Saturday, May 31, 2014

Texas Roadtrip QAL - Hitting the Road!

It's finally here! Cristina and I have spent the last month and a half getting ready for this trip and it's finally time to hit the road on our big, giant, virtual roadtrip through Texas! If you are just hearing about this QAL, then you can read all the details here or here or by clicking the button to the right! This will also be were I will post the links to pattern downloads and blogger tutorials so make sure you bookmark it!Untitled
We will travel through the Lone Star State in 4 quadrants, with the D/FW area as our first quadrant. At the beginning of each quadrant, I will post the cutting and piecing instructions for that quadrant (click "download" below) on the Sundays before each new quadrant, and then you will need to visit the various stops (city) that has a custom block designed by some awesome bloggers/quilters. Those awesome bloggers/quilters will also share some interesting facts about their city, some fun things to do, and of course all the scoop on any local quilt shops!
Check out the line-up!
June 1 - Quadrant 1 pattern post - Download
June 2 - Dallas - Ashley at Urban Spools
June 5 - Tyler - Colleen guest blogger at Pretty Little Quilts
June 12 - Fort Worth - Lindsey and Jodie at Fort Worth Fabric Studio
June 15 - Quadrant 2 pattern post- Download
June 16 - Amarillo - Aoife at thREDhead
June 19 - Lubbock - Jada (guest blogger) at My Fabric Relish
June 22 - Quadrant 3 pattern post -  Download 
June 23 - El Paso - Jennie at Porch Swing Quilts
June 26 - Midland/Odessa - Donna at Donna's Lavender Nest
June 30 - Big Bend - Cristina at Pretty Little Quilts
July 6 - Quadrant 4 pattern post
July 7 - Houston - Teresa at Third Floor Quilts
July 10 - Beaumont - Taryn at Pixels to Patchwork
July 14 - Austin - Amanda at What the Bobbin
July 17 - College Station - Hilary at Young Texan Mama
July 21 - San Antonio - Ellyn at Ellyn's Place
July 24 - Hill Country - Lissa at Moda Fabrics
July 28 - Rio Grande Valley - Melissa at My Fabric Relish
Quilt Cutting Requirements - download

Finished quilt:


Be sure to follow these bloggers so you don't miss any stops! Oh, and there will be awesome giveaways along the way even if you aren't making the quilt, we would love to still have you for the ride!
Cristina and I reached out to some very special companies for sponsorship and were amazed at how many were on board with our crazy idea! So we want to give them as many shout-outs as possible!
Texas Roadtrip QAL
Be sure to share in our flickr group or tag us on instagram with #texasroadtripqal -- yay!And while you are hanging out on instagram, be sure to check out Dana Michaelsen @danahannah310. Her quilt was the original inspiration for this QAL!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Texas QAL - Fabric Selections and Cutting Requirements

UntitledBack again! As promised, I wanted to share my fabric selections for my Texas quilt. I really debated on if I wanted to pull from my scraps or have a more planned approach. While looking through my fabrics, I realized that my April Showers had so many colors that represented Texas (royal blue, red, and yellow), but still having a fun modern vintage vibe. I had just a jelly roll (perfect for this quilt) and a layer cake (great to cut from for the city blocks) so I headed over to Urban Spools to select some of the solids that coordinated. For my background, I am going with Bella Solids: Ash Grey. Super excited to start chopping into this today.


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My cohort, Cristina at Pretty Little Quilts, decided on some Vintage Happy by Lori Holt (which I love and bought a bunch of yards in it for my new sewing room). So darling and can't wait to see that one come together!

Which reminds me, you guys need the cutting requirements for the complete quilt top. You can download a copy here. Remember though, this does not include the fabric requirement the individual city blocks, so make sure you set some to the side. Need a little help picturing how the quilt will come together? Well, wait no more...

Deep in the Heart of...QAL

The larger blocks are for the cities that will be designed by our awesome bloggers! Check out the schedule here. Since this quilt is on a 2" inch (2.5" unfinished) grid, you have lots of flexibility with designing the top. Have fun with it and add your own flare!

If you plan on joining us on this QAL, be sure to post your fabric selections in the flickr group so we can all swoon!

Still need to get some fabric? Be sure to visit some of our fabric sponsors!



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Lone Star State aka TEXAS

Howdy! The Deep in the Heart of Texas QAL starts in just a few days and we are so very excited! I just had a little bit of Texas trivia and a little online shopping to share with you today, but, first, make sure you read this entire post with the best Texan accent you can muster! Second, make sure to read to the end for a freebie and an announcement.

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Texas Designer's Map of the World by DJ Stout  - pentagram

So before any roadtrip or vacation, you should always do a little research about where you are going, right? Even though I've lived in Texas my entire life, I still find out new things all the time. For instance, did you know stealing cattle is a hangable offense? Guess I'll return Bevo. Here are some other interesting tidbits for ya....

Did you know that Texas makes up of 7.4% of the nation and that El Paso is closer to California than Dallas? Wait, what?!?!

states(bright)

You probably know that the State flower is the bluebonnet. But did you know that it's illegal to pick one?

Bluebonnets

Bluebonnets
(Big relish at 18 months learning that she just committed a crime...haha)

Did you know that Dr. Pepper was invented in Waco, Texas? I am drinking my daily serving of Dr. Pepper right now as I type. Oh, and when you ask for a coke that means any soda, not just Coca-Cola... AND ice tea is sweet unless you ask for unsweet at least twice and they will still likely give you sweet, because lets be real, they probably just think you are confused.

Want some more fun facts about Texas? Then hop on over to this website.

I also did a little virtual window shopping on Etsy and found some fun little Texas goodies for you:

The Texas Home T-Shirt

I heart  Texas Necklace - Texas Map Pendant - State Necklace - State Charm - Map necklace - Map Jewelry

Texas-keychain-ornament-handstamped-personalized-i love you to texas and back

And Lastly, while I was working on the final quilt pattern this week, I made myself a Texas patchwork printable that you can print and frame if you want. You can download the printables by clicking on the size you want: 5x5 or 8.5x11 -- Enjoy!




I know several of you plan on making the quilt, but if you are just along for the ride then don't fret, because this trip will be jam packed with lots of fun cities to visit, things to do, places to eat, and quilt shops to visit! Maybe you will be inspired to take a real roadtrip thorough Texas and if you do, please stop by Dallas and have some Dr. Pepper or ice tea! Come back tomorrow for the official fabric cutting requirements for the entire quilt and I will also share my fabric selections and give you a sneak preview of the final quilt layout! Woot Woot!

Melissa

Monday, May 26, 2014

A little PSA....

Happy Memorial Day! Hope everyone is enjoying their extra time off this weekend, spending time with family, and remembering what today is for. I've been on a Netflix binge watching a Canadian series called Bomb Girls, and unfortunately, it was only two seasons long, but totally worth the watch! Lucky for me, they did make a movie to finish off the series and it airs tonight (in honor of Memorial Day) on the REELZ channel. I am getting my mom to record it since I don't have that channel.

Also, we just finished celebrating little relish's second birthday on Saturday and I can't believe she is already 2! We spent some time by the pool and had a super easy birthday party at McDonalds where they supply everything and we just showed up! She had a blast!

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AND now I am getting my ducks in a row to kick off my first quilt along! Yay! If you missed that post two weeks ago, you can read all about it here or click my button below! I hope to make my fabric selections and start making cuts from my box of scraps this week. Yay! Cristina, my partner in crime, over at Pretty Little Quilts, just finished her Texas quilt so be sure to hop over and give her a shout!

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(I realized that my button was messed up earlier and it's now fixed, so if you already grabbed one, be sure to grab it again!)

Lastly, be sure to check out Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival if you already havent! Voting is now open, so be sure to put those in this week! If you would like to see what I entered, you can check those out here:

Bloggers Quilt Festival - Large Quilt

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Original Design

AmysCreativeSide.com

Have a great week!

Melissa

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Bloggers Quilt Festival - Large Quilt

Alrighty, for my second entry I decided to go with another original design but will enter it into the large quilt category.

AmysCreativeSide.com

I was inspired to design and make this quilt back in the fall. I noticed southwest motifs were everywhere -fashion, home decor, art and wanted to create my own version. You can find out more and get the tutorial and pattern here.

Southwest Salsa Pattern

Southwest Salsa Pattern

Make sure you go check out all the other entries and be sure to vote starting May 24th! You can see this entry here.

Melissa

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Original Design

Hi everyone! I am so excited it's that time again....

AmysCreativeSide.com

For the original design category, I would like to enter my Mae's Daisy Quilt. I originally designed this quilt and drafted a pattern for Benartex's blog, Sew in Love {with fabric}.

I have this quilt draped over little relish's chair in her room and still just love how bright and happy it looks! You can find a pattern and tutorial for this quilt on my blog linked above.

Mae's Daisy

Make sure you go check out all the other entries and be sure to vote starting May 24th! You can see my entry here.

Now I need to decide on my second entry...hmmmm.

Melissa

Friday, May 16, 2014

Giveaway Day Winner!

Wow, there were so many great comments to my giveaway day! I hope that everyone gets to meet their quilting inspiration one day! Now, for the winner...




Congrats, Sara! Sara blogs all about her patterns and fabrics at Radiant Home Studio, so go check her out!  

Thanks so much for participating and welcome to my new readers!! Have a great weekend!

Melissa

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Deep in the Heart of Texas Roadtrip QAL...Announcement and Headquarters!

It's time to announce the big secret....a big Texas size QAL!
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Cristina at Pretty Little Quilts and I are hosting a virtual roadtrip QAL highlighting all the fantastic things that Texas has to offer all while making a fun quilt as your souvenir! While we know not every quilter lives in Texas, we hope that this will still be a fun experience for everyone, even if you are just reading along! At each "pit stop" along the way, a fantastic quilter will blog a tutorial to a block that represents their city and also provide some fun tourist information and any local quilt shops in the area. To get an idea of how the quilt will look, check out Cristina's quilt here! The difference between Cristina's quilt and the quilt we are making is that we will have a bunch of fantastic cities represented with their own custom designed blocks. Yay!
So here is how this is going to work: We have divided Texas into 4 quadrants and before we travel through that quadrant, we will post a printable pattern that shows the layout and cutting needed to complete that quadrant (similar to Cristina's tutorial linked above). Then every few days we will visit a city in that quadrant where you will get the details for the on how to make the block that represents that city. We will hit the "road" on June 1st with the first printable pattern for the Dallas, Fort Worth, and Tyler quadrant, and then on June 2nd we will visit the Big D with Ashley from Urban Spools and so on (see schedule below)! There will be giveaways along the way and then we will have a bunch of giveaways at the end for the final link-up (August 17th).
June 1 - Quadrant 1 pattern post - Download
June 2 - Dallas - Ashley at Urban Spools
June 5 - Tyler - Colleen guest blogger at Pretty Little Quilts
June 12 - Fort Worth - Lindsey and Jodie at Fort Worth Fabric Studio
June 15 - Quadrant 2 pattern post - Download
June 16 - Amarillo - Aoife at thREDhead
June 19 - Lubbock - Jada (guest blogger) at My Fabric Relish
June 22 - Quadrant 3 pattern post - Download
June 23 - El Paso - Jennie at Porch Swing Quilts
June 26 - Midland/Odessa - Donna at Donna's Lavender Nest
June 30 - Big Bend - Cristina at Pretty Little Quilts
July 6 - Quadrant 4 pattern post - Download
July 7 - Houston - Teresa at Third Floor Quilts
July 10 - Beaumont - Taryn at Pixels to Patchwork
July 14 - Austin - Amanda at What the Bobbin
July 17 - College Station - Hilary at Young Texan Mama
July 21 - San Antonio - Ellyn at Ellyn's Place
July 24 - Hill Country - Lissa at Moda Fabrics
July 28 - Rio Grande Valley - Melissa at My Fabric Relish

Quilt Cutting Requirements - download

Fabric requirements: This quilt is designed to be scrappy and designed using a 2.5 x 2.5 inch grid layout with the represented city blocks measuring either 8.5" x 8.5" or 6.5" x 6.5". So start gathering your scraps, leftover jelly rolls, charm packs, layer cakes, and candy packs. You will need an assortment of sizes ranging from 2.5"x2.5", 2.5"x4.5", 4.5"x 4.5", 6.5"x 6.5" and so forth. You can even throw in some orphan blocks you have laying around! The printable pattern we provide will give suggestions on cutting and laying out your fabric for piecing. You will also need background fabric for the area surrounding Texas and we recommend getting 3 yards. The finished size of the quilt will be 66" x 66", but can be made larger by adding a wider border.

August 17th - Final link-up and giveaways!
What is a QAL without free goodies? Cristina and I reached out to some of our favorite shops and companies that we felt represented Texas! Did you know that Moda is in Dallas and literally only a few blocks from me? Maybe one day they will invite me over for sweet tea and browse their warehouse (hint hint hehe)? Fat Quarter Shop is located in a fun and fast-growing city just a bit south of Austin called Buda? Fort Worth Fabric Studio is well, in fabulous Forth Worth, and has a great selection of fabrics, notions and awesome bundles! Urban Spools is in the heart of Dallas and offers sewing classes, longarm services, and a great selection of fun modern fabrics. Then there's Donna's Lavender Nest and Lily Rose Quilts, which are both fantastic online quilt shops located in Texas! Lastly, Aurifil, which isn't technically in Texas, but we just love them so much that we had to include them! We want to thank these wonderful sponsors for their generosity to help make this QAL successful!Texas Roadtrip QAL
Be sure to join the Flickr group to share all your work and grab a button for your blog!
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Lastly, we would like to recognize the original inspiration for this quilt. Cristina was first inspired to make her Texas quilt when she came across this beautiful quilt by Dana Michaelsen and quilted by Angela Walters. I searched the all over the internet to find contact information for Michaelsen and even reached out to Angela Walters and had no luck. We were hoping to get Michaelsen's blessing for our QAL, but we will do the next best thing and give credit where credit is due! Thanks so much Dana for creating such a beautiful quilt that lit a fire under Cristina and I to host our first QAL all while sharing our love for Texas!


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Giveaway Day (a day late)....

Hurray, it's giveaway day again over at Sew Mama Sew! I participated last fall and it was so much fun and gained so many fantastic new readers! Thanks y'all!



Today, I want to give away a great book from one of the sweetest quilting bloggers I've met since I started this journey, Amy Smart. I participated in her Virtual Quilting Bee last year and then got to meet her at QuiltBLISS. I wish I wasn't such a chicken and tried to visit with her more, but my shyness over powered. ha!


(picture from Amazon.com)

Amy recently released her first book with 12 fun, fast and easy patterns, Fabulously Fast Quilts. I already own the book and couldn't part with mine, and I want to support Amy, so I am giveaway a brand new copy today! Yay!

To enter, please comment letting me know if you could met one quilter, who would it be? I am happy to ship internationally as long as Amazon and a copy of this book is available there. If you would prefer a Kindle copy, then I can send that anywhere! 

You don't need to follow my blog to enter, but I would love it if you did! It's really easy, just click my bloglovin button below!

Follow on Bloglovin

Want a copy of Amy's book now? You can find them here.

I will pick a winner Friday morning! Giveaway Closed. Winner announced here!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Just some lovelies from bits...

Nothing too crazy to report here (but there might be something pretty exciting next week hint hint), but wanted to share a couple of lovelies so here ya go...

I had an itch to stitch something quick and easy this week and went for an easy strip pieced pillow. It all started once I FINALLY finished my pillow from an orphan block I made in Amy Smart's class at QuiltBLISS. I even used the vintage 327k to do a little matchstick quilting. It has a really fast reverse so I didn't even bother turning it while quilting. Rebel, I know! Lol

I used three color threads: teal, great, and purple. :)

So, even after finishing my sweet pillow, I wanted more. So I gathered by bits and pieces left from my Mother's Day quilt (here) and got to work. They are so easy to make, too (in case you still need a Mother's Day gift)! A quick google can get you started. Amy taught us to piece on 8.5 x 8.5 inch paper (just trim up some printer paper scraps) and crease it down the diagonal. I actually finished up today while hanging out at Urban Spools and decided to leave it there for a few weeks since we will be packing up soon (again). It looks much prettier there than in a box or closet at home.

For the back, I used a wide scrap piece from the mama quilt backing to make an envelope closure. I have 4 more of these blocks left. Maybe I'll make a tote bag. Hmmm.

I'm also teaching a fun new little girls dress series at the shop and I will be teaching the Ruby (by The Cottage Mama) next month (dress on right). That's some Tula Pink right there!

That's all I got! Hope you have a great week!
Ciao! <--that's for you, Cristina. ;)
Melissa
Ps - sorry for all the iPhone pics this week.
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