Flock in the Box!



The Indianapolis Modern Quilt Guild was lucky enough to participate in the Robert Kaufman Kona Solids Charm Pack Challenge.  Anyone in the Guild who wanted to participate was given a Kona charm pack in the BRIGHT colorway (my all time favorite of the Kona solid charm packs) and was asked to create a quilt using all of the 5"x5" charms. 

I was unclear about the exact rules of the challenge, but this is what I decided my rules would be:

1.  Use all the fabric from the charm pack.
2.  Add one additional solid color.
3.  Finish by the end of April.
4.  Stick with only solids prints, no patterns.

Here is how I did in the challenge, on a pass/fail grading scale:

1.  I used all the fabric except I lost two tiny little corners that I can't find anywhere. (I'm going to count that as a Pass.)

2.  I added Kona Snow as the background and Kona Bone for the binding.  (2 extra colors...Fail!)

3.  I just finished yesterday.  Only a month late.  (Dang...failed again!)

4.  I so so so wanted to add one printed fabric into this quilt to jazz it up, but I fought my temptation.  (Pass!)

So, that's 50%.  What is that...an F?  Oh well, I still am happy with the results and had fun creating this quilt. 

Here is how it all went down:

First I scoured Flickr & Pinterest for inspiration.

I found this picture and asked the artist if she would mind if I created a quilt using her piece as inspiration.

I ironed Steam 'n Bond onto the back of all the charms.

I cut out 5 - 5" x 5" squares from a manilla folder to make sure they were the same size as the charms and then sketched the birds the squares as a template.

I then set each charm on top of the bird template and traced them onto the fabric charms using the magical Pilot Frixion pens. 

Have you guys used these yet?  They are amazing.  You can write on your fabric and then iron right over it and the ink instantly disappears.  (Beware:  it sometimes discolors dark solid fabrics.)  It works wonderfully on white fabric, though.  You can buy these at any drugstore. 

To trace the dark fabric birds, I just held the fabric/stencil up to the light so I could see through the fabric to trace the birds.

I have been sewing with a friend named Babs who in a High School Fiber Design teacher.  She said something the other day that has really stuck with me.  She said that there are a lot of students in her class that just want to copy an idea and not create one of their own.  I took this to heart and instead of copying the idea from the picture above, I created something new. 

So, I scratched the bird on a wire idea.  I layed all the excess square scraps I had left over after cutting out the birds out and ironed them onto the Kona snow fabric.  I then quilted them to the batting sewing around each bird and the perimeter of the square.

I made the exact negative on the other side of the quilt.  I framed the birds in zigzag squares to mimic the pinked edges of the charms on the other side.

The side with the colored birds and zig zag squares was then spray basted to the other side of the quilt. 
Quilting with straight lines went super fast. 

I have really enjoyed this challenge.  It was just that, a challenge!!!  I hope you like it.
I'm linking up over at Skip to my Lou and Quilt Story.  Go check out some wonderful original creations.



Blogger's Quilt Festival

Instead of sitting here pouting because I am not at Quilt Market right now (which I am secretly doing), I thought I'd join Amy's online Bloggers' Quilt Festival.  Amy is asking that people create a new blog post about a quilt they've made and link up on her website.

I wanted to blog about a quilt that I snuggle under every single day.  The pattern is called Urban Amish and was designed by a woman who works at the adorable Quilt shop in Chicago, Quiltology.  I call this one, Val's Girlie Urban Amish Quilt.  Original name, I know!  :)

This quilt is one of the only things in my house that is pink.  Three boys and a husband calls for a lot of blue.  I decided that I needed something just for me and it was going to be super girlie.  This quilt was part of the inspiration behind the name of my blog.  I love, love, love those boys, but I just need a place to escape and share my girlie pink side and this is where I can do it! 

I can't wait to go check out the other quilts featured at the Quilt Festival.



Bottled Rainbow Quilt Along *Lime & Eggplant Blocks*

I've been working on a lot of different projects this week.  I finished up the lime & eggplant blocks for my Bottled Rainbow Quilt Along.  The lime I-spy block is jam packed with cute little animals (and a couch).  An alligator, a monkey, 1/2 of a frog, two owls, a turtle, three birdies, & an elephant. 

The eggplant block was a challenge for me.  Even with the help of two friends, it was hard to come up with enough scraps for this block.  My Dad says he "loves it", I say, "eh..it's not my fav."  Maybe that's because it's all flowers and no little critters, who knows (except the Halloween cat)?

I had a few "firsts" this week.  My first "first" is that a girlfriend of mine asked me if I could hem a pair of designer jeans for her.  I knew I wouldn't be able to replicate the stitching on the bottom of the jeans so I was in a bit of a bind.....until....I found this tutorial!  You actually use the original hem and it looks amazing.  This is seriously so easy, I don't know why I didn't think to try hemming jeans before.  Now my husband can stop rolling up his jeans that are too long.  (I know, I know!)

My second "first" this week is that I am learning how to work with hexigons.  For my next bee block for A Notion or Two beeJenny of Mommymae.com is giving us creative freedom to create our block for her anyway we'd like, as long as it is made with hexi's.  I was a little intimidated at first because I thought you HAD to paper piece and hand stitch hexi's.  Boy was I wrong!  I found this amazingly simple video, where you neither have to paper piece nor hand stitch these little puppies.  Thank you Lady Harvatine!!! 

Jenny sent us fabric from Darlene Zimmerman's line, Betty Dear.  Our blocks are to be 14.5" unfinished.  I printed out a few templetes for the hexis and taped them all together. I then cut it down to 14.5" so that I have a template to use when designing my block.  It has really been helpful even though it is deceiving because after I lay them all out, I will really need almost double the amount of hexi's because they shrink so much with the seam allowance and there will be no white space like there is in this template.

The last "first" is that I won my first blog giveaway!  And boy was it an awesome one to win!  Sarah of FairyFace Designs gave away the biggest bag of scraps, an adorable pin cushion, & a bar of Irish chocolate.  I don't even know if I'd call some of the fabric scraps, more like, Fat Quarters!!!  Thank you so much, Sarah.  What a generous giveaway!!!

The chocolate has been consumed, the scraps have already been separated for Bottled Rainbows and the pin cushion is in use.  Thanks again, Sarah!



Child's Footprint Step Stool!!!

I knew exactly what I wanted for Mother's Day this year when I saw this post.  This is the easiest step stool to make and will be cherished forever.

First, I ran over to Michael's and bought an unfinished step stool for $14.99.  With my 40% off coupon, the total came to around $10 with tax.  They had 4 different styles to choose from, but I thought this would be the most sturdy. 

My husband recently remodeled our kid's bathroom and I thought it would be nice to stain the step stool to match the vanity.  It took two coats of stain.

Once the stain was dry, I used acrylic paint and painted the bottom of their little feet.  I tried to mix the colors to match the dots on the soap dispenser & hand towels.  I gently pressed their feet onto the step stool and to my amazement, the prints came out great.

I asked Ethan to write the boy's names in pencil above each foot because I love his handwriting.  I then painted over the names in orange.   After all the paint was dry, I put on a coat of polyurethane to give it a shiny finish and to protect my new prized possession.

$10...not too shabby!   Happy Mother's Day to me!!!  :)

Now, for your help.... I think I'd like another step stool for the other sink. 
My question to you:  Do I use their other foot or their handprint?  I'm kinda leaning towards their other foot.

I'm linking up @ Skip to my Lou.

A Special Note on this Mother's Day...

To my Mom:  Thanks for being the most patient, inspiring, intelligent, hardworking, caring, generous mother I could have ever asked for.  I am blessed to have you as a Mom
To all the other Mom's reading this:  Enjoy this day with your kids.  I hope they pamper you and keep you smiling!



Bottled Rainbow Quilt Along *Grass Block*

Today was a pretty cool day.  I know I have mentioned this before, but I am teaching two friends how to quilt while we each make our own Bottled Rainbow quilt.  Once a week, we get together and share our scraps while making a new block.  We usually come with the block already sewn and then when we get together we share, cut, glue, and sew on the scraps to the front of the block.

Today, Katie showed up with her scraps all cut and laid out ready to glue on.  She was already working on her next block.  It made me really proud that she is doing so well and is really enjoying the process so much.  (Amy we missed you today, girl!)

Now for my favorite scraps.  I just love this teapot that got from Bethie.  However, I'm a little nervous about how I cut it on the left.  I think I was trying to avoid another teapot.  I may go back with white thread a little further in so the scrap doesn't unravel after I wash it.  I guess it just depends on how OCD I feel like being today. 

This scrap is in honor of my husband who is the best cook I've ever met.

Seriously, why will this butterfly photo not rotate?  It was horizontal when I took the picture, then when I uploaded it into blogger, it changed to vertical.  Ugh!!!  It won't let me click on it and "rotate clockwise" in blogger.  Any suggestions oh wise ones? 


There is a little group of people over at Flickr that are working on a top secret mission for a very special person.  She is having a baby and we are like elves working away to prepare gifts for the big day.

One of the projects is a Onesie for each day the baby turns a new month old.  My month was 3.  Each person in the group has a different month, but we are all using the same font so that the pictures will look super cute when she lines them all up after the baby turns a year old.

I wish I would have thought of this idea 6 years ago when Ethan was born.  Oh well.

Have a super day!


I'm linking up with Quilt Story's Fabric Tuesday and WIP Wednesday.  There are so many cool things there to inspire you.  Go check it out!