Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Falling Backwards

Daylight savings time is still trippy to me. I don't understand why we still have to change our clocks. Perhaps I would have felt differently if the extra hour was of any use today since I wasn't even able to get much sewing done. Ah well, here's hoping for a more productive week.

Since my last post I was working on the American Made Brand fabric mini quilt challenge. Even though my pieces were not selected, I had lots of fun making them. Now, you can actually get to see them since we weren't allowed to post them yet.  I am really exited about hanging them in my sewing room.
Modern Traditionalism

This set of half-square triangles set on point was run and liberating to make. I used 2.5 in blocks in various colors. I cut them in half and just pulled 2 random halves to sew together. Straight line quilting and gentle curves finished off this first block.

A Brilliant Cut

I knew I wanted to draft my own paper pieced pattern for my second mini. I also wanted to use as many different colors in this design to make another rainbow piece to add to my collection. When it was done, it reminded me of a mulit-faceted diamond hence the name, "A Brilliant Cut".

Our guild hosted the wonderful Carole Lyles Shaw for a class on modern improv techniques and to learn more about her new pattern using the Fibonacci sequence. I have my first of 4 sets done and plan to finish this one soon. I am excited about the direction it's taking.

I finally cut into my Alison Glass and
Anna Maria Horner fabric collections.
Totally worth it!

Two dear friends celebrated their marriage in October and I wanted to celebrate their love with an idea I had from last year. I won these X blocks from our December block lotto at the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild meeting. I knew I wanted to make a cross stitch heart if I was the lucky winner. Here's the top:
A cross-stitched heart

I had to make a few extra to make the final design work and decided to make the surrounding blocks in a set of low volume whites. I might have to make another one for myself one day.

Finally, I was lucky enough to join the Gold Coast Quilter's Guild in a class with the amazing Dianne Hire. We learned about her process for designing quilts and how she makes these fabulous, curvy designs come to life. She even autographed my copy of Vivacious Curvy Quilts.
This is so gorgeous in person.

Her attention to detail and the little beads/embellishments
make this even more stunning up close.

She quilts with a double needle and varigated thread!

I can't wait to finish my final design now that I have most of my blocks cut and sewn. I used only shot cotton to make it more interesting. Here's a sneak peek:
My pretty scraps!
Piano keyboard border: Heck Yes!

Here's is my October block for the Stash Bee. We were given a set of colors to pull from and total freedom on the design. Since I was pattern testing for Sew Kind of Wonderful, I made this block for Kaja:
Chic and Jazzy: A new pattern using the
Sew Kind of Wonderful Curved Ruler

I recently signed up to work on the Yoshiko Jinzenji's Modern Sampler Quilt pattern with Salty Oat
We are completing one block per month and will finish up in 2016. Here's my Block A:

I might remake this one since I think it needs to be a little more dynamic, even though we are going for a minimalist look. I think I am the only one in this group making a gray quilt instead of a white one.

Since I've been working like crazy, I was told I needed to take some time off or I would lose some vacation hours. I am pretty excited to take another week off this November and look forward to sewing like crazy over the next few weeks. I need to finish up my QuiltCon entry, too, so wish me luck!

Are you working on a special project that is keeping you busy this fall?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Back to School

I relish the fall each year because when students go back to school, my workload gets to slow down. The weather starts to cool just a bit. (In Florida that means we went from 99 degress to 90 degress.)
Fall means more time for creativity and sewing.

Stash Bee:
Our next block in August was super cute and easy to put together. She wanted low volume whites/creams and I realized how few of them I owned. I tend to buy brights and grays when I see them so putting together white blocks was a fun challenge. (I can't wait to go shopping again.)

Speaking of shopping, I've broken my New Year's Resolution officially to purchase some pretty amazing fabrics. The Sewing Studio had this panel that is going to become something fun for my godson who loves Jack from "The Nightmare Before Christmas".

This panel is a huge 24 x 36 piece that's going to
make a little boy very happy soon.

This came out September 1st and I couldn't just wait on it.
I am counting the days until the newest Star Wars movie is released in December!
I had to create something with this Star War fabulousness right away. I made a boxy bag for my boss who is leaving in mid-September. He and I geek out to the movie previews as they are released. I am so going to miss him.

He loved it!!!

Is this liner perfect or what?

AMB Update:
I started catching up on my projects for American Made Brand's mini quilt competition. I wish I could post my progress photos but since the rules state you can't post your projects to any social media sites, I have to leave my colorful creations to your imagination. There was some paper piecing and some regular block making that I am pretty pleased with. Hopefully one will be accepted and I can post all of my photos in October. Fingers crossed.

Maker Faire Orlando:
Maker Faire was this weekend!! Last year, I participated with a few friends and had such a great time that I decided to join in again. I shared my love of sewing/quilting with everyone. It was my first time selling anything I made so it was quite rewarding. I said I would be happy if I sold just one thing and I ended up selling 20. Whoo hoo! (More money for fabric later.)
Everything I made with Wonder Woman fabric sold
out pretty quickly.
As part of our demo, we had everyone color or design their own button or magnet and showed them how to press it using our 1.25 inch button maker. We had so much fun chatting with the kids and they loved pressing their own creations and having a fun take away. I especially loved how many adults sat down to color and had just as big of a smile when their button or magnet was made.
Check out my two favorites:

I, regretfully, didn't take many pictures of the weekend because we were worried that too many parents wouldn't want photos posted of their children. However, we will have the memories to last a long time. I cannot wait until next year!

Artemis update:
Arti is doing well and has been keeping me company in my sewing room a lot lately.  I just love to see her various poses when she finds just the right spot. I am so glad we found her!

What have you been up to since school has started and fall is slowly arriving?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Brief Respite

It's been a long time since I posted on this blog. The summer has already gotten away from me due to work obligations. I feel like I've missed out on so much including time to sew because it's been so busy. I need to work on that work/play balance to make time for things that give me pleasure like sewing.

I do have a few items I'm working on including my Stash Bee hive blocks quilt and some mini quilts for the American Made Brand (AMB) challenge. I can't post images of the later since one of the rules is to not post to any social media or blog.

AMB Mini Quilts

To know me is to guess that my AMB minis will involve rainbows of some sort. Over the years, I've bought various shades I thought were pretty and now I have over 40 different shades of AMB colors to choose from. I plan to use as many as I can. (Plus, I'll have the excuse to buy more next year when the "fabric fast" is over.)

A little bit of everything going in my AMB quilt.

Stash Bee

I had my hivemates make paper pieced economy blocks so I would have uniform blocks to make something fun for myself. Here are a few my friend, Julia, sent over:
She used her precious Tula Pink fabrics because she knows I love them, too.
Quilty friends are fantastic!

I have faithfully made blocks for my Stash Bee hivemates that I'd love to share with you.
June's block were envelopes for a love letter my hivemate is
quilting for her husband.
It's a giant 16in block and pretty genius design!

July's Union Jack were a fun challenge.
(I didn't like having to unpick on the first one, but the second one was a snap.)

IG Swaps

My next challenge has been to take a break from Instagram Swaps. They are SO addictive! I completed the last of my swaps in June and couldn't be more thrilled.

Here is what I sent out to my partners:

Nerds Craft It Better Swap:
I was paired with someone who loves Wonder Woman as much as I do!
Paper pieced Wonder Woman logo

Wonder Woman logo then made into the
front of a pouch.
Inside is super fun!
Back of pouch has a little
Wonder Woman flavor, too.

Here's what I received from my partner:
Simple treats, a homemade HP wand and Aurifil.
So perfect!

I unwrapped the rolls above to find these!
Three mini quilts that I can hang together or separately.
They already have a place of honor in my room.
(Plus, mini pins were tucked inside!)
Cotton+Steel Mini Swap:
Deciding on a design and cutting up the precious fabrics I've hoarded took some doing but I am very pleased with the results. (My partner is pleased, too.)
I enlarged the Julie Hirt Mercury block
pattern to make my partner a playful star.
I added in some shot cottons to add subtle color.

For the back, I used "Games we play" because it's so fun!
Check out what I was given in return:
A viewfinder mini quilt! It's so wonderful!
Plus, a cute wristlet pouch and a fist full of C+S selvages.
Can you understand my addiction now? I mean, really? Getting back some great projects from folks that put in time and love the same way I do makes me smile each time I see them.


In May, we said goodbye to our little dog, Evie, who provided us with 16 years of joy. That took its toll and I've had a hard time getting over that loss. (It's been a hard year with so many losses in my family.) I certainly didn't feel ready for a new pet any time soon. Fate had other plans.

Here is the newest addition to our family:

Meet Artemis!
Arti is such a cutie!
This photo of her at the shelter stole our hearts and we had to go meet her. She was scheduled to be put down the next day due to lack of space.  Just as expected when we arrived, she was sweet and playful. We were able to take her home that same day.

[This gorgeous photo is courtesy of Pawsitive Shelter Photography. This non-profit group works tirelessly to get tons of photos of pets available in Central Florida for adoption.  Please consider purchasing a calendar from their campaign HERE. Our very own Artemis happens to be on the cover and is featured as Miss September!]

She's loves a good belly rub!
At a hefty 50 pounds, she is the biggest dog we've ever owned and has kept me sane in the last few weeks. Although we rescued her from a high-kill shelter just before her time was up, I think she also rescued me this summer.

What have you been up to this summer so far?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Spring 2015

Hi Everyone!

It's that time of year to celebrate what I love most: Quilting! I love participating in the Blogger's Quilt Festival and seeing all of the creativity.

This is my third time entering a quilt in the show and this Spring, I decided to share one of my favorite quilts created in the winter.

"I Love My Hair"
10"x 11"
December 2014
My mini quilt is made with shot cottons, black cotton and is quilted with Aurifil thread.

This quilt represents me and makes me smile each time I walk into my sewing room. I so rarely get to see myself in art, fabric, or quilts that I wanted to capture the Afro that I currently have. I've since started a series of profiles that will be added to my wall art over the next year.

Be sure to visit the festival and see all of the amazing talent for yourself!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Spring Time

It's spring time in Florida and we went from warm to cool to hot in less than a week. I don't know that I am ready for 90 degree weather any time soon. On the plus side, I did find  insulated curtains for my craft room that keeps it really cool during the day. That makes idea of the upcoming summer heat more tolerable.

I've been working on a few projects at the same time trying to put a dent in my UFO list. The crazy thing is that somehow the list keeps getting longer. I just keep getting new ideas and will start it right away before finishing up what I was doing before the idea hit me. Do you have that same problem?

I think my resolution for next year will be to finish a project to completion before starting a new one. (Giving up new fabric purchases for a year is so hard! There are so many pretties that I want in my collection but will have to hope that I can find them in 2016.)

In no particular order, here are some photos of things that are keeping me busy:

I am pretty addicted to Instagram swaps this year and signed up for way too many. This bag was for an Easter swap that uses the open-wide pouch pattern. It was so easy to make that I will definitely do a few more as gifts.
My partner likes nerdy things so I was happy to oblige.
This bag is for my Charley Harper swap. I used unconventional to me fabrics including wool and velvet to give my fox a cool texture.
My partner loves the foxes and I used
E. Hartman's Fancy Fox pattern to make her a tote bag.
I only had to modify it slightly.

So tempted to keep this tote bag for myself.
The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild is sponsoring a postcard swap with other guilds in the area. Here's mine:
Of course I had to make a rainbow!
(Sorry about the bad lighting...gave it away before taking a better photo.)
The guild also made and distributed quilts to our local veteran's hospital in April. I made the Giant Vintage Star in shades of green, gray, brown and black. The back was a fun eggplant color. The gentleman who was given my quilt loved it because brown is his favorite color. I also used a "new-to-me" technique for the binding and used the backing fabric folded over instead of attaching strips.

I will definitely make another one like this to keep.
My Stash Bee Hive #2 block for April. I really love how easy this pattern comes together and looks like you spent hours making it. (It seriously took longer to select fabric than it took to assemble it.)
I can already imagine making one with rainbows of color all over.
Blues and Greens for my hive mama.

That pretty much wraps it up around here. I have a few more things on the horizon including some minis, completing some UFOs and planning some bigger projects. I'll keep you posted.

What's keeping you busy?