Sunday, November 23, 2014

Stunning Stitchin Sunday & Giveaway reminder

Winter is here. Ugg! My longtime followers know that I am definitely not a fan of winter. Blame it on my thyroid. We've heard that this year it is going to be worse than last and if what we've had so far in bitter cold temps and very early snow and ice are and indication, their predictions are going to be true. Caribbean take me away. Now please!

Well, a girl can dream can't she? Thoughts of warm water and tropical breezes are what will have to keep me from going stir crazy this winter.  Plus hopefully getting a ton of quilting done.
To that end, here is this week's showcase of fabulous stitching.  I hope it spurs you onto do doing some stunning stitching yourself. And don't forget to enter for your chance to win one of 2 giveaways on my Double Celebration and Double Giveaway post here.  Entries are open until Midnight on Tuesday. Now on with the show.

Enjoy!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Double Celebration and Double Giveaway

I can't believe how swamped I've been over the past couple of weeks but there is plenty of good reason and I'll fill you in on that shortly but today is just going to be a day to celebrate.
A few days ago this blog became 3 years old.
Unfortunately I didn't have time to write this post then but I do now. It is hard to believe that it has been 3 years already.  Time sure has flown by fast. It is fun to look back at my first months of posts and remember just how much of a newbie I was and think about where this journey has taken me so far.  It really is amazing

One of those amazing things that recently came my way was an invitation to be a guest speaker. My friend Sharon of Vroomans Quilts asked me to speak to her guild, The Schoharie Valley Piecemakers, at their November meeting about 100 Good Wishes Quilts.
It was a thrill and an honor and from the feedback I've heard, it was a huge success. Whew! I admit that I was just a tad bit worried about that.  My friend Alana came along for technical and moral support.  That group is fantastic and so much fun.  Too bad they aren't close by....I'd join in an instant.  I'm happy to report that they "got it" and many of them are now thinking about making some 100 Good Wishes Quilts, for new babies or weddings or graduations. I can't wait to see the pictures of what they create.
(Thanks Sharon for allowing me to use your picture.)

But not only am I celebrating this blogiversary, but this just happens to also be my 600th post!
That averages out to 200 posts per year.  Not too shabby I think, especially considering I still work and have little kidlets at home.

Now it is time to party! I'm not receiving presents but two of you will. Reaching dual milestones calls for dual goodies in my eyes.

One winner will receive Judy Madsen's Quilting Wide Open Spaces book. It truly is fabulous and the instant she announced she was getting it published I put it on my wish list.  Well...I ended up receiving 2 copies so one of them will go to one of you.

The second winner will receive my last half yard bundle of Petal Pushers by Whistler Studios for Windham Fabrics.  I love the bright colors and fun prints in these fabrics and considering the nasty early winter weather we've had lately, I'm trying to keep spring-ish thoughts. Hey, a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do to get through the bitter cold months.
These giveaways are open to one and all and will close at Midnight Tuesday, November 25th.

To enter for your chance to win one of these goodies, leave me one comment and one comment only answering the question:

What One thing are you hoping Santa brings to you this year? 

Have many wishes on your list?  I'm sure but for this giveaway you have to pick and tell me just one.

My followers get a 2nd entry, just tell me how you follow.

I'm looking forward to what year 4 might bring. One never knows what exciting new avenues might open up.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Stunning Stitchin Sunday

Ahhh.....another Monday morning version of my Stunning Stitchin Sunday series. My sister Tina actually called me the other day to make sure everything is okay, because I hadn't commented on her recent blog post and I hadn't posted much myself lately, which certainly isn't normal. Rest assured, I am fine and the family is fine. I'm just swamped beyond swamped.
There is some really gorgeous eye candy here.  I hope that you enjoy.

The cold and snowy weather isn't making me happy.  It is way too early in the season for this. But I guess I have no choice but to deal with it since I live in the northeast.  It just makes me think more about the day when we will finally move a bit more south.  If you are in the midst of this yuck too, stay safe and stay warm.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The American Made Brand License Plate Block Quilt

Have you seen it yet? I just did, thanks to the photo posted by my friend Christa Watson over on her blog Christa Quilts. It is the quilt created by the folks at American Made Brand fabrics with the license plate blocks made  by me and 49 other quilters from every state in the nation as part of their AMB Blog Tour.
So here it is!  Isn't it fabulous? I just love it and I'm betting that you do too. Oh how I would have loved to have been in Houston to get to see it in person but I'm betting that it got tons of attention from those that were able to be there.

Can you find my New York block?
Photo borrowed with permission from Christa Watson

American Made Brand fabrics are a dream to work with and if you haven't had a chance to try them out yet, you really should.  They are just beautiful and I know that I'll be using them in my projects.

Thank you again goes to American Made Brand for giving me the opportunity to participate in this really fun project and I count myself lucky to be in such fabulous company with all the other quilters that helped make this quilt a reality.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Stunning Stitchin Sunday

Welcome to the first Stunning Stitchin Sunday post at my new home. I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see this new blog design when I start up my computer in the morning.
So many have been sharing great pictures from quilt market in Houston and Yes I do hope to see it in person myself some day but there is obviously still lots of great quilting being done by those of us not there. I hope you enjoy today's showcase.

I've got a ton on my plate quilting wise this coming week and hopefully it will all get done in time.  Whatever your week has in store for you, make it a good one.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ta Da - The reveal of my new place!

Today is the day!  The big reveal of my new blog name and my new look. I really hope you like it.  It is so Me!

Welcome to my new home

Crayon Box Quilt Studio

The new name is really similar to my old one . . . there was no way I was getting rid of the "crayon box" part since I love it and totally believe in it's magical powers . . . plus I think it is an easy morph for all of my followers from Quilts From My Crayon Box

Along with the new name for my future pattern company, I wanted a totally new look that reflects who I am and what my quilting is all about.  I think that I've accomplished that.  The fabulous Emily of Blogaholic Designs helped me out with this. I can't thank her enough for all her hard work tweaking it to suit my style. If you are searching for a new look for your blog, you've got to check out her work.

Plus not only do I have a new name and a new look, I now also have:

 . . . my own domain name which I will be switching the blog address to very soon. Just in case . . . the new place will be at www.crayonboxquiltstudio.com.

. . . a new email address michele@crayonboxquiltstudio.com

. . . a new Facebook page, though you have remember I'm not big into Facebook but I'll try my best.

 . . . I've even set up an Instagram account at #crayonboxquiltstudio but now I have to figure out how to actually use it.


I'm really going to try to get a little into the social media thing but please be patient. What about Pinterest you ask? Not yet.  I think getting used to Facebook and Instagram is enough for me at the moment.  Plus I have a few hundred posts to go back through and see if they need prettying up.

For all my loyal readers, I thank you so much for continuing to follow along on my quilting journey. Many more exciting things are to come and I can't wait to share each and every one of them with you. Until then, here is another sneak peak of my first Moda Bake Shop feature that will go live very soon.
I know, it is a little mean to tease you like that but I don't want to ruin the surprise.  Trust me . . . you'll love it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Exciting news and excited changes are ahead

For a few months now, I've been keeping some secrets under wraps but now it is time to make the big announcements.

As my loyal readers might remember, I've been working on designing some of my own quilt patterns to some day make available to the public, both through purchasing directly from me and for industry wide distribution to local quilt shops.  While I'm not ready yet to release my first pattern, I've been also preparing for some other changes that will be part of this new and exciting direction my quilting life is taking.

I love my blog and I totally believe that walking into my studio and looking at my fabrics ARE just like opening a box of crayons for the first time....so full of endless possibilities.

But my blog name isn't actually suited for a pattern company name.  So after a lot of thought and a few opinions from some trusted quilter friends a whole new name and look to my blog is in the works.  Here is just a tiny peak of part of the new look.
The designer is almost done tweaking it and the big reveal will be in the next few days.

But that isn't all!.  I have even bigger news to tell you about.

A couple of months ago, I had one of those light bulb moments while flipping through a quilt block book trying to come up with an idea for another quilty event.  I was so excited about the idea that I immediately sat down with graph paper and colored pencils to draw it out.

I then took a picture of my drawing and emailed it off to the powers to be at a big fabric company and I'm thrilled to tell you that I am now a
Moda Bake Shop Chef!

I'm putting the finishing touches on my first project for the Moda Bake Shop and it will be revealed very soon so I hope that you'll stay tuned to see it.  It just might feature the newest fabric line from one of my favorite designers. How about a little teaser peak.......
 I've already had my second light bulb moment and am drafting out my second possible design for them.  Never in a million years would I have ever thought when I started quilting 5 years ago that I'd eventually be designing patterns and making quilts for one of the biggest fabric companies but here I am.  It truly proves that you never know where life will take you and just like a brand new box of crayons, it is full of possibilities. So far, I'm enjoying the ride.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Stunning Stitchin Sunday


There is a lot of Purple fabric being seen over quilt blog land recently, not that it is a bad thing at all....I like Purple.  We some believe that it is a color of royalty I totally believe that it is also a fabulous color to incorporate into Halloween quilts too. I hope you enjoy today's stunning stitching showcase.
1.Quilting is My Bliss, 2. Mandalei, 3. Quilting is more fun than Housework,
4. Night Owl Quilting & Dye Works, 5. Tanderwen Quilts, 6. Quilts of Love,
7. Quilting is My Bliss, 8. Piece N Quilt, 9. Beaquilter,
10. The Secret Life of Mrs. Meatloaf, 11. Tamarack Shack, 12. Piece N Quilt,
13. Alycia Quilts, 14. Tamarack Shack, 15. The Elven Garden, 16. 13 Spools,
17. Piece N Quilt, 18. Quilting is My Bliss, 19. Ridge Top Quilts,
20. Treadlemusic, 21. Quilter in the Closet, 22. Treadlemusic,
23. Quilting is My Bliss, 24. Piece N Quilt, 25. Treadlemusic

I also have some really exciting news to share....actually it's 2 news worthy items not just one, so be sure and check back early in the week for the the whole story.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Our Own Quilt - A Bloggers Quilt Festival entry

Hi! Welcome back. This is my 2nd entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival. It is also entered into the Large Quilts category.
AmysCreativeSide.com
This quilt is named Our Art Quilt and was commissioned by the art teacher at Sunshine's school. It now hangs in the school's lobby for all to see when they enter. The blocks are all the art work of the students and were colored with Crayola Fabric Markers on White Muslin fabric.
The construction of the quilt top itself wasn't difficult at all though I did have to rework the original design when I received 81 blocks instead of the 72 that I was originally expecting.
When it came time to actually quilt this, that is when I had some issues.  You see...every design idea just didn't work.  They were too perfect (though they certainly weren't perfectly quilted), too structured, looked too much like an adult did it.  The intent of this quilt was to have it look as much as possible like the kids themselves made it and when I remembered that, I had the epiphany that resulted in the final quilting design that I used.
I quilted it with wonky ribbons, just as if my kids actually did the quilting instead of me and I'm so happy that it really worked.  It suited the style of the quilt perfectly.
The art teacher provided the fabric for the border which helped to reinforce the quilting design since it is of kids' drawings.  When sewing on the binding I remembered the same thought, keep it looking like the kids did it.  They certainly wouldn't have hand sewn it down on the back as was my original plan and thanks to a suggestion from my son Jammer, I sewed it down with a squiggly line that also suited the quilt perfectly.
The binding was pieced together from the same solid rainbow fabrics used for the sashing.
I totally love the resulting finished quilt and the art teacher actually cried tears of joy when she saw it for the 1st time. BTW...that smiley face block is one of my favorites.
The other teachers were equally as thrilled with the final result.  I was worried that they wouldn't like my quilting design but those worries weren't realized.  They totally agreed with my choice and also felt that anything else wouldn't have looked right or like the kids themselves did it, which is what they wanted.
I stopped by the school's lobby recently to see how it looked hanging on the wall and the director told me that it has become a huge hit with the students.  Every single day a bunch of them come out to look at it, to point out their own blocks or to find the blocks of their friends.  She said that from her office she loves hearing when the kids discover yet another fun block that they hadn't noticed before.  Needless to say, they are so proud of what they helped to create and I know that it will be a source of inspiration to the young students for many years to come.

This quilt finished at 95" x 65" and is entered in the Large Quilts category.  You can see all the quilts entered in this category here and voting for your favorite will be Nov 1st through the 7th. You can also vote for it as one of your Viewer's Choice awards here. Enjoy the Blogger's Quilt Festival and as always, it promises to be a great party.

To the Rescue - A finish and Blogger's Quilt Festival entry

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month so it is the perfect time to show you my most recent finish and my first entry in the Blogger's Quilt Festival.
AmysCreativeSide.com


The idea for this quilt started with the pattern Flower Box Garden by Deborah Johnson Quiltmaker May/June 2012.
These are the fabrics that I had to work with.
I altered the block plan in that instead of the pieced feature blocks with the appliqued petals I used the EMS focus fabric instead.
And here is the completed quilt...

 To the Rescue
My kidlets helped out as quilt holders a couple of days ago while I took the pictures.
It was very windy that day and they had a tough time just holding onto it. Little Sunshine, who's fingers are just barely visible on the upper left side, was holding on for dear life.
It acted like a sail and I was just lucky to get these decent shots. It goes without saying that they lost hold of it more than once but it never flew off.
No matter how hard we tried nor how long we waited the wind would not die down enough to get a full on picture of the back but I think you can get a good idea from this picture.  As I wanted this quilt to appeal to all members of the Fire and EMS family, I chose a fire truck, ambulance and police fabric for the back. But... I wasn't able to get enough of it anywhere and since I'm tending to like pieced backings anyway, I put it together this way using the Red ladders and fire hoses fabric for the other side.
I'm happy to say that I free motion quilted this one on my longarm Penelope with a single loops, double loops and stars pattern.
I used Glide thread in Cardinal and I think it is just enough color without overpowering the white fabric areas.
This quilt was made as a fund raiser for Breast Cancer Awareness and it is being raffled off this weekend at a EMS trade show in Rochester. The ticket sales proceeds will be donated to the Northeastern chapter of Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure. I really hope that the response is huge and a lot of money is raised.
My employer donated all of the fabrics and batting for this donation quilt because his wife is a breast cancer survivor and the company is committed to raising money for this very worthwhile cause.
The original raffle was supposed to be held in June at an even bigger industry trade show but it was pouring rain and our booth was outside.  Needless to say that the 1st 2 days of the show we didn't see many visitors to our booth so the owner decided to postpone the raffle until the show this month, which thankfully is indoors so there is no chance of the quilt getting soaking wet again.
This was a really fun quilt to design and I hope that it achieves its goal of raising awareness and a lot of funds for Breast Cancer Awareness. This quilt is entered into the Large Quilts category and finished at 92" x 92".  You can see this quilt and all of the others entered into this category here.

The voting for the viewer's choices in each category will run from Nov 1st through the 7th so I'll be sure to remind you to hop over then to cast your votes. You can also vote for this quilt as one of your Viewer's Choice favorites here. I hope you enjoy the show.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Q.U.I.l.T.S Show - Part II

As promised, here are the rest of the pictures of quilts that I took at the Quilters United in Learning Together Schenectady (Q.U.I.L.T.S) last weekend. Enjoy, enjoy.

You'll Always Find Your Way Home, pieced by Susan Mezera, quilted by Eileen McCabe
Outside the Box, pieced by Lynn Reynolds Makrin, quilted by Dianne Podesva
Spring Tracks, pieced by Mary McNamara
Napa Diamonds, pieced by Mary McNamara, quilted by Eileen McCabe
Carpenter's Star, pieced by Mary Wade, quilted by Laurie Collins

Chinese Tiles, pieced by Georgia Bonesteel, quilted by Dianne Podesva
If The Hat Fits by Chris Kaczynski (You KNOW that I wanted to take this one home!)
My Celtic Solstice, pieced and quilted by Laurie Collins


Italian Tiles, pieced by Lynn Reynolds Makrin and quilted by Eileen McCabe

Times Square, pieced by Lynn Reynolds Makrin and quilted by Mandy Leins

Italian Tiles, pieced by Deborah Kreifels and quilted by Laurie Collins
Winning Hand, pieced by Mary Wade and quilted by Laurie Collins

I hope you enjoyed your visit to the show even if you weren't able to see them in person.  

We also wondered around the vendors at the show and bought just a few little goodies but I didn't take a picture before I put them away.  I'm knee deep in a deadline quilt so my studio needed to be uncluttered so that I could work. 

Now I'm ready to attend another show but I'll need to find one near enough to me.  How about you?  Do you like to attend local quilt shows?