Friday, September 4, 2015

Rejection, friendship and cover stars.

BLAM!! Secret squirrel sewing revealed!

love patchwork and quilting magazine

Okay, so for those that follow me on Instagram this isn't new, I did show it about a month and a half ago. But I just recently got it back from Love Patchwork and Quilting and was able to take it on our annual beach vacation for some glamour shots :)

love patchwork and quilting magazine

This quilt was created from the... I don't want to say rejection of another, but essentially it was.
And I've never been more happy with a rejection in all my life. Now that is, then... not so much ;)

Last February I pitched an idea to Love Patchwork and Quilting thinking it was a pretty good idea and I was excited about it. This was the first idea I had pitched since my Carousel quilt had been published and I was nervous, really nervous.

(I know you're all impressed with my fancy, high tech sketch, I roll old school around here!)
Anyway, I made up a couple of blocks for the quilt I was calling Allsorts and emailed Jen at LP&Q with my idea. 

She was quick to get back, but not with the news that I wanted to hear. I'm going to be honest here folks, I was crushed. It would seem, that she was at that moment waiting to receive another quilt based on the same idea. Turns out it was my gal Angie from Sewvivor that quilt jacked my brain and stole my idea ;) It's amazing how you can totally think you're coming up with a great one of a kind idea only to find out you're not quite as original as you thought. Though I'm pretty sure that Angie and I are quilty soul sisters, this isn't the first time we've come up with the same ideas!

Little did I know that not making this quilt would lead to one of the most amazing quilt related events of my life to date.

love patchwork and quilting magazine
Eep!! That's my quilt! On the cover of Love Patchwork and Quilting!! I never in a million years thought that I could accomplish something like this. It has been a dream come true for me. I still find it hard to believe that something I've made could be in a magazine, let alone on the cover!

And I can say with certainty that this quilt would not have happened without my sweet friend Gina. She's always been my go-to gal for sounding projects off of and I would be lost without her help and support. So when LP&Q turned down Allsorts I was hesitant to pitch another idea. But i put on my big girl panties, put together my idea and fabrics and pitched the idea to Gina first. And it was her that told me I had to pitch to them, I'd be crazy not to. So I did. And much to my delight they loved it!

love patchwork and quilting magazine

It all started out with one of my all time favourite colour palettes, some of the best prints in my collection and what I'm pretty sure is my absolute favourite Carolyn Friedlander print ever. I make a lot of colour palette stacks. I'm constantly pulling stacks and never making anything with them. But this one, this one was begging to be made into something!

Or somethings...

love patchwork and quilting magazine

Because one can never have enough matching pillows right?! And bonus, the HST pillow was made entirely from off-cuts from the quilt!

love patchwork and quilting magazine

I quilted both pillows and the quilt in Aurifil #2600 Dove Grey, surprising right? No brass. I wanted the quilting to just fade away, give some nice texture and not be noticed.

love patchwork and quilting magazine

I think I succeeded on that. Subtle, but there when you look. 

love patchwork and quilting magazine
photo courtesy of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine

Even on the back the quilting just blends right in.

love patchwork and quilting magazine

You'd never know that I've actually quilted circles on this one! It's mostly straight lines, but the black Carolyn Friedlander crosshatch print I used on the back hides it all quite well.

love patchwork and quilting magazine

I used the same black crosshatch for the binding, with the exception of a little piece of Tula Pinks hex box print that I couldn't resist adding to finish one of the stars.

love patchwork and quilting magazine
I think it's a nice little pop of colour! And I absolutely love that Tula print!

love patchwork and quilting magazine
photo courtesy of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine

I didn't have time for a proper photo shoot before i mailed it off and wasn't sure when it would be making it's way back to me so Alice at LP&Q sent me a couple of shots from the mag. They sure do know how to make things look good!

love patchwork and quilting magazine
photo courtesy of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine

I'm running out of things to say about this quilt and I still have pictures I want to share!

love patchwork and quilting magazine

How about a shot with Batman?! Everyone needs at least one quilt shot with Batman :) Am I right?!
Okay, okay I'll finish up here.

Quilt details
Pattern - Twinkle Twinkle by me!
Finished Size - 54" x 72"
Star fabrics - Too many to name but mostly Lizzy House, Tula Pink and Cotton and Steel
Background, backing and binding fabrics - Carolyn Friedlander
Pieced and quilted entirely with Aurifil #2600 Dove Grey.

love patchwork and quilting magazine

Now I'm going to get crazy and link up with Finish it up Friday over at crazy mom quilts because it's been way too long!
And if you're local and want to make this quilt, I'll be teaching it at my LQS this November. Just click on the picture of it in my sidebar :)

High fives for a quilty finish I can finally share!
xo nicole

And now maybe a few vacation pics...

Yeah, it was pretty chilly, not that it stopped the boys from going out in the dingy!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Urban Scandinavian Sewing - Bloggers Book Tour and a Giveaway!!

Welcome to the Urban Scandinavian Sewing Bloggers Book Tour!

urban scandinavian sewing book, blog tour

 Today is my stop on the Urban Scandinavian Sewing Bloggers Book Tour.
 Myself, along with a few other talented sewing bloggers will be sharing Kirstyn Cogan’s new book, Urban Scandinavian Sewing, available for purchase at C&T publishing and Amazon.

It's a wonderfully simple book that has fun little projects that can easily (and quickly) be stitched up! It also has a smattering of Nordic recipes throughout that i can't wait to try, um... helloooo Swedish Meatballs and Lingonberry sauce!!

I decided to try my hand making the Sail Away Tote, and i think the longest part of the process was just picking the fabrics out! Once i finally decided on my fabrics the bag came together so fast!

urban scandinavian sewing book, blog tour

When i first saw this bag i thought it would be great for a little book bag for my mom for taking to the library, so of course i started with the navy bookish fabric. From there i picked the AMH stag print ( my mom loves this print) and an architectural print that i knew she would also love.

urban scandinavian sewing book, blog tour

I've backed the bag in the same bookish print,

urban scandinavian sewing book, blog tour

as well as lining it and making the straps from it too! When the fabric is the perfect pick for the project you may as well use it as much as possible!

urban scandinavian sewing book, blog tour

I did widen the straps from the pattern as i wanted it to be more comfortable when carrying books, but other than that i've kept it exactly like the pattern.

urban scandinavian sewing book, blog tour

I think my favourite detail is the little wooden buttons used to hold the pockets closed. Perfect.

I have my next two projects from the book picked out and fabrics pulled for one, and can see this being a great project book when i need to whip up a quick gift for someone. And with Christmas steadily getting closer i may as well get a jump on the gift making now, right!

urban scandinavian sewing book, blog tour

There's sure to be many more lovely things sewn from the other fab ladies taking part in this hop so be sure to pop on over to their blogs and check it all out!

Here’s the schedule for the next two weeks:
Nicole from Modern Handcraft
Hilary from Young Texan Mama
Nicole from Snips Snippets
Jennie from Clover & Violet
Tessa from The Sewing Chick
You'll also want to visit Kirstyn’s blog, over the next two weeks, as she’ll be sharing round-ups of all the stops each week so you’ll be sure not to miss a thing!

Enter to Win A Copy of Urban Scandinavian Sewing!
As part of the book tour, Kirstyn is giving away a copy of her book and a FQ bundle of her new fabric line, Urban Scandinavian, that is shipping to fabric stores near you next month, to two lucky winners! Enter below in the rafflecopter giveaway, open through midnight, August 30.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

High fives for an awesome giveaway, (and finally a blog post!!)
xo nicole 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Oh my gosh i finished a quilt!!!

Ahem, we shall disregard the fact that my last post was in November and just carry on like i've been here all the while. 
Thanks ;)
But really, is it just me or is anyone else finding it hard to keep up with social media? I spend most of my time on IG and find i rarely open my laptop to read blogs or even keep up with my own. That being said i love reading others posts when i do go online, i just seem to be having a hard time finding the time to do so, let alone write my own! And i know i'm missing all kinds of awesome out there, and i'm truly scared to open my Bloglovin reader... it has to be high triple digits by now, if not into quadruple digits!! Yikes!
How do you all manage your online time? Do you just pop on when you get a chance, or do you set aside a certain time each day/week to getting caught up with online affairs? Should it be this difficult? 

Anyhoo, i'm here with my first quilt finish of 2015. I know right?!! I actually finished a quilt!! And i'm rather in love with it!

This was a commission for a new baby and the mom wanted something larger than the normal baby sized quilt. She wanted something that would be able to be used for years to come. So finishing off around 50ish by 65ish i think this fits the bill. This is around the same size as the Penny Patch quilt i made for Max last year and it's the perfect size. Sammy sleeps with it on his bed and we also use it for snuggling on the couch so it's a good size to grow into!

The request was for mostly grey, but could also include a bit of teal and/or a buttery yellow. 
Helloooo Carolyn Friedlander Doe fabrics! Perfect for this project. I also included a couple prints from her Botanics line and a few Cotton and Steel prints, including the super cute Tiger Stripes print from Alexia Abegg. I thought it would be the perfect print for some added cuteness, and can we all agree it goes perfectly with the Ladder Lines in sage from Doe? :)

I love all the greys in Carolyn Friedlander's fabrics, i may have a weakness for good greys.

This was a quick one to put together, consisting of giant HST's and a few full squares. The circles were appliqued on using the simple sew and turn method, probably my favorite method of applique.

For the back of this one i went with the grey crosshatch widescreen and inserted two of my leftover HST's, done and done!

The back also shows a little better how i quilted it. A bit of a change from my normal quilting but i'm fully in love with it! I wanted to keep it soft, it is for a baby after all, so i restrained myself and quilted less densely than if i had of made it for me :)

I used the same 50 wt Aurifil in Dove Grey (#2600) for both the piecing as well as the quilting. Definitely my go to grey for thread. And this may just be my favorite quilting to date!

I machine stitched around this circle but also put in some lines of hand stitching that are all but invisible, though they do add to the texture of the quilt and were necessary in keeping the circle from puffing up.

I chose Sharp in grey to bind with and added in two little strips of the Ladder Lines print in sage for a pop of colour. I love the Sharp print so much, that may have been obvious with how many times i've used it in this quilt!

And now i think i need to make another for me! I mean for my shop... yeah, the shop ;)

High fives for a quilty finish!
xo nicole

Getting my link on for the first time in a long time over at crazy mom quilts for finish it up Friday! 

And because they're so cute...

 Yeah, other than falling and getting a black eye, that's pretty much all Max did. Lick snow.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Alison Glass Celestial Gift Along

I was recently asked to take part in a fun blog hop being hosted by Alison Glass using her fantastic Celestial pattern.

The idea was to use the individual blocks in the pattern, a wonderful assortment of stars, and make small items that would be great for gifting this holiday season.

I was sent the PDF pattern first and while waiting for my Holiday/Winter Bundle to arrive i thought i'd start a little project for my mom to get back into the swing of paper piecing. 

I had a bit of shot cotton left from my sister's Fusion Star quilt and was pleased to see how nicely it played with one of Carolyn Friedlander's Botanic prints. This star pattern is fantastic and will be making it's way into my Christmas Star quilt for sure!

It's far from done, and my embroidery work leaves a lot to be desired, (as does the terrible lighting in this picture!!) I was positive it would be just as easy to embroider with 12wt Aurifil as it would be to use floss, but when stitching words i like to use a split stitch, not so easy with one strand! But my mom thinks it looks great and that's really all that matters right?!

So with the arrival of my bundle i started with one of my favorite go-to gifts for every occasion, the Open Wide Zipper pouch by Anna Graham of Noodlehead.

I used two of the Alison Glass prints from the bundle and paired them with some of Angela Walters Legacy line, mixed in some hand stitching and you have yourself a perfect little travel set!

This little star from the pattern turned out to be my fave, so much potential in one little pattern. I love having the ability to fussy cut a print and manipulate it in fun ways. This one here i made an effort to line up the little circles in the center of the star.

One of the things i enjoy about working with a PDF pattern is being able to easily alter the size of the pattern. I'm not entirely sure i used any of the patterns at their regular size. I adjusted the blocks to the sizes i wanted and just uploaded everything to Staples to be printed. I ended up with a box of printouts, yep, a box! I have more plans for all these little stars!

I've lost count of the number of Open Wide Zip pouches i've made and i think these may be the first were i've used batting in them. I like the structure it gives them but they're still soft enough to squish into your bag.

I've reached the point where i think i've given everyone i know one of these (or three) and now need to decide if they're like quilts and you can never have enough! What do you think? Is there a limit to the number of zip pouches one person can have?

For my next project i paired up some of the bundle prints with a super fun Christmas print from Alexander Henry called Santa's Village.

Unfortunately because i used the wrong size of pillow form you can't see the fun little stars hanging out on the bottom.

I'm hoping if i use a flatter insert you will be able to see them better. I love the mix of prints for this pillow and will definitely be pairing them together again for another project!

I feel like the rest of stars in the pattern aren't getting any love! But this little one is so perfect for little projects!

And because it is so perfect i used it again!

To whip up a couple sets of holiday coasters! Another super simple and fast gift :) Two coasters, two mugs, a cute cello pack of hot chocolate with marshmallows, throw in some chocolates or a candy cane and you have your kid's teacher gifts for the holidays sorted! And while we're on the topic of teacher gifts, do i give teacher gifts at Christmas? I'm new to this school age kid deal!!

I had fun with these and will be making more for sure, i have an Aunt that always without fail uses coasters and i think she would love a set!

So that's that, well for now anyway. I'll be getting a lot of use out of this pattern, i still have another gift on the go using one of the other stars and i'll hopefully share it soon!

Until then make sure to check out the other awesomeness that has been made with Celestial!

Alyssa from Pile O’ Fabric
Megan from Quilt Story
Tessa from The Sewing Chick
Nicole from Modern Handcraft 
Brooke from Silly Mama Quilts

And for your chance to win a fantastic gift for yourself, link up a completed gift project using the Celestial pattern – either one from the bloggers or your very own idea - for a chance to win a signed copy of Alison Glass Appliqué and a $25 gift certificate to her shop (to shop for gifts or maybe a gift for yourself!). You have until December 10th to link up your project, you can do that here.
And, for the duration of the gift along, the Celestial pattern is $1 off and includes free shipping!! Sweet!

Be sure to share your Celestial Gift Along progress on Instagram with #celestialgiftalong for a chance to win a pattern of your choice from Alison Glass's shop! Sounds like a win win to me, finish off some Christmas sewing and maybe win a pattern... awesome!

High fives to all the Celestial sewers out there!
xo nicole