Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chocolate Moose -- or -- the brown quilt is finished!

Here it is!  What do you think?!?

I just entered it into the Mondern Quilt Guild's Monochromatic Challenge.  This pattern is actually designed by the judge.  Is that brown-nosing.  Must be -- it's a brown quilt.  Actually, I have been wanting to make the pattern, and I thought she would enjoy seeing someone make it.  I think it works against me because it would odd to vote for your own pattern I think. 

I decided to name the quilt "Chocolate Moose."  Although as I look at it I almost want to call it "Eagle Eye Blind," but I don't know why except that the way the pieces come together, it reminds me of a birds eyes and beak. 

It was a fun pattern.  The hexagons are large so they went together fairly painlessly.  I added another ring to the pattern in the magazine. 

I am having a hard time with this quilt.  I don't know if I like it or not.

1)  At 50" x 54" and with that shape, what am I going to do with this quilt? 

My walls are too small for it to be hung on my walls.  I have small children, so it isn't about to go on my floor.  It's a hexagon.  It isn't a quilt that is fun to curl up under -- even on the couch.

2)  What do you think about the solids?

I think I enjoy using solids more as an addition to prints.  Using them in this quilt was difficult, and I am not loving the results.

I would love to know what you think!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pillow Pet?

Kids and birthday parties.  It's a never ending wonder what to have the kids take as presents.  A couple days ago my 12 year old daughter got invited to a birthday party Saturday.  Today at dinner she asked me if she could buy her a small pillow pet.  Ah -- no.

But. . . we could make her a pillow with some minky type fabric I have. 

But could we put velcro on it so it can open and close?  Ah -- no.

So the idea gradually evolved into our version of an owl pillow pet.

Yes, I actually made an owl.  That may be a surprise to those who know I am not a huge fan of the owl fad.  Evidently, my daugther's friend is a owl fan -- and likes the colors brown and blue.

I had found what I thought was the perfect fabric, a brown mottled flannel.  My daughter wasn't sold.  Then I found some scrap sections from my brown quilt.  My daughter said they were perfect.  I thought so too.  The back is the cream with brown dots that is on the eye.  It's about 14" squarish in size.

All in all, I think it's kind of cute -- for an owl.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Utah Quilt Fest Teacher

It's official, I am going to be teaching two classes at the Utah Quilt Fest this year.  Quilt Fest is September 20th to 24th this year.

Thursday, September 22, from 8:30 - 11:30 am I will be teaching my pattern, Gorgeous Geishas (68" x 68"). 

This quilt uses a fussy cut stripe fabric to create its look.  It also has a larger square to showcase a great print, embroidery, or applique (not included with the pattern).

Friday, September 23, from 7:00 - 10:00 pm, I will be teaching Miss Maddie (55" x 55").

This is a quick quilt to make with simple applique.  It would be a great quilt to learn to applique.

Quilt Fest is in Provo, Utah this year.  I would love to have you in my class if you will be in town!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Block Ten Winners!

We have winners!

First, the winner of one of Vanessa Wilson's patterns,

AJ Dub!

and with another of Vanessa's patterns:

Hooked on Needles!

Then with the winner of one of my patterns:


and the winner of my second pattern:


Congratulations!  Email me ( your flickrname and mailing information, and we will get these right out to you!

Thanks for playing!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Block Eleven with Vanessa Wilson

WOW! Block Eleven! How did that happen? Our flickr pool is beginning to look like spring. Yea! At least it is looking like spring somewhere.

Our block today is from Vanessa Wilson who is also known as the Crafty Gemini.

So, without futher ado, here's Vanessa:

Hi there! My name is Vanessa Wilson. I am the wife and mother behind Crafty Gemini [], a blog dedicated to creativity on a budget! I post dozens of my FREE step-by-step text and video tutorials for beginning sewists and quilters. I also host giveaways, quilt alongs, and post product reviews of quilting devices, notions, etc. I'm also a new quilt designer and have two patterns being published and sold by You can see them both here:

So, who am I and where do I come from? I am a 27-yr old, wife and stay-at-home mama by day and a college law professor by night. I was born in Queens, New York and grew up in Miami, FL. When I was in law school I was in desperate need of a creative outlet. My mother came over with a 1966 Singer sewing machine and taught me how to thread it and sew straight stitches. That was the beginning of my new obsession.

I immediately began repurposing old jeans into purses, and shirts into aprons, etc. A few weeks later I discovered a sewing/quilt shop in town and signed up for a pillow sham class, then a Christmas stocking class, etc. I remember rushing out of my law classes to make it to my quilting classes on time. My friends thought I was crazy!
My goal is to eventually have my own quilting show! In the meantime, I post video tutorials to spread my love of sewing and quilting with the world. My videos cover a variety of subjects from how to make toddler pants out of a t-shirt to loading a quilt on you longarm frame. My YouTube channel  [] has had great success with almost 500,000 views and over 2,700 subscribers worldwide.
I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit about me! To follow more of my quilty ventures check me out at the Crafty Gemini blog [].

Click HERE for instructions to Vanessa's block.

Thanks Vanessa!

Here is a picture of Vanessa's "E-ccentric Quilt Block."

Here is a picture of my block.  As usual, my colors are a little wild.  I'm still getting use to them.

Notes about the pattern:

1)  The cutting instructions use 1/8" measurements.  I know this worries some of you.  Take a deep breath.  You can do it.  The 1/8" marks are the little ones on your ruler between the marks you usually use.  3 1/8" is one little mark more than 3."  1 7/8" is one mark less than 2," or 7 little marks more than 1."
2)  On the pattern, Vanessa notes to use a scant 1/4" seam.  Between that and the 1/8," I was a little worried, so I sewed a very scant 1/4," and ended up with my piece too big. 

Then I checked the math. 

Turns out, in the top and bottom row, using a regular 1/4" seam creates a block that is 1/8" too small.  1/8" over four seams is NOT a lot.  You can make 4 seams 1/8" bigger by pressing.  The other critical place is the 5 pieces that make up the E.  If sewn with a true 1/4," the piece ends up 1/4" short.  It also really isn't that much.  This is where I tested my small seam and ended up too large. 

Conclusion:  When Vanessa says to use a scant 1/4" seam, she means the regular scant 1/4" seam that is barely, barely, one thread over from 1/4."  Mostly, just make sure you aren't sewing a seam any larger than 1/4."  That will give you fits.   My block went together just fine (on the second try).

3)  FYI -- Fabric A and Fabric C take 1 layer cake + 1 -- 3 1/8" square.  I used two scraps for Fabric A and Fabric B and used one layer cake square for Fabric C.  I didn't have a similar scrap to Fabric C, so I pieced that last 3 1/8" square. 

Conclusion:  If you piece that last square, you will have enough of both Fabric A and C using 1 -- 10" square. 

I also ended up piecing one of the Fabric A squares, but that's because my first cut was wrong.  Oh well!

So what happens next?

Well, any pictures posted in the flickr group by tonight will be entered into the first drawing. About 10 ish tonight (Mountain Time) or tomorrow morning, I will post my Block TEN. All blocks BEFORE mine are those entered into the first drawing. It doesn't matter which block - just the one's posted before mine. If you post your block AFTER mine, then it will be entered into the next drawing. I will post the winners tomorrow.

What's up for grabs this time?

Vanessa has donated TWO of her patterns!

And I think I should donate TWO of my patterns!

Sweet Baby Kate!

and Baby Sadie's Bears!

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Brown Quilt

Here is one of the dark blocks:

Here is one of the light blocks:

I have mixed feelings about how it is coming together. This is definitely one that I am reserving judgement on until quilted and bound. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Block Nine Winners!

We have three winners for this round!

First, the winner of Kari Ramsay's book:


Next, the winner of one of my magazines:


And last but not least, the winner of my 2nd magazine:


Congratulations to the winners and to all the beautiful blocks showing up on flickr!  Winners, please email me at or via flickr mail.  Just tell me your flickr name along with your mailing information so I know who you are.

Thanks for playing!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Block Ten with Kari Ramsay

Today is the day for Block 10!  Time just keeps marching on doesn't it?  Our block today is from Kari Ramsay of Fresh Cut Quilts.

Here's a link to her blog:

Kari has designed patterns for a while and has recently teamed up with Henry Glass for her first fabric line, Tidbits.  I am sure she has been busy working on a second or even a third line, but right now she has one.  Here is a link to the free pattern on Henry Glass' website:

With all of that, this is how Kari describes herself:
I am the owner and designer of Fresh Cut Quilts Pattern Co. I am a Mom of 2 children who I adore, and have been happily married to my husband for 16 years. Before I became a quilt pattern designer, I worked in retail management and before that I was a floral designer for about 10 years. My specialty was wedding flowers. Design and sewing have been a part of my life ever since I can remember and now I get to follow my passion for design in my quilting!

Thanks Kari!

Here's a picture of Kari's block. 

Here's a picture of my block.  All of it came from scraps except the red.  I didn't have two pieces of the same or similar color large enough for those two pieces.  I think it will work with my other blocks.  This fabric is turning out to be pretty wild.

Also, just a note -- I print my patterns out in black and white.  I couldn't tell which square was yellow.  It was easy to figure out, but if you mark it on the pattern right when you print it and are still looking at the color copy on the computer screen, you won't have to wonder about that when you get to your sewing machine.

So what happens next?

Well, any pictures posted in the flickr group by tonight will be entered into the first drawing. About 10 ish tonight (Mountain Time) I will post my Block NINE. All blocks BEFORE mine are those entered into the first drawing. It doesn't matter which block - just the one's posted before mine. If you post your block AFTER mine, then it will be entered into the next drawing. I will post the winners tomorrow.

What's up for grabs this time?

Kari has donated one of her books!

and I have two copies of this magazine that my quilt was in!

We shall see who these two winners are tomorrow along with some fun flower blocks.

Happy Quilting!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Australian Flood Update

I just received an update to the blocks that were sent to Australian Flood quilting siblings.  Here's the link to the original post:

The totals were astonishing --
  • 9100 -- 12" blocks
  • 75 quilt tops
  • plus finished quilts
Absolutely amazing!  I have always thought that quilters are among the most generous people.  Way to go everyone!  Way to go!

**Edit:  The total is now 10,336!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Progress on the Brown Quilt

With my brown Kona cotton fat quarter bundle, I decided to make the quilt on the cover of this magazine:

I have been thinking about making a hexagon quilt for a while now.  These hexagons are large which makes it seem "do"able.  I also like how they are pieced differently than other hexagon quilts.  I decided to make it larger by making one more round of hexagons.  Then the center would be on the lighter side, the next row would be a little darker etc. 

First, I split the fat quarters up into two piles, light and dark.  That didn't seem to have enough contrast within the piles so I swapped a few of the fat quarters. 

In the directions, strips are cut at random widths and are cut at angles.  While I like the randomness, I decided to make strip sets so the process would go faster.

I cut strips at 1.5," 2," and 2.5."  Each strip set had 2 of the skinniest strip and one of each of the others.  Then the strip sets had too much left on the sides for my liking so I sewed the strip sets together to make one long strip set as you can see a little in the next two pictures. 

What ended up working well is to cut the two sides of the template as shown.

Then when I turned the template, it matched right up to cut the next shape. 

After I had all the templates cut that much, I went back and cut the top two sides.

That's all for now.  More to come.  I am not loving it right now, but that happens sometimes.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Day that Disappeared

Some days it seems like I am so productive and other days seem to just disappear.  Today was one of those days that disappeared.  Did your day disappear or was it just mine?

What was I doing?  All I did was send in my proposal to teach at our Utah Quilt Guild Annual Quilt Festival.

So what took so long???

1)  Taking pictures of two quilts (four actually, but two were for the proposal).

2)  Editing the pictures.  Take out the background, make sure everything looks good, all that "fun" fiddly stuff.

3)  Filling out the paperwork -- sizes, supply list, and my un-favorite, coming up with a 2-3 sentence blurb that makes my class sound so fun.

4)  Holding a sick baby in between this and that.  (It isn't serious, just makes her need to be held constantly.)

5)  Changing my mind and submitting 3 proposals instead of one to increase the odds of teaching.

6)  Picking up the pictures I had printed. I love being able to send them via email to be printed.

7)  Getting the kids home from school.

8) Rushing to the post office before it closed so the letter was postmarked today because they don't take online submissions yet.  I try not to be so last minute, but sometimes it happens.

9)  All that done.  Yea!  Now then on to running kids hither and yon, supper, and laundry.

I guess that makes it sound like a lot, but it sure seemed like a whole lot of nothing!

Mystery Prizes

Just in case you were a little bit curious about the prizes that were passed out last week. . . .

Hop over to Jovita's blog and see what she sent:

I sent another one of my pattern books.  I don't remember which one.  My memory is like that.