Quilted Name Tag

The best part of quilting is hands down the community.  I love how much I learn from others, and it is a constant flow of inspiration.  Through Instagram, blogs, pinterest, and my Modern Quilt Guild, I have met so many amazing quilters who continue to not only inspire me, but also encourage me to try new things and keep going.  The North Jersey Modern Quilt Guild issued a challenge for our guild – The Name Tag swap.  I was a little hesitant to sign up because I’m one of the newest quilters, and I don’t know how to bind or finish a project, but I threw caution to the wind and joined in.  Even though it’s not due for a few weeks, I knew I needed to get started pronto because this is a project I can’t turn in late. Only because I’d feel bad for my partner!

For this project, I decided to break into my Notting Hill charm pack:

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I love these colors and I thought they’d look perfect for the project I had found.

After searching through endless pinterest and blog posts, I decided to tweak a free tutorial I found on Sew Can She’s tutorial page for a quilted Herringbone Hot Pad.  We all know how much I love anything Herringbone. 

I cut off a few 1.5 inch strips and seperated them by color.

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The block came together very quickly.  I kept going with the strips until I knew I was past the size I wanted for my name tag so that I could cut it down to size:

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For this project, I only made one half of the Herringbone block because I didn’t need width, but I want to make something larger, maybe a pillow, to showcase the whole block.

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Here’s it is quilted (YES, QUILTED!)

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Now I need to remember everything my mom taught me about embroidery so that I can embroider my partner’s name!  Of course, I’m also looking up 50 million tutorials on that, too!

I hope you’ve all enjoyed a beautiful spring weekend.

Happy Quilting, friends!

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Garden State Adventures

Living in a new state can be fun and exciting.  After graduating college, I’ve called D.C, Northern Virginia, and now New Jersey home.  I’ve gotten to change, grow, and meet amazing people.  However, sometimes you miss your people.  Those people who knew you before you knew how to properly brush and style your hair.  Those people who loved you when you wore the wrong jeans and had glitter eye shadow.

I always treasure when my people take time to come visit, not only because I love sharing my new home with them, but because it is good for my soul.  This weekend my best friend Maggie came to visit the Garden State for the first time, and I’m pretty sure she loved it.  Basically because we just kept feeding her.  New Jersey knows food.

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The best thing about having your best friend in town is that you can clean your apartment, but not make up your bed. I realized this morning on the way to the airport that I hadn’t made it once.  That is a true friend.

We spent the weekend exploring Princeton, Montclair, and the homestead.  I can’t claim creative genius for the following photos because my hands were snug in my pockets, but Maggie has a clever eye.

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I did risk freezing fingers for this quilting inspiration:

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Another perk of having your best friend visit is that they capture ridiculously cute pictures of you with your husband:

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So much better than our standard, arm-out, self portraits!

Like any true friend, after sushi, wine, the diner, and bagels, I made her go to a quilt meeting at my favorite quilting store: Rock Paper Scissors.  Basically, she is the best.  Ever.  I had been looking forward to the Newbie Quilters meeting and she not only documented our fun with photos, but she cut out the remaining blocks that I have been procrastinating for the Love Lives Here quilt.  Seriously, I love her.

Here I am hard at work cutting out the surprise baby quilt:

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She also got to meet Courtney, my quilt-making-teacher-partner-in-crime who’s working on her first quilt:

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And learned to cut out ridiculously tiny and perfect squares:

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I can’t say how good Maggie’s visit was for my sanity, but there is nothing sweeter than sitting on your couch eating gummy bears and watching shows with your best friend.  My only regret was that I haven’t made her a quilt yet!  One day…

Here is the finished baby quilt top made with Bella by Lotta Jansdotter. I was too exhausted to lay it out on the design wall.  I couldn’t move from the living room carpet.  That’s when you know you’ve had an exciting weekend.

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Now, I just get to sew this baby together and learn to actually quilt and bind the finished product!  I think this will be the first finished product I make!

I hope your weekend was as crafty, loving, and full of good food as mine.  Now, don’t you want to come visit?

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You Don’t have to Tell Me Twice…

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Today is National Visit your Local Quilt Shop Day.

It’s almost like I planned it.  Tonight I’m heading to my favorite quilt shop, Rock Paper Scissors, for my first Modern Quilt Guild meeting.  To say I’m excited would be an understatement.  A serious understatement.  My husband’s been great and all – coming to look at my progress after each block, driving to every quilt store with me, and pretending to love all of my fabric selections.  However, a quilter he is not.  I’m excited to be in a room with people who love quilting, know more than me, and see what they have to share. 

Back to Rock, Paper, Scissors.  The cutest, local quilt store in Montclair, NJ.

If I’ve learned anything in this past month of quilting, it’s the importance of finding quality quilting stores.  The first experience I had here was less than pleasant.  If I hadn’t been so dead set on my goal to become a quilter I might have been too intimidated to go to other stores and find ones that were supportive of newbie quilters.  After visiting 10+ stores, I’ve found my favorite.

Rock Paper scissors has an awesome class list – with a great mixture of beginning and advanced classes.  From talking with one of the instructors the other day, I know that they’re supportive and love the excitement new quilters can bring.  I can’t wait to take classes, quilting and beyond!

Most importantly, they have fabric.  (You would think that’s a duh, and it is for a fabric store, but they have good fabric.)  When I walked in the first time, I thought to myself, “I could literally make a quilt with every collection in here!”  On top of having quality fabric, they have an awesome selection of beads and papers for basically any craft you can imagine.  Right now I think I should focus on just one craft style… (who am I kidding?!)

The store is bright and airy, very organized, friendly, and supportive

If you’re in the Northern Jersey area you should check it out.  Or when you come visit me, I’ll probably take you anyway.

Oh, and there is a Panera next door.  Which is where I’m eating tonight.  Heeeeeey.

And, because no blog post should be without a picture, I leave you with this:

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This is a painting done by Lenore DePree, one of my favorite artists.  It’s of a quilt group, but not just any quilt group, it’s my grandmother’s quilt group.  See the cute lady in the bottom left-hand corner talking?  That’s her.  I come by it honest.  So, tonight I head to my first quilt group meeting, and I hope to be chatting, too!