Thursday, October 27, 2011

a stitch in color :: twinkle mini quilt

I love follow through. I'm not always able to attain it, but when I am, boy howdy, does it make me happy.
So, following through on yesterday's promise, I present these images:
The completed top sans quilting

All done!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

a stitch in color overdyed

It seems to be working.
I especially like the circles discharged and overdyed from the cheater cloth as the "stitching" that's printed on the fabric remains visible.
I've got another batch of these ready and am planning to assemble and quilt the mini quilt today. Good thing too as I'm leaving for market bright and early on Friday.
I hope to be back here tomorrow to show you the finished project.
In the meantime, check out this terrific piece the Darra Williamson, writer and editor extraordinaire, put together about me and a stitch in color. Thanks so much, Darra!

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's Not All Created Equal

Those of you who've had this experience can attest to the fact that not all commercial fabrics are created equal. By that I'm not referring to their hand or base fiber or even inherent beauty. I'm talking about whether they can be manipulated through surface design techniques, especially discharging or bleaching.
You all might be familiar with my quilts that focus on a singular shibori technique to create patterning. Quilts like this and this. Well, not every commercial fabric that I use works with this technique.
In short, this technique, itajime, uses clamped pieces of plexiglass to form a resist on the fabric's surface. Wherever the plexi comes in contact with the fabric, dye or bleach don't penetrate. This method works much of the time, but I have encountered commercial fabrics where the existing color didn't budge or, despite being cotton, the dye seemed to float off the surface. Considering how much I love this technique and I hoped that this resistance to surface manipulation would not be a characteristic of my new fabric, a stitch in color.
Well, you can all breathe a sigh of relief (assuming you were that worked up about it), I can vouch for the fact that discharging is definitely doable with these fabrics.
I haven't had a chance to over dye these, but usually discharging is more of an issue than over dyeing, so I'm confident all will be well.
My plan is to make a twinkle mini quilt like the one I linked to for Quilt Market this weekend. I'm going to need a few more clamps to expedite the process, but I don't think it's too lofty a goal.
I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pretty in Patchwork :: Doll Quilts

One of the best parts of what I do is having the opportunity to design for other people's books. It's great on several levels. First, I get to meet and interact with a lot of fun, interesting people. Also, I'm usually asked to design within certain parameters and that, for me, actually facilitates the creative process. And, finally, other than financial compensation, I almost always get a complimentary copy of the book which allows me to enjoy the work of the author and the other designers.
The book I'm featuring today is no exception.
 Pretty in Patchwork Doll Quilts: 24 Little Quilts to Piece, Stitch, and Love by Cathy Gaubert definitely allowed me to indulge in all the things I love about design work.
For those who don't know Cathy and seeing as this is the internet, there might be one or two of you, she is a person of intense, infectious enthusiasm. From the very first email, I couldn't help but get caught up in her excitement about the book and I think that energy shows in the designs represented and the fun, accessible way the text is presented.
My contribution to the book was, obviously, a mini quilt using hexagons and a favorite piecing technique called Y seaming. The book doesn't officially release until November 1, so I've limited my images to details rather than full views.
I've called this little quilt the Cupcake Quilt as it's kind of related to this design. The finished quilt, made according to the instructions, measures 27" x 23 3/4", but, since it's made in blocks, expanding or shrinking the size of your piece is easy.
As always, I'm excited to see how you all will interpret this design, so, if you happen to make this quilt, please send me an email with an image of your quilt.

Friday, October 14, 2011

a stitch in color preview project #8: Sukkah Chain

I know some of you are scratching your heads and wondering what is a Sukkah and why would I make a chain for it. Rather than answer those questions directly because, hey, I'm nothing if not a little lazy, I'll direct you here.
Today I'm featuring another project using my new line of fabrics, a stitch in color, but I'm particularly proud of this project as it combines two significant things in my life and produces something semi-useful.
Every year I build a sukkah. And, by build, I mean that I get some nice, helpful guy to construct it for me. Nonetheless, it is a presence in my life every year at this time in the Jewish calender. Every year I decorate my sukkah in some way. One year I put up all the drawings my kids had made in the past year. Of course that year it rained a lot, so I didn't do that again. Some years I hang paper chains or gourds. It all depends on my mood and how much time I want to devote to it. This year I strung a lot of lights (thanks to the assortment of Christmas lights already available at Target) and made these:
Yup. Those are fabric chains made out of a huge box of leftover strips of a stitch in color that Moda sent me. I haven't even begun to make a dent in the strips(potential future giveaway?), but I did use them to craft these chains.
Aren't they pretty?
I did have some help in making and hanging the chains from my buddies, Adam and Josh, so thanks guys!
To all my fellow sukkot celebrants, I wish you a chag sameach and to everyone else, have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I'm Back...

This, of course assumes you wondered where I was. I hadn't planned on taking a break from blogging, but between regular life and the myriad of Jewish holidays that fall this time of year...I did.
Anyhoo, I'm back and I have a project to share as well as some information for you local folks who might like to join me in a class or two.
As some of you know, I teach classes in a variety of sewing topics over at Stitch Lab. I've actually taken a break this past September and October from teaching so I could focus on getting ready for Quilt Market, but new classes start up in November and I  have some new offerings.
So, in prepping for these new classes, I've had the opportunity to re-make a few much-loved designs, including this one:
 This is another version of the Fish Baby Log Cabin quilt that I shared with you as well as folks over at Sew, Mama, Sew. The original has long since gone to it's recipient who is now about 3 months old and seriously cute with or without the quilt.
The version featured here is headed to Stitch Lab to help promote the class and hopefully get some of you locals inspired to make this easy, quick project along with me.
For a complete listing of the offerings at Stitch lab, click here.