Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Succulents! Potting Station Quilt and Giveaway x2

Do you know my friend Heather? Of course you do, she's Crimson Tate!

Photo courtesy Eric Lubrick
I met Heather a few years ago, shortly after she moved back to Indianapolis and opened Crimson Tate. Heather was looking for local quilters to loan finished quilts to the store for display for a few months. I dropped one off, left it there a few months, and popped in on black Friday to pick it up. "hey," she said, "people really like your quilt. so, how about you write a pattern and teach a class, okay?" Umm. Yes?

In the years since then, Heather has been a terrific friend and a huge (huge) supporter of my creative endeavors. So when Succulents happened and she asked if I'd like to design a quilt, I jumped at the chance to reciprocate the support! No "umm" this time, just "yes." 

Meet Potting Station. 
Photo courtesy Eric Lubrick
In a former creative life, "I threw," which translates roughly from hipster to English as "I made pottery on the wheel." I think that's what attracted me to the McCoy-inspired prints. Keeping with the mid-seventies feeling/reality of those famous pots that inspired this print, I chose to use the sand, terracotta and moss colors and went for a simple-looking half-rectangle design to showcase just those few prints. 

Simple? Simple-looking? Half rectangles aren't hard, per say, but they're not as easy-going as half square triangles. I am decidedly a "process" person, and I found this tutorial by Latifah Saafir on the MQG website to be clear and precise. 

If you'd like to make this quilt yourself, please read Latifah's tutorial from start to finish before following the instructions at the very bottom for "Directions for Opposite HRT." If you're new to HRTs, I strongly encourage you to make a few practice blocks before you cut into the good stuff.

For my quilt, I had just under 2/3 yard of the three Succulents prints and another 2/3 yard of a white(ish) on white(ish) print from Carrie Bloomston's Paint collection. From each print, I cut three 6.5" strips x WOF and then subcut each of the strips into four 9-1/2" rectangles. This gave me 12 rectangles of each print. 

I paired the terracotta and sand Scandia prints together and paired the moss and Paint prints together and set to work. For this process (see, I MUST talk about the process) I found that it worked well to do 6 rectangles of one color set from start to finish before making a 6-pack of the other color set. This way, I kept my work organized and my sanity in line. Also, do not skimp on pressing with steam and a bit of spray starch. Your points will thank you.

Go forth. 

When the top was done and pressed to within an inch of its life, I flung it over to Melissa Averinos for longarm quilting. We collaborated a bit on the design. I knew I wanted contrasting designs that crosscut each of the HRTs, and Melissa came up with this amazing pattern. **asks forgiveness for crap nighttime iPhone pic of quilting brilliance**

Melissa and Heather caught up at Quilt Con, and Heather caught this pic of Melissa in the booth.
Photo Courtesy Heather Givans
Quilt complete, I also whipped up a few Succulents pincushion cuffs using a few studio scraps from the store. 
Photo courtesy Eric Lubrick
If you'd like to see the other inspired Succulents goodies, be sure to follow along with the tour taking place this week and next. 

BUT WAIT. There's more. A giveaway! Leave a comment (UPDATE: Comments are now closed!) on this post for a chance to win one of two prizes. The good folks at Windham Fabrics will send a fat quarter bundle of the entire Succulents range to a lucky commenter for each post at the end of the tour, so be sure to follow along and leave a note on each post for 14 chances to win. For this post, I'll also pick a winner at random after the tour wraps up (someone remind me. pregnesia in full swing.) to receive a Succulents pincushion cuff. To enter both giveaways, just leave a comment that...ahem...begins with one of the following starters: 

A) My favorite thing to grow is... 

B) There once was a quilter named Heather... 

C) I have this HILARIOUS pregnancy story...

A, because it's easy. B, because who doesn't like a limerick in March? And C because I'm heading into my third trimester and need to hear some happy/funny stories.  

Photo courtesy Eric Lubrick
Now for the tour! To use Heather's words exactly, here’s the rockstar line-up. Even if a date has passed, stop by each post during the tour and leave a comment to enter the FQ bundle giveaway:
March 15: Heather Givans of Crimson Tate
March 16: Eric Lubrick of Eric Lubrick Photography and Oar to Oar
March 17: Sarah Sharp of {no} hats quilts 
March 18: Lindsay Lefevere of ellesquare (you are here)
March 19: Karen McTavish of McTavish Quilting Studio, blogging at Crimson Tate 
March 20: David Barnhouse of Crimson Tate 
March 21: Meghan Eschbaugh of Calvin and Carolyn
March 22: Brooke Starnes of my general admiration, blogging at Crimson Tate
March 23: Matthew Wheeler of Kapa Quilts
March 24: Samantha Howard of Bobaloo Kids,blogging at Crimson Tate
March 25: Amy Garro of 13 spools 
March 26: Amanda Castor of Material Girl Quilts 
March 27: Heather Jones of Heather Jones Studio 
March 28: Heather Givans of Crimson Tate 
Thanks for stopping by! I'll leave you with this gratuitous photo that I love for many reasons, not least of which is master photographer Eric's dog, Huck, chillin' in the background. And also that wood slice table. 


Photo courtesy Eric Lubrick

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets Trivia

Over on Facebook, I've organized a read-along for the Harry Potter series. There are about 45 of us reading and chatting about 75-100 pages each week. We started with Book 1 the first week in January and have just finished reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets this week.  If you care to join us, it's not too late. The group is open and you can still easily catch up.

When we started the read-along, there was much energy and excitement. My sister, wise as she is in matters of the heart, advised me that the enthusiasm would taper off if I didn't actively try to keep it going. So, as we slog through the doldrums of February, may I present... trivia.

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets Trivia

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets Trivia

Second years, see how well you paid attention to the details by answering the following 10 questions about Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets:
  1. What sound is deadly to the basilisk?

  2. the cardinal's song
    the hen's cluck
    the rooster's crow
    the crow's caw

  3. How does Ron try to fix his wand?

  4. witchastik

  5. What did Dumbledore teach before he became headmaster?

  6. transfiguration
    defense against the dark arts
    history of magic

  7. Who was Headmaster or Headmistress when Riddle was a student at Hogwarts?

  8. albus dumbledore
    dedalus diggle
    armando dippet
    perenelle flamel

  9. What do you call a magic-born person who has no magic?

  10. squirrel

  11. Where does Harry land after using Floo Powder for the first time?

  12. Flourish & Blotts
    Florean Fortescue's
    Borgin & Burkes
    The Leaky Cauldron

  13. Who is the Slytherin house ghost?

  14. Nearly Headless Nick
    The Bloody Baron
    The Grey Lady
    The Fat Friar

  15. What year was Hagrid in when he was expelled?

  16. 2nd

  17. What is the title of Gilderoy Lockhart's autobiography?

  18. Magical Me
    Marvelous Me
    Marvelous and Magical
    Magical and Marvelous

  19. What creatures does Lockhart let loose in the classroom?

  20. Yorkshire Wexies
    Northumber Nargles
    Dover Nymphs
    Cornish Pixies

Well done, second years. You're moving onto year 3.

Friday, September 20, 2013

game day quilt - big finish

I've finished quite a few quilts that I haven't posted about yet. So, let's start with my Game Day Quilt.

If you'll recall, I started this quilt in September 2010, and then in July 2011 I said that I was taking it on vacation to finish.

In July 2012 I posted a teaser with some in-progress quilting.

And then I finished the quilt very shortly thereafter. I unearthed it a month or so ago and realized that I never photographed the finished product. Can do!
Game Day Quilt 3

It's funny to look at this quilt and think about how I'd do this differently if I was to make it again. I had no idea how to set blocks on point when I started this one. 
Game Day Quilt 2

It's still something that makes me sit and think and check my reference books (or pinterest board nowadays!), but I can say with all certainty that I'd come at it differently now that I've got a few more years of experience. 
Game Day Quilt 1

I backed the quilt with a feature print from the Hunky Dory line. In my mind, this quilt's orientation is decidedly landscape, so the print wasn't quite wide enough to span the back. I added a strip of kona burgundy inlaid with a few patchwork squares that I pieced from my trimmings when I square up the quilt. 
Game Day Quilt Back

The quilting is a series of (semi)straight lines, which, overall feels more than a little retro to me. There's something about this that says "tube socks and roller skates," right? Maybe it's the vanagans or the whimsy. Or both. 
Game Day Quilt Quilting

Sunday, August 25, 2013

she felt it

My friend Barb retired from teaching Fiber Arts at the local high school this year. Fiber Arts includes everything from crewel to felting to weaving to macrame to embroidery to sewing (of course). Suffice it to say, Barb is a gal of many talents.

Barb worked for months on a collection of felted miniatures as parting gifts for the other art teachers. Each week when our little band of misfits got together to work on our projects (we meet every Wednesday, with breaks for summer and holidays), Babs would bring her felting basket and update us on the progress of each of her projects - nine in all.

As the school year came to a close and Barb's retirement date loomed, she asked me to bring my camera along and take a few photos of her felted wonders. Of course!

You guys, you will DIE from cute poisoning when you witness these. Are you ready? Here we go.

Radio Flyer by Barbara Weiss

Coy Snail by Barbara Weiss

Dead Head by Barbara Weiss

Mushroom Garden by Barbara Weiss

Lady Bug_front by Barbara Weiss

Munchkin by Barbara Weiss

Blue Crock by Barbara Weiss

Flower Basket by Barbara Weiss

Viking by Barbara Weiss

Isn't she amazing? I can't decide if my favorite is that coy snail or the viking (he has so much love to give, if only he wasn't alone on that rock!).

If you want to follow along with Barb's future felted miniatures, be sure to follow her That Felt Good pinterest board, here.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

steal this quilt

Violet Craft wrote a humble and poignant blog post a few days ago in which, among other things, she acknowledged the incredible size of her task to pick a winner from the entries submitted in the flickr photo pool. I don't envy her.

I tried hard not to pay much attention to what others were working on until after I had my own quilt done, because I didn't want to be influenced by anyone else's work. Since then, I've spent a decent amount of time pouring over all of the photos in the flickr group and leaving messages on all of the ones that moved me for one reason or another. I empathize with Violet very much, so I thought I'd try to ride a mile on her donkey, so to speak, and pick a winner of my own. I based my choice 100% on my personal taste and style by asking myself the following two questions:

  1. do I wish I made that? 
  2. do I want to steal that? 

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present -- my winner (created by flickr user theglasdiva):

Madrona Road Quilt Challenge

I love absolutely everything about this quilt.  The design is perfect. The integration of solids is perfect. The quilt has a wintery feel despite the springy cheerfulness of the fabrics, and there is such terrific movement in this design that my eyes never stop. Even so, it's very zen.

In short, I wish I'd made it and I want to steal it. I want it. I will take it and hide with it for years in an underground cave, and then after I lose it in a game of riddles, I will follow a pair of tricksy hobbitses through the gates of Mordor only to jump into the fire of Mount Doom to be with it forever. My precious.

There were a lot of great projects submitted, and based on what I've seen on Instagram, there are many more still in progress [deadlines suck].  I created a flickr gallery with some of the others that caught my eye.

Do you have a favorite?  Who's your winner?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

madrona road

happy fall! happy winter! happy new year!

When I attended my local modern quilt guild's holiday party in December, I was excited to snag a bundle of 6 Madrona Road fat quarters so that I could join in the latest MQG challenge. Participants were encouraged to create a quilt (or quilted item) using this new range from Portland designer Violet Craft. I absolutely love Violet's first collection, Peacock Lane, which I've been hoarding collecting and fondling dreaming about using for some time. 

Madrona Road is offered in a couple of colorways. My guild got the blue/grey/yellow stack. The colors are soft and spa-like - different from my usual pull toward jewel tones and bright, fruit-punch rainbows. Here are the fabrics that were in my bundle: 

madrona road bundle

I knew I wanted to either design my own quilt or use a "method" instead of a pattern. I had settled on a simple, offset coin pattern that would feel like bricks as kind of a play on the "road" part of the range name. But when I got to ironing and really looking at the fabrics, this one struck me.  

I'm starting my #MQG challenge project and loving this #madronaroad print!

I just really love that herringbone - or is it a chevron? who knows. Either way, it compelled me to go in a different direction. I got out the graph paper and resolved to reinterpret this fabric design as a quilt. It worked, and the swearing was almost zero. Once I got the hang of cutting on the 45-degree line on my mat, the herringbone inset came together quickly. 

Madrona Road

My original intent was to use a charcoal solid as the background color on the front, but everything I had access to at that moment wasn't right. It was either too light or too purple. I consulted with a gang of quilty friends and we tried white and linen and a yarn-dyed linen blend. They were "fine," which everyone knows is code for "meh."  Ultimately I settled on this not-quite-navy blue solid, and I'm "really pleased" with the end result, which everyone knows is code for "YOU GUYS THIS IS SO GOOD, RIGHT?!"

I pieced a back that echoes the front with a panel of the inspiration print and a medium grey solid background. 

Madrona Road - back

I machine-quilted it, echoing the front panel herringbone and extending the straight lines out to the edges of the quilt. 

Madrona Road - back detail

On the back it creates a quilted herringbone in the negative space, which makes me happy. 

Madrona Road - back quilting detail

For the binding I used a coordinating print that I picked up at my LQS. I like how it reads a solid from afar and really plays well with both the not-quite-navy on the front and the grey on the back. 

Madrona Road

Overall I'm once again totally geeked that my graph paper design translated to a finished quilt so smoothly and perfectly. The novelty of that never wears off. 

Madrona Road

Another member of my guild commented that she felt liberated to try new things because she had been given the fabric rather than purchasing it herself. I tend to agree that there's a certain sense of freedom and decisiveness that comes with these MQG challenge projects. Having a deadline helps (not that I've come close to meeting it in the past).  It's not lost on me that my Peacock Lane stash is still sitting there waiting to be exhumed from the depths of my fabric closet, while this Madrona Road bundle only glanced the cutting table way-station for a hot second.  

Can't wait to see everyone else's challenge quilt! With the deadline fast approaching, there are sure to be a flurry of finishes this week.