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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Baby Quilt Bonanza III

I finished my friend's baby quilt. Best of all, she likes it (and baby too). Being pregnant has really cut down on my energy, so I'm glad that I was able to finish it. I'm happy with how the black binding framed the quilt and the quilt's overall look.

Now, I have to go back to my daughter's quilt! I finished cutting fabric for the blocks, so I can move forward with sewing. I have a feeling that I may be working on some other projects for her and her nursery, so I'll probably blog about that as well. 

Back of quilt folded over. Photo by Shelby.

Close-up of quilting. Photo by Shelby.

The finished quilt! Photo by Shelby.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Visit to local quilt shop: Sewn Studio

Today I visited Sewn Studio in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati's Modern Quilt Guild listed the shop on its blog resources page, so I decided to visit.

The staff was friendly and I enjoyed the bright atmosphere of the store.

I found great modern fabrics, notions, books/magazines and stuff quilters like. The store also had many customized fat quarter bundles of fabric from different designers/collection (I really like custom bundles).

If you're in Cincinnati and want to go to a fabric store modern quilters would like, I highly recommend Sewn Studio.

Me in front of Sewn Studio.
Sewn Studio storefront. Photo by Shelby.
Some bundles from Sewn Studio. Photo by Shelby.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Baby Quilt Bonanza II

I finished piecing the top of my friend's baby quilt. I sent it off to the long-armer for the next step. I'm happy with how the colors came together. The arrangement is subtle, but it creates a big visual impact  in aggregate.

Photo by Shelby.

Photo by Shelby.

Photo by Shelby.

Photo by Shelby.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Baby Quilt Bonanza!

This fall, I'm working on two baby quilts (among other things!). One of my good friends is due September and I am due this December.

My friend wants a gender neutral baby quilt. I picked some blue, yellow, black, white, and grey fabrics from my stash to get started.

For my baby,  I'm making a Josef Albers inspired quilt designed by Heather Jones. Her quilt echoes the Homage to the Square, but in pink. The quilt incorporates beautiful elements of modern art. Heather shared the pattern for the quilt in the first edition of Quilty magazine. I don't usually follow patterns, but I really like the quilt.

There's quilting (and brownies) in store for me this weekend!

Fabrics for my friend's baby quilt. Photo by Shelby.
Josef Albers’s Homage to the Square: Glow, 1966, from the Hirshhorn’s collection.
My fabrics and Quilty magazine. Photo by Shelby.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bridal Quilt Finished!

The finished bridal quilt! Photo by Shelby.

My friend's bridal quilt is finally done!

I was short on time, so I commissioned a longarmer to quilt the quilt for me. She did a wonderful job and made it possible for the quilt to be finished by the wedding date.

In the end, the bride liked the quilt and her sister is asking me to make a similar quilt for a loved one.

Close-up of the quilt features. Photo by Shelby.

Close-up of the orange side. Photo by Shelby.

More quilt on the railing. Photo by Shelby.

Quilt on the grass! Photo by Shelby.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Bridal Quilt (Part 2)

I've made progress on my friend's bridal quilt. I got relevant fabrics or clothing from most of the bridesmaids and put a modular collage together. 

Close-up of t-shirt feature. Photo by Shelby.
 I wanted to do something different from a block-style t-shirt quilt, because all the bridesmaids did not contribute fabric and I didn't want to make it obvious who didn't. The collage allowed for all the pieces to be one unit, instead of a collection of different t-shirts/fabrics blocked together.

I had hoped to control the colors a little bit more, but with a t-shirt quilt you have to work with what you have sometimes. I decided to make the square with a different color on each side to create some method to the madness!

Some of the green patchwork. Photo by Shelby.
Some of the orange patchwork. Photo by Shelby.
Now, I have to stash the block in white and finish off the quilt!

Friday, March 1, 2013

QuiltCon Lecture Series from Craftsy

I didn't make it to QuiltCon last month and if you didn't either, you can see what it was like! Craftsy has a series of QuiltCon lectures available through its website for free. If you don't already have a Craftsy account, you just have to signup for one and off to QuiltCon 2013 you can go!

Zakka-Style Potholders

One of my colleagues is getting married, so I needed to make a wedding present. I got "Zakka Style: 24 Projects Stitched with Ease to Give, Use & Enjoy" by Rashida Coleman-Hale earlier this year, but had yet to make any of the projects. One thing I really like about the book is that most of the projects incorporate linen. Linen is a beautiful material that adds texture and depth. In any case, "Zakka Style" had a quilted potholder project that made a great wedding gift.

Blue and Purple Zakka-style potholders. Photo by Shelby.
Blue potholder and "Zakka Style." Photo by Shelby.
Potholder close-up. Photo by Shelby. 
Potholder quality test! Photo by Shelby.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Quilting Reflections on Sydney's Death Anniversary

Last year this month, my childhood dog died. I want to take a moment to reflect on what that meant for my quilting life.

After Sydney died, I thought deeply about what quilts mean to me. I branded my quilting enterprise after my dogs, because they are so dear to me. Dogs live in the moment. They live and love one day at a time. When I remember their example, I'm inspired to live one day at a time and love people, including myself. In fact, I decided to make a quilt (the Sparkle Punch quilt) for myself for the first time after Sydney died.  

Why was her death so significant? Well, she was a great friend, but I think her death officially marked the end of my "youth" and ushered in my "adult" life. Sure, I was in my mid-twenties, but graduation from law school, buying a home, and getting married were new beginnings, not necessary the end of phases that had already existed. Sydney's death was a stark ending--the ending of my youth. I reflected on life, meaning, and what I wanted to do going forward.

I used to measure my growth as a quilter by how many quilts I made in a year. Now, I understand that it's more than that. This past year I made very few quilts, but grew immensely. I refined my personal aesthetic and strengthened my quilt making skill set.

There are three significant quilts that I want to finish this year (which I will blog about, of course). I might not make many, but they will all be beautiful expressions of love.

"Fabrics by the street" from Photo by hworks.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sewing Kit in a Jar

I've been browsing for mason jars lately. I use them in my kitchen to store pasta and other foods. I have some in the bathroom for storing cotton swabs and balls. I wanted to explore other uses and came across this sewing kit in a jar from FunkyTime.

I decided to make my own with Ball pint size mason jars and the cocker spaniel silhouette.

Two sewing kits in a jar. Photo by Shelby.

Getting the right amount of batting for the pin cushion on top and the painting the cocker spaniel was a little tricky, but it was a fun project!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pink Turtle Pincushions!

Recently, I finished up these turtle pincushions. I got the pattern in December and after a few missteps I learned how to make the pin cushions.

Turtle pincushions on my sewing machine. Photo my Shelby.

I chose a monochromatic, small print pink fabric and Michael Miller's "Yule Trees" fabric. I normally dislike holiday themed fabric (it can be too traditional or novel for my taste), but "Yule Trees" just spoke to me for some reason. It's probably the use of atypical Christmas colors (including pink and aqua), its white space, and varying tree shapes.

I decided to leave the turtles without decorative eyes or a mouth, because I couldn't make ones that I liked.

I especially like the textured effect of the yo-yos.  It took me a while to make them all, but I'm glad I learned how to do yo-yos.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Quilting Gifts from Christmas 2012

I got so many great quilting gifts during the Christmas 2012 season! Fabrics, accessories and even a Janome sewing machine!

The best gift is my Janome 3160QDC! It's a wonderful machine. It runs smoothly, has an array of stitches and many other features that quilters enjoy. I started some piecing after Christmas and I like how it sews so far. I look forward to quilting more with my Janome.

My new Janome 3160QDC. Photo by Shelby.
 In addition to my machine, I got several accessories and fabrics that I am very excited about. I got a sewing project bag made with Dritz fabric. It's a cozy bag that will help me carry projects in a more organized way. I added a new color wheel to my inventory too. I already had one, but this one had different features for color coordinating. In late November, I landed the highly sought after 2013 Moda Calender towel from an eBay seller. I'm so glad I found one of these before it sold out. I like the color and simplicity of the towel. Lastly,  got a number of exciting fabrics. One of my favorites is from the "Cruzin" line by Barbara Jones for Henry Glass & Company Fabrics. I'm a sucker for bicycle fabric ("tela con bicicletas" en Español) for some reason. 

Sewing project bag. Photo by Shelby
New color wheel to coordinate fabrics . Photo by Shelby.
The 2013 Moda Calender towel. Photo by Shelby.
All 12 months on the towel. Photo by Shelby.
 Kaufman fat quarter bundle. Photo by Shelby.
Misc. bright colored fabrics. Photo by Shelby.
¡Más tela con bicicletas! Photo by Shelby.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Saint Louis Art Museum

Over the holidays I stopped by the Saint Louis Art Museum (SLAM). I was impressed by the museum's layout--three generous floors with two wings. The museum had a fair blend of different art styles. As always, I enjoyed the modern art. But I also enjoyed some Spanish-Islamic tile, impressionist and African art.

Largest room of the modern art exhibit at SLAM. Photo by Shelby.

What speaks to me? What is it that I like about the art I am drawn to? Usually, I am inspired by simplicity, bold color, and finding the beauty in every day objects. Some pieces I like have all three of these features, while others just have one. I like the simplicity and familiarity of "Still Life" (see below). While de Vlaminck's use of bold colors in "Le Havre" is beautiful to me. I also like the geometry, color and elegance of Islamic mosaics found in Spain, Morocco, and other countries. And for some reason stout, round vases and vessels appeal to me.

"Still Life" (1953-54) by Giorgio Morandi. Photo by Shelby.

"Factory" (c.1949) by Emilio Vedova. Photo by Shelby.

Tiles from mid-16th century Spain. Photo by Shelby.

First half of 16th century cuenca tiles. Photo by Shelby.

"Le Havre" (1906) by Maurice de Vlaminck. Photo by Shelby.

Nupe terracotta water or wine vessel. Photo by Shelby.

3D art from Tejo Remy. Photo by Shelby.