26 April 2012

Perfectly Perched {Snowball Blocks}

Are these prints fantastic or what?! I seriously can't stop staring at them. 
My lovely friend Laurie Wisbrun is the brilliant designer of this fabric eye-candy and was sweet enough to send me some to play with. The collection is called "Perfectly Perched" (for Robert Kaufman Fabrics) and will be in quilt shops in July. This will be her 4th line of fabric coming out this year so far. Wow!  She is an expert at cranking out beautiful fabric designs and has even written a book about it. Unbelievable!
 
These Perfectly Perched prints were almost too cute to cut up! I decided to keep the quilt design simple with a snowball block design to really showcase the fabric. For the quilting, I had a lot of fun making lots and lots of random squiggly lines using my  freemotion quilting technique.
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 For those of you who don't know what a snowball block is or how to make one, let me take a second to explain!  It is so easy and fun. 
You basically need a bunch of colorful 5" squares and lots of neutral 2" squares. To be more specific, I used eight colorful fat quarters and cut twelve 5" squares from each. From the white fabric, I cut another thirty-six 5" squares; from the gray, I cut five hundred and twenty-eight 2" squares. Yup, five hundred and twenty-eight of them. It sounds much worse than it is.
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Once the cutting is done, you're ready to assemble your snowballs. Here are the 4 easy steps:  


1. For each snowball block, you will need one 5" square and four 2" squares.  Mark the back of each 2" block with a diagonal line. Place one marked square in each corner of the 5" block, right sides together, aligning raw edges. Pin in place.
2.  Sew along the marked lines; trim away the excess fabric.
3.   Press open the seams with an iron.
4.  Admire your lovely snowball block and move on to the next one!
Once you make all of your snowball blocks, you assemble the quilt like you would any basic block quilt. Pretty cool, eh?
Big thanks to Laurie for sharing some of your gorgeous fabric!  To see the other amazing designs she is working on, head over to her blog and stay a while.  No, seriously. You might find yourself pinning the heck out of her blog for the next forty minutes. 

22 April 2012

Chilled Lemon Apple Oatmeal

Lemons. 
I pretty much love them. 
Just talking about them makes me want to whip up a batch of lemon mousse.  Or lemon sour cream pie.  Or both. Mmmm. When life gives me lemons, I'm in a dither.
When I first came home from the hospital with Olive, my mom fixed me some chilled lemon apple oatmeal for breakfast. She explained that oatmeal helps boost a new mother's milk supply, or at least I think that's what she said; I was more concerned with why she had not shared this delightful recipe sooner...
Chilled Lemon Apple Oatmeal
  • 1 C. regular oats
  • 1/2 C. milk
  • 1/2 C. lemon yogurt
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, diced
The night before, combine the oats and milk in a bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, the oats will have absorbed all the milk.
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Add the lemon yogurt and diced apples; mix everything together well. 
Yup. That's it.  Unbelievably easy.  The hardest part is really just remembering to soak the oats the night before. Even the husband (an admitted meat-and-potatoes guy) likes it, so this is a regular breakfast food around here.

15 April 2012

Hooray for Hopscotch

Um, Camille?!  Let me just start off by saying how much I heart your face! Your patterns and fabric are ever so lovely. I was singing your praises this week as I finished up a quilt using your Hopscotch pattern. 
I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo in love with this quilt. (I hope all those extra letters convey that.)
The quilt ended up being so thick (with fleece for the back) that the only practical quilting choice was to use a freehand machine-quilting method. Wahoo for swirlies. And yes, it's obvious that I need a stitch regulator. Oh well.
Check out the snuggly fleece. Yum.
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By far one of my favorite patterns of all time.  As is the case with all of Camille's patterns I've owned, they are delightfully simple and easy to make. Her explanations and diagrams are clear; you need not be a professional to tackle something like this. I admit when I first saw the pattern cover (which boasts of its lack of y-seams), I was thinking, "Y-seams? What the heck are those?!" (and doubly relieved that there wouldn't be any of them). Once I actually examined the pattern, I was happy to see how simple it was--much, much simpler than I ever would have guessed.  I am already looking forward to making another in the future!
Fabrics used (most were from the scrap pile): 
Dots in Aqua, Ruby (Moda)
Dots in Aqua Gray, Ruby (Moda)
Sundae in Aqua, Ruby (Moda)
Sundae in Lime, Ruby (Moda)
Circles in Brown, Metro Living (Robert Kaufman)
Speckle in Earth, Nursery Basics (Cloud9 Fabrics)
Quilter's Linen in Taupe, (Robert Kaufman)
Cotton Couture in Khaki from Secret Garden (Michael Miller Fabrics)
Natural Effects Floral, Natural Effects (Marcus Fabrics)

09 April 2012

Pretty Triangles

Well, last week I cut all the fabric for the Hopscotch (pattern by Camille Roskelley) quilt. This week, I assembled all of those pieces to form the lovely triangles! Here is my favorite triangle! Fabrics are "Circles in Brown" from "Metro Living" for Robert Kaufman Fabrics AND "Aqua Gray Dots" from "Ruby" for Moda.
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Fast forward...I've arranged all of the triangles and sewn together the quilt-top.  My least-favorite part (the basting) is done, and now it's ready to be quilted! I decided that it is a perfect size for a baby/child, so I have basted cream fleece for the back.  Hopefully it won't turn into the-quilt-of-a-thousand-swear-words from trying to move all these layers around!
Ready to quilt!

05 April 2012

McCall's Quilt Design Star 2012

Friends!!!
Have you heard about McCall's Quilt Design Star contest? It sounds amazing!


The McCall's Quilt Design Star™ 2012 contest has officially launched and is currently in the qualifying round phase, which continues through April 29, 2012. This year for the first time, the contest has 2 separate tracks for Amateur and Professional Quilt Designers. Don’t let the term Professional scare you…for the purposes of this contest, a pro is anyone who has ever received monetary compensation for an original quilt design. For example, if you’ve made money by self-publishing a pattern, making a quilt for a fabric company, or teaching a class based on your quilt design at a local shop, you’re a pro! Grand prizes this year include a sewing machine (a Pfaff quilt expression™ 4.0 with toolbox in the professional group and a Viking Sapphire™ 875 Quilt in the amateur group) and $500 cash to the winner of each group. Winning quilts will also be featured in McCall’s Quilting magazine.

The contest landing page is at http://www.mccallsquilting.com/contests/Quilt_Design_Star_2012.html, where you’ll find complete rules and how to enter. Professional entries are especially encouraged, as this is the first year for that division. Good luck to all who decide to compete!
I may have to stay up late a few nights to see if I can come up with something!  I love McCall's!

03 April 2012

A Tisket, a Tasket

I could quilt day and night...but clothing? Not exactly my strong suit. I decided a few months ago that I really really wanted to make Olive an Easter dress and started to gather the components.
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The pattern: Simplicity 8953.  Isn't is to die for? My mom used it to make dresses for me when I was young. I am so happy she held onto it and let me borrow it! It's at least 25 years old, so I'm not sure if it's in print anymore. 
The fabric:  Patty Young's "Running Stitches" from the Lush collection and Heather Bailey's "Wallpaper Roses" from her Pop Garden line. (Big thanks to my friend Lulu for providing some beautiful fabric inspiration!) 
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I had to adapt the pattern since the smallest size was still way too big for Olive. How'd I do?
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It's still a little big but at least she can wear it a while! I think she needs a fluffier petticoat though.  Oh well.
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I sort of want one in my size.  Can't you just imagine it? Knee-length with a cardigan, minus the sash?  Maybe one of these days I can find the time to do it.
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Happy Easter! What fun projects are you working on?

01 April 2012

Cut It Out

Well, I've managed to get all my pieces cut out for Hopscotch (pattern by Camille Roskelley).  It's a miracle!  I laid a few of them out to see what it will all look like together. Can't wait to get started! Such a cool pattern!
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Now it's time to get crackin'!