Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Army of Self Love - October BeeSewcial

Finished Blocks
The theme for our BeeSewcial month of October "Army of Self Love".  Kari is going to have an uplifting and powerful quilt.  I am proud to be part of this celebration of positivity and creativity with a focus on both individuality and unity.  Recognizing and remembering to not judge ourselves or others because of physical appearance despite the influence of our society to do so.

Here is my version of the "hourglass" shape, abstractly representing the female form in various skin tones and proportions surrounded by the shining light from within, the inner glow of true beauty that we all possess.

parts in the making
You can discover more about Kari and the amazing work that she creates in IG @quiltsforthemaking and on her blog Craft Happy.  Her MQG QOM Synapse will be in the Special Exhibit at QuiltCon.
full block
I happened to be chatting with my SIL who was home sewing and knew that my plans for the day included finishing up the second block.  So I tossed this tub of scraps in the car and invited myself up to her house.
solid scraps
Although the figures are meant to be standing tall as if marching in unity, I couldn't help placing this one on the bench for a photoshoot because in my mind, taking a moment to be present and sitting side by side enjoying the company of one another goes hand in hand with the theme too.

The upside of being so tardy with sharing my block is that I can include links for you to  check out my beemates posts including Debbie's improv hourglass tutorial.  She also has a yummy recap of her Baconrific Quilt
OS leggings 
I couldn't help but think of the theme while trying on and buying these leggings at the pop-up shop during a recent retreat - they come in only two sizes and the tag on mine reads OS "one size".  I felt like taking a pen and adding a "not".  Don't get me wrong, they are cozy, encourage women to be comfortable and are designed to conform to lots of shapes which I fully support.

 Thanks for stopping by and reading my ramblings.  I've got so much more to share and will be back soon to catch up.

Friday, October 14, 2016

the "Resonate" Quilt: The Heartland Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on the Pat Bravo Design: The Heartland Blog Tour.  I'm thrilled to have been chosen as one of the 20 bloggers and hope you enjoy the projects I have to share.

The opportunity to play around with the newest fabric line by one of my favorite designers certainly had me jumping for joy.

The hop started Monday and runs through October 21st,  Katie at the The Simple Life Company is also taking a turn today.

Bringing an original design to reality has been an ongoing goal and so I chose a recent one with a Scandinavian style and similar color story to interpret.   Overall I think the modified version translated nicely with a slight tweak to the placement and scale.  

Original Design Mock Up 

Don't you just love the colors and prints of the Heartland fabric?   Droppar in Burst gave a perfect bright pop and Moondust for the sashing was a great alternative to using solids.  These are only a few - the line is huge with the famous "Feel the Difference" Art Gallery buttery softness was a dream to use.

on the Design Wall

Because much of my sewing is done after the sun goes down,  it's hard to get decent progress pictures.    The creative process and steps along the way are important - but so are pretty pictures!

Which leads me to my second thought - to include the my adorable granddaughter dressed in the luxurious Blomma Garden Pastiche in voile from the fabric line.  Fortunately for me, my friend Sue offered to sew a U-neck Tunic for the occasion.

Can you tell how cozy she is?  And such a good sport posing for me.  The out-takes are mostly blurry ones of her rolling around on the quilt because, well - it's that just that irresistible.

Another advantage to the lovely weave of Pat Bravo's Heartland by Art Gallery is that it behaves so well on the bias.  

Some makers might think paper-piecing a design with such severe angles would be necessary to avoid distortion and they would probably be correct - with other fabrics.

Same thing with 1" sashing - no problem.   It wasn't wiggly or unruly like you might suspect.

#TheHeartlandBlogTour on Instagram has a few sneak peeks.  Here's a progress picture mosaic showing the blocks at various stages of construction.   Making a pattern up as I go along is pretty rewarding - especially when it works.

Progress Pics

Thank you Pat Bravo Fabric Design for allowing me to be a part of the hop and for the beautiful Heartland Fabric.

Quilt Name: Resonate
Finished size 52"x53"
Original Design
Pieced and Quilted by me
October 2016

A little Giveaway: I'll send one lucky reader some of the extra fabric that I didn't use in my quilt - including the super cute Hus Hoot Gul owl print.  (sorry, international friends - this one's only open to US, domestic shipping).

To enter,  leave a comment below letting me know if you've brought an original design to reality or not and if so what did you think about the process?   I'll choose and announce a winner on Monday 10/17. EDIT: giveaway closed. Thank you all for your comments. Congratulations to Cheryl - I will contact you directly.

Happy Friday, Karen

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Transitions - September BeeSewcial

For September, our BeeSewcial theme was Transitions.  Take a minute and read Anne's blog post because she says it way better than I ever could.  

You can also check out Instagram hashtag  #beesewcial to see how my mates have interpreted the challenge.  We would love for you to share your version with the tag #inspiredbybeesewcial .
Transitions - Two Bee Blocks

The block on the left measures 7"x25"   The one curve represents the bridge arch in the inspiration, the neutral surrounds as if imploding -a feeling associated with coping with change. A nod to paper piecing- with my improv paperless technique.  This technique I will definitely do again.

Block on the right 12"x21": colors are weather inspired for the 3 cities, Blue Sky (Ocean/Redwoods) Santa Cruz,  Snow for DC and Heat/Sun to represent Florida.  The design is based on houses - where we call home, but also my QDAD challenge entry that Anne encouraged me to make a  reality as well as her broken herringbone .  

In Progress Details

I've been embracing all kinds of techniques and approaches to quilt making especially as necessitated by the desire to sew original designs into quilts.  The creative zone achieved with this type of improv building and evolving as I go is really the sweet spot at the moment. 

Here are the two F+F2=AMSB blocks  in July 2013 as part of a bee for Anne.  They are one of my earliest use of symbolism that I recall and also one of the rare examples of my effort paper piecing

Now it feels like second nature to make with meaning - pp, not so much!.
initial parts
I went to bed perfectly happy with the block (option 3 above) and then woke up with the urge to add a bit to disrupt the bar and crowdsourced on IG which was a blast.  There were a few version 2 takers but #1 and the original were a tie.  I opted to leave well enough alone.
Exploring Layout
Because the blocks were made in tandem, I toyed with the idea of joining them into one large block but the beautiful portion that I'd grown so fond of seemed to get lost (see above).  Framing out in neutral was the right choice. 

When you cut and sew as you go, there are time when "the best part" gets sucked up into a seem or snipped off and discarded.   It's just part of the process.  This also means that joints pile up where you would not have as many had you calculated and positioned where they hit in advance.
gutted - the cut away
This clump was cut away from the middle of a perfectly lovely improv slab when I pushed a tad bit too far.  I had to laugh and keep its as a souvenir. 
SBAMQG Show and Tell Oct
When I headed out to our SBAMQG Guild meeting I wanted to show off the blocks before mailing them to Anne, especially since everybody misses her!  Flimsy blocks are hard to hold and get crumpled in transit so I tacked them to each side of a scrap of batting.
SBAMQG Show and Tell Oct
Of course if you didn't know that - you'd assume they were minis and probably wonder what I was doing making them different shapes without enough coverage.  This one especially could stand alone as a wall hanging or pillow.  It isn't likely that I'll replicate it - too many other projects on the horizon - but the idea will percolate and probably spark a sequel.
scrap pull

Linking up to Scraptastic Tuesday October edition.  Let's Be Social at Sew Fresh Quilts and Oh Scrap!

Friday, September 30, 2016

2016 FAL Q3 - Glass Half Full

2016 Finish Along Q3 Goals included six items and these two shams (counted as one goal) was the final project to make the done list.  I'm super sad about the 3 that are rolling yet again to Q4 but trying to focus on the positive and not be a glass half empty kind of quilter. 

Finished Shams
I suppose they could have been considered two items but that seemed a bit like the person in the quick check line at the grocery store counting a case of beer as 24!

One Done
The block motif determined the width of the sham and the pillow determined the rest.  I purposely purchased extra deep fluffy ones to try and avoid having them baggy but it also meant the wrap meant loosing a bit of the design.  Boxing the corners to get rid of the "ears" was a genius suggestion by a guild mate at Sew Day.

Trying to wing it with the pleat on the back to create more of a 3-D shape rather than flat sort of backfired and there was a lot of easing in and additional pleats to the back to try and get them to fit.  Having to match up the stripes wasn't helpful either but after a good washing they actually were snug enough to pass the test.
My friend offered up her long arm for the massive quilt that these go with (my other FAL goal, titled Parental Guidance) so I used the opportunity to test out the quilting and thread.

Could've been a Quilt
Once I quilting them together as a unit, they really could have passed as a quilt.

Cut apart 
This photo with the afternoon light really shows things off and I like how the are "the same but different". 

Goal Mosaic - 3/6

2016 FAL Goal Mosaic 3 of 6 done
Glass Half Full:
Happy to check off three on the list:
1. Parental Guidance Quilt
2. Two Pillow Shams
3. Greek Plus Puss Quilt
Glass Half Emty:
Sad to have these Unfinished
King Clam
2015 Bee Sewcial  "Reflection" Quilt
2016 BeeSewcial "Let's Get Comfortable" aka "Jeans" Quilt

Linking up to Finish Along 2016 FALQ3 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bloggers Quilt Festival: Home is Where Harts Is

I'm very proud of my original design and feel it is in a style reminiscent to the way that I paint so I've chosen it for the Art Quilt Category.   An abstract view from the beach.
Home is Where Harts Is 
It was made for the RXR hop at Hart's Fabric.  Shot cotton has such a wonderful essence and I loved working with it.  The seagull is purposefully a different fabric and not quilted to give it an extra emphasis.  

Sections at a time
auditioning placement

Finished - on the design wall 
I was glad to make a third version of the quilt with shot cotton and love the subtle blue variation that looks like blended paint strokes. 

quilting details

A change of free motion style throughout lends to the overall expressive vibe. 

Sewing the store samples, writing the pattern and having the design open for opinion on social media was pretty far outside my comfort zone.   Having an abstract improv row was pretty unusual for the Row by Row Experience event come to find out and I was please with how many supportive comments it received.  

Binding Bonding

With a theme of "Home Sweet Home" it was easy to feel immediately connected to the project because after all it is located in the neighborhood where I grew up and I've been shopping there since I was a little girl.  
Original Bolt Pull

Three samples seemed fitting for the triptych inspired view from the beach depicting a Seagull in Flight, California poppy field and the Santa Cruz mountains.  The design was from images in my head and memories more so than directly from specific photographs. 

All three versions
I also felt it was important to show variety so that makers would be less inclined to duplicate the exact design.  Since the store sold three different kit options: Kona light, Kona dark and Shot Cotton, it worked out well.  Although they are only 9"x36" each the steps to piece, quilt, bind and sleeve them all took a lot of hours!  

The Row by Row Experience Kits - Photo from Hart's

Linking up to Amy's Creative Side Blogger's Quilt Festival Art Quilt Category 

Bloggers Quilt Festival - Baby Makes Three

I've chosen this quilt for Blogger's Quilt Festival Small Quilt category because it was a fun technique based QAL that I enjoyed tweaking to make my own. 
Baby Makes Three Quilt

My finished #crosscutquiltalong was one of those unplanned sewing delights.  I hopped on board the Quilt Along with hostess @aquilterstable and came out the other end with an actual quilt to gift instead of a typical WIP.   Seeing the variety based on fabric and modifications was a real treat.  

True Up trimming

Part of the incentive was using up the Black and White 10" squares from an old Flickr swap and a Kona solid jelly roll with colors that played along nicely with a jelly roll of Cotton and Steel basics. 

Process Shots

Because I was using 2.5" pre-cuts, I sewed them on and cut the excess off to use in the next step.   Since this step differs from the tutorial I made a point of photographing to illustrate this method as another option.

The binding was stitched on just in time for show and tell at the traditional guild I belong to and I brought it to my MQG meeting too.  I tried to describe the process of sewing, cutting apart and sewing together but when you put it that way it just sounds like what we all do in quilting right? 

I needed the "before" version to hold up next to it. Glad it was well received by the group and I got several compliments after. 

Before the re-slice step
For the quilting, I did an organic gentle wave with several 40 wt Aurifil threads. 

Quilting Details
The wind picked up during the photo shoot but I kind of love this shot because it shows off the perfect stash backing.  

Peak a Boo Back

When I gifted the quilt to the expectant parents, I pointed out the "Baby Makes Three" detail.  

Namesake "Baby Makes Three"
Some projects torture me once the tops are done and it's time to choose the backing and binding because there are so many ways to go.  This quilt had a strong voice and took very little auditioning before settling on this combo.

Top and Essential Parts

"Baby Makes Three"

Crosscut Quilt Along


Started 7/30 done 8/8

Linking up to Amy's Creative Side Bloggers Quilt Festival Small Quilt Category Fall 2016