Experimenting

Hope you are having a great week!! I’m in full prep for my travels coming up to The Stash Bash!! I can’t wait to catch up with a bunch of old friends and to meet up with some new ones. One of my most favorite things will be to have a weekend away with one of my bestest friends!!

While I should be cutting fabric, packing all my supplies, and working on my secret partner gifts, I have been experimenting…
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The slice and insert method is an intriguing one…and I have a couple of designs sketched using it so I’m busy, busy, busy working on the ins and outs of making it work “in real life.”

So that’s what’s going on over here…hope you are getting to do some fun things in your sewing space this week!

Happy Easter!

Color Inspiration | The Kiss

Choosing fabrics is one of my all time favorite activities. Scouring my stash to find the perfect combination is the best feeling ever. It’s probably one of the reasons I start so many new projects! ha ha! But what’s a girl to do when she absolutely can’t start anything new?

As I’ve been researching different artists for an Art Appreciation unit with my daughter, I came across a new to me artist from the early 1900′s, Gustav Klimt. Specifically, I was drawn to one of the paintings from his “Golden Phase,” The Kiss. I absolutely love everything about this painting. The colors, the shapes, the content. Once I decide what size to buy, there will be a print of this hanging in my house very soon!

The Kiss by Klimt | Color Palette 2

In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to try an art inspired exercise in choosing fabrics. For this exercise, I could have just tried picking my most favorite colors out of the painting but instead I gave the Palette Builder tool by Anne at Play Crafts a try. My most favorite part of this tool is the ability shape the results to fit your vision…well, to an extent. After it analyzes your image and displays the colors, you have the option to delete specific ones and add new. I *really* liked this feature! It enabled me to narrow down specifically what I wanted to highlight from the painting and eliminate colors that don’t suit my taste. The other part you might like? It will list out the Kona Cottons that most match the colors selected from your image. Computer generated colors and what you see in “real life” can be very different so this is extremely helpful when looking at your stash.

So you wanna see what I came up with? I’m super excited about this stack of goodness.

ColorInspiration

There’s a mix of just a few different lines. My goal was to keep it simple, add depth and attempt to bring out that “gold leaf” effect that made this painting so popular. What do you think?

Here’s what’s there:

1. Botanics by Carolyn Frielander is perfect for this exercise. The colors were exactly what I was going for…and the few that chose to add have actual gold accents! Seriously, there could not be a better choice than starting with those.

2. Shot Cottons — There are two different sets that I pulled for this stack. Studio E Shot Cottons purchased from Westwood Acres and Kaffe Fasset Shot Cottons from Form & Fabric (no longer available). The multiple thread colors in these fabrics brings a depth that a regular solid just can’t.

3. True Colors by Anna Maria Horner adds just that touch of graphic boldness that I see in the painting. I was careful not to overdo it with graphic prints, but it needed something a bit bolder than those Botanics leaves. These couple prints did just the trick.

4. Kona Curry and Sketch in Linen round out the stack where I thought there were gaps.

ColorInspiration2

I’m so happy with how this turned out. Maybe it will get turned into something and maybe it won’t, but the process of putting the fabrics together was almost as much fun as the sewing. Looking forward to trying this again with more art pieces that inspire me!

What about you? Where do you find inspiration for color in your projects?

Beauty from Ashes

February | DGS - Love Circle

The Phoenix hope, can wing her way through the desert skies, and still defying fortune’s spite; revive from ashes and rise. – Miguel de Cervantes

Scraps are kind of like Phoenixes, don’t ya think? Leftovers from other projects…just tossed aside in a pile or bin…seemingly not worth anything; scrap ashes you might say. Yet, when these scraps, throw aways, are pieced together…it seems there really is beauty from ashes.

It might be dreary outside but it's all sunshine in here!!

This weekend, I caught up on some bee blocks for the Love Circle of do.Good Stitches using these little bits, creating blocks that indeed rose from the ashes of scrap nothingness into something unexpected and beautiful.

More scraps today!!

With such a small scrap stash, I was skeptical what was going to come from this assignment. Natalie asked for monochromatic improv blocks with the value radiating from darkest/brightest in the center to the lightest/lowest value around the edges.

Can I tell you something? It.was.so.relaxing. After the pressure of completing Convergence so quickly, the change of pace to just slowly piece together little bits with no real pattern in mind was so refreshing. It’s never a bad thing to slow down and just make. Am I right?

February | DGS - Love Circle

This has me ready to dig in to my scrap bins a little more often now. How about you? Do you enjoy working with scraps? Do you have a favorite project you’ve made with yours? Leave me a link, I’d love to check it out!

Finished Block Sizes:
Orange  12.5 x 14 inches
Yellow  11.5 x 12 inches
Blue  11 x 14 inches

Sunday Stitches | Rip, Rip, Rip

My Sunday Stitches this week are much different than normal. Instead of putting them in, I was ripping them out. Sigh.

After spending all day Saturday quilting, I realized that something was amiss with my tension during a bobbin change. Even with checking regularly, I had somehow missed that the threads were not properly seating on the backing (corduroy, btw). Cry. Cry. Cry. So instead of joyfully moving on to binding, I am mournfully and painstakingly ripping out each and every last stitch.
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Have you ever had a project where you just kept hitting walls? Truthfully, this is the second time I have quilted this quilt and I am so annoyed by the whole situation. Seems like every time I turn around something is keeping me from finishing this lovely. I’m not giving up though. What about you? Are you able to keep pushing through despite setbacks? What’s your best method for coping with these kinds of creative disappointments?

Not gonna lie…here was mine. ha ha ha!
This is what one does after spending all day quilting only to realize the tension was off and before spending the evening ripping it out. Sigh. #dangyoucorduroybacking

Finished :: Convergence

Have you ever set out to make something only to have it morph and change as you go…ending in something so.much.better? So goes the story of Convergence.
RBChallenge

About six months ago, I decided to join the Austin Chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild. It’s been a wonderful experience to meet and hang out with other quilters in my area and be inspired to step outside of my comfort zone in creating and quilting. So when the Riley Blake Challenge was announced, I decided to take the opportunity to stretch myself in a few areas. After several months, an idea was birthed; a sketch was made, fabric pulled.

Then I took the plunge, starting with some improv curves.
A wee bit more of this today. :)

My original plan was to create wonky improv pinwheel type shapes in different sizes moving across the bottom of the quilt, but while building the individual pieces, I found the circular shapes more aesthetically pleasing. The background fabric is one I had never used before, Kona Nightfall, and I really love the way it blends with the shapes, especially with a few pops color from Kona Curry, Cerise, and Tulip.
Putting the pieces together...

After creating the circular shapes, I was a bit perplexed on how to lay them out. I tried so many that even my husband decided to give it a go, bless his heart!
He's a keeper!!! Helping me with my layout. That's love!

Once we settled on the placement, it was time for the quilting. I made the daunting choice to give Matchstick Quilting a try and I am so, so glad I did!
Well...here goes nothing. Wish me luck! #firsttimematchstickquilting

I'm pretending I'm competing in the #Quiltlympics where instead of the gold medal, I'll win a full body massage. #justkeepquilting

While ridiculously time consuming (ummm 10 hours people!!), it gives just the effect I was going for in the negative space…adding just the right amount of color and texture. By using different colors, it created the look of woven fabric instead of just a plain solid background, providing a depth and beauty to the overall design.
RBChallenge2

Thanks to the Modern Quilt Guild and Riley Blake for allowing me the opportunity to grow in my skills and push past my own limitations to create something of which I am so proud!

Anyone else submit something to the challenge?? Let me know, I would love to check it out!

~A

The Details:

Pattern: improv curve patchwork (Tutorial for this kind of patchwork can be found here.)
Materials: variety of Kona solids and Riley Blake prints per the challenge requirements
Techniques: machined pieced; matchstick quilting in lines about 1/8″ – 1/4″ apart; hand-bound
Finished size: 37.5″ x 43″
Started: February 7, 2014
Finished: February 13, 2014

Today

I’m behind my machine today quilting it up. I’ll probably be there for awhile with what I’ve got planned. Can’t wait to show you!
Well...here goes nothing. Wish me luck! #firsttimematchstickquilting

Hope you’re getting a chance to be creative today! Happy Wednesday!