Monday, January 28, 2013

Got Fat Quarters? - Fabric Giveaway

Are you like me?  Have you been saving a fat quarter bundle, a jelly roll, or a charm pack for just the right project?  Do you shudder at the thought of breaking up the perfectly coordinated, full collection perfection of your pre-cuts?

Take heart and read on.

Last week I posted about Quilters Newsletter's latest special issue, Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2012 (see Got Fat Quarters? below).

Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2012 is full of patterns for beautiful projects, including my In the Garden lap quilt and Charmed pillow, that are sure to convince you that it's finally time to cut into your pre-cuts.

In the Garden

I promised to show a picture of a table quilt version of Charmed.  And here it is -- quilted, bound, finished:

Look close.  Look closer.  Recognize the fabric?  It's confession time.  This little quilt is made from a charm pack of Kansas Troubles' Bound to the Prairie fabric that I bought in Ohio 6 years ago!  That is world class hoarding.  I LOVED this fabric and could never decide how to use it.  The longer I waited, the worse it got because I knew I could never buy more if it.  Every few months, I would take out the charm pack, fan out the fabrics and imagine the possibilities, but I could never commit.  I must have designed a dozen options for this charm pack before I finally broke down over the summer and pieced this little quilt.  And let me tell you, cutting that first square was rough -- made only slightly easier by the fact that Moda actually re-released some of the Bound to the Prairie fabrics in their KT Favorites collection (wait long enough and everything comes back into style!).

But look at it now!  The charm pack fabrics are just as lovely in smaller pieces and they look much better on my table than they ever did in the closet.

Now it's your turn.  Be brave!  Pull out your pre-cuts and take the plunge!

And yes, I did mention a fabric giveaway in the title of this post -- here goes:  Quilters Newsletter is promoting Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2012 by giving away fabric every day this week.  Check out the QN blog each day and leave a comment to enter your name in the drawings.  Hope you win!  Just don't wait 6 years to use the fabric!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Got Fat Quarters?

For Christmas last year, my mom gave me a fat quarter bundle of Lynette Anderson's Secret Garden fabric.  Gorgeous fabric.  The kind of fabric that you just want to display and never use because you are afraid of making a mistake and wasting it.  Here's a picture of the fabric bundle:

See what I mean -- perfect just as it is.  Blues and greens, plums, browns and creams; all with adorable flowers, bugs, and beehives.  Yummy!  Needless to say, I let the fabric sit on my sewing table for months before I finally got up the nerve to cut into it.  But I'm so glad I did, because the end result, a lap quilt called In the Garden, is one of my favorite quilts I've ever made.

Here's a picture of the quilt top draped on our deck railing:

I wanted to stay with the garden theme of the fabrics so I decided to use a triple Irish chain as lattice work with two different "flower" blocks peeking through.  Here's a picture of the finished quilt:

You can find the pattern for In the Garden in Quilters Newsletter's latest special issue, Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2012, on newsstands now or available through the Quilt and Sew Shop.  

The pattern is probably more appropriate for an intermediate quilter because there is quite a bit of piecing -- I love piecing -- but it could be simplified by substituting a standard border(s) for the pieced border and it would still be lovely.

Want to try something a little faster?  Grab your favorite charm pack and check out page 40 of Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2012:

Charmed is a 20" x 20" pillow that's fun and easy to make.  Here's a picture of it in my favorite chair:

I turned this little quilt into a pillow (no quilting required!), but I liked the pattern so much that I'm actually making another to use as a small table quilt.  I'll post a picture of it when I'm finished.

Happy quilting!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

Phew!  Made it through the marathon of the holidays and back to reality.  It's January 2nd and normally I'd be discussing my new year's resolutions in the hope that committing to them publicly would force me to see them through.  I floated my idea of a single resolution to "do better" to my sister thinking she would be impressed with its cleverness and simplicity.  Instead she informed me that it was a vague and non-committal resolution and clearly not destined for success.  So now it's back to the drawing board.

In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to do a little show and tell of the handmade gifts that my mother, sister, daughter, and I exchanged for Christmas. 

First up is the beautiful cathedral window pillow that my mother made for me.

Isn't it pretty!  My mom is sooo good at cathedral windows.  Once upon a time she tried to teach me how to make a cathedral window wall hanging, but sadly I didn't inherit the gene and my attempt is packed away in a closet. 

Here's the gift that my sister made for me...

It's a crocheted infinity scarf!  You loop it around your neck twice and it keeps you cozy and warm.  I love the puff stitch that she used and believe it or not, this is her first real attempt at crocheting!  Poor thing gave herself carpal tunnel syndrome crocheting one for me and one for my mom.  That's love.

My daughter made this adorable wool applique wall hanging for me...

I just love that the snowmen don't have any features except for their noses and how she tacked the scarves down with a sweet "x" stitch.  When I opened the gift my daughter said, "Aren't you proud of me -- I used real binding!"  I have to say that I got a little choked up.  Could it be that someday she may become a quilter after all??

Finally, here's a shot of the gift that I made for both my sister and my mom.  I found this adorable pattern in the current issue of Primitive Quilts & Projects magazine.  The "Slim the Snowman" pattern was designed by Rhonda McCray of Farmhouse Threads. 
This is my sister's snowman.  She loves the primitive look, so I used weaver's cloth for the snowman, denim for the background, and a plaid wool for the scarf. 
Here's a close-up of his face...

Definitely plan on making one of these for my house too!

I'd include a picture of the pecan pie that I made for my dad, or the death by chocolate trifle that I made for my brother-in-law, or the cinnamon-raisin bread that my sister made for my husband, but sadly they are no more.

And now I'm off to come up with some better new year's resolutions.  Happy New Year!