August 28, 2013

100 Quilts For Kids and the Boulder Modern Quilt Guild

Round two of trying to get this post done. Argg . . . sometimes I really don't like technology very much. Previous writing magically disappeared into nowhere right about the time I was finishing it up.

Anyway . . . I was busy last week finishing up a baby quilt as part of our Boulder Modern Quilt Guild charity project for Front Range Community College. Our little guild of about 20 members has made 15 baby quilts so far. Not bad at all I'd say for a brand new guild. You can see some of the other baby quilts by using the link above.

My quilt is made from a fabric collection called Olivia's Holiday by Tina Givens. I think the pink and yellow will make for a very cheery bit of comfort for some little girly girl. My own little girl had pink and yellow in her room when she was little. Nothing like this but very bright and cheery. I still like the combo of yellow and pink.

Here's my newest baby. Her name is Opal and we've had her and her brother Leo for about 9 months. Just like real babies, they grow up too fast. Wish I could shrink her down to a tiny kitten size again.

This little quilt gave me a chance to practice my free motion quilting . . . something I need to do a lot more of. I did a free form flower across the strips and staggered the placement for every other row.

I'm linking up to Swim Bike Quilt's 100 Quilt For Kids. If you've made and donated a kid's quilt then good for you!!!  Go add your quilt to the linky party and you just might win a prize. Links are open till Sept 30 2013. Go here to see all the quilts that have been donated. Quilters are such generous people. Just think, if quilters ruled the world, everyone would be surrounded with warmth and love.   : )

Also this month at our sew day we had a paper piecing lesson from Sharon and made these Jacob's Star blocks which just might make their way into another baby quilt for the charity.

I've done some paper piecing but not for a long long time. It's always good to renew the concept. If you've been afraid to give paper piecing a try I encourage you to go for it. It's really not that hard at all, just a little counter intuitive at first. Once you understand, it's quite easy and the results are well worth the effort. Thanks Sharon.

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August 17, 2013

My Colorful Studio

I always love seeing where people create. It's inspiring to see how creative people are with their space plus a great way to gather ideas for improving my own space.

There are a couple of studio tours going on right now. The Studio Spotlight hosted by Ellison Lane and The Sewing Loft which I'm linking up with here. And another called "Where I Sew" hosted by Pink Chalk Fabrics. So grab a cup tea or maybe a glass a wine, sit back and tour some wonderful, inspiring spaces. Enjoy!

I sewed for years in the living room of our tiny house when my kids were small. Then 7 years ago we put an addition on above the garage and I was able to carve out a space all to myself. It's a small room but it's all mine. Heaven. Absolute heaven. Welcome to my studio tour.

This is the window covering made from Kaffe Fabrics. Suspended in front is a clear sign made from vinyl of my blog/business name.  On the shelf above the window a little added inspiration.

This is what you see when you come down the hall and first enter my studio. The window blind is normally open and lets in lots of nice natural light. With a desk on one side and my sewing table on the other all I need to do is swivel around from one to the other. Works great.

My sewing table was a big splurge when we remodeled. Love the machine being lowered into the table. Don't think I could ever sew without it now. At the time I didn't envision the back of the table always being up but it works so well for the small ironing board that it's always fully extended now. I also have one of those huge cutting mats from JoAnn's which covers the entire surface. Very handy for trimming, basting small tops and lots of other things. Being able to easily lower the machine makes it quick to use. The big mat hangs in the hallway just outside my room. To the right of this picture is my design wall. Right in front of me while I sew. Once a block is ironed it goes back on the wall.

On the backside of the sewing table, underneath the iron, is where I store my newly sorted scraps as well as ongoing project boxes. It's easy to roll out a cart or simply pull out a drawer when looking for certain colored scraps. This is a huge improvement over my previous scrap storage which was no system at all. Just piles and more piles. Now I actually make a point of maintaining my scrap storage and it's been quite easy to find what I need.

These cabinets are actually kitchen cabinets repurposed for my studio. They hold a ton of stuff. More fabric than I should own, batting, UFOs, you name it and it's probably in there somewhere. The counter is just the right height for cutting. To the right is a lower area I use as my computer desk to work on pattern design and blogging plus a little too much online surfing at fabric shops and Pinterest.  : )

Above the counter are a series of shoe cubbies to store my primary stash. The fabrics are sorted according to general color/types and so far work really well but are a little on the full side. Definitely need to work from my stash. I just love being able to look up from my desk and see all that color. Keeps my in a constant state of inspiration. This is the brights cubbie . . .

This is the black/white/gray cubbie with a few mini collections mixed in.

This is the solids cubbie with a few groupings for future projects mixed in.

This is the Kaffe cubbie . . . my favorite fabric designer. I can never have enough of these beauties.

And the last cubbie is my collection of leafy prints along with fruit and veggie prints. More traditional but still wonderful.

Next to the last cubbie is a small inspiration board. Must admit I'm not very good at making use of it the way I envisioned. The little notes pads rarely get used, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. My paperwork/filing habits could definitely use some improvement.

The wall cabinets above the cubbies hold even more fabric, mostly more traditional in style. Above in the shelf area is a collection of glass colored vases picked up here and there from thrift stores. Another level of color that keeps things bright and cheery.

And last but not least is this glider from the days of rocking babies. It's seen better times and I'd like to paint and recover it but for the time being it works fine. It's a nice size for my small space and very relaxing for those late nights when I can't sleep and don't dare sew or I'd be up all night. Then it becomes my reading chair. Usually there is a kitty or two taking a nap here.

Next to the chair is an old night stand turned side table that I painted and decoupaged with copies of Kaffe prints. A tiny table but a real favorite. And a new spot for kitties to explore. Meet Leo.

I posted once before about my studio when I first started my blog so maybe you've already seen a lot of this. Looking back on that post, I realized how the photos needed improving. Hope you've enjoyed my new little tour. Hop over to the linky party and tour another sewing space.

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August 11, 2013

Fabulous Flower Gardens

Flowers are one of my passions . . . I just love all the colors and shapes and textures to be had in a beautiful flower garden. I do pretty well with my own little pots of annuals and perennials but must admit my best flower garden blooms in my studio amidst my fabric stash. I'm a sucker for florals from traditional to modern but my biggest patch of fabric flowers is my Kaffe stash.

This weekend we took furniture up to our college son in Fort Collins and I persuaded them to stop by the CSU test gardens so I could take some pictures. 178 pictures to be exact. They had NO idea what they were in for but thankfully found an excuse to wander over to campus leaving me alone to admire and photograph all the splendid color.

Colorado State plants one of the best gardens around as part of a test garden to evaluate annual cultivars and their performance in the Rocky Mountain region. There are more than 1000 varieties of annual plants. The garden is right on College Ave on the south east side of campus. I highly recommend a visit any time mid to late summer when everything is in full bloom.

The range of colors and patterns found within each blossom and leaf are a great source of inspiration for my choices in quilt design. Here are just some of the beauties to be seen. Enjoy . . .

Beautiful BIG blooms!!!

Lots of PRETTY petunia varieties!!!

Nuances of Color!!!

and of course GREAT leaf shapes and colors

Hope you feel inspired!  Have a colorful week.

August 5, 2013

Snappy Quilts

There is a wonderful little quilt shop here in the Denver metro area that I want to tell you about. It's called Snappy Quilts and it's a great shop full of modern fabrics.

Their tagline is Modern Fabrics, Fresh Ideas and I think that sums up the shop quite well.

They have a large selection of Kaffe Fassett fabrics so that makes them an instant winner in my book. There's also a large selection of Art Gallery Fabrics along with Amy Butler and many other modern lines. It's eye candy everywhere you look. Go to their website for a peak at the shop and all the fabulous fabrics. Get directions and store hours too. They are open late on Thursdays which I love.

Snappy Quilts is one of the first shops to carry my patterns which is a big thrill for me. Plus they are hosting my very first trunk show!  Here are a few photos of the day I delivered the quilts.

Cascade quilt pattern

Facets quilt pattern

That's owner Nancy Boyd, aka "Snappy" on the right. Her bio says she's been called Snappy for years.

If you're ever in the Denver area, I highly recommend a stop at Snappy Quilts. It's well worth the visit. They're on the south side of town not too far from Ikea and Park Meadows mall. When you're there, say hi to Nancy, Janice and the rest of the staff and tell them Anne at SpringLeaf Studios sent you.

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