Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Happy Surprise from Kate Spain

Terrain by Kate Spain

Lookie what I got in the mail from the lovely, generous and thoughtful Kate Spain.  It's the cutest mini charm pack ever!!  Wait?  What?  Lemme back up a sec.  I was reading the Intrepid Thread and Julie posted that Terrain by Kate Spain had arrived in her shop.  So, of course I was excited, and of course I left a comment.  Well, Kate was reading along too and she sent all the commenters a surprise in the mail.

Thank you Kate!  Thank you Julie!  I have a big, huge smile on my face today.  You guys are the best!!

Here are some of my favorites from Terrain.  The colors in this entire line are so pretty and saturated.  Love!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Quilting In The Garden 2011, Alden Lane Nursery

This weekend I went to a local quilt show called Quilting In The Garden at Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore, Ca.  I look forward to this every year.  They hang hundreds of quilts from their majestic Oak trees.  It is such a beautiful sight!!  This year they had over 200 quilts hanging in every nook can cranny.  Here are some of my favorites.

Quilting In The Garden 2011
Quilting In The Garden 2011

Quilting In The Garden 2011
# 99 Ocean Daisies by Becky Perry

Quilting In The Garden 2011
# 193 Generations by Madge Fordyce

Quilting In The Garden 2011
#9 Jewels for the Night by AnnaBelle Horgan

Would you like to see more?  Click on the slide show below to view all my photos from this year's show.  You can also view them individually here.

Quilting In The Garden 2011, Alden Lane Nursery, Livermore, Ca


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Block Making

At the beginning of the Modern 4x5 Bee, before we got partners, before we pulled fabric, we each put together an inspiration mosaic of our favorite blocks.  A little something to get the creative juices flowing.  Here are some of my favorite blocks that have been made by others.  You can click on the links below the picture to see each block on flickr.

Block Inspiration
1. tutorial: scrappy stars, 2. Scrappy Plus Block--Do good Stitches, 3. do. Good Stitches - June, 4. Pillow Talk Swap 4, 5. pillow talk swap received!, 6. favorite colors, 7. DQS10 full frontal, 8., 9. Bee Mental Blocks, 10. WIP: Christmas Quilt, 11. Blythe-Size Bee - Wonky Stars for Pippa, 12. 3x6 bee block - process post

After I pulled the fabric for my Modern 4x5 Bee buddies, I got stuck.  There were so many fabrics I wanted to use and it's hard to fit them all into a 12" block.  I knew I wanted something scrappy.  Inspiration struck while I was sitting at Starbucks, drinking an Iced Vanilla Latte, helping my five year old with his homework and waiting to pick up my three year old from Preschool.  There are worse ways to spend an afternoon.  ; )  In the spirit of sharing my process I will show you my messy sketch.

I like this block because I can use lots of different prints, there is a lot of movement and interest within the block, and I love the crisp, chunky, cross/plus/x, in the middle as a resting place.  Since I don't have buckets of coordinated scraps I am making scraps one strip at a time from yardage.  I know there are some of you laughing your heads off right now.  Making scraps?  Lady, are you crazy?!!?

Test Block, The Modern 4x5 Bee

I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend.  Tomorrow, I'm headed to one of my favorite local quilt shows at the Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore.  This year's featured artists are Rob Appell and Verna Mosquera. They hang all the quilts from their huge Oak trees.  It is so beautiful!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Finished! 100 Quilts for Kids

How am I supposed to follow up a blog post about a $600 quilt?  With a charity quilt of course.  ; )  There were some really good points made in the comments yesterday.  Comments about how your pricing affects others, different products might have different profit margins, and most crafters and quilters don't sell their quilts wholesale.  Most importantly remember that you make quilts because you LOVE it.

So here we go.  Hot off the sewing table... "Charming Sherbet Pips".

100 Quilts for Kids

I loved making this quilt!!  The charm packs were so cute on their own I didn't need to add anything.  Hey, some days you're a cook and some days you're a chef.  Today, I enjoyed being a cook.  I could just sit down, sew, and let my mind wander.  It felt wonderful.

100 Quilts for Kids

I used this quilting guide for the first time and it worked great.  Just slide it into your walking foot, and presto, a straight line guide that goes beyond the width of your foot.  Yahooie!

100 Quilts for Kids

As soon as I saw this cute scarf print I knew I would use it as a binding on a quilt.  I also attached the binding with my machine instead of by hand.  *gasp*  I know!  It wasn't nearly as scary as I thought and I finished a lot faster.  On the other hand, there was no snuggling underneath, watching (or listening to) a good movie, rounding the corners and finally a finish.  Different tools for different days.

100 Quilts for Kids

My daughter was eyeing this laid out on the table and thinks we should keep it there, "Mama, it makes the table so pretty".  She's right, but this quilt is destined for the 100 quilts for kids project going on now at Swim, Bike, Quilt.

100 Quilts for Kids

The end.  : )

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The $600 Baby Quilt

$600 Quilt
It has crossed my mind to sell baby quilts.  I love making them and I'm starting realize there is not that many babies in my life.  What is a quilt making lady to do?

I've never sat down and formulated a business plan, set a price structure or an opened an etsy shop.  Nothing as organized and official as all of that.  It's more of a what if game I play inside my head.  This is the kind of game that keeps me awake at night.  Not all nights, but some.  

Yesterday in my google reader, a blog post popped up by some of my favorite fabric artists, Ink & Spindle.  It was all about pricing your wares.  They explained a pricing formula taking into account, cost of goods, artist's time, wholesale prices, retail prices.  It all sounded very structured and well thought out.  I found myself nodding.  It made a lot of sense.

Just for fun... I ran the numbers for a simple patchwork baby quilt.  Following the formula, my quilt would need to be priced at $600.  $600!  I value handmade.  I love making quilts.  I don't know if the world is ready for the $600 baby quilt.  Even if it is a gorgeous, boutique, one of a kind, baby quilt.  ; )

I think the missing part of the equation is what is your target customer willing to pay?

Some food for thought that's for sure!

Blog post, The Formula by Ink & Spindle

NOTE TO SELF: I have that book.  Time to reread it!  Sheesh.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Modern 4x5 Quilt Bee

I'm very excited to be participating in the Modern 4x5 Quilt Bee on flickr.  This bee is a modern sampler bee that swaps four times a year in groups of five, or hives as we call them.  Each member creates five blocks.  The block pattern is the makers choice and the colors are the receivers choice.  For me it's all about the fabrics.  I loved pulling out stacks and stacks of fabrics in my hive-mates colors.  Let me show you what I found so far...

Amelia requested yellow, aqua, light and medium gray with a white background.  It was easy to get started when I saw my Baby Mish Mash Quilt in her inspiration mosaic.  I would like to add some of the deeper aqua and gray tones.  And elephants!

Tina requested orange, pink and yellow with a white background.  I really liked the mix of colors in the pinwheel and string quilts from her mosaic.  I need to find some more orange.

Jessica (aka Our Hive Mama) requested aqua, yellow, light and medium gray with a white background.  I really like those scrappy square blocks in the middle row of her mosaic.  I like the addition of the gray and aqua Hope Valley print.  I have that and I need to find that to add to her stack.

Charise requested red, pink, yellow and white.  I had to dig a little deeper in the cupboard to find some nice clear reds.  If I look through my scraps I will find the Andalucia dots, the Good Folks cathedral print.  Nicey Jane would fit right in too.

Rachel requested light  aqua, light yellow, gray and white.  I will start with the same stack as Jessica and Amelia, but for Rachel I want to make it softer and use more of lighter tones.

So the big question is.... what am I going to *make* with it.  Which block?  I have to admit I'm having a hard time deciding.  I want to include lot and lots of fun fabric in each block.  That is a lot for 12" isn't it?  So scrappy with a purpose.  : )

  1. 4x5 Bee Flickr Page
  2. Amelia
  3. Tina
  4. Jessica
  5. Charise
  6. Rachel

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Reprinting Pez or Pezzy by Sandy Klop

Oh happy day!!  It's true.  They are reprinting the much beloved Pez print by Sandy Klop.  It actual name is Pezzy, but you know what they mean right??  Just look at the all the pretty colors.  Oh-my!  I'm going to need a pezzy quilt.  Here is the style sheet (or whatever they're called) from Moda.

The multi-colored version will be available as part of the Fairy Tales collection available in October.  The Intrepid Thread has it listed on the Coming Soon page.

Shhh... Sandy is giving away a jelly roll over on the Moda blog.  Don't tell anyone because I really want to win!  ; )

PS- I know I already posted today, but I just had to tell someone.  I already squealed and scared poor Daisy dog.

Charming Sherbet Pips

100 Quilts for Kids, Top
a finished top

100 Quilts for Kids, Quilt Label
a quilt label

I love Sherbet Pips by Aneela Hoey and I went a little crazy buying charm packs awhile back.  It took me two days to arrange the squares and one dato sew up the top.  True!  The colors and illustrations of this line make me so happy.  I hope they will make some little kid happy too.  I'm finishing this up as part of 100 Quilts for Kids.  You still have a couple of weeks to finish a quilt and participate.

I'm going to channel my inner Rita (redpepperquilts) and use straight lines all over this top.  Wish me luck!!  : )


Monday, September 12, 2011

Color Palette Tools

Have you heard about the Dead Simple Quilt Along at Lily's Quilts?  Reading Lynne's blog post reminded me of how much I love playing with color!!!  I wanted to share with you some of the valuable color tools and inspiration sources I use. Whether or not I join the quilt along depends on how simple, dead simple is.  I am up to my ears in projects at the moment.  Lynne says, "resistance is futile".  Ha!  We shall see...  it looks like a lot of fun.

QUILTS MADE MODERN:  There is a great section on color theory in the book, Quilts Made Modern by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr.  I especially took note of the section on color proportion.  The look of your quilt changes drastically when you change how much of each color to include.  Are you looking to make a blue and orange quilt or a blue quilt with orange accents?

PHOTOSHOP:  For a quick custom color palette, use the eye dropper and paint bucket tool in Photoshop.  Flower pictures are great to start with because Mother Nature is the color expert!

KULER:  Kuler is an Adobe web-based color theme application.  It's free and if you love color... addicting!! I usually browse what other people have uploaded and find all kinds of color combos I like.  You can also create your own themes and share them on the site.

BIG HUGE LABS: The online Color Palette Generator from Big Huge Labs will pull a selection of colors from your pictures.  It can be a picture of anything!  Here is an example of what it chose from one of my pictures.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Giveaway: Peko Peko Cookbook

Image from: Peko Peko Cookbook

Sometimes I come across a giveaway that is too good to keep to myself.  If you cook, eat, or like the idea supporting Japan relief efforts then this giveaway is for you!  Robin from What About The Food is giving away a copy of Peko Peko, A Charity Cookbook for Japan!!  This book is full of family friendly Japanese recipes.  Pork and Shitake Gyoza (pot stickers)?  Yes please!!

TO ENTER: Visit What About The Food
ENDS: September 15, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Jane Market Bag

How was your weekend?!  Our three day weekend was spent...

Sewing and a Guild Meeting!!(Me)
House concert by Cindy Alexander.  Awesome!!
Arcade Day (the Boy)
Movie Night w/ Bambi II (the Girl)
Back, to back, to back episodes of Game of Thrones (the DH)

I love it when we each have time to do something we want to.  Most weekends we just can't fit it all in.  Two days is too short!

Jane Market Bag
Fabric used: DamaskSparrow and Woodgrain from Joel Dewberry's Aviary 2.

Jane Market Bag
Peek-a-Boo Sparrow and Wood Grain handles.

Jane Market Bag
What??  White out on the selvage?

I made two Jane Market Bags.  This is a great bag pattern!!  The lining, pockets and finished seams make for a very polished tote.  The pattern is well written and has lots of pictures for visual people (ME!).  I've made a few now and I find myself buying fabric with this bag in mind.  I love picking the contrasting sides and pockets.  For the handles I usually pick a dot or stripe.  This time I went with a wood grain print.  Ohlala!  Unlike the original bag, I attached the handles in between the inner and outer layers.

My friend Jaye has been making several of these and bringing them for Show & Tell at the guild meetings.  She is the bag making Queen!!  : )


  1. Jane Market Bag Pattern by Alicia Paulson of Rosy Little Things
  2. Alicia's Jane Market Bag Debut Post from April '09
  3. One of my all time favorite versions by Christina of The Sometimes Crafter
  4. Add fusible fleece like Jessica at Twin Fibers and it will stand on it's own!!
  5. Jane Market Bag Flickr Group... all Jane bags... all the time!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Garden By The Sea, Continued...

It's all Mary's fault!!  She was the first to comment on my last post and she asked, "What will you make with that pretty collection?".  Honestly, I had no plans beyond playing with the online swatches.  It's something I love to do, but I don't have the time, or let's face it, the budget to act on every idea.  Mary's comment got me thinking, what if... What if I did buy those fabrics?  What would I make?  It was a bulldog of a thought and it would not let go.  So working late into the night and into the afternoon and I came up with a plan I love!

As I was coloring in the blocks, I was thinking of the colors of the sea, the sky, and the sweet potted geraniums from my daydream.  My only regret is that I couldn't incorporate that gorgeous medallion print that started this whole thing.  The circles in that print are big.  They measure about 10" across.  I think it would make a very pretty backing.

I hope you have a great weekend!  I'm off to a guild meeting in the morning and I can't wait!!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

WINNER: Little Apples Giveaway

Hi Everyone,

Just popping in real quick before dinner to post the winner of my Little Apples giveaway.  Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by and entered.  I had so much fun reading through your comments!!  I told Tom he should take a look.  He did and then he snuck in a comment himself.  You can see it towards the end if you're curious.  ; )

The WINNER is........

Michelle of Chellemybelle Designs.  Congratulations Michelle!!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...