Saturday, February 28, 2015

The next 100 Good Wishes Quilt

There hasn't been a huge ton of sewing going on here lately, it has been a really busy week, but I was able to get all of the blocks cut for the next 100 Good Wishes Quilt that I'm making for a friend's daughter.
I always sort the pieces by color to see what I have to work with.  It really helps when figuring out what to use for sashings. 
The pattern she picked is an easy one so this will go together quickly.  Yesterday I was able to sew together all of the pairs and I should be able to turn all of those into 4 patches before the day is over.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Test blocks and Stunning Stitchin Sunday

I've had an idea for a new block swirling around in my head for a while and I finally needed to test it out to see if it would work.
It will be a layer cake friendly quilt pattern.
While the kids were home from school a few days on winter break, I pulled out some leftover bits of Kate Spain's Terrain, cut some pieces and set to work stitching them together.
My first attempts didn't quite turn out the way I had envisioned.
The math didn't equate into a cool new block the way I thought it would.
So I revised my original plan and yesterday I spent a  few hours trying again, this time using some prints Kate Spain's Fangando line.  These test blocks came out much better and although I only had 7 fabrics to use this go around, I can see how great it will look using all the fabrics in an entire layer cake.
I made 25 blocks for a test quilt and figured out the layout so now I'm going to get them sewn together into a quilt top.  

Since I know that my vision will work, I now want to make the real pattern sample and am trying to decide what fabric line to use.  
Do I use a layer cake that I already have from a line released a year and a half ago?
 It has just the right feel that I'm going for.
Or should I really use a new fabric line?
If so I'll have to hunt down the perfect one. 

Once I get that decision made, I'll be onto writing up the official pattern.  
I've decided that it is going to my first pattern release for sale
I've got the pattern cover design underway and am anxious to see how it will turn out.

I don't expect that finding a few quilt bloggers to test the pattern for me will be too hard. :)
If one of those testers might be you, just let me know and I'll put you on the list.
I'm not sure how many testers I'll have yet.
Maybe I'll have a blog hop once those are made.

Up next will be deciding how to get it into the hands of those that want to make it too.
Do I list it on Craftsy? Etsy? Both?
Do I have it hosted by Bigcartel?
And how do I get it into actual quilt shops or into the hands of the big distributors, if I want to go that route?

It is a lot to research and figure out but I want to do this right so I am willing to take my time, find all the answers and then make the decision that is best for me and my future customers.
I'd certainly love to hear where you look for and purchase most of your patterns from.
Of course there is also some very pretty stitching to share with you today.  There isn't as much available on the blogs to showcase in part I think because of QuiltCon happening the week but that is ok too. I'm betting that with the continued cold and snowy weather, there will be lots more quilting happening.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

From my family to yours

For our extended family of Vietnamese friends.....
And for our Chinese extended family......
And for all of you.....our family and friends and all of my quilting buddies
May you have a happy and healthy Year of the Goat.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Quilter's Public Service Announcement - Massdrop Quilters Dream Cotton Select Batting

I received an email announcing a current deal over on Massdrop for Quilters Dream Cotton Select Batting.This is a mid-loft batting. The lowest price of $44.99 with Free shipping has already been unlocked.
You can pick from the following set combinations:

1 Queen and 1 Twin size battings
1 Queen and 2 Crib size battings
1 Crib and 2 Twin size battings
1 King and 1 Crib size battings

You can also purchase them in White for $6 more.
I haven't tried this cotton batting yet but since I've used the Quilters Dream 70/30 Blend a lot in the past and love it, I'm expecting that I will love their cotton batting too. Here is the link to their webpage for all the details about this cotton batting.

I don't know about where you live, but this is a great deal compared to what I can buy this for locally so I committed to buy this immediately. The drop is active for 5 more days so don't wait.  Click on over and get yours too.

Stunning Stitchin Sunday - the Wednesday edition

As promised yesterday, here is the second half of the fabulous quilting I've come across on the web in recent days.  It seems that with so many hunkering down indoors to escape the frigid temps and the mountains of snow, lots and lots of stitching is being done.
I hope to join the legions of quilters this weekend at the latest or maybe even during the week a little. The kidlets are home with me a few days as it is winter break at school, so there isn't any guarantee.  My Saturday and Sunday are free of plans so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Stunning Stitchin Sunday - The Tuesday edition

I had plans to get into my studio over the past 4 days but like so many times in life, other things ended up taking over and I didn't get there. Insert sad face. Last Sunday (a week plus ago) I woke up with a bad sinus migraine the likes I haven't experienced in at least 5 years so the entire day was shot. Thankfully the majority of it was gone the next day but then there was other catching up to do.
This past Sunday (and most of Saturday afternoon too) was spent compiling, checking, double checking and even triple checking all of the cookie box order counts and dollars involved for my Daisy scout troop's initial cookie order. Since the troop is responsible to sell all of the cookies that we order, I didn't want to make any big mistakes.  Thankfully that is done and now we wait for them to arrive next month, prep for delivery and our upcoming booth sales.
I still wanted to share all of the quilting goodness that I've seen over the past couple of weeks so today I'm sharing half of the gorgeous photos and the other half will post tomorrow.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Something I did when I was her age!

I'm in the office catching up on reading blogs.
I hear some crinkling noise and go to the kitchen to investigate.
Sunshine had the need to sort all of her Valentine's Day loot!
P.S. I love the little sticker on the tub of red applesauce.
In case you can't read it, it says "You are Awesome Sauce Valentine."

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

We Support You Blog Hop - My day

Today is the final day of the We Support You Blog Hop which was the fantastic brain child of the fabulous Madame Samm of Sew We Quilt. The master manager of all of the participants was Pat of Life in the Scrapatch, who has done an equally fabulous job of keeping everyone on track.

A huge Thank You must go out to both of these ladies for the idea, the support and the inspiration and if you'd like a copy of the pattern, you can contact Madame Samm direct to purchase one for yourself..

This blog hop was originally envisioned as a way to show support for those we know that has or is currently battling cancer. I wasn't actually going to join in on this hop when it was announced. You see, the only person that I could think of at the time that I know that has battled cancer is the kidlets' PopPop and there is no way he'd like to have a quilty gift made in the shape of a lady's brassiere.
But then a few weeks later, I thought that perhaps it didn't have to be for someone battling cancer.  Instead I could make something for someone in my life who just needs support....a lot of support.  And I had someone specific in mind.

Some of my longtime readers might remember that my friend Kris is the person who asked me to make the 100 Good Wishes Quilt for Joey when he was diagnosed with his very rare renal cancer. No I didn't make this project for Joey's mom, I actually made it for Kris. You see Kris is a single mom, a nurse who works very long shifts working with others battling cancer.  If that isn't enough, her amazing daughter E has medical issues that requires serious physical care each and every day.  Kris is beyond amazing with all that she deals with and I can't imagine how she manages it all day in and day out.

When the first word of this blog hop was announced,  Kris and her daughter were in another state (during Christmas too) so that E could have some very intensive surgery that was supposed to make her life better. Unfortunately it didn't turn out the way they had hoped and they will have to return in a few months to try again. So Kris needs support.  Lots and lots of support. To help her get through each day, to help her deal with the struggles both physically, emotionally and financially that is part of her normal life and to help keep her strong when the going gets the toughest.

So I started with these fabrics.  The dragonfly print was the focus for this project as it has deep symbolic meanings for us in the Asian community, specifically Strength and Harmony.
I wanted to create a silent but powerful message that Kris can see each morning when she gets up and each evening when she gets home. No words were needed, the visual reminder will be enough.  

Here is my completed wall hanging for Kris. I'm calling it Friends Support Each Other.
When I started the project I only had the plan for the middle portion and the outer borders were designed and created as I went along.
Unfortunately with the over abundance of snow we have gotten lately, the sky has been anything but bright and sunny and even the wind made getting the pictures a bit challenging, but the colors are truly a lot brighter in person.
The quilt top was actually completed pretty quickly and then it sat for a couple of weeks while I contemplated how to quilt it.  I doodled many ideas but nothing seemed to suit it.  Then while chatting with my sister Tina last week, we came up with the idea of sewing a frame around the center design and then quilting outside of that. 

Instead as you can see that is not what I ended up doing after all.  While browsing other blogs a few days ago, I came across something done in a simple crosshatch and that seemed perfect to me for this piece. I love how it doesn't take away from the design but gives the quilt some soft texture.
For the border quilting I did some rows of elongated zigzag stitching and finished the binding by machine. I love the way the zigzag reflects the same design that is in the blue fabric.
This mini quilt was such a pleasure to create and I know that Kris will be thrilled when it arrives at her door.
The idea of this hop was to let the recipient know that they are surrounded and supported by those that love them and I think this project will help keep that thought in Kris's mind when the going gets tough.
I enjoyed making this project so much that I've actually decided to make one for each of the members of the little group that Kris and I are members of.  Each in their own way struggles and they will become a symbol of our combined strength and that we are there to support each other no matter what.

Please remember to visit the other five blog hop participants that are sharing today.

Sew We Quilt
Sometimes it is the little things that remind us that we are stronger than we think and I hope this piece will do that for Kris.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

My Friday

I woke up from a weird dream that was a little unnerving. This is what it said on my clock.
Ugh! Really way too early to get up.
But my bladder was telling me otherwise.
Ok, ok. So I listened to it.
Afterwards, do I climb back in the warm bed and try to go back to sleep?
My sinuses thought not.
They were pressure filled and the only thing that helps is to get myself vertical so they can drain.
This isn't uncommon....the time, the bladder and the sinuses , especially in the winter.
Though usually it is at least 4 am when this happens.
Blarg! So I was up.
First cuppa and sat down at the computer.
Got caught up on reading over 200 blog posts and commenting on many.
Nearly 5 am and the 2nd cuppa. 

Multiple tissues used so far and sinuses still "funky".
Got the crew up at 6:15 am and out the door about an hour later. It was -7 outside! Major burrrrr!
Then it is just me until almost 3 pm.
Friday is typically laundry day so I sorted and started the 1st load.
Got dressed and headed into my studio.
First plan of the day was to finish cutting up the Red scraps into mini charms
 Then onto sewing together the Red Rainbow Scrap Challenge block.  Done and done.
I had some bigger pieces in this color so I cut some of it into charms.
I can always cut them down more later if needed. 
I didn't count them this time but the stacks are taller than the Yellow and Orange ones and those have over 300 each.
Not bad Scrap-O-Bustin progress so far.
I didn't have to worry about having enough different fabrics for each of these.
Since I made both a light and dark in each color along the way, I don't have to make any more.
I'm sticking to the rainbow shades only.
No Brown or Black allowed in this time.
Now I get to work on the layout for these.

Next on the plan was to cut the blocks for the next 100 Good Wishes Quilt to be made for a friend's daughter.
That didn't happen.
I had about had enough of cutting the scraps but I forced myself to push through and I'm glad I did.
Other than the smaller under 2 1/2" wide bits left, I'm done with 3 colors.
Totally worth it.
And I had to sew patches on Jammer's scout uniform shirt.
PIA btw.

I need to shop for the White on White fabric for the sashing.
 A trip to the LQS is planned.
Last night was Jammer's first Pinewood Derby race.
He and Daddy-O did a nice job of crafting his car.
 They worked together on the plan.
Daddy-O did the grown up tasks but Jammer did the rest.
He is a huge Nascar fan, knows all the drivers, the sponsors and the tracks.
No surprise at all as to his finished design.

He came in 2nd overall!
Nicely done buddy!

Today my Girl Scout Daisy troop attends World Thinking Day.
 They will each get a passport and "visit" 18 different countries to learn something about that country and the Girl Scouts there.
 They will receive a fun patch for their vest for participating.  I don't know if they will get this one
 or this one.
Afterwards Sunshine and I are headed to the LQS for the aforementioned White on White fabric and to find the perfect fabric for the sashing for her Primary Bee Quilt.
Those blocks are ready to sew together into a quilt top.
I wish I could stay home after this and hide in my studio.
But I can't. :( :( :(
Tonight is the annual fire department banquet.
It always snows or it bitter, bitter cold.
Of course the guys are all in suits.
But the gals all wear cocktail dresses and fancy shoes.
Can you say FREEZING?
The wine usually helps to warm me up. :) :) :)

Tomorrow will definitely be a studio day for sure.
Those 100 Good Wishes blocks will be cut and if I'm lucky the sewing together will commence too.
 My sinuses had me awake and up at just after 3am again today.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Joining social media

Well, I finally did it.  I joined Instagram.
You can now find me at @crayonboxquiltstudio. I'm still trying to figure out how to use it and have only posted a couple of things so far but it is fun to take a peek into what other quilters are up to in between their blog posts.

And No Instagram will not be replacing blogging for me.  I like to write and share more of what's going on and the story behind my projects and Instagram to me isn't for that.  But the teasers can be a lot of fun too.

I've also got a Facebook page now too.
You can find it here.  There aren't any posts...yet but there will be.
 I have yet to figure out how to get my Instagram posts to also show up on my Facebook page but I'm getting there one tiny step at a time. If anyone wants to provide good tips on these social media outlets, I'm all ears.

There are also links to my Instagram and Facebook pages up on the top of my sidebar.  I'd love to connect with more of you so if you'd like, hop on over and say Hi!

Trust me...I won't be spending all of my free time on either of these sites....I'd much rather be actually sewing, but I'm going to try and share more in between my blog posts.  It should be fun!

Thursday, February 5, 2015


The next quilt up on my To Make list is another 100 Good Wishes Quilt for a friend's daughter.  I've worked out the plan and the math and while I wait to hear back from her as to whether or not the plan and final size is what she is looking for, I figured that I'd start cutting pieces for another quilt that I just designed over the weekend.  

Monday during the huge snowstorm (we got another 12" of the white stuff) turned out to be the perfect day to pull out and sort through some of my scraps and get them cut into usable pieces.  I started with this pile of Yellow scraps. These things multiply worse than bunnies and my scrap bins have long been overflowing and needing my attention. My niece is expecting another baby over the summer so this one will be for her.
One thing I've learned about myself over the last year is that it doesn't work for me to cut my scraps into random sizes and then just stack in a box them away for some future unknown project.  I tried that when I started the Rainbow Scrap Challenge last winter and I got really tired of cutting up all those Blue scraps and eventually put them back where they came from. 

What I now do instead is I actually pick a specific project and cut only the pieces needed for that quilt.  It saves me a lot of time since I'm only pulling out pieces big enough to give me the size blocks I need plus I'm actually using the scraps instead of them just continuing to wait. What is left goes back into the scrap bins for the next go around.  And since I already have a plan in mind for the smaller bits, the next go around won't be that far behind.

So after some ironing and a few hours of cutting this is what I have to show for my efforts.  Nice stacks of over 300 mini charms. This is more than I need for the quilt that I designed but I already have a plan in place too for those extra 2 1/2 " x 2 1/2" squares.  It feels good to know that I'm going to make a huge dent in reducing my scraps.
This is all that was left after the cutting and trimming and I didn't mind tossing out these tiny bits at all.
Next up was the Orange scraps and after a couple more hours of ironing and cutting I have another lovely pile of over 300 mini charms ready to go. Next up will be the Red scraps.  Does these give you some hint as to what direction I'm going with this quilt? :)
I even got to finally sew together my Orange blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge...the 2014 version that is.  Last year once summer hit and too many deadline projects loomed, this project got put aside but I'm happy to say that I've just got one more pair of blocks to make and then I can get working on turning them into a finished quilt top.
So how do you deal with your scraps?  Do you just let them continue to pile up?  Do you cut them down into specific sizes and then find a use for them eventually?  That is what my sister Tina does (who BTW just changed the look of her blog.  Go check it out.) Are you good about using up every possible bit of fabric before you throw those last minuscule bits of thread in the trash can? I'm interested in hearing what has worked for you.

And the We Support You Blog Hop is still going on.

Pop on over to Sew We Quilt to find the links to each of this week's bloggers.  There are some really terrific projects being shared, all in the name of supporting those with Breast Cancer.