Thursday, February 26, 2015

Quiltcon Related Finishes

I finished a couple of things this week that were either worked on or the materials were purchased during my Quiltcon trip. There are seven zipper pouches, my zigzag sampler, and my fair isle hat.

First up, the zipper pouches. My kids wanted me to bring them back something from my trip. They also have been asking to learn to make zipper pouches for a long time now, we even already had some cool metal zippers on hand. So I picked up these seven Cloud9 fat quarters and we got to work the day after I got home.

It was lucky that the fabrics I grabbed with them in mind went so well with the zippers we had. They look pretty neat all lined up.

Each of them helped make their own pouch, except the baby, she was napping. They pressed, helped cut, and sewed. It was a fun project to share. This was a super basic pouch. We just folded the fat quarter into fourths and then cut around the edges to make four equal rectangles. Then we sewed them to the zipper with two for the outside and two for the lining. Even my husband made one. Best souvenir ever!

While at Quiltcon I took a quilting class. We weren't able to finish our quilt sandwich there but I took mine home and worked on it a bit more. I finished it today. I am so happy with how far I've come just on this little swatch! I'm loving the bubbles and the box maze. I'm also proud of how the lines look. I'm not a fan of the paisley on the bottom but I want to love it.

Once finished I didn't know what to do with this. I didn't want to throw it away and mentioned the dilemma to my kids. They said it would make an awesome doll/animal quilt. I keep all my binding scraps so I threw some on it and called it good.

It's already getting some love from the smallest one.

In other news I made great progress on my fair isle hat but I was to the point where I needed to switch from circulars to double points so I picked some up. When my hubby saw them and pointed out how tiny they were I told him that they come much smaller than this. He said, "what in a hundred pack labeled toothpick?" LOVE! Totally my favorite quote in recent memory.

With the help of my over-sized toothpicks - ta da! I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed each and every part of this project. It is my favorite to date. I find color work to be quite easy for my brain to handle, much easier than the cable hat I'm trying to suffer through.

Even the inside looks pretty! I brought this on the plane to and from Quiltcon and several people mentioned how impressed they were with my skill and how great it looked even on the inside with the tension. I'm so glad I decided to pick up knitting and am loving it!

Here I am sporting my new hat. The color is a little off in this picture but it's fun anyway.
Thanks for stopping by! So those are my finishes for the week. I have a quilt already lined up to test my skills on the real thing and I have a zipper pouch and a few crochet projects to make. I also hope to finish my knit cable hat soon so I can move on to something else. I'm linking up with TGIFF.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Quiltcon Recap

I've thought there are many ways to do this post and sort the pictures. I could sort by classes, quilts, and purchases/swag, I could break it up into several blog posts, or I could just throw it at you in the order it happened to me. I decided to go with the last one. It's going to be a long, but hopefully fabulous, post. Because of my munchkins and my hubby's work schedule I was only able to go two days but I'm so happy with it! Excuse the photo quality on some of these. I only had my phone camera to take pictures.


These are my babies. We had a hard time with me leaving because this is the first time I've left them overnight without having another one since March of 2006. It was -1*f feels like -22*f so we went with a photo shoot in the car.

I brought my knitting so I had something to do on the plane and in the airport. It was so fun to work on. For those that haven't been following along with my knitting I just learned in October and this is my first fair isle project. I'm in love! This hat is nearly done and I can't wait to show it off later in the week. I got into Austin around 11pm. Our flight was delayed because the connecting plane in Dallas broke.
Day 1:

My first class was the New Cathedral Windows class with Johanna Masko. It was a fun class but at this point I was wondering how it was going to all turn out. So to get here we made strips, pressed them in half, cut them into smaller sections and sewed on either side. Then we turned them inside-out and matched up the seams to make these little boat things.

So next we pressed the boats flat and they made little squares. We put the seam side down and sewed them to our background piece. It's really quite gray but I couldn't get it to read right.

Here it is with my Lotus Pond squares on top. All I need to do now is fold over the gray squares and hand stitch them down then attach the pillow back. I haven't gotten very far with this yet. Overall I like this class and the technique uses a ton less fabric than the traditional way and a lot more machine sewing. The teacher was abrasive at times but really sweet at others. It was weird and hard to process on very little sleep.

My next class was Drive By Color with Anna Maria Horner. I've just recently started to love her prints but I have always loved her use of color so I was excited but apprehensive to take this class. I found it to be amazingly helpful and it is the class that I keep thinking about over and over and it's so applicable to so many non-quilt things! So, to start out we each got a color bundle of her fabric. If you can't tell from the picture I was green.

We arranged ourselves into I think four or five color wheels and then as assigned traded fabric with those in our specific wheel. We got to pick one print and the rest were swapped with the people to our left and right in the wheel. This is what I ended up with and I'm so happy with it. It's amazing how the addition of these other colors totally changed the feel of the bundle and made it more dynamic for me.

I adore the Color Dive pattern!!! Seriously an awesome project. I've admired this on the internet so many times but it was awesome to see in person. Speaking of person, I just adore Anna Maria Horner. I'd never met her before but she's just one of those people that engages you and makes you laugh. It was a fun few hours with her and I'll happily take any classes I can from her in the future.

After my second class I did a little shopping and checking out some stuff in the vendor hall. I stayed with my sister-in-law who lived in a city nearby and she was sweet enough to drive me around. We went back to her house and I showed off all my goodies. You can see I did make a little progress on my cathedral window project but not much. It's still in this state as the knitting has been calling my name a little louder. I bought some awesome fabric from Cloud9 and I show you later in the week what I did with it. I also got a cute new shirt from Patchwork Threads that I just love! I stopped by the Massdrop booth to pick up my goodie bag and because I can't play "corn hole" very well I won this little zippy pouch from the Moda people. Totally a win as I liked this one the best anyway!

I know this isn't the best picture, silly phone camera, but imagine these in their full color glory. The lovely people of Cotton and Steel had the best booth in the show. They had scraps for us to make different things and these fabric buttons/pins were one of them. I brought one home for each of my kids as a little souvenir from my trip.
 DAY 2:
Day two was an all-day class called Zigzag Quilting Sampler with Krista Withers. We quilted on the HQ Sweet Sixteen sitdown machines and while it was new to me the technique was the same-ish. She made us these quilt sandwiches with the zigzag lines sewn on and we just had to go for it. I was not in love with the hot pink thread. We needed contrast so we could see better and learn from our mistakes but that was a bit much, hehe. She also gave us a piece of wet-erase plastic to draw on to try out quilting designs. LOVE IT! It made me so brave and I've since used it at home to try out designs on my quilts. She also mentions that plexiglass works well too and suggests to tape the edges with high-contrast tape so you don't go over the edge and ruin the quilt. This is what I ended up with at the lunch break. I'm sure you can see where I struggled and what I did well. I loved the triangles, even though I wasn't fabulous at them, and the ovals. I think I'll try the squares some more as it seems useful.

During the lunch break I check out the quilts. Benedict Cumberbatch swoon!! It so funny because when I found this there were several ladies all gathered around sighing at the quilt. I had one of them take my picture. My hubby alternately laughs and groans at my love for him.

I think this was my favorite quilt of the show. I love the colors and the idea. I love the piecing and the quilting. I adore the newspaper boat. It's all just amazing!

Check this one out! I love all the circles and the colors were pretty awesome too.

However, this put it over-the-top into amazing for me. Check out that curved pieced binding!! Seriously, this is awesome and also why I can't do shows. I'd never be that cool to come up with that kind of thing or pull it off that well.

I liked this one because of the colors and the Texas-ness of it all. It seemed fitting for Quiltcon in Austin, TX. I know my SILs would love this.

The pattern and colors both on this one spoke to me. I love the way they create a secondary pattern too. The low volume grays for the background added a layer of interest for me too.

This one stopped me in my tracks. I adore blues and greens and I love the gradation of it all.

This quilt in general was kind of blah for me but I do adore the quilting. I've been into dense and slightly complex but also organic quilting lately.

I've loved this pattern for a while now. The interesting blocks with all the negative space so it doesn't get overwhelming.

It was made even more awesome by the quilting!! Check it out how it extends from the points and has the cool other fill. LOVE! Complex yet not overwhelming and added interest with the change in pattern/texture.

Between quilt photos I made the time to do a little fabric shopping. I was so impressed by my AMH class and how awesome her fabrics looked when combined in cool ways that I went and grabbed some more fat quarters. These are mostly Folk Song with a few Honor Roll mixed in, I think. I used to think this much color and print were overwhelming but seeing them in person and in a few different quilts I was amazed at how I loved it and how different it was from what I've been doing. I decided to run with it before I changed my mind.

So, I adore Elizabeth Hartman patterns. I just finished a Fancy Fox top and cut into a Hazel Hedgehog quilt. I also have all the stuff for an Aviatrix and a Preppy the Whale mini. As it happens her class this day was right across from mine so I was able to meet her and snag these buttons. Woohoo!

Back in the class Krista had us all gather around with our samples and talk about what we did and didn't like about them. With her little plastic and pen she showed us some fixes for what we had problems with and it was super helpful! This was one of my favorite bits of the whole class.

She also showed us cool ways to use feathers and how to make them look more modern. So fun!

So here's what I tried in the afternoon. We switched thread so it wasn't so in your face but that makes it harder to show here. I love the cool diamonds with the tiny fill to make them pop but that was so hard! The stripe is only 1" from top to bottom. I think it would be a little easier slightly bigger but loved the look. This was also my first attempt at circles. I love how they turned out and am already planning on putting them into a quilt this week. So fun!

This super-blurry picture is me with Vanessa of V. and Co. I seriously adore her work but I love her even more as a person. We hung out during our breaks and had a nice lunch together. She lives so close to me in my new house so hopefully we'll get to hang out more. Vanessa has some awesome things coming up like the color books that are just coming out. She's made one for each color in the rainbow and they are quite impressive. The red is out now and orange is coming soon.

I woke up at 4:30am on Saturday to come home to my people in snowy Iowa and had a nice pair of flights. I even got the exit row which was nice for my super-long legs and complex knitting. The baby was especially excited to see me home.
Well there you have it. A crazy long post on my lovely time at Quiltcon. I don't know when I'll be able to go again but I'd love to every year! I'm so grateful to my wonderful hubby for taking the five kids and for all the people involved in my Quiltcon experience.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


So, I'm leaving for Quiltcon in a few hours. You'd think the last few days would have been full of preparations for that, but I got the big stuff all done last week. I've been putting off the little things, like packing though.

In my defense I also did the laundry, dishes, and some deep cleaning this week. Maybe nervous energy is a better term. I can't seem to sit still because I'm so excited for QUILTCON!!

I got an order for a set of newborn photo props. Irritatingly the crown got stretched out when I tried to starch it so it has to be redone but everything else is finished for when I get back. I'm excited to see these on a baby and to share them with you.

I'm making a twin size Hazel Hedgehog quilt for my oldest daughter. There were a million tiny little pieces to cut out for this. I'm going to chain piece the heck out of them when I get home but I wasn't feeling ambitious enough to start before I left.

I decided to bring some knitting on the plane because it's light and travels well. Of course I needed a new knitting bag! I have been saving this Lotus Pond fabric for a while now and just love it!

I used this tutorial, found on In Color Order, for the bag. I bought the ribbon at my LQS and have no idea who made it but it looks so cute with my fabric.

It fits my current project perfectly!

So, yesterday I had everything gathered to pack, the house was clean, dishes and laundry done and put away. So, I started another project. See, nervous energy. I'm participating in the Sew My Stash this year and there is currently a Precuts Party going on. The basic idea is make something with precuts from your stash. I've had these and all the fabric, including the back and binding for a while now and I whipped up this quilt top yesterday. Fun stuff!

Then this happened! I went to bed last night and my iron was fine and working well to press the borders of the above quilt. I went to turn it on this morning and it wouldn't turn on when plugged in. I also noticed this crack. I have no idea if they are related or not but boo! I just got this iron for Christmas and hope it can be replaced. I so don't have the money to buy another one.

With the tragic loss of the iron this finally happened. All packed and ready to go. Maybe I'll do some knitting or scrub the bathrooms because I still can't seem to sit still.
I'm linking up with WiP Wednesday and the Precuts Party!

UPDATE: Quiltcon is awesome! I'm loving the whole experience and can't wait to share my adventures here. In the mean time you can catch me on Instagram and I'll be linking up with TGIFF.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Quiltcon Prep in the Bag

I've have been having a ton of fun sewing in preparation for Quiltcon next week!! Three bags, a lanyard, and a new name tag. The first bag is my ALYoF goal for February. Check it out...

My awesome Sister-in-law has been sweet enough to house me during Quiltcon and drive me everywhere I need to go during my stay. I'm used to small town Iowa traffic so this is pretty awesome. As a thank you I made her this pretty awesome (if I do say so myself) Super Tote by Noodlehead with a super enlarged Harry Potter block front pocket. The fabric is all from Color Theory by V. and Co. for Moda.

I was worried about the recessed zip because I'd never done one before but it worked out really well. The lighting was such that I couldn't get a good shot of the inside but it was mostly yellow with navy pockets.

I also made myself a new name tag and a lanyard. LOVE! These are also Color Theory fabric. I used this tutorial and pieced mine with a mini charm pack.

When my SIL found out I was making her a bag she asked if she could pay me to make one for her friend. Hello spending money! I just love the Emily Bag pattern so I used that again with some Athena fabric by Angela Walters.

I love the pop of color for the zipper. Also pretty in love with this picture. I figured out how to make my camera (pretty ghetto point and shoot) focus on one thing while blurring the other. Feeling pretty good about myself here.
This bag is deceptively large. You can fit a person in it, which I have. Curious? Check it out here near the bottom.

After all that I still had time this week to make another Super Tote for myself. I love everything about this one but especially the fabric. This is Playful by Melody Miller for Cotton and Steel. Well, the navy is leftover Color Theory. I love how fun this is and so me - the colors and prints both. I adore novelty prints on bags and pouches.

Here's a closeup of the fabric. You can also see my top stitching which I kept pretty dang straight this time too.

I was worried the jacks print might be too busy for the straps and the recessed zip part but I'm pretty in love with it.

Here's the inside, more jacks and the navy Color Theory for the pockets.
 So there's my week. It was so fun breaking out from the world of quilting and finishing four sewing projects in one week! I also finished three crochet commission projects this week too but keep forgetting to take pictures during daylight hours. Next week - QUILTCON! Can you tell I'm excited?!

I'm linking up with TGIFF and Finish It Up Friday.