The winner of the Fabri-Quilt Christmas fabric giveaway is Karen A.
Karen, I will email you to notify you!
The winner of the Fabri-Quilt Christmas fabric giveaway is Karen A.
Karen, I will email you to notify you!
As the holidays speed toward us full-throttle, I’ve been thinking about new craft projects to make with my 4 kids. We’ve tried all the standards…. popcorn garland, oranges stuffed with cloves, triangle buntings and handprint paper wreaths.
When Fabri-Quilt contacted me last month and asked if I would take a look at some of their new lines of holiday fabric to develop a new tutorial, it made me think it was the perfect opportunity to try a new no-sew craft with the kids.
You don’t have to be a child-psychologist to know that children love projects that are colorful, tactile, forgiving, and quick. This craft hits the mark on all four counts.
If you’d like to see the tutorial for the no-sew Christmas decorations shown above, click over to the Inspired by Fabric blog (a site dedicated to projects to go along with Fabri-Quilt collections).
Fabri-Quilt sent me the pre-released fabric I was most inspired by, and I tried out the simple new project last week to see how it would go with little ones.
I had so much fun perusing all of their fun Christmas fabrics.
And they have the most beautiful red with gold snowflakes.
These are classic designs that would be perfect for table runners, wall hangings, stockings and tree skirts.
I also adore the white and blue fabrics together. Blues, whites and silvers are close to my heart during the holiday season. My husband is Jewish and I am Catholic, so we have a joyful mix of cultures and colors in our home during the holidays.
If you would like to enter to win a bundle of the Season’s Greetings collection, courtesy of Fabri-Quilt, please visit their blog, Inspired By Fabric, and sign up to follow them, or like them on Facebook. Leave a comment here on my blog saying you’ve done so. You can enter through Friday, October 17th, 2014 at 10 pm.
I have a new friendship to tell you about– one that I never saw coming. Isn’t it funny when new a friend sneaks into your life, without you even realizing that it was happening?
About 6 months ago, my home phone rang. I don’t know about you, but we rarely even use our home phone anymore… always the cells. Sometimes I don’t even answer the home phone to avoid telemarketers.
However that day, I noticed that the last name on the caller ID was the same as mine. So of course, I answered it, a bit intrigued.
The woman who called is probably in her 70s or 80s; we’ll call her Max (it wouldn’t be fair to share her real name). She was looking for her grandson, Sam (yes, another pseudonym). I explained that she had the wrong number. She apologized profusely, and said that she had called Information and they had given her my number. We exchanged niceties, and hung up. I thought nothing of it.
After that phonecall, Max called five more times that day. I answered the second time, but ignored the ringing after that, feeling somewhat disconcerted that she didn’t seem to remember calling the first time.
The next day began with the ring of the phone. I tried to ignore it, but I couldn’t. So instead, I started answering Max’s calls.
Six months have now gone by, and I have spoken to Max almost every day, except for the month that I was travelling over the summer with my family.
For the first few months of our daily conversations, she never remembered me at all, or that she had accidentally called me the day before.
We had the same conversation over and over…
“Hi Mrs. Palmer. How are you today? Oh, good. My name is Stephanie Palmer. No, your grandson Sam isn’t here at this number. There seems to be some confusion about which number you should call to reach him.”
I wonder if it’s Alzheimer’s, or perhaps a vascular dementia, or multiple TIAs. I’m not sure.
I can hardly believe it, but an amazing thing has happened. Mrs. Palmer sort of remembers me now. Each time she calls, she is confused by the situation at first. She never knows that she’s dialing me each time. She truly expects to hear her grandson Sam’s voice on the other end of the call.
But now, when I explain that it’s me, and that she accidentally got my number from 411, she laughs and seems to remember a bit. She calls me “darling” and tells me how sweet I am. She promises to cross out the number in her phone book, and swears that she won’t make the mistake again. I ask her about her dogs, and her the housekeeper who takes care of her (she’s been through a couple now), and what she did during the day, and whether she’s seen Sam lately.
She tells me how sad she is, because her husband, son and daughter have all passed away, and her grandson Sam is her only connection to the world now. But she says she is well taken care of, and that our conversations brighten her day.
Sometimes my conversation with Max bring me to tears. Sometimes I hang up, laughing, after the funny things she’s said.
Regardless, I know I look forward to her calls each day. Her friendship is an unexpected blessing.
And the thought of her not calling anymore…. well, that’s just too terrible to think about.
When she called yesterday, I asked for her address. I am going to send her a quilt. What should it be, I wonder? I wish I could do more for her, but a least the warm, soft quilt will deliver the hug I would like to send.
My friendship with Mrs. Palmer helped bring to mind the question I would like to ask of you….
If you are participating in the Supernova block swap, I invite you to share the answer with your partners for the last month of our swap.
What unexpected blessings do you have in your life?
My friend Chelsea over at Patch the Giraffe had an idea to share her cute little chalkboard with some of her blogging friends so they can show off the quilt blocks they’re working on in the unique way that she does on her blog.
If you’re a blogger and want to be the next stop for the Travelling Chalkboard, leave me a comment, and we’ll send it along to you too!
For my turn with the chalkboard, I thought I’d share my Farmer’s Wife blocks. I’m working on them a little bit at a time, enjoying being a link in the long historical chain of quilters who have each put their own touch on these classic blocks over the centuries. These represent my first foray into paper piecing. They are imperfect, sweet reminders of how much I have to learn about the art of quilting.
Thanks to my photographer friend Kristin for helping me with the chalkboard photos. We took these pictures a couple of weeks ago, in the 103 degree Texas heat, at our favorite place to get inspired and take a few quilt photos– Revival, in Austin, Texas. If you live in the Austin area and haven’t been to Revival, it’s worth the trip. Revival supports local artisans and specializes in reclaimed home decor that is quirky, elegant and fun all at the same time. Here are a few pictures of what you can expect to see on your next trip there…
So now you know where I like to hang out…. it provides endless numbers of funky backdrops for my quilt projects, inspiration for my home, and hours of entertainment for my kids. Hope to see you around there sometime!
Today I want to share a video tutorial that Michelle and I filmed this week about our favorite method of adding borders to a quilt.
Click the image below to check it out. With a little simple math, you can accurately put on borders and avoid getting wrinkles and puckers in your quilt.
Before I started longarm quilting, I had no idea that there was a special way put on borders. I just pieced the quilt top, meaured the sides of the quilt, cut the borders and slapped them on. Lo and behold, many of the quilts I made ended up with gentle, undulating waves throughout those spontaneously stitched borders.
Gentle waves are lovely in the ocean, but not so lovely on a quilt top.
When they appear, they do not bode well for your final stage of quilting, whether on your DSM or longarm.
If your quilt is being finished by a longarmer, there are basically three painful options:
1) The longarmer can take the borders off and reapply them at their hourly rate (yikes).
2) The client can take the quilt back and reapply the borders (double yikes).
3) The longarmer can quilt pleats into the borders to mask the extra fullness (triple yikes, for some, not such a big deal for others, depending on your level of perfectionism).
We hope you find this tutorial helpful. Let us know if you have any questions!
I’d been wanting to connect with other people like me, who love sewing and quilting immensely, but are often forced to sew into the wee hours of the morning due to all their other life commitments. Facebook has lots of quilting groups that work well, but I just didn’t feel comfortable sharing in most of them.
There’s Modern Quilting…. but there’s a little problem there – I’m not always totally modern….
There are Quilt Along groups and Swap groups, but sometimes I don’t want new projects, but just a place to ask a question and get inspired…..
And if you’ve ever belonged to any of those groups, you know that they can sometimes by a little, well, prickly. I wanted a place that was supportive, inspirational, welcoming and fun.
So that night, Kitty, Michelle and I decided to work together to launch a new Facebook group called Late Night Quilters. Last month, we added the amazing longarm quilter and Craftsy Instructor (and my mentor!), Mandy Leins to our group of facilitators.
We didn’t really know if the group would resonate with others, but we figured it wouldn’t really hurt to try. And what do you know???
Four months later, our little group added it’s 1000th member!
So we decided to celebrate. And what better way to do it than with 5 days of Giveaways!
If you haven’t joined the group, but would like to, click here. You still have time to get in on the first giveaway — something special from my personal stash — 3 yards of the gorgeous, brand-new Mint Condition collection from Camelot Fabrics. I love this fabric! I recently designed 3 patterns for it that will soon be offered as free projects on the Camelot Fabrics website. I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as they show up on their site.
If you miss today’s free drawing for Mint Condition, don’t worry! There will be more fabric and goodies to come over the next 4 days.
Since this giveaway is a favorite from my own Ikea wall of goodness, I’ll be linking up with the glittery, lively Molli Sparkles tonight for Sunday Stash.
P.S. If you missed the September Supernova question that was posted on my partner Sandra Louise’s blog at One Million Stitches, here it is (it’s to go along with your September 15th blocks):
Forgiveness is an integral part of any healthy relationship. What does forgives mean to you? Share with your partner an example of a time you had to forgive someone — or someone had to forgive you — and how it strengthened the relationship.
Hello there! I’m so excited to be tagged in in the Around the World Blog Hop by my friend Rachel at Quiltineering. Thanks Rachel! The hop is like a giant blogosphere tag game where those tagged can share a bit about their creative process as well as what they are working on.
After you check out the news I have below, I hope you can take a minute to check out the following three blogs to get to know these fabulous friends of mine:
1) Kitty at Night Quilter…. Kitty is my dear friend and a fellow administrator at the Late Night Quilters page on Facebook. She is a talented pattern-writer, specializing in paper-pieced patterns, and a fabulous nature photographer.
2) Melanie at Mel in the Attic….. Mel and I are online buddies. I hope to finally meet her in person at QuiltCon in February. Melanie is an amazing quilter who teaches classes of all kinds in NJ and recently developed an incredible tutorial on creative ways to use a walking foot that was featured on Sew Mama Sew.
3) Christina at Wips and Tuts…. Christina and I are in a bee together (it’s my first bee ever!). She’s such a fun girl. I love her personality… it shines through in everything she does.
So, what’s going on in my little world? Kind of a lot, actually…
It’s official—- I have a new partner! My wonderful friend Michelle is joining me here at Late Night Quilter, and she’ll be sharing patterns, tutorials and project ideas with us. Michelle and I both live in the same community and met at a sewing group in our neighborhood several months ago. We hit it off immediately, and knew that we would be a great team.
This is a big month for us…. Michelle and I have finally opened our own longarm and pattern design business! You may have noticed the addition of the tabs at the top that show off some of our longarm designs.
We specialize in free-motion, edge-to-edge quilting, on a vintage Nolting. However, we also offer custom quilting, including multiple designs per quilt and ruler work. We hope you’ll check out our gallery and let us know if you’d like a consultation. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re offering free batting to any customers who send us quilts in the month of September!
But enough of that… to celebrate our new partnership, and the Around the World Blog Hop, Michelle and I have a gift for you. A free pattern and tutorial for our new quilt.
You can find the free pattern/ tutorial below. Or you can click here to download the Love Triangle Quilt PDF. Check it out:
Love Triangle Quilt Tutorial
We call this the Love Triangle because…. let’s face it…..who in the quilting world doesn’t love triangles?! (Wait, don’t answer that).
We’re head over heels with this little modern quilt design and thought, what better way to introduce Michelle to the Late Night Quilter readers than bearing gifts at the same time? This is a quilt that we worked together on, Michelle designed the overall look and Stephanie did the quilting on the longarm. We offer it up to you as a free pattern and tutorial, and hope you like it as much as we do.
We can’t wait to see what Love Triangle quilt tops you create!
This quilt measures approximately 43”x 49”, and can easily be made larger or smaller by adding borders.
What you need:
4. Cut your equilateral triangles from your 6.5” strips. I’ll show you pictures of the method I use. Or you can click here to watch my short YouTube video of the method.
A. Clean up the edge of your fat quarter.
B. Cut your fabric into 6.5” strips.
C. With the right side up, lay the short side of the fabric at the top corner of your cutting mat. Align the ruler with the 60 degree line on the mat. Use the yellow tape to help line up your ruler.
D. Cut at the 60 degree line. This is excess fabric that we don’t need.
E. Now flip the fabric over to the wrong side, align it with the corner of the mat again. Align the ruler with the degree line.
F. Line up the ruler with the 60 degree line and cut. Now you have your first 60 degree triangle!
G. Flip the fabric back to the right side again. Align your ruler with the 60 degree line and cut. Now you have your second triangle.
5. Measure to be sure all 3 sides are the same length. Each side should be 7.5” long. Continue cutting these triangles until you’ve come up with at least 24 triangles from at least 3 different fabrics.
Assembly of Quilt Top:
6. Lay out the strips and triangles as indicated in the diagram.
7. Begin piecing with the lower left corner, row 8. (If your 8th row is made up of several pieces of background fabric, instead of just two strips pieced together, that’s ok. It doesn’t have to be exactly like the illustration above). Work from left to right, from the bottom to the top of the quilt.
In order to attach a strip of background fabric to a triangle, you’ll first need to trim the side of the strip of the background fabric to make it 60 degrees.
To do this, line up the 60 degree line of the ruler on the bottom of the strip, and use your rotary cutter to cut off the excess to the right, or left, depending on which side you’re attaching to a triangle.
8. Place fabric right sides together and sew a ¼” seam allowance for all seams. Unfold and press seams open.
9. Sew each row together using the quilt diagram previously provided. Then sew together the 8 horizontal rows.
10. Make a quilt sandwich with your backing, batting and quilt top. Quilt however you’d like!
This would look beautiful with a simple, all-over design, but Stephanie chose to break up the space with straight lines, swirls and even some feathers hidden in a couple of shadow triangles. Can you find them???
Hope you enjoy this tutorial! Happy quilting, ya’ll!
I was lucky enough to get to visit the Craft South workroom in Nashville again this past month for a special weekend learning the intricacies of slow design and handwork with Natalie Chanin from Alabama Chanin.
Here are some of the new friends I made from all around the country and their projects:
Craft South, recently opened by Anna Maria Horner, is a wonderful environment for taking workshops and classes. The focus is on making new friends, learning new techniques and finding inspiration from those around you.
This weekend featured textile artist Natalie Chanin…. as Anna Maria says, Natalie doesn’t design fabric, she builds it.
Anna Maria and Natalie are the perfect hosts… open, honest, funny and kind. And just look at the beautiful things we learned how to make.
These are some of the samples Natalie brought to class.
When I wrote that the focus of Alabama Chanin is “slow-design”, that’s exactly what it sounds like. These are not articles of clothing that can be whipped up in a weekend. These elegant, whimsical, hand-crafted tops, dresses, jackets and skirts might each take months by local artisans to make by hand. Each stitch lovingly outlines designs that have been hand-painted onto 100% American-made jersey cotton.
I went into the weekend hoping I would walk away with a cute little jersey skirt or dress. And there was plenty of inspiration there to allow you to achieve that goal. Look at all of these AMH patterns and swatches of fabric to choose from. So much fun!!
But with Anna Maria’s guidance about the ins and outs of sewing knits using a regular old sewing machine, I realized that I had all the knowledge necessary to take home these patterns and make them on my own. She unveiled the mysteries of the twin needle, quartering a neckline, and making adjustments to a knit to suit those of us who aren’t exactly “proportional” on the top and bottom. Thank you, Anna, for making knits a lot less intimidating.
However, what surprised me most was how absolutely captivated I am by Natalie Chanin’s concept of handwork. The idea of taking jersey cotton, the Joe Schmoe of the fabric world, and using the alchemy of embroidery to turn it into a divine textile suited for the runways of Paris??? That’s genius.
In order to make one of these organic, earthy, sophisticated garments, you really have to commit. There’s something centering in the process of making them. We don’t have to do it… we’re not pioneers forced to wield needle and thread under the threat of wandering the plains naked.
Yes, it would certainly be easier to run over to Target to pick up a jersey skirt. But it’s the choice and the commitment to engage in this task that make it so grounding. Each stitch is part of a meditative process. And even the construction phase doesn’t interrupt the soothing rhythm of the needle– every last seam is hand-stitched.
The purchase of an Alabama Chanin garment wouldn’t really be considered a thrifty choice. A single couture jacket can go for $8000. But what is truly amazing, is that Natalie Chanin is willing to teach us all how to make garments like this ourselves. Her books are gorgeously photographed how-to manuals for beginner and advanced sewists alike. And on her site, she sells perfect DIY kits to get you started making your very own Alabama Chanin outfit.
Here’s a gore of a simple 4-panel skirt I’m working on. I’m practicing applique and reverse applique, backstitch and whipstitch. I’ll add some beaded eyelets here and there, and maybe some beading at the bottom. It’s for my 7-year old daughter, so I will let her determine the amount of bling.
It doesn’t really compare to the other pieces you’ve seen in this post, but it’s mine. Every little wonky stitch is mine. And I hope each of my daughters will enjoy it as they grow (or maybe just giggle at it together when they see what mom attempted to do back in 2014 during her Chanin phase).
With fall just around the corner, it may be awhile before I’m able to travel again. I am grateful that my weekend in the south provided me with an abundance of inspiration and knowledge to keep my creativity flowing.
Here are a couple of snap shots from our summer fun….
We’ve been back home for a week or so, and we’re settling back into a routine again. Now that I’m back at work…. the first thing on my list is, of course, Supernova!
Are you ready to see my July block that I sent to Sandra Louise?
Well, it’s bold, right?
If you are ready to send out your August block to your partners, you’re probably wondering what the topic of the month is.
During this blazing hot month of August, the last month of the summer for making memories, your assignment is to sit back and think for a minute. Think about your childhood summers….
Our memories make us who we are. They provide us with a sense of self. This month, Sandra Louise and I invite you to write about your best childhood memories and share them with your partner in the Supernova Swap. You can share one, you can share five… whatever you’re inspired to do.
When you share a memory with a trusted friend, it’s like giving a little gift, a small piece of yourself. These are the gifts that truly allow friendships to deepen and flourish.
I hope you enjoy receiving each other’s beautiful blocks this month. And take good care of each other’s memories…. that’s what friends are for.
In the comment section below, I also would like to invite you to share one of the most interesting tidbits from your own“25 Things You Don’t Know About Me” list that you shared with your partner.
I wish I could swap with every single one of you. But since I can’t pull that off, I hope I can learn a little bit about each of you and consider you a friend, connected through our love of sewing….
By the way, I’m working on my next Supernova block right now, and thankfully, it’s going so much more smoothly than the first two. It turns out that my Viking machine doesn’t have the most accurate 1/4 inch foot. I switched to my cheapy little Brother, and voila, all my seam allowance problems have vanished (ahem… almost).
My next post will be from the shore of a tiny little lake in Upstate New York. I can’t wait to feel the cool morning breeze, see the glowing fireflies at dusk, and hear the chirping of the peepers in the evening.