Friday, June 10, 2016

My Interview with Cheryl Arkison on the C&T Blog

Super excited to share my interview with Cheryl Arkison. She's one of my favorite quilters, and I've been known to spend a few hours here and there reading her blog. She's an excellent writer and inspirational improv quilter.

I had the pleasure of meeting Cheryl at Quiltcon in February! (we're cute!)

Head on over to the C&T blog and check it out!
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Sunday, May 29, 2016

A closet full of clothes....

....and nothing to wear.

Except, this is more like: a closet full of quilts, and not a dang one to put on the bed.

Yesterday I decided it was time to get rid of the "winter bed" and break out the "summer bed." With temperatures now reliably in the 70's, it's time to shed the bed of the heavy fleece sheets and double puffy, not very attractive but oh so warm quilt in exchange for lighter, whiter sheets and our summer quilt.

Except we don't have a summer quilt.

We have quilts. Lots of quilts. Not lacking for quilts here. Its just the size that isn't right. I only have two king sizes quilts and don't want to use either one of them (one being the previously mentioned not very attractive one, the other being this one

which I like very much, but it's so 5 years ago. And needs considerable mending.)

So I'm making a new one. And because a king sized quilt does not happen overnight, I think I'm going to reprise this pattern: 

Large blocks (I'll need 9) that go together quickly. Well, as quickly as a king sized quilt can go. I'm optimistic, though, that I will sleep under this quilt by summer's end. Which gives me about 4 months. Easy peasy!
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Friday, May 20, 2016

My Interview with Bonnie Hunter!

Hey there!

I'm super excited about a new series I'll writing for the C&T Publishing blog we're calling Quilter's Bucket list. I kicked off the series with the one and only Bonnie Hunter!!

Every quilter has a quilt bucket list - right? The list of quilts they want to make in a lifetime. The series is about chatting with our favorite C & T authors about what might be on their quilting bucket list. Fun, right?

It was so much fun to interview Bonnie. She's funny, authentic and just so nice!

Read my interview with Bonnie here.

Wonky Wishes Star Quilt Pattern
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This is Bonnie's latest pattern.  It's a big quilt that uses a ton of scraps! (Look for her new book out in September.)

So, two questions for you:

1. What C & T authors would you like to see me interview?
2. What's on your quilting bucket list?
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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Paper Piecing - I finally get it!

*this post contains ad links.

There are a few things I'm known for in my quilting circle. One is my dislike for variegated thread. Another is for my disdain of metallic fabric. (I'm working on both of those issues and will report back as soon as I've resolved them.) The third is my avoidance of paper piecing, or, as I like to school people - foundation piecing. And just let me say, about the thread and fabric, I enjoy them when they're used in other people's quilts. Just not in mine.

I actually made a paper foundation pieced quilt about 15 years ago. And I did it the old fashioned way: I went to the library, found a book by Carol Doak, took the book to Office Max and printed the foundation papers and went home and sewed it. It took about a weekend and I was actually quite proud of it. And also over it at the same time. Done. Next.

My First Paper Pieced Block/Quilt Circa 2001

Fast forward about 10 years and I'm in a ton (6 or 7) online bees and EVERYONE wants the flying death circle of geese block. I added "death" because that's how it feels after spending 4 hours to produce a 12" block and THEN you realize you have the whole thing backwards.

A block from my on line Flickr bee Bee Vintage

Done. Next.

Over the course of the next few years, people would try to lure me to the pulp side (so precise! perfect points!) but I always refrained. Nope. Not for me.

So I was quite surprised with myself when I voluntarily purchased this pattern and made not one, not two but three of these!!

I bought it because I signed up for the Rainbow Mini Swap at the Mid Atlantic Mod retreat in April. I thought it was the perfect pattern for the swap. And, I wanted to show off a bit and bring an awesome swap quilt. (Which it was, and very much in demand - as we do a dirty Santa type way of distributing the quilts. Oh, and funny, there was an identical one to mine in the swap - even quilted the same. Great minds and all.)

Anyway, the pattern was quite a work out. The first one took a solid weekend. Then I had the bright idea to make two at a time: one for my secret sewist at the retreat, the other for me, because its so cute and I really wanted one!

That plan was working great until I realized there was no way to finish both in time for the retreat, so I bailed on mine and finished my partner's.

I'm happy to say, though, the third is finished. And a charm. Charming. I learned a ton, found what works best for me and, dare I say it, I've started on another project!

If you're not so much a paper piecer, may I suggest you visit my first teacher Carol Doak here or here. She really is the best. And while you're at it, get this paper. It's the easiest I've found to use

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 13 Blog Hop and Giveaway!

Welcome to Day 2 of the Blog Hop! I love Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks ~ like a mini encyclopedia of new blocks twice a year! Here's what the latest edition look like, so you can find it at your favorite quilt shop or craft store.

You can find the complete list of blog hoppers here. Giveaway information at the end of the post!

My block for Volume 13 is called Rocket.

The inspiration for this block came courtesy of a Holiday Inn. Yes, inspiration is everywhere!

I was teaching near Atlanta about a year ago. Throughout the Holiday Inn were these origami art pieces with little rockets. Of course, I thought quilt block. But then again, I always think quilt block.

Simple, graphic. Just what I like! And so many options for different color ways. I love the neutral palette with the pop of aqua/red, don't you? 

I did a quick mock up of Rocket in EQ7. I thought this would be a sweet quilt for a toddler. What do you think? Should I write up a pattern?

On to the giveaway! Would you like to win a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 13? If so, just leave a comment below. If you'd like to sign up for my newsletter (scroll back up to the top of the page) you get an extra chance! Newsletter subscribers get advanced notice of pattern releases, freebies, giveaways and more! For another chance, follow me on Instagram. I'm @heatherkojan. (Leave another comment saying you signed up for the newsletter and another for following on Instagram.) 

Thanks so much for stopping by, and enjoy the rest of the blog hop!
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Friday, April 29, 2016

I have a few free minutes...

So let's start a new quilt!

Do you feel that way too? Every so often I get a pocket of time with no commitments, no travel, no deadlines ~ just free time to sew for myself. This is one of those times. Nothing major on my plate for 2 whole months! So what do I want to do? Fill up that space with new projects.

I started a list of the new:

  1. Amy Butler Weekender Bag (so 5 years ago) but I've had the pattern forever and still want one.
  2. Sew Together Bag (so 2 years ago) same as above
  3. Fancy Fox - new baby boy due in the family around July
  4. Cover the vintage chairs I scored at Goodwill about a year ago

And then I thought, "Whoa, hold on sister! Maybe you should tackle some of the old." Such as:

  1. Loulouthi Quilt: needs backing/basting/quilting/binding (b/b/q/b)
  2. Twizzle: Just pieced the top this past weekend - needs borders and b/b/q/b
  3. Plus Quilt: Same as above
  4. Modern Meadow: needs borders and b/b/q/b
  5. Sewing Machine Mini: I made 2 for gifts, this ones for me! Finish piecing and b/b/q/b
  6. Bento Box: had the blocks for years - needs piecing and b/b/q/b
  7. Yellow/Gray Bee Quilt: ditto above
  8. Vintage Charm Quilt: b/b/q/b
  9. Pinwheel Pillows: these are samples from a retired class. Just need to assemble.
  10. Facing East: just started this one. A long term project for sure
  11. Paper Pieced Stars: Another long term one.
  12. Moda Building Blocks: all the large blocks are finished - on to the 6 inchers

I'm sure there's more if I dig a little deeper into the UFO bin. But keeping the list at a dozen seems somehow more manageable.

No pictures today. That would take another hour or so. Time better spent actually making. I'll post them as I finish them (or at least move them closer to the finish line.)

Instead, I'll leave you with a picture of my kids. All.Growed.Up.

Happy Quilting!

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Organizing Fabric

If buying fabric is a quilter's #1 pleasure, I think organizing it can't be too far behind. Just a quick google of "sewing room organization" or "fabric storage" reveals such wonderful eye candy.

Truth be told, I have a decent sized studio (I started calling my basement sewing room a studio a few years ago - makes me sound more legit  :-) I have ample storage. But that doesn't stop me from looking for alternative solutions.

Last week, I was out doing errands, which happened to take my by our local Goodwill store. Most times, I'll drive on by. On this particular day, I heard it whispering "Come in - I've got something for you." How could I resist an invitation like that?

I quickly made my way through the front of the store. No voices. But in the back - cue the angel choir! I found this:

Yes, not much to look at, and a little bit 90's with it's wonky shape. But oh, the potential. (And I am a bit partial to wonky.)

After a few quick coats of spray paint:

And all loaded up with fabric and stuff:

I like that it holds some of my vintage Pyrex! And the width is a good size for half yard cuts of fabric.

A bowl full of Allison Glass

Cute storage for under $10! I like it!

What are sewing up this weekend?

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