March 24, 2014

would ya give me a vote or two?

I participated in the 2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge at The Windy Side and I'd appreciate your votes to hopefully win a Viewer's Choice Award!

I made two projects that you saw here last week- a pillow and a quilt top- and you can vote for both if you feel so inclined! :)

To vote, first click here to access the blog post from which to vote; then, click the heart on the top right of each of my project pictures to give them a vote!

Vote #1:
I have one entry in section two- Minis. My picture is number 26 and it is titled me and elna: radiant orchid inspired pillow.

Vote #2:
 My other entry is in section three- Just the Top. My picture is number 14 and is titled me and elna: radiant orchid inspired quilt.

I really enjoyed working on both of these projects! If you would give a vote (click the heart in the top right of each picture here) to each of them, I'd really appreciate it!

Voting ends on Thursday, March 27th, at 11:00pm PST; if you like the pillow and quilt top I made and would like ask others to vote for me too, I'd love that! Thanks so much for your support, friends!!! :)

xo, Kara
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March 18, 2014

radiant orchid inspired quilt

So, for a girl who is not a fan of purple I have gone Radiant Orchid NUTS! After finishing my Radiant Orchid inspired pillow, I loved the way the purple tied everything together so nicely that I decided to make a quilt highlighting Radiant Orchid too!

I decided to make a throw quilt to cuddle up with on the couch, so I didn't want it to be too big but still big enough to wrap up in (the finished size ended up being 67" x 54").

This is the first fabric pull I did for my quilt... and I felt like a little something was missing. So, I took out a couple of the low volume prints and added some darker prints that I thought would work well with the purple. I used a lot of different fabrics in this quilt top, including lines from Carolyn Friedlander, Lizzy House, Lotta Jansdotter and Denyse Schmidt- some of my favorite designers.

Once I settled on the colors, I cut out around 200 5" squares.

Hind sight is ALWAYS 20/20 and I wish I would have used a proper pattern for this quilt! Instead, I just decided to wing it, as I always do. Which ended up just fine but I think using an actual pattern would really ensure that you cut just enough fabric that you need... instead of ending up with a square or two less of a certain print that you really wanted to repeat in the quilt! (Click here for a tutorial from Jeni of In Color Order. I [obviously] didn't use the tutorial so I can't personally endorse it but Jeni's tutorials and patterns are always spot on!)

I pieced this quilt top together a little over a week ago at a girls sewing weekend and am so pleased with the way it turned out!!!

I really love the way the different shades of purple are highlighted in this quilt; they're very dominant but because of the other shades they are paired with, I think you don't have to be a big purple lover to like this top. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm kind of seeing how purple can be used as a neutral... who am I?! ;)

Radiant Orchid has SERIOUSLY gotten me out of my sewing comfort zone and I LOVE it! I'm kind of already excited to see what Pantone's color is for next year... :)
xo, Kara
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March 17, 2014

radiant orchid inspired pillow

When Pantone declared Radiant Orchid the color of 2014, I didn't think much about it. I'm not a huge purple fan so it didn't really blow my skirt up.

But then I started seeing the way people were using it in crafty projects on Instagram and I really loved it! I decided to challenge myself to making some projects with this pretty shade of purple and I'm so glad I did.

I started small- with an 23" x 23" (finished size)  pillow for the living room. I dug through my most precious scraps and pulled all the pretty purples and some grey, mustard yellow and low volume prints that I thought would go nicely together.

My wife is making a quilt with batiks and while I'm not usually a huge fan, she had some great purples in her stash! I added some of those in too. Gosh, I love making projects with scraps! It's almost like my own personal I Spy project, remembering all of the other goodies these fabrics have gone into. :)

After I picked out the fabrics, I cut out 156 2.5" squares and got to work laying them out!

Once I came up with a design I liked, I sewed them together using a 1/4" seam allowance.

Don't you love the way unlined/unfinished projects look with light streaming through them? It's like stained glass, I tell you!

To finish this pillow, I used straight line quilting on the front and then a simple envelope closure on the back. I used my go-to bag and pillow fabric- a fake linen curtain from IKEA. They're great!

Here is my finished pillow!

I love the way this pillow turned out! I'm so glad I decided to go outside of my comfort zone and embrace Radiant Orchid! I like the way this turned out so much that I even made a quilt using this purple as the inspiration... but that'll be shared another time as the day job is calling. :)

Have you been inspired by Radiant Orchid this spring? I'd love to see what you've made! Have a great day, friends! :)
xo, Kara
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March 14, 2014

crafty friends are the best friends

Last weekend some friends and I went away for SEWING TIME!!!

Ok, so maybe there was some wine drinking and carbohydrate eating too. :)

Anywho, seven friends and I (including my bestest friend outside of my wife, my sister!!!) spent Friday evening- Sunday afternoon at Grailville in Loveland, Ohio. It was so great! We spent two nights in the beautiful Victorian mansion- House of Joy- on the property...

and then crafted the days away at a really beautiful building called the Caravansary!

one of the pretty [huge] windows in the Caravansary
We got tons accomplished too!
Above are projects completed by Carrie, Christy, Jill, Michelle and my sister.

I brought along 1,000,000 5" squares to make a plus quilt. On Friday night, I laid the quilt top out [about 1,000 times].

And on Saturday, I pieced it all together!

I used a lot of different fabrics in this quilt top, including lines from Carolyn Friedlander, Lizzy House, Lotta Jansdotter and Denyse Schmidt- some of my favorite designers. Up until about a year ago, I never felt comfortable pairing fabrics together from different lines; I always doubted myself and never thought that the prints I put together worked together. Pish posh, I'm over that now! I LOVE mixing lines and designers and pallettes! It's definitely my favorite part of the sewing process.

So, yeah- sewing last weekend was GREAT!!! My favorite part of the whole weekend though was spending time with some great people.

What do you need other than sewing, friends and wine I ask you? Answer: NOTHING

So- last weekend = GREAT! But what was such a nice surprise was when I woke up on Monday, I felt SO refreshed and ready for the week! I felt encouraged and renewed... funny how a girls weekend away can do that. :)

xo, Kara
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March 6, 2014

first quilt finish of 2014

First of all- fail on the fabric fast. Oh well. I gave it a valiant effort. :)

Last year I signed up for a 12 month bee through Flickr called Simply Solids. This bee really pushed me outside of my comfort zone and I learned a lot from it! I feel like my biggest accomplishment of the bee was learning (and liking!) how to paper piece. Here are some of my favorite blocks that I completed for others in the bee last year:

For my blocks, I sent everyone this inspiration photo:

This above photo is from Eom Jae Young's work of the LA Modern Quilt Guild. (Please [!!!] let me know if you would prefer for me not to have it here and I will remove it!) I fell in love with these blocks when I saw the picture and knew that this was the inspiration I wanted to give the other ladies in my bee for my block! I love the idea of an improv. bee for so many reasons... it's so exciting to see what you get back.

So, I sent a copy of the above picture to the ladies in my bee to use as inspiration along with a bunch of fabrics in pinks, purples and whites. My color inspiration for the fabric I sent came from this picture from Saved by the Southern Belle:

And the blocks I got back! HOLY COW, they were great!!! All so different but still with a common anchor. LOVE.

I started putting the blocks together and I got this:

And I wasn't thrilled. Which was kinda crazy because I LOVED all of the blocks separately. So I decided to add a border. And I got this:

And I was then QUITE the opposite of thrilled. What is going on here?! I thought about it for a while, gnashed my teeth, pleaded for suggestions on Instagram and then pulled out my seam ripper and went to town. The whole time I was ripping everything apart I was so aggravated... but once I put it all back together again I was SO HAPPY that I did. Why? Because I looooooooove  my new quilt!!!
not really sure why the picture looks pixelated... don't mind that!

Doesn't it look so different?! I am in L-O-V-E- LOVE with this quilt!!! It's pretty big- it covers the top of my queen bed nicely- and is absolutely perfect for cuddling. Or- let's be honest- falling asleep on the couch at 9:00 on a Friday night after a hard week at work. #keepinitreal

Oh- and the quilting? It is gorgeous!!! Jill totally knocked it out of the park this time on the quilting.
Seriously- can you even handle it?

And just because I'm not sure if I've shared enough pictures of this quilt yet, here are some I waterlogued (it's totally a verb). :)


There you have it, friends! My first quilt finish of 2014... that I only sewed one block for and the binding. Hey- what can you do? :) I'm heading to a little weekend sew-in tomorrow with some friends and hope to get two quilt tops done there. Fingers crossed! :)

xo, Kara
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