Sunday, October 16, 2016

It's okay to have lots of fabrics in your stash

There I said it....It's okay to have lots of fabrics in your stash! Do you know why it's okay, because you never know what color combination will jump out at you just by seeing them in your fabric collection.
Think about the last day you may have been snowed in and wanted to start a project. Well what better way than to be able to pull right from your stash! Also getting a set of fat quarters from a collect is a great way to fill in.
Happiness is finding the perfect fabric in your stash for the quilt binding. When you just finished a quilt and don't want to run out for a fabric what better way than to go through your stash and find a color combination you may not have thought of or planned. Like this flower quilt I originally planned to use turquoise binding but when I tried the polka dot fabric it worked so much better. The turquoise would have made it look to "heavy" and not as fun looking as the polka dots.
Laying out your fabrics too to explore color combinations gets the creativity going.
 I have this set planned for a project soon. I love all these retro inspired fabrics.
   Time to stock up for winter projects if you haven't done so already!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hot Summer Quilt

I love rich vibrant colors and tend to select those at the fabric stores and online shops. But I learned in a quilt they also need contrast with darks, lights, or contrasting colors. Why is that? It allows your eyes to better see the vibrant colors as the dark and lights may recede.

There is a lot of information about color theory to use as guidelines, but overall you really should just pick the colors you like and feel good to you. Ultimately its what will make you happy making it and using it or gifting it. This quilt's colors pop because of the maroons, browns, and grays.

Olive has to test all my new quilts!
 Making little quilts is a great way to explore color combinations before making a full sized quilt. How about trying the minimal soft colors, or just picking 3 colors. You can give yourself all kinds of challenges.

When I saw Victoria Findley-Wolfe speak at our quilt guild I remember her saying: sometimes make the quilt or use a color you thought you would never make or use. If its brown you never want to work with, make a point of including browns. If you avoided curves - try it! I've learned a lot trying both of these already. I still never want to make a black and white only quilt but maybe one day I will.

I learned a lot making this quilt with solids and prints. The charm pack of 5" solid squares was a mixture of fabrics I probably wouldn't have bought separately but mixed in they make the quilt pop. So I love them and am making a point to seek out colors like this.

This is made with light weight cotton batting so its not too warm for a cooler summer day.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

I Love Charm Packs

Charm packs are pre-cut 5" x 5" squares of different fabrics and usually around 40 squares in a pack. I think they are one of the best creations for quilters. This quilt is made from one charm pack and white fabric.
One day I discovered charm packs and went crazy for all of the choices. It is a great way to play with coordinated fabrics or mix them up with a couple of different charm packs or mix with your own stash of fabrics. It is also an easy way to get to enjoy a fabric line without having to buy some of every fabric or buy lots of different fabrics separately. 
There are so many patterns now designed around using the charm packs which makes for some great fast projects. This pattern used some of the 5 x5 squares and the other squares are cut in half and sewn together in long strips.

One of my favorite places to shop for charm packs is on the Fat Quarter Shop. They display all of the fabrics included in a pack so you can see them all. They also post lines that are coming up with the release date so you get reminders when they are available.

Here are some more examples of quilts I made from charm packs. This is my Gypsy Picnic Quilt:
The backgrounds and the leaves are all from a Charm Pack on Scrappy Little Leaves:

And also on the Scrappy Little Houses:

There are a lot of pattern books made just for the 5" x 5" squares. I like the Charm Books by Me and My Sister Designs. Oh the possibilities!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I Love Tulips Art Quilt

I Love Tulips is a tiny art quilt that I started making after thinking about some of my favorite of which are tulips. I know is Spring as soon as they sprout up through the ground.

I used different techniques and materials. For the stems I used velvet ribbon, tiny patchwork and a sheer fabric for the tulips. Then I had some vintage lace that I hand dyed and painted. The heart is done with fabric paint. Then I did some machine embroidery and hand stitching.  
For the boarder I wanted something different so stitched on ribbon with a zig zag stitch. It was fun to experiment and see how it all came together.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Batik Pillow - Spring Side and Fall Side

When I saw a bundle of rainbow batik fabrics in 2.5" pre-cut strips I had to buy them! There were just enough strips in the bundle to make a large pillow (and a few extras). 
I sorted them into pales and darker shades. Then randomly cut different lengths and sewed them together. Then added batting and muslin backing to hand quilt along each row. Above is the Spring side and below is the Fall side.
I added a zipper so that I could easily wash this as it's meant to get lots of use.
You could make this with any of the pre-cut strips with any color combination, and a pillow form or an existing pillow that you want to change up with a removable cover.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Vintage Kimono Fabrics Bag

I bought several pieces of vintage kimono silk pieces and new right away I wanted to make a bag with them. I really designed it on the go by letting the shapes "talk to me". All of the pieces really fell together nicely. The front and back are each different.
This was the first time I sewed with silk and I learned that all of the silk pieces are very strong even though they look and feel delicate. A couple of the pieces were difficult to put pins through even. Since the silk needed some body, I added iron-on batting onto the interface. I had a larger piece of silk just big enough for the straps! I reinforced the straps with woven cotton webbing. I found black rings which is the design element I was looking for.

This was also the first time I added a magnetic clasp. They always seemed intimidating because you have to cut into the fabric. But it was way easier than I thought it would be. Just measure and mark first. I added a piece of iron on interface behind the clasp sections.

  Lov'n my new bag!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Flower Power Wall Quilt

I'm a Flower Power girl. I grew up with the Flower Power posters in the 60s and the bright mod colors. What is Flower Power? It was [and still is] about peace and love not war. The flowers are typically evenly dispersed petals with a big center dot. Bright colors are a must! I still sketch lots of big flowers and have used the look in several of my quilts over the years. This is my latest wall quilt
  I like the juxtaposition of the bright colors with the more vintage colors and patterns. I made tiny yo-yos and sewed them in the corners as a button alternative.
Here are the steps I did:
Step 1 - Iron on the fusible interfacing to the fabrics, remove the paper backing, and then machine quilt around the centers of the flowers.
Step 2 - Carefully add the rick rack to curve around the outer petal edges while fusing bit by bit.
Step 3 - Machine quilt around the outer petals 
Step 4 - Fuse down the centers and machine quilt around the inner and outer centers


Here is another example from an older wall quilt that I made:

And here is another little flower power quilt for my wall:

 I hope you try making some flower power quilts and be sure to use lots of bright colors!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Art Collages on Wood Panels

When inspiration sets in to create with a different medium (besides fabrics) it can be very fun and can stretch your creativity. These art collages on wood panels did just that!

I had always wanted to explore using gel medium and mixed media. So I bought some 6" x 6" wood panels and gathered up bits of this and that. I discovered that the gel medium works perfect with the water soluble pencils. I drew little faces on watercolor paper and cut them out. Then I shaded with the pencils. I like the imperfect sort of rustic look. My only goal was to play and have fun. I figured if I didn't like how any of them turned out I could add different embellishments over the top.
I added ribbon around the edges and covered it with gel medium too.
They add a nice pop of color above the cabinets.
  • 6" x 6" wood panels
  • Gel medium - semi gloss (I like this over mat as there is a slight sheen)
  • Tissue paper, used color catcher sheets, water color paper, magazine pictures, etc.
  • Ribbon
  • Derwent Inktense water soluble pencils
  • Ink stampers 
  • Large stiff paint brush works best to apply the gel medium
 I need another play time like this again!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Happiness is...Spring is here with little bluebirds

On my last trip I pulled from the few fabrics I had on hand so I could do some hand work since I didn't have my sewing machine. Then I saw a picture of the little blue bird. I started playing with the bird shapes and decided they would be perfect for applique.  

I added a blanket stitch around the birds, then for the quilting part I used hash mark shapes that looked like chicken scratch, and couched a heavier weight embroidery thread, then added random seed stitches all over.
Sometimes it fun to do something really cute. 
  • Techniques: Applique, hand embroidery, couching
  • Size: 10" x 12"

Monday, March 14, 2016

Quilters Anonymous 2016 Quilt Show

It was another wonderful quilt show this year by the Quilters Anonymous guild members. So many amazing quilts that I was in awe when I turned ever corner. Here is mine that I had in the show this year with the modern quilting.
These are just a few of the quilts I snapped pictures of that are inspiring:


Here's to another year next March!