Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WiP Wednesday: The one where I drank the Kool-Aid

I've had my nose to the grindstone this last week, trying to wrap up some projects and then attempting (and failing) to resist the urge to start new ones. Sewing Summit is just two short weeks away, and I feel like I have a million things to do before I get on that airplane!! Maybe I can try to refrain from starting any more projects between now and then...

finished up:
New tutorial for Moda Bake Shop - the Mod Nine Patch quilt

New quilt tutorial - Mod Nine Patch quilt!

still going:
Sewing Summit samples - I've got all of my samples made now for the class I'll be teaching with Lee, just need to quilt and bind them. I'm going to keep the big reveal of how they've turned out under wraps until after Sewing Summit, but here's a peek at my personal favorite...


Red and white zig-zag - Press and cut. Press and cut. I feel a bit like a pressing and cutting machine, but the good news is that I'm making progress. Once I get all 266 squares pressed and cut, then I can start chain-piecing my little heart out.

Space Dust quilt - I managed to finally decide on a color scheme for this quilt, and pulled some fabrics for it. As soon as I finish up my Sewing Summit samples this week, this is going to be my other go-to project.


just couldn't help myself:
Washi tunic - Yes, I totally drank the Kool-Aid, and spent the other night cutting out pattern pieces for a Washi tunic. I picked up some yardage of one of my favorite Chicopee prints, the Red Dotted Leaf print, and a bit of muslin to practice on, since I've never actually done any garment sewing. Unless you count the super simple pajama pants I made for my husband and my munchkin last Christmas, which I don't. ;)


Sidekick Tote - Even though I made a Weekender bag last year to trek to Sewing Summit with, and I fully plan to bring it again this year, I wanted to make another bag to bring with, and I've picked Anna's fabulous Sidekick Tote pattern. I've gotten as far as printing out the pattern, and pulling some fabrics I want to work with, but that's a start.


What are you working on this week? Write it up and share it at Lee's WiP Wednesday linky and pop over to a couple of blogs to see what everyone else is up to!
Monday, September 24, 2012

Introducing: The Mod Nine Patch Quilt Tutorial

Ta da! What a great way to start the week: a finished quilt and a new free tutorial, just for you guys :)

This is my Mod Nine Patch quilt, using Ellen Luckett Baker's fantastic Quilt Blocks collection as well as some Moda Bella solids. I really love the colors in Ellen's collection. This quilt is very quick and easy to put together, with a fat quarter bundle and a handful of quarter-yards of various solids. Pop on over to the Moda Bake Shop this morning to check out the full tutorial - and make sure to leave me a comment to tell me what you think!

IMG_0577rt copy

You can find Quilt Blocks in stock at:


Quilt Stats:
name: Mod Nine Patch
size: 60" x 72"
pattern: Mod Nine Patch, a free tutorial at Moda Bake Shop by me
fabrics: fat quarter bundle of Ellen Luckett Baker's Quilt Blocks collection, paired with Bella Solids in Fuschia, Amelia Blue, Lime, Silver, Turquoise, Surf, and White
backing: Ringlets in Marine from Ellen Luckett Baker's Quilt Blocks collection
binding: Stars Spectrum in Marine from Ellen Luckett Baker's Quilt Blocks collection
quilting: all-over stipple in white 50wt Aurifil

Happy sewing and have a great day :)
Friday, September 21, 2012

Building new habits

I got on a little English paper piecing kick after finishing AnneMarie's block the other day for our {Sew} Beautiful Bee. I happened to have some jewel shapes and hexagons lying about from a spurt of inspiration I experienced after falling head over heels for a superb pillow that Terri crafted in the last round of the Pillow Talk Swap. I desperately wanted a pillow of my own, so I picked up various paper pieces from Paper Pieces, a great resource for all different kinds of EPP shapes and sizes, but then left my package of paper pieces to collect dust, lacking the motivation to get started.

Admittedly, I've never been a huge fan of hand sewing. I've gotten a bit over my major aversion to it over the last year or so, and I've drooled over a lot of EPP projects I've seen on Instagram and Flickr, but never really took the plunge. Until now.


The other night, after I made AnneMarie's hexagons, I dug out some scraps, the petal paper pieces, and started going to town. I now have six little flowers, using my 3/4" petal pieces and 3/4" hexagons, and I'm smitten. The results are just so gorgeous!! I'm enjoying how mindless the sewing is, how I can multitask while sewing scraps around the templates, and feeling like I'm making a dent (albeit a small one) in my scraps . I don't really have any specific plans for these little flowers - maybe a mini? Or a pillow? But for now, I'm enjoying the process :)


I'm trying something else new this week: the Couch to 5K program. I did my second run of week one this morning, and I feel really great about it so far. My first attempt the other day didn't go so fantastically; I got a horrible side cramp halfway through and thought for a moment or two that I might have heatstroke, but today's workout was much, much better. I think I ran too hard too early in the workout the first time, but I'm pretty out of shape, so I'm sure that had something to do with it too. Getting through today's run really felt amazing. Almost as amazing as buying a boatload of new fabric ;)

I hope you have a great Friday, and happy sewing to you!
Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WiP Wednesday: The one where I try to jump back in

Whoa, I'm feeling a bit rusty when it comes to WiP Wednedsay, but I'm craving that accountability of writing down what projects I've got going on, so here goes...

Finished up:


Improv hexi block for AnneMarie for the {Sew} Beautiful Bee - Well, maybe it's finished. Now that I'm looking at it again, I might add another small hexagon or two in that top piece...

Working on:

Sewing Summit sample in progress

Samples for Sewing Summit
It's less than one month until I hop on a plane to head to Salt Lake City for Sewing Summit, and I'm sewing up a couple of minis quilts and such to bring along with me. I've got plans for at least two more, but we'll see how far I get before October gets here!

Finishing up a Moda Bake Shop tutorial
I'm all done with the project, just need to take some decent pictures, assuming the weather will cooperate, and finish up writing the tutorial, so stay tuned for a reveal on this one real soon.

Getting ready to start:

Tula Pink at Spring Market with her Space Dust quilt
Space Dust quilt
I'm participating in Sara's super fun Tula Pink Sew Along, and I'll be tackling her Space Dust quilt. I am so excited about making this quilt! When I saw it at Quilt Market, I practically swooned. I'm still waffling about my fabric selection, but hopefully by this time next week, I'll have managed to at least pick a color palette!


Another custom red & white zig-zag quilt
A few weeks ago, I got in another custom order for a classic red & white zig-zag quilt. The fabrics have all arrived, so I'm hoping to have some quality time with my rotary cutter Friday night to get things rolling on this one.

What are you working on this week? Write it up and share it over at Lee's WIP Wednesday linky!
Monday, September 17, 2012

Controlled Chaos Mini

How on Earth is it Monday already??? Is it just me, or is this month just flying by?! Fortunately, it's been a good sewing month, and I have a fun finished mini to share with you all this morning.


Last week, I went a little crazy with my solids scrap bin. I wanted to make a little something that I could finish, so I opted to make a little mini, using various squares. After laying them out on my design wall, I thought they just looked too plain, so I decided to do some wonky stitching-and-flipping to spice it up a bit.

After I finished my squares and started putting them up on my design wall, I fretted. Chaotic would be a serious understatement. I posted this work in progress on both Instagram and Facebook, and got tons of feedback, including a great idea from Amanda (who also happens to have a lovely fabric shop!): add in some solid squares to give the eye a place to rest.

She was so right! Once I added the solids, there was definitely still lots of chaos, which I liked, but it was like a controlled form of chaos. I sewed the top together, and stared at it happily on my design wall for a few days before quilting it. I was really torn about how to quilt it, especially because I like to try new FMQ designs on minis, since they're small and easy to move around. So...I wound up doing a couple of different things, because I couldn't decide on just one. ;)


For once, I decided to match the threads to the fabrics I was quilting on top of. This was a little bit time-consuming to actually pull off because of how many different colors I was using, but I really love how it looks. Even if I did utter a few sailor-quality curses as I buried the threads! I also decided to do a couple of different quilting styles, which made the whole thing a lot of fun. There's a continuous square-in-a-square type of quilting in the solid squares, and then the remaining wonky stitch-and-flip squares are quilted in rows, alternating between a sound wave style of quilting and a continuous triangle kind of quilting.


To finish it off, I bound this little guy with a fun Nicey Jane stripe that I just love, and I really love how it almost adds more chaos to this little quilt. This quilt is going to make a fabulous addition to my wall of miniquilts, and it just makes me smile every time I see it!

Controlled Chaos mini
note: the dragonfly is real, not part of the quilt!
Quilt Stats
name: Controlled Chaos
size: 20" square
pattern: improv by me
fabrics: various Free Spirit Designer Solids in
backing: Rashida Coleman-Hale's Washi Triangles in Charcoal
binding: Heather Bailey's Nicey Jane Welcome Road in Lemongrass
quilting: various styles of FMQ in various Aurifil 50 wt threads
Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Swirling Medallion quilt

It's Craft Book Month at Craft Buds this month! I just love books. :) My collection of books used to rival my collection of fabric, but these days my fabric collection seems to be overtaking the books. I've got fiction, I've got biographies, I've got cookbooks, and I've got a growing collection of sewing and craft books.

I don't know about you, but I own a boatload of sewing and quilting books that I adore for the eye candy, but I haven't exhibited a whole lot of follow-through when it comes to actually making things from them, so when Lindsay asked if I was interested in making a project from a book, I jumped at the chance, figuring that it was exactly the motivation I needed!

I went to my shelf of crafty books and pulled out one of my favorites, Quilting Modern: Techniques and Projects for Improvisational Quilts by Jacquie Gehring and Katie Pederson. I love how this book not only has patterns in it, but it also teaches principles and techniques of improvisational piecing that you can apply in your own patterns as well. It was hard selecting a favorite one to make, but after much waffling between the Swirling Medallion on page 113 and Blue Ice on page 147, I literally flipped a coin. Swirling Medallion won. ;)

My Swirling Medallion - finished!

The Swirling Medallion pattern uses the stitch-and-flip technique taught in the book to create a modern medallion quilt. I knew I wanted to use prints, as opposed to the solids used in the book, but I wanted to be sure that my prints definitely "read" one color, so I was awfully picky about the fabrics I used. I picked various shades of gray, aqua, green, and gold from my scrap bins for my quilt, with Kona Snow for my neutral background and got to work. This quilt was a breeze to put together, the pattern was written very concisely yet in a way that was easy to follow and understand.

I quilted this quilt using a cathedral windows inspired continuous line FMQ design, which was tons of fun to do and looks really cool with this quilt, using Aurifil 50 wt thread in white. For the binding, I used a Dear Stella Squiggles print, which is one of my new stash building favorites.

My Swirling Medallion - texture shot2

Quilt Stats
name: Swirling Medallion
size: 30" square
pattern: Swirling Medallion quilt from Quilting Modern
fabrics: DS Flea Market Fancy Eyelet in Green, Half Moon Modern in Lime, Half Moon Modern Ovals Vines in Lime, Mono Pez in Yellow, Silent Cinema Front Row in Yellow, Spring Street Flowers in Yellow, Spring Street Sketchbook in Yellow, Dream On Stripe in Yellow, Juicy Blossoms Dot in Yellow,
backing: Dear Stella Squiggles in Teal
binding: Dear Stella Squiggles in Teal
quilting: continuous line cathedral windows, by me, in Auriful 50wt white thread

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you'll continue to follow along the Craft Book Month blog hop! I think it's great that this blog hop is inspiring so many people to crack open a craft book and use it!! Here are the other fantastic bloggers who are participating:

Week One
Sunday 9/2: Hopeful Threads / The Jolly Jabber
Monday 9/3: Stitchery Dickory DockMe Sew Crazy
Tuesday 9/4: Olive & OllieSew Sweetness
Wednesday 9/5: Fabric SeedsThe Busy Bean
Thursday 9/6: CraftFoxesStitched In Color
Friday 9/7: Katie's KornerA Prairie Sunrise

Week Two
Sunday 9/9: Sweet Diesel Designsmissknitta's studio
Monday 9/10: Sew TaraClover and Violet
Tuesday 9/11: Sew Fantasticamylouwho
Wednesday 9/12: Projektownia JednoiglecTwo More Seconds
Thursday 9/13: Ellison Lane QuiltsDon't Call Me Betsy
Friday 9/14: Live a Colorful LifeLRstitched

Week Three
Sunday 9/16: Fairy Face DesignsCanoe Ridge Creations
Monday 9/17: Inspire Me GreyFreshly Pieced
Tuesday 9/18: Lindsay SewsThe Cute Life
Wednesday 9/19: The Littlest ThistleSew Crafty Jess
Thursday 9/20: Urban Stitchesimagine gnats
Friday 9/21: Sew Bittersweet DesignsThe Plaid Scottie

Week Four
Link up your craft book project at Craft Buds from Sept 23-30 from your blog or Flickr account, and enter to win prizes. Winners will be announced on Monday, October, 1! For more details, visit Craft Buds!

No time to create a project? No problem! All month long, follow Craft Buds and comment to win some new craft books and lots of giveaways! Good luck!
Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Time to make samples!

I cannot believe that it's already September. Where has the year gone?! It's going to October any minute now, and I've got some big plans for October :) I am so excited to be teaching at Sewing Summit, with a great friend to boot! Lee and I will be teaching Foundation Paper Piecing, a hands-on sewing class where we'll be doing actual foundation paper piecing.

It's no secret that I love foundation paper piecing, especially string piecing, and I've started digging through my strings drawer to pull together fabrics to use in some class samples. I've got a couple of palette piles started on my cutting table, and some really fun plans for them. Stay tuned for sneaky peeks!!

If you're going to be coming to our class, I'd love to hear about it! Class registration opens this afternoon, in just a few short hours. So many options on the schedule! I'm so looking forward to making another trip to Sewing Summit, and so happy to get a chance to place more faces with names :)
Monday, September 10, 2012

Oh my stars!

Did you have a great weekend? I sure hope so. I had a great weekend, wrapping up a great visit with my husband's longest friend, who's practically like my brother-in-law. We had a super fun time with him, and we're sad to send him back to New York City this morning!


I did manage to sneak in a little bit of sewing in between trips to the science museum, bowling and other fun adventures, though... Stars are definitely a trend in quilting that seems to be here to stay, and I, for one, am very glad about that. I just finished up two different star blocks for two of the bees that I'm in, and I'm excited to get these out in the mail today.

The first block is for Megan in the {Sew} Beautiful Bee. Megan sent out some fun, brightly colored scraps along with Kona White for a Lone Starburst block. If this block looks familiar, it's probably because I made one of these last month for Brioni in my other bee. This block is a really straight-forward, simple paper pieced star, and I think the finished result is just so pretty!

Lone Starburst for Megan

This month's Sew Beautiful block is for AnneMarie, and she's requested an improv hexagon block, which is going to be interesting, since I've only sewn a handful of hexagons in my sewing life...

For the Stash Trad bee, I got to make a string star for Corey. I've been craving some string piecing, and this block definitely hit the spot. I used a Free Spirit Designer Solid in Flamingo for the coral solid strings, and I was pleasantly surprised at how perfectly it matched the color scheme Corey chose. I pulled from my overflowing strings bin for all of the other pieces, in various shades of coral, taupe, green, and aqua.

String Star for Corey

Seeing these two blocks together up on my design wall has me thinking that one day I might like to do a star sampler quilt, I think that would be really cool. I'll have to add that my seemingly neverending quilty bucket list!

Wouldn't these make a great star sampler?

Up next this week is finishing up my Swirling Medallion quilt and hopefully starting on some samples for my paper foundation piecing class with Lee for Sewing Summit! I hope you have a wonderful Monday :)
Monday, September 3, 2012

My mailbox overfloweth!

Thanks for the well wishes for my computer - it's definitely still on the fritz, but I'm hoping that some customer service people will be able to help me out this week. But let's not talk about computers. Let's talk about fabric :)

I've been really good this summer, hardly buying fabric, but in the last month, there have been so many amazing new lines coming out, not to mention fantastic sales!! I resisted as long as I possibly could...and then my will completely and utterly broke.

I picked up a fat quarter bundle of Denyse Schmidt's new Chicopee line. The prints are not only rich in color but they are mostly small scale prints, which I tend to use the most often. I also love how most of the prints are tonal or just a few colors, rather than 72 different colors - the more limited the color scheme is in each print, the easier it is for me to mix it and match it with other fabrics and color schemes. I also picked up some yardage of the red dotted leaf print to possibly jump on the Washi Dress bandwagon and make a tunic for myself. I've never sewn clothes before, so it's going to take a lot of guts for me to cut into that yardage to do this, but I want to try :) You can pick up some Chicopee of your own at I Don't Do DishesIntrepid Thread and Pink Castle Fabrics.


I also couldn't resist an amazing deal on Cloud9's Simpatico collection at Pink Chalk Fabrics. I positively adore the dreamy, sherbet-y colors in this collection, I feel some simple patchwork coming on with these gorgeous fabrics.


These fun sale stash prints also snuck into my cart at Pink Chalk, including two beautiful Lecien Flower Sugar medallion prints in yellow and red as well as two La Dee Da floradots prints in aqua and purple.


Have you seen the amazing new collection of chevrons in various sizes that Riley Blake has introduced? I first spotted them at Spring Market and have been stalking shops for them! I simply had to have some of the small tonal chevrons in red, orange, yellow, and gray. So fun! You can find these chevrons at I Don't Do Dishes, Intrepid Thread and Pink Castle Fabrics.


I also picked up quite a few colors from the Timeless Treasures Sketch collection. These fabulous modern blenders give so much extra depth to a project! I practically got a rainbow of these beauties, I couldn't help myself. You can find these awesome tonal prints at Pink Castle Fabrics.


And last but not least, I couldn't resist ordering a few fat quarters from Heather Ross's Spoonflower shop. I've missed out on a lot of her collections, so it was fun to pick up a few fat quarters without breaking the bank. I got the Kona basecloth, and the quality seems infinitely superior to past Spoonflower orders, so I am a happy camper :)


If you're trying to hold fast to a fabric diet, let me warn you: look away!! With today being Labor Day, there are some great fabric sales you're not going to want to miss:

At The Intrepid Thread, you can take 10% off your order through the end of the day today with coupon code LABOR10 and find new arrivals like Pat Bravo's gorgeous Indie collection, Echino Decoro and MoMo's newest line, Oh Deer.

At Pink Castle Fabrics, take 20% off your order with the coupon code LABOR20. Find new fabrics, like Lotta Jansdotter's Bella collection and Heather Ross's darling Nursery Versery collection, and stock up on great sale prints as well.

Happy Labor Day to you and yours!

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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