Friday, February 22, 2013

Happy Mail

This week was the week for happy mail.

I participated in a Kokka layer cake swap with 25 other people and here the fabrics all came.
I bought a new patter by Logan over at Logan Makes a Mess  and strips that I initially thought would be used for another quilt of valor scrappy trip quilt but now that I've seen them I might keep them and use them for this skirt pattern or a quilt of my own. I love them!
Finally, a surprise, surprise, surprise. The wonderful and talented Barb over at Bejeweled Quilts by Barb sent me a pillow cover for a sewing chair pillow that she made.

She designed, sewed and quilted it for the Moda's Sliced Challenge early in 2012 and you can see her photos and comments here of FRONT and BACK.  Isn't this beautiful? Isn't she talented?

Isn't she super generous for surprising me with this? I am so excited since I will be replacing my stool very soon for a backed chair and this is going to be the icing on the cake (or should I say support on the back?). With that nifty buckle on the back, it will hold in place on the chair and not fall each time I stand up. You know how often we all do that with all the up to press, down to sew that we do.

Thank you, Barb. You humble me.

What a great week of mail.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Made In Cherry QAL - Finished!

Back at the end of 2011, Chelsea at Pins and Bobbins hosted a QAL called Made in Cherry.  We started cutting in Jan. 2012 and I had a top completed in Feb. 2012. You can see a post about the making of the top here.

Then it sat until Feb. 2013 where I decided it was time to get this thing quilted.

So, I remeasured the top because it looked way too long with the added white borders.  I was right. WAY too long. I pulled them off, left the colored square borders and loaded her up to quilt.
Knowing there was a lot of empty space, I wasn't sure what to do when I started but decided to start and just go with it.  I decided to do some straight line quilting in the open white space except in 2 of the triangles where I quilted echoing triangles.
I added a looping border next to the blocked border and on the blocked border, it's even simpler. Just an X through each block.

I am pleased with it even though it was a chore to quilt. Why? Simply b/c as I committed to the design, I envisioned it looking like crap.  I didn't even look at it once off the frame for fear I'd never bind it.  Honestly, I felt that ambivalent about it.

However, I am nothing if not honest and knew I had to take photos and post them here.  Still unopened, I grabbed 2 kids, told them to hold it up on a 30 degree and windy day and snapped a couple photos.

And fell in love.  I love how the quilting looks. I still think I could have done things differently but I also really  like how I didn't do all four side triangles in triangle echo but only 2. I like how the borders show up.  I love the loopy star quilting in the star (sorry, didn't show it) and that it's loose enough of a meander that the star still pops when looking at it.
Is it just me or did I do alright on this one?  (Yes, shamelessly asking for a complement... I'll be okay if you don't give me one. LOL)


Thursday, February 7, 2013

eBooks by Fons & Porter, "Build Your Best Log Cabin"

Recently I was asked if I’d like to review a free eBook, "Build Your Best Log Cabin" created by Fons & Porter Love of Quilting and would I, once reviewed, be interested in writing a brief review? Of course I was interested!

ETA- I was given permission to share the link since it isn't yet on the web page so here it is. :) 
I’ve now had a chance to read through the eBook and I have to say, I am pleasantly surprised. Not because I wondered if the eBook would be any good, I pretty much expected that. I mean, Fons & Porter Love of Quilting. I haven’t come across any patterns or instructions by them which have disappointed yet. Heck, all the foundation piecing I do now is courtesy of having learned from Fons & Porter Love of Quilting and I’ve got a love of foundation piecing now for it.

So, I was expecting good. I assumed it. Here’s what I didn’t expect. I didn’t expect the easy read. I also didn't expect to get a little background on the history of a log cabin or to receive some non-log cabin related tutorials such as bobbin quilting and binding with typing.

There are several quilt patterns included in the eBook and I find myself eager to make a log cabin quilt after reading through it and seeing how well Fons & Porter Love of Quilting have simplified the log cabin block by way of explanation for how the blocks are traditionally built. I am not typically a log cabin gal but I have ideas swirling now. I’ve got an idea to use the Bear Paw pattern by Ricky Tims that is in this eBook. I can’t stop thinking of which fabrics I should use for it and the only thing restricting me from pulling fabric is that I have too many projects going at the moment. Won't be long, though, before I start. I'm sure of it.

I found, as I read through the patterns that the tips and tutorials provided and were easy to understand. I think in picture and so often translate words into images when I read and therefore, it's important to me instrcutions are conscise but thorough so I should add that on the couple of occasions I caught myself pausing, the picture and diagrams quickly cleared any hesitancy I might have felt. I think this is why I’m so eager to make a log cabin quilt now, I have a “hey, I can do that” mentality now.

I didn’t know Fons & Porter Love of Quilting offered these short eBooks (this one is 24 pages with mostly pattern instruction) for free on their website or that you can download them off the website once you are registered there (also free with no obligations). I plan to explore the other eBooks soon (Batik Quilt Patterns, Civil War Quilt Patterns, Blockbusters: 100 Quilt Blocks, Handmade Christmas Ornaments) to see what other inspiration strikes thanks to these little gems!

If you find yourself with a little time, I recommend stopping over at Fons & Porter Love of Quilting and having a look at what’s available. The Build Your Best Log Cabin eBook is not available just yet online at the . I’m guessing you will be pleasantly surprised, too.