July 19, 2016

Starting . . .

I'm really not sure what happened to the last several weeks here on my blog. I guess you could say I was on vacation. At least a social media vacation. Even though I haven't been around online, I have been spending meaningful time in my studio. I've been playing with lots and lots of pretty fabrics . . .


My absence wasn't exactly planned, but I do think it's good to unplug from social media once in awhile. Between blogs, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, I find it easy to get sucked into the media black hole. Especially Pinterest. Way, way too much time spent looking. And looking. And looking. Definitely not enough time spent making.

Not enough time making is something I have always struggled with. One reason is that I simply have too many ideas and find it hard to decide what project to start. I also usually feel compelled to design my own quilts rather than make something from a book or published pattern. And then there's the hesitation to cut into a certain cherished, hoarded fabric. All these things can get in the way of actually starting.

The solution . . .  I've started multiple projects at once. I'm using patterns other than my own. I'm using hoarded fabrics as well as older stashed fabrics. The plan is to work on them as inspiration strikes and time allows.

My studios has gone from neat and tidy to messy. The bottom photo doesn't even come close to showing just how messy it's gotten around here. But pulling and cutting multiple projects at the same time makes for a good mess that I don't mind at all. It means progress.



So here's what's been happening . . .

  • I'm cutting for Courtyard Tiles, a pattern purchased from My Quilt Infatuation. I love Kelly's use of large scale prints. I might try mixing in a few Kaffe and/or Amy Butler prints with the bright traditional florals. These are my fabrics so far. Some cut, some being auditioned. Kelly recently made a version with scrappy low volume prints in place of the solid white. I think I'll explore that idea more because it looked great.




  • I've been collecting both fabrics and ideas for leafy quilts for ages. The hardest part has been choosing which idea to do first. Last week I just decided to start. I easily have enough fabric for other leafy quilts so why get hung up on which one comes first? I'm happy to be cutting and sewing a little for a quilt from the book Applique Outside the Lines by Piece O' Cake Designs.



  • I'm cutting for a floral quilt I've long wanted to make using the snowball block. Mostly Kaffe with a few traditional prints mixed in. My daughter suggested going big for this one. A large quilt would really carry the whole garden floral theme to it's maximum effect so it will probably be a longer term project. Not sure whether the small squares will be solid white or some type of print. I'm leaning toward the simplicity of plain white because I like how it really makes the flowers pop.



  • I'm also cutting into my traditional floral stash in an attempt to use them. Most of these are leftover from the days of watercolor and blended quilting. Since I haven't dug into them in years, I envisioned more of them as bright, large scale prints but in reality there are lots of smaller scale prints in softer colors. Hmmm. Certainly not what I buy these days. I'm thinking maybe a scrappy trip quilt. Maybe a 9-patch. Maybe a charity quilt. I think I'll cut a bunch of 2 1/2" strips and go from there.



  • And in case you're wondering where the modern fits in the this picture . . . I've got the start of a QuiltCon entry on my design wall. Almost ready to begin sewing.




  • I also have this solids concept going from Jacquie Gering's workshop last month sponsored by the Boulder MQG. Jacquie is a fabulous teacher and I really enjoyed her workshop. I'd highly recommend taking a class with her if you get the chance.


So, as you can see, there are lots of things in the works. More than I usually have going on at once. I just wish I had more design wall space to put everything up. Perhaps some batting on the wall in another room is in order. I might as well take over the whole house don't you think?

It feels good to be moving forward on some of the projects I've been wanting to make for so long. More time making. It also feels good to free myself of the labels of modern or traditional and just be making what I want.

So what are you making this summer? Do tell.

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June 2, 2016

Corals

I'm getting back to my Color Inspiration series with a new post on one of my favorite colors . . . Coral.


The color Coral can lean toward the orange side with names like Salmon, Tangerine, Bittersweet, Peach. Other times it leans toward the pink side with names like Watermelon, Flamingo or Blush. Coral can be hard to define. What seems coral in one instance might seem pink in another. It can be soft almost peach like or it can be vibrant and intense with a lot of red undertones. One of my favorite color combinations is a true coral paired with tangerine and fuchsia. I really love these colors used together.


For years, my favorite sweatshirt was a lovely coral color. I wore it until the cuffs were in complete tatters. I also have a fair share of other corals in my wardrobe. Lots of coral t-shirts, a couple of sweaters, and these accessories that cover the whole tangerine to fuchsia range. Love love them. They make me happy.



It's flower planting time here in Colorado and I'm a sucker for all the beautiful coral, soft orange, pink and fuchsia flowers. You don't want to go to the garden center with me. Trust me. It takes forever for me to settle on what to buy. I want everything. They're all just so pretty and colorful.


I have a decent collection of coral in my fabric stash. Recently, I pulled these lovely hues with thoughts of a summer version of my drunkard's path quilt from my quilt along.



I've also made a few bee blocks over the years that have touches of coral.




Coral mixed with aqua and a touch of chartreuse in these Amy Butler fabrics makes a lively color scheme. I'm working on new versions of this design which will soon be a pattern so stay tuned.


Coral is also a popular color for jewelry. My daughter has made several lovely pieces showcasing coral colors.


I'll sum up this coral post with a few more images showing the range of corals I've photographed lately.


When I started this color series, my intention was to really look for the color in my own personal world. To see the color around me in my house, my environment and my experiences. For that reason I've chosen to use my own photos rather than rely on the abundance of beautiful photos and color schemes available through sites like Pinterest and Design Seeds. These sites are wonderful places for inspiration on color but I want my series to be personal . . . representative of the color I see around me.

You can see all my other color stories under the Color Inspiration tab at the top of my blog. If you'd like to see additional beautiful color images, you can follow my Pinterest color boards here. Just look for the specific color boards or my Color Scheme board. There are some beautiful color images.

I challenge you to look around your home, your neighborhood, your work and really see the colors in your world. Go look for some Coral in your life. Thanks for reading.

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May 23, 2016

I'm a Maker / Deanna is a Maker

Today I'm sharing my latest May if for Makers purchase. This beautiful scarf is by Deanna of 5Seeds. The fabric has a wonderful sheer quality that makes it nice for both summer and winter wear.


I was immediately drawn to all the colorful scarves and was seriously considering a coral colored one but had no idea what I might wear it with. I chose this soft white because of it's summery feel and ease of wearing with almost anything.

Deanna makes beautiful scarves and headbands in her loft studio and then sells them primarily at handmade markets. You can learn more on her Facebook page and find her on Instagram @5seedshandmade

I decided to support a local indie artist this past weekend while attending a local market with my daughter. I wanted to show my support for the greater handmade indie scene. All these artisans work hard and put themselves out there time after time and it isn't an easy thing.

As many of you know, my daughter Emily makes jewelry. She spent the better part of last year doing market after market in the Denver/Boulder area. Most often she prepared and handled her booth setup all by herself. I really admired her determination and positive attitude as she tackled each market rain or shine week after week.


It's hard work to do a handmade market. It takes a lot of time to pack your product, transport it to the venue, lug it all to the site, set up your display, then spend several hours manning your booth, greeting customers, and hopefully making sales.

custom jewelry by EmilyClaireStudio

The next time you go to any type of market . . . farmers market, art fair, or handmade market . . . try to remember how much work went into what you see in their finished booth. It's far more than just the product they sell. I'm piecing my life together as a quilter and they are piecing their handmade life together one market at a time.

Whether you buy anything or not, smile when you stop by their booth . . .  it goes a long long way.

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May 16, 2016

I'm a Maker / Scott is a Maker

Today I'd like to share a pattern I bought as part of the May is for Makers campaign started by Lindsay of LR Stitched.

Painted Forest by Scott of Blue Nickel Studios . . .


I've had my eye on this pattern for some time. I love trees. I love large scale prints. I love how Scott has brought the two together in a fun, funky style. I'm thinking of making a single row of trees in a long horizontal format. I need something colorful to hang above my couch and this seems like a great fit for the space.

I first met Scott when I submitted block designs to him for Generation Q Magazine's Block Builder series. Those block submissions led to having two patterns published in the magazine. You can learn more about Generation Q Magazine here.

Flash Card was the first quilt published in the magazine. My new kitties really loved it.


Kite Tails was the second quilt published. I'm hoping to turn this one into a stand alone pattern later this year.


Scott calls himself a mad color scientist and describes his style as "urban folk - modern design".  You can see what Scott is up to on his blog, Blue Nickel Studios and on Intsagram @bluenickelstudios

Have you bought any great new patterns this month? Anything in particular that you're planning to sew this summer? Do tell.

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May 9, 2016

I'm a Maker / Kelly is a Maker

Today I'd like to share a pattern I bought as part of the May is for Makers campaign started by Lindsay of LR Stitched.

Courtyard Tiles by Kelly Young of My Quilt Infatuation . . .


I don't remember when I first discovered Kelly's blog but I knew right away I was a fan. Kelly has an affinity for large scale prints just like I do. It's always a treat to read her blog and see how she's used prints like Amy Butler to design yet another great pattern. Interestingly enough her newest pattern, Gemstones, features solids. I think this just goes to show how talented she is.

Since Kelly's designs work so well with the type of prints I love, it seemed like a no brainer that I buy one of her patterns. I love the garden feeling of Courtyard Tiles. The white areas remind me of a fancy garden trellis with nice large spaces to feature some special floral fabrics as if they were showing through the trellis. Since I've pledged to use my stash this year and have a good sized collection of traditional floral prints, I thought this design would be the perfect way to use some of them. This fabric style isn't really me any more and yet I can't bear to give them away.


But who knows, maybe I'll put some gorgeous Kaffe prints like these to use. One thing is for certain . . . I have no shortage of great prints to choose from.   : )


I can't say yet how I'll use this pattern or even when I'll get started, but I am happy to show my support for Kelly's work.

She is the host of a weekly linky party called Needle and Thread Thursday. It's a nice way to meet new bloggers and see what others are working on. Kelly features 3-4 projects from the previous week's party on the next week's link up. I have been lucky enough to have her select my quilts twice.

Thanks Kelly. Keep up the great work.

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May 3, 2016

I Am a Maker

I am a maker. I am a designer. I am a lover of fabric in all it's glorious colors and prints. My soul is fed by playing with pretty fabrics and designing new ways to cut that fabric up and sew it back together into something new and exciting.

If you are reading this post, chances are you are a maker too. There is great satisfaction in making something with your hands to use yourself, to give to someone special, or donate to some worthy cause.
May Is For Makers | LRstitched.com

After contributing to the Pattern Writing Series put together by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs, I saw just how many others there are out there like me. Quilters with a passion for coming up with their own designs and taking that idea to the next level by writing a pattern. As the series demonstrated, writing a pattern does not happen overnight. It requires time, time and more time.

So when I read Lindsay's post May is For Makers it struck a cord. I usually feel compelled to design my own things. I also love the free stuff out there just as much as everyone else. But I should also support the other independent pattern designers out there. Why not send a little quilty/sewing love their way?

I'm jumping on the May is For Makers wagon. I will be purchasing from other small, independent designers this month in an effort to pay it forward and show them my support for what they do. I will post about what I buy here on the blog and on Instagram using #mayisformakers.

I'm also inviting you to support just one independent designer's work out there. Someone who inspires you with their work. Maybe it's a bag pattern you know you'd love to make. Maybe it's a special dress you'd love to make and wear this summer. Go ahead. Buy it. Make it. And show your support. Spread the love and appreciation.

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April 28, 2016

Remember Me?

If you've forgotten who I am I don't blame you. I haven't been here for a while. My intention is to blog once a week but April truly disappeared. Believe me though, I have been in my studio doing an assortment of sewing projects and new quilts.

Earlier in the month I made this name tag to wear at my modern guild meetings. Right from the start I knew it just had to be a leaf. I pieced a variety of leafy green prints. Added a little curved side. Then my name. I love how it came out. Just right for reinforcing my leaf identity.


The back includes a little pocket to hold a few business cards.


I also finished up these two MidCenturyBee blocks for Stephanie. Her subtle palette came from a photo of a window in the old Gibson guitar factory. The building now houses the Kalamazoo Academy of Rock where her daughter was recently accepted. Stephanie's quilt will help raise money for some much needed restoration of the building. She called this her Gibson palette. The quilt will be so lovely when it's done. Good luck with the fundraiser Stephanie. You can see her quilt come together over on Instagram @stephiepeterson.


I've also been busy working on several quilts this month. Some are for a new pattern under development. More on that in a later post. I'm also starting a quilt for our newly claimed guest room. My problem is in deciding which quilt to make. I know I want some low volumes like these . . .


And some splashes of Kaffe color with like these . . .


Stay tuned for what I finally decide on. My plan is to try a quilt-as-you-go technique. I've done this for table runners but never a bed sized quilt. Hope it works.

I'll leave you with this sweet image of Charlie, my daughter and her fiance's bird. He and my Offset quilt match. Maybe that's why he likes it so much. Isn't he pretty?



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