Monday, April 14, 2014

A Little Flowers, A Little Fabric (new Kaffe!)

It is a beautiful day! so happy to see signs of Spring….


The first flowers are blooming in my garden, tiny little crocus bulbs. They are so cheerful and bright!
I am gearing up for a lot of yard work this coming week: since I am the neighborhood landscaping committee, I have mulching, weeding, planting and trimming to do in both my own garden and the neighborhood flower beds. I cannot wait!


There is also beautiful new fabric available! Jackie, at Canton Village has a new supply of gorgeous Kaffe Fassett prints….I love that print with the houses and it comes in other color ways, too.
I did a bit of "virtual" shopping and picked this little bundle for you to enjoy.
(if you like these, you can find them Here)

I would love to add some solids and make this into a pretty spring quilt: how about a bit of yellow, pink and blue?
I don't know about you, but it's so much fun to watch the new colors pop up around me, whether it's in my flower garden (even those in the Southern Hemisphere should be enjoying some fall color now, right?) or in my other favorite medium: fabric!

Enjoy the Week,
Sharon

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April is for Finishes!


April is a new beginning for me. I finally quit my regular day job at the end of March. It was really a negative in my life, and I wanted to spend more time quilting and developing the potential in that (Huge Thanks to those who buy my patterns, visit my blog, and support my sponsor!), as well as focus more on quality time with my kids.

I did start a new "real" job, but only very part time. I am spending my newly increased quilty time to get some of my unfinished projects finished.


I have (finally) finished my Summer Blockbuster quilt from last summer. I has been sitting there just needing binding for months, and I am pretty excited to have it finished before I actually start this summer's blockbuster!

A couple of years ago, I made the lemoyne star blocks using gold, purple and minty green inspired by the colors in the leafy border fabric. I made several in 3", 6", 9" and 12" blocks without any plan for a quilt, and then they sat in WIP-land for a long time. Last Summer I finally decided to just make what blocks I had into a quilt, and this is the result.


It feels good to mark one off the list of Unfinished! If you like this quilt and have a group of orphan blocks, the pattern to turn them into a quilt like mine is published Here on my blog.

These blocks, then also the quilt, sat unfinished for a long time because I wasn't too sure I really loved it. It's funny how you can put something away for a while and then get it out, finish it, and realize you really like it more than your remember. Maybe that binding was just the finishing touch it needed!

Sharon

Linking up for TGIFF
CRAZY MOM QUILTS, finish it up friday
and Sarah for Whoop Whoop Friday




Sunday, April 6, 2014

April Book Club: "Scrap Basket Beauties"

fabricsandflowers.blogspot.com

It's April! It's beginning to look like spring, and it's time for a new book club selection.
If you are just tuning in, each month I choose a book to feature and chat a bit about. I also sew one     12 1/2" scrappy block inspired by something in the book.

This month I picked out "Scrap Basket Beauties" by Kim Brackett. All of you modern quilters might think this looks like a cutesy tootsy full of projects in pastels and 30's reproductions, but if you look inside, there is lots of goodness for any taste….

fabricsandflowers.blogspot.com

As the title indicates, the projects are centered around using scraps, specifically strips. I personally love scrappy quilts, so I think it's pretty fun. If you don't have much of a stash or lots of scraps, you could also use pre-cuts or yardage, too.
I love both of these quilts photographed on the back of the book (above). Wouldn't that star block on the right be great in the center of a medallion quilt?

fabricsandflowers.blogspot.com

For my block, I decided to take piece of this quilt made up of crosses. Originally my block was just the yellow cross shape with the blue and pink around the edges…it was really blah, so I cut it apart and added the green strip. I think it livens it up a bit.
I now have eight blocks made. You can see past book club posts Here. I have just one more month, then over the summer, these blocks will be made into a "blockbuster" quilt…free quilt along here on the blog…great for turning your orphan blocks into a quilt!

fabricsandflowers.blogspot.com

"Scrap Basket Beauties" has several variations on the classic pinwheel block, which has been one of my favorites. The one above could be made to look really retro or really modern depending on the fabric and layout of the blocks.

fabricsandflowers.blogspot.com

"Scrap Basket Beauties" contains a full section on basic quilt-making and 18 projects for all skill levels. A fun addition to your library, or just a browse for serious inspiration.

Have a great week! I am hoping to enjoy some time in my garden…there are signs of life!

Sharon

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bikini Quilt Along Progress

fabricsandflowers.blogspot.com

Happy April!
For our Polka Dot Bikini quilt along schedule, you should have four more border blocks and the last of the center blocks sewn up. How did you do?

Today I want to share some great inspiration: the finished Bikini top made by my mom, Marian. I showed you this as a work in progress back at the start of the quilt-along. Didn't this turn out stunning?

fabricsandflowers.blogspot.com

Marian made her blocks by piecing the setting arcs with half black and half white, this creates the neat pinwheel where the blocks come together.
I like how this makes the individual blocks disappear and you really just see the overall design. She made the edge blocks into a black and white checkerboard, but the black prints have touches of bright color, making them stand out a bit from the black in the center of the quilt.

We have one more check-in post before showing the finished tops on May 1st. I would love to see more of the projects. If you would like to have yours featured here, please email me.

If you are working on your Bikini Quilt, no matter what stage you are, leave a comment here and tell me and the rest of us where to visit you: blog, flickr, instagram name, etc. I would love to see your unique version.

Have a great weekend!
Sharon

Monday, March 31, 2014

Taking it on the road: Salt Lake City

I love visiting Utah.
My boys get to go skiing, which they love.
It is beautiful: snowy mountains, spring trees in bloom in the valley (it still looks like the dead of winter back home)
My family is here: I spent the weekend on a mini sewing "retreat" with my mom and sister,


I got to sew on that cute little white featherweight there in the front!

My brothers came to town to see me, too. I am so blessed to have great relationships with my siblings.
My younger brother brings his dog, sweet Dusty,


Dusty is a dog who quilts, just like my Cleo at home. Here he is trying out my project. This purple is a new color for me...and I love it! more on this later.

Salt Lake City has really fabulous quilt shops! Seriously, my stash would be about three times its size if I lived here. If you are ever in town, you simply must check out Elaine's Quilt Block, Pine Needles, and Quilters' Haven: they are heaven for fabric lovers! I picked up this piece from Tula Pink's new collection, Fox Field, at Elaine's:


I plan to use it for a binding.  I always like stripes for binding, but this one really has a bit of flare.

So that's where I have been, visiting, sewing, eating too much candy, laughing with my family. 

Have a great week! see you back here Thursday for the Bikini QAL check-in...I have something super fabulous to share....

Sharon

Thursday, March 27, 2014

For the Love of Fabric

Every once in a while (okay, really often) a fabric design just grabs me. Two of my past favorites include Terrain, by Kate Spain and Reunion, by Sweetwater (both Moda, roughly two years ago). I have a hoard of both that I may never use, but just look at. (I hope I'm not the only person who does that)

Recently I have discovered a really fabulous collection, Garden Party Tango (from Windham Fabrics). Here are a few of the prints, but the collections also includes some really fun, colorful florals, too.

fabricsandflowers.blogspot.com

I chose the prints above because I think they look great with my fat eighth collection of Botanique, by Joel Dewberry:

fabricsandflowers.blogspot.com

This is the print collection I am planning for a new Color Girl design. If you like the Polka Dot Bikini, you will like this one…..

Curious, how do quilters choose fabrics for a project? do you tend to choose all fabrics from a single collection so they coordinate? or do you prefer lots of scraps? I know some people don't even stash (gasp!) but just buy for specific projects.

I am somewhere in the middle. I often buy fabrics by collection simply because I love the designs or colors together, but I always add others to them. It's especially fun to find that a couple of my "collections" play well together, like those above.

How about solids? I am a new convert to solids. Until maybe two years ago, I never used solids. And I mean Never. Once I tried them in my Bikini Quilt, though, I fell in love with the way they look with prints and never looked back. And since I am the Color Girl, my very bright and busy, colorful fabric selections need some solids to tone them down a bit.

               fabricsandflowers.blogspot.com

Color? More is More. When I choose a color scheme for a quilt, I usually start with complementary colors. My favorite combo is Blue and Orange, which can be interpreted in an endless number of shades. 

fabricsandflowers.blogspot.com

Another favorite way to choose a color scheme is using a single color (or two) but adding a huge range of shades in that color. I once made a quilt for my mother-in-law that included teal and fuchsia, but really it was everything from navy to turquoise and maroon to hot pink. All mixed up, they looked really beautiful!

Do you  have a current fabric crush (or seven)? has anyone else seen Garden Party Tango, and if so, what are your ideas for it?

Sharon

linking to Sunday Stash
Molli Sparkles

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Winner!

Just dropping in to announce a winner for the Bikini Quilt Along giveaway last week, and it is Kris, of Sew Sunshine fame. She will be treated to a $25 gift certificate at Pink Castle Fabrics.

Be sure and check out her version of the Polka Dot Bikini quilt, see it on flickr by Clicking Here. I love it! As you can see, she is quite an over-achiever and has the top already finished. Those of you making one, I would really like to see your quilts...

fabricsandflowers.blogspot.com

I am the other winner today! I made this tote (yes, I made something other than a quilt with my limited sewing abilities) for my pre-schooler because he lost his school-issued one.
I am in love with it, the fabric is kind of like twill, so heavier than quilting cotton and lined with white fabric. And guess what? the zig-zags on the handles actually line up when the handles are placed together (I am going to claim that I did that on purpose).
So, you are asking why am I the winner? the same day my boy took this to school the first time, his teacher found his old one! guess who gets to keep this cute bag?

I used a pattern by Vanessa Christensen found in the Fall 2013 issue of Modern Patchwork magazine. I altered mine to be bigger and left off the flower appliqué. It is a great magazine, I suggest you run and get it while it's still available!
Enjoy the rest of the week,

Sharon
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