Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bee Blocks Almost Done

I didn't get nearly as much as I wanted to get done this weekend, but I'm okay with that. Saturday I only left the house once, and spent the rest of the day curled up on the couch, with a fire and the dog catching up on my TV shows and doing some hand sewing. There was so much sewing I actually had to do, but I opted to laze on the couch instead. Yesterday I had a holiday brunch with my friends in the early part of the day any by the time I got home in the mid afternoon I resolved not to leave the house again. This time I did get some face time with Hepburn to catch up on some bee blocks to get me through to the end of the year. 


I've got next week off work so we're taking a little trip (to Alaska! I'm so excited!) so my sewing time between now and the New Year will be virtually nonexistent. I was behind on some blocks for November so I wanted to power through and get them off my plate. For the Hope Circle, Janet asked for some Garden Lattice blocks in Tangerine using this tutorial



Then, Flaun asked us to paper piece some amazing solid blocks in the Sewn Together Bee. We used the pattern "It's a Stretch" found in the book "Modern Blocks". I am so excited about these. I absolutely cannot wait to see this quilt completed. It is going to be absolutely amazing. 




My last block ever for the Sew Fun Bee was a low volume, traditional block for Dolores. She wanted each of us to use modern, low volume fabrics but do a different traditional block. I picked the Quatrefoil block because I love it so much. I really need to make a low volume quilt for myself someday soon.


I'm really going to miss sewing with that group, but at least that's one bee off my plate. I still have two outstanding bee obligations to finish out the year, one for November for the Bee a Lone Star(burst) and one for the December Hope Circle. Speaking of the Hope Circle, we're looking for two Stitchers to join our circle in the new year. If you're interested in joining us to make charity quilts for Threading Hope with do. Good Stitches, please contact me. We'd love to have you!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Giveaway Winners

I just paid a visit to Mr. Random Number Generator and he picked a winner for the "A Year of Making Life Beautiful" Book giveaway. Congratulations to lucky number...

Beth, you're a No Reply Commenter so email me asap so I can get you your copy of the book. I know you're going to love it! And for those of you who didn't win, you can still get your very own copy. Just check out Melissa's Etsy shop or QuiltWoman to snatch one up!

Friday, June 15, 2012

"A Year of Making Life Beautiful" Blog Tour


Do you know Melissa of Lilac Lane? If you don't, you really should get to know her. I "met" Melissa a could of years ago, both through her wonderful blog and also as a member of the charity bee "A Dozen Quilters". I saw that they were losing a couple members and asked Melissa if I could join, especially since they were turning their focus to charity projects. She gladly said yes. It was a pleasure to work with her through a year of projects to help those less fortunate than us, but an equal pleasure getting to know her better as well.

I am sure some of you remember me mentioning a couple of secret projects I was working on this Spring. Well, they were for Melissa. The first you saw a while back - her super cute "Picnic In the Park" quilt pattern, which she released this Spring and was also recently featured at her booth at the International Quilt Market. And then came the second secret project... Imagine my surprise when she asked me if I would also be willing to make a quilt for her new book, "A Year of Making Life Beautiful: 45 projects to bake, grow, craft and sew throughout the year". I was honored. Seriously? I'm not worthy!
Melissa sent me her elegant, yet easy, "Make Life Quilt" Pattern along with a beautiful array of Hello Luscious fabrics by Basic Gray for Moda. This gorgeous quilt can be made from pre-cuts. I don't usually work with a lot of pre-cuts but, let me tell you, it made life so much easier not to have to worry about cutting all that fabric. It makes for a quilt top that comes together quickly, yet all your friends and family will think you labored for weeks! She also entrusted me to quilt it too. Whoa! Talk about pressure. It was actually the first quilt I quilted on my new machine, and despite it's size it quilted like a charm! But I'm proud to say it's being featured in the month of April in her book, and also was at her booth at Market. My picture can't even do it justice. The sun was at the wrong angle when I had to take the picture!

Make Life Quilt

That's not even the best part. I got an advance copy of the book, and let me tell you, the whole thing is simply delicious! Melissa has such an amazing sense of style and grace. And her warm and gentle personality shines in each and every one of the projects featured in "A Year of Making Life Beautiful". And each project really does help beautify your life even more.

(Make Life Quilt)

Melissa taken her gift for making life beautiful and translated it to the page with all sorts of fun and yummy projects to create. Each month she cleverly features a variety of sewing, cooking, gardening and craft projects that you can make in your own home. No matter your walk of life or where you live, there's something in this book bound to call out, "Make Me!"

(Stars & Stripes Quilt)

I, personally, can't wait to try making the Memory Bag. I mean, how genius is that? I wish I had seen that before I left Chicago and threw away all of my bulky sweaters!

(Memory Bag)

Just flipping through the pages gives me a sense of calm and peace, so rarely found in my hectic life.
Be sure to get your own copy today! They're available directly from Melissa or on Quiltwoman in either spiral bound or hardcover editions. BUT one of my lucky followers and win their very own copy! Melissa is generously donating a copy of her book "A Year of Making Life Beautiful" to one of my lucky readers. So I'm hosting a giveaway! All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment. You can tell me anything but if you're at a loss, tell me what you would like to do to make your life more beautiful. That's it. I'll keep the giveaway open until Monday, June 18, 2012. One comment per person. International Entries welcome. But please, if you're a "No Reply" commenter make sure I have a way to contact you. Good luck!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Little Stitches Week 14 - Pattern R - Cuddle Kitty Toy

Little Stitches Week 14 - Pattern R - Cuddle Kitty Toy


Slowly, but surely, I am making my way through the book. I know I way being way ambitious trying to do one project a week, especially with my busy work schedule. But the good news is: I'm over halfway through completing all the projects and I still have friends making babies. They just don't seem to stop reproducing! Work has been hectic again, and has put a damper on my sewing time, last weekend I helped throw a baby shower for a very close friend of mine and even though I was on the planning committee, I could't come empty handed. So I decided to make something simple for her.

Pattern R - Cuddle Kitty Toy - Difficulty Level: 2


I met Nancy (and her husband Steven) at a Halloween party six years ago. I had just started dating my husband and we were in the phase where we started introducing each other to our friends. Nancy and I met and we clicked immediately. It was one of those moments where you know you're going to be friends. And here we are, six years later. I married that boy and Nancy and Steven are having a girl. Life keeps moving on. Nancy is an extremely talented wardrobe stylist for commercials, who hates to sew. Funny, right? I've actually been teaching her how to make her first quilt so I opted to make something small for her little girl instead. And the Kitty Toy seemed perfect. Since I've been helping her with the quilt I wanted to pick out complementary colors for the Kitty Toy and red and aqua were the perfect choices. They still feel feminine without being over-the-top girly.


I'll openly admit my first mistake. I got all excited and wanted to save time so I laid my main panel and backing fabric out together to cut them at the same time. Only, I laid them directly on top of each other with both fronts facing up and started cutting. I was about a 1/4 of the way through cutting when I realized my mistake. Um, yeah. You need to reverse the backing fabric so when cutting both fabrics together (which does save time) you need to lay one facing up and the other facing down so the wrong sides of your two fabrics are together. Um hum. Just call me the queen of stupid mistakes.


Realizing my mistake I flipped the bottom fabric over and cut them again. This pattern is easy BUT you're working with a lot of curves. Cutting curves can be challenging, so I recommend making sure your rotary blade is extra sharp. Put a new one in if you can. The sharper the blade, the easier it will move around the curves. Also, have a sharp pair of scissors on hand. These will come in super handy for snipping into those corners and you may find yourself using them to help snip trickier portions of the curved pattern. But just remember that you want the fabric for the front side of your cat facing up and the back side of your cat facing down, otherwise you'll end up with a reverse cat, like mine. Oops, again!


I did reach another little stumbling block with the stripes on the tail. The pattern says to cut more than needed, so I am assuming that the spare stripes go on the back of the cat but I didn't read that step in the instructions and you can't really ever see the back of the cat in the pictures so I couldn't tell if she wanted me to put stripes on the back of the tail as well. So I only put them on the front and ended up with extra stripes that went into my scrap bin.


But I do have a little TIP for any of you as anal as I am. It does add an extra step, but not much time. If you're diligent about making the 1/4" folds on your stripe pieces but are having trouble eyeballing them, I suggest doing a 1/4" basting stitch (using your 1/4" foot if you have one) and then ironing along that as a guideline. Then you can easily pull the basting stitches out after you've ironed.


Since you are working with a lot of curves, clipping into your seam allowances (but not into your seams) is the key to making your kitty look curvy when you turn her outside out. The use a turning tool to help get those small curves precise and also the stuffing up in there good.


This is one of those projects that comes together quickly and easily. I think from start to finish it took me an hour, two tops. And it makes a cute little baby gift.


So what are you working on? Link up your latest projects here and show everyone what you're making. You can share your projects in any start from start to finish and join in the sew-along at any time. I'll keep the linky party open all week. Remember, you can also share your "Little Stitches" projects anytime in the Undercover Crafter Sew-Along Group on Flickr. See you next week - if work hasn't killed me. Just kidding!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Book Tour

My friend, Melissa has an amazing book called "A Year of Making Life Beautiful" that was just published and I am thrilled to be a part of her virtual book tour. I'll be telling you all about it and hosting a giveaway later in the week, but until then, make sure you check out Melissa's beautiful website "Lilac Lane" and join in the blog hop starting today! Then come back over here on Friday for a chance to win your very own copy!

Monday June 11
Crafty Gemini- Vanessa Wilson
Lilac Lane- Melissa Stramel
Tuesday June 12
Sis Boom - Jennifer Paganelli
ReannaLily Designs- Jen Eskridge
Freda's Hive- Nanette Merrill

Wednesday June 13
Quilting Gallery - Michele Foster
Sew Many Ways - Karen
Sew Pretty Dresses - Jenny Fish

Thursday June 14
Pat Sloan
That Crazy Quilty Girl- Lisa Sipes

Friday June 15