Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Apple Of My Eye Finish

Wait for it... are you ready? Did you happen to notice the small, little quilt below? Believe it or not, it actually happens to be my smallest quilt to date!?!

Perhaps, a small quilt may not seem like a very big deal for you, but it kinda is for me. I'm a go big or go home kind of gal, and quilts are no exception. Time and time again, my quilts have grown bigger than expected, and I even have a few friends who tease me about it. I suppose it has to do with the fact that I don't want to make quilts that would leave my toes cold.

But, what this 46" inch long quilt lacks in size, it makes up for it in quilting... another to-date piece of info is that this is also my most densely quilted quilt. I ended up echoing many of the shapes, and did simple straight line quilting for the background, turning at unexpected angles for interest.

I opted for a simple black and white binding from Carolyn Friedlander. While I really loved the red and white fabric that was in the running, and it matched perfectly theme-wise. I usually tend towards a more subtle binding, or perhaps a binding that you don't really notice because I don't want to take away from the star of the show.

... and of course, that 30" basic grey grunge deliciousness takes the show.

Quilt: Pattern: Apple Of My Eye, self design
Started: May 2018
Fabrics: Basic Grey Grunge fabrics, Kona cotton white
Finished quilt size: ca. 42" x 46" in. (ca. 106  x 116 cm)

My first finish for the Q3 Finish-Along

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Catching Up & Quilt Finish

It was not my intention to be MIA for so long. Good intentions are sometimes just that... which is why my summer vacation whisked me away without so much as a peep. Traveling for long periods of time and blogging don't exactly fit together, not to mention lugging sewing supplies here and there... (although I did a little of that too) 

... so I'm back from my vacation, and it looks like I have a lot of cacthing up to do. I had planned my Zen Chic Contrasting quilt as a present for my parents to match these pillows, and had a deadline to get it finished before I flew in. There was a point when I thought I might have to bind it once I got in. Luckily I was able finish it and snap a few pictures before I left, but didn't have enough time to share them here... and then the laziness and business of summer set in.

I used the different meeting points in the quilt for my quilting lines, and it seemed natural to keep this with simple straight line quilting. Like my Facing East quilt, I varied the widths of the lines for interest, and if I'm being completely honest... it gets done faster than if I had quilted them all the same width.

... and what else would you expect, but a pieced back? I suppose that it's turning into my trademark. Sometimes it does feel a little like making a second quilt top, but I like putting those leftover bits to good use.

... are you somehow hearing the song "Fields of Gold" in your mind about now? I loved shooting a few pictures in these wheat fields. Hmmm... it makes me think that I should plan all my quilts to match whatever is blooming in the fields outside.

Stay tuned for a few more catch up posts... so, how was your summer?

Quilt: Pattern: Contrasting from Brigitte Heitland for Zen Chic 
Started: May 2018
Fabrics: Basic Grey Grunge fabrics
Finished quilt size: ca. 57" x 65" in. (ca. 145  x 165 cm)

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

An Apple A Day

So, if an apple a day keeps the doctor away, does a really BIG one keep him away fore even longer? I've shared a couple sneak peaks of my latest Basic Grey grunge yumminess here and on Instagram, but perhaps it wasn't really obvious what those bold splashes of red would become.

I was totally inspired by a Clare Young's print, and I find that when I look at almost everything these days, I just see applique shapes. I have to admit that her pear print makes me want to tear into my green grunge stash too.

For my standards, this is a pretty small quilt, probably a baby quilt size, but it also boasts my largest applique shape to date... that's an almost a 30" apple there!?!

Because of all the million appointments that one has to push through the end of the school year, I will have to bind this after the kids are finished. I'm a little back and forth on which binding, and would love your two cents... on one hand I like the red and white fabric because it connects to the red in the quilt, not to mention that the cursive letters reminds me of school, and the days where students would take an apple to their favorite teacher. The other black and white fabric is more subtle and let's the apple shine instead of the binding.

But, summer time is my applique time. I've gotten a couple of star blocks already from one of my bee members. You can see how it's grown already... I'm ready to let it grow some more.

In any case, I wish everyone a relaxed start into the summer season.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Gearing Up For Summer

I have to admit that I am a little all over the place with my projects these days. I know that things are winding down because summer is just around the corner... that time of year where there is less time for sewing, and more time for kids, outside activities, family, friends, traveling, and cookouts! (surely a little applique has to be on that list somewhere too!?!)

And that leaves me with lots to do and little time to do it. This past week, I basted two quilts, started quilting two projects, AND worked on several new videos... just to mention a few. 

So, if you happened to miss it last week, then be sure to hop over to my YouTube channel. I've been talking about my favorite thing, what else... the starch applique method! There are more videos to come, but since I've got a lot to say about this technique, I just couldn't get it all in at once! I just added an introduction to freezer paper (my favorite quilting must-have, below) and using freezer paper for starch applique videos.

I would love your feedback about what you would like to see more of, but today I'm keeping it short and sweet today because this week's motto for me is: a little less talk, and a lot more action.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Making The YouTube Leap

I've been talking about it for a while now, that I wanted to start making a few videos about some of the quilting techniques that I use... especially about starch applique. There's just so much to say, that you just can't get it all in on one blog post... not to mention that having a visual explanation of something just makes things so much more clear. So, pop on over to my YouTube channel and see what I've been up to...

Stay tuned, because I've got more vidoes in the making... do you want to see more?

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Yellow Stars & Applique Blocks

Some of my bee members like to make fun of me that by the time I deicde on a quilt block, and make up a couple test blocks, that the quilt is almost finished. Well... not quite. Yes, I've made a good amount of progress on my yellow quilt, but am no where near being finished. My bee members will be pleased to know that I am stopping with stars now, and passing the torch for them to carry.

As I had mentioned last week, it is my intention is to keep the applique blocks fairly simple and not get slowed down by such labor intensive blocks... you just can't find any simpler applique shapes than stems, ovals, and orange peels. I've always been really drawn to crossing applique designs.

Here is another Chuck Nohara mix up... I used the stem template, but instead of the multi-pieced flower as in the original, I used simple leaves with a oval accent.

I love the curved crossing stems from this Chuck Nohara block... see if you can spot the original design from my summer garden blocks. No worries, I've not forgotten this project... it's coming back out for summer! It is my travel applique project, and I can't wait to work on it again.

What are you summer sewing plans? Take it with you applique? EPP? or lifting a cold drink as you relax in the garden?

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Auditioning (Possible) Bee Blocks

For me it's that time of year again... where I find myself searching, scrambling, debating, back and forthing, all just to find the perfect pattern for my bee blocks... only to be left with that feeling of well, I'm-still-not-sure. I've had it in my head now for a while that I would like to do a yellow quilt (or even green) I love the simplicity of a two color quilt.

One of my biggest back and forth issues is that I want to do a bucket list project... right now on my to-do list are more time intensive or advanced blocks like a double wedding ring, an elaborate applique quilt, or a 100 pieces foundation paper pieced block... and that's not exactly what you throw at fellow bee members.

But I had the idea to do a quilt where I do the applique blocks, and my bee members do the piecing. Usually a more time intensive block utilizes ones bee members a little better, but it just appeals to me to have a simple color palette, with simple applique, combined with simple stars. Here is my original inspiration. So for my first applique block, I modified the leaves a bit on this EQ8 block.

Chuck Nohara blocks are generally a little more labor intensive, and my idea was to keep it simples with leaves and sprigs applique blocks. Even though I've done this block before, I wanted to include it  because it's just a few simple pieces.

Here is another block that I found on EQ8, and I've always been drawn to crossing designs. I love the way this Cori Dantini fabric works with the Basic Grey Grunge yellow... I'll be using these a lot throughout this quilt.

What is an applique quilt without including a perched pair on a vine. Here are actually the birds from my Lovebirds Garden pattern, and I simply reduced them in size to fit on this 8" block.

I'm not sure if my colors are too specific, or if these are colors that my members can find in their stash. Who knows, I just might surprise everyone and go a totally different direction... just to keep everyone one their toes...

... kind of makes things more intereting, doesn't it? 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Prints, Solids, Or Even Better... GRUNGE + Giveaway

I realize that when I like something I have a tendency to gush. My husband laughs at me about how overdone-theatircal-romance-movie-like I can be when I am really on a kick. So, whether you like the name, or feel like "Grunge" is not exactly the most fitting name for such fabric yumminess, I thought I would share a few of my current and previous projects, and talk about why I find myself grabbing for Basic Grey Grunge fabrics more and more these days.

If you are thinking that these colors look a little familiar, you are right... you may remember these pillows that I made last year for my parents? It's my mom's birthday again in July, and what better way to surprise her than with a matching quilt using Zen Chic's Contrasting pattern. I now know why modern quilters enjoy such quilts... they really come together super fast!?! (hmm... I say this on the heels of two applique quilts)

Firstly, let me start by saying that no matter how big a fan I am of Grunge, I will never give up my prints... I delight too much in sweet little flowers, interesting shapes, and awe inspiring designs. But sometimes prints can get a little busy, and I like the fact that a Grunge fabric can anchor like a solid, but yet add texture that a solid just can't.

If you've been around here you know that I don't use solids, mostly because they feel flat to me... there is no movement,  no texture, nothing to make my eyes stop and study something. Grunge fabrics work like a solid without feeling flat.

Being a color girl, it is an absolute must that the colors in my quilt really shine... I love that there are so many vibrant and saturated colors in the Grunge line. Color should never take the backseat in my book, but sit proudly up front.

When I am working with fabrics, I am always letting the fabrics give me little clues how they would like to be combined... usually pulling from the secondary colors in the fabric. One big appeal of Grunge is to pull from those second and third color accents and work them into a project.

My dad is an artist, and I always loved hearing him explain about how to paint. Each little brush stoke is intentional and thought out, and determines the end result. It feels to me that Grunge fabrics add such interest because they really give you a painterly feel... where does the quilt start and the painting stop?

Over the years the Grunge color range has grown. There seems to be a perfect color for just about every project... and you can see how my pretty stack has grown too.

... and speaking of Grunge, just in case you happened to miss it, I am running a giveaway on Instagram, featuring a Basic Grey Grunge fat quarter set curated by Fat Quarter Shop. (not to mention my latest Home Sweet Home Applique Samapler, Aurifil Thread box, AND Roxanne applique glue)

To enter the giveaway be sure to comment on my Instagram feed (not here, sorry) and remember that my entire Payhip shop is on sale through May 27th, 2018!
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