Monday, October 22, 2012

A Week of Extreme Finishing

Raise your hand if you've read Gretchen Rubin's book The Happiness Project. Well, if you haven't, then I strongly recommend you do and, if yo have then you are familiar with The Week of Extreme Nice. Not that this is a spoiler, but the Week of Extreme Nice is a gift that the author gives to her husband, a week of no nagging, complaining, etc. In the book it's done without him knowing, both during and after. Lots of stuff to cogitate about there, but I'm just riffing on the title and declaring this a Week of Extreme Finishing.
First off, it won't be a full week as I'm leaving for Quilt Market in Houston on Friday and, secondly, my week is not exactly a secret. Not if you just read this post. But, it is a week of finishing, so I get some credit for a bit of accuracy.
Finished item #1:
Oops, we bit of disclaimer needed.
I'm about to post a picture of a finished quilt. The picture isn't of the quilt in it's finished state, but, take my word for it, the quilt is done, finito, complete. It's been a bit cloudy here the past couple days and every time I've had a moment to take a picture, the light hasn't been conducive to photography. What I am showing is the finished top. I hope to post a picture of the finished quilt along with tomorrow's image for The Week of Extreme Finishing.
This is another in my Super Size series. It's basically this design just with the template pieces blown up really big.
The fabrics are all part of my newest collection for Moda, Simple Marks Summer, and the quilt will be on display at the Moda booth during market.
Tomorrow, weather permitting, an image of the finished quilt and another finished item.

Friday, October 5, 2012

So close I can almost taste it

That's how close I am to releasing a new pattern. In fact, this morning I went to a local park and took some "romance" shots.
The design was inspired by a paint chip garland, yes, a paint chip garland, I saw on Pinterest. I tried linking to the original page, but it doesn't seem to exist anymore, so this is the best I can do.
The pattern will include information on making this generously sized lap quilt as well as scaling the templates down to make a pillow-top-appropriate version.
I'll save pictures of that for another post. This is a teaser after all.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Craftsy Project

Before I get into the meat of today's topic, I have to apologize for my own silliness. I mentioned at the beginning of yesterday's post that I hadn't let you all in on the fall version of Simple Marks. Well, if I'd just scrolled down the page a couple of posts I would have seen that, in fact, I did back when I participated in the Moda Blog Hop. So, never mind, I won't be posting preview shots of Simple Marks Fall. Been there, done that.
What I haven't posted about is the bonus project I created for my online class at My class, Fabric Patterning with Wax Resist, walks you through all the steps that I use in my home studio (read: my garage) to create my hand dyed and patterned fabrics. When I was preparing the lessons for the class, I thought it would be fun to include a simple project to showcase the various techniques taught.
And this project is definitely simple. It's really just 10 1/2" x 10 1/2" squares of fabrics that have been dyed and discharged using some of the methods discussed. I intentionally limited the color palette to hopefully unify the differently patterned fabrics. I then machine quilted it to highlight the images in the fabrics and bound it in orange. I wanted the binding to accent but not blend into the fabrics featured in the top. The nine-patch sampler measures about 30" x 30" and could be a functional baby quilt or a wall hanging. Either way, it's a great way to show off all your newly acquired dyeing expertise.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cheater Cloth Demystified

Do you ever bandy about a term, assuming everyone understands what you're referring to? Apparently I do and a prime example of that is the term, "cheater cloth". Pretty much every time I mention here or otherwise somebody or somebodies ask me, "What's a cheater cloth?"
Well, I'm making it my personal mission for today, October 2, 2012, to demystify that term.
A cheater cloth is really just fabric that looks like it's pieced but it's not. They were very popular years ago and have recently experienced a resurgence in popularity.  Both my first collection, a stitch in color, and my upcoming collection, Simple Marks, feature cheater cloths.
This is one of the two cheater cloths from Simple Marks. See, it even has some pseudo quilting lines printed on the fabric. It's double deceptive.
Here's the cheater cloth from a stitch in color crafted into a big tote bag.
I was originally inspired to design a cheater cloth after I saw a gal walking down the street in a dress that had obviously been crafted out of a patchwork quilt top. I thought it looked so fun, but couldn't imagine piecing a quilt top only to cut it up and re-sew it into a dress. Though, as I type that, I'm not exactly sure why I can't imagine doing that. I've done way more complicated and convoluted things, both in crafting and in life. Anyway, that experience sparked my interest in cheater cloths and these prints, so far, are the result.
So, to quote Mr. Porticolis, from My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding, " There you go."

Monday, October 1, 2012

Simple Marks :: Preview

I think I might have hinted at this and some of you have written assuming this is true, but I do have a second collection coming out with Moda. It's called Simple Marks. Why that title? I love crisp, clean shapes. I think that's what first drew me to the idea of making batiks with a more contemporary feel. And I love the idea of mark making. It seems so basic, like something you would do with the simplest of tools. And that's what I use and used to make the originals that went into this collection, simple, very simple tools.
Simple Marks is actually coming out in two parts. The first round of prints and solids will start appearing at your local independent fabric store and online in November (I'll take some pics of those and feature them in a later post). The second incarnation, also called Simple Marks Summer will be previewing at Quilt Market in October and coming out for the Spring. It features the same prints, but the colors are brighter than the fall version. I just finished a project that uses Simple Marks Summer and I couldn't be more excited about them.
Here's a wee, little peek for you all:
I should add that this collection, both the fall and summer version include not one, but two cheater cloths. The cheater cloth form a stitch in color, my first collection, was probably the single most popular fabric in that group. Take a gander at the newest ones included in Simple Marks Summer: