April 23, 2012

The "New" Quilting Craze

See - it's not just me! Of course, we know that there is nothing "new" about quilting.  It's a craft that has been around as long as fabric has existed.

Quilting is big business.  In 2010, Quilting In America released statistical data showing that there are 21 million quilters in the United States and the quilting industry is a $3.63 billion enterprise.  Last year when I attended the International Quilt Festival in Houston, I found out that the Quilt Show was the LARGEST single convention held at the Houston Convention Center - and had over 60,000 attendees. Very impressive!

When I started quilting a little over 2 years ago, I immediately started surfing the web to find out what I could and get tips, tutorials and tricks online to improve my abilities.  I found such a wealth of information, it has made the whole process so much more fulfilling to find others out there also excited and into quilting.

In January, I saw this article in Southern Living declaring that there is a "New Quilting Craze" - it highlights online guilds and bees.

Certainly, the average age of quilters I've come into contact with here in Austin is somewhat older than me, but I have found these women to all be generous with their skill and their time - everyone is glad I'm there and glad to have younger women getting excited about this craft.

So, I'm going to do my part to encourage people to try quilting - you are making an heirloom gift for someone you love - something they will keep and treasure as long as they own it.  The true enjoyment and pride for me comes in giving something to someone I have made with my own hands.  I look forward to many more years of honing my skills and converting people into new quilters!

April 22, 2012

My Joshie Lies Over the Ocean

Well, who can resist a good fabric sale?  For a really long time I've been looking for a great quilt for Josh.  As the second child (particular a second son), Josh rarely gets something new, just for him.  Will has several of what I call "napping quilts" - time for Josh to have his own as well!  When I saw this pattern and kit a while back, I immediately thought of him.

Pattern: Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Jocelyn Lai for Its Sew Emma
Fabric: Anchors Away by Dear Stella

The extra bonus was that I was able to score the kit and backing for 50% off a few weeks ago on Fat Quarter Shop.

The only problem is that Josh, age 3, asks me everyday if his quilt is done. I haven't even started it yet.  He's made it perfectly clear, in the way only a 3 year old can do, that no other sewing by me will be acceptable until his quilt is done.  So, I guess I need to rearrange my project list.

I'm finishing up my quilt for Charlotte and this is next on the agenda.  Anchors Away!

April 18, 2012

Yes, I Am Still A Beginner

Geez - I make mistakes ALL the time!  But, at least I have fun while making them, right?  Sometimes, I get so annoyed with what I've done that I need to just step away from the machine.  More on that in a minute.

Anyway, I'm working on the super cute quilt for Charlotte's big girl bed and it's coming along nicely.  I love the blocks, but I don't really like the way the pattern lays out the blocks.   So, I'm changing that up.  Nothing like changing your game plan 2/3 of the way through, right?

Here's everything laid out on the design wall in my new and improved layout...

All I need to do is add the aqua sashing and the borders and my top is done.  I think the aqua sashing will really break up the big blocks and highlight the fun orange fabrics.  This was a very easy pattern, just two different blocks.  Which brings us to my problem  - DIRECTIONAL PRINTS!  (p.s. every time I say "directional prints" now I scream it a little).   I should have accommodated for my adorable little owls and make them all facing the right way - so I have a date with my seam ripper in the very near future.  We can't have our owls looking every which way, can we?

But rather than start that now, I decided to make my binding.  Some people don't like binding their quilts. Not me - it's actually becoming my favorite part.  It's very satisfying and I can do it in bed while watching my favorite tv shows - double bonus!  Plus its the last step and by the time I'm binding the quilt, I always have my eye on the next big project.

So, this is my main work-in-progress. I'm linking up to Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesdays.  Ladies, please tell me my rookie mistakes aren't completely ridiculous!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced