Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Tone It Down 2016 QAL

In the February 2014 Issue of American Patchwork & Quilting, Designer Lissa Alexander (modalissa) released her pattern, Tone It Down, for the first APQ Quilt Along. It was an instant and HUGE success. At the time, I knew it was a little advanced for my beginner skills, but it remained on my To-Do list for two years.... And now, it's time!

My first inspiration came from Bonnie (Bonnie and Camille). Her Tone It Down, to this day, is still one of my favorites!

I love how every Tone It Down is so different from the next. @quiltcrazy created this gorgeous one from Hello Darling! 

 When it came time to create Quilt Goals for 2016, I knew that this one was at the top! And is there anything better than sewing along with your friends? I don't think so. The #toneitdown2016qal was created!

Fabric pulling is one of my favorite parts. I have been hoarding a F8th bundle of Marmalade for some time, and it was just begging to be used for this! After I took the ribbon off (gasp!), and my heart rate slowed, it was time to make some test blocks!

These blocks are really addicting. A test block turned into 3! And I literally had to turn off my machine and walk away!

I'm excited for everyone who is joining us! I created a flexible time table for those of us(me) who sometimes get distracted.  It's not the end all be all of schedules, so if you are ahead or behind, no worries!

And within the last few minutes, seriously, I also found out that Lissa (you know, the DESIGNER) has offered up a prize to be given away!!! She's so generous, and just as thrilled as I am that so many are sewing this up! 

Remember to use the #toneitdown2016qal hashtag so that we can see all your hard work!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

My Word for 2016

I remember choosing my word for 2014. Intentional. We had just moved to Brasil. I had a 6 month old and a 2.5 year old, and I felt overwhelmed. Like I was just going through the motions of life, and my only job was to stay afloat and keep the kids alive. Intentional seemed like a good choice. 

This year is different. We are two years in to our rotation in Brasil, and I finally feel like I have a pretty firm grasp on things, like I could begin to branch out in a lot of different areas! My word for this year is GROW. 

Seasons of life are different and the season I'm in right now is providing me a lot of room to become more and do more. My number one for this year is to grow in my walk with God. He and I have been in a pretty good place for awhile - but I need more, and I know that he wants me to need Him more, so I'm choosing to grow into Him. I know that this is the foundation for everything I need, and it will only help me to grow more as a mom and a wife. I'm not seeking perfection by any means, but a place where I know that I can be who I need to be. 

The Linen Fox: For two years, I have been waiting. And waiting. And finally, the idea that I could open my own online store...and then brick and mortar is becoming more of a reality. I want to GROW my business, and in turn, grow my love (is that even possible?) of fabric. I love making quilts, and that will never stop, but I feel like it's time to take this gift and do more with it!

I also want to challenge my technique and skills. I would classify myself as an intermediate quilter. I know there is so much more out there, but also just bringing more to what I already have! I love that our quilting community are such encouragers. It definitely makes me want to be better!

And lastly, and a little nervously - I signed on to this. I've been using the products for 7 months, and I love them. Bottom line. I love my skin more. I'm taking care of my skin, and maybe even growing up a little and learning that this body, this one body, has to be taken care of. Healthy eating, exercise, skin care - all a part of deciding to actively participate, rather than sit back and just let things happen.

If you guys are interested in finding out more about Rodan + Fields, (This link will take you to our Solutions Tool) I'm happy to send you info! I'm also happy to FaceTime you as well, if you want to talk "Face to Face." I also promise to bombard my Linen Fox IG, Hardly ever even.

2016 is going to be a great year!! I've got lots of room to Grow! What is your word? And how do you keep it in the forefront as you progress through the year!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Quilt #2: Retro

Quilt #2 from Simply Retro was.... Retro. I knew from the first time I saw it, that it was destined for "some" of my Navy Penny dot stash. I was trying to think about how many yards of that particular print I have used in the last few years... and it's a lot. I'm like a dog in search of a bone, I don't give up. Anyway, just guessing, it's at least 10 yards, and I still have a few left. 

Back to the point. Retro in Navy Penny Dots. Yes. 

I made this one fairly quickly after I made Swell. I haven't had the chance to quilt it yet, and really haven't decided if I want to tackle it myself. This one comes together SO quickly. It looks great in a solid, but I'm wondering if it wouldn't look good in a scrappy version too. I'm thinking a la @mommy2lu and the wonders she did with Vintage. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go look her up on IG. It's amazing.

Isn't that the great thing about quilts/quilt patterns/quilters? You can take one pattern, and it totally takes a life of it's own, depending on it's maker.

My hiatus from the Simply Retro book will end after January. My plan is to jump into a APQ Tone-It-Down Quilt along, and then maybe in February hit Quilt #3.

 The Holidays are upon us, and while I don't have a boat load of stuff to do, it's enough to at least fill a canoe.

Happy Sewing my fellow Makers!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pattern Testing: Constant Sunshine

I had the chance to pattern test for @simplybekah. Most of us know her, and her kindness, and unwavering support and encouragement for the quilting community. She has written her first pattern, Constant Sunshine, and it. is. gorgeous. It reminds me a little of Swoon. It has 9 big blocks, which I LOVE, and it looks great when you add in coordinating solids. 

I used Daysail for the first time, and it is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I am typically drawn to blues, and greens, and the navy in this line is spot on. I also added Essex Linen in Steel, which has also become a favorite. 

I can't wait for her to release her pattern to the public and to see what awesome combinations everyone comes up with!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Simply Retro Quilt #1 - Swell in Hello Darling

There are a lot of reasons I began this sewing journey through Camille Roskelley's Simply Retro book. Most of them fall in the "fan girl" category. Other reasons include simple things: She makes awesome patterns, that are easy to follow, even if you are new to this quilting game. Her fabric is GORGEOUS. AND there are so many quilts on my list, I need a focus; a place to start. 

The first quilt in her book is Swell. I have seen several versions of this quilt. Check out #swellquilt and you can see for yourself.  One of my favorites is this one by @windyrisepatchwork. I love April Showers, but add that green and I fall in LOVE. 

I had a plan for Swell from the get go. Hello Darling. Because, Hello? This pattern is also perfect for a jelly roll. I also went with a patterned background instead of a solid. This is Firefly from Hello Bear by Bonnie Christine. 

I may have had some "assistance" while cutting fabric.

Always. Always. Always the hardest part for me when it comes to "scrappy" quilts is the randomness of being scrappy. I think my mind wants to make it uniform, so scrappy is hard for me. I've heard of people just putting their material in a bucket and pulling it out. Maybe I should try that next time...

The quilt went together very quickly. The only way I deviated from the pattern was that I didn't add the second border. I didn't have any Hello Darling yardage to work with, and I really just liked it this way. In all honesty, one thing I'm not to keen on when it comes to quilts --- Borders. I feel like it takes away from the quilt somehow.

Now - this one has been quilted and bound and ready for it's new home. I came up with an awesome plan for these quilts. I'm going to give them away. As a surprise. This one will make it's way to it's new owner freshly washed, wrinkled, and crinkled in just a few weeks.

We all have a TON of quilts, so I just knew these quilts would get a special home for some pretty special people! I mean, I can't really keep ALL the quilts. I can make them ALL but I can't keep them all.

(Since I don't trust the Brasil postal system, I have to wait for a carrier to deliver i.e., my mom is visiting next week, so she will take it back with her and mail it.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

13 Quilts: Ode to Camille Roskelley

I was on the treadmill this morning and I guess like some people have good ideas in the shower, the treadmill was the place for me. I had brought down my Simply Retro book just in case my phone died (which was at like 10%). As I'm flipping through, thinking about each quilt and what fabric I would use - I had an epiphany. What if I quilted my way through Simply Retro, like Julie did with Julia Child's cookbook. Genius, right? 

I have a list so long of quilts I want to make, a hoard of fabric that grows with each trip back to the US, and a serious case of Quilter's ADD - that often I find myself at a loss for what to make next. Problem solved! Follow the book. 

Instagram is THE social media outlet; it's quick and easy and voila! You snap a picture of your quilt and done! I think for this journey, I'm going to blog and IG. Is this adventure going to teach me anything? Who knows? Lessons to be learned, fabric to be used, etc. I don't know what, if anything, I will get out of it (other than some fabulous quilts) but, I'm excited. If you want to join me, great! I'm not going to do an official QAL - just a girl and her machine - making 13 quilts. #thelinenfox13quiltsandsimplyretro

The first quilt in the book, is Swell. LOVED this one from the beginning. But I'm unsure what to make it out of, so I'm skipping #1 and going to #2. 

Retro: Honestly. Didn't like this one at first. But when I decided what fabric to use - well, let's just say, I love me some Navy Pin Dots!

The rest of the quilts will be made strictly from my hoard of Bonnie and Camille fabrics. I love them, they are gorgeous, but they need to be used and loved. And really, it's only right to use them for this adventure.

***Disclaimer: This is not my entire fabric stash. Just a sample, no need to cause a riot or anything! And who knows what is being stored at my mom's house to take back in July!***

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Quilting Quirks

Sewing and quilting gives me a lot of time to think. Most of the time it's about all the other stuff on my  "To-Do" list, or duties around the house that are being neglected because I would rather sew, but anyway... I was thinking the other night about all the little nuances that quilters have. 

Here is my list...Because quilter's have lists. 

1. Scraps. I save them. They are kind of, sort of, sometimes when I clean out the jars, organized. Not by color. I have a bag for selvedges, a bag for white, a bag for discarded triangles from Half Square Triangles (you know what I'm talking about) and then a bag of "others." Quilters save scraps. You never know when a project will come around that you need that piece for, and you can always go to the bin to create something. 

Now the saving of scraps isn't necessarily odd, but the crazy part of this habit lies in the size of the scraps. How small is too small? Where do you draw your line in the sand when it comes to discarding scraps? For me, it's hard. Really hard. I'm a fabric hoarder by nature, so it's in my blood to save. it. all. Pack rats for life, right? The stripe material is the smallest one I have right now. It measures 1" by 2.5" - And I always save the selvedges. There is a Pinterest idea that involves Toms and selvedges. A match made in heaven...Yes!

2. Cutters gonna Cut. Sort of. I started using a new Olfa rotary cutter in August. It's cut at least 5 quilt tops, and 7 zipper bags, and various other projects. The blade needed to be replaced. Reluctantly, I busted out my new aqua cutter with the new blade. Why was I reluctant to change the stupid blade? And I'm not the only one. Seriously. What is it about a dull blade that we hang on to for dear life? Are we desperately trying to get every last ounce of cutting ability out of the blade before we deem it worthy of being thrown away? I have no clue. But let me tell you, that brand new blade cuts like. butter. What was I thinking?

3. Quilter's ADD. True Story. We all suffer. We can be in the middle of a project going strong, when all of a sudden a fabric, a pattern, a quilt along, an idea, a swap....something zaps our attention from one project and throws us head first into another. Don't believe me? Ask any sewing or quilter how many projects they are working on? How many "Works In Progress" they have? I have three four major ones right now, some have 10 or 20. It's the creative mind at it's best. We live to create, we create to live, and our minds are never without an idea or something we want to do or try. Which leads me to #4.

4. The Quilt List. THE list. The one that holds all the quilts we want to make. There was a picture that floated around Instagram a few months ago, "Must Make All the Quilts." It's true. My phone is filled with screen shots of quilts I. MUST. MAKE. I can probably add 10 more to my list, if I just go through my picture log. It's the constant need to create that drives the list. The sense of accomplishment, and the fact that in the end you get something really beautiful out of it.

5. Fabric. Yes, we must have it. And no, there will never be a moment when I will think I have "enough." Refer to the list in #4. There will always be quilts to make, and fabric to be bought. Don't ask my husband about this. He thinks I need a Fabric Hoarders Anonymous group.

6. The Gift of Giving. I have made myself...Zero quilts. Seriously. I don't really count the one for my son as one for myself. Every quilt I have made goes to someone else. But I LOVE that. I love giving. I love choosing the fabric and pattern I think fits that person, giving my time and energy and love to each quilt, and then gifting it away. I've only ever sold one quilt. All the others were gifts. I think it's a blessing to use a talent like this to give to others. My goal for the next year is to gift some blankets to the NICU units in some children's hospitals. Or to some nursing homes. What a great lesson to teach our kids, using our gifts and talents to help serve others.