Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sew Prompted 2016 - A Weekly Instagram Prompt

2015 is coming to a close and the New Year is just hours away. Want join me and have a little fun on Instagram? You never know what you'll be "sew prompted" to make/do/share/say!

Where did this idea come from? A few months ago I was debating hosting a swap and wanted to make it really different. I didn't want it to be a 'standard' mini quilt swap as there were already so many going on at the time. The swap ended up being a quilted banner that was a particular size and we challenged participants to incorporate at least one really different item: driftwood, feather, leather, yarn, etc. You can see many of the "out of the box" banners that were made for the swap on IG with hashtag #banneradventureswap. It was so fun to see swappers getting really creative and the feedback was often the same - they loved how unique it was and how it allowed them to get crazy.

That got me thinking about other ways to really stretch my sewing and think more outside of the box and act on that prompting more often. I thought about doing a photo prompt - you know those ones you've seen on IG over the past few years. I've seen tons and have tried to keep up with a few of them - but I find it's too hard to do daily when I'm really busy with deadlines and such. Some participants are able to keep up the daily prompts and stay consistent, and some if not many, fall off midway - like me. Well, instead of a daily prompt, I decided to make it a weekly prompt. By doing it weekly, it gives anyone that wants to participate time throughout the week to post something.

The best part?...(I think) is I have asked various friends/designers to play along and be the ones selecting the word each week to keep us on our toes. I asked them to pick a word...a color, tool, method, pattern, goal, challenge, or anything they wanted as the prompt. Once you know the word, you can post a photo inspired by that prompt if you want. It might be something you sew, make, do, a collection, stash, space, etc. What ever the word of the week inspires - capture it in a photo and share it on IG.  

We'll be using the hashtag #sewprompted2016 and each Monday is when the new word is released. I will tag the designer on my IG feed for the week and they will post their word. 

It will be sewing themed for the most part (hence the hashtag "sew prompted") but can also be any type of crafty, creative medium in general - stretching ourselves in different ways. The first word starts next week...If you'd like to participate - please introduce yourself and use the tag #sewprompted2016 so we can all say hello. 

Thanks so much for joining in - I'm so excited to see how this unfolds throughout the year! If you want to sign up for my emails - you can do so by clicking the link below.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Sweater Block and an Ugly Sweater Contest

Yes - there's an "Ugly Sweater Contest"'s the full story....After seeing tons of pics on IG, ads on TV commercials and sweaters in every store, I felt like the Ugly Christmas Sweater trend was all the rage again, and bigger than last year. In a little flash while driving to get my girls I got this idea to make an Ugly Christmas Sweater paper piecing block for fun. The idea sat in my head for about a week until I finally had a little "me time" (not really). I whipped it up in EQ7, made this candy cane girl block really quick, took a pic and sent it out into the big wild world.

I woke up the next day and saw that Heidi Kenney (from My Paper Crane) was the first to purchase the block because a mutual friend texted a pic of it. Great way to wake up in the morning right? She made this adorable Cotton and Steel Christmas tree sweater and posted it on instagram (and it was just as "not" ugly as mine).

Then more people started making their own "not" ugly Christmas Sweaters...How in the world could anyone make it ugly? A few others have tried - but they are all just too cute as well as funny!
Here's a Christmas Fairie sweater from Alisa (@astitchinbetween)

This Noel one is from Robin (@nestlingsbyrobin)

And this Cat Duo sweater block is from Jordan (@mylyons86)

So then I wake up this morning and Kim Lapacek from Persimon Dreams made this Santa sweater block...
Moments later she emailed me to ask if she could host an "Ugly Christmas Sweater" block contest. I was dying laughing. Um...YES!

I can't get over how fun this has been and I can't wait to see all the sweater all their "ugliness" and cuteness! If you make a block - please tag me on IG or Facebook so I can see it. If you blog about - let me know. Maybe I will add a link to blog posts. I'm using a few hashtags - #KidGiddySweaterBlock #UglyChristmasSweater and for the contest - #uglysweaterblock (#uglysweater was too popular and we'd never see them).

Be sure to visit Kim's website to get all the info for the contest*. You can find the Christmas Sweater pattern in my Etsy shop and my Kid Giddy Craftsy shop as well. *Participants must purchase the pattern to enter...and I will ask that you refrain from buying the pattern and sharing it with a friend so they can enter too (I will have to ban you from purchasing my patterns if I see that happening - as I've seen this happening elsewhere).

Good luck everyone - thanks so much for all the (ugly) Christmas Sweater love! 

Please sign up for my emails by clicking the link below.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

100 Blocks in 50 Days - My Second Quilt Block

I'm back with my second (and last) block "Summer Bloom" (download the block pattern here) that I created specifically for the Janome 100 quilt blocks in 50 days, using the Cotton Couture Solids from Michael Miller fabrics.
This Summer Bloom block was made just as many flowers in my yard were sprouting up, but not yet in full bloom. Aside from Summer, Spring is one of my most favorite times of year. I love all of the flowers and look forward to new blooms we've added to the landscape. I didn't have a particular flower in mind, but looking at it now, makes me think of Hostas - you know the ones the deer always eat before we see the long center flower towering above it's leaf base. Some of the points are a bit tricky - I'm sure I'll get them all next time. 
Here are both of my blocks together. I hope you'll enjoy both of these blocks. If you didn't see my first block "Preppy Love" (as shown above) click the link to visit the post for more info. While you are creating...don't forget about all of your scraps - they matter too...Here's what I did with mine. I am going to cut this block up into 4 little blocks and put some white sashing in between them. Maybe add it to a big scrappy quilt someday.
Please share your Summer Bloom and Preppy Love block variations with me on social media by tagging me on IG @kidgiddy. I'd love to see them. Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter by clicking on the link below. Have a great week.

Disclosure: I was provided fabric for the making of this block but the opinions set forth are always my own.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt Along - Malvina # 55

Hi everyone,
I'm so excited to be one of the bloggers for the Farmer's Wife 1930's quilt along, and so glad you came by. I have challenged myself to have a finished quilt by next I'm not just a blogger, but I am also a participant and will be sewing all of the blocks along with you. I do have some catching up to do, but luckily Angie from Gnome Angel, has planned some down time specifically for people like me that need to play catch up during the holiday break. Thank you Angie.
Being that we are in the third month, I was a little worried I wouldn't have much to share for tips, tricks or secrets on my first (#55 Malvina) block, that hasn't been done already with others. It seemed pretty straight forward with lots of half square triangles and four squares, but after much thought - I think I came up with a few things to help save time which Malvina otherwise wants to take a lot of.
To get started here's what I used to make my Malvina block:

You will need the Farmer's Wife Book, the templates from the book - or the Marti Michell Templates Set D (D28), two different fabric selections, and liquid washable glue with a micro fine tip for glue basting (I buy mine from Cristy at Purple Daisies). You'll also need a rotary cutter, ruler, mat and iron, all of which are not pictured above with the other supplies.
Step 1:
Start by cutting 1 1/2" strips. You'll need 1-2 of each print depending on the length of your fabric. I was using fabric from my fat quarter stash and needed 2 of each.
Step 2: (This step is optional. If you prefer to press open your seams, you won't want to glue baste them.)
Glue baste two long strips right sides together. You only need a little thin line approx 1/8" away from the edge on one strip. Flip the other strip over on top so right sides are facing, line up the edges and press with an iron to heat set the glue. The glue will not gunk up your machine as you are using so little, it's dry, and it won't be near your 1/4" seam allowance. However - I make no guarantees that if you use a regular tip that comes with the washable glue and use too much, that it won't make a mess somewhere (be it on the iron, table, fabric or machine). I've been glue basting now for over a year and haven't had an issue though.
Step 3:
After you have pressed your seams (either open if you didn't glue baste, or to one side), use your D28 template and cut out all of your half square triangle sets into squares. Be sure to line up the edges on the top and bottom of each color (the template will be set on point), as well as line up the sides so the center seam is smack dab in the middle of the square, from one point to the other. (Warning: This is the time saver method, but not really the fabric saving method. There is some triangle waste here - but you can always use it for something else.) 
Step 4:
Once you have all of the half square triangle sets cut out, you will also need to cut out your four center squares, as well as 12 more squares for the end of each row. I decided to be crazy and fussy cut many pieces in my various blocks, so I didn't skimp on Malvina here. I fussy cut the four center squares as you can see above, and randomly cut my other 12. (Tip: If you really don't want to do the squares on the outside to reduce waste - you can always cut those using the B template Marti advises and continue on.) Layout your entire block and double check it or triple check it like I did before you continue on.
Step 5:
Glue baste sets together. Flip one square or triangle square set to the left on top of another,  to sew the right edge seam. I was glad to have my camera for this so I could reference which pieces went where. If you have an awesome set up to have everything all around you, this will be easier. If you are all scattered like me, take a picture or go line by line. The glue basting helped too, because I knew which edge to sew and not once used a seam ripper. Yay.
Step 6:
Press all your seams and line up all your pairs. Before continuing, double check again that all your pieces are in their right place.
Step 7:
Continue glue basting sets together so all you have left are six rows. (I went a little thick on this line and got close to my seam allowance because it's hard glue basting and taking pics at the same time - lol).
Step 8:
Press the seams again and line them up accordingly.

Step 9:
Flip the top row down on top of the second row, the third row on top of the fourth row, and flip up the sixth row on top of the fifth row.
Step 10:
Match up your center seams whether you are glue basting or pinning. Then match up the other seams in the longer row so you have all points lined up as well. Sew the edges and press your seams. 
Step 11:
Sew the top section to the top edge of the middle section by matching up all seams, and then sew the bottom section to the bottom of the middle in the same way. Press all seams and your block.
Step 12:
It's starting to look a little like Malvina, but we have some excess fabric along the edges we need to trim off.

Using a clear ruler, your mat and a rotary cutter, line up the center seams with lines on your mat, and then your ruler 1/4" away from the points on each of the edges. The 45* angle works too - just know mine looks a little wonky because of my quick placement and the camera angle. Trim off all four edges, checking each time that your block is going to be 6 1/2" unfinished and that you aren't cutting off too much. Now that you are done, save the scraps for something fun and move onto the next block with all the time you just saved on Malvina.

If you want to join in on the fun, you can find Angie's Malvina tutorial on her website Gnome Angel, as well as grainline tips from Marti on her blog. You can get the book and all your fabric needs from The Fat Quarter Shop (Angie got to put together a big Farmer's Wife fabric bundle just for this sew along), and the Marti Michell templates from Marti's website! 

Have an awesome day, and thanks for stopping by. To be notified of all the latest and greatest - sign up for my emails below and find me @kidgiddy on Instagram for all my daily happenings.

Disclaimer: Because I am a blogger in this quilt-a-long, I graciously received a copy of the Farmer's Wife book and gift card from the Fat Quarter shop (yes I picked up more Cotton and Steel fabrics for my quilt) as well as a full set of templates from Marti Michell. The links above are not affiliate links - because my state won't allow that. The opinions as always, as well as the tutorial and photos, are all my own.