Welcome to Sew in the Snow Blog

This blog is about my passions in life: family, quilting, and new adventures. Quilting is my main passion! I also love my family tirelessly and devote most of my energy to my young preschool girls and my husband. This blog will be about my creative process in quilting and some about being a Mom in this busy world. Being of Irish descent, I love a good story. So buckle in, here we go!

Friday, April 27, 2012

FAF: Uniquely Nancy

New York Beauty
The last couple of weeks I have found myself drawn to quilts made by Uniquely Nancy on Etsy.  For instance, when I looked up "red and white quilt" I was immediately drawn to her beautiful quilt, New York Beauty in Red and White.  She has an eye for cheerful color and lovely quilts.  As she states in her profile, "I love using bright fabrics and unexpected color combinations. I love all the new art quilts and have so many ideas of what I want to make that I have a hard time deciding what to do next."

She has been sewing for 50 years and quilting for over 20 years.   She has a broad range of items available in her shop: art quilts, bed quilts, mug rugs, aprons, bags and purses of all sorts,  and even some dolls.  All of her items are superbly made which demonstrates her love of the craft. 

Here's a look at some of  my favorite things from her shop!  I really like the bright colors and the eclectic collection of items.  I like to sew/quilt the same way... with wild abandon moving as the wind blows.  Whatever strikes my fancy, I make.  It'd be hard to classify myself or Nancy with any particular style because she has such a wide variety of products.  Enjoy looking at her products, I sure did!

To see her shop sections which I found these treasures, click on these links:
coin purses

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

WIP: Knitting Needle Case

New Spring Knitting Needle Cases Finished this week
This week I decided to replenish my store of knitting needle cases for my Etsy shop.  I have sold about half of what I originally made and I want to make some that have a fresh spring feel about them.  So, on Monday, I got out my new fabrics that I bought last week. 

Ohhhh!  How fun to play with the new fabrics!  Having about 10 brand new third-yards cuts of glorious batiks and rich spring greens to play with I felt truly rich in fabric.  I auditioned each group of colors to see what would best compliment each other in a knitting clutch/case which typically has 2 colors in it.  Then, I cut out enough to make one or two knitting clutches from the fabric. 

So, how is a knitting needle case made?  All measurements here are accurate so that you can make one if you want.  Each knitting needle case has 3 pockets: 4.5", 6.5", and 8.5".  The front or outside piece and inside liner are both 11" x 14".  I like to have coordinating fabric, but not necessarily the exact same fabric on the inside.  I think it's the quilter in me that loves to combine colors rather than make something out of all the same fabric.  I can't resist adding at least one other color to most everything that I make! 

3 layers of pockets with grey seams
Then, I iron the top of the pocket under 2x to keep it from unraveling later.  At this point, I always wish I had a serger!  Then no ironing here!  Oh well...  After stitching across the top, I sew the bottom of the pocket layers together with the right side facing out-- towards you.   Finally, I sew up 4 seams in the pockets: 2", and 3 seams at 1.5"intervals.  This creates 5 pockets: 4 1.5" pockets and one large 4" pocket for circular needles.  This creates a total of 15 pockets to store needles in. It is wide enough to store a set of 5 double pointed needles or 4 straight needles in each pocket.  The pockets hold up to 9" needles with the flap down.  If the flap is up, it will hold 14" needles.

Next, I begin on the outside piece.  I iron on the heavy weight fusible interfacing to the outside (or front) piece.  This gives it the strength it needs to support all the needles.

Front or outside piece
I sew on the 2.5" strip of coordinating fabric to the outside of the case with a satin stitch 3" up from the bottom.  This is where you will tie the ribbon to secure it closed.   Then I stitch the outside and inside together with the right sides facing each-other... presto!  A new clutch is nearly done!  After flipping it right-side out I finish with hand-stitching the seam with an "invisible" stitch.

 I just learned this stitch this year.  I have a girlfriend who can truly make it invisible. I have searched a pillow she made me to find the seam that she hand-stitched, and I can't find it!  Amazing.  Someday, I'll be that good.... ah, Perfection is so elusive.

Back on topic... I love making the knitting needle cases.  It's a fun project that is very rewarding to look at.  I have completed 4 new ones this week, and I have about 8 more cut out and ready to start.  Busy busy...  So, here's a look at what I've done and still need to do this week.  

Daisy fabric

Teal green and blue Asian floral
I especially love these three batiks! 

the dragonflies are my favorite here

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

May 1st Friday Art Show

Some of my quilts will be on display in Fairbanks for the local event titled, 1st Friday, in May. It meets on the first Friday of the month and an artist will display his/her products at various businesses around town. Anyone is free to come and enjoy the local artists work.

My quilts will be featured at the River City Cafe on 2nd St downtown by the Coop-Plaza.  It is a cute little coffee shop with great treats to eat and very friendly personnel.  I think it's a great location, since I love coffee shops.  I will be setting up next week. Yikes!

I'm so excited! My quilts will be featured where the public can see and enjoy them. What an honor to be able to share with the public my love of quilting. I have chosen the quilts to display and where to hang them in the shop already. I have recruited a very logical and practical friend to help me. She thinks of everything from clothespins to labels for my show. It's so much fun!

I plan on having giveaways for door prizes every half an hour. For the grand prize I'll giveaway a wall hanging. Anyone that comes by will be eligible to win the grand prize. So, if you're in Fairbanks, stop in to enjoy the quilts and a chance to win a prize!

I'll give you a sneak peak of some of the quilts I intend to have on display. this is going to be fun!

I hope to see you there!  This is going to be fun!

Friday, April 20, 2012

FAF: Touch of Earth

My favorite quilt is a Lone Star or Radiant Star quilt.  I've made two quilts with this pattern.  It takes a lot of work to match the seams.  Everything is bias cut, so it tends to stretch.  You have to pin each seam or the star points don't match.  I love the star, but I don't truly enjoy making it. 

My second Lone Star Quilt
 So, one day I was browsing on Etsy for Lone Star quilts and I came across Touch of Earth shop.  It has several lovely unfinished Lone Star quilt tops for sale.  The most amazing thing is that they only charge $29.99 for a quilt top!  I know that the fabrics probably cost that, and I'd pay a lot more just to have it pieced!  All that pinning done by someone else... it was so tempting that I bought a quilt top! 
This is the one I bought!

Coordinating fabric to finish it

When I got it, it was lovely.  I was (and still am) so impressed with her workmanship.  All of the points line up correctly.  The center is totally flat.  The colors match well and compliment each other well.  It is square.  Wow! 
I'm so excited to share the glorious treasure of her quilt tops with you!!!  I plan on buying more and finishing them for gifts.  I bought a book several years ago which has fancy methods to finish the Lone Star quilts.  It's titled, Lone Star Quilts and Beyond, by Jan Krentz.  The quilts in there are sooooo beautiful.  I have wanted to make some like this, but I dreaded doing the star center.  Now I will be able to finish it in a stunning method.  I have bought the fabric to finish this first one, but I plan on keeping it and putting it in on my bed. 

Ok, enough about me.  Let's look at some more of her lovely quilt tops.  I can't say enough great things about her quilts.  Lovely.  
Pink Strawberry Top

Time Goes Fast Christmas Top
Fresh Spring Top
Classic Deep Blue Star Top

Thursday, April 19, 2012

WIP: baby knits

 I made a newborn baby hat for a friend last month.  Then I made some matching booties.  I wasn't sure I could make the booties, but they turned out really well.  so cute!  I could hardly believe I made them.  That began a baby knitting craze.  Now, I'm knitting baby stuff each night as I watch TV with my hubby.  It's so much fun!  I didn't know that knitting could be so satisfying.

I've been knitting for just over a year now.  I highly recommend it!  I taught myself how to knit by watching youtube videos.  My favorite "teacher" is the knitwitch.  She is very clear and the camera is on her fingers in a close-up so you can really see what she is doing.  

Here's what I've been working on the last month or so of nights.  I've also made 2 preschool-hats for my girls and 3 pairs of mittens for them.... so that when one set gets wet they can have another for playing later that day.  Those shown here are for sale on my Etsy site.  They are perfect for a baby shower gift or for any baby that may be cold.  Some are cotton, some are wool, some are a blend!

Do you knit?  When do you knit?  What do you like to make?  For me, hats mittens and booties are super fun!  One day, I'll tackle something bigger like a sweater for myself.  But, so far, I have a lot of fun making baby stuff and the occasional scarf or hat for myself. 

Which style is your favorite?  What color would you like to see?  Let me know! Thanks!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fun Spring Wall Hangings

 Last week when I was looking at my spare blocks, I found inspiration to complete one as a wall hanging.  It turned out really cute!  I also finished the tulip quilt I was working on.  I love quick wall hangings! I'm giving them away today.  It's great to complete something.

Do you make wall hangings?  I have a friend that has hated them for years, but this year she has relented and decided that they are "ok".  I even gave her one made from scraps of this quilt made from a jelly roll.  Sadly, I forgot to get a picture of her wall hanging.  Grrr... I hate it when I do that.

Friday, April 13, 2012

FAF: Cherry Blossoms-- Treasury of great artists

Well, this week has really flown by.  I've been really busy getting ready for a quilt show I have the first weekend of May.  So, I forgot  to ask anyone to interview for today's Featured Artist post.  Instead, I'll show you a few of my favorite things from my latest treasury from Etsy titled, Cherry Blossoms.  It features artists from:

It has a wide array of lovely things in it.  Enjoy!  If you'd like to learn more about the items, click on the caption to get to the Etsy site for that item.

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossom Spring Colors

Cherry Blossoms for little girls by

Cherry Tree in Bloom
My Butterfly Breakfast Cherry Blossom
Baby Nursery Wall Decal