Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Baby Bottled Rainbows!

It's been so interesting to follow the discussion sparked by yesterday's post on my Project Jam.  There are folks who have found a happy "flow" on both sides of the coin, whether juggling lots of projects or keeping it to a minimum.  Thanks, as always, for sharing your thoughts where we can all learn from each other!

Today seems like just the right day to share my baby-sized Bottled Rainbows quilt, being the very last day to vote for Celebrate Color.  If there's anything that celebrates color - all color! - to me, it's the rainbow.  Midway through our Bottled Rainbows quilt-along early this year, Quiltmaker magazine asked me to make a version for them.  It's just been released in the January/February 2012 issue.

Hey, I make "modern quilts" - it's official!
 
Wanna see, wanna see?

in Quiltmaker magazine

This was all fun and games to make, what with my scraps already having been divided by color and the small, 10" square block size which works up so fast.

making baby Bottled Rainbows

I still made the blocks in the quilt-as-you-go style, just like we did in the quilt-along.  This time I made up the blank block "canvases" first.  Then, I just went for it!  Here are a few close-ups of blocks:

Baby bottled rainbows Everglade Kona

Baby bottled rainbows Tangerine Kona

Baby bottled rainbows Cerise Kona

Everything but the scraps was from Robert Kaufman.  There's the Kona solids, of course, but also the Remix bright stripe border and Remix bright argyle backing, both by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman.

Baby Bottled Rainbows Remix argyle backing

Finished size was 48" square.

Baby Bottled Rainbows!

Can you believe I bound it in white?!?!  Yes, well, it just seemed like the right way to finish this rainbow-bright concoction.  Let's hope whatever baby enjoys this quilt someday doesn't like chewing on edges...

White binding!?!?  Yes, that's crazy.

I am happy to report that working with Quiltmaker was a very nice experience!  They also featured quilts by Faith of Fresh Lemons and Elizabeth of Don't Call Me Betsy, as well as an interview with the three of us about how we use color.  I think I'll share my thoughts I sent to them for that interview sometime here, maybe.

Ok, back to it!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Project Jam

Here I am already with evidence of my craziness!  Yes, I had thought to show you some of my finished projects first, but this jumble of projects in process weighs heavily upon me, so here we are for today...

Before you can understand the gravity of the situation, you must know that I am generally a project monogamous.  Well, I actually usually have two projects going - one large and one small or one at the machine and one by hand - but that's monogam-ish, as Chawne would say.  Focus is key.  Reaching completion is key.  I am not designed to handle...

project jam #5

#1  Liam's flying geese curtains

project jam #4

#2 Drunkards path mini for Curves Class

project jam #3

#3 Star Blossoms paper-pieced runner

project jam #2

#4  Oliver & S Pajamas for kid's Christmas Eve gifts

project jam #1

#5  Christmas Tree mini for Curves Class (I was just working on this.  Hmm... seems to need more stars.)

And, to be honest, that's really not all.  I also have other Curves Class projects in progress, the Meet The Gang quilt awaiting a backing, another Makeup Roll gift to make and some do. Good Stitches blocks that I'd better start tonight.

Now, I like sewing.  Sewing is not the problem.

When there is this much going on, there's less sewing and more running around in circles.  Many projects going at once is a necessity of the Curves Class in some ways.  I have to test my ideas to make sure they'll work and then I start thinking about that other idea and go on to test that, etc, etc.  Don't worry, I'll survive ;)

Oh, speaking of the Curves Class, I've made a lot of progress on firming up my ideas for how it will run.  Thanks to some great discussions with experienced online teachers, I've decided to have three versions of the class so that I can offer more learning resources, like video and chat, at the highest levels without selling myself short.  There will still be an entry level that's super affordable and still includes access to all of the projects.  And the classes will run simultaneously too, so no one will have to wait.  I think it's going to be a win-win kind of situation!  I'm expecting the 5-week class to begin February 2012.  If you'd like to get some new quilting tools that would be useful in the class, see my notes here.  We'll talk more about such things after the holidays!

So, are you project monogam-ish? Or, perhaps you thrive on lots of options?  Do you think you ask too much of yourself at this time of year, project-wise?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Welcome, Intrepid Thread!

Things have been mighty busy around here, haven't they?  Yes, so much so that I've declared my sewing situation a "Project Jam".  I'll have to give you the details on that real soon.  Today, while we're doing a wee bit of online shopping, I'd like to formally introduce my newest sponsor, The Intrepid Thread.

Julie's Etsy shop caught my eye because of her beautiful, well-lit fabric photography.  That might sound a bit strange, but the truth is that photography makes all the difference when shopping online.   Don't you agree?  When sourcing fabrics to mix with Meet the Gang to make my Christmas-y quilt, I hadn't seen the line in person yet.  So, when I happened Julie's high quality photos of the line at The Intrepid Thread, it was a huge help.  I was able to go on from there to buy other fabrics with confidence that I knew the true nuances of Meet the Gang's reds, greens and teal.

















Julie opened her shop about 6 months ago, and it is well-stocked with all the most recent lines.  Here's The Woodlands by Khristian A. Howell.  I'm picking up that acorn print to use in my flying geese curtains for Liam's room.  I like how several of the prints have a nice "boy" vibe that's not too babyish.  And, the aqua woodgrain could easily read "water" too.  I wish I had an excuse to get the cloud and birds print!



The Intrepid Thread also has Outfoxed by Lizzy House, Lark by Amy Butler and Power Pop by Janean Morrison. 

Just this weekend, Julie marked down several collections.  Since you can also use BLKFRI20 today to save an additional 20%, you can take these home a great prices:

Little Apples on sale at Intrepid Thread
Little Apples on SALE!
Delighted on SALE!
Also, what's left of Loulouthi by Anna Maria Horner and Terrain by Kate Spain are also on Sale (plus the 20% off today!).  And, don't forget that at The Intrepid Thread you can mention Stitched in Color in the notes to seller at checkout to receive an additional free fat quarter surprise!

One last thing... do you like to look ahead and see what collections are coming out soon?  I do!  See what's coming soon to The Intrepid Thread right here.  Julie's included estimates on when each line will arrive, plus links to see pictures of the whole collection.  How fun!  I'm excited to see these Pezzy Prints!!! 

Thanks to Julie for choosing to support my work and the existence of this blog.  I am very, truly grateful for you and for each of my sponsors.

Fabric deals, anyone?

Warning, this post contains special savings for my readers and may induce fabric shopping expeditions of the gleeful sort. 

So, today is Cyber Monday.  In a lot of stores a sale is not a big deal, but in the fabric world there just aren't many opportunities to buy newly released designer fabric at anything other than full price.  Today is that chance. I've gathered up the Cyber Monday sales offered by my favorite fabric stores... who also happen to be my sponsors!  Plus, several of them have extra goodies only available to you.  Isn't that fabulous! 

All of these savings are available for today, Monday the 28th ONLY, unless otherwise noted.

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Sew Love Fabrics offers 20% off storewide.  Items are already marked down, so priced as marked.  Also get 1 yard of fabric from her sale section completely free with your $25 order!  Just tell her which sale fabric you want in notes to seller during checkout.

Moda Christmas fabrics are also 20% off at Sew Love Christmas!


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Whipstitch has an exclusive savings for Stitched in Color readers only - 25% off your entire order!   Use code "MONDAY2011" through midnight.







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Marmalade Fabrics has marked down a slew of new lines from 15-30% off, including Metro Living, Saffron Craig and Juicy Blossoms.  Plus, through Marmalade Rewards points, you can essentially save 10% more.

As always, orders of $50 or more ship free!

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Canton Village has 25% off your order, excepting clearance items and books.  Use coupon code "cybermonday25" to save through 10 pm EST tonight!






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The Fat Quarter Shop's sale lasts a bit longer than most.  You can save 25% now through midnight December 1st with code "monday11".  Coupon doesn't apply to clubs, programs or gift certificates.



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Mad about Patchwork, who ships out of Canada, has clearance fabrics as low as $5 a yard, plus up to 50% off patterns.  My readers can save a bit more today only with a secret coupon "cyber10" for an extra 10% off your order!





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Hawthorne Threads has marked down lots of collections, at up to 45% off just for today.  You can find a summary of their sale right here.  Plus, all orders today are entered into a drawing to win 1 of 10 Diana Sling bags by Amy Butler.


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At Contemporary Cloth get free US shipping on any order of $30 or more.  International shipping is 50% off today!  And, just for you lovely readers, save 20% off your order with code "Rachel".  Yeah!




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 Pink Castle Fabrics offers 15% off storewide today with code "CYBER15".







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JAQS fabrics is also extending their sale through December 1st.  Save 10% off all fabrics with code "JAQSTenOff".

Plus, my readers get a free fat quarter with purchase today only!  Mention Stitched in Color in the notes during checkout.

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The Intrepid Thread has an exclusive gift for my readers - a free fat quarter surprise with every purchase!  To receive your fat quarter, mention Stitched in Color in the notes to seller at checkout.

Plus, save 20% storewide today with code "BLKFRI20"!


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Sew Modern offers 20% off all organic fabrics with code "ORGANIC20"!






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Whew, that's a lot of great choices, people! I thought about mentioning some of the cool fabrics that are available from these shops, but that was kind of silly because you can pretty much find everything between these lovely stores!

So, go out and shop responsibly.  You know, get that backing fabric you're going to need soon or fabrics for those curtains you've been meaning to make (oh, wait, that's just me...).  Or, just have a little fun with that fabric bundle you've promised yourself as a holiday treat.  Yep, TODAY is the day!

Vote! for Celebrate Color - November Finalists

Congratulations once again to each and every finalist!  To read more about any project or see larger pictures, click on the link to any artist's blog listed before each poll.  There are FOUR categories.  Please vote for your very most favorite in each one!


For the Fabric {Home Decor} category, our finalists are:






For the Fabric {Wearables} category, our finalists are:





For the Yarn category, our finalists are:



For the Needlepoint category, our finalists are:



Voting is open through midnight, EST on Wednesday, November 30th. Winners of the November prizes will be announced the following day, on December 1st!  Thank-you for voting. 

And, once again, I want to thank everyone who participated!!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Celebrate Color {a Collection}

As Emma said in her beautiful post today, all good things must come to an end.  Of course, that only means that something new and wonderful is about to be born!  Although I can be tempted to run ahead to something new (isn't that how it goes with projects!), today is a day for looking back and celebrating what we've accomplished.

When I imagined Celebrate Color it was my greatest hope to bring together people of many crafty traditions.  Because, even if you "only" knit or "only" make quilts we really have so much in common.  Each of us has discovered the deep pleasure of creating with our hands.  Each of us knows what it is to find such simple joy in beautiful fibers.  And, as we pour our moments and hours into making, we are reminded that time is the most precious gift we can give.

All these wonders are a gift of the creation.  The very "stuff" of existence supports our joy.  So, it only makes sense as artists to celebrate the seasons; while, as it may be with some of us, honoring our God's handiwork.  The best celebrations are made in community.  Thank-you for joining me in this inspiring gathering of creative minds!  What better way to mark our happy ending than with Emma's collection of inspiring posts, tutorials and this mosaic of just a few of your lovely projects.

Celebrate Color Projects mosaic
Image credits: Maureen Cracknell, Greenleaf Goods, krista stitched, crafting..., Maureen Cracknell, My Sewical Hour, Maureen Cracknell, imagine gnats, knitterlydesigns, unmashin, Ikomi, OCD: obsessive crafting disorder, the knottygnome knits, jenn of all trades, Sunshine, Handmade, The crafting Fiend

Thank-you, Emma for this beautiful collection of reader projects!  I know you'll enjoy the other collections Emma's put together, so give her a visit for a bit more.

Tomorrow is the last day for you to enter the contest for our November prizes!  You can enter any item made this September, October or November in the entry photo pools:   Fabric {Home Decor}, Fabric {Wearables}, Yarn and Needlepoint.  Be sure to check the complete entry rules first.  We'll be voting on our final winners early next week.  Until then, enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Meet the Gang... Giveaway!

Ooh, I have good news on this balmy pre-Thanksgiving day.  The good folks at Andover fabrics are giving away a 1/2 yard bundle of Meet the Gang to one of you dear readers! Choose your favorite colorway for a total of seven generous cuts:

From left, the colorways are Pink & Dusk, then Red & Teal and lastly Green & Teal.  And, if you're wondering, these photos are completely true to color.  The photographs are Julie's of The Intrepid Thread.  She shoots gorgeous, well-lit photographs of all of her bundles, which makes purchasing online so worry-free.  The Intrepid Thread has Meet the Gang in stock in all colors now!  And, you can also find some Meet the Gang at Whipstitch, Sew Modern and Hawthorne Threads.

To enter the drawing to win, please share something for which you are Thankful this year.  Maybe that's a bit cheesy, but it does all of us good to commit our gratitude to a few clear words.  Since many may be traveling, I'll draw the winner on Saturday the 26th around noon.

this weekend I...

This year one of the things I am thankful for is the continued opportunity to express myself creatively.  Sometimes in the hustle of magazine deadlines, budget-crunching and sewing experiments that push my creative limits I lose track of the reality that this right here, right now is that grand wonderful good time.  I'm not living for another day, a change of pace, even less stress to pay the bills.  No, I am living right now in a beautiful dream wherein it is my job to be creative... and to sew!  And even if it weren't to last, thank goodness for today, for now!  Thank God, who plants that creative seed in every human being, for sheltering this heart.

And thank you, of course - always you - for granting that opportunity by joining me here on this blog!

*****Comments Closed******

Congratulations to Mims who is our Meet the Gang winner!  I'll be in touch with you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Flying Geese {a no-trim Tutorial}

I have the flying geese bug, bad.  I love how quilts made with flying geese have so much movement all the while presented in a simple repeated block.

Sewing the Swoon block was my first encounter making flying geese.  In the Swoon method, you cut a rectangles for the large inner triangles of the flying geese and squares for the small outer triangles.  After marking center lines and sewing, you trim off lots of fabric waste in discarded fabric triangles.  Triangle scraps are the most tricky sort of folks, so I was not too keen on making a ton of flying geese in that method.

pieces of a day - flying geese

In my research, I found that there are many clever ways of making flying geese, both with and without special rulers.  I wanted a method that didn't involve a lot of marking and special cutting, didn't waste fabric and didn't require me to square up (ie trim up) blocks at the end.  In other words, I wanted straightforward cutting, simple sewing and voila - a nice block.  Too much to ask? I think not.


Enter the Fons & Porter Flying Geese Trianglemade by Omnigrid.  In my experience Omnigrid rulers are nice and sturdy, with non-slip undersides that really do help.  The Fons & Porter flying geese ruler was a small investment compared to a pair of Go! Baby cutters I was considering, and they fit all my criteria.  There were extras too!  This ruler cuts both sizes of triangles needed for a block from the same width fabric strip, making it easy to cut triangle sides and centers from the same print.  And, it tells you which strip width to cut right there on the ruler.  Plus, this ruler includes guides for making a whole passel of flying geese sizes.  With the Go! Baby cutters, I'd be hemmed into one size.  Score!

The past few nights I've enjoyed making flying geese using my new ruler with very happy results!  I'm sure Brandon thinks I'm loony to be positively giddy about easy-to-line-up corners and smart seam allowances.  Good thing you all understand me here.  What could be more exciting than rulers that make sewing fun?  (Ok, so there are a few things.)  Well, without further ado, I present to you...

Flying Geese {a no-trim Tutorial}

Flying Geese no-trim Tutorial

Step 1:  Cut Strips

First choose your flying geese finished block size from among the sizes offered by the ruler.  I believe the sizes offered range from 1" x 2" to 4" x 8" blocks.  Next, cut strips in width directed by the ruler. I'll be making a lot of flying geese, so I cut long strips.  I folded my half-yard cut of fabric the long way and lined up the folded edge with a horizontal line on my cutting mat.  Then I cut two 4" wide strips the entire width of the fabric.

flying geese 1

Step 2:  Trim Folded Edge

Keep your strip folded in half on the cutting mat, just moving aside any extra fabric so that you can cut one strip at a time.  Use a normal straight quilting ruler to trim 1/8" off  at the folded edge.  With the fold removed, you can now use your flying geese ruler to cut two layers of fabric at once.

flying geese 2

Step 3:  Cut Small Triangles

Use the guides on the ruler to align the ruler properly for a small triangle cut.  Notice that little bit of ruler that sticks out to the left side?  There is a mark on the ruler that helps you position the ruler just so that the same little bit sticks out each time.  This little bit creates a squared-off corner to help you sew the pieces precisely while also eliminating extra bulk at the point of the finished flying geese block.  Basically, you really like the squared off corner!

flying geese 3

When cutting your strips, you can of course cut as many small or large triangles as you like.  You could even cut all small triangles from one strip, or all large triangles. I wanted a mix of both, so that's what you'll see here.  If you are doing a mix, starting with the small triangle at the trimmed edge, as shown, saves fabric.

Step 4:  Cut Large Triangles

To cut large triangles, orient the entire width of the ruler over your strips as shown.  Once again the guides on the ruler make lining things up quick and painless. And, once again, a bit of the ruler pokes out beyond the strip at the tip of your triangle to create that squared-off corner for easy sewing!

flying geese 4

Continue cutting until you've used up your strip!

flying geese 5

Step 5: The Sewing

If you thought the cutting was easy, the sewing is even better.  First, choose your pieces:

flying geese 6

Then, flip one small triangle over the large triangle matching up the squared off tip at the top.  Sew with a 1/4" seam, traveling from the square tip down towards the point.

flying geese 7

Press your first seam and then work with the second small triangle.  Align the small triangle with the squared off top once again.  This time you will begin sewing over the first small triangle so that they slightly overlap. This is essential - it creates your seam allowance so that the flying geese point is not chopped off when you piece a row of geese together.  Sew pieces with a 1/4" seam, this time with the large triangle fabric piece facing up so that you can travel as before from the squared off top towards the point. 

flying geese 8

By the way, I chose to press my seams towards the large triangle. It's quick and makes that triangle "pop" a bit from the front!  However you choose to do it, press that last seam....

flying geese 9

and You're Done!

flying geese 10

With any luck, your flying geese block is already square, or square enough!  See those little dog ears peaking out at the bottom?  Well, just ignore them.  They will be matched to the top of a flying geese block where there are no dog ears to speak of.  As such, they aren't going to cause a bulk issue or any other kind of harm.  So, be nice to yourself, save time and move on!

hello Happy Geese!

Before you know it, you'll have a whole flock of geese.  These really do work up so fast!  My flock will grow by just a few each night until they find a way to arrange themselves as new curtains for dear little Liam.  Yes, that dear little Liam who broke!!! his curtains and is now living with curtains that are forever closed.  I'll keep you updated on the progress!
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