Sunday, March 1, 2015

From Bump to Baby Giveaway Winner

Thank you so much to everyone that stopped by and commented in the From Bump to Baby Blog Hop! Y'alls comments are so sweet, and I loved reading about the various things that everyone would make!

And now for the exciting part.... the winner of the giveaway is!

Congrats Sarah! I'll be emailing you about your prize! Thank you again to everyone :)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

From Bump to Baby Blog Hop + Giveaway

Today I am so excited to be a part of Gina Martin's From Bump to Baby blog hop. Even though Jeff and I are not planning on having another baby until later this year, I was super excited when these adorable fabrics came in the mail. They are bright and vibrant, and perfect for making special items for the baby or babies in your life.

I'm going to be showing you a fast and simple way to make an adorable patchwork baby quilt, plus there is a giveaway for 4 Charm Packs of Gina's line From Bump to Baby! I chose this project because it is something that you can make from the prize that you are winning. Hooray!

I love the three colorways Gina has created because you can get three distinct looks from one collection. Boy with the blues, Girl with the pinks, and Gender neutral with the yellows and greens. I also love that there are so many basic geometric prints, they mix and match so well and make fantastic stash builders! Because we all need more fabric in our stash!

For the quilt I am sharing with you today, I chose the bundle of pink fabrics to make a quilt for a co-worker of mine who just had a baby girl. Since I currently have a house full of boys, I don't often make girly things, so I jump at the chance when I can! 

  • 10 Fat Quarters or 100 - 4.5"x4.5" Squares
  • 1 1/2 yards Backing
  • 1FQ to 1/2 yard Binding*
  • Crib Size Batting
  • Basic quilting essentials: 
    • Thread
    • Sewing Machine
    • Rotary Cutter & Mat
    • etc.
1. Take your fat quarters, and cut them into 4.5" wide strips. Not all FQ are created equal, so there isn't an exact number to strips that you'll end up with. You just need to make sure you get at least 10 4.5" squares from each fat quarter (there will be extra fabric). If using Charm Squares, trim down to 4.5" square.

2. Then cross-cut your strips into 4.5"x4.5" squares. You'll need at least 100 because our layout is 10 by 10, and I always like to have extras so I can switch out blocks here and there. This can go really quickly if you cut in batches, I like to stack 3 strips on top of each other, then stack them 3 deep on my mat.

3. Take a picture of your adorable helper because he loves having his picture taken :)

4. Next, layout your squares on your design board, or in my case, design floor until you have a layout you are happy with. This is where having a few extra squares comes in handy because you can swap out pieces. I try to not have the same fabrics touching side by side. Since I do most of my sewing at night I've adjusted the color/contrast of this picture so you can get a better feel for the colors.

4. Once you have finalized the layout of your blocks, sew them together in rows. Alternate the direction you press the seams for each row. You will have 10 rows of 10 squares.

So, I tried a new chain piecing method and it went lightening fast! And of course I didn't take any good pictures of it, but I will explain as best as I can.
I pieced the squares across and down each row, chain piecing as I went. So I pieced the 1st and 2nd sqaure of row 1, then pieced the 1st and 2nd sqaure of row 2, then continued down until the bottom row, cutting the threads at the end. Then WITHOUT snipping them apart, I went back to the top row and sewed the 2nd and 3rd squares together, continuing down as before. *I did not press my blocks between each addition*

5. Next piece your rows together, making sure you line up your seams well. Press row seams in one direction. You now have a completed quilt top!

6. Baste and quilt as desired. I am waiting on my brand new Janome 8900 that I bought at QuiltCon before I quilt mine. It is supposed to be delivered this evening and I am soooo excited!

One last thing for if you want rounded corners. After you quilt everything and before binding, take a bowl (any size you want) and line it up on the edges of each corner. The quilt under the bowl should make a tangent from the side. Then either rotary cut from there, or draw a line and cut with scissors.

If you are rounding the corners, like i did with this quilt, I would recommend that you make bias binding instead of straight grain binding. It is much easier to work with when sewing around the rounded edges. I like this tutorial, it is super helpful for figuring out how much yardage you'll need etc.

I know that was a lot of information, so if you have any question don't hesitate to ask!

So.... after all of that, now it's time for the giveaway! Gina has generously offered up all these goodies as prizes, be sure to visit the other bloggers posting for multiple chances to win!

I am giving away 4 charm packs of From Bump to Baby! To enter simply leave a comment telling me what you would make with this adorable line!

*For a bonus entry, head over to Instagram to follow me and leave a second comment here saying you did so :) I can't always write an entire blog post, but I do frequently update my Instagram with current projects, and of course my adorable son!

**Giveaway closes this Sunday & I will draw a random winner**

**Giveaway is now closed, thank you to everyone who entered!**

I have had so much fun working with this line and I am really looking forward to making quilts out of the other 2 colorways as well! Be sure to go see all the other amazing projects, and enter for more chances to win some pre-cuts!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Mad as A Hatter - #disneyquiltswap2015

I just recently participated in the #disneyquiltswap2015 over on Instagram. I normally don't do many swaps especially since I work full-time, but I knew I wanted to do this one purely because it was Disney themed. 

I got very lucky that my partner put down a laundry list of things that she liked, so I was able to choose something that I would enjoy making and that she would like too. I used a paper pieced pattern that i found HERE. There are a ton of different paper pieced patterns from all sorts of movies, etc. 

It came together is so many tiny little pieces, but in the end it was worth every minute it took to put together! A tip I would give anyone who does a paper pieced pattern like this, is to use glue basting when joining the sections together. It really helps keep everything in line. 

I used Kelbysews Wonky Alphabet pattern for the lettering around the Mad Hatter. The wonky-ness of it was perfect, and re-sizing the letters was super easy. I chose not to embroider the features on the Hatter because I liked then cleanness of how he looked without it. 

All of the fabrics I used were from my stash, except for the pale pink I used for his face. I had to buy a 1/4 yard for that because I just didn't have the right color in my stash. The purple crazy stripe that I used for the background is from Tula Pink's The Birds and the Bees line. It is one of my all time favorites, and it was the perfect fit for the background of this mini. I am so excited Tula is coming out with a True Colors line that is going to have this print in more colorways!

This is what my partner, Tricia @mothersneedle, sent me. It is beyond amazing! When I would look through the hashtag, I couldn't ever pinpoint something that could possibly be mine, so I was genuinely surprised when this gorgeous thing showed up! I love that she captured so many of the Disney things I love in one mini and I love everything!

I had such a great time in this swap, that I have already signed up for 3 other Instagram swaps! 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Must Make List – 2015

There are sooooo many things on my must make list 2015. Like seriously it would probably take me years to make everything. So I have picked one project to try to accomplish a month.

  1. Valentines Heart quilt via this tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew
  2. Jen Kingwell's Steampunk quilt pattern. 
  3. Cluck Cluck Sew Touchdown quilt. 
  4. Night Sky quilt, pattern by Thimble Blossoms
  5. Swell quilt made with Kate Spain's Solstice collection. 
  6. Moda Modern Building Blocks (in progress)
  7. Nacy Drew quilt for my mom
  8. Jeff's Quilt... I have no idea yet, but I know I want to make him one. 
  9. Hexy Plus quilt (in progress)
  10. i heart you quilt, pattern by V and Co. 
  11. Tula Pink City Sampler
These aren't in an order. I just listed them as they came to mind :) I'm going to make this post a page across the top on the blog. That way I can update it as I go! 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Quilting and Sewing Goals for 2015

Well it is January 3rd, 2015 and with a new year comes new resolutions, diet plans, workout goals, etc. etc. And when I think about the things I really want to focus on this year, I get kinda fuzzy. I feel like there are sooo many things that I want to improve in the coming year. I want to get in shape, I want to grow my business, I want to improve my quilting/sewing skills, I want to read more books, I want to be a more focused. The list goes on and on and on. I'm not even 100% positive there are enough hours in the day to do all of these things. I need one of those things Hermione used to take a bazillion classes lol

The easiest solution I have come to is to focus on the things I can control the most: Improving my quilting and sewing skills. Plus I absolutely love learning, seriously if I could afford to be a full time student for the rest of my life I totally would.

The quilty things I really want to tackle learning and improving on this year are free-motion machine quilting, curved piecing, and designing my own patterns.

I have always hesitated doing my own free-motion machine quilting because my machine is so tiny. The biggest quilt I have free-motion quilted on my machine is my Craftsy 2012 BOM and it is only about 50" x 50". Honestly one of my long term goals is to eventually get my own longarm machine, but that is a big financial and space investment, and I currently cannot commit to either. (Mama needs a new car first). I have several minis and pillows on my to make list for 2015, so I al going to try and practice several different types of fmq on those.
Tiny machine is tiny.
I just found out that our guild (The Houston Modern Quilt Guild) is having a workshop this coming March with the one and only Angela Walters! Hooray!! That will definitely help my with tackling free motion quilting.  OK I digress...

Next on my list is overcoming my fear of curved seams. I have never made a quilt block that involved curved seams. I have actively avoided them, which I find kinda funny because I started garment sewing long before I started quilting and I can sew an armhole or sweetheart neckline without breaking a sweat. I think the fact that those two things are not supposed to lay flat is what makes it easier. So this year I am going to tackle quilty curves. I think I want to try out the Quick Curve Ruler  and one of the patterns that goes with it, probably the Metro Rings.
image via
I love that the Sew Kind of Wonderful patterns look super complicated but they are (so I have heard) relatively easy to put together. We shall see... I've got to work up my confidence with curves so I can finally tackle making a Jen Kingwells Steampunk quilt. I already have the pattern and templates, I just need the courage.

The last of my quilty goals for the year is to start designing my own patterns. I have always had ideas floating around in my head, and I finally want to get them on paper and figured out. My biggest hesitation has been making sure the quilt math is correct. I can draw designs for days, but figuring out all the numbers is what terrifies me.

As far as sewing goals go, I want to focus on making myself more everyday garments. I loved this post over at Sew Mama Sew about how to transition to a mostly handmade wardrobe. When I started sewing in 2004 it was because I wanted to make clothes for myself, and I would really love to get back to that. I have tons and tons and tons of patterns, and I even have the fabric ready for several of them.

So my goal is to make myself at least 1 garment every month. I think that is definitely doable, heck they make like 40 garments in a month on Project Runway! The first one on my list is this pattern from Simplicity.
I'm going to make the main dress featured in the photograph to wear to a wedding for a friend of mine. I already have all of the materials I need, now I just need to get to work!

So those are my quilty and sewing goals for the year. I know they are probably going to change and adapt as the year progresses, but I am feeling good about where I am starting out.

What goals are y'all working towards this year?

Monday, December 8, 2014

On The Cutting Mat & Life Lately

I think I have finally gotten a hold on my work/family/sewing balance. Ever since going back to working full-time (something I haven't done since before W was born) I have been struggling to really find a good balance between everything that needs to get done. Jeff has been a lifesaver in helping out, but I still feel like there is so much to be done on a daily basis.

Love this shirt designed by my friend Felice @iamlunasol on Instagram. My 99 problems are my chores :( 
A big thing has been keeping the house clean. Before going to work, it didn't really bother me that the house wasn't clean when I wanted to sew. I had time to do it later, but now that I am working I have realized that keeping it clean makes it easier to find time to sew. I can hear my mom saying "I told you so" over and over again!

Since my sewing time has been so sporadic, I find myself jumping around from project to project. Below are a few of the things I have been working on recently.

I finished quilting my nephew's birthday quilt. We will ignore the fact that his birthday was in September, and just call it the Christmas quilt now :) All it needs is the binding hand sewn, and to be shipped off to Pennsylvania.
My munchkin helping remove the pins after I finished quilting.
I've also been busy working on my Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt. I joined the I Don't do Dishes BOM, and I am loving the fabrics she is choosing for each block. On top of that I also bought another MMBB kit from Knotted Thread that has all Cotton & Steel basics. I am super excited about both quilts.
One of my blocks from the I Don't do Dishes Moda Modern Building Blocks BOM. 

My pretty bundle of cotton & steel basics.
Among all the other things I have going on, I started a quilt for my dad's Christmas gift. I am using the Modern Buzz Saw pattern from Amy Smart's book Fabulously Fast Quilts. My dad is a part owner in a small Construction company, and he's had his fair share of run-ins with a buzz saw, so I just knew I had to make this for him :)

I am using Hammer and Nails by Peter Horjus for the main fabrics, and my background fabrics are Robert Kaufman Yarn Dyed Linen in Flax and Olive. I have loved working with the yarn dyed linen ever since I made my Texas quilt.

These fabrics are absolutely perfect for my dad, I love the pegboard print. And the tape measure print is just amazing! Now I just need to get everything done before we have Christmas with them on the 3rd. 

And just for fun, here is a goofy picture of me wearing my dad's sheet-rock stilts to put Christmas lights on their house. They are awesome and terrifying all at the same time!

I hope everyone has an amazing week!