Sunday, June 28, 2015

Small Projects, Big Ideas

That sums up my quilting lately. A few little things, like this mini quilt (that I'll be sending off to someone in the #textmeminiswap) 

and this bag, which I hope will develop into a class

and this journal cover, just because I haven't made a journal cover in a year or so

and this pouch, which will accompany the a fore mentioned bag.

And then the big ideas, like what to do with beautiful stack of fabric from Blank Quilting. (A blog hop and giveaway will be a part of this! Stay tuned.)

And when to finally learn this

And how to find the time to put together these (a graduation quilt for Kyle, who graduated 6 weeks ago.)

and the list goes on and on. 

I find that my quilting is like that. Big and small. Ebb and flow. I knock off a few things on my little's list, then dive into a bigger project. Usually there's a healthy portion of both on my quilter's plate. One thing for sure, I'll never starve for need of another project.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

100 Blocks Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Yeah!!! It's Blog Tour time and my giveaway day for Volume 11 of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks!!

If this is your first time here, Hi! I'm Heather. I've been quilting for over 25 years. I'm the founder of the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild. I teach and lecture in and around Baltimore, MD/PA/DE and Virginia as well as with the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo.  I'm also a contributing author to Classic Modern Quilts. Thanks for stopping by!

This is my second time in Quiltmaker's 100 blocks, and I'm thrilled to share my bock with you: 

Strippy Scrappy Kisses (note: naming blocks and quilts is not my strong suit!)

Here's the cover of the magazine, so you can recognize it in the stores:

Oh, hey, there's my block on the cover! Left side, second one down!

For this one, I stayed with what I like: scrap quilts, improv quilts, string quilts. The block components are simple, and can be changed up in lots of ways.

Here's the original:

And here are some other ways to assemble the block. So versatile!

How about that giveaway? Would you like to win your own copy? Just leave me a comment below. Now that the warm weather is finally here, let me know what your favorite summer beverage is. (Mine is green tea lemonade: brew 8-10 green tea bags in about 2 cups of water. Add to a 2 quart pitcher. Add one sleeve of crystal light lemonade mix. Top with water and ice to fill pitcher. Delish!) For an extra chance to win, follow me on instagram. I'm @heatherkojan. Then come back and leave another comment letting me know you're a follower! Oh, and make sure I have a way to reach you, too!

Thanks for visiting! Enjoy all the other stops on the blog tour!
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Monday, May 4, 2015

English Paper Piecing with Snowflakes, Jessie and Faraway Road

Let me tell you about my sweet friend, Jessie.  I met her a few years ago when she was president of the DC Modern Quilt Guild and I was president of the Baltimore Modern QuiltGuild. She is one of the nicest people, and also makes beautiful babies:

Jessie and baby Vivian

About a year ago, Jessie and I were having lunch, and she told me about her idea for die cut, freezer paper English Paper Piecing pieces. Although I wasn't much of an EPP-er at the time, the idea sounded fantastic. 

Fast forward to now, Jessie has made her dream a reality!

Snowflakes Freezer Paper Pieces are now available!

A few months ago, Jessie offered to send me some snowflakes to try out. I was already making some 6 pointed stars, so requested 60 degree diamonds (Jessie offers 5 shapes, all in several sizes.) 

Aren't they pretty? I think I'll need about 100 for a decent sized quilt!

 There's so much to love about the snowflakes. First, they're much thinner than the shapes I was using, which, I think, will translate into more accurate piecing. Second, because they're freezer paper, when you iron them on to your fabric, they stick! No shifting! A huge bonus if you want prepare a bunch of shapes in advance. Also, no need for pinning or paper clips. So nice when EPP-ing in the car (as a passenger, of course. Do not sew and drive!) 

If you haven't delved into English Paper Piecing, or have tried it but would like some pointers, Jessie has a series of tutorials on you tube. Her ladder stitch tutorial makes everything so clear! 

So, are you ready for a new project?

Spring Basket

Go to Sew Mama Sew  for the tutorial for this darling Spring Basket. Jessie has some kits available in her shop as well.

I hope you'll give Snowflakes a try! (Oh, and they don't melt in the summer heat, lol!)

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Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Name Tag Swap

Don't you love a swap that's cute and practical?

We just had one with my guild, The Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild. We did a name tag swap. A quilted name tag has been on my list of things to do forever. And yet it never gets done. So I was super excited for this one.

My partner was Kat. I was hoping to get her! She's super cool, and she has a short name, lol! Her only request was to make it green. I pieced her name using Tonya Ricucci's Word Play Quilts and couldn't resist adding one of my tiny improv log cabins to it. There's room on either side of the log cabin for a pin or two, and the back side has a pocket for business cards, cash, whatever. I made it lanyard style - easy on, easy off.

Deb got me as a partner. She knows me well - an improv star!

She got all fancy and had my name embroidered! Thanks, Deb! Love it! And I'll never be nameless at a meeting again.

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Saturday, May 2, 2015

100 Quilt Blocks Blog Tour!!

I'm thrilled to have another block in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Spring Edition. This is Volume 11 if you're counting!

Hey, this time I'm a cover girl! (Left had side, second one down.) Stop by Tuesday for a chance to win a copy of your own!

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Sheesh, January?

Yup, looks like that's the last time I blogged. I try to pop over to Instagram every now and then, but blogging has been slower.

I've been sewing here and there. But mostly I've been preparing!

Back in December I was contacted by The Original Sewing and Quilt Expo to see if I want to teach some classes for them.  Uh, yeah I do!

Classes, kits and patterns have kept me consumed for the past few months. It's one thing having a class idea in my head. Its entirely different when I need to write the pattern, print the pattern and kit the project. lol. All good though. Now that the heavy lifting is done, the getting ready part is much easier.

My first show was in Atlanta in March. I taught 5 classes over three days. What a blast! The Expo staff couldn't have been nicer, the students were wonderful. Overall, a great experience.

Next week I head to Worcester, MA for another show (scroll down to see my class offerings!) If you're in the Worcester/Boston area, I hope you'll come to the expo and I'd be thrilled if you came to a class!

Right after Worcester, I'll be heading out to visit the Old Kent Quilters Guild in Chestertown, MD. I'll be giving a lecture April 20th (Quilt Math!) and teaching my Half Square Triangle Master Class on April 21st. Looking forward to it, ladies!

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Friday, January 30, 2015


My first job out of college (if you don't count my awesome waitressing job) was in radio advertising sales (Hello PYX 106 in Albany!) Like most newly minted college graduates, I suddenly had more money than I ever had before. What's a gal to do? Well, this gal bought a car. Then a wardrobe. Then a new sofa set. Since it was all on payment plans, shopping was a breeze. Until I sat down and realized that my weekly paycheck (yes, back then we got paid every Friday! How quaint!) was quickly diminishing. What's a gal to do? Well, this gal returned half the clothes (yes, unworn, tags still on), cancelled the sofa and kept the car. I needed that car.

So what does this have to do with quilting? A few years back, when flickr was hot, blogs were cooking and Instragram was just a twinkle in some coder's eyes, I was a swapper. And a bee-mate. And a Quilt-A-Longer. I joined just about everything that came my way. I had just moved to a new city, where I knew no one, so I may have been a tad bit lonely. My new found (on-line) friends kept me company and gave me something to do - sew things for them! And it was great. It was only 2 blocks per month. It was only a mug rug due in 6 weeks. It was only 2 more blocks per month. It was only a mini quilt due in June. Before I knew it, I was committed to 12 blocks and a few swaps per month. When it got to the point where I needed a spread sheet to keep track of everything, I knew it was time to back off. I fulfilled my obligations and I stopped swapping. Cold turkey.

Fast forward to now. These days, I'm very aware of my quilting "budget." Not money, but time. I work full time, travel/teach/lecture and like to see my family and friends every so often. I'm still tempted by swaps (just yesterday, I had my application for the Cotton and Steel mini swap on Instagram all filled out - it's only a mini! - and then came to my senses and deleted the whole thing. I will happily cheer from the sidelines and add my likes to those images that show up in my feed.) I will do an occasional swap with my guild, but only if I know I have time to do it and do it well (no one likes to receive a crappy swap item. Believe me, I know.)

As for quilt-a-longs, I'm doing my own personal quilt-a-longs this year. I'm resurrecting my Farmer's Wife Quilt (I joined that QAL over 3 years ago.) At the time, I thought, oh, it's only 2 blocks per week. Right. I made about 12. This time around, no pressure, just sewing fun. I cut a few blocks at a time, sew when I want, and it will get finished when it get's finished. To help motivate me, I made some cute design boards, using Lori Holt's tutorial. Mine turned out a little sloppy (I really need a better glue gun) but for now they'll do the trick.

Farmer's Wife block 14 (I think)

Farmer's Wife Block 16 (I think)

My second long term project is my EPP star project. No deadline on this one. I figure I'll need about 100 stars to make a decent sized quilt. If I get half way through this year, I'll be happy. Actually, even if I don't get half way through, I'll be happy. There's something about hand sewing that I crave lately.

3" 60 degree stars

My EPP travel kit

What about you? Are you a joiner? Are you doing any swaps or quilt a longs? (Even though I don't want to join any, I still want to know about them!)

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