Saturday, August 30, 2014

August Blocks and other stuff

Two Bee Blocks in August, 4 quilts mailed to shows and 2 birthday celebrations and 1 great honor

Always Bee Learning pieced pineapple block for Elizabeth

HAVEN at do. good stitches August Block by Miss Print

The Birthday Bandy Swap August for Cinda (Sewbusy64 IG/Flickr) using the same pattern as the HAVEN block just in different colors.
Table runner in Cinda's favorite colors

block close up with quilting details

A 20th birthday gift for my son's oldest and best friend for his single dorm room. I mean you NEED big floor pillows, right?

I used IKEA decor weight fabric and contrasting zippers. Simple and functional. Stylish too, but boys in college don't think about that, do they???

Also in August: sent off my Open and Shut quilt to the AQS Quilt week- Chattanooga, TN Special Exhibit of the Bad Ass Quilters Society. And my Stitched quilt to AQS Quilt week in DesMoines, IA. My "Fade into Gray"  and "Colorado 4x4" quilts to the Modern Quilt Guild Special Exhibit for the International Quilt Show in Houston. I won't be able to attend Chattanooga or Des Moines, but if ANYONE reads this and goes, please take pictures for me. (Thank you).

Open and Shut


Fade into Gray

Colorado 4x4
Lastly, but by no means the least, a quilt I made for a very dear friend. Some of you have read the post already, but if not, you can see it here.
Twenty Questions

And I received a quilt in return, titled "Costal Oddessy" which I love, thank you Whitney

I also picked up with teaching again, after a bit of a break from traveling and getting children back to school. Come visit me in Boulder at Fabricate if you want to take a class or just say hi.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Derived Inspiration, No.1 "Twenty Questions"

Derived Inspiration

The process of being deeply inspired by something/someone.  It happens to us all the time. We photograph, we pin, we post, we admire, we dream,  then we create.

I'm making a conscious effort to document the process of inspiration. From inception to the aftermath. Going from the source of "the idea" and seeing where it takes me. I think I've done this unintentionally many times. This time,  I'm taking an intentional route.

Derived Inspiration: Study No. 1, "Twenty Questions", a friend quilt swap with Whitney (the peacock tree) (scrappy_lam on IG). We settled on asking each other some questions to learn more about quilting preferences, or just more about each other. Some questions helped shape my workable palette (fabric: solids in turquoise with buttercup/chartreuse/eggplant); others were just plain fun ( Crayons vs colored pencils- definitely colored pencils). Still others, getting at the overall design taking shape in my head (Q:"organic or linear",  A: "symmetrically organic"). 

Taking the "Twenty Questions" in their entirety I learned much about my friend; we both are morning people and prefer salty vs sweet things. And to paraphrase my friends unexpected sense of humor; (Q: "Do you still consider Pluto a planet" A: "Pluto, is a big goofy dog")

Lucky for me, I was at The Denver Botanic Gardens Chihuly exhibit right when we were talking about making each other a quilt. The glass sculptures were breathtaking and exhilarating  but one photograph, of a leaf just screamed "symmetrically organic". The palette was not the one I would use for the finished quilt, but the leaf was inspirational.
The source of Inspiration. I think this captured the "symmetrically organic" vibe perfectly
What I used from the inspiration: For one, the layout. This close-up photo is of a tropical plant leaf, organically divided into thirds. That appeals to me on many levels. The dominant  "background" green color, would be changed in my composition, but the amount of space that color occupied would not. The quilt design would fill the entire workable space, without borders. I would add complimentary colors to the background color to give depth and dimension. And the focal point, the sharply offset, slightly slanted, vein of red would play a difficult and pivotal role. 
The goal: Not to copy the leaf, it is already perfect. But to derive inspiration from it and take that inspiration on a ride. To be thoughtful of Whitney's 'requests" but not to lose one bit of myself in the process. 

The details
"Twenty Questions" Derived Inspiration: No.1- 2014

Quilt front
Quilt back, keeping with the symmetrically organic vibe?

50" x 55"
Improv linear piecing with an offset, slightly slanted improv pieced vein. Inspired original design.

Materials: Fabric Top- 100% Kona Cottons in Turquoise, Caribbean, Oasis, Cyan, Aqua, Robin Egg, Peacock, Lagoon (the blues); Grass Green, Lime, Peapod, Chartreuse, Sprout, Cactus, Honey Dew (the greens); Eggplant, Dark Violet, Mulberry, Magenta (the purples); Buttercup, Corn, Papaya (the yellows). Fabric Back- same as above scraps from top, plus white with turquoise dots from my stash.

Threads: This quilt was an opportunity use use all kinds of almost done thread and bobbins from my collection. For those that I had information the following was used for piecing the top and the back: Gutermann poly cotton: 618, 650, 206, 607, 2776, 581, 6170, 577. YLI 100% cotton in seamiest 18V. Coats and Clark, 100% cotton 3690, 7360. Aurifil 100% Mako cotton in 50 wt was used to quilt. The top #2810 (turquoise) and the bobbin #2021 (off white). 

I got myself into a bit of a Y seam debacle part way through piecing the top, luckily, I'm getting better at those pesky seams. 
despite planning this still happened

the flimsy before modification of the purple/yellow vein

Batting: 100% cotton warm and natural.

Quilting done with a Bernina walking foot: Purple area: matchstick ; yellow area: Bernina modified #4 stitch; background turquoise areas: Bernina mirror image # 719 stitch.

Quilting, top, mid-detail
close-up of quilting details
Binding: cut 2" straight-of-grain with pieced insets.

Things I did that I don't normally do: I used Mary Ellen's Best Press starch alternative. I wish I tried this before, makes ironing a breeze. I also ripped out the inset purple/yellow "vein" twice. The proportions were never quite right. Third time was a charm.
I ripped this out twice. 
 I used all the scraps on the back, again, and generated a few unusable scraps- mostly from squaring up my fabrics and trimming down that troublesome vein.
not much you can do with these skinny pieces, except admire the colors,
 take a few pictures and post them on Instagram.
using up the usable scraps on the quilt back along with  a lovely white with turquoise polka dot print,
 my only" not solid" fabric
Stash fabric was used to finish the back. And I documented the solid fabric colors and threads used. May as well start practicing with the documentation in case Whitney wants to know. I didn't sketch since I had a good idea of what I was trying to achieve, but I made reference notes on a printed photo of the leaf, noting proportion and what I felt would be appropriate sizes for the large blocks of color and the prominent vein. I adjusted the vein size in the final quilt, as previously noted.

Dear friend, I hope (fingers crossed) that you like what I have done with your "Twenty Questions".

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Fly fly away

IF anyone is going to these shows could you PLEASE take a picture of my quilts?????
Many, many thanks

AQS Quilt Week- Chatanooga, 2014 Bad Ass Quilting Special Exhibit (September 10-13)
Open and Shut

AQS Quilt Week- Des Moines, 2014 Bad Ass Quilting Special Exhibit (October 1-4)

International Quilt Festival, Houston: Modern Quilt Guild Exhibit (October 30- November 2, 2014)
(I may see you there for this one since I'm still pinching myself)
Fade to Gray
Colorado 4x4

Saturday, August 2, 2014

July oh how I love you

A bit of a take a breather month, only 2 active Bee's/swaps which is good, because I got to step away from Quilting for a bit and tried some other sewing. Nothing for me however, although I was hoping to make a skirt of 2 to wear this summer (better hurry up on that one).

The Birthday Bandy Swap: for Mariana

The whole package of stuff: Round embroidery pouch, embroidery hoop, threads in rainbow palette, needles and transfer paper. Hexie paper, fabric and thread. Small hoop pin cushion.
small hoop pin cushion and pins
Embroidery hoop bag, front (with economy block pieced sewing machine)
embroidery hoop bag back, with pieced hexies

Gifts for new friends in Bolivia

Funky chicken pot holders and dish towels.
and this great roomy and fun to sew Cooper Bag by Colette Patterns, purchased with the bag hard wear  (brilliant)! The pattern allows you to select from 3 finish styles, cross-body/backpack and satchel. I went with the cross body option.

my first rivets

I really love the lining fabric

used linen for the strap instead of cotton webbing
This bag is made from 2 mid-weight Italian Linens (navy and olive) and heavy weight fusible interfacing. The lining is Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements "Expedition" also with heavy weight fusible interfacing. I modified the interior of the bag to incorporate one zippered pocket instead of 2 open pockets. And made the bag strap from fabric instead of purchasing cotton webbing. The zippers are from Zippit and have large zipper pulls for ease of use. The pattern was well written, the magnetic snaps were easy to install and I must say, I am no longer fearful of rivets.

Sewing for my Remi
Merchant & Mills, The Top #64 Pattern in a  soft subtle striped flannel. Pattern edited to include french seaming along with the suggested top stitching.

really fun pocket construction.

back details with french seams, believe it or not, I did press the top before I gave it to her…...

French seam detail with added top-stitching
Fabric detail- subtle striping
2 patterns purchased this month and both patterns used and liked.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Derived Inspiration, No. 2 "Stitched"

Derived Inspiration

Derived inspiration- The process of being deeply inspired by something/someone.  It happens to us all the time. We photograph, we pin, we post, we admire, we dream……...then we create.

This is No. 2 in a series of quilts. The first in the series is to be gifted to a friend but it won't be mailed until mid-August, hence the out of sequence numbers. No matter if it's the first or the 100th, the process is the same, the spark of an idea taken hold and mulled over until just right. The translation of thought into something realized. The beginning, but certainly, never the end.

The inspiration for this quilt was a quilter and her pattern. 

Leanne's style and quilting ethic makes me want to do my best always, and she was kind enough to let me use her pattern in a slightly different layout than that described in the canvas quilt pattern which is available on both Craftsy and in her Etsy store. The challenge (for me) was to use what I had (fabric/batting/backing/threads) but to also have fun. I started with one block.

What I used from the inspiration: The basic block pattern, in pillow size.
The goals: To make a small quilt using the original block I made, plus 5 others,  using solids and prints and using similar colors in different tints. To try and incorporate something I've never done before (inset seaming), and give the languishing metallic threads in my thread stash a second chance to shine- literally.

The Details:
"Stitched" Derived Inspiration (No. 2) - 2014 (named from the stitch like inset seam joining the quilt panels)
39" x 50"
Quilt block: Canvas Quilt- she can quilt (Leanne)
Fabrics: All stash material, Kona black, steel, medium gray, ash,  bright pink, medium pink,  curry, maize, snow, azure)  for the "stitch", and the canvas blocks. Various printed quilting cottons for block centers. 100% cotton flannel (pre-washed) for the backing, pieced.
Threads: Aurifil #2012 (top and bobbin), #2625 (top); G├╝termann #10, 116, 110 (Top); Coats and Clark #V35 (top) and Sulky metallic #142, 7009 (top)
Batting: 100% cotton Warm and Natural
Binding: 2" wide straight of grain, color and layout inspired by comments on instagram.
Quilting: Bernina modified stitch #4, 5mm wide using a walking foot.
Detail of center inset seam, metallic threads really show up on black, on the right.
I used multiple different thread colors and types on the quilt.
Makes the otherwise solid background a bit more interesting.

inset seam with glue residue. Not pretty, but it did the job
Seam total width= 1/4"
Split binding detail, top

quilt back with pieced flannel

binding detail lends pop of color to back of quilt

washed and wrinkly the "stitches" really standout.

New things I did in this quilt that I haven't done before : Joining seam for the Canvas Quilt pattern panels- an inset seam featured in Threads Magazine, July 2014. Glue basting using a washable glue stick (when pins don't/can't do the job) and using metallic thread for quilting. (I think I finally figured out a trick to make it less unpleasant to use).

Thank you to Leanne (she can quilt) for use of her pattern, Canvas, #canvasquilt. Thank you all my fellow IGer's. I appreciate your binding suggestions.