Cottage Garden Quilt ~ ALYOF

Goals Made & Missed

July Finish
My goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes (ALYOF) was to complete my quilt top for the Riley Blake challenge through the Modern Quilt Guild.  I'm happy to report I made that goal!  YIPPEE!

Unfortunately, life threw me some curveballs and I did not make the MQG deadline for a completed quilt. :'(  Don't you hate when life gets in the way of quilting?  Since I didn't make the deadline for MQG I am considering changing a couple of things.

I had some leftover fabric that I sewed into a small flower for the back of the quilt.  Now I am thinking about sewing a couple of more and adding them to the front instead.  It would be a bit of a pain to hand sew 3-5 more flowers at this point, especially during this heat wave.  What do you think?

Left Middle
I also sewed some leftover strips together from the Dresden petals.  My plan is to put these on the back as well.  I pinned it to my wall to take a picture for you and now I want to cut them into long 2" strips for a border.  Unfortunately these are the only scraps I have, and I'm not sure I want to go to the trouble to "create scraps". 

At this rate, I might just have a solid back to my quilt.  Since I didn't meet the deadline for the MQG I think I will sit with this on my wall for a few days while I try to decide what I'm going to do.  I'm leaning towards just quilting it "as-is", but we will see.  If the weather cools back down I might just watch another season of Grey's Anatomy and hand-stitch away.


Stamp of Approval Coming Soon!

Something awesome is happening.  I've been waiting on this secret for about a year and it is finally almost time for the big reveal.  Today I get to let you in on the secret that my friend, Catherine Pooler, and some of her trusted friends in the industry have been working on.

Girlfriend, you are going to love it!  Clicky to find out more about this extremely limited collection of stamps & dies designed exclusively for this box.  Sign up to be the first to know when it goes live.  I'm predicting they will sell out the first day.

Prize Stag Thanks

Have you been following along with the StampNation California Vaction?  If you have then you know we went to the San Diego Zoo on Saturday for a fun Print challenge.  You could use printed paper or make your own print.  Animal theme was optional.

I thought this would be a good chance to pull out my much neglected patterned paper.  I've long had a love of pretty paper and stationary.  You might call me a collector.  ;)  Lately though I've been having too much fun making my own backgrounds to even look at my collection.   When I started pulling out prints that might work I was reminded of this pink chamo browning emblem I see on cars and trucks and hats and shirts, etc. everywhere in the PNW.

Isn't it fun to play with paper and die cuts while being inspired by what you see everyday?  Perhaps I should have saved this card for one of my Inspired By series of videos, but I wanted to share it with my blog readers.

Stamps: Fancy Thanks (Ellen Hutson)
Ink: Black Onyx (Versafine)
Paper: Lyric (Prima); Basic Black,Whisper White (Stampin' Up!)
Accessories: Clear Embossing Powder (SU); Stitched Duo 2 (Pretty Pink Posh); Prize Stag (Ellen Hutson)


Dots For Days Part 3 ~ SC 109

It's time for another sketch challenge at Stampin' Celebration, and another Dots For Days Monday!
This time I used the Dots For Days background stamp as a solid color background stamp.  ;)  It's such a simple way to add a splash of color.  To

To add a little something special I used the Word Window punch to open up a spot for my sentiment, then I covered it & the stars with Crystal Effects.  Nice little touches on a super simple card.  Now I want to see what you can come up with using this sketch as your inspiration.  Be sure to head on over to Stampin' Celebration Challenge to see what the rest of the design team has created and to link up your own project.  Clicky

Stamps: Dots For Days, Tin of Cards
Ink: Pacific Point, Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Paper: Pacific Point, Daffodil Delight, Real Red, Whisper White
Accessories: Word Window Punch, Star Punch, Crystal Effects


Headed to The Rock

Have you had a chance to check out the StampNation California Vacation  yet.   Just in case you missed the past couple of days I thought I would fill you in with some sneak peeks.

Click image for larger version. 

Name: CAcollage2.jpg 
Views: 3 
Size: 459.4 KB 
ID: 24316
The Beach

On Day 2 we headed to the beach to catch some sun, sand and surf.  It was my day to post a video, so I showed how to create your own beach scene using emboss resist & masking techniques.

Stamps: Bokeh Dots (Essentials by Ellen - Ellen Huston)
Ink: Crumb Cake, Tip Top Taupe (Stampin' UP); Tumbled GlassSalty OceanBroken China,Peacock FeathersSqueezed Lemonade (Distress); Versamark
Paper: Marshmallow (Bazzill); Basic Black Cardstock (Stampin' Up!)
Accessories: Sparkling Clear SequinsSparkling Clear Seed Beads (Pretty Pink Posh); Treat Yo Self(Essentials by Ellen - Ellen Huston); Clear Embossing Powder (Stampin' Up!); Masking Paper(Inkadinkadoo); Blending Tool (Ranger); Precision Tip Applicator (Quilled Creations)

Day 3 took us to the Glitz & Glam of Hollywood.   Have you ever been to the Walk of Fame?   I think it would be fun to do that and hunt for my favorite stars.

Click image for larger version. 

Name: CAcollage3.jpg 
Views: 2 
Size: 149.6 KB 
ID: 24317
Hollywood Glitz & Glam

Today we are putting on our prison stripes and heading to one of my favorite "tourist" spots in San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz.  Also known as The Rock.  Once a prison, now you can take a ferry over for a walking tour of the prison.

Click image for larger version. 

Name: CAcollage4.jpg 
Views: 3 
Size: 302.9 KB 
ID: 24318
Prison Stripes - Alcatraz

As a fun play on the theme I made a card with black and white stripes to highlight the You Rock die from Ellen Hutson's Essentials by Ellen.  She's one of our sponsors.   That reminds me, I need to go grab my coupon code and do some shopping.  ;)

Stamps: Diagonal Stripes (My Favorite Things)
Ink: Black Onyx (Versafine)
Paper: Marshmallow (Bazzill); Basic Black & Whisper White (Stampin' Up!); Gold (Creative Memories)
Accessories: Black Glint Embossing Glitter (WOW); Craft-a-BoardMerry & Bright DiesYou Rock(Essentials by Ellen - Ellen Huston)

Where will we head to next? We have 3 more stops on our vacation in sunny California, and then a reveal of our top secret sponsor.   Come join the fun.  www.thestampnation.com


California Dreamin' Gold Challenge

The StampNation quarterly event starts today!  We are taking a (virtual) vacation to The Golden State, California.  

We have 2 sponsors for the vacation.  First up is the awesome Ellen Hutson.

She is giving away a gift certificate to one lucky winner and a gift code for all members.  Woot-Woot!

We also have a mystery sponsor.  Clues are being given out daily over at StampNation.  Can you guess who & what the sponsor is?  

On Day 1 we are celebrating the Golden State with a challenge to use gold on your project.   Here is a sneak peek at what the fabulous design team came up with.

Day 1 Sneak Peek

I'm not scheduled to post a card today, but I had I to make one in honor of the state I was born and raised in.  Here is what I came up with just for my blog readers.  <3

There is NO stamping on this card.   The gold foil chevrons are printed on vellum.  Love it!   To help the Prize Stag stand out a bit more I just die cut 3 of them and layered them together with 2-way glue.    The finishing touch was to take the card front to my sewing machine and sew on some loose lines with gold metallic thread.  This was probably the hardest part of this card because my sewing machine prefers to sew in straight lines.  (That's a good problem for a quilter to have!)

We would love to have you play along, but you have to be a member!


Thank You Sew Much ~ A Quilt Story + Card Video

On Sunday I shared that I have a story to go along with my visit to Quilter's Junction in Chehalis, WA.  Scroll down if you just want to see the card.  Keep reading if you want to hear my embarrassing geeky story.


First off I want to give a shout out to Rita Whalen.  Thank you for making me feel like a "rockstar" even if it embarrassed the "normal person" out of me.   You really did make my weekend.

As a blogger and designer, most of my work goes on in the privacy of my own home.  I create alone, most of the time. I do my blog and design team work behind a computer screen. .  Even comments on my blog are silent as I read them on my cell phone or computer.

Last Sunday when I walked into Quilter's Junction in Centralia, WA looking for the exact match to my light gray (Vapor) fabric, the lady behind the counter was very helpful.   She asked what I was looking for and took me around the shop trying to find a solution.   It's a small shop and I was very specific, so it didn't take long.  She then asked me my name.  I said "Heather" and she said "North?".  At first I panicked a little because I didn't recognize this lady, but she knew my last name, so I must have known her.  I'm terrible at remembering names, but I usually at least recognize the face.  This time I was at a complete loss.

She told me that she follows my blog.  In addition to being a quilter, she is also a cardmaker.  I was so embarrassed that I had shown my Dresden block to this person who actually knew who I was that I took that block and literally covered my face with it.

Just picture it. This block with my face and head under it.  Can you get any more geeked out than that?!   I could have played it cool and confident, saying "thank you, I'm so glad you are interested in my blog".... but no, I had to turn (what I am sure was) a tomato bright red, and cover my face with the block  that I was embarrassed for anyone who "knows" me to actually see.

As if that wasn't bad enough, I think I covered myself 3 more times before I left the shop.  Apparently I wasn't cut out for being "famous". LOL.   My work is out here on my blog for the world to see, but when I meet someone face to face who is looking at my work I am filled with embarrassment and self doubt.  Obviously something I need to work on.

When I asked for her name she told me, Rita Whalen and I instantly recognized her name from my blog, emails and Facebook. Thank you Sew much Rita Whalen for making feel like a rockstar.  I'm sorry for being such a nerd and not knowing what to say. Next time I visit you I will try not to cover my face every time you pay me a compliment.   Bless you in your upcoming adventure!


Now on to my sewing card.   This one comes with a video.


Stamps: Notions (Waffle Flower)
Ink: London Fog, Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Paper: Whisper White (Stampin' Up!)
Accessories: Stitched Rectangle Dies, Quilted Swirl Stitch Die (Lil' Inker Designs); White Bakers Twine (Stampin' Up!): MISTI 

One last thing before I go... StampNation is going on a Virtual California Vacation and it starts tomorrow.  Be sure to come along and join in the fun as we visit 7 popular tourist stops and have challenges along the way.  The fabulous Ellen Hutson is our sponsor and she has a very special coupon code and giveaway for StampNation members.

Sneak Peek of StampNation's California Vacation

We have one more sponsor and it is a mystery.  Can you guess what is inside the box?  If you are a card maker, you are going to LOVE it!  


Wild Cards ~ Craftsy

Today I have something very special to share with you, along with a discount code!  My talented friend, Catherine Pooler, has her very own Craftsy class and it's open NOW!!!  I've been a fan of Craftsy and taken several quilting/sewing courses over the past 2 years, but this is my first card class.  In each class I've ever taken I have learned new tips and techniques to make me a better crafter, and this class is no exception.

Wild Cards: 21 Techniques With Favorite Supplies

The class is called Wild Cards, and in it Catherine shows many techniques that you can use with your own stamping supplies to create beautiful and unique cards.  At the end of each lesson she also gives us a design challenge so we can put our newly learned skills to use.  Love that!

As a special gift for reviewing her class, Craftsy is letting me give you a chance to get the class for 50% off.  Woot-Woot!  It is well worth the price of admission.   All you have to do is clicky to go there now.  


Sew Sunday ~ Riley Black Quilt Update

It's been unusually HOT here in the Pacific Northwest, so I've been spending the weekend in my air conditioned sewing room.  As a result I've made some good progress on my Modern Quilt Guild Riley Black Designs Cottage Garden by the Quilted Fish Fabric Challenge. That is a mouthful!

Part of the challenge is to try something you've never done before.  I've been wanting to do a modern dresden plate since I saw fellow South Sound Modern Quilt Guild member, Kathy Buchli's, quilt.  (Clicky)  That was over a year ago.  The techniques and tools used are new to me, but I find them fun, and perhaps a little addictive.  The center circles are machine sewn with a blanket stitch while the out edges of the plate are sewn by hand.  It's such a relaxing way to spend the evenings.  While doing some "research" online, aka watching youtube videos & looking at sewing blogs, I came across a great tip for getting your project to lay flat.

It's all in the pressing. While my piece is still warm from the iron I lay a " flat weight" on top of it so that it stays flat as it cools.  You could use a book or a magazine, but I grabbed my 12.5" template.  So far this has been working VERY well for me.  I might try it for all my future piecing.  Sorry that I can't remember the original source of this tip, but it wasn't from a quilter.  It was actually a tip for garment sewing I believe.

As I mentioned, this was my first time sewing Dresdens.  I had no idea how large they would be.  This created a bit of a problem.  I knew going into this that I didn't want all my Dresdens to line up in a row.  My thought was to sew each of the dresdens to a center of 16" block and then add 4.5" strips to 2 sides of the blocks in the four corners.  The middle block would be completely centered inside a 20" block.  I got to work on sewing all 4 corner blocks.  Then I went to cut  my fabric for the remaining blocks, including the center block and realized I only had a yard of fabric left.  NOOOOOOOOooooooooooooo!!!!

This is what happens when I create patterns on my own and don't pay attention to math.  It's also what happens when you buy fabric from 3 or more shops and can't remember which one you got this particular shade of grey.  It all worked out in the end, but I spent a few hours yesterday hitting the "local" fabric stores trying to figure out who made this perfect light shade of grey.   I was sure it was from Sisters in Chehalis, WA, but I was wrong.

Next I went to Quilter's Junction in Centralia, WA to see if they carried it.  I have an embarrassing story to share about that, but it will have to wait until Tuesday's post.  For now I will give a shout out to Rita Whalen and tell her thank you for your help.

Finally I went up to Ruby Street Quiltworks in Tumwater, WA.  I really should have gone there first because they do have the biggest selection of solids, but I honestly thought I had bought it at Sisters when I went in for their row-by-row license plate.  btw- the color is Vapor, but I still can' remember the name of the manufacturer.  It's on my receipt though, so I can easily find it.   I love that Ruby Street prints out the names of the fabric and keeps a record in their store so you can easily find additional fabric.  As long as it hasn't sold out.

How are you doing on your A Lovely Year of Finishes Goal?  I'm hopeful mine will be completed on time.  As long as the AC holds out.


You Rock ~ Quilted Swirl Stitch

Just a quick little thank you card using the Direct To Paper technique from the Dye Ink Class at Creativity Grows Here.  It's such a simple technique for creating your own custom colored backgrounds.   By overlapping the colors I was able to get 5 colors using just 3 ink pads.

With CAS (Clean And Simple) designs I find that the little details make all the difference.  For this card that detail is the stitching.  I used a stitched rectangle die to cut out the focal piece and layered it onto a clean white card base that had been die cut with the Quilted Swirl Stitch die from Lil' Inker Designs.

Stamps: The Big The Bold & You (Winnie & Walter)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento); Bermuda Bay, Tempting Turquoise (Stampin' Up!); Green Apple (Simon Says Stamp)
Paper: Whisper White (Stampin' Up!)
Accessories: Stitched Rectangle Dies, Quilted Swirl Stitch Pattern Die (Lil' Inker Designs)


Dots For Days ~ Sprinkles ~ SC 108

Welcome to Part 2 of my Dots For Days card series.  If you missed the first post you can clicky to read all about it.


This week's inspiration photo at Stampin' Celebration screams summertime fun to me.  I took my inspiration from all those sprinkles on the ice cream when creating this card.

To make this card I chose bright ink colors and tried to selectively ink up the Dots for Days background stamp.  Then I  punched out a 2" circle and created a little shaker card with sequins from Pretty Pink Posh.  

Stamps: Dots For Days, Tin of Cards (Stampin' Up!)
Ink: Coastal Cabana, Daffodil Delight, Melon Mambo, Pumpkin Pie (SU); Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Paper: Whisper White Thick (SU)
Accessories: Window Sheet, 2" Circle Punch (SU); Sequins (Pretty Pink Posh)

Dots for Days Clear-Mount Background Stamp by Stampin' Up!
Dots for Days
Tin of Cards Photopolymer Stamp Set  by Stampin' Up!
Tin of Cards