Friday, December 25, 2015

Toddler Blocks

Merry Christmas!  On a special day I thought I should share a special quilt.

This is another quilt for the Empress.  I made this before we knew the age or gender of the child we would adopt.  It's hard to find gender neutral fabrics for toddlers!

It's a twin sized quilt and I sent it out for quilting.  At the time I didn't have the confidence to quilt something that large at home.

Recently we bought the Empress a day bed and this quilt is just a little too big.  It would have been perfect for a regular twin bed.  Add one more project to the todo list....

I completed this quilt in 2014.  I finally found the time to photograph it.

This post is linked up with:
Sew Can She
Sew Fresh Quilts
Crazy Mom Quilts
Fort Worth Fabric Studio
Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Sunday, December 20, 2015

BHAG 2106

At some point in my corporate career I learned the acronym BHAG - Big Hairy Audacious Goal.

It's a ridiculous acronym but a useful concept.  A BHAG is a goal that's achievable but hard.  Reaching this goal will take work and growth.  Achieving this goal is something to be proud of and to talk about.  A lot of smaller goals tend to get accomplished in the process.

A few years ago I stopped making the mundane New Year's resolutions we all make - lose weight, work out more, clean the house, finish my UFOs, use the fabric in my stash, etc, etc.

Instead, I set a single BHAG.  Some are accomplished and some are not.  Run a half marathon - yes.  Sew with only fabrics from my stash for one year - almost but not quite.  Adopt a toddler and stay sane in the process - yes (except for the sane part).

This year my BHAG is to design and sew a modern sampler quilt.  Sounds easy but it includes a lot of little goals.  Improve my design skills.  Improve my piecing skills.  Improve my quilting.  Build my audience.  Enter some shows.  Sew something every week.

I usually create "quick quilts" so this will force me to slow down and hopefully create something special.

I've already found my fabrics and started sketching.  Starting in January I'll share 1-2 blocks a week until the final quilt is revealed at the end of the year.

Happy New Year and good luck to you in your resolutions!

Fabric for Modern Sampler 2016
I'm linked up with the planning party at Quilting Jet Girl and Val's Quilting Studio.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Baby Stripes

This cute little quilt belongs to the Empress Charlotte.

This is one of my first improv quilts.  I cut the fabrics into strips and played around on the design wall until I found a design I liked.  I was in a hurry so the machine quilting (with walking foot) was simple.

It was made in 2014 but I haven't had time to photograph it until now.  It has held up well to washing I think!

The Empress has almost outgrown her toddler bed so it's time to replace it with a twin.  If I listen to her input the new quilt will feature Star Wars, football and Batman :).

I'm linked up with:
Fort Worth Fabrics Studio
Richard and Tanya Quilts
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Crazy Mom Quilts

Friday, December 11, 2015

Log Pyramid

Another challenge quilt for QuiltCon.  This one actually meets the challenge criteria (unlike Oops!).

UPDATE - My quilt was accepted for display at Quiltcon 2016!  Yay!  This is my very first competition quilt.

I started with a central square and added each surrounding triangle log cabin style.  I used a ruler to cut the strips.  The width and color of the strips was chosen (mostly) at random.

 The quilting is similar to Oops!  I started with a central triangle and spiraled outwards following the seams of each strip.

The back is a single fabric.

My favorite thing about this quilt is the color scheme.  I love how the yellows, greens and blues go together.

I'm linked up with:
Fort Worth Fabrics Studio
Richard and Tanya Quilts
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
A Quilting Reader's Garden
Crazy Mom Quilts
Sew Can She
Blossom Heart Quilts

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

25 Gift Ideas (Mostly) Under $25

Is there a modern quilter in your life that you need to buy a gift for?  Fear not!  Here are 25 ideas for (mostly) under $25.  The few that cost a little bit more are worth it so I included them :)

1.  Fabric!  Quilters can never have enough fabric.  Your local quilt store is a wonderful place to buy fabric.  The nice people who work there would be happy to help you find something appropriate.  Charm packs are packs of 5" squares that cost $10-15.  Fat quarters are 18"x22" squares of fabric that cost a few dollars each.

2.  The gift of shopping!  The same local quilt store would be happy to sell you a gift certificate.  An excuse to shop for fabric is one of the greatest gifts of all.

3.  Books!  I'm a book nerd and love giving books.  Real books made of paper.  I guess that shows my age.  This is a great reference book for any quilter.

4.  Bobbin buddies.  These little guys attach a bobbin to a spool of thread.  No more guessing which half-used bobbins go with which threads.

5.  More books!  This book is a great introduction to improv quilting and is sure to inspire.

6.  Easy Binding Ruler.  This tool is a little miracle.  Use it to measure and cut the binding to fit neatly around the quilt.  I love mine!

7.  Even more books!  I told you I was nuts for books.
This one is a wonderful machine quilting reference.

8.  A pretty and functional rolling cart.  These cute carts are a great place to hold projects-in-progress.  They roll around so easily.  I have one in every color (aqua, white and grey).

9.  Coloring books for grown ups are super trendy this year.  Tula Pink is a super trendy fabric designer.  So how can you go wrong with one of her coloring books?  You can't!

10.  A cute and functional seam ripper.  Because everyone makes mistakes no matter how awesome a quilter you are.  This one picks up loose threads too.

11.  An inspirational (and aspirational) pattern to sew.  I love this one!

12.  A book of quilt blocks.

13.  And another.  You can't have too many books of great block designs!

14.  More blocks.

15.  And even more.

16.  Wonder clips.  This little helpers hold down a binding for hand sewing.

17.  An inspirational calendar.  Because if you're old school enough to sew and read real books you could probably use a wall calendar.

18.  Shiny new pins.  Isn't it time to replace those old dull ones?

19.  I'm a little bit obsessed with rainbows at the moment.  This book scratches the itch.

20.  A little cutting mat.  The kind of thing one hates to buy for oneself, but so handy for retreats and sew days.

21.  This book is a good introduction to modern quilting for those just starting to explore the genre.  Features workshops on the basics of modern quilting.

22.  Colored pencils and a graph paper notebook for designing and doodling.  Splurge on the notebook and go old-school with the pencils.

23.  Some love paper piecing and some don't.  This is for those who do.

24.  I especially like the walking foot portions of this book.

25.  Love and admiration.  This one is free!  Tell a quilter how much you love her (or his) work!

Please DON'T give your quilter a punny t-shirt or mug about quilting.  We are modern women (and men) with sophisticated tastes.  If you're tempted to go in that direction give us a bottle of wine or chocolate instead!