The Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts

I have some very exciting news! This month I started a very unoriginal but ridiculously exciting new quilting bee: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts!

TSofTQ

Lately, I have been following along with a few traveling/round robin bees via blogs and Flickr. I have also seen little articles here and there in books and magazines and decided I have to jump right in and find some friends to join me!

This first round includes the wonderful blog/Instagram/quilty friends I have made this past year. We are all about the same experience level which works out great! These wonderful ladies are:

Ashley of Wasn’t Quilt in a Day

Jessica of Quilty Habit

Kim of Robot Mom Sews

Laura of Little and Lots

If you don’t know them already you should seriously check out their blogs and see the incredible work they do and read a lil about their obsessions 😉

The first month is about to begin. We will each make our “quilt starters”. These can be a few blocks, one block, or any large piece of quilty goodness! I won’t tell you what I’m doing just yet but these are the beautiful fabrics!

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Once completed, the blocks will be bundled up with up to a yard or coordinating fabrics to a fellow quilter. The next quilter has free reign to make something fabulous to add on! And this will continue until a finish quilt top is sent back to the original quilter.

This will be an incredible creative journey for all of us. We hope to stretch our quilting skills and learn so much more. Nothing is off limits: applique, sketch stitching, 3D elements! Join us on this journey won’t you?! Follow along at Flickr and our blogs and maybe you will join us on round 2!

A Lovely Year of Finishes – January Goal Setting

This year I have decided to participate in the A Lovely Year of Finishes linky party. Hopefully, this will help keep me on track with all my quilting projects.

A Lovely Year of Finishes

 

So this year they only want us to link up one goal so it’s easy to judge. It was a little difficult for me to choose from all my unfinished projects.

Cat Quilt

My goal is to finish my version of the Catvent Quilt Along hosted by Elizabeth of Oh Fransson.

I love this quilt! It’s relatively fast and super fun because you are not making 100 copies of the same block. This quilt is also eating up all my scraps! Yippee!

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2014 Quilty Goals

I decided to share some of my goals for 2014. Some are very lofty and others I can easily do right now:

  • Publish a quilt (fingers crossed)
  • Create a portfolio/ submit designs to fabric houses
  • Keep a minimum of $200 of merchandise in stock on my Etsy shop
  • Market my Etsy shop (Bet you didn’t know I have one?!)
  • Blog once a week (try to keep a schedule)
  • Make more quilts and sandwiches to practice FMQ and binding
  • Finish all WIPs so I can stick to Making Life Prettier’s rule of 2
  • Have a perpetual scrappy binding
  • Organize scraps a la Sunday Morning Quilts
  • Send bee blocks early
  • Use up scraps (i.e. Tone-It-Down, Catvent Quilt Along)

What quilting goals do you have this year? Did any carry over from last year?

I’m going to also share with you guys my favorite finish of this year:

 

The beautiful pink and orange string quilt I made for my little cousin! I cannot wait to see her smile this Christmas Eve when she opens the box 🙂

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Good luck finishing any last minute Christmas gifts!

I’m linking up to 2013 Inspiration Palooza at The Champ Life

Bloggers Quilt Festival: entry two

this is my second entry into the bloggers quilt festival hosted by Amy at Amy’s Creative Side. I’m entering this quilt into the baby quilt category.

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I have this gorgeous pink baby quilt. This is a traditional pattern, Amish Irish Chain. It is basically the exact same as an Irish chain with a nine patch taken out of the block to form an X or +.

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This baby quilt is backed in ridiculously soft white flannel with pink polka dots! This is my first time quilting with flannel so I was sure to search for lost of advice! I found this post at Sew Katie Did most helpful. I made sure to pre-shrink my flannel backing. It shrunk a lot! 45″ fabric to 40″! It was a pain pressing all the wrinkles out of the flannel once it came out of the dryer because you can’t use steam :/

chrysanthemum

I quilted the top with Rachel’s chrysanthemum quilting tutorial. I was impressed with the results of the quilting and how surprisingly easy it was to do! I think the cute flowers definitely make this baby quilt extra girly!

quiltlabel

Because I used both flannel and batting, I decided to use a wider double-fold binding. I normally do a 2.5″ and decided to make it 3″ its a little big so I think next time I will do a 2.75″. I just didn’t want to have any of my pre-binding zigzags showing.

I also included a little label. I made this with a leftover swath of the lace elements I used on the front and a Prima pen.I like how it sticks away slightly from the binding 🙂

This quilt featured Art Gallery Fabrics: Lace Elements in pink lace and Coquette in fashion scent peach.

Bloggers quilt festival

Bloggers Quilt Festival: scrappy quilt entry

Hello everyone!

Welcome to spolgarquilts my little part of the internet where I share all things quilty.

I’m entering this gorgeous scrappy quilt I made for my little cousin. Previously blogged about here and here and here.

This is a full size bed quilt made with strips of golden yellow, pink, white, bright pink, and cute little owls! I foundation paper pieced 49 blocks.

The back is pieced from Sarah Jane boats and mermaids, some scraps from the front, and patty young orange running stripe. I placed the orange in such a way that when you full down the top of the quilt its visible.

I hope you like my quilt! Be sure to check out everyone else’s!

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In Which I Impose a Deadline…

I have been working on a fall sampler, of my own creation, since August. Well it is officially autumn here in the U S of A as of one week ago and there is NO fall sampler quilt to be seen!

fallarray

So I am self imposing a deadline. This SATURDAY. Yup that gives me a good 4 days to finish this textured quilt. I don’t have any official plan. It’s all pretty much as the wind blows. I decided to use warm browns and deep purples mixed with bright orange and pink. I like it!

SAM_0955

leaf

Check out what I have now. It’s completely non-traditional. No grid so I have been adding large swathes of beautiful fabric to square up the blocks and make them fit all nice together. Like this stunning gold metallic pin dot! Wish I had more…

and this lovely Julianna Horner print 🙂

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Can’t wait to finish this!

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You may still be thinking, “Why Saturday for this self imposed deadline?” Well I’m going apple picking which I’m uber excited for and wouldn’t that just make the perfect back drop for a photo shoot?!

Soft and Snuggly

Be sure to enter my giveaway for some beautiful fat quarters!

Today, I am linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday!

arial

I have this gorgeous pink baby quilt. This is a traditional pattern, Amish Irish Chain. It is basically the exact same as an Irish chain with a nine patch taken out of the block to form an X or +.

xs

This baby quilt is backed in ridiculously soft white flannel with pink polka dots! This is my first time quilting with flannel so I was sure to search for lost of advice! I found this post at Sew Katie Did most helpful. I made sure to pre-shrink my flannel backing. It shrunk a lot! 45″ fabric to 40″! It was a pain pressing all the wrinkles out of the flannel once it came out of the dryer because you can’t use steam :/

chrysanthemum

I quilted the top with Rachel’s chrysanthemum quilting tutorial. I was impressed with the results of the quilting and how surprisingly easy it was to do! I think the cute flowers definitely make this baby quilt extra girly!

quiltlabel

Because I used both flannel and batting, I decided to use a wider double-fold binding. I normally do a 2.5″ and decided to make it 3″ its a little big so I think next time I will do a 2.75″. I just didn’t want to have any of my pre-binding zigzags showing.

I also included a little label. I made this with a leftover swath of the lace elements I used on the front and a Prima pen.I like how it sticks away slightly from the binding 🙂

This quilt featured Art Gallery Fabrics: Lace Elements in pink lace and Coquette in fashion scent peach.

 

 

History, Favor, and a Giveaway!

Update: Giveaway is now closed. RobotMomSews has won! Congratulations 🙂

My Birthday is in a week!

babystephie

My first blogiversary was August 3rd I had no idea! I’ve been a little disconnected…

In celebration of my first blogiversary and my birthday, I decided to share a little more about myself, ask a favor, and have a giveaway!

Next Wednesday, I will be 23 years old.

I grew up the second child of four girls!!

I went to Catholic schools from preschool to eighth grade.

I was a girl scout from kindergarten until early high school… (I was screwed out of my Silver Award so I quit).

My mom and Nana were really into crafts. My mother crocheted and did cross stitch and random wood paintings with carbon transfers of images from those old Leisure Arts books. My Nana sewed, very well, she made garments, quilts, knitted us teeny tiny Barbie clothes, and made outrageously gorgeous and time consuming cross-stitched stockings that we still pull out every Christmas. So crafting pretty much runs in my blood. My big sister makes phenomenally beautifully dresses and garments sewn to perfection and perfectly tailored. I’m a more lax crafter. I like crafts that have wiggle room and can easily be tweaked if something goes wrong (cue extra borders).

I was always the creative type. I like to bounce around between crafts and still enjoy most of the ones I have tried, even if I don’t do them regularly. I started out real big on sketching and painting. My mom taught me how to decorate cakes when I was about 6 years old. In middle school, I would bake and decorate 2 layer cakes to bring into school whenever a friend had a birthday. It caused so much of a raucous in the lunch room that I no one was allowed cakes my last year… I still was into painting and painted a mural in our school cafeteria with the art teacher and a few other students. I did cross-stitch from an early age and did a sampler or two here and there and some random ornaments. I also loved those crazy melt-y bead things J I attempted crocheting at one point but could never really figure out the tension… I took to knitting in high school and loved it but never actually finished a project. I even made comic strips for my boyfriend during our first year together just a little something sweet whenever I thought of him and one of our adventures.  And then I fell in love with quilting in college.

I always wanted to make a quilt and I’m ALWAYS cold (you’ll see me in the heat of the summer with a blanket, yeah, I’m that crazy). “Why not make my own blankets?” I asked myself. I’m pretty savvy and resourceful so, I asked my sister to borrow her machine, went to JoAnn’s bought a book, Material Obsession, some fabrics and a beginner rotary cutting set. I got right to it sewing rows definitely not with a quarter-inch seam allowance! I wasn’t too skilled yet. I was empowered to prove the naysayers wrong and I have made nearly 15 quilts since!

So, as I said before, I don’t typically stick with a craft; I like to vary immensely. Why did I stick with quilting? The quilting community is exceptional! I know you hear it from every blogger, but it is true! I fell in love with Mary Fons’ personality when I discovered her online TV show Quilty last year and quickly became addicted to online blogs about quilting. And soon, I found quilting friends who inspire me and encourage me. I could not imagine leaving all this behind!

I kept with quilting because it’s warm. Quilts warm your soul when they are made by someone you love and they certainly add style to your home. You know when you’re sick and you just want to curl up in a blankie with a cup of tea or a bowl of soup. Well, when you’re sick, you NEED that quilt, you yearn for that quilt. I am sick. I don’t have a cold. Instead, I have a handful of autoimmune diseases. Recently, (in fact the reason I’ve been off the grid), my rheumatologist started me on anti-malarials for lupus diagnosis.

Yes, that dreadful disease that nobody wants and if you’re white nobody believes you have and that takes about five years (it feels like a million and one) to diagnose. Well, I still don’t know for sure, that’s the whole point of the drugs to help the doctors determine with certainty. Making quilts is my medicine. It uplifts my spirits and warms my soul knowing the time I spend to make a beautiful quilt is well worth it when I see the smile on the recipients face. It helps me get passed my troubles. That’s where the favor comes in. This coming spring I’ll be walking for lupus and I would love to make a quilt of butterflies (that’s the symbol of lupus). I had this idea rolling around in my head and then I saw Maureen’s quilt and knew I must make it! But I need your help. Would you DONATE some butterfly fabric? Any size, any print (I won’t say no to Anna Maria Horner). I will put this very special quilt together over the winter and raffle it off in the spring to raise money for lupus research. Whether I get the official diagnosis or not I know how scary it is to have a disease with no cure. And I want to do everything I can to make someone’s life a little better with my craft. Email me for my address: spolgarquilts@gmail.com

Today, I went out and treated myself for my birthday! My local quilt shop owner is retiring so they are closing up shop and everything is 50% off! So I had to buy some things….

The perfect taupe-y gray for a baby quilt that was started but never finished because well I didn’t have that perfect taupe-y gray!

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And I found this amazing holly Christmas fabric. It’s perfect for all the Christmas projects I am hoping to have finished in time for a craft fair or two this November.

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And I got some great basic prints! Polka dots, stripes, and Kaffe Fassett florals!

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And I got a slightly used 24” x 36” cutting mat for just 12 bucks! How could I say no when mine is crazy warped from steam…

Now for the giveaway…

Since everyone loves presents on their birthday, I decided to give away a fat quarter bundle! One of each print in the above photo and some fabulous coordinating prints from my stash!!

The giveaway will only be available to US and Canadian addresses due to cost of shipping. Just leave a comment with your favorite birthday memory. I will announce the winner next week on my birthday! September 18th! Good Luck!

A trio of gypsies

Not to be confused with the people on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.

The gypsy is a very basic 8 inch finished patchwork quilt in Material Obsession. It was the first quilt I ever made. The one that I repeatedly go to. The one that got me hooked on fabric buying. The one that also hooked me on Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke quilts. That book is no longer attached to its cover its so well loved 🙂

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My first quilt is the beauty to the right. I learned a very important lesson with this quilt. Don’t buy cheap fabric. I love this quilt to this day it is my favorite but it faded hard and fast. Funny how it is, the first print I picked is my least favorite in the whole quilt!

myfirst

I also learned a lot about construction. When I made this quilt I did my best to keep a quarter inch seam allowance but I’m pretty sure mine were more scant. I mean in some places I didn’t sew two pieces together at all. I thought that the quilting would hide this mistake so I didn’t try to fix it when I could.

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I learned how to bind a quilt! I machine sewed the binding to the front then turned it to the back by hand. You can tell I didn’t square up the edges because my binding is 1/2″ in some places and 3/4″ in others!

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This quilt will always be the first I grab when I’m cold and probably the first to go in the wash. It is so butter soft and perfect for snuggling under! And it taught me one more valuable lesson pink fabrics are so pretty 🙂 (I HATED pink before this quilt)

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My second FINISHED quilt was also a gypsy. This bright beauty belongs to my baby sister! It is made with significantly higher quality quilting cottons. Kaffe Fasset, Heather Bailey, Valori Wells, all can be found in this beaut.

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My sister insisted on the zebra print when she found it in the stack of fabrics for my older sisters quilt. It was my idea to fussy cut the Heather Bailey roses and I’m so glad I did 🙂 It used up a ton of fabric though!

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I quilted this with tight 1″ spiraling stars. I learned a HUGE lesson here! Don’t use template pencil on your fabric!!! I wasn’t paying attention and it was my first time doing real quilting, I really didn’t know I wasn’t suppose to use that pencil until i drew ALL the lines on this 64″ square quilt! They have faded but they are still there 🙁 Eventually they will come out but it sucks that I worked so hard on this quilt only to yield an imperfect project. I also didn’t know about burying threads so this has lots of back stitching (not a big deal to me)!

jennies binding

This binding is completely machine done. I wanted a fast turnover and wanted to try something different. Three out of the four corners are perfectly mitered which is awesome for my second binding ever! Funny story with the binding..originally that fabric was suppose to be the back but I messed up the math and bought exactly half of what I needed. I guess its not that funny but I knew how much I needed and repeated it over and over and even had it written on a paper when I was at the cutting counter.

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Thankfully its owner loves it! As does the puppy 🙂 I recently made matching pillow cases to so when the baby goes off to college in the fall she’ll have some super soft pillow cases to snuggle along with this super soft quilt 🙂

The last gypsy of this bundle was a spring finish. I messed up again on fabric ordering and only had enough to piece a 7 x 7 top. A little small for my dad! This quilt was a gift for my parents. It was supposed to be for Christmas but it ended up being a random spring break gift.

crinkly quilt

Again this is a cheap JoAnn’s quilt but I was/am a poor college student sometimes you have to do it! This quilt is entirely hand quilted! Funny story there. I spent like 4 hours doing one block on this quilt beautiful intricate embroidery outlining the butterflies in the center block! This block was looking fabulous! But one huge problem! You flip the quilt over to a disaster! I grew up doing embroidery I didn’t know any better! No one ever told me I had to do the running stitch! I was so mad I left it for months!

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I made a couple extra special blocks. This one’s a house, clearly!

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And the date my family started 🙂

So that’s the story of the three gypsies that walked into my life and found a permanent home 🙂

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This is what happens…

This is what happens when you use your iPad instead of a laptop or desktop: You write a thank to a very generous person who sent you a handmade gift in a giveaway and you end up looking like an ass because your post miraculously disappeared. Yeah that’s me! 

Samantha at Making Life Prettier had a giveaway last month for this amazing hand made zipper pouch made with AMH linen feathers and it is a stunner in person! She was so generous and filled it with amazing goodies 🙂 Not one but two zippers! (The plum is my favorite) TWO fat eighths of AMH (my first ever)!!! A beautiful matching needle case which I’ve already started using, super sharp quilting needles, an assortment of snaps (including a magnetic one that I need to make yet another super tote), and some fabulous glass buttons! And she shipped it internationally 🙂

I have already started using the pouch and needle case to store all my DMC thread and pre-threaded needles for my gigantic hand quilting project! I love its size because it fits easily into my supertote and I can pack it with all the thread, small scissors, needles, thimble, etc. It’s even long enough to fit some marking pens or pencils 🙂

I think for now the AMH will sit in my stash until I gather some more. I really want that mustardy rose print from the hand drawn garden! I have been seeing a lot of AMH only quilts popping up and I really love then so I think for now that’s what I’ll do 🙂

Thank you so much Samantha, I LOVE the pouch just my style! Make sure you visit Samantha’s blog she has some amazing projects posted and posts more regularly than me! She recently finished a posy quilt for her daughter that’s so cute! I love that line of fabric 🙂

(I can’t make anything with little kid prints at my house! I bought some Alexander Henry Once Upon a Time print and my mom started freaking that I bought baby fabric…yeah)