WIP Wednesday: Just Forget About the WIP Part

Yes, it’s another WIP-less WIP Wednesday! With Sewing Summit taking up the majority of my week, I’ve got zip to report today. But you guys … Sewing Summit was last week! So let’s talk about that instead, shall we?

Um, yeah, it was completely awesome. Dare I say, even more fun than last year. Last year, I was meeting blogging friends in person for the first time, so I wasn’t quite sure what I was walking into. This year, I truly felt like I was getting together with old friends. In fact, for many of them, I don’t even use the term “blogging friends” anymore—I think they’ve graduated to “actual friends” now. : )

My Friday morning class, practicing their paper-pieced star blocks

And my first-ever teaching experience? It was fine! Fine! (Sorry, couldn’t resist a little private joke there.) But seriously, my Foundation Piecing class with Elizabeth went very, very well. I don’t think I’ve ever taught anybody anything in my life (well, besides a few curse words here and there). So I had no idea what to expect from myself or this class. And I was ridiculously nervous going into it, especially when I had to stand in front of all those expectant, staring faces, patiently waiting for me to impart valuable information.

Paper-piecing samples galore—some by me and some by Elizabeth—on display in our class

Fortunately, once we got into the block demonstrations, all my nervousness disappeared, and it just felt like a chat with friends about making something pretty. And I do love to chat with friends about making something pretty. : ) So in the end, I really enjoyed teaching—and nobody’s more surprised about that than I am.

Okay, so let’s run down the rest of the weekend, Instagram-style:

Joel Dewberry‘s keynote address. I loved the sneak peak at his new collection, Notting Hill, and hearing about his inspiration and process.

Sukie modeling some kick-butt (unfinished) lounge pants. Oh yeah, my own foxy flannel lounge pants turned out super cute!

Katie and her sister-in-law Mary, who was nice enough to put me (a virtual stranger) up at her house on Wednesday night and drive me around all weekend long. Thank you so much, Mary! (Instagram photo by @freshlemonsquilts.)

Hanging with a couple of my fellow Art Gallery Fabrics Fat Quarter Gang chicas (Amy and Faith) during open sewing time, in our Fat Quarter Gang t-shirts. Because I’m proud to be an ambassador for this amazing fabric company. : ) (Instagram photo by @freshlemonsquilts.)

One of my two visits to Bruge’s for the most delicious waffles ever—with Sukie, Kelly, and Faith. (Instagram photo by @sewfantastic). No, I did not have the “Machine Gun Sandwich.” Oh well, guess I’ll have to go back!

Our unofficial fabric shop hop on Thursday—with Brooke, Terri, Sukie, Kelly, and Elena. (Instagram photo by @freshlemonsquilts.) Why can’t Milwaukee have fabric shops like Salt Lake does?

In general, Sewing Summit weekend was once again inspiring, exhilarating, and a chance to hang out with like-minded people. Every one of you ladies was a joy to spend time with this weekend—I miss you all already! Just like last year, there were some people I wanted to meet but didn’t get a chance, and people I wasn’t able to spend as much time with as I might have liked. But hopefully next time.

A huge thank-you to Erin Singleton and her staff for doing such a great job with this conference. It’s hard to believe this was only its second year, with the way it has taken off. I see nothing but great things ahead for Sewing Summit.

Okay, so now that I’ve spent an entire post talking about everything except WIPs, how would you like to link up your own WIP post? Here are the rules:

1. Link up any post from the past week that features at least one unfinished work-in-progress (WIP). (Yes, I’m breaking my own rules here. Well, it’s my linky … deal with it. LOL.)
2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back here to my blog. (Or grab my WIP Wednesday button for your sidebar.)
3. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links. Because what fun is a linky party without comments? : )

Have another wonderful and inspiring week!




WIP Wednesday: With Guest Host Debbie from A Quilter’s Table

On the first Wednesday of every month, WIP Wednesday gets a guest host! I’ve chosen some of my favorite bloggers and WIP linkers to take the reins for me on those days. -Lee

Hello! I’m Debbie from A Quilter’s Table, and it is certainly my pleasure to be guest-hosting W.i.P. Wednesday today! Thank you, Lee, for having me! Considering W.i.P. Wednesday was the first link-up I joined when I started blogging, I have a special fondness for it. Plus it helps keep me on track!

Ongoing projects
Modern Crosses quilt – I’m still in the beginning stages of this project, but have at least doubled the amount of blocks since last week.

Mod Pop Quiltalong – I’m kind of having to force myself on the piecing of the curves. The actual assembly should be alot of fun though, since the pattern is so striking!

Nametag for Sewing Summit – Patchwork is done and embroidering the details is in the works!

Weekender Bag – Oh my. This is where my time has gone lately. So far, so good, but the scariest steps are yet to come! I had a layer cake of Lotta Jansdotter’s Bella  that I cut up to make the patchwork which I’ve been straight-line quilting as I go. Alexander Henry’s Heath seemed perfect for the piping, handles, and lining. Next up is the zip!

Christmas quilt and Dresden projects – no progress.

Upcoming projects
* scrappy Metrolink – who knows when, but I still really want to!
* another frame purse
* use Polaroid blocks
* placemats
* Binary quilt using blocks from Modern Blocks Bee
* Sew Lux Challenge project
* UR Priceless Blog Hop project
* Christmas!

So what are you working on this week? Here are the linky rules:

1. Link up any post from the past week that features at least one unfinished work-in-progress.
2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back here to my blog. (Or grab my WIP Wednesday button for your sidebar.)
3. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links. If we each comment on just 2 or 3 other links, everybody will get so much comment love!

Happy sewing!


WIP Wednesday: The Calm Before the Storm

I now know the true meaning of the phrase “not enough hours in the day.” Because, for real, there aren’t. With my Sewing Summit teaching gig coming up and a million other things floating around in my head, my to-do list is never-ending! But I think I’ve been remarkably calm in the face of it. Just taking it one day at a time, doing what I can, and not freaking out. Yay me. : )

Baby quilt in progress

This week I mostly worked on a baby quilt for a friend who’s expecting a girl, after two boys. I was kind of at a loss about the design of this quilt until I came across this cute paper-pieced block. It’s actually a traditional block from the book The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns by Jinny Beyer, and I drafted the paper-piecing pattern for it myself. Yet another example of a traditional block that I would have sworn was modern. : )

Baby quilt in progress
The official name of the block is “Rainbow,” but since that’s hardly an appropriate name for this particular quilt, I’m thinking of calling it “Cartwheels.” Baby’s not due quite yet, so I’m bringing this little quilt to Sewing Summit to use as a sample in the Foundation Paper Piecing class that I’m teaching with Elizabeth.

Mama Said Sew
Speaking of Sewing Summit, a few other class samples are on my to-do list as well. In case you haven’t noticed, I looooove paper-piecing, so I’m all dorky-excited about showing people what they can do with this technique! And I’m thinking a little of Sweetwater’s new collection Mama Said Sew will have to make its way into at least one of my samples. (It’s in stock at Pink Castle … go and get it!)

Last but not least, I signed a contract today to speak about “Modern Quilting and the Online Quilting Community” at a traditional quilt guild meeting in May. Gulp. I’m excited, but also nervous about it already! Between this and teaching at Sewing Summit, I’m thinking a public-speaking class might not be a bad idea …

So what are you working on this week? Here are the linky rules:

1. Link up any post from the past week that features at least one unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back here to my blog. (Or grab my WIP Wednesday button for your sidebar.)
3. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links. Because what fun is a linky party without comments? : )

Happy Wednesday, everybody!


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One More Summit Swap

I have one Sewing Summit swap item that I made, but unfortunately didn’t complete in time to actually swap it in person at the Summit. Happily, Elizabeth’s mini is all done now, and she has received it, so I’m free to share it! This was for my “roommate swap” with AnneMarie and Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s mini is the same design as AnneMarie’s (which you can see here), but in different fabric/colors.
As you might remember, each star is from Carol Doak’s 50 Fabulous Paper-Pieced Stars, which features stars named after each of the states. So I went for the hard-core symbolism and did four stars: Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, and Utah. One for each of our home states, and one for the state where we all met. I really love how both of these minis turned out!
I used yellow thread to quilt Elizabeth’s, a decision I questioned after it was done. But now I like it and I’m glad I broke out of my usual thread rut. : ) And I love love love the stripey binding. I usually like to do striped binding on the bias, but this one just called out for straight-grain, and I’m really happy with the end result.
Here’s the back, with several iterations of Dena Designs’ Tarika. I love these prints.
Yay for roommates, sewing buddies, and friends. Thanks for a fun swap, ladies!

Sewing Summit: Swag

This giveaway is now closed.

Of course, another great thing about the Sewing Summit: Free stuff! Some of this came from the general conference swag bag, and some from the dinner organized by Jennifer and Elena. Either way, it was all good!

Fabric—Peacock Lane FQs from Michael Miller and my favorite print from Outside Oslo by the Needle Shop.

Patterns from Denyse Schmidt, Amy Butler, Izzy & Ivy, and Brassy Apple.

Batting samples from The Warm Company.

Tools and notions galore—including my first pair of FMQ grippy gloves, from Grabaroos! (I hope I’m a size 8.)

But even if you didn’t go to the Sewing Summit, you can still take home some of the swag! I’m passing some goodies along to a few of you—here’s what’s up for grabs:

Winner No. 1 gets a pair of Olfa Precision Applique Scissors, the Seville quilt pattern from Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew, an Aurifil thread variety pack, and a fat quarter of Basic Shades Gray from Riley Blake.

Winner No. 2 gets a Kona Cotton Charm Pack from Robert Kaufman, cute decorative twine from The Twinery, a trio of pillow patterns from Mod Kid, and a mini cutting board from Olfa.

To win, just leave a comment on this post. I’ll draw a winner sometime on Saturday. Good luck! And thank you to all of the Sewing Summit sponsors for providing such great loot!


The Sewing Summit

Wow, what a weekend! What can I say about the Sewing Summit? I’m having a hard time breaking it all down in my head! But let me start with this: Everyone reading this should totally go next year. Yes, seriously! If you are active in the online sewing community in any way, this is the conference for you.

Everywhere I turned, I was able to meet and chat with people I’ve gotten to know through their blogs and Flickr. It was so fun and weird and amazing all at the same time to be meeting for the first time people that I already feel like I “know.” But there’s just no replacement for being able to put a real living face to the avatar. And no replacement for real-life bonding over a shared love of fabric and the beautiful things we create with it. I think I am completely in awe of every single person I met! There’s no question that all of you guys are super inspiring online, but you are even more so in person. I came home last night full of ideas, determined to learn some new skills, and so energized to tackle it all.

Here are just a few of my favorite moments:

We were greeted with all of these gorgeous handmade lanyards at registration. Karen of Venezie Designs made all of these using fabulous designer fabrics! My Heirloom lanyard matched my voile scarf. : )

Friday night, I went to dinner with the ladies of the {Sew} Beautiful bee. Our bee had such an amazing turnout at the Summit! Only two members were missing (we missed you, ladies). So fun to actually sit down with all of these ladies at the same table!

The classes were wonderful. Here’s Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew teaching the Free-Motion Quilting class, showing us how she rolls a quilt. I was blown away seeing her quilts in person. Let’s just say that Allison is definitely the right person to teach this class. : )

Jeni from In Color Order taught a fabulous class on fabric selection. We took a closer look at the color wheel and how it can drive fabric selections and color combinations for quilting. Jeni’s class also included a total Oprah moment when she handed out Kona color cards to everybody in attendance. “And you get a Kona color card, and you get a Kona color card …”

(By the way, the swag in general was just plain uh-MAZ-ing. And don’t you worry, as soon as I sort through it, I’ll be giving some of it away to you all!)

Another one of my favorite classes: A class on mini-quilts by Amanda of hey porkchop fame. She is hilarious and so darn inspiring. She definitely made me think of mini-quilts in a whole new light. The Aspiring Authors Panel on Sunday was great too—very informative about the business side of publishing craft books.

Kate of Swim, Bike, Quilt, Faith of Fresh Lemons, and me—the hosts of the Summer Sampler Series all together at last!

On Saturday I was lucky enough to go to a group dinner organized by Elena of Breakfast For Dinner and Jennifer of Ellison Lane Quilts. These two ladies are just as kind and lovely in person as they are on their blogs.

I got to both start and end my trip with Amanda of Saskiriana Handmade. She was on my flight from Denver to Salt Lake (as well as my flight from Milwaukee, although I didn’t know it at the time!) She is ridiculously sweet and made waiting for connections a lot more entertaining.

But by far one of the biggest highlights for me was hanging with my two roomies, Elizabeth of Don’t Call Me Betsy and AnneMarie of Gen X Quilters. These are the two ladies I have bonded with the most in my blogging career, and to get to hang out with them for a whole weekend was such a treat! I heart you guys! : )

There are so many people I wish I could have hung out with more! (Kristie and Cara—I’m looking at you.) In fact, I think that’s my only complaint about the weekend—I wish it would have been longer so I could have spent a bit more time getting to know people. What an inspiring group of people and what a wonderful, giving community. I am beyond happy to be a part of it and to get the chance to hang out for a weekend! It is so nice to be able to say that so many of you are now my “real” friends instead of just my “blog friends.”

A huge thank you to Amy of Amy’s Creative Side and Erin of Two More Seconds for organizing the whole thing. I am blown away by the amount of work it must have been. If you would like to see more pictures from the Summit, head over to my Flickr photostream. And stay tuned for posts about my Summit-related swaps, not to mention the one where I pass on some of my swag to you!