Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thanks and a Winner!

Thanks for the input on the novelty fabrics. I was surprised at the result. Here are the two that got the most votes:

The monkeys from P&B Textiles collection called Safari So Good coming out this fall,

and the Farm Toile from the Benartex collection called Farmyard Toile.

So I will have to add my vote to break the tie. Actually I liked the sewing machines. I thought that one would have been a fun challenge, but that doesn't break the tie. I will see which one is easier to get my hands on.

Now for the winner of the drawing . . .

I went to to generate a random number. I think random numbers are fascinating. They rarely seem truely random. So the winner is number 1. How can the number 1 be random? And yet it is.

The first post was made by Jana. Yeah for Jana! Thanks for being the first post! Jana, email me your address at, and I will send you out some of our challenge fabric when I get it. (That may be a month or two, but I will send it.)

Thanks for playing! Happy 25th of July!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

HAND Quilted Doll Quilt?

First thing you should know about me is that I quilt because I can do it all on machine. I piece by machine. I have a quilting machine. I even bind by machine. Okay so sometimes I will finish my binding by hand. I love machine quilting. I do appreciate hand quilting. In my opinion there is good hand quilting and good machine quilting. I also think there is poor hand quilting and poor machine quilting. One type of quilting is not inherently better than the other. Each have their place, in my opinion.

That being said, I have often thought that I would like to learn to hand quilt. I knew I would start on a baby quilt because that size of project would be managable. I have seen many hand quilted quilts. I have seen people hand quilting in guild meeting. BUT last month I went to a hand quilting demonstration at our local Peteetneet Quilt Show by Dawnalyn Hall who has won several viewer's choice awards for her hand quilting in our quilt show. That inspired me to want to try hand quilting sooner than later.

I fell in love with these doll quilts from the Temecula Quilt Company that were on the Moda Bake Shop. I finished one of my projects on Saturday and whipped up my doll quilt from my scraps. Here it is marked and basted ready to quilt! It was little enough that I didn't really get nervous starting.

FYI -- my doll quilt I made with half charm squares. I didn't cut them down to 2" x 4" as the pattern says. I now know that the Temecula Quilt Company cut down the charms so the sashing fabric and the backing fabric could come from a fat quarter. Mine could not. I have two sashing rows that are pieced. Doesn't bother me.

I had planned on quilting it with echo quilting or stitch in the ditch. However, I was inspired by this post from Minick and Simpson "Fuss Free Hand Quilting." I love the baptist fan pattern. I love how Laurie Simpson pointed out the "randomness" of her arcs, and that she had made them that way on purpose -- to make it look more antique.

TA DA! I am so pleased with how my first hand quilting experience with. I loved the doll quilt size. It was perfect. I was able to quilt it in two days.

My stitches are uneven, I think I've got about 4 stitches per inch, my curves aren't quite smooth, and I LOVE IT! I haven't washed it yet. I love quilts after they are washed.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Distributor

I am pleased to announce the addition of a new distributor for my quilt books -- Moda / United Notions!

Yeah!! I am sending them my first shipment today.

Books are also still available with my current distributors -- Checker and Brewer.

I love my distributors. They are great!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Help! With a freebie. . . .

I help with a local quilt show. This year we decided that for next year we start a challenge quilt category. To have a quilt in this category, a specific fabric would have to be used in the quilt. We were going to have fat quarters available for purchase to be used in the quilt that would be entered in the show the following year. Our state fair does this in the fall, and it's a lot of fun.

I am already picking out fabric for the challenge next year. I am having too much fun. I can't decide!!!!

I need your help! Let me know which fabric you think would be a fun challenge fabric. I will take suggestions until the 24th of July, and on July 25th I will randomly pick out of those who have given their opinion. Then I will send a fat quarter of our fabric to whoever is randomly chosen.

Here's what I have narrowed it down to:

1) Geckos

2) Monkeys

3) Farm Toile

4) Happy Birthday

5) Flowers

6) Sewing Machines
7) Cowboys

8) Numbers

9) Ocean

See what I mean! They are all so fun. I think any of them would be great.

Let me know what you think by July 24th!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My First Quilt

I am not always a jump on the bandwagon type person, but this bandwagon has been so fun that here I go. . . .

I learned how to sew in 4-H and 7th grade home economics. I made a pillowcase that no one used, a sweatshirt with a neck that went to my sholders, a jumper that I actually wore, and knit pants that I didn't. My mother hated to sew, but she did own a sewing machine. We had a couple quilts in the house from great-grandmothers I never knew. One of them I got to sleep under. (My mother says she is going to give it to me one day.)

In the late 80s I was in high school and at church there was a program for the young women to learn stuff. Some things you did because they were on a list, and other things you got to make your own project. I decided I wanted to make a quilt. My mother pulled out a bunch of hawaiian print fabric that she had saved since we had lived in Hawaii when I was tiny. These were factory ends from a hawaiian clothing factory or something like that. She had already started cutting squares. Perfect!

I continued cutting squares, with scissors of course, until I thought I had enough. I had heard that to make a quilt you just sew a row of squares together and then sew the rows together so that is what I did. I sewed rows of squares together. The problem came when I went to sew the rows together and none of the squares matched up -- surprise, surprise! I have always been a little resourceful and I had no clue how to make the squares match up so I turned some of the rows around so the ones that matched up least were together. I guess some of them were so "off" that I could make it look like they weren't suppose to match.

And of course I tied it. And of course I used a sheet for the back, but here it is after all these years. It took me years to bind it. I should have just folded the back over to the top, but I cut the strips off the sheet and sewed them back on. Each side had it's own strip of binding so the corners are coming apart. Oh well. The fabric is so great that I still love MY FIRST QUILT. . . .

Then here is my latest quilt. It actually isn't too impressive, but the construction is much better. My squares actually do come together where they are suppose to. This was a quilt I made to take to kids' ball games.

Amazing how long this simple quilt took me. I think it was less than a year - maybe? It kept getting put in the UFO pile.

I guess I am still resourceful because this quilt has a story of it's own. As I was deciding what size to make the block borders, I came up with two different sizes that I was considering. When I was cutting, I cut the width off the bigger set of numbers and the length off the smaller set of numbers so my borders didn't fit.

This time I knew how to fix the problem, but I didn't want to re cut all my borders down to the skinnier width. So I just made one border skinnier and two borders shorter and then it all fit perfectly. I thought the movement of the inner squares would be fun. I don't think it's that noticable, but it kind of makes you look twice.

Yes, the batting is green. It is one of Quilter's Dream Batting's new batts. I think it is called Dream Green. It is polyester batting made from recycled 2-liter bottles. That's why it is green. It feels like their regular poly, which I like. It has barely more loft than cotton and has a real nice drape. It will be good for ball games.

And so, to mix metaphors, "Come on in! The waters fine!"

In case you're wondering, here's the original post that started this fun parade of First Quilts:

Monday, July 13, 2009

July Quilt Fair

On Wednesday is one of my favorite annual guild meetings. The Utah Valley Quilt Guild July Quilt Fair. Whew -- long name, fun day! I have been a vendor at this fair for many years. This year is no exception. The day always goes by so fast. There are free classes that I never get to attend, but taught one last year. There's also a garage sale that I hear is great. I have never been to that either. BUT I do make it around to the vendor mall because I am part of it. AND I do get to be a part of the quilt auction because it is in the same large room as the vendor mall. There are always great quilts up for auction. It feels like a big party / shop hop all in one location.

Quilter's are always great people, but I know many of them in the valley so I go and chat with all my friends all day. Great fun!

Come by and say hi to me at the Quilt Fair in Provo, Utah. There's more information at the website:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Guild Challenge

I am making a quilt with one of the local quilt guilds I belong to. One of the ladies in the guild is an artist with fabric -- absolutely amazing work. I googled her name, Sharon Aposian Wright and found this post about a trunk show she did. That's her holding up the first quilt. I have seen all of those quilts. Most of the quilts she makes are completely original. The celtic applique on one of those quilts is all done by hand.

So this fabric artist designed a quilt for us to make. Fortunately she is wise as well as talented. Her quilt has a 24"(ish) medallion of a favorite saying of hers. Then she put it several other borders, some of them complicated piecing, some of the celtic applique. She designed it so we could learn some new techniques, but she suggested varying levels of difficulty because she knows she does things over the top.

She had us each pick a saying we liked and showed us how to get it onto the fabric. Here is mine:

I am going to post progress on this quilt because 1) it will motivate me to do it and 2) the pattern isn't going to be publish so it doesn't have to be hidden.

You can see that my medallion is smaller than hers. I am going to trim it to be an 8" block.

Yesterday she taught us how to do celtic applique. She has a ton of celtic applique in a border and in four setting triangles. I am going to do one small motif under my saying. The words were actually a lot more difficult than it looks. (You may be able to see that the letter "o" is a little choppy.) Also, I don't do a lot of hand work so I think the one small motif will be a challenge.

Wish me luck. I am definately going to need it. I will post another picture hopefully before our guild meeting next month.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What's Wrong With This Picture?!?

Sigh. . . .

I know I am not the only person who makes mistakes. I have learned to be glad when I make a mistake that I can recover from.

Yesterday was one of those days when I was busy, busy, busy, piecing as quickly as I could. When I went to press my 68 flying geese, this is what I found. Who sewed these anyway?!? Yes, it was me. Actually I sewed them right. I just cut off the wrong side.

So instead of being finished with 17 blocks, I have finished 5 after unpicking and turning and carefully lining up my corner. What a pain. Sigh. . . . At least the mistake was fixable, right. I keep telling myself that.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fig Tree 80/20 Principle

As you know I love working with charm packs. Using charm packs, I often now work with one line of fabric. I have noticed though that sometimes I like adding background fabric or accent fabric from another line. It can be difficult to find fabric that coordinates, but the right fabrics let the fabrics from the charm pack "sing" because they let the main fabrics stand out more. I recently read a great post about this at Fig Tree Quilts.

Here is the link:
Fig Tree 80/20 Principle

Joanna has a great way expressing this concept with a couple pictures to go along with it. Check it out. I think you will agree.