Saturday, October 30, 2010

Alone Time

How does one occupy themselves for 2 hours on a Saturday morning?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Fall 2010

I grew up surrounded by quilts and quilt-making people.  I knew how to sew so I figured that making a quilt wasn't much different.  Throughout the years, I tried only to discover that I could make a killer top; but couldn't for the life of me quilt or finish it. 

Years went by and I continued to try my hand at quilting; but the results were poor at best.  Things got wrinkled and not in the good "antique" way.  I sort of gave up on ever finishing a single quilt.

That was until I attended a Fine Arts college to study Fashion Design.  I was able to convince one of my professors that I would make 2 quilts for an Independent Study and in return get 3 units of credit.  One of the quilts was going to be more traditional, and the other (as seen here) is much more modern...or as modern as one was in 1999-2000.

I selected this design from a coloring book and enlarged it to the size necessary.  I cut out each and every piece of paper, marked it's location and then proceeded to trace each of them onto the fabric and again cut them out individually.  Yes, I said I cut each and every piece out of paper didn't misread that.  I was nuts back then.

At first it was kind of fun to see everything come together; but after a while, I got bored with the itty bitty pieces and especially trying to match each and every point.  It took me nearly the entire semester to finish this quilt and then I really had only finished the top.  I quickly layered the quilt and sewed a few quilting lines in the big open black spaces.

Oh wait, I take that back....
...I think I might have tied it in a few random places because it wouldn't cooperate.  I was so naive.

If I would be making this quilt again today, I would have done EVERYTHING differently.  For starters, probably just foundation pieced it, instead of going through the insanity of cutting out each and every piece.  I also would have done an allover quilting design, instead of a few random lines to hold everything together.

The wall quilt served it's purpose, got me the 3 units of credit and will probably forever sit in the basement.
While it's not necessarily a happy story, I certainly learned alot and now am able to look back at the experience and laugh.
This post was created as part of Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival - Fall 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Simply Strings Bee - My Month (November 2010)

Yep, I did it again...I joined another quilting bee.  This time it's all about String blocks and their variations.
My month is November of 2010, so I had to pick a block and prepare the fabrics which I was going to send to all of the other members.

It was quite hard to pull together a whole bunch of scraps; because you begin questioning if it's too much or not enough.  Here's what I did pull.

It's a whole bunch of scrappy prints from my stash which I either cut down into strips or else a handful of them were already scraps to begin with.

I also prepared the foundation and center strips.

I used a 6 1/2" square of Kona white for the foundation and an 1 1/2" strip of some sort of green Kona, sorry I don't know the name. 

Having made one of these blocks for an earlier quilting bee I at least knew how to put things together in their proper order.  I used the same tutorial from P.S. I Quilt, changing it up a bit since I used an actual fabric foundation rather then paper...hence, I won't be tearing away the foundation afterwards.

Here's what my block looked like when I was done.

It's very scrappy and I like it that way.  I'll be preparing the packages probably tomorrow and getting them in the mail this weekend.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Scrappy Pincushion Swap - Received

You may remember the post that I wrote on September 24th about the Pincushion that I had made and was sending to my super-secret partner for the Scrappy Pincushion Swap.

Our pincushion was due in the mail by October 1st, mine was sent a few days ahead.  I would try not to worry; but when it had been nearly 2 weeks, I could do nothing but worry that my "pinnie" got lost in the mail or eaten by some invisible monster.

Yet on Tuesday of this week, I arrived home to find a box on my front porch from Kristin, who blogs here.  Do you want to see the contents????

You can tell the workmanship that went into making something like this and yes, those pink and purple flowers are the pins.  It's so sweet and will lovingly be used in my studio.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Busy, Busy Blocks

While I have the time, I might as well put the finishing touches on some of the quilting bee blocks for this month.

First up is the October block for the Sew Scrappy Sew Happy bee.  This is an asterisk block made using the tutorial found here.  It went together pretty easy and as you can see the colors are so bright an vibrant.

Next up is the first block for the Simply Strings Bee.  This bee kind of got off to a rough start; but we muddled through it and started fresh.  While I have seen "spiderweb" blocks before, this is the first time
I had really seen one made in all solids.  I can't wait to see what they all look like together.

The tutorial for this block can be found here.

This is all of October's sewing bee blocks; but I have a big project to finish up for the All About Christmas Swap.  I'm nearing the finish line and while I enjoyed making the item (to be shown later), it certainly was a struggle. 

In all honesty, I probably should have been working on that big project; but I need to pick something up at the store tomorrow before I can work on it anymore.  I figured it would make me feel better if I was actually able to finish something, hence why I completed the blocks instead.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

What's in a Name??

So at the 1st meeting of the STLMQG, we decided that we would each make a quilty nametag instead of using white stickers for each meeting.  The key is that you of course had to wear your nametag at the meetings in order to be eligible for door prizes. 

Keep in mind that was a month ago...I'm here to tell you that our meeting was this morning and I just finished mine late last night.  It's not like it took a month to make, it's just that I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do.  I mean, everyone is going to be looking at your nametag...that's alot of pressure.

Ready for the big reveal??

I hope it lives up to all the pressure that I subjected myself too. HaHaHa

Fabric Horder Giveaway

I held a giveaway, my first on this blog actually, which ended Friday evening.  It was a big success, as 30 people participated (the comments say 31; but there was a duplicate entry which was removed and not counted).

Here's a quick reminder of the prize, isn't it pretty.

I'm happy to say that a winner was chosen randomly thanks to

As you can see the winner of the giveaway is comment # 6 which was written by none other then Amy !
Here's what she had to say about her fabric stash.

"I recently learned that my stash takes up a lot of room! I had to pack up a lot of it last week and although my sewing room is tidier, I miss being able to see so much of it without digging through boxes."
10/1/10 10:16 PM

Thanks to everyone who visited my blog.  I enjoyed reading your comments.

And as for Amy...I will be in touch with you soon.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Out of my comfort zone

So I call myself a Modern Quilter; but honestly aside from a handful of blocks which I've made over the last few months as part of various Sewing Bees...I really hadn't sewn much of anything over the last few years.  Period.

For this reason, there's a little selfish part of me that started the St. Louis chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild because I figured that if I was responsible for this group, I would HAVE TO find time to sew.  And you know what, it's working.

I also wanted to make sure that I was stepping out of my comfort zone because honestly, I didn't see any reasons to stop so far.  One of the next things on my To-Do list was to make a quilt out of solid fabrics.

I know you are shaking in your boots right now, aren't you :-)

Now, if you know me, you know that I do not own a single piece of solid fabric.  I'm not kidding, I don't have a single piece anywhere in the house.  I always felt that with patterned/printed fabrics any mistakes I made would easily be concealed by the print...but solids were unforgiving. If I was to do something bold, using a solid would be step one.

I picked up some Kona colors in a variety of blue shades, and added some yellow for pop.  Now, you can say "Shame on you" later; but I just couldn't help myself as I had to include two prints; but they are subtle.

Next on my agenda was cutting.  I cut about 18 inches worth of the fabric and then randomly cut wedges and strips, paying no attention to parallel sides or measurements.  It was kind of relaxing...go figure.

I then separated each strip and tossed them into a bucket, I mixed everything up and then grabbed a handful of pieces...that's what I was allowing myself to use for a block.

About an hour later, I had 3 blocks sewn into haphazard squares.

I'm lots of blocks away from finished; but my experiment is working.  I took a leap of faith and am beyond thrilled with the results so far.  I'll keep you apprised of the progress; but if you see me at the fabric store buying solid fabrics, you don't have to say anything...a simple "thumbs up" works :-)

Friday, October 1, 2010

What's a Fabric Horder to do?

So in the scheme of things, I am no where near horder-status; but when you pull out every piece of fabric you own (not even counting my Fat Qtrs) and try to organize it by begin questioning your sanity.

I had begun collecting fabric about 15 years ago (when I was a teenager) and while pieces had come and gone...okay, they came in more then they went out; but that's not the point...I felt the need to go through it today.

By the time I was done, nearly an hour and a half later, my table was full.

I tried to organize as best I could by color and I noticed some suprising things.
  • I have a lot of purple fabric, who knew...I don't remember buying it.
  • I have only 2 pieces of true yellow prints, everything else is more gold or orange.
  • I have way too many novelty prints (Skulls, Ants, Tattoos, Baking Items, etc)
After taking a mental inventory, I proceeded to put it all away.  I have a 4-drawer vertical filing cabinet in my studio that I use to organize my fabric.  Before today, everything was just kind of folded; but thrown together haphazardly.  Now it's organized by color.

As I sit here typing this post, my shirt is covered in lovely little fabric threads.  While I go get the lint roller, please read the below.

I've decided to hold a fabric giveaway.  To enter all you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me something you learned about your fabric stash.

Here's what you can win:
A mix of pieces ranging anywhere from a yard +, to pieces as small as 10"x11",
and everything in between.

*Here's the Fine Print*
-One entry per person
-US Residents only, please
-The giveaway will end Friday 10/8/2010 at 10pm (Central Time).
-I'll announce the winner on Saturday 10/9/2010.
-Please note that your comments won't appear automatically, as precautions
are necessary due to those ugly spammers :-(