Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Buttoned-Up Pillow

It's no secret that I have a weakness for buttons. I love to add that extra little detail to a project that says I remembered everything... even the very smallest part. So in tribute to my passion for the pint-sized notion, my teeny little friends get to steal the show... and this time in XL size! It's been oh, too long since I've worked on a freezer paper applique project, and once I had started, I remembered why I swoon about the technique so much.

Another low volume fabric project was at the top of my list (and trust me, there will be more to follow!) Right now I am still "crushing" on the AGF Studio "Makers" fabrics... these fabrics are just so brilliant, and with that being said, one favorite deserves another with color accents of Basic Grey grunge.

I thought it would be fun to add an embroidered thread detail so the buttons would look like they had actually been sewn on.

... and I finished the back with two of my favorite Anna Maria Horner prints with a simple envelope closure. week I'll share a full tutorial on how I made this pillow, including the button template!

... and when I said that I really adore buttons... it was no exaggeration. I even gave these sweet, little accents thier very own board on Pinterest. What about you... any weaknesses for any other fun notions? 

Low volume fabrics in Germany from the "Makers" series can be found here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Keep the Volume Low WIP

In order to start working on my Facing East quilt I had to do some major (and I mean MAJOR) stash building. The concept of using low volume fabrics (read more on it here) is not exactly a new one, but the evolution of the designs available has grown to include some really fascinating and innovative fabrics. When I first started seeing a new wave of modern low volume fabrics pop up in various places all over the quilting scene, I was especially drawn to Carolyn Friedlander's brilliant "Ledger" fabric.

With that being said, I suppose that it might be more than obvious why I have been just itching to get my hands on fabrics from the new AGF Studios "The Makers" series from Art Gallery fabrics. (Look Book found here) I would have to say that they are the most brilliant low volumes as a collection that I've seen since Ms. Friedlander amazed us with her Architextures series.

... so absolutely perfect for another block for my quilt. The "I'm a Maker" fabric has, in just a few short days, already made it to the "eat-it-by-the-bolt" list...

... and the "Make Patterns" fabric falls into the "brilliant-on-another-level" category.

I decided to use this fabric for as well for the center circle of my "Makers" block... how could I not?!?

... oh, I've got a few other things in the works using these fabrics, but one thing at a time, right?

I made this fun board on Pinterest with some low volume quilting inspiration. What about you... do you like to work with low volume fabrics or do you prefer solids and more traditional background fabrics?

In Germany, you can find these and other Low Volume fabrics here.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"Facing East" WIP

I had decided to put my Facing East quilt on hold until I could get a proper quilt wall in place. In the meantime my Swell quilt had sneaked jumped back into the WIP line while I was waiting for supplies to work on the wall. And as for the quilt wall you might ask, proper?... not quite. Functioning?...  yes (at least for now). So here is the current status of things:

Seeing the blocks up on a wall, I have a better feeling of which direction I need to go with my other blocks, espeically the color selections. I've got a lot of greens and pinks, which is to be expected, so working on new blocks limiting the use of those two colors is a little bit of a challenge. I'm limited somewhat by the range of Basic Grey grunge colors available... some blues and reds don't even come into question for me, as I am not the biggest fan of either. I obviously have to do a lot of re-arranging to get a good balance, but isn't that the beauty of a quilt wall?

Somehow, the first block that I made is still my favorite, and she is, of course, with pink and green. What about you, do you have favorite blocks when working on a quilt... it is usually the first, the last, etc.?

Linking up this week to WIP Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Behind the Scenes

How many times have you attended a movie, a theatre performance, an art show, a conference, or other major event and simply just soaked everything in and enjoyed it rather than stopping to consider, what really went on behind the scenes to make it happen? Having worked at several events and shows, including my dad’s art shows, I know firsthand the kind of energy, time, preparation, and to-do lists that one needs to make an idea turn into an end result. 

Depending on how much you know about me personally as a shop owner, you may or may not know that my “behind the scenes” is operating daily in a foreign language that is not my own to make the business run. If you know that much about me already, what you may not know is that over the past seven years, I have been the creative force behind the scenes, while my husband has been the “German voice” on the front end of things. With the curtain dropped and an up close look at our behind the scenes, the reality of it is that I am essentially a “one-man-show” with only partial abilities.  

When things were smaller, my husband’s work life was not as demanding, and there were no kids in the picture, running the one-man-show was doable. But now things are much bigger, my husband’s work life has doubled, there are TWO kids in the picture, and my passion to sew and create, the exact thing that drove me to start my online shop in the first place, must constantly take the backburner to everything else. The behind the scenes discussion has been going on for quite some time… should I keep it up? Should I go another direction? If not this, then what? Despite all the hovering questions, doubts, and unknowns, I have decided to leap. 

I have no landing plans, no safety nets, or predictable outcomes, but I am looking forward to my after-the-dust-has-settled moment. I don’t want to make claims of all the things I plan to do, or what I hope to have accomplished when it’s all over with, but the outlook is positive. The specifics are not etched in stone, but my general direction is clear. I am excited and feeling envigorated now about the “what ifs” that I will finally have the time to pursue. 

One small change is that what I plan to say in the future will be in my own language. Such a statement should not be taken as a shutting out or shunning statement against the very customers that have supported me over the past 7 years, quite the contrary, it is for you that I write this. But my plans are borne out of a deep inward yearning to function without the restrictive “verbal handcuffs” that come with operating in a foreign language. 

In any case, I hope you will join me as one chapter closes, and I begin writing the next!

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