January 30, 2011

Report From Road to California Quilt Show

My mom and I took a trip to the Road To California Quilters Conference and Showcase in Ontario, CA. last weekend and had a wonderful time. I promised you a full report, and since I know how much quilters like to live vicariously through one another when it comes to quilt shows, I took a lot of pictures.   We spent the first half of the trip enjoying all the vendors and doing some shopping, and the second half looking at all the beautiful quilts.  This is what we looked like when we got there. Can you tell we're excited?

 The quilts displayed at this show were nothing short of magnificent.  I always find it really inspiring to see what other quilters can do and it's pretty humbling at the same time.  If someone had videotaped us walking through the show, you would have seen our jaws dropping quite frequently.  The quilts were amazing works of art and I chose some of my favorites to share with you.  Enjoy the pictures! Click on them if you'd like a closer look.

"1000 Pyramids" by John Flynn. Hand pieced and hand quilted

From the "Thread Tails & Vapor Trails" traveling exhibit 
celebrating 100 years of Naval Aviation, this is "Airborne" by Mary Elizabeth Craig.

From the same traveling exhibit this is "Going Home" by Karen L. Williamson.

"Port of Cassis" by Lenore Crawford  Isn't the reflection remarkable?

"Oceanview" Pieced by Beth Nufer and quilted by Shelley Knapp
I want to go wherever this is. :) 

"Shampoo Hair" by Cathy Wiggins  
Isn't this fun? It's a hidden picture quilt!

One of the amazing details of "Tea With Miss D." by Sandra Leichner 

"Romancing the Stone" by Debbi Treusch 
I love all the crystals she used in this one.

I felt this one needed a close-up shot so you could really see how many crystals she used. Wow!

"Red Vase at Midnight" by Barbara E Lies

This adorable deer was part of the "Along the Rogue" exhibit. This beautiful exhibit was made up of 19 interconnected quilts totaling 39 feet which chart the course of the Rogue River in southern Oregon from Crater Lake to the Pacific Ocean.  Each quilter used a specific water fabric and was given a river width so the flow of the river would be seamless.  I couldn't figure out how to take a picture to show the whole thing to you, so I decided to show you my favorite part. :)

Do you almost feel like you were there too? I hope you had as much fun looking at all these quilts as we did. We are already looking forward to attending the show again next year. I highly recommend this show to any of you Southern California Quilters. It's definitely worth the trip!

January 20, 2011

Cuisinart Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Molly from "Bailey Girl Five" for winning the blender giveaway!  And thanks so much to everyone who participated. I had a lot of fun reading about your favorite blended drinks and it actually made me start craving milkshakes and smoothies on a regular basis. Lots of love to all my blog readers out there.  Without you, this blogging thing would get pretty boring. :)
     I'm headed to the Road to California Quilters Conference and Showcase this weekend so I will have a full report for you when I return!

January 15, 2011

Some Eye Candy

I made my monthly trip to Downtown LA to visit Michael Levine Fabrics on Friday.  It's always such a fun experience to visit their store.  Here are some of my finds:

I got some Pearl Cotton for some decorative stitching projects. Aren't the colors fun and vibrant?

I also picked up some of Robert Kaufman's Organic quilt fabric line "Free to Grow". 

The fabric looks good enough to eat! (Or maybe I'm just hungry from dieting for the past couple months.)  Anyway, if you'd like some for yourself it's now available in my etsy shop.  I'm so excited that we are carrying organic cotton!

January 13, 2011

Cuisinart Blender Giveaway

***Entries are now closed- winner will be announced tonight!***
CSN stores, a company which offers everything from bathroom accessories to Modern Dining Room Furniture,  is offering a great giveaway for my readers! Simply by leaving a comment on this blog post, you will be entered to win a **Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender in Brushed Chrome**.   It's the perfect tool to make healthy smoothies and other fun treats!  
**Giveaway Details**
1. To enter, leave a comment on this blog post telling me what your favorite blended drink is. 
(please make sure to leave your e-mail address in the comment or have it in your blog profile)
2. This giveaway is open to people living in the US or in Canada because the company only ships to those places.
3. The deadline to enter is Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 at Midnight PST
4. The winner will be chosen using a random number generator and announced on January 20th.
(Note: I have not been compensated for hosting this giveaway)

January 11, 2011

Courtney's Quilt

During my Christmas break from work, I made a fun quilt for a close friend of mine.  It was her Christmas present but it wasn't a surprise as she went to the quilt shop with me and picked out the pretty fabrics based on the color palette she was interested in.  I didn't post any "process" pictures of it for all of you because I didn't want her to see it until it was all finished.  Since it's all finished and I gave it to her last week, I can now let you in on how it turned out! 

January 3, 2011

Pillow Sham Tutorial

Are you tired of the look of your bedroom? Does it seem boring and stale?  It's a New Year and I don't know about you, but I like to start a new year by adding fresh and fun accents to my home.  I'd love to share a simple sewing project with you that will help launch your pillows into 2011! (applause and cheering!!)  I might have gotten a little carried away there, but making your own pillow shams really is easy and it's a fun and inexpensive way to do some redecorating while staying in your budget.   So sit back, relax and enjoy my little quilted pillow sham tutorial. 

By following this tutorial, you will be able to make one of these: 

 Or one of these:

Or even one of these:

Or this!

Or that! 

Ok, enough of that. Let's get started. :)

1. The first thing you need to do is design and cut out a quilt top that measures 29"x20".  As you can see from my previous examples, it can be made in any way that you like.  Treat it like you would a placemat, or a doll quilt and make a mini quilt.  Most importantly, have fun!  Since you are making something on such a small scale, if you make a boo boo,  it's really easy to start again. :)   I used a Hawaiian quilt sham to demonstrate this project.

2. Once you're done cutting your pieces,  
piece them together...

and press the seams toward the darker fabrics.

3.  Create your quilt sandwich as you would for a regular sized quilt. The fabric you use for the backing will be part of the inside of the sham and does not need to be decorative. Baste the quilt sandwich and proceed to quilt it in a manner of your choice.  

I like to stitch 1/4" on each side of the seam lines because it creates a very clean and modern look.

I also add in a few lines to make sure the sham has enough quilting to keep the batting from shifting.

4. Trim the edges of your quilt sandwich with your rotary cutter so everything is straight and neat. 

5. Next, you will need to cut a new backing piece which will be the actual back of the quilt sham. It can be plain or decorative depending on the style of bedroom it will be occupying.  An easy way to do this is to simply place your finished mini quilt on top of the backing fabric and cut it out with sewing scissors. 

6. Once you have finished cutting out the backing piece, arrange it so that the right side of the fabric is facing the front of the mini quilt.  Fold the right edge of the backing fabric back one inch and then another inch. 

7.  Press the folded section and then sew it using a straight stitch.  
     Place this entire piece back on top of the quilt sandwich. 

8. Using more of that backing fabric, cut a new piece that measures 7"x20".

9. With this piece face down, repeat the previous step and fold back one side of the fabric one inch and then another inch on top of that.  Press the fabric and then sew the folded portion using a straight stitch.

Are you still with me? I hope so! We are almost done! :)

10. Place the skinny piece that you just made, face down on top of the first backing piece, with the finished edge facing the opposite way of one underneath it.  Where these two flaps meet will create the opening of your pillow sham. 
Eeek did that sound confusing? Don't worry here's another picture that might give you a better idea of what I'm talking about.  Can you see that other finished edge peeking out when the top part is temporarily folded back for your viewing pleasure? 

11. Once both of your pieces are in place, face down, 
pin the whole thing together including the quilt sandwich. 

12. Sew a straight stitch around the entire rectangle of the sham and follow that up with a finishing stitch of your choice around the edge. 

13.  Turn the sham inside out (which is really right side out now) and you can now insert a pillow into the finished opening you created on the back of the sham! (cue fanfare and confetti!!)

Congratulations! You just made your own unique pillow sham that will beautify your home and make you and your family feel cheery! 
(Ok...the cheery part isn't guaranteed but it sure 
helps to have a little something new to look at doesn't it?)  

Have fun and may your home be filled with comfy and adorable pillows galore!

January 1, 2011

Fabric Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Kathie from "Inspired By Antique Quilts".
You are now the proud owner of 7 yards of Dr Seuss Fabric!  
Thanks so much to everybody who participated. It sure was fun to read about all your favorite Seuss books and characters.  Happy New Year and happy quilting in 2011 :)