Showing posts with label 2013 Finished Projects. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2013 Finished Projects. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Free Motion Chicken No More

I know I've been neglecting my blog lately, but that doesn't mean I haven't been sewing. I'm on a bit of a deadline with some custom orders that I can't show right now, so my AMH dress is halfway finished, as is a quilt I intended to enter into a couple quilt shows. I missed the entry deadline for one and am a couple days out on the deadline for the second, so I don't know if I'll finish in time. But before I got swamped I am happy to admit that I jumped a major hurdle in my quilting: I started to try free motion! DISCLAIMER: This post contains many pictures of my many mistakes. Nobody's perfect and we're always learning, right?

IMG_4042

IMG_4044

IMG_4045
The first quilt I've EVER free motion quilted.

Yes, you heard me correctly. After taking Elizabeth's class at QuiltCon, I took the plunge at home and started trying to free motion a few quilts. They are FAR from perfect, but I think it's important to share the imperfections. I've been catching up on some charity quilts and decided these were the best projects to start honing my free motion skills. 

IMG_4051

IMG_4048


IMG_4047


Not only am I finding free motion quilting to be fun, it's also fast. I can quilt an entire sandwich in much less time than straight lining it. That said, there is a definite learning curve and it's frustrating at times. But it's helping me get over my perfectionist attitude and I keep reminding myself that all my mistakes will come out in the wash. Quite literally. That's the great thing about quilting. So many of those little imperfections disappear when the quilt comes out of it's first wash all crinkly and cuddly. 

IMG_4054


IMG_4053


IMG_4052


IMG_4055
The second quilt I free motion quilted. See, it's slowly getting better.
So don't judge. And don't be afraid. You can see all of my many, many, many mistakes right here. I'm not embarrassed to show you. Free motion is a lesson in learning to let go. And with each quilt, I am getting in the to rhythm of free motion a little bit more. And I'm making mistakes a little bit less. I'm still backing myself into corners, and fumbling with uneven stitch length, but I'm learning and growing. I'm not going to give up on straight lining, oh no. That's still my favorite aesthetic, but I'm going to continue to hone my free motion skills. Expect to see a lot more around here in the near future.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

QuiltCon Day One Recap

Untitled

Oh, I don't even know where to begin with documenting the whole QuiltCon experience. I am still basking in the afterglow, and trying to catch up on some sleep. It was amazing and I am already planning for the next one in 2015. I think to do it justice I might have to break my recap up day by day to avoid sensory overload. I also have a plan to share a virtual quilt show for anyone who wasn't able to make it to QuiltCon so everyone is able to experience all the wonderful quilts featured there. 


IMG_3975


I flew in on Wednesday night and my flight was delayed so I got in very, very late and didn't get much sleep. I had a plan to wake up early on Thursday morning to get to the show and the vendor floor early, but, instead, I took my time getting there, partially out of fatigue and partially out of a little fear. I'm not ashamed to admit that I was a little intimidated walking in on my own, not knowing anyone. 


IMG_3976
The pile 'o crap that I accumulated while at QuiltCon. It's a mixture of swag, class materials and new purchases.
Untitled

First off, upon registering I was presented with an amazing swag bag. I didn't even know where to start. And it was heavy. And I had to tote it around with me, along with my personal bag with my supplies for class all over the vendor floor. I had a couple hours before my first workshop so I headed to the vendor floor to check out some of the booths and the quilt show. 


IMG_3967
My quilt hanging in the show.
The vendor floor was small enough for one to easily navigate in a couple hours. Hopefully next time, there will be even more vendors and more interactive booths. I must admit, the first thing I did was search out my quilt in the show. It was one of those pinch me moments and then, true to my nature, I started picking it apart in my head. I need to stop doing that. But, nevertheless, it was exciting to see it hanging with so many amazing quilts. 

IMG_3255

IMG_3254

IMG_3253

My first workshop was scheduled for Thursday afternoon. I started with "Every Last Stitch" with Anna Maria Horner. Since I have a passion for handwork, I thought a hand sewing class with AMH would be perfect. And I would do anything just to be in the same room with her. She is so amazing and gracious. She just exudes loveliness at all times. She started the class by showing us some of her hand work and talking a little about her hand quilting and embroidery theories. 


Untitled

We were each given a stack of Field Study fat quarters, batting, some gorgeous backing fabric, a needle and a set of AMH's pearle cotton floss - enough material to make a small quilt. All of us in the class decided to make a whole cloth pillow, rather than a pieced project, to practice our hand quilting. She then split us into small groups and circulated the room teaching us her basic hand quilting technique. Initially I thought there might be more stitches practiced and demoed but I wasn't disappointed because I know that I need work to perfect my hand quilting so I get even stitches. 


IMG_3248

IMG_3252

IMG_3256

Sadly, I didn't get as far as actually getting to practice the technique she taught us because I ended up spending too much time chatting. It was awesome to find myself in a class surrounded by some of my online friends that I had never met in person before. I got to sit next to my friend Elaine, who I met through a swaps and is in a couple VQBs with me. We've been chatting for a while now, and even though she lives relatively close to me, we had never met. We totally hit it off and barely stopped talking the whole class. Then, much to my surprise, Courtney, who is also in a VQB with Elaine and I, was also in our class. And even more surprising, there were three Holly(ie)s in the class including my old co-swap mama. Not only did I get to meet old friends, I got to make some new ones. 


Untitled

After class I met up with some of my good friends Liberty, Liz and Melissa we went back to our hotel to drop off our loot before I went to meet up with another online friend of mine for dinner. The dear, sweet Robyn, who I have known online for a long time, invited me to a wonderful dinner with a lot of fellow bloggers and even some fabric designers. There I finally got to meet Krista, another online friend, who is so kind and talented. Plus, I made some new acquaintances like Rashida, Penny, Monica, Melody, Kristin, Lizzy... the list goes on. 


Untitled

After dinner a bunch of us from the LAMQG met up in the atrium of our hotel for a good, old-fashioned stitch 'n bitch. We even gained some more friends along the way. But we ended up getting busted around 10:30 PM and were told by security we needed to shut it down. Seriously, I'm running with the bad crowd! ;) So a couple of us moved up to our room for a little more chatting before calling it a night. Jam packed, I say, but not a dull moment.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Sew Sew Modern for Mary

My last swap package has been received so now I can officially show it off. In the Sew Sew Modern Swap my secret partner was Mary. I had seen Mary quite a bit in many other swaps so I was familiar with her. Right off the bat I knew from her mosaic and questionnaire that I was going to make her placemats for her table. She requested something that she could use with her mother's casual dish ware. The problem was figuring out how I could merge her modern aesthetic with the more traditional colors and style of her beloved dishes. 

IMG_3207

Even Mary admitted in a later discussion on the swap message boards that she didn't have any of the colors featured in the plates in her stash. She actually called out to her partner (me) and said not to worry about coordinating. But who am I to run from a good challenge?

IMG_3215
Close-up on the front of a placemat.

I started on a hunt for the perfect fabrics. I wanted a mix of modern and her favorite designers but I wanted to match the muted tones in the dishes. I started out with a little Jay McCarroll. I love his new line, City Center, and I though his Palm Springs print was the perfect base. The speckled in the fabric emulate the speckles in the dish ware. Little did I know, Mary loves this fabric but hasn't found the right project for it. 

IMG_3217
Back of a placemat.
Then I started looking at fabrics from two of her favorite designers, AMH and Lotta Jansdotter, and found some beautiful fabrics that matched the muted tones in the FiestaWare. And I made her some simple, ye modern placemats for her table. Six in all, and finished them off with some straight-line stitching. 

IMG_3212
Front of the coasters.
IMG_3213
Back of the coasters.
Then for her smaller project I made her six matching coasters. I layered the fabrics on top of each other to allow it the bottom fabrics to peek though some of the lighter fabrics. And I finished her package off with some extras, as always. 


IMG_3219

I really hope these match her precious dishes well. It was a fun challenge for me and I really wanted to make Mary happy. It's my last big swap for a while. Now, I'm going to focus on me and getting an Etsy shop up and running. I might participate in a swap or two here and there, but I think I'm going to be a little more selective. At least for now so I can focus on making something for myself for a change.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Broken Triangles

Phew! Just under the wire and it's finally done and on it's way to Austin. And I am going to apologize in advance for the crappy photos. I had to take them very quickly to get it in the mail on time. 


Untitled


This quilt was trapped in my head for a very long time. There was a building, that was actually just a block away from my old apartment, that inspired me. It's funny, I never noticed the broken triangle mosaics at the top of the building until years after I had moved out of the building. Then, two years ago, I was working in the building intermittently and I looked up one day and saw them. The project I was working on at the time was a labor of love. It was a particularly difficult show emotionally, but one of those projects that I will carry with me forever. I was shooting a documentary series about women with severe eating disorders and we followed them as they went into treatment. Those ten women will always be a part of my life but watching them in the middle of their disorder and treatment was extremely difficult. I think, maybe that's why I finally noticed and gravitated to these "Broken Triangles". 


Untitled

Untitled


Finally, in November at the LAMQG Retreat I resolved myself to try and bring this quilt to life. I worked on intricately piecing this quilt top over the majority of the four days there. It was just a piece that needed to live, I suppose like many of the women I had been working with when I originally became inspired. Slowly, the top came together. And my friend Alissa encouraged me to consider submitting it into the QuiltCon show. By the time I left the retreat I had a majority of the top done, but the deadline to submit it to QuiltCon was rapidly approaching. 


Untitled

I decided to follow Alyssa's advice and I worked quickly to try and get it into shape enough to enter it. Time was running out, so I was only able to spray baste the quilt sandwich together and add just enough quilting to make it look put together. Then I tacked the binding on with pins and sent off my pictures. I never thought it would be accepted, so I put it to the side and concentrated on more pressing projects on my To Do List. But during my vacation over the holidays I got the news that it was, indeed, accepted and then I immediately went on the road for work so finishing it was once again put on the back burner. 


Untitled

But now, I am proud to say it is finally finished and it's in Austin. I wish I had more time, because I see all the little imperfections in the piece that I would love to have been able to fix, but I've let that all go. One of the things I love about quilting is embracing the imperfections so that's what I'm doing. I pieced the back simply, because it was just slightly too large for a whole cloth back. And I straight-line quilted it using random triangles. It's all improv pieced and quilted. 


Untitled

This was a tough one to send off, but I love it of so many reasons. And each of the girls I was working with two years ago is in this quilt as well. So, if you're in Austin for Quilt Con you can come see it (and me) in person because we'll be there.