Wednesday, November 12, 2014

FanGirl: Houston Festival part 1

Surrounded by Talent and Inspiration 

Left to Right: Victoria Findlay Wolfe  - let us take a peak at her new book, it's amazing!,  Anita Grossman Solomon - made me blush when she recognized me and told the audience of her open studio about the Old Italian Block quilt I made,  Jenny Doan - as perky in person as on youtube- and Karlee Porter  - entertained beyond words at her graffiti quilting demo and posted the most adorable obligatory selfie on her blog where you can find me waving in the far left. 
Go Ahead and call me a Fangirl 
I knew that going to Houston Festival for the first time would be overwhelming but wasn't exactly sure what to expect.   Once I caught my breath from being star struck - I took off my shy hat and became a full blown Fangirl.  How could I not?  Everyone was so incredibly sweet and happy to pose (or at least they put on a good act).  
Me, Alex, Stephanie, Elena
Above: Alex Voronelli and Elena Gregotti of Aurifil with Stephanie Ruyle and I.

My sister Sheryl and I (Yeah!) 
The Houston MQG had a wonderful meet up on Saturday night (thank you ladies!!) and I won this FQ bundle along with a huge swag bag that barely fit on the plane!  I was one of "those people" with a shoulder bag stuffed bigger than my carryon suitcase. 

FQ Bundle Door Prize to go with my Swag Bag 
I turned my sister on to Oakshott - she's now as hooked as I am so we "had to" stop the Pinwheel booth and pick up a little more each day at the show.
Beautiful Oakshott splurge (in terrible hotel lighting)

The weather was so nice with a gorgeous sunset from our hotel room without fail every night.   We also got to visit with my niece which was such a treat. 

Back at home, we had the first rain in seemingly forever on Halloween.  That didn't stop the fun for my adorable grand daughter.  She was a wee Baby Koa last year with her Pond parents too little to remember, but this time she got to toddle all over and even got her picture in the local newspaper.
2013 Halloween Costumes
2014 Monarch Butterfly and her Eucalyptus purse
Part 2 will include actual quilts from the Festival, I promise!

Between unpacking from Houston and packing for our MQG retreat tomorrow there hasn't been a ton of sewing but I did manage to gather my WIP projects to take along with what just may be another challenge under the wire entry for Michael Miller Cotton Couture:

stash pull and challenge F8 bundle
My hope is to recolor a recent QDAD design and use the fabric above to bring it to life.
QDAD 11.10.2014 
finish up the Redwood Grove wedding quilt before Thanksgiving, the IGswap mini by mailing deadline and also work on my block contribution for QuiltCon charity.  

Linking up to Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Modern

Capitola Crossing

I really appreciate Amy's definition of Modern for the Festival - she says ' modern to you, is modern to me"  With that non-judgey spirit in mind I'm entering Capitola Crossing to the linky party.  In all honesty, I think it's pretty special that it was inspired by the Amish Railroad Crossing quilt from 1930

Triangle on a roll - the closest that I get to paper piecing!
Mock up color placement on the design board was a fun step.

The bright colors were chosen to represent the Begonia Festival and the one block mini reflects the small 2 square mile size of town and the railroad that runs through it.

My newish ruler came in so handy trimming up.   Although not a perfectionist (sort of an anti-perfectionist truth be told)  I didn't want to cut too many tips.  

I rarely (read: almost never) mark anything.  The color change is subtle but there are two different threads used inside and out of the chalk line. 

This is as close to matchstick as I've come with a wider spacing for the pink.  Linking up to Blogger's Quilt Festival - Modern category and to ALYOF October Finish Party.

Started September 28, 2014
Finished October 4, 2014
Size: 28"x28"
Kona and Cotton Couture Solids
Bamboo Batting
Aurifil 50wt piecing 40wt quilting

Previous Blogger's Quilt Festival Entries: 

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 

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Small Quilt Category

Look Who's Walking

Inspired by the Lattice quilt ca. 1930 Haven Kansas, I made this quilt as an entry for a juried exhibit that our local MQG challenge is participating in next month called Amish: The Modern Muse.  Nine days start to finish was a whirlwind.

I love scrappy and graphic but have very little experience working in solids or straight line quilting, so it was indeed challenging. When I was quilting this we had record breaking heatwave and it was suffocatingly hot in my sewing room so I migrated out into the living room. 

Because I waited to the last minute to start and was down to the wire with the deadline, there are areas where the intersections don't quite meet up.  Although I wholeheartedly embrace the philosophy of Perfectly Imperfect, if I could turn back the clock I'd redo the joints that are distractingly misaligned.   I'll share a close up of where they did match and spare you the eyesore. Changing up the thread color and path of the stitch line at whim was tricky but worth it.

It was a fine line between paying tribute to the original quilt and putting my own spin on it so that it wasn't simply a replica but rather an interpretation of.

A quick trip to the LQS to find the perfect brown binding (thank you Hart's  Fabric for your impressive Kona selection)- the one on the left was closest to the color used on the inspiration quilt. 

Choosing which quilt for the Festival was difficult because I really cherish those that came before.   Linking up to Fall 2014 Blogger's Quilt Festival - Small Quilt Category 

Started September 26, 2014
Finished October 5, 2014
Size 40x49
Kona and Cotton Couture Solids, Cotton & Steel
Bamboo Batting
Aurifil 50wt pieced and 40wt quilted
by me on my home machine, BabyLock Symphony

Previous Blogger's Quilt Festival Entries: 

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 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Final Quarter 2014

1. IG mini swap. 2. King Clam 3. Improv 4. Greek plus puss 5. Redwood Grove 6. Alternative Grid 7. Veggies 

Last quarter I was able to finish all three items.  Had this linky been a few days ago I could have included my Amish: The Modern Muse entries but now they fall happily into the finished category.  Fingers (and toes) crossed that they are chosen to hang in the community exhibition.  I learned so much and pushed myself really far on both of these.  Wish I'd taken better photos before submitting them:
Look Who's Walking
I was terrified of the high contrast thread breaking across the ribbons but that ends up being one of my favorite elements.  Also, the change up of thread color was super fun.

The back shows the quilting pretty well and the binding color I love with both sides. 
Capitola Crossing
Close Up
This is the closest I've come to matchstick and it was kind of fun - on a mini!  I had considered hand stitching with Aurifil 12 wool the center "belly button" and decided to leave it as is.

Linking up to FAL Q4 Goal setting party at The Little Thistle and WIP Wednesday with Freshly Pieced and Let's Bee Social and Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

a SOLID plan

I've never made a quilt with only solids before and it's about time.  There have been blocks for bees and swap placemats, but not a quilt.  Here's my October aLYOF goal, a mini.  
HST all sewn and the rest is a mock up
It had better get done this month because I hit submit on the entry form to hopefully have it at the Community Exhibition Amish: A Modern Muse.  Titled "Capitola Crossing" instead of my catch-all Amish-ish I'm super excited about paying tribute to the little town I'm lucky to live in.
The original inspiration, a quilt from 1930 has a four block layout which I set out to duplicate and went into major mass production of HST to get the parts made. But in the end, the single RR was more fitting to represent the tiny 2 mile radius and the trestle that runs through.
62nd annual Begonia Festival August 2014
The upside is that I'm all set to make something amazing for my IGminiswap partner with the extras and I've got my heart set on a new Travel Handmade to take to Houston later this month - or at least to QuiltCon in February. 

Bling Solid

If you look closely at the last two ribbons you'll see that I added a bit of Cotton & Steel basics for a subtle bit of sparkle.  Here's a shot of one version of where I was headed earlier in the auditioning phase:
So many choices - I love that step
I also narrowed the with of the crosses for a more delicate girly look than the original Amish inspiration quilt.   My extra parts seen to the left are much fewer. 
Linking up to Fresh Sewing Day at Lily's Quilts after a much too long of a break (April, yikes).   I may try and recreate the missing mosaics for my flickr album to fill the gap.  
Don't you love how the King Clam looks the same size as my new mini?

Here's the proof that I've been working with solids.  I toss all my bits to the floor as I'm working and "combed" them up before vacuuming resulting in this heap.  Pretty sure my Dyson was not designed for this kind of mess.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced - check out the Round Up beauty she's been creating, gasp!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014 Q3 FAL 3 for 3 and Amish-ish

A much better finish with all of my goals met this quarter.   I'm so rusty at linking up for the party - it's been so long I've kind of forgotten how! Good thing Katy spells it out for us so nicely. 

Don't be confused about the fact that TWO of the quilts look SUPER SIMILAR.  That's because they are companion quilts for the Michael Miller Challenge, Goal Setting Post found HERE

A Burst of Amish-ish

I've been in a bit of a pause lately (aka burn out).  When my friend Anne came over for a basting party and I saw her quilt entry for the upcoming community exhibition of Amish: The Modern Muse at the San Jose Quilt and Textile museum it sparked a frenzy of late nights and IG crowdsourcing.  
(the kona brown for binding on the left won out)

I was sad about missing out on such a wonderful opportunity and had been thinking about what to make, designing QDAD with it in mind, buying solids to make it but doing nothing about it.

Feels so good to be in the thick of things rather than the sidelines.

I'll share more but the clock is a tickin' and I've got sewing to do.

One deadline at a time.  I've got a stack of HST with my IGmini partner's name all over them.

Today was my 45th QDAD design and I'm hoping to make some of them into actual quilts one day, maybe even for the swap.   The group is on facebook Quilt Design A Day.

Friday, September 26, 2014

a Finish and a Top

Finally a Finish

They feel few and far between but today I've got one!
My coworker's retirement party is on Tuesday night so I'm please to have the quilt done and ready to give to her.  I've got enough IOU gifts haunting me - ugh! Nothing personal -really - just not enough time in the day.
One of my more recent tools purchases was this lovely 16.5" and the dark/light cutting mat.   Both came in very handy for squaring up.  Getting to the point of trimming was not the journey I'd planned for. 

The FMQ was suppose to be a quick stipple. Torture I tell you.   I now think the culprit was a wrong-type needle, replaced by a recycled correct-type-but-bad needle followed finally by a wonderfully correct and new needle - there was nothing simple or quick about it.

Glam Clam Top 

Near final layout   I was worried about finding space in my house to layout the final parts and was fortunate to use the big design wall at intrepid thread - thank you Julie !  
Since the entire quilt was from stash and the remaining cut clams lacked the color variation I needed, there was a bit of fabric shopping that took place while I was there :)  Now I have the beginnings of a mostly mustard-yellow perpetual glam clam quilt.  

I brought the top with me to breakfast at the yacht harbor thinking that it would be fun to photograph.  We couldn't find a ledge or bench to stand on and then the wind picked up just enough to shrink-wrap my good humored helpers.  Happy to have this shot. 

Linking up to Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and TGIF at Glory Be Quilter.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

GlamClam workshop

Glamming it Up late into the Night

12" clams half way to a King
The SBAMQG workshop last night was so much fun with Latifah.  Seeing all of the fabric and layout choices was great.  I was tempted to tone it down because I do love the look of the samples she brought that include a lot of solids and really feature the print pops but in the end the "everything including the kitchen sink" scrappy was most authentic for me.
Latifah and I - such an honor to meet her!

Here's me and my progress spreading out and taking over the entire table.  Linking up to WIP Wednesday with Lee at Freshly Pieced and Let's Bee Social.
Keeping it all straight took a few misses on my part, mixing up which arch to sew the next clam into.  I finally discovered that if I placed the next one on the bed of my machine before cutting the thread to disconnect the one I just finished, there was little chance of accidentally grabbing the wrong on to sew it to. 
Demo and tips at the beginning of the workshop to get us all on the right track.  We're so lucky to have such a wonderful space in the Solaris room to create and learn in with friends.
This one really appeals to me and I just might have to create something similar with the perpetual clams that I'm sure to have.  So Much Fun!!!

Quilting Demo

On Wednesday afternoon i got to go to the fair and demo with a few of the ladies in my PVQA small quilt group The Fabric Hounds. We made great progress (and a huge mess) both doing piecing and appliqué of puppies which the kids especially liked. 
My safety radar is fine tuned from spending time with my baby grand girl. It came in handy because working with sharp pointy things in public requires extra caution.
These gals are so much fun!
I'm hoping that doing a demo and going to the County Fair becomes an annual event.  When I was a kid I had my 4-H sewing on display and then chaperoned when my boys were in Elementary school but haven't been since.  

Look who's one 

 The seahorse I picked up from the Monterey Bay Aquarium gift shop was a big hit.
Lots of Excitement as the clock strikes her "birth-time"
After the fair I went with my family to a yummy dinner at Choclate downtown and for Penny Icecream after. 
Baked Pasta Rosettes 
Today is her beach party to celebrate with friends and family and it's a beautiful day! Hope you're having a fun and full weekend too.