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

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 :-(