April 27, 2010

EQ7... have you heard?

So I have been looking into getting some sort of quilt design software all over the internet.  I always have so many different ideas flowing in my head but figured it would be much easier than taking out my colored pencils and paper. 
As I have been researching it seems that EQ (Electric Quilt) has the best reviews.  People say that it is so easy to use and has a billion and a half fabric swatches.  I was looking at their blog the other day since now I am waiting for the day that I just take the plunge and purchase it, and thank goodness I haven't done it yet.  They are coming out with a new and improved version, EQ7! It comes out in June and I think this is the perfect excuse to take the "plunge". 

I will keep you posted.....

Has anyone out there ever used any of the EQ's or other quilting software?  Anyone else as excited as I am?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

take care mucho,

April 25, 2010

Quilt Along #2: Zig Zag

Welcome all to the beginning of our second quilt along- the Zig Zag quilt.

As with all my quilt alongs for this series, they focus on a fat quarter pack of 12.  If you read my blog regularly you know very well how much I love the packs from the Fat Quarter Shop.  I don't get anything perks from their shop for saying this.  I just really like their fabric and specifically their fat quarter packs!  I have been a member of their fat quarter club for over a year and have an abundance of packs hanging out and I wanted to challenge myself to create fun quilts and projects to use them up.

This week is devoted to gathering our materials.

The first one is obvious, 12 fat quarters.  You don't have to use a pack like I will, you can use 12 fat quarters of your choice, or even 6 half yards (you will have two zig zags of each fabric), or even 1.5 yards of 2 fabrics (for alternating zig zags).
(I will be using my flora & fauna by Michael Miller pack for this one)

Next you will need your cutting materials

Then somethings you may want to think about but don't need right away...
  * 2 yards backing fabric (this is going to be pretty exact so if your fabric store cuts without a little    wiggle room please ask for 2.25 yards)

  * batting 75"x 51" (this is an approximate size since batting has to be a few inches bigger than the final quilt)

  * coordinating thread for piecing and quilting

I am giving you info. for the quilt that I am going to make with you, though, this pattern is super easy to modify its size.  We are going to be using half square triangles to create the zig zags, so you can make less squares to make a smaller baby quilt, or add more squares to create a bed comforter.  Possibilities are endless.

Next week we will be cutting our fat quarters (or half yards, or yardage), so have some fun this week picking out some fabric.  This is always my favorite part!

Hope you are able to join us either on the sidelines or by playing along :)

Take care mucho,

April 21, 2010

Quilt Along Series Continues...

I was hoping to have the second quilt started this week, but life hits and plans go to the waist side.  

We will have to start next week with our Zig Zag quilt! 
I don't have good pictures taken yet, so I thought I would show you my sketch book page where I have been planning the quilt.  

Here are some things to get you excited ...

1. We're making Zig Zags! A simple yet modern looking quilt
2. We are uping the antie- no more hand tieing, we will be quilting these layers together
3. You'll learn a new technique- half square triangles, this will open you to a whole new world!
4. Videos & pictures- I hope to have some cooperation from technology to bring you short video clips along with the usual pics to help you throughout making your quilt.
5. I will be showing how easy it would be to vary this quilt so the possibilities are endless!

 I hope you are getting excited with me and join along next week were you get to shop around a little.  We are gathering our materials and picking out our fabrics.  

Take care mucho,

I hope you are able to join us for making some easy zig zags.

April 20, 2010

Hexagon Craze has hit me...

So I have been seeing these mini hexies pop up all throughout blogland and ... well it finally hit me. It hit me hard!

My sister had to get some minor surgery about a month ago and I needed a portable project.  I got some fabric scraps, scissors, paper hexies and thread.  As I spent practically the entire day at the hospital I made quite a lot of hexies.  I steadily continued working on more and more and more.  In the middle of making all these cute hexies I came up with the idea of wanted to create, a table runner.  I ended up making 200!
I arranged them and numbered them....
and now they are ready to be sewn together.  Now this is probably going to take a while to finish up, but little by little this one will get done.

I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Take care mucho,

April 10, 2010

Martha Stewart's Stitch Fest

As I mentioned before I went to Martha Stewart's book premier in NYC.  I went a little snap happy.  For a crafty person like me, this was Mecca :)
They highlighted many of the projects and techniques from the book.  They even had huge, blown up versions, of the book pages posted on the walls.

Here are a few of my favorite ideas...

We also were able to make a little tomato pincushion.  Here I am sewing on a very nice Singer sewing machine, which they had a raffle of, so cross your fingers!! to start off the pin cushion....

And of course the finished products...
Martha (we are such good friends now we are on first name bases, hehe) really knows how to run her business very successfully.  No detail was spared.  At the end we got all these wonderful things!

I mean, that was well worth the price of the ticket.  I have been flipping through the book and have really been enjoying the projects in there.  If you get a chance check it out.  Also, I HIGHLY recommend attending any Martha event you possibly can.  She is VERY generous.

Take care mucho,

PS- I just got an email from Rebecca informing me of a great giveaway Singer is having.  Every day in April they are giving away Martha's new book and all you have to do is become a fan of Singer either on facebook or twitter!  Just follow this link http://www.singerco.com/support/contest_rules.html for more info.  Good Luck!

April 9, 2010

NYC recap

So my week in NYC was great!  The highlight being seeing Martha Stewart!

My mom and I had a few rainy days at the beginning of the week that didn't allow us to do too much except shop for shop! There were some great sales at some of our favorite shops, so we just had to take advantage.

Once the weather got better we ventured a little further away from my sisters apartment.  I had to stop by in Soho so that I could shop at Purl.  I have been following on their blog Purl Bee for a while now and was excited that I finally was able to see the shops.  I was very good while I visit both the knitting and fabric shops (they are supposed to be moving to a much bigger location this weekend).  I kept hearing my husbands voice in the back of my head "please, don't spend too much".  I love the fact that he just leaves it at "too much" as if there is really a limit to that :)

We had time to do a little sight seeing.  My family has been to NYC so many times ever since my sister moved there, but we have never been able to resist doing something touristy....
so what's more fun than the double decker bus?

Oh yeah, we hopped on for the night tour. 
I know that from the picture about it looks like total day light, but this was at the beginning. By the end it started to get dark and COLD.  Good thing we had our coats and scarves with us!

We also hopped aboard the Circle Line boat for a 2 hr. tour.  This one wasn't nearly as much fun as the double decker bus, but still had great views of the city.  Especially the Statue of Liberty.

OK, I am sure you are all waiting to hear how in the world I was able to see Martha?!

Her new book Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts just came out last week and she was having a book premiere, they called it Stitch Fest.  It was incredibly well organized.  There were drinks, food and great demos from the book.  She even had a make & take, a pin cushion tomato.  My sister was so proud of herself saying, and I quote, "I have never made anything before" with a huge smile on her face, staring at her tomato. 

My mom and sister with their very own Martha pincushions!

As soon as we came in we also got a glimpse of Martha herself.  She was walking around seeing everyone's pincushion.  My mom walked close to her to get this shot....

 My sister was too embarrassed to let her get closer, haha. 

The best part of the night was the swag bag we got on our way out.  It included her book, the latest copy of all her magazines, and sewing materials galore.  It was overall a fantastic night (I have more to post about this so stay tuned).

Overall it was a great spring break!

Now it is back to work and life as usual...

Take care mucho,

April 5, 2010

Giveaway Winner!

Ok so only two of you posted pictures but I allowed all comments to enter... It wouldn't have been such a good competition otherwise, haha. 
I had my first grade class help chose the winner out of a hat.....and drum roll please!

Deanna came out to be the winner!!
Yay Deanna!!!
So happy a fellow "Bee Inspired" member gets the fabric. 
Since I already have your address I will pack it up and send it off to you with in the next two days :)

I hope more of you are able to join in on the fun with the next quilt, it will be a zig zag quilt.  I will post a sneek peak soon.

Take care mucho,

April 3, 2010

Ciao Bella!

I have been meaning to create a t-shirt quilt for as long as I can remember and I have finally done it!!

I was looking through a course catalog of local adult courses you can sign up for, like I always do when the catalog arrives.  I saw a t-shirt quilting class listed and next to it the name of my high school home ec teacher!  I thought it would be hilarious to be her student yet again.  I thought she would be floored at knowing that I was still sewing.  Needless to say I signed up for the class right then and there.  Mrs. Frazier, as I still call her because I just can't get used to calling her by her first name, was very happy to see me on the first class.  I was telling her all my sewing endeavors and how she had been the one to inspire the love of quilts in me.  I made my very first one in her class and I still have it and actually use it. 

I knew right away what t-shirts I wanted to use.  During my wedding/honeymoon in Italy I went a little nuts and bought 12 of the same Ciao Bella t-shirts that are very nostalgic, from the days when I studied in Florence.  Off I went to work on the t-shirts with Ms. Frazier, and I have ended up with this great quilt!

The only thing I wish is, that I had been even crazier and bought more t-shirts to make it bigger.  My husband would have killed me though so I guess a baby size will have to do.  Perfect for the first kid (insert husband having a heart attack, haha) Don't worry it won't be for a while :)

The backing is fun sweatshirt material in navy blue.  You can get a glimpse of it in this picture
I used the same "pillow" technique that I used on the first quilt along quilt so it made things a little bit easier.  Did I mention that I was the only one to do it this way.  I kept doing my own thing throughout the class.  I guess there isn't much that has changed since my high school days, hehe.

Have you finally conquered a project you have been meaning to do for a while?

Take care mucho,

PS- You still have time to join the quilt along giveaway!