Wednesday, December 28, 2022

A BeeSewcial Wardrobe

I came up with an uncharacteristic solution to the dilemma of what clothes to pack for my trip to Houston International Quilt Show - using our BeeSewcial branded fabric, I sewed five tops for the five days I’d be there, a badge holder and of course a large coordinated tote bag. 

Linking up for the Maker's Choice December Aurifil Artisan challenge it's not one project but an entire new wardrobe!  Two of my most trusted Aurifil 50wt threads sewed everything: a cone of Dove Grey 2600 and a large spool of Black 2692. 


Cotton Poplin


Aurifil Dove Grey 2600 Cone 50wt

The Quilts of Bee Sewcial was an amazing feature of 26 quilts displayed in a prime location of the show floor.  Here's a mosaic to give you an idea but honestly there's nothing like experiencing it in person and I'm so thrilled that ten of us were able to be together to share this debut event.  Seeing them up close and some for the first time ever - plus hearing my beemates during the gallery talks are memories I will always cherish.

BeeSewcial at Houston International Quilt Show Nov. 2022

As you can see, I was not the only one sporting our BeeSewcial branded fabric - there was chiffon, poplin, double gauze, canvas, jersey - tops, pants, a jumper - you name it. 

The vintage pattern sizing caused me to misjudge and my top was too snug.  Just like in my quilting designs, often plan B is even better than the original.  I added side gussets of the upcycled men's plaid shirt.

The last minute tote bag was worth the push as I've used it daily since.  Having a nice big pocket inside for my cell phone and an outside zipper to keep things contained were key design elements.

Aurifil Black 2692 Large Spool 50wt

My quilts Eyes, Reflections, Stretch and Connections were exhibited.  Seeing them hang as a collection was a spectacular sight.  I contributed blocks to 25 of the 26 quilts and it felt like a reunion of sorts, reminiscing about the prompts.

One of three Gallery Talks

Me & my sister Sharyl in front of Stretch & Connections 

The early prediction of "tank top weather" turned a bit cooler as the date got closer so sweaters were added to my suitcase. 
BeeSewcial visits Brad at the Aurifil Booth 

Thank you for your sponsorship Aurifil 

Not only was the quilt show itself inspiring, but a field trip to Art Museum was too.  Despite the extra visitors in town for the World Series, getting around wasn't too challenging.  

Houston Art Museum

How fabulous is this swag from my sweet and generous bee mates ?!

Staying at a house that could accommodate our group in the museum district rather than downtown near the convention center was a smart decision - especially during the winning baseball games.  

With more than two dozen finished quilts this year, it feels oddly fitting to highlight my garment making adventure.  Because sewing clothes is outside my comfort zone, it was so helpful to know that I could rely on my Aurifil thread to get me to a successful finish line.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Nosy Kitten and Glamp = 2 UFO finishes

I took my two latest finishes,  Nosy Kitten and Glamp on a beach photoshoot.  Both are oldies but goodies and had stalled at the flimsy stage and it’s so satisfying to have them completed.  I'm preparing for a trunk show and they will be the perfect addition. 

Nosy Kitten 43"x 50" finish 22 in 2022

Scrappy color grouping of drunkards path blocks set on point was my take on Jen Carlton Bailey’s Secondary Design workshop in Pasadena QuiltCon 2018.   Mixing prints with solids and prepping parts without the endgame in sight isn’t for the faint of heart. 

2018 QuiltCon Workshop Progress

I set myself parameters to bring out the best in the combination of blocks rather than creating them in reaction to what was on the design wall.  Usually I reserve a final few to fill in as necessary and wanted the extra challenge.

Light Lilac Aurifil 50wt 

Jen was so smart to have us bring the blocks already sewn since it was a design class and time was limited.  My vision came together  and I found a bold background at home in my stash.  Having a composition that isn’t exactly uniform but is suggestive enough to read as intentional and interesting was my goal.

Dropcloth Sampler Needle Book from Debbie

Check out the gorgeous needle book gifted from my friend and fellow BeeSewcial mate and Aurifilartisan Debbie Jeske, A Quilter's Table- she's the best and so is her newsletter The Scrap Basket with 116 issued and counting!   

Aurifil 40wt Dark Turquoise was used to handstitch the binding down and would have worked fabulously for quilting but with the negative space, I wanted a higher contrast. 

Amy Butler and Heather Bailey backing

Backing and binding choices can almost as satisfying as all of those decisions making the top come to life.   I posted in my Instagram story I called the quilt Kitty Smiles from memory and then found in my old blog post that it was actually Nosy Kitten.  

Meet Glamp from Glamp Stitchalot

Glamp 41"x56" finish 21 in 2022

My sister and I attended Glamp Stitchalot in November 2015 in Ann Arbor MI. It was the first of many Quilty adventures together and we met so many wonderful people (blogged about HERE)

Fabric Pull that I brought with me

Six rock star instructors Tula Pink, Alison Glass, Sarah Fielke, Violet Craft, Jeni Baker and Katy Jones each designed a block for the Mystery Medallion and we chose our fabrics and layout.  

Major FanGirling

As you may have noticed, I use striped binding a lot.  It's good to keep in mind the scale that will show once sewn onto the quilt.  Even though the colors were bold and not necessarily matching, the tiny sliver fools the eye.  I took this photo below as an illustration to compare with the beach photo above. 

Both are quilted with Light Lilac Aurifil 50 wt even though their palette is quite different.   Here are a few more outtakes from the photoshoot just for fun.  The sky was a beautiful blue and the beach a picturesque backdrop but my stand was no match for the ocean breeze.  Good thing sand and a spray of saltwater didn't hurt a thing.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Appliqué - the invisible way

I’m wrapping up my 20th quilt finish of the year with a few feet of binding and a proper photoshoot to go but couldn’t wait to share all about (finally) using the spool of monofilament that came in my Aurifil artisan welcome package. 

The tumbler quilt started out a simple repetitive one block shape design. Well that didn’t last long with my attention span and love of changing things up. What better opportunity to give a new technique and thread a try as part of Aurifilartisan appliqué August challenge. 

Because I added the Dresden portion, I ended up with enough extra tumblers to insert a strip on the back.  The soft soothing palette called for a brighter bolder backing and the blocks tie it all together . 

You'll have to look closely to see the see through stitching but it's there.  I was a little nervous that monofilament might feel weird because it's not at all like cotton or wool but it sewed with ease and my Babylock didn't blink an eye.  

In previous Dresden projects I’ve inset-pieced the curves by machine with 50wt. I’ve also used 80wt for hand stitching them which is also pretty invisible because the thread sinks down into the fabric fibers hiding beautifully. 

This mid-make decision to include the Dresden shape in the center of the quilt creates a much more engaging composition. I didn’t concern myself with having the size match exactly, a slight jog fools the eye. I did however spend a fair amount of effort to position them so the center half circles were aligned. Hubby said they reminded him of the jumbo magnets that we played with as kids and I'd have to agree.

Even with three different “background “ greens, the overall color felt a bit dominant so I framed it with a fussy cut leafy edge to help the yellows pop. 

With the use of a tripod and delay timer on my iPhone and most importantly the help of a friend, we were able to get the picture below showing the entire quilt.  

Binding with a stripe at any chance I get is a given.  Inspiration is everywhere - even on my front porch. 

I hope you’re taking time to enjoy the flowers in bloom and also gives Aurifil monofilament a try. Be sure to check out my last few posts revealing many other recent finishes. 

Additional Aurifil threads used:
Piecing 2600 50wt cone
Quilting 5020 50wt cone 
Bobbin 6723 50wt large spool
Hand stitch binding 2437 40wt large spool 

76”x88” completed August 2022
Babylock Symphony 
Handiquilter Avante 
Hobbs 80/20

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Baby quilts and Big Bro too

We couldn’t be more thrilled with the news of a grandson on the way and in turn the big brother status gained, necessitating not only a baby quilt but a sibling one too.   I rarely if ever use panels but since he celebrated his 1st birthday at the aquarium and is a water lover, this one from my stash was perfect. 

I puzzled together a unique composition around the whales finished and gifted early because who can wait?, not me. 

Our guild has an accuquilt cutting system available for check out. At my suggestion, they purchased the Local Color and Drunkards Path dies.  I used them along with the log cabin and flying geese in these quilts, combining as I saw fit along the way. 

Design wall designing is my favorite process. I used much of the same fabric that was featured in the previous baby quilt and my sons bed quilt. 

Once again, my DIL and her sister are expecting with due dates close together so I made this one pictured below for her with fabric and elements that are intentionally  “related “. 

A modern traditional vibe mixing vintage and current fabric lines from stash. Playing with transparency makes me just want to explore more.  I didn’t sew a sibling quilt for her but did use the Tula dear in the center as a nod to the hexi quilt that was a fun memorable collaboration sewn with my DIL.

The drunkards path die cuts in two sizes and a minimal palette and design is what I focused on with this quilt made for my friends daughter’s baby. 

I know some makers work on one project at a time and I’ve never been one of those, preferring to multitask and have quilts of different kinds in various stages to keep my interest.   It’s unusual however to be juggling four start to finish simultaneously like these four. 

All the secret sewing now revealed - one long blog post for finishes 13, 14, 15 and 17 for a very productive 2022 seems appropriate.  You can read all about quilt 16 in my last blog post   

I hope you’re following me on instagram where I share a lot more pictures but if not here are a few more :