Friday, February 5, 2016

doodle, doodle {Improv Handbook Score #4}

This week I have been feeling inspired.  Demands on my time had kept me from reading blogs most of the past year, and I had completely gotten out of the habit.  It dawned on me early this week that I might enjoy an evening with Bloglovin, and boy did I!  I see there are not as many of us writing these days, but it's still my favorite way to connect with the quilty community.

Soon I was caught up in choosing fabrics for a new project, shopping for some fabric the project demanded and entertaining a few more along the way.

On the other hand, I've been feeling restless.  A restless energy.  I want to do something and do it well, but what?  This improv assignment from The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters is either exactly right or a nightmare for that sentiment, depending.  Score #4 invites one to proceed without expectations, keep sewing along a train of thought until you feel like moving on, doodle, doodle.



I'm not a doodler.  When something works well, like those houses, I tend to become rather attached.  I'd be happy to make a whole quilt of houses, but that's not the assignment.  It's good sometimes to have an assignment, to commit yourself to follow and learn.

doodle, doodle {Improv Handbook Score #4}

doodle, doodle {Improv Handbook Score #4}

Last night while reading The Creative Habit for a second time (because it's really that good), Twyla Tharp reminded me: "Skill gets imprinted through action... Traveling the paths of greatness, even in someone else's footprints, is a vital means to acquiring skill" (pg. 66). 

I'm learning. 


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Welcome, Pink Door Fabrics!

Yesterday I went fabric shopping with some money gifted "for pampering" myself.  It had been too long!  I found a few things I needed, a few things I'd wanted, at least on thing that may not be practical...  I do all my fabric shopping online (like most other shopping!) and with my sponsor shops.  Let me introduce you to my newest store who happens to carry a whole lot of the fabrics I use most!

Pink Door Fabrics has a self-hosted shop and an Etsy shop too.  I'm right at home in an Etsy shop, so I spend my time at Pink Door there.

Stash building bundles at Pink Door Fabrics


Right off the bat I appreciate that Pink Door Fabrics has some helpful custom bundles.  You can join a low volume stash club, Quiet Time, or a rainbow stash club, Rainbow Blenders, to infuse your stash with variety that's actually easy to use.  Or Tula Pink fans will love hue-themed fat quarter bundles pulling together coordinating fabrics across Tula's lines, like this pretty Amethyst find.  Great idea!

Basics at Pink Door Fabrics
Line 1:  Happy Home, First Crush, Wanderer Red  Line 2:  Modern Background, Fruit Dots Stripe, Modern Background Line 3:  Wanderer Blue, Blueberry Park, Abacus



Already having a mostly balanced stash myself, I tend to pick and choose my purchases.  Here's a mosaic of basics I'd add to my stash in a heartbeat.  That diagonal black/white stripe is perfect for binding any quilt, and the grays - I definitely need more grays at the moment.  Check out the new metallic stripe from Cotton & Steel at center!  I've already ordered it in navy, hmm...

Personal Favorites at Pink Door Fabrics
Baby Bouquet, Playful, Wild and Free, Coloring Garden

If you enjoy the fabrics I use in my quilts, you may recognize some of these beauties.  Each inspired a project, color scheme or design choice in my work during 2015.  Pink Door Fabrics happens to stock many of my inspiration fabrics, proving we're a good match for one another.  Yay.



One more thing.  Pink Door Fabrics also has a quite tempting presale section.  You can make arrangements to get your mits on popular picks like half yard Mendocino cuts, 2016 Sun Prints and even whole Forest Fancy quilt kits all before they actually hit the shelves.  I wonder which ones you would be after?

Chelsea and Charlie are two friends who started Pink Door Fabrics on a whim.  They ship from Broomfield, Colorado and would love to send a package your way...  In fact, they're going to give one away!

::Giveaway::

One lucky reader will be awarded a $40 Pink Door Fabrics gift certificate to use as they like!  To enter just add a comment to this post now through noon on Friday the 5th of February, EST.  Giveaway open internationally!  Good luck, friends.

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

Comment #42 is our lucky winner, Mrs. Tubaville.  I'll be in touch!


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Double Cross bee blocks

I made these blocks last week.  When emotions are a whirlwind sometimes a very specific sewing assignment is just what the soul needs.  Color choices decided.  Pattern at hand.  Just head to the scrap bin, sort, stitch, press and voila - success!

Double Cross bee blocks

The double cross improv block starts like this, in single cross form.

Double Cross bee blocks

Then you slice, dice and insert to end up here.  For actual instructions, visit my friend Allison's space where she detailed things out for the Love circle.  She chose the pattern, colors and will receive the finished blocks by mail from all 9 other members of our circle.  As lead quilter, she'll also assemble, finish and mail the quilt to our chosen charity.

Which reminds me, I have less then a month now to make plans and blocks for my turn to lead Love circle.  Hmm....   What shall it be this time?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Katie's Playground quilt

a finished quilt.... 

Katie's Playground quilt

Katie's Playground quilt

Tells a story.  This one brings back memories of cutting those pieces on Eleni's last ABM trip, of how optimistic I felt, how everything was maybe, finally swinging into place.  The way she picked up her legs with a spring that made me catch my breath.   So delightful.

The colors are bright and playful.  They fit perfectly with this jaunty pattern and contrast nicely with our broken down barn and its thorny wall.

Katie's Playground quilt

Needs a home.  I didn't know when I started this quilt whom she would belong to.  I just wanted to make something with Schmidt's re-released Katie Jump Rope collection, and chose to work in other Schmidt scraps to make it more special.

Now I know she belongs to a woman, a Kate, who helped Eleni have a little more peace on her last day with us.  And I only just realized as I sat down to write this post that the name connection was there all along.

Katie's Playground quilt

Isn't perfect.  I'm pretty sure no quilt is.  The imperfections inherent in the Chic Country quilt pattern actually grew on me.  The shifty points make the quilt feel more... vintage?  usable?  friendly?  At the moment, I wouldn't make the winding ways style any other way.

I am being gentle with myself these days. 

Katie's Playground quilt

Katie's Playground quilt

Katie's Playground quilt is backed with stash fabrics, two by Denyse Schmidt and one Cottage print from Anna Maria Horner's newest line.  I quilted with simple, childlike loops and bound mostly in wasabi yellow.

A finished quilt always makes me feel wonderfully accomplished and ready for something new.

Here's to finishing well!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Warm Houses {Improv Handbook Score #4}

I can't think of a time when I've had so many false starts with a project.  When I decided to start sewing again this week, I thought about finding something simple and repetitive.  Easy.  But somehow, even though I knew improv sewing would be challenging, it still felt like the right thing for my soul.

another start {Improv Handbook Score #4}

First I chose colors:  warm berries, bright reds, soft browns, a range of purples and pinks.  After the cool-colored fans I had just barely managed to eek out early in January (also with a few false starts), these mostly warm colors seemed like a nice change of pace.

another start {Improv Handbook Score #4}

Working without a ruler, I sliced the fabrics into strips and sewed them into a string block shape. As soon as I trimmed up the block and popped it on my design wall, I yanked it right back off.  At least I knew me mind.  I confidently cut the block into quarters and played at arranging those pieces a bit before coming to an understanding.  It was time to start over... again.  Frustrating.

another start {Improv Handbook Score #4}

Here's what came out next.  It's a play on the log cabin block.  I'm using a darker fabric at center, which looks sort of like a door, and building the houses around the center in radiating analogous-ish colors. 

Do you like it?  I do!  In fact, I liked this so much that I ripped apart those string blocks for pieces! 

another start {Improv Handbook Score #4}

So good to feel successful at last!  Two rows of houses went up before day's end.  I love the way they look arranged in this mirrored setting.

another start {Improv Handbook Score #4}

And then I found a mini quilt composition of random squares in dusty mauve that had never come to a finish.  It's the perfect bit of "different' to interrupt my houses.

another start {Improv Handbook Score #4}

Today when I add to this patchwork doodle, I want to bring in cool colors.  My intention remains to use most all the colors in Denyse Schmidt Modern Solids fat quarter collection.  With such a strong, warm row, it's hard to know how to transition.

another start {Improv Handbook Score #4}

The left side of the lower row of houses has a bit of extra space, so I threw together crumb scraps like so.  Isn't that cute? 

I love random scrappiness.  Most of this patchwork doodle is going to have a controlled color scheme made up of analogous-ish color arrangements.  Perhaps little bits of wild scrappy rainbows will be just the thing to fill in corners, use up scraps and pull the work together.

Yes, I think so.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Vintage Rainbow Winners!

Congratulations to the two winning mosaics of the Vintage Rainbow mosaic contest.  I agree, it was an especially hard vote this time.  I would not have been surprised to see any one of the mosaics win!  But, the most votes went to:


Early Mountain Morning
Early Mountain Morning by

Vintage Pretty Bouquet by Sew Me Something Good

Both lucky ladies will receive their mosaics in fat quarters from Fabricworm.  Thanks to everyone for playing along!  Today I am getting back into the swing of sewing.  Will have some new things to share with you soon. 

xo,

Rachel

Monday, January 25, 2016

::Voting:: Vintage Rainbow Mosaics

Mondays are a good day for starting over.  In our home we are feeling our way into new routines, new spaces.  Here at Stitched in Color it's a good day to wrap up our Vintage Rainbow mosaic contest sponsored by Fabricworm.  With oodles of effort, because you all are getting pretty awesome with your mosaic-making skills,  I've narrowed it down to 10 finalists, choosing entries that felt cohesive and inspiring. 

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 Wednesday the 27th.   The two winning mosaics with the most votes will be announced on Wednesday afternoon.

Good Luck Everyone! 


Early Mountain Morning
Early Mountain Morning by

Vintage Pretty Bouquet by Sew Me Something Good

Sweet vintage rainbow
Sweet Vintage Rainbow by Carmen

by natski_2003

Vintage Picnic
Vintage Picnic by


Rainbow by Megan Anne

Vintage by Megan Anne

mosaic_vintagerainbow2
by


vintage rainbow : country girl
Country Girl by Annabelle Gardner


by Hand Wrought Quilts


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