Showing posts with label Fabrics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fabrics. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

QuiltCon Recap Day Two


I woke up early on Friday morning, Day Two of QuiltCon, already a little exhausted, but I had an early workshop with Lotta. When I heard that Lotta Jansdotter was teaching a class on textile printing I knew I had to sign up. It's no secret that I'm in love with Lotta's aesthetic but there was also a desire to just share the same space with her for just a little while as well. Artistically speaking I can't draw very well so I was hoping that her class would also help me stretch myself a little. And it definitely did. 




During the first part of the class Lotta taught us how to carve our own stamps and we learned the art of fabric stamping. That little voice inside of me that always reminds me that I can't draw immediately had me a little nervous. I started getting in my head (even before the class started if I'm being totally honest) about what shapes I would design and carve and then finally I was able to let go.



I decided to take a cue from the quilt I had in the show and I made a broken triangle stamp. Once I got into the groove I quickly discovered this process was liberating for me in it's simplicity. The same imperfections I am drawn to in hand quilting inspired me here. I love the slightly flawed look of hand printed fabric. I think that's one of the (many) reasons why I'm drawn to Lotta's aesthetic. Even though she has perfected the repeat in her mass-produced fabrics, they retain a handmade quality that I find so pleasing. 



It was so much fun to carve the speedball and play with the fabric inks, seeing where slight blemishes arise and deciding to either fix them or leave them. With some of my speedball leftovers I played around with more random patterns as well. It was so inspiring to see all of the amazing designs that my fellow classmates were creating. 



The second half of the class we learned about stenciling and made our own stencils, then tried printing on some of Lotta's fabrics to see how we could enhance existing prints. I actually came out of the class invigorated and ready to try the process at home. I think I, personally, prefer the block printing because of the more organic, handmade feel but I will definitely be trying both processes at home sometime soon. 





After Lotta's class I had lunch with Liberty, one of my favorite ladies and one of my roommates here at QuiltCon. Oh, how I do adore her. I had the pleasure of meeting her at the first LAMQG retreat I attended last year and our friendship continues to grow. We tried some down-home Austin BBQ and then headed back to check out the vendor hall before she (and a few of our other friends) had to run back to class. 





My afternoon was free, so I explored the booth and the Quilt show in between lectures. I dropped into the panel discussion, moderated by my amazing friend Latifah, on getting published your work in a magazine and another lecture by Angela Walters on Free Motion Quilting, which I found very interesting and funny. Angela is a crackup! Then, lucky me, my name was picked in a drawing and I won an entire set of the Setacolor fabric paints - the same ones we used in Lotta's class. 


After the vendor floor closed for the day I met my old friend Jay for drinks and then dinner, which is always a good time. Then I quickly changed and met him and Matt back at the 80s party, along with many of my other friends. 


Then Jay, Matt and I had a hair brained idea to go out for drinks after and took a pedicab to another part of town, but we didn't like the scene so we god back in another pedicab and called it a night. Good friends, new skills and some surprises made for a great day two.

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. 


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?

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. 

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. 

Front of the coasters.
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. 


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.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Finally Some New Year Sewing


2013 has already been a whirlwind. I finally got home late last week, but I had a migraine that didn't seem to want to cooperate and stayed with me through the weekend. I did manage to pull Hepburn out of my studio (which is chilly right now and crammed with junk that needs to be organized - but that's another story) and do a little bit of sewing. And I also got to try out my new foot...


Right now my MUST DO LIST seems daunting. I have two sets of bee blocks that were due before the New Year. Plus I have one last swap looming and I need to finish quilting and binding my Broken Triangles Quilt, because it was accepted into the show at Quilt Con! Yeah, that's a piece of news I received while I was on holiday in Alaska and I've been sitting on it a while. I'm still in a little bit of shock. I got it basted and quilted "enough" to submit it in November so now I need to get it finished. 


I started on one set of overdue bee blocks. But I started cutting the wrong color of 1.5" squares. I got all 176 squares cut before I re-read what she wanted and realized that the scraps are supposed to be black, white and gray. I didn't let it get me down. I know I'll need those other 1.5" squares somewhere down the line. It's inevitable. 


Then, I also pulled fabrics for the swap. I think Anna Maria, Lotta and Jay will play nicely together, don't you? I have a plan that I think will make my partner very happy. What were you up to this week?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Drooling Over City Center

My husband is in Panama this week and I am so jealous. While I'm stuck here working, he's having cervesas on the beach with the boys. Sigh. But since he's not home I am going to try and schedule a serious date with Hepburn, my faithful sewing machine. Since it's also holiday time, my free time at home is actually pretty limited, unfortunately. Last night I got a surprise visit with my aunt, who lives in New York. She randomly texted me that she happened to be in town for a meeting so I met her for dinner. She's one of my best friends so we closed down the restaurant, but I managed to get a little hand stitching done in bed when I got home.


Tonight, I plan on getting in a few hours with Hepburn (named for my favorites Kate & Audrey), if I get out of the office at a decent hour. I need to power through some bee blocks so I can free up my sewing time on Saturday for some fun projects, because I have a big old pile of fabric *screaming* my name...


Can I just tell you how absolutely in love I am with Jay McCarroll's new line, City Center? Seriously, there are two lines that were recently released that sent me over the moon and this is one of them. I love Jay, and I have always been a fan of his fabric because I think he has a very graphic and unique point of view but this is, hands down, my favorite line of his. And my husband loves it too! In fact, he picked out the yellow fabric and asked me to make a dog bed for our living room with it. He wanted something fun and funky and something we wouldn't mind seeing every day. Then I picked up some significant yardage of my two favorite prints from the line with the intention of making some dresses for myself. My husband wouldn't let me buy any more when we were at Sew Modern, but he's out of town and they just got Architextures line in so I think I'm going to pick up more City Center while I'm there too!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

She Made Swap


After I had made the decision to cut back on swaps and bees, I had already committed to a few. One of those, the Modern She Made Swap, is wrapping up right now, so I can check one off the list. I jumped on board the Modern She Made Swap back in September when I thought that I would actually be in town for the majority of the Fall. Thankfully, I did find enough time to participate and make a (hopefully) thoughtful package for my partner. I just didn't have as much time to post pictures of my progress and comment on others photos as I would have liked. 



I must admit that I was a little confounded at first when I got my partner. She was way wide open and seemed to be happy with anything and ultimately I just wanted to please her at the end of the day. So I did some stalking and carefully watched how she would respond to pictures other people posted in the swap and I finally decided on a (mostly) solid Mini Quilt for her. I knew she loves solids and the theme of this swap was "Triangles" so I made her a herringbone mini, that ultimately was hard for me to part with because I loved it for myself.


I also made her a matching little fabric basket, that you've all seen before. And I included some batik fat quarters to go along with it, since she admitted to having a *secret* adoration for batiks. I haven't heard back yet, which worries me because she should have her package by now. I hope she loves it. 



Then, I received a fabulous mini quilt from Heidi. I just adore it. And I can't wait to hang it in my studio. She captured my love of modern, clean lines, hand stitching and low volume fabrics perfectly. She says it was a stretch for her, but I think it came to her naturally. 


She included a matching pin cushion and some Kate Spain (favorite) fabric scraps for me in the package as well. Lucky me! I love good mail days like this!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ruby Star Dilemma

I’ve been moved into my sewing studio for some time now, but the place is still definitely a work in progress. There is still some clutter going on, things that need to be moved out and furniture that needs to be replaced with something smaller and more functional. But it works for now. Since my studio is basically a repurposed detached garage it also doubles as a storage space for us. We had a plan to hand curtains to hide the storage, and originally I was going to make plain curtains in a natural color out of either linen or Kona cotton and put a patchwork panel in each for a pop of some color using some of my favorite fabric.


Then, one day I had a gift certificate to Sew Modern burning a hole in my pocket. I went in with the intention of buying a neutral colored solid and came out with the most delicious splurge. In a moment of weakness I bought up some of my favorite Melody Miller prints. They didn’t have enough of the Ruby Star Spring Insect print to do all four panels I would need for my curtains, so I bought up what they had left (enough for two panels) and then enough yardage of the coordinating Ruby Star Spring Bloom fabric in Springtime for the other two panels.


Then it took us forever to get the curtain wire hung, but finally last week it we did it. I hung the panels just for show and measurements before I started hemming them and asked my husband to take a look. Sigh. He thinks they’re too busy. Granted, the space is a complete disaster right now (please don’t judge) so I am sure all the clutter is affecting it. So I tempted to take down the Bloom panels and just use the Insect panels with two panels of a light, matching linen. The other option is to just do plain linen panels with large strips of the Insect fabric running through. Or maybe it's just as simple as moving the panels around. What do you think? I need some help before I start cutting.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

do. Good Swap Angel


And then there were swaps. Holly and I hosted a blind swap for all of the do. Good Stitches Circle Hosts. Unfortunately, someone had an unexpected turn of events and was unable to complete her gift so Holly and I jumped in as angels. Amanda was such an excellent swapper and we couldn't let her go empty-handed. Her surprises arrives well past the deadline, but at least she arrived.


When it became clear that her partner was MIA Holly and I got to work. Being friends with Amanda, Holly knew she would love some knitting accessories since she had a baby on the way and probably not much time to sew when her bundle of joy arrived. I started stalking her and pulled fabrics from my stash from some of her favorite designers in colors she loved. 



As I continued to stalk her, I discovered that she might like a bag of some sort so I found an adorable pattern in an old issue of Stitch Magazine and got to work. The bag came together quickly. I actually enjoyed this pattern more than the last one I tried from Stitch. But I did make one huge mistake. And, unfortunately realized it too late. Can you tell?



Yep. I put one of the pleated pockets on backwards. Oops! I don't think it looks horrible. Or am I just trying to make myself feel better? I was rushing and that's really my only excuse. Ugh. By the time I realized it (during this photo shoot in fact) I tried to think of a way I could fix it but couldn't come up with a concrete solution, aside from ripping the entire thing apart, which seemed extreme.


As I tend to do, I did make some slight modifications to the design. I will admit, on this project the design modifications were largely in part due to the fact that I used the last bit of this AMH Innocent Crush print that I had in my stash. It's a personal favorite, but I was so glad it was being used for someone who loves it as much as I do. I added coordinating Kona Solids on the pockets and the handles to make the AMH print go a long way. And I really love how the solids sneak in and break up the print.


I also made her a little pocket hoop for some cute, sewing space wall storage and included a bunch of extras in her package. So, Amanda, I'm sorry that your package came so late. Thank you for being so patient and such a great swapper! Congrats on your new baby girl, too!

Monday, September 10, 2012

PLP5 Progress

One thing I forgot to mention about my little trip South of the Border... I came home with a nasty case of Swimmer's Ear. We landed on Thursday evening and I thought I could wait to see my doctor the next morning, but after the plane ride I felt like a trip to the Urgent Care that evening would be better. So I've been on ear drops and pain killers since Thursday night. The pain is better, but the swelling hasn't decreased so I still can't hear out of my right ear and my left ear was getting sore yesterday, so I put some of the drops in that ear last night, and this morning can barely hear out of either ear, so I'm trying to get in to see my doctor. Ugh.


That, combined with entertaining my brother and husband for their birthday celebrations this weekend didn't give me much time for sewing. But I did get started on the pouch I'm making for my secret partner in the Pretty Little Pouch Swap. I was inspired to join this swap after receiving my awesome bags from Kay. After doing a little research (aka stalking my partner) I saw this new fabric come in at Hawthorne Threads and I thought it would be right up her alley so I snatched some up and I decided to pair it with something from my own stash for the lining.


The mermaids really inspired me so the little time I had to sew this weekend, I worked on cutting out her pouch and embellishing the mermaid fabric. I found some clip art of a sailing ship and I printed it out. I traced the ship onto the mermaid fabric using embroidery tracing paper then I cut the pieces out of the paper.


Using double sided fusible web I fused one side to the fabric scraps I wanted to use for each piece and then I used the paper templates to cut out the pieces from the fused fabric then fused them onto the mermaid fabric following the outline I traced. The last step was to machine appliqué the pieces down, using a light brown thread I thought would provide a nice contrast.


On the other side of the fabric I started embroidering some sea creatures and kelp. I'm thinking about adding a little more kelp and maybe one more starfish, but I'm not sure yet. What do you think?