Sunday, November 17, 2013

WIP Weekend

I've been trying my hand at designing my own quilt blocks with graph paper and colored pencils and it's so much fun! I'm focusing on blocks that can be pieced with simple squares and HSTs since that's my current skill level. 

The plan is to make a bunch of different blocks in this style for a sampler quilt. Maybe even with different sized blocks tetris-ed (word?) together.

I usually work with patterned fabrics, but solids are so much easier. There's no direction or matching required, no having to worry about which way the pattern will be facing when you're done. And with solids, the form and structure of the blocks really comes through, there's no decorative or illustrative element to distract from the shapes and colors of the design. It's kind of a different way of thinking.

Well okay, this one has just a little bit of patterned fabric in it, but it's non-directional so it's kind of like sewing with a solid. I just couldn't resist throwing at least one pattern in there, I can see I'll have to wean myself slowly.

I've also decided I want to learn how to paper piece. I've seen some amazingly detailed blocks out there and they're really something special. I started with this one, inspired by this gorgeous Jam Jar block by Charise Randell of ChariseCreates, but it's not actually paper pieced, I totally cheated. Since the pieces are all pretty much squared up with no funky angles, I just drew it out on graph paper to figure out all the dimensions, cut my pieces out really carefully and sewed them all together with a standard 1/4" seam. So, I still haven't really learned anything about paper-piecing! Guess I'm going to have pick a more complex design that I have to paper piece. I want to learn it, so why am I so intimidated? I know as soon as I sit down and work my way through a tutorial I'll be wondering why in the heck I was so scared to try it. Ugh, sometimes we're our own worst enemies. :)

Anyhow, the houndstooth and strawberry patch are going to be the back side of what will be an ultra-mini quilt (or glorified quilt block). Did you notice those little houndstooths are in the shape of Texas? Pretty cool. I think this'll make a nice gift for someone on my Christmas list who loves canning!

What are you working on? Are there any techniques/projects you want to try but haven't gather up the gumption yet?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

HMQG Festival Meetup

It's that time of year again, folks, the International Quilt Festival have come to town! And while the Market side is over, Festival is just gearing up. If you're in town and looking for a great way to spend a lovely afternoon head on down to the George R. Brown Convention Center to see some amazing quilts, traditional and modern. You will be blown away, even if you're not a quilter. And if you are a quilter, sewer, or a crafter, you'll want to leave some extra time to browse the aisles of vendors selling fabric, notions, patterns, books, supplies, machines.

And hey, on top of all that wonderful goodness, The Houston Modern Quilt Guild is hosting a meetup during Festival for all quilters interested in the modern quilting movement!! If you attended last year you'll remember what a blast it was getting to hang out, eat and visit in a fun and relaxing environment with fellow quilters from all over the country... and who doesn't like getting really cool, FREE stuff?

 Woohoo!!! Look at this big ole' pile of prizes! 

Goodies Ya'll! 

For starters, the first 50 people who sign in will get SWAG bags!! Then there will be 17 awesome door prizes given away with prizes from Cloud 9 Fabrics, Aurifil, Jennifer Paganelli from Sis Boom, Fat Quarter Shop, Intrepid Thread, Modern Yardage, Patty Sloniger (hey, that's me!) and many more!!! 

When: Saturday, November 2, 2013
Time: 8-10pm
Where: Hilton Americas Lobby Bar

Look for the Houston Modern Quilt Guild Signage!!

BWS tips button

Join us on all of the blogs on the blog hop:

Becca Bryan  - Bryan House Quilts
Sally Keller - Sally's Angelworks
Hilary Smith - Young Texan Mama

Stephanie Freeman - Houston D.I.Y.
THAT'S ME! - Beck and Lundy
Amy Campbell-Ryan - House of Bad Cats

Tammy Blackburn - Karamat Sews
Cathy Winter - Winter Wanderings

Swag Bag sponsors: Interweave Publishing, Martingale Publishing, Kona Bay Fabrics, various pattern makers, Pink Chalk Fabrics

Door Prize Sponsors: 

FQ bundles of both "Les Amis" color stories plus a big ole' yardage bundle of the six flannel designs

Show message history Modern Yardage:

Thank you so much to our sponsors for this event!

Even more importantly, join us at the Meet Up!! :)


Thursday, October 3, 2013

WIP - Emma's Nursery

Yay, I'm getting close to finishing emma's nursery! It's only been 5 months since she made her way into this world but that's okay, you could say I've been just a wee bit busy as of late. :)

I chose an aqua and yellow color scheme with bits of coral and pink and an overall nature/woodland theme. It's full of DIY projects that really anyone can do including custom bedding and wall/crib decals from Spoonflower (love them). Watch for an upcoming post with more close ups, details and links, but for now I just want to share some photos!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

WIP - Hexies and Polaroids

I'm trying to get back in the swing of things here, with the blog that is. I've actually been working on lots of little projects I just hadn't been able to get my act together enough to take photos, clean them up and post them! And in the hopes that showing WIP photos will help motivate me to finish them before starting new ones, here's a bit of what I'm working on now.

You've probably seen this really cute polaroid quilt block all over the internet, it's really adorable. Some of the members of my quilt guild (Houston Modern Quilt Guild) decided to do a polaroid block swap using this tutorial from OPQuilt. Turns out they're not only cute, but completely addictive! After I made about 30 blocks for the swap, I ended up making a bunch more for me with my woodland fabrics from Les Amis. I'm so excited to see what I get back, but I'll have to wait 'til the October meeting!

A few of a series of already trimmed polaroid blocks
using the dawn colorway of my Les Amis fabrics.

Another set of polaroid blocks, untrimmed, with the Dusk colorway of Les Amis.

Yes, you've seen this as a WIP in progress before, but this time it's almost finished!
Soon it will be a sweet pillow for little emma's nursery.

More hexies, using Les Amis and Backyard Baby scraps. Not sure what this will be,
I just got on a hexie roll and thought these made nice fussy cut little blocks.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pattern Review - Sunki Dress by Figgy's

I love this dress pattern by Figgy's! And the leggings (scroll down to see them), oh my gosh, so cute.

It's called the Sunki Dress and there are so many chic details like the overlap on the shoulder, the cool side panel pockets and the top stitching. It seemed a little intimidating at first, but it's really not too hard.

The only real challenge I had was the side panel, but there are lots of hints and tutorials online with additional photos and instructions to help clarify. I found this one by Figgy's and this one by Charm Stitch to be the most helpful.

The fabric is by Jo Morton, not really sure what it is but it reminds me of fireworks. I think the heathery gray leggings with gold metallics dots look sophisticated and festive with it. My only complaint is I that have to wait until my little 11 week old baby girl is 18 months so she can wear it!! 

The little leggings sewed up in like half an hour, which was surprising. All I needed were a ball point (jersey) needle for the sewing machine, and a walking foot, which if you quilt you already have. Okay, there is a third thing, but most of you probably already have it, the capability to sew a zigzag stitch on your machine. There is an actual specialty stitch for sewing knits that's similar to a zigzag, but my machine doesn't have it and the zigzag stitch worked just fine.

You can also check out this wonderful YouTube video tutorial by The Crafty Gemini that goes over sewing with knits and shows you why you need the walking foot and why you use a zigzag type stitch.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pattern Review - Geranium Dress by Made by Rae

I've been taking a break from designing this past week and tackling more sewing projects, how could I not when there are so many cute patterns available for little girls?

I really love this Geranium dress by Made by Rae. It was a pdf pattern I purchased from her online, which though I prefer a printed pattern that I don't have to piece together, you really can't beat the immediacy of pdfs, especially since I'm more home bound these days with the little one at home. And luckily, pattern pieces for babies and children are much smaller and therefore have less pieces to cut out and piece together, so these went together in a snap. I found the dress as a whole easy to put together and a quick sew.

The only issue I had, and this has totally to do with my skills (or lack of skills) was finishing the raw edge on the flutter sleeve option. The instructions called for just a zigzag along the edge. But, I think I'm the world's worst zigzagger!. I'm never sure if the zigzag is supposed to go just to the edge but not over, or just over the edge... I usually end up with part of the edge bunching up and rolling under or over with little threads sticking out everywhere like a bad haircut. But, for whatever reason, it doesn't really bother me on this little dress, in fact, I think it lends a rather naive charm.

I used the Faux Bois Peach fabric from my Les Amis fabric collection for Michael Miller for the exterior and the Bitty Buds for the lining. I also added a silk/satin flower brooch I'd made that was left over from an idea for baby shower favors I had back in March. It was just the right color!

All in all, I love this little dress and plan to make many more.

If you're looking for cute children's clothes or handbag patterns, definitely check Made by RAE out. I also purchased the Parsley Pants pattern from her and can't wait to sew them up!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Emma's Personalized Quilt Backer

I'm pretty excited I was able to get two whole posts in this month! Okay, there's a little sarcasm there,  but I really didn't believe it when everyone told me that once baby came I wouldn't have much time for anything else. I figured that all the extra time from not going to work would sort of balance it out, but boy was I wrong.

That being said, I wouldn't trade it for the world and am enjoying all my precious time with her while she's so little. I'm already a little sad that she's growing up, is that weird? She's only 8 weeks but I feel like one day soon I'll wake up and will be taking her to her first day of school. So whenever she wails uncontrollably, or fusses when I'm trying to get her back to sleep at 3 in the morning, I remind myself that I'll miss that soon and wonder how time can fly so fast.

But, enough waxing, I really just wanted to post a quick pic of the progress on the back of her chevron quilt I finally got some time to work on. It's a simple white backer with a yellow heart, and in that heart I embroidered her name and birth date. I posted a photo of a mock up of it a few months ago here. Hopefully I can get it quilted and bound by the end of the summer. :)

I think these would be fabulous as just a heart quilt square with a pretty border that you might hang on the wall. Perfect for a baby shower gift, it's personal and handmade, but reasonably quick and easy to sew.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Azteca Quilt Featured in Modern Quilts Unlimited Magazine!

I'm super excited to share that I recently got my first quilt featured in a magazine this month! It's a relatively new magazine called Modern Quilt Unlimited, and this is their third issue, Spring 2013. It comes out four times a year in both hardcopy and digital subscription.

You might recognize the quilt from my Les Amis booth at the Fall Quilt Market in Houston last year as it was one of my showcased projects. I'm just so happy to see it in print, I might just have to frame it and hang it on the wall!

Azteca quilt featuring my Les Amis Collection fabrics.

Spring 2013 Issue Cover

and here's some more pics hanging out in the backyard...

P.S. I also have another print project in the works that I can't wait to share with you! :)

Friday, May 31, 2013

HMQG Baby Quilt

I'm in love with this sweet baby quilt the members of the Houston Modern Quilt Guild made for emma and me. The pattern is called a disappearing 9 patch and the reproduction fabrics are too darling! I got a little carried away with the photos though, so be warned...

Gorgeous quilting by Pam Biswas, the same talented lady
who quilted the Azteca quilt  for my Les Amis booth.

Love this binding!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

WIP - emma's zig zag quilt

Yup, still working on emma's baby quilt, and am just now posting pics of the back. It's not a particularly complicated backer, but I think it has a sweet simplicity and I'm just happy to have one more thing done. Okay, in all fairness, it's not really done, per se, because I still have to embroider the personalization on the heart (a nice touch, I think), but progress none the less!

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