Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Ready, Set, Cut


I'm back! What?... didn't you notice that I was gone? This year we were blessed to be able to visit my family again in the US. Usually a few months before we travel home I notice that I feel like my emotional tank is almost on empty. Expat living can have it's challenges, and while I generally do I ok for most of the year in Germany, I find that I REALLY need time that I can just be me... effortlessly. without thinking. in my own language. in familiar surroundings. with people who are just as familiar as my own face.


With three airplanes, that are sandwiched in between two long drives, it might be easy to see why our travels are planned for such a long time. While I deeply savor the down time, and sliding back into the "just being me" role, I notice that shortly after jet lag is a passing memory, that my fingers start to itch.


During the summer I was able to get together with my aunt for a little "shop talk". I thoroughly enjoyed hearing her explain that she has the same "need" to create - it just has to come out! (insert image of me nodding my head vigorously in agreement during the whole conversation, while taking pleasure in knowing that I am not the only one who feels this way)


But what's a girl who has itching fingers, but no sewing machine supposed to do? Well, when her mini iron breaks, and applique blocks are no longer an option... then she buys fabric at half price, and cuts it up! 


I generally don't cut for a whole project at one time, but this one happens to fit that case. Next July I will attend a class with Victoria Findlay Wolfe. It might sound a little over the top to be preparing for it so far in advance, but since cutting fabric was just about the only thing I could do during summer break, I just had to go with it... not to mention that I pretty much have my sewing/pattern writing/teaching calendar planned through next summer!?!


So, make sure you get a good look at this project because you won't see it again until next summer. I have to say that I'm glad that I was able to get everything cut for this quilt, so I don't have to stress about prepping in the middle of an already busy schedule... when the time roles around for the class, I can just sit down and sew. Hmmm...

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Link-Up #summerstacksundays Summer Smoothie


When working on a fabric pull, just because there might be multiple colors in the inspiration fabric, doesn't mean that all the rest of the fabrics have to be packed full with just as many colors. She really IS the star of the show, and if there is too much competition for the center stage, the show doesn't run as planned. When the supporting fabrics are doing just that, even though there might be a lot going on in the inspiration fabric, she is somehow balanced.The supporting fabrics are supporting, and not trying to take over the show.


For the #summerstacksundays Link-up, I found that I ended up using several Anna Maria Horner prints that were my starting inspiration point. Her prints really lend themselves for being the star of the show. I have three designers that usually find a prominent spot in my quilts, and perhaps it's not hard to see why - her fabrics are the perfect combination of strong design and strong color. (a BIG win, win in my book)


For this week's fabric stack, I really wanted to focus on some of the softer shades. On the photo, this stack might appear to still be fairly saturated, but live it's actually pretty toned down. Cover up that last darker periwinkle fabric, and you'll see what I mean. What I like about a multi-color print like this, is that there are so many color options to consider. I could focus on the bright vibrant pinks, or I could have gone with some deeper aquas, and even pulled in more of the periwinkle blues.


This week's challenge: Start out with an inspiration fabric and try a pull with soft shades... and then try it again with deeper and more saturated hues. I would love to hear about it... start stacking!

  
Remember that anyone can link up their fabric stack, even if you are coming late to the party. Be sure mention that you are linking up with Campbell Soup Diary for #summerstacksundays. You can also link up from Instagram. The link-up runs from July 5th - September 1st.

Please take the time to visit/comment/like the posts from others who are linking up and be sure to look through the comments. If you happen to be struggling with your fabric stack, then just say so in the comments, so the rest of us can stop by and maybe help you out... sometimes a fresh eye can see something that might have been missed.  

I decided to leave the last two weeks as an open theme... let's see what you come up with!



You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Link-Up #summerstacksundays Soft Summer


Can you believe that the first month of summer is over now, and we are well into the second half of it? Has it whizzed by, or have you had a chance to slow down, and stop and smell the roses? Either way, I hope you are having fun stacking.


When I think of summer colors, I actually think of two color ways. Obviously many of the summertime blooms are vibrant, bold, and colorful... but there is a softer side to summer, which is this weeks' theme: "Soft Summer". I started out with this print from Rae Ritchie as my inspiration. I absolutely adore her whimsy and playfulness of her fabrics.



This stack is not too far off from last week's complimentary color pull - "red" and green, but with accents of lilac. The inspiration fabric has several obvious hints on what to combine with it. I could have added more intense hues, but I enjoy working with a restrained pastel palette too.



Are you ready? Remember that anyone can link up their fabric stack, even if you are coming late to the party. Be sure mention that you are linking up with Campbell Soup Diary for #summerstacksundays. You can also link up from Instagram. The link-up runs from July 5th - September 1st.

Please take the time to visit/comment/like the posts from others who are linking up and be sure to look through the comments. If you happen to be struggling with your fabric stack, then just say so in the comments, so the rest of us can stop by and maybe help you out... sometimes a fresh eye can see something that might have been missed.  

If you are following the weekly themes, next week I'll be sharing a "Bright Summer" stack... which is completely left up to you to interpret how you want. See you then!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Summer Applique


I've been taking my summers pretty slow, as you might have noticed... and you too? If you've been following me for a while, then you know that summer means it's time to pull out my Chuck Nohara blocks. Since this has been such a long, and on going project, you might think they've landed on the long forgotten WIP pile, never to be pulled out again... quite the contrary!


My aunt always reminds me that making quilts is not about seeing how many quilts you can finish in a year, but about enjoying the process. When I'm on an everyday schedule, it seems that I don't find the time to work on highly intensive applique blocks.


Usually when I take an applique project somewhere to work on it, I don't have my sewing machine with me. And just the opposite, when I am using my sewing machine, I usually am not thinking about applique. I've actually had several shapes from this block finished, but just needed to add the simple stitching
 

... and since I am keeping things slow this summer, I am also keeping things short, so I'll see you on Sunday for the #summerstacksundays with the theme "soft summer".

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Link-Up #summerstackfridays Complimentary


Sometimes when I pull a stack of fabrics together, and take a second look to re-examine it, I realize that I've pulled a complimentary color scheme without actually intending to. If you have studied color theory at any length, then you know that the complimentary colors are: blue and orange, red and green, and purple and yellow.


Because complimentary colors are directly opposite from each other on the color wheel, they create the strongest contrast. When you work with pure color combos, the combination can be pretty intense. For me, a purple and yellow combo can leave you thinking of easter eggs and candy, and make you wish that you had brought your sunglasses along.


The best way to tame such loud explosions of color, is to play around with the colors' clarity, intensity, and value. When you are adding grey or black to a color, it tends to go a little muddy, which is exactly what has happened to some of these gold/ochre colors in this fabric pull. Once the color darkens, it starts to brown, which is why these colors would technically still be in the "yellow family".The red-violet colors are also a little muddy, which gives the overall fabric pull a less intense feel for a complimentary color combination. I can lighten the value of the color to add a little contrast.


This pretty floral print was my inspriation fabric for this week's fabric pull, and was really my starting point. Like some of the other fabric pulls that I've shared already, I played off of some of the existing colors in the inspiration fabric.


If I decide to eventually turn this stack into an actual project, I might consider adding a few of the reddish hues, but right now I am liking the restrait of essentailly a two-color palette.

  
So, let's get started - anyone can link up their fabric stack, even if you are coming late to the party. Be sure mention that you are linking up with Campbell Soup Diary for #summerstacksundays. You can also link up from Instagram. The link-up runs from July 5th - August 30th.

Please take the time to visit/comment/like the posts from others who are linking up and be sure to look through the comments. If you happen to be struggling with your fabric stack, then just say so in the comments, so the rest of us can stop by and maybe help you out... sometimes a fresh eye can see something that might have been missed.  

If you are following the weekly themes, next week I'll be sharing a "Soft Summer" stack... which will everyone might inturpret differently. See you then!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Link-Up #summerstackfridays Cool Colors

    
Are you living in a corner of the world where you are ready for the summer heat to cool down? There has been quite a heat wave in Germany this summer, and thoughts of ice cream, swimming pools, and cool breezes are occupying most people's minds these days.


Last week's summer stack, we warmed it up, but this week it's time to turn that color wheel to the other side and explore the cooler side of things with shades of green, blues, and purples. I like to challenge myself to try to take a color scheme and approach it differently than my usual high saturation / high contrast palette. When I think of cool colors, I think in the pure hues... essentially the colors at the top of the color wheel. Toning things down with softer, pastel colors that is still within the cool color range, is a fun alternative.



Again, this stack originally started out with an inspiration fabric from Anna Maria Horner... is it a little obvious by now that I am a big fan? This print is full of directional color cues that are quite easy to follow. I actually went with a fuller range, but this fabric could easily concentrate on just the blues or just the greens, without the additional fuchsia accents.



So, which color scheme do you find yourself leaning torwards... cool or warm? I suppose I have color moods, that can change from day to day. What are you stacking this week? Join in on the fun and link up with me!


Be sure mention that you are linking up with Campbell Soup Diary for the #summerstacks Link-Up party. Anyone can link up their fabric stack, even if you are coming late to the party, and I will keep the link open for a week. You can also link up from Instagram. The link-up runs from July 5th - August 30th.

Please take the time to visit/comment/like the posts from others who are linking up and be sure to look through the comments. If you happen to be struggling with your fabric stack, then just say so in the comments, so the rest of us can stop by and maybe help you out... sometimes a fresh eye can see something that might have been missed.  

If you are following the weekly themes, next week I'll be sharing a complimentary color scheme next week - red/green, blue/orange, or yellow/purple... which one do you think I'll pick?

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Waste-Not, Want-Not Pillow


One of the things that I think could possibly trip people up when it comes to a reverse applique project, is that you have to essentially cut a hole right in the middle of your project... did you ever have your mom reprimand you sternly for doing the same with your construction paper art projects?


Well, I say, that if you already had those natural tendencies when you were young, then perhaps you were onto something back then, so shake off any guilty feelings and charge boldly forward... no holding back!


Just because reverse applique requires you to cut a hole out of the middle of your project doesn't mean that you have to waste it... not with my Waste-Not, Want-Not pillow! Last week I shared my Circle Around pillow, which is a reverse applique pillow, and with all those pretty cut-outs, you didn't think that I could throw them away?


So, I simply made a freezer paper circle template that was slightly smaller than my cut-out, a little starch, a little ironing, and viola... pretty finished circles to applique on a quilted background. This time I did the quilting before I finished the applique, even though I usually quilt after my shapes are appliqued on.The circles are finished with a blind stitch, using an invisible thread from Aurifil.



Ahh... things are really warming up for summer aren't they? Have you relaxing and putting your feet up too?

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Link-Up #summerstacksundays Warm Colors


So how has the weather been with you this summer... are you ready to warm things up a bit? We are now into week three of the #summerstacksundays link-up party, and what better way to celebrate summer than with a warm color palette.

 
Working with really bright and intense tones, is perhaps what makes my heart beat when it comes to working with color. In spite of this, I can sometimes have a very specific color palette in my mind when approaching a new project. I love the challenge of toning things down, pulling in the reigns, and grabbing for an outside of my color norm, go-to stack.


Just because you go for a warm or analogous color palette, doesn't mean that you have to go for colors in thier hightest intensity.The nice thing about an analogous color palette is that it is fairly easy because you are just picking the colors beside each other the color wheel. Here I have played with much lighter tints on the color wheel, by keeping the colors farily subtle.


Just a little something to think about: one common mistake that I see too often when pulling fabrics is that there is more attention paid to making sure that the colors are a perfect match, but less attention paid to that the style of the fabric should match as well. With this stack of fabrics, the motif's are a little more playful... I avoided damask, flowers, and overly ornate designs.


So, what are you stacking this week? If you are following the weekly themes, then how about if we cool things down next week, with a "cool colors" fabric stack - think greens, blues, and purples.

Be sure mention that you are linking up with Campbell Soup Diary for the #summerstacks Link-Up party. Anyone can link up their fabric stack, even if you are coming late to the party, and I will keep the link open for a week. You can also link up from Instagram. The link-up runs from July 5th - August 30th.

Please take the time to visit/comment/like the posts from others who are linking up and be sure to look through the comments. If you happen to be struggling with your fabric stack, then just say so in the comments, so the rest of us can stop by and maybe help you out... sometimes a fresh eye can see something that might have been missed.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday, July 19, 2019

#summerstack Moves to Sunday!


Sometimes you find yourself mid-stream when you realize that you might need to change course a bit…and just hope that you’ve not gotten too far to turn back. I’ve come to the conclusion that Fridays may not be the easiest day for a link up party, which is why I decided to change the summer stack link-up party to Sundays. 


The goal is still the same: practicing, pushing yourself, documenting for future projects, and getting connected to other quilters. It’s still low key, but hopefully now on a slower day for everyone – summer vacation or not.  

If you are following the weekly themes, then how about if we warm things up next week, with a "warm colors" fabric stack - think reds, oranges, and yellows... we are headed into summer, you know? Look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Link-Up #summerstackfridays Primary


One of the benefits of documenting fabric pulls is that it gives you a starting point, once you are actually ready to dive into a new project. If you are like me, you might have several projects going at one time, but may have to wait until the other projects are finished before starting new ones... having time to think about favorite fabric stacks may not always match the beginning of a new project.


So for this weeks' #summerstackfridays, I started out with this "Ladder" print from the Sweet Dreams collection, from Anna Maria Horner as my inspiration fabric.The darker dots are actually an interesting dark, greenish-khaki color that is a little hard to match up. Since I don't have very much of this color in my stash, I ended up letting it read a little more gold than green.


When you match up this color to a color card/wheel, you notice that this IS the same color... just a few steps above it. By staying in the same color family, I am able to work in a color that appears to not even be in the inspiration fabric... all I did was lighten it.


Since the gold fabrics that I chose also have some pink/coral accents, it connects to the inspiration fabric. Some of the lighter and darker shades of teal are fairly obvious picks, but if I am being perfectly honest, I have to admit that I struggle a little bit with this fabric pull... not the fabric selection part, but the end result. I'm not the biggest "primary color combo" fan. If you break this stack down, it is "blue, yellow, and red"... obviously not in it's pure and bright shades, but primary nonetheless. Visit my previous post for a few more ideas how to put a twist on your primary color palette.


Currently I have a project in the works, where I used a several of these fabrics. Since it is not a high priority, deadline project, it will be on the back burner for a bit. Now that I have it cataloged, I can pull this fabric stack back up when I'm ready to pick it up again and see where I left off. Keeping a fabric stash pull in the same photo folder is really helpful once a project is being pulled to the front burner again.


So, what are you stacking this week? Do you have any color combinations that you struggle with too? If you are following the weekly themes, then how about if we warm things up next week, with a "warm colors" fabric stack - think reds, oranges, and yellows... we are headed into summer, you know?

Be sure mention that you are linking up with Campbell Soup Diary for the #summerstacks Link-Up party. Anyone can link up their fabric stack, even if you are coming late to the party, and I will keep the link open for a week. You can also link up from Instagram. The link-up runs from July 5th - August 30th.

Please take the time to visit/comment/like the posts from others who are linking up and be sure to look through the comments. If you happen to be struggling with your fabric stack, then just say so in the comments, so the rest of us can stop by and maybe help you out... sometimes a fresh eye can see something that might have been missed.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Primary Colors - Adventure or Challenge?


If you talk about a primary color combination, the first thing that might come to mind is the inside of a kindergarten... pure hues of red, yellow, and blue have a tendency to be pretty intense, and especially daring as a fabric combination. For this week's #summerstackfridays link-up, for those following along with the weekly theme, a primary color palette just might be as challenging as one can get... but why no put a little twist on it?

Let's just start out with red... what happens when you add white? You end up with pink. And depending on how much white you add to it, depends on how light or dark a pink it is. Even a pink would still "technically" be in the red family. My red has a slight orange touch, and has been lightened, which means that am now working with tints of red. (a tint is a color + white) I've toned the intensity down, which will give less contrast when I combine it with the other colors.  Even though the bottom fabric has more of a pinkish-lilac background, the coral-red flowers connect to the other "red" fabrics that I've pulled.


For my yellows, again, I've not selected the purist hue of yellow, but have picked a warmer hue. This yellow is headed towards orange, but is still arguably in the yellow family. Because these yellows have added grey to them, they start to get a little muddy. When working with such muddy hues, they don't "bite" as much as when you are combining only pure hues.


Since there are limited names for colors, we often have a tendency to use a general color name, rather than specific color name. Obviously when you mix blue and yellow, then you end up with green. In this case, even though there is a lot of green in my blue, I don't feel like I can call it green just yet. For my primary color palette, I am really using secondary and tertiary colors. Those are just essentially the more specific colors in between the secondary colors. My red moves towards orange, and so does my yellow, and my blue moves towards green - a primary color palette with a twist!


So, when mixing your primary color fabrics for the link-up tomorrow, think about how you can put a little twist on your colors... do you want to lighten them? darken them? use muddy hues?  I hope that this second glance makes working with a primary color palette more of an adventure and less of a challenge. I''ll be sharing the full fabric stack tomorrow for the #summerstackfridays link-up... it's not too late to join in!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Circle Around Reverse Applique Pillow


Recently I shared one of my favorite, lesser-known, and all-too-often-forgotten-about quilting techniques. If you were to ask me, I would tell you without a doubt, that reverse applique should get more recognition than it does. Don't stop reading there, or snub your nose, just because it has the word "applique" in it... I promise, it's not a dirty word like some might like to label it with quick judgments.


But I've actually noticed something a lot recently - I don't have enough fingers and toes to count how many times I have seen a quilt, and thought to myself - "wow, one could have cut corners, shaved off hours of drunkard's path, curved-piecing sewing, and still ended up at the finish line in half the time... just by using reverse applique instead!" Just stop and ponder it for a bit.


As part of my color theory class at Nadelwelt, I ended up making several quilt blocks to use as samples. I was inspired by a simple Baumhaus-influenced art print that I found, and decided that it would be perfect as an applique block. What starts out as one block, grows to two, well, and you know the rest...


I thought that straight line quilting was quite fitting to the simple geometric shapes. I finished the back with a really nice linen in fuchsia that I had picked up several years ago at a bargain price. I love mixing linens in my quilting projects.


So, have you done any reverse applique projects? What has been your experience? ... do you love it or are you scared of it because it's "applique"? Then let me challenge you... see if you can spot a couple projects that reverse applique would be a faster substitution than pieced curves... you might actually end up thanking me later!
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