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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

It's Essential2Dare - my turn on Minis Blog Tour by Pat Bravo and AGF(oh and a tiny giveaway too! :) )

Quick update with giveaway winners! 
(Scroll to the end of post to see if you won? :) )

Good Tuesday morning everyone!

It is a beautiful one here in western NY - sunny but still quite crisp, lots of birdsong, new blooms and young leaf buds in trees... One can't help but smile and breathe deeply. :)

It is also a perfect backdrop for my turn on Minis Blog Tour, hosted by ever-inspirational Pat Bravo. It was just so much fun playing, I feel so very fortunate to be included!




We were all given a selection from two of Pat's new collections, Essentials II and Dare and only request was to make a mini quilt (about 25" X 25").
Doesn't that sound like fun?
Plenty of inspiration for these two collections when you look at those lovely Lookbooks that AGF does so well - you can find Essentials II HERE and Dare, HERE.

So when my set arrived, wheels begun to turn... Here is what I got - awesome, right?


For some reason, the names of two collections kept coming back to me and yes, you guessed it - first came the name, ha ha! Probably weird for most, but sometimes my inspiration and brain work like that...
So the start was "Essential2Dare"! That was going to be the name of my mini!

Naturally, next thing for me was to actually - dare! 
To dare doing something that I never did before, something that is outside of my comfort zone, something new.
First dare - I decided to work ONLY with what I was given and with ALL of it. In other worlds, no "one background fabric", no obsessing if "this one should really go next to this one" ... No fear if lots of different fabrics will look too busy - all of these things are my little demons sometimes, you know. I guess it is a scientist in me that has a hard time letting serendipity rule? :)

Technical dare this time was to try my beloved gentle curve piecing, but with already PIECED fabrics... Hmmm... Crazy woman. But remember - it's... Essential2Dare! :)

Here is where I started:

Made a strip-set of all colors

Then made a similar one with all the beautiful low volume ones...


Now to layer them and have some free-hand curves cut... Voila!


Yup, just cut into all those lovely strips! Was a bit scary, but I remembered my goal - to dare! :)

With some slow sewing and curve-matching, here is what I got:


Two curvy, strip-y lovelies! But I liked them better this way:


Now what?
This reminded me of another AGF project/blog tour that I did and idea came! (so I guess not everything here was new to me...)


I made some 3D Flying Geese blocks and then did some folding and some fabric inserts... Some trimming and pressing...
At this point I was so engrossed into piecing that I simply didn't take any photos at all!! So sorry about that, but actually it was just so much fun to just work, work work and loose track of everything... I am sure you know what I mean? :)

So, after I came back to reality and remembered to take some photos, here is what I had:

Ta-daah! Top done!



Next dare was to use a color for quilting, color I just LOVE, and not worry about matching it to fabric, it being too contrast-y (therefore revealing all imperfections!!) or any of that...
Just let go and quilt!

My treasured Aurifil collection search selected this one:


Isn't it just a gorgeous color? It's. 50wt Aurifil cotton, 5006.


Again, no photos during quilting, but here is the end result!






Then it was time to take my little mini out for a garden stroll and take few more photos...


Blue geese...


Pink Geese...


Forgot to say - backing was another favorite AGF fabric, from Karatina Roccella's Recollection:


And binding was another beauty from Pat Bravo, from Etno - doesn't it look like it belongs here? :)


Oh and look - I have quite a pretty stack left too, so I just might DARE some more!! After all, it IS Essential 2, right?? He he...


Here is a bit more of that morning stroll in the garden, with my mini...





Hey, it even looks good in my vegetable garden, smack in the middle of some baby kale! :)





You know, as I write this, I am realizing how much fun this was! I need to do this some more!

But wait - I think YOU need to do this too! 

So guess what? - I, the fabric hoarder extraordinaire, who has lots of these two beautiful fabric collections (and so many more, of course!), I want to share some with you!! 

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

If you want some of my stash (me thinks - a fat eight of Essentials II, or Dare collections, or...both? For two winners? It will be a surprise!! :)  ) - go visit all the other lovely blogs (again, the whole list is HERE!), on the tour and then come back and tell me what inspired you the most? Or tell me how do you dare in your creative work? Or both? You have till the end of the Blog Tour, May 13th - go visit them all and come back to let us all know your impressions! I iwll give you a weekend to enjoy it all at your own pace and pick a winner on Monday, May 16th (so you really have till Monday).
I hope you will be inspired as much as I am!

Well, that is it my friends!

I hope you already visited Cindy at Raspberry Sunshine and Lucy at Skinny Malinky Quilts and I can't wait for tomorrow to see what Samantha and Tara will show us!

Now that I have my life under control a bit more, hope to be back here real soon with more from my sewing room.
Until then, have a lovely days ahead,
Love,
Marija

GIVEAWAY WINNERS were chosen!!!

Trusty Random Number Generator says....


for first winner!! And that is:
BRENDA!!


Congratulations Brenda, you get a fat-eight pack of Dare fabrics! 


And for the second winner it says: 



And it is GranChris!!!

Congratulations GranChris - you get a fat-eight pack of Essentials II fabrics!!

Thank you ALL again for visiting and leaving me your lovely comments - this was such fun Blog Tour!!

A very special thank you ever-inspiring Pat Bravo for this great opportunity!! 

Love again,

Marija


#DareFabrics #EssentialsIIFabrics  #TheMinisBlogTour #PatBravoDesign

Friday, May 6, 2016

Coming up for air...

... when it comes to my quilting life. Been drowning a bit in all life stuff and my creative/fabric life was on hold... but hey, we all have that and c'est la vie, as French say.
Also, Spring is really late here in western NY - my garden is finally started to smile back at me!
And then you get a frosty morning (seriously! just few days ago!) and all tulips flop... But there is beauty in that too - my camera caught this one:
slowly but surely, some fruit trees are blooming too - one plum tree and pears are first this year - I just love the simplicity of their little blooms!!
When your heart is full of worry and your mind is restless, there is nothing better to bring calm than walking through the garden... It least for me.
Well, or looking at beautiful fabric and dreaming up a project, too! :)
I have a few piles that patiently waited for me...

This is a mix of two vibrant and beautiful collections, Pat Bravo's Dare and Essentials 2. You just have to smile looking at these!
They are going into a mini quilt since I am one of the lucky ones invited to participate in fun and oh so inspiring Minis Blog Tour, hosted by Pat Bravo. It already already started and I am a bit late talking about it (yeah, coming up for air...remember? ) but if you haven't seen it yet, hop quickly to Pat's blog to follow it all! My turn is coming next week...

Making a mini quilt is just so much fun! It's small, it kinda invites you to play, to dare trying something new... And it is so good to play, to dare, to step out of your usual, right? In fact, it is ESSENTIAL. It is
ESSENTIAL2DARE
Yup, that is it! That will be the name of my mini quilt - Essential2Dare!!
Oh I just love it!!

Also have another beautiful pile that was waiting for me...


It's colorful, flower-y and scrappy, with a side of that beautiful, new AGF denim! Another new adventure for me and I really can't wait to show you what it inspired.
Oh and I even have a finished one to show you, despite my sewing hiatus - a quick, REALLY quick baby quilt had to be made. I literally made this during one and a half evenings (one of them was a late night of course) and was given away - yesterday! My coworker is going to be a dad for a second time and we decided to throw a little
celebration for him, therefore a quilt had to me made, pronto! It was a surprise for him but we managed to ins out that nursery theme is "Under the sea", so a dig through my stash produced this perfect border print

Few quick pinwheel blocks later, here it is:


I figured that under the sea calls for lots of bubbles, some fish and similar things, so with beautiful teal color 50wt Aurifil, a very late night quilting produced this:








Found this really cute flannel in my stash too, for the back. See, it is really, really good to have a big stash when you are in a time crunch! Am I right? ;)


And I apologize for not so good photos - it was 3 am when I finished and it was gone next day...

And the fact that I just wrote this whole blog post while hubby was driving us back from work, tells you about my crazy life and my craving for some more creative time...

Oh well, no whining, just press on!

Have a lovely weekend ahead and happy, happy Mother's Day to you all!
Love,
Marija

PS - speaking of garden making me smile, here is what greeted me just now, as we arrived home... Lucky me. :)