Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Good old fashioned stashing

While I haven't found much time to sew lately, I sure have found some time to do some stashing! My mailbox overfloweth ;)

The most exciting thing that's made it to my mailbox is a big box of Violet Craft's new collection, Waterfront Park. I snagged it from Sew Modern, and you can also find it in stock at Pink Castle Fabrics. This is one of the lines I was most excited about after seeing it in Portland, and it definitely does not disappoint. The colors are rich and vibrant, and the basecloth is buttery soft, much like Madrona Road, Violet's previous collection for Michael Miller. I don't have a plan for these beauties just yet, but I am so glad to be giving them a home in my stash!

Waterfront Park by Violet Craft - MUST stash!

After teaching another fun free-motion quilting class at my local quilt shop, Inspire, and I couldn't resist putting together a little stack, destined to become a small shop sample. I really love the summer-y feel of these fabrics together. Now I just need to find a 25th and 26th hour in the day so that I can get some sewing done. I'll keep you posted on that ;)

I am planning on making a wooden ironing board to throw on top of my tall cutting table for pressing, and I found some fun Echino prints to cover it with from Pink Castle Fabrics. Maybe now I'll actually go to the lumber yard for the wood I need!

Echino half-yards for an ironing board cover

I also received some pretty fabrics in the mail from Modern Yardage recently. If you haven't heard of Modern Yardage yet, it's a new company somewhat similar to Spoonflower, in that they print fabric on demand, but their business model is actually quite different. They have a stable of designers creating prints for them, and then the prints are printed on fabric as they are ordered. My prints, for instance, came on one single sheet of fabric, which was kind of neat.

Some new-to-me Modern Yardage prints

I will say this: I haven't used the fabric yet, but upon first impression, the fabric seems a lot more vibrant and colorful than things I've ordered from Spoonflower in the past. I haven't washed them yet, as I haven't put them into a finished piece, so it's possible they may fade, but we'll see. I'm going to work up a really simple baby quilt tutorial using these fabrics, plus maybe a few extras from my stash, just as soon as I finish settling into the new house.

Speaking of the house, I finally finished painting yesterday, phew! I forgot how much I despise painting. I'm so glad that's over, definitely makes the house feel more "ours." Like we put our stamp on it. Now, I need to hang our art and pictures, and finish organizing my sewing room so it can be useable!

I hope you're having a great week so far. Have you been stashing wonderful fabrics lately too? What are you most excited about stashing recently? Happy Wednesday!
Friday, July 26, 2013

Settling in and unpacking an old project

It's been a long couple of weeks, but we're officially moved into the new house! Yay! Now the settling in has begun, from unpacking to organizing to decorating. I know I've still got a long way to go, but it's going pretty well so far, especially now that I've started to work on my new sewing space.

Going from a mess o' thread to nice organized thread

I'm totally loving the new neighborhood and house, and I'm loving all of the light in my new sewing room! I haven't spent as much time as I'd like in there yet, getting things set up, but yesterday after organizing the closet and hanging my bulletin board, design wall, and a few favorite minis, I decided it was time to turn on the sewing machine. It felt like it'd been eons since I've sewn - so I was definitely jonesing to make something. I wanted to sew something small, something that wouldn't take too long, but that would help me get just a little bit of my sanity back!

Bulletin Board and Minis in my new sewing space

So, I turned to a project I haven't worked on in almost two years: the Farmer's Wife Sampler. AnneMarie busted hers out earlier this summer, which put the idea in my head. I really hadn't given the project much thought since I set it aside, but breaking it out of the box really put a smile on my face. I had forgotten just how many blocks I'd made so far - 37 out of 111! So, I think over the next couple of weeks as I finish up this whole settling in business, I might just make a few more of these guys. They were crazy quick to put together, and awfully satisfying.

Farming away

The first block I worked on was block #37, Flower Pot. I didn't really notice at first that the block required Y-seams, but I didn't let that stop me when I was piecing, I just kept on trucking and they turned out just fine. I forgot how quick even the more involved Farmer's Wife blocks are! That's the beautiful thing about 6" blocks, they're great for little bursts of sewing time, even if they have challenging bits.

Flower Pot - FW Block #37

I couldn't resist putting together a second block after the first one came together so quickly. I chose the Friendship Star, block #41, knowing it would be really easy to sew up. I used one of my favorite, classic color combos: red and aqua. I like the way that not only the colors contrast one another, but the prints are somewhat contrasting as well, with the red print being much more harsh and geometric than the softer aqua print.

Friendship Star - FW Block #41

As I stepped outside to take pictures of my finished blocks, I happened to catch a deer family in the backyard. It's been such fun to see all the wildlife in the conservation that our new house backs up to. I get positively giddy when I see these beautiful deer!

Mama deer and her littlest baby

I hope you're all having a great week! Where did the week go? It's going to be August next week, can you believe it? Just a few short weeks before school starts back up around here! Have a great weekend :)
Monday, July 15, 2013

Playing with Negative Space

We wrapped up the Negative Space Challenge in my local chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild, the Tampa Modern Quilt Guild, over the weekend, and it was a lot of fun to see the different projects that everyone put together. The focus of the challenge was to use negative space as a main design element of your quilt, and that the quilt could be anywhere from the finished top stage to a completely finished quilt. We had five entries in total, but unfortunately, I didn't bring my good camera with me, so I only have my phone camera pictures to share. You can check them out on Instagram, I'm @dontcallmebetsy.

Starlight Express - a finish!

I brought in my entry, which I finished late Friday night after starting on it last week. Nothing like squeaking by! I finished up my pixelated teal quilt for this challenge, and I really love how it came together. I think it's quite possible that teal has replaced pink as my favorite color...

Starlight Express - FMQ Detail

Because this quilt was straight up patchwork, I really wanted to do some quilting that would take advantage of the built-in grid from the patchwork seams, so I went with simple orange peel quilting. I happened to have a limited supply of teal thread, three different small spools of Aurifil, so there's three different shades of teal quilting throughout the quilt, which I think enhances the pixelated feel of the patchwork. I love quilting those orange peel shapes, they're really quite relaxing and enjoyable!

Starlight Express - FMQ in progress

When it came to binding, my fabric was pretty much all packed up, so I had to dig in my scraps to find some strips of teal solids to use. I found two different Kona solid ones and alternated the piecing of them in the binding. I like the final look that the variation in color brings.

Starlight Express - side view

Quilt Stats
name: Starlight Express
size: 42" x 45"
pattern: none, just simple wonky stars with patchwork
fabrics: assorted low volume prints and assorted aqua, teal, and turquoise solids, including Moda Bella Solids in Aqua, Kona Cotton in Lagoon, Cotton Couture in Ocean, Kona Cotton in Peacock, Bella in Seafoam, and Pure Elements in Emerald
quilting: orange peel FMQ in three different shades of 50 wt Aurifil - colors #1148, 4093, and 5006
binding: Kona Cotton in Glacier and Kona Cotton in Cyan
Friday, July 12, 2013

And because I don't have enough to do...

I've started toying with the idea of making a new pixelated quilt once we get moved into the new house and I get unpacked. We're decorating the kiddo's room with his new favorite thing, minions from Despicable Me, and I thought it might be really cool to make him a new quilt to go with his new room's theme. Enter the pixelated minion...

Call me crazy, but this might be the first thing I work on when I unpack!

I've been fooling with this little guy the last couple of nights after the kiddo heads off to bed, when I'm too tired to pack another box, and trying to slow my mile-a-minute brain for the day. My minion started out too tall, and kind of odd, so I've shortened him up, changed the straps of his overalls, and I think he's looking awfully cute now. If my fabric wasn't packed up in a zillion bins and boxes, I'd totally be cutting into some fabric right now to start on this, because a simple patchwork project sounds amazingly fun right now. As if I need another work-in-progress! Then again, my local MQG's Sew Day is tomorrow at Inspire, so maybe I'll find some new fabrics for this project and get started anyway. I hope you have a great weekend!
Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A little sewing break

The packing is going surprisingly well this week and so is the purging. It's truly amazing how much stuff you accumulate when you live somewhere for a long time. After I packed up my fabric yardage, I decided to take a little sewing break and start on a project I cut out a while back that I then immediately misplaced, as I'm pretty well known to do. See, we called my dad "the Mad Mover" - he was constantly tidying things up and putting things in strange places. And I clearly got the Mad Mover gene, because I do the same thing, all the time. I'm constantly hunting for things I've misplaced, and I often give up, figuring that the missing item will turn up eventually, and that's exactly what happened with this stack of fabric...

The taller stack is a stack of aqua and teal solids from my stash, some Kona, Art Gallery, Michael Miller, and Bella solids. The smaller stack is various low volume prints, in larger squares and then also in smaller squares. I had an idea for the Negative Space Challenge that my local chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild is working on finishing up this month, cut the fabric out, then put it somewhere strange and never saw it again until now. I suppose it's good timing, since it's a smaller project, and having a little something I can work on sewing in between packing duty is nice.

Little star

I'm really digging these stars, and the way they're coming together. I love the pixelated background and the depth it gives the negative space, I think it makes the negative space almost sparkle. And all of these aquas and teals together just make me happy. Such a calming, soothing group of colors, don't you think?

Big star

Do you lose things in your sewing space like I do? Or is your craft room always neat and tidy? I often wish I could be tidier, but sometimes finding things that have been lost for a while can be a fun, forgotten surprise, so I almost enjoy being a Mad Mover! Have a great day :)
Monday, July 8, 2013

Introducing the Ferris Wheel Quilt!

If you're a subscriber to Quilty, you're going to really enjoy the newest issue, featuring my new quilt, Ferris Wheel. The quilt features Bonnie & Camille's Happy-Go-Lucky collection in extra large, fun blocks, perfect for a picnic quilt.  I foundation paper-pieced my blocks, although the magazine pattern uses template piecing. It's a really fun quilt to put together, and the extra-large size of the blocks makes the blocks come together a bit more quickly.

My Ferris Wheel quilt - detail

I love the summery feel of these fabrics, and the collection is so aptly named - you really can't work with these fabrics without feeling a bit cheery!

Quilty - July/August issue

If you live in an area where the Original Sewing & Quilting Expo visits, you can actually see this quilt in person, as it's travelling with that show as a part of an exhibit of quilts from the pages of Quilty. I'm looking forward to putting this quilt on the guest bed when it finally comes home some time next summer!

Quilty July/August issue - my Ferris Wheel quilt on page 14

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Ferris Wheel by yours truly, in the July/August issue of Quilty
Size: 72" x 90"
Fabrics: Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie & Camille for Moda Fabrics
Quilting: All-over meandering stipple in white 50 wt Aurifil thread
Binding: Penny in Orange by Bonnie & Camille for Moda

My Ferris Wheel quilt

You can find Happy-Go-Lucky in stock at
Intrepid Thread
Stash Fabrics

Have a great Monday!
Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hooray for progress, and a question

For the last few weeks, I've been preparing for the release of a few new PDF quilt patterns in August, writing, re-writing, and building diagrams. I've almost finished up three of them now, only to remember that one of the quilts isn't entirely finished yet! Remember this pile of fabric?

Pulling some fabrics for a new quilt whilst waiting for the fedex man to being me my damn computer #widrn tagged by @sewcraftyjess tagging some #thestashbash peeps @mikesmunk @needledfig @sewhungry

Well, it's a complete quilt top now, and it was all basted and folded up in the corner of my sewing room. Yikes! I'm hoping to find some time here and there this week to get it all quilted up, but here's a sneak peek of this one, a paper piecing pattern I've been calling Confetti Stars.

Confetti Stars - sneak peek! Confetti Stars - sneak peek2

Naturally, now that I'm in pack-and-purge mode, I've managed to misplace my list of wonderful, generous people who have volunteered to test patterns, so please leave me a comment here if you're interested in testing for me. Make sure to let me know if you're free to test a pattern for me over the next few weeks! If you're not, that's okay, I'll add you to my list all the same, and ask you when the next batch of patterns is ready for release. Each of the patterns has several different size options, so you don't necessarily have to make a huge quilt, not to worry. Also, not all of the three patterns are paper pieced, so if paper piecing isn't your thing, you can still help!

Speaking of paper piecing, have you been following along with the Paper Pieced Meet 'n Greet at 13 Spools? My interview was just posted, and there's also a great giveaway for my Wheel of Fortune PDF pattern, so pop on over and check it out! The giveaway ends tonight! Have a great day :)
Monday, July 1, 2013

Lucky Stars Block of the Month: The Dulcet Star

July Lucky Star BOM - the Dulcet Star

This sweet little star is our July Lucky Stars Block of the Month block. This month, we're taking it a little bit easy - after two really challenging stars, this one is a little bit more simple and straight-forward in the piecing, so yay for that! I put mine together using nothing but scraps, as I've packed up most of my fabric yardage in preparation for our big move that's coming up, and I'm really happy with how it turned out. I can't wait to unpack all the stars and see them all together again.

And here are some of my favorite takes on last month's star, the Sunlight Star.

1. Lucky Stars June, 2. June "Sea Star" from @dontcallmebetsy #luckystarbom, 3. June Lucky Stars BOM, 4. June Lucky Star Block cropped, 5. June Lucky Stars BOM, 6. Lucky stars-- sunlight star, 7. Lucky Stars BOM - June block, 8. DSC_2725, 9. Lucky Stars June

Have a great day today!

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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