Friday, December 30, 2011

What a Crafty Year!

2011 has been a bit of a crazy year! Full of swaps, bees, quilts, and tons of craftiness.

I cannot explain how much flickr, blogs, and my online peeps have brought to my life.  It has provided me with inspiration, creativity, new skills, new friends, and more crafty loves!

2011 was full of quilts and swap items.

2011 was full of bee blocks.

In 2011 I even learned that needles are in fact sharp....oops.


2011 proved to be a year of creative growth thanks to all your crafty people and your impact on my life! And I can't wait for 2012! I am even breaking my normal rule about making goals or resolutions.

In 2012 I want to do so much!
  • Sew using my "special fabrics", i.e. my Tula Pink, my Heather Ross, my Anna Maria Horner - regardless of the fact that I can't get any more without paying an arm or a leg.
  • Just say no thank you!  As others have pointed out I completely overloaded myself this past year with swaps and bees.  I found myself stressed out trying to make deadlines (made worse by my CRAZY work schedule), stressing when I just couldn't make a block as well as I thought I should since it was techniques I hadn't done before (I''m looking at you starburst block!), and just stressed in general that people wouldn't like what I made them.  The worst part though was because I had committed myself to so many other things I never got to sew as much for my family.  I was supposed to make a quilt for one of my grandmothers, a tree skirt for my mom, and a bunch of other things.  So next year I really want to focus on sewing for my family. 
  • Make a quilt for myself! 
  • Attend Sewing Summit!  I didn't get to go last year because I was already going to my Jane Austen conference, and this year they are on different weekends so I AM GOING! 
  • Keep up with my blog a bit better!  Sometimes I go a little longer than I would like without blogging and sometimes I make things and give them away without remembering to take photos of them so I can blog about them! 
  • PAPER PIECING!!! I want to practice, practice, practice!!!
  • HAND PIECING!!! I love doing this but don't have a lot of time for it, but I want to make it a priority this year!
  • Make 1 honest to god wearable garment!  Just 1!  (I am trying to make these goals attainable! LOL!)
So hopefully I can actually work on these things, and 2012 will be even craftier that this year! I am pretty sure making a quilt for myself though will be accomplished quite soon since I am moving to such a cold place!

Happy new years everyone and may your 2012's be beautiful and creative!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Goodbye Houston - Hello Boston

Well guys it is going to get pretty quiet around here for a while because I have big news.

Beth's Gaggle of Mermaids

I got a new job!!

Only it's on the other side of the country in Boston, MA.  So I am in the process of turning my entire life upside down and move almost 2,000 miles away from my home in Texas.  And holy cow y'all moving is the most expensive thing ever.  I have moved a couple of times before but always for school - always with set time limits.  So I could leave things at home and only take what I needed in a dorm or an apartment.  Now I am taking everything - or actually it seems like nothing as I am getting rid of almost everything I own, which is a lot harder than I thought.  Although when I get there I am going to buy a whole new wardrobe as it apparently gets a lot colder in the north east than it does in the south!

Beth's Gaggle of Mermaids

In moving I am leaving a lot behind more important that just stuff - namely my entire family.  My immediate family though is very close.  Especially my little sister who is who I made this quilt for back in 2008.  Even as I type this I am questioning my decisions like crazy.  In taking this opportunity I am giving up my life here, my possessions, and precious time with my family.  I know they want me to be happy and do what I need to do for my career, but damn its really hard especially since this inst like school and I will be around again in 2 or 4 years.

Beth's Gaggle of Mermaids

To date this is my favorite quilt I have ever made.  I used Heather Ross's mendocino line because the Little Mermaid is her favorite movie, and those mermaids were just to die for.  So even though I am going to be almost 2,000 miles away I hope my sister will continue to love her quilt, which she uses everyday now, and I get to come home and visit them all often. 

Beth's Gaggle of Mermaids

I quilted it really heavily by following the piecing and following my previous quilting line, so they are about the width of the walking foot apart.  As a result of all of the crazy time consuming quilting and the softness of the mendocino fabric it has the most lovely drape ever. Plus I am a total sucker for white bindings.  I love them because they just totally pop.  You can especially see the denseness of the quilting and the brightness of the binding on the back side. 

Beth's Gaggle of Mermaids

So as I prepare to cross the Mason Dixon and head up north (geeze I am going to miss BBQ and Tex Mex) I am trying to stay strong, keep breathing, STAY WARM, and spend wisely (no crazy fabric purchases for me anytime soon) as I start a new life. 

Beth's Gaggle of Mermaids

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


It's a terrible thing.

It takes up your valuable time.  It distracts you from work.  It keeps you from other tasks.

And I love every minute of it!

Follow Me on Pinterest

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Tula, how I love thee let me count the ways!

You bet your sweet ass!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

So Many Blocks - So Little Time!

I am a bad bad bee block person.

My life is kinda turning upside down right now as I am attempting to make some HUGE changes.  So I am now so late and so sorry!

Seriously, I am totally hanging my head in shame over here.

But I am caught up now!

First off the one I was most behind on, do. good stitches.   For September we made green monochromatic blocks with a pop of color that was our choice so I used some scraps of Flea Market Fancy gold seeds.

do Good Stitches - September

For October we made rectangle and cube blocks using a pattern from Ashley at Film in the Fridge.

do Good. Stitches - October

Finally for November we all made mod circles blocks using a pattern from Moda Bake Shop that is just adorable. Sadly though my machine doesn't do a blanket stitch as called for in the pattern so I had to use a satin stitch.

do Good, Stitches - November

Next up are the blocks for my String Me Along bee. Back in September we were asked to make half square triangle blocks using all Amy Butler fabrics. And can I say how much I LOVE HST!! Seriously, that is easily my favorite quilt block. So simple, so versatile, and so pretty!

String Me Along - September

Then in October we were asked to make more Nicey Jane string blocks, which are always a pleasure to make. So easy to make, yet it makes wonderfully complex blocks.

String Me Along - October

Finally we have the Neptune Bee, which uses my favorite fabric line ever!! Oh Tula how I love your fabrics! Back in September we were asked to make hexagon blocks - one hand pieced hexie block and one using the awesome Lee's tutorial. This one took me a while simply because of the hand piecing but I loved making them!

Neptune Bee - September

Then in October we were asked for 2 dresden blocks, but sadly I really only had enough time to make 1. This was my first dresden block, and while I love the outcome, I did not like the process. I had so many complications with this block. I couldn't ever get it to lie flat, the circle just barely fit. Overall it was just frustrating.

Neptine Bee - October

Finally for November we were asked to make Rain or Shine blocks from Elizabeth Hartman's book Practical Patchwork. I loved making these, and I love the outcome, but good grief I had issues making that center point come together, and still obviously failed. Thank goodness the lady these are going to has plans to cover the centers with some awesome buttons.

Neptune Bee - November

Finally I did a little bit of secret sewing!  I tried out an X-block and it was a ton of fun!  Sadly though I think I didn't choose my fabrics very well so the contrast isn't quite what it should be.  Still I do love this block!

X Block!

So there you have it - 3 months of blocks that I have been working on the last few weeks and have finally finished!

So many blocks!

Now I just have to get them mailed out on Monday so they can fly their ways home!

Bee Blocks ready to ship!

Also this weekend I have finished a quilt and finally photographed another that I actually made in 2008 but is my favorite quilt ever that I want to share with you, so there's more to come!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Warning! Warning!

Not only is this post super picture heavy but it is full of wonderful and fantastic goodies that might make you pull your credit card out and commit a serious online shopping spree.

This year at the International Quilt Festival I was determined to be better than in years past - when I exercised NO CONTROL whatsoever and came home with a HUGE bag full of fabric. So this year I kept asking myself do I need this, will I use this, and I am happy to report I put SO MUCH back on the shelves.

Yet, somehow I STILL came home with all this.


Fist off I got Yoko Saito of Quilt Party Japan's 156 Patchwork Designs book which is STUNNING. Seriously y'all this book is awesome and worth every shiny penny. Plus she signed it for me!! (And photographing that liquid pencil she used sure was difficult!) I also picked up a copy of Carol Doak's 50 Fabulous Paper Pieced Stars which I have been wanting ever since seeing this epic mini quilt.

Goodies from Quilt Festival

Goodies from Quilt Festival

Then my most epic find of the day was these 3 yard bundles of Tula Pink's Neptune line which is one of my favorite lines of fabric EVER. Plus these are 2 of my favorite prints from the lines EVER! And they weren't crazy over priced like some rude people on ebay, and I only paid $9 a yard! LUCKY!!!

Goodies from Quilt Festival

I got 2 charm packs of Cosmo Crickets 1934 line which I love, a fat quarter bundle of these gorgeous South African fabrics from Coral Tree fabrics, and a GORGEOUS oakshott fabric bundle that is my favorite range of colors.

Goodies from Quilt Festival

Being that I adore all things English and Irish I totally jumped on these British themed prints from Kokka, Echino, and who knows what!

Goodies from Quilt Festival

Oh course I kept my eye out for some Japanese fabrics that I couldn't bear not to take home and I was not disappointed. I have been looking for these little blue bunnies for a month! I also got these lovely cotton square with this fabulous design and color scheme that I want to use as a center panel in a quilt. This is my favorite brand of shasiko thread. It is strong, brilliant white, and a good price.

Goodies from Quilt Festival

Another Japanese print I got was this awesome Kokka print that has large stripes of different prints. I love the burnt orange color scheme and especially the washing labels!

Goodies from Quilt Festival

Another fabric love of mine is cutsie type fabrics that are great for small projects and fussy cutting, and I managed to find tons of those! My special fabrics is the aqua sushi print on the right, and those cracked out looking bunnies on the bottom. I mean come on their eyes are bulging and their little tails are all fluffed up like a really pissed off cat. That just says cracked out to me!

Goodies from Quilt Festival

Finally I got a couple more random prints without much rhyme or reason. Those stripes were just lovely colors, the etchings print of the architectural drawings were just pretty, and the Japanese buttons too sweet. That fun truck print is going to become the backing for a quilt for my dad (someday).

Goodies from Quilt Festival

All in all by the end of both days that I spent at festival it is safe to say my shoulder was hurting from carrying around sacks of stuff and my wallet was much lighter, but it was all oh so worth it!

Geeze I LOVE quilt festival!!

Goodies from Quilt Festival

Also today I went to the opening of the Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange, Texas but more on that later in the week!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Why do you create?

Ever since my craftiness (nerdiness, or whatever you want to call it) was revealed to everyone I know with the Houston Chronicle article I have been asked several times why I like to quilt, why I like crafting, why I like being creative. 


I have had several answers and no answers all at the same time.  I just boiled it down to this generic "because I like it".  Can we same LAME.  I just can't seem to come up with a concise, meaningful answer to any of these questions. 

Into Wonderland

One of my favorite photographers, Zhang Jingna, whose work I have followed for years, was able to sum it up for me perfectly.

"I pursue a beauty that to me makes being alive more bearable even if just for a little while.  This is the reason I create."

Her works (as seen all throughout this post) is a true testament to that powerful statement.
 The Haunting.

So tell me, why do you do what you do?  Why do you risk cricks in your neck from hours over a sewing machine or hand work, why do you risk cuting off fingers with a rotary cutter, why do you risk sleep deprivation trying to create an entire quilt in 2 days because someone asks for a baby quilt at the last minute??

Buried Memories

Why do you create?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Is it Halloween 2012 yet??


Tula, Tula, Tula - how can you do this to me?! 

How can you tell me about these fabrics when they won't even be available until Halloween of 2012?!?! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Oh my goodness, I am exhausted.

Quilt Market and Quilt Festival have come and gone leaving me in a whirlwind of exhaustion! 

The Houston Modern Quilt Guild Market Meet Up was a bundle of awesome-ness.  So many people showed up, so many prizes were given out, so many great conversations were had.  Then in the middle of the week I got interviewed by the Houston Chronicle.  Then I spend wednesday and thursday shopping till I literally dropped (pics of all those goodies are coming!) Wow my feet were killing me at the end of both those days! Then friday-sunday I attended a conference for work in the Hilton Americas next door to the quilt festival meaning half the time I was at my conference I was wishing I was at the festival!  Then saturday night was the HMQG Festival meet up!  Not as many people came but it was still a blast with new friends made, prizes galore, and a fantastic chocolatini!

Sadly though during this crazy week I took almost NO PICTURES!! Argh!  It was just too hard to shop, chat, laugh, drink, and enjoy myself all while taking pictures.  And the few I did take were half blurred and pretty crappy. 

I do have to share this AMAZING FIND with you all though!  3 yard Neptune bundles!! OMG be still my heart!


All in all though it was the most awesome week ever.  And I need a 3 day nap.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Embracing Modernism

Embracing Modernism by A Blond Quilts
Photo by Nick de la Torre of the Houston Chronicle
Cherri House and I were interviewed by the Houston Chronicle about modern quilts and the International Quilt Festival since she is the founder of the Houston Modern Quilt Guild and I am the current president.

You can read the article here if you are interested! 

Monday, October 31, 2011


No I am not scared because it is Halloween - I am freaking out because I am so happy and excited right now!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE International Quilt Festival.  I love how quilting fever basically takes over the city.  The shops are in high gear, everyone online seems to be getting ready to come to the city and I feel like everywhere I turn there is more fabric I should by.

I don't know if many of you guys know this but I am president of the Houston Modern Quilt Guild, and to make it an even better week we held a Market Meet Up on Saturday and SO MANY PEOPLE CAME!! Seriously, I was scared everyone would be too tired after a full day of market to come and it would just end up being our guild members hanging out having a beer (which would still have been fantastic!) but seriously like 50 people came!!

I was totally starstruck like 20 times!!!

Some in attendance were Houston's own Cherri House and Lizzy House (omg her new Outfoxed line is to die for), Aneela Hoey, Laurie Wisbrun, Ann Kelle, Kathy Mack of Pink Chalk Fabrics (one of my fave online retailers!), the original Mama herself - Krinstin Link of Sew Mama Sew,  John aka Quilt Dad, Julie of Jaybird Quilts, Pokey BoltonRashida Coleman Hale (whose new Washi line has me near fainting), and so many others.  Plus there were people there from modern quilt guilds all over North America including LA, Philly, Albuquerque, San Antonio, and Calgary just to name a few..

Oh and not exactly quilt related but Bobby King of the Houston Texans was at the bar too!!Although not exactly for Market!

The sad part was that I didn't get any pictures of the night because there were just so many people and I spent the majority of my time talking with people and handing out door prizes.  I was even lucky enough to snag a charm pack of Lizzy House's Outfoxed fabric which I have already made a pillow out of!

Another awesome thing this week was the Cherri House invited me to talk to the Houston Chronicle with her about modern quilting!  This meant I got to go down to market, get a badge, and a sneak peak at the exhibition.

Quilt Market!

I was so excited and had a lot of fun chatting with her as we walked through the exhibition hall and pointed out modern quilts to the lovely lady from the newspaper.  Plus I loved getting to check out the show before the festival starts, but was pretty bummed the winners of the quilt show hadn't been announced or hung yet.

After we were done talking I went upstairs just to watch people start taking down their market booths.  Y'all may not know this about me either but I work in a very large museum and part of my job includes installing and deinstalling the exhibits so I have a pretty good idea of the time it takes to load and unload a room that size, and the fact that they basically do it between monday and wednesday night BLOWS MY MIND.

Sorry the photo came out a bit blurry, the window on the second floor I took this through wasn't the cleanest. 


And if any of you lovely readers are going to festival be sure to join us Saturday night at the Hyatt hotel bar at 8pm for the HMQG Festival meet up.  There will be TONS of prizes, people, and chatting!  And seriously, the prizes are awesome - just take a peak at the sponsers! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

HMQG Meet Ups at IQF

Name badges for our Market and Festival Meet Ups for the Internation Quilt Market and Fesival!

EVERYONE IS INVITED!! And there will be AMAZING door prizes!!

Details here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Modern Quilt Guild Market Meet Up

The time has come!

This Saturday is the Modern Quilt Guild Market Meet up hosted by us here in the Houston Modern Quilt Guild.

The details:
Market MQG Meetup:
Saturday October 29th
The Hilton Lobby Bar
8:00 PM

We are having some crazy awesome door prizes from some amazing sponsors. 

And next Saturday we are having a Festival meet up! At which there will be EVEN MORE PRIZES!!

Festival MQG Meetup:
Saturday November 5th
The Hyatt Lobby Bar
8:00 PM
All are welcome to either event so please come and enjoy!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Inspiring (House) Monday

A few weeks ago I went to a vintage sale here in the city that was held at the most inspiring place ever!  It was an event coordinators place (I can't remember the name but I will try to find it!) and was the epitome of romantic, soft, and vintage.  These are just a few shots of her place...  (sorry about the quality of the photos, they were taken on my iphone with 1 hand because my other hand was full of the goodies I bought which are below!)

Hanging empty frames?!  Totally brillaint.  Plus I am seeing this as a quilt with different sized boxes with neutral borders on maybe a pink and white background.

That felt pillow in the chair is welcome in my house any day! There is a similar pattern in the felt issue of Stitch magazine.

Random quilts stacked on the furniture???  YES PLZ.

Adorable garlands and sweet quilted pillows?  Oh definitely.

Bunting, pillows, and vintage dresses, OH MY!

This typewritter makes me swoon.  Like I am going to need the fainting couch in the next picture kind of swoon.  Plus the colors in the photo would make the most gorgeous quilt ever!

A pink and white chaise!!!  My life desperately needs this.

Plus I got these baby's from the same that day!

Heather Ross pj's for $25!!!! A 1942 edition of Etiquette by Emily Post for only $12! Plus a gorgeous print from a local artist named Rachel Szitas who is now near and dear to my heart with her love and enthusiasm for art. She is in the process of starting an Etsy store which I am definitely passing on to you guys once it is set up!

Hope this makes you want to try something new, maybe out of your comfort zone for all you bright, rainbow quilt makers out there!