October 31, 2012

Well that didn't work out very well

I hate to publish this, for all to see, but...it is what it is.

For my Modern 99 Bee a few months ago, we were asked to make this block.  It is paper piecing, which I really do like! But....I guess somewhere in the trim phase, I didn't trim right or too much to one side? I am not sure, but when I put them together (for the second time) this is what I ended up with. You can't see all the points and when it gets sewn again they will further deteriorate. The first time I had sewn the diamonds together, but that really does not help with three rows of three blocks, so the seam ripper has met each of the blocks (well except for the white one).

It is disappointing to send this block back because I am not proud of it, but practice makes perfect and  I hope that I can do better next time.  It isn't fair to only show the good stuff, so that I why I am showing you this one.  I, of course, wrote an apology note with the returned block.  Let this be a lesson to always start super early in new techniques/new patterns so if I am lacking I can order new fabric and start fresh.

October 29, 2012


The Modernista Homemade swap is modeled after many other swaps where you are assigned a secret partner.  You must make a mosaic and write out some guidelines for your partner regarding your likes, loves and dislikes so that she can make you something fabulous.  My partner who will remain nameless as she has not yet posted that she received her goodie box, will receive this apron and potholder that I made for her.

This is my first apron ever and she requested natural fabrics (linen, brown, tan, green, orange, red) which is absolutely not my bright, loud, saturated usual palate.  Let the challenge begin.  I used Essex Linen in sand for the front, Kona tan for the lining and the Flirty Apron tutorial I used came from Kristen.
It was a lot easier than I thought although the ruffles were scary until I actual did them.  I think I may make more of these....maybe.

My partner Kristya from {cottonaddiction} really spoiled me with not only a Kitchen-Aid mixer cover (which I really really really wanted) but also a potholder and 6 placemats.  She hit it out of the park and I am so appreciative of such a wonderful partner! Many thanks Kristya!!

I'm not sure what the next room in the house will be for the Modernista Swap, but rest assured, I am interested to find out and participate in future rounds.

October 27, 2012

Bloggers Quilt Festival :: Fall 2012

Hi y'all!

A big happy hello and welcome for those of you visiting from the Blogger's Quilt Festival!

In the proper spirit of the Festival - here are some additional details about my New Wave Quilt which I present for the first time ever.

Measurements: 56" x  51"
Quilted by: Kathy Olson of Treasured Threads
Pattern: New Wave by Elizabeth Hartman
Best Categories: Throw Quilt, Professionally Quilted Quilt

When I first started purchasing fabric to make "something" I was not confident in my fabric selection so I was a big fan of the fat quarter bundles.  Honestly I'm not sure how this one made it into my shopping cart because I do NOT like green.  Anyway, I bought it and placed it in the "I'll make this into something someday" pile.  This pile is otherwise known as "something will jump out and say "make me" and this fabric will come dancing along behind it"  And then....when I get to working on some projects, I get tired of them and just need a break so no matter what I am working on, I stop.  Then I peruse my craft room and my patterns and jump into a new project, that isn't on the list.  Does that happen to you?

So one day....I just started cutting into this, just to do something else.  The original bundle of fabrics had a light green and a whimsical print, that I was not so fond of, so I posted and asked my blog readers for some input and thanks to them, made a couple of substitutions. The idea that just a dozen fat quarters can be cut and made into something so neat makes me really love this pattern.

I stitched this up for a fun throw with no other purpose then to cuddle up - so on that front - mission accomplished!

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the many many other entries in the Blogger's Quilt Festival and many thanks to Amy and the wonderful sponsors for this event!

Amy's Creative Side

October 23, 2012

My Sewing Summit Reflections

Wow! Just wow.

Last year as I was perusing blogland I started to hear about Sewing Summit.  Mmmm, what was that all about?  It sounded interesting but how did I miss it? Not to let it go by again, I marked the registration date on my calendar in April and I was ready, even so fortunate that I got $50 off for being one of the first 50 to register for the 2012 Sewing Summit.

Since registration, I became more active in my local quilt guild and met another girl who was going to attend also so it was really nice to have a buddy and not have to attend alone.  Of course I would have, but knowing someone just made it better.

So, Sewing Summit was held in Salt Lake City, Utah, a city that I had never visited.  Let me tell you, it is really beautiful and I plan to go back with Mr. Maxtin and explore some more.

The famous Diane and the super sweet January were my awesome roommates.  We have lots of memories, the first one that pops into my head is Saturday night {and it was somewhere around 2 a.m. at this point} we were getting ready to go to sleep as we all had early morning flights on Sunday, but we couldn't stop laughing.  The "my stomach hurts from laughing so hard" laughs.  I believe we were delirious from the lack of sleep all weekend but we just could not stop.  It was contagious.

Upon check in we received a fabulous swag bag including wonderful goodies from so many wonderful sponsors. Later that evening Craftsty sponsored a Welcome Mixer and Friday brought a whole day of fabulous classes.

First up was Handmade Wardrobe, then Creative Fabric selection (one my my favorite classes), Lounge Pants and then Idea Pouch.  All of the instructors were well prepared, had great knowledge and the classes were fun.
Tiffany and January  - Creative Fabric Selection Classmates

Friday evening brought us out to a wonderful Salt Lake City Modern Quilt Guild Mixer.

Saturday brought 4 more classes including Serger Pillowcase, Foundation Paper Piecing, Metal Frame Pouch and Perfect Pockets.  Perfect Pockets was a bit intimidating for me as I am strictly a quilter but this class had me sewing up a welt pocket, which was awesome!

Becky and Liz - Serger Pillowcase Classmates

There were more mini "unofficial" and spur of the moment classes too.  Embroidery, Instagram 101, and how  to sew a zipper were just a few of the wonderful things I learned thanks to some generous folks.

All in all, I thought going into this that it was all about the classes and skills I would learn. Wrong.  It was about the relationships you start, nurture or develop.  Funny story -> sometimes you don't know that you know someone...and then it hits you that you do.  I was spending a lot of time with a gal who didn't realize until the day before we left who I was and when she did, I saw the light bulb go off.   She said "I know who you are, you're happyvanillabean on flickr!" There were many moments like that.

Lisa and Me

By the end of the weekend, we were having so much fun and nobody wanted to leave.  We made memories, connections and most importantly, friends.  It was wonderful!

October 15, 2012

Sewing Summit 2012

Oh what fun it was. Sewing Summit 2012 was a blast and I met so many wonderful ladies.
This is my favorite picture as most of the girls I bonded with are in it. Of course I have been catching up on my sleep (because at sewing summit, you do not sleep - you laugh and say "I'm going to go to my room now" and 2 hours later you are standing or sitting in the same spot because you don't want to miss anything). It was lovely but going to bed past midnight [every night] makes you a tad bit tired. I have many more moments and experiences to share with you about sewing summit but just want to get this posted.

From left to right:
Deb, me, Kate, January, Diane, Caitlin, Tiffany and Whitney

October 7, 2012

Let's Talk Pressing

So, are you a press open or a press to the side gal? Do you always press the same way or does it depend on what you are working on? How do you decide?

You see, I started as a press to the side girl, then, I transitioned to press open and now, after this block I think I am back to press to the side.  When you nestle the seams together after pressing to the side, it's just so clean!

Plus, do you press the fabric right as it comes out of the sewing machine (before you press open or to the side)? I read somewhere that this sets your stitches. So for me....that would mean 3 presses for each seam. Why 3 you ask? Well I press the back side first, then flip it over to the front and if I did the "set the stitches method", that would be 3 - No thank you!

And another question for you? Do you really "press" or do you iron? I try really hard to just press, but I must admit, I enjoy running my iron from one side to the next so I press, but I also iron too, it's fun! I know I know, it stretches the fabric but I can live with that just a little tiny bit.

So...the whole reason for this post is a block I made for Liz for a Quilt of Valor Quilt that she is planning to make. She requested the Charming Squares pattern from the Moda Bake Shop so I followed the directions exactly and it had all kinds of pressing instructions, but you know what.....the end result was so nice and clean and NOT bulky.

It has made me re-examine this "always press open" mindset.

Tell me, which way do you press and why?

October 5, 2012

Mod Mosaic for October

As you know I am in a bee using the Mod Mosaic pattern this year.  For October, our hostess said blue, blue-green or violet fabrics and to please use coal sashing.  Well anything with green is out, since I don't like it and purple is in because I love purple!

So, here are the blocks I finished up recently to send off to her.  I am surely plugging along on my 100 Day Hustle list and this is one more task to check off as complete!