Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pebbles...

I recently had the opportunity to play with "pebbles" on a modern quilt.  I have used them in the past as a fill in blocks, borders and even sashing but have not had a good candidate to pebble an all over texture.  Julie's cross quilt using the Zen Chic line from Moda was perfect.



  First, I marked the locations for two big swoops of echo stitching  on the quilt before I loaded up the top.  I wanted them at a slight angle to mimic the angles in the blocks.  Once I quilted down to the chalk marks, I quilted in a couple lines of echo stitching then went back and filled in pebbles down to the top line.






  I then quilted about 6" of echo stitches.






Then continued on with more pebbles.









I found I liked the look of looser quilting on the pebbles.  I also liked seeing circles and ovals of all different sizes.  The texture was wonderful.






  

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Time for Change

About a year ago, I decided I needed to move my sewing stuff out of my quilting studio.  As piecing and quilting used entirely different tools, I was spending a fair amount of time setting up and breaking down projects.  As time was not something I had an abundance of, I knew there needed to be a change.

I have a room that is part of a garage conversion that was not being utilized so I decided to move in there. The room itself is a bit of a cave.  Being an old garage, you step down into it and it has a low ceiling.  As it is an interior room, there are also no windows. The plus about this room is it is so wonderfully quiet in there.  And without the windows, there is space for two designs walls.  I really am able to unhook from all demands and focus when I am working in there.



But really......

This week I got a really good look at this space I call a sewingroom and realized that it is not the environment of creativity that I want. 

I am embarrassed to show these pictures.  It is amazing I get anything done....





This is actually my cutting table.  As you can see there is no room to work here so I am now cutting on my coffee table in the livingroom!

It is about time I spend some money and energy getting this room fixed up so it is more organized and productive.  I will be sharing my progress and posting the design ideas I implement as I go.  I guess you can say this will be my Work In Progress for a while.





First off will be paint.  I have always wanted a purple room so I think I am going with these two shades and white for the trim and ceiling. These colors will only show on two walls as the others are covered with white designs walls.
So say good bye to this sad space.  It is time I have the beautiful environment I deserve.  I have been busy planning storage ideas but if you have any cool organizing tricks you want to share, I would love to hear about them.               
  Stay tuned....

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Few Stars

Occasionally I get in quilts to be quilted where an all over pattern is a little 'too boring' for the customer and the quilt doesn't lend itself to elaborate quilting.  What to do? I find that just a bit of custom stitching amongst a meander allover pattern fits just right.

I usually look to the fabrics in the quilt for a design.  If possible, I try and find something that I have already drawn or something that I already have a stencil for in house.  Sometimes, I just have to get out a pencil and paper and start drawing so I can get the scale just right.  For a project I did this week I chose some wonky stars.

 


Before I load the quilt, using white school chalk, I mark the areas I want to quilt the chosen motif.  This way I can balance the designs throughout the quilt.  For this quilt I put the stars in various groupings using some stencils.  (I find miracle chalk in white works the best.)

I used white thread to quilt the stars.  I then changed to a bright variegated thread and did swirling meanders around them. 




I also did some single stars in places where they would really show.  This quilt had a lot of colorful fabrics so it was difficult to get some contrast.

However, the white stars really showed up bright on the red backing.






When I don't use stencils, I will get out my laser and quilt from paper patterns.  If you sew on a domestic, cut the shape out of freezer paper and iron directly onto the quilt.  Then simply quilt around the paper. I have used this method to quilt in turtles, bears, stars, boats, to name just a few.  Hope this gives you some ideas on what to quilt on your next project.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

UFOs, WIPs and Stash - Oh My!

So far this year I have been doing a great job at focusing on getting out those old UFOs and WIPs and getting them to a finished state.  I did finish and quilt a small lap quilt from some older fabric I needed to do something with.  I have it for sale in my Etsy shop.  



And I finished the top on the right so it is now in the "to be quilted" pile.  This project has been waiting in a bag for probably 3 years so this one is quite an accomplishment.


Really happy with how it is turning out and hope to get it quilted soon.






But it seems with every project that goes out the door, more fabric just seems to find its way into my home.  


These fun little items were in my mail on Saturday.

The 5 cute prints on the right, I won in a giveaway on Fresh Lemons Quilts sponsored by Skye Reve Fabrics.  I have a little project already in mind for these so they are going right to the cutting table.

And I have been wanting the chevrons for a future project so I went ahead and had them placed in the same package.
                  I couldn't resist....





The big purchase was this big stack.  Wish I could say these were small cuts but most of these cuts are 4 to 7 yards each.

Luckily, all but the top three fabrics are backs for projects that are getting finished up soon.  My favorite quilt store in Corvallis Oregon was having such a good sale, I couldn't pass it up.  I got all of the backs for less than $6 a yard.





And where is this place? 

It is called Quiltwork Patches.  Gerry & Jessica have a great store that I have been drawn to for years. 

I have been known to spend over half a day here looking at all the fabrics and finding inspiration.


I love my local quilt shop



And speaking of quilt stores, don't forget January 24th is Local Quilt Shop Day.  It is important to support these stores so they continue to be here in the future.  I appreciate the ability to touch the fabrics or drag in a project and test prints against it. So if you can't make it to your local independent quilt shop this Thursday, visit it soon!







I will be linking up with Sunday Stash at Finding Fifth, UFO Sunday with Leah Day, WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and Quiltsy and finally the Local Quilt Shop Blog Tour.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Big Modern

Recently, I had a tremendous amount of fun quilting on a big king size modern quilt.  With lots of white space, there was ample room to play with textures and patterns.  As it was very asymmetrical, it was a bit of a challenge to have the patterns flow but in the end, it all came together and was loved by the customer!





The customer wanted very modern, geometric quilting so I knew I was going to get some practice in on tight fills.

But to really work the eye, I also wanted to have some open spaces.










Of course, Clamshells had to be fit in somewhere....





I really tried to fill this quilt with quilting to make the eye travel. I even literally quilted pathways!




Caution...exploding blocks!

Love the effect of them surrounded by all the various straight line quilting.

......can you tell I had fun!


The quilt is SO big, I was unable to get a photograph of it in its entirety.  But I do know it will be shown at the EMQG February meeting and will be displayed at the Pioneer Quilter's Show here in Eugene in April.  I'm sure I will have more pictures to share of it in the future.

I don't always show pictures of my quilting here on my blog.  If you would like to see more, my Facebook page is where I usually feed these types of photos to.  You never know what will be next!



Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Seasonal Colors

Recently, I have had somewhat of an epiphany as to why I start so many projects.  With the gray weather we have been having recently, I really needed to sew on some extremely colorful fabrics.  And when I am in this mood, there are only a few designers that seem to fit the bill.  And it dawned on me maybe that is why I seem to start so many of these color 'crazy' quilts in the winter.

 

Luckily, I had some older projects that I have been wanting to finish that have tons of color or I would have been tempted to either not sew or to start yet another quilt. These Martha Negley fabrics have been stored in a bag with another pattern for years but I decided to use Wrenly's Place by Valorie Wells and make a big quilt with them.




It is up on the design wall now and coming along nicely.  The melon background is doing a great job of chasing away any of the winter blues that make it into my studio.  Today I picked up a woven plaid for the back that should tone it down a little bit.   I will certainly show it off once it is finished.





And over on the other design wall, I dug out the quilt I refer to as the Clown Quilt.  Oddly enough, I started it last winter and it got pushed aside in the spring.  I just need to sew the pieced borders to finish it up.  I love Brandon Mabley's Dapple fabric as the sashing.


Needless to say, my sewing room is glowing with color right now. I'm hoping to get these two old projects done before the sun starts shining and the daffodils start growing.  I find I always need to sew in clear spring colors and pastels until I get flowers in the garden.  Every spring I have to fight the urge to buy 30's reproduction fabrics - I'm tempted every year.

Leave me a comment if there are certain colors you like to work on this time of year.  I'd love to hear about what colors you are drawn to.  Stay warm!