June 30, 2018

In the Works

Seems like I haven't posted many quilty things on the blog lately so unless you follow me on Instagram it might not seem like I'm quilting anymore. Trust me though . . . I am. Several different projects are actually in the works.

In the fall, I'm scheduled to do a presentation on quilt-as-you-go techniques to my guild. I have very little QAYG experience but have always wanted to learn. Since the quilting part is my least favorite thing, I've often wondered if QAYG might be a good solution to my 'fear of free motion'.  FOFM.  No better way to learn something new than by committing to demonstrate it to others. Wish me luck.  : )

I have a disappearing 9-patch that is pieced and ready for quilting. Fell in love with this print that I picked up last year and then filled in with various yellows, pinks, corals, and oranges. These are the big 9-patches before cutting them up. As you can see, I added lattice to the blocks after seeing this quilt by my friend Elizabeth of OPQuilt. My blocks aren't as big because I wanted more blocks for more variety while still having a relatively small lap quilt.

disappearing 9-patch

This is how it looks pieced into rows. Next up will be a new to me quilt-as-you go method done row by row.

disappearing 9-patch


I have also pulled out all my old fruit and veggie fabrics. I plan to use them by making napkins, QAYG placemats, maybe even a QAYG picnic quilt. Given their end use, I decided to prewash which I don't usually do. What a mess of threads that made!



I still have one more small load to wash and then I'll get started. Summer is the season when I use fruit and veggie dishes as part of my kitchen/dining decor so these will fit in nicely. Just need to get them done before summer is over.

fruit and veggie dishes


For the last several days, my studio has been swimming with fabric in aquas, dark teal/blues and chartreuse as I cut for a bento box quilt. Years ago I became intrigued with an aqua/chartreuse color scheme I saw in a gift shop and have been collecting fabrics ever since.

bento box quilt

bento box quilt

Initially I couldn't decide what quilt to make with this collection. I've always wanted to make both a bento box quilt and an x-plus quilt. The bento box won out because it fit quite well with the QAYG technique I plan to try. I'm using a modified version of the Modified Bento Box Block tutorial by Film in the Frig. I changed up some of the strip widths to better showcase the large scale prints in my fabrics. Seeing this quilt by Anne of Play-Crafts also helped me decide on this design because the color scheme is somewhat similar to mine.

Once the pattern was chosen, the cutting began. I pulled lots and lots and lots of fabrics. And the mess grew and grew. Then it was unfold. Iron. Cut. Cut some more. Cutting was way more time consuming than I expected once I began to consider which fabrics to cut into which widths. In many cases I cut several different widths from a single fabric but in some cases I didn't have enough for more than one width. Here are some of the first strip combinations.

bento box quilt

My original plan was a large lap quilt but once my daughter saw the fabrics she feel in love and this has doubled in size to a queen. I have 12 blocks sewn and quartered and 13 more to go. That means more cutting and more fabric combinations for the new blocks. Slowly I'm getting there. Right now it looks like this.

bento box quilt


This one will be a long time in the making since I'm doing a QAYG for this too. It will certainly be a good test of making a large quilt using QAYG methods and I'm more than little apprehensive about it. Wish me more luck.

I'll share more about my exploration into quilt-as-you-go after the presentation. It should be an interesting experience with plenty of pros and cons along the way. I was quite surprised at how many different QAYG techniques there are once I started researching. Marianne at The Quilting Edge is the master as far as I'm concerned. Her work is amazing. She has some good tutorials on her method which you can find here.

 Have you used QAYG techniques and if so, do you have a favorite method?

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May 31, 2018

Being Creative Beyond Quilting

Wow! The end of May already. Looks like I've become a once-a-month blogger. But you know what?
I'm totally ok with that. Even though I haven't been very active on social media, that doesn't mean I'm not creating. Being creative is in my blood and I get rather antsy if I'm not making or designing.

springleafstudios.com


For the last several years my creativity has been mostly focused on quilting with a few other things thrown in from time to time. Last year at this time I was completely absorbed with our daughter's wedding and all things related.

springleafstudios.com


Besides the wedding itself, we did a lot of things around the house in anticipation of having guests. Nothing lights a fire to finish those long planned home improvements like knowing company will soon be arriving. Know what I mean? Of course we didn't come close to getting all the projects done but at least we got some of them done. Mainly the new guest room which I blogged about here.



The time spent doing non-quilty things made me realize I had become too focused on only one thing. Namely quilting. I tend to do that. Get so absorbed in something that it's all or nothing. I'm simply not very good at balancing multiple activities at once. Unless of course it's scrolling IG and Pinterest while watching Netflix. I can't just watch TV. 

Today is a non-quilty post. It's all about making a wedding scrapbook for my daughter and her hubby. I thought I'd share a few of the spreads I have finished. It's been so much fun reliving the wedding while making a book for them.

scrapbooking

scrapbooking

My daughter comes over once a week and we craft together. While I work on the wedding album, she's doing their honeymoon. Bit by bit, page by page, we're making progress.

scrapbooking

scrapbooking

scrapbooking

scrapbooking

scrapbooking


Once the wedding book is done, I plan to continue by working on baby books for both my kids. Seeing as how they are all grown up now, it's about time don't you think? 

I'm still quilting and sewing a little. But truthfully, I just haven't felt inspired to quilt lately. Lots of ideas. Just not the motivation. So I'm going with my creative flow wherever it may lead. I see hiking in the mountains next on my agenda. Hiking is creative for me because being out in nature is always inspiring.



What other creative things do you enjoy? Do you scrapbook? If not, how do you preserve special memories? Do tell. I'd like to know.

April 21, 2018

The MQG Modern Monthly; Rhythms and Reps

Are you a member of a local modern quilt guild or perhaps an individual member of The Modern Quilt Guild?  If so, I hope you've seen the April issue of their members only newsletter, Modern Monthly. My quilt, Rhythms and Reps is the feature quilt of the month.

springleafstudios.com

The concept is all about exploring various repetition sequences and how they can create a sense of rhythm within a design. If you've followed my blog for awhile you know I love the design process. I spend way too much time playing with ideas and not nearly enough time actually making them into quilts.

springleafstudios.com

One of the benefits of being a member of theMQG is access to a wide variety of resources for members only. In addition to a monthly pattern, there is also a monthly block that always includes a lot of variations on how to use the block. Design explorations are the kind of thing I love about the whole process.

As a member benefit, there are also a lot of very informative webinars to watch plus videos covering all kinds of modern quilting ideas.

I'm a member of the Boulder Modern Quilt Guild so if you live anywhere near Boulder Colorado come visit. We'd love to have you. Check out our website and follow us on Instagram @bouldermqg. Follow me on Instagram too @springleafstudios.

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March 30, 2018

My Leafy Checkerboard Finish

Time to share another big finish. I've been quilting on and off for close to 18 years and in all that time I have never made a quilt for my own bed. Seriously. Never. Can you believe it? Now I can proudly say my bed has a new cover.

leafy quilt

You may remember seeing these blocks eons ago. I worked on them slowly over the course of many months by taking them to BoulderMQG sew days. Month after month after month. I even blogged about it here back in January 2016. Over two years ago! Once the blocks were done it still took awhile for me to lay them all out and sew them together. Obviously it wasn't at the top of my to do list.

Karen at the Quilted Moose did the longarm quilting. I chose an all-over leafy pattern and love the look. I also made pillow shams from the giant hosta fabric I've hoarded for years. You know I love leaves.  : )

leafy quilt

Sadly, the quilted top sat all nicely folded up on a chair in the bedroom for far too long. I blame it on the binding fairies. They didn't show up as scheduled. Of course the thought of binding a queen size myself just wasn't appealing so I did what I do so very well. I procrastinated. Expecting two different house guests last month finally, finally pushed me into action.

I set up my machine downstairs on our long dining table and added another long folding table to the side. All this extra space was a tremendous help in supporting a queen size quilt. I also did it all by machine by attaching the binding to the back and then pulling it to the front and stitching it down close the the fold. It's so much faster for a big quilt. You can see this method used on another quilt here. Now that I've used this method a few times I'm getting better at finding that sweet spot for aligning my stitches. For quilts that will be used a lot, I think it's a great way to go.

In the photo below you can see most of the back. I used up a lot of the older leafy prints in my stash. This was at the ironing and trimming stage.

leafy quilt

I ended up making two quilts from these leafy scrappy trip blocks. The wall hanging below has actually been finished and in use for some time. I just never shared it on the blog.

leafy quilt

I love taking quilt photos in the wild and fell in love with this set of steps full of ivy. Don't you think it's perfect for this quilt?

leafy quilt


Hopefully I'll be back before another whole month goes by. Until then happy quilting and crafting.

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February 4, 2018

In Full Bloom

I'm calling In Full Bloom my first finish of 2018. It was started way back in 2016.
Can't even begin to tell you how happy I am that it's finally finished because I love it!!!

Kaffe Fassett, snowball quilt


When our daughter moved out, I claimed her old room as the guest room. My plans were for some furniture make-overs and a quilt for the bed. I envisioned a bright space full of color but it took me awhile to decide what type of quilt to make. My first thought was low volume with spots of color so I got stuck on that idea but it just wasn't inspiring me. I have always wanted to make a Kaffe snowball quilt and this felt right. Lots of color. Lots of flowers both modern and traditional. It was a great way to use up some of my older floral prints too.

Kaffe Fassett, snowball quilt


I had hoped to have it done before our daughter's wedding last summer. The wedding rightfully took priority however and while the quilt was pieced and quilted I just didn't have time for the binding. I put it on the bed anyway, sans binding, and both my sweet sisters-in-law loved it. They didn't care one bit that it wasn't really finished.

I worked on the blocks during many BoulderMQG open sews and once all 225 blocks were done the next challenge was how to arrange them. My original plan was to randomly scatter the colors throughout, but during the initial cutting the cooler greens and blues ended up on the outside edges by chance. I liked the look and decided to take it a step further by clustering colors with the the brighter flowers in the center gradating outward to the lighter colors and finally edging it in the greens and blues. I wasn't especially fond of the blues so decided to place them along the top edge where they wouldn't really show once pillows were on the bed.

Kaffe Fassett, snowball quilt


I used this great text print by Whistler Studios for the backing. The same fabric was also used for the side chair seat. The pillow shams were made from the black version of the print. This has got to be one of my favorite backing fabrics.

Kaffe Fassett, snowball quilt

Kaffe Fassett, snowball quilt


This cozy little corner features a cabinet with more quilts, a small reading chair, and a dresser I repainted after getting it for $3 at a garage sale.

Kaffe Fassett

I think this room will become my mini quilt gallery. The small quilt on the chair below is from my Interweave pattern and the quilt over the dresser is my Facets quilt pattern. Both are available on Craftsy and my Etsy shop.

Kaffe Fassett, snowball quilt

All the color and florals make me happy. Hopefully it will have the same effect on our guests. If you come to stay, this sight will great you as you enter the room . . . It came out just as I imagined. My quilted garden in full bloom.

Kaffe Fassett, snowball quilt


You can read about the process of making In Full Bloom by jumping over to these posts. How I fussy cut the blooms is covered in this post. How to draft the snowball block is discussed here. And this post shows the concept coming to life on my wall.

Hope you've enjoyed your virtual visit of my garden room as much as I'm enjoying seeing it everyday. In case you're interested, the flower pillows on the bed came from a website called Society6.

Thanks for visiting.

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January 9, 2018

Modern Quilts: Designs of the New Century

2018 is off to a very good beginning and I couldn't be happier.

Modern Quilts: Designs of the New Century is finally out. It's a 200+ page book compiled by Riane Menardi, Alissa Haight Carlton and Heather Grant published by The Modern Quilt Guild and Stash Books. The publisher describes it this way, "a collectible, hardcover book that traces the history of modern quilts, explores hallmarks of the genre, and honors the genre's past, present, and future."

The book features a wonderful sampling of over 200 modern quilts and I'm happy to say one of mine, Rhythm & Blues, is in the book! WaHoo!!! It's an honor to be included along side the work of so many well known modern quilters. You can see Rhythm & Blues on page 24.



Several months ago I was contacted by TheMQG to see if they could include Rhythm & Blues in a new book they were putting together. Yes! Yes! Of course you can can I screamed at the email.

Springleafstudios.com

I designed and made Rhythm & Blues way back in 2012 specifically to enter in the QuiltCon 2013 quilt show. It was not only accepted into the show, but also won third place in the Use of Negative space category. That was an exciting moment for me as it was only the second time I had entered a quilt show. After QuiltCon it went on to hang as part of the first Modern Showcase at Quilt Market and Quilt Festival both in Houston and Chicago.

While showing in Chicago, the editor of Modern Quilts Unlimited saw it and contacted me about publishing the design as a pattern in their magazine. It appeared in the Winter 2015 issue. Back copies are still available here. Be sure to look for the Winter 2015 issue.

Springleafstudios.com


I'm happy to say Rhythm & Blues will also be making an appearance in another book by C&T Publishing coming out in May of this year. Modern Quilts Unlimited has compiled a book that features modern quilts from past issues. At this point I don't know any more than that but it's certainly exciting to see how one quilt is getting around in the world.

Whether you consider yourself a modern quilter or are simply interested in what modern quilting is all about, I highly recommend Modern Quilts: Designs of the New Century. Give it a look see. Learn about the movement. Be inspired. I'm certainly finding wonderful inspiration in every page.

Read C&T's blog post and enter for a chance to win your own ebook copy.
It's available for purchase through TheMQG, C&T Publishing and of course places like Amazon and hopefully your local quilt shop.

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Disclaimer; I make no profits from the sale of this book. I am simply providing links to TheMQG and C&T Publishing for your convenience.