Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Caramel Apples Quilt Block 2

I love seeing how many varieties quilters can come up with for the same pattern. Some of the members of our guild are using more primitive/civil war style fabrics, there are a couple of really girly floral varieties, some modern variations, and even a Christmas version. I can't wait to watch these quilts evolve, and since we're all sharing them to the Facebook page it's easy to look back and see what everyone else is doing.

The first block for this month is a churn dash variation. I used my other Tula Pink focal fabric. Unfortunately my block wasn't perfectly square and without thinking I trimmed it to it's finished size. I don't have enough fabric to redo it, but the ladies in our group reminded me that the blocks have sashing so I'll be able to save it when it comes to assembling the quilt.

The bonus block is the bow tie and a row of HSTs. I was so excited when I had scraps of blue and grey fabrics with the same texture for my main and background fabrics. (It's hard to see, but the blue background fabric has the same pattern as the grey background.) I know that I want to include solids in my quilt and the HSTs felt like a good place for me to show some solid love.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Spring Shawl

We’re still a few weeks away from spring, but this yarn has me thinking thoughts of flowers, grass, and walks outside. I’ve made the hitchhiker shawl a couple of times, and decided to try another pattern in the series. Magrathea by Martina Behm is an asymmetrical shawl like Hitchhiker, but has a lacy edge. The pattern is pretty easy to follow, but I do have to keep the charts close at hand. 

I'm using some Alpaca Sox yarn I got on sale at my LYS. I've loved this yarn since it arrived at the shop, but couldn't justify getting it. When it was the last skein of this colorway in the sale bin I knew that I needed to give it a good home. I love how the lace gives it a delicate touch and yet there's still lots of straight knitting to show off this gorgeous colorway.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Caramel Apples Quilt Block 1

My LQS has a monthly sewing group, and challenges participants to work on a project together. Since my sewing machine repair business is based out of the shop it's really easy for me to participate. This year they chose to do the pattern "Caramel Apples" by Sue Carter of Turning Twenty. It's a bit of an odd choice since Stitch Studio focuses on being modern, but this pattern is so fun and full of potential that I think the participant in Sew Social will have a lot of fun. The pattern is written to use scraps so everyone's quilt will be unique.

I debated going with my usual solids, but I've decided to stretch myself and make a happy scrappy quilt that uses actual prints! Of course I'm the one making this quilt so there will still be plenty of solids and there's even been a batik or two that have snuck into my pile. This weekend I found two great fat quarters by Tula Pink that are going to be the focus of my quilt. I haven't done a lot of fussy cutting, but the bird in this block is so cute that there will be more fussy cutting in future blocks.

Although it's called a block of the month there are multiple blocks to make bonus blocks. This month our bonus block is the bear paw with additional strips. I told you some batiks snuck into my pile. I really love this large print floral that Kathy at Stitch Studio helped me pick out. It's definitely out of my comfort zone, but works perfectly with the colors of my quilt.

Friday, January 19, 2018

New Adventure

This post has been one I've been trying to write for the past several weeks. I'm not sure how many "new adventures" one person is allowed to have, but I've changed paths again. It seems that every time I change paths I come back to my blog. The blog may not last or might only be a post every month or two, but today I realized that I write my blog because I like writing. As much as I love having followers who have stuck with me through my long absences (thank you to all of you who are still here) and have even gained new followers (hi!) I write because I like it. Even when I'm not writing I find myself organizing my thoughts into paragraphs for writing so I need to start writing things down again. I also love my blog because it reminds me where I've been. It's easy to look back at adventures that didn't turn out how I planned and feel discouraged, but I read my old posts and remember the excitement I felt at the beginning and the joy I had during the journey.

So what's the newest adventure? I'm opening a sewing machine service and repair business! Two of my friends own Stitch Studio, my local quilt shop, and offered me the opportunity to start a business. The business is entirely mine, but they are offering me a space to work, advertising with their existing costumers, and mentors who recently started their own business. I also am returning to quilt designing. Designing patterns is something I've loved since I discovered quilting, but I've been so mentally exhausted with work that I haven't been able to create new patterns. The ideas have started flowing again and I expect there will be a lot of new quilts and patterns that I will be sharing. 

Since every post needs a picture I'm going to end this with a picture of Flamingo Love. This is a quilt I designed using the 2017 Kona Color of the Year for a competition at Stich Studio.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Fresh Snow

This spring one of my friends opened a quilt shop. They specialize in fabrics for the modern quilter. I think I've stated before that I don't really like batiks. They are beautiful fabrics, but a bit too formal for my tastes. Did you know that they make batiks that can appeal to the modern quilter? I sure didn't. It's caused a bit of an identity crisis to find more and more fabrics labeled as batik that I love. Recently Kathy sent me pictures of some of the new fabrics they'd gotten in the shop and asked if I could design a pattern for them.

I found a block in one of my dictionaries that I liked and before I knew it I had a quilt. (I really wish I could remember what block I chose and how it evolved into this quilt, All that I know is that I had the idea of using a single block as the layout, and then certain parts looked boring so I added another block here and changed a piece there until I had a design that I loved.)

One of the hardest parts (at least for me) of designing a quilt is taking pictures of the quilt that make it stand out. After scouring the internet for potential locations I discovered one of our nursing homes has a beautiful lobby. After getting permission to take pictures there I took the quilt and got my cover shot! I have so many ideas of ways to use their lobby for future quilts.

If you're interested in the pattern or kit be sure to check out Stitch Studio
*The kit isn't in the etsy store, but if you send them an e-mail I know they'll be happy to send one out.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Chubby Churn Dash

This weekend I had the opportunity to take a class with Mary Fons (yes THE Fons and Porter Mary Fons!) When I saw she was going to be teaching at a retreat center 30 minutes from my parents I knew I had to go. The class was aimed at beginners, but I wanted to meet the woman who taught me so much about quilting.  She joined her mom on the show around the same time that I started quilting. It was so nice to see someone my age asking the questions I wanted answered and making the same mistakes I was. We really did learn together.

The class used the half and quarter triangle ruler. I love learning different ways for making HSTs. It seemed weird at first to cut triangles out instead of squares, but I loved being able to press and move on with perfect HSTs. It was also really fun seeing how the quilters all made the same block, but every block was unique. It was so wonderful to get together in a relaxed setting and learn from each other. Most of the ladies and gentleman who were there have been quilting for several years and were there to meet and learn from Mary. (Even though we were experienced quilters who could have made a churn dash on our own I heard everyone say that they learned at least one thing in the class. If you ever have the opportunity to take a class from Mary DO IT!!!!!)

I lean towards the modern and while I haven't done improve or wonky, I do choose more modern colors. I decided to do (another) monochromatic quilt that plays on shades of grey. I did push myself though and chose grey prints. I might have a couple that are the same line or designer, but I chose fat quarters so for most of my fabrics I don't have a clue who designed or made it. As I was laying out my blocks they looked a bit flat so I added a pop of yellow to each block. It ties together all of the blocks and really makes everything pop.  I think there will be one yellow churn dash some where in the quilt too. I can't wait until I get the rest of my churn dashes made and get to see this quilt. I think it's going to be a stunning one.

Friday, August 7, 2015

New Job!!! New Calendar!!!

The past few months have been an unbelievable whirlwind of ups and downs. Most of them involve work and I don't want to say negative things about my past employer so I'm just going to say that it was a very stressful time. Unfortunately I had to take a break from my blog in order to preserve my sanity. The good news is I've gotten a new job that I'm so excited about. I've only been working for a week, but I can tell that it is going to be something significantly less stressful and hopefully more fun. I've fallen out of the habit of blogging so for now I'm going to commit to Friday posts. Hopefully by the end of the year I'll be familiar enough with the habit that I'll resume my old schedule of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday postings, but, as my mom reminds me frequently, I'm starting with baby steps.

One of the things I'm most excited about with my new job is a flexible schedule. Of course this means that every day is different and I don't have set hours. You'd think that with all of the school supplies on sale right now I'd have no trouble finding a calendar, but I'm picky. I found a great one for next year however that still left the last five months of this year that I needed to keep track of. I found this calendar on the clearance rack. It's not perfect, but it will work and the price was right.

What doesn't work for me is how boring it is. I received my copy of American Patchwork and Quilting this week and was thrilled when I saw Jean Wells' pattern for a notebook cover. I haven't been following the piece and play series the magazine has been hosting this year so I didn't want to try the curved, itty-bitty, insert strip piecing that Jean uses. Instead I used her instructions for measuring my notebook, gathering my supply list, and assembling the cover and went with a basic piecing plan for my cover.

I was so excited to find the deer fabric. I got a deal on the end of the bolt and had enough to use it for the lining of my journal. I used 3 fat quarters for the rest of the cover. I think when I make another cover I'm going to use a slightly bigger piece for the main fabric. My tabs are a bit short so I might add something to help hold the cover in place. For now it works and I love how much more personality my calendar has.