bee pieceful

August 11, 2009

I joined my first virtual quilting bee. Its called Bee Pieceful and everyone in my group seems to be wayyyy more advanced than I am. I am having major feelings of inadequacy, but I guess that will just make me work harder at getting better at this.   I just sent this block to its owner yesterday, but I posted it to the group before I mailed.  I got some encouraging comments, but I still can’t help feeling bad about my block.  It was my first time trying triangles, and I didn’t really know what I was doing so there’s a lot of places where things didn’t line up quite right.  It was supposed to turn out 12.5 inches, but after all my mistakes with measuring or sewing (i’m not sure) I ended up having to trim it down to 9.5 and then add that wonky border so it came out the right size.   I am really not happy with my work, but I did not have enough scraps to make a new one to send her.  This was a big learning experience, so hopefully next month I will feel better about what I make.  The ladies have been really nice to me, so whatever they think about it, they haven’t made me feel bad.  It is a great group and I’m glad they let me join.

I know I start every blog I post with “I know its been a while but…”

Maybe I am not the best blogger on the planet.  I realize now that the time and effort that my favorite bloggers put in to maintain an awesome, content-laden page is enormous, and I have great respect for them doing and sharing with everyone, on top of taking the time to make amazing creations.

That said, I did want to share the quilt I made for Christine, I really think its my best quilt yet.  Its my 5th quilt.  I finished it on May 21.   Its my first time free motion quilting!  That was an adventure.  In the first 1/4 of the quilting, I think I ripped out as many stitches as I sewed.  It was incredibly frustrating, but then…it just kindof clicked and I was able to finish it and be happy about the results.  Yes, if you look closely you can totally see that the stitches are all uneven lengths, and I did “cross the streams” a few times and overlapped my stippling, but all in all I think it looks great for my first time. The quilt was a little smaller than twin size.  I improvised most of the design based on crazymomquilt’s flea market fancy quilt top, I used fewer blocks, and a smaller size block.  I like the top but I think I love  the back of my quilt.  I think its really visually striking, and so bright and really makes me happy.  It hurt a little to give this one away, but the thanks I got from the recipient really made up for it!

the quilt top, for whatever reason I never got a pic of it on the finished quilt.

the quilt top, for whatever reason I never got a pic of it on the finished quilt.

close up of my first attempt at free motion quilting

close up of my first attempt at free motion quilting

the back, my favorite side on this quilt

the back, my favorite side on this quilt

the label. i always label my quilts! also, check out the binding, i made it myself!

the label. i always label my quilts! also, check out the binding, i made it myself!

my new project

April 29, 2009

I’m making my friend Christine a quilt as a thank you for creating a logo for Janmade.  She wanted pink and orange so I decided to use Heather Ross’s Mendocino line.  I love it.  I’m just doing simple 10″ blocks, similar to this quilt by crazymomquilts.  I’m happy with the blocks I’ve made so far, I think this is going to turn out pretty cute!

I went to the international quilt festival a couple weekends ago with my cousin.  It was the first time I’ve ever been to a quilt show and the amount of things to see was overwhelming.  The venue was huge and there were aisles and aisles of booths for shopping with anything quilt-related you can think of.  I got to try a long arm quilting machine.  I want one so much!  I can’t even begin to tell you how much easier it was to free motion quilt on the machine.   Quilting a quilt is definitely my least favorite part of the quilting process…its so hard to do on a regular sewing machine, I get really frustrated and have never been  completely happy with how it turns out.  The long arm machine is so fun to use, and the results are awesome.  Its a shame they cost thousands of dollars, and I live in a one bedroom apartment.  As you can see, they are huge.

long arm machine

long arm machine

At the quilt show, I came across a booth with all these little 16″x24″ art quilts of dogs.  Of course, I was in love.  They were selling the patterns, and surprisingly she had a papillon pattern!  I had to buy it, I’m excited about making a Foxy quilt.  I think it will be so fun, and it will be my first time paper piecing, so a small project will be good for learning.  If you click on the picture of the papillon, you will be able to go to the designer, Sharon Malec’s website.  She has patterns for over 100 dog breeds, and other animals too.

So cute.  Cant wait to make one that looks like Foxy.

So cute. Can't wait to make one that looks like Foxy.

I also loved the quilt gallery.  They were all beautiful.  A quilt show has a lot of rules.  Don’t touch anything is probably the biggest one, but also you are only allowed to take pictures of quilts that do not have a “no photography” sign next to them.  Unfortunately there were not many I was allowed to take a picture of, but here are some pictures of some amazing work that I was able to photograph.  Seeing them up close was so amazing, the quilting and piecing skills these men and women have are so incredible.  It was really inspirational to see these beautiful quilts.  It really inspired me.  I finally started on my “thank you” quilt for my friend Christine for making the logo for my etsy shop.  She wanted pink and orange, so I really hope she likes what I’ve been working on, I’m really happy with it so far.  Anyway, here are some of the amazing quilts from the 2009 International Quilt Festival:

The fabric for this was handpainted.

The fabric for this was handpainted.

this quilt blew my mind.  ithe detail is amazing

this quilt blew my mind. the detail is amazing

based on Klimts The Kiss.  They used a lot of shiny fabrics.

based on Klimt's The Kiss. Loved the gold lame.

definitely more traditional, but i liked the kalidescope effect

definitely more traditional, but i liked the kalidescope effect

I thought this was really modern and fresh using the shirting materials

I thought this was really modern and fresh using the shirting materials

Chicago Landscape! The detail was incredible.

Chicago Landscape! The detail was incredible.

a close up of a very complicated quilt, each tiny piece there was sewn together

a close up of a very complicated quilt, each tiny piece there was sewn together

a beautiful antique quilt from the 1850s. I love the eagle and vine motif. All done by hand!

a beautiful antique quilt from the 1850s. I love the eagle and vine motif. All done by hand!

they called this a variation on a dresden plate. I love the flowers and on point blocks.

they called this a variation on a dresden plate. I love the flowers and on point blocks.

i love these birds. and the hand quilting on it is incredible.

i love these birds. and the hand quilting on it is incredible.

new fabric!

January 22, 2009

All the fabric I ordered finally came in that I ordered from fabric.com and equilter (neither of which sent me the aformentioned wonky fat quarters).  After new years, they both had really good sales on their designer fabric, so I kindof went crazy.  I got some Michael Miller, Denyse Schmidt Katie Jump Rope – yay!, Kaffe Fassett, Amy Butler, Heather Ross and some other random things.   I haven’t yet really accumulated a stash, so this was my beginning.  I have random fabrics left over from projects, but I wanted to have more of a variety so I can do things more on the fly, giving me more options  and room to experiment.  Until now, I have worked by deciding a project, picking out the fabric specifically for the project, then making it.  But I think I like having the freedom of having options right there when the mood strikes me to start something.

I got quite a lot of “cute” fabrics because I will start making some baby quilts soon.  I’ve been drafting some patterns for some baby quilts I am really excited about and I think will be a good start to my etsy store.  I have so much to do before I can open it, but at least things are moving forward.  I’ve been reading the book Craft, Inc and it has been really inspirational as far as giving a lot of insight and direction on how to organize a hobby business.  So right now I’m in the process of picking out and having made fabric labels, creating a logo and banners with help from my amazingly talented friend Christine, making business cards, tags…and I’m sure there is something I am forgetting.

I guess I am just a perfectionist at heart, and I have been considering opening this shop for a while.  So I am committing to doing it “right” – whatever my definition of that is.  And I want to have all of that ready and done before I open the store, because for me that is the best way to do it.

not dead yet!

January 16, 2009

I promise I will post some content this weekend. Its been a slow start to the year. I think I need one of those indoor natural light lamps to perk me up. I’ve started my ohio sky bed quilt and gotten some great new fabrics to start my baby quilts. You’ll see them soon, promise!