Sunday, December 18, 2011

And the winner is....

OK y'all, I'm new to this blogging stuff (and totally teaching myself through trial and error) and even though I used the Random Generator widget, I didn't do it right and the number disappeared when I published it to the blog.  You're just going to have to trust me that the number that came up was 141, which was:

The Thompsons said...
My favorite movie(s) are all of the Elizabeth Gaskells - I love a good British time piece.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Giveaway Day!!!

************This Giveaway is now CLOSED*************
Stay tuned for the winner!

YAY - It's Giveaway Day!  If you're here from Sew Mam Sew, thanks for stopping by!  I hope you'll come on in and take a look around.  I'm so excited to participate in this round of the SMS Giveaway Day - besides the chance to win all kinds of fun sewing stuff, you get to meet lots of different bloggers and see what people from all over are up to in their sewing rooms.  Fun!
OK, let's get down to the goods up for grabs over here at Between Quilts.  I am offering 4 fat quarters from my collection:
First up, we have some Swoon, by Melissa Averinos for Andover Fabrics.  It is punchy, fun, and bright!
Next, how about a little bit of Amy Butler Rowan Peacock Feathers from Westminster Fibers??
 And then, maybe a little Mendhi, by Fun Quilts for Free Spirit...
And last but not least by a long shot, some Kumari Garden by Dena Designs for Free Spirit.
 And just for kicks, (I mean, it's Christmas, after all, right?!), I'm adding in a super-cute mini-charm pack of Basic Grey's Jovial by Moda.  With these little precuts, you still have time to whip something up for this holiday season!  (Since perhaps, you are more organized than I and not scrambling at the last minute with tons of projects...).

So here it is all together - a pretty little something to brighten your day - especially if it arrives in YOUR mailbox!

 All you have to do to be entered is leave a comment on this post, telling me one of your favorite things.  It could be your favorite book, song, fabric line, get the idea.  I'll go first:  I'm a big time reader and one of my favorite recent reads is What is the What by Dave Eggers based on a true account of a Sudanese refugee. Great writing about an amazing story - the kind of book that pulls you in and keeps you thinking about the characters long after you've turned the last page.

The giveaway is open until Friday, December 16th at 5 pm, PST.   A winner will be chosen randomly on Sunday, the 18th and be contacted by email as well as posted here.  International entries welcome!  Please make sure you are not a No-Reply Blogger or else leave me your email in your comment (no email= invalid entry - don't let this happen to you!)  Good luck!  And be sure to check out all the other giveaways too - I'm off to visit a bunch of blogs too while sipping a latte!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's a Small Blog Party!

Small Blog Meet

Lily, over at Lily's Quilts, hosts a small blog linky party, which is a fantastic idea!  I love seeing what other people are creating and meeting other bloggers.  Thanks, Jan, for letting me know about this!  And just because I believe every post should have a picture, I share with you a view of my work-horse of a sewing machine.  I heart my Elna!  My latest finish I can't post yet since it's a gift, but once the person receives it, I'll add it here.  I'll just's colorful!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011


 Look what arrived in my mailbox over the weekend!  I spoke with Bill at Modern Quilt Studio on Thursday afternoon...and by Saturday my order had arrived!  Talk about service!  Weeks and Bill have a lot going on with an upcoming move - so it amazed me that they coordinated a sale (with free shipping when a dollar was donated to the food bank).  I snagged up some yardage of some tonal prints I fell in love with when I was there over the summer - seriously, these have been staples for me lately in a variety of projects and are so versatile.  That brown print is so rich and warm with splashes of fun color too.  And then I grabbed two solids scrap packs - one with 4 yards of warm white and one with colors from their Beach Glass quilt.  Now, I have to mention, what they consider "scraps" is really yardage to the rest of us - I guess this is the case when you buy fabric by the bolt!  Dare to dream... And they threw in a lovely surprise - a copy of their new magazine/mini-book!  So sweet!  The printing is very high quality, it has several patterns, no advertisements, and is full of tips and ideas for all kinds of projects.  I especially liked the Palette Chasing article where they shared a palette swatch inspired from artwork at the Library of Congress.  Brilliant!  Thanks again, Weeks and Bill!

And another kind of surprise this weekend was getting to see the Broadway series  A Christmas Story musical - so fun!  And wearing these sparkly shoes to the event made it that much more special.  Normally, you can find me wearing yoga pants and t-shirts, so having a chance to dress up was a real treat.  We had a babysitter and everything!  Another rare treat indeed!  Mr. BQ was dashing in his suit, and we had a great time at the show and out to dinner afterwards.   If you get the chance to check out this show - go for it!  Different from the movie - surprisingly sentimental (or maybe that's just me???  Was I the only tearful one there??  Those kids on stage were gettin' to me!) - and a great way to kick-off the Christmas season.

And last but not more surprise I had today was what happens when 3 preschoolers are left to their own devices for 15 minutes (OK, 20) while I sewed on binding.  Apparently, they decided to play Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer...complete with drawing red noses on their faces with markers!!  I knew it was too quiet in there!  I guess that's what I get, but really, sometimes you're so close to finishing a project you just have to do it!  And it was kind of funny....
Have you had any good surprises lately???

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Autumn Desert

Whew! What a day! Would you believe me if I told you that when I woke up this morning, this quilt was merely a finished top and only a partially finished back?? Let me just pause right here and say a GIANT thank you to my sweet husband for running after our three preschoolers today so that I could have a marathon quilt day and finish this in the nick of time to participate in Celebrate Color!
Celebrate Color

This was the inspiration fabric for this quilt: this gorgeous print from Jane Dixon for Andover Fabrics called Desert Bloom. I love how this line pairs warm colors with bright. Burnt orange and rust alongside happy green, pink and turquoise captured the essence of fall for me, and I couldn't wait to dive in to make a quilt. But what quilt?? Well, last summer when I was in Chicago and had the great fortune of visiting Quiltology (a fun, urban quilt shop in Lincoln Park),as chance would have it, I had to use the bathroom. Believe it or not, they had the most beautiful quilt IN THE BATHROOM! I gasped and waxed on about how gorgeous the quilt was and why on earth was it hiding in the bathroom??? They said they no longer sold those particular fabrics, so they didn't want it to be on display. Gasp, I say - it was simply stunning! (To be fair, they did have another sample of it made up in the main room, but still!) The pattern was called Lincoln Park, and was designed by Collette, the owner of the shop. I knew it would be perfect for these fabrics! The pattern is fun and scrappy, and I wanted lots of different prints and high contrast between the bars. It's a great pattern, but if you feel so inclined to make it, you're about to get real intimate with your iron, I'm just sayin'. One day, when I have nothing to do, I may just count how many seams are in this quilt. Goodness!
Here's the back - I love how it turned out! I only had to buy 2 yards for the backing, the rest was scraps. And this is a big quilt! (62" x 78" ) And here is a view of the front and back together. I leave you here so I can run link to Celebrate Color (thanks, Rachel!), and go spend some time with the guy who cheered me on all day to get this finished!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Eye Candy much time do I actually spend online looking at eye candy in all kinds of crafty forms??? I'm not sure I really want to know...blogs, pinterest, flickr, online shops - there is no end of sources for inspiration and just a little dreamy eye candy to pass the time and escape the reality of ahem, a real life (the house needs to be cleaned again! Didn't I just scrub that bathroom yesterday???). So anyway, I thought I'd share a few pieces of eye candy with you. Here is the
flickr mosaic I made for my swap partner in the Post Summit Swap. Aren't these all so fun??? I never get tired of seeing this!

Then, this week I used some gift cards to get these two quilting books. I've been wanting both of them, and was surprised to realize that I know/have met several people who have contributed to these books. That just made enjoying these books all the sweeter!

Talk about eye candy! Block Party by Alissa Haight Carlton & Kristen Lejnieks has so many fun projects and great tips. I love how they included tons of design ideas and encourage the reader in their own creativity. I've wanted to participate in a virtual bee for ages and reading this book got me moving in that direction. Next up is Modern Blocks compiled by Susanne Woods. Inspiration. On. Every. Page. I want to make all 99 of these blocks! Seriously, amazing. And then, in a perfect storm of combining elements of both of these books, I stumbled across a new online bee called Modern Blocks Bee, started by Alix! There will be 12 participants, each being assigned a month and sending out fabric to each person with requests for different blocks from this book. What a great way to get to try different blocks and share the fun with others.
I am so thankful that I get to participate with these talented group of women from all over the world! on earth will I narrow down my block selections...good thing my month isn't until later next year!
Now, I leave you with a little eye candy of my own from a current work in progress...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rainbow Spotlight

I've been so excited to share this most recent mini quilt I did. It's called Rainbow Spotlight and I made it for my secret partner in the Post Sewing Summit Swap. Mini quilts are a great place to try a new technique, and they can pack a strong visual punch. Plus, they have the added bonus of being done quickly - almost instant gratification! What a treat it was to come back from Sewing Summit brimming with inspiration and jump right into making something special for someone else! My secret partner turned out to be Tracey, who said she liked bright colors. I figured this was the perfect opportunity to do a rainbow quilt, which has been stirring around in my mind for a while.

I started off with these: some charm squares from the Color Wheel Swap hosted by Kati.

From there, they turned into this:

After a couple more (ahem, important) steps, it became this!
I was so focused on getting the inset circle right that I forgot to take photos of that part. Although I was a little nervous to tackle it, I promise, it's not as hard as it seems, and once I reviewed what Weeks and Bill had taught me, I was good to go! It was super quick to quilt - I did tighter quilting in the circle for more definition, and looser stippling in the background - and then bound it in Mini Mikes Random Pencil Check (love this print!). The backing was a rainbow stripe print I have had in my stash forever:

I couldn't wait to get it off to my partner (with some extra goodies for good measure)!
And in an interesting turn of fate, not only was Tracey my partner, but I was hers too! She sent me the sweetest package:
She knew my favorite color is orange, and I mentioned that I love Joel Dewberry fabrics - seriously, his heirloom line is incredible and I bought a bunch of it on the shop hop while at Summit. Look how she combined two of my favorite things! I love the patchwork pouch she made - and it's huge! AND she included some extras - Hullabaloo fat quarters and this cute zippered cupcake pouch - love it! (Oh, and there was even a produce bag included too that she had made, but it didn't make the picture because I immediately put it with my reusable shopping bags - gotta love something pretty and practical!). Thanks again, Tracey!

And yay - it's party time! Amy, fellow quilter and North Carolinian, as well as my new friend from Sewing Summit, is brilliant to have come up with this fun event to share and inspire each other with a mini quilt linky party. Be sure to hop on over and check out what everyone has been working on. Thanks for hosting this Amy - I've had so much fun participating!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Jumping in on Blogger's Quilt Festival!

Yay! I get to participate in Blogger's Quilt Festival this year! Amy is a genious, by the way! Make sure you check out all the great quilts in the linky party on her site!
I've been meaning to do this all week, but things have been pretty busy around here and I figured I'd just have to let this one slide. But here I am, hours before the deadline, literally grabbing this quilt off of one of my sleeping children to snap another shot of this quilt - it's still warm from that sweet little snoozer!

Fabric: Just Wing It by Momo/ Pattern: Sweet Garden by Emily Cier

This quilt is special to me for lots of reasons: it marks my first quilt made after a long hiatus in sewing to have my babies, it's the first time I used a layer cake, and it's the first quilt I blogged about in my first ever blog post. But it goes without saying that it is most special because my daughter loves it, and uses it every day. This is why I love quilting! Playing with fun fabrics, deciding on patterns/design layout, and in the end, you have something totally useable and practical. Speaking of which...I better get this back on that little snoozer before she wakes up and wonders why it suddenly got a little less warm in her room...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Beebolt Block!

As part of our swag bag at Sewing Summit, beebolt gave fabric squares to everyone so we could each make a block which will then be made into a quilt and auctioned off for charity. I decided to give half square triangles another try. These little guys are often tricky (at least, for me!), but after seeing Amy's tutorial (she's so talented and explained this so well!), I knew this is what I wanted to do for the beebolt block. See?! They are so versatile! They start out looking like this:Then they can be laid out like this:or this:
or this:or this:
or this:

and so many more choices! In the end, I went with this, framing it out in orange - my favorite color!
I'm excited to see what everyone comes up with, and can't wait to see how it all comes together in a finished quilt. Thanks, beebolt!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Sewing Summit!

The Sewing Summit

It was AWESOME!!! I am still recovering from a whirlwind few days, but wanted to share a little about this extraordinary weekend. I met so many wonderful people and learned so many fun things...and don't even get me started on the swag! Our bags were FULL of fun treats: fabric, batting, tons of patterns, supplies... so much fun to go through. I haven't taken a picture yet but I'll try to soon. Although I don't know how to use some of the items (batting for microwaving potatos - seriously?!), I am excited to learn some new things and use all these goodies!

I attended the shop hop on Friday morning, and had such fun hanging out with some new friends on the bus they chartered for us. The three shops we went to didn't stand a chance with all 50 of us descending on them at once! I think collectively, we pretty much cleared them out of a TON of fat quarters! So here is my bounty from that day...

To be fair, the left half of the picture was my roommate's stash...I understand my side is bigger, but still! Speaking of roommate, I so enjoyed meeting her! We took a chance to share a room in the name of being frugal, despite having never met before. It worked out perfectly! We had such fun staying up late and I felt so inspired by her creativity. The picture I took of us together didn't turn out so great, so I'm hoping hers did so I can borrow it and post it here! I look forward to staying in touch with this new crafting friend.

I had the opportunity to take some really great classes, one of them being Free Motion Quilting for the Modern Quilter. Here I am with the teacher, quilting rock star Allison from Cluck Cluck Sew. I'll admit many times I was a bit star struck during the weekend, being with all these women whose blogs I read and get inspiration from on a regular basis. Taking Allison's class was certainly one of those times. She is so sweet and helpful! Here is the sampler I made in class, practicing different quilting patterns.

It was fun to try some new things, and I'm definitely planning on using either the square or the triangle quilting on one of my Kona Solids quilts.

There is so much more I want to share about summit, but it's getting late and I don't want to leave out anything important! My absolute favorite part of the whole weekend was meeting new friends and spending time with so many crazy talented people! I'll be back soon with more info!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

What do these want to be???

I've had these fabrics sitting on my sewing desk for a while now - mostly because I can't bear to put them away and hide their loveliness. I love seeing them together as I'm sewing up other things...but I'm completely undecided as to what to do with them. A quilt is begging to come out of these beauties, but alas, what quilt?? Any thoughts? This is one of my favorite parts of many possibilites stretch out before the farics, and creativity can go a hundred different directions. I love it!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Wishing for Fall...

Just staring at this bowl of scrumptious yarn makes me yearn for cooler days. There is something about knitting in the colder months that is so soothing. It continues to be HOT here ...seriously, crazy sweating with the kids at the pumpkin farm yesterday wearing shorts! Come on - pumpkin farms are meant for jeans and sweaters and hot cider. But my daughter looked cute rockin' her cowgirl boots despite the heat. The boys looked cute in their orange shirts too, but still, the boots won out for cuteness and attitude! Maybe if I keep staring at all this yarn, the weather will cool off...or at least inspiration will strike!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Feeling Knitty

I can almost feel fall coming on, which always gets me in the mood to drink warm lattes, bake (& eat!) pumpkin muffins, and knit. I love the feel of good yarn in my hands and thinking up all kinds of projects for the cooler months ahead. Here is a recent little project I knit up for a friend's baby shower. Their baby is due in a few weeks and I can't wait to see their sweet bundle of joy sporting this pumpkin hat!And in the sewing world, Summit is coming soon - yay! Here is the fabric I bought for the Color Wheel Charm Swap. My assignments were Red and Red-Violet, which are not colors I usually gravitate towards. It was fun to shop for something different and I absolutely love the purple-ish print!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What a day!!

Bill, Me, and Weeks at the Fun Quilts Studio

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time with modern quilt powerhouse team Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr, of Modern Quilt Workshop fame. How, you might wonder??? I had the crazy awesome luck of winning a 30 minute Skype session with this husband-wife quilting team during a recent book blog tour for Quilts Made Modern. Then I realized they were located in Oak Park, not too far from my old stomping grounds in Chicago. And, coincidentally, I had a family trip planned to Chicago within the coming weeks...and, coincidentally again, my sister-in-law and I had planned to do some quilt shop-hopping while I was in town. And what do you know??? Weeks and Bill were having a fabric sale on all the bolts in their studio during the same time I was planning to be in town! Did the stars line up, or what?! They graciously invited me (and my sister-in-law!) to do the Skype session in person. What an opportunity!

I can't say enough about how sweet and welcoming they were. When I mentioned I love their quilt called Big Dots from their latest book, they quickly said, "You want to see it?" Next thing I knew, we were in their living room (their studio is on the lower level of their house) looking at this gorgeous quilt that was hanging on the wall!! I mean, seriously! How sweet is that??!!

I brought my quilt top and backing from the Kona Solids Challenge for the Modern Quilt Guild and they gave me wonderful feedback. In the above picture I am standing with them with the quilt back behind us on their design wall. Based on their feedback, this will now be its own separate quilt, which is great because I love it!

They also showed us how to do inset circles. I had such a fear of these but Bill walked us through each step and was so encouraging. Look how it turned out!

This was fabric from their "scrap pile" - and they packed up a bit of it to send home with me for continued practice. Again, how sweet is that?! My mind is reeling with the quilt possibilities.

Here is a little pouch I made for them as a thank you for inviting us to their studio. I felt like a kindergartener handing over a tiny scribble to the master artists, but I knew they would appreciate a handmade item from the heart, and they did! (And I threw in some sea salt dark chocolate, which never hurts...)

Not only are they clearly very talented designers, but their love of teaching is obvious and so genuine. They graciously shared so much of their time, talent and wisdom, and I truly felt like it was my birthday and Christmas and all kinds of fun stuff all rolled up into one day! Truly, I enjoyed every second and to this day, it's like I'm still processing it all as I remember little tips they shared about design, or color placement, or scale of pattern combined with scale of many things! A huge thanks to Weeks and Bill (and their lovely daughter) for a day I will never forget!

(Weeks wrote about our day in her blog Craft Nectar - check it out!)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

And so it begins...

I figured since I spend so much time reading other people's blogs, and with Sewing Summit coming up, it was time I threw myself out there with a blog of my own!

Here is a quilt I recently finished:
I made it for my daughter and she loves it! The pattern is Sweet Garden by Emily Cier, and the fabric is Momo's Just Wing It. Such fun, bright colors - I love how it turned out!

Here is a close up of the quilting, just a simple loopy loop allover free-motion pattern:
And here is the back:
What a joy it is to cover my little ones in something I've made for them. One of the last things I do before going to bed at night is tuck them in one last time with their mom-made quilts around their sweet, sleeping selves. One of my favorite parts of the day, for sure!