Friday, March 30, 2012

A Couch Pincushion Tutorial

Hey guys!

couch use

I'm over at Riley Blake Designs today, with a tutorial for this fab double-use pincushion using Dainty Blossoms by Carina Gardner... you know, that fabric in the bundle you can win by joining up with Julie's Cosmic Burst Quilt Along?

Come check it out!
Cutting Corners with Riley Blake Designs

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cosmic Burst Quilt Along-Welcome, Fabric Requirements and an Incentive!

Modern Mini Challenge entry

Are you guys as excited as I am?

Ok, we're going to kick this thing off with fabric requirements. Make sure you read all the way to the end for a fun incentive!

This quilt pattern is very lenient as far as the size and color placement goes. I'm going to make a 50" square quilt. I need a wall hanging for a great big open space on the wall in my living room! I will also give fabric requirements for a 70" square quilt in case you want a bigger one. When we get to the cutting instructions I'll give the cutting dimensions for the 50" and then put the dimensions for the 70" in parentheses to keep things simple. I'll explain all that when the time comes though, so no worries. 

Fabric Requirements

Refer to the sketch above for color placement. 
As you pick fabrics for the specific color, make sure to label them with the number that corresponds to each color (listed below). When we get to the piecing portion I will be referring to each color by number to keep things simple.

For the 50" version:

Center square-One 10.5" fussy cut center, or scraps of your other fabrics to create your own square

1.    Pink-Fat Quarter
2.    Green-1/3 yard
3.    Red-Fat Quarter
4.    Yellow-Fat Quarter
5.    Orange-1/2 yard
6.    Blue-1/3 yard 
7.    Background-1 yard

Binding-1/2 yard
Backing-3 yards

For the 70" version:

Center square-One 14.5" fussy cut center, or scraps of your other fabrics to create your own square

1.    Pink-1/4 yard or fat quarter
2.    Green- 3/4 yard
3.    Red-1/2 yard
4.    Yellow-1/2 yard
5.    Orange-1 yard
6.    Blue- 2/3 yard
7.    Background-2 yards

Binding-1/2 yard
Backing-4 yards

Downloadable coloring sheet

Here's a handy dandy coloring sheet to help you with your planning. There are numbers to specify the layout so just color by number!

Cosmic Burst QA coloring sheet with numbers


Here is a proposed timeline for the quilt along so you can go ahead and make your plans. I'll try my absolute best to make sure I get the new posts up on Fridays so that everybody has the full weekend to work on it right after the post goes up. 

3/21  -  Planning your quilt and gathering fabric
4/6    -  Cutting
4/13   -  Piecing quadrants 1 and 4
4/20  -  Piecing quadrants 2 and 3
4/27  -  Piecing middle section and completing quilt top
5/4    -  Finishing the quilt and linky party

Now are you ready for some incentive? 

The fine folks at Riley Blake have provided this fun bundle of fat quarters for us to give away!

This newly released collection is called Dainty Blossoms and is designed by Carina Gardner.

So what do you need to do to win? You just need to quilt along with us! At the end of the quilt along we'll have a linky party. Link up your finished quilt or quilt top (it has to at least be a finished top) by May 21th and you are automatically entered to win the bundle!

Don't forget to join the Distant Pickles Flickr Group to join in on the discussion and to post pictures of your progress.

Grab a button for your blog

Distant Pickles

Feel free to spread the word, the more the merrier!

Have fun gathering your fabrics and make sure to post a picture in the Flickr group of your selections, I'd love to see them! We'll see you back here on the 6th!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Biting the Bullet

I finally did it, I unrolled my Neptune honey bun. 

I have been searching and searching for the perfect project to use this for ever since I won it in Faith's giveaway last Spring. 

While flipping through my books and magazines the other night, on the hunt for inspiration for some leftover Central Park charm squares, I happened upon a fun quilt in Emily Cier's Scrap Republic book. It just so happens to be the cover quilt.

Well, I just happened to have picked up a handy dandy triangle ruler while away at my sewing weekend with my friend Karen so I quickly realized that I could totally sew my honey bun strips together and cut them into strippy triangles and have a fun little quilt on my hands!

I've got all of my strips separated into sets and ready to sew together. 

One set sewn

And cut into triangles

Look how awesome this is, this is all the waste from one strip set!!

I'm really excited to keep working on this one. Too bad inspiration struck when I have 10,000 other things that I need to be doing! 

The first post of the quilt along is just about ready to go. Bree and I are brainstorming some ideas and then I'll be ready to post it, hopefully in the next day or two. 

In the meantime I did manage to make a button! Look over on the sidebar and feel free to grab it for your blog, help spread the word a bit :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How's That for Progress?

I'm back from my 2nd annual quilting weekend with my friend Karen and boy do I have lots to share! You would think between the shopping, the eating and the giggling we wouldn't have gotten much done but it was quite the productive weekend for both of us. I guess when you get a few days without the kids, and actually have time to think, you can accomplish all sorts of stuff!

This one is going to be a long one, are you ready?

Mouthy Stitches Swap-
I have sent and received and can check this one off of the list!

I asked for a pouch that could hold either my embroidery or my hand sewing supplies. My biggest stipulation was that it be able to open up enough that I could see what was inside of it real easy. Dianne took all of that into consideration and this is what she sent me

Mouthy Stitches swap package received from Quiltova

Inside of Mouthy Stitches pouch. Received from Quiltova.

How incredibly perfect is that? My embroidery hoop is a perfect fit! I love this pouch so much and literally squealed with glee when I opened the package!

For the Love of Solids Swap-
I have sent and received and can check this one off the list too!

Here is my completed project

FTLOS big item

Along with a small drawstring bag and a praline, a treat from my local chocolate store.

FTLOS swap, little item and local treat

All packaged and ready to go! 

FTLOS all wrapped and ready to go!

Here is what I received, courtesy of Debbie
(I'm going to borrow her picture as Bug has made off with the little bag and I have yet to decide where I want to hang this beauty!)

Completed FTLOS2 projects

I did get a shot of Bug cuddling under it, she thinks it's a quilt for her, lol!

FTLOS received

Next up is the our very own layer cake swap. I received all of the fabrics and Karen helped me get them sorted and bagged over the weekend. I packed them all up and mailed them out on Monday.

Distant Pickles Layer Cake Swap packaged and ready to go!

Everybody sure did put together a gorgeous rainbow!

Distant Pickles Layer Cake Swap final stack

I joined yet another rainbow charm swap just before I left for the weekend and was able to pick up the fabrics for it while we were out shopping. These are also bagged and mailed, that's the first time I've ever been one of the first to mail my stuff off! Now I just wait to receive my package back in the mail.

Over the Rainbow charm swap

Another thing I accomplished was making a couple of bee blocks for Leanne for the 12 Month Quilting Bee. These blocks will bring our bee to a close. It sure has been a lot of fun but it's nice to also check this one off of the list.

Leanne asked for wonky stars of any size so I made her two, a 9" and a 6"

12 Month Bee blocks for Leanne

I crossed two Pay It Forward gifts off of the list this weekend.

Remember this?

Modern Mini Challenge entry

I totally killed not two, but three birds with one stone with this one!! Not only is it the mock up for our new upcoming quilt along, and not only did I enter it into the Modern Mini Challenge, but it was also intended for Karen as her Pay it Forward gift. I was so happy to be able to hand deliver this to her and very happy to say that she loves it. Yay!

You're going to have to wait for pictures of Pay It Forward #2 after it arrives at it's new home. I've got some cute ones of Bug modeling it for me!

And last, but definitely not least, I got the math and fabric requirements worked out for the quilt along. I hope to have it posted by the weekend, if I can find some more quiet time. I've got something else really exciting happening this week that I can't wait to share with you guys! That's a post for another day though :)

Boy, it sure feels good to cross all of this stuff off of the list. ALL of my swaps and bees are completed with the exception of waiting to receive fabric back from one of them. Now I can focus all of my energy on the quilt along and my sewing projects, maybe finally get Little Faces completed! Oh wouldn't that be nice.

Linking it up!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, March 12, 2012

Chalkboard Fun

Have you guys tried out Chalk Cloth yet? It's some pretty fabulous stuff, I gotta say.

My sister celebrated her 15th birthday last weekend with a room re-do. Her new theme is orange and black. Surprisingly, not very halloween-y in the end. I was worried there for a few minutes.

So, I made her a throw pillow cover to accent her new room. What's better than just plain black? Black you can WRITE ON!

I took a bit of this orange/red/yellow/black zig zag that just screamed out her name and appliqued her initial onto the cover. Added a little pocket to one leg of the H, and you've got a nifty little chalkboard pillow cover with a pocket for the chalk!

What else have you guys used this fabulous fabric for? Fabric Donkey has this amazing notebook design with the chalk cloth in it. I'm totally going to steal her idea and make one for Kid for our upcoming plane trip. (He's super excited. Ride on a pwane in de skyyyyyy!)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Sneak Peek of the Riley Blake Variety

Remember the fabric bundle I posted a while ago? Well.. the project is complete!
I can't show you it fully right now, so you'll have to settle for a draped, closeup image that doesn't quite show you the full blocks yet. But I think I see a hint of some sort of star....

That is the fabulous Stars and Stripes line by My Mind's Eye for Riley Blake Designs, folks!

A tutorial and full photo is coming on April 2nd at Riley Blake Designs' Cutting Corners College!

Cutting Corners with Riley Blake Designs

Seriously... SO excited to be working with RBD. Y'all know I'm a huge fan! And this quilt has a special place in my heart... not only is it my first ever original design, but it's going to live in the Maine Veteran's Home with my grandpa very soon. It will be kept in the common room for everyone in his wing of the nursing home to use and love. And the best part? I get to hand deliver it. Kid and I are going HOME for a visit!

Next best part? I have a super secret pincushion tutorial coming out on March 30th, too! No sneak peeks of that yet, but it's a pretty handy little creation, I must say!

P.S... Can you tell "Release" has got my spirits back up where they belong? She's gracing my desk at work and every so often, I just push back my chair to look at her and feel the emotion of the mini and I'm good to go for another few hours.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Modern Mini Challenge and an Announcement!

Y'all didn't think I was going to let Bree have all of the fun did you? I put together a mini myself and in true Julie fashion I waited until the last minute and spent the weekend doing it!

Now, mine doesn't have a beautiful meaning behind it like Bree's does, but it was still fun!

Modern Mini Challenge entry

I so love the Owl and the Pussycat, so I built it around them.

Modern Mini Challenge

I only quilted in the blue solid, my hope was that it would make the prints pop out a bit.

Modern Mini Challenge

Now for the announcement! If you'd like to make one of these for yourself then come back and join us for a quilt along! We'll be making this pattern except on a much LARGER scale. We're hoping to start it up by the end of the month, once the dust settles from my upcoming swap deadlines that is :) We look forward to having you quilt along with us!

I'm linking this up to the Modern Mini Challenge, wish me luck!

Modern Mini Challenge

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A "Release" of sorts

Ah, been quiet lately. Sometimes, I just don't have words. I think that makes me a less-than-stellar blogger, but fortunately, I've got an amazing partner to help bridge my silent moments with her terrific projects.

Do you ever get stuck in a rut of little to no inspiration? Doing orders, or sewing for other people - can become dull and methodical. Sometimes I need a release - something that's inspiring to me and something that makes me smile just because... it makes me smile. Something that has no purpose other than to make you smile when you look at it.

Rain is my everyday inspiration. I feel freedom in the rain. It's like the sky holds back all its emotions until it just can't handle them and then it bursts. It's a release. I feel its freedom when it falls.

Thus, this mini was born. It celebrates the rain. It displays the color and joy I personally feel when the sky falls. It measures up at 19"x15", and will be adorning my gray, gray cubicle at work come Monday morning. It has no real purpose other than to make me smile.

The girl.. well, she feels the freedom I feel. Umbrella down, face to the sky - she comes alive and bursts with color and a contented happiness as the rain comes down on her. She makes me smile.

I'm linking her up to the Modern Mini Challenge at Ellison Lane Quilts. Maybe she can make someone else smile. :)

Modern Mini Challenge