Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Fest - Fall 2012 Quilt!

Phew! I did it! I've been working on this quilt specifically for the Fall 2012 Blogger's Quilt Festival, and I finished last night, in the midst of Hurricane Sandy! I'll admit, Vermont was not hit particularly hard compared to New Jersey and other states south of us, but still, I was a little bit worried about loss of power.

This quilt, if you've read my earlier posts, features Heather Ross for Spoonflower's Princess and the Pea print. You can see it 3 different ways on the quilt. The remaining squares all come from my stash (thanks to Hawthorne Threads' Scrap packs!) The quilt came together quite organically - from fabric selection (lots of dots, to keep in with the "pea" theme), to block size and placement, along with the sashing (to sash or not?). All decisions were made on the go, and therefore I think helped me with my creative process.

Here's the back of the quilt, slightly wider than WOF, so I added a row of extra blocks to help echo the colors on the front.

Here is the Princess up close. I've framed her three times over. In Chinese culture, mutiples of three are good luck, so the number three is echoed throughout the quilt - lines of three, sets of three, blocks made of three, etc etc.

I knew I wanted to practice some free motion quilting on this quilt, so once the top was completed I set about doodling ideas for both the whitespace and the square blocks. I ended up doing a bit of Orla Kiley-esque stem work along the vertical white lines, and then used a little sprout curl (the top doodle square) for the quilt blocks themselves.

I decided to use white thread to quilt it. The blocks already seemed so busy, I didn't want to overwhelm the quilt with colored thread in the quilting. It's nice and subtle, and you really have to pay attention to see the details.

Finally, I bound it with a bit of a blanket stitch, helping blend the white into the binding.

My vision for this quilt? That it will belong to a little girl who will learn it and discover all the hidden details. The sets of three, the little peas everywhere, the fact that there are quilted treasures within it. Just as I used to do with my favorite blanket when I was young :)

Blogger's Quilt Festival Stats:
*Quilt Measurements: 46" x 58"
*Special Techniques used: home machine free motion quilting, fussy cutting
*Quilted by: June Shen-Epstein (me!)
*Best category – Baby Quilt, Throw Quilt, Home Machine Quilted Quilt 

* Entry # 460 - under "Junebug's World"

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Here's my dreamy Princess and the Pea quilt top... I think I may add a row or two, or a border all around. I worked quickly on this because we have a guest and I can't be using the guest bed as a design board anymore :)

I love it. Orangey, polkadotty, very clearly girly... I am so SO glad Heather Ross made her prints available on Spoonflower, because now I'm not so afraid to cut into precious HR fabric to MAKE something!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Once Upon a Time

Look, it's here! Once Upon a Time, by Alexander Henry... it's been on my "must have" list for quite awhile, and Hawthorne Threads has it in stock now!

Very exciting. This is the bundle I plan on buying. I am especially in love with the trees.

I just might have to drag my feet on the current Princess and the Pea quilt in order to use some of these in it!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fabric mail and WIP

Getting fabric in the mail is such a joy. Today I got a lovely package from Jona&Lili in Germany:
Isn't that bunting card wonderful? I just love it. And the two prints in front - the puffballs and branches - are my favorite of the bunch. Great colors in this fabric!

I am also embarking on a relatively ambitious WIP... I've pulled fabric to make a Princess and the Pea quilt, using Heather Ross for Spoonflower fabric. I was surprised to discover I have plenty in my stash for this quilt (which will be toddler sized). The challenge in this one is that it will be relatively "improv", and of my own designs. It will be interesting to see if I can get all my measurements to flow together. I hope to start sewing tonight, but probably just cutting...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pin it to Win it? Genius!!!

All right people, Fresh Squeezed Fabric on Etsy is having the most genius marketing campaign... "Pin it to Win it!"

So here's the deal... If you repin my link below, I can win a fabric bundle.  You can enter too, and I'll pin yours.  I'll pin you if you pin me. :)

Here's my Pin, please click and Re-pin:

Click on this link below and hit repin, if you use Pinterest.  I didn't choose a lofty goal, a small FQ bundle of Oh Deer:

And, if you're interested in trying to get your own bundle, the details are here:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Literary Baby Quilt

Here's the finished whole cloth baby quilt! I'm calling it "Literary Baby" because it's all book related :). In my mind, this fabric was always intended to be a whole cloth quilt. I bought it from Connecting Threads - it's from a collection called "Bookish" by Jeni Calo.

I've mentioned Connecting Threads before, and I have to say I'm a really big fan. I think the prints are great quality and they have some really nice modern prints. Like the one I used here :)... I do have to say, though, that I have'nt been too impressed with the quality of their solids. They seem thin, stiff, and I've found flaws in the weaving that were pretty blatant. My fave solids are Moda Bella, and I'll always reach for a Kona because I know I can count on them.

Anyway! Back to the quilt... My first attempt at free motion! The quilting is basically straight line quilting (you know me - it's quick and easy), but within each line I've added a free-motion cursive word. It was fun to do - I drew the lines and words with disappearing ink, then I started out the line with my open toed walking foot... when I got to the word I switched to an open toe free motion foot and did the word... then switched back to the walking foot for the rest of the line. No thread interruptions!

I used "literary" words, like.... "books", "library", "knowledge", "fiction"... you get the idea.

You can see that the front of the quilt is really calm. Muted colors, nothing crazy. But then flip to the back! I picked a brighter print... Library Due Date stamps! It's from the same line of fabric, so go check out Connecting Threads if you're interested in a different place to score some great prints!

If you're interested in purchasing this quilt, I've listed it in my Etsy Shop!

linking to: Canoe Ridge Creations

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Need it? Nah, but... (stash it!)

Let's all admit... there's a big difference between "need" and "want", right?! Well, let's just say that it's been awhile since I succumbed to my whims and desires while shopping for fabric :) I had a BIG shopping list for Jo-Ann fabrics today, including a bunch of basics like pillow forms, muslin, and basic linen. I knew there were also some prints I'd like to pick up, like the DS grey polka dots. And I also knew that I've been a little stressed, and when I'm stressed... I like to shop.

So here's what I ended up with:

I did pretty well. Controlled myself. I left at least 3 prints behind that I have fallen for more than once. And I left with these: a beautiful jewel toned print that I think I'll turn into a 241 tote along with the solid berry in the middle. A neat Orla Kiely inspired print in poppy pink and red, and some DS navy berries.

Do you guys only shop for "designer" fabric, or do you love perusing the aisles and aisles at your local chain fabric store? I'm no fabric snob, I love going to JoAnn's :)... Besides, you can often find some great designer fabrics hidden in there - I've gotten some great Michael Miller prints, and other people have even scored some Heather Ross in the bargain bins!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A New Noodlehead pattern!

Yay! I can finally post about this beautiful bag :) Anna over at Noodle-head.com has come up with yet another wonderful bag pattern, and I was lucky enough to be a pattern tester/editor for her again. As you all may know, I am a huge fan of Noodle-head patterns for their curvy lines and wonderful, clear directions. I think a person can become a very versed and accomplished bag maker just by working through her tutorials and patterns.

Her new pattern, the Sidekick tote, is great for many reasons: it has a recessed zipper (few bag patterns out there do, so this is a great feature!), two sizes, two pocket options, and instructions for an adjustable strap. These touches all make for a great bag, and also make good skills to learn.

This is my version... I used some of my dad's old Brooks Brothers wool gabardine pants, and they made for a gorgeous bag. Wonderful fall/winter material!

I used Liz Scott's Sugar Pop flower buds for Moda for the lining of pockets, and Michael Miller Mod Prints French Roast in Gray for the outside pocket. I have my cousin to thank for that print - she picked it out for some new pillows for her apartment :)

I'm really happy to have taken the plunge into adjustable straps. I know they aren't so hard, especially for a MechE like me, but for some reason I was just not interested in tackling them until now. I've put them into another bag since this, and I think I'm a convert. They're easy to do, and really make a bag more versatile.

So hop on over to get a look at the pattern info, and maybe even buy a copy for you to make!

Monday, September 17, 2012

A little tidbit

A little tidbit of a quilt I'm working on... It's a whole cloth baby quilt with my first attempt at free motion - words!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Easy Apple Dumplings

It's apple season around here, and that means a plethora of apples... So while making some traditional egg rolls, I decided to make some apple dumpling egg rolls too! Yummy fried, caramelized goodness...

Shred some apples, and add cinnamon and sugar:

Wrap them up into prebought egg roll wraps:

Pan fry:

Cool down:

ENJOY! (dust with powdered sugar if you want them to look prettier)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mantra of the Day

"It's good to be busy"... I keep repeating that to myself as I spend the hour working through our calendar of:

run schedule to prep for half marathon
gymnastics classes
soccer practice
visits to or from Maine
order dates
craft shows
biking trips
birthday parties

I'd post you a picture, but I don't *really* want you to know the specifics!

Suffice to say. It's busy around here. That's a good thing, but occasionally I panic thinking there's not. enough. time. for. everything! And then I take a breath. And then I remember that my toddler is no longer napping. And then I take another breath. And I think... "It's good to be busy."

Hope you are too!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Lovely Late Nights

Between it still being summer vacation (meaning... less downtime for me!), upcoming fall craft shows, pattern testing, training for a half marathon, and general increase in sewing motivation, I have had a few late nights lately!

I'm not complaining. Au contraire, I am really happy about my regained love of sewing. I was a little worried over the June/July months because I barely even lifted a needle. I'll blame the heat, and the fact that my sewing space was an utter mess. And not just messy. Dirrrty too. So after a good cleaning and cooler weather, I'm back at it!

Last night, I had the company of this lovely fellow:

You see, one of my favorite bloggers, Rachel over at Stitched in Color, is hosting a contest for Heather Ross' new fabric line: Nursery Versery. As luck would have it, when I read about the contest there were two yards of mice heading my way from FabricWorm. If you're a regular fabric buyer you'll know that the Kokka prints aren't cheap. You have to really really want them to hit "buy" on that shopping cart!

I really wanted these mice. I just love all of Heather Ross' work, but these mice were my "must haves" from this line. I bought in the natural and the green color way, and when I opened the package to start figuring on what I'd make for the contest that little farmer mouse just was begging me to be used. I mean, really! Look at his pleading little face!

So I dug into my favorite fussy cut project... the cathedral window zip pouch. I was completely and totally ready to make a color blocked linen pouch featuring this guy, and lined with the same fabric. But I finished the cathedral block, and again... this little guy said "really? just a zip pouch? aren't I more worthy of a bigger project?"... and I said "YES!" (really, it was possibly delirium from staying up too late plus the fact that I've been in major pillow-sewing-mode).

So, there you have it. Totally improv piecing, with some new Medrona Road (the orange), and  Modern Meadow (the green) - both from Hawthorne Threads. As a side note, the Modern Meadow came from one of Hawthorne Threads' scrap packs. They are an awesome way to build up stash of some great moden fabrics. I always go to my scrap pack stash when I'm working on the fly like I was last night.

I particularly love the organic, hand painted look of these two fabrics in conjunction with the little mousie. They match so well. The borders and back of the pillow are in natural linen.

That little guy? He's so happy to be surrounded by his fields...  And me? I'm so happy to be back in a sewing groooove. It feels good, people.

finished pillow size 16" x 16"

Monday, August 20, 2012

First Outdoor Show

This past weekend I attended my first outdoor show as a vendor. It was an extension of the weekly local farmers market, and therefore relatively low pressure. That is to say, it wasn't strictly a craft show, so the table fee was low and the atmosphere festive as opposed to a "shop til you drop" mentality.

It was a great setup for my first outdoor show. I got to drive right up to my booth location and I had two great friends helping me setup, takedown, and throughout the show. It definitely helps to have friends! Another really great friend loaned me her canopy tent, and I'm so grateful!

I had set up the booth in my mind  several times, and had trouble sleeping the night before for fear that I had misjudged the dimensions in my head. But really it all came together better than I had imagined, and hanging my quilts along the back and sides really made the booth come together visually. I made the table covering at the last minute, and am thrilled with how it turned out.

As you can see, it was a beautiful day, sunny and slightly breezy. It was wonderful to meet some local customers and people who just really appreciated my work :)

Hopefully next summer I can fit in more than one outdoor show!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

No, where have YOU been?!

Uh huh. I know. It's been almost TWO MONTHS since my last post. Forgive me. We've been having some serious summer fun, and blogging took a back seat to playing in the water, exploring playgrounds, traveling to friends and family, and just... relaxing.

I promise I have been sewing too, and will have some pictures to share of my first outdoor market after this weekend! I'm excited, and big bonus, the weather looks like it will be nice.

And I promise that I'll be able to blog more once school gets under way. I'm looking forward to a fall of productivity, but for now... a couple of pictures to really show how much fun we've been having!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Toddler Dress

90+ degree days in June don't really motivate for quilting. But they DO motivate for making some summer clothes. I'm not very versed in clothing, but Mira has a dress she loves that is made of a cool cotton lawn, and I went ahead and tried to replicate it. I was pretty successful. It's lucky that two year old bodies are very forgiving to strange shaped clothing. Mira can look cute in pretty much anything.

I bought this fabric from JoAnn's "Prairie Girl" line last summer, intending to make it into a tunic for myself. As my friend Rachel says... she's glad I didn't. Apparently the fabric is too little girly.

I put an invisible zip in along the back, and it's successfully been worn once, though not yet washed!

It passed the wearability test, and the cuteness test...

Now to see if I'm brave enough to tackle a dress for myself!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Junebag

For the first time ever on the Junebug Blog... I present the "Junebag"!!! Tee hee.

You see, I've named all my custom bags after the people who have inspired them (see, Erica Bag, Emily Bag). And this bag I made all for me. It has all the elements I need for the "perfect purse". And I made it in the month of June! Such a perfect name for a cute bag :)

The bag has a main zipper pocket - a must for me as I'm paranoid about losing stuff. The zipper across the top completely encloses the main portion of the bag.

There are also two front slip pockets, for sunglasses, sunscreen, subway pass... anything that I need to be easily accessible. There's also a tiny zip pocket embedded in front of the slip pockets for my cell phone. I'll probably have to redesign if I switch to an iPhone, but for now my little cellie fits perfectly.

And of course, never to shy away from pockets (love to be organized!) there is a very generous zip pocket along the back of the bag:

The strap is a long 40" because with two little kids, I definitely need to be hands free. So, the bag is designed to be a messenger style, without being too big and bulky.

Inside the main interior of the bag... two large slip pockets, one with a pen slot for writing checks, or phone numbers.

Both the outer and the interior are home dec weight fabrics. The pockets and linings are from Erin McMorris' Summersault line.

Finished bag approx 9"x10"

Sew Sweetness

Friday, June 15, 2012

WIP... a BOY quilt!

I am a sucker for bicycle fabric. Hello, have you guys seen Lucy's crab shack bike prints?? Love:

Anyway, I've been hoarding all my bike fabric lately, and discovered that this Michael Miller Bicycles print really didn't go along with some of the others I've got. And really, it was meant to be a quilt just for a little boy anyway, right? So I got some coordinating solids, and an awesome gear panel for the backing, and now... brainstorming ideas for the top. Simple strips? Patchwork? I'm off to sketch it out. Wish me luck. Or give me some ideas!