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At breakfast yesterday...
Me: We're going to a quilt show this afternoon.
DD: Mooooom, I don't like quilt shows! They're boring.
Me: Well, sometimes I think what you want to do is boring, but I do it anyway because I love you. Today you have to do what I want because you love me. That's compromising.
DD: Mom, what do I even do that's boring?
Me: Well, I think going to the playground is kind of boring, but --
DD: The playground is NOT boring! You can run around and climb on stuff!
Me: Yeah, but I'm too big to fit on everything, so mostly I just have to watch you have fun.
DD: Ohh... so today I have to watch you have fun instead?
And did I have fun? Yes. The kids were surprisingly well behaved, but I hope that it wasn't just primarily a lesson in compromise, and perhaps instead more the planting of a tiny seed that my daughters look back on twenty years from now when they think "hmm... maybe I should get a sewing machine like mom...."
Yesterday I attended Maine Quilts 2013. I had my toddler in a sling and my four year old by the hand, and thus reluctantly decided to leave the camera in the car. While I really wish I had lots of glossy snapshots to share here, I can assure you that between the crowds and wanting to keep the pace moving, I probably would not have had any more great pics to post even if the camera had made the tour. You'll have to take my word for it that there were many gorgeous quilts on hand, and that there were not one, but in fact TWO sparkly carousel horse quilts, which were my four year old's favorites. My favorite was Mustard by Betsy Cannan, a gorgeous yellow and white modern piece with linear quilting; I've been really obsessed with yellow lately, and I adore modern, so it was right up my alley. I scoured the interwebs in search of a pic to link here, but can't find one anywhere. I did, however, find that Betsy is the president of Maine Modern Quilters, the Modern Quilt Guild's local chapter. No wonder I loved her quilt!
If not having free hands for photography was the downside to bringing the kids, the upside was that I couldn't spend a lot of money shopping! (Even from 400 miles away, there's an audible sigh of relief from my husband as I type this). I couldn't leisurely browse fat quarters and notions, so I managed to leave with credit card practically unscathed, save two really cute panels pictured below that I just couldn't pass up.
Nina Seven's Holiday Sparkle for Wilmington Prints that I purchased from Mainely Sewing. This is new fabric, and I can't find a completed one to show you anywhere online, but there was one done up at the show and it was cute! The numbers on the right get attached as a pocket for each day. Here's a snap of it up on my design wall - it'll be perfect assembled and hanging in my red/grey/black accented living room come Christmas : )
Laurie Wisbrun's Bright and Buzzy for Robert Kaufman that I purchased from Fiddlehead Artisan Supply (they had lots of beautiful organic cottons and linen blends - it took so much restraint!). I thought this would be a fun addition to the girls' room... but knowing how many projects I have in queue right now, it's probably a lot more likely this'll be hanging over the new baby's crib someday when we aren't a waiting family anymore : )
I have to give a shout out to Searsport Rug Hooking while I'm mentioning vendors. I've been looking for unique and richly colored wool to make doll capes from Santa for Christmas and they had the most beautiful selection of hand dyed solid and patterned wool at their booth! With great regret, I had to walk away empty-handed because it would've ruined the illusion if I'd bought anything with two extra sets of eyes along, but I will be making a special trek to their store at some point this fall because their selection was awesome. Their website doesn't do justice to what they have to offer - if you hook or make penny rugs, you should try to find them at a show or visit their store off the beaten path on Verona Island in Maine.
Finally, a quick thanks to Christa Quilts! I was a winner in her weekly giveaway last week - I won a Scissor Pal so I can keep track of my shears at the next class I attend. I think the spool of thread is my favorite - which one is yours?
I'm chugging along with a few classes on Craftsy (all free! so I encourage others looking to build their quilting skills to check them out). The BOM classes that I talked about in my last post are great, but I started a new one that I simply have to shout about: the QuiltCon Lecture Series 2013 is awesome! No matter what kind of work you do with textiles, Amy Butler's "Creating Your Unique Color Story" is a must watch - her discussion of color and the creative process are both delightful and insightful. I also really enjoyed Heather Jones' "Everyday Inspiration in Modern Quilts" and sketched two new designs while I listened to her speak. For anyone who loves quilting but couldn't attend The Modern Quilt Guild's QuiltCon this past winter (you know, most of us out there ; ) this free series is such a great resource!
As for BOM progress, here's my adaptation of the February block using the partial seams technique from the 2013 class taught by Laura Nownes (the color is really off, though, and I don't seem to be able to get it right on camera... it's a bit lighter, more true orange and less red than it looks here).
So I've started both the Craftsy BOM 2013 taught by Laura Nownes, as well as the Craftsy BOM 2012 taught by Amy Gibson. While I like Amy's block choices better and could see myself using more of them in my quilting, I have to admit that the teaching by Laura is much more in depth and helpful, especially for anyone new to quilting and its lingo (and judging by the commentary feeds, she was probably encouraged to go into so much detail because of all the questions and confusion during the 2012 class). Check out my completed 2013 January blocks!
One great tip in the January tutorial is about using a guide to get your scant quarter right when you piece, since sewing machines can vary greatly in the accuracy of their markings. By nature, I'm more of an eyeballer when it comes to cooking and sewing (ironic for someone who's a perfectionist in other arenas, but at least when it comes to cooking dinner, I'm usually in too much of a rush to bother with measuring cups while the troops are mutinying). I am realizing that I really need to take a little more time for accuracy as I start planning more detailed blocks; to accomplish a more uniform look when I'm sewing pieces for my business, and to save time squaring up on the back end of the project.
I went ahead and ordered the Perfect Piecing Seam Guide like Laura suggests. (The best price I could find including shipping was from Sewing with Treadles on Etsy - it came faster than my Amazon prime order!) It turns out that the line on my machine's quarter inch foot is accurate, but I liked the idea of setting up a guide "bumper" and the seam guide makes that really easy, so it's a very helpful tool (plus, it doubles as a four inch ruler). Laura uses a little stack of Post-It Note tabs in the tutorial, but I ordered the Q-Tools Sewing Edge to stick down and so far, I love it! It's removable and repositionable like the sticky notes, but also transparent, so I was able to leave it in place when I had to quickly switch gears and stitch something with a wider seam in the middle of my piecing project. Below I've outlined these two new tools of mine in case you want to give them a try yourself!
Ooh - but really quick side note first - guess who's "sew summer" version of the Miette skirt was featured on the pattern maker's blog today? Yep - mine! I'm so delighted and flattered that Tilly and the Buttons liked my fabric choice, and it's cool to see all the beautiful designs that others created, as well! Thanks for the great pattern, Tilly!
Ok, now back to quilting... : )
When It Rains, It Pours...
I've been a little frustrated this week since getting home from vacation because I feel like I'm stuck in first gear. I came home excited to hit my sewing machine with some new ideas percolating, but had to tackle unpacking and laundry and fridge restocking first. Then my toddler went on a sleep strike - so by default, I'm on a sleep strike, too >: ( And then my car decided to give me trouble, which means I just lost this morning to the repair shop. (As a military spouse, it's a given that your car only dies when your soldier is away, so I guess I can't even feign surprise about this latest development and I probably should have seen it coming!)
I did order a bunch of new supplies, though, and while I wait for those to arrive, I signed up for two BOM classes on Craftsy. So while I can't quite yet dive into the projects I want to tackle, and my time has been fractured and sleep-deprived, at least I'm starting some blocks that will be great skill builders!
Since I haven't made anything exciting since getting home, here are my daughters' new travel pillow cases that I commandeered my mom's machine to make when we were visiting last week. They've always had soft flannel cases, but in last week's insane heat and staying somewhere with no air conditioning, I felt sorry for the poor kids and whipped these out. Double bonus: they didn't pick girly princess prints, so I got a nice little break from so much pink!
nap mats to be... one inspired by that new Vikings show!
Just got home from vacation (and four frustrating days offline thanks to my laptop's keyboard dying!) to find an email from Tilly of Tilly and the Buttons asking me to submit a little blurb about the skirt I made with her Miette pattern for an upcoming blog post of hers, plus a request from a friend to order one of my nap mats! I did a quick little back flip about my blog actually being read : D and then I got right to work adding up materials' costs so I could start pricing. Last week I picked up some cute new fabrics at Tumbleweed to create nap mats for my shop, but having an actual order to fill was just what I needed to come home and get straight back to business!
And on that note, I'd love if you'd follow my blog over on Bloglovin!
(Oh, and if you don't already know about the talented Stella of Stella Reynoso Photography, hop as "squeee-ly" as you can over to her site right now and check out her amazing work!)
Greetings from sunny -- err -- stormy Cape Cod. It hasn't exactly been beach weather since we arrived, but if you know me, you know I'm not really a big fan of the beach anyway. Regardless of thunder, we're having a great time visiting with family, catching up with friends, and eating lobster - yum! Plus, rainy days are perfect for playing tourist. When I found myself sans children for an entire afternoon (thank you, grandparents : ) I decided to "pamper" myself... with a trip to the quilt shop to browse without time limit or whiny voices. And it was glorious!
Though the staff are not the friendliest bunch, Tumbleweed Quilt Shop in Barnstable MA is still my favorite local quilt store, and as long as you know your own way around fabric, you won't be disappointed. They have an extensive assortment of books (including foreign language patterns), a fabulous array of 1930s prints, lots of designer collections (fleshed out my 2wenty Thr3e camera fabric set), a large variety of flannel (I'm always on the lookout for adorable and unique receiving blanket and Santa pj motifs), batiks, Kona solids, notions galore - pretty much anything and everything and all with an excellent range of selection. What Tumbleweed lacks in warm "glad to have you back" charm (oh, how I miss thee, Quilt & Sew at Golden Threads of Trenton, Kentucky!), it more than makes up for in quality and variety.
Then today my mom had to pick up her sewing machine after having it serviced at Murray's Fabrics in Orleans MA, so I tagged along and added just a few more things to my "vacation stash." They carry a very limited selection of fabric (that runs a bit pricey even for locally), but lots of notions and sewing machine accessories for Janome and Husqvarna Viking, in addition to servicing many types of machines.
So even though vacation is going swimmingly, with new fabrics for projects in my arms, I'm sort of anxious now to get back home and sew!