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.

Blogger Tricks

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.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Sisters Sewing Day

*Sorry for the wordiness of this post. The story is one I'm so excited to share, but there's not a lot of pictures. Feel free to scroll down to the bottom of the post to see pictures of the Barbados Bag I made this weekend.

My little sister got jipped when it came to sewing lessons. I'm pretty sure that I was not the best of students (it's possible that I begged for lessons and my mom decided to teach me before I was really ready to learn and ended up breaking her sewing machine) and when my sister was old enough to learn she was battling with some pretty serious health problems. She's had the desire to learn and event knows a little about sewing. Not only that she has quite the stash of fabric from our grandmother and has the machine our mom got when she graduated from high school. I've been dragging her to quilt shops for a while and she's even started buying fabric for that future day when she's learned to sew/quilt.

This weekend we went shopping together and I needed to stop at the LQS to get some interfacing. As I was finding what I needed checking out the new fabrics she started poking around the sample bags that they have. She found the Barbados Bag by Pink Sands Design and asked if I could help her make it. Of course I agreed and we immediately started picking out our fabrics. I wanted to help her make the bag rather than doing it for her so I got fabric to make my own. 

I've tried teaching things to my sister in the past, but since our learning styles are very different it usually ended up in a half finished project and hurt feelings. This time I decided to work one step ahead of her and let her follow the pattern. It worked wonderfully because I had the time to figure out what we were doing. I also let her  follow the pattern and answered questions as she asked them. The only bad thing is that since she was a step behind me the whole time she didn't have her bag finished when it was time for me to leave.  She's got her strap sewn so I think she should be able to do the last steps on her own with phone support as needed.

As promised here's the pictures of my bag!

The back of the bag. (The full shot of the back turned out better than the front.) The blue fabric is divided into two pockets.

On the front of the bag there's a pocket behind the grey pebbly fabric and the blue fabric creates a zippered pocket. The top of the bag is also shut with a zipper. Zippers are still a little scary, especially when step 6 starts with the instructions "Don't be too afraid of this step!"

Thankfully the pattern is very well written with lots of pictures so it was easy to understand. The inside of the bag has two more pockets. I was so excited to find this purple flower fabric. It's the perfect lining and adds this touch of hidden color just for me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Knothole Moebius Update

It's looking like a tangled mess right now, but it's growing.  (I love how the blue in thd yarn is the same as the blue on my quilt back. I hate that its May and one quilt is barely enough in the morning.)

It's a bit hard to tell, but there are all of these little loops or knotholes in the piece. I can't wait to block it and have those spaces really shine. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Knothole Moebius

I've been enjoying working on my Knothole Moebius Cowl this week. It's a fairly simple pattern so it's easy for me to work on it at the end of the stressful work days that I've been experiencing. My one complaint is that every other row is purl. I don't know why, but purling is not nearly as fun as knitting.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Casting On and On and On

I debated whether or not I wanted to write this post since there isn't much to see. Since I'm trying to get back into regular blogging and I've committed to showing the truths of creating and not just the end result I give you my moebius scarf. When I fell in love with the pattern I thought I was making a mobius scarf where the piece is knit flat and then twisted at the end. Turns out it's knit with the thing twisted from the cast on. All I can say is thank goodness for YouTube. I think I watched Cat Bordhi's tutorial a dozen times and ripped it out three times before everything made sense. I'm still knitting the first round so I'm not completely out of the frogging stage, but it's starting to show some hope.