May 27, 2015

Charity Work and Destashing,

I learned a couple of quilty things about myself this past weekend. I've known them all along but hadn't really put them into words till now.

The Boulder MQG chose a local senior citizen's home for our charity this year and we are trying to make as many quilts as we can. Josi, our charity chair, selected this tutorial for May. Several of us spent Saturday sewing blocks and quilt tops. You can see one of the tops here on Josi's new blog Avocado Quilts.

First, let me say I really enjoy the company of sewing with others during our monthly MQG sew days. However, I need to acknowledge that socializing does not play well with sewing accuracy. At least not in my book. I make mistakes. Sometimes lots of mistakes. I've known this for awhile but am finally admitting that I don't do my best work while I'm sewing with others. I enjoy the company but not necessarily the results.

It's a very easy block but I managed to miss-cut my fabric pieces. None of my blocks were the right size. ugggg. My solution was to make enough blocks (20) for a whole quilt. Thankfully these blocks are super quick to sew if you pre-cut the parts and then chain piece. They're also a great way to use up older fabrics. I was able to whip up the rest of the blocks and finish the top Sunday. A good accomplishment for a long rainy weekend.

The second thing I learned was that I really don't like sewing when my studio is a big mess. I pulled out tons of pretty old fabrics to make these blocks and it felt good to be using them up. But now I just want to dump them all in a big box without sorting or folding. I really really need to purge my old stash. Just getting them out to use or even get rid of makes such an incredible mess though. Unfolding, pressing, refolding and putting away sometimes feels like more trouble than it's worth. If only my quilting fairies would clean up for me.

I'd love to use up even more of the old stuff . . . it's just the thought of dragging it all out that stops me. They are all folded fairly small and therefore have rather strong creases. Maybe I should wash them and then the folds wouldn't be such an issue. What do you think?

Have you destashed older fabrics? If so, how did you go about it and were the fabrics pre-washed? Instagram destash?  Esty sales?  Garage sales?  Donating is an option too. I'd appreciate any tips you have on what you do with the older fabrics in your stash. I've been quilting for close to 20 years and my taste and style have gone through many phases in that time. It's about time I clear out the old and make room for the new because more fabric is on it's way. Almost embarrassed to admit, but I fell victim to a couple of Memorial day sales. What can I say . . . ADDICTED?   Yes . . . it's very very true. I'm a hug fabriholic and I make no apologies.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

SpringLeaf Studios

May 22, 2015

Spring Quilt Show; Vote Now

I'm going to a quilt show this weekend. In my jammies. Or maybe even with a beer or two.
Doesn't that sound like fun?

The quilts are hung for the Spring 2105 Blogger's Quilt Festival and you don't have to leave your house to see them. Grab your favorite beverage, sit back and spend some time browsing all the wonderful quilts in the show. Links to all the categories is here.  And please do stop by and see my entries here and here. I promise you will find something inspiring regardless of your quilting style.

Don't forget to vote on your favorites too. There are just so many nice quilts in the show it will be hard to decide. Voting goes from May 22-29. To choose your favorites, go to each category page of the Festival and vote there. Be sure to leave Amy a comment on the main Festival post too and you might win a Baby Lock sewing machine. How cool is that?

SpringLeaf Studios

May 19, 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Modern Entry

Time for the spring edition of the Spring 2015 Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy's Creative Side. It's a virtual quilt show featuring loads of beautiful quilts and everyone is invited to hang a quilt (or two) in the show. Do join in the fun.

I'm entering Matrix Blooming into the Modern Quilt category as my second entry for the Festival.

I've never really dedicated a post to this quilt. It's a modern variation on my original design called Matrix. I wanted to explore the use of minimal color while still using the block design as a supporting structure for the composition. The same block was used throughout the entire quilt with the only changes being in the use of color. Low volume fabrics were used to create a ghosting effect in the background. Even the few blocks that are all white were still constructed so the seam lines maintained the basic design elements. Finally, bold print fabrics were stratigically placed in only certain blocks creating a flow of color arcing through the composition. I was very excited to have Matrix Blooming shown in the negative space category at QuiltCon 2015.

Please stop by and visit my other entry, Tumble, in the Original Design category here. Of course I would certainly appreciate a vote for both my quilts in their respective categories. Be sure to visit the quilt show too. You will definitely be inspired.  : )

SpringLeaf Studios

May 18, 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Original Design Entry

WaHoo!!!  Time for the spring edition of the Spring 2015 Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy's Creative Side. It's a virtual quilt show featuring loads of beautiful quilts and everyone is invited to hang a quilt (or two) in the show. Do join in the fun.

I've chosen Tumble as my entry in the Original Design category for the Festival. It's my own block and quilt concept. So far, I've made three quilts with this design. Tumble represents the third variation and my favorite. The lovely ladies of the Mid Century Modern Bee tested the design by making several of the blocks. Thank you ladies. Your fabrics added so much extra scrappiness and color.

If you're new to my blog welcome, welcome. I do hope you like what you see and will look around a little. The back story on this particular quilt can be found here and here including the earlier two versions.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I'd love your vote in the Original Design category. Shameless promo I admit. There are many, many quilts in the show so please visit a few more and be inspired.  : )

SpringLeaf Studios

May 13, 2015

Scrappy Trip Blocks

The second quarter of the Finish Along is well under way and I can't say I'm making much progress yet so I thought it was about time I did something. Anything. This week it was sewing together the bee blocks from my fellow Boulder MQG members.

I played with a few different layouts earlier. You wouldn't think there are so many variations, but depending on the colors you use and their placement within the block, plus the number of blocks you have, there are several design options.

In the end, I went with the diagonal line arrangement. This simple arrangement worked well with just 12 blocks. The smaller size, finishing at 36" x 48, will make a nice baby quilt. I think the colors are fitting for either a boy or girl. Once it's done, I'll be donating it. Hoping to do more charity work this year both personally and through the guilds I belong to so this was a good place to start.

Someday I'd love to make a bigger scrappy trip quilt, perhaps with lots of Kaffe prints. Having more blocks to play with would be fun. Someday.   : )

I've also made a few more leafy checkerboard blocks using the same scrappy trip block tutorial. Right now I'm undecided about whether to turn it into a queen size for our bedroom. That wasn't the original purpose so we'll see. I think I'll make another row of blocks across and down and then decide. That means 9 more blocks but I have the strips cut and ready to go. This is another one of those projects that I like to take to guild sew days because there's no prep. It's all ready to go and sew.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

SpringLeaf Studios

May 12, 2015

The Color Purple

I wanted to share some of the lovely spring color in bloom around my yard.

Thankfully I took the photos above last week because yesterday my irises looked like this.
Mother's Day in Colorado . . . snow two years in a row.

As I looked through my photos, I realized spring around the yard is dominated by The Color Purple.
Purple isn't a color I frequently work with in my quilts. It doesn't have a big place in my stash and yet I really like it. Here's a couple of fabric pulls that I've been playing with. I can see more purple in my quilting future.  : )

The Color Purple made an appearance in my Cascade quilt pattern. Even though it's not the primary color, purple plays a vital role in establishing the design. Fits in quite well with the garden too.

Springtime also means lilacs. I love lilacs. For the first time we have blooms on the upstart lilac bush that took root in the backyard. Lilacs remind me of my Aunt Lu who frequently made them the subject of a painting. I'm happy to have one of her last lilac paintings done while she was in her 80's.

I've always thought of The Color Purple as a little bit old fashioned. I know that's not really the case, but shades of lavender and violet remind of my Grandmother. She often wore a shade of purple. It also happens to be my birthstone . . . amethyst. This tea cup and the ring on the left are family heirlooms that make me think of Grandma.

The Color Purple plays a big part in my daughter Emily's jewelry. She says amethyst is one of her best sellers. Here's just a few of her amethyst pieces.

Radiant Orchid, a pinkish purple, was the Pantone color of the year in 2014. Purple is definitely
not old fashioned anymore. Here's a little Radiant Orchid paint chip next to my new favorite purple sweater. It's perfect with Emily's necklace in one of my favorite styles . . . her double ring design.
Visit Emily Claire Studios for more purple/amethyst jewelry. She has a brand new shop set up now through her website.

How about you . . . does purple have a place in your stash, your wardrobe or your jewelry?

I love color, so I'm thinking posts on color just might become a regular thing around here. Stay tuned.
For now, I'll leave you with this purple glass sculpture by Chihuly shown last summer at the Denver Botanical Gardens. It was stunning!!!

Linking this post up with Really Random Thursdays at Live a Colorful Life.

SpringLeaf Studios

May 6, 2015

Drunkard's Path QAL: Block 5

The start of a new month and time for another Drunkard's Path block for the QAL. This is block #5.

If you're playing along with me, give yourself a big pat on the back!!! You're halfway there now with five of nine blocks done for the QAL. Just four more to go and then it will be time for borders. If you choose to add borders that is. I'm still undecided and will wait until all my blocks are done before committing one way or the other. Right now I'm leaning toward this version.

There are several good possibilities on how to handle the addition of borders. I'll address the border specifics in a later post as the time gets closer. For now though, be sure to check out last month's QAL post, Layout Ideas, to see all the other layout ideas in addition to the one above..

I've found that making one block a month has made this Christmas quilt seem quite doable. Otherwise I'd probably think about a Christmas quilt in November and never get started in time to finish for the holidays. I can definitely see a new Christmas quilt done by December. That's a good feeling.  : )

How about you . . . do you spread out the process? Do you have more than one project partially made at a time? I often have several projects in various stages at any given time. I don't usually stretch out the time when actually sewing the blocks though. Most of the time I do all (or most) of the cutting, then sew all the blocks, then piece the rows into the top.

Once I have a finished top is when the "stretching things out part" really starts.  I'm not known for finishing, finishing, as in a quilted and bound quilt. That's an area I'm trying to improve upon by participating in the Finish Along hosted by Adrianne of On the Windy Side. It's paying off too because I won a gift certificate from The Fat Quarter Shop during the first quarter finishes link-up. WaHoo!!!!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.
Also linking with Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story.

SpringLeaf Studios