Friday, October 28, 2011

BQF: Welcome to Fabricland


I can hardly find the words to tell you about the quilt I'm sharing for Bloggers Quilt Festival this time around.  I am so excited to share this quilt with you all for a zillion reasons, but here's the top 3:

1. This is my first real quilt pattern.  I have written a full PDF pattern, available here, so you can make your very own Fabricland!
2. This quilt is based on some doodles my late father used to draw.  It reminds me of him, and makes me feel close to him, even though he's been gone for several years now.
3. I am really loving solids these days, and the solids I used here are Free Spirit Solids, which are super buttery soft!!  I really enjoyed working with these solids, I will definitely use them again!


My dad was a really big part of my life.  He died in my early 20's, and as an adult, I often think of him and wonder what he would think of what I'm doing.  When it comes to my quilting, I know he'd be super proud of me for finding something I enjoy so much.  And he would be super proud of this quilt, I know it would make him smile.  My dad worked two jobs for most of my childhood and both involved a lot of time on the phone.  One job was in sales and the other in the telephone survey industry.  My dad was the kind of guy who liked to use his hands...all the time.  If you went into his office, more often than not, if was on the phone, he'd have a pen in hand with a notepad, and would be doodling a pattern similar to this quilt.  I've found myself doing the same thing in the last year or so, and that was my inspiration for this quilt.



I started with a bunch of quilty math and diagrams, talked to the lovely Brenda at Pink Castle Fabrics about my fabric needs, and thus, a quilt was born.  This quilt is comprised of 1,420 little squares, placed just so to create a fabulous repeating pattern.  I chose a light, medium, and dark value variation for each of the colors I was working with, which creates a neat, sparkling kind of effect to the quilt.


And now for the shameless can purchase my e-pattern at my new pattern shop or you can purchase a kit for this quilt right here at Pink Castle Fabrics.   The Fabricland PDF pattern includes all of the information you'll need to make this quilt, including color photos and complete piecing diagrams to follow, as well as requirements for batting and binding.  The finished size of this quilt is 70" x 80".  The kit includes all of the fabric you'll need to complete the quilt top, as well as the e-pattern.

Quilt Stats
Name: Fabricland
Fabrics: Various Free Spirit Designer Solids, available in a custom bundle here
Pattern: Original design by me, available for purchase here!
Binding: Free Spirit Designer Solid Pastel Gray
Size: 70" x 80"

I hope you are enjoying Bloggers Quilt Festival!   Last fall was my first Bloggers Quilt Festival.  I was a fairly new blogger, but I was positively smitten with the quilting community online, and BQF really sealed the for me.  Not only did I love the opportunity to share this hobby that I was quickly falling in love with, but it was really clear to me that this community is so open and giving and welcoming.  I know I'll be checking Amy's BQF linky post frequently over the next week so I can see all of the other amazing quilts that will be shared there.  If you haven't written a post and shared a quilt yet, do it.  Even if it's not a quilt you just finished, share it.  I know I'd love to see it!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Extra, extra, read all about it!

I have been positively aching to share this news with you all for a while now, but somehow, I managed to keep it in.  In your travels today, keep an eye out on your local newsstands...because you might just see one of my quilts there!!

My infamous spiderweb quilt is on the cover of the 2011/2012 issue of International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene magazine!  After many months of uncertainty and secret-keeping, I am so happy to share this with you today, though the experience has rendered me a little bit speechless, so forgive me if I'm a bit less wordy than usual...

I had to pinch myself when I first saw the preview of the magazine online - really, could it be?  My name in print?  My quilt, lying on top of one of Elizabeth Hartman's creations??  Seriously?????

It wasn't until I had a copy in my hands late yesterday afternoon that it started to really feel real.  I'm officially a published author.  Something I dreamed of being since I was a little girl.

Look there's my name under the Quilts section!

It's just positively unreal, and I cannot say thank you enough to all of you who follow my blog and encourage me in all of my quilty endeavors.

And thank you to the amazing ladies of the {Sew} Beautiful Bee for helping me make this fabulous quilt.  You girls rock!!!

Now what are you waiting for???  Go get a copy!!!  :)  You can pick up a copy at Pink Chalk Fabrics, Interweave, eQuilter, and other various retailers, including possibly your local bookstore or fabric store.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WiP Wednesday #49

First, I owe you guys a drumroll please...the winner of a $25 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop is...lucky #9!!

Congratulations, Cara of Me a Mom?  Yay, Cara!!  I'll shoot you an email with your winning details.

Now let's get to our regular Wednesday business, shall we?  So, Lee's not counting anymore...but I totally am - at least until we get to WiP Wednesday #52, the anniversary of the first WiP Wednesday, which is quickly creeping up!!  It's been a crazy week at my house, but I managed to find a new level of focus these last few days thanks to some good news and a visit from my mother.  I've been checking a lot of stuff of my mental to sew list, so here's the run-down...

October bee blocks

String Me Along October blocks 
do.Good Stitches October blocks for the Bliss circle

My first pattern!!!  To be on sale and revealed on Friday, but here's a sneak peek...

Sneak peek

Still going:
X and O baby boy quilt - All 8 of my O's done, need to tackle the X's next...

X and O quilt - need some X's!

The Little Apples baby boy quilt - I still haven't decided what kind of blocks I'm going to make for this quilt, but I really like looking at the fabrics when I work in my sewing room.  You just can't help but smile at Aneela's darling fabrics.

Still on hold:
Farmer's Wife QAL - Yep, still busy enough for this wip to keep collecting dust.

Red and white zig-zag quilt - I got a new custom quilt order, for a classic red and white zig-zag quilt last week.  My UPS man lugged a lovely bolt of Kona Snow up to my door yesterday, along with some Kona Crimson, so I'm going to hopefully get rolling on this one real soon.

WiP Wednesday #49 recap
Finished this week: 2
New this week: 1
This week's total: 4

What are you working on this week?  Write it up and share it over at Freshly Pieced!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The X and O Quilt: Part 1

After I wrote about writing about the process of these two baby quilts last week, I realized I was probably going to wind up doing two very different quilts - which is totally okay, but it does mean that I'll probably write different process posts for the two of them.

Bonus HSTs

So far, I'm making progress with the quilt in which I'm using Violet Craft's gorgeous Peacock Lane fabrics.  I'm just loving working with this collection so far.  I adore the colors in this collection and the illustrations of elephants and peacocks are just darling.  I decided that I wanted to try my best to feature these prints in a big kind of block, so I went with a 12.5" block for this quilt.  Normally, when I do a baby quilt, I go with a smaller block - mainly because the quilt will end up being smaller and it allows me to put more blocks into the quilt.  I'm aiming to make this quilt wind up being approximately 48" square, 4 blocks by 4 blocks.

Starting to piece my first X block

Once I decided how many blocks I wanted to do, I worked on sketching the blocks I chose to work with - the X and O design I shared on Wednesday.  I just love the idea of these X and O blocks, symbolizing hugs and kisses for a new baby.  I started by sketching out the blocks to figure out the size each piece of the block would need to be.  If you guys really dig this quilt, I could easily write up a quilt pattern for this one...

Quilty math, planning, and cutting, oh my!

After I finished up my quilty math, I started ironing and cutting my fabric.  Then, I made some lovely little piles and got to sewing.  I'm happy to say that so far, my quilty math is working out just right and I even figured out how to get some bonus HSTs out of the O blocks, either to use on the back of the quilt or to use for another project, which I was happy with.  I've only made a handful of blocks so far, but I'm happy with how it's coming together so far.

3 blocks in and loving it
Monday, October 24, 2011

October Bee Blocks

I spent some time this weekend working on getting some bee blocks done.  I'm normally the girl who likes to get bee blocks done at the beginning of the month, but between The Sewing Summit, writing a new bag tute, a travelling husband, and a munchkin who's starting to have a busy schedule, it's been a hairy couple of weeks and it's nearly the end of the month already.  Where did the time go???  I'm glad I took the time to get these taken care of, I'm looking forward to putting them in the mail on Monday.

This month, Becky is our quilter and she chose for us to do Lily's Quilts' LynneBobSquarePants block, which was fun to work on.  I've been wanting to try this block for a while, so it was nice to get to try it out...though, I made several mistakes along the way and had to rip out my stitches several times on the first block.  I think I was seriously lacking in caffeine when I worked on these blocks, because the tutorial is super easy to follow.  The fabrics for these blocks come from The Quilted Fish's new Delighted collection.

do.Good Stitches October blocks for the Bliss circle

{Sew} Beautiful Bee
Katie is working on a Christmas quilt and her fabric choices were great.  She sent a wonderful assortment of holiday fabrics and I decided to do a block with presents.  When it comes to the holidays, I'm one of those geeks who enjoys wrapping presents and buying cute wrapping paper and all that, so it just felt appropriate. I really enjoyed sketching out this block and putting it together, and I have to tell you...if you like this cute little block, I'll be sharing a tutorial for this one as a part of the 12 Days of Christmas Sampler blog hop next month, so stay tuned.

{Sew} Beautiful October block for Katie

String Me Along
This month, Sabrina asked for some simple paper-pieced string blocks, using some of Heather Bailey's Nicey Jane collection.  I had an especially rough day on the day I made these blocks and I found ripping the paper off the back to be super therapeutic.  It's funny, I have a bunch of Nicey Jane in my stash and I have a hard time finding the right project for it, but I really like how these string blocks look.  Hmm...perhaps a future project...

String Me Along October blocks 

I also made some progress on my baby quilts this weekend (okay, on one of them) and I'm hoping to share the process with you all tomorrow.  Have a great day!
Friday, October 21, 2011

12 Gifts of Christmas: Scraptastic Tote Tutorial

Scraptastic Tote tutorial for 12 Gifts of Christmas blog hop

Can you believe it's only 64 days until Christmas already?  Where the heck has this year gone???  I'm so glad Jennifer at Ellison Lane Quilts asked me to participate in the 12 Gifts of Christmas blog hop, because that's the perfect kick in the pants I needed to get started on my holiday handmade gift list!

If you're anything like me, you've got boatloads of scraps lying about, waiting for the day that you'll finally use them. Today is that day!!!  Today, I'm sharing a simple, fun scraptastic tote bag tutorial, perfect for any of the ladies on your Christmas list, from little girls to mothers-in-law!  Never made a bag before?  No worries, I'm going to break it down into simple, easy steps for you.  You can do this!!


Scraptastic Tote Tutorial

You'll need:
1/2 yd neutral linen (54" wide WOF) or 3/4 yd quilting weight fabric (44" WOF)
1/2 yd lining fabric of your choice
1/2 fusible fleece
Various scraps from your scrap bins, trimmed down to a total of 18 - 3" squares


1. Let's cut some fabric!
From your linen, cut:
* 2 - 4.75" x 14" rectangles
* 2 - 8" x 14" rectangles
* 4 - 3" x 20" strips for straps

From your scraps, cut:
* 18 - 3" squares
* 6 - 2" x 3" rectangles for straps

From your lining, cut:
* 2 - 13.5" x 15.5" rectangles

From your fusible fleece, cut:
* 2 - 14" x 16" rectangles

2. Next, let's make the patchwork strip to go across the front and back.  We're going to make two 9-patch blocks, then slice them up, as you would to make a disappearing 9-patch block, but rather than piecing them back together into a block, we're going to piece them together in a strip.  Start by laying out your 18 squares into two 9-patch blocks in a manner that's pleasing to you.


3. Take the two far left squares of each row first and seam together, lining up right sides together, using a 1/4" seam.  Press your seams open, then add the remaining square for each row.


4. Piece your three rows together for each block to finish off each block, matching up your seams as you go.  Press seams open and place on your cutting mat.


5. Cut your blocks into four equal pieces - at the 4" point both lengthwise and widthwise.  Then lay your newly cut blocks into two strips of four blocks each.


6. Seam your patchwork strips together, matching raw edges and using a 1/4" seam.  Press your seams open.


7. Next, take one of your 4.75" by 14" linen pieces and use a 1/4" seam to attach to the top of your first patchwork strip.  Repeat with the second strip of patchwork, and press seams open.  Then, add your 8" x 14" linen piece and seam to the bottom of your first patchwork strip, again using a 1/4" seam.  Repeat with the second patchwork strip and press all seams open.  We will use one of these finished linen and patchwork pieces as a bag front and one as the bag back.


8. Make sure your iron is plenty hot and lay your fusible fleece with the fusible side up.  Lay your pieced bag front on top of the fleece and press carefully, making sure to fuse the fleece to your patchwork.  Press firmly, as some linen is a little resistant to fusible interfacings.  Alternatively, you can do the opposite and lay your patchwork right side down and then place your fusible fleece on top, and press firmly, it's up to you.  My linen was giving me tough time, so I did the opposite method.


9. Let's make the bag lining, now that we've got the front and back of the bag taken care of.  Start by placing your lining fabrics right sides together and pin along the two long sides first.  Then, along the bottom of the lining, pin together, leaving a 5" - 6" opening to turn the bag.  I like to double-pin my start and stop points along the bottom of the lining to be sure I don't foul it up and go too far.  Use a 1/2" seam when seaming your lining together.  Make sure to backstitch at the start and stop points on the bottom of the lining so it won't pull apart when we turn the bag a few steps from now.


10. To make your handles, cut some 3" strips from your remaining linen.  This should easily yield 4 strips that measure approximately 3" x 20", which will allow for some flexibility with your straps.   Next, grab your 2" x 3" scrap strips and seam three of them together for each strap.  Then, add a strip of linen on either side of your patchwork and press your seams open.  At this point, you can trim your straps to the length you'd like.  I laid both of my patchwork straps on my cutting mat, making sure to stagger the patchwork, and trimmed to 29" long.


Next, it's time to finish the straps.   Fold your strap in half, wrong sides together, and press to set.  Then, open your fold and fold again, folding your raw edges to meet in the center, where you have just pressed a fold.  


Using a 1/4" seam, finish your straps by adding a line of stitching down both sides of each strap.  Now let's add those straps to your bag.


11. First, let's baste your straps in place on both the bag front and the bag back.  Fold your bag front in half to find the center and mark with a pin.  Then, measuring 2" from either side of the center, pin your straps in place.  Baste a scant 1/8" seam across each strap.


12. Lay your bag back right side up on your cutting mat, and line up your bag front on top of it.  Make sure your bag straps are out of the way and pin along both long sides as well as the bottom of the bag.  Do not pin across the top!  Use a 1/2" seam along the sides and bottom, and backstitch at both ends for security.

13. Place the exterior bag (the linen with the patchwork) inside the bag lining, right sides facing.  Pin around the top where the raw edges meet.  Make sure to line up the seams as you pin.  Sew all the way around the top of the bag, using a 1/2" seam allowance.


14. Next, let's box the corners of the bag.  Pull the lining away from the exterior of the bag.  Take one corner of the bag, and flatten it, pinning and lining up the seam as you go, like so:


Measure 2" from the tip and draw a line across.  This is your stitch line.  Stitch across this line, backstitching at the end and the beginning, and be sure to trim the excess, leaving at least 1/4" on the opposite side of your stitching.  Repeat for all bag corners (including the lining), for a total of four.

15. Now it's time to turn the bag out - first, reach in through the hole in your bag lining and grab some of the bag exterior.  Pull it through the hole, making sure to push out the boxed corners as you go, turning the entire bag right side out.


Next, push the lining back inside the bag and press along the top of the bag.  Topstitch along the top of the bag, using a 1/8" seam allowance.


16. Last, but not least, we'll finish off the hole in the lining.  You can either slipstitch this hole shut, or you can  pin it closed and machine-stitch it closed.  I tend to go with machine-stitching, in part because my hand-sewing stinks but also because I prefer the security of machine stitching.


Once you've finished the lining, push it back down in the bag, and voila!  A finished bag!  If you make one, I'd love to see it in the Flickr group for creations made and inspired by my tutorials and patterns - Stitching with Don't Call Me Betsy.  I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

Scraptastic Tote tutorial for 12 Gifts of Christmas blog hop DSCN7460

Enter to win a $25 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop by leaving one comment on this post. I will pick one winner via on Wednesday, October 26th.

Also, please visit Jennifer Ellison Lane Quilts and leave one comment on her tutorial to be entered to win the super awesome GRAND PRIZE of a $250 gift certificate to Fabricworm!

And just for stopping by, you can take advantage of a generous 15% off discount at Fabricworm with the coupon code fw12days through the end of the blog hop on October 25th.

Friday, October 14- Jennifer @ Ellison Lane Quilts
Saturday, October 15- Ayumi/Pink Penguin
Sunday, October 16- Amy/ Lots of Pink Here
Monday, October 17- Faith/Fresh Lemons Quilts
Tuesday, October 18- Penny/Sew Take a Hike
Wednesday, October 19- Kati/From the Blue Chair
Thursday, October 20- Lee/Freshly Pieced
Friday, October 21- Elizabeth/Don't Call Me Betsy
Saturday, October 22- Melanie/Texas Freckles
Sunday, October 23- Lindsay/Craft Buds
Monday, October 24- Amanda/A Crafty Fox
Tuesday, October 25-Vanessa/Little Big Girl Studio

Welcome! I'm Elizabeth, mom to a mood teen boy and a chatty six-year-old girl and I sew for my sanity. Let's get to quilting, shall we?
The Epic Sampler BOM Club kicks off Oct 1st
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