Monday, April 20, 2015

Bella Caronia Bloghop

I'm really excited to have been asked to participate in a blog hop for a new fabric line called Spring Bloom by Bella Caronia for Windham Fabrics! I met the designer Amanda at QuiltCon, and now I get to introduce her - and her first line of fabric - to you!



The hop kicks off today on the Windham Fabrics blog and Amanda's blog, and continues daily through May 2nd. I am joined by some really talented quilter/sewist/designers as you can see from the blog hop schedule:

April 23 Jessica Darling

I was given a FQ bundle to work with along with some solid yardage, and I'm busy working on a project to showcase these lovely fabrics. I'll be sharing that on my stop as well as offering a sponsored giveaway of a Fat Quarter bundle of the Spring Bloom prints, all of which are so cheerful and bright.



Follow our progress with the #springbloommakers hashtag on Instagram too!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ultimate Equipment Tote

I mentioned in my post on the Make It, Take It bloghop that I'd made one other project from the book besides my own. And here it is!

The Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild had Krista share her trunk show and book at our March meeting. As a little extra celebration, the executive decided to suprirse her with projects that we'd all made from the book. When we were divvying up the projects and "claiming" the one we most wanted to make, I was quick to choose the Ultimate Equipment Tote for mine.

Equipment Tote from Make It Take It
Tote Exterior. I used pinstripe denim and quilted lines in the other direction.

The pattern is by Berene (Happy Sew Lucky). I love it! Its construction is amazingly clever and it is a wonderful way to tote my cutting mat and rulers to retreats and sew-ins. No more chipped ruler corners! The tote finishes at 26½" x 19" and it fits my 18"x24" cutting mat and my quilting preview mylar that Krista Withers taught me to use.

Equipment Tote open

For the tote's exterior, I used some pinstripe denim, then quilted straight lines perpendicular to the pinstripes to create a grid. I made one change to the pattern in that I used Annie's Soft and Stable instead of batting, so the bag has a lot of structure even when it's empty.

As for the interior, I adhered to my new motto about fabric (Just Use It Already) so this bag has some favourites. Precious Mendocino mermaids for the exterior of the ruler caddy (you can see a bit of it in the photo above), some Collage for the front pocket and some beautiful Doe for the interior accents:

Equipment Tote Ruler Insert
A 24" long ruler lies along the width of the caddy.

The fact that I get to see and use some beautiful, favourite fabrics makes me love this tote even more than I imagined I would. So do it - USE THE FABRIC. You may think it's making you happy in your stash where you can pet it an admire it, but believe me when I say that using it in a project (that you keep) is even more satisfying.

Edited: I am linking up to Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story for the first time in forever! Yay!!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Finish Along Q2 Goals

This quarter, I have a mix of old and new projects that I want to get done:

1. Finish up my project using the lovely Spring Bloom by Bella Caronia that was sent to me by Windham Fabrics. This is Amanda Caronia's first fabric line and I think it's just beautiful - the different prints work so well together and the mix of colours and scale is really pleasing:

Stay tuned for a giveaway when this one is finished!

2. Resurrecting this WIP because I'll have access to a longarm to quilt it soon. Even though it means unbasting it. Oh well.

Wonderland Quilt Top

3. Stupid Jeweled Squares. It has taken so darn long to get to this project and now if all goes well, we'll be moving out of our current place sometime this year. The current place happens to contain the master bedroom for which the colours in this quilt were chosen. Ugh. I mean, they're still nice and I still like them but still: ugh.
Jewel Box Squares so far...

4. Gee's Bend Mini.
IMG_20150219_130021

It's all basted and sitting in my quilting frame because I'm hand quilting it!

I think four projects is enough. I've got my MQG Riley Blake challenge to work on (doesn't count for this list because it's still just a pile of fabric and I have no inspiration yet), and a few other WIMM (works in my mind). I know you know how it goes.

Come and play with us for the Finish Along! There are prizes!
2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Friday, April 10, 2015

Make It, Take It Giveaway Winners

Thanks, everyone, for your lovely comments and for participating in the hop. I've used Random.org to randomly choose two winning comments. Luckily both commenters had valid emails either included in the comment or linked to their Blogger profile!

(There were at least a dozen commenters who gave no way to contact them had they won. If you're wondering if that is you, ask yourself if you've ever received a reply from a comment you left on a blog post other than a giveaway post. If the answer's no, it's possible you're a no-reply blogger. Read this helpful post to remedy your situation so you can be eligible to win stuff!)

So anyway back to the good news!

Winner of the digital copy of Make It, Take It, courtesy of Martingale is Sarah@123 Quilt:



And a hard copy of the book will be heading to Saskatoon to live with Patti at Retired to Quilt!



Both winners have been notified by email. There are a couple more stops where you might win a book:

Saturday, April 11: Ayumi at Pink Penguin and Krista at Poppyprint
Sunday, April 12: Kristie at OCD: Obsessive Crafting Disorder and Christina at Sometimes Crafter

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Make It, Take It Bloghop (With Giveaway)

Welcome to my stop on the Make It, Take It bloghop!



Way back over two years ago, Krista Poppyprint told me that she was going to write a book on retreats and asked if I'd contribute a project. I couldn't say yes fast enough. I was - and am - absolutely thrilled for Krista! All of the opportunities and success that this book and her Chess on the Steps pattern have brought to her are the culmination of over 10 years of really hard work and beautiful creations and I am so delighted to be a part of it all: as a contributor, a frequent participant in her day and overnight retreats, and as a friend.

Make It, Take It is a book that celebrates retreats, and features projects for taking your equipment, and projects you can make while you're there. Have you ever been on a retreat? If you have the chance, do it. I think what makes it so special for me is that it’s not just the time; it’s the space. Physical space for basting a big quilt is wonderful but more than that, retreats afford me metaphysical space that I need, too. On my annual overnight retreat, meals are announced with a chime. When it sounds, I slowly stop what I’m doing and go eat a meal someone else has planned and prepared. I eat it in communion with other women who, regardless of who or what we all are in other aspects of our lives, share a passion for creating. I’m a wife and a mother who works full-time outside the home, so freedom from the usual obligations and responsibilities of family and home and work is what I love most about retreating.

My pattern in the book is a set of placemats designed for a round table. If you aren't into scrappy projects, these placemats would look fabulous with just two colours of strips, maybe with a fun contrasting binding? Or you could use precut strips from one fabric line. Lots of choice! If you did your cutting ahead of time, you could get a very good start on a set of 4 during a long day retreat, and certainly finish them at an overnight getaway.


I came up with the concept after a visit with my Dad when I noticed his rectangular placemats weren't really working all that well on his round table. I didn't tell him I was making them for him (because surprises are so fun!), and it took quite a while before they actually went from idea to finished project (because of course they did). Once the placemats were finally done, I proudly mailed them off and he sent me a lovely thank you email when he got them. Shortly after I got the email - we're talking minutes here - my Dad called. He told me again how much he appreciated the placemats, how lovely they were. Then he paused and said, "Felicity.....I got a new table." I'll give you one guess as to the shape of the new table. Correct! NOT ROUND! Good sport that he is, Dad uses the round placemats on his square table (and they work really well, actually).

There are lots and lots of other projects in this book, and they're all fabulous. I've made one other one so far (blog post to come). Have a look a this list of contributors and fellow bloghop hostesses who'll be sharing their projects over the course of the hop:

Friday, April 4 Blog hop kick-off: Krista at Poppyprint
Monday, April 6: Berene at Happy Sew Lucky and Amy at During Quiet Time
Tuesday, April 7: Leanne at She Can Quilt and Felicity at Felicity Quilts
Wednesday, April 8: Martingale Inc. at Stitch this! (check out their Rainbow Round the Cabin staff party!)
Thursday, April 9: Krista at Spotted Stones and Krista at Krista Withers Quilting
Friday, April 10: Lynne at Lilys Quilts and Cindy at Live a Colorful Life
Saturday, April 11: Ayumi at Pink Penguin and Krista at Poppyprint
Sunday, April 12: Kristie at OCD: Obsessive Crafting Disorder and Christina at Sometimes Crafter

Now for the exciting part: how you can win your very own copy of Make It, Take It! Two books are up for grabs: one digital copy (courtesy of Martingale, the book's publisher) and one hard copy (courtesy of yours truly).

Simple entry rules:
- Comment on this blog post.
- One comment per person, please. I'd love to know where in the world you are, so if you want to include that in your comment, that's cool but optional.
- Make sure your email is attached to your profile (or if you're unsure, just include it in your comment to be safe, using AT and DOT to avoid spam) because if it's not there, I will have to choose another entry.
- International entries are welcome.
- I'll close this post to comments at some point on Friday, April 10th, probably around 8:00 pm Pacific, then use Random Number Generator to select TWO winners. One will win the digital copy, the other will receive the hard copy.  Edited: Giveaway closed and winners announced. Thanks for entering!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Finish Along: Q1 Report

My Q1 Finish Along goal list was modest, with just three projects. Let's see how things went:

1. Pillow using Improv Under the Influence technique. YES (linking up this post for the finish)!
pillow front

2. Chess on the Steps. Krista led a wonderful workshop for the VMQG, and I just recently got my version of her pattern finished. I called it Cloudy with a Chance of Lime.
Cloudy with a chance of Lime_
Cloudy with a Chance of Lime

3. While I made a bit of progress on Jeweled Squares, I didn't get it done, so no finish to count there. I did go to QuiltCon, make a quilt for my roomie and finish a quilt for the CQA National Juried Show, however:

 So I'll call it a successful quarter!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Cloudy With a Chance of Lime

Yay! A Q1 Finish Along finish, registered just under the wire. Introducing Cloudy With a Chance of Lime:

Cloudy with a chance of Lime_

I began this quilt in a workshop by my lovely and talented friend Krista (Poppyprint) Hennebury. MQG members might recognize the pattern from the MQG Pattern of the Month series - this is Miss September. My quilt's name is the result of some wonderful suggestions I got on Instagram - Twist of Lime, Citrus Twist....but I wanted to include the grey somehow, and I thought of clouds...and the rest just fell into place.

Cloudy With a Chance of Lime_up

I quilted each area using a matching thread. The green is 40 weight Aurifil 3320, and the grey is Aurifil 2605 in 50 weight. I FMQd some triangleish zigzags and just travelled where I needed to when I got to end of a row. Let's call it a design decision.
Cloudy With a Chance of Lime_quilting

It's not large - only about 29" x 40", but it fits perfectly in our stairwell at home.

I backed it with some old IKEA bird fabric I had floating around, and I faced the quilt rather than using a traditional binding. You can see the facing, which is about 1.5" wide, on the back of the quilt if you look closely.

Cloudy With a Chance of Lime_back

Here's my requisite "up shot" - I will miss the arbours in my townhouse's courtyard when we move. It's the perfect quilt-photography spot.

Cloudy with a Chance of Lime_upward

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Thursday, March 12, 2015

QuiltCon 2015: Connections, Learning and Inspiration

I seem to have so little time for blogging these days, I'm going to just go ahead and cram all of my QuiltCon 2015 stuff into a single, looooong post. So go grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and settle in.

This post's title really sums up my experience in Austin for QuiltCon. To wit:

Connections

It started on my 8 am flight out of Vancouver: I had misremembered my itinerary so I didn't think any VMQG peeps were on my flight. I was really happy to be proven wrong when I got to YVR and got a text from Krista Poppyprint. We met up at the Starbucks, discovered we were on the same flight and then made our way to our gate.

Felicity Quilts and Poppyprint ready to get to QuiltCon!
At the gate, ready to get to Austin already

We were seated only two rows apart and it took exactly zero effort to convince the very tall fellow in the seat next to mine to move to Krista's aisle seat two rows back so we could sit together. Fun!

The rest of the trip was full of similar serendipities and connections. I finally met my longtime bloggy friend Cindy Live a Colorful Life in person for the first time and we spent a lovely dinner together along with some other friends, both old and new for me.
Me and Cindy Live a Colorful Life: finally getting to meet in person!

I also connected with many of my Bee Sewcial bee mates and that was fabulous too.

I really made a point of channeling my extrovert half, which meant I forced myself to be the one to say hello and introduce myself first rather than holding back and waiting til I felt safer, which is my usual M.O. Needless to say, this strategy was extraordinarily successful and was helped along considerably by the brilliant QuiltCon Pin Swap (begun by Vicky (@houseofduke1 on instagram), I believe) .

Pins from the QuiltCon pin swap!
Just a sampling of the buttons I collected

Furthermore, the QuiltCon Lanyard Swap was yet another way to make connections at QuiltCon, as evidenced by my startling the lovely Yvonne while she was on White Glove duty by hoisting my lanyard and yelping, "Hey! You made this for me!"

IMG_20150219_145932

I had met S-J, my lanyard recipient, in Vancouver just ahead of QuiltCon. Speaking of serendipity: S-J, Australian, considers Vancouver her home away from home and had already planned to spend time here before taking the train (!!!) to Austin. So we met up for coffee one Saturday and talked nonstop for the entire hour and a half.

I kept running into her at various points over the event, including at "QuiltComm," what we dubbed the gathering of folks from the Commonwealth who attended QuiltCon.

This is really only scratching the surface of the social smorgasbord that was QuiltCon. I reconnected with old friends I hadn't seen since last QuiltCon, met online friends for the first time in person, hung out with VMQG friends, hung out with new friends....oh my goodness, it was wonderful.

Learning

I took two full day workshops and one half-day, plus a couple of lectures. That was the perfect amount of classroom time (for me).

My first class was with the Quilters of Gee's Bend. Yes, those incredible women. The class was very short on instruction ("Just cut up the fabric and start sewin'!") yet still very inspirational. I used some thrifted jeans and shirts plus some vintage red corduroy from my mother-in-law and got this far in our session:

IMG_20150219_130021
Everything is improved by leopard print (just call me Edith Prickley)

One more strip of denim (I ran out of what I'd brought with me) and I'm calling this done. I will hand quilt it but not sure if it's going to be a cushion or a wallhanging (it'll be about 30" square).

My other class was with Anna Maria Horner, doing her Mod Corsage project. It was a super inspiring and educational class - she really brings her art and design background to her incredibly helpful critiques/feedback. She is also gracious, hilarious and warm. I loved the time I spent in the workshop. This is where my project got during the day, and I've since added some appliqué as well (not pictured):

Mod Corsage in progress
more flowers and stems to come


The class was made all the better for having Denyse Schmidt as one of the learners. When I saw Denyse enter the class, I assumed she'd come to say hi to Anna Maria. But then she put her tote bag down at an empty spot at a workshop table and I was intrigued. She participated in the feedback/critiques as well both as a maker and a designer. Thrilling!

IMG_20150221_163528
Anna Maria Horner and Denyse Schmidt discussing Denyse's piece

Inspiration

The Show, people. THE SHOW. Everywhere I looked, there was another feast for my eyes and sensibilities. An entire show featuring modern quilts? Bliss. Here are a very few photos I managed to snap (click through for attributions):
Quilt For Our Bed by Laura Hartrich, QuiltCon 2015 Viewers' Choice Winner
Quilt For Our Bed, quilting detail. Quilt by Laura Hartrich, quilting by Nikki Maroon
Face #1 by Melissa Averinos, QuiltCon 2015 Judges' Choice
Face #1 detail, quilt by Melissa Averinos, QuiltCon 2015

For more photos of QuiltCon 2015 show, the MQG has a roundup of winning quilts here and Sew Mama Sew did a wonderful job of capturing photos of all the quilts.

All in all, my QuiltCon 2015 experience was so perfect that I'm actually hesitant to consider doing another one so soon (QuiltCon West is in February 2016). Need to think on that one for sure.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Bee Sewcial March: Transparency

These were fun! This month in the Bee Sewcial bee, Melissa (We Shall Sew) asked us to make her blocks using this palette:

March ~ Melissa

As it turns out, I've got a LOT of those colours in my stash of solids because I loooooove them! The theme this month is Transparency. These are my blocks:

BeeSewcial March Block 1 for Melissa

This one is about 15" square, and Melissa will be trimming it down - that's a cool feature of this bee. A few of the queen bees have asked that we just leave the blocks for them to trim down.

This is the second one, much simpler, and 9.5" unfinished:

BeeSewcial March block 2 for Melissa

Very much looking forward to seeing what Melissa makes with these - check out the other blocks here.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bee Sewcial - February

Well after the improv curves in reds, blues, greens and purples that we made in January, our assignment for February provided quite a study in contrast!

Kari of Craft Happy gave us some wonderful inspiration in her Pinterest board full of bold graphic design, and asked for a palette of hot reds, corals and pinks, with muted mint, aqua and mustard on dove grey, cream, and black.

This is what I ended up making:

Bee Sewcial February for Kari

I'm really happy with it, and I hope Kari is too. Although now that I reread the instructions, I'm worried that I didn't break free of traditional grid, and didn't use one background colour. Hmmm. Must think on this. In any case, I'm loving this bee so far and I was extra delighted to be able to meet some of my bee-mates in real life at QuiltCon this past week!

Once I'm fully "landed," I'll post more about QuiltCon but suffice it to say it was absolutely wonderful. Just the right combination of everything: socializing, eating, shopping, quilt-admiring, pin-trading.... I'm still in a bit of a bubble and not quite all "here." Stay tuned.