Monday, April 30, 2012

Penguins at Play!

I have just received a great surprise today! I was not expecting to get my fabric samples from Spoonflower until Thursday...at the earliest. And today, nestled in the mailbox was a pretty white package. I knew immediately that it was my new fabric designs! I have a new winter collection called Penguins at Play! Check out the entire collection on my Spoonflower shop! Here are a few of my favorites







Hopefully I will have some time this weekend to make a few new projects from these cute, fun fabrics. I am also working on some new ones and ...can you believe it? I almost have a pattern ready for you! (insert hallelujah chorus!)

Look what you can make with just thirty 8" squares!

Be ready! New patterns are coming very soon. I am working on how to make the apron pattern since it is so big, but the Potholder and the small Ice Cream Cone wall hanging are almost done! These are all made with my first fabric line that I designer, "I Scream for Ice Cream" and now with I Scream for More Ice Cream," which are all for sale in my Spoonflower shop. I made all of this from just thirty 8" squares. ( I had to order a fabric collection before it could be available for sale, so I tried to make the most of it, some of these projects would benefit from a fat quarter rather than just an 8" square.)


Flirty Ice Cream Apron. Tie waist and neck, single pocket,and ric rac trim

Ice Cream Pot Holder. Perfect for protecting your surface from that delicious homemade caramel sauce!

Ice Cream Mini Quilt...Pattern coming soon!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Feature: Fabric 8

So, I am sorry if I am turning this quilting blog into a fabric design blog! I am toying with the idea of starting a spin off blog to discuss my fabric designs there, and keep talking about quilting here. Any feedback? Is anyone annoyed with my posts on this quilting blog? Or would you like to know more about fabric design? Let me know how you are feeling, so I can make this a better blog for everyone!


But, on to the actual post....



I entered the Fabric 8 contest sponsored by Robert Kaufman and Spoonflower. I will know on Tuesday or Thursday if I have made it into the top 100 semi finalists. Then, it is up to you, yes YOU! The voting begins on May 3rd and I would LOVE if you would help support me in this dream. On May 3rd, I will let you know if I made it into the top 100. Then, head over to Spoonflower (click the link above) and vote for my fabric that I designed (below)

Hand drawn with pen, digitized and colored in Adobe Illustrator  © Nicole Newman 2012



I love this fabric, and I really hope that it can make it to the top 8 for the second round of voting. The overall grand prize winner will be offered a contract with Robert Kaufman, 1000.00 dollars cash, 250.00 spoondollars, and a Wacom professional drawing tablet! Oh Baby! To win that would be awesome! Thanks for your support, and I hope to be delivering GREAT news next Thursday....So CHECK BACK IN!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Projects from my new fabric line!


I am working on many projects right now, all being my own patterns and with my newly designed fabrics. This is a sneak peek of an Ice Cream Cone mini quilt. Scoops of Raspberry, Orange Sherbet, Mint, and Strawberry Ice Cream piled high on a yummy waffle cone. Look for the pattern in my etsy store at the end of the week! This is almost  finished, it just needs a cherry on top! I will post the final project and a link to the pattern after everything is finalized! If you want to make yours in these fabrics, check out my spoonflower shop!



Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Feature: Bloc-Loc Rulers

So, as most of you already know, I have recently embarked on a journey to become a fabric designer. Most of my free time has been spent working on the computer bringing my designs to life lately, which means I have not been posting as often as I would like to! So, I thought today I would do a Friday Feature, since I haven't had one in so long.


At the International Quilt Festival in Cincinnati last weekend, I was able to see the Bloc-Loc Rulers. I had seen them in their packaging at Creative Fires, and one briefly out of its package on a HST, but here I was able to get a closer look. All I can say is...WOW! These rulers are great if you work with HST, flying geese, or the new popular half rectangles. The seam fits snugly and perfectly into the groove of the ruler, and makse squaring your blocks up so easy! They will not slip around at all! I still love my creative grids, hands down, for basic cutting needs, but when it comes to squaring up, Bloc-Loc is the way to go. You can buy bigger sizes, and just adjust as needed for smaller blocks, but personally, I like how convenient it is to have the size you need. You won't need to move the ruler, you can just spin a small cutting mat around, and the ruler will stay in place, and then just cut the other side. And, I am a notion junkie so naturally, I will need the full set. At first, it may seem like sticker shock when you see that the price for the one of the  sets of HST's is $80.00, but remember that price is for SIX rulers! The set includes 1.5" up to 6.5", every inch, on the half inch.


Here is a video that demonstrates how to use the Bloc-Loc rulers. I am just in love with these! Where have you been all my life, and why didn't I think of this?





Creative Fires has several HST sets, the even sizes, and the full set, Flying geese, and the rectangles, so if you are in the area, stop in and see the shop, and try this wonderful new product out!

Monday, April 16, 2012

I SCREAM for ICE CREAM!

On Saturday, I had a great day with my husband in Cincinnati at the International Quilt Festival. We spent several hours there looking around at all of the great talent and showcase of patterns and fabric. Then we went to the Kenwood mall and had a great time shopping and eating out at a GREAT Italian restaurant, Maggianos. So much WONDERFUL food! 

When we got home, there was a great surprise waiting for me. I looked in the mailbox and there they were...my fabric samples from my first fabric line. 
 
Cherries, Polkadots, Flavors, Ice Cream Cones, Sprinkles and Stripe patterns on bright and fun ice cream colors or Raspberry, Vanilla, Strawberry, Cotton Candy, Orange Sherbet, Chocolate, and Mint Chocolate Chip help make this collection whimsical and a must have for any ice cream enthusiast! You can see the entire collection here! While you're there, vote for my fabric in this weeks design contest. Make sure you follow it through all the way to the end so the vote is cast. You should have to enter two security codes
The fabrics are for sale at Spoonflower, so take a peek at them in my shop. I am also working on a new collection called Penguins at Play! I hope to have it done and publicly viewable at the end of this week. It should be for sale in about two weeks.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Upcoming Projects and posts

So with it being a holiday weekend and all, I must be honest and say that not much sewing or quilting was accomplished! Between dying eggs, cooking meals, and spending time with my family, I was busy! I did get four new purses prepped for sewing that I am going to be putting in my Etsy store, and I am working on quilting one of my UFO tops.


Right now, I have been on a huge kick with designing fabric! It has been a long term goal of mine, I have always wanted to do it but did not know how to go about the entire process. But Spoonflower makes it easy to get my start. Hopefully one day I can do this professionally. I am planning on entering a couple of contests soon, one with a really great prize! Of all the designs submitted, 100 semi finalists will be chosen. The 100, will be narrowed down to 8, and then, one very lucky winner will get to have a contract with Robert Kaufman! Wow, to design for RK would be amazing. I love The bright colors,  contemporary looks, and whimsical feel of Robert Kaufman fabrics! For more information about Spoonflower, my current collection, the Robert Kaufman contest, and the upcoming contest, check out their website. There is a lot of talent there!


Hopefully I can finish my bags and quilt soon so I can blog about them and make a bag tutorial. Right now, I am starting a new week of school, so I may not have them posted until later in the week. Thanks for you patience and loyalty!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I've Designed FABRIC!!

Yes, I have finally found what I was born to do. I have been working on some fabric designs in Illustrator for the past month, and today I finally have them all uploaded to Spoonflower!
This piece from the collection is my ABSOLUTE favorite!

Hopefully one day very soon I will be designing for a big-name quilt fabric manufacture and headed off to quilt market, but for now, I am proud to be working with Spoonflower!

I have just ordered the swatch booklet of my new collection "I Scream for Ice Cream." It is not available for sale yet, I must approve the designs first. They should be here by next week and then I will be able to sell them. You can check out the designs for the collection here! I would also love if anyone had any constructive comments for improvement! What do you like, what would you change? Please just be respectful with your opinions! Thank you!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Tisket, a Tasket, a Pastel Easter Basket!


I love to make things for my nephew and this year, for Easter I decided to make him a clothesline fabric Easter basket. It is super easy to do, and I love how it turned out. Hopefully the baby will too...he has a huge Easter Egg hunt at our church this Saturday

What you will need:
    Blue : 1/4 yard
    Yellow: 1/4 yard
    Green: 1/4 yard 
    Pink: 1/8 yard
    Purple: 1/8 yard
 
** I used less of the pink and purple fabrics because it was for a boy. I wanted the  girly colors in there so it still looked "springy." You can change the colors around as you wish, more or less, so long as you have a total of one yard, or, twelve to thirteen 2 1/2" strips to get this size basket.
 
     You will also need a cloth clothesline. I brought mine from Creative Fires when I bought the fabric, but you could probably also find them at any craft store.

Directions:
 
Cut fabrics into 2 1/2" strips. If using 1/8 yard cuts, go ahead and cut strips, without squaring fabric. If one strip is a little skinny, don't worry...the best thing about this project is that you do not have to be precise! There is a big margin for error. = )

Once your strips are cut, arrange them in a layout that is pleasing to you, and sew all of the strips together end to end until you have one long piece.






Now, it is time for the clothesline. If you wish to pull off a measured amount you can, but I just grabbed the free end, and left the rest wrapped up. I just cut it when I was finished with the strips...just in case I didn't measure correctly! But either way works, you can do which ever way you think will be best.

Place the clothes line in the center of the strip. Fold the ends of the strip in, to meet the center.


Fold ends in again, overlapping them as necessary. This may seem tricky, but once you start sewing, the fabric almost automatically begins to fold itself this way. You will only need to get it started, and after that, as you sew, it will just need to be slightly adjusted along the way.




With a wide zig zag stitch, sew the folded fabric around the cord. Continue folding fabric over the clothes line and stitching until you get to the end of all of the strips. I used a bulky over lock foot for this, but I have seen it done with just a standard all purpose foot. I think the over lock foot makes it MUCH easier, because the cord has a groove to go through.


Fold a small portion of the cord on itself, and begin sewing the pieces together. Use a wide zig zag stitch. I could only go up to 5.5 mm with this machine, but when my Bernina 830 is fixed, I would probably use a 7-8 mm stitch width for it. Just make sure that you are catching both sides of the cord if you are only using a 5 mm stitch like I did. It is also important to have the "tail" of the cord on the right, and the basket on the left. This will come in handy as the basket grows. There would be no room for it in the throat of the machine, so make sure it is out to the left. When you get to the end, turn the fabric around and keep sewing. I made a bottom that was about 5" or, the length of one strip coiled up before i started building up the sides. Once again, I used a special foot, the double cord foot to make the sewing process easier. If yo don't have one, just try different feet your machine has and see which one works best for you.








When you have reached the desired size basket bottom, begin to lift the basket up. This will allow the sides of the basket to start forming. It can be gradual to start with so be patient with it. Yo may not see a huge difference right away. Just keep sewing




When you get down tot he last strip, sew about a 1/4 of the circumference of the basket. Stop sewing, and let out a little bit of the tail to form a strip. Begin sewing again This will allow the handles to be formed. I made my handles big enough so that they could meet in the middle and be carried with one hand. I didn't measure, I just eyeballed it. Like I said, it isn't too precise of a project. If you wanted to measure to ensure they were even you can.


Finish the tail off by continuing to sew around the basket until it runs out, or you reach a handle, whichever comes first.


It is all done now and ready to be filled with treats and goodies for your loved one. And these baskets make GREAT hostess gifts, and serve perfectly as a bread basket. 




I have made several in many different color options to fit my house. I love them! And it seems that i can always find a use for the. They can easily be a scrappy project. I'd love to know how yours turns out!

Curiosities and Mischief by Nancy Halvorsen

So it is no secret that I just LOVE Nancy Halvorsen fabrics. Her fabrics are in almost all of my quilts and I love her style. I have recently started attempting some modern quilts, and while they are nice, I will always love Art to Heart books and patterns best!

So, very exciting news! Nancy has just released a new book and fabric collection. It is a baby/children's line called "Curiosities" for little girls and "Mischief" for little boys. And I cannot wait for them to get into the fabric store in May so I can start making adorable gifts! The colors are just so fun and eye catching!

Here are some samples from the Mischief collection



And here are some fabrics from the Curiosities collection for little girls (and can I just say, that even though it is for little girls, I am loving some of these fabrics for a cute springtime purse for adults too!)



 Nancy! You have impressed me once again! I can hardly wait to get these fabrics in my shop and start making cute quilts and things for all of the adorable little ones I know!

All Images from Benartex Inc.