Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Color Mood - December Design Wall

I'm not sure how it is with you, but I often find with me that things have a tendency to flow from one project into the next, taking the influences and hints from the previous train of thought... especially with colors. I don't necessarily think that this is something that I intentionally do, but something that I notice only after the fact. Some time ago, I realized that I seem to work in color clusters, and that one inspiration color that I'm feeling at the time gets carried over.

For instance, there's my "jewel-colors phase"... it all started with "Jeweled Kaleidoscope", which influenced the fabric selection for my bee block quilt, which spilled over into a mini quilt that came to being in an effort to use up all of those yummy scraps. One could possibly argue that "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" belongs in this category as well. Hmmm...

Following close on it's heels was my "purple phase"... this phase is technically ongoing starting with "Whirly Girl" (which I hope to release in spring) that influenced "Home Sweet Home", and lead me right into my "Lovebirds' Remix", which is currently a back burner project until I figure out the final direction it should go... oh, and I almost forgot my purple and orange HST quilt!?!

 In an effort to be more controlled with my colors choices and prints, I noticed myself using a lot of Basic Grey grunge fabrics in my "grunge phase"... does "Lovebirds' Garden", "Home Sweet Home", "Apple Of My Eye", and "Contrasting" bring anything to mind?

Often, people mention that they can identify my work because of the bright popping colors, but that kind of leaves my "toned down pastel phase" without explanation. My "Home Sweet Home " quilt seems to be connected to several phases, but my "Summer Smoothie" bee quilt boasts a similar subtle, and subdued color palette. My current "Folk Flower" quilt definately fits in here too!

Let's not forget to mention my "earth tones phase" with my "Penny Sampler", the recently finished "Cascade" quilt top from Victoria Findlay Wolfe's book... and I won't include all the smaller projects that belong in this category.

... AND FINALLY, we make it to my current flavor of the month, the "green/yellow phase", which has the honor of my design wall status for December... perhaps it's sunny brightness is helping battle the dreary greys of winter. In any case, it's easy to see the connection between my latest "Yellow Stars" quilt and my "Brimfield blocks". Just to be on the safe side, I'll through my "Chuck Nohara" project and "Green Smoothie" quilts into the mix.

So, what's your current "color mood"... Do you go though phases and embrace a "color mood" that you carry from project to project, or do you work with a completely new color scheme with each new project?

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Remodeling Project

Usually when I plan to take a long break from blogging or social media, I normally give a little heads up. I wish my re-entry could boast a "big" reveal that has been under wraps, but perhaps I should simply start with that my distraction has been of the non-quilty kind. About two months ago my husband asked me if I could help him with a "little" re-modeling project at work. What started out as a small remodel of a dining room in a elderly, coma & therapy center, turned into a whole house renovation. So, should I share a little more?...

We started on the elderly care unit, which have a few common dining and sitting areas. The facility is one of several remodeled buildings on a family farm estate, and is traditional in style, which needed to be taken into consideration for the design concept. In the main dining room we opted for a soft, lacy botanical wallpaper in a light sage. The subtle greens are actually quite calming, and dark chocolate antique furniture has been incorporated into the design, for a nice contrast with the light and airy design.

 1. Rasch Tapete Pure Living wallpaper 2. Cavallini Vintage Poster 3. Bird Pair from Posiwio 4. Oilcloth fabric from Stoff & Stil 5. ADO Goldkante curtains

For the main sitting areas, another major consideration was that there were several existing furniture pieces that needed to be worked into the design, such as these teal wing chairs. Since there are also dementia patients to be considered, it was important to have clear and identifiable prints that also ekoke memories of things that are pleasant. The focal wallpaper has several species of birds, which is allows the patients the opportunity to stop and identify them.
1.  Photwall Art Canvas, Landscape Monotype 2. Woodland Chorus wallpaper, sky blue 3. Photowall, Malachite Lake 4. Birch Trees Lantern 5. Woodland Chorus wallpaper, cream

A smaller, open dining area adjacent to the birds wall, is now adorned with this sweet honeysuckle wallpaper from Sanberg.  We used several natural design elements to connect the areas. Since textiles can add a soft accent to a space, it was important to include coordinating table linens into the design.

1. Honeysuckle wallpaper from Sanberg, Elizabeth 2. Bird Lantern from Posiwio 3. Table linens from Sander 4. Fuchsia print from AllPosters 5. Planing Pots from Posiwio.

For the last two sitting areas that we addressed, we decided to use a historical wallpaper from Morris & Co. If you are not familiar with the British textile designer, William Morris, then I would highly recommend adding him to your must-look-up list. This brilliant artist, who was a major contributor to the British Arts and Crafts movement in the 1800's, produced some of the most amazing wallpapers, fabrics, tapestries, and stained glass, that are timeless to this day.

1. Mary Isobel wallpaper from Morris & Co.

With so many considerations like selecting paint, wallpaper, curtains, artwork, home decor, accessories, and even fresh plants, perhaps it sheds a little light what has kept me so busy these past months, but this was only a small tip of the iceberg...

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Folk Flower Blocks

Last week was an absolute flurry of things to do. At some point in preparing for my starch applique class with Patch Yard, I realized that the only thing that I was missing was a sample to deomonstrate the reverse applique technique. A simple circle is perfectly acceptable, but would have needlessly been tossed into the orphan block bin... and who wants that?!?

Recently I decided to try out a few classes on Creativebug, and was excited to see that the Anna Maria Horner "Folk Flower" block was among the classes. The block itself is simple enough to figure out on your own, but it's always interesting to see the thousand ways that you can ultimately end up at the same end goal.

Sewing by hand never was my thing, and never will be... but bring in the word starch, and you are talking about a whole other ball game for me. All in all, I still appreciate seeing a variety of techniques used in quilting. For me, using reverse applique with starch applique, is like the universe aligning.

On my blocks, I decided to use an appliqued bias tape strip instead of piecing it. I much prefer the bias tape to sewing thin strips, that often have the tendency to be a little wonky because of their small size. For the background, I am using some pretty strongly patterned prints, which are a far cry from my usual low volume backgrounds.

I'm just sure that I can come up with some kind of fun project for these leftover circle cut outs, don't you?...

These blocks were the perfect choice not only to demo, but to start a project that I've already had in the back of my head for a while now... I just love those killing two birds with one stone moments. So, how about if I leave you with just a few impressions from the class?

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Stars, Sprigs, and New Video

The last of my blocks from my bee members have finally come in, which means that now it's my part to finish up and add the rest of applique blocks. I realize that usually you ask your bee members to make something other than a simple star block, but I wanted concentrate on the applique part of this quilt, and let the others take care of the piecing.

My original intent was to do a two color quilt, i.e. yellow and white. But I think the subtleness of the transition between the yellow and chartreuse tones, are enough to give a little contrast, while still leaving the feeling of a two color quilt. To my surprise, I keep grabbing for this soft grey these days in my projects, and I love that it is not so obvious in the blocks.

But, now to move onto the fun part: I've been working on several more YouTube videos, and I've just added the one that you may have been waiting for... the actual How-To video!?! In my previous videos, I talked a lot about set-up, supplies, freezer paper, making templates, which are all pretty foundational to the "doing" part of starch applique.

If you happened to miss it, I will be teaching a class in Hamburg next weekend. Join me if you can. Find all the details here.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Cascade Quilt Top

If you are even just a tiny bit involved in the quilting scene, then like me, you wait for the "big" quilting events like Quilt Market and Quiltcon to come around. During the event you scour the internet like a hungry lion for little sneak peeks and glimpses, and think to yourself... "oh, how I wish I was there."

It was more than a year ago that I started planning that I wanted to go to Quiltcon 2019... it fit perfectly - my cousin is in Nashville, and my family on the East Coast! But when the time to register came around, I was half way around the world on vacation, and missed my window of opportunity.

So I did what any good quilter would do... indulged myself in a consolation prize. Had I gone to Quiltcon, I would have signed up for a class with Victoria Findlay Wolfe. I immediately fell in love with her Cascade quilt from her Modern Quilt Magic book... but since I won't be Nashville bound, then I decided that her book, acrylic template, and a couple of her fabrics would be a good way to console myself for being a day late and a dollar short.

Over four weeks of idle fingers is somehow the perfect storm situation for starting a new project... just gotta cut into those newly acquired bought-while-on-vacation-fabrics. But the biggest twist in the story is that before I knew it, I had a finished top on my hands that came together faster than I could post about it. How did that happen... especially since this is curved piecing?!?

Now I've got a self imposed deadline, so this might be finished sooner rather than later. Well, keep your fingers crossed... make no promises, tell no lies, right? Do you have any come-together-faster-than-you-can-blink projects to share? 


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Taking Time

Applique takes time, and sometimes the pressure of the social media world of "I must post daily inspiration", never takes into consideration that slow stitching is supposed to be just that... slow. 

 Block 463
When you see me pull my Chuck Nohara blocks out, then you know that it is vacation time, or I am at least at a point I am slowing down. Since I was away from my sewing machine for the whole summer, I had to at least have a little something around for my itching fingers.

 Block 620
The last time I posted any real progress on my Summer Garden project was last year... and let me just say that this is not a project that I plan to finish any time soon. My aunt, who is a seasoned quilter, is always reminding me that it's not about turning out one quilt after the other, as quickly as possible, but about enjoying the process... a good reminder for all of us, don't you think?

 Block 696
But I am actually ok with my snails pace progress... and have no apologies for taking it slow. Even a garden never grows overnight, and those stop and smell the roses moments make it worth it.

 Block 602
Somehow, every time I think about my Summer Garden project, the nursery rhyme from Mother Goose always comes to mind...

Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockleshells
And pretty maids all in a row.

Wanna slow stitch with me and are in the Hamburg area? Then be sure to check out my previous post because I will be teaching a starch applique class.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Spühstärke-Applikations Kurs in Hamburg

Are you in the Hamburg area and would like to learn more about the starch applique method? Then, mark your calendar because I will be teaching a two day class (in German, of course) at Patch-Yard, September 29th & 30th

We'll start out with a couple basic shapes to make a simple applique block. Simple shapes are often the foundation for creating more complex blocks.

... and it wouldn't be a starch applique class unless I shared my Top 10 Tips. There's so much more to share than what I can pack into one blog post. 

All my patterns will be available in print, including my mini Home Sweet Home applique sets...

You can find out more details, and register for the class on the Patch-Yard website, as well as find some of my favorite applique notions. There is limited space, so be sure to get in touch with her now. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Connecting It All

Do you sometimes struggle after you have all your quilt blocks finished to find a way to connect it all? Well, I have three projects in the works right now where that just happens to be the case. Sashing is the most obvious answer, and with good reason... it's simple and doesn't overwhelm a project. But then sometimes a project needs a little more than just simple.

I was over the moon excited when I stumbled on @janemichelquilts post and saw how she put her Brimfield blocks together. Just a step above simple, yet obvious enough to be annoyed with yourself that you didn't think of it first. 

It was pure brilliance to take the small houses block, add a simple center, and then it transitions into the perfect flower cornerstone!?! Once I figure out the exact direction of a project, it seems to push it along a little faster.

This is the third "green quilt" that I have in the making, and yet I would like each of them to have a different feel. For this quilt I've pulled in some patina green, and pale aquas, while my yellow stars applique quilt is more yellows and chartreuse green. But they are all planned for the same room, so there should be enough to still tie them to each other.

... but since I still have two other quilts to figure out how to connect, I would love to hear your favorite way to connect quilt blocks. Sashing, or something entirely different?
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