I’m so excited to announce that Greg and I just launched a clothing line! His love for screen printing and my passion for patchwork and quilting are combined to bring you Patchwork Threads. We are seriously having so much fun with this. I’m running a little giveaway over on Instagram, and here’s one for the blog too! Win a shirt – just check out the shop, comment below with your favorite and we’ll draw a winner on Monday morning, March 10th. Good luck!
I did it! It’s not even close to perfect, but I’m super proud of this thing. Anna was nice enough to ask me to test her Road Trip Case pattern. I got as far as picking out my fabric and cutting a few pieces before my entire family was bombarded by weeks-worth of illnesses. Stomach bugs, ear infections, head colds… Thankfully we seem to be past all of that stuff! Ugh. And Anna was sweet enough to send me the final pattern, even though I was no help to her at all. THANKS, ANNA :)
This was by far the most complicated thing I have ever sewn. For some reason, people are intimidated by the thought of making a quilt, but I’m telling you, quilts are easy! I’m always intimidated by projects like these because (besides quilts) I’ve probably only sewn three zippers, a drawstring bag and maybe two dresses in my life. This little Rainbow Loom case has quilting, elastic, pleats, a zipper, vinyl, buttons… GAH! But guess what, it wasn’t even hard. It was actually really fun to make. I got to use so many tools that I have that usually just sit around while I make quilts: different feet for my sewing machine, clover clips, fabric marking pens and pencils, etc.
The pattern was really straightforward and easy to follow, and the finished product turned out great! The most difficult parts for me were: picking out the fabric (I actually made the pocket part twice because I didn’t like the first fabric I used) and attaching the binding. It was just hard for me to get around those curves while keeping it looking pretty. I made the long pocket version for Vada to keep her Rainbow Loom stuff in, but the pattern offers another pocket variation that you could use for holding different art or sewing supplies.
I’m really happy I decided to make this because it’s given me the confidence to make OTHER things. Like maybe the Super Tote or the infamous Open Wide Zippered Pouch. Or maybe even some dresses for my girls! Something has clicked for me lately in the sewing department and I’m finally ready to break out of my comfort zone.
We had our first Roanoke Modern Quilt Guild meeting of 2014 and it was (as usual) so much fun. We’re still a pretty small group, but we had FIVE new members join this week! That makes me so, so happy – we’ve come so far! We started out about year ago with only 4-6 members, all of us huddling around this tiny table in my longarm quilting studio. It was so fun back then too, but really, the more the merrier.
As a guild, we’ve completed and donated three charity quilts: one for a children’s shelter, one for the Hopes and Dreams Challenge for ALS, and our most recent one was raffled off for Alzheimer’s research. At our meeting we learned that it brought in over $720! How great is that? I couldn’t believe it! The sad truth is that many times, quilts that are raffled off don’t even bring in enough to cover the cost of materials, so we were super proud.
So far, for charity quilts, we all decide on a type of block, finished size and a color scheme. (For example, we might do 12.5″ finished wonky stars using bright fabrics and a white background.) We all make a couple of blocks and collect them over the course of a few months. Once we have enough for a quilt, we get together to lay it out and assemble the top. Someone volunteers to do the quilting and someone else does the binding. Since we all have different tastes in fabrics, the outcome of these charity quilts can seem a little iffy at first. But once we get it all put together and quilted, they always end up looking fantastic.
This year, to keep everyone inspired and to ensure we each spend at least a few minutes at the sewing machine between meetings, we decided it would be fun to do a block of the month (BOM) challenge. Each month we are required to make one 12″ block and bring it to show off at our meeting. At the end of the year, once we’ve finished our 12 blocks, we will each have enough for an entire quilt. We’re following the Summer Sampler Series that everyone was doing a while back. This month was (appropriately enough) the Star of Virginia. Seeing everyone’s unique take on a quilt block is always interesting and inspiring! I’m probably just going to go with a little bit of this and a little bit of that, sort of a controlled scrappy feel, which seems to be my norm when it comes to fabric selection. I’ll try to tie it all together by using the same background fabric, Painters Canvas in Vanilla, which is a really pretty, not-quite-solid white.
This guild means so much to me. It’s a really special thing to have the opportunity to hang out with so many fun and encouraging people, eat snacks and geek out over fabrics and quilts. I just love it.