Tuesday, May 31, 2016

To-Do Tuesday | 05.31.16

Last week was fairly productive. I was able to mail off my mini for the #TNQuiltSwap. You've got to see the gorgeous mini I received from Debby @manduquilts! Look at amazing quilting! And those colors! She nailed it. It's perfect!

I also completed the Carkai quilt. I'll post more about that quilt in late June or early July, once it has made it to its new home. For now, here is a sneak peak:

Is there anything better than B&W stripey binding? I think not! Also, please forgive
the threads I missed snipping. OOPS!

I did not finish the HST quilt. I was able to get the extra blocks pieced; but then I had serious issues with piecing rows 3 and 4 together and had to walk away for a few days. I have a love/hate relationship with HSTs, I absolutely love the way they look, but sometimes they drive me batty putting them together. Am I the only one? Thankfully, I don't have to have this finished until 6/17; so walking away for a few days is no big deal.

I'm hoping to finish 2 or 3 projects this week. Hubs will be gone on a business trip for six days, so I''m planning on spending some extra time in the evenings working on quilts. 

This week's list:
  • Work on my latest Super Secret Sewing Project (yep, another one!)
  • HST quilt: fix rows 3 & 4 and finish the quilt
  • Finish the Chubby Hashtag quilt (a WIP from earlier this year

Linking up with Christine Stitch ALL The Things
Stitch ALL The Things

Friday, May 27, 2016

TGIFF | Reminds Me of Picasso

Remember earlier this week when I said I'd post today about finishing my latest secret sewing project? Well that's not going to happen because I forgot to take pics before shipping it off. I'm absolutely kicking myself about it. Luckily, I'll be visiting its new home soon, so it's good to know I have a finish in my back pocket for a Friday later in the year. Also, it hasn't been received yet, so I would hate to ruin the surprise.

It just so happens that I never posted about my quilt for the Traditional Craft : Modern Perspective quilt show. The show was a joint effort between my guild, Knoxville MQG, and Striped Light.

When searching for inspiration for this quilt, I knew I wanted to do something different than I normally do...but I had no idea what that was. Then one day, while in the throes of a mad pinning binge on Pinterest, I came across this mid-century modern geometric print in FLATOWL, an Etsy shop.

I loved everything about this image. The shapes, the colors...and wouldn't this be fabulous in Grunge Basics? 

Obviously, I made some changes. The green I chose is lighter and my blue is darker. I changed the layout and added borders. I absolutely adore the FLATOWL image. However, once I started laying out my pieces of fabric, I realized the translation from image to quilt was falling flat. My quilt needed more movement. I knew that quilting would help with that; but I wanted more drama so I started adding extra pieces. After I cut the first curved piece, I decided to stop measuring and wing it. I used different sized pot lids to achieve perfect curves and only used my rulers to cut straight lines and trim the edges before and after adding the borders.

I quilted it using narrowly spaced angular spirals in multiple shades of Aurifil. I love quilting this way, it's hypnotic. I call it going to my Zen place. I can totally zone out, listening to music or a book while quilting this way. There are drawbacks to this kind of quilting though. It takes forever, so there's lots of sitting and it's definitely a strain on the shoulders. Because of this, I make sure to stand up, stretch, and do squats or jacks just about every time I replace the bobbin. I'm sure I look like quite the doofus with my mini workout intervals, but ya gotta do whatcha gotta do, right?

It's backed in the black wideback text print from Windham and bound in the darker of the two grey Grunge Basics I used in the top.

I've been rather tongue in cheek with naming this one. I'm calling it "Reminds Me of Picasso" because several people have stated that it reminds them of his work. Let me just tell you that put me over the moon each time I heard it. Whether it's true or not, I'm going with it!

This quilt will be living with us and will, at some point, be hung on the high wall over the staircase.

Reminds Me of Picasso
Fabric: The top includes Grunge Basics in Gris Fonce, Grey Couture, Paper White, Bleu & White Paper
Thread: Piecing: 50 wt. Aurifil - 2021(Natural White; Quilting: - 50 wt. Aurifl - 2021 (Natural White), 2886 (Light Avocado), 5004 (Grey Smoke), 2600 (Dove), 2625 (Arctic Ice); Binding: 50 wt. Aurifil - 2625 (Arctic Ice)
Batting: Pellon Nature's Touch 100% Cotton
Size: approximately 36" x45"
Linking up with:

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

To-Do Tuesday | 05.24.16

Last week was productive - I was able to cross off each item from my list:
  • The #TNQuiltSwap mini has been bound and labeled. It will be starting the journey to it's new home in the next day or two.
  • I was able to get all the rows pieced for one of the nephew quilts...and then decided I needed to make it a bit larger.
  • Not only did I decide on a pattern for the very important quilt, I finished it! Quickest finish ever! More on this quilt Friday, but here is a sneak peak:

My latest secret sewing project!

This week's list:
  • #TNQuiltSwap
    • Add Extras
    • Ship
  • Nephew #1 HST quilt
    • Piece additional blocks
    • Piece top
    • Find out if his Mom & Dad will tell me baby's name so I can put it on the label
  • Nephew #2 Carkai quilt
    • Cut fabric into strips
    • Finalize layout
    • Piece top
    • Make Label
    • Decide if using Star Wars or IKEA fabric...or combo of both?
    Not the best pic of the IKEA print, but I was in a hurry. It's got a lot of colors similar to Carkai
    and tons of fun shapes. As for the Star Wars fabric...well, STAR WARS!!!
  • Start pulling fabric for my new idea... (yep, another last minute addition to this list. Think I can get three quilts completed by June 18???

Linking up with Christine @ Stitch ALL The Things
Stitch ALL The Things

Thursday, May 19, 2016

To-Do Tuesday | 05.16.16

Remember last week when I said I'd be fine as long as I refrained from taking on anymore last minute projects before the end of the month?

Well I took on a last minute project.

In my defense it's a very important project; but itwill have to stay under wraps for now. In fact, it's bumping the baseball quilt to later this summer. I'm OK with this since that quilt is a surprise and the recipient has no idea it's even happening. Luckily, the baseball quilt top is done and the backing has been pieced, so it will be a fairly quick finish once I get back to it.

Fabric pull for my secret sewing project: prints from the Because of the Brave
collection by Moda. 

I did manage to get some things from last week finished. I completed my post for the Art with Fabric blog hop. There are some amazing pieces to read about. If you have time, you should check them out! While I didn't complete the #TNQuiltSwap mini, I did manage to get all the quilting finished and the binding sewn down to the front. I'll be hand sewing the binding down to the back and adding a label over the next couple of days. I also spent a few hours at my guild's quilt show at Striped Light in Knoxville. We had such an amazing turnout during the first weekend that we were able to extend the show! 

Sneak peak of my #TNQuiltSwap mini. 

This week's list:
  • #TNQuiltSwap
    • finish binding
    • add label
  • Work on nephews' quilts (at least until fabric for the very important quilt shows up!)
  • Decide on a pattern for the very important quilt
  • Guild meeting Saturday morning
Linking up with Christine @ Stitch ALL The Things
Stitch ALL The Things

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Tango, #5 | Art with Fabric Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to the Art with Fabric Blog Hop!

Earlier this year, Alida from Tweety Loves Quilting contacted me about participating in a blog hop featuring quilts inspired by traditional (non-quilt) art. In the back of my mind, I've always thought doing something like this would be an amazing project so my immediate reaction was "OMG YES!"

And then self-doubt set in. Sure that would be a fun project...for an art quilter. I'm not an art quilter. I'm barely an intermediate quilter - I still get the chills thinking about things like paper piecing and applique. Also, I'm really busy with family stuff. I have commissions I need to get done. I can't do this. It's not what I do. HOW would I do this? I'm not an art quilter. 

Then I decided to just do it...and then I spent the next several weeks obsessing over what piece of art to use for inspiration. Really. I obsessed to the point that my husband almost took my laptop and iPad away from me. First I thought I'd go with Van Gogh or Cezanne as they are two of my favorites. Then I looked at the works of Matisse and Picasso, two more of my faves. Nothing felt right. I was starting to think this was a bad idea. What had I gotten myself into? 

I kept looking. Stella, Rothko, Calder. Nothing jumped out art me. Then I came across this article on The Art Story website about Hard-Edge Painting. Wait. What the heck is Hard-Edge Painting? Do you know? I didn't know. To quote the article directly, Hard-Edge Painting "describes an abstract style that combines the clear composition of geometric abstraction with the intense color and bold, unitary forms of color field painting."

Intriguing. I clicked my way through the several articles on the artists mentioned and came across the painting Tango, #5 by Frederick Hammersley. That was it. I had found my painting!

Thanks to my husband and his snazzy Madras shorts for assisting with the
photo shoot!
I chose Tango, #5 because there was something about the simplicity of the palette, the lines (or hard edges),  and the three-dimensional movement of the piece that spoke to me. After I had pieced the image of the painting, I decided to keep going. I framed the image with a strip of black and then added a wide border. After quilting the piece, I chose to bind it in the same shade of black. It is reminiscent of a painting that has been matted and framed. 

When it came time to quilt it, I knew immediately there was only one way to go: narrowly spaced straight lines, echoing the shapes of the painting. I quilted those lines in angular spirals. My intent was to give the quilt some good texture, but also to enhance the movement of the shapes.  In addition, I added complementary shapes to the borders - just to keep it interesting and to continue the movement of the quilt. As usual, all the quilting was done with Aurifil. You can find all the quilty details at the very bottom of this post.

Had to include a closeup of all that yummy quilted texture!

The more time I spent admiring this painting, the more it intrigued me. For all its hard edges and its simple palette, there is something quite alluring about it. Perhaps it's the way the eye travels along the lines of the painting - just as the eye follows the intimate movements of a pair of lovers dancing a rather passionate tango.

Click here to learn more about the late Frederick Hammersley; and here to see more of his artwork.

Click here and here to learn more about Hard-Edge Painting.

Click here to learn more about Color Field Painting.

Here is the list of the other bloggers participating in the Art With Fabric Blog Hop:

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Tango, #5
Design: based on the painting of the same name by Frederick Hammersley
Fabric Used: Bella Solids in Fog & Soft Finish Black; Free Spirit Designer Solids in Wisteria
Thread: Aurifl 50 wt. 2021 (Natural White) for piecing; Aurifil 50 wt. 2021 (Natural White), 4225 (Eggplant), & 4241 (Very Dark Grey)
Batting: Pellon Nature's Touch 100% Cotton
Size: 31.75" x 42.5" 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

To-Do Tuesday | 05.10.16

Last week my time in the sewing room was quite limited so I was not able to complete everything on my list. However, I realized I had an extra week to finish my #TNQuiltSwap mini so I immediately moved on to something else.

I am making a New York Yankees quilt for a friend. Making this quilt is haaaaard because apparently you either love the Yankees or despise them. I fall into the latter category. I was raised as an Atlanta Braves fan (which is also haaaard because the usually stink!). The funny thing is that I married a die hard, true blue Yankees fan. Baseball season is rough in this house, Friends! Anyway, there are only two people I would suffer through staring at that blasted Yankees logo for while making a quilt - and it's this guy I'm married to and this other guy I've been friends with since our Roaring Twenties. I managed to get the rows pieced yesterday before I had to go wash my eyesballs out. Just kidding!

I also managed to get my do. Good Stitches blocks for the CHEER Circle completed. This month's quilter chose the Economy Block in shades of true blues (including navy), spring greens and grey. This was my first time making the Economy Block and I'm fairly certain it won't be my last. Such an easy block to make! 

That's about all I manged to accomplish last week. That's OK though. I'm in good shape - as long as I can refrain from taking on anymore last minute projects before the end of the month. I have two more quilts that need to be completed before the end of June and I need to start working on my submission for a quilt show I will talk about more at a later date.

This week's list:
  • Remember to post my Art with Fabric quilt tomorrow!
  • Complete the Yankees quilt
    • piece top
    • make label
    • piece back
    • baste
    • quilt 
  • Complete #YNQuiltSwap mini
    • make label
    • piece back
    • baste
    • quilt
  • Go to Striped Light to help out with my guild's quilt show - which has been extended an extra week!!!
  • Bonus Points: continue working on 1 of the 2 nephew quilts, but only if I have time

Before I go, I want to remind everyone of the Art with Fabric Blog Hop hosted by Tweety Loves Quilting, Today is Day 2 and there are some fabulous quilts to see! I will be posting about my quilt tomorrow. In the mean time, here is the list of everyone who is participating:

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Linking up with Christine @ Stitch ALL The Things
Stitch ALL The Things

Friday, May 6, 2016

A Friday Finish : Modified Layers of Charm Quilt

A few weeks ago I found out a very special woman was having some health issues. Naturally, I had to make her a quilt.

After a snafu with my lattice blocks, I switched gears and opted to make a Layers of Charm quilt, a free pattern from Fat Quarter Shop. I modified the pattern by using 5" squares instead of 10" and added sashing.

When making the lattice blocks, I had started with a jelly roll of Joel Dewberry's True Colors. I selected 8 or 9 strips in colors I knew my friend would like and added the rest from my 2.5" strip scraps. When I had to scrap that project and switch gears to the Layers of Charm pattern, I was in good shape because I also had a charm pack from that collection as well as a shoe box sized container of 5" square scraps to pull from. I wanted this quilt to include lots of jewel tones, especially shades of purple as those  are my friend's favorite. Unfortunately, my stash is severely lacking of purple. However, a few months ago I made an impulse purchase which included a bundle of purple solids, many of which make an appearance in this quilt. The purples I included run the gamut from Lavender to Fuchsia and Violet to Plum. I also included Turquoise, Mint, Aqua, Olive, various shades of Yellow, some Peach, Orange, Brown and used Grey on Cream Swiss Dots for the diamond shapes in the centers, sashing, and back of the quilt. For the binding I selected to use some of the coordinating 2.5" strips I had leftover from the lattice blocks. I love a good scrappy binding; next to a stripey binding, it's my fave!

Originally, I had planned to do some straight line quilting. However, when it was time to start quilting, I just couldn't do it.  For one thing, I've done so much linear quilting lately, I was worried my head might explode if I didn't take a break from it. Also, once I was sitting in front of my machine, I felt like the quilt needed some curves in the colored sections. So I opted for an orange peel design in each of the colored blocks, curving around the center diamonds.

Had to share an image of the quilting on the back of the quilt because I love the way
it looks!

I used coordinating 50 wt. Aurifl for each square. That was new for me as I usually use 2600 (Dove) or 2021 (Natural White) throughout. I have a few Aurifil thread sets which include colors I never quilt with. This was a great opportunity to finally use some of those lovely shades of blue, green, yellow, etc. I used 2021 for the center diamonds and sashing. 

I created a personalized label which I printed onto fabric, framed with scraps, and sewed down to the back before quilting. I know most people add them after quilting, but I like the way they look with the quilting stiches running through them. Also, it makes them a bit more secure.

After washing and photographing the quilt, I sent it on its merry way and am happy to report that it was received quite warmly! 

Modified Layers of Charm Quilt
Fabric: The top includes prints from Joel Dewberry's True Colors along with several prints and solids from my stash in various shades of purple, turquoise, aqua, olive, mint, brown, peach, orange and yellow.  The sashing, center diamonds, and back of the quilt were made using RIley Blake's Swiss Dots in Grey on Cream. The scrappy binding includes solids and prints that were used in making the quilt top.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifl - 2021 for piecing; various shades of 50 wt. Aurifil for quilting; 2600 for binding
Batting: Pellon Nature's Touch 100% Cotton
Size: approx 52" x 64"

Before I go, I wanted to remind everyone about the Art with Fabric blog hop next week. There are several talented bloggers participating and I'm honored to have been asked to participate!. I will be posting my piece Wednesday. You can click the button below to see all the details and the full list of participants.

 photo ArtWithFabricButton_zpsfoga8a6p.jpg

 Linking up with: