Friday, January 31, 2014

BPB Finished!

Big Print Beauty is all finished.
Well, except for the label, the sleeve, the photo...

Photos to come next week, sleeve and weather permitting.

Linking up today with Whoop Whoop Friday over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and with Friday Finish at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

BPB back from the longarmer

My friend Darlene is the program chair for Hearts & Hands guild in O'Fallon IL. She booked me to speak at their Feb. meeting about working with large scale prints, and give a workshop in March. Big Print Beauty is the quilt I designed for her guild's program and workshop. 

She's also a long arm quilter, and she brought it back yesterday after quilting it. Here it is draped over my sofa.  I absolutely love the quilting!  I was kind of indifferent about this quilt top, but now that it's quilted I'm very happy with it.

Big Print Beauty
BPB Detail
The panto is Paisley Max, which I love for its shape, scale and density. Apparently, though, it's challenging for her to quilt on her machine due to its size and technical difficulties.
BPB back, Paisley Max panto
I'm very happy with how this turned out. As you can see it's still a WIP; it needs to be trimmed up, bound, sleeve added, and photographed for the pattern cover. I still have a lot to get done! I'll post info about the pattern when it's available.
Linking up today with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday. Check out all the other inspiring projects over there!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Stash Report 1/26/14: The Stash Always Wins

In this week, 3 yards.
Out this week, 4-3/4 yards, used for the top of book quilt # 2, "Labyrinth."

I'll tally up the total ins and outs at the end of the month. I'm still very much in the hole for the year, but I'll dig out as I progress with the book quilts.

I calculate yardage required for a pattern according to AQS's guidelines (page 5 here).  According to the calculations, I needed 2-1/2 yards each of two colors. After pre-washing, cutting, and completing the top, I'm left with a generous 1/8 yard of each fabric left. That means I used 4-3/4 yards (counted out of the stash) but bought 5 yards (in). I understand the calculations and agree with the methodology, but at this rate, the stash will always win!

I finally solved the problem of pleasing contrast for book quilt #3, which I'm calling "Singing the Blues."  I was again disappointed with something I ordered, so I shopped at a LQS and found the medium blue shown here. The very pale print is for the background, and the medium and dark blues contrast nicely to form the pattern.
#1 goal for this week is to get Labyrinth quilted, which I'm doing myself using the walking foot.  Right now it's spread out on my dining room floor so I can finish marking and pin-basting it.  Labyrinth is 60 x 72, about the biggest I can manage on my own.
#2 goal for this week is to get the workshop quilt bound and the sleeve & label attached, but it isn't back from the quilter yet so I'm getting concerned.  It's 75 x 90, which will take me awhile to bind, sleeve, etc.  I have to have all that done so I can photograph the quilt for the front of the pattern.  The pattern has to be edited, finalized, and 20 copies printed before the H&H meeting on Feb 11.
#3 goal for this week is to produce & publish the CSQ newsletter. We've had a lot going on lately and I have a lot more notes and photos for it than usual.
It'll be a busy week!
Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out everyone's efforts at stash management over there.

Monday, January 20, 2014

DWM 1/20/14: Jackie's Bee Block

Just one block on my design floor today...

The "Sew Bee It" bee of STLMQG is making blocks for Jackie this month, and she wants to make a Modernized Disappearing Nine Patch a la Kristy. You can see the concept here. The blocks are randomly assembled so that the white falls in various positions, including adjacent squares. This is my block for Jackie:
Jackie's Bee Block
When sliced and rearranged, the color placement will be very random. Jackie is using the black & white circle print as a constant throughout the quilt, but varying the placement. She provided most of the colored patches as well as the white, so her quilt will have a cohesive color palette plus lots of negative space.

It'll be fun to see everyone's blocks next time we get together, but it will be even more fun to see Jackie's quilt top when she rearranges all the parts. So random, so many possibilities.  If I didn't already have so many projects on my plate, I'd be very tempted to make a Modernized D9P myself.
(Thanks, Kristy, for the inspiration!)

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out all the other inspiration over there.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Stash Report 1/19/2014 and Fabric Frustrations

More fabric in this week...  I'm still collecting the materials I need for the book quilts.

Fabrics I had ordered came in this week: Kona cotton in Azure (aqua) and Snow for "Labyrinth;" and selections from the Symphony of Blues collection from Connecting Threads for "Singing the Blues." 

Also, a local shop had FQs at $1 each so I brought home 10 of them, just for stash enhancement.  Yeah, like my stash needs enhancement, ha ha.

I did get to count a bit out this week: The backing for "Zen Garden," which went to the longarmer, and the potholders.

IN: 17.5 yards this week
OUT: 2.5 yards wide backing and .75 yards for potholders.

I'll total up the ins and outs at the end of the month.

Some fabric frustrations occurred this week; grrrrr.

First, the cuts I ordered from the Symphony of Blues collection have less contrast than I was anticipating, not enough contrast to work in my design.  On the Connecting Threads website they appeared different enough and in EQ they worked fine, but in the actual fabric, the darker one is a lot lighter than expected, and the medium one is much darker than expected. So I had to order something lighter for the medium. I hope it works when it arrives.
Symphony of Blues, actual yardage in
French Blue & Patriot Blue

Second, I'm glad I prewashed the Kona cotton, but it was almost a disaster. Their color Azure is a light aqua. It never crossed my mind that such a light color would bleed badly. I tossed both the aqua and the white into the washer together, since they'll be used in the same quilt anyway. Aaaack!!! The aqua bled badly and the white turned green. Yuck! Panic! So I set aside the wet aqua yardage and rewashed the white with detergent, and it came out white enough. Then I rewashed the Aqua with Retayne and put it through about four rinse cycles.  At this point it has to be good enough, I need to stay on schedule with the book quilts, so I've already cut into it.

Kona Snow and Azure after washing

Here's hoping I can get the top for "Labyrinth" sewn this week, and maybe, if the replacement print is a better shade, I can start on "Singing the Blues."

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out everyone else's stash Management efforts over there.

Friday, January 17, 2014


It's been ten years since we remodeled the kitchen. I still love it and it still looks great.

But it's been ten years since I made these. I guess I have no shame, to be showing this publicly!
ratty old potholder
So I made these. I guess I'm good for another ten years now!
new potholders
It's the only finish I can show on the blog for now. I'm linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop, and with Finish it up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Monday, January 13, 2014

DWM 1/13/14 and Maddie

Still playing with broken chevron blocks while waiting for fabric for one of the book quilts to arrive. Not satisfied with the layout yet. I made a few more parts to extend some of the motifs into the border, but I don't like this arrangement. Two of the corners look empty. I'm out of the fabric used at the upper right.
This is the fabric I would need to make another motif for the upper left, and I haven't been able to find anymore on line. The fabric is from the Bella collection by Amanda Murphy for Blank Fabrics. I originally bought it at Hancock's of Paducah but they don't have it on their website.
Bella by Amanda Murphy for Blank Textiles
I think I'll move parts around some more and/or be content with partial motifs.
In other news, my niece sent me pics she took of Maddie at Christmas, holding her doll and wearing the outfits I made for them. The outfits fit perfectly! My niece says Maddie loves her dress and wears it all the time.  That's so gratifying! It was fun to make. (Posted with permission from Maddie's mom.)
Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday.  Check out all the other creativity over there!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Stash Report 1/12/14

Well, this year is going to start out going deep into the red, then climb out, I hope....

IN this week: 11-3/8 yards.  (2-1/2 yards wide backing for workshop quilt; 3 yards black tonal for one of the book quilts; 4-7/8 yards backing for another book quilt; and 1 yard from FQ swap at STLMQG) Fortunately I was able to take advantage of sales and coupons!
OUT: nothing I can count. I didn't count in the FQ's for the swap when I bought them so I can't count them out.

More fabric for another book quilt is on order and should arrive this week. I'll really have some damage to report this month! I'll tally up the totals at the end of the month. At least there's a reason for these purchases, and commitments to actually get the quilts made. Eventually I'll be able to count all this fabric out.

STLMQG is going to have a "War on WIPs" (WOW) starting in February.  It requires a pledge to finish the WIPs you put on your list, but you can change your list anytime before September. You have to show your finished projects by December. I'll have a lot of WIPs I can put on my list, and most of them will have to be finished by May.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out how everyone else is managing their stash over there.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Virtual design - Need your opinion please

I'm playing with luminosity.  One way to achieve luminosity is to use a dark "grille" between the viewer and the illuminated background. 

Before I invest in expensive fabric, I'm experimenting in EQ7.  I know I want to use Kaffe Fasset fabrics for their rich colors, and the print in yesterday's stash report will establish the warm, vibrant color palette. I can use a black batik for the dark foreground.  For quickly testing the effect, I'm using a simple Churn Dash block and sashing.

Which effect do you like better: all one print, or many different prints? Are many prints too busy? About 16 were used in 25 blocks.
Luminous effect, one print

Luminous effect, many different prints
Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday; check out everyone's creativity over there.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Stash Report 1/5/2013

I wanted to wait until the end of the year for my final 2013 stash report because I knew I'd finish something I could count on Dec. 30 & 31.  To recap 2013:  not too bad. I had hoped to break even for the year and I came pretty close.

December IN: 9 yards (workshop quilt & charm pack gift)
December OUT: 22.25 yards (workshop quilt top & binding; 1st book quilt top & binding; Dresden Picket Fence top)
December net change: 13.25 yards out.

2013 Totals:
IN: 152.3 yards
OUT: 147.58 yards
Net Change: 4.72 yards in.

Stash Management Goal for 2014: Break even.

January 2014 so far:
IN: 1/2 yard
Out: 0

This is the half-yard I bought yesterday, a Kaffe Fasset print that I just love. In a color workshop with Louise at the Quilted Fox, we found that it's amazingly versatile.  The colors are kind of washed out in this photo, sorry. They're better in the block photo below.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out how everyone else is managing their stashes over there.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Year End Stash Report, December Goals Recap, and 2014 Goals

2013 Stash:
Not too bad at all...I had hoped to break even for the year and I came pretty close. Just a few yards more in for the year than out.

December IN: 9 yards (workshop quilt & charm pack gift)
December OUT: 22.25 yards (workshop quilt top & binding; 1st book quilt top & binding; Dresden Picket Fence top)
December net change: 13.25 yards out.

2013 Totals:
IN: 152.3 yards
OUT: 147.58 yards
Net Change: 4.72 yards in.

Stash Management Goal for 2014: Break even.
Workshop project fabrics purchased in December

December Goals Recap & Progress:
1. Research modern & large print fabrics for Feb. presentation & start outline/PowerPoint. In work
2. Design a project for the workshop I've been asked to give in March. Done
3. Sew sample of workshop project top; keep notes for pattern. Done; pattern first draft is written.
4. Complete flying geese top. Not done; will be a slower project due to book.
5. Write Tutorial for flying geese top. Not done; will be postponed until after book is written. However, I did write a tutorial for the Dresden Picket Fence top.
6. Keep up with bee blocks. Done

Since I found out in December that my book proposal was accepted and I have a due date of May 15, 2014 to get everything finished, written, formatted, and delivered to AQS, my goals and priorities had to change a bit.

So, for 2014, the top priority will be getting the book done.  Second priority will be the presentation in February and the workshop in March. Third priority will be keeping up with bee blocks.

After the book is done I'll re-evaluate the goals for the rest of the year and see where I'm at.