Friday, May 19, 2017

what shade are you? by RJR Fabrics

What shade are *you*?
Me? I'm Amy and I'm a turquoise/mint/light blue or really any shade of blue kinda girl! If you've ever read my blog or seen my Instagram feed (@amylouwhosews), this will not be a surprise to you at all! I love the calmness the color blue invokes - the sea, the sky, nature in general.

I really don't consider myself a big quilter.  I've been sewing since I was young, but started out making clothing.  I quilted a bit with my mom and have made a few over the years - but find I'm not super patient with the process! Bags, zippies and clothing come together so much quicker!  However, I do love quilts! And I've always admired triangle quilts made with solids. So when RJR asked for people interested in doing something for their #whatshadeareyou feature I had the perfect idea in mind. I'm really happy to share it with you!

My brother has a new house out on the Chesapeake Bay.  From their back porch they have a gorgeous view of the green grass, gray boulders at the shoreline, and the aqua bay melding into the horizon of the darker blue sky.  I tried to capture that in the colors I chose to represent each part of the view. And also capture the calm and peaceful feeling of standing at the water's edge.

I was hoping to get out there to take a photo in the same location but I wasn't able to make it work.  Instead I went to a nearby park with water views of a creek off the Potomac and a rock quarry where stones were cut and hauled up river to build the U.S. Capitol building! How cool is that!? We had a fun time on our hike/photo session.  We got some funny looks though! 

Props to my friend who climbed up there to hold the quilt up!

Now, back to the quilt...
Since I had never made a triangle quilt I followed cutting and sewing instructions from the pattern Kwik Hexie Links by Karie of Two Kwik Quilters (IG: @karie_twokwikquilters). I was able to use her coloring sheet in the pattern to figure out how many triangles of each color I was going to use and design my own color pattern.

Initially, I was going to just do one section of each color, but when I got the green and the grey sections sewn together the line was too stark.  So I went back and sewed another row of triangles together mixing the lighter greens and grays to have colors fade a little into each other.  I then repeated the same thing to mesh together the gray and aqua, then aqua and darker blues. I love the ombre-esque feeling it has.  This really ended up being a hybrid planned/improv quilt. I tried not to overthink the placement within each section and it worked out better than I could have imagined!

My talented friend Becky (IG: @sarcasticquilter) echoed the idea of the view with her quilting of cloudy shapes in the sky and waves in the water,

blades of grass in the green and rock shapes in the gray.  She did exactly what I was hoping for!

The RJR Supreme Cotton solid colors I used for each section are as follows:
313 carolina
296 electric blue
280 night
126 royal blue

400 jam jar
391 robins egg
294 cove
274 riviera
328 bora bora

319 overcast 
283 on the rocks
125 silver
341 stormy night

249 sprout
347 grass is always greener
127 kelly green
405 spring
408 leaf

I used Dandelion XOXO for the binding and Bluebird Dottie for the backing both from Cotton + Steel basics

Going with my nature theme I thought the yellow for sunshine would provide the perfect pop.  And I couldn't pass up that gorgeous minty basics print for the back!!

It was fun to realize while shooting the photos that the gray section matched the weathered boardwalk, bridges and bark on the trees - not to mention the big rocks!
I really loved working with these fabrics to create something that I am really proud of. In fact this is probably the most proud I've been of any quilt project I've ever made! I can't wait to gift it. And then make another one for myself! Thanks so much to RJR Fabrics for their generosity and opportunity to make and share this with you! Find me on Instagram @amylouwhosews!

Friday, April 01, 2016

Sewing with Valencia by Laura Gunn

Oh boy.  I haven't blogged in ages! I have been sewing a lot but mostly posting over on our favorite instafun, insta-addicting, instafeedback Instagram as @amylouwhosews!

I was able to sew with Laura Gunn's new fabric line Valencia a few months ago and it's now in stores available for purchase.  My favorite project I finished was this adorable Laura Ashley pattern by McCalls (6875).  The Michael Miller blog just posted all of the preview projects today including this dress! Go check it out!

I have the matching print in orange and pink to make for little sister.  Photos coming soon!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

go big, go bold or go home bag finish and a winner!!!!! Quick ColumnQuilts Book

I did finish the bag!  I used it tonight to take my mat and other supplies to an activity - it was great! And here's a sneak peak -

I'm working on a tutorial - at least for the measurements and everything!  I think I'm going to really like using it!


I meant to post this on Monday!  Thanks for all who entered the giveaway!  The lucky winner is #21!!!

I'll be in touch to get your address!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

giveaway::Quick Column Quilts by Nancy Zieman

After I posted about Nancy's book the other day I realized that I forgot let you know that I have one copy of the book to give away!!

Nancy is also hosting an amazing giveaway over on her blog.  You just need to comment on her September 4 post to be entered!  A sewing machine and other awesome prizes are up for grabs!

I'm still working on my bag - I just have to make the straps - I'll get that posted for you next week!

To enter the giveaway here all you need to do is leave me a comment.  To make it more interesting for all of us let me know your favorite way to communicate with your online sewing community/friends!

I love all the platforms - blogging is great when you have more than one photo and funny quip to share, Facebook can help you connect with new people pretty easily, but my personal favorite is the instant feedback of Instagram!  You can follow me @amylouwhosews if you feel so inclined.  I'm private so if you have pics of fabric in your feed you're in! hahaha!

If you're on Instagram leave me your username in the comments too!  I'll close the giveaway Saturday night!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

book review :: Nancy Zieman Quick Column Quilts

It's my stop on the blog tour and I am always happy to be a part of any new Nancy Zieman project! Be sure to check out the link at the end for Nancy's post and her awesome giveaway-which includes a new sewing machine!!

I've been feeling overwhelmed these days and when I got the email about this new book I thought, "oh no, how can I get a whole quilt done!?"

Then I looked at the preview of the book. Everything was beautifully illustrated and quick was in the title! So I said yes - I've got a couple of months...

And then we got home from vacation and school started. Oh the chaos!! Cue the sad music. 

I didn't want to just review the book, I wanted to make something (but there really are a lot of great patterns and techniques in there!!)!  so I took the quilt that stood out to me most and tweaked it. A bit. Or more than a bit. But I loved learning a new technique and can see how a quilt top from this pattern would work up very quickly! 

The quilt in the book is the Happy Go Lucky Chevron Column Quilt: 
Since I only have 4 solids in my stash and two of them are white and the other 2 shades of aqua/turquoise (!! shocker!!), I decided to dive into some large Amy Butler Love (and some Belle, Daisy Chain and Soul Blossoms...) scraps instead and use a more solid type print for the skinny pieces that work through the whole quilt.

One of the great things about this pattern in the pieces are big - so they show off nice big prints like these and a queen sized quilt will work up rather quickly! I followed the cutting instructions but only cut about 10 strips and cut the strips sets 1/2 the size to start with since I was going to do a smaller scale project.  

I followed the piecing instructions and then cut my strip sets in half to about 20" long.  

I had omitted the dark print in the chevron sets because I wasn't sure I wanted it to be so prominent in such a small piece - like I said the pieces are large. But then the vertical strips looked out of place. 
 So I decided to sew the strips up without the contrast. And for this project I think it works well.

I quilted the two panels. (19.5" x 21.5") in preparation for using them in a large tote bag.  I love straight line quilting a 1/4" or so on either side of the seam lines.  I think it always looks good! 

I haven't quite had time to finish the lining and the straps but I'm almost there.  And I have now affectionately named it the Go Big, Go Bold or Go Home Bag! 

I'm planning on a more detailed tutorial in another post if any one is interested - plus I need to show you what it looks like once I finish it!!

I loved the technique for stitching the chevrons and quickly piecing the columns. Everything was done in columns with out any finicky bias piecing for every block. I definitely think even I could make this quilt top pretty easily! It was fun to use the pattern in a different way as well-I might actually try reducing the size of the pieces to make a mini quilt. 

Update!!!:: I'm also giving away a copy of the book!  Go here and enter! Ends Saturday 9/20 at midnight!

This fun tour has been going on for a couple of weeks. Check out what the others have created from Nancy's book! And remember to check out this post to enter the giveaway!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

craft book month 2014: a quilt made with love

It's Craft Book Month again over at Craft Buds!

Lindsay has put together another awesome month of encouragement and giveaways. Link a project made from a craft book to this post and you could win some amazing prizes!! You have all month to link up.

I was glad to sneak in a last minute spot to the party because I have a quilt to share that I haven't blogged about yet!!

Several months ago my friend Kim's son deployed.  Having been through multiple deployments  Rachel, Becky and I (fellow quilters and military wives) decided to make the deployment quilt - Look to the Stars - from Rachel's book, Quilts Made with Love.

We divided the quilt into sections, chose bright scraps for our own stashes, and then Rachel (who lives in Ohio) sent her work to me and Becky and we sewed up the top.

 And Becky worked it on her mid-arm quilting it so beautifully!

 And I love the way it turned out!!
photo courtesy My Go-Go Life
The best part of the story is that Rachel drove 8 hours here so we could all surprise Kim with a visit and the quilt!  It was awesome!!!! If you would like to read that part of the story from Kim's perspective you can HERE.  Rachel's is HERE. And Becky's, HERE. Besides, their stories are way more fun to read - this is like the reader's digest version!

I loved making this quilt because it really was made with love.  Rachel's book is full of simple and beautiful designs to give on occasions to show our love to each other!  And isn't that what we love to do as makers? Make things for people?  Tangible hugs they can take with them when we are not there to give one in person?

photo courtesy My Go-Go Life

Sunday, September 14, 2014

a little bit of this and that - i have actually been sewing

With school starting it's been a little easier to squeeze some sewing in. And I figured since I've been a member of my local guild for a year and actually have a job working on the newsletter this year I thought it was about time I made my name tag.  It's a simple foundation pieced pattern and now I want to make another and use the block as a pincushion!
I also toyed with a couple of wonky star blocks to audition ideas for the pouch swap.  Can you ever have too many Heather Ross fishies?
And hedgehogs + kokka??  
And another zippy for a friend's birthday!  Hot pink is her thing right now. And damask is always mine.

And then, just for fun I worked up another wonky star!  Now I want a whole navy, orange and aqua quilt.
Maybe I'll start breaking out my real camera and not just post pictures from my phone - although... this is much quicker - but the quality is not as good. :(
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