Wednesday, May 24, 2017

greenery

It's that time of year again! Time for the Pantone Color of the Year challenge. When I saw Greenery this year, I knew it was a color I was itching to play with.  And the Kona color? Flamingo! I love them both. Our challenge for the McKinney Modern Quilt Guild isn't due until July but I wanted to get mine done in time to enter the challenge over at Bryan House Quilts. You'll want to take a peek at all of the fabulous entries! So much fun.

My original idea for a greenery/flamingo quilt involved more than 600 1 inch half square triangles. Yeah.... no. I abandoned that idea pretty quickly! Then I started sketching these succulents and my mini, Tiny Plants, was born! The challenge for guild was to go outside our box. This is the first time I've totally drawn up an appliqué pattern myself (and yes, the simple shapes lent themselves nicely to my limited drawing skills!)

I made it completely from my stash. My friend Diann has been experimenting with miniaturizing some of her longarm patterns and offered to quilt it for me.... don't you love the fun circles? I do!
I machine blanket stitched the raw edge appliqué.

and added a watering can. My finished mini measures 9" x 24"

Are you playing with Greenery this year?

Monday, May 22, 2017

handwoven pillows

soon there will be so many pillows on the couch we won't have a place to sit! Ha!

I love how my stripes woven up on my rigid heddle loom go so nicely with the pillows I wove on Kathie's floor loom. I used the same yarns (8/2 cotton, literally from the same cones!) and added in a lime green and a lighter teal.

This one is 16" square.

And this one is a 12x16" rectangle. 

Ahhhh they make me happy!


Saturday, May 20, 2017

the endless warp

A couple of months ago, I warped my rigid heddle loom with double strands of 8/2 cotton natural yarn, so I could experiment with weaving some new rayon chenille yarn. My intention was to weave the whole warp with this yarn, and possibly make the finished fabric into a garment. Turns out rayon chenille is a bit of a pain to weave. The project kept stalling. Rather than let it sit much longer, I finally decided to do some different things with the warp. Today I finally took it off the loom!

Here is the piece of chenille I did get woven, before I wet finished it. It was rather stiff and obviously not big enough for a garment! haha

After I machine washed and dried it, the fabric is incredibly soft! Not sure what I'll do with it, but it's beautiful
I wove the rest of the warp with doubled strands of 8/2 yarn. First up, a striped pattern to make a pillow to coordinate with the ones I made last month at Kathie's. This is just plain weave.

Another plain weave stripe pattern where I did some color play and added in a lime green. Another pillow to be made. 


Then a red waffle weave towel....
Even after all of this, I still had quite a bit of warp left! I decided to play with a pattern that uses 2 pick up sticks, just to learn. I loved the effect......


Unfortunately, after I washed it and it shrunk up (a lot!) the pattern is kind of a  mess. I think tomorrow I will try wetting it down & blocking it to see if I can create something useable.

It's interesting to see all of the different things I can do with the same plain warp! Finished projects to come...




Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Pencil cases for charity

As a special charity project for the McKinney Modern quilt guild, we are making pencil cases, crayon roll ups and matchbox car roll ups for CASA. The kids represented by CASA spend lots of boring time in courthouses and need something fun to do while they wait. At our last meeting, I grabbed 2 kits to make these awesome pencil cases that hold 12 colored pencils and a small pad of paper.

These went together in no time at all, using a great tutorial from Bonnie, our charity chair. I'm sure I'll be making a few more.
A great use for scraps of fabric and batting!



Sunday, May 7, 2017

Liberty quilt

Finish number three for me in the second quarter of the 2017 Finish-along! I really love this little quilt made with some of my Liberty Lawn and low volumes from my stash.
I quilted it in a diagonal grid and backed it in flannel, so its very soft and snuggly. Will make a great quilt for a baby someday.

Each block is 6 inches square and the quilt measures 42" x 48".  And the best news? I still have plenty of Liberty left!




Friday, May 5, 2017

woven pillows

I thought you might enjoy seeing the pillows I made with my handwoven fabric from Weaving camp in the City.  I'm so happy with the way they turned out!
Pictures were taken outside since we have a beautiful day... but they will normally be inside on the couch. Our couch perfectly matches the decorator fabric I put on the backs...
It was so much fun learning a new pattern...
And I'm already thinking about what I'll do next year!




Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Maui Glam bag

After seeing a Maui Glam Bag (pattern by Pink Sand Beach designs) a friend made, I really wanted to make one for myself. The bag is intended as a zipper pouch (2 zippers) but my friend had put a shoulder strap on hers and it became an adorable small handbag! I already knew from experience that Pink Sand Beach patterns are incredibly well done, and that the finished product is always professionally finished with proper interfacing support. I was all in!

Yesterday, I put together my bag, using 2 Cotton & Steel prints for the outside and some Art Gallery low volume prints from my stash for the linings/inside pocket.
I love the extra outside zip pocket to stash my phone

I didn't have any swivel hooks on hand so I attached my strap to the D rings on both sides
Inside pockets for credit cards, etc. I can't wait to put this little bag to good use!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

weaving camp in the city

I'm home (did you miss me?)! Once again I ran off to Charlotte to weave with my friend Kathie. She hash tagged our photos #weavingcampinthecity and I love it! We always have a great time together, weaving of course, but also chatting, watching lots of baseball and drinking a bit of wine. It was a wonderful week.

Part of the fun is that Kathie lets me weave on her floor loom, which enables me to learn new things and try weave patterns that are not possible on my rigid heddle loom.

Warping the loom is a much bigger process than I am used to with lots of steps...


Yes, I did let Kathie crawl around on the floor to tie up the heddles. Honestly, I was afraid I'd never get back up off the floor! HA! 

Finally, I got to weaving (I think it was day three!) I had chosen this diamond pattern which is by far the most detailed pattern I've ever done. I wove about half of my warp with the dark teal, then the second half in red.
I had a little bit of warp left at the end so I decided to play with some neutrals.
I ended up with this lovely piece of fabric which will become new pillows for our sofa in the next few days.

The last day we took a field trip to find this billboard (did you see it in the first photo?). Kathie has her work featured on an actual billboard this year! HOW COOL IS THAT???


The week was exactly what I've been needing! A bit of an escape. Now back to reality! What have you been up to?





Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Liberty Dainty Tote

I'm still working my way through the glorious bundle of Liberty I bought last year. After piecing a quilt top, I had little pieces left over, just big enough for 1/2" hexies. I combined them with a solid aqua and soon I had this pretty panel...
in my usual fashion, I had no plan for it! Then I realized it was the perfect size to incorporate into a dainty tote. I hadn't made one of these in ages and it's my favorite little bag to make. I ended up cutting the panel in half so I could feature it on both sides of my tote. I lined the cut edge up with the top edges of the background panel and hand appliquéd all the way around the hexies.
I used a dark, denim blue grunge for the background and a blue & white check for the binding.

More Liberty Lawn for the handles, side gussets and top zipper placket. 
I'm so in love with this little tote! Oh, and this is finish #2 in the second quarter of the 2017 finish-along!





Tuesday, April 11, 2017

bitsy boxes

This weekend I had some fun pattern testing for my friend Natalie over at Ticklegrass Designs. I added some props to the picture so you can see just how tiny her latest bags are!
The Bitsy Box pattern is now available as a PDF here. Seriously people, you need to make a few of these! They are so much fun, so quick (under an hour to make each one) and adorably cute at 2 1/2 inches cubed.
Wouldn't it be fun to fill one of these with binder clips for a sewing pal? or tiny animal toys for a child? 
Really, the possibilities are endless. I plan to make tons more. You probably should make some too.




Saturday, April 8, 2017

placemats and towels

I had a fun bridal shower to attend today for the daughter of a good friend. She had tried to make off with Mom's hand woven dish towels last time she was home, so I knew I needed to start off her gift by weaving her a set of towels of her own. Then I decided to make her a set of placemats to go with them.
My local quilt shop was selling some of the cap sets (these are the samples the sales reps bring when they are selling new fabrics) of Sweetwater's Sunday Supper line and I just loved it! I bought most of what they had, went home & started cutting 3 1/2" squares. It's really the perfect line for placemats!

I quilted a crosshatch in two colors on my Janome and I love the way they turned out
She was very happy with her gift!
And guess what? I had enough fabric for four more placemats!
And I still have some more fabric left over for another day!
This is my first finish for the second quarter of the 2017 finish-along.