I am no longer actively blogging here but I’d love if you could join me at my new creative lifestyle blog A Girl in Paradise.
I hope to see you soon.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Pip Squeak Easter Eggs

Over the course of the past week I have been working on an Easter Egg project with my kids. Something simple enough for my little one and creative enough for my older ones to enjoy. Every year I try and come up with a unique way to decorate blown out Easter eggs and save them to use from year to year. Last year we made Personalized Easter Eggs and this year we simplified things so my little one who is almost 4 could join in the fun.


This year I was inspired by all the Elmer’s Glue Canvas projects that I have seen on Pinterest and in blog land.  Why not decorate with glue?  Even better, why not decorate with glitter glue?  If you have little ones I am sure you are familiar with Crayola Washable Glitter Glue.  So, when I saw this package of Pip Squeaks Washable Glitter Glue at my local Target, I just knew what my next project was going to be.


But first I had to prepare the eggs.  Which is why it has been a week long project.  If you don’t want to blow out the eggs you don’t have to, Pip Squeaks glitter glue is non-toxic so it would be safe to use on hard boiled eggs, but like I said before I will be saving and using these eggs year to year.  That also means I had to strengthen them so they would last. 

Last year I had coated my eggs with Mod Podge and and sealed them with acrylic paint, but his year I knew that I didn’t want to coat the eggs.  I knew I wanted the glitter glue to give the eggs some dimension and texture.  So after blowing out my eggs, I washed and sanitized them.  There are many tutorials online if you never done this before, just Google blowing out eggs, and you should fine one that meets your needs. 

Once they were clean and had a day or two to dry out I made a mixture of Mod Podge and water and soaked the eggs.  That way there the Mod Podge mixture would coat the eggs inside and out and absorbed into the shell.  This gives them a little more strength to survive from year to year.  Then I let them dry out again for a day or two. 


I placed the eggs on a bamboo skewer so the kids could decorate the whole egg and not have to wait for each side to dry before doing the other.  Except for my little one.  I had him doing one side of the egg at a time.  He didn’t have the dexterity to decorate the egg on the bamboo skewer.


Basically all we did was make polka dots.  Some were more rounded and looked like jewels sitting on the egg and others were larger and more spread out.  It was all in how they applied the glue.  On some they just squirted out rounded dots and on others they squirted out the dots spreading out the glitter with the tip of the nozzle.  


Don’t forget to cover the pinholes at the top of each egg.


Leaving them on the bamboo skewers I placed them into a cut to let them dry overnight.


I hope you liked our Easter Eggs and are inspired to make some of your own.


Thanks for stopping by, and have a great week!

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

We have a winner…

The lucky winner of my Pinball Swirl Pincushion is #6.

Who is #6?

Well it is Jodi from Sew Fearless, of course!


I hope you enjoy your pincushion! 

I would like to thank everyone who took the time to enter my giveaway, Your comments and encouragement are very inspiring. 


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Monday, March 26, 2012

Building Blocks with Friends…. What do you think?

I am starting a new feature in April called Building Blocks with Friends.  My goal with this new feature is help promote Modern Quilting and the talented Modern Quilt Bloggers.


What it is

Building Blocks with Friends is a way for you to showcase your talent and get a little free PR for your blog.  My goal is to feature a quilt blog every Monday and for you to share your Quilt Block or a unique tip or trick in the form of a tutorial.

Are you with me so far?  Interested?  Want to know more?

Getting on the List

Blogs will be featured in the order in which I receive your request.  You can either leave me a comment below letting me know you are interested or you can e-mail me directly at agirlinparadise@gmail.com.

What you should include in that e-mail

Be sure to put Building Blocks with Friends in the subject line so it doesn’t get lost in the mix.  Your e-mail should include a brief description of your block, tip or trick, a link to your blog, and a picture of the block if you have one.

What I need from you

I will need you to send me an unpublished post of the block tutorial in html.  (I can help you with this part if you don’t know how) It must be a block of your own design and if it based on a traditional block please give proper credit to the original source.  A finished quilt is not required for this post but a small finished mini of at least 4 blocks is suggested.  In this unpublished post don’t forget to include a little about yourself and a link to your blog.  I would also like it if you could include a headshot, but it is not mandatory.

Once you are on the list and we have confirmed a date that your block will be featured I will send you a “I was featured button” for your blog.  Although you are not required to put that button on your blog, a quick post that day about your feature with a link to A Girl in Paradise would be appreciated.

That day I will also promote your feature through other social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook, and I have created a Building Blocks with Friends Directory page so my readers can always refer back to your tutorial at anytime.  Hopefully this will result in more traffic to your blog.

I hope you are as excited about this as I am.  So, show me what you got!


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Friday, March 23, 2012

Today I am Guest Posting….

Today Kaysi at Keeping It Simple is sharing her blog and letting me guest post.

Keeping It Simple

I made some fun simple bracelets from suede cording.  I would love it if you would click on the button above to see the tutorial on how I made them.


And while you're there, take a look around – You won’t be disappointed.  Kaysi has lots of cute simple crafts that anyone can make.  They don’t take a lot of time or money because when it comes to crafting her motto is Keeping it Simple.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Quilt Trends Magazine Review

Quilt Trends is a new magazine and I was given a copy and asked to write a review.  I know, tough life huh?  But I persevered and diligently read it from cover to cover, and I was not disappointed.


It is filled with 16 beautiful quilts to create, inspire and improve your sewing skills.  The instruction are easy to follow and well written.  A confident beginner could make all of the projects in this issue.  The cover quilt this issue features, Elephant March, it is made by Melissa Lunden and Cynthia Mann and uses Mod Basic fabric designed by Cynthia Mann for Birch Organic Fabric.  It would have to be my favorite.  As a mom of 2 boys I am always on the hunt for fabrics and quilts that are not to girly.


Along with the quilts there are several other features to check out including Book Shop, a review of 4 modern quilt and sewing books, including Modern Mix by Jessica Levitt and Make it Sew Modern by Vanessa Christenson.  This issue also included a great article about the Top 10 Trends in Art Quilts and featured several designer profiles.  I especially enjoyed reading about Deborah Edwards and Kaffe Fassett.  It is always interesting to read about how other designers create and where they draw their inspiration from.


I will definitely be filling out my subscription card today.  Quilt Trends distributes 4 times a year and offers either a 1 year or 2 year subscription, the best deal being there 2 year subscription.


I really hope you take a minute and check out Quilt Trends at your local newsstand.  I would love to hear what you think.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great week!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Work in Progress Wednesday

It has been one of those weeks where I wish I had more to share but I spent the better part of last week entertaining the kids during spring break. 

So there was a lot of this…


….sitting in traffic, but in the end…


…it was totally worth it!  I had a great week with the kids but I won’t lie I really enjoyed dropping them off at school on Monday.  :)

Once I did that I was finally able to get some stuff done!!!  First I finished my Pinball Swirl Pincushion Tutorial and posted it to the blog last night.  If you have a minute stop by.  I am saying thanks to all my wonderful followers with a little giveaway….


Then I put together my review of the new Quilt Trends Magazine.  You can check that out here tomorrow.  Don’t you just love that quilt on the cover?


On hold till next time

Twist on Tradition Quilt

Memory Quilt for my Daughter

Apple Core Quilt

2010 Scrap Quilt

Want to hear more of what’s going on in the quilt world? Hop on over to Freshly Pieced and check out her Work in Progress Wednesday link-up. There you will find other talented quilters and hear all about what they have going on.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pinball Swirl Pincushion Tutorial & Giveaway


I am so happy to be sharing my latest tutorial with you.  I originally made this pincushion for my partner in the the Bee a {Modern} Swapper swap.  I received so much positive feedback on that pincushion and a couple of requests for a tutorial, that I decided to take the time and make another one.  As much as I hate to part with another one of these pincushions I am giving it away to one lucky follower.  My way of saying thanks for all of your support and encouragement.  So, don’t forget to leave a comment below.


The block is called Pinball Swirl and it is paper pieced.  Click here for the template.

To get started I sorted through my scrap bin and pulled out a variety of bright cheerful colors and placed them in the order of the rainbow.  You will notice that on the template each segment has either has 2 or 3 colors, so before I cut out the segments I marked the back of each segment with a color.  Note, that I did not mark the front of the segments, if you do the color order will be transposed.  I know this because I made that rookie mistake on my first pincushion.


Normally, when using these numbered paper pieced templates you will want to add your fabrics in the order in which it is numbered, but I had a little difficultly with that first time around.  I found that starting at the other end worked much better for me.  These templates are very small and I wanted my colors to flow from lightest to darkest.  But do what works best for you.  I don’t claim to be an expert in paper piecing.

  If you hold your paper up to the light you can somewhat line up your fabrics right sides together with a 1/4” seam allowance.  You will want your fabrics behind the template so you can sew directly on the line of the template.  Also, it is best to shorten your stitch length so the paper will be easier to remove later.


Once you sew on each fabric you will want to fold back the paper on the stitch line and trim your selvage to a 1/4” to keep things neat and tidy.


Then turn over and finger press flat before adding the next fabric.  Repeat the previous step until have added all your fabrics and you are done with that segment.


When the segment is complete press and trim off the excess fabric.  Continue until all segments are done.


You will notice in this picture I did not add the final color.  I did not like it when I added the white corners in my original pincushion so I trimmed them off, so for this pincushion I just extended the grey.  If I was making these blocks for a quilt I would definitely add the white corners.  Just saying.  It looks really cool when you join them together…. just not on the pincushion.


Now it is time to construct your block.  This will be your layout.


After you sew together the segments start removing the paper in your seams.  Thrust me, take the time, you will thank me later.  Also, I found tweezers very helpful in this step. 


Press your seams open and finish constructing your block.


Now we are ready to construct our pincushion.  You will need your finished block, 2 squares of batting cut slightly larger than you block, and backing fabric cut slightly larger than your block.  You will also need filler for your pincushion.  I am using crushed walnut shells and a little puff of Polyfil, but you can fill your pincushion with what ever you like.


I machine quilted my block onto my batting for a little extra design and support.  Then I trimmed away the excess and squared up my block.


Next, with right sides together I sewed all four layers together, creating my pillow, leaving an opening to turn my pincushion right side out.  Then I trimmed off the excess and clipped off the corners.


Next I filled my pincushion with about 2 cups of crushed walnut shells.  I like using the crushed walnut shells because it give me the extra heft in a pincushion that I am looking for.  I like when my pincushion stays put and doesn’t slid all over my workspace, besides there are several benefits to using crushed walnut shells in pincushions.  Walnut shells are biodegradable, non-toxic, and they are mildly abrasive keeping pins clean and sharp. Crushed Walnut Shells (or Ground English Walnut Shells) are primarily used for bedding in lizard habitats, and can be bought at most big box pet stores. I buy mine at my local Petco.


Once you have filled your pincushion to the desired fullness stuff it with a little Poly-fil and hand sew the opening closed.  I like to use the Poly-fil because I find it easier to close the opening if the crushed walnut shells are not trying to escape. 


There you have it a pincushion of your very own.  Enjoy!

Now for the fun part.  The giveaway.  The rules are simple, one comment per person. 

This giveaway is open to all readers, US and international, and will be open till next Monday, March 26th at midnight, EST. I will announce a winner on Tuesday morning.

Good Luck!

This Giveaway is now closed.

You can check out who won here.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Work in Progress Wednesday

The kids are home for spring break this week.  So, pretty much all I have been doing so far is entertaining them (and their friends) and feeding them.  Nonstop.  I am getting a little bit of computer work done but time in the sewing room is very limited.  Playing referee and cleaning up after everyone is not been my idea of fun, so today I think a trip to the beach is in order.  There is nothing like a little sun and sand to wear them out and put them to bed early.  That’s right this momma has a plan!

Now a little of what I have up to for the past couple of weeks.


Finished Projects

Modern Folded Star Tutorial – I am so excited about the response I am getting on this tutorial.  Thank you so much you guys are awesome.  So, be sure to check it out if you haven’t already.  I’m a proud momma beaming with joy.

Doll Quilt Swap 12 - This one is done but I am waiting to send it out before I share.  I wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise for my partner.


New Projects

Pinball Swirl Pincushion – Yup!  It is back by popular demand.  Some of you asked for a tutorial and your wish is my command.  After sifting through my scraps I put together another rainbow combination.  Hopefully I will be able to complete this tutorial and post it to the blog by this weekend, but like I said before the kids are home this week for spring break…. So we will see how that goes.   


Twist on Tradition Quilt – I am not sure but maybe this should go into the On Going Projects category as I am bringing this back out and dusting it off.  Last year I was involved in the Twist on Tradition Bee and sent out fabric for these blocks to be made.  Unfortunately my month was November and in the midst of the busy holiday season I didn’t receive back some of my blocks until now.  Perfect timing if you ask me because I was just itching to start another quilt.  I just couldn’t make a decision on what my next project should be.  It is so much easier when fate makes those decisions for you.

On Hold

Memory Quilt for my Daughter

Apple Core Quilt

2010 Scrap Quilt

Want to hear more of what’s going on in the quilt world? Hop on over to Freshly Pieced and check out her Work in Progress Wednesday link-up. There you will find other talented quilters and hear all about what they have going on.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Modern Folded Star Mini Quilt

Finally it is ready.  It seems like it took me forever to complete this.  It turned into this insanely long blog post with way too many pictures, so I decided to make it into a downloadable PDF.  It seemed much easier than of breaking it up into multiple blog posts.  
006b I used my Sugar Creek fabrics by Denyse Schmidt for this project.  I just love how it came out.  The diamond blue fabric stands out amongst the others and the star pattern radiates out from the center.  Very cool. 
Sugar Creek - Diamond Blue
Sugar Creek - Gingham Nut Meadow
Sugar Creek - Wavy Check Cornflower
Sugar Creek - Floral Meadow
Sugar Creek - Kitchsy Tile Cornflower
What can I say, I really enjoyed making quilt again.  It is really easy to put together and a welcomed break from the norm.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and I would love to hear any feed back you might have on this project.  Any pattern tester out there?  I would love a honest review and would be happy to feature here on my blog. 009
Also, I want to thank everybody for the great response I got from the original Modern Folded Star mini quilt I made for the Mini Quilt Challenge over at Amy Lou Who Sews last November. Pictured below.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think this quilt would get this much attention.  I am filled with joy that you like it so much and even happier that so many of you asked for this tutorial.  So here you go.  Click the link at the end of this post and enjoy.

You can download your free PDF pattern here.

You can also download a free PDF pattern via Craftsy here.

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