MORE from Katie's Modern Nest

Friday, May 28, 2010


I ran across some great blog articles recently which delve into the modern quilting movement.  Please take a moment to read these, as they are truly thought provoking and will likely guide the way our online modern quilting community evolves.  Rossie takes a look at where Modern Quilting should and could go while Cheryl (Naptime Quilter) takes a hard look at where Modern Quilting really comes from.  Both really challenge us to take our quilting to new places with a focus on technique, pushing the envelope and doing new things.

As a fairly new quilter, the exhortation to PUSH to try new techniques and designs is pretty easy.  There are so many new things for me ;-)  For my next project, my big PUSH is going to be hand quilting.  Inspired by Ann StewArt's amazingly simple and yet intriguing work, I am going work on hand quilting with large color blocks in my next quilt. 

Though I have done hand quilting before I am pushing to better my technique.  Take a look at my practice piece.  I am pretty consistent with my stitches when I use a longer needle, but I want to get better.  So last night I tried working with #10 between and what a big difference. 

I have a lot more practice before I am ready to tackle the real quilt with my smaller needle.  Guess that's part of the process!  What tips do you have for me to with hand quilting?  I'd love your tips, tricks and techniques!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fun Quick Project


I love this Michael Miller fabric...It was crying out to be made into something that you'll see everyday on the table.  Now its in the shop.

My Next Project

Can you guess what my next project will be?

Inspired by the plum tree in my backyard at sunset

Monday, May 24, 2010

Gee that’s Generous!

What a great mail day I had today!  I had two thick envelopes waiting in my mailbox and both were filled with fabric goodies.  Best of all, both came with EXTRA goodies!

First I got a yard of blue bouquet (flea market fancy) that I bought from TiggleGiggles on etsy (here's her blog).  She surprised me by adding in a fat eight of pink bubble dots and a fat eighth of pink buoquet.  What a find! 

Next, I opened a fabric swap that I did with Bessiemae .  I have been looking all over for green ribbon flowers (Katie Jump Rope) and was glad to swap for them.  What a nice surprise to get some Heather Ross Mendocino as well. 
A BIG thank you to both for your generosity!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sandwiches for Dinner

Last night instead of making dinner, I made quilt sandwiches. 
I think I am going to quilt around each square and on the diagonals through the square

Probably will do random horizontal quilting to accentuate the "sticks"

Friday, May 21, 2010

Coffee and Quilts

I just love mornings while on maternity leave.  Here's what they look like:  grab coffee and chocolate muffin...pat the boxer ...give the baby a bounce...then enjoy quilting blogs while eating my high quality and healthy breakfast.

This morning I ran across a great giveaway.  In a shamless effort to win it myself, I am posting a link to Fabric Junkie's giveaway. So be my competition and stop over there and check it out.

Have a great morning everyone!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mother's Day Napkins

I whipped these up from scraps from my wonky star quilt (you'll get to see this in a coming post) for my mother-in-law for Mother's Day.  I followed a tutorial that I am having a hard time following right now.  I'll try and link it later.  I used different measurements because my scraps were narrower. 

The backing is two prints from Denyse Schmidt's county fair home dec line. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

So I said that I wasn't going to stash...

I’m not going to stash 
So I told myself that I was not, no way, absolutely not going to build up a fabric stash. I’ve seen how much room fabric takes up in my mom’s house. I have set a firm boundary that all of my quilting supplies and fabric must fit on my desk.

But here is how soon my resolve started to fade and the thought process behind the slippery slipery slope of “not stashing.”

Two months ago…
“Wow, look at those amazing Hope Valley prints. They have them all nice and packaged as fat quarters…that would make it so easy to get the fabrics for my next project. I think I must have them, and anyway its not stashing if you are just buying fabric for your next quilt…right?”
One month ago…
"Wait a sec, those Michael Miller fabrics are on sale for 25% off…but only for today…I would love to have a few of those for the quilt I make after the hope valley quilt…I’ll just pick up a few."

A few weeks ago…
"Katie Jump Rope? Wow what fun colors! The ribbon-flower is so yummy!  And my name is Katie, I should have some Katie Jump Rope fabric."
As you can see from my last post, Flea market fancy is my current obsession.

This week…I give up. I have a stash.
I have just turned my guest bedroom into a sewing room. It is a little pathetic to see how quickly my resolve weakened, but oh so wonderful to feel all of my fabric and to see it sitting there on the shelf. One day all of those beautiful fabrics will be quilts…and they will be replaced on the shelf by more fabric.
I love my new setup with a closet for fabric and nice bright room and a "design bed." Cause design walls don't HAVE to be on the wall...beds work well too.

PS. this is my current work in progress Sticks and Stone where I am putting some of that Katie fabric to good use.  And here are sneak peaks of the back. 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Obsessed with Flea Market Fancy

Look at how beautiful this fabric is!  This is my recently acquired stash of Flea Market Fancy

I have completely fallen in love with Denyse Schmidt’s Flea Market Fancy fabric (me and every other modern quilter out there it seems). Of course it is out of print and incredibly difficult to get your hands on. After being out bid a few times on ebay I was determined to get my hands on some. I thought I would save you some pain and share some of the strategies I discovered…

How to build your very own stash of the hard to find Flea Market Fancy:
  • Search on Etsy for FMF and hold out for the sellers who are reasonable (you can find $6-10 fat quarters, so don’t get too scared when you see crazy prices like $40 a fat quarter).
  • Search Ebay for FMF and either:
    • Win it the traditional way by bidding or….
    • Send a message to the seller of your favorite print and ask if they have more that they will sell to you directly. I have gotten a few good deals on FMF by doing this before the piece of fabric actually sells on Ebay. If I offer a fair and high enough price initially I don’t have to go through the drama of the online bid. 
  • Search Ebay from other countries. I got a sweet package of 12 fat quarters of FMF for just $70 (AUD) on the Australian ebay. The exchange rate works in our favor and it only cost me $62 including shipping and the demand for FMF doesn’t appear to be as high in Australia. ebay UK can also have FMF for sale at times. 
  • If the price is reasonable, consider buying clothing items made of FMF on ebay or Etsy. You can deconstruct dresses or shirts and use the fabric as you’d like. I saw a shirt and shorts made with pink seeds and blue flower bouquet and it sold for $5. There was at least ¾ to a whole yard of fabric there…what a great deal! Here’s a great example. 
  • Do a google search for “flea market fancy” and check all of the entries that pop up. On the 5th and 6th search pages I found some links to obscure online fabric sellers that had FMF. Once again, the Australian sites came through for me and I ordered FMF from about three different Aussies. The prices were much better than the US prices on etsy and ebay.
  • Consider ordering the home dec weight “Country Fair” fabrics. Many of the prints are the same as Flea Market Fancy and Katie Jump Rope, and they are even on sale for $4/yard at many online sites. Also they are 55” wide so you get more fabric for the money. The weight is heavier than typical quilting weight, but it is lighter than normal home dec fabric. I think you could still make quilts from it, and it’s perfect for projects like napkins, placemats and pillows. 
  • Trade for it here. This flickr website is great for swapping your hard to find fabrics for some FMF.  I found some very good prices on pink bubble dot FMF and got a yard. Then I swapped FQs of it for other FMF prints that were harder to buy.  
Hope you find this helpful! I’d love to hear other places that folks have had luck finding the elusive Flea Market Fancy!  If you love FMF be sure to check stop by Flea Market Fancy Freaks for beautiful projects and to connect with other admirers.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wild Windmills


I finished piecing and quilting my Wild Windmills about 2 weeks ago and have been taking my sweet time with the hand sewing on the binding.  It was worth it...I love how my whirlygiggle quilt turned out.  I was totally inspired by crazy mom quilts, but chose to make my blocks a little smaller than hers.  The finished quilt is just smaller than twin sized, but I think I can fudge it and make it work on my guest bed if I use a pretty pillow sham at the top.

The fabric was a Christmas gift from my hubby and I used white muslin for the background.  I think my absolute favorite part of it is the binding, which is a stripe that ties in all of the colors on the front with my orange backing. 

For the back, I decided on a fun orange with a tiny flower print that reminded me of windmills.  I really like how it plays against the muted blue in my border.  I mimicked the whirlygiggles on the front by making a chain of smaller "blades" for the inset panel on the back.  I also used mini whirligiggle blocks for the corners of my back panel.   I think it turned out really fun.

For the quilting I used my trusty PFAFF 297-1 to machine quilt randomly spaced diagonal lines.  It reminds me of the wind blowing past my windmills ;-) 

Now I just have to decide where this quilt is going to live. Though it looks great in my living room, I already have about 3 quilts in there.  I want it to get lots of love and use and to be the center of attention.  Maybe Wild Windmills would like to live with our friend Amy (who stood up for my husband at our wedding as the "best maid"). 

PS.  Have I mentioned anything about my obsession with Flea Market Fancy?  If you have been living under a rock and aren't familiar with Denyse Schmidt's fabulous out of print fabric, check it out.  I have been on a quest to find some and cannot wait to show you what I've managed to scrounge up.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

More Bags

I am so addicted to making those cute Amy Butler Birdie Slings!  I made three more this week.  I have guests visiting me and since my sewing room is also the guest room, I have been in a rush to finish some projects before they arrive.  So feast your eyes on three more bags. 

I used a few Amy Butler prints from her Love collection and some other fun prints as well.  I thought my favorite was going to be the pink and green roses, but I cannot keep my eyes off of the purple and pink medallion bag!  It is just so striking. 

I thought that I was going to sell these in my etsy shop, but my family snap them up as fast as I can make them.  Its the perfect time of year for a bright beach bag!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Taggy Blanket

At the request of my best friend, I have been making taggy burpies for her baby girl.  Who hasn't seen a baby totally ignore a new toy in order to chew on the tag?  Well, why not just skip the toy and go straight to the tag.  That's the concept behind Taggy Blankets (or burpies).

There are about 5 different colors and sizes of ribbons each with a different texture.  I used some velvet and some grosgrain for variety.  My favorite is the red ribbon with white stitches. 

The back is the cutest ladybug flannel, which I also used on the front in a fussy-cut center square.  I used some warm and natural batting in the middle so that it will stand up to all of the baby slobber...I think it just makes it so cozy and soft.

I cut all of the ribbons so that there are no loops so that baby fingers don't get stuck.  Hope she likes it!

Monday, May 3, 2010

I joined a Quilting Bee

My very first quilting bee.  My husband called me a nerd :-) and then said "congratulations."  At least he took a break from playing Modern Warfare to comment (if you don't know, be glad...this video game is a black hole for husbands).

In any case, I cannot wait to start sewing blocks for my new online quilting friends.  Our Bee is here.