Saturday, March 31, 2012

{Chevron}

Who doesn't a good chevron?


I couldn't pass these up when I stopped into my work today and saw that the new Riley Blake Chevron prints had arrived.


The question was ~ which colors and how much?  Decisions.  Decisions.
They were so many great colors.  Navy, yellow, gray, aqua, orange, red, pink, green and brown.


Here's what I ended up with: 1 yard Navy, 2 yards yellow, 1/2 yard gray and a 1/3 yard each of aqua and orange.  There's not a lot of rhyme or reason to my selection except for the fact that I know I can put the yellow on the back of a small quilt top that's almost finished.  Good navy's are hard to come by.  Gray is so hot right now so I figured I would use that up sometime.  I can always use aqua ~ it goes with almost everything.  And orange?  Well orange is just happy and unique and I like it.  

I'm so happy I snagged some up.  We got them yesterday and they're almost gone.  Crazy huh?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pot 'o Flowers {Finished}

When I post about a new finish I usually say, she's finally finished! 
Quilts always take a lot of time and energy.  It always feels good to complete them, enjoy them and check them off your list. 

But let me say this time - shes. finally. finished.

You may remember this quilt, called Pot 'o Flowers by Glenna Hailey
that I started in November?  I posted about it HERE.

I approached my boss about making it because it was on my list of quilts to do
and I thought I might as well kill two birds with one stone and make it as a sample for the store.  We made kits up and we thought it would be a nice way to showcase 30's prints, as well as, something Springy for the store. 


Once I begun, I realized that it wasn't quite what I originally thought it was.
I've mentioned that I'm kind of spontaneous and a lot of times I just dive right into a project, right? 

Well, if I would have looked a little closer at the details and instructions of this quilt, I would have realized that this quilt is small.  Like 37-ish inches small.  Total.  The photo of it in the book [Sugar Sack Quilts by Glenna Hailey] was kind of deceiving to my eye.  Everything looked bigger than it really was.  I assumed that the checkerboard border was probably 2-1/2" squares [finishing at 2"] with some decent size flowers.  I was excited for this little hand applique project.


Well, little was right.  Most of the flowers were about 2" in diameter and the sashing squares finished at 1".  Cute.  But definitely smaller.


I had to switch gears.  And that took me some time.
For a month or so, I stewed over what method of applique to do.  I didn't think I had time to hand applique it.  It was a sample for the store so I needed to whip it out.  Plus, with all of the little curves and crevices of the flowers, I knew it would be a beast.  I went back and forth.  I could feel myself putting this off in my mind.  Dreading it.  In fact, I was OVER it and kind of regretted suggesting to make it.  I definitely had a million other projects to do and decided I didn't want to deal with this one.  But I knew I had to get going. 
So, following the authors instructions, I decided to used the Heat n Bond method.  But, instead of hand stitching around each piece per her instructions I decided to just machine applique them on with a straight stitch.


Well, finally, she's finished.  I just decided to dig my feet in and go for it.  I am happy with how it turned out.  The little checkerboard pieces are cute and it's a nice size for a wall hanging.  I still think this whole thing would be cute if it were twice the size but hey, I guess I learned a few lessons ~ 

* Read the small print on any project you're about to start.
* Don't take on more than you can handle - no matter how darling you think it is.
* And sometimes, you just gotta buck up and do what you said you were going to do :)

Happy Quilting!
~ Amber

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sew Inspiring Rooms {Bitty Bits and Pieces}

Welcome to

I'm so excited to have my friend Kim Walus here today
(from the blog, Bitty Bits and Pieces). 

bitty bits & pieces

Gosh, I can't even remember how we first met.  It may have been through a local quilt guild???  She is a fellow Moda Bakeshop chef, pattern designer and has even been published in the book, Fresh Fabric Treats.  She is an amazing person and a great mentor of mine.  Kim gives 110% to whatever she does and her recent sewing studio makeover reflects that!  Thank you for sharing your Sew Inspiring Room.  Now, over to you Kim!

♥ ♥ ♥

SEWING ROOMS like QUILTS are always a work in PROGRESS.
I still have lots of things that got pushed to the storage room to go through later, things that need organizing, things I need to get rid of or donate. I still have curtains to make and my sewing chair needs to be recovered. I also need to paint my clock RED and find a rug for my floor. But for now, I am very very happy and pleased with the results as you will see from the pictures I've taken.

I want to thank Amber for letting me share the sewing room spotlight this week on her wonder blog, A Little Bit Biased. She is a wonderful person and very accomplished. You will have to check out her patterns if you haven't already done so. Her quilts are as adorable as she is!

Before pictures were taken in June of 2009
Here's a glimpse of what things looked like before new flooring and new paint.  It was a process getting it to this point and I liked it a lot, but there was a lot of clutter and stuff everywhere. The old pinkie taupe carpet had to go. It was 13 years old and ugly!!!


The curtains are nice but they don't match my room anymore.
I have yet to make new ones.


My portable design wall backed in plastic and held up with push pins.


The MESS began after a flood in our basement which resulted in all new carpet and with new flooring comes new paint. It's kind of like the book "If you give a mouse a cookie. . . he's going to want a glass of milk to go with it."
So, if you give a quilter a brand new wood floor. . . she's going to need a new paint color to go with it.  And that's how it all happened.
Lucky me!
Here's a look at the mess that I had to pull out of my room and store in various places like my daughter's room. Luckily she's away at college. lol.


Thanks to my dear sweet husband, Mr. Bitty Bits, for painting and helping me move my crap around from room to room to room as we prepared for the new carpet in the basement and the wood laminate flooring for my sewing room. He was a good sport but by the end we were exhausted. This all happened in October and it took us until just before Christmas to get it all back in order for our company.


After pictures were taken in February 2012
Here it is. . .
THE BIG REVEAL!


The flooring is a beautiful charcoal grey wood laminate.
The paint is by Sherwin Williams and the color is "Knitting Needles"

Did you notice my DESIGN WALL with the SWOON block and four other little blocks on it?

Well, it's actually a Design Wall QUILT!! Yes, I created a Design Wall Quilt. The binding and the fabric I used matches the other quilt I made for my sewing room. I had my friend Kaylene quilt an overall sewing motif on the quilt.
I didn't want to just put up my old design wall which was basically a piece of plastic with flannel on it. I thought it would look tacky. I'm really pleased with how it turned out. The quilt is hung with clips that are attached to a rail system from IKEA.


I loved Amber's use of curtain rods for her wrapping paper and freezer paper so much that I decided to use them in my room. I used the second curtain rod for my grosgrain ribbons, ric rac, and organza ribbons. I really love having my favorite red polka dot wrapping paper and ribbons at my finger tips. Thanks Amber for that great tip! Here's the LINK to her post.

The two canvas prints are both from the moda girls of Sweetwater. Their blog is Sweetwater MAKE LIFE SWEET. I picked up one at Spring Market last year and the second one I bought recently at their online store. I matted them both in red cardstock and put them in a floating glass frame that I picked up at Target for $19.99.

The grey clock I also picked up at Target and plan on spray painting it a cherry red.


Here's a view of my cutting table which has remained in the same spot as in the before pictures. It's been a good place for it and I can access my things from both sides of the table. There are drawers on the front side and open storage boxes on the opposite side where I keep all of my plastic project boxes.

You can also see the smaller version of my Merry-Go-Round Quilt (Cover Quilt on the Feb 2012 American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine) hanging on the wall by the lamp.


Here's the backside of my cutting table where you can kind of see the open storage boxes. I also love the thimble pottery that I found at JoAnn's over a year ago. I think my friend and I bought every single one they had left. I have 3 different sizes and use them to store my tools, pens, pencils, markers, scissors, zippers and selvage scraps. They are one of my favorite finds. . . EVER!


Oh. . . Yes. . . here's another favorite find.
I found these containers at Target last year and I just knew I had to have them. I started out with about 4 of containers and it grew to 8 and now I have 16 of them. They were a little pricey and that's why I picked them up a few at a time. I don't regret buying them at all. They are a great way to store the things that you use all of the time not to mention how cute they make things look. Besides I just couldn't resist the RED lids.


Buttons!!!
I just adore buttons. . . and love seeing them in their cute containers!!!


Here is a view of my ironing board and more storage boxes. The picture was taken from the other side of my cutting table looking toward the door where you come into the room. The banner was made using my Hugs & Kisses Tutorial from the Moda Bake Shop. I thought it would be fun to use the letters in my blog name to hang in my sewing room. The big scissors are plastic and I happened to find them at the Dollar Store for just a $1. I've been looking for more of them and haven't found any since. I felt really lucky to find the only pair of RED scissors they had!


Here's a close up view of my wire shelf that I got years and years ago from Longaberger. I use it to hold my bottles, aprons, my favorite pincushion bunny from my friend Thimbleanna, my small Longaberger basket and my PEZZY fat quarters that I recently bought. If you need a bunny pincushion she sometimes has them to sell but if not she does have the pattern for sale in her store. Go HERE to buy the pattern.


I have one window in my sewing room and it provides a bit of light in the afternoon. That's the one down fall to my sewing room. It has very poor lighting. I hope to resolve that problem at some point with track light of some sort. Anyway, sometimes I can get a good picture in my room when the light is coming in the window in the afternoon. Here's a few pictures of my red chair and my favorite tall dresser that I keep fabric in along with other crafty things. It's a great piece of furniture. I LOVE my RED chair too!!!


My cute bear is from Gap and I bought him 12 years ago when my daughter was a baby. He's just so cute sitting there on two of my favorite quilts.

 
This quilt is a baby quilt that I made and taught a few years ago. It's a replica of an antique quilt that I bought at a local antique store call "Star Flower Mill" The squares are appliqued in the center of each white square.
My friend Kaylene quilted an amazingly intricate design on this small quilt.


I hope you enjoyed this inside look at my creative space. It's the very best part of my day when I can spend time in my sewing room. I don't get to sew as much as I'd like too, but come summer when I have time off from school, you will definitely find me down there almost every day of every week.
A little piece of advice. . .
Big or Small. . . Find a SPOT and MAKE it YOUR OWN!

♥ ♥ ♥

Oh people, aren't you just in love???
I am so jealous of the thimble containers.  I really need those...
And the rocking chair.  And the quilts.
And well, all of it is sew inspiring!

Thank you, thank you, thank you Kim for sharing your space with us!
Please leave Kim some comment love below.

Happy Quilting.
Amber

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's Fun to Get New Fabric

Especially when someone just gives it to you.  For free!


This is Cosmic Burst by Mark Cesarik for Free Spirit.  The other day I got an email asking if he could send me some swatches of his new line.  And of course I said yes.  I don't turn down designer fabric.  I really don't.


Look at these colors.  Oooh.  Ahhh :) 
Thank you Mark!  I ♥ them!


Not that I don't have about a million other projects going on right now, but I really couldn't help cutting into these at about 9 o'clock last night.  And guess what these little squares were dying to be transformed into?


That's right.  Granny squares.  Don't you just love them right now?  I was especially inspired by Jolene's Quilt and her lovely tutorial that can be found HERE.  It's super cute.  Super, super cute.


I'm glad I'm able to pair this gorgeous fabric with my Moda Bella Snow.  I have a whole bolt that I ordered back in September.  I actually order two bolts - one bright white and one cream (snow).  The white bolt?  Gone.  The Snow?  Barely touched it.  But I think the cream will be nice with these lovely, vibrant colors, don't you?

So just so you don't think I'm a total slacker, I just want to let you know that I have not forgotten about my soon-to-be-released orange and blue quilt pattern.  It is pretty much ready to go to the printer.  But.  I figured while I was going to all that work of marketing 1 pattern...I might as well market 3 patterns.  So very, very shortly I will have 3 new patterns to share with you.  As soon as I am done posting here, I will be writing up directions for numero tres.  I just have to bind it and take a photo.  I think it might be my fave.

Can't wait to share!!

Have a wonderful weekend!
(Wish me luck at my soccer game tonight! :)
Amber

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Quilt for M.

Finally.  My Snickerdoodle quilt is done.


Bonnie Olaveson (Cotton Way) designed it.


This pattern was super easy to make because of the raw edge quarter circles.  I enlarged the size of the template a bit because it killed me to waste any last inch of the charm squares it called for.  Speaking of charms, I used a Sherbet Pips charm pack (given to me for my birthday by my bro and sweet SIL - who know me well) plus some scraps from my stash.


I finished up the binding last Friday 
and threw her in the washer with three
Shout Color Catchers to insure no bleeding! 
Then, into the dryer to get all soft and snuggly.



Saturday I tried to have a photo shoot while little Miss M. jumped on the bed.


Isn't she beautiful?!?

We're both loving the light pink dot minky on the back.  Super snuggly.




[Binding: #55036 12 from the line Ruby by
Bonnie and Camille for Moda]


And one outdoor shot...just for fun.


Happy Quilting!
Amber

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sew Inspiring Rooms {Vintage Trailer Lady}

Welcome to

Today we have Stephanie, the Vintage Trailer Lady, here to share her creative space with us!  Stephanie and I met the other day at the fabric store I work at.  She's a reader of A Little Bit Biased and told me she might have a few pictures to share for my Sew Inspiring Rooms series.  A few days later I received her photos.  What a pleasant surprise it was to see such a beautiful room.  Thank you Stephanie for sharing your space with us!

*** 

Hi, I'm Stephanie, and I am so thrilled to share my studio with you. Thank you Amber! This is my favorite room in the house - the place where I spend more time than any other. Come on in! 


There are lots of things I love to do, including scrapbooking, paper crafting, reading and blogging. Quilting and sewing are my favorite, of course. With all my interests, I've tried to fit all my favorite things into one room with space for those people I love most to join me too.  I've taken over a bedroom that's not very big, so I've selected pieces of furniture that will hold lots of supplies, my stash of fabric and all the other fun stuff that goes with it.  My favorite parts of the studio include:

  • The quilted chair by the fun girls at Fibre and Fire
  • The bulletin board is made from a vintage crib spring
  • My desk was built using an old door attached to old table legs
  • Custom mannequin bust from Magda at Nostalgic Corner - some day I will find some beautiful Jewelry to display with her. 
  • Antique store shelves
  • Dress forms (It would appear that I love to make clothing and oh I wish that was true! This dress was my mom's prom dress from the 60's - I love vintage clothing.)
  • The closet full of supplies!

Can you ever have enough supplies?  Apparently not... I need an intervention.


I do like to be organized and use everything for inspiration, hence the reason there aren't any doors on the closet.  You can see my photo albums, scrapbooking supplies and bins of fabric. 
   

The black dresser is also fantastic. It was a damaged piece at an outlet and I think it's my favorite dresser in the house! I use it for my cutting table and layout station. I think this top drawer is supposed to be for jewelry, but it fits embellishments so perfectly. The drawers are great for organizing ribbon, fabric and kits for future projects.


It's a very busy room and filled to the brim with things I love.  It's very girly and since I'm outnumbered as the only girl in the house, others girls are always welcome! So come on over and visit - either in person or I would love to have you visit my blog at vintagetrailerlady.blogspot.com.

***
Stephanie, I am so thrilled you were willing to share your room with us!
Thank you, thank you. 
It is absolutely lovely, unique and inspiring. 
Way to make it perfectly you!

Please feel free to leave Stephanie some comment love below!

And, if YOU think your sewing room is SEW INSPIRING,
and would like to be featured on Sew Inspiring Rooms,
please send photos to adctd2qultng@gmail.com.

Happy Quilting!
Amber

Monday, March 12, 2012

My Little Stash

I'm so desperate to not do my taxes that I'm getting a lot of other things done instead.  Such as, I cleaned my kitchen, vacuumed the downstairs (wood and carpet), started laundry, sent some emails, cleaned off my desk, organized a couple of files (those last two were really in an effort to make doing my taxes easier).  Now I've decided to do a random post for you peeps (since it's been a while)...still trying to avoid doing taxes :)

Anyways.  Today I thought I would show you how a girl like me buys fabrics for her stash.  Here are just a few cuts of fabric that I've bought over the last month or so.  For no apparent reason at all.  Except for the fact that I thought the colors would be good to have in my stash - figuring that I would use them someday. 

Care to see?

[Windham Fabrics.  Prairie Crossing.]

Orange and Brown - I thought these colors would fit nicely into any civil war quilt (not that I do many of those) OR into a vintagy little boy quilt (which is more along the lines of what I thought I would do with them).  Dots and checks.  Good basics.  Would probably look good with navy and dark brown too...Two quarter yard cuts.


[Moda.  Sandy Klop for American Jane]

Green, orange and yellow PEZ fabrics.  To me, these are good basics.  Similar to a polka dot.  Could throw them into any number of quilts as long as they fit the color scheme.  Three - quarter yard cuts. 


[Michael Miller.  Mini Mikes Bunting Scallop.]

Who doesn't love a good bunting?  I fell in love when I saw this unique version of a bunting banner fabric.  So I bought up a half yard.  Thought it would be real cute to throw into a scrappy quilt for my son.


[Moda.  Navy Dot: Reunion by Sweetwater.  Grey: Grow With Me by Deb Strain and daughters Katie and Arrin.]  

Navy and Grey.  Both of these are great basics.  Love them.  Half yard of each.
Wouldn't they be cute with yellow? 


A hot color combo right now if you ask me. 


[Blue Hill Fabrics.  Feedsack II by Sara Morgan.]

Gosh.  I have been loving these 30's reproduction prints for a while now.  I'm so happy I finally bought some up.  A half yard of each to be exact.  For me they could go vintage or modern.  That little bubble dot looks a little bit retro to me.  Love them.


[Riley Blake Designs.  Stars and Stripes.]

A quarter yard cut of each of these red, white and blue fabrics.  A necessity for my Scrap Jar Stars quilt.  They're already almost gone so I feel those were a good purchase.  I especially thought the pinwheel print was fun so I got a 1/3 yd. of that.  However, after some consideration I've decided that the scale of it is not quite right for my stars so I'm not sure where I'll incorporate it just yet...


[Navy Paisley: Riley Blake Designs, Blue Check: no info, Red Numbers: Reunion by Sweetwater for Moda.]

A few more blues and reds for my Scrap Jar Stars quilt.  The red was a 1/8 yd. remnant at 50% off which is better than my employee discount.  Just enough to make a few star points out of.

So here's my philosophy.  If you like it - buy it.  You don't need much.  I usually by anywhere from a 1/4 - 1/2 yard.  I mostly go for color and print.  If you'll notice, most of my fabrics are one or two colors (one color with white as the background for example).  That way I can incorporate them into a million different quilts as long as it has that color in it.  I usually stay away from trendy designs. 

Those are just some of my thoughts for today... 
What kinds of fabrics do YOU buy for your stash???

Guess I'll go change the laundry.  Maybe do some taxes...

Happy Quilting.
Amber