Tuesday, February 9, 2016

My Obsession With VInyl

Somethings grab you and won't let go...dare I say like a 'hand on the throat'?  I've had a slight attraction, more like a fatal attraction, to clear vinyl.  More specifically, WIP Bags.  My first go around with them was pleasant, almost perfect.  (Clear Vinyl WIP Bags)  Yet, there was a desire to see if I could improve them.  

Like an old dog with a bone, the desire to make the WIP Bags better or more to my satisfaction, held on.  What could I do differently?  My main issue was how the binding frayed at the zipper.  It did fray, it did get messy and it did interfere with the the zipper. While watching an episode of 'Project Runway', I noticed how a designer (not the first) installed the zipper to the outside of the fabric.  Wasn't that interesting?!   Could I do that and would it work?  The zipper wasn't the issue actually, the raw edge was.  

When I saw these lace zippers from Fort Worth Fabric Studio, I thought it could be the perfect solution!

Would just a zipper across the vinyl hold up?  I tried it, and while I think it would stand the test of numerous zipper opening and closings, I wasn't convinced.

I decided to try a fabric casing, There wouldn't be any exposed fabric edges, which of course would eliminate fraying.

I took a 2" piece of fabric, folded and pressed it, and folded the edges to the center to make a casing.  

I placed the vinyl inside and stitched close to the edge. The result was perfect!  Yay!  No raw edges!

With the zipper pinned on the top of the casing, I stitched close to the zipper teeth and close to the outside of the zipper edge.  It was not going anywhere and you can barely see the thread!  

I like the lace zipper 'twist' and the fact that I don't have to tuck and hide it inside the fabric.

Here is the back of the zipper.  With the raw edge of the fabric safely and securely hidden, there won't be any interference with zipping and unzipping.

Next time I may use a wider casing so it shows more.

I still feel like there is more I could do with these WIP Bags, but I'll give it a rest for a while!  

There will be more lace zippers in my future!  

The Clear Vinyl WIP Bag was not my idea.  I came across it on 'Crazy Mom Quilts'.  I 
bought the pattern and promptly made a stack.  I'm happy with them, but I was inspired to change it up.  

I won't take credit for the design, but happily thank Amanda Jean for inspiring me to explore other options.

Check out:
Fort Worth Fabric Studio

Tomorrow I'll have a new tutorial featured...another clear vinyl project!!


Sunday, February 7, 2016

An Objective View

When I get at a certain point in a quilt design, I inevitably hit the proverbial wall!  It's the point where you wonder if your trying too hard, not trying hard enough or maybe keeping it simple is the best way to tackle the big finish!  I'm sure many of you have met that point and maybe very familiar with it.  I'm thinking maybe if I write about it, document it...a solution will come my way!

Here I am.  With all my Confetti pieced, pressed and crisp as big green apple...I'm wondering what my next step will be.  

Today, I toyed around with a paper pieced rainbow star.  I was thinking it would tie in with the blocks and since I'm using bits of Alison Glass 'Artifact', it mimics the rainbow compass. Too much?  Too rainbow?  It isn't like there isn't enough color already, but we must play and try and test and tweak and change!

Perhaps if the front of the quilt was black & white the rainbow star would make more sense. GAH!  Ever had one of those moments where an idea all of the sudden veers off to an entirely different direction?  Darn you star!!

Weather or not I use this star in my Confetti quilt, I really rather love it!  It's a little 4" hunk of love in my mind! 

Why does the back have to be so interesting?  Paper piecing is so amazing, I'm not sure I can get enough of it!

My first test block will end up being a pillow cover.  (yes, again!)  It also ended up being a test for another sashing idea for the quilt.  I can picture color in the sashing, I'm just can't nail it down in my mind.  

I have found it helps with my process if I write about it and of course, take pictures.  While I want to go full force and finish it up, I also need to step back and breathe.  Take a break. There is that pesky word 'perspective'.  That I am in need of right now!

Do you ever feel like you are trying too hard on a design?   If you get to that point what do you do about it?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Throw 'Back' Pillow

It's here again!  Throw Back Thursday  Yikes!  

As I search out a throw back every month, I'm struck at just how far I've come.  Thankfully we learn a lot along the way, improve and grow...with that I give you 'The Purple People Eater'!

The year would be September 2011.  I was still in my batik phase, which isn't always bad. There was a time when I thought batiks were 'all that and a bag of chips'!

Bright, bold colors were used a lot even back then.  Strange color combinations too! That minty green is unsightly!

Improv was probably the one technique that opened my eyes to the endless possibilities of quilting.  It taught me (and continues to do so) that there aren't right or wrong ways, that thinking outside the box is always a good thing.

This I am 99% sure was my first attempt at pebbles free motion quilting!  There are even a few applique circles!  

It's so funny looking back at these!  I guess I loved dense quilting back then too!  How could I not remember that?!  Either I'm getting old or...I'm just getting old!

As I rediscover these throwbacks, I actually get a little twinge of excitement.  Some of them make me want to take these ideas and run with them and others make me just want to run!!!


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

It's A Party ?!

You can't  have a party without confetti, right?!  But you can have confetti without a party...I'm making this up!!

When I find time to do what I want, with no deadlines or pressure, self imposed or otherwise, I like to revisit previous projects.  How can I make it different or better?  Do I really need to change it up?  Is it even worth the trouble?  Can I take it to another level?

When I first made my Confetti Pillow Cover, there was a lot of interest in it.  Honestly, I liked that...a lot!  It feels really weird saying that!  I have always wanted to give this design another go, I know there is something more I can do with it.

For the past week I have been plotting, cutting, stitching and piecing.  There is a plan in mind, however it changes with each completed block!

As of today, I have five blocks.  One that I am sure I will not use, as it was my first and I was just playing around.  While I would like to call this my Alison Glass quilt, I don't thing you get that Abacus 'Artifact' by looking at this!

Especially this side, which is the back and basically is just like the front.  I am mesmerized by the seams, can I say perfection?!  The squares are 1/2" finished and believe me when I say it isn't easy getting the rows to line up perfectly!  

I started out with a whole lotta these pieces, specific measurements, a huge variety of solids and Kona Snow.

And ended up with a whole lotta of this!  I'm going to say it!  I love seeing this, I love taking pictures of scraps!  

I'm a huge fan of what I like to call 'Quilt Porn'.  To me this is quilt porn, I cannot get enough of it!  Grab your camera, zoom in and snap!  

A warn and fuzzy feeling washes over me when I see something like this!  Seriously, is this not an amazing shot?!

I would love to have a regular feature of 'Quilt Porn' on my blog or even a link up!  Am I the only one who gets a little excited seen shots like this?  Would you link up? Or maybe to start out, would you send me pictures to feature on my blog?  Just wondering!

It may be a while until I figure this Confetti Quilt out, but it sure is fun to play once in a while!


Monday, February 1, 2016

Fancy Binding !

My last post was all about my Diamond English Paper Pieced finish.  What I didn't show or talk about was a fancy detail I did with the binding.  You can't really tell by looking, and I didn't photograph it for the previous post ~ so, today I thought I would share that fancy detail today!

This is the finished wall hanging.  You can see that there is a thin grey border on the outside, maybe you thought it was another border piece...but it isn't!  You just can't tell from this photo.

This is what I'm talking about.  An extra detail, a fancy binding!  I wanted to bring just a touch more grey in to mirror the inside mitered border.  Instead of adding a skinny border around the outside edge, this seemed like a perfect solution.

This detail is worth a little extra time, especially because of all the labor that goes into an EPP project.  Plus...it's so easy!

I started with my binding choice.  I cut  2 1/4" strips, miter the strips for a binding that will go around the entire quilt.  Fold and press in half.  

Cut your accent piece at 1".  Make sure you have enough to go around your quilt.  

There are many ways to add a flanged accent to your quilts.  My quilt was small and oddly shaped, so I choose to sew the flange around the entire quilt before adding my binding. 

I added pieces to the corners using 1/8" seam allowance.  That will ensure that your stitching doesn't show when sewing your binding on at 1/4".  I made sure to add a little extra on both ends for trimming.  

Then, I stitched the flanged accent pieces to the longer sides.  Trim the edges.

Add your binding using your usual method and you will end up with a beautiful special detail!

Simple, different and beautiful!  Have you ever added a twist to your bindings before? Please share...I think we would all like to learn something new!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Is There No End ?

Yes, there is an end!  I feel like I am finally at the point where my 'print' stash is good ~ better than it's ever been!  But like all good things, there has to be an end.  Or a temporary pause in the madness!

Not much is as exciting as a beautiful stack of fabric...for a quilter!  I mean, really!  Maybe two stacks, but I'll take this and not complain one little bit!

The color of this first bundle grabbed my attention.  Peachy-orange.  A dessert, really. Scrumptious!  Mini Pearl Bracelets, Art Gallery...a feast for your eyes!

Awwww...yes.  Cotton + Steel.  The pink made me take notice, along with grey and black.  I find it very intriguing.  

When I saw that Pink Door Fabrics was having a sale on Instagram, I jumped! There use to be so many great finds and deals on Instagram (#thegreatfabricdestash) for fabric.  As of late, I really haven't seen much.  While you can find good stuff, you really have to be there at the exact right moment.  Has anyone else noticed that?

This next batch of goodies comes from Fort Worth Fabric Studio.  I put in my request for fabric for a tutorial I'll be doing in February, and thought I may as well grab a couple things while I was looking!

I was in need of more insul~bright and also happened to see a remnant of Kona Pepper on sale.  Usually I go with Kona black, until recently when I thought I would try Kona Pepper.  I think it will be a great alternative.

I love a good shot cotton.  The warp and weft of two different fibers gives shot cottons amazing dimension.  When I say this bundle on sale I thought it was a good time to test out Moda's Cross Weave Wovens.  The colors are beautiful, they feel wonderful and are thick almost like Peppered Cottons.  I'm excited to see them in a quilt! 

For pure fun, (I'm living on the edge here!) I had to have a magnetic pincushion.  I have never had the pleasure of such a luxury, so sheltered!

But really what I'm most excited about are the zippers.  Lace zippers.  In December I made a massive stack of Clear Vinyl WIP Bags.  It didn't take long before I was obsessed with making them.  While I was happy with the pattern (from Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts), there were a couple things I wasn't happy with.  Ideas were swirling around in this pea brain of mine, and I may have a better way for me...do make more!  Stay tuned.  You know I'll blog about it!

That, my dears is all I have!  Except for yardage, I'm done plumping my stash!  This girl has to get to quilting!

I feel a little behind when it comes to my fabric choices.  You know, yesterdays news!  What new line is coming that you are frothing at the mouth for?