Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Beautiful Things that No One Sees

EXCELLENT NEWS EVERYONE!!!  I am NOT dead.  Neither have I given up on this blog.  In fact I have some exciting things to share with you in the near future.  The last few months have been a crazy whirlwind of change, and planning, and daydreams.  All of that coupled with a broken computer (now fixed) has put a damper on my blogging ability. 
Still, here I am, and I've been creating beautiful things; things that have yet to be noticed (see quote above).  I am starting to meet some of my resolutions, and also acheiving goals I didn't even realize I had.
I free-motion-quilted my first quilt! AND my quilting doesn't suck (it's not perfect, but it doesn't suck)!  I'll count that as one victory.  Finishing the quilt has only further fueled my fire for this previously untouched aspect of my craft, and I am SO EXCITED!  I have started to plan the quilting futures for quilt tops that have sat untouched for far too long.

Secondly, R. and I joined a gym and February, and we are working it out!  It feels so good to get healthy together, and to feel like you are not alone on the journey.  We are hoping to get stronger, so that we can start backpacking together.  Our hope is that we can backpack on Isle Royale in the next year or so, and we really want to be ready for the challenge.

I am considering incorporating more of my life into this blog including my quilting pursuits.  I have a degree in fashion, and I would love to incorporate personal style, and lifestyle insights.  I would love input from my readers in regards to this.  Would you like a mix of topics, or do you prefer mostly quilt discussion?

Look for some quilty updates soon!  The sun has been shining here this week, and it's primo time to get some pictures taken!

In the mean time, I wanted to share my favorite fabric line that is out right now.  I'm sure you all know that I love Denyse Schmidt, and this line is no different.  Ansonia in the blue/green colorway is my favorite!

Happy Spring Everyone!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The New Year Brings a Progress Report

Photo by M. Chris Leese SEE HERE

Last December, my friend Justine convinced me to come up with a "Big 5 Goals" list for 2013.  Things that I wanted to see myself accomplish, but things that were acheivable and realistic.  I thought now would be a great chance for me to see how I did this last year, and also set my 5 goals for 2014.

Big 5 Goals 2013:
     1: Run a 5K:  Sucess!   I ran TWO actually, which is a huge thing for me.  Trust me.  I HATE running.  Still, I wanted to improve my health for the better, and take advantage of the beautiful landscape that my new home had to offer.  I'm really glad that I took this step, and I am planning on training for a few races this summer.  I never plan on being SUPER dedicated to running, but it makes me feel good to accomplish something that I have had a hard time with in the past.

    2: Finish my Kaffe Fasset Postcard Quilt:  Well...I worked on it. :)  I made some serious progress, but this quilt has proven to be a terrible trial, and if I work on it in short spurts, then I maintain my love for it.  I know I will finish it eventually; I'm not worried.

   3:  Get a new job and move!:  Again, success!!!  I was miserable in my old job, and unsatisfied with the situations I found myself in.  This was the first goal I acheived this year, and I am SO GLAD.

   4: Write and publish 3 quilt patterns:  I finished one!  I have designed a second one, and I've finished the sample, but I haven't gotten around to writing it yet.  Again, I'm not that worried about it.  I probably should be, but right now quilting is my hobby.  When it becomes my job, then I will pay closer attention to deadlines.

   5: Start or join a Quilt Guild:  This one is a fail.  I originally considered moving to Lansing, where I thought a "Modern Quilt Guild" would have a really good chance of making a go of it.  Up here in Northern Michigan, I'm not so sure.  Plus there is one in Traverse City already.  I did look into some of the local guilds here, and attended their quilt show.  I am hoping to join this next year.

Overall, I am pretty happy with my success this year.  I didn't accomplish all of my goals, but I made progress on EVERY SINGLE ONE, and that counts for something.

Now I'd like to look at my Big 5 for 2014:

    1.  Learn to backpack.  My boyfriend and I would like to go backpacking on Isle Royale (he has a degree in outdoor recreation) in the next few years, but I need to get some experience under my belt before I attempt something of that magnitude.  Right now we are researching gear for me, and we will be doing some smaller local trips as soon as the weather permits.

   2.  Join a Quilt Guild:  I'm adding this back to the list because it can and will happen.  This year is the year, I can feel it.

   3.  Learn to brew beer:  You read that right.  I am a beer snob, and I don't care who knows it.  I think it would be SO FUN to make my own.

   4.  Learn to FMQ on my home machine:  I got a darning foot for my machine for Christmas, and I have 27 unfinished quilt tops sitting in my closet.  Therefore I have no excuse for not learning anymore.  It's time to put the pedal to the metal and get some stuff done!

  5.  Volunteer every season:  This last year I got a chance to volunteer with the "Little Traverse Land Conservancy" and it was really rewarding.  This year I would like to do more volunteering with them, and with some other local human services organizations.  Also I am in a local leadership program, and we are building a dog park with local city officials.

Well...there you have it.  I love this list because I can see that I have made progress, and I can see what progress I will continue to make.  I can't wait!

I would love to hear if you have any big goals for this year!  Lets keep each other accountable, shall we?

The Quilted Mitten

Saturday, November 30, 2013

We Have a Winner!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway!  It was a lot of fun!

The winner was Elita En Suisse who said:

 Oh, it wasn't hard to do the pinning part because when I saw that first pic in the post, I pinned it immediately! Love this quilt. Well done!

If you are Elita En Suisse, please check your email!  I can't wait to send you your prize!

The Quilted Mitten

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I Couldn't Wait Any Longer! (and a GIVEAWAY!)

So recently I have had a small string of bad luck.  Car problems, family health issues, and several hits to my budget had started to get me feeling down.  I found myself longing for the sparkle and warmth of the holiday season, and so I set out my decorations early as a little pick-me-up!

A few weeks ago I got a Christmas wallhanging back from the quilter.  I LOVE IT!  She did such a fun all-over holly design, and it looks great with the fabrics in the quilt.  This is a top (and backing if I'm being honest) that I've had waiting to be finished for a couple of years now!  I love the fabric with the Cardinals and Winterberry Holly mixed with the words love, hope, peace and joy.  It is exactly the thing I needed to brighten my days!

Putting my decorations out was exactly what I needed to lift my mood, and even though it's not yet Christmas, I'd like to offer one of you something happy and fun as well!

So onto the giveaway details!  Up for grabs are the leftovers from my quilt!  This includes a full center panel (the panel is just larger than a fat quarter).  I also am throwing in the leftovers from the backing (most of the neutral fabric below).  There is enough here to make something fun for Christmas, and there's even time to get it done before the holidays get here!


There are many ways to win an entry for this giveaway!

1. One entry for following my blog and leaving a comment (you must be a follower to win).
2. Tweeting a link to this giveaway with the tag #QuiltedMittenXmas
3. Liking The Quilted Mitten on Facebook
4. Pinning a picture of my Christmas Quilt on Pinterest.

This should be a lot of fun! 

The giveaway will remain open through Friday of next week (Black Friday) and will close at midnight.  I will compile all the entries into a master list, and use a random number generator to pick the winner! 

All the best!

The Quilted Mitten

Monday, October 28, 2013

Bloggers Quilt Festival: When In Rome

For years, I have gushed over all the beautiful quilts shared during Blogger's Quilt Festival, but I've never participated myself.  This year I thought that should change. 

When I thought about the quilts I've made and worked on in the last year, I couldn't help but choose "When in Rome" as my festival quilt.  This quilt is important to me because it's the first pattern I've ever written.  It is a testament to a lot of hard work and dedication.   This quilt sleeps with me every night, and I have been tempted to make it a few more times because it works so well with so many fabric lines.

Stop on by the Blogger's Quilt Festival, and check out the other beautiful quilts on display.  You won't be sorry!  Click HERE to head to the festival!
The Quilted Mitten

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Even Lovers Need a Holiday.

Don't worry, my boyfriend and I are doing great. The title to this post is in regards to a quilt that I need a break from.

Remember this post?  Well, I HAVE been working on the postcard quilt, and slow progress is being made.  However, I can't tell you how many times I've had to tear out and re-do parts.  Part of my problem is that I converted the template cutting to rotary cutting, and that left me with a lot of bias edges.  I thought I had fixed the problem, but as I started to move forward, I am ending up with wavy edges again. 

For the time being it has been put on the shelf.  Not for long I hope, but I needed a break. 
I needed something easy, and mindless, and happy to work on for a quick minute.

Since it is Autumn (my favorite time of year), I thought it was high time I made another quilt to decorate my home this time of year.  I decided to make a jumbo bowtie quilt (tutorial here by Katy Jones) with some fat quarters from my stash, and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

 The background was a great purple and black print from the late 90s that my grandmother gave me.  I love using up large pieces of fabric.  It makes me feel like I've accomplished something.  PLUS, I didn't have to buy any fabric for the front OR the back on this one, so I'm feeling great about using what I already have.  The colors in these pictures aren't quite right.  The oranges are much deeper, and that one green polka dot is not nearly that yellow in person.
We got some light snow last night, and I'm having mixed feelings about it.  I am looking forward to snuggling in quilts when the weather is cold.  I'm also looking forward to Christmas and hot chocolate.  I'm not sure I'm ready for winter yet though!   Last year was a long winter, and I'd be happy for our indian summer to last a little longer.

 I hope everyone has a great week!  I have more projects in the works already that I'm getting excited to share! :)
The Quilted Mitten

Friday, October 18, 2013

Weekend Pattern Sale!

Hey everyone!  Just wanted to let you know that I am running a sale on "When in Rome"!  You can download the PDF pattern for just $4.00 this weekend!

Get yours HERE

Sale ends Sunday at Midnight EST.  Have a great weekend everyone!!!

The Quilted Mitten