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!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Solid Seven Bee blocks

A couple of months ago, I was invited to join an Instagram bee called the Solid Seven. The premise for this Modern Quilt Bee is that they use only high quality solids in their bee blocks. There are more than seven members, but the seven refers to the color spectrum, ROYGBIV. Since I love solids, love modern quilting and really enjoy bees, I was excited to join their ranks. 

Our first set of blocks are for Nicole (Saphre1964). Nicole asked us to make three blocks, on a 13 inch square of white solid, within the theme "collage". She likes bright, saturated colors and requested that our first block be something that represents our childhood. I decided to go with board game pieces....

The other two blocks could be whatever we wanted. After a couple of very rainy days in Texas, this block came to me....
Then I was stuck. I had some ideas but they just weren't coming together the way I wanted them to. Until a friend of mine posted this photo on Instagram, while she was vacationing in Marrakech...
The geometrics really spoke to me.  Block three came to me very quickly after that...
These are off in the mail to Nicole and I am anxiously awaiting our next prompt. If you want to see more of this bee's creations, check out #thesolidseven on Instagram.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Hello, is this thing on?

Well I truly didn't mean to disappear like that! There's been some traveling going on, some planned, some unplanned, and all good. Meanwhile, quilting & blogging got put on hold a bit. But I'm back, and have no plans to disappear again any time soon. We'll see how that goes!

Something fun we do at at Not Your Mama's Quilt Store where I host the monthly Boast and Toast, is hold a fifth Saturday Challenge. Since March had five Saturdays, many of us gathered on the fifth Saturday to share the projects we had completed. We all receive the same starting package of fabrics and make whatever we want from them. Then we leave the projects at the shop for a month so customers can vote for their favorites.

I'll admit, I was at a loss for a long time when I received the challenge fabrics. Finally, it came to me! Snugs bear, the 35 year old teddy bear that hubby gave me when we were first dating, needed some new clothes. He's become pretty worn over the years, and I thought a cute pair of pants and vest would make him look snazzy.
And I was right! I deigned the little patterns myself, using a doll clothes pattern as a jumping off point. The print fabric and the minty polka dot were the assigned fabric. I lined the vest with the polka dot and then added a dapper little bow tie (on a piece of ribbon) to finish off his outfit.

What a fun project! And you should see the wonderful things others made. Wow! There's some serious talent in that group. Now, to evaluate the fabric I have for the June challenge and come up with something fun.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

MQG Riley Blake challenge

I had fun with the latest Modern Quilt Guild fabric challenge from Riley Blake. We received four prints for the challenge and I added Riley Blake solids in Navy and Lime.
I also ordered extra of the navy stripe, one of the prints received, because I love a good bias stripe binding! Here you can see all four prints, the stripe, the navy crosshatch at the star points, the white with rose gold plusses in the center of the block and a white on white print in the outer corners. 

The block is one I designed in one of my Quilt Con classes. Each block is 16 inches square, including the offset border. The whole quilt measures 32 inches square.

I did a simple "straight" line quilting in lime on my domestic machine to finish it off. 

I would love to make my pattern into a much bigger quilt one day! For now, this little version will do.

Friday, March 30, 2018

My New Hexagon

Wow. Three years I've been working on my New Hexagon quilt (pattern by Katja Marek). A lot of memories in this one, a lot of hospital rooms stitched in, and crafty Tuesdays. Finally it's finished!

The fabric is all Sun Prints by Alison Glass The entire quilt is English Paper Pieced, 52 different hexagon patterns. Quilting was done by my awesome friend Diann
It was fun to take it out on a little photo shoot today.

I'm so happy to have this one finished! And I absolutely love the way it turned out.