Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Happy Easter, from our house to yours!!

Here's hoping we don't have any belly aches by the end of the day :)

Easter Bunting Tutorial found here :)

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Have You Seen Any Naughty Kittens??

Because it appear's that I have their mittens :)  Laura asked us to make some mittens using Lori Holt's wonderful tutorial for the March Beejeebers block.  She plans to use them in a wonderful "I Spy" quilt where you lay them all out in a mixed up order and then try to find the mates.  Super cute, huh!!!

Oh, and if anyone needs any extra thumbs . . . gotta keep it real ya know :)  I managed to cut my first set of thumbs 3/4" to short.  I guess that happens when you are reading a tutorial, listening to a book, and trying to sort out an argument over which movie the kids get to watch, all at the same time. Sure, we mom's can multi-task, you just don't always like the results you get from doing it :)

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Read With Me - A MBS Tutorial

Okay, so I have been hinting about this tutorial for about a week and so I am happy to say, that it is now posted!  Introducing . . . Read With Me my newest  Moda Bake Shop Tutorial !!  

To say I like this quilt would be a vast understatement.  I absolutely love it and every time I see it I do a little happy dance!!  This quilt was one of those fun experiences, where you start out with a basic idea, My idea, I wanted to do a "book quilt" because it had always been on my list of things to do, and when I saw Noteworthy by Sweetwater I knew they were the perfect prints to finally do a "book quilt in."   So I drafted up a book shelf idea that looked a little like this.

Cute, right.  I was super excited with how it was coming along.  But I wanted to add something to it that would really make it it's own and something that would just ooze adorable!!  And that is where the appliqued "once upon a time . . ." came from.  And can I just tell you, that when I got to this point, I was squealing with delight.  I just love to see the idea in my head transformed into fabric, and when it comes out even cuter than I imagined, Bonus!!

And then, there came the finishing touch, the quilting.  I am over the moon excited about the quilting of this quilt.  It so adds to the "once upon a time . . . " theme!!  And, it was a whole lot easier than I thought it was going to be and so much fun!!!  Some of you got pretty close to guessing the theme from the sneak peeks, great job!!

And since I am so over the moon about the quilting, I thought it would be fun to show some detailed shots ;)

Here is the top of the castle and the clouds :)  To really make the outline of the pictures stand out I quilted over the threads like 3 times so it was super bold.  I really like the depth it gives it!  And I always love some good pebbling!!  The window and clouds are cute and poofie too :)

 The bean stalk on the right hand side was so much fun to quilt.  Once again, I did the outline super dark and heavy, and then I just started with some swirls and leafs.  They were so fun and freeing, I just kept swirling away!!   And then the pink scrolls, love em!!  They are seriously one of my favorite things to quilt!

The drawbridge was my first attempt at wood-grain and then I added  a cute little moat, and  some adorable flowers!!  The grass came out pretty fun too, even though I had no idea what I was doing at the time, I just kept zig and zaging up and down and figured it looks pretty close to grass :)

The final part of the quilting, and it is my favorite, is that each book has a title.  For a family activity, each of the children got to pick their favorite stories . . . one they have read, and ones I have read to them and they were all written onto the books.  I then added my favorites, my husband's favorites, and other family favorites.  

I quilted them in using a loopy cursive just using the machine the same way I would use a pencil.  Which was a little hard in the center of the quilt as I am not the best at writing sideways, but I got through it.  I decided to use a matching thread color because I didn't want bright shiny titles to take away from the overall theme of the quilt and I wanted it to be special for our family, in a quiet kind of way.  And we all love it!!  It has already become a treasured family favorite!

Oh, you might want some of the nitty gritty :)  The quilt measures 58" x 73", just the perfect size for snuggling up with your wee ones with a good story, or for a special one's twin size bed :)  It is made using a Noteworthy jelly roll by Sweetwater and some Bella Solid white and black.  It really is a fun quilt to put together and is very beginner friendly.

We'll that just about wraps it up :)   To view the entire step by step tutorial, just pop on over to the Moda Bake Shop  and enjoy the  Read With Me quilt tutorial!! :)   I am sure that if you choose to make your own that it will become a treasure in your house, just as it has in ours.

I will leave you with these adorable little cuties of mine!!  Have a Happy Quilting day!!!

I'm Linking up to Quilt Story :)
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Monday, March 25, 2013

Mom's Millinery Marvel"

So say that three times fast!  (My son learned about alliteration last week :)

So, I have mentioned my amazing Mother-in-law, Barbara, here many times.  She is my "Hand Stitching Fairy", my creative consultant, my teacher's aid, my traveling companion, and an amazing quilter herself.  Here is her Starburst quilt that she made with the Quilt-A-Long, and yes, she quilted all of those stunning feathers on her home machine.  Stunning!!

But what I haven't mentioned is that she is also has some mad skills when it comes to the art of Millinery, aka hat making :)  Barbara has been making hats ever since her children were little.  And now she even teaches a classes at the UFO on millinery history and techniques.

Saturday, she brought this stunning hat up to ask me to model it before she gave it to her friend to be used at a Pink Hat Tea.  Her friend requested a hat a la "My Fair Lady".  I think Barbara hit it right on the nose.  It is absolutely gorgeous !  Barbara creates these hats from scratch, and I mean from scratch, as in she builds her own frames.  It is really amazing to watch how she creates these!!  So ya, I foresee a few millinery classes for me in the future.  

And of course, the girls wanted to model as well.  Jessica :)

And Kamryn.  Giving their best Eliza Doolittle impressions :)

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Follow Follow Me

So I have been trying to figure out what all of this Google Reader not being around anymore means.  We still have till July so don't stress to much if you aren't sure what you want to do.  Seriously, this stuff makes my head spin.  I never used Good Reader but I know a lot of people use it to follow Happy Quilting.  From what I have come to understand . . . Those friends that follow me through Google Friends Connect and read my blog posts on Google Reader will now need to find an alternative way to get my posts.

So . . . Here are some alternatives . . .

You can always get email updates by clicking on the button that looks like this over in the Follow Follow Me section of my sidebar

Or, you can follow me on Twitter or Facebook, as every time I post here at Happy Quilting, it is updated there :)  Same idea, just click on the button that looks like this in the same section


Or, you can use any Reader that you prefer to follow along with by clicking on the RSS button that looks like this in the same section.  

And . . . Since it seems like Bloglovin seems to be the newest thing . . . I am going to look into understanding it and have "claimed" my blog there so you can Follow my blog with Bloglovin by clicking on the link.  I will try to add a widget of some sort in the very near future so it is in the sidebar as well :)

And last, but not least. . . . You can always do it the old fashion way (which is what I do because I am old school like that ;)  and just visit here by actually coming to my blog address :)  

Thanks to all of my wonderful readers :)  Here's hoping we don't lose to many of you in the transition.  I hate getting lost in technology and I know I struggle with these kind of changes so I am sure some of you do too :)
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Friday, March 22, 2013

What Quilting Rut??

Remember how I had that little quilting rut where I couldn't decide how to quilt my "book" quilt??  Well that  evening I was having a little discussion about it with Barbara (my sweet MIL) and after some back and forth, I had my quilting vision.  I just love how being able to discuss my ideas and concerns with a fellow quilter always seems to get the creative juices flowing and the brain blocks broken down.  It's the greatest!!  I am fortunate to have my MIL so close so we often help each other out in creative ruts.  Do you have someone that helps you out when your feeling the creative blank??

So after I had my quilting vision, I headed back home and got to quilting.  And two days later, I am done!!!    The quilted is bound, washed, and ready to be loved!!  And oh my goodness, this quilt was so much fun to quilt up!!  I am so excited with how it turned out, and I promise to show a full reveal next week,(hopefully Monday) along with that tutorial I keep promising :)

But for today, here is some of the fun I had with the quilting.

Some square tile action.

Good ol pebbling.  

My first attempt at wood grain, not great, but not bad.

Some vines and leafs, so much fun!!

And one of my personal favorites, scroll work!

So, from all of these little peeks, can you guess what kind of quilting concept we came up with??  Can't wait to show you the whole thing :)

Linking up this quilting finish to Amanda's :)

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Modern Madness, You Gotta Love It, Baby!!

Most of us know about March Madness . . . Well  have you heard about Modern Madness????

John, aka Quilt Dad, annually sets up a Modern Madness tournament over at Fat Quarterly.  He takes 64 of your favorite fabric lines from the last year and matches them up in head to head battles until one emerges victorious!!  Readers vote throughout the process and it is an all around great time!!  So pop on over to print off your brackets and follow along with the Modern Madness fun!!

These are my picks!!  Some of these picks were really hard because my favorite fabric lines were matched up early and so one of them had to fall.

My Champion . . . Notting Hill by Joel Dewberry!!  Bring on the Modern Madness Mayhem!!!

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Rolling With It

Yesterday, my plan was to start quilting my "book" quilt, but when it got to nap time and I started to load my bobbins, I realized I had a problem.  I could not decide how to quilt it.  I pondered, I drew sketches, and after about 20 minutes I was still struggling to come up with an idea I liked.

So . . . not wanting to waste precious nap time, I decided to roll with it and move on . . .  to Jelly Rolls :)  (I know, lame joke, but it still made me smile :)  So out came 2 Natural Bella Solid jelly rolls and 2 beautiful Mimi jelly rolls.  Mimi is by Chez Moi for Moda and will be arriving in stores in July.  But my wonderful friends at Moda sent these to me to use for another secret project :)

So off to the cutting races I went.   I really love cutting out pieces for quilts.  I love all the math of trying to figure out how much I can get out of each strip and how I can have the least amount of scrap.  I was so glad to have the Solid Jelly Rolls for all of this cutting because it saved me a ton of time!! (seriously, some of those stacks are 96 pieces high)

After the solids it was time to cut into the beautiful rainbow of Mimi!  Oh my goodness, this is such a pretty line.  I just loved cutting it up and have already played with mixing and matching the prints.  I can't wait to start sewing.  This line is perfect for my design and I really think it is going to come out just stunning!!

Sadly, because of the secret nature of the project, this is the last I will be able to show of it until the end of summer.  Sorry to tease but hopefully, if what I have envisioned turns out,  it will be worth the wait :)
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Monday, March 18, 2013

How Did you Spend National Quilting Day???

Saturday was National Quilting Day and lucky for me, the sun was shinning which means the kids joined daddy for some major yard work/play.  Which also meant the littlest kid and I enjoyed some major sewing room time!!

I managed to finish sewing up my book blocks that I started here.

Then I cut, placed, and secure-stitched some applique.

And I even managed to sew it all into a quilt top that actually got basted the same day!!

All in all, a pretty fabulous way to spend National Quilting Day!!

I am hoping to get this quilted up today (as soon as I decide on a design) with that tutorial soon to follow :)

So how did you spend National Quilting Day????

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Lucky Winner

It's time to see who has the luck of the Irish with them!!  Thank you to ChristaQuilts for sponsoring the fabulous Kona Solids giveaway !!  I am sure you all enjoyed getting to know her shop a little better :)

And the lucky winner is . . . 

Congrats to Chiska!!  Have fun choosing your favorite Kona Solids :)

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Friday, March 15, 2013

A Happy Birthday Finish Finally Used

So a year and a half ago I finished this cute Happy Birthday banner and matching table topper and shipped it off to become part of the Sweet Celebrations book.    I haven't shared much about it since, except for some other little kids enjoying their cake on it from the promo picture here, because we haven't had any birthday's since it made it's way home.  But yesterday, my little Kamryn turned 4 and I got to finally use my finish from over a year before!!!  Yippee Skippee, I was totally thrilled!!!  I mean, It's so stinking cute!!!

And as you can see, Kamryn was so excited as well!!!  Although I think that might have to do more with the presents than the adorable Birthday Decor :)  She added to my joy by choosing to wear the patchwork dress I made for her older sister a few years back.  She said it was the perfect birthday outfit :)  And in case your wondering,  I used Amanda's wonderful tutorial for the dress and I will be linking up to Amanda's as well :)

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Refracted Remake

My Refracted quilt returned home from the Quilt Con show last week.  I was excited to get it back and see what was said about it.  Then I opened the box, and like a lot of other blogger friends, got a shock, that turned into disappointment, that resulted in some tears, and finished with a crumbled up piece of paper thrown in the garbage.  That took all of about 5 minutes.

The next morning brought a new day and with it some fabulous blog posts that brought me peace and clarity.  Especially Angela's,  Thank you Angela!!  In reading through all of the supportive comments given to her, I realized something important.  This wonderful online world of quilters is a family in every sense of the word.  We support each other, we stick up for each other,  we love and encourage each other when we are down and we are each important and have a value in making up the whole.   I am so happy to be a part of this family!!

So, after some time, and some contemplating "trying to walk in someone else's shoes"  I decided, that in my mind, the MQG, including the judges are part of this family too.  They were trying to help. Maybe not the most tactful way of helping, but trying none the less.  I would never want the responsibility that they were given and so I can't really get upset about the way they did it.  And making this decision made me happier!!

So . . . to keep me on the "happier" path, I decided I would take some of the critique given and give it a go.   I really didn't remember much of the specifics from the critique (that's what happens when you read something once and throw it away), but I did remember the comment that the judges wished the quilt fabrics represented more of the inspiration behind the quilt.

The inspiration  for this quilt was the way light refracts from a prism into a rainbow.  So . . . If I am taking that representation literally, I figured I need some black and white, and a Kona charm pack . . .

Divided into a light, medium, and dark rainbow.  And I am ready to start cutting!!

I still love the original Refracted just the way it is, and will always love it regardless of how it was received because it was my idea and vision of it.  But I figure, every quilt has another way to be looked at and interpreted (Heck, that is why I love doing Quilt-A-Longs!), and if someone else see's another vision of mine, who's to say it won't come out just as lovely.  And I just happen to have a partner for the  FLQS, who is all about improv piecing and rainbows.   Could there be a more perfect opportunity to do a little Rainbow Refracted Remake ? :)  I get more and more excited about this project the more I think about it!!  And it has the added bonus of me also getting happier about the whole Quilt Con thing.   So thanks Judges, I am sure you did your very best with a task that not many of us would want, and I will take from it what will help me to improve to my very best.
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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Books bring on a math refresher course.

** Note - If you are looking for the ChristaQuilts Kona Solids Giveaway you will find it here :)

Yesterday afternoon I spent 3 1/2 making this little book block.  Crazy, I know.  I mean seriously, you look at this and think, 10 maybe 15 minutes right.  We'll here's the story.

When I first designed this little angled block I figured easy, just take a large square, slice it diagonal and add a piece to each side, then just add a strip to the top and bottom and square it up.  Easy, pretty, very little waste, and no need for paper piecing knowledge,  Right!!!  Wrong.  It could be right for improv. quilting, but . . .

This little guy is going in a designed quilt and needed specific measurements.  That is what I figured out in attempt 1.  Just adding to the sides and not worrying about the size of the square made for way to much of an angle and trimming it would have cut off the book.

So, I start trying to remember my geometry and angles, (I am sure there are easier ways of doing this but my mind was set and I was going to figure it out!!)  Attempt 2 found me closer to the right angle so I was getting excited but then I realized a new thing to worry about.  My book corners needed to be 1/4" away from the edges or I would be having a floating book.  Grrr!!  I start trying to figure out how to make this work, try and remember more math, and set to it again.  (Honestly, I am sure I could have walked away and come back with a better plan, but sometimes you just get that tunnel vision ;)

Once again, I tweak a bit here and a bit there, and get pretty excited because Attempt 3 is oh so close, I mean seriously, it was off by like 1/2".  I start to wonder why I ever doubted.  (Although 2 1/2 hours have been lost with nothing to show. )  Once last trial run and attempt 4 gets all trimmed up and I smile and resist the urge to start pumping my fist and shouting "I am smarter than a 5th grader!"

Time to try it out on the real thing!!    Yup, perfectly trimmed to my designated size and each corner floating a perfect 1/4" away from the edge.  Yippee Skippee!!

Add it into it's block and you have an adorable little book shelf.

Oh, and I think the biggest motivation to get this figured out was that this will be part of a tutorial!!  I am so excited to share the rest of what I have envisioned. (Especially now that the math class is over.)

Have a Happy Quilting Day!!

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Welcome ChristaQuilts and a Giveaway

 A huge welcome to ChristaQuilts, my newest sponsor!!  ChristaQuilts specializes in an eclectic mix of fresh, modern and fun fabrics. Christa started off making traditional quilts, but over the last year has had her focus on modern quilting. 

Her Charming Chevrons quilt, a fabulous example of her modern quilting love, was recently seen hanging at QuiltCon.  Christa has even developed a Charming Chevron's Quilt-A-Long tutorial on her blog so you can make one too!!  Christa is always hosting amazing Quilt-A-Longs at her blog with fantastic instructions that even explain her stunning quilting!! Charming Chevron's is made completely from Kona Cotton Solids which is one of her shops specialties. Right now she stocks around 100 of the Kona Solids and has big plans to carry them all.  In fact, she loves them so much she is giving some of them away.  (More on that at the end of the post :)  

ChristaQuilts is a wonderful shop that has excellent customer service.  They offer Free Shipping on all orders in the US, and she gives a 20% discount off current USPS shipping rates for international orders.  With the rising cost of postal rates that is a huge saver!!  And who wouldn't want to save on a little of this??  Can I just say how much I love Pearl Bracelets!!

And if she didn't have you at the shipping, she is bound to get you excited about her daily deals, weekly specials bargain bin,  and free "Christa Candy", with every order of $25.00 or more.  I love me a little  bargain on fabrics like these.

And as part of ChristaQuilts intoduction, she is offering another discount to all Happy Quilting blog readers.  By using the coupon code B13HQM you will receive an additional 5% off your next order.  And it has another bonus.  Once you have used the code, you will automatically continue to receive that discount on all of your future orders!!  Yippee Skippee!!  So pop on over to her store and check out what you would like to save an extra 5% on. 

Now, remember that Giveaway I mentioned.  I am sure you do.  One lucky blog reader will win a bundle of 8 Kona fat quarters of their choice.  Can you imagine how fun it would be to pick 8 favorites, I know I wish I could!!

You have two chances to win, please leave a separate comment for each.  

1 - Visit ChristaQuilts and leave a comment of your favorite Kona color she stocks, or if you don't see your favorite color, leave a comment of the color you wish she had.

2 - Subscribe to ChristaQuilts blog and leave a comment that you did so.  Trust me, you are going to love visiting her blog daily.  She is always posting amazing projects and tutorials!

And that's it :) The giveaway will close on Saturday Mar 16th and I will announce a winner shortly after.     Have a Happy Quilting Day!!! 

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