Friday, May 22, 2015

::Voting:: Nuanced Neon Mosaics

It's time!  I hope you had fun choosing mosaic fabrics or just reading the prompt for our Nuanced Neon mosaic contest.  Thanks to everyone who participated and to Mad About Patchwork for sponsoring this contest.  I've narrowed it down to 10 finalists, choosing mosaics that felt cohesive and inspiring.  As always, it was a really tough job to select only 10!

Enjoy perusing these lovely mosaics!  I've presented them first at large size to help you find your very most favorite one, with the name of the artist under each mosaic.  Voting is below with smaller images for reference.  Vote now through noon (eastern U.S. time) on Monday the 25th.   The two winning mosaics with the most votes will be announced on Monday.

Good Luck Everyone!

Neon Sunset
Neon Sunset by Marissa_R

Clashy Classy Brights by Never Just Jennifer

Loud Kitty by Megan at A little bit of my life

Spring Promises by Katherine at Sew Me Something Good

Coral and Blue Nuanced Neons
Coral and Blue by Minn Rose

Happy Neon Brights
Happy Neon Brights by Emma

sun & sky
Sun & Sky by Annabelle Gardner

Buds of May by Katherine of Sew Me Something Good

Nuanced neon - mosaic for contest
Nuanced Neon by Julianna

Pink Lemonade Neons
Pink Lemonade by Shannon

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ice Parfait on the beach!

Last weekend was our annual camping excursion to Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina.  It's a gorgeous place to camp.  Bringing a baby with medical needs was super challenging, emotionally, intellectually and physically, but thanks to very helpful family and friends, Brandon and I did manage to enjoy ourselves.

Baby at the beach

And - bonus - I also got some quilt pictures!

Ice Parfait quilt finished!

Ice Parfait quilt finished!

Ice Parfait quilt finished!

Ice Parfait quilt finished!

I absolutely had to finish this quilt in time to photograph it at the beach because the setting is perfect for these colors, don't you think?  As you can see, the wind didn't entirely cooperate.  But, hey, that keeps the shots interesting.

In case you want to see what the front and back actually look like, here are some I took at home:

Ice Parfait quilt finished!

Ice Parfait quilt finished!

Freshly wrinkled.  Ha!

It's difficult to see in photos, but my straight-line quilting loosely echoes the abstract tree shape.  I started most sections by quilting up the tree "trunk" and then out from that center.  I'm always looking for low-stress ways to quilt because the quilting step still feels risky to me, like I might ruin everything.  With this design I didn't cross over previous lines, but just kept echoing quilting paths at random widths, which helps to avoid puckers.

quilting Ice Parfait

quilting Ice Parfait

In the negative space, I quilted a few dense patches over the Kona Ice Frappe.  Here I'm using a hera marker to mark my quilting paths.  It makes a nice, sharp crease and "applies" faster than pencil or pen.  As much as possible, I avoid marking lines.  This tool is my go-to when marking is key to accuracy.

Ice Parfait quilt finished!

The finished quilt measures 49 x 70.  I bound the edges in a crisp mint stripe interspersed with white and some other fabric scraps, since I didn't have quite enough to go round. 

Ice Parfait quilt finished!

I think this quilt is one of the most "modern" ones I've made.  The making felt completely natural, but I also know that my next few quilts will be much more traditional, as is my usual style.  I do enjoy working with a repeated block! 

I've listed Ice Parfait in my Etsy shop now.  I hope it finds a happy home with someone who loves peach and mint as much as I do!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Fabricworm Knit Challenge Victories

Hello + Happy Monday!  We're already sporting near 90 degree weather here in South Carolina, so I've begun to think seriously about summer wardrobe.  Top of the list is a sun hat for baby and some rompers or tees that accommodate her feeding tube.  But when those things fall into place, I'd also like to make myself something this year.  Maybe today's knit victories will actually get me moving!

Come see what our knit challengers made with their Birch knits from Fabricworm!  The original challenge prompted each to work with 2 yards of their choice.  They could add other fabric and trims as desired and they had a little over a week for the making.

Sometimes a deadline is just what we need! 

First up, Megan shared her project at A little bit of my life.  She made a tank dress, pulling together several free online tutorials and basing her pieces on a favorite tank top.  This was Megan's first time sewing with knits, yet she drafted and sewed this up in one day, contrast binding and all.  Wow!  Fabrics:  Jay-Cyn Serengeti and Birch Solid Grass.

Love it on you, Megan!

Amanda made a similar style knit skirt, using the crafterhours knit pencil skirt tutorial.  She says, "The fabric was a dream and the weight is just right for this project."  I think that drop waist seam is very flattering, don't you?  Nicely done, Amanda!  Fabric:  Birch Solid Dusk.

And can you believe that Dana at Waterpenny made THREE garments for the challenge?  She started with a pretty, swirly skirt (which she sports hiking, no less), added a funky tank and then couldn't resist a wee little dress for her baby girl.  Hop on over to her blog to see all three.  The tank's my favorite!  Fabric:  Charley Harper Barn Swallow

To round out our challenge, Jennifer glows in her beautiful new knit dress!  Don't you just want to be her?  My goodness!  Visit in the Baumgarten for lots of tips on how she sewed up the Moneta dress pattern without a serger.  Her detail shots and newbie tips are just what I'd need to get up the gumption!  Fabric:  Charley Harper Feathers

A great big thanks to all challengers for inspiring us with your knit-tackling courage!   And, of course, thanks to Fabricworm for providing the Birch knits for our event!  I believe there are more knits in my future.  What about you?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Nuanced Neon {a mosaic contest}


Slow down a minute, my friend, and ponder with me in color...

Neon is bright.  It's bold.  It's s.a.t.u.r.a.t.e.d.  Almost, but not quite, too much.

Nuanced Neon {a mosaic contest}
hearts, flowers, room

Full of pluck and personality, neon waves, "Hi!"  It dances and sings, bright lights, center stage.  Without trying, neon feels young.  It's just what we need to push those chins up, smile and move on. To be hoping and expecting the best of tomorrow, today.

Nuanced Neon {a mosaic contest}
table, pastels

With a bit of nuance, neon grows up.  Warm amber, soft ivory and dignified chocolate brown - neutrals temper neon's flame.  I see a vibrant summer wedding.  A soft, silky work of art.  Neutrals are a natural way to slow down neon's ways.

Nuanced Neon {a mosaic contest}
books, doors, crochet, flowers

More tricky, more subtle, is neon with soft.  Butter yellow interrupts neon's parade; soft sky blue blankets her march.  More light, more white washes neon almost pastel.  Eyes open wide to sparkling, joyful shades.

Nuanced Neon {a mosaic contest}
roll cart, pillows

Or try baby pink, a little soft spring green.  Smooth neon's rough edges with colors so gentle they all but disappear.  See if, as by magic, neon becomes some quiet pretty thing!

I invite you to join us for a Fabric Mosaic contest sponsored by Mad About Patchwork.

Carefully craft your mosaic of 9 fabrics from among the offerings at Mad About Patchwork. Choose fabrics to express your interpretation of Nuanced Neon.  Your collection of fabrics can be playfully bright neon or more nuanced with neutrals or soft shades.  Just make sure to include a few very bright colors.

Once you have your fabrics, the free Mosaic Maker tool makes it a snap to create a mosaic.  Copy and paste image url's from Mad About Patchwork.  To find url's first go to the item page, then right click on the image you want and choose "copy image URL".

To enter the contest, add your mosaic image to our collection here.  If it suits you, link to a blog post explaining your choices - that helps us spread the word about our contest.  But no blog post is required (you can put your image url in the url space).  Anyone can enter, anywhere in the world.

***Important Tip*** If possible, share your mosaic so that when it's loaded to the link up and you click on your mosaic, it takes viewers to see a larger version. This makes it so much easier for me to see your mosaic and consider it as a finalist!  Hosting your mosaic in a public place (such as Flickr or a blog) and linking the URL works beautifully!

Add your mosaic by midnight May 20th.  You can make up to 2 mosaics!  On Friday the 22nd, I'll open voting.   We'll have two winners!  The 2 Top Mosaics will earn a complete fat quarter set of their mosaic fabrics!!!  Winners announced May 25th.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

slouchy Mexico bag

So, that was a lot of itty bitty pieces...

slouchy Mexico bag

But the pay off is pretty sweet!  I'm crushing on Jolene's Mexico patchwork pattern big time.  A throw quilt definitely needs to happen before I can move on!  The throw uses larger pieces, so it won't take much more time than this did.

slouchy Mexico bag

I decided to turn my patchwork into a slouchy bag again.  Here's how I work with the pattern pieces from this free bag tutorial.  First I make patchwork, just exactly as my heart desires.  Next, I frame the patchwork with Essex Linen for a neutral surround that's wide enough for the pattern pieces.  Below you can see how I've cut the pattern apart so that I can use it for bags of various lengths.  Once I have cut my first purse-shape, I cut the rest to match.  From there, just follow the tutorial.  I promise it's easy!

slouchy Mexico bag

This time I followed the bottom edge curve of the pattern.  I'm liking the subtle shape it created.  And I'm also glad I added Essex at the bottom this time.  All together... it's a hit!

slouchy Mexico bag

And with a happy, summery lining in an Anna Maria Horner, Pretty Potent print!

slouchy Mexico bag

slouchy Mexico bag

Gah, I'll be sad to see this one go!  But, I trust it will be well-loved by a fellow patchwork fiend.  And there's always the next bag...

Monday, May 11, 2015

off to Mexico

It all started with these rather enticing scraps...

Mexico mini

I know that Cotton & Steel fabrics get lots of bloggy love these days, but that's not without its reasons.  These are my scraps from cutting for that picnic blanket.  Once I've used fabrics in combination with each other, I typically sort them by color into my scrap drawers to emerge another time in new iterations of color play. 

But this time, I wanted more.  More of the same good stuff. 

Mexico Mini by Jolene at Blue Elephant Stitches

And this is what I'm going to make!  It's the Mexico quilt pattern by Jolene at Blue Elephant stitches.  Turns out her mini version is made of Cotton & Steel prints too.  Ha!  Maybe that's why this particular pattern came to my mind?  No matter, off I go!

Mexico mini

I've selected 4 main colors from my C & S scraps (as per pattern directions) and supplemented them for variety with scraps from my drawers.

Mexico mini

Now I'm off and running!  So glad that I decided to use Jolene's pdf pattern rather than figuring out a plan of attack on my own.  I had not realized there was such an easy way to make these cute spiky blocks!  Now I'm considering a big quilt too.  Hmmm....

These should come together quickly, so long as I remember to sew wrong sides together.  Did you spot my error with those triangles on the right?!?! 

p.s.  do. Good Stitches is in need of some new U.S. and U.K. members.  If you're interested in joining in our efforts to bless the less fortunate with happy, modern quilts, please register here.  We're looking for folks who enjoy sewing with modern fabrics, so that all of our blocks mix up well together.  The bee is run on Flickr, so you'll need to join if you haven't already.  Just add some recent sewing photos to your Flickr stream (you can pull from Instagram, if desired) so that I can check out your work.  Thanks!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Shabby Fabrics ::Giveaway::

You can never have enough basics, am I right?  Here's your chance to take home a rainbow of versatile Houndstooth prints, courtesy of Shabby Fabrics.  This giveaway is for a 24 piece set in fat eighth cuts!  Open internationally too!

Shabby Fabrics ships a selection of quality designer fabrics, kits, patterns, and monthly clubs from Idaho.  As the name implies, you'll find lots of florals and softer, cozy prints with a shabby chic flair, plus American Made solids and classic basics like dots, stripes and chevrons.

With the Houndstooth rainbow set, you could make this sweet Happy Birthday runner!  Pattern comes with fusible applique cupcakes, balloons and the words "Happy Birthday."  Aww, wouldn't that make a little one feel special?

To enter our giveaway, take a look at Shabby Fabric's vast array of patterns and books.  Tell us which one catches your eye in a comment on this post.  Winner will be chosen randomly after noon, EST on Wednesday, April 15th.  Winner will be contacted by email, so leave your email address if its not already shown in your Google profile.

Good luck & Happy Mother's Day, to all you lovely mums!

************Comments Closed************

And our winner is #163 - Gloria! 
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