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I rarely win anything.  As I was sitting in a guild meeting just yesterday, I commented this to the person sitting next to me that I’ve won probably twice in three years, from a group that theoretically gives out 200 door prizes a year.

Imagine my surprise when I looked at SewCalGal’s blog last week and I won!  I excitedly sent off my address and was told that since the Fat Quarter Shop would be shipping my prize directly it should come pretty quickly.

And quickly it did – yesterday my husband delivered unto me a priority mail envelope!

I tore into the package this morning to find my very own copy of Simply Fat Quarters from It’s Sew Emma.  I’m sew excited!

Not only did I find a great book with lots of usable patterns, but I found THE pattern.

For months and months I’ve known I have to make a baby quilt for my DH’s favorite cousin.  The baby is now three months old, and I haven’t done anything but fail.  I found the best fabric but when I cut into it and started sewing I wasn’t happy at all.  For the last four months I’ve been looking – for different fabric, for coordinating fabric, for a great pattern, for inspiration.

And now I’ve found it.  Let me introduce you to…Marbles.  The big snowballs are 7″ finished, which is perfect to show off the 3-4″ tall giraffes in my fabric.  I only have 27″ of this fabric left, I can stretch it out among these showballs and still get 15 of them!

Now if I only had time to work on it…my project list boggles my mind…

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I was able to get in the tester’s pool for Kickin’ Stash back in January.  Beth over at EvaPaige Quilt Designs always has great ideas for new quilts, but I think this one takes the cake.

Kickin’ Stash is great for everything…from jelly rolls to layer cakes to fat quarters to scraps.  Real scraps.  Like those that have been collecting in my scrap bin for years.  Earlier this year I undertook the daunting task of sorting my scraps by color.  They may take up more space now, but at least I can see what I have!

Pink and blue are the biggest bags, so after stumbling across a 2 yard piece of an orphaned fabric with pink doodled flowers on it I decided to tackle the pinks.  (An orphan fabric is one that was bought specifically for a project, then not used for that project.  My blog, my definitions!)  I knew I didn’t have enough background to finish Kickin’ Stash to the pattern, so I figured I’d sew and cut until I ran out of fabric.  Which was after the first border.  Which is OK, because I have a quilt top that’s big enough for a toddler, fewer pink scraps, and one less piece of yardage in my collection.

I think this is going to stay a top for a little while longer.  I’ve got things going on, and it’s chilly outside (my pinning table is in the garage, and we’re going through a chilly couple of weeks), and I have a few other sewing projects to prep and/or outright finish before then.

AccuQuilt giveaways seem to be slowly making a re-emergence, though 2 in 2 weeks isn’t necessarily a trend – First Lady of the House is having one that closes later this week.  Have you seen the new zoo animals?  Elephants and Lions and Giraffes, oh my!

Linking this up to Scrap Attack

As always, thanks for stopping by!

I was lucky enough to win a GO! last fall and haven’t looked back.  I’ve whipped out tumblers with the greatest of ease, cut and subcut strips to make rectangles in lots of different sizes, and just enjoyed myself – and it – immensely.

If you would like to win your own, there are a few giveaways going on right now –

Its Sew Kiki

Talin’s Corner

Good luck!

Soda?  Or Pop?  I grew up in the midwest, and it was Pop.  Then I moved down south.  It took two years, and I resisted, but now it’s Soda.  Moved west…still Soda here, so Soda it is.

I’ve taken a detour from my spiderweb blocks.  Mostly because the fabric I was using for my ‘scrap’ quit was in fact already designated for a Soda Pop quilt.  I’d looked at the pattern at several local shows, and finally bought it at Road to California.  It’s simple to construct, and can be made from Jelly Rolls if you want.

No Jelly Rolls here…and I wanted to see a completely different look.  I wanted to make something with softer colors.  So I pulled out my light blues and light greens.  Some of these fabrics are true vintage, some are just old, and some are pretty current.  I started cutting strips.  Then cutting little pieces.  Then littler pieces.  Each 8″ finished block contains 8 1.5″ squares, 6 2.5″ squares, and 4 2.5×4.5″ rectangles. 

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda.  I figured since it was all rectangles and squares, and since I was working with fabric that was everything from scraps to yardage, it would be easier to cut them all out by hand.  Should have figured out how many pieces I needed…that would have gotten me to use my GO! to cut them!!!  I cut for days.  Literally.  56 blocks in my quilt.  Each with 8 1.5″ squares.  And so on.

Then I sewed little 1.5″ squares into 4-patches.  Now they’re mixed in with some of the 2.5″ squares, waiting to be sewn to other squares, and then to rectangles, at which point I’ll have block quarters made.  Yup, just block quarters.  Which then have to be sewn in to blocks.

So…no string quilts for me.  It’s been put aside until I get this one topped.  But not put away!!!  I’m dying to get back to my string quilt!

Looking for a GO! Baby?  Here are two giveaways out there in blog-land:

Quilt Story – closes May 4

Sew Dang Cute – closes May 7

Deb

I love winding ways quilts.  Absolutely love them.  Two color Winding Ways Quilts in particular. 

The problem has always been in the cutting.  I took a few classes from Nancy Eliott MacDonals a few years ago.  Cutting the way she describes in her book Winding Ways Quilts has made it simpler but it still involved hours of backbreaking cutting, bent over my too-short cutting table.

You can bet, when I got the chance I quickly got my hands on the Winding Ways die for my AccuQuilt GO!  The largest piece cuts differently on the grain than I do when I cut it by hand, but that’s no problem when we’re comparing backbreaking cutting to knocking out cut pieces in no time at all.

Ready to go!  See that I took a black sharpie and outlined everything?  I even drew lines 1/4″ outside of where the cutting will be so that I can make sure that my fabric covers all of the die blades.  Notice that the pieces seem to be laid out crooked on the die?  That’s how it’s supposed to be.  It makes it easier on the cutter.

See how I lined my fabric up on the drawn lines?  Easy.  I cut my fabric, then folded it into fourths.  I’m cutting out half of eight blocks with this piece of fabric.  Next up I’ll do the same thing with the blue, then I’ll have cut all the pieces for eight Winding Ways blocks in about 5 minutes.  Can’t beat that!

I know that many people think that they can cut with less waste with a rotary cutter than the AccuQuilt can.  Let me tell you, with Winding Ways it’s a wash because you can’t cut with no waste with a rotary cutter!  Then there’s the whole not having backbreaking cutting sessions…  Let me show you my waste:

But it’s not really waste.  I’m going to use it!  My quilt is set 5×5, or 25 blocks.  I get 8 blocks from each strip of fabric I run through my GO!.  So I take these leftover bits, carefully lay them out on my Winding Ways die, and get the 25th block!

After a little bit of sewing…

…I’m done!  Sew some blocks together, sew some border on, quilt, bind. 

I have to say, I absolutely loved how this quilt sewed together.  Because the pieces were cut so accurately, with no stretching of the fabric, everything just went together nicely.

Thanks for stopping by!  Deb

PS – Looking for a GO! Baby of your very own?  Quilter’s Club of America is currently having a giveaway!

PPSS – The AccuQuilt Barn Quilt contest is still open!  Closes this Sunday, April 10, so get designing!  With a $1000 gift certificate, you can buy whatever you’d like!

I know, I’m a visual person, too.

I’ve taken some pictures of my latest quilt, but for some reason the comuter won’t recognize the card reader!  I’ve tried every USB hub on the computer, keyboard, and moniter (who knew my husband had so many?!) and nothing is working.  So, no pictures.

Instead of pictures of my latest quilts – a Winding Ways, a simple diamond quilt, or a pink version of Moda Bake Shop’s Avignon, or the tale of my all-that’s-old-is-new-again Twister quilt, I will leave you with this: 

Contests!  Giveaways!

AccuQuilt’s Barn Quilt contest is still ongoing.  The deadline is April 10 to enter.  Click the box on the sidebar to get to more information.  I haven’t started mine yet!  Maybe this weekend…

You can also win an AccuQuilt GO Baby from Stash Manicure – deadline’s soon, though, so hurry!

Wish me luck for pictures next week!

Deb

Have you heard about barn quilts?  Growing up, we used to drive by a few barns that had things painted on their sides.  Crosses, pictures.  Never quilt blocks.  That would have been much more interesting!

In 2001, a quilter painted a quilt block on her barn to honor her quilting mother. Since then, there are several communities that have organized Barn Quilts.  There’s a Quilt in a Day book with that name as well.  Quilt in a Day’s store has recently put up several barn quilts on their building as well – and I have to say it looks great! 

Last year, AccuQuilt had a barn block contest, and got over 400 entries.  The winner got a great prize…and her block is now larger than life, on AccuQuilt’s building!  This year, they’re doing the contest again.   Another chance to design a quilt and win not only an AccuQuilt gift certificate, but a trip to AccuQuilt for the unveiling!  The contest ends April 10, so start your colored pencils now!  (And, even though I’m a loyal EQ fan, that’s what I’ll be using to start, since my laptop bit the dust…)

Deb

Storing the GO! and its dies can be a bit problematic for some of us.  Especially those strip dies.  At 24″ long they are, to say the least, unweildy.

I have a pretty packed quilt room.  Too much fabric!  Too many books!  Rulers and thread!  I couldn’t add anything to my space. 

Then I had an a-ha moment.  Right next to the table I do my cutting on is a stacked set of closetmaid shelving units.  On the inside, they’re about 10″ x 10″.  Height-wise, maybe 36″?  You can get them on sale at Target all the time.  They come with two shelves to put on the inside, but if you take the shelves out, it’s perfect storage! 

The cutter sticks out an inch or two, but with where it is in the room it won’t get knocked into.  The dies are all nicely inside it.  It’s also right next to where I use it, which is important to me.  I like everything within arm’s reach.

I figure that I can get another 6 or so dies in there before I have to move the cutter onto the floor (under my cutting table).    You can barely see it, but I’m using the cutting mats to keep the dies separated right now.

I have two units stacked on top of each other.  The GO! is on the bottom of the upper unit.  I still had enough room for a narrow shelf on the top, which is where my rotary cutters go. 

Looking for Giveaways?  Right now I know of two:

Quiltwoman.com – ends today!

Simply Solids – ends Nov 20

Happy Quilting!  Deb

A few weeks ago I hit the quilting blog-land lottery. I won a GO! in a sponsored giveaway over at Diary of a Quilter.  I was comment 585 out of 704. 

10 days ago, at 2:15 in the afternoon, the doorbell rang.  Ding!  (My doorbell, for some unknown reason, does not have two notes.  Only the one.)  “Coming!”  I cry.  I assume that it’s my daughter, home from school.  She has a habit of ringing the front doorbell then running around the side of the house.  It’s not.

What do I spy, with my little eye?  Two boxes and an envelope!

I know, you almost don’t even notice the envelope due to the wonderful labeling on the boxes!  I run inside to get my camera, and as I do a silver minivan pulls up in front of my house.  It’s my daughter.   No hiding it from her now!

I chitchat with my carpool buddy, making sure that we’re set for the rest of the week.  What’s my daughter doing?

This is the child whose backpack is too heavy, a water bottle is too heavy, and a pair of socks is too heavy.  (The smaller box had already been placed gently inside.  The envelope, containing a new toy for my husband’s computer, had been tossed aside gently placed at his computer. )

A deal had to be struck.  No AccuQuilt for either of us until her homework was done and our trip to the library taken care of.  Done.  I’m sure you can imagine how hard it was for me to suffer through “Alice had 43 green beads and 28 blue beads.   Mary has 24 green beads and 52 blue beads.  Who has more beads?”

Later that same night…we opened the box!

I was really impressed on two points – first, that one of the dies I requested was out of stock.  They put it on backorder for me, and shipped without it.  Second, that I requested the 2.5″ strip cutter.  Know what else they included?  The mat for it.  I was all set to have to run out to the store and buy it, but there it was, right there in the box!

Out of the box!  And onto the table.  Note the sleeve in the picture?  That’s as far away from it as my daughter got. 

Off to the scrap bin my daughter went.  We have a deal.  She can use anything in the scrap bin for whatever she wants.  So off she went, coming up with a few biggish pieces that hadn’t yet been turned into Barbie pillows or vests for circus animals.

And away she went!

First pieces – aren’t they pretty?

Note to all moms – my daughter is 8 and has been around sewing supplies her whole life.  She doesn’t get to use my rotary cutter, yet.  This I’m fine with, though she has to tell me when she’s going to use it.  It’s a hard cell foam surrounding the blades.  I’ve pressed my finger (gently!) into the area where the blades are and can’t cut myself.  Still, a little bit of caution and warning will probably go a long way.  (And some older dies or Studio dies may be different.  Just to see, I did press into a flower die on the Studio cutter at my LQS and was able to easily slice my finger.)

My daughter is a free spirit when it comes to her sewing.  Most times, given her own choices, she prefers to have the seams showing.  This is the project she made with my GO! cutter the first day – four half square triangles, one 2.5″ square, and backed by one 4.5″ square.

Want to win one of your own?  Right now there are giveaways at:

Cluck Cluck Sew (ends Oct 31!  HURRY!)

Alderwood Quilts (ends Nov 1 – hurry!)

Quilt Taffy (ends Nov 4)

Irish Muses (ends Nov 5)

And who can forget the AccuQuilt facebook page?  Every Friday they have a new way to win a GO!

Enjoy Sewing!  Deb

I am beyond geeked right now!!!  I just won a GO! over at Diary of a Quilter’s giveaway!  The email came last night, but I was so beat after a day at a Halloween Party / theme park with my daughter that I somehow didn’t check my emails after getting home. 

(I went straight to my sewing machine, which STILL has the quilt on it that I showed a few days ago…hence no new posts…)

So, this morning, I wake up, grab my iphone to quickly check messages, and there, amongst all the entries for my Fall into Fall giveaway, is one that says YOU WON!  “Won what,” I’m thinking, still fuzzy.  “The Fall into Fall giveaways don’t close for a few days yet.”  I set the phone down, thinking it’s too early to be up after marching all over the park yesterday for what amounts to $0.50 worth of candy.  Curiosity got the better of me, and I checked again…

I WON AN ACCUQUILT!  With my choice of dies!!!  Now, I’m up.  I poke my still-sleeping husband.  “I won an AccuQuilt!”  He says “good job”, and rolls over.  I get up, sit down at the sewing machine, and wait for a more appreciative audience.  My daughter rolls in an hour later.  I tell her the news.  I get a high-5, and a great big hug!  And hugs from her Dolly as well…Dolly was more excited than my husband was!  SO…THANK YOU ACCUQUILT!  And Diary of a Quilter! 

Now I’m stuck.  I’ve got to finish this quilt (by Friday) and finish things for my guild’s boutique (by 10/18).  And then start catching up on the rest of the things that have gone by the wayside.  Say, laundry.  And housecleaning.  Making a Halloween costume.  But, I’ll have an AccuQuilt, and more fabric than one person can ever use. 

You can also win a GO! cutter at www.alderwoodquilts.blogspot.com – this one’s open until November 1!!!  Or, at Art By Gene, which closes on October 15.  If you’re hoping to win some fabric or AccuQuilt dies, check out Ginny’s Quilts.

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About Aspen Hill

Welcome to Aspen Hill! I'm Deb. Quilter, lover of fabric. Fan of completed projects. Quilt Pattern Designer. My blog is my space where I get to share quilting, sewing, and other creative pursuits. Come back often!

You can find my quilts, doll clothes, and patterns on Etsy.