Fabric Spark blogger bundle giveaway!

I was so excited to be contacted by Daryl of Fabric Spark to create a blogger bundle for her site. She was so fun to work with because she’s just as passionate about fabric as I am. And I love her taste, so choosing this bundle was almost too easy.

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I hope you love it too because you have a chance to win it!

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To enter, simply click over to Fabric Spark and take a look around. Come back and leave a comment telling me what you like in Daryl’s shop.

The giveaway is open internationally and will close next Wednesday, April 23, at 12 pm EST.

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Oh, and be sure to look us up on Instagram (@sarahschraw and @fabricspark) because there’s an identical giveaway going on there!

WIP: kilim quilt

I haven’t technically started cutting or sewing yet, but I feel like I’ve already come a long way on this project (previously blogged here) just by figuring out the design and choosing fabrics.

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I spent a lot of time coloring in this rather large color & piecing guide. But I think it will be time well spent because now the design and color placement are all but finalized. And bonus: I can see it across the room.

I used double stick tape to attach the individual pieces to the wall so I can take the one I’m working on to my cutting station. The design has 8 whole blocks, 6 half blocks, and 4 quarter blocks. To create the half and quarter blocks, I’ll actually be able to piece a whole block and then cut it.

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That would have been far too confusing if I didn’t have this handy color chart.

For the fabric, I chose Art Gallery Pure Elements, which I am delighted to tell you were provided by Fat Quarter Shop because they have agreed to sponsor this project!

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I chose Pure Elements for 2 main reasons. The first is because I had a strong suspicion that these solids would be really soft and shimmery just because they’re Art Gallery. I was not disappointed. They’re gorgeous. But, even more importantly, I was drawn to this line because it’s a cohesive, limited collection. There are only 54 colors and they all seem to look great together. Ordering solids online can be tricky, so a line like this helps.

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I have ordered just a couple more shades to give myself some additional options. I love this stack but it doesn’t quite capture the contrast of the colors from the rug. This stack is almost too coordinated.

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I ordered a truer red, a less-blue purple, and a less-green yellow. That should give me an effect closer to that of the rug.

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After the holiday weekend I’m going to hit this project hard! I can’t wait.

Be sure to check in with me tomorrow because I’ll be giving away my very first blogger bundle, from the really cool Canadian site Fabric Spark!

Friday finish: modern flower garden quilt top

I finished a quilt top this week! It’s the perfect quilt for spring, although these are the only flowers you’ll see where I live for several weeks yet.

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I’m very pleased with my decision to vary the backgrounds and leave out the sashing. (I discussed that decision in my funkify post).

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This quilt was the practice appliqué project from the Stitched in Color/ penny sampler class. If you guys have the opportunity, I would highly recommend Rachel’s classes. They are a commitment, so it’s best to plan ahead and devote most of your sewing time to the class while it’s in session. But it’s worth it. I learned a lot and it definitely paved the way for the projects I’m doing now.

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Let’s talk about quilting this heavy son of a gun! Stitching in the ditch won’t be enough because the blocks are 13 inches. And I don’t want to straight stitch between the petals because they probably aren’t uniformly positioned enough and I don’t really want to break them up that way anyway. The only decent option I can come up with is to hand quilt around the petals. I would use a white thread – creating texture rather than contrasting color because the sketch stitching is already decorative enough.

I know you’re going to say that FMQ all the backgrounds would be cool, and you’re right. It would. If I knew how to do that. I’m not willing to take that on right now because I’m too anxious to start my kilim quilt. Do you think having it long-armed is a good idea? I’ve never sent a quilt out for quilting before.

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I’m actually considering selling this quilt, and maybe neon sampler as well. Have any of you had good experiences with that? Do you know anyone who might be interested? I’d really like to get a nice new camera for blog photos, and EQ7 (design software). And someone has to pay for my plane ticket to Quilt Con next year! My intention isn’t to make it into a “business,” but more of a “self-sustaining hobby” if that makes sense.

I’ll be back for WIP Wednesday next week with my finished color chart for the kilim quilt and my fabric choices. It is going to be a very happy mail week.

Linking up with Crazy Mom!

WIP(s)

Sometimes the best incentive to finish a quilt is the burning desire to start the next one.

I saw this kilim (kee-leem: a middle eastern flat woven rug) on Instagram a few weeks ago and couldn’t get it out of my head. It is so obviously meant to be a quilt.

Moreover, it seems it is meant to be a quilt done in solids. What??? I know. Not my usual thing. But in this case I think any print would take away from the graphic impact of the design. I truly want to make a quilt that looks as much like this exact rug as possible. I don’t stash solids, so I’ll have to do some shopping. Oh darn!

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I started sketching and experimenting with different ways of putting this quilt together. If you are an experienced quilter, you probably noticed the HSTs (half square triangles) right away. They’re set on point (diagonal) but I think I can handle that aspect. The truly challenging part has been deciphering a repeatable block pattern to make the process more reasonable (to avoid the tedium & confusion of piecing this row by row).

Ultimately I came up with this block.

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Set on point and colored in, you can see the kilim design begin to emerge.

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Now, this doesn’t quite replicate the rug exactly. There will be some small differences, but I hope to capture the essence of the kilim while at the same time creating a quilt block that can be easily shared and replicated by others.

It’s going to be a lot of HSTs. A lot. I’m going to try a different method this time- kind of a “back to basics” approach. In my HST tutorial, I advocate creating oversized HSTs and trimming them down (a very common modern day method). But as my sewing accuracy increases I’m not sure it’s necessary. And it’s such a pain that I’m not going to do it if it’s not necessary. I’ll test it and report back! I may be updating that HST tutorial soon.

I guess I need to be careful making absolute statements like “I don’t use solids” or “I always trim my HSTs.”

But meanwhile! I have another quilt that I am forcing myself to complete first, at least to the “finished top” phase. I am so close.

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I’m hoping to be able to share it on Friday because HIP HIP HOORAY SPRING BREAK IS OVER. Spring break is very hard on the mothers. My preschooler goes back to school on Thursday, and I’m planning to stitch this all up then.

I am also collecting fabrics for one more project, but I’ll share the details of that another day. Here’s a sneaky peak of the growing pile though.

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Mmm. These are personal favorites of mine, all Denyse Schmidt (Katie Jump Rope, Flea Market Fancy, and Picnic & Fairgrounds).

I’m sure it will be the thought of cutting into this project that gets me through all those HSTs for the kilim quilt. And the cycle continues…

Binge basketing

I have been making more of my extra-tall version of the noodle-head divided basket (previous versions here, here, and here), all using a large stripe print from Color Me Happy by V & Co.

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I made this one for my dear Mum, who earned it (and then some) by taking my boisterous boys for a week when we went on vacation this winter.

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I knew she wanted to use this as a general carry-all so I changed the placement of the handles and made them longer. I’d love to have one of these for myself to tote quilts around for photo shoots. A beautiful quilt deserves a beautiful bag, right? It would have to be a couple inches bigger for that purpose I think. And maybe with a laminate bottom to withstand the inevitable weather issues that arise when there’s quilt photography going on.

This one is for Kris, winner of the barn door quilt along giveaway.

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And these two are a part of a really fun birthday swap I’m participating in.

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For Julie, who blogs at 627 Handworks.

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For Nicole, who blogs at Snips Snippets.

Would you guys like to see a tutorial on how I make these? You’d still need the noodle-head pattern (but trust me – you won’t be sorry). Her version is perfect for a diaper station (baby shower gift!), a craft holder for kids, or storing your english paper piecing by the couch. My version was originally designed for scrap storage and would also be a great toy bucket.

Don’t forget to sew along with us tonight if you’re on instagram!

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I’m really looking forward to it because it has been a completely unproductive week here, due to my preschooler’s spring “break.” We still have several inches of snow on the ground, so it’s been interesting trying to keep him entertained inside. Tonight will be just what I need to get back into the swing of things. I hope to see you there!