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I found a lovely new space via Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts – who is rejoining the bloggy world after she thought she was finished – so glad she’s back!!  I’ve followed her blog for a few years now, and have learnt sooo much from her about quilting.  She’s been blogging for about 3 1/2 years, and she has provided a wealth of inspiration and guidance for the quilting world!

She’s recently posted her latest bird quilt, which is stunning, as usual.  If you look at the picture she’s posted, you’ll notice little birds hanging from her chandelier – perfectly matching the quilted theme – and you’ll also find a link to the bird pdf pattern in her post.  Well…I clicked and was taken to the world of Spool, a lovely place that reminds me a bit of Purl in Philadelphia…instead of New York.

Spool Sewing boasts a blog, online shop, and a schedule of classes at their base in Philadelphia.  There are several freebies in their bloggy section – so go take a look!

Today we had a very busy day of work…an event that welcomed interested people to learn more about our line of work and how they can be involved…  So, between making coffee, welcoming guests at the door, and talking with all the new and interesting people…I hurried to the computer to buy the fabric I need to make my next two quilts! I have been looking for quite some time now, and I needed to bite the bullet!

One day I'll visit the Purl Shop. Click to see the shop and home tour at Martha's.

Choosing fabric is {honestly} not one of my favourite things to do…!  Don’t get me wrong…I love fabric and all the possibilities that lie within its amazingly extraordinary existence!  There are just soooo many places to choose from and soooo many prices to compare…not to mention the workings of design and colour coordinating that go into the decision process.  And when it comes to money {and maybe some other things} …I am not a quick decision maker…  I am too much of a perfectionist.  So, one day {when I grow up} I will maybe build up a stash…which I can imagine will improve the whole design process, and make buying fabric a bit less pressured.  But for now…I am very grateful for the opportunity I have to continue quilting and making gifts for others!

Here are the colour schemes for these two quilts : one for a beloved boy, and the other for a dear little girl…

Janoah quilt colours

Francis quilt colours

My fabric {eventually…after much nail-biting and staring into the computer screen…!} came from Shabby Fabrics and The Fat Quarter Shop this time.  Both are US based but ship internationally.  And both ended up less than UK prices…so, I am really cool with that.  The only qualm I have with them is that neither allow you to buy smaller than 0.5 yard.  I would like to be able to buy 0.25 yard pieces most of the time…but I suppose they probably enforce a minimum to make it worth their while…  Anywho, I will look forward to getting my first shipments from both and seeing in real life the pieces that will soon be snipped and bound into a whole new warm huggy thing that you can curl up under!  I love that about quilts…its like, hours of investment into a big hug!  I’m American.  I like hugs.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the event went really well and I met 13 new people that I may be seeing again someday in Tanzania or some other far off place.  Its cool to live in an international and nomadic community…  Sometimes I dwell too much on the sadness of saying goodbye all the time that I forget how much fun it is to say hello!

moda love quilt

I found a new toy tool!!  Its a project creator that lets you choose your favourite Moda fabrics and patterns and put them together into a visual masterpiece {like the above}!  Its sooo great!  I know its probably a ploy to get me to show Moda more love…but…well…its working!!  I am such a sucker for visual aids!  I don’t have any quilting software {and don’t plan to anytime soon} so this is really great!  I have such a hard time figuring which colours will work from different fabric lines when looking online.  So, there we go!  Go on over to Moda Fabric Matcher to start your own little project folder…and have fun!!

{As you can see, I’ve squeezed in a little turquoise here and there…ok…so I’m a little attached to that particular shade…so sue me…!}

Pinwheel quilt

Well, the quilt I am posting for Park City Girl’s Quilt Festival is about to fly this nest to live with another family…  Its amazing how attached you become to your labours of love…oh, where’s my hanky?…sniff..sniff. ; )  I’ve had a brilliant time sourcing materials, choosing patterns, piecing and quilting this baby sized quilt for a colleague’s first baby.  I have learnt so much through the process, and I am so glad!

For this quilt I sourced all of my fabric online from Sew Mama Sew and had it flown over from the States {to my home in England} with my family’s luggage when they visited this summer.  While I love each and every fabric I selected – not to mention the great service at Sew Mama Sew – I learnt that I prefer to choose my fabrics in person, rather than online.  I am learning that I am at my best creatively when I can use my senses intuitively – especially touch.  It is exciting to see my creative process develop more and more…

Label

I followed a specific pattern for this one, and I was very glad I did.  Being relatively new to the quilting scene, I felt it gave me foundational principles {i.e. machine stippling, colour-work, etc.} and expanded my knowledge of what works – which is always good!  These foundations give me the confidence to brave my own designs and bring in the organic creativity that I so love in all my crafting!

DuckiesI guess the thing I loved most about this quilt is that it was made for a fellow wife who also has a cross-cultural marriage {she is Finnish + he is English} and is, for the moment, raising her first child in a country that isn’t her home and in a language she continues to learn.  Being in an American/English marriage, myself, and living in a country I didn’t grow up in, we have a connection even though we have nearly nothing in common culturally.  We understand each other.  And it makes me happy that through the everyday challenges of living and being married cross-culturally we can encourage each other through the differences we share together.  And I think this quilt is my way of giving a little piece of ‘home’ while she’s in this strange place called England.

Behind every quilt is a story!  To see more quilts and some of the amazing stories behind them, click on the Park City Girl’s Quilt Festival button at the sidebar.  And grab a box of tissues – you’ll be in tears as you hear these people’s stories! Enjoy!

After a little tidying and elbow grease things are looking a bit better...

After a little tidying and elbow grease things are looking a bit better...

Clear kitchen view two

Pinwheel quilt all ready to be stippled/quilted

Pinwheel quilt all ready to be stippled/quilted

Partially-quilted Just Peachy Baby Quilt - love the colours on this one!

Partially-quilted Just Peachy Baby Quilt - love the colours on this one!

Just Peachy quilt backing detail...cheery and retro!

Just Peachy quilt backing detail...cheery and retro!

That’s it for me tonight!  Time to relax in front of a Bond flick with my man!  Off on holiday tomorrow!  See you in a week or so…! ; )

Today I’ve got sewing on the brain… {a big surprise, I know…}  I am working on 2 projects for friends and family but both are in the prepping stage and not the sewing stage…so I just need to keep at it and soon I can whip out my Silver Sewer! : )  For the time being, here’s a little bit of today for you:

Green tomato and material

Green tomatoes my dear man picked this morning from the garden, and the fabric I can't wait to start snipping into for this project here!

I found my sister-in-law-to-be’s blog and new etsy shop {see her folksy shop too}…and I am so excited for her so I thought I’d show her off here! : )

The project that's keeping me sane as I prep the others...thank you purl bee! : )

Ooh!!!  I just got a tip from my husband that a nice parcel has just arrived in the post…and its addressed to me…! ; )  I think some of my waiting’s over because {if I’m right?!} I believe that’s my rotary cutter and ruler {among other lovely accessories} for my quilting project…  I can start cutting + piecing today – yay!

Its been a fun-filled Summer for my husband and me! We’ve had family visiting from the States for the first time on two occasions and a 4-week trip to West Africa sandwiched in the middle… We’ve been busy little beavers hosting in our small bungalow and being hosted in one of the warmest parts of Africa (both the weather and the people)! We are so grateful for the opportunities we’ve had and the bit of rest we’ll have going into the end of this season!

But now I feel like I am officially back into the blogging world. I honestly haven’t properly checked my feed reader in over two months and I haven’t even thought of posting for longer. But my routine just went back to normal mode here in my little home, and I am looking forward to seeing what has been going on around me in the creative world out there…and even more, I can’t wait to join it once more.

Upcoming project:

Pinwheel Baby Quilt at Moda Bake shop by Jodi at Simply This and That

Pinwheel Baby Quilt at Moda Bake shop by Jodi at Simply This and That

Picnic blanket preview

I started this little lovey a few days ago because it was on my list of a million things to do before we leave the country to Burkina Faso for July…and then host my family flying in from the States for a couple weeks in August.  I just thought it would be nice to have something to sit on in the hot English August days as we slurp down that juicy watermelon California style!  {Hey, I can dream right?}

While I wasn’t too particular about the colour combos on this one, but more the practicality of her getting all dirty in the fresh-cut grass, I do really like the effect overall and can’t wait to try my hand at some free-motion quilting on my Silver Sewer!  For a great tutorial on a rock-pocket picnic blanket, check out this one by Erin at House on Hill Road for clear and charming instructions.  Thanks Erin!

Our Little Family

today at the nest

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Pattern Challenge