Friday, 29 May 2015

Squirrels in the Park - Friday Finish



Now that the winter is over and the weather is nice, Teddy decided to come along for the photo shoot this week. Teddy really likes the squirrels and wanted to play in the park, but we settled on going out to the old hay wagon instead. The wagon was recently moved to the pasture field. The dirt you see in the background is where the wagon sat all winter and will soon be sprouting up corn stalks.

Before long.... Being tired of just sitting around, and feeling kind of brave, Teddy wanted to strike a new pose. It's hard work being a model bear. Though, I imagine, much easier than being a bare model.




Well I did it....
I cut into that Birch Forest print for binding.



This is my second attempt at attaching the binding to the front, then securing the fold over to the back by stitching in the ditch from the front.  I was a little more pleased with the results because I cut the binding strips at 2.25" this time.  I think I will try glue basting the next time.




High noon. Show-down in the park. Bird versus squirrel.
   I win!  You blinked your beady little eyes!




I used black thread and a zig-zag stitch for all the eyes and the bird's legs.




The backing is Windy Day in Aqua from the Backyard Baby Collection by Patty Sloniger for Michael Miller Fabrics. And the coordinating Birch Forest binding is from the same collection.




I quilted this using my favourite method of organic wavy lines in an edge to edge design. And I love the results. It appears as though the wind really is blowing though those trees!





This Squirrels in the Park baby quilt was the 41st use of my 100 labels
ordered from MyOwnQuiltLabels.

You can design your own labels, too!  Click here!




The Squirrels in the Park baby quilt pattern,
is now offered in conjunction with the Erin's Squirrels pattern,
and is available from my pattern store here.




This Squirrels in the Park baby quilt is listed for sale in my Etsy Shop here.







Linking up to Finish it up Friday with 
Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts





Keep On Quilting On!






http://www.bloglovin.com/en/blog/5578781






To follow Sew Fresh Quilts by email....

Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner 

Is your iron Smart? Visit www.oliso.com.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in my posts are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Facing Your Fears and Finding Your Niche

What is a Niche?  And how do you find it?

Researching online led me to this definition in the Urban Dictionary:

1. An activity that particularly suits somebody's talents and personality.
2. An area of the market specializing in one type of product or service.



Okay, so now we have a broad idea of what a niche is.  But how do I find out what my niche is?

From a quilter's perspective, your niche obviously must be related to quilting. Of course, you are well aware that quilting is a broad based term that covers so many styles and techniques. Art quilts. Modern quilts. Hand quilted quilts. Free pieced quilts. Traditional quilts. How do you find your style? What techniques work for you? I can't tell you what your niche is, but I can share with you my experiences and personal story behind my journey to finding my niche.

Ask yourself....
"What quilting style and technique am I passionate about?"



Krazy Katz - my first quilt

When I sketched out that very first quilt for my daughter, and worked through the process of making this quilt, it was obvious to me right from the start that I was passionate about quilting. I started out doing a lot of appliqué work. Partly because appliqué allowed me to make the fabric go where I wanted them to go. And partly because I was intimidated. What? Who me?

Yes.  Me.

This is not easy to admit.
I was intimidated by the PERFECT 1/4" seam.

Let's Bee Honest.




While making my first quilt, I googled everything quilting related. I had no real idea of how to accomplish many of the processes in making a quilt. That googling led me to spend a lot of time reading quilting blogs. I found the answers to all my quilting questions. But I also developed an unreasonable fear of perfecting that 1/4" seam.



When I later started my own blog, I had a strong desire to find my niche. A purpose and a way to fill a need in the quilting community. I set out to provide my readers with quilting tutorials, My hope was to face my fears and help others do the same. This led to my writing the Top 10 Tips for New Quilters.



Gradually, I became less intimidated by the Rules of Quilting. I was up for the challenge. And took on the lessons in practising piecing. I mastered that 1/4" seam. Tackled curved piecing. Thumbed my nose at the Quilt Police. Tamed those triangles. Tried every binding method known to mankind. And shared my experiences with posts about the processes and all kinds of tips and tutorials.



Along the way, I found out what I liked to do and what I did not care much for doing. I like to design my own patterns. I like piecing. I like using solids. I like making picture quilts. I like collecting fabric. I do not care much for doing a lot of repetitive blocks. I do not care much for doing appliqué. Along the way, my passion began to have a focus.



This passion, for fabric in particular, led me to an admiration for the artist, Charley Harper, whose style falls in the category of Minimalism. The simplicity of this art style appeals on so many levels. And lends itself well to designing something that can be pieced. My first instinct was to copy this style. Charley Harper's Birch Bark and Birds could easily be made into a quilt that would fit well in the Modern movement that is so prevalent in quilting today. So tempting. But I don't want to copy. I want to create.



What can I take from Charley Harper's style that can be used to create my own unique style? What is it about his style that appeals to me? Simple design. Simple shapes. Perspective. Point of view. Repetition.



When I was young, I used to spend hours drawing animals. Those sketches were always in a style I would describe as Realism. But I enjoyed those hours. And was proud of my work. Life got in the way of that practice. But now it's back. And it gives me so much joy.



So this is my niche...
Designing patterns for and piecing picture quilts in a modern minimalist style.






My style is still in it's infancy. But I have a focus. And it is likely to evolve as I grow in my quilting experience. And I know I am on the right track. I know this because my friends (Yes, this is YOU...) tell me so. And so does my heart.



Let's Bee Honest!

Are any of you interested in joining a never ending linky party where you share a Let's Bee Honest post?  Maybe about facing your fears?  Or telling us how you really feel about any given subject?  




Are you willing to share?
What intimidates you?
What are you doing to overcome the fear?
Have you found your niche?

Share your thoughts in the comments.  I would love to hear about your experiences!


Keep On Quilting On!






http://www.bloglovin.com/en/blog/5578781





To follow Sew Fresh Quilts by email....

Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner 

Is your iron Smart? Visit www.oliso.com.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in my posts are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Let's Bee Social #74

Squirrels in the Park - more to come on Friday

Although I did get sidetracked while making progress on the Squirrels in the Park baby quilt... I got all caught up this weekend on the Hillside Houses quilt along by Cristina of Pretty Little Quilts. I hope you are not getting tired of seeing my progress on this....

Because HERE WE GO AGAIN!
More Hillside Houses....

I had completed the 3 blocks needed for the first row.


On Saturday I chose my fabric pull for blocks 4 & 5.....


And then I chose my fabric for blocks 6 & 7.....



I cut out all the pieces and placed them with the instructions for each block. Then Aunt Elna and I sewed, and sewed, and sewed the day away. Okay, so near the end there was a little seam ripper action, too. I was getting fatigued.




But we finished them all!


Block 4

Block 5

Block 6

Block 7


Now Let's PARTY!!!!
What's new with you?




What is the Let's Bee Social???  You can read the details here.









Keep On Quilting On!





http://www.bloglovin.com/en/blog/5578781





To follow Sew Fresh Quilts by email....

Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner 

Is your iron Smart? Visit www.oliso.com.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in my posts are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Sunday Stash - Sew Sisters Style!

Remember when I shared in this post all the great Mother's Day deals going on last weekend?
Me?  I took full advantage!!!

Last week I shared my first Mother's Day Specials Sunday Stash here.

This is my second instalment of the purchases I made that weekend.
Featuring my haul from Sew Sisters Quilt Shop.

Warning.... This post is full of Prints ONLY Purchases!


What to do?  What to DO!!!

These are selections from a new range of blenders from Robert Kaufman Fabrics.  From the Spot On collection, one half metre each of Navy, Lime, Hot Pink, Aqua and Pepper.




How cute are these kittens and playful goldfish?

Two metres of each, Cats and Fishbowls in Blue and Goldfish in White from the Go Fish collection designed by Hoodie for Timeless Treasures.




More adorableness.

A 2 metre cut of Crocs Park from the Urban Zoologie collection designed by Anne Kelle for Robert Kaufman Fabrics and 1 metre cuts of each Chicken Wire Texture in Blue and in Orange from the Bright and Early collection by Evelia for Wilmington Prints.




Sweet as a honey bee, this is 1 metre of Summertime Honeycomb in Sunflower Yellow from the Season's Best Summer collection by Kim Schaefer for Andover Fabrics, paired up with 2 metres of Sharks in Dark Blue from the Shark Attack collection by Deborah Edwards for Northcott Studio. These friendly sharks will make a great backing for a baby boy quilt.




To wrap things up and tone it down are these 1 metre pieces of Cherries in Orange from the Lazy Day collection designed by Lori Whitlock for Riley Blake Designs, Diagonal Stripe in Grey from the Pepe in Paris collection by the Geekly Chic and The RBD Designers also for Riley Blake Designs, and Vintage Houndstooth in Lime designed by Patty Young for Rowan Fabrics.







Sew Sisters Quilt Shop did a terrific job of helping me to celebrate Mother's Day by offering 20% off  ALL yardage. And their "yardage" is sold by the metre, which means you get a bonus of more than 3" per yard!  I am really pleased with my new fabrics and ...
Can't wait to get piecing!






Keep On Quilting On!


http://www.bloglovin.com/en/blog/5578781



To follow Sew Fresh Quilts by email....

Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner

Go Big Electric Fabric Cutter at Accuquilt.comDisclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in my posts are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, 22 May 2015

Squirrels in the Park



It's Friday again. And the squirrels are back!

This is my second go of making a set of coordinated squirrel blocks. The first set of squirrel blocks I made were reddish brown. They were used to make a runner for my daughter's hope chest. You can see that finished runner here.


Oh, those pesky rodents... This time they are frolicking in the park.





This is Squirrels in the Park, a baby quilt sized 40" x 51", and it's made from Kona Cottons. For the background, I used Snow. The squirrels are Black and Coal. And the bird is Breakers with a Sunny yellow beak.





Seeing as those squirrels are frolicking in the park, for the backing, I have chosen to use this cherished piece of Windy Day in Aqua from the Backyard Baby Collection by Patty Sloniger for Michael Miller Fabrics. The binding will be cut from the one on the right below - Birch Forest in Aqua.




Can you believe I am cutting into that precious birch bark print?
It will be worth it, but it won't be easy.






The Squirrels in the Park baby quilt,
 is now offered in conjunction with the Erin's Squirrels pattern,
and is available from my pattern store here.




EXCITING NEWS!


On Point quilt kits are now for sale at Fat Quarter Shop here.

Want to read more about the On Point quilt
and how it came to be a Quilt Kit? Click here.




Linking up to Finish it up Friday with 
Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts



In case you missed it from Monday's post...

There's a GIVEAWAY sponsored by Northcott Fabrics going on now.

Up for grabs are 3 fabulous fat quarter bundles!!!








Keep On Quilting On!





http://www.bloglovin.com/en/blog/5578781





To follow Sew Fresh Quilts by email....

Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner 

Go Big Electric Fabric Cutter at Accuquilt.comDisclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in my posts are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Craftsy
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in my posts are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

This is a personal blog written and edited by Lorna McMahon. This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation, and contains affiliate links. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. I appreciate your support, which enables me to maintain the content of Sew Fresh Quilts. For questions about this blog, please contact me at sewfreshquilts [at] gmail.com.