WiP Wednesday

The Gypsy Wife quilt is coming right along.  I love this quilt so much.  Now I have 24 square in a square blocks left.  Grrrrr.  Those little devils.  This weekend I have a  bunch of square in a square courthouse blocks to make, and to be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to making them.  Now, they’re my favorite blocks! Here’s the progress I made this weekend:

IMG_7587IMG_7591IMG_7593IMG_7596(Personal favorite!!!! That flower, though!)

IMG_7605Ahhhh, the fussy cutting potential!

So, honestly, after making these blocks I wanted to scrap the whole quilt and start over.  I feel like they’re getting so much better as I go.  This wall makes me so happy!

IMG_7608That is, until I started planning out the strips for this quilt.  Y’all, these “instructions” are freaking bonkers.  BONKERS.  So bonkers that I had to bring in reinforcements: ice cream.

IMG_7589Only 24 blocks to go – so far I’ve used 50 AMH fabrics and the goal is to use 100.  HAHAHA.  I think I can do it :)

IMG_7586

WiP Wednesday

Per usual, I have a few projects going right now.  I’ve decided to resurrect my Gypsy Wife quilt.  It’s time to get this quilt done!

IMG_7536IMG_7544I’m a little worried about how many colors I have going on in my quilt right now… but I’m telling myself that since it’s all AMH fabric that it’ll be ok.  I really love that second block and I’m going to bring in more yellow because of it!

I’ve also ironed another third of the quilt for my mom:

IMG_7545Which was a pain, but I love her.  So now her quilt is 2/3 done!

IMG_7548

Sorry for the terrible lighting, I only take pictures when it’s dark outside because I’m a genius.  I really hope to finish this top up this weekend and get it basted.  I love it so much.  I’ve already decided on a FMQ pattern for this quilt and I really hope that I can pull it off.  I can’t wait to see what you guys are up to!  I hope that I can knock out a few more Gypsy Wife blocks!

QuiltCon: Part II

The classes. Oh, the classes.  Now that QuiltCon has come and gone, I am already scheming about the classes I hope to take in 2017.  I was lucky enough to get into a quilting class with Angela Walters and Mod Corsage with Anna Maria Horner.  When I saw that I was able to check out with both of my top choices I felt extremely lucky!  On top of getting the  classes that I wanted, I was also in them with some of my favorite quilty friends. Amazing.

On Friday, I took Dot to Dot Quilting with Angela Walters. Unfortunately for me, this class was on a long arm!  It’s only unfortunate because I do not own one, do not have thousands of dollars to purchase one, and now I want one.  Such is life.  Angela was a phenomenal teachers, and her designs are still easily accessible for a domestic machine.  I can’t wait to try them!

First stitches on a long arm ever. Internal freak out:

IMG_7364The best part of this class, hands down, was taking it with Renee.  Renee has been such a cheerleader, teacher, supporter, and speaker of truth over the past two years.  Whenever I had doubts, Renee was all “you can do this”.  Whenever I wanted to give up on FMQing and stick to straight lines, Renee would pop out another masterpiece and inspire me all over again. Taking a quilting class from a quilting master with your personal quilting hero is pretty amazing.  Seriously, go check out her work!

IMG_7366Renee was such a natural!

Here are a few shots of the designs I was able to do.  Don’t look too closely, or you’ll definitely notice the swerves.  It took a while to get used to the ruler.

IMG_7369IMG_7380IMG_7381IMG_7392

IMG_7397

Of course Renee and I had to get our pictures taken with Angela!

IMG_7402 IMG_7407 IMG_7408This course definitely inspired me to continue practicing Free Motion Quilting.  It was great to hear from Angela and learn more about her journey. Plus, it made me feel better because she’s been doing this for 12 years!  Surely I’ll be better by that point, too!

On Saturday, I took the long awaiting Mod Corsage class with Anna Maria Horner. Y’all.  Not only was this class the class I had been waiting for all year, but Denyse Schmidt was taking the class, too!!!!  (For all my sweet non-quilting readers, Denyse Schmidt is the fabric designer who designed Chicopee – my obsession, and many, many other great lines!)

Here Anna Maria and Denyse are showing off a quilt that Denyse made by using a floral print and applique.  Dang!

IMG_7420What a way to start class?!

IMG_7422Just learning from the master!!!! Here’s Anna Maria’s first Mod Corsage – the inspiration for this class!

IMG_7417And a beautiful color wheel of her fabrics as inspiration during class.  This was from her color theory class that I hope to take one day!  Or I could just make this since I have all of these fabrics!!!

IMG_7418Up first, I had to make the background for my garden.  I had won a beautiful low volume print in a giveaway that was my inspiration (the green text), but when I started laying out fabrics I was inspired by the sketchbook print from Hand Drawn Garden (bottom right fabric)  From there, the garden just grew!

IMG_7425Denyse even came over and complimented my use of Chicopee!  Of course I had to add it in!  It ended up being a great addition because the black in the Chicopee made me pull out a lot of black in the AMH fabrics that I would have missed otherwise as I built the garden.

From there, I just started cutting out florals, and moving the florals around.

IMG_7430IMG_7432IMG_7447IMG_7451Until I had my final design:

IMG_7455Originally, I wanted to create a piece of wall art for my guest room.  However, I love this piece so much that now I want to make a quilt.  I think I’m going to keep these flower as raw edge applique and build layers of low volume around this, but the garden will be either the center focal point, or in the bottom corner.  I envision cerise binding (or course) and even more florals.  I.love.this.

Here’s Denyse sharing about her work:

IMG_7458And of course I had to get a picture with Anna Maria:

IMG_7465Overall, I could not have been more pleased with the class I was able to take at QuiltCon.  I was extremely lucky with my schedule. Both classes pushed me outside of my comfort zone and really inspired me to create beautiful projects.  I can’t wait to try the quilting designs at home and I’m already planning another Mod Corsage – this time for a frame!

QuiltCon: Part I

It’s taken me some time to process the time I spent in Austin, Texas for QuiltCon 2015.  In fact, I don’t think I’ll be done processing for a while-  for so many reasons. This trip was an opportunity of a lifetime for me, and I feel so incredibly blessed that I was able to go.  Since I have so much to say on the issue, I’m going to break my posts into three instead of one long post.  First up: the people, the experience, the fun. Austin, you were so good to me.

IMG_7323I cannot say too many times how much I love my quilty friends.  At times in my life I have not been brave enough to choose my friends wisely, and I allowed myself to be sucked into friendships that were not beneficial, uplifting, or encouraging relationships.  Oh, how I wish I could go back and tell young Ashley that holding onto those friends wasn’t worth it, and that there were so many creative, kind, and loving women in the world who would be my friend.  I digress… because I can’t, and I seem to be OK now that I’ve learned the lesson!

The quilting community has shown me how important it is to surround yourself with passionate, talented, giving, and encouraging people.  It was so exciting to meet so many of the people who have encouraged me over the past two years of my quilting journey and meet them in person.

Do you know what’s cool?  Seeing your best friend’s quilt in the show together!  I have admired Michelle’s work since we both started around the same time, and she was sweet enough to make me this quilt! (I wish.)  I mean, how talented is she?!

IMG_7327

Also, as I walked around, I found that I would see a quilt, and exclaim, “Oh, there’s so-and-so.” Quilts became their owners, my friends.  I recalled nights where their Instagram posts had inspired me as they created the quilts in the show.  It was surreal.

IMG_7326Like, Cath and Laura!

Every quilt was so inspiring, and I’m pretty sure that I didn’t see them all.  I also took some personal time to fulfill a life-long goal: buy some cowboy boots in Austin.

IMG_7334I can’t even.  Coming from snowy, gloomy New Jersey, I cannot tell you how happy my heart was to walk around South Congress St. with Sophie.  So. freaking. happy.

IMG_7329(yes, yes I was wearing my nametag lanyard in public.)

Talk about boot overload.  I’ve never wanted to be filthy rich quite like I felt when I walked into Allen’s Boots.  Oh, wait.  Yes I have.  Every time I walk into a fabric store…

IMG_7335If I had all the money in the world, my baby sister would now own these boots.  I just hope that she has a new life goal now that she’s seen them: Make enough money to buy these puppies!

And, then I tried them all on.  All the boots in the world.

IMG_7337Because National Geographic was doing a feature story on Austin, and they asked if they could document my boot buying experience.  I wish I could make this stuff up.

IMG_7346Never have I ever been more thankful for pedicures and my decision to shave my legs.  Especially considering I was at QuiltCon in February.  You feel me?!

Life Goal Accomplished:

IMG_7342I bought my designer boots.  The only thing I bought. Worth.it.

Every day and night I was able to eat with people who inspire me every day to become a better quilter, person, and friend.  These quilters are amazing.  See – I got to eat with my Sisterhood ladies (minus Liz!).  We just finished up round one of our progressive quilts, and now we’re starting up Round two!  Interestingly enough we sat in the order that we’re going to be passing our quilts around this time – unintentionally!

Can we just talk about the food for a second?  OMG, the food.  I definitely ate everything I could and I don’t regret a bite.  It was incredible.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I had mac and cheese for lunch on Thursday, dinner on Thursday, and lunch on Friday.  No shame.

Michelle and I joined up with Amanda and Kelsey of Everyday Fray.  We’ve been friends ever since we all participated in the Let’s Get Acquainted blog hop, and it was incredible meeting them in person.   We definitely know too much about each others’ lives from just being bloggy/instagram friends.  It was great. If you got to Austin.  Eat at this restaurant.

IMG_7415IMG_7412You.will.thank.me.later.

I also got to hang out with the ladies from New Jersey who’ve held my hands through all of the craziness that is learning to quilt.  They’ve kept me sane as I’ve faced challenges at work and personally.  They don’t even know how thankful I am for their friendship.

IMG_7477Life lessons learned in Jersey: Have other people pump your gas and One can never have too many donuts. Am I right?

IMG_7475In looking through my photos, it’s so obvious how many memories I missed getting on film because I was having too much damn fun.  I may not have the selfies to prove it, but if I got to hug you, meet you, admire your work, eat with you, or drink with you, you made my time at QuiltCon the best.  Up next: the classes, and the personal.

WiP Wednesday

Let me tell you what, quilting is good for the soul.   I have been needing this time to cut up fabric and put it back together again.  This weekend I was able to finish all the rows for my mom’s quilt (plus some that I’m too short to reach) and now I just have to motivate myself to iron them.  That is not good for the soul.

IMG_7288

I really, really, really love this quilt.  I’m so glad that my mom liked these fabrics for her quilt because it means I’ll always be able to see it.  But, really, how am I going to motivate myself to iron this?!  ALL THE SEAMS.

IMG_7299I also made sure that I have Cerise nails for QuiltCon, because how else will anyone know who I am?!

And finally, I’ve been pulling fabric like a madwoman for my class with fabric god Anna Maria Horner. Let me tell you what didn’t happen – putting anything back.

IMG_7293If it’s floral, it’s making the trip to Austin.  It’s also packed in my carry-on backpack.  Y’all.  Nothing useful is in my carry on – it’s only fabric.  Because I’d much rather be without clothes for 4 days, than not have my fabrics.   Oh lord.

Tonight can’t come soon enough!

Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts, Part II!

Yesssss, it’s back again.  I am so excited that Laura, Renee, and Jess, and I will all continue in on the fun – and even more exciting – we have two new sisters to add: Michelle and Liz!  In the mad rush to get ready for QuiltCon (OMG) I knew I had to have my starter ready to hand off to Jess.  But, of course, I procrastinated until last night.  Oh, when will I learn?  I’ve been feel grey and bleak with our weather lately, so what else should inspire me but COLOR VOMIT EVERYWHERE!  Rainbows!

My vision for this quilt is a Row by Row quilt, where each sister takes a color and makes a complete row using only fabrics of that color family.  Red, Pink, Orange, Yellow, Teal, Blue, Purple.  (Yes, I left off Green because that’s my starter!)  The rows (yes, rows, not columns!) should be 72 inches long, but they can be any width.  Maybe you want to do 6 inch economy blocks in pink, or 8 inch churn dash blocks in purple (cough, Jess, cough), OR 12 inch wonky stars in blue.  I don’t care what block   – it could be a smorgasbord of blocks for all I care in your row.  It just has to be all one color.  All hues, but I’m not really into pastels.  I like vibrant, rich, in your face, loud color.  And white is out.  OUT.

Here are some inspiration quilts to check out: Saturated Color by City Stitches, a Row by Row rainbow quilt – minus the white!, Rainbow Fabrics, More Rainbows from My Fabric Obsession.  You get the point.  Color.  Color. Color.

Oh, and maybe you want to tackle two colors.  That’s cool, I’m down with that.   Whatever colors are leftover once I get it back, I will finish off.

For my row, I took  on green.   I pulled out my stash of 40 green fabrics (no lie) and pulled out my favorites.

IMG_7300

Even some chicopee made it in there!

I wanted to do a row of geese, originally lots of little geese,  but then time got in the way, and I found cutting directions for large 12 inch geese!  Pinterest for the win!

IMG_7303The lighting is terrible.  Because it was way past my bedtime, but that’s beside the point – we can sleep after QuiltCon!

So, here’s the deal.  I pulled fabrics in the other color families that spoke to me:

IMG_7308But, then I decided that we all have better things to pack after QuiltCon, and God knows you don’t want to mail around 5 yards of fabric with this beast of a quilt.  So here’s the deal.  When you get the quilt, and you decide on a color you want to use, if you need fabrics CALL A SISTER.  I will  hook you up.  I will mail you my stash in that color.  I am for real.

IMG_7304IMG_7305There’s more where that came from, too.

Ladies, are you up for the Rainbow Challenge?!  Do you have an idea for your row already?  Are you prepared to ignore white?  Oh, and grey, and black, too.

Also, I am so far ahead of myself already because I’ve planned my quilting pattern: The baptist fan.  (insert laughing/crying emoji here) It’s just too perfect.

QuiltCon Prep

Y’all.  I fly out in 4 days.  FOUR.  I can’t believe it!  I was all bummed that I’d be the only person there too incompetent to create something handmade to wear or carry at QuiltCon, but now I have two handmade items to wear!  My sweet friend, Melanie, saw my distress over missing the Lanyard memo on Instagram and texted me that she had made me one!  What?!  Quilters are the best people ever.

I stole her picture of the lanyard, and I have to say that she couldn’t have picked a better fabric for me.  I’m obsessed.

img_2244

Isn’t it perfect?!

When I went to pick the lanyard up from our favorite quilt shop, Rock Paper Scissors, I happened to walk by some AMH rayon.  Usually I keep on walking because God knows I can’t make clothes (Even though I’ve made a dress minus a zipper, but that’s another post…) But these fabrics stopped me in my tracks.  Luckily, Aubrey was there to walk me through the process and she shared this awesome infinity scarf tutorial over at Pink Chalk Fabrics.

IMG_7276

The tutorial calls for 1/4 yard of both fabrics.  I bought 1 yard of each fabric, cut into 1/2 yard cuts.  Then I put the 1/2 yards together to make a REALLY long  infinity scarf.  I am a big woman, and I like big scarves.  In full disclosure, though, I did end up trimming off maybe 15 inches?  However, I LOVE the extra length and the extra width.  It is so full and soft and comfy and beautiful.

IMG_7281

I happened to find a teal sweater that matched perfectly, too.  It was meant to be!  So now I’ll have a few handmade items to wear in Austin!

Up next: packing, picking my fabric for classes, getting my nails done (haha), and putting together my sewing kit.  OH CRAP.  I also have to finish my sisterhood starter.  OH LORD.  I better go get to work RIGHT now.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts

She is finished!  (Minus the binding, but she’s almost finished!) After a year of seeing this quilt develop because of the design genius of Laura, Renee, and Jess, it is so exciting to see it finally quilted!  Since this quilt is so special, and so large, I decided that it was best to send it off to be long-armed instead of trying to quilt this baby myself.  Best. Decision. Ever.  Sarah, who owns Crinkle Love, was a joy to work with and she truly made this a quilt I will treasure forever.  I would highly recommend using her, and I already have the next quilt in mind that I want to send her!

I still need to bind this quilt to give it a proper photo shoot, but I couldn’t wait to share some photos of the quilting.  The back is AMH field study velveteen and it is so heavy, soft, and warm.  I’m obsessed.  I think I might even hand bind this monster – all 344 inches.

IMG_7272

There are so many details to love on this quilt.

It’s crazy to think that it all started with this Star (pattern can be found here from Lisa Quilts Like a Boss)

IMG_7268

This star looks wicked cool from the back:

IMG_7271

I absolutely love each and every border!

IMG_7267

IMG_7269

But, I have to say that my two favorite borders are the outside borders.  I decided not to add some orange peel blocks that Jess and I had made, so I love that orange peels made it on anyway.  Finally, I had seen a video of Sarah quilting this rose design on Instagram and I knew this would look beautiful on the Social Climber print.

IMG_7270

Now I just have to bind this stunning quilt… and start my next Sisterhood starter.  I don’t think I can top this one, though.

A huge thank you to everyone for this quilt – you ladies have no idea how much I treasure this.  If there is ever a fire, I’m grabbing this first!

Quilty Question: QuiltCon Prep?!

Everyone was so helpful with my last Quilty Question, that I just have to ask for some more help.

I leave for Quilt Con in 8 (eight…EIGHT!) days. So it’s basically time to start packing now.  Other than this amazing bag that I bought last night (hello, flying geese) what else do I need?!

unnamed

What is everyone bringing other than the class list of supplies?  I’m notorious for forgetting things, so I want to make sure I don’t get to Austin and realize I’ve forgotten something.  Of course, I guess I can always buy it along with the fabric and cowboy boots I’m planning on buying…

What’s on your “must pack” list?

Quilty Question: A Gift for that Quilter in Your Life?

Calling all quilting friends.  What is the perfect gift for a quilting friend?  I’ve been blessed to receive so many thoughtful gifts from my friends to support my habit hobby, but it always seems to stump me when I want to give a gift.  Especially because it seems that we quilters, well… to put it bluntly, we have a lot.  A lot of stash, a lot of trinkets, a lot of gadgets.  There’s a reason a lot of us did the fabric diet.  (I mean, I didn’t but I have zero self-control.) So, sometimes it’s hard to think of what someone would realllllllly want.

Unless you’re me.  Then the answer is always Chicopee because I have an illness.

So, here’s where I need your help.  If your quilty friend was going to buy you a quilty gift, what would you want?

Get crazy with your answers.  Pretend it’s your birthday. Anything goes. (Well, except a new machine, long arm, or some crazy out of print fabric that loons are selling for $200/yd. on Etsy.)