Friday, February 5, 2016

Organizing Fabric: The Final Round

Over the past couple of years, I have been adding three drawer units to each of my fabric cubbies. Originally, each cube had haphazard stacks of fabric that would get messier and messier every time I would look through them. It was a lot easier on me and my budget to do one here and one there as the mood struck. This week, I completed the last of this project.

I saved the best for last. I called this my every color cube. If I had any doubt at all about what color a fabric should go with, it got tossed in the every color cube. The reason this one was so much fun to sort is that each fabric is distinctive enough for me to remember its story. Why it was originally purchased, what project(s) it was used for, etc. It was a good walk down quilting memory lane.

I spread it out on my cutting table as best I could. It was a very loose interpretation of light to the right and dark to the left.

There are some great pieces in there.

One of my favorite surprises is the amount of Amy Butler still on hand. There is enough for it to have its own drawer. That is exciting and may mean an Amy Butler scrap quilt might be happening soon.

Here's how it looks all organized in drawers. There is black with bright, traditional, Amy Butler, white with bright, 30s and floral, and stripes and novelty. Loosely organized of course. There is often room for interpretation.

Now I will be able to focus on the quilt making rather than get frustrated searching for a fabric. When I told my family I was finished with this project, they responded with a "yeah, right". And while I absolutely am finished with the three drawer units, there are those bins of scraps to deal with. Hmmm...

Linking up with Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Spell It With Moda - More Letters

There has been some progress with our Spell It With Moda project. Three more letters have been added as requested in last week's comments: T, T, and S. To help see what it says, here it is in more hangman style:

___  ___  ___  ___  ___  ___  E

T ___  ___  ___  E

___  S       ___  ___  ___  ___

___  ___       T ___ E

___  ___  ___  ___  ___

I'll be happy to take requests for next week's letters, too! Let's take a closer look at the fabric used in this week's letters. The fabric collection is Flow by Zen Chic. It should be available at your local quilt shop or favorite online shop in March.

First, we have an inverse T. The color is the background rather than the letter. The blue is a combination of a linen look and a grunge look. I like it.

I don't have every detail of this project worked out just yet, and one challenge is that there was not enough in one jelly roll strip to make the complete background for this block. There is supposed to be one more strip on the right side and bottom of each letter. We'll see how that one works itself out.

The next two letters both come from the pink fabrics in this collection. I really like the pink. It is more of a hip, modern pink rather than anything that comes off as overly girlish.

S is the most complex letter sewn so far. It wasn't bad. There were just more parts to keep up with.

More yummy pink in the letter T.

Remember, if you'd like to make something of your own, the letters are available individually on Moda's Pinterest Board.

Or, if you want a quick resource with everything in one place, check out the Spell It With Fabric booklet available at many local quilt shops and online stores. I did a quick Google search and found some great resources for purchasing the booklet.

What letters should we try for next week?

Linking up to Work in Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Quilts Inspired By Art: Introducing Goodbloom

Hello! Welcome to the second month of quilts inspired by art. This month our inspiration comes from this print created by Holly Bartos. I found this print on Pinterest and tracked it down to Holly by way of her Etsy shop goodbloom. Holly has been on hiatus from her Etsy shop for a while, but a note there says that she intends to reopen in early 2016. That is great news. Holly describes her art as retro and whimsical.

I loved this piece of art for a quilt because it offers so much opportunity for techniques, sizes, and interpretations. It would make a perfect fabric postcard, a cute miniquilt or wall hanging, and could also be made as a block that is repeated for a bigger quilt.

Let's break down the pieces of this print. First, the background.

Wait. Let's take a brief pause and do a little clean up. I'm not as far along with this project because the first step was to look at the cream and tan colors of the background and this was the state of my cream and tan fabric.

A few hours later we were in much better shape and can easily find what we need. I have been slowly organizing my fabric into these drawers and this is one of the last sections that needed cleaning up. Nothing like a project for a little motivation!

There are several options for creating the background, which is an actual piece of wood.

I pulled a good selection of light to mediums. These could be improv or strip pieced to form a background similar to the print. Or, a print that contains most of the tones could be used as a single piece. It would be a different look but remember, the original art is an inspiration. We are not necessarily trying to replicate it.

The flowers are primarily red, orange/yellow, and black.

Here is the complete pull. The flowers could be cut shapes that are appliqued to the background or they could be layered with black fabric behind them. The black lines and dots could be machine quilted or hand stitched with embroidery. There are lots of options with this piece and I'm hoping to explore several of them throughout the month.

While there isn't any black and white in the art print, I pulled these because of the line and circle pattern that is similar to those in the flowers. We will see if they make it to any of the finished projects. I was also thinking about doing a cool color version with grays, blues, and greens.

Next week I'll have some sample tops and blocks put together to share along with instructions for how to create one of your own.

Linking up with Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt and Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Scrappy Strip Quilt Making Progress

Wow, the last time I posted about this quilt was last July. It was time to pull it out and make some progress. There were four finished blocks in the bin. The blocks go together quickly once the layout is set. I remember worrying a lot when I was working on this before about not putting too many like squares together.

If a big block is made from squares that all came from the same strip set, the block can start to lose some of its scrappy look. I decided to relax and just go with it this time. They all look scrappy enough and I may have mixed them up some the last time I worked on this quilt.

I should take better notes when I'm working on a project like this. Of course, I was sure that it would be finished quickly. The six month break was not part of the plan, but other projects lured me away for a while. I noticed my scrap bins getting full (again!) and knew the scrap quilts in progress needed some attention.

This is the stack of squares remaining. My best guess is that there are enough for 11 more blocks, which is just right. 20 total blocks will make a nice quilt top. Each block will be 15 inches finished. The individual squares were trimmed to 4 1/4 inches.

There are many projects going on at one time in my sewing room these days. I'm hoping this one will stay close to the top of the pile. A scrappy finish would feel great in the first few months of the new year.

Linking up to Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Spell It With Moda - Let's Get Started

This week I am starting a new project to celebrate seven years of the Moda Bake Shop. We are going to Spell It With Moda using Zen Chic's soon to be released fabric line, Flow.

It was so fun mixing and matching the Jelly Roll strips trying to decide on a layout.for my quilt. Everywhere there is a strip, there will be a letter. Everywhere there is a business card, there will be a filler block. Do you want to know what it says? Oh, no, no, not so fast. Let's have some fun with this.

Each week, I'll make two or three letters for the quilt. Playing along will be sort of like us playing hangman together. This week I made three Es. Let's look at them closer to see the gorgeous colors and details of the Flow collection.

At the top, we have this pretty light blue E.

It is amazing what can be done with a simple comma on fabric.

The middle E is a yummy orange.

I don't have a list of the formal names for each of these prints so I made up some of my own. This is orange comma fireworks.

And for our last letter of the day, we have blue comma E.

The fun thing about this print is that every now and then there is a backwards comma or a sideways comma. It makes your eye pause for a second and I really like that.

What do you say? Do you want to guess a letter? If you do, just comment and let me know what you want to see. If it's in there, I'll make it for next week. And if not, I'll choose a few of my own.

Do you want to make your own quilt? The letters are available individually on Moda's Pinterest Board.

Or, if you want a quick resource with everything in one place, check out the Spell It With Fabric booklet available at many local quilt shops and online stores. I did a quick Google search and found some great resources for purchasing the booklet.

So, let's have some fun. Pick a letter!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts and Work In Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced. Also linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Quilts Inspired By Art: Hello Baby Girl Version

It's a girl! Girl quilt, that is. This is our last week working with our first art and craft inspiration piece, a greeting card made by Linda Aarus of Polka Dots and Paper.

Here is the inspiration card and if you need to catch up to how we got to where we are today, here are the posts from prior weeks:

I tried to use some different techniques on this version of the quilt so you could better see some of the options. 

A traditional machine blanket stitch is used to secure each of the letters in place for this quilt. For the quilting, there is an all over flower design that covers the entire quilt except for the area with letters.

The flowers are even quilted into the borders.  There is an inch or two of unquilted space right around the outside edge of the quilt.

The quilting was fun once I got past some thread breaking issues. Changing the type of bobbin I was using helped with that. It could have something to do with my machine needing a good cleaning, too.

The quilting shows up good from this angle.

Here they are side by side. Boy version. Inspiration card. Girl version. I think we have success. I do not have a pattern to offer for this project...yet. It is a work in progress and I will let you know as soon as it is ready. You have all you need in the posts from previous weeks to make one of your own if you decide to go ahead and get started.

Our inspiration piece for next month is an art print that I found on Pinterest and tracked down the artist through Etsy. Hope you'll join me next week for another fun month of Quilts Inspired by Art.

Linking up with Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt and Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.
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