Monday, July 25, 2016

Quilting Mod Challenge #1

I'm throwing down the gauntlet! In other words, I'm issuing you a challenge. Here's the low-down.
Update: My fabric allotment has been claimed. If you'd still like to participate, see #7.
1. I will mail you FREE fabric! You'll receive twelve fat eights of Art Gallery Fabrics Round Elements. In return, I'm asking you to create a finished work including at least some of the fabric and link up from Oct. 1-7. There will be prizes (TBA)!
2. Tag your progress on social media with @quiltingmod and #QMChallenge.
2.  You will need to have a blog so you can create a post to link in October.
3. You must follow the Quilting Mod blog via e-mail, Feedly, or Bloglovin' so you don't miss challenge announcements.
4. You can create whatever finished project you'd like: bag, table runner, apron, dress, quilt, etc.
5. You are free to add additional fabrics of your choice. They do not need to be within the collection.
6. Due to shipping costs, I'm reluctantly restricting the fabric to U.S. postal address only. 
7. I have a limited amount of fabric and shipping budget available, so I may not be able to send all interested parties fabric. You may still participate in the linky and be eligible for prizes, but will need to provide you own fabric.
8. If you are interested, please leave a comment below expressing your interest. If you are a no-reply blogger, include your e-mail so I can contact you for mailing information. By doing so, you agree that you will make an item with the fabric and link up during the first week in October. You will be asked to reimburse me for fabric and shipping if you neglect to make something by the link up party.
I hope you'll join the fun!
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Friday, July 22, 2016

Craftsy Christmas in July Sale

If ever it was time for a cheat day, this is it. Craftsy is having their Christmas in July sale right now, making it the opportune time to restock on quilting supplies. Disclaimer: I'm an affiliate, and an enabler. But friends don't let quilter friends miss a sale like this!
Of course, I have a few ideas whether your are looking for inspiration, relaxation, or preparation.
Do you need something affordable to jump start your creative energies? Here are a few kits that include patterns, so that you can jump right in.
Craftsy has a free 2016 Summer Block of the Month. To simplify things, you can also purchase the fabric kit (42% off) and recommended supplies (20% off).
If you are looking for a quilt sizable enough to cover your bed, Nancy Rink's Amish With a Twist III is an excellent choice at 98" x 107". It doesn't hurt that it's almost half off and includes the pattern.

Are there any Anna Maria fans out there? Have I got the kit for you! The Dream Punk pattern and Mod Corsage fabric is included in this show-stopper.
Do you need a sweet gift? Elizabeth Hartman's Bjorn Bear quilt kit (35% off) is as adorable as it gets.
Don't forget to indulge in the coordinating Aurifil thread set while it's priced at $6.50 per large spool.
Are you in vacation mode? Do you want to get retreat-ready. Here are some of my favorite notions for workshops and retreats. I love the Foldaway Ironing and Cutting Mat, even if I'm just at home doing paper-piecing and want to consolidate my work space. The Omnigrid Travel Case is my favorite way to take my supplies to class. I have duplicates of essential notions that stay in there so that I don't end up without them when I'm teaching a class. I also have upgraded my rotary cutters to the Olfa Splash. This new design has eliminated the annoying screw and washer that shoot off and get lost when you change your blade.
Perhaps you're the cool and calculated type that wants to buy while costs are lowest. I've outlined some efficiency-inducing notions and basic necessities for you. Some items save enough time to warrant their purchase; these include a rotating mat for squaring up blocks and HSTs, a Press Perfect Hot Ruler for turning raw edges over certain measurements, Wonder Clips for binding, and the 6" and 12" Add-A-Quarter Plus rulers if you do any paper-piecing.

Then there are the items that just need replenished like starch, rotary blades, and thread.
I'm off to do a little fabric aquisition. Thanks for clicking through my links, and happy shopping.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Mid Year Review

It's time to check in on the goals I made back in December. Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl certainly has a knack for keeping me organized and focused.

My Quilty Aspirations for 2016:

1. Decrease my UFOs.

My success on this one depends on how you look at it. I'm pretty sure I've started more things than I've finished the last six months, but I did finish some things I had already started. I'm going to be generous and count this one as accomplished. After all, I did make lots of pretty things. So what if only two of them came out of the UFO pile?2. Prepare a course offering. 

I did follow through on this aspiration, with several classes on the calendar. I now aim to increase enrollment.

3. Give back. 

I am excited about some opportunities I have found to accomplish this aim including the creation of a fundraising sew-lebrity album quilt, and meeting with a group of ladies to create quilts for the Albuquerque Homeless Student Project.

4. Enjoy the inspiration.

I can confidently mark this one as completed, thanks to the Thimbleweeds Quilt Show and Quilt Market.
Here are my Quilt Market posts, in case you missed them:

5. Keep an appropriate perspective. 

Mission accomplished in this area too. However, I can hardly take credit for this one. My bunch of "time-wasters", as my dad affectionately calls them given their adeptness at preventing the accomplishment of any work in their presence, make sure of their predominance with endless noise, mess, and hilarity. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
Photo by Jessica Inman

6. Critically analyze my participation. 

While I tend to suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out), I have made a conscientious effort to evaluate if I'm on the fast track to over-commitment before I arrive too late to take the train back home.

7. Host a linky party. 

I did host the Lessons Learned Linky for the past six months, but I am discontinuing it due to in-excessive participation. I enjoyed the linked posts, but I think the popularity of my linky wavered given the abundance of linky parties and its more narrow parameters. Thank you to everyone who joined along, and please check out my Linky Party Listing for other opportunities.

8. Track and share my progress. 

I could still use some work in this regard, as I'm flighty about pictures prior to completion. Instagram has been helpful, as it doesn't take my time away from my "in the zone" quilting frenzy.

9. Design a Quilt Along.

This one has been postponed, but not forever...

10. Make a masterpiece. 

This isn't going to happen right now, and that's okay.

How about my Not-a-Goal List?

    1. Start a long-arm business. 

    In the clear here.

    2. Sell quilts at a loss. 

    I'm doing good here to, amidst the frequent inquiry, "What do you do with all your quilts?" My plan is to donate some of the discount, mass-produced artwork I have had hanging in my house for over a decade because I am not in love with it. It is simply covering the holes I made guessing the location of the wall studs. Then, I'm hang quilts over the wall gouges. I suppose I could plaster and repaint, but I'm scared of the patching stuff since I read the small print warnings as a pregnant lady. Yep, it's  carcinogenic.

    3. Work for free. 

    This one is the sticky wicket. While it seems very straight-forward and easily-preventable, I've come this close to doing exactly what I swore not to. I hadn't accounted for what lonely territory it is on the island of Are You Kidding Me? when the populace is occupying the overcrowded mainland, Labor of Love. Sweet little quilting ladies don't even consider asking audacious things such as, "Will I be compensated in a currency accepting by my banking institution?"

    How are you doing on your goals?
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    Monday, July 18, 2016

    Quilt Market Trends

    You've been seeing my posts from Quilt Market. Or if you're a recent arrival, you are welcome to catch up on my Quilt Market posts:
    So, what's the overall picture? What new or enduring themes did I see? Here's my totally subjective analysis.
    Southwestern and Native American motifs are still going strong. I'm talking about tepees, arrows, and the like.
    My Tribe Quilt from Amy Friend's Intentional Piecing
    They're even cropping up alongside pandas, of all the expected things!
    Pandalicious by Katarina Rochelle
    Bunnies prints are breeding like, well rabbits. Examples include Wonderland Two by Melissa Mortenson for Riley Blake, Hello, My Deer by Camelot Fabrics,  Violet Craft's House of Hoppington for Michael Miller, Tula Pink's Slow & Steady for Free Spirit, and Felice Regina's Luna Sol for Windham.
    Wonderland Two by Melissa Mortenson for Riley Blake
    Wonderland 2 by Melissa Mortenson for Riley Blake
    Hello, My Deer by Camelot Fabrics
    House of Hoppington by Violet Craft for Michael Miller
    Slow & Steady by Tula Pink for Free Spirit
    Luna Sol by Felice Regina for Windham
    A hand-printed look is also a feature of many upcoming fabric lines. This can be seen in Carloyn Freidlander's overprinted Essex line called Euclid, the hand-carved block print collection titled Marks by Valorie Wells for Robert Kaufman, Color Dash by Heather Jones for Robert Kaufman, and Cotton + Steel's Print Shop collection, Handcrafted Patchwork by Alison Glass for Andover, and, rumor-has-it, Lizzy House (You heard it here first, folks!)
    Color Dash by Heather Jones for Robert Kaufman
    Alexia Abegg's Print Shop for Cotton + Steel
    Marks by Valori Wells for Robert Kaufman
    Handcrafted Patchwork by Alison Glass for Andover

    There's always been something about "shiny" that gets quilters going. I'm excited about Opalescence, Windham's pearlescent solids. Also, I'm delighted that my Michael Miller Fairy Frost stash has aged to the point of reintroduction. What's old is truly new again.

    Speaking of reemergence, greatest hits collections are in full force. There's Tula Pink's Timeless collection, Elizabeth Hartman's Paintbox Basics pulled from her Pacific and Rhoda Ruth collections plus one print,  Lizzy House's Hit Parade and color unsaturated Whisper Palette, and Sarah Jane's remix.
    Paintbox Basics by Elizabeth Hartman
    Market had some footstep-following fantastic-ness. Mother/daughter duos include Bonnie & Camille, Anna Maria & Juliana Horner, and Sherri and Chelsi of A Quilting Life.
    Fast Friends by Juliana Horner for Free Spirit Fabrics
    Desert Bloom by Sherri and Chelsi for Moda Fabrics
    What trends do you see in quilting?
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    Saturday, July 16, 2016

    Q3 Finish-A-Long

    In an effort to reform my UFO spaziness, I'm compiling potential completions for the third quarter. There's no way everything is getting done, but here's a short list of more likely candidates.
    I'm very excited about my epic album quilt. I've collected signatures from my favorite sew-lebrities like Tula Pink, Alison Glass, Elizabeth Hartman, and Amy Butler. The intention is to turn these into quilt blocks using fabric designed by those who have inscribed their names. These blocks will be combined into an breath-taking quilt that will be raffled to fight children's poverty here in New Mexico, where we are #1 for childhood hunger. What a wretched awful thing to top the charts with! That makes me cry because I was a teacher, and I have three children. I can't bear the thought of helpless little ones starving, day after day because nobody is adequately taking care of their most basic need to survive.
    Then there's the long-awaited high school graduation quilt for my brother, who now has a Master's degree and a job lined up. I'm embarrassed to admit how long I spent waiting for my quilting skill to catch up with my vision for this quilt. Enough already, it is going to get done!
    This one is another version of my Sparkler quilt, that is closer to my current fabric vibe.
    This star pillow is going to serve as an excellent way to break in my Westalee ruler foot.
    I love this top and my coordinating 12 wt Aurifil threads, so what's the hold up?
    I've plotted out a design for my Egypt-inspired sampler, so it should be a fun one to bring to fruition.
    It's possible that this Christmas Disappearing 9-Patch would be pieced already if I had spent the time sewing instead of interrogating young offspring about where they hid the pieces.
    I have boat blocks and a Pinterest board, but I'm not entirely sure where this one is going.
    Progress on this Native American-inspired design has been hampered by my tendency to continually pull solids from this project basket for other projects. I ought to wrap up the paper-piecing before I forget where I've taken the fabric.
    Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts, who is a genius at animal quilt designs, is creating a Bear Paw pattern that is adorable. These fabrics aspire to turn into her fun new design.
    I have a glimmer of an idea for these fabrics. I'd like to use the prints to create flower buds in a manner similar to Graceful Rhapsody by Louise Madore (picture below my fabric stack).
    Many years ago, I participated in a Saturday Sampler program, and made most of the blocks. However, I never started the finishing kit which includes all the flowers shown in the bottom except the yellow lilies. At this point, my appliqué blocks are starting to fray because I used a cheaper fusible and a less dense stitch. Throughout the year-long program, I held the hope that my incohesive blocks would make sense together in the end. Unfortunately, this did not occur as many of the blocks do not have the light blue background. While I was going to make this quilt for my mother, I've always been disturbed by the unharmonious design. Not loving the final result dissuaded me from continuing to complete the large amount of appliqué remaining, fixing my fraying blocks, piecing the top together, and hiring someone to long arm the project.
    Instead, I'm going to repair, sash, and assemble the blocks that have the same background into a smaller quilt that I can easily manage quilting on my home machine.
    It's about time that I realize I am never going to be motivated to put this one together if I have to make it exactly as designed due to the effort and expense it would entail only to make something that doesn't excite me. And if you know me very well, you know nothing excites me like starting something else.
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