Tag Archives: Carolyn Friedlander

Modern Triangle Quilts Blog Tour

I’m excited to be the next stop on the Modern Triangle Quilts book blog tour, in celebration of my friend Rebecca Bryan’s new book published by Stash Books/C&T Publishing. In this post, I’ll tell you about her awesome spin on the typical book tour blog hop, I’ll share my highlights from her book, and I’ll tell you how you can enter to win either a fabulous charity quilt benefitting Living Water International, or a copy of the Modern Triangle Quilts book (or both if you’re crazy lucky!) Read on, friends!

modern triangle quilts blog hop rebecca bryanI first met Becca right around when she published her first book, Modern Rainbow, and I knew we’d be fast friends. I mean, rainbow!? I LOVE rainbows! That book did not disappoint, and Modern Triangle Quilts is just as amazing. Becca also just announced her first fabric line with Robert Kaufman Fabrics, called Panache. She’s a rockstar, I tell ya!!

modern triangle quilts rebecca bryan

facets from modern triangle quilts by rebecca bryanModern Triangle Quilts takes triangles to a whole new level. With 70 graphic triangle block patterns including equilateral, right, and isosceles triangles, plus 11 sampler patterns and a section on graphic design, the design possibilities are endless. Above are the Isosceles Sampler and Facets, two of the strikingly unique patterns included in the book.

block construction modern triangle blog hop book tourI had so much fun choosing a design and making a block from the book, especially since the color palette requested by Becca meant that I could combine my two favorite fabric designers–a crosshatch from Carolyn Friedlander‘s architextures basics, and two of Alison Glass‘s recent fabrics, Insignia and Sun Print 2017 fit the bill.

block construction modern triangle blog hop book tourThe piecing of these designs is so clever, and utilizes many techniques–from foundation paper pieced designs to improv. This book really gets me thinking outside the box (and into the triangle ha ha ha), which is what I look for in a quilting book. This is definitely a book worth adding to your quilty library.

block construction modern triangle blog hop book tourHere’s the block I made for Becca, and I had the pleasure of giving this block to her over lunch while at QuiltCon in Savannah. Read on to see what she did with all of the blocks, and how you can be entered to win the gorgeous sampler quilt that resulted!

Charity Quilt Giveaway Details

Well Wishes Charity Quilt Rebecca BryanInstead of the typical book release blog hop, Becca asked each of us on the blog hop to make a block (or more), and she made all of the blocks into this gorgeous Charity Bee Well Wishes quilt. For the duration of the Blog Tour (April 2 – April 18) Becca is offering the pattern for this quilt in her shop HERE for only $5. Every time you purchase the pattern, you are entered to win the quilt. You can purchase the pattern as many times as you want. Each purchase equals one entry. All proceeds of the sales from the Well Wishes PDF pattern will go directly to Living Water International. Visit her blog post HERE for more details. By purchasing this pattern, not only will you be entering into the running to win this gorgeous quilt, you’ll be directly helping make positive change in the world. That’s a win-win if I ever heard one!

Modern Triangle Quilts Book Giveaway

Rebecca Bryan and Stash Books / C&T Publishing are kind enough to offer one copy of Modern Triangle Quilts to one of my readers!

modern triangle quilts by rebecca bryanTo enter the giveaway today, tell me what color combination you would use to make a modern triangle quilt. I love sharing color inspiration and hearing favorite color combinations! Leave a comment and make sure I’m able to get ahold of you if you win.

This giveaway is open to US and international participants. Note that only addresses within the U.S. will receive a hard copy of the book. Due to the extreme cost of international shipping, international winners receive the e-book version. The giveaway will be open until April 18th at 8pm EST when I’ll select the winner randomly with random.org. Winners will be announced by the 21st of April. Good luck! Giveaway is now closed! A winner will be announced shortly!

Blog Hop Schedule

Here’s the rest of the schedule so that you can follow along with the fun!

Sunday, April 2nd: Becca Bryan – Bryan House Quilts
Monday April 3rd: Jessee Maloney – Art School Dropout
Monday April 3rd: Stash Books – C&T Publishing
Tuesday April 4th: Heidi Staples – Fabric Mutt
Wednesday April 5th: Felice Regina – Sew Scatterbrained
Thursday April 6th: Giuseppe Ribaudo – @giucy_giuce
Friday April 7th: Christa Watson – Christa Quilts
Saturday April 8th: Christopher Thompson – The Tattooed Quilter
Monday April 10th: Karin Jordan – Leigh Laurel Studios
Tuesday April 11th: Kitty Wilkin <–YOU ARE HERE!
Wednesday April 12th: Nicole Daksiewicz – Modern Handcraft
Thursday April 13th: Sarah Thomas – Sariditty
Friday April 14th: Amy Sinibaldi – Nana Company
Saturday April 15th: Rebecca Bryan – Bryan House Quilts
Many congratulations to Becca for another fabulous book! I look forward to seeing everyone’s triangular creativity blossom as a result.
Happy sewing!

The Honey Pot Bee – April Queen Bee Fun

Ahhh, April! My favorite month! April is the month when spring usually begins to prevail over the last cold days of winter, with days getting a tad bit warmer, hopefully the snow melting enough to make way for sprouting crocuses and daffodils, and a prevalence of sun instead of sleet and snow. Not only that, it’s my birthday month, which is always a fun excuse to celebrate a little bit extra. To add some frosting to the cake, this month, I’m also one of the Queen Bees for The Honey Pot Bee hosted by Molli Sparkles. So fun!

the honey pot bee molli sparkles 2017When I was trying to decide what block to throw into the Honey Pot, I stumbled upon the Starry Sky block by Kylie at A Persevering Mom and completely fell in love.  Let me count the ways: 1) it’s foundation paper pieced yet very simply so, 2) the possibilities for color play are endless and I just LOVE Kylie’s warm/cool on low volume background sample block, 3) it comes in three sizes–2.5″, 6″ and 12″ finished squares, and 4) it’s free which makes it a prime choice for a bee! Decision made!

starry sky block by a persevering momBecause the foundation paper piecing in this block is so simple, it is a perfect block for some meticulous cutting fun. I decided that I wanted to use my precious Friedlander fabric for the background, but I wanted it to look like the tree scene was continuous across the block. I thought it might be helpful if I shared a few tips on how I did it.

starry sky block by a persevering momRemember that in foundation paper piecing, you are building the block on the back of the template. For this reason, when cutting each fabric piece, be sure to position the template with the printed lines facing the right side of the fabric to ensure the direction of the fabric is correct.

starry sky block by a persevering momIt’s also helpful to cut as you go, completing one template piece at a time and double checking your progress along the way. This certainly takes longer than cutting all of the necessary fabric pieces and chain piecing each section, but when playing the meticulous cutting game, it’s wise to go slowly and steadily, checking and double checking along the way.

starry sky block by a persevering momIn the photo above, the pieces of background fabric are cut for each section of the final foundation template (remember that the fabric will go on the back, so it appears mirrored when looking at them next to each other this way.) The final adjustment that can be made is with the numbering and order in which fabrics are sewn. With a basic understanding of how foundation paper piecing works, you can rearrange your piecing order to help easily align your fabric pieces. For this block, I always began with the center of the star points when at all possible so that it made it easy to keep the background fabric level and headed in the desired direction. For the piece shown, instead of sewing them in the listed order of A1, A2, A3, etc…, I positioned A3, then sewed A2, then A4, then A1.  This way, I only had one angled seam to line up properly (A5 to A6) in the entire block.

starry sky block by a persevering mom
A final shot of all of the block components in the dying evening light, right before final assembly.

While this seamless background didn’t come across as clearly as I hoped due to the intricacies of the branches and print, I’m still glad I went through the extra effort to get those bushes lined up along the bottom. Even if at first glance, it’s not obvious that the background fabric lines up, I know it does, and that’s what matters, right!?

starry sky block by a persevering momI love how the Friedlander Tree Stripe border in Pistachio looks with the star points, which include fabric from both Carkai and Architextures also by Carolyn Friedlander, some favorite Alison Glass Sun Prints from 2016 and 2017, a Free Spirit solid, Gum Leaves from Terra Australis 2 by Emma Jean Jansen, and an unknown green swirl from my stash. I sewed the block with my favorite 50wt Aurifil thread, 2600-Dove, but was excited to find two lovely greens in my stash, which will come in handy when it’s quilting time! My block will obviously be added to my Greenery Quilt, and I most likely will aim to also make a 12″ version of the block in a different arrangement of greens since I love the block so much. Can’t you see this block looking fab in just about any color combination!?

Head on over to Molli’s blog to see the other gorgeous block for April, and have fun with this Starry Sky block!

I’m linking up with Tips & Tutorials Tuesday with Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl and Stephanie at Late Night Quilter in case anyone else wants a few tips on creating a seamless background panel for a pieced block. Enjoy!

 

Eye Spy Picnic Plaid Rainbow Progress

It’s official. I completely understand the draw and very well may be hooked to meticulously cut scrap quilts! I have been having so much fun putting together my Scrappy Picnic Plaid quilt for the Quilter’s Planner 2016 Sew Along on Instagram. The pattern is by Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced, and is one of the fabulous quilt patterns included in the 2016 Quilter’s Planner. It’s technically my first scrappy quilt, and to add to the fun, I decided to make it an Eye Spy quilt for my 4-year old son Max.

eye spy picnic plaid rainbow quilt It is such a great feeling to be creating for one of my children again (Finn’s quilt blocks are still sitting in a stack, untouched since that 12 month milestone–yes, that’s next on my list!). Every time Max sees the progress, he says, “This is fantastic!” with the enthusiasm only a four-year-old can exhibit. There’s nothing like an exuberant cheering squad to keep the motivation burning brightly.

eye spy picnic plaid rainbow quiltWe are in the second week of sewing for the sew along, so hopefully I will have the quilt top completely sewn together by Monday. Time will tell if I actually meet that goal with all of the kids home and lots of family Thanksgiving time on the docket, but I’m hoping to at least be close!

eye spy picnic plaid rainbow quilt
Yes, I accidentally created one extra block, but the funny thing is, I was thinking about one particular quilty friend the entire time I was making that block, so I’m taking it as a sign that the extra blue block has different plans. More on that later *wink*

I’ve completely finished all of the rainbow center portions, and am diving into piecing the white-grey-black border portions of each block. I love how the rainbow gradient ended up, and it is so much fun to see little peeks at previous quilts through the scraps used here.

eye spy picnic plaid rainbow quiltI put a few contingencies in place to ensure that I love this quilt even though scrappy quilts are not typically my style, and I think they are proving to be quite successful. First, I used a very large ratio of Alison Glass fabric in the rainbow portions of each block. I love just about all of Alison’s fabric, so letting her color palette and fabrics play a strong hand is a surefire way to ensure I will enjoy looking at the quilt when it’s finished.

The next two will be a lot easier to see once the neutral outer portions of the blocks are complete, but I’ll mention them anyway. Second, I am using all one solid (Kona medium grey) for all of the “light grey” pieces in the pattern, instead of an assortment of scraps. This will provide a consistent and solid resting place for my eyes, just in case I get overwhelmed (although at this point, I have a feeling I’m going to LOVE looking at this quilt, so it might not have been needed). Third, I am using all of the same silver stars on black fabric for the centers of the lighter rings in the pattern, and light Lizzy House Twinkle Twinkle from her Whisper palette (Andover Fabrics) for the centers of the dark rings. Again, a little detail that will be consistent throughout, amidst the scrappy remainder of the quilt.

eye spy picnic plaid rainbow quilt progressI love seeing my favorite designers’ fabrics together, too. The top right block in the photo above combines my favorite Carolyn Friedlander fabric from her first line Architextures (Robert Kaufman Fabrics) and the fabulous Alison Glass Grove in Grass from her Sun Prints (Andover Fabrics). They are the perfect compliments to that sweet little mushroom in the middle! Love.

If you want to spend the next week sewing to catch up, you still can join in the sew along (there are some fabulous prizes still to be won, too!); get all the details here. Also, now is a perfect time to order the 2017 Quilter’s Planner–for yourself so that you can join in on the *Spoiler Alert!* 2017 Sew Along during an inspired and productive year, and as gifts for all of your creative friends and family!

Okay, back to sewing and baking!

Many wishes for a peaceful, healthy, happy Thanksgiving spent with family and friends. I’m grateful for you and your continued support and inspiration in this wonderful quilting community.

I’m linking up with Let’s Bee Social since I haven’t linked up on here in far tooooo long!

Works in Progress: A Little of This, A Little of That

I have a lot of simultaneous projects going on right now, which is pretty typical of my sewing style. I like to have a selection of projects so that when a free moment arises, I have something to work on, but also have a choice as to what I work on each day. It helps my creativity feel refreshed and helps avoid inspiration slumps. When in doubt, I start a new project since I have no shortage of projects I *want* to create, and there’s nothing like curating a new fabric pull or cutting into a new project to renew my excitement for sewing.

It’s been a while since I’ve showed you my ongoing projects, so I thought today would be a good day! These are my most frequently worked upon projects; there are scads more on the semi-permanent back burner that I will pick up again when my plate clears *just* a bit. Today, the highlights!

IMG_5280First up is my ongoing epic Carolyn Friedlander Modern Hexies project. This is my on-the-go English Paper Piecing (EPP) project that lives in my purse. I’m making progress at a bit slower than snail paced this summer, since somehow those free moments that allow for hand stitching while the kids are occupied are few and far between. And oddly, all three kids have not simultaneously fallen asleep in the car on the way to a store even ONCE! What was somewhat regular with two kids is likened to a golden unicorn with three. But still, one stitch at a time, one hexagon at a time, this project progresses.

andover foundation paper pieced project alison glass handcrafted patchworkAnother project I’m plugging away on is a fun one for Andover Fabrics. They were awesome enough to send some Alison Glass Handcrafted Patchwork to me, as well as some yardage of Constellation by Lizzy House from her Whisper Palette collection. I picked up some Andover textured solid from my LQS Fiddlehead Artisan Supply to round it out. I’m working on a new geometric foundation paper pieced pattern, with meticulously cut sections of the gorgeous Handcrafted Patchwork fabrics. There will be a tutorial going up on Andover’s blog very soon, as well as the pattern release, so keep your eye out!

quilter's planner photography outtake karen lewis quilt acadia maineI’ve also been out on three different quilt photography adventures with my amazingly gifted quilt holding assistant, aka my husband. We have been having a blast photographing the quilts for this year’s Quilter’s Planner in a sampling of the gorgeous natural locations in Maine. The planner is now available for preorder! Reserve yours HERE… there are a limited number of early bird specials and some really fun extra bits this year! I’ve shared one fun outtake above, but more will be revealed in the coming weeks. Hint: Shown here is one of the 14 patterns that will be included in the planner this year, this one by the ever talented Karen Lewis! It’s so gorgeous; I can’t wait to show you more! Be sure to preorder yours now; you can read all about it on its Indiegogo page here.

Alison Glass fabric pull for Terrazzo quilt by Lee HeinrichThere are many other fun projects waiting patiently on the decks, including a Terrazzo Quilt (pattern by Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced) made using all of Alison Glass’s Sun Prints 2016 provided by Fat Quarter Shop (the fabric pull is shown above!), a simple new pattern I’m making for a secret side project with some fellow designers, a baby quilt for one of my best friends from college who is having her second baby soon (see the quilt I made for her first baby here), a quilt pattern that will appear in a magazine early next year, and more!

Phew! What have you been working on?

I’m linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times & Main Crush Monday at Cooking up Quilts since I love to see what everyone else is working on.

Let Your Heart Shine True: A Mini Quilt Finish

let your heart shine true mini quilt giftI recently finished and gifted this mini quilt to a fellow quilting friend as part of a small private swap, and now that it has been received, I can tell you all about it! I entitled it, “Let Your Heart Shine True”, and it’s meant to be a visual representation of the fact that the goodness in your heart shines through, despite any missteps, mistakes, wrong words, or other things we personally may feel will tarnish or cloud our good intentions. It was made for Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl, who often reflects on her introverted personality and how it influences her day to day, both quilting and non. The design inception came after Yvonne posted a number of articles about the struggles of attempting social interaction as an introverted person. The articles mentioned a desire to have people understand your good intentions, even if the words or actions that emerged as a result of an uncomfortable social interaction as an introvert may have been less than smooth. I think we are all familiar with foot in mouth syndrome; at least I am!

let your heart shine true gifted mini quilt finishThis is my first attempt at a “statement quilt”, per se. My thought was that the quilt would show the large pieces on top as representing “people”, and the rippled reflection below being the public perception of the person. When mistakes are made, things are said in a not so clear way, or even just general awkward social interactions happen, those are the ripples that cause the reflection to be jarred and shaken. Yet despite the ripples and the jolted reflection, the heart remains intact and unbroken. If you lead with the heart, your good intentions ultimately must become known, no matter how many times you need to back pedal or rephrase things to clarify your meaning. I thought creating a statement quilt for Yvonne was fitting, since she has created a number of quilts as part of her Reclamation Project, which she describes as “a project series to explore discomfort in [her] life with the hope that [she] can reclaim and redefine.” I primarily create quilts as things of beauty, but I thought it would be fun to try to create one that is both beautiful and meaningful.

let your heart shine true detailThe construction of this mini quilt was a fun multi-step process. I began by needle-turn appliquéing the rounded pieces onto panels of background fabric. I cut the bottom pieces with an identical free-style rounded top, but with much longer length since I planned to cut and resew it many times. Once they were appliquéd onto the background fabric, I cut random, varied width strips from the bottom ones, off-set it enough to wobble but not extend beyond the width of the finished panel, and resewed it. Each one was cut and re-sewn six or seven times to create the rippled effect. Let me tell you–that first cut into the needle-turned mound was a bit nerve-wracking! It was another one of those times I just had to trust that the vision in my head would translate well to reality.

let your heart shine true mini quiltAfter rippling all three reflections, I squared each panel and sewed them together creating a horizon with a very narrow, approximately 1/8″ strip of solid orange fabric (Kona Persimmon, I think!). Yvonne’s favorite colors are blue and orange, which clearly influenced my fabric selection. I used some of our mutual favorite oranges from Carolyn Friedlander, and added some sketch by Timeless Treasures and an unknown solid from my early quilting days stash. I bound it in blue Mercury by Alison Glass, including a bit of framing while adding a bit from another mutually adored fabric designer.

For quilting, I knew I wanted to matchstick quilt the background, but have the lines become gradually further apart in the bottom half, similar to ripples becoming less dense the further from the source they extend. I matchstick quilted the background of the top portion with 50wt Aurifil 1320-Medium Teal. To keep my rows evenly spaced, I used a stitch length of 3.0 on my Bernina 560, and I carefully moved two stitches (with a three-stitch gap thrown in here and there for interest) between rows. For the bottom portion, I first matchstick quilted with the same 1320-Medium Teal 50wt Aurifil, but instead of making the rows two stitches apart like I did for the top portion, I increased the number of stitches by one between each row. I moved one stitch between the first and second rows, two stitches between the second and third rows, three stitches between the third and fourth rows, etc., all the way to the bottom of the mini quilt. I think at the bottom, each row was 19 or 20 stitches away from the previous row. Yes, it got a bit trickier to keep my quilting lines straight, but I eyeballed it and it turned out well. Organic lines were my goal, after all.

let your heart shine true matchstick quilting detailAfter that, the quilt begged for some more quilting, so I added random rows in yellow, gold, and orange for interest (40 wt 1135-Pale Yellow, 50 wt 5022-Mustard, and 50 wt 1154-Dusty Orange respectively). Both the top and bottom ended up pretty thoroughly matchstick quilted, but I really like the addition of the yellow, gold, and orange thread in the bottom, as well as the added interest of using a slightly heavier weight thread as the yellow. It reminds me of light reflecting off the ripples in a pond, which is perfect given the intention of the quilt.

After matchstick quilting this mini, I can certainly see why people are so drawn to dense quilting. It creates a whole new textural element to the quilt!

let your heart shine true mini quilt gift
One of my dedicated helpers. He really wanted his picture taken with this mini!
let your heart shine true mini quilt gift
My other dedicated helper, who helped by not crawling *too* far into the lake while we were photographing this quilt.

I’m really happy with the final result of this mini quilt–it pretty much looks exactly like I imagined. Yvonne is also happy with it, even though it took months for me to finally finish each part and mail it, so that makes for one happy exchange! The true joy in quilting is in the giving, and it feels really great to have been able to create a little daily visual reminder for Yvonne that as long as you lead with your heart, joy will be found.

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, Needle and Thread Thursday, and TGIFF. I hope you have a joyful day!

Work in Progress: Cyclic Mini Mini

I’ve been debating whether to show you another mini mini quilt I’ve been oh-so-slowly working on over the past months, since I probably could wait until it’s finished to share. Then again, I love to share my process, and perhaps by showing you each step, you can better see what goes into my thought process as projects evolve. I also think that this project is a perfect example of “use the method that works best for you”. There are no hard rules in quilting, right!?

carolyn friedlander cyclic mini mini quilt progressI’m nearing the finish line with this little one. It features some of my favorite Carolyn Friedlander fabrics, with a goal of playing with transparency in a cyclic way. I created a mini 2″ square foundation paper pieced pattern for each quarter of this mini mini, resulting in about a 4″ square. I used the template I designed for accurate piecing of the center spokes, and then have used different methods for sewing the outer curves.

carolyn friedlander cyclic mini mini quilt progress traditional curved piecingOne of the fun perks of dragging projects out over obscene lengths of time (chuckle with me for a minute, here) is that it becomes a documentation of skill development. Two of the four curves were pieced using traditional curved sewing, and the wobbly, puckery wonk is indicative of my amateur curve abilities a few months ago. In fact, my original plan includes a needle-turn appliqué element over the curve, since I knew that it would most likely be something I would need to mask a bit (possibly a lot bit).

carolyn friedlander cyclic mini mini quilt progress You can see on the green quadrant that there is another dark curved piece added on top of the curve. That is needle-turned and does a fabulous job of covering the little inconsistencies of my tiny curved stitching. Use the method that works best for you, right!?

carolyn friedlander cyclic mini mini quilt progress six minute circle style curved sewingHowever, since completing the first two quadrants of this mini mini, I have learned and conquered the six-minute circle style method of curved piecing, which results in an amazingly smooth and seemingly flawless sewn curve, as demonstrated on that blue section shown above.

Quite a few people have asked about this method, and since I have not yet found a tutorial for curved (both improv and regular) stitching using this method, I’ve decided that I need to create a tutorial. I will share that as soon as I’m able! It is SUCH an amazing method that, while it takes a bit of extra time to execute, the final result is well WELL worth the effort. Especially for those of us who may not have fully mastered curved sewing just yet, or who have a particularly high desire for perfectionism in sewing. Or at least who delight in nearing perfection, since there is truly no such thing (and that’s ok!)

carolyn friedlander cyclic mini mini quilt progress I am currently contemplating the quilting for this mini mini, and am leaning toward some simple, large, hand stitching to secure the layers and add just a bit of interest. I also have some travel plans coming up, so as long as I can get the top prepared and layered, hand stitching might be just the thing to take with me on my trip. I’m really happy with how this is progressing, though, and I’m grateful as always for the patience of my quilty friends as I slowly process, evolve and execute my plans for their personalized mini minis. I’ll be sure to share the finished mini mini once I finally complete it.

I think using needle-turn appliqué to hide a weak point in my sewing is totally legit, don’t you? What little tricks do you use to help make your completed projects shine?

Slow Stitching for Summertime

Ahh! Summer is upon us! My daughter has mere days left of school before summer break is officially here! That means all three kids home all day, every day, which in turn means time to take lots of day trip adventures! Summer also means lots more opportunity for slow stitching, and a need to have some hand stitching available at all times. We all know that the day I forget my handwork will be the day all three kids somehow fall asleep in the car on the way to some adventure!

hand stitching epp preparation carolyn friedlander modern hexiesMy portable hand stitching kit this summer consists primarily of English Paper Piecing (EPP) hexies and some experimental embroidery-quilting projects.

After a lull in my Carolyn Friedlander modern hexies project progress, I’m ready to pick it up again and baste more hexies! While 2 1/2″ squares work just fine for EPP hexagons, I really enjoy the neatness that starting with a hexagon of fabric provides.

sizzix fabi die cutting hexagons for epp
Nine (9) charm squares lined up on top of the Sizzix 1 1/2″ hexagon die. Pass it through….
sizzix fabi die cutting hexagons for epp
Viola – 18 hexagons ready for basting

This is another time when the Sizzix die cutting machine comes in handy. It doesn’t take long to cut a whole bunch of fabric and cardstock hexagons for slow stitching on the go. I use the BigZ Hexagons with 1 1/2″ sides die to cut fabric and BigZ Hexagons with 1″ sides die to cut cardstock hexies and I’m ready to roll.

sizzix fabi die cutting hexagons for eppA lovely stack of fabric hexagons ready to baste. I need to cut a few more cardstock templates, but this will do for now!

embroidery quiltingI am also continuing to add embroidery quilting to my Rainbow Hex Star mini, as well planning a couple small embroidery quilting experimental projects. My goal is to find a way to get the back to look as neat as the front. Practice, right?

slow stitching retreat a gathering of stitches maine alison glass chawne kimberSlow stitching on the go is not the only slow stitching I’m looking forward to this summer! I’m also officially registered for the Slow Stitching Retreat hosted by Sam at A Gathering of Stitches this August. I can’t wait to slow down and sew with Sam, Chawne Kimber, and Alison Glass. I’m doubly excited since I will also be leading yoga on the retreat! Just imagine… slowing down, breathing deeply, stretching out, learning from amazingly talented and inspirational quilters, and slowly stitching in the sun, rocking on the rocking chairs out on the porch in the calm, cool woods of Maine. You can read about my experience dropping in on a day of this retreat last summer HERE. I am very much looking forward to spending the full four days rejuvenating my soul with some slow stitching in inspired creative company. Are you coming!? I sure hope so!

What are your summer stitching plans?

Carolyn Friedlander Modern Hexies Progress

It’s no secret that Carolyn Friedlander is one of my favorite fabric designers. Last year, I made an entire quilt featuring her Doe fabric line, with cameos from Botanics and Architextures. But as her new fabric lines come out and continue to coordinate so well with her originals, I decided I wanted a quilt that truly showcased her varied and gorgeous fabrics. What better than a Modern Hexies mini quilt using Nicole at Modern Handcraft’s fabulous method?!

carolyn friedlander modern hexies progressNow, I’m already putting myself up against a wall a bit, since I began this project after Architextures became all but extinct. I’m hoping, though, with a bit of luck and a few insider tips, I can eventually acquire at least a 2 1/2″ square of each of the fabrics from Architextures.

architextures by carolyn friedlanderThanks to a tip from Allison at Campbell Soup Diaries, I recently picked up one of my all time favorites, plus Ledger in Ivory, from Westwood Acres.

architextures by carolyn friedlanderThrough the #getyourquiltywishesgranted event on Instagram a few months back, I obtained a few more archaic Architextures prints, as well as the Carkai mini charms I’ve nearly made into hexies.  I’m on my way!

hexagons carolyn friedlander fabricI already have basted hexagons from all of Botanics and most of Carkai. I have some scraps left from my Doe quilt, so I’ll see where that brings me and go from there.

backed in text from architextures
Might be a bit too busy for my aesthetic.

I think I will make a few more hexies before ultimately deciding whether to back the hexies in my favorite Essex yarn dyed linen in charcoal, or to stick with solid white. Perhaps I’ll be crazy and use one of the still easily attainable text prints from Architextures as the background. Time will tell.

If you have any tiny (2 1/2″ square at least) scraps of Carolyn’s Architextures fabric, please let me know if I can persuade you to send them my way! I will be happy to compensate with fabric, chocolate, or cash money. And of course gratitude. Lots and lots of gratitude.

I thought I would link up with Lee’s Work in Progress Wednesday, but it appears I’ve been out of the WiP loop long enough to have missed that she’s taking a (potentially permanent) break from her link up.  Oops! Still check out her blog at Freshly Pieced since she’s always making something gorg! I’m also going to go wild and link up with Molli Sparkles’ Sunday Stash since I’m finally sharing my new CF acquisitions.

Slow Stitching Retreat: A Day of Bliss

Imagine you’re sitting in a rocking chair on a sunny porch, sunbeams playing at your feet, a cool breeze blowing your hair, fabric in your hands, slowly stitching your way through the day alongside new quilting friends all doing the same, seeing your handwork grow at your fingertips. Bliss, right? Now add amazing quilters Carolyn Friedlander, Chawne Kimber, and Samantha Lindgren as teachers, mentors, and fellow slow stitching friends and there you have the Slow Stitching Retreat at Medomak Retreat Center in Washington, Maine. Last week, I was so blessed to be able to join the retreat for a day, with baby Finn in tow.

medomak retreat center maineThe retreat was the brainchild of Sam from A Gathering of Stitches, and was just as blissfully amazing as the name Slow Stitching Retreat suggests. I attended on Thursday, and joined the group learning the Park needle turn applique quilt block from Carolyn Friedlander. Those of you who know me know that Carolyn is one of my all time favorite fabric and quilt designers. I love her architectural influence, highly textured fabric designs, and simple geometric pattern style. It was all I could do not to jump up and down and squeal like a little fangirl when I first met her at QuiltCon. To spend the day learning from her and relaxing with a room full of equally enthusiastic and experienced sewists was such a rejuvenating and inspiring way to spend a day. It certainly helped that Carolyn is super easy going and we all had a great time chatting and stitching the day away.

Park in progress
Getting started: basting my Park block
carolyn friedlander slow stitching retreat
Carolyn walked around helping and answering questions as we dove into needle-turn applique, some for the first time.

slow stitching on the porchAfter we all had basted our Park patterns, we headed out to the sunny porch to slowly stitch in bliss. It was a truly fabulous experience, and one I think everyone should enjoy!

finn stitching helperFinn was there with me, of course, and he was absolutely perfect. Honestly, he happily rocked and watched all of us sew, joined in on conversations with his smily baby babble, and was happy all day long. I think he will be a slow stitcher when he’s a bit older, too!

sam a gathering of stitches
Sam joined us for some slow stitching on the sunny porch. Such a gorgeous day!
carolyn friedlander slow stitching maine
Carolyn Friedlander doing some slow stitching of her own.

Since I was only able to attend for a day, I wasn’t able to take Chawne Kimber‘s class on tiny stitching. I did sneak over to their workspace to gawk at her amazing creations and talk a bit about her sewing process, though.

barn slow stitching

chawne kimber cauchy complete tiny stitchingtiny stitching chawne kimberchawne kimber cauchy complete tiny stitchingThese teeny, tiny bits stitch together into such gorgeous, substantial quilt blocks, it blew my mind. Chawne had a thick stack of many different quilt block samples, all tinier than the tiniest block I’ve ever sewn and all absolutely stunning. They begged to be touched, and then once I touched them, there was no denying: I had to sew a teeny tiny block, even if it was soooo slow that it took me a year to complete. Chawne was also so easy to talk to, and such an inspiration. I wish I could have stayed all weekend and chatted away for hours.

meeting chawne kimber
A blurry picture, but meeting Chawne is worth documenting even if it’s blurred!

After returning home, I finished stitching the outside edge of my needle-turn appliqued Park block, and I spent two #sewtake20 sewing breaks to get started on a Chawne-inspired tiny quilt block. I’m stretching far out of my comfort zone by going wonky AND tiny!

tiny stitching inspired by chawne kimberHere’s my 40-minute, not quite 4″ square quilt block start. I am loving it, and being able to use the scraps of fabric from my “too small to save” bin feels good.

This day spent slowly stitching flew by, but solidified my feeling that quilting retreats should be a part of every sewist’s life. I am very much looking forward to being able to attend a full retreat in a couple of years when my mama milk bar is not in full use, and I plan to start saving pennies now. I’m so grateful that Sam is bringing quilt retreats to Maine with A Gathering of Stitches, and I look forward to seeing what rejuvenating, peacefully refreshing quilt retreats she organizes in the future. Thank you to Sam, Carolyn, Chawne, and all of the other retreat attendees for the lovely day and burst of inspiration.

I’m linking up my tiny quilt block beginning with Design Wall, since all quilt blocks matter, no matter how small.

 

Dropping in on A Quilter’s Color Weekend

Last weekend I had the pleasure of taking an entire day for quilty crafty inspiration. I didn’t even touch a sewing machine, yet I spent the day immersed in color inspiration of one kind or another. With five week old Finn snug in my Ergo and the big kids excited about a Daddy day, I began the day at Fiddlehead Artisan Supply, my gorgeous local quilt shop, where Amy Butler, Heather Jones, Samantha Lindgren from A Gathering of Stitches, and the rest of the Quilter’s Color Weekend retreaters were having a visit.

heather jones and amy butler at fiddlehead artisan supply belfast maine
Heather Jones and Amy Butler browse the gorgeous displays at Fiddlehead Artisan Supply.

Walking into a quilt shop as gorgeous as Fiddlehead is inspiring in and of itself; walking into a quilt shop as gorgeous as Fiddlehead and packed with fabric, color, quilt-loving women made my heart happy and my inspiration cup runneth over. It was fun to see Heather again (we first met at QuiltCon), and meet Amy. I also got to meet Kerry Goulder from Kid Giddy, another Maine sewist with whom I’ve communicated via Instagram but had never met in person. There were snacks, book signings, chatting, and of course fabric buying!

Kerry of KidGiddy and Amy Butler sign their books at Fiddlehead Artisan Supply Belfast Maine
Kerry of Kid Giddy and Amy Butler signing their books at Fiddlehead.

After all of the retreaters swarmed back onto their bus to head back to their retreat haven, I spent some time catching up with Abby from Fiddlehead and selecting a new fabric bundle (stay tuned–you’ll hopefully see it later this week!). Of course, snuggling, nursing, and changing Finn peppered the day.

Next, we stopped in for a visit at the Quilter’s Color Weekend Retreat at Point Lookout in coastal Northport, Maine, only another 15 minutes from Fiddlehead. The weekend quilting retreat was one of the first of its kind in Maine, organized by Sam at A Gathering of Stitches, and it happened practically in my backyard (sooo exciting)! The location was stunning, and situated on the top of a mountain, it was peaceful as well as having amazing views. I have never been to a quilt retreat before, but even spending an hour in that room with a bunch of happily sewing, newly inspired, and eagerly learning women was enough to convince me that quilting retreats are where it’s at. I definitely absorb positive energy by being around excited, inspired, colorful quilters, and living in rural Maine, my chances at surrounding myself with such people are rare. This day was a treat for sure!

color stories inspiration
Color stories created by one of the retreat-goers.
finn snuggling at the retreat
Kerry snuggled Finn for a while so that I could walk around to see the inspiring creating taking place.
sewing retreat a gathering of stitches
Sewing and chatting and laughing and creating and soaking it in.
quilt retreat maine
Heather Jones and Sam Lindgren, sharing their wisdom.
amy butler
Amy Butler and a retreat-goer talk quilting.
baby quilt
Even Finn had a good time! (Kerry shows off her progress while Finn happily wiggles).
point lookout maine quilt retreat
The gorgeous view from the dining room at the retreat. Bliss!

After getting my quiltspiration fill for the day, Finn and I headed home and met the rest of our family in Belfast for a quilt photo shoot (you’ll have to wait until September to see those photos, though!). It was a busy but inspiring and refreshing quilt-fabric-color-filled day!

After stopping in at the Quilter’s Color Weekend Retreat, I’m even more excited about the next AGOS retreat in a few weeks: Slow Stitching Retreat at Medomak Retreat Center in Washington, Maine with Carolyn Friedlander, Chawne Kimber, and of course Sam. As she so eloquently states, Sam envisions this retreat as a “long weekend full of the lush, yet cool, woods of Maine as the backdrop for an enthusiastic group of stitchers sharing their knowledge, their ideas, and their practice.” You can read more of her reflections on Slow Stitching HERE, as well as more about this idyllic four day retreat.

With a little babe and an extended family visit overlap, I sadly cannot attend the entire retreat, as much as I would LOVE to. I am hoping to find a way to go for at least a day, though. This summer, especially with a newborn, I’ve been very much embracing the slow stitching idea, learning embroidery, playing with EPP, and taking the time to do hand quilting. It’s no secret how much I love Carolyn Friedlander’s work, and to get the chance to explore, learn, and share techniques and ideas not only with her, but also Chawne and Sam sounds amazing. I can only imagine how blissfully serene it would be to spend four unplugged days stitching, relaxing, and enjoying the Maine woods in the best of company. If you go, will you send some of your slow stitching bliss my way!? Thank you!