King Size WIP

The top of my Show Off quilt is finally finished – 90 blocks later!!




Yes, it is king size, and I still have the borders to add!!  There are supposed to be three of them, each 2 1/2″, and corner stones. However, when I decided to do this as a set, and I made this pattern for a single size quilt, I made one 6 1/2″ border, and skipped the cornerstones. I felt with the cornerstones, it looked too busy, and distracted from the fabrics. And I feel the same way with this one too.

This is a close-up, and the photo doesn’t do the fabrics justice. The focal fabric is floral Moda I bought years ago, and saved for a project, someday. I will take a better photo of it and post it, because it is stunning. (Tomorrow I start my digital photography class at our local community college).

I wish I had more of that floral, and did try to find some through my out-of-print sources, but even a Moda representative said, something like “Wow, that’s an old fabric, but a good one.”

So I am making two borders; one with a yellow and white fabric that picks up the center of those beautiful flowers. The outer border will finish up what’s left of the purple fabric used here.

Only one other king size quilt in the pipeline, and then I will be focusing on lap, single and double size quilts for a long time!!

I don’t know how many of you are following the World Cup. I am not a big sports fan. Somehow, I have gotten really caught up in it and am enjoying it. Let me know who you think will win, or if you are enjoying it and why.

Have a great week, and Happy Quilting!!  

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Interview with Etsy Shop Owner, Becca Babb-Brott of Sew Me a Song

I recently had a chance to interview Etsy Shop owner, Becca Babb-Brott, from Sew Me a Song. I found this very unique Etsy Shop through a recommendation from another quilt blogger. (Thank you Jess from Elven Garden). 

When I looked at the fabrics from this shop, I was very impressed by the their uniqueness in patterns and colors, and the wide variety offered. I look at a lot of fabric sites and visit a lot of brick and mortar stores, and had never seen some of these patterns or heard of some of the manufacturers.

Another feature I love about this shop is that Becca will custom make a bundle for you. I was looking for some very specific colors, combinations of colors and text prints. I requested two or three different bundles, and Becca nailed each of them. She sent me a photo of the bundles before I completed my purchase. She offers this service to all her customers. 

I’m sure this helps build a loyal clientele and “good word of mouth” which found me. Putting an extra service into her business like that made me feel like I could trust her, and that she cares that I’m satisfied. She really goes an extra mile too; if I didn’t like one of her fabric choices, she found me other options to replace it until I was satisfied. I really felt I built a solid working relationship with her.

A little personal information about the lovely and talented, Becca. She is married, and the mother of two young girls, Alison and Anya. They have a dog and two cats. Her family moved moved back to Maine about a year ago to live closer to family.

Like many of us who fell in love with quilting, Becca started with one four week class, to make one quilt. She’s been hooked for the last several years. Becca is also a life-long knitter.

Our Interview

1. Tell us about your Etsy Shop; How does it work? Why did you open an Etsy shop instead of an online fabric store? How long have you been running an Indie Shop? Tell me the story of how you began and wound up where you are today.

Answer:  I opened the first shop, Sew Fresh Fabrics, with my friend Peg, about 5 years ago. We ran our shop part time around other jobs and kids. Over time it grew, and we both left our part-time jobs to run Sew Fresh Fabrics full-time.

Then a job opportunity came up for my husband, which meant I would be single parenting for 2 years. We decided our younger daughter and I would move back to Maine on a temporary basis to be close to family, and see if we wanted to stay. That meant leaving Sew Fresh Fabrics, and so the next venture began. 

I really like text prints, modern japanese prints (Yuwa, Lecien etc.), as well ones that are a bit “quirky,” and are great for fussing cutting. Currently, this is what my shop focuses on, as well as offering some great basic fabrics too.
 

2. Why did you name your shop, Sew Me a Song?

Answer:  I am so not good at the name game, and I kept asking my family for help. Noning was forth coming, and I just kept stewing on it. At some point, the lyrics from the Beatles song “With a Little Help From my Friends” popped up – “I’ll sing you a song and I’ll try not to sing out of key.” I decided to switch, sing to sew, and I had a name – Sew Me A Song. (By the way, I absolutely can not sing)!!

3. Tell us about the fabric lines you carry?  Expand and describe
the Japanese lines, as well as other unusual lines for those who do not know a lot about them.

Answer:  I carry a lot of fabrics from Yuwa including Suzuko Koseki’s, Lecien, Daiwabo and Kokka. Most are quite modern, usually having some sort of text mixed in with the graphics. They are great for small patchwork and zakka style sewing. They also have some wonderful small scale florals and some fun retro prints.


4. What makes Sew Me a Song unique or different from other indie
shops and online fabric stores?


Answer:  I think what makes Sew Me a Song a bit different is that I really try to curate the assortment and bring in some prints that might not be carried elsewhere. I love so much more fabric than I carry, and still do a good amount of shopping at all the other fabulous stores and manufacturers out there. Of course there is some cross over, but for the most part I try to cherry pick what I feel is right for my shop.

5. Your shop seems to have a lot of vitality to it. What do you attribute that to?
  
Answer:  I am not really sure. Occasionally I think about leaving the Etsy platform and going to a dot-com. But for me, there is a sense of community created by Etsy, and I love the ease of conversation. It somehow feels less formal to send a “convo” than an email; almost like you are talking directly to the other person.

Informal Picture of Sew Me a Song

6. I have purchased custom orders from you, and you exceeded my expectations. This is a fabulous service. Tell us more about how you put
custom bundles and orders together?  How can future purchasers maximize
this opportunity when working with you?

Answer: I love putting together custom orders. If someone is looking for a particular color or theme etc., I can pull items from the shop, photograph them, and send them back to the customer. Then we can make additions and deletions. 

It’s not quite the same as being able to actually touch the fabric, but it’s not a bad second. Additionally, the one challenge with the Etsy template is that on multiple item purchases, the shipping really adds up as there is no way to prevent that. I always refund that excess upon shipment. With a custom listing I can set up accurate shipping charges.


7. What is the best thing about your job?

Answer:  Playing with fabric. Putting combinations together and figuring out custom orders. And when customers say,”OMG I love it.” It’s a good feeling of validation. They took a leap of faith with me.

8. What is the least favorite thing about your job?

Answer: Paperwork 🙂

9. Describe what kinds of fabric designs are your favorites?

Answer:  I love for them to have a quirkiness, or for the fabrics to be off the beaten path. Some of my other favorite designs include text driven fabrics, fussy cuts, polka dots, strips and some of the classics small florals, retro, vintage.

10. Do you have a project that you made or created that you are most proud of?

Becca’s Favorite Quilt She’s Made To Date

11. You mentioned that you went to Spring Market in Pittsburgh.  Tell us
about your experience.

Answer:  Market is always fun and exhausting at the same time. There is such a great energy and buzz, and it is so much fun to see what’s new! But it is also a work trip. And when I am there it means I am not manning the shop. I am away from my family so I try to squeeze as much as possible into a short amount of time. 

I write most of my orders, especially the Japanese imports, for the next 6 months while I am there, so I am usually completely overwhelmed by the end. However, it is quite amazing to be in a place where everyone loves fabric and sewing. Great company for sure.

12.   What are your thoughts about trends in the fabric market over the
next year or two?


Answer:  I guess for upcoming trends I see more of a blurring of the lines between modern and traditional. It is a shared love of fabric and sewing that binds us together.

Becca, thank you so much for taking the time to share with readers about your Etsy Shop and your career in sewing and the fabric market.

Becca is generously offering a give-a-way bundle of fabrics.  

In order to win this give-a-way, go to Sew Me a Song, and let us know what are some of your favorite bundles and fabrics. Please post your answer in my comments box below. And don’t forget to leave me your e-mail address so I can contact you. I will announce the winner on the morning of Friday, June 27.

Again, thank you Becca for a wonderful interview. 

One more thing – Please stop by the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. Thanks again to Beth of Plum and June. Click their button on my sidebar to meet many other great quilters and bloggers.

What I Decided to Do with My Squares That Weren’t Working

 
Thank you to everyone who weighed in on my last post. The blocks I made did not seem to work well together. So what did I end up doing?

I bought a bundle of fat quarters; 30’s Playtime Fat Quarter Bundle Chloe’s Closet for Moda. 

The value of the colors are the same as the squares I made that I really like. A good lesson learned about how values in color choices are so important.

During the next few weeks, I will be posting about;

  • Some cool fabric cutting tricks.
  • An interview with an Etsy Shop owner who sells great fabrics.
  • WIP’s about the fabric course correction using the 30’s fabric by Moda.
  • WIP’s on two other projects too.
  • A book review about a great new book about modern quilting. 
  • AND, an interview with a terrific Crafsy Teacher, Quilt Designer, and fabulous Book Author; a name we all know an love….stayed tuned!!

Happy Quilting!!

I Would Love Your Opinion On….

I am going to be writing a post about this subject in the next week or two. I would love your thoughts on this. Here is the scenario….

You are making a very large scrappy quilt. You lay out your quilt squares before sewing them together. You move the squares around to see if you could make the combinations more pleasing. Some of the values aren’t working for you. In fact some of the fabrics you used in this scrappy quilt, you don’t really like for this project.

This is a photo of the quilt squares laid out, but I don’t think you can really get a true sense how this just isn’t working quite right.  Maybe you can.


What would you do? Please let me know in the comments box below. I am really looking forward to reading your thoughts and ideas. Thank you.

Modern Quilt Guild Webinars

Several weeks ago, I participated in a webinar offered by The Modern Quilt Guild.

“Design Fundamentals of Modern Quilting,” was given by Heather Grant, and a few other participants who are quilters. I learned quite a lot about the history of Modern Quilting; what it is, and what it isn’t, in a loosely defined way. The most important feature of a modern quilt, is that it is meant to be used. Taking that a step further, a baby or pet can use it, and if the quilt needs to be cleaned it can go in the washer and dryer. 

My “Show Off” quilt could be considered modern, aesthetically, but “Honoring The Seasons” (second and third photos below), definitely is not.

Our cat sleeps on it. And I often use it when napping on the couch. It has been washed many times.




Although this quilt took me a long time to make, and it is large. The cats sleep and lounge on our bed a lot. This one has gone into the washer and dryer several times.

Heather offered many great resources; books, DVD’s, etc.. I have checked out several of them, and they are inspirational and have added to my perspective about “many things quilting.” I am not going to recap everything in the webinar in this post. I will devote a post on that topic in the next few weeks.

Today I want to let readers be aware of the great webinars offered by The Modern Quilt Guild, by becoming a member.  

Two weeks ago, I participated in another great webinar through MQG; “Awaken your Inner Color Genius.” Carrie Bloomston of SUCH Design was the speaker, and she offered new ways of looking at color from a painter’s perspective. Carrie earned her degree in painting and art. She also quilts and designs playful and colorful fabrics. Her new line is called Paint. http://suchitysuch.blogspot.com/
,
As a member of my local guild, Hudson Valley Modern Quilt Guild, http://www.hvmodernquiltguild.com, I can participate in these webinars, as well as utilize other opportunities they offer, such as a discount to attend Quilt Con 2015.

If you don’t have a local guild that you can join, you can become a Member of The Modern Quilt Guild for a nominal fee. That is what I did before my local guild became an official guild member of the Mothership. It was well worth it. Check out the tabs on their web site and you will see all the benefits a membership has to offer.

Also, if you want to start a guild and then apply, the web site tells you how to do that.

Happy Quilting!!


Winner of Fort Worth Fabric Studio Give-a-Way

Thank you to everyone who sent Happy Blogaversary wishes. It means a lot to me, because I enjoy sharing with readers what I am discovering in the quilt industry, as well as my WIP’s and tutorials.

The lucky winner of the $25 Fort Worth Fabric Studio gift certificate is ScottyLover.

Please e-mail me at (acbeier71@gmail.com) with your snail mail address so Fort Worth Fabric Studio can send you the gift certificate. Congratulations and happy shopping!!


On Fridays, Fort Worth Fabric Studio offers some great bundle deals. And a special thank you to Jodie for offering this gift certificate.

And The New Blogger’s Blog Hop will be hopping to the next group of new quilt bloggers. Click on Plum and June’s button to check them out. I’m looking forward to visiting these new blogs too. And a special thanks to Beth for coordinating this great blog hop.

Happy Reading and Happy Quilting!!

Quilts and Color Exhibition at The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston

This past weekend we had a great time visiting family in Boston. We also made a trip on Saturday afternoon to The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to see the Quilts and Color Exhibition, The Pilgrim/Roy Quilt Collection,
http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/quilts-and-color

Does the word “Wow” describe the collection?  You bet it does. 

Artists, Paul Pilgrim and Gerald Roy collected 59 quilts that were made from the per-revolutionary war period to the early 1900’s. The focus of the exhibit was on the use of color, variations, values, color vibrations and how this body of work parallels the “work of mid-20th century Abstract Expressionist and Op Artists.” (Quote from the web site), http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/quilts-and-color  There were many fascinating references to the color wheel throughout the exhibit in the I.D. labels below the quilts.

This basket quilt was made with cotton silk fabric.
 

When I looked at it from different angles, some of the white squares took on a gray sheen. This illusion is from how the light hits the silky fabric, and from wherever the viewer is looking at it. Pretty cool, huh?

The red star in the quilt below seems to vibrate, when the viewer looks at it.

 

The Carpenter’s Wheel Quilt, below;

This quilt uses yellow, green and red fabric all of the same value.

Simple use of primary and secondary colors were used in many of the quilts in the exhibit that are beautiful and inspiring.

In my post http://www.hudsonvalleyquilts.com/2014/06/welcome-to-new-bloggers-blog-hop-2014.html   Welcome to the New Blogger’s Blog Hop -2014, I discussed two of my favorite quilting tips. One of them was; a mistake is not a mistake. It is an opportunity to learn something new and be creative. 

The quilter who made the quilt below did not seem to be concerned when her flying geese triangles did not match up perfectly.

Nor did the quilter below seem to worry when she ran out of fabric. In the quilt below see the border. The green strip that is fourth from the bottom uses two different greens. The quilter made it work. Another strip of closely colored fabric was added. These “imperfections or mistakes” that we often attribute to our own quilts today, actually adds that unexpected detail. The result makes each of these pieces more interesting, and provides them with character. 

At first I thought maybe it was a mistake on purpose. Many quilters back then, and some still do today, make a mistake on purpose for religious or spiritual reasons. I have no idea if that is the case with any of the quilts in this collection. And I don’t why I think that is not the case with quilt above.

Resources were just not as abundant to quilters then, as they are today. I
thought a lot about that as I was looking at the dates of when these quilts were made. Our foremothers made do.

There was another big detail missing that I noticed in a few of the quilts; something I’ve never seen before. Some left off the top border. Why we thought?  We assumed it was because that top went under the pillow, when the bed was made, and it didn’t show, making it unnecessary. If you have any hypotheses about that, please share in the comments box.

The exhibit runs through July 27, 2014. I don’t think you will  be disappointed in this show at all. It’s a lot to take in, and I was inclined to go back and view it again, but there wasn’t enough time.

On a completely different note, there is still time to enter the give-a-way for a $25 gift certificate, from Fort Worth Fabric Studio in honor of my first blogaversary.

In order to win, sign-up for the Fort Worth Fabric Studio’s newsletter. Please leave a comment in my comments box, letting us know that you signed up for it, and tell us what is your favorite bundle from their web site.

I will announce the winner in the morning, on Wednesday, June 11th on my blog. Also, please make sure you include your e-mail address, so I can contact the winner directly.

AND, don’t forget to stop by Plum and June’s New Quilt Blogger’s Blog Hop http://plumandjune.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-new-quilt-blogger-blog-hop-and.htm The button is on my side bar.

Happy Quilting!!

First Year Blogaversary and a Give-a-Way

The year has flown by so fast. It’s hard to believe it’s my one year blogaversary today, June 6th, 2014.

I have learned so much from so many quilters and bloggers. I have made many online friendships and feel apart of an incredible community who have so much generosity of spirit. Thank you so much!!

To celebrate this occasion, Forth Worth Fabric Studio http://www.fortworthfabricstudio.com/ has offered a $25 gift certificate for me to give-a-way to one lucky winner.

 

In order to win, sign-up for Forth Worth’s Fabric Studio’s newsletter. Please leave a comment in my comments box,letting us know that you signed up for it,and tell us what is your favorite bundle from their web site. 

I will announce the winner in the morning, on Wednesday, June 11th on my blog. Also, please make sure you include your e-mail address, so I can contact the winner directly.

And don’t forget to stop by Plum and June’s New Quilt Blogger’s Blog Hop http://plumandjune.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-new-quilt-blogger-blog-hop-and.htm The button is on my side bar and below. 

I posted as a part of the blog hop on Thursday, June 4th, see http://www.hudsonvalleyquilts.com/2014/06/welcome-to-new-bloggers-blog-hop-2014.html

Thanks to Plum and June for organizing this amazing hop. Please check out the blogs of the other amazing quilt bloggers participating in this event.


Afton @ Quilting Mod
Barbara @ Suzy Homemaker
Rebecca @ One Wee Bird

I will be posting the lists of bloggers participating in this blog hop through July, so stay tuned!!

And thanks again to Jodie at Fort Worth Fabric Studios for making the blogaversary celebration even sweeter!!




Happy Quilting and have a great weekend.


Welcome to the New Blogger’s Blog Hop – 2014

It’s very exciting to participate in the New Blogger’s Blog Hop this year. I started this blog almost a year ago to date. On June 6th, it will be my first blogaversary, and I have learned so much about quilting and blogging during this time.

The most amazing part of this journey has been the kindness and support of complete strangers who are quilters and bloggers from all over the country, and internationally. I can’t wait to meet some of my new friends in person at The Chicago Quilt Festival or at Fall Quilt Market in Houston.

I began quilting on October 8, 1994. Why do I know this exact date?  Because later that day I met my wonderful husband!! 

I began taking quilting classes at a local quilt shop. My first project was a hand quilted pillow. Then I learned how to machine piece, machine and hand applique and machine quilt. I still love to hand quilt some pieces, because I find it so relaxing. Others are definitely meant to machine quilt. I am now beginning to design my own quilts, and hope to publish a book someday.

My favorite tips I learned when I first began quilting, and still are;

1. There are no quilting police.

2. A mistake is not a mistake. It is an opportunity to learn something new and elevate your skills and creativity level.

My favorite example;

I was almost finished with a beautiful little quilt. I accidentally made a hole in it with my scissors.  I was so upset. But I remembered number 2.  And I appliqued a little butterfly over the hole which looked great. It gave the quilt an original twist. Everyone commented more on how cute and unexpected the butterfly was than the quilt.

These are a few of the quilts I’ve made over the years;

Honoring The Seasons
 Honoring The Seasons – A close up of a block

Show Off Pattern – Dedicated to our Cat Biscuit

 Double Nine Patch – Dedicated to My Husband  (Emma’s Tail Peeking Out)

 Attic Windows Pattern – Dedicated to Our Cat Emma



My favorite blogging tips are;

1. This is a very image oriented blogging genre, much like food and travel blogs. Images support your content, more so than the other way around.
 

2. Taking a risk in quilt blogging is a lot easier than with more serious blogs that discuss politics or health care reform.  We are lucky!!  Take advantage of the fact.

A Little Bit About Me

I live with my husband and two adorable cats; Biscuit and Emma who regularly appear in blog posts. I have three great step-children and two grandchildren.

Biscuit and Emma



My Favorite color – Yellow.

Favorite vacation spot so far – Maui, Hawaii.

Favorite Movies – “Cinema Paradiso,” “The Sound of Music,” “The Notebook” and “The Run-a-Way Bride.”


Favorite BooksA Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Ann Barrows.


Favorite Musicians – The Beatles, Billy Joel, Phil Collins and Miles Davis.


One thing most people don’t know about me – I climbed to the top of 

El Capitan at Yosemite National Park.

There are many other fascinating and talented new quilt bloggers participating in this blog hop. Please stop by and visit their blogs for more information, inspiration and fun.

http://smilestooloudly.wordpress.com/ 
Sarah @ Smiles Too Loudly


http://negligentstylee.blogspot.com/
Vera @ Negligent Style

http://www.michellebartholomew.com/ 
Michelle @ Michelle Bartholomew

Katie @ Good Golly Ginger

http://meadowmistdesigns.blogspot.com/
Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs

http://janainamachado.blogspot.com/ 
Jana @ Jana Machado 

http://www.leighlaurelstudios.com/ 
Karin @ Leigh Laurel Studios


http://tiesthatbindquilting.wordpress.com/ 
Kim @ Ties That Bind Quilting

http://quiltingjetgirl.com/

Yvonne @ Quilting Jet Girl

I would really like to hear from you – Please leave a comment in my comment box telling me;

1. What draws you to keep reading a blog or subscribe to it?

2. When you see a quilt, what makes you say, “Wow?”

Thanks for your thoughts and comments.

Creating and making a quilt is a very gratifying experience. Blogging is challenging and creates the opportunity to learn and meet other incredible people in the quilting community. I love being on this journey.

Happy Quilting and enjoy the journey!!

WIP Pick and Mix

Over the weekend, I laid out all 80 squares for my king size Pick and Mix. 



It took about 2 hours, and I still wasn’t satisfied with the final block arrangement. The values of some blocks that were next to each other weren’t working for me.




I number each row and square.  For example; Row 1/1, 1/2 and so on. I will lay it back out again and move the blocks around until it works.

Tomorrow is the beginning of the New Quilter’s Blog Hop which I will be participating in. My post will be Wednesday, June 4, as well as some of the other new bloggers. The hop continues into July, and I will post links to other blogs so you can read about their experiences too. 

Thank to Plum and June http://plumandjune.blogspot.com/for organizing and sponsoring this blog hop.

And, I’m linking this WIP Wednesdays with Freshly Pieced, http://www.freshlypieced.com/2014/06/wip-wednesday-with-guest-host-lucy-from.html