Thursday, March 23, 2017

awesome: what it is and what it isn't

If you are this particular 8th grader and this is your retainer, this is not awesome.
Our kids are living in such a digital age...this student asked me to take and picture and text it to his mom so she could get an appointment right away (and maybe give her time to cool down before he got to the car?).
Having an autoimmune flare? NOT awesome...the beginning of the week was tough stuff for me this week...and truth be told, for those around me. 

but the good always outweighs the bad...
AWESOME is all around us. 

Hot coffee in the most perfect mug (from one of my favorite friends) is totes awesome.

Cutting out a new quilt in the most perfect fabric? AWESOME!

Coming in to work and seeing love notes from students and coworkers that I share my desk with? Also, very awesome. 

Getting excited about having all quilt squares trimmed up and loving the color and pattern combinations? Yep. Awesome.

Taking Yoga and PiYo with a friend during times when my kids have swim practice? Awesome.
Not being as sore as I used to be after class? REALLY, REALLY AWESOME!

Getting the quilt blocks lined up and having your points meet? SO VERY AWESOME!

Getting to eat out in the middle of the week with my wonderful in-laws?
Curious though...are you "pro-steak fry" or "anti-steak fry"?

While looking for witty memes to use in this post, I found the most awesome cartoons of thyroids...these are really adorable.
Today I woke up feeling pretty human, there is a weekend around the corner, and I am counting on getting some sewing room time in this Sunday...all very awesome...

What is AWESOME in your life today?
-and seriously, steak fries...awesome or meh?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

These are a few of my favorite things...

505 Basting spray 

I cannot imagine quilting without this item! 
You can pin baste (and I have. it was a disaster) but this spray is a miracle to me. 
I am not brand-specific about many things but I am loyal to this.

Sew it, Love it fabric collection from my friend Tiffany at Curly Girl is so beautiful in person, this picture doesn't do it justice. Her cutting is so precise that it makes piecing your quilt a dream!

Dutch Tulip Quilt pattern...this was so much fun to stitch up. I opted for a table runner and plan to make a few more in a variety of scraps. An easy pattern with such an impact. I gave this one away, but plan to add a few to the shop when I can find the time.

It's been out for years, but we re-watched "Gnomeo and Juliet" the other night. Oh gosh, it is so cute. All Elton John music and a lot of sass. I am not a big movie person but I love this one.

Fabric bundles from Chelsey of Yellow Yarn for me, one for you! You DID enter, right?
Go back a blog entry and do so...time is ticking!

Gluten free graham cracker pie crust. 
Going gluten free after an autoimmune diagnosis last year has not always been easy. I miss sugar cookies and being able to freely eat what I like, but being able to have pie for dessert helps. I've been making pudding, filling, and topping with whipped cream for an easy Sunday Dinner dessert.

Culcita Boxes...I am hooked!
Remember when Birch Box first started and you could get samples sent to you each month? My sweet friend Chris gave me a subscription last year for my birthday and I looked forward to the mail each month, wondering what was going to be in the box. These boxes, from Culcita, are like that for quilters. They come with a series of fat quarters, a quilt pattern, and the cutest fortune cookies! You can get them monthly or quarterly, with fat quarters or half yards! 
This month, Culcita sent me the new line from Art Gallery Fabrics (touch with WILL fall in love with their silky cottons) is very modern and I have the perfect quilt in mind. 
I can't start yet or that will be project 5 in progress...that's a little much even for me.

Aren't these note cards cute?! I've been quilting so much lately that when I saw them, I thought instantly of half square triangles. 
I got a set to keep at school to use as quick thank you notes for when students bring me treats. I have the world's best students and parents and I get treated to coffees, candies, and flowers often and I hope they always know how much they mean to me.

I've been drooling over the fabric line, "Sleeping Porch" by Heather Ross since BEFORE it was out for sale. Her fabrics are quirky and fun but still have a classiness to them, thanks to the florals. This bundle was sent to me from Jones and Vandermeer, which is a great shopping destination for craft supplies. They are having a spring sale right now...use the code spring10 for 10% off almost everything....they carry Liberty of London, which will make you swoon. 

Are you still there or did I bore you with my sewing nerdiness? I do have other interests you know besides quilting and pie. 
Batiste dry shampoo smells amazing! I use it to make my blow dry mornings last two days instead of washing my hair every day. This is also great for giving hair a little more volume. I use the blonde version, though I don't really notice  difference between this one and the plain. 

Red Dahlia chapstick from Burt's Bees is my lipstick. I use it daily, all day for a little bit of color. It is my favorite shade and if they stop making it, I will cry. I toss when in the cart almost every time I am at Target and have one stashed everywhere (car, purse, school bag, junk drawer, sewing room, classroom, bathroom drawer, make-up bag). 

I am sure that I included this in a favorite thing collage before. Guess what? It still is my mascara of choice. I still buy other brands and try them out and I always come back to this one. 
One time, I was at Target (probably buying more chapstick) and the lady ringing me up told me I have nice false lashes. Thanks? 

These are products that I happen to love. I am not getting paid to give my opinions. Some of the fabric vendors that I have introduced you to have sent me product to test out but I wouldn't show them to you if I didn't truly love them!

xoxo KD

Monday, March 20, 2017

Cake Mix

I am a self-taught sewer (sewist?) and quilter. Thankfully, when I need help, inspiration, or am stuck I can turn to sewing blog and YouTube videos. Quilting has so many techniques or varieties of quilting; paper piecing, hand quilting, long arm quilting, free motion quilting, strip piecing, etc. 
One of the new-to-me techniques is triangle paper. This is paper that you sew on top of and then cut into the perfect shapes that will make up your quilt squares. One take on triangle paper are these cake mixes. These arrive like large pads of paper. You place two fabrics that are 10" x 10" facing each other, lay a piece of paper on top, and sew through it. Then, you simply follow the cutting lines and have perfectly joined half-square triangles.

Fat Quarter Shop sent me this set of "recipe cards" to try out. I decided to use up some of my favorite fabrics that I've loved and hoarded but didn't have a lot left of to use in bigger projects. You can also purchase a layer cake from Fat Quarter Shop that will come pre-cut and coordinate (this is a layer cake that I have my eye on...)
These fabrics are from several different lines and designers but I love each and every one of them. Though I wouldn't normally put them together, I was impatient to get started and decided to make it work. 

Here is a square of two pieces of fabric and the sheet of paper that I've sewn through. There are sewing lines that you follow and cutting lines that you breeze through with a rotary cutter.

The sewing lines have arrows that guide you; I kept the line in the center of my sewing foot as I went. I kept my needle in the down position so that I could pivot and turn quite easily.

The cutting lines are the black lines and it is another step that goes quite quickly.
I can honestly say that I will never, EVER, make half square triangles without triangle paper again!!!
Once you get your shapes cut and ironed, there are several templates that you can follow to set up your quilt squares. I am loving the organic look of these mis-matchy diamonds in such a classic shape. I am going make 42 of these so that my quilt will be comprised of 7 of these blocks by 6. This should make a pretty large and comfy throw. 
Here is one completed practice square. My white fabric is a bit see through and therefore making sure that seams are nested will be important. I love how to points match up so well because of the way they are sewn and cut by use of the paper. It is a very quick process and the possibilities are truly endless! If you look at the bottom of the cake mix front page, it shows you a few ways that you can arrange your shapes and the different quilt squares that you can make. I might throw a random square or two to break up all of these mini diamonds. Stay tuned for the finished quilt top!

***Want some fabric to try these squares out on? Enter the give~away from Yellow Yarn Fabrics in the post!***

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Yellow yarn Fabric...and a give~away for you!

Quilting, fabric hoarding, and crafting has introduced me to the nicest people and the most unique shops. I have spent hundreds of hours online looking at sewing and quilting blogs, online shops, and Etsy boutiques. Etsy can be a tough space to navigate because of the variety of prices and policies, but it allows me to find the fabrics I cannot get at in-person big-box craft stores. Because when starting a new quilt, you often need 12-20 different prints of fabrics, bundles are the way to go. Before, starting a quilt involved ordering yardage of each print you wanted or hunting down the right fat quarters of fabric. Chelsey of Yellow Yarn fabrics pre-packages bundles from fabric lines so that all you have to do is order one thing and you are ready! I met Chelsey a few weeks ago and showed her the quilt I wanted to begin and she knew instantly what fabrics would be perfect! The fabric line was from the designer Amy Butler, whom I adore and I love the fabrics that Chelsey suggested. They arrived just a couple of days later all wrapped up with a cute, yellow yarn bow. 
Let me introduce you to Chelsey. Chelsey lives in Indianapolis with her husband, her daughter, and another daughter on the way. She is the resident stage manager at the Phoenix Theatre and sells fabric bundles in her free time. Visit her shop Yellow Yarn Fabrics on Etsy!
Don't you want a field trip to her studio? I'd like one of each of these bundles. 
Visit her shop to grab a bundle... message her on Etsy and show her what project you want to start and she will give you some great suggestions! 

Look at how cute the fabric arrives! I love that it came with the designer's name and collection line...when you order a lot of fabric, this comes in handy.
I can't wait to get my quilt top cut and ready to piece!!!

Look at these yummy fabrics! Won't this be a beautiful quilt? 

Besides her eye for fabric, Chelsey is also very generous. Not only did she send me a bundle of fabric, she sent one for you! 
Your bundle consists of 15 fat quarters and 3/4 yd of fabric for your binding. 
Look at these Spring-perfect fabrics!!! They are soft to the touch and vivid colors; its rainy and cloudy so my lighting does not do the fabric justice. 
Want to make the same quilt I am making with these? 
I am even going to toss in your own quilt pattern so you can make one too!

To enter, comment below with what from Chelsey's shop you'd love to order. 
I'll pick a winner on Wednesday evening and get these out on Thursday morning to that lucky~duck.
Good luck!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Dutch Tulips Table Runner

Click to grab
I love the flexibility in quilting and that once you master a particular skill or learn a square, you can do a great many things with the completed block. I had my eye on this pattern and the linear way the flowers are posed instantly made me think of a table runner. 
Table runners are great quilting projects to stick in between larger projects because they are quick and easy to finish. The one I've made could have been completed in a weekend, though I worked on it a bit here and there over the course of a week. 
I took the basic flower block and created eight and added some sashing and solid square spacer blocks to create my table runner. Though my runner is two flowers by four flowers, you could make it three by five to make a larger runner (and I plan to next time!). 
The pattern was very easy to follow, as all of "it's sew Emma" patterns are. They are written in "everyday" language and the measurements are not fussy.

I used fabric scraps for this pattern and while I LOVE scrappy designs, the muslin that I used for the piecing was flimsy and did not hold its shape well. The color is nice and rustic, almost like a linen or light burlap, but sewing with it was the pits. 

At this point, I laid my flowers out and added in the spacers. It didn't quite feel ready to piece and I felt that something was still missing...
I added some solid square blocks here and there and continued the solid sashing  as a border. It spaced the flowers out from each other and broke up all of the linen-colored fabric solids. 
I basted this the way you would any quilt (I spray baste) and quilted VERY simply, adding straight lines to the borders and just a few randomly placed straight lines in the flower blocks.

I used my BRAND NEW walking foot (happy birthday, to me!) on this and what a difference! WOW!
I also machine stitched the binding, which I never do on a full-on quilt, but with the walking foot and crisp binding edges, I stitched in the ditch and you cannot really see the stitching from it on the front of the table runner. 

Here it is! Finished and ready for the washer. I love to wash anything I quilt right away because it brings out the stitching and gives it that wrinkly, old-quilt look that I love.