Friday, September 30, 2011

Celebrate Color September Winners!

First, I want to thank-you all for joining us in Celebrate Color - with your comments, your projects and your votes.  It's been a lot of fun so far, and I'm very excited about what we have in store for you the next two months!  For September's finalists, we had 550 votes!  And the winners are...

Fabric {Home Decor}

1st PlaceBlue Elephant Stitches' Celebrate Fall quilt with 189 votes!  Winning a Kona Hot Spice bundle from Robert Kaufman and a fat quarter set of the complete Heirloom collection from Sew Love Fabrics.

2nd PlaceMaureen Cracknell Handmade with Fall Fox Pillow at 127 votes!  Winning the 13-piece Ruby fat quarter bundle of Heirloom from Sew Love Fabrics.

Fabric {Wearables}

1st Place:  The Plaid Scottie's Nikki Tote with 175 votes!  Winning 4 yards of your choice in Amy Butlers new Soul Blossom releases from Whipstitch (or $60 store credit) and your favorite 4 sewing patterns from Joel Dewberry's new pattern line Eclectic Modern.

2nd Place:  Flooded Heart's Autumn Trees Bag with 146 votes!  Winning 2 yards of your choice in Amy Butlers new Soul Blossom releases from Whipstitch (or $30 store credit) and your favorite 2 sewing patterns from Joel Dewberry's new pattern line Eclectic Modern.


1st Place:  Terrabyte Farm's Handspun Scarf with 151 votes!  Winning 3 skeins of fingering silky merino by Sundara Yarn and your favorite 3 e-patterns from Jane Richmond's shop.

2nd Place:  Mama Charm's Grape Sweater with 141 votes!  Winning 1 e-pattern from Jane Richmond's shop and 2 skeins of Cashmerino Sport yarn in the new Jewel Tone colors by Sweet Fiber.


First Place: the Knottygnome Knits' Octagon block with 190 votes!  Winning the complete 26 piece set of Alphabet Animals embroidery patterns by Penguins & Fish!

Second Place:  Sparrow's Crafty Nest with Artie the Brown Owl with 149 votes!  Winning your choice of 5 Penguin & Fish Alphabet Animals, plus your favorite hoop wall art kit too.

Congratulations, ladies!  Your lovely work is inspiration to us all to get stitching (in all its many forms) as we continue to enjoy the sweet autumn season.  Winners should contact me at racheleuphoria {at} yahoo {dot} com with your address for prize delivery, including notes regarding any prize choices.

Stay tuned for my announcement of October prizes in the coming week!  As a reminder, every single one of these prizes is being freely given to the fiber arts community by individuals who have chosen to support our event.  If you have a moment, consider visiting these companies to thank them for their support of Celebrate Color! (Get 15% off at Sew Love Fabrics and Sew Love Christmas through October 7th with code "STITCHED")

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Triangle Play

hmm.. Triangle play?  What could that be. What has Rachel been making lately...

Folks, it's just more journals.

Yep.  But, after these two that I'm sharing today there's just ONE left before they can all mail out.  And then I can finally reveal the folks who inspired them.  Which could be kind of dicey in theory, but I think you won't mind when you see who.

So, inspiration?

inspiration in triangles

Triangle scraps.  Oh, do they accumulate!  All sorts of random trimmings from blocks like flying geese, bindings joined with diagonal seems, half-square triangle misshaps - the triangles amass.  And then they taunt me with their exclusive triangle shape, trying to resist improv piecing.

But, aha, they can be made into square-in-square kind of shapes!!!

chop, chop

And, then, if you are unsatisfied with your square-in-square scrappy creations, you can chop-chop them in half to make flying-geese-esque mutations.  

Recipe:  Sew 2 triangles together to make a square (this is the center of your square-in-square shapes.  No actual squares allowed).  Choose 4 triangles which have one side about a 1/2" longer than the sides of your square center.  One at a time, sew a triangle onto the side of your square, always centering the triangle and leaving little overhanging fabric bits on each side.  Press seams as you go.  Once all 4 triangles are added, square up your square-in-square shape.  Continue adding triangle layers to enlarge.  Cut in half to create flying-geese mutations.

Triangle Play journal in process

Many triangles were claimed in the process.  Muahahaha.

Triangle Play fronts

The finished journal covers are Triangle Play.  See?  At first I thought it was going to be Triangle Failure because I really wasn't digging the way the colors and points looked in the square-in-square form.  But, here, I see happy, wonky, scrappy delight. Chopped points and all (which result from my stubbornly using triangle scraps which were too small).


on the back too.

inside snippets

With insides that want to hold doodles and sketches for future stitchy creations.

Postscript: I have been asked by many fine folks if I will be selling my journal covers.  Hmm... This is a tres tricky question because y'all know that much more time goes into making things like this than can be pulled out of the product in market value pricing.  Which is a way to say, that I wouldn't want to charge enough for my time.

So, I am currently hemming and hawing about possibly making a stack of these to sell (this stack is definitely to be gifted) pending my continued desire to scrap them together, pending my free time and pending your intention to really, actually buy them - on a limited bases.  Pricing to be determined.  Suggestions welcome.   Sorry, that's not really an answer.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Love in Bubbles

Way back in the midst of summer, I dreamed of a watery quilt for the Love circle of do. Good Stitches.  I asked for extra-large blocks in solid bold blues, teal, turquoise, gray and moss green with circle applique, a quilt design straight from the pages of Block Party -The Modern Quilting Bee

Deep Sea Colors

While I was was waiting on blocks from the members of our charity circle, Harmony of Harmony Art sent me the sweetest email, encouraging me in our work at do. Good Stitches and offering to donate some of her fabrics to our bee.  I was already familiar with her beautiful, nature-inspired designs through my work at (our organic nursing pillows use her fabrics) and knew that Harmony Art fabrics are not only of the highest quality with a silky sateen hand, but that they are manufactured in a truly sustainable manner from start to finish.  This is a business with integrity.  So, I guess in some ways I'm not surprised to discover that Harmony is giving her fabric away to charitable causes!

Well, I said "YES, thank-you!"

donated to do. Good Stitches!

And soon this lovely stack arrived. Harmony Art sateen fabrics are 110" wide. Seriously - 110 inches!!! Talk about a no-need-to-piece backing for just about any quilt in existence.  The top print is called "Eyes of the World" inspired by "the centers of flowers, which can be so intricate. If you stop to take a close look...a whole world often opens up."  It's long been one of my favorite Harmony Art prints, so I was happy it coordinated so well with my watery quilt palette!

Harmony Art fabric backing

Love in Bubbles is a large quilt, with 12 blocks sashed in 2" wide Kona aqua. Bound in a Aqua Ta Dot and backed with Eyes of the World.  Made cozy with Warm & Natural batting by The Warm Company - my go to batting for all my projects.

Bubble Quilt by do. Good Stitches

I finished the quilt with wavy line quilting, for that watery look.  These photographs were taken at my parents' home in Chapin, South Carolina.  They are blessed to have a dock on Lake Murray.  Here in the shallow inlet you can see why I included moss green in this quilt!

Bubble Quilt, July Love circle

By now this quilt is halfway to Texas were it has been donated to the wildfire relief quilt effort to provide bedding for children who have lost their homes.  Each circle of do. Good Stitches (there are 12 now!) makes quilts for a specific charity, and the Love circle usually sends theirs to Wrap Them in Love.  But, this time, we decided to donate locally in Texas, where there is an urgent need.

If you are interested in joining do. Good Stitches, we're always looking for new folks who are active members of Flickr and enjoy quilting in a modern style.  You can see more of what we're up to at our main Flickr page.  If you're not on Flickr, creating an account is free.  Start uploading pictures of your sewing and find other people (mainly through groups) whose work you enjoy following.  You can find me on Flickr here.  We manage the bee on Flickr, so that's why having an account that you're comfortable with using is important.  When you're ready to join in, register for do. Good Stitches through this form.

Ok, signing off now!  Thank-you members of the Love Circle for your lovely blocks and your patience with me!  And, thanks again to Harmony for donating the fabric.

P.S.  If you're wondering, I have big plans for the rest of that fabric, which I'll let you in on next week!

Vote! for Celebrate Color - September Finalists

Congratulations to each and every finalist!  To read more about any project or see larger pictures, click on the link to any artist's blog listed before each poll.  There are FOUR categories.  Please vote for your very most favorite in each one!

For the Fabric {Home Decor} category, our finalists are:

For the Fabric {Wearables} category, our finalists are:

For the Yarn category, our finalists are:

For the Needlepoint category, our finalists are:

Voting is open through midnight, EST on Thursday, September 29th. Winners of the September prizes will be announced the following day!  Thank-you for voting.  Celebrate Color extends through the months of October and November too, with different prizes up for grabs each month.  I hope you'll come see what it's all about and join in!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Celebrate Color {with Children}

There's something about changing leaves that inspire lots of creative collaboration between parents and children.  We like to bring them inside, trapping colorful leaves in contact paper or preserving them in beeswax.  Last year we made polka dot leaves by putting circle stickers on green leaves and removing them after the colors had changed. The dots stay green!  Leaves also make great materials for crayon rubbings.  Mmm.. the list really does go on.

But, today, the very talented Maureen Cracknell brings us a family project to celebrate the beautiful leaves of autumn with our children and our sewing machines.  Hurray!  Any young child lucky enough to have a stitchy mother (or father) would surely jump at the chance to help make something sewn.  

And, as an added bonus, you could choose to use this project to practice your free motion quilting on a very small, very low-pressure canvas.  Now, I may be saying that because I woke up this morning quite literally thinking about how I so badly need to practice free motion quilting, but I think I'm not alone in that nagging feeling.

 And if you don't have little hands eager to help you collect leaves and trace them onto felt... well that just means you can complete this project in about half as much time as the rest of us!  Be sure to visit Maureen for lovely, step-by-step directions.

Emma, Mollie, Shannon and I are busy looking through the Celebrate Color entries to select several finalists in each category.  Tomorrow I'll have all the finalists posted here so that you can vote to choose the winners!  Good luck, everyone!

Monday, September 26, 2011

in the Cloth with Marmalade

in the Cloth
Please welcome, Tammy Vasser of Marmalade Fabrics, my guest this month. 
Because we HEART fabric.

It’s nearly October, one of my favorite months of the year. Here in Kansas, the days are cool but usually sunny and the nights are crisp and chilly. Not only do I look forward to baking fresh-picked apple pie, carving pumpkins with my children and sipping hot cocoa by the campfire, but something that has nothing to do with food. My favorite thing about October is receiving all the new fabric that I’ve waited for all summer long!

I’m so excited about the new collections coming your way. I can definitely see a trend toward more urban and contemporary designs, large prints and fresh organic color palettes. But if that’s not your thing, no worries, there’s plenty of beautiful classic prints available, too.  Here’s a little preview of three of my favorite collections arriving soon at Marmalade Fabrics!

First, I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that Yoshiko Jinzenji’s collection for Yuwa Fabrics is scheduled to arrive at Marmalade Fabrics on Wednesday. In fact, there’s a truck somewhere between California and Kansas hauling her fabric as we speak. 

Yoshiko Jinzenji is an internationally known weaver, dyer, fabric artist, teacher and quilter. I think she’s most well known for her beautiful minimalist quilts. She’s inspired quilters from all over the world to embrace a minimalist style of quilting.

I’ve been anxiously waiting for Yoshiko Jinzenji’s line to arrive since I saw samples at the Spring Quilt Market this past May. There I was first exposed to her most recent book, Quilting Line and Color: Techniques and Designs for Abstract Quilts.  Wow! If you’re looking for fresh, contemporary inspiration, this book is for you. It was truly enlightening to see her work and get an inside look at her innovative artistry.  

I know you’ll want to see this next collection. Who doesn’t love Amy Butler’s classic style?

Lark was inspired by the 1950‘s fashionista model and style icon Maxime de la Falaise.  I'm drawn in by the rich colors and large bold prints.   

There’s no doubt that this collection will be an instant success. Lark is schedule to arrive at Marmalade Fabrics sometime in October. 

Last, but not least, I’m so excited to showcase Echo by Lotta Jansdotter. There’s really only two words needed to describe it - Urban Modern.

Even though the motifs are simple, they’re sophisticated and contemporary as well. I just love Lotta’s fresh palette of colors - neutral greys, orange, teal, gold, pink and navy.

My creative engines are running in high gear thinking about all the ways I want to use this fabric. Oh, the possibilities! Echo is expected to arrive in early November, and I can’t wait!

If you would like to take a closer look at the diverse collection of fabric currently in-stock including 140+ Kona Cotton Solids, come and visit me at Marmalade Fabrics. There’s no dress code, you don’t have to leave your husband in the car and you can stay as long as you want. Cheers!

Citron Gray Giveaway!

Today I'm giving away this 6 piece, 1/2 Yard Bunch of the Citron & Gray Collection.  For your chance to win, please answer this question: What’s the most important thing you look for when purchasing fabric online?  Thanks for your perspective!

Giveaway is open through noon (EST), Wednesday the 28th and ships anywhere in the world.  Good Luck!

Closed.  Comment #14 was our winner.  Erin of Invisible Girl, you've been emailed!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

thanks all around

Thank-you, Jacey, for the beautiful bag!

for me, from Jacey!

Spot clearly approves.  I think he made himself comfy just as soon as I finished looking at it?

Spot approves

I put it to use this very weekend!  It was the perfect place to stash my large, Loulouthi Tiles quilt for some hand-quilting while house-sitting.

handy this weekend!

Love that pocket!

cute pocket

Thank-you, Natalie, for creating a fun, open-ended concept for our do. Good Stitches blocks.  Here's the strip I'm contributing to the Love circle's September quilt.

"Red" Love block

With "red" and the overall size as the only parameters I ended up using my diamond die in my Go baby cutter to make diamonds from my stash.  And, look, I got to use some of Annie's Farm Stand Seed Catalog print and those fun chairs from Tufted Tweets.

Love block for do. Good Stitches

This mix of prints just makes me smile!

Thank-you, Susan, for being the cutest little fabric-lover that could ever be.  I think you're right.  Those fabrics really would make a cozy Christmas quilt...

Susan dreaming of Christmas

And, thank-you, (yes, YOU) for following along on these stitchy adventures.  It just wouldn't be the same without you.  I'm so glad you're enjoying Celebrate Color - the projects, the interview, the inspiration and contest.  Tomorrow, Monday the 26th, is the last day to enter projects into the photo pools to be eligible for September prizes.  After the 26th, you can still enter your projects into the same pools, but they'll be counted in the running for October.  I can't wait to see what you've been working on!

Friday, September 23, 2011

a Bag for Jacey

Progress: Figgy Toast

First, let me tell you about Jacey.  She's fun.  She's pretty.  She's nice.  But, don't hate her cause she's also a quilter, knitter, and everyday sewist whose blog Jaceycraft is one of my regular stops for inspiration.  Jacey has a way of combining colors that's pretty unexpected, definitely bold and downright cool.  I'm honored to have become her friend in that round-about, kind of mysterious way that can happen online. 

Simplicity 2274

Sometime in August, Jacey and I decided to make duffel bags for each other using Simplicity 2274.  Jeni at In Color Order made herself one of these over-sized travel bags which got a lot of us dreaming.  The idea was to get them to each other in time for The Sewing Summit, so that we can take these as carry-ons.

This was my first private swap, so I was definitely more than a little nervous.  Happily, Jacey made it easy by falling hard for Melody Miller's new line Ruby Star Spring.  I'm pretty fond of that bee too, and my sponsor, Marmalade Fabrics, stocks what I needed.  The tomato colorway really looks like it was made for Jacey.  I mean, purple, orange and mint green?  Who would have thought of that?  Probably just Melody and Jacey.  Mmm-hmm.

 Ruby Star Spring!

I got a yard of Spring Bee and a yard of Spring Bloom and crossed my fingers that I could make that work.  The pattern calls for quite a bit more, but Ruby Star Spring is 60" wide.

duffel bag 

Even with a bit of fussy cutting to get those bees in spots where they could be enjoyed, I'm very happy to say that it did work out!  I also added some Kona tangerine for a pocket lining and Kona berry on that front pocket to help make do.

a bag for Jacey

So how was the making?  In bits and pieces.  This bag was one of the three things I finished last weekend.  Since Jacey got her package yesterday, I'm able to show it to you now!  Overall, I didn't enjoy working with the tissue paper pattern.  Not so much because of the tissue paper (which is still a tad annoying), but because the directions were so, soooo frustratingly brief.  I was able to figure everything out eventually, sometimes re-reading sections a million times and once even talking myself through it on the phone with Jacey, but it was work.  I mean, all they'd have to do is include a few more sentences to be a bit more clear.  And we'd all be happier. Sooooo much happier!  Am I right?

End complaint.

pleated pocket

What I did enjoy was...

1.  Making something for Jacey
2.  Working with Ruby Star Rising, which has such a luxurious hand
3.  The embroidery.

hello bee

If you'd like a more detailed review of the pattern, definitely check out Jeni's post.  I did overstitch all of the inside seams as Jeni and the pattern suggest and prewashed everything, including the jute.  ALWAYS prewash that jute!  And, do it in the machine.  I did it in my sink for days (literally) and it wouldn't stop bleeding, even with a color catcher.

Um, what else?  Oh, yes!  I made her a journal with the scraps.  Of course.  I'm predictable like that.

Jacey's journal

I was really tickled to add those Red Letter Day ducks and the Erin McMorris orange floral print to this project since both of those scraps were gifted to me at some point by my friend Mary Claire.  How fitting that they should be passed along to another friend!  And the fabric goodness never stops giving...

<3 the embriodery

So, first personal swap?  Definitely a success!  Jacey's happy, so I'm happy.  And, as it happens, the mailman just brought me a box from a certain special someone while I was tippity typing up this post.  Off I go!
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