Wednesday, August 13, 2014

W.i.P. Wednesday

In the midst of this North Carolina summer I decided to work on a flannel quilt. Gotta get ready for winter, right?!?

I'm using magic numbers. Have you heard about magic number quilts? It's improv with parameters. You pick a number of the block size that you want to make and then pick the "magic" numbers that will make up that number.

Magic block1

So for example, I'm working with blocks that will finish at 8" so my magic numbers are 1, 2, 4, and 8. If I sew squares or rectangles with different combinations of dimensions of 1", 2" and 4" (adding an extra 1/2" for seam allowances), they will give me blocks that finish at 8". It's a great way to use up scraps, which is what I'm doing with some AMH Folksy Flannel and Loulouthi flannel leftovers. For more on magic numbers, check out Sew Katie Did

Magic block2

So far I have 21 blocks up on my design wall.

Magic blocks

Only 51 more to go for a cozy throw-sized quilt.

If you haven't worked with magic numbers, I encourage you to give it a try. It's fun! 

Linking up to W.i.P. Wednesday!

Monday, August 11, 2014

An Essential Guide

Have you been following the Sew Mama Sew series on the Lucky Spool's Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making? Sew Mama Sew is featuring excerpts from chapters in the book. The latest excerpt is of Jacquie Gering's chapter on the alternative grid.

I love the book.


And not just because one of my quilts is on page 178!


It's a great book filled with information on the different types of modern quilting. The book is divided into workshops. Each workshop is designed to help you learn new skills, from using color in your quilt to machine quilting.

At the end is a section called, "A Study of Modern Quilts," which is where you'll find my quilt, Helix. Check it out - Amazon will give you a peek inside!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...

Christmas!

July was Marla's month in the That Stash Bee. She requested patchwork blocks using Christmas fabrics. Here's what I stitched for her.

TSB_July 2014_2

A simple 4-patch...

TSB_July 2014_4

and a 36-patch.

TSB_July 2014

Playing with these Christmas fabrics got me thinking that maybe I should start a Christmas quilt too...

Christmas block layout

Which must mean I've lifted my "no-new projects" restriction!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Latest Obsession

Have you ever thought you couldn't do something and later found yourself doing the very thing you thought you couldn't do?

If you have ever conquered your doubts about something, you know how empowering it can be.

I've had a fascination with hand embroidery for as long as I can remember. Last year I started stockpiling embroidery patterns.


I bought a couple of books on embroidery, embroidery floss, a hoop, and needles. The only problem was I didn't know how to embroider! I even took a class last year, but left feeling like I didn't know what I was doing. So I packed away everything.

Fast forward to this year's neighborhood 4th of July picnic. I was talking to one of my neighbors and discovered that she is an embroidery master. I told her about my frustrations with embroidery. She suggested that I try a stitch that I had never heard of before - the outline stitch. I'm sure you embroidery pros know all about it, but to me it was news!

I went home and gave it a try. And it looked pretty good! After that success, I picked up Jenny Hart's Embroidered Effects.


I love the way she explains the stitches in plain language. I was feeling pretty bold after the outlining success so I tried other stitches in her book. Here's a peek at some of my doodling.


Then I got even bolder and tried one of the patterns that I've been swooning over for the last year. It is Summer Flowers by Sarah Jane Studios.


It's the same girl that I featured in my Children at Play quilts here and here.

I'm enjoying seeing her come together stitch by stitch. Right now, I'm working on her curls. Each curl is a French knot. Filling in her hair could take a while!

I have no idea what I will do with this little girl once she is all stitched up. Maybe she'll be part of a pillow? Or should I get her a nice wooden hoop to hang out in? What do you think I should do with her?

Either way, I feel like my newfound skill has opened up a world of possibilities for me. Perhaps I'll even become bold enough to try hand quilting one day!

Linking up to W.i.P. Wednesday!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

W.i.P. Wednesday

Living under restrictions is not easy! I'm happy to say that I've resisted the temptation to start a new project. For more on my self-imposed restriction, click here.

Curves_wip

I have taken a break from the curves project. I got a bit stuck with the quilting. The quilting has been more challenging for me than piecing the curves. I figured out what to do with the wedges - back and forth arcs, but what about all that negative space?!?

While I think on it, I've been working on a w.i.p. that has been hanging on my design wall for some time. Here's a peek at one of the blocks.

wip 7-2-14

I'm loving the text fabric that I pieced into one of the blocks.

be gentle

It's a nice reminder for when life gets a little crazy.

Linking up to W.i.P. Wednesday!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A W.i.P. Epiphany

I am slowly coming to accept that the more projects I have in progress, the fewer that I finish.

So with this epiphany, I'm putting myself on restriction until I finish the curves quilt I started at Sherri Lynn's workshop. That means no new projects!

I've made great progress on the curves quilt over the last week. I put the top together and basted it this weekend.

Curves_basting

After much trial and error - read: stitching and ripping - I decided on a quilting design. More on that soon.

Curves_quilting

Now to turn a blind eye to all the fabric that is beckoning me to start something new and get this baby done!

Linking up to W.i.P. Wednesday!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Getting My Curve On

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending a lecture by Sherri Lynn Wood of Daintytime and participating in her workshop, "Get Your Curve On," at Spoonflower.

It was such a treat to watch her at work and to learn her techniques for making curves. Plus, she is a delightful person who I could tell puts a lot of thought into her work.

Curve Workshop_Sherri

She started by having us lay out all our fabrics.

Curve Workshop1

Then we did a 5-minute centering technique to focus our attention inward before we chose our fabrics. The oranges were calling to me so I grabbed them and started piecing together with aqua and yellow.

Curve Workshop2

I sewed wedges into 3 fans.

Curves Workshop_Fans

And then came the hard part - the composition.

I laid out the pieces and realized that they would make a cool donut.

Curves Workshop_Donut

And then I laid them out like fans.

Curves Workshop_Fans2

And then I called in the expert for help!

Curves Workshop_Sherri2

Throughout the process, Sherri was very encouraging and reminded us that the technique we were doing is an advanced improv technique. That made me feel better when I was scratching my head trying to figure out how to fit the pieces together.

I didn't finish the quilt top during the workshop, but I left with enough know-how and confidence to finish working on it on my own.

Curves Workshop_Sherri and me

If you ever have the chance to take a workshop with Sherri, I highly encourage you to do so. She is an accomplished artist, an excellent teacher and an all-around nice person.