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Aug 31, 2012

{Improv Hexies} Bee Block

Aug 31, 2012
Pin It September is my month in the {Sew} Beautiful Bee.  This is the second year of our bee and what I've noticed most about our group of ladies is an un-measurable amount of creativity.  We have an extremely talented group and we all seem to enjoy being let loose to explore.

So for my month, I am hopefully letting everyone do just that - with a little {Improv} Hexiness.  It all started with this block by Angela of Cut to Pieces.  I really wanted to do something with hexagons last year, but in the end wasn't quite sure where to go with it.  When searching flickr for hexi blocks, I found Angela's to be exactly what I wanted.  It's major element focuses on hexagons, but there are also little pieced bits that add some 'oomph' to the block.

Here is a version I made:

2012 sew beautiful bee block

I can't wait to see what the {Sew} Beautiful ladies come up with.

Vague Guidelines for {Improv Hexies} Block:
1.  finished block 14" (14 1/2" unfinished)
2.  major element of the block should focus on hexagons
3.  minor use of other color fabrics on solid Kona pfd.
4.  it's up to you how many hexagons you make.  Size of hexagons is also your preference.  Kati has some fantastic templates here.  Or I have a "rough" guide you can print that coordinates with the GO! Baby hexagon die if you have one.  (Small, Medium, Large from above photo)
5.  attach hexagons to the block using this method
6.  have fun with it! Pin It

Aug 28, 2012

My TV Debut: Quilting Arts TV

Aug 28, 2012
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What a whirlwind!  Yesterday I made my TV debut, filming a segment for Quilting Arts TV.  I was SO nervous - but it was a lot of fun.

At the beginning of this year, Penny McMorris (co-founder and vice-president of Electric Quilt) contacted me about guesting along with her on a segment for Quilting Arts TV with host Pokey Bolton.  She proposed a design challenge that we would then present on the show.  Of course, I immediately said Yes!  What a fantastic opportunity!  But there was one catch, we were to film only 2 weeks before my baby was due in the spring.  Lucky for me, we were able to delay the piece to this summer's filming week.  So here we are!

Here is some of the production staff walking us through how our segment would pan out.  I am on the right, Penny is in the middle and Pokey is on the left.

Never having done anything like this before, I had no idea what to expect.  I was really stressed about what to wear.  They sent out a dozen rules about "What Not to Wear" and my SAHM wardrobe is...uh...lacking.  I also painted my nails for the first time in 6 years, I think?  Everyone on staff was extremely nice and calming.  They said "What could be more fun than quilters talking about quilting?" And they were right!

Below Penny and I are making sure the laptop is set up correctly and Pokey is getting her mic on.  Pokey was so nice and really helped to make you feel relaxed on set.


Yesterday was the first day of filming for this season of Quilting Arts TV.  They are filming the whole week, then the episodes start to air in the new year.  I'll be sure to let you know when the episode that I am in goes live.  Eeek!


Mr. M even made an appearance on the set!  A huge THANK YOU to my mom, who came and stayed with baby and I in the hotel the night before filming and watched him while I was at the studio.  After he was done napping, they came up to the studio to check things out.  I could not have done this with her help.  Thanks Mom!




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Aug 23, 2012

Super gift: Baby Burp Cloths

Aug 23, 2012
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Have you made some of these?  They are extremely simple and a great gift.

baby burp cloths

I made this stack in prep for baby, and I didn't realize how much I'd love using them.  Since Mr. M has a touch of reflux, I am always covered in spit up and these baby burp cloths at least let me look a little more colorful and trendy as I'm hauling him around.

If you haven't made any, I'd definitely recommend them as a quick (10 minute) baby gift that is practical and fun.  These burp cloths also wash well.  Try this tutorial from Amy.

Speaking of, I'm off to do my mountain of laundry...
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Aug 15, 2012

My Quilt Show Debut

Aug 15, 2012
Pin It You may remember I entered a quilt into the National Quilting Association Quilt Show in the Spring.  I rushed to get this quilt done before baby came.  It was accepted into the show....  later I found out the show accepts the first 400 entries.  So not quite as exciting as I originally thought, but I still enjoyed the experience of having my work on public display.

Here I am in front of my Citrus Burst (Supernova) Quilt at the show in June.

Seeing all the other quilts hanging up made me a little self conscious.  Is my quilt good enough?  I watched a few ladies looking at it.  And when they leaned in closer, I wondered if they were seeing all the mistakes.  After all, this quilt was completed during my third trimester, and I openly admit there was a consistent "that's good enough" attitude on my part.

However, my goal in entering the show was simply to enjoying seeing my work hanging in the collection and to bring my family to see it.  My mom came down to see it and shop the show with me.  We decided for the sake of fabric shopping, the older boys and hubby should stay home.  Mr. M accompanied us and was fascinated by all the colors.  :)

NQAsign e

Here is the fabric stack I brought home.  I went from February to June without buying any fabric, so this was fun!  The middle child was convinced the bottom purple print is for making underwear.

NQAfinds e

Our CMQG has decided we need to bombard next year's show with modern quilts.  So hopefully, entering one in the show will become a tradition! Pin It

Aug 10, 2012

Husband in a Fabric Store

Aug 10, 2012
Pin It Last week, my husband left me and the boys for the first time since Mr. M has been born.  8 long days for a trip to Japan for work.  It always makes it hard when we are 13 hours off and don't get to talk too much - but we survived.  His trip was bookended by my older boys' birthdays (now 3 and 6 years old!), so he planned to visit a toy store for some cool gifts with a Japanese friend/co-worker's family that lived here in the US for a while.

To my surprise, my hubby and my friend Mari sidetracked into a quilt shop in a train station in town.  What a great stack!  Hubs is absolutely NOT a shopper.  Nor does he pay attention to any details of my frequent mail deliveries while I dance around the living room with my new fabric pretties.  So in my case, husband in a fabric store is a fish out of water.

japanese fabric stack


red and blue Japanese fabric

minakoko collection (by koko seki) for Lecien (blue and red colorway).  This is pretty cool stuff.  There are four prints across the width of the fabric (so you get about 11" wide of each print by however long your cut is).  The feel of the fabric is wonderful.  It's a little heavier than normal quilting weight cotton, but not as dense as some of the heavier linens.

pink Japanese fabric

minakoko collection (by koko seki) for Lecien (pink and green colorway).  If you scroll way down on the link, the shop has a cool bag project idea....

echino

Echino Wish - Green.  Mari knows me well...:)  This was her pick!

ruby star rising

Ruby Star Rising - Vintage Ladies (Blue) by Melody Miller for Kokka.  Shocker!  Hubby said he picked this print on his own!  I'm giving him huge props for picking Melody Miller - and spending the big bucks that I would never spend on myself. Pin It

Aug 6, 2012

Back Log of Bee Blocks

Aug 6, 2012
Pin It I have been doing a little sewing over the past few months.  It was important to me to keep up on the monthly blocks for the {Sew} Beautiful Bee.  But my camera and computer were packed up for quite a while, so I've back logged a few blocks to show you.

Improv Pineapple Block for Angela.  Angela requested this improv pineapple block using this tutorial from the MQG.  It was easy and fun, and she sent us gorgeous Hawaiian charms to make the centers of the blocks.

elizabeth bee block
Square-tastic Block for Elizabeth.  Elizabeth created some of her own square-tastic block variations for us to choose from for these blocks.  She sent us all AMH voile.  I have to admit, I found this block difficult because the voile was so slippery.  I think I'd like to work with voile for a scarf or skirt instead of a quilt.  I would love to touch this quilt when it's finished though - it should be SO smooth and slippery soft!

kati bee block
Paper Pieced Stars for Kati.  Errr...not so paper pieced in my case.  Sorry Kati!  I hope this Scrap Jar Star fits in ok with all the other bee member's paper pieced goodness!  When I had time to work on this block, my printer was packed and buried in my garage.  So I decided to use this version of a star hoping it's simplicity will balance nicely with the complex paper pieced blocks for her quilt.

I also realized I have Mod Mosaic block I made for Brooke, but took no pictures.  Whoops!  Well, now I'm all caught up and I'm picking out fabrics for my month (September) for the bee.  I'm off to select some fabrics....
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Aug 1, 2012

First Quilts on the First

Aug 1, 2012
Pin It Hooray for the return of the First Quilts on the First series!  I really do love hearing the stories of your firsts and how we've all developed such an obsession for fabric.  Please welcome Katie of Swim, Bike, Quilt as our featured guest today.  She runs a wonderful charity event for children called 100 Quilts for Kids.  If you haven't stopped by her site, check it out today.  What an extraordinary event and great job she does coordinating it!  Here is her "First" story....



I love AnneMarie's First Quilts on the First series, and am happy to be sharing my first official quilt today. I will confess that I had planned to share my second quilt, the improv one made entirely by myself with garishly bright calicos and swirls I purchased at Joann's c. 2000, but after looking through every single bin in my attic (baby clothes, winter coats, Halloween decorations, etc.), I think I must have made good on my threat to donate it to Goodwill.  But if you can imagine, stack n whack rail-fence like improv blocks, very puffy polyester batting,  tied in rainbow yarn, with a foldover binding (bugs playing sports on a bright blue binding), well, there you have it. If I ever find it, I plan to share it with the world...

$5 quilt

My first official quilt is much prettier, and I actually hang it in my hallway most winters. It also has a fun story behind it. In 2001, I had just gotten married and was living in Provo, Utah. My mother-in-law convinced my sister-in-law and I to do a block of the month program through a quilt shop/handmade goods shop in downtown Salt Lake City called Mormon Handicraft. The materials and instructions for the first block cost $5-- if you finished January's block and brought it back the first Saturday in February, you got the materials and instructions for February free (and so forth, all year!) A $5 quilt!!! Ours cost a bit more than that, but we did pretty good. We got together every month to sew, and I will admit I was scared stiff, so I did all of the cutting, because "cutting didn't matter and couldn't mess up the quilt." Isn't that hilarious? Of COURSE cutting matters! We made the quilt blocks together, and Jane (my mother-in-law) finished the quilt. Bonus. 

The Church


My favorite block is this one-- I loved the fabric for the windows.  While I had a great time (and a bit of trepidation over messing it up!) sewing the blocks, the fabrics didn't "speak" to me.  Over the next few years, I spent a lot of time making flannel receiving blankets and flannel rag blankets.  I didn't think much about making pieced quilts until 2007 when I was at a craft show in Alexandria, VA called Art on the Avenue. One of the vendors had baby gifts made up in modern fabric, and I fell in love with an Alexander Henry print--2D Zoo in the pink colorway. I had to know where she found the fabric.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who wouldn't have been hooked on quilting if it hadn't been for the rise in modern, designer fabric. 

In December 2007, my mother-in-law bought me fabric to make a quilt, and I fell in love with Urban Chik's Blossom line. That was the first line I obsessed over, and it really honed my "looking for fabric online" skills. Important life skills, no doubt :) Ironically, after I had finished my Blossom quilt, I drove 45 minutes to a "local" fabric store and they had most of the line sitting on the shelves. They also had Flea Market Fancy, and I remember thinking, "Oh. It's the line everyone is obsessed about" and just kept walking. I blame a near hysterical 1 year old for that dreadful oversight :

Today, my favorite quilts seem to be simple ones I make for my family or for charity. I'm in the middle of the 100 Quilts for Kids charity quilt drive right now, so much of my free time is spent working on the quilt along, gathering prizes, and making a charity quilt or two myself. I'd love to have you participate, and link up a quilt of your own here (until October 15)

Instagram of a photo--it's my entry for Amy's Blogger Quilt Festival!\

This quilt was made with the help of the Trust circle of do.Good Stitches

Closeup
A quilt for my son

All Voile: The Summer Quilt
A quilt for my daughter
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