Calling All Sew Inspiring Rooms!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hello.  How are ya?

Did you notice there is no "Sew Inspiring Rooms" feature today? 

Kinda sad, I know.  I had a guest blogger lined up for today but unfortunately they had to cancel (last minute) and I didn't think I had enough time to find a replacement.  So I apologize.  It's a busy time of life.  I think we're just going to take a break for a week or two but we'll have some fun guests later on this month! 

In the meantime, if you, yourself, would like to share a fabulous photo or two from your Sew Inspiring Room ~ feel free to send me a picture!  I'll post your picture and give a shout out to you/your blog.  Or maybe even have you do your very own post.  Sew Inspiring Rooms can be big or small, fancy or simple.  Please send photos to me at adctd2qultng@gmail.com


As for me and my house ~ 
I finished up this quilt and am almost done with the instructions.  Like I said before, this is just a simple, patchworky, charm - friendly quilt. 
Pattern coming soon. 
Needing a name for it though...any ideas?


There could be a free pattern in it for you if I pick your idea?!?

Bribery :) 
Does it work?

Jumping on the Bandwagon

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I've succumbed!!!

At work we decided to form a Farmer's Wife club (which will be starting in March for anyone around Highland, Utah who wants to join in the fun!) 


Yesterday, I finalized my color scheme.  I bought 8 of these fabrics and pulled the rest from my stash/scrap jars.  I'm sure I'll have to pick up some more fabrics along the way though.  Especially some lights and darks (as you can see I've got lots of mediums).  My first inclination is to sash the whole thing in white with red posts but we'll see.


A red and white quilt has been on my quilting "bucket list" for a while now, so I decided to go this route for the FW club.  Although,  I do have another pattern that I've been planning to do in red and white, as well, so I may just end up with two.  Which makes me happy.


I can already tell that when doing a two color quilt you have to have lots of contrast.  I think this will be a great lesson in color value for me.  Which, I think will add another level of difficulty to this quilt.



Last night I made my first 5 blocks.  These little 6" cuties were fun to make and came together quite quickly.  In the club, we are starting with the most basic blocks and moving up to the more difficult ones.



#4 Basket Weave


#68 Postage Stamp


#2 Autumn Tints


#73 Rainbow Flowers


#48 Homeward Bound

I'm getting a little nervous for some of the more difficult ones, but I am happy anticipating how much I will grow as a quilter. 

If you live around here and you're interested in joining the Farmer's Wife fun (and having a local support group :) then call Just Sew at 801-492-7929.  The cost of joining is $40, which covers the cost of the book, monthly block demonstrations, a show and tell party at the end of the year and the chance at winning a great (I mean GREAT) prize!

So am I the last Farmer's Wife quilter out there?

Happy Quilting!
~ Amber 


Sew Inspiring Rooms {Sweetwater}

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Welcome to:
(which once was "Tuesday Tips".  See yesterday's post.)

Man, I feel pretty darn lucky today because Susan from Sweetwater is here to share a sneak peak into her creative space.  She shares the space with her mom and sister, where [together] they design fabric and quilt patterns for Moda.  They also create all sorts of labels, home decor and much, much more.  I don't know if you will ever see a more beautiful, clean and organized design studio than theirs!  I met these ladies at Spring Quilt Market and they were all so sweet but can I say that Susan won the award for the friendliest designer.  She is so sweet and every time I saw her at Market she was smiling!  Thank you SO much Susan for sharing your space with us!

***

Hello! We were honored to be asked by Amber to be a guest blogger for her. We were fortunate enough to have a booth close to her at the last Spring Quilt Market. Her booth was absolutely adorable and we would have loved to take some of her quilts home with us and keep them for ourselves! She asked me to talk about ORGANIZATION. Well, if you would look at my desk as I am typing this you would say, "This girl needs to take a class on organization herself!" I would totally agree but when it is all neat and tidy it is nice and since it is my mess I usually (not always) know where everything is. In a perfect world (not just on picture day) our studio would always look like this:


We started our business in a storage room just outside of my parents house. The three of us all worked in there along with our kids and it tended to get a little chaotic and crowded. We were fortunate enough to be able to add a studio onto our "storage room". We now each have our own workspace and are no longer tripping over each other (just toy tractors every once in a while).


It is nice still to have us all in the same room. We do all of the designing together so it is nice to be able to bouce ideas off of each other and get immediate feedback. Our studio functions as a place to design and create!


We have multiple stations in our studio which works great since we always have multiple projects going on at the same time. Our three main areas are: a long counter that works as a cutting table and project center; a computer center where all of the designing, order processing, and printing take place; and a corner "rest area" to you know just kick back read a magazine and relax. What were we thinking??? I renamed this corner the dust collecting corner because it never gets used!


We feel right at home in our rural setting. We are able to decorate our studio with items we have designed - quilts, subway art, and our own photography.


Since we are continually producing new items, we are able to redecorate several times a year. We have fun finding storage items at antique stores and garage sales. We use old tin boxes while creating our charms, long wire baskets to store ribbon, and an old wooden shelf for paper storage.


We feel very blessed to be able to share our creativity with our customers and are equally blessed to be able to work together as a family!

***

Thanks so much Susan for sew much inspiration today. 
It was dreamy looking around your studio!

Please feel free to leave Susan some comment love below.

A Winner & A Few Items of Note

Monday, January 23, 2012

Well, last week was an exciting week.  We had our 350th post and exceeded the 1000 follower mark here at A Little Bit Biased!  Fun milestones :)  Thank you all for following along and letting me share my quilting journey with you!  I love blogging and I try to keep this a fun place for you to spend your time.  I always appreciate your comments and friendship.  Thanks to many of you for participating in my scrappy giveaway!  I was planning on giving away a flat rate envelope full of scraps but once I started filling it I quickly realized that it wasn't going to cut it!  So I grabbed this medium flat rate priority mail box instead and filled it to the brim with tons of scraps and possibly a few patterns :)  And, it's dying to go to the home of...


Jackie, who said,
"Love this block! Thank you for the tutorial..."

Jackie, you can thank Random Number Generator for picking #36, but I would like to thank YOU for being a long time follower and for all your sweet comments over the years.  I hope you'll enjoy this box of goodies!  Please email your snail mail address to me at adctd2qultng@gmail.com so I can send this baby your way!

One other item of business is regarding the Tuesday Tips series.
I've been thinking about it for a while and I've decided that I'm just not happy with the name.  It doesn't clarify what the series is about. 
Yes, the series is held on Tuesdays and yes,
there are some tips about how to organize your creative space,
but the title and button needed to say more than that.
So, I've decided to make a new button and a new name for this series.
 
So what do you think of this new name/button?  Better?

Feel free to put the button on your own blogs to help spread the word about this fun series.

And be sure to come back in the morning because Susan {from Sweetwater} is giving us a tour of their design studio.  I'm so excited.  It's beautiful.  You won't want to miss it!

Scrap Jar Stars ~ Tutoroial & Giveaway!

Monday, January 16, 2012

 I L♥VE scrappy quilts! 
I love the idea of making something beautiful and original out of seemingly nothing.  I love the idea of making something useful with little or no cost. 
I love that sense of nostalgia I get when I see an old, worn, hand-quilted quilt, that was pieced together with scraps saved over the course of many years.  Scrap quilts are charming to say the least!  That's why I had so much fun making these little cuties a few weeks ago.  I called them my Scrap Jar Stars.


Shortly after posting this photo, my friend Jodi {from Pleasant Home} emailed me and said those stars were just the thing she was looking for to round out her 2012 Sew Scraps Along!  She's a girl after my own ♥ and I love that she's dedicating the whole month to sewing with scraps, including lots of great tutorials and giveaways!  Head on over to Pleasant Home for all the fun details!


Jodi asked me if I'd post a tutorial of my Scrap Jar Stars and maybe give away a few scraps as part of the fun.  I was flattered as could be that she asked and happy to do a giveaway.  Hopefully, one gals scraps will be another quilters treasure!

So here we are.  A little tutorial just for you! 


As part of the Sew Scraps Along, I decided to make up another colorway of my Scrap Jar Stars.  I pulled out my reds, navys, blues and aquas from my scrap jars.  I'm loving these colors against the white.  A happy and fresh combo if you ask me.  Of course, there's a million different possibilities, so pull out some of your favorite scraps and let's get started!


Cutting
(per block)

(12) 2" bright squares
(12) 2" white squares
(4) 2" x 3-1/2" white rectangles
(4) 4-1/4" white squares*
(4) 4-1/4" bright squares*

* Note: Cut more than 4 for more variety!


I like to make one block first and then when I know what I'm doing I use an assembly line for the rest. So you might like to multiply the cutting requirements (above) by however many blocks you are making. It seems to go quicker that way.


Assembly

Make Star Points: 
You will need 8 Half-Square Triangle blocks for each star.  Each pair of bright/white 4-1/4" squares will make two HST blocks.  Make extra HST's for more variety in your star points :)

Step 1: On each of your bright colored 4-1/4" squares, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner.  Pair up each bright square with a white square with right sides together (RST).

Step 2: Use a 1/4" seam allowance to sew along both sides of the line.

Step 3: Cut on the line to form two HST's.

Step 4: Press the seams towards the dark side.


Step 5: Use a ruler to trim the HST blocks to 3-1/2" square.  By starting out a little big and trimming down to 3-1/2" square your star points will be more exact.  I like to use my small 6-1/2" square ruler to do this step.  Set the HST's aside. 

Make 16-Patch:
Lay out sixteen 2" squares next to your sewing machine (alternating 8 white with 8 bright).  Use a 1/4" seam allowance to sew the squares together in rows. 


Press seams towards the bright fabrics.  Then, sew the rows together (butting up alternating seams against each other and pinning in place).  Press row seams in one direction.  Set aside.


Assemble Star Blocks:
First, lay out 2 HST blocks on each side of the 16-patch block to make the 8 star points.


Sew each set of HST's together with RST.  Press the seams open.



Sew two of the sets of HST's to opposite sides of the 16-patch.  Press seams towards the 16-patch.


Before sewing the other sets of HST on, you will need to make the corner blocks.  I like to sew them together at this point (instead of earlier) so that I can make sure the bright corner fabric is not the same as the two star points on either side of it.  So lay out the desired 2" bright colored squares in what will be each of the outer corners of the star block.  Then lay out a 2" white square next to it (on the inside) and a 3-1/2" rectangle above or below them (depending on which side of the 16-patch unit you will be sewing it on to).

Make the corner blocks by first sewing a bright 2" square to a white 2" square with RST.  Press seam towards the bright square.  Then sew that unit to a 3-1/2" white rectangle and press seams towards the white rectangle.



Sew a corner block to each side of a set of HST's, making sure to keep the bright square in the outer corner (see photograph below). 


Sew two of these units to the sides of the 16-patch unit to complete the Scrap Jar Star.


This unit should measure 12-1/2" unfinished.

I made four blocks and sashed them with (4) 2" x 12-1/2" white strips and (1) 2" bright colored square in the middle.  I'm still deciding whether to make a table topper or a throw size quilt.  Any thoughts???


So there you go!  I hope you liked this tutorial
(and I hope it all made sense ~ my brain is fried right now :)
They're really fun to make and if you haven't been there already,
go to Pleasant Home to see Jodi's "camping" colorway! 

Speaking of Jodi, ever since she contacted me about her Sew Scraps Along, I have been looking forward to emptying out my scrap jars for a giveaway.  It's a new year and time for a fresh start!  If you'd like to enter to win some of mine, please leave a fun comment below.

* THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED *
Here are the details:

Giveaway will end on Saturday, January 21st at midnight.
Leave one comment below for one entry.
For a second entry, leave another comment telling me that you're a follower.
I will announce a winner on Monday.

Happy Sewing!
Amber

Hop For Your ♥

Friday, January 13, 2012


I was really excited when I got an email from Leah at Burgundy Buttons (the other day) asking if I would like to participate in the
Sew Red Blog Hop.  I jumped at the chance to help bring awareness to this important cause.


What is the hop about?

Well, it's about hopping!  And raising awareness about heart disease!

Each month, Sew Red for Women will feature an original quilt block designed especially for you by some of today's most inspiring designers and bloggers.  We will provide a special link to hop on over to the blogger and/or designer's site for details and instructions for completing the featured block. And you just might learn a thing or two about heart disease while you're there!

The hopping begins on February 3rd, which happens to be Wear Red Day!


Who's Participating? And when?

February 3 - Leah of Burgundy Buttons
March 3 - Fat Quarterly's Tacha of Hanies Quilts
April 3 - Katie of Swim, Bike, Quilt
May 3 - Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting
June 3 - Charlie of Qubee Quilts
July 3 - Jessica of Twin Fibers
August 3 - Melissa of The Polkadot Chair
September 3 - Amber of A Little Bit Biased
October 3 - Amy of Diary of a Quilter
November 3 - Amy of Amy's Creative Side
December 3 - Sherri of A Quilting Life
January 3 - Lynne of Lily's Quilts


What fabric are we using?
 While we do not yet have a final fabric supply list as the designer's are still creating their block, we will be using fabrics from Chemistry by Cosmo Cricket and coordinating Bella Solids.  Naturally you may use any fabric you like!

As the blocks are released, Burgundy Buttons will offer a block-specific fabric pack for purchase while supplies last.



Will there be a flickr group?

What fun is it if you can't show off?  Share pictures of your block and finished projects with the group at http://www.flickr.com/groups/sewredforwomen/

We are so excited to bring you this heart friendly hop and raise awareness about heart disease at the same time!  Please help us save lives by sharing information about this event on your blogsite, twitter and facebook!  Grab a button over from the right and add it to your side bar!

Together we can make a difference!

Ten Little Things

Thursday, January 12, 2012

 {I'm grateful for}
  1. A boy that wakes up every morning immediately talking in silly voices (at least he's happy, right?)
  2. A girl that calls down to me every night, asking me to come stay for her personal prayers.
  3. A politically informed guy that listens lovingly as I inarticulately try to describe Newt Gingrich's speech from the other night (which I liked).
  4. An unexpected offer from a mom & dad to offer to watch their grand-kids so their daughter and son-in-law can have a date night.
  5. Sparkly taupe nail polish that symbolizes sisterhood (and the memory of the fact that aqua nail polish makes my older sister "want to throw up").
  6. 5 lbs. lost
  7. Using Christmas money from in-laws to get a queen-sized quilt quilted (for .05 cents an inch!  Yay!!)
  8. The same politically informed guy calling me while I'm out shopping to tell me he is going to donate some cash to the "get new church clothes & shoes fund" when I didn't want to ask for anything more since he spoiled me for Christmas.
  9. A little girl that prays to make {more} girl friends, {better} girlfriends.
  10. 5 hours to myself to hit some local quilt shops/market patterns, look into "going back to school" and do some shoe shopping and if there's time, hopefully get some sewing in :)

If you want to share the little moments that inspire, beckon, excite or move you, you can link up to Cassie's "Little Things Series" HERE.

Tuesday Tips {Between The Lines}

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hello!  Hello!  Welcome to another installment of
Tuesday Tips
{for your creative space!}

I'm excited today because I have my dear sister {Cassie} here to share some organizational tips from her creative space!  She is a writer, a crafter, the most beautiful bookmark you've ever seen maker, an amazing mommy, a fabulous wife, a vintage finds huntress, a baker, a photographer and an all around amazing little sister.  She shares these talents (and others) on her blog,
A Serenade for Solitude.


Cassie also owns one crafty Etsy shop called, Between the Lines
where she sells all things that have to do with books and their lovers (bookmarks and home decor and such). 
Check out what makes this creative girl tick...

♥ ♥ ♥ 

It is so fun to be part of this series and share with you my creative space tips! 
What came to mind when Amber asked me to do a post for her series of Tuesday's Tips, and what I feel is key in one's creative space is:

There are a whole ton of things that inspire me--pictures, words, color and a sprinkling of rustic and vintage are a handful of things that make my heart happy, so I've done my best to incorporate aspects of these things into my studio space.

Inspirational words keep my purpose in mind.
I also have one of my favorite books by Sabrina Ward Harrison on display, that to me is the epitome of creativity in both writing and art.
I find it especially fun to decorate with items from my shop!
Pennant banners, chalkboards and chalk board erasers are
here on this armoire.


I also have an inspiration board to gather bits of inspiration for future projects
or to display pretty pictures.  You can see it below.  It still needs lots of love.


My husband helped me make this stand for my most recent craft show.
The antlers and whitewashed wood is just my style, and it is so fun
having pretty creations on display.  I'm a firm believer in enjoying what you create!  Do you display what you love in your space?

Organization:
I think it should be functional and display pretty, too.
I love to thrift. 
Using old trunks and vintage tool and tackle boxes is one of my favorite ways to store and display items craft items.

This rustic and industrial drawer system is one of my favorite thrift finds!
It has since been turned into my sewing caddy.


This rusty old toolbox is where I keep some of my order supplies.
One of my greatest investments as someone who works with beads and charms was this:

A sectioned tray to store my charms, pendants and beads.  Again, having it stored pretty makes such a difference when I'm trying to get inspired. 
However, once I get going, my table goes from tidy to this:

Thankfully, the mess is still beautiful. These vintage trays help me keep organized and focused on projects as well:


Since one of the main mediums I use in my work is ribbon, I have a slight obsession with ribbon shopping, and have come to love growing my collection.


Lastly, I definitely have a notepad nearby, always.
You never know when inspiration is going to meet you.


What inspires you and have you incorporated it into your space?

♥ ♥ ♥
You can visit Cassie
on her blog HERE
or check out her shop
HERE 
I hope you enjoyed Cassie's rendition of Tuesday Tips! 
Can't you relate (as quilters) to so much of what she said? 
Feel free to leave a comment below. 
We'd love to hear about what inspires you!