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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

SewDown Nashville Recap

Wow - so much to say, so much to catch up on! I went to Nashville for The Modern Quilt Guild's SewDown the weekend of the 11th - 13th and it was amazing. Nashville is about a 4 hour drive from Atlanta, which made it an easy choice to drive and seriously over-pack the car with my machine and way too much fabric ;-)
The even was held at the Loew's Vanderbilt Hotel, literally across the street from Vanderbilt University (which was gorgeous all abloom). The rooms were lovely and the conference space was ideal for classes and meals.
 All four teachers were A-list and did not disappoint. I felt like I learned something in every class and came home recharged and inspired. Anna Maria Horner's class was based on broderie perse applique (which I was completely unfamiliar with).
Now to get my applique sewn down - seems like a great hand sewing project when we vacation this summer. I went a little off topic with mine but I was quite happy with it anyway.
Victoria Findlay Wolfe taught her "made fabric" techniques and this was class was such a joy - possibly my favorite (although I"m not actually sure I could choose). Three hours passed in the blink of an eye and I could have staying and played in her room ALL day :-)
Victoria's book in case you'd like to try this technique at home, my mini dresden template from E-Z quilting (who gave us great goodie bags with mini templates and pins and thread cutter - came in very handy). Here's my mini dresden composed of my made fabric - I couldn't love it more! So excited to get this finished and turned into a great mini or pillow!
One of he other two teachers was Carolyn Friedlander, who taught us foundation paper piecing using her Aerial Quilt pattern - my block is above. I went ahead and used a Botanics jelly roll - I figured it was a good fit and I love how my block turned out. This was the first paper piecing I've ever done and it makes so much more sense now after seeing someone do it.

Finally the amazing Angela Walters taught free motion quilting and this was the class I was nervous about - I am not a free motion quilter. Like not at all. BUT she is a wonderful teacher and so amazing at what she does that I thoroughly enjoyed the class and really came away feeling like if I practice I'll actually be able to do it. I'd call that success.
There were open sews on Friday and Saturday night and I used fabrics I'd ironed and cut to size at home to make a giant AMH quilt - so happy that I came home with a finished top! These are all 10" squares - many cut from F8's I got from Westwood Acres - she cuts a generous F8 at 10"x22", if you're not shopping with her you should be :-)
Finally check out all these goodies! So many lovely sponsors contributed and I think everyone really appreciated their generosity - I know I did. I could go on and on but I'm trying not to bore you to tears - there are MANY more excellent photos on IG under the #sewdown.

It was an experience that completely exceeded my expectations, and I'm old enough to realize how rare and special that is. My roommate was wonderful, I got to meet bloggy and IG "friends" that I feel like I can now just call friends which is wonderful. It was a talented group participating and organizing and I can't thank The Modern Quilt Guild and in particular Elizabeth Dackson and Jen Carlton-Bailey for their hard work and friendliness - they made it such a special weekend.

It makes me get VERY excited to see what these amazing people put together for QuiltCon next year! And now I'm trying to get back into the swing of regular life - an update on my triangle QAL later this week and maybe, maybe even a finish on Friday ;-) Hope your week is of to a good start - thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A little quilt-as-you-go experiment

So I'm sure many of you have seen Maureen Cracknell's gorgeous QAYG Herringbone quilts, right? If not go check them out on her blog. I've been super curious about how the block would feel when you join the bulk of the batting in the seams so I decided to make a little mug rug this way as a trial.

I cut 4 pieces of batting each 3.5" x 4.5" and then marked my angle on each piece. Then I added my strings just like you would for a regular string block and trimmed off my over hang. You can find Maureen's full tutorial here, which is what I did on a small scale.
Maureen used long rectangles and I was actually curious about using smaller blocks so it could be easier to work on in small chunks, so I used 4 blocks instead of just 2 long rectangles. So I joined my blocks and used Cluck, Cluck, Sew's self binding technique (which I am in love with now for small projects). I only quilted it along the seams as you can see in the photo above.

There is a noticeable ridge along where the seams were joined as I suspected there would be from the bulk of having the batting in the seams. I think it's a completely personal decision whether the bulk bothers you enough to not want to use this method - to me it's noticeable enough that I'm not sure I want a quilt done this way. The biggest knot comes from where all 4 corners meet and if you were using only rectangles that would be avoided.
Still LOVE Maureen's quilts so I haven't ruled it out completely but I'm so happy thatI tried it on something small first so I could make an informed decision. Also makes a pretty cute addition to the craft room ;-)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Triangle QAL :: Piecing the Rows

You guys! I feel so ahead of the curve this week! I got my triangles sewn into rows over the weekend so here it it only Tuesday and I'm already linking up with the Sassy Quilter.
I'm feeling good about starting with a pillow cover which is making this project very manageable. Also happy to be starting with equilateral triangles as they seem way easier to line up and piece. Maybe this will give me the confidence to move on to other size/shape triangles next :-)
So far, so good! Other than my cover turning into a 24" pillow instead of an 18" pillow (evidence of my mad math skills) this has been a completely painless experience. I'm very appreciative of all the tutorials and great tips that the Sassy Quilter has shared - if you're feeling triangle anxiety like I was I'd encourage you to join in and conquer those fears!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Triangle QAL :: Cutting

I spent a little time yesterday cutting my triangles for the quilt-a-long and I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly it went! I had 9 fat quarters and I cut 2 4"x22" strips - my goal is to start small with a pillow cover (or two) before I jump into a quilt. I read both tutorials on the Sassy Quilter blog and decided to use a triangle ruler which made it super easy - I love having the right tool for the job. I know the 60 degree ruler is an investment but honestly if you plan on making more triangle anythings you'll love it (I do anyway).

After cutting all my solids I debated whether to add a couple prints into the mix. I put the question to my IG friends.
This is a Japanese Cocoland print that I bought at Pink Castle Fabrics. I think this print is sold out but search kawaii or Japanese and you'll find tons of adorable stuff Brenda has in stock.
Love the cute, spring-ness of these kitties! And everyone on IG did too - it was a pretty unanimous vote, which made my choice easy. One more 4" strip sub-cut into triangles and I'm done!
Looking forward to sewing these little cuties together next week.

Linking up with the Sassy Quilter for the Triangle QAL.

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Friday, March 28, 2014


Thanks to everyone who entered my bag giveaway - Mr. RNG picked comment 8:

That's a super happy bag! Thanks for a chance to win and congrats on the mile-marker!

I'm emailing Ella with the happy news. I really appreciate everyone who stops by and comments, THANK YOU everyone and here's to another 300 :-)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Triangle Quilt-a-Long

Hi you guys! I'm so excited to join the Triangle QAL that the Sassy Quilter is hosting, triangles are on my list of "sewing goals" for 2014 and this is just the kick I needed to get started. I've always loved the look of triangle quilts of all types but I've been too intimidated to try them.

I'm planning on starting small, with this group of solids, to make a pillow cover. That seems like a completely manageable goal, right?
Then on to my massive goal - turning this gorgeous bundle of Indie half yards into a quilt for our king sized bed! I've been in love with this fabric since it was released and I knew I wanted a quilt for our bedroom - one wall is painted purple and these fabrics will look great in there. I just couldn't decide what pattern I wanted to use. But after seeing the triangle quilt series that Crafty Tiger did on their blog last year I knew it had to be triangles.
Now to dive in and get started! I'm excited and nervous - the way most learning starts out :-) Wish me luck and follow along. You can find all the QAL details on the Sassy Quilter blog right here. Today is the last day to link up your fabric choices and next week is on to cutting. You can also follow along on IG, I'm darcychildress and the group hashtag is #triangleqal.

Today is the last day to enter my bag giveaway - drawing results posted tomorrow morning!
Thanks for stopping by :-)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Happy Monday and a Giveaway!

So last week I had the opportunity to test a new pattern for Schoolhouse Patterns - Granny's Pocketbook - how fun is that? This bag is a great size and a quick and easy sew! Very well-written and photographed instructions, so even if you're new to making bags I feel confident you'll be successful with this pattern. It has an adjustable strap and a large front pocket. Great size if you don't need to carry stuff for little people!
I used all Denyse Schmidt for this bag and I'm thrilled to report that I had *everything* on hand to get it done - no cheating on my fabric diet for this one :-) The photo below gives you an idea of the size it is. You can find this great pattern RIGHT HERE on etsy, available as an instant download.
So to celebrate all I've learned through 300 blog posts and to thank everyone who stops by and leaves comments, I'm giving this great bag away! All you have to do is leave a comment here (make sure I have an email address for you if you're a no reply blogger). I'll leave the comments open until Thursday night and announce the winner on Friday.

Thanks for stopping by!