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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Rock Candy Top and NTT

Happy Needle and Thread Thursday, friends.  This week, my sewing has definitely taken a bit of a back seat.  We're gearing up to go on vacation and that means lots of extra laundry and housework to take care of before we go.  My wild thing also got his learner's permit this week (which is both scary and exciting), and we've been doing plenty of driving practice.  With all of that going on, I feel like I've been working in slow motion, even though I have managed to get my latest quilt top put together.


I've decided to name this one Rock Candy, and I could stare at these colors and prints all day long (if I had the time, that is).  Though I have made many quilts using Amy Butler's fabrics, it has been awhile since I used them last, and there is no doubt- I still love them just as much.

I have the backing for this quilt all made and I've even basted it, but that's as far as I'll get before we leave for vacation.  That's okay though, she'll be waiting for me when I get back!

Okay friends, check out some of my favorite links from last week!  Maggie at Making A Lather shared her progress on this fantastic string quilt-


chrisknitssews linked up this kaleidoscope beauty!


Sew Preeti Quilts showed several of her quilts at a quilt show, including her Fire Pit quilt made from my book, Stash Statement!


And I LOVE this modern, graphic quilt by Kris at Sew Sunshine.  It's so neat!


Before we party, remember that NTT will be on vacation next week, 6/27, but the party will return the following week on 7/3.  So, you'll just get to link up double the projects then.  Let's get our party on!  :)

1You can link finished projects or WIP's , but just keep it about quilting and sewing!
2. Link to your specific post (not to your home page!) to make it easier for others.
3. Please remember to spread the word and post my button or a text link.  
4. Spread the comment love far and wide!
5. Following me is not a requirement to link, but is so very appreciated!

*If you're new to the party, here's a helpful tip for linking up- select "Auto Crop"  when selecting your thumbnail photo.  For some reason, trying to crop your own image results in the dreaded "white question mark box," and we definitely want to see your awesome work!  :)




Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Farewell Amy and NTT

Happy Needle and Thread Thursday, y'all!  Earlier this year, the quilting community learned that Amy Butler would no longer be designing fabric, and my just heart sank at the news.  If you've been a long time reader, you know that I love the bright, saturated colors and big, opulent prints in her fabrics and have made many quilts using them.  I've been quilting for close to 20 years, but the first quilt I made that I consider to be modern used the Soul Blossoms collection (about six months before I started my blog).  If you know another quilter that loves Amy's fabrics as much as I do, you should send her my way because I'm certain we should be friends.

So, when Free Spirit released a Farewell Amy Butler bundle, I snapped it up without hesitation.  And now that my scrap jars are completely empty, I have loved cutting into them (and adding a few others) for this brand new pattern.  Clearly, I am not one to hoard my precious fabrics.  They energize my creativity and I love them in a quilt much more than I could ever appreciate them on a shelf.  What about you?  Are you a precious fabric hoarder, or do you love to cut and use them up?  What's your special designer/collection?


Last weekend was birthday weekend for my son and me, so I've been working a little less hurriedly on this quilt, but even so, the top is almost done.  The blocks are all finished and I just have to put them together and add the sashing.

Before we get to the party, check out some of my favorite projects from last week, and since I don't have any really pretty outdoor photos of my own project to share yet, I'm including extra eye-candy.  Something Rosemade shared this gorgeous finish-


This finished Trinket quilt is by Lori at Crossquilt.  I had the pleasure of seeing this one in person at our guild meeting Sunday!


I love this one by Michelle at From Bolt to Beauty-


Rebecca Grace at Cheeky Cognoscenti linked up this beautiful finish.  So lovely!


This striking quilt is by Nancy at Grace and Peace Quilting-


Celine at Espritpatch shared this amazing scrappy rainbow quilt.  You know I'm a sucker for a rainbow!



And finally, I looooove this soothing mini by Jayne at Twiggy and Opal.  It makes me want to drop everything and head to the beach!


Wow!  I think I could have easily added several more, but I know you're ready to party.  Let's link up!

1You can link finished projects or WIP's , but just keep it about quilting and sewing!
2. Link to your specific post (not to your home page!) to make it easier for others.
3. Please remember to spread the word and post my button or a text link.  
4. Spread the comment love far and wide!
5. Following me is not a requirement to link, but is so very appreciated!

*If you're new to the party, here's a helpful tip for linking up- select "Auto Crop"  when selecting your thumbnail photo.  For some reason, trying to crop your own image results in the dreaded "white question mark box," and we definitely want to see your awesome work!  :)




Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Gossip Queen Texture and NTT

Happy Needle and Thread Thursday, friends!  I am so excited to share my finished Gossip Queen quilt today, and I am completely smitten with it.  You can read more about the origin of the fun name HERE.


Y'all, it's hard to tell in the photos, but this quilt has texture for daaaays.  I used six different 50 wt. Aurifil threads, blending the thread colors through the quilt.  It is quilted with a dense spiral design with four side swoops as I did on some of my color gradient minis (check out my yellow mini to get a really good look at the overall design on this quilt).  Getting the spiral centered and balanced on the quilt took some planning, but I love how it turned out.


On the back of the quilt, I used my leftover scraps in a mixed-color strip, along with a rich, berry purple tonal main fabric.  You can almost make out the distinct quilting lines in the photo of the backing.  


The whole goal of the photo shoot for this quilt was to show off the color and texture.  Getting the vibrant colors to show well was easy, but really capturing the texture was a little more difficult.  The improv piecing is so busy that although the texture shows up well in person, in a photo it just blends right in.  (ps- that is not a pucker in my backing, just a weird wrinkle where the quilt was folded)


To really show the texture, I had to take a photo indoors.  Those quilting lines are about 1/4" to 1/2" apart throughout the entire quilt.  Since I quilted this one with free-motion, the spacing and curve of the lines is organic, but I think the lack of perfect regularity really adds to the movement and charm of the quilt.


I set aside enough of my yellow scrap strips for a scrappy binding, and it blends right into the quilt without boxing the colors in.  I love that it just disappears!


If you're looking closely, you'll see that this binding is actually finished by hand (gasp!).  Unheard of for me, I know, but I love this quilt so much that I think I might enter it into shows, and I thought it deserved to be as perfect as possible. 

I really do hate hand sewing, so it's a good thing that I have a quilty BFF that doesn't mind it.  Barter is a beautiful thing, y'all.  Since I made the Louisiana and Tennessee home pillows, my friend has been wanting a Texas Home pillow, and she and I agreed to a little deal.  I made a Texas pillow for her in exchange for beautifully hand finishing the binding on my Gossip Queen quilt.  Win, win all around!


This color blending technique is SO much fun, and much easier than you might think.  It takes a little patience and planning, but the result is well worth it.


Since this technique uses the method from my book with just a little different execution, I've decided to add Using Scraps to Explore Color and Texture as a full-day class offering next year, in addition to the other classes from my book Stash Statement.  I've just started booking for 2020, so if your guild is looking for a fun, unique workshop, be sure to contact me soon for more info and reserve a date on my calendar!

Okie dokie!  Before we get our party on, let's check out some highlights from last week, shall we?  Look at this gorgeous plus quilt by Alison at Little Bunny Quilts.  Be sure you go check out all of the yummy quilting on this one.


I am all about scrappy texture (obviously), so I think this beauty by Katie Mae Quilts is just fantastic!


The transparency effect is so cool in this quilt by Anja Quilts-


And finally, this scrappy quilt by Sarah Goer Quilts is hot, hot, HOT!


Alright friends.  Let's link up!

1You can link finished projects or WIP's , but just keep it about quilting and sewing!
2. Link to your specific post (not to your home page!) to make it easier for others.
3. Please remember to spread the word and post my button or a text link.  
4. Spread the comment love far and wide!
5. Following me is not a requirement to link, but is so very appreciated!

*If you're new to the party, here's a helpful tip for linking up- select "Auto Crop"  when selecting your thumbnail photo.  For some reason, trying to crop your own image results in the dreaded "white question mark box," and we definitely want to see your awesome work!  :)




Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Sewing School Success

Happy Needle and Thread Thursday, y'all!  This weekend we visited family, and without a doubt, one of the highlights was teaching my niece to sew.  Not only did I gather up all of the tools she will need to sew things on her own, I also loaned a sewing machine to her, as well as two gallon bags full of scraps.  I wanted her first sewing experience to be successful and stress-free, so I did a little research ahead of time to find some fast and easy projects for us to put together.


This little pocket tissue holder is SO cute, and though it looks like the "piping" trim might be difficult, it is super easy.  I found the tutorial for it at Two Brown Birds, and the whole project took less than 30 minutes.  The main fabric is from Joel Dewberry's Heirloom collection (my very last scrap of it!)


She also made this great little key fob (tutorial from Woodberry Way).  I wasn't able to find 1.25" hardware locally as the tutorial suggests, so I had to adjust the fabric strip width to 2" to use one inch hardware instead.  I love the Bari J print with the pop of purple on the inside.


The final project that she made was this fun coaster for her bedroom.  This is my own tutorial HERE, and you just can't go wrong with an Anna Maria Horner floral.  Aside from getting comfortable with the actual act of sewing, I wanted to be sure to teach her how to use the machine itself.  So, she learned how to thread, wind and load the bobbin, change the needle and feet, change stitch speed/length/width, and even how to clean it.  After all of that was done, she had lots of fun playing with the decorative stitches, and even made another coaster (without my supervision), utilizing her favorite leaf stitch to put it together (I didn't get a photo of this one).

I love that she was confident enough to sew a project completely on her own, and that she really enjoyed digging through her "brand new" bags of scraps.  Everyone is back home, but my sister let me know that she has already taken my niece to purchase some fabric for a whole matching set of coasters, and she has made some plans to make some little gifts for friends.  My niece is incredibly artistic and creative, and I had a feeling she would enjoy sewing.  I am so glad I was right!

Before we get to the highlights from last week's party, I get to announce four winners from last week's sponsored giveaways!

The winner of the $25 gift certificate to LouLou's Fabric Shop is Laura, comment #38.

The winner of the $30 gift certificate to Shabby Fabrics is Lisa Marie, comment #12

The winners of the two charm packs (one pack each) from Fort Worth Fabric Studio are comments #70 and 54, Joni and KMSC.

Congratulations to all of you!  I'll be contacting you ASAP so you can receive your prizes!



Now that we've taken care of business, let's check out some of my very favorite projects from last week's NTT!  This quilt by Sew Preeti Quilts is called Oasis.  Love the soothing colors!


This beauty is by Sophie at Luna Lovequilts-


And this scrappy quilt by Something Rosemade is lots of fun!


Okay then friends!  Let's get our party going!

1You can link finished projects or WIP's , but just keep it about quilting and sewing!
2. Link to your specific post (not to your home page!) to make it easier for others.
3. Please remember to spread the word and post my button or a text link.  
4. Spread the comment love far and wide!
5. Following me is not a requirement to link, but is so very appreciated!

*If you're new to the party, here's a helpful tip for linking up- select "Auto Crop"  when selecting your thumbnail photo.  For some reason, trying to crop your own image results in the dreaded "white question mark box," and we definitely want to see your awesome work!  :)





Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Scrap Report and NTT

Happy Needle and Thread Thursday, friends!  Between my trip to visit the Fort Worth Modern Quilt Guild last weekend (which was awesome, by the way), and the craziness of the end of school, my Gossip Queen quilt is still in progress.  I can't wait to show it to you, but I want to really do it justice by waiting until it is completely finished.  Instead, I am happy to report that my scraps are officially GONE (with a couple of caveats).  Whoop!


See all of those jars?  Completely empty!  At the beginning of the year, they were each full to the brim, and if you're a regular reader, you know that I have been methodically emptying them, quilt by quilt.  In the interest of full disclosure, I do still have some Christmas fabric scraps, as well as a few white scraps (in the two black baskets) that I'll hold onto for small holiday projects in the future.

In case you missed any, here's a list of how each jar was emptied-

Woodwork- green and gray
Riptide- blue and aqua/teal
Princess Sugar Pie- pink and purple
Gossip Queen- red, orange, yellow

Plus, my color gradient mini quilts used a little bit of each color for a huge, happy studio wall display.  For each of these quilts, I used the improv piecing technique detailed in my book Stash Statement.  If you have a mountain of scraps (and what quilter doesn't?), check out my book for a fun way to bust through them, all while creating beautiful, unique quilts with some serious wow factor.  You can get your very own signed copy in my Etsy shop HERE, or you can find it on Amazon, Connecting Threads, or ask about it at your local quilt shop.  It's much easier than it looks and you CAN do this, I promise!

If you're counting, I listed nine color jars, but I actually have ten on my shelves.  Well, the tenth jar was filled with multicolored fabrics, and though I do love working with those, I have a different plan for them altogether.


This weekend, we're traveling to visit family, and while we're there, I'm going to teach my niece (age 15) to sew.  I have a sewing machine that was passed to me by a great aunt, and though it is a really lovely machine (an Elna Quilter's Dream, Eleanor Burns Edition), since it's not my primary machine I don't use it often.  This Elna is Swiss-made, and my great aunt was an avid quilter, but sadly, she didn't get to use this machine very much before she passed away (many years ago), so it has very low hours.  I had it serviced when I got it, and she really is like new.  A machine this nice really deserves to be used, so I'm going to let my niece use it for awhile to see if she enjoys sewing.

I gathered up all of of the extra tools and notions I could think of- ruler, rotary cutter, seam ripper, sewing machine needles, pins, thread snips, scissors, and thread.  I'm also including a big chunk of batting and... you guessed it!  Two gallon bags full of scrap fabric, containing the contents of my multicolor jar, plus some black and white scraps.

I found a few very simple projects to make with her, and then I'm sending her home with all of the things she will need to just play and have fun!  Did I forget anything?


The last few bits of scraps I have are in this pretty stack.  All of these fabrics are Anna Maria Horner, and I inherited them from a friend who was cleaning out.  There is a good amount of fabric in this stack, and I love AMH so much that I couldn't bear to mix them in with the others.  So, these scraps got put aside and I'll make something with them separately when we get back from our trip.  Stay tuned!

Okay friends!  Now that I've given you the rundown of everything going on here, it's time to share some of my favorite projects shared at last week's party.  Look at this stunner by Michelle at From Bolt to Beauty!


I love the unexpected pink background on this Elephant Parade quilt by Tanya Quilts in CO-


This soothing quilt is by Jan at The Colorful Fabriholic-


And the movement in this quilt, called Seafarer, by Susan at Quilt Fabrication is really amazing!


Wow friends! Y'all are amazing and I can't wait to see what you're working on this week.  Before you link up, be sure to visit my post from yesterday to enter the THREE amazing giveaways going on right now.  Okie dokie.  Let's do this!

1You can link finished projects or WIP's , but just keep it about quilting and sewing!
2. Link to your specific post (not to your home page!) to make it easier for others.
3. Please remember to spread the word and post my button or a text link.  
4. Spread the comment love far and wide!
5. Following me is not a requirement to link, but is so very appreciated!

*If you're new to the party, here's a helpful tip for linking up- select "Auto Crop"  when selecting your thumbnail photo.  For some reason, trying to crop your own image results in the dreaded "white question mark box," and we definitely want to see your awesome work!  :)




Tuesday, May 21, 2019

May Sponsor News and THREE Giveaways!

Hey there, friends!  Lately I've been doing the crazy dance of May, consumed with all things baseball and end of school related.  Though this post is a tiny bit later in the month than usual, rest assured that I have rounded up all of the best deals and giveaways from my very fave shops, just in time to kick off summer with some Memorial Day fabric splurging.



Let's kick off this post with the first of three giveaways.  At LouLou's Fabric Shop, they're having a HUGE moving sale!  You can use the code moving at checkout to get 25% off of your entire order through May 22nd.  



After that, LouLou's has extended a special 20% off coupon to my readers through May 28th!  Just use the code memorial at checkout to take advantage of that fantastic offer.









This month, LouLou's is also generously offering a $25 gift certificate to spend in the shop for one lucky winner.  Keep reading to find out how to enter!



LouLou’s Fabric Shop



Next up is Lady Belle Fabric, where Maureen Cracknell's newest collection, Mystical Land is in the shop and ready for you.  What gorgeous colors and prints!
Lady Belle Fabric


One of my new favorite places to browse in Lady Belle is their last chance section.  There are so many treasures to be found there, including plenty of out of print collections, like this Tula Pink Eden bundle.


I also want to take a minute to remind you that Lady Belle also offers quilting services as a new(ish) extension of their business.  You can check out all of the details HERE.








Something big is coming to Shabby Fabrics!  They are hosting their very first sew along with this fantastic North Pole Sampler, using Moda's Snow Day fabrics!  I know it seems early to start thinking about next Christmas, but the folks at Shabby Fabrics will help you make sure this adorable quilt is ready in plenty of time for snuggling when the time is right.


Starting in September, each week, join Jen as she teaches you how to sew a different block.  This is a great skill builder pattern, and perfect even for beginners!  You can find all of the details and instructions for getting ready for this sew along HERE, including reserving your quilt kit (or choose your own fabrics)!

Shabby Fabrics
Shabby Fabrics is kindly sponsoring the second giveaway this month.  One winner will receive a $30 gift certificate to the shop.  Woohoo!




Last, but certainly not least is Fort Worth Fabric Studio, where they have a special May Bash clearance section right now.  
The items in this section are a whopping 35% off through May 28th with the code MAYBASH35.
Fort Worth Fabric Studio is also generously offering our final giveaway.  TWO US winners will each receive a charm pack of the super cute All Weather Friend collection.  Aren't these fabrics perfect for summer?
                Fort Worth Fabric Studio





To enter all three giveaways, leave a single comment on this post, and then head over to these amazing shops to take advantage of the amazing things happening right now.

If you are not in the US, please let me know!  Remember to leave an email address if you're a no-reply blogger, and only one entry per person please!  Unfortunately, replies to your own comment counts as an entry (the system numbers those, too), so remember to put your email address in your comment if necessary.


Additional replies/comments/entries are always deleted.  I'll announce the winners at NEXT week's NTT (May 29th).  Happy shopping and good luck!  :)


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