Late Night Quilters 1000 Member Milestone and 5 Days of Give-A-Ways!

About 4 months ago, I late-night texted a couple of my sewing soul sisters, Michelle and Kitty at Night Quilter, and tossed out a half-baked idea I’d been kicking around.

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.

Late Night Quilters Club

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.

Mint Condition

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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

Free Pattern to Celebrate the Around the World Blog Hop and My New Partner, Michelle!

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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.

Roses and Pebbles

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 latenightquilter@gmail.com. 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

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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.

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What you need:

  • Ruler
  • Rotary cutter
  • Cutting mat

Fabric Requirements:

  • An assortment of fat quarters for your triangles. This is a perfect scrappy project!  We recommend using at least 3 different brightly colored fabrics. One triangle requires a fabric scrap that is at least 6.5” x 7.5”. One fat quarter can yield about 8 of these triangles, with scraps left over.
  • 2 yards neutral background fabric

Cutting:

  1. Fold the background fabric from one cut edge to the other (not selvage to selvage), fold in half again to make it shorter for cutting purposes. Cut into 6 strips, 6.25” x 63”.  (You should have one long strip that is less than 6” wide left over; discard this and use for a scrap project).

 

  1. Sub-cut background fabric into the following lengths (*note: Save the excess cuts to piece together the final two rows needed for the quilt top. Label the strips to make the piecing process easier.):
  • 6.25” x 50” (Row 1)
  • 6.25” x 10.5”  (Row 2)
  • 6.25” x 38.5” (Row 2)
  • 6.25” x 7” (Row 3)
  • 6.25” x 20.75” (Row 3)
  • 6.25” x 14.5” (Row 3)
  • 6.25” x 22.25 (Row 4)
  • 6.25” x 8.75 (Row 4)
  • 6.25” x 11” (Row 4)
  • 6.25” x 19” (Row 5)
  • 6.25” x 22.75 (Row 5)
  • 6.25” x 16 (Row 6)
  • 6.25” x 19” (Row 6)
  • *(You will use scraps of background fabric to piece together Rows 7 and 8… see diagram on page 8 of PDF for clarification on lenths of background fabric)

 

  1. Prepare your cutting mat by marking the 60 degree line with a long piece of brightly colored, easy to remove tape (like scrapbooking tape or frog tape).

Set Up Cutting Mat4. 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.

Sticky Note A B. Cut your fabric into 6.5” strips.

Sticky Note B

 

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.

Sticky Note C

D.  Cut at the 60 degree line.  This is excess fabric that we don’t need.

Sticky Note D

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.

Sticky Note E

F.  Line up the ruler with the 60 degree line and cut.  Now you have your first 60 degree triangle!

Sticky Note F

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.

Sticky Note G

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:

  1. This quilt can be broken down into 8 rows.  Rows 1-6 will be easy to assemble with the strips you cut in the beginning. However, you will need to take the excess background fabric you have from the pieces you cut earlier, and use these to piece together and label the following strips used for rows 6 through 8:
  • 6.5” x 12.75” (Row 7)
  • 6.5” x 16” (Row 7)
  • 6.5” x 50” (Row 8)

 

  1. The triangles are comprised of the following number of individual triangle units. You will form two smaller pyramids (4 triangles each) and one large pyramid (16 triangles) as shown. Don’t sew the triangles together yet though!

3 Triangles

 

6.  Lay out the strips and triangles as indicated in the diagram.

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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.

Sticky Note 4

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???

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Hope you enjoy this tutorial!  Happy quilting, ya’ll!

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Craft South part II – Anna Maria Horner and Alabama Chanin

Craft South Nashville

Craft South Nashville

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:

Anna Maria and Jude

Anna Maria and Jude

A close-up of Jude's edgy embroidery

A close-up of Jude’s edgy embroidery

Elizabeth and her work of art

Elizabeth and her work of art

Can you imagine how long this must have taken Elizabeth???? It's a true heirloom piece.

Can you imagine how long this must have taken Elizabeth???? It’s a true heirloom piece.

 

Delma enjoying a moment of stitching before being rudely interrupted by my IPhone camera

Delma enjoying a moment of stitching before being rudely interrupted by my IPhone

Mitzi Ann and her lovely violet AMH interlock knit

Mitzi Ann and her lovely violet AMH interlock knit

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.

skirt

These are some of the samples Natalie brought to class.

 

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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.

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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!!

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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.

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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.

Alabama Chanin Stitch Book

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.

Gore

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.

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August: Making Memories

Keeping Me Busy

Keeping Me Busy


I definitely underestimated the intensity of the summer months… I honestly thought I could keep up. But I admit defeat. No worries, it’s just time to dive back in and get to work. And the monkeys in the picture above promise to let me have a few minutes here and there when they are not neck deep in trouble.

Here are a couple of snap shots from our summer fun….
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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?
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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.

Supernova Swap – July is Just Around the Corner!

June Supernova Blocks by Stephanie and Sandra

My Supernova Block (left) and Sandra’s (right) from www.onemillionstitches.wordpress.com

The first month of our Supernova Swap was a smashing success! Partners swapped their blocks on June 15th, along with a list of “25 Things You Don’t Know About Me”.  Here’s a picture of my block (left) next to my partner Sandra’s (right).
If you haven’t already posted pictures of your blocks to share with everyone participating, you can do that with the following links:
Instagram hashtag: #supernovaswap.
What makes this whole swap special is the connection my partner Sandra and I have been building together.  I loved reading her list of 25 Things…. It’s the little things that were so fun to read and make me feel like we are really getting to know one another.  I never would have guessed that she is a hard-core oatmeal addict.  For the past 2 years, she’s put oatmeal in her crock pot every night so her breakfast is hot and ready for her the next morning.

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….

 

And look at this! Sandra is so sweet, she sent me a beautiful table runner as a surprise gift.  I love it so much.  It dresses up my super rustic (my kids say, ugly)  table perfectly.
Table Runner, By Sandra
For our next swap coming up for July 15th, here is the mystery topic Sandra and I would like you to write about in your letter to your partner:
Without any physical or mental limitations, or personal obligations such as children or money, if you could hold any occupation or talent what would you choose and why? Would you be a great artist, an Olympic athlete, a neurosurgeon – the possibilities are limitless – share with your partner what it is about that talent or profession that inspires you.
This one should be a fun one, don’t you think?

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.

 

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2014 New Quilter Blog Hop

New Quilter Blog Hop Button 2014

 

Hi, I’m Stephanie at the Late Night Quilter.  Welcome to my blog!

It’s my turn today to play along in the 2014 New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop!  I’m thrilled to be a part of this event, organized by Beth at Plum and June. There are some amazing new quilting bloggers out there today, and many of them are participating in this hop. You’ll find the links to their site below.  I hope you can visit their sites and show them a little blog love!

A Little About Me….

As you may have guessed from the title of my blog, I tend to do all my quilting while jacked up on caffeine late at night.  I squeeze fabric shopping into stolen moments between play dates, baseball games and dance recitals.  At night, after I  tuck in my four little wildlings an hour past their bedtime,  I sneak up to my sewing room for a little creative therapy.

Speaking of therapy, I am a clinical psychologist, and I love my career.  But I found it tough to balance my practice and teaching with my family life, so I’m taking a break from it for awhile.  I will go back to it someday, when the time is right.

Here’s my family on the birthday of our youngest baby Emerson.

Emmie's birthday

Emerson (Emmie) is the one who inspired me to start quilting about a year ago.  Here she is on the first quilt I ever made… This very first quilt, with it’s mismatched points, and unbalanced patches, just might be my favorite.

Emerson on the quilt that started it all

During the early months of my pregnancy with her, I felt an undeniable urge to make something new every day.  I couldn’t ignore it.  It was exhilarating and exhausting.  It was nesting on steroids.  I hadn’t felt anything like it during my other pregnancies.

That inexplicable creative burst of energy was so powerful that it shoved me through the doors of a fabric store.  It forced me to buy a quilting magazine and an armful of fat quarters (I had no idea that’s what they were called at the time). I strolled quickly through the isles of Hancock fabric, pushing my sleeping two year old in a stroller, confused and desperate to pick colors that lit up the pleasure center of my brain before she woke up.  I had no idea how many I needed, or what I would do with them. But I hacked them up with a pair of kitchen scissors and attempted to make a quilt.

My Other Favorites…

I recently designed my first quilt called Paint Chip.  It’s hand embroidered with words of strength and courage for a beautiful little boy named Cody who recently had brain surgery.

Favorite Paint Chip Quilt Up Close

Paint Chip Quilt Whole edited

This next Yellow and Gray twin size quilt is absolute sunshine, and I love it.  The pattern is called Double Delight, by Villa Rosa Designs.

Favorite Yellow and Gray

 

Favorite Yellow and Gray 2

And finally, I absolutely love my AMH Color Dive Quilt.  It’s the quilt that’s behind me in all my profile pictures.

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What I am Up To These Days….

I have a few fun projects going on.  My friend Sandra Louise and I started the Supernova Swap, where quilters all over the world are matching up with a partner they don’t know and making a Supernova block for themselves and their new friend each month for 5 months.  With each block that they mail, they will also send answers to questions about themselves  to help foster the development of a new quilting friendship.  The end result? At the end of the swap they’ll each have a quilt of their own, and a new forever quilting friend.

Supernova by Vicki at Sew Inspired with watermark

This is an example of a beautifully completed Supernova quilt, by Vicki at SewInspiredBlog.com

I also am on the cusp of starting my own long-arm business, specializing in free-motion, edge-to-edge designs.  It’s an exciting time for me, and I am filled with all sorts of creative energy as I prepare for this new step in my life.

A Blogging Tip For You….

Get  involved in all forms of social media!  Facebook and Instagram are teaming with quilters who want to connect and share.

I  had a sudden urge to create a new Facebook group for other quilters like me who are addicted to the craft, but are forced to do it in shadow-filled, Ott-light illuminated rooms, after 10 pm each night. So I teamed up with two other amazing ladies (Kitty from Night Quilter who is also on this blog hop, and my lovely friend Michelle) who I share so many things in common with, and  The Late Night Quilters Group  was born.

It’s less than a month old and has already grown to 375 members.  We are modern quilters who love to support each other, share ideas and tips, and not be constrained by specific styles or rules. It’s a closed group (just so our non-quilting friends and family don’t get freaked out by our inexplicable fabric obsessions).  So if you’d like to join, it’s just a click away.

Late Night Quilters Club

 An Extra-Special Quilting Tip…..

How to Piece your Quilt-Back the Easy Way

I recently read this tip on another fabulous blog (and as soon as I remember whose it was, I will update this post!!)

1). Take your backing fabric and fold it in half with right sides together, selvage to selvage.

2) Sew a 1″ seam joining the two sides (where the selvages meet).

3) Trim off your selvages (and save them for another project, all you selvege hoarders!)

4) Trim off a slim slice at the bottom of your fabric, so you can open up your new, extra wide piece of fabric!

 

My Dream Vacation….

I’m about to take it — Next weekend I am going to Craft South in Nashville with Anna Maria Horner and Amy Butler.  It really is a crazy dream come true.  Now, if I can just break it to my family that I’m abandoning them for my sewing idols for three days….

 

Late Night Quilter Speed Trivia Round

  1. Name: Stephanie
  2. Sign: Virgo
  3. Favorite Long-Arm Quilter: Judi Madsen
  4. Favorite Fabric Designers: Anna Maria Horner, Amy Butler, and Bonnie and Camille
  5. Began Quilting: 1 year, 4 months ago
  6. Favorite Author: John Irving ( For our wedding, my husband gave me a 1st Ed., of A Prayer for Owen Meany!)
  7. Favorite TV Show: Game of Thrones (This is a favorite book too…)
  8. Favorite Music: Pink, Coldplay
  9. Superpower I Wish I Possessed: All night quilter, with no need for sleep!

 

Now, Here’s My Question For You….

Who is your quilting idol?

 

Here are my fellow hoppers.  Please visit them and leave them a comment to show your love and adoration!

Carole @ Fresh Off The Frame

Camelia @ Camelia Elliott

Nurdan @ Hug a Bit Quilts

Paula @ Mud Pies and Pins

Lori @ Sew Psychd

Kitty @ Night Quilter

Christina @ Wips and Tuts

Diana @ Sew Crafty Chick

Marcia @ Cozy Capatiller

Judy @ Quilt Paradigm

Jasmine @ Quilt Kisses

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Stash: Sometimes It’s Just Worth It

Look what showed up in my stash yesterday…. Do you recognize it?

 

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Nummers, by Emma Jones for Ikea

To say that it just “showed up” in my stash might be glossing over a few of the more onerous details of the acquisition.

It was a very physically and emotionally taxing experience.

Imagine…. 100 degree heat, 2 hours in the car, a long, exhausting hike all the way through the entire IKEA showroom with 5 children ages 7 and under in tow.

Say what?!?!?!  Yes, I took 5 children to Ikea just to get a piece of fabric.

But I had no choice in the matter.  After my friend Bianca posted these pictures in our Late Night Quilters Facebook group, I just had to have it.  Immediately.  

Bianca's modern quilt back

Bianca’s quilt… This is the back. Isn’t it amazing?!

Here's the front.  It's so clean, colorful and lovely.

Here’s the front of Bianca’s quilt. It’s so clean, colorful and lovely.

I’d seen the fabric several times before on blogs and facebook groups.  But something about Bianca’s quilt made me lose a little of my self control (ok, well, I admit,  I never really have been known for self-control).

You know how it is… I couldn’t sleep until this fabric had a home in my sewing room.   I admit, I am freakin’ crazy. But I dragged my friend Michelle with me, and she agreed wholeheartedly that the fabric was worth the long, arduous journey.

close up of Nummers

Once we arrived, I thought we could just quickly run through the store directly to the textile wall, and pick up our treasure.  But I always forget just how massive that store is!  It’s beyond massive, it’s gargantuan. And of course, there was a little twist of fate in our future that I had no way of anticipating.

We walked into the crisp, cool, icy white Swedish interior to see a large sign posted.

The childcare wonderland we had been gushing about to our kids for the last hour was closed do to “unforeseeable circumstances”.

Apparently a child lost his pull-up and all its contents in the foam pit, and the entire play area was being overhauled by a HAZMAT team.

But this little hitch didn’t stop us.

Did we turn around and get back in the car?   No way.

Did we at least go back and pull out a couple of strollers?  Huh. uh. Waste of time.

We hiked up our big girl panties and pressed on.

We passed right by the shopping carts at a mad trot, screaming to the children behind us, “Move, Move, Move!!”

As we advanced into the showroom, the children scattered like mice, zooming off into the nooks and crannies of the teeny tiny Swedish dummy rooms throughout the store.  After we found them tucked into various beds and hiding in mini wardrobes, we gathered them back together, and threatened to cancel the rest of summer unless they stayed together and held hands the rest of the way.

When we realized that they really were the ones who held all the power in the situation, and that our future with this lovely fabric depended on their cooperation, without blinking an eye, Michelle and I made the ultimate sacrifice.

We promised them a trip to Chucky Cheese on the way home.  Gasp. Choke.

When we finally found the fabric wall (at the very end of the store, past miles of tiny couches, pressed wood cabinets, oblong white lamps and kitchen utensils) we were so frustrated and exhausted that we had lost any ability to reason or make good decisions.

I picked up the bolt and madly clutched it to my chest.  Another shopper approached me and kindly asked, “Are you done cutting your piece?”

The kids tore at my clothes and whined.  I was oblivious.  I gave her the Bruce Willis crazy horse eye look, and she put her hands up and slowly backed away.

I’m just kidding.  I did offer the lady a fat quarter.  hee hee hee (no really, I offered her as much as she wanted, and she wisely passed it up.)

So here it is.  The whole bolt.  Mine.

The whole enchilada

The whole enchilada

The kids really were angels considering what we were asking of them.  They take the promise of Chucky Cheese very seriously.

Three of our shopping assistants

And Michelle and I held up our end of the bargain.  We did let them spend the rest of the afternoon eating crappy pizza and carrying around cups filled with shiny, filthy tokens.

And we had a peaceful, silent car ride all the way home.

Silence

I was dead-tired last night.  No late night quilting for me.

But sometimes, it’s just worth it.

photo 3 (1)

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P.S. I’m linking up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash.

 

 

Friday Finish and Weekly Inspiration

Whoa.  Today was the last day of school.  So that means I’m about to become an even more hard-core late night quilter.

There will be very little time to steal moments during the day for my quilting.  I won’t be sneaking upstairs at 11 am to cut one more strip of binding before making that pile of Pb&Js.  And I can’t hide in the closet to press that last seam before rushing to the bus stop (yes, I’ve been known to iron in the closet.  What?  Don’t you?).

It’s going to be all kids, all the time for awhile around here.

And if you know me, and know where I live, you know that I am not kidding.  Here’s how we greeted the kids as they got off the bus today. In my ‘hood, we’re serious about fun.

water balloons at the bus stop

On the weekends (and when you’re a kid, summer is really just one long weekend, right?)  there are often 10 plus kids at my house at any given time.  We have a wild neighborhood where the kids flow from one house to the next, bouncing on one trampoline then another,  in an endless circle of fun.

It’s time to break out the light roast coffee and the Dr. Pepper.  When you see me double-fisting them, you know things have gotten bad.  I don’t care what I have to do, I will quilt from 9 pm to 2 am.

I just have to. It’s part of being a balanced mom.  A tired, but balanced mom.

Speaking of a tired mom.  Guess what we won at the school festival last week?

You guessed it… another living creature!!

We collect living creatures at the Palmer Household.  Right now we’ve got four kids, two bunnies, a dog, two birds and now….

A new Beta named Bluebonnet!

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So I tried to do something inspiring with this lonely little Beta.  We gave him a huge, sparkling new condo, topped with a Peace Lilly so he can hide in the roots.

I think he’s pretty happy hanging out in our entrance way.

photo 3 fish edited

 

 

Despite the week of school parties, carnivals, last minute homework assignments, and my parents packing up and leaving blazing hot Austin for the summer,  I did manage to quilt and bind this pretty little thing.

Pam Howland's quilt, I

It’s a simple patchwork quilt (you know I love me some squares) pieced by Pam Howland, and I quilted it with my Boxcar design.

The quilt will be donated to the charity called Friends of Annie.  The charity focuses on bringing awareness to the issue of depression, and it was founded by my lovely friend Jessica Darling and Linda Thune.

IMG_3477

I’m linking up to Link a Finish FridayWhoop Whoop FridayThank Goodness Its Finished FridayFinish It Up FridayFabric Frenzy Friday,  Sewjo @ My Go Go Life, and Show Off Saturday @ Sew She Can and Inspiration Friday @Nini and the Sea.

Happy Summer!

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Tuesday Stash Swap on Late Night Quilters Club

We have been having a ton of fun over at the Late Night Quilters Club.   I started this new Facebook community a couple of weeks ago with my friend Kitty from Night Quilter and my neighborhood sewing buddy Michelle.

Tomorrow that fun is about to go up a few notches with the first weekly Tuesday Stash Swap!

If you haven’t joined our group yet, do it now so you can participate in the fabric swap tomorrow. Click on the picture of our logo below to join us!

LNQC-cover-4

Click the picture to go to the Late Night Quilters Club on Facebook and join

The Tuesday Fabric Stash Swap will involve swapping rather than buying and selling, and it will be a great way for all of us to destash the fabrics we love but that haven’t found their way to any projects.

Here’s an example of some fabric you can expect to see offered up for a swap tomorrow by Kitty:

Kittys swap 6-2-14

Chevrons and Dots “Mixxoni” by Greta Lynn for Kanvas Studios in association with Bernatex: 1/2yd Remix by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman, Bermuda Chevron: 18″x21″ (a hair shy of a fat quarter) Remix by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman, Bright Chevron: 13″x20″ Remix by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman, Spring Dots: 10″x44″

Kittys swap II 6-2-14

Watermelon Scrap Pack Remix by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman, Summer (Yellow dots): 22″x25″ Remix by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman, Bright (Pink dots): 21″x14″ Remix by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman, Garden Chevron: 1/2 yard

 

The swap is also open to quilting tools and notions. Have a ruler you’ve never used?  Desperately need some chartreuse thread? Why not give the swap a try?

To participate, join the Late Night Quilters Facebook group (you do need a Facebook profile to join).  Then post pictures of the fabric or notions you want to trade, and write a clear description of the item(s).

Michelles swap 6-2-14

2 One-yard cuts of floral quilting cotton, by NancyRinkDesigns.com Originally purchased for $9 each. ISO Solid Kona Cottons in bright colors.

You may get several offers to trade in response to your post.  Or you might see that someone else has posted a fabric separately that you want to trade for, and you might want to offer up your fabric in response to their post to see what they say.

The most important thing is that once you have agreed to trade with someone, please don’t change your mind if you see something “better”.  To make this system work, we have to stick to our commitments for trades, and ship things out as quickly a possible.

Also, after you agree on a trade with someone, please post “TRADE CLOSED” in all CAPS as a comment in your original post.

I plan to even offer this entire cheater quilt (3 yards) I bought on Spoonflower!

It has 20 unique blocks designed by the talented Amy Gibson for her Craftsy BOM, and it’s perfect for practicing your free motion quilting on a block you didn’t agonize over piecing.  Each block is 13.5 inches.

Amy Gibson Cheater Quilt top

Who wants to trade with me????

I’m in desperate need of some flowery, aqua blue or red Bonnie and Camillie-style, cutesy fabric for my English Paper Piecing Hexie project I plan on starting this summer. I was inspired by Ashley at Mommy By Day Crafter By Night.  And you know how it is when you get a quilt stuck in your head…. I really have no choice in the matter now.

WIP Hexagon Quilt

 

Remember, if you post something to trade, but don’t like anything that’s offered in return, no worries.  Just leave a comment saying “TRADE CLOSED” under your post, and be done with it!

I hope to see you there.  

Bring on THE STASH!

The Paint Chip Quilt: Entry for The Bloggers Quilt Festival 2014

Whew… Just in under the wire.  I finally finished up my Paint Chip Quilt a few minutes ago, and I will be entering it into the 2014 Blogger’s Quilt Festival at Amy’s Creative Side!

Paint Chip Quilt Whole edited

I designed this quilt for a very sick little boy named Cody.  It has words of strength and survival hand embroidered on it, and it has a minky back with soft Quilter’s Dream batting.  It’s small, 50 inches by 28 inches.  If nothing else, it sure is cozy. I hope it will be a comfort to Cody.

Paint Chip Quilt Close

 

I quilted it with some straight[ish] lines on my long-arm (I couldn’t for the life of me force that minky and batting through my domestic!)

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I designed this quilt myself, and it’s my very first time doing that.  A long time ago, I saw these paint chip place mats by Emily at Crazy Old Lady Quilts.  paintchip placemats crazy old ladies 2

But I couldn’t find the fabric she used anymore, and after scouring the internet, I couldn’t find a pattern for a paint chip quilt that looked like the one in my head.

So what’s a quilter to do?

Make her own pattern, of course!

So I pulled my Kona Cotton jelly rolls in Sunset and in White off the shelves. And I came up with a plan.  The construction would have to be completely different than Emily’s; and instead of embroidering names for the paint chip colors on the blocks, I would embroider words that describe Cody, and the wishes I have for him for healing, growth and happiness.

Fight… Believe…. Live…. Laugh…. Survive… Grow…. these are the words that I embroidered.  These are the wishes I have for him.

Paint Chip Quilt up close outside

I hope you like it.

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P.S. If you’re looking for a fun, supportive quilting community online, please click here and join the Late Night Quilters club on Facebook.   rsz_1late_night_quilters_club