Thursday, May 18, 2023

Triangles everywhere, all at once

 I just realized I left you hanging. I never shared my completed Improv Triangle Sewalong quilt.... although I did share some of my process here. Well it's finished! Introducing, Triangles everywhere, all at once...

The improv triangle units were made using the process Nicholas Ball spells out in his book, Inspiring Improv. I used fabric I had painted with my gel plate and acrylic paints for the triangles and assorted teal, aqua and orange solids from my stash.

When it came time to quilt, I went a little bananas! It is all walking foot quilted on my domestic machine (a Janome 6600). I stitched giant triangles and then echo stitched them, using several shades of aqua thread. There are also some hand stitched triangles in there which are hard to see here. It was loads of fun!

Monday, May 8, 2023

Pantone Quilt Challenge 2023

I love participating in the Pantone color of the year quilt challenge and have made a quilt just about every year since I learned about it! This year the color of the year is Viva Magenta. Sarah and Elizabeth hosted a challenge and I am happy to share my finished quilt.

My intention was to simply make a wonky square in a square quilt and call it good enough. ahhhh intentions! When I got this pieced together I knew it wasn't done. First of all my "wonky" blocks were not wonky enough! It looked like I had tried unsuccessfully to be precise. UGH!

My friends on retreat encouraged (ok, they were pretty forceful about it! HA!) me to cut it up. Why not? I fearlessly sliced it in 30 degree angle strips, scrambled them up and sewed together, but it wasn't enough. So I sliced again and inserted a new color to the mix! Although the crowd was chanting for lime green, I stuck with my trusty aqua and was happy with my choice. 

I cut these angled strips into rectangles which became square blocks, which eventually became a nine patch! Clear as mud? To me too haha but I'm quite happy with my final quilt. I'm calling it Shattered Magenta.
The main fabric is Kona Pomegranate which is my favorite choice for Viva Magenta. I added additional pinks and oranges from my stash, as well as the aqua. I quilted it in an angled grid on my domestic machine and finished it off with faced binding.  The final quilt is 32" square. Off I go to add it to the link up! (added: I didn't read all of the words and failed to note in my linkup that my quilt is 32"x32" and I am in the USA!)

Friday, April 28, 2023

Word of the year quilt

 Well, it's almost May and yes, I am just now getting around to sharing my word of the year quilt. That's because I JUST finished it this past week. Yikes! I chose a word before 2023 even started.... my word is Stretch! But I had no idea how to reflect it in a quilt.

When I was at Quiltcon in February, I took a design class, Inspired by Architecture, from David Owen Hastings. Let me tell you, David's design process is soooooo different from mine! I learned so much from him and was determined to apply some of his design strategies to my own quilts. This was a stretch for me! So what better time to apply it than with my word of the year quilt?

First up was to take an architecture photo that spoke to me. I took this photo in downtown Atlanta during Quiltcon and thought it was the perfect inspiration...

After printing my photo, cutting it up and drawing with colored pencils on graph paper, I came up with the improv piece used in my quilt.

I paper pieced my letters and quilted this mini (18"x20") with my walking foot on my Janome. I'm really happy with the results!

I'm excited to continue to stretch myself in the coming months.
Do you have a word of the year?

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?