Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Summer's End

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Wednesday again already? My girls have two weeks left of summer vacation, and it is flying by, you guys. Here's where I'm at on some of my projects:

My upcoming Christmas pattern is coming right along! It's a Nordic-inspired design that I'm tentatively calling "Christmas Sweater." : )

Can't wait to get this baby together.

And of course, my new sewing space is my other big project! We added french doors to the doorway, the lights are installed, and they finished the drywall work earlier today—which means I get to paint, paint, paint this week. And how much do you love my aqua light fixtures? I got my craftiness on and spray-painted some cheapie white fixtures.

What are you working on this week? Here's how to link up:
1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the Instagram icon at the bottom of the link-up screen, and use the URL of your IG feed as the link (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/freshlypieced). Please hashtag #wipwednesday and mention me, @freshlypieced
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!


Monday, August 18, 2014

Fat Quarter Style - and a giveaway!

Welcome to my stop on the Fat Quarter Style book tour! Fat Quarter Style from the Fat Quarter Shop features 12 fun patterns that are quick to whip up and perfect for pre-cuts.


Fat Quarter Shop asked me to make the block from the cover quilt, Sparklettes.


I'm a fan of star blocks in any form, so this block was perfect for me. The instructions in the book were so simple, clear, and well-illustrated.

And once I made one block, well, I guess I just couldn't stop! It only took me an afternoon to make enough blocks for this crib-size quilt top. (The background is one of my recent Kona Solid faves, Aloe.)

Want your own copy of Fat Quarter Style? You can buy it right here. You can also comment on this post for a chance to win a copy, since the Fat Quarter Shop was nice enough to give me a copy to give away. I'll draw a winner on Monday, August 25.

And don't forget to visit the other stops on the Fat Quarter Style book tour—some still have open giveaways of their own!

Fat Quarter Style Book Tour

August 4 - Paula of The Sassy Quilter
August 6 - Kelly of My Quilt Infatuation
August 8 - Karin of Leigh Laurel Studios 
August 11  - Caroline of Sew Can She 
August 13 - Jana of Jana Machado
August 15 - Amy of Stitchery Dickory Dock 
August 18 - Lee of Freshly Pieced (you are here!)
August 20  - Holly of Bijou Lovely 
August 22 - Ashley of Film in The Fridge 
August 25 - Erin of Why Not Sew? 
August 27 - Kristyne of Pretty By HandAugust 29 - Amy of Diary of A Quilter

Thursday, August 14, 2014

New Sewing Digs

See this mess? This is my "formal living room."

Like many suburban homes built in the 1960s, my house has both a family room and this delightful "formal living room." But like most families of today, we have never used our living room as such. The family room is where we seem to do the majority of our living. So for the last eight years, this room has functioned very nicely as the chaotic playroom you see above.

So we currently have the playroom in the living room, my husband's home office in the basement, and my sewing studio in the extra bedroom upstairs. But the truth is, none of those spaces are ideal for us anymore. I mostly sew in the family room and cut fabric in the dining room. My husband hates going down to the dingy basement to work. And as my kids get older and have friends over more frequently, they are starting to want a hang-out space that is a bit more separate from the adults'. The adults would probably like that too. : )

Then it hit me: A simple shuffling of rooms would make our house work so much better for all of us. The girls' playspace can go down to the basement (because they don't care about dingy, at least for now), the husband's office moves to the extra bedroom, and ... drumroll please ... the mother of all sewing studios is born in the living room. No more sewing machine in the family room, cutting mat in the dining room, and fabric stored upstairs. Cue angels singing.

But this will be more than just my fun dream space. My family has dealt with a lot of change in the last year, and there are major changes looming in the weeks ahead as well. My husband is switching jobs after nearly 10 years at the same firm. My youngest is headed to school full-time in September. And I have slowly but surely been evolving this quilting thing from a hobby/obsession into my actual job. Part of that is having a legit work space.

So after months of borderline-obsessive planning and searching the internet for just the right shelving and such, we are finally making it happen. We've already cleared out the room, and today an electrician comes to install some better lighting. I'll also be painting. A lot. Oh, and I have to go to Ikea. (No small feat since my nearest Ikea is two hours away). But eventually I'll have my dream space. And of course I'll be posting about my progress, both here and on Instagram. Can. Not. Wait!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

WIP Wednesday: On Solids

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Well, hello there! I've missed you all! Between my vacation and my usual guest host at the beginning of the month, it's been almost a month since I wrote a blog post. While I had a wonderful trip, it's great being back in the swing of things again. And I have So. Much. To report.

First, the trip. It was awesome and amazing and I hardly ever thought about sewing. That's just how awesome and amazing it was. : ) We went to Germany, Switzerland, and Venice. We hiked and explored and ate a lot and drank good beer. I've got a few photos below—you can see plenty more on my Instagram feed if you're so inclined. (The one on the mountaintop was taken at the Schilthorn in Switzerland—and yes, I promise they were perfectly safe!)



Now that I'm back, I've got about 50 projects on my radar. And one of them uses this breathtaking collection right here.
I'm participating in a fun little challenge with a handful of other bloggers—including one of my co-authors!—to put a modern twist on traditional, using these stunning Denyse Schmidt Modern Solids by Free Spirit and Coats and Clark thread. I'm still mulling over my design, but I'm thinking the smack talk should start right about ... now. So, hey, fellow bloggers: Bring it. We'll see who's got the mod trad chops, won't we? : ) You can follow all of our progress by searching the hashtag #modernsolidschallenge.

By the way, all you readers will eventually get to vote on which blogger's quilt you like best. And I've got a Denyse Schmidt giveaway coming up. Just sayin'. LOL.

I've also got this pile on my cutting table right now. It doesn't look like much at the moment, but it will hopefully become a Christmas quilt—and a Christmas pattern!—very soon. And yep, more solids. It's a theme, at the moment.

This WIP Wednesday is being brought to you by Westwood Acres, which I hope you are all familiar with by now, since it's one of the best modern fabric shops on the interwebs. Westwood Acres owner Amanda once told me she's a bundling expert, and it's very true, they have some bomb bundles over there. : )

A whole bundle of Architextures crosshatches? Yes, please! And one of these Avante Garden Dots bundles may have fallen into my cart just now too. Yum. (One of the hazards of my job—impulse purchases while checking out sponsor's websites.)

What are you working on? Here's how to link up:
1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the Instagram icon at the bottom of the link-up screen, and use the URL of your IG feed as the link (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/freshlypieced). Please hashtag #wipwednesday and mention me, @freshlypieced
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!


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Disclosures

In addition to my paid sponsors, I sometimes accept free fabric, notions, or tools in exchange for posting about it on this blog or my other social media platforms. But I pledge that this practice will never change one of my product reviews or lead me to use fabric or other items that are not "my style."

I also am an Amazon Affiliate and receive compensation for items ordered via my Amazon links.

Copyright and Permissions FAQ

Can I make a quilt that looks just like one of yours? Of course! You don't need my permission for that. But remember, it's polite (and helpful to others) to credit your source of inspiration.

Can I share one of your photos on my blog or website? Probably! But please contact me for permission first. Use of my photos for commercial purposes is prohibited.

Can I pin your photos to Pinterest? Yes, please do! I love Pinterest!

Can I sell individual items made from your tutorials or patterns? Yes! But please don't open a factory and start churning out hundreds of them. : ) And please do not reproduce or sell the patterns or tutorials themselves. Thank you!