Thursday, January 28, 2016

Quilt Festival: Hoffman Challenge

It's about time I showed you more gorgeousness from the Houston International Quilt Festival, isn't it? How about a special exhibit? Every year Hoffman Fabrics sponsors the Hoffman Challenge. Quilters, doll makers, and clothing designers are invited to create original work using a selected fabric. I'm going to tour you around some of my personal favorites.
The camels in the third place appliqué winner, Caravan by Nancy Dickey, have personality and fashion down pat.
Caravan by Nancy Dickey

The Best Incorporation of the Fabric-Pieced winner seems to have used the Stack-n-Whack technique. The hexagons appear to fade off into the distance as they near the upper right corner.
Sidetracked to Marrakesh byApril Wicker

Jars of Clay by Sharon L. Schlotzhauer received second place for appliqué.
Jars of Clay by Sharon L. Schlotzhauer
For your reference, this is what the challenge fabric looked like.
Check out the rest of the winners if you like, or even enter this year's challenge.
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Friday, January 22, 2016

Lessons Learned Linky

As promised, there's a goodie for a lucky someone who participates in my new linky party.
In honor of the upcoming Valentine's holiday (and the undead, I suppose), the prize will be...
a brand-spankin' new in the package Riley Blake Designs Zombie Love pouch.
So link up with any post that shares helpful information, or your latest discovery, before the end of the month for your big chance.

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Sunday, January 17, 2016


I like to keep you in the know, so here are a few things you won't want to miss. First, some great free Block of the Month programs are starting up. Choose from the Seminole Sampler at Morning Glory Designs, the Simple Simon and Company Block of the Month, Bonnie Hunter's Allietare, the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, the Project 48 QuiltAurifil's Block of the Month, the Crossroads Quilt AlongSugar Block Club, the Modern HST Sampler, or Pat Sloan's Mystery Block of the Month.

Seminole Sampler

Project 48 Quilt

You may be a year late, but not a dollar short on the 2015 Moda Sampler Block Shuffle. All the instructions are available right now, with no waiting necessary.
Sampler Block Shuffle
Once you've pieced a fabulous Block of the Month, you'll need to quilt it. Not to worry, the Angela Walters classes on Craftsy are always a great resource, and Kathleen's Quilts has a Free Motion Friday feature that is full of inspiration and instruction.
What if you want to design your own quilt? Pattern Jam is a free, user-friendly computer program that allows you to add fabrics to your design and calculate yardage. There are even customizable cheater quilts that can be purchased. An optional paid premium plan is available too.

Will you be joining in on a Block of the Month? Which one(s)?
*This post contains affiliate links.
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Saturday, January 16, 2016

2016 Finish-A-Long

It's a UFO invasion! That is, I'm outnumbered by unfinished objects around here. The upside is plentiful choices of projects for the next quarter. I'm joining in on the 2016 Finish-A-Long being hosted on quite a few blogs:
Debbie - A Quilter’s Table - USA
Jess - Elven Garden Quilts - Australia
Stacey - SLOstudio - Canada
Jennie - Clover & Violet - USA
Helen - Archie the Wonder Dog - UK
Nicky - Mrs. Sew and Sow -UK
Cindy - Fluffy Sheep Quilting - Ireland
Rhonda - Rhonda’s Ramblings - USA
Leanne - She Can Quilt - Canada
Here are the most likely candidates for completion in the next few months. Then again, I might get distracted, as I have a habit of doing that. Fingers crossed.
They are as follows:

  • Paper-Pieced Seahorse
  • Festive Disappearing 9-Patch
  • Diaper Changing Pad II
  • Brother's High School Graduation Quilt (He'll graduate from college with a Masters in May. Oh the shame!)
  • Camping Quilt
  • Snowflake Quilt
  • Solar Eclipse
  • Walk in the Woods Quilt
  • EQ7 Michael Miller Quilt
  • Abecedary
  • Nursing Cover

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Quilt Festival: Double Wedding Ring Quilts: Here Come the Brides!

Victoria Findlay Wolfe specializes in contemporary versions of Double Wedding Ring quilts. She's even written a book on the subject. The Quilt Festival exhibit Double Wedding Ring Quilts: Here Come the Brides! featured an array of Victoria's modernized versions.
Reflect Upon Your Blessings is Victoria's representation of her reflections on her own life adventure. She imagined all the colorful pieces as the memories she's made, and the red pieces as everything yet to come.
Reflect Upon Your Blessings by Victoria Findlay Wolfe

Cloudy Day is a variation on a quilt from A Summer's Day. Victoria used an orphan block, designed a center star, then added Double Wedding Rings using a restrained fabric selection.
Cloudy Day by Victoria Findlay Wolf
White Hot Mod was created for Michele Muska's book Quilting the New Classics. Victoria likes to change one thing in the quilts she makes from patterns, so she added the pointy corner pieces.
White Hot Mod by Victoria Findlay Wolf

A Thousand Fibers Connects Us is composed of original hand-pieced melons topstitched into place with bias tape.
A Thousand Fibers Connects Us by Victoria Findlay Wolf

Green Trees, Clouds and Walt Whitman is a second iteration of Victoria's Luminous Views quilt. The Double Wedding Ring pattern was fish-eyed, and the intersections of the arcs were removed. The quilting was done by Karen McTavish.
Green Trees, Clouds and Walt Whitman

Deconstruction, a variation on Victoria's Greatest Possible Trust, was constructed from made fabrics (cutting and splicing together similarly-colored fabrics).  Manor Stripe prints from her Mostly Manor collection for Marcus Fabrics were used.
Deconstruction by Victoria Findlay Wolf
Different elements were brought together in Lost and Found in Translation. The improvised portion of the top remained on the design wall for weeks before Victoria moved forward with the resulting story of struggle between design elements.
Lost and Found in Translation by Victoria Findlay Wolf
The goal of Color Play was to explore light and value. Full melon shapes and solid fabrics were used. Two non-solid fabrics appear; can you find them?
Color Play by Victoria Findlay Wolf
If you want to learn from Victoria in person, and can get yourself to Albuquerque, check out the opportunities the Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild is providing. If you're too far away, you can always check out her books (affiliate links):

Which quilt is your favorite? Have you ever made a double wedding ring quilt?
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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Sew Solid Monkey Business

I'm back with more fun courtesy of the Fat Quarter Shop. I love their projects because I can rest assured knowing there will be easy to follow instructions, great fabric options, and a successful finished product.
May I introduce you to Monkey Business by It's Sew Emma? 
This 21.5" x 26.5" mini came together very quickly with straight-forward construction, pressing directions, and very few seams to match. I used solids from my stash, but Fat Quarter Shop has a convenient kit available for under $20 that contains Bella Solids for the top, binding, and backing.  As an added bonus, Bella Solids are Fat Quarter Shop's Basic of the Month, so you can get precuts and yardage 20% all month. Just watch the video tutorial for Monkey Business, and share your quilt on social media #sewsolid.

I'd recommend labeling clothespins with the letters within the cutting instructions, and pinning the corresponding pieces to expedite finding them when they are referenced in the pattern.
I've refrained from turning my monkey into a finished quilt because I'd like to create a few more friends to join him in a larger quilt.
Luckily, the Fat Quarter Shop has a friendly panda pattern and kit that will be a great counterpart for him.

Don't forget to check out the other bloggers sewing funky monkeys:

Carla of Granny Maud’s Girl

Thank you, Fat Quarter shop, for free patterns, wonderful video tutorials, and excellent service. I very much enjoyed joining you for this hop.
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Monday, January 4, 2016

Christmas Card Holder with Kandi's Professional Touch

I realize it's a little late for Christmas festivity, but I wanted to show you my handy, dandy holiday card holder.
Steam-A-Seam II Lite was used to fuse fabric for the snow. I employed a double layer of Kona White to prevent shadowing (the blue showing through). Come to think of it, Kona Snow would have been more appropriate. Decorative buttons make up the main body, while satin stitch (widen and shorten a zig-zag stitch) composes the scarf and stick arms, with some tapering by shortening the stitch width for the twigs. Snowflake buttons were added for flare and ambience.
Then comes the sparkle! For the love of glimmer, put the fabric glue away and look for the words "hot fix" and "Swarovski" on your crystals. Glue is sticky and creates a noticeable plasticky mark everywhere it squishes out from behind your crystals. Furthermore, there's an awesome notion for this. First, set down your regular size iron, because that's like using a welding torch to roast a marshmallow, except less fun.
I recommend using Kandi's Professional Touch. Let me show you how. First, figure out which of the 8 included tips fits your crystals.

They are labeled on the side, or you can just use trial and error to see which fits snugly in the tip. (Sorry, my hand model was off for the day.)
Twist the tip onto the applicator, plug the applicator in, and turn it on.
Listen to the song to get you in the mood, and to kill 2 minutes while it heats up.

Pick up each crystal by placing the applicator tip over the pretty side and lifting up.

Wait a few seconds for the glue to melt, place the tip straight down on your fabric. Lift up right away, and the rhinestone will stay in place. Repeat the process, adding as may crystals as you like. Whatever you do, don't touch the tip while it's hot! Yowch!
Tada! Now it's all sparkly and ready for cards.
Have you ever added crystals to a quilt or sewing project? Do you have any tips for application? I mean suggestions, not the 8 included ones?
Come back soon, as I'm having a giveaway of an applicator, courtesy of Kandi Corp. shortly.
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