Sunday, December 29, 2013

Hi All!

I've got my first tutorial up over on the Moda Bake Shop blog today! I've love it if you popped over and left a comment (so I'll feel more popular, of course!)

More to the story later. I'm typing on a borrowed laptop in the middle of the Berkshire Mountains with spotty internet. So I'll keep it brief!

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Winner Winner (Turkey Leftover) Dinner!

Thanks to everyone who entered! I loved reading about what you're thankful for. We have a lot in common!

The winner is....

Lisa said...
I am so thankful for my family and most especially for my wonderful husband! I'm a very very blessed woman!

Congratulations, Lisa! I'll contact your via email to get your address!
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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Slow Sewing Sunday

Some ornaments to stitch, a little EPP, a pot of chili on the stove and some Ravens and Giants to watch. A good Sunday afternoon ahead of me.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Classic Modern Quilts Blog Tour

It's my day!

Can I just say how tickled I am to be part of this book, this tour, this whole experience? The people at My Stars and Kansas City Star have been wonderful. My co-authors are awesome. I'm really humbled to be in their company.

Here's a few "process pictures" of my quilt Happy Camper. I named it that because of the fabric line I used, S'more Love by Cosmo Cricket for Moda. Lots of campers, fish, owls, ya know, camping stuff. Had it had kayaks, I'd deem it the perfect fabric!

My original sketch

Thanks Moda for the Bundle o' Fabric

Putting things together

Can you see the acorns and oak leaves? Thanks Maria O'Haver!

Oh happy day when I finished the top!

My inspiration block was A Striped Plain Quilt.

It's traditionally a foundation pieced block. As my teen daughter Katie would say: I'm not about that life!  So I simplified it, pieced it and was happy with the results. And is it immodest to say that I love my quilt? Well, I do. I just got it back in the mail yesterday, and I'm so happy to see it again!

So, about the book. Would you like your own copy? Of course you would.

Leave me a comment below to be entered in the drawing. Tell me what you're thankful for this year. (Can never have enough gratitude, right?) Me? I'm grateful to be able to have a little time each day to do what I love. If you want to follow me on Instagram (I promise I won't bombard you with too many cat or food pictures!) or Bloglovin' (love my morning coffee and Bloglovin'!) leave me a separate comment for an extra chance. You can use those cute little buttons on the right. The contest ends November 27th (oh, what a good day that is! 21 years ago on that day I became a momma! ) I'll draw a name Thanksgiving morning.

Be sure to see my friend John tomorrow for another chance to win! I met John at market.

He's gonna shoot me when he sees this picture.
 We had so much fun together, and are planning World Quilt Domination! Well, maybe we'll start with Central New York Quilt Domination and see how that goes first. Baby steps.

And if you want to follow along, here's the whole line up for the tour:

Nov. 11: Lisa Calle,
Nov. 12: Lynne Goldsworthy,
Nov. 13: Lauren Hunt,
Nov. 14: Heather Kojan,  That's me!
Nov. 15: John Kubiniec,
Nov. 18: Adrianne Ove,
Nov. 19: Trisch Price,
Nov. 20: Tammie Schaffer,  Tia Curtis,
Nov. 21: Amy Smart,
Nov. 22: Susan Strong,

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

You can never be too rich, too thin...

Or have too many pillows.

You'd think that if you saw my projects these days.

Lots of pillows lately.

Perfect for when you want some (not so) immediate gratification.

Or just want to work out a color combination or design in your head without committing the next several weeks months of your life.

Or, feel like it's about time I did something with those signature swap blocks from 2 years ago.

Or, when you get a little bundle of fabric like this

and need to come up with something awesome!

So, maybe not totally awesome, but I'm happy with it. I'm still a fan of the "+" layout. And I was able to use all of the fat eighth bundle of Riley Blake fabric for the MQG challenge. Look at me, finished 3 months before the deadline!

And just for fun, here are Ty and Chase (black cat, white/black dog) photo bombing my pillow.

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Blog Tour Starts Today!

The Classic Modern Quilts Blog Tour starts today!

Head on over to my (new) friend Lisa's blog to see her quilt Spring Storms

 and enter her giveaway for a book and a mini quilt she made. Awesome! Then, tomorrow, head on over to Lynn's blog for another chance to win!

Me with Tammie, Lisa and John at our Schoolhouse at Quilt Market

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Classic Modern Quilts Blog Tour!

I'm so excited to be in the company of all these really talented (and fun) quilters! The blog tour kicks off on Monday, starting with my new friend, Lisa Calle. This is going to be a great tour, with books and other goodies to give away. Follow along every day, and be sure to come back right here on Thursday, November 14, which is my day! You can also follow along on the My Stars Blog. Hope you win!!

Nov. 11: Lisa Calle,
Nov. 12: Lynne Goldsworthy,
Nov. 13: Lauren Hunt,
Nov. 14: Heather Kojan,  That's me!
Nov. 15: John Kubiniec,
Nov. 18: Adrianne Ove,
Nov. 19: Trisch Price,
Nov. 20: Tammie Schaffer,  Tia Curtis,
Nov. 21: Amy Smart,
Nov. 22: Susan Strong,

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Quilt Market

Yes! I went! All because of this little beauty:

Quilt market was exhilarating, exciting and exhausting. And I only had a tiny role in the whole thing. I can't imagine what it was like for the vendors.

Here's a few pictures. Stay tuned for more about the book, an upcoming blog tour and GIVEAWAY!

Here's my quilt from the book. I named it Happy Camper. It's made with S'more Love by Cosmo Cricket ~ a fun, quirky camping themed fabric. Perfect for me!

Here's what my spread looks like in the book. Love the photography. The whole book is rich in color.

Here's me with John Kubiniec and Tammie Shaffer, two of my co-authors. More about these two later!

Our booth at Quilt Market! (Thanks Kansas City Star for making us look so good!)

The Modern Quilting display at the United Notions booth. Notice which book is prominently displayed!!

That's it for now. Stay tuned!
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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dog Walking: What Not to Wear

I'm an early riser. Usually by 5:30 or so. I'm also the first shift dog walker in our family. 6:30 AM is my designated dog walking time. I really don't mind it. But lately, it's a little dark. My lovely sunrises of the summer have given way to blackness. And it's because of this blackness that I decided to try a little something different yesterday. I decided, because it's so dark, that there's really no point in changing out of my jammies into something more respectable, like, say, yoga pants or sweats. It's not like I see anyone on these morning walks. In fact, it's been weeks since we've seen anyone. And I know you can see where this is heading.

We start our walk, and immediately run into my friend's husband, and their dog Sammy. Sammy and Chase have a nice little romp, I make small talk with the husband, and I just know he's thinking, sheesh, couldn't bother to get dressed this morning? We finish up with them, and then I see another neighbor walking her dog. Don't they know that this is MY time? Hi, good morning and I know she's silently judging me and thinking nice jammies.  And I'm thinking, well, it's not like I'm in Target or anything. I'm walking my dog, here.

And here we are this morning.
Dare I risk it again?
Sure, why not.
We start out, and immediately Chase is charging at something. Of course, it's still pitch black, so I can't see what's got him agitated. And then it comes into view. A red fox, about 20 feet away. And all I can think is oh, great, I'm going to get bit by a rapid fox and have to go to the hospital in my jammies. Awesome. Thankfully, Chase, my protector,  barked the fox away.

Tomorrow, it's back to yoga pants.

good dog

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Living that iphone life

About a month ago I finally said goodbye to my Barbie doll cell phone and got an iphone. Not a tricked out 5s or anything crazy like that. Just a simple old 4 (with my 99 cent upgrade!) It's taken me a while, but I'm slowly finding my way around. Most recently, I've found Instagram! Oh, my what a time suck fun diversion. I'm mostly following quilts. And cats. Clearly, I need to branch out. So, what are your favorite things to follow in Instagram? Oh, and if you feel like it, you can follow me (click on that little red button on the right ~ I promise I'll follow you right back!)

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Swoon Top Finished!

I started this quilt over a year ago. No problem. Piece of cake. It's only nine blocks, right? I'll have it finished in no time.

Or, a year.

Anyway, I'm really happy with it. I used a Amy Butler Soul Blossoms and Moda cross weaves for the centers. Now, off to the quilter. (I sent my quilt for the book to a long arm quilter, and got spoiled! With a quilt this large, no way I'm going to tackle it myself.) As for quilting, any ideas? Maybe I should ask Karen. I think she's made 5 of these!

This quilt has always been for Katie. At first for her (July) birthday. Christmas present? Speaking of Christmas, I think this would make an awesome Christmas quilt. I'm hoarding a stack of Blitzen fat quarters. For Christmas 2014, of course.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Tale of Two Cabins, Final Chapter

You may have read this post, about two log cabins that I just wasn't feeling.

As I suspected, I just need to keep going. And I'm feeling them now!

For the vintage sheet quilt, when I put all the blocks together, it just looked like a whole lot of mush. Pretty, vintage mush, but mush all the same. I tried the gray sashing but it wasn't doing it for me. So I pawed through my stash and found the pink heart herringbone from BasicGrey. Perfect! I find sashing to be so tedious, (and don’t even mention corner stones)but I really didn’t mind with this quilt. It really perked things up and I love the final quilt. I’m so happy that a sweet little girl will cuddle up in it very soon.

For my modern log improv, I just kept plugging along, making more blocks. The more I made, the better I liked it. For someone like me who doesn't do a lot of improv, I think I could actually see my improv improve (my spell check is going crazy over that last phrase!) Whenever  I would see improv quilting classes I would think, “how do you teach improv?” but I do think there is a method to it. Or at least, for me, I found what I liked and didn't like. Another thing I liked about this quilt was the restricted color palette, and the fact that they were all scraps from other projects. I will definitely revisit the grey/red/black/neutral scheme again.  And in the end, I don’t think it’s too modern for a little boy. I think it will be just right for a very cool little dude.

All told, the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild made 21 log cabin quilts for the kids of the South East Early Head Start program! The quilts will hang in the gallery of the Kennedy Kreiger Family Center before going to their permanent home in the arms of the babies and toddlers of the center. Way to go, guild!

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Um, I'm in a Book!

Not much blogging these days. I wish I had a great excuse: on safari, building schools for underprivileged children, working on my novel.  Alas, I just run out of time.

“Ah” they say, “if it was important to you, you’d make time for it.” So, here’s me, making time for it!

And I actually have something very exciting to share! Way back in the spring, I was invited to participate in a new venture by the Kansas City Star people. It’s their new modern quilt offshoot, My Stars. I’m one of ten quilters who will have projects featured in their first book, Classic Modern Quilts! I’m so excited about this, and in such awesome company. Just look at the other quilters (oh, and look, my name is right there with them!)

The whole process was a bit surreal: designing a quilt, actually turning a sketch into a real life quilt, writing a pattern ~ all with the requisite deadlines.  My editor, Jenifer Dick, is great to work with and an awesome guide for a newbie like me. (I giggle every time I say “my editor”!) She kept me on track and provided endless encouragement.

The book is due out in time for Quilt Market.  Oh, yeah, and I’m going to quilt market! I can’t believe it. Another thing to cross off the Quilting Bucket List (which is so long, it needs its own bucket list!) Going to room with my friend Tammie, who got me involved in the project to start with.

So, here’s the My Stars Blog. Here’s my interview on theblog. And here’s a picture from the photo shoot from the book. See that quilt on top? That’s mine!

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Tale of Two Cabins

Log Cabins, that is.

Our next challenge in the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild is Modern Log Cabins. The challenge is to make one, or a few, that will ultimately be donated to the South East Early Head Start Program (SEEHS.) We've done a few projects for the center, and always like to supply them with quilts (each child in the program gets a quilt and a book, so they can create their own cozy reading corner at home.) 

So, for Cabins #1, I asked my gals in Bee Vintage to make me wonky log cabins (out of vintage sheets, natch.)

I'm not so sure yet. I think they're kind of looking a little washed out. Although on my monitor, they look better. But I also perked them up in Photoshop, which I can't do in real life. I threw the grey in there to see if I like it better with a little sashing. Again, not so sure. And, I don't really love sewing sashing.

Anyway, for Cabin #2, I pulled out my solids scrap bin, and took out the reds, blues, whites, creams and greys. Oh, and black, too.

Here's what I have so far. And I really like it. But, is it too, I don't know, too mature maybe for infant to three year olds?

I think I need to keep working on both.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Fabric Dying with Malka

Yesterday my guild (Baltimore Modern) hosted world renowned quilter, fabric designer, author and all around super fun gal, Malka Dubrawsky. Despite the heat, we all (25 of us!) had a great time patterning and dying fabric to make our own unique batiks. Malka is funny, warm and generous, and you immediately feel like you've made a good friend when you talk to her. We chatted about our kids, our cities and Instagram (which I don't know a whole lot about because I have a Barbie Doll cell phone, but I think I totally need to get on this I Phone bandwagon and start Insta graming my life.) Here is Malka's link on Instagram. She made some videos, including me doing our super cool secret handshake (which, I'm a little miffed at myself, because I screwed up the snail part ~ it's supposed to be your first and second fingers ~ well, you'll figure it out.)

Here are a bunch of photos from our day:

show and tell

A pillow top using some of her upcoming fabrics

Pretties in the garden and The Painting workshop

Okay, here are some shots of Malka and me. I had to post them both, because in the first one, she looks totally bored and not at all excited to be standing next to me, which is not true, because she told me so (well, she didn't exactly tell me so, but I could tell she was excited and not bored.)

In this one we were supposed to do silly faces, but she looks cute and I just look stupid, so please try to morph the two photos in your mind (and if I were better at Photoshop I'd do it for you) and have one pleasing image.

Thanks, Malka, for a great day!