Monday, August 27, 2012

Mod Pop Take 2, Some Updates on the Pattern and a Quilt Along too!

I've been really hard at work the past two weeks working on my second Mod Pop. 

This one was commissioned as a store sample for my LQS and she wanted it ASAP. I finished it up on Saturday and delivered it to a very pleased shop owner!

This one was made with Hope Valley by Denyse Schmidt

Mod Pop take 2

What I really love about this one is that the pattern isn't as noticeable, but it's still there. And the fact that it was made with a single fabric collection and still works really excites me.

I quilted it the same way I did the original version, using a darker thread so it really shows up well. And you know I couldn't leave well enough alone when it came to backing and had to do at least a little bit of piecing.

back of Mod Pop take 2


I have FINALLY gotten some templates in hand and have the pattern in the process of being printed. I should have it in my hands by the beginning of next week.

I have a Big Cartel shop all set up, it includes both versions of the pattern, the templates and a bundle that includes both. You don't have to join anything or give your email address away to purchase through Big Cartel, it takes you straight to Paypal to check out. The pattern will stay on Craftsy as well.

Here's the link, it will be listed on the sidebar to the right as well:


Leanne, of She Can Quilt fame, is going to host a quilt along!! You can go here to read her post about it:

She has a Flickr group set up here:

She's lining up sponsors and planning on having some fun, she'd love to have you join her and I would be delighted to see all of the different versions you guys come up with!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I Think I Might Be Obsessed With Tula

As I look around the room, I see her everywhere. Well, not HER, but you know what I mean. 

Between the quilt on the design wall

Prince Charming quilt top

The one hanging on the wall

Neptune wall hanging

the secret gifts I'm working on...

What is going on here?
What the heck is this? Any guesses?
...that I can't show you the completed versions of just yet

and the two purses hanging out on the sewing table, waiting for me to transfer the contents from one to the other

I think I might be obsessed.

We won't mention the piles of her fabrics on the shelves that I haven't even touched yet. And these aren't even all of the projects I've made with her stuff! Just off the top of my head and I can think of three other quilts. 

Yeah, I just might be a fangirl.

The point of today's post was actually to show off my new bag. I finished it late Tuesday night and am IN LOVE!

The Scoop Tote by Green Bee Patterns

I loved the Mabel Bag that I originally made but it was still just lacking a few things that I needed in a bag. The Scoop Tote almost fit the bill. I really loved it's design and figured I could add to it the few things that I was missing.

So, with The Bag Making Bible in hand, I set to work.

I needed more pockets

The Scoop Tote by Green Bee Patterns

and a zipper to close it

The Scoop Tote by Green Bee Patterns

I swapped the inside pocket for a zippered one so I could hide stuff from the kids

The Scoop Tote by Green Bee Patterns

Who am I kidding? You can't hide anything from them.

I wish I had measured the outside pockets and my phone before sewing it together. The phone is a really tight fit and doesn't come out easily. I would have adjusted the size of the pattern to accommodate it. Oh well. I'm sure these pockets will still come in handy!

The Scoop Tote by Green Bee Patterns

This was a great pattern, really easy to follow, and produced a great looking bag. I did add fusible fleece to it to make it a bit heavier. The pattern only calls for Decor Bond. I also added a piece of peltex in the bottom to help it keep it's shape. I'm not great at figuring out what fusibles to use, but I know this was the combination I used in the Amy Butler Sweet Harmony bag and I really liked how it kept it's shape. 

I did have a few issues with the additions I made because of the pleats in the bag, but I think I overcame them pretty well. It was hard to pleat the fabric with the fleece attached to it. And the pockets on the outside stick out a little bit further than I'd like. I'm not sure if it's because the pleats caused the shape of the bag to change to where the pockets were harder to match up, or because the bag is so wide that the pockets need to be taller. I think they'll work out just fine though and I can always put a tack in the middle or something to hold them closer to the bag. We'll play it by ear I think. 

This bag and that Prince Charming quilt up at the top of the post are TWO of my Just Three goals for August! Bonus!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Demon Quilt

We've all had one of those quilts, right? The one that just doesn't want to behave. No matter what you do right, it's still all wrong. This is the story of my demon quilt. This might be a long one, so settle in with a nice glass of tea before you start reading. 

Remember the picture I posted while I was sorting through a massive pile of stuff? The one of the commission quilt that, although was a queen size, was supposed to be a quick, easy knockout?

Yeah, not so much. Everything went wrong from the beginning. 

First, I needed 6 yards of that black fabric. It's 108" wide and the quilt was to be pretty much a whole cloth quilt with an applique. So I check, they only have 3 yards. No biggie, I found the other three elsewhere. I decided to wait until I got order confirmation from before ordering the rest though, just to be safe. So I get it, and just for kicks decide to look at their stock now. Now they have something like 88 yards! Ok, yet again, no biggie. The fabric costs enough that by ordering 3 yards, I'll get free shipping. So I order the other three yards and decide to find the silver lining. Now I don't have to try to cut a 6 yard x 108" wide piece of fabric into two 3 yard cuts, they did it for me!

Ok, so the fabric gets here and my plan of attack is to baste the entire 3 yards cuts. So I set to work, basting on my bed as I always do, moving it around and trying to get it straight, and it JUST.WON'T.WORK. Ok, next move is to rearrange my living room since the empty floor space I do have isn't big enough and scrub the heck out of my floors. 3 HOURS later, I have a basted quilt. 

Next, I set to work quilting. I planned to quilt, trim and bind it before attaching the applique. It needed to be centered just right. I begin with a free motion stippling pattern, but I keep popping thread. I try again, I pop the thread. Over and over again this goes on, and this is with aurifil so I know the issue isn't the thread. I finally throw my hands up in the air and decide it needs straight lines. Time to rip quilting stitches, black thread on black fabric quilting stitches. Another 3 HOURS later and I have a quilted quilt. One that would have only taken 30 minutes had I just gone with the straight lines to begin with. 

Ok, now this particular customer is very particular about the size he wants this quilt to be. So I decide to wash it before I trim it so it will shrink now instead of after the fact. That goes pretty smoothly, other than the batting lint that now covers the entire quilt. And it's pretty wrinkled up and bunched now since my washer and dryer are only so big. I iron it and set out to trim it. Somehow, some way, I end up with one side being 3 inches wider at the bottom than it is at the top. I trim a bit more and end up being 4 inches off instead. Oye. I finally get it right, but now the quilt is a little bit narrower than the customer requested. Fortunately he's a close friend and very forgiving, and fortunately it's still plenty wide enough to fit his bed. 

The binding process goes smooth, thank goodness! I know have a whole cloth quilt and just need to add an applique. Well, the applique just so happens to be that dang tree and moon from our state flag, again. This will be quilt #3 using this applique. Problem is, I threw away the pattern I had created when I did the other two. Why? Who knows why I do what I do. What I do know is that it is a pain to make, a pain to cut, a pain to sew, just a pain in general. But I get it done with very little incident. Yay, the quilt is done!

I decide to take it to the laundry mat to wash this time, bigger washer and dryer means no major bunching and wrinkling and no need to iron the final product. And maybe the washer there will rid the quilt of it's bad juju.

It's washed, dried and ready to be delivered. I bring it home hoping for a good quick shot to blog about and The Demon Quilt strikes again! It had stormed, really badly, earlier in the day. The ground was a mess and the quilt was just too big to try to hang on my line without fear of it hitting the ground. So I laid it on my bed and tried and tried for a good shot. By now it's about 6 pm and the light just isn't coming in my room right. The black of the quilt is not photographing properly at all. I finally turn off the flash and all of the lights, manually focus the camera, hold really still, close my eyes and press the shutter button.

This is what I've got folks

The colors still aren't the truest in this shot, but it's the closest one. That black is much darker and the red is more crimson. Well, the photo on the top shows them better. 

I called the friend up and told him his quilt was done. He said he wouldn't have the rest of the money until he got paid, which was 4 days away. I don't care I told him, pay me later, I just want it gone!

Whew. The colors are very fitting of the quilt, don't you think?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pattern Testers Parade and Another Giveaway!

We just wanted to send some blog lovin' out to our pattern testers. They've all made such gorgeous quilts for us and have worked so hard in testing our patterns, we want to show them off!!

First up is Amy. Amy blogs over at Sew Incredibly Crazy and she tested Gypsy Dance 

image borrowed from Amy

Such a gorgeous palette on this one, great job Amy!

Next up is Colby, who also tested Gypsy Dance. Colby blogs over at Sew.Quilt.Explore.

image borrowed from Colby

Colby used Terrain by Kate Spain in her quilt to make a baby quilt for a coworker! Nicely done Colby!

Jennifer blogs over at Knotted Thread, and she tested Mod Pop

Image borrowed from Jennifer

Those yellows are so nice and sunny, they're like a sunburst against a blue sky. Gorgeous!

Ella blogs over at Throw a Wench in the Works (love her blog name!) and she also tested Mod Pop

Image borrowed from Ella

She said, as she was still working on it, that it was going to be very Brady Bunch-esque. She wasn't lying! The random pieces of the darker khaki scattered throughout are fun!

Leanne, of She Can Quilt, tested Mod Pop as well.

Image borrowed from Leanne

The blues are gorgeous and look like sea glass. And check out that awesome quilting!

And last, but certainly not least, Heather (who doesn't have a blog but you can check her stuff out on Flickr!) also tested Mod Pop.

Mod Pop Quilt
Image borrowed from Heather

Look at how those greens pop against the gray background!

Now for the giveaway! 

Ella, from Throw a Wench in the Works, is the last tester to hold a giveaway for the Mod Pop pattern.

Go visit her blog and leave a comment to enter to win!

She's closing the giveaway on Sunday, so hurry!

Also, Leanne's giveaway is still running until Friday so go there for another chance to win if you haven't entered hers already.

And while you're off entering giveaways, we would love it if you'd visit our testers and show them some love for us, they all did such wonderful jobs and we can't thank them enough!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dagnabbit, it's Almost Thursday. (A question and some elves!)

Why does WIP Wednesday always fly by me so fast?! I just don't get it, folks. It's the middle of the week. It should not sneak up on a person like that. Monday, I can understand. But Wednesday? RRRR!

So, I posted last week about how I plan to tackle a new Christmas quilt, right?

Well, I got a touch of crafting ADD and pieced a bunch of paper-pieced gnomelings from the free Artisania pattern. And then I put them in a row. And then they became a purdy runner for my TV console! I hand quilted, for the first time ever, with some helpful advice from the #talknt folks! (Check out the CaraQuilts blog for info on that... fun chat every Tuesday!)

Yeah, yeah, I know it's August. I'm festively gifted, whatcha gonna do?

In other happy news... I decided to destash my Poseidon Kona Solids Bundle last week. Listed it on EBay on Friday, and then Leanne.... well, Leanne just HAD to post her version of Julie's Mod Pop pattern and make me fall in love with it again, so off eBay came Poseidon! 

Now the question.... what focal fabric do I use for my Mod Pop? I'm feeling the bigger throw/lap quilt size, and will use Poseidon for the background like Leanne. Do I stick with white? Go daring with an orange or lime green? What about a yellow? I want contrast, for sure. I have Kona Pomegranate but it seems too flat. Need some input, y'all! 

WIP Wednesday-The One Where I Regroup

I am known to be a bit scatterbrained and forgetful. After all the excitement this past week of finalizing and finally publishing my first pattern, I felt a bit lost in my head and in my sewing space. 

While taking pictures, I realized I've only really done any sewing on one thing, and it's a new project! Well, I take that back, I finished a commission job and finished putting a quilt top together, but more on those later. 

So this post will pretty much be Prep Party Part 2. At least there was progress on the prepping though! Hopefully this will help clear my brain and get me on track to actually sew these projects.

First up is the new project, Mod Pop part 2. Rhonda, the owner of my fabulous local quilt shop, asked me to make her a store sample. She's wanting to sell my pattern in her shop, once I get it printed that is, and wants a sample that is made of fabrics she carries. Smart, right? By the way, if any of you are looking for more Hope Valley, she carries almost the entire collection and is more than happy to ship it out to you. 

So far I have all of the pieces cut, the curves pieced and 4 blocks made. It is going together just as fast as I remember the first one, if not faster, and I hope to have the top pieced by the weekend. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen this little fabric combo pop up not too long ago

Fabrics and interfacings have been cut, this will be my new bag. I am absolutely LOVING the combo of those two prints from The Birds and The Bees. I think I'll make myself a little wallet with the scraps too.

I cut the fabrics to go with those cardboard pieces I cut out during the prep party. I still can't say much since these are gifts. Notice the presence of that same fabric combo? Hehe, that will me mine. I love it I say!

And this stack of fabric still taunts me

This is for the Proverbial Quilt Along over at Poppyprint and will be an anniversary gift for the hubs. I have 6 weeks until the big day, better get crackin'! 

These are all of my pressing projects. We won't talk about the ones that are on the back burner or are just ideas in my head.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mod Pop is Live, EEK!!

I didn't realize it would be so nerve wracking to do it, but it's posted and ready to purchase!

You can find it right now on Craftsy by following this link:

I'm probably going to have it listed in my etsy shop as well once I get that all set up and pretty :)

Also, since the pattern utilizes templates, and I don't care much for using paper templates or template plastic, my husband will be cutting acrylic templates for the pattern and they will be available to purchase through my etsy store as well. If you are interested in purchasing them before I post that they're ready, please leave a comment or send me an email by clicking on my name over there on the sidebar, and I will set up a listing on etsy for you and get my husband on the cutting lickety split!

Update: You can get the pattern and templates from my Big Cartel shop here:

You can always find the link to purchase the pattern, and any other patterns as we produce them, over on the sidebar and I'll have links to get to mine and Bree's etsy stores as soon as we're done getting them ready. 

Thank you all so much for the great feedback as I've been working on this, it has really helped to spur me along during the process and I'm really excited to have it out there and ready for you!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mod Pop Giveaway #2 is Live!

Leanne finished her version of the Mod Pop quilt and it is FABULOUS. 

Mod Pop
Image borrowed from Leanne

Go here to enter to win a copy of the pattern for yourself!

Just a Little Bit of Prep Work

I've waxed on before about my computer woes and how my new one is hanging on the wall so nothing bad can happen to it. Well, the problem with it being on the wall is that it's not very conducive to a printer setup. So that problem is solved by owning a wireless printer, right? WRONG. Every time I get the thing hooked up it knocks the internet access out to every other device in the house! 

Anyway, the result of this is that any time I want to print something I have to get the printer out, plug it in and hook it up, which is a pain to say the least. 

I had it out the other night and figured I'd better make it count so I started printing

 and printing

and printing some more.

No need to adjust your screen, that pattern is printed in reverse. I decided paper piecing was easier than the method described in the pattern so I scanned each letter I need, flipped it into it's mirror image and then printed them. 

While I had that quilt on the brain, I decided to pull out some fabric to go along with it

I started with some of the leftover Prince Charming pieces that I have and then added and removed until I ended up with this. I'm kind of digging it! 

I'm making something special for my hubs with this pattern so I didn't want to get real girly with it. But it's kind of a dual gift for me too, so it was ok to get a little girly. 

I also cut some hexies and such from some cereal boxes

This will hopefully turn into a pay it forward gift for someone, or two, and probably one for me too. Let's see if I can make it work!

I'm going to link this up to Allegory's Prep Party if I'm not too late!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

WIP wednesday: the one where I'm finally inspired

Back for another edition of Lee's WIP Wednesday. These things always help me keep on track- I'm such a list person, I swear.

I've mostly been doing small projects lately, like this Snoopy baby quilt. I started the appliqué and finished the entire quilt on Monday night! When I finally get time to sit and sew, I sew like a house afire!

Pre-stitching, the applique looked like this:

After stitching, quilting, and binding, a real Snoopy emerged! I'm so thrilled with how this one came out, despite how simple it is. I decided to self-bind it, but my backing and border were the same fabric. Solution? A flange, ala Jyabird Quilts. LOVE the flange accent!

Now, my new love and ongoing project might seem a smidge familiar. I'm still in the planning phases of it, but the basic gist is that i'm mashing up my Haunted House quilt and Julie's Little Faces quilt for a Christmas Faces Around the World quilt! I found this fabulous fabric at with a total of 15 different characters on it. They're pretty big - about 4.5" tall by 4" wide if you want any decent seam allowance - and since the kids are spaced close together on the print, you lose a LOT to fussy cutting. I bought a yard, and even with sacrificing some hands, I used well over half of it. If I'd perfectly cut each character, I'd have used the whole yard!

Add in some fabulous Christmassy prints, including those awesome glittery flamingos in Santa hats, and I think I've got the start of an awesome quilt! I need to nab one more fabric, and then I'm ready to start. Look for slooooow progress on this one, guys!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Because I'm a Total Space Cadet

I completely forgot to tell you guys...

My testers are all holding giveaways for the Mod Pop pattern!

Mod Pop Cover Girl

They are all posting as they finish the testing and Jennifer of Knotted Thread is up first!

Visit her post located here:

to enter to win a copy of your own!

I'll post the other two as soon as they go up!

Mod Pop Complete

Update: The pattern is finally ready!! You can find it here in my shop:

I finally got 'er done!

It seems I just couldn't make any decisions as far as finishing this one. I should have known I'd have a hard time figuring out backing and quilting when it took me weeks to figure out what fabrics I wanted to use for the top.

Here she is!

Mod Pop complete

I knew I wanted really dense quilting for this one but I had a hard time figuring out how to compliment the design. My final decision was to quilt only in the background space, the blues and greens. I quilted about every 1/2", following the curves of the focal fabrics. The quilting ended up crossing paths in the narrower part, which I was unsure of at first, but with encouragement from Bree I kept going. Then after pondering for a few more days about the insides of the circles, I decided on a spiral. I began the spiral by echoing the seam of the circle and then spiraling inward until I just couldn't go any further. I am LOVING the texture all of the quilting gave this one! 

For the backing, I kind of wanted it to be scrappy too since the top was. I also wanted lots of blues, greens and oranges. I dug through my solids and pulled out all of the different shades of those colors that I had. I had to pull a few back out because the shade didn't mesh well with the colors of the top. 

Mod Pop back

I also threw in a couple of scraps from the top for good measure. This one was fun, it was like putting together a puzzle.

Here's a closeup of the backing, you can see the quilting better in this picture.

Mod pop closeup of quilting

Testing is almost complete and I'm getting really anxious to finish the pattern and put it out there! I spent about 2 weeks waiting for some good weather to even get any pictures. Now that I have them I was able to get the cover of the pattern designed, yay!

Here's our cover girl

Mod Pop Cover Girl

I agonized over where to take pictures and finally just decided that a good closeup was what I needed. And my testers will be happy to know that the cover that was on their copies has been completely scrapped. It was fugly guys, you don't even want to know.

All I need is final feedback from my testers and we're ready to go! I can't wait!!