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.