Thursday, January 31, 2013


When designing a quilt or project, what inspires you?  How do you start pulling colors and designs?  Do you always go to your favorite colors or do you try to stretch yourself and use colors that are harder for you to work with?  Does a favorite shirt inspire you for colors?  How about a sunset?

For me, being a photographer, I always look at light.  How the light is bouncing off things, or in the evening how light gives things a warm orange tint, that's what inspires me.  Light outside my front window, or light in a photograph, or blue light coming from the alarm clock at night...I usually notice and see.  Light is what gives things life and dimension.  I'm a lover of light.

Also when designing quilts, I often start with the back of the quilt first!  Seems backwards, but when I find a nice big floral print I like, or a wild geometric, that's when I get excited!

I was putting bolts of fabric away the other day and ran across this very interesting mod fabric...

It's usually a design I would never go to, but I just loved the colors in it.  I don't really decorate with purples in my house, although I often wear it (it goes good with my skin tone!)  So I usually don't gravitate towards purple in my sewing.  But this piece sure got the wheels turning!

So I started pulling fabrics to go with this piece.  This is what I came up with!  A good thing to remember when designing a quilt is value and balance.  You want to make sure you have plenty of lights and darks and mediums.  Too many mediums will make a quilt muddy.  If you have a hard time seeing value, squint your eyes...colors will usually blend together if they are the same value.  

Next, notice how in my spray of colors, I have lots of purples, a few greens, only one blue, and a touch of cream.  Look back at my back piece...lots of purple, some pink, a hint of cream, and one blue!  Things need balance and harmony!

So now...what do to with all these colors!  Tell me what inspires you when design a quilt...or anything!?  Oh and just so you know...these fabrics can found on our website or etsy page.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My First Postage Stamp Block and Classes

I have finished my first postage stamp block. I started out with a 20 fusible and ended up with a block measuring 14.5X14.5.
Most of the work was in the cutting of my 2" squares. They finished at 1.5". I pledged to make 2 a month so I had better get on my second one. i have a bin full of my 2" squares now so it should go by faster.

I placed a penny in one of the squares to give you an idea of the size of the finished square. There are 100 squares per block. 
This technique is really nifty. Laura used it on her postage stamp quilt . She will be teaching this method February 19. You can see our list of classes here. We hope to see you there
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Monday, January 28, 2013

Padstow Range Giant Star Quilt

I put the finishing touches on my Giant Star Padstow Range quilt this weekend. This quilt finishes 67"X67" and all it needs is 8 (or 16 if you want every point to be different) fat quarters and your solid background. The pattern can be found at In Color Order.

I am adding this pattern to my Go To List. If I need a quilt to give away, birthday, wedding, this is going to be the pattern. It comes together really fast.

Amy quilted the Grandmother's Garden pattern and it a great fit for the cabbage roses in the fabric.
I bound it with my favorite fabric from the line.

What do you think? We love to hear from you and get feedback.

You can find these fabrics at our etsy store here or in our webstore here. We love custom orders on etsy so convo me with your requests.

I am linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday. Go check out the fun quilts this week

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lucky Penny New Fabric Show N Tell

Take a look at this lovely stack of fabrics from Andover Fabrics. Its Lucky Penny by Alison Glass.

The fabric on the left is my favorite. If I were to make a quilt with these fabrics this would be my backing.

Heather pulled out this pattern  and I thinks its a great choice. Pair it with a nice grey for the solid, drool.
I brought over some bolts from the Chicopee line and added it to the shelf. Yay, a happy pairing.  I really hope someone here make this quilt for a shop sample. My to do list is a little long right now or I would jump on it. My Comma quilt is next in line (and I have to finish a scrap quilt that might be a class).

I listed a fat quarter bundle of Lucky Penny in our Etsy shop. If you would like yardage convo me and I will set you up with a custom listing. I have Chicopee in the shop too. I think everyone here has made something with Chicopee. We all love it! It will be one of my all time favorites.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Valentine Finish

I finished up a Valentine sewing project. I thought about a quilt but decided on a table topper/wall hanging. Remember my fabric stack? I wasn't sure how much fabric to buy because I only had an idea of what I wanted. I cut and traced and sewed up some hearts. Then I sneaked in a few doiles (I hung it on my faux fireplace. That window is changing soon, I promise).

I really like the more traditional cream background fabrics against the modern pop of the heart fabric.
I hand quilted around the hearts with a red perle cotton (and stitched in the ditch with my machine) but it doesn't really show up. The edges are raw and will ruffle up a bit after it is washed.
So what do you think? I was thinking about writing up a tutorial. Any takers?

I had some fabric left over so I made a table runner too. The top is finished and I just have to quilt and bind it.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Did You Know?

That the Quilt Barn is an official dealer of Janome Sewing Machines?  There are various models on display to test out whenever you stop by.  

This weekend I test drove the new Memory Craft 8200 QC.  It was a pretty easy machine to use.  The touch screen options were easy to follow and understand.  It comes with tons of stitches and various alphabets.  Although my favorite feature was the walking foot.  While using it, the fabric fed into the machine very smoothly and securely.  

Friday, January 18, 2013

Valentine Sewing and Tutorial

Jenele brough in two Valentine goodies for us yesterday.
First is this fun hanger made from a Chemistry panel.

She used a pinking blade in her rotary blade to give this a fun ruffled edge. The back pocket, embellished with a few cross stitched X's, holds your love notes.

I love how simple and cute this project is. 

Next is a heart bunting. Jenele used fabrics from Sending My Love by Moda. I asked her how she made this and she said she traced around a cookie cutter for the heart shape. Great idea!

What You Need:
Heart shape to trace (these hearts are about 3.5X3.5")
fabric scraps or fat quarters for hearts
batting scraps
2.5 yards of twill tape
11 buttons
pinking scissors (to cut out the heart shapes for the ruffle edge)

What To Do
-cut out You need 12 hearts total so cut out 24 heart shapes (for front and back)
-cut out 12 hearts from batting
-on your twill tape mark 12 evenly placed spots for your hearts, leaving a tail to tie at either end. Jenele left about an 11" tail at either end and spaced the hearts out (from the middle of the heart) 6" apart
-layer a backing heart, a batting heart, and a front heart.
-tuck the twill tape between the batting and back heart.You can use spray baste or pins to hold it steady
-sew a few lines through the heart (Jenele sewed 3-4 random diagonal per heart) making sure to catch the twill tape
-sew all 12 hearts in the same manner
-hand sew your 11 buttons between your hearts.

Thanks for sharing with us Jenele

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Post Marked.

So Tara, Amy, Heather and I were talking at the end of December about how in 2013 we wanted to make a postage stamp quilt.  Some said that they were going to do a block a month to stay on track in finishing their quilt in time.  Well....I did a little more than a block a month!  I'm already antsy to start making another!

I wanted my postage stamp to be a little more organized than just using scraps.  I started by picking a can see it peeking out on the left in the picture above.  It's a nice big dogwood floral print by Sandi Henderson for Michael Miller.  Green is my color so it was right up my alley!  I selected prints and solids that coordinated with the back and then added some scraps I had at home.  I had more scraps these colors than I are who you are and you like what you like I guess!  Each square finishes at 2 inches, so it's on the bigger end of the postage stamp category, making the finished quilt size 64"x64"

 I used Oh Franson's postage stamp tutorial.  The blocks went together quite quickly and I didn't have a problem with anything.  This technique will be taught in a class sometime in be sure to watch out for sign ups!

I am linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Flirt Valentine Quilt

One of our newest fabric lines we got in was Flirt by Sandy Gervais for Moda. Individual pieces from this line are selling fast. They are nice coordinates with many other fabrics and fabric lines and not just for Valentine's Day.

The line includes a fun panel and Heather made up a shop sample of the pattern that uses this panel.

The center panel is all ready, no applique necessary. Same with the corner pieces. You fussy cut the flowers from the second panel and button hole or blanket stitch around the edges.

Heather quilted the top on the diagonal. You could mark your quilt top with a Frixon pen (the lines disappear with the heat from your iron or wash out) and a long ruler and quilt this easily on your home machine.

We love Valentine's day around here. We still have our Christmas windows up but that because we are gearing up for our next holiday theme window. I can't wait to pack up winter and bring on love.

You can find Flirt fabrics, precuts, and the kit in our etsy store or in person at The Quilt Barn.
Anyone else sewing anything up for Valentine's Day?

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Snow Day!

So they're calling the storm that blew through this weekend Storm Gandolf.  Gandolf the White is my guess!  My husband and I were completely snowed in for two and half days!  We walked out the front door and sank to our thighs in snow...we went back in!  It was a relief to see the sun shine on Saturday!

So not being able to even think about leaving the house, I was able to get some sewing projects finished!  I was able to work with bright, happy colors all weekend.  Did you do anything sewing productive over the weekend?  Or enjoy the excuse to be curled up and doze?  Or hit the slopes if you could get out your door?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sewing Resolutions 2013

 This is the first year I have put together New Year's Resolutions. Truth be told I kind of poo poo'd them. I dont know what changed but I am in resolution full force. I have sewing, personal, home, and parenting resolutions.  Nothing crazy but a few lists to keep me on track.

Here are our  2013 Sewing Resolutions

1. learn how to install an invisible zipper (for pillows)
2. complete a bed sized postage stamp quilt using my scraps
3. give away or sell my mountain of finished quilts
4. to either sell or use my hoarded hard to find fabrics. I love them so much I don't want to cut into them
5. to quilt the mountain of quilt tops that are sitting unfinished

1. to make another postage stamp quilt (yes, she already finished hers!)
2. to work with diamonds (she says they are intimidating)

1. sew a postage stamp quilt
2. make a scrappy block from each of quilts she makes this year (from left overs from that quilt)
3. to make one traditional/timeless quilt
4. to give my studio a facelift

1. organize my sewingroom
2. finish UFO's
3. find use for my scraps (besides starting my fireplace)
4. use more of my stash

Tanner would like me to share his goals for this year.
1. open a haberdashery
2. get a pet bird
3. go to college

Heather arranged our new Essentials thread in this cute vintage drawer. Aren't the colors so happy.

And I added our January 10 fat quarters for $10 bundle on Etsy. Check it out.
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Monday, January 7, 2013


Christmas isn't over yet!!
The Quilt Barn is having a sale on EVERYTHING CHRISTMAS!

That means all Christmas FABRIC (Grinch, Batik, Moda), Christmas PRE-CUTS (jelly rolls, charm packs, layer cakes), BOOKS, PATTERNS, and even KITS will be on sale!!

This is how it's going to go:
MONDAY (Jan 7): 40% off
TUESDAY (Jan 8): 40% off
WEDNESDAY (Jan 9): 30% off
THURSDAY (Jan 10): 30% off
FRIDAY (Jan 11): 20% off
SATURDAY (Jan 12): 20% off

So don't miss out - You Snooze you Loose! 
It's never too early to think about next year.

 And we only have 4 skeins left of this Holiday colored Rozetti Marina Yarn (pictured below)
It will be on sale at $4.99 a skein 'til it's gone!

Thinking About Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is over a month away but I have hearts on the brain.  I have been putting crafty and quilty inspiration in a Valentine pinterest board. What to make?

I found a quilt I like and got to work pulling bolts of fabric. I walked around with our cart and tossed fabric in. I picked out one of the quilts from my inspiration board but I don't have a pattern to go on so I cut what I thought I might need.

I folded the fabric and thought it was so pretty that I had to take another picture.Taking pictures of your fabric has to be a sign. Of what I don't know but I have pictures of fabric and it makes me happy. Its the little things right? 
I like the juxtaposition of the very modern reds and the more primitive cream shirtings. Fingers crossed that I can take one photo and make my own quilt from it.

Anyone else make Valentine Quilts? 
We are in the single digits (and lower) temperature wise here so is it any wonder that I start to look ahead around this time of year? Easter sewing is next!!

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Baby Grandmother's Garden

January is the time of year that I dig out my UFOs (unfinished objects) and really try and finish as many as I can before starting any new projects.

I started this Grandmother's Garden a few summers ago. I hand pieced all the hexagons using 1.5" papers. That summer we went camping and drove in a Westfalia with no air conditioning. I worked on joining all the flowers with the white hexagons into rows and I almost lost the top out the unrolled window several times as we whipped down the highway. A sight I'm sure.

After a while I got bored joining the flowers with the white and put it aside. A few weeks ago I pulled it out and proclaimed it a baby quilt (it was going to be a twin). I basted and quilted it by echo sewing around each flower. A machine binding was sewn on and I was done. 

I have several flowers left over and I embellished 2 flour sack dish towels (one flower at the bottom of each towel) and gave a set to Amy for her birthday. I have about 10 left and I am sure I will find something to do with them. They would be fun pincushions, on a tote bag, or even a pot holder.

I feel pretty good about crossing this 2 + year old UFO off my list. I have no idea what to do with the baby quilt now but it is done.


These are the papers I used.

I am linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts, Finish It Up Friday. go check out the other great finishes.
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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Postage Stamp Quilting

It may have been this postage stamp quilt by Red Pepper Quilts that caught my attention.  It lead to a bit of research and I found a few different ways of making these scrappy quilts. This quilt's tutorial can be found here.

This tutorial from Oh, Fransson is the one that I am going to be using. I like trying out new (to me) techniques.

Heather, Amy, Laura, and I are all going to be making a postage stamp quilt this year. Depending on how big we want ours to be we will be making at least a block a month. I think I will be making 2 a month. I want to make a queen size quilt and I certainly have the scraps for it.I need to make a dent in that big bucket of mine.

I will share our block progress here. Laura will be using selected fat quarters for a unified look and I am looking forward to seeing how her blocks turn out.

I also have a pinterest postage stamp board.

Happy New Year to all of you! I, for one, have bit a very happy farewell to 2012 and am excited for 2013.

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