June 29, 2015

Seeing Green

I live in Colorado along the Front Range. It's not the greenest place to live. While I truly love Colorado,
I miss the green of the midwest. This year though, Colorado had one of the wettest, longest springs in recent memory and everything is green. Even our normally pathetic grass is green. It won't last long now that the heat of summer has arrived, but I've certainly enjoyed a renewed focus on the color green. So here's to Seeing Green. Lots of green.

The green grass . . .

A variety of greens in the open space right behind our house. I love the intense shadows in the late evening this time of year.

Little green frogs in the pond down the street . . .

The pretty green eyes of one of my fuzzies . . .

Green outside and green inside too. Green is the base color throughout my house. It's a wonderful neutral that works beautifully with my seasonal decor. We even have new green couches.

Green plants plus lots of green leaf dishes in the dining room . . .

Green glass vases in the bedroom. One morning I woke up to find the sun shining through these vases, creating a lovely green shadow on the wall.

An original painting by Aunt Lu, done when she was in her 80's.

Lovely green jewelry by my daughter, Emily. Check out her website and new online store here.
This is one of my favorites. It even has a green saying.

If you read my posts regularly, you know I've just posted about making green quilt blocks for my bee. I'm also gradually working on the leafy checkerboard quilt for my bedroom. All this means I have lots of green fabrics to choose from, ranging from traditional to modern prints to solids and of course Kaffe.

Paint swatches and an emerald green block for the Pantone Color of the Year 2013.

My newest green quilt . . . Offset formally known as Tumbler.

And last, but never least, leaves, leaves and more leaves . . . after all, I'm SpringLeaf Studios.

Bluish green leaves . . . 

Yellow-green leaves . . . 

SpringLeaf Studios green . . .

If you're just joining me, my first color post was The Color Purple. I don't have any specific plan for this series other than continuing to post on different colors as the mood and inspiration strikes. I hope you find it inspiring. Look for future color posts at the top of my blog.

Thanks for reading. Now take a look at my daughter, Emily's green post. She is playing along and doing her own color stories on her blog. She takes some amazing photos.


June 28, 2015

Drunkard's Path QAL, Block 6

Squeezing this post in before the end of June. There's not much to report for the Drunkard's Path QAL other than I now have 6 out of 9 blocks done for my Christmas quilt. Here's my June block . . . #6

I love how they look when they come together. I've already sewn the first three blocks into a row.

This week I'll sew the second row together. Gotta love progress however small it may seem.

The last three blocks are cut and ready to be sewn. One each month taking me into September to have all nine blocks finished. Six of these little bags are now empty . . . just three more to go.

Then in October I'll add borders. I'm leaning toward this version right now. See the other options here.

That leaves November to quilt and bind. Still seems quite doable. While I may take my time getting certain projects done, I don't usually spread out the blocks. For this quilt, the block-a-month method has been working quite well. It doesn't feel like a big commitment and yet knowing I will have a new quilt for Christmas is very motivating. I've wanted to make a new holiday quilt for years but usually never thought about it until November, so of course it never got made. Year after year after year. Now, I'm looking forward to having a brand new Christmas quilt for 2015. Just saying that makes me even more committed to getting it done.   : )

There's till time  . . . why don't you jump in and join the fun. If you're not up for nine Drunkard's Path blocks, then make three or four for a table runner. At least one other reader is doing just that. The block width of 16" makes for a nice sized runner. You can find all the information here.


June 23, 2015

Going Green

I finished up my June Mid Century Modern Bee block for Rene' of Rene' Creates this week. After being so far behind in May I really wanted to get caught up. Maybe, just maybe, I can keep the ball rolling when July comes around.  : )

Rene provided us with a paper piecing pattern (with permission from the designer) and we each chose a color. Without thinking I chose green. I love green and have plenty of green scraps.

I won't say this block was quick. It has very veeery small pieces. I mean teeny tiny itsy-bitsy only 1/4" wide pieces. Those little center squares are only 3/4" but the end result is an amazing scrappy circle.

I dug into all my green and light scraps. Made quite a mess.

Had help selecting the light scraps. NOT!

Sorted scraps and started piecing. Only made a couple of mistakes. Hint . . . don't take a lunch break in the middle of piecing without marking which parts you've already sewn. Otherwise you'll be unsewing. Just saying . . .

Ever so slowly one quarter was done . . .

Then two quarters were done . . .

Then three . . .

And finally . . . all four quarters made into the finished circle.

Pretty amazing circle if I do say so myself. I can see why Rene' asked for help on these. I wouldn't want to make very many. I think one super sized block for the whole quilt might be kind of cool though. You can see the quilt pattern for these circles here.

With green circles making a recurring appearance here in the studio, you could say I'm going green.
In April I made this jade green circle block for the quilt the Denver Metro Modern Quilt Guild plans to enter in QuiltCon Pasadena. Maybe you'll see it there. 

The final quilt came out beautifully thanks to the hard work of Stephanie, Christine and Wendy. This is the finished quilt. The photo was taken with my phone and isn't the best but you get the idea.. There's another row of all neutral circles on the far right that I couldn't squeeze into the frame. It's really a wonderful quilt and a great team effort by the guild..

It was also about a year ago that I took an inset circles workshop with Latifah. This was my concept . . more green circles.  Sorry to say this hasn't been finished but it was worth learning the technique.

Last but not least, to keep the curve theme alive there are the quarter circle blocks I'm making for my Drunkard's Path QAL. This was my May block. Green once again along with red. It's going to be a Christmas quilt.

There'll be another post for the QAL soon, so stay tuned. Thanks for stopping by.
Linking up with WIP Wednesday.


June 17, 2015

My Colorful Baskets

Since it's mid June, it's about time I get May's MidCenturyModern bee blocks done don't you think?
If you saw my last blog post you know I'm behind due to lots of family events plus a little (ok, a lot) of procrastination mixed in for good measure.

Carla of Grace and Favour has been more than patient and understanding of my tardiness. Now I'm happy to say your blocks are done Carla. Here's my first basket block. Isn't it cute?

I think I procrastinated on this one because I have never made bias tape. Yes, it's true. I've never made my own bias tape. These little baskets don't really need very long pieces though . . . 12-15 inches will do. I followed Elizabeth's directions found here and they came together quite nicely. Don't know what I was afraid of. I didn't have the nifty pressing bar that Elizabeth used for hers so I made my own with a stiff, thin piece of chipboard. I cut my bias strips 1 1/2" wide and the chip board strip 1/2" wide x 14' long. To help slip it into the sewn strip, I rounded one end and it worked great. Thanks for the great little tutorial on baskets Elizabeth. It helped me over the hump.

Pinning the bias strip in place and easing a nice curve in preparation for stitching the inside edge.

Inside edge stitched and ready for the outside edge. A good press and it lays down just fine.

Here are my finished blocks for Carla. Making them was addictive once I got started.

I think they look so good all lined up together and am hoping my colors/fabrics will play well with the others Carla has received. Check out her baskets here and get a good sounding recipe for quinoa too. 

These blocks are a great way to use up scrappy chunks for the basket part. I really had so much fun that I'm thinking about making my own basket quilt now. Perhaps I'll use some of the fruit fabrics I have to make a Fruit Basket quilt. Or maybe an all Kaffe basket version. hmmmm . . . the possibilities are endless . . . 

My favorite baskets are the two in the lower left. Which one is your favorite?

Linking up with WIP Wednesday after a long hiatus.

June 16, 2015

Bloglovin Problems

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I'm trying to sort out some problems with Bloglovin.
All the blogs I follow have magically disappeared.
Anyone have an idea as to how I retrieve them?

June 15, 2015

The Gift of Giving

Summer is finally here and it's showing. I haven't blogged since last month. Plus I'm way behind in reading blogs as well. To those of you who haven't seen a comment from me on your blog lately, I'm alive and well and slowly, slowly catching up. Just busy. Summer busy. Good busy.

One of the things that's kept me busy these past few weeks has been family. We were out of town twice for family related things and then had family in town to stay with us.

Last weekend, during the most recent family visit, I had the pleasure of spontaneously gifting a quilt to my sister-in-law Jan.  Let me tell you . . . it felt so good and so right. I've given quilts for charity, babies, holidays  . . .  but they have always been made for that specific purpose. Never have I pulled out an already made quilt and gifted it right then and there. Try it sometime. It's a fabulous feeling.

Jan and I were talking about her newly redecorated bedroom done in various neutral grays. She wanted to add a splash of color to liven up the room. Thinking mostly pillows, we played with several fabrics from my stash as she tried to visualize what might work. The bright warm colors of my Kaffe window covering really caught her eye so we pulled several warm Kaffe prints to look at. She also liked the cool colors of the pillow tops that were made as part of my Cascade pattern.

We decided the best place to start might be by taking photos of different fabric groupings. Then she could view them in the room once she got home. While she went to get her camera, I looked in my quilt storage cabinet for something else and the gray stripe binding of this quilt caught my eye. It had all the pinks, yellows and oranges Jan had been talking about along with a bit of gray. The colors seemed right and the fabrics just said "Jan" to me, so I pulled it out and offered it to her right then and there.

Her reaction was priceless . . . she loved it and was near tears at the thought that I would offer it to her. That alone made the giving feel sooo right.

I found the leftover scraps and we played a little more with pillow ideas. I just may have enough to cobble together a couple of bolster pillows for the bench in her room. If anyone knows where I might find yardage of HighStreet by Moda please let me know just in case I need more.

This quilt was originally made as a pattern test. I wanted to see how a jelly roll would work with the design. I've shown the photos above before but none are nearly as satisfying as this photo of Jan and I with the quilt.  Her dress even matches . . . it was meant to be!

Love you Jan. Can't wait to see your new bedroom.   : )