Behind the Scenes: Preparing for BlytheCon


In early August I took a trip to Seattle, WA to be a vendor at BlytheCon 2014. I spent most of June and July preparing for the show. There was lots of casting, cutting, sewing and building.

I had documented some of it over on Instagram and thought it would be neat to put it all together here on the blog.

Blythecon_prep_007 Blythecon_prep_006 Blythecon_prep_005 Blythecon_prep_004 Blythecon_prep_003 Blythecon_prep_002 I had a lot of fun coming up with new designs and trying to figure out how to make a display that would fit in my suitcase. The show itself was sort of a bust (I’ll talk more about that later) but the trip was great! I can’t wait to share more.

 Also, if you are new here and would like to keep up on all the new projects I will be posting then please add me on BlogLovin!

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WIP: A Collaboration With Andover Fabrics

WIP: A Collaboration With Andover Fabrics {an Art School Dropout's life}About a month ago the very kind folks over at Andover Fabrics sent me a sweet package filled with some precut bundles of brandnew and yet to be released fabrics for me to play with. They wanted to see what I would come up with.

I’ve been a huge mess lately preparing for BlytheCon (2 WEEKS LEFT TO PREP) and working on my Silhouette America projects so I can focus on that BlytheCon stuff, so I haven’t been able to play with all this fabric uninterrupted.

WIP: A Collaboration With Andover Fabrics {an Art School Dropout's life} work in progress potholders using the new 1Canoe2 fabric line from Andover fabrics #quilting #chevronI did attempt to make a pretty, kinda chevron looking pillow out of the new 1Canoe2 line. Halfway through though I realized I had cut a bunch of pieces wrong and now I am reassembling what I can into pot holders. Luckily the line has food related items in it, which actually makes it PERFECT for potholders. Why didn’t I think of potholders before? I’ll share the finished set soon!

WIP: A Collaboration With Andover Fabrics {an Art School Dropout's life} The new Chillingsworth line in hexie form #hexagon #quiltingI also attacked the Chillingsworth charm packs and made a couple huge piles of hexies. They have already been pieced together and are just in the queue waiting to be quilted. (I like to do all my quilting at once. I may be a weirdo like that) Just like the potholders, I hope to share  the finished piece soon.

I also have BIG plans for those fat quarter bundles shown in the background of the first photo. I’m just not ready to share yet.

So, on a slightly different note, this post is just a sweet reminder of the changes I’ve made in how I spend my days! I can now sit down and sew, draw, bake and more without all the stress involved with what I was previously doing. I feel like I’m actually making progress in my goals I talked about last month and I have learned so much in that time too. I’m happier and a bit less stressed (I’ll be even more stress free after BlytheCon).

So I’d like to say thank you to everyone who encouraged me and has been supportive along the way.

You are all awesome!!!

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Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap Round 2: The Quilt I Made

Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap: The Quilt I Made {an Art School Dropout's life}About two months ago I signed up to be part of a mini quilt swap put together by Kristi of Schnitzel & Boo.

Unlike the swaps I’ve done in the past, this one was done in such a way where you and your partner had similar taste. I was asked lots of questions when I signed up to make sure of this. Another cool part is the person you send a mini quilt to is not the person who sends you one. It’s all super secretive and makes for a great surprise when you open your package.

Oh and you are probably wonder what makes a quilt “mini”. Well, its kinda self explanatory, it’s a miniature quilt! Ranging from 8″ to 24″ square (or rectangular, or any other shape a quilt can be).

Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap: The Quilt I Made {an Art School Dropout's life}

Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap: The Quilt I Made {an Art School Dropout's life}

Mine ended up being 13.5″ square. Which makes each of those little squares 1.5″ finished. The tiniest I’ve ever done. I had some leftover squares so I also whipped up a little zipper pouch to match.

Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap: The Quilt I Made {an Art School Dropout's life}Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap: The Quilt I Made {an Art School Dropout's life}It’s doubled sided, so I took a photo of the front and back.

My partner said she really loved Heather Ross fabric, and I just happen to have a lot of her fabrics from over the years. I “fussy cut” most of the pieces, which means you cut the fabric in such a way that it showcases a design in the center. I do it alot with my hexie quilt but this was the first time I tried it with machine quilting. I LOVE the outcome, so you’ll probably see more projects including it.

Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap: The Quilt I Made {an Art School Dropout's life}Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap: The Quilt I Made {an Art School Dropout's life}

I also included a quilt inspired necklace I made as a little gift. I wanted to send candy and treats but my partner lives in Canada and I didnt want anything to get held up in customs. (sorry partnet) She probably won’t receive this for about a week or two. I feel fine sharing it though since she has no clue that shes my partner! I can’t wait to see if she likes it or not. (I realllllllly hope she does)

I’ll also make sure to share the quilt I receive! I can’t wait to hang it up in my sewing room.

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My “Carolyn Friedlander’s Favorites” EPP Hexie Pillow

My "Carolyn Friedlander's Favorites" Hexie Pillow {an Art School Dropout's life}I had mentioned a few weeks back that I was working on other hexie projects that were almost finished. Well, here’s one of them!! It’s a pillow made completely from mini charm packs, specifically the Carolyn Friedlander Favorite’s mini charm packs I was given when I visited the Robert Kaufman booths at Quilt Market. It’s a mix of Carolyn’s newest line Botanics and a bunch of different solids by Robert Kaufman.

My "Carolyn Friedlander's Favorites" Quilted EPP Hexie Pillow {an Art School Dropout's life}I was so excited to get a hold of these little things, and I seriously cut right into them the second I got home. Well, after I made custom paper hexagons specifically to fit these with little waste. I used my Silhouette Portrait to do that btw.

I documented the entire process on Instagram, so I’ll be sharing some of those photos too.

My "Carolyn Friedlander's Favorites" Quilted EPP Hexie Pillow {an Art School Dropout's life}Making the hexies themselves took no time at all. There were 120 2.5″ squares total (3 mini charm packs worth) and I can do about 35-40 a night. The part that took me the longest was whipstitching them all together. There wasn’t too much rhyme or reason to where I placed everything, I did make sure to keep similar pieces as far apart as I could, but thats it.

My "Carolyn Friedlander's Favorites" Quilted EPP Hexie Pillow {an Art School Dropout's life}I know some people stitch their hexies on the bottom and don’t go through the paper, but I found that doesnt work for me and my slightly uncoordinated hands. I work much cleaner and faster when i baste through the paper. You can see me taking out the basting stitches and papers above. I always use neon pink thread because it allows me to see every stitch so i don’t miss any before quilting.

My "Carolyn Friedlander's Favorites" Quilted EPP Hexie Pillow {an Art School Dropout's life}The above photo was just taken for fun! This was right after taking all of the paper out and steam pressing the entire thing. Isn’t it pretty?

My "Carolyn Friedlander's Favorites" Quilted EPP Hexie Pillow {an Art School Dropout's life}I seriously could not decide how I wanted this thing quilted. I’m really only good at straight lines and tracing around objects right now, so to make sure I secured all the hexies and still had a pretty design in the end I went with the above combination. I used the edge of the hexies and the edge of my basic walking foot to line up all of the lines. It went pretty fast this way and I absolutely love the texture it added.

My "Carolyn Friedlander's Favorites" Quilted EPP Hexie Pillow {an Art School Dropout's life}I squared off the edges, quilted a simple back piece using Robert Kaufman’s Essex Yarn Dyed in Denim, added an invisible zipper and stitched the entire thing together…

My "Carolyn Friedlander's Favorites" Quilted EPP Hexie Pillow {an Art School Dropout's life}Tada, I have a finished pillow! One that has already been taken by my four year old as her own. She even gave me a hug and said thank you for making it for her. Ok, I guess it’s hers now.

My "Carolyn Friedlander's Favorites" Quilted EPP Hexie Pillow {an Art School Dropout's life} My "Carolyn Friedlander's Favorites" Quilted EPP Hexie Pillow {an Art School Dropout's life} My "Carolyn Friedlander's Favorites" Quilted EPP Hexie Pillow {an Art School Dropout's life}I’m waiting on an invisible zipper for my other hexie pillow I’ve been working on. This one actually IS for my daughters room. I’ll post photo’s of that project soon enough.

Who knows though, I might start working on a 5th and 6th hexie project too! I may be a little obsessed…

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2014 Spring International Quilt Market

qm_sp2014_001I mentioned the Spring International Quilt Market last week when I talked about the quilt I made for Silhouette America’s booth. Well, as thank you they made it possible for me to go to market!!! It was in Pittsburgh this year, and even taking back roads it only takes us 3 hours to get there. We had some hotel points and I had money put aside for BlytheCon that I could make up, so we figured “why not?”, and drove up last minute.

I figured it would be awesome just to see some online friends in person along with seeing all the new fabrics coming out. Little did I know just how much was there. Every type of tool of the trade was featured, from sewing machines to interfacing to thread and more! It was very inspiring and totally awesome. I left with so many ideas swirling around in my head, and a little anxiety trying to think of how I would make the time to try them all out. I’ll talk about all that at another time…

I didn’t bring my nice camera, but luckily there was a lot of natural light in the convention center. I took SO MANY photos, and decided I’d share a few (or a bunch, all depends on what you think a few is. haha) of my favorite fabrics coming out soon.

I’ll warn you now, theres so many, they take up two posts!!

qm_sp2014_002One of the first booths I saw walking around was the Irome Collection by Kokka. I absolutely love the large scalloped pattern!

qm_sp2014_005Actually, most of the stuff Kokka had was awesome! Check out that calendar/numbers print and ALL the Hello Kitty Prints! I wish I had looked at the proper names for the collections. I was just a bit overwhelmed! I so badly want to recreate that gray bag, so if you know what line this is, please tell me!!!

qm_sp2014_003 qm_sp2014_004Alexander Henry Fabrics is putting out more of their “the Ghastlies” line. It’s just as awesome as the last ones!

qm_sp2014_007Tula Pink has a new EPP hexagon kit coming out. I love the look of the warped hexies and I love how the box comes with everything you need. Also, as always her quilting is gorgeous.

qm_sp2014_008I have some pieces from the Riley Blake Geekly Chic line, and love them. The pieces from the new Geekly Chic 2 line are just as cool. I’m already picturing a dress out of the camera fabrics.

qm_sp2014_009I love the jewel tones featured in Katarina Roccella’s line Indelible for Art Gallery fabrics.

qm_sp2014_010 qm_sp2014_011Dear Stella‘s entire booth was super cute! Plus I’ve already had an eye on their Wee Gallery line ever since I discovered Nicole of Modern Handcraft (who made the adorable little dress up piece above). I had the pleasure of meeting her at the event! It’s awesome to meet someone with similar style who just happens to be super nice too.

qm_sp2014_006I also had the pleasure of meeting and briefly speaking to Thomas Knauer the author of Modern Quilt Perspectives. He was super energetic, nice and spoke freely when I asked him questions (rare these days). I absolutely loved the way he made his sign and I wish i could have taken all of his quilts home with me!

I also had the pleasure of meeting a few other friends and such while wandering around. Plus I was able to talk to a handful of industry experts and ask loads of questions and trade some business cards. It all makes me wish I could just play with fabric all day, every day!

Like I said before, I have more photos to share tomorrow. More specifically my four favorites. So if it doesn’t bore you, you should come back and check it out!

WIP: My First EPP Hexie Quilt!

epp_hexie_001Ever since I got into quilting, I have dreamed of making a hexagon quilt. I thought it took some fancy machine work with impossible Y shaped seams. I was half right. You CAN do it that way, or you can hand sew them all together.

There’s a process called English Paper Piecing,  EPP or Foundation Piecing (it gos by any of these names), where you take the pattern you want to make and have the pieces cut out of paper. You then cut out fabric larger than each piece, pin the paper to it, fold over the fabric and baste stitch (like my orange stitches shown in all of these photos). When you have enough pieces for your project or block, you then whip stitch them all together and take out the paper pieces. After all of this tedious work, you have yourself a quilt top.

There are loads of proper tutorials all over the internet. Heidi posted a tutorial and template for mini hexies this past week, and there’s a bunch on Pinterest. Plus if you search YouTube, I bet you’ll find some great instructions. Also, if you just want to start small but have an even bigger impact you could try something like Rebecca’s patchwork tote bag! (her IG feed totally made me want to start this project!)

This type of project is perfect for downtime, like watching TV, waiting at the DMV or when being a passenger on a road trip. I myself started it because I am being forced to rest a bit more. Plus it’s a quilt that I don’t have to sit at a sewing machine all day to make. My poor back needs a break from that.

epp_hexie_002I will admit now, I am NOT a strong hand sewer, and I am seriously not looking forward to whip stitching all of these together. For now I try not to think about it and just dream of what the finished quilt will look like… If I ever finish it!

I want to make a 70″ square lap quilt, and by my calculations, it is going to take 800+ hexagons to make. That’s a lot! I am able to finish around 30 a night, so if I work on it every night then it will take me a month. That’s a scary number to me btw, so I may just call it quits at 400 because I am also dreaming up a quilt that is just half hexies and the rest is solid colored gray. I guess I’ll decided when I get to the halfway point.

epp_hexie_003epp_hexie_004I’m happy I went with the 3″ size too! Because if I had done the normal 1″ size, it would have taken 2500+ hexies to finish a quilt. SCARY!!

Have any of you made one of these? Or are making one? Any helpful hints?

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