Monday, July 30, 2012

100 Quilts for Kids

You've all heard about 100 Quilts for Kids, right? 100 Quilts for Kids is an annual charity quilt drive co-hosted by Katie Blakesley of Swim, Bike, Quilt and the DC Modern Quilt Guild.  The idea is simple: 

Make a quilt or 2. Donate it to a child in need, locally if you can.

Enjoy a blog hop that runs from July 2-September 25, 2012, complete with inspiration and mini prizes. 

Join in on a 100 Quilts for Kids Quilt Along (Kick-off post on July 15 at Swim, Bike, Quilt)

Have a chance to win great prizes from sponsors, including Moda, Fat Quarter Shop, Westwood Acres, Rowan , Free Spirit, and Ty Pennington Impressions, among others that will shortly be announced.

Spread the word to family and friends!

Smile, knowing you used your skills for good. 

Swim, Bike, Quilt
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Swim, Bike, Quilt"><img src="" alt="Swim, Bike, Quilt" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

We would love your help getting the word out. Just copy and paste the code above and paste it into your sidebar, or blog post.  Tweet. Instagram. Facebook. You know the drill. Thanks!

For my stop on the 100 Quilts for Kids, I wanted to share with you my most recent tutorial for an improv log cabin quilt. You can find the entire tutorial with step-by-step instructions on the Riley Blake blog

For my quilt, I used fabrics from the brand new line Willow by Riley Blake, but I think this quilt would look amazing in so many different other colors and patterns too. Personally, I'd like to make it in some solids, with lots of different pops of colors. 

This project is great to use for a charity quilt because it comes together really quickly. It's one of those patterns where you can just start creating blocks, one at a time, almost mindlessly, and they look great, really no matter what fabrics you use. You can use any of your favorite fabrics, and it's also a great way to use up scraps. If you choose to use the same fabric for the last tier of the blocks, like I did, you don't even need to worry about sashing or borders. Just put the finished blocks together and you're done with the top!

Thanks Katie for inviting me to be part of the 100 Quilts for Kids blog hop. Be sure to stop by all of the other participants as well!

July 2: Lynne @ Lily’s Quilts

July 16: Lee @ Freshly Pieced

July 23: Katy @ Monkey Do
Erin @ Sewing Summit

July 30: Dana @ Old Red Barn Co
Heather @ Olive & Ollie

August 6: Jessica @ Twin Fibers
Holly @ Bijou Lovely

August 13: Leigh @ Leedle Deedle Quilts
Heather & Megan @ Quiltstory 

August 20: Melissa @ Happy Quilting 

August 27: Jeni @ In Color Order
Miranda @ One Little Minute

September 3: Ellen @ The Long Thread 
Faith @ Fresh Lemons Quilts

September 10: Elizabeth @ Oh, Frannson!
Anne Marie @ Gen X Quilters

September 17 Cheryl @ Dining Room Empire
Jane @ Quilt Jane

September 24: Angela @ Moda Home Mom
September 25: Sara @ Sew Sweetness

Thursday, July 26, 2012

heaven on earth

I think I found it...

guest post--how to organize your messy sewing room on a budget by Kate Sorenson of Coupon Cravings

Today I'd like to welcome Kate Sorenson of CouponCravings who is here to share some money saving tips and tricks to help organize your sewing room, on a budget.

Quilt Room Savings: Organizing Your Mess

Quilting can be an expensive hobby. Sites like provide money-saving coupons and advice to help you cut costs on even the priciest pastime. With yards of fabric, thread, and sewing tools to purchase, there always seems to be something more that you need to buy. What’s more, all of these supplies have to be stored somewhere. It’s not uncommon for quilters to find themselves with a mess in their quilting space that makes it difficult to do what they love: quilt. So how can you organize your mess without spending a lot of money on expensive organizing tools? Here are a few tips that are also easy on your wallet.

·             Use prescription bottles to organize your smaller quilting supplies. asked their readers to share what their favorite tip was for organizing their quilting supplies. One reader’s response was for quilters to utilize old prescription medication bottles. Instead of just tossing them, use them to store things like bobbins, pins, and needles. You’ll save money you might have spent at the craft or container store on smaller storage systems. You can also keep a bottle dedicated to bent pins that you no longer can use. When it’s full, just throw it out.

·             Don’t buy expensive crafting furniture. explains that you can make use of an old desk you already have for a sewing table. Cut a hole in the top of the desk that you can lower your sewing machine into. Then, for a flat sewing surface, add a plastic template. Use a basic table for a cutting surface. If it is too short, you can raise the height by placing paint cans under the table legs.

·             Save your scraps for later use. According to, you should make use of as many of your scraps as possible. Chances are you may have spent nine dollars or more per yard of fabric. If you throw away your scraps once you’ve cut out your quilting squares, you’re throwing money away. But you don’t want to just have piles of scraps lying around the house. Keep a basket near your cutting table to put scraps into to keep your space clear. Then, when you are done cutting, transfer them to a covered, cardboard box to keep them contained until you are ready to deal with them.

Some people may find that their quilting projects leave a mess behind them. But organizing this mess doesn’t have to take a chunk out of your monthly budget. Just make use of what you already have on hand and you can clear the clutter, leaving a nice, clean space for your next project.

Thank you, Kate! For more money saving tips, please visit Kate at

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

headed to the lake for a break

I'm hitting the road bright and early for a girls trip to a lake in Tennessee. I'm really looking forward to some R&R and making memories with some great friends. I've got some fun posts scheduled to share with you while I'm gone, and I'm planning on taking lots of pics to share with you when I get back!

The photo above is one that I took today while on the way home from a local farmers market. It's of a pair of two red tail hawks. Can you spot the second one? He (or she??) is in between the two branches in the lower left hand side of the image. I could watch them fly all day....

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

my newest project for Riley Blake : the willow improv log cabin quilt

Go check out the Riley Blake Designs blog to see my newest project for their design team! It's a tutorial for an improv log cabin quilt featuring their new line, Willow.

I really love the soft, low volume hues of this line.

The grey and pink seed print, which is called Pink Willow Leaves, is one of my favorites. And the herringbone good. 

I hope you enjoy it! I'd love to see your versions of this project too, so please share them with me if you make one for yourself! Willow will be available to purchase at your local quilt shops next month!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DS Quilts Collection Quilters Quarters

Have you seen these yet? They are pure genius...a panel that contains four different coordinating prints, each the size of a fat quarter (approximately 18" x 22"). They are designed by DS Quilts and are available at your big box fabric retailer. 

I found mine in the small precut section of the store, but these are not precut. As I said above, these are panels, but as you can see, there are dotted lines to cut between each print. 

Pretty cool, huh? My local store had four different panels, but I only picked up these two. I tried to show a bit of self restraint, although I must admit, it was kind of hard to do that. I really wanted them all!

Monday, July 16, 2012

our improv day with Faith

On Saturday, the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild hosted Faith Jones of Fresh Lemons Quilts for a workshop on improv piecing. Here's Faith with the class sample she made. So fun, right?

I really love the mix of solids with the cross hatch print. I think I need to get some of that for myself.

Faith started the class by giving an overview on how to construct an improv log cabin block.

Here are some more sample blocks she made. I really like the various neutrals mixed with solid and print colors. 

Then it was time for us to get to work. Here's the work table of Nancy, Teresa, and Lisa. I really loved their blocks!

I stitched away for a few uninterrupted hours. It was really nice to have some time to work on something fun for me. That doesn't happen too much these days so I eagerly worked, cutting and stitching, building blocks up as they came to me.

And soon my little pile grew to five large sized finished log cabin blocks. 

Faith show us a couple of ways we could arrange our finished blocks, either as staggered columns....

or in a nine-patch design. 

In the end, I used four of my blocks, and arranged them like this. I had never made log cabins in this style before, that is with the colors on one side and the neutrals on the other. It was fun, and I'm pleased with my result, although I think I like my improv log cabins to be a little less thought out, if that makes sense. I think I'm going to finish this off and turn it into a throw pillow.

Thanks again Faith, for the workshop. It was great to spend some time with you!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

getting ready to improv

I'm getting ready to spend the day with the girls from the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild for a day of improv with Faith Jones of Fresh Lemon Quilts. Here are the fabrics that I'm taking with me: a jelly roll of Kona solids, a charm pack of Pezzy Prints, a few Denyse Schmidt prints, some Riley Blake chevrons, and a bunch of solids. I can't wait to see what we all come up with!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

And the winner of GenQ mag is...

I'm sorry for the delay in finishing up my giveaway of the inaugural issue of GenerationQ magazine. So, without further ado, the winner is...

lucky number 14, Gwen...

Congratulations, Gwen! I'm off to email you now for your address. Thank you to all who entered and for the great folks at GenerationQ magazine!

Monday, July 9, 2012

I'm a speaker at QuiltCon!

I'm so incredibly excited to finally be able to tell you about this little bit of news, which is actually quite big news in all actuality! I am a speaker at QuiltCon, the inaugural conference of the Modern Quilt Guild, where I'll be lecturing about Everyday Inspiration in Modern Quilts on Thursday, February 21. To be included in such amazing company is beyond words to me and I'm completely humbled to be a part of it.

There are some incredible lectures and workshops that are being offered at QuiltCon and you can view the entire schedule as a pdf here Registration opens August 30, and I expect a lot of the lectures and workshops to fill up quickly, so don't delay to sign up as soon as you can. The folks behind the scenes have done so much work to make it affordable for everyone to attend, and there are many different options for tickets levels for both the workshops and the lectures. Additionally, there will be a juried quilt show, which you can enter between August 1 and November 30, 2012, and there will be two special exhibits as well: Denyse Schmidt Quilts and Modern Historical Quilts curated by Ellen Rushman. Sounds pretty amazing, right? I can't wait to see you there!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

join me at Quilting with Machines

I've got exciting news to share with you! I'll be teaching this fall at the Quilting with Machines quilt show at the Sawmill Creek Resort and Conference Center in Huron, Ohio September 19-22. I'm so excited and honored to have been asked to take part in the show. I'm teaching one workshop class and giving three lectures so it will be jammed packed for me, but I'm really looking forward to it. My workshop is Basic Improv Quilting, and my three lectures are a Q&A session on Modern Quilting, Everyday Inspiration in Modern Quilts, and Integrating Traditional with Modern Design

For more information on my classes, please click on the links above, or shoot me an email. Looking forward to seeing you in September!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Design Your Life Retreat

 I can't believe it's been a week since I attended the Design Your Life Retreat weekend in Granville, Ohio. To say it was an amazing time would be an understatement. It was really kind of magical.

I didn't take too many photographs of what happened during the actual workshop, since most of the time we were working out or spending time writing in our journals or sharing our dreams, so most of these pics are from the rest of the time we all spent together that weekend. Except this one...

I was cracking up that my sister Katie brought a Budweiser towel to use to wipe the sweat off her brow. And sweat, we did. Granville was hit by a Derecho, which is a crazy straight line wind storm, the night before the retreat. The 80 mile an hour winds knocked out the power to the whole town, but the retreat still went on. And I think the fact that we had no electricity made the weekend even more special.

After Saturday's session we walked into town for dinner and saw this incredible aftermath of the storm. The top of the huge pine tree snapped off in the windstorm and was laying on the sidewalk. 

This is the rest of the tree, to give you an idea of just how big it was.

But in the midst of all of the storm damage was this beautiful sanctuary... 

which has the most amazing light.

And I have to share Taco Dan's with you, which was the only restaurant in the town that had power, thanks to a generator. Taco Dan's is a fantastic little place tucked in the kitchen of a house that doubles as an amazing vintage shop, and it became our go-to for lunch and dinner during our weekend in Granville. You can see on the left side of the photo above where you order. That's my sister Katie again talking with Barb, Dan's wife who owns the vintage business portion of the shop.

Katie found the most amazing vintage dress there. Even though I tried to convince her that she needed to buy it, she passed it up. I think it would have looked amazing with some aqua cowboy boots, right?

While we were waiting for our lunch on Sunday we spent some time perusing old cookbooks. And now we know what the Next-Best-Thing to Robert Redford is.

It was really an adventure, and I'm most grateful for my new (and not so new) friends and soul sisters, Heidi, April, Katie, Margo, Hildie, and Amy, and everyone else who took part in the weekend. Thank you especially to Hildie and Amy who organized the event, and went through with it in spite of the storm and power outage. Your kindness, compassion, creativity, and enthusiasm is awe-inspiring.

For more information on Hildie and the Handel Group Life Coaching, please visit her site on the Handel Group's page here.  For more information on IntenSati, please visit their site here.

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