Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Modern Sewciety

At The International Quilt Market in Houston last October, I met the darling Stephanie Kendron who is the founder and host of Modern Sewciety (a series of sewing/quilting related podcasts).  

(Left to Right: me, Stephanie and my roomies: 

On Modern Sewciety, Stephanie chats with friends in the industry about all sorts of topics.  Recently I enjoyed listening to her chat with "The Butlers" (as in Amy of Amy Butler fabrics and sewing patterns and David Butler of Parson Gray fabrics) who are so down-to-earth yet so inspiring!  

Our chat aired last Friday.  We talked about how I got started in the industry, Market, the book, what I'm up to now...  You can click HERE to listen. 

I'm relatively new to the podcast scene but am glad I found Modern Sewciety because I often find myself thinking it's too quiet when I sew!  Do you listen or watch anything when you sew?  Suggestions??? 

Be sure to stop by modernsewciety.com to enjoy all of Stephanie's podcasts!

Happy quilting!
~ Amber

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Red and White Farmer's Wife Finished Quilt + Stats/Fabric Requirements

Hello happy people!
Today I'm excited to share with you my finished Farmer's Wife Quilt!

It's been away for a while...being hand quilted by a group of ladies in Provo, UT that use their proceeds to buy supplies for patients at the State Hospital.  It was gone for about 8 months.  I got it back mid November-ish and finished binding it over the holidays!

 It really meant a lot to me to have this hand quilted.  I wanted it to have that antique feel and because I know myself and know that realistically I would never actually do it I decided to hire these ladies!  I'm so happy that the money went to a good cause and the money was well worth it (a fraction of the cost of what it would be to have it custom, machine quilted - it was $200 for those of you dying to know :).  

They quilted in the ditch around each piece and they even quilted the dashed lines on my border fabric - which initially they said they wouldn't be able to do.  I was thrilled when I picked it up and realized I wouldn't have to do any more quilting myself!  Whew!  Big sigh of relief :)

Some people have asked how much fabric they would need to make something like this and that's really hard to answer since it's so scrappy.  I just started off with a dozen or so fat quarters and then added more when I needed some variety.  Scraps are perfect for this project since you only need a little bit for each block.  Below are some rough numbers for everything besides the blocks - since I did do my sashing a little different than the Farmer's Wife book instructed. 

Finished Quilt Size: 79" x 100"
Finished Block Size: 6"
Number of Blocks: 83

Fabric Requirements 
(I've included a little extra in the yardage to allow for 
shrinkage and squaring up.  WOF = width of fabric).

Number of Sashing Strips: 192 total
(You will need 2 yards of 42" wide fabric.  
Cut 6 1/2" x WOF strips, subcut into 2" x 6 1 /2" rectangles).

Sashing Squares: 110 total
I did white with a red print for the 82 center squares and
solid white for the 28 outside edge squares (the white outside edge squares are eventually trimmed off - creating triangles - before sewing on the inner border fabric).
(You will need 1/3 yard of white with red print fabric and 
1/4 yard of solid white).

Inner Border: 8 strips
(You will need 1/2 yard.
Cut 2" x WOF strips).

Outer Border: 8 strips
(You will need 1 3/4 yards.
Cut 6 1/2" x WOF strips).

Binding: 9 strips
(You will need 3/4 yard.
Cut 2 1/2" x WOF strips).

Backing: 7 1/2 yards
(cut into 3 pieces, 42" x 90" each)

I hope that answers some questions for those of you just getting started!

Here's a few more pictures of mine...

My backing is just a vintage-y red and cream print.


I love it.  And although you may not see me using too much red for the next little while, this is one of my greatest finished quilts.  I hope my grandmother (Gigi) will be proud :)

Happy quilting!
~ Amber

PS.  You can click on the Farmer's Wife label on my sidebar for more posts related to this topic.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Vintage Vibe Book Winner + a Sew Along

Wow!  You guys sure know how to make a girl feel good!  Thank you for all your sweet comments about Vintage Vibe.  It was fun to hear what your favorite projects are!

I'm happy to announce that Anita is the winner of the autographed copy of Vintage Vibe.  She loved Big Baby (yay!!!)  Anita, I just sent you an email so I hope to hear from you soon!

Thanks to everyone for participating in the giveaway and again - for being really, really AWESOME!  For those of you who still need a copy of Vintage Vibe you can ask your local quilt shop or get one online HERE, HERE or HERE.  And for those of you who already have a copy, I would love it if you took a minute to post a review on Amazon - if you feel so inclined :)  I love reading what you lovely people think about it!

Well, I'm off to a little sewing retreat this weekend and I plan to finally finish my scrappy Skipper blocks that I started a couple of months ago.  

I've invited all my Instagram friends to sew along with me and want to invite you too!  If you post a picture on Instagram, use the hashtags #skipper and #vintagevibebook.  Or if you're not on Instagram be sure to upload pictures of your projects to the Gigi's Thimble Flickr Page (which is sorely lacking right now :).  I'll be checking it often!

Happy quilting friends! 
~ Amber

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Vintage Vibe Book Giveaway

Happy New Year Friends!
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season spent with the ones you love.  Things were quiet around here - just the way we like it :)

I just want to take a minute to thank all of you! This little blog of mine allows me to record my quilting journey and as really cool bonus, I've made some wonderful friendships along the way!  I appreciate all the encouragement this past year as I accomplished one of my past goals of becoming an author.  It was a dream come true and I know I talked about it A LOT :)  So thanks to those of you who stuck around and cheered me on!  Thanks to those of you who support my little pattern business too.  I kind of love designing patterns and I'm glad you like them too.  

As a thank you for being AWESOME and to wrap up the Vintage Vibe Blog Tour I want to give away 1 autographed copy of Vintage Vibe.  To enter, just leave a comment below (you might even get bonus points if you tell me which Vintage Vibe project is your favorite.  If you're not sure, check out some of the stops on the blog tour where each project has been highlighted.  I made it really easy for you - just click on the links below or stop by the Martingale website and click on the Vintage Vibe gallery.)  I'll pick a winner in the next few days.

Me - Skipper
April Rosenthal - Growing Up
Jessie Finchman - Rainy Day Table Runner
The Fat Quarter Shop - Vintage Vibe
Corey Yoder - Playing Favorites
Sherri McConnell - Scrap Jars
Jodi Nelson - Big Baby
Melissa Corry - Twirl
Pam Vieira-McGinnis- Sugar
Heather Andrus - Sugar Sweet
Andy Knowlton - Dashing
Amy Smart - Scrap Jars
Melissa Mortenson - Pretty Petals
Lori Holt - Lovely

Thanks again!
~ Amber

Monday, December 22, 2014

Around the World Blog Tour

Good morning friends!  Today I've been asked by Ms. Amy Smart from the blog, Diary of a Quilter to participate in the Around the World Blog Tour.  I just love Amy and I think it's fun getting to know some of the people behind the blogs I love, so I said "yes!"

Top left: Andy   Top right: Amy
Middle: Me!

Amy lives just down the street from me in a neighboring town.  I remember the day we first ran into each other at our local Wal-Mart.  She approached me (I think) and asked if I was Amber and didn't I have a blog?  I really think she was the first person I ever met that also had a blog and also liked quilting!  We've gotten to know each other over the years and she is such an inspiration to me!  Here we are (with our other roommate, Andy Knowlton of the blog, A Bright Corner) at the International Quilt Market a few months ago.

If you don't know Amy she is pretty much the sweetest, most thoughtful person you'll ever meet!  And if this is any indication, she gave Andy and I a little package of goodies for being her roommates at Quilt Market.  Who doesn't love Hi-Chews and Washi Tape?  #bestroommateeveraward

Oh, and did I mention she is super talented and recently published her first book?  These are just a few of the quilts from Fabulously Fast Quilts.  They're all gorgeous but I'm especially in love with the pink and black one below (second from the left).

Amy asked if I'd tell you a little bit about myself.  So here I go!

Hello.  I'm Amber.  I was born in Anaheim, California.  When I was 8 years old I moved to Vancouver, Washington where I was raised.  I moved to Utah in 1997 and married my husband in 1998.  My mother is a really good seamstress but I never really had a desire to sew until after I got married.  My husband was traveling a lot and I needed a hobby to fill my time.  I was living near my grandmother who was an avid quilter so one day I spontaneously asked her if she would teach me how to quilt.  I drew up a sketch of what I wanted and it ended up taking me 3 years to finish - LOL!  But after that, I was hooked!

So I started quilting in 1999, started blogging in 2008 and published my first quilt pattern in 2009.  My little pattern business (Gigi's Thimble) is named after my grandmother.  2014 was a big year for me because I published my first book called, Vintage Vibe: Traditional Quilts, Fresh Fabrics.

I think that title captures my style perfectly.  Influenced by grandmother who taught me how to quilt but loving the modern fabrics of today.  I just can't help but combine the two!  

My favorite part of the quilt-making process is fabric selection and I LOVE scrappy quilts!  This classic orange peel mini quilt is one of my favorite completed projects from 2014.  And see, it's a design that's been around forever, but the low volume + bright fabric combo is so popular on blogs and Instagram right now.

I've been so busy finishing things now that the book is over but I did manage to start a few new projects recently.  

Mercury Paper Piecing Block 

A "Plus Quilt" for my husband.   

And I need to give more attention to my Pineapple Block Quilt that I started earlier this year.  I'm planning some fun applique for the borders.

My design process usually starts with a spark of inspiration.  Then I usually just dive in and start playing around with fabrics and making blocks.  Graph paper is my friend and I do use a quilting computer software program called EQ7 a little bit too.  But nothing beats seeing the actual blocks to tell you how a quilt needs to come together.  

One of my new patterns from 2014 called Cross Stitch

I design because I enjoy the process of trying to come up with something unique - an alternative layout or putting colors in a different place to completely change the look of the quilt.  I've come to really love the math side of designing, as well as, trying to write patterns that are clear and concise.

A few random facts about me:
1. I have two kids (a boy and a girl) and a dog named Molly.
2. I looooove soccer.  It's my other favorite hobby.  I'm a total soccer mom and even enjoyed a short stint of playing indoor soccer, myself, a couple of years ago (which would have given anyone that knows me well - the biggest laugh).
3. I'm all about treats.  Dessert everyday is a must.
4. I'm a runner (gotta work off those dessert calories :)  I've done a couple of half marathons and am thinking of attempting a full marathon in 2015.
5. The ocean freaks me out - especially whales.

So friends, that's enough about me!  I think I'll stop talking your ear off now but I do want to tag my friend Amanda Herring from the blog, The Quilted Fish to continue the Around the World Blog Tour.

I met Amanda when we were both asked to teach at a local quilt retreat.  We met for lunch and I knew I had a lot I could learn from her.  She encouraged me to go to the International Quilt Market a few years ago when it was in Salt Lake City.  She's been a great mentor to me and if I can ever have even a tenth of her creativity and skills I will be a happy woman.  

Amanda began designing quilting patterns in 2008 under the name The Quilted Fish.  In 2010 she started designing fabric for Riley Blake Designs, and to date has ten fabric lines with them.  Amanda loves to create new things, but is even more passionate about helping others see their creative potential.  Her goal is to make the world a better place, one creative person at a time.  Stop by The Quilted Fish next week to learn more about Amanda.

~ Amber

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 karleeporter.com.  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