Wednesday, March 25, 2015

New Luna Lounge and an Old WIP

Luna Lounge

Lucky me.  Don't be too jealous but I was sent a nice big stack of fabric (in two color ways) to play with from Andover Fabric designer Carol Van Zandt.  You'll be able to get your hands on your own pretty soon when it's released but until then, take a peak at what I'm up to. 
I used my handy dandy bias tape maker tool for the very first time and discovered that there is a right and wrong side to Textured Solid.  Once I noticed the difference of the curl or flat results it was no big deal to feed it through correctly to go along with the natural bend of the bias fabric.
Another tool making a debut was the large apple core template I got from Missouri Star Quilt Co booth at Houston Market.  Because I like scrappy, I made a few from a centered four-patch and then cut four more partials from the remaining edges. 
It's gentle enough to go pin-less, similar to a QCR slope.  I pressed to the sides for the piecing and opened the virtical seams to reduce bulk when top stitching the strips on.  All in all it lays pretty smoothly.

I'm Going to Brown Bag It

I've got plans for this color way with a set of coordinating totes and bags.  I think it'll be fabulous to mix them up and play with value.   Don't you adore that black one on the far left - ohh.
This would also translate so easily into these outfits from my Sew Sweet book by Yuri Araki.  There's this border print in Blue that is crazy amazing!

One of the designs will likely be this guy who has become a permanent attachment since sewing it for QuiltCon.  I've never spiral quilted but think it would look awesome around a fussy cut circle.  Other ideas are an Origami drawstring bag and carrier for my big rulers - we'll see. 

Amy - the Borrowed WIP

Tonight I pack up projects for a 4 day retreat at Happy Valley Conference where I spent my birthday sewing in November.  I'm going to take along Luna Lounge and I'll be bringing "Amy" with me.

Back when Butler's "Love" came out, I helped my sister choose what fabrics to buy and consulted on the oder to place them etc.. my favorite part of the process that she dislikes.  She sewed the entire top and Amy has sitting as a WIP waiting for her border.  I've borrowed it with permission and am hoping to finish her up this weekend.

The trick will be NOT to get caught up in over designing the pieced back with this stack of fun choices. Kind of a tall order considering the other things I'm bringing but maybe the momentum will continue on if she doesn't get all the way done.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday and Let's Bee Social with Sew Fresh Quilts. Lots of eye candy out there - take a look and say hi to those hard sewing folks.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Blogiversay and QuiltCon-part two

Seems only right that I write a special blog post on my 3 year blogiversay before the clock strikes midnight - so here you go, another scattered bits installment. 

More QuiltCon 

The Queen of Volunteers Colleen  deserves a crown to go with her super hero cape !  
Registration was really great - signing up for a shift in Pasadena for sure.
The booths were entertaining and interactive. 
The lecture halls lined with stunning charity quilts. Ours is at the end and I love that I'm not sure which block was mine because it felt that collaborative and became a "whole"  
Enjoyed the early morning walk through of the Special Exhibits and learned a lot.
I'll admit that I did get turned around with the alternative grid layout of the show and may have seen the same quilt more than once or missed a few in my disoriented travels but it was worth it.
There is a better sense of focus on a few quilts at a time than viewing them in a straight row. Less tendency to be distracted about what's next.

Here is a small sampling on ones that caught my eye: 
The ribbons were each a work of art.

Slicing it up on Pi day and Thrift Store finds

One of my Quilty New Years resolutions was to bring a QDAD (Quilt Design A Day) to reality - it ranked right at the top as I recall. 
Well, my friend and I decided to make a quilt together as a surprise gift for someone special. We thumbed through designs and chose this one. 
The original colors were changed out for more masculine versions but it read too red and green Christmassy so the dots came into play.  Although the bottom print is a closer color match we went with the top one, a similar modeled lighter shade that's less distracting. 
Plans had been to carry the same shade across but it's more intetesting to have visual breaks with a pop.  We finished one block our first session and got through most of the second on Friday.

The unsliced portion of the design is a much trickier concept to execute when the strips are diagonal instead of straight like our first block where we simply stopped slicing. 

Aligning where to sew the next strip has gotten slightly easier and our threshold is leaning more towards my "close enough" attitude than then her tendency for perfection. (The lower right hand corner wasn't stitched yet because the bobbin ran out and we called it a day - once sewn it is straight)

The quilt is a basic sashed nine patch with a twist that's been twisting brains!  

Progress is progress regardless of speed and we've enjoyed spending time working out the puzzle together.  Linking up with Lee for WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced 

Thrift Store Finds

I stumbled across and brought home this handmade doll house with the most adorable woven leather shingled roof at the thrift store.  I'm going to remodel the interior and buy little people figures to go with it.  
Another score that same day was a storage bench that's quickly become a favorite spot for grand girl to spread out on.  She's gotten so careful with the pop up books I can now supervise from a distance.
I'm usually hunting for vintage fabric and old notions and not things made of wood.

Here's hoping you're finding what you are looking for and discovering things you didn't even know you that you wanted.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

QDAD@QCON, Bags gifted Bags received

 Secret swaps and surprise gifts - can't get much better than that !

You might recognize the sneak peaks on IG while making the top two bags but now I can post full reveals.   The bottom two are bags that I was gifted.  The left was made by Jerrianne received at the QDAD dinner and the right a thank you gift from my local guild for being the official unofficial photographer presented to me at our last meeting. 

Photo from Anne's IG feed
Spotted her toting her tote on the show floor 
Using the lettering logo from our Facebook group and the colors from the MQG logo, I created the reverse appliqué focal feature.  If I were to have done it totally Anne, it would be entirely of solids but I wanted to mix a bit of "me" in it too so the Echino bird fabric made the cut.
The bright colors of this floral fabric was spot on for the lining but I kept in mind who I was making it for and it didn't seem quite right.  The Riley Blake black/white was a better pairing especially since it's called "Puppy Park" as a nod to Mishka. 

Lining auditioning 
QDAD Admin's at QCON 
QDAD Swap Purse close up
The mixing of Echino and image placement was so much fun.  It felt like designing a QDAD with the dots and barcode.  I also adore the bird pocket inside and finding the perfect repeat element of the blue accent strip in my stash.  Linking up to Let's Bee Social #64 with Sew Fresh Quilts.
QDAD Swag purse pocket


Before I left for QuiltCon I was making a concentrated effort to "channel my inner Michelle Wilkie" and design with minimalism in mind.  Focusing in on the grill of the school bus spark rather than try and represent every design element I saw. 
02.13.2015 "Back to School"
Today I gave myself permission to "Skip (ahead) and Hop (back in)" rather than try and catch up.  Maybe one day I will get to revisit the sparks that I skipped, I hope so.
QDAD 03.08.2015 "Pause and Play"
Life has gotten in the way of being able to do my daily QDADs since leaving for QuiltCon.  The title hopefully says it all and the design is based on the windows and doors in the spark as well as my DVR.
QDAD 02.17.2015 "Breakfast Buffet"
I made a couple from the days that I was gone like this spark of fresh beets that I posted on 2.28.2015 titled Breakfast Buffet because I was really missing the perks of hotel living (eating).  The food was there waiting for me and all I had to do is show up! 

Thank you block and SBAMQG T-Shirt
Speaking of guild thank you gifts,  I made this block for Tina our outgoing president and also gave her one of our logo shirts. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

QuiltCon 2015 - Scattered Bits: Part One

I've been trying for an entire week to wrap my head around QuiltCon enough to compose a cohesive recap but have decided instead to embrace the whirlwind that it was and just throw out some scattered bits. 
My Sis and I in Rossie's workshop
Beginning at the end of my QuiltCon experience,  here's a picture of my sister and I in Rossie Hutchison's class together - the last session of the final day.   Despite our busy schedules the days prior, we did manage to hang out on and off.  SO GREAT!
Deb, Ginny, Me, Anne and Rachel
My volunteer schedule changed last minute and I arrived on Tuesday with time to grab lunch with virtual friends from far away lands and longtime friends from down the street. We soaked up the sun and swapped stories and pins. 
Me, Pat and Lori
I also enjoyed a scenic and relaxing stroll on the Riverwalk with guild mates - the calm before the storm. Thanks ladies for saving me a seat on the plane!

Sneaking a swag bag peak while filling and stacking them was hard labor (those puppies are heavy) By far, a highlight and honor was hanging the quilts 
One of many Swag Bag heaps 
The day's counting down to Quiltcon were filled with a rush to sew travel handmade and although I was thrilled with my cargo I knew I'd want something smaller to carry around and managed to almost finish this cute purse.   
Finished Enough
Let's just say that stitching happened in the hotel room.  I adore my pocketless cargo duffle.
The "Bee" side 
Noodlehead patterns @ QuiltCon
The noodlehead bag group pic was fun and I'm sure there were triple or more not pictured. 

Volunteers (and Volunteering) Rock
The same being true for the group shot of volunteers.  We would have filled the staircase and probably the top floor!
MQG tote 
I loved participating in the pin swap.  A few fell off, boo hoo.  The good news is that @marci_girl is  kind enough to be running an IG after-the-fact swap for those like me who have left overs.
AMH and I - Major FanGirl Moment
Spending an entire day in Anna Maria Horner's mod corsage workshop was awesome. I've been a big AMH fan for forever and brought the bag I received from our MQG bag swap years ago from Tina. 

There were no shortage of selfies.  Meeting virtual friends for the first time, seeing some again as well, bumping into local guild mates,  fangirl moments.  Torn between "if it's worth doing it's worth doing right" and the spirit of  "a finished quilt is better than a perfect one" I'll post random snaps and tag who I can. 

Cindy, Marci, Debbie and I
Alison, Chelsea and I
Stephanie and I
Kitty and I
Kim, Sherri Lynn, Deb and I
My roomie Amoreena and I discovered as we were heading to the airport to leave that we had neglected to take a picture together.  Being bumped from our return flight we made up for it with lots of selfies.

Amoreena and I
There are many blog posts that include pictures of the quilts like Sew Mama Sew's slide show and MQG winners Recap 1and Recap 2 and Charity so I hope that you've hopped around and seen them for yourself.   

Despite having met a staggering number of people I also have a sinking feeling of having missed so many.  It was an invigorating, intimidating, confusing, inspiring, overwhelming, exciting social overload - putting it mildly!

I'm looking forward to the MQG posts highlighting QuiltCon and of course to taking a road trip to Pasadena in 2016.