Thursday, February 28, 2013

V and Co.: friendship quilt along block # 31

welcome to my turn to the friendship quilt along. if you have been following this whole time  and have been making the quilt as we go, welcome to the next one! 
if you are just hearing about it, it's okay i think i'm going to make this quilt this summer when i have a little more down time. maybe we can make it then together. if you've been making them make sure you place them in the flicker group

mine is block numero 31. follow the link to get the full instruction on how to make it. 

i chose to make my block out of my simply color pink ombre. 

i kind of have this thing ombre.
find how to make these onsies here .

... and for pink. 
find how to make this appliqued bag here.

...and well these days....

 ...i guess i have a thing for hearts as well, as you can see in my i heart you pattern. :D
find the i heart you pattern here.

but before you think i only have a thing for pink i also have a major thing for all colors:
as you can see in my first fabric line simply color and the second line coming this july simply style.
i must confess though i am a huge sucker for green, blue, and gray. those are usually the things that catch my attention first, then of course anything that goes well with those is a love uh... yeah... i guess i like a lot of colors. :)
(ahem, excuse my awesome organizing...i'm in the middle of trying to fill up my newly installed bookshelves in my office, and i am doing quite a good job at it if i do so say so myself color coordinating and making it look yummy.)

anyways here's my block again in my ombre pink fabric:

and here's the links to all the other designers playing along:

FEB 18th

Basic Grey

Blackbird Designs

Anne- Bunny Hill

Deb Strain

Eric & Julie Comstock

FEB 21st

FEB 22nd

Kaari-French General

Lynne-Kansas Troubles

Kate Spain

 You have the weekend to rest or sew these blocks.
 We hope you are having fun collecting all these quilt blocks.

FEB 25th
Kathy Schmitz
Edyta- Laundry Basket

Lauren & Jessi Jung

FEB 26th

Lisa- Primitive Gatherings

Malka Dubrawsky

Me & My Sister

FEB 27th

Minick and Simpson

Pat Sloan 

Sandy Gervais 
 FEB 28th


Stephanie Ryan

Vanessa Christenson

March 1st

okay now, would you like some of my fabric to play with??
remember how i said i liked ombre?

i'm giving away two ombre jelly rolls:

aaaaand some aurifil thread that matches my line.
aaaaaand one of my new pdf patterns 
cause i'm cool like that

all you have to do is leave me a comment telling me 
which one of my new patterns would you like to win?:
hampton weekend bag
color block pouches
or confetti.
(please make sure you leave an email at the bottom of your comment where to contact you it can look like this vanessa(at)gmail(dot)com so you dont get any spammers)

want a second chance? 
**tell me your favorite shape in a quilt.
mine are hexagons and stars oh and circles. well i guess i can't make up my mine on that...can you?? tell me in a second comment (please leave me you email address at the bottom of your comment)

make sure you check out all the other designers to enter a chance to win in their giveaways as well! 

also through this weekend receive 30% off with the code FRIENDSHIP on all PDFs (all of them not just the new ones!)

okay have fun.
we'll talk soon.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

V and Co: Sew Red Book Giveaway

i was honored to be included in the Sew Red book. and while i don't have any personal stories of heart disease i do know the importance of taking care of yourself.

Get Heart Healthy

Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States? Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined (including breast cancer!).
i want to be around for my kids and grandkids and i make sure that i get exercise and moderate my chocolate and salt intake. :) the chocolate is a little harder but i try.

This beautiful follow-up to Knit Red features stunning designs from more than 25 top sewing and quilting celebrities, along with three 28 x 40 black-and-white pattern sheets. But this is more than a book of breathtaking projects: it's part of Stitch Red, a campaign started by Jimmy Beans Wool founder Laura Zander to educate women about heart disease and help them take charge of their heart health. Each showcased designer—including Amy Butler, Denyse Schmidt, Anna Maria Horner, Ty Pennington, and Kaffe Fassett—shares his or her experience with heart disease and offers tips for staying healthy.

i made a baby quilt for the book, and i am very honored to have been asked to do this book :) and to be included with an amazing group of people.

if you would like a chance to win a book of your own please leave me a comment with an email attached to the bottom of the comment. 
**in your comment i would like for you to tell me one thing you would change to make your life just that much healthier.

and of course you can always purchase the book to show your support (links to amazon where you can purchase.)

Monday, February 25, 2013

V and Co.: snow day

we had a snow day.
i used that time to organize most of my simply style fabric.
i also sewed a little here and here. but i had a few hiccups so my posts for today didn't get done.
it's coming though.
we have a birthday tomorrow and i have a few planning things for that.
so even though we had a snow day... i feel it.
i feel the spring coming.
or at least the spring cleaning part of it.
do you??
we'll talk soon

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

V and Co.: how to: finish a dresden plate

we survived the 4 day weekend.
we even got to leave town briefly to enjoy an indoor water park. 
then i came home and in between dinner and nighttime routines, while editing some pictures i got to yell at the season finale of downton abbey
what the heck. 
i knew it was coming but i didn't know how or when, and then i had to explain to the husband between ugly sobs, that everything was just finally working out and then this happened. he looked at me like i had two heads and was speaking "blah blah blah they killed the character blah blah blah..." (for any of you who don't know what i'm talking about please don't mind me and any other woman walking around all upset for the next couple of weeks while muttering "downton abbey stupid  Season 3." and if you haven't watched it all and are planning to watch it. i've kept all the characters names out of it so i don't ruin it for you.)

okay wait, what am i blogging about today? oh thats right dresden plates. not downtown. i knew it was a "D" word. 

okay 2 weeks ago we talked about making the dresden plate

now this week we are going to talk about appliquéing the dresden plate on and what in the world do we do about that gaping open middle we have going on there.

okay first things first: 
lets talk about how to appliqué the plate onto your project. weather it be a quilt, a pillow, on a bag or like shown above, on a zipper pouch, we need to make sure that plate gets appliquéd on.

i like hand appliqué but i also like how it looks when i use my sewing machine to sew it on as well. 
i will show you both ways.

how to hand appliqué your dresden plate:
what you will need to appliqué
- fabric to applique your dresden plate onto.
-needle and thread.
*optional batting
-with your needle and thread go through all layers and catch one of the edges of your dresden plate petal
**(if you are doing a quilt block it will just be the dresden plate and the block fabric. if you are making a pillow you may want to add batting. if you are making a zipper bag you can add the fusible webbing now or after you do this step)
-make sure you catch the very edge of your dresden plate fabric so that your stitches don't show.
**i like to start on the point you can start anywhere but that's where i usually start.
-go right back down where you started (i like to go down right next to where the thread came up from when you pulled it through to start)
-move over about 1/8" over and come up through all layers like you did the first time and repeat the first step
-continue to do this all around the outside of your dresden plate. 

don't have the patience to do it by hand....

how to machine appliqué your dresden plate:
*using your 1/4" foot (in bernina world it is your #37 foot)
-use the inside notch of the foot as show in the picture above as your guide to get a great top stitch. this is how i always get the (in my eyes) the perfect top stitch
-carefully sew around your outer edge. 

now lets talk about that raw edge middle

how to dresden middles:
most commonly used for the middles of dresden plates are circles. 
first i am going to show you how to do a finished (not a raw edge) circle for your middle

i really like picking the same fabric as my back ground for my middle so that it looks like the plate is a circle with no middle

-but if you do a color middle you get a really cute flower looking plate. both cute and both very easy to do.

lets get started:

what you will need:
-circle making object. (ruler or something around the house! i have been known to use old CD's (cause who uses those anymore when everything is digital these days!) or glasses, or bowls. here the perfect circle size was attained by using a mason jar.
-pellon 807 (found in most craft stores especially fabric stores)
-erasable ink pen
-one piece of fabric your choice for the middle.
- i used a mason jar to trace my circle with my erasable pen.
-draw a circle on either side of your fabric (i've done both. my favorite is to draw the line on the right side of the fabric because i place the pellon on top. but i'll show you this time doing it on the wrong side. really its just preference decide for yourself what you like best.)

-after you have drawn your circle on the wrong side of your fabic , place the pellon on the right side of your fabric. 
-with your drawn line facing up, sew ON THE DRAWN line of the circle.
-cut out your circle, with a 1/8" to 1/4" seam around it.
-pinch your pellon webbing and cut a slit big enough to pull inside out your sewn circle. 
**be gentle when you pull it through because the webbing is more on the delicate side than the sturdy side! 

-place in the middle of your dresden plate
-iron down, and appliqué just like i showed you in the hand appliqué section on the dresden plate section, or machine sew it. 

how about a hexagon middle:
and of course i love the hexagon middle. how i created this hexagon is the same way i made the hexagons in the hexagon applique bag

-follow the same steps we did for the circle center for the hexagon center for the middle, make sure you make the hexagon big enough to cover all the raw edges of the middle though!
-and of course to finish the middle you can do either hand appliqué like i showed you in the beginning of this tutorial, or you can machine it just like i did in this one pictured, following the same steps for machine appliquéing your dresden plate on.

last but not least how about having some texture??: 

how to make a hand twisted flower middle for your dresden plate:
what you will need:
-1 to 2 strips of 2" X WOF (width of fabric) 
-needle and thread matching in color of your cut strips. 
 -grab your strip of fabric on one end.
-fold in half that end.
-fold in half again the same end.
this is your starting bottom center.
 -keeping your folded end folded... fold over the rest of your tail over once.
(Thats a whole heck of of a lot of folds. fold fold fold fold. :))
- place one stitch in through all these layers
(i don't cause i dont need it to keep in place anymore. i guess thats the beauty of doing something over and over and over and over again!)
 -twist your long tail (loosely) a couple of times.

-bring it back to the started folded edge point.
-this is the back side view. 
-place another stitch with your needle and thread. 
**hint: i like to always try to hide my stitches by first off using thread close in color, but second, but placing my stitches under a twisted edge, sometimes only making the stitch go through a few of the layers and not all the way to the top. 
this may take a little bit of practice. :)
 -twist again a couple of times (loosely still!!!) and now place the twisted fabric behind the center you have created. continue to place a few stitches every time you place your new twisted fabric onto the center (that is now growing!)
 -here's a close up of my stitch where the needle only goes in through the bottom part of the twisted fabric.
-continue to twist and place stitches to keep the flower together.
-if you don't have enough with one strip, tuck under the tail and put a few stitches to keep it in place. then continue a new strip (just like you did the first one) only this time just continue to go on the outer part of the flower. 
-make it as big as you need it
-when you have a big enough flower, cut the excess strip, tuck under the flower and stitch in place.

 -pin onto the middle of your appliquéd dresden plate.
- just like you hand appliquéd your circle, do this to the twisted flower. do so around your outer part of the flower.
**ideally this center would be for things that are not going to go through the washer due to the raw edges and fraying. 
ahem, but look how insanely cute it looks on this little zipper pouch. 

hey heres a bonus! 
dont want to have a middle??

melissa created a double dresden delight where she had both ends the finished points!

pretty cool me thinks! i may give this a try.

alright there you have it.
 i think i'll make a little doll quilt with the ones i have left over that i made and surprise the daughter. or another zippered pouch, a girl can never have enough zippered pouches.
just sayin.
where will you put your dresden plate??

Friday, February 15, 2013

V and Co: remember when...

...i said i was going to show you how to appliqué and make different middles for your dresden plates today...that was when i had a brain fart and forgot that my kids had a 4 day weekend. and that i invited other boys to come over to keep them currently i have 7 boys pounding their chests and playing LittleBigPlanet Karting on the ps3 and Rock Band  and one little girl and i are trying to survive. we'll have the full tutorial if we survive this ordeal... early this next week. 
till then, say a little prayer my house makes it with this many boys with changing voices...which makes it interesting for rock band and singing. 
talk about sounding like a dying cat parade...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

V and Co: happy valentines day

happy valentines day.
here is a pretty picture

and then here's what my real life looks like:
the daughter brought this home and she explained it says:
"i love bows."
"i love hearts."
and last but not least:
"i love flowers."

sorry sweetie:
 that says "i love fart."
but we'll let you think you wrote flowers. for now.

i'm keeping it in her keepsake box to bring out when she's a teenager and brings home boys.
happy valentines day!

edited: the husband bought me roses and had the florist write "...wanted to make sure i got you some farts."
i think this is going to stick.

tomorrow i will have  the how to appliqué your dresden plate and what to put in the middles.
we'll talk soon!!! :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

V and Co: designer Mystery quilt with the fat quarter shop

 well i'm pretty excited that i was asked to be one of the designers of the 2013 designer mystery block of the month for the fat quarter shop. 

This year, Fat Quarter Shop is using Avalon by Fig Tree Quilts for their annual Designer Mystery quilt.  The fabric is light, a little whimsical and grounded with a bit of navy, which you’ll find peppered through the quilt. For a little treat, you will receive a MINI Charm Pack of Avalon with the first month’s block! A taste of the fabric before the club kicks into full gear. Each of the twelve sampler blocks is designed by a different Moda designer and feature rows of baskets, stars, flowers and houses.

If you have never done a block-of-the-month club before, this is a great one to start with. Each month you’ll receive lots of fabric and lovely instructions to complete that month’s block. The quilt is suited for everyone, from beginners to seasoned quilters.

 although i cant show you any of the blocks...nor the one i made...i can tease you with these images
 i know...i know you want to call me bad names. trust me i know i want to call the fat quarter shop bad names for making it a mystery...but i mean you could sign up and just do the thing...that way you can see it all and make it as well. :) and uh have a quilt made up in joanna's fantabulous new line. :)
but i get it you want to see something...
so instead of just leaving you hanging i'll talk a little about my love of stars.
barn dance by V and Co.
i think stars was the first love for me in quilting. actually i still love stars. and i still think they are my favorite to have in quilts. but shhh please don't tell all my other quilts that don't have stars in them that.

some of you know that just recently we moved from the west part of the united states to the middle part of the united states.
iowa to be exact.

 and as we were driving into iowa i started to notice big huge quilt blocks on the side of barns.

 i started yelling "oh my gosh do you see that? did you see that??" to the husband as we drove by. he thought i saw a yetti or something. i said hope best next thing: i saw quilt blocks on the side of buildings.

he was not amused. and as a matter of fact even after almost 2 years of being here...i still make him pull over when we can so i can look at and make up stories about what the blocks on the barn means. it's just so fun to me.
and i have a good man that rolls his eyes and half listens to my stories about them. 
as much as he sighs and grumbles when i make him pull over...he has been known to spot a few for me when i miss them and he gets excited to see me get excited...until i ask to turn around so we can get a better look at them. then he wishes he didn't tell me.
 i make my own stars and place them on the side of barns but in the form of quilts for pictures.
my newest one is kaleidoscope. :)

the fat quarter shop asked me to talk about another kind of star as well.
they asked me to pick a favorite star like as in an acting star.
no brainer:
will farrell.
he is a super serious actor and takes drama to the next level.
i mean look at him.
caterpillar on his lip, hair that just wont stop.
how can you not look at this man and think "nope, nothing hilarious about this guy...all seriousness and awesome sauce."

 my absolute favorite movie on this earth is Elf .
here will farrell is doing his dramatic and very oscar worthy interpretation of me right before my time of the month.
so realistic, so spot on, hit the nail on the head kind of acting. bravo mister ferrell, bra.vo. it's as if i am looking at myself in the mirror once a month.


k. well thanks for stopping by. you may want to check out the rest of the designers and oh yeah the giveaway at the fat quarter shop cause you know you might win some fabric and stuff. :)

Here is the schedule:
2/11/13 – Star Row – Bonnie & CamilleV & Co., Kate Spain
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