Tuesday, April 28, 2015

What's One More Project, Right?!

April turned out to be a busy and productive month.  From quilts to weeding to spring cleaning!

One of my biggest goals for the month was to finish (in one way or another) that growing stack of WIP's, in progress and custom orders.

83" x 96"
I started this one back in March.  HST's For A Queen.   It was put on the back burner for a while until the correct size was decided on.  Once it was worked out, I got back to work!

I machine quilted a combination of 1" to 2" lines mostly diagonal.  I even had to put in an extra table section to accommodate the size!  There was still some wrestling and did I mention sore shoulders?!

No getting around it though!

It fits perfectly on a queen bed, which was the goal!

I needed another mini feather table runner or two!

Baby OH Baby...I think I will have a contest/giveaway.  Whoever can guess how many hand dyed HST quilts I've made in the past year wins!

This has been hanging over my wall for far too long.  I finally decided to get the backing ready and clean up the quilt for a little trip to be long arm quilted.  If I didn't do it...I don't know when I would be able to get to it!

I still have my 'Encapsulated' quilt hanging on the design wall.  Hopefully that will be next in line!  I haven't come up with a quilting plan yet!

And if that isn't enough...my secret quilt just came back home!  Binding is happening today! It's only secret because I want it completely finished before I show it...no other reason!

Exhausting!  Bring on the coffee!


Sunday, April 26, 2015

I'm Solid

Solid as a rock.  Predictable too!  Solids.  Bright, saturated and bold. Those are what soothes my soul.

Several times a day I have to check out #thegreatfabricdestash on Instagram.  One never knows what one will find!  While I would never pay some of the outrageous prices people do for little bits of fabric...it's hard to pass up a bundle of solids.  (as long as they are priced fairly)  When I saw this set of Peppered Cotton, you know I had to jump on it!    

Peppered Cotton
It seems I have a handful of deliciousness!  How about some Ink, Peacock, Fuchsia, Blue Jay, Magenta, Lake, Green Tea, Garnet, Charcoal and a Cherry color on top!  

I searched for the names of each color, but it was a little hard to know for sure on a few of them.  What I did find out is fabric.com carries these! And they are on sale...I had no idea!

Tidbit Time:  I'm trying to expand my horizons.  Buy new lines of fabric which includes prints.  I believe I have 4-5 carts from 4-5 different shops with 4-5 bundles in each.  I get freaked out when buying prints, so they sit in virtual cyber space!

What would our lives be like if we didn't have digital cameras, phones that take pictures, iPads?  Many of us can remember when cameras with film was all there was.  You had to take the film to the store and wait to see your pictures.  For me it was wait to see the awful, wasted shots!  And I had to pay for them!  Yikes!  Now that I have shown my age...

I find that its fun to just shoot pictures of fabric, thread or random closeups.  They can be pretty amazing!  Today along with my sunday stash I thought I would share a few of what I like to call my 'Cheese Cake', 'Centerfold' or 'Pin Up' shots.  Just for fun, just for something different!

My Pin Cushion
WIP.  I like when the foreground is out of focus and the background is clear as a bell.
Pins are always good to shoot.
Or a close up of a freshly washed quilt!  You know...Crinkle Magic!

Have a great Sunday!!


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Curves Class Under My Belt

Last Saturday at our local Guild meeting I taught my first class on curve piecing.  Now, I will tell you that I was scared to death!  It is so out of my comfort zone.  I wasn't sure I would be able to explain, demonstrate or talk a good game.  I have a hard time putting my thoughts together where it makes sense to others!  I gained even more respect for those who teach!   

I was just happy that I got to spend the day with a group of wonderfully funny, talented and sweet ladies!

Set up and ready to roll!  Our plan for this meeting was to make a finished Mini and then have Stefanie (amazing talent) show us how to machine sew on the binding.

Everyone was hard at work...cutting and sewing.  No rulers allowed (until the end), no cutting mats with the grids showing!  All free hand cutting.

There were some intense moments!  Here is Jenny concentrating and hard at work.  

Fun fact:  Every time I used the iron I left it laying with the soleplate down. Luckily Jenny was right there to catch me!  I'm a little too comfortable with my Oliso i-Touch!

Success!  Debby showing her first curve!  

Katie, Vickey, Linda and Stefanie talking shop!

Callie kicked the curves butt!  She was so focused!  I also loved that she decided to use her hand dyed fabric!!  Jane has it going on too!

There was a huge variety of fabric getting curved to pieces! From hand dyed to batiks!

I didn't want to influence any ones creativity.  I love doing curved piecing and know first hand that anything can happen!  If you don't like where it's going...change it up!  Cut it up and keep going!

I'm happy that I have that class under my belt.  It feels good to share what I know in the quilting field and hope that at the very least, someone learned a little something! 

If you are interested in learning about curves, I have a basic tutorial here:  Curves Tutorial 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dance Of The Honey Bee

Gotta love a good challenge, right?  I can now say I finished the 2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge ~ WHEW!!

Thank you Play Crafts and On The Windy Side for hosting and giving me a run for my money!  Marsala stretched my creativity, tested my patience, but eventually I came around to not hating it so much!!

Dance Of The Honey Bee
17" x 18"
I guess I like chaos in my life.  Starting this project I didn't have a clear idea where I would go with it.  It wasn't until I brought in the Tawny Olive that I started to have a direction to follow. You can see the WIP here:  'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' WIP 

Once the honeycombs appeared, I had a plan.  A story.  A direction.  You might think that the olive color represents honey.  Nope!  You can't have honey without pollen ~ sweet, wonderful (aw-choo) pollen!

A worker bee visits 50 to 100 flowers each trip for that pollen.  You go girl!  (worker bee's are all females too)  All that work for 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in their life!  

I think of honey bee's as frantic, agitate or strung out as they fly around. And to think what goes on inside of a hive...it has to be chaotic.  

I would be wrong!  Each bee has its place, its job.  Finely tuned with a mission.  Bee's have a dance.  The Dance Of The Honey Bee!  Once a bee finds that sweet, sweet nectar they fly back to the hive, shake and vibrate their little bodies and in the process give directions to that very source.  

All the different colors pieced together are the neurotic goings on inside the hive.  I machine quilted rather neurotically as well!  Except inside the honeycombs!

Those I kept calm, clean and peaceful.  Not once ounce of pandemonium or turmoil!

This is my favorite part!  I was so excited when I decided to use a bright yellow thread for quilting this little section.  I almost decided to do the whole piece with yellow, but thankfully I didn't.  It would have been too much!

When you think that a colony of bees consists of 20,000 to 60,000 bees, there wold have to be order.  It amazes me when I see a honeycomb with honey gushing out.  Did you know that bees are the only insect that produces food eaten by man?!  

Finished and ready to hang!

Size:  17" x 18"
Solids: Shot Cotton, Kona and scraps
Bee Fabric:  Emma's Garden by Patty Sloniger

Check out all the other wonderful entries in the 2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge!


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Finished and Loved

I have been lucky enough to have some pretty wonderful customers over the years.  I enjoy working with people to get just what they want (even if they don't know what that is).  

Last year I was asked it I could make a quilt for a little girl using one of my designs (I still haven't made it in to a pattern).  This was the finished quilt and happily received.
That little girl has a sister and it was time she got her very own quilt too! We started by finding just the right fabric.  Eventually we arrived at this beautiful bundle from the Fat Quarter Shop.
Thistle Flower Sugar ~ Lecien Fabrics
The plan was to keep it similar to the first one (they share a room), but not the same.  I threw out a few ideas and we settled on a design.  It would have square Shoo-Fly blocks, but also some elongated rectangles.
Something Like This

Once I figured out what size the blocks would be it was time to become a piecing machine!!

There are five different blocks needed for this quilt.  There was plenty of 'pretties' to pick from with the fat quarter bundle. I was well on my way to getting all the blocks pieced and ready for the top assembly.

First was getting the blocks and colors evenly distributed from top to bottom.  Figuring out the correct size of the white  pieces was a little bit of a challenge.  Once I got the math part out of the way it was smooth sailing!

I ended up changing the pattern just a little bit.  Adding a random square print helped bring it all together. 

Finished top!  Like the first quilt, I used Kona White for the background.  It highlights the sweet prints so well!

57" x 80"

For the quilting I went with 2" diagonal lines.  Very similar to the first quilt!

The back is Kona Honeysuckle with a pieced strip of prints.

And of course little sister had to have a coordinating bookmark just like her big sister!  And that my friends is the 'cherry on top'!!