Life

So, according to my website, I’ve not posted a single thing since August… of last year. I do apologize! Life has been overwhelming and amazing and chaotic, all rolled into one.

In fact, I started dating someone back in August. It’s been an adventure, to say the least. He’s got two kids of his own –  a 16 year old son, and a 9 year old daughter. They’re really awesome people, and can’t wait to spend more time with them. Anyways, my weekends have been consumed with spending some time with him, and exploring Colorado and just living life to the fullest.

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My kids really adore him (his name is Larry, by the way), and his kids get along very well with mine and well… he’s simply perfect for me. I wasn’t really in any hurry to start dating again, nor am I in any hurry to make any changes to our lifestyle, but I can definitely see the possibilities here. And who knows, maybe in time, things will change! But for now, we keep on trucking. 🙂

Now that life has settled down a bit, I’ve been very slow at getting back into quilting. I’ve really only done a few baby quilts and one pillow in the last 6 months. I’m hoping to get my mojo back soon, but this has been a well needed break.

I’ll leave ya with this pillow I made for Larry. It was a back and forth battle on what to make and what might be his style and I was having second thoughts a lot. Ultimately, I went with my gut and just created. I love how it turned out and love the feel of the denim I used, too.

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Til next time! (And hopefully, it’s not six months from now.)

 

The Evelyn Handbag – Swoon Patterns

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Can you believe summer is already pretty much over?! My kids go back to school in less than two weeks. They’re ready and very excited to meet their new teachers; one is in first grade and the other is in her last year of preschool. They sure do grow up fast!

Anyway, this summer we also had a visitor from across the world. Nona came from Abu Dhabi and we got to see her a whole lot this summer which was fantastic! The girls saw her more than I did because I was working a lot but either way, we were so happy she was here. Now she’s about to head off to the middle east again and I figured I’d send her off with a farewell present. I did some digging around in the patterns I have and came across this Evelyn handbag by Swoon Patterns. I’ve done her Charlotte City tote before and found the directions super easy to follow and fairly quick to sew up. This was no different. However, her pattern calls for this to be made in all cotton and I had a black vegan leather I wanted to use instead so I did modify a few things but it still worked out in the end.

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Because of the bulk of the leather, I had to modify a few of the pattern pieces and kept a few the same. The handles remained the same as the pattern but I used some leather screws to attach because my machine was NOT going to sew through 8 layers of leather. It works great and holds up well, too, using the screws. For the accent pieces, I only cut one of each instead of two since I didn’t need to sew it and flip it out. For the handle stripes, I just cut one 1″ piece instead of what the pattern calls for.

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I will admit that this is my first time using Soft and Stable in a bag and it made things a little tricky at times, but not impossible. I’m not sure I’ll use it again, either. I guess I prefer my bags heavier and more weighty as opposed to fluffy and light, but again, it’s a personal preference. It does work great for this bag though!

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The outside fabric is Typewriters from Cotton + Steel’s Black and White collection and the inside is a coral newsprint from Collage by Carrie Bloodstone. I kinda LOOOOVE how it turned out. 🙂 What do you think?

Hope you’re all having a great summer!

Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap [ Round 3 ]

This Spring, I participated in my third round of the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap. I chose to help moderate the swap this time, as there were 900+ people signed up. It was insane! I love participating in this swap every year, and look forward to the next round.

Part of being a moderator means that not only do I make a mini quilt for my partner, I also keep an eye on 40-50 people involved in the swap. I become their “Swap Mama” and keep in touch with them every couple weeks. My job is to ensure everyone stays on track, and if not, I reassign as needed, as well as answering questions, clarifying addresses, etc. It’s a big job, really, and also quite time consuming. Let’s not discuss how many emails I had to go back and forth on. 🙂

Anyways, time to show off the mini I made, and the mini I received. I was creating for Sara, and she’s such a sweetheart. I had a blast making this mini for her, and the design came to me, easily. I saw a much larger version of this pattern somewhere, probably Pinterest, and decided it would be perfect, so I got to work on sizing it down.

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I used these GORGEOUS Wild & Free fabrics by Maureen Cracknell. I got the chance to meet her in person at Quilt Market and she’s amazing. So real, honest, and down to earth. I could have chatted for hours with her. 🙂

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The mini quilt top went together really quickly. I was able to piece it in one night, baste and start quilting the next night. That’s the best part of mini quilts- they are so fast compared to big quilts! After it was done, I sat down and bound it and then started collecting little goodies to go with it, because that’s my favorite part.

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Here’s my completed mini quilt. It was really hard to send this one off, but I’m so glad she loved it.

Several weeks later, I received my mini quilt from overseas! I was blown away. It’s completely hand pieced and so stunningly gorgeous!

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DSC_1948I mean, seriously, look at the fussy cutting! The details! The COLORS! It’s my favorite mini quilt EVER. 🙂 She even sent along some goodies for the girls, which was a shock. Not many people consider the family members of who they’re sending for and it was such a grand gesture.

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Life can be a challenge. But also, so so good.

You can probably tell by my lack of posts lately, that things are changing. You would be correct. I’m now a single mom of two daughters. It’s been a change, for sure, but in most ways, not as hard as thought it would be and more difficult in other ways.

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I struggle daily with my decision, as part of me knows it’s for the best, but the other part of me… wonders. I know that I needed to stand up for myself and become a true role model for my daughters and THAT is what keeps me moving forward when I have self-doubt. We are getting through each day and while some are harder than others, it’s been so much more peaceful, overall. I won’t divulge a whole lot of details for now, and may never, but know that I appreciate all the support I’ve been given from my family, friends, and social community. You’ve all helped so much!

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For today, let’s keep moving forward, one foot at a time. Things will get better. 🙂

Mini Quilt Swaps…

Typically, I sign up for as many mini quilt swaps as I can find. However, with some major life changes going on this year, that’s no longer possible. My time has become rare and the little I have, I’d prefer to sew things I like or need or want, instead of just to give away. Not that I don’t mind!, but sometimes, it’s just time to sew for myself.

The last swap I was involved in was the Tula Pink Mini Quilt Swap. I LOVE Tula fabrics. LOVE LOVE LOVE. There are few exceptions, so I had to sign up for this one! My partner was new to sewing and quilting and coveted the rare, hard to find much older lines of Tula. I had no luck finding these, nor were they nearly in my price range. Yikes!

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I ended up pulling fabrics from the lines I did have, and creating a rainbow of sorts. I had no idea where to start, really. This mini stumped me for quite awhile. I put it off til the last minute and then I just had to get it done. Even deciding on a background fabric was hard for me. I think I was having a tough time at life itself, and that was pushing through to my creativity as well. I’m still struggling on a day to day basis lately.

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In the end, I chose Kaufman Yard Dyed Essex in Black. It’s really my favorite background fabric EVER. I use it quite often! I laid out the colored squares so that each had some breathing room and then basted, and got to quilting. I chose to do simple straight line quilting that intersected. I typically go for free motion but felt this one needed something much simpler.

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The backside, is definitely my favorite! I created the label with Photoshop and my some iron on transfer paper from Dharma Trading Co. I’ve never used it before and can’t say I love it either. It didn’t transfer my image in some spots and the paper is quite pricey. I’ll play around and try it again sometime, but at this point, I was running out of time to get the mini done. I used some of my personal favorite prints for the backing and my recipient LOVED it. She said the back was as beautiful as the front.

I only have one more swap slated for this year, the Alison Glass Mini Quilt Swap. I’ve got some ideas floating around for that one, and I’ll probably wait til the last minute to get that one done, too. 😉

 

 

The [Lella Boutique] Cottage Canopy

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I was recently commissioned by a mom in Australia, to make a Cottage Canopy from Lella Boutique. It’s an adorable little tent! I guess I shouldn’t say little; it’s 96″ tall and then almost 36″ wide. It’s pretty large, actually. But anyways, the client picked the fabrics and chose all her fabrics from the Into the Woods collection by Lella Boutique. I hadn’t seen these in person prior to the order, and wasn’t in love with them initially. However, after getting my hands on them, they’re quite striking and fun!

The details in the pattern, really make this canopy work! The adorable scalloped edge, the flat-felled seams on everything (nice clean looking seams), the fabric, the trims…etc. It’s all really gorgeous!

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This canopy, overall, from cutting to finishing, took me about 12 hours total. I was going slow and taking my time, because honestly, it’s quite hard to wrangle 10+ yards of fabric sometimes. Also, on the windows, the pattern doesn’t call for top stitching any part of it. I’ve worked with Peltex many times and know that with some messing around, it’s not going to stay fused for long. I opted to topstitch around each window pane and window. I feel like it’ll last much longer that way. Other than that, the pattern was well written and easy to follow. I think I need to make one of these for my girls in the next year.

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I kind of really want one of these for myself, as well. Think the man of the house would mind?! 😉

Christmas Quilting

There is nothing like quickly-approaching holidays to light a fire under ya, am I right? I really feel like the holidays snuck up on me this year, and I’m not sure why, but I do know, I’m excellent under pressure! 😉

I managed to complete not one, but two quilts for my major Christmas gifts this year. GO ME! That hasn’t happened, in oh, forever. I even managed to do them in just the month of December (which meant many late nights, and very little sleep) but it was oh so worth it!

Here’s quilt number one:

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I used Alison Glass’ new Handcrafted batik style fabrics for this. Normally, I can’t stand batik. It screams tropical and old-lady to me. But, these colors are so brilliant and beautiful and the pattern on them is very modern and totally my style! I threw in a few solids from my stash to round it out. I will admit, this was my first ever quilt that you’d call Improv (improvisational) and it was definitely hard for me. I’m more of a pattern-follower and like things to be symmetrical and neat, but this was an awesome challenge for me and I would love to do it again in the future!

The finished size on this one was 56″ x 60″ and for the backing, I used some IKEA fabric that I had from my mother-in-law that the three grandkids colored. It’s really truly a keepsake for her!

Here’s a detail shot showing some of the quilting, and this part alone, took me 14+ hours. I’m not complaining! I totally love the effect!

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(Can we agree that the old truck is the perfect shade of yellow?! Seriously!)

Next up is the second quilt I completed. I used the X & + Pattern from Zen Chic/Brigitte Heitland. LOVE IT! I also pulled out some of my Doe fabric from Carolyn Friedlander. It’s releasing soon and I got my bundle from when I went to Quilt Market. No regrets here! I was sort of iffy on the colors initially but once it came together as a quilt, I was smitten! Can you see why?!

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Detail of the quilting above, but seriously, I was soooo stumped on how to quilt this without following the lines of the quilt itself. And while I did still do that partially, I added in a lot of free-motion quilting and made it my own. It’s a beautiful quilt in person! The recipient just LOVED it!

This quilt finished at 60″ x 60″. Warm and Natural batting, as always, and then Doe by Carolyn Friedlander and Yarn-Dyed Essex Linen in Chambray for the front. The backing is a mix of a light blue crosshatch and 8 Kona solids.

Happy Holidays to all of you! I hope you’re not burning the midnight oil too much. 🙂

Quilt Market [Part 1]

Let me start this off by saying, a few weeks ago, I began working for Pink Door Fabrics. Chelsea and Charlie are the owners and they’re amazing! I’ve been so fortunate to work from home, bringing in income, and having fun seeing what’s new and coming soon!

So, as part of the job, I was invited to go to Quilt Market in Houston, TX. It’s a trade-only event and I remember seeing all the photos on Instagram (#quiltmarket) and being quite envious of those who got to go! It looked like an amazing event to partake in, and never once had I thought I would be fortunate enough to go someday. Well, this fall, I got to go! I chose to drive with my friend Nicole, and while it seemed like a fabulous idea initially, I’m not so sure, haha. We spent 16 hours in the car, driving from Colorado to Texas. We thought we would have plenty to see and do along the way. Turns out, cotton fields aren’t that great after a while. 🙂

Quilt Market Road Trip

We arrived at our hotel at 2am on Friday morning, slept 4-5 hours, got up, and headed to Quilt Market at the convention center. This day was all about the Schoolhouse Classes. Basically, those are 15-45 min short classes, where people discuss their books, how to sew knits, what interfacing is best, etc. They were a lot of fun!

The first session we attended was from Cotton + Steel. Here’s where they released their new fabric lines and discussed the inspiration behind their prints and then showed off a ton of quilts and projects.

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These ladies were so inspirational! They had a great back-story and all their new collections (Playful, Mesa, Mochi, Tokyo Train Ride, and Cookie Book) all work with their basics from the last collections. Fantastic, right? I’m super excited for these to ship in January! Pink Door Fabrics will definitely have the majority of the collections. In fact, they’re already up for presale and we’re working on getting more of it listed every day.

Next, I went to a session on the Double Wedding Ring quilts, namely the ones done by Victoria Findlay Wolfe for her new book, Double Wedding Ring Quilts, due out soon! I am a HUGE fan of the DWR quilt and it’s more modern movement. I’ve seen some stunning use of negative space and modern color in a few of her quilts that I hope will inspire me to brave another for myself. She was an excellent speaker and I truly enjoyed meeting Victoria and hearing her fabulous discussion on how she creates each quilt and what inspires her.

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My last session of the day was the coveted Tula Pink Schoolhouse. I was anticipating this so much and incredibly excited to meet Tula Pink, herself. I am a huge fan of her works and her fabrics. The originality in all her drawings is amazing, and when she shows her process on her Instagram or Facebook pages, I’m in awe. She really is incredible. After hearing her speak, she’s also quite hilarious and entertaining. Tula has such a bubbly personality! Anyways, she showed off her new line Elizabeth, coming out early next year. It’s beautiful, as usual!

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After Tula’s sessions, we got a photo with her, and then I had her sign my Tula Pink shirt. Total fan-girl moment. 🙂

Ps- we totally scored these limited edition, VERY RARE, Tula Pink Elizabeth playing cards. There’s only 250 sets available and they’re signed and numbered by Tula Pink herself. We got five sets in our little group!

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Stay tuned for Part 2….