Friday, January 31, 2014

Snow Stitches

 snow stitches

This week we had a snow day!  Our first snow day (our only snow day).  Well, it was lovely!  I spent lots of time saying "Oh, how pretty! Oh, what nice light snow makes!  Oh!"  Just ask my family.  I also spent some time hand quilting a burst of rainbow scraps.

Snow!

And was able to finish it up in time to take these snowy pictures next morning, before it melted!   Thank-you, snow.

mini Rainbow Burst

Remember this?  I made two inverse rainbow scrappy works in December, when testing out an idea for Color Intensive.  It didn't turn out quite like I hoped, but I figured just what I'd do with them.

snow stitches

This one is my favorite, design-wise, so I hand quilted with pearl cotton (size 8) thread and fitted her with hanging triangles on the back.  Now it's a mini quilt!

Rainbow Burst mini quilt

If I hadn't been so distracted by fabric shopping today, I might have started work with its twin.  But, oh well, that's what weekends are for.  Here's to a stitchy one for all!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Patchy Mat with True Colors

Long, long ago I bought a bundle of Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks fabrics from dear old Sew Love Fabrics.  Oh, fabric of my heart!   As I was fresh faced and just dipping my toes into all this prettiness, I cut into that bundle for a simple patchwork kitchen mat, inspired by Suzuko Koseki's Patchwork Style.  Little did I know...

Patchwork Kitchen Rug

Years later Anna Maria remains my very favorite designer and I've made oodles of projects with her fabrics. So, when I heard that FreeSpirit was doing a True Colors collection, with versatile "basics" of sorts from Anna Maria Horner and some other tippity top designers, I didn't waste any time getting involved!  Today is my stop on the True Colors blog tour.

Patchy Mat for my kitchen

And I made a new kitchen mat.  It was time!

What, it looks just like the old one?  Well, no.  Nowadays the old one is kind of wonky shaped and faded from so many, many washings.  Any similarities are proof of how much I love it just so!

in Anna Maria Horner blend

True Colors really do mix well with Anna's other collections.  This mat includes fabrics from Good Folks, Field Study, Field Study Linen and Garden Party (i.e. Hand Drawn Garden).  I could have thrown in so much more!  I've been using True Colors in other projects too, since their release last year.  In fact... I have another in the works now!  Because they are one-color prints, they're easy to blend with just about anything!

recycled towel batting!

Want to know more about my mat?  The construction is a bit changed from the original (circa '09), since I've learned a thing or two since then.  For batting I used a bath towel that still has some life to give.  I marked quilting lines with my hera marker.  Those sharp creases are straight and fine. She's quilted up at 1/2" intervals with Coats & Clark cream thread.

non-slip backing

And to keep things from slipping willy nilly, I backed the mat with this non-slip fabric.  It doesn't full-on stick to the floor, but it does certainly help.

True Colors + misc. Horner fabrics

Patchy Mat love

So kitty and I, we're fans.  Thanks, FreeSpirit, for giving me a deadline to take care of the Sad Mat Situation.  All better!

photos by Anna Maria Horner and Sew 4 Home


Would you like some True Colors?  Of course you would!  Freespirit is spreading the love. We'll have three winners all in Anna Maria Horner's True Colors!  One winner receives a fat quarter bundle and two winners take home 1 design roll + 2 charm packs each.  Enter by adding a comment here now through noon on Saturday, February 1st.  Make sure you provide your email address, if you're a "no-reply" blogger, so I can contact you if you win. 

Good luck

psst... The next stop on the tour is Craft Buds tomorrow!

p.s.s.  Anna Maria Horner's True Colors collection is at:  Marmalade, Fabricworm, and Intrepid Thread and in Canada at Mad About Patchwork.


*********
Comments Closed.  Our FQ bundle winner is SueMac.  The precut winners are ittehgaps and felice.  I'll be in touch with each of you via email!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

done Good {Grace circle}

do. Good Stitches is a modern online community that quilts for good.  Over the years the bee has grown and grown, so that these days I find myself struggling to keep current with all the beautiful work being done.  I'm taking up the habit of cheering for them from here, in the way of finished object posts.  About once a month, I'll share some "done Good".  Today, Grace Circle takes the spotlight!

Browsing the do. Good Stitches flickr group, I came across a ton of recent finishes.  How encouraging to see that fruit from our Celebrate Good Stitches event!  I was struggling to choose just one quilt to feature today when I noticed that several of my favorites had been completed by the Grace circle.  And then.... wow!  Grace had finished SIX quilts in December!!!

Star Crossed. Quilt Top!


Early on in December, Robin of Tip Toe Tango turned this quilt top...

To: My Very Own Blanket


into this finished quilt, bound for My Very Own Blanket and the arms of a foster child.  Grace is one of do. Good Stitches' oldest circles, and as such has undergone many, many changes in membership.  Robin is serving as Grace's new host.  She finished this quilt for retiring host, Jenny Squawk.  It's great to see members work together to come to a finish when life gets crazy.  Nicely done all!

Star Crossed. Jean Back


I also have to share the quilt back.  Don't you love that dark fabric and contrasting bright pink binding?  Beautiful!  You can find a tutorial for this enlarged Star Crossed block on Jenny's blog. 

Grace @ do.Good Stitches - September block
by MegMormel


In September, Irelle of Jibberish Designs led the Grace quilt, requesting this block from Sew Mama Sew's Modern Block of the Month.  It might look humble, but check out what she did with it....

.


013
Woa, Nelly!  Is that not the most unexpected and fabulous layout you've seen for a bee quilt?  Simply stunning!

Plus, did you notice the quilting?  Irelle said, "I started the center of each spiral as free motion quilting and tried to keep the lines about 1/2" apart. Once I got to about 8 inches, I put on my walking foot and rotated the quilt around and around and around and around..... I like how the circles intersect which creates more interest than if I had just done one large circle over the entire quilt. My plan was to start in the center of each large block but once that part was done, it needed one more circle on the lower right hand side. It was very time consuming but I was pleased with the outcome."

I'll say!

Lastly, I'm eager to share this gorgeous wintry finish by Laura of Little & Lots for Grace circle.  I shared the blocks I guess-contributed awhile back.  Laura's c-c-c-cold color scheme doesn't disappoint!

snowy stars align detail


And since today there is SNOW on the ground in South Carolina for the first time this season, I can feel right akin to miss Laura!  Yay, for pretty snow!

finished snowy stars align quilt


This Grace circle quilt was made with the Stars Align block from Stitching and Bacon. What a beauty!

That's just 3 of Grace Circle's 6 December finishes.  Maybe visit them at Flickr to see the rest and send some encouragement their way?  Congratulations to the entire Grace circle, Flickr names:  Tip. Toe. Tango.,  littleandlots, Jibberish Designs, quiltfairy33, Sing All You Want, megmormel, onelittlethread, rockETgum, beadqueene, klinky04, Melissews.

**Learn about do. Good Stitches here.  While quilts of all styles are wonderful acts of charity, this bee intends to bring together active Flickr-users who enjoy sewing with modern fabrics.  To join the wait list, please use this form.**

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Scrappy Stars baby quilt

It was flying a bit close to the wire, but I did get that quilt done in time for the shower!

cheeky backside

6" finished stars made entirely from scraps.  So satisfying, but not incredibly fast to work up into a quilt!  I did use the wonky star piecing approach so that I didn't have to cut or measure any of the triangle star points. 

Timeless Treasures Cuddle Fox

Look what I found for the backing.   It's a cuddly "softie" print by Timeless Treasures, who actually has a whole softie collection of prints.   They kindly obliged my request to send some this way.  And then I petted it and promptly quilted it...

Continuous eight again

once again with the continuous eight.

Continuous eight, how I love thee. Let me count the ways...
  • It's fast.  This is the fastest way for me to quilt.  Faster than straight lines.  Faster than, well anything else I can do!
  • It's secure.  All those crossing loops add extra durability!
  • It's gender neutral.  It's not flowers!  
  • It's classic.  The continuous eight looks like something that's been around.  It reminds me of stippling, but seems more elegant?
  • It works in rows.  I appreciate the orderly nature of rows, so I never wonder where to go next!
Anyways, I can see why Denyse Schmidt had almost all her quilts in her latest book quilted in this style.

 all finished!

Scrappy Stars baby quilt

So glad my friend wanted a "not boy" quilt for her baby boy.  I enjoyed pulling all kinds of colors from my scraps, creating a milieu that's boy-friendly, but diverse. 

Timeless Treasures Cuddle Fox

I'm thinking her baby will just be glad for the minky!

bound in Comma Periods!

Bound in Comma Periods.  Ready to be loved, dragged and cuddled to pieces. 

Enjoy, baby Jude!

scrap love

Monday, January 27, 2014

Pink Is Winners

It's a brand new week!  Lots of possibilities to make and to enjoy.  I think it's going to be a very good one!  Let's start by congratulating the two winners of our Pink Is mosaic contest...



First we have this Tutus + Ballet Slippers mosaic by Gramma Maggie!  Pink and black is always a great combination.  Her black and gray choices temper the soft, girly feel of the pinks.  Maggie chose cool pinks with romantic rose and berry tones.  And the text print is the icing on the cake!

{Fabrics}  Line 1Hello Petal Stripe;  Spot On Small Dots PepperAcacia Pineapple Slices  Line 2Posy Daisy Geranium; Kona Snow; Spot On Small Dots Black Line 3Liberty Art Fabrics; Yuwa Calligraphy; Kona Blush Pink  Line 4Hearts + Dots Gray; Squared Elements Rosewater; Spot On Small Dots White


Our second winner is Erin of Sew At Home Mummy, whose pink and lime mosaic has such a nice focus.  Feeling ready for spring?  I'm especially draw to that Alexander Heath print (fabric no. 2) and the vine-y lime print at bottom left.  Great work, Erin!

{Fabrics}  Line 1:  Notting Hill Kaleidoscope;  Alexander Heath Pink Ground; Pure Organic Pink   Line 2:  Hello Petal Stripe; Minimalista Script Watermelon; Simply Style So Hexy   
Line 3Interweave Chambray Strawberry; Scrumptious Bias Stripe; Pure Organic Chartreuse  Line 4:  Ipanema Flora Stripe; True Colors Mod Dot Olive; Fun + Games Geometric Green

Congratulations to our winners who will receive their bundles in fresh, delicious cotton real soon!  A great big thanks to Sew Modern for sponsoring our fun.

Thanks to all of you for participating with your mosaics and your votes.  Have a happy Monday!

Friday, January 24, 2014

::Voting:: Pink Is

Good morning!  This morning it was my pleasure to look through your
Pink Is mosaics and choose finalists.  Someone asked recently how I go about choosing.  Well, I start by looking at every. single. mosaic. in one sitting.  I open a ton of tabs and keep open any that stand out to me.  Next I sort the tabs, grouping similar mosaics together so that I can do the painful job of eliminating all but 10.  My goal is to choose mosaics that feel cohesive and inspiring.  Of course, that's completely subjective!  I also make sure to have a good variety of color schemes.

Thanks for the lovely start to my day!

Enjoy perusing these lovely fabric mosaics from Sew Modern! 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 midnight (eastern U.S. time) on Sunday, January 26th.   The two winning mosaics with the most votes will be announced on Monday.

Good Luck Everyone!  

study-in-pink_2
"Tutus and Ballet  Slippers" by Gramma Maggie

Second Pink Mosaic
"Berries + Peaches" by Ants to Sugar
Pink is {spring}
Pink is Spring by Erin D

Pink Is...
Pink is Pretty by Allison Dutton

Pink is... mysterious
Pink is Mysterious by Daisy Spirits

Pink Is...
Hot Pink, Coral + Berry by Badskirt Amy

Pink is Bubblegum by Michelle Bartholomew

Mosaic in Flowers and Ice
Flowers + Ice by Kim Kolb

Pink Mosaic Light
Pink is Light by Meg

study-in-pink_1
Study in Pink by Gramma Maggie


Thursday, January 23, 2014

all full

all full

scrappy stars

My, it's late and I'm only just now sitting down to say, "Hi".  Today was filled to the brim!   It was one of those days where I had to stop and tell myself firmly, "We can't do it all!"   So we didn't. 

I was hoping to spend some time piecing more scrappy stars, but didn't even get to uncover the machine.  Sound familiar?  I'm sure!

stuffing Kona cards

There's been a lot of this going on! Your Kona Color Cards are packed by little miss...

folding labels

Labels folded by this blurry boy.  That is, unless they're out "breaking ice" (a favorite winter sport around our farm); then I did it all.   You may be able to tell too!  Grin, is your label straight?

Sunset over scrappy stars

Now, with dishes done, I'm finding my place at the machine at last, squeezing in a snapshot and making the machine whirr before the sun goes down.

pitter patter

I'm going to finish this top tonight, I declare!  Only a few stars left.  Wish me luck?

p.s.  I'm all warm and toasty over here because of your very kind comments for yesterday's Chai Rose ikat quilt.  Thank-you, thank-you for your support! 

xo,

Rachel

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chai Rose Ikat Quilt

Ikat quilt for Color Intensive

How are ideas born?  You can't force them.  You have to wait, to bide your time, eyes open for those bolts of inspiration, sometimes achingly far between, other times thick as a storm. 

I'd been going through a bit of a dry patch and was wrapping up a particularly frustrating day when I plunked myself down on the sofa with my sketchbook, wishing for an idea to land.

inspired by this Ikea rug

Twiddle, twaddle, la, la..... Soon I fell to admiring my new rug, and pondered and smiled and began sketching it into block form.  Why not?  It was bound to happen eventually. My design echoed the rug in the center, but evolved into something quite different at the edges.  And then - oh my! - the edges did connect in such a wonderful way.  When I finally tucked away my sketchbook, it was late, but all was well.  So well!  I would make this quilt.  I had to make this quilt.  And it was going to be fabulous.

Ah, yes, new ideas are always fabulous!

special fabrics!

Turns out this one was a bit late.  I absolutely wanted to include the design in Color Intensive workshop and to have it to show you upon registration day. 

Which was So. Very. Near. 

Insistent on paper piecing for maximum design clarity, I made my test blocks.  Then I got help!

Chai Rose ikat quilt

This is the quilt our family made.  Aria and Liam pressed seams so I could stay at the machine, stitching away, and Brandon pitched in by printing and cutting the paper foundations.  I couldn't have done it without family and friends in such a short amount of time.  

Somewhere along the way Aria began admiring the quilt. The colors, the fabrics, the design (I had used some old favorites by Anna Maria Horner, after all), they were all speaking to her.  And, I suspect that helping make it also did her in.  Well, she needed a new quilt to replace her threadbare one, so Chai Rose now lives on her bed.  I'm so glad it has a place with us.  I think we've all become quite attached.

Ikat Quilt for Color Intensive

This is definitely a design that delights whether viewed right up close or from afar.  Hurrah!  I love it!

A note on the colors.  I started this quilt with a nephew in mind, a nephew who wanted black and orange.  Well, I can't do black and orange.   From the beginning I added white, gray, brown (basically all the neutrals) trying to tone down the black and orange (wink).  I made 3 blocks this way before throwing in the towel on such a bleak color scheme.  I loved the design too much to not make it "me".  Out came pink, red, purple, peach.  These girly colors breathed fresh life into the quilt, which was now most certainly not for my nephew.

 Ikat Quilt for Color Intensive

In the end I am entirely thrilled with the colors!  It feels mature, yet feminine.  The subdued neutrals and high contrast along the black/white chains make the quilt easy to get lost within, while still calming.   I know I wouldn't have ended up here if I didn't start there.  That's the nice thing about getting outside of your color comfort zone!

Ikat quilt for Color Intensive

The Ikat Quilt pattern for a twin-sized quilt comes with my Color Intensive online workshop, registration open now!  Each block is 20" square.  Add or subtract blocks to easily suit your needs!  Pattern includes paper piecing or traditional piecing instructions.

Ikat Quilt binding

Can't wait to see yours!
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