Sew 2011

January 2011 I started Blue Bird Sews not knowing exactly where it would take me but knowing I wanted to join in this amazing sewing community. Since then I learned a lot about modern quilting & sewing in general but not nearly enough -- I am still hooked! I still want to create and learn and that's just what I plan to do in 2012.
I love looking back, and what better way than through a mosaic. It was hard to pick my favorite projects because there were so many. I got a little obsessed; okay a lot obsessed. I quilted over 15 quilts and made countless other smaller projects from pouches, to pillow shams, crayon rolls to wall hangings and a little bit of fun and frustration in between.

1. Comp Books, 2. Fall Tree Quilt, 3. Shrinking Squares set in black, 4. Not available, 5. Ribbon Rainbow, 6. Sewn Note cards , 7. Sexy Hexy Red Finish, 8. Baby J's, 9. Concrete Cabin, 10. Spring Flowers, 11. Eco-bag 12. Moda Shrinking Squares 13. Baby Quilts14. Retro Bento 15. Pincushions 16. Warm Cool Quilt Along Start

Top Five Projects:
Retro Bento: I loved working on this quilt...the fabrics and the pattern work so well together and even though the quilting broke Astrid 1 I was able to finish it up with Astrid 2. This quilt is staying on the couch.
Stashtacular: What a crazy month that was! So many tutorials and fabric swapping...great times with some great ladies. And it brought to life my commitment to no more mindless fabric buying which I am happy to say I pretty much stuck to for a whole 6 months. Lots of money saved and  lots of fabric used up.
Concrete Cabins: My first tutorial and first steps into modern quilting. I have plans in 2012 for making another one of these but with a different layout and color palette.
Grandma's Blue Sparkle Quilt: My first quilt on commission and what a beauty it turned out to be. Grandma loved it, I love it and even Quilt Story loved it enough to feature on their site for a day - what a thrill all around.
Long Arm Quilting: Learning to long arm was a rush and I am still a  newbie but it is so much fun and gratifying to take it in and paint with thread. Something I will be doing more of this next year.

I could go on about each project I did this year but it would take all day to write! But the best thing about this year is all of you...every comment I got made me smile. Every person who linked up with Eat, Grow, Sew made my day. And all the love comes straight through the internet and right to me. I love this and plan on coming through 2012 with even more projects....including my first full on pattern and a quilt this month from start to finish.
I'll be back with my goals for 2012 but until then enjoy your friends and family because they are the reason we sew! What were your highlights of 2011?


Child's Sewing Kit: What's Inside

One of my favorite little people loves crafting and sewing as much as I do. When she comes over we go to the basement and work on kitty blankets, coloring butterflies and cutting out pretty papers. She watches as I sew together the fabrics she picks out and we make patchwork pieces. For a while I had her convinced that the sewing machine works by magic voice commands: Sewing machine GO, sewing machine STOP, faster & slower. This year she started kindergarten and is turning six next month. It was time to introduce her to the sewing needle.

The kit is simple; I actually found all these supplies in my sewing room. We'll add more to it as her skills grow but this is what we started with.

Needle Book with Large Needles, a pouch for a threading helper and safety pins
Pincushion with pins
Seam ripper
Spools of thread
Fun notions: ribbon, ric-rack, needlepoint thread, lace
Jar of buttons and beads and what not to sew onto something
Stack of fabric scraps

I tucked all these things into an old cookie tin and they fit perfectly. When she opened it there was a look of surprise and puzzlement - like what do I do now. That is where the best part comes in; sewing  lessons. The first lesson was learning all the names of her new treasures, spool of thread, pin cushion, eye of the needle... We then threaded a needle, made a knot and sewed a straight line joining two  pieces together. I made this easy by drawing a straight line down both sides 1/4" away from the edge. She diligently followed the line and made a wonderful little patchwork piece. Next time she wants to tackle buttons!

This was such a fun way to spend time with a crazy smart little girl. Channeling that kid energy into a learned skill, she did so well I can hardly wait for our next lesson!

Here are some links that inspired my sewing  kit, and one embroidery with a non stick mat I want to try with her too!
Filth Wizardry: Sewing with a dollar store shelf liner
Toddler Friendly Sewing Kit
Chez Beeper Bebe: Child's sewing kit

I'll be linking up to all the Link Parties I Love so hop on over and join us!


Hedi Made A Shrinking Squares Quilt!

The best part about having a quilt blog is the sharing. Posting my quilt pics and other sewing projects gives me an outlet into this wonderful community of ladies who do the exact same thing! But something I didn't expect - is the sharing coming back at me. Recently I was sent this picture and a wonderful quilting friends story....

Hedi from Germany sent this photo of her Shrinking Squares Quilt which she made from my online tutorial! This is just about the coolest thing ever! Here is what Hedi says about her quilt:

Hello Kelly, I am Hedi from Germany. Someone on a German sewing homepage made a link to your block post and I saw the pattern for the Shrinking Squares Scrap Quilt. So I started my own and like to send you a picture as a thank you for sharing your pattern. I changed the size by adding 2 squares in each row and 2 rows in each size of the squares. It´s machine sewn and machine quilted. I used a Superior King Tut variegating thread.My finished size is about 52”X84” now. It´s going to be a gift for my best friend in Florida who got me into quilting a few years ago. I will see her in November when I fly over to Florida to celebrate Thanksgiving at her house. Thank you again for the idea and the pattern.

Isn't that smart of her to make it bigger. So simple to add a few more rows and columns and go up to a twin - more room for snuggling! I love the bright deep colors that pop against the black sashing. So cheerful without being girly or boyish. I'm sure it will fit right in with the tropics! I especially love the bright scrappy binding, what a great way to frame this quilt! Since sending me this quilt picture Hedi went to Florida and gave her quilt to a dear friend - who loved it - maybe she is using it right now!

If you'd like to make your own Shrinking Squares scrap quilt then pop on over to the tutorial it will be up and free to use as long as the internet keeps on ticking! And if you've got a project to share from one of my tutorials send it on over!

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