Category Archives: creative inspiration

Christmas Lane: A New Holiday Quilt Pattern

September 30th 2016

Now that Fall is here (well theoretically speaking, I live in Florida for Pete’s sake!) I am looking forward to getting some Christmas projects done. I am planning some quilting pillows and stockings, a belated birthday bag and crafting some tags. But first, I’m so excited to share my new pattern called Christmas Lane, just in time for the Holidays!
Christmas Lane

One of my fondest childhood memories was the inspiration for this quilt.  My dad would take the family out for drives during the holidays looking for festively lit neighborhoods. My sisters and I would be eagerly looking out the windows (or fighting about which one would be closer to the window) nose pressed against the glass. If it was a rare cool night, our heads would be hanging out the window. We’d be hollering to our dad to go down this street or to hurry to the next block. Of course, the original  “Feliz Navidad” song, by Jose Feliciano, would be blasting in the car while we all sang along, perfectly bi-lingual.

Christmas lane

Christmas Lane finishes at 62″ x 64″ almost square. My version is made with the Hello Darling line by Bonnie and Camille with a Bella Royal Blue background #9900-19.The pattern features houses with 6 different Christmas themed blocks: Ornaments, wreaths, peppermints, two kinds of trees and presents! Each design has two variations so no two houses are the same. This quilt has twelve houses but a quilter can easily add “more blocks” to increase the size of the neighborhood.

Christmas Lane

The houses here in Florida don’t generally have chimneys but definitely lots of decorations and lights during the holidays. Each house in the quilt features a string of lights across the top and framing the Christmas Lane is a bold Holly border at the top and bottom.

Christmas Lane

An adorable picket fence divides the blocks which is easily made by strip piecing and daisy chain sewing. As you can see, the quilting is perfectly done  in snowflakes by @quilterlove66 (thank you!) to complete the holiday feel. (I know, it doesn’t snow in Florida) But it looks great, doesn’t it?You can make your own version of Christmas Lane just in time for the holidays, by going to my shop and downloading your PDF file, paper patterns to follow.

christmas-lane-kirsten

Kirsten was gracious enough to test my pattern. She lives in Australia so hers really does have a Christmas in July feel since it’s their Summer season during the Holidays. The warm tones in her quilt really reflect a Christmas Down Under, she did a great job, thanks Kirsten! Hop over to her blog, gemini-stitches and see more of her quilt.

qm-badges

To make your own version of Christmas Lane just in time for the holidays, you can get the pattern via PDF download in my shop right now, paper patterns to follow. Christmas Lane will be making its debut at the International Quilt Market in Houston next month, where I will host my first booth #2338. Stop by and say hello, I’d be so happy to meet you!

Listing Challenge September 2016

September 3rd 2016

30 days of lists logo

It’s time! If you follow me on Instagram or have read the blog when I posted this, then you know I am a fan of listing. I only just found out this event has been around since 2011 and I’ve only known about it since 2013 the debut of their December lists challenge. It’s a good alternative to full blown journaling that documents your “right now” in a short and fun way. What’s great about this challenge is there is no right or wrong way to do it. My first round, I bought a pre-made notebook and just added stickers and other embellishments.

30-days-of-lists-journal 2013

After registering for the challenge HERE, you get an email with links to printables, prompts (or you can get them by email daily) and a private blog link for each day’s list.  You can also go all out and scrapbook it tangibly or digitally or use Post-it notes. I find it’s a great down time at the end of the day. I really look forward to it. I know! Just call me a List Nerd.  

30 days of lists cover

For this September Challenge, I decided to use up some of what I have, which was a creative adventure itself. I am so happy with how this book turned out. The front and back covers are made with brown Kraft card stock and I also used some printables designed by Monika from the I love it all shop on Etsy.  (She also blogs here to give you ideas on how she uses her journals and products. I know you will get addicted to her goodies as I have.) The inside is full of a variety of paper and ephemera I hope to show as the challenge progresses.

practice list sea horse cut out

Before the challenge, many of us were getting antsy waiting for the first day of September to finally arrive. So for practice we chose a prompt from the March challenge list from (waaaay back) and posted that. I had this Sea Horse lying around with my paper scraps so I used that. (Shape cut with Cricut from cartridge Life is a Beach)

day 1

Here is the first list prompt. I did bunting because I wanted to start this off like a celebration! You may want to like their Facebook page 30 Days of Lists and stay in the loop for their next challenge.

Did you know there is also a private Facebook group just for this challenge? It’s a safe place for “List Nerds” to post their lists or even shy listers. Some people are in the group but are still wary about posting and that’s okay. I’ve met such nice people in this group, I dare call them friends even.

day 2

On Day 2, the prompt was “Don’t Judge Me But…” I edge punched some Kraft Card stock and made a little book and safely tucked it in the glassine bag. I posted the divulged list on the FB group but only this picture on Instagram (no peeking) I always use the hashtag #30lists when posting.

day 3

Some lists I like to ponder about after I read the prompt in the morning. This list for Day 3 was easy enough to do right away, so much to celebrate! I also knew I wanted to use that “celebrate” tag I had in my stash and there you have it. Still have the rest of the month to list.

Listing supplies

After I had finished making my book, I went out and got more listing supplies. The creative inspiration was just too much, I am ready to start prepping for December listing but I will try and resist… at least for a couple of months.

If you want to join in (catching up is perfectly okay!) Click here and sign up!

Five Things to Love About the Spark Box

July 15th 2016

Have you seen the latest from Love Bug Studios?

Spark box june

It’s a Spark Quilt Box full of goodies to ignite your creative energy.  I am going to tell you five things I love about this box and why you should consider reserving one. Yes “reserving” one because once they’re gone, they’re gone!

spark box june label

The first reason is I love surprises! So happy mail arriving at my house, especially when I’ve likely forgotten about it, is certainly a perk and there is only more goodness inside! Ebony, Love Bug Studios owner and idea extraordinaire has an eye for detail.

Spark box june inside

Reason number two is I love details! I love wrapping details, a sticker, a satin ribbon and the prettiest tissue paper ever, it’s so nice to look at I don’t need to open it right away. And look, all the goodies have more cute wrapping in the way of paper sacs. I appreciate the time and effort she takes to make this package so pretty for her customers to receive.

Let’s open them up!

spark box june theme

In this bag are goodies revolving around the theme “JUST BEACHY” which also happens to be one of my and Ebony’s favorite places so everything in this bag reflects that. There is sand colored thread, beach ball candies, beach buttons, beach ribbon and a real Sand Dollar. I know where mine is going. Are you loving it yet? Reason three to love this box, is that these goodies are perfect for crafting and gifting or crafting a gift!

spark box june idea

Ready for more fun? How about this pattern? It’s my Sea Horse Mini Pattern. Ebony included fabric (different in every box) for images, buttons for the eyes and a Fish cut out (complete with fusible) to use for this or another creative idea swimming around in your head. (My pattern is strictly piecing but there is no rule about personalizing it with this cut out.) Reason number four? What’s not to love about fabric

spark box June charm

These were especially cute, the charm is a tiny flip flop and the whistle that sounds like a “Zzzzzzzzzing” and the festive confetti pouring out of the sac was definitely a reason to giggle!

spark box june giggle

Lastly, I know when I am in the zone, making and creating, a sweet snackerel is just what I need to keep me going so reason five does not disappoint: SNACKS! In the Snack sac is a chocolate shark fin you get to take a bite of. And if you’ve ever met Ebony, you know she loves her snacks. We’ve already got 2 in this yummy box.

spark box june snack

I know, I know, so how can you get your own?

spark box june open

Go to Spark Quilt Box to read all about it. You can also sign up to get notified for when the next set of boxes are ready. Upon notification you go here and order yours! (June boxes still available) Leave me a comment telling me what you love about this box and I’ll randomly select one person and send them the “idea” bag complete with pattern, fabric, buttons and cut out to inspire your creativity.

And don’t forget to sign up for Ebony’s spark box to receive yours in the months to come!

A Pretty and Practical Bag for Travel

April 28th 2016

I love my Vintage Picnic Traveling Tote. You may have seen me over-gramming about it on Instagram a few weeks back. It was so fun to make!

Traveling Tote 2

It’s no secret that I hoard collect fabric. It’s no secret that I have a vault for my most favorite lines. (pictured below) It’s no secret that sometimes I forget what I already have. And it’s definitely no secret that if I don’t buy “that fabric” right now it will be gone FOREVER!! At least that’s what the fabric addiction neurons in my brain keep saying. But I digress.

The Vault

My traveling bag, my “go-to-bag-with-all-the-right-pockets-holds-everything-I-need-for-traveling” bag had broken and I had to make a new one ASAP.  And there was no question, once this fabric arrived, that it was the right one for this project. It was also the first fabric bundle I busted open so soon after it’s acquisition. Really.

It’s Vintage Picnic by Bonnie and Camille. I loved the classic red and blues in this line, the gingham and dainty flowers, whose scale is not so dainty, made a perfect match.

I chose the darker bolder colors for the outside, since it will hide any wear and tear and smudges.

traveling tote choices

I had made these scrappy stars and wanted to incorporate them into the bag. The first design showcased four across the top of the bag.

traveling tote design 2

 But after sleeping on it and playing with the fabrics some more, I changed the design and fabrics several more times.

Traveling Tote inside

The inside would be in the lighter color ways of the line with a bit of Hello Darling thrown in. That divided pocket was a must, I kept the broken bag and use the size and inside as a sample. I know, no one can see the inside of these aqua dotted divided pockets, but I know it’s pretty in there!

pocket options

Besides the beautiful colors, I was determined to make it with zippered outside pockets with the prettiest linings. These pockets turned out to be perfect for boarding passes, lipstick, my phone or dollars for tipping if necessary.

traveling tote outer

Above is the outer part of the bag. I sewed and quilted it all in this chartreuse green #1231 thread by Aurifil. There is a crazy method to quilting a bag with divided inner pockets and zippered outside pockets.

Traveling Tote quilting

I am still perfecting the zipper tab but it works!

traveling tote zipper2

I know there are so many bag patterns out there, but this one is so pretty and practical, I’ll be making a pattern for it, and revealing my crazy methods, for the handful that want to make it. Sign up for my newsletter for the heads up on the pattern.

If you want to save your fabric for this pattern, you’ll need:

1/2 Yard main blue

1 FQ side panels

4-6 FQs for outer pockets, pocket linings and inner pockets

1 yard inner lining

1 FE for sashing (gingham)

Scraps to make four star blocks (4″ finished)

(1) 18-20 inch zipper, (I prefer larger so I can trim)

(2) 9 inch zippers

1 square yard of

Accents or details you may want to add.

traveling tote details & accents

The finished size of the Traveling Tote is 14 inches high, 16 inches wide at the top, 11 inches wide at the bottom and  6 inches deep. I still love my bag!

Traveling Tote 1

And here it is in action! It really is great for travel! I hope you wanna make one!

traveling tote summercrafter

A Year in Review

January 12th 2016

If you are not seeing enough posts here, find me on Instagram.

Happy New Year! I don’t know what happened to 2015, it came and left in a flash. I was really having a hard time recalling events and projects but as I looked back via Social Media 🙂  I did see some highlights.

For starters my WORD last year was

FINISH image

It was a complete struggle for me, maybe more in connotation because it gave me stress and I wasn’t enjoying the idea nor was I accomplishing what it was supposed to do. The purpose of the Word was to get me to follow through, actually reach goals and get things done. I am a process type of person so the pressure was kinda ruining it for me, ya know? So I decided to drop it around Summertime (see that, I didn’t even finish with my word!)

Keystone, CO Dercum mountain view

In January, we took a nice trip to Colorado, which is always fun, although I didn’t find any quilt shops.

I started this heart wreath last Valentine’s and hope to put the last of the strands on it this year. I love Valentine projects, I also have a Valentine pattern I am working on.

In March, I met all these amazing ladies that are also working on their quilting businesses.

Baby Dean Collage

I made this quilt and pillows for Baby Dean who was born in June, see post here.

Vintage pattern Simply Retro 1

and I finally finished this one for his Grandpa, our pastor.

totes 2015 Collage 1

It was a blast to learn new things while making these totes, bags and pouches, most of which were gifts.

pattern Collage

I finally launched my first 6 patterns this Summer and visited some shops on vacation (more here and here) and they are now being sold via distributors (Checkers, Brewer, Quilters Warehouse) and my online shopping cart and I have more coming out soon!

As a new follower of Instagram this year (find me @elaine.summercrafter), I met so many great quilty people and participated in various swaps. First was the Rainbow Mini swap, more here.

Beachbound swap 2015 Collage

Then the Beach Bound Swap, for which I made my first Dresden block, more here.

Home Sweet home swap 2015 Collage

Next was the Home Sweet  Home Swap, which was perfect for my swap partner who had just gotten married and had moved to a new place. Read more here.

Pat Sloan radio

Oh, and I was on Quilting Radio with Pat Sloan, woot!!

vermont 2015 Collage 2

In the Fall we enjoyed Vermont, although we missed the Fantastic Foliage Splendor it’s famous for.

Christmas swap 2015 Collage

Soon after Summer, the Christmas swaps started popping up on Instagram (find me @elaine.summercrafter) and I couldn’t resist joining two: Christmas Craft Swap 2015 and The Most Wonderful Time of the Year 2015 Mini Quilt Swap. The pillows are what I sent with personal embroidery and glass seed bead embellishments. The mini quilts are what I received, I was so happy with this exchange! These are so treasured, I will be glad to pull them out to decorate every season. Thank you @foreverquilting and @mommyhead7.

 

And just when I thought I was done, @vojen invents the B&C (Bonnie and Camille) Christmas Ornament Swap. That was a complete bust for me. I got on an ornament making marathon and I could not stop! I made Scrappy Christmas tree sachets filled with Balsam Fir, tutorial here, and I sent some, not only to my Swap partners, but other quilty friends I met on IG. Fun!

20151206_183018_resized

Everyone got Peanutized this year. Have you tried it? Go here.

hearties 2015 Collage

On a total whim, I made these craft “Heartie” ornaments after another fan posted her version on the Facebook Fan page of our favorite show When Calls the Heart on Hallmark Channel. We both kinda got carried away making renditions of all the characters. Find a tutorial here.

Christmas truck Collage 1

My last and most favorite project was this Vintage Holiday Embroidery Pillow I made for a friend. I used the pattern from Sherri Falls at This n That patterns and for the Patchwork, I used Holly’s Tree Farm Fabric by Sweetwater for MODA. I love how it turned out, now I have to make one for me!

december listing

I also did plenty of listing this year with 30 days of lists  and loved it! (Another opportunity coming in March)

  Christmas tree 2015

And just like that it was time to say “Merry Christmas” which was here today and gone tomorrow.

Miami beach 1

I wasn’t going to do a WORD of the year in 2016. I did a MORE and LESS list. The first thing I noted was More Nature and I am so glad I did just that on January 1st, I went to Miami Beach (which is a rarity). What’s the first on my LESS list? Social Media!

Progress

I did stumble onto this word PROGRESS which perfectly complements my MORE/LESS concept that allows success without stress or pressure, just moving forward and developing over time which relates to all aspects of life and work (including blogging). So I think we can both see it was a busy year (although I didn’t blog as much as I should have) I have set great goals for this year and have started working towards them already! What are your goals and plans, or your WORD for this new year?