Carpenter’s Wheel: Indigo Mandala

July 16th, 2014

With furious sewing and quilting over the past few weeks, I finished the 2014 Hoffman Challenge. True to form, I ran into many strange issues I didn’t experience before.

Unlike the Magenta version, the Indigo fabric has colorful orange/pink filigree in the background, instead of subtle purple or blue.

Thus, I spent much more time fussy-cutting:

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Another thing I hadn’t planned out was the finishing. Since ‘Magenta’ will ultimately grace another quilt (stay tuned for that journey!), I spent a good deal of time thinking about the design & trying out color border ideas. Here’s my finished design:

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Oh, and did I mention my crazy internal sleeve? Right. It worked fine for the Heart Quilt. However, I decided to incorporate the selvedge, so I had to maneuver the fabric and I had a strip to ‘almost’ match it. Finishing the rest of the back with stripes loosely based on Fibonacci number sequence. Next time, I’ll have to try the Golden Spiral! Here’s the back view:

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Carpenter’s Wheel: Magenta Mandala

July 8th, 2014

Hoffman Challenge, Part 1: Earlier this year, I stumbled on the annual Hoffman fabric challenge. My friend, E thought it might be grand to enter and I decided to give it a whirl myself.

When I saw the multi-color mandala wheels, I knew exactly what to make. (wait for it…) A Carpenter’s Wheel!

Right out of the gate, I fell in love with the Magenta version of the original Anastasia fabric, so I thought I’d try playing with that first. I’d had much luck using the magic 8 method to easily make HST on the orchid birdie blocks, but the way I was fussy-cutting this mandala fabric, that just wasn’t possible.

With everything cut, sewn & squared into blocks, I started assembling my wheel.

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Progress continues and I’ll post more later….

UPDATE: here’s the finished block!2014MagentaMandala

Maine Knockabout

June 28th, 2014

They say that travel broadens the mind. In my case, it also expanded my stash! While driving to Bar Harbor at 2am, I noticed a small fabric shop (actually, a bright Pfaff sign) and vowed to check it out after the island festivities concluded this weekend.

As luck would have it, my timing was perfect on Sunday and Sewing by the Sea had just opened for the day. I chose some fun nautical fabric of boat drawings as well as swimmy fish. I regret not buying the destination t-shirt from the island with one colored fish in a school like this, so fabric was the next best thing. Lastly, I found some adorable lobsters!

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Now I’m looking for some new projects to utilize my treasures and remind me of my tasty trip. Mmmm… lobster…

One Block Wonder

June 5th, 2014

Recently, I attended a Quilty retreat and finished a couple projects and apparently start a few more! I had much fun and even tried a little Mystery Quilt action. Okay, so right now, it’s just a one-block-wonder that I turned into a pillow, but I really like it and might make some more, although I’ll run out of the print. If I make 8 more, we can play tic-tac-toe!2014MrE

Another ‘orphan’ block I pieced for the BAMQG Swap/Challenge we’re doing w/the St Louis MQG this summer. The idea is to swap an orphan block w/a fellow BAMmer, then make a nifty item (potholder, zip bag, tote, chickie, etc). And lastly, we’ll ship all the finished items all off to SL & they do the same, so each participant receives something fun in return. Of course, now that I made this one, I kinda like it and wish that I had more of the fabrics.

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Voluptous Appliqué – a first!

May 21st, 2014

There are so many things I haven’t done in the sewing world, but this week, I crossed off machine appliqué and using transparent threads! I’m pretty excited with the blocks I’m making and what a process!2014Voluptous

Seems the smartest way to get me out of my quilting rut is to try a new technique. Thus, I jumped into Cara’s Voluptuous Appliqué Block Design Workshop using freezer paper and invisible thread. I was truly in my element designing my own block and playing with color! Pair with her easy appliqué instructions and I made some fabulous spiraling blocks. Yes! I finished five of them and decided to continue for a kaleidoscope quilt. More photos later…

My BAMalot Block: A New Direction

April 24th, 2014

The County Fair is just around the corner and I’ve been working to finish this project to enter as part of a group exhibit.

Back in July, I began a Round Robin journey with the Mod Quilt Guild I’d recently joined. Thus, I’ve posted the other blocks I’ve worked on in Aug, Oct and December. It was much fun and now, my own block has returned and it’s taken on a New Direction!

My thought is to echo one more arrow border with a previous orange honeycomb & my robin’s egg blue fabric, that will look fab as the backing. Next, I sandwich a premade multi-color stripe between that hot pink I used on another block’s border and the orange echo fabric, then finish with a slender stripe-y binding.

Lastly, I aim to machine quilt it. However, I’m hesitant and worse, my Husqi wasn’t very happy sewing through the three layers. Even with a simple straight stitch, I just couldn’t keep a steady tension. Please note: this is also my 1st attempt to machine quilt!

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After a few false starts (Hey, it’s not a real sewing project without my seam ripper!), I decide to create a square spiral over the entire 41” square. And you know what? Although the stitches aren’t particularly consistent and my lines aren’t particularly straight and I ran out of thread twice, I really like the look of the spiral. It’s quite mesmerizing. I may have hit upon a quilting design for my Carpenter’s Wheels’ with this one. Yup, new directions indeed!2014NewDirectionA

Greens, Eggs & Ham!

April 1st, 2014

Don’t be an April Fool, eat those tasty greens!

Greens, Eggs & Ham (aka: Breakfast by Dr Seuss)

GreensEggsHamSaute chopped clove of garlic with a handful of shiitake mushrooms in oil of choice for a couple minutes, then add 1/2 cup of black beans and 1 cup of chopped kale/spinach/mustard greens etc. Stir together then make a well in center, add a bit of butter and crack an egg or two to fry in the center. Sprinkle chopped ham and avocado and cover to steam for a couple minutes depending on how done you like your eggs. This serves one, adjust or duplicate as necessary. Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

Hmm… I guess I could come up with a rhyme or twos, but I’m having breakfast with Dr Seuss!

Rocking Good Time!

March 31st, 2014

Wow!

Have you ever taken a creative workshop and felt overwhelmed and out of your comfort zone not always understanding what the next step is…? You should! It’s liberating and amazing things happen.

Well, I mean, I took Joe the Quilter’s Rock the Block workshop and made some nifty things happen. With a late start, I had to jump in & catch up right away… did I mention that I still needed to choose fabric? Ah, indecisive am I?

But I just went with it; I got the handout and quick instruction from my friend and started cutting some crazy green/purple fabrics into strips and sewing them together.2014RockinBlockA

When I ran out of my favorite, Joe popped by and nonchalantly reminded me that I could always ‘make more’ by joining a few pieces, and off I went happily slicing and piecing until I had little piles ready to make into blocks.2014RockinBlockB

I barely took the time to see what masterpieces others were assembling, however there were some magical quilts taking shape all around me. Did I mention that while we sewed, Joe serenaded us strumming a few tunes between instructions? :) By the end of the day, I had about 20 nifty blocks pieced:2014RockinBlocks

It looks awesome like this, but I’m not done… the next step is to sew them into strips and cut them once again and back together into 6-1/2″ blocks. Methinks I’ll keep some of the blocks with words aside, focusing on the color distribution by cutting up some of the larger minty and violet blocks. What a fascinating start that I could take in so many directions! Thanks, Joe!

Joe’s pretty cool, yeah, in a Snoopy sorta way.

Carpenter’s Wheel: Orchid Birdies

March 3rd, 2014

Finally, I’m inspired to start a new quilt for myself.

I’d been reflecting on my favorite Gramma-Great quilt: the pink and white Carpenter’s Wheel block. All those diamonds are so enticing! However, I’m not ready to attempt Y-seams just yet. As luck would have it, my colleague pointed me to the magic-8 method for making half-square triangles and from there I searched how to assemble the block using these triangles instead of diamonds.

Last year, I purchased fabric without any intended project. I’d stumbled upon a delicate birdie print that I used for the wheel plus two coordinating solids.

The real magic happened when I cut squares for those magic-8’s. The birdie was centered perfectly on one square and I decided to use it as the focus in the center of the star instead of triangles.

For the background, I used both orchid & wisteria solid fabric, though I’m not certain I like the X the small squares form.

As long as I’m diligent about measuring 3” squares, everything comes together nicely. My first block is a pleasing, subtle wash of my favorite color. :) 2014OrchidBirdie

Be My Valentines!

February 10th, 2014

Spent the weekend making up the orders I’ve received for Valentines.

2014ValentineCandyHere are the multi-color Candy Hearts. So fun and brightly colored!

2014ValentineRibbonAnd 2 simple Ribbon Designs and the Flourish in purple.

Plus, a MK mini Heart Frame for $13!

Contact me for cards today!