January 30, 2015

Button Button, Who's got a Button?

I used to love playing the game Button Button, Who's got the Button when I was little. Does anyone else remember playing that? You'd have a button in your hands and pretend to pass it to another person as you went around the circle. Then you'd guess who ended up with the button. I'm probably dating myself but it was a good way for Grandma to keep all us kids sitting down, relatively quiet and calm. And all you needed was one little old button. Life was simple then.

In just three weeks I'm going to play the grown-up version of Button Button at QuiltCon. I ordered a supply of 1" pinback buttons from Wacky Buttons and they were delivered today. WaHoo!!!  I love them. Here's my pile of 100 on the tote bag I'll probably be taking. I didn't plan on them matching my bag, but love that they do.

When I ordered mine, I also got a few for my local guild, the Boulder Modern Quilt Guild. We have a little over 20 members now and at least six of us are going to QuiltCon. I love these too. Of course I'm a little partial to the logo since I designed it.

Can't wait to swap with as many online blogger friends as I can while in Austin. . . or as long as my supply lasts.  If you've got buttons to swap at QuiltCon,  I'm ready to play.    : )

PS if you got a strange blog post from me yesterday, it was my attempt at testing the download for the quilt along templates. Please ignore. The real info and templates will be posted in a few days. Sorry about that. It's going to be a great way to kick off February (which just happens to be my birthday month.)  Hope you're planning on joining in the fun.

January 28, 2015

Drunkard's Path Quilt Along 2015, Fabric Options

Today I'd like to show you some design options for the Drunkard's Path Quilt Along I posted about at the beginning of January. You can read the first post here. This is my first block and I love it!!!

One of the first things I want you to know is that while my plan is to make one block a month (9 blocks total) and get my quilt done for Christmas 2015, you can go at whatever pace you'd like. Don't want to invest in the whole quilt idea? Well how about making 3-4 blocks for a nice table runner or bed topper for the holidays? Or even just a single block made into a pillow. The block is 16" x 16" so you can go with whatever fits your needs and/or your motivation level.

Secondly, I'd like to show you how well the design lends itself to lots of different fabric styles. Your quilt doesn't have to be a Christmasy at all. With all the cold temps around the country you might be wishing for spring to arrive NOW!  So how about a fresh spring color scheme? Pinks, yellows, corals. The design is meant to invoke flower petals and leaves but who am I to say. Maybe you see propellers and all things spinning and whirly. Here are some illustrations and fabric combos showing just a few of the optional ways you could approach color and fabric types.

First up is a modern fabric version. A very springtime look I think. Love those pinky, peach, coral colors. In this example, the center of each flower is emphasized by using a darker shade of the outer petal color. Of course it would look great done with scrappy petals and no value change more like the Christmas version but with fresh modern fabrics.

This second example is a more traditional floral and leafy print version with each block using a different floral and leaf print. Even though I don't use this type of fabric much anymore, I have a lot in my stash from my impressionist quilting days. I love flowers regardless of type so maybe I'll make one of these. To be honest I sometimes find gardening with fabric more successful than gardening in real life.

And finally, here's a completely different approach. Forget about the concept of flowers and go for something fun and playful. Maybe propellers or colorful pinwheels. I think solids and modern prints would look so good. Maybe your favorite line of juvenile prints for a kid friendly version. Or what about some sky fabrics for the background and lots of fun colors for the propellers/pinwheels.

Hopefully this has given you a few ideas. There are just soooo many possibilities beyond the Christmas theme that I'll be doing. I could easily be tempted to start one of these other options too. I love the idea of a springtime version with fresh modern fabrics in a scrappy style. But for the time being I'm going to retrain myself. For awhile anyway.    : )

I'll be back in a few days with the templates, directions and all the info you'll need to get started. Hope you'll consider sewing along with me. I'll leave you with this lovely block made by Cynthia, one of our guild members. The two of us sewed a block last weekend during our guild sew. She's planning to use up some of her older Christmas fabrics and make 12 blocks instead of nine. I think it's a great use of her Christmas stash don't you?  I hope you'll consider playing along.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday and Needle and Thread Thursday. Always fun to see what everyone is working on.

January 16, 2015

2015 Finish A-Long, Quarter 1

It's high time I finish some of the many many many projects that seem to build up in my studio. My quilting fairies have apparently gone on strike. They are certainly nowhere to be seen . . . and believe me I've looked.  So that just leaves little old me to knuckle down and actually finish a few things.

Finishing is hard for me without a deadline attached. I'd much rather be designing and starting the next project than actually finishing the one I just got cut or pieced. Call it quilter's ADD or whatever, but finishing can be hard. So I'm going to join in the fun (and probably some frustration too) by listing a few projects I'd like to actually finish as part of the 2015 Quarter1 Finish-Along hosted by Adrianne at On The Windy Side. Check it out if you need a little reason to motivate and finish. There are prizes involved just in case that helps you commit. The deadline for signing up is Jan 17th.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

I want to keep it realistic for my first attempt at this. Not to mention QuiltCon will be occupying a bit of my time. So here goes in no specific order.

1.  Blue Matrix;  a baby sized quilt made as an example of design options for my Matrix pattern which also needs to be finished and released. Needs quilting and binding.

2.  Scrappy Matrix; another example for the matrix pattern. Needs quilting and binding.

3.  Tumbler green/gray version. Top almost done. Needs quilting and binding.

Tumbler hot pinks and oranges. This one just needs to be bound.

Do you see a common element here? Most of these are projects are finished tops that just need quilting. Not my favorite part as I've said a thousand times before. But I can do it. I know I can. Especially when the quilt is smaller like the first two on my list. And for the larger sized quilts I have absolutely no problem sending them out to a long armer. Just wish I could afford to have more of them custom quilted but alas, edge to edge will do just fine for most.

So that's it. Four projects, all of which are nearly, but not quite, done. I also have quite a long list of projects to start. So many beautiful fabric groupings pulled and ideas percolating. But I'll save those for next quarter.

Wishing all of you who signed up the best of luck. Wish me luck too.   : )

January 14, 2015

Version Four

Last year I made three different quilts from a new design I was exploring. When I'm working on a design, I find it soooo hard to stop playing and start making. (And of course finishing is a whole different story.)

With this design, there was one particular design option I was anxious to try and my online bee Mid Century Modern seemed like the perfect chance to try out the idea. The great thing about our bee is we work from our stash so I always get so many great fabric combinations. Way more than I could accomplish on my own. I have a pretty large stash but am always surprised when the blocks start rolling in that there are very few repeats of fabric choices among the blocks and just a handful that use fabric I have in my stash. Obviously this makes for some great diversity and a very scrappy look even when the color scheme is limited.

For these blocks I asked for chartreuse to yellow/green with dark gray and low volume. This week I set out to enlarge the overall quilt by filling in with more blocks and balancing out the colors. Yesterday I pulled more greens and grays. These pics look way more green green than what I ended up using.

I proceeded to make quite a mess with said fabrics. As I cut I just toss the fabric aside and move on the next fabric. Needless to say, a pretty big pile develops as I cut. There's something very satisfying about seeing that pile grow. Means I'm making progress.  : )

Now my design wall looks like this.  I'm ready to start sewing the additional blocks. I hope to finish up the top this week. WaHoo!!!

Plus I already called the longarm quilter I frequently use and asked her to pencil me in. Just making that decision to have her do the quilting is so freeing. I'd much rather be designing and sewing up the next design I've been toying with. Too many ideas . . . never enough time. Can you relate?

I'll leave you with a review of the earlier versions of this design.

Linking up this week with WIP Wednesday and Needle and Thread Thursday.
What are you working on this week?

On another note . . . five weeks from today I leave for QuiltCon. Are you going?

January 7, 2015

Drunkard's Path Quilt Along 2015, Intro

How many of you thought you'd get a Christmas quilt done only to once again set the idea aside because all the other holiday things got in the way?  Me too!

I started. I really did. Here's a peak.

Actually I haven't made a Christmas quilt in years. And as long as I'm confessing that, I might as well fess up and tell you I have more Christmas tops than I have Christmas quilts done. But guess what?  I hang the tops up anyway raw edges and all. Yep. Unfinished quilts hang on my walls during the holidays. But hey, they add a lot of holiday color and cheer even in their unfinished state and most people don't even notice. Each year I think I'll finish them and each year they get folded back into storage. This is what one of the unfinished tops looks like . . . border test strip along the side and all.

After all these years, I'm embarrassed to still have the same unfinished top hanging in the family room, not to mention my tastes and style have certainly changed. I've decided it's definitely time for a new Christmas quilt. Of course I didn't remotely start it in time for this past Christmas. But I did start. And in order to actually get it done for Christmas 2015, I have a plan and I'm inviting you to join me.

I plan to make a block a month. Then possibly add some borders and get it finished in time for Christmas 2015. Really. Finished. Want to join me?

I love poinsettias so I designed a block with the feel of this lovely Christmas flower. Here's the first one. I'm using those great red and green Kaffe fabrics I posted about here.

This block design will look just as good with modern prints or even solids in lots of different shades of red and green. It would also look great with bright pastels for a springtime look. I might even sew one up from some older floral/leafy prints just for fun. I'd really like to put those older fabrics to use in fresh new ways.

Here's the general layout. Nine blocks total. I may add borders as things move along. We'll see. Doesn't it look like a bunch of blooming poinsettias?

I'll be back later in the month with more details. Optional layouts. Templates. Instructions. Maybe even some alternative fabric samples. This won't be anything formal. Just a monthly goal to sew one block and finish in time for Christmas 2015. I hope you'll consider sewing along with me.   : )

Linking up with WIP Wednesday for what will be a year long WIP.
I'm also linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday.