Sewtopia, Salt Lake City!

Sewtopia Logo jpegThis November from the 6th-9th I had the pleasure of going to Sewtopia in Salt Lake City with my mom!

Mom at the Airport…and this is how we felt waiting for the plane to take us from San Diego to Utah.

Room ViewHappily, we were upgraded to a room with a mountain view, that was a nice bonus.

Sewtopia Swag BagHere’s a look at what was in the swag bag. A crazy generous amount of happy sewing fun.

Cat Nap on it's way to judgingAs mentioned in the previous post, here I am on my way to take my challenge quilt to its temporary judging home.

My Cotton And Steel BlockHere is a less than fabulous picture of my Cotton and Steel selvage block that I made for the charity quilt that they put together during the weekend. That was my first experience with using selvages (although I have been saving them because I had a feeling I’d want to play in the future).

mom's selvage blockHere is my very cute mommy with her selvage block. That smart cookie took her extras and made a pouch that was so lovely! We, at the table, were totally inspired. I didn’t get a pic of hers but I did take a pic of one that someone else had brought from home.

selvage pouchI am so going to do this. I also loved her little handle on the side…again, so going to do that .

P1020158Here’s a peek at what the room looked like that we were in. Some people brought their own machines but most of us took advantage of the Bernina’s that were available to use. They even had personnel on hand to make sure we had a smooth time of it. Some of us…uh hum… had some difficulty with things like, threading the silly thing. Notice the white boards against the wall, those were, of course, design walls that were well used throughout the weekend. There were also Sweet 16, sit down, mid-arm machines in the back to use if you were at the quilting stage.

mom's design wall workHere’s what mom was playing with on one of the design walls.

Ali's Sewtopia Super ToteI spent virtually the entire weekend plus on this Super Tote, which I finished (yeahhh me!). I had all of the pieces cut and fused before I got there to save time but it still took the entire weekend to finish. I have to admit I did do some customization with the help of my compadres at other tables. There were some extremely accomplished bag makers in that room. I made some great new friends. I made the bag to take to QuiltCon for my show/exhibition hall day (so if you see me and my bag come say hi :-). I still have one more bag to make for the class days but that will come.

Salt Lake City Hotel ViewThere was also a shop hop that got us out and about a bit in Salt Lake but in the end it was hard to say goodbye to all the fun. Next year in Portland! Ya Hoooooooooo!

 

 

 

 

 

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My Fabric Challenge Quilt Journey

As you might remember I decided to enter the Michael Miller Fabric Challenge for the Sewtopia retreat in Salt Lake City. I decided to use the opportunity to test out my Electric Quilt Software and came up with this:

Cat nap EQ7 jpegI used some of the fabric I owned and used the challenge fabric for the medium stars.

The block comes from Angela Pingel‘s contribution to the Modern Blocks Book. The block is one small, one medium and one big wonky star. I took the block, duplicated it, imported the fabrics I wanted to use, twisted around the blocks until they had an appealing design and colored in the fabrics. It was fun. Then, of course, I had to make it.Basting Cat Nap

This is the basting, I’ll spare you the piecing madness

Below would be the quilty goodness, although painful.

Working on Cat Nap QuiltAmazingly, I was able to get it completed in the 1.5 – 2 months allotted. Very fast for me  considering my last quilt took about 6 months.

close-up of cat nap quiltingI tried to quilt with care note to take away from the design so I used matching grey thread and did a loopy star design as well as stitching around every single star. Unfortunately I think I quilted too densely as you really couldn’t see the quilting too well once it was washed and got all shrinky.

Center of Cat Nap QuiltI really love the middle with my mod cats peering out. notice they are all facing forward, remember these are wonky stars…that was a bear…ripping was done, large sighs were heard.

Finished Cat Nap QuiltAnd there she is! Notice the binding. My husband chose it and I think he was spot on I had my doubts but it turned out great. Thanks honey :-)

Mommy with Cat Nap QuiltWhen we got to Sewtopia mom wanted to take it on a test run before I turned it in for judging. Yes, there was judging. No, when I embarked on this journey I did not know there would be judging. To me, judging implied that there would be losers and that made me sad but I really like my Celestial Cat Nap quilt so I thought, hey, maybe there is a chance it will be received favorably.

Cat Nap on it's way to judgingHere I am fuzzily taking Celestial Cat Nap to the registration table (no we had not started drinking yet, it’s just time for a new phone).

Cat Nap on the Judging Wall

And there she is …fuzzily once again, my apologies…on one side of the two sided judging wall. How did I fair? I’m sad to inform that I got no judging love. No mention, no prize, no participatory fat quarter…nada. I was surprisingly disappointed, I didn’t realize that I would be so deflated. I may not enter one of these things again, I think I might not be cut out for the competitive aspect. The good news is some people did tell me that mine was their favorite and that was nice. My sweet mother felt so bad for me she gave me the jelly roll she won in a drawing (that was a very cool Sewtopia treat, everyone’s name got pulled eventually for a drawing prize…mine was almost last to be called but that’s just the way my luck went that weekend, and I still got something nice so it’s okay). I told mom that we would make a quilt together with the jelly roll because I really didn’t want to take it from her and she wouldn’t take it back.

The good news is, after I show it off at my next guild meeting next month, it will go to a very good home. One of my book club members recently had a baby and I’m going to send it to her. She has no idea it’s coming. Hopefully the family will like it.

In the meantime I have many sweet memories and new friends from Sewtopia (perhaps a post about that is in order) and I’ve made a few more things I’ll share soon.

Thanks for stopping by :-)

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A Little Duffle Do It Pouch with Sew Yummy Fabric

As I am busily trying to finish my quilt for the Micheal Miller Challenge at Sewtopia (due Nov 6th…ahhhhh!) I have a friend who is new to quilting and wanted me to come over for a sewing date. Well, who am I to say no to someone who needs as much encouragement as I can give her….since she is the only friend I have that is interested in sewing. The problem was that I couldn’t pack up my Janome and all it’s quilting accouterments to continue with my Sewtopia challenge. So I quickly cut and fused some “Sew Yummy” fabric to make the “A Little Duffle Do It” zipper pouch. I’ve been meaning to try the pattern but a few steps looked a little bit intimidating, big girl scissors and Singer sewing machine in hand I sallied forth.

P1020135And whalla! Not too shabby if I do say so myself….Wait! Wait! you must see this

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I even finished off all the edges inside in a neat and tidy kind of way, I can’t hardly believe it myself…I’m verklempt…talk amongst yourselves.

:-)

 

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Zippered Pouch for a Friend

I have a friend who is starting her first quilting class and is very excited about it. This in turn makes me very excited because I don’t really have any close friends who are quilters…or even sewists of any kind for that matter. As you may remember I had been working on this pouch idea

P1020039I liked the idea of the little leftover economy blocks going to good use and I wanted to play with the idea of adding piping.

Fortunately I had a little extra time at the retreat I went to weekend after last and I finished it!

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P1020128For once I even finished the edges on the inside with binding

P1020130I didn’t have any binding clips with me so I winged it but it came out pretty well for a first attempt at zippered pouch, internal, binding.

In the end I wrapped it up in a pretty fat quarter and left it at the quilt shop for my friend to get before her first class. A win win :-)

FYI: The economy blocks were made with a line called “Hello Tokyo” by Robert Kaufman. I believe it is still out there to purchase if you’re interested. I know I bought plenty, so more of something made out of that fabric will be popping up again in my future.

Enjoy.

 

 

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WIP Wednesday with Snowmen

Once again I am linking my WIP Wednesday to the Freshly Pieced blog where many many of us post and share progress on any Wednesday we can make it :-)

This last weekend I went to a sewing retreat at my local quilt shop Rosie’s Calico Cupboard. It lasted for two and a half days starting on Friday night where we set up our space (everyone gets a whole table!) and have a potluck, then we come back Saturday and Sunday for full days of sewing. At the retreat we have sewing choices, either you can work on the class project or you can work on your own thing. This time I chose the class project…and I was the only one who did, you just never know. The pattern is called Snow Day…Sew Day by Amy Bradley. Below is our class sample.

 

example snowman quiltActually it usually looked something like this during class (see below)

snowmen with foodit was the backdrop for the food table :-)

I started my journey with this quilt at home the weekend before where I spent a whole day cutting and fusing the pieces.

fusing snowmenHaving never done this technic it took a little while to get the hang of it.

snowmen pre-stitchingBy the end of the night I had ten little guys waiting for the weekend.

my snowman retreat spaceThis is basically what my space looked like all weekend long. I chose to go over the dark blue sections first with a dark blue thread. Unfortunately…or fortunately….it didn’t really show up. On the one hand I don’t want my snowmen to read too “country” so too much blanket stitch may be a bad thing. On the other hand the blanket stitch does add another layer of cuteness, so I’m a bit torn. Although the dark blue is my most busy fabric and I’d hate for the blanket stitch to fight with the pattern so I guess I’m good. I’m going to try a darker thread for the light blue areas and the bird nest snowman…

P1020123that started like this (above), and has ended up with bold stitching and a little machine embroidery

bird nest snowmen with embroideryIt’s coming along.

Unfortunately I have to put this project away for a little while because I have to concentrate on the Sewtopia challenge quilt I’m making. That little sucker has to be completed upon arrival at the retreat in Salt Lake City on November 6th. I am not known for my speedy finishing skills (remember my sisters quilt did take 23 years to make and more recently my sister-in-law’s quilt took me about 6 months…or more). So I need to buckle down. It’s only about 50″x50″ so I should be able to handle it…we’ll see. I foresee binding on the plane or even worse binding at the hotel, refusing to go to registration until I finish. Fun fun fun.

As for the sprout quilt, that one is on hold as well. In fact that one may have to wait until the snowmen are complete. You see, my husband likes him some Christmas all over the house and I don’t have much to accommodate with. Usually we go away for the holidays and visit his relatives so our house is not an issue but this year we’ll be staying home. I can definitely borrow from my mom’s stash but I think some holiday quilts are for sure in order and luckily he’s fallen in love with this one.

Apollo has fallen in love with the sprouts quilt (I know the quality of the pic is pretty poor but it was dark and we didn’t want to disturb the little guy).Apollo on Sprouts

 

 

 

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Challenge Accepted!

In November I’ll be attending Sewtopia in Salt Lake City with my mom. About a week and a half ago I got a package in the mail from them

P1020114Yup! I got fabric for a challenge. At first I was rather surprised, as I didn’t sign up for the challenge…I’ll have to ask my mom if she got the random fabric because I know she didn’t sign up for it either. However, after having a bit of a think about it I decided, why not? I’ve never taken part in a challenge before and heck, I went to art school (majored in theatrical lighting design, but there were art classes in there).

Part of the rules are that you can ONLY use Michael Miller fabric so the first thing I did was raid my stash and read all the little salvages to see what Michael Miller fabric I owned. Not too much. Robert Kaufman, no problem. Moda, I have plenty. So I took what little I had and began looking through books of blocks and quilts. After some back and forth I found a pattern out of a block book and decided this would be the perfect time to try out my new Electric Quilt software (EQ7). That software is not the most intuitive from the outside, sheesh. Let’s just say after finally getting the block drafted I was able to figure out how to import the fabrics I’ll be using (after racking up a big ‘ol fabric.com bill buying those fabrics). I colored in blocks, moved blocks around, recolored…eventually I had a design I was happy with and I’ve been sewing ever since, that would be about 3 days now.

I’d love to show you progress but I am going to keep it under wraps until I go to Sewtopia.

In the meantime take a look at this

P1020118Someone on Twitter, or maybe Instagram mentioned that they use this tool to square up their quilts! Brilliant. It shoots out two lasers to make a 90 degree angle. My wonderful husband bought it for me as soon as I said I wanted it. One click on Amazon, too easy. I can’t wait to use it on my Sprouts quilt (I need a better name for that one) whose top I have now completed by the way, but it has taken a back seat to the Sewtopia Challenge for now.

 

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WIP Wednesday with Sprouts!

For once I am going to actually be part of Freshly Pieced Work In Progress (WIP) Wednesday. You can go here to see all the amazing posts.

So last weeks sprouts that looked like this

P1020038

Has now changed to this

P1020108Now you may be wondering what the big deal is but those six paper pieced flowers on top were none too easy to make (and I am a foundation piecing queen, one of my guild mates said so after my demo). Also, if you look carefully there are rows and rows of cream squares being added in between each stalk.

The flowers come from a book by Carol Doak (I would give you the title but it is on my bookshelf, conveniently located behind my make-shift design wall). In the book they were only 12″ wide and I needed 13.5″ so I went to my local Office Depot and had them enlarge it. No trouble, it was great! They look like this before

foundation flowerand this after

P1020110It was interesting, I have been making those teeny tiny foundation pieced cranes and yet I found these 13.5 inch foundation flowers harder to make. Really big wonky sized pieces are not to be discounted.

If I was really good I’d have this top together before my guild meeting on Sunday but me thinks that’s a little too ambitious, they may have to wait until it’s fully finished. Don’t think I won’t be passing around my phone to show off pictures though!

 

 

Posted in Foundation Piecing, Paper Piecing, Work-in-Progress | Tagged , , | 6 Comments