Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Single Girl

First, I want to acknowledge just how amazingly amazing this online quilting community is. I have met some of the nicest, most generous people from all across the world. People I have never met before have reached out to see if I needed help or advice with my move. One sweet, wonderful girl in one of my bees named Heather is sending me a piece of a Good Folks print that I am missing that she happened to have. For real!?!?!? I almost fainted. Being part of this community has really restored my faith in the goodness of people and has made the world feel so small. I LOVE it, and I love all of the people who contribute to it.

Back to sewing. I pulled my single girl out of the closet today. It was such a challenge to piece, when I was finally done, I was totally over it. When I pulled it out today, I was surprised to see that is so much prettier than I remember!

I now appreciate the work that I put into it. I would have taken it outside for some gorgeous pictures on this sunny day, but there is so much white in it that I was totally afraid it would get dirty.

So what to do with this thing? It is huge. I mean HUGE. Like 85 x 85 huge. I am completely intimidated at the thought of quilting it on my little Pfaff. I don't think even half of it would fit through the machine all rolled up sandwich like. I am soooo tempted to send it to my mom (who is a long arm quilter) and let her do the deed. Ugh decisions.

On another note, anyone who lives in or around the Raleigh area, where are the best quilt shops? I have no idea. I need a good modern one, and I don't know if there is one in the area. Also, now that I have a disgusting amount of free time, I have decided to see how many calories I can ingest. I actually have time to cook! Anyone have any fabulous recipes?

In my last post I mentioned that there was something fun in the works. Well, we got the green light to go ahead!! I am not going to say what it is yet, but we are ironing out the details as I type. Look out for the announcement in the near future! I am soo excited!!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Modern Mini

Originally, I wasn't going to enter Jennifer's Modern Mini Challenge because I did not think I had the time,  BUT my current employer told me I did not need to finish out my final two weeks with them. What to do with all of this time....sew, obviously!! I have never made a mini quilt before, I guess I just have never had a reason to do so.

It was rather fun to see it go from design to complete in just a day. I used a little tiny tiny bit of the AMH Good Folks that I recently aquired to be the focus of the pattern and then accented it with some of my favorite pink/raspberry fabrics. The background is Kona Coal which is always delightful to use when you want to make colors pop. The mini finished at 18 inches square.

The quilting was just straight lines that sort of rippled off of the yellow fabric. Hopefully you can see what I am trying to say because for some reason, I can't find words to describe what I did. Haha.

The back is just a solid aqua color that I had lying around. I thought the solid on the back would show off the pattern of the quilting nicely.

Hope everyone else joins in on the challenge! There will be prizes! I also joined the Covert Robin over at Imagine Gnats. That should be SO fun. I can't wait to get something in the mail that is handmade just for me!! Everyone should join this as well.

March is rolling around shortly which will mean new bee blocks for me. Also, I am going to use all of this free time to plan something really fun blog related! Yay!  So keep your eyes pealed for an announcement!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Big News!

The snow stuck in Richmond! That's actually not my big news.

The news is that I will be moving to Raleigh! And soon! I was offered a new job, and I decided to take it. I am very excited and verrry nervous for the change. On the bright side, I will have a new apartment to decorate with handmade lovelies! As a reward to myself, I bought..........AMH Good Folks! Omg it is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!!!

I came across a fat quarter bundle that had 17 of the original 24 prints. I had never seen that many together in one place. I am still absolutely drooling over it.

My goal, is to find fat quarters of the missing 7 pieces and then make a quilt to showcase the beauty of the fabric. Sooo if anyone has a fat quarter of a missing print that they would like to sell, definitely comment or message me! Haha. But seriously, managing to get the entire collection would be a dream come true.

Obviously I got camera happy, but they are just so pretty! I now have to take a break from my fabric lust and spend a little time this evening planning my move. It all just got very real!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Snow Day!

Well really more like flurry day, but it is the first snow-like weather that Richmond has seen all year! Fortunately for me, I did all of my errands yesterday so I can spend the day inside sewing. I decided nothing would be more perfect for a day like this than some hexies! I have had a pile waiting for me to begin piecing for some time. 

I decided to go with 5 inch hexies because frankly I don't have the patience to make an entire quilt out of itty bitty hexagons. Haha. I printed them from an online hexagon generator (hexies!) onto card stock so they would be pretty substantial while I was attempting my hand sewing.  

My method is rather improvisational because I sort of learned as I went rather than follow a pattern or tutorial. The steps are pretty much the same as any other method though. I just cut out my paper hexagon, lay it on my fabric, and use it as a template while I cut around it with my rotary cutter. I don't use any particular seam allowance or anything, I just sort of eyeball it.

Then, I just sort of tack the fabric to the paper hexagon with a needle and thread, folding one corner over at a time, and moving around the hexagon. I usually tack each corner on the first pass and then the middle of each flat side on the second pass. It gives me the confidence that I need that the fabric is tight around the paper.

Then it is on to hand stitching. I am choosing to do these by hand as a challenge to myself because I rarely take on a hand sewn project. I think, however, I have figured out a pretty efficient way to do them by machine. If I master it, I will post a tutorial.

I don't have very many pieced so far, but I am not planning for this to be a fast project. I will make a couple new hexies now and then as I get new fabric, and one day (hopefully) it will be a showcase of the fabric that has passed through my sewing room. I like the idea of a big scrappy hexie quilt. Now I am going to go enjoy the fact that I am not outside and start learning to piece my hexagons!

Friday, February 17, 2012


I gave my blog a makeover! I like it so much more now. However, I just noticed that my quilt is covered in thread in the picture. Awesome, haha. I will retake the picture another day. I was just trying to see if I could even get it to work. Not an exciting post, but let me know what you think!

Also, for all those who follow me, THANK YOU so much! I never expected to have followers and I love it! Feel free to comment any time or suggest things that you would like to see. I love love love the feedback. For anyone who just stumbles upon me, feel free to follow! I would love to have you! Again, thank you all so much!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Second Bee Block

 Have you ever gotten mail from Canada?

How cool is that stamp/label?!?

Now I can say I have! Katie from 'We Bee Modern' sent us fabric to make our February blocks for her.  She chose 'On the Plus Side' on page 126. Our packages included 4 strips from Lotta Jansdotter's Echo for the pluses and two strips of a dark quilters linen for the background.

 I chopped my strips up into tiny (and I mean TINY....1.5 x 1.5 squares) pieces and went to work. I wasn't terribly hesitant going into this block, but the tiny pieces proved to be a little challenging. When you are working with larger pieces, and 1/8 of an inch here or there isn't going to make a huge difference. But on 1.5 in strips, yooou better be precise. Or so I found out. After a little bit of fabric wiggling and some unsewing, my block came together pretty decently (or so I thought!). I forgot to give it a hair cut before I took the pictures. Oops!


I was pleased with the final product and will be sending it back to Canada shortly! Thanks Katie for kicking off our bee with such a great block!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I got a surprise in the mail today! Well it wasn't really a surprise since I ordered it, but it came earlier than expected, and I was so excited. I got a fat quarter bundle of the new Pezzy Prints by American Jane from Fabricworm. They are soo pretty and BOLD. I love the original multi colored Pez prints, but these solids are just fantastic! Don't you think?

My favorite is definitely the teal one but the grey, black, and navy ones really speak to me as well. Some of these colors are totally out of my fabric comfort zone but I love them!

I had to spend a certain amount to use my coupon code, so I got a yard of Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow Honeycomb in Sunglow as well. It was on sale, and I was ecstatic because it was the last yard in stock. Score!

My fabric for the February block of We Bee Modern finally arrived from Canada. I am excited to finally get working on it!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Got My Assignments!

I got my February block assignment for We Bee Modern Too, and can you say way too excited? Yea, that was me. Kersten from Frozen Knickers graciously took February as her month and picked 'Missing Your Kiss' on page 114. She asked us to build from our stash, keep the background neutral, and the make the border bright. It was rainy/snowing here, and I had absolutely no plans to leave the house so obviously, I got started on my block right away.

I was a little sad when I realized I didn't have any light grey for the background. I went with white instead, and I like how it turned out. I grabbed some wonderful and trusted old standbys such as Joel Dewberry Herringbone in Pond and 2 pieces of Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley line for the Xs as well as some newer fabrics like Lotta Jansdotter's Woven in Navy from Echo. Choosing fabrics was super hard because I had to pick only 8!

The Xs came together swimmingly and I was very pleased with them. I loved how wonky they turned out.

I got stuck again picking a border. Kersten asked us to keep it solid and bright. I auditioned solids of EVERY color, and for some reason none of them spoke to me. I decided to do the chores I had been putting off all day, and when I came back to my block, teal was the perfect color.

I was very happy with how it turned out, and I hope Kersten likes it as well! I am still waiting on my fabric to arrive for my first block in We Bee Modern. It is coming from Cananda! Hopefully it will be here on Monday and I will have another pretty block to put up. Until then, I will leave you with Gus.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Strips Galore

I have been traveling so much for work that I have barely had any time to even turn on my machine. I hate weeks like that. Since it is rainy and gross here, this weekend will be largely dedicated to getting in my fabric fix that I so missed out on this week.

I finally got my design wall cleaned off and ready for something new. This meant that I had to finish cutting the rest of my solid 6 inch strip sets into 2 inch strips. Not sure what I was thinking when I started this one! I knew going into it that this quilt was going to involve tons of cutting, but it definitely doesn't hit you until you are actually doing it. Nevertheless, it is fun and challenging, and the end product is so pretty. I am really looking forward to meeting it.

The giant pile I posted before was only about half of them. Man, talk about no end in sight. I did, however, finish last night, and as you can see, I should have picked a bigger bowl. Haha. I am so happy to have them done that it has completely reinvigorated be love for this quilt. I can't wait to start piecing and get this show on the road.

I got some of them up on the design wall just so I could get a glimpse of how it will turn out. There was really no point to putting them all up since the process is much more scrappy than organized. Plus, every few I put up, the cats took back down. They thought it was the best game ever invented! This at least will hopefully give you an idea of the direction that these strips will be taking. You will have to excuse the wonkiness (word?) of the rows. Apparently I can't stick things up there in straight lines.

The rows will be getting strips of Kona Snow in between them as sashing. I had to stick them pretty close together on the wall to get all 20 rows up there, but you get the idea I hope. 

Sorry about these pictures. I did the best I could with the lighting. As I mentioned, it is a rather gross morning. Haha. Anyway, time to get started on piecing the rows. Also! I got block assignments from the February Queen Bees in both of my Bees so I will have some great blocks to show you shortly! Thankfully it is the weekend, and hopefully everyone will enjoy theirs as much as I plan to enjoy mine!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

New Momma Bee

For anyone who missed out on a spot in the 'We Bee Modern' Bees, Tracey, from Itching 2 B Stitching has volunteered to open another Bee! It will also be based on the 99 Modern Blocks book. Depending on how much interest she gets, she is willing to open a second one as well. With that said, if you are interested, definitely let her know.

You can find her bee on flickr, Books and Blocks Bee, but make sure to send her a flickr message as well (Tracey) to let her know you are interested. I am sure that she will work the same way I did by adding you in the order that she receives your messages.

I finally got my book!!  I am pretty pumped about it. Katie from We Bee Modern has volunteered for February and has picked 'On the Plus Side' as her block. I can't wait to see her fabric and get working on the block! If you don't want to join a bee but have the book, feel free to quilt along with us as we go.

I am clearing off my design wall for those beautiful solid strips. Hopefully I will have something to show you soon since it has been nothing but 99 Modern Blocks here for a while!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Quick Post From the Road

I am currently traveling for work and was so surprised to see so many comments this morning. It was amazing! We only need to fill a couple spots in our bee, but I will gladly start another one if I  have enough people who want to join. It is no trouble at all, and I would love to do it. Please flickr message me (http://www.flickr.com/people/manichols/) and let me know if you are interested. That way I can get an accurate count. I haven't changed my flickr name to City Stitches yet, sorry if it is confusing! I know this is short and sweet, but I wanted to get anyone who was interested on board before we get too far into February. Thanks so much for reading!!!

Update: WOW that second one filled up fast too! I added people in the order that they messaged me, so if you did not get an invite, I am sooo sorry. I wish I could add everyone. If anyone is willing to step up and be a momma bee, I can tell you everything you need to know and there are definitely enough members to fill another bee. Just message me or reply and if you get a bee set up, I will post it here so that everyone who is still interested can flock your way!

Thanks again everyone for reading. It is fabulous to see. And a HUGE thanks to Jennifer from Ellison Lane Quilts for mentioning my blog. I will keep posting about the bees and the blocks we make, so if you want to just quilt along with us, feel free to follow!