Sitting Pretty…..

April 15th, 2014

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I know this line has been out awhile, but I still wanted to share the joy of it with you. It is called Sitting Pretty by Laurie Wisbrun for Robert Kaufman Fabrics. And I also had this charm pack of Kona Solids from Robert Kaufman lying around.  I was thinking what could I do with them, and then it hit me. ...

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I could make my favorite little treat bags designed by my friend Monica. So I did….I made a lot. I have a couple of big events coming up that I would love to give away goodies, so I decided I would just make up a few bags from each new line when they come in so I would always have a few on hand. I modified Monica’s pattern a bit so that I could more efficiently incorporate the charm squares.

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And fittingly enough, you could use them for Easter. Tonight, tomorrow whatever. Now that your taxes are done, you might as well make some of these before the weekend!

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They are addictive, I tell you…...well, not as addictive as Cadbury Mini Eggs….but close….really close….

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My next post will have some more of these handy dandy little bags…..AND a great giveaway!! So come back soon, you hear?

Charley and Birch

April 3rd, 2014

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Charley and Birch, sounds like a brand name, doesn’t it? Maybe for some hot indie fashion house, right? Well in a way it is a “brand” of sorts, more of a merging of two great entities, Charley Harper designs printed by Birch Fabric on organic cotton fabric.   Pretty much a win-win in my book!  The first time I remember hearing about Charley Harper was when my friend John sent me a little wall calendar one year.  It was a great introduction. I love the clean graphic interpretation of the natural world. Since then I have seen his work in many spots. I wonder if it was always there, but I just wasn’t paying attention to it.

I know this line came out last fall, and yes, it is part of my massive catch-up run I am trying to work on.  But I still think it is great news, and I wanted to share it with you.

I love the mustards and blues in this line…and this “panel” piece…..some of these will make PERFECT labels, right??

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To show how they intermingle in a block I have made two more of my Maple Leaf blocks.

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That’s it for today. Have a happy spring (in the northern hemisphere at least

 

 

Not So Secret……

March 29th, 2014

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So my dear friend Victoria Findlay-Wolfe came out with this line of fabric that came out last fall, so hopefully you can still find some.

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Scrumptious, isn’t it? Lots of layers, my favorite thing in prints. The hand of the fabric is nice to work with too.

So to show off how the prints play nice with each other, I did what any normal and sane quilter would do. I cut up those big chunks of fabric into smaller chunks of fabric and sewed them back together again with some “solids” from the Blue Nickel stockpile stash. More Maple Leaf blocks of course.

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That’s it for today.  I have more to catch up on, so the next few posts may be short but sweet, and of course, I will have pix to make your day brighter.

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the hand embroidered haven….

March 28th, 2014

Have you heard of Megan Frock? By now, I bet more of you have, but just in case you haven’t I want to share with you something wonderful Megan worked on for quite awhile under the radar, and brought to the light of day last summer or fall I think. (or heaven help me if I forgot,  last spring??)

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Megan sent me her wonderful book late last year….so bad of me, I don’t remember when….I loved it from the start, but like many, many things it fell behind the wake of my other adventures….which is no indication of it’s greatness to be sure.

I first met Megan when she was helping out our mutual friend Tula Pink at one Market. I barely spoke to her at the first one, I think I was crazy busy, and I think Megan was a bit overwhelmed by the amazingness of the whole event.  But at the last few Markets, I have had the opportunity to chat with Megan, and I tell you that each conversation is a treat in true Southern charm. Her accent is just delightful and her love of the craft it just as sweet.

the hand embroidered haven is Megan’s first book (I am sure she will have more!) and it is chock full of some great sewing projects with an emphasis on embroidery as a featured part of each project.

I truly love these zoomorphic framed projects below:

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I can particularly relate to the Rabbit Ears on the TV…..had those all of the time growing up…We could only get three stations, sometimes we were lucky enough to get the fourth station from the border of Washington State and Canada.

And Megan also has some great instructions for stitches…including some I had never heard of but sound compelling. Like the Couched Filling Stitch.

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And Twilling…I am sure I have seen this, but never knew what it was called. Love the full texture it brings to the needlework.

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But as you know already, I rarely get to carving out the time to embroider. So of course my first loves in her book were the quilts  and these two are my favorites!

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So that’s it for today. If you don’t already have Megan’s book, go right out and get it. You’ll be happy you did!

Oh, and the fabric behind all of these shots? Beauty Queen from Jennifer Paganelli for Free Spirit. New this Spring. Look for it, You’ll love it!

Camper Quilt beginnings……AND Gooseberry Patch Book Winner…..

August 25th, 2013

So Linda and I have been discussing getting a camper like this or this down the road in our near future. And we are both kinda making our own quilts just for it. Linda has started doing some embroidery blocks that she has gathered along the way and her quilt is going to be made of those and a bunch of my reproduction-30’s prints that I found while I was cleaning up the studio.

My quilt is going to use a bunch of this line, Summer Camp, by Mark Cesarik:

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And some of these greys:

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And these charm packs from Moda that I picked up at Market in Portland:

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And these Birch leftovers from a couple quilts I have worked on that you can’t see yet:

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And any other “camping” themed  prints I find while I am working on it:

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And knowing me, even more fabrics that I haven’t thought of yet.  I have a couple of  ideas in mind. I need something that will make good use of those charm squares.

I really thinking Summer Camp possesses a very unique sense of color. Not one I would typically associate with Camping for some reason. I really like the golds and browns in it, and in the past I might have stuck with an overall brownish bent, but I am kinda thinking I want to try it with the assorted grey solids and “almost” solids. I have this idea in my head that the gold and the grey will go well together…..still not sure about the brown aspect of it all…

Some of the Summer Camp prints are definitely “camping”  themed:

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But some don’t necessarily have that feel when sitting all on their own:

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And some could work equally well for Christmas projects:

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I don’t know when I will get around to this project, but I thought I would share the line with you while it is in the stores so you can snatch some up while you still can.

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And onto the second part of this post.

The Gooseberry Patch Book Winner…..

I had a bit of a mix-up with this. I had first contacted the winner, but I got back a message saying it was unsendable…..so decided to email another winner…..Well that same day AFTER I emailed the “second” winner, lo and behold IN MY SPAM folder, I found an email from the first winner (don’t know how she got my first email when my email said it was not sendable…..)  But never fear, the marvelous people at Gooseberry Patch said “no worries” and that they will send a copy to both of the winners.   Now here’s the catch, I haven’t heard back from the  second winner.

So here’s the first winner who should have her very own copy soon.

Karen wrote on 7/28/13 at 9:32am:

I would love to win the book draw. I like the little projects you have displayed in the blog. Karen

And if you are the second winner and got an email from me also regarding this….Just send me your snail mail address at blunickel5@earthlink.net and we will get you taken care of.

That’s it for now. I have more posts lined up…..but I just got a job from a fabric company that they want finished in….a week and a half?? So who knows if I will get those planned posts up in time….

 

Technicolor!

May 9th, 2013

My friend Emily Herrick sent me this sweet little bundle of  fat 1/8’s of Technicolor,  her fresh-out-of-the-gate line for Michael Miller Fabrics:

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 I was thrilled to get them the day I did. I had just had some less-than-best news on two fronts in my life, one of them being my mom’s blood test not being better as we had hoped, the other being some dayjob stuff that wasn’t terrible, but not what I had hoped for. And I had already been feeling somewhat down during Easter week.  This package came at the end of a beautiful Easter Saturday. It was like a breath of fresh air.

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To be honest, I had seen Technicolor online via an industry preview page, and while I liked it, I was a bit afraid the scale of the prints might be much bigger than I would like. I was delighted to see them in the scale they are! Perfect little blenders! Many “read” solid but aren’t. They are so nice and basic, they will go with Many other lines! A couple of the prints are “two for one” meaning you get two prints at a time….when you buy a half yard of that line, you would get two different fat quarters.  Other fabric companies have done this in the past, and I love this concept!! Great if you are on a budget and want just a little bit of both!

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Here’s what I have been able to do with them so far.

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I made these bags based on Monica’s SUPER Bag pattern found here.  I modified her bag by making the sides 1” shorter in length. I love the “tiny” feeling of them. And they make great bags for dolls. I will have to make some more and show you them with Linda’s dolls.  I made these for Quilt Market and the Generation Q booth for some giveaways.


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I wanted to make up some four patch blocks and just play with them, but I just haven’t had the time….Market is one week away, and I still have to finish three bindings on quilts (no big surprise there!!) and make some more bags and pack…oh, and silly other things like work the dayjob for the next 6 days, and possibly pay some bills….nothing new for the week before Market!  Crazy….excited but anxious all at the same time!!

 

 

 

 

Time to Play….

March 27th, 2013

well, really there isn’t much time for playing around these days. Even though I am down to one dayjob from two!  This last month and more than a half, I feel like I have been catching up on rest and not much else.  It is probably very much needed.  The nice thing is that I am getting a little time back to sew, and though I really do need to work more at time management in other areas, this sewing bit is still fun (most of the time).

Here are some progress photos on a Free Spirit project that I am working on using Ty Pennington’s Fall 2012 line. It is fairly new by current industry standards (or OLD by past industry standards) and you still should be able to find some it out there. I went with the Sunset colorway as I have been working with a lot of cool colors lately and the warmth of these prints felt very summery to me!

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I am working on a tablerunner and placemat set out of these. Hope to be done with a Free PDF for you to download soon.

And here are some scraps I have been sewing together as I go in the fashion that my friend Victoria has now made “famous” although it really isn’t anything “new”.  I love how Victoria has made it fun for others now too though! I have loved doing this for so long, it’s fun to see what other folks do with their scrappy playtime!

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I have been doing these type of things for years. Here is a photo of some very old ones that I turned up during ….ahem…. “cleaning” the studio.

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I love finding these old things and see how my palette has diversified since then. I don’t want to say changed, because I still love these old things…well, most of them at least…

Well, back to sewing….and actually in a bit, I may go out to do some mowing…before the rains come again....

What about you? what are you up to??

 

 

Steampunk Love….

February 12th, 2013

So today I bring you my little SteamPunk Hearts … just barely in time for Valentine’s Day, but none the less …in time….sort of….

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I have had this Seven Wonders line by David Butler for Parson Gray and Free Spirit sitting here for longer than I wanted it to, and I was just itching to cut into it for a bigger project, but before I started that I thought I could bring you a little project for fun!

Here’s what I did (I think they call this a tutorial, because I have a lot of pictures….) :)

First I sewed 4 narrow (roughly 1” to 1.75 ” x 12” or so) strips together like this:

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Then I sewed some wider strips (about 2” to 3” x 12” or so) together like this:

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Then I cut that strip set in half (ish):

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I flipped one half of this set around and then sewed the narrow strip between the two halves like this:

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For the backs I sewed four wider strips together (about 4-ish” x 12”)

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Then I pressed these two pieces right sides together (pressing the layers together helped them “stick” together a little better I felt) and pinned the pattern sheet I created for three heart sizes to both pieces.  (Click here for the PDF template for the heart shapes.)

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Then I just sewed right on the lines through the paper and both layers of fabric, starting at one end of the dotted line and ending at the other end.  Do some back stitches when you start and end on each heart to make stuffing the hearts easier. I set my stitch length to 1.25 instead of my normal 2 to make tearing the paper off easier later.

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Note: I didn’t always sew directly on the lines…..and the world didn’t stop turning….at least here it didn’t…..


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Then I pulled the paper away from the fabric and cut the shapes out of the fabric. I used a very neutral thread, so that made it a little hard to see the sewn lines, but I didn’t necessarily want my stitches to be noticeable should they be stretched when stuffed. You might want to use a thread with more contrast to make cutting them out easier.DSC_0845


So here they are cut out.


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After that I just turned them right-side out and pressed the opening nice and flat so it would be easier to sew up by hand after I lightly stuffed them with fiberfill.


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So after that I just lightly stuffed them with fiberfill, sewed some ribbon (that was PERFECT for this project!) on for hangers and sewed on some beads and buttons for a little embellishment.  If I have time tomorrow I may make some more in a more “traditional” Valentiney element.

Feel free to make as many as you want! And share them here if you get the chance as well!

 

 

Block Party

June 25th, 2012

So this weekend I made some fun blocks for my friend Karen who is making a quilt for the granddaughter of a friend of hers.  This little girl has suffered much more than any of us ever will already in her short little life.  Karen is doing what we quilters do best, giving love through our sewing….

So these two block are going back East to Karen to put into her quilt for Kilah.


There might be room for more, you can always contact Karen at her blog to see if she needs more.  One thing for sure that family can’t get too much of is prayer.  They definitely need God to step in with some major healing power!

Today also starts the Blog Tour for Generation Q Magazine’s first issue.  We won’t be doing a blog tour for EVERY issue, so don’t worry.  But go on over to Kaye’s blog today to get in on Day One of the Generation Q Debut Blog Tour.   The whole schedule is available here.
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These three block “starts” are for my July 4th post, my day on the Tour, and also Independence Day, a big day here in the States.  In honor of that day, one of the projects I am going to show is the finished result from these started Red, White, and Blue blocks. (okay, probably not quilted, but the top will be done!)

That’s it for now! I have a TON to do getting ready for my week teaching at the Quilters’ Affair in Sisters in two weeks.  Two of my classes are pretty much full, there are two that have more room if you want to still sign up.  My Tuesday and  Wed/Thur classes still have room.  I am really looking forward to it. Hope to see you there!

 

Polar Opposites……

June 12th, 2012

So excited to get started on these two entirely different shipments of fabrics.



First, Liberty Fabrics is bringing their luscious prints in quilters’  cottons to the States,  and they generously sent me some samples to work into some upcoming designs.  The other day at one of my DayJobs,  I looked up and noticed an interesting arrangement of windows that suddenly struck me as inspiration for a rather cool block  that might just highlight these prints beautifully.  We’ll see!



Then secondly, this came from Kaufman for a specific project I have in mind.  In fact this project already has a name even before I get the quilt made, Dwell.   It may be awhile before you get to see it here, but I thought it was so funny how equally excited I was to get both of these bundles to work with even though they are so different in nature.


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