Tuesday, September 27, 2011

a stitch in color preview project #7 or what to do with a jelly roll...

...other than eat it. And, actually I'm not talking about that kind of jelly roll, though just the thought is making me hungry. I mean the kind that Moda fabrics creates by packaging 2 1/2" x 44" lengths of entire fabric collections into a single spiraled fabric confection. I wanted to come up with a project that utilizes a jelly roll and doesn't require a lot of extra trimming.
I cogitated about this for a while and then ended up adapting my Strips and Bricks pattern to this purpose.
 The original pattern has the pieces measuring a bit wider, but I used the 2 1/2" widths with the same lengths as the original to create my strips and bricks. I also adapted the color scheme so that it was more like this version rather than the original.
Like both previous versions I  free motion quilted the top in straight lines about 1/4" apart and bound the edges so that the binding matched the outer edge of the quilt.
There you have it, a project that utilizes the tasty jelly roll. Unlike the edible version, certainly true when I'm eating one, this incarnation includes are a few leftover jelly roll bits.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sew Wild by Alisa Burke Blog Tour

I am super excited to be part of Alisa Burke's blog tour to promote her amazing new book, Sew Wild. I actually met Alisa in Cleveland a couple of years ago when we were both there to tape segments and workshop DVDs for Quilting Arts TV and Interweave Press. I remember seeing her work laid out on a table ready to be taken over to the taping studio. It was energetic, raw, colorful, and full of surprises. I was instantly drawn to it.
Now, lucky for us, she's written a book detailing her many techniques, her work and design philosophy, and how she finds inspiration. Plus, the book has scads of wonderful projects that you'll really want to make.
Hey, did you notice that note in the bottom left-hand corner? This book includes a bonus, instructional DVD.
This book is visually beautiful, well-illustrated, and chock full of inspiration, but I think one of the most important statements in the book is found in the introduction. There Alisa writes,

I want to break down the stigma that often goes along with sewing—that it’s scary, that there are rules to follow, that you have to be technical and always use a pattern. Instead I want to encourage you to experiment, find your style, embrace mistakes, be messy, let loose, and explore. 

Oh my, that philosophy speaks to me and, I think to a lot of folks who create.
But, Alisa doesn't just send you out there without lots of information. There is everything from standard sewing techniques to sewing with alternative materials to an extensive, and I mean extensive, surface design techniques section. And, these aren't techniques that you need an amazing, jam-packed full of materials studio to re-create. These are simple, doable, yet striking techniques that can transform your fabric and give you a palette of materials to work with. I especially love her take on incorporating text into surface design and stitching.
Plus, once you've played with patterning fabric, Alisa has designed fun projects for you to craft that fabric into. Everything from quilts to pillows to cuffs, scarves, hats, and more. I mean it...much, much more.
You know what I think you should do? I think you should go here or here and order yourself a copy. 
I don't think you'll be disappointed. Also, don't be surprised if you see me post a project or two inspired by this book, cuffs, maybe or a tote decorated with fused plastic. Just sayin.   

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Winners and a Big, Big Bag

Thanks everyone for your fu, and fabulous comments about the place mats. The all knowing, all seeing, powers at Random.org have chosen our winners.
They are:

Josée said...

I love those magazines from Interweave. Such a great inspiration. Cute placemats!

mali said...

The aging hippie in me loves the flower power placemats - I can see myself making some of those for my crew.

If y'all will email me at malka@stitchindye.com and give me your address, I'll get your magazines to you faster than you can sing "This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius..."
Now onto the Big, Big Bag. Actually, I really wanted to call it the Big Ass Big (which, technically I just did), but thought I should try to keep this post as "G" rated as possible.
Anyway, here it is:
This bag is big, really big and so beautiful. I can say that without being too immodest because I didn't make it. The folks at Moda had a bunch of them made to give to their sales reps. They feature my a stitch in color cheater cloth. I got mine from a nice rep I met last week who sweetly gave me his. So, I'm sharing it with you all.
It is so generously sized. I can't wait to stuff it full of all my essentials and a bunch of other crap and carry it proudly at Quilt Market.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Flower Power Giveaway

For the record: I'm not actually giving away any flower power or any other kind of power. I'm giving away magazines. Not selling them like those kids who go door-to-door trying to get you to buy subscriptions so that they can win a fabulous trip to Europe. I'm giving these away.
I've got a project featured in the current issue of Quilting Arts Gifts and the lovely folks at Interweave Press sent me a couple extra copies. Though I have two eyes, I use them simultaneously to read, so I actually only need one copy. Thus I'm giving away the extras.
My project is a pair of groovy, shaped place mats called the Flower Power Place Mats. They're amazingly easy to make and super fun to use or, if you're the altruistic kind, give away.
They're also great stash buster projects as you can mix different prints and solids in each place mat.
This is the kind of project that makes you smile while making and the recipient smile in receiving. A real win-win situation.
So, if you'd like a chance to win one of the two copies of Quilting Arts Gifts which includes this project, scores of other fun, easy projects, and even some recipes, leave a comment at the end of this post.
I'll be back on Wednesday to announce the winners.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

a stitch in color :: preview project #6.5

OK. I was wrong. The last project was actually #6. I hope I didn't confuse anyone. Today's project is not quite done as I have an appointment with a long arm machine tomorrow to do the quilting, but I'm so happy with how the top has turned out that I'm posting about it anyway.
I showed y'all sneak peeks of this large quilt last week, but now the top is entirely assembled and ready (sorta) for prime time.
This is one large quilt. It's decidedly longer than a full size bed and plenty wide. I don't know what the exact size is because I haven't measured it, but I hope that quilted and hung, it will make an impact from a distance and draw folks into the booth at Market.
As I mentioned the other day, I've done this large scale kind of block before, but the drama of these super sized tops never fails to wow me. Sometimes I think that there's probably not a traditional block around that couldn't be made more contemporary and graphic by simply radically enlarging it.
And with blocks this big, piecing is so quick and easy. Imagine a full size quilt top that can be pieced and sewn in an afternoon...sweet. Factor in a day spent long arm quilting (on a rented machine) and you've got a large, bed-sized quilt that could be made in a weekend. This could actually be a last-minute gift to give to a new couple or as a housewarming present.
As for this version...hmmm...I think I'll keep it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

a stitch in color :: preview project #5

At least I think it's #5. I'm working on a new computer and nothing automatically comes up. I was just browsing Amazon when I realized that I was being asked to sign in because the page doesn't recognize me from this computer. I feel strangely anonymous.
Thank goodness I'm not anonymous to you all. At least I hope not.
Anonymity or not, I've got another a stitch in color project to show off today.
I've made this simple pillow design numerous times with my hand dyed fabrics and thought it would be fun to recreate.
Once again, I was blown away by the intensity of color and the similarity to the original hand dyes that the folks at Moda managed to get into these commercial prints.
I also love that this line has so many prints in it. I love mixing different colors and patterns together (probably not a huge revelation there) and I feel like I've got so many options. It's definitely the way I like to work.
For those of you who've emailed me and asked about the public release of these fabrics: they will be available in stores and online in January of 2012. All the projects that I have and will show are destined for Quilt Market in Houston at the end of October. That's when the official industry-wide preview happens.
I'll fill you all in on a little secret: I'm super excited to work with these fabrics, but I'm even more excited to see what you all make with them. I know I"ll be amazed.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Eryn's Quilt

A few weeks ago, my friend Eryn asked me to make a quilt for her soon-to-be niece or nephew's room. Initially she requested a quilt design similar to this quilt, but ultimately decided she preferred something more like a traditional pinwheel design. Me being me and, let's face it, she knew that going in, I opted to use the pinwheel concept more as a jumping off point than as an actual design.
I improvisationally crafted the half-triangle squares that make up the four-patch of the pinwheel block and then added bits of fabric as needed to make block parts as well as whole blocks fit together.
Eryn provided much of the fabric, especially the greens, and I added in a few solids as well as some of the strike offs from my new line that didn't make the final cut. The initial set of strike offs that came to me probably included 100 different colorways and  I was asked to whittle that down to 40 prints and solids. That means there were quite a few terrific fabrics that had to be deleted. The folks at Moda were nice enough though to send me those strike offs and I'm excited to include them in some of my projects.
I finished off this mini quilt with a bit of machine quilting in a large concentric spiral. It's really a super-simple concept done just little differently.
Eryn has already picked up her quilt, thus this post, and seems pretty happy with the finished product. Me too. I'm pretty happy with it too.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What a week!

I wish that title applied to a whirlwind week spent in Paris or Rome, but it doesn't. I have so missed being in this space, posting to flickr, and just generally being a part of our wonderful, little internet community. Why? Because some mean, mean person thought that it would be OK to break in and steal the very modes of communication and expression I use to be in this community.
It happened about 10 days ago. I woke up early in the morning to discover my back door wide open. I'm not talking about just unlocked, I mean the dude/dudette didn't even have the courtesy to close the door behind them as he/she made off with my computer, camera, and purse. How very rude!
This obviously necessitated a visit by a pair of Austin's finest and a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles as well as a mad scramble to cancel credit cards. Ironically, I got an email later that evening from a neighbor letting me know that she'd found my wallet and much of the contents of my purse including the extra tampon that every self-respecting woman carries. I guess he (and I say he now because if it was a she surely she would have at least grabbed that spare tampon) was looking for cash and, having found little to none, simply discarded my wallet. I'll fill you all in on a little secret: there was cash in the wallet. In one of the outside pockets, I carry my lucky $2 bill. I got it as change several months ago and decided to keep it as a good luck charm. That's practically the first thing I checked and happily my lucky $2 bill is still with me.
What I no longer had was my own computer and my much loved Nikon D80. I solved the camera problem relatively quickly thanks to Amazon and my new computer arrives tomorrow. Today, I'm still on my daughter's, but I already feel a new equilibrium as my buddy, Lee, installed some photo processing software on her computer and now I can bring you these:
As we all know, nothing is more therapeutic than crafting, so, because it soothes me and because I have a deadline, I've been plugging away at the samples I'm making for Moda's booth at Quilt Market.
This is another version of my Shoo-fly Supersize quilt made with my a stitch in color fabrics.
Ahh...that's so much better. I'm glad to be back amongst y'all.