On January

Attending two quilt shows in the latter part of 2014, going to Austin MQG meetings, and meeting with my Art Quilt Bee has been INSPIRATION OVERLOAD. I have never been more excited about sewing and quilting.

My goal this year is to get the ideas out of my head and onto paper, onto the design wall, onto the sewing machine (or onto my hand-quilting hoop!), and completed. Each month, I’m going to be sharing my projects throughout all their many stages. I think it will be fun to see the progression from start to finish!

January, you’re on first.

On paper:

photo by fundathos.org

Feeling super inspired by tile, especially this simple and modern pattern I saw on Pinterest. Follow my quilt inspiration board here!

Modern Tile Quilt Sketch
My take on the tile design. I think this could be an amazing quilt, with bold, contrasting solids.

photo by Modern Handcraft

I’m also playing with the idea of hexagons, inspired by this quilt by Modern Handcraft.

Stretched Hexagon Quilt Sketch
I like the idea of stretching the hexagons and elongating them a bit. I just bought a bundle of Carolyn Friedlander’s new fabric line, Doe, and I think it will be the perfect thing to try out the hexagons with!

On the design wall:

Colorful Shot Cottons on the Design Wall
Cutting into this shot cotton bundle to make a baby quilt. I came up with an easy arrow pattern, mixed with colorful half-square triangles.

On the hoop:

Hand quilting with black thread
John’s quilt. I love this soooo much and I can’t wait until it’s finished. I’m hand quilting with black thread. I’m just following the diamond shape of the blocks and seeing where that takes me. Slowly but surely making progress!

All Finished:

I technically haven’t completed a project yet in 2015….boo! So instead I’ll show you these penguins I made as gifts in December. So cute I can’t even stand it. One for my nephew, and one for a friend’s baby shower.

Handmade Stuffed Penguin with Modern Fabrics Handmade Stuffed Penguin
Make your own with this great tutorial by Purl Bee!

What are you working on? Any inspiring fabric or images you’ve seen lately?

Hey there 2015!

Let’s take a look back at 2014, shall we?

2014 Leaves

At the beginning of 2014, I started a little weekly photo challenge for myself. I wanted to practice using my camera, and take lots of photos every week. I went strong for 22 weeks, then just…stopped. I got a little burned out, and needed a break from the camera. In 2015 I’m aiming to take lots of photos again, but not on such a strict schedule. Less stress, ya know?!

Probably the biggest moment of 2014 was buying a house in March! I hope to do an updated house tour soon, now that we are all settled in. All you’ve seen are the empty rooms! Seems crazy that we’ve already made it our own style and gotten so attached to our little house.

Our First Home

In March, I my first traveling of the year to Kentucky to see my sister and her family for her birthday.

having fun outside

I love this little boy so much.

Then in May we went to NYC! John and I spent our one year anniversary here, and we had the best time. I’d like to go back…tomorrow. Ok? Thanks!

wk 22 insp 02

Central Park amazingness

We also took a quick trip to Oklahoma to celebrate my grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary. I tear up just thinking about how much love they have for each other and for their family. It was a super special evening celebrating these two. Aren’t they cute?

Granny and Grandpa 60 Years

Celebrating 60 Years

P.S. I can’t take credit for this amazing photo! Aunties, do you know who I can credit?

Halfway through 2014, I decided to enter a quilt in my very first quilt show! The Capital of Texas Quilt Fest. Seeing my quilt hanging up there with the rest of the amazing works of art was the best feeling. In 2015 I’m going to try and finish my latest quilt and enter it in another show. Details soon, I promise.

Liberty Geese Number 3, front

My first quilt show entry.

Oh and I joined a quilt bee! And I didn’t even tell you! How rude of me. I’m part of the “Sew Together” bee here in Austin, and we meet once a month to talk about art quilts and modern quilting. I’ve met some lovely ladies and am excited to learn and get inspiration from the group.

Not only did a join a quilt bee, but I also became a member of the Austin Modern Quilt Guild. I joined in October, and am slowly getting to know everyone. I love being a part of this group of like-minded quilters! I get to geek out about sewing and quilting, and I’m excited to attend more meetings in 2015.

More quilty things: Halloween was awesome because I went to the International Quilt Fest in Houston. My brain melted.

Ruby Jubilee quilt display

The next night John and I got all dressed up and went to our friend’s awesome Halloween party. Bonus points if you know who/what cartoon we are from.

Finn and the Ice King

I also opened my Etsy shop in 2014! I have just a few things listed so far, and I have been aiming to get even more items up in the next month or so. I’m really enjoying working on my shop, and I’m learning a lot.

Hey, I'm for sale!

Hey, I’m for sale!

The holidays were nuts around here. It seems like the last few months flew by, and I don’t even have ANY pictures except this one of cranberries. We hosted my parents for Thanksgiving, and I did a really bad job at making turkey. But the sides were DANG GOOD!

Cranberries

We spent Christmas day in Austin, then traveled to Wichita Falls to spend time with John’s side of the family. Lots of fun and food and family time.

Christmas lights in typical Austin fashion.

Christmas lights in typical Austin fashion.

 

Finally, we toasted to 2015, and said goodbye to 2014. We hosted a New Year’s party at our house, and it was a lot of work, but it was even more fun. I made a glitter CHEERS sign and everything.

Cheers to 2015

Looking good, lady friends!

 

And that’s a wrap. If you made it to the end of this post, I owe you a cookie.

I liked you, 2014. I liked you a LOT. But I’m ready for more adventures and crafts and sewing and reading and writing and eating. I think 2015 will be just right.

 

Recent Projects

Just popping in today to share a few things I’ve been working on lately.

First things first. I made my first sale on Etsy! I quietly opened up shop a couple months ago, and am hoping to sell some cute coasters, pillow cases, and all sorts of other fun fabric goods I dream up.

Here is the custom set of quilted Christmas coasters I sent out earlier this month. They turned out super cute, and it was so fun making something custom for someone! (hint, hint, I want to make YOU something! Find me on Etsy here)

Custom Christmas Coasters

We recently got a new dining table and chairs, and I thought my new Japanese fabric I purchased in Houston would make a great table runner.

Dining table

These indigo crosses make me happy every time I look at them!

Fabric table runner

And another fun table/dining room project – these Thanksgiving napkins I whipped up! I like the subtle fall colors and fun leaf print. Next on the agenda: Christmas napkins. Soon I’ll have napkins for every season.

Thanksgiving napkins

Stepping up my hair game with a homemade reversible headband. I LOVE how these are turning out. (I’ve already made three in the last two days.) I think I may list some on my Etsy shop, too. They are too good not to share!

Craft Takeover Headband

Reversible Headband

Homemade headband

And finally, the project I’m most excited to share with you…
I finished a quilt top for John! This simple half-square triangle design came together really quickly, and I can’t wait to get started hand-quilting it.

Half square triangle quilt for John

What are you working on lately? I’d love to hear!

2014 International Quilt Festival

On Halloween, I took the day off work, and drove myself down to Houston so I could check out the International Quilt Festival!

Ruby Jubilee quilt display

I spent about 6 hours at the festival, and quickly learned that only one day spent there is not nearly enough time to see everything!

I spent most of my time just walking around and seeing the beautiful quilts, and checking out the many, many (as in, over 1,000) vendors selling all sorts of quilty things.

I couldn’t resist buying some fabric:
Fat Quarters from the International Quilt Festival
Fat quarters from Web Fabrics.

Half Yards from the International Quilt Festival
Half yard cuts from Heartway International.

owl stamp
And this cute owl stamp from Country Keepsakes.

I had also heard some great things on Molli Sparkle’s blog about Bloc Loc rulers, so I was excited to come across their booth…but unfortunately they were all sold out of the two sizes I was considering! I think I may have to order one online. I often find myself needing to square up blocks, and this seems like the perfect tool!

Now, let’s move on to the amazing quilts! I’ll just jump right into it with the photos. I picked a few of my favorites, and listed them under their specific categories.

Ruby Jubilee: A 40-Year Celebration

This is a special exhibit to celebrate the festival’s 40th year. The photo at the top of this post shows how they were beautifully displayed. I couldn’t see the quilt labels for these, so I’m not able to credit the artists.

Ruby Jubilee Quilt 5Ruby Jubilee Quilt 2

Continue reading

Quilted Fall Table Runner

Don’t you just love when autumn rolls around and you get to start buying pumpkins and candles and Halloween decorations? This year I thought I’d spruce up my kitchen table a bit with some fall colors. The remnants of Cherrywood fabric I had leftover from my chevron pillows was the perfect fit for an easy table runner!

The quilted table runner is made up of two inch squares from 6 different variations of red, orange, and yellow. I made up an easy-to-piece cross pattern that reminded me of my very first quilt, and it came together really quickly! I loved making it because I got to work on my piecing and quilting skills, without having to make a huge project.

quilted fall table runner - front

The fabric on the back is also from my stash – you may remember the yellow polka dot pillows I made with this fabric a couple years ago.

quilted fall table runner - back

Once I basted the layers together, I did some easy straight-line quilting with my little sewing machine, alternating between quilting two lines and four lines of simple orange thread.

straight line quilting

The binding is also pretty scrappy, using up more Cherrywood reds and oranges, and a little more polka dot fabric thrown in for good measure.

scrappy binding

I love these intense colors! What an easy way to brighten up a table for the fall season.

Halloween table runner

 

Hope you have a fun and spooky Halloween next week!

 

How to: Make a Design Wall

Did you know that fabric sticks to flannel? This never really occurred to me until I saw some awesome sewing and quilting studios that incorporated a design wall into their space. A design wall allows you to to lay out fabric and play with quilt blocks until you find the perfect arrangement! It’s a super helpful tool when laying out a design for your next project.

fabric design wall

Here’s a couple of shots of my sewing space before. I knew I needed something in the far corner, but I didn’t know what to put there. Once I started thinking about a design wall, I knew it was the perfect place!
Craft Takeover sewing studioCraft Takeover studio

Here’s how you can make your own. It’s easy and cheap! Two of the best things when making crafty projects 🙂

Materials needed:

  • foam core board – found at craft or office supply stores.
  • flannel
  • staple gun with 1/4 inch staples
  • packing tape or duct tape

Steps:

1. First, measure your space to see what size design wall you can make. I had a long narrow corner of the wall that I wanted to utilize, so I used two foam core boards stacked on top of each other. I found mine at Hobby Lobby, and they were 32 x 40 inches each.
Craft Takeover studio wall

2. Next, determine how much flannel you need to cover your board. My design wall is about 7 feet tall, so I bought 2 and half yards of flannel. If you are making a wall that is wider than the flannel, simply sew a couple of pieces together to fit.

3. Tape the foam core boards together.
tape foam core to make a design wall

4. Attach the flannel to the board by pulling it taught, and stapling around the edge with a staple gun. 1/4 inch staples worked well for me – do not use long staples or you’ll go all the way through the board! If you have a wider board, some spray adhesive may be helpful during this step. Cut off the excess fabric on the back.

5. The foam core board and flannel are so lightweight, I simply nailed through all four corners and in the middle of both sides to hold it in place on the wall.
Design Wall detail

And you’re done!

Craft Takeover sewing studio with design wall

It is so, so helpful as a quilter and sewer to be able to simply stick some fabric or block on the wall, and then be able to rearrange and move them around. It really helps you perfect your design!

10 Inspiring Quilts from the 2014 Capital of Texas Quilt Fest

You guys know I love some quilt inspiration. So of course I had to share more inspiring quilts from last weekend’s Capital of Texas Quilt Fest here in Austin.

It was hard to pick only 10 quilts to share…but any more and I would have had WAY too many photos overloading this post. So 10 quilts it is.

These are in no particular order, other than the order I walked around the fest.

Over the Edge, by Joseph Stroman
First, we have the winner of Best in Show! Over the Edge, by Joseph Stroman. Isn’t it so amazing?! The photographs don’t do it justice (especially with those chairs blocking your view!). Just take my word for it, it was spectacular.

Over the Edge, detail of quilting
Check out how the quilting thread jumps out at you on the back. I loved the colors.

Delicious Mountains, by Rebecca Salinger
Delicious Mountains, by my friend Rebecca Salinger. She won Judge’s Choice, go Rebecca! Again, I didn’t do a great job with this photo, so it’s a little tricky to see, but the embellishments were really neat.

Balancing Act, by Art Bee Austin
I love art quilts, and this is such an inspiring example of one. Balancing Act, by Art Bee Austin.

Balancing Act detail
Isn’t the hand painting on these rocks amazing?

Feral Cats, by Kathy York
Feral Cats, by Kathy York. I’ve posted about some of Kathy’s work before in this post, but I continue to be inspired by her work every time I see it. Plus…I love cats!

Cancer Cats, for Heather Grant
See? More cats! This one is called Cancer Cats, and it was made for Heather Grant. Make sure to read the description in the photo below.

Cancer Cats quilt description
I love the friendship behind this quilt. Learn more about the Sarcoma foundation here.

Lonestar Brother, by Marilyn J. Roskey
For the beer lovers out there…this one is called Lonestar Brother, by Marilyn J. Roskey.

Sea Glass Herringbone, by Claire Jain
Sea Glass Herringbone is a quilt by my friend Claire Jain. This quilt was featured in a book I mentioned just the other day in my Recent Reads post – Lucky Spool’s Guide to Modern Quiltmaking. I haven’t made it all the way through the book yet, so I was super pumped to find out her quilt was in it. Congrats, Claire! Your quilt is beautiful.

Quilts by Corinne Sovey
I loved both of these quilts by Corinne Sovey. On the left is Waves (you can find her awesome tutorial for this quilt right here), and on the right is Garden Trellis (you can purchase her pattern here). I am finding that I am more and more drawn to modern quilts, and these by Corinne are super inspiring!

Twilight Stars, by Linda Scheible
Here is Twilight Stars, by Linda Scheible. I really like the color gradations on this one. And you know my obsession with Cherrywood fabric, which made me drawn to it even more!

Swoon, by Stacey Napier
And finally, Swoon by Stacey Napier. These blocks are awesome, and I really like the fabrics she chose. She has a lovely post on her blog about this quilt if you want to read more.

Oh yeah, last but not least – I didn’t count my quilt in the 10 shared here. But I better show you guys the finished product, since I talked so much about it in my last post.

Liberty Geese Number 3, by Laura Ward
Liberty Geese Number 3 Honorable Mention
Liberty Geese Number 3 is my first quilt entered in a show, I’m so proud! I’ll take that Honorable Mention any day.

Here are a couple more shots of the front and back with better lighting out in my backyard.

Liberty Geese Number 3, front Liberty Geese Number 3, back

Hope you enjoyed seeing some of the quilts from this year’s show!

Click here to see some of my favorites from 2012.