Monday, September 29, 2014

Bee Blocks

One of my goals each month is to keep up with bee blocks. Here are the ones I've been working on lately:

Hand pieced blocks for Reed, a member of CSQ's Piecing Group. Reed does a superb job of marking and cutting her pieces accurately for hand piecing; these went together very easily. These blocks are not pressed; we let the owner press the finished blocks in the way that works best for her. With hand piecing, all the seams float free on the back, so she can spin the seams as needed. These are fairly small blocks - the finished edges of the center hexie are about 1 inch. Each block took about an hour to sew (not EPP.)
Bee blocks for Reed
Next up, Chrissy's blocks for Sew Bee It. She handed out scrappy X & Plus blocks, and asked us to add our own fabric for the X. These were fun to put together; I might have to make some of these for myself when I get a chance. (And when would that be, with all the other projects on my list?!!!)
Bee blocks for Chrissy

Due to a STLMQG event, Sew Bee It is doing both the September and October blocks now and both are due at the November meeting. So Cathy handed hers out, too.  She's doing all solids in HSTs, greys and yellow to which she'll add pops of turq. Her layout is sort of like wonky pinwheels, with occasional HST units rotated randomly.
Bee blocks for Cathy

Linking up today with Judy at Patchwork Times - check out everyone else's design walls over there.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

September Stash Report & Goals Update

Stash Report:

Month IN: 1 yard (STLMQG free table - thanks Kristy!)
Month OUT: 7-3/4 yards (Mega Medallion wide backing; Medallion binding; 30-Something back and binding)
Month net change: 6-3/4 yards out - moving in the right direction!

YTD IN: 138-3/4
YTD OUT: 118-3/7
YTD net change: 20 yards in. At least I'm closing the gap. Think I can break even for the year?

Goals Update:

September Progress:
1. Work on CSQ 30-Something challenge, due Oct.21. DONE!
2. Work on Broken Chevron UFO. Um, worked on it a little; need to unsew some and revise layout.
3. If it's back from the long-armer, bind and finish Mega Medallion in time for Sept 16 CSQ UFO Challenge meeting. Finished in time!
4. Finish top sample for Kristen's quilt. Not touched. On hold - Kristen is too busy with school, Girl Scouts, Lego Robotics, etc. to work on hers now so I'll hold mine until she's not so busy. Maybe Christmas break, maybe next summer.
5. Keep up with bee blocks. DONE
6. Work on project for publication. Worked on it some, found insufficient contrast, now unsewing some blocks so I can replace the background fabric with a paler one.

Other, not on list: Designed & cut out the first of several new special baby quilts that will be needed in the winter. The family is growing! I'm going to have to stay busy to keep up!

October Goals:
1. Work on Broken Chevron UFO.
2. Work on project for publication.
3. Work on secret baby quilt.
4. Write tutorial for Churn Dash variation for blog (see Monday 9/22 and vote for your favorite!).
5. Keep up with bee blocks.

Palette for one of the projects I'm currently working on, all from stash.
Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times for Sunday Stash Report. Thanks, Judy, for helping to keep us accountable!

Friday, September 26, 2014

30-Something: Finished; a Sneak Peek

My challenge quilt for CSQ's "30-Something" challenge is finished.
A peek of just the center:
I'll post photos of the whole thing after the challenge reveal on October 18.
The center looks pale, which it is; the outer areas are darker and brighter and the effect is kind of luminous. I took photos in bright sunlight and the colors just glowed!
DH saw this quilt while I was finishing the binding and he likes it. I'm glad, it since I'm keeping this one for our family room.

Linking up with Friday Finish at Crazy Mom Quilts and Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict - check out all the other quilty eye candy there.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Virtual Design Wall 9/22/14: Churn Dash Variations

I've been doing a lot of sewing lately but not much I can blog about now. Also a lot of bonding with my seam ripper. Rippit, rippit... How boring.

I have not been doing any pattern writing lately, and I kind of miss it.

So, I've been playing in EQ and I've come up with some churn dash variations. Here's what's on my virtual design wall today.  Let me know which one you like best and I'll write a tutorial when I get a chance, and post it here on the blog.
Plus Dash Dark

Plus Dash Combo
Chain Dash Plus

Chain Dash

All of these quilts use 14" blocks and finish at about 70 x 86" as shown. Which one do you like best? Why? Please tell me in the comments. Also let me know if you want baby or queen size variations. Thanks!

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times - check out all the real (not virtual) quilty inspiration on everyone's design walls over there.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Stash Report 9/21/14

Nothing in and nothing I can count used this week...

I've been sewing a lot and cutting some, but nothing is finished to the point where I can count it. I guess I just need to keep plugging away at my projects!

I've been making progress on my kaleidoscope quilting:

Since the blocks are 6 inches, the quilting will be more than sufficient to hold the quilt together, but not so dense as to make it stiff. After the CSQ 30-Something challenge reveal in October, this quilt will be a sofa quilt for me. It's a good size for me and it means something to me, and I haven't made one for myself to actually use, so I'm keeping this one!

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out the other stash reports over there.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Mega Medallion


Mega Medallion

Done in time for CSQ's UFO Challenge and STLMQG's War on WIPs. Custom long arm quilted by Sandy Etheridge of St. Louis. Queen size but kinda short, could have used one more row at the bottom, but I didn't have enough of the black & white fabrics.

(Sorry for such a blurry photo - I took over a dozen shots and they all came out blurry, even though I used a tripod. Blame it on the breeze!)

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

Monday, September 15, 2014

DWM 9/15/14: Kaleidoscope Quilting in Progress

Not exactly my design wall today - more like my sewing table...

I'm working on quilting my entry into my guild's 30th anniversary challenge project. The theme is "30-Something" and the reveal is in October. Here's part of the top but this is only a portion of it, I don't want to show too much.
Kaleidoscope Quilting in Progress

The blocks are 6" square. I'm doing straight-line quilting using the walking foot, and it will end up with stitching like a kaleidoscope block. So far all the SID work is done, and I've made some of the vertical passes. When all the vertical passes are done, I'll rotate the quilt and stitch in the other direction. The kaleidoscope quilting will come out looking like this:
Kaleidoscope Quilting

The other projects I'm working on can't be shown on the blog, so my posts are going to be pretty few and far between for awhile. I do hope to get some good photos of my Mega Medallion quilt to post later this week.

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

Around the World Blog Hop
Last week I participated in the Around the World Blog Hop, and I nominated Casey York to post this week. Casey is a friend from the St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild, where we're in a bee together. She's super talented and her style is unique, modern silhouette applique with embroidery. Casey has a book coming out soon, articles and patterns to come, and she's lecturing at Quilt Con.  You can see her blog hop post here.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Stash Report 9/14/14

A finish this week!

Thanks to my long-arm quilter friend Sandy, Mega Medallion is finished in time for a UFO challenge reveal Tuesday. This is the very first project I ever blogged about, but it's been on Sandy's waiting list for awhile. Here it is on the guest bed: I'll try to get some good pics sometime this week.
Mega Medallion

I don't remember if I counted the fabric for the top, so I'll have to go back and look at my records. But the back used 2-7/8 yards of wide backing, and the binding used 7/8 yard. I'll check my records and tally up the totals at the end of the month.

I've been so good lately, not buying any new fabrics. But yesterday I found this cute jumbo dot on the freebie table at STLMQG, and I couldn't resist. It's someone's leftover backing (thank you, Kristy) and there's about a yard there in two sections. I can see this in some upcoming baby quilts that will be needed in the winter; it'll work with boy or girl colors.
Jumbo Dot

So, 3-3/4 yards out and one yard in for this week. I'm moving in the right direction!

How do you count wide backings?
So far I've been counting by the yardage length, regardless of the width, for example 3 yards purchased and 2-3/4 yards used.
But there are always leftovers which find their way into pieced projects. How should I count those? 1/4 yard x 96" wide is certainly more available for piecing than 1/4 yard regular width, and could suffice for a pattern that requires 5/8 yard. Should I count 5/8 yard when I actually use it, as that's what the pattern would consume of regular yardage?

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times - check out everyone else's stash reports over there.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Kristy Daum from St Louis Folk Victorian has tagged me to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop. You can see her post here.  Thank you, Kristy!
The Around the World Blog Hop is making the rounds of the quilting blog-iverse and I’ve gotten to know many quilt bloggers better through their blog hop posts. Everyone is encouraged to answer the following questions.
What am I working on?
I’m currently working on several confidential projects for a guild challenge, potential publication, and gifts. Since I can’t show them right now, here's a project completed within the last few months, "Big Print Beauty." This was made for a lecture about working with large scale prints.
Big Print Beauty, 75" x 90"
Also completed recently are these charity baby & children's quilts:
Charity Baby Quilts

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I’m not sure it really differs at all, except that I work from my own designs, rather than other patterns. My quilts are somewhere between traditional and modern. I like piecing rather than applique; smaller projects like baby and lap quilts that I can manage to quilt myself; and walking foot or simple meander quilting.
I prefer to collate my own fabric palette rather than use complete collections. Don’t get me wrong - I admire fabric designers for their talent, I and lust after all the gorgeous fabrics out there. But personally, working from all one collection would be kind of like cheating for me – all the color choices have already been made.

I’m currently using these fabrics plus a few more in a project:
Current Project Palette

Why do I write/create what I do?
As far as creating quilts is concerned, I’ve been in love with fabric and design (formerly apparel design) since childhood. It’s always been part of who I am. I spent as much time as an 8-year old making doll clothes with as much enjoyment then as I now spend in my studio making quilts.

I started the blog to connect with the larger quilting community, and have made some wonderful blogger friends along the way. I get the best input and encouragement when I share my process and especially when I share oopsies and failures.
I write patterns because it seems I have a knack for it, and I enjoy the writing process as much as making quilts. Maybe it’s the combination of tactile textile creativity, spacial engineering, and word-smithing that uses all the parts of my brain. Whatever, I just enjoy it.

Here are a couple of tutorials on the blog:

Charmed Snowballs - Tutorial here

Chain of Love Baby Quilt - Tutorial Here

Last year I submitted a book proposal to AQS featuring a block technique I developed. AQS accepted my proposal, in their 32-page booklet format, featuring my blocks and several quilts using them. My manuscript, photo samples, and quilts were delivered to my editor in May. My little book should be published sometime in 2015, but they haven’t given me a date yet.

How does my writing/creative process work?

Do I have a process???!  Sometimes it’s just playing with ideas to see what develops. Sometimes I’m actually quite surprised! I play in EQ7 a lot and I play with fabric on my design wall. I make notes while I’m cutting and sewing; and I write up what worked. Other than that, I don’t really think I have a “process.” 
What I do have is decades of sewing experience including a degree in fashion design, professional apparel patternmaking experience, and more than 15 years as a color specialist in fashion and footwear product development. So some of my “process” is just experience and a good understanding of the progression of steps.

Sometimes the results are terribly disappointing, as with my churn dash debacle earlier this summer, and the “ugly baby quilt” saga. They’re all learning opportunities! My hope is that by sharing my failures and what I learned from them, someone else can benefit too.

Thank you for visiting today! To continue the blog hop, I’m tagging:
Casey York at Studiolio. Casey is a super talented member of STLMQG and bee-mate in Sew Bee It, and she has a book on modern applique coming out in October. Casey also will be lecturing at Quilt Con. Check out her website on September 15 for her Around the World Blog Hop post.

Also linking up with Patchwork Times, WIP Wednesday, Friday Finish at Crazy Mom Quilts, and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Stash Report 9/7/14

Whoo Hoo, no new fabric in! That's always a good thing, right?!!

I prepped binding for something I hope to be able to finish soon, but I can't count it yet.

So, no fabric in and no fabric out this week.

I've been invited to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop, and my turn to post is tomorrow. Please stop by and visit!

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times

Monday, September 1, 2014

DWM 9/1/14 and Around the World Blog Hop

Not much on my design wall today. I have a lot of gift and confidential projects going on, so my blogging may be a bit sparse for awhile. However, I do have bee blocks done for Laura and for Julie.

But first, I've been tagged by my friend Kristy to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop. My turn to post will be next Monday, Sept. 8, so come back and visit then. Meanwhile, Kristy's post is up today. Kristy blogs at St. Louis Folk Victorian, and she's the awesome founder and president of the St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild. Please check her out!

These bee blocks are on my design wall today: The first ones, for Laura, are hand-pieced. The Piecing Group we're in together does all hand piecing and the quality of everyone's work is excellent. The ladies in this group have done some amazing work for me when it's been my turn. And everyone serves the most delicious desserts, too!
Drunkard's Path blocks for Laura

These bee blocks are for Julie in Sew Bee It, a spin-off from STLMQG. Julie is expecting a baby girl, and she and her mom are using their leftover Michael Miller Challenge fabrics to make furnishings for the nursery. Julie's blocks will become a quilt for her baby.
Bee blocks for Julie

I'm linking up today with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out all the quilty inspiration over there. And don't forget to visit Kristy!