Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Seahabilitated

I don't know about you, but I think we all need a tropical vacation!  Imagine the salty water, the mist from the waves, the tropical ocean blues...now back to reality!  As much as we would love sunsets and palm trees, we have to be practical.  A vacation like that takes months and months of planning!  Thankfully with a little imagination, the perfect color combination and maybe a glass of wine or two, we can at least dream!


This colors in Seahabilitated has me pining away!  Bring on the surf!!  Kona Lapis, Sour Apple and a hint of Breakers!  Add in to the mix Anna Maria Horner's Loominus and honestly...I can't get enough!


Once I settled on a design, I ended up expanding on it with a bright border to tie in with the center.  Adding the geese and having them 'chase' around the quilt was an easy choice. 


It was fun to use some fabric that has been sitting around.  The colors are just strange enough together to work.


I'm becoming less scared of free motion quilting and much more willing to take chances. I'm not sure what you would call the quilting design, but it was fun to do.  The random funky flying geese came to me towards the end.  A little twist!

I have to say that I love the combination of of the green thread against the backing!  It may be my new favorite color combination!


Way back when I bought a scrap pack of Loominous at Anna Maria Horner's shop ~ Craft South. I've used it in a couple projects (small ones), but was lucky enough to have enough of four different colors to put in to this quilt.  Isn't it amazing how far you can make a few scraps go?!  I guess it helps when you are being frugal with them!


I'll bask in the fantasy of laying on a beautiful beach while looking at this one.  

Seahabilitated
36" x 36"
I rarely ever go anywhere, let alone on vacation.  My first choice is always the beach, tropical and sunny.  Where would your dream vacation be?  

LINKING:
TGIFF

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Skinny Minny ~ Fun and Games

I needed a project!  I really did!  We were having an open sew at our Guild meeting and thought Skinny Minny would be the perfect piece to bring.  You know I love paper piecing and Jeli Quilts has some amazingly fun patterns.  If you love flying geese, you really should check out her Craftsy Pattern Shop!  From teeny tiny, circles, squares, big and small, there are geese galore.  

Skinny Minny Jeli Quilts


I picked six of the darker shades of my Heavy Metal fabric (Windham Studios) for the geese, grabbed some Kona Ivory and Bone scraps, and a fat quarter of Cotton + Steel.  Mixing it up!

The spots on the Heavy Metal are...of course metallic.  Bronze, gold and silver.  Notice I didn't go with rainbow colors?!  While they maybe the obvious choice, I knew I needed to go in a different direction.  For this time.    


There isn't much rhyme or reason with the background.  I'm trying to not over think it and just do! Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  

I've come to the conclusion that if something doesn't work, its okay.  All isn't lost, the world won't crumble, fabric is just fabric. A lesson learned from a fail or trying something new is just as valuable.


I have two 6 1/2" blocks completely finished and two partially finished.  The little skinny geese are just over 2" long and 1/2" tall.  Totally skinny!

I think I'll get the four blocks finished and decided on a layout.  It doesn't have to be a circle, but I do like that.  There have been a few ideas brewing in my head, which I keep tamping down!  Now is not the time to decide...but what if?!  You know the routine!


I've had this project on my 'to do' list for far too long! It's always a good feeling when you can cross it off and hopefully move on to yet another...or make room for one more!  The good old vicious cycle never ends!

Do you get bewildered when a project doesn't go as planned?  Or can you be a duck and let it roll of your back?  Mostly I'm a duck...quack quack!

LINKING:

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Epic Sampler BOM Blocks

Here I am three months behind on my Epic Sampler BOM!  Seriously, not a huge surprise.  I started back in October with high hopes of staying on top of it, unlike my Technicolor Galaxy which has been tossed aside (don't ask...but I'll get back to it), this one was to be different.  I was going to control it.  Good intentions and all, right?!




Yesterday I pulled out the previous blocks and decided to make some sort of progress with it.  Always wanting to put my own spin on a design, I totally colored out side the lines on this one!  Why don't I just go simple?!

Total crazy!  Which, in my opinion is so much harder!  Three blocks a month are released, not in any particular order, so getting the rainbow effect is a challenge.



There are 6" blocks, 12" blocks, 18" blocks...traditionally pieced and paper pieced blocks.  It has been a fun ride, but this girl has got to get on the ball!



This one was paper pieced, talk about lots parts and pieces!  It helps to mark each color on the paper template first, especially because I'm trying to make these blocks flow from one color to the nest.


6" - The Claw
Baby Paw was a traditionally pieced block.  It was nice to have a simple block in the mix!

6" - Baby Paw
And then there was this one!  I did have a little issue with the quarter square triangles, but quickly fixed the problem.  Which was most likely my problem not the pattern!

6" - Polaris
Three more down, 6 more to do before I'm caught up!  Making progress is always a good feeling, there is no denying that!

These are the blocks that are finished so far.



In between these, I've been working on a design, wall quilt and tutorial for Benartex.  Stay tuned for that!  I'll share the details soon!  

I made a test quilt from the tutorial to make sure it would 'fly'.  However, I changed several things in the final design.  It always happens, which is why it's a good thing to test it out!  



It was a miracle that I had the exact perfect thread colors in my stash for these odd colors, how often does that happen?!  I hope to finish the quilting today.  And yep, I'm attempting more free motion quilting!


LINKING:

Friday, May 13, 2016

Crystallized Glacier ~ Unselfishly

Last Sunday I was hanging out with myself wondering what ever should I do?  You might think hanging out with myself sounds sad and pitiful, and it may very well be!  I don't mind having alone time, I really don't!!  

I decided I would take Sunday and do some selfish sewing that actually turned into unselfish sewing.  Is that a thing?!  Selfishly unselfish?!  I mean, I wanted to sew (selfish), but I wanted to sew something for someone else (unselfish)!  

With time on my hands, I pulled out my 'go to' paper pieced star templates, grabbed my scrap bin and decided on a color.  Rainbow is the logical choice, but instead I went with blues, more specifically teal to turquoise.  It's all about the scraps!


CRYSTALLIZED GLACIER
13 1/2" X 13 1/2"
I saw a color and knew right a way I was going with it...add white...win, win!  Of course, I wouldn't me if I had a plan from the very beginning...what fun is that?!  The star would be the jumping off point, it would tell me what to do and where to go.  (I normally do not hear voices)



The star pieces came together quickly.  I am so in love with paper piecing!  I would love to make an entire quilt...oh wait...I have one on the back burner...I maybe should get back to that!  This little star has been nothing but good to me.  But this one deserved to be the star...literally!



The transition from one color to the next had me swooning!  

4 1/2" Unfinished
From this point I had to figure out step two.  I found a sheet of tiny diamonds I printed off for some other project and thought I could work with it, or try to make it work.  I picked a pretty teal and made a total of eight.  


1 1/2" x 2" Unfinished
Super long story short, I played with the diamonds changing them around in every which way until I settled on the final design.  Border around the star, diamonds strategically placed with the correct pieces added here and there, another round of border in white...STOP! I couldn't end with white.  I grabbed a couple colors from the star and made a 3/8" border in two coordinating colors.



But first, I love these shots and had to share!  I love the stained glass effect, the seemingly perfect seams, the light shining through the colors!





I was hoping the borders and the binding would transition together.  I wonder if I should have added an extra 1/4" to the outside border.  



The star is free motion quilted and the rest of the quilt was basic straight line geometric lines. Simple and effective.

I picked a light aqua Alison Glass 'Ink' for the backing.  Another stash buster!


Stepping out of my comfort zone, and that hurts so much...I did not wash this mini quilt.  I wanted to, I want to...I probably will!  I love the crispness of the finish unwashed, but I have always loved the crinkle after a wash even more.  Do you wash a mini wall hanging or not? I know many people don't, why is that?  Because it's small and washing may distort the shape?  Just curious. I'm having a hard time sharing a photo of an unwashed piece...what the heck is wrong with me?!


The person I have in mind for this mini will (hopefully) be surprised!  They have been extremely kind and generous with me, very deserving of a surprise gift.  

When I started making this with the idea of selfish/unselfish it felt really good.  It's easy for me to get caught up in a project with the thought of getting it done and moving on to the next newest and greatest.  Taking the time to do what I love, not for me, not for my shop, not for anything other than hopefully...surprising and making someones day a little brighter.  

I kind of want to do this more often!


LINKING:


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Abstract ~ Impvov Wall Hanging

A finish is a good thing!  I have to admit that I was unsure about the colors in this quilt.  The improv I knew would work, the colors...not so much.  But as I worked through the process I came to love the color combination.  Just enough of this and that color, with a healthy dose of red and grey!

I've been eyeing this sculpture in the middle of 'officeland' for quite some time.  With my husband and quilt in tow, we took a detour yesterday to give it a shot!    

34" x 38"

When I started this quilt, the focus was red.  In order for the red to shine or standout without being over bearing, I balanced that issue with grey.  I think it worked perfectly well!  


I machine quilting vertical organic lines using two different colors of grey thread.  And then added randomly placed horizontal waves in several areas.   


You can see the full effect here.  The backing is Kona Graphite, and check out the binding!  


It seemed to me that a very scrappy binding would only be fitting.  It also carries the design right to the edge without having to do a knife edge binding.  Which I've done, but didn't want to do it with this quilt.




The lighting was so perfect this morning for pictures, I could barely contain myself let alone quit taking photos!  How often does that happen?!  For me not too often.  I love capturing the true colors and texture of quilts, when it happens it's nearly magical! 


It's hard to believe this quilt was started after my cracked rib accident!  Where the simple task of using my rotary cutter brought nothing but pain.  Determination fought through pain. While the episode is still fresh in my mind, I'm happy to say that finally...after two weeks I'm just about pain free!


It was pure joy, pure heaven to finally have jumped back in to some improv!  It surprises me how much I missed improv when I haven't done it in a while.  Do you ever feel like that?  Do you have a favorite design, process or technique you love? 


LINKING:
TGIFF

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Sweet Surprises and Blogger Friends!

I sometimes get this overwhelming fear that you are going to forget about me if I don't post something!  I really do!  When I have numerous post, I think they have got to be getting sick of me!  I don't know where the sweet spot is, and I'm going err on the side of caution...because I really don't want you to forget about me...see, I'm so needy!

I do have a few things in the works, but nothing that is worthy of sharing yet.  So, why not toot the horn of a few friends?!  You know it and I know it, there are no better friends than our quilty bloggy friends!  What would we ever do without this amazing community of kind, talented and inspiring people we meet nearly everyday on the internet?  

I received a wonderful surprise in the mail yesterday!  What makes it so special?  I did not expect it at all!  I am a hard person to surprise.  Surprise and shock!   But this little lady did just that to me!

Sarah who blogs at Cedar Fork Stitches, sent me a sweet little surprise!  You know the Mini Mini Quilt Craze, tiny little quilts the perfect size for a little imp...I love me a mini mini!



Surprise, surprise!  From the 'Big Sky Country', Sarah made a special little quilt just for me! I love the colors and love that they are set off with a shadow.  I know where that came from!!  

I was not expecting this at all, but the real surprise is on the back!  Are you ready?  This is hilarious!  For reference...this mini is 3 3/4" square.



Only Sarah would put hanging corners on a mini mini!  I about wet myself when I say that!! It makes me almost want to torture my husband by making him cut a board to hang it!!  

Note the Shot Cotton on the back...Sarah...do you know me, or what?!  I was completely shocked and totally blown away!

Speaking of blown away!  I am always amazed, shocked and so, so happy when someone actually uses my tutorials and shares their project with me!  I can't imagine any thing better than that when it comes to my quilting journey.  

I made a Charm Pack Shadow Block tutorial a while back, and recently Peg shared her project on Instagram.  Really how amazing is this?  Total Spring, and the shadow is just pure perfection!

I seriously get butterflies in my stomach when I see what others have made from one of my tutorials!  It's got to be the dream we all have, inspiring others.  Thank you Peg, I really love this version of my tutorial and thank you so very much!

Then you know those retreats...where we attend and spend every single waking hour quilting?  Where we need yet another weekend to recover from out weekend?  I've only done one and can not wait to feel the after effects of another!

Sweet Anja, who has been a steady commenting buddy on my blog for quite sometime. You know her... she is one who is a faithful follower and a constant, if you don't know Anja...check out her blog:  Anja Quilts.  Anja recently went on her first retreat with her guild. My advice to her was to bring lots of projects and pre-cut if you can!!  

I recently finished a tutorial for a 'Mini Charm Square Wonky Block' and Anja decided it might be a good retreat project to take along with her!




And it was!  It is such a quick and easy tutorial for those mini charm squares we all have laying around!  I love the whimsical, yet wild side of this one!  Frankly, it's just fun!  You have bright, a bit wonky, a little ca-razy, and a whole lot of perfect!  I'm so happy this was one of Anja's projects for her first guild retreat!

Thank you Sarah, Thank you Peg and Thank you Anja!  You guys are the best...of the best!