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? 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

So I am a super bad blogger :( I was totally supposed to post this last Monday, but I got my weeks mixed up. But finally, here is my around the world blog hop post. 

I am very very very honored to have been nominated not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times for the Around the World Blog Hop that has be going on with my fellow quilty bloggers. Thank you so much Kelley from My Quilt Infatuation, Jennifer from Never Just Jennifer, Cheryl from Texas Quilting Gal, and Brittany from Pickles Quilting. All three of these ladies are amazingly talented, and I am honored to be their internet friend :)

1. What am I working on?
-- Currently I am frantically finishing up a quilt for my nephew's 3rd birthday. I am planning to get it finished in time to show it off at the HMQG meeting this Saturday, and then I'm dropping it in the mail to send to my sweet nephew.

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
-- This one is really tough because I don't feel like I've made enough to really know what "my" work is. From what I have made I've found that I am a big fan of planned scrappy (i.e. I lay everything out in its place rather than just picking random pieces to sew together), and I like limited and monochromatic color schemes.

3. Why do I create what I do?
-- I quilt for a couple of reasons. Number one being my son. I know for a fact that if I had not had William when I did, I would not be quilting like I do. I had made a couple quilts before having him, but it was not until I found out I was pregnant that I really stared getting into quilting. I love seeing the joy on his face when I make him something new.
My second reason, is for fun. Quilting is the best therapy I think I could ever have. When I am stressed or having a bad day. I know I can go sit at my machine and completely clear my head and calm down. I'd say it is cheaper than therapy, but we all know that's not true :)

4. How does my creative process work?
-- Very scattered. I tend to have quilty ADHD, so at any one time I have about 5-6 projects in the works. I know for some that is absolutely crazy, but for me it is a lifesaver. When I hit a wall on a project or get burnt out for some reason, I can switch over to another one and refocus.

So I'm gonna change it up a bit, and not tag any one person. Instead I want to tag anyone who feels like sharing more about themselves! So go for it! And let me know if you share, so I can come check out your answers :)

I hope y'all had a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Halloween Sewing

I know with a new job that my sewing time is going to take a hit. But that is not going to stop me from joining my awesome friend Becca from Bryan House Quilts for her Boos and Ghouls QAL.

Becca is going to take us through making these two adorable minis! How stinking cute are they! Becca is super talented (did you know she is writing a book) and I love that she is my real life friend haha. It might be that I tired but that seems silly to me, all of my friends are my real life friends, but Becca is in the Houston Modern Quilt Guild with me so I see her on a regular basis. There that makes sense right?

Anyway I am off to bed since writing and words are not my current forte, tomorrow is my 2nd day of work! Wish me luck!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Nova Tote

This past week I had the opportunity to test the Nova Tote pattern by Three Owls Handmade. She is about to release it, and you'll be able to get it in her Craftsy Shop. Until then check out the #novatote tag on Instagram for some awesome inspiration!

At first, I struggled with choosing fabric for this tote because I didn't want to buy more fabric (I know crazy) but I didn't see anything in my stash that screamed "make me into a bag!" It wasn't until Saturday night that I dug into my A&M fabric stash and found some inspiration.

I have tons of leftover A&M fabric scraps, so a quick order from my trusty linen supplier (my awesome friends shop - Stitcherie) and I was in business. This time I went with Essex Yarn Dyed in Black. It photographs kinda grey but to me it is deeper in person.

The pattern doesn't call for using any interfacing, but I decided I wanted something with some structure and used Annie's Soft and Stable. Holy cow I feel like I have been living under a rock. That stuff is the bomb dot com when it comes to making your bag sturdy but still soft (whoever named it was right on point) and I don't think I will ever make another bag without it!

My friend Chrissy over at Sew Lux gave me some pointers on how to add the soft and stable to the handles of the bag. They have a great weight to them and will (hopefully) hold up really well. I wish I would have known how to to do it when I made my Aeroplane Bag because those straps have gotten kind worn and thin.

The pattern instructions even have 2 different lining methods, so that way of you have a directional print you won't end up with an upside-down design. I added the pocket on my own, and I think when I make another one I will add a zipper pocket too.

I'm starting my new job tomorrow (cue mild panic attack) and I am really excited to carry this bag with all my work goodies. That way I can show off my "other job" while working at my new one :)

I hope everyone had an amazing Labor Day!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Few Changes

I am hesitantly excited to announce that as of September 2nd I will be ending my run as a stay at home mommy. To some this might seem sudden, but it has been in the works for a little while now. William is starting preschool and Jeff and I both agreed that if I go back to work then we will be able to save exponentially more money. Which is awesome because we are hoping to buy a house when our current lease is up.

I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life, but it is bittersweet. I have cherished every single moment staying home with my little man and not being with him every minute of the day is going to be hard. I know I am going to have a bazillion pictures of him on my desk.

So between now and next Tuesday, I am going to be doing lots of sewing and snuggling with this adorable little boy. He had a practice day at daycare yesterday and he loved it. He even told me to "go back to work" when I went to pick him up, which made me happy that he had such a great time, but sad that he didn't miss me lol. I have a feeling he's really going to enjoy school!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Deep in the Heart of Texas Road Trip Quilt Along

I finished my Texas Road Trip QAL top just in time for Finish it Up Friday! I was hoping to get it finished Monday, but at the last minute I added borders and ran out of my background fabric :( Thankfully my awesome friend Kristan who owns Stitcherie is local to me and I could run over and get some more fabric.

When I first read about this QAL over at My Fabric Relish, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.  Here is the line up of all the blogs who participated:

June 1 - Quadrant 1 pattern post - Download
June 2 - Dallas - Ashley at Urban Spools
June 5 - Tyler - Colleen guest blogger at Pretty Little Quilts
June 12 - Fort Worth - Lindsey and Jodie at Fort Worth Fabric Studio
June 15 - Quadrant 2 pattern post - Download
June 16 - Amarillo - Aoife at thREDhead
June 19 - Lubbock - Jada (guest blogger) at My Fabric Relish
June 22 - Quadrant 3 pattern post - Download
June 23 - El Paso - Jennie at Porch Swing Quilts
June 26 - Midland/Odessa - Donna at Donna's Lavender Nest
June 30 - Big Bend - Cristina at Pretty Little Quilts
July 6 - Quadrant 4 pattern post -Download
July 7 - Houston - Teresa at Third Floor Quilts
July 10 - Beaumont - Taryn at Pixels to Patchwork
July 14 - Austin - Amanda at What the Bobbin
July 17 - College Station - Hilary at Young Texan Mama
July 21 - San Antonio - Ellyn at Ellyn's Place
July 24 - Hill Country - Lissa at Moda Lissa
July 28 - Rio Grande Valley - Melissa at My Fabric Relish

Quilt Cutting Requirements - download
 My massive quilt started with this one lone block. A ferris wheel for the city of Dallas. 

 Then it started to quickly grow. Clockwise from top left: Dallas, Amarillo, Palo Duro Canyon, Fort Worth, & Tyler. 

Then the quadrants started coming together and everything started taking shape. 

Texas was growing before my eyes! Quads 1-3. 

And then....
Boom! Texas! I LOVE LOVE LOVE how this turned out. I used Anna Maria Horner's Dowry collection along with the coordinating solids for the main body of Texas. Both were purchased at Westwood Acres Fabrics. The background fabric I used is Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed linen in Steel, and I purchased that from Stitcherie

My favorite section of the quilt is quad 4 because that is the region I have always lived in :) 

I designed the Aggieland water tower block for the City of College Station, and then for Houston I changed up the block and made it the Astros logo. I made a heart for the Austin block because it is where I was born and raised, and I will always consider it my home.

I absolutely love this quilt and I know it will get lots of use considering how huge it is. With the 4.5" borders I added, this puppy finishes up right around 70" square. I already know it's going to be a beast to quilt, but I definitely am going to try and tackle it myself.

If you participated in the QAL don't forget to head over to My Fabric Relish or Pretty Little Quilts and link up your Texas! There are some pretty awesome prizes being offered!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Emma's Garden Giveaway Winner

And the winner of the Emma's Garden Giveaway is........

 Congrats #11 Cozye! I have emailed you about claiming your prize!

Thank you to everyone for commenting and sharing your favorite flowers with me :) My favorite is Daisies. Also don't forget to head over to Family Ever After and vote for your top 5 entries in Sewvivor!! I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE your vote :) 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sewvivor: Nautical Challenge!

Today is the day! All of the top 16 contestants projects are being revealed over on Family Ever After and voting is open. I am so excited to see what everyone has made. All of the contestants are insanely talented, and I think the judges are going to have a hard time deciding who goes through to round 2.

My project has a bit of a back story. Recently my brother and his family moved from Houston, TX to Hershey, PA because his wife is doing her medical residency at Penn State. It's an exciting adventure for them, but I'm not gonna lie, it makes me sad that they are so far away. My brother and I are only a year and a half apart in age, and his son was born a month after my little munchkin.

Change is hard on a 2 year old on top of the big move Jack upgraded to a big boy bed instead of his toddler bed, and my brother mentioned that Jack wasn't a big fan of his new big boy bed. This really stuck with me, and I knew I wanted to make him a quilt for his new bed. It (hopefully) will be something comforting that will have fabrics with designs that he will love... Pirates!

Ok all of that just to build up to my Sewvivor entry lol don't worry it will make sense in a second :)

I was really excited when I saw that the first challenge was to make something nautically themed. Since I am already making my little nephew a bed-sized quilt for his birthday I thought about using that as my entry. But alas, as much as I want to quilt it on my own tiny machine (that's one of the rules of Sewvivor) it is going to be quite hefty and I'm not sure I could have finished it in time.

So I knew I wanted a pillow to go along with the quilt and a pillow was going to be the perfect thing to make for my nautical challenge entry. The night before the top 16 were announced, I sat down and figured out how to turn Nautical Signal Flags into quilt blocks. I still had no idea if I was in the top 16 but I knew that I wanted to make this for my nephew either way.

What I love most about this pillow is that I didn't just choose random flags to make. Instead I chose to spell out my nephews name J-A-C-K. For those of you who don't know, each nautical signal flag stands for a letter of the alphabet. The blocks finished at 6" square, and the pillow itself is 14"x28".

My original plan was to make 4 individual pillows, but after thinking it over I decided that a bolster pillow would be better. That way the letters don't have a chance to get jumbled and spell A-C-K-J or K-J-A-C, or any other combination of the letters lol.
I quilted the pillow with straight lines around the perimeter approximately 0.25" apart, and I stitched in the ditch around the flags themselves. I didn't want to quilt over the flags because I wanted them to stand out form the background, and I think I achieved the look I was going for! The quilting was done with 50wt Aurifil thread #2311. It is my favorite color to use with neutral backgrounds because I feel like it really blends with anything.

I used Moda Bella Solids for the flags, Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Steel for the background, and the red bias stripe from April Showers for the binding. I wish I had written down the color numbers when I bought my solids form my lqs but I totally spaced out when I was there. I know for sure the red is Christmas Red (it was the only bolt marked with an actually name) and the white is number 98. I love the colors, and I hope that Jack is going to love how bright and colorful it is!

I originally was going to use a polka dot print for the envelope back, but I just knew I had to get this fabric when I saw someone destashing it on Instagram. I looked it up and the print is from Cloud 9Fabrics and is the Seven Seas by Michéle Brummer Everett collection. It shows the entire nautical signal flag alphabet, and it ties in the yellow from the front of the pillow. I only had a half yard, so I am going to hunt down some more of it because this print would be awesome to have in Jacks quilt!

Well there it is! I hope you love it enough to vote for me, but the competition is tough and there are so many gorgeous projects to choose from!

Voting is now open for Round 1 of Sewvivor. The Top 16 entries have been revealed and now the public gets to vote on their favorites (the public vote counts for 50% of the results – the judges the other 50%). Only 10 of the 16 contestants will go through to the next round. You can vote via this link - CLICK HERE TO VOTE! Voting is open until August 14.

Now I'm off to do some not so stressful sewing. I hope everyone has a great Monday :)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Emma's Garden Blog Hop & Giveaway

Hey everyone! I am really excited today because my blog is kicking off the Blog Hop for Patty Sloniger's newest fabric collection for Michael Miller Fabrics, Emma's Garden. The collection is starting to ship out to store, so it won't be long before you can get your hands on yardage of these beauties.

I was so happy to get to make a few things to go in Patty's booth at Spring quilt market. The first thing was this super simple, but super gorgeous patchwork baby quilt with rounded corners (tutorial to follow).

 My fantastic sister drove down from College Station to help me take pictures :) we had an awesome day!

I also made a dress for Patty's booth. What I love most about her line is how versatile it is. You can just as easily make something adorable for your little girl, and something sophisticated and grown up for you. 
This is my sophisticated face :P

 And this is my hey don't forget to show that it has super awesome pockets face. 

Patty asked me to give y'all a little tutorial for how to make the patchwork quilt and I was super excited to stitch up another one in the Blush colorway. The first quilt was made with the Violet colorway. BTW stay tuned for after the tute for the giveaway (or just scroll done and check it out lol)

So here we go! 
You're going to need 7-9 FQ to make a 40x40" quilt. I picked these fabrics from the Blush colorway on Patty's collection.

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. 

Then you'll cut your strips into 4.5x4.5" squares. You'll need at least 100 because our layout is 10 by 10. I always like to have extras so I can switch out blocks that don't seem quite right. 

Next, layout your squares on your design board, or in my case, design floor. Once you have a layout you're happy with, take a picture. You never know when an interested toddler is going to come by and "help" with the layout :) 

Then piece your rows together. I am a huge fan of chain piecing! It makes everything go so much faster. Press your seams as desired. I like to press mine in alternating directions so when I join the rows they butt against each other and I can match the seams really well.

After all your chain piecing, feeding your husband, and putting the baby to bed.... You end up with one super awesome quilt top that came together in a flash. I plan on quilting mine diagonally through the squares, but I have got to get a couple things off the assembly line before I do. 

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. 
And that is basically it! If something didn't make sense, let me know and I will try and clear it up. Now for the fun part :) The giveaway!!! 

Patty is generously giving away a Fat Eighth bundle of the Blush Colorway

** All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me your favorite flower or plant. **

And don't miss out on all the other talented lovelies participating in the Blog Hop: (they each have a giveaway too!)
8/7 - Michael Miller's website
8/8 - Hilary - youngtexanmama
8/9 - Karri - karriofberries
8/10 - Felice - sewscatterbrained
8/11 - Sally - sallysangelworks
8/12 - Liz - www.fatchickquilts
8/13 - Julia - starsandsunshine
8/14 - Jacey - jaceycraft.blogspot
8/15 - Sophie of C'est LaVie - lescrapdesoph
8/16 - Pam - pamquiltaholic
8/17 - Patty beckandlundy

Hope you'll join us, and don't forget to pop back to Patty's blog on the last day for a Grand Finale giveaway!