Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday Bundle Batch with Fort Worth Fabric Studio: Tuscan Garden

Are you familiar with the Friday Bundle Batch offered by Fort Worth Fabric Studio? Every Friday, shop owner Jodie and her team release a custom curated fabric bundle on their website and newsletter. They do a great job of pulling from different fabric companies, collections and designers to create beautiful, unique bundles.

Today's Friday Bundle Batch is simply gorgeous! They've named it Tuscan Garden, and the name couldn't be more fitting.  The color palate includes rich mustard yellow tones and deep sea blues.  With its sophisticated mix of damask, botanical and text prints, this bundle calls to mind a romantic Mediterranean setting. 

I decided to make two simple placemats with coordinating napkins that might be used for a romantic dinner for two.  My husband and I are empty nesters now.  I'm thinking maybe our kitchen counter meals for two deserve some snazzy place settings.  :)

Aren't these fabrics just beautiful together?  I love the mix of the more sophisticated fabric and the spunky polka dot.

Please head over to the Fort Worth Fabric Studio website for more information on this bundle, and be sure to sign up for their newsletter!  Also, the Fort Worth Fabric Studio Blog includes many free quilting and sewing patterns if you are short on ideas for a fresh, fun project.  Please take a moment and check out their blog.  You will be inspired!

If you are interested in making a similar set of placements and napkins, I've posted some basic instructions here.

Thanks so much for stopping by today! I hope you get carried away quilting often!


Monday, August 15, 2016

Crossroads Quilt Along: Finishing the Top

It was 8 months ago, December 9 to be exact, that I wrote a blog post announcing my participation in the Crossroads Quilt Along with Fat Quarter Shop. It has been a wonderful journey.  The excitement began in January, when the much anticipated Strawberry Fields Revisited fabric collection by Fig Tree & Company  arrived on my doorstep. Since then, I have truly enjoyed the process of slowly, month by month, creating these beautiful blocks. And now it is August and the top is finished. Pure quilting joy!

I hope you will forgive the amount of pictures I have posted.  I'm about to be one of those annoying (but loving) proud moms who shares way too many pictures of her baby!  

The only problem I have now is deciding where I will hang this treasure after it is quilted. I may have to rearrange a whole room in my house just to give it a special spot.  Oh, my husband will be so thrilled to hear that!

We have one more step with this quilt which will take it over the top! The instructions call for a pretty pieced backing, and I will blog about that on September 15.  Hmmm . . . does this mean I need to hang my quilt in such a way that people can see the front AND the back.  I really need to get creative now!  (My poor husband!)

The Fat Quarter Shop is hosting this quilt along, so please visit their blog to learn more! All proceeds go to the March of Dimes

Who else is quilting along?
Below is a list of the talented quilters who will be sharing their progress each month on their own blogs. Please visit their blogs to see their creations as well!

Thanks for stopping by the blog! I hope you get carried away quilting often!


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Apple Farm Blog Hop

Today is my stop on the Apple Farm blog hop with Elea Lutz and Penny Rose Fabrics . . . and I'm struggling with what to write. I could stick to business and describe my project and how I selected fabrics using this precious new collection that Elea has designed. However, I'm feeling compelled to be a bit mushy.  You see, this is the week I've been dreading all summer. This week my oldest child is returning to college and my youngest is heading off to her first year of college.  And so, I'm feeling like a bag of mush.

Apple Farm (fabric by Elea Lutz for Penny Rose Fabrics) sewn using "Sweetly Scalloped" pattern.

As I worked on this quilt, I was filled with tender reminders of my children's younger years. I hope you'll indulge me as I share with you what Elea's Apple Farm fabric means to me.  

It means sweet memories. . . 

Two little blondies riding their bikes through our neighborhood, one at break-neck speed and one with training wheels trying to keep up with her big brother.  

Trips to the local apple orchard every fall, to ride the flat-bed wagon between the long rows of trees and pick our own apples to take home and bake into a crisp . . . and weeks later to ride that same wagon in search of pumpkins to carve.

Shopping for school supplies and watching young eyes light up over a new box of crayons.

Little hands raking enough leaves in the backyard to create a fluffy "run and jump" pile.

Searching for milkweed along the gravel road at the edge
of town . . . food for caterpillars.

Laying out quilts on the back lawn and setting up for an afternoon of lazy fun . . . books, toys, dolls, snacks and  juice boxes.  There might even be some napping.

Good, good memories. 

Every time I sew with Elea's fabric, I feel an emotional connection.  There is a tenderness in her characters and an excellent use of color and print that just draws me in.  You can see it, or rather feel it too, can't you?

The pattern you see in this quilt is my newest pattern, Sweetly Scalloped.  It is a great choice for showing off a fabric collection in a simple but pleasing way.  Sweetly Scalloped is being carried by several of my blog sponsors: Fort Worth Fabric Studio, Stash Addict Quilts, Lou Lou's Fabric Shop, My Timeless Day, Quilts on Broadway and Fat Quarter Shop.  It may also be available at your local quilt shop!

Apple Farm is in stores now. While the fabric is perfect for any time of year, it has a nostalgic, back-to-school feeling. I just know you will fall in love with this sweet collection!  Ask about it at your local quilt shop, and please visit my sponsors who are carrying the line: Fat Quarter ShopMy Timeless DayFort Worth Fabric Studio, and Stash Addict Quilts.

Feeling thankful

Quilting is a personal art form.  We love the craft, and we love the people for whom we sew. I guess it's okay to get a bit mushy.  Heart-felt thank you to Elea and Penny Rose Fabrics for including me on this hop! I treasure my quilt made in Apple Farm and the memories it has evoked. And a special thank you to Barb at Quilts on Broadway for the lovely quilting!  You're a gem, Barb!

There are many talented bloggers sewing up their personal creations using Apple Farm during the next two weeks.  I've included a complete list below. Today I hope you'll visit Nadra Ridgeway of Ellis & Higgs.  She's a brilliant sewist and a lovely person.  I can't wait to see what she has created.  And tomorrow will certainly bring us some special designs, as we stop by and visit Shari Butler of Doohikey Designs and Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

Thanks so much for visiting the blog today!  I hope you get carried away quilting often!


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Holiday Wishes Quilt Along with Fat Quarter Shop

Every Wednesday during the month of July the Fat Quarter Shop has hosted a "Holiday Wishes" celebration, with several bloggers sharing their makes from this wonderful new book written by Sherri Falls and published by It's Sew Emma. This is the last Wednesday on the tour, but you can check out all of the bloggers' wonderful projects by heading over to the Fat Quarter Shop's blog, the Jolly Jabber.  Maybe this will be just the inspiration you need to get started on your holiday sewing projects!

Last year's project from the "Winter Wonderland "book.
I was particularly excited to be asked to participate in this "Holiday Wishes" celebration. Sherri Falls has been designing beautiful quilt patterns for years under the name of her pattern company, This & That Patterns. In fact, just last year I shared a project I made from Sherri's first book with It's Sew Emma, titled "Winter Wonderland." That book featured 12 cozy Christmas quilt projects, including a sampler quilt.  I used five blocks from Sherri's sampler quilt to make a long vertical runner to hang on my quilt ladder during the holiday season.  For more pictures from that project, click here.

Sherri's new book "Holiday Wishes" also has 12 terrific projects, including full sized quilts, wall hangings, table toppers and a tree skirt!  When I look at Sherri's creations, I see a fun, fresh spin on traditional block design, which is what I love for my own home! 

If you've visited my blog before, you know that I like to layer small quilts with other elements, like barn wood, frames and windows.  I seem to have a lot of old windows in my house, some with glass, some without.  I like moving them around and using them in new ways.  So I decided to make two of my favorite blocks from the book's sampler quilt (Midnight Clear Block of the Month) and layer them with one of those old windows.

At first I wasn't quite sure how to hang my blocks, but then I remembered I had a nice wide band of burlap left over from another project.  It was just the right element to wrap around the window, soften it up, and provide a place to attach the blocks.  This will definitely be my arrangement for this year's holiday decorating.  

My fabrics for the blocks included prints in my stash from some of my favorite Moda designers: Fig Tree & Company, Brenda Riddle and Sweetwater.  There is a mix of Fig Tree Farmhouse, Honeysweet and Strawberry Fields Revisited, along with a Brenda Riddle green gingham and Sweetwater's new Christmas line, Cookie Exchange.

I did simple straight line quilting . . . the only type of quilting I can seem to handle!  But I think that style of quilting works well with Sherri's striking block patterns.

And on the back, why not use this delicate print from Strawberry Fields Revisited? It's fun using prints that aren't typically "holiday" prints in a holiday project.

I highly recommend both of Sherri's books if you are looking for pretty holiday projects for your home.  As a bonus, many of her designs in "Holiday Wishes" translate well into quilts for other seasons or color arrangements!  

Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out my projects!  I hope you get carried away holiday quilting . . . well before the holidays!  


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Moda Love Mini in Vintage Picnic and Little Ruby

This past weekend I was excited to give a quilty gift to a good friend who recently earned her doctorate degree in nursing. We became friends through our sons, and I’ve counted her as a blessing in my life for the past ten years.  Carolyn is smart, enthusiastic, supportive and giving. She brings energy and laughter to any get-together, and I love her for that.

Carolyn would also like to begin quilting in earnest. She has made a couple of quilts in the past, but she hasn’t had much time to devote to it with her busy schedule. Well, now that she’s earned her degree, you just know I’ll be pushing her to get the sewing machine out again. I need another partner in crime!

When she’s been at my house, Carolyn has commented on my Moda Love Quilt hanging in a hallway, so that’s the project I chose to make for her.  The Moda Love Quilt Pattern is a free digital download from Moda United Notions. It comes in three sizes depending on the precut you choose (layer cake, charm pack or mini charm). 

I chose a mix of "Little Ruby" and "Vintage Picnic" (both by Bonnie & Camille for Moda) for my mini quilt.  The final quilt measures just 12" x 12" and it is so darling at that size. I was afraid it might get a little "lost" as a wall hanging though, so I decided to layer it with a rustic frame and a bit of chicken wire.  I was so happy with how it came out, I had second thoughts about giving away.  ;)

I also knew that for this project, I wanted some extra special custom quilting, so I sent the top off to Starlit Bear of Starlit Quilts.  I've admired her quilting on Instagram (@starlitquilts) and was excited to have Star work her magic on this mini.  When I received the quilt back from Star, I have to tell you I was in awe.  There were so many delicate details that I just stared at the quilt for several minutes, taking it all in.  I hope these pictures give you a sense of her beautiful quilting talent!

Star used a Glide thread (by Fil-Tec) that has a sort of shimmery sheen.  It catches the light and adds a beautiful dimension to her quilting!

I've been doing a lot of "business" sewing lately, which made this project even more special and enjoyable for me.  Bright and happy fabrics, a terrific pattern, beautiful quilting . . . all coming together to create a special gift for a special person.  It doesn't get much better than that for us quilters, does it?

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today, and indulging me as I showed off the amazing talents of Starlit Bear.  I hope you'll visit her website!  Star is also part of the creative team at Stash Addict Quilts, one of my super sponsors.  

Have a great weekend, friends! I hope you take some time to get carried away quilting!