Friday, August 31, 2012

craft book month at craft buds!

Back-to-school season means its time to hit the books. Craft books, that is! We love craft books for their inspiration, stunning photography and crisp, glossy pages. Hard covers or soft, we just love craft books, and we know you do, too!

All month long in September, our friends at Craft Buds will celebrate sewing, quilting and all kinds of craft books by shining the spotlight on new releases, interviewing authors and editors who make the magic happen and giving you a chance to win.

Blog Hop

Week One
Sunday 9/2: Hopeful Threads / The Jolly Jabber
Monday 9/3: Stitchery Dickory DockMe Sew Crazy
Tuesday 9/4: Olive & OllieSew Sweetness
Wednesday 9/5: Fabric SeedsThe Busy Bean
Thursday 9/6: CraftFoxesStitched In Color
Friday 9/7: Katie's KornerA Prairie Sunrise

Week Two
Sunday 9/9: Sweet Diesel Designsmissknitta's studio
Monday 9/10: Sew TaraClover and Violet
Tuesday 9/11: Sew Fantasticamylouwho
Wednesday 9/12: Projektownia JednoiglecTwo More Seconds
Thursday 9/13: Ellison Lane QuiltsDon't Call Me Betsy
Friday 9/14: Live a Colorful LifeLRstitched

Week Three
Sunday 9/16: Fairy Face DesignsCanoe Ridge Creations
Monday 9/17: Inspire Me GreyFreshly Pieced
Tuesday 9/18: Lindsay SewsThe Cute Life
Wednesday 9/19: The Littlest ThistleSew Crafty Jess
Thursday 9/20: Urban Stitchesimagine gnats
Friday 9/21: Sew Bittersweet DesignsThe Plaid Scottie

Week Four
Link up your craft book project at Craft Buds from Sept 23-30 from your blog or Flickr account, and enter to win prizes. Winners will be announced on Monday, October, 1!

To participate in the month-long contest, just link up any project you've made from a pattern in a craft book. That easy! You'll tell us a little about the book, the project, how you personalized it, etc.


1) One entry per person.

2) Your craft book project must have been completed in 2012.

3) Create a new blog post or Flickr photo (dated September 1, 2012 or later) and link back to Craft Buds/Craft Book Month in your post or photo description.

No time to create a project? This month, just follow Craft Buds and comment to win some new craft books and lots of giveaways! We'll also have expert Q-and-As to show you what it takes to write a craft book, from the initial idea to the layout, photography and the actual printed product.

To help kick off the Craft Book Month contest in style, Fat Quarter Shop is helping us celebrate with a big giveaway! One winner will take home a $100 gift certificate to shop for some new fabric, craft books and notions.

Ten winners will get a new craft book to help work out that creativity! This is the perfect excuse to make that project you've had your eye one, but haven't carved out the time for.

Fat Quarter Shop is giving away 1 copy each of Quilts from the House of Tula Pink by Tula Pink, Sewing ModKid Style by Patty Young, Skip the Borders by Julie Herman, Stop Go Quilt Sew by Angela Yosten and Sunday Morning Quilts by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison.

Craft Buds is giving away 1 copy each of Modern Basics by Amy Ellis, Reinvention by Maya Donenfeld, We Make Dolls! by Jenny Doh, New Dimensions in Bead and Wire Jewelry by Margot Potter and More Teach Yourself VISUALLY Jewelry Making by Chris Franchetti Michaels.

Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win! The kickoff giveaway ends Wednesday, 9/5 at 11:59 ET, when we'll randomly choose 11 winners. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

handmade quilts for sale

Yield :: 62" x 67":: $450

I am pleased to announce that I am now offering custom, handmade quilts in some of my favorite designs. Each quilt is made to order and I will work with you to create a custom designed quilt.

Silo :: 64" x 67" :: $450

Anni :: 68" x 68" :: $450

Ohio Supernova :: 72" x 72" :: $500

You + Me :: 66" x 66" :: $450

To order, please contact me at Custom colors and sizes are available upon request. A 50% non-refundable deposit is required with each order, and please allow 8-10 weeks for delivery of your quilt. The remaining balance is due on completion of the quilt and the final invoice will also include any applicable taxes and insured shipping.

quilt camp!

Who wants to go camping with me and some of my friends?? We're talking Quilt Camp with me, Faith Jones from Fresh Lemon Quilts, Brenda Ratliff from Pink Castle Fabrics and Just a Bit Frayed, and Jeni Baker from In Color Order. At Quilt Camp you'll get together with friends, have time to work on all of your last minute holiday gifts, and take classes from us. It takes place December 7-9 at the Hankard Inn in Pleasant Lake, Michigan. Sounds fun, right??

I'll be teaching a class on Improvisational Piecing, one of my favorite things to do, and a fundamental component of modern quilting. In my hands-on workshop, learn how to let go and begin to design intuitively to create completely unique and one of a kind quilt blocks, through a variety of improvisational techniques. From completely random piecing to improvised blocks with a bit more structure, this workshop will challenge you to think about quilting in a whole new light. Students will be asked to bring a bag of scrap fabric in various sizes as a starting point for their improvisational work.

Here are some examples of my recent improv work. I love the amazingly unique designs that come out of this technique and how no two are ever identical. It's truly my type of quilting. And it's a great way to use your fabric scraps, or to experiment with fun color and pattern combinations. With improvisational piecing you'll be able to make great throw pillows... 

or bolster pillows and wall hangings...

or maybe even a modern table runner. 

Of course, improvisational piecing is also a great way to make full size quilts as well, and I'll show you a number of different improv techniques, including my improv crosses, shown above.

And my improv log cabins, shown here. 

Faith will be teaching a great class on Foundation Piecing and has designed a project for your choice of an 18" mini quilt or pillow. Isn't it gorgeous? You might notice that we used this as the basis of our cute logo.

Brenda will be teaching a fun class on English Paper Piecing, emphasizing hexagons, which you know are all the rage these days. You can do a ton of things with hexis and Brenda will show you how to piece them by hand and then applique them onto other projects for fun design element.

Jeni will teach us how to make her popular Lined Drawstring Bag pattern. These bags are so adorable and are perfect to use for holiday wrapping! You can also adjust the size and make them to hold anything from toys to laundry. 

The Quilt Camp retreat will take place at Hankerd's Inn, and while we won't actually be camping we will be sharing rooms. All rooms have their own bathroom and some of them even have their own fireplace, which will be perfect on a chilly December night in Michigan.

In addition to the classes, we'll have plenty of open sewing time for you to work on whatever you'd like to. And I, for one, can't wait to see quilts hanging from the rafters in the barn!

Are you ready to sign up? If so, I'd suggest doing it quickly, as there are only 30 spots available, and you can purchase tickets through Brenda's site. You'll have to bring fabric, sewing notions, and your sewing machine. The pricing includes shared lodging (check out the Information Page for details on the rooms), brunch and dinner each day, and all sewing classes and open sewing time. 

I'm looking forward to seeing you at camp!

Monday, August 27, 2012

vintage quilt monday :: aunt ollie's nine patch

Welcome back for another installment of my Vintage Quilt Mondays series. This week I'm sharing a quilt that is very special to me and my mom, a nine patch quilt made by our aunt Ollie.

 Here's me and my great-great aunt Ollie Belle, circa 1976. I'm pretty sure she made that afghan behind us too. She liked to keep her hands busy and she made all kinds of quilts and crocheted blankets. 

The story goes that my mom asked for one of Aunt Ollie's quilts for her nineteenth birthday, so my grandparents bought this one for her. My mom has had it ever since, and it has been well loved and used often. I remember wrapping up with it on the couch all the time as I was growing up.

Aunt Ollie was my mom's dad's aunt. She grew up in the hills of central Kentucky and made her way north to Ohio, probably around 1910, to look for work. She and her family eventually settled in Franklin, Ohio, a small town between Cincinnati and Dayton.

I was lucky enough to know Aunt Ollie a bit as a child, and I still have the quilt that she made for me when I was born. Aunt Ollie was an avid upcycler before upcycling was cool, as I imagine many in her generation were.

She didn't go to a fabric store to buy supplies for her quilts or crocheted afghans, not that there were many available to her in small town Ohio. So, she would often use old clothing in her work, and this quilt is no exception. The simple nine patch squares are made out of old shirtings, with lots of plaids and ginghams.

She used aqua solid cotton for the cornerstones and the sashing appears to be made out of muslin. Aunt Ollie did all of the piecing and quilting by hand, and this one is tied with a pale yellow yarn. 

I really love the look of the hand piecing.

And the binding is made out of the same white muslin as the sashing.

As I said, this quilt was used a lot over the last 40 or so years, so it's not in the best shape. There are some holes and stains throughout it.

And since Aunt Ollie used old clothing, some of the fabrics wear more than others. This pink, green, and white striped fabric is very sheer and hasn't held up as well as some of the others. 

And this guy...if you look closely in the top picture you can see him too. He's a stray that adopted us this summer. We need another pet like we need a hole in the head (seriously) but I'm sure he's here to stay. I think somebody abandoned him because he's sweet as can be, but he's a skinny little thing. He's headed to the spay and neuter clinic very soon.

Back to Aunt Ollie's quilt. I really love her choice of colors and I think one of these days I'll have to make a similar nine patch our of ginghams and plaids too. It's so bright and fresh and I think the aqua cornerstones are the perfect touch, don't you?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

catching up

I really feel like this was the last week of summer for us, so we tried to take it all in as much as possible. There was a lot of swinging in the backyard on the gorgeous swing that our neighbor made for the kids....

we had picnics in the backyard and played a lot of ball....

we watched the spectacular sunsets and tried to capture the painted skies.

And we prepped this not so little guy for his first day of kindergarten. I seriously cannot believe where the time goes, because it seems like just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital....

and now we're taking him to his big school, which he loves by the way.

 While he was in school on his first day, his sister made a special treat for him...

and drew him a super cool picture of a skateboarding goldfish. I've got some pretty rad kids, if I do say so myself.

I stayed busy (busier?) working on my giant rainbow quilt, which I finally finished yesterday. Pics and tutorial coming soon!

I also nominated myself for the Martha Stewart American Made Award. Why not, right? And one day I'll tackle all of those emails...

And I prepped for my next appearance on Quilting Arts TV. I'm headed up to Cleveland later today and I film first thing tomorrow, so it will just be a short trip. I'll be talking about thread choices in modern quilting and strip piecing quilts,  and then it's lunch with a friend before I return home. I'm really excited, and I'll share more about it all soon!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

action kivu update and winner of my patterns

Thank you very much to all who donated to Alissa's 3rd Annual Action Kivu fundraiser. It was a great success and she raised $17,570 for the organization in just over a week, which is downright amazing.

And thank you all who left a comment to be in the drawing for my set of pdf quilt patterns. The winner is...

lucky number 30, arajane, who said 

Thank you, arajane. You are awesome! Your patterns are on their way to you now.

And thank you again to Alissa for all of her hard work organizing and running the fundraiser!

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