Friday, December 19, 2014

Brittany's Quilt

I recently gave this quilt to my dear friend and sister-in-law, Brittany, for her birthday (and for being such a cheerleader throughout my book/author endeavors).  She's a quilter too so I thought this would be the perfect way to thank her.

I used a couple of 5" charm packs that I had in my stash to make the blocks.
It's the first quilt I've made using just solids.  It was fun to step out of my box and Brittany seems to like things that are simple, modern (and a little bit fun and funky) so as I was working on it Brittany's name kept running through my head.  

Cathy Barney quilted it for me.  She let me pick out the edge-to-edge quilting pattern from  Karlee's designs are really modern and original.  I fell in love with lots of them but finally decided on this design called, Marbled Cake.  I thought Brittany would like it too :)

It was also the first time I've done a white binding!  Some people might say that's a no-no.  But I wanted to keep things modern and fresh.  And I think it helps to keep the focus on the blocks themselves.  That's the thing I love about quilting - the freedom to explore with color and layout.  The possibilities are endless and there aren't a lot of rules.

So I hope Brittany likes it!?!  I saw it displayed in her family room the other day with some of her other cute quilts so at least it "made the cut" :)

And this view.  I just had to share.  It's pretty much in my back yard.  Isn't it beautiful?  Now it's sprinkled with snow (but just as gorgeous).

On a different note, I hope you've been able to check out the Vintage Vibe Blog Tour stops this week.  My two friends (and roomies at Quilt Market) are posting!  Andy from the blog, A Bright Corner posted HERE about her favorite quilt in the book, Dashing.  And Amy from the blog, Diary of a Quilter will be posting later today about one of my favorite quilts in the book (and I heard she's making some blocks or a mini for it so I can't wait to see what she comes up with!)

Thanks for stopping by my little piece of Blogland today.
I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!
~ Amber

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Pretty Petals Pillow Class, Trunk Show & Book Signing

I just wanted to take a few minutes to let all of you local Utah people know about two of my upcoming events.  

First, this Saturday from 10-11 a.m. I'll be doing a trunk show and book signing at Just Sew in Highland, Utah.  I'll be talking about all the projects in Vintage Vibe and my journey in becoming an author.  There will also be refreshments and sales throughout the store!  It should be a fun time.  I do hope you'll come!

Also, I'm excited to announce that I'll be teaching a two-part class on my Pretty Petals Pillow (featured on the cover of Vintage Vibe).  If you've ever wanted to learn how to make a Dresden Plate and a quilted, envelope-style pillow ~ this is a great time to try!  Here are the class details:

Dates: Tuesday, January 6, 10 a.m. to Noon and
Tuesday, January 27, 10 a.m. to Noon
Place: Just Sew in Highland, UT
Cost: $30 + supplies

Click HERE to register.  Space is limited!

Also, be sure to stop by Pam's blog for her stop on the Vintage Vibe Blog Tour today where she's featuring one of her favorite projects from the book!  I've been following her blog and Instagram account for quite a while now and it was such a treat to meet her at Quilt Market in October.  She is seriously the sweetest, most down to earth (and not to mention super talented!) person I know! 

Happy quilting ya'll!
~ Amber

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Growing Up (Baby Quilt) - Finished!

 Last weekend, I needed some serious sewing time as a reward for hosting Thanksgiving dinner at my house.  Dinner involved 27 people plus several more for dessert.  It was fun but seriously exhausting!  Hopefully I've done my duty though and can just relax now for the next decade!  Haha! I have a feeling that won't be the case :)  So I'm doing a poll, what size group do YOU usually have?  Is 27+ a big or small group?

Anyways, since it was a holiday weekend, my first priority was fun family time.  But I really wanted to get this quilt top basted, machine quilted and bound.  So, I did what I often do and I made a plan.  My plan was to quilt one row of blocks each day.  It still took about an hour or two to do just that, but I felt that my husband and kids were happy to watch football and play games on their own for at least that much time.

I love, love, love straight line quilting so that's what I decided to do on this baby version of my pattern, Growing Up from my book, Vintage Vibe.  The edges on these petals were turned under using the freezer paper method and then machine appliqued on using invisible thread.  My book gives thorough instructions for my whole method and the tools I use.

Some people have been asking (on Instagram) how I quilt around the petals and do I have to start and stop when I get to them?  The answer is no.  Usually I go back and forth between two petals, travelling along the edges of each petal as I move to the next line.  I use the edge of my walking foot as a guide for spacing.

On Monday, I bound it and then threw it in the wash with a few Shout Color Catchers (which I've talked about HERE and HERE).  

Washed, dried, wrinkly and ever so soft = the perfect kind of quilt!

If you want to see more projects from Vintage Vibe, you can follow some of my favorite quilty friends on the Vintage Vibe Blog Tour!  
Click HERE for the schedule.  

My good friend Jodi Nelson of the blog, Pleasant Home posted Tuesday about Big Baby and my new friend, Melissa from the blog, Happy Quilting is posting today about Twirl!   Be sure to check them out.  They've made some really cute blocks and quilts to go along with the projects!

Happy quilting!
~ Amber

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

6 Fabric Selection Tips

Today I'm guest posting over at Martingale's blog and sharing a little video about fabric selection.  (And if you decide to head over and check it out, I MUST warn you that I am the most awkward person EVER when I get in front of a lens.  I think I try not to be too hyper and then I come across on the other end of the spectrum.  Oh, so embarrassing!  I know I could never be an actress!)

So, fabric selection, do you love it or hate it?  

I love it!  But from my many years of working in a fabric store, I've learned that many quilters are overwhelmed with that part of the quilt-making process.  If you fall into that category, use the following tips to give you more confidence at the start of your next project.

Tip #1:  Gather inspiration!

Find one article of clothing, a piece of artwork or a piece of fabric that speaks to you!  Use that as your starting off point.  As I tried to re-create my Growing Up quilt (from my new book, Vintage Vibe) in a different color-way, I used this vinyl wall decal that I purchased from Target as my inspiration piece.

Tip #2: Pull colors, style or graphics 
from your inspiration piece.   

Because I already had a quilt pattern to use, I didn't need to pull graphics for the design part of this project.  But I did want to use the wall decal as my color inspiration.  I decided to focus primarily on the black, white, pinks, and gold in the decal.  I felt that by sticking with those colors I was staying more true to my inspiration piece.  After some debating I chose to use grey for the stems on this quilt (as opposed to green) because I wanted to keep it classy and modern.  Using green would have completely changed the look of this quilt by the way.  Try to imagine it!  

Tip #3: Audition and eliminate fabrics.

Go through the possible fabric candidates and decide whether you love them or hate them.  Make sure they have the right "feel" (are you going for modern, traditional, etc.) and make sure you like the color.  Many people worry about whether or not a particular fabric is a "perfect" match.  My rule of thumb is that if you don't notice in the first few seconds of looking at it, then it's fine!  I think it adds depth and personality to have some variation!

Tip #4: Create balance.

It's okay to use different shades of one color as long as they are used repetitively throughout the quilt.  Having that color pop up here and there will create balance.

Tip #5: Give your eyes a place to rest.

I LOVE scrappy quilts!  I love using as many different fabrics that I can in a quilt!  The more the merrier, in my opinion.  But I never want my block pattern to get lost.  So, it's important to have one unifying piece of fabric in your quilt (whether it's your background fabric or using at least one solid).  It gives a quilt "order", freshness and really lets your blocks sing!  And, I love having contrast.  Contrast is always good.  

Tip #6: Love it?  Then use it!

Everyone of us has a different personality and I believe our quilts should reflect that.  Be unique, be you and don't be afraid to think outside the box!  If you love a particular fabric or color then use it!  It'll bring you happiness every time you see it and you can't beat that!  Also, do some research!  I love to go to my Pinterest boards to see what images I'm drawn to and then I study them to see exactly what it is about them that I love!  You'll learn a lot along the way too but trust your instincts!

If you follow these simple tips you're sure to put together something wonderful and I hope you now feel more confident to put together beautiful quilts inspired by things you love!

The Growing Up quilt pattern is available in my new book, Vintage Vibe.
Head on over to Martingale's blog today where you can enter to win your very own e-copy!

Happy quilting!
~ Amber

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Another Vintage Vibe Quilt

Shhh... don't tell anyone.

But I am completely (completely!) obsessed 
with my friend, Aniva's yellow and white Vintage Vibe quilt.

Aniva used the same long-arm quilter that I used for my aqua and white Vintage Vibe quilt so she was able to use the same fabulous design!  It was a design that I spied on Pinterest one day on an antique, hand-quilted, two-color quilt (which you can see HERE).  I asked my quilter (Kaylene Parry in Lehi, Utah) if she could do that same design with her long-arm machine. She had a friend tweak it just a little (so as not to infringe on any copyright laws) and then the friend digitized the pattern so Kaylene could quilt it as an edge-to-edge pattern.  I'm absolutely in loooove with it!

And the yellow?  With the colorful, floral back?  
Obsessed.  Obsessed, I tell ya.

Hope that inspires you today :)

This pattern is available in my new book, 
Vintage Vibe: Traditional Quilts, Fresh Fabrics
available HERE.

P.S., There's another stop on the Vintage Vibe Blog Tour today.
Be sure to stop by Corey Yoder's blog (Little Miss Shabby) to check it out!  She's sharing another project from Vintage Vibe.

Happy quilting!
~ Amber

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Simply Strings Winner + Vintage Vibe Stuff

Thanks to all of you for entering the giveaway for the book, Simply Strings by Rana Heredia.  It was fun reading how all of you cut, organize and store your fabric scraps.  It sounds like I've got a long ways to go in the organization department now!  I'm not sure if my cute little jars are going to cut it anymore!

I want to say congratulations to the winner of Simply Strings.  Maryjo, I sent you an email!  Please send me your mailing address.  You've got a fabulous book coming your way!  Congratulations and thanks again to everyone for playing along!  And if you're crying, heartbroken or angry that you didn't win this giveaway, just remember, everything's going to be okay!  
You can click HERE to purchase your very own copy :)

So are you guys following along on the Vintage Vibe blog tour?  I can hardly stand waiting for the Tuesday and Thursday postings!  So much fun!  

Did you see Jessie Finchman's cute Rainy Day block from last Thursday?  I didn't post that day to remind you but it is SO CUTE!  You'll have to check it out (plus, I saw that she's doing a giveaway - woot! woot!!)  I always love Jessie's fabric choices.  She's inspired me for a long time and I feel so lucky to have her on the tour :)

And another group of ladies that I'm super happy to have on the tour ~  The Fat Quarter Shop!  They're posting today about their favorite project in the book and doing a little giveaway!  Be sure to stop by! 

I'm hoping to get some sewing time in today.
But first, I've got to get the post office.  Vintage Vibe books are finally being sent out (after a little loading dock delay) plus I've restocked my Etsy Shop with more Pineapple Block paper piecing patterns so I've been a busy girl the last few days.  Sew for me okay!?!?

Happy quilting!
~ Amber

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Simply Strings Book Review + Giveaway!

At the International Quilt Market a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Rana Heredia.  She is the author of Simply Strings, a fabulous new book geared towards using up scraps.

I was quite taken with her book because, well, the scraps seem to be never ending around here.  So using them up is a concept I can get behind!

I like to keep my scraps in jars, as many of you know.  I divide them up by color into 6 different jars.  The colors I use the most are in these large jars.  I also have 3 smaller jars just like them with yellows and oranges, blacks and greys, and browns.

I like many of the projects in Simply Strings.  There are a few that I could see myself making, such as this one (below) called, Organic.  I've been itching to do a bit of improve piecing (since I've never really done it before).  I think this pattern is perfect for that, yet there is still some order to the overall pattern.

Twinkle Toes is another one of the projects that I've got my eye on.  I'm thinking I may have to make this with bright scraps for the stars and low volume scraps (pieced in the same manner) for the background.  Wouldn't that be cute?!?

These look really fun.  I think the patterns in Simply Strings are a great way to empty out some of my jars - and make room for more scraps!  'Cause you know there will be more - LOL!

Rana was so kind to GIVE me not one, but two copies of Simply Strings and I would looove to give one away to one of you, my quilty friends!

So let's do a giveaway okay?  Leave a comment below telling me how you organize your scraps and I'll pick a winner later this week.

You can stop by Rana's website, Sewn Into The Fabric, to see more photos from her book or to purchase your own copy of Simply Strings.

Also, be sure to stop by April Rosenthal's blog today for the next stop on my VINTAGE VIBE Blog Tour. A little birdie told me she's doing a giveaway too!  

Happy quilting!
~ Amber