Saturday, July 16, 2011

A new project and two fabric stores

My friend, MAD, asked if we could create a wall hanging for her bedroom while I was visiting her in the San Francisco Bay area.  Of course, I was very excited.  I thought and thought about what to do, and came upon the idea of book shelves.  MAD is a voracious reader, a reviewer of YA literature for VOYA (a journal about YA lit), and the best English teacher I have ever met.  Book shelves seemed like a no brainer.  Fortunately, she liked the idea. (editor's notes:  This idea was inspired by a project by Elizabeth at Don't Call Me Betsy) We found fabric she liked for the spines and a wonderful woodgrain print for the shelves.  I brought a few pieces from my stash for background and a few more books.  Then I set to work sketching, measuring, and cutting.  The photo above is the space I turned into a quilting studio for the morning.  You can see the shelving unit has two shelves with four spaces in each one.


I cut all the book fabrics into 2" strips that I could cut to any size I needed to match my sketches.  I put them all on the ironing board so I could pull colors as I needed.  I want to make sure I balance the values and the colors throughout the piece.  I am finding it pretty easy to adapt any space to a studio.

This is the first space laid out.  I haven't put the background in, so you can see the placemat in the background.  I will piece all of this when I get home.  Today, I am going to work on the rest of the spaces.  Then, I will pin all the books together in order for each space, and take photos so I can get them right when I do the final piecing.  I think this is going to be very cool when it is done.
We visited two shops to find the fabric.  One was in Sunnyvale and the other in Santa Cruz.  The shop in Sunnyvale is Eddie's Quilting Bee.  This is a beautiful shop with fabulous fabrics.  The first thing I spotted as we went in was a shelf of Kaffe Fasset I drooled over.  There were wonderful batiks, collections by favorite designers, fantastic Asian designs, $1.00 fat eighths, and the best book collection I have seen in a quilt shop yet.  They also had a good selection of Laurel Burch designs, and novelty prints.  I think I may have to go back to this shop before I go home on Tuesday.
The second shop we visited was Harts Fabric in Santa Cruz.  This was completely different from Eddie's.  Harts has all kinds of fabric, including a huge selection of upholstery and home decor.  There is a wall of quilting cottons in one room that is separated by color.  There are Tula Pinks and several Moda designers, but you have to look for them in the color sections.  I know some people really like this kind of layout.  It makes me crazy.   They have a nice selection of Japanese import fabric that I have not seen in person before.  They also have several Liberty of London fabrics.  These are so beautiful, and have a wonderful light hand, but they are $43 per yard.  Worth it if you have extra money to spend.  I don't.  At least I got to see and touch them. 
Have a wonderful quilty weekend, everyone.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Another AAQI quilt finished and fabric if you want it

This is my July AAQI mini.  It is 8" x 10".  I used the mariner's compass pattern I had from Hokule'a.  I liked the idea of the compass helping to point the way, unless you are lost inside the sea of your own brain with Alzheimer's.  The center is made fabric quilted with small stippling to represent the maze of that brain.  I also used small stippling on the background to show how confusing the world can become to someone with dementia.  This is foundation pieced and uses all batik fabrics.

One of my husband's friends came by with a very large box of fabric that had been collecting in their storage space.  There was a wonderful assortment of interesting fabrics.  One of the coolest thing was this selection of solids.  Each is a half yard to a yard.  This is a fantastic addition to my solids collection.  A month ago, I could only find a few small pieces in my stash.  Now, I am ready to work on my Matisse.
One of the pieces of fabric is this piece of  C. S. Shamash and Sons Inc #5574.  It is 4 yards of fabric depicting Plains Indians chasing buffalo. 

If anyone is looking for this fabric, I would love to send it to you.  I tried to find it online, but had no luck.  I know someone out there has been looking for just this piece of fabric.  If you know anyone who is looking for it, I will be happy to trade.    Just let me know.
I am leaving for San Francisco tomorrow morning.  I don't know how much blogging time I will have, but I will try to post updates.  Until next week, joyful blogging.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Still quilting

I have spent the last few days making sure I had everything ready for my guild's upcoming show.  The show is July 22 - 24 at the downtwon Renton branch of the King County Library, if anyone is interested.  I am entering five pieces.  At this time last week, only two were finished.  I have shown you the finished Tanzanian Tango, Rhumba, and the Iris.  I am also showing a vest I made, but haven't figured out how to photograph it well because it is pretty dark.  On Friday, I quilted Farmer's Market and attached the binding by machine.  I put the last hand stitches in it this morning.  It is pretty bright, but I do love it.

While I was quilting away, my husband came in with a surprise for me - a new shelf for fabric!  Here you can see how my stash has been stored, and the new shelf after the first five minutes of cleaning off one table surface.

It is a bit fuller now, since I cleaned off another table.  I don't think it will hold everything that is in the bins, but I have another shelving unit coming at the end of the month that I hope will hold most of it.  My stash consists mostly of smaller pieces of fabric - fat quarter size to half yard size.  I haven't done much stash building.  Most of the time, I only buy fabrics I need for a specific project.  Every once in a while, however, I do buy small amounts of something just because I love it. 

My last project with a deadline is the H2H quilt.  It is on the frame as of this morning.

You might have noticed in the first photo and in this one that my batting and top are just hanging and not on pick-up rollers.  I started doing this about six months ago, and I am much happier with the results I am getting.  I have much more control of the top while I am quilting using this method.  I know it probably breaks a few rules, but it works very well for me.  This quilt needs to be done and in the mail Tuesday. 

My list of new projects is growing daily.  For one of them, I need to find Kelly green fabric.  For two of them, I have some ideas for color, but have to earn some money to buy it.  These three are gift quilts.  Then there are the three I want to make for us, and more to make for charity.  I have also embarked on a Matisse QAL with Victoria at BumbleBeans.  Such fun!