March 24th, 2015
March is always a good month to learn new techniques.
That said, I jumped into an intriguing workshop today: Paperless paper-piecing with Cristy Fincher. (more about Cristy here)
There are some super fun ways to piece fabric and Cristy’s glue-basting technique is quite ingenious. I don’t tend to like pins, so this was especially perfect for me.
We used her Folded block template.
Choosing fabrics was a little tricky if you wanted the finished block to resemble folded paper. There was a bit of prep-work, labeling (extremely important!) and cutting out the pieces, pressing them to a prepared template, starching one seam and sewed them up (removing the template first). Easy Peasy!
It was fun to multiply the block with a simple Frames App and watch how the repeat changed based on the direction. I’ll have to play with the color placement, but this turned out so cool!
(pix to follow)
March 8th, 2015
Over the past few weeks, I have attempted to finish a few WIPs and make room for new projects. I got sidetracked with a design decision on one and waiting for backing fabric for another. However, three’s a charm!
Worked in ferocious bursts of productivity, my Happiness Rocks quilt is finished and ready for the biennial show next weekend. Yay!
When I decided that the top seemed a little small for a bed quilt, I knew I’d add a border after all. Sigh. Luckily, the purple-violet Kona solid is a great balance for all that minty green.
Once the borders were set, it was time to piece the backing. Four larger purple quadrants, separated with more 6″ blocks created with the rest of the backing and few remaining scraps, marched across the entire width. (My favorite stripey block below has inspired ideas for yet another quilt!)
Then it was time to mark my quilting design and hope for the best!
My decision to machine-quilt was a battle at every turn and I couldn’t seem to set the tension correctly. My ‘mesmerizing’ design required straight-line quilting and an even stitch length, so quilting from the purple side worked well once that was straightened out.
It took me a day to hand-stitch the stripey binding and make my integrated border correctly.
And in the end, I really like how it came together. Perhaps, I’ll paint the guest room a lovely shade of purple this spring! Roar!
February 24th, 2015
After years of focusing on the same quilt, I’m happy to say that there are already 8 projects on my WIP list for 2015, including a sampler. Hmm… It’s a good thing that the annual Spring retreat is this month. I could use some time to focus on sewing.
Saturday morning, N and I made progress on our Improv Charity Blocks from Cheryl Arkison’s workshops.
There are now twelve 15″ blocks total: her 3, my 3, Cheryl’s 3 and the 3 we just made. I sewed the top together and next we will look for red backing fabrics.
Top finished. Check!
Next, I make progress on my Orchid Birdie Wheels.
This is the quilt I hoped to finish for the 2014 Pantone Color-of-the-year, Radiant Orchid. Two 24″ blocks were assembled last year and I planned for least nine total. However, I got derailed by this stunning green I snagged from the destash table and started to play.
Hmm… I’m not really sure I like this in my Orchid Quilt. It’s more like that ‘one of these things is not like the other’ game. I guess I’ll set it aside unfinished for now.
Finally: Happiness Rocks!
I’ve managed to piece this using almost ALL the fabric! And there are only a few scraps left to integrate into the backing!
Thus, the top is finished!
February 13th, 2015
My weekends have been a blur this year and I’ve spent much of my time being wonderfully creative: One retreat spent figuring out whether digital photo album design is my direction, another, helping friends bottle a barrel of wine.
However, last weekend, I created stuff!
My client requested colorful cards for her annual birthday set. I designed them with a thoughtful stamp and silk flowers. My process was to cut the paper and stamp, then coordinate flowers and assemble, finishing with a blingy brad for sparkle. By the time I’d finished 50, I had a vibrant garden on my desk!
Next up: sewing!
At a workshop with Joe the quilter last year, learned a fun technique for assembling 6″ blocks. I zipped together a bunch of them, but didn’t make the second cut and promptly set them aside. Fast forward…
When I pulled it out again, I realized that there really wasn’t much fabric left and I should just make as many blocks as I could. Below, I have the 5″, 4″, 2″ and 1″ strips waiting along the left side while chain piecing the 3″ pairs. I totally forgot about making another round of ‘block strips’ and cutting again. Oh well, I’ll blame that on hot-from-the-oven brownies!
Once I began assembling this quilt, I liked the fact that only the corners had to match up. It took me a little time to double check, but I think it looks fun. Like minty, purple ice cream!
February 4th, 2015
“A moment of your time, fair lady. Would you happen to have a lap you might share? Yes? Oh fabulous! And so comfy! And are you very busy? I could use a good rub… oh, brilliant!” purrrrrrrrrrrr…
He doesn’t make requests very often and I can always sew a little later…
January 20th, 2015
I’ve been playing with paint recently.
Nothing specific yet. Just building color washes with fluid acrylics.
Also, I need to find a different purple. While I liked the single wash, after 3-4 layers, Quinacridone Violet came out more like, hmm… well, a touch redder than the 2015 Pantone color of the year!
January 8th, 2015
Some of my favorite gifts have been ‘action’ gifts. You know, the kind where you are invited to experience as opposed to simply get some thing. This year, that gift was in the form of a mega pad of Origami papers from my friend, F, who is also making 1K cranes. Our plan is to make 3 each day, finishing around Thanksgiving. Welcome to the year of One Thousand Cranes!
“The crane is a powerful symbol for loyalty, nobility, and beauty. According to Japanese tradition, anyone with the patience and commitment to fold 1,000 paper cranes will be granted their most desired wish, because they have exhibited the cranes’ loyalty and recreated their beauty.”
My most desired wish is under wraps until the end of this journey. However, one of the fun additions we are implementing as each crane is folded: think of a person and all the blessings they have brought into our life. Heavens! Do I even know a thousand people?!?
Ah, well… Crossing that bridge when I come to it. For now, this is a physical reminder of how blessed my life truly is because of those I’ve met over the years.
After a few weeks of folding cranes from the pre-cut 6″ papers, it occurred to me that I should try my hand at making the 3″ version. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I could make the folds, but here is my first one, perching on my keyboard for scale.
Over the weekend I made a few more and think I like this size better.
January 1st, 2015
Happy Merry New 2015!
It’s really been a great year, albeit I’ve felt trampled by 2014 on occasion rather than riding high. I’m still ever so grateful.
My Kreativity level has increased tenfold and I have many beautifully crafted items to show for my efforts. You see, last year, I challenged myself to make a list. Not just any list, mind you, a Kreativity List for Quilty Projects!
With the completion of my Heart Quilt, I now had freedom to expand my creative focus beyond handmade cards. Starting with blocks I made during two workshops and two projects from my MQG from 2013, my WIPs (works-in-progress) list steadily grew from just 4 projects with the help of my Quilty friends. Last week, I topped my list with 4 gifts for my nieces & nephews (finished all but 1!) to make it 24 projects in 2014! Many have been posted here and I’m pleased to count 15 off the 2014 list as complete. Yay!
December 30th, 2014
Ah, this Holiday Season has been filled with so many gifts lovingly made!
Potholders (square & chicken), baby quilts, Elsa capes, Baby Monkey clothes and one DIY project for my nephew…
Let’s start with one of my few UFO’s from 2012.
I just didn’t know what to do with these fabulous squares. They didn’t speak to me as a quilt, or even as pillows, so I shelved them. Last year, I had a brilliant idea to make them into potholders but ran out of time. This year, determination for gifting them even spurred me to try machine quilting again. How wonderful small projects are!
Since I gifted them to four friends, I also got to turn gift-giving into a game. Once opened, they had to match up the squares for the win!
December 8th, 2014
It’s not really a surprise. I’ve known about her pregnancy for the past six months. I just wasn’t thinking that I would make anything…and then I had second thoughts. It might be nice to make a baby blanket. You know, it’s a small project and I seem to be able to finish smallish projects these days. So, why not! It’s only a couple weeks before Christmas. I’m not busy! Heh.
Here’s my starting fabric:
One, two, three… Go!
Update, Dec 15th: It’s taken me a week to actually start this quilt. Nevertheless, I spent the afternoon cutting out the 9” squares and then again diagonally at the 3” to 6” in order to make the tessellating windmill blocks.
Wow! This inspires me for another quilt… next year.
Once I laid out the pattern, the piecing went quickly, squares then rows. Only the remaining purple fabric is large enough to wrap around for backing and binding. Unfortunately, it takes another week to have time to quilt it, but I’m able to finish the binding in time to wrap and place under the tree.