Saturday, October 30, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

So I was really hoping to have something new to put on for the Quilt Festival, but alas, my life got busy.  (as usual)  So after much debate, I decided to show an oldie, but a goodie :)  I actually touched on this quilt just a few days ago when I was writing about designing.

This is my "I Spy" quilt. This quilt is one of the few, and I mean very few, quilts that I have made for me or my family.  Meaning it still has residence in my home.  About 5 years ago my mother introduced me to the idea of an "I Spy" quilt and I was hooked.  I decided that day that I was going to make one large enough to take up the living room floor and allow for hours of play :)

 So I started collecting fabric.  It took a long time (especially as we were on a super tight budget while in school) to find 98 different "spying" blocks in assorted background colors. (Orange, it is a killer).  A little over a year (I wanted all the holidays represented), and a trip to my Mother-In-Laws fabric stash (thanks again Mom!)  and I had rounded up all my squares.  Then I began putting it together.

This quilt holds the record for longest time taken to put together a quilt top :)  I don't know if that is something I should be proud of, but it is true none the less.  Lets just say it took me "a while" to make it.

But oh, how happy I am with it.  My kids love to play "I Spy" and they run around in endless circles trying to find things. As they get more familiar with the quilt the "finding" gets more complex.  I am talking like "I Spy a frog that only has 2 toes" specific.   It is especially fun when it is my husband's turn and he always manages to have his hand conveniently covering exactly what the kids are spying :)

So that's my quilt!  EDIT **  I have had so many sweet requests for instructions on this quilt I just finished up a tutorial for it.  You can find it here, or under the tutorial tab at the top of the page :)  I hope you have enjoyed your visit here at Happy Quilting and feel free to return often :)  I love visitors!!  Now, head back to Amy's and check out some more quilts!  It's easy, just press the button :)

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Designing Details - Day 2

Okay, so even though it is late, it is still "tomorrow", so onto the second installment of Designing Details.  Basically, these are just  a few little tidbits that I have discovered along my way of learning to design patterns.  Nothing big, and they are probably not for everyone, but here it is, my 2 cents :)

Tidbit #1 - You don't have to have EQ 7, or even 6 for that matter, to design. (Since this post I have gotten EQ 7 and love it, but still find, for certian patterns, I prefer good old excel.  Probably because I am used to it :)  I wish I had them, but I don't, so what do I design my quilts in you ask???  Excel would be the answer.  I know, crazy huh.  I think it was all of those classes I was required to take that made me learn the spreadsheet program inside out.  So naturally,  I found a way to use it in my "now" daily life.  I wouldn't suggest this unless you are familiar with the program.  I love it though.  Graph Paper gets the same effect just not some of the pluses I will mention next.

It tends to work best when you shrink down the rows and columns, make them square, and then consider them each to be 1" then you can get a good idea of proportions.  Triangles tend to be a bit of a pain as you have to get creative with the "auto shapes" but it works.  The thing I like best about Excel (verses graph paper) is that once I have the design input, I can play with the colors and patterns and be able to compare my options.  Just use a lot of Copy and Paste :)

  For Example . . . .Here is the same exact Disappearing 9 Patch pattern, but each has it's own set color scheme, I don't mean just different colors, but pattern of colors.

Excel also makes it easy to play with sizes of shapes and then you can compare as well, picking your favorite. Here is that Table Topper design I mentioned in yesterday's email.  Anyone care to guess which design I went with :)

So that is where my designing takes place once I have a good idea of a pattern in my mind. (For now at least, I really do hope to upgrade some day in the future :)   

Tidbit #2  - Inspiration can hit at any time, so be prepared!  I find that there are many nights that I lie in bed just thinking about ideas.  One will hit me and then I just sit there and think about it over and over so that I don't forget it by morning.  I eventually end up getting out of bed to go write it down.  So I finally got a little wise.  I went and bought a $1.00 notebook and put it on my nightstand, now I don't have to get out of bed.  I also got a second notebook and put it in my purse, it is great for when I am sitting at soccer practice and am daydreaming of designs.  Just something simple, it is a great place to throw down a little inspiration!

Tidbit #3 - If you can't figure it out in your head, just try it!  Sometimes I can make my head spin with the math trying to figure out if things are going to match up. (Especially when triangles are involved.)  So now, I just give it a go.  I have a bit of clearance fabric that is perfect for this. (I am talking the 75 cent a yard stuff that they can't get rid of at Wal-Mart)   Simply, cut out the sizes that you are wondering about sew them together and see if it works.  If it doesn't work, adjust and try again. Honestly, sometimes this is much faster than killing your brain over the math :)

Okay, so that is all the tidbits I can come up with right now.  I thought I had more but it is getting late and my brain is tired.  If I come up with more I will be sure to add them in the future.  Happy Designing to you all and may it bring you Happy Quilting!

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Designing Details - Day 1

Okay, so obviously, from my Moda Bake Shop ventures, you know that I have been dabbling in designing.  So I thought today I would share how that came to be and  then tomorrow I would share a few little designing tidbits that I have picked up and find very helpful.

I have always loved "playing" with patterns.  After about a year of quilting I really began to understand the math of seam allowances much better. (mostly learned from making errors :).  So then I started to have more freedom in my creations.  I would see a pattern or tutorial and think that would be perfect if only . . . . and then I realized, I could play with it to make that "if only" into that would be perfect!!  The great thing about quilting is that there are so many ways to make a pattern work for you!  Okay, so now it sounds like I am just babbling so let me share my first "playing" around quilt story.

5 years ago I decided I wanted to make an "I Spy Quilt".  I wanted it to be big enough for the kids to lay it across the entire floor and run around finding squares and I also wanted it to have color groupings.  So I started looking for a pattern and came up with nothing.  So I then stated to just look for something with "big squares" where I could put the "I Spy" blocks and some sort of border.  I found a pattern that is no longer is on-line but it looked a lot like this.  (Ya, it was a Christmas one)

I thought, perfect, I can work with this.  So I changed the big blocks into a set of 4 I spy color blocks, Added more blocks and changed the size of the current blocks to make it the size I wanted, and played with the colors until I got what I was looking for.  (I happened to be an accountant before I became a mom so when I say "play" with sizes, it really is like playing, I find the math in designing to be so much fun :)   In the end I had the design for my perfect "I Spy" quilt.

It took me a year or so to collect all the fabric (It is really hard to find fun prints in orange that have things to "Spy" on them that aren't always Halloween themed) and then a little longer than that to make, but I was, and still am, so happy with the result.  The kids never get tired of this "I Spy" game.

So that was the first time I strayed from the pattern.  I found myself doing this more and more.  I would not have enough of a particular fabric so I would change the design to fit how much I had, or I just really liked a part of the design but not another, so I would change it again.  Until one day, in the not so distant past, it hit me that I was changing more than I was keeping and I thought to myself, "I wonder if I can do this from scratch??"

So I gave it a go.  I started with a simple Table Topper that I made for my mom for Christmas, (Which I never got a picture of, Mom, can you take a picture of that this year and send it to me :)  Then there was a baby quilt after that, and then another, and then I thought, I love the  Moda Bake Shop I wonder if I could do that.  So I made my first Moda Bake Shop Pattern and Tutorial.  (Followed by hopefully many to come :)

 And that brings us to today.

Check back tomorrow, I am going to tell you some of my little tidbits that I have learned over the last bit that help me with my designing.

(P.S.  Just a little disclaimer - I find designing a wonderful and fun part of quilting but that is not to say I design everything I make.  I still find great joy in making up other patterns from other amazing designers :)
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

And The Winner Is . . .

First Off, I have to say, WOW!!  Thank you for all of the wonderful and sweet comments about my quilt.  I am blushing!!  And thanks for the giggles as well, some of you are pretty funny!!  Second thing I have to say, I need to find out how to put numbers in my comments.  Hoolay! that was a lot of counting.

So without further ado, the winner of the beautiful Maison de Garance package is . . . .

#142 who is  . . . BARB!!!!  She said, What a lovely quilt and great instructions!

True Random Number Generator  142Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Thank you all for entering and for becoming new following friends.  I am sorry everyone can't win but I hope you find hanging out here just as much fun!
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Little Monster On The Go

Okay, so I was just so excited about the cute little templates that Bonnie made me that I couldn't wait to get them cut out and attached to my quilt top.  Now I just have to decide how I want to quilt it and in what color.  I have been going back and forth a lot.  Any suggestions???

Getting the applique done on this quilt was my goal for the One Thing One Week Challenge at Amy's Creative Side.  Ya!!!  I made my goal!

Oh, and if you have never been to Amy's Creative Side, you probably haven't heard of her Bloggers Quilt Festival.  This year will be my second time participating and I am so excited!  It is so much fun.  Take a second and check it out!

Oh, so I guess I should stop sidetracking and show some pictures now.  Here they are!!  I think the name of this quilt will be Little Monster On The Go, I know, super creative huh?

Here is a close up on the Monsters, Thanks again Bonnie!  They turned out great!!

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Monsters for Project Modern

If you are looking for the giveaway it is here :)

First off, Let me say thank you to all of you amazing people that have left me such sweet comments about my Braided Irish Chain quilt at the Moda Bake Shop.  They truly warm my heart.  I have tried to respond back to everyone and have enjoyed getting to know you a bit more.  (We'll everyone that has an email available ).

Okay, so you remember how I said I am making my Project Modern quilt with inspiration from the Press Your Luck game show?   (If not, check this out)   Well I was able to use my Slice to cut out the letter appliqué and then a cut a cute little bus, train, car, and airplane for the Whammies.  Unfortunately, there is no cutter template for Whammies, I know you are shocked.  So I talked to my dear sweet friend Bonnie who is also a great artist.  This is what she sent over this morning.  Aren't they just amazing!!  I can't wait to get them cut up in fabric and attached to the quilt top.  I am hoping to finish it up soon so stay tuned!!

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Baking with Tradition and a Give Away

I am so excited about this new Moda Bake Shop Tutorial!  It still seems so surreal that I am even designing for them and here I am with my second tutorial being released.  I am just so excited!  When designing this quilt, I really wanted to bring some flair to a traditional favorite.  I call it Braided Irish Chain.  Have I mentioned how excited I am about this??  So if you get a chance, head on over to the Moda Bake Shop and check it out.  If you love it, don't hesitate to leave a comment letting me know.  (I know, shameless :)   But wait, don't leave yet!!!  Finish scrolling down for a great giveaway.

I couldn't help putting this picture in.  Jacob sneaked up on me because he got a kick out of the fact that I bought gloves for quilting.  It really makes me wonder if my face always looks like then when I am quilting.


Okay, enough silly, on to the Giveaway!!   Moda has graciously sent me some extras to get one of you started on your very own Braided Irish Chain quilt.  So what's up for grabs?? A jelly roll of Maison de Garance by French General and 6 1/2 yards of the shown coordinating print for the backing!!  Yes, that's right 6 1/2 yards and a jelly roll!!  You simply have to get your background fabric and you are ready to sew!  Maison de Garance is another perfect fit for the Braided Irish Chain quilt. It will look fabulous!!

So how do you enter?  Simple - Leave me a comment.  Tell me about you, about what you like or dislike about quilting tutorials, about the weather where you live, about how much you love this quilt (I had to throw it in there), about what project you are working on,  or anything really! Make me smile or giggle.  I love to laugh!

And sure, I will give you a second chance.  Become a follower and leave me a separate comment that you did, or that you already are.  (I know, shameless again, what can I say, I am new to this online quilting world and want to make lots of quilting friends.  I promise I will make it worth your while :)

Lastly, the fine print stuff.  Make sure I have a way to contact you.  I would hate for you to win and then not be able to claim your prize.  I will randomly select a winner on the 26th of October  November (Oops, Sorry, I mistyped, there is no way I could wait till November) and announce it here!  SO, are you excited??  I am!!!  Okay, now you can go on over to the Moda Bake Shop :)
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Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Make-Over - Edited

I have been wanting to give this little blog a virtual make-over for about a month now.  I have played around with backgrounds and so forth but knew It was just not what I was hoping for.  I love to organize and had so many ideas in mind of how I wanted to better organize my blog but no idea of how to do it.  So after surfing around and tinkering more than I would like to admit, I finally figured out (kind-of) Templates, Pages, Widgets, and some new Gadgets.  Yippee Skippee!!  There are still a few kinks I have to work out and some more things I would like to add but it is a giant step in the direction I wanted to go!!  So here is the new and improved Happy Quilting.  I hope you enjoy!

*** Apparently another tweak I needed to work out was the comments.  I think I have it fixed now.  Thanks Shannon for the heads up.  If it still doesn't let you comment please email me so I can try to fix it again :)
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Friday, October 15, 2010

Anticipating Some Appliqué Fun!

I finished the top of my Project Modern Challenge today.  I took it outside to try and give you a good idea of the colors but unfortunately, it was pretty "lumpy".   Sorry, the squirrels burrowing holes is really doing numbers on our lawn.  Anyhow,  Can you see the "Press Your Luck" inspiration I mentioned in the previous post.  I love how it gives off the optical illusion that the blocks are "flickering".    

So now, it is time for some appliqué and I am so excited because I finally am going to have some play time with my birthday toy.  Oh ya, no more cutting out letters and shapes by hand, the Slice will do it for me and it will look perfect!  I can't wait to get cutting!!

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Project Modern

So a while ago I decided that I wanted to participate in Project Modern put on by the Modern Quilt Guild. (see the button on the side bar if you are interested). It consists of 4 challenges throughout the next year.  Challenge 1 is the Inspiration Challenge.  Basically the guidelines were to make a quilt based on the inspiration of your choice.  So ya, pretty broad.  I started to keep this in the back of my mind waiting for something to inspire me that I could turn into a quilt.  Okay, so fast forward to 2 weeks.  

My children were having a conversation with me about what kind of shows I watched as a child.  After I told them about several they said they wanted to see them.  So we all crowded around the computer for a little YouTube action.  Somehow we got to Press Your Luck.  Do you remember this?? This was my favorite game show as a kid.  I loved it!  I brought up some videos to show the kids.  They loved it too.  Something about all the flashing lights and of course the Whammies.  My 3 year old could not get enough of them  He laughed and laughed and kept asking me to play them again.

And then it hit me, Wham!!!  That's my inspiration.   

And then at almost the same moment of realizing I had inspiration I realized I already had the perfect fabric for this inspiration in my stash!!  Can you see how great this will be for making all of those "flickering" boxes.  And of course, there will be some whammies appliquéd.

I whipped up a design and set out to cutting this morning.  I was a little nervous as I only had a yard of each fabric and it was going to be close.  These are my leftovers after cutting the pieces for the top.  I don't even think there is enough left for a scrappy binding.  Stay tuned to see this Project Modern challenge comes together.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Quilting Struggles but I Finished!

Okay, so I have never had so many troubles quilting a quilt.  I don't know what the deal was.  My thread just get breaking, constantly!!  It drove me nuts and so I decided to work on the quilt with the swirls, and that worked perfect.  So I thought, maybe my adjusting the tension had helped and started back on this again and AGGGHHH!  The thread started breaking again.  I just didn't get it.  But I perceived.  In the end, I decided that it must have just been a bad spool of thread.  Does that happen??  Has anyone else had this.  It was frustrating to no end.

But I kept plugging away, rethreading like crazy and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. And then wham, it was done.  My Chubby Stars in Fall.  Thanks again Tracey for this amazing quilt-a-long.  This pattern was amazing.  So inventive and I just love the little 1" squares.

So here are some pictures with some of my thoughts about this quilt.

I love the scrappy binding!  Can you believe those chain squares are only 1 inch.   They are so cute and petite.

I pieced the back as well.  Don't you just love the way the leaves pop out in circles on the back.  That was an added bonus that I didn't plan but was really happy with.

I love the way the leaves turned out.  I am not so happy with the way the points of the stars turned out.  It looks like it would be so easy to just draw and arched triangle in a triangle but it was a little harder than I thought, it didn't help that my thread broke at least 3 times per blocks.  Ah well, at least the washing and drying helped to hide it a bit.

I really wanted the chain to kind of stand out so I decided to try pebbling on just the brown hoping that would create the desired effect.  It did, and I have to say, I love the look of it.  However, I haven't decided if I really like pebbling.   I think I will try again sometime when I am not having thread issues and then make a final decision if I like doing it or not.  But the fact that I love the look will probably have some sway on my decision :)
And here it is ready to go.  I have placed this in my Etsy shop.  All in all, I am pretty excited about the way this quilt turned out.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

A New Free Motion Design

So I am really going all out on the free motion lately.  Here is my newest design attempt.  I think I am going to call it swirly.  Oh, and yes, that is a sneak peak of a little "baking" project for November.  Yup, you are going to have to wait a while to see it in full :)

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

In Need of Moda Pre-Cuts

Check out over here for an amazing Moda Giveaway!  I love Giveaways!!

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Monday, October 4, 2010

"Taggy" to Match and Exciting News

So at the end of August my dear sweet friend had her fourth little girl.  You might remember her from my Snuggly Squares Baby Quilt Tutorial.  Here she is in all of her adorable glory!

About a month before she was born I made this quilt for her mother and gave it to her then so should could have it hanging over her crib when her little bundle of joy arrived.

I found this quilting idea on Oh Fransson and I love it!!

So this afternoon was her baby shower. It was wonderful, good friends, and good food.  I really didn't want to go empty handed as I had already given my gift 2 months ago so I thought about what I could do.  This is what I came up with.  A cute little "Taggy".  It matches her quilt.  How cute is that???

Okay, So ready for the exciting news!!  Well it is for me at least.  When I got home from the baby shower I had an email from the Moda Bake Shop that they are having a booth in the Houston Quilt Festival and would love to display my Snuggly Squares Baby Quilt.  Ahhhhh!!  I am so excited!!  I want to fly to Houston just so I can see one of my quilts among such amazing other quilts made by quilting legends!!  If you happen to be in Houston for this event and see my quilt, could you snap a picture for me.  Thanks!! :)
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Sunday, October 3, 2010

First's in Free Motion

So today I tried some new techniques into my limited free motion abilities.

First, using stencils to quilt in pictures.  I really love these leaves!!  I used my birthday present (a slice) to make the stencils.  When I have more time to play  with my great new little machine, I will post about what it can do.

Second, I finally tried pebbling.  It isn't perfect but this is my first square.  It takes a little more time than normal stippling so I will be working on the remaining 12 blocks for a bit.  But I am sure it will be better with each square.

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Kick-Back Night!

My wonderful husband is out for a few hours this evening so I am watching this

while blog hoping around this

Does it get any better than that???
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