Thursday, June 28, 2012

Keepin It Real: Jennifer of Ellison Lane Quilts

Ever since I started following sewing blogs, I have wanted to know a little more about the fabulous, creative and talented people that inspire us all. I know several blogs have done/are doing interview series, but I still had some unanswered questions, so I thought I would try hosting a small interview series myself.  

First up is Jennifer from Ellison Lane Quilts.  Jennifer is such an inspiration, as both a sewer and a blogger.  In one year she created a blog with over 4,000 followers!!  Despite her huge popularity and success, Jennifer is so sweet and so willing to help out newbies like myself.  In fact, when I was on a mission to make an I-spy quilt for my son (having seen one on Pinterest) I discovered I just missed her last I-spy swap.  I emailed her anyway about starting my own swap and boldly asked for her help in spreading the word.  She did.  On her blog.  Just like that!!!  She's awesome like that.  So read on to lean more about Jennifer!

Jennifer Gorgeous Rainbow Starflower Quilt
What is the most ridiculous thing you have done in the name of quilting/sewing?
Man, this is a hard question. I’m not sure. I’ve stayed up WAY too late sewing which always ends up with me having to get out the seam ripper in the morning. I do love to put on my iPod and dance and sing while I’m sewing at night. I make sure to shut the blinds though so that the neighbors don’t get a glimpse of the crazy sewing lady!

How much time, on average, do you devote to blogging a week? Sewing/Quilting?
Well, lately it has just been a couple of hours a week. I’ve decided to slow things down a bit for the summer. This spring though, I probably spent 15-20 hours a week blogging.

Jennifer Gorgeous Dresden Quilt
 If you had a magical quilting/sewing assistant, what would you delegate?
Basting! It is my absolute least favorite step in the quilting process.

What is your favorite social media tool?
Pinterest. Hands down. I have Pinterest as my home page on my computer so I pop on there all day long. I am sure I will probably never revisit half of the things I’ve pinned but I love having them all there. Pinterest is such a beautiful way to organize and get inspired! 

Jennifer's Beautiful Rainbow Ticker Tape
What is your favorite type of post to read on other blogs?
Short ones! :) I find I don’t have much time to read all the blogs I want to so when I do sit down to catch up, short posts are much more likely to catch my attention.

What is your favorite sewing tool?
I really do love the Lapel Stick. It’s so handy! I’ve used it for so many little things. It’s great for holding small gaps together instead of pinning. I also like my Hera marker.

What is the nicest thing a reader has ever done for you?
Oh I have the BEST readers. Seriously. When I’ve hosted fabric swaps, several participants sent me extra fabric and gifts and thoughtful notes. Totally unnecessary, completely surprising and so nice.

Jennifer's Beautiful Scrap Happy Quilt
What is your fabric buying style?
Well, I am quite conservative when it comes to buying fabric. We don’t have a modern fabric shop in Charlotte, so I always buy online. While buying online is great for the budget, I think I would buy more if I could hold the fabric in my hand. Sometimes you just don’t know if you are going to love something that you just kinda like online. But when I do like fabric, I buy a half yard or more. If I really like it, I buy 2 yards. That being said, I would love to have more large cuts of fabric. A lot of what I have right now are smaller pieces.

How do you support your fabric buying habit?
I’m very thankful that my blog supports my fabric habit. Custom orders in my Etsy shop also help out. 

What is one thing most people don’t know about you.
I’m a breast cancer survivor. I found the lump myself, was diagnosed 2.5 years ago at 34 and chose to have a double mastecotmy. I’m cancer free and proud to be a survivor and know for a fact that early detection saves lives. Feel your boobies ladies! Know your bodies.

Finally, let's take a look at Jennifer's work space and STASH!!!!

If you want to know more about Jennifer, you can check out her blog or a prior interview over on Gen X Quilters, here.  You can also follower her on twitter here.  Or on Pinterest here.  


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Quilting for Charity

Quilting for charity is one of my favorite things to do. Combining a craft that I love for a good cause, just makes it so win win.  So, I have been doing some fun charity sewing lately.  Even though I have a TON on my plate, I just can't say no to a call for help.  A few weeks ago I saw a request from my Twitter friend Karen for quilters to help make blocks for a quilt for a sweet little 3 year old Kilah who was the unfortunate victim of serious domestic violence.  Reading about her story made me cry and my heart ache.  I immediately signed up for two blocks, and wished I could do more.  Karen requested the fun Fussy Cut Scrappy Square block created by the Q and U.  Thankfully Kilah is a beautiful little fighter.  I am so thrilled to be a part of this project.

Butterflies for Kilah

Love for Kilah

As I mentioned previously, this month Quilting for Kids is working on a quilt for my mother's new casa child.  We are using the tutorial by Katie of Swim, Bike Quilt found on the Moda Bakeshop.  Here is the block I made.  I really like it, and it came together so quickly.  I have a TON of I-spy squares from various swaps and I have been wanting to make my son an I-spy quilt (this is the main reason I got back into quilting recently) but haven't been able to decide on a design.  This may be the one!

I-Spy Fun

Last month, for Quilting for Kids, we made square in a square blocks for other foster children in need.  They wanted them bright and gender neutral.  I chose sock monkeys and a bright frog.  These blocks were also super fun to make and quick.

I love sock monkeys!
Although with the froggie one, I had my hubby help me with the math to determine how big the last few squares should be.  Well, chalk it up to marital miscommunication (or he wasn't listening), there were some errors that left the last row pretty tiny!

Fun froggie
Finally, a few months ago I joined Do Good Stitches.  I am in the Believe circle and we make quilts for children in the US foster care system through an organization called My Very Own Blanket.  For our first month, our wonderful and talented host, Jennifer from Knotted Thread, chose Elizabeth Hartman's Octogonal Orb block.  There are two variations as you can see below, solid rings and scrappy rings.  While I like them both, I prefer the scrappy rings.  BUT, these take WAY more time, and are quite time consuming.  But I love them.  Alot. Despite having lots of trouble getting my points to line up.  I am thinking about asking one of my bees to make the scrappy one for my month so I can make a quilt for my sister, as I think this design is cool enough for an 18 year old girl from Los Angeles!!!

Oh, Frasson's Octogonal Orb Block
Just a few little fun blocks to share.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Giveaway Winner & Sneak Peak

Thank you everyone for entering the contest, and of course, thank you Julie of Intrepid Thread for sponsoring the giveaway.  Without further ado, the winner is:

Marjorie, who said "I'm a new follower."  Yay, I love new followers (thank you to all my old and new followers).  Marjorie, I will be sending you an email for your contact information.

And not to have a post without a fun picture here is a sneak peak of a baby quilt top I started - and, wait for it - FINISHED this weekend.  I listened to all your comments on what you like to see on blogs, and I took lots of pictures, have a tutorial in the works and will share what went wrong (there were a few things!!!).  So stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hexie MF Quilt Along

Well, I adore Katy from I'm a Ginger Monkey, and follower her, often hilarious, tweets on twitter.  That's how I found about the Hexie MF quilt along she was doing.  Funny, cause I had just decided that with all my summer traveling I needed a portable sewing project and her Hexie MF quilt was what I decided to do.  So, I didn't need any convincing to join along, and now I will have complete instructions, awesome! 

My first hexies

Those instructions showed me that I needed a lot more paper pieces.  And, since paper pieces was having a special 25% off sale for the quilt along, I decided I should stock up on other pieces as well.  Cause, have you seen this pillow from Aylin.  Such rainbow texty goodness.  Or this pillow in the making by Terri of Sew Fantastic?  Gorgeous.  So, with the sale and all, I had no choice.  It was the right thing to do. 

Went to town at Paper Pieces

Now, I'm a bit impulsive, and a procrastinator at the same time!  Whoa?!  So, literally minutes before we left the house to go to Nicaragua for 10 days, I quickly cut into a few fabrics to start my hexie project in Nicaragua.  So it was not well thought out. 

Original 4 fabrics grabbed

After doing a few hexies, and LOVING IT (except having to re-string the needle for each hexie, is there a better eay?), I decided to pull some more fabrics.  Here's what I chose:

Bundle to round out the first four

And thinking I will do some kind of orange centers for the flowers.  What do you think?  All the same shade, solid, different color?  Feedback much welcomed.

With orange centers perhaps?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Name, Summer Quilt & Giveway

Well, I decided to change my blog name.  The last one, Midnight Maker, was done in haste.  Since my name is Lorelei after the German Mythical mermaid  I have long loved mermaids, collected mermaid things, etc.  (You can imagine my sadness on having missed the Mendocino collection, sigh, although, I have managed to get some of it!).  Anyway, I decided since this blog is still young, with not many readers, it would be OK to switch the name.  Didn't really think this through on logistics, just dove right it.  (I'm a bit impulsive.)  Hope you like the new name and logo!

To celebrate, I went on a shopping spree, at my favorite on-line shop, The Intrepid Thread.  I do a lot of on-line shopping, and Julie has a great selection, the BEST prices, great sales, lets you buy fat quarters most of the time, has the fastest shipping, wraps your order up in a pretty package with a handwritten note AND is super nice.  Can you beat that?  I am lucky to be in the Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild with Julie, so sometimes I even get my fabric delivered to me to save on shipping.  So Julie is my go-to place for fabric shopping.

After seeing Faith's Summer Quilt, I decided I want to make (one day soon hopefully, although my sewing list is growing soooo fast) a summer quilt of my own.  But wait until I have time to purchase fabric, oh no (impulsive and impatient here!)  So once Lucy's Crab Shack and It's a Shore Thing arrived, I ordered my favorites from those two lines, plus a few others, from Julie.  I love this bundle and can't wait to cut into it!

To help me grow my blog, Julie has ever so graciously offered to donate TWO charm packs of Lucy's Crab Shack.  That's right, TWO.  So you get to get in on the amazing Lucy's Crab Shack line.

Here's the giveaway details:

To enter all you need to do is leave a comment.  If you want to you can help me out by telling me your favorite or least favorite thing to read about on sewing/quilting blogs.

To get bonus entries, you can:
1) Be a follower or become a follower and leave a comment letting me know
2) Tweet, post, flickr, or facebook this giveaway and leave a comment letting me know

The giveaway will be open until Sunday, June 24th at 6PM PST.  Winner will be chosen by  I will announce the winner on Monday, June 25th.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Quilting for Kids

I love love love Flickr.  Probably my favorite social media site.  Through Flickr, I found out about Quilting for Kids, started by the lovely Sarah of So Sarah Sews.  Turns out our mom's have similar stories, and she started the group to make quilts for the foster children that her mother helps.

My mother's story:  She is a retired social worker who has always loved kids.  She (and my father) adopted my sister Crystal and I as babies.  She then took in foster children when I was young, and two of those special babies became my sisters.

My sweet mother and two sisters with my little son when he was a tiny baby.

She worked for many many years as a social worker for a foster care agency and foster parent trainer.  After she retired recently, she became a CASA.  With her first case, an autistic 12 year old boy living in a group home, she ended up getting him into boy scouts, chess lessons, among other things, but most importantly, a permanent home in record time.

She recently received a new case.  A 5 year old boy who recently lost his mother to suicide and his father to prison (because he tried to kill himself and the boy in grief).  So tragic.  But, my mom is on the case, doing all she can to help this little guy out.  We recently did a big fundraiser and raised $1,000 to send the kid to summer camp for the summer.  I reached out to Sarah and asked her if Quilting with Kids could help me make a special little comfort quilt for the little boy.  She enthusiastically said yes!  Thank you Sarah!

So I have decided that I would like to make this boy an I-Spy quilt using the awesome design and tutorial from Katie at Swim Bike Quilt.  If you want to help out, here's what you will need to do.

You will need 6 different 5" squares (perfect for those of you in my I-spy charm swap).  No super girly fabrics please.  Sew these together, and then add a solid border around it.  Easy peasy.

You can use any solid shade of green, yellow, orange, red or blue for the boarders.  You will need two 2x9.5" strips and two 2x17" strips.

I am asking for 24 blocks.

Sign up here if you want to help make a special quilt for a special little boy.

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