The Quilt is done!

Well, finally it is done.  My second quilt, a queen size, (never again) came back from being quilted by Krista Withers (thank you!) and I sewed the binding on a little bit every night.  Now it is ready to send off to its new owners.  It incorporates some fabric strips from someone special amongst a palette of neutrals. Ok, and a couple of my own fabrics are mixed in with some other current fabrics. What’s the big deal? Well it was a big deal for me, and I learned so much doing this. It truly was a labor of love, and I told you all I would share my journey so here it is!

Quilt design by Carol Van Zandt, quilting by Krista Withers

The Quilt front

Quilt design by Carol Van Zandt, quilting by Krista Withers

front detail

Quilt design by Carol Van Zandt, quilting by Krista Withers

front detail

Quilt design by Carol Van Zandt, quilting by Krista Withers

Back

Quilt design by Carol Van Zandt, quilting by Krista Withers

Quilt back detail

Quilt design by Carol Van Zandt, quilting by Krista Withers

Quilt in Action

Quilt design by Carol Van Zandt, quilting by Krista Withers

Quilt in Action 2

Hexagons Made Easy

I love hexagons. My first give away piece 3 years ago was designed around hexagons and I even imagined for a while to make my first Surtex booth in 2011 all hexagons like a honeycomb, then the logistics of it all got the better of me.  And lo and behold, hexagons are back in style now in a big way.

So fun to see a book all about sewing with hexagons in a myriad of ways in Hexagons Made Easy by Jen Eskridge with Martingale Press. I met Jen in 2011 at Quilt Market.  She is the person behind the popular Reanna Lily Designs and Deploy That Fabric with C&T Publishing. So fun to see her books keep coming out. 

The techniques section answered a lot of questions for me and I particularly like the quilting and finishing chapter, with tons of great examples of motifs to machine quilt atop your hexagons.  There are 18 different blocks and then 9 whole cloth quilt patterns with detailed instructions and then a section on home decor projects.  What is unusual is that it really speaks to both the traditional and the modern quilter. AND of course she used some of my Tokyo Rococo fabric collection for a couple of projects and I like that too!  She also used fabric by Kate Spain, Anna Marie Horner, Tula Pink, Kaffe Fasset, Denyse Schmidt, so these ended up being some beautiful quilts.  Lots of solids too. 

These days I am reluctant to show too much inside a quilting book as it tends to give it all away and I know these authors work so hard putting these together. Just trust me, if you like hexies, you’ll like this book.  But here are a few shots anyway of the covers and the table of contents to give you an idea.

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Whose house? The Wise House!

I found out about The Wise House since they carry the Lilly Loray line of kitchen textiles that I was involved in the design work for, and then I fell in love with their site and their products.  They have a number of items they have custom made for their store that are simple and stylish that I find infinitely appealing, including lavender heart trios, funky peg bags, and superduper door stops, and my favorite –the hipster handbag!  Love!

The Wise House has three styles of the reversible bag, the Hampton Hipster Handbag for the stylish woman on the go, the Midi Hipster and the Girl’s Hipster. The fabrics are sourced in the UK and the bags are made by hand by a local seamstress, Carla, who formerly owned a shop on Portobello Road. There are also future plans for seasonal collection using corduroy, wool and tartan.

The Hampton Hipster Handbag from The Wise House

The Hampton Hipster Handbag from The Wise House

Midi Hipster Bag from The Wise House

Midi Hipster Bag from The Wise House

Girl's Hipster Bag from The Wise House

Girl’s Hipster Bag from The Wise House

The Wise House is a shop selling cheerful, original and mostly practical things for people and their homes. It is owned and run by Lucy, who is passionate about finding, designing and making things that are not found on every street (or web) corner.

SuperDuper Door Stops from The Wise House

SuperDuper Door Stops from The Wise House

Funky Peg Bags from The Wise House

Funky Peg Bags from The Wise House

Lavender Heart Trios by The Wise House

Lavender Heart Trios by The Wise House

Lavender Heart Trios by The Wise House

Lavender Heart Trios by The Wise House

The Wise House launched this ‘Bless This Home’ limited edition unframed Giclée art print, taken from an original pen and ink drawing by Kent artist Lydia Bevan, who made the design exclusively for The Wise House. Each art print is one of just 220 prints, hand signed and numbered by the artist.

Bless This Home art print from The Wise House

Bless This Home art print from The Wise House

Improvisational quilting with Sherri Lynn Wood

As part of the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild‘s show, Stitch Modern, they had a number of special events. One was a panel discussion on fabric design which I got to participate in which I enjoyed thoroughly, particularly meeting the other designers and sharing notes.  But I have to say the highlight of the whole show, AFTER seeing all the great quilts, was the talk I went to by Sherri Lynn Wood.

As you may know, I am now dipping my hand into quilting, just for the fun and art of it, and I really connect with many of the modern quilts I am seeing out there, and I really like the improvisational quilting style in particular.  I don’t really want to make quilts that look like someone else’s or follow a specific tradition or direction.  In my work, I design all the time for the commercial market, so when I sew I want to sew what I want to sew. Period. So hearing Sherri Lynn Woods speak about the improvisational process was just what I needed to really dig into the improv quilt I had started and make it happen. And I did finish it shortly after.  ….Ahem…. except the binding, but I will post when it is all finished.

Another very cool thing that Sherri talked about was Passage Quilts.   She works with people ” through collaboration, consultation and commission to make improvised quilts from the clothing and materials from everyday life”.  Love this concept. Hits me right in that spot. And she showed us one she made for her mother, Linda Susan Wood (1943-2003) which she describes as a “passage, bereavement, memorial quilt made from my mother’s casual clothes, Sunday dresses, bathing suit, robes and the dress she wore to my wedding”

Sherri is SUCH a good speaker, highly recommend if you get a chance. With a long resume of exhibitions, artist residencies and workshops, and with masters in both fine art and theology, she has a lot to share. Here are a few shots of the quilts she shared that day, but you might want to check out her site, daintytime.net for more!

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Linda Susan Wood (1943-2003) Passage Quilt by Sherri Lynn Wood, 2006, 73″ W X 75″ L

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Color Study 305 by Sherri Lynn Wood, 2008

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RGB Modern by Sherri Lynn Wood

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detail of RGB Modern by Sherri Lynn Wood

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Negative Space by Sherri Lynn Wood 2012

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Modern Improv Wool Log Cabin, By Sherri Lynn Wood, 2011, 90″x84″

The Sew Steady table story

Well, now that the boot is off my sewing foot, its all coming together as my Sew Steady insert for our home made sewing table arrived.  And after Jack finished his workbench, (story on that below) this was his first project. Very cool, he cut out the insert, installed a shelf below to hold the sewing machine, and put it all together.  We are psyched!  Plus Daas’ dress form arrived this week.  We’re ready to go!

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Then there is the tale of Jack’s workbench.  The workbench originally came from Jack’s Uncle Ed by way of a high school IA department liquidating its IA program (for those who never had the pleasure, schools used to offer Industrial Arts and Home Economics).  Well, this workbench has been in storage for thirteen years, and after finally getting it here in the workshop (its heavy!) Jack became bothered by it not being level.  Whether it was level thirteen years ago or not is a mystery, but he spent a massive amount of hours planing it and produced a massive amount of wood shavings doing it. Then he refinished it and  voila!  Can you see how beautiful it is!

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Chevron Baby Quilt from Blackberry Quilts

Stef from Blackberry Quilts has been working on a couple projects using Licorice Fizz. The first one, which I am in love with (like most everything else she does) is this chevron quilt, which I got to hold in my hot little hands this weekend. And check out her other patterns too–tons of baby quilts and simple patterns for beginners. And we are selling a kit for it on Etsy here.

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Chevron Baby Quilt pattern by Blackberry Quilts using Licorice Fizz

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Chevron Baby Quilt pattern by Blackberry Quilts using Licorice Fizz

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Chevron Baby Quilt pattern by Blackberry Quilts using Licorice Fizz

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Chevron Baby Quilt pattern by Blackberry Quilts using Licorice Fizz

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Chevron Baby Quilt pattern by Blackberry Quilts using Licorice Fizz

Lindsay Sews and what a cool apron!

I met Lindsay at The Sewing Summit where she was hosting a session on her Creative Journey. She has a wonderful blog with great projects and tutorials called, guess what, Lindsay Sews! And, she also has another blog, Craft Buds. AND she is an editor at CraftFoxes, a social networking site for crafters.  So she is an official writer, editor, as well as a crafter and it shows in the quality of her content AND she has been published all over the place.  Check it out…

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This cool apron she made using Licorice Fizz is a hot-pad apron–its built in! The pattern can be found in the book “Fabric-by-Fabric: One-Yard Wonders” by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins.  So very cool, I like.

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Urban Spools

Michelle Kitto of Urban Spools whipped up this bag in classic fashion before Quilt Market.  Her workmanship is always amazing, and I would love to take some classes and hang at her Urban Spools Sewing Lounge if it was in my neck of the woods.  Alas it is in Dallas–lucky for some of you!  I met Michelle at the Fabric 2.0 party at Quilt Market 2011, and we met up again when she visited San Francisco, and of course this year again at Quilt Market 2012. She really took the plunge opening up the sewing Lounge, offering classes and long arm services, and its been fun hearing about its growth.

This media bag she made came from a pattern from Serendipity Studio‘s  Media Frenzy Book. Cute!

 

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Bag by Urban Spools with a Serendipity Studios pattern using Licorice Fizz fabric

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Bag by Urban Spools with a Serendipity Studios pattern using Licorice Fizz fabric

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Bag by Urban Spools with a Serendipity Studios pattern using Licorice Fizz fabric

 

Project Week!

OK, this week we are back to highlighting projects.  We have both Licorice Fizz projects AND Tokyo Rococo projects to get caught up on and I hope to tell you a bit about the people who have designed and/or made them.

But first, I will show you what I have been doing.  Not much! Having moved and renovated a new studio, sewing projects fell by the wayside.  Plus, I sew for fun only.  I have been inspired to start sewing again after I started designing fabric and getting to know some wonderful quilters, sewing pattern designers and sewists. I just had to get my hand back into it.  And I am extremely rusty, so whatever comes out comes out and in time the quality will improve.   I will sew a little with my own fabric, but also with my fabric stash. More on that later. (I have a great new storage place for my fabric stash!)

So here we have the last project I did with Tokyo Rococo, some placemats.  I think I would use a thinner batting next time, or even a thick stiff interfacing instead.  But it was a way to get my feet wet.  I actually just started cutting trapezoidal strips and sewing them together and pressing until I had shapes larger than a placemat and then trimmed them and sewed them together with a single piece print backing.  Yes, I got tangled up on the edges, and after resewing a couple sections, decided to keep them all rough and wabi sabi.  Plus it will be fun to compare it to projects I make in the future, in hopes of steady quality improvement. Have to start somewhere and if I get stuck in pursuing perfection, nothing will ever get done!

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Next up, I am dying to make something using my raw silks from Asia.  I originally collected a ton of this fabric to make a large duvet cover using all squares.  But now I want to make an art quilt or large wall hanging.  I probably won’t add any prints, but want to add a little 3D element…stay tuned.  I have a few drawings for inspiration, not sure if I will plan it further before I start sewing. But looks at these colors…..

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AND, I am reading Kaffe Fassetts autobiography.  It was passed on to me by Diana McClun who is working on an amazing book project of her own with Laura Nownes. I was lucky enough to see many of the new quilts going in there in person a couple weeks ago–absolutely BREATHTAKING.  They were floating around in my mind’s eye for days. More about that when the time comes. IMG_8467

Bleu Barn Studios and Summer Shores

Bleu Barn Studios is at it again.  Highlighted in the Feb 2013 issue of Quilter’s World magazine is Summer Shores, a breeze contemporary quilt design using Tokyo Rococo (aren’t I lucky!).   I love this because its simple and light and modern and classic at the same time. I was able to see the quilt at Blue Barn Studios and photo it before it was sent in to the magazine.  So here are some shots of the quilt plus a preview of the magazine.  Yes, I take a million shots–its the only way to get a good feel for the quilt!  AND a kit of the fabric for the pattern in the magazine is available at The Plaid Portico etsy shop by clicking here.

More projects coming  up in the next few weeks, stay tuned!

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Quilter’s World Feb 2013 Magazine

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Summer Shores by CJ Behling, Bleu Barn Studios using Tokyo Rococo

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Summer Shores by CJ Behling, Bleu Barn Studios using Tokyo Rococo

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Summer Shores by CJ Behling, Bleu Barn Studios using Tokyo Rococo

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Summer Shores by CJ Behling, Bleu Barn Studios using Tokyo Rococo

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Summer Shores by CJ Behling, Bleu Barn Studios using Tokyo Rococo

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Summer Shores by CJ Behling, Bleu Barn Studios using Tokyo Rococo

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Summer Shores by CJ Behling, Bleu Barn Studios using Tokyo Rococo

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Summer Shores by CJ Behling, Bleu Barn Studios using Tokyo Rococo

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Summer Shores by CJ Behling, Bleu Barn Studios using Tokyo Rococo