Monday, December 16, 2013

The Land of Misfit WIPs

Welcome to the Land of Misfit WIPs 

A place where Works in Progress (WIPs) come to live until someone can finish them. (my failed attempt of having this relate to the Holiday season through Rudolph's Land of Misfit Toys)

Here are some of the current WIPs:

1. Kentucky Derby Quilt

2. Quick Nine Patch Quilt top

After creating the plus quilt using this fabric combination, I had some 3" strips left over and decided to create a quick and cute nine patch quilt for one of my nephews.  It off to the quilter and I'm excitedly anticipating its return to me.

3. and not-so-secret sewing... a created a cute boxed pouch using Pretty Modern's tutorial HERE.  Super cute and fairly easy to do; just don't be afraid of boxing corners!

And congratulations to Kami! You're the winner of the fabric bundle!  Thanks everyone for sharing your favorite holiday memories.  My favorite tradition is dress shopping with my dad every Christmas.  He would have us try on dozens of dresses and would then send us off to the food court while he picked out the ones he liked the best.  It was a fun surprise to see which he bought each year.  He has since passed away, but my sister and I keep up the tradition for our younger sister.  We love it!

Happy Holidays All!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas Scrappy Dresden Pillow

Over Thanksgiving, I ended up with the flu and stayed home under the covers instead of joining my family out of town.  It was rough to be away, but I'm glad the sickness ended with our home (my poor husband had it after I did).

So by the end of the weekend, I was feeling home-sick for the holidays and needed some Christmas cheer.  Instead of "singing loud for all to hear" (the movie: "Elf") I broke out my red and green scraps and my handy dresden template.

I strip-pieced the reds together and added a strip of white.  I did the same with the greens and then cut them into dresden pieces.

Out comes my piece of linen I had been hoarding (found it at Joann Fabrics for a steal!) and followed instructions from my friend Kelsey over at Everday Fray.  She has some great tips on sewing with linen  and is definitely worth the read for both her experience and the gorgeous quilts she and her cousin Amanda create.

I appliqued the half dresden on the linen and turned it into a a slip cover for a pillow.

Quilting mirrors along the outside of the dresden, mirroring the shape, but I was not confident enough to use red thread.  The white thread I used simply disappears, although in person the texture is lovely.  I recommend red whole-heartedly for next time.

Thank you all for letting me share my Christmas Cheer with you.  

I'll be honest, I do not like the month of December.  I lost my Dad in a accident just days before Christmas (it's been five years now) and I still can't quite enjoy the holidays.  I'm thankful for friends and family who understand why I don't like the holiday season.  Little projects like this help me remember my cherished holiday memories.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pay it Forward - Round Two: Fabric Giveaway

A few weeks ago, I won another giveaway!  Thanks, Hilary!  I got a copy of Love Patchwork and Quilting November issue.  One word: awesome.  

So in the spirit, I am #payingitforward (can't decide if I like hashtags or not, do you?) and hosting another giveaway.  Would anyone like some fabric?  I have the following up for grabs:

- Amy Butler Remnant: 9" x 42"
- Michael Miller Remnant:8" x 42"
- DS Quilts Remnant: 12" x 22"
- Robert Kaufman Flannel Type Print: 1/2 yard

So, how do you win this stash?  In the spirit of the holidays, leave me a comment telling me your favorite childhood/adult holiday memory (and your email address if you're a no-reply blogger).  That's it!

Giveaway ends Monday, December 9th, 2013 at Midnight PST.

And ok, I feel like a dork asking, but please be honest.  For the next #payitforward giveaway, would anyone be interested in passing it along? For example, the winner would then host a giveaway (does not need to be extravagant, just extra scraps, something hand-made, small notion, etc.) and we could see how long it could go?  What do you think?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Green with Envy Finished!

I cannot express how excited I am to have finished the Green with Envy quilt!  It's headed to a well-deserving home of a family member to one of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who lost their life in the wildfire near Prescott, Arizona earlier this year.

The quilt measures roughly 44" x 66" and features various green fabrics from my stash, including some vintage sheets, and Kona Bone as the solid.

I hand quilted along the diagonal and was once again reminded why I love taking the time to hand-quilt.  There's something very satisfying about it.

I came across Layers of Hope, Quilting 911 through one of my blogging networks and found there was a need for donated quilts.  At the time, I knew my plate was full, but I wanted to help out nonetheless and am so glad that I did! Layers of Hope is a group dedicated to First Responders in emergencies.  In doing so, they are able to focus on individuals and know where the quilts are going.

If you're interested in helping out or learning more about Layers of Hope, Quilting 911 you can visit their Facebook page here or blog here.

So many of you donate of your time, quilts and materials to great causes.   I am so grateful to be a part of a community that is so giving and generous.  Thank you all for your efforts.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

First Loves - Log Cabin Block

That moment when you look at a quilt and realize, "hey, I made that!"

My sister's piano recital was in a childhood friend's home.  After the beautiful recital we were invited into the kitchen/family room for refreshments.  While enjoying a chocolate dipped strawberry I noticed something draped across the top of their couch.  A log-cabin quilt that looked strangely familiar... and that's when I recognized it!

This is one of the first quilts I made in High School (11 years ago!).  I learned how to make the block at a church activity and quickly became obsessed.  I made a few for my friends who were graduating, including the quilt pictured.  Can you notice that I tried to the traditional light vs. dark on the block?

I love that this quilt is a part of someone's home décor and is being used.  Whenever I give a quilt away I always tell them to USE and LOVE it.

I think I will always love the log cabin block.  I think it's kind of like that expression of "you'll always love your first car," or "you never forget your first love" (don't worry, my husband was my first love and will always be my love!). 

What quilt block was your first love?

Monday, November 11, 2013

In Stitches: HST Top Hand Quilting

Yay!  A little progress on the Green with Envy HST quilt this week.  Anyone else find hand-quilting relaxing?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pay It Forward - Give Away Winner!

This lovely fabric is going to.....

Quilting Tangent!.  I've sent you an email so that you can send me your mailing address.  Be sure to thank the "Random" generator from

Thanks everyone for the comments on the strangest places you've sewn.  I kept thinking to myself that I need to follow-up to this giveaway with a whole post dedicated to random/strange sewing places.  It does seem a bit silly to purposely sew in strange places just for a blog post.  However, it must be done!  New series on the blog coming up.

Thanks again for participating!

Also, just as an FYI: I may be slowing down a bit on the blogging.  I'll keep checking in every Monday, but I need to go quiet for a bit.  My other life is busy working in and around distribution warehouses, making final construction adjustments before the big holiday season.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Pay It Forward: A Give-Away

First, a little WIP update:

I completed the HST Green with Envy Top.  Now to quilt it!  I am donating this and have decided to hand-quilt it with some simple straight line stitching.

I have other WIP updates, but I think you all are curious as to the give-away so without further ado...

Last week I received an email congratulating me on winning a gift certificate from Pink Chalk Fabrics!  This is the first blogging give-away that I have ever won.  Super excited!  Now... what to buy?!?  I should probably stay away from blue (see post about blue obsession here)...

While I figure that out, I've decided to pay my good fortune forward to a lucky person.  Typically I don't ask anything of my participants... but this time, if you could either "follow me" or like Quarter Mile Quilts on Facebook, it would be very helpful!  And to make it fun, please tell me the strangest place you have ever sewn in your comment!  I'll probably use the random number generator, but, strangest place may win!

Here's the prize:

1/2 yard of Melody Miller Ruby Star Polka Dot Patchwork Green and Navy and four coordinating fat quarters!

In summary, to be eligible to win this fabric bundle giveaway you need leave me a comment telling me the strangest place you've ever sewn! (If you are a no-reply blogger, please leave me your email address or you can't win - bummer!).  Closes at Friday, October 25th at midnight PST.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Zippered Pouch Goof

Do remember that one time I forgot to unzip the zipper while sewing the sides of my zippered pouch?

You don't?

Oh yes, I forgot to tell you about that one...

Everything started out fine...

I recently feel in love with the idea of French seams and while working on the pouch a few weeks ago this happened:

Luckily, I was able to slowly and carefully wrangle out the zipper.  VERY slowly...

Maybe I should start a link up party and call it Friday Fumbles?

Hope you're not taking yourself too seriously tonight and enjoying a wonderful Friday evening!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Borders vs. No Borders: A Quilting Experiment

I like to think of myself as a modern-traditional quilter.  I enjoy playing with modern fabrics in traditional patterns.  In the words of a new quilting inspiration, I feel like I need to stretch my quilting.  I need to challenge myself to try new things, even if they are in small steps.  Example: one of the items that can classify a modern quilt is the absence of a quilt border. 

Curiosity struck this cat and I decided to do a "quilt experiment."  I decided to make two similar looking quilts.  This experiment would include the control of the same pattern: Jeni Baker's Modern Plus Quilt Tutorial.   I would have two variables: fabric, and border vs. no border.  My hypothesis: I would love the border and not like the un-bordered quilt. 

A little bias in the experiment?  Yes.

Objective vs. Subjective? Oh dear, please don't make me get into that!

Here are the results:

The quilting above is called cogs and wheels, perfect for a little boy (or a engineering mind like myself!).  Fabrics are various Michael Miller, Japanese, Riley Blake, etc.

The bordered quilt features fabric from Violet Craft's Waterfront and Madrona Road fabrics.  This is the same bundle that I am using for A Crafty Fox's Starflower QAL.  The quilting is called boomerang and I think it works perfectly?

What do you think?  Any preferences?  I am pretty sure its hard to pick a favorite, but the border is pulling an early lead.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hexagon Progress and a New Tutorial!

Happy Wednesday!

First I am excited to share that I am guest posting over at Young Texan Momma today!  I am sharing a Dr. Pepper mini quilt tutorial!  It uses some of the no-sew adhesive to do some raw edge applique.  Head on over :)

Also, I am happy to report that I finished stitching my Tula Pink hexagons over the weekend!  Forgive the snap-happy photos...

Now I get to applique them onto a nice neutral background before adding them to a quilt.  A tan that allows all that Tula Pink awesomeness to shine.  Then I took a picture with one of the "accent" corals I was trying to match... thoughts?

I don't think I quite got it right, but am wondering if it will be ok? Perhaps not to matchy-matchy?  Or just too intense?

Linking up to Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday :)

Friday, October 4, 2013

New York Subway Quilt - Throw Back Thursday...errr Friday

Today's post is in honor of the trend "Throw Back Thursday" although it's technically Friday...  

Here's a two year flashback to review my NYC Subway quilt.  I was (and still am) inspired by Oh Fransson's Tokyo Subway Quilt.  My husband grew up in NYC and I wanted to pay tribute to his subway adventures.

I chose to follow a simple grid layout and used the actual MTA Subway layout with Central Park, the central (hehe) focus of my quilt.  I could go on and on for hours on how much I love Central Park.  Ready?  

My husband and i while we were dating, next to the Alice in Wonderland Statue, 2006

Ok, maybe next time.

Here are pictures that I took at the time I created quilt. After I cut the squares, I laid out the quilt by grids and smaller squares 8 x 8.

2000 2" squares later, I created the quilt top and fairly accurate piecing.  It took me plenty of time, but I was (am) very happy with the results.  The letters were raw appliqued onto the white squares with a zig zag stitch.

Here is the finished project!  The back is a squiggly line print to reflect how a tourist feels when they come out of the subway... a little disoriented.

This quilt was my first experience with my local quilt shop and I was nervous.  Luckily the ladies were understanding and helpful, even though they didn't like my original plan to put minky on the back.

The long-arm quilting pattern is called "sprung" and also evoked the movement of "The City."

We held a raffle for the quilt at Christmas in 2011 and my Father-In-Law won!

Thanks for indulging me! I hope you've enjoyed my little trip down memory lane.  I promise that I'll have some current updates next week, including a tutorial.

Also, I now have a Facebook page for the blog!  If you're interested in having some additional project updates and more quilt pictures, please like my page Quarter Mile Quilts.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Stash Mixology - The 12 Step Program

I have come to terms with my addiction to blue colored fabric.  Join me as I evaluate my addiction using the 12 Step Program (with small revisions for fabric):

1. Admit that you are powerless over your addiction.
Admittedly, I am powerless over my addiction to the color blue (and sometimes green...)
Blue and green have always been my favorite colors.  I think a large factor in my color rankings (other than the fact that blue is AWESOME) is my strawberry-blonde hair.  Growing up I was told to avoid pinks, reds, oranges and even some yellows due to my complexion.  My wardrobe has always been blue and green heavy.  Consequently, my fabric stash reflects my wardrobe.  Although I am learning, this does not have to be the case.
Basically, I am addicted to blues in all sorts of shades.  The blue sections of the local quilt shops unyieldingly beckon to me, as well as the online stores' tab "Blues."  And did I mention my husband's eyes are blue, too?

2. Come to believe that a power greater than yourself could restore balance to your stash.
Here is where the color wheel comes in to play.  Use the color wheel to help you identify the colors in your stash and ensure you have a good mix of primary, secondary, and tertiary colors.  A balance color wheel is a happy color wheel (in my opinion).

I believe in you color wheel!  Also, peer pressure works well.

3. Make a decision to turn your will to the care of the color wheel
Ok color wheel, show me how it's done.

4. Make an inventory of your fabric stash
Blue, blue, blue, green, blue, blue, yellow, red, brown, black, blue, purple...

A part of my blue collection

5. Admit to others your color addiction
I fully admitted to my addiction at the Sewing Summit.  At the first shop I had the courage to admit that I have a problem (two blue fabric bundles already clutched in my hands).  My friends encouraged me and help me set limits.  One shop I could only get reds and purples, another I needed to buy orange and grey.
Elisa of Stitch Outside the Ditch taught the class: Stash Mixology. This was a pivotal moment for me.  She asked us to evaluate our stash to see if it was off-balanced.  There were a few snickers from my new friends who knew of my addiction and I chose to admit my addiction to the class. "I have a blue problem."

6.  Ready to have the color wheel remove the defects of your color character.
I am ready....though, my budget might not be!

7. Ask the color wheel to remove your color short comings
Please, color wheel, help me restore balance to my fabric stash.

8. Make a list of the colors you've harmed or neglected.
Pink, red, purple, orange, and yellow

In Elisa's Stash Mixology she offered some great advice:
- Ugly will add interest
- Add a zinger to your quilt
- Add black and watch the quilt composition change/improve

9. Make amends to the colors you've neglected.
Buy lots of fuchsia, red, oranges and greys on shop hop.

Here's pictures of some of the shop hop haul:

10. Continue to take inventory and admit when you succumb to your color addiction.
Perform regular inventory of my fabric stash and admit when I buy too much blue (some is ok, right? ---> back to step no. 1).

11. Continually seek to improve and balance the colors of your fabric stash.
Go to local quilt shop or online shop with list of needs and avoid the color blue, unless you love it!  Here is the overall picture of the shop hop fabric haul.

12. Carry this message on to other color addicts and practice the principles in all your crafting.
All, I challenge you take an inventory of your fabric stash and evaluate where your fabric "rainbow" may be heavy.  Are you ok with a lop-sided rainbow?  Why not try stretching your color horizons?

So in summary:
The Twelve Step Program for Overcoming Color Addictions:
1. Admit that you are powerless over your addiction.
2. Come to believe that a power greater than yourself could restore balance to your fabric stash.
3. Make a decision to turn your will to the care of the color wheel
4. Make an inventory of your fabric stash
5. Admit to others your color addiction
6.  Ready to have the color wheel remove the defects of your color character.
7. Ask the color wheel to remove your color short comings
8. Make a list of the colors you've harmed or neglected. 
9. Make amends to the colors you've neglected.
10. Continue to take inventory and admit when you succumb to your color addiction.
11. Continually seek to improve and balance the colors of your fabric stash.
12. Carry this message on to other color addicts and practice the principles in all your crafting.

Thanks for allowing me to humorously allude my color addiction to the respected 12 Step Program for Addictions. 

I'll leave you with this final question:
What color(s) are you addicted to?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Vintage Modern Quilt - A Finish!

Just in time for last week's travels, I finished my Vintage Modern quilt featuring Bonnie & Camille's fabric line of the same name.  I promise, there are times that I am better at naming quilts, but this time nothing came to me.   Perhaps it's because there is so much pink and red?  Hmmmph.... 

Luckily this number (along with a smaller I-spy quilt) fit nicely into my carry-on luggage.  Tip for future craft travelers: if you're worried about having room for souvenirs pack a craft (quilt) or two as gifts for your hostess.  You'll then have room to bring back your fabric purchases souvenirs.

The Road to Tennessee quilt block was a perfect pattern for the two charm packs of Vintage Modern.  A few yards of Kona White for the top, an aqua print (not pictured - oops!) that I can't remember for the backing, and a Kona red for the binding.

Looking back, when I was, oh-so-young (ok, it was only last year) I only used the Kona white.  Now, I think an off-white would be a better choice.  While the white is crisp, I think an off-white would blend better.  What do you think?

One of my favorite classes at the Sewing Summit was Stash Mixology.  We discussed different ways to use and cultivate our stash.  I am practicing being a bit more honest and critical of my fabric choices.  Check back in a few days for a dedicated post coming up on the blog.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sewing Summit 2013 - A LONG Review

Oh dear, where to begin?  Last week I spent three WONDERFUL days attending the Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City.  The weather was gorgeous, the fabric delicious, and the people amazing.
Thursday was the "shop hop" where we traveled to three different fabric shops in the Salt Lake Valley.  On my way to the first shop I was given tutorials on how to use Instagram. (I may have even joked about having someone take a picture of me learning how to instagram...).  Thanks Kim for the great tutorial!  (and p.s. I'm @quartermilequilts if you're interested).  Consequently, all of my photos from the trip are on Instagram.
In case you couldn't tell from my blog, I am a huge fan of the color blue.  While walking in the shop one of my new friends noticed that I had a lot of blue in my hand.  She kindly walked me over to the polka section and made me pick a pink fat quarter.  Can you see it?  More on the blue addiction later.  Yes, it requires a whole separate post of its own.
Breakfast at Les Madeleines Patisserie Café in SLC. Yum!

Foundation Paper Piecing class.  I see more of this in my future.

Personal Branding - Our first assignment was to take a "selfie."  I had someone else take a picture of me, but that totally counts, right?

Olivia Omega - my latest inspiration.  Seriously, all, she is amazing!  One of my favorite quotes (paraphrasing) is that "when you are authentically yourself, you are unique and therefore you have no competition"  Not that I am looking to compete with others, but it does help with the whole "don't compare yourself to others" concept.  So glad I had the nerve to get a picture with this amazing lady.

Breakfast again at Les Madeleines' Patisserie... for the third time.  Hello, addict!
I hung out with these three woman all of the time and am so grateful for new quilty friends!  Thanks Kim, Lynn and Christine!

Mini Dresdens class, or as Jeni Baker and I say, Micro-Mini Dresdens. These are some of the tiniest dresdens I have ever seen.  Super cute, but a little difficult to get through the machine.

Melissa Esplin's Photography class.  A great class full of helpful tips and techniques, including those Ikea lamps and cotton shower caps for diffused lighting.
Picture of me and my new quilting best friend, Kim!  She and I connected on the shop hop bus and were excited to find we were kindred spirits!

My beautiful drawstring bag from the Sewing Summit Secret Swap.  Oh dear, I think I may have drooled a bit.

Seriously, all, I can't even begin to scratch the surface of all my memories from the Sewing Summit.  One of my favorites, which I didn't get on camera, was meeting Amy of Diary of a Quilter.  She is one of the first blogs that I followed and one of my big inspirations to starting Quarter Mile Quilts.  It was great to be able to express my gratitude and to share some common interests.
I am so very grateful for the opportunity that I had to attend the Sewing Summit this year. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be the people hands-down.  Everyone is excited to be there and we all share a common love for fabric!