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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Have you heard of the Around the World Blog Hop? I had a few people invite me to join, so I decided I'll give it a go. It's been fun to look back and see lots of different people's posts, and see what everyone is working on.

I was tagged by Amanda of Material Girl Quilts. I mentioned her in my recent Celestial Star blog hop, as she was one of the sponsors. Amanda is crazy talented!! You should definitely go check out her blog if you haven't already. :)

As part of the blog hop, there are a set of questions to answer...

1. What am I working on?

That's kind of a tough one. I just finished up the Celestial Star QAL, which kept me pretty busy. Though I feel like I'm a little in between projects right now... besides the ones I can't share. ;) I'm am working on a few new patterns, as well as other projects. :) I have been catching up with my Handmade Birthday Club gifts though! Here are my latest finishes that I can share:


I made this fun little mini for Di.


 


and added a tissue cover and a few other goodies. :)



I also finished up this pillow for Rebecca.



 


and some extra goodies for her too!



I love how they both turned out!! and I'll be working on sharing both of these patterns soon. :)


2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

This is a hard question to answer. I think the biggest difference I notice about myself, is that I always have to come up with something new. There are so many great and amazing designs out there that I LOVE, but for some reason I always want to try something different and create my own designs or patterns. I think that is something that really fuels my desire to quilt. I love sewing and quilting, but constantly coming up with new patterns and designs really adds so much dimension to my own personal experience when it comes to quilting. Perhaps the design process is my first love, and sewing and quilting are the vehicles I use to make those ideas a reality. :)



3. Why do I write/create what I do?

I kind of answered this in the previous question. To be more specific to my designs, I really like math, and geometry. I've always noticed shapes and how things fit together, especially designs of symmetry. I like figuring out how to put everything together, like a puzzle. I don't know...

On the flip side of the question, why do I design and create in the first place? I have a young family, 4 children 6 and under (the oldest was 4 (about 3 weeks shy of being 5) when the youngest was born) so they are all very close. When they were really young I did not enjoy taking them places because it was too crazy for me! Too stressful. So quilting became my hobby, and still is often my outlet from stress and the day-to-day routine of cleaning and those mundane mom tasks. Love my family and my children, but my hubby and I both realize that I need an outlet. ;) He's awesome!



4. How does my writing/creating process work?

Often I'll start doodling on graph paper. That used to be my all-the-time go-to medium, but it seems like I don't have any near me as often. I'll often do rough sketches on my phone in a drawing app. They are usually always really horrible, as the apps are kind of like using Paint. But at least I can get my ideas down. Then I'll work in Illustrator, where I can create, design, manipulate, and change my ideas until I have something I love, or maybe just like. Illustrator is my best friend in the entire process!! I love the freedom I have there to do so much. As well as how quick it is to make small changes and compare, without having to start over with a new drawing every time. It saves me a lot of time.

Then I fine tune my project, turn it into a pattern, print it out and start sewing. I'll often take notes as I use the pattern, on things to adjust and change. Then once it's ready, I type up my patterns in In Design, do some proof reading, and size checking, and there it is.

That is my really quick explanation of how I create my patterns! Often I'll start with the first steps, and then start working on different patterns before I complete the entire process. I just don't have enough time to materialize all of them. But I'm working on that. ;)


 


Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little sneak peek into my world. :) It was fun!


I'd love to point you in the direction of a few friends who I think are awesome!! Though some have already participated in the blog hop, I'll share them with you anyway. Because hey, I don't mind traveling to the same place more than once, especially if it's somewhere awesome!! :)

Marian will be participating next week. She is so awesome!! We met a while ago and was so nice and sent me some cookies once. It was the kindest thing ever!! I also bought some cute earrings from her, and we swapped some charms once.  Let me tell you our complete history together... haha. Anyway, she's super cool. I had a dream a few weeks ago that we were moving to the town where she lives. I wish it were true! She'd be awesome to hang out with. :)

Courtney is an awesome friend I've definitely mentioned on my blog before. What can I say? She's the bees knees of quilting and quilty friends! :) She's awesome!! And I love her style! Everything she makes is so cute. :)

Leona, I met her in Florida before we moved - she moved to the area where I lived about a month or so before we left. I miss her. She's amazing!! Probably the kindest person I've ever met!! I will always cherish the time we did get to spend together before we moved away. :) p.s. she doesn't know I'm tagging her. oops. :)

Stephanie Daniels and Pam Lincoln also tagged me. They are both super great!! It's been fun getting to know them better over the recent months and however long it's been since we've become online friends. :)

Ok, that's way more than three people. Oh well. ;)



 Hope you are having a great week!! :)

Diane

Celestial Star QAL: The End & Winners!

Celestial Star QAL with from blank pages...


I want to say a HUGE thank you for everyone who participated in the Celestial Star QAL with me!! I loved your comments, kind words, seeing your blocks and projects come together and especially the finishes!! It was a blast!! {{Mwah}}!! :)


I also can't pass up giving a huge shout out to the amazing sponsors!! I hope you will continue to visit their shops and support them!! They are great! :)



i don't do dishes 



Knotted-Thread 




I was going to push to finish my quilt, but the quilt back I made, I ended up being very unhappy with it. So I scratched it. I decided to go with a one print back and if the color is what it is on my screen, I will be so excited with it!! I'm growing to really be a pink kind of girl. Weird - for me. But I like it. :) Of course, another Anna Maria Horner print for the back:

Anna Maria Horner Pretty Potent Flannel Banner Days Icing

Pretty Potent Flannel Banner Day Icing. 
I purchased this at Fabric.com, and was so happy it was even on sale! PLUS going through Ebates.com I got an extra 3% back. Not much, but it adds up. :) AND I'm so happy I wasn't at all tempted to add other things to my cart. Wahoo for shopping progress. ;)


I'm hoping to still get the quilt finished quickly. I can't wait to use it! Plus get some awesome photos of it!! :) You can see the best photos I've taken so far in this post. 




Alright, now to the part you've all been waiting for!! The winners!! Drum roll please...

For the 1 Block category, the winner of the $20 Westwood Acre gift card is Amy Morhan



For the 2-4 Block category, the winner of the $50 Fat Quarter Shop gift card is Cindy



For the 5+ Blocks Category, the winner of the $50 I Don't Do Dishes gift card and the Mochi Dots Bundle from Knotted-Thread is Kate



The winner of the Butterfly Dance bundle from Llama Fabrics is Kirsten




The winner of the Liberty scrap pack bundle from Queen Bee Fabrics is Lori



And the winner of the Birch charm pack from I Don't Do Dishes is Bria



Congrats everyone!! I will contact you about your prizes! :)


I hope you will keep linking up your blocks and your projects as you finish them!! I love to see all your beautiful creations! You are amazing! :) For those of you on Instagram, be sure to tag your photos with #fbpPatterns!! I'll be catching up on those spotlights and prizes soon. ;)


Thanks again everyone! It's like a bitter-sweet farewell being done with the QAL. It was such an intense part of my life for the last few months, I don't know what I'm going to do with all of this free time now. ;) lol. :)


Have a great week!!


Diane

Friday, October 3, 2014

Made It: Swappers Anonymous

A year and a half ago (early 2013) two friends and I decided to do a little private swap! I was so excited! It is always fun making things for people you know and love!  Well, we started last spring, and decided to set the deadline for May or June... Tommy was born the end of April, so it was kind of busy, but definitely doable. Well, then there were some delays for other people and we decided to push it back, and back some more. Then I was teaching at the Sewing Summit last year, and that was REALLY busy, and right after that we moved to Florida... so anyway, our deadline became a bit fleeting on my end and it became a slow project amidst everything else going on. I think it was last December or maybe January of this year (?) that I finally finished up one project. Then we moved from Florida to Idaho and there goes more delays... I finally finished the other package this summer... but I don't think I really shared much of it. Anyway... I shared one picture on Instagram yesterday, and decided I should share everything because I received some amazing gifts that I just LOVE! :)


I'll start with the goodies I received. :)

Marika made me some amazing placemats and napkins (she did make me 6 of each - some must be in the wash). As well as a cute clutch. I love these placemats! They really are the most perfect colors!! We use them all the time, and I've probably washed them a bajillion times. Which means maybe I should have ironed them before photographing them, oh well. I think they are awesome in all their crinkly goodness! ;)





Tiffany made me the best pillow ever! Again, my favorite colors! I LOVE it! It lives on our couch and is one of my favorites! I ended up making my own insert from it from some other pillows that exploded in our dryer when I washed them. oops. :) But it works perfectly!


 

She also made me some cute fabric baskets that are perfect in my cubbies by my sewing area. love!




Here is what I made.

First I made this super cute fox hoop for Tiffany! I used the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery pattern from the Woodland Sampler, and simply enlarged it and added a few more dandelions.

I can't remember how large the hoop is, maybe 6 inches? So this is way bigger than the pattern.




A also made her this sewing machine cover. I love how it turned out. The color scheme is not one I have made much in, but I really love it! It is paper pieced, and some of those strips are super thin. It took for.ever. But I think it was definitely worth it! I love the design! I'd love to scale it up and do a quilt with this! Or it would be cute for a mini or mug rug or something. Anyway, it was really fun!



 I didn't get any really good pictures of the entire thing, but here's the best one.


 modeling over my smaller sewing machine. ;)


 Here's a shot of the back, showing off the quilting. I did really close wavy lines, but went around the x's.




I also sent some Lizzy House charms that she had mentioned earlier that she loved.




For Marika I made a Celestial Star Pillow. I really love the bold colors and the how the border pattern wraps around the pillow. This is definitely a favorite! and all of my family was SO sad when I sent it away (my son and my hubby were heart broken that it wasn't for them. lol.) :)



and how it looks on a pillow form. I like how the border wraps around.

I hand stitched the top, and I really like how subtle it is.




Here's a good shot of the border pattern.


I lucked out with the back - the pattern matches up so close on each side of the zipper!


I also made a tissue cover from some Anna Maria Horner Good Folks prints (the inside print is from the Pretty Potent collection), and included some more goodies, as well as some Erin McMorris charms and scraps.






I know I was super delayed with so much going on in life, but it was fun! I hope my gifts are loved and used as much as the gifts I received! It really is special to have some home made goodies around the house. :) Thanks Tiffany and Marika!!!


Ps. Don't forget to link up your finished Celestial Star projects on THIS POST! Winners will be picked and announced Monday morning!

Diane

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