Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bloggers Quilt Festival: Home is Where Harts Is


EDIT: you can cast your vote for Viewer's Choice HERE for a limited time. 

I'm very proud of my original design and feel it is in a style reminiscent to the way that I paint so I've chosen it for the Art Quilt Category.   An abstract view from the beach.
Home is Where Harts Is 
 Shot cotton has such a wonderful essence and I loved working with it.  The seagull is purposefully a different fabric and not quilted to give it an extra emphasis.  

Sections at a time
auditioning placement


Finished - on the design wall 
I was glad to make a third version of the quilt with shot cotton and love the subtle blue variation that looks like blended paint strokes. 

quilting details


A change of free motion style throughout lends to the overall expressive vibe. 

Sewing the store samples, writing the pattern and having the design open for opinion on social media was pretty far outside my comfort zone.   Having an abstract improv row was pretty unusual for the Row by Row Experience event come to find out and I was please with how many supportive comments it received.  

Binding Bonding

With a theme of "Home Sweet Home" it was easy to feel immediately connected to the project because after all it is located in the neighborhood where I grew up and I've been shopping there since I was a little girl.  
Original Bolt Pull

Three samples seemed fitting for the triptych inspired view from the beach depicting a Seagull in Flight, California poppy field and the Santa Cruz mountains.  The design was from images in my head and memories more so than directly from specific photographs. 

All three versions
I also felt it was important to show variety so that makers would be less inclined to duplicate the exact design.  Since the store sold three different kit options: Kona light, Kona dark and Shot Cotton, it worked out well.  Although they are only 9"x36" each the steps to piece, quilt, bind and sleeve them all took a lot of hours!  

The Row by Row Experience Kits - Photo from Hart's

Linking up to Amy's Creative Side Blogger's Quilt Festival Art Quilt Category 

Bloggers Quilt Festival - Baby Makes Three

EDIT: you can cast your vote for Viewer's Choice HERE for a limited time. 

I've chosen this quilt for Blogger's Quilt Festival Small Quilt category because it was a fun technique based QAL that I enjoyed tweaking to make my own. 
Baby Makes Three Quilt

My finished #crosscutquiltalong was one of those unplanned sewing delights.  I hopped on board the Quilt Along with hostess @aquilterstable and came out the other end with an actual quilt to gift instead of a typical WIP.   Seeing the variety based on fabric and modifications was a real treat.  


True Up trimming

Part of the incentive was using up the Black and White 10" squares from an old Flickr swap and a Kona solid jelly roll with colors that played along nicely with a jelly roll of Cotton and Steel basics. 


Process Shots

Because I was using 2.5" pre-cuts, I sewed them on and cut the excess off to use in the next step.   Since this step differs from the tutorial I made a point of photographing to illustrate this method as another option.


The binding was stitched on just in time for show and tell at the traditional guild I belong to and I brought it to my MQG meeting too.  I tried to describe the process of sewing, cutting apart and sewing together but when you put it that way it just sounds like what we all do in quilting right? 



I needed the "before" version to hold up next to it. Glad it was well received by the group and I got several compliments after. 

Before the re-slice step
For the quilting, I did an organic gentle wave with several 40 wt Aurifil threads. 

Quilting Details
The wind picked up during the photo shoot but I kind of love this shot because it shows off the perfect stash backing.  

Peak a Boo Back

When I gifted the quilt to the expectant parents, I pointed out the "Baby Makes Three" detail.  


Namesake "Baby Makes Three"
Some projects torture me once the tops are done and it's time to choose the backing and binding because there are so many ways to go.  This quilt had a strong voice and took very little auditioning before settling on this combo.

Top and Essential Parts

"Baby Makes Three"

Crosscut Quilt Along

42"x47"

Started 7/30 done 8/8
Gifted

Linking up to Amy's Creative Side Bloggers Quilt Festival Small Quilt Category Fall 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Festival Time


Amy's Creative Side Blogger's Quilt Festival  has always been a favorite of mine.  Not only is it fun to participate by linking up, it's the perfect inspiration resource.  Browse back and visit previous entries from Blogger's you may just now be discovering.  

I'm certain of one of the quilts that I will choose but unsure what else will add to this list.  


My Previous Blogger's Quilt Festival Entries: 

Fall 2015 
Perspective - Small Quilts
Castles in the Sand - Original Design

Spring 2015
Goats Askew - Original Design 
IG Mini - Mini 

Fall 2014
Look Who's Walking - Small Quilt

Spring 2014
Giant X-Plus  - Scrappy
Rip Tide - ROYGBIV

Fall 2013
Tassels - Group/Bee

Fall 2012
Old Italian Block - Scrap/ROYGBIV/Bed

Spring 2012
Catalyst (aka Mod Mosaic) - my first time to participate 

I'd love to hear from you about your experience with the Festival or about an annual tradition in your town.  

Friday, September 2, 2016

PG: Parental Guidance



This one.  The long overdue quilt for my youngest son is finally finished.  He's waited so patiently for it and there really is no excuse why it is late.  It's not like subconsciously I didn't want to admit my baby was all grown up, right?
 85"x95"
One day I will make a collective collage of all the 21st Birthday quilts I've made for my nieces, nephews and sons but I've got one more to sew before I can do that.   11 out of 12 feels accomplished and considering I was on time for the first 9 of those, well that's something.
(back) second front
By the time I got the top done I was really tempted to find a 108" wide and call it good.  But, you know - it's such a special quilt.  So instead pushed myself to create the jumbo version of the block, piecing scraps together as needed.   My friend Lori saved me big time with the fabric used in the border so that I could build it out large enough.
binding in bed
Thanks to wonder clips and a needle minder, I spent the weekend in bed with a marathon binding session stitching down the binding and binge watching Stranger Things and Gilmore Girls.  It happened to fall on the first Modern Quilt Guild Virtual Sew Day so that was fun.
parts in process
I was fortunate to use my friend Pat's longarm and although it was quite the learning curve and probably not the best first project to take on considering the size and fussy placement of the back,  we had a great time hanging out and it was in the end a big success.  

Funny enough I was worried about the light thread contrasting on the dark fabric and although it was intimidating stitching on those blocks, I could see what I was doing much better than then when it blended on the light.
layout fun
Isn't this shot a crack up?  With photos unless there is an object to judge it's hard to tell size.
sham glam
The measurement of the motif determined the width of the shams and the pillows were fortunately close to being the same width.  At the suggestion of my friend Anna at our guild Sew Day I boxed the corners for a cleaner fit.

stacks and steps
Naming a quilt is something I enjoy - a feeling not shared by everyone apparently - check out Debbie's post and reader comments to see what I mean.    Of course it's a delectable mountain because that's the block name, but it deserves a title. It's been referred to "my Retreat quilt" because I've taken it to every single one over the years.
retreat 
I've also called it my Parson Gray (PG) quilt because although I have a scrappy aesthetic, my son does not and pre-approved each fabric used.   So with a play on the initials, I've titled it Parental Guidance.   I'm happy to say, he's grown into wonderful young man and I am extremely proud to be his mom.  

On that note, I'll leave you with this treasured photo from when he was no bigger than my sewing machine.  

Linking up to TGIFF 
and later on to FALQ3 for the quilt and the shams (2 of my 6 goals)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

In Memory Of

Memory Quilts by Anne Sullivan
In our house, dogs are family.  In fact truth be told, they kind of ran the place. If you're "a dog person" you get that.   Our friend Anne does and the quilts that she made in their memory will be treasured forever. 

We are so fortunate to have had Chase and Dottie in our lives for a long loving time which in turn makes the heartbreak of their loss so much deeper.   We said goodbye to Dottie in September and to Chase one moon ago.   

Chase-front
Chase was addopted in October 2012 from the Peninsula Humane Society after researching and visiting a few German Shorthair Pointers in foster care.  When they walked him out to the yard to let us spend time together, he climbed right up on my hubby's lap and that was it.  He had chosen his family.  Our boys were in elementary and middle school which acts as an unmistakable marker of time.   We immediately found him a companion, aninseparable  soulmate, Dottie.

Chase - back
Chase - Label
Anne and Chase May 2015
Before Anne moved away, far far away - we would have basting parties and collaborate on projects.  Chase was not a lap dog for just anyone.  He knew how to choose his humans.
Quilting detail back
I absolutely love everything about the quilt and am so touched, beyond words.  Chase was here when we received the Dottie quilt in the mail.   It is difficult to adjust and we are still grieving the loss, but there is also something that now feels complete having them together again, captured in fabric by thoughtful (amazingly talented) hands and a huge giving heart.

a Full Moon Walk


I'm glad to be attending QuiltCon East where Anne will be lecturing and teaching a workshop so that I can give her a proper hug to go with the many, many virtual ones.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Makin' Bacon (blocks) - BeeSewcial July

Two slabs of bacon
For the month of July, it was Debbie's turn and she chose The Bacon Consideration.  You can read all about it on her blog with the link.   A food theme seems SO obvious for A Quilter's Table!
Fabric Pull
Well it's not pulled pork but rather my fabric pull, tee hee.  The upper left photo is the one that was shared with our outline as suggested colors.  The lower left is my first "off the shelf" grab of things that seemed in line along with a bit of humorous novelty fabric from my stash because, really - I had bacon fabric and not everyone can say that. Upper right is my scrap additions and the last picture includes my expanded inclusion of other-than-quilt-cotton.
In progress
The excuse to use a bit corduroy that I've collected to make an all corduroy quilt was great and I was even per-SUEDED to use leather.

Suede 
As with most of the improv pieces that I sew, there was a general concept that I wanted to capture but I let the evolution lead to wherever the block wanted to go.  Thank goodness for loose size restraints.

The under belly
The mix of these with essex linen,  textured solid, hand-dye and at least three brands of solid cotton a nice challenge in itself.  I wanted one very lean, the other a bit fatty and as you might expect had the urge to EAT bacon for weeks.
14"x19.5" Block One
9"x11" Block Two
With Debbie's skill for fun photo shoots I knew she would appreciate a clever setting.  I really wanted to hang these from the chicken coop at my son's house but didn't make it happen before mailing them off.  

If you aren't already following the challenges or sewing along for yourself, please do.   August is our month off and September will be here before I know it.  The Instagram hashtag is #beesewcial and #inspiredbybeesewcial.  



Friday, August 12, 2016

Tone on Tone

Quilt Designs  

I was pretty clueless about the recent controversy stirred up over this MQG article until I started reading comments on Facebook and Instagram and then I just wanted to crawl in a hole.   It's easy to get caught up in the drama, I get it.  But really people, watch your Tone (on Tone).

My opinion is that MQG had good intentions that went wrong and have done an admirable job attempting to correct course.   Good can come of controversy and also of clearing the air but times like this make me want to say "I don't know, I don't know, never mind!!"

After lurking somewhere between hiding my head in the sand and stepping on a soapbox about it all, I've decided to write a post and put it on paper, for the record.  

Quilting is my happy place.  I don't like conflict.  But I am also protective and think that it's OK to speak up if something doesn't seem right (just ask my local peeps).   To sit back and just think it or to walk away instead of trying to make a difference and redirect is everyones loss.   

Rachel of Stitched In Color proposed a #30DaysQuiltDesign challenge on her blog and I've been posting on Instagram.   To date, this is where I've worked out my feelings on the topic through the designs, their names and description:

4 days ago:Lower Right:  "Lashes to Thorns" I started with innocent fluttery eyelashes in mind and then it turned to dangerous spikes that can hurt you.  A nod to how quickly things can go from good to bad and also how the same object can be viewed so differently.  

3 days ago: Upper Right: "Divided by Derivative" This was in reaction to the hashtag #beingderivative.  The wedge arrows pointing inward to represent leading to the same place (we're all in this together we just get there different ways). And also the Roman Colosseum because it feels like a very uncomfortable spectator sport watching the sparring. Lastly the glow of the background for shedding of light.

Yesterday: Lower Left: "Sew Not the Point"  The accusations and extreme interpretation that I found to be exhausting and depleting.  I'm guilty of snide remarks plenty and everyone is entitled but ugh. 

Today: Upper Left: "Monologue" aka: my Tone on Tone post

With That Said:


I think that making a genuine effort to credit where credit is due is something to aspire to but to feel bound creatively to identifying the source of all aspects of what you create is unreasonable and paralyzing.  I try my best and sleep at night.  I think there's a certain element of Chicken or the Egg involved and there are published quilt patterns out there that I shake my head about but that just means I don't have to buy them.  If someone does and they sew and love a quilt because of it more power to them.  

Ironically, the two most popular posts on my blog - of all time and by far- are the tutorials for Chain piecing Polaroid block and fussy cut Giant x-Plus with bonus triangle neither are my original designs or techniques.  I've linked back to the best of my knowledge on them both. 

This article by Amy at 13 Spools has so much information and I hope to take more time to read it thoroughly.   Now I'm really sorry that I missed the Copyright, Culture and Quilting lecture by Rossie at QuiltCon2015 not only because I'm a fan of hers but I would've had more foundation to stand on while forming my position.   This post by Leanne at She Can Quilt and my comment to it got me typing today. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Home is where Harts is - RxR2016

Home is where Harts is

Three Store Samples
It's no secret that I'm a fan of my LQS Harts Fabric and feel fortunate that our MQG chapter holds monthly guild meetings there.  Our members had the opportunity to submit an original design to be considered for the shop to use in the Row by Row Experience event this summer (June 21-September 6)  I'm thrilled to have had mine chosen. 
My Stash Scrap Pull
With a theme of "Home Sweet Home" it was easy to feel immediately connected to the project because after all it is located in the neighborhood where I grew up and I've been shopping there since I was a little girl.

Three samples seemed fitting for the triptych inspired view from the beach depicting a Seagull in Flight, California poppy field and the Santa Cruz mountains.  The design was from images in my head and memories more so than directly from specific photographs. 

I also felt it was important to show variety so that makers would be less inclined to duplicate the exact design.  Since the store is selling three different kit options: Kona light, Kona dark and Shot Cotton, it worked out well.  Although they are only 9"x36" each the steps to piece, quilt, bind and sleeve them all took a lot of hours!

First Version top at May Guild Show and Tell
What I didn't quite realize at the time I submitted my entry was the scope of the event. Little did I know until doing a bit of browsing after the fact was that it has grown from 20 shops across New York State when it started in 2011 to around 3K and has expanded internationally this year!

Row By Row Experience Shops
I really appreciate how the organizers have lists and maps so that if you are traveling you can check out where to stop.  No shortage of California participating shops, that's for sure.   Supporting brick and mortar quilt shops is so important especially independently owned ones.

Kona versions on the Design Wall
I was busy with a couple of workshops but managed to pull off finishing the store samples on time.  They all look pretty fun together with the blue and green theme.
In Process 
Having to write an actual pattern was challenging especially since I hadn't documented all of the specifics very well when the first one was made and because of the improv and abstract aspect of it.

Here are a couple of pictures from the shop shared on social media - including a great snap of my sweet granddaughter helping hold up the final finish while I balance the beautiful bouquet of flowers that I was gifted.
Kits for sale
Finished Shot Cotton Sample