Hop, Skip and a Jump!

So as mentioned previously, I am part of the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers. The focus of this group is for seasoned bloggers to provide technical advice and support to us newbie bloggers. Part of the support is participating in my first blog hop and the Sew Fabulous Hive!

It’s fun for me to have new visitors to Chopping Block Quilts, its fun for the visitors because you get to discover some amazing new quilting blogs and are eligible to enter to win a slew of amazing prizes from our fabulous hosts!

Super Quick & Random facts about me:

On the Line, Ready to Play

On the Line, Ready to Play Ultimate Frisbee

Name: Carrie
From: Arizona
Currently Resides In: Costa Rica (the Central Valley near some Volcanoes, not the beach)
Husband: 1, married 6mo or 2.5mo depending on which wedding you count
Puppies: Bernadette Shiva Garbage Disposal (9mo), IsaDora Paulina Gozer Sombra (7.5mo)
Scared of: Balloons, Needles/Knives/Blood (I got 4 stitches from a rotary cutter accident in college)
Began Quilting: 2002

My First Quilt made in 2003, loved by Dora today

My First Quilt made in 2003, loved by Dora today

Check this out if you really want to know more quick facts and my quilting history.

Blogging Tip:
Get involved! Whether your goal is to increase readership, get sponsors or simply have a better blog, the quilt blogging community can help. I joined the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers on a whim and fairly last minute. While the technical aspect appealed to me most, I have been overwhelmed with the new followers, generosity of advice, and support related to all aspects of blogging and quilting.

As part of being more involved in the quilting community, I am starting my first Quilt Along on the Midnight Mystery Quilt from Meadow Mist Designs. Fabric has been selected (and I am toying with the idea of making a second colorway).

Midnight Mystery Quilt Fabric.  Print from 2012 Palmer Collection by Anna Griffin

Midnight Mystery Quilt Fabric Selection.
Print from 2012 Palmer Collection by Anna Griffin

I am anxiously awaiting the release of the first block in July. There is still time for new members to join this QAL and I encourage you to do so!

Meadow Mist Designs Mystery Quilt

Quilting Tip:
While quilting is fairly popular in Costa Rica, most of my quilting supplies have come from my stash in Arizona lugged down on various trips. Batting is included in said supplies. A few years ago I learned about the proper way to join pieces of batting from the Encyclopedia of Quilting (I just don’t remember if it was this one or this one)

To reduce bulk, you overlay the batting by a few inches and then cut along the overlap in a wave like pattern. The pieces are then joined together using a flat stitch.

Joining batting pieces

Joining batting pieces

The result when quilted is batting that does not have bulky seams where it overlaps. I must apologize for not having better photos but I am now inspired to create my first tutorial! Check back soon!

Confession:
I love musicals. Live, in movies, and on TV. Disney, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Andrew Lloyd Webber and more. They are my go-to background noise when sewing. I can’t help but sing along.

Often times I wish life were more like a musical. I can make a song out of almost any situation. Usually they take the tune of some popular song with original lyrics. Sometimes they are awesome, sometimes they are awful. My brother can do the same, although he keeps his talent hidden. I think we learned it from our father as children. It makes life a little more joyful.

Hop! on over to the other members of my Sew Fabulous Hive this week:
Erin @ Twin Mom Quilts
Anja @ Anja Quilts
Adrian @ Quilting Fabulous

New Blogger Series
Skip! to our wonderful hosts:
Stephanie @ Late Night Quilter (our Hive “Queen Bee”)
Yvonne @ Quilting Jet Girl
Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Terri Ann @ Childlike Fascination

Jump! at the chance of winning some great prizes this week (and in the upcoming weeks). See our “Queen Bees” above for giveaway entry details!

Thanks for stopping by!

Inspired Designs

The internet is such an amazing resource for finding not only quilting tutorials, but also inspiration.  From Pinterest to Instagram to the multitude of blogs, the ideas are endless.  Last week, I was accepted into the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers group being hosted by Quilting Jetgirl, Late Night Quilter, Meadow Mist Designs and Childlike Fascination.

2015 New Quilt Bloggers Group

See who joined in on the fun!

 Already I have already connected with an amazingly talented group of quilters from around the globe.  The goal of the group is to improve the technical aspects of our blogs and increase our social connections; however. I look forward to learning from everyone and improving my quilting skills as well.

While many of the projects on my “To Do” list have been inspired by other quilters, there are also a few projects that have come from everyday inspiration.One of the interesting things about living in Costa Rica are the fences people have around their homes and the bars they have on their windows.  I know this sounds like miniature prisons fill the city, yet riding around in the passenger seat all I see are potential quilt designs.

Bubbles in Granada, Nicaragua

Bubbles in Granada, Nicaragua

Sometimes I am fortunate enough to capture a (blurry) photo on my phone, sometimes I sketch out blocks while waiting in line at the immigration office or the bank.

House Fence in Heredia, Costa Rica

House Fence in Heredia, Costa Rica

To me, the country is filled with inspiration. Or maybe it’s just my one-track, quilting obsessed mind.

Window Bars in San Jose, Costa Rica

Window Bars in San Jose, Costa Rica

One of my other hobbies that also feeds itself into my quilt inspirations, photography.  I am sure many of you are familiar with the website design-seeds as a source of color palette inspiration.

Design-Seeds Fresh Brights

Design-Seeds Fresh Brights

A few months back I discovered an app on the Sherwin-Williams website that allows you to upload your own personal photos and break out the composite colors.  While design-seeds is a great site, I enjoy the personalization offered of the Let’s Chip It! app by Sherwin-Williams

It’s fun to upload your own photos and see the color breakdowns the app generates.

Sarchi Ox Cart Wheel

Costa Rican Sarchi Ox Cart Wheel

New Mexico Wild Poppy

New Mexico Wild Poppy

Costa Rican Land Crab

Costa Rican Land Crab

Being part of the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers has  energized me to finish up my WIP’s and start making real progress on my “To Do” list, incorporating the everyday inspiration that surrounds me.

Start looking for the inspiration surrounding your life!

**Disclaimer: This post does NOT contain any affiliate links.  All words and opinions are my own.**

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Back to the Start

“No matter how far you have gone on a wrong road, turn back”- Turkish Proverb

I started on my final Farm Fresh baby quilt about 2 weeks ago.  Inspired by this updated chevron design by Shea Henderson of Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio I began making 96 HST with the remaining pieces of Farm Fresh by October Moon for Riley Blake that I had.

Blocks were pieced and trimmed.

First block pieced and trimmed

First block pieced and trimmed

Arranged with the help of my husband.

Initial layout

Initial layout- sorry for the blurry phone picture!

Then sewn together incorrectly.  I thought about ripping it out and fixing it, but then decided to press on thinking it was “design” intervention.  Our newest addition, Dora, seemed to think it was fine.

Dora approved, even if it was sewn together wrong

Dora approved, even if the top was sewn together wrong

After using what batting I had and assembling it into a patchwork (making it work), basting begun.

Patchwork batting

Patchwork batting

Basting

Basting

One chevron quilted and I was done for the day.

Thinking overnight about it, I decided was not thrilled with the overall look of the top. The color balance, the patchwork look of some chevrons but not all.

Turning back from the wrong path

Turning back from the wrong path

So I am settling in with my seam ripper, Harry Potter, and copious amounts of coffee and taking it all apart and going back practically to the beginning.

I have figured out a much better HST design and will be busy sewing it all back together tomorrow while the hubs is in class.

Linking up with:

Michelle’s Romantic Triangle: Let’s Make Baby Quilts!

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What the Hex!


Like all quilters and crafters, I have a stash of fabrics and supplies that are just waiting for the perfect project.

Most of my fabric bundles come from a store called Tuesday Morning. It is one of those stores that is a last ditch effort by retailers to sell unpopular items (think a Ross version of TJ Maxx).  Luckily, they have a little craft section at Tuesday Morning that has hidden sewing and crochet/knitting treasures.  I have found many a fat quarter bundle for about $8 or so here, and they are decent fabric collections (albeit about 3-4 years old, but still good quality).

The first discovery I made was the Farm Fresh collection by  Riley Blake designs called Farm Fresh that I have used to make 2 baby quilts for friends & family.  When I am in AZ, I try to duck in every few weeks or so to see what they have to offer.

Farm Fresh by Riley Blake Bundle

Farm Fresh by Riley Blake

 

A few years ago I bought two bright and cheery packs of an aqua & green fabric collection (sadly no name on this set…) that I have been dying to use in a quilt. Only problem was figuring out exactly how I wanted to use them.  In comes the inspiration from Jay Bird Quilts and their hexagon quilt pattern.

Teal and Aqua Fabric Collection

Aqua and Teal Charm Pack

So with very little pre-planning and quite a bit of improvisation, I have begun to work on this twin size quilt as an “art exchange” with my friend Rommy in return for one of her oil paintings.

Setting up the cut

No fancy tools here to make the cut

Moving along

Moving down the line

Pieces Ready to Go

Ready to be assembled

I will admit, due to my lack of pre-planning (and not looking at all steps of the quilt-a-long), I have made this quilt a bit more difficult in terms of piecing the top together.

Half-Hexes ready to go

Should of stopped and planned here to sew along rows instead of having to later do Y-Seams….

IMG_20140730_185355_nopm_

First one done- many more to go. The more I do, the better they look.

There is a great explanation and demonstration on how to sew the Y-Seam in the Craftsy 2013 Block of the Month class online (for free!!). This is my first time tackling the dreaded Y-seam, so piecing the top has been slow going but I hope to have something finished to show in the next few weeks!