Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Drawing and Doodling Journal

This past Christmas, my daughter and I received blank journals. We decided together that we would draw something every day in 2015 and share what we were doing.

My first drawing
Well, that idea sort of went the way of many new year's resolutions.

We were diligent in January, a little slack in February, and completely off track for March.

I had to remind myself that my word for the year is PAUSE and that it is totally okay to draw when I want to draw and when I have time to draw.

It is much more relaxing and fun that way. I started adding color to some of them. Sometimes markers and sometimes watercolors.

When I do take the time to draw, it is very therapeutic.

Also, the more I draw, the more I want to draw more complicated things, which generally means more than one sitting for a picture anyway.

I'm hoping that somehow, all of this will translate into improved free motion quilting.

I do like how easy it is to always have a journal and some pens everywhere I go.

I have always been a doodler. My notes at work and school always have something scribbled in the margins.

This next one even looks a bit like a quilt. I was seeing how many different ways I could draw the simple design in the upper left corner.

My daughter and I each drew the face and hair below. It was interesting to compare our styles. She is very bold and puts pen to paper readily.

I have to at least get the outline drawn in pencil first, then fill in the details with my pen. My drawings are lighter and a little more delicate.

We will see how much drawing occurs for the rest of the year. Right now, quilting seems to have caught my attention. No matter what, my energy will always pour into some creative endeavor or another.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Lost My Marbles - A Work In Progress

For five years, from 2007 to 2011, I owned a quilt shop. It was a dream come true for me and a great experience. One of the things I held on to after the shop closed were the color cards that were used to order basics, like Moda Marbles. Really, I only kept the color cards that had real fabric samples on them. I finally decided it was time to do something with them. They were great as a point of reference for a while but they were starting to get a little bit out of date.

First, I pulled every single sample off the Moda Marbles color card, more than 200 of them. Some were unusable because they had too much glue and paper that just wouldn't come off, but most of them were just right.

It was possible to cut a clean 1 3/4" square from each sample. It took a few sessions to get everything cut but it was a lot of fun to handle each and every color. I really had no idea what these would become.

I wanted to do something mosaic like and I had recently grabbed up a Bella solids gray fat quarter bundle from the Fat Quarter Shop, so that became the next step. I cut strips from the gray and paired them with the Moda Marbles.

I also paired the grays with each other and threw in some white that came with my gray fat quarters.

The two patches became four patches, and the four patches went for a whirl on the design wall.

None of the fancy mosaic ideas in my head were working out once laid out on the design wall so I simplified the whole idea and came up with this.

I'm loving the tile look and it has just the right pop of color. There is one white bella square in each of the bigger blocks. There are many more to stitch and all of the ones on the wall now are still in their four patch status. It will be interesting to see how accurate these turn out. I have not sewn with so many small squares before. This will be a true test of my quarter-inch seam allowance. I'm usually not great at naming quilts but this one just makes me laugh...Lost My Marbles. This is true on a few levels with this quilt.

Linking up with Lee's WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

House Quilt - A Finish for do. Good Stitches

In January, it was my turn to be responsible for the quilt for our do. Good Stitches Believe Circle. With permission, I copied a design by Debbie Grifka over at Esch House Quilts. I posted a tutorial for the house blocks here. All of our members sent in vertical strips for the quilt.

Each member could place the houses anywhere on the strip they wanted to. I like the neighborhoods that formed as a result.

Since the fabrics in this quilt are so busy, the quilting was kept really simple. Wavy vertical lines run across the entire quilt top.

The thread is a 30 weight Sulky Blendable in a variegated gray.  

The binding is black with bright colored dots. It is a basic Timeless Treasures print. The back is a Kona solid. It is an older piece so I don't know the official color name. This quilt finishes at 46 x 51 inches.

All of the quilts our group makes are sent out with a special label on the back.

Even though we are almost at the end of March, this was a good quilt to start my year. Thanks Believe Circle, for sharing your quilt making talents with me.
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