Monday, September 22, 2014

Pretty Much Caught Up

The start of September has been pretty hectic.  My son had a birthday, I had a birthday, I went to a Quilt Show, spent 4 days getting new windows put in the house and lastly and most importantly, I finished 2 beautiful custom orders!

With the above quietly behind me, I am hoping to stay on track for a while!  That means getting back to blogging!

I finally finished this quilt!  Yay!  After a pretty long process of deciding on fabric, we settled on Rapture by Pat Bravo.  If I ever get to writing the pattern for this quilt design, it would look like this.  For this quilt however, I added to the sides making it larger. 

Something like this:

57" x 80"
It will now fit a little bed for a little girl!!  I think this will take her through many cold nights and grow with her.  Not too childish!  

I included a panel across the bright yellow back and quilted the heck out of it!

It feels good to finish quilts.  It feels even better knowing it is going to someone who will have many, many years of warmth and joy from them!

Since the little lady (she is 6) receiving this quilt is an avid reader, her mom asked if I would include a bookmark using some of the fabric from the quilt.  I was delighted!  What better way to put a smile on a little face...while encouraging them to explore the world with a book?!

Double sided whale bookmark.  I created this design with children in mind, but that certainly doesn't mean any 'big kid' wouldn't love it as well!  Bookmarks like the whale are available in my second Etsy shop:  Twiggy & Opal Too!  I also have some cute little snakes!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

This is crazy!

Finishing a quilt is the best!  Finishing a quilt that I just discovered has been in limbo for over a year is even better!!

This quilt was the brain child of my daughter Britt.  She had a vision.  A very specific vision.  Knowing that I love a challenge, she got me to collaborate with her.  I love working with her.  She is one of the most creative and gifted people I know.  (Yes, I am biased!)  

We started this one in July of 2013!  Yep!  That's right!  I was shocked after going through my Flickr photos to learn that!

This quilt required a few partial seams.  I shy away from that sort of thing.  Partial seams, Y-seams, pretty scary stuff!  It all fell on Britt's shoulders!  And she did a fabulous job!  

So, this pinned quilt hung on my quilt ladder forever.  I waited and waited for someone to quilt it.  Someone who started this thing!  I kept waiting.  Hoping.  Obviously for over a year until I couldn't take it any longer!  I pulled it down and made a quilting plan.  

The big square is a tightly quilted cross-hatch using a coordinating thread.  Very random. The lines are extended slightly on to the blue.  I went vertical and horizontal with the remainder of the quilt.  It mimics the cross-hatch, but on a bigger scale.  

I do love how it turned out.  Simple and modern.  I am sad to say that Britt and I don't do much quilting together now-a-days.  We use to have our 'power' quilting times.  Both machines whirling away on the table.  Laughing, talking and just spending time together.  I think its time to do it again...I wonder if she remembers how to use her machine!  

On a different note!  I received an early birthday gift.  Again, Britt was the mastermind!

My little card!  Guess who's going to the AQS Chattanooga Quilt Show?  That would be me!  And Britt!  It will be the first quilt show I have been to and I'm looking forward to it.  I have often thought about entering a quilt in a show.  This will be a research mission. Could I, should I?!  

I do have a couple in progress quilts to show off.  

This one is almost finished!  I'm sewing the binding on right now.  It's a modified version of my 'soon to be' pattern.  

Woven stripe baby quilt.  Ready to quilt once I figure out what I want to do!


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Graphic HST

I haven't been slacking!  

Making HST 'everything' has become another go-to project for me.  The color combinations, designs and finished pieces are endless.  Just when I think I'm over it...another idea comes to me and I have got to get it out of my head!  Does that ever happen to you?  I feel like I might be hitting the 'enough is enough' already blog posting about HST's, I cannot help myself.  I really can't!

So with that being said, here is one of the things I have been working on.  Featuring more hand dyed and shot cottons.  

The blue is a combination of navy and a piece or two of indigo blue.  

Knowing I wanted to get my graphic on, I started laying out the blocks and began to assemble the top.  I love just grabbing HST's and placing them without thinking about it.  This was meant to be graphic and random.

Quilting this was predetermined.  I knew lots of little straight lines would be throughout this quilt.

I quilted 1/2" lines in the three blue squares using a dark blue thread.  The rest of the quilt I used 1" lines.

I struggled with what color of thread to use on the rest of the quilt.  I didn't want dark blue lines going through the blues and greens so I decided to use a aqua for the front and dark blue on the back (the back fabric is navy blue).  I don't usually use two different colors of thread.  But this time I felt I needed to. 

Always looking for a twist on quilt backs!  Modern and keeping with the graphic nature of the front!

This quilt finished at 45" x 62".  I totally love the colors and the graphic design is just what I was hoping for!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

* W.I.P * B.O.M * O.M.G *

And the list goes on and on!  Orders, restocking, writing patterns, dyeing fabric!  This has been one of the busiest month's ever!

I'm a little behind in my Vice Versa BOM show and tell!  Yesterday I finished my August block finally.  It didn't work the way I had hoped, a little 'off' and I didn't use one of the colors I should have.  That's what happens when I don't read the directions thoroughly.  

Be that as it may, I shall share anyway!

I especially love the second one even with the flaws!  

August BOM
July BOM
July's block was tedious!  Those flying geese were so, so small!  See the blue in this was suppose to be in the August blocks as well.  I kind of had to improvise when I discovered the mistake!

I have yet to start writing the pattern for this quilt: Feverishly Finished.  The good news is I'm in the process of making it again.  Another custom order.  I'm happy to give it one more test run.  It's better to give it a few test runs before I put it out there!  Thank you to everyone who commented and those who so kindly offered to pattern test it for me!  It's thrilling beyond belief for me!

This is the fabric we settled on.  Pat Bravo~Rapture.  I got this bundle from Hawthorne Threads.  When it arrived I was thrilled!  This fabric is so gorgeous in person and it feels like heaven!  We also decided on Canary (Pure Elements). 

I want to give a couple different options for fabrics in my pattern.  The original was 30 different solids (great scrap buster), but maybe someone wants to use some prints?!  I need to figure out how far they will go!

By the way, this quilt will be for a little girl named Reese.  Her Mom says she is an avid reader and they are looking forward to snuggling underneath this quilt for many years to come!  Reese has a little sister who will be next in line for a quilt!  I was told that in anticipation of these new quilts...the girls room has been painted!  No pressure, right?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Lovely Win!

Earlier in the month I came across The Cozy Pumpkin blog.  As I was reading the post, I kept thinking hand quilting was one of those 'things' that I want to do.  Another addition to my never ending bucket list.

Fortunately for me it was not only an informative post, but a giveaway to boot!  And you know what?!  I won!  I was a little excited to say the least!  

Amanda has a Hand Quilting Tutorial using Perle Cotton that I will be revisiting.  My plan is to make something just for hand quilting...not sure what it is yet, but I do have some ideas!  

While I have never used Presencia Perle Cotton (or actually hand quilted a thing), I'm excited to give it a try!  Plus, Amanda gave it a big thumbs up...

A rotary blade sharpener and two packages of some gorgeous fall/jewel tone colors!  I love looking at colors, I love color!  

When I opened up this color was like I was a deer caught in the headlights or a fish mesmerized by a shiny fishing lure!  (to dramatic?)  These are just gorgeous!  

Thank you Amanda, The Cozy Pumpkin and Presencia for a beautiful and happy surprise! I promise these will be put to good use!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Not In Command!

Command hooks.  They have been such a lifesaver for so many things.  I use them for a lot of my sewing organizing.  Let's face it, organizing is fun!  I sometimes have to wait until the mood is right, stars aligned, perfect storm...but sometimes...sometimes there really isn't a choice when it gets done.  Something happens and you gotta drop everything and deal!

Sunday morning was when my disaster occurred.  I just fed the dog.  Had a nice hot cup of coffee in my hand.  Ready to do some computer work.  When all of the sudden I heard this noise.  A noise unlike any I have heard before.  It was really quite an amazing sound. What the heck...where did that come from...I figured it out.  My sewing closet.  I whipped opened the door and this is what I saw!

Thread.  Everywhere.  Bobbins.  Bags. Thread organizer.  Yarn.  I was stunned.  It was way too early to deal with this!!!  Oh command hooks...why, why, why???  I shouldn't have been surprised.  It hung on the wall for years without budging.  Sooner or later the 'stick 'em' will no longer stick!

To be honest, I let it be for most of the day.  Eventually I did pick all the spools up.  They were everywhere!

The spools weren't so bad.  The bobbins on the other hand...were a mess!  I saved the ones that had the most thread on them and unwound the rest!  I was surprised at how many bobbins I had with little thread on them.  I couldn't really do much with so little!

I hammered in a proper hook that will not go anywhere!  It is secure and this will not happen again!  

The good news is my thread is organized!  It looks so pretty all color coded.  Tidy.  I'm pretty sure I will not have to do this again anytime soon!

Have you ever noticed how a praying mantis rocks back and forth?  So bizarre!  I saw this guy on Sunday after I finished with my thread chaos.  I'm going to say he was doing a victory dance for me...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hand Dyed Workshop

Hand Dyeing fabric is so much fun!  I have been doing it for just over a year now.  It didn't take long to get hooked big time!  

Last year I joined a local quilt guild.  Music City Modern Quilt Guild.  Do you know how nice it is to hang out with a bunch of ladies who also love to quilt?!  They are such a fabulous, talented bunch of the sweetest people ever!

During a planning meeting there was interest in doing a hand dyed workshop for the following year.  I was asked if that was possible and of course I said yes!  Even though it was still new to me!  I was counting on and secretly praying that my daughter Britt would be there teaching the class!  She was the one who roped me into it!  Being a Fiber's Major...who better to head up the class?

Fast forward to August!  With the class fast approaching and me getting more nervous by the second, Britt and I conspired, cleaned, mixed and organized to make this class fun and informative.  

I had no idea we would have such a huge turnout!!  Beyond my expectations in every way! 

The day before we mixed up 20+ dye colors.  We didn't use them all.....just the basics for the class!  Mixing dye is a pretty big deal.  You certainly do not want to breathe in the dye powder!  Our usual mixing spot is outside.  We are not a big operation, but I do have a few fat quarter bundles that I offer in my Etsy shop!

Bottles & Dye
Orange Crush!
Yummy Deep Purple!

My daughter, Britt! 
With our respirators on, we mixed a small fortune of beautiful colors!  Both for the workshop and future dyeing ventures!

Britt had on a beautiful hot pink and yellow face accessory, paired with some delightfully red saltwater sandals...she is stylin'!

Class Begins!

Our garage is the 'workshop studio' for this class!  It happens to be huge!  It functions as a dye studio, soap making factory, work out room, workshop, storage, ceramics~ oh, and yes we do house our cars in there too!

Britt began with the basics.  She showed some swatches of her own hand dyed fabrics so everyone could see the possibilities.  Each person brought 4 fat quarters of a pre-washed white cotton.  At this time, I will thank Stefanie Greenwood-Williams, owner of Cotton Bliss who so graciously brought fabric for most of the students!  The goal was for each person to leave with 4 different colors.  

With gloves on (except Jenny and Lindsay, who are the Rebels of the group!), we set about mixing those colors!  Everyone had a pretty good idea of what colors they were after.  Some light, some dark, some mixed!  I was so excited to see what every one came up with!  With so many beautiful colors, I am itching to get back into dye my own!

Britt did a fantastic job!  She knows what she is talking about, knows what makes an effective teacher/class, I knew I could count on her!  Honestly, I never ever in a million years could have done it on my own.  Never.  

I wish we had been able to get some pictures of every one's end results.  I think it was a successful class.  As long as everyone had fun, learned a little bit about hand dyeing, left with some usable fabric...what more could you ask for?!

Well maybe a beautiful bouquet of flowers!  Thank you Stefanie for bringing the Hydrangea's! Simply gorgeous!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Fresh Quilts ~ Take Two

Never could I have imagined being in a magazine with one of my designs...I am happy to share with you my second feature!  

Fresh Quilts is a fabulous new magazine.  If you haven't seen this magazine yet, I highly recommend it!  From quilts, to pillows to coasters!  A little bit of everything for everyone! 

Here is the Fall/Winter Issue:

Amazing how different my pillows look in a beatifully staged setting!  I had a bit of a block when it came time to make something with fall colors.  It was barely Spring when I started and thinking of fall when all I wanted was summer...a little bit of a challenge!

My two beauties!
With all my talk lately about writing a quilt pattern, so far I have managed a few pillow patterns for the magazine.  It was still daunting...sometimes overwhelming.  I'm learning!

After figuring out a design, these were the first 'draft'.  I did change a few things after making these two.  Not much, but some!

A friend of mine and fellow Music City Modern Quilt Guild member Lindsay Conner ( Modern Bee , Lindsay Sews) is also featured in this issue!  She has some very cool coasters using solids! 


Monday, August 11, 2014

Feverishly Finished

Yay!  I get to show a finished quilt!  After reworking the pattern ever so slightly, this quilt is in the bag so to speak!

42 1/2 x 63"
With a renewed sense of excitement for my pattern, I'm anxiously awaiting to get this baby on paper now!

The back looks like gray in the picture.  It is Kona Bluebell and is a very lovely blue-ish purple.  I added a scrappy Shoo-Fly just for the fun of it!

I quilted it in 2" diagonal squares using no less than 20 different thread colors!  Gotta keep with the color theme!  I am very pleased with this one!

I was so excited to get this in the wash.  I threw it in the drier while I ran to the grocery store, only to come back to a still wet quilt!  ARGH!  My drier died!  We fixed it only months ago too. A trip to Lowe's on friday and a new drier on sunday!  (it was 15 years old)