Much Ado About. . .Well. . .Everything. . .

Saturday, October 12, 2013

October! What happened! Where did the time go? There are apples on my trees! This summer went by much to quickly. Over the course of the last year, I had been considering returning to work; but was on the fence as in what capacity. I had worked in education for years, administratively; and then as a teacher. I knew if I chose teaching I'd have papers to grade every night, 5 classes, 40 papers each. . . 200 math assignments nightly. . .

My decision was administrative. With the onset of Autumn, I accepted a position at Cal State, Chico. This is Yolo Hall, home of Kinesiology, Physical Education and Movement Studies. I work with some amazing individuals and have a great office with a view overlooking a huge grassy quad.

Its definitely been a bittersweet experience. I didn't realize how much I'd miss the "mom" routine. . . driving field trips, volunteering in the classroom, attending volleyball practice, chairing school committees etc., but, I do and admittedly, shed my share of tears over the decision.

I've been sewing intermittently; mostly, buying yummy fabrics to stash away for a yet undetermined project. I love the new Robert Kaufman Yarn Dye colors paired with cottons. Here are red, olive and steel.
Purples have struck my fancy. At Portland Quilt Market in May, purple was everywhere. . . maybe it's a sign to come of next year's Pantone color. It sings when paired with text prints, indigo and linen.

 Low volume is super trendy right now. I'm generally drawn to cloth with texture–linens, silks, cross weaves–but these barely there prints are so versatile; speaking both to tradition and the modern.

I have enjoyed the Modern Maverick's Bee I'm apart of. Super fun and great block choices! I love the idea of blocks coming together from across the globe being stitched together into a quilt.

I'm really feeling the need to delve into holiday gift-making. But I'm just not quite there yet. The days here in Northern Cal are still warm, 80°. Kids are still in shorts and t-shirts. And given I'm so smitten with the Robert Kaufman plaids, I made some board shorts for Colby. Interesting fact, Vans™ has purchased these RK fabrics for their clothing line. Colb just has the homemade preview version. And he loves them! Creating with fabric brings such joy. . .I'm off to sneak in a little Saturday stitching before the crew awakens!

Here's jumpin' into Autumn!

Emerald~Pantone Color of the Year

Sunday, February 24, 2013

 The Pantone color for 2013 is Emerald Green. I love greens, but very rarely choose this particular shade when I sew. The challenge calls for Emerald Green, a background fabric and one additional color~for me that was yellow! Hawthorne Threads has a great bundle specifically designed to celebrate Emerald Green, I ordered it, paired it with the yellow dot floral from Bari J's Lilly Belle collection and Robert Kaufman's Essex Yarn Dye in Black.

I decided to make a small quilt, 36" x 48" with the Flying Dutchman block. Very scrappy. I've used the Quilt In A Day Ruler before, but it had been along time since it'd been out of the ruler drawer. A quick refresher, and one miss-cut block later, I was using it like a pro. BUT, the ruler requires you cut along all 4 sides without shifting the block. I tried this with a conventional mat and it was awkward. Sooooo, I gathered up a 40% coupon for JoAnn's and purchased one of the 360° rotary mats. A quilty friend had mentioned how much she had loved hers and I thought it would be perfect for this project. And it is! Best. Mat. Ever. The mat rotates similar to a lazy susan and made cutting these blocks fast, fast, fast! The mat is a 12" square so it's a perfect size for toting along to sew days, also.

The geese stitched off perfectly. I did make a modification to the instructions for the ruler, I pressed the seams open versus pressing to the darker fabric as instructed. The blocks lay much nicer, and the seams are more evenly distributed across the block. 

 Using the ruler to make the geese, allows for 4 geese per unit. Again, making the process much quicker than the traditional method.

 Did I mention how much I loved the green and yellow with the yarn dye! The RK yarn dye fabrics give such texture to projects.

Here are the first six blocks! My goal is to have all 12 blocks stitched off, and the quilt top together by the end of February. This, leaving me just under a week to quilt and bind!

Love quilts? Love green? Head on over to the Flickr group to see everyone's amazing progress and projects. And to join in the fun!

Happy Sewing!

Lilly Belle

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I'm quite simply in love. In love with Lilly Belle. The aqua~yellow~gray colorway is an absolute favorite, I had no choice but to quilt it up as the latest version of my Walk In The Park pattern.
Bari J, designer of these oh, so wonderful fabrics is now {thankfully} designing for Art Gallery Fabrics. Thus, the fabrics are soft, beautiful and printed on an amazing base cloth.
 The collection is a balanced collaboration of large and small scale prints, tone on tones and a spunky little crosshatch, which I promptly used to bind the quilt.
This quilt will be going with HRQ to the San Francisco Quilt Show in March. And the pattern is now available in my craftsy shop!

Wonky Pinwheels

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I've finished this little mini quilt for my partner of Round 3 for the DS Mini Quilt Swap. I was a bit hesitant at first with the color palette, but now that it's done and has some Kona Raisin as its binding, I'm liking it! It's on its way to Florida and should be to its recipient tomorrow! Exciting!
All print fabrics for the quilt top and back are from Denyse Schmidt, a composite which include pieces from Hope Valley; Picnics and Fairgrounds; and Sugar Creek. The gray background is Manatee by Free Spirit. The project finishes as an 18" square.
In putting this together, I once again took to InDesign to create a paper pieced template. It's available here if you'd like to give it a try! The download includes four different variations of the pinwheel block~lending itself to the overall wonky design. To construct the project as shown, you'll need 36 blocks total~or  eight sheets of the printed template. Important to remember, the #1 Placement for all four templates needs to be your background fabric. You'll construct the quilt top in six rows of six blocks each. . . easy peasy! This pattern would show well as a pillow too. . .hmmmm maybe that should be next. . .

Autumn Begins

Saturday, September 22, 2012

It's autumn!. . .it already feels like it. The leaves are beginning to fall, my vegetable garden has slowed in production and the swimming pool is chilly. . .and did someone mention football~love it!

The apple trees are beginning to produce, thus homemade applesauce! We stewed our first batch last weekend and filled freshly turned crepes with their sweet cinnamon-y goodness. Delish!!

With the changing of the seasons I'm shifting directions with some of my sewing, tucking away the summer palettes and turning to the warmer hues of Fall. As well as a bit of funky halloween mayhem. These pillowcases feature the Ghastlies. Cassidy loves this line. I paired it with a pale pink Kaufman Radiance and a Yarn Dye in black just for her~coordinates with absolutely NOTHING in her room, but she loves them! The pattern is Pillowcase Pizzazz, BUT this tutorial uses the same method as the pattern.

Picked up some great flannel at work. Red and Gray Woolies from Maywood Studios. These are without a doubt the BEST flannels on the market. They're thick, soft and hold their color~wash after wash. We've been updating Colby's room to reflect his transition into young adulthood~these will wind their way into a fuzzy-edged throw for him.

And who could pass up Fresh Cut flannel~certainly not me!!! It's beautiful! This bundle of pure bliss will also be a fuzzy-edged quilt. . .for yours truly.

I'm continuing to plug away at Neptune's Granny, I love making these blocks. . .here are two I've made this week. I've finally decided on a layout. . .Saints preserve us! 49 is the magic number. . . not 36. . . not 56 but, 49! There, it's written in stone~no deviating from said plan!

Swap projects have been whirling around in my head~these are the final swaps I'll be involved with before the holidays so I'm taking extra special care in deciding what to make for my partners. . .more to come as I finish those.

Enjoy your weekend. Happy Autumn 1st everyone!

Something To Sew Sunday

Sunday, September 16, 2012

 Today I'm starting some swap projects! For my DS Quilts swap partner, I've selected a collaborative of Denyse Schmidt fabrics along with a Kona Coal solid. My plan is to do some wonky pinwheel blocks. Because the perimeter edges are bias, I once again took to In Design to create a paper piecing template. I drew four templates just slightly different from one another~giving it just the right amount of wonkiness.  I'll leave the paper on until just before joining the blocks, allowing the edges to remain straight, thus a square quilt top!

My Neptune's Granny quilt is one of the long-term projects I have in progress. Here are 16 blocks I've made over the past week, with 3 made just this morning. My original plan was to do a 4x6 block layout with sashing. But. . . .I have enough Neptune and FS Arctic White to go much bigger. . .thus it's destined to be a bed size quilt. I love black and white photography; I often find it an important tool when selecting a fabric palette and with block placement.  This photo in particular shows me I need to add blocks with some darker color to that bottom row to achieve a more balanced look.

Mini Trajectory Pillow

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Where in the world did the summer go! I had lots planned for the never-ending "To Do" list~it just all scoots by so very fast. Something very exciting~a trip to Sisters, OR for an ENTIRE week with some of the best gals I know. We took classes, drooled over fabric and wool, rode bikes, drank margaritas and enjoyed ourselves immensely.

As for the sewing, this is what's happening in my sewing room this week. . .

While at Sisters, I saw this quilt, I loved it! I thought it would be great scaled down with blocks small enough to make a pillow.

So, I took to InDesign and drew up a 3" finished paper pieced pattern. Choosing fabrics was easy, I knew I wanted to use solids and I had my Michael Miller Cotton Couture QuiltCon bundle warming on the cutting table (I had a 1/2 yard of white fabric to work with).  I cut the white, background squares at 4 1/2" x 4 1/2"; the colored solids at 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangles and ten setting squares cut at 3 1/2" x 3 1/2". I made 26 trajectory blocks.

Layered with fusible fleece and muslin I quilted a simple crosshatch design~I didn't want to take away from the blocks themselves. . .I just love them!

You can see where the setting squares are used. . .

Installed a 14" zipper to the pillow back. Featured fabric is from the La Dee Da line by Erin McMorris. It's a perfect match for the solids of QuiltCon!

Made some binding with some of the leftover Turquoise fabric; stitched it all together and

BAM! A pillow! It measures as an 18" square. I used a 20" square pillow form to give it a full, plump look. Want to make one for yourself? Click here and download the PDF template I've created for Craftsy!

Thanks must go to Megan, as the author and inspiration behind this block!

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