Friday, July 27, 2012

I FINALLY won!!!!

How many times have you entered a competition and thought, "I never win"?  I used to say it all the time, but not anymore.  I FINALLY won something!  

For those of you familiar with Crafsy you may recall they recently had a giveaway for facebook fans.  I received an email a couple of weeks back saying I had won the giveaway.  The prize....a new Brother sewing machine complements of Craftsy!  I couldn't believe it!  I even called their offices in Denver to make sure it was legitimate and it was.  This little beauty arrive a week ago and I have been having a lot of fun with it.

It only seemed fitting to use my new machine from Craftsy to create my Craftsy Blocks of the Month.  This was my first attempt at dresden plates.  I think they turned out nicely.  The only real issue I had was stitching circles for the middle that weren't too wonky.  I look forward to making more dresden plates in the future.  If you haven't been to Craftsy lately, pop over there and check out their new classes, workshops and pattern. 

-Until Next Time 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

There's A Quilty App For That

A couple years ago, my office provided me with my first Mac computer. Add to that an iPhone and an iPad and you realize I am a Mac fanatic!

I've found a few quilty apps that have become go-to resources.

The first is QuiltingCalc by Robert Kaufman Fabrics. It's available in for the iPhone and in HD for an iPad. Enter the width of the fabric and the measurements of your quilt and it will tell you how much fabric you need for your backing. It also helps with calculations foe bindings, borders, triangles and square in squares. Plus you can view the latest Kaufman fabrics with this handy little app. Oh, and did I mention it's FREE!

My next favorite app is a toss up between Quick & Easy Quilt Block Tool by C&T Publishing, Inc ($3.99) and BlockFab by Mary Kay Podlecki (Free). Both provide a library of blocks that I browse when looking for ideas. There is very little overlap between the blocks listed in the two apps. Both provide calculations and cutting instructions based on the size and number of block you want to make. They also provide with layout options to give you an idea of what the finished quilt will look like.

The final app I will talk about is TouchDraw for the iPad ($8.99). I recently purchased this app and I am still learning the intricacies of the program, but several quilter's, most notably Lily's Quilts, has been using this app to create original designs. Pop over to her blog and check out her fabulous tutorials.

What about you? What quilty apps have you found helpful? No need to limit the discussion to just Mac users...are there handy quilt apps out there for other types of smart phones?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Beginner's Luck

My quilting life has been full of first lately.

  • My first blog
  • My first bee
  • My first swap
  • My first experience shipping internationally
  • My first custom's form
As I mentioned in my previous post, I am am participating in the Star of Africa International Quilting Bee.  This month the recipient of our blocks was Patti of Retired to Quilt.  Inspired by my current state of residence (Tennessee), I decided to make a block that paid homage to Elvis and country music...hence the Elvis block above.  The block isn't perfect....I wish the red triangles were a little neater and some of my seams were a little straighter, but I press on and strive for a more perfect block next month.  

My first swap is a Christmas layer cake charm swap.  I just sent off my packet to Angie of Sew Scappy Quilts.  I selected Jingle Ornaments Holiday by Kaufman (above left) and Holiday Yule Trees Aqua Deck the Halls by Michael Miller (above right). Angie posted a great tutorial demonstrating the best way to cut 2 yards of fabric into 28 10" squares.  I can't wait to see the beautiful Christmas layer cake I will get back in return!

In the meantime, I'm preparing for my first blog hop, Think Christmas.  Check back here August 2 to see what I'm doing with all these beauties.  

Until next time...
-Happy Quilting!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

International Quilting Bee - Month 1

I can't believe my first quilting bee is an international quilting bee, Star of Africa.  Ladies from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa create one block each month and mail them to a member of the group.  This month we were asked to create an 8 or 10 inch block representing our countries.  Since there were several ladies from the US in the group, I decided to make a block representative of my current home state, Tennessee. 

Country music, Elvis, Gone with the Wind, cotton fields, hamburgers and football...these were the things that came to mind when group members thought of Tennessee.   Looking for quilting inspiration, I wondered around downtown Nashville and found these classic landmarks that were in line with the preconceptions of the group:  

Patti, from Retired to Quilt, is the lucky recipient of our quilt blocks this month.  I'm not going to show you a picture of the quilt block yet, because Patti wanted to be surprised.  I mailed my block off on Thursday (6/11).  Check back in the next week or so to see how I incorporated these two Nashville icons into my quilt block.  (I hope she likes it...but I'm a little worried.  I don't want to disappoint anyone.)

I also thought I would use this space each month to share a little Tennessee/US history with you.  For my international friends, you will find Tennessee in the southeastern US.  During the War of 1812 Tennessee acquired the nickname, the "Volunteer State," when volunteer soldiers fought valiantly in the Battle of New Orleans.  The nickname was solidified during the Mexican War when President Polk asked for 2,600 Tennesseans to volunteer to aid in the war.  Within a week, 30,000 soldiers from Tennessee volunteered to participate in the cause.  

As my international friends observed, Tennessee is known as the home of Elvis Presley and his estate, Graceland, can be found in Memphis.  Tennessee is also well known for its country music roots.  It is the home of the Grand Ole Opry, Music Row, and the Country Music Hall of Fame.  For more information, check out these websites.  

Thanks for stopping by.  More on the modern "Envy" block quilt, I'm working on in the next couple of days.  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I wish I were a speedy stitcher.  I'm amazed at the quilting bloggers of the world who seem to be so productive.  They manage to post regularly on their blog and design, assemble and quilt amazing works of art.  Me?  I'm a slow poke....I even prefer the turtle setting on my sewing machine!

This week I am working on a twin size quilt incorporating nine "Envy" blocks from the book, Modern Blocks.  Here is a peek at what one looks like.  The fabric is by City Girl.  I'll share more progress with you later this week.

I'm trying to rush the hubby through dinner tonight so I can join Talkin Tuesdays on Twitter in a bit.  It sounds like a lot of fun....I hope you pop over and join the conversation if you can.

See you there.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

June 2012 - New Adventures

June was an exciting month for me.  I took the plunge and went from isolated at-home quilter to an internationally connected blogging quilter.   WOW!  (I promise that sounds sooooo much more impressive than it is in reality!)

I'm grateful for the people I have met and the opportunities that have presented themselves to me in June.  First, I'd like to acknowledge May from Confessions of a Fabraholic. She graciously allowed me, a total stranger, to join her international quilting bee, Star of Africa.  Quilters from most continents are represented in this bee and I hope I do not disappoint them with my Tennessee inspired block.  May encouraged take the plunge into the blogosphere and I'm glad I took her advice.

Next, I'd like to thank Beth from Plum and June for introducing readers to quilting bloggers each week.  Look for my stop on the Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop in November.  In the meantime, I encourage you to visit Beth's blog where you will find some great advice for new bloggers.  

Finally, I have to give a shout out to Lesley from The Cuddle Quilter for allowing me to participate in the Think Christmas blog hop later this month.  This will be my first blog hop and I can't wait.  I love Christmas!

All in all, I think you will agree....June was full of new adventures for me.  -Not bad for a new quilting blogger...if I do say so myself.  

Check back tomorrow.  I've been working on a new quilt based on the 'Envy" quilt block from Modern Blocks.  I think you will like it.  

Until then. - Happy Quilting