Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sunday Funday Giveaway!

Today is giveaway day, yaaay!  Here's what I got for ya:

The goods!

Let's look at them a little closer:

First is this mix pile of fabrics.  These just aren't my style, and I would love to pass them on to someone that will love them.  I know it's kind of diverse--so if the winner doesn't want some of them, I won't send them.  The sizes range from WOF x 4" to a full yard cut, and from Joann's fabric to the Art Gallery, Robert Kaufman and Alexander Henry.

Next is a mini quilt or table runner I made to test out some threads for yesterday's quilt.  It measure 12" x 24", and the colors are just in time for fall!

And last, but not least, is this spool of Aurifil!

Aurifil 50wt #4648--Variegated yellow-white-orange-purple

I did use some of it on the mini quilt above, but it is 99% unused!  If you've been thinking of trying Aurifil, this is a fun one to start with!  Honestly yellow and orange with purple is sooo not my style.  I have a hard time with yellow or orange alone.  I am sure that one of you will make a much more loving home for it!  :-)

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below telling me what most interests/excites you about this giveaway!  My loyal followers get a second entry--please comment a second time letting me know how you follow me!  **If you are a no-reply blogger, please leave your email address in your comment!**

The givaway will end at midnight on Tuesday, September 3rd and a winner will be announced on Wednesday, September 4th.

And go check out the other giveaways going on at 627Handworks!


Friday, August 30, 2013

Forest Quilt finished!

I'm pretty excited to have this quilt done days before my deadline of the end of the month!  I made this quilt for the father of one of the Granite Mountain Hotshots that died in the Prescott, AZ fires in June of this year.  

I don't follow the news or media much--we don't have a tv and for the most part I don't care to know about the atrocities that are going on in the world.  And I hate how the worst things are repeated over and over, and the good things only last a day.  

But I do hear about things sometimes.  I heard about the 19 wildland firefighters on a news segment on the radio while driving somewhere.  It hit pretty close to home--my dad has been a city firefighters for something like 30 years, and I have a couple of friends that are firefighters too.  I was filled with sadness for these firefighters, and their friends and families.  But I couldn't deal with it past that news report I heard.  

And then one day, I think in July, my friend Jessica at Quilty Habit mentioned making a quilt for one of those firefighter's family members.  Layers of Hope was coordinating quilters with family members to make a quilt for.  So I signed up, in the middle of the chaos of packing up my home and all quilting things, I volunteered to make a quilt and have it finished by the end of August.  She is still looking for more volunteers to make quilts for those families, btw.

I thought of the firefighters and their families and friends a lot during this quilt, and couldn't help but feel that this might not mean anything to it's recipient.  But it could also mean a lot--and I hope it at least will act as a token of all the people that have mourned in some way, and have a hard time showing support when it is most needed.  And hopefully it will remind the repient that the lives of those firefighters touched more people than they know.

I chose Tula Pink's Field Study quilt pattern for the large, simple blocks, and chose fabrics entirely from my stash.  The white birdy fabric is from IKEA's 2012 fabric collection, the dark brown is Kona Chestnut (such a lovely color!), the light brown is a faux bois from Joann's, and the greens were hand-me-down fabrics from various people.  The back is a sheet I found at a thrift store and matched so well!

This is the smallest pattern option, which finished at 46" x 57" (the pattern says 60" x 48" but after quilting and trimming it to square--which took quite a bit off those bottom points--it lost a few inches).  I really enjoy making this size of quilt--there is not wrestling it through the machine!  The blocks come together SO fast, and it was fun to quilt feathers up and down the chevron rows. 

For the quilting I used Aurifil 50wt #2887 for the feathers and #2605 to mark the chevrons.  I love using this thread--I have never had any tension issues with and it quilts beautifully.  And my experience with it continues to justify the expense.

 I tried out a bunch of areas in the backyard for taking pictures, and once I get my design wall up it will hopefully be a good spot too.

Getting my little helper's stamp of approval!

My first quilty finish at the new house, hurray!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Yesterday I finished the Forest Quilt, and was hoping to share it today, but I'm still trying to figure out where to photograph quilts at the new house.  So I will have a whole post for it on Friday, but here's a sneak peak:

I just barely had enough fabric for that binding, glad I was able to include it!

My cutting table today--covered in materials and plans and ideas for the TARDIS quilt.

I realized I really wasn't excited about the plan for the quilt (a version of Starry Night from Dr Who).  It was going to be 64 scrappy blocks, all wonky and/or curve pieced.  I wanted to be excited about it, and I wanted it to be fun...but wanting a quilt to be those things doesn't always work.  So, I redrew my grid of blocks (which should finish at 10.5" x 11" each), and thought about it some more.  The scrappy block plan was trying to recreate Starry Night with fabric, but instead I came up with trying to imitate it with thread--inspired in part by my lovely box of Aurifil.  The new plan is to still use scraps as much as possible, but in a larger, less specific format.

Blues above the curvy line, greens below.  I'll piece the stars.

Then I'll applique on a TARDIS and a moon, and come back in with various colors of thread (light blues, purples, greens, yellows) to add the texture and flow lines, and halos around the stars.  Quilting is my favorite part, so this IS something I can get excited about!

Then this morning while browsing the internet of quilting, I came across this awesome mini and more inspiration stuck.  I've wanted to make a profanity quilt for a while, especially after a dear friend died of cancer last year.  And the way Gemma made hers just spoke to me, I knew her methods would work for my idea too!  But I didn't want a single girl quilt, so I came up with making a carpenter's star (planning to use this tutorial) instead:

I've decided to call it the F.C. quilt to avoid over using the words.

I really want to start on it now and finish it now, but I'm holding off until I get some decent amount done on the TARDIS quilt--it's been in the works since April and I've bumped it down on my list several times now.  It's time to just

And I've also been gathering things for the giveaway I'll be having on Sunday with 627Handworks Sunday Funday.  Here's a sneak peak:

It's an odd grouping, and not concrete yet.

 Well, I'm off to audition full-quilt photography locations around the house and fiddle with my blog details!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

MORE Changes

After a lot of reading online and thinking, I decided to just get my own domain--you will now be able find, follow and visit me at !  I am so sorry for all the extra confusion with the blogspot address.

The good news is all of the people that follow through readers and email should still be getting updates (probably as Sparrow Lane Quilts)!

I will continue to try to get everything running smoothly this week!  Regular posts (and a giveaway) will resume next Sunday!

Thanks again for you patience!

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Well, I finally decided on a new blog name:  Quilts Of A Feather!  I really liked the old name, but I didn't like using it since we no longer live on Sparrow Lane, and I want that chapter to be over.  So, new blog name AND new blog address: 

This is my last post on, so please update your readers with my new address!  I will be switching everything over next Saturday, August 31st!  After that, sparrowlanequilts.blogspot will be gone, unless I figure out how to redirect people to the new address.

I *think* people that follow through email to Sparrow Lane Quilts will still receive email updates once everything is said and done.  If you don't get a email about a new post from me by the 1st, you will need to visit the new blog and sign up again!  I haven't set it up yet because I don't think it will transfer over.  Sorry for the inconvenience!

To keep everything simple (I think?), I won't be posting anything else this week.  I want to give everyone a chance to update their readers and link lists.  But to make it worth your while to stick with it, when I am back on September 1st, I will have a giveaway!

I am fumbling through all of this, so I apologize in advance for any glitches and delays!  I know I will need to go update my pinterest links.  Everything is kind of trial and error, but in the end I plan to have a nicer, cleaner blog, and blog name I can identify with again.

So, thanks again for being apart of my quilting community!  See you on the flip side!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Forest Feathers

After my last post, I got out the scraps and sewed them together in no particular order--just trying to get a good mix of the fabrics so I could try out different thread colors.  I really wanted to use Aurifil #4648 (variegated orange-purple-yellow-white), but wasn't sure it was the right colors for the quilt:

 The orange and purple just didn't look good with the green and browns, and it wasn't the type of quilting I wanted.  So I got out the darker green (#2887) and did a test feather.  I immediately liked it a lot better, so glad I tested them out first!

That thread color is SO pretty in person.  It's like a royal olive green color.

So now I have this weird little mini quilt...more of a table runner, not sure what to do with it.

I'll finish the quilting after I'm done with the quilt.

I've been busy quilting feathers up and down the rows--I've finished 6 rows, there are about 4 left.

Love this brown with the feathers!

This is an IKEA fabric, and I really don't like how it quilts.  The quilting just doesn't look as crisp as the other quilting fabrics on the quilt.

This quilt has been good practice for my feathers (again)--I hate rotating the quilt all of the time, so I make them going up, down, and sideways when I have to.  My machine doesn't like making sideways things very much though.

How do you prefer to quilt feathers?  I generally prefer when the quilt is coming towards me, they are neater and better formed than when I am pushing the quilt away from me--I hope that makes sense to you quilters!

Hoping to finish this quilt over the weekend and get it in the mail on Monday!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

WIP Wednesday and my Winnings!

I've made quite a bit of progress on my forest quilt, finishing the quilt top and getting it basted yesterday afternoon, then finished Phase 1 of quilting today:

Phase 1: 1/4 inch lines on both sides of the chevron seams.

Phase 2 is adding a center line through the chevrons, but I need to do some marking first, which means waiting for the kids to go to sleep...

And before I got completely involved with the quilt, I did some more cutting for the Super Totes, here's a sneak peak at the interior and pocket fabrics:

I am delighted to be using so many cute/pretty fabrics from my stash!  The fox was from a scrap pack and the teal flowers were given to me years ago.

Orange--more scrap pack fabric, middle is from the same pack of fabrics as the teal flowers, and the one on the right is left overs from Jessica's Prayer quilt (fabric from Joann's, I believe).

Nearly two months ago I entered a giveaway on Pat Sloan's blog.  I try to enter a LOT of giveaways--the more I enter, the more chances to win, right? Right!  Well she had a really nice giveaway for her Aurifil thread collection, a hexie book, and needle case.  I entered and forgot about it.  Then I got an email from her (on the day before our house inspections, so I was a little stressed out, ha) saying I'd won!  How nice to get fun, unexpected emails.  :-)

Unfortunately the timing wasn't great since we were about to move--but again a pleasant surprise!  It showed up at our house the day before we moved.  Having a box of those pretty Aurifil threads was like holding a box of promises for all the fun projects that I would get to make with it at the new house.  It was is like treasure!

Even non-quilters can appreciate these pretty colors!  I am thinking of using that orange-purple-yellow-brown (#4648) variegated thread on the forest quilt, but need to do a test run to see how it looks first.

See?  Both my kids enjoyed playing with them while I wrote this blog post.

And bonus to everything she mentioned in her giveaway was a little set of hexie-starters!  How sweet is that?  I love all the giveaways in the quilting community, what a fun way to spread joy, and share some of your favorite things with other quilters!  I really want to spread some of the joy here, so be on the look out for a hexie-related giveaway in the near(ish) future!

So, have you ever won something in a giveaway?  What's the best thing you have given away?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Zip Pouches

I was sure I had posted about these little bags back in June, but I guess it was forgotten in all the moving fray!  I made a bunch of zip pouches as mother's day and birthday gifts to people, and wanted to wait until I had given them all out before sharing!  It wasn't until I was going through my blog post lists looking for it to share over at 627 Handiwork's giveaway that I realized I had never even written it!  Well, here it is!

These are from the Noodlehead Gathered Clutch Tutorial:

I was given a bunch of hand-me-down fabric this year, so as a thank you I used some of it to make the purple and owl ones, and gave them to the ladies that had given me the fabric.  The pink one was a pay-it-forward gift for my sister, and I used some fat quarters I had been hoarding for a while.

The tutorial is super easy to follow, and the results are so cute!  I put little card pockets and a separator in each of them.

These are all based off Noodhead's Open Wide pouch:

A large quilted one for my mama.

It was a fun pattern to just follow and quilt.

The inside, I loved this pretty fabric!

I made this one for my mother in law, my husband picked out the fabrics for her.

I think it was a medium sized bag.

I got that chevron fabric in a scrap pack from Hawthorne Threads, and was limited in the size of the bag because it was a narrow piece--I think it was the small size.  Still perfect for holding little goodies in though!

I bought the inside fabric especially for special little gifts.  So far this is the only project I've used it for.

I made so many bags this spring that I used up my whole zipper stash, and then bought a 12 pack from Zipit on Etsy--turns out those zippers (YKK) are much nicer, smoother zippers than the ones I had from Joann's (C&C)!  And they're cheaper from Zipit, even if I use a coupon at Joann's!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Forest Quilt Beginnings

In my last post I showed you a pile of fabrics for the forest quilt I'm making.  Well, some of the fabrics were smaller cuts than I needed and had to be replaced.  It took a lot of digging through my stash and auditioning fabrics, but I think the new ones are just as good.  The Field Study pattern by Tula Pink showed up yesterday, and I got started cutting last night.  I was able to finish the cutting today (they're all quite large pieces), and sewed together half of the blocks during naptime:

I'm working from the center of the quilt out.  It wasn't until I was cropping this photo that I realized the faux bois (lighter brown) fabric isn't going in the right direction on half of the triangles!  Darn.

When sewing on the corner pieces, I went back and sewed a second seam 1/2" from the first so the scraps would be fast HSTs:

First seam corner-to-corner, second seam on the drawn line.

These are going to be a nice little second quilt!  I'm thinking chevrons.

This project is really emphasizing how much I need a design wall ASAP!  Laying out the blocks in the middle of the floor doesn't work when there are small people or animals loose.  

I also received some more birthday fabric this week:

Neutral scrap pack from Fabric Worm--I requested greys and/or dark fabrics.

Cool scrap pack from Hawthorne Threads. 

Ghost Wing in aqua.  Ohhh man I can't wait to do something with this!  I have been resisting the urge to buy it for a while...and now I'm pretty sure I need some in the grey as well. 

Tossed Ovals in scarlet and David Walker bears.   David Walker also has some really cute birds, I hope I can find them in stock somewhere!

Jay-Cyn Urchin Shells (really want those in grey too!), and Stof Raindrops in white and navy.

My pile of Birthday Fabric!  Yay!

I am one happy quilter!  A new, shiny room, a new pile of fabric, a new quilt pattern!  And new thread from a giveaway (which I'll show you in my next post)!