Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Change Of Pace


If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that my week has been more about snip, snipping than it has been about stitch, stitching... which is highly unusual for me. When I work on a quilt, I usually cut a few blocks at a time, and then throw them under the machine, because if I'm being perfectly honest, then I might be a little impatient in that way. 


I suppose there are two main reasons for this: firstly, I need a constant change of pace - I don't think I've cut a whole quilt before I started sewing it... ever! Perhaps it's because I just can't wait to get to the best part - sewing! I know, I know, it can really be a time saver to cut everything ahead, but it feels like pure torture to me to not just sit down and get started when the inspiration hits.



Secondly, I like to make things up as I go... it's just that sometimes I just don't know where I'm going with a quilt until I start. Once the first blocks are done, then they give me hints on how I should address the next ones. It somehow give me a freedom to go a different direction than previously planned if needed.
 

I get teased sometimes that I usually don't know how big a quilt top will be until I've actually finished it. (which is why I often end up with much bigger quilts than I'd planned) But there is something to be said about letting the quilt tell you how big it wants to be rather then me putting too many limits on it.


So now that it's not even two weeks until our fall retreat, I've decided to pull my Penny Sampler back out to have something to work on... I have to say that these are pretty labor intensive, one-thousand-bits-in-one-block blocks. But just to mix things up a bit for a change, it will actually be nice to just sit down and sew.


Do cut everything before you start sewing or do you let your quilts tell you how big they want to be?

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

All Work And No Play


I've been so consumed with pattern writing these last weeks, that it feels like there's hardly any time to sew... well, at least not on things that I can share. Since my Lovebirds' Garden is an almost 30 page pattern, perhaps it might make sense why I've been so caught up... that's a lot of T's to cross, and I's to dot!?! With that being said, it's actually been nice for me to sit back, relax, and have others doing my work for me... what do I mean? Well, the blocks from my busy bee members have started coming in for my Summer Smoothie quilt. (tutorial for the block construction found here)


I've added a few new blocks of my own, first in cool colors, and with Melanie's #30minssewingdaily #octsewingchallenge on Instagram it's been a good motivation to get a few more cut and ready to go. I have decided to save stitching them together until the end of the month at our patchwork group fall retreat. 


I think I am just as excited about some of the new low volume fabrics that I've added to the mix as I am the block itself... library cards, fun text lettering...


... and a new favortie of mine, this cursive writing from Bee in My Bonnet, from Lori Holt. Her new Bee Backgrounds line is just simply fantastic.


I still have several blocks to go for a finish, and as usual, I'll find out what size it is when it all gets together. I'm actually thinking something on the small side... well, at least for me anyway. I had first thought to finish the on point sashing with something pieced, but have decided to go with just a simple low volume instead. Hmmm... there's a little figuring to do.


So, I hit the "send" button this week to get my Lovebirds' Garden pattern to my testers, and then I get to sit back again and watch them do all the work. (wink, wink) ... after that a short breather because, all work and no play, makes this girl a dull quilter.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Fly, Fly Away


I've always enjoyed mixing a variety of mediums... especially when one of them is fabric. I was recently inspired to re-visit a previous project of mine, and make another wool felt applique project. With using freezer paper as a template, it's an absolute dream - no marking, no slipping templates, just cut.


Since I've been working so much on pattern writing, I needed a project that I could simply retire to the couch with instead. I find that if I work too long at the computer, it's hard to then jump onto the sewing machine, so ... writing patterns by day, crafting by night is the plan.


What I love about working with felt is that you can layer the shapes with fabric. For me, this gives the project so much more depth, and I love adding all those pretty little unexpected details and accents with favorite fabrics.


It's interesting that when I work on a project, I usually have a very specific and very definite colorway that should be used. Somehow these days, a little touch of grey has been slipping into the mix, and I don't know how it happened? I love to work with a cool color palette, and grey (in a small accent form) is a nice contrast.


Any colors that "sneaked" their way into your projects that you weren't exactly expecting?
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