Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tomorrow - Mid-Atlantic Mod Registration!

Here's a quick reminder for anyone in the tri-state area (and a littler further, if you will): Mid-Atlantic Mod, a modern quilting retreat, will open its last few spots as of midnight on November 1. We expect that it will sell out, so get your registration in quickly. All instructions will be posted on the blog at midnight.

Mid Altantic Mod Header mid atlantic MOD: Retreat Registration Opens Nov. 1

Why is this so exciting? Much like Sewing Summit, the Modern Quilt Guild's SewDowns, and Sew South, Mid-Atlantic Mod gives quilters a chance to meet up in person and spend FOUR DAYS SEWING in Lancaster, PA (April 3-6, 2014)! I'll be there and I'm so excited! I've never been to a multi-day quilting retreat, and my roomie and I are excited! For more info, click here.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

WIP Wednesday

It's Wednesday... whoop whoop! - as we say in our kindergarten class :)

This week I'm primarily working on a Halloween/Thanksgiving tablerunner because I want more handmade holiday items in our apartment (and so does the husband, apparently!). It definitely WON'T be completely done in time for tomorrow, lol. The Halloween side is, though, and that's good enough for me! I'll just get to use that side first next year!

I wanted something simple that showed off the prints. This came together super fast!

Check out these cute skeletons Amanda sent me! I found the perfect way to showcase them with my ever-present Pearl Bracelets and Jewels from Lizzy House<3

The other side will be a mixture of mustard yellows, browns, tans, and oranges for Thanksgiving. I'm on a flying-geese-and-churn-dash-making roll (it's my first time making flying geese and churn dashes are my favorite quilt block ever!).

Lately, with my modern maples quilt, I've realized how much I love designing and putting fabrics together. I can't wait to share the finish with you! (by the weekend?)

P.S. Did you see my announcement yesterday?

Linking up to: Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Introducing: Sewing With Certainty Series

Sewing With Certainty is a series and huge linky party that will last from November to February! I realize this is a busy time for many, but my main goal is encouragement and experimentation with your sewing and quilting (see more below). Also, those of us who are sewing a lot for the upcoming holidays may feel in need of a pep talk from the sheer craziness of it all! You might see this as an extension of Sewing Confrontations, a blog hop I hosted last November.

If you might participate and are so inclined, please post this button on your sidebar! You can link to  this page :) Thank you in advance for helping me spread the word!
This series was born out of the doubts we sometimes hear when it comes to sewing and quilting (which I'm also guilty of!). I want to inspire experienced and new quilters to try things they shy away from, and, more importantly, inject even more positivity into the wonderful world of sewing. Quilty blogland and the Modern Quilt Guild are great places to be! Finally, if there's anything I've learned as a beginning schoolteacher, it's this: reflecting on yourself and your strengths/weaknesses helps you a) improve and b) continue loving what you do.

I have a post planned for approximately every two Sundays, and sometimes, I'll have a guest poster, too! I'll be hosting linky parties (which will last 2 weeks) on each post - this is where you, the blogger, can link up your own post on the topic. It should be a current post that focuses on your journey within that topic and/or encouragement. All linkups will be eligible for prizes at the end! Feel free to link up as much or as little as you like. Also, I spaced the posts out to accommodate for the crazy holiday season and to keep the party going on as long as possible! I hope you find the series both enjoyable and informative.

Here's the schedule (subject to a little switching around if necessary):
  • Sunday, November 3: First Linky Party! Write a blog post about the crafty areas in which you want to gain more confidence, and/or discuss a project you will be working on during the series that will help you gain this confidence.
  • November 10: Choosing Fabrics
  • November 24: Perfection
  • December 8: Approaching New Patterns/Concepts
  • December 22: Free Motion Quilting (FMQ) with Christa of Christa Quilts
  • January 5: Creating Your Own Designs
  • January 19: Showcasing Your Work
  • February 2: Writing A Sewing Blog
  • February 9: Final Linkup! Write a blog post about a project you worked on during the series that helped you gain confidence in your skills.
  • February 16: Prizes awarded from all Linky Parties!
My friend Nicole, who runs 1 Choice 4 Quilting, is already sponsoring with a fabric prize - more soon!

So, will you join me and blog? Look out on Sunday for the first post!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

BQF: Pumpkin Spice Latte, A Finished Quilt

This is the second of two quilts I've entered in the Fall 2013 Blogger's Quilt Festival. You can see the other quilt here!

There's only one way to describe my latest quilt, which was a labor of love over the past month: worth ittttttt! I'm linking it up to the throw category over at the Blogger's Quilt Festival :) Please make sure you get over there to see the amazing quilts!

The Modern Maples craze was getting to me a bit as of September. I started to question how urgently I really had to tackle all of my other sewing commitments, and came out with the ultimate decision that I was going to make the sacrifice. I have so many beautiful fall fabrics, and it's my favorite season. What more of a reason could there be? Though it did take a LOT of willpower to cut into my AMH stash!

I knew from the beginning that I was not going to lay my quilt out in a traditional format. I wanted the leaves to look like they were really falling! I also knew, after seeing this gorgeous version on Flickr, that I wanted a scrappy low volume background with one-color leaves. As I was piecing, I realized I had some beautiful strippy scraps laying around, and that they somehow had to be included. Now, they are my favorite part of this side!

Then, I decided to take even more time to make the quilt double-sided. Ha. I've been crushing on plus quilts and figured, why not just kill two birds with one stone (is there a less violent way to say that? Lol!)? Anyway, the maples at the bottom were begging to be together. So I let them.

The quilting was a conundrum at first. I originally considered a constant, all over design in tan thread, because it would blend well. Then, I thought, nahhhhh. No way. This quilt deserves golden and light brown thread - something that stands out just a little. It also deserves custom and intense quilting, which is why I created different-sized Baptist Fans radiating out from the two corners, to reach a middle of swirls (which looks like wind, according to the husband). It's probably more like Leah's Echo Shell design, now that I'm thinking about it.

This quilt took about 12 bobbins and 12 hours to quilt (which was most of my free time this week) and I am so happy with the results! The weather was perfect for a sunny photo shoot today!

I admire Alison Glass so much, and had to use one of her new Feather fabrics as the binding. It's the perfect autumnal addition! My only regret is that I did not buy a full yard (it's almost gone). :( I also depleted much of my LV/low volume stash - need to go stock up!

I spent the last couple of days quizzing loved ones about a name. We came up with everything from "It Looks Like Fall" (that was my mom) to "Thanksgiving" to "Maple Syrup," but ultimately it came down to my favorite autumnal drink: Pumpkin Spice Latte. Mmmmmm. :)

Quilt Stats (let's break it down):
Fabrics: Everything I love. Really. Alison Glass, Anna Maria Horner everything, Juliana Horner, Lizzy House, linen from some of my old pants, Denyse Schmidt, etc.
Pattern: Modern Maples, with generous alterations (using this tutorial for the block)
Pieced and Quilted by: Me on my Janome MC6300
Size: 76" x 46", aka a very long throw quilt for the couch!
I also posted about this quilt here, here, here, and here.

This was my October goal, so I'm celebrating!!! and linking up to:


A Lovely Year of Finishes

Past Blogger's Quilt Festival Entries:

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2013: Dresden Rainbow Wedding Quilt

 If you're new to my blog: hi, I'm Jess! I'm quite proud of the slogan I came up with recently for my "about me": "Twenty-something, fabric loving, flying purple modern quilter." That pretty much sums it up. I've been sewing and blogging for 3 years - plus, I have a new blogging series coming up (more info this weekend!) and a very belated blogiversary giveaway around the corner. I'm so excited to link up with the Blogger's Quilt Festival again and see all the absolutely stunning quilts out there! Thanks for all you do, Amy!

The quilt I'm going to share today is my favorite quilt ever, my wedding quilt, which I finally finished this August - after 3 years of slow progress. I'm entering it into the ROYGBIV category because it's a color wheel quilt through and through! It's difficult to put into words how much this quilt means to me. One thing I can say is that it really solidifies who I am and how far I've come as a quilter. There are so many aspects that I can talk about, but I'll make it short, since there is a much longer post here :)

This quilt followed me from when we got engaged, through the end of college, student teaching, and right up to the wedding (and after!). We got married one year ago on October 7, 2012, and have been together for 7 years now. I didn't actually piece the whole top together until right before the wedding. Most of the fabrics used are just scraps now, so the meaning is tenfold to me as a quilter!


One of my favorite parts is the back (okay, it's all my favorite) because it showcases beautiful messages and signatures from our wedding guests. I also had fun matching up the binding color to each section of the quilt. I should mention that we got engaged at the Jersey Shore, which is why we HAD to have the quilt photoshoot there. Obviously!

FMQ has been a huge part of my quilting focus over the last 2 years, and this quilt is the culmination of my skills so far. I quilted each separate dresden block with a different design (which you can see in detail if you click here). Finally, I embroidered the center dresden plate with our name and wedding date :)

 Dresden Rainbow lives on our bed and I couldn't be more thrilled to see it every day :) Plus, it gets the husband's stamp of approval, so all is good! I'm lucky to have a guy who really embraces my hobby :) Like, he gives regular and helpful opinions of my work, doesn't mind that a whole closet in our new apartment is quilting supplies, and has actually volunteered to try quilting. What monster have I created!?

Pieced and quilted: By me, on my basic Brother machine and Janome MC6300
Size: 80" x 75"
Fabric: From all over creation - Bella solids for white background and backing

Now, please enjoy the...



Past Blogger's Quilt Festival Entries:

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

WIP Wednesday: The FMQ Cramp Edition

You're probably sick of seeing it, but here's the Modern Maples quilt after the first day of quilting! I've always wanted to try baptist fan quilting because I LOVE how it looks (and the hubby approves!). I loosely used this tutorial from Don't Call Me Betsy (though I didn't mark up the quilt). It's been so freeing and relaxing to build upon the fans. That's what I've been working on every night this week. It will be done by the end of the week! It will! It will! 

 It's hobby night here in our apartment: I'm FMQing, and the hubby is building a computer for a client. If only we could make careers out of these things... :)

Laughing. Wearing gym clothes still for the high intensity FMQ workout.

Anyway... have you ever had an FMQ (aka free motion quilting) cramp? If you have, do you have any suggestions? Yes, I am wearing gloves, and I did take breaks! Today was my first hand cramp and I don't really want to repeat it... lol. My right hand hurts pretty badly because I seem to guide the quilt most with that one. Actually, it looks like I hold up my pinky finger a bit when I'm quilting (to which the husband said, "so, you do fancy quilting?"). Ha. Ha.

I added swirls to the middle of the quilt. I can't wait to show you the whole thing - and the pieced backing hasn't seen the light of day yet, either!

I've also picked out a stack of fabrics for a quick Halloween table runner, which will probably be finished just in time for Halloween. Lol. As a result, the other side will be for Thanksgiving. The husband has requested that I make one for the kitchen table, so how can I say no? More on that this weekend, once MM is finished! <3

P.S. I'm so excited for the Blogger's Quilt Festival - how about you? It starts Friday!


Linking up to: Freshly Pieced

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Stash

I haven't received fabric in the mail for at least 2 months, so this was an exciting weekend! I've been really careful about spending money lately, but when I won a gift certificate to Pink Chalk Fabrics (Thank you to Pink Chalk and the fabric gods!!), I couldn't resist picking up some prints I've been admiring from afar.

I bought several prints from Violet Craft's new line, Waterfront Park. Those birds KILL me - NEED the other prints (maybe around Christmas, if they are still around!) (crossing my fingers). The low-volume-ish boat/bridge print will work on several projects (and my LV stash is running very low after almost finishing the Modern Maples). Plus, I've been drooling over Sunprint by Alison Glass, so I picked up a half yard of the red feathers. I'm planning to use it to bind the Modern Maples this week. There probably won't be much left afterwards (tears) - BUT, it will be one of my fastest turnarounds between buying fabric and using it.

What fabric are you lusting after right now?

Linking up to: Sunday Stash @ Finding Fifth 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

"Hoot" - A Finished Baby Quilt

If you are following me on Instagram (quiltyhabit), you know that I started this quilt two days ago. Ha. Ha. Ha. But really, I can't believe how much work scrap quilts are! I should have known after Sedona, right?

Here's the thing. I needed to get this quilt done for a baby shower today - to welcome my 5th niece, who will be here in less than 2 months!! However, I just didn't have the inspiration. I had a stack of fabrics picked out but no definites (Mom wanted owls and purple). And, I'm not ashamed to admit I've been extremely preoccupied by my Modern Maples quilt (which is finally awaiting basting!). Anyway, I wanted the scene to be a tree in the middle of twilight. And I love it.

  I FMQed his little feet on the quilt top before basting! Otherwise, he would look like he was floating. :) We can't have that!

A pieced back with some favorite fabrics -  Central Park and a rose print that I can't get over (don't know the designer). Anyway, I sat down Thursday afternoon and cut. And cut. And pieced. Woo!

The rest of the quilt did not come together without incident, though! Yesterday afternoon, after work, I finished the top. And cut out the owl (all the while getting the husband's opinions: "Does this look like an owl?" "Are these eyes too big?" "Does this look like a tree?" He's very good with these kinds of things!). And appliqued. And pieced the backing. And basted. And free-motion quilted half of the quilt... oh wait.

Then it took me 2.5 hours (it was 9 pm) to unpick all my stitches and fix my machine because I wasn't sure what was causing my bobbin thread to go all wacky every time! I had never seen it this bad before! Agh... best laid plans, I guess. After doing everything under the sun that I could think of (needle changing, winding more bobbins with other thread, cleaning out machine, adjusting needle tension) before freaking out about a possible trip to the shop (ie not finishing the quilt on time), the husband came to the rescue and used his tiny screwdrivers to fix my bobbin case. He tightened the case and that was too much, so then he loosened it. Janome users, do not despair! Then, all was well. Except that it was 11:30 pm and I had a quilt to quilt and bind.

The quilting was the easy part :) I wanted whimsy, so I went with loops and stipples. Usually I would take more time to custom quilt, but a) there was no time and b) all-over, I think, suited this style quilt the best.

Alright, so guys, I've tried the machine binding thing before, and it just DID NOT work for me. I've tried it at least three times with different tutorials and I've been disappointed by the results (probably a mix between me and somewhat confusing directions). NOT this time though; my friend Ashley just came out with a very clear and super short tutorial on machine binding. And guess what? I'm really proud of it. I'm going to keep practicing because it's so. dang. fast. I do like the hand sewing to the back, but after a while, my hands start to hurt, even when I split it up... AND it takes about 4 hours to hand sew a lap size or larger. I'll take 30 minutes at the machine, thank you very much!! (Ashley, you are officially the best!).

I hope the baby loves it! It was a hit at the baby shower, if I may say so myself (I got asked for business cards and "how long did that take?" so it's nice to know that people appreciate handmade so much!). 

Whew. I thought I would take a break tonight, but I think it's time to sew again. :) 


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