Gender Reveal – Quilter Style

June 11th, 2014

I am so excited to reveal that baby Bartholomew is a GIRL! We were shocked (I was sure it was a boy!) and thrilled when we heard the news. In true quilter fashion, I immediately hit up the nearest quilt shop to put together a baby girl bundle.

baby girl fabric bundle

from left: Dear Stella Confetti Dots in Shell, Lizzie House Pearl Bracelet in Peach, Clothworks Everyday Organics Solids in Dark Coral, MoMo Linen Mochi Dot in Putty, Alissa Haight Carlton Modern Solids in Coral, Kona Flesh, Lizzie House Catnap Purrfectly Happy in Cloud

I added in a few extra pieces from my stash and am now really excited to pick a design and get started on my baby girl’s quilt!

stack collage

added in the bundle: Lizzie House Catnap Cat’s Cradle in Raspberry, Kona Snow, Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Flax

I also snagged this wonderful months print a while back from Ampersand Design Studio (8 days a week collection). I am going to find a place somewhere on the quilt to sneak in her birth month (October!).

month fabric

Thanks for sharing in this exciting time. I’ll be back soon with picnic quilt updates and the start of my photography series.

-Michelle

In other fun news, it’s week 2 of the New Blogger Blog Hop! Stop by Plum and June to see this week’s participants and to enter to win her fabric giveaway.

Plum and June

New Blogger Blog Hop

June 3rd, 2014

I am so excited to be participating in this year’s New Blogger Blog Hop hosted by the fabulous Beth over at Plum and June. It’s a yearly showcase of new quilt bloggers and is such a good way to meet new people and get tips on blogging & quilting. I remember reading posts over and over last year when I had just started my blog and they were such a big influence on me.

I haven’t taken a lot of time to introduce myself on my blog, so I’m going to take this opportunity! Grab a cup of your favorite bevie and let’s get started! I’m Michelle, a photographer & technical writer, turned obsessed quilter. I live in a tiny house in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest with my husband, our fur monster/dog Rugbie, and our first baby is on the way. We find out if we’re having a boy or girl later this week!

about me

Here are a few random facts about me:
-I use exclamation points a lot, but am trying to get that under control! But I’m excited a lot!
-I love cheese and wine, although currently I don’t drink wine :(
-My favorite place I’ve traveled to is the Galapagos Islands
-I dance awkwardly and with great enthusiasm
-I played soccer in college and consequently have a hard time finding pants that go over my thighs
-Half of my fabric stash is prewashed and half isn’t. I can’t decide which way to go on that
-If you ask me to lunch, I will strongly suggest we get sushi

I have been sewing & quilting for a year and am self taught via the good ol’ internet. I’m drawn to simple, geometric quilt designs and solid fabrics, but have a hard time saying no to florals as well :) This little collage is a good representation of some of the past projects featured on the blog.

about the blog collage
chevron quilt | happy-go-lucky quilt | epp project | photography

My blog currently focuses on the progress of my many projects, but I’m going to start posting my latest adventures in exploring quilt design, naturally dying fabrics, and designing fabric. I also have a quilt photography tutorial series in the works that will debut at the end of the month!

I’d love to briefly share with you a couple of my favorite quilts I’ve made as well as my current work in progress. First is the “almost scrumptious” baby quilt I made for my cousin. It is a relatively simple design but it was the first quilt I made where I really felt like all the steps came naturally to me… I felt like a *real* quilter when I completed it! :)

almost scrumptious mosaic

Next is my latest finish, the barn door quilt. This is my favorite quilt I’ve made to date and the first one where I had no limiting factors on the color scheme/fabric selection. I can’t wait to do more projects like this one.

barn door mosaic

My last project is my current one, my picnic quilt. It’s one of the first projects I started last year and I came up with the layout myself. However I was a bit ambitious with my skill level (or lack thereof) at the time, so it was put on hold for a bit. I am back at it now and am currently piecing the used denim I’ve been collecting for the backing. I’m hoping to get it done in time for summer picnics by the lake!

picnic quilt mosaic

Thanks so much for taking some time out to meet me and get a little tour of my online quilting home. I thought it would be fun to end this post with a little “thanks for reading” blog photography tip.

Photography Tip: Using Natural Light

When photographing your projects, use natural light whenever possible, even indoors. This will make a huge difference no matter what kind of camera you use! Don’t use your flash or have overhead lights on. I try to take my photos near a window. If light is too harsh coming through the window, you can diffuse it with some sheer white fabric or white tissue paper. Check out the difference with just a change in the light source:

lighting example

photos are unedited and were taken with an iphone

In the image above, you might notice that the artificial light doesn’t look too terrible, but if you look closely you’ll notice a distinct color shift that makes the fabric colors look more red than they really are. Depending on what type of lights you have in your house, this shift could be even more pronounced.

Here is a look at how this photo was set up:

lighting setup

The fabric backdrop (which I should have ironed :) ) is draped over my computer screen. As you can see, it’s nothing fancy, but it gives a nice result.

To really make the image pop, I cropped it & gave it a minor edit. Because I had soft, natural light to begin with, it didn’t need a lot of changes! Now it’s ready for my next Sunday Stash post!

lighting with editing

Stay tuned for more tips in my photography tutorial series coming later this month! I would love to hear what you’d be interested in learning more about in terms of photography or using your camera.

Want to meet a bunch of other new fun bloggers? Check out these folks who are also participating in the blog hop this week!

Jen Bower Bird Patch
Afton @ Quilting Mod
Jessica @ One English Teacher
Barbara @ Suzy Homemaker
Cynthia @ Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework
Mary @ See Mary Quilt
Laurel @ Drowning In Fabric
Linda @ Talking Lunch Box Quilts 
Rebecca @ One Wee Bird
Anne @ Hudson Valley Quilts
Diana @ Red Delicious Life
Terri @ Childlike Fascination 

Plum and June

WIP Wednesday – Back It Up

May 28th, 2014

It’s time to move on to the back of the picnic quilt! I’ve been collecting used jeans for a while to use for the back and I am so glad to be at the point where I’m ready to put them to use!

pile of jeans

pile of jeans

I thought it would be cool to have “before” pictures of the pile of jeans and then, when it’s done, take an “after” photo what they become.

up close jeans

I spent most of yesterday afternoon chopping these up. I debated using scissors vs. my rotary cutter but I found scissors worked better for me. But I did give myself a blister from cutting through the thick parts.

cutting jeans

Now I just need to decide on the layout. I’m debating between strips, giant log cabins, or just kind of improv-ing things together.

I need to make a decision soon because I’m SO ready to get moving on this!

Michelle

Linking up with Freshly Pieced!

WIP Wednesday: Board Games!

May 21st, 2014

Earlier this week, I took all the pieces of my picnic quilt out to my “design wall”.

picnic-quilt-layout

So close to being a completed top! I just received my shipment of Essex linen in Flax to use for the middle section. I think it will give it a nice break from the busyness of the top and bottom panels.

And I finally decided on the third game board! Actually, I let my husband pick and he decided on a game I had never heard of before, Nine Men’s Morris. I really liked that it was an old game and something we could learn to play together.

nine-mens-morris-board

Designing the board was a bit of a challenge. I made a “difficult” plan with intricate piecing and an “easy” plan with large blocks. After looking at each design, I decided to go with the easy plan :)

I decided to use different grays to compliment the checkerboard on the opposite side. Here are my grey auditions along with a few of my sketches and calculations.

board-game-design

Since I went with the easy version, I’ll need to quilt on the game board lines when the time comes. But I think it will be fun to incorporate the quilting into the game.

Lastly, a huge thanks to everyone who entered to win during the SMS giveway! I wish I was able to respond to all of your comments individually. However, I am hoping I get to know all of you new followers in the very near future :)

Linking up over at Freshly Pieced!

Michelle

WIP Wednesday: Return of the Picnic Quilt

May 14th, 2014

I had to search WAY back in the archives to find a post about this Picnic Quilt. It has long been in my head and I’ve been intimidated by it. Well after 6 months of doing other sewing and not worrying about this one, it doesn’t seem so tough anymore. I love it when that happens!

For those following this project, I still have two swoon blocks, 2 flying geese panels, and 1 game board to make before piecing everything together… and before piecing the recycled jeans backing. First thing to get done were the swoon blocks. I had cut all of the pieces for them and pieced the HSTs last summer so they were pretty much ready to go.

swoon blocks

What I found however is my cutting, piecing, and trimming skills were not so hot back in the day so there was a lot of wrangling and trying to make things fit.

swoon pieces

The flying geese I wanted were bigger than my special ruler allows. It forced me to do math. eek.

flying geese pieces

These bad boys came out at 4.5 x 9.

pq-photo 6

But they still weren’t quite big enough, so I decided to add some borders.

flying geese border

I was SO excited to start piecing this part of the top together. It has been such a long time coming!

picnic quilt piecing

I’m going to lay everything out next and see where I’m at. Then I need to still decide on a third game board. Hopefully I’ll have all of that to share with you next week!

**Also, if you haven’t already entered to win my Giveaway Day loot (5 Bonnie & Camille FQs!), you probably should check it out!

Linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Michelle

Michelle Bartholomew

 

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