Friday, June 13, 2014

a big thank you

First off, thank you so much to everyone who has been helping out making blocks for Aneela's quilt!  You guys rock!!!!!  Keep spreading the word and I'll keep trying to get back to everyone who's helping out (sorry, got to sleep and work so responses aren't always instantaneous!)

http://the-fabric-stash.com/

When I first put out a call for blocks I'd also mentioned that I was looking for stores that could possibly donate fabric.  Well, the quilting community is amazing so I also wanted to say a big thank you to Janice at the Fabric Stash who is sending some backing fabric my way.


I have a little business of my own and have always worked for small independent companies so I know that margins are tight and every sale is the difference between.. well you know, we've all been there, right?  I always try to give the best, friendliest, most responsive service I can, and to me with online shopping that's going to win me over every time.  What can be more amazing than reaching out and offering fabric for a project that I hope is really close to all of us.  So please, if you're going to do a little fabric shopping this weekend, show the Fabric Stash some love!  Not only is Janice helping out with this quilt for Aneela, she's also got a discount code going right now for her fabric (hoeyfan20 valid through June 21).  And her shipping rates to Canada are really good (I may have tested that!)

*** big edit: Janice has extended her Aneela Hoey sale until the 21st.  Let's clean her out y'all!!

xox
Chelsea

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

a quilt for Aneela

On Wednesday Aneela Hoey posted on instagram that she was going in to surgery for breast cancer.  She hadn't been on social media for a while and this was the heartbreaking answer to why she wasn't around much.  I feel like the fabric designers we love give so much to the quilting community, why not take the time to give a little back to Aneela and her family now.  And so, the #quiltforaneela.

My idea was to make Aneela a quilt using this brilliant tutorial from Megan at Canoe Ridge Creations.  It's free and fast, perfect, right?  If you'd like to make an x or an o or both, that would be awesome.  Two things, though.  Please make the body of the x or o in Aneela's fabric (all one print or scrappy).  And please make the background white (no specific white, some of my blocks are kona snow, some Michael Miller white).


If you'd like to join in but don't have enough fabric for the four 5" squares called for in the original block pattern (my Aneela Hoey fabric normally gets used up right away!), I've come up with an idea.  Mini blocks!  These half size blocks finish up at 4½" (5" with seam allowances) and are super cute.

For the mini blocks you'll need:

4 squares of Aneela's prints cut at 2 3/4" x 2 3/4"
8 squares of white fabric cut at 1½" x 1½"


Draw a diagonal line connecting two corners on each of the white squares.


Sew two white squares onto each print square along the marked line.


Trim off the extra fabric then press the the triangles out.


Now you just have to decide if you want an X...


Or an O!  And stitch the sub units together with a ¼" seam allowance.


Now, what if your pieces are even smaller, or you're working with jellyroll strips?  Don't worry, there is a solution!

For this method I just took photos of the sub units, so you'll need to multiply everything by 4.


For one sub unit you'll need a rectangle of print 2¼" x 4" and one square 2½"x 2½".  Cut the square in half on the diagonal.


Centre the triangles on the print strip and stitch down using a ¼" seam allowance.


Press the triangles out.


Now fold the blue rectangle in half along its length, finger pressing to get a crease.


Use the creased centre line as a guide to trim the sub unit down along 2 sides.  If you have a square ruler it should have a diagonal line that you can run along the pressed line.  We'll be trimming these units to 2 3/4" so make sure you don't cut off too much!


Flip your piece around and trim the other 2 sides to get a nice 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" square.  Now make another 3 and decide if you want an x or o.

Thank you so much to anyone who wants to send blocks!!!


My goal with this is to have a quilt to Aneela as soon as possible, so I'm hoping blocks can be on their way to me by July 1st.  I'm not sure what the response will be like, you never know how big things can get when we all rally!  So my plan is to make up to a 90" x 90" (100 original size blocks or 400 minis, or a mix) for Aneela.  If I get less blocks, the quilt will be smaller.  If I get more I will use the blocks to make quilts for our local oncology patients.  I'll update as blocks arrive!

Speaking of arriving... once you have blocks ready to send, leave a comment here or contact me on instagram (chelseafr) and I'll send you my address.

hugs,
Chelsea

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

paper piecing and stuff

Oh, man!  Do I even blog anymore?  It's been a while, right?  So, what's been going on... I started a new job (part time at a quilt shop!)... went away for a long weekend... because it was my birthday! (yesterday. I'm officially old)... broke a toe... had to stop 2 quilts in the cutting stage while I waited for more fabric... and tried some paper piecing.

my crazy messy design wall
I've done paper piecing before, but never really loved it.  I love the detail you can achieve, though.  So when Kristy at Quiet Play was looking for pattern testers for her new paper piecing patterns I jumped at the chance.  Trying new things keeps the brain from turning to mush, right?

if only real pots stayed this clean
I'm pretty impressed!  Despite my best intentions to get going on this as soon as the pattern hit my inbox, I just kept putting it off.  Until today, that is.  A few hours at the machine later and I have a cute mini quilt for my sewing room.  And it wasn't all that painful.  I had to unpick a bit, but I remembered a tip I'd read to baste iffy pieces first before commiting to sewing them with those teeny stitches, so it wasn't as bad as it could be.

blocks "stored" on the floor
Not as bad as the tidying job I really should be tackling.  One scrap vomit, one scrappy trip, an x+, bee blocks, paper piecing, and not fully unpacking from retreat equals one horrible mess.  At least the cats like it.

beat that babe,
c

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Friday, January 25, 2013

xing and +ing


The x+ block has made a huge resurgence lately, and like the scrappy trip along, I'm jumping on that bandwagon, too.  These are a lot slower going than the scrappy trip, so I won't be posting a finished top anytime soon.  But I'm loving playing around with fabric combinations, spending the time to get every one just right.


Coincidentally our February blocks for happiness at do good stitches are also x+ blocks.  Bigger and in a more controlled colour scheme, but still as awesome.


But back to the blocks for my project.  After all, it's all about me, me, me!  These are really challenging me to make interesting fabric choices and to carefully consider scale and value.


Recently Rachel over at Stitched in Color wrote about building a fabric stash and the addition of helpful fabrics.  I loved reading her thoughts on this because it's something I've been thinking about a lot lately, too.  When I got back in to quilting a few years ago my stash was mostly multicoloured, look at me fabrics.  The star prints of the collection.  And nothing played well together.  I've been slowly building my stash of helpers, but it's hard when they cost just as much as those glamazons.


I've also been really studying the fabric choices of quilters I admire and trying to dissect what makes their work so dynamic to me.  This has meant really looking at what I'm buying and why.  I still love those bold florals, but I realize I don't love them so much in quilts.  What I do love are text, 30s, and quirky Japanese prints.  Fuchsia and acid green.  A little bit of clash.  I really need to print out a picture of my ideal bundle, block, or stash, and tape it to the computer.  No more impulse shopping, everything will fit the plan. Yeah right!


happy sewing,
c

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Monday, January 21, 2013

something new sampler: scrap attack!

something new sampler header

Welcome to my stop on the something new sampler blog hop!  I've got a bit of a problem when it comes to quilting - scraps.  They're everywhere, bins here, bags, there.  Because I want my hobby to be as low footprint as it can (hard when we're talking shipping, dyes and non-organic fabrics) I don't throw out any scraps.  The teeny tiny ones are slowly stuffing a dog bed.  Today's project tackles some of the slightly bigger ones.


You can use this technique with any of your scraps.  Go monochrome, build a rainbow, choose a colour scheme.  I decided to go the monochrome route since a few recent projects has left my bins overflowing with aqua scraps.


Once you've chosen your scraps, just start sewing them together!  Channel those improv skills, don't worry about perfect ¼" seams.  We're building new, more useable yardage (ok, maybe fat quarter-age) out of otherwise difficult to use scraps. Don't worry about seams matching up or edges being even.  We can cut around that!  I don't normally press my seam open but I found it essential with this technique.  Anything that makes our new scrap base fabric flatter is awesome!  I can't use steam in my iron because of a really high iron concentration in our well water (hello rust spots), but if you can, steam will be your friend.


We're going to be cutting four pieces 3"x7½".  You might want to think about this while building your new fabric.  If your scraps are really small it might be easier to sew together only enough pieces for one 3"x7½" segment at a time.  If they're larger you can sew a much larger piece of scrap base and cut them all at once.  I sort of combined the two.  I sewed enough scraps together to cut the first three pieces then figured out where I had to add on in order to cut the fourth.

Now we need some sashing.  Since the large pieces are so scrappy I decided to go with a solid for my sashing, one I just happened to have in my scrap bin.  You'll need to cut four pieces 1½"x7½".


Sew one sashing piece to each scrap base segment, then sew all the sashing + scrap base segments together.  Done!  Now I know that a rectangular block (in this case 7"x14" finished) isn't the norm, but the scrap base technique can be used with so many other blocks.  My advice is to keep the scale larger and the piecing simple.

Don't forget to stop at the other blogs on the hop:

Jan 14th
Amy @ thecutelifesmiles.blogspot.com | Bargello piecing

Jan 21st
Heidi @ buttonsandbutterflies.com | folding 
Chelsea @ pinsandbobbins.blogspot.co.uk | a scraptastic technique

Jan 28th
Jess @ theelvengarden.blogspot.com.au | sashiko
Lindsay @ lindsaysews.com | reverse applique

Feb 4th
M-R @ quiltmatters.blogspot.com | trapunto
Heidi @ fabricmutt.blogspot.com | cathedral windows

Feb 11th
Alyssa @ pileofabric.com | pinless curves
Becky @ myfabricobsession.blogspot.com | machine applique


And stop by the cute life on Fridays for tips and tutorials on how to set these rectangular blocks! Posts will be up on the following dates:
Jan 18, Jan 25, Feb 1, Feb 8, Feb 15

Be sure to join the flickr group to keep up with the hop, the chatter, and some inspirational photos.

Amy has arranged some amazing prizes, so don't forget to link up on her blog if you've create anything using our tutorials!

xox,
c

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Friday, January 11, 2013

scrap tripping


I actually finished this Tuesday, and somehow now it's Friday, and again I'm behind.  Again.


But I guess I'm also kind of ahead of the game since this is going to be a gift for friends we're visiting in Toronto in April.  Watch me start quilting it the night before we leave!!

the perspective is really weird on this.  the quilt is 6' across, the dog a lot less than that
I love that this quilt along was so spontaneous, so no pressure.  I love that it finally made me click with instagram (I'm chelseafr).  I wish it had put more of a dent in my un-loveds.  Maybe a scrap vomit is in my future?


Not that I'm saying any of these fabrics are particularly ugly.  (Not that Amy Butler or Lizzy House et al are reading this and will get offended).  I'm just kind of over them.  At least they can be used unlike lipsticks I'm bored of.  Why did I ever think frost was a good finish?


And because I love it so much, here's a sneaky peek of a quilt I'm quilting for Katie.  So much yummy grey to fill with quilting!

happy friday,
c

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Monday, January 7, 2013

coming soon.. something new

something new sampler header

Looking for your next project?
Resolved to learn some new sewing skills this year?
Want to win some great prizes?

Then join in the blog hop for The Something New Sampler!

Each week, one or two bloggers will present a block tutorial with an uncommonly used technique. There will be a total of 9 blocks presented. And, just to mix it up, we're going with a funky modern block size - 7" x 14"! We'll have plenty of suggestions on how to use this block shape along the way. There's no need for our modern blocks to always be square :)

Here's our schedule:

Jan 14th
Amy @ thecutelifesmiles.blogspot.com | Bargello piecing

Jan 21st
Heidi @ buttonsandbutterflies.com | folding 
Chelsea @ pinsandbobbins.blogspot.co.uk | a scraptastic technique

Jan 28th
Jess @ theelvengarden.blogspot.com.au | sashiko
Lindsay @ lindsaysews.com | reverse applique

Feb 4th
M-R @ quiltmatters.blogspot.com | trapunto
Heidi @ fabricmutt.blogspot.com | cathedral windows

Feb 11th
Alyssa @ pileofabric.com | pinless curves
Becky @ myfabricobsession.blogspot.com | machine applique


And stop by the cute life on Fridays for tips and tutorials on how to set these rectangular blocks! Posts will be up on the following dates:
Jan 18, Jan 25, Feb 1, Feb 8, Feb 15

Be sure to join the flickr group to keep up with the hop, the chatter, and some inspirational photos.

Prizes!!
At the end, link up a blog post or flickr photo with anything you've done from the sampler series, even if it's just one block! There are two categories for prizes:

- finished projects, winners will be chosen by popular vote
"finished" includes an entirely completed smaller project, like a pillow, table runner, mini quilt, etc.
pieced quilt tops also count as "finished", even if not quilted

- participation prizes, winners will be chosen by a random number generator
link up any progress you've made!

Prizes for the Something New Sampler

Fort Worth Fabric Studio is an online fabric shop with yardage and some fantastic custom bundles you won't find anywhere else! One of these bundles - the Lagoon bundle - is a prize, and it is centered around Michael Miller's Lagoon line, with 18 fat quarters. You can also sign up for their newsletter to be eligible for a monthly prize. In addition to the bundle, they are also offering a $25 gift certificate.

Cotton Blossom Farm stocks great designer fabrics with plenty of modern options. One great feature of this website is the ability to search through fabrics based on categories such as color - it's just like shopping in a brick and mortar shop! You have the chance to win a set of ten 1/2 yards (of your choosing!!) of Simply Color from them.

Fat Quarter Shop is another online shop that sells yardage and precuts of some of the most popular fabrics. They offer next day shipping and have an incredibly large selection! Fat Quarter Shop also has a great selection of other items, such as books, magazines, and kits. They have generously donated a jelly roll of Paris Flea Market and an Amy Butler pattern for prizes.

Sew Me a Song is an Etsy shop that stocks Japanese and contemporary fabrics. Becca puts together some fabulous bundles of texty prints, polka dots, and - of course! - lots of Melody Miller prints. Don't miss the great collection of Type by Julia Rothman. She has created two custom bundles especially for our sampler event, one with six texty fat quarters and one with eight japanese prints.

So start rounding up your scraps for my tutorial!  I know my bins are overflowing.

xox,
C

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