Sunday, 24 August 2014

Texas QAL - Where Everyone is a Winner!!

Thank you to all the ladies who participated in the Texas Roadtrip QAL! All of the quilts were phenomenal, and I can't say enough about how happy seeing them has made me. Every one was so unique and beautiful, and I really wish that they all belonged to me!! (Wouldn't it be great if we could do a Texas quilt swap, but everyone just had to send theirs to me--to keep for myself! But I'll keep that on the back burner for now:) 

If you've been working on a Texas quilt, but didn't get it made in time, you can always still post on instagram with the hashtag #texasroadtripqal so we can still admire your work. If you need any of the instructions you can click the Texas button on the right and it will take you to everything you need. 

And now for the winners. So Melissa and I decided that everyone is a winner! We drew names out of the hat for the sponsor prizes, but we still have SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE, so TO ALL THE LADIES WHO LINKED UP--SEND US YOUR ADDRESS!! We just couldn't stand that not everyone was going to get something:)

Here is what the hat chose for the sponsor prizes:

An Aggie Bug wins and Aurifil set and look at her quilt--isn't that background amazing!!!

Amanda at What the Bobbin also wins and Aurifil set and here is her awesome low volume quilt--

Shauna from Shauna's World wins the cute Old New 30's bundle from Donna's Lavender Nest! I love how Shauna's quilt is so colorful and has her beautiful star block.

SuperSara wins the Modern Roses jelly roll from Lily Rose Quilts. SuperSara was one of the first to finish her Texas quilt--it was finished months ago!

What KT Made is the winner of the bundle of Cotton + Steel from Fat Quarter Shop. Her quilt was a mini, and so fabulous! I want to make a wall hanging like this one too:)

The winner of the Fort Worth Fabric Studio $50 gift card was Cheryl from Texas Quilting Gal! I love her Baylor University block!

Jennie of Porch Swing Quilts won this cute Layer Cake of Fancy which was sent to us from Moda! Jennie's quilt had such a pretty border, don't you think?

And Jamie of Sunflower Seeds is the winner of the Urban Spools bundle! She used all Texas fabrics--isn't that awesome!

Congrats ladies! But there are still more quilts to show off, and remember for everyone else who linked-up, you are still winning a prize, so make sure you all send us your addresses ( and!

#Chelengeorge made this beautiful version of Texas! She also was working on cute mini version too!

And Kat of Kat and Cat Quilts made this lovely patriotic version with a beautiful rolling hills block--just stunning:)

Hilary from Young Texan Mama made this jaw-dropping version with AMH fabrics! 

This oh-so-bright-and-pretty version was made by Lisa! 

Ashley from Urban Spools made this awesome version--look at that pretty heart in the middle!

And Retro Mama is working on her cute Texas Quilt and here is one of her quadrants--love those vintage-y fabrics!

Again, everyone who linked up is winning something, so please send your addresses!

And if you're just following along, thanks for joining us!! And a big THANK YOU to all the sponsors and block designers! We couldn't have had this much fun without you:)

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Texas Roadtrip QAL Quilt Parade!!

Hi Y'all!!! Today is the final day of the Texas Roadtrip QAL, and it's time to show off the lovely quilts you've been working on. It's a little sad for me today, because I really don't want this QAL to end! Everyday I looked forward to checking instagram and flickr for any new pics that had been added, and just loved seeing how each quilt told it's own story with the fabric and all the personal touches that were added to the quilts. Along the roadtrip we had 15 stops, with a different block designed for each city, and there were a few designers that added some bonus blocks, so when it was all said and done, I believe (if I'm counting right) we had 20 different blocks!

Texas quilt

At each stop I thought I had found my favorite block, and then I was just as excited when the next one was revealed. I loved reading about why each designer had chosen to create their blocks, and hearing their own personal stories, and finding out why Texas was important to them. I could seriously work on this quilt for the rest of my life, because is it really possible to capture a lifetime of memories and put it on a quilt in just a few months?

One thing that I feel my quilt is missing is something that represents food. I can honestly say (and I'm getting off on a tangent here) that the thing I miss most about Texas is all the delicious food--but I really couldn't make a quilt block that looked like a chopped beef sandwich, a breakfast taco, or a chicken fried steak. So I found these cute Texas shaped pancake molds and Melissa and I have decided to give one to each of the ladies who designed blocks for our QAL because, if I can't get Texas food onto our quilts, then the least we can do is give a quilter a Texas shaped food.

I hear from a lot of non-Texans how crazy they think we (Texans) are because of our overt pride, and I think the most obvious way a Texan shows their pride is to slap a Texas shape on anything and everything (ex. pancake mold). To me, these Texas quilts are a perfect testament to what our state means to us, and I just have to laugh when I think about all the people who have rolled their eyes when they hear a loud patriotic Texan preachin' about the best state in the Union, and how they'd roll their eyes again if they saw our Texas quilts all lined up.

So, how this is going to work is, go to the bottom of this post and link-up your Texas quilt. You can add the link to a Flickr pic or to your blog, and you'll be instantly entered to win a fabulous prize from one of our amazing sponsors.

There are still 2 Aurifil thread sets to giveaway, and I if you've seen these along the roadtrip you know how awesome they are--a thread color chart, a designer box of thread, and an additional pack of different weight threads in the same color.

Donna's Lavender Nest is offering up this beautiful bundle of Lecien's Old New 30's with a couple of fat quarters of coordinating gingham added in!

Lily Rose Quilts is an Etsy shop and has generously donated this jelly roll of Modern Roses by Stephanie Ryan--so sweet and pretty, right?

The Fat Quarter Shop is has given us this fat quarter exclusive bundle of the Pony Express from the newly sought-after Cotton + Steel line!

Fort Worth Fabric studio is offering up a $50 (yes, I said $50) gift card!

A Fancy layer cake by Lily Ashbury was donated by Moda. Fancy isn't released until October, so this is a good chance to make a quilt with it before someone else does!

And Urban Spools has created this custom bundle for one lucky winner!

I would like to thank all of the sponsors (most of whom are Texan I should mention!) who have graciously supported us in this QAL. We were overwhelmed by the number of sponsors who agreed to help us out, and if you followed along the QAL you know that several shops also designed blocks for the roadtrip.

To enter to win one of the lovely prizes above, just use the link-up below to show us what you made. And just so you know, your quilt tops are perfectly suitable for the link-up, and any version of a Texas quilt that you were inspired to make along this roadtrip. The link-up will close on Friday, 22 Aug, and winners will be revealed on Monday, 25 Aug. I can't wait to see what you've made!!!

And don't forget to stop by Melissa's blog, My Fabric Relish, and check out her Texas quilt. :)

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Fat Quarterly Retreat - Day 2 and 3

Moroccan Tile _ Amy Smart

The first class I had on day two of the Fat Quarterly Retreat was "Getting your Patchwork into Print" with Jenny Fox-Proverbs, editor of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine. I was really excited because (probably like most of you reading this) I think it would be amazing to get one of my quilts in a magazine. Jenny has been working in the crafty publication industry for about 15 years, so I was ready to absorb all that I could. Jenny is very sweet (and very pretty) and talked about what she's looking for in new contributors of her magazine. She pointed out that not magazine/book publishers are the same, so if you're wanting to submit one of your quilts, it would probably be best to submit to a publication that is the most suited to your style. She talked about how to submit, what NOT to say in an email submission, and how important is is to "sell" your quilt design/idea. She also talked about how you should never compromise your style for an editor. As an editor herself, she has a motherly-like relationship with her contributors--she recognizes their strengths and wouldn't ask them to make something that is out of their comfort zone.

Another important thing to mention is that Jenny said you should really focus on building your brand. When people already know who you are, there's a better chance for publication. So build your blog, get on instagram, and get out there and show people the wonderful things you're making!!

My second class was "6 Pointed Stars" with Amy Smart. The class started immediately after the first one, so I didn't have time to run back to my room and get all my stuff like I had planned, so I spent half the class just trying to borrow stuff to make my star. We were English paper piecing and Amy showed us that glue basting was way easier than trying to sew all those pieces down to the paper. It was funny because everyone kept saying "...if you use a pritt stick" and I had no idea what they were talking about. "A what stick?" I asked. "A Pritt stick." But to me these words didn't make sense...then they showed one to me--it was just a regular glue stick and the brand was "Pritt".  And if you'll allow be to divert the story for just a moment, this reminds me of a recent confusing conversation I had with my British co-worker, Mr. Moss.

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Mr. Moss works in the office right next to me, is probably in his 50's, and him and I are always going round-and-round in these weird conversations where we don't understand what the other one is saying--even though we both speak English. But American English is way different from the Queen's English. So, Mr. Moss walked in to my office and said, "I have to run over to the other office in case anyone asks for me--I'm not skiving".

"Skiving? What's that??" I asked.

"It bunking off" he said it like somehow that had cleared everything up.

"You mean, like 'skating'?"

He stared at me obviously becoming confused too because he didn't know what I meant.

I tried again, "Like slacking--you know, slacking off?".

He still look confused, and I was confused and we were just standing there staring at each other and trying to figure out how we were going to get this message across.

And then he said, "In the old days, a skivy was--"

"Underwear'!" I yelled out. I thought maybe I was getting warmer, because in American if you are "in your skivvies", you are in nothing but your underwear, but no, I was still wrong.

"No, no, no" he laughed. "A skivvy is a menial servant, and so maybe the word "skiving" comes from that word--maybe when the skivvies would try to get out of doing work they would be skiving".

And then the lightbulb came on. And then we both decided we should write an American English/British English dictionary.

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So anyway, back to the story real story.

So I borrowed a Pritt stick and basted diamonds, and then sewed a few together, then it was time for lunch. The retreat provided the lunch for us, so we sat around and chatted and then we were off to our next classes. I was taking "Free Motion Design" with Trudi Wood.

Trudi is a Renaissance woman--she is an awesome free-motion quilter, works a regular job, and is single mom.  She taught us how to make all kinds of cool designs with paper-and-pencil that we could use in our quilts--feathers, all different ways to make swirls, and how to 'break-up' our quilts to and make up different designs all over. The class was very fun and beneficial because I'm always getting stuck on how I should quilt my quilts, so now I have lots of new ideas for things I could do. After the class, I snuck back to my room to take a quick nap, and then ran back to the retreat when it was time to break for dinner.

Earlier that day I had been invited to dinner with two quilting sisters, Gunilla and Helene who are from Sweden and are such nice people. Before we ate, they wanted to stop by a shop, Shaukat, that sold Liberty fabric and better prices than what was available at the Liberty Store. When we got there, we were looking through a huge pile of end-of-bolt pieces of fabric and then Amy Smart walked up and started going through the fabric with us. I felt really silly because if I wanted a piece like she had, I thought she'd think I only wanted it because she liked it, so I tried not to pick the same fabric as here, but I still came away with a beautiful bundle. As Helene, Gunilla, and I were leaving we asked Amy if she would like to join us for dinner because it didn't appear she was with anyone else. We all walked down to an Italian restaurant and ate together, which was pretty cool for me, because I got to have dinner with my idol!

When we walked back to retreat it was time for the market and show-and-tell. At the market I picked up some new Cotton + Steel and a few other coordinating prints. I tried not to like Cotton + Steel but I got sucked in--the colors are very, very pretty, and the cotton is so soft.

For the show and tell, a bunch of people showed off their quilts they had made for Siblings Together, and there were 27 quilts, I believe, being donated--and they were all so pretty. Even though the quilts were for donation, people really took the time to make them beautiful. You can see them on instagram if you search #FQR2014

After the show and tell, I went back to my room to cut fabric. The next morning I had my last class, Fabulously Fast Tiles with Amy Smart, and decided to use the new Cotton + Steel I had purchased at the market. I cut the fabric, and got ready for bed.

Day 3

For the last class, we were making Amy's Moroccan Tile Quilt, from her book "Fabulously Fast Quilts". And let me just say, the quilt is super-easy to make, and does go really fast. Each of us had brought 2" strips of fabric and I turned around at one point, and the woman behind me had a jelly roll of Bonnie and Camille's "Ruby", and I said, "How did you find this??!!". She explained that she was over in Norway at a quilt shop looking for a jelly roll to bring, and that was all they had so she got stuck with it--she didn't have another option. I told her in America, that is like gold and she could get a lot for it. Then later, Amy Smart walked up to see how everyone was coming along, and she saw the lady's jelly roll, and said "Where did you find this?" and went through the whole thing again. So, what I learned from that quilting trends aren't the same the world over.

When it was getting close to time to leave, Lynne Goldworthy came by and announced that we would all be meeting up downstairs at "quarter-two".

"A quarter to two?" I thought to myself. So we were going to break for lunch first, then meet up to say our goodbyes? That was 2 hours away. Then I started telling people that we were meeting back up at almost 2 o' clock and someone corrected me and then I told them what Lynne said. They explained that Lynne had said "quarter to" not "quarter two"--so really just a quarter before the next hour, which was in 10 minutes. (That will be added to my dictionary).

As we said our goodbyes the fire alarm went off, and we all went outside and hugged and exchanged email addresses. It was a little sad because I made some new friends in the short weekend, and I'm hoping that one day I'll get to meet up with them again. Overall, it was a great experience, I had fun, I learned a lot (and little more of the 'English' language, and I got to meet some amazing people. Brione, Lynne and Sasha did an outstanding job of putting it all together, and if I'm here next year, I'll definitely be going back.