Saturday, July 26, 2014

baby Bash's quilt



I finally finished that baby quilt I started awhile back. Jess Toye Quilts did the cool wood grain quilting on it, and I love it! I will be sending it off to my cousin's baby Sebastian this week, but I wanted to share it first.



I used a variety of prints in this one - Nordika for blocks and binding, linen texture in sunrise from Bluebird Park for blocks and back, Metro Living circles, Eclectic Elements dictionary print, a Cloud 9 leaf print - it was fun playing with all of these. I started with the tutorial at Moda bake shop for the Zig Zag baby quilt, but then I decided to rotate it and make them steps instead.



The backing is a fun #greatfabricdestash purchase - Michael Miller Zoology in grey. I loved this print when it came out and was happy to finally get to sew with it! I like how the backing is off center - a happy accident. I hope you won't mind the bit of aqua, Katie - it was just too cute not to use!



It's off to live with an adorable little man, and I hope he rolls around on it, gets it dirty and snuggles it up all the time. :)

linking up at SEWjo saturday!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Little One Yard Wonders Giveaway!

It's been awhile since I did a giveaway here on the old blog. So let's fix that, ok? How about a copy of the new Little One Yard Wonders book?! It came out recently, and is such a fun book!



The third in the One Yard Wonders series from Storey publishing, it's full of great projects. 101 projects, to be exact. Divided into chapters like Nursery, Bath Time & Bedtime, Imaginative Play, and Moms & Dads, there is a little something for everyone. Many of the clothing patterns are for the little ones, but several go to 7/8 or even 10. (You have to remember, these all are made with 1 yard of fabric, so it might be possible to redraft the pattern larger and just use more material. Just get crafty!)

photo by Julie Toy

This is my contribution to the book - the Boo Boo Buddy! It's the perfect size to fit in either a glove box, a vanity drawer, or your tote bag. It holds all the first aid essentials, with room to customize your own kit. It has a zipper pocket and little slots for small items, like a thermometer or tube of itch cream.

photo by Julie Toy

this little guy isn't in the book but he was one of my samples :)
How cute are the little pouches to hold an ice pack? It was fun playing with the monster faces. 

The book contains patterns and detailed instructions for all 101 projects, so you're sure to find lots you want to make! It's spiral bound and has a pocket for the pattern pieces. And the photos are adorable too.

Enter using the rafflecopter widget below - US only please. I'll choose a winner August 1st! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


What? You don't feel lucky? Well, you can grab a copy from Storey - just click here to go to their shop! Or ask your local fabric store if they can order it for you.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

sewing class



Last week, I taught a kids sewing class. Sponsored by the fabric store I work at (Country Fabrics in Garnett KS) and the Anderson County Extension office, and with help from three ladies from the Pieces & Patches guild, we held two afternoon classes.  The fabric store gave the kids a discount on their supplies, and the extension office loaned us the room, a machine, and supplied me with folders for the students.

We didn't charge a fee, partly because with 4 kids, I take advantage of any free activities I can for my family! And never having done this before, I was reluctant to charge in case it was a disaster. Thankfully, it was not! We had a great bunch of kids.

Wednesday's class

The class project was pillowcases. I used the free tutorial for the burrito method at allpeoplequilt.com - they have a boy and a girl version.  This only requires sewing three seams, so it was simple enough to ensure we could get it done in our 3 hour time window. I had them purchase extra fabric - 1 yard of the main and 1/2 yard of the contrast band. I'd rather them have too much than not enough, and I had a plan for the extra fabric.



We started out with a walk through of the sewing machine. I drew a diagram on the board and gave them each a handout to follow along with. Because we were using several varieties of sewing machines, not all of the parts were the same, like where the presser foot lifter was located, or if there was a button or a lever for reverse stitching. So we took a few minutes to find where things were on each machine.



During this part of the class, Terrie & Carolyn (Terrie & Ruth the 2nd day) were rotary cutting each child's fabric to size. I wasn't going to hand over rotary cutters to kids! And cutting with scissors would have been inaccurate and time consuming. I debated with myself about this step, but figured if they were sewing at home, their mom or dad would likely help them with this anyways.



Then we did a bit of hand sewing. Before the class, I took some thin styrofoam plates, and marked a star on them. I used a tapestry needle to pre-punch holes along the star. Then I gave them each a plate and a needle with embroidery floss and let them practice the running stitch. The plates were easier to hold than fabric and a hoop would have been.



Each class had room for 12. We ended up with 10 in one day and 9 in the next. I think if I did this again, I would either ensure I had another helper or I would cut the class size back to 8. It would have been nice to spend a little more time with each child.



We made our pillowcases. The kids did really well! There were a couple of snafus - one had trouble keeping to the 1/2 inch seam allowance and veered off to 1 1/2"! So we did some unsewing. :) I loved everyone's fabric combinations. One girl had a mix of Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler - swoon! Another used a Riley Blake ombre for her band, so fun!

Thursday's class

I brought out some heat & bond lite, and we cut out appliques from the extra fabric. I had made some templates for basic shapes. The kids loved this part, and got very creative with their ideas! Monograms and butterflies and lightning bolts. One boy even did a battleship! A few did some hand stitching to sew their appliques down, while others did it on the machine.

It was a lot of fun, and I can't wait to do it again. I already got a text from one of the kids in the class who went home and made a dish soap apron for her mom! I also found out they are doing a special entry at the Anderson County Fair for these pillowcases. I love our small community, they really do a lot to encourage our kids. Have you ever taught someone to sew? Any good tips or tricks to share with the class?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

cool quilters

I mentioned I haven't been to any guild meetings lately. Every month there's been something going on with the kids - and that's ok. They are my full time job after all :) But I did get to meet some awesome quilters anyways!

This month we were having Vanessa Christenson of V & Co. at KCMQG and I arranged a sitter and was so excited to go listen to her speak and see her quilts. I saw her booth at market last fall, and love her fabrics and designs. Then the night before the meeting, my husband reminded me about the town fair. Whoops! I spaced off the fair?! It's one of my favorite things about living here!

Luckily I was signed up for her workshop on Friday, so I did get to meet her and work on a fun project (I'll share mine soon, it's almost done!)



I had to leave class a little early so I could get back to watch the kids race their turtles at the fair. But I did get this photo with her before I left!



I did get my top finished up a few days later, and here it is!



Yesterday I drove to Lawrence to listen to Victoria Findlay Wolfe at the Kaw Valley Quilt Guild. It was my first visit to their guild, but I plan to go back. It was a very inspiring talk, with gorgeous colorful quilts. She's the author/blogger behind 15 Minutes of Play.



Her idea is that if you just spend 15 minutes playing with your fabrics every day, you keep your brain focused on the creative process.



She makes her own fabrics by cutting up and stitching together lots of scraps, and then using them in other blocks. The end result is amazing. I would have loved to take her workshop, but it was full. She will be at QuiltCon next spring though! Take a look at her book and blog. She has lots of challenges to get you inspired and creating!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

summer ball

wow! It's already the middle of July! How's everyone's summer going? Mine has been more about family than crafting, so bear with me a minute...

We wrapped up a long season of kids ball and I'm sad to see it end. The kids have amazed me with their improvement and skill this season.

Kansas Rage


Alex played on two teams, a rec league and a 9U tournament team.

Greeley Grey

He's worked his butt off, practicing every day, and for a little guy can throw the ball crazy hard and far. As one of the youngest on the tourney team he spent some time on the bench, but moved up to 2nd batter with his consistent hitting. He's done a great job as catcher on his rec team. He even pitched a game the other night! Not bad for my 8 year old!



Emma was in her 2nd year of 10U softball. She spent time at both short stop and 3rd. Next year she's hoping to pitch a little. They took 1st at their tournament! It was super hot, I spent the day circling a tree to stay in the shade :) Those girls did it without complaining and with smiles on their faces. So much fun to watch!



Zach was in his first year of coach pitch, and he's gone from twirling in the dirt to hitting the ball and made two awesome catches at 3rd base. He learned to slide too, and of course now he does it even when he doesn't need to!

Like I said, I am super proud of them. I've never considered myself athletic - but I think that I was just a lazy kid who would rather read than sweat, lol. But watching them makes me wish I had played more sports. If you're a parent, please encourage your kids to give it a try. There was a girl on Emma's team who had never played before, but she worked hard at practice and never got discouraged or embarrassed. She ended up with 3 RBIs in that tournament!

Troy coaching Emma at 3rd
So, I guess now I will head back into my sewing nook. It's been a little neglected this summer! My husband helped coach all four teams, so it will be nice to have him around the house again :) Next year - 4 kids playing (Sawyer will start t-ball), 4+ teams - not sure how we'll make it work but it'll be a lot of fun!

Monday, July 14, 2014

luke and tula (and me!)

I have so much catching up to do here! School will start soon and, I hope, so will a regular schedule of blogging! Don't forget you can always check out my posts over at the Kansas City Star modern quilts blog, My Stars.  (From now on I think I will call it the KCSQ My Stars for short - that's a lot to type out!) I post over there every other Friday!


It's been such a crazy awesome summer! Even though I haven't spent much time in my sewing nook, I have had the chance to meet some fabulous quilters. A month ago, I went with Denise and Jan from KCMQG to St. Joseph MO for the Luke Haynes/Tula Pink exhibit Pattern : Repeat.



We went for the artist's reception, and that meant we got to hang out with Luke and Tula and their fabulous quilts!



Even better, she invited us to her house afterwards for pizza and beer. She recently moved into a renovated barn, and it was amazing. Such a fantastic quirky place. I didn't take pictures, as she had some of her next fabric line on display (eep!) and asked us not to. But here's an instagram shot of the cool table she painted! You can't see me in it but that's my beer, haha!



I got to visit with Carl Hentsch, who has a new book coming out soon with KCSQ. He's also teaching a class at Harper's this weekend. And I met David of Quilting by David and Jill of the Quilt Mistress. It was so cool being around a bunch of quilters. I haven't made it to any guild meetings all year, and miss the company!

I have lots more to share but the kids are restless. I'll try to post again later! :)

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