I am no longer actively blogging here but I’d love if you could join me at my new creative lifestyle blog A Girl in Paradise.
I hope to see you soon.

Friday, June 28, 2013

New Fabric Friday - Love By Hand

There is a new weekly feature over at Love By Hand that I wanted to share with you.  It is called New Fabric Friday.  It is a weekly link up where you can share the new fabrics that you have added to your stash, because let's face it we all love fabric just as much as we love sewing it together. 
Love By Hand
I meet Christen last year at Sew South and was instantly impressed.  She has such a passion for life and for what she does I couldn't help but think that this girl is going places.  She has already been featured in a few publications and has teamed up with some other bloggers to host The Christmas in July Sewing Challenge presented by Sew Lux Fabric

After the thread crisis I had this week I didn't add any new fabrics to my stash, but I did add some new threads.  I purchased some cool variegated threads by Superior and a pair of Grab-A-Roo's gloves for machine quilting.  I thought the variegated thread would be a nice addition to my negative space quilt that I have been working on.  Also, I am in the process of doing some research and comparing the different threads to see what I like and what I don't like.  I will keep you posted.     
Of course, I did place an online order for some more Aurifil, but it hasn't come in yet.  In the meantime I purchased a few spools of my faithful Gutermann to make it through till my order comes in. 
All this talk has of thread has made me wonder... What is your favorite thread? and would you like to see a comparative review of some of the threads that are out there?   

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Monday, June 24, 2013

My new to do list...

So, the unthinkable happened yesterday... I ran out of thread.  Not just my fancy new Aurifil thread that I love so much, but all thread.  When I tell you that I have used up every last bit of thread in the house, I mean every last bit, including last remnants of Coats and Clark that I had left over from my days when I use to garment sew, and that was pre kids and ages ago.
How does this happen to someone who sews almost everyday?
I was so upset I almost put the kids in the car to go buy some more, but thought better of it when I realized 3 kids in the car, and torrential rains probably wasn't a good mix.  Instead I decided to clean out my sewing room and to make a list so I could get everything that I needed all at once.
1. Thread.  Can't do anything without that.  Place an Aurifil order online, but will still need to buy a spool of Guttermans in the meantime to curb off the withdrawals. 
2. Buy a yard and half of white kona to back my negative space quilt.
3. Measure and buy enough batting for my Hello Sunshine quilt top that has been done for a while and is ready to be quilted.  
4. Again with the thread, I was actually quilting this one when I ran out of the thread.  This quilt top has been sitting in the unfinished bin for a while now, and the thing that frustrated me the most was that I finally got off my tush and ordered the backing fabric that I needed and almost couldn't find any more.  Thank goodness for the Etsy seller that still had the 2 yards that I needed.
5. Fusible fleece and a zipper, then this cute little pillow I made with a Noteworthy charm pack will be done.  

I am off to the store, list in hand, but wish me luck, I am going to have to bring all the kids to the store with me...

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Friday, June 21, 2013

New Fabric Friday - House and Garden

You may or may not have heard that there is a new line of fabrics that is now available at Jo-Ann Fabrics, it is House and Garden by Cloud 9 Fabrics.  One of the things that makes this line so special is that, like all Clould 9 Fabrics, it is 100% organic cotton.  A first for Jo-Ann Fabrics.     

My local store here in Tampa is carrying 8 of the 12 prints that were designed exclusively for Jo-Ann's, and I was very excited to pick some up yesterday and that I got the first cut off of each of the bolts.  It is of good quality and weight, though not as soft as most designer fabric.  The only major downside was the price tag.  I am not use to paying $14.99 a yard for fabric at Jo-Ann's but I had to remind myself it is organic and I would expect pay that price for organic at a quilt shop.  At least at Jo-Ann's I was able to use my 30% off total purchase coupon.
The prints have a fresh modern feel especially the yellow mod flowers but I am obsessed with these chevrons.  The color range is current and what I want to see more of in my stash.  I know exactly what I want to make with these fabrics and I can't wait to cut into them this weekend.   

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Negative Space Challenge Quilt - (Progress in Pictures)

Sometimes a quilt just evolves and you end up in a completely direction than you originally though you wanted.  I am currently working on a quilt for the negative space challenge we are having as part of the Tampa Modern Quilt Guild and I am becoming a big fan of my design wall.  They really were not that common when I started quilting oh so many years ago.  As was evident in some of my earlier blog posts.  I use to lay out my blocks on the living room floor and look at it for a few day, move some things around, and then when I was happy with the layout, I would start sewing things together.  Now, it is all about my design wall.  It is nothing fancy just a 4' by 6' piece of foam board covered in batting and stuck to the wall using some command Velcro strips, but I love it.  Especially now that I am old and don't want to crawling around on the floor anymore. 
The other benefit to a design wall is when I am having trouble deciding on the direction I want to go in, I can arrange my blocks, take a picture, and then try another option.  Of course, that always leads to some more obsessing, but it does make it much easier to make a decision when you are just scrolling through pictures. 
My original thought for this quilt was a horizontal chevron panel with a lot of white space for quilting, but the more I looked at it the more I thought, it looks so predictable.  So, I put some space between the rows, but still I wasn't feeling it.  Then I thought how about a vertical panel?  But still I wasn't feeling it. 

Finally, this arrangement has formed and I think I might go with it.  What do you think?

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Friday, June 14, 2013

New Fabric Friday - Inspire Quilting and Sewing

One of the things on my summer bucket list this summer is to visit more of my local quilt shops and last weekend I made it out to Inspire Quilting and Sewing in Plant City, Florida.   Our local chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild was getting together for a sew day so it was the perfect opportunity to meet up with the girls, get some sewing done, and get a little shopping in.
I liked that they had a lot of the modern fabric lines by Moda, Free Spirit, and Riley Blake and it was also an authorized dealer for Brother sewing machines.  I also liked that it had an open layout and had good lighting.  It is located in the historic district of Plant City amongst the quaint little antique shops and cute little eateries.  Perfect if you want to make the day of it.
While I was there I picked up a few fabrics to add to my stash and since I can't resist buying polka dots, these were a must.  The yellow and green are from the Small Dots line by Riley Blake, and the blue is from the Marguerite line by Cyndi Walker for Riley Blake Designs.

And these adorable prints by Aneely Hoey were also a must have.  They are from her Sew Stitchy line for Moda. 
All in all Inspire Quilting and Sewing in Plant City, Florida, is a shop that I will probably visit again even though it was an hour away.  It was definitely worth the drive.
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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Solid as a Block Quilt

Have you ever made a quilt just so you could try new things?  A couple of months ago I pulled out this old unfinished project.  Something I just wasn't feeling it at the time so I packed it up and put it away.  Fast forward a year, a fresh pair of eyes, and you have a finished quilt.  It is completely different than my original vision but sometimes it is fun to see how a project can evolve.  

I struggle a bit with how I wanted to quilt this.  I wanted to experiment with a few FMQ designs but ultimately ripped them out for my tried and true straight lines.  I don't know what to say I love my straight line quilting and I think it goes perfectly with bold, bright look of this quilt.

Here are some of the work in progress pictures I posted along the way on Instagram. 
I jumped out of my comfort zone for a second time with this quilt and tried spray basting.  I know some of you may be shocked that I haven't tried this before, but I am resistant to change.  I liked my blue painters tape and safety pins, but I am getting old and my tile floors are killing my knees, so I gave it a try.  I wasn't sure the added cost was going to be worth it, but is was, my knees and my back were thanking me over and over again. 
Here is how the back turned out.   I think stepping outside my comfort zone with some improv piecing definitely paid off.  I like the use of scraps on the back and because of all the piecing I was careful to line up the front with the back when I sandwiched this quilt.  With all these straight lines it would be very easy to see if the back was crooked.  For the binding I used the left over large scale print.  I really dig how it looks pieced but is not.   

The details:
This quilt measures about 40” by 55”  with 48 blocks pieced together in a 6 by 8 layout.  The blocks were strip pieced with a black solid then cut into squares.For the fabrics I used a large scale print Two Young Street, made by Prints Charming and matching Kona solids.  For the binding I also used the large scale print Two Young Street, made by Prints Charming.  The quilting is a basic straight line that follows the quilt block, using a black cotton tread.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Pinterest Party

Last Friday night my friends and I got together for a Pinterest Party.  A Pinterest Party you ask?  Yes, a Pinterest Party.  Over the course of several e-mails the host of our Girls Night In ask us to pick a dish that we would like to bring, and a craft that we would like to make.  The catch, they had to be pins from our Pinterest boards.  Once all the e-mails were in, we voted on the craft that we wanted like to make, coordinated the supplies that we needed for those crafts, and made plans to get together.
The food was amazing!  I am a huge fan of these pot luck type get together.  It makes the work load lite for everybody involved, and it is a great way to try something new.  Satisfying my sweet tooth, I made the Rolo Brownie Bites with a Carmel Cream Cheese Frosting, and in a word they were amazing.  I will have to warn you though if you make the Cookie Dough Dip, make a lot of it, because it is definitely a crowd pleaser.

Here are some of the links for the recipes.

Strawberry Champagne Punch
Quick and Easy Blender Salsa
Baked Ravioli
Mozzarella and Pesto Poppers
Cookie Dough Dip
Rolo Brownie Bites with Carmel Cream Cheese Frosting

The first craft we made were Fabric Covered Crate Seats.  Super cute, but since my kids are kind of big for these, I helped make one for my friend Angela.  She needs four of them for her classroom next year. 

Here is the link: Fabric Covered Crate Seat

The other craft we made was a No Sew Flag Shirt.  A must have for any stylish little girl this 4th of July.  This craft was also the perfect example of why our Pinterest Party was so great...we shared some of the supplies.  Have you ever seen a craft or project on Pinterest that you wanted to make but didn't want to buy a whole package of whatever for that one little bit or piece.  By pitching in and making these projects together we were able to make the most out of our supplies as well. 

Here is the link: No Sew Flag Shirt

I had a great time and I can't wait to do this again. 

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