Thursday, August 2, 2012

QuiltCon Block Challenge

Hello out there! Are you going to QuiltCon? Have you made a block for the challenge? I'm putting mine in the mail today.

I'm not sure if I prefer this way:

Or flipped:

What do you think? I suppose it would all depend on the adjacent squares.

This was a fun block that got me back in improvisational mode. I look forward to playing more with this design someday.

As for QuiltCon, I hope very much to go. I have family in Austin, so the location is perfect for me. The program looks amazing. The workshops are all so tempting, but the lectures alone would be worth the trip!

Is it already time again for the Fresh Sewing Day and Small Blog Meet at Lily's Quilts?

Lily's Quilts

Lily's Quilts

That means it's been a month since my last post. My poor neglected blog!

Till next time...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Cool Thoughts

A Sunday finish: Ice Pops! The name alone inspires cool thoughts.

The pattern is from Denyse Schmidt's first book. The only real change I made was to forego the border so as to make it lap sized. I chose all solids except for one print, Timeless Treasures' Crosshatch Sketch in Latte, which I also used for the binding.

This quilt has been slow in the making. Believe it or not, it was meant to be a Christmas present for my husband John. I pieced the top during the holidays and presented it to him then, but I didn't have a chance to quilt it until recently. I suppose now it's a "Christmas in July" gift. Just what he needs in this sweltering heat, eh?

John has a rather unusual vocation - he restores old pianos. I stopped by his shop this afternoon and took a few photos of Ice Pops with the pianos. Here you can see some of the innards of a lovely grand.

Back at home, Elkie got comfortable.

Time to throw this quilt in the wash!

Lily's Quilts

Lily's Quilts

Thanks for stopping by, and stay cool!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Little Sewing

My old house has a couple doors that just won't fully close. The cats love to pry them open and go rooting around in the closets. So I did an internet search for doorstop tutorials and came across this one from Elizabeth Hartman at Oh, Fransson! The tutorial is very well written, and I'm pleased with the results.

I used home decor weight fabric for the sides and back. Each doorstop is filled with four pounds of dried pinto beans. That should be enough to stop the cats!

As for bigger projects, my next one is to baste and quilt my queen sized version of Denyse Schmidt's Stacking the Odds pattern. I threw the top on the bed to see how it looked, and Hopper wasted no time giving it a try.

I started this quilt a year and a half ago but put it aside to work on smaller projects. I must admit that the thought of quilting it on my home machine is rather daunting - it's my largest top yet. I'm planning to quilt it in a diagonal grid pattern, which means lots of tedious straight lines. Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Echoes and Shadows

After months of indecision and design paralysis (sound familiar?), I finally cut into my precious Echo stash.

This started out as a mini, but then my husband said I should keep going and make a larger quilt. He's such an enabler! I certainly don't need another WIP, but what can I say? I just can't resist!

I've cut 25 squares, but at 4.5 inches each, I'll need many, many more. (Not to mention hundreds of strips of the solids...)

Now I'll have to figure out what to do with the Echo prints I'm not using. Luckily, there are plenty of wonderful Echo quilts on Flickr to inspire me.

I'm linking this post to the My Precious Quilt-Along at Kelby Sews.


I love the idea behind this quilt-along. We all need a little motivation to cut into that special fabric we've been saving!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Works in Slow Progress

No finishes lately, although several projects in the works. Most of my WIPs are stored away in plastic containers, but I managed to snap a couple pictures.

On a whim, I pulled two Kona solids from my stash - Olive and Ivy - and made some blocks using the stack and slash method without a ruler. Here they are lined up on my design wall. I'm calling this one Olive Bar. It reminds me of Denyse Schmidt's Strings Attached quilts.

My confetti wall hanging is in the final binding stage. I can't wait to run it through the washer and dryer to get that crinkly look!

I'm itching to finish these and a few bigger projects, but it's the end of the semester at my university. Between grading and writing, I don't have much time for sewing right now. I'm in serious need of a sewcation!

Finally, what I know you've been waiting for... another shameless cat on a quilt picture:

This is one of those rare moments when Elkie hasn't taken over my comfy office chair.

I'm pleased to be participating in the Fresh Sewing Day and Small Blog Meet at Lily's Quilts.

Lily's Quilts

Lily's Quilts

Happy May Day, friends and visitors, old and new!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hope Capsules

This is my Hope Valley quilt. Not a new fabric line, I know, but I fell for it hard last year when I belatedly discovered Denyse Schmidt and the world of modern quilting. Hope Valley is now sadly out of print, so I've been stockpiling it, as Karen Gray can attest!

My inspiration came from the graphic effect of this quilt. I love Audrie's patterned fabrics that register as solids from a distance. In mine, I used the light gray Calico Cactus print for the negative space. My one solid - Kona Charcoal - is in the foreground, although if you squint, you can reverse the foreground and background (go ahead, try it!). After playing around with the layout of the blocks, I decided to group like colors on the diagonal. The quilt is upside down in these photos, but if you read the rows from right to left, you'll notice that the color order is red, orange, yellow/green, blue. I left out a few of the prints in the Hope Valley collection, like the one I used for the binding.

The working name for this quilt was "Mother's Little Helper" (as in the Rolling Stones classic) because the blocks reminded me of pills. In the end, I settled on the more innocent "Hope Capsules." Hope Valley has such a vintage feel, like fabric you might find in a time capsule from the 1930s or 40s, but updated with contemporary colors.

I like the back easily as much as the front:

The spectrum arrangement of coins was influenced by several quilts spotted on Flickr, like this one and this one, which show off the prints gorgeously against a light background. I needed something to balance the darkness of the front, so I chose Kona Plum. I was so impatient to finish this quilt that I almost went with an all solid back. I'm so glad I took the time to make the strip of coins! My favorite part is the burst of yellow in the middle.

I quilted it with light gray thread in straight lines horizontally, vertically and diagonally, a quarter inch from each side of the seams. It took forever to finish, but I'm so happy with the result.

Hope Capsules measures 52" x 62" - a nice lap quilt size. I've been enjoying it during these few remaining cool evenings of the season.

Here's an Instagram of Dusty (Hopper's sister) keeping me company as I sewed on the binding:

Incidentally, did you know that the lint roller was invented in Flint, Michigan (my home town)?

Have a great week!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hopper Helps Out

Meet Hopper. He has quite a story - born feral in our backyard, now living indoors with us and our other cats, including his littermate Dusty. It took some work to socialize him and his sister, but now they're part of the family!

Here Hopper is helping me with a work in progress, a confetti quilt to adorn a wall in my study. You see, I have a dissertation to finish, and I need something cheerful behind my computer to keep me going!

The finished quilt will match this one of mine, although it will be a bit larger and more densely quilted. Stay tuned...