Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Work in Progress: Wholecloth Feather Quilt

I've been working away for a number of hours now on my wholecloth feathers quilt! I've tried not to mention it a whole ton because, you know, everytime I look at it, it's still a wholecloth feathers quilt. I didn't want to bore you with a million blog posts on a white quilt. But I realize that in doing so, I haven't ever shown you the approach I'm taking to tackle such a large quilt!

No time like the present though, right?

Ok, so last time we left off, I was working on the feathers. I'm happy to report that all of the feathers have now been quilted!

I ended up deciding to quilt feathers moving horizontally across the quilt, with denser feathers on the left side, fading into no feathers on the right side.

I started by laying out my quilt sandwich on my bed. Now, we only have a queen size bed, but this will be a king size quilt because we got rid of our bedframe (purging...it's amazing and drastic over here!). I wanted the quilt to drape completely down to the floor, entirely covering the sides of both the extra-thick pillow-top mattress and the box spring.

I'm making it extra large so that even after it's washed and shrinks a bit, it will still be large enough.

Once it looked fairly centered in both directions, I used my washable blue pen to mark the edges of the bed. Every time I needed to do more marking, I could easily line it back up again.

Next, I had to decide exactly where I wanted the feathers to go and how I wanted them to "fade" out. I ended up mentally dividing the bedtop into three sections (not quite thirds, as the middle section is largest). On the left side of the quilt (where it hung off the bed), the feathers would be densest. In the left section, on the top of the bed, the feathers would still be fairly dense, but less so. In the middle section, the feathers would start thinning, and the right section would be left without feathers.

{These feathers are "backwards" from the description, because I took this photo while facing the foot of the bed. So the left side and right side are switched.}

Then I drew spines for the feathers, keeping these divisions in mind. I started by marking the middle feather. Then, I marked the offshoots. I quilted this entire feather. After finishing it, I marked another feather in the same manner alongside of it - so I did not mark the spines of all my feathers at once.

I ended up having just three feathers total, with lots of offshoots, on this quilt (just three was plenty, because of all the offshoots!).

And now, I'm starting to fill in the background with this lovely rectangular meander - although I'm thinking I'll need a lot of coffee to work through it all - there is a lot of negative space in this quilt!!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday

P.S. - This is what happens when you stand on your laundry basket on top of your bed to take photos:


Soak Nail Polish Review & Giveaway

When I saw reviews of Soak nail polish popping up, I was all like, I want in on this action! So the people at Soak agreed to send me some product for me to review and give away. (Uh, that is, they gave me two boxes. It would be plain rude of me to send you some opened nail polish!!)

So here's the deal. I really wanted to try out this nail polish because:
1) I love nail polish. Yup, I'm a girly girl.
2) I love giveaways and giving stuff away. I'm all about that bass, bout that bass...and free stuff.
3) I was pretty confident it was going to be crappy quality, and I wanted to try it without paying for it. I mean, nail polish made by a company that manufactures detergent and starch alternative? C'mon. How good could that be?

I know, I'm brutally honest. But that way you know I'm never lying to you guys, ok? Ok, good.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised that it was not crappy. In fact, it went far beyond crappy, beyond the realm of really good, and into the world of O.P.I.-quality or better goodness. Yup, just as good, if not better than my go-to polish? Sold.

And here's where it got shockingly good - that pink? One coat. It's freaking neon, people. It's freaking amazing. I can't even truly show you how neon that pink is in my photos!

{Manicure 1: Nice and easy, each nail a different color so I could try all of them out in one shot!}
The black only needed one coat, too. (Though I gave it two for good measure, since I'm especially poor at painting nails.)

The two lighter colors needed more than one coat, but the coverage was insanely better than my name-brand light color polishes. Seriously, how was this happening? Why am I dropping so much money on polish if it wasn't working this well?

I was going to do a pattern to mimic Denyse Schmidt's fabric on the box, but could I resist putting the black and pink together? No. No, I could not.

{Manicure 2: To get this manicure, paint your nails entirely pink. Once dry, paint a straight black stripe just on the side. Slop over if you need to! I prefer to focus on getting the line straight on my nail rather than worry too much about hitting my skin a little.}
So anyway. I'm a very impressed and surprised convert over here. No, they don't have a million colors yet, but with such a good product, I anticipate rapid growth in selection.

Which leads me to my next point - let's give some goodies away!

To enter the giveaway, simply:
1) Leave a comment telling me what fabric line you would like to next see translated into nail polish colors. I'm thinking some Tula Pink is in order....
2) For a second chance, visit their page and leave another comment telling me what other products you would like to try out from Soak! Maybe I can convince them to give out some more free stuff here ;P

Giveaway open through Monday the 24th! (Meaning you can still comment to win on Monday until midnight eastern time.)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Feather Free Motion Quilt Along: Link Up!

I've been having a great time working on feathers for the past month - never when I started this QAL up did I imagine everything turning out this way! I actually love quilting feathers now and am not intimidated by them (well....most of them, at least!). I can quilt them with confidence, and don't sweat it when I'm not perfect. I really learned a lot by pushing myself to practice them. My free motion quilting skills have definitely improved during this process!


I know some of you have been quilting along, and some have just been reading along for inspiration. Whatever you've been doing, I really appreciate all the positive support you've given me throughout this time!

If you've managed to sit down and quilt feathers - any feathers, even on an unfinished project or practice piece - now is the time to link up. And don't forget about the "most creative use of feathers" prize! The linkup will be open through Saturday (November 22) and you can read all the prize details here.

And just for a fun recap, here are the new tutorials that came about from this quiltalong:

http://www.13spools.com/2014/11/ffmqal-matchstick-feathers-tutorial.html       http://www.13spools.com/2014/10/ffmqal-practicing-basic-custom-feather.html


Friday, November 14, 2014

Stunning Stars Quilt Top Finished

I wasn't planning on working on my do. Good stitches quilt top when I got up this morning, but then I completely finished it.

True story.

Haha, sorry, my husband's uncle always says stuff like that, so I couldn't resist.

But I did! Those blocks that I laid out on Wednesday ended up just calling my name, and I thought it would be a good idea to finish up this quilt before I received another round of quilt blocks.

I thought it didn't look quite finished, so I toyed around with a few ideas for extras....colored border?White border? White border with scalloped quilt edges? Ruffle? Ugh, that'll take forever. Oooh, just a top and bottom border? That'll look fresher. Definitely flying geese. Nevermind, who feels like sewing a bunch of flying geese right now? Not me, that's for sure. HSTs! The perfect solution. Like flying geese, but easier. Faster, namely.

So I cut 8 print pieces and 8 white pieces at 7.75" square. I drew two diagonal lines and used the method outlined in this post to make 8 HSTs at a time. Speed is king here.

I think it adds the perfect touch.

And sheesh, photographing whites in the winter in my house is just terrible. Terrible! Hopefully I'll have better luck when the entire quilt is assembled. I'll definitely try a different time of day.

Linking up to Finish it Up Friday

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Why You Should Totally Buy "Heather Ross Prints"

So here's the deal. This book? It's awesome, and you should buy it.

Am I shamelessly trying to sell you something? Yes. But only because I stumbled across it on Amazon, read some killer reviews, bought it...and then it rocked my socks off. (For real. No socks right now.)

Ohhh, I could give a bunch of reasons why you should buy this book...

For starters, there are some really unique and creative crafts in here. Making a personalized notepad, how to print your own custom wallpaper, a vinyl-covered tablecloth - all with directions that make everything look easy. (Not saying they are. I have no idea. But Heather Ross at least makes them look easy.)

And then, there's the section on fabric design. Now, this might not interest everybody, but even if you have no desire to design fabric yourself, I think it's still really neat to see how an artist works.

{drumroll please}

But here's the real reason you should buy this book - There is a cd with image files for 32 of Heather Ross' favorite fabric prints, AND with 87 files for the specific projects in the book.

Did you get that? Buy this book, and you have 32 of her best fabrics, for whatever strikes your fancy.

Open the cd, hit print, and you have:
Mendocino Mermaids (in pink)
Frog Prince
Princess and the Pea
Playing Horses
Owl and the Pussycat
Swim Class
Becoming Frog
Snow White, Laundry
The list goes on.

Right at your own fingertips. Whenever you want. For whatever you want. On paper. On wallpaper. You can even print them on fabric (Kona cotton) via Spoonflower. (A few of them are already available from her personal Spoonflower shop.)


have you bought it yet? (If not, please send some of your willpower this way. I'm seriously lacking.)

P.S. - There is (unfortunately) no preview in the Amazon listing for this book. If you have questions about whether or not a specific print is in the book, I'll be happy to answer it in the comments.

P.P.S. - Her "Goldfish in Bags" fabric isn't in there. Sadface, I know.
*Was that a super annoying post? I hope not. Maybe a little :) You can hate me for it! Or realize that I am super enthusiastic because, how in the heck have I never heard about this book before??, and you probably haven't either. FYI, the Amazon links are affiliate ones, but feel free to purposefully buy it on Amazon without going through my links. You know, stick it to the man and all. Full disclosure at the bottom of the site if you care :)