Tuesday, August 31, 2010

AccuQuilt GO! { Quick Cuts } - Preventing Fabric Waste - DAY 2 GIVEAWAY Celebration ALL WEEK LONG

Welcome to day 2 of our week long celebration featuring the AccuQuilt GO! Each day this week we're going to be presenting you with some quick tips on how to get the most from your AccuQuilt GO! machine, and some personal thoughts on my experience using the GO! We're calling this feature, AccuQuilt GO! {Quick Cuts}

Did you know AccuQuilt has it's own YouTube Channel? It's true, there is a library of videos all on the AccuQuilt Go! system. And because I don't have any fancy video equipment to record myself using the machine, I am going to share a few with you today.

Remember I said there were a few tips to minimize the amount of fabric you waste when you cut your shapes? One way to achieve that is to mark your die using a permanent marker so you can more easily see where the blades come out of your die when cutting. This video from the Accuquilt YouTube library shows how to do that:

Now that you have marked your die, you can place your fabric close to the outer perimeter of the blade and only have as little as a 1/4" of leftover fabric where your shape was cut out. This next video is titled, "Minimize Waste with Your AccuQuilt GO! Fabric Cutter." Take it away Carolyn!

If you want to win one of these fantastic machines and 3 dies of your choice, head over to THIS POST and leave a comment there to enter. You can qualify yourself to enter up to 5 times. On Monday, September 6, the Random Number Generator will pick the comment of one GRAND PRIZE winner and several runners up and I will post the results here on the blog.


Say hello to one of our BLOG SPONSORS, Charlie Scott of Qubee Quilts who graciously donated several of his patterns for one of our lucky runners up.

Yes, one of you lucky ducks will take home copies of his latest 3 patterns! Take at look at what you could win (from left to right, the patterns are called LOVE, PRAIRIE STARS and WRITTEN IN THE STARS:

Charlie Scott is a quilter and pattern designer living in Kansas City, Missouri. He enjoys collecting all kinds of fabric, especially Fat Quarters and designs traditional quilts with a modern twist to make them uniquely his own. He also enjoys camping, hiking, and spending time outside when he isn't quilting.

Thanks for joining us today,

Monday, August 30, 2010

September is National Sewing Month! Enter the 2010 Accessorize Your Life Contest

For immediate media release.

National Sewing Month, September 2010 “Accessorize Your Life” Contest

Pittsburgh, PA – July 22, 2010 – Sewing enthusiasts are being challenged to sew up their best accessory idea for National Sewing Month, September 2010. The Accessorize Your Life contest runs through September 30, 2010 and an accessory item can be entered in to any of eight categories from Fashion/Garments to pets and travel. Contest information is available on www.NationalSewingMonth.org.

The observance of National Sewing Month began in 1982 with a proclamation from President Ronald Reagan declaring September as National Sewing Month “In recognition of the importance of home sewing to our Nation.”

SewaNew is the theme for September is National Sewing Month 2010. “It’s no secret that sewing is the hottest new hobby” reports Joyce Perhac of the Sewing & Craft Alliance. “Teens and young adults are filling learn-to-sew classes then using their new-found creative skills to restyle their wardrobes and make one of a kind skirts, tops and dresses to show off to their friends.” “The inspiration created in part by Project Runway crosses generations — and sexes — and motivates enthusiasts to try their hand at their own style of creativity,” she continues.

Margo Martin, Executive Director of the American Sewing Guild, agrees. “There are also scores of ‘used to sew-ers’ who are now returning to sewing to find fresh new fabric choices from beautiful batiks to ecofriendly bamboo, as well as patterns that are much easier to use and tech-savvy machines that have setit-and-forget-it style embroidery.”

V.I.P by Cranston, a US based textile company that designs and sells quilting fabrics and Ghee’s, a designer and supplier of handbag patterns, embroidery designs and unique zippers have joined SCA and ASG as sponsors of this year’s National Sewing Month.

The National Sewing Month website offers free logos and promotional materials for print or web to any individual, educator or business interested in promoting this celebration of sewing.

The Sewing & Craft Alliance (SCA) provides education and creative resources to sewing and craft enthusiasts as well as retailers, manufacturers and educators. SCA offers free learn-to-sew articles, SEW-lutions Education Guidelines, free project sheets and interactive opportunities for the sewing community. SCA also offers training classes to sewing enthusiasts on how to teach sewing to others. Visit them at www.sewing.org.

The American Sewing Guild, Inc. (ASG) is a not-for-profit education based organization comprised of over 20,000 members who promote the mission to “advance sewing as an art and life skill” by providing a network of sewing education and support for sewing enthusiasts, serving as preservers of the sewing arts, promoting community engagement through service projects and sharing sewing arts with new generations. Sewing enthusiasts can join a local chapter by visiting www.asg.org.

AccuQuilt GO! { Review and Giveaway } We're Celebrating the GO! ALL WEEK LONG

I was so excited when the folks over at AccuQuilt contacted me about reviewing and giving away their exceptional product. I had no idea they were a fan of my blog, and was surprised they wanted me to promote their cutter. It's your lucky day readers! Today I'm announcing you all have a chance to win a GO! of your very own.

When Carolyn and I spoke a few months ago I told her how happy I was for the opportunity to share their machine with the world (or my little bloggy corner of it anyway). I mentioned I have always wanted to try the GO! but I never had the chance to see it demonstrated in person. I'm always a skeptic when it comes to the latest and greatest out there and rarely ever jump to make a major $$ purchase without trying said product out. When that AccuQuilt box arrived on my doorstep it changed my quilting experience FOREVER. I even created a tutorial for you on how to make a quick table runner using the GO! that I will share with you on the day I announce the winners. You're welcome very much!

I'm hooked!

I was able to get to know this machine enough to make a firm decision. The GO! is a great tool I feel every quilter should have in their studio arsenal. Whether you're looking for something new to spark interest in your hobby again or don't have a lot of time to spend quilting, the GO! is a universal solution great for busy quilters and crafters. I recommend it highly.

Carolyn even allowed me to choose 3 dies to try out with my machine:

Of course, I requested the ever popular 2.5" strip cutter die. I mean, hello!! You can make your own jelly rolls (great if you have an etsy or eBay shop and want to sell some stash fabric) and the strips come in handy for binding a quilt. You can also use the die for sashing, borders, patch blocks etc. Bonus!

The second die I requested was the Go Chisels. Another multi use die, I can create braided borders, rectangles with triangle corners, and zig zags. The best part is the die automatically scores the corners to prevent dog ears you need to cut later (saving you more time).

And finally, I tried out the Funky Flowers die. I label myself as a modern quilter and love the look of raw edge applique. I can use this die to dress up my quilts by adding a few accent pieces and really make it POP! Best of all, I can use my scraps with this die (and I know if you're like me, you keep all scraps to use for future minis and quickie projects).

The majority of problems with my quilting seem to develop around cutting mistakes. The GO! helps me by creating accurate and consistent cuts every time. I can cut up to 6 layers of fabric with each pass and cut an entire quilt 90% faster than using a rotary cutter!

Here are some of my thoughts after spending some time with my new buddy (I'm a sewing geek and proud of it):

I know the #1 complaint everyone has about this machine (and most of the naysayers have never tried one) is that you have a lot of waste. What?? I say, you only have waste if you don't line your fabric up properly. I'll share a neat trick with you later in the week on how to place your fabric on the die to minimize waste.

You've also probably heard, why buy a machine you can only use for certain tasks? Aren't there a limited number of dies available? Um, have you seen AccuQuilt's library of dies? They have released several new dies over the last few months with a whopping 52 dies currently available! They have licensed designs by several top quilters in the industry. They even have over 20 free patterns on their website to use the dies with.

The GO! helps me cut an entire quilt in a short period of time. No more sore back from bending over my cutting table. No more sore elbows from the continuous back and forth movement and downward pressure when using my rotary blade. I'll show you how easy it is to use the machine this week.

I'm a busy dad and most of my quilting happens after my kids go to bed for the night (the reason for the owlie avatar) which really cuts into my quilting time. With the GO! I can spend more time piecing and enjoying the fruits of my quilting labor and less time grumbling because I cut those last pieces a 1/4" too narrow. Yikes! You busy parents all know what I'm talking about here.

Thank you for making my life easier AccuQuilt!

Beginning Tuesday, August 31 I'll post about my experiences with the go cutter and share photos and tips on how to get the most out of your machine. Please join me for a week long celebration of the AccuQuilt GO!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not giving up my rulers, cutting mat, or rotary cutter any time soon. I'm just saying I'll be grabbing for my my AccuQuilt GO! when I know my quilting time is limited and I need a fast gift to brighten someone's day.

Enough of me blabbing, are you ready to throw your name in the pot? One lucky GRAND PRIZE winner will walk away with a new AccuQuilt GO! and 3 dies of their choice. But wait, I will also be drawing names to win several other prizes donated by my blog sponsors and readers like you! Over the next week I will introduce you to the other prizes and the people who donated them. Here's what you can do to enter the contest up to 5 times:

1. Leave a comment on this post saying "Hi" and that you'd like to be entered.

2. If you follow my blog leave me a comment letting me know you follow.

3. Visit the AccuQuilt website and leave a comment on this post telling me what dies you would pick out if you won. Remember you will get 3!!

4. Tweet or Facebook about this giveaway and share the link with your friends and leave me a comment telling me you did. Please include @RyanWalshQuilts in your Tweet so I can verify your entry.

5. If you have a blog, share this giveaway with your readers and link to it. Remember to come back here and leave me a comment with the link and you will be entered again!

The contest is open for entries until Sunday, September 5, 2010 @ 11:59 PM Eastern. On Monday, September 6, the Random Number Generator will pick the comment of one GRAND PRIZE winner and several runners up and I will post the results here on the blog.

Please remember to leave a separate comment for each entry. Single comments with more than one way you qualified will only count as 1 entry. To maximize you chances of winning, leave 5 separate comments for each way you qualify.

Good luck!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

VOTE FOR ME! { Shameless Plug } GEVEAWAY

I hope everyone is ready for a giveaway announcement on Monday morning because I'm finally giving away that Accuquilt Go! I've been having fun with this machine and want to tell you all about the awesome features and benefits. Stay tuned.

I also wanted to say "Hi!" to all the recent followers who joined in the last few weeks. Please leave me a note to let me know you stopped by. I really do enjoy all the feedback and comments.

A big announcement is coming soon! September will bring with it a new venture I hope you all will welcome with open arms. I can't wait to tell you all about it. Very exciting stuff!!

Lastly, I entered a mini quilt in the Quilting Gallery Mini Quilt Contest. The polls are open till Sunday evening and I'd appreciate your show of support. I'm battling it out with 30 other entries to win a $50.00 Fat Quarter Shop gift certificate!


Thanks for reading,

Friday, August 13, 2010

FABRIC SALE - Destashing

Hi All! I've decided to clear out the studio to make room for the upcoming fabric shipment after Market in October. I'm letting go of all my primitive fabrics. I was able to get around 55 listed in my etsy shop tonight.

If primitive or country fabric is one of your likes, I encourage you to wander over to the shop. I am going to try and list more items over the next several nights. Keep your eyes peeled.

Please tell your friends! The BRAND NEW fabrics are only $5.00 a yard and have been stored indoors.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Circling Geese Table Runner

Flying Geese Runner

A good friend and fellow manquilter bud recently purchased a home. I knew I wanted to make him something as a housewarming gift and asked him one afternoon about colors. As he was describing the rooms, a runner I designed a few years ago came to mind. It had been sitting unfinished in my UFO pile since it was completed because I had no idea where to use it or how to quilt it.

Flying Geese Runner

When I first started to quilt I fell in love with batik fabrics and flying geese blocks.

I made TONS of them.

I had and still have stacks of geese that I made with scraps in all different colors. I assembled some colorful square in square blocks too because they were real easy.

Flying Geese Runner

I was very lucky to be able to pair both of the different types of block together because I wasn't paying any attention to the sizes when I was making them. When I started laying out this runner everything just fell into place. I guess you have to be lucky sometimes.

I was so pleased.

Until it came time to quilt it!

I had no creative ideas whatsoever. So there it sat in that dreaded, ever growing UFO pile in my studio.

Flying Geese Runner

I thought this runner would fit their scheme so well that I had to wrack my brain and come up with a game plan for the quilting.

I'm becoming a big fan of straight line quilting so I decided to play on the direction the geese were going a little. I machine quilted a continuous line wrapping the entire outside of the runner. I also used a grid pattern on the inside through the square in square blocks.

Flying Geese Runner

I was so happy to get it finished and send it along to its new home. And I got another project checked off my UFO list to boot!

Enjoy Charlie!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

{ Long Overdue } Bee Block Update

Howdy Y'all! (I'm practicing my Southern drawl for Houston Market in the Fall). How am I doing? :) ha! I'm still finishing up the final details for my AccuQuilt giveaway so it's still hush hush for now ... I CAN tell you that several folks have contacted me to donate prizes. There's still time to donate so feel free to leave a comment letting me know you want to participate. There will be one grand prize winner and several runners up! Yay!

I thought I'd take some time to catch up and show you all the bee blocks I've been working on over the last few months. I promise not to bore you too much (are you having flashbacks of watching grandma and grandpa's vacation slides?). I'm participating in 4 Bees this year. I know, I know, lots of commitment, how do you ever get anything done and all that. Believe me, I'm learning my lesson!

Starting things off with the Fussy Cut Bee.

March 2010 was Lisa's month. Her theme was square in square blocks. She sent an assortment of fabrics and this was the block I made for her:

Fussycut Bee Block for Lisa

April 2010 was Victoria's month. She requested whirligigs with a diamond or square center. I came up with this block for her:

Fussy Cut Bee Block for Victoria

May 2010 was Chelsea's month. She sent out an assortment of jewel toned fabrics. I was able to make 2 blocks for her:

Fussy Cut Block for Chelsea

Fussy Cut Block for Chelsea

June 2010 was my month. I have a separate post for that month so we'll skip on to July. It was Amber's month. She requested log cabins and sent some bright fabrics. I was able to make 2 blocks for her as well:

July 2010 Fussy Cut Bee Block for Amber

July 2010 Fussy Cut Bee Block for Amber

Another bee I participate in is called {Bee} Imaginative.

I left off on Julie's month, March 2010. She sent some great Monaluna fabrics and I made 2 blocks for her:

Bee Imaginative Block for Julie

Bee Imaginative Block for Julie

Up next in April was Ashley. Her theme was Denyse Schmidt's Drunk Love. I was able to get 2 blocks pieced for her as well:

Bee Imaginative Block for Ashley

Bee Imaginative Block for Ashley

May was Amanda's month. She wanted flying geese blocks. The fabrics she sent were beautiful. I had time to make one block for her:

Bee Imaginative Block for Amanda

June was Jacquie's month. She wanted simple, rectangular blocks and sent some home dec fabric. I made one big block for her:

Bee Imaginative Block for Jacquie

July was my month. As soon as all my blocks return, I will post them.

The Red and Aqua Bee has been very challenging for me. Most of the participants have selected some sort of paper pieced block. Although not my favorite way to piece, I have been getting better as the months go along.

Cate was up first in February. She chose a Kaffe pattern called Pickle dish. Here are the 2 blocks I made for her:

Pickle Dish Block for Cate

Pickle Dish Block for Cate

March was Tami's month. She wanted endless chain blocks. Here's what I made for her:

Red and Aqua Block for Tami

Lisa was up in April. She wanted foundation pieced string blocks. FINALLY! Something I could whip up without trouble. :) Here are the 2 blocks I made for her:

Red and Aqua String Block for Lisa

Red and Aqua String Block for Lisa

We took May and June off due to drop outs. I think we lost a few because of all the paper piecing.

July was Corey's month. She requested liberated wedding ring blocks. Another paper pieced block, but this time it was no different than strip piecing. She wanted a little wonk to the strips. Here's the block I made for her:

July 2010 Red & Aqua Bee Block for Corey

Finally, for Buzz Cuts, starting the bee off in May, Adrienne requested stash busting star blocks with blue/green fabrics from our scrap bins. I had a lot of fun making this block for her:

Buzz Cuts Bee Block for Adrienne

I am still completing blocks for June (Jennie) and July (Kimmie).

Whew! That was a long post! Thanks for reading!

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