Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Christmas in July linky open at Sew Festive Handmade!

Remember the Christmas card tutorial I did for my friend Rebecca's Christmas in July? Well, to celebrate the end of July (and hopefully the finishing of some Christmas projects), her linky is open until midnight on August 3. Go link up your Christmas projects to win some great prizes! And while you're at it, thank Rebecca for being awesome and for all her hard work!

Sew Festive Handmade

P.S. I have some posts coming up this week, I promise!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Circus Tent: A Finished Cathedral Window Mini Quilt

I've been so quiet in the last week for a few reasons - working, finishing up quilting projects (such as this one), and gearing up for full-blown wedding mode (officially in effect!). This mini quilt is my big item for the Modernista Homemade swap on flickr.
I chose the name "Circus Tent" because they look like big, colorful circus tents. It just came to me and I went with it!

This month's theme is the sewing room - so we had to fill out a survey and tell our secret partners what we wanted as a big and small item. I am still in the process of finishing my partner's small item, but I will post before I send the whole thing off (sticking with the rainbow theme :) ).

My partner doesn't know (of course), but she gave me the chance to try the cathedral windows pattern. For something so traditional, I knew I had to go with bright, modern fabrics (also, because it's a modern swap!). I picked the favorite of my favorites along with some Kona and Bella solids.

I considered hand quilting, too, but I didn't want to make it too busy. I'm enjoying the simple effect of the white with all the colors.

I used a tutorial from Making Ends Meet. I definitely don't think I could do anything more than a mini quilt in this pattern, without making the blocks much bigger first. It also uses a ton of background fabric because you're basically doing fabric origami - but it was so worth it, and the effect was exactly what I hoped for. I sewed the middles together by hand, and attached all the blocks together with a zigzag machine stitch.

Also, if you don't know much about cathedral windows - it's already quilted once you've put the whole thing together! You don't need binding, either! So, I guess you actually do save time overall (or it equals out the same). :) I honestly LOVED making this mini quilt - if you give cathedral windows a try and want some advice, leave a comment or email me!

The usual suspect photo assistant, my little sister Ris

This is yet another mini quilt I am having anxiety about parting with, since it is a color scheme and block that I am very fond of, but I know it will be loved by my secret partner!

Linking up to Manic Monday @ Sew Happy Geek, and Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Surprise bridal shower =D

Yesterday was my surprise bridal shower. And yes, there were crafts involved!

The bridal party!

I've never been thrown a surprise party before, and I had been wondering when it would be for a while.

They tricked me well, though - my friend Amy took me out to breakfast and then stalled me by taking me to Target (where I proceeded to take about 20 pictures of books I want to take out from the library). I was tired, though, and I was hoping to go home, go to the gym, and then go out with Ris to buy some wedding crafty things. Obviously none of that happened :D

I was a tough cookie, and I was suspicious all morning, but the suspicion kept going away. My dad even moved all the cars to a parking lot nearby in order to throw me off.

Good thing I had a dress ready :)

Now for the crafty stuff... my friend and bridesmaid Melissa made the ribbon veil as I opened my gifts! Who knew that Bed Bath and Beyond had such pretty dark purple ribbons?

Thanks to Pinterest for the clothespins idea! I was originally going to do this for the wedding, but my family already did the work for me :)

Marisa cut out little hearts for people to write advice on. Such a cute idea, and something I will be putting in my scrapbook :)

I saw the invitations later. They used stamps and colored them in. Cute and simple!

Finally... Can you BELIEVE this is what the sewing room looked like??!?!?! You can still see my fabric piled up high in the corner though, lol. This place was a disaster zone when I left in the morning!

I am so grateful for an amazing party and all the beautiful people in my life!!
Getting close now... less than 85 days!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Polar bears in the mail

Thanks Laurie Wisbrun! I won't lie, I'm a big fan of Laurie's fabrics (especially Tufted Tweets), and this one is just the icing on the cake. I won a giveaway on her blog (which I always enjoy reading), and I'm salivating over these... (her new fabric line, Brrr!, shipping this fall):

Is it weird that I'm saving the packaging? Lol. I LOVE the elephant tape she used... I plan to post up all the lovely cards and things I have received from quilters over the last couple of years, in my new sewing space (when we move out)... and I also have a package from Kate Spain, lol!

I've got big plans for this line, but I'm still sorting them out in my head. So, you'll just have to pop in again soon :)

Also... what am I making here? Any guesses? I've never used so many pins in such a small space!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Volunteering at the AIDS Memorial Quilt in Washington, D.C.

I'm on the train home from Washington, D.C. (yes, there's wifi on the train but it's quite bumpy)! I attended the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall, where the AIDS Memorial Quilt is on display. Right before I left for D.C., I found out that the Quilt would be there, and I couldn't wait to see it for myself.

According to the website, the Quilt contains 48,000 panels, which will be showcased all over the city over the month of July. Each panel honors people who have died from HIV/AIDS.

I was determined to help out because of the nature of the project, and because I feel a special connection to anything quilt-related (don't you?)- so my uncle and I got to the Festival around the time that they were supposed to be laying down the panels.

I got my volunteer ID, a mallet, and some stakes, and got to work. It had to be about 97 degrees at that point and I felt it later (hence the somewhat crazy-eyed pictures), but it was all worth it.

After helping other volunteers smooth out the panels and stake them to the ground, I decided that I wanted to read out the names of people on the quilt. There was a microphone set up underneath one of the white tents in the picture above. As you walked down the space on the Mall where the quilt was laid out, you could hear the names being read.

It was a very somber occasion but you couldn't help being uplifted by the creativity that people expressed in the quilt panels. Let me share with you some of my favorites (and I in no way was able to see the whole thing because only a small part of it was actually laid out that day - the whole thing weighs something like 54 tons):

The yellow flowers caught my eye - they were always the first to pop up on campus when I lived at college.

I was amazed by the hand-pieced hexagons on this one, but extremely saddened by the fact that it was dedicated to a baby.

Lots of color.

Many people added extras to their blocks, which really personalized them - like a teddy bear....

...and a license place. I also saw records and CDs.

This was a special exhibit of three quilt panels (just one shown here) at Arena Stage, where we went to see "The Music Man." They specifically honor people in theater and movies... and the sea creature block is Howard Ashman's, who wrote lyrics to some of Disney's most famous songs (including "Under the Sea").

If you get the chance to see some of the panels, I hope you'll take it - it was quite an experience. If you want to find out where to see the Quilt in D.C., and for more information, you can click this link, the official Quilt 2012 website.

And finally, a picture from our amazing spot for viewing 4th of July fireworks on the National Mall:

Monday, July 2, 2012

Off on Vacation and Quilted Christmas Card Tutorial Feature

I'm almost on my way down to Washington, D.C. (where it is inevitably even hotter!) to visit my uncle and see some sites and musicals! In addition, I'm MORE than excited to see the AIDS quilt on display on the National Mall (if there's time I may even volunteer). I'll have plenty of pictures to show when I get back this weekend!

Finally, today, I am one of two tutorials being featured in Sew Festive Handmade's Christmas in July. Mine is for Simple Patchwork Quilted Christmas Cards - take a look over at Rebecca's blog HERE! One of her tutorials will also be up today.

Keep checking back every Monday this month for Christmasy tutorials, and link up at the end of the month for the chance to win prizes! All other details over at Rebecca's blog - just click the button. Hope you enjoy the tute and let me know if you have any questions!


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