Thursday, September 30, 2010

Swoon by Melissa Averinos { Fat Quarter Shop Fridays Sponsored Post }

I'm proud to say that the wonderful Kimberly and crew over at the Fat Quarter Shop are sponsors of I'm Just A Guy Who Quilts. I welcome their patronage with open arms and can't wait to take the time to tell you all about the wonderful online shop they have. I'm sure if you're a quilter the name Fat Quarter Shop is synonymous with excellent selection, top notch customer service and fast shipping.

Beginning this week (and continuing 3 Fridays a month) on Fat Quarter Shop Fridays, I'll share information about upcoming fabric lines I can't wait to add to my fabric stash. We're going to be discussing color, design, inspiration, you name it! I hope you're as excited as I am to talk to the designers of some of our favorite fabric lines.

When I contacted Andover Fabrics designer Melissa Averinos about the November 2010 release of her newest fabric line appropriately named Swoon, she was very enthusiastic about speaking with me. Her only request? Give her time to post about it on her own blog!! That's right, you are being introduced to Swoon just after the designer herself spilled the beans.

I mean seriously, just look at the colors in this line. Who wouldn't be breathless after taking this in? Swoon with me ...

Swoon by Melissa Averinos

Melissa's first line, Sugar Snap, which she released a few years ago, introduced us to her bold use of color and design. We are treated again in Swoon with a palette of rich cherry, cranberry, eggplant, gray, olive, salmon, chocolate and blue (just to name a few!). I think Melissa successfully combined geometrics and florals, layering striking patterns on top of one another in such a way that the fabric really pops.

Way to go, girl! I can't wait to get my crafty little hands on some.

Swoon is being released in 3 colorways: Moss, Teal and Cherry!

When talking about the line on her blog, Melissa describes some of the prints as reminding her of men's ties and sheets from the 70s. Her favorite print? Garland!

You can learn more about Melissa by visiting her blog, Yummy Goods. There you will find her most recent post all about Swoon!

Melissa also released a book in May of 2010 titled, "Small Stash Sewing: 24 Projects Using Designer Fat Quarters."

Head on over to the Fat Quarter Shop, sponsor of this post, and sign up to be notified when Swoon becomes available for purchase. Hurry, run! Before you miss it! :)

PS: Did you know I was a featured crafter over on the Fat Quarterly Blog today?

Until next time, happy quilting!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Heartworks Quilts & Fabrics { LQS Series }

One aspect of my REAL job (or that thing that gets in the way of my quilting as I like to call it) is that I get to travel all over the countryside visiting different hospitals, nursing homes, city and village clerks, and residences of the families my company serves. That leads to many miles in the car (sometimes hundreds) every day passing over hills and little back country roads with all sorts of sights to see: farm stands, country stores, barns, covered bridges, and most importantly quilt shops!! Yes, it's true, I brake for fabric people! I'm like a hawk when it comes to spotting places that sell fabric of any kind. The first question I ask any clerk after we're finishing up the paper filing is, "Any local quilt shops around?" Get the picture?

I happened upon a quilt shop today that my grandmother has been telling me about for quite a while. I knew it was there, tucked away in Fly Creek, NY. I've passed by it many times, but I never stopped. Don't know why. Today, as I saw it grow closer in the car window I decided to stop and I met Margaret Wolff.

When I arrived at the shop I opened the door to be greeted right away by a large chocolate lab and 2 springer spaniels. They all took notice of my entry and immediately sized me up, circling and wagging. I looked to my right where Margaret was standing behind the counter and said, "Hi" with a smile. She returned with an enthusiastic "Good afternoon!" and quickly explained that the large lab was her grand dog who was visiting for the day. She doesn't normally have this much "help" at the store. I let her know that the dog security guards were no problem at all and reached my hand down to scratch the labs ear. He tilted his head sideways toward my hand and closed his eyes almost smiling. I made a new friend. One that thought he needed to follow me along the first aisle of fabric till Margaret grabbed him and headed him in the other direction.

Now, in the past I have always been a "Type A" shopper. I routinely go up and down every aisle scanning the shelves for anything that catches my eye. I do it at the grocery store, I do it at chain stores, it drives my wife nuts. I work my way from one side of the store to the other. Fabric shops are no different. I look at everything. You never know when your going to find the last few bolts of Flea Market Fancy! Honey, remember that trip to Quilt Market at the end of October you said you'd go with me to? How many hundreds of vendors are there going to be? Consider yourself warned! LOL

After my furry shopping partner left I got down to the serious business of treasure finding while Margaret took a phone call.

I admit, I had been on the Heartworks website a few times checking to see if it was worth a visit. I find LQS's that carry modern fabrics few and far between in my area. The quilters here tend to gravitate towards the country florals and pastels. I like bright and bold. After clicking around for a few minutes I found that she carried Moda, Robert Kaufman, Windham, P & B, the usuals. I found a few pictures of Wild Thyme by Carolyn Gavin which seemed an adventurous choice and one I liked, so I filed it the back of my mind for the next time work took me by the place.

By the time I made it through the first few shelves of fabric Margaret was off the phone and we chatted a little. I spoke about how I was working on some quilts for the Moda Bake Shop and we admired some bolts from their new line Breakfast at Tiffany's. I mentioned that my grandmother shops here quite a bit and she knew who she was as soon as I said her name. I told her I wasn't looking for anything in particular, just wanted to "check the shop out." After a few minutes she excused herself to the back room where she had several machines set up to continue work on a project. As she started her sewing machine back up I wandered through the rest of the aisles and found some Early Bird by Cosmo Cricket and some Robert Kaufman polka dot fabric that I scooped up and took to the cutting counter. While I was shuffling to the front of the shop with my loot Margaret poked her head out of the back room and said, "There's more fabric back here. The flannels and Christmas fabrics are upstairs. We are after all the Queens of Flannel!"

She was right! Upstairs were bolts upon bolts of flannel and an entire wall of Christmas fabric. One new line in particular that caught my eye was Bliss by Bonnie and Camille in flannel. The colors in that line are the perfect shade of red and aqua. YUM! I resisted scooping them up to carry downstairs knowing I already had a growing pile of cotton bolts on the cutting table. I did sit there for a few minutes just to stare at the mesmerising dots and flowers that seemed to jump out on the almost glowing aqua backdrop.

After nearly busting my fabric budget for this month and next with the bolts of Bliss flannel, I trotted back downstairs to let Margaret know I was all set. We chatted a little more about quilts and fabric. She mentioned that my grandmother has made a few quilts for her "Jimmy Fund" project. Her shop gives out packs of fabric to anyone willing to make quilts to be donated to the Jimmy Fund Clinic in the Cancer Center for Children at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Mass. They've also been active in the American Hero Quilt Project giving quilts to the wounded returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

As we were walking to the register so I could pay for my purchases Margaret turned to me and asked if she could take my picture for her newsletter. I said sure and my cheeks must have turned red because she nonchalantly said, "It only goes out to about 2800 people." Needless to say, I was very flattered that she wanted to talk about me in her newsletter. She snapped a few photos of me standing in front of some bolts of Breakfast at Tiffany's. We exchanged a little more information and I handed her one of my business cards with my website and contact information before I left.

Please check out Margaret's website and online store. It's full of pictures and information about classes and workshops they offer. Shes an award winning quilter and has been teaching quilting since 1989. Currently her quilts are hanging in Australia, England, Wales, Denmark, Japan, Ireland, and the American Embassy in Kenya, as well as in many states in the USA. One aspect of her business I'm very interested in is her Quilt Inn where she hosts over night retreats for groups of six to eight that can be custom designed. The Litco Farms Bead and Breakfast where the retreats are held sits right next door to the quilt shop.

I was very glad I decided to stop and even more grateful that I met a very warm and friendly shop owner. You made me feel very welcome Margaret! One note: I forgot to bring my camera with me today (I normally take it everywhere) so I had to borrow the photos for this post from the Heartworks website.

Oh, and dear Bliss flannel, I'll be back real soon to get you. Please save some for me Margaret! :)

Happy quilting,

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Halloween Placemats & Fabric { Fat Quarter Shop Sponsored Post }

Well, I finally caved. This morning Mr. Owl and I jumped into the car and went down to the local owlie outfit store to pick out a Halloween costume. Seriously, he's been begging me for weeks to buy something for him. I've been hearing him yammer on about all the good costumes being taken or something or other ...

After scouring the racks for what seemed like hours he decided on this hat. I told him it looked perfect on him. Fits his personality and everything. Lets just say he wasn't amused by my comment. He wore the hat all the way home and hasn't taken it off yet.

I shuffled off to my quilt studio as soon as we got home to give Mr. Owl some quality time with his new headgear. Our little trip got me in the Halloween spirit. The end of September is upon us and Halloween will be here before we know it. To try and break the habit of always being last minute I decided to whip up some place mats to Octoberfy the table.

I broke out the trusty AccuQuilt GO!, reached for my nearest Halloween fat quarter bundle and went to cutting strips with my 2 1/2" strip cutting die lickety split. I assembled the strips in rows of ten, sandwiched the batting and backing and zig zag stitched down the seams where the strips come together. Five fat quarters gave me enough strips to make four mats. I selected four more fat quarters from my stash for the backing and bound them with black polka dot. I was finished by dinner time. What do you think?

Halloween Place Mats

Halloween Place Mats

Halloween Place Mats

If you're looking for some great Halloween fabrics to make your home festive this season, check out these lines available now at the Fat Quarter Shop.

Hope you have a spooky good time this Halloween!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Announcing Patchwork Squared!

I've got some great news that I've been holding onto for what seems like forever. I've been dying to tell you all about what I've been doing behind the scenes here at I'm Just A Guy Who Quilts and now, FINALLY, we've been given the green light to go ahead and spill the beans!

I've joined forces with fellow manquilter, Charlie Scott to create a brand new quilt design company known as Patchwork Squared (or P2 for short).

Our debut pattern called "Read Between the Lines" is now available for download in the Fall 2010 issue of Quiltposium Magazine.

Stay tuned for more great quilts being released under the new Patchwork Squared name. We've been working hard to design simple, modern quilts from a brand new perspective.

We'd love to hear what you all think! Please leave us a comment.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Celebrate and Giveaway { Elisa's Backporch Design Sponsored Post }

Of all the great reasons to celebrate having sponsors for a blog, the number one would be offering giveaways to your readers. With that said, I want to introduce you all to one of my wonderful sponsors Elisa of Elisa's Backporch Design. Elisa has a wonderful reason to celebrate too. She just had a new grandbaby born! Congratulations Elisa!

To honor the occasion she wants to give away $100 in merchandise from her shop. WOW! That's very generous of you Elisa.

I had the chance to speak with Elisa recently and she offered the following information about her company:

"I provide quilters with unique tools and methods for creating slightly non-traditional quilts. Quilting should be fun and rewarding. So when I see an area that has unrealized potential for inspiring those who enjoy quilting, I create templates, books, rulers and patterns to excite interest in those areas. By using my curve templates and sewing instructions, I have helped people feel confident in their ability to create beautiful drunkards path quilts. My newest ruler, Square Me Up, gives speed and accuracy when creating quilts using half square triangles. What makes me unique is that I create ease in areas of quilting that would otherwise be frustrating or a stumbling block. Helping quilters learn new techniques and grow in their love of quilting is my passion. See the many video tutorials on my website and blog."

I highly recommend you wander over to Elisa's shop and take a look at the patterns she has to offer (not to mention the GORGEOUS quilts on the covers).

She's been filmed for Quilter's TV, QNN, Kaye's Quilting Friends and America Quilts Creatively, and has also had some of her patterns in several magazines: including Asian Fabric and Quilter's World. Along with creating easy to use templates, Elisa has also authored several quilting books.

Thanks for sharing some information about your company with us Elisa. For more information you can visit Elisa's blog here:

All you have to do to enter Elisa's contest to win $100 worth of merchandise is go to her facebook page and click the "like" button. It's that simple!

Hurry, the drawing will be held on Sunday, September 26, 2010!

Good luck,

Sunday, September 19, 2010

DQS9 - Look What I Got!

I've said it before and I'll say it again, DQS is one of my all-time favorite swaps. I lucked out AGAIN and got a wonderful partner this round (not that everyone who participates isn't TOTALLY AWESOME). Shout out to my DQS peeps! My partner really nailed it. She combined all of my current favorites into a gorgeous piece of quiltie art.

I'm going to do a little gushing here so watch out. Lots of pictures too!

I was paired up this round with Natalie who spoiled me with an aqua and tangerine hex quilt featuring a rad owl family set on a Monaluna Mingle background. Check it out!

DQS9 Quilt From Natalie

DQS9 Quilt From Natalie

Look at those cool "dandelion puffs."

DQS9 Quilt From Natalie

Natalie said she was inspired to make this quilt after reading about my family. She even added a "daredevil" owl based on my son Brennan in this photo. You can tell which one he is. The only owl not sitting on the branch like the others. Love it!

DQS9 Quilt From Natalie

Just look at all that hand applique and quilting. I find new things to admire about it every day. Our whole family's been enjoying it so much lately that I haven't been able to hang it in the studio yet.

DQS9 Quilt From Natalie

DQS9 Quilt From Natalie

The back of the quilt and sweet label she included are just as cute.

DQS9 Quilt From Natalie

DQS9 Quilt From Natalie

She even sent along some extras for me. Owl fabrics and a stitched saying. I think the saying is going to hang on the studio door.

DQS9 Quilt From Natalie

Thanks for being such a wonderful partner Natalie. I really appreciate the time and talent you put into my quilt.

My family and I will treasure your quilt forever.

Oh, and I have one question for the DQS mamas ... When is round 10 starting?!?!?

Thanks for putting together another great swap Susan, Lynne, Anita, Lucyellen, Solidia, Tacha, Kimmie, Laura, Susan (#2!), Tine, Helen, and Carol!

PS: If you love Monaluna fabric as much as I do, head on over to these sponsors and pick some up for your stash.

Fat Quarter Shop - Kimberly carries Monaluna prints from the organic Circa 50 line.

Hawthorne Threads - Charlie and Lindsay have some Mingle yardage and FQ bundles in stock.

Wondrous Wovens - Cathy also carries hip Circa 50 fabric in her shop!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Beginnings & Endings { and life with boys}


I hear my wife say it all the time ...

"I'm out numbered." "I live in a house full of boys!"

I don't blame her for voicing her frustration. With boys come muddy messes and rough play. Not a day goes by that I don't witness a sword fight, a matchbox car traffic jam, or a hefty launch of energy off the end of the couch.

They are a hand full. Both of them.

No tea parties or shoe shop-a-thons here.

Oh, and did I mention a never ending supply of bugs?


Here is Mr. Rowan showing off his collection of monarch caterpillars (in the jars behind him). They are all over the milkweed along the walking path this time of year. He can't wait till the butterflies start hatching. There are currently 7 chrysalis'.

Remind me to make this shaggy little guy a haircut appointment.

Today was Rowan's first day of school. He is officially a Kindergartner. The fun begins.

... the little rugrat. He's growing up too fast.


The rascal didn't even bat an eye when he jumped on the bus this morning. I think mom was waiting for just a little bit of apprehension on his part.

His biggest worry this morning? "Which seat should I sit in on the bus, daddy?"

DQS9 ended today. My quilt was finished just in time. I was really sweating it this round because of the new rules. If you are even one day late, you're out of the next round.

Here are several pictures of it after I pulled it out of the dryer this morning.

Lot's of fall colors like my partner requested. I used Kona solids, Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow, and Hope Valley by Denyse Schmidt.

I hope you like it partner.

I had a very hard time letting this one go.

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