Modern Quilt Design with Michelle Wilkie

 

Last Saturday the Music City MQG hosted Michelle Wilkie for her Modern Quilt Design: Every Day Inspriation class. That’s right, two weeks in a row of quilty fun:)

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

Michelle has only been quilting for four years but her original designs are stunning. She started out with a great show and tell to showcase her quilts and the inspiration behind them.

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

It was really cool to see how she draws inspiration both from everyday objects like street signs and traditional artwork, especially indigenous history.

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

She led us through several group exercises to translate images into quilt designs, including our own photographs that we brought, and ended with some resources and practical tips for constructing blocks out of our original designs.

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

And yes… a few pokemon snuck into the classroom!

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

I usually follow patterns instead of making my own, so the whole process was outside my comfort zone and I definitely learned a lot! (Plus everything sounds more interesting in her New Zealand accent!)

You can check out Michelle Wilkie at her blog Factotum of Arts (and her other courses here!).

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

Michelle Wilkie was super inspiring and it was so much fun to learn something new along with the Music City MQG ladies! Another huge thanks to our prez Ashley for organizing it all (you snuck into another post!):)

Meow Monday: Cats of Instagram, Part 29

We’re in New York for a few days for one last hurrah, before I’m done with traveling for a while! The cats are in good hands with the petsitter, so let’s check in with the latest round of #catsofinstagram!

Tali loves laundry and I love  her cute little face!

Tali loves laundry and I love her cute little face!

 

Big moment for the cats: first cat door installed, one step closer to freedom!

Big moment for the cats: first cat door installed, one step closer to freedom!

 

Learning how to use the cat door, on the other hand... went really well, obviously.

Learning how to use the cat door, on the other hand… went really well, obviously.

 

Biggest moment in the cats' lives: exploring the yard for the first time, after the second cat door was installed

Biggest moment in the cats’ lives: exploring the yard for the first time, after the second cat door was installed

 

Shorts weather, finally!

Shorts weather, finally!

 

Cat naps

Cat naps

 

Who's happier to be home from a work conference? Hard to say.

Who’s happier to be home from a work conference? Hard to say.

 

New patio chairs, new belly, same old Tali.

New patio chairs, new belly, same old Tali.

 

Tali loves her chairs!

Tali loves her chairs!

 

Sad social media pic to post... but with a happy ending!

Sad social media pic to post… but with a happy ending!

 

Found! After less than 24 hours on the lam, Tali popped through the door hungry as a horse. Wet food for everyone!

Found! After less than 24 hours on the lam, Tali popped through the door hungry as a horse. Wet food for everyone!

Happy Monday:)

High Five for Friday!

I’m sharing the highlights of my week… five to be exact!  Focusing on five little things that made me happy is my way of recapping the week and a reminder to stay grateful.

The Amateur Librarian // H54F The Amateur Librarian // H54F

1 – Shop Hop. Catching up with the Music City MQG ladies is always a good time, and of course a shop hop is a good excuse to bring home some lovely fabric.
2 – Louis CK.  Technically this happened last week, but I didn’t fit it in and it was definitely worth a mention… we’re still talking about some of the jokes a week later. (Spearow was adamant that we shut off our phones during the show…)
3 – Third trimester. Tomorrow starts week 28 which means only 12 weeks to go… wow/yikes/omg/etc.!
4 – Summer Beach Day. Part 2 was released and I’m loving this super cute pattern! This summer I’m obsessed with fruit and popsicles so the pattern feels even more relevant:)
5 – Before the Fall. Summer reading calls for a good thriller and so far, this one is really good!

 

The Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch: July

This is my third year to work on a year-long cross stitch project, and the second year to play along with the mystery stitch-along month by month. Stitching Once Upon a Time in 2014 and Woodland Creatures in 2015 was so much fun – it’s addictive!

In 2016 I’m joining the Pumpkins on an adventure around the world. The seventh stop was Egypt, with an adorable camel and smiling sun. This one came together quickly and I really enjoyed it. Who knows where we’ll visit next… which is half the fun:)

A few progress pics:

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

The finished blocks so far:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July

July

Seven months down, five to go…

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

WIP Wednesday

Another weekly update on my current Works in Progress:)

Sandcastle Cross Stitch

I’ve been watching a lot of Flosstube lately and it’s making me want to start lots of new projects… or at least finish some of my WIPs. So in between the Pumpkin Passport and the Summer Beach Day releases, I picked up the second pattern in the trio of Nautical Square-ology patterns I bought last year. (Sail Around was my first finish of 2016, seen here.)

The Amateur Librarian // Sandcastle Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Sandcastle Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Sandcastle Cross Stitch

I only got one quadrant done but hopefully I’ll have time to finish up this quick project soon. My summer goal is to have all three finished, framed, and displayed (maybe in the nursery if we end up with a nautical theme).

But one quadrant is all I needed to put together a preview of the finished product:)

The Amateur Librarian // Sandcastle Cross Stitch

 

Summer Beach Day Cross Stitch

 

The second part of the Summer Beach Day pattern released on Friday so I dropped everything else to get started. The pumpkins did it again… it’s so super cute! I love all the summery details – the fruit, the popsicles, lots of sunglasses, etc. We’ve got a couple busy weekends coming up but maybe I’ll have this one finished up by the end of the month. I can’t wait to collect all four seasons!

The Amateur Librarian // Summer Beach Day Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Summer Beach Day Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Summer Beach Day Cross Stitch

 

Firefly Baby Quilt

I made a bit more progress on the Firefly baby quilt over the weekend. After the shop hop, I added two other prints (Cotton + Steel basics in Sprinkles Alexia Turquoise and Heather Ross Far Far Away Unicorns in Purple) for more variety in the patchwork. I finished up the star blocks and put together the strip sets for the patchwork border, and the next step will be putting it all together. Lots of pinning to come!

(Free pattern available here!)

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

I probably won’t have much time to sew in the next few weeks but hopefully I can carve out some sewing time soon.

And that’s about it!

Nashville City Sights: 2nd Annual Quilt Shop Hop

The 2nd annual Music City MQG Shop Hop is in the books and it was so much fun! In one day we visited five fabric shops total, from Franklin to Spring Hill to Nashville.
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
For a recap of last year’s Shop Hop, click here. We visited Quilting Squares, Craft South, The Fabric Studio (sadly closed now), Quilter’s Attic, and Stitcher’s Garden. This time around we added two new (to me) stores and revisited three from last year’s itinerary.
This year my shopping goals were more targeted since I’ve got baby quilts on the brain but I didn’t have any specific projects in mind, so I ended up picking up whatever caught my fancy.
Without further ado, here’s a look at each stop on the shop hop!
Once again the ladies at The Quilting Squares greeted us with breakfast treats and discounts. Such a fun start to the day!
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The haul: a free pattern, a charm pack, and two fat quarters.
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Dancing Bobbin – Spring Hill
This little shop was worth the drive, and was definitely one of my favorite stops of the day. There’s a lot of cute fabric in a small amount of space but it never felt overwhelming or crowded – quite a feat!
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The haul: a holiday charm pack, two fat quarters, and a Frivol tin (lap quilt pattern, fabric, and all in a cute tin).
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
Textile Fabrics – Nashville
After a lunch break at M.L. Rose, we visited Textile Fabrics. It was my first time, although I’ve heard about their bi-annual 50% off sales ever since moving here. Their quilting cotton selection is limited since they mostly stock apparel fabric, but I still found a remnant that will make a great baby quilt backing. I have no idea what to do with all the apparel stuff but it sure is pretty!
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The haul: 2 yards.
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
Craft South – Nashville
It’s always a treat to visit Craft South, and of course I couldn’t resist bringing home one of Anna Maria Horner’s scrap bags. So much oohing and aahing at every corner, plus a big variety of crafts from quilting to knitting to embroidery to handmade goods.
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
Even the bathroom is gorgeous!
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
And another bonus… even though parking is hard to find, the Pokemon are everywhere!
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The haul: scrap bag, three fat quarters, two yards.
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
Stitcher’s Garden – Franklin
Once we were back in Franklin, we ended the day with Stitcher’s Garden. This shop is right down the street from me, but you have to be in the right frame of mind to brave the aisles (and piles and stacks and baskets and cubbies) stuffed to the brim with fabric. It’s always quite the experience!
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
This pic from last year is one of my faves:
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The haul: half-yards of three hard-to-find Heather Ross prints from her Far, Far Way and Briar Rose collections.
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
Whew… my bag was quite full by the end of the day! Unpacking and making little piles of folded fabric is my version of Halloween candy:) As usual the best part was hanging out with my guild friends and meeting new members and finding out what everyone is planning for their fabric. And of course a big shout out to each shop along the way, AND to those who organized it all!
 The final haul:
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
And of course the group pic for 2016:
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
And 2015!

via @tennjenny

More city sights coming soon as I explore the Nashville area!

Meow Monday: The News

Not much going on in the world of cats these days… which is honestly a nice change of pace from the world news these days.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

This little blog keeps chugging along even though I don’t write about the big stuff, but here are a few recent posts from a few favorite blogs that sum up what I’ve been feeling but have no idea how to say:

Swistle

The Tipsy Baker

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Hope you’re having a peaceful start to your week.

High Five for Friday!

I’m sharing the highlights of my week… five to be exact!  Focusing on five little things that made me happy is my way of recapping the week and a reminder to stay grateful.

The Amateur Librarian // H54F The Amateur Librarian // H54F

1 – Bro Time. A quiet weekend at home got livened up when my brother came to visit – it’s always a fun time when he’s around!

2 – The Frist. We may have chosen a museum over a lake trail to get out of the heat, but it was a good one! The Italian car exhibit was really cool, and going downtown was also a good excuse to catch some pokemon…

3 – Pokemon Go. I’ll admit it, this game is addicting! I would probably never download the app if left to my own devices, but roaming downtown Nashville and Franklin catching Pokemon with my brother and hubby was pretty fun. The pokemon are scarce in my neighborhood and around my office, but that’s probably for the best…

4 – Chip Dip. I love snacky dinners, so I made a 9×13 dish of this seven layer Mexican dip and have been munching on it all week. With tortilla chips and fruit on the side, it’s the perfect summer meal.

5 – Firefly Baby Quilt. Starting a new quilt after planning/gathering fabric/cutting is always my favorite part:)

 

Birchboxes Everywhere

I’ve been a loyal Birchbox subscriber since 2012, and I still love using up the sample sizes of beauty products I would never think to pick up by myself… and even though I’ve been paying $10/month over the past few years, having a subscription has drastically cut down on my impulse buys at the drugstore AND I only buy products that I’ve already tested and love, so that’s how I justify the cost:)

BUT I’m not just singing the praises of Birchbox (I already did that in 2013 actually!) today, I just wanted to share something funny that I noticed from an Instagram pic.

The Amateur Librarian // Birchbox Storage Solution

See that colorful box holding a few sewing supplies? It’s probably one of my most-used organization solutions.

Ever since Birchbox stopped sending plain brown boxes and started making new (super cute) designs for each monthly box, I’ve been keeping them and now I’ve accumulated quite a collection! They come in handy for organizing all sorts of small things, and once I started hunting for boxes I found them in almost every room of the house.

It’s funny how satisfying it is to repurpose something that comes in the mail every month, plus it’s super cute storage solution! And since I get new ones regularly, I never feel bad if they get dirty or damaged since I can just replace them the following month. Somehow I never run out of reasons to need another one.

Here are a few ways I used Birchboxes around the house:

On the kitchen island, I keep a tray for stray paper and books that’s easy to move out of the way when I need to clear the island. I keep a handful of thank you cards (and stamps) in a Birchbox so I can write a quick note while I’m eating breakfast.

The Amateur Librarian // Birchbox Storage Solution

I keep cross stitch projects and other small craft supplies in individual boxes. For cross stitch projects especially, Birchboxes are a lot easier to corral then a bunch of ziplock bags, and the fabric, floss list/pattern, and floss bobbins are all in one place.

The Amateur Librarian // Birchbox Storage Solution

When I’m not working on a project I stack the boxes away, and when I’m actively stitching it’s easy to keep everything in one place no matter where I’m working on it.

The Amateur Librarian // Birchbox Storage Solution

In the bathroom, I keep a Birchbox by the sink so I don’t have tubes and jars scattered everywhere (plus it’s easy to move when I’m cleaning the counter).

The Amateur Librarian // Birchbox Storage Solution

 

The Amateur Librarian // Birchbox Storage Solution

In the narrow bathroom drawer, a box fits perfectly… and it keeps everything compartmentalized.

 

The Amateur Librarian // Birchbox Storage Solution

I use another Birchbox to organize makeup. If there’s ever dust or an explosion, it’s easy to remove the box without damaging the vanity, plus I can quickly pack all my makeup in a suitcase by putting the top back on.

The Amateur Librarian // Birchbox Storage Solution

 

The Amateur Librarian // Birchbox Storage Solution

In the guest room, there are quite a few Birchboxes corralling office supplies, sharpies, craft supplies, etc. … all in cute little boxes that are easy to store, stack, and find!

The Amateur Librarian // Birchbox Storage Solution

 

The Amateur Librarian // Birchbox Storage Solution

Birchboxes everywhere!

 

WIP Wednesday

Another weekly update on my current Works in Progress:)

Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

A few more nights of stitching outside and catching up on The Great British Baking Show equals more progress on July’s visit to Egypt. I love the smiling sun and the camel – so cute!

The second portion of the Summer Beach Day x stitch comes out on Friday so I’m hoping to finish this block in time to do both this month.

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

Firefly Baby Quilt

I have a couple more quilts I need to make for others this summer, but I couldn’t resist starting this one for me first. Ever since we hung the Moving Up Piece by Piece quilt above the bed, I’ve been thinking that a super simple patchwork quilt would look cute on the opposite wall, hanging above a crib. I love the Wee Wander fabric line from Sarah Jane Studios so I downloaded this free pattern and started cutting last Friday.

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

My favorite part of “summer hours” at my office is getting groceries and laundry out of the way on Friday afternoons, and a couple hours for sewing seems to give me momentum to keep going over the weekend. I got all the cutting done and started on the star blocks. Next up is the patchwork border and then it should all come together pretty quickly.

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

I like making quilts for others because I think of that person the whole time I’m putting it together, and sewing for baby this summer is super special to me.

And that’s about it!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 550 other followers