Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Year Full of Firsts

Do you ever have years that seem to be good years and years that seem to be not so good?? I do. So far this year seems to be shaping up to be a pretty good year so far... I feel like it as been packed full of a bunch of "firsts" for me... I thought I would share some of the fun firsts with y'all today...

Without fail, each and every year, I make a new years resolution to write in my journal everyday.... and wouldn't you know it- I have never succeeded! Until this year (so far). I got the idea from the darling Camille Roskelley to get this lovely one line a day... 5 year memory book- she is almost done with 5 years of memories! Amazing!
(another first for me this year (some of my fellow fabric junkies may have picked up on it in the picture): I splurged and bought some of my favorite Liberty Lifestyle Bloomsbury Garden fabric... Oh. My. YUMMY!! I found mine here. I bought a fat quarters of a handful of my favorite prints and I am not sure what I am going to do with it yet, but for now I am content drooling over them on my sewing table... ;)

While I was home visiting over Christmas and New Years, I had the chance to meet one of my favorite bloggers in the world: Amy from Diary of a Quilter... To say I have a blog crush would be an understatement... more like official blog stalker! ha ha 
I have learned all of my quilting basics from this lovely lady... She is soo soo talented! And as if that wasn't enough- she is one of the nicest people I have ever met. We had such a fun time browsing a darling fabric shop called Material Girls Quilt Shop that I was visiting for the first time (I told you this post was all about "firsts") and chatting over lunch at one of my all time favorite places to eat: Cafe Rio (definitely not a "first"). It was so much fun! Thanks for taking the time to meet up with me Amy!! xoxo

On Valentine's Day this year... I had a fun thing happen that I would have never dreamed of... I was featured in a magazine. A very lovely, inspiring, and quilty magazine based in the UK called Love Quilting and Patchwork. For those of you that are a big fan of the CrossStitcher magazine, this is made by the same company.

I have no idea why they picked little old me to be included in such a lovely magazine, but I feel lucky to be along side the talent featured within. I haven't gotten my hands on a copy yet since it hasn't made its way to the US yet, but I am told that it should be on sale here shortly (around the end of March) so keep your eyes out for meand be sure to let me know if you happen to spot it here because you know I am going to be buying one (or ten) copies when it hits the stores! ;) For anyone that is itching to get a copy sooner than the end of March, it is available on iTunes. If you download the free CrossStitcher app in your newsstand, you can buy the Love Quilting and Patchwork magazine within that app. 

Until then, I thought I would give you a sneak peek of my page in the magazine... They featured my Sewing Storage.

Of course I had to give a shout out in my article (orange box that says "blog hop") to the lovely Maggie of Smashed Peas and Carrots who inspired my mini fabric bolts. Thanks again for such an awesome trick Maggie!

I have big plans for that beautiful quilt featured on the front of the magazine by Alexia Abegg ! Maybe I will use up some of my Bloomsbury Garden stash to make it! The pattern is included in the magazine. I can't wait to get started on it! It has sparked an impromptu quilt along on Instagram- look up the hashtags #medallionalong and #marcellemedallion for some yummy pictures on Insta. Anyone else in on the Medallion Along train? 
I am quite taken with these impromptu quilt alongs on Instagram... At the beginning of the year I jumped on board with the Scrappy Trip Along and seriously considered the xplus along too! This is the first quilt along that I have personally followed along with and it is so addicting! I have had so much fun watching all of the pictures pop up all over Instagram... It is so inspiring and fun to see the different fabric combinations people are coming up with! I went with mostly Field Study fabric by Anna Maria Horner, but threw in a couple randoms too.
I am all done with all 72 of my blocks... That's right ladies and gents... I went for the long haul and made an over sized queen for my bed. I am piecing all of the blocks this week and then I will be onto quilting it... I will be sure to post pictures when I am all done!

A couple weeks ago, I decided to try making an Oliver + S pattern for the first time. I decided to make a little Ice Cream Dress for a friend who had just had a baby. I used some darling fabric from Sarah Jane for the first time too. It is from her Children at Play line and I am in love! 

I couldn't stop with just one project in Sarah Jane fabric so I started a quilt for my oldest out of some Out to Sea fabric inspired by a quilt and tutorial by Rita from Red Pepper Quilts... here is a sneak peek from my Instagram.... I am slightly obsessed with these mermaids, girly pirates, whales, and ships- you know I have a flair for anything nautical! I have the quilt top finished and am working on the quilting today... Stay tuned!

I hope you are all having a great week!! xoxo, Ashley

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P.S. For anyone that loves to sew- I am a judge of the awesome SEWVIVIOR sewing competition over at Family Ever After! The auditions started yesterday so head over and audition to be in the competition and win some awesome prizes! I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Scrappy Spools Quilt

One of my favorite things in the world, is giving handmade gifts. I have always loved it, but even more so since I started sewing. Last year, I made quilts for almost all of my siblings (still working on one more). It was so much fun practicing my quilting skills and learning new things along the way. 

Just after Halloween, I got the opportunity to head to Nashville to pick up my sister who had been serving a mission for our church for the past 18 months. It was the perfect time to take her the quilt I had been working on for her. 

I used the Spools quilt pattern by the very talented Camille Roskelley. I loved this pattern so much! It was a lot of fun to piece... I got a little crazy with it and added a scrappy border just for fun.

I used a Moda Sophie layer cake for the "thread" on the spools and the scrappy border and then used some solid and gingham printed linen for the "wooden spools". 
I love the way it turned out... but more importantly, my sister loved her quilt too! Job accomplished! ;)

Inspiration Board

One of the things I love most about the blogging community is getting inspired by others! I am constantly looking at pinterest, instagram, flickr, etc. to find inspiration for things to make and how to make them. I am always creating inspiration boards inside my head or collecting pictures and storing them somewhere for inspiration but my friend Jamielyn at I Heart Naptime took it one step further and created an actual app for making inspiration boards! It is so much fun! It has been in the works for 2 years now and is finally ready to roll- you can check it out HERE.
Here’s one of the inspiration boards that I created!  This is a few of the sewing projects that I have worked on the past couple months...  There are all kinds of frames, washi tape, tags and backgrounds to pull into your board. Once you have created your inspiration board you can share it on Pinterest, Facebook, Flickr, etc. So fun! 

There are fun things going on all week for the launch at I Heart Naptime and she’s giving away a mini ipad, canon rebel, kitchen aid and many other things!  Create a board and you can get a chance to win! :)