Saturday, February 26, 2011

New Challenge and the week in review

This week, Victoria over at 15 minutes play set us a new challenge.  Create a new 8 inch piece of fabric.  Then do something to it to make it into a 12 inch block.  The challenge is to do something I don't usually do.  For the 8 inch square, I used strata and curved pieces.  I rarely do either of these things.  Now, I have to let the fabric tell me what else to do to take it to 12 inches.  That will have to wait until Monday.  I won't be able to get back into the studio much until then.

This week has been very productive. I have linked up to Confessions of a Fabric Addict for the Whoop Whoop Friday to share what I have done. She is having a give-away this week. Check out the other linked blogs to see what everyone is doing.
I finished the intuition quilt top.  I have been auditioning fabric for the back and think I have found enough of two that I really like.  I will work on that next week.

I also put the finishing touches on the design for the Coming Home quilt.  I really enjoy designing sampler type quilts.  I am thinking about publishing some of my patterns and selling them.  First, of course, I have to make all of them and figure out how to calculate yardage.  Coming Home will be my first one.  It is still not bed size, but with borders, it could become a nice quilt for my bed.

I completed three elements of Coming Home and put them up on the design wall. I am really enjoying searching through my stash for just the right fabrics.  This quilt will be more subdued colorwise than my intuition quilt.  I love exploring different color combinations.  Yesterday, I was at the local pharmacy, browsing the eye make-up section.  There are such fun color combinations in those little eye shadow compacts.  I was thinking that I should try and make small quilts using these combinations.  Or, I could just use some of them in the different Coming Home elements.  If you look, there are great color ideas everywhere.

One other really fun thing I started was this medallion style quilt.  It started out as a 15 minute play block.  I have selected the fabric for the next border.  Maybe I will get it sewn on this morning.  So far, I really like this piece. 

Next week, new studio adventures await.  I am excited to see where the path and the fabric will take me.  Joyful creating, everyone.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A stone church and a French braid

Today, I worked more on Coming Home blocks.  I did the church in the upper left corner and the French braid that goes next to the star under the church.  The church is 18 x 18.  When I look at the design on the grid paper, I have a hard time realizing how big it is going to be.  It is a good sized church.
I went through my stash looking for something to use for the building and came up with this fabric that looks like stone.  I love old stone churches, so this was perfect.  I also found fabric that looks like stone tiles for the roof and a cool brown for the door.  I love the pink floral that looks like rose glass windows.  In the box of browns, I also found the tree bark for the tree trunks.  I think there is enough for all the trees in this quilt.  Once I had all the fabrics, including two blues, I started cutting based on the drawing, remembering to add seam allowances.  I was so proud of myself when I started sewing everything together and it all worked out.  The measurements were correct, and the seams all worked out.  It was very encouraging.

The French braid was not so easy.  I had the perfect fabric, a candy bar from Moda.  I think it is Luna Notte or something like that.  My friends told me this would be so easy to do.  I am sure it is much easier with a pattern.  I tried to create my own foundation, and this is what I got.  First of all, it was supposed to be two inches wider than it is.  I was thinking 6.5 but drew 4.5.  I was more than half-way done when I realized my mistake.  I decided to keep going and create a filler strip.  I really like these fabrics, so I am going to make it work.  One day, I will find a pattern and try this again.  I think I know where I went wrong.  It is very time consuming, but that is because I have my iron set up in the other room.  It is my exercise program.  Sew a seam.  Walk to the other room to iron.  Back to the studio.    Great plan, don't you think.
Here is the upper left area as it will go into the quilt.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Creating fabric and fun

Victoria, over at 15 Minutes Play, set us a new challenge.  Start with a 15 minute play block, then ask "What if I . . . .?".  I used all my play blocks in my intuition quilt, so I set myself a challenge to make one using the first six scraps I pulled from the top of my scrap bin.  I usually use more than six fabrics, so this was a bit of a challenge, but great fun.  If you are interested in creating new fabric from scraps, Victoria
has a great tutorial here.
After playing for a little while, I came up with this.

Then I cut it into four uneven pieces, and auditioned fabric for the next step.

First, I tried dark blue batik.

Then I tried this ochre batik.  I liked it best.

I liked it enough to make it the first border.  I put in the corner pieces from fabric made from my favorite dress of all time.  I just love this fabric, and plan on using more of it for this quilt.
The top photo is the way I left the piece this evening.  Tomorrow, I am looking forward to playing with this some more.  I already have ideas for the next border.  I am also working on the church block for my Coming Home quilt.  It is supposed to be snowing here again tomorrow, so I am looking forward to another creative day in the studio.  I hope you all have a wonderful joy filled day as well.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Starting a New Project

I started pulling fabric for my original quilt, Coming Home.  I think there are going to be some interesting colors in this one.  There are also several stars.  This one was very fun to build.  It was also a bit of a problem.  I wanted to have a D9P in the center.  Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to cut the squares for a D9P to get a specific size block.  I had to cut this one down to fit in the center, so some of the bars got too small.  I still like the overall look, and I love the fabric.
I am going to be working on this for a while, since there are over 30 different components.  I have decided to show you the design.  It is roughly sketched on 4 to the inch graph paper.  Each square represents two inches.

I am pretty excited about working on this piece.  The buildings all remind me of places I have lived.  I put an apple tree next to the barn because I found the coolest fabric.  There are a couple of places that I may change to something more interesting, or I may just use them to show off cool fabric.  There are three 12" stars and one 18".  I may change some of the pinwheels to friendship stars.  The beauty of creating my own design is that I can make these changes easily.  Below are some of the fabrics I have selected so far.

I also have some purple, blue, and green batiks.  This project will take a while, and I will be working on others as well. 
I was able to cross off #1 on my weeks to do list.  I braved the hail and snow to get to the post office and send all the quilty things on to their way.  Tomorrow, I am going to put  the chemo quilt on Priscilla and try and get it done.  Don't know how much else I will get done.  Joyful quilting, everyone.

This Weeks List

I finished the chemo quilt top over the weekend, cut the back and the batting.  I need to go get some thread for quilting.  I thought I had the right color, but it is the kind of thread that gums up, unravels, and breaks in Priscilla.  I do wish there was someplace close that sold Superior threads.  Alas, I will have to find something else that will work.  That is on my to do list for this week.
I should have posted this yesterday, but I was busy in the studio all day.  This is my list of things I want to get done this week.
 1.  Get all my quilty mailing done.
2.  Quilt and bind the chemo quilt.
3.  Start pulling fabric to audition for the Coming Home quilt.
4.  Start cutting and piecing blocks for the Tea Party quilt.
5.  Iron all the fabric I washed over the weekend.
6.  Finish For Madame - the UFO from 30+ years ago.
7.  Get new D9P blocks pieced.

This looks pretty ambitious.  I believe in setting high goals.  What does your to do list look like this week?
I will leave you with this cute Scottie dog fusible applique block done for a presentation quilt for my guild.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ta Da! The Intuition Quilt Top is Done

Creating this quilt top has been a wonderful journey.  It started in January with this block.

I played with many techniques and colors along the way.

The process of creating this quilt without planning ahead was new to me, and very enjoyable.  I love that I only used fabric from my stash.  I am sure I will walk this path again.  I will keep making the small blocks for fun.  Who knows what will grow next,
My husband, Tom, took the great photo of the finished top, and the next few closeups of some of my favorite parts.  Joyful quilting, everyone.