29 May 2012

Finding new goodies!

Okay, so this past week I've been putting in a lot of hours over at Cool Cottons. Unfortunately it's because Marie injured her knee and has been holed up with a full leg brace and crutches since last Thursday :-( Hopefully she'll be mobile again (maybe even sans crutches??) before the end of the week.

This does mean that I've had the unique pleasure of unpacking boxes of fabric and finding homes for some fun new stuff! I almost feel as though I should offer to do a guest post on the Cool Cottons blog so that Marie and Alyssa can see some of the goodies we have here.

My FAVORITE so far is:
"Eerie Alley" from Robert Kaufman (designed by Karen Foster Designs, Inc... is this just a coincidence or is there a career I don't know about, Karen??)

And for those of you who have heard me talk about and/or promote my brother's S.O. Glenn who is in the horror film and entertainment industry, you'll understand my wanting to make pillow cases or something along those lines for them!

The other new project I just couldn't resist (and this isn't so new to Cool Cottons, but something I've been eyeing and could put off no longer) is to make a sundress. I was thinking about my wardrobe the other day and the fact that I never wear any of my dresses - and then I remembered that all of my dresses are semi or entirely formal! I have ONE go-to cotton sundress that has been my fallback for the past several years and I think it is time to add to that! So today I picked up one of the many cute dress patterns that Marie caries and picked out some fabric to start with.
The pattern is from Jamie Christina, called "Sunny Day Dress & Skirt". The photo is super cute, and the pattern appears to be relatively simple, the hardest looking part being a heavy gather or smocking along the back. We'll see how it works out. I'm hoping to get this sewn up before my trip east next month! Not that I have ANYTHING to finish up in the mean time...

25 May 2012

A decision has been made (sort of)!

First of all, I want to heartily thank all of you who threw in your 2 cents and gave me some good food for thought regarding the backing fabrics for the Jewel of Friendship quilt! It did help me come to my ultimate solution.

So, in typical Linda fashion, I just couldn't bear to NOT go with either of the two front-runners, so instead I combined them.

(PLEASE excuse the horrible photo! My camera lens is in dire need of cleaning, or possibly replacing, and I just couldn't get a well framed shot here either)

I knew I did not want a scrappy backing for this project. And those of you who voted for the stripe are darn right, it carries the feeling of the quilt so well! But as I kept looking at that shot cotton, I knew I would kick myself if I didn't try it out!

So, there you have it! The quilt sandwich is now basted and I'll hopefully be able to start quilting it either Monday or, if not, later next week.

23 May 2012

WIP Wednesday - Getting back in line

This has definitely been a "continuing on" sort of week which is just fine by me! As anyone who's seen my UFO / WIP list can guess, I certainly don't need to start any new projects! But there are plenty of other folks who do have new projects they're sharing, linked up to Lee's blog Freshly Pieced, for WIP Wednesday!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Making Progress
Lock 'n' Bolt
In the process of getting the binding on my Lock 'n' Bolt quilt.

Jewel of Friendship
Quilt top is complete, just need to get to the next step!
(talked about in much more detail in this post.

FINALLY stitched up this second set of placemats left over from a project I did last summer. Now it's just a matter of binding.
(please excuse poor quality photo, taken by the light of the TV and maybe a second glass of wine was involved, too).

another pot holder pair
I'm slowly restocking these guys

Friends + Fabric bee blocks
Spiderweb blocks for Lee, using Heather's tutorial at {House} of A La Mode.
(though admittedly, I still have to package and mail these off! On my list for Thursday, I promise!)

No Progress
Quilting the Nubees quilt
Batik W/C QAL
Medallion quilt
Could be a Quilt...
Purple/Green Asian sampler
Seams Perfect Sampler
Lee & Glenn's quilt
red/brown/green I-Spy
girly hourglass
Judy Neimeyer double wedding ring
broken dishes
Trip Around the 9-Patch
Halloween Stack 'n Whack
leftover I-spys from Hopman quilt
tote bags

So, the final tally estimate (I always write these posts when I am actually at work and have no access to my sewing projects!)
New - 0
In Progress - 17
Completed - 2
Tops awaiting quilting - approx. 16 give or take

22 May 2012

Making the same decision twice... or thrice?

Sometimes it's MUCH easier to piece together a quilt backing from random scraps, bits and pieces left behind, rather than try and find that PERFECT backing. For example, I have a quilt that I pieced, oh I don't know, about 5 or 6 years ago:
From a pattern in a Judy Hopkins book, Big 'n' Easy: Super Sized Quilts for Queen Beds

and it took me another 3-4 years and at least 2 false-start purchases to find what I believe to be just the right backing:
tents, by Brandon Mably (available at The Quilter's Studio)

Now that THAT'S off my chest (but still on the shelf!!), I'm going through something a little different. Thank goodness for deadlines! I finally got all of my Friends + Fabric blocks pieced into a stunning quilt top. Just under the wire for the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show submission.

However I now need to figure out what to use as the backing... within the next day and a half!

My first gut feeling:
an Anna Maria Horner print... lovely color match and complimentary motif, but generally a bit more purple than I prefer...

My first fabric purchase:
a PERFECT compliment with all the right colors and energy, by Terrie Mangat for Free Spirit, but I'm wondering if it's just a bit too busy?

Some Kaffe Fassett shot cotton possibilities (because the quilt top is so darn busy already, and I do love how those guys quilt up):
within comfort zone for Linda:

and then...
not so much one of my go-to colors, but ruled the WOW factor next to the quilt top, don't you think?

Will I regret going with the Wow, but using a basically solid fabric in a color that doesn't exist anywhere in my world?? I welcome any input, but the prewashing must begin by this Thursday...

Sewing with Friends!

With the exception of the group sewing day at Fabric Depot with the Portland Modern Quilt Guild a few weeks ago, it has been one LONG, LONG time since I've spent an afternoon or evening sewing in the company of another (sitting on the couch doing handwork while watching TV with the boyfriend doesn't quite count).

But then, last Thursday night at the PMQG meeting, my friend Maria turned to me and suggested a sewing day soon. We were in craft school together, both studying photography at the time, several years ago, and back in the day there were a few of us who thrived on each others' creative energy and worked really well together in the studios and darkroom.

Yay! Someone joining me in my sewing studio!

Hopefully this will be an ongoing trend. We had a good afternoon, and admittedly both ended up with seam rippers in hand since we were getting so chatty — sadly leading to some carelessness at the sewing machine. Do you have any regular crafty get-togethers with friends? Do you find it helps productivity, or hinders due to the socializing going on?

18 May 2012

F+F Bee Blocks

All of you who check in here from time to time have no doubt seen mention of one of the Flickr bees I have the honor of being a part of - the Friends + Fabric [A Modern Stash Bee] . It is made up of 11 thoroughly talented and inspiring quilters, plus myself, gathered together by our hive mama, Jenn (a.k.a. Sunny in Cal).

This month Lee requested spiderweb blocks using red, pink, aqua and B/W prints. We all know I do like the spider web design, since that was MY choice for the Seams Perfect Bee, the previous bee I did organized by Jenn last year!

Lee's colors are quite different than mine, however, and what a different effect it has! I went from a pile of this:

to this:

and this:

which go together to look like this:
Hopefully these will work with the other blocks popping up on the group page. I'm a little uncertain about that Kaffe Fassett I used in the center of the darker block, but we'll see.

I also got a chance to play around on the design wall with the blocks from MY month for the Friends + Fabric bee, now that I have them all in my little hands. I think I might have actually made a change or two after I took this shot, but essentially this is the layout I think I'll be going with.
And I'd better decide soon, since I committed this quilt to go to the Sister's Outdoor Quilt Show in just over a month or so!

16 May 2012

WIP Wed - abridged

My blogging has suffered in the last few weeks. Perhaps my sewing has as well, since I've noticed my skin is starting to tan - a good indication that I am taking as much advantage of the gorgeous weather as I am able!

However, I HAVE been working on a few things, just nothing very update-worthy. But, in the spirit of the WIP Wednesday, here is a look at a couple of things on my list:

New pot holders
(available in my Etsy shop, hint, hint... ;-)

I've also been trying to get my Lock 'n' Bolt quilt quilted. Making progress, but had to bring the operation home since I've not been able to spend much time at the studio since last week...

I've begun playing with Lee's spiderweb blocks for the Friends + Fabric Bee, but haven't gotten enough done on them to take photos. I'll hopefully have more to share on that front next week! This weekend is going to be all about the catch-up!

Sorry for the lackluster (and long overdue) post, but hopefully someone will find something fun.
I'm linking up over at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


05 May 2012

Playing freestyle-like

Friday's theme turned out to be "improv." I ticked 2 small projects off the list, though it took several hours to do so, much of that time just pressing and cutting up little bits of fabric.

1.) The May block for Design Camp 2 [Think outside the block] swap.

The packet of fabrics I received from Mims contained beautiful warm cinnamon tones with a hint of yellow.

2.) The improv challenge block for PMQG.

When we received the cotton couture samples from Kathy Miller of Michael Miller Fabrics we were given 2 separate challenge options - making a block of an original design which will potentially be included in a quilt at the Michael Miller booth at quilt market this spring (being this month!); and/or making an improv block to go into a quilt that the guild will be constructing. This is my improv block (which I have to admit I had sketched out as an idea last month, but I did in fact construct it improvisationally!)

I think I needed a day of working intuitively. I might need one or two more days like that, but even more importantly, I think I need to get back to making lists, since today I spent a few hours just catching up on pressing fabric and didn't touch a sewing machine or cutting table at all. Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.

01 May 2012

An overdue WIP Wednesday

It has been quite a while since I've contributed to Lee's link-up for WIP Wednesday, but I finally feel that I am back on track with work and other endeavors.

So, not to dilly-dally:

New Projects:

more lattice baby quilts

after getting the first of them quilted and bound last week (of course I haven't taken a photo of this FINISHED yet)

Lock 'n' Bolt
Came to fruition from a sketch in my sketchbook, with a kick in the pants from PMQG (indirectly). This was in response to the call for submissions for our guild's special exhibition at Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show this summer, and I am pleased to share that this was also among the quilts selected to be a part of that! Thank you to the lovely judges (Michelle, Gail, Ale and I believe Heather too)!!

Continuing Progress
Nubees Sampler Quilt
I did finally start quilting this guy this week, and am optimistic that it will go relatively quickly.
of course I especially need to make a dent in this since I used up almost all of my basting pins and will need them to quilt Lock 'n' Bolt next!

Friends + Fabric blocks
I made 3 more blocks in preparation for just one more row on this quilt top:

And not in the last week, but since my last update:
Batik Warm/Cool QAL
I have the top 1/3 of the quilt pieced.

Flannel Throw
Nothing spectacular, just a fun little project that is making me happy:-)

No Progress
Medallion quilt
Could be a Quilt...
Purple/Green Asian sampler
Seams Perfect Sampler
Lee & Glenn's quilt
red/brown/green I-Spy
girly hourglass
Judy Neimeyer double wedding ring
broken dishes
Trip Around the 9-Patch
Halloween Stack 'n Whack
leftover I-spys from Hopman quilt
tote bags
blue/green place mats

My brain can't work out the subtotal, but I'm happy with the last week or so, and that's what's important, right? Thanks so much for visiting, and be sure to check out the other updates at
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced