Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Pack Your Bags

My Patchwork Treffen group has a small little trip planned this fall to go to Denmark for a quilting weekend. As far as projects go, it really takes a lot of planning to have enough to do, even though at such get-togethers you never accomplish as much as you think you can. Seeing as how I can't take my sewing room with me, I really want to make sure that I carefully plan all my projects because there's no going to the favorite stack for a forgotten snippit.

As far as my my quarterly goals list goes, my bee quilt has not exactly taken top priority since I am working on my second and third patterns right now. But it is actually the perfect kind of project to put together when we are snuggled up in a cozy cabin, sewing machines humming, and chattering happily away.

I have to admit that at first I really struggled with this layout. With so many shades and tones, when I first laid this out randomly, it really wasn't coming together as I had envisioned. At some point I had the idea to cluster the diamond points according to color. Once I shifted blocks a bit, I knew it was my "that's it" moment.

Sometimes you just need a sew-without-thinking project, and I would say that this will be a perfect snuggle up on the couch, and pull the papers out after a long day of sewing... don't you think? But you'll have to wait until after the trip to see this one put together.

Any sewing retreat/quilting group stories to tell? Any unfortunate forgotten snippit tales?

Linking up this week to Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

I've Got A Notion

My earliest memories of sewing was with my mom. As a trained home economics teacher, her desire to teach was there, but she had a "student" who was not only willing to learn, but quite eager. At the time I did not value her contstant urgings to do things the proper way, and iron each seam... for me that took too long. But the deeper I got in the craft, the more I came to appreciate her good advice.

Walking hand in hand with those memories of learning to sew, are the  memories of me digging through her notions boxes. I had favorite buttons, and bobbins, thread, and what-nots... and there was nothing more delightful than to dig and dig, making one new discovery after the next. 

I thought it would be fun to use the 6" mini version of my Jeweled Kaleidoscope quilt pattern as a single block for a pin cushion... well, actually the idea came from one of my pattern testers. I've been itching to cut into these notion themed fabrics from Cotton & Steel, and I pulled some of my favorite low volume sewing fabrics to go with it.

There are some projects, usually small ones, that I really enjoy the process of carefully thought out fabric placement. Fussy cutting is not always for the thrifty quilter, but I love the challenge of a perfectly placed snippit.

Cotton & Steel always had such fun selvages, and the Trinket fabrics from Melody Miller, are no exception!

Do such sewing themed fabrics like these evoke any memories of crafting and sewing as a child too?

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Jeweled Kaleidoscope + Fabric GIVEAWAY on Instagram

Don't miss out... I'm celebrating the release of my Jeweled Kaleidoscope quilt pattern with a GIVEAWAY on Instagram! (link here) Be sure to hop on over to win these fabrics and my newly released pattern:

  • 8 - 1/4 yards/meters of #modernbackgroundfabrics sponsored by Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic
  • a downloadable PDF copy of my Jeweled Kaleidoscope quilt pattern
  • and 40 pre-cut favorite fabric triangles in jewel colors as seen in my quilt.

NOTE: Unfortunately blog comments do not qualify for the giveaway. For details how to win, see my post on Instagram! (this giveaway is open internationally)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

2016 FAL Q4 Goals

On the surface it looks like I only finished about half of my quarterly goals list for Q3 because I am only checking two things off my list. The behind the scenes reality of it is that I was able to finish THE goal that I didn't think would happen, plus a  finish of an old WIP that never got listed, because I wasn't even planning to work on it at all! But all in all, I don't think it's too bad especially when you consider that we moved, our oldest started school, and I released my FIRST quilt pattern! So, for this quarter:

1. My Churnstile quilt makes it back on the list, and it won't take that long to finish, but my first quilt release has kind of taken the front burner. I'm am nearly finished with quilting on this one!

2. Green Smoothie is also being carried over, but beleive it or not, the issue with me not finishing last quarter is because the bed that it is going on it STILL not in place!?! (long story that would take at least 20 posts to explain!)

3. Well, you didn't think that I would leave you with just one pattern release, did you? Since pattern #2 has so many pieces and parts, curves and trimmings, this will, again, be a very ambitious goal... so why not another pattern release on the list for this quarter?!?

4. I have also already started on quilt pattern #3 which should actually come together rather quickly. This is a totally different color palette for me, and I can't wait to share more. A more simple and straightforward pattern, but with partial seams... I am really trying to figure out what all the fuss is about and why the term has gotten such a bad rap? (I totally get it about y-seams)

´5. Unfortunately my bee quilt is a really low priority on my list right now. I've gotten all the blocks from my bee members, but it just turns out that the other projects are higher on my list. When it was my turn to be the queen it wasn't the best schedule fit, and since we finish every two months instead of each month, other projects kept moving up the list.

On another note, if you happened to miss it, or you are just stopping by for the first time, my new quilt pattern is on sale until Wednesday, October 19th in my Payhip shop.

Linking up to 2016 Finish-A-Long 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Pattern Release + Payhip SALE!

It's hard to believe that I've made it to the finish line. My pattern is now finished, tested, revised, and ready for sale... so, without further ado, may I OFFICIALLY introduce to you my Jeweled Kaleidoscope quilt pattern? You can find my pattern on Payhip, and I've actually set up my shop so I can offer the pattern in two different format sizes: 

US Letter format downloadable PDF
Non-US DIN-A4 format downloadable PDF

AND to celebrate the pattern release, I am offering a 20% discount code on all sales this week! (through October 19th) Just enter the code: JKLaunch.

I would love to see what you are making... share your Jeweled Kaleidoscope creations under the #jeweledkaleidoscopequilt hashtag on Instagram!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Color Options Part III - The Optional Version

My Jeweled Kaleidoscope pattern, to be released this week, October 12th, comes also with the option to be made without the center circle appliques. I shared my pillow that I had made with a simple graduated color palette, but I wanted to share a few layout variations that could also be used for larger quilts.... and the amazing thing is that the change in design all comes from simple color placements.

For this first layout, I'm still stuck on these soothing cool colors using Basic Grey grunges mixed with some of my favorite printed fabrics. 

... for this next layout, I wanted to have a little more negative space to show off the pinwheels. For the free motion quilter, so much negative space can be a dream.

Here is another graduated layout, but without the center circle appliques it takes on a completely different look. The accent is now on the strong navy contrasting petals.

Even though I don't really work with solids, I appreciate the heavy punch that they pack. And this layout in shades of purples, greys, and navys is no exception

For this quilt, there is a secondary graduation colorway. Firstly the graduation of the purple tones, and secondly with the movement fromgrey to blue tones. The navy accent petals bring even more contrast.

So, there's only one question let, have you decided how you want to make your Jeweled Kaleidoscope quilt?

Linking up to Let's Bee Social.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Jeweled Kaleidoscope Color Options Part II

I really love what my pattern testers have come up with so far for my Jeweled Kaleidoscope pattern, and several have not only explored various color palettes, but also design variations. My first pattern tester, Mareike, really pushed the limits in exploring the kaleidoscope possibilies of this pattern. Read her blog post about finding the kaleidoscope structures in a soft color palette. I wanted to explore additional options with the same layout... and of course with lots of color!

Somehow I have really been drawn to the cool color palette, but also wanted to think about how this might translate into a warm color palette.

I've seen so many projects using a simple grey and citron colorway, and this combination shows what a nice compliement the two colors are to each other.

Even though I really had to work hard to build my purple stash, it really is a favorite color of mine. I couldn't resist using these Alison Glass fabrics combined with stash must-haves Zen Chic greys.

Another one of my pattern testers had the idea to put the blocks on point. Elina has a good feel for both color and design, and I love the well thought out little detailed accents that she included in her pillow. Here again, exploring with cool colors using my favorite Basic Grey grunges.

... and the same concept of the design on point, but with a few fabric placement changes. I love this strong, yet soothing blue background.

So, does this bring back memories as a child, looking through a kaleidoscope and being fascinatied about the endless designs that danced before your eyes? Well, it doesn't end here either... more to come next week as well as the official release on October 12th!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Jeweled Kaleidoscope Color Options Part I

Next Wednesday, October 12th, is the official launch of my Jeweled Kaleidoscope pattern and I couldn't be more excited! Over the next weeks I wanted to share with you various projects and color options for using this pattern. Last week I shared the mini version without the center appliques, and it's amazing how a pattern changes with mere color changes. It has been helpful for me to shuffle colors around, and for comparison, first here is original version in cool colors paired with a soothing grey.

Next I changed the outer fabrics to a dark grey, and used the same soft grey for the center circles. I love how this looks with the center circles taking the backstage, and the background becoming more dominant.

I've had my eye on the Handcrafted Patchwork batiks from Alison Glass for a while now, but since you can't buy every fabric that you drool over, it's nice to still play with them in EQ7. Here I changed the center fabrics to the light grey and stayed with a graduated color palette like I did for the optional version. hmmm... perhaps a future fabric splurge IS actually needed.

Again, the same fabrics, but with a darker contrast for the background.

I've only gotten started with color inspiration, so be sure to stop back by this and next week for more color options and layouts. Wanna see what my pattern testers are creating on Instagram? See them under the hashtag #jeweledkaleidoscopequilt.

Linking up to Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Who Doesn't Love Options?

My Jeweled Kaleidoscope quilt pattern is now in the hands of my pattern testers, and I'm really loving seeing so many takes on the same block! Be sure to check out what's happening on Instagram (#jeweledkaleidoscopequilt)... everyone has their own signature style and favorite fabrics. Oh, by the way... did I happen to mention that my pattern comes in two different sizes and an optional version?

The pattern is also available in a 18" mini size, which is perfect for pillows, wall hangings, etc. This pillow is for my living room and I love it! This is not only the mini version, but also the optional version without the circle appliques. (I realize that applique is perhaps not everyone's cup of tea)

I've been working a lot in EQ7 and playing around with different color variations, which is where I originally came up with this warm color version on a dark Essex linen background. I think it really takes on a totally different look, don't you?

So, from there, I thought it would be fun to see what the same mini looks like in cool colors... hmmm, I think I might be onto something here. The advantage of such a program, is that it's so much fun working with your stash fabrics without making a mess!

My Jeweled Kaleidoscope quilt is set to release October 12th, so stay tuned for more projects from my first quilt pattern!

Linking up this week to Let's Bee Social

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Finished Edge Foil Applique VIDEO!

Every quilter has their own list of favorite and least favorite techniques for finishing quilt blocks. I have always loved applique, but what I have not always loved is a zig-zag finish. Many of the quilting techniques that I've explored have been my attempt to have a clean, finished egde when I applique: thus the reason you see so much freezer paper and reverse applique projects at the top of my list.

Sometime ago, I had stumbled onto Anna Maria Horner's technique for finishing circles... can I just say brilliant?!? I used this method to finish the circles in my to-be-released Jeweled Kaleidoscope pattern (October 12th), and you may remember my Facing East quilt. While I was writing the instructions for my pattern, I decided that I wanted to do a video of this technique, firstly as a reference to go along with my pattern, and secondly because often seeing something demonstrated can make a world of difference on how much head scratching goes on while trying to figure it out.

So, what's your favorite applique method?

 Linking up with Let's Bee Social

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Jeweled Kaleidoscope Pattern Reveal!

Sometimes when you've been working on something so intensely with no end in sight, once the light at the end of the tunnel moment comes, it's hard to believe when you actually make it out on the other side at the finish line! I've teased, hinted, and showed little sneak peeks for so long, that I can tease and hint no more... now I can finally share my very first pattern - Jeweled Kaleidoscope!

I have to admit that it's been really hard to keep a project like this under wraps! Behind the scenes there is so much going on that can't be shared which gives the appearance of not much going on. Well, the cat's out of the bag and I'm now ready to talk about it... a lot!

The quilt is a combination of foundation paper piecing and applique, and was my first quilt that I sent out to be quilted. If sending your kids off to college is anywhere on the same level as sending off this quilt, then it appears that I really have some work ahead of me!?!

Iva did such an amazing job on the quilting and I couldn't be more pleased. We kicked around several design ideas before we decided on the final quilting... talk about her being patient with this picky customer!?! I really love how she highlighted the circle applique with some incredible ruler work.

The next step is the pattern testing phase and a planned official release in the next 3-4 weeks. I am looking for pattern testers, so if you're interested, then let me know (and if you've tested for anyone before). Now that the silence has been broken, and I can't wait to share more with you over the next weeks!

Linking up to Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Such A Tease

Did anyone ever tease you in school? We've all been teased, and when it happened it wasn't always fun... but sometimes the person that did the teasing might have done it because they actually liked you. Pause... hmmm, with that being said, what do you think about just a little teasing today? I'm certainly hoping that this is the kind of teasing that you like!

I am in the home stretch of completing my first pattern and hope to share it next week! (eekk!) On such an endeavor, there is always so much behind the scenes things that have to be done before hitting that official launch button. On one hand it's a great feeling of satisfaction to be so far, but what that actually means is that I have been on the computer a lot more than at the sewing machine these days. On the plus side, my EQ7 program and I have gotten to know each other quite well, but as with all relationships, there are some days that you like each other and some days that you don't.

This is my first quilt to be quilted by someone else. Just look at the amazing quilting that Iva at Schnigschag Quilts and More did on my quilt... absolutely stunning, don't you think? Another first is that this is the first backing that I have not pieced. Somehow when I thought about how I wanted to finish this quilt, there were no questions asked... this Tula Pink "Freefall" wideback fabric was the ONLY thing that in my mind was the perfect fit.

So, for the official status of things: Quilt is quilted? - check. First draft is finished? - check. Paper pieicng templates finished? - check? Binding and photos are planned for this week and I still am working on some shop issues... I can see the light at the end of the tunnel... can you?

Linking up to Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Woodland QAL - the FINISH!

How many quilters out there find themselves wowed and awed when admiring the work of a really, really, and I mean really good free motion quilter? After all the ohhhhing and awwwing, the progression of things seems to shift to start comparing it to your own work, often self confidence is too quickly washed down the drain.

I know that practice makes perfect, but I have come to the conclusion, that I really don't like freem motion quilting... that is to do it myself. My grand ideas to practice some free motion on a smaller quilt, quickly came to a halt when I finished the first row of leaves on my Woodland quilt. Quick, quick, I've got a pressing deadline on this one resulted in shifting to wavy line quilting, but I couldn't drop the idea of incorporating leaves in the overall quilting design. It hit me that on such a small quilt, it was still doable with a walking foot!?! Ok, so there would be a little bit of turning, but still doable.

I think what I am most proud of on this quilt finish is that it a.) it pushed me to incorporate some unfinished blocks for a finished project and b.) I used mostly scraps on the blocks, the background, and the binding... it's a great feeling to use what you have from those scrap bins!

Quilt: Wooland Friends
Blocks: Mini Woodland Bundle from Tartankiwi, Forest Floor from Lillyella's World, reverse applique leaves from Campbell Soup Diary
Started: August 2016
Fabrics: Basic Grey grunge and various stash scraps. Low volume background fabrics. 

Backing: Various scraps
Finished quilt size: ca. 48 x 60 in. (122 x 152 cm)

Do you end up comparing yourself to other quilters? Do you find it discourages you when you are not able to master a certain technique?

Linking up with Let's Bee Social, Sew Cute Tuesday. and Scraptastic Tuesday.
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