Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What's On The Bookshelf Wednesday - An Old Friend!


Hi, all!

It's Wednesday, and that means it's time for What's On The Bookshelf Wednesday!  Only one problem - I spent Tuesday doing this...


...a quilting marathon that generated ten new quilts for the quilt ministry!  But when I finished I realized that I hadn't done anything about a book review for the Wednesday post.  Then I saw Christina Cameli's book, First Steps to Free Motion Quilting, on my worktable.  I shared that book with a friend who came over with some quilting questions on Monday, and it's such a great book I'm going to re-run a review I did of the book about two years ago!  There - problem solved!  So without further ado, here's the review!



I was asked by Christina over at A Few Scraps to review her first book!  Some of you may know that I am a big fan of Christina's blog, and refer lots of folks to her free motion quilting tutorials, which are wonderful - a great way to learn how to do FMQ.  

I was eagerly anticipating this book, but wow, I was blown away by the actuality of it!  The first part of the book deals with the how-to part of FMQ.  There is a section on what you need before beginning, another on the basics of the process, and a third section that covers things like how to decide what type of FMQ to use on a project.  The next twenty-three pages of FMQ design ideas should give you a ton of inspiration!  

But wait, there's more!  Christina not only outlines the basics of free motion quilting, but also has twenty-four (!) great projects to hone your new skills on.  My usual method of deciding whether to purchase a book is to see how many projects "take my breath away" - a minimum of three is required before I'll consider purchasing a book.  When I counted up how many projects I wanted to make in this book, I found at least twenty I want to make, or that will give me a jumping off point for my own interpretation of the technique.  

Here are three projects I've made up from the book in just the past couple of days...

Hopefully by the end of the day tomorrow,
this will be a finished pillow cover!

I can't decide whether to make a wall hanging
or a pillow cover out of this one!

I absolutely love these bowls - super simple to make, and I can think of so many uses for them!  In my studio, I can use them to corral thread, rotary cutters, or even my bluetooth headset that I'm constantly worried I'll cut up when I'm not wearing it!  And on my dresser, I always need little "catchers" for jewelry, change, and the like.  How would you use them?







And guess what?  You can totally flip them inside out and change the look!!  I love it!! 

My daughter looked through the book and decided that she wants me to make matching quilts for the little girls by one of the quilt designs.  (There are six quilt designs, by the way, each one designed to highlight the free motion quilting you've learned to do!)

But by far the most eye-opening section for me was the Embroidered Projects!  I've been doing FMQ for four years now, and never once considered using it as embroidery on non-quilt-y projects.  What an epiphany! I'll be doing at least one project out of this section in the next week.  

The book ends with a very short and concise section about sewing and quilt construction techniques - good information but not a textbook on the process - and a very useful troubleshooting section.  I learned a lot here!  

There's a lot in this book for people new to free motion quilting, people who've been doing it for a while, even those of us who use a long-arm quilting machine!  I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn how to do their own free motion quilting, as Christina is an exceptional teacher and shares her experience (and yes, even her mistakes!) freely.  For those of you who have been quilting a while, I think you'll find some fresh new projects and inspiration here.  It's available in paperback and in a Kindle version on Amazon.

Note - since this review was written, Christina has written a second book (Step-By-Step Free Motion Quilting) and also has two classes on Craftsy!  Be sure to check them out if you get a chance!!

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That's what's on my bookshelf this week! Have you looked at yours lately?

Hugs!

Sarah

Monday, September 28, 2015

Make-A-List Monday - Marathon Quilting & Babysitting!

Hi, all!

Monday has rolled around again, and it's the start of a very busy week for me - with another one to follow!  Lots of child care both weeks, and some marathon quilting to come.  First though, let's see how last week's list went...

1.  Complete a quilt top as part of a pattern test for a friend.
Done!  Unfortunately I can't show you this one until Quilt Market in October, but trust me, you are going to love it!

2.  Cut out at least one of the grandkids' annual quilts.
Woohoo!  I not only cut one out, I actually got the top sewn together!  I still have some embellishing to do on it, but I'm glad to have this much in the books...


3.  Start working on the t-shirt commission quilt.
Done!  I took pictures of all the t-shirts and arranged them the way I thought they should be laid out, then emailed it to the lady who commissioned it to be sure she likes the layout.  I'm still waiting for my sashing fabric to arrive, so there's not much I can do yet.  But at least it's started!

4.  Work on Nathanael's Christmas stocking.
Done!  I'm filling in the white of the snowmen, which is slow work, boring, and doesn't show up in pictures, but it is progress!


5.  Work on a dress for Emmy.
Done!  I made this cute Tinkerbell print dress for her pretty quickly - it's an easy pattern - to test the pattern before I used it on more expensive fabric.  She loved it!


video



6.  Find a pattern for nightgowns for my granddaughters.
Done!  I like this McCalls 1722, which I think I can use for both knits and woven.  It's not too fussy and looks very comfortable!

7.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.
Done!  


This pretty quilt went to a new baby girl...


This quilt went to a couple whose adult son committed suicide...


...and this quilt went to an 18 month old girl who is going through some emotional difficulties.

And this weeks' list should be fun...

1.  Make a lavender and gray quilt for a new baby coming soon at church.

2.  Marathon quilting day on Tuesday to quilt as many quilt tops for the ministry as I can in one day!

3.  Deconstruct the t-shirts for the commission quilt and make the blocks.

4.  Work on Nathanael's stocking.

5.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.

OK - it's a short list but I'm keeping the kids so much this week, I may not be able to get much more than this done.  But if I do, I'll be sure and share it with you next week!

So now the question is - - - what are you working on this week?

Hugs!

Sarah

Friday, September 25, 2015

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Memories, and a Winner!

Hi, all!

It's Friday again, and you know what that means - it's time to get our whoop whoop on!!!  It's been a great week here - I absolutely love fall, and this week has been a great example of the best of it.  Lots of sewing, cool weather, the occasional pumpkin spice latte - life doesn't get much better than that!

This week I've got an old finish, but I couldn't show it to you until now - it was a 50th birthday present for someone and he just received it!


You may remember seeing this one in progress a couple of months ago...

The front, on the design wall...

And the only shot of the back I have!

My friend Tracy commissioned this quilt for her  husband.  She collected up 30 photographs of him and their family, everything from shots of him as a young child to pictures of their grandchildren.  


I adjusted the color on all the pictures to sepia tone, which coordinated well with the Kona colors that she chose for the background.  Each picture was printed out on fabric at 6" square, or as close to it as I could get.

 

I cut strips of each color in different widths and built modified log cabin blocks around the pictures.  I didn't want the pictures to be in rows straight across the quilt, so they aren't centered in each block.  


A random meander around the pictures, and some invisible thread to tack down the pics so it will hold up during washing, and it's finished!  I bound it with scraps of the background colors, and the backing, as you could see above, is large squares of the background fabrics.  



The man who received the quilt came up to me on Sunday and gave me a big hug!  He said he loved it, and he cried when he saw the whole thing.  What a compliment!!


 So - - - can I get a whoop whoop??

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And I know you are all wondering who won the What Shade Are You blog hop giveaway - a fat quarter bundle of the beautiful colors I used to make this quilt...


I really enjoyed reading all of your questions and answering a lot of them!  I think my favorite question was, "If your life had a theme song, what would it be?"  It's always fun to see what people are thinking about.  

But enough of that - let's get down to business!  I consulted with Little Miss Random, and she said....


Number 179 turns out to be Kathy, who said...


Yet another really great question!  For me, it's bagpipes, as long as they are being played by a man in a kilt!


Just sayin'.....  ;-)

So congratulations, Kathy!  I'll be contacting you by email about your goodies!

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And now it's your turn!

What are you whooping about this week?

I've been watching The Walking Dead this week - this seemed appropriate!

What's got you dancing the happy dance?

Share - because we want to dance with you!

And it's always more fun to dance with friends!

The party will stay open until Sunday midnight - 

Hope to see you there!

Hugs!

Sarah



Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What's On The Bookshelf Wednesday - Meet Roy G. Biv!

Hi, all!

It's Wednesday again, and time to take another look at my bookshelf!  I've found a fun book for today, and it asks the question, "Have you met Roy G. Biv?"


Scrap Republic: 8 Quilt Projects for Those Who Love Color was written by Emily Cier in 2011.  In it, she talks about how to sort out your scraps for the projects in the book.  She also offers advice about quilting, backings, and bindings.  My favorite advice she gives, though, is related to this picture...


She makes great suggestions for changing up the patterns by changing up the basic block in various ways.  Ingenious!

From there, the book is broken down into two sections.  The first is for The Weekend Stasher, and is small and simple projects for those without much time or with a small stash of scraps.



It includes projects such as this one, done with a scrappy background and scrappy pieced circles.


For those without a big scrap stash, she also offers an alternative - what she calls Solace For The Scrapless.  It's the same quilt made with whole cloth instead of scraps.  This is offered for each quilt in the book - awesome!


And then there's the section for the rest of us - The I-Have-Nothing-To-Hide-Anymore Stasher!  One of her definitions of this quilter is "you no longer care how much fabric you've really collected and are so proud of it that no one dares to commit you to Fabric Stashers Anonymous."  That's me, for sure!


This section includes larger quilts, such as the lap size Whirl. I love this quilt for its fabulous movement!!


And then there is Pivot - another great quilt incorporating circles, but with a very different feel.


All in all, there are some great projects in this book that will help eat away at your scrap stash - and that's always a good thing!  Even if you don't make the quilts in the book, I think you would find a lot of inspiration in Emily's methods and designs.

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So that's what's on my bookshelf this week!  Have you looked at yours lately?

Hugs!

Sarah

Monday, September 21, 2015

Make-A-List Monday - Taking A Deep Breath!

Hi, all!

Whew!  It's Monday, the quilt show is over, and life is returning to normal.  I can't begin to tell you how good that feels!!  I hope you also had a great weekend - we're experiencing some beautiful fall weather here, which always puts me in the mood to sew!

Let's see how last week's list went...

1.  Finish the "secret for now" quilt.
Done!  I made this quilt for the RJR Fabrics "What Shade Are You" blog hop, and there's a giveaway going on right now on my blog! Click here to go to the post and enter to win a great fat quarter bundle of the fabrics I used to make this quilt.


2.  Finish the "bonus" project related to that quilt.
Done!  This cute little mini was made using the cut-off corners of the flying geese blocks.  I actually think I like it better than the big quilt!


3. Finish preparations for the September 19th quilt show.
Done!  The show actually sent very well - we learned some things we can do better next year, but I think that's something that should always happen!  Here's a short video of what it looked like with the quilts laid out...

video

4.  Cut out at least one of the grandkids' annual quilts.
Done!  I not only got Emmy's quilt cut out, I got the top pieced together!  I still want to do some embellishment on it, and make a kickin' back with something special I picked up a while ago, but it feels really good to have at least one top finished and tucked away! I also cut out the "mattress" pieces for Lilli's "Princess And The Pea" quilt, and ordered some background fabric for it.


5.  Start working on a commission t-shirt quilt.
The only thing I did on this one was order the interfacing I need - not much I can do on it until that arrives.  I've also got some fabric coming for the sashing that is on back order right now.

6.  Work on Nathanael's stocking.
Done!  I'm busy filling in the white in the snowmen's bodies - kind of boring, but it has to be done!  I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel on this one.


7.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.
Done!  We gave away several quilts this week...

This one went to a new baby boy...


...and this one is actually a replacement quilt.  We gave a quilt several years ago to a little girl with cystic fibrosis.  Her house burned down last week and although the quilt we gave her wasn't burned, it had serious smoke damage and wasn't able to be saved.  She's a teenager now and should love this bright cheery quilt!


This quilt is going to a gentleman with ALS...


...and this quilt went to a 15-year old girl going through a very difficult time... 


...and finally, this quilt is going to a woman who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer.


So, not too bad!  Most of the list got done, which is better than I had hoped for.  And here's what's on tap for this week...

1.  Complete a quilt top as part of a pattern test for a friend.

2.  Cut out at least one of the grandkids' annual quilts.

3.  Start working on the t-shirt commission quilt.

4.  Work on Nathanael's Christmas stocking.

5.  Work on a dress for Emmy.

6.  Find a pattern for nightgowns for my granddaughters.

7.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.

Definitely enough to keep me busy for a while!  There are definitely not enough hours in the day - but at least there are lots of pretty projects to do to stay busy!

So now the question is - - - what are YOU working on this week?

Hugs!

Sarah

Friday, September 18, 2015

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop - What Shade Are You? A Giveaway!!

Hi, all!

It's Friday again, and that means it's time to get our whoop whoops on!  Today's a special day - I'm going to share a secret project that I've been working on for a little while, and at the end, there's a GIVEAWAY!  You too can have a little something special to whoop about - so let's get to it!

When I was contacted by RJR Fabrics to see if I wanted to participate in their What Shade Are You blog hop, I jumped at the chance - sewing with solids? Check! A free hand to choose whatever colors I want to work with? Absolutely!!  Who wouldn't?

Now, if this is your first time stopping by my blog, let me introduce myself.  I'm Sarah, and I love bright colors, modern quilts, solid fabrics, (heck who am I kidding, I love all fabric!), and my family.  I have three wonderful grandchildren who love my quilts, so I make them at least one each year.  I've been quilting for about six years now, although I started sewing when I was eight (way more years ago than I want to admit to!)  When I started quilting, I suddenly became a "finisher" - something really different for me, as I used to be really good at starting, but not finishing.  Quilting has grabbed hold of me, and charity quilting has become my passion.  Our church's quilt ministry has given away almost 1200 quilts over the past six years! But I still find some time to design some quilts, test patterns and review quilting books - it's a good life!  But enough about me - let's get to the quilt!

Designing this quilt was so much fun!  After looking at the color card with all the beautiful RJR Cotton Supreme Solid samples, I fell in love with this peachy strata of colors... although it was a hard choice!  There are a whole lot of beautiful colors available!


It's the column on the right!

My husband wanted to go out on the boat, so I grabbed my colors and my graph book and headed out on the lake.  I doodled for a while and, with my husband's valuable input, came up with this design...




 And in a couple of weeks, these beautiful fabrics arrived!  I couldn't wait to cut into them - they are such vibrant colors, and I could see that my vision was going to work!



So after cutting - and I'll be the first to admit, I lucked out, discovering a mistake in my measurements before cutting - I got to work piecing.  Lots of chain piecing - a wonderful timesaver - and I also did a little double stitching on my flying geese, creating some little "bonus" half-square triangles when I cut them apart. (We'll see those HSTs again in a few minutes!)



 The quilt itself went together pretty quickly - isn't that the best part of modern quilts?  So much impact in a short time.  I love it!



The colors are ranged lightest at the top to darkest at the bottom, with the diamonds also light to dark.  I think it looks like bubbles rising from the depths, and that inspired the name - "Joy Rises".


I did straight line quilting on my long arm on this quilt, breaking the stitching at the blue diamonds.  The quilting rows at the top are about 1/4" apart, and gradually get further and further apart towards the bottom of the quilt.  At the bottom of the quilt, they are about 1" apart.  It adds to the illusion of depth and distance in the quilt.  I love it when a plan comes together!


The back of the quilt is pieced with scraps left over from piecing the front.  I do love an improv back! And the whole quilt is lovely, soft and cuddly after washing.  RJR's Cotton Supreme Solids are wonderful to work with!

And remember those little "bonus" HSTs?  Well, I started fooling around with them on the design wall in the quilting studio at church, and came up with this design.  I thought this might work, but needed to make a few more dark HSTs at home.



When I got home, laziness kicked in and I wondered what it would look like if I didn't make more dark HSTs, but instead took out some of the light ones from the middle.  


And I loved the effect!  To me it looks like a moon at night, at that time when you can also see the clouds reflecting the sunset.  This one is called "Moonrise" and it's about 18" square.  I don't often make mini quilts, but this one is going to hang on the wall in my studio!


For the quilting, I decided to use a technique I just learned from Christa Watson's new book, Machine Quilting With Style.  Her method for quilting a spiral is so easy - all done with the walking foot!  I love the way the quilting turned out, and the final mini is so much fun!


The spiral quilting really enhances the "moon" effect!  Sometimes a plan just comes together!

And now for the giveaway - would you like to win a fat quarter bundle of the beautiful colors I used for this quilt?  


From left to right, they are:  Shell Pink, Ballerina, Paris, Just Peachy, Flamingo, Elephantastic Pink, Tropicana, Beachy Coral, Amaryllis, Noel Red, Poolside, Riviera, and Horizon.

How do you enter?  Easy!  

1.  Leave a comment below, and just to make it interesting, answer the question in the comment before yours, and leave another question for the person who follows you.  I'll start it off with this one - sports car or SUV?

2.  You can get an extra entry if you link up for Whoop Whoop Friday!  It doesn't have to be a finish - just something you're happy to have accomplished this week!

3.  If you're a follower of this blog, or if you follow me on Instagram (I'm @fabricaddictquilts), you can have an extra entry for either or both.

That's simple enough, isn't it?  You can enter until Thursday, 9/24 at about noon, and I'll announce a winner on next Friday's whoop whoop post!

(Apologies to my international readers, but the giveaway this time is limited to the U.S. and Canada.)

And just because it's pretty, here's another shot of "Joy Rises"!


And that's my happy dance for the week - 
can I get a whoop whoop?

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And now it's your turn!

What's got you whooping it up this week?


What's got you dancing a happy little dance?

Share - we want to dance right along with you -

And it's always more fun to dance with friends!

This week the linky will stay open until Thursday at noon.

Hope to see you there!

Hugs!

Sarah