30 September 2012

As yet untitled

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog post on some EQ7 mockups of a new pattern I've been working on. I got an overwhelming amount of encouragement for a particular colorway I showed, which was especially exciting since I had already begun pulling fabrics to work on that version.

And though I haven't had a whole lot of time in the sewing studio in the past week, I did manage to finish piecing the blocks for this, and got them all arranged on the design wall ready to put together next time I'm in the area.

In addition to this project, I've been working on arranging and/or completing a couple of bee quilts I have going. The first order of business is putting together a back for my green and brown spiderweb quilt, made last year by the members of the Seams Perfect flickr bee. I had a few orphan blocks left over which I'd like to add on the back, as well as the signature blocks done by the other members of the bee, so it's on its way to being a very scrappy looking backing.

And though this is just getting underway, I started playing around with the blocks I've been getting back from last month's Design Camp 2 Improv bee. One general arrangement so far is:
There's obviously a lot more work yet to happen on this one, but I'm having fun playing around with it and looking forward to working it out over the next few weeks (or however long it takes)!

28 September 2012

NW Quilting Expo, pt. 2

The few days it's taken me to get around to this follow-up entry on the awesome 2012 NW Quilting Expo is kind of a scale sample of the break I needed after taking in all of those amazing quilts before attacking the vendors. But at the time I didn't have 3-4 days of recovery time to work with, so Maria and I just went for it!

One of the great pleasures I had while walking around the Expo Center was seeing faces that I had not seen in a long time and getting to reconnect with old friends and former coworkers in the field. One of those reunions occurred on our first of about 3 passes by the Pioneer Quilts booth. While Jolyn was surrounded by fans I spotted my former coworker Michelle, of whom I had grown very fond during the few months we worked together nearly 2 years ago. I had lost track of where she might be, but have now learned that she joined the great staff at Pioneer Quilts in Happy Valley, OR.

So, next on the list is... ??? My first purchase of the day, and I didn't even get a receipt nor did I mark the name of the shop (visiting from somewhere in California, I think). But they had a huge selection of novelty fabrics with them - something that never ceases to get my attention.
And though by these days I have learned an immense amount of self-restraint, I'm still a sucker for things I think people I care about will love. This made me think immediately of my 7 yr. old nephew (or was it my (nearly) 37 yr. old boyfriend?) Not sure what this will eventually become, but it was most definitely a find!!

Next we found a retailer of Aurifil, my all-time favorite brand of thread, who had traveled all the way from Massachusetts! After spending about 5 minutes or so in her booth going on and on to Maria about how much I love this thread, I felt obligated to make a purchase even though I have plenty of thread already. Love to support the independents!!

And who in the area isn't familiar with the "Hip to be Square" pattern from Busy Bee Designs?
It was such a great, completely unexpected bonus to see Michelle's booth set up there and to get a chance to catch up a little with this lovely, creative woman. And of course to see some of her exciting, new patterns that I had not previously seen. Please take a look at her website and you'll no doubt be inspired.

Our next stop was at the Shibori Dragon booth. This is where I made my final purchase of the day, though we were certainly not finished shopping!

In our first walkthrough we spotted a beautiful booth that both Maria and I wanted to revisit at length.
A Quilter's Dream patterns.

And last, but not least, as the day was drawing to a close (at least for us) we made our way to Metropolitan Quilt, a labor of love created by a former coworker of mine, Debbie Kemp and her partner Jeff Pellissier. It was great to see the both of them and the beautiful patterns and works they've created over the last couple of years.

All in all it was a wonderful experience I won't soon forget. I was honored to be a part of it all, and hope to make my way to another great show before too long!

24 September 2012

2012 NW Quilting Expo, pt. 1

What a fabulous time I had wandering in a state of overstimulation at this year's NW Quilting Expo this past weekend at the Portland Expo Center.

Maria joined me for the initial PMQG meet-up, but then we got so eager to get started we kind of separated from the group.

We decided to begin by viewing the quilts in the exhibit, then doubled back to look at all of the goodies that the vendors offered... and where better to start than with our guild's mini-exhibit! Following are a few that I wanted to document, though do not be mistaken, I loved most everything there!
(designed and pieced by Kristan Collins, quilted by Nancy Stovall)

(a collaboration based on a challenge to the PMQG community using Michael Miller Cotton Couture fabrics, the quilt on the left called "linear" that on the right is "improv", both quilted by Nancy Stovall... missing is the "graphic" quilt, hanging a few steps away.)

(designed and pieced by Brittany Scott, quilted by... can you guess it??? Nancy Stovall!) Brittany's quilt was not technically hanging with the rest of the PMQG exhibit, but we do call her one of our own so I include it here!

(pieced and quilted by Anne Whiting, pattern by Elizabeth Hartman)

(pieced and quilted by Heather Lott, pattern by Cherri House)

And then, of course, I had to take a photo of my own quilt hanging (Maria wanted to take a pic of me standing in front of it, but that was an honor I happily declined).
(mine on the left... designed and pieced by yours truly, quilted by the lovely Melissa Hoffman).

Next I'm going to share some of the quilts that stood out to me in the general exhibit, though unfortunately I have to edit so that this post doesn't get unwieldy.

(constructed and quilted by Cheryle Jolivette)

(pieced and quilted by Betty Davis Daggett)

(pieced by Suzanne Waldrop, quilted by Cathy Frank Quilting, pattern by Cara Gulati)

(made by M. Jill Sullivan)

(constructed and quilted by Judy De Meire)

(Made and HAND quilted by Terri Doyle... that ribbon is for 2nd place in the hand quilted category)

(designed, constructed and quilted by CarolAnne Olson... in conjunction with the "Cover to Cover" quilt group illustrating the classic Peter Pan).

(made by Sara Shayne Miller)

(designed and made by Margaret Miller - I think... please correct me if my information is wrong.)

(made by Mary Goodson)

(designed, pieced and quilted by Sara Horner)

(piecing, applique and quilting by Jean Ludeman, pattern by Karla Alexander)

(made by Joanne Roth, quilted by Joanne Roth and Karen Saltzberg)

(pieced by Cristina Pera, quilted by Elegant Expressions, pattern by Pie in the Sky)... this pattern, Bouillabaisse, has been in my possession for many years - one of those that I loved at first sight and is a perfect pattern for using scraps and strings!

Phew! My feet are killing me just revisiting the photos and labels! That must be why we felt it necessary to break for snacks before continuing on to shop. In that respect, even though the post will be considerably shorter, I think it's wise to leave the vendors info until a later date... but tune in and you'll get to see my swag!!

11 September 2012

Dusting off my design program

I have had EQ7 for close to 2 years now and I actually have a few projects plugged into it that I'm looking forward to trying out.

But at heart I'm a graph paper and pencil drafter. So I might go months without opening the computer program.

This past week I was compelled to revisit what I had been playing with once upon a time - and I'm glad I did!

Now, I did decide to abandon the pinks and yellows and work in more of a fall/winter palette at this stage. While visiting in Montana earlier this year I picked up a selection of great fabrics from Michele D'Amore for Benartex, Leaf Haven. And they've been sitting up on the shelf waiting for just the right project.

But even before I started working on that version, I started pulling fabrics for a slightly larger version of the same pattern, in cool purples and taupes - a mellow winter feel.

I still have a couple more fabrics to find in order to bring this puppy to fruition, but I am super-psyched to get started on it! And I have to admit, I love feeling super-psyched about new projects again. Love it.

05 September 2012

WIP Wed. once more

After taking a much-needed hiatus from the record-keeping, I've decided to join the festivities again at Lee's blog Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Sadly, I've also decided to abandon my initial list of UFOs on this forum. It seems that projects for the present and future are taking precedent, which is just fine by me.

So, here goes:

bee blocks
solid improv blocks for Friends + Fabric bee on Flickr


Blooming 9-Patch
Talked about in more detail in this blog post.

In Progress

One more set of potholders, destined for Etsy
just gotta get those bindings stitched down, looped around and off they go!

Custom order holiday place mats
(this is my first sneak peek of these guys... the customer has seen the fabric choices, but not the finished product yet)

I've also been receiving blocks from the Design Camp [think outside the block] improv bee, so I'll be looking forward to playing around with those in the coming weeks!

And this quilt top waiting to be basted and quilted:

So, what's the final count?
Completed - 1
New - 1
In progress - 4

(man, I like the look of those numbers so much better than the 14 and 16 including UFOs dating back 5+ years!!!)
Thanks for bearing with and taking a look at what I've got going on! If you haven't already, go check out the other updates linking up at Lee's blog!

03 September 2012

A New Bloom

About a year and a half ago I posted a photo of an "upcoming project."

Last Friday I was in the studio putting away some fabric yardage on the shelf and it occurred to me that of late I seem to be doing projects that either use scraps almost exclusively or are placemat sets that had been decided for me a while back. I don't feel like I've been taking advantage of my actual stash! And it's a sizable one, in dire need of being whittled down and put to good use!

I also realized that I've kind of veered away from some of the designs I've thought of doing over the last couple of years - things I played with in graph paper AND EQ7, like the project pictured above. Maybe it's time to revisit some of those older inspirations that got lost in the shuffle. Have any of you had that feeling - you've moved forward with things and have been making stuff that you're happy with, but looking back realized that there were projects you considered but hesitated on and then forgot to get back to??

So I pulled open my little wire basket with that same stack of fabric neatly folded together along with that same piece of graph paper, but as I looked at the pattern I was less inspired. Plus, I couldn't even remember which fabric I had envisioned in which position, which to me says it might be time to reconsider. I've been wanted to do another Blooming 9-Patch and these fabrics seemed to be a great starting point!

I started with those focus fabrics, Larkspur from Alexander Henry, plus the Kona Solid and Shot Cotton and an Australian print I had grouped with them originally. To those I added just 4 more fabrics to round out a nice progression for the alternating 9-patch and plain fabric blocks: another Alexander Henry blender from about a decade ago (one I've used in bits and pieces in MANY quilts over the years!), a batik I bought and used in a Trip Around the World variation I made for my father in 2005 or 2006, a coveted Joel Dewberry print from his Modern Meadow collection and a perfectly coordinating Anna Griffin print also from years ago. Did you notice that? Using fabric I've had for years and coveted fabric?? That's something to be proud of, yes?

I got all of these together at some point on Friday, with enough time to get everything except the setting triangles cut out, and began piecing the 9-patch blocks. When I left the studio, it was starting to look a little like this:

By Sunday I was rarin' to get going again on this puppy. My friend Maria came by the studio for a sewing day together, and while she was playing around with a stunning new quilt from Elizabeth Hartman's newest book Modern Patchwork, I continued on my 9-patch journey. By the end of the day I had all of my diagonal rows pieced together!

My next day in the studio is Thursday and I am holding myself to high standards to finish piecing this top by the end of the day. Will I be able to do it?? That's a fair number of corners to match up...