Category: Tell Me Thursday

Progress Report: October Use It or Lose It Stash

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I’m not sure how many of you have seen my posts about my challenge with myself and my friend Jennilee (@quiltyjl on IG). We said we would choose a simple shape and turn it into a quilt using only our stash. We were going to do one a month starting in August (because we came up with this idea at the retreat in July) and we decided to do something with squares. Well, I chose a Scrappy trip around the world quilt because it’s very easy and uses a ton of fabric. Also it helped that my buddy Sara E. was also hosting a STATW QAL on Facebook for motivation.  So I cut some strips and dove in as I typically do. I kept up the pace of the QAL which was pretty rigorous, I even won a door prize for posting my blocks! At this time I’m happy to report that I’ve made so much progress that I even ran out of red strips from my first day of cutting! I still have a long way to go before this quilt top is done because I decided I need to be a little more prescriptive in how I use my low volume fabric so that means that I have to make more blocks (each row has to have the same low volume fabric to make a consistent pattern.)
Throughout this process I learned something which I think I already knew but it was a good reminder: I hate repetitive piecing. I get bored very quickly and lose focus. The QAL ended (the rest of the group is challenged to bring a completed top to the November guild meeting in San Antonio) so now my motivation has waned. The only reason I really picked it back up was that I had the blocks up on my design wall and wanted to work on something else but didn’t want to put the blocks away for good! So I’m pushing through and in between piecing strips and subsets I’m working on the Epic Lightning McQueen quilt (#epiclightningmcqueenquilt) for my son. It’s also a racing theme and so I think it will have a little more longevity than just a flat out Cars theme quilt.
This one has also pushed my limits and comfort zone because I chose to follow a pattern, which I also dislike to do. I’m rather frustrated because I cut all the pieces as the pattern specified and they are all squares or rectangles and they are still not lining up! I’m not really OCD when it comes to piecing (it’s hard to be when you prefer to improv or make it up as you go along) but the blocks are coming out wonky and I’m not doing it on purpose and that bothers me. I’m plugging through though because I know that a little wonky never hurt anyone and this isn’t a quilt for a show, it’s for my son to use and love. And he gets excited when he sees the fabrics up on the design wall.

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Lastly I thought I’d share an update on my most recent finished project. It was a triple threat because I used it as my October project for the Savor Each Stitch bee (so fun to have two new people at our meeting this month!) Plus it was triangles which was the shape Jennilee and I chose for October Use It or Lose It challenge,  plus it was a practice of the 6th score in The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters!

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So there it is, it’s super small, but it took me a few hours to piece because I was trying to teach myself how to sew triangles without looking at a tutorial!  Let me tell you, it’s not as easy as it seems. And yes, it’s quilted with free motion triangles and I only did a zigzag on the edge because I didn’t feel like doing a binding or facing. I’ve already hung it up in my cubicle where I am replacing all the minis I got in swaps witb minis that I’ve made myself.  The swap minis are on display at home in my sewing loft.
Well I guess that about sums up the month of October for now. Next week is my birthday and 4 days of classes at Quilt Festival!  I may have overdone it a bit since I’m kind of wishing I had allowed myself an extra day off to go get a pedicure and get my hair done or something. I’ll be in class all day every day and then I’ll have to go home and be mommy and wife in the evening. Maybe I need to take Monday off the next week so I can recover! Too bad I have too much going on at work to allow that.

Thanks for reading all this even though you’ve probably seen it all through FB or IG. Happy Thursday!

Anna

Fabrics that Speak to Me

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When I started sewing back in 2006/7 I didn’t know what I was doing (who ever does when they first start?) I was lucky that a close friend had a very nice Bernina sewing machine and she had been sewing for a while and I guess she wanted someone to take under her wing because she did. She taught me to make pillowcases and curtains for my very first home. (It may have helped that I was married to her son but since that story doesn’t end so well, we’ll leave it at that)

Way back in 2006 the Modern Quilt Guild had not begun officially yet, and as far as I can remember (I was all of maybe 24) but there was one fabric designer who was creating something that was so completely different from the Civil War and Feedsack reproduction or Shabby Chic fabrics that were out on the market. Her name was Amy Butler and she was really designing beautiful, fun, bright, bold prints. I don’t know when she started this process, but when I first saw her fabric (my favorite shop, Creations in Kerrville, TX had an entire room dedicated to her fabric) I knew it was what I wanted to sew with! Best part was, she also wrote patterns! Awesome tote bag patterns and skirt patterns and even quilts (but I always thought her quilt patterns were a little strange because they didn’t account for 1/4 in seam allowances).

Turns out, Amy Butler is a very sweet woman and she was born in October, just like me!

So I met her at Quilt Market this year, told her that her fabric was the reason I started and continued to sew and quilt. She was so sweet and even let me snap a selfie with her!

Amy Bulter (on the left) and me (with the goofy grin)
Amy Bulter (on the right) and me (with the goofy grin)

That’s part one of my little walk down memory lane. Here’s part 2.

Sometime back in probably 2010 or early 2011, when I was going through a rough time in my personal life, I went to the Greater San Antonio Area Quilt Guild show. It’s only hosted every other year and I was actually quite excited because of the large list of vendors that were going to be at the show. I wandered around, looking at the booths and the long arms until I saw one booth that made me stop in my tracks. This booth stuck out from ALL the other vendors there, all the fabrics were bright and bold and…and…they were AMY! They were ALL AMY BUTLER! There were quilts and kits and precut fabric and it was just amazing! I turned around and saw the woman who I assumed was the booth owner/vendor and told her flat out “Your fabrics speak to my soul!” Well, she immediately pointed up to the sign for her booth:

A Joyful Soul Fabrics

What are the odds!? I knew I had to buy fabric from her and keep in touch with this woman! Along the way, over the last few years, I think she and I have gone through some similar experiences with closing down an online fabric shop (I know, right?) She still has a LOT of fabric (all of that Amy Butler Awesomeness) that needs to clear out of her house! So, here’s my appeal, if you are NOT on a fabric fast like I am, and you have some Christmas money that you want to spend or a project you need to make for someone, please go and visit Joy on Instagram. Her name is @ajoyfulsoulfabrics and she has listed TONS of fabric at really amazing prices. (Psst, she even has some Tula Pink too!) Then post a picture and tag me so I can live vicariously through you! HAHA

Happy Shopping!

Anna

P.S. I was in no way compensated for this post, this is my honest story and honest feelings about Amy Butler fabrics. When I like something, I blog about it!

Categories: Tell Me Thursday

Scrappy Log Cabin Quilt Along – Anyone can do it!

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Just one day, just one Quilt Along, just one chance to join in and have some fun making scrappy things!

A new IG friend of mine, Katherine, a.k.a. Kaki (@kakiofhoneyhill) from Honeyhill Designs is planning a Quilt Along on New Year’s Day. Make some scrappy log cabin quilt blocks and share your pictures on IG. If you aren’t on IG but want to sew along with us, great! Feel free to share through any means you’d like or just keep it to yourself. But we’re so fun and social that we love to share, you know? The hashtag is #scrappylogcabinqal on IG. I hope you’ll join in if you can and tell your friends!

Happy Stitches,

Anna

Categories: Tell Me Thursday

Podcasts, I think I Love You

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[Lots of words, NO pictures, if you want to see some nice pictures, check out my Instagram feed I’m on there as modquiltgirl_anna and check out the tags #rejectedfromquiltcon and #quiltconreject for some beautiful quilts!]

Earlier this year I made a new friend through Instagram by complete accident. Her name is Stephanie Kendron (@modernsewciety on IG). Somehow I saw a post of a quilt she made with some fabric that I instantly recognized (Woodland Bloom from Moda) and I of course commented on it. She generously offered to send me some (a jelly roll and layer cake!!) and in return I sent her a mini quilt made of Anna Maria Horner fabrics. After a little more Instagram conversation I figured out that Stephanie hosted something called the Modern Sewciety podcast (MSP). Well, that sparked my curiosity of course.

What the HECK was a podcast? I didn’t have an iPod or iPhone, so how could I listen to one (or was this one of those things that was for Apple users only)?

I immediately e-mailed Stephanie to ask these (silly) questions and she kindly replied to just search my App Store (DUH) for a podcast app and then I could search for her podcast.

OK, great! I did that and found out that her podcast was AWESOME!! (That’s #AWESOME for you IG people) She interviews all the movers and shakers of the sewing and quilting world! I mean ALL of them!! And she does it in such a sweet and inquisitive way. It’s like she’s asking them the questions I would ask them, if I ever had the chance to chat with them.  I also feel that the MSP was great to listen to while doing my Couch to 5K run because there was so much walking and running that trying to listen to music with a specific beat just wasn’t working for me. But listening to someone talk about sewing and quilting kept my mind occupied enough to forget that I was running.

I also realized something about podcasts in general, they are great for people who want to DO other things while listening. I mean, I like to (binge) watch Netflix while I’m sewing but there’s the whole annoying thing of having to look at the screen to figure out what is going on. Podcasts don’t have that problem, they are like Netflix for RADIO! Podcasts are ON DEMAND radio shows, several of which are produced by the GREAT radio talent already out there such as Ira Glass and other NPR celebrities.  Which leads me to the next point.

Podcasts are addicting. You know that phrase/philosphy that like attracts like? Well, once I started listening to the MSP, I started hearing about other podcasts to try out. First, it was Abby Glassenberg (interviewed on MSP, @abbyglassenberg on IG) who has a crafty business centered podcast (and she’s NOT a quilter so she has an awesome different perspective on things) called While She Naps.

So I subscribed to Abby’s e-mail newsletter and she mentions a different podcast every WEEK, she mentioned a new one called Compulsory (she was interviewed on that one, and I love this podcast but it has limited episodes right now) and then, during one of those episodes I heard about Serial.

OMG, don’t get me started about Serial. It’s awesome, and creepy (because it’s a true story), and riveting (listened to all 10 episodes in a two day span), and intriguing. And it’s like reality TV but on the RADIO! It’s produced by the folks who produced This American Life (which I have downloaded but have yet to listen to) which EVERYONE who listens to podcasts RAVES about. I love the format of it because it reminds me of all the times I listened to shows on NPR and their style of journalism and reporting. There is something nostalgic about that type of show. And now I can get it on demand on my podcast app (I just started using Podcast Nation after trying out OneCast and Podcast Addict)!

The latest podcast obsession of mine (thanks Abby) is called StartUp. It’s another reality type show by a guy who was a producer/journalist for This American Life (anything anyone from that group comes out with is pretty much GOLDEN), I think his name is Alex something. But it’s about the process of starting up a small business. The behind the scenes that most people don’t ever see (makes me think of Shark Tank). I’m in love. And now I’m grappling between spending time on the bus listening to podcasts or scanning through IG. Well, truth is I can do both but it’s kind of hard to split my attention.

Confession, last night I almost enjoyed folding the laundry because, after the kid was asleep, even though it was 11:45pm I knew I had to finish up the last part of episode 3 of StartUp (ended up listening to the next one too).

The only recommendation I can make is, find a podcast that has several episodes already recorded (MPS has close to 50 PLUS the B-Side episodes which are soooo fun!) because these reality type shows will have you on the edge of your seat waiting for the next one! And if you have to catch up, take them in moderation so that it doesn’t seem like such a looooong time until the next one comes out.

So, now I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do YOU listen to podcasts? If so, which ones? (I’m always looking for new ones to add to my list!) Please leave a comment below, I’d really appreciate it!

(Yes, I realize this post is devoid of images, but you know what? If you want to see some pictures, there is this great app called Instagram and I post pictures on there ALL the time as do millions of others. Check out the hashtag #rejectedfromquiltcon or #quiltconreject to see some amazing quilts that didn’t get selected for the show in February.)

Happy Stitches,

Anna

Tell Me Thursday

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BlogPostTitle_Thursday

Each Thursday I will post some sort of poll or question because the best way to make this blog enjoyable is to hear what YOU think about quilting and sewing. Occasionally, I might post a life update or something, but I’m going to try to make this blog interactive and more of a two way discussion than the typical, I post/you read or comment type of blog. Thanks to everyone who responded to the post last week! I had 17 people reply and the experience among those of you who responded was pretty evenly split between New, Intermediate and Experienced quilter/sewist! With that in mind, it will really help me decide what sorts of tutorials to focus on for the future. Now, I hope you’ll share a little more with me about being in a Modern Quilt Guild.

 

Happy Stitches,

Anna

Categories: Tell Me Thursday

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Tell Me Thursday

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BlogPostTitle_Thursday

Inquiring minds want to know (for the three people who now read my blog)…Please answer the poll below!

Happy Stitches,

Anna