Sunday, May 29, 2016

2016 Graduation Custom Quilt

A few months ago, I was asked to make a quilt for a student who was graduating High School in May.  After our brief discussion, in the hallways of the high school, my client (Heather) and I decided to meet at Starbucks to review design and fabric options.

Heather wanted to have a quilt that could be signed at the graduation party, but could also be used as a lap-quilt.  Heather had some digital pictures to incorporate into the quilt.  The colors picked were the school colors: orange and black.  I also used some white and grey so it wouldn't look like a Halloween themed quilt.

We decided on a modern quilt pattern called Floating Squares, by Missouri Star Quilt Company (MSQC).  I am a subscriber to the MSQC BLOCK magazine, which is full of wonderful patterns for many kinds of quilts and other projects.  I especially love that each magazine pattern also has a published video tutorial on YouTube.  I don't know about you, but I am a visual learner.  I love videos!  Here is the video tutorial for the quilt:

After reviewing the pattern and video, we decided to make the front of the quilt with "floating" white squares and the background to be iron grey.  I added bits of orange and black to the front as well.  The entire front of the quilt was constructed with Robert Kaufman Kona solid fabrics.  The colors were White, Black, Kumquat and Iron.  The top of the quilt came together quicker than I had imagined!  I did a bunch of chain piecing, while laying it out on portions of my cutting table. 

As I mentioned before, Heather provided some digital pictures of her nephew and late brother to incorporate into the quilt.  I originally thought I would insert the pictures into the front of the quilt, but the symmetry of the "Floating Squares" would have been compromised.  I decided to improvise the back, while utilizing both pictures.  Instead of using strictly solids, we chose to incorporate fabrics that personified the High School Mascot - The Pirates.  Here are the 2 fabrics we decided upon:

Riley Blake - Raven
Riley Blake - Blackbeard's Skull

I'm afraid I bought the end of the bolt of the orange raven print.  I hope they come out with a similar design.  As you may know - many fabric companies will not reprint a design once it sells out.  The black fabric with white skull and crossbones was fun to work with because it is non-directional and the design is simple.  I also used the orange fabric as the binding for the entire quilt.

The design for the back of the quilt was improvised with the knowledge that the focal point would be 2 photos in a large block.  The provided pictures were extremely special because Heather's brother had recently passed away.  They were fortunate to have these very recent pictures taken as a part of Heather's Nephew's Senior pictures.  The design of the back utilized most of the procured fabric, while reserving a small portion of the orange fabric for the binding.

Once I had the front and back assembled, I took the quilt (and some Quilter's Dream batting) to my friends house.  I rented me some long-arm time so I could quilt the front and back together.  I used a free-motion pattern, which complimented the front of the quilt.  Before I quilted the pattern, I practiced on my sketch pad.  Practicing on a sketch pad helps with muscle memory and can ease the translation to the quilt.  Here is an example of the free-motion quilting pattern I used:

If you haven't used a long-arm quilting machine before, I highly recommend you give one a try!  This process definitely speeds up the quilting process and the quilting results are better than can be produced on a domestic machine.  I would love to have the space for one of my own long-arm machines and table!  Someday!

I gave myself 6 weeks to assemble, quilt and bind.  I could have probably finished it in less time, but I gave myself more time so I could also keep up with the incoming Etsy orders as well.  I was pleased with the finished product and more importantly - so was Heather and her Nephew!

If you would like to design your own quilt - Just let me know!  I would love to help you!

Click Here for more details

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Just say YES

The month of April has been a busy one!  
A friend of mine inspired me to say "YES" more often! 

"Yes, I would love to showcase my products in various venues around the metroplex!"  Click Here to find my upcoming events!

"Yes, I would love to customize something just for you!"

"Yes, I would love to make you a Quilt!" 

I get so excited to work with a client and help them choose the fabrics for a custom order.  I love to collaborate with folks on what design or colors to choose for a new Home Decor item.

I have been sharing pictures of my various makes.  You can find these in my store, on my Facebook page and many more on Instagram

I hope to find you at one of my upcoming events!  If you are not local - We can still stay connected!  See you soon!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sew Together Bag

My sister put a fire under me and I finally picked up the pattern for the Sew Together Bag.  I was honestly quite intimidated by this project, even before I read the pattern!  There are 4 zippers in this bag and it just looks very complex!  The only way to try something new is to jump right in.

I decided on my fabric, for my first bag, and followed all the cutting instructions.  I always have a bolt of Pellon SF101 on hand and lots of Quilter's Dream batting.  I had to special order the long zipper.  I get all my zippers from Zipit!

The first bag took me about 2 days to make.  I would have finished it sooner, but finally stumbled upon a great tutorial.  This help immensely, as I am a visual learner.  I love pictures!! Go check out the tutorial by Quilt Barn - She breaks everything down for us, nicely!

The second and third bags came out easily.  2 out of the 3 are already gone.  I had to keep one for myself.  I am working on 4 more (for custom orders) and need to make at least 3 for an upcoming craft fair.  I better get to the studio and get to work!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Don't fear the Curve!

A couple weeks ago, I attended a KCMQG retreat in Brunswick Missouri.  This was such a nice facility!  The main sewing area was generously spacious.  The kitchen was completely modern with ample appliances, dishes and cutlery.  We even had a separate dining area so we could step away from our sewing machines and eat as a group.  The sleeping arrangements were very nice with a private full bathroom for each 2 bedroom unit!  The Brunswick Lodging and Event Center is attached to the Sew Sweet Quilt Store.  I believe there were a total of 37 members that weekend.  Needless to say, it was a fantastic weekend - full of sewing and inspiration!

Personally, one of the best take-away was the quick lesson we had for the Quick Curve Ruler Mini.  Throughout the weekend, I mentioned that I had a fear of sewing curves.  I thought they looked difficult and was frankly intimidated by sewing curves.  Kelly Lautenbach was generous to give us a very nice impromptu tutorial.  She provided a small sampling of fabric and the QCR-mini for us to practice the technique.  I was so surprised that the technique was as simple (check out this demo on the full size template)!  I forgot all about my math lessons from school (concave and convex).  Why hadn't I tried this template earlier?  Kelly was so generous and offered the remaining fabric squares to keep.  I took these home and practiced.  I ended up making a table topper!  What do you think?

I do believe the creator of the Quick Curve Ruler was a genius!  I have not tried the full size template yet, but my friend purchased one.  There are so many wonderful things being made by using these templates.  There is even a book with patterns!  I can see this making an appearance on my Amazon wish list very soon.

After that weekend, I can honestly say I am not afraid of sewing curves!

Sunday, January 31, 2016


For the past year, I have been a member of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild (KCMQG).  This group is packed full of super talented individuals!  The KCMQG is one of the first Modern Guilds to organize since the inception of the Modern Quilt Guild.  The membership of the guild is rather large with a majority of the members taking an active role.

Last year, when I signed up to join the Guild, I was given a choice of which committee I would like to serve.  There were several choices, and I felt I was best suited for the Challenges and Swaps Committee.  Our committee chair gathered us all together last spring to discuss our upcoming committee activity.  During this meeting, I volunteered to lead a swap with the St Louis Modern Quilt Guild (STLMQG).

My sub-committee was very small, but we were excited!  We wanted to have participants swap block's of their choice and their secret partners would make them into something and return to the guild for a reveal.  Our first step was to make contact with the STLMQG and see if they were interested in this idea.  I was put into contact with Casey York (can you believe it!!!) and we both hit the ground running with ideas.  An online Google form was created to obtain participant's entry data and hard copies will be given to those who are not able to signup online.  We will reveal this swap at our upcoming February Guild meeting(s)!

I think I will call this the #i70Swap! 


Here are the basics of the upcoming swap:

Signup to participate in the #i70Swap.  This can be done either online or by turning in a manual info form at the February and March meetings.  You obviously must be a member of either Guild to participate.  Create one (1) quilt block and turn your block in at your March guild meeting.  The quilt block size range is 8" - 12" and should contain some of your favorite fabrics and style.  Your supplied block (with your info form) will be shipped to our sister guild and you will receive your partner's block (with their info form) during your April Guild Meeting.  In June and July, your finished projects will be collected and shipped to the appropriate destination Guild.  Project and partner reveals will occur in August.  Your secret partner will make you one of the following from your supplied block:

- Tote
- Pillow Cover
- Table Topper / Table Runner
- Tablet Cover / Book Cover (dimensions required)
- Surprise Me

I plan to create a Pinterest board to help with tutorials and inspirations for the various project choices.  I still have more work to do for preparation, so I better get on it!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

School is in session! 

Today is the first day of school for Ty (Freshman) and JD (4th grader).  I guess you can also say it is the first day of school for me as well (Lunch Monitor at the Middle School).  They boys were easy to get out of bed this morning and the cat is already napping away in silent bliss!

Since my job doesn't start until around 10:30am, this gives me a few moments to get updated on the past couple weeks.  Let me give you a quick peek at what has kept me busy!

As some of you know, I am very involved in Instagram swaps.  I was feeling a little overwhelmed with most of the deadlines looming, so I made myself a digital note to help me keep things sorted.  Here are my swaps, with their prospective deadlines:

Ships August 8th
Host +So Charming

Ships August 28th
Host @tessaraewilliams

Ships Sept 1st
Host +So Charming

Ships Oct 1st
Host @jesse_artschooldropout

I was blessed to be a "swap angel" for the #nerdymugrugswap for @kgdcraftermath.  Her originally assigned secret partner was not able to ship, so I was glad to step in and create something just for her.  She said she liked several "nerdy" things, including Dr. Who.  I must confess that the only thing I knew about Dr. Who was the bit about time travel and that one of the characters in an espisode had inspired my favorite author, Diana Gabaldon.  Here is a picture of the package I sent on Monday:

This was a super quick, but fun package to send.  I even met a new friend in the process!

Next, on the swap to-do list, is the #finishedblockswap.  This is a known partner swap.  I am making a "Wonky Star" 18" finished block for @raeshadrz.  This is the second time I have been assigned to Raesha.  My first time was my first ever swap, the StarBucksMugRugSwap.  Raesha is such a special gal and so talented and creative.  She is also making a finished block for me.  Here is my progress on Raesha's block:

For this block, I used Tula Pink Bumble (from my stash) and used Kona solids for the star.  Each square is 5", which makes this a perfect 18" finished size.  I have already pieced this and will be selecting the backing and quilting next.  This block is so fun and easy - I can see myself doing more of these.

Well, I better get myself around - School lunch is in an hour and I am excited for the first day as well!


Thursday, July 30, 2015

It has been 6 months since my last post!  That was not intentional, but I finally figured out how to update my BLOG since I started using the Chrome Browser.  Whew!

Lots of sewing adventures have happened over the past half year.
I have joined the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild, participated in a half dozen Instagram swaps and even started my own Etsy Store!

So, I have a project list and am checking it twice.  Right now, I am the in process of making another Queen Sized T-shirt Quilt for a local Scouting family.  It is really fun to make the blocks for this quilt since my own sons have these same shirts.  This past Christmas, I made my father a Tshirt quilt and used the QAYG (quilt as you go) process.  The tutorial I used online was extremely helpful and am using this same technique in this current commission piece.  The size they requested required a total of 25 Tshirts, but they did not have enough.  I was able to use some of the scouting uniform neckerchiefs to fill the block gap.  These turned out pretty good - Check it out!  I am in the quilting stage and soon the parents will get to come over and help me decide on placement.  I am so excited for them!

The next few things on my project list are swaps on Instagram, which will all be due to ship soon.  The first upcoming shipment deadline is for the #FinishedBlockSwap.  If all goes well with this swap, I should be able to assemble an entire quilt in the next year!  The quilt blocks would be made by virtual friends around the country.  I even made an inspirational mosaic to help my partner understand what I have in mind for the block pattern.  I even let my partner know what types of fabrics I was hoping for with a different mosaic.  I need to get started on this next week since August is going to be a very busy month!

Speaking of busy....  I should probably stop signing up to volunteer on committees!  Currently, I am the Director of Merchandise for our Youth Football League (we just launched a new merchandise online store and I now know WAY too much about Wordpress).  I volunteered to be the Popcorn Kernel for my youngest son's Cub Scout Pack.  That should be interesting!  My eldest son will be in High School this year and involved in the Marching Band.  I am the new Co-Chair of the Uniform Committee.  I am still the Service Project Coordinator for the Cub Scouts Pack and also take the lead role in planning a monthly Bunco Group and a Bi-Yearly Sew'N'Sew group.

Well, I better get back to the oven and get our late dinner on the table.  We usually eat pretty late in Football Season, since the practices usually don't end until 8:00pm.

Thanks for taking a peek at my little blog.  I am excited to be back!