Monday, March 31, 2014

I Left my Heart (Quilt) in DC

Twice a year I travel to Washington, DC to advocate for funding for the Special Diabetes Program, which funds research for Type 1 diabetes. Since 2009 I have been volunteering with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Advocacy team. My staff partner from DC announced he had accepted a new position in the company and I also knew he was expecting his second daughter, so I decided to make him a little congratulations quilt.

My friend and co-worker Annie designed this sweet little heart quilt (you can get her free pattern at Cool Cottons) and I knew it would be the perfect project for DC. I also couldn't wait to use the BERNINA 820 that I have been borrowing from Modern Domestic to piece and quilt it.
I finished binding the quilt on the plane, which made the trip go by fast. This time I pinned my thread to my sewing kit. It was one of those things I learned the hard-way after I dropped my thread during a previous flight and watched helplessly as it rolled down the aisle and under a seat and I wasn't able to retrieve it until we landed... (that makes me think of that meatball song - you know the one!)
I snapped a quick photo in my hotel room before I gave the quilt away. It is fun to share my quilting side with my Advocacy friends. I promised to bring a sewing machine next time and give sewing lessons in the bar. I can't imagine what ridiculousness that would be!
The trip was successful and I brought home a few souvenirs (these pens are priceless!) The Senate is voting on the Special Diabetes Program as I type this post. My fingers are crossed that our funding is renewed for another five years. 

*Update - the SDP was renewed for one year yesterday as a part of the 'doc fix' and the President (yes, that President!) is expected to sign it into law today! I am so relieved. Losing this funding would be devastating for important research and for the diabetes community. I have decided to make another heart quilt to celebrate this good news - this time for our JDRF auction. Off to get fabrics!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Trip Around the Sun Quilt

I am excited to share my new free quilt pattern 'Trip Around the Sun' The pattern for this quilt will be available at Cool Cottons and the quilt will be hanging there in March. This is my second quilt I have made for Marie. The first one was a quilt called  'Off the Wall' that I made way back in 2011. You know those quilts you wish you had never given away? Off the Wall was one of them...
Trip Around the Sun soaking up the rays
For this quilt you use 5 different 1/8 yard cuts of analogous colors (colors that are next to each other on the color wheel) and a solid neutral. The initial blocks are pieced together using the method made popular by Bonnie Hunter for her Scrappy Trip Around the World, which sparked the #scrappytripalong Instagram craze at the beginning of 2012. I added my own little twist and voila: the Trip Around the Sun was created! 
I heart FMQ and making pebbles with the BSR
I have been borrowing a Bernina 820 from the generous crew at Modern Domestic and I have been learning how to drive it. The big areas of negative space were crying out for me to be brave and use that BSR. It was completely hypnotizing to draw all those little circles. I can't wait to practice some more!
Trip Around the Sun basking in the glory
One fun thing about this quilt is that you can easily increase the size of the quilt by making more pairs of blocks. I am planning to start collecting blue fabrics for a project that has a deadline in April. Oh, and the name of this quilt was inspired by the Montessori tradition of celebrating birthdays by 'walking around the sun' and maybe a little bit by the Jimmy Buffet song of the same name. It is a gift for my sister's best friend who is expecting her first baby in March.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Quilt! Knit! Stitch!™ Modern Metallic

Last spring I participated in a brainstorm session with the show producers for Quilt! Knit! Stitch!™ They were interested in showcasing an exhibit of modern quilts from the Pacific NW MQG Meetup Guilds at their event in Portland, OR in August 2014. I thought about what trends excited me and what would be inspiring and different and also what would represent the Pacific NW. Together we arrived at the Modern Metallic challenge.  
Robert Kaufman Quilter's Metallic fabrics available for Modern Metallic
Here are the details for this exciting special exhibit:

Quilt! Knit! Stitch!™ presented by International Quilt Festival will be presenting Modern Metallic at our show in Portland this summer. This exhibit will premiere at Quilt!Knit!Stitch!™, August 14-16, 2014.
Modern Metallic will showcase modern quilts made by members of Modern Quilt Guilds in the Pacific Northwest. Quilters are encouraged to feature the use of metallic design details including but not limited to fabric, thread, and themes.  

Follow this link for more information:

Modern Metallic is sponsored by Robert Kaufman. Robert Kaufman is offering participating guilds gorgeous fabric from their new Quilter's Metallic Collections: Quilter's Tussah, Quilter's Linen, and Quilter's Burlap. Leave me a comment if you want more information about participating and how to get fabric for your guild. And make sure to tag your posts so we can see all the beautiful things you make! #robertkaufman #quilterstussah #quilterslinen #quiltersburlap

Monday, December 9, 2013

Giveaway Day + Sewing for all Seasons

It is  Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day! I am super excited to give away a copy of Susan Beal's Sewing for All Seasons and some fabric to make the sewing organizer that I designed for this book.  Just leave me a comment about what you are sewing this winter and a way to get in touch with you if your profile does not link to an email address, and you are officially entered to win! I will draw a name on December 13th at 5pm PST.


Last year Susan asked me if I would be interested in designing a project for a book she was working on. Susan had the vision for a Sewing Organizer project and we collaborated on the details. It is super handy to take to sew days: I use mine often!


I also have a second project in the book: Cozy Wool Slippers. I have designed footwear in my past life and so I took on a slipper project. I will say, this was a challenge! The criteria was to make something pretty that didn't need a pattern. That was a little different than designing shoes for pro-tennis players!


I was thrilled when the slipper project showed up as the cover shot on an Apartment Therapy best books selection. Susan had picked wool for this project and I was talking about it with my friend Stacy at the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store one day. She is one of those folks who has really clever ideas about how to make stuff. For the record, it was her idea to use those shoe inserts you get at the drug store as the interior for this project. Brilliant!


I love how Susan signed my copy of the book. It is such a thrill to work with her and to be a part of such a beautiful publication. Thanks for stopping by my blog today! Make sure to visit all the other great giveaways over at SewMamaSew.com



Update! The winner is #157! I plan to reply to comments which will change the numbers, so Congratulations Rhonda D! And thank you everyone for all your terrific comments. I enjoyed reading them! I am inspired by all your creativity!
Happy Holidays!

Michelle

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

And the Winners are...

Thanks everyone for all your fun comments! I enjoyed reading all of them and visiting many of your blogs. The winners of the magazine and fat quarters are:

Debra Lee

Valerie Reynolds
*Please note - when I added in my two comments it changed everyone's numbers. These numbers reflect the order before my two comments. Sorry for any confusion.

Valerie I have sent you an email. Debra please let me know how to contact you I can send your goodies to you. I look forward to meeting you both! 

Wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving!
XO
Michelle

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Quilters' Blog Hop Party and Give-Away Day!

Oh I love Quilters Blog Hop Party and Give-Away Day! I have been saving up something super special to give away today! 



I have two copies of Modern Patchwork 2013 Spring Magazine that I am pairing with three fat quarters from Freespirit: one each from the new Botanical, True Colors by Joel Dewberry and Designer Essentials Solids collections. 

This issue of Modern Patchwork is out of stock but never fear, I have two copies that I am willing to part with. It has so many great projects you won't know which one to make first! For me it is a toss-up between Alyssa Lichner's 'retro rubies wall hanging' and Jacquie Gering's 'lava lamp revisited' quilt. 



Please leave me a comment with your favorite solid color to quilt with and why, your name and contact information (if it isn't connected to your profile) and I will draw two winners on Tuesday November 26th by 9pm PST. Thanks for visiting! Good luck! Happy Hopping!

Visit the blog hop party for a gazillion other fun give-aways by clicking the image below.


Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Downton Abbey Modern Block Challenge

 Generation Q Magazine Modern Block Challenge

Last spring I started working with Generation Q Magazine. I curate the ads for them and also get to work on projects and participate in editorial meetings. One of the projects I have been helping with is the Downton Abbey® Modern Block Challenge that launched today. To kick it off I made a block called the Highclere Cross Block with the new Downton Abbey® Collection by Andover Fabrics.

Highclere Cross Block
The instructions to make the Highclere Cross Block and a little background about my inspiration for this block design are on the GenQ website. The instructions are for two sizes, 12" and 24" finished blocks. I can also see this made in reverse, lights in the cross sections and darks in the ground so the eight-pointed star stands out. How would you make it?

There is a fun line-up of talented bloggers and quilt designers who are also making blocks for this challenge! Make sure to visit the website and check those out! Oh, and did I mention there are prizes? All the details you need to play along can be downloaded here as well.

And check out the Mystery QAL hosted by Ebony Love of Love Bug Studios. She has a really great quilt planned with new blocks revealed each week leading up to the start of season 4. I know I am looking forward to that and am going to sew up some blocks and join the fun