Monday, November 24, 2014

Choose Your Own Block-Along, 11/24/14

I've still been working on the "Have Yourself a Quilty Little Christmas" sew-along on Instagram, with all the instructions by Lori Holt from Bee in My Bonnet. This has been so much fun, I'm sorry to see it coming to an end.

What have you been working on? Link up and show us!

An InLinkz Link-up

With everything going on, I'm going to suspend the link-up until the first of the year. But keep sewing and plan on showing us your progress next year (wow, that sounds weird, doesn't it?!).

Friday, November 21, 2014

First Call for Fall

I'm so happy to have a quilt in the latest issue of Modern Patchwork. I named it First Call for Fall. The magazine shortened it to Call for Fall, but I'm sticking with the original name.

It all started with this logo. My husband was searching for contact information on a church website and when I saw the church logo, I had him wait long enough for me to take a screen shot.
With a few adjustments, I knew it would make a great quilt block. I love it when inspiration strikes from unexpected places.

The quilt is in a section of the magazine called Muted Moderns. Cool graphics...

I made the entire quilt top from my stash--also a bonus. I had enough Essex yarn-dyed linen, some Kona cottons in light colors, and scraps of Oakshott cottons in fall-ish colors.

I had a complete surprise when I was paging through the actual magazine for the first time: my quilt from the Summer 2014 issue, Chain Link, was used in the first article, right there across from Jacquie Gering, Alissa Haight Carlton and Latifah Saafir. As my grandson, Levi, has been saying a lot lately, "Holy smokes!!"

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and TGIFF.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Free Motion Quilting for Beginners/Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks

Note: The Giveaway is now closed. Thanks for stopping by!
Welcome to the blog today! Let's consider today a"series of fortunate events" for you, the reader. I am rarely on blog hops or book tours, but for some reason, beyond my control, I have both on the very same day.

Let's start with Molly Hanson first. Here is a funny back story. I was at spring quilt market in May 2013, walking down an aisle with my husband, Mark, when someone stopped me right as we came to Angela Walters' booth, and said, "Aren't you Cindy from Live a Colorful Life? I read your blog!"  I was pretty shocked that someone recognized me.  I have met blogging friends before, but always because we had prearranged it. Random recognition has never happened to me. It was really fun., so Mark took our picture and we chatted a bit. I instantly knew that Molly and I would be friends. She is warm and funny, and VERY talented.

When she told me about her book, "Free Motion Quilting for Beginners, and those who think they can't" I kind of felt like she had written it specifically for me. The only quilting I have done is straight-line/grid quilting. I love them both, but have felt ready to expand my quilting horizons, although feeling intimidated at the thought of actually trying something new.

 Photo Courtesy of Martingale, Brent Kane photographer
For some reason, I always thought that stippling was the first required skill on your way to free motion quilting. Imagine my joy when I read this,  "When I first sat down and tried free-motion quilting, I started with classic stippling, because I thought I was supposed to start there. It turned out that wasn't a good starting point for me because the movements were so foreign."


After a lot of information on supplies, tips and tricks, and reminders, she starts with small projects, and with each new FMQ skill, you move to larger and larger projects until by the end you have the skills to move onto a quilt. I hesitate to show you my trial run, but everyone has to start somewhere. Once over I got over the freaky feeling that I was the one in control and relaxed a little bit, things seemed to go more smoothly.

The projects are cute and clever,  and I really want to make each and every one. Here are a couple of my favorites (all photos courtesy of Martingale, Brent Kane, photographer).

Aren't the initials cute in the woodgrain quilting? 

After the holidays, I plan to work my way from start to finish through the book, making each project. You can follow Molly's quilting adventures on her blog.

Molly's publisher, Martingale, has generously offered to give an e-book to one lucky reader. So for this giveaway, leave a comment and let me know if you are a free motion quilter, and if you started with stippling.

Also be sure to check out the previous stops on the tour, and the Thermoweb stop tomorrow.

1. Martingale November 11th
2. Amanda Jean November 13th
3. Amy Friend November 14th
4. Angela Walters  November15th 
5. Juliet van der Heijden The Tartankiwi  November 17th
6. Lori Kennedy  November 19th
7. Cindy Wiens November 20th (you are here!)
8. Thermoweb November 21st

Next, I'm really happy to have a block in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, especially this edition, as it is the 10th volume, which means they have published 1000 block designs.

My block is #930, Wanderlust. It is based on a logo I saw on a website (logos are great sources of inspiration!). As always, Quilty Pleasures is featuring great giveaways during the blog tour and listing all of the participants for each day so you will want to make sure to stop over there.
I also made a mini quilt, shown in the magazine as well.

Quiltmaker Magazine has generously offered to give away one copy of this issue to one of you, so leave a comment and let me know if you ever work with solids, or prefer to stick with prints.

For all the  blog tour stops and more giveaways, hop on over to Quilty Pleasures blog.

I'll be picking winners for each of the giveaways Monday morning, November 24, so make sure I have contact information, and thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Choose Your Own Block-Along, 11/17/14

I took another little detour from my City Sampler blocks. Oops. Sometimes I'm powerless at resisting some of the fun things on Instagram. And friends and family members know exactly wonder why nothing ever gets completed!

Do you follow Lori Holt on Instagram (@beelori1)? She is making a Christmas version of some of the blocks from her book, Quilty Fun, and designing a few others to add to the mix.

I started with the mittens because I have been waiting forever to use this super cute knitted-looking fabric.
Then I made this little gingerbread house. And now I kind of want to make a few more and have a gingerbread village.
Next came Mr. Gingerbread Man.
Several people commented and said, "Please, PLEASE. Give him some eyes!"  So after I completed the mug and peppermint stick stirrer, I added some eyes. Whew. Sometimes it's a tough crowd!
Next up is the Christmas tree.
There are SO many other things I should be working on. But these blocks give me a chance to use some of the Christmas fabric I have been collecting for years. So just a few more. And then I promise to get back to the City Sampler blocks.

Unless someone else starts an irresistible project on Instagram...

What have you been up to?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Choose Your Own Block-Along, 11/10/14

Welcome to this week's edition of the Choose Your Own Block-Along. I actually spent nearly a whole day sewing blocks for my City Sampler quilt, but I'm just going to show four of them today.

Two green blocks (28 and 29):

And two red blocks (16 and 32):

This is what I have so far. I'll highlight some of the other blocks another week but I'm really happy with the direction it is taking.
What have you been up to in the past week?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Choose Your Own Block-Along, 11/3/14

And I'm my regularly scheduled City Sampler blocks after the little break while being obsessed with the Ghastlies.

This week I did two blocks.

Number 15 completes the section of "crosses."

 I skipped a few blocks to make number 18, one of the first blocks in the section of "rectangles."
I have enough blocks to give you an idea of my layout thoughts. I was planning on starting at the top left with low-volume red and white blocks, adding more red, then gradually adding more red and green along with about an equal amount of white, then less white, until the center of the quilt where the blocks would be predominantly red. Then doing the same thing in green, gradually losing the red until the bottom right side where it will be all low-volume green and white blocks.

But as soon as I had the blocks on my wall, the two blocks that were more concentrated with red and a little white, and green and a little white, stuck out too much.
 So I rearranged them to be closer to the center. It goes against my original plan, which was to go from two colors on top and bottom and work my way to more concentrated blocks of both colors at the center. But I think the balance is much better.

What do you think? Layout 1 or layout 2?
I completed the whole month of a photo-a-day for soakwash on Instagram. It was really fun and I was able to stay on target every day. There are prizes to be won, but even if I don't win, I'm really glad I participated. By the way, the Yuzu scent in Flatter is amazing!! I always used unscented Best Press because I normally just don't do scented stuff. But there may have been a time or two when I actually sprayed some Yuzu Flatter on my wrists, it smells that good.
What have you been up to in the past week? Don't forget to see what Rene' and Michelle have been doing.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Choose Your Own Block-Along, 10/27/14

Once again, it's been a Ghastlie week. The good news is that the quilt top is completely together!

I was going to take pictures outside, but amazingly, here in central California it finally feels like fall and has been quite breezy. So indoor photos it is.
 The block stats on this quilt are as follows:
2-36" blocks
1-30" block
1-24" block
5-18" blocks
9-12" blocks
30 (yes 30)-6" blocks

I worked on 6" blocks most of the week. 

Every once in awhile, there was a block that had only two to four pieces. Lots of times they had 40+ pieces. It brought back memories of making the Farmer's Wife quilt, all those many pieces contained in a little 6" block.

The 6" blocks were grouped together throughout the quilt top.
 And some of them had a little something that amused me.
I'm so happy that this quilt top is completed. Here's the interesting thing: I'm not a huge fan of Halloween, yet for some reason I had a quite-sizable Halloween fabric stash. How does that even happen? But once I decided on including the few pieces of the Ghastlies, I couldn't really use any of my "cutesie" Halloween fabrics. The Ghastlies are most decidedly NOT "cutesie" people. So I still haven't busted much of my Halloween stash but I did dig into my stash of purple, orange and lime green!

And then I made a cute selvage pincushion.

What have you been up to this week?

Don't forget to see what Rene' and Michelle have been working on.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Choose Your Own Block-Along, 10/20/14

It's been a simply GHASTLIE week!

This is a 24" block.
The next four blocks are each 18".
The rest are 12" blocks.
Everything but the thirty 6" blocks.
See what I mean? GHASTLIE!

Check out the progress of Rene' and Michelle.

What have you been up to this week?