Saturday, December 7, 2013

Saturday is in Progress and Kickin' Some Trash

It seems like there are a hundred million thousand projects and things to do. Some I committed to do months and months ago and others needed to be done right away. One of the ones that I've been working on is the Made With Oakshott Challenge with Oakshott Cottons and Lily's Quilts. 

Made With Oakshott Challenge, Jeifner,

The fabric is ethically sourced hand woven cotton. It has one color in the warp and a different one in the weft. In other words, one color thread going vertically and, in this case, black thread going horizontally. Or vice versa. The result is a perfect weight fabric for quilting and sewing that has a beautiful shimmer to it. I got sent this little bundle to make into a twin sized quilt. The design was up to me and I offered to make a visual sound wave inspired by Tula Pink. Here was one of the starting points I had in mind when I saw a picture of the bundle online.

Made With Oakshott Challenge

As I worked on the project, I realized that the way I had imagined it going didn't work. Not at all. So I had to switch gears. I went about it another way, cut up more pieces. Sewed pieces back together and although the technique I was using was what I wanted, it again was not going to work on a twin-sized large scale. Once again, I started over. It has been difficult translating my vision for these gorgeous fabrics in a way that showcases them and is true to the idea and to me as an artist. This quilt is like nothing I've made before, especially in a fiber medium. 

I finally laid out a twin sized sheet on the floor to arrange the pieces on. That way when I have to clean up for guests or visiting toddlers, I can literally roll up shop. I have only been able to work on it an hour or two every other day. There is no pattern for it, so it is a lot of sew, sew, check, cut, sew, check, sew cut, etc. etc. With it finally coming along well, I wish I could just work on it straight until it's done! 

I've gotten bee blocks done, this one is for the 3x6 Sampler Mini Bee, Sampler Group.

3x6 Mini Bee Sampler Hive, feathered star, paper pieced, red and aqua, grey,, jeifner

 I used the templates from Carolyn C. McCormick's Flock of Feathered Stars book block 12 "The Hour Glass" but I switched pieces around and did some backwards to achieve this look. I'll come back and show you all the blocks I did for the group. I am loving these feathered stars. I used another feathered star for my Mini Quilt Swap on Flickr. 

Mini Quilt Swap, feathered star, paper pieced, French General, chateau rouge,, jeifner

It's another one that I was worried about while I made it. I loved all the separate pieces and wasn't quite seeing the whole picture since, the whole picture needed to be finished to see it. Ha, funny how that works. Here's the middle of it. Love how paper piecing is so precise

French General Block Paper Pieced Red Cream,Mini Quilt Swap, feathered star, chateau rouge,, jeifner

I love how it all turned out and I'm excited to show it to you! And I will. On one of these days coming up when my Oakshott Wave is done, it is daytime to take pictures, I'm not at work, I'm not dodging small children and there's not an active blizzard. And the world is in perfect harmony, ha. Happy In-Between Holidays to you!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Favorite Fabric Swap, I Have What You Need

What if someone has that one piece of fabric you've been wanting, pining and drooling over? It's just sitting there in their stash unloved and unused. Maybe not unloved but surely you love it more than anyone else possibly could. Over on Making Rebecca Lynne there is now a swap going on for you! You list the fabrics you have been searching for and hopefully someone will have it and will swap for something they like.

What would I like? Thanks for asking :)

Heather Ross Goldfish from the line Lightening Bugs and Other Mysteries. I would love either the free swimming fish and/or the fish in bags.

Timber and Leaf Fawn or Deer Blue, the one with the pink deer. It is a slightly odd print, looking like a border, but I love it. 

Melody Miller Ruby Sparkle, Cameras Ring a Ling in any color way. I know some shops are still selling this but I'd rather swap for it than buy more.

I missed out on this print when it came out. I thought I'd never use such a large print for anything but now I wish I'd grabbed some. It's so pretty and bold.

If you happen to have any of the dark or black colorways of Constellations I wouldn't mind taking those off your hands as well :)

Linking up to Making Rebecca Lynne

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sunday Monday Stash

What's that? I was going to sew from my stash this year? Uh... (ducking my head into the corner) ... but there was Constellations and its getting harder and harder to find and I wants it.

Sunday Monday Stash Blues


Linking up to Finding Fifth :) Sunday Stash 84.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Cairo Star and Loveliness

Instead of being reasonable and sewing together a block I've seen before I decided to make one up. All of that extra time we all have lying around. I'm linking up to Lovely Year of Finishes as my 3x6 Bee Blocks are my goal to complete in October and with the Quilt Photography Workshop.

This is Cairo Star, the completed block. The blue parts I think can look checkerboard or diamond-like.

These looked like sunbursts to me. For the Workshop the subject is 

"Something That Makes Me Smile."
 (The workshop is a series intended to expand and explore your photographs of sewing. There are challenges to complete, or encouragements to follow, to learn about and share our skills.) 

"My Sewing Process"
One part of the design was slightly off so I had to redraft it, after I printed all of them out...

As I was sewing another block up I laid out the pieces and saw a pharaonic Storm Trooper. My dear friend who lives in Cairo, Egypt was on my mind as well, so that's why this block is called the Cairo star. I thought Cairo Pharaoh/Sphinx Star Wars Storm Trooper Star was too long a title :)

"Imagine"or "Things That Make Me Laugh"

And lastly, I also really like this star flipped on it's side. The hourglass shapes created in the middle are intriguing to me and it almost seems to have more sparkle in the white octagon. 
I may decide to share the block pattern, after I rework it, if you are interested in the design. 

P.S. I already got a tip from one of the other bloggers to upload to Flickr first then link the photos to your blog. This was one of the subjects we covered in our HTML Sewing Summit Class by Jeni Baker of In Color Order that I almost forgot about already. I'll have to try it. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Thank You Elephants

Some perfectly lovely strangers let me stay with them in Denver whilst I visited. I want to say thank you in a tangible way, which in this case means elephants.
My dear friend was childhood friends with their son and he considers them a second family. They were so wonderful and offered to let me stay with them. I think that kind of generosity and kindness is stellar. Before I went, I tried to find out what the lady of the house likes. I discovered she collects elephants. I knew my local quilt shop had this elephant print so off I went and purchased some coordinating bits. 
They obviously needed more embroidery so I took the floss, needle and clippers on the plane hoping to get them done before I left Denver. That didn't happen, so they came all the way home with me to get finished. The family's last name starts with "S".
They are pieced and quilted. The stitching shows up well on the insulbright and I'm always happy when the spaces turn out evenly without measuring. 
While there I found out that she used to cross stitch a lot. Hurray! So there will be favorite elephants and little x's made by me and printed on the Baby Jane fabric. 
 I'm hoping to get these done and mailed off this week. After all, there are still swap makes to make, a tote to finish and hopefully a skirt and top to sew before Sewing Summit. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

"They Knew You Were Coming..."

My visit at the Denver Museum of Art ended with the most perfect view as we rounded the corner to the front door. We both paused in amazement and my friend said, "They knew you were coming." A whole giant workshop to make your own quilt blocks. Here it is

(On the right is a piece by Bruce Price that I believe is different gingham fabrics applied to paper.) There were embroidery threads, fabric markers and embellishments. You better believe I caught my breath in excitement. I've been involved in the fine arts world pretty much forever and this visit was a great combination of art and fiber art worlds. The Denver MOA was accented perfectly by scattered fiber art showcases in almost every exhibit. There were also stations to learn to hand quilt or help crochet a coral reef. Below is some of the loot from the make your own quilt block space.

On the left is a Navajo rug with a fabulous sense of symmetrical design and movement. It was in a smaller exhibit of red and white Navajo rugs. I didn't find an artists name associated with this rug. On the right is "Paper Dolls" a fabric panel designed by Jacqueline Groag in 1967 for a child's room. The fabric was manufactured in 1969 by Jonelle Ltd, England. It reminds me of some of the Alexander Henry lines.

I got quilt and graphic design inspiration from these Native American pots, rugs and corn husk books. I'll go back in my notes to see if I can find artist names and if I do I'll edit them in. (The corn husk books didn't have artist names.) Last but not least is a Chinese children's appliqué quilt that shows five poisons. The animals bodies were stuffed and appliquéd so it was quite dimensional. I just wasn't sure if the quilt was to warn or to teach. Either way, it's a great idea to incorporate more texture in little kids quilts.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sewing Summit Swap!!!

Woot! It's almost time for the annual Sewing Summit. It's held in Salt Lake City, Utah and will be in September this year. And most importantly there is a secret swap going on! You should come join us on Flickr if you'll be coming. Sewing Summit Secret Swap on Flickr #sewingsummit .
Because I haven't made my swap item yet I'll share a pic of western Utah coming from the Nevada desert.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August Lovely Finish Goal

I usually set my Lovely Year of Finishes goals for the things I need to get done for other people. Many bee blocks or a tote bag for a great swap I was in. This month I decided I'd pick something to make for myself. And myself needs zebras.

Probably not a sari or jacket. Although having said that and seeing the photo again it makes me wonder if I need a new robe with zebras. Black and white. You wouldn't even see me in the mornings I'd be camouflaged in the tall grass.

Good thinking me. I actually want to make a skirt out of it. I need to hurry as well as I think this particular shade of fuchsia is great for summer. Or maybe the caramel zebras can take it into fall?
I just draped the fabric on Frida for the photo. I'm planning on making it more gathered then pleated. So far I have cut the fabric into two rectangles and one piece of waist banding. Zipper, no zipper, elastic... haven't decided yet. Wish me luck :) And as you can see, this pink is hard to photograph.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

3x6 Bee Lovely Finish Blocks

I finished my 3x6 Bee Solids Blocks and got the mailed off. This round I was the Queen Bee. I definitely needed to get my blocks done, ya hear me. I planned blocks, practiced blocks, wished I had the patience and time for complex feathered star blocks. Then it came down to the last two weeks and I had to get down to business. I reviewed everyone's colors and went with my improv string idea.

 This bee wanted bright rainbow colors not necessarily in rainbow order. The blocks are to be 12.5" square.

 This bee wanted pear, aqua and olive colors. I placed the color strips towards the top. I like the balance it gives. I could also see them being turned upside down or sideways and working equally well.
Orange, yellow and aqua. There's an inspiration picture in her mosaic of a quilt that goes in the limited rainbow palette and I always find myself looking at it. Her improv ended up more straight.

Aqua, pink and red. I figured one red stripe was enough as it's a bold color. I asked everyone if they were ok with different shades of their color and they said yes. So there's a lot of pink here.
Dark green, chartreuse and aqua. That is actually a lovely dark green but the shade doesn't translate well digitally. This one just called out for a little friend to be added to the bottom.

I used the same technique on this one as I did my own. More squares instead of strips. I couldn't figure out to my satisfaction how to do this with everyone's colors. It seemed to work perfectly for a rainbow. I may try doing this again to see how it'll work.

They were safely packaged and mailed off. I'm starting to receive mine from the group and am very excited. Linking up to A Lovely Year of Finishes. Hope you have a wonderful week with sewing, love and adventure. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sunday Wednesday Stash

It's time for Sunday Stash! Except it's Wednesday. I got this little stack from the shop hop last month. I hadn't planned on making anything with these paired together but when I see them, they sure look nice. The red print is Lecien, the whites are Moda. One has white on white polka dot and the other has these fine lines that are shimmery? The cream and black texts are from Daiwabo and the tan floral is French General. I just got little bits of each as I'm still trying to work from my stash this year. That plan is working super well :)

If you'd like to see more of what people are buying and trying out you should hop over to Pretty Bobbins where she's hosting the Sunday Stash for Finding Fifth

Sunday, July 7, 2013

July Lovely Year of Finishes Goal

It's time to set our goals for July! You can go over to Sew Bittersweet to get all the details of this year long finish-a-long. I have my 3x6 Bee blocks to get done and this is all I've done so far:

I'm in the Solids Hive and find myself wanting to do all sorts of strip or string piecing. I also love the look of the old scrappy modern looking improv quilts that were made in the late 1800's and in the 40's as well. This is my improv block building practice. It seems far too busy for me so wish me luck on getting it figured out! It's due an about a minute.

P.S. Sometimes I want to make a block like these paper pieced feathered stars but then I remember that I'm not that crazy. If I tried to make 6 of them in a row I might throw my machine out the window and ban paper forever from my sewing room.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuestash or Not to Stash

There was a shop hop in my neck of the woods. There was no way I was going make it to all of the shops but I figured the ones that were near me would have sales and free things. I was right, score! These fabrics were on sale for $3.99 a yard! (I'm doing an awkward "running man" dance in my head.) They were either basic enough to use with everything or odd enough to be adopted by my cupboard.

The second set I have just wanted forever and they weren't even on sale, I think, but I did get one whole dollar off. Deal. I just got about a quarter yard of each. Now I just need to track down that deer print from the same Timber and Leaf Line and I'll be set.

The answer is, of course, yes to stash.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Tote Practice

I cut up some fabric to test sew a tote. I've never sewn one before (unless you count the girls camp one summer when we had to sew our own dish holder tote/bag and puff paint our names on).

I specifically bought this fabric for testing bags a while ago and also happen to have some thrifted thick brown cotton for the bottom part. Not sure if I'll like the color combo at all. And no, I don't know exactly why I'd sew up a whole project in colors I probably won't like. Maybe it's because I'm trying to use my stash this year rather than purchase.  In any case, at least I'll have one tote under my belt, no puff paint this time.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I Spanked the French Knots

I'm working on some embroidery. I learned how to do the basics in a summer school class my grade school offered. Haven't done much since then. I picked it up again a few years ago to work on a pillow cushion. And I'm still working on the same one :) Here's the thing, it's a graphic design that is repetitive and done in only satin stitch. So it takes a long time. Well it mostly takes a long time since I can only so one small section without getting bored. Or my hands getting tired from my death grip on the hoop.
I've moved on to work on other things and I bring That One out occasionally. This one is fairly small, it'll end up probably about 4"x5" or so. I sketched out lots of designs until I got to this. Yes, this also has satin stitches, but! they don't have to be uniform which makes all the difference.

While I was brushing up on embroidery I looked at a lot of pics and sites online. I was surprised at how many people are scared of French Knots. I thought, hmm, maybe I should be scared of them, it's been a while since I've done them. So I looked at a few tutorials, each assuring us to "not be scared" they're "not that horrible", "only loose a couple fingers", "or an eye". Kidding. But it just all made me more nervous. Until I told myself to just calm down. If I could do these at about 9 or 10 years old they really can't be that hard. They totally aren't, they're just as easy as all the other stitches.

I French Knotted to my hearts content. And then decided I didn't quite like the colors I'd used so I got out my small embroidery Ginghers (they are small, my fingers are not gigantic I promise). It made me sad to see the knot carnage. It'll look better in the end.