Friday, April 15, 2011

PSA and Design Inspiration

Well hellooooooooooo again from The Raspberry Rabbits!
I'm Michelle (Shell) May and I'm delighted to be invited back by Madame Samm to visit with ya'll again!

"That just means she didn't make too big a fool of herself the last time, or Madame Samm was really hard pressed to fill this slot." ( editors note...you were a delight and that is why you are back...and never hard pressed for guests like you) wink..

Alright Harrington and Sugie, enough of that. It is sooooooo hard to find good employees nowadays! So anyway, I am often asked where my inspiration comes from when I'm designing a new quilt or stitchery pattern. Well I'm inspired by lots of things like sayings, music, bunnies, but a big part of my inspiration comes from the fact that I suffer from "PSA." What in the world is "PSA" you ask?
Why it's Paint Swatch Addiction!

Yes indeedy, I have a major addiction to Paint Swatches!! It comes from years of working in custom home building and decorating houses. I can't go into a home improvement store without loitering in visiting the paint  department. I know I'm probably on the security camera with my pockets bulging from swatches! Over the load speaker you hear "Code B in the paint department." That means the crazy bunny lady is back again! hee,hee,hee, just kidding...maybe ;)

Just like decorating a house for a client, I use the same principal for my quilting and stitchery designs. First I have to have a color story to build around. From there I start sketching some ideas. I also taught Quilting 101 for ten years and would have my students use this same method for finding an inspiration fabric to build their quilt around.

The next thing I do is pull together some of my Valdani 3 Strand Floss and some pretty fabrics.



Sometimes I might make a few blocks or just get a "wild hare" and hop in and make the whole project! This quilt is at the machine quilters right now. The pattern will be available in a few weeks in my Shop.

However, right now over on my BLOG, you can register to win this pillow!  Leave a comment here so I know you read me, and yes please hop on over to my blog home and leave a comment there. Do you see the bunny head with his big ears? This quilt pattern is called Noelle's Bunnies. Noelle is my 7 year old niece and she and I both agree that bunnies are fun year round and not just for Easter. :)

I also want to remind you of my Free, "12 of Hearts" BOM Stitchery going on right now. These are the blocks we've completed so far. Hop over and visit my BLOG to register for the giveaway and then you can hop over and collect your free designs too! Join in anytime. I also have patterns, supplies and carry lots of beautiful Valdani 3 Strand Floss, including the Floss Kit for "12 of Hearts" in my SHOP. As always, the bunnies and I truly appreciate your support of small, home, based, business folks!

Well there ya have it. PSA and my Design Inspiration. Wishing all of you a very fun, magical day and lots of happy stitching! Thanks again Madame Samm for allowing me and the bunnies to visit!

xx, shell, sugie and harrington

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My life in Symbols

Hi. My name is Wilma, from Wilma's World. Thanks to Madam Samm for having me here today. 

Just FYI, I have been quilting since 1978, when my sister sent me templates for a Mexican Star Quilt, and I cut them from blue jeans and sewed them together like you would sew a torn seam. It was too think to quilt, so I tied it. ( Old picture, it's on a waterbed!!!!) I went from strictly all hand piecing and hand quilting, to machine piecing and hand quilting, to machine piecing and quilting with a Juki on a frame. Quite a transition.


Like so many others, I wasn't sure what to talk about in this blog post, and had many different topics to choose from. But I chose this: My life in symbols.

A few years ago, I was challenged to make a self portrait quilt. What came to mind was a mosaic picture of myself or a piece with my picture on it somewhere, but that just didn't seem to tell much about me, except what I look like. So I went another direction. Here is what I made. I will explain each aspect, and hopefully you will learn a little more about me.



The background is the sky, as well as Tarheel blue, for NC.

The center square shows the things that are in the forefront of my life. The large AT symbol stands for the Appalachian Trail, of which I am a lover and supporter. I love nature, it brings me down to earth and makes me feel very humble. I think that nature also guides me in my choices in fabrics and colors, I don't look at the pattern per se, it just has to be pretty and make me feel happy.

The little red cross denotes my chosen profession, nursing, from which I retired in December after 32 years. ( I just can't say "retirement" enough, to which my regular blog readers can attest.)

 The infinity symbol, with the D (Dave) and the W (Wilma) is for the enduring relationship I have with my husband. ( 38 years). He totally supports my quilting and is probably responsible for 80% of the spending I do on fabric.

The elderly people represent the fact that we live with Dave's elderly mother, who is 89. When I made the quilt, his step dad was still alive too, and was the reason we had to move in here.

The sun. Well, what can I say. I love the feel of the sun on my face, even in the dead of winter.  I might have a few blemishes on my skin from earlier years, but if I couldn't go out in the sun, I might as well hang it up.

The little person on top of the mountain represents my love for hiking. At first glance of my physique, you wouldn't think I ever got off of the couch, but we hike at least once a week, weather permitting, for anywhere from 3-6 miles. Living in western North Carolina there is no end to the trails available. And the views from the higher elevations are spectacular. I always feel like Rocky when we get to the top. I even love hiking in the winter mainly because there are NO ticks and NO snakes. 

The little waving quilt tells it all for me. Quilting is in every aspect of my life. If I see a pretty view, I think what a beautiful quilt it would make. I can't imagine my life without fabric and quilts. I have made at least 1 quilt for each of my family members and friends, and have dozens in piles here at home. My sister asks me what I am going to do with them. (Hmmm. I always thought that when the electric grid fails, I would trade them for food. Without electricity, people will need quilts for warmth......right? ) 

The symbols in the border show things that have shaped my life in other ways. 

First, I am  Buckeye at heart, always will be, even though I have come to love NC. Where you are born and bred is where your roots are, it can't be changed.

The ecology symbol represents my passion for this planet, and making it sustainable for all of our generations to come.

The dove....well everyone wants peace, don't they??

And golf. We all have to have one cross to bear, lol. I love golf, but it is a fickle friend, and messes with my head all the time. But it is outdoors, most of the courses are beautiful, and it is very good exercise. 

So, this little wall hanging holds much more information about me than a picture ever could. Hopefully someday someone in my family will pull this out and have great insights into the life of Great Great Grandma Wilma, the one who made all the quilts. And with no picture, they will assume that I am beautiful!!!

I challenge you to make a self portrait quilt for yourself. Future quilting generations will be glad you did. 

Later,
WilmaNC

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Adamant Argyle Pillow Tutorial

Hello everyone!! It's KarrieLyne from Freckled Whimsy back again to bring you another pillow tutorial!! Personally, pillows are one of my favourite things to make. I hope you enjoy the tutorial and perhaps will even come visit me over at my blog when you are done here! :)

This pillow was inspired by my daughter. She even helped me name it. You can read more about it on my post HERE.  She had been asking for a pillow and she loves purple (like me) so I made her a pillow in an argyle pattern using all solids in purples and grays. I wanted to do a tutorial for it and she needed a matching pillow so I started with the same basic colors, just added a bit more POP to this one with the red.

Here goes...


Color Reference:
Color A = Black
Color B = Red Print
Color C = Purple Print
Color D = Light Gray Solid
Color E = Dark Gray Solids

**Note: All seams are 1/4"**

Cutting:
Cut 2 strips of Color A that are 2.5” by WOF (Width of Fabric)
Cut 1 strip of Color B that is 2.5” by WOF
Cut 1 strip of Color C that is 2.5” by WOF
Cut 2 strips of Color D that are 2.5” by WOF
Cut 7 strips of Color E that is 1” x WOF

Sewing::

Sew a Color A strip to a Color B strip. Press to A.
Sew a Color A strip to a Color D strip. Press to A.
Sew a Color D strip to a Color C strip. Press to C.

Trim the selvages off of your strip sets to create a straight edge.

Cut 2.5” segments along strip set. (You can get 17 cuts from each set)

Repeat for each strip set you have. (A/B, A/D, and D/C)

You will need 14 segments of A/B

You will need 14 segments of A/D

You will need 18 segments of D/C (instead of cutting two more whole strips to get one more segment, just cut out a 2.5” x 2.5” square of C and D and sew them together to get 18.)

Pairing up segments to make 4-patches:::

Take 6 of your A/B combination and sew them into 3 four-patches, matching seams, and placing each color opposite each other. Press.

Take 8 of your A/B segments and 8 of your A/D segments, and sew them into 8 four-patches with color A opposite each other. Press.

Take 6 of your A/D segments and 6 of your C/D segments, and sew them into 6 four-patches with color D opposite each other. Press.

Take 8 of your C/D segments and sew them into 4 four-patches with the colors opposite each other. Press.

 **Note - You will have 4 C/D segments that will not be made into four-patches. These will be used in the outside corners. See below layout photo for reference.

Using a design wall, lay out your blocks as shown in the below photo.

Sashing:
Using 3 of the the E strips that you cut, sub these into 18 pieces measuring 1” x 4.5”.

Using the below photo as reference, sew your sashing pieces with your four-patches into diagonal rows. Press seams towards the sashing. (see photo)

Starting with the longest diagonal strip, add a 1” sashing strip to either side. Press to the sashing.

Sew the next longest strips to your center strip with sashing, taking care to line up your sashing pieces and blocks to keep the argyle pattern. (see photo). Press to sashing.

Taking 2 more of your sashing strips (1” x WOF), sew one to either side of your center piece that is sewn together. Press to the sashing.

Note: Keep the pieces of sashing that you trim off, we will use those in a coming step.

Add your next rows to the top and bottom, taking care to line up your sashing pieces and blocks to keep the argyle pattern. Press to the sashing.
Using those extra sashing pieces we cut off earlier, sew these onto either side of your pillow piece. Press to sashing.

Add your last row, which is one segment, matching the seam with the previous row. Press to the sashing.

Now comes the fun part, trimming it square!

Let’s trim the top first: Lay your pillow top on your cutting mat and lay a long ruler along the top, lining up the intersections of the corner segments. Cut along ruler.


Repeat for each side, lining up the intersections of those corner segments.

Voila! You now have your squared up pillow top!

Measure your top. Mine came out at 19.5” square. I want to use a 20" pillow form in my pillow so I want to add a border to get it to that size.

Taking the last two strips of your 1” sashing, cut these in half to get 4 pieces. Add these to the top, bottom, press to sashing, then to the sides and press to the sashing again.

Quilt as desired and add your favourite pillow backing closure!!

In my last pillow tutorial I did an envelope backing. You can use that as a reference for this one or choose your own.

If you make one of these pillows from my tutorial, I'd love to see it! Please feel free to add it to my Flickr pool HERE so I can ohhhhh and ahaaaa over them all! :)

Want this in a PDF? Click HERE! :)

Enjoy!! Karrie Lyne

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The day in the life of an online fabric owner.



if you recognize this quilt fabric you would be correct
-it is from  the Sherbet Pips Collection



And the winner is #125..
Crafty Mama.
Congrats...

 ( to everyone else, come back again, there will
always be more giveaways)


WINNER was CHOSEN BY 
 Corinna, owner of online store


"Love the ruffling tip! I've shopped with you several times-now
 I know how you always get my orders to me so fast☺"






I would like to thank Madame Samm for the opportunity to guest post today.  She asked me to talk a little bit about how I got started with my Crazyquiltgirl online fabric shop and to talk about a day in my life.  I’m not so sure it’s all that exciting but it certainly keeps me very busy!

I've been a stay at home mom since my son, Ryan, was born.  I wanted to work again, but I needed my job to be flexible.   I decided to try an online business, but what?  It had to be something I knew a lot about.  Let’s see…Well, I had a bit of a fabric stash and I love fabric.  Maybe I could do an online fabric shop?  Yes, that’s it!  I decided to open up an online fabric shop.   I started small and slow, selling my own stash at first and eventually selling Pre-cuts and fabric by Moda.  The business has grown steadily every year and has now become a full time job.  Fulltime job and still able to be a SAHM, yes this was a nice balance!

Now why don’t I walk you through a typical day, ready?

First I get up with Ryan, have breakfast with him and send him off to school.

Then it is time to get to work.  I usually log on to the computer, all the while sporting my PJs.  (A bonus when you work at home!)  I usually spend my time creating listings on the computer, taking photos and scanning fabrics, doing paperwork, ordering supplies, etc.  I take this time to read email and answer customer questions, blog and tweet too.  After that’s all done I usually go shower and get dressed for the day.  Now the real work begins.  I fill orders which means cutting the fabrics ordered, packaging them up and getting them ready to ship.  I do one run to the post office in the morning and one in the afternoon so the orders get out promptly.  Sometimes I have lunch with a friend and run errands when I’m out and about. 

Most recently my friend Pauline comes over in the afternoons to help me with the cutting, listing, ordering and packaging and she has even taken over the afternoon post office run for me since it is on her way home.  It has been great having the extra help in the afternoons and makes the day fly by.

Ryan comes home from school in the afternoon and we usually spend a little time talking, well he talks and I listen, about how our days went and what we did.  It’s nice to be able to be at home when he gets home from school.  I usually have something cooking or begin making dinner so we can eat before the evening activities begin.

After Pauline leaves, Ryan and I have dinner and then there is any number of family activities to be done.   Hockey takes up a fair number of our evenings.  When we do get to stay home, Ryan does his homework and I continue to fill orders that have come in and finish up any listing or ordering that needs to be done.  I’m still trying to find time to get back to quilting for myself.  I am hoping that Pauline and Pam will help me get back into that so I can make some quilts this year.  Then it is off to bed and the whole cycle begins again in the morning,


Now to share something with YOU. I get asked a lot about jelly rolls and charm packs.


So I called upon my dear quilting friends and we agreed this would be a good share. 


How many of you use a jelly roll for a seam binding? I know someone who does this all the time.  Measure your quilt, miter your strips and sew, fold in half and press. Depending on your quilt and design, you can choose moda bella solids or prints. They work perfectly and you are always certain the strips are perfectly cut.


after sewing your strips, fold in half and press. 
then sew 1/4 seam fold over and hand stitch your binding.

OR 

How about a ruffle...same idea- fold- press
You don't need a ruffle maker, no tools involved except your finger..
Fold as if you were making pleats. Do only 2 at once, sew over it,
pleat 2 more, sew, pleat 2 more, I think you get the picture.


Pretty easy, don't you agree?




For your charm packs, I like the idea that they are perfect for appliques- you can be sure the whole collection will blend.. So take  S P R I N G letters ( link above) and try this with any charm pack, or choose your own applique the next time you are thinking of adding something to your quilt. ( or with your winnings today)

If you like to win this jelly roll and charm pack from Moda called Sherbert Pips, 
leave a comment here and join me on my blog and be a new follower  ( over on my blog)and drop me a line mentioning you saw me here-a
nd I will announce the winner tomorrow morning.( on both blogs)



 Here is my shop

Happy Quilting.
Corinna





Monday, April 11, 2011

My Favorite Quilts From the Seacoast Village in Dunfanaghy


Madame Samm asked me to be a guest speaker on her blog, and I am so honored ! I wanted to thank her so much, not just for this honor, but for being my friend. Let me first introduce myself. My name is Micki Butler and I have a blog called Irish Muses. Yes, I am lucky enough to live in Ireland in a beautiful seacoast village called Dunfanaghy, in County Donegal. I started quilting about ten years ago, and the only problem is that there is not enough hours in the day to do all that I want.
I

Madame Samm asked me to talk about my favorite quilts that I made. I didn't have to think too long about that one. I have three that I made that are very sentimental and special to me. My all time favorite one is the Sylvia Bridal Sampler. I read all of Jennifer Chiaverini's books, and I fell in love with this quilt which was highlighted in one of her books. I worked on that quilt each day over a four month period, and I enjoyed each and every moment that I spent on the 140 blocks that I sewed. Sylvia, who was the main character in the book, had this quilt given to her by her friends, who made a wedding quilt for her, and each block represented what Sylvia meant to them. I did the whole quilt in batiks and Michael Miller Fairy Frost fabrics. I can't begin to tell you how much I learned from each and every block that I made. It was a wonderful learning experience, and a magical journey for me!


I also have a great love for paper piecing. I learned how to paper piece from Carol Doak, and I have all of her books. I then went on to learn the more advanced techniques of paper piecing from Deb Karasik. I found out she was going to be in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and I went with the Sheephaven Guild to take her workshop, where we were going to make the Carnivale Wallhanging. I was so thrilled to meet her, and I was determined to finish the quilt when I got back from the workshop in Belfast. It is definitely my favorite paper piecing quilt that I made, but I have made many of them. I just love the whole process of paper piecing, and how exact you can make the blocks.


Last but not least, I had to mention my other love which is applique. I do machine applique too, but I thoroughly enjoy hand applique. I learned how to applique and fell in love with it. My first applique that I did was a fairy pattern developed by Reva Roark Stewart. If you love to make fairies, check her patterns out. They are magical! I did needleturn stitching on it, and I so enjoyed the weeks that I spent sewing each and every part of the beautiful appliqued wallhanging. I just love hand sewing, as I find it so relaxing, and I enjoyed making the fairy wallhangiing sitting in my lounge chair while I watched tv. My husband could never understand how I could do the two things at the same time.


Hopefully, you can see how much I love sewing! I began sewing as a child, as my mom was a seamstress, and both my parents owned a fabric store, thus my love of fabric too. My mom taught me how to design my own clothes, and to sew home decor, and then I discovered quilting, and the rest is history. Once you make one quilt, you cannot stop.


It was so much fun telling you about myself a bit , and I always enjoy talking about quiting. It is my passion! I included a pic of me and my husband, as he is the reason I came to Ireland from Philadelphia. I fell in love with Joe and landed up here in 1997. I am lucky to have found my soulmate, and now have the time to do my hobbies....You can't beat that!