Friday, July 30, 2010

Schibbles is (finally) finished!!

It's finally finished!  I'm so excited to share my submission for the Schnibbles contest.  (Better pictures are coming, when I can get home and get them off my camera!  For now, iPhone pics will have to do).  I had a hard time naming my finished project -- I think because I was trying too hard to play off of Carrie's pattern name, "X-Rated."  I finally settled on "Incognito," because the embroidered squares are hiding out, trying to blend in.





I haven't used a pattern to make a quilt in quite a long time, but as this quilt was for a contest and required use of a pattern included in the book, I thought I'd share my review with you.

Pattern:
"X-Rated" in Schnibbles Times Two, by Carrie Nelson, of Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.

Quality of Pattern:
As with all of her other patterns I've come across, Carrie, does a fantastic job.  Her directions are clear and concise without being overly complicated.  Her assembly diagrams are also great -- I was comfortable following her cutting directions and then just assembling based on the diagrams alone.

Difficutly level:
I would rate this pattern Advanced Beginner to Early Intermediate.  I wouldn't recommend it to beginning quilters (at least not as their first quilt), especially as there are lots of tiny corners that need to meet perfectly, but it's great for someone who has at least a little bit of experience under their belts.

One of the things that made this pattern a little more forgiving is that Carrie uses over-sized setting and corner triangles that are trimmed down to size before the borders are attached.  For those of us not blessed with perfect triangle assembly (ME!), this is a great way to achieve a perfect look, without actually having to achieve perfection while piecing!

Adaptability:
Because this quilt was made up of smaller, repetative blocks, it was easy to change the size of the body of the quilt.  While the pattern gave directions for a 6x6 block layout, I expanded it to a 7x7 block layout to accomodate my design ideas.

The major change I made to this pattern was that I replaced 9 of the fabric "X" blocks with an embroidered "X" block (if you remember, this was the result of a sleepless night of brainstorming following an embroidery class at the quilt shop hosting the Schnibbles contest).  I'm super pleased with the way it turned out. 

Unfortunately, I made a rookie mistake and didn't lay out my embroidered squares and my fabric squares before I started embroidering ... if I had, I would have realized BEFORE I EMBROIDERED HALF OF THEM that I had traced the "X's" at the wrong angle on my background squares.  Dumb mistake - I really know better, but I have big plans (for my hubby) to build a design wall soon, and then I'll have no excuses for no laying everything out.

Speed:
I love this pattern, but it's not one that you could throw together in a weekend.  With the embroidery (and re-embroidery), it took me the better part of a month to have it completely finished, although, to be fair, I mainly worked on during weekday evenings, and was working on finishing another quilt and pattern at the same time.  I'm super happy with the finished project, but I feel like it took me FOREVER to finish.

Would I make this pattern again?

Maybe.  If I were to make it again, it wouldn't be for quite awhile -- just because the first one took me so long to finish.  I would probably skip the embroidery part next time around, too.  I am definitely planning on hanging on to this one, though.




Don't forget!  The potholder giveaway is going on through Friday, August 6th!  Check it out here!  Giveaway is now closed!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Free Potholder Pattern and Poplun's First Giveaway - Drawing is now closed.

This week on examiner.com, I'm posting a free potholder pattern.  This is one of my favorite gifts to give, especially along with a great cookbook or some matching table linens.

To celebrate my new column and Poplun's first free pattern, I'm also hosting a giveaway!  Up for grabs are a bunch of different potholder kits - includes fabric for top, backing and binding!  Two first place winners will win their choice of potholder kit, plus the batting and Insul-Bright squares.  Four other winners will win one of the fabric kits pictured.

You can have up to seven different entries!!  For each entry, please come back here and leave a separate comment, so that I can make sure you have the correct number of "raffle tickets."

To enter:
1.  Leave me a comment below - tell us something fun, like which kit you'd like to win, or who you'd make the potholders for.
2.  Sign-up to follow my blog, or tell me that you already do.
3.  Go to my examiner.com article and leave me a comment there.
4.  Tweet about the contest @POPLUN.
5.  Mention my giveaway on your blog, with a link back here.
6.  Become a fan on facebook.
7.  Become a follower on twitter.

A winner will be selected on Saturday, August 7th, so be sure to leave me a way to contact you, or check back here to see if you've won!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fat Quarter Shop Designer BOTM - Month #1


Well, it's only taken me a month and a half, but I've finally finished block #1 for the Fat Quarter Shop's Designer Block of the Month club.  I don't think it's too late to sign up, if you're still interested.

Can I just tell you right now how much I love the fabric line - 12 Days of Christmas by Kate Spain for Moda.  Love, love, love it!  In fact, Bear Paws and Hollyhocks had a big stack of layer cakes from this line when I was there yesterday.  Might just have to make a second trip this week to grab one before they're all gone!

Anyways, this block is titled "Gifts Under the Tree" and was designed by Gudrun Erla of G.E. Quilt Designs, and it was a great way to start off the club.  The Fat Quarter Shop is so generous with the fabric for the pattern, I think you could easily make 3 more blocks just from the leftovers!!  Now ... on to block #2!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sacramento Quilting Examiner

I'm so excited!  I'm now officially a Sacramento Quilting Examiner for examiner.com!


Please stop by my site here to see my first article!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Too Good Not to Pass On!!

The Fat Quarter Shop is offering a 15% coupon to their blog readers!  Check out their interview with the Not Quite June Cleaver blog and enjoy!!

Follow Poplun on Twitter!

Poplun now has Twitter and Facebook accounts! 

Follow us at: http://twitter.com/poplun or friend us on Facebook HERE!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Five Boxes Update!

As promised in this post, here is an update on the contents of my five little boxes.

Box #1:
Pattern: X-Rated (Schnibbles Pattern - Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.)
Fabric: Verna by Moda



Here's a glimpse at my entry for the Schnibbles contest at one of my favorite local quilt shops, Bear Paws and Hollyhocks. I'm really pleased with how this quilt is coming along -- especially since it was a 2:00AM revelation!  I've called my version of this quilt Airy X's as I replaced a number of the X-blocks with embroidered X's.  I had a little difficult with how to orient my embroidered X -- and unfortunately didn't catch the problem until I had incorrectly finished ... and cut ... several X's.  Now that I've fixed the problem and finally finished the 9 embroidered blocks, the quilt is flying together -- probably because Miss Rosie's Schnibbles patterns are a cinch to follow!  If you don't have it already, I highly recommend her latest book!


I have at least four more quilts planned from it!


Box #2:
Pattern: Cherish (Poplun Patterns)
Fabric: Cherish Nature by Moda

With my In the Jungle pattern finished and the quilt gifted, Cherish is next up to bat after Schnibbles.  The fabric has been cut and is currently residing in little ziplock baggies, so here's a sneak peek at the center panel.  It'll be surrounded by a round of squares, and then another round of diamonds.

Box #3:
Pattern: Country Inn (McCalls Quilting Magazine, May/June 2010)
Fabric: Sophia by Karen Neuburger for Quilting Treasures

I started this quilt back in April with some of the fabric I picked up on the spring Renegade Run Shop Hop.

I love how classic and home-y the quilt looks, but wanted to make a version of it for my own home using more modern prints.  The color scheme in my living room is currently teal, chocolate brown, and tan.  I'm planning on using the same tan and a purpley-grey in our guest room, which is right off of the living, so this quilt can be used in either room, and will help to tie them together.  Here are a couple of the stars:

As this quilt isn't a gift, and therefore has no deadline to finish, it's quickly becoming the project that I work on for a few minutes when I need a break from something else.  I'm hoping to have the quilt finished this fall, right in time for snuggling when the weather starts to turn!

Box #4:
Pattern: Candy Stripes Table Runner (Poplun Patterns)
Fabric: Northern Solitude by Moda

I finished the pattern for this table runner last year using Moda's A Little Romance Fabric line.  Unfortunately, I wasn't totally thrilled with the color scheme, once it was finished.  The white background really made the purples, pinks and greens of that line look neon, rather than soft and romantic.

Before releasing the pattern, I decided to make it in a second colorway, using the leftover fabric from the quilt I made my grandmother for her 94th birthday, last January.  I'm much happier with the second color line.  I have a few triangles left to iron and to attach to the border, and then the pattern will be available in my etsy shop.  For now, here's a shot at the center panel:

Box #5 ... is empty ... GASP!  It's just asking for a new project now that In the Jungle is finished!  Huhhhhh. :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Introducing - In the Jungle Quilt Pattern

I'm so very excited to introduce to you the latest Poplun Pattern: In the Jungle.

To celebrate the release, I'll be offering the pattern for sale in my etsy shop for 50%  for a limited time.  You can purchase a .pdf file or the pattern can also be printed and mailed by special request.  Hope you enjoy!!


Here are the stats:

Finished Size:      46” x 46”

Fabric Used in Sample:     Safari Jungle Baby by Kate Honarvar for Timeless Treasures (available here)

Skill Level:            Confident Beginner -to- Early Intermediate

Fabric Requirements:
Avocado Marble: 1 yard
Sand Marble: ¾ yard
Tan Stripe: ½ yard
Jungle Print A: ½ yard
Jungle Print B: ½ yard
Jungle Print C: ½ yard
Batting:       50” x 50: piece
Backing:      50” x 50” piece -or- 1 ½ yards




Friday, July 16, 2010

Little Boxes ...

"... on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky tacky, little boxes on the hillside, little boxes all the same."  Ok -- I'll admit it: I might be slightly obsessed with the Showtime series Weeds.  I've been watching episodes on Netflix while working on my Schnibbles project, but more on that soon.

My sewing studio has been literally littered with different projects in various stages of completion -- which explains why fabric keeps coming in ... but not being busted!!  Before I forget ... here are the latest numbers, since I haven't posted them in awhile:

Stash Update (June 15th - July 16th, 2010):
Used:  2.56 yards - This number is lower than the average quilt, as I used a sheet from Target for the backing, rather than yardage.
Purchased: 12.93 yards ("Cherish Nature" for Cherish, "Safari Jungle Baby" for In the Jungle, "Verna" for Schnibbles, and a number of Fat Quarters ... just becuase)
YTD: +43.58 yards  -- all I have to say, is that it's a good thing that we get to start over as of January 1, 2011. :)

Ok, so back to the boxes.  If you've been following my blog or know me from our sewing groups, you know that I adore starting new projects, sometimes to the detriment of my current projects.  I'm not sure why, but when a new idea pops in my head, I have the tendency to drop whatever I'm working on to start the new stuff.  Lately, instead of packing away the works in progress (i.e., labeling the cuts and storing them in plastic bags, making a note of the inspiration or the pattern I'm following, and where I stopped or was at least planning on going ... etc), I've just left everything out on my table and started the new project right on top.

However, now that I've been done this several times, the resulting "mountain" is starting to become a bit of a problem.  I can only imagine ... if a volcano errupted tomorrow and buried my house in ash, what the poor archeologist who discovered the remains of my studio in 1,000 years would say about the layers upon layers of fabric he would unearth.  Luckily for me, there are no active volcanoes in Sacramento. :)

So, to tackle the monstrous mess, and in an attempt to finish more of the projects I start, I've enacted the POPLUN-5-BOX policy.  There are now five little boxes ("...on a hillside...") that live at the end of my sewing table, each with a different project inside.  My new rule is that a new project can only be started if there is any empty box on the table to put it on.  If there's not an empty box, then I'll have to finish a project (or permanently side-line it) in order to make room.  It is my honest intention to hold myself to this 5 box limit ... so we'll see how it goes.

Stay tuned over the weekend to catch a sneak to see what projects are currently living in the boxes and for the In the Jungle pattern introduction!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Quilts for Kids!


If you’re looking for a good cause to support this summer, consider volunteering your time and resources to Quilts for Kids. Their charity uses discontinued and donated fabric, along with the talents of volunteer quilters, to make quilts that will be donated to children who have been hospitalized due to serious illnesses.

There are several ways you can help out! First off, if you’re a quilter, use kid-friendly fabric from your stash to make a quilt to donate. The only requirements are:

- The quilt should measure 38”-40” x 45”-46” and must be machine pieced
- No rag quilts, fleece, low-quality flannel or hand-tied quilts (to avoid health and choking hazards)
- Use low-loft batting, and makes sure that the quilt top is heavily quilted to stand up to frequent hospital washings.

If you don’t have a lot of kid-friendly fabric in your stash, you can request a quilt kit online at http://www.quiltforkids.org/, or through your local Quilts for Kids chapter. Each kit contains enough fabric for the quilt top and backing – you just provide the batting. They do request that you return your completed quilt within 4-6 weeks of receiving the kit, and that you send at least one additional quilt with the kit-quilt, but this would be a great project to work on with your local quilt guild or sewing circle!

If you don’t have the time to finish a quilt this summer, consider making a cash donation, or even sending in some of your un-used, brightly colored, kid-friendly fabric to be used in kits. Remember – all donations are tax deductible!!

To volunteer, or to learn more about this great organization, visit their website at http://www.quiltforkids.org/, or contact them at info@quiltsforkids.org. Your donation will touch the hearts of children and families around the world!