Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Quiltcon Collaborations

 I'm still processing Quiltcon 2023 over here! I had a wonderful time in Atlanta. One of the highlights for me was spending a good bit of time with my Quilts Unscripted bee mates. We had three beautiful quilts representing our bee in the show. 

This is Time by Carole Lyles Shaw

I love seeing how each of us represented time in our blocks! 

Elizabeth Ray had Sashes hanging in the show...

again, wonderful representation of each bee member!

And my Darkest Before Dawn hung right next to Sashes...

But wait! Are those ribbons I see?? Yes indeed! Elizabeth won first place in the group category for Sashes and I followed up with second in the same category! Elizabeth also quilted my quilt so there was lots of overlap. I'm so delighted for her! Well deserved!

Here's most of our group celebrating together:

Let me tell you, collaborating with this group means everything to me! So much quilty wisdom in these and the other members of our bee. And kindness. My heart is so full!

Happy to have my quilt back home (just in time to hang at the Dallas show this weekend!) and this beautiful ribbon made by Jessica (@maeberrysquare)

2022-2023 Quilts Unscripted bee members:
Charles Cameron            @feltlikesweets
E. A. Cox                        @eacox24
Chris Davies                   @scarf.mama
Sarah Goer                      @sarahgoerquilts
Emily Lang                     @emilylangquilts
Allie McCathren             @exhaustedoctopus
Elizabeth Ray                  @elizabethkray
Sarah Ruiz                      @saroy
Isabelle Selak                  @southbaybella
Carole Lyles Shaw          @carole_lylesshaw
Ellyn Ziinsmeister          @ellynz

additional 2021-2022 members who participated in these quilts:
Chris Simon                  @thecolorfulom
Loide Wasmund            @geekplusquilting

check them out! and our hashtag #quiltsunscriptedbee

Monday, February 13, 2023

Another Improv Triangle Sewalong

 Well, I didn't mean to start another quilt but here we are. I can't resist Nicholas Ball's (@quiltsfromtheattic) improv triangle sew alongs, I've participated twice before (here and here) and when he announced a third opportunity to sew along with him I jumped right in.

As I told you in my last post, I've been enjoying gelli printing lately. I had a stack of fabrics I had painted and quickly decided those should be triangles...

After lots of cutting I had almost 90 triangles ready to sew! I pulled out my teal/aqua solids and began making triangle units using Nicholas' method. His improv book is one of my favorites! It was looking a bit ho hum to me until my friend Sarah suggested I add splashes of orange. Perfect!

Triangle units began to gather on my design wall. Then I went into crazy mode and couldn't stop sewing.

By the end of week two, this is where I landed. Week three is all about joining the triangle units together. If you look closely, you can see that I already got a jump start on this process. The middle section of my quilt is all puzzled together. This is my favorite part of improv quilting, puzzling the pieces together. I will have a finished quilt top by the end of this week and look forward to sharing it with you.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

another 100 day project

 I am gearing up for another 100 day project! This will be my fourth time participating in the official 100 Day Project. Last year I did 100 improv shirt blocks to commemorate the Great Resignation. In 2021, I had a 100 day monster drawing project. And in 2020 I learned the Korean technique of Bojagi hand sewing. Three totally different projects! After weighing different options for this year, I have finally settled on a 100 day idea.

I'm going to be Gelli Printing on fabric for 100 days, and then working my prints into a quilt. Gelli printing is a new to me technique that I've been exploring the last few months. Most of my prints have been on paper...

Gelli printing is done using a gelli plate, like this one, a brayer and paints. I've been using acrylic paints for my prints, along with stencils and other interesting tools. If you're curious about the process, go to YouTube and search gelli printing. But only if you have hours to spare! I still have a lot to learn, but I'm having a great time doing it. Here's my favorite print so far...
This one used some foam stamps I bought at a second hand craft supply store. What a great find.

I experimented with printing on fabric a while back. These prints are currently in the process of becoming a quilt which I'll share in my next post...

The 100 day project officially begins on February 22, which also happens to be the day I leave for Quiltcon in Atlanta. I'm thinking I'll do a few days work ahead of time so I don't start up the project already behind. Will you be joining in with a project of your own? I'd love to hear all about it and follow along.

Friday, January 13, 2023

not quite a quilt coat


Hello friends! I have a fun finish to share with you today. Here's me in a denim jacket I recently dug out of the back of our coat closet. I'd forgotten I even owned it! I looked at it for a bit and then I had an idea. So I set to work.

Last weekend I was on retreat with my quilty pals and I whipped up this improv panel using some extra solids from projects I had brought along. I used a few of may favorite shapes and techniques, triangles and Xs, skinny lines. The finished panel measured about 13x16 inches, but if you have a jacket of your own I recommend measuring the back panel between the seams before you begin.

Even with measuring I cut off a couple of elements to make my panel fit. Here are some steps I took to attach my panel....

I made a pattern that fit perfectly in the space I wanted to fill. I used pattern tracing paper so I could see through it. When I had the perfect fit, I laid it over my improv panel and two layers of cotton flannel. Then I cut all three layers into the perfect shape.

I bound the edges of my layers with a single layer of 2 inch binding. I used bias cut strips to accommodate the curves on the sides of my pieces. I sewed the binding onto the front and neatly folded and pressed it around to the back. I didn't worry about the raw edge on the back since it would be completely encased.

I pinned my piece onto the jacket and machine stitched all the way around at the outer edge of the binding. 

I wanted to secure my piece to the jacket back so it didn't pull away. Using  size 8 perle cotton thread I stitched xs, running stitches and chain stitches embellishing the improv piece. My stitches went all the way through the layers attaching them to the jacket. And yes, you can see the back of my stitches inside the jacket.

I really love the end result! I did add a few embroidery stitches to the front of the jacket just for fun but the real party is all in the back! Will you be making one too?

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Quilts Unscripted 2022 recap

 Well, hello there! It seems I up and stopped blogging about six months ago! That was totally unplanned. I've still been over here creating and learning new skills. I'm not sure why I stopped blogging here, but now I am back with all of the good intentions a new year brings. 

I thought I'd start by reviewing all of the bee blocks I made last year for the Quilts Unscripted Bee! Our improv bee is currently in the middle of it's second year and going strong. Here are the blocks I made in 2022.....


In January we made blocks for Emily.  Her request was for blocks that represented our dreams, goals and growth using analogous colors on the color wheel. My first block represents my dreams/hopes for the world, peace and calm....

My second block represents my personal dreams of joy and energy.
In February I requested improv log cabin blocks using the Kona color of the year, Cosmos in a prescribed color palette. These blocks became the quilt "Darkest Before Dawn" which will hang at Quiltcon next month in Atlanta! 
I'm delighted to have another quilt accepted into the group category this year! Thanks to my awesome beemates  who sent me incredible blocks.

In March, Sarah G asked us to make improv sawtooth stars.  I had fun with these...

In April, Isabelle requested all the colors and tiny piecing. Such happy blocks!

May was the first month of our second year as a bee and it was  E.A.s turn. She had us make blocks that literally say "hope". Check out her instagram to see photos of her powerful finished quilt.

In June, Chris asked us to make signature style blocks inspired by a beautiful Ukrainian egg she had bought. I made her these...

July was Charles turn. He asked us for abstract art slabs using colors he sent to us. This was challenging and fun!

In August, Sarah R had us making blocks inspired by outer space. Mine are a nebulous and a shooting star.

Elizabeth had us make improv grandmother's fan blocks in September, with black corners. Another block I had not worked with before!

Our October prompt was from Allie. She asked us to make ladders with white backgrounds. Crazy fun!

Our final prompt for 2022 came from Carole. We were to make half rectangle triangle blocks using black for one half of the block and bright improv for the other. I had bought Latifah Saafir's HuRTy ruler months before and never took it out of the packaging. Time to learn something new! What a great ruler. And Latifah has awesome videos that step you through it. I've become a big fan of HRTs since November and I promise you'll see more uses of it on this blog soon. Here are the blocks I made for Carole...

Sorry for the long post but I had some catching up to do! I hope you'll follow our bee's hashtag on instagram, #quiltsunscriptedbee for even more inspiration. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

My 2022 100 Days Project

 Well haven't I been a horrible blogger these past few months? Geez. I will tell you I've been so busy making things I haven't made the time to blog! I guess that's a good thing, right? Anyways, I have some serious catching up to do. Let's start with today's finish, shall we?

Way back in February, I posted here about my plans for this year's 100 Day Project. Just to recap, I purchased recycled men's dress shirts at the Goodwill and planned to make 100 improv quilt blocks inspired by The Great Resignation (if you're not familiar with this concept, google it! So fascinating). I created a wheel using the Tiny Decisions App on my phone which gave me a way to randomly choose each day's block type.

I also created a hand written document to keep track of each day's blocks. Setting myself up for success!
I'm happy to report that I successfully completed all 100 blocks, assembling my quilt top as I went along. The hardest part for me was sticking to only one block each day! The only time I made more was when I knew I was going to be traveling.... I didn't want to fall behind. 

Here's block one...
each block is 5" square

If you want to see my week by week progress photos, you can check them all out here, on Instagram.

I managed to get the quilt back and the binding all out of the remains of my recycled shirts! I quilted the finished quilt top on my domestic machine and finished up the binding today! The finished quilt measures 48"x45" (the extra width comes from 1/2 blocks I added to each row to stagger my layout).

Oh, I also added improv letters to spell out "I Quit", keeping with my theme of the Great Resignation. Many on Instagram thought I meant I was quitting the 100 day project. They were surprised when I kept going! 

I'm really happy with my finished quilt! This year's 100 day project was a huge success for me. Have you ever done a 100 day project? How did it go?

Friday, April 22, 2022

A trip to Arkansas

Well, that was an unplanned and unexpected blog break! I wish I had a fabulous, exciting excuse but I don't. I do have a lot of things to share with you. I'll begin with the most recent fun I had and work backwards!

This week I had the honor of speaking for the Modern Quilt Guild of North West Arkansas. I shared the story of my Through Ellyn's Eyes project with them and the members were very engaged and asked lots of questions. I hope they were also inspired to perhaps begin projects of their own!

My friend Chris went with me on this fun road trip and served as my driver/quilt holder. She's great fun to travel with.

We got to spend some extra time with our friend, Elizabeth Ray. She gave us lots of ideas for fun things to do in the area and restaurants to try. We had delicious crepes for lunch on Tuesday and talked and talked.... oh, and we might have had ice cream for dinner before the guild meeting. shhhh....

Our good friend Christina invited us to stay with her while we were in town. Christina was a guild mate of ours in the McKinney Modern Quilt Guild years ago and now lives in NW Arkansas. Yes, we did drag her to the guild meeting and introduced her to them..... they are lucky to have her as a new member!

Christina's fun loving puppy, Bear, welcomed us warmly and enjoyed lots of pets while we were visiting.

 All in all it was a very fun trip. I'd love to share my story with more guilds...... feel free to send me a message if you'd like me to come to you!