Thursday, October 31, 2013

Mod Pillows


Like most quilters, I don't live in a vaccum.  I love looking at others work and being inspired by them.   Recently I saw this quilt online  (while reading Hunter's article on pricing your work. ) and fell in love with the idea.  
Last night I reviewed my stash for some fabrics that I could match up with my grey (that isn't as dark as the one above) and make a mod pillow.  
 I uncovered  this fabric that I love, but just never could figure out what to do with it.

So I cut strips (2 1/2") trying to get the purest row of color.  After seeing just the green, yellow, orange and two reds together,  I did't like the two reds in the same design.  I dove back into the tiny 'floral' section of my fabric drawer and found the blue.  The pattern matched very closely with the others.  I love the way it worked out. 

I remembered also I had little tins of buttons in primary colors that would make more interest so I grabbed those too.  

But later, when reviewing the photos I took on my camera phone (which works wonderfully as a reducing glass for values)  I noticed something in the tiny thumbnails I had taken. 

Wouldn't it be cool to make a quilt like this?  All night I thought about it.  But after working all day, coming home, getting ready for  Halloween and trying to tidy up for my art-group meeting for Friday night I didn't get a chance to start.  

Once the trick or treaters left I flew in there to see if I would have enough to do this.  Sadly, I don't have enough of the blue.  It took an hour to find the blue I used so I know I don't have anything else in there.  I will shelve this idea till I have some extra cash to go get some.    

Just as well, I have three or four larger quilt tops that I need to quilt & get up on my Etsy page. (work,work,work)

As luck would have it, I did find this lively collection that will work great with grey so we'll see what comes out of this. 

I'm eager to quilt the pillow and get it done just to see how it will turn out. 

Hope you had a nice Halloween and didn't eat too much candy!

Happy Sewing! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Walk on the Sunnyside

I decided to revisit my unopened charm packs last night.
I chose the Moda 'Sunnyside' (2 packs) and to keep continuity I chose to make the center square of the dissappearing 9 patch the same color throughout.  I chose the charm pack of Bella solids and used the grey.
Initially I bought the Sunnyside as the first block in the photo was a soft dove grey and pale yellow.  Well, I was surprised to open the pack and find all this blue & orange!  There really was only a few squares of the yellow at all. 
WHAT I LOVED was that (while listening to Jim Henson's bio on audible- it's wonderful btw) I put together the 9 patches and then simply stacked them all up in their groups of 4. 
(Instead of trying to place them as I go) 
At then end of 4 hours of sewing I was able to place them all on the design wall in a staggered order, then reshift only a few as needed.  I wanted all the rain drops to be going in the proper direction so there was some finagling there.  The only one I see now that I may move is where the two orange long  rectangles touch
(3rd & 4th rows on the left)

What's really interesting is how when I squint it looks like a photo that is all pixelated.
My idea is making one starting with one dominant color say in the upper left side a solid red or something,
then slowly move diagonally down into all white at bottom right.
I've seen quilts where they do that all with 2" x 2" squares but I like this better.  I'll let you know if I actually try it out.  I have to think on it some more.
And yet again, another quilt top that to me has a decidedly Asian feel.  I want to border this in the lovely orange hues.  We'll see.
What I didn't love was that by the time it was all put up I wanted to border it, batt & back it right then but it was already past time for bed.
I will be having more fun tonight!
Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bi-polar much?

I love to do pieced quilts,  I do!
Sometimes though, I feel like all I'm doing is slogging thru endless materials and ideas. The ideas come too fast & materials keep changing.   I don't feel like I'm accomplishing anything except making smaller pieces of material that I will later 'rue the day' I cut up in the first place.  Thus have I rendered entire yards of fabric good for nothing except the trash.   
I don't do well without direction. 
I need a theme, or a pattern, or "I saw that online & wanted to make one" type of thing.  Then I can make it start to finish.  But that's just copying.  I am sad to admit that I don't think I'm a great one for taking traditional techniques and turning out a truly original pattern or idea. 
Case in point:
Last night I spent four precious hours doing this...
these are 2 1/2 strips sewn onto tissue paper using the 'stitch n' flip' technique.
Somehow I don't really think you need the paper, especially since you have to rip it all off when you're done.  
Here I simply did  half square triangles.   
and more 1/2 square triangles
I admit I love the ones just below:  You take the 2 1/2  strips, sew sets of 4 together, place them right sides together (making sure strip direction is opposite), sew the outside edge of the square entirely,  then cut it diagonally once in each direction  to come up with the 1/2 square triangles that are pieced blocks with the the stripes going in opposite directions.   Sound like a lot of work?  It was and then I regretted not adding some white strips in there too.  Damn!  
Below are three 5" blocks
But that's what happens when you don't have a plan!
Darn me!  Why can't I be better at sewing 'intuitvely'
or a person who has vision?
I wanted to put all the different elements together and have them play nicely and look fun. But I either don't have enough of them or I already have too many.   Does that make sense?
A quilter I admire greatly said of the photos I posted on FB last night that I was 'having fun'.
I thought I was having fun being daring and flying by the seat of my yoga pants but NO, I only ended up with a bunch of pieces and not much plan and simply felt like having some whine instead!
Well, that won't happen tonight, after work I plan on walking in this glorious cold weather and then coming home and begin to machine quilt this one. 
Thanks for reading and if you've got any ideas for all that barfy pink & green let me know :)
Happy Sewing!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Jelly Roll experiment

I had seen this quilt hanging on a wall in the background on a video recently and really wanted to make one. I had no idea what the pattern was for the block, but the materials I wanted to use were an old jelly roll that was in my stash. This is a bad photo but it's clipped from a screen shot of the video. 

I loved the rich colors in this roll and figured it could work for the pattern.

The first two blocks I attempted were just really trying to determine the quickest way to put these blocks together. My problem was that I wanted to get at least two blocks out of each strip set. That meant I would have to make them smaller than these two prototypes which were 13 inches long.

Because I hate waste I actually had to do math to figure out how to get two blocks out of each strip set. Fascinating how the print appears to change when the values are inverted. Also weird is how everything I make seems to have an Asian feel.

Ready for quilting! All that black is crying for variegated thread free motion! It's 46" x 54". I was going to border it with a solid floral pattern but the only solid I had enough yardage of was black. After putting it up I really like the black better than any floral I could have chosen.

This was fun to figure out!  If you have made this pattern & have any tips I'd sure appreciate them!  

Happy Sewing! 

Monday, October 21, 2013

One step up, two steps back...

 This weekend my gurl came over and we cleaned out the sewing room closet.  
It was fun looking at all the memorabilia of hers from birth thru grade school.  

I changed out the two red squares and with two that work better.  Since I needed to use the other charm pack I went ahead had some fun with prairie points.

I made another Asian purse from some fabrics I had thrown together a couple weeks ago. 

Last Friday night my art group met and we created some bottle art.

That's my bitty bottle there, the Christian Dior perfume bottle, it's only 2" high

I put together ten elements to create this sculpture. 

this was an extra bottle that I'm going to add some wire work to and make it a hanging vase. I glued the 'Evil Eye' embellishments on and they look pretty when the light shines through them. 

It's not very big but I think it would be neat hanging in a kitchen window with a single flower in it. 

Anyhow, Monday came and kicked my butt.  I'm off to bed.

Happy Sewing! 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

On the design wall tonight

After I cleaned up a bit tonight I couldn't wait to get started on this!
Moda's Sweet Serenade.

This is two charm packs.  There were only a few squares leftover. 

The border fabric may need to change. I had chosen it not realizing what the final block arrangement would be.

I now see that I need to remove the two red blocks that stand out.  I suppose if I had included the solid red squares it would have blended more but I didn't want there to be red floating squares or rectangles to pull the eye on the overall design.  *shakes head, always learning!*

The size is 36 / 42 roughly.
Will finish it tomorrow night! 

off to bed
Happy Sewing! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Asian Purse #2

I created another Asian themed bag and put it up on my Etsy page. 
I like this one better than my prototype.  
The handles are slimmer

The purse is a bit wider

I kept the lining the same & used the other sleeve from my silk shirt for this pocket. 

I took more care in the placement of the 'feet' which entailed creating a longer bottom and moving one of the mother of pearl buttons in so it wasn't dangling off the end.  

I can't wait to make more of these bags and I have SO many Embellishments that are Asian themed also that I can't wait to place them very strategically so as not to overdo the whole thing. 

Thanks for looking!
Happy Sewing! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Weekend Fun!

Friday evening I spent with my art group the First Friday Artists.  It was fun and there was pie!
I had shown them all the stuff I made and put on my Etsy page.  I also mentioned that I was thinking of making some purses like this one I made a couple weeks ago

But I also had another idea to make a rather novelty tote using my favorite Black Cat material since it was October. 

So I made this one: 

 And posted it on my Etsy page this morning.  Within 5 minutes of posting it, it SOLD! 

WOW!  I was so excited!  Especially since I had started two more bags featuring this material. 
Here's bag #2

I have a third bag that will have solid red accents on the sewing table.  I got distracted by laundry  & doing the dishes.  
I just love that polka dot newsprint material!  

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Victorian Runner

It kind of grows on you.  These aren't my colors at all but I love the richness of them.  Here it is
I only need to bind it and then it goes up on my Etsy page. 

I love these smaller projects that give me a chance to stretch my free motion quilting wings.

If you'd like to see what's in my Etsy shop here you go
I'm still making lots of things to add but my time has grown tight this week.  

Thanks for looking!
Happy Sewing

Monday, October 7, 2013

Return to Sender update

Here's an update on the work in progress using the Tim Holtz fabrics.
I have remembered what I'm not crazy about with traditional piecing.  The cutting, recutting, resquaring, ironing, ironing, ironing...
Anyhow; I will sew the rows together this evening and now I'm wondering how I want to quilt it. 
Should be interesting
Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tears on my Pillow

So here's what happens when you have too many projects on the cutting table.
I feel just sick about this but I have learned my lesson about being in a hurry and not double checking when I just slice off that 'last little bit' without checking underneath first. 

Found this darling block idea on Missouri Star Quilt tutorials.
It uses a layer cake of the Tim Holtz new fabric line 'Elements'. 
I just love this fabric lines as it's basically all the cool scrap book sheets on fabric! (took 'em long enough!)
I mean just LOOK at that magnificent design! 

So you start by pairing one patterned piece & one solid.  I chose to use plain old versatile muslin.
It saved me from having to find 'just the right shade of off white/cream' for to match the entire pack. 

First you sew right sides together all the way around the outside of the block, then you cut it twice, both times on the diagonal.  

You wind up with 4 half square triangles
Then you simply lay three of the same in this pattern, (with all your darks back in a box shape)
The last one you chose a light one & flip it the opposite direction like so...

Now you have three 'open envelopes'  Isn't it just the cutest block?  And the Holtz materials are perfect for this pattern! 

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the disaster I created at the top as at least three of my half square triangles will need some aid if they are to fit.  And I need them to fit because I need enough finished blocks to make 4 across and 5 or 6 down so every block counts.  I may have to leave one block solid muslin and I will write in calligraphy 'This block represents all the letters I wrote in my head and never sent'.  

I can't wait to finish it as I have some Christmas table runners I gotta get done as well. 
(I know, right?  *whispers* Christmas; ugh!

sneekie peekie

Happy Sewing!