Posts tagged ‘little blue cottage’

Blue String Quilt and it Only Took Forever

iron1Over a year ago, I started sewing some of my very favorite strings together.  All blue, deep teal with scattered with tiny confetti-like punches of red, yellow and orange thanks to my favorite print from the original Flea Market Fancy.  And then….I hit a wall.  Literally.  Those strings stayed on my design wall for a really long time.

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And then as quilters do, I started many more projects, went on with life, rearranged my sewing room, started a local chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild in Santa Cruz  and moved up the street to a new house.

After looking through my many UFO baskets, I saw these lovely strings all sewn and waiting to be transformed into something big, I remembered one of my favorite quilts by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson

From the book Block Party:

elizabethI loved the interaction of off the warm colors, the improv coins and all that lovely negative space.  Right!  I knew what I wanted to do.

I took my pieces and went to work.  The waiting was worth it.

spare change 2I used Kona white as the background which is not my usual go-to, but I wanted that crisp brightness against the blue.

spare change1Flea Market Fancy – how do I love thee…

spare change 3Quilting was done on a longarm in a double circle that I let the quilter choose for me, and I’m really happy with it.  The solid orange binding finishes the whole thing off in just the right amount of contrast for me.

spare change 4Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts and her finish it Up Friday.  Happy Weekend to you!

June 7, 2013 at 9:54 am 10 comments

Oh Hello There! I’ve Missed You!

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Re-emerging very very soon.  Happy Sunday ;)

January 6, 2013 at 7:33 am Leave a comment

Patchwork Prism Progress

Progress has been made and all pieces of the Patchwork Prism Quilt have been laid out on my design wall.  Mapping out the triangles and adjusting the color gradation was a fun exercise.  I have to say, this part took a lot longer than I thought it would.  Thoroughly enjoyable though, playing with all that beautiful color and print made me very happy.  I kept cutting into fabrics that I have long stared at and dared not cut into, and I am so glad I have.  I am really understanding that the best way to enjoy my fabric, is to play and experiment and to sew them up into something.  All of these prints look so beautiful together, all + 35 of them!  I started collecting Anna Maria Horner’s fabric around the time that her Good Folks collection came out.  I am drawn to her color palette with every print she designs.

I love the middle of this quilt and how it starts with the darkest prints I could find, and then it changes into ruby reds and plum, changing again to sparkling pinks and sorbet colors,melting into sunny orangey yellows which sit next to slightly more greenish yellows, and finally changing once more into soft greens and blues with go to dark at the edges, disappearing into an inky midnight blue.

A close-up of the center prism.

Gradually going from red to yellow to green to blue.

My design consultant was nearby for input and layout assistance.

Remember…the quilt along is happening right over here.

May 13, 2012 at 11:20 pm 5 comments

Long Story Short – I Started Another Quilt…

…I know.  Shocking.  :)

Just when I think I’m going to be a really good girl and finish up all my WIP’s, and I’m going to go on a strict fabric diet, and all things virtuous, I see something and say, “Oh look!  Something pretty!”  And then it’s all over.

So, Bernadette the Bernina has left the building, metaphorically speaking.  In English that means that she’s very ill, and she’s in the shop.  I dropped the feed dogs to work on this…

A quilt to be auctioned off at my oldest daughter’s school.   I was the Art Parent this year and the kids pretty much designed this quilt.  They chose their fabrics, traced their hands, they cut and arranged.  It was very fun coming in every few days with progress to show them.  At the end my machine just kind of died… bobbin case a big mess…my feed dogs just are on their last nerve and have had. it.

Mad props go to Raven over at Oversewn for giving me the brilliant idea and inspiration for this quilt.    At the actual auction, I was pouring wine for the festivities and heard there was a bidding war going on between some parents, but it’s just hearsay and I won’t believe it until I read about it on TMZ or something.

Making this story longer than I had intended, in any case, with the machine in the shop,  I thought that I might go looking for a new machine.  I quickly remembered that Anna Maria Horner is partnered with Janome and I thought I’d check it out.  So, I viewed this video and she pretty much had me at hello.  I’m kind of jonesing for this machine now.  And right then I also decided that I HAD to make that quilt.  (I’m kind of a marketing dream test case)  It’s called the patchwork prism quilt.

I know, right?  ;)

And even though I had other quilts to blog about, take pictures of, bind, baste and other things to do, I started cutting into all my AMH fabrics from Bohemian, to Good Folks, Garden Party, Innocent Crush, and Loulouthi.  There’s even flannel, voile and velveteen in there.  Anna says you can do that and so that means you can.  Here’s a sneak peak at my design wall…

And THEN, if that weren’t enough to squeal about, I found out that Bianca over at Sweet Diesel is having a quilt along for this quilt!  There are some amazing prizes to be won if it wasn’t great enough just to get a quilt for yourself or someone you love at the end of it.

And so, that’s  how my broken machine helped me start a new quilt.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

May 2, 2012 at 10:26 pm 6 comments

Summersville Giveaway!

Happy Friday to you all!  Hey Girl, (or guy as it might happen) want to win some fabulous fabric??  I thought so.  My fabric friend Julie from The Intrepid Thread is giving me two, yes two, charm packs of Summersville by Lu Summers for one of you to win.  Look at how fresh and great this range of fabrics is…

All Lu Summers’ prints are her own line drawings.  I love the cross hatch – what a great basic to have in your stash.  The feel of these fabrics is modern and whimsical, don’t you think?

Ok, here’s the deal!  Simply leave me a comment explaining what project you would make with two charm packs.  Want another chance at winning?  Follow my blog and then leave me another comment saying you signed up!  If you already follow, just let me know.  Winner will be selected on Sunday, April 29th.  Leave email contact with your comment.  Good luck!

Comments are now closed. Thanks for all your comments!

#40 is our winner!  Byron

“Oh, I love this collection! I would make a baby quilt with the charms.”

Check your email!

 

April 26, 2012 at 9:25 pm 363 comments

More UFO’s Than Roswell (& Crop Circles Aren’t Far Off…)

True confessions: In my quilting, I am a terrific starter. I gather fabrics and cut strips or squares like a pro. I am especially good at making half-completed quilts. I need to get an official count, but I think I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 unfinished quilts. All of my UFO’s sitting in their various states of incompletion feel like heavy baggage at the moment. And even though just yesterday I started yet another quilt, I am on a mission to change my ways and my bad habits and to finish what I’ve started. So, for me this is the year of the UFO becoming a quilt to use and love.

It seems like the New Year brings this thinking out in many of us. Other quilty bloggers have started an admirable promise not to buy any new fabric as well as finish all UFO’s. I’m not sure I can be so good. One day at a time, right? I cannot be expected not to bring home new fabric when I’m surrounded by it at work and buying fabric is actually part of my job.  Am I right?  Sigh…

Exhibit A – one “Thousand Pyramids” quilt sits waiting to be made into a quilt top.  I’ve gotten as far as piecing the smaller triangles into larger triangles, which then need to be pieced together to make a lap-sized quilt.  I think these close-up pictures show the color more accurately.

I really love the intersection of green and blue; shades like celadon, robin’s egg blue, jade.  They are peaceful and calming to me.  So, the idea for this quilt was born of the need for a quilt in that color neighborhood.

I am setting an intention to finish this quilt top within the next week.  Over the next few posts, I’ll be airing out my unfinished projects for all to see and judge sharing all of my quilts that need finishing.  I hope that by putting it all out there that I can have more completion in my creative space.  What UFO’s do you have?  Bring ‘em on out…let’s finish them together!

January 9, 2011 at 9:31 pm 5 comments

With Needle & Floss

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Just as it was time to start putting all the Christmas decorations away for another year, my older daughter Suzannah mentioned wanting to make a doll. So naturally, we stopped everything and started gathering materials for a quick doll-making project. I remembered seeing a really sweet segment on Martha Stewart ages ago with just the sort of doll that Suzannah wanted to make.

Suzannah cut out the pattern, and we sewed the doll pieces together. Thee 1/8th inch seams were a challenge, but we persevered and she turned the pieces right sides out and stuffed them full of poly-fill. She hand-sewed the arms and legs onto the body and she was so proud of herself. I gave Suzannah a water soluble marking pen and she drew on a lovely face. Pictured above is Suzannah stitching on eyelashes and a nose according to what she had drawn. We will be selecting some yarn for hair this week and I’ve been informed it will be purple. Really?  Does it really have to purple?  Yes, it does.   So, until she has hair, I’m sworn not to photograph her….stay tuned for the final product…

January 9, 2011 at 1:12 am 4 comments

Kaffe Fassett Snowball Quilt Workshop – A Study in Color

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.

Here he is, critiquing my work.  He called it ‘joyful’.  What a lucky girl I am to have gone to this workshop!

December 12, 2010 at 8:37 pm 7 comments

Miss Leona’s Very Happy Chair & A Very HappyFabric Giveaway Too…

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?

August 21, 2010 at 9:27 pm 24 comments

Thea’s Puzzle – A Quilt & Pillow for Deborah

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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…

Tied up with a vintage button – I finished the gift in just under a year after she asked for it.  ACK!  That’s not exactly fast, but better late than never, right???

August 3, 2010 at 6:13 am 3 comments


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A blog about quilts, quilting, and quilters, with stories of life, love, and fabrics thrown in.

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