Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Festival Time

Amy's Creative Side Blogger's Quilt Festival  has always been a favorite of mine.  Not only is it fun to participate by linking up, it's the perfect inspiration resource.  Browse back and visit previous entries from Blogger's you may just now be discovering.  

I'm certain of one of the quilts that I will choose but unsure what else will add to this list.  

My Previous Blogger's Quilt Festival Entries: 

Fall 2015 
Perspective - Small Quilts
Castles in the Sand - Original Design

Spring 2015
Goats Askew - Original Design 
IG Mini - Mini 

Fall 2014
Look Who's Walking - Small Quilt

Spring 2014
Giant X-Plus  - Scrappy
Rip Tide - ROYGBIV

Fall 2013
Tassels - Group/Bee

Fall 2012
Old Italian Block - Scrap/ROYGBIV/Bed

Spring 2012
Catalyst (aka Mod Mosaic) - my first time to participate 

I'd love to hear from you about your experience with the Festival or about an annual tradition in your town.  

Friday, September 2, 2016

PG: Parental Guidance

This one.  The long overdue quilt for my youngest son is finally finished.  He's waited so patiently for it and there really is no excuse why it is late.  It's not like subconsciously I didn't want to admit my baby was all grown up, right?
One day I will make a collective collage of all the 21st Birthday quilts I've made for my nieces, nephews and sons but I've got one more to sew before I can do that.   11 out of 12 feels accomplished and considering I was on time for the first 9 of those, well that's something.
(back) second front
By the time I got the top done I was really tempted to find a 108" wide and call it good.  But, you know - it's such a special quilt.  So instead pushed myself to create the jumbo version of the block, piecing scraps together as needed.   My friend Lori saved me big time with the fabric used in the border so that I could build it out large enough.
binding in bed
Thanks to wonder clips and a needle minder, I spent the weekend in bed with a marathon binding session stitching down the binding and binge watching Stranger Things and Gilmore Girls.  It happened to fall on the first Modern Quilt Guild Virtual Sew Day so that was fun.
parts in process
I was fortunate to use my friend Pat's longarm and although it was quite the learning curve and probably not the best first project to take on considering the size and fussy placement of the back,  we had a great time hanging out and it was in the end a big success.  

Funny enough I was worried about the light thread contrasting on the dark fabric and although it was intimidating stitching on those blocks, I could see what I was doing much better than then when it blended on the light.
layout fun
Isn't this shot a crack up?  With photos unless there is an object to judge it's hard to tell size.
sham glam
The measurement of the motif determined the width of the shams and the pillows were fortunately close to being the same width.  At the suggestion of my friend Anna at our guild Sew Day I boxed the corners for a cleaner fit.

stacks and steps
Naming a quilt is something I enjoy - a feeling not shared by everyone apparently - check out Debbie's post and reader comments to see what I mean.    Of course it's a delectable mountain because that's the block name, but it deserves a title. It's been referred to "my Retreat quilt" because I've taken it to every single one over the years.
I've also called it my Parson Gray (PG) quilt because although I have a scrappy aesthetic, my son does not and pre-approved each fabric used.   So with a play on the initials, I've titled it Parental Guidance.   I'm happy to say, he's grown into wonderful young man and I am extremely proud to be his mom.  

On that note, I'll leave you with this treasured photo from when he was no bigger than my sewing machine.  

Linking up to TGIFF 
and later on to FALQ3 for the quilt and the shams (2 of my 6 goals)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

In Memory Of

Memory Quilts by Anne Sullivan
In our house, dogs are family.  In fact truth be told, they kind of ran the place. If you're "a dog person" you get that.   Our friend Anne does and the quilts that she made in their memory will be treasured forever. 

We are so fortunate to have had Chase and Dottie in our lives for a long loving time which in turn makes the heartbreak of their loss so much deeper.   We said goodbye to Dottie in September and to Chase one moon ago.   

Chase was addopted in October 2012 from the Peninsula Humane Society after researching and visiting a few German Shorthair Pointers in foster care.  When they walked him out to the yard to let us spend time together, he climbed right up on my hubby's lap and that was it.  He had chosen his family.  Our boys were in elementary and middle school which acts as an unmistakable marker of time.   We immediately found him a companion, aninseparable  soulmate, Dottie.

Chase - back
Chase - Label
Anne and Chase May 2015
Before Anne moved away, far far away - we would have basting parties and collaborate on projects.  Chase was not a lap dog for just anyone.  He knew how to choose his humans.
Quilting detail back
I absolutely love everything about the quilt and am so touched, beyond words.  Chase was here when we received the Dottie quilt in the mail.   It is difficult to adjust and we are still grieving the loss, but there is also something that now feels complete having them together again, captured in fabric by thoughtful (amazingly talented) hands and a huge giving heart.

a Full Moon Walk

I'm glad to be attending QuiltCon East where Anne will be lecturing and teaching a workshop so that I can give her a proper hug to go with the many, many virtual ones.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Makin' Bacon (blocks) - BeeSewcial July

Two slabs of bacon
For the month of July, it was Debbie's turn and she chose The Bacon Consideration.  You can read all about it on her blog with the link.   A food theme seems SO obvious for A Quilter's Table!
Fabric Pull
Well it's not pulled pork but rather my fabric pull, tee hee.  The upper left photo is the one that was shared with our outline as suggested colors.  The lower left is my first "off the shelf" grab of things that seemed in line along with a bit of humorous novelty fabric from my stash because, really - I had bacon fabric and not everyone can say that. Upper right is my scrap additions and the last picture includes my expanded inclusion of other-than-quilt-cotton.
In progress
The excuse to use a bit corduroy that I've collected to make an all corduroy quilt was great and I was even per-SUEDED to use leather.

As with most of the improv pieces that I sew, there was a general concept that I wanted to capture but I let the evolution lead to wherever the block wanted to go.  Thank goodness for loose size restraints.

The under belly
The mix of these with essex linen,  textured solid, hand-dye and at least three brands of solid cotton a nice challenge in itself.  I wanted one very lean, the other a bit fatty and as you might expect had the urge to EAT bacon for weeks.
14"x19.5" Block One
9"x11" Block Two
With Debbie's skill for fun photo shoots I knew she would appreciate a clever setting.  I really wanted to hang these from the chicken coop at my son's house but didn't make it happen before mailing them off.  

If you aren't already following the challenges or sewing along for yourself, please do.   August is our month off and September will be here before I know it.  The Instagram hashtag is #beesewcial and #inspiredbybeesewcial.  

Friday, August 12, 2016

Tone on Tone

Quilt Designs  

I was pretty clueless about the recent controversy stirred up over this MQG article until I started reading comments on Facebook and Instagram and then I just wanted to crawl in a hole.   It's easy to get caught up in the drama, I get it.  But really people, watch your Tone (on Tone).

My opinion is that MQG had good intentions that went wrong and have done an admirable job attempting to correct course.   Good can come of controversy and also of clearing the air but times like this make me want to say "I don't know, I don't know, never mind!!"

After lurking somewhere between hiding my head in the sand and stepping on a soapbox about it all, I've decided to write a post and put it on paper, for the record.  

Quilting is my happy place.  I don't like conflict.  But I am also protective and think that it's OK to speak up if something doesn't seem right (just ask my local peeps).   To sit back and just think it or to walk away instead of trying to make a difference and redirect is everyones loss.   

Rachel of Stitched In Color proposed a #30DaysQuiltDesign challenge on her blog and I've been posting on Instagram.   To date, this is where I've worked out my feelings on the topic through the designs, their names and description:

4 days ago:Lower Right:  "Lashes to Thorns" I started with innocent fluttery eyelashes in mind and then it turned to dangerous spikes that can hurt you.  A nod to how quickly things can go from good to bad and also how the same object can be viewed so differently.  

3 days ago: Upper Right: "Divided by Derivative" This was in reaction to the hashtag #beingderivative.  The wedge arrows pointing inward to represent leading to the same place (we're all in this together we just get there different ways). And also the Roman Colosseum because it feels like a very uncomfortable spectator sport watching the sparring. Lastly the glow of the background for shedding of light.

Yesterday: Lower Left: "Sew Not the Point"  The accusations and extreme interpretation that I found to be exhausting and depleting.  I'm guilty of snide remarks plenty and everyone is entitled but ugh. 

Today: Upper Left: "Monologue" aka: my Tone on Tone post

With That Said:

I think that making a genuine effort to credit where credit is due is something to aspire to but to feel bound creatively to identifying the source of all aspects of what you create is unreasonable and paralyzing.  I try my best and sleep at night.  I think there's a certain element of Chicken or the Egg involved and there are published quilt patterns out there that I shake my head about but that just means I don't have to buy them.  If someone does and they sew and love a quilt because of it more power to them.  

Ironically, the two most popular posts on my blog - of all time and by far- are the tutorials for Chain piecing Polaroid block and fussy cut Giant x-Plus with bonus triangle neither are my original designs or techniques.  I've linked back to the best of my knowledge on them both. 

This article by Amy at 13 Spools has so much information and I hope to take more time to read it thoroughly.   Now I'm really sorry that I missed the Copyright, Culture and Quilting lecture by Rossie at QuiltCon2015 not only because I'm a fan of hers but I would've had more foundation to stand on while forming my position.   This post by Leanne at She Can Quilt and my comment to it got me typing today. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Home is where Harts is - RxR2016

Home is where Harts is

Three Store Samples
It's no secret that I'm a fan of my LQS Harts Fabric and feel fortunate that our MQG chapter holds monthly guild meetings there.  Our members had the opportunity to submit an original design to be considered for the shop to use in the Row by Row Experience event this summer (June 21-September 6)  I'm thrilled to have had mine chosen. 
My Stash Scrap Pull
With a theme of "Home Sweet Home" it was easy to feel immediately connected to the project because after all it is located in the neighborhood where I grew up and I've been shopping there since I was a little girl.

Three samples seemed fitting for the triptych inspired view from the beach depicting a Seagull in Flight, California poppy field and the Santa Cruz mountains.  The design was from images in my head and memories more so than directly from specific photographs. 

I also felt it was important to show variety so that makers would be less inclined to duplicate the exact design.  Since the store is selling three different kit options: Kona light, Kona dark and Shot Cotton, it worked out well.  Although they are only 9"x36" each the steps to piece, quilt, bind and sleeve them all took a lot of hours!

First Version top at May Guild Show and Tell
What I didn't quite realize at the time I submitted my entry was the scope of the event. Little did I know until doing a bit of browsing after the fact was that it has grown from 20 shops across New York State when it started in 2011 to around 3K and has expanded internationally this year!

Row By Row Experience Shops
I really appreciate how the organizers have lists and maps so that if you are traveling you can check out where to stop.  No shortage of California participating shops, that's for sure.   Supporting brick and mortar quilt shops is so important especially independently owned ones.

Kona versions on the Design Wall
I was busy with a couple of workshops but managed to pull off finishing the store samples on time.  They all look pretty fun together with the blue and green theme.
In Process 
Having to write an actual pattern was challenging especially since I hadn't documented all of the specifics very well when the first one was made and because of the improv and abstract aspect of it.

Here are a couple of pictures from the shop shared on social media - including a great snap of my sweet granddaughter helping hold up the final finish while I balance the beautiful bouquet of flowers that I was gifted.
Kits for sale
Finished Shot Cotton Sample

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Finish Along 2016 Q3 Goals: six of one, half a dozen of the other

Nothing new to see here!  

Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other

Top and Back

#1. Remaining at the top of the charts is the Delectable Mountain-Parson Gray quilt for my son which I'm happy to say is closer than ever to being done.  Here's an update shot (above) from the sew day yesterday when I attached the final fabric to the back building it out large enough to finally sandwich and quilt.   BTW: I've promised to make a tutorial for that jumbo sized block because it will make a great baby quilt  44"x47". 
Pillow Sham Parts
#2. The matching shams will be a good place to FMQ practice whatever I intend to do on the quilt and fortunately there were enough spare parts left and I only have to make a few more segments.  

King Clam
#3. It's been nearly two years since I started this quilt for our bed.  The workshop and 12 hour sewing marathon seems like a lifetime ago.  Creating a backing and the thought of quilting this beast has kept it from making it off of the to-be-finished list.  Now that designers are coming out with 108"wide in designs that I like that might be the way to go.

Greek Plus Pus
#4. Speaking of 2014, here's another familiar one.   Made as part of pattern testing for Rossiecrafts and blogged here, I'm thinking the spray baste may have lost its stickiness by now.  This one doesn't have a particular home so there is less guilt about the ongoing WIP status.

#5. & #6. Last but certainly not least - in fact "saving the best for last" applies with no offense to the first four goals. Both of my BeeSewcial  quilts: 2015 Reflection and 2016 Stretch Demin - Let's get Comfortable.
2015 BeeSewcial Blocks

Because my mates made me such amazing blocks and they mean so much I want the composition and quilting to be deserving - which is a lot of pressure!  Here are the links to the challenge 2015 and 2016.  Percolating long enough and time to get on it.

2016 BeeSewcial Blocks

Last quarter I only got one done on my list and a whole lot of other things that weren't.  I'm so happy for the makers of the 677 projects  - check out the linky gallery, you'll be impressed.  Wish me better luck this time.

Six Goals 2016 FAL Q3

 Linking up my FAL 2016 Q3 Goals.

Lake County Strata - BeeSewcial June

Lake County green strata 
My one big block measuring 13"x25" inspired by beautifully serene Naramta was wonderful to create for Felicity.   You can read all about the challenge this month on her bog post here .  There's been a lot of blue in my work lately so I chose to go for green "greenery" instead.

target joint position
I wanted to use a large variety of greens and many sizes for the horizontal rectangles.   The guidelines were straightforward however achieving the desired composition and vibe took quite a lot of manipulation.  Several times it got tricky balancing to avoid high contrast and squares but I feel like I pulled it off.
variety and contrast
The block was sent and received and now that she has all of her parts I can't wait to see how they all blend together.  Check out #beesewcial and #inspiredbybeesewcial on Instagram to follow her progress.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Bite Size: BeeSewcial Swap

BeeSewcial Swap
During our meet up at QuiltCon in Pasadena in February,  my BeeSewcial mates decided that having a swap would be fun.  We tossed around ideas like secret partners, a small item swap but then agreed to send everyone participating,  a bite size block and let the individuals determine what to make with the parts.
the process
To help unify the look, we chose a low volume background and a single pop of color.
initial pull

Ironically I went with purple thinking that it would be a stand out odd ball choice but instead it's the most common so far.  Stash scraps feel great to use and I really should do it more often - check out all scrappy goodness at Oh Scrap! linky party.
fussy for Debbie
Grape Popsicles are a shopping staple and with the onset of summer seemed like the perfect flavor of "bite" to send.  Personalizing the piece that I sent was especially fun.

So many seams 
The blocks are starting to roll in - here's the ones so far on the design wall.  I'm not exactly sure what I will make with them but have several thoughts.
Blocks for ME
Subconsciously purple was also on my mind from having taken an old quilt on the retreat and sharing this photo on IG.  I've been enjoying the iPhone app Snapseed for moody effects.
purple on my mind
The REALLY funny thing about this quilt is that I recently registered to attend an Empty Spools workshop taught by Cheryl Malkowski next year and did a google search on her name to familiarize myself with her work and her patterns - well guess what popped up - check it out!