Monday, March 31, 2014

Umbrella Prints 2014 Challenge

Australian based textile company, Umbrella Prints, just announced their 2014 challenge and I'm excited to say that I'm going to participate this year!  The challenge is to create something, anything really using one of their trimming packs (you can find the full rules here).

I've been admiring Umbrella Prints fabrics for pretty much the length of my quilting 'career' but have never been able to break down and purchase some of their beautiful fabrics, until now.  One of my favorite prints is the Grand Hearts, pictured below.

Image Credit: Umbrella Prints
There is one version of it printed in a red/persimmon color that I absolutely covet.  Check out this photo of a chair re-upholstered in that very fabric! Love it!

Image Credit:
I purchased two trimming packs:  the Soft and the Dark, because I'm not sure yet what direction I want to go in.  My envelope came complete with a cute little hand written note on it!  It's the little things that make companies special, I think.

Each pack came with a cute little postcard and an Umbrella Prints label scrap.  Here is the Soft Pack.  Pretty pink, mint, beige, lots of white, and some pops of aqua and orange.  How fun!

And here is the Dark Pack.  Navy, Black, Grey, Burgundy, and lots of bold geometric patterns!

Now all I have to do is brainstorm what I'll make with these two.  Luckily I have until May 30th to figure it out and execute my plan.  No biggy right?

I'm linking up with Stitch by Stich for anything goes mondays.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Another Mosaic Contest - Ethereal Spring

Stitched in Color is once again having a color mosaic contest, sponsored by Lark Cottons  The theme this time is Ethereal... Think soft, lovely colors; uplifting pastels in a variety of colors.  The winner receives a FQ bundle of their fabric choices.  I spent some time choosing my fabrics and ultimately created three bundles.

#1:  Soft pinks and greens recall lazy spring days basking in the warming sunshine and enjoying all that this time of year has to offer.

Architextures | Crosshatch Tangerine
Sun Print | Text Orange
Dreamin’ Vintage | Jolly Dots Petal
Wee Wander | Meandering Petal
Briar Rose | Strawberry Lilac
Botanics | Graph Paper Garden Curry
Architextures | Crosshatch Curry
Boho | Flower Child Meadow
Wee Wander | Summer Ride White
Better Gnomes and Garden | Leaf Gnome Stripe Pink
Waterfront Park | Flight Clementine
Good Life | Garden Gate Spring

#2:  Cool purples, pinks, and blue invoke the sometime chilling breeze of spring while the winter fights back against it's eminent retreat.

Squared Elements | Watermelon
Sew Stitchy | Check Dot Glass Olive
Comma | Swinging Chalk Lime
Sun Print | Text Navy
Terrain | Footpath Mist
Wee Wander | Meandering Seafoam
Sew Stitchy | Circle Birds Glass
Noteworthy | Birds on a Wire Kisses
Innocent Crush | Maybe Blossom
Backyard Baby | Birch Forest Aqua
Squared Elements | Lemongrass
Posy | Story Daisy

#3:  Vibrant yellows and greens are everywhere with the daffodils and the tulips pushing through the warming ground.  The birds are returning and singing us a song as we enjoy this special time of year.

Reunion | Sally's Skirt Key Lime
Blown Away | Rainy Day Blue
Africa | Zahara Olive
Wee Wander | Meandering Seafoam
Pearl Bracelet | Yellow
Nicey Jane | Picnic Bouquet Lagoon
Meet The Gang | Bird Lattice Teal
Mod Basics | Birdie Spokes Grass
Seaside | Beach Chair Gray
City Weekend | Downtown Stripes
Just Wing It! | Four Petals White Turquoise
Squared Elements | Seafoam

Now I need your help.  I can only submit two mosaics.  Which two do you think best embody the spirit and essence of the Ethereal Spring which is always "extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for this world."

Which two mosaics are your favorite? free polls 

While you're at it, be sure to make your own mosaic before April 3rd for a chance to win!

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Good Causes

It's been awfully quiet around here.  I've been very busy.  On Saturday I went to a quilt sponsored community service day.  We finished several quilts that day along with pulling together many kits for future quilts.  I took two kits home and should hopefully have some pictures to share here soon.  I didn't take any pictures from the day so nothing to share there.

On a slightly different note, on Friday I donated over 13" of hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, an organization that makes wig for women battling cancer.  Here is my "before" picture:

Donating my hair is something I have always wanted to do but I've always given up growing it before it's long enough or not been able to donate because my hair was damaged or colored.  But this time I was determined.  I'd been growing my hair out since college and the time felt right for a change.  Here is my "after" picture:

Stay with me, we'll get to quilts in a minute.  In early 2011 a family member of my husband was diagnosed with brain cancer and given only a short time to live.  He had two very young children and a wife and was uninsured.  Because he was uninsured his family decided to hold a fund raiser to help him with his medical bills.

Close up of block
I was only recently home from college and had just really started quilting.  At the time I was working on a behemoth of a quilt that I intended to use for my brand new queen-size bed (it was so nice upgrading from a twin bed and I had to have a quilt for it!).  So I spent ages picking out fabrics and sewing blocks, it was a log cabin pattern. and finally had a finished top pieced and ready to go off to the long arm quilter.  And I loved it!  Then we found out about this family member.  And I knew that I wanted to do something.

Quilt hanging at the Long Armer post quilting.
I was broke, paying for student loans and there's no way I could have given them money so I thought on it and decided to give them the quilt I had been working on.  And they decided to raffle the quilt.

Quilt displayed on Queen Size Bed
And they did.  And I'm happy to say that they raised a significant amount of money for him and his family and that this quilt went to live with a lovely little old lady from Maine who absolutely adored it.  And I'm even happier to say that he's still here with his family and he's doing well and we all couldn't be happier about it.

So I guess the point I'm trying to make is that there was special meaning for me when I donated my hair.  And I'm so glad that I did.

Happy Quilting!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Triangle Quilt Along - Choosing Fabrics

Have you met Paula, The Sassy Quilter?  No?  Oh you should!  She's got some serious sass and some very cool quilts too!  She's also leading her very first Triangle Quilt Along!

We will all be joining her in making an equilateral triangle quilt (where the sides of the triangle are all the same length!) There will be some great prizes along the way too from Cotton Bliss, Fort Worth Fabric Studio, and Pink Chalk Fabrics.  Way to go Paula for rounding some great sponsors!

Well yesterday was the official kick off party and our chance to share our fabric selections.  I had pulled a really lovely bundle of oranges and yellows and greens and purples inspired by this photograph.

It's fun right?  I pulled some of my favorite Heather Ross and Japanese fabrics as well as some nice blenders.  But for some reason I wasn't absolutely itching to make a quilt with it.  So I played with the fabrics some more, took some colors out add some colors in and came up with this palette of emerald, yellows, pinks, purples and some black and white.  Also really fun!  But I'm still not sure.....

So I need your help.  Which one do YOU like better?  Let me know in the comments by voting for #1 (the first pull above) or #2 (the second pull)!  And be sure to check out Paula, The Sassy Quilter's fun new QAL adventure on Flickr and her Blog!

Happy Quilting!

Linking up with Caroline at Sew Can She for Show off Saturday.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

WIP Wednesday - March Globe Trotting Blocks

I've felt like I'm behind all month with my bee commitments.  I think that's what February does to you.  It so short that you barely have time to settle into the month and it's already gone.  I've managed to do some catching up, my Sew Pieceful blocks are done and I finished the March block for the Sugar Block club last week.  Last night I was able to get my March Globe Trotting block done.

This is another mystery block of the month with each block inspired by a city or location.  March was inspired by Chicago.  I'm using Rapture, by Pat Bravo for this quilt and I'm really happy with how the soft colors both blend together and stand out all at once.

For March I used Vivacious Marvel OrangeDreamscape Sun, and Bonbons Candy (don't you just love the fabric names?).

March Globe Trotting Block
Here's the layout so far.  Blocks will be sashed with a thin piece of fabric, though I haven't decided on a print from the collection yet.  I wanted to see how the blocks looked before choosing.

I'm linking up with this weeks WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

Happy Quilting!

Monday, March 17, 2014

March Sugar Block Club

I was able to work on my Sugar Block Club block for March on Saturday.  This month's block is called EXPLORE.  It was made up of both traditional piecing methods and paper piecing and was so quick to sew up.

I'm not super pleased with how the light peach is working in this block and I might make another with some different fabric placement but I want to think on it for now.  The blocks are looking great together..

I'm linking up with Stitch by Stich for anything goes mondays.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

March Bee Blocks

I finished up my March Bee Blocks today.  I think they're pretty cool!  I will tell you though, having made 9 versions of this block, each with 24 - 2" half square triangles, that I'm over HST for awhile (if you were doing the math in your head that is 216 HST). I signed up for two spots this month, which means I'll get 8 blocks back instead of the usual 4.

You've seen my test block:

Hive 1:

Teal, Coral/Orange, Navy on Low Volume
For Jennifer

Black, White, Various Grey with Hints of Color
For Tiffany

Pink, Red, Teal on White
For Debbie
 This one was hard to photograph.  The background is a beautiful deep purple.
Yellow, Orange, Red with Dark Pink or Purple Background
For Terri
Hive 3:

Sunny Reds, Pinks, Orange, Yellow with Berry Tones on White
For Jocelyn

Red and Grey on White Low Volume
For Tamara

Purple, Cobalt Blue, Kelly Green on White
For Jenn

Coral, Aqua, Mustard on Low Volume
For Renae
I think they look so fun together too.  What do you think?  If you want to make a similar block Amy Friend did post a tutorial awhile back.  She calls this block a "Winged Square".

Linking up with Caroline at Sew Can She for Show off Saturday.

Friday, March 14, 2014

More Paper Piecing

I've really had the urge for some paper pieced blocks recently.  Sometimes I just crave those crisp lines, sharp points, and unique patterns.  I made three yesterday during my snowstorm induced day off.  I found all the patterns at Wombat Quilts.  She has complied a great list of free pieced block patterns.

I've been making them in my [Pink - Yellow - Grey] color scheme to add to that sampler quilt.  My personal favorite is the Neon Snowball block.  It was so fast too.  With only 5 pieces per piece, I had it done in under an hour.  I liked the Lost Geese block pattern but I'm not super pleased with my fabric and color placement on that one.  Hopefully it will blend in okay with the rest of the blocks.

Neon Snowball Block, Wombat Quilts

Icky Thump, 627Handworks

Lost Geese Block, Wombat Quilts

Happy Quilting!

Play Crafts Palette Builder 2.1

Do you ever see a picture or a photograph and think: "Wow!  Those colors would make a lovely quilt!"?  Me too.  All the time.  Usually I just end up pinning the picture, then maybe printing it or looking at it side by side with the Kona webpage (because I don't have a Kona color card). Definitely not ideal or exact.

Well a few days ago I discovered the Play Craft Palette Builder 2.1,  I'm not sure how I stumbled upon it but, boy oh boy, am I glad that I did.  Play Craft is a great website.  They have patterns, tutorials, and fun projects available for free.  They are also one of the link up sites for the 2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge, inspired by this years color: Radiant Orchid.  Here's what their About page has to say about them:
Play Crafts came about after a late night conversation among friends about the lack of tools available for crafters. But we didn’t want to just make any tools, we wanted ours to be easy and fun to use, because creativity should be fun! Our goal is to provide tools that get out of the way of your creativity and let you chase your inspiration.
The Palette Builder 2.1 is, in my opinion, one of the coolest features of their website.  All you do is upload a picture that you really liked the colors in or found inspiring, and BAM! it does almost all the rest.  For example,  let's say I wanted to make a quilt inspired by a photograph I had seen in online magazine.  Save it to your computer and click the Load button on the palette builder.  The Palette Builder will automatically select colors from the image AND tell you the coordinating Kona solids.

And if you're not happy with the first pass, you can edit any of the colors or add more to choose which colors you want to accent from that photo.  This is the final palette I came up with based on this photograph.  The coordinating Kona solids are (from left to right) Burgundy, Brown, Chinese Red, Melon, Wasabi, Citrus, Curry, and Yarrow.

Here are a few more palettes I cam up with.

Pastel Urchins
Saturated Fall
Bright Beets

And just for fun I did one of the photo that inspired my [Pink - Grey - Yellow] color scheme.  Would have been nice to tell my bee mates that the coordinateing Kona colors I'm looking for are (from left to right) Smoke, Melon, Coral, Espresso, Coal, Primrose, Wasabi, and Shadow.  I'll keep it in mind for next time though! 

I would absolutely encourage you to check out the Palette Builder 2.1 from Play Crafts and have fun playing with it!  Can't wait to see what you make!

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Challenge Accepted and Completed

I finished up my submission for our 2014 Challenge quilt and I'm so happy with how it came out.  Can't share a full photo yet.  Judging is tomorrow and I don't want to ruin the surprise.  Here's a sneak peek though!

Happy Quilting!