Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Color Challenge: Rust

Rust was the hue of the week in the Color Challenge over at 15 Minutes Play

My first grab out of my stash was for some deep turquoise. I realized I was headed down the path of my orange block, which I liked, but wanted to try a different combo. So I went with green instead. (Okay, maybe not so different, but...) I grabbed the bottom fabric first, the leafy print and the other green fabric second, and then filled in with the yellow-green, purple, and magenta. 

Made fabric: I am slowly getting better at estimating how much of this to make.

Finished block:
I love the green hues with the rust, but that's no surprise. It's that copper/patina concept. I was pleased with the purple/rust concept, as I wouldn't have thought of that, and really surprised by the fact that the yellow-green and the magenta worked as well as they did. I do like seeing rust in a modern setting, as my memories of rust are of a country blue and rust family room. 

To see my previous blocks (bright yellow, orange and dusty blue), click here.
To see my next block (tomato red), click here.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fabric Friday

Showing off a charm pack of a luscious new collection I picked up at Market last week...Feathers and Fancy by Dianna Laferry for Benartex. I especially like the purple and orange colorway, but I'm thinking I could definitely have some fun with any of the three!

And then this morning I popped down to (two!) local quilt shops to grab "just one thing." And if you saw my stash, you would agree that the last thing I need to be doing is buying fabric...
But I came home with 6 yards, all for specific projects at least, and all meant to supplement what I already have. Time to get sewing! 
Enjoy the three-day weekend if you have one! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Patchwork Prism Addiction...

...or disaster...we'll see when I start trying to piece it! I discovered this Quilt Along at The Sewing Chick. It's a pattern designed by Anna Maria Horner and presented in conjunction with Janome.  You can find more out about it here.

Gorgeous, isn't it?!?!
Just the fabric selection and cutting is a big project, let alone the actual piecing. Thank goodness for VERY explicit directions and layout diagrams.
To make matters slightly more complicated, my design wall is currently folded up on the floor out of commission. So I've started the layout on the futon in my studio, but will need to move to the design wall soon. I'm also doing the quilt at 50% of its actual size (still pretty size-able!).
My fabrics are all batiks. I've got the first couple colors laid out and am still working on cutting the rest.

I started by pulling out ALL of my batiks (yikes!) and sorting them by color:

Then I organized each pile so I could see of my available options:
Yum, right? I could happily quilt forever just using batiks.

And here's what I have laid out so far. I still need to play around with actual placement of each piece, but I wanted to start out by getting the effect of the various "rings" of color.

Here's to more triangle cutting!

Updated: I have all the purples (next round) cut and laid out now; working my way through blue cutting.

Liebster Blog Award

As a relatively new blogger with a small following, I'm all about finding new friends and great blogs. So when Sew Sleepless nominated me for a Liebster Award (thanks so much!), I was honored and am passing it along by sharing some of my favorite small blogs.

The rules of the Liebster Award are:
1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog
2. Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you
3. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog
4. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed. 
5. Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment at their blog.

So without further ado:
1.  Fiberchick: Hugely talented in color choices and block making. I love pretty much everything I've seen on her blog.
2. Sewlandia: I was originally drawn to this blog because of its name. In addition to a creative name, it's full of creative and modern-looking quilts.
3. The Sewing Chick: Okay, so she already has a Liebster button on her site, but she's the one who turned me onto the Patchwork Prism quilt (see more here), so I had to add her in!
4. Mommy's Naptime: Another blog that originally drew me in by name...I definitely skip napping opportunities to quilt! Love her style and bold use of color.
5. Chez Roo: First fell in love with her paper pieced pirate block. My new favorite post is her most recent--how she used a deceased friend's clothes in memory quilts. 
Be sure to check out these blogs, and if you're visiting me for the first (or second, or third) time, please consider following me!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Color Challenge Blocks: Bright Yellow, Orange & Dusty Blue

I'm still playing along with the Color Challenge over at 15 Minutes Play; I'm just a little behind. With Quilt Market behind me, life has calmed down a bit, and I had the chance to pull out some fabrics and get sewing. I've got three blocks to show today!

Bright Yellow
It turns out yellow is a tropical party girl. I had 3 different yellow scraps in mind, chose this one, and then invited aqua and pink to come play.

My made fabric:
(I got so excited after making this that I cut out 2 squares before remembering to take a photo of the made fabric!)

And my block:

Yellow is fun!
Adding other bold colors to it brightens everything up. Orange is usually my ''go-to'' zinger color, as I typically use so much blue and green that it creates a nice contrast. However, I really enjoyed finding some friends for yellow.

I knew exactly which orange fabric I wanted to use—the brown/orange leaf print you see below. That made adding in the brown an easy choice, and then the turquoise kept it feeling modern and bright rather than so autumn-like.

I also found this fabric, which I LOVED and also felt validated my color choices. Ironically, I completely forgot to use it in my made fabric. Oh well. To be honest, I didn't need it. I got the same look from my fabric choices! And now I can use it in another project.

My made fabric:

And my block:

Orange is so versatile! And I don't have enough in it in my stash. I started a new quilt after finishing these blocks, and I need more oranges! I love how these three colors (orange, teal, brown) look so rich and polished together.
And small disclaimer: these photos turned out very bright. The actual fabric is not quite so fluorescent.

Dusty Blue
This color was a challenge. Maybe it goes back to my mauve-ish and dusty blue bedroom when I was a kid in the 80s…I don't know. I tried pairing it up with several different color schemes and nothing worked. Ultimately I realized that dusty blue is shy. It's going to fade into the background in most situations. So I let it do that.

My made fabric:

And my block:

As I said above, I had much more luck when I gave up on making dusty blue the star and let it hang in the background. It's a great ''neutral'' but I'm still not sure what to put with it to make it pop—even if you went monochromatic, the other values of blue would likely stand out more. But hey, it has a purpose and I'll keep that in mind on future quilts!

And all seven blocks together so far:

Still having fun making these! And seeing everyone else's blocks!
To see my previous block, peach, click here.
To see my next block, rust, click here.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Fabric Friday

...again, coming to you on Saturday. If it weren't for the lovely "f" alliteration, I would change the day of the week for doing this! Just kidding, but I pushed this to Saturday this week because Friday was my post for the Blogger's Quilt Festival and I felt that deserved its own day.

Since I'm at Quilt Market, I can show some truly new fabrics. In fact, I just might spread this out over a couple days as I see more fun prints.
For starters, here are some pictures of "Modern Quilts" by Cynthia Frenette for Robert Kaufman Fabrics. I love that it is modern looking "cheater cloth." I call it that, but I definitely don't mean it in a negative manner. I think it is so cool! I've already started thinking of projects to make with it, especially that wedding-ring-looking print. Check out the display in their booth:

And some close-ups:

Don't you want some now too?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Finished! Wonky Log Cabin

I'm proud to say that I finished machine quilting my wonky log cabin quilt last weekend, just in time to bind it and show it in the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side.

I'm pretty happy with how this quilt turned out. I really like how the (semi) straight line quilting looks. It did make me realize that I definitely need more practice machine quilting. That just means I'll need to stitch some more quilt tops--no problem!

Here's a flat shot of the quilt as well.

My original plan had been to take the "beauty shot" of the quilt in front of a beautiful blue lake/sky combo. Unfortunately, Mother Nature did not cooperate, and I had a gray-ish backdrop instead. I'll show the photo anyway!

I also took some close-ups. You can see my photo shoot helper in one of the pictures. I couldn't keep him off the quilt! 

If you're visiting from the Blogger's Quilt Festival (or any other site), thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you'll consider joining as a follower. 
And definitely stop by Amy's Creative Side to check out all of the gorgeous quilts in the online show. There are some truly fantastic quilts, and in just a few minutes of looking, I've found so many patterns and ideas I want to try!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Channeling My Inner Sarah Jessica Parker

After finishing the quilting of my wonky log cabin, I needed a smaller project as a break. I have a lot of travel coming up this summer (1 wedding down, 5 more to go!), plus a trip to Quilt Market this week (hooray!), so I decided to make a new cosmetic bag.
I am pretty much an au natural girl...which I could blame on lack of time to get all prettied up because of the two small children in my house. However, I didn't wear much makeup before then either, so I guess it's just the way I am. I have a small bag from Target for my makeup, but I don't really like it because it doesn't stand upright and it's too small. Since I have all these events this spring and summer, I decided it was time for a new bag. Add in some samples of laminated cotton that I've been wanting to try out, and the time was right.
For my first attempt, I used the blue and white floral laminate for the outer bag and the fun green dot (regular cotton) for the lining.

I boxed the corners to create a nice wide base for it to stand up on.

The end result: Simple and fun. Bigger than my old bag, and able to stand up. Perfect.

But I couldn't stop there. It was too easy. I wanted to try something a little more involved. So I chose two laminates and made a pieced outside.

And tried something fancy to give it a little more detail at the top, so it had a flat top as well. I'm still working the kinks out of that--it didn't turn out quite right--but I like this second attempt as well. And a quick note--I googled working with laminates to find some tips. Some I used, some I didn't. But hands down the best tip was to use a walking foot. I topstitched by the seams on the pieced bag, and the walking foot made a world of difference in smooth, even fabric feeding.
Here are both bags:

And here is a peek inside at the linings. Love those dots!
At some point I'll make a third one, using everything I learned from the purple bag to make it correctly the first time rather than using trial and error. But for now, I've got two fun options that will work with all my traveling this summer. Not bad for a night's work!

I'm linking up with Quilt Story today to show these off.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Count 'em! 120 Strippin' Dot Blocks

Public deadlines and peer pressure are a beautiful combination.
Last Monday I posted over at Amy's Creative Side that my "One Thing, One Week" challenge was to finish making all of these blocks by today. 
I may have put off a little housekeeping (perhaps we should get a dog to help keep the floor under my 9-month-old's chair clean) and given up a little sleep (it's overrated anyway!), I finished them. All 120*. 
Aren't they pretty? 
*Yes, I know my original post said 108, but apparently I can't multiply very well. 

Now I'm trying to decide exactly what to do with them. 

A quilt, laid out like this? 

Or with narrower white sashing that mimics the block strips, like this?

I even tried them without sashing, 
but I think it's too awkward where the white strips meet in random places.

What do you like best? I'm open to suggestions!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fabric Friday, sneak peek, and sad rulers

shhh...I know it's actually Saturday, but I'm posting like it's still Friday. I spent most of Friday trying to finish quilting the wonky log cabin quilt. And it's done! Here's a sneak peek.
I did simple straight line quilting on it, which in some places could be called wonky straight line quilting. I definitely need to practice my technique to improve! But hey...that's what the next (and the next, and the next) quilt top is for! I'm thrilled to have this done because I'm going to show it off in the Blogger's Quilt Festival at next week.

My plan is to share some fabric every Friday, whether it's something I'm getting ready to sew with or just some fabrics that I am coveting. I've got great plans for these prints, from Gudrun Erla's Reflections line for Red Rooster fabrics, plus that dark and rich gray solid.

And finally, the only thing more sad than this:
Is this:
Yep, I did the same thing to both of my 6" x 24" rulers. Argh! I cut fabric on the ground, so they've been cracked for a while, but a well-placed knee/foot took both of these to the next level in the last few weeks. I think I'm going to invest in a new ruler, a ruler holder, and maybe even a new cutting technique!

Have a great weekend!