Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Solar Flares revealed!

I am so happy to share this project with you.  This is a project that I knew I needed to complete since November, but it wasn't until last month that I knew what I was going to do.  This is going to be part of a special collection of small quilts by several designers to raise awareness for Libby Lehman. She is a quilt artist and teacher who suffered a stroke last April.

So, the idea was to look at Libby's quilts and design a quilt inspired by one of her designs.  Looking at her designs I knew she loves circles and in her Foliage 5 quilt she has a lot of movement with her design.  So, that is how I got my inspiration of the "flares" in solar flares.  The sun centers is the circles from the other parts of her designs.  

I wanted to have the quilt be a gradual hot sun that we sometimes see as red when there is smoke in the air from fires in the summers.  The red then becomes a brilliant orange and yellow sun that we are blessed to have each day. Because I sketched this out on paper first, I wanted to have the quilting look like  I was sketching it out.  This explains the thick quilting lines around each main design element of the quilt. 

I used Superior Threads gold metallic thread to show off the design in an awesome way,

 with two layers of wool batting and my dense "fantabulous filler" to make the design "pop."
There are seven different colors in the quilt.  I put together a large traditional star block for the background of the quilt.  I love how it all came together.  

As you can see in the top of the above picture, I was able to capture the shine from one of the hundreds of crystals I put into the quilt.  This quilt is the first time I have experimented with crystals and I have to tell you that I love it.  The picture does not give this element of the quilt top justice, but I can tell you that it looks amazing and I am so happy with the results.  

The shiny crystals and the shiny thread compliment each other so well. 


The big sun is my favorite element in this design.  The cross-hatch centers worked perfectly to add the crystals to.  



Isn't the texture amazing? 

The back of the quilt top is amazing. I think this would have been a wonderful whole cloth quilt as well, but I love the seven different shades of fabric for the top. 

 I was able to get this entered into HMQS just in time and it will be hanging in the show next week.  I hope to see you there.  

Saturday, April 26, 2014

My trip to Sparrow Studioz

So, I have been home for as long as I was away.  It has been crazy catching up and today I finally cleaned the whole house, even the bathrooms ;-)  I have a few hours to catch my breath and then I will spend next week, starting Monday getting ready for HMQS.  I knew Spring was going to be crazy with my teaching schedule, and it has been - but it has been worth it.  

Jess traveled with me to Canada and I am so glad that she came. I can not imagine taking that trip by myself - I am sure I could have put my big girl pants on and would have been able to do it, but I am so glad she came with me.  

As soon as we got to Sparrow Studioz - Bradie took us out to dinner.  I had a fabulous fish taco entree at a restaurant I don't rember right now, but it was ooh so good!  I planned on losing weight while I was gone (I put on 5 lbs, bleh). I had the thought that I wouldn't be eating all that well, boy was I wrong!  I was spoiled by Matt and Bradie and we had several wonderful meals together.  Not to mention the yummy lunch during each retreat - Quinoa Salad from Costco in Canada is something I will never forget.  I want some now... 

Jess had to get a picture of the Canadian flag while we were there.  It is a beautiful flag and a beautiful country. 

The first day.  I wasn't tired yet, but totally nervous.  These ladies made it easy though.  They were so good to me, seriously.  I felt so welcome and at home. 

Since this was my second time teaching, I was learning my grove and these ladies were patient with me.  We had a lot of fun together.  

Since it was a hands on learning experience, I tried to give each student one-on-one time. It was so fun getting to know each student as well. 

Jeni and I connected on Instagram, but it wasn't until Sparrow Studioz that we met in person.  Instant friends for life.  We had a lot of fun together.  

The second group of ladies were a riot. 

They drew quilting on a banana for me.  I have never laughed so hard.  Thanks for making it so fun! 

You have seen this picture, but I have to share this again.  Matt and Bradie are amazing.  Seriously, we became instant friends.  They are a great example of a loving couple who work so hard and well together, not to mention they have 10 children.  I am in total awe of them! 

Jess and I had time over the weekend to find the LDS Edmonton Temple.  It was really neat to be able to spend time with Jess and also be able to go to the temple.  

We also made it to the West Edmonton Mall.  That was fun.  There were so many people there, you can't tell from the picture above because of my super ninja camera skills.  Jess was like a kid in the candy store at Lulu Lemon.  Best stretchy pants ever! I now have another pair of quilting comfy pants. 

Meanwhile, back at home... the back yard was put in.  Well, half of it anyway.  Clint did a wonderful job of watching the kids and taking care of the business while I was away - he is pretty darn amazing! 

I won't deny that it was hard being gone for so long.  I was gone for 10 days and at times I wonder how I got here, but I am thankful for the opportunities I have been given through quilting. I am learning so much about myself.  

The last group was a wonderful group of ladies too!  I really enjoyed each group I was able to work with.  I really love teaching and I hope they had a good time. 

It was fun to know that my quilting samples were "auctioned" off to the highest bidder, not really, but they had a good tug of war over it.  ;-)

This was my last picture in Edmonton at the airport.  It was surreal.  10 days seems so long, but when you get home it just gets back to normal quick.  The trip was originally going to be only Monday through Saturday, but the Sparrows convinced me to stay for another retreat, that is why it was such a long trip.  Anyway, I am home now and I just have HMQS and Market Schoolhouse to finish out in May - then I won't have to leave my family until September when I go to Australia for AMQF.  I am so glad we will have the summer together.  

Stay tuned for my Solar Flares to be revealed next week.  

Friday, April 25, 2014

A-1 rulers are finally in stock....and a special deal on fabric!!

Hi everyone, before I post about my fun teaching retreat to Canada, I wanted to quickly let everyone know that the long awaited A-1 Rulers are finally in, you can buy them here.  They went quickly last time, so get yours while you can!  This is the ruler I use and I love it!
Also, right now we are offering a Jelly-Cake-Charm kit for only $75!!  It retails for $97 so this is a great deal.  Simply add your favorite Jelly Roll, Layer Cake and two Charm Packs into your cart, then enter the code JELLYCAKE for this amazing deal!  Have a great day everyone!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Starburst! A New Quilt Pattern!

Before I get started, I wanted to let you know that we are having an Easter Sale on our website, enter the code EASTER during checkout to receive an amazing discount on our already low prices. So, go and check out our selection of beautiful precuts right now - or wait to see my new pattern and place an order for fabric as well as my new quilt pattern all at once. Okay - back to the new pattern...
So this pattern has been in the works for some time.  I gave some sneak peeks of this quilt last year. It has been sitting around my house and has been through a move without having the binding finished until 2 weeks ago.  I am completely happy with this design - it is exactly what I planned when I drew it out. 

I wanted these "Starburst" blocks to be the show-off blocks of the quilt.  I think they turned out fantastic and because of these blocks I named the quilt - Starburst! 

I used Happy Go Lucky fabric designed by Bonnie and Camille for Moda fabrics for the quilt top, as well as Moda Bella Solids 9900-97 for the background.  I used a fat quarter bundle and a jelly roll to complete the quilt top.  Don't the fabrics look fabulous together?

The quilting on this quilt was just fun.  It is a dense filler with fun shapes filled around.  I really love how the strips in the center of the quilt were a perfect center to show off the quilting motif that I used throughout the quilt.  

And, my stars.... these were so fun to incorporate into the design.  I always try to make sure the quilting ties in with the pieced design and these stars are perfect for my Starburst design. I love them! 


This quilt top would be beautiful as a stash buster project as well.  The white background allows for the fabric to be just about anything.  

This is my quilted orphan block!  I planned on quilting each Starburst block like this one, but the lines were a little off on two of the star points - so I decided to change the other three Starburst blocks.  This will serve as a reminder to me that I don't always love what I quilt up, but I am definitely not crazy enough to take the stitches out.  ;-)

I am so happy to finally share this quilt with you.  If I had more time or hours in the day, you would have probably seen this before now.

For the back I thought it would be fun to sew 4 solid fabrics together.  I think they look fantastic as a backing. 

As always, I love the back.  It is so fun to see what a quilt looks like on the back. 

The dark blue really shows off the white quilting thread. I used So Fine thread #401 for the top and bottom of the quilt. It is my go to thread.  
The quilting texture is too much fun. 

And, I love the help I get when I take pictures of my quilts.  My kids are trained to not step on my quilts, thank heavens!  I am happy that they enjoy the process of quilt making with me.
So - I hope you like my newest design! You can get your paper pattern here or your pdf pattern here.  It is a super fun pattern to put together, so enjoy! Also, stay tuned next week to find out all about my trip to Sparrow Studioz in Canada! 
Have a Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Checking in.....

It has been a whirlwind kind of week and it is hard to believe that the time has flown so fast.  I have made some incredible friends and I can not thank Matt and Bradie enough for inviting me to come to Sparrow Studios.  They are wonderful people.  I have had two retreats in four days with one more retreat on Monday and Tuesday.  So, it isn't over yet!  I just wanted to share a little of what I have been doing this last week.
That's me in the middle there talking quilting.  So much fun!
Talking feathers - such a treat.  It is always a little different quilting on a machine other than your own, but we have had a great time learning together.  I plan on sharing more of my trip when I get home.  In the meantime, I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

PS -  there is a sneak peek of my newest pattern, "Starburst" shown above.  I'll share more on that next week when I can!