Thursday, May 17, 2018

Modern With A Twist :: Flying Geese

I was asked if I'd like to participate in the Benartex online magazine "Modern By The Yard' in a feature called 'Modern With A Twist'.  What does that mean?!  

Three designers are asked to put a modern take on a traditional block and feature it using one of their current fabric lines.  I was up for the challenge and knew it would be a lot of fun!

Our mission:  Modernize Flying Geese.    

My all time favorite block has to be Flying Geese!  Besides being a good all around perfect block, it has unlimited possibilities!  From size, shape, traditional or improv, there’s always something new to explore and design!

I decided to keep my block simple, yet impactful!  There is plenty of negative space, open space with the background, and depending on how you place your blocks the design changes giving you many different options.

I choose Gloaming by Shelley Cavanna mostly because of the colors.  The turquoise, lime and mulberry are a beautiful combination!  The geometric, tone on tone and floral prints seemed like the perfect choice for a perfect block…Flying Geese


I played with this block for hours!  Layouts, fabrics, more layouts!  It certainly has potential to make a few pretty cool quilts!

I don't know about you, but this layout has a 'wave illusion' to it!  I guess it could be just me, but I think not!  I'm so glad I went with these colors!  I love the combination and feel they were perfect for this block!

Of course, what would a block with potential be without sharing some variations?!  EQ8 makes it so easy to switch fabrics!


This is the same layout, but I used 'Cherry Twist' from Benartex.  I was feeling the red, black, grey and white!

These two are symmetrical, but both look so different.  

What would an idea of mine be without testing it using solids?  The blocks are randomly placed with some flipped.  A variation of the block.

This is a more scrappy version using Denyse Schmidt 'Washington Depot'.  It could be a lot of fabrics from one collection or better yet, a lot of different scraps from your very own stash!

I will be making this block into a will happen...after I get some other projects off my plate!  

You may be wondering how this block is a 'modern' version of Flying Geese.  What I will say is this...because the Flying Geese block is typically a rectangle and one actual 'goose', I opted to add many geese to create one square block.  Hopefully the layout of the block is a modern interpretation!

Click here to check out Issue #8 Free E-Zine:  Modern by the Yard


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Blogger Bundle + Needle & Foot Fabrics = {Giveaway}

You guys!  This is so exciting!  I created a bundle of fabric...and it's all about prints!  When I was asked if I would curate a bundle for Bernie's Etsy Store Needle & Foot, I didn't hesitate and said yes!  I couldn't resist the opportunity...and hoped I'd be able to put together something wonderful!


I'm excited to share my bundle with everyone and hope you love it as much as I do!  I wanted to pick fabrics that were Spring inspired, geometric and really just a lot of fun!  Like a great big fiesta!  A celebration of frivolity! 

May Blogger Bundle
Available Here!

Picking a cohesive bundle of fabric is much like picking flowers to plant!  So many options!  It can be overwhelming!  But, I'm here to help you out!  This bundle will be available in Fat Quarter and Half yard bundles at Needle & Foot on Etsy.  And if you buy today or tomorrow, you can get 20% off!  Great deal, right?!  Click here:  May Blogger Bundle to purchase and get 20% off!

When I say Rainbow Vines, you know I couldn't resist!  The colors scream Spring!  I didn't want to go 'crazy' with colors, so I choose yellow and periwinkle to lighten the mood, yet went with black to ground it!  I know, I sound like I know what I'm talking about!  In reality I went with my gut!

I had big plans to make a finished something for this post!  A last minute vacation and a whole lot of procrastinating didn't help me at all!  I finally made myself focus long enough to make the blocks for my 'soon to be finished' project for this fabric!

I've been longing to do some paper piecing!  The block is by Flying Parrot Quilts and is free when you sign up for her newsletter.    


So far I have four blocks of each color.  Each block will be 4" finished.  I'm not sure how I'll arrange them, but I do know I'm going to make more!  Perhaps a nice crisp table runner?!

Thank you so much Bernie for trusting me with curating a bundle!  I may be a bit biased, but I love this bundle!  Please hop over to Bernie's Blog and read more about this bundle:  Needle & Foot Blog!   


How would you like to win this stack of pretty fabrics?  Bernie has generously offered this six piece bundle from Needle & Foot Fine Fabrics to one lucky winner!  

To enter this giveaway, click here: Needle & Foot on Etsy , and tell me your favorite fabric!

I'll pick a winner using the Random Generator on Sunday May 20th.  Open to US residents only.  Be sure you leave your email in your comment if you are a no reply blogger!

Good Luck!!  

This giveaway has ended!  Contgrats to Kathy E!


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Tedium Begins!

I always get excited when I start a new quilt!  Especially one that has been dancing around in my head for a long time.  Sometimes the hardest part is actually starting!

Knowing full well this quilt will most likely be frustrating and tedious...I'm going to attempt it and hope that the effort and hard work will be worth it!

What is this, you ask?!  A finely tuned array of red, orange and yellow sunset inspired strips!  What will it become?!  Hopefully a small quilt when it's all said and done!
A while back I blogged about this Mini Quilt:  RAW II.  I was experimenting with texture by using the small raw edge woven blocks and it soon led to the 'louver' texture of the gradient strips.  I pretty much fell in love with the texture, the illusion it creates from different angles and in truth...the process.  I knew at that time that I wanted to take it to another level and make a larger quilt.  Just to see if it can be done.  Test my limits. 

It involves a lot of cutting of 3/4" strips!  I raided my stash and came up with 35 different colors.  The number of strips per color vary depending on the cut of fabric.  If the fabric is from selvage to selvage, I cut two strips.  Fat quarters get four strips and of course, there are some random three strip sets.


Before I can even think about cutting, I had to starch the fabric.  You can imagine how time consuming that was!  But it is well worth it in the end.  Each strip next had to be folded in half.  My fingers were sufficiently 'steamed' many times trying to fold the strips from skinny to even skinnier after the fold treatment!  I had to keep reminding myself that this is going to be worth it!

I'm hoping that today I can cut the background strips using Kona Ice Frappe.  These strips won't be as small as the sunset strips and they won't need to be folded.  I'm confident that it will be a much easier process!

Having just finished a complicated color placement quilt:  Bows & Flows, where I labeled each color as to avoid confusion, I thought this newest composition would need its own labeling system.  A chart it is!  My plan is to cut out the numbers and staple each one to the ends of each strip.  That way...fingers crossed...I won't get the colors out of order!

Great plan or so I thought about labeling!  I ended up writing the number on each strip and using the paper labels stapled on to the dark fabric.  Both ideas will work!

Rumor has it the next week will be full of rain each and every day.  Seems like the perfect time to hunker down in my sewing room!

To be continued...


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Printology :: Plus A Giveaway!

I was asked if I would like to join the fun in showcasing a new fabric line from Benartex called Printology.  The fabric is the newest collection from Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr (Modern Quilt Studio) and was inspired by their recent trip to Japan.  The Sew In Love blog has a wonderful interview with both of them where they talk about their inspiration and thoughts about this collection.

The collection offers a fun and modern mix with loads of color!  When I first saw the collection I felt it had a funky retro vibe to it.  Which drew me in and got my wheels spinning!  

37" x 48"
Which brings us to the quilt I made using the Printology Collection:  'Reviving Retro'.  Retro basically means 'style, fashion or design' from the recent past.  The fabric and a classic Grecian block bring both worlds together, yet still has a modern vibe.

These are 22 different prints in the collection, I only used 13 along with white and grey solids!  The prints in row two, Blocks, is where I got the retro vibe from.  They would make the perfect center squares for the block.


I like how the graphic Sketch Gray frames the centers.  I added 2" sashing and a 3" border in Gridwork Red.  It adds a big pop of color without over powering the other prints.

I quilting the center blocks using different widths of straight lines in grey (surprise!), depending on which way the lines are going in the 'Block' print.  Again, straight lines in the sashing and border using red thread.

I used more Gridwork Red for the binding and really like the look of the white corner squares framed by the skinny binding.  The fabric feels amazing, by the way!  The 'proof in the pudding' as they say, has to be the ease in which the needle glide through the fabric while had stitching the binding to the back.  Like butter!

It makes for a pretty package don't you think?!  Which brings me to the giveaway!  Who would like to receive a pretty fat quarter package all their own?!  

Benartex is generously donation a bundle of 8-10 prints from the Printology collection to one lucky person!


To enter, leave a comment on my blog...any comment is fine, but if you'd like to tell me your favorite classic block...that would be good too!

Using the Random Number Generator, I'll pick a winner on Sunday May 13th and notify the lucky person via email.  So be sure you include your email in your comment if you are a no reply blogger!

For more inspiration using Printology,  check out Heather at Quilt-achusettes and Alison at Little Bunny Quilts!  


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Bows & Flows :: Beach Magic

Guess who's back?!  That would be me!  I have to say, you never know how much you need a vacation until you take one.  Life isn't getting any less stressful...and there is nothing, nothing better than a week away from home in the blazing sun of a beach!

This is one of the many beautiful sunsets we enjoyed at the Gulf Coast.  The sun was huge and watching it set was a sight to behold!  You just can't get that in the city!  

I'm sure I was meant to always be at the beach, something tropical with beautiful blue water and white sand.  Paradise.

From Nashville to Inlet Beach Florida is about a 7 1/2 hour drive.  It seems much longer going there than coming home.  We played a goofy travel bingo game that kept us occupied and actually had a lot of fun making our own rules along the way!  It made the drive a little more bearable!

...and so this finally finished!  I was sure I'd go crazy with a week away from all things sewing related, so I brought it along to finish the final touches.  Burying threads and sewing the binding on, that's all that was left.  I also thought it would be fun to take pictures of it at the beach too!

The truth is, I took these pictures an hour before we were leaving to drive home!  I know!  I was surprised at how much I was enjoying not doing any quilt/sewing related anything.  A true vacation!  

After the binding and thread burying was done, I basically wadded it up and tossed it aside.  I knew I would hate myself if I didn't get at least a couple pictures.  How often will I get the chance to do that again?!  

The small condo (6 units) we stayed at was right on the beach.  Ten steps to the sand, 50 feet to the water.  You can imagine the view!   

As a reminder, I purchased the fabric for this quilt on Etsy at Stitch Stash DivaIf you are in the market for fabric...check it out!  

52" x 72"
That wadding it up wasn't until this afternoon that I yoinked it out of the bag for this picture.  Ignore the creases!  I really need to wash it!

You can barely tell from this picture, but I used two different purples for the binding.  I tried to place the darker purple around the bottom right side and the lighter purple towards the top left.  Keeping with the gradation!

I kept the quilting very simple.  Horizontal and vertical straight lines on the 'ribbon' sections.  I wanted to keep the flow of the weave without crossing over the different colors.  The squares between the weave, I stipple quilted to add a different texture and hopefully letting the design stand out a bit more.

While the quilting was simple, I did use quite a few different thread colors.  I raided my Aurifil thread stash and found enough colors that would work with the gradation of fabrics.

Pale Pink (2410), Bright Pink (2425), Blossom Pink (2530), Magenta (2535), Burgundy (1103), Medium Purple (2545), Medium Lavender (2540) and Pale Lilac (2564).  Just a few!

One of the simple pleasures was watching the pelicans fly by!  I was bound and determined to get a picture!  However that proved to be easier said than done!!  I could never get my camera up and going in time...until the morning we were leaving!

It was so relaxing to walk the beach and search for shells.  My daughter is a shell freak and I knew if I didn't come home with a big bunch she would never speak to me again!  She's still talking to me so I must have done good!  The ones for her were way bigger than the ones in the palm of my hand!  

Now I'm home!  There was no time to sit back and relax either!  With two deadlines, I had to jump back into the sewing room the next day.  

To say I enjoyed the beach magic is an understatement.  It was like I had been holding my breath for months and I finally got to breathe!   I know that's a little weird!  I think taking time away from home, sewing, social media, cooking and really every day sludge is a very good thing!  

My summer vacation is over and it's not even summer yet!  When you go on vacation, do you disconnect?  Leave sewing behind?  Where will you go on vacation this year?


Friday, April 27, 2018

Hexie Diamond *Update*

It seems like a long time since I've shared progress on my English Paper Pieced Hexie Diamond Star project.  For something that was meant to keep my mind and hands occupied nine months ago, it has become much bigger than I ever imagined! 

I don't know if that's good or bad!  I think I'll go with good!  If I don't look at it that way I wouldn't be motivated to keep going.  I couldn't imagine putting all that work into it and then not finishing or liking it!

Here's the scoop!  My adventures with diamond hexies documented over the past nine months!

Star Light, Star Bright
Diamond Hexie Stars
Diamond Hexie Stars 2
The Real Work Begins

Since my last post I figured out the layout.  In a way that was the easy part.  I've never tackled an English Paper Pieced project on this scale.  Following my usual 'jumping in with both feet' philosophy, I pretty much went for it.  I had no idea if there was a proper way of sewing the rows together or if there was an easy method to go about it.  Eventually I developed a way that worked for me and from there...there was no turning back!


I had all my rows labeled (seems to be a theme for me lately!), and on the backside of each hexie I marked where each black triangle would end up.  After sewing the triangles on, I moved on to row assembly.  

The method that worked for me was sewing each row in two sections.  Then sew row one, section one to row two section one together and repeat with the remaining sections.  Once that was complete, I'd sew row one and row two section one to row one and row two section two together.  And with that I have totally confused you!  I can see your eyes have glazed over and you are thinking 'this girl has totally lost her mind'!  

Trust me when I works for me!!

One thing I did not think about before this madness began, was how I'd end the rows.  Is anything easy these days?!  I'm playing with a few options right now, but I certainly wish I had worked that out before hand!  I put myself in a quandary.  I still have time.  As of today, right now, right this very second...I still have the last two rows to assemble in my ever so 'mad as a hatter' way!

Hopefully the next installment of 'Harebrained Hexies' will be all about how I solved the side issues and finally...finally have the top finished!  


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Ultra Violet :: Weave

I've been itching to make this quilt!  After I designed it I realized very quickly that I didn't have enough variation of colors to pull it off.  Perhaps that was an excuse to buy more beautiful fabric especially after seeing the bundles online.

It isn't exactly finished.  I have to stitch the binding on, but it's so close!  My goal was to get it to this stage and take it along on our beach trip!  Monday...I cannot wait to leave!

Look at those colors!  Purple is one color that I don't have a lot of in my stash.  When you look at your stash I would bet there is one color that is much smaller than the others!  

My intention was to put as much Ultra Violet and purple in this quilt as I could.  Thinking about the Pantone Color of the Year challenge!!  I'm not sure this quilt will qualify!  

I purchased the fabric on Etsy at Stitch Stash Diva, and couldn't wait to get my hands on it.  It couldn't get here fast enough!  And I'm going to say, I love it when fabric (especially solids) comes labeled!  It makes it so much easier!

I still had to figure out which colors I would use and where.  It was fun, but it took a while!  I needed to get just the right gradient from light to dark, from pink to purple.  I got pretty close to perfect!

The colors I ended up using were:
Light Pink, Kona Carnation, Kona Candy Pink, Kona Pomegranate, Kona Valentine, Kona Sangria, Kona Cerise, Kona Bordeaux, Kona Thistle, Kona Pansy, Kona Dalia, Kona Crocus, Kona Purple, Kona Hibiscus, Kona Nightfall, Free Spirit Deep Violet and a couple others to fill out the list. 

It could have been a big confusing mess getting each color in the right place, so first I wrote out a detailed sheet with what goes where.  After cutting, I placed a label with the name of the color on each stack.  It helped with the chaos, or with what could have been chaos!

It also helped to have a big design wall!  I laid out all the pieces first.  Having several 'firewalls' in place seemed pretty important!

It's not that the blocks were difficult, you can see it's basically a Plus Block, I just needed to ensure I could keep things in order.  Row by row I pieced each 9" block.  Over and over...and I can tell you that my OCD nature worked almost flawlessly...I only messed up two blocks!  

As much as I wanted to quilt it to death, I used restraint!  There was a lot of starting and stopping because I wanted each 'ribbon' to have a continuous flow.  In between the woven colors I stippled...the best I could do...but I like it!

Hopefully I'll have it finished while I'm at the beach and take advantage of the beautiful surroundings!  

Here the computer generated version that got me excited about making this quilt.  I didn't exactly get the colors the same in the quilt, but I like it just the same! 

Are you joining in the Pantone Color of the Year Ultra Violet quilt contest? You can get all the details here:  Bryan House Quilts or No Hats in the House.