Friday, April 26, 2013

Around the Block Samplers

 My little quilt group and I meet together once a month.
We've done some fun projects over the last few years but one of my favorites has to have been the Around the Block Samplers we made.
(You can see pictures of mine HERE.)
 
Well this month we all brought our finished samplers to get a group photo.  It was really fun to see the different color schemes and layouts people chose.  Each one says so much about each person's personality.  They're all so different even though they all started with the same 12 blocks.
 
Here's Jacque's quilt. She really went above and beyond with her sashing and pieced border.  She recommends the book, "The Border Workbook" by Janet Kime to help you determine the size blocks needed to make a pieced border.
I definitely want to get this book!


 
(Jacque also brought this quilt for show 'n tell.  It's not a sampler but I have to throw this picture in anyways! It's my Mod Medallions pattern that she finished up recently.  She did a fantastic job.  I love her fabrics and all the fussy cutting she did for the medallions!)

 
Here's Vicki's sampler.  She had only made a couple quilts before this one and she definitely decided to "go big" on this one.  She made waaay more blocks then what the rest of us had planned on doing and probably finished it before any of us.  She is a go-getter for sure!

 
Robin's quilt turned out gorgeous.  She made extra blocks too and set them all on point.  Robin had only made a couple other quilts before this, as well, and she really out did herself. 


Barbara came up with a unique layout for her blocks, leaving room for some custom feather quilting in the lighter colored spots. I think her fabric choices made for a really striking quilt.   


 We had some good laughs taking this picture (telling each other to "say cheese!")  We're easily amused.



Left to right: Barbara, Vicki, Me, Robin and Jacque.
 
I have a fun time with these ladies and hope there are many more projects like this in the years to come!  I hope you too, have some fun quilting friends that inspire you to stretch yourself.  If not in your own community then here in Blogland!
 
Happy quilting!
~ Amber
 
 


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Quilty things that make me happy...


Do you ever sit down at the end of a day wondering what the heck you did all day?  Well, yesterday was one of those kind of days.  I spent waaay too much time taking pictures of things I love and editing them on PicMonkey (a new photo editing site I stumbled across the other day). Neither of those things were on my list of "things to do" but it was fun and fun is good :)



In order to take some decent pictures though, I had to do some rearranging of some of my "stuff".  Don'tcha just love your "stuff"?  I love my "stuff".  I know it's not good to love "stuff" but it kinda just makes me happy and I thought I'd share some of my favorite quilty "stuff" with you today...

Matching pennant banners that my daughter and I made a while ago.
(During one of her mini sewing lessons.  I say "mini" because she only lasts about 5 minutes before she's bored.  Believe me, I'm treasuring the moments...)


Selvages.  For a someday project...


 This sewing bird clamp was a gift given to me by a non-quilty friend.  It was probably the most sweetest, thoughtful gift anyone has ever given to me.  Completely out of the blue.  And perfectly lovely.


My somewhat new Ikea cabinets.
Organizing always feels good...


I like quilts and I like stacks of quilts.


A small collection of old wooden spools...


A sturdy, level place for cutting...
Thank you Martha Stewart and Home Depot :)


So these are some of the things I'm especially grateful for right now.
What about you?  What are some of your favorite quilty treasures?

~ Amber
 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Sweet Sugar Swirls {Finished}

Gosh.  It's been a while, eh?  Sorry I've been a little M.I.A. lately.
It's Spring Breaks' fault.  We headed down south to sunny, St. George (Utah) for some wonderful R & R that our family definitely needed.

But, I learned something about myself while on that trip.  I learned that I actually don't do good with too much R & R.  So the minute we got back home I got right back into finishing two quilts and starting about 5 more!

Speaking of which, I've got one that I'd love to share with you today.  This project has been in the works for a few years so I am really happy to say she's finally finished!!!  Yay!!!  It was seriously touch and go there for a while :)

So this quilt has a story behind it.  
It all started with a contest.  Joanna (over at Fig Tree Quilts) was having a contest to see who could come up with the best name for one of her patterns.  I won (or at least was one of the winners).  I honestly can't remember which pattern it was that I helped to name though.  Like I said ~ it was years ago.  But as the prize, she sent me some patterns and a cute little Patisserie Honey Bun (remember those pre-cuts that Moda use to sell? Like a Jelly Roll - but smaller 1-1/2" strips).  I bought some additional fabric to make this Sweet Sugar Swirls pattern and then the kit sat.  And sat.  And sat.  I sold other kits that I had accumulated but I couldn't bear to see this one go.  I loved the fabric and the pattern so much that I hung onto it for years.  I worked on it once or twice but just couldn't seem to make any headway on it.  Until the quilt retreat I went on a couple of months ago.  I was able to get the top finished there and then quickly got it quilted.  I got the binding finished last weekend and did a little photo shoot yesterday.  Care to see some pics?   


You can see the back (mostly a solid cream fabric with a few leftover printed strips pieced in the middle) and some of the quilting here.  Can I just say that I LOVE the quilting on this?!?  Linda Childs at Just Sew quilted it for me and did a fantastic job!  Just perfect for my taste!


Oh.  I also HAVE to mention that while I was working on this at the quilting retreat, I called it my "Don't Look Close" quilt.  I was having a horrendous time getting my blocks to lay flat!  I tried so hard to make sure that all my points matched up nicely but the centers of most of the blocks kept poufing up!  I was stressing big-time but figured it had something to do with all those bias edged pieces.  I was really quite embarrassed that that was happening so I told everyone that it was my "Don't Look Close" quilt.  I asked around as to what I should do and a few people told me to just starch the heck out of my blocks.  So I did.  It seemed to work.  And then the quilting helped to fix the rest.  I honestly can't tell that there was any kind of poufing problem to begin with.


Isn't this a cute little gate?  It's in my neighbors yard.  
So welcoming, I think (especially with a quilt hanging over it!:)




Well, since it took me so long to finish this quilt, Patisserie fabric had come and gone.  I couldn't find any more of it for the binding.  But lucky for me, Avalon arrived in stores right before Spring Break so I picked up some of this cute little red polka dot print.  It wasn't a perfect match to Patisserie's red but I thought it was a close second choice.  As you might be able to tell from some of the pictures, there are a couple different reds in this quilt so I think it works.


I'm so glad Sweet Sugar Swirls is finally done.  It's actually one of my favorites, I think.  It's a beautiful design.  And really wasn't that hard once I got going on it (just wish I could have done something to avoid that poufing problem though).  But seriously, that Joanna ~ she sure is genius.


Happy quilting!
~ Amber