Thursday, June 30, 2011

A bunch of super cute finishes! And another GBD ribbon

Pin It I have been sewing my little heart out lately. You wouldn't really be able to tell because for the amount of time I've spent, I really haven't gotten a whole lot completed. Unfortunately, most of the things I'm doing are pretty time consuming.

I don't usually get a whole lot of time to sew for myself. But I decided a couple of weeks ago that I was going to do some fun stuff before my super-secret insane project started, which is part of the reason that I decided to take part in the awesome Rockin' Robin Modern Quilt-Along. By the way, have you grabbed your button yet?!

I'm dying to show you all my finished product from the quilt-along, because it's SO STINKIN' CUTE!!! Unfortunately, that's not allowed. And I can't show you my (limited) progress on the super-secret insane project either, obviously. But I CAN show you these super cute skirts I made!

This is the first one I made, out of Linda Lum DeBono's Hugs and Kisses line.

Immediately after I finished that one, I started cutting out fabric for this one, out of Riley Blake's Summer Song (mostly):

So when I finished that one, my friend Jenny emailed me and said that she's having a rainbow themed birthday party for her daughter, and she would love if I'd make her a ROYGBIV skirt.  This one is my favorite!!

Of course, after making all of these cutesy itty bitties, I had to make one for myself.  And of course, I had to make it out of Riley Blake's Sugar and Spice.  I mean, it had to match my bag, right??

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the bag with the finished fabric flower on it.   But trust me, it's adorable!

So what about everyone else?  Most people I know sew a lot less in the summer time because they're having fun outside.  I get MORE sewing done in the summer because I don't have Christmas quilts to contend with!  What have you been up to lately?  I'll be making many more of these skirts in the near future!

One other thing...  My Go! BeDazzled received an Honorable Mention at the AQS show in Ohio.  I was more than pleased, since there were 27 other quilts in my category.  But the quilt got shipped back to me, to the wrong address.  FedEx man to the rescue!  Then I opened my critique and it said "Quilt should lay flat".  I thought the judges had to be on crack, because my quilt does lay flat!  Or should I say it did lay flat.  It must have been subjected to some moisture between here and Ohio, because I took my quilt out of the box and was absolutely HORRIFIED.  It is all shriveled up!  So I need to re-block it (AGAIN) before it heads to San Antonio to be on display with Sarah Vedeler for Bernina University!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Giveaway WINNER and a modern quilt-along (read: super fun stuff)!!

Pin It Bad blogger. Bad, bad blogger! I know. I was supposed to post this a week ago. Life just kind of catches up with you, you know?

Anyway, before I get into who WON, I want to remind you that in my giveaway post I mentioned that there would be a super fun project that could be made entirely out of the fat quarters I'm giving away (along with your chosen background fabric).  Well, it's time to (sort of) reveal what that project is!

This concept was a Row Robin and is the idea of Jen of ReannaLily Designs. I was excited to be invited to join this fun group of gals in this project! Do you know what a Row Robin is? It is a quilt made in, usually, horizontal rows and each row is a different style or type. Many times ladies would pass the quilt along to the next person in the group and add a row. The quilt would continue to be passed around until it arrived back to the original owner- with all sorts of surprises- from fabric, to design, to technique. It is really a neat idea.  Think Round Robin, with a twist.

You'll be able to create your own quilt, in your own colors and you can even change the size. Along the way, there are five of us who made up individual rows in the entire quilt, which will be revealed one row at a time.  We all used completely different colors and styles. It's so customizable, it's easy and it will be so fun!!!!

Each week, the 5 Row Robin bloggers will show you their own stitched row design and link you to the blog tutorial for that row. We want to keep each new row a surprise, just like a traditional Row Robin, but I promise you'll love it (would I do it if I didn't think you would??).  Each one is so customizeable that you can really make it your own.

The row sizes given will yield a 48″ x 60″ baby quilt. Of course, as with most modern, some-what improvised designs, you can easily make this quilt larger, simply by making the rows longer or making some rows twice (or more than twice!)
Here are the designers:
July 5 Row 1- Lisa Marie from ThatCrazyQuiltyGirl (that's me!)
July 11 Row 2- Melissa from Lilac Lane
July 18 Row 3- Heather and Megan from Quiltstory
July 25 Row 4- Anne Marie of GenXQuilters
July 31 Row 5-Jen at ReannaLily Designs

The first row design goes live on Tuesday,July 5th and we’ll have another one each Monday after that for the next four weeks.  Start collecting a nice background fabric and a pile of focus fabrics. You probably need about 3 yards of background fabric, more if you decide to make a bigger quilt. And then some focus fabrics (I obviously used fat quarters!).  Someone used yardage of their favorite designer, another used a layer cake, and another used up a bunch of her adorable scraps in an attempt to further d-stash.

Oh, and we have a flickr page you need to join to see all the pretties and add your own. And also a button for your side bar!

NOW!  Without any further ado, the winner is............

Just Jenn who said:
Lovely giveaway! And thanks for pointing Sarah Vedeler out to me (yes, apparently I'm covered by a large slab o' rock). She seems really nice and down to earth, plus quite the talent; and well done you for giving such a good interview. Of course I'd love to win a bundle of fabric, so here's hoping my number gets picked!
Seriously, you can't make this stuff up!  How funny!

Congrats Jenn!!  Email me your address and I will get your stinkin' cute fat quarters out to you this week!

Also, if any of you had had problems right clicking anywhere on my blog, it's because I had added some code to my page that was supposed to disable the copying of pictures.  It didn't even work, until all of these blogger changes took affect.  I couldn't even copy the text on my own blog.  It has been removed now, so copy away!  Just please don't steal my pictures.  =]

Monday, June 13, 2011

Featured Artist: Sarah Vedeler. And finally the giveaway!

Pin It As most of you know, a little over a year ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah Vedeler at Spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis. It was a rushed meeting, she's such a busy gal!  But we were able to grab a quick lunch and talk about about embroidery.  It was talking with her that made me take the leap and try it out for the first time.  When she told me, "you can do this", it wasn't that she was trying to sell her designs.  It was that she believed in her designs.

And so began the journey of me making my first embroidered (and now award-winning!) quilt.

It didn't take me long to fall in love with Sarah's designs.  They're so bright, fun and versatile and can be used in so many different ways.  But I think the most impressive part to me, is the super-crazy-awesome quilt designs she builds around the embroidery designs.  They are definitely not your typical block.

So a few months ago, while I was in the process of quilting my BeDazzled quilt, I asked her if she would do a Q&A with me for my blog.  Of course she happily agreed, because she's awesome! I figured that since the girls at Quilt Story are featuring my version of Sarah's lovely BeDazzled quilt, there's no time like the present!  So here we go!

*How long have you been embroidering?
I bought my first embroidery machine in November 2002.

*How long have you been digitizing and designing embroidery?
I bought the digitizing software along with my first embroidery machine – so my first attempt at stitching out embroidery that I had designed was December 2002! I started out thinking that I wanted to use my embroidery machine to stitch out quilting designs that I had digitized. However, after 108 hoopings on Life as a Labyrinth, I decided that this was not the way to go and it would be easier to learn how to do free motion quilting instead. I started playing with applique and my embroidery machine at some point in 2003. Back then, it was really simple: tack and trim applique finished with a satin stitch. When version 5 of the Bernina Embroidery Software came out it had a ton of gorgeous open and lacy fill stitches and I started playing with what I now call Embroidered Applique – applique that has a ton of stitching on it, and doesn’t have to be finished with a satin stitch. I started to design with the intent to earn a living in January 2009.
*Have you always been a Bernina gal or have you owned other machines?
I have always owned Bernina machines. I learned to sew on my Mum’s 1964 Bernina Record. She got so fed up of me using it all the time that for my 18th birthday she bought me my own Bernina 801 Sport, which I still have, although I haven’t used it in decades. Just before Heather (my eldest daughter who is now 9 years old) turned 1 year old, I bought my first embroidery machine, a Bernina artista 165E. About a year later I persuaded my (then) husband that I desperately needed a Bernina artista 200E because of the Mega hoop. I used that for many years (and over 14 million stitches) before I bought my first Bernina 830 in October 2009, along with a jumbo hoop. That currently has 9+ million stitches on it and now I have a second Bernina 830 which is not quite 1 month old and already approaching 1 million stitches.

*From where do you draw your inspiration for all of these fabulous designs?
Mostly daydreaming! I usually start out with a pretty simple shape or outline, and then play in CorelDraw or the Bernina Embroidery Software. I’ll see things as I’m out and about that will spark an idea, or I’ll hear something – a song or somebody will say something.

*How does it feel to be the Queen of Machine Embroidery?
Wonderful! That makes me laugh

*When you started out, did you ever imagine you'd be where you are today?
I did not have a clue!!! Someone asked me at Quilt Market last year how I do my marketing. So far, I have not spent a single penny on any formal marketing. I entered my first quilt (Jewels in Chocolate) into the Arizona Quilters Guild Annual Show in March 2009 where it won 2nd place in the Machine Embroidery Category. Since then, people have shown up, stuff has happened, the Universe has unfolded before me and here I am! I set out by getting really clear about my purpose in life: I create Beauty, Inspiration and Infinite Creative Joy. I also decided that I want to earn a living doing something that I love to do that also gives me the freedom to be a mother to my 2 incredibly beautiful daughters on my time. The alternative was going back to being a software engineer/project manager (I have a PhD in Computer Science) – and as far as I was concerned in January 2009, I would prefer to have been shot rather than put through that torture.

*Do you have collections dreamed up in your head for the future?

*Where do you plan to go from here? Surely you'll keep designing and digitizing, but do you plan to branch out into other areas of sewing at all?
Sarah Vedeler Designs is here to stay. I would love if the girls decided that they want to join in when they get older and do some designing themselves. I recently figured out a solution to the recurring problem of which fabric do I want to use… and that is to create my own line of hand dyed fabrics that have colors to my specifications. I want to do some educational videos so that I can reach people all over the globe without leaving my home! And they can also reach me from the comfort of their own living room or quilting studio.

*What would you say was the turning point in your career, where you stopped and realized that things were really taking off?
I taught a class at Quiltique in Henderson, NV last year (August I think). I had nearly all my quilts with me and the girl that introduced me to the class made the comment that all of these quilts had been made in the last 18 months. I realized that she was right – and found myself being totally amazed at what I had accomplished.

*Did you cry when you won the IQA World of Beauty award? (I did!)
No – I had too many happy people around me! But I might cry when you win this year with your version of GO! Be Dazzled. What I find to be totally inspiring is that people (you among them) are taking my designs and making their own gorgeous creations with them. I had a conversation with Alex Anderson a few weeks ago, talking about using some Embroidered Applique on a quilt. She commented that I can do it, but most people can’t. I had to tell her that she was way off and had it all backwards. Anyone who owns an embroidery machine can take my designs and create something with them. And I love when this happens and they send photos to me of what they have created. Sometimes this can make me cry!

*Do your girls realize what a rock star their mom is?
I’m just a Mom who makes quilts for them! They recognize my quilts when they see them out and about and are happy to tell people “that’s Mommy’s quilt over there”!

*When do I get to quilt something for you?! (I'm mostly kidding) :)
I’ll be calling you very soon about a project I would love to have you collaborate on!
 (Editing in to add:  The morning after Sarah sent me the Q&A, she emailed me about this and I'm SO EXCITED!  Stay tuned!)

*What did you do before embroidery? I know you have a super fancy degree.
I have a PhD in Computer Science. Pre-motherhood (and also pre-quilting/embroidery) I was a software engineer and project manager. I am soooo grateful I don’t have to earn a living doing that anymore!

*Did you know that I'm extremely proud to call you my friend?
I am extremely honored to be your friend too.

*Can we get any hints about your new collection? Even just a teensy one?!
GO! Bloom – kind of sort of Baby Be Dazzled, but different! I’ll send you a photo, but it’s not finished yet (only 3 more weeks until I leave for Quilt Market!)
(Editing in to add again, this  Q&A is a little old, as GO! Bloom is now available, and you should totally buy it!) 

 Now, for anyone that doesn't know who Sarah is, first of all, have you been living under a rock?!  And second, you should totally go check out her website at

After you've done that, you should totally come back to this blog and leave a comment so that you can win some free stuff!  Your comment can be anything from, "I want free stuff", to telling me what design of Sarah's is your favorite, or what inspires you, or whatever.  Doesn't matter.  If you want to become a follower, that's fine and dandy too!

My original plan was to give away a BeDazzled CD so that you could make Sarah's lovely quilt like I did.  Unfortunately, I'm sold out of them and don't know when I'll be re-ordering more of them.  I'd hate to wait too long before shipping to the winner.  SO, I'm instead giving away a fat quarter of every single print in the Quilted Fish's line, Sugar and Spice for Riley Blake.

That's twenty one fat quarters!  Now, I'm also going to throw this out there:  there will be a project coming up that can be made entirely with these fat quarters (and some background fabric).  But more on that later too!

So, talk to me!  I'll leave the giveaway open for a week so there's plenty of time for everyone to enter.  I'll close it down and choose a winner and post it next Monday, June 20th.  Good luck!