 20 items on the list and you need to enter at least 15 in order for it to be considered complete. The form will close at 9 a.m. Monday, Feb. 23 (again, Austin time). I’ll randomly choose from the completed entries and send that person a prize.
One of the best things about this sewing/quilting world is getting to meet cool people like Penny Layman. I wasn’t familiar with Penny’s work when I met her, which was probably a good thing because I might have fangirled all over her!
Needless to say, I was incredibly excited to see that she had a book coming out and I could not wait to get my hands on it. (Note: I paid retail for this book.) The Paper-Pieced Home, published in December 2014 by Interweave, is just as lovely and charming as Penny, perfectly capturing her style on every one of the 136 pages.
The book has 40 paper-pieced blocks in a variety of sizes and 10 projects that show off those blocks, things like his-and-hers shoe bags and a tablet cover. Block patterns are printed from a CD that’s included with the book, which I love. It’s so easy to not only print out exactly what I want but I can reduce or enlarge the patterns before printing. Plus the patterns are lightly tinted to make it easier to discern the differences between sections.
I don’t have much experience with paper piecing, so I actually sat down with the book and read it before I printed a thing. Crazy! But I really wanted things to turn out well. Penny does a great job of breaking down the steps involved and gives really helpful tips so your blocks turn out as well as the examples in the book.
So like anyone trying something for the first time, I chose the simplest block pattern in the book for my first attempt.
OK, not really.
Maybe starting with the Sewing Machine block was not the best idea. But Penny told me it was really easy in spite of all the pieces. So I crossed my fingers and jumped in. And it turned out super cute! I goofed on a couple of pieces, which I didn’t realize until the block was done, but I pulled out the seam ripper, removed the section, made another and put it all back together. It’s not perfect but it’s my first time and I’m pretty happy with it. Happy enough that I immediately made another block:
This one would have been an ideal first block to start with! I used the new Text Sunprint by Alison Glass for Andover, some Kona solids and a tiny bit of some Patty Young fabric I had on hand. I think this one is going to get incorporated into a tote bag for Miss L to use for library books.
I’ve already got my eye on a few more blocks to play with, including the most fabulous, funky shoe in the history of quilt blocks.
I’m not quite sure what happened to this year. Didn’t 2014 just get started? How is it possible that we’re already 10 days into November?
At least I’ve already got a head start on my holiday sewing. Last year I picked up a copy of Simply Modern Christmas by Cindy Lammon. The projects were just lovely and I could see myself making so many of them — and not limiting myself to holiday fabrics. Of course, I couldn’t resist making a cute Christmas quilt.
The retro Christmas fabrics from Michael Miller just spoke to me! And the Kona in Pool was a perfect match. It’s a lot of flying geese but chain piecing made the work go a little faster. It’s not a huge quilt — small enough to back with one width of fabric — but great for showing off a big chunk of theme fabric.
My buddy Elizabeth Beck did the quilting and I wish I had snapped a better picture of the quilt so you could see her beautiful work! The quilt is on display at Intown Quilters, if you’re local.
I never intended to make quilts. My mother was a quilter, meticulously piecing and quilting by hand. The idea of following in her footsteps never crossed my mind. Yet here I am, decades after swearing I’d never make a quilt, not only making them but designing them. And now I’m teaching others how to piece quilts. Crazy!
Sarah and I just finished the second session of our block-of-the-month at Intown Quilters. It is so incredibly fun to go and encourage people to make these blocks each month with one of my dearest friends! When she brought up the idea of us doing this back in November, my first reaction was “Me? Really?” But then we started bouncing quilt ideas off each other and were in love with many of the same things and, well, one thing led to another…
The Starfall quilt by Fresh Lemon Quilts was the starting point for our BOM. The designer graciously allowed us to use it for this purpose, which meant adding enough stars to it for the program to work as a block-of-the-month quilt.
Sarah and I took completely different approaches to the quilt when it came to choosing our fabrics. Both quilts were quilted by Regina Carter — I love how she chose quilting patterns that are so different yet work so well to play up the design of each quilt!
A couple of months ago, Sarah and I were trying to figure out the whole Block of the Month thing for the shop for 2014. Our regular BOM teacher is taking a break this year, so we decided that the two of us will lead a Block of the Month. Or possibly she suggested that we do it and I dove in, feet first, and dragged her along with me before she changed her mind. (If you’ve met me, you probably can figure out which is the correct scenario.)
We figured out pretty quickly that we were on the same wavelength when it came to choosing a quilt and decided to take different approaches to the fabrics. She chose a beautiful neutral Essex linen for the background of her blocks and a scrappy assortment of fabrics, leaning pretty heavily on ones from the Kaffe Fassett Collective. I went a little more…crazy. LOL! Here’s a sneak peek:
The background is from the Collage line for Windham Fabrics and I used a mix of dots, chevrons and solids for the stars. I know the fabrics aren’t for everyone but I was so thrilled to see it come together the way I saw it in my head.
Ultimately, I think our quilts really reflect our styles. I absolutely love how mine turned out and I can’t lie: I think Sarah’s is pretty darned awesome. Hers is off with the longarm quilter and mine is waiting for me to get the back pieced but I’ll share pics when they’re ready to be unveiled. (Plus links to sign up for the BOM, just in case you’re interested.)
The past few weeks have been utterly CRAZY! I love my job and I love it even more when we are preparing for an event. This time of year is all about Shop Hop.
The Greater Atlanta Quilt Shop Hop takes place in March each year and Intown Quilters (where I teach and work) is one of the participating shops. Shop Hop is an organized event with a group of quilt shops. People visit each shop during the event, taking a passport along with them and having it stamped at each destination. After completing the passport, they leave it at the final shop and are entered in a drawing for some big prizes. (In years’ past, the grand prize has been a BabyLock sewing machine!) Even if people don’t “hop” to all the shops, they can still enter in a prize drawing at each shop they visit. All the shops have special things like goodie bags and free quilt patterns for the occasion.
This year’s Shop Hop theme is Quilting…It’s Our Passion and IQ’s theme is Modern Meets Traditional. That means lots of samples and items relating to that theme. It’s been lots of fun planning samples, pulling together goodie bag items and figuring out cool displays for Shop Hop.
I even got inspired to design a quilt! Here’s a little sneak peek:
I named it “Dial-a-Quilt” and couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. OK, maybe a wee bit happier: the actually basting and quilting parts are not my strength (it may have been suggested to me that I take the machine quilting class at the shop) but I can live with it.
The quilt uses one of my current favorite fabrics (the vintage telephone print from Melody Miller’s Ruby Star Sparkle line for Kokka), green and blue blenders and the prettiest Essex Linen from Robert Kauffman (medium aqua). It’s based on a traditional log cabin block (one of my faves!), which I thought made it a good fit for our Shop Hop theme. Even cooler? The boss liked it enough to have me make kits of it to sell during Shop Hop!
I’ll post the full quilt once Shop Hop starts and maybe a link to the online kit after it’s over (if there are any kits left). And be sure to say “hi!” if you see me during Shop Hop!
I am not a test-the-waters kind of gal. I’m more of a jump-in-with-both-feet person, which probably explains all the half-finished projects in my life. And craft supplies. And this year’s completely overboard Christmas redecorating.
But I digress.
I had heard of Don’t Look Now! patterns but it wasn’t until I saw them at Market in person that I really “got” it. They were so cool and so different from what I’d seen before. Over time, I started thinking, “Hey, I could totally do this!”
Now, most people might think this and decide to try a pillow before diving into a quilt. I am not most people. My life would surely be easier if I were most people but probably a whole lot less interesting. Behold my take on the Don’t Look Now! White Christmas pattern:
The tree is Kona Bright Pink; the background is a white-on-white snowflake fabric from Timeless Treasures. The binding and backing are from Kaufman (Tinsel Tree, maybe?).
I traced, cut, fused and stitched around every. single. one of those snowflakes. Some of ’em are a little wonky looking and I really need an extension table and a class on machine quilting. But I did it! I did the whole thing! (With some fantastic advice from my friends Taffy and Patty, I should mention.)
Because of my complete lack of quilting experience, I enlarged some of the snowflakes (another suggestion from the dynamic duo) and quilted around them on the white. I probably should have done more quilting in between but it ain’t happening.
I definitely learned a lot from making this (those grippy gloves are a must! you can’t have enough thread!) and actually am looking forward to making another Don’t Look Now quilt at some point. Just not anytime soon.
Earlier this fall, I jumped at the chance to join the Twitter #ssswap (Secret Santa Swap) organized by the lovely @sukie80 (be sure to check out her fab blog, too). I was excited but a little nervous because I knew several of the folks involved and, well, it’s a little intimidating to think about sewing stuff for some of these folks since they might rethink our friendship upon closer inspection of my handiwork.
And then I got the email with my swap partner. And my heart was filled with joy.
Me with Jana at Quilt Market in Houston
I love this girl. And her family. Immediately the wheels were churning. Stalking her Pinterest only further honed my instincts. So early in December, I sent her a box containing this:
Three little packages all wrapped up in kraft (craft?) paper and lace ribbon. Inside the packages …
A scarf made with ruffle fabric in a pretty pink to add a little pop of color to her day (based on a tutorial from V&Co. because she’d already made what I had in my head). A footstool pincushion (modified version of a pattern by the oh-so-awesome Penny) because Jana needs a safe place to keep her pins. And a Fluevog all her own to love and fondle.
I’m not a quilter but I have been known to try my hand at the odd quilt pattern every now and then. There is no pattern for this, however, so I pretty much made it up as I went along. I was in the middle of working on my first Don’t Look Now! pattern (more on this tomorrow) so I decided to use that appliqué technique for this one.
I started out by photographing one of my shoes, then importing it into Photoshop and printing it out at the desired size to trace off for the appliqué pieces. It is a raw-edge technique with lots of free-motion stitching around each part of the appliqué (which I’m not very good at doing) but I think that just adds to the funky quality. I used embroidery floss for the running stitches detailing the shoe and some vintage buttons to replicate the leather-covered buttons on the strap.
I finished it off by quilting in a geometric sort of ray pattern radiating out from the shoe. There’s a small line of echo quilting around the shoe and I used that and the inner border as my guide for moving between each line of quilting. I finished it off with an embroidered label on the back (backing is from Sandi Henderson’s Farmer’s Market line):
It’s not a very big quilt (the background started life as a fat quarter) but it was stitched with a lot of love.