Tag Archives: preparation

Slow Stitching for Summertime

Ahh! Summer is upon us! My daughter has mere days left of school before summer break is officially here! That means all three kids home all day, every day, which in turn means time to take lots of day trip adventures! Summer also means lots more opportunity for slow stitching, and a need to have some hand stitching available at all times. We all know that the day I forget my handwork will be the day all three kids somehow fall asleep in the car on the way to some adventure!

hand stitching epp preparation carolyn friedlander modern hexiesMy portable hand stitching kit this summer consists primarily of English Paper Piecing (EPP) hexies and some experimental embroidery-quilting projects.

After a lull in my Carolyn Friedlander modern hexies project progress, I’m ready to pick it up again and baste more hexies! While 2 1/2″ squares work just fine for EPP hexagons, I really enjoy the neatness that starting with a hexagon of fabric provides.

sizzix fabi die cutting hexagons for epp
Nine (9) charm squares lined up on top of the Sizzix 1 1/2″ hexagon die. Pass it through….
sizzix fabi die cutting hexagons for epp
Viola – 18 hexagons ready for basting

This is another time when the Sizzix die cutting machine comes in handy. It doesn’t take long to cut a whole bunch of fabric and cardstock hexagons for slow stitching on the go. I use the BigZ Hexagons with 1 1/2″ sides die to cut fabric and BigZ Hexagons with 1″ sides die to cut cardstock hexies and I’m ready to roll.

sizzix fabi die cutting hexagons for eppA lovely stack of fabric hexagons ready to baste. I need to cut a few more cardstock templates, but this will do for now!

embroidery quiltingI am also continuing to add embroidery quilting to my Rainbow Hex Star mini, as well planning a couple small embroidery quilting experimental projects. My goal is to find a way to get the back to look as neat as the front. Practice, right?

slow stitching retreat a gathering of stitches maine alison glass chawne kimberSlow stitching on the go is not the only slow stitching I’m looking forward to this summer! I’m also officially registered for the Slow Stitching Retreat hosted by Sam at A Gathering of Stitches this August. I can’t wait to slow down and sew with Sam, Chawne Kimber, and Alison Glass. I’m doubly excited since I will also be leading yoga on the retreat! Just imagine… slowing down, breathing deeply, stretching out, learning from amazingly talented and inspirational quilters, and slowly stitching in the sun, rocking on the rocking chairs out on the porch in the calm, cool woods of Maine. You can read about my experience dropping in on a day of this retreat last summer HERE. I am very much looking forward to spending the full four days rejuvenating my soul with some slow stitching in inspired creative company. Are you coming!? I sure hope so!

What are your summer stitching plans?

T Minus 16 Days Until QuiltCon!

In my early planning phases for QuiltCon, I didn’t realize how much preparation would go into the trip. Now that February is actually here, reality is hitting. I initially mentally blocked off February as “QuiltCon Prep” thinking it would mostly involve creating and ordering business cards, making a cool bag, and psyching myself up for my first public quilt-world appearance.


I’m registered for two awesome workshops at QuiltCon–Playing with Value with Cheryl Arkison and Off the Grid: Creating Alternate Layouts with Lee Heinrich–not to mention lectures by Carolyn Friedlander, Heather Jones, and Meg Cox, which means that my first quilt conference experience is sure to be amazing, but also that I have a lot of work to do before I head to Austin! So far, I’ve narrowed my QuiltCon to-do list down to:

  • Order pin-back buttons
  • Download QuiltCon app
  • Prep for classes
    Buy fabric for Alternate Grid
    -Make blocks
    -Cut scraps for Playing with Value
  • Make Super Tote
  • Make quilted belt for QuiltCon AlterEgo
  • Order business cards
  • Make Noodle-head pouch for holding buttons
  • Buy a new moleskin notebook & micron pens
  • Make a lanyard?
  • Make a list of people to meet (let me know if you’re going and want to me added to my “stalk until I meet them” list!)

As you can see, I’ve crossed a couple things off my list but still have quite a bit to do. For Lee’s Off the Grid workshop, we need to take 5-20 premade quilt blocks in addition to other bits of fabric for sashing and background. I’m wicked excited (pardon my Northeast terminology there), and really want to create something fabulous. I also don’t really have any stray blocks hanging around (a side effect of being a newbie quilter?) which meant one thing: new project!

To put my mind a bit at ease, I snuck in a stop at my local quilt shop (LQS) Fiddlehead Artisan Supply before today’s big snowstorm got going and picked up some half-yards in my color palette of choice.

fabric for quiltcon

I’m planning to work out of my white and grey background comfort zone and go with a navy blue background and negative space with these gorgeous pops of color. I probably will add more turquoise and perhaps a bit of light grey as some low volume additions, but I’m going to shop my stash as much as possible for those. I have not yet decided on a block design, although I’m leaning toward making five or more different blocks with this similar color scheme. If you have a favorite block you would suggest, I’m definitely still open to ideas!

fabric and noodlehead super tote pattern
from L to R: Alison Glass Sun Print Bike Path in Magenta, Joel Dewberry Bungalow Swallow Study in Lavender, American Jane Pindots in Leaf Green, Alison Glass Sun Print Bike Path in Leaf Green, Cotton and Steel Basics, XOXO in Dandelion, Super Tote pattern by Noodle-head; bottom: FQ of unknown teal thready fabric

I also want to make a Super Tote for carrying all of my crap precious supplies around QuiltCon, so I picked up the pattern while at Fiddlehead. Now that I have the pattern, I can begin to wrap my head around what will be involved in making it. I have not yet decided on what fabric I will use for the bag, but I’m going to try to shop my stash as much as possible for that, too. I want to have a little budget left for shopping at QuiltCon.

What am I missing? Are you going to QuiltCon? Any tips for a first-timer?