Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Summer Stars Pattern Winner and Other Exciting News

Hello!  Hello!
Just a couple of things today...

First, thank you for all your sweet words about my new pattern, 
Summer Stars!  I'm glad you like it as much as I do.  It was a really fun one to put together.


Melanie, who said, "I love the new pattern!!!! I think it would be perfect 
for my bundle of Happy Home!" won a free copy 
(and Melanie, I just sent you an email).  

For those of you who'd like to purchase a copy, it's now available in paper and PDF forms in my Etsy shop (click HERE). 


Also, if you're following me on Instagram you may have heard about some other exciting news I have to share (you gotta love that up-to-the-minute stuff on IG!  To follow all my quilty happenings there, just search "gigis_thimble").  I was recently published in Martingale's That Patchwork Place 2016 Quilt Calendar!  So I'm a calendar girl, LOL!  I'm miss June (which is perfect because that's my birthday month! :)  


Well, it's not actually me...it's my quilt, Vintage Vibe from my book, 
Vintage Vibe: Traditional Quilts, Fresh Fabrics!  


The calendar is filled with 12 beautiful projects in a variety of different styles.  These are just a few of my favorites!  Ask for it at your local quilt shop or go directly to Martingale.com to order your own copy.

 Calendar photographs by Brent Kane, copyright Martingale Inc.

Happy quilting!
Amber


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Summer Stars - A New Quilt Pattern + Giveaway

I'm so excited to finally announce this new pattern!


Summer Stars has been in the works for a little while now but I got a little held up on this new cover design because I have absolutely NO skills in the graphic design department (I know, I need to work on that).  So I finally decided to hire my friend, Chelsea Barney to put my ideas on paper (thanks Chelsea!) and I love how it turned out!  Do you like the digital quilt or do you prefer an actual photo (there's a real photo on the backside)?

So I knew I wanted to make a star quilt but I also really wanted to show that stars don't necessarily have to equate to a patriotic (red, white and blue) quilt.  I love trying to think outside of the box and I hope you do too!  I think this will be so cute in any color scheme and can't wait to see what you guys come up with!


I had been eyeing Tasha Noel's new fabric line with Riley Blake called Vintage Market and thought it would be the perfect happy, bright combination for these summer stars.


All the prints in Vintage Market are so, so cute but one of my favorites is the mint floral that I used for my back.  It's has a vintagy feel and great colors!


Summer Stars was such a fun pattern to make!  Piecing the star centers was my favorite part because I love how color placement makes each one look a little different.  It was fun to play around with that :)


Some of you may notice that I threw in a few other Riley Blake Basics too.  Just this gold gingham and a few polka dots so that I could add a few more brights to the mix. 


It was quilted by one of my favorite long-arm quilters, Kaylene Parry in Lehi, UT.  I use her a lot and she always does a fantastic job!  Do you like the straight-line quilting?  I'm kind of obsessed with it right now.  I like how it never distracts from the quilt pattern or the cute fabrics. 


Summer Stars comes with instructions for three different sizes (lap, twin and queen) and is now available in paper and PDF forms in my Etsy Shop (click HERE).  Let me know what you think in the comments below and I'll choose one of you to receive a free copy!

Happy quilting!
~ Amber

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Project Teen Book Review

When I was at Fall Quilt Market '15 I met Melissa Mortenson, 
the author of Project Teen and new fabric designer with Riley Blake Designs.  
She was there promoting her darling fabric line called Derby Style.  
I had been following Melissa's blog, The Polka Dot Chair for a long time and knew she was awesome.  I mean, come on - the tutorials she shares are genius!  Seriously, she's the kind of girl that makes me say, "how does she do all that?"


Melissa is so sweet.  Right before it was time to leave Market she kindly gave me a copy of Project Teen and I read it cover to cover on the airplane ride home!  It was so great.  It's full of tips for simple applique, favorite tools, how to print on fabric and even how to trouble shoot problems with your machine.  My favorite part about the book is that it offers 21 quick projects that get me out of my [quilting] box!  Like this monogrammed towel:


With Summer in full swing now, I knew I wanted to make towels for each of my kids.  We always have towels lying around, don't you?  For some reason, at our house, they can't quite seem to find their way to the hooks just two feet away :).  The great thing is though, I was able to whip up two towels in just an hour or two.  And, my kids are LOVING the fact that they're monogrammed with their initials!


I let my son and daughter pick out their monogram colors to accent the HUGE, SOFT 6' long towels I bought (thanks Target!) and the accent ribbon used for the hanger and trim.



I know we won't have any trouble now determining who left 
their towel on the floor!


I love the fact that these were fun and quick to make.  I've been stuck on some long-term quilt projects over here so working with ribbon, fusible web and fuzzy terry cloth (and getting it done the same day I started!) was just the breath of fresh air I needed.  

Next-up on my list of must-makes from Project Teen is the Swiss Flag Zipper Pouch.  I get to try my hand at distressing duck cloth - so I'm excited!


So basically, Project Teen = great book with great projects!
(A lot of them would be great to give as gifts too!)

Happy stitching, 
Amber


Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Simple Charm Quilt Tutorial

I don't know if I've ever made a quilt as simple as this!

This quilt is perfect for beginners, 
perfect for using 5" charm squares and 
it ends up making a great throw size quilt!  

And since I've already done all the math
I thought I'd share the details!


Finished quilt size: 58.5" x 67.5"

FABRIC REQUIREMENTS:

97 light 5" squares
98 dark 5" squares 

OR - IF USING YARDAGE

1 7/8 yards of light colored fabric
3 different dark 6" x width of fabric (WOF) strips 
5 different dark 12" x WOF strips

PLUS

5/8 yard for binding
4 1/4 yards for backing
1 7/8 yards of 90" wide batting



CUTTING:

If using yardage, 
- cut 13 light 5" x WOF strips, subcut into 97 light 5" squares.
- cut 13 dark 5" x WOF strips 
(1 from each 6" strip of fabric and 2 from each 1/3 yard of fabric), 
then subcut into 98 dark 5" squares. 


Lay out the squares according to the diagram below, alternating between dark and light squares.  It should be 13 x 15 squares.


Sew the blocks in one row together using a quarter inch seam allowance.
Press the seam allowances in one direction.  Continue sewing each row of blocks together, pressing the seam allowances of each row in opposite directions and then finally, sew all the rows together and press.

Helpful tip: try using numbered pins to help keep your rows in order!  I found mine at a cute little quilt shop in Preston, Idaho called Suppose Create Delight.  They saved me time and sanity!



FINISHING:

Trim the selvages from the backing fabric and cut it into two pieces that measure approximately 42” x 76 1/2” each.  With right sides together, sew the pieces together along the long edges to make the backing.

Quilt as desired.  

It seems so simple but I decided to have my long-arm quilter, Cathy Barney, do straight line quilting on this.  I sometimes do straight line quilting myself but this quilt was a little bigger than I was comfortable with (and had time for) so I had her do it.  I LOVE it!  I honestly have never seen straight line quilting that I haven't liked.  It's always stunning and never takes away from a design!  Even though my quilt is so simple and the quilting is so simple I am really happy with how the whole thing turned out.



After it's quilted, bind your quilt with seven 2 1/2" x WOF strips.


And you're done!   Time to cuddle up with it and enjoy!


FABRIC INFO:
Most of the fabrics I used were from the line Happy Haunting by Deena Rutter for Riley Blake Designs.  I just fell in love with that line when it arrived in at the fabric store I work at a few weeks ago.  I also threw in the black check from the line Feed Company by Sweetwater for Moda - just to mix things up a little.  I also used a cream shirting fabric (1158 26) from the line Miniature Gatherings for Moda for my light fabric - just to give it an extra vintagy feel!

Thanks for stopping by!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

~ Amber

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Car Window Travel Sewing Caddy Winners!

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Weekend.
We went on our annual hunt for the perfect flower basket to give my husbands grandmother and visited his grandfather's grave.  I'm truly thankful to all those who serve (and have served) our country!


I also want to thank all of you who participated in the Car Window Travel Sewing Caddy giveaway.  The two winners for the caddy's featured above are... betz2lu and QuiltShopGal.  I sent you both an email! Thanks to everyone for entering our little giveaway and thanks to my super talented and creative friend Aniva for sponsoring it!  Her fabulous tutorial can be found HERE!  

I hope you were inspired to make one of these for yourself or as a quick gift for a quilty friend!

Happy quilting!
~ Amber

Monday, May 18, 2015

Car Window Travel Sewing Caddy Tutorial + Giveaway!!!

Hello friends!  

Today I've invited my friend Aniva to share a tutorial with you for this super cute, super handy car window sewing caddy!  She gave one to me as a gift the other day and I loved it so much that I immediately thought I needed to pass along the idea to all of you!  This caddy is perfect for all of us that find ourselves doing hand work as we ride "shotgun" in our cars because it suctions right to your car window and it's just the right size to hold sewing necessities but doesn't take up too much space.  

So without further ado, here's Aniva!


Thanks Amber for helping me to create the tutorial for this little caddy.  I have enjoyed making these caddies as little gifts for my quilt friends, whether for a birthday or just a little "thinking of you" gift.

Sometime back I saw a post online where the blogger had used a shower caddy (the kind with suction cups to stick to the wall) found in a second hand store to create a caddy to use on her car window for when she sewed on car trips--I thought it was genius.  I tried for some time to find such a container at a thrift shop and never succeeded. I did, eventually, find a new container that I really like at my local Wal-Mart in the bath and shower section.  I found it to be the perfect size for a spool of thread and small scissors.  The suction cups adhere it securely and temporarily to the car window without leaving any marks and I can move it about as often as I need to.  The only thing I added to the container was a landing place for a few needles and pins.


Here is what you'll need--
Two - 2" x 2" fabric scraps
hot glue gun and glue
pinking blade for a rotary cutter or pinking shears
tiny bit of polyester stuffing
container of your choice with suction cups
(Please be mindful when choosing your container that since these are made for the bath they are designed with holes in the bottom so that water drains out.  If your container is one with lots of holes you may want to also glue some heavy paper into the bottom so your supplies don't fall through the holes.)

Place your fabric squares WRONG SIDES TOGETHER.  Sew three sides using a 1/4" seam allowance--yes you can backstitch.  Stuff with a tiny bit of stuffing.  Sew the last side together -- be sure to backstitch on this last side to make the whole thing stay together better.  


Use the pinking blade on your rotary cutter or pinking shears to give the raw seam a cute little zigzag finished edge.  


Adhere the small pin cushion to your container with a dab of hot glue.


Have fun filling your gift caddy with a fat quarter of fabric, small scissors, a package of your favorite needles, a gift card or anything you want.

The other thing that I have really loved is making the cute little hexie gift tags.  Just type up whatever fun sewing saying you want to have on your tag into your computer using the word processing software of your choice.  I set my page to have three columns so that I can get more sayings on one page of cardstock.  Remember the tag is not very big so keep your saying fairly short.  You can play with different font styles and font sizes.


When you are happy with your page print it out on the color of cardstock paper of your choice.  Use some paper scissors to roughly cut the words apart.  This doesn't have to be precise it is just so you can get your punch around the words.  I used the  Extra Large hexagon punch by Fiskars (this will give you a hexagon with a 1" side as shown) available at craft stores and websites.  With the punch framing your saying, punch the paper.  You can distress or embellish your little tag anyway you want.  Punch a small circle in one corner so you can tie it on your gift.  FYI- the Fiskars medium punch = 1/2" hexie and the Fiskars large punch = 3/4" hexie.


If you want to buy some similar hexagon papers, I found these darling little paper hexagon Charms made by Laundry Basket Quilts at a local quilt shop, Just Sew in Highland, Utah.  They have the cutest sayings on them.  There are 100 in a package and they come in two sizes.  A 1" per side size and and 3/4" per side size.  The papers pictured above are the 1" size.  The sayings are about family, sewing, fabric and friendship.  All you have to do is punch a small hole to make them so you can tie them on gifts.  Super easy.  If you want to purchase some of these online click HERE.

Amber is giving away a couple of these little caddies to two lucky readers.  To enter, just leave a comment below. We'll pick a winner in the next couple of days.

I want to give a shout out to friends at Riley Blake for the cute polka dot fat quarters...thanks for making so many fabrics we love.
PS. I tried to find the original blog post that planted the seed for this idea in my mind but I was not able to find it so if you are that blogger contact Amber - she will be happy to give you credit on this post.

Cheerio!
Aniva

♥ ♥ ♥

Thanks Aniva for sharing this darling and practical idea with us! I know I'm going to be making quite a few of these for gifts! And thank you for contributing TWO of these cute caddies for our giveaway! Friends, be sure to leave a comment below to enter to win!

Happy quilting!
~ Amber

Friday, April 24, 2015

Single Wedding Ring Quilt [Finish]

Happy Friday, friends!
I know it's been a while but I recently finished a quilt that I wanted to share with you!  I originally posted about it HERE (with a link to the free block pattern) during the Fat Quarter Shop's Single Wedding Ring Blog Hop.  Well, the quilt is finally finished and I love how it turned out!


I always love to find a fun location when I photograph my quilts (apparently it's a little hobby that I didn't know I have :) and a friend of mine recently purchased a home with a lot of property and a barn that she was so gracious to let me use for my photo shoot!


And oh, this barn!!!  These pictures don't do it justice but when I came to the north side of it with the rusty metal doors, I just about died.  I couldn't stop looking at them next to the old barn wood.  Gosh, I was in heaven.  And couldn't stop taking pictures! So be prepared for more than enough :)


I tried to pick some of my most vintagy looking fabrics from my stash.  I used reds, yellows and blues for most of the blocks and then alternated between black and white fabrics for the backgrounds.


Most of the blocks use just two fabrics (one for the main part and one for the background).  But as you can see, I didn't have enough of some of the fabrics so I had to mix things up a bit!  I love the variety it adds and the "make do" feel it gives the quilt.  Scrappy quilts are my favorite!


The fabulous cable quilting was done by Abby Latimer in Draper, UT.  She did a great job and I think the cables really go with the vintagey look I was going for!


The backing is called Calligraphy Circles by Denyse Schmidt.


 And red gingham for the binding...


 Each block finishes at 12.5" which makes the quilt approximately 50" x 62".  A nice little throw size to snuggle with.


(One more barn picture for good measure...:)


It always feels nice to finish something.  

So, what are you finishing these days?
I hope you get some sewing time this weekend!

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Amber