Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Winners & Progress

Just a quick post to share some photos and to share winners from the blogiversary giveaway.

I, ahem, spent my Christmas money today at a local quilt shop

Cut strips for a quick quilt gift

And took pictures of the finished April Showers plus quilt.   I snagged these quickly this afternoon when I had a few spare moments.

And the winners (thanks to the ever awesome random number generator)...

1. Quilt Frame - Kelsey

2. Fabric - Heidi

I'm sending you lovely ladies an email for mailing addresses!

Congratulations!  Thanks everyone for stopping by :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Blogiversary: One Year!

To all of you who read this blog: THANK YOU!

Today marks the one year anniversary of Quarter Mile Quilts and over that time I've:

- made awesome friends (like you!)
- bought more fabric (and more fabric, and more fabric)
- went to Sewing Summit 2013
- admitted my color addiction
- joined Instagram (quartermilequilts)
- and of course, made quilts, started quilts

(including my WIP above - the January 2014 Sugar Block Club block!  If you're in the group, you'll quickly see my mistake, but if you're not, just enjoy the cute block.  I decided to use my bundle of Chicopee for this project and am choosing to do each block in a different color way - i.e. orange, green, blue.  I'm hoping it will be as lovely as it is in my mind!)

Thank you for encouraging me to do my best and to improve.  Thank you for giving me a platform to share my passion.  Thank you for reading.

And with that comes a thank you gift!  While I would love to give each of you a little something, I know that's nearly impossible.  However, I do have two items up for grabs:

1. SewEasy Lap Frame 11 x 17.  I use a similar pvc frame for all of my hand-quilting and it's really handy for road trips and sitting in front of the tv.

2. Fabric!  A custom half yard bundle featuring some adorable Old MacDonald fabric and coordinating prints from my stash. 

Aren't they cute?!?  I've been saving some for a future baby quilt and decided to share some with you.

To enter please leave one comment noting which item you would prefer and an email to contact you (if you're a no-reply blogger).  The blogiversary give away closes Monday, January 27th at 11:00PM PST.

Again, thank you for reading!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Top 10: Tried and True Quilting Tutorials

Hello all!

Today I'm introducing a new page to my blog:

This new blog page contains a list of tutorials (both sewing and quilting) that I consistently use (over and over again) and love!

If you're new to quilting or a just need to brainstorm some additional ideas, just pop on over!

Today let me share my top ten Tried and True quilting tutorials (names linked to the tutorials and pictures from my projects):

1. Amy Smart's Binding Tutorial from Diary of a Quilter

2. Alison Harris' Half Square Triangles of Cluck Cluck Sew

3. Alison Harris' Hourglass Blocks of Cluck Cluck Sew

4. Elizabeth Hartman's Dresdens from Oh Frannson and Sew Mama Sew!

5. Jeni Baker's Modern Plus Quilt Tutorial of In Color Order

6. Andie Johnson's Road to Tennessee Block from Andie Johnson Sews

7. Amy Smart's Beginning Quilting Series of Diary of a Quilter

8. Anna's Lone Starburst Paper Pieced Pattern from Six White Horses

9. Blue Elephant Stitches version of the Granny Square

10. Amanda's Starflower QAL from A Crafty Fox

Please note that these reviews are based upon my own opinions and experiences.  Pictures come from my projects using the referenced tutorials.

What tutorials to you tend to use over and over again?  Do you have an absolute favorite?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

April Showers: Charm Quilt Progress

One night in December, I'm thumbing my way through Instagram when I notice a post from Amanda of Westwood Acres Fabric.  She was selling her Fall Market Stash, including charm packs of Bonnie & Camille's new spring line: April Showers.  Hmmm it took me roughly two seconds to decide to jump at the chance of grabbing some April Showers.  (The blues are absolutely gorgeous and this line is in my "comfort" color scheme).  I jumped on and grab three sets.  Why three? 

Last month I won a copy of Love Patchwork and Quilting's first issue and on the cover is Holly DeGroot's The Plus Side quilt.  I swooned.  I loved the simplicity and boldness of the pattern.  The quilt was screaming "MAKE ME."  And so I responded, in kind :)

The pattern requires three charm packs (so that you have three matching 5" squares, but you can easily just cut out 3, 5" squares if you choose to do this pattern). The pattern also provides measurements if you choose to use different fabrics for each block background, or if you want to use one consistent block background.  I've been hesitant to join the modern quilting trend of low volume fabrics and didn't feel like it was quite "my style."  However, after seeing this quilt, I felt confident to try a "new thing."  It was my spark!  Don't you just love inspiration?!?

I started the quilt on a whim late Friday night (I even "Instagramed" it with the hashtag #measurethreetimes) because I was worried I would cut my precious fabric incorrectly. (After all, they're currently my substitute for children). First I separated out all of the low volume April Showers charms and set them aside. Next comes the process of laying out the low volume backgrounds so that I could get them to "look" random.  Then I played with placement of the April Shower charms, again to make them "look" random.

Then I finally started to piece the blocks together and I am halfway done! 10 more blocks to go and I am enjoying the process.

Thinking this one is my favorite so far.

Howie likes this one more.

So far, I love this pattern!  I would highly recommend it to a beginner or seasoned quilter.  It's a great pattern to show off your fabric and to play with the low-volume trend.  What do you think of low volume fabrics?

Pattern: The Plus Side (From Love Patchwork and Quilting's Issue One)
Designer: Holly DeGroot
Fabrics: April Showers from Moda's Bonnie & Camille
Low Volume Fabrics: Happy-Go-Lucky from Bonnie & Camille, Waterfront Park from Violet Craft, Nottinghill from Art Gallery, Moda's Surrounded by Love, Chicken Wire from Moda Classics, and Kona White.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Marmalade HSTs

First of all, I love my Singer 221 Featherweight sewing machine.  We were lucky that our holiday travels only involved a few hours of driving and the featherweight traveled well.  

During the drive, Howie helped me bind a quilt for one of my nephews.

I brought with me a charm pack of Bonnie & Camille's Marmalade and 42 5" Kona White squares.  My sister-in-laws enjoyed learning how to make half square triangles using this method from Cluck Cluck Sew.

Howie enjoyed playing with the HSTs while I was squaring them.

This past weekend I spent some time and am about half way through putting together the Marmalade HST quilt top.  The current plan is that this will serve as a quilt for the next niece born in the family.  I'm excited that the girl will have a quilt that all of her aunts (and mom!) made.

Oh and in case you were wondering, the San Diego Zoo is fabulous!  My husband and I enjoyed all of the animals, especially the leopard statue.

And the koalas were active!  When we went a few years ago for our honeymoon, the koalas were sleeping.  But this time...

I caught one leaping from the branches.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Central Park Dresden Quilt: A Finish

I am so happy to share this finish with you!  This dresden quilt is one of the largest quilts I've made.  Luckily he week of Christmas was spent on the beach in California and I took advantage of the scenery to shoot the pictures.

I fell in love with Kate Spain's Central Park Line right from the beginning and was itching to get my hands on some.  I found a half yard bundle for a steal and then took months to figure out which pattern I wanted.  After seeing some beautiful Dresden plates from Alison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew and Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter, I was inspired.

With one minor alteration, I used Oh Frannson's tutorial for the Dresden plate.  I felt the center was a bit bigger than I desired and so used one my kitchen bowls to create a smaller template.

The plates are appliqued on Kona White and the border is a Moda Bella solid (can't remember the name - must start to label solids!).  I used the extra pieces of Central Park to piece the border.  I couldn't help myself and took the plunge to use the cobblestone print for both the backing (in light brown) and binding (yellow).

Once again, my LQS provided the quilting services and did a fabulous job!

I snagged a picture just as I finished the binding :)

As a part of the festivities, this quilt was raffled off to my in-laws and my brother-in-law won it!

Oh, and just because I didn't have enough WIPs, I decided to join The 2014 Sugar Block Club from Stitchery Dickory Dock. 

<div align=”center”><a href=”” title=”2014 Sugar Block Club” target=”_blank”><img src=”” alt=”2013 Sugar Block Club” style=”border:none;” /></a></div>

Anyone care to join me?

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts' Finish it Up Friday.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My Word of the Year - 2014

I've noticed over the past several days, a small trend amongst my blogging friends to pick a word for the year.  For example, my friend Shannon picked the word "bloom" (which I LOVE) and another picked "serenity."

In thinking of my goals for life, family, faith, and this blog, I've been wrestling with what word could be mine for the year. 



Inspire?  Well, "enjoy and inspire" is the tagline to this blog and I felt inspired to pick another word with similar meaning.  Enter: my thesaurus.  With it's help I decided on the word:

Spark: anything that activates or stimulates; inspiration or catalyst. 

My goal for 2014 is to be open and accepting to the sparks in my life.  I want to be open to the opportunities/lessons/trials that are available to me and my family.  (As long as it doesn't create a HUGE works in progress list, right?).

As you may choose to think of goals for this year, I hope you take some time to reflect on last year and what you want from this upcoming year.  If you could choose a word for this next year, what would it be?

I wish you the very best and a happy, wonderful 2014!