Monday, May 23, 2011

Flying geese blocks

As I've probably said before, one of my favorite things to do is create stacks of fabric from my stash. I get a lot of joy out of it - for the 30 minutes before I start panicking about what to make with it. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all of the quilts out there in the blogosphere. It can seem like the line between "being inspired by" and "copying" is thin so when I see something I like, it sort of just feels like it's just another thing that I CAN'T make now. So anyway, I decided to make a traditional block with fabrics that I love. I started making these flying geese blocks using this tutorial with a larger scale block.

Here are a few, and I have many many more to go. The unfinished size is about 11.5X6. I found out (for once not the hard way) that directional prints don't really work with this method. Because the original square ends up being cut in quarters diagonally, none of the prints would end up going in the same direction. That kind of thing bothers me, so half my original stack is now out. Oh well.

I also think I'm going to limit the color palette to blues and greens, but I could change my mind... :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival

This mini quilt is one that I had no special thoughts or feelings about when I started. I was just playing around with some paper piecing and tried this "lattice" type square with some Amy Butler Lotus scraps I had on hand. I didn't even really like the fabrics all together that much when I started out. In the end, this is hanging in my living room and is probably one of my most complimented pieces of work. I thought it would be a good entry for Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival!

I love how the quilting came out - concentric squares, done with my walking foot. Some squares aren't perfect, but in the end, I like it that way.

It's funny how you can start off with low expectations and end up very pleasantly surprised - I guess the opposite has been true before too!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

(Still) feeling thankful

Sometimes I wonder how different my life would be if I didn't sew. As solitary as it can be - good thing to keep you busy and creative when you're lonely - it has also allowed me to connect with so many new people in both cities I have lived in. Last week was my birthday and I was pretty homesick, but later in the week I had some friends over for food and drinks and I got totally spoiled! As much as I miss home, I am thankful to have these people in my life (and others who couldn't make it too!) They treated me with some fabric goodies too - such a nice surprise!

I was seriously not expecting gifts, but how nice! Katie made me a zip pouch and gave me hexie papers, Noelle gave me a pattern, fabric and hardware to make a curvy pouch, Season gave me this cute poster (perfect for my sewing area), and Rendy did some fabric shopping so we now have matching sets of fat quarters! All really thoughtful and creative gifts for a quilter!

My table NEVER looks this pretty! I have such generous friends!

Here's Season, Katie, me, Rendy and Noelle. What a good looking group! Thanks for helping to make my birthday special ladies!

Boston Modern Quilt Guild retreat

So, yes, I live in Seattle now, but I came to love my old quilt guild so much that when I moved I decided to stay connected. The guild retreat seemed like the perfect time to make a trip home. We had a blast together - sewing, eating, drinking, and buying way too much fabric. I came home with over 10 yards of new fabric (including a backing, so I don't feel that bad about it!) By the end I got so sick of fabric shopping - I never thought that would be possible!

Here's what I was working on while I was there. I wasn't feeling very inspired, but this was a fun block to make. Saturday we stayed up until 3am sewing. It took me days to recover from the lack of sleep.

Here are some other pictures from our girls' weekend (to non-quilters that sounds a lot more normal and fun than a quilting retreat. haha):

Laurie's giant dresden plate quilt she made from fabrics she got in Uganda a few years back.

It was the royal wedding weekend, so playing royal wedding with the 11 yards of batting Monet bought (for the imprecise measurement and charge of 5 yards) seemed appropriate.

Monet gave Rebecca a bath in the scrap pile.

Rachel finished up this awesome quilt she made. I love her style and fabric selections.

This quilt is so simple yet packs a big punch.

A few of us at the beach in Kennebunkport, ME. I was so happy to reunite with my old friends (and see the sun again!)