Monday, September 30, 2013

Ugly Fabric and Thinking Outside the Box

One of the classes I took at Sewing Summit was a class called Stash Mixology with Alisa Ashbury.  It was quite possibly my favorite class of the weekend.  Alisa is a fellow SLMQG member, but since I'm so new to the group I didn't recognize her name when signing up.  It wasn't until I got to class that I realized I knew her. 

Alisa is definitely not your average cookie-cutter quilter.  She has a distinct style that I find quite endearing.  She uses any and every kind of fabric, including batiks, non-cottons, and (by her own admission) lot of uglies.

a woman standing on a chair holding a grey quilt and showing it to others

She creates beautiful quilts with lots of texture and depth to them.  I was fascinated by her work.  
I guess I would consider her part art quilter, part scrap buster, with some modern thrown in the mix.

a miniture modern art quilt with a blue border
Here is a small wall quilt she is in the process of creating.

She does lots of hand sewing on her quilts, both with regular and chunky style threads.  Again, adding much depth and texture to the piece.  Her hand quilting is beautiful!

But her main point of the class was to help us break out of the mold of using only one line of fabric in a single quilt (I don't have much issue with this) and instead to think outside the box.  She taught us to create quilts with depth and personality using a wide range of different fabrics, including uglies!

a bunch of folded fabrics laying on a table in a wide array of colors and patterns

We were asked to bring some FQ's to the lecture so we could mix and match everyone's picks.  As you can see, at my table there was quite a mix.  We were then asked to pull fabrics from what was on the table to create a fake quilt.  For some, this exercise proved harder than for others.  

We talked about adding depth through color value as well.  The black FQ's were put on the table by Alisa.  Her philosophy is that every quilt needs a little black (or navy) to give it depth.  It was quite fascinating to see what a little black will add to a quilt.  Again, for some in the class this was a hard concept, I could see the uneasiness in their eyes. Haha!  But for me it proved to further educate and enlighten.

After her lecture my table did a little fabric trading.
Here are the pieces I came home with. 

folded fabrics in an array of patterns and colors

Some are definitely "uglier" than others, but I'm hopeful that can integrate them into my stash and use them freely.  Quite honestly I'm seeing my quilts in a whole new light after this class.

So, what do you think?  Are you stuck in a "one line of fabric" rut?  Does the thought of using something "ugly" in a quilt make you cringe?  I'd love to hear your thoughts, whichever way you lean...

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Month of Colorwheel Stashing

This post is part of an ongoing series of posts where I document my fabric stash purchases.
This year I am trying to keep track of my fabric intake in order to see how much I consume.  I'm not going to keep track of how much I spend, though, because then I might cry.

I've been trying to be a little more deliberate and selective in my fabric purchases of late. I still buy what I love, but have been working on building a more color balanced stash.  This color wheel represents at least 3 different buying excursions during August and September.

On these particular trips I worked on filling in the gaps of my navy blues, oranges, and some low volume pieces.  The other pieces were just odds and ends that I loved.

folded fabrics aligned in a circle and organized in rainbow color order

My stash is filling out nicely, so I guess in order for me to justify any more fabric purchases I better start using large amounts of stash!

Fabric Details:
Jump in Navy from Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie and Camille
Gridlock in Navy from Dear StellaEssential Dots in Liberty Blue from Moda
Simple Gingham in Aqua from Riley Blake
Skip in Red from Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie and Camille
Candy Leaf from Technicolor by Emily Herrick
Kodachrome in Clemantine from Twenty Three by Eric and Julie Comstock
Tile in Persimmon from Technicolor by Emily Herrick
Ashbury Deco in Orange by Doohikey Deisgns for Riley Blake
Hypnotized in Orange from The Boo Crew by Sweetwater
Voltage Dot in Lime from Chicopee by Denyse Schmidt
Daisy's Dates in Lime from Reunion by Sweetwater
Tossed Paperclips in Gray from Type by Julie Rothman
Pins in White from Sew Stitchy by Annela Hoey
Bouquet in Daisy from Posy by Aneela Hoey
One Way in Vanilla from Road 15 by Sweetwater
Jump in Multi From Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie and Camille
Navy Leaf from Technicolor by Emily Herrick

Friday, September 27, 2013

Sewing Summit, the Pukes, and Bad Hotel Lighting

(I am kicking myself that I didn't write a pre-Sewing Summit post as I had some definite anxiety and preconceived notions before attending the summit.  Maybe I'll share those at a later time...)

This post is brought to you by the pukes and bad hotel lighting.

 First up is the pukes:
 This past weekend I was privileged to attend my first Sewing Summit here in Salt Lake City.  Unfortunately any anxiety that I had going in was doubled in the days leading up as my kids took turns with a stomach flu virus they passed around to each other.  I was freaking out, thinking that I'd end up getting sick and wouldn't be able to attend the summit, thereby wasting all that money I'd spent on my ticket.

little girl laying on a table looking out a window
A little sickie wishing she could play outside.
 I'm not ashamed to admit that I spent most of the week prior silently praying that I'd be able to stay healthy and not get sick (or anyone else for that matter).  I was so worried!  Quite honestly I packed my bags and went to the Summit without knowing how it would all play out.  Luckily, I was able to stay healthy and my kids made speedy recoveries.  Hallelujah!

an orange geometric bag with papers in the pocket
My Weekender Bag packed up and ready to go!

With regards to bad hotel lighting...
I didn't take a ton of photos as I was trying to immerse myself in the whole experience and not worry about "blog worthy" pictures.  There was an instagram contest going on during the Summit so most of my pics are hastily snapped IG pics using the bad hotel lighting.  Sorry!

a woman's face peeking out behind a hexagon flower quilt she is holding
I'm going to steal Leigh's fabulous hexie quilt.
As for the Summit itself, I tried to go in with no expectations.  I felt like if I had no expectations then I would be free to experience new things, broaden my horizons, and meet cool people. I would be lying if I said that I enjoyed each and every aspect of the Summit, but my overall experience was very positive.  I feel like I was able to have the kind of experience I was hoping for. 

a half eaten artisan pizza
Yummy pizza courtesy of Settebello in SLC
a hand holding paper pieced quilting blocks in progress
I finally learned paper piecing.
I tried to take a variety of classes, ones that would be outside my normal comfort zone and push me creatively.  I ended up taking an English paper piecing class (yes, I realize I'm the last quilter on earth to learn EPP!), a metal frame purse class, a class on using your stash in different ways, and an equilateral triangle class. Maybe not the riskiest of class choices but I did learn quite a bit.

a woman taking a self portrait in an elevator mirror
Hotel elevator selfie
 I also took 4 lecture classes in a wide range of topics.  
Some were beneficial to me, others not as much.

a woman standing at a podium speaking to a crowd
Lousy picture of the totally cool Heather Bailey
 Heather Bailey was the keynote speaker.  
She was amazing!  
I felt her passion and drive and creativity as she talked.  
She is a smart one, that girl.  And funny!

a room full of tables in rows with sewing machines on them
The sewing room
 I'd say the highlight of the event would be the time spent in the sewing room during after hours "free-sew" time.  Imagine a room full of like minded people immersed in their craft.  Throw in a little chatter, some treats, sleep deprivation and you've got a rockin' good time.  There was some good stuff going on in the sewing room!

colorful fabrics cut in tirangles ready to be sewn together

I was worried going in that since I was attending by myself that I'd have a hard time connecting to other attendees.  But, since I have been attending the SLMQG meetings I was able to connect and meet up with those ladies so as not to feel "left out." I can be a shy girl in large groups so I think it was beneficial to have them to hang out with.  Besides, they are AWESOME!

logo for Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City with dates of 2013 convention

I'm sure you are wondering if I'd go again...  And the short answer is YES!
Sewing Summit was a awesome experience.  Cool people, fun classes, lots of creative energy, good food, and tons of new found wisdom.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Just popping in quick to say that I've listed a few things is my severely neglected Etsy shop.  
These are things that I just couldn't bear to give to the Goodwill. 
If you are interested you can find the listings here or click on each picture to be taken directly to the listing.

strips of fabric selvedges in all the colors of the rainbow
100 Rainbow Selvedges -- SOLD

spools of thread in all the colors of the rainbow piled in a basket
Machine Embroidery Thread

hawaiian fabrics bundled together and tied with a bow
Hawaiian Fabric Scraps

aqua colored fabric with cream colored scissors printed on it
Wonderland by Momo Scissor Print in Sky

Tomorrow I'll be posting about my Sewing Summit weekend.

logo for Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City with dates of 2013 convention

Happy Monday!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pearl Bracelets

This post is part of an ongoing series of posts where I document my fabric stash purchases.
This year I am trying to keep track of my fabric intake in order to see how much I consume.  I'm not going to keep track of how much I spend, though, because then I might cry. 

 Pearl Bracelets by Lizzy House
folded fabrics arranged in color order featuring a dotted circle pattern

I purchased these Pearl Bracelet FQ's probably sometime in early spring, but since I'm trying to keep track of my fabric purchases this year I'm posting pics long after the fact. 

...Just trying to be honest with myself in regards to my fabric buying habits.
Enjoy the eye candy!

*Purchased from my LQS

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Stripes for Miss Avery

This is a baby quilt I whipped up for a friend clear back in the spring but forgot to blog about until I came across pictures while looking for something else. Oops!
 Better late than never, right?

a pink and brown striped baby quilt

I literally took this ONE picture of it as I was walking out the door to deliver it after spending the morning sewing the last stitches of the binding down.  Procrastination = no fancy photo shoot!

a pink and brown striped quilt with a baby on top

But Miss Avery and her parents loved it!  That's all that matters, right?

Avery is now a happy, bubbly 4 month old who plays on her quilt daily.  (I see pics of her with it all the time on Facebook!)  I'm so happy it is being used and loved!

10 different coordinating fabric strips cut 4.5" by WOF
9 strips of white solid cut 1.5" by WOF
Finished Quilt measures about 40" by 55"

Monday, September 16, 2013

Red Is A Neutral {Block 8}

This post is part of an ongoing series.  Follow along as I make blocks using designs from my pinterest board with hopes of a beautiful sampler quilt at the end.

I'm excited to show you Block #8 today. 
This one is made using the instructions from my "Red is a Neutral" block that was featured in Quiltmaker's 100 Vol. 7.

Patchwork quilt block with an orange and yellow color scheme

It's an easy block using my favorite 2.5" squares.
It's a great scrap-buster if you are like me and have a basket full of pre-cut 2.5" squares.

Photo of a magazine page featuring a quilt block and red fabrics

You will need:
5 or 6 coordinating prints
plus a small amount of solid white

cut 2.5" squares out of 5 of the prints
4 squares from print #1
8 squares from print #2
8 squares from print #3
4 squares from print #4
and 1 square from print #5 for the center

Lay out the squares in the desired design
sew them together in rows
press each row in opposite direction
sew rows together
press rows using desired method (I press rows all going down rather than open)

for white:
cut 2 - 3/4" strips by 10.5"
and 2 - 3/4" strips by 11"
(I cut 4 - 1" by 12" strips then trim after sewing to ensure accuracy)
 sew strips to each side, press and trim after each one to ensure accuracy 
(I press white strips towards the outside)

For outer border (print #5 or #6):
cut 2 - 1.25" by 11" strips
and 2 - 1.25" by 12.5" strips
(again: I cut my strips 1.5" by 12.5" and then trim down after sewing)
sew strips to each side, press and trim after each one to ensure accuracy
(I press towards the outside on this border as well)

Block should measure 12.5" after trimming.

I will try to answer any questions you might have in the comments.

Friday, September 13, 2013

August Blocks

I love seeing my blocks come together in collage form each month.  Makes me feel accomplished, if only slightly.

quilts blocks featuring the chicken foot pattern in multiple color shcemes

  These are the Chicken Foot blocks I made for everyone in August for the Sew Pieceful Block Swap.  The ladies asked for blues and purples, brights, citrus colors, and neons.  I hope I interpreted their mosaics correctly.  The two I made for myself are both in the middle ~ Aqua and Orange on the top and Flea Market Fancy on the bottom.  

For now I'm slightly bummed as I missed signing up for the September swap.  I had a new color scheme and mosaic all ready to go, too.  I guess I'll have to save it for October. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I Can't Resist 40% Off

This post is part of an ongoing series of posts where I document my fabric stash purchases.
This year I am trying to keep track of my fabric intake in order to see how much I consume.  I'm not going to keep track of how much I spend, though, because then I might cry.

I'm trying to be good about my fabric purchases this year, so when JoAnn's has a 40% off sale I try to control myself. :)  I actually think I showed great restraint with this purchase.

pretty fabrics featuring a scandinavian motiff and geometric patterns in pink orange navy and yellow

The bird print on the left is yardage I purchased for the back of a quilt I am finishing up.  I've held back buying it for months, but couldn't shake the idea that it would be perfect for this one particular quilt.  The other pieces are stash builders and some new-to-me Denyse Schmidt pieces.  I think I bought 1/3 yard of each.   See?! Restraint, I tell you.

Folkorico in Multi from La Paloma by Alexander Henry
Bouquet Sweet by Juliana Horner for Fabric Traditions
Posy Sweet by Juliana Horner for Fabric Traditions
Posy Navy by Juliana Horner for Fabric Traditions
Blossom Reel Donut Dot Blue from DS Quilt Collection
Croquet Daisies Large in Yellow from DS Quilt Collection

Monday, September 9, 2013

Pinterest Block 7 :: Resized Chicken Foot Block

This post is part of an ongoing series.  Follow along as I make blocks using designs from my pinterest board with hopes of a beautiful sampler quilt at the end.

This block is called Chicken Foot and was designed by Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet
Her original tutorial makes a teeny 6.5" block, so more resizing was in order for me. 

For a 12.5" block you will need to change the measurements on her tutorial.
  Each 2 1/2" square will need to be a 4 1/2" square and 
Each 1 1/2" square will need to be a 2 1/2" square.  
If you cut and sew accurately, the pieces will work out perfectly, with no trimming! Yay!!

I did go ahead and used Lori's Easy HST method for making my blocks.  To be honest, since I was making 6 bee blocks, it was a super easy method, but I was a little discouraged with the loads of regular HST's I ended up with after trimming.  So, I was a psycho and stitched up all 144 little cast-offs cuz I couldn't bear to throw them out.  Hopefully they will turn into something awesome in the future.  Maybe if I was only making one block I wouldn't have cared so much about throwing away the little triangles.

 It is an awesome block!  The Flea Market Fancy one is for my pinterest sampler and the other one is for my aqua and orange quilt.  I'll post my bee blocks in a couple days so you can see the other variations I made.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Three Rounds

Just a quick look at my aqua and orange blocks from three rounds of the Sew Pieceful Block Swap.

14 aqua and orange quilt blocks, each one a different design
I'd say the blocks are playing together quite nicely, don't you think?.  August was my fourth and final round with this color scheme so now I can move on with my top-making ideas.  I'll end up with 20 blocks so that should give me a nice sized throw when I'm done.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Finished Trip

Happiness is a quilt finish on a Wednesday morning. 

Following in the madness that was the #scrappytripalong I made this quilt for my 6 year old daughter.  She has grown out of her baby quilt so this will be her big kid quilt.

With the fabrics that I originally pulled I needed to add a bunch more from my stash to add depth and contrast.  The purple was an after thought, but I love it!  Totally makes the quilt in my opinion, especially the darker pieces. 

Can you see the dragonfly in the quilting? 
My quilter, Lynn, did a beautiful job. She also quilted my daughter's name and a bunch of flowers into the quilt.  You can imagine that my 6 year old loves all of it!

For the back I was trying to use up some stash.  I had two princess prints from Alexander Henry's Once Upon a Time line that my daughter was in love with.  I paired them with an orange polka dot from JoAnn's and a piece by Jennifer Paganelli for Free Spirit.  I'm sure I got the Free Spirit piece on a clearance at my LQS.  I've had it for a long while.

I just kind of color-blocked them together.

The binding is also a JoAnn's piece I had in my stash.  Again, it was not part of the original plan, but came about after the quilt was done.  I like that it highlights some of the fabrics in the quilt rather than blending in.

 It feels good to have a quilty finish!  It's been awhile for me...
I love this quilt, my daughter loves this quilt.  Win-Win!

Happy Wednesday!

Previous posts about this quilt can be found here, here, and here.
Linking up to Finish It Up Friday
Quilt measures 60" square
Scrappy Trip Block tutorial

Monday, September 2, 2013

Pillow Swap

I'm a little slow in posting these pics, not for lack of enthusiasm,
 just super slow in buying a pillow form for it (lame--I know!).

  Way back in July I received this beauty in return for the one I made for the slmqg pillow swap.  Unfortunately I can't remember the person's name that made it for me, and she hasn't been back to any of the meetings since. Bummer.

She did a fantastic job on it, though, don't you think?!
Me, too!

I don't have any grand plans for it yet, so for now it will be living on my bed. 
Hey, I'm not complaining.