Sunday, April 8, 2018

Spring and Summer Plans: Quilts

There are so many fabrics I want to work with and turn into quilts.   I do think - more than anything - the fabrics determine the design of the quilt.  Like so many quilters, I have a constant love affair with fabrics - and my budget doesn't allow me to keep up with everything that I crush on.  However, a good compromise are the precuts that several companies are doing.  For example, there is a collection, Catnip by Gingiber, that has caught my eye despite the name of this collection.  

Look at these variations on black and white and beige.  I love the variation in scale as well as the designs.  These four charm packs and a jelly roll (42 strips of 2.5" fabrics in the same collection) will make something terrific.
Catnip by Gingiber

Another collection I love is Fragile by Zen Chic.  This collection is mostly black and white with a pop of bright yellow and a touch of turquoise.  I used this collection to make a baby quilt for Cristina's new little nephew Helios - look at it here.  I have already started making blocks.  These to the left are 8.5" x 14.5"  A layout could be subway-tile style or a straight stack. A neutral background could be used sparingly to calm down the bright yellow and dotted prints. 

Fragile by Zen Chic

 The third collection of fabrics is also by Zen Chic, German designer Brigitte Heitland. Obviously, I love her eye for design and scale. This fabric line is Modern Background *Luster* and is one I used for my stepdaughter Julie's guest room quilt - see it in this blog post from last August.  Apparently I am not finished handling these fabrics.  In this line its her tasteful use of both the gold and silver metallics as well as  the white/grey/beige/grey/blacks. 

Modern Backgrounds *Luster* by Zen Chic

There is enough of these peppered shot cottons to make a full-size Trip Around the World. 

These are 9.5" blocks in the wonderful collection Aubade by Janet Clare, another favorite designer.  I fell in love with this collection while I was working on a quilt for Cristina.  These blocks could go onto a white, eggshell, or grey background - see the shelf of neutrals below.

So much pretty fabric.  Can't wait to dive into one of these.  

Stay tuned for Part Two - Spring and Summer Plans:  Bags/Purses

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Quilt Finish: Perfect Storm

A quilt starts with inspiration.  And I had only the best - Rossie's Double Plus Good.  It's the quilt that hooked me into the modern movement years ago.  At a Chicago MQO retreat in 2012, sitting across from Mary P, I began to work on wonky crosses just strips of brights against some Kona snow.  I even joined these blocks, only to decide I didn't care for the effect.  So I put it away. 

Meanwhile, I have been accumulating scraps of wool batting left over from various projects and bits of a wonderful Windham backing - it's a wonderful texture thing.  And it dawned on me I could join 4 of these little 8" blocks and make a 15.5" block and that perhaps some handwork would perk these blocks up.  So I began to play and came up with this:

 I had 14 of these blocks and above all wanted to make something useable.  So these blocks became the outer border for 6 additional blocks with no piecing, just handwork.  Like this:

Part of this perfect storm is that I finished the handwork on my sister-in-law Chris's quilt and needed something to stitch.  So these middle circles were just the thing.

I knew all along that I would use Sharon Pederson's reversible technique to join these 20 blocks.  But then of course the dilemma is what fabrics to use.  And that's when my QuiltCon 2018 shoppers - Holly and Sarah - come in.  They bought for me a panel of Yoshiko Jinzenji fabrics, and I instantly knew that it needed to be used for this quilt.  Here's a picture of this panel. 

Here it is:  60" x 75"

Center Detail

detail from the back

I'm so in love with this.  I'm currently machine-quilting a quilt I made for a fund-raiser.  I have invested time and money into this quilt, but I just don't like it.  About that quilt I am saying, "Someone's gonna love it - it's just not gonna be me."  And for this quilt?  I know not everyone will love this quilt, but I sure do.  It's staying in this house!

A quick shout-out to my quilty peeps who are retreating in Racine this weekend - heeeeeeey!  In honor of this retreat I am keeping retreat hours this weekend (which means sewing as soon as I get up).  We're getting ready to leave town, and too many things need to get wrapped up.  Peace out!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Look Who is Home!

Erich at the Sewing Room in Lombard has fixed my mom's Featherweight, the machine that was her wedding present in 1948.  The machine I learned to sew on.  The machine I took to college with me. 
I tripped over the cords in December, and it crashed to the floor, breaking off the bobbin winder among other things.  Because this machine has a cast-iron body, I didn't think it could be fixed.  But Erich?  He did it.  He's been working on my machines since the late 80's.  What a valuable resource he is.  I hereby solemnly swear I will find a better studio location for it!  But getting this machine back, along with the addition of my Brother PQ 1500 means I must get rid of one of my machines.  My Husqvarna Sapphire 830 is officially looking for a new home.