Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Rotating Cutting Mats

I'm sharing my first official new tip of the week for Tip and Tutorials Tuesdays over at Late Night Quilter. I don't really do tips or tutorials much, but as Kitty at Night Quilter said it's the "perfect kick in the pants motivator to get me sharing." Here goes.

My favorite Farmer's Wife Quilt companion is my mini rotating cutting mat. Although it may seem like a frivolous addition to your already brimming crafty cabinet, it's really worth it if you're considering tackling a Farmer's Wife Quilt.  It makes it so easy not only to trim blocks once they're completed but also to cut the little pieces for each block. You can just place your fabric scrap down on the mat with the template on top, then cut one edge, rotate, repeat. Presto! No awkward shimmying of fabric pieces and templates or knocking notions and mugs of tea off the edge of the table when you try to rotate your larger cutting mat. (I may or may not have done that more than once...) Plus, being mini and flat, you can cram it in a edge where you thought nothing else could possible fit. Full closet problem solved!

Do you have favorite tips and tricks?
Go add yours and check out the other tips and tutorials over at the LinkUp!
And don't forget to vote for your favorite!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Lenten Twelves : the start

Every year for Lent I chose to do something (or to not do something), a habit to form, a priority to adjust, a rhythm in which to settle. New Year's resolutions come and go for me, but Lent is forty days of commitment. When I choose to do something, I do it. This year I wasn't quite sure what I was feeling called to. I'd already given up Netflix for February (right? is there anything to even give up after that?).

That's when my mom called me with a challenge: one twelve inch quilt per week. Instead of fasting from something we're feasting into creativity. I love it. Plus, we're doing it together. Here's the first.

I've never pieced a curve before and it very much intimidated me, but Kim over at Leland Ave Studio encouraged me to finally take the plunge. I figured a twelve-inch quilt was the perfect place to give it a go. Guys, it was actually so easy. I used SheCanQuilt's little video and Noodlehead's Sunny Side Up quilt pattern and it was a breeze! For real! When I finished the first block, I literally yelled "I DID IT!" right in the middle of facetiming my boyfriend. Then I promptly hung up on him to call my mom. Yep, I was that pumped. I may not have gotten the curves lined up perfectly with one another but one step at a time.

As you also might have noticed, I switched my tune part way through and traded the citron out for coral. Looking at the pictures, I'm not entirely sure that was the right choice, but it's okay. That's exactly what experiments are about!

Are you doing anything for Lent? If you'd like to join my mom and I or just follow along, you can find us on instagram with #lententwelves or just check out her blog Fibermusing and her first Lenten Twelve quilt.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Farmer's Wife Quilt Revisited

It's been a while since I've worked on my Farmer's Wife Quilt. In fact, I have languished with 76 blocks to go for probably six months. Now, you know when you're running a marathon and you pause to drink that little cup of water they offer you and you're just not sure if you can start running again let alone finish the race? That's what it feels like. (Or at least, I imagine it to feel exactly like that, never having run a marathon or even a 5k myself. Don't you think that water cup moment would feel just like being a quarter of the way done with your farmer's wife quilt?)

I was feeling all but worn out when I received a little chalkboard in the mail, the Traveling Farmer's Wife Quilt chalkboard. Sent around by Chelsea at Patch the Giraffe and Stephanie at Late Night Quilter, it's a little burst of encouragement to photograph with your blocks as you complete them, and it was just what I needed. I promptly sat down to pull fabrics for my next six blocks and then stitched up three at sewing night with the church ladies.

This week's blocks:
Buzzard's Roost
Hill and Valley
Friendship Star

I'm still feeling a little worn out with the tedious process of this quilt. Where once I enjoyed the meticulous relaxing pace, I've begun to just feel frustrated and impatient. The angel on my right shoulder (also known as Mom) is encouraging me to make three more blocks, increase the sashing from one to two inches, and finish it as a throw quilt. The...angel...on my left shoulder (also known as significant other) thinks I should just set it aside for a bit and wait till I feel moved by the Spirit to enjoy the process again. I don't know anymore. What do you think?


I'm linking up to Work in Progress Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced with the longest work-in-progress of my quilting career. Head over to see other beautiful and exciting projects that are heading towards the Promised Land of Finished-dom or still wandering in the desert like mine.

Monday, February 16, 2015

We Have a Winner

Thank you to everyone who entered! I cherish your continuing conversation through my blog and Instagram. Your suggestions and encouragement mean the world to me, so thank you!

And the winner is: Shaunie W. Congratulations, Shaunie! You have won an exciting $25 Gift Certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop to purchase whatever your heart desires. From notions to precuts to yardage to patterns, they have you covered. You'll get an email sometime this week or next with instructions to redeem your store credit. Enjoy!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Layers of Charm Quilt and a Giveaway

I have been itching to share this quilt with you all since I started working on it, and the day has finally arrived!! Yay! From picking fabrics, to piecing, to binding, to photographing (and now to snuggling), it's been my favorite quilt to finish this winter. The pattern is beyond simple, and the results are stunning! It is striking in its minimalist simplicity and can be easily whipped up in one afternoon (the top, that is; I am not a wicked fast quilter yet, so that took me another day).

Without further ado, I introduce to you: Layers of Charm.

All that's needed is one layer cake and one charm pack with some binding and backing fabric. No cutting required. How much does that rock? Not to mention piecing is crazy simple, just place your charms in the corner of your layer cake squares and sew diagonally across the smaller square. There's even a YouTube tutorial. Before I start sounding like a cheesy commercial, I will say that I was a tad skeptical when the instructions told me to press my seams open. I've said it before and I'll say it again, "Why expose your fingers to the steaming nostrils of your iron?" Not to mention, you end up with a weaker quilt because of it.

Now this I don't like to say quite as often but, I was wrong. When you press your seams open, you can pin through the centers of the seams in order to match them, and you get sexy corners every single time. (Except twice, but on the second try they were sexy, so that's what counts.) I've never had so many corners match up so effortlessly. I admit that I was a little nervous about some of my corners pulling apart what with my minimal quilting and all, so I hand-tacked little white x's across ten of the joints before calling it a night and leaving the rest to stand the test of time.

The entire set of fabric choices was inspired by The Coziest Quilt by Rad and Happy. Her minimal white and black with flannel really called to me. I cannot take any credit for my fabric pairings.

Nor can I take credit for the pattern! It is the Fat Quarter Shop's newest Shortcut Quilt made entirely from precuts, and you can find it for free on their website along with a bunch more examples of the quilt made in prints. And because they are so friendly and wonderful over there, they are letting me give away a $25 gift card to purchase whatever your heart desires from their vast offerings. Just check out the entry options at the very bottom of the post! The giveaway closes at midnight EST on Sunday, February 15th, and I will announce the winner here next Monday.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Uniola and the Price Lowering Party

You may know Chelsea over at Patch the Giraffe. She is pretty amazing when it comes to juggling teaching and quilting and taking amazing photos and making friends and being encouraging. The list goes on. So, when she purchased a bundle of fabrics from my Etsy shop, I was over the moon! You can see the bundle she picked out over on her blog today. It's gorgeous, and I am beyond excited to see what she does with it.

That got me thinking. I want to do more projects with my fabrics, but not only that, I want more people to be able to as well! However, with the expensive and time-consuming process of screen printing, prices felt high. So, last night, I lowered them. I had a price lowering party complete with hot chocolate and comfy pillows, and I finagled with numbers until I was happy. Go check it out! You can now get fat quarters! And because I don't want to gyp those of you who supported my endeavor from the start, just message me on Etsy with which fabric you would like, and I'll send you an extra little panel free of charge.

And while we're talking about fabrics, I want to officially introduce my newest pattern: Uniola.

Inspired by electron scanning microscope images of plant seeds, the base of the pattern is printed in white. It is then overprinted with beach dune fences. The pattern draws its name from uniola paniculata, a dune grass that grows along the coasts of the southeastern United States and helps to prevent the erosion of its sandy habitat. I experimented with lots of color combinations and was geeked when I found this one last July. I can't believe it's taken me this long to share about it on my blog, but I guess that's what starting grad school will do to you.

What would you make with this fabric?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Middle School Brights

Have you ever looked in your stash and wondered what possessed you to purchase that one fat quarter? Or twenty?? My sister and I used to be bribed in the fabric store with picking out five fat quarters in exchange for quiet patience. Some of the fabrics I adored then are...well...not the style I adore now. Needless to say, we both have some destashing to do, and what better way than with a charity quilt!

scrappy charity quilt from Amanda Jean Nyberg's Sunday Morning Quilts | by Lovely and Enough

With Amanda Jean Nyberg's book Sunday Morning Quilts in hand, we set about to make a twin size stripy quilt. It began with some fabric pulls and a bunch of strips cut. After attempting to put together some blocks and feeling hopelessly lost in middle school brights, we set aside the quilt for several months.

Have no fear! It resurfaced over Thanksgiving. Mum had cut a bunch more low-volume strips to mix in, and we all set about for a lovely Thanksgiving afternoon laying out blocks and piecing. Even my boyfriend joined in and designed more than one or two, diligently picking fabrics for new blocks and taping pieced ones to the wall.

Mum finally pieced the entire top over Christmas break, and now it just needs some quilting! If you're feeling up to your ears in old fabrics, I highly suggest this quilt option from Sunday Morning Quilts.

Do you have any favorite scrappy charity quilt patterns?
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