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Supernova Friendship Swap

Have you guys seen this? Stephanie at Late Night Quilter (love the name, by the way, since I’m totally a late-night quilter too) and Sandra at One Million Stitches are hosting a Supernova Friendship Block Swap, based on my Supernova Quilt-Along!

 

All the details can be found here (Stephanie’s blog) and here (Sandra’s blog). Basically, the idea is that you pair up with a quilting friend near or far. Each month, you’ll make one Supernova block for yourself and one for your friend.

In the end, you’ll both have beautiful finished quilts and a great friend! How cool is that? And I’m honored that they chose my quilt-along for such a fun project!

Oh, and there are prizes, too! Including a signed copy of Vintage Quilt Revival. : )

You can find your own partner for the swap, or you can contact Stephanie or Sandra and they will kindly pair you up with someone. Enjoy, and thank you to Stephanie and Sandra for organizing this!

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WIP Wednesday: Guest-hosted by Cindy

Hi! I’m Cindy from Live a Colorful Life and I’m so excited to be guest hosting for Lee this week. I have an almost-weekly series called The Name Game where bloggers share how they chose the name for their blog, and just recently started Really Random Thursday where you can link up with anything random that you come across during the week, sewing or non-sewing. I hope you will stop by and say hi!

I live in Central California, where the temp has been hovering around 109 degrees for way too many days. I’m self-employed as a medical transcriber, working out of my home. I have been quilting for over fifteen years, so my stash is a little, um, overwhelming at times. And I’m obsessively drawn to selvages.

This is what I’ve been up to the last week.

I participated in the “Picture Perfect” Polaroid Block Swap and made 22 really cute little blocks. And then forgot to take a picture of the group before mailing them off. Considering it is a swap that consists of blocks made to look like photos, that’s kind of funny, right? I saved one little block for me. Isn’t he cute?

This block is for Amy’s “Texting While Sewing” contest. I may have taken the theme a little too literally…

Last week I was working on the backing for a quilt, and sewing together strips of leftover solids. I tried to be really careful when sewing, but when I put them on the design wall, there was a really awful curve. I took them apart, made sure everything was nice and straight, sewed them together again, and it didn’t make a bit of difference. So I started from scratch and the second time everything was nice and straight. But what to do with this strip?

I chopped it off where it started curving and added black on each side. Since we were in the midst of track and field events during the Olympics, it kind of reminded me of the lanes on the track with hurdles. So I’m calling it Hurdle Jump.

I was considering a short tutorial because it is a great idea for leftover jelly roll strips of all different lengths so here it is: you just sew some strips together and add some “hurdles” here and there. Sew two long strips together side to side, from top to bottom, then add the next strip by sewing bottom to top, and keep alternating, sewing the next strip from top to bottom, the next bottom to top, until you have sewed as many strips together as you like. I think that is what helped the second set to come out nice and straight.

And finally, when I’m in avoidance/procrastination mode from other projects, I continue working on these Crown of Thorn blocks, each with Kaffe Fassett fabric. And just because I sometimes amuse myself with naming quilts, this one is called Kaffe’-O-Lait.

Okay, it’s your turn! What have you been working on this week? Here are the rules for linking up to WIP Wednesday:

1. Link up any post from the past week that features at least one unfinished work-in-progress (WIP)
2. Somewhere in your post, 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 links—because what fun is a linky party without comments?

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New York Beauty Pillow

Even though I swore off swaps a while back, I couldn’t say no recently to a little New York Beauty swap among friends. Sukie (Don’t You Know Who I Am) organized it and apparently that girl can talk me into anything (including 3 a.m. breakfasts at Quilt Market, after I had already tried to go to bed not once but twice).

NY Beauty swap pillow

So I finished up my swap item for my partner, and mailed it off last week. As usual, I hemmed and hawed and changed my plan eleventy-two times before coming up with this little pillow. Then, right after I finished this one, my partner favorited my photo of the fabric I decided not to use. Of course. But there was no changing the plan again, since I was already pushing it with the deadline, so … hopefully my partner will like this one, too. Fingers crossed.

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Those are some of the new Moda Bella Solids colors in the rays, and the gray background print is Lotta Jansdotter. I did wavy-line quilting again (last seen in my Lifesavers quilt).
NY Beauty mini
(This photo courtesy of Elizabeth)
And looky what I got from Elizabeth! Those are Oakshott shot cottons, people!
Check out Elizabeth’s stellar quilting. And those itty-bitty HSTs around the edges. This little beauty is headed for my inspirational wall of mini quilts that hang above my sewing machine. Elizabeth was also nice enough to send along some extra Oakshotts to play around with myself, and I’m really looking forward to that.
Lifesavers mini quilt

And since I mentioned my Lifesavers quilt earlier, let’s give away an EZ Dresden ruler, shall we? Congratulations to #140, Marion, who said, “I have a serious Dresden plate crush! This challenge is going to be awesome!” Marion, I’ve sent you an email—enjoy the ruler!

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WIP Wednesday: Scattered

I felt like I was being pulled in a million different directions this week. Miss E finished preschool (sniff), I spent the weekend battling the weeds in my backyard (and I haven’t won the war yet), I’m still a little disoriented after my re-entry from Quilt Market, and I spent more time than was probably necessary crafting my finely-honed gangsta image. And at the end of the day, all I really wanted was a glass of wine, but I got a little sewing done too.
New Projects:
EZ Dresden Challenge WIP

EZ Dresden project – you’ll be hearing a lot more a new contest called the EZ Dresden Challenge next week. (Hint: There are prizes. And they are major.) And I’ll be blogging about this project as part of the challenge kick-off blog tour, so stay tuned.

Bee Block in progress

Bee Blocks – two down, one to go! Woot!


Ongoing Projects:

NY Beauty Swap project

New York Beauty Swap – this one’s basically done. I just need to finish hand-stitching the trim/binding, and off it goes to its new home. I hope my partner likes it.

Back-Burner:
• Gen X Quilters’ Charmed Prints QA
• Halloween quilt
• Farmer’s Wife QA
• Figgy Pudding quilt

This week’s stats:
New projects – 2
Completed projects – 0

Currently in progress – 7Now it’s your turn to link up! Here are the 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, 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 links—because what fun is a linky party without comments?

Have a wonderful week!

 

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Paying It Forward

About a year ago now (and I can hardly believe it’s been that long already) I participated in a pay-it-forward giveaway with Hollie from The Undercover Crafter. The rules were simple: She had one year to make me a handmade gift. All I had to do was agree to pay-it-forward to someone else within one year myself. Well, I got Hollie’s lovely gifts a few weeks ago—that’s right, she didn’t send just one thing, but three!

Think maybe she’s noticed how much I love the x-and-plus block? : ) This fun little potholder (featuring two of my favorite hard-to-find lines, Park Slope by Erin McMorris and Deer Valley by Joel Dewberry) has already gotten lots of use around the kitchen.

And this dish towel trimmed with Ruby Star Rising is really brightening up the place as well!

And finally, she sent me this gorgeous linen shadow-dot-print cowl! It’s incredible—it looks so fabulous with my red peacoat. Sadly, it’s been such a warm spring I haven’t had much chance to wear it yet, but never fear, it’s Wisconsin. There will be plenty of opportunities forthcoming.

Thank you so, so much, Hollie! What a fun surprise to open my mailbox and find your thoughtful, beautiful gifts.

And now of course, this means it’s my turn to pay it forward. If you’d like to participate and receive a handmade item from me, just leave a comment on this post. I’ll choose two random winners tomorrow morning. The winners only have to agree to pay it forward to someone else in turn. And again, I have one year to make my pay-it-forward items. I can’t stress this enough. Expect me to use the full year, because that’s just how I roll. LOL.

Have a wonderful week!

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Christmas Swap Round-Up

So how was everybody’s Christmas? Is the whirlwind done at your house? It is for me—we had a lot of fun and the girls looove their gifts, but I can’t say I’m sorry it’s over now. : ) I actually have a few moments to breathe again!

But before we usher in 2012, I need to share a few last swap goodies from 2011. I swore off most traditional swaps a few months ago, because I seem to just spend way too much time on them, but Sukie suckered me in with her Twitter Secret Santa Swap. We weren’t required to send a handmade item, but of course when it came down to it, I couldn’t resist making something. After all, my partner was the amazing Katy of I’m a Ginger Monkey and Fat Quarterly! Send her a secret santa gift that didn’t include something homemade?? As if.

So here’s the gift package I sent to Katy (which she finally received yesterday, so now I can show it to you!) Thangles, a Clover marking pen, some hand-dyed perle cotton, and a FQ from Denyse Schmidt’s Picnic and Fairgrounds line from Joanne’s. (I was thinking those prints may not be available in the U.K.?)

And I made her this mug rug using Badskirt Amy’s x-and-plus tutorial and a newspaper-print fabric. I used wavy-line quilting on it because that’s one of my favorite quilting tricks, and I learned it from Katy! I hope she enjoys it!

 

 

My Secret Santa swap package came from the talented Amy of Stitchery Dickory Dock. Check out the incredible stuff she sent to me: How adorable is this notebook?? I’ve loved this fox paper-piecing pattern for ages and she totally nailed it with the colors and prints.

 

And that’s not all—she also sent me this coffee cup cozy, the travel mug that’s in it, and she filled the mug up with candy! Whew!

I love the cozy’s Half-Moon Modern prints and handstitching. (You can find a Moda Bake Shop tutorial by Amy for this very cozy right here.) And it just so happens that I have another one of these Copco mugs
and it is my absolute favorite, so I’m thrilled to have another one. It fits in my Keurig coffee maker (many travel mugs don’t) and it’s nice and simple, functioning like a basic Starbucks disposable. Except that this one has a reclosable spill-proof lid, which I’ve never seen on a Copco mug, and I couldn’t even find it on Amazon! So yes, I love it—clearly, the fact that I’ve gone on about a mug for an entire paragraph should indicate that I will treasure it forever, LOL. Thanks, Amy, I love it all!

I also swapped recently with Becky from My Fabric Obsession. I designed a new blog header for her and she sent me these fun goodies in return—a Jane Market Bag in Neptune, and some coordinating FQs! You guys—it’s Neptune! I love this collection so much. I bought a layer cake way back when it first came out, but frittered most of it away on some pillows that I didn’t even end up liking (this was back when I still didn’t really know what I was doing). I used most of the remaining scraps in my Single Girl quilt. So I’m super excited to get a second chance with this hard-to-find collection. Now I just need to decide what I’ll do with it! And the bag is so roomy and useful—I’ve already used it probably a dozen times. I even packed some stuff in it when I went out of town for the holidays. Thank you, Becky!!

And here’s one more Christmas present for me (and my girls). I won a giveaway from Kylie of My Addiction to Quilting. She sent me this soccer ball entirely hand-pieced from hexies! The girls love it—it’s so nice to have a ball they can freely chuck at each other, LOL. Kylie also sent some beautiful purple fabrics, and I seem to be eternally short on purple in my stash, so they are much appreciated. Thank you, Kylie—you are so sweet to send these all the way from Australia!

One of my favorite things about having this blog is how I’ve been able to send items all over the country and the world, and receive things right back. Australia, the U.K., Europe, Canada–what a wonderful exchange. Here’s to more swaps in 2012.

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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!
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The Sewing Summit: Swaps

My two favorite things about Sewing Summit: Friends and fabric (in all its many forms). Happily, the weekend offered plenty of opportunities to combine the two!

Elizabeth of Don’t Call Me Betsy, AnneMarie of Gen X Quilters, and I arranged a little in-person roommate swap. How often do you get the chance to exchange swaps in person? It was so fun to receive things made by my closest blog-friends-turned-real-friends. : ) From Elizabeth, I got this adorable hexagon zippy pouch with hand-quilting around the hexy. I’m determined to learn how to embroider someday soon, and this pouch will be perfect for my supplies!

The back is one of my fave blocks, the x and + block!

AnneMarie made me this gorgeous paper-pieced pillow from Heirloom. I LOVE Heirloom, so she definitely nailed it with this. It looks great on our couch too, as you can see. And guess what—there’s a zipper in this, too. You ladies are totally putting the pressure on me to figure out those darn things! : )

Speaking of AnneMarie, here’s something else she made me a while back, that I have yet to share, and which came in handy at the Summit. This sweet linen lingerie bag! How could you not love that underwear print? And the linen and decorative stitches are the perfect finishing touches.

And here’s what I made for AnneMarie—yep, I’m still obsessing on the paper-pieced stars from Carol Doak’s book 50 Fabulous Paper-Pieced Stars. Since all the stars in the book are named after states, I thought it would be symbolic and meaningful and just plain cool to use the Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, and Utah stars in my mini-quilts for the girls. One star for each of our home states, plus a star for the state where the Summit was held. (No, that’s not my awesome carpet in the photo. That would be the carpet at Little America hotel.)

I wanted Elizabeth to get the same thing, but in different fabric. Sadly, this plan was far too complicated to execute in the time I had available before leaving for the Summit. I knew I should try to come up with a simpler plan, but once I thought of the state-stars idea, I couldn’t unthink it. I had to do it. But I’m hard at work finishing up Elizabeth’s and I hope to get it in the mail to her in the next few days. Thanks for your patience, E!

Moving right along, Kristie of OCD gave me this insanely cute framed clutch while we were at Summit, as payment for creating a couple of blog buttons for her recently. LOVE the fabric, the flower, and the blue doodads on the frame. Also, this particular clutch is famous, because it’s straight from Kristie’s framed-purse tutorial for the Moda Bake Shop! Click here to see my clutch’s 15 minutes of fame (and learn how to make one yourself!)

The inside of the clutch, with Kristie’s cute label.

Here’s a stack o’ goodies I scored at the Summit FQ swap, organized by Kaelin of the Plaid Scottie. We were all expecting the swap to be a full-contact sport, but everybody was super calm and orderly. After the swap, several of us used our FQs to test Elizabeth’s Rain-Man-like knowledge of fabric lines. That red and orange print in the bottom-right corner was the only one that stumped her! Anybody know it?

Yet another swap I participated in was the Color Wheel charm swap organized by Kati of From the Blue Chair. I would love to make a pixelated color-wheel quilt like Kati’s, and with these charms, that should come together nicely.

I think that about covers the swaps. Come back tomorrow for my final Summit-related post: The swag, plus a swaggy giveaway!

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WIP Wednesday #47

First of all, if you didn’t see the news, I got word Tuesday evening that I did not win the Connecting Threads contest. Well, such is life. Click here for my post about it and why I’m mostly okay with that (no, really!). I would not have been able to rest until I saw my fabric in actual quilting stores anyway. : )

Okay, moving on! How was your week? Mine was, um, a bit of a whirlwind (you know, there was that little thing called Sewing Summit). But let’s do the WIP run-down anyway, shall we?

New projects:

I’m not big on decorating for Halloween, and I don’t generally care for Halloween-themed fabric. And yet, I have been obsessed with making a Halloween quilt for the better part of the last year. I don’t quite understand it myself. But last year around this time I saw a tumbler quilt made up of orange and black prints. I can’t remember whose blog that was on (my apologies if it was yours), but for whatever reason, that quilt stuck in my head and I Simply. Must. Make it. Besides, those orange Katie Jump Rope prints are just begging to be in a Halloween project, and I know my girls will love having a seasonal quilt like this. So here are about 300 tumblers in Halloween colors—but no actual Halloween fabric in the bunch! I cut these last night in less than an hour with my Go! Baby cutter. Once again, the Go! Baby shines when it comes to odd shapes. Hopefully the piecing will go just as quickly.

Ongoing projects:
Elizabeth’s swap mini-quiltElizabeth, AnneMarie and I were roommates at Sewing Summit and decided to arrange a little in-person swap among the three of us for the occasion. I finished AnneMarie’s mini-quilt by the time I left, but try as I might, I just wasn’t able to get Elizabeth’s done. I felt terrible, but the Connecting Threads designs and September bee blocks just put me irreparably behind. Fortunately Elizabeth was super understanding about it, and I’m determined to finish it off and mail it to her by the end of the week. So here’s the start of Elizabeth’s mini. More on this tomorrow, as well as the item I finished for AnneMarie and what both girls made for me!

Completed tops awaiting quilting:
Summer Sampler
Hope Valley

No progress:
• Farmer’s Wife QA (still on hold)
• Skill Builder QA (yep, ditto)
• Kaleidoscope QA
• Figgy Pudding quilt
• Wonky Log Cabin

This week’s stats:
Completed projects – 1 (my swap project for AnneMarie – post on that tomorrow)
New projects – 1
Currently in progress – 10

You’re up! Let’s see what you’ve got. Link up any post from the past week featuring a work-in-progress. Have a wonderful week!

 

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Swap Happiness

Make Mine Modern swap, received:
As soon as I saw the name on the return address of the box my mailman dropped on my porch, I knew exactly what was inside and I did a little happy dance! I got all of these incredible items from Kaelin of The Plaid Scottie:

She made this pretty little mini in colors that were inspired by my sun pillow for Fat Quarterly. There’s lots of Central Park in there, which is one of my fave lines! I love it!

I put it up in my sewing room right away, and as you can see, it’s already getting along famously with my DQS quilt from Jess. : ) BTW, thanks to those of you who suggested hanging mini-quilts with good old straight pins. That’s exactly what I did. I have a feeling I’ll be adding to my wall collection over time, and that will require frequently moving around the existing quilts. So I needed something easy and simple that wouldn’t damage the wall.

Kaelin also sent along a coffee sleeve and this incredible bag. She mentioned that she didn’t know if I like linen—are you kidding me? How could I not love these? It’s funny, I’ve never used linen in any of my projects, but I’m always in love with it when I see it used by other people. I guess I just haven’t had the right project for it (yet), and I’m not quite sure what exactly to buy or where to buy it. But this bag makes me want to get my hands on some linen ASAP! Anybody have any linen recommendations?

Anyway, check out the adorable farmer’s-market fabric she used in the hexies, and the hand-stitching, and that apple! It’s all too sweet! Kaelin shared that when she lived in Chicago, they used to drive up to Wisconsin to go apple-picking, so that was her inspiration for this bag. Just lovely. : ) And I’m so happy to get a bag, because I’m just not much of a bag-maker. There’s no way I could have pulled off anything nearly this cute and well-made!

The coffee cuff says, “Fuel,” which is so spot-on for me it’s not even funny, and she also threw in a Starbucks gift card. Thank you, thank you, thank you Kaelin! Everything is just perfect, and I guarantee the bag and coffee cuff will get loads of use.

And Make Mine Modern swap, sent:
Now that my partner’s got her goodies, I can reveal that my rainbow placemats were for Kelly of Kelby Sews. Kelly’s got a thing for rainbows, so I wanted rainbow colors to figure in there somewhere. And placemats were one of the things she mentioned wanting. When I saw that we had both Flickr-favorited Angela’s Pink Lemonade quilt, I knew I had my plan!

I wanted to do two colors per placemat, so that meant I needed to make five of them. But these went quickly and they were so much fun to make! Anyway, when it comes to placemats, a larger set is just so much more useful. Plus, I liked the idea that if Kelly was using fewer of them, she could color-coordinate to her dishes, the season, her mood that day … whatever.

Most of the fabric I used came from my scrap bins—I only had to supplement the red and the purple (I guess those must be the colors I use the least). The backs all came from my stash. I echo-quilted each one with the two colors used in the placemats, and that turned out to make a very cool pattern on the back.

Instead of traditional binding, I just wrapped the back around to the front and sewed it down. The corners were a little fiddly, but other than that, I think this method turned out okay—each one I did looked better than the last. And what a huge time-saver! I don’t think I would use this method for quilts, but you might see it again from me for things like wall-hangings, placemats, etc.

Along with the placemats, I sent two little fabric baskets (more about those here), some fat-quarters of Circa 50 and Heather Ross’s Spoonflower prints, a rainbow of thread, and some chocolate and local coffee (roasted just up the road from me).

And last but not least, I also got this today:

My first ever fabric postcard! This is from Becky of Becky’s Blabber, as a thank you for the Supernova quilt-along! So sweet, thank you, Becky! It’s beautiful! I believe that’s going to find a place on my inspiration wall as well. : )