Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Nautical Baby Quilt Progess

I have sewn all the blocks together on the nautical baby quilt.




I label each row until the entire top is sewn together. That's my next step. I love this whale print. Definitely one of my favorites. And another favorite fabric in this quilt is shown in the photo below. It has a white background with Navy Blue Jelly Fish, Star Fish and Sea Turtles.




There are nine rows all together. I am hoping that this will be finished with the light blue borders sewn on by Monday.

Not much else to share, other than it's very hot and humid in the Hudson Valley this week. It's okay with me. I don't miss winter one bit.

Happy Quilting and stay cool!!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and Let's be Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Great Sale at Cedar House Fabrics

Lela at Cedar House Fabrics is having a GIANT SALE, through August 10. She is offering 30% off your entire order. Just use the code SUMMERSALE when you check out. She has some great modern and solid fabrics left.

Happy Shopping and Happy Quilting!!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Midnight Mystery Quilt with Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs - One Fabric Change

Earlier this month, I posted my fabrics for the Midnight Mystery QAL, that Cheryl@ Meadow Mist Designs, is sponsoring. It's still not too late to join. Click here for more details.

These were my original fabrics below.





I love the way these fabrics look together. My "A" fabric is directional, with text, which just will be a bit tricky when it gets cut into HST. I found out that "A" would be easier to work with if it were a non-directional fabric. I did peek, because I really need to do the August and September steps for this quilt, because we will be away for most of September.

When we get back, I will be caught up with everyone else. In the meantime, I promised Cheryl no photos, except for the ones that coordinate with the month we are all working on.



My new "A" fabric keeps the dark blue in the mix the way I planned, and also uses medium blue for the fruit.

My "C" fabric below is a light blue marble print, and shows up much better in this photo.




And my "D" fabric shows up much better in this close up.



I love these gray swirls, and purchased a lot of yardage. It goes with everything, and would be great for backing fabric too.

In the meantime, I have to get back to working on the three baby quilts.

Looking forward to posting more on them later this week.

Happy Quilting!!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Baby Quilt 1 - Nautical Theme

Currently, I am working on several baby quilts, not to mention the other quilts that are not.  Honestly, I'm not positive how many WIP's; it's somewhere between 5-10. That's the most I've ever had!!

My very close friend's daughter, Erica, who is the mom to be, is expecting a baby boy around Thanksgiving. Did you know that pirates are a very popular theme for babies now? She purchased a onesy with a scull and crossbones on it from Nordstrom's at the sale. And, this motif is really popular.

So I let Erica and her mom pick out the pattern, which is a simple charm square quilt with a nautical theme.




The scull and crossbones fabric will be the backing fabric and the binding.

Here are some close-ups of the fabrics.











And this is the layout as of now. I'm sure I will change it around a bit by tomorrow. I was itching to start sewing tonight, but I know, I am more pleased with my layouts when I reexamine them the next day. So I will wait.





The other two baby quilts in progress are; a low volume quilt with coral and Aqua squares, (Mom's choice - Lisa). The pattern is by Brenda Ratliff from@justabitfrayed, and Pink Castle Fabrics. This pattern also uses text fabrics. It's perfect for my cousin Jordan, and his wife Lisa, and their little girl; Marigold Louise from LA. Everyone is calling her, Goldie. She is so cute!!

The third baby quilt is for my friend Tom and his wife, and their second child, Clara. The pattern is spools of thread. I chose that pattern, because they own Colonial Needle and Presencia Thread. And, I am a huge fan of their products.

Today I am linking up with Lee at Freshly Modern Pieced.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

BlogHer 15 In NYC

I began this journey as a quilt blogger a little over two years ago. I heard about BlogHer Conferences via the quilt blogger community. Each time there was a conference, it was in a city that I would have to fly to. Being a very budget conscious person, I couldn't justify it after attending Fall Quilt Market, QuiltCon, and a few other quilt related conferences and events.

When I saw that the BlogHer 2015 Conference was coming to NYC in July, I read the class offerings, and decided to register. I live an hour north of Manhattan, and could go home for the night, and come back the next day. Good budget decision.

I had a mixed experience, but would attend BlogHer again in another city nearby; Southern, CT, Parts of New Jersey or Long Island.





To be fair, I  have to throw in this caveat - I'm not sure this conference would have been the same experience for me, if I had attended it in another city, and not NYC. Keep that in mind as you read this post. It has been my experience that conferences in NYC take on a hyper personality of it's own. But there are lots of pluses I was lucky enough to experience too.

I attended four workshops/classes. The first two were on Friday, and the third and fourth on Saturday. 

1. Focus and Organization; Tips and Tactics to Focus on Your Content and Get More Done, (D+). Two people gave this class, and didn't seem to coordinate well as a team. The result was disjointed. For me, I didn't learn anything new, but that could have happened with any class taken at a conference too.

2. How to Be a Better Instagrammer (A). The presenter was clear, organized and gave good tips and information for those who understand the basics of Instagram. Some of her tips tended to be for bloggers who write about parenting, fashion, food and photography. (Same for the Geek Bar below). Craft blogs are considered a niche blogsphere compared to these others.

3. Geek Bar - SEO (A+). This session was packed. It was in an open area with a few other geek bar sessions going on at the same time. Attendees were competing for seats, and to hear their presenter. However, our speaker had clear, elocution. Loud enough to be heard, but not screaming. She did have to repeat herself a few times. And it was helpful to follow her powerpoint presentation on our laptops or tablets. I wrote more about this in 3A, below.

Our presenter is the woman in the top left corner of this photo. And those you see attending, were 1/4 or less of the attendees at this geek bar group. And it was not in a private room, like the other sessions were.



Her information was up-to-date with changes that are happening at Google. She was enthusiastic about the topic and was more than generous about answering questions after the session was over.

4. Lightening Lessons on the Latest: Facebook and Pinterest - (A). This was a lightening fast session. I was taking notes so quickly. I am still re-reading the notes and following up about the changes in these platforms. I heard a lot of information, that as I process, I know will be useful.

Bottom Line - Know what platforms work for you, your blog and your audience.
Keep up with the changes, which are happening all the time.

There were several keynote speakers, such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Christy Turlington Burns, which I skipped so I could write down my thoughts, and check out the Exhibitors, which were extensive. My favorite exhibitor was WordPress, but that's because I'm considering migrating from Google Blogger to WordPress.
And take photos. 

The negatives

1. Very crowded. Insanely crowded.




2. Very disorganized in some ways. About half the staff at the Hilton and who represented the conference couldn't answer basic directional questions accurately. 

3. Very loud everywhere.

3A. I was in a great workshop about SEO. The room was packed with other Geek Bar classes going on. This was next door, (only separated by a curtain), from the main dining room, and where keynote speakers would eventually speak, and loud bands would play. The bands would practice while workshops were happening so close by. Very annoying. It was hard to hear my class leader speak at times, which I mentioned before. And she was really patient, trying to talk over the bands testing their equipment. She still did a stellar job. 


See Jessica in the upper left hand corner? She had about fifty attendees surrounding her, and there were three to four other Geek Bar workshops going on around us. Fortunately, she spoke loudly and clearly. She was great at answering questions, and instilled confidence in her attendees. She really knew what she was talking about. Answered so many questions.

4. A lot of live bands played music during breakfasts, lunches and dinners. This made it hard to talk and network. This photo only shows 1/2 of this room. It was the main room for keynote speakers.


5. Heavy party component after the workshops - that could be good or bad depending on what you expect out of a conference.

6. Interruptions are part of the conference. This is a given here. Whether it be attendees or musical performers testing their equipment. Fortunately, most of the sessions were in private rooms on other floors, where this wasn't an issue.

7. Attendees are aggressive about having their questions answered and being up front. (As I said, earlier, this could be a New York thing).

8. No limit on attendees for any workshop. Could be crowded, or not. Therefore, some people were sitting on the floor.

Positives of the conference.

1. Yes, this is a conference for women, but men were attendees too. Not a lot.
I don't like disclusion, so I see this as a positive.

2. High energy from presenters and attendees. Everyone was nice, generous with information.

3. They fed us good food and provided us with coffee, tea and water all day.

4. There were many classes that occurred simultaneously. If you weren't happy with the workshop you chose, you could go to another without being closed out.

5. No limit on attendees for any workshop. Could be crowded, or not. Both a positive and a negative.

6. Attendees are at all different levels of technological experience. Some might see that as a negative. Actually, those who were more experienced were quite generous in helping those who had less experience.

7. All the workshops offered were relevant to bloggers in general.

8. The classes were only an hour. Some were called "lightening lessons." And they were. You have to be a good note taker, or hope the presenter is coordinating it with a powerpoint presentation. (Could be considered a positive or a negative). It wan't a negative for me.

9. The app for navigating this conference, and informing all involved was fabulous and informative. You could really organize your day easily, and stay on top of everything that was going on.  Great job.



Lots of WIP progress during the next week. Stay tuned. Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Midnight Mystery Quilt - With Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs

 Cheryl over at Meadow Mist Designs is having a mystery quilt QAL, that I am participating in. I have never made a Mystery Quilt, but I have participated in a QAL. I have a strong feeling that this is going to be a lot of fun.

The July instructions came with cutting instructions for the four fabrics that I picked in June. 

My fabrics are below, and ready for August sewing instructions.



I love the way A and B look together.



In this photo, you can see the details in the design of fabrics C and D.




























These are all four fabrics together. Needless to say, I am so excited to be doing this, and sharing it with you.

Friday and Saturday, I will be in NYC at the BlogHer Conference, and look forward to sharing with you what happens next week, and what I learn. It is the first time they have had a BlogHer Conference this close to where we live.  

The workshop choices are plentiful, and I feel overwhelmed already, because some of the class modules I'm interested in attending are being given at the same time. But I know I will learn so much and am looking forward to this whole experience. (Except parking in the city).

Have a great weekend and Happy Quilting!!



Thursday, July 9, 2015

Mini - Quilt Paint Chip Challenge Top is Finished

The quilt top for the mini-quilt, paint chip challenge is finished. I wasn't happy with the way it first came out, so I changed it up a bit.


Before



After




I thought this pattern was a good choice. The abstract composition gave me the feeling of random chaos. Before I sewed the strips together in the first version, above, I thought the random chaoticness didn't communicate that at all.

So I did some playing with the fabrics, color combinations, the sizes of the blocks, and their positions. 

On the second row, I added a long block. 

On the fourth row, I added a block, using two half - square triangles. It provided enough change to really give it that "randomness" I wanted it to have.

One of the comments I received The Colorful Fabriholic, said, not to go lighter with the binding, and she is right. (Thank you to all who commented). It would make the grey, which I'm trying to draw attention away from, more attention. 

Too late last night I auditioned some bindings, and the darker blue used in some of the squares seems like a good choice. I'm going to sit with that idea for awhile, while I baste and machine quilt, and see if I still feel the same way when it's time to add the binding, and I'm not tired.

More to come, and I need to get started on a pirate baby quilt, and a girl's baby quilt during the next few days.

On another note, the anniversary issue of Make Modern e-zine is now on sale. 
It is the first anniversary of this outstanding modern magazine from Australia. I do write features for this magazine, and I am really proud to be a part of it. My article this month is about what inspires Alison Glass's designs, and "getting to know," her better, "up close and personal."

I want to make this clear to all of my readers. I am not praising this magazine, because I am one of the writers. I wouldn't write for any publisher or publication that I didn't feel produced a stellar product. 

It is my opinion that if you enjoyed Hey Quilty!!, you are going to love Make Modern.  Along with feature articles about everything to do with modern quilting and sewing, there are patterns from some very talented quilters and quilt bloggers. This bimonthly e-zine, also covers quilting math, book reviews, give-a-ways, and tons of recommended quilting and sewing resources to help readers reach their quilting goals. The photographs are stunning. Who doesn't love that?

Have a great weekend and Happy Quilting!!


 
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