Saturday, August 18, 2018

Mondrian Blocks

I recently had the opportunity to test Jayne (Twiggy and Opal)'s new pattern for these awesome Mondrian Blocks. I had played with Mondrian style blocks before, nearly three years ago when my friend Chris requested them as bee blocks.  At that time, all I knew to do was to improv piece them (though honestly I didn't  realize then that improv was what I was doing!). Oh, but Jayne has made it so much easier with these paper pieced beauties!

Her pattern includes the two 9 inch blocks that I tested and mini 4 inch blocks too! It includes great photos and diagrams, coloring sheets.... the works!
The pattern is available in her Craftsy shop, here. Hop on over and get one for yourself! you won't be sorry.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Quilt Plano 2018

Yesterday, my friend Bonnie and I went to Quilt Plano, an annual quilt show that is held nearby. I had entered my very first quilt in a show! My Try All The Things improv quilt was entered in the modern category.
Imagine my surprise when I learned I had won a second prize ribbon in the category!
I was thrilled enough to have a quilt hanging in the show. I never expected to win a ribbon!
And guess what? Bonnie's improv quilt won  second place ribbon too!
Bonnie's quilt was made at Debbie Jeske's workshop just like mine.

Because of the sizes of our quilts, we were forced to enter them in different categories. Mine was just barely big enough to enter in the Modern category. Bonnie's was smaller so she entered it in the small quilts category.

It was so awesome to see so many modern quilts throughout the show. This has been a very traditional show for many years. I love to see ALL of the types of quilts, the workmanship is amazing! What a fun day!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

dish towels

oh, hello! I didn't mean to go missing. I've been working away on several different projects that I can't share just yet. 
Right now I have pretty, neutral dish towels on my loom. I've been spending my weekend weaving waffle weave.
I love the texture of it and it makes for nice, absorbent towels when it's done.

What are you working on?

Saturday, July 21, 2018

shower gift

What fun I'm having celebrating my best pal's daughter Megan this weekend, just weeks before her big wedding day! Today I was happy to finally give her the shower gift I made for her earlier this summer.
Four quilted placemats to match her aqua dishes and with a lesson learned from my friend Trae, I backed them all in Christmas fabric...
In fact Trae gave me that cute fabric! and I still have plenty left over for me.

Of course I wove Megan some pretty dish towels to match....
Waffle weave, 100% cotton yarn doubled in a 10 dent heddle.

I hope she enjoys them all for a long time!  What's your go to shower gift?

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Solid Seven July blocks

This month the Solid Seven bee is making blocks for Briawna...
I actually got mine done early and shipped off to her already! Briawna asked us to make Wonky Log Cabin blocks in the style of the Gee's Bend Quilters. She requested clear, bright colors with a touch of black in each block. No pinks or purples as she is making this quilt to gift to her husband who saw some Gee's Bend quilts and was intrigued by them. This was really fun!

It was great to dig in my solid scrap bin and use up some of those little pieces.
And of course, the wonky log cabin piecing fit right in with my deep dive into improv this year. I may need to make a quilt like this one for myself.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Be Calm

You might remember these tiny improv blocks I made way back in January. 

They sat in a box, forgotten for several months. A few weeks ago I came across them and decided they needed to become something. So I pulled out my low volume scrap bin and turned them into nine patches (each one measuring 3 1/2" square)
in my low volume bin I found some 60 degree triangles already sewn together (I wonder what those were for? I have no idea!). Some of the triangles were even improv pieced. Hmmmmm....
I was on a roll now. I added some x blocks...
and some improv polka dots
An instagram friend said my creation spoke "be calm" to her. I made improv letters so now it literally spoke it...
A little rearranging and some tumbling triangles down the side and I had a quilt top!
Far from my usual riot of color craziness, isn't it? But in this world of constant bad news, it's just the message I needed. Maybe you need it too?

Once I got the quilt top together, it NEEDED to be quilted. I had borrowed Jacquie Gering's Walk book from our guild library and found so many great tips in there for quilting small quilts with my walking foot. I started with vertical lines, 1/2" apart. my intention was to add horizomtal lines to create a grid. Again I was coaxed on instagram (thank you Debbie!) to add diagonal lines to the mix. She was right! It was exactly what I needed...

A faced binding finished it off. An unplanned project but I'm so glad I took the time to make it happen!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

teeny tiny trip around the world

at Quiltcon in February, several of my friends took a workshop with Chawne Kimber on piecing teeny tiny squares (1 inch finished) into a #teenytinytriparoundtheworld.  When Debbie came to visit in May, I begged her to teach me, because I wanted to make one too. I'm trying to use all fabrics from my stash for this. The first few rounds went pretty fast (four squares, 8 squares, etc). but this last round of 52 squares took quite a while!
Debbie taught me the secret of how to press the back so it all lays neat and tidy. I think it looks almost as cool as the front!

My project measures about 18 inches square right now. Several friends have asked me how big I intend to make it. My answer? Hmmmm I have no idea! When I get tired of piecing it, or run out of fabric (hahaha) I will stop! Stay tuned.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Solid Seven blocks for Kara

When I first saw Kara's (karascreativeside) prompt for our June Solid Seven Bee blocks I was a little bit stumped. Kara teaches marine science and biology. She wants to create an ocean quilt with lots of fish, sea life, etc. We do seem to have a lot of nature/water lovers in our bee! City girl Ellyn is doing her best to fit in. 

I searched for free paper piecing patterns (they were scarce and most had already been snatched up). In the end, I drafted piecing patterns and put together these three fish for Kara. 
Do go check out her instagram account and see what the others have sent her! I think it's going to be a terrific quilt.

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 appliquéd 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!