Circling Gulls Paper Piecing Pattern

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FINISHED! Remember this? I finally finished piecing it!

circling gulls completeFor one of my first designed paper piecing patterns, I’m very happy with it! I love how the gulls are pinwheeling in to fight over the starfish, and as a friend pointed out, the starfish has seen the gulls and is reaching out to flyyyyyyy!  Little does that poor little starfish know that he’s actually going to be lunch and not a flying companion. Then again, maybe it is the starfish’s turn to fly!

photo 2 (2)I’m excited that this pattern pretty much turned out how I had imagined it.  I’m debating the next step for this 12×12″ block.  Should I make it into a pillow? A quilted wall-hanging? Or perhaps tuck it away and aim to make 11+ more of the blocks using up blue, white and orange (or other colors?) scraps along the way. I do think this pattern would look awesome as a full quilt.

What would you do with this block?

This pattern is for sale in my Pattern Shop on Craftsy; go check it out!

Stash Building

One of the occupational hazards of following other sewing blogs is exposure to awesome new (or old) fabrics.  Last week I saw a post about a fellow quilter who found a small square of a gorgeous fabric remnant that she was trying to track down. I’ve been all about black and white fabrics, gray scales, and texts lately and this post was all I needed to bump me out of my fabric buying moratorium briefly enough to get half-yards of a few awesome and soon-to-be out of print fabrics.

20140308-160404.jpgThe Alexander Henry Ghastlie Clover in natural print is what first drew me in, and I wish I could remember which blog I was reading so that I could give proper credit for the inspiration!  To make the most of shipping charges, I also ordered a half yard of Botanics Leaves in Charcoal (Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman Fabrics), and Architextures Field Notes in Black (another Carolyn Friedlander design for Robert Kaufman Fabrics). I’ve been wanting to get some Architextures and Botanics before they go out of print, and I’m glad I finally have a bit in my stash!

20140308-160340.jpgI found all of these 100% cotton fabrics at Fresh Modern Fabric’s Etsy shop.  The fabric came expertly and smoothly folded, gorgeously packaged, and Alice threw in samples of Up, Up and Away and Jewels! This may be a slippery slope…

Waterlogued

Let me tell you about my new favorite iPhone app. I know what you may be thinking: I thought this was a blog about quilting and occasional knitting. What’s this film flam about an app!? This is not just an app. It’s one of the coolest, most artsy apps ever!

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I first discovered Waterlogue when Nancy from graceandpeacequilting (Find her on Instagram) posted a waterlogued picture of her Tula Pink’s City Sampler quilt. I was immediately smitten with the idea of turning my quilts–or other pictures–instantly into watercolors! I don’t usually (ever?) buy apps; I’ve only downloaded free ones. Waterlogue’s $2.99 was an exception.  Without further ado, here are a few of my Waterlogued quilts:

My second ever quilt: the Colorblock Quilt design by Bijou Lovely. I used almost all Kaffe Fassett fabrics with Laura Gunn's Wing Song from the Garden Wall collection for the vertical strip. I made this quilt for my cousin's baby girl Mabel. I love it!
My second ever quilt: the Colorblock Quilt design by Bijou Lovely. I used almost all Kaffe Fassett fabrics with Laura Gunn’s Wing Song from the Garden Wall collection for the vertical strip. I made this quilt for my cousin’s baby girl Mabel. I love it!
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A double wedding ring wall hanging I made for my sister & brother-in-law for their wedding. It was my first time sewing curves and I actually enjoyed it! They both loved the quilt, too. Always a plus!
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This baby quilt was for a dear friend’s baby (as seen!). The quilt was my own design.
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Circling gulls is taking shape! My own design and in-progress pattern looks great as a water color, too, huh?!
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Ahhhh…. Delight in the Little Things!
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Fabric spools as part of the Spool-Along I’ve joined this year. I’ve got some catching up to do!

Don’t you want to turn your quilts into watercolors now, too?! Yeah, I thought so! TOTALLY worth giving up a half a cup of Starbucks coffee to buy the app, wouldn’t you say?

Note: I have NOT been compensated in any way by Waterlogue , I just think the app is extremely fun and creative.  (Although that would be cool—Waterlogue, want to pay me for the good review?) Have fun with it!

Wonky Rainbow

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I’m attempting my first wonky anything in quilting. “Wonky” is a word I rarely heard before getting into the modern quilting world. The first quilting blog I ever followed is Bijou Lovely, and it’s still one of my favorite blogs!  The photography is always stellar with lots of bokeh (narrow focal length resulting in that gorgeous blur around the point of focus), the projects are gorgeous, her tutorials are the best I’ve found, and I’m always on top of the newest fabric lines by following. Holly, the creator of Bijou Lovely, creates a lot of “wonky” quilts.

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The “wonky star” in this awesome wall hanging was the first wonky that really caught my eye. It’s actually a gift quilt made by Holly’s friend Jen at http://mjandco-quilting.blogspot.com/. Click the picture to go to the Bijou Lovely blog post to see more of the little details. Trust me, it’s worth the side trip!

Quilting is traditionally very exact and symmetrical. With “wonky” quilting, elements of the quilt are all a kilter, asymmetrical, or otherwise skewed. There’s a lot of wonky in the modern quilting world. Come to think of it, the project I’m working on may not even be categorized as wonky; it might be more scrappy. I’m still learning this quilting lingo! Whether scrappy or wonky, it’s a bit uncomfortable for me. I like exact. I like precise. I really like symmetrical.

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So far, despite this new-to-me wonk (something with wonk is wonky, right? :)), I like the way this is turning out. I can’t show you more, since I’m testing a pattern for a fellow designer, and the pattern isn’t out yet! Once the pattern is published and I’m cleared to show you, I’ll be sure to show you the finished work. Maybe you’ll be able to tell me whether it’s wonky or scrappy!

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Four-pointed Star Out in the Universe

I received the most exciting comment on my blog today–the gift chocolates have been received, AND the recipient has already made a gorgeous universe quilt using my pattern as an element… well, eight elements!

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“My Who-niverse” created by Leah from Quilted Delights

This gorgeous quilt was created in response to Project Quilting’s week four theme of “Across the Universe”. I think this quilt is a perfect depiction of that theme!  You can visit the Quilted Delights blog to read more about Leah’s thought process and gradual creation of this quilt. I really enjoyed reading about how she combined various patterns and elements to create this well-balanced quilt.

tardis starLook at how cute that star looks next to the Tardis in flight! I’m so thrilled that my pattern is out there in the world… er, universe… and that it was used to create such an awesome quilt!

Fabric Giveaway Friday Link Up

I’m not yet a sponsored blog, so I don’t have a giveaway of my own, but one of the best things about Fridays (other than the fact that it’s FRIDAY!) is the chance to win free fabric.  Here are a couple of great blogs with today’s fabric giveaways.  Good luck, although secretly I hope I win 😉

Maureen Cracknell Handmade

fabric fly giveaway 02292014Today, on the blog Maureen Cracknell Handmade,  Fabric Fly is offering a Fat Quarter bundle of Riley Blakes’s gorgeous new Damask Basics fabric collection!  I really love that these have such a range of color options. They would be a great addition to any fabric stash, OR would make a great quilt alone.

Pile O’ Fabric

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Pile O’Fabric is offering their beautiful blogger bundle of 8 fat quarters from Marmalade Fabrics. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been really into low volume prints lately, and the teal and gold combo in this bundle make me want to create something.

Are there any other blogs that offer Fabric Giveaway Fridays?  Please link to them in the comments!

My Friend, the Seam Ripper

Tonight, finally, my family was healthy enough that I could sneak away for a bit of sewing! It feels like I haven’t sewn in weeks, but of course it probably was only a few days.  I was eager to make a bit of progress on my Circling Gulls.

The third block of circling gulls has been patiently waiting in a state of in-completion.
The third square of circling gulls has been patiently waiting in a state of in-completion.

I jumped in a bit too eagerly, and in my excitement was a bit careless. Which brings me to a paper piecing tip:

When paper piecing using the fabric scrap method, be generous in your cutting to allow for ample coverage, especially when it comes to long narrow triangles.

When you are so excited to be sewing that you forget this tip, or perhaps think “oh, I don’t want to waste fabric; I think it should fit”, be warned: you may become good friends with your seam ripper. Especially with the super short stitch length used in paper piecing, ripping a seam is tedious and time-consuming work.

My friend, the seam ripper.
My friend, the seam ripper.

Despite my progress detour, I was able to finish the third square. Only one more to go before I get to see my block in entirety.  I am really liking how this block is turning out, and the more I look at it and play with it in Inkscape, I think this block would look great as part of a larger quilt.

A night's progress. Only one more square to go!
A night’s progress. Only one more square to go!

Good night!

Four-pointed Star Pattern Published

I’m more than a little excited! I’ve officially published my first paper piecing pattern! I decided that the little four-pointed star I designed as an element for my Delight in the Little Things art quilt would be a great spot to start in my attempts to learn the ways of Inkscape.
cropped-2014-02-05-15-35-212.jpgYou can find the pattern in my Craftsy Pattern Store. Since my original pattern is for a scant 4″ square, I included larger options in the pattern. Those two dollars and fifty cents not only will get you the 4″ paper piecing pattern template, it will also get you a 6″ and 12″ version. Sweet deal!
What’s even slightly more exciting is that I’ve already had one buyer! Little does that buyer know, but she will be receiving a little “Congratulations! You’re my first buyer” gift in the mail.

Be Kind Chocolates

These are delicious chocolates made locally in the town of Belfast, Maine. I can vouch for their deliciousness! Yummm! Hopefully she enjoys the chocolates while creating some awesome starry project. I can’t wait to see what others create with my patterns!

QuiltCon

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As the wife of a computer programmer who has gone to many -Con conferences, I’m intrigued by this relatively new Modern Quilting Conference.  The Modern Quilt Guild just announced next year’s conference, which will be the second one ever held.  As the mom of two little ones, including one who still regularly needs momma-milk, my chances are slim at getting to this conference, but who knows what the future holds, right?

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Did any of you quilters go to the 2013 QuiltCon?  What was it like? Would you recommend it to a newbie quilter just getting out into the world of pattern design and quilt stitching?

Sick Days

With my daughter sick this weekend, and both my son and husband coming down with a bug today, my nighttime sewing time becomes invaluable health-boosting time. As healthy as I feel now, I know that I would be asking for trouble if I stayed up to sew. Instead, I will get all the sleep I can scavenge between sick-tending wakings, and hope I can fend off this bug!

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Today, once my husband confirmed that he was feeling sick too (I’m surrounded!), I made a batch of fresh turmeric ginger tea. Not only is this tea delicious, I immediately feel healthier when I drink it. Psychosomatic or not, I’ll take it!

Fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, organic honey & black pepper. Not shown (but essential!): juice of half a lemon.
Fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, organic honey & black pepper. Not shown (but essential!): juice of half a lemon.

I also made use of my sick boy snuggle time and worked on his vest a bit. I have to create a bit, even on sick days.

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