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Monday, December 17, 2012

Visit to local quilt shop: Material Girls Quilt Shoppe

It's December and I'm embarking on holiday travels. Like any quilter out-of-town I've sought great quilt shops!

I'm here in Wichita, Kansas and made my way to Material Girls Quilt Shoppe. This quilt shop was amazing. Its sited downtown in a renovated store front with an interior as beautiful as the fabric. Rows of colorful, contemporary fabric filled the space with high ceilings and exposed brick walls. 

If you visit this quilt shop while in Wichita, you will not be disappointed. 

Material Girls Quilt Shoppe. Photo from allpeoplequilt
Turtle pin cushion on the front counter. Photo by Shelby.
Me at the Material Girls Quilt Shoppe. 

Material Girls was featured in the Fall 2012 edition of Quilt Sampler magazine.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Bridal Quilt (Part 1)

One of my very good friends is getting married in summer 2013 and I am coordinating a group gift. What is the group gift? A quilt, of course!

I thought of a design that will bring together blocks representing each bridesmaid and other important women in the bridal party. I asked everyone to give me an article of clothing/textile that represents herself that I can incorporate into a quilt block. I choose a t-shirt I wore to a University of Tennessee (UT) Women's basketball game that I took the bride to. The bride likes UT Women's basketball.

Shirt I wore that will go into the bridal quilt. Photo by Shelby.
The shirt has some small bleach stains on the bottom, so I don't like to wear it. Now, it can be useful in this quilt!

I will continue posting about this bridal quilt as others give me textiles to include in it and as I make it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wonky "Stacked Coins" Quilt Finished!

I finally finished the wonky stacked coins quilt I've been working on. It's my best quilt yet! I like how the warm and neutral colors go together with the blue-green binding. I also like the straight line quilting.

Photo by Shelby.

Photo by Shelby.

Photo by Shelby.

Photo by Shelby.

Photo by Shelby.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Wonky "Stacked Coins" Quilt (Part 2)

So, I've been working on the wonky stacked coins quilt for some time. I finished the top and started quilting. I originally wanted to do free motion quilting with a meandering stitch. But my sewing machines were not cooperating! I really need to get them serviced. 

I decided to do a straight quilting stitch down the quilt with spacing of 1/2 inch. At first I didn't think I would like the result, but I like how it turned out. The quilting creates a wonderful texture and makes the quilt top and bottom more soft.  
Me quilting a straight stitch. Photo by Shelby.
Close-up of straight stitch quilting. Photo by Shelby.

Quilts of Valor Charity Project

I'm facilitating a charity project for the guild. We're making blocks for a quilt for Quilts of Valor (QOV). QOV is a organization that provides quilts to wounded veterans. Below are the blocks I made for the quilt. Blocks will be solids in red, white, blue, black and grey. 

Stars and stripes inspired this block. Photo by Shelby.

I just played around with this one. Photo by Shelby.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Improvisational Charity Block

I recently finished a charity block for a guild project. We had to pick fabrics according to a swatch. The swatch included hues of yellow-green, blue, and grey. These were my fabric picks:

Photo by Shelby.
I did some improvisational piecing and came up with the following block:

Photo by Shelby.
I did a little stair-stepping and free-styled the rest.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Color Wheel Project: Orange, Yellow-Orange, and Yellow

The last part of summer was really busy, so I need to catchup on my color wheel project! I went shopping and got some fat quarters in orange, yellow-orange, and yellow to cover July through September.

Orange-Yellow fat quarter rainbow. Photo by Shelby.
Close-ups of oranges and yellow-oranges. Photo by Shelby.

Close-ups of yellow-oranges and yellows. Photo by Shelby.

The difference between orange and yellow-orange can be subtle, so I used my color wheel carefully. I have a EK Rainbow Color Selector that has arrows and spins, so I can play around with color combinations. Having a color wheel in hand is helpful to select fabrics according to color and test color combinations.

These orange months are really important, because orange is the color I have the least of in my stash. I picked some designer fabrics, fun prints, and some solids to make my stash more versatile. Having a good mix is important, because you never know what kind of fabric you'll need in a future project.

KMQG Fabric Scrap Swap II

I finished the scrap project I was working on for the guild.

I saw this Autumn Pillow from Cluck Cluck Sew and wanted to make one for the scrap project. If you like the idea, follow Cluck Cluck Sew's tutorial. I didn't follow the tutorial, because I like making things without directions. I saw the photo of the finished project and made something similar:

Autumn Pillow on the couch. Photo by Shelby.

I used paper templates for the leaves. Photo by Shelby.

Pocket on the back instead of a zipper. Photo by Shelby.
The pillow cover I made is aprox. 18 in x 18 in and fits a 16 in x 16 in pillow. If I could do it again, I would have used larger leaves. Doing applique on smaller pieces of fabric isn't easy! I hand sewed a few leaves, but machine sewed the rest.

Always think of ways to use those scraps. The pieces I used in this project weren't that big.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Organizing my fabric and sewing supplies

Last weekend, I spend time organizing my fabric stash and sewing supplies. The time was well spent! I keep my stash in a closet and I had so much stuff in there, I could not see the floor. I was using bags to store my fabrics, but my stash got too big to keep using that system. Here's my new system:

New organization using a metal shelf unit. Photo by Shelby.

Clear bins, so I can see the fabric. Photo by Shelby.

Comic book boards wrapped in fabric. Photo by Shelby.

Canvas bins for storage. Photo by Shelby.

Organizing your sewing stuff can be overwhelming, but it can be done. I've been researching organization options for months. I considered my personal habits, needs, and space I had available. I picked a system that will work for me.

I also decided to sort most of my fabrics by color. People store their fabrics differently, but sorting by color is easy and simple. Now, I know where to find what I need quickly.

KMQG Fabric Scrap Swap

My guild is doing a fabric scrap swap. Everyone that participated took some of their favorite scraps and put them in a bag along with a card indicating a desired project (i.e. push cushion, pot holder, etc.). After that, we all drew someone else's bag secretly, so no one knows who got whose bag of scraps.

The bag of scraps I drew is a rainbow! The quilter whose bag I have also indicated no project preference. So, I will make whatever I think would be a good fit for the scraps!

KMQG Scrap Swap
The swaps I have to work with. Photo by Shelby.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Wonky "Stacked Coins" Quilt (Part 1)

Currently, I'm working on a wonky "Stacked Coins" Quilt. I chose a yellow-orange-grey color scheme. The quilt is composed of 9 blocks, but each block is different.

One of the wonky coin blocks. Photo by Shelby.

Quilt Layout. Photo by Shelby.
The clothesline fabric is "Far Far Away" by Heather Ross It's a cotton-linen blend and wonderful to work with. It's soft, adds another layer of visual interest, but it does not stretch as much as 100% linen.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Color Wheel Project: Red-Orange in June

With this warm weather, red-orange seems to be a fitting color.

Photo by Shelby.

I picked a red-orange fabric out at my local quilt shop. It's from Kate Spade and I like it so much, I just got two fat quarters of the same fabric! I'm also using it for a project I'll blog about shortly.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Recently, I was in New York City. I visited the Museum of Modern Art and saw some wonderful pieces of contemporary art. The museum was so busy, I couldn't get the names of all the pieces and artists!

Photo by Shelby.
Photo by Shelby.

Photo by Shelby.

Photo by Shelby.

Photo by Shelby.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Color Wheel Project: Red May!

May was the month for red. I picked two simple red fabrics:

Photo by Shelby.

Photo by Shelby.
June is red-orange month.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Scrapbook Paper Inspiration

Recently, I started and completed a scrapbook. Quilting is my usual creative realm (at present), but what I learn from other creative arts ties into my quilt designing. Scrapbooking is a lot like quilting--you take various pieces of something and bring them together into a new, harmonious piece of art.

So, I went to Michael's to get my scrapbook supplies. As I looked through the paper section, I found a beautiful paper collection by SEI Crafts called "Couture."

Photo by Shelby.

Photo by Shelby.

Photo by Shelby.

SEI described the paper collection as a "a chic and sophisticated look into a fashionista's wardrobe... with soft hints of your favorite fabrics." Fabrics! Maybe that's way I was drawn to this paper collection! Honestly, if the prints from this paper collection were on fabric, I would have bought that fabric and made quilts out of it. 

Here are some of papers in the "Couture" collection: 

Photo by Shelby.
Photo by Shelby.
Photo by Shelby.
Photo by Shelby.

Photo by Shelby.

Photo by Shelby.

I used one paper collection set to make the scrapbook I was working on. I liked the papers so much, I went back to the store and bought the remaining 2 paper collection sets!

You can visit the SEI website to see how people used the "Couture" collection to design scrapbook pages and other paper crafts.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Modern Art at the Hunter Museum of American Art

Earlier this month, I was at the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The museum had some nice pieces of modern art. This post includes some of my favorites. 

"Phenomena Royal Violet Visitation" by Paul Jenkins 1977.
"Phenomena Royal Violet Visitation"by Paul Jenkins was one of the first pieces featured in the modern art section. I appreciated its color and use of negative space. I like abstract art.

"Glassed Candy" by Wayne Thiebaud, 1980.
I like the colors in "Glassed Candy" by Wayne Thiebaud. I've enjoyed the blue and orange color combination recently.

"The Apartment" by Jacob Lawrence, 1943.

Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) is one of my favorite artists. His works depict African-American history and his use of vibrant colors is captivating. I also like the cubism displayed in his works. His work, "The Apartment," is housed at the Hunter Museum.

"Reclining Dress Impression with Drapery" by Karen LaMonte, 2006.
When I saw "Reclining Dress Impression with Drapery" by Karen LaMonte, I didn't know what I was seeing at first! Then I realized it was a dress. I wondered if the piece depicted an individual lady or just a dress...

Monday, April 30, 2012

Color Wheel Project: Red Violet April

I picked two new fat quarters in Red Violet for April. One is a batik and the other is a subtle floral print.

Next month's color is Red.