Quilty people are totally the best people

Whenever I go to an event like The Stash Bash, I come away not only feeling refreshed and happy, but confident in knowing that quilty people are truly the best people. I meet so many friendly faces, welcoming and kind, understanding and affable, and often truly hilarious. Sometimes meeting your Instagram and blog friends can be awkward, but with quilty people, it's just like picking up a conversation you were in the middle of when you last chatted. If you haven't been to an event like this before, I really can't recommend it enough. There's two similar events that I know of that are coming up, in case you're interested: Sew OK and Sewtopia. Both events still have tickets available, so if the timing and location works out, I say go for it!! You won't regret it :)

The Stash Bashians - 2014

Nothing like being silly with huge scissors

It didn't really happen if you don't Instagram it, right?

Real friends help carry that king size quilt top

All smiles when you make IG friends into IRL friends
One of the fun side benefits of having quilty people for friends is setting up fun personal swaps with them. Have a friend that you admire that makes garments? Offer to make them something in exchange for them making something for you! I love bags, and while I enjoy the process of making them, I know that I'm kind of terrible at it. So when I jokingly suggested a swap with Kristi recently, she went for it. She's going to make me a cool bag, and I made a super awesome mini quilt for her that should be showing up at her doorstep today, using a new pattern that will be coming out right here tomorrow. If you liked my Showstopper quilt block pattern, you're going to love Drop Dead Gorgeous! Here's a few sneak peeks to tide you over - and make sure to come back tomorrow to see more :)

Drop Dead Gorgeous Sneak Peek #2
Drop Dead Gorgeous Sneak Peek #1

There's nothing quite like handmade gifts

Quilty people are really the best people - not only do they spoil you rotten, but they truly appreciate it when you make things for them! I brought a few handmade gifts this past weekend with me to The Stash Bash that I wanted to share today, now that the cat's out of the bag :)

A little something handmade for Chris

Chris of Frecklemama is the mama of The Stash Bash. She puts it together each year, and puts in loads of work to make it the amazing, inspiring, awesome event that it is. I'm also lucky to call her my friend. She's so hilarious - if you don't follow her on Instagram @frecklemama then you are absolutely missing out on her crazy pets, fantastic one liners, and her epic morning hair. I wanted to say thank you to her in a way she could see every day, so I decided to make her something she could put in her sewing room. I chose to make the fantastic embroidery pattern on the cover of the Studio Stitches pattern from Empty Bobbin. It was the perfect way for me to try out some stitching with Aurifloss.

Stitching away

I'm not a super experienced embroider-er, but I've found it to be a lot of fun. And the Aurifloss was a dream to work with. Why on Earth doesn't every single kind of embroidery floss come on a wooden spool?? Oh my, that made embroidering even more enjoyable. No thread snarls with this adorable little spool, and did I mention how cute the spools are?? Chris's favorite colors are these kinds of soft pastels, so I had the perfect palette to work from, the Vintage Linens Aurifloss collection. 

I used some painter's tape and card stock to mount it in this vintage-y frame I found at Michael's. It may be the worst mounting job in the history of embroidery, but it works and it fit into the frame, so I think it looks pretty good. I was really excited to give it to Chris when I arrived. Don't you love giving a gift that's just beyond appreciated? That's what it was like to give this to Chris. Doesn't she look tickled?

Me and Chris at the Stash Bash

The other handmade gift I made went to Jacey of Jaceycraft. Jacey and I have met a couple of times in the past, but for The Stash Bash I was her Sew Secret Agent, the secret person giving her some fun secret gifts throughout the weekend, including this pouch.

A bunch of the Sew Secret Agent goodies I gave at the Stash Bash

I used another one of the embroidery patterns in the Studio Stitches bundle to make the embroidered part of this little pouch. I just love this little Featherweight style machine! I again used my Aurifloss stash, mostly using colors from the Color Threads bundle. I also gave Jacey some other fun little items to sweeten the pot, like a fun cat t-shirt and a pack of my favorite colored pencils. I had a terrible time trying to keep my poker face as Jacey opened her goodies! But it was awesome to get to tell her that I was her secret agent, and Amy of Needled Fig helped capture that awesome moment for us. 

Surprise! Sew Secret Agent reveal at the Stash Bash

Just thinking about all this makes me want to pick up a new embroidery project right now! Hmm, I better check my stock of Aurifloss, because I think I might be hooked!

A little Vintage Quilt Revival block

Just a quick little note this morning to share a block I made recently from the fabulous new book, Vintage Quilt Revival, by three super-talented ladies I'm happy to call my friends: Katie Blakesley of Swim Bike Quilt, Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced and Faith Jones of Fresh Lemons Quilts. If you haven't picked it up yet, I strongly suggest you do, because you'll get sound design advice, beautiful photography, and gorgeous patterns. You won't regret it!

This block is the Exploding Star pattern, which you'll find on page 106 of the book. I almost always use super bright colors in my blocks, so I wanted to try a different kind of color scheme for me, so I went with some really beautiful soft blues from Sweetwater's Noteworthy Collection paired with a bold gray Dear Stella print and my ever trusty Kona Snow. This block, and many others made by several other uber-talented quilty peeps, will be compiled together into sampler quilts for charity by Katie, Lee and Faith later this month. Stay tuned for more info on those, I can't wait to see how they come together!

I'm away this week on a trip to Denver, and will be back next week, so the blog will be a bit quiet this week. Have a fantastic week while I'm away, and if you need something wonderful to read while I'm gone, check out the rest of the stops on the Vintage Quilt Revival Blog Hop below:

January 13th (Monday):
Crazy Mom Quilts - Amanda Jean
Don’t Call Me Betsy - Elizabeth
Film in the Fridge - Ashley
Happy Quilting - Melissa
Noodlehead - Anna

January 14th (Tuesday):
I’m A Ginger Monkey - Katy
Quilting Is My Therapy - Angela
A Quilting Life - Sherri
Sew Mama Sew - Kristin
Tall Grass Prairie Studio - Jacquie

January 15th (Wednesday):
Christa Quilts - Christa
Diary of a Quilter - Amy
Quilting Gallery - Michele
Sew Take a Hike - Penny
V and Co. - Vanessa
West Coast Crafty - Susan

January 16th (Thursday):
Bijou Lovely - Holly
Don’t You Know Who I Am - Sukie
Lily’s Quilts - Lynne
One Shabby Chick - Amber

January 17th (Friday):
Swim, Bike, Quilt - Katie
Freshly Pieced - Lee
Fresh Lemons Quilts - Faith

Doll Quilt Swap - Round 13

The thirteenth round of the Doll Quilt Swap on Flickr is wrapping up, with most of the quilts received by most swappers at this point. I was so excited to finally be a part of this swap, as many of my Flickr favorites stem from projects made in this particular group of talented people. Little did I know that I was going to get a super awesome package from a dear bloggy friend of mine, Emily, of Mommy's Naptime. We were in a bee together for the last two years, and have gotten to know each other through the blogosphere, and I find her work awfully inspiring. She's always pushing herself to try new things, which I admire greatly.

In the swap, I made a mini for Marilyn (blogged here) and she sent me a lovely thank you note for her quilt, so I thought I would write a big thank you note to Emily here to thank her for this super unique and thoughtful miniquilt.


Emily is quite possibly the perfect partner for a swap like this - she took every word I said in my swap questionnaire to heart, she studied my Flickr favorites, and clearly thought long and hard about how to make something that I would like that she would enjoy making as well.

She incorporated so many different elements in this quilt, from my love of pink (and especially Sketch in Lipstick!) to a paper-pieced Florida, which might just be my favorite part.


There's prairie points and faux piped binding...


There's loads of low-volume prints...


And there's one of my all-time favorite prints - MoMo's scissors! - in classic black...


There is so much I love about this mini that it's almost hard for me to find the right words to describe how much I appreciate it. Thank you, Emily, for running such an amazing swap and for being such an amazing partner. I consider myself pretty darned lucky! Have a wonderful Monday everyone!

Playing the Name Game Today

Ever wonder where on Earth my blog name came from?? You're not alone :) Today, I'm visiting over at my friend Cindy's blog, Live a Colorful Life, to play the Name Game. Cindy is a fantastic quilter, who recently finished up all 111 Farmer's Wife blocks, and after spending the last year or so emailing back and forth, we finally got to meet up in Kansas City at Market. I love the way Cindy uses color, and her blog posts are always so authentic and vibrant, just like she is. Check out my interview here and have a great Monday!

My Sewing Summit recap: Best Weekend Ever!

I have to warn you: this post is going to be scatter-brained.  I spent a good bit of time going through my photos and my suitcase, trying to figure out how to blog about the super amazing Sewing Summit, but I don't know that it helped much.  I feel all over the place, so exhausted but happy all at the same time.  It's been hard to get back in the swing of real life, I'm definitely missing all of my Sewing Summit peeps.  I'm still working on unpacking and finding homes for all of my new goodies, trying to remember all of the fun we had, and catch up on everything that I missed while I was gone.

When I got to my gate in Phoenix and saw "Salt Lake City" on the board, I almost squealed!
Despite being ridiculously overtired from hardly sleeping the night before and getting up super early, I couldn't help but grin while trudging through the airport on the way to my gate.  Even while rushing across the Phoenix airport to catch my connecting flight, I felt super excited.  As Salt Lake City came into view while I was on my plane en route to the Sewing Summit, my iPod was blaring my current favorite song, Coldplay's "Paradise." That was kind of the theme of the whole weekend.  I couldn't imagine a better way to spend a weekend :)

First view of SLC from the plane
Mountains in SLC
I roomed with Lee and AnneMarie, and it was so fabulous to finally meet them in real life.  They are just as sweet and wonderful as they seem on their blogs!  These two girls have been my support system in the blog world for pretty much the entire life of my blog, and it was so great to get to hang out in real life.  We did a little three-way roommate swap (hence the lovely pouches you saw yesterday) and AnneMarie made me a lovely pillow, using one of my favorite collections right now, Happy Mochi Mochi Yum Yum!  Isn't it adorable?

Fab pillow from AnneMarie
Gorgeous pillow from AnneMarie!
Lee's working on finishing up a super fab mini for me, she totally deserves extra time after rocking out her first fabric collection (did you see it???), so stay tuned for that. She did make me an awesome voile scarf, which I adore (and am wearing in this pic), so thank you, Lee!!  Miss you roomies already!!!

Amazing roommates - Lee on my left and AnneMarie on my right
Amy was fabulous, too, showed us some great fabric shops, and was an awesome friend all the way around. Amy carted me (and my ridiculously heavy bags) to and from the airport and kept us all cracking up throughout the weekend.  After our mini shop-hop, we headed to the Little America...but we had a minor problem along the way.  There was quite a thunking sound coming from the front of the car, and we all started to get a bit spooked.  We all dutifully hopped out of the car when we got off the freeway and kicked the tires, trying to track down the mystery noise...but none of us thought the front passenger tire was about to come off the car.  It later pretty much did, on her way home that night, but I'm happy to report that her car now has a clean bill of health, and she's none the worse for the stress of it.  

Amy is even funnier in person!

My fabric loot
Um...maybe I went a little overboard with the fabric??
We had an amazing dinner with the bee girls from the {Sew} Beautiful bee - all but two of us were there at the Summit, and it was wonderful to get to meet everyone.  Here's hoping that next time around, we can all get there and get a pic of all of us together!

{Sew} Beautiful Bee - Best Bee Ever!!!

Saturday Night Dinner, photos by Faith
I also had the awesome pleasure of getting to give a swap item in person - Darci was my partner in the Pretty Little Pouch swap, and I got to hand-deliver her pouch, which was a ton of fun.  And let me just tell you, Darci is the sweetest!  She kept swinging by to tell me how much people loved her pouch throughout the weekend.  So glad she liked it!!!

Swap partners!
Me and Darci, photo by Amylouwho/Amy Webb

The fat quarter swap that Kaelin hosted on Saturday night was a boatload of fun.  I had visions in my head of chaos (think Sample Sale chaos), but we were all really civilized and grown-up about it. I got some super fab new fat quarters for my stash.  Speaking of my stash, I have often joked that SLC is quilting mecca, and their fabric shops did not disappoint in the least.  I found tons of goodies!  My suitcase was positively filled to the brim on the way home, between all of the fabulous new fabric finds and the goodies from friends.

FQ swap results

I loved all of the awesome classes at the Summit, especially Amanda's awesome Marvelous Minis class.  She has so much personality and is so passionate about fabric and sewing, you can't help but feel inspired after listening to her talk.  Jeni did an awesome talk on fabric and color as well, and I loved getting to spend some time in the Sewing Room, practicing some new FMQ stitches and trying some new improv techniques.

Amanda is so inspiring!  Her love for mini quilts is contagious.

Rocking out with the Babylocks
Rocking out some FMQ with Lee and AnneMarie

Colleen, Amy, and Jennifer improv-ing
All in all, it was a super fab weekend, and I'm so sorry that it's over already!!!  So happy to have met all of these wonderful people in person.  I am having so much fun watching on Flickr and Twitter and seeing all of the fabulous photos from the Summit, so much fun that I've barely unpacked!

My improv block from improv class
My work from the improv class
It's a miracle I was able to cram everything into my suitcase, not to mention for it to wind up being under 50 pounds (just barely).  My Weekender, on the other hand, was a solid 30 pounds or so.  It was so super heavy!!!  I absolutely wish I had added more padding to the straps.  Mental note, if I ever make another one, I suppose.  :)

My haul from the Sewing Summit

Time to toot Lee's horn

If you haven't visited my dear bloggy friend Lee's blog yet, you are seriously missing out on a source of inspiration.  Lee has made some fabulous quilts and bee blocks, but she also is a budding fabric designer.  She has a great way with color, and her latest fabric design is no exception!

She's entered a design contest over at Connecting Threads, and I would love it if you hopped over there and voted for her.  Her design is called Flourish and you can find it right here.  Isn't it lovely?  If she wins the contest, she'll get the opportunity to make additional coordinating prints to go with this one, wouldn't that be amazing?  I can already see this print in quilts, and can't wait to see more.  Are you with me?  Please go vote for her!!  Voting is open through August 31st.

A mini for Megan

Can I just tell you how psyched I was when Megan told me she was interested in a little mini-quilt swap between the two of us?  I was flooded with ideas almost from the get-go, after knowing Megan for a while and then perusing her Flickr favorites, many of which are part of my personal collection of favorites.  I knew I wanted to do something with a saturated rainbow, so I started sketching.  I got really excited about the things I sketched, so much so that I couldn't decide what to make.  So I made Megan choose - I emailed her and asked her to pick a letter (without seeing the sketches), A, B, or C, and she made a choice for me!  Here's the sketches....

Sketches for Megan

And here's what she wound up with...

Megan's Mini - Rainbow Crossing

I attempted hand quilting for the first time with some gorgeous perle cotton thread, which was interesting, to say the least.  The rocking motion completely escapes me, so I approached quilting this a little bit more like embroidery.  I really like how it looks, even though it's not probably the traditional kind of hand quilting, and I love the contrast it gives to the Kona Coal sashing.

Megan's Mini - Hand quilting detail - front

I added a simple Kona Coal binding, to allow the rainbow patchwork to really shine, and I really like the effect it gave the quilt.  I do like adding a contrasting binding to quilts, but for this one, I didn't want the binding stealing any thunder.

Megan's Mini - Hand quilting detail - back

My first attempt at hand-quilting...

Quilt Stats: 
Name: Rainbow Crossing
Size: 22" square
Fabrics: A rainbow of fabrics, including Patty Young's Sanctuary, Lizzy House's Castle Peeps, Amy Butler's Soul Blossoms, Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush, Amy Butler's Lotus, Laurie Wisbrun's Tufted Tweets, and many, many others, as well as Kona Coal
Quilting: Hand quilted with size 8 perle cotton thread
Pattern: I didn't follow one - but Corey wrote a similar pattern last year

I'll be linking up this mini finish with {Sew} Modern Monday.  Hop on over to get inspired by other recent modern finishes!

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations