Friday, October 28, 2011

Checking it off my list!

Well, not just yet - but I'm pretty confident I'll get there.

Not with me? I'm checking #4 off this list that I made last December. That list of ten things I wanted to do this year? Maybe I'll finish them all! Still nothing happening about #7... but I guess there are still a couple months left in this year to fix that.

Last night I cut the pieces for one Swoon block. I timed myself while I was sewing the block together - it took me just about 2 hours to piece one block (cutting time not included)! It's well worth the time! I love this block!! And... I have some bonus HST's since I HST'd the outside edges of the flying geese sets. Those bits of fabric would have otherwise been tossed so they're completely bonus (for very little additional work)

The Swoon quilt will be for my lovely MIL, Linda. She's pretty much awesome as far as anyone goes, and much cooler than any other MIL that I know!

Here's my inspiration board for this quilt. You'll be seeing more of these blocks soon. I'm really loving it!

(update - I've made another block - and I'm still loving it!)

Linking up at Fabric Tuesday on Quiltstory

Friday, October 21, 2011


It's time for the big reveal! I've finished my Pillow Talk Swap pillow, and actually was graced with a moment of sunshine today to take a picture!!

I'm not sure which side is the front, and I'll explain why. First I made several of the +/x blocks which were ok.  I wasn't really in love with them and didn't think the balance of colors was right. I put them aside and worked on something a little bit safer for me -- the square-in-square one. This time with my tiny signature wonky star included in one of the squares. I love that side best, but it seems like my swap-mates like the other side. That left me with really only one answer - to use them both! 

My first zippered pillow!
I quilted both sides and put it all together with a zippered side. I followed this tutorial for the side zipper - it was really fabulous and easier than I thought it would be!

The little star there? just under 3"!
Now for some more close-ups! I hope my partner likes large pillows... this one turned out to be about 23" square... it's huge and amazing... and inside are two of my normal pillows (and it's still a bit loose!).

Some "organic" straight line quilting!
This guy will be in the mail on Monday, after it makes an appearance at the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild meeting Sunday! :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Official Sewing Summit Recap!

It's been a week since I returned home from the Summit. It's time for the real recap!

I'm going to try to stay chronological ... we'll see how well that works!


I was flying standby (thanks Nick!!!) which means I may end up on the first flight I try for, or it may take several flights without getting a seat. Hence I started on Thursday! I checked in, was amazed that I didn't have to pay any fees for my flight (!!!), and I landed the very last seat on the first flight I tried for!!! 

Once in Salt Lake City, I met up with my friend Amy at the airport - Amy's a non-sewing summit friend, who took the trip out to hang out with me and be my roomie during the Summit. Pretty awesome! :) We hitched a bus ride to her friend David's work, dropped our luggage and went to see the city! We visited the temple area and all the cool Mormon stuff. My favorite was the roof of the convention center. It really was cool. How about those mountains??!! Did I mention it snowed Thursday? It did. I'm glad I brought my coat!

Amy and I had dinner with David - at fabulous Faustina's! Yum, I'm still dreaming of that butternut squash soup! We stayed at David's apartment Thursday night to cut down on cost - and because he's a great guy - with a really comfy couch!!

Friday we checked in to the Little America Hotel. Our room was beautiful, although it didn't have quite the view as many of the other rooms did! Amy and I took the Trax down to Pine Needles for some fabric shopping, lunch, then shopping around the village there. I definitely took two trips through the checkout line at Pine Needles, and ended up with a lot of loot! 

Friday  night was the welcome reception, which was really cool to meet so many online friends all at once! I also heard several "oh I read your blog" comments from people that I didn't even know! What a great feeling! I also met up with most of my {Sew}Beautiful Bee ladies. We went out to dinner at Settobello's and it was amazing! David and Amy came along too. 

After dinner Amy and I joined the crazy party in Kaelin's room where everyone was turning in their FQ's for the FQ swap on Saturday. We sat around talking about fabric and sorting everyone's FQ's by color. It was so surreal to me to sit in a room with that many people who knew all these fabric designers etc. Very cool.


Saturday was packed! Starting with my Couch 2 5K run in the morning (week 7 finished!!) then breakfast and classes all day! I took Bag Making 101 with Bari J, then Quilting at Home with Allison. I've been a reader of Allison's pretty much since I started reading blogs, so that was very surreal. I guess I already know how to free motion quilt on my home machine... so I just practiced a bunch. I was working specifically on my fmq'd words. 

After lunch I took Creative Fabric Selection with Jeni. Pretty awesome, and at the end of the class - a great big surprise! Kona color cards for all! Amazing! lol.

After Jeni's class I took Marvelous Mini's with Amanda. Let me tell you, this was the class I was looking forward to the most. I'm not exactly sure why. Was it because I love making mini quilts? Or because I've adored Amanda's work forever....? Both? But the reason that the class spoke to me the most I think was the excitement and encouragement in the way that Amanda spoke. I can't put it into words but it made me want to sit down and make a million doll quilts and feel awesome about it. Also, she showed a picture of her journal cover, that inspired mine, and the girl next to me noticed! :) Fabulous class all together, and we got to see lots of her mini's and share our own too. 

After the class I had to go give Amanda a hug! I'm not sure she knows how inspiring her work is! She's a pretty awesome person to chat with too. 

For dinner Friday night a group of 12 participants were chosen for a discussion group/dinner with Martingale publishing. The food was mediocre, but the conversation/questions were pretty cool. They wanted to know a lot about what we're looking for in books, how much we use technology (blogs/flickr/etc) for inspiration, etc. I really enjoyed the discussion, even though I never follow patterns and rarely use patterns from books either. I love looking through books though in the same way I love flickr and pinterest. I think Martingale heard a lot of new things from us! As a thank  you and as part of the discussion they provided us each with three new sewing books. None that I would have bought myself, but pretty to look at. 

Saturday night was the FQ swap - I can't believe nobody got trampled. lol. And I went home with a fabulous stack of fabrics!! 

That evening Amy came down to the sewing room with me and sewed up some charm squares -- her very first stitches by machine!!! She did pretty awesome, and pieced together a little doll quilt top. She headed to bed since her plane left early Sunday morning, so I finished it up for her to take home!!
I took Photographing your Creations with Vanessa. She taught us a cool thing or two about taking pictures. Then was Improv Piecing with Jessica. We were in the Baby-lock sewing machine classroom and received scraps to work with. Here's my block... which was promptly made into this mini quilt when I got home!

And then just as quickly as it started, the Summit was over. :( 

Since I wasn't leaving until Monday morning, I stayed with Cara Sunday night, and hung out with Michelle, and Cherie too. 

So ending thoughts on the weekend? I had an excellent time. I only spent about half of my fabric budget (a fact remedied on that first day home! Thank you online fabric stores!). I loved meeting everyone - both those who I knew online and those that I didn't. It really was surreal. On the downside though, I didn't feel very challenged by any of the classes. I guess maybe that's a good thing, I'm ahead of some of the crowd right? I was however, really really inspired by the classes. The whole weekend was very inspiring. It felt very good to be a person for a while, rather than just a mom. It was cool to eat without distractions, and shower when I wanted to. lol. I would consider going again next year if I'm financially able... it was pretty expensive in all though, so we'll see. I have a couple posts to share about things I've made since the Summit, that were inspired by the classes I took there. Also on the downside, my skin and lungs hated Salt Lake; it was too dry or something, and I've been wheezing and itchy ever since. God help me with all these stupid allergies. lol. 

PS it was still 70 degrees out here in Chicago when I returned! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Quilt Dreams

Here's a first look at my Sewing Summit inspired doll quilt! 

This weekend I took free motion quilting (by Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew), improv quilting (by Jess of Urban Patchwork), color theory (by Jeni of In Color Order), and Doll Quilts (by Amanda of Msmcporkchop Quilts).

I left with lots of inspiration and we can all say that Amanda should be the resident motivational speaker for doll quilting! I left thinking, "I need to make a doll quilt now!!" Which, so to say, isn't out of the normal since I love making small quilts anyhow. 

On the plane ride home from Utah the idea for this quilt popped into my mind. I took my improv block from Jess's class, added a bike and some free pieced words (thanks Martingale for making me look again at that hideous book -- I didn't follow the patterns for their letters, but I did glance over when I was stuck on the "m"). I also imployed my free motion quilting -- and attempted that roboty square FMQ style. I'm not very good at it but it was fun. 

Oh and I used my new friend Dana's tutorial for loopy FMQ'd hearts! So now we're even, she used my tiny wonky stars tutorial, and I am completely in love with those loopy hearts! 

In case you're wondering... the title of this post is the name of the quilt. Quilt Dreams... you know, the girl on the bike (me) dreaming of quilts as she's riding! I think I'll rip out the bubble around the "quilt" and re-do it though... it's not round enough! I'm pretty much in love with this little one.

Linking up to Fabric Tuesday over at Quiltstory!

It's going to take a while for me to decompress enough to be able to share everything amazing that happened this weekend. I'm working on it. At this point I'm mostly exhausted! The summit was great and we had an awesome time... I got home yesterday to an empty house (my husband and daughter were on a trip with his family) and I had some fun sewing time. Then today I didn't feel like getting out of bed at all... I literally slept until 2pm! And I still feel like a train hit me - exhaustion! It was all worth it though!

practice from the FMQ class.
I'll share a few little peeks into the weekend now. But don't worry, I'll be posting in full about it soon! I'm really glad I was able to pull it all together and get there! What a spectacular time! I'm so lucky to have been able to meet so many wonderful people! I'm really inspired right now (and exhausted, did I mention that?). 

View from my room the last night.
So, these pics will have to tide you over until later! Enjoy!

I'm not sure how I made it home without checking any baggage!

Monday, October 10, 2011

In time out.

I had a spectacular time at The Sewing Summit this weekend ... but I haven't quite processed it enough to post about it. Instead I figured I'd let you all know that I've been doing a bit of spring cleaning around the blog. I'm copying Cara (who spent an ungodly amount of time sorting through her google reader the other day) I just did the same.

Now for a small warning. Please take no offense, but if you're pregnant and not in my sewing bee, then you're going to probably be put in time out on my google reader. I think this will help me to actually read my blogs more often. I've laid out categories such as "sewing blogs" "etc" "CMQG" "Sewing Summit" ... and finally, "in time out for pregnancy." As I read blogs in my reader I'll add those annoyingly happy pregnant people to that list so that I don't have to think about the fact that I'm not pregnant. Periodically (in moments of good mood) I'll sift through them to bring back the ones who've had their babies. lol.

I'm now down to 111 subscriptions... so I feel like I'm ready to start following some new people again! :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

IT'S HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The Sewing Summit! I can't believe it's this weekend!!!!!!!!!!! 

In case you don't know what I look like... you'll notice me right off - I'll be the nearly bald one! :)

I hope someone brings a pair of lefty scissors ... lol. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Staying Organized At The Summit

Here's my goal. To have this book with me at all times.

I'll be

  • taking notes
  • writing down names
  • writing reminders for myself (ex: look for this book...)
  • sketching ideas
  • writing down funny "remember-whens" (these always occur in high frequency with Amy around!)
  • and asking for your autograph! (just kidding ... although I may be tempted with all of this talent around!!)
I'll also have my new envelope system with me. So I don't over spend. And also truthfully, so I'm not affraid to spend money that I've saved just for this. I've never made/used one of these before, but have seen them on pinterest so I'll make one and give it a shot. I plan to keep a tally of what I've spent and where on the outside of the envelopes. My categories will include money just for fabric. :) 

Maybe I'll even make one of these bookmark/book holder deals too. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Moo! (mini)

I used the Sewing Summit as an excuse to finally order myself some Mini Moo Cards. I've been enthralled by them ever since I received one in a swap package (some time ago). They're only about $20 for a box of 100 but it took me a long time to break down and buy them since they are completely unnecessary

They sure are cute though!! The fronts have closeups of some of my work, and the backs have my name with links to my blog and flickr accounts. :) If you're at the summit be sure to ask me for one! :) 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Playing Fabric Store

This time it's me playing fabric store! 

Today I sat down to decide which fabrics I'd bring for the FQ swap at the Sewing Summit. I've never really cut fabric before but it wasn't too bad. I folded them in the same way that my local quilt shop (Quiltology) does. I added a couple new ones from Quiltology to the pile too. I sure hope someone likes those shopping ladies. I've got 9 FQ's to add to the mix there... hopefully I'll come home with nine that I'll use right away!!

Oh those shopping ladies!