Posts filed under ‘fabric’
I was lucky enough to attend a workshop recently with Kaffe Fassett and his fabric designing, patchwork creator and partner Brandon Mably. I was happy and anxious to take this workshop for many reasons, mostly because it really was a bucket list thing for me to take a workshop from the master of color himself. Luckily enough, the people at my job and my family were encouraging of me to take a day for myself and to travel to Lafayette, CA to spend learning about snowball quilts and tackling the all important element of color.
I have to start by saying that I learned so much. And, what I learned was completely everything I didn’t expect to learn. Let me back up. During the day at the shop, I help people all day long with their selections of fabric with particular attention to how several fabrics may look together. So, I really thought I had my act together with the fabrics I had brought. In fact, I had chosen and re-chosen many different sets of fabrics with my ‘final answer’ fabrics chosen only the night before. Immediately, Kaffe came over to my tidy basket of cut squares and said, “These are lovely fabrics, but not for this workshop.” I wilted and my stomach tightened all at once. Thank goodness they had heaps and heaps of fabrics there on hand. I walked over to the lot and started choosing anything with pink, yellow and orange in it with little thought to much else. At that moment my education in color started. The message he gave me was, “Work quickly, an artist has much to do. Don’t overthink anything too much.” And from Brandon Mably, who kept offering me other fabrics that I didn’t like, “I’m looking for a reaction, not a reason why you don’t like it.” I started to think differently – or, rather, to turn off the thinker and to get in touch with something visceral, something instinctive. Let the color do the talking.
For the rest of the day, my two teachers were calling out to me from across the room and referring to me as “Mrs. Yellow” and I loved them! I especially developed a small crush on Brandon, who whispered a few naughty things to me as he pointed to the pair of peaches in one of my snowball blocks. I’ll let you all wonder about that! I cut fabric with abandon, spent too much money on fabric I didn’t necessarily need (or would have chosen on my own before the workshop) and I loved every minute of it.
A new obsession is born with this project. You really can’t tell by the look on my face – but a few evenings at ye local longarm quilter’s digs was more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Three days and lots of thread later, I’m hooked.
Let me back up. I decided awhile back that I needed a new quilt. I wanted one big enough for my bed, but also one that I could finish relatively quickly. Given that I sleep on a King-sized bed, this was no easy challenge. Inspired by others making quilts from the sumptuous voiles from Anna Maria Horner, I thought up a nearly whole-cloth quilt that could be made in two colorways, and could be made pretty darn quick. For each side, I took two prints, 2 1/2 yards each in length. For the yellow side, pictured above, one full width of the fabric stays in the center. With the other fabric, I cut it lengthwise on the fold, making two long strips – each about 26 inches wide. I sewed these onto either side of the middle fabric panel. Voila! A quilt top. Since I knew it would be quilt large, and the voiles are a bit sheer, I foundation pieced each side of this quilt onto 108″ wide muslin. All in all, this quilt has 5 layers. The quilt top, muslin, batting, muslin and the the other side of the quilt. Above is the yellow and spice colorway. Here’s the other pinks and gold colorway. I love both and go back and forth over which is my favorite.
So – when it came time to baste and quilt this puppy, the thought of running it through my Juki was enough to make me whimper. I just knew I’d be avoiding it and the basted quilt would sit in a corner taunting me for ages. So, I called up my local longarm quilter and just asked her if she would
a. Teach me to use her Gammill longarm and
b. Then let me quilt this massive thing.
Lucky for me, she said yes to both! We spent three days together, and with her patience and multiple explanations on how to get comfortable with this machine, I managed to quilt the whole thing on my own. It measures It measures about 100″ square - without a doubt the largest thing I’ve quilted for sure. I absolutely loved the Gammill, which just hummed and glided over my quilt. I’ll always look at this quilt on my bed and think about my time spent with some wonderful women who love quilts. Thanks go to Jill and Shari of Shari’s Longarm Quilting. You’ve given me one more reason to love quilting.
I want to introduce you all to my incredibly talented friend Leona. When we lived in southern California, Leona and her lovely family lived next door to us. Our driveways were smack dab next to each other and so we were often outside together talking about our gardens, babies, what house project was coming up next, and how to cope with the heat. Leona and her husband Tom were the kind of next door neighbors you always hope for. We moved back to my hometown of Santa Cruz almost 5 years ago and miss them all terribly but we keep up with pictures, facebook and now Leona and I are bonding over one more thing. FABRIC.
Leona has illustrated books and educational materials, paints murals among other things. She blogs here at The Very Happy Chair about her creative life. She restores and breathes life into chairs and furniture. She has a beautiful eye for color and detail. The other day, she posted this darling illustration of owls on facebook. I just about jumped up and squealed. We started madly emailing about designing a collection of fabric around these sweet owls. She got right on that and has a few prints available now through spoonflower.
So, because I want everyone to love her fabric – I’m hosting a giveaway! Leave a comment here saying what you like about the fabric and you’ll be entered to win a fat quarter of one of her fabrics of your choice! And to sweeten the deal, if you blog about my giveaway, you’ll be entered to win twice. You can enter until the end of Friday the 27th. Whatcha waitin’ for?
I have been horribly absent from blogging. All of you who work outside the home, keep the home fires burning, sew, craft AND keep your blogs current – my hat’s off to you. I have been quite busy sewing however. Pictured here is a gift that’s been a long time in the making. Let’s talk about color.
Almost a year ago, my very dear friend Deborah requested that I make her a lap quilt, for her bedroom. Looking through her room, I noticed a hydrangea print and a gray bedspread. Purple was going to play a big role in the quilt. I’m really not a purple person and figuring out the design was going to be a challenge for me. I first started with squares – my favorite. It didn’t seem organic enough. I started again with some free-form piecing. It seemed really wrong.
Third time’s the charm right? I came upon this great pattern on Amy Butler’s website. It’s a free pattern to download and I think the only time I’ve ever followed a pattern without changing it. I am really happy how it worked up and I enjoyed all the different colors of lavender and dusty shades of lilac. I only used 2 prints and the rest were my favorite solids, kona cotton. Then some minimal zig zag quilting and a gray binding and I was finally able to give it to her. I also made this little pillow…
Up until a few weeks ago, we had plans at the shop to attend quilt market in Minneapolis. Alas, life has a way of interrupting the best-laid plans and so we are not there. All the cool kids are there not to mention all the newest and baddest fabric that’s forthcoming. (Did you hear? Anna Maria Horner is going to come out with velveteen. Printed velveteen. It’s kind of making me week in the knees thinking about a mod jacket, a quilt backing, perhaps a wee dress or two?!) Sigh…I really wish I were there in person, seeing all the amazing booths and meeting the designers. However, I am completely Houston bound. I will be there in October.
The other thing I’m missing in Minneapolis…. is this.
This is a little something I designed for Robert Kaufman to highlight the exciting new ‘Free to Grow’ organic fabrics designed by Nancy Mims, creator and brainchild of Mod Green Pod. She designs organic fabrics and vinyl-free wallpapers with a highly modern feel I love her stuff! I was so lucky to be asked to come up with something that would show off these amazing fabrics. The release of this line will coincide with Robert Kaufman’s new line of organic solids!
I wish so much that I was there! (Can you hear the whine in my voice??) If you are at market right now and reading this….will you go and wave to my quilt for me? Maybe even hug it a bit?
The full line of these fabrics, instructions, and yardage requirements for making this quilt can be found here.
I’m lucky to have small snippets of the soon-to-be-released “chapter two” of Heather Ross’s Far Far Away line of fabrics. They are printed on a Japanese cotton/linen blend perfect for clothing, zakka treasure, and whatever lovely things you can think of. These colors are exciting and rich paired with Heather’s usual fantastic charm and etherial designs. Those moons! The roses! The Owl and the pussycat is one of our favorite things to recite around here, Suzannah having long been fascinated with a ‘pea green boat’ has had Edward Lear’s poem memorized since she was 3. Heather, you’ve outdone yourself. Again!
Here comes the sun little darling
Here comes the sun and I say
Here she is, quilted and bound, ready to go on display at work. I’m really happy with how it’s turned out. I will post final measurements tomorrow as I have not yet washed and crinkled it. Crinkle. It’s a technical term. I used straight line quilting, about one inch apart. I just wasn’t feeling stippling or loops were going to be the right match for this one. Binding is Kaffe Fassett’s shot cotton in smoky. It’s a really good blue. Here’s the back -
So…now that you’ve seen the completed quilt…won’t you join in and quilt along? Remember…there are goodies to be won…. a full set of all of Denyse Schmidt’s quilt patterns go to one lucky quilt along quilter. Join in the fun!