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!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

WIP Wednesday, The Super Busy Edition

Holy cow have I been busy recently! I feel like I have a billion things going on at once and that's probably because I do. I am neck deep in my Sewvivor challenge, plus I am working on something fantastic for my good friend Patty. On top of that, I have all my other various projects that I tend to start and stop lol. I think it is official that I have Quilty/Crafty ADHD.

I pulled this stack of fabrics last week for my Sewvivor challenge, and I got everything cut and stitched together. Then I hit a wall and couldn't figure out exactly what I wanted to do. So it sat on my table over the weekend.

Thankfully, Saturday the Houston Modern Quilt Guild had a Holiday Head-Start Workshop and I taught my Moda Bake Shop Patchwork Potholder tutorial to everyone. I had a ton of fun, and always love getting together with these amazing ladies! It was a great break from fretting over my Sewvivor piece, and I was able to clear my thoughts.

I started working on this quilt the other night because I was waiting on some fabric for my Sewvivor project to come in the mail. The pattern is the Sophie Car Seat tutorial from Clover & Violet. It is a really great tutorial, and Jennie and Clara are amazing! This quilt is destined for my Etsy shop :)

I showed this sneak peek of some Sewvivor embroidery I am worked on last night. Like I said earlier, I had hit a wall with my project over the weekend but Tuesday night I had an epiphany and now I am super excited how this thing is going to come together! I can't wait to show it off!

Today my sister came into town to help me with some pictures for a Blog Hop that I am a part of this Friday. We had a super fun day at the Mercer Botanical Gardens and Ikea.

Now I'm off to put munchkin to bed, finish a tutorial, and finish my Sewvivor Nautical Challenge! Wish me luck... and bring me coffee :D