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! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Modern Quilting, Modern Women

1. Tell us about how you started quilting and how you found modern quilting.

Prior to falling in love with quilting, I had been sewing for 8+ and I had only dabbled in quilting here and there. I subscribed to All People Quilt, but I wasn't in love with what I was seeing. When I got pregnant with my munchkin WIlliam I knew I wanted to make him a quilt. I found a pattern in a magazine and "followed" it. My seam allowances were way too big, and the quilting was horrific but it was enough to get bit by the quilting bug.

Munchkin cuddling under his first quilt.
 It wasn't until February of 2013 right after I attended QuiltCon that I dove head first into the modern quilting world. For the first time I was able to really see what modern quilting was all about and I fell in love with the fabrics and the atmosphere of modern quilting.

For me, my love of modern quilting has always been centered around the fabrics, which is quite literally a very material way to look at it. But the bright saturated hues of today's modern fabrics speak to me in a such a way that makes me so happy. 

2. What does it mean to you to be a modern quilter and a modern woman? 

Honestly, I have never really thought about it. I crack jokes with my non-quilty friends about my old-lady hobby of quilting. But the quilting that I do is anything but old lady (not saying that old lady's don't like modern quilting)  you know what I mean. You won't ever see any civil war repro fabrics in my stash. 

Before becoming a quilter I had no idea about how wild and free the Modern quilting movement was. It is full of such amazing vibrant women who are some of the most talented people I have ever met. In terms of whether or not you can be a modern woman and a modern quilter, I feel like it is impossible to have one without the other.

3. Which quilt that you have made represents you and why?

I haven't completed many quilts, but the one that truly represents me would be my Cosmos quilt. I feel like it captures what is going on in my crazy head. It is scrappy yet organized, which is how I feel on a daily basis. Every fabric in this quilt was placed where it was for a reason, I planned out the scrappiness in my head before sewing anything together.
I love this quilt. Seriously I haven't even washed it yet because I have this irrational worry it will mess it up in some way (I know it's crazy lol). Even William knows that it's "mommy's quilt".

I think what surprises me the most is that this quilt is definitely one of my most recognized, heck it even got me into the top 16 for Sewvivor. To receive so much interest for something I have made is such a wonderful feeling. I started quilting because I wanted to make a quilt for my munchkin, and I never dreamed that it would become such an amazing passion of mine. 

4. How do you connect with other modern quilters? What does it mean to you to have this sisterhood of modern women? 

I am a proud member of the Houston Modern Quilt Guild, and I also the Chair of the Communications Committee for the guild. I absolutely love all our amazing members, and it has been a blast getting to know everyone and serving on the board.

I am always on my Instagram account (@youngtexanmama) and I try to keep up my blog and read others blogs frequently. The latter has been difficult since starting a full-time job at the beginning of September. I absolutely adore this amazing wonderful group of Modern quilters, and I am honored to be a part of the community!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Craftsy's Shop to Unlock Sale!

Craftsy's Shop to Unlock Sale!
*this post contains affiliate links*


Don't miss Craftsy's Shop to Unlock Sale happening now! Get up to 50% off online classes for a limited time only! If you purchase a class during the flash sale, you will unlock a second set of classes on sale. For users that purchase, you will receive a subsequent email with a link "unlocking" the next set of classes. Hurry, this offer expires on November 9th, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT. Shop Craftsy's Shop to Unlock Sale now and save big.

I absolutely love my Craftsy classes, and Craftsy was actually very instrumental in my learning how to quilt. With a infant at home, I didn't have much time to actually go out and take quilting classes. So finding Craftsy was a huge benefit!

The fist class I enrolled in was the free Block of the Month Class. I learned so much from this class and loved how the finished quilt turned out. The teacher is Amy Gibson from Stitchery Dickory Dock, and she is fantastic at explaining things simply so that you can really understand how to do things! 

I also have both of Camille Rosekelly's Classes, Craftsy Pre-Cut Piecing Made Simple Class and Playful Piecing Techniques, Camille Roskelley. They are both wonderful, and you get to make several of her popular patterns including Spools and the iconic Swoon!

I am hoping to pick up a few new classes during the sale! Do y'all have any classes you've been wanting to take?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Guest Posting over at Clover & Violet

Hey everyone! Just a quick hello to tell y'all that I am guest posting over at Clover & Violet today! I hope you'll swing by and check it out!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Craftsy's Stash of Possibilities Sale!

*this post contains affiliate links*

Shop Craftsy's Stash of Possibilities Sale starting now! Take advantage of up to 70% off ALL project kits, fabric, yarn and supplies. Shop now to save before popular products sell out! Hurry, offer expires September 29, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT. ShopCraftsy's Stash of Possibilities Sale and save big!

Here are some of the items that I have my eyes on, you might notice a slight trend with my wish list: 

I could probably go on and go with this list of things. Craftsy really offers a great selection of fabrics, and sometimes you can find things that have sold out everywhere else! What goodies have you guys had your eyes on?