Monday, September 30, 2013

Mini Quilt Monday and More

I was going to title this post "Mini Quilt Monday and Sew Much More," but decided not to. Not because I don't have more than my mini quilt to show. I do, But because not all of it is finished and photographed and "Sew much more" felt a bit over the top.
First off, this week's mini quilt which, incidentally also serves as last week's addition to my store, though, truth be told, was just added this morning. Details, details.
Anyway, tried and true and much loved, a new Twinkle mini quilt makes its way into the world.
Sometimes I wonder if I'll tire of making these little quilts and I can only respond with," not yet."
I decided to make this my mini quilt this week after I made a design decision concerning this work in progress:
I'm crafting this quilt improvisationally exclusively out of the striped fabrics in my new collection, From Outside In. My original plan was to use all the leftover bolt strips Moda Fabrics sent me and see how large a quilt that made. Over the weekend, in the interest of having something brand new and wonderful to show you all for Mini Quilt Monday, I thought I would abandon Plan A and just finish this as a mini of sorts. But, I'm a big believer in sticking to Plan A, so instead I posted the Twinkle mini quilt.
If that was all there was to the more part of today's post title, I'd think that adding the "more" was unjustified. But, wait, there really is more.
More patterning:
This piece of fabric, soon to be in my store, is done being over dyed and is tumbling away in my dryer as I write. I'm writing today's post at a local coffee shop, so I can't actually hear the tumbling, but trust me, I emptied the lint tray and the fabric is definitely drying.
More pillow making:
This is just one pillow. One, very large pillow. My friend, Nan, wanted to recover a pair of floor pillow forms in anticipation of house guests, so she came over yesterday, picked out two prints, one from From Outside In and a second from Simple Marks Fall and we made a new cover. She returns today to make the second.
More designing:
I'm not going to say a lot about this bag other than it's a prototype for a new pattern and that it's designed as a bag that can be used as either a tote or a backpack. More about this soon as I have a few other fabrics I want to make it in before I write the instructions and formalize the pattern.
So, I guess there really is more. Dare I say, Sew much more?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mid-Week Workshop::Kinda, Sorta...

I say kinda, sorta because, though this mid-week "workshop" is filled with hopefully loads of good stuff, it's not exactly a tutorial.
My planned tutorial was coming along fine until the mail came on Monday and this arrived:
One of the many perks of designing for Moda is getting freebies of their packaged fabric in my various designs. For every collection I've received jelly rolls and fat quarter packs and layer cakes. But, I'd never gotten this before. I suspect because this must be new, but how amazing is this? They are pre-cut hexies. Large pre-cut hexies measuring about 5" along each edge.
Needless to say, I had to stop whatever I was doing and work with these. I think you understand.
My first project was very simple.
Each package contains 42 hexagons in a variety of patterns and color ways. I selected 7 in a similar palette and created a single flower block.
I added some diamonds and triangles to square off the block as well as some 2" strips to give it a wee bit more size.
Next up: quilting in a much loved design,
rounding the edges,
and hand binding.
Normally, I'd sew down the binding with a zig-zag stitch in a coordinating thread, but I was still a bit giddy from excitement over these pre-cut hexagons.
Now what? How about a second one in a warmer palette:
Or resist patterning the pre-cuts and over dyeing?
The results of this little experiment are in the dryer as I write.
A world(one in the shape of a hexagon, not a circle) of possibilities awaits.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mini Quilt Mondays::Fire in the Hole

Actually, no fire and I wasn't planning on yelling that in a crowded theater.
I just happen to name today's mini quilt, Circle in the Hole(coming pics will hopefully explain why) and, because my mind works in a very stream of consciousness way, the phrase, fire in the hole, came to mind.
That's the end of the association.
Anyhoo, here is this week's mini:
I've had that center dyed circle since possibly the beginning of time and it just seemed right to finally use it. Also, I've been thinking a lot about my Fish Baby Log Cabin quilt design. Put these two things together and what do you have? I don't know for sure, but this seemed as good a guess as any.
For those of you interested in playing along with the weekly mini quilt making, I created a flickr group just for that purpose, so feel free to join the fun.

Friday, September 20, 2013

New for me...and maybe for you too

Before we get into what's new or old or in between, let meet our giveaway winner.
To quote Bob Barker, " Janet M., come on down!" Or you could just email me( your address, if that's easier.
Just in case we had multiple Janets or you just don't recognize your name, here's Janet's comment:

Churn Dash is one of may favorite traditional blocks. I can't wait to see what else you come up with! Thanks for the chance to win some of your fabric!

Now, back to me.
Actually, I have several items that are new and newsy.
First, this:
I made a new dress. Honestly, it's not that new. It's newly finished, but I have been working, and I use that term extremely loosely, on this for the past year.
Before you start helping me out with all sorts of excuses like, "she must have drafted the pattern herself," or "she grew the cotton and wove the cloth," I'm going to have to come clean and admit that there's no legitimate reason why this dress took so long to finish. I just didn't finish it until, one day, I did.
It's beautiful though. Crafted from Amy Butler's Lotus Tunic and Cami pattern, I made mine in a beautiful, lacey fabric. It's fully lined and felt so delicate and special as I was making it that I decided it "deserved" a bit of hand finishing. I don't think I've ever thought that about a garment before, but this one seemed to call for it.

I wore it on Yom Kippur and for many of my co-religionists or Jews in the Pews as I like to refer to them in synagogue, you understand why.

So, what's new for you? Well, a couple things.
First, I have some new items in my shop.
New a stitch in dye charm square bundles. For those of you not familiar, these are bundles of 18, 5"x 5", hand dyed and patterned cotton fabrics in a variety of patterns and colorways. It's a great way to get a taste of these artisan fabrics.
Also, I added a new challah cover:
This too is crafted out of my hand dyed and patterned cottons, including the letters which are patterned and dyed. It's densely quilted and bound with one of my a stitch in color prints.

My other new item is a change in my blog. I've been in need of some structure here lately and have decided to organize my blogging week around three featured posts, Mini Quilt Mondays, Mid-Week Workshops, and Friday Shop Features.
I've done Mini Quilt Mondays before, so, for those of you who are long time readers, this won't be that new to you.
The Mid-Week Workshops will be simple tutorials or tips related to sewing, dyeing, quilting, or mountain climbing. Ok, maybe not mountain climbing.
And, Friday Shop Features will update you on what's new in my shop and maybe highlight some other online places you might like.
So, with that announcement and the pressure it puts on me, I'll sign off and get to work.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Moda Blog Hop:: Day My Turn

Alright Blog Hop Bunnies, are you ready for something big?
I mean really big.
Back when the theme of Size Matters was proposed and we designers were asked for input about the blocks, I asked, "what about supersizing?"
This is not particularly surprising to those of you who are familiar with my quilts, like this and this and this.
I love, love, love the idea of taking a traditional block and reinterpreting it really, really big.
I think it gives a traditional block a new, fresh look and, as an added bonus, allows you to piece up a large quilt pretty darn quickly.
For this event, I selected a well known and much-loved block, Churn Dash. It's a super-simple block consisting of half-square triangles and squares made up as a nine patch. Because it's very simple and straightforward, it is perfect for manipulation.
Check out mine:
This block measures 24" x 24". Yes 2 feet in both directions.
I've made it up in a combination of muslin and one of the prints for my new collection, From Outside In.
After I made this block, I was so excited about it that I made a couple more:
And maybe even a fourth:
All, of course featuring prints from From Outside In.
Wait till you see these fabrics. I am so happy with how they turned out.
I had debated about whether I wanted to stop here at a quilt that would measure about 48" square or keep going to make an even larger quilt.
I think I've decided to finish this quilt at its current size because I'd like to make a second version that playes up the spaces in between the churn dash motif.
One of the things I absolutely love about From Outside In is the solids in this collection and I'd like to make a quilt that focuses on those.
So many options and only 6 weeks or so until Quilt Market.
Have I whetted your appetite yet to try supersizing? Especially supersizing this block?
Well, good.
Here's the link to all the info you could ever need to make this block both in the super size size and in a few more modestly scaled versions.
Also, I'm not the only one on the blog hop today, so, after you visit here, bop on over to check out these two lovely ladies and their creations.
And, let's face it, what would a blog hop be without a giveaway? So, because I really, really like you and because it's really, really fun, I'm giving away a jelly roll of fabric featuring my most recent Moda collection, Simple Marks.
What do you have to do to win? Eat a bunch of carrots? No, just leave a comment and I'll randomly draw a winner once the blog hop is over. I'm going to have to limit the winner to someone in the US though, international postage is, you know, tres expensive.