Do you remember a few months ago (less than 4, to be exact), when my quilting friends Stephanie and Michelle and I decided to launch a new Facebook community for fellow late night quilters, since we were getting so much out of our own nightly conversations? Late Night Quilters Club (LNQC) was born of necessity by midnight oil-burning moms who sew to maintain sanity, and desperately wanted to connect with others in the same position. We knew that there were many others doing red-eyed stitching as silently as possible while little ones (and maybe hubbies) sleep, as well as those sewing at night out of habit or necessity unrelated to little ones, but we had no idea the community would take off the way it has.
Yesterday, Late Night Quilters Club reached a giant milestone: 1,000 members!! The group has been a wonderfully supportive, drama-free, inspiration-generating group thus far and we are thrilled to be the creators. Since its inception, our club has added Stash Swap Tuesdays and Flaunt it Fridays (when members have a chance to toot their own small-business horns), and administration has grown to include Mandy Leins, who has been a most invaluable addition. We four are excited to see where the next few months or years take us!
To celebrate reaching 1,000 members, we admins are hosting five days of giveaways, starting today! This weekend, Stephanie is giving away 3 yards of the brand new Mint Condition collection by Jackie for Camelot Fabric. Leave a comment on her post on the LNQC Facebook page to be entered.
Here’s a sneak peek at what I will be giving away on Monday:
It’s a fabric bundle including half-yards of Migratory Lace Aquatic and Coordinates Plum from Anna Maria Horner’s Field Study Collection and fat quarters of Cross Square in Red, Bleeding Hearts in Red, and Ladder Dot in Fuschia from Denyse Schmidt’s Chicopee Collection.
Here’s your chance to build your stash. If you aren’t yet a member of Late Night Quilters Club, just click here to request membership. Enter Stephanie’s giveaway, enjoy the inspiration and advice given by the other members, share your projects and questions, and stay tuned for my giveaway on Monday.
Since it’s Sunday and this is a good chance for you to build your stash, I’m linking up with Molli’s Sunday Stash. ps. You don’t have to be a momma to join Late Night Quilters Club! You don’t even have to sew at night. Just bring your quilting, stitching, cutting, seam-ripping, sparkling (?) goodness!
The past few months I have been getting to know a great group of new quilting bloggers, making new friends, fine tuning my blog, and learning a ton about quilting and blogging, as part of the 2014 New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop organized by Beth at Plum and June. Today it’s my day to tell you a bit about myself and my journey into quilting.
Tell us a little about yourself.
When I think about what defines me, “mom” is the absolute first word that arises. I’m a full time mom of two little ones, and to say my life is filled with that blessed duty is an understatement. I also have a degree in environmental science and a master’s degree in elementary education. I’ve worked as a lifeguard, an environmental scientist–wetland and land use specialist, an elementary school teacher, and a yoga teacher. I grew up in New Jersey, but now live in rural Maine and love it. I also love to garden to grow my own organic food, enjoy nature, practice yoga, and of course craft! I have always been crafty, and have dabbled in card making, scrap-booking, jewelry making, mosaic, polymer clay, painting, and more, but only recently found the fiber arts. Now my crafts of choice are quilting and knitting.
How did you begin quilting?
There are a few catalysts that propelled me toward quilting, from my lifelong sewist mother, a gift of a simple squares quilt gifted by my talented cousin Hannah, and of course my expert quilter grammy. Shortly after having my son, when I had a gift-quilt only half finished, I discovered that sewing 20 minutes at a time could result in finished projects. This was a revelation for me, and thus began the Night Quilter: I grab a needle and thread when the kids are in bed.
Show us some of your favorite finished quilts.
Click on the name of each quilt to visit its relevant blog post (when there is one). If there is more than one relevant blog post, I will link them all at the end.
Delight in the Little Thingsis a 12×12″ art quilt I made as a donation for a local Art Auction to benefit a couple faced with an expensive illness. It was inspired by a Facebook group called 12x12s with Cosmo and Cook, where a word is given each month and the goal is to create a 12×12″ art quilt inspired by that word. The word for December, my first month involved, was “Delight”. “Delight in the little things” immediately came to mind, and so I figured I’d make my art quilt out of 1″ squares (little!), featuring a tiny paper pieced sunburst star and a dandelion seed applique. I love the outcome, especially the yellow bits in the binding. For this quilt, it was my first time creating an art quilt, my first time making anything out of 1″ squares, I designed my first paper piecing pattern for the star, and it was one of my first times free motion quilting.
Rainbow Hugs & Kisses is the result of a test run of a paper piecing pattern called Oops, I Scrapped My Pants by ShannonMac Designs. I offered to test her pattern for her, but wanted to make something bright and modern. I am all about rainbow gradient, so that was an obvious add. The black and white stripey binding makes this one of my favorites, and it hangs happily on my craft room pegboard. The pattern is free in Shannon’s Craftsy shop, and it includes a tutorial on the freezer paper method of paper piecing, in case you’d like to make your own.
Lillian’s Baby Quilt is one of the quilts of which I’m most proud. It’s one of the largest quilts I’ve made so far at about 58×58″, I designed the outermost border including the heart corner stones, and I kind of went crazy free motion quilting it. It was my first large-scale free motion quilting foray and I dove in head first. I even FMQed alphabetical baby-related words around the outermost white border.
There are many blog posts outlining my process and featuring better photographs of the free motion quilting, here, here, here, and here.
I’ve also been designing paper piecing patterns. I tend to gravitate toward more modern quilts, yet I also love paper piecing. Go figure. Here are some of my latest paper piecing patterns:
Finally, I’ve posted my very first tutorial on Basic Foundation Paper Piecing. I’m working on a series to outline what next–now that you’ve made a paper pieced block, what can you do with it? Stay tuned!
To finish off my post, here are some tips and fun facts:
Blogging tip: Take great photographs. The aesthetic pull of an artistically arranged and naturally lit photo is STRONG. Learn to use the manual setting on your camera (try P) and wait for the right lighting. It makes a world of difference!
Quilting tip: Pressing seams open helps improve accuracy of piecing, and helps make matching seams a breeze. Also, when trying to match seams, pin right after the seam. This creates the least torque and at least in my experience, the most consistently matched seams.
Question for you: Who is your favorite fabric or quilt designer, and why? I have my top favorites, but I’d love to expand and see whose fabric you just can’t live without!
Fun facts: Dream vacation spot: Galapagos Islands Favorite book: tough question! My Side of the Mountain, 1984, or The Housekeeper and the Professor Favorite movie: Overboard, or Pride and Prejudice, the Colin Firth version Favorite TV show: I don’t have a TV, but I’ve been sucked into Downton Abbey on Netflix! Random bits:
After each blog post or email I write, I go back and take out 2/3 of the exclamation points and all of the :). I’m a happy, excited person but even I get annoyed when I read something with a gabillion !!!!!!
I hate olives. I try them every year to see if I like them yet, but I still hate them.
I was a competitive swimmer through high school and college. If you start talking swimming, I’ll talk for hours.
Now that you know more than you ever wished to know about me, go check out these other great bloggers involved in the hop. Have fun!
We’ve been having a lot of fun over in the Late Night Quilters Club on Facebook, the group I started with Stephanie and her friend Michelle a few weeks ago. Tomorrow that fun is about to go up a few notches. If you haven’t joined our group yet, now would be a good time to do so!
Tomorrow kicks off a brand new weekly event–Tuesday Fabric Stash Swap! We decided to keep it at swapping rather than buying and selling, and it will be a great way for all of us to destash the fabrics we’ve loved but that haven’t found their way to any projects, while at the same time swapping for new-to-us fabrics to help bolster our stashes. The swap is also open to quilting tools and notions. I am super excited!
I’ve fairly recently entered the quilting world, and my SAHM budget doesn’t allow any major fabric splurges, so my stash is teeny tiny. Even still, I have a few fabrics I bought with the intention to use, but that just haven’t found their way into any of my projects. I figure it’s a good time to pass them along and see what else comes my way.
The swap goes live tomorrow, but here’s a sneak peek at what I’ll be offering to swap:
Chevrons and Dots
“Mixxoni” by Greta Lynn for Kanvas Studios in association with Bernatex: 1/2yd
Remix by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman, Bermuda Chevron: 18″x21″ (a hair shy of a fat quarter)
Remix by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman, Bright Chevron: 13″x20″
Remix by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman, Spring Dots: 10″x44″
I’ve tried to love chevrons, really I have. I know they are all the craze in the modern quilting world, and I do like large chevron patterned quilts, sometimes. I bought these chevrons thinking that one day they would just hop successfully into a project, but lo… here they still sit, lonely as ever. I know that many quilters love chevrons, so I hope that they find a happy new home.
Watermelon Scrap Pack
Remix by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman, Summer (Yellow dots): 22″x25″
Remix by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman, Bright (Pink dots): 21″x14″
Remix by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman, Garden Chevron: 1/2 yard
These fabrics are super cute, and despite the chevron I kinda love them. They would make a really cute watermelon table topper or other summery kitchen decor. I would hold on to them, but my list of works-in-progress is long enough as it is, so I’m letting go. Let it go, let it go! Can’t hold it back any more! (sorry, I have toddlers)
Sis Boom Basics by Jennifer Paganelli for Free Spirit, Westminster Fibers, Eliza Stripe (Yellow): 1/2 yard
Sis Boom Basics by Jennifer Paganelli for Free Spirit, Westminster Fibers, Eliza Stripe (Green): 1/2 yard
Richloom Odilon Twill, Jewel: 1/2 yard
When I first started quilting, I joined up with the Spool Along hosted by Laura at Adventures of a Quilting Diva. Since I had next-to-no striped fabric with which to make my spools of thread, I went a bit crazy and bought way more than I needed some. I’ve since realized that the fabric doesn’t have to be striped to make a good spool, and I’ve decided to downsize my stripes a bit. So here you go!
Today is one of those days where I feel like I have a million things “in progress”. I promise I won’t spill my entire brain’s to-do list for you (that would be messy), but here are some of the top projects I have in progress at the moment:
About a week ago, my new quilting friend Stephanie and her local quilter friend Michelle and I decided to launch a new Facebook community for fellow late night quilters, since we were getting so much out of our own nightly conversations. It started as a page, but the interest and content was so fabulous after only a day, that when new members requested that we make it a private group, we knew it was the right path. This way, it allows for easier communication and better sharing of pictures and ideas. Facebook “pages” aren’t as conducive to posts by many different people in a community as “groups” are. So we made the change, and the group is hoppin’!
We want you to join us there. Your posts will be front and center so you can get lots of feedback from fellow quilters. You can network, ask questions, share advice, share your own works in progress, or even just be a wallflower looking for inspiration.
How is this a work in progress, you may ask? Well, we have a lot of great ideas still in the works, including the creation of a button you can include on your blog, creating a weekly fabric swap so that you can buy, sell, and trade fabric on the page, and more! If you’re on Facebook, would you please give us a little love and take a second to join the group (Steph, Michelle and I are accepting requests as fast as we can), share it with your quilting friends, and perhaps post some of your projects? We’d all love to see what YOU’re working on!
Supernova Friendship Block Swap: Block 1
I have completed my first block for the Supernova Friendship Block Swap, and I love it! I still need to make a duplicate for myself, but I figured I may as well stay ahead and start writing my first letter to my partner Laura. The aspect of the swap that really drew me in at the start is the friendship-making in the process. Each month, I will send not only an awesome 18″ supernova quilt block to Laura, but I’ll also write her a letter about myself. I’ve decided to type most of the letters since I have an awesome typewriter and may as well use it.
Besides, how awesome would it be to receive a typed letter in the mail?! I hope Laura agrees.
I think that the swap is partially supposed to be a surprise each month, and I’ve already blown the surprise this month anyway with my tweeting and Instagramming, so I figure a semi-secretive peek at my block is okay. In future months, I promise to only post pictures AFTER Laura has received her blocks! This is going to be fun!
My final work in progress has been a fun little “extra”. My Star Crazy quilt is the first pattern I’ve used that results in many, somewhat large, already cool-looking scraps. I have been having a lot of fun playing around with different possibilities for the scraps.
I think I have decided to make them into a set of place mats, but I think I will wait until the quilt is finished to make sure I have enough pieces to make a sufficient number of coordinating place mats. The alternative, of course is to use them on the back of the quilt. Either way, it has been fun discovering all of the wonderful arrangements possible with half-square triangles (HST).
It has been a busy week!
What do you do with your HST scraps? Do you have a favorite arrangement?