Friday, March 31, 2017

FriYAY Friends on String and Story

Check out my interview with HollyAnne over at String and Story for FriYAY friends!

Frances from The Off Kilter Quilt, HollyAnne and Ian,
and me at the Chattahoochee Evening Stars Quilt Show

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WiP Wednesday - Bobbin Chicken

It's WiP Wednesday and I haven't worked up the courage to cut up any more pinwheel blocks, but I did do something sort of brave. I entered the string spider web quilt into the East Cobb Quilters' Guild show, Georgia Celebrates Quilts.  (Hurry! The deadline for entering a quilt has been extended until Saturday, March 25, 2017!)

string spider web quilt scrap strings bonnie hunter pattern

I don't know if it will be accepted, but I do know that I work better with a deadline. Hopefully this will prompt me to get it finished! If it is accepted, I will be so excited to cross off a life goal (and not just by a technicality).

So I started by quilting in the ditch, ala Christa Watson. I quilted around all of the spider webs and the border. Then I decided to stitch across the spider webs horizontally and vertically, quartering them. And then, what the heck, I might as well go diagonally too and stitch between all of the wedges.

Finally I decided to echo around the border as well, since Angela says if you don't know what to do next, echo echo echo!

thread chicken aurifil

I played a little bobbin chicken and lost. I literally had less than an inch left when I ran out of thread. 

Daisy rescue dog

That's sort of how my week is going. The dryer died and Daisy had to go to the vet because she has a weird spot on her back and work is crazy. 

I hope things are going your way this week. What are you working on?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

WiP Wednesday - All the Pinwheels!

It's WiP Wednesday, and there's a lot going on this week in my studio. First, I finished my March block for the Twilters bee. Janet requested Cheerio blocks based on this tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company. I love it! Even though applique is not my strength, I managed to get this circle cut out and fused before using a decorative stitch to sew it down. (Hint: I used my smallest rotary cutter around the edge of a glass pie plate.)

Then I declared Sunday a Sew Day and finished all of the pinwheel blocks for The Pit Boss's Turning Fifty Quilt. I love the colors!

Unfortunately, I pushed myself a little too far and managed to cut not one but TWO of the blocks wrong. It was time to put down the rotary cutter and find something to work on with less challenging math.

The spider web quilt top has been haunting me, so I started piecing the back. I had this gorgeous stripe that had the perfect green and was the exact right length but not quite wide enough. Those piano key borders that I made and then rejected were just what I needed.

I broke out the big roll of batting for the first time!

...and basted the quilt. Now I'm slowly but surely stitching in the ditch and contemplating the rest of the quilt design. I'm sure I could find a few ideas in this book. (more on this coming soon!)

I love checking stuff off my list!

What are you working on?

Friday, March 10, 2017

Going to Guild - Virginia Greaves

Monday night was guild night, and our speaker was Virginia Greaves.  While all of Virginia's work is beautiful, she is known for creating incredible portraits of people and animals with fusible applique and dense quilting. I have linked to her website so you can see better quality photographs of her work.

Local peeps will recognize Virginia's quilt, Worn, from the 2015 East Cobb Quilt Show where it won the Best of Show award. Apparently both this and another of her quilts, Worry, were both inspired by the photography of Dorothea Lange, and ignited all kinds of controversy, which I won't bother to link to. I have no doubt that these quilts are art.

It's astonishing how she is able to capture facial expressions and skin tones and light. Her fabric choices, when examined up close, are genius. She uses prints to create texture and shadow and depth.

The horses below, Justice & Freedom, have so many different colors in them - purples and blues and greens - that read black and brown from a distance.

During the break, I had a funny moment. A visitor, Lisa, asked me if I go by Jennifer (which is on my name tag). I replied, as always, that I answer to anything, and she asked if I were Quiltin' Jenny! I think this is the first time I've been "recognized." It turns out that Lisa is a fan of Frances and Pam and The Stitch TV Show, and asked Pam's advice on finding a quilt guild when moving north of Atlanta.

Thanks, Pam, for directing another quilter to our guild and giving me a teensy tiny glimpse of your QuiltCon experience with being famous!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

WiP Wednesday - Disappearing Pinwheels or #T50

It's WiP Wednesday, and this week I'm trying to collect myself after QuiltCon. My studio space was a disaster and I couldn't find several critical tools. A quick tidy was essential.

Once I got everything back in place, I could sew again in peace. It's very difficult right now to focus on my WiPs and not spin off into a hundred new projects floating through my brain, inspired by all the beautiful things I saw in Savannah. Thank goodness for my handy white board and design wall, reminding me every day of projects I fell in love with first.

My main focus is the quilt for The Pit Boss's fiftieth birthday. It's this Disappearing Pinwheel Block that I saw on Missouri Star Quilt Company's YouTube channel. Did I mention that I got to meet Jenny Doan at QuiltCon? She is absolutely as friendly and delightful in person as she is on TV!

Anyway, I found a fat quarter bundle of Alphabet by Windham Fabrics and a layer cake of Composition by Basic Grey for Moda at the Super Bolt sale at Tiny Stitches.

This project hasn't been without its ups and downs. On Saturday I had clearly not had enough caffeine to be trusted with a rotary cutter.

But all in all, they're coming along. I'm trying to decide how many blocks I need. Part of me wants to do 24 blocks plus two different borders after TPB admired the boys' Turning Twenty quilts and asked pitifully, "Is there such thing as a Turning Fifty quilt?" (cue the violins) 

I don't love borders, but that would equal fifty different fabrics and a nice sized quilt. The alternative is making more blocks and skipping the borders. I guess it will depend on my mood and how many more I mess up.

What are you working on?

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sunday Stash - The Haul from QuiltCon

I was too tired when I made it home last Sunday to do a stash report, but there was quite a haul from QuiltCon. Between the giveaways and the prizes, plus what I actually bought, my car was loaded down a lot more on the way back to Atlanta.

First there were the giveaways. So many vendors were giving away fat quarters and charm packs, and paint chips. Trading pins is totally a thing, and I racked up! 

The best, though, was when I picked up my registration and was handed this awesome tote bag filled with goodies just for being one of the first one thousand people to register.

Then there were the games. Several booths had wheels you could spin or hats to draw out of. I think the moment I am most proud of is the puzzle challenge at the Aurifil booth. 

I won my round, and received a large spool of thread. Before you are too impressed, I was almost twice as slow as the best time posted so far - just over three minutes! My biggest prize was the fat quarter bundle of Art Gallery Fabrics.

And then, of course, there was the shopping. I had to buy a t-shirt. Handmade Rebellion has so many cute ones that it was tough to decide, but I finally settled on this one. I panic bought a pair of Kai scissors fifteen minutes before my embroidery class started because I couldn't find mine. Mostly I searched through the bins at Villa Rosa Designs, narrowing my choices down to two fat quarter rolls and two one yard cuts of fabric.

Finally, I made what I believe is the last large purchase needed to complete my studio space. Luckily this doesn't count towards my stash, but will help my back and shoulders. This saddle stool by Oakworks is so comfortable and a major upgrade from my wooden desk chair. 

The folks at this booth (ABM/Innova) were so fun and friendly. I have to give a shout out to Michael, who took customer service to a whole new level by carrying this heavy box to my car for me.

As for usage, the only thing I managed to finish were two pillowcases for Ryan's Case for Smiles to bring to Monday's guild meeting.

  • Fabric Used this Week: 2.5 yards
    • Fabric Used year to Date: 7.5 yards
  • Fabric Added this Week: 14 yards
    • Fabric Added Year to Date: 23.5 yards
  • Net Fabric for 2017: -16 yards used
  • Used for Charity Year to Date: 2.5 yards
    • Percentage Used for Charity: 33%

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

WiP Wednesday - Homework from QuiltCon

As you can imagine, I didn't work on any of my current works in progress this week, but I did add to my To Do list.

The Michael Miller booth let us pick out four fat eighths of fabric under the condition that we make and return a 6" block for a charity project.

The Marcus Fabrics booth issued a mug rug challenge, and had scraps available to get you started. How could I resist the Aunt Grace charm square?

On Friday evening, I took a class with Nydia Kehnle on embroidery. We were able to choose a state to stitch around as we practiced the various techniques. I'm not sure what I'll do with this when it's finished, but I am finding the hand sewing to be relaxing. It's also nice to have something I can work on while I'm watching TV with The Pit Boss or waiting for an appointment.

On Sunday morning, just before I had to head home, I had the most fun three hours in a longarm quilting class with Angela Walters called "Swirling Beyond Feathers."

Tina and I shared a HandiQuilter Avante and practiced all kinds of curves, motifs, and filler designs. Here's my practice piece. At the time it looked awful - I noticed every imperfection - but when I unpacked I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't a total disaster. I don't think I'll ever be in the market for a longarm of my own, but I might work up the courage to rent time on one from a local shop.

What are you working on?

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