Friday, April 29, 2016

Modern Quilt Guild fabric challenge

So I got myself into the latest Riley Blake fabric challenge for the Modern Quilt Guild. May I just say right up front that I found the Sashing Stash fabric less than inspiring. After studying it for a while, I just started fussy cutting the graphics into blocks and waited for inspiration to hit.
I decided to add red and white solids to my quilt. Maybe I'm just having a grumpy day but I do not find the Riley Blake solids all that great to work with. They just don't press up crisply like I prefer. Ok. I'm done whining now! I promise.

Here's my finished quilt...
I titled it "At the Diner" because my pal Joellen said it reminded her of an old time diner. I see that!

Finished quilt is 40 X 40 inches and I crosshatch quilted it on my Janome with white and red threads. 

You really must check out the #mqgfabricchallenge on Instagram! Many beautiful pieces by quilters who were far more inspired than I was! Oh well, it's done!

Also, this is my first second quarter finish in the Finish along! so that's something, right?

#2016FAL linking with A Quilter's Table

Thursday, April 28, 2016

using handwoven fabric

When I finished weaving my scarf last month, I had some of the beautiful yarn leftover. I decided to weave it into a piece of fabric and make it into a bag. I wanted to combine it with some quilting cotton to make a fun sling bag. That yarn was so hard to match! Purples seemed too purple next to it and reds looked too red! Finally I found this cotton & steel fabric that was just right! (suddenly I feel like Goldilocks! Ha)
The bottom woven part is a pocket, which I wish I had made bigger. oh well! Next time. No pocket on the other side...
of course, I had a hard time finding a matching zipper too. My solution to that...
bright yellow contrast. A little pop of color that makes me smile. And that snail zipper pull? Come on! Can he be any cuter?

Monday, April 25, 2016

weaving on a floor loom

wow. I'm still trying to digest all that I learned while visiting my friend Kathie last week. She had asked if I wanted to weave something on her small floor loom (a Schacht Baby Wolf) while I was there.... um YES! of course I did. The first thing I did was design my project. I wanted to make a table runner and first I started grabbing my usual colors, turquoise, reds..... then I totally changed my mind! Look what colors I came up with....
 Way outside my box! And so citrussy and yummy. Kathie taught me how to wind my own warp, and then how to dress the loom. It seemed so complicated but we took it step by step & it wasn't hard at all!

 It took me two days to get it all ready, then Wednesday and Thursday to weave. (ok, we did sneak out of the house every day for a while too!). And look! I just love the way it turned out....
 the finished runner measures about 13X40 inches.

And check out the back, neatly hemmed & finished off with pretty bias plaid binding....
 When we got home hubby put it on the front table where I was hoping it would fit. PERFECT! It was almost like I'd measured it. NOPE! I had not.
Thank you Kathie for teaching me so much and for being an awesome friend!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

a week in Charlotte

I'm just home from a wonderful week visiting my friend Kathie in Charlotte, NC. You might remember that I visited her when she lived in Asheville. Back in 2014 I was fascinated with Kathie's weaving, just as I have been for the 20+ years that I've known her. But, I didn't know enough to really appreciate what she does. THIS time.... now that I've been weaving for a couple of months on my rigid heddle loom, THIS time I had a solid appreciation for everything Kathie does. And a million questions! 

We went to visit her off site studio where she was working on weaving baby blankets....
 And we spent TONS of time in her studio at home. Check out this yarn! Kathie has every single color of 8/2 cotton that WEBS sells...
 Look at the light streaming into her space...
 even her shuttles look pretty in a basket on the shelf...
 and bobbins in another basket...
and guess what? Kathie taught me to weave on her small floor loom! I learned so so much. Check back tomorrow if you want to see what I made in just a week!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Hattie's Dresden Class

On Saturday, I had a blast taking Lee Monroe's workshop on her Hattie's Dresden pattern. I can't believe in all my spaciness I forgot to get a selfie with Lee! Here she is with my buddy Stephanie, planning Stephanie's scrappy layout for her block....
Lee gave us so many awesome tips for her pattern (and many that can be applied elsewhere too). She took the time to walk around and talk through each person's fabric choices, how to best lay them out, etc. I learned so much in one day!

Unlike Stephanie, I took the easy way out and made my first Hattie's blocks from 2 fabrics each...
block one ready to sew

There were so many variations completed in class that day! Here are a few...

I went home and finished up my other 2 blocks the very next day...
ready to appliqué on my background
This little quilt is coming together quick.

Thanks so much for coming to see us Lee! I can't wait to make more of these dresdens. Maybe I'll even tackle a scrappy one..... stay tuned!

Friday, April 8, 2016

2nd quarter finish along plans

Today I am linking up on A Quilter's Table with my intended finishes for the 2nd quarter of 2016. 

First up, I want to finish my Lost Socks quilt.  I finished piecing it at my retreat in February. It just needs to be quilted and bound....
Second, the Modern Quilt Guild Riley Blake fabric challenge is due in May! That one NEEDS to get done. Though I am less than inspired by the assigned fabric, I do have a plan and have begun putting it in motion...
It seems all of my friend's children and many of my children's friends have decided to have babies this year! I need to finish up 2 baby girl quilts this quarter. Since I am attending Lee Monroe's Hattie's Dresden class on Saturday, I decided to use that pattern to make one of the baby quilts...
The other baby quilt is still an idea in my head. It MIGHT use scraps from my pink & purple bin. Or maybe I'll go fabric shopping? who knows...

So that's it. Four finishes for the second quarter. I think I can do it! What are your second quarter goals?

Thursday, April 7, 2016

more from guild night

I thought you might like to see some more of the fun Moda challenges that were shared at the McKinney Modern Quilt guild the other night. I didn't even begin to get photos of them all! Many were put up after I took these pics. 
I love Lyssa's pixilated unicorn!

yup, that's mine, underneath Alice's prize winning falling star mini

Stephanie's waterfall (left) was inspired by her recent trip to Iceland
I'm hoping the guild photos will be posted too, so I can link them here and you can see them all!

The Moda challenge wasn't the only excitement we had on Tuesday night. We had a special guest come to speak....
That's right! Lee Monroe, aka May Chappell, was with us! Lee is a pattern designer, quilter, speaker... I had the great pleasure of having dinner with her, and other members of our board. What a delight she is!
Her program (tips & tricks) was so informative! Her trunk show was awesome and she had us all giggling all night long. I'm looking forward to taking a workshop with Lee on Saturday too.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Moda challenge

Several months ago, Lissa Alexander (aka Moda Lissa) came and spoke to our Modern Quilt Guild. At the end of her talk, she handed out little bags to all of us. Each bag contained 4 mini charm packs and some Aurifill thread. She challenged us to "make something using at least some of each of the charm packs, adding a yard or more of Moda solid or Grunge. Fun!
Last night we revealed our challenge pieces at guild meeting. Mine had been done for quite some time (I did most of it on retreat in February.) I had lots of low volume mini charms in my packs, so I combined them with the prints I had received and made lots and lots of half square triangles. My layout was inspired by this fabulous quilt. The borders are a grunge. I had so much fun quilting in the ditch around my spirals, extending the quilting into the borders.
here's the back, you can see the quilting better
Thanks for the fun challenge Lissa!