Monday, December 21, 2015

New Beginnings at Pink Chalk

Starting toady, I am the proud new owner of Pink Chalk! 

Earlier this month, Kathy posted that she was leaving the business and looking to sell Pink Chalk. That made me so sad. It would be the end of an era. I have watched and admired as Kathy grew her business and inspired and encouraged the sewing community. I knew that it was not time for the Pink Chalk story to end. After pacing and ranting to my husband, I realized that there was something I could do about it. I could be the new owner and carry on where Kathy left off. As crazy as it sounded in my head, when I said it out loud it felt right. I also have a passion for fabric, sewing, and this awesome handmade community and I can't wait to get started.

This blog (little bluebell) will remain as my personal blog and I will continue to write and share about my projects here. I will also be blogging about fabric, books, patterns and tutorials over at Pink Chalk.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Giveaway: You're My Favorite

There is something about this time of year that fills my heart and reminds me of the wonderful people in my life. It is so fun to wrap up little surprises and send some cheer. I was writing down a list of all my favorite quilting tools and I kept thinking about you. You are my favorite! I am so grateful for this quilting community. Thank you for your incredible, ongoing support.


1. OLFA 28 - This rotary cutter is a specialist. It is the perfect size when working with templates, curves, or paper piecing.

2. OLFA 45 - I have tried so many different rotary cutters and I always come back to this one. I've had it for years and it fits perfectly in my hand. It's easy to squeeze the handle to uncover the blade which automatically goes back into a covered position when I set it back down. So easy.

3. ADD A QUARTER - A must have for paper piecing. I like the larger 12" size.

4. WONDER CLIPS - These little guys are so handy in the sewing room. I use them on binding, zippers and bulky projects. They are also good when you are sewing with leather or plastic because they don't leave a mark.

5. OMNIGRID RULER - Out of all the rulers I've tried, these are my favorite. The markings are easy to read and accurate. This size fits easily under my hand and is perfect for cutting out smaller pieces and squaring up blocks.

6. AURIFIL THREAD - Strong, smooth thread that makes my seams lie super flat. Yes, please!

7. PATCHWORK PINS - I've gone through so many types of pins, but these are perfect. Sharp and super thin. They glide in and out of the fabric with ease.

8. SEAM RIPPER - Sometimes simple is best. This fits comfortably in my hand and is sharp for tackling any necessary un-sewing. I replace mine every so often because the blade does get dull over time. I buy two because I tend to lose them in my sewing room and they aren't very expensive.

This giveaway is now closed. The winner is ericaday6. Congratulations Erica! Thank you all for participating. : )

I'm giving away a set of my favorite quilting tools. Every single one of these items is on my worktable and I wouldn't work without them. 

Enter to win by:

1) following this blog
2) leave a comment below, what is your favorite quilting tool?

Giveaway ends 12/16/15 at midnight PST. International entries welcome! Winner will be posted here on the blog.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Candy Corn Quilt is Finished

It's hard to remember where this quilt started without a visit to the way back machine (aka an old blog post from 2012). The Guising fabric collection by Lizzy House had just come out. It featured the cutest little ghosties and geometric candy corn. It was sweet without being too sweet, and quirky in the best possible way. I loved it and wanted to make a quilt for Fall/Halloween for my family to snuggle under while passing out candy to trick-or-treaters.

Tufts, Outfoxed by Lizzy House

I first paired the fabrics with taupes and creams and it was a little too tame for me. The more color and pattern I added, the more I liked it. The background was chosen after laying my fabrics out next to a color card and looking for the one that made everything pop. It turned out to be a saturated red-purple color which happily surprised me. It was similar to one of the deeper tones in the Tufts print from Outfoxed, also by Lizzy House.

I started by cutting out 2 1/2" strips from stack of fabric. Then I pieced them together in strip sets with a a variety of color and pattern in each. I cut the strip sets into triangles. Instead of the traditional Thousand Pyramid layout, I opted for lining up my points for a different look. It's funny, looking back at that original post, I pondered the idea of being in a triangle phase. It turns out it's not a phase, but an obsession. : ) 

The backing is a deep chocolate minky fabric that I ordered from Harts Fabrics. I used cotton batting too, so it's extra snuggle and warm. Perfect for this time of year.

It feels really good to have this quilt finished and now that it's done, I'm ready to put up my Christmas decorations.

Change the colors and it could totally be a winter quilt!

Name: Candy Corn
Size: 48" x 72"
Materials: Guising by Lizzy House for Andover and coordinating stash fabrics
Quilting: outlined triangles and rows with walking foot

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fast and Fun Improv

We've been rearranging our house and it's driving me bonkers! My little creative corner has shrunk and I'm in denial about it. Seeking solace, I walked over to my fabric cupboard and pulled out fabrics that felt comforting. This is a hug from my fabric fairy godmother. She whispered, "everything will be ok. Why don't you sit down and make something?"

I followed this great tutorial by Svetlana of S.O.T.A.K handmade. There is no pattern, you make a stack of fabrics and cut them up and then mix up the order of prints. I really liked making intentional, but unmeasured cuts. 

Normally I spend a lot of time placing each color and each print exactly where I want it. I liked the feeling of serendipity when I sewed everything together and it just worked.

I made two stacks and ended up with 12 blocks. Then I added some sashing and borders and the next thing you know I had a quilt top. I adore the look of this type of quilt and Svetlana's tutorial made it so easy.

Fabric: Mix of prints by Denyse Schmidt, Essex Linen in Linen, Kona Cotton in Ivory and a black or grey crosshatch from Timeless Treasures

Friday, September 25, 2015

Scrappy Sewing Just Because

The other night it was finally quiet in the house and I went into my sewing area to clean up a bit. Instead, I found myself sitting down to sew something just for fun. I still had scraps from my Good Neighbors project out and I had a new pattern that I wanted to try. The next thing you know hours had silently passed me by. I love finding that quiet place of concentration and creation. It fuels me and refuels me again and again.

FABRIC: Good Neighbors by Amanda Jean Nyberg
PATTERN: Goosed Up by JeliQuilts

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sunny Side Pincushion and the Good Neighbors Blog Hop

Image via: Connecting Threads
Introducing Good Neighbors, the debut fabric line from my friend, Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts. We're celebrating this fun collection with a pincushion blog hop, a new pincushion a day from different quilting bloggers. If this is your first time to my blog, welcome!!

Good Neighbors is a beautiful collection full of stash-worthy prints. This is the kind of fabric I find myself reaching for again and again because they are so versatile. The colors are cheery and fun and they go with everything. There is a great range of scale and a variety of prints. Good Neighbors is brand new this month and available now at Connecting Threads.

For my project, I selected prints in teal, aqua, orange and grey and I cut out mini (teeny-tiny) Dresden blades. They reminded me of bunting all stitched together.

I added some linen scraps and stuffed it with poly-fil for body and uncooked rice for weight. I'm also experimenting with adding lavender essential oils for fragrance. I was thinking it could be kind of like a sachet/pincushion. It's already adding a perfect slice of sunshine to my cutting table.


There has been so many colorful and creative pincushions made already this month and a few more to come. Visit the links below and see them all!

Blogger Name
Blog URL
Amanda Jean (kick off blog post)
Melissa Corry
Adrianne (you are here!) : )
Teri (wrap-up blog post)


UPDATE: The winner is GranChris! Congratulations!!

WIN a charm pack of Good Neighbors!! Leave one comment below by this Friday, 9/25/15 for your chance to win. This giveaway is provided by Connecting Threads and is open to residents of US and Canada. The winner will be chosen randomly and notified by email.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Color on my mind

Color inspiration happens everywhere! Sometimes it comes from nature, sometimes it comes from art and sometimes it comes from within one's own mind. These are the colors I was thinking of as I went to sleep last night and they are still with me today. They are kind of fall-ish in a Northern California kind of way. : )
What color is on your mind today?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Finished Modern Butterfly Quilt and a New Pattern

Name: Modern Butterfly
Size: 48" x 60"
Materials: Assorted prints in navy, wintergreen, fuschia, mustard and grey
Quilting: Crosshatch with Aurifil #2021 Natural White

It all started with a stack of fabrics in a variety of prints in navy, wintergreen, fuschia, mustard and grey. I loved this collection of saturated colors and I thought it would be fun to set them against an off-white solid for a bold quilt with a lot of contrast. 

These butterfly blocks fit that mood perfectly with their crisp lines and colorful wings. My favorite part was really mixing up the colors for each butterfly. Their two-tone wings really let all the different color combinations shine.

After sharing photos of the blocks, I received several requests for the pattern. It didn't exist yet, except in my head. So I set to work getting it written down so you can make your own beautiful butterflies! I'm excited to tell you that it's finally finished. It's a full color pattern that includes fabric requirements, cutting list, paper piecing diagrams, full size printable foundation for paper piecing and coloring page to customize your own design.
- Modern Butterfly Quilt Pattern

A very special shout out to Barbara, Holly, Rene' and Jayne. Thank you so much for all of your kind words and support!


Monday, February 16, 2015

Tutorial: Fast and Easy Half Rectangle Triangles

This is my new favorite way to make half rectangle triangles (HRTs). Using the Recs Tool by Darlene Zimmerman and Joy Hoffman makes it so fast and easy. The tool is etched with markings to make several sized blocks. For this tutorial, I'm making the 6 1/2" sized block.

1) Cut a 6 1/2" strip

2) Cut out pieces using the Recs Tool

3) Rotate Recs tool and cut another piece

4) Continue cutting down the strip until you have as many pieces as you need.

5) Choose two pieces with contrasting colors or value

6) Sew together using a 1/4" seam allowance. Use the snipped angle for alignment.

7) Press seams open

8) Trim and your block is done. So easy! : )

Sunday Sail quilt in progress

Make a bunch more you will have a fun HRT project before you know it!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Mood Board: Black and White

I'm looking for black and white fabrics. More white than black please. Something a little bit sketchy, a little bit quirky, throw in some text, a classic dot and a smidgen of unexpected color. Yes! That's it!!

  1. Small gingham. Riley Blake
  2. Dress me playground, Dear Stella
  3. Honeycomb dots, Riley Blake
  4. Petite plus, Rashida Coleman Hale
  5. Small spots, Robert Kaufman
  6. Calendar grid, Ampersand Design Studio
  7. Crisscross, Ann Kelle
  8. Songbirds, Alyssa Thomas
  9. Tiger Stripes, Alexia Marcella Abegg
  10. Crosshatch, Carolyn Friedlander
  11. Beatrice Weave, Michael Miller
  12. Numbers, Ampersand Design Studio
   Fabrics found at Hawthorne Threads

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Halfway done and oops!

While I was sewing the other day, I had a sinking feeling that something was not quite right. I was halfway through piecing this quilt top when I realized that I sewed it wrong. Well not technically wrong, just not the way I had planned. The first photo (above) is the original plan. The second photo (below) is what I sewed together.

I remembered that I was going to group the "boats" by color and print, which I think looks really cool in mass. Somehow when I got to sewing, I only grouped by color. Still cool, but much more scattered and patchworky and less deliberate feeling. I was fond of the deliberate this time.

I'm going to keep going, but I might have to make two quilts now because the original idea is kind of a nag. Maybe nagging in a good way though.



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