Blue String Quilt and it Only Took Forever

iron1Over a year ago, I started sewing some of my very favorite strings together.  All blue, deep teal with scattered with tiny confetti-like punches of red, yellow and orange thanks to my favorite print from the original Flea Market Fancy.  And then….I hit a wall.  Literally.  Those strings stayed on my design wall for a really long time.

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And then as quilters do, I started many more projects, went on with life, rearranged my sewing room, started a local chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild in Santa Cruz  and moved up the street to a new house.

After looking through my many UFO baskets, I saw these lovely strings all sewn and waiting to be transformed into something big, I remembered one of my favorite quilts by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson

From the book Block Party:

elizabethI loved the interaction of off the warm colors, the improv coins and all that lovely negative space.  Right!  I knew what I wanted to do.

I took my pieces and went to work.  The waiting was worth it.

spare change 2I used Kona white as the background which is not my usual go-to, but I wanted that crisp brightness against the blue.

spare change1Flea Market Fancy – how do I love thee…

spare change 3Quilting was done on a longarm in a double circle that I let the quilter choose for me, and I’m really happy with it.  The solid orange binding finishes the whole thing off in just the right amount of contrast for me.

spare change 4Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts and her finish it Up Friday.  Happy Weekend to you!

Quilt As You Go Weekender

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A few months ago, a new spin on the Weekender Bag pattern by Amy Butler was started by Elizabeth from Oh Fransson.  This pattern has been sitting in my “To-Do” list of projects for at least a year, but somehow working up the nerve to do it hadn’t come yet.  I couldn’t choose a fabric that would be worthy of such a sewing milestone.  Should it be home dec?  A heavy Japanese canvas or linen/cotton?  I just let it go to the “undecided” part of my sewing brain and waited for inspiration to strike.  The quilt as you go Weekender revolution was just the nudge I needed!

With this approach to making the panels and pockets of the bag, you eliminate the need for the interfacing, and utilizing canvas and batting as a base, and then piecing your fabric treasures on top of them.  (This method is described in great detail on Elizabeth’s blog in the weekender post, as well as this post on making panels for bags.)  I started with one of the pockets and was immediately hooked!

sideviewweekenderThe biggest help in assembling and stitching together the large panels to the top/side panel, is to hand baste them before bringing them to the sewing machine.  I attempted sewing them together without basting and I will admit to much cursing and walking away in frustration.  A friend who had made a Weekender before suggested basting large stitches, about 2″ long, and it worked like a charm.

weekender pocketMy bag is lined with my favorite text print from Sweetwater’s “Mama Said Sew” fabric line.

I will make this bag again with this method – it’s already come with me on a couple of trips and it gets a lot of attention.  Go ahead!  You can do it!

 

 

Patchwork Prism Progress

Progress has been made and all pieces of the Patchwork Prism Quilt have been laid out on my design wall.  Mapping out the triangles and adjusting the color gradation was a fun exercise.  I have to say, this part took a lot longer than I thought it would.  Thoroughly enjoyable though, playing with all that beautiful color and print made me very happy.  I kept cutting into fabrics that I have long stared at and dared not cut into, and I am so glad I have.  I am really understanding that the best way to enjoy my fabric, is to play and experiment and to sew them up into something.  All of these prints look so beautiful together, all + 35 of them!  I started collecting Anna Maria Horner’s fabric around the time that her Good Folks collection came out.  I am drawn to her color palette with every print she designs.

I love the middle of this quilt and how it starts with the darkest prints I could find, and then it changes into ruby reds and plum, changing again to sparkling pinks and sorbet colors,melting into sunny orangey yellows which sit next to slightly more greenish yellows, and finally changing once more into soft greens and blues with go to dark at the edges, disappearing into an inky midnight blue.

A close-up of the center prism.

Gradually going from red to yellow to green to blue.

My design consultant was nearby for input and layout assistance.

Remember…the quilt along is happening right over here.

Long Story Short – I Started Another Quilt…

…I know.  Shocking.  :)

Just when I think I’m going to be a really good girl and finish up all my WIP’s, and I’m going to go on a strict fabric diet, and all things virtuous, I see something and say, “Oh look!  Something pretty!”  And then it’s all over.

So, Bernadette the Bernina has left the building, metaphorically speaking.  In English that means that she’s very ill, and she’s in the shop.  I dropped the feed dogs to work on this…

A quilt to be auctioned off at my oldest daughter’s school.   I was the Art Parent this year and the kids pretty much designed this quilt.  They chose their fabrics, traced their hands, they cut and arranged.  It was very fun coming in every few days with progress to show them.  At the end my machine just kind of died… bobbin case a big mess…my feed dogs just are on their last nerve and have had. it.

Mad props go to Raven over at Oversewn for giving me the brilliant idea and inspiration for this quilt.    At the actual auction, I was pouring wine for the festivities and heard there was a bidding war going on between some parents, but it’s just hearsay and I won’t believe it until I read about it on TMZ or something.

Making this story longer than I had intended, in any case, with the machine in the shop,  I thought that I might go looking for a new machine.  I quickly remembered that Anna Maria Horner is partnered with Janome and I thought I’d check it out.  So, I viewed this video and she pretty much had me at hello.  I’m kind of jonesing for this machine now.  And right then I also decided that I HAD to make that quilt.  (I’m kind of a marketing dream test case)  It’s called the patchwork prism quilt.

I know, right?  ;)

And even though I had other quilts to blog about, take pictures of, bind, baste and other things to do, I started cutting into all my AMH fabrics from Bohemian, to Good Folks, Garden Party, Innocent Crush, and Loulouthi.  There’s even flannel, voile and velveteen in there.  Anna says you can do that and so that means you can.  Here’s a sneak peak at my design wall…

And THEN, if that weren’t enough to squeal about, I found out that Bianca over at Sweet Diesel is having a quilt along for this quilt!  There are some amazing prizes to be won if it wasn’t great enough just to get a quilt for yourself or someone you love at the end of it.

And so, that’s  how my broken machine helped me start a new quilt.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Summersville Giveaway!

Happy Friday to you all!  Hey Girl, (or guy as it might happen) want to win some fabulous fabric??  I thought so.  My fabric friend Julie from The Intrepid Thread is giving me two, yes two, charm packs of Summersville by Lu Summers for one of you to win.  Look at how fresh and great this range of fabrics is…

All Lu Summers’ prints are her own line drawings.  I love the cross hatch – what a great basic to have in your stash.  The feel of these fabrics is modern and whimsical, don’t you think?

Ok, here’s the deal!  Simply leave me a comment explaining what project you would make with two charm packs.  Want another chance at winning?  Follow my blog and then leave me another comment saying you signed up!  If you already follow, just let me know.  Winner will be selected on Sunday, April 29th.  Leave email contact with your comment.  Good luck!

Comments are now closed. Thanks for all your comments!

#40 is our winner!  Byron

“Oh, I love this collection! I would make a baby quilt with the charms.”

Check your email!

 

Modern Quilt Guild Submission…

Until recently, I never considered submitting one of my quilts into a quilt show.  Overwhelmingly, I make quilts for my family and to give away and I love doing that.   But, when the Modern Quilt Guild announced that it would be showcasing works that present that aesthetic at Quilt Market this fall, I got excited and wanted to enter.  After thinking about what I loved most about modern quilting,  I made this:

The print is one of my favorite Nani Iro florals.  I wanted to capture the floaty feeling that the shapes give in the fabric to the overall quilt.  I paired the print with a happy orange shot cotton and an ivory background.  I had the strips on my design wall for a really long time.  I changed their order, and fussed with the space between the fabrics.  But when it came time to put together, it went quickly.   Never have I felt so confident in my design.  It was a wonderful feeling; I felt like I was finally finding how and what I really want to be making.  I hoped more than anything that it would be accepted into the showcase.

When I heard that it wasn’t selected, that only 33 quilts were chosen and not to give up, I sighed.  I felt a twinge of jealousy.  My husband hugged me.  And then, I started thinking about my favorite thing.  The Next Quilt.  And then I was fine.  I really did want to have it in the showcase, but it is really ok that it’s not.  I made the kind of quilt that makes me happy, and says what I want to say as a quilter.  That’s not a small thing, and for that I am happy.

Busy Little Hands

Here she is in her new natural habitat.  Isabel has been asking for me to sew with her for ages and I wasn’t sure that she was ready to be safe with needles, iron or machine.  But, I could not put her off any longer and so off we went into the WIP pile, along with the scrap basket.  As you can see above, she is learning to press open the seams.  Check out the look of concentration on her face;  She loved it!

This is a very old UFO which has not been completed since I cannot make up my mind what to do with the strips.  Hop, Skip, Jump quilt?  A version of This Quilt?  Isabel says she is thinking about “What we make whid it” and she’s going to let me know what she decides.

Her first thing to make was a mug rug for daddy’s coffee cup.  She carefully selected some scraps and she sewed this together with very little help (and intervention) from me.

Clearly, we have a quilting prodigy on our hands.  ;p