Saturday, August 29, 2015

An Emotional (QDAD) Week


On occasion,  QDAD (Quilt Design A Day) will have a challenge week.   Today wraps up Emotions. 

I'm especially fond of these four: 

Surprise/Aqua: "Unexpected", When unplanned things fall into place. 

Fear/Red: "Closed"  The fear for others, the fear of the uncontrollable, the fear that the fear is not real and the fear that it is.

Joy/Blue: "From Within" enough said. 

Disgust/Yellow: "Pushed Too Far" Good things that you are invested in that drift in a bad direction 

I hope that members will continue to add designs because I like seeing them and reading the message behind the design.  

Message and Meaning

For the month of September,   the mission for BeeSewcial is sort of of related.  Check out Hillary's post at Entropy Always Wins and #inspiredbybeesewcial on IG.   There are a few ideas in my head and the black and white palette will be a refreshing change.    

I am anxious to see if I can pull off combining a couple of construction techniques that are newish to me.  QDAD has helped me to edit and lean towards modern minimalism but it does not come naturally.   

a Mid-May finish

I forgot to share.   I'm not very good at keeping secrets but this time I was so good at it that I almost let it slip by without posting.  This little quilt was made to welcome a special baby girl into the world. 

Made with the apple core template and stash using Tokyo Rococo to build off of.  I'm always pleased when my fabric plays well together.  I even busted into a long abandoned UFO for some Chic Blooms to add a scattering of yellow. 

If these process pics seem a bit familiar it's because I did give a sneak peak of the project on the apple  slices tutorial (which may be why in my head I thought I had already shared).

For quilting I kept it simple with some top-stitch and channel.  It was refreshing to not be free-motion quilting for a change.

Had I planned a little better I would have centered "California" on the binding but I did make sure it was somewhere to be found.

Flannel backing for baby - well of course.  

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday with Crazy Mom Quilts.   

Friday, August 21, 2015

Create along with BeeSewcial

I will be taking pictures of the blocks that I've received as Queen Bee this month very soon I promise.  There are 14 so far and they are all uniquely fabulous interpretations of the REFLECTION.   Or you can sneak a peak on Instagram with #BeeSewcial  

You may have already seen the posts about #inspiredbybeesewcial on your IG fee today but I wanted to give a shout out here too: 
About a year ago a unique sewing bee formed that asked each member to choose a monthly theme/inspirational source and color palette. 10 quilters would then go forth and make "blocks", blocks become a quilt, one for each month. In this process we bee members have gained new skills, explored different designs and close friendships have grown. Somewhere in this whole creative endeavor other talented people have observed our journey and have asked to participate.

Unable to keep a good thing to ourselves, we have created a companion community #inspiredbybeesewcial to sew right along with us. We will continue to post our monthly inspiration on IG with dual hashtags. We ask only that you use #inspiredbybeesewcial when you post your makings. This larger group #inspiredbybeeswecial is about being a respectful, supportive, creative, collaborative community and making ourselves better designers and sewists. If you would like to be part of this companion community, you may follow monthly "instructions" on our blogs and tag your pictures on IG with #inspiredbybeesewcial. You will find us commenting on all your creativity over in #inspiredbybeesewical creative space.

So, are you ready? Hillary @entropyalwayswins is point for September. Look for her mission to us all in the last week of August. The other co-conspirators (and people you might want to follow just so you don't miss anything) are: Leanne @shecanquilt, Debbie @aquilterstable, Diane @ylmommyx4, Marci @marci_girl, Felicity @felicityquilts, Karen @capitolaquilter (that's me), Kari @quiltsforthemaking, Melissa @weshallsew and Stephanie @spontaneousthreads.

I joined a the bee a bit after things got rolling but you can read about the block inspiration for January on Stephanie's blog here.

Here are the blocks that I've made for my bee mates: 

February: Poster block for Kari

March: Transparency for Melissa

April: Curves and Circles for Di

May: Little Houses for Marci

June: Mid-Century Modern for Debbie

I'm looking forward to making the blocks for Hillary, Felicity and Leanne and feel very fortunate and honored to be among such an amazing group of quilters in this bee.  I'm looking forward to seeing what shows up in the #inspiredbybeesewcial IG feed aren't you?

Today I will be busy with my local MQG chapter South Bay Area Quilt Guild putting together our 2016 QuiltCon West Charity challenge quilt at a special all day sew day.  Packing up to go always takes longer than I think it will so I'd better sign off and load the car- Happy Stitching, Karen

Sunday, August 16, 2015

QDADiversary - 1 year

A few of my favorite Quilt Design A Day designs.  It's funny how emotionally attached I can get to some and how certain concepts are still trying to materialize.  I've added a QDAD page to the blog.

On the topic of Design, have you been following Anne's new series Color Clinic at PlayCrafts?  With so little time to keep track of blogs I've signed up to receive her newsletter by email just like I recently subscribed to Scrap Basket on Debbie's blog A Quilter's Table - check them both out!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Mid Century Mod Free Form - BeeSewcial

Last Call 9"x9" and 9"x12"
These four blocks are from the Mid-Century Modern challenge for Debbie A Quilters Table who was our queen for BeeSewcial in June.  They aren't tardy - I just found my partially written draft and realized that I never actually published it.  You may recognize them from my IG and flickr but I wanted to follow up on this earlier post with the extra inspiration of the mural.  I pretty much came home that day and started creating. 
I used the same fabric in both with two different blues for the accent element.  Hopefully having the option of placing blocks that are directly related in more than one area of her bee quilt might be helpful with the layout.  I've seen on other swaps that some people get possessive about what they send but I'm happy to say that how - or if - the blocks are incorporated into the final vision is totally up to the queen and I'm good with that. 

A note about my process: I finished the two mustard/rust/blue blocks and could have shipped them off right then.  They met the criteria and incorporated design elements from her Pinterest board. But because I hadn't worked through all of my ideas and concepts they felt incomplete.   I kept going and made the two shown at the top of the page.   The martini glass is my favorite despite the olives and glass stem taking on a bendy-straw life of their own.  The other started out as a shot glass and became a filing cabinet drawer - which is perfect for time period I think.  

Lots of auditioning of fabric placement and shape options went on- that so much fun.

Next up will be the sharing of the BeeSewcial blocks that I've received as queen - they are amazing. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

QDAD Milestones

Vista View Glam Pic 08.11.2015
Finally a finish. A very first QDAD brought to life or as Anne so cleverly dubbed the event #QDAD2REALITY, a hashtag I plan to use again soon.   

Collaboritve projects hold a soft spot in my heart and they are worth the extra time and effort of juggling schedules and hauling supplies back and forth.  This one was started at the first of the year with my friend Sue.

We wanted to sew an original pattern and thumbed through my QDAD (quilt design a day) folder on the computer and chose this one - a simple sashed nine patch, right?

We auditioned fabric from my batik stash and began strip piecing.  In my head, it was going to be a slice and insert method that wasn't time consuming or confusing.  

Progress on Pi Day 03.14.15

In reality, we had a lot of laughs (mostly at ourselves) because diagonal alignment is a bit more challenging when you factor in seam allowance and the spacing from the sash let alone the bridge from one square to the next.
Puzzle pieces 05.31.2015
The final block layout as you can see from the original was swapped around but the overall essence of the design rings true.  The FMQ was laborious and I'll just say it - frustrating.  Fortunately the texture even before it's washed was worth it.

For the longest time this project was my ALYoF goal rolling over month to month.   On Monday I brought it to the UFO show and tell at PVQA's guild meeting where about 30 members who had pledged to finish and share did just that.  A really inspiring parade of talent and stories.  Linking up to Finish it Up Friday with Crazy Mom Quilts.

Keep an eye on the blog tabs because I plan to celebrate my one year QDADiversary by adding a gallery of favorite designs to help motivate me to bring more of them to life.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Travel Handmade To Be

What I've been up to lately - clearly it hasn't been blogging!
My 3 in 1 Betsy Bag
Fortunately it has been sewing.  Some secret and some not.  I'm loving the progress on my 3 in 1 Betsy Bag.  The kraft tex has been really easy to work with.  The process has been slow and I've decided to alter the pattern to include a recessed zipper closure instead of the drawstring.  I just couldn't stand the idea of squishing my bugs!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Bee Sewcial July - REFLECTION

EEKK! it's my month to be queen for BeeSewcial and I'm so excited. Ever since I made the block for Di in April the design concept of Reflection has stuck with me and I'm looking forward to having my bee mates help me work though it.

my Block for Di
Although the Pinterest Board includes identifiable mirror and shadow images - that's NOT really what I'm after.   your block does not HAVE to be literal, but it CAN be.  It's as much about the relationship of colors and/or shapes within the block.  A change of value or scale from top to bottom or side to side. An exaggeration or distortion that the word Reflection evokes.  The transition doesn't have to be in the middle or a hard horizon but there should be some design element that varies within the composition. 

Sample blocks are purposely missing from the guidelines to start out. I will sew some up but I'd like to give members a chance to explore their interpretation of the concept without influence.  

Palette: the cover of the book Print & Pattern Geometric is spot on as well as many of the pictures inside.  The mosaic shown above includes recent items that inspired me, one of my QDADs (quilt design a day) from the Stay Tuned Lyrics challenge on May 30, my Perspective quilt and a poster I saw at my sisters last week.  I've asked them to lean more towards crisp/clear than pastel but feel free to mix.  I loved Kari's poster colors from February.  The block that I made her also falls along the lines of what has sparked my decision of what to ask for. 

my Block for Kari

Hopefully Di and Kari consider imitation the highest form of flattery.

More Details:
Construction: Ruler-free improvisational as well as traditional HST, circles, diamond, etc. I prefer to have pieced blocks but some needle turn appliqué is OK. 
Size and quantity: Equivalent to two 12.5 blocks

As the blocks roll in I'll be sure to share.  It also occurs to me that I didn't post the ones I made for Debbie in June in case you didn't see them on my IG and flickr feed. As I've said before  I'm thrilled and honored to be part of this amazing bee.  Being queen of it is kind of crazy - in a good way!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Bee Sewcial: Between Fantasy and Reality

Bee Sewcial May

Bee Sewcial May Blocks
I ended up mailing off four blocks to Marci's for Bee Sewcial's month of May.  She has quite a happy collection now and I'm excited to watch the building of what is sure to be a beautiful quilt.  There was a bit of artistic conflict, torn between abstract and literal when I first started working on them early in the month.  After a "time out" and a revisit, I'm pleased where they landed. 

The 12.5x20" remote retreat with rolling hills and a stream (above) would be a great place for a girls getaway weekend of sewing.  Both of the big blocks have components from that initial session and plan drawn out here

I threw in a neighborhood park and another little house to help with the composition of the quilt, scattering similar bits throughout.  (8x9 and 7.5x8).  It's so freeing to not have a traditional 12.5 square restriction. 
When I made this row of houses (9.5x17.5) I had in mind a very neighborly vibe with a front lawn and porch - can't you just picture the kids with a lemonade stand?  I had a couple of ideas that didn't happen, one being a lighthouse. 

For our June blocks Debbie, a quilters table is having us go Mid-Century Modern.  Her pin board is full of great shapes. I've chosen my favorites and there is also one iconic image that comes to mind when I think of that era so I may try and fit that in somewhere.   I was strolling downtown last weekend and noticed this mural with an entirely new appreciation.  Here's the link to the artist and a full view
MidCentury Modern Mural inspiration 
The colors this month are going to allow me to dip into my solids stash and pull out some untouched fabrics.  Super happy about that. 

I've signed up to be on the QuiltCon West Charity quilt committee and am excited for our planning meeting next week.  Improv with Intent marches on. 

Unconventional Sam

Baby Boy Blocks
Remember these Sunbonnet Sue blocks (below) that I made as part of a collaborative project for my niece when she was expecting her baby girl?  I went all out with the props and had a lot of fun representing meaningful subjects like the beach, pie baking and being artistic.  Details HERE
Baby Girl Blocks
Hopefully I'm not spilling the beans posting the boy blocks now for the current quilt being made for her baby boy but I finished them and just had to share.  This time I let the fabric speak to the theme and rather than embellish them I kept the needle turn appliqué simple.  I know he's suppose to have overall straps but I opt for what I like and it was just awkward - so call me a rebel.

I got a kick out of how the bike and game themed ones look like arm tats and that he's hiding a card up his pant leg - although not sure what a 4 of clubs will get you!

(The mosaic crops the shapes to make three fit in one picture but they are actually square)

I'm linking up to Let's Bee Social and  Scraptastic Tuesday with Leanne at She Can Quilt, and Finish it Up Friday - hope you will too.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Pie becomes a Turnover

There was plenty of sewing for me in the month of May and my ALYoF goal made progress but not a finish. Turning it over to June for the goal setting link up.

My friend came over on Sunday and we kept at it until there was a top to hold up and photograph.  I think it's so cute when one of my dogs photobombs.  This QDAD will become a reality, hopefully before the end of the month. 

my QDAD design 

Friday was sewday for our MQG and more hst parts were made for my sons quilt. It might be smart to tally and calculate my target so I don't make too many.  Both of these projects are on my 2015 FAL Q2 list and I'm feeling quite disciplined about that fact.  Linking to WIP Wednesday 

Saturday was filled with retreat prep and a fun day with the committee but no spoiler alerts  here.  I've also got one more surprise quilt that will be revealed as soon as it's gifted.

With three days back to back sewing I was on the verge of burn out and afraid I'd need to decompress this week but fortunately - so far - that's not the case and I'm happily stitching along. Hope you are too!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Finish and A Feature


Perspective 48"x60"
The title is tentative but the quilt is not.  I'm thrilled to share my latest finish.  It features Anna Maria Horner's Loominous fabric and will be on display at Hart's Fabric if you're local.  The pattern was generated by me and the computer using Play-Crafts tool, Equal. (edit: Anne will be lecturing at QuiltConWest'16- can't wait!).  

Turns out trying to photo shoot in the afternoon on a nice Memorial Day weekend isn't the easiest thing to do.  I thought I'd pop down to the village for a few quick snaps but it was so crowded that I kept driving.
Depot Hill overlooks Capitola Village and was slightly less populated.  I found a 24 minute parking space and here you have it, some glamour shots.

FQM details 
On last "in the works" pics for those not on IG.  You can also see this post for more of the backstory. Linking up to Let's Bee Social and Finish it Up Friday.

Someone at the store assumed that I used metallic thread because of the sparkles but no, illuminated twinkles on its own. There's no shortage of texture in this quilt as accentuated by the lighting through my front windows.  I was curious about how the difference in weave would be and I'm happy to say they didn't present anymore than the FMQ challenges I usually face.

Quilt: Perspective
Finished Size 48"x60"
Designed with Play-Crafts tool Equal
Started on May 15, 2015 Completed on May 25, 2015
Fabric Loominous by Anna Maria Horner, Binding Kona Pansy
Backing Moda Botany and Fig Tree from stash
Thread, pieced with Aurfil 50wt #2325, quilted with 40wt #2515
Batting Winline Bamboo
by me in my living room on my Babylock Symphony 

Well that's "the Finish" now for "the Feature"

The Loveliest of Features!

Head on over to The Plaid Portico to read the loveliest feature about me written by Andover's fabric designer Carol Van Zandt .  She also has some better pictures of my quilts Dig Deep and Ripple Studel on her blog than mine.

Her art and designs reach beyond quilt cotton and include Greeting Cards, Gift Wrap, Cases & Skins, Kitchen Textiles and more - be sure to check it out. 

Gift Wrap - Designed by Carol Van Zandt
On my way home from work today I took a pitstop to Depot Hill again because I realized I never got a decent picture of this quilt of mine and I want to live up to my into!  If you look really closely on the horizon you can see Moss Landing across the Monterey Bay.

Look Who's Walking - Photo update
The walking path seemed an appropriate location given the quilt's name.
(Inspired by the Lattice quilt ca. 1930 Haven Kansas from the book Amish Abstractions: Quilts from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Loominous - slow Progress

I thought I would keep the FMQ simple and let the design and fabric speak more than the quilting and then I sat down at the machine and this happened, ha ha.  In over my head - loving and hating this particular stage.  It's certainly not the first time I've been here or likely the last and yes I will survive.
Freshly basted tops are so rewarding and calming - before the shoving and crumpling begins.  
The selection of Anna Maria Horner's yarn dyed woven fabric line Loominous at my LQS Harts Fabric is vast- I struggled with which to choose and came home with these six although I ended up pulling out the triangles cut out of Traffic (next to last in the stack) because the cream stripe was too dominant and distracting.  
There's 27 in the collection and their weave and hand are varied not mention the scrappiness of the palette.  Traffic and Big Love being the super softest of the bunch and Illuminated Graph the sparkliest.
Mixing metallic with yarn dye wouldn't have occurred to me.  Leave it to AMH to blend old and new, traditional and modern so beautifully.  Stripes and plaids presented design challenges that I expected and I has happiest including some fussy cuts.
Laying out rows on my bed was an eye full with the X-Plus underneath don't you think? I also love this backlit shot with a hint of my neighbor's cars and houses shining through. 
As I mentioned in this WIP post, the pattern was generated by me and the computer using Play-Crafts tool "Equal".  I had to deviate from the original color placement when I axed the one fabric so it's not as true to the design as it would've been (however my head would have exploded had I not had it for reference, thank you Anne!).
Sewing entirely on bias wasn't too unruly and I used a generous quarter seam.  There is some fray compared to the more typical quilt cotton but nothing unmanageable. 
I opted to use the spool of 40wt Aurifil in middle for the entire thing with a neutral 50 wt in the bobbin but had fun auditioning thread anyway.  Procrastinating the actual start of FMQ could have been a factor. 
Botany from my stash won out for the backing with an added strip of Fig Tree.  I liked the striped feel and circular shapes. The orange is a tad more peach but plays well enough.  
For binding I'm leaning towards a lavender solid.  Now I just need to get through the rest of the quilting so that I can actually bind it and be done!  Since I didn't finish as hoped for Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival link up I'll save it for the Fall and I'm linking up to Stash #127 with Molli Sparkels and WIP Wednesday with Lee.

Thanks for stopping by - I'd love for you to follow me on IG if you don't already and give a shout out if I don't follow you back.