Tuesday, June 12, 2018

weaving towels

I thought maybe over time I would get tired of weaving kitchen towels. Not so! If anything I am enjoying more and more the process of combining colors and the rhythm of weaving.

This time I warped the loom with one color of 8/2 cotton, a medium gray. Then I wove 2 towels in a combo of coral pink and a lighter gray.

and another towel in a combination of grays and yellows. I find, when I weave with 2 strands of yarn, using two shades of the same color gives my finished weaving some depth. All of these towels were done with waffle weave, using a pick up stick on my rigid heddle loom.

After wet finishing in the washing machine, the edges were bound in polka dot cotton fabric.
The pink one have been sent off to Ally to use in her kitchen (she requested them and chose the colors.
I don't think I will ever get tired of this!

Monday, June 4, 2018

curated quilts challenge

I love a good challenge. The new mini challenge over at Curated Quilts is improv minis with the theme Connections. Here's the color palette they gave....

Lots of people are grumbling about the colors but I kind of like them! I made 2 minis to submit
My first one is pretty literal. As much as I really hate to talk on the phone, with family and friends spread all across the country it has become my lifeline! 
I improv pieced the phone and the letters and embroidered the coiling cord. I mostly used solids, but the phone is a cotton and steel basic print.

For my second mini I was more abstract. 

This one is all solids. I used some of my newly acquired improv skills, like the skinny inserted strips. I also used lots of negative space. I tend to over do sometimes, and I want to practice more minimalism. This one is matchstick quilted in gray and yellow thread. If you're going to tackle matchstick quilting, I highly recommend doing it on a little quilt FIRST (this one is about 10 inches square) rather than learning on a bigger quilt like I did. 

I did a faced binding on both little quilts. 
I had a lot of fun with these and have linked them here. There are some really wonderful quilts linked up there.... you should go and check them all out!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Solid Seven Doors

This month  in the Solid Seven Bee, Jessica prompted us to make doors! Oh man I love doors! I have a whole Pinterest board of doors which I browsed through over and over again. In the end, I was inspired to recreate doors from photos I took when Hubby and I went to London in 2012. I did some rough sketches from photos, then improv pieced my doors (meaning I just pieced them as I went. it worked out well!).

It was hard to narrow down which doors to do. I ended up choosing three of my favorites...
This one really looks like a face to me! Do you see it?

I loved the curvy numbers on the window of this one, I just had to include them. Oh, and that curved piecing kicked my butt! Probably should have just appliqu├ęd the window on but I was determined to piece it.

I love the trim work on this door! This one was inside the Tower of London.

These are off in the mail to Jessica. I hope she loves them!

Friday, May 11, 2018

A weaving surprise

A few months ago I wove these kitchen towels from The Woolery's Bluegrass Mills 6/2 cotton yarn and sent one of them off to The Woolery for their weave off, to donate to local women's shelters. I loved that they were donating all of the towels that were entered! That was the main reason I sent it.

Imagine my surprise when they called me a couple weeks ago to tell me I had won first place in the rigid heddle category! There were so many beautiful  towels entered! You can see all of the winners here. I was shocked and flattered to be among them.

Yesterday I arrived home from lunch with a friend to find this giant box on my doorstop...
I dragged it inside and opened it up immediately!

Look at all of that beautiful yarn! A one lb cone of each color, 20 cones in all. Luckily I had cleared some space in my cubbies the day before and I was all set to put them away.
This will keep me busy for a long time! Thank you, Woolery, for this generous prize. I can't wait to get weaving!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

try all the things - Pantone quilt challenge

I've finished up my quilt from Debbie's everyday improv class just in time to enter it into the Pantone color of the year challenge! But I'm getting ahead of myself. Back to the beginning, a few weeks ago when I selected my color palette for the workshop. I had bought a yard of bright peri, the closest Kona match to Pantone's color of the year, Ultraviolet, way back when the color was announced. I had no idea what I would do with it at the time. I began looking at different color palette's that contained this color, and in the end, settled on these five colors for my workshop blocks
In addition to the Kona bright peri, I have four Moda Bella solids. Imagine my surprise when the MQG announced their color palette for next year's charity quilt. Remarkably similar!

I had so much fun mastering all of the techniques Debbie taught us last Saturday. Ok, all but one. The layered circle proved to be very frustrating for me! After trying my hardest to make one, I ended up with a total mess. I announced on instagram that I was voting my layered circle off the improv island. And so I did. But the other 14 techniques we learned are all represented in my finished quilt top.
I loved my finished top so much that I was tempted to send it off to one of my talented longarm friends to finish it, simply so I wouldn't mess it up. But, deep in my heart, I knew that my improv deserved to be quilted by me, on my domestic machine. I debated a simple grid pattern (again, why ruin a good thing? keep it simple). In the end, I decided to jump in and tackle matchstick quilting for the first time. Why not?
I used three colors to stitch organic lines, approximately 1/8" apart, a thread that matched the ultra violet for most of the quilt, a lime green and a deep teal (not shown here). In the end, it took me about 9 hours to quilt this tiny quilt (admittedly, much of this time was spent cleaning lint out of my machine, winding bobbins, and rethreading). It took 4 spools of thread and 8 bobbins to complete the quilting and I must say, it was worth every stitch! Honestly, I could use a good massage right now, my neck and shoulders are so tight.

At this point, it seemed silly not to try one more new thing, so I tackled faced binding. This quilt just seemed to call for it, as I felt that a regular binding would take away from the improv aspect. I read many, many tutorials, combined my favorite parts of each, and the binding was much easier than I expected! 

And so, I've named this quilt "try all the things" because I did! And I'm calling this a big success. It's my entry into the Pantone Quilt Challenge, coming in right under the wire. Whew! It just barely made it into the mini category, measuring 27" x 30". Also, as required by the challenge rules, I am a US quilter.

I can't wait to dive deeper into improv. I just love the jumping off point this gives me, a sampler of ideas to draw from. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

what to wear Wednesday

It's been a while since I shared a what to wear Wednesday post. I've been sewing away but haven't made a garment lately. Until now! Last week I whipped up this fun t-shirt, with fabric I bought from Girl Charlee while I was at Quiltcon. This t-shirt knit is light weight and quite drapey, and worked perfectly with McCalls 7323 which I had in my pattern stash and had made once before.
I made view c and quickly realized that there was no real way to line up all of the stripes on the angle like they had done. I did line up my side seam stripes and matched my sleeves, so there's that! All in all I'm really pleased with how it turned out. This one will get lots of wear this summer.
What have you been sewing lately?

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Everyday Improv

Yesterday was an incredibly fun day. McKinney Modern Quilt Guild welcomed Debbie Jeske from A Quilters Table to lead us in an improv workshop. Debbie is my go to improv guru, so it was fun to learn from her in person. Fourteen of us filled the room with fabric, color, enthusiasm and laughter.
We learned lots of different improv techniques all represented in this quilt that Debbie shared. 

This is the tidiest corner of my workspace! It looked like a tornado had blown through, there were scraps everywhere!

Bonny shared my workspace. Hers was all neat and tidy. hmmm I don't get it!
By the end of the day, we had accumulated an amazing collection of blocks, made by everyone in the room. I can't wait to make some sense out of the ones I made and share them with you.
Thanks for a great day Debbie! It was the most fun I'd had in a very long time. I look forward to Debbie's trunk show & lecture at our guild meeting this coming Tuesday. If you're local, it would be great to have you join us!