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.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

What to wear Wednesday..... funky Hudson pants

Again with the Hudson pants! I know I know. But when I find a pattern I love, I tend to beat it into the ground. And when I found this awesome fabric at the Girl Charlee booth at Quiltcon, it was screaming out to become yet another pair of Hudson's.
I used white ribbing to trim out the pockets...
These are seriously so comfortable and I just might wear them every single day. They look really cute with my Ebony Tee too...
I do think it's time for me to invest in some new garment patterns though. Any suggestions?

Monday, March 12, 2018

Japanese knock off tote bag

My friend Stephanie made an amazing Japanese knock off tote bag to use at Quiltcon.  I really loved it! She shared that it is a free tutorial from Sew Can She & I knew I would put it toward the top of my list of things to make after I got home. Because I clearly need more tote bags.

I decided to make my bag entirely of Cotton & Steel fabrics. Some I had in my stash, some I had just picked up at Quiltcon.
 I love that the bag is reversible! The patchwork "lining is really fun.

I also love the squirrel print. I got it in New York City last fall & had been saving it for just the right project.
I added one of my leather tags to the pocket binding.
This is a great tutorial! The only thing I changed was the handles. I made them longer and narrower than the ones suggested. Can't wait to put this to use!

Monday, March 5, 2018

all the tote bags

If you've been to Quiltcon before, you already know that you can come home with a huge stack of free tote bags! I had no idea.... live and learn! A few of the ones I ended up with are really great quality. Like the free bag we got with registration, designed by Violet Craft!

As much as I love it, I wish it had interior pockets. I had a brainstorm! Why not make some to insert. So I set to work.....
I made this pocket insert, with three slip pockets (perfect for my phone, etc) and a zipper pocket for cash. I stitched it directly to the top of my bag. Awesome!

I also got one of Cotton & Steel's amazing bags, so I decided to set to work making it even more amazing....

First I added C&S fabric to the straps making them a little fancier!
My buddy (and Quiltcon roomie) Diann had the great idea to add hand stitching.... I added three rows of running stitch around the top of the bag in colors that matched the printing on the front. Oh, and I used 1/4" tiger tape to make it all nice and even. If you don't know about tiger tape, you need to! It's magical. You can get it here.

Again with the pockets..... this time I used all C&S fabrics and I made the slip pockets a bit deeper...

I love the result! Thank you Cotton & Steel for the awesome bag!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

quilt con fun - part three. QUILTS!

I spent hours and hours looking at all of the quilts at Quilt Con. So much beautiful inspiration. And the stories! I loved reading the stories about the backgrounds of the quilts. I will post a few here, but I have posted many more on my instagram account. If you want to see more, go there!

I loved seeing the McKinney Modern Quilt Guild's charity quilt hanging with all of the others. There were so many gorgeous ones, but I confess I am rather fond of ours!
I'm a huge fan of words on quilts. I saw so many quilts with powerful statements on them, and gorgeous patchwork too. This was my favorite one....
I am enough by Jessica Levitt
Feminist Quilt by Darcy Read
White America by Jessica Wohl

Loved seeing quilts made by internet (and now real life!) friends. Sandra Kaye's quilt, Happy Dance, won a ribbon for Best Machine Quilting Frameless...
Debbie Jeske's entry, Follow the Dots is great improv!
There was a lot of improv inspiration
Plant Lady by Sarah Sharp
Sacred Heart by Christina Cameli
A couple of quilts I loved in the Modern Traditionalism category...
Double Wedding knots by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill
Is this a modern quilt? by Sarah Lowry

there were hundreds more I could share with you! Do head over to Instagram and check them out....

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

quilt con fun part 2

One of the best things about Quilt Con was meeting people. It didn't take long to start making new friends. I was barely inside the convention center the first morning, before the doors to the exhibit hall even opened, when I heard an excited voice calling out "Ellyn! Ellyn!" I turned and there was my instagram buddy Sandie, from sandieloves2quilt. Luckily, we saw each other many times over the four days of the conference & got to visit quite a bit.
I also got to meet Jane from janequiltsslowly. Jane made the mini I received in last years swap, which I absolutely love! It was fun to get to know her this weekend too.
pardon the sun streaks in my oh-so-professional photo
Debbie, from A Quilter's Table, and I had been planning a meet up for a while. We ended up running into each other a couple of times before our scheduled breakfast out...

At our breakfast on the last morning (more about good food in another post, stay tuned!) we exchanged birthday treats we had made for each other. I was delighted when Debbie gave me this beautiful patchwork gift bag with a gorgeous scissors keeper inside...

I feel like I've known her forever! It was great to just sit and share while we ate good food.

Of course there were some old friends to run into as well. Like Lee Monroe, from May Chappell.

There were a few fan girl moments, like meeting Heather Givans from Crimson Tate. She's a riot! and her booth was so much fun.

I took two workshops. Both teachers were talented ladies I had wanted to meet. First I took at design workshop from Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side.
We did lots of quilt math in Amy's workshop (I'm such a nerd. I love that stuff!) and I came away with a fun original quilt design, much different from what I started with.
My other workshop was with Nichole Vogelsinger from Wild Boho.
This workshop was called "Layered Abstractions" And involved fabric and embroidery embellishments. Can't beat that! Again, I went in with one idea and came away with something totally different.

I'm working away on this project and will share more soon.

I love meeting new people! I wish I could meet ALL of you!

Monday, February 26, 2018

quilt con fun - part one

Oh Pasadena, What fun I had at Quilt Con. I'm going to break this up over several posts so I don't make you too jealous all at once.

My buddy Diann and I flew to LAX last Wednesday morning. We arrived at our hotel at lunchtime (perfect!) and had time to get our bearings before the event began. I also enjoyed dinner with my brother and his family that evening since they live nearby. A bonus treat!

I'll jump ahead to mini quilt swap day, since I already teased you with a post about my quilt. I actually met my partner, Tzitzi, a couple of days before the swap. She spotted me in the classroom building, grabbing a diet coke, and ran over to introduce herself. I was so glad we got time to really get acquainted!

On Saturday at swap time, we met with hundreds of others in the ballroom. It was a party in there! So many quilters, searching for their partners, squealing over what they received, swapping phones for photos....

we savored every moment!
And when we opened our quilts, we were both over the moon excited. Don't you think she nailed my taste? And look at that crowd behind us!
Tzitzi told me that she goes every Tuesday to a quilt teacher's home in her town in Mexico to learn new techniques. Each bubble in my quilt represents one of the types of quilting she has learned..... cathedral windows, pieced pinwheels, appliqué, english paper piecing and log cabins. I loved hearing her story and it made my quilt even more special.
and yes, she loved what I made for her too! The best part is, I have a new friend who I will think of every time I look at my beautiful mini.