06 May 2015

Made with Love {and Gooseberry}


I've been busy as a bee for the last several months plotting, writing, and sewing using my new line, Gooseberry. (It ships in October and will be available for order at Quilt Market next week.) But for those of you who won't be at Quilt Market, here is a look at the new patterns--all of which are now available in the shop in PDF or paper:
    
   

Before we take a closer look, I just want to say thank you to all my amazing quilters. I feel so blessed to know such talented ladies who make my designs really come to life. You are the best. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 
Here we go. First up is Shuffle. It's a fun twist (literally) on a traditional pinwheel quilt and can be made using two charm packs OR seven fat quarters. Then, choose a colorful background to really make those pinwheels pop, or go for a more traditional white background to keep it simple.
     
The blue background--Bella solid 9900 85 "Robins Egg Blue"--is a perfect match to GooseberryAbby Latimer quilted this one with a Bread Basket pattern and it is just beautiful. (It's not the first time I have had Abby do this pattern. It's one of my favorites.)  Thanks, Abby!
  
The white (fat quarter) version shows off a more boyish side of Gooseberry.The wavy quilting sure makes me dream about a day at the beach and was quilted by Kaitlyn at Quilted Works

Next, come spend the afternoon on the Tea Party quilt. Make it scrappy with a layer cake, or make the two-tone pink version--both are real sweet.
     
Because the design is simple (and square), I really wanted the quilting to be a little more ornate and feminine. Abby Latimer quilted this one and came up with the perfect meandering flower pattern. You may notice I have used Abby's services a LOT and that's because she is amazing! She specializes in edge-to-edge designs and has a really quick turnaround. I sure do love the special touch she brings to my quilts.
 

Tea Party is quite a large quilt--a very generous twin-size. But can we talk about the two-tone pink version for a second? It never ceases to amaze me how playing with color makes things look so different. I could totally see this one living on a bed with lots of colorful pillows. (My mom disagrees and has claimed it for her living room.) I quilted this one with lots of freemotion swirls.

Are you ready to be mesmerized by the Kaleidoscope quilt? Make the scrappy version with a jelly roll--or make a solid version with your favorite Gooseberry print. Believe it or not, this one was the quickest for me to piece this time around.
   
This one really brightens up my day with its cheerful mix of colors. Jenn Thurston quilted it with a simple loop pattern and I love the how whimsical and sweet all the elements look together. Oh and Jenn also bound this quilt for me and I cannot begin to tell you how that literally saved me in these last couple days of madness before market!

The solid version is in the works and will hopefully be ready in time for market. Wish me luck on that one.
Now for one of my favorite quilts ever--Social Butterfly. It is made with 18 fat quarters and makes a really great block of the month or class project. One of the things I love most about Social Butterfly is that it's not actually a difficult pattern. The trick with this pattern is just keeping things organized. (I highly recommend using Fat Quarter Shop's Alphabitties labels.)
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This one is so much fun to make. My favorite part is choosing which prints to use for each butterfly.

And I'm kind of obsessed with the custom quilting! I have never had anything custom-quilted but had it in my mind that Social Butterfly NEEDED custom quilting. Around the same time, I discovered that the Natalia Bonner lives up the street from me. Kismet, people. Kismet. I'm so glad she added her magic on this one. (Duh.) I'm dying over the antennae made out of feathers. 

The back itself is a masterpiece. If you are at quilt market, come on over to my booth and drool over Natalia's handiwork with me.

Finally, I made my very first mini pattern and isn't she cute?! (I now understand why everyone is so addicted to the minis.) Welcome, Social Butterfly Mini.

Now I'm really thinking crazy thoughts like making a million of these into a lap quilt. 
Well I wish I could say I'm all ready for quilt market and that I'm just going to relax for the next couple of days... Not likely! I've got a few more things to wrap up--so back to the lair it is for me. But I'd love to hear your thoughts on all the new patterns. Favorites?

30 April 2015

#ModaDesignersIRL

It's not nice to mess with Captain Mike. 
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Attention Blogees (or whatever you call yourselves), this Blog is hereby commandeered by Capt. Mike, retired detective LAPD. I’m a naturally suspicious guy; suspicion goes with the territory and I’ve been full of it for the past several weeks as I’ve investigated this Lella Boutique and its proprietor, Vanessa Goertzen, a seemingly sweet young thing who I came to suspect of actually running a nefarious network that trafficked in illegal contraband. 
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To digress a little, Vanessa is the daughter of my new wife, Miriam. Because Miriam had recently passed the Bureau of Criminal Information background check, I figured that I could give her daughter some leeway before putting her to the test. By the way, I earned my moniker with 30 years’ experience working the hard streets of L.A. so I wear it proudly. Miriam is the only one I have given permission who does not have to address me as “Captain”--at least when we’re at home and company is not present. 
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Anyway, Vanessa brought her two children: Olive, age 4, and Lorenzo ("Bubba"), age 2, to our home a month and a half ago. The kids are cute but annoying. Apparently, Vanessa needs Miriam’s help as she prepares for an event called: “Quilt Market” that is scheduled for the middle of May in Minneapolis. It seems that this market with the innocuous title is in actuality a twice annual convention that attracts a mass network of companies and thousands of attendees each year. Vanessa is a designer for Moda (no, not that guy, he’s still in the joint); it turns out that Moda is a quilting fabric company based in Dallas—or so it claims.
My view this morning. #showmethemoda #quiltmarket
I learned through my investigation that Moda employs home-based designers like Vanessa, but I fear that something more sinister is at work here. Vanessa has turned our garage into her own work place that she always keeps locked. She works 18 hour days accompanied by a constant humming of some unknown machine. One day, when she came out for a quick lunch break, I got a glimpse of some sketched designs of butterflies and pinwheels in a notebook that never left her side. I paged through suspicious short hand and detailed instructions regarding “a project” that she wanted done. One note was particularly concerning: “the long arm is close-thank goodness, I’m nearly done.” Had Vanessa found out about my investigation and was she alerting her higher ups?
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It seems as the Quilt Market day approaches, Vanessa’s work has become more frantic. When she’s not in her work room, she is typing on her laptop or IPhone. And this is not the usual casual communication that is typically associated with Facebook or other social media—Vanessa is typing at a furious pace. And this past week, more big UPS and FedEx boxes began arriving on our front porch. My mind began to race with more questions. Is Moda really a fabric quilting company? Is Lella Boutique really a home shop for a fabric designer? And then one day, Vanessa slept in. At first, I believed that confirmed my suspicions. After all, the people caught up in the schemes that I investigated usually work late, with spurts of frantic activity, followed by days of sleeping late. Could Vanessa be in this “Breaking Bad” cycle? Maybe not.  I confided in Miriam some of what I have written in this blog. She looked at me with some puzzlement. I replied: “How do you explain Vanessa’s remark about the ‘long arm of the law getting close?’ Miriam said something about a long arm quilting machine that had just completed a quilting project and the results were magnificent. Hmmmmm. Perhaps, I should cancel the polygraph and background check I had scheduled for tomorrow. Captain Mike returns control of this blog over to the perpetrator, I mean the proprietor.
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My stepdad cracks me up. And just so you know--he's a former news reporter-turned-attorney who has a knack for spinning yarns. Lest you believe I work 18-hour days, here's the skinny on what actually goes on. (I get a lot of questions from people wondering how I'm able to get so much done while wrangling two little ones so I'll tell you.) The truth is, I hardly get anything done during the day as far as "work" goes. Even during market prep. Most of the day is entertaining kids, catching up on laundry, and the like.
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The trick for me has been making the most out of every single day--especially during a hectic time like quilt market prep. So here's what I do:
1. I plot. Before I go to bed every night, I think about what I need to get done the next day and schedule it. During market prep, I may attempt to cut some binding strips while the kids eat breakfast. Or trim half-square triangles. Or press a few blocks. But if I don't get them done, well I just don't get them done and it's fine.
2. I make the most of nap-time. When Lorenzo goes down for his snooze, Olive and I head to our workroom. I've got a workstation set up for her next to mine; she makes bead necklaces, draws pictures, plays with Barbies, etc. She loves it and it allows me to get a couple hours of sewing in. Sometimes she'll even show interest in helping me and I certainly let her. (I hope to make an addict out of her as well.)
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When Olive wants to help bind a quilt, I just stick the needle
 where it needs to go and let her pull it through the rest of the way.
I've also learned that Lorenzo's nap-time is a good time to arrange blocks, baste a quilt, or take photos--a good time for anything I'd prefer to do without Lorenzo's "help."
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3. I rely on late night hours. The vast majority of work gets done after everyone goes to bed. Most nights I don't get to bed until 1 AM. (I'm always looking forward to my Sunday nap.)
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And that's it. Little by little, I get everything done. Thanks for reading, it's probably more info than you ever wanted to know!

27 April 2015

Gooseberry

I always cherish my visits to Grandma's house up in the Colorado mountains. Her yard is a flower garden overflowing with hollyhocks, delphinium, and raspberries--a sweet combination of blues and pinks surrounded by expanses of various shades of green. Grandma tells me wonderful stories of her childhood: Life was simpler back then, and her family didn't have much, so they valued what they found and what they could grow. When they were lucky enough to find gooseberries, they picked them and took them home. A little sprinkle of salt helped reduce the sour taste, and Grandma and her sisters thought gooseberries were a rare kind of treat. If they could gather enough, their mother made a pie! 
I'm delighted to introduce you to my newest fabric line with Moda, Gooseberry. It begins showing May 2015 at International Quilt Market (Minneapolis, MN) and ships to stores October 2015. 
Return here Thursday for my day on the Moda Blog Hop "Moda Designers in Real Life" [behind the scenes of market prep]. 

18 February 2015

Neco

Hey Momo lovers! Today I get to give you a peek at Momo's newest line, Neco. What a happy and sweet line. If you are an animal lover, I think you will really dig these prints. In this collection you'll find lots of colorful nature scenes, dogs, cats, hedgehogs, polka dots, and scallops. It arrives in stores July 2015 and I'm crying because I too must wait until July to get my hands on it. Don't think for a second that prevented me from planning out some fun projects, though. Thanks to EQ7, I dreamed up a couple new quilts and just finished up the patterns for them. 
This first quilt is called Twirl. This quilt design is really a great way to show off the big and bold graphics of Neco and is so much fun to piece. It's a great pattern for beginners OR those of us who just like a quick project to turn out. All you need is 1 layer cake + 2 charm packs. 
Twirl quilt-top
The second quilt is called Hugs & Kisses (XOXO) and is also quick to piece. The design is made up of two basic blocks that are alternated to form the pattern you see below. To make this quilt, you'll need 1 jelly roll + 1 fat eighth. (This would also be a great scrapbuster.)
Hugs & Kisses (XOXO) quilt
It will be July before we know it and I can't wait to get my paws on this fabric! The good news is that I just finished writing these patterns and have the PDFs in the shop right away. To celebrate new patterns, I'm giving a 10% discount on PDFs for the rest of February when you enter the promo code MOMOLOVE at checkout. (NOTE: If you're looking for the paper patterns, they ARE available, just not in my shop. They are distributed exclusively through United Notions & Fabrics so check with your local/online quilt shops to see if they carry them.)
LB131 TwirlLB132 Hugs & Kisses (XOXO) quilt

24 January 2015

APQ Quilt-Along

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APQCoverDo you remember last year when American Patchwork & Quilting started their first ever quilt-along featuring Lissa Alexander's Tone it Down quilt? It was so much fun to follow the #apqquiltalong hashtag on Instagram and see so many different versions of one quilt! (See how mine turned out here.)
A couple months ago I was invited to participate in the APQ Quilt-Along for 2015. The theme is "Go Four It!" and features THREE fantastic designs showcasing four-patches. 
To join along, just grab your April 2015 copy of American Patchwork & Quilting and choose from Rainbow Rows by Lissa Alexander, Buried Treasure by April Rosenthal, or Scraptacular by Edyta Sitar. (Officially hits newsstands Feb 2.)
I'm making April Rosenthal's Buried Treasure quilt. 
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Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.
 I've decided to mix some of the lighter mints and reds from Into the Woods with Kate & Birdie's new Winterberry line. I ADORE these colors together. Follow along @lellaboutique on Instagram to see how it all comes together.
Fabrics picked and gathered! I'm mixing Into the Woods with @kateandbirdie's Winterberry collection for a scrappy Christmas quilt. So happy to marry these two together. #intothewoodsfabric #winterberryfabric #apqquiltalong #quilting
Check out all the other quilt bloggers participating:
  • Camille Roskelley, Simplify thimbleblossoms
Which quilt would you like to make? 

09 December 2014

Christmas Goodies

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My Christmas shopping is done, but the sewing? That is another matter. I'm busting my behind to get a few remaining projects finished before we go home to Utah for the holidays. I am LOVING this quilt for my brother-in-law--just finished it last night! The pattern ("Soiree") and fabric ("Modern Neutrals") are both designed by my lovely friend Amy Ellis for Moda.
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I think it makes a great man-quilt and I hope my brother-in-law likes it. I noticed my hubby checking it out and methinks he wants one also...
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I'm not sure when I'll be checking in next so I want to leave you with a couple of my favorite holiday recipes. The first is for my favorite soft gingerbread cookies. This is something I used to make with my mom and I love carrying on this tradition with Olive and Lorenzo.

I love this recipe because they look just as good as they taste.

My other favorite holiday go-to recipe is this yummy wassail recipe! Perfect for a large group.
I hope you are having as much fun as we are over here. Hope you all have a great holiday and safe travels if you are doing so. XO