Saturday, April 30, 2011

Why you should always label your quilts

I was reading about the recent storms in the U.S. South, and came across this interesting article on the New York Times - about how Facebook is helping people gather their memories that had blown away with the tornadoes.

One story that specifically caught my eye:
"A woman who lost her home in the tiny town of Phil Campbell, Ala., claimed her homemade quilt found in Athens, Ala., nearly 50 miles away: 'Phil Campbell Class of 2000,' it read."

Can you believe that? I wonder how the label was attached to the quilt - it must have been pretty sturdy.

Just thought I would share. I'm thinking of the people who lost loved ones, houses, and belongings.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Two Big Giveaways Ending Today at 10 PM EST!

I've been a follower of 1 Choice for Quilting since the online store opened, and I really wanted to pass along these fabulous giveaways.

On the shop blog, you could win one of three kits for the new Quilting Book Club: Sherbet Pips, Summer Breeze, and Sunkissed. They all look fabulous to me - it's so hard to pick one! The club will be using some patterns from Modern Basics by Amy Ellis to start.

Then, over at the actual Quilting Book Club blog, you can win the Sherbet Pips kit, and 2 people will win a copy of Modern Basics! Woo hoo! These are some amazing giveaways that I hope you will take advantage of, if you haven't already!

Also, I'm always caught browsing the 1 Choice 4 Quilting Shop - since I've been on a self-imposed fabric buying diet in preparation for my Europe trip in two weeks, I haven't spent any money there yet... but I can foresee that happening. :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Scrappy Saturday In Purple

I got the purple Dresden done! Since this is my favoritest of colors, I would have to say this is my favoritest one so far :)

I wanted to feature Amy Butler Love in the middle, and I'm pleased with the way it came out. Those purple flowers just take my breath away.

I absolutely love the "quirky" print for this - a part of Michael Miller's fairies. It's supposed to be me and the future DH =P

I'll post more pictures later in the week of my progress on the dresdens - for now, I'm only doing one more, orange, and then I'm on to start making the blocks. I'll explain more soon, so stay tuned! The wheels in my head are turning...

Aaaand this is what the dining room looks like right now. So. Much. PINK. Definitely one of my least favorite colors, but it's the quilt for my niece, so I'll put up with it for now.

What are you working on this weekend?
Have a Happy Easter! :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Goodies in the Mail

Almost every time I come home, there are packages just waiting to be opened!

From the Mug Rug Swap Adventure - Thanks Naomi! Check out my last post to see what I sent to Australia, along with fabric magnets and fabric scraps.

She knows how much I love purple! And owls! Look at that detail!

From Sew Fantastic - I won the mug rug, and Terri sent scraps too! I was so excited! (Sorry for the dim pictures)

My April "jewel" solid bundle from Pink Chalk Fabrics' Monthly Club (it's fabulous, go check it out).

Penguin Buttons from Incomparable Buttons! My mom texted me when an envelope came in all the way from South Africa. And they have a fantastic blog!

A roll up of Swiss Chocolate from Fat Quarterly

And a Vera Bradley bag I bought on eBay for my Europe trip... I could have made one myself, but I love this bag, I won't lie. Does any other quilter out there feel a tad bit guilty about buying Vera Bradley? Haha.

Whew, that was quite a lot of stuff!
Hope you had a mail-filled Friday and Saturday, too!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My finished mug rug!

I've been waiting for my Mug Rug Swap Adventure package to get alllll the way from New Jersey to Australia, and Naomi has informed me that it has! Since I'll be home tomorrow for the weekend, her package might very well be waiting for me, too!


I've been waiting to show off my design. I am still experimenting with applique, and I haven't decided yet whether I'm doing it "right" or "wrong," or if there is a right or wrong. Either way, I designed this mug rug with Naomi's likes in mind - purple, and owls.

Problem: I don't have many owl prints, let alone ones that are purple. So, I made up my own design, much like I do with quilts (I have so far rarely followed a pattern). It's how I prefer to work anyway, because for me, it makes it that more personal :)

Here's the process I went through:

Hmmm, owls. And purple. I could write a little story here... hm....

Let me draw faces on them and see how it looks...

The story (if you can see - sorry for lack of better pictures): The two owls on the top left are in love (one is a girl owl - you might be able to see her eyelashes better in the picture below). I also sewed a heart above them. Then, on the top right branch, theres a dad and son owl. Below them - the blue one is just really enthusiastically saying "hoo! hoo!" The pink owl below the couple is shocked that they are flirting, hence the face, and the yellow owl at the bottom is just content. :)

Finish! I embroidered the owl faces and feet. It took a while, but it was relaxing and I think it added to the overall effect!

Here's the back. I also stippled in white. I think I'm getting better - but practice makes perfect!

I loved participating in the Mug Rug Swap Adventure! I hope you enjoy your mug rug, Naomi, and I can't wait to see yours.

Linking up to Can I get a Whoop, Whoop? and Funky Fresh Friday.

I'll have some sewing done this weekend (WOO!) - I hope you have a great weekend, too!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Quilt Story: Remembering the Holocaust

I just wanted to share what I think is a fascinating quilt. I will tell you what I know about the story, and what it depicts.

This was not made by me. For a couple of years, I have passed it in the history hallway at my college, never really noticing it until this year when a) I became closer with the professor whose office is next to it and b) I started quilting. I really wanted to know what it was about.

My professor told me that an older student studied here a few years ago. She had some connection to the Holocaust - I think she said it was her grandparents. She wanted to thank the history department for all that they had done for her, so she made this for them. A simple story, but still beautiful to me - especially since the Holocaust is my study of interest.

I tried to get a good picture of it in the case , but that was more difficult than I thought. Obviously, the Stars of David symbolize the Jews. My professor said she used the dark-colored, plain scraps to capture the mood of such a tragedy. In the middle, you can see a watch tower - it's supposed to be a concentration or death camp - probably the latter, though.

Then, there's this, my favorite part.

The one bright white scrap, to symbolize hope. I love how the quilting reflects this - those lines extend across the whole quilt, which you can see in the first picture a little. The stippling is beautiful, too.

I'm so inspired, and every time I walk passed this, I realize how much I love quilting. It amazes me how quilters can capture emotions like this.

I really want to meet this alum! I'm going to talk to my prof again to get her email, if she has it - it didn't even cross my mind until now.

I hope your weekend is wonderful!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fabric for Jamie Dress Sew Along @ Sew Sweetness!

I've had a gift card to my local quilt shop (Pennington Quilt Works) for a few months now. Surprised I held out this long? Me too. As I said before, I really wanted to participate in this sew along, but I'm going to make the dress on my own time. So, I went to buy the fabric, zipper, elastic, and little extras I need to make the quilt - on a much-needed afternoon break from college. Now, I all I need is my sewing machine!

I can't wait to start. Hopefully it will look just like this - one of Sara's versions:

I think I want to do the middle band in a light solid purple, similar to the zipper. Opinions? Or maybe... orange?

I would love to finish it before I go to Europe - and I'm booking my flight tomorrow!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award!

Nancey over at Kite and String has awarded me the Stylish Blogger Award! I'm so honored that I'm one of her picks! Thanks so much :)

So, now I'm following the rules.
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award -done!
2. Share seven things about yourself.
3. Award six recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact the bloggers and tell them about the award.

7 things about me... hmm... things I haven't revealed yet... why is it always so difficult to come up with things about yourself?

1. Musical theatre is a big part of my past, though I hope to pick it up again when I'm finally teaching in a school. I did about 13 musicals, and about 7 plays throughout middle school, high school, and my first two years of college. I also directed my own one-act show.

2. I have a deep dislike of Jello, pudding, and most yogurts (unless it's Dannon coffee yogurt!)

3. My favorite flowers are Gerbera daisies. I also love irises, orchids, and the red roses Mike, my fiance, likes to get me :)

4. I went snorkeling in the Bahamas 5 years ago and it was one of the coolest experiences of my life!

5. I am not a fan of airplanes. I've only been on one twice (that was round trip). I'm dreading my flight from New Jersey to Berlin in five weeks. And the one back from Warsaw. But the trip is worth it because I'm currently writing my senior undergraduate honors thesis on abstract and representational Holocaust memorials.

6. I can't touch my tongue to my nose. But I can roll my tongue . I don't even know if that is impressive.

7. I had a kidney stone the morning I was supposed to end my junior practicum for teaching, and go see Harry Potter 7 Part 1 at midnight.

I'm giving the award to the following awesome blogs that I regularly visit (go visit them, too!):

I have a couple more posts planned for this week, so I'm getting back on track with blogging! But let me tell you... school is crazy right now. Three more weeks!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Quilt Class 101: My Tips for Fabric (on a Budget!)

I'm so excited about Rebecca's Quilt Class 101! Over 12 weeks, she will be explaining all different aspects of quilting, which should be useful for beginners and more advanced quilters. There's always more to learn!

Chasing Cottons

You can see her first post here, about fabric (there's also a fabulous fabric giveaway that you would be a fool to miss):

One of the things I love about this class already is that readers can post their own tutorials on the same topic. That way, other readers can see different perspectives! As a confident beginner/intermediate quilter, I'm still learning - a LOT. However, through the process, I learned that I am obsessed with having a lot of different colors and patterns of fabric in my stash, ready to be used!

I wanted to offer my own opinion on fabric this week, with a twist.

The Top Eight Things you can do for choosing/buying fabric on a budget:

1. Use your stash. I know how hard it is to resist that new Strawberry Fields/Sherbet Pips/whatever your current fabric lust is (surprisingly, so far, I was able to resist those two, but not Central Park... the purples won me over). So my point is, look through your stash (and other people's stashes) first before even buying fabric!

2. On that same subject - learn how to match up fabrics - both colors and patterns. Some of us come with an innate sense of what matches and what doesn't. I know I sometimes have problems with matching up patterns, but buying lines of fabric can help with that. Or, just lay everything out on the table and get a second opinion! =P And practice. I got a lot better - below were my original picks for the Mug Rug Swap Adventure that is ending soon (more pictures of the final mug rug on the way!) Some of them are the "It's a Hoot!" line, but not all.

3. I also know how much of a difference there is between quilting cottons and cotton fabric that you can usually buy at Walmart, Hobby Lobby, and Joanns, but I honestly use whatever I need. I can't always afford quilting cottons, so, especially for backings, I buy the other fabric. It's really up to you, though - the "other" kind (oh boy, I sound like a snob, but I'm really not) *might* not last as long, and isn't as soft as quilting cottons... but I would say just buy whatever you can afford, according to what you need. This includes only buying two charm packs, not a layer cake too because you *might need them* in the future! This can get tricky when certain fabric lines become scarce (like Bliss right now), but if your budget is important to you, you have to grit your teeth.

My fat quarters several months ago... this has grown, but I use them for many different projects.

4. Save your scraps. Once you buy your fabric (and Rebecca does a great job of elaborating on how much fabric you should buy for a project, and what kind), you will most likely have some scraps. When I first started quilting a year ago, I would generally throw out the smaller pieces. I really regret that. Now, if I know it can be sewed or appliqued somehow, I save it. The packrat in me came out, but hey, you'll save money, AND I just love using the same fabric for different projects! Plus, I love all the pictures around blogland of people organizing their scraps into glass jars - I'm going to be able to fill jars by color very soon!

5. Spend your money on the things you need most: a good rotary cutter (and blades or a sharpener), as large of a cutting mat as you can afford, a sewing machine that will do what you need it to (I use a Brother [I'm embarrassed that I don't have the exact model number right now, and I can't find it on Google] that works fine for piecing, regular quilting, and free motion quilting), and A GOOD STASH OF SOLIDS. I really regret starting without that last one. It's worth the money - go buy some Kona or Bella solids, in fat quarters or yard cuts. You will need those basic solid colors at some point. One way I'm still building up my stash of solids is by joining the Pink Chalk Fabrics Monthly Solids Club - go check it out! It's a great price.

6. Save your selvages! Use them for mug rugs, even for quilts (like this amazing spiderweb quilt tutorial from Tallgrass Prairie Studio).

7. Enter giveaways! You never know when you are going to win! In many giveaways, though, you must make sure you are not a no-reply blogger, or the blogger cannot contact you if you win, in which case, they often pick another name. See my right sidebar for the red "Are you a no-reply blogger?" button for more information to change that. Anyway, I've won a whole bunch of giveaways in the last year - below was my biggest win, a FQ bundle from Fresh Squeezed Fabrics and Red Pepper Quilts! This was the BEST addition to my stash so far!

8. And the no-brainer - look for the sales! Of course, signing up for quilt shop newsletters can be detrimental to your budget, too, but you have to be vigilant!

That's all I have for right now, but feel free to add to my list if you think I missed something!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Scrappy Sunday with Dresdens

I was super excited to find out that this month's scrappy color is PURPLE! Can't you tell from my background how much I love it?

This weekend I got to sew a few things I'll be showing over the next week or so!
I took out my purple fabric/scraps for my dresden plate...

I didn't get a chance to cut them yet, but I will soon.
Just wanted to show that I'm really looking forward to this month's scrappy challenge :)

However, I DID finish my yellow one (I actually thought April might be the color yellow, but sometimes it's hard to predict!)

The "funny" or out-of-place print is the Scrabble one - that says "games" in tiles, with the white stars!

I can't help but take a picture of all of them together after I finish one! Blogger is being weird and won't load my picture in the other direction, but oh well. I'm going to make three more plates: purple, orange, and one with all of the colors. Then, I'll lay out the quilt and reveal the rest of my plans for it.


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