Tag Archives: Carolyn Friedlander

Dropcloth Color Wheel Embroidery Finish… but only the Beginning!

I’ve officially completed my first ever embroidery sampler, and I must say I’m hooked! It has been the perfect project to just pick up here and there while snuggling a sleeping baby and playing with two big kids.

dropcloth color wheel embroidery sampler finish aurifil 12wtI stitched this Color Wheel sampler by Rebecca Ringquist of Dropcloth using Aurifil 12wt cotton in the following colors (for when you want to get your own sampler to embroider, since I’ve had a few people ask about details!):

2884 Green Yellow
1147 Light Leaf Green
1148 Light Jade
4140 Wedgewood
2525 Dusty Blue Violet
2784 Dark Navy
2515 Light Orchid
2540 Medium Lavender
5002 Medium Red

1154 Orange
2145 Yellow Orange
2120 Canary

I love the shine of the stitches created by the Aurifil 12wt, and I’ve already mentioned how nice it was to work with a thread that wasn’t strandy or prone to unravel.

dropcloth color wheel embroider sampler finish aurifil 12wtInitially I thought I might finish the sampler in a hoop and hang it in my craft loft as is, but the colors are just so gorgeous that I feel a strong need to draw them out into an even larger creation. I scanned the sampler and played with it in Inkscape a bit to determine a course of action, and I think I’m going to aim to make a larger color wheel using coordinating fabric–mostly Alison Glass Sun Prints, although I’m sure none of you are surprised at that!

dropcloth color wheel embroidery sampler finish aurifil 12wtOnce I visited my fabric stash and did a trial fabric pull, I was completely convinced that a larger quilted color wheel is the way to go.

alison glass carolyn friedlander fabric rainbow Really, can you blame me for wanting to use these fabrics in every.single.project!?

dropcloth color wheel embroidery sampler finish aurifil 12wt

dropcloth color wheel embroidery sampler finish aurifil 12wtI will most likely include my favorite neutral, Robert Kaufman Essex yarn dyed linen in charcoal as the background, although I’m liking the bright colors’ contrast on a lighter background, too.

dropcloth color wheel embroidery sampler finish aurifil 12wtSo, once again, I’ve finished a project only to turn it into a larger, more complex project. But as usual, I am very excited about this project extension! I will be trying my first inset circle as well as practicing curved sewing, in which I have only dabbled early in my quilting foray. I’m also I’m eager to hand quilt the next phase of the project with the Aurifil 12wt to help tie the entire color wheel together.

dropcloth color wheel embroidery sampler finish aurifil 12wtI’m linking up my Dropcloth Color Wheel Embroidery Sampler finish with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Up Friday & TGIFF, even though it’s only the beginning of the next phase of the project. Let the rainbow wheel stitching begin!

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

It’s here: the most epic sewing-blog giveaway day in the entire blogosphere. This is my first year participating, and I’m excited to have a great bundle to give away today! Welcome to readers new and old, and to those of you visiting for the first time, I encourage you to have a look around. Here I share my creative and design process, project progress, completed creations, tutorials, color inspiration, and more, chock full of colorful photographs. If you like what you see, you can follow my blog via email or bloglovin (look –>) or follow me on Instagram or Twitter, or can check out my paper piecing patterns on Craftsy.

Now, let’s cut to the chase! Here’s what you could win today:

Fabric Bundle

giveaway fabric bundle

giveaway fabric bundle

I personally selected this bundle of fabric from one of my favorite local quilt shops, Fiddlehead Artisan Supply in Belfast, Maine. The bundle includes a half yard of Cotton + Steel Fern book in Navy, from Mesa by Alexia Abegg as the inspiration piece, and fat quarters of:

  • XOXO in Toy Boat by Rashida Coleman Hale, Cotton + Steel Basics
  • XOXO in Dandilion by Rashida Coleman Hale, Cotton + Steel Basics
  • Plot Circles in Carrot from Doe by Carolyn Friedlander (Robert Kaufman Fabrics), and
  • Spot On Pearl Metallic Small Dot in Copen (Robert Kaufman Fabrics)
Choice of Two (2) Quilt Patterns from

Quilting Jetgirl Banner Needle Rocket

Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl was generous enough to offer winner’s choice of any two (2) of her quilt patterns! You can check out her available patterns in her Craftsy shop HERE. I know which two I would choose–have you seen Tesselated Leaves or Triangle Transparency!?, but which two would you choose? Here is a peek at just a few of her patterns:

quilting jetgirl patterns
Clockwise beginning top left: Spring Rain, Color Weaving, Triangle Transparency, Tesselated Leaves

On this blog, I strive to share the course inspiration takes in my sewing and creating: from original spark to completed project. To enter the giveaway today, I’d love to hear what inspires you to create. Leave a comment and make sure I’m able to get ahold of you if you win.  If you’re a follower, leave a second comment telling me how you follow for a second entry.

This giveaway is open to US and international participants.  The giveaway will be open until 8pm EST Sunday 5/10 when I’ll select the winner randomly with random.org. I’ll announce and email the winner on Monday 5/11. Good luck! NOTE: The giveaway is now closed. A winner will be announced tomorrow!

sms giveaway day on night quilter

While you’re at it, go check out all of the other fabulous giveaways at Sew Mama Sew, especially this generous offer by my friends Stephanie & Michelle at Late Night Quilter for free long arm quilting!!

P.S. I always try to respond to comments, but may not be able to on the giveaway posts due to the high number of comments.  Please know I appreciate your visit and hope you follow or come back again!

Embrace the Rainbow

Rainbows make me happy. As early as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed arranging things in rainbow order. In high school and college, I would always eat M&Ms in rainbow order. No exceptions. As a mom, putting colored pencils or crayons away in rainbow order fills me with a weird feeling of bliss. It’s no surprise, then, that rainbow order finds itself into so many of my quilts. For a while, I thought I would “grow out of” my penchant for rainbows. For some reason, in my mind, rainbow order isn’t as mature as, say… marsala, or gold. Then I had a little blog comment conversation via email with Jenn from A Quarter Inch from the Edge, where she pointed out, “Why does one need to get over a penchant for rainbows? We see them so rarely in real life… we’ve got to make a few of our own!” True that! And so, I have embraced my love of rainbows and I’m letting it shine! Here are two of my current works in progress as proof.

Twirling Star by Leanne at Devoted Quilter pattern testingI’m testing a pattern called Twirling Star by Leanne at Devoted Quilter. It has been fun getting feedback on Instagram about fabric choices along the way. I opted for an entirely low volume background, just switching up the background fabric for the outer pinwheels to help the center star stand out a bit more. Opinions were pretty evenly split between using this Botanics Foliage in Charcoal fabric versus using Ledger from Carolyn Friedlander’s Architextures line. As much as I LOVE Ledger (can you tell I love pretty much all things Carolyn Friedlander?), I was toying with the idea of spinning the outer rainbow pinwheels, but wanted the flexibility to make the decision after seeing the blocks. With Ledger, the directionality issue would have required that I make the decision before assembling the blocks. Foliage, it was!

twirling star rainbow pattern testing for leanne at devoted quilterNow I just need to sew these blocks together and add the borders and this mini quilt top will be finished!

prismatic medallion rainbow alison glass versionNext up is my progress on the Prismatic Medallion mini quilt I’m making for my partner in the Alison Glass Mini Quilt Swap. I definitely attribute my recent burst of rainbow to my purchase of the newest Alison Glass Sunprints. How could you resist making EVERYTHING with these fabulously bright and saturated fabrics!?

I’ve finally received all of the supplemental fabrics needed to fill out the black and white section, and all of the pieces are cut. Only the green and blue/turquoise triangles are sewn together so far. I’m really happy with the black and white triangle, and have come to accept the blue/purple triangle. I’m still debating the yellow/orange and the red/orange/magenta sections.

prismatic medallion alison glass version
Alison Glass handcrafted added in. I think it’s too brown for this palette.

In the yellow/orange triangle (beneath the black and white one), I originally bought a fabric from Alison Glass’ s Handcrafted line to vary the colors a bit. Now I’m thinking it may be too brown for this palette. I’m leaning toward the brighter Cotton & Steel basics yellow instead.

prismatic medallion alison glass version
Magenta-purple spread out a bit in the bottom triangle.

In the red/orange/magenta triangle (bottom center), I’m thinking I will spread out the purply magenta triangles a bit more. I’m thinking this bottom layout will be the final layout, with the C&S yellow and the spread out magenta. I need to decide soon and get this sewn together! What would you do?

embrace the rainbow

I’m linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for Work in Progress Wednesday.

 

 

QuiltCon 2015 Reflection: Learning

The weeks leading up to QuiltCon registration, one suggestion echoed in the blogosphere from people who had attended the previous QuiltCon: don’t pack your schedule too tightly. I decided that I would take two all-day workshops and sign up for three lectures on the other two days, limiting the lectures more because I wasn’t sure how I would do in a lecture with my hearing as it is (I’m severely hard of hearing) and less because I thought I would need more time to see the quilts and visit the vendors and booths. Even still, before heading to QuiltCon, I made all sorts of tentative plans for “down time”–maybe a pedicure? maybe some blogging? Hah! Down time? What is that!? There was none. Zero. Zilch. As I said in my previous post, if there were four of me, maybe there might have been a bit of down time. With just me, myself, and I: no chance. But boy did I learn a LOT. Here is a bit of a synopsis of the classes and lectures I attended.

Value with Cheryl Arkison {Workshop}

I kicked off the entire QuiltCon experience with a full-day workshop on Value with Cheryl Arkison. Since I arrived late Wednesday evening after an entire day of flying, and stayed with my awesome friend Michelle (the other half of the Late Night Quilter blog) about 45 minutes away from the convention center, we decided to register Thursday morning. That means we arrived at around 8:20am, I registered in my first whirlwind flurry of adventure, and then rushed off to find the classroom in time for the 9am start.

Of course I arrived to the class with my required pre cut fabric squares sorted in rainbow order. That’s just how I am. I’m a color girl. But I went to QuiltCon hoping to try new things and stretch out of my comfort zone. Cheryl’s class was the perfect opening.

rainbow order for value class

Cheryl’s class was great. She reviewed the basics of value, and emphasized how value is the *relative* light or darkness of a fabric. This is best seen when it comes to fabrics of medium value: a medium reads as a dark when paired with a very light fabric, but a medium reads as a light when paired with a very dark fabric. It’s all relative. Cheryl showed us the fairly well known and infinitely helpful trick of taking a photo of fabrics and converting it to black and white to see how each fabric “reads” value-wise, and we went to work sorting our fabrics. Here is a portion of my initial sort, with (left to right) lights, mediums, and darks.

value comparison

As you can see when it is converted to black and white, there are a few fabrics in the medium pile that really belong with the darks, and at least one (maybe two) in the dark pile that would belong better with the mediums. After fixing those fabrics, we were ready to pair. Here’s the key hint for making value work in your quilt: start by pairing the medium pile. If you pair a medium with a really truly dark, or a clearly very light, you’re all good. If you pair all of the darks and lights first, then you are stuck with a bunch of mediums with no clearly value-different pair.

Of course I started pairing my fabrics by color: light blue with dark blue; light pink with dark pink, etc.  After a moment, Cheryl said, “Try to pair your fabrics looking at value withOUT thinking about color” with a nice, long, sidelong glance in my direction. Sigh. Okay, okay! It was just the push I needed to really step outside of my comfort zone and (painfully, I might add) I started pairing fabrics trying my hardest not to mind color. It was HARD for me, let me tell you!

But I did it, and after creating half square triangles (HST) out of our pairings and playing with some arrangements, I found one that I was happy with and that is VERY different than anything I would put together by my own forces.

value based quilt

One thing I realized through these exercises, though, is that as much as I liked the look of the quilt in a photograph or from very far away, when I look at it up close, it still grates on me a bit because of the inadvertent color pairings. Cheryl was extremely helpful in helping me overcome my smooth color aesthetic obsession, and gave me some tips on how to focus on value while still maintaining or creating some control of color. I definitely want to play some more with value, maybe with a bit more predetermined organization of color. I would highly recommend Cheryl as a teacher and sharer of inspiration, so if you ever have a chance to learn from her, do it!

I also thought it was awesome that later in the week, after a lecture by Carolyn Friedlander, I was talking with Carolyn and Cheryl and Krista Hennesbury (another awesome quilter blogger and the recipient of my Schnitzel and Boo mini swap a month or so ago) about something Carolyn had said in her lecture–when you try a new skill, sometimes you will love it, but if it doesn’t work for you, feel free to toss it aside and use the techniques that DO work for you. Cheryl brought up my in-person aversion to the value-focused and color-ignored quilt arrangements and said that if I found it didn’t work for me, I could just choose not use it. I’m not ready to give up on value-focused quilts, but it is really interesting to see how different people are aesthetically drawn to different styles, and that’s okay.

Color for the Modern Quilter with Heather Jones {Lecture}

I actually was able to hear much of the lectures, since I made it a point to sit front and center, which was quite exciting for me. Heather Jones lecture on color was a great review of color theory, which is the science of mixing colors.  She went over the basics of color (primary, secondary, tertiary colors, shades, tones, hues, saturation, temperature, etc.), shared some actual color theory, and showed some lovely examples and inspiration photos. One tip Heather suggested was to use the color key on the selvedge of the fabric. I had never even thought of using the color key to help find coordinating and complimentary fabrics; I always just thought those colorful dots on the selvedge were there to look pretty and add interest. *mind blown* Another bit I found particularly interesting is that tone on tone fabrics often “read” as solids. That makes a whole lot of sense, since I find myself particularly drawn to solids and tone on tone fabrics. Using tone on tone fabrics is my sneaky way of getting a very solid look while still technically using prints!

How to take Better Quilt Photos with Meg Cox {Lecture}

This lecture was great because it confirmed many of my thoughts on quilt photography, and added a few key tips and bits of new information. Meg Cox‘s impressive background and experience at the Wall Street Journal definitely gave her lecture an extra “wow, she absolutely knows what she’s talking about!”, and it was fun to see examples of both good and not-so-good (okay, horrible) quilt photos. She confirmed that in order for your photos to be stellar, using a camera instead of an iPhone is a must. MUST.  (Of course I’m promptly breaking that rule with this post, since many of my lecture and classroom photos were taken with my phone due to lack of light and tripod availability). I had recommitted to using only high quality camera photos for my blog a few months ago, and have been really working at improving my blog photos taken with my Canon Rebel XT.

I went away from this lecture inspired that I’m on the right track, with a list of camera functions I need to better master, and a few indoor photography props I hope to buy. One big tip that I found VERY useful and can’t wait to implement is using Daylight Balanced Compact Fluorescent CFL Bulbs to light indoor photo shoots. Getting sufficient light for indoor photos is something I struggle with, so I’m looking forward to giving these bulbs a try! (Disclosure: Amazon affiliate link above)

Architexture, Quilts, and Us with Carolyn Friedlander {Lecture}

carolyn friedlander lecture

I wasn’t quick enough to register for a full day workshop with Carolyn, so I was excited to get in on this lecture of hers. If you are a regular reader of my blog, my fangirl status of everything Carolyn Friedlander is no secret. I love her work. I love her background. I love her sources of inspiration. I love how real she is. I think part of why I’m so drawn to Carolyn’s work is its simple aesthetic and seemingly mundane source of inspiration. Carolyn studied and worked as an architect before becoming a quilt pattern and fabric designer. I worked as an environmental scientist wetland and land use specialist for 6+ years before becoming a momma (and aspiring quilt designer), so I spent much of that time working closely with landscape architects.

At this lecture, I loved listening to Carolyn talk about architecture and her sources of inspiration, since it all hits so close to home for me. She finds inspiration in the world around her, as do I. She finds hers particularly in architecture; I find mine in the complex architecture of nature. I loved how she explained pattern design as “solving a problem”. Carolyn walked through her design process: think of a design for a finished product, and then solve the problem of finding the best method of obtaining the desired outcome. This is how she got into needle-turn applique, and what sparked the discussion about us quilters seeking new knowledge and techniques, but needing to find the techniques that work for us as individuals in solving our own pattern design “problems”. I am looking forward to hearing more from Carolyn and hope to be able to attend a full class taught by her one day. She’s such a huge inspiration to me!

Off the Grid: Alternate Quilt Layouts with Lee Heinrich {Workshop}

lee heinrich alternate grid workshop

I closed out my first QuiltCon experience with another full day workshop: an alternate layout class taught by Lee Heinrich from Freshly Pieced. Lee is another one of my big quilt inspirations. I love her simple and bold aesthetic, and even during her presentation, I could pick out the sample quilts that she had designed and made since they were always the ones I instinctually reacted to with “Wow, I LOVE that one”. Her workshop was super helpful, finally putting names and technical know-how to my current method of “oh, that looks good” or “oh, that doesn’t look good”. It was fascinating to go through each “alternate layout” method and see how it worked (or didn’t work) with our quilt blocks. Different types of quilt blocks definitely lent themselves to different layout styles. For my blocks, I almost went with a modular layout with variable framing, but because I had very varied sized blocks, I ultimately opted for paneling so as to avoid trapping negative space between the blocks. Imagine the navy blue background extending all the way to the edges of the design board:

IMG_1694

I would definitely recommend taking a class with Lee if you get the chance, too. This workshop was very well organized, with an introduction in the beginning, and then a break after each category or style of alternate grid layouts to allow us to try the methods with our own blocks. While we played, we not only had the input of our group members, but Lee would also circle the room providing feedback and suggestions. Next, she would explain and show examples of the next category or style of alternate grid layouts, and then we would again have a chance to try them with our blocks. It was a fantastic way to not only learn about many different layout options, but also see how they worked with a set of our own prepared blocks.

lee heinrich and meOne aspect of Lee’s class that really resonated with me is the idea of going “off the grid” as far as quilt layout, but still using the grid as a guide. It is a much more organized and sense-filled method than my usually slap-blocks-up-on-my-design-wall-until-they-look-good method. The outcome is fresh and modern, yet with that balanced feel that is so difficult to attain without any grid at all. I am very much looking forward to utilizing some of the different layout styles in my future quilts. Lee has a great reflection about the presences of alternate grid layouts in the QuiltCon quilt show that I highly suggest reading HERE.

As you can see, my whirlwind QuiltCon experience included a TON of learning and inspiration. I’m excited to start using this inspiration in future quilt designs and projects and I will be sure to point out aspects of future quilts where the skills and styles I learned are implemented. Now, where to begin?

Doe Layers of Charm Quilt & a Giveaway

When Fat Quarter Shop contacted me about quilting along with their newest shortcut quilt pattern, I immediately decided I wanted to make the quilt out of Carolyn Friedlander‘s newest fabric line Doe. Thus the seed was planted that grew into the Doe Layers of Charm Quilt.

Remember this sneak peek?

Doe Secret Quilt Peek

Well, here it is!

doe layers of charm quilt

Layers of Charm

Layers of Charm is Fat Quarter Shop’s newest Short Cut Quilt pattern, complete with a free downloadable pdf and video. The pattern uses a layer cake and charm square pack, so I used a Doe layer cake (with two cameos by Botanics) and the coordinating Kona cotton solids charm pack. When I started this quilt, Doe wasn’t yet available in the US so Robert Kaufman Fabrics was kind enough to send me what I needed in advance (Thank you!). The part of the process that took the longest was deciding on a layout that I liked. I ultimately decided on one that I feel embodies the Doe fabric line well, with the focus on low volumes and amazing texture, with just a pop of color. Piecing the 57 1/2″ x 57 1/2″ lap sized top took me only 6 hours (and I’m a meticulous, seam-ripping-until-perfect kind of sewist).

doe layers of charm quiltFor the back, I chose to sew one row from Carolyn’s Catenary pattern on an Architextures Ledger backing. The Catenary was my first time attempting needle-turn applique, and even with a time crunch, I truly savored each stitch! All three of Carolyn’s fabric lines are represented in this quilt, and I absolutely love it.

I decided to use a combination of straight-line quilting and free motion quilting, all of which I did on my domestic Bernina sewing machine.

Doe layers of charm quilt

IMG_9058

Doe Layers of Charm quilt
Two quilting thread colors converge.

When inquiring about a coordinating Doe Aurifil thread set, Alex Veronelli from Aurifil said that there was not yet such a set, but offered to send me coordinating threads of my choice (Thank you, Alex & Aurifil!).  I chose:

  • 2783 – medium delft blue
  • 1320 – medium teal
  • 2850 – medium juniper
  • 1154 – dusty orange
  • 5022 – mustard
  • 2021 – white
  • 2026 – chalk
  • 2310 – light beige
  • 2600 – dove
  • 1246 – grey

Look at them shine (and comment below for a chance to win small spools of all these colors)!

Doe coordinating Aurifil thread set

My chosen quilting pattern left a TON of thread ends to bury (3 hours worth!) but I’m really happy with the outcome. Changing threads to coordinate with each section of the quilt really helps emphasize the varied values and textures in Carolyn’s Doe line. The Layers of Charm pattern is a great pattern that lets the fabric do the talking.

My family helped me photograph the completed quilt during one of our recent blizzards (there seems to be one every few days). We had a little bit too much fun, as you can see.

doe layers of charm quilt

doe layers of charm quiltdoe layers of charm quilt

doe layers of charm quilt

snowflakes on doe quilt

Quilt Stats

Pattern: Layers of Charm free Shortcut Quilt pattern by Fat Quarter Shop. (instructional video here)

Size: lap sized: 57 1/2″ x 57 1/2″ (pattern includes table runner, crib, lap, queen, and king sizes)

Fabric (all by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman Fabrics):
Front: layer cake of Doe with two squares from Botanics, charm square pack of Doe coordinating Kona cottons.
Back: Architextures Ledger in Grey with Catenary pattern in Doe Droplet in Carrot on Kona Med Grey and Architextures crosshatch in Niagara
Binding: Architextures crosshatch in Navy with an accent of Poppy

Batting: 100% cotton Soft n’ Crafty batting

Thread: Aurifil 50wt in coordinating colors: 2783 – medium delft blue, 1320 – medium teal, 2850 – medium juniper, 1154 – dusty orange, 5022 – mustard, 2021 – white, 2026 – chalk, 2310 – light beige, 2600 – dove, and 1246 – grey

Time:
Piecing the top: 6 hours
Piecing the back: 4 hours
Squaring, layering, and basting: 45 min
Quilting: 7 hrs 45 min
Finishing (thread burying): 3 hours
Binding: 1 hr 30 min
Total: Approx. 23 hours

While I always seem to take the long road, this quilt could easily be whipped up in a weekend (or a day, if you’re quick). I am already thinking of making a baby-sized version with all black and white (heavy on the black) 10-squares and a bright pop of color solid charm pack.

Now, for a giveaway!

To celebrate the launch of the Layers of Charm pattern, I’m hosting a giveaway. One lucky winner will win a layer cake (ten-square) of Doe by Carolyn Friedlander (thanks to the Fat Quarter Shop) and a set of small spools of coordinating Aurifil threads* (thanks to Aurifil). You can enter by leaving two comments:

  1. What would you make with your winnings?
  2. If you follow me, Night Quilter, let me know how–or visit my right toolbar to follow me if you don’t already, then tell me how! (e-mail, WordPress, Bloglovin’, Instagram, Twitter, Craftsy)

The giveaway will be open until Monday, February 16th 12noon EST. I’ll select one winner randomly from the comments below. Good luck!

doe fabric and aurifil giveaway

*Note: The coordinating Aurifil thread set is not an “official” Doe coordinating set. I personally chose ten colors that I feel compliment and coordinate with the Doe fabric line.

After entering the giveaway, head over to the Fat Quarter Shop’s blog the Jolly Jabber to see the other version of this quilt in the blog hop. Meanwhile, we’ll be snuggling in this lovely Doe quilt.

snuggling in the finished quilt

A Secret Finish {Still Secret}

I did it! I set my goal to finish this quilt in January for A Lovely Year of Finishes (ALYoF), thinking it would be quite an accomplishment if I met it by the end of the month. But lo, here we are on January 30th (with still one more day to finish burying those last threads and defluffing) and I have a finished quilt!

Doe Secret Quilt Peek
I can’t show you any more than this tease of a peek at the binding and folded back, but I promise the full reveal will be soon. Since my tardy goal-setting post on January 14th, I’ve pieced the quilt back–including my first ever needle-turn applique–, layered and basted, quilted on my domestic machine–both straight line quilting with a walking foot and free motion quilting–, and bound this quilt. For slow sewing me, that is quite an accomplishment. Enough of an accomplishment, in fact, that I felt the need to take the quilt out into the snow to take some sneak peek photos so that I could post them here as proof–it’s finished!

doe secret quilt peek
Everyone takes their newly finished quilts out into a snowstorm to take photos, right?

doe secret quilt peekI can’t wait to show you more of this quilt. But I will. I’m planning an epic whole-family quilt photo shoot this weekend, weather and toddler willing, so you will get to see every detail. Soon.

For now, I’m linking up with ALYoF to document my January success, and Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.

Off I go to bury some more threads!

 

Preparing for a Snow{Sew} Day

This Storm Could be HISTORIC… New England: “No Town will Escape the Storm”… Powerhouse Storm: When Will the Heaviest Snow Hit? 

Blizzard warning

With headlines like that, there’s no question what we’ll be doing tomorrow: hunkering down and waiting out the blizzard, hoping our power stays on. Honestly, I love snow. I’m excited that our forecast calls for 18-24 inches of the white stuff, as long as our power stays on. We have a generator now, so even without power, we can run the circulator for the wood boiler (heat), and the water pump (water), and power a little electricity for the refrigerator and a light or two. Note that my sewing machine is not high enough in the hierarchy to warrant generator power. But as the Boy Scouts always say, “Be prepared.”

So, today I’ve been preparing. Preparing for snow: the chickens are fully stocked with food and water, the dishwasher has been run, laundry is going all day, jars of water will be set out later tonight just in case. But also preparing for sewing, just in case we keep our power and I get some sewing time after the kids’ bedtime. My biggest work in progress these days is my secret sewing Doe quilt. I still can’t show you, but I can promise the reveal will be soon! I’ve almost finished the quilting, so next up is squaring, binding, and the dreaded thread-burying. I cut the binding strips and am all ready to make the binding.

cutting binding stripsI’m using Architextures Crosshatch in Cadet with a splash of Poppy for my binding. This quilt will be all-things Carolyn Friedlander, so her Architextures fabric line had to have a role somewhere. These fabrics make the perfect binding! If I can make the binding and get it sewn onto the quilt tonight, then I will be SEW prepared in the case that we lose power–hand stitching, baby!

architextures fabric in cadet and poppy

I’ve also been planning and pulling fabrics for my next version of my Key to My Heart paper piecing & applique pattern (only $2 until Valentine’s Day!). I’m loving this bicycle print, which is Bluebird Park by Kate and Birdie Paper Co., for Moda, and the colors that coordinate just happen to be my favorite color.

key to my heart bicycle fabric pull

teal bicycle fabric pullI’m actually contemplating making an entire quilt of hearts, with various things I love in the middle of each heart, and of course in a rainbow of colors. How cool would THAT be?! I’ll add it to my ideas list under “selfish sewing”. Perhaps one day!

What’s your favorite thing to do on a snow day?

I’m linking up to my first Monday Makers! Maybe I’ll have my heart (and secret quilt!?) finished by next Monday for the next link-up.

Color Inspiration Thursday {34}

Are you ready for another fantasy trip to the tropics?! I know I am! It’s still hovering in the single and barely-double digits here in Maine, so I am going to savor these tropical palettes today. As per usual, color palettes are created with Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs. Matching Kona cottons and Aurifil thread are awesomely provided with the palette builder. Today’s photographs were taken in Cozumel, Mexico.

palm tree texture color palette

 Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Charcoal, Mushroom, Pewter, Fog, Sky, Spring

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
4241 – V Dk Grey
2370 – Sandstone
2605 – Grey
6720 – Slate
2710 – Lt Robins Egg
2850 – Med Juniper

I’ll start off with another palm tree photograph since I’ve already established my love of palm trees. I love the texture in this photographic study of the alternating bark pattern on the trunk of a palm tree. The splash of blues and green paired with the color gradient of grays is just icing on the cake. Thinking about texture and quilting makes me think about Doe. I was recently reflecting on Carolyn Friedlander’s new fabric line Doe, and realized that one of the big reasons I love her fabrics so much is the diverse and intense texture in each one. Texture and color play so well together, and Carolyn manages to design fabrics that convey a strong texture, either while playing delightfully with color or in the wonderfully all-purpose low volumes for which she is so well known.

catamaran sail boat color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Titanium, Coal, Silver, Cadet–or–Charcoal, Ruby, Taupe

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2610 – Lt Blue Grey
1246 – Grey
2615 – Aluminum
2606 – Mist
2230 – Med Poppy
4012 – Copper Brown

Since we are voyaging to the hot and sunny beach in the tropics. it only seems right to include a catamaran to take us out snorkeling–or just sail us around on a breezy, sun-bathing booze cruise–at least those of us who are not currently with-child (come pick me up in July)!. The color palette resulting from this photo is a quintessential nautical palette, in my opinion. You’ve got your blues and grays, with those shining stars navy blue and a pop of red. Go ahead and sail away… but come back soon!

I’m linking up with #ThankfulThursday on Yvonne aka Quilting Jetgirl’s blog since I’m ALWAYS thankful for the color all around us, and that I can see it. I’m also thankful for the hot memories from Cozumel to help warm me on this frigid winter’s day!

thankful-thursday

 

A New Year’s Goal: Balance

I’m  baaaaack!! Did you miss me!? I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and that the new year is off to a great start. As lovely as our extended vacation was, I’m happy to be home, even if it is -12 degrees outside right now. I’m also happy to be back in this space, sharing inspiration with you. I have some gifty and secret projects  I am itching to show you… all in good time. There’s so much to share, I hardly know where to begin. So I’ll begin with my favorite, a photo:

hexies in paradise
I did not do a stitch of sewing while actually on vacation, but I brought these hexies along for a tropical photo shoot in Cozumel. Talk about paradise!!

Every new year, it feels like a chance to begin fresh, set new goals, and form new habits. I am so excited for this new year and all the potential it holds. I have some big goals for this year, both crafty and family-related. I’m heading to my first QuiltCon in February, and our family is welcoming a third child in late May or early June. Many of you have shared a word to guide your year, and I’ve decided that my word should be “balance”. I love to sew, quilt,  create patterns, and share inspiration. I’m also a full-time wife and mom to a wonderful 5 year old and busy, busy, busy (and equally wonderful) 2 1/2 year old. With another baby coming into our family mid-year, I know that finding a good balance between family and sewing is going to be my biggest goal. On a slightly jestful note, I’ve already been practicing balance; I spent the first week of the year in the 80+ degree tropics and the second week of the year (and every one hereafter) in -10 degree Maine! giggle-freeze

2015 balance

To help me learn to focus on one main goal project at a time, I’ve decided to join in with A Lovely Year of Finishes. I missed the January goal-setting post deadline since I was away, but that doesn’t mean I can’t set a goal! I think my favorite part about ALYoF is that it forces you encourages you to choose just one project to finish each month. I am a perfect case of an ADD quilter–I often work on many projects simultaneously, not making any serious progress on any particular one. I’m hoping that joining ALYoF will help me stay focused and actually FINISH some serious projects.

A Lovely Year of Finishes 2015

For January, my goal is to finish my secret sewing quilt. I know, I know… I can’t show you much since it’s a secret!! But I can show you the little peeks I’ve shared on Instagram, and can tell you that so far I have the quilt top finished. I need to piece the back (I have a grand plan of trying needle-turn applique for the first time ever to make the back as awesome as the front), baste, quilt, and finish the quilt. For a busy momma who gets maybe 5 hours tops per week to sew, this is a big goal. Why not start with a bang, right!?

Since this is already one of the wordiest posts I’ve written, I’ll finish up with some peeks at my secret quilt progress. I get to play with Carolyn Friedlander’s new Doe fabric, which Robert Kaufman Fabrics was kind enough to send me a month in advance so that I could get the quilt finished in time despite the late December release date in the US.

doe fabric peek

doe fabric peek

doe fabric peek
Doe goes SO well with its coordinating Kona solids.
This project has helped me let go of a bit of my OCD. I let this imperfect seam match go, but the perfect center (far left) made up for it!
This project has helped me let go of a bit of my OCD. I let this imperfect seam match go, but the perfect center (far left) made up for it!

I can’t wait to show you more, and I hope I can get it finished!!

What are your goals for the new year? 

Stash Building: Botanics, Two Ways

I finally, finally have the full line of Carolyn Friedlander’s Botanics, in two forms!

Botanics fabric, two ways.
Botanics, two ways.

I have two secret sewing projects in the works, which is fairly new for me. Normally, I may have a sort of secret sewing project since it’s a gift for someone, but these are two entirely new experiences. One is my Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt for the swap. It’s fun since it’s quasi secret, but peeks are allowed (and there are lots of them on Instagram). The second is a completely secret project, which you’ll get to see mid to late January. (intrigued? ;))

Either way, these fabrics came into my stash for my secret sewing. They are technically on standby, but I figured having them would NEVER hurt, since I’ve been wanting the full Botanics collection since it came out. As much as I’d love to buy a bolt of each, charms and layer cakes will have to do for now.

botanics fabric love

botanics color gradient

Look at those gorgeous colors! Oh, I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to have these fabric packs in my possession, and I can’t wait to make something fabulous!

I also added little bits (a fat quarter and scrap piece) of these awesome fabrics to my stash. I gave in to an instagram destash by my Schnitzel and Boo group momma, Sandra at Small Town Thread.

bicycle and typewriter fabric

I’ve been in love with the typewriters since seeing this mini made for Holly at Bijou Lovely. The bicycles are just too cute to pass up. I can see bits of both of these making their way into smaller projects, or as feature bits in larger quilts. I’m already plotting my first little project with them.

I’m linking up with Molli Sparkles’ Sunday Stash. What’s new in your stash?

7d5d3-molli_sparkles_sunday_stash_button