Monday, February 23, 2015

Suburbs Mini Quilt

A while back I decided to put together a mini quilt for my friend Allison. Since she moved from Idaho a few years back we have only seen each other once since then (thanks for letting me tag along to market Al!). She was my neighbor here in The Burg and our oldest kids are the same age. I was sad that they were moving to WA but very happy she would be nearer to her parents (who are just as awesome as she is, by the way). To surprise her and show her I was thinking about her I made and sent this mini quilt. I drafted my own pattern/measurements from her Suburbs pattern and I think she has something in the works for this mini, so stay tuned to her blog!

Monday, January 26, 2015

IBBS Help Post 3b: Making a Mosaic from your computer


Itty Bitty Beginner Swap Round 1 (#ibbsround1) - PINCUSHIONS and SIGN UPS

So have you guessed yet? This round we will be making a PINCUSHION for our partner!! Yay!!! There are a lot of tutorials out there for pincushions, but since most of my swaps are sewing related, I'd like you to pick a pincushion that involves at least a little bit of sewing (not including hand sewing it shut). Here are a bunch of tutorials to get you started. You are more than welcome to use one of these tutorials, one that you find on your own, or make up your own.

Click on the photo to go to that tutorial...

There will be a question in this round's survey that asks about allergies. Because there are so many options for filling a pin cushion, I want to be sure no one will get anything they are allergic too.


Crushed Walnut Shells: The best material for filling a pincushion is crushed walnut shells. This can be found in a pet store as bird litter, or lizard litter. They typically come in 7-10 lb bags so if you can find one that is small that's awesome too. The walnut shells are great for sharpening your pins.

Steel Wool: Another good one is steel wool. This will also sharpen your pins.

Polyfil. This is the best option for filling a pincushion for a partner with allerfies. However, this material is really light, so to weight it down, use the plastic beads that are used to weight down stuffed animals.

Extra pieces of batting: If you're making a basic shape pincushion, you can probably get away with using small cut up pieces of scrap batting. I wouldn't suggest using this for pinnies with unusual shapes.


I've provided some help in my previous post for making a mosaic on your smart phone. I'm still working on getting my video tutorial up so when I do keep an eye out for it. But you will need to provide an inspiration mosaic for your partner this round. Be sure to make one asap and post it to Instagram using the hashtag #ibbsround1. Mosaics are due on the hashtag (#ibbsround1) by Thursday evening (29th) Saturday 31st at 6pm MST.


Signups start this morning (Monday 26th) and close Thursday evening the 29th. Partner assignments will go out by Saturday evening (the 31st).

The international shipping deadline is Saturday, February 14th. That's exactly 2 weeks to make and ship. You are more than welcome to send extras this round. Just remember that for international shipping, first class is always the cheapest option and you can send up to 4 pounds first class.

The domestic shipping deadline is Wednesday, February 21st. You are more than welcome to send extras in this round, so be sure to use a flat rate priority envelope or, if you're package is still light enough to go first class with extras, don't forget the tracking!


IBBS Help Post 3: How to make a mosaic on your smart phone

Sorry for the delay in getting this "Help Post" up! I was having technical difficulties with my video tutorial. I think I need to just completely start over and make a new one...but for now, here are some instructions for making an inspiration mosaic on your smart phone.

Making a mosaic on your smart phone:

I have a Samsung Galaxy s4 so I can't possibly tell you all the tricks of trade for every phone out there. But here is how I make mosaics for swaps from my cell phone. First I find pics on Pinterest, Google, Blogs, or Instagram, using my apps and internet browser on my phone. When I find a picture I like, I have 2 options.

I can take a screenshot of the entire window on my phone. I do this by swiping the side of my hand from the left side of the screen to the right (opposite of what the picture below shows). 
For an iphone, you hold down your home button and press your power button to create a screenshot.
Here are a few examples of pictures that I had open on my phone. They were pulled up on my Pinterest app and I took a screenshot. Once I did that, the image was saved to a "Screenshot" album in my photo gallery.
Here is a screen shot of the Cluck Cluck Sew website open in my internet browser on my phone. The second way to save an image to your phone, is to hold your finger on the image you want to save...
Once your phone recognizes that you are trying to do something with the photo, it'll give you some options, hopefully, there is a Save Image option. If there isn't, take a screen shot.
Once you have gathered photos for inspiration, you will need a mosaic app. I use a free app called "PhotoCollage". When you have your collage ready to save, the app will automatically give you an option to share it or not. If you do, it will take you through the steps to add it on Instagram. If you don't, it will save it to an album in your photo gallery so you can use it later.
And that's it folks! Hopefully this helps you navigate your way through making a mosaic to add to this next round's hashtag #ibbsround1.

Friday, January 16, 2015

IBBS Help Post 2: Stalking your partner

By now you should have gotten your partner information and you're not sure where to go from there. The point of the BOOTCAMP is to put you in a situation (that hopefully you'll never find yourself in in the future) that is making it difficult to know what your partner likes. If you're following along and are not part of the swap this is what each of the swappers had to go on:

Instagram handle
Favorite color
A term: Modern, Traditional, or Modernitional
and either Subtle or Saturated?

That's it! No space for likes, dislikes, favorite designer, favorite color combo, nothing!

In swaps, there is usually a survey that enables a swapper to provide as little or as much information to let their partner know what they want. It is not uncommon for a swapper to be too detailed, leaving their partner completely overwhelmed, or too vague, leaving their partner with not enough to go on. For this BOOTCAMP, I went with the latter.

Now it's time to stalk your partner and you don't know what to look for. I'm going to give you some help by giving you my answers to the questions (don't worry, I'm not in the swap) and taking you through my IG feed to help you get a better understanding of what to look for.

All colors

Starting at my IG feed, you'll see this:

Right away the first thing you want to do is get to know your partner. Read their profile and see what it says. Some just have a name, some tell you more of their hobbies, and some even provide you with a link. It might be a link to their blog, to their shop, or maybe even to Pinterest. All of which are great places to get to know your partner. Mine is confusing. It tells you to check out all my favorites on Flickr, but only gives a link to my blog. The first thing I would do is click on the blog link, if I couldn't find my way to the Flickr profile from there, then I would go to Flickr and search for "findingsweetland" to see what I could find. Remember you do not have to be a Flickr member to stalk your partner on Flickr. But getting back to the Instagram feed, in the picture above, the first thing my eye catches it that picture of Liberty fabrics... If I were to click on that picture, you would see this:

This doesn't really state whether I like Liberty or not. It does say that I don't have any, and considering my survey says "Saturated" and "Modernitional", I'd think these modern colored florals are a pretty safe bet to use in my swap item.

Continuing down to the photo below, I can see a lot of swap pics. Looking at the top left, there is a picture of a mini quilt I received in a swap. Its made with low volume and Tula Pink's FoxField fabrics. Chances are the partner I had in this swap had more knowledge of the things from her survey answers, so I think it's safe to say you could use either types in my swap item. There are a lot of other photos we could talk about in this picture, like the Marmalade charms or the stack of pretty fabrics at the bottom, both of which would be a positive indication that I like that color combo or that I like Bonnie and Camille fabrics, but we'll continue through the feed.

The picture below shows a lot of fabric that I bought from #thegreatfabricdestash when it was first up and running. When clicking on pictures of fabric in your partners feed, make sure you are reading what is being said about it. If it's fabric they are trying to sell I would shy away from sending them the same fabric. If it's fabric they bought, again, I wouldn't send it unless you knew they needed or wanted more. But seeing the photos gives you an idea of the colors and styles they like. If you are having trouble identifying fabric in their feed and it's not stated in their description, read the comments. There might be a hint in there for you.

In this last picture, I tagged the designer of the fabrics. So even if I hadn't stated what they were, you could probably do some digging by clicking on that tag.

In conclusion I think there was quite a bit in this feed to help me decide on 4 fat quarters to send. Another tip is to use the #ibbsbootcamp hashtag on Instagram. Pick 4 fat quarters you think your partner will like, post a pic to Instagram using the hashtag, and see if your partner responds. Hopefully, if everyone follows good swap etiquette like I hope they will, there will be lots of comments on your picture. This should help you feel confident in sending the fabrics you picked to your partner.

Happy Swapping!!

IBBS Help Post 1: Traditional, Modern, and the in between, Modernitional

Some people may have a pretty clear understanding about what these terms really mean. But I'm going to give you a few examples and explain to you why I put them in the categories that I did.

Let's start with Traditional.

adjective: traditional

existing in or as part of a tradition; long-established.

For this tutorial, I'm going to use the same block to differentiate why they would go into different categories. Here is an example of a Traditional Maple Leaf Block:

This Maple Leaf block is a full on traditional block. Why? Not only is the block pattern traditional, but this particular block is made using traditional fabrics. These kinds of fabrics have a lot of darker tones to them, lots of brown undertones, and off white/creams. Examples of fabrics that are traditional are batiks, marbleized, tone on tone (a color of fabric that has patterns printed in the same color. Ex., pink fabric with pink flowers on it), vintage florals, civil war era prints, and reproduction 30's feedsack prints. Here are some examples of traditional fabrics:

Darker colors with brown undertones
Creams, vintage florals, darker tones
Vintage florals and darker undertones
Civil War Reproduction Prints are dark with brown undertones
30's reproduction feedsack prints

A mix between traditional styles and modern fabrics. Any block can be made to look more modern by the fabrics that are chosen to make it. Here is an example of a Modernitional Maple Leaf Block:

I'd consider this a Modernitional Block. But why, when there are a lot of fabrics in it hat look similar to the traditional block? These prints are a little more saturated and have more modern floral designs in them. This particular designer, Denyse Schmidt, uses more traditional styles in her prints, with more modern colors. Plus these oranges sit up against a stark white background. Which really makes these colors pop. Here are some examples of Modernitional fabrics:

Kate Spain Sunnyside: Even though these colors are more subtle they compliment a modern design.
V and Co. Color Me Happy: bright modern coloring help accent the vintage florals.
Bonnie and Camille Daysail: Again, a very traditional print with modern coloring and placement.

 Now onto Modern.

adjective: modern
of or relating to the present or recent times as opposed to the remote past.
"the pace of modern life"
Modern is a little hard to pinpoint becaues there are various degrees to it. You can go full on Modern, with no prints or patterns. All solids and all improvisational pieceing. But for this tutorial we are going to take just a step or to into Modern and go from there. The biggest movement that I have seen in modern quilting are things like chevron, low volume, and curves. Here's is an example of a modern block:
What makes this block modern? I pulled this block for the modern version because of the saturated fabrics and low volume backgrounds that make this maple leaf really pop. Sometimes people to it the opposite and use the saturated colors as the background and make the leafs out of the more low volume prints. This creates an entirely different aesthetic for a quilt.

Here are some examples of modern fabrics:

Text prints are very modern
A minimalist print and grey are the epitome of modern
A graphic print and modern coloring in this two tone print (a modern version to a tone on tone maybe?)
Lets pull back from these blocks and see what they look like in their entirety.

TRADITIONAL FABRICS - Photo and Quilt from The Polkadot Debutante
Modernitional Maple Leaf Quilt - Photo and quilt by The Cactus Needle
Modern Maple Leaf Quilt - Photo and Quilt by Life's Rich Pattern
Well, that's it on this lesson...I hope that it was somewhat informative and helpful. If you have any questions or are just completely lost and need some guidance on what to send your partner, you are more than willing to email me! And as always have fun! Don't stress! Happy Swapping!!

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Welcome to #IBBSBOOTCAMP...
Here's the deal...You will be given limited information on your partner. You will then have to send 4 fqs that you believe match your partners interests. Try not to purchase items that you already see in their feed on Instagram/Flickr. Try and think outside the box.
This boot camp round is to get you in the mindset of "stalking" your partner, and finding out what they mind like without having full information.
Find them on Instagram, maybe even flickr. Don't let them know who you are!!
No extras, please include a card or note that states who you are, and you are more than welcome to ship first class because 4 fqs is light enough, but you MUST add tracking. That is REQUIRED.

If this round is something you would want to be signed up for, email me at Sign ups close Saturday evening and is limited to the first 24 people.