Memorial Day Weekend Deals and Fun!

Good morning everyone!  Well … it’s sort of good morning.  It’s pretty overcast and windy outside in my neck of the woods right now.  Which is actually a good thing because that means – perfect weather for sewing!  Okay – back on track.

It’s Memorial Day Weekend which means many things – including Brat Fest in Madison, WI.  Last night we took our girls to Brat Fest and there was a booth there that had all the supplies out for my girls to write thank you’s to the soldiers over seas.  I thought that was such a wonderful idea and my girls really enjoyed creating letters that will hopefully bring smiles to the soldiers. 

Our long weekend will be spent with the family (and hopefully a little in the sewing room) doing family stuff.  But I do hope to find some time to do a little online – there are some fabulous deals and fun things happening this weekend.  I thought I’d take a minute to share a few of those.  I have to tell you that some of these, if you click through and make a purchase I will receive a portion of the sales but I won’t recommend anything I wouldn’t do/buy myself!  Deal!?

Hand Sewing

You’ll rarely find me anywhere without a project in my hands.

My first stop I am not affiliated with … but I LOVE!  Spool!

With summer break just a few days away I’m always on the lookout for some great take-along projects.  And what did I find in the “Weekly Deals” section?  Leather Cuff Kits!!!!  I already have two in my cart as I type this.  This will seriously be the perfect project as I sit and watch softball games this summer.

make modern

My next feature is not a sale … but a challenge.  You all know I love me a challenge!  The “Make Modern” Magazine is hosting a #MMminiminchallenge from the 20th of May through the 20th of June.  Be sure to check out HERE for more details … but basically it’s a challenge to make miniature quilts!  If this icky weather keeps up I’m thinking this could be a fun project with my girls this weekend!

Oooh .. there’s a fabulous “… of the Month” happening at Creativebug Inc – I definitely need to catch up on at least the Block of the Month one, Folk Flower Block by Anna Maria Horner … (I don’t know how to knit but I’m thinking the bag looks pretty cute too!)

CreativeLive is having a fabulous sale from today through May 30th – 25% off all classes

I did a quick browse through to see which ones are on my wish list …

Pretty much any of the classes in Art & Design but most specifically Design Surface Patterns from Scratch by Bonnie Christine  and I sort of am interested by the Typography Fundamentals one too.

Create Digital Products that Sell While you Sleep – yes please! 

Okay – in just the 5 minutes I spent browsing I found at least 10 classes I want to purchase so I highly recommend taking a look through. I don’t have a lot of time to sit and watch classes so I will often play them as I’m sewing.  I’ll keep a little notebook nearby in case I need to stop and take notes.  And the cool thing is … you can always scroll back if you need to see it again! 

See All the June Book Selections at Book of the Month


One of my favorite thing about summer is the Summer Reading Program at the library!  I’m extra excited this year as my girls just recently discovered there love of reading (it was killing me that it took so long!)  I have a feeling we’ll be incorporating “read alongs” into our world a lot more this summer!

Bookspan is offering - 50% off 3-month Book of the Month memberships with code SUMMER50.  Take advantage of this fabulous deal before it’s over!!!

One last plug before I leave you to enjoy your weekend – are you ready for the pool?  Last summer I went to Mexico and I found some great suits on ModCloth.  The coolest part – returning the clothes that didn’t fit me was beyond easy – which is key for my online shopping experience.  I’ve found that ordering online, with easy returning is so much easier than trying to go to dressing rooms with three girls. Pip’s favorite thing to shout out as I’m changing in Target or Old Navy, “I just love your boobs mama.”  Which is adorable and cute … but unnecessary.  Much nicer to just go through it all in my own home.  My favorite things from ModCloth so far have been the swimming suits, tops and dresses. 

ModCloth’s weekend deal: Extra 20% off already reduced sale items at ModCloth and New Customer Offer: $20 off $100

They are unique, flattering and comfortable!  I’m pretty sure I couldn’t ask for more.

And now – I’m off to the sewing room. The girls are happily jumping on the trampoline outside with there dad watching so I get a little me time!  Have a great weekend!

Salt Lake City Blocks

I’ve been working on my Salt Lake City Blocks for the #scrappySLCalong.  My favorite part of the blocks is fussy cutting fabrics to use in the center.  I’ve finished ten blocks so far.  I think my goal is going to be twelve 12-inch blocks and fifteen 6-inch blocks.

5 Salt Lake City BlocksThese are the – 6-inch blocks I have made so far.

Salt Lake City Block

My favorite one so far … I think is the giraffe which is from a Charley Harper print.  Charley Harpers work is perfect for fussy cutting!  I can’t wait to add more to my collection!

5 Salt Lake City Blocks

And here are the five 12-inch blocks I have made so far.  It’s hard to pick my favorite … but I think it’s this one …

Salt Lake City Block

Do you have a favorite block?  Have you made your own yet?  Be sure to share yours and tag them on instagram!

“Cerise to Blush” Quilt

I’m excited to have another quilt finish to share with you.  I am ridiculously proud of this one.  “Cerise to Blush” is the quilt I made as my final project for the Design Essentials I class I took with Lorraine Torrence at my local quilt shop, Mill House Quilts.  It was an amazing series of classes and I learned so, so much!  I can’t wait to sign up for the Design Essentials II Class!IMG_9225One of the homework assignments involved symmetry, scale and value.  We had the option to just cut out the squares from fabric or paper and glue them down … or add in the seam allowances and stitch them together.  Some of the pieces FINISH at a half-inch so this was a bit tedious … but it was the option I went with.  When my assignment was done I had four blocks just waiting to go. 

IMG_9231I really liked the assignment and knew I wanted to play with the concept of it even more so for my final project I made five more blocks.  2016-05-05Because symmetry, value and scale wasn’t enough - I added another concept – complementary colors.  I mixed in some greens in five different values.   I’m proud to show you just how well my value worked as you can see in the black and white picture!  If you just saw the piece in black and white it would be hard for you to tell there are two different color schemes happening.  Trust me – this is a huge accomplishment for me!  I always struggle with value!IMG_9233All the different scales of the blocks in the different values make some really interesting shapes and movement throughout the quilt.  IMG_9237Without intentionally doing so .. an AT-AT appeared in my quilt!  Do you see it!?IMG_9239

I quilted this piece on my Bernina.  I did a tight pebbly/swirl in the green corner and then diagonally down the quilt a bit.  Then I did wavy/straight line quilting with my walking foot.  In spaces that got a bit wide I added in some more pebbles.  I enjoyed myself with this part of the process.  I referred to Christa Watson Angela Walter’s newest book, The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting: Long-arm and Sit-down - Learn When, Where, Why, and How to Finish Your Quilts, when I was struggling on what to decide to do for the quilting.  It’s definitely a book that has earned a place next to my machine while I’m quilting.

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Salt Lake City Quilt Along

I don’t know about you but I won’t be attending Quilt Market this year. I was able to attend last year and I think it’s harder knowing what I’m missing by not being there than it was before I even knew what it was I missed!  Does that make sense?  I believe Spring Quilt Market is in St. Louis next year and I really hope to make it down there for that. 

Since I’ll be anxiously watching my instagram and facebook feeds to see what’s hot and new this year in the quilting industry I thought it would be fun to add some quilt block eye candy to the mix.  So – I came up with a fun scrappy block for us all to do –

Salt Lake City quilt block by Kim Lapacek

the Salt Lake City Block!

This is a great block to use your scraps on AND a great opportunity to fussy cut some fun fabrics for the center of the block.  I created a tutorial for both a 6” and 12” Salt Lake City Quilt Block so it should work for whatever size scraps you have!

Salt Lake City quilt block by Kim Lapacek

Here’s another one of my 12” Salt Lake City quilt blocks.

Get your Salt Lake City Quilt Block pattern on my craftsy site for free until May 25th, 2016 – then there will be a small fee to download the tutorial.  Salt Lake City quilt block by Kim Lapacek

I made a 6” Salt Lake City quilt block too.  I just love the fussy cut giraffe for the center of the block!

I hope you join in the fun with me!  I’ll be using the hashtag #scrappySLCalong on instagram as I post my blocks and also feel free to link up your blocks below!

 
#scrappySLCalong

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Craftsy is having there HUGE class sale!  I love these classes – you can watch at your convenience and learn from so many amazing and talented instructors you may not have the chance to learn from in the real world!

Craftsy

It only goes until May 21st so don’t wait too long!

Scrappy Quilter Feature–Scott Hansen from Blue Nickel Studios

Happy 15th of the month scrappy quilt lovers!  How are everyone’s scrap quilts coming along for the big scrap challenge!?  If you’re lacking inspiration … I’m pretty sure you’ll find some with today’s featured scrappy quilter – Scott Hansen from Blue Nickel Studios! (facebook, instagram)  (oh – and in case you’re confused as you read the interview – K = Kim (aka me) and S = Scott (aka Blue Nickel Studios).)

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K: Why do you enjoy using fabric scraps for quilting?

S: Well, It's because I love a riot of color! All of the time! I really have to work at giving my quilts some spots to rest the eyes, because I so love all of the movement and excitement found in pattern and color combinations.

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K: Do you have a secret or tip for storing your scraps?

S: hahahahaha!  Oh, you were serious? Well, to be blunt not really. I do have some bins that I started sorting by color into, but they get forgotten all of the time.  I really like having everything where I can see it so that I can decide as I go what I am going to use.

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K: If someone where to have given you one tip for sewing/quilting when you first started - what do you wish they would have told you?

S: Not really sure on this one. Maybe to be sure to Press instead of Iron. I had a student explain the difference to me once and now I tell that to many of my students!

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K: What's your favorite color to use in your quilts?

S: Equally hard question. If I had to pick one color, it would probably be Red,  but I don't see that much Red show up in my work! Weird, huh? I think I really do tend to use Green then Blue and then Red, but I love every color except for Bright Purple so I'm pretty unpicky. I like to combine odd color combinations to create interest.

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K: If you have a picture and/or story of your favorite quilt you've made using scraps thus far ... please share. Chirstmas 1963 flat shot

S: It is really, really hard to pick a favorite one. My most recent Tree one is a fun one but the original is done with one line (Cotton and Steel's Tinsel) , and kind of scrappy, but not as scrappy as it could be.   That one is Christmas 1964 and  newly available on my website to purchase. I was inspired by an online search of mid-century Christmas images for my Cell phone wall paper!

Beauty in the Bark

A real favorite of mine that is VERY Scrappy but sometimes gets overlooked is Beauty in the Bark.
This quilt was mostly inspired by a print fabric designed by Valori Wells a few years back. I loved making this one. So much color and texture and SOOO Scrappy.

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Thank you so much Scott for taking the time to answer my questions and share your scrappy-guru-ism with the group!  Everyone – be sure to check out Scott’s site – he has some great patterns and tons of inspiration to be found!

****BONUS!!!!**** Scott has shared a fabulous pattern for a "Scrappy Fish" Block!  Check it out here!

(I personally think Scott’s pattern “Painted Forest” would be the perfect scrappy quilt!)

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If you make one (or five) of Scott's fabulous "Scrappy Fish" feel free to link up below so others can see!



Madison Quilt Expo - Focus Through the Prism Quilts on Display

I teased you earlier this week that I had lined up two exhibits for the Focus Through the Prism Quilts and today I’m revealing the second location – the Madison Quilt Expo!

Madison Quilt Expo

September 8-10, 2016

9am-6pm Thurs-Fri | 9am-5pm Sat

Alliant Energy Center Exhibitions Hall | Madison WI

The Quilt Expo is the biggest quilting event of the year in Wisconsin and has become a major show in the Midwest.  There are tons of vendors, a beautiful juried quilt show, classes, speakers and inspiration galore!

photo by Karmen Lindner Photography

photo by Karmen Lindner Photography

I’m so excited that our Focus Through the Prism Quilts were accepted as one of their special exhibits this year!  It’s going to look amazing!

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Dervish–Everything Old Is New Again Block Challenge

The inspiration for this months Modern Quilts Unlimited “Everything Old is New Again” Block Challenge was the Lemoyne Star.

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I have a secret to share with you … I’m super competitive. I love to win things and I try really hard to win them.  I do “try” to hide my competitiveness because I don’t want to be like that … but I am.  If you look back at the winners so far in the challenge most of them have been amazingly intricate pieced block … which likely requires paper piecing and/or lots of patience.  If I was going to paper piece I knew I’d have to head over to EQ7 and get to work.

Wonky Lemoyne Star Block

This was my first design … a wonky, off-balance Lemoyne Star.  While I think it’s cool and would really highlight the panel print I’ve been using I knew it wouldn’t even contend with the top blocks this month.

Back to EQ7

Dervish Planned Quilt Block

And then this is what I came up with!  I think this design has at least a chance to compete for the top spot.  I knew my colors weren’t quite matching the ones I’d actually be using but this gave me a good place to start from … and a paper piecing pattern.

While this design looks complicated (I think anyway) there’s really only eight blocks that need paper piecing.  lemoyne analysis block

I outlined the eight blocks in the image above in a thicker black line.  The little notch of fabric coming into the block makes this one tricky to piece traditionally so I printed out the paper piecing templates from EQ7 to help me get these perfect.  I was able to traditionally piece the other eight sections of this block even though there are some teeny tiny pieces in there. 

I’ll admit … I learned a few things from this block.  First – you really have to pay attention to what size block you put into EQ7 as your finished block size before you print out templates.  I may have entered that my block was finishing at 10” instead of 12”. 

Dervish Quilt Block Progress

Of course – I was working on multiple projects at the same time in an attempt to be efficient with my limited time at the sewing machine so I finished all eight of my blocks before I realized that they were a half of an inch too small.  Crap!  To add to that … I had the coloring wrong in the blocks and put the lime green/marine combo on the blocks that should have been Asian tea time panel/taupe.  But – instead of throwing them away and starting over I figured that this was meant to happen and I should just role with it.

Dervish Quilt Block

And here is my final block … obviously not the same as the initial design … but I think pretty sweet anyway.  To fix the problem I added a 2” x 3” plum fabric strip between the paper pieced blocks.  I put on little corners just to add interest and keep with the edgy design I had going.  I added another strip of plum to the top of the smaller blocks and before I knew it all the pieces fit together nicely. 

Hopefully you enjoyed the story of how my block “Dervish” came to be and if you could take a few minutes between May 11th and May 14th to vote for it I would really appreciate it!  Just click HERE to do so!