Friday, June 29, 2012

Simply Stacked v. 2

Thanks so much for your thoughts on my little fling quilt!  I'm feeling so indecisive, but I expect to take action on that little guy this weekend.  Sometimes you just don't know until you have to know.  That seems to be the case here.  I'd really like to free motion quilt it, but my new Pfaff sewing machine may refuse.  (Yep, there is trouble in sewing machine paradise.  Tension trouble, probably stemming from the auto tension feature, which used to work beautifully but now is failing at straight stitch.  And my old machine doesn't like to free motion, so we'll see....)

Simply Stacked *boy*

Anyhoo, today I have a new quilt top finished!  It's the boy version of Simple Stacked, which is a companion to the girl version I shared exactly a month ago.

Neutrals + aqua, teal, orange

The backing for both twin-sized bed quilts is on it's way to my house, so I'll be in full on quilting mode next week.  Gosh, that's three quilts in the queue?  So much to quilt sounds totally overwhelming!  Breathe, breathe.

Simply Stacked coin quilt

Both of these stacked coin quilts are gifts for a family I love whose little boy and girl share a room.   The boy quilt is Neutrals (with a capital "N") plus aqua, teal and all shades of orange.  I popped in some Summersville, Happy Drawing, natural linen and various Kona solids like Papaya and my constant favorite, Everglade.

12 rows for a twin quilt

This was a great project to take along, since the 60" long strips are sewn independently.  When I had 12 strips pieced, I trimmed them down to 8.5" wide and sewed them together to create a 60" x 96" quilt.  It's an easy quilt!  The only thing to watch for is that your fabrics are nicely scattered across the quilt, especially the dark values which grab the most attention.

now the quilting...

Alright, now I"m going to put my thinking cap on about how to quilt these Simply Stacked quilts.  The first step in that direction is to ask my Pfaff if it is up to free motion quilting.  I'm going to pull out a practice quilt sandwich right now.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

a little fling

At the very last minute I brought along some of my smallest scraps last weekend.  Sunday Morning Quilts had inspired me to create miniature log cabins with only one round and lots of contrast between the center piece and that round.  I figured a baby boy quilt was in the works, so I pulled all shades of blue, green, yellow and orange, with a sprinkle of red.  And, before I got tired of making them, I had a grid of 16 blocks!

by me

What a fun way to use little scenic scraps, like the Meet the Gang folks, Laurie Wisbrun's trucks and the like.  I even let the Good Folks scraps play.  It was all about using them up!

all from scrap!

Today I made a few more, having decided on finishing at 25 blocks.  This bit of batting thrown over a curtain rod is standing in as my temporary design wall. Works!

temporary design wall

Just after dinner I added Kona Spice, which is a rusty orange color that's a good bit less saturated than the log cabin blocks themselves.  I wanted an offset layout, but with only a yard available, this is as good as it gets.   Right now it's 33" x 43".  I'm just thinking to make a crib quilt so this is physically big enough, but I'm not sure if it's visually right.  Do you think I should add a border?  Maybe a solid or near solid to enlarge the quilt and enforce the offset placement?  Or, does it look right already?

a little fling... does it need more?

One thing's for sure, I love that Spice with these fabrics.  It's bold, but rich.  Reminds me of an old, rusty tractor.  I see it in a baby room with natural wood tones and perhaps some weathered furniture?

  a little fling

Blocks finish at 4" square.  Start your squares at 2" or so for the same kind of proportions I have here.  And, be sure to choose fabrics that really contrast to the center!

4" finished scrappy log cabins

Now, seriously, do you think it's done?  And then I get to imagine how to quilt all that negative space...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

just Shopping

Yep, just shopping... just shopping at Whipstitch!  My home away from home in Atlanta. 

The only time we left home over the sewing weekend was to journey in town to the Whipstitch store to peruse the fabricy goodness therein.  And, there is a bit more fabricy goodness at the physical store than living on the virtual Etsy shelves, which makes a visit there all the more fun. 

Come along with me?

Whipstitch

There are Monsterz at the door!

Monsterz!

And some pretty cool quilts on the walls...

wow. that. quilt.

And, if Deborah's there you can spot her friendly smile or silly banter from a mile away (if you have x-ray vision). 

Deborah!

Most everyone was pulling from Ellen Lucket Baker's Quilt Blocks.  I did!

miss Ara Jane

The wall of hoops is guaranteed to make you smile.

at Whipstitch

These Ric Rac Rabbits informed me that a quilt is in my future.

Creative Thursday!

I think these bolts were in my hands within seconds of entering the door?  No joke.

um... me?

So, here's what a brought home, one way or another.

Summersville, Quilt Blocks, Lizzy, Alexander Henry

Summersville Brush Strokes - the scale is perfection, Flying Stripe, Jewels and Alexander Henry's new La Paloma.  After cutting so many neutrals for the Simply Stacked coin quilts, these seemed warranted.

Summersville, Half Moon, Melody Miller

More Summersville, some of which is already in quilt form and Half Moon and typewriters from miss Melody Miller!

Quilt Blocks, Monsterz, Zakka Style

And then, just for fun... more Quilt Blocks.  Bright lemon yellow Static from Monsterz and Zakka Style by Rashida Coleman-Hale

Yep, quite the loot.  New fabric is always inspiring.  Now, I'm really done writing about it and desperate to start sewing.  Like, I need to do it NOW.  I'll work on some things and show you a project tomorrow, fingers crossed!

Monday, June 25, 2012

sewn surfaces

When sewing machines (and their captive operators) converge in one space (of any size), sewn surfaces emerge, multiply, astound.

my space
my space

color, color
color, color

messing around
a little fling by me

by Jessica at A Little Gray
x & + patchwork by A Little Gray

by Jaceycraft
friendship braid by Jaceycraft (on my dear, old Kenmore)

by Holly at Bijou Lovely
triangles by Bijou Lovely

from Modern Quilting
from Modern Quilting by My Sewcial Hour

by me
me again

by Amanda at My Sewcial Hour
color heaven! by Amanda

Surfaces too pretty not to share, right?

As always, the "other" is an endless source of inspiration.  I return home eager to log all the little ideas that must now be pinned down, mulled over, developed or enacted immediately as the case may be. 

I do love new ideas!

Friday, June 22, 2012

taking along...

Today I am off and running... driving actually to Atlanta!  I am SO stoked.  I cut a project to take along, it's the second coin quilt I'm making for a friend.  I would say "sister" quilt, but actually I guess I made the sister first.  This one is a brother!

time to cut!

In the evenings, the sun sets over the barn in the backyard and spills really warm light in through the small western window in my new sewing room.   I was working away cutting this stack of neutrals + aqua + teal + oranges into 9" strips of various thicknesses.

Happy Drawing too!

The light can be incredibly harsh, actually.  It illuminated all the flaws on my much-used cutting mat and the shadows grew longer and longer, while these cute Happy Drawing scraps made their way into the quilt.

take alongs

By morning I had a hefty stack of neatly cut fabrics.  So, soooo many fabrics.  Scrappy delight. There are lots of currently available prints in here like the Metro Circles, Modern Meadow Herringbone, Pezzy prints, Lizzy's stripe, Happy drawing scribbles and Heath by Alexander Henry.  But lots else that I've collected over time.  I love the variety that builds from keeping and sewing from stash!

I wonder how much I'll sew together on the trip?  The talking and visiting will be far higher on the priority list!

Before I leave you for the weekend, I thought I'd share a few "Weekend Wishes" to borrow a phrase from Shannon.

weekend wishes

That those of you in Handstitched Class enjoy moments like this over your embroidery.

I'll take a few...

That those of you near Atlanta sneak away to join us at Whipstitch on Saturday morning/lunch (that's tomorrow!).

by OnceWed via Pinterest

And that everyone everywhere finds something sweet to take along or take away from our weekend rest!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Scrap Challengers!

Mostly, I don't know what I was thinking, imagining that a modest number of you would be up for the challenge. With 100 ideas rolling in for Bloomerie's Summer Breeze bundle, I gave up hope long ago on hand picking the challengers with one hand tied behind my back. Nope, this monumental task surely requires two hands and at this point definitely involves some luck.

Summer Breeze Scrap Challenge!


After narrowing my list to about a dozen, I asked Lady Luck to shine on just 4, with the caveat that they should include both contestants I know (as in, I've seen them around the vastness that is blogland) and contestants whose spaces I had the pleasure of visiting for the first time through this process. Without further ado, our challengers are...

Christen of Love Elaine, who said, "I sew a lot of aprons and something about these fabrics are inspiring me to create a new apron design! The colors are reminding me of fresh herbs, and I can see a half apron with hand sewn hexies, a ruffle and maybe even a bit of eyelet trim."

from Love Elaine
Natalie of Greenleaf Goods, who said, "Oh oh, this seems like it might be fate! After working on some big projects lately, I just sketched out a plan for a baby quilt I'm hoping to make soon-- and it would be the perfect match for these fabrics! My design only uses smaller pieces of print fabric to make the colors pop, and I can definitely visualize this stack becoming a soft, cuddly little baby quilt.

baby quilts on the porch rail
from Greenleaf Goods

Laurel of Sing All You Want, who said, "Oooh, what fun! I'm seeing scrappy curtains paired with a light linen or voile. Or something pretty for the home like a pillow or fabric baskets. Thanks for the opportunity!"

Maggie's Work
from Sing All You Want
Stephanie of Sewing by Stephanie, who said, "I don't know what I'd make but I LOVE the idea of a competition. I think if I was a participant I'd make something that pushes the limit of what I normally do!"

Little Leaves quilt detail
from Sewing by Stephanie
And if you're thinking, "she totally should have picked me", you're probably right!  I'll try to pick you next time.  A great big thanks to Bloomerie for this fun challenge.  It sounds like it's something we'll have to do again!  (And, if the Summer Breeze bundle had your name written all over it, do visit Bloomerie to get what's meant to be yours.)

Have fun, challengers!  We can't wait to see what you cook up!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Poppy covered journal

What?!?  Another journal cover?  Perhaps it is an annual affliction, because I do believe the first series began about this time last year.  Alas.

Poppy journal cover

The Poppy cover allowed me to test some applique techniques for Handstitched Class.  There are oh-so-many ways to applique and then even more options for hand sewing the prepared shapes.  I believe I have everything sorted out now for the actual Handstitched project (which will be a pillow), except that I'm not sure I like the look of the white blanket stitching around the white edge of the flower.  Maybe a blind stitch or running stitch instead?

Poppy inside

I used a few large Loulouthi (Summer Totem in Tart and also here) scraps in the making.  This riot of bright colors feels so very "now".  Extra little scraps filled in the blanks to finish her off.

more Loulouthi love

I just can't get enough of Anna Maria Horner's big, bold blossoms.

Sleeping Bag Tutorial

Let's see... I also might mention that I'm a finalist in Jennifer's Summer Sewing Contest.  Should you care to vote, you'll find it's a tough cookie.  Lot's of gorgeous things!  I entered Liam's sleeping bag into the home decor category - what a laugh!  But, Jennifer and I figured that was a reasonable place for it, since there wasn't a category for "immensely useful things".  Congrats to all the finalists, whom I've seen popping by here.  And thanks to those who've visited!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bloomerie Scrap Challenge!

How about a little fun?

A little, lighthearted challenge?

New fabric is involved, people! And not in the usual way.

Jess at Bloomerie Fabrics and I have something in mind to get your creativity flowing.  It's a breezy mix of seven fabrics from Flora, Hello Pilgrim, Lucy's Crab Shack, Sanctuary and a Kona solid. Summer Breeze is a fat sixteenth bundle we've conjured like a cool wave of fresh air.  Take a closer look...

Summer Breeze Scrap Challenge!

Ooh la la!  Now, what would you make with it?  Seriously, start thinking because it's yours for the taking.  Four participants will receive a scrap bundle of all fabrics shown in 9" x 11" pieces entirely free.  But, of course there's a catch.... you have to sew with it!  I know, that's asking a lot.  You probably hate sewing and there's just nothing on your "to sew" list, but there it is.  Yep, there's always a catch.

Summer Breeze Scrap Challenge!

Let's talk nitty gritty...  On Thursday of this week I'll announce the 4 participants, our scrap challengers.  As soon as we have your address info, Bloomerie will mail out those fabrics, likely getting them in the mail by Saturday.  Then, you must make something... anything!!!! using all 7 scrap fabrics, plus one fabric of your own choosing if desired.  So, you can add the extra fabric, but you don't have to.  You do have to use all 7 scraps, but you can use a little or a lot of each.  Participants can use their own buttons, trims, etc. to embellish if needed.

There's a deadline!  Really, it's a good thing, cause that means you'll enjoy this now.  You must finish sewing your project and post pictures by Sunday, July 8th.  (For that reason, we're going to have to limit the challenge to U.S. residents.  We hate having to do that, but we've seen such a huge range in the amount of time international orders take to deliver.)  Participants can either share the results on their blog, or if they don't blog, sharing pictures on flickr will do.  We want to see what you make because...

Summer Breeze Scrap Challenge!

You and your project will be featured here!  On July 9th, I'll be posting about you, with pictures of your project and hopefully some tidbits about your process.  Looking forward to it!  You people never fail to inspire me!  Now, all we have to do is figure out which of you 4 are destined to receive a cool Summer Breeze?

So, go ahead, convince me.  I'll hand pick our participants (make sure you are a U.S. resident and can post finished project pictures by July 8th on your blog or flickr stream), quite possibly with one hand tied behind my back.

I'm sure this could get interesting...
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