August 18, 2014

New fabric, lots of possibilities

Just got these Moda fabrics at American Quilting in Orem, Utah. As if I needed more Christmas-themed fabric but, as usual, I cannot resist these my favorite colors.

I am working on a fall quilt which is only missing a little bit more of applique - the pieces are all there except for the matching threads. Will have to order more Aurifil 28 wt and 12 wt via Follow that Thread.

In the meantime, I got a book for review filled with projects for the Winter. I am placing my fabrics next to its copy, as the wall hanging with reindeer is soooo cute, and the matching table topper, too! I will add a few more fabrics to make the center, and add the border using the patterned fabric above. Check it out:
Martingale - Here Comes Winter (Print version + eBook bundle)

Gorgeous set or what? The book is called Here Comes Winter - Quilted Projects to Warm your Home by Jeanne Large and Shelley Wicks. What wonderful designs they have come up with! Both authors learned to sew early in life with their grandmothers and aunts, their experience reflected in each project.

The book features bed-size quilts, lap quilts, wall hangings large and small, pillows... great ideas for Christmas gifts. The applique pieces are whimsical and add charm to these warm-colored projects.

I love their instructions for framing projects. They will come in handy when I make smaller quilts, such as the "Lost Mittens" shown below.

(Photographs by Brent Kane for Martingale)
Martingale - Here Comes Winter (Print version + eBook bundle)
Martingale - Here Comes Winter (Print version + eBook bundle)

Yes, I know, we are still in the Summer and, like you, I do not want to rush the cool weather in. However, I do like to 'enjoy' the Holidays, as opposed to rush to get gifts ready. So, here is my contribution to your getting ahead of the game...

Enjoy your week!

August 7, 2014

Landscape quilting

Whenever I need a mental break, I think of this quilt I made a few years ago. Far from perfect, it provides the clues I need to transport me to that location. Closing my eyes, I pretend I am sitting on one of those rockers and can almost feel the mountain breeze. Visualization does help calm one's mind very quickly.

I have the itch to work on another landscape quilt. I just need to hang the background fabric on the design wall. All the fabrics I might use will be piled next to it and, as days go by, inspiration will move me and I will add a piece, unless I already have a design in mind or paper. This quilt is heavily freemotion quilted and, due to many layers, I could only use the walking foot (the backwards sewing with the walking foot was, huh, interesting).

So, that is my plan for next week, as today I am getting ready for my grandson's weekend visit - he is arriving on Friday. Speaking of Friday, Fat Quarter Shop is having a sale on all Riley Blake fabrics starting tomorrow:

Displaying 20RBSale-NL.jpg

That will be the only quilt-related thing I will be doing this weekend!

Enjoy your day,

August 1, 2014

Fast placemats

Look what I found while checking out Moda Bake Shop. The tutorial is very easy to follow, by Emily Herrick at Crazy Old Ladies, who comes up with wonderful, creative patterns. It makes a perfect gift when you know the recipient's favorite color.

This is on my list of Christmas gifts to make for this year. It would also look very nice with beige to brown gradient, with black strips instead of white. If you wanted to try a modern project, here you go!

Happy weekend,

July 22, 2014

Applique respite

I am probably the only person crazy enough to stop mid-packing for our upcoming move to another house, lock herself in the quilt room and, to the relaxing tunes of instrumental music, start machine appliqueing flowers with many curves...

I left enough stuff in my quilt room, not knowing if I would have time to do anything. I am glad I did. Machine appliqueing slowly due to the curves has allowed me to breathe, pace myself, re-energize.

Yesterday, I searched high and low for matching threads for this project. I did not want to order them via the Internet as there was no time (in my mind only) to wait for shipping. I finally found the threads I wanted albeit of a different brand (Sulky, when I was looking for Aurifil). Again, I am glad I went on that wild goose chase, even as I know I won't be able to finish all the applique today.

It is all right. It has already worked its magic and I am ready to continue packing. Thus it is with crafts in general: they provide respite from tribulations. People like to say they are cheaper than therapy. Well, check out all my supplies and you will immediately know it isn't true. However, it is a much more pleasant alternative...

What craft or project do you work on when you need relaxation? Drop me a line...

July 21, 2014

Animal Parade

Martingale - Animal ParadeAt the end of a frustrating day, I opened my mail box and found just what a needed to lift my mood: a book with baby quilts sent for review. Not any book, mind you: the quilts in this book are gorgeous, with simple blocks as background to beautiful applique'.

Animal Parade, Adorable Applique Quilt Patterns for Babies by Cheri Leffler features 10 quilt projects, each with a different animal: giraffes, owls, ducks, foxes, frogs, sheep, turtles and other sea creatures, koala bears, penguins, and monkeys. The quilt designs are stunning in their simplicity, accented by the appliqued animals which were almost all drawn by one of Cheri's daughters, Michelle.

You could choose to use Cheri's needle-turn applique' method, explained in the first pages of the book, or use machine applique, which is what I will do. The book includes full-size patterns and large applique' shapes, as well as clear instructions and diagrams.

Take a look at a few of the projects and you will understand why I am so excited about it:

Martingale - Animal ParadeMartingale - Animal Parade
(Photographs by Brent Kane for Martingale)

Martingale - Animal Parade Martingale - Animal Parade

Cheri has been quilting, teaching, and working with fabrics as a shop owner or staff for many years. I am glad she translated her amazing artistic talents into a book!

I am moving to another town this week, so I will need to wait until my quilt room is organized before I can tackle another project. As soon as I am settled in, I will start the quilt with penguins, not shown here. I cannot wait!

Have a wonderful week,

July 14, 2014

Fabric sale!

Displaying ModaSale-NL.jpg

I am back from Brazil! It is quite possible that my return so upset the Brazilians that we lost the World Cup... This is all I will say about that disaster.

Now, for the good news: Fat Quarter Shop is having a sale on all Moda fabrics: 25% until July 18. Sewing has been but a dream the past few weeks. The next best thing is to buy fabrics for my stash! So, I am heading over there to get some goodies.

Just thought you would like to know! Have a great day,

June 26, 2014

English Paper Piecing

Martingale - English Paper Piecing II (Print version + eBook bundle)When I travel I like to bring with me two or three projects to work on during downtime. For this trip (I am in Brazil visiting family) I am knitting socks, a scarf, and doing English paper piecing. When I don't feel like knitting, I can hand sew. English paper piecing is ideal for using scraps of fabric, which can be conveniently packed in small bags for traveling.

As usual with English Paper Piecing for me, I have no idea what I will do when I have all the pieces prepared. I spent some time this morning thumbing through Vicki Bellino's English Paper Piecing II for inspiration and was totally blown away by her cool projects. Wall hangings, cover ups, bed runners, totes... each project showcasing hexagons, diamonds, scallops and other interesting shapes used very creatively.

I particularly like the ones where Vicki appliqued the pieces onto blocks, with great template shapes used in unexpected ways. Here a few for my quilting 'bucket list':

Martingale - English Paper Piecing II (Print version + eBook bundle)Martingale - English Paper Piecing II (Print version + eBook bundle)
               (All photographs by Brent Kane for Martingale)
Martingale - English Paper Piecing II (Print version + eBook bundle)Martingale - English Paper Piecing II (Print version + eBook bundle)

Aren't these gorgeous? Vicki loves paper piecing and it shows... Whether you already love EPP or always wanted to try it, this book is a great choice. The general instructions at the beginning of the book are very detailed with clear diagrams, a useful resource for beginners and experienced paper piecers alike.

Well, time to go for a walk and be inspired by nature. Enjoy your day!


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