Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild Sew-In

The Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild held our first Sew-In of the year at The Centennial Barn, our group's new home. I have always wanted to quilt inside of a barn, and today I got the chance. And although it might sound a bit corny, it really felt like home.

Our group worked in a second-floor loft area, which was set up with plenty of table space and room to spread out.

The Barn was built in 1898 and was renovated in 2010. It's located on a 35-acre parcel of land that is part of the St. Clare Convent which is run by the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, who could not be more kind, generous, and accommodating to our group.

Here are a few shots of the exterior of the Barn, which is constructed from brick and has an adorable green metal roof. It was way too cloudy today to get many good photos!

I bet this view will be beautiful in the spring and summer.

The renovation of the Barn was done extremely well, and I especially love that so many of the it's original features have been kept intact. There are tons of exposed beams and rafters throughout the interior.

There are tons of exposed brick walls inside too. Don't you just love the pattern of this arched section?

And the cutest barn doors you've ever seen.

Our monthly meetings will be held in this large room on the first floor.

We'll have plenty of room to gather and we even have a flat screen tv and dvd player available for our use, which will be great for presentations, speakers, or even a couple of chick flicks during our next Sew-In. ;)

There are more original beams and moldings in our room.

And the cutest little windows.

There is even an attached kitchenette that we can use during our meetings.

The CMQG meets monthly, on the second Wednesday of the month, from 7-9 pm. Our next meeting will be on March 9th, and if you're in the area, we'd love to have you join us! Feel free to email me for more information, or check out or group's website or Facebook page.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Modern Quilting with Denyse Schmidt

I was browsing Craft this evening and I came across this video of Denyse Schmidt, on her new line of quilts for Pottery Barn. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I'm a big fan of Denyse and her work, so I was so excited to hear her speak about Modern Quilt design and I wanted to share this video with you.

I really love how Denyse talks about the history of quilts and the mixing of traditional with modern, as well as the social aspect of quilting. This tradition continues today, as there are branches of the Modern Quilt Guild popping up all over the country, including the one I started in my home town. We've been meeting for almost a year now, and we have such a great group of women. If you're in the Cincinnati area, we'd love to have you join us. You can learn more about our group on our blog and our Facebook page.

Edited to add: If you're interested in joining a branch of the Modern Quilt Guild in your area, please check out the current list of cities that have one on the MQG's site. And if there isn't one, you can always start-up your own!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Olivia's birthday doll and quilt

February is birthday month around here! My husband's is the 20th, my grandma's is the 12th, and my sweet baby Olivia's was back on the 3rd. She turned three this year! It's so amazing how quickly time goes by, especially since having children.

Olivia has really been playing with dolls a lot lately, so I wanted to make her one for her birthday. As soon as I saw the new Jean pattern by Bit of Whimsy Dolls, I knew that she'd be perfect for Olivia. And I love her vintage look!

We found a vintage doll crib on craigslist a while ago, and with a little work and a new coat of paint, it became the perfect accessory to the doll. I used Amy Schimler's Kitty Cats on a Whim in Summer as the dress and skirt for the doll, because Olivia adores kitties and the color pink.

I used yellow wool felt for her hair.

And green wool felt for her sweet little shoes.

I embroidered the features on her face and gave her just a bit of pink blush for rosy cheeks.

I also made a simple patchwork quilt for the doll, with lots of bright scraps. I quilted it with a free-motion meandering pattern.

Olivia absolutely loves her doll. And true to form, she even bestowed her with an unforgetable name: Ramen. As in the noodles. Even though we never eat them. I really don't know where she comes up with some of this stuff, but Olivia certainly has a mind of her own!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

an inspired mini-quilt

My husband's birthday is today and one gift I gave him is a small quilt that I just finished. He's a minimalist painter and has been a fan of Denyse Schmidt since I introduced him to her work. He especially loves this quilt that was included in her recent exhibition at the University of Bridgeport.

(photo of Denyse's Hope as the Anchor of the Soul, Mount Lebanon Series, Quilt #3 courtesy of Heide at

So, I wanted to make him something that was a a bit influenced by Denyse's work, and also inspired by his paintings, like this one.

This is what I came up with.

It's a small, improvisational block, made entirely of solid cottons. The main color, backing, and binding is Kona Ready to Dye (which I accidentally picked up at Jo-Ann's, thinking it was Kona Snow), the darker greyish color is Moda Bella in Weathered Teak, the lighter grey is Bella Stone, and the blue is Bella Blue Raspberry. I really love how these colors work together.

It's quilted with quarter-inch vertical lines, and it's been washed and dried to get the yummy, crinkly texture that I love so much.

I think this little blue square is kind of fun, too.

And remember that I told you the quilt is improvisational? It totally is...while I was quilting it, there was apparently a scrap piece of batting that was stuck to the back of the quilt.

I didn't notice it at all while I was sewing, and it's now attached by thirteen rows of stitches. I showed it to to Jeff and told him that I could try to cut it out or rip the stitches, but he said it didn't bother him at all. Besides, he's going to hang this in his office at school, so nobody will ever see it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Inspired to Sew winner

Thank you to all of you who entered to win the signed copied of Bari J's new book Inspired to Sew. I used the random number generator and the winner is lucky number 22.

Number 22 was Rebecca, who said:

Rebecca has already been contact by email, and I'll get the book out to her right away. It looks like it's headed to Australia, by the way!

Thank you again to everyone who entered, and keep your eyes open for more giveaways!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

a very dr seuss birthday

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a friend of mine who wanted me to make her son a special outfit for his upcoming second birthday. As soon as she told me that the theme of the party was Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat, I knew I had to make something for him out of Robert Kaufman's Dr. Seuss line of fabric. And here's what I came up with.

I started with the Turquoise Cat in the Hat fabric, and I chose Michael Miller's That's It Dot in Cherry as the contrasting cuffs on the lounge pants.

For the appliqued shirt, I drew a hat design similar to the one worn by the Cat and placed it onto a large number two.

I used solid red and white cotton fabrics for the hat with contrasting black stitching, and the Cat fabric for the number. I think the black thread makes the hat just pop!

I hear that Brady loved his birthday outfit! And while I would love to be able to offer this design to my customers, unfortunately the Dr. Seuss fabrics are for private use only, so I can't. But, I'm really pleased with how it came out and I wanted to share it with you all!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

inspiration comes from the strangest places

At least it does for me, sometimes. Like, remember the Wal-mart parking lot? This time inspiration struck me the other morning while I was catching up on Brothers & Sisters, watching it on hulu, early in the morning while I was working on some orders.

This scene in particular. No, not the couple kissing, but the doorway (or screen?) behind them. So, I stopped what I was doing, hit the pause button, grabbed my sketchbook, a pencil, and a couple of markers, and drew up a quick design. Now I just need to find the time to translate it from the sketchbook into fabric.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

{ what a day! }

In the last 24 hours, the latest version of my Yield quilt was featured on two amazing blogs, Modern Day Quilts and Fat Quarterly. Wowza! It's really such an honor to me to be included on those sites.

Thank you to Heather, of Modern Day Quilts, for finding my work on flickr and liking it enough to include it in both places. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

If you haven't checked out both blogs, you really must. Modern Day Quilts showcases a different modern quilt everyday, so be sure to visit daily for a dose of inspiration. Fat Quarterly is an incredible e-zine that is published four times a year. I've purchased every issue, and am proud to say that I am now an annual subscriber, as of last month. It's a great source for modern sewing and quilting projects, interviews with designers, and lots of great tips and information.

Friday, February 11, 2011

{ inspired to sew by bari j and a giveaway! }

You know how much I love happy mail, right? Well, I received another fun package a couple of weeks ago--Inspired to Sew by Bari J. It's such a beautiful book, filled with tons of inspirational photos in Bari's signature style, full of color and texture, and a fun mix of vintage charm with modern style.

There are a total of fifteen projects in the book and here are a few of my favorites.

I love this sweet little Flower Brooch. Now I just need to find some yummy, vintage ribbon so I can make my own!

And is this not the cutest apron that you have ever seen?! I really love the petals, and I think this would be a great project to use up scraps. Think of all the fun fabric combinations you could make with this apron!

I love the Sweet Home Chicago quilt and pillow pattern. Look at the little row houses! And I'm a sucker for ruffle edging, too. Wouldn't this set be adorable for a little girl's, or even a big girl's, bed?

And look at this applique! This is Bari's signature style of fabric collage that she's so well known for. In Inspired to Sew, Bari shares her tips on this technique, plus everything from crazy quilting, patchwork piecing, garment sewing, free-motion quilting, mitered borders, embroidery stitches, and more.

So, are you ready for your own copy? Guess what? I've got a signed copy for you to win!

To enter, just become a follower of my blog, and then come back and leave a comment on this post letting me know. If you're already a follower of by blog { I thank you! }, just leave a comment below stating that.

The winner will be drawn using the random number generator, next Friday, Feb. 18, 2011. International entries are welcome. Good luck!

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