Friday, June 24, 2022

Skipping ahead to finish #16

I've been doing a lot of secret sewing lately and that means revealing finishes a bit out of order.   With three baby quilts yet to be gifted and not wanting any spoiler alert posts,  I decided to skip ahead and share the latest in a modern medallion series of original designs for my June challenge and the threads used from my 2022-2023 Aurifil Artisan welcome package.

Measuring 42" square with similarities and differences from the previous four modern medallions that came before, I am in love with the final layout.  To say that there was a lot of thought and decisions made in the making process is an understatement.  

The brand new cone of 50wt color #2600 was perfect for piecing on my domestic machine and with 6,452 yards it'll be serving me well for many quilts to come.  It isn't often that I hand appliqué and was glad to have been sent a spool of 80 wt color #5004 because my novice stitches sink into the fabric so well it makes me feel like a pro.

 Pulling from my tried and true stash of Aurifil,  I used Forty3 in Light Grey Green color #2843 for the matchstick quilting and color #5014 in a 40wt for the hand stitched binding.

You would think that working in a series would make for a quicker finish but there are so many options that even with having made multiple there's still too much that I'm trying to pack into one quilt. Editing is key and a skill that I continually work to improve. 

The fat quarter of fabric shown above is from our local quilt shop as part of an annual contest to "make something inspiring out of visually challenging fabric".  I really appreciate that despite the store changing hands, the new ownership has carried on the tradition.  

The original fabric pull shown above felt too literal and once I settled on the Tula Pink "Hare" as the center everything else fell into place.  Using the raspberry pink and tomato red with green risks reading as as a holiday palette which just makes the challenge more rewarding to pull off.  

I think that I counted 14 fabrics added to the FQ, all from stash.  I do know that there were piles and piles of auditioned pieces that did not make the cut and had to be sorted and put away - my least favorite step.  Having two “samples “ of the 4 made available for reference and pictures of the others that were gifted was helpful. 

Cohesive scrappy and symmetry for a modern traditional design occupies my creative space more so than improv lately.  I enjoy having a broad spectrum of what I make and what makes me happy. 

I'm especially excited that the corners lined up - four out of four!

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Slice & Stitch: Handmade Barrettes

I’m so pleased to kick off the 2022 Slice & Stitch Summer Series, a collaboration with Aurifil threads and OLFA tools featuring small on-the-go projects.  You can read all about it on the Auribuzz post HERE.

I thought it would be nice to also post here on my blog a bit of the behind the scenes of making the barrettes and more pictures of the project. 

If you have an old not-so-pretty barrette laying around the house, it would work just as well the ones I bought at the dollar store. My fabric choice was a sample ombre linen that I had picked up at FabMo for a small donation and the scrap of bamboo batting was a strip trimmed off after quilting.

OLFA generously sent to me a 45 mm OLFA Quick-Change Rotary Cutter and 12” x 18” Mat in Aqua and I received the Stitching with Wool Aurifil Thread Collection by Jo Avery from Aurifil - lucky me :)

I had been eyeing Jo's new book ever since it came out and ordered myself a copy that arrived just in time. Of course I had to go on a walk to the beach for a photoshoot once I was done - but let's back up a minute so I can share how I made them in case you want to make your own.

It might have been smarter to use a temporary marker to roughly trace the rectangle shape onto the linen rather than just the circle motif.

Well you know me, I just started stitching a design somewhere in the hoop until it looked about the right size and then moved the hoop away from it and started stitching another.

When I got back home, I compared each of the them to the target size and expanded as needed to correctly position the hardware. I didn't want them all to be the same or fill the entire space, so there was some flexibility.

If you haven't tried Aurifil 12wt wool before, you really must. They come in such pretty colors and look at the visual depth of the fibers. I was pleasantly surprised how easy wool was to work with.

The first two were completely freeform so for the third and final one shown below, I marked a rectangle and had a specific inspiration for the abstract design - can you guess it?

Before attaching the linen to the barrette, I cut a piece of the bamboo batting and used tacky glue to stick it to the flat surface, flush to the sides. I suppose you could skip this step but having a cushion helps smooth the understitching.

Cutting the linen oversized so that I could wrap it around and whip stitch it by hand as shown in the picture above wasn't the perfect technique but did the job. If I knew where I put my glue gun I may have given that a try but I prefer to use thread anyway.

Be sure to head over to Auribuzz to read the full article and see a ton of pictures and the link to the OLFA expert's projects on their blog.

Playing tourist in my hometown was kind of a fun bonus. It was an honor to be featured and have the opportunity to expand my creativity beyond quilting.

Happy stitching - enjoy the summer, Karen

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Aurifil Artisan 2022-2023

What a thrill to be selected one of the 40 Aurifil Artisans for the 2022-2023 season. My welcome package arrived and I’ve already dipped into the cone of Forty3 Sandstone to quilt a secret sewing project. 

I’ve learned a lot and branched out to experiment with thread weight and type this last year and look forward to the new challenges and showcases ahead.  Hint hint, you won't have to wait long. 

Following the #aurifilartisan hashtag on instagram and signing up for the Auribuzz newsletter and both great ways to discover makers and be inspired by their projects.  

I especially love the wealth of information to be learned on the Thread Matters tab. 

Here's a peak inside the box - it's an amazing assortment.  

Be sure to check out the bios and creative style of the other 39 Aurifil Artisans on the announcement post.  To learn even more about each throughout the year, the Aurifil Instagram feed  "Take Over" weekend is fantastic.  I'm already gathering ideas of what to include when it's my turn. 

I used the same photo for my bio although I really do need to figure out how to take a selfie with my glasses on without glare. You might see some familiar faces but also find new friends like I have. 

Happy Stitching, Karen