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 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?


Friday, January 29, 2016

Diamonds, Triangles, Octagons...Oh My !

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times...I hate not having projects to keep me busy in the evenings.  I'm not much of a night quilter these days, so it's important for me to keep my hands (and mind) busy at night.

Finding something to fill the hours wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Enter EPP! I never thought I would love English Paper Piecing as much as I do.  I tried something new, and liked it.  So I'll say: 'try something new' just never know, you may like it!

26" x 26" x 26"
With enough Denyse Schmidt 'Florence' left over, diamond stars seemed like a good use of those scraps.  I printed 1" diamonds for the stars not really knowing where I was going or what I was wanting to accomplish.  It's all about keeping my hands busy, so it really didn't matter.   

Once I had the stars finished, I stitched them together.  It still needed more.  Did I want to keep it a hexagon?  Should I make it bigger?

Bigger it is!  I had pulled out more Denyse Schmidt (Hadley) for the corner stars, and kept making those diamonds!  Not only did I run out of prints, I ran out of brown.  I wanted to take the brown around the entire triangle, but I was six diamonds short!

It worked out in the end.  I love how it came together!  And how about that back?! I'm always amazed, maybe mesmerized with the back of paper pieced projects!  Plus, it's fun popping those papers out in the end.

The real test was yet to come.  I got it this far, what the heck am I going to do now?  I pulled grey, Kona Bone and orange fabric and hoped it would be obvious. It wasn't.  I was stuck. Instagram to the rescue!  I posted a picture with my dilemma, and the response was amazing! So much help and advice!  

What did I do?  This is the scary part!  For some reason mitered corners came to mind. Mitered corners!  I've tried it unsuccessfully one time, it was not my favorite technique.  But I was determined.  Besides, this is the year to learn more techniques and new things!  

The grey is 1/4" and the orange is 1/2", all mitered and semi-perfect!

When I got to this point the next real decision was do I leave it a triangle, as a mini quilt or build around it and make it square?  It didn't take but a second to decide. It's staying as is! I liked the idea of having it be a unique shape.  Something different to keep it interesting!  

I was excited when it came time to quilt this.  Perhaps one of the first times I didn't hesitate and think about it.  Were going straight line geometric all the way! 

If you were going to start a new EPP project, what would it be?  I'm looking for more ideas... 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Take Two and Take Three

January started with a fizzle for me in the quilting department.  I couldn't quite get motivated or inspired.  That's when I decided it was time to pull out a big pile of scraps and make some 'lemonade out of lemons'!

40" x 40"
Take #2

The scraps were from a quilt my daughter started years ago.  Yet another start from her that never made it to the finish line.  I've taken on her WIP's as if they were my own.  Her original quilt is next up for machine quilting ~ That would be Take #1 in this series!  

There was so much fabric to play with for this quilt!!  Some corners, triangles, strips.  I like a good challenge and was determined to use her pieces to see where it would lead me.  I followed her lead on the design of my Take #2 quilt.  Not exactly, but it gave me a starting point.

The fabric is a combination of Shot Cottons and Gee's Bend Cottons.  I don't know if the Gee's Bend fabric is available any longer, they are a lot like hand dyed fabric with subtle inconsistencies throughout.  

Let's not forget about that beautiful Anna Maria Horner floral!  Centerpiece from the Garden Party Collection.  I love the colors and it is gorgeous with all those solids!

So, I began.  I pulled out the HST's and arranged the center square until I was happy with it.

This is the first 'medallion' style of quilt I've done.  Building around the center one piece at a time with not much planning is mind boggling!  Plus, you know...I was determined to use every piece I could!

The center is 12" x 12".

Continuing to build, I added another round.  The corner squares are 6", and paired with a three color panel of strips.

Lastly, I added a gold shot cotton frame and finished it off with the floral.  It can be nerve wracking designing a quilt as you go!  Would I do it any other way?!

Our first snow of the year (hopefully last) was not going by without a photo shoot!  It was a blustery cold day, but I wasn't going to let that stop me!

The back is all Anna Maria Horner!  My daughter bought yards of this print and who am I to turn down fabric...especially AMH?!

I used a combination of free motion and straight line quilting for the final piece to the puzzle.

I am in love with the color combination and wish I could take full credit for it!  Thank you Britt for that and for the beautiful stack of scraps...should I thank her for letting me finish her WIP's?  What are mothers for?!

Which brings me to my Take #3 quilt.  This mini from the scraps of the scraps.  I'm wondering what else I can make with the other scraps?  Maybe a mini mini quilt!!  Seriously, this has got to stop!!  

15 1/2" x 15 1/2"
Take #3

Hopefully Take #1 will be finished too!  

I easily get fixated on a pile of scraps.  My fear is they will never be used.  Like a dog with a bone, I become determined to use every last one, usually in a marathon quilting session.  

How do you handle your scraps?  Do you set them aside for later, do you need to use them or lose them?  The mind of a quilter!  Complicated to say the least!!


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Highlight It !

So, it happened.  My desire to acquire Kona's Color of the year is done.  I don't often get excited about any color of the year, whether it be Kona's or Pantone's.  Let's face it, the colors usually don't spark a desire to dabble with them.

Then I saw Highlight.  I'm thinking this could be a color I could get behind!  I ordered a yard and then a day later decided it might be a good idea to up my order.  Two yards was respectable!  I could play with it and not worry too much about running out!

Then I figured while I was getting one, I may as well get something else.  Essex Line in Graphite.  Don't they look good together?  Not my intention, it just happened!!

I have an idea of where I would like to take the Highlight fabric.  I just need to work on the details!  

Do you buy fabric and wait for an idea to hit you?  Or do you just plain buy fabric?!  No shame in that, right?!

This fabric was purchased from Pixiespit Studio on Etsy.  This fabric was super reasonable and the owner was more than happy to up my order!  In continuous pieces no less!

Who's jumping on the Kona Highlight band wagon??  


Friday, January 22, 2016

Anomalous ~ A Quilt

Officially, the first completed quilt of the year!  As always, it takes a little bit of time to get back in to the swing of things.  For the past couple years the first quilt of the year has been one made of my hand dyed fabrics, this year was no exception.  Funny how a tradition in born without even knowing it!

This one may be a little different than previous years.  Usually it involved a huge stack of half square triangles.  This time my goal was to use scraps.  Strips and strips, piece after piece.  In order to keep things under control and avoid fabric chaos, I got in the habit of cutting scraps in to squares or in this case strips.  The strips varied in width and length ~ 1" to 2" wide.  They would become something one day, that I was sure of.  

So, I brainstormed.  An idea eventually started to form, and I began the long process of piecing blocks.  Many of my ideas start small and I work through them as I go.  This was going to be another one of those! 

Width of the blocks wasn't as important as the height of the blocks.  Most were 7" high, but for variety sake, I threw in some 6" blocks.  

The trick was how many blocks?  How many rows?  Do I really know what I'm doing?! Ultimately, I settled on 5 vertical and 12 horizontal rows.  To make things even crazier, each row was going to be different.  

While I tried to keep the vertical blocks semi centered, not one row is the same.  I've seen many stacked quilts where the math is the same for each row.  You just stagger each row. This is not that quilt.  You see...I love to do it the hard way! 

My basic layout was settled on, the real test would be adding the grey in between! Controlled, yet not.

Somehow I managed it.  Somehow it came together just as I had hoped it would.  Somehow the clouds parted and a ray of sunshine ... maybe not.  

Basting.  Pinning and pinning and pinning.  After which it sat for a week.  I stared at it for a solid week wondering if I should get crazy with it or keep it simple.  

I know this will be a surprise to some of you, a real shocker in fact...but it was straight line quilting to the rescue!  

For each horizontal row, I quilted random width lines.  The exception was and occasional 6" row where it was just 1/2" lines.  

I couldn't be happier, especially after once it was pulled from the drier!

While I was making this quilt, I took meticulous notes.  For me, really great notes.  Or so I think!  Once I work up an EQ7 design I'll show you just how crazy I got with it!

52" x 69 1/2"
Anomalous:  deviating from or inconsistent with the common order, form or rule; irregular or abnormal

I'm not sure Anomalous is the best name for my quilt.  I'm trying to be clever...Stacked works too...but it's a little boring!  

Quilting wasn't the only thing put on the back burner!  Between the bitter cold, wind, ice, snow and now rain, it has been tough getting great pictures.  I had to become creative, but use what I could.  A few inside, a few on the screen porch and the bedroom floor worked well for a couple too!  

What do you do if Mother Nature won't cooperate for your photo shoot?  I was impatient. Waiting is not my strong suit!  


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Epic Sampler BOM

Late last year, before things became crazy with the holidays, I decided to join another Block of the Month.  I tend to fall behind (way behind) with these, and then have a marathon session to catch up...only to repeat the same process a few months over again.  I've nearly accepted that that is the way I work with a BOM!

Elizabeth Dackson from Don't Call Me Betsy started the Epic Sampler BOM in October. The finished quilt will be 60" x 72", consist of 6" and 12" blocks, some paper pieced and there will be three blocks a month.  

It didn't take long for me to become behind!  I was behind before it even started!!  Four months later, I decided I better get my butt in gear!  But wait!!  I didn't have a clue what colors or fabric I was going to use!  Same old, same old!  

After a couple attempts with the color sheet, I settled on a rainbow theme.  This will be my guide.  Since there are three blocks per month, and they aren't in any particular order, it will be interesting to see how this will play out.  The background will be a combination of white and grey.    

This is a good old classic!

12" Paper Pieced
Bear Paw

If you want to learn paper piecing, I think this is a perfect block to start with.

6" Paper Pieced
Economy Block

I lost my way on this one!  With 37 pieces, I easily became confused.  In the end I changed it up and decided it will be just fine!

6" Paper Pieced
Pineapple Block

I am in LOVE with this block!  I see a future in this one, by far my favorite!

12" Paper Pieced
Less Is More

Top Left: Patchwork Wheel, Top Right: Churn Dash
Bottom Left: Exploding Star, Bottom Right:  Color My World
6" Blocks

How about that Vinyl WIP bag?!  It's the perfect size to hold and keep all by finished BOM blocks safe and sound!  

I bought more vinyl for a new idea I have brewing in my head!  Stay tuned for that, it should be interesting...she said with her fingers crossed...

Clear Vinyl WIP BagsCrazy Mom Quilts

Three more blocks to go and I'll be caught up!  Yay!  Picking colors and fabric for a project is difficult for me, it always has been.  And I often wonder why I make it difficult for myself. Especially for a BOM.  In the end, I go with my gut and as by the seat of my pants!

Tell me what you think?  Do you like Block of the Month clubs?  Are you participating in one now?  Do you enjoy them?  


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Hexie Name Badge

My name is J.A.Y.N.E.  

For our next Music City Modern Quilt Guild meeting we were encouraged to make name badges.  Which is an excellent idea!  I have a hard enough time remembering my own name, let alone an ever growing group of people!

1/2" Hexie Name Badge
3 1/2" x 3"
With a little time on my hands, I got a jump start on my badge.  Actually I finished it! 

I busted out the 'small guns' ... 1/2" hexies.  They seemed like the perfect size and idea for a name badge.  

I started with five pink hexies for my name.  And then grabbed a print charm square I had in my stash for the rest.  Eventually I figured out how I wanted the layout and began sewing them together.  Because they are small it went really fast.  

With simple block letters written using a frixion pen, I grabbed some embroidery floss and chain stitched my name in black.  

Beyond this first part I had no idea how or what to do next.  I could quilt it, I could do it by hand, but I decided to keep it simple instead.  It is a name badge, not a mini quilt!!

After rummaging through my interfacing stash, I grabbed my Peltex 71F Ultra Firm stabilizer. It's a one sided fusible and very stiff.  I was hoping it would do the job and make this work.  

I traced the shape on to the fusible side and marked where the top was going to me.  It would be just like me to mess something so simple up!  It was protection to guard against a simple and honest mistake!!

When I cut the shape out, I cut inside the lines just a little bit.  I didn't want the interfacing to show on the front.

After a good long pressing it was fused the the hexie front just as I had hoped it would.  I intended the Peltex 71F to be the back in all it's glory...boring, but it isn't going to show!  For added assurance that the front and back stay together, I stitched an 1/8" around the edge.

It may not be amazing or stunning, it may be funky and wonky...but it will serve it's purpose well.  It was time to 'stick a pin in it', it's done! 

It's perfectly imperfect...just like me! 

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