Thursday, August 30, 2012

QuiltCon registration confirmed (woot!)

Woo hoo! I was up bright and early this morning to register for QuiltCon and I got into the two workshops I wanted plus I got a four-day lecture pass and a ticket to the 80's dance party! I'll be learning hand-quilting from Anna Maria Horner and making a mini quilt with Lizzy House.

Registration went very smoothly for me. I was on the computer refreshing the registration page at 6:50am, it opened at 7:01am according to my computer, and, as you can see above, I had my confirmation email by 7:04am. I think obsessively watching the video tutorial on how to register helped!

About ten members of the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild are flying from Vancouver to Austin for Quiltcon. Are you going? I can't wait to see you there! If you won't be going this year, you can still enter a quilt in the quilt show!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I'm going to QuiltCon!

Ever since QuiltCon, the inaugural modern quilting conference and show, was announced in February, I've been looking forward to attending this amazing event. It's going to be held in Austin, Texas from February 21st to 24th, 2013. It will be four days full of modern quilting workshops, lectures, and meet ups and I can't wait. Registration begins tomorrow at 7:00am PST and I'll be ready and waiting at my computer!

I've thought long and hard about my workshop wish list and I think I'll restrain myself and only sign up for two workshops. I know I'll want to have time to go to lectures, visit the quilt show and vendors, get out into Austin, and, most importantly, socialize with other modern quilters. I'm eager to talk to presidents and members of other modern quilt guilds to hear how their guilds are going and what they're excited about.

Even if you can't attend QuiltCon, you have a chance to be part of it by submitting a quilt to the quilt show by November 30th. Or perhaps you already submitted a block to the QuiltCon block challenge? I just caught a sneak peek of my block here and I look forward to seeing it soon in the series on The Modern Quilt Guild's blog.

The Modern Quilt Guild masterminds have worked so hard to make this awesome event come together and I'm thankful to them! They've thought of everything, from a fabric-obsessed visitor's guide to Austin, to an 80's dance party, to video tutorials explaining how to register.

Will I see you at QuiltCon 2013? I hope so!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Squaaaak! Dinosaur Train pillowcase

Sophia with her souvenirs from Seattle

My five-year-old daughter is a huge dinosaur fan. She knows more species than I do and blithely recites dinosaur names such as Ornitholestes, Dimorphodon, Oryctodromeus, and, her favourite, Parasaurolophus.

Sophia loves the PBS Kids show Dinosaur Train and seems to retain all the palentology facts that Dr. Scott teaches at the end of each episode. (I apologize if you have preschoolers and have the theme song stuck in your head for hours at the mere mention of this program). When I discovered Dinosaur Train fabric by Quilting Treasures at Fourth Corner Quilts in Bellingham, I only hesitated for a moment before showing it to Sophia. Licensed novelty prints are not usually my thing, but when they make your child over the moon happy, you compromise your style. We decided to buy the Pteranodon family flying through the sky print and I told Sophia I'd make her a pillowcase.

We bought the fabric while heading towards Seattle for the meet up and after checking in at the hotel and eating dinner, I left my family to meet with some quilters. Dean reported later that fifteen minutes after I'd left, Sophia was talking about her new Dinosaur Train pillowcase "which Mom probably hasn't made yet". I knew I'd better get on it asap! When we got home, I put off laundry and unpacking and made up the pillowcase as quickly as possible.

Sophia making a dinosaur noise while showing off the newly-finished pillowcase 
(T-Rex T-Rex, her favourite stuffed animal, looks on)

Sophia proudly showed the pillowcase during the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild's show and tell at our August 16th outdoor meeting. (see Sonja's cute photo for an in focus shot.)

As with my owl and yellow & aqua pillowcases, I used Ashley of Film in the Fridge's Pretty Quick Pillowcase tutorial. The pillowcase was put into immediate use and Sophia has declared that she will never need another pillowcase for the rest of her life. My work here is done.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

What a way to start the day!

I awoke this morning to a lovely email from Katie saying that I'd won a fat quarter bundle from Fat Quarter Shop for commenting on her Winterkist Blog Hop post. I was completely surprised because I hadn't realized it was a giveaway post and I was just commenting to say I loved her work (check out the stitching on her gnomas beard!).

Pretty nice way to start the day, eh? It extra nice because Katie is an online friend who lives close by (just a ferry ride away!) and I'm expecting to meet her in September at the VMQG retreat that Krista is organizing for the guild. 

Now comes the hard work, choosing a bundle out of all the amazing choices at Fat Quarter Shop! 

Since I won the fabric as part of the Winterkist Blog Hop, I could get some of Winterkist of my own (it's not quite available yet, but is expected soon). It would be extra special since I got to meet Monica Solorio-Snow (who is hilarious!) two weeks ago at the meet up in Seattle.

Or should I go with the newly released Bella line by Lotta Jansdotter?

 Erin McMorris's new La Dee Da collection is fun! 

It looks like Fat Quarter Shop only stocks Cynthia Frenette's Kona Modern Quilts fabric in half yard bundles, so it doesn't qualify for this prize. It's still fun to look at!

Maybe I should get a bundle of the new Kona colours to round out my collection?

And the Simpatico collection just makes me happy:

When I was searching through the list, I came across this awesome Strawberry Shortcake fabric, that took me immediately back to my childhood in the 80's! It's not available til October, but check it out:

What would you do with a bundle of fat quarters? I bought the Swoon quilt pattern awhile back and I know it's fat quarter friendly. Any other suggestions?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WIP Wednesday

My completed colour wheel quilt top, 56x56"

I'm delighted to share my completed colour wheel quilt top today! It makes me very happy to see this quilt coming together after having it on my WIP list for over two years. I started collecting fabrics for this quilt in March 2010 and it took me quite a while to decide on all of the fifty-two prints that I eventually used. 
My first pass through my stash, auditioning fabrics for the colour wheel. March 2010

I received fabric from many sources: my own stash, a Sew, Mama, Sew! swap, Flickr quilting bee friends, and a private swap with Quilting Barbie who was working on her own colour wheel quilt. After all of that, I still had to go out and search for more fabric, so I bought a few fat quarters here and there. This pattern, from Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson, really doesn't take much fabric for each wedge, a 4x12" piece will do.

After I had all the wedges cut, I let this beautiful project sit on my shelf for over a year. Recently, I decided to work on it again and sewed up the four arcs of coloured wedges. To my dismay, each wedge finished at more than ninety degrees, meaning the finished quilt top would either have unsightly bubbles or some noticeably narrow wedges. Oh noes!

Super-strong, double-sewed seams!

After having Felicity over to give some helpful advice, I took a deep breath, and painstakingly resewed all of the seams so they were one or two millimetres wider. The impact of this small change over twelve seams fixed the problem and everything came together beautifully! I'm so glad I took the time to fix it.

When it came time to sew the curved seams, I used tons of pins and it all went smoothly!

To attach the quadrants together, I used a little trick. I sewed the essential area where the white fabric met the coloured arc first and if that wasn't perfect, I ripped it out and tried again. Once it was just as I liked it, I pinned and sewed the entire seam. Is this a technique you've heard of? I doubt that I made this up, but it just seemed like a good way to ensure my key points matched. I sure didn't want to be ripping out a fifty-six inch seam multiple times!

The last seam after I'd sewed the five key points. After it was fixed in place, I just sewed the entire seam one more time.

Thanks to everyone who has helped me with this quilt so far! Now to keep up the motivation and get it basted and quilted!

I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and The Needle and Thread Network.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, August 20, 2012

Completed Buffy the Vampire Slayer cross stitch

I'm happy to report that the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cross stitch that I started in January has now been completed and given to its appreciative recipient. This is the second weelittlestitches pattern that I've completed and I love their style! Go Canadian pattern designers!

This project was my companion for many ferry trips and a few crafty get togethers with preschool moms. People usually didn't recognize the characters, but I knew that Janet would know who they were. Janet (pictured under a stack of stuffed animals and dinosaurs, provided by Sophia), is a Buffy nerd and plans to watch the entire series again starting this fall. I know my work will have a place of honour in her new home.

In case you're not as familiar with the Joss Whedon oeuvre, the characters from left to right are Spike, Willow, Angel, Buffy (complete with crucifix necklace and stake), Xander, and Giles.

And cause I'm always curious to see what the back of the work looks like, I'm throwing in this shot for you. 

Have you tried a weelittlestitches pattern? They have something for everyone from Star Wars to Pretty in Pink!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Lucky, lucky me!

I participated in the Vancouver MQG - Portland MQG pouch swap this summer and received the most beautiful rainbow pouch! It was made by Deb Henry and she obviously looked at my inspiration mosaic because she hit the nail on the head with the design. Rainbow + solids + linen = Happy Holly!

I wanted a larger pouch that I could use for hand stitching projects and I can't wait to load this up with a needlebook and some hexagons. Thanks, Deb!

The title of this blog post is a reference to a Charlie and Lola video. Five-year-old Sophia was really on a Charlie and Lola kick this summer.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fun times in Seattle

Come with me on a pictorial tour of my weekend in Seattle! The Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland Modern Quilt Guilds got together for a meet up and I had the best time! I met new friends, connected with online friends in person, did some sewing, and shopped for fabric.

In Bellingham, we stopped by Fourth Corner Quilts.

 I was excited to see some samples of Shea Henderson's patterns hanging there.

On Saturday morning, I hopped in the van with Sonja, Karen, Krista, Felicity & Berene
and we headed to Island Quilter on Vashon Island. 

Island Quilter was having a quilt show with a mix of Portland MQG and Seattle MQG members' quilts.

The fabric selection was stunning and resembled a labyrinth. Throughout the day, people would take a break from sewing and go shopping. I've never had a fabric "tab" before, it was fun!

Chandra and Susan got to work at the cutting table prepping fabric for modern crosses quilts from Susan's book.

Katie got us started for the day and explained the game plan. 

She explained how we would be making some quilts using the stitch and flip triangles technique from her book.

The room was full of animated conversations between new friends. Season is from Seattle and Matthew is from Portland.

I loved this "Fresh Cut" quilt by Katie. Check out how the binding matches the block colours!

We were treated to a yummy lunch. The fruit salad and ice cold drinks were especially appreciated on such a hot day!

Generous sponsors provided some great giveaways. I was lucky enough to win a gift certificate to Island Quilter!

The was the baby quilt I sewed most of my blocks for. 

There was a constant flow between shopping, cutting, ironing, sewing, and instagramming during the day.

Here's the lovely Susan with one of four completed Modern Crosses baby quilts. I love that the cover quilt from her book was hanging in the show so I could get this picture of her in front of it!

Here I am with two of the baby quilts. Proof that I was present!

After the sewing day, we stopped by the West Seattle Fabric Company, an adorable shop full of great fabrics.

It was fun to see the cover quilt from Scrap Republic on display, especially since I had been cutting blocks and chatting with the author, Emily, earlier in the day!

More fabric shopping ensued.

I was greeted at the hotel room by a happy dimorphodon who had gone to the Pacific Science Centre while I was at the sewing day.

The next morning, while checking out from the hotel, I was greeted with a much less welcome sight: a flat tire. Sadly, I missed saying goodbye to lots of people while they packed into Drygoods Design. Happily, the tire shop was within walking distance of The Quilting Loft and I did get there before the shop hop was completely over.

I got to say goodbye to my friends Petra and Susan at The Quilting Loft.

And I was excited to see Cynthia's Kona Modern Quilts fabric on display for the first time!

Even Eleanor got into the fabric shopping.

I made it over to Drygoods Design around 2:45pm on Sunday.

I had the store to myself! It's a delightful little shop.

Me and Keli, the owner. She was lovely to meet and has added so many touches to make this space look beautiful. The fabric balloons made me smile as soon as I walked in the door.

We had a new tire by 5:00pm and got home to Vancouver by 10:00pm. It was an intense, wonderful, exhausting weekend and I look forward to doing it again! Thanks so much to the rest of the organizing crew (Susan, Heather, Petra, Season and Katie) and to the shops and sponsors for making this a great meet-up!


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