Feeling Patriotic

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

 The 24th of July is considered a state holiday here in Utah.  

It commemorates the entry of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon Pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley in 1847 where the Latter-Day Saints settled after being forced from Nauvoo, IL.  It's a wonderful place to live and I'm thankful for the great sacrifice those people made so that we can exercise our religious beliefs freely today.

Needless to say, this day has got me feelin' a little patriotic.

Which reminded me that I never showed you my finished Americana 
wall hanging that I first mentioned HERE

In the little quilt group I belong to, we each made and traded several red and beige half square triangles.  We were then suppose to put them together however we wished.  I decided to go the patriotic route and make a wall hanging for my entry way.  

I made a few more HST's on my own, trimmed them all down to 3" using THIS tutorial, sewed them together in rows and then added the blue section up top with the appliqued star.

I quilted it myself (I'm a total beginner so don't look too close).

The blue polka dot, backing/star print and blue check binding fabric were all from my stash.

Framed USA Fabric Art tutorial can be found HERE.
Wooden Flag Blocks tutorial can be found HERE.  
(There are several on the Internet but this one is the closest to what we used).

*I also had an apothecary jar filled with taffy on the right side of my table but my littles kept getting into it and one day dropped the lid.  Fun times :(

Anyways, I hope you all have a wonderful 24th of July, 
no matter what little corner of the world you're in today! 

Happy quilting!
~ Amber 

This and That

Friday, July 19, 2013

 Well.  It's been a birthday week for this little girl. 

Needless to say, it's been a busy one.
We spent some time with her and 6 little cuties at a local water park.

Does this give you an indication of the spunky little girl we're raising?

 I'm not sure where she gets it from...

Anyways.  That night we enjoyed this three layer Vanilla Bean Cake with Sprinkles made by yours truly.  And, it was quite delicious if I do say so myself!  I first spied a picture of it on Pinterest (of course it was much prettier than mine.  But I tried).  I love the fact that I put one of my "pins" to good use though!  Do you use your pins?

* I'm also loving the new Rhonna Farrer iphone photo editing app if you can't tell.  I'm having a ball with it on Instagram right now (like I need one more thing sucking me in)!  I'd love to be friends with you on Instagram!  Look me up!  My username is gigisthimble.

Through all the birthday festivities I did manage to make another Farmer's Wife Block.  I know.  It's a miracle. 
Here she is, #78 Shooting Star:

It's not perfect but I had fun.  It's been so long since I've worked on my Farmer's Wife Blocks.  I'm trying to get back to them!  Slowly but surely I will get this thing done! 

Shooting Star was paper pieced.  
(And for those of you who have been trying to get into the Yahoo group that supplies the paper piecing patterns for all the blocks ~ I am sorry if you haven't gotten a response!  I've tried contacting the group administrator too and haven't heard back.  Not sure what's going on there.  All I can say is keep on trying I guess.)

I've also taken a cue from Camille (who suggested cutting quilt leftovers into 2 1/2" strips for a scrappy binding roll).  I'll piece the Scrumptious strips together when I get a minute.  I might possibly use them to bind this soon to be baby quilt: 

[HST's = 6-1/2" unfinished]

I also got a fun surprise package in the mail the other day.  Those ladies at Moda sure know how to make a girl happy!

L to R: Sweet Serenade by Basic Grey, Wrens and Friends by Gina Martin and  Family Tree by Deb Strain.  I can't wait to play with them!

I hope you've had a fun and productive week too.
Happy weekend!

~ Amber

Blocks for Bella

Sunday, July 14, 2013

This quilt symbolizes love, friendship and hope.

It's going to the home of a dear friend of mine whom I've known since Junior High.  She just found out that her 3-year old daughter has stage 2 Burkitts Lymphoma.  Recovery looks promising for her daughter, Bella, but we wanted to send something warm and comforting for her to wrap up in during her chemo treatments.

When I say "we" I am referring to some of my best friends from high school.  They had the idea that we make her something warm and I knew this pattern would be the perfect one.  It's adapted from a cute pattern by LizzieB Cre8ive called Listen to Your Heart

Now.  I grew up in Washington State.  So they all live there and I live here in Utah.  Most of them do not sew nor do they own a sewing machine.  But through email, a few phone calls, and lots of texts they were able to make some beautiful blocks for Bella and send them my way.

I made several simple ones, like this:

But they all really went to town and embellished with flowers, lace, 

rick rack, ribbons and buttons.  Their blocks were beautiful!

It didn't take long to put all the blocks together and 
then I took it to my quilty friend Jen Ostler, who quilted it the day I dropped it off to her!  She gets the award for faster turnaround ever!  

Jen is my quilter who I go to if I need something free handed. I needed someone who could quilt around buttons and rick rack.  She did a beautiful job.  And, as an extra, fun little bonus, she always hides an unexpected object for the recipient to find.  Do you see it?  

I'm sure Bella will love hunting for her butterfly!

I have to thank Jen (again) because when I went to pick it up that night she told me that there would be no charge.  I really wanted to pay her but she insisted.  So with the money we would have spent on quilting we'll be getting Bella some pj's and/or a stuffed animal.  

I have really loved being a part of this special project.  It's been so fun to reconnect with old friends and pull together in honor of Bella (and her mother ~ our dear friend, Kym).  We hope and pray for their family and hope this quilt will symbolize our love and concern for them.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Happy quilting!
~ Amber

In the midst of

Saturday, July 6, 2013

fireworks, Major League Soccer games, homemade ice-cream 
(chocolate with golden Oreos - my fave :) 
and Monster's University

I've managed to squeeze in lots of sewing time.  I've had a few projects that all needed to be done, like yesterday, so I was sewing every spare minute I could find this past week.

I've slowly been working on a little apple wall hanging using Lori Holt's apple pattern from her Bee in my Bonnet Row Along.  It's going to be back to school time before we know it and I thought it would be a fun display for the quilt shop I work at.

Yesterday I finished up two quilt tops.  One was this heart quilt.  It's a really special project ~ one that I'm glad I can be a part of.  Several friends of mine (from high school) sent me some heart blocks to compile together for my friends 3 year old daughter who just found out she has stage 2 Burkitts Lymphoma.  It's our way to show our friend and her daughter that we're thinking of them and hopefully this little girl can use her quilt to wrap up in during her chemo treatments.  I'll show more pictures when it's all finished.  

The other quilt I finished and dropped off to my quilter was this Spin Cycle pattern (designed by Allison of Cluck, Cluck, Sew).  My daughter is turning 8 and will be baptized in a few weeks.  I wanted to give this quilt to her as a gift.  She doesn't know I've made it yet, but she picked out this pattern about a year ago when I was checking out at a quilt shop (I was secretly thrilled that she found this pattern all by herself and that it was one that I loved too!)  

She collected all the fabrics from different quilt shops over the last few years.  Picking out one fat quarter each time was a fun tradition.  I finally had to start cutting her off though.  Apparently we go to a lot of quilt shops (especially since I work at one).

I can't keep staring at this picture of her.

It's a special time in her life.  She's growing up so fast and I'm so thankful for her.  Sometimes it feels like she's already sixteen.  She's a little diva, a major smartie pants and has a good heart.  She's a daddy's girl, idolizes her big brother, loves her dog and is a social butterfly.  I love this girl.  She's beautiful inside and out.

Now, if we can just get through the next few weeks 
I'll be able to breath again.

July checklist:
M's Baptism announcements/invitations mailed: check
Baptism quilt: almost done
Birthday party: still working on that
Getting M's ears pierced: can't she wait a few years???

What happened to the lazy days of summer?
How are they for you?  Lazy or Cray Cray?
Hopefully you're enjoying them.
~ Amber

Framed USA Fabric Art Tutorial

Monday, July 1, 2013

 I always seem to be lacking a few details in my holiday decor so I was excited to make up this USA Fabric Art project quickly, using supplies I had on hand!  It was such a piece of cake to make that I whipped up two more to give as gifts ~ within a matter of minutes!  So if you're all about quick crafts (like me) then this tutorial is for you!

 So here's what you'll need if you want to make
some framed USA fabric art too:

(1) 8" x 10" frame
Heat 'n Bond lite
7" x 9" piece of navy fabric
10" x 12" piece of beige fabric
 ball point pen
iron and ironing board
PDF printout of the USA (click HERE)

Note: Because the process of using Heat 'n Bond reverses whatever image you begin with, I have created a PDF file of the USA that is reversed so that it will end up facing the right direction when you're done.

 1. Using a ball point pen, trace the reversed image of the USA onto the paper side of Heat 'n Bond.

2.  Roughly cut around the USA.

3.  Iron the USA to the wrong side of the navy fabric (paper side up!) 

4.  Cut out the USA on the lines.

5.  Trim your beige background fabric to 8" x 10".

 6.  Carefully peel off the paper from the USA 
(make sure the sticky side of the Heat 'n Bond 
stays on the wrong side of the USA).

7.  Center the USA onto the 8" x 10" beige rectangle.

 8.  Frame it and you're done!
See?  I told you it was a quick project!
Super simple and super cute.  And, if you want to personalize it a little bit, you could even add a red heart to where your state sits. I think that would add the perfect pop of color!
Happy Fourth!