Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cuppa Latte?

Welcome, blog hoppers!  This is my modest (inspired, but quite unfinished) pair of projects using the Have a Latte line of fabrics.

It all started here...
I signed up for this blog hop for two main reasons: (1) there is a pattern I have been meaning to develop, maybe even to sell one day; and (2) I have a UFO (wallhanging) that could be enhanced by accessorizing it with some new bias applique.

1.) The pattern I want to develop.  Started with my favorite paper-pieced coffee cup design--the one with the dimensional handle--but tried making the handle a slightly different shape.

Then I found a coffee cup design in EQ6 that had a square handle.  So I needed to try and make that dimensional, too.

Finally, I saw a fancy handle on a travel mug in the campus Tea Shoppe, and knew that I needed to make one of those, too.

Put them all together in one wallhanging, and they look pretty nifty.  Used four fabrics from the Have a Latte line here, mixed with two other coffee-themed fabrics I had in my stash, and a couple of other scrap fabrics.  This is just a flimsy at this stage; I think I want to put another border on this, give it some more presence, then add steam or other detailing in the quilting phase.

2.) Bias applique. I didn't get the UFO this was meant to accompany finished, but I did learn a new technique! And I'm almost ready to tackle the quilting on the remaining portion of the overall project.

How close did I come to my inspiration text?  I used the Have a Latte mocha steam fabric to make the bias tape; I will use the same fabric for the binding (when I get to that step).

I am still pretty new to the quilting step, so I'm proud of this little mat. 

I used one row of big-stitch hand quilting in perle cotton, then used my walking foot to machine stitch several rows of echo quilting.  Easy-peasy! (and so pretty, too)

There you have it.  I know these little projects won't win any awards, but I love the opportunity to play, to explore new ideas, new techniques, and make some of my crazy designs come to life.chin

So... thanks to Sew We Stitch/Sew We Quilt for being the gathering place for inspired Blog Hops. Blowing kisses to Joan at MooseStash Quilting for being the cheerleader for this Hop.  And winking at YOU, dear readers, for letting me show my stuff.

Please visit all the other bloggers who are participating today, and peruse the rest of the schedule as you have time.

April 22
Rainbows Bunnies Cupcakes

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Stitch Modern: my Pinterest

I attended the Stitch Modern Quilt Show this weekend--a local showing of quilts by members of the East Bay Modern Quilters.

So many gorgeous ideas!  Such lovely fabrics, designs, styles of quilting!!

Sun Shine by Sharona Fischrup of New Pieces Quilt Store.  A favorite for showing what can be done with a panel. (And this panel, in turn, was designed from a finished quilt--oh, it's all so delicious.)

My very favorite quilt in the show: Crossroads "15" by Sue Mary Fox of Textile Dream Studio.  Why is it my fave? Color (both bright and neutral), use of negative space, geometric quilting, the fact that necktie fabrics and a ruined dress were included in the piecing.  Yummy.

I mentioned to the hall hostess, as I was gleefully taking pictures, that I hardly needed more ideas in my life; she asked if I used Pinterest for ideas.  Ha!  Pinterest--a deadly place for those with ADD, those who are easily overwhelmed by too much input.

No, friends, this is my Pinterest.  This blog is my place to store ideas that have found me.  I need not go out looking on the Interwebs for more ideas--being drawn down the rabbit's hole of ever more, ever so much more.  Here's what I saw that I liked best:

Use of Quilting

Orange is the New Purple by Claire Sherman

Moonshadows Pillow Cover by Ann Haley

Biased Opinion by Pati Fried

Use of Scraps

Wavelengths by (improv quilting bee members)

Block/Row Design

fabric choice + block design

improv bee contribution

blocks + quilting = magical

Monday, April 20, 2015

Bias Tape Applique: Almost Latte Time

The Have a Latte blog hop is going on now--
My selection from the Have a Latte line
Browse today's posts, as well as the fabulous latte-themed items shown last week, by clicking on links from the schedule of blog hoppers.  (And check back here in just a couple days for my reveal.)

One of the reasons I signed up for this blog hop: to learn a new skill!  I had a long-dormant UFO that I was hoping to accent by using bias tape applique.  Specifically, by writing words in applique.  So why not use one of the Have a Latte line of fabrics to make this bias tape?  Only problem?  I didn't know how to do bias tape applique... yet.

Internet to the rescue: I was helped immensely by Jill Finley of Jillily Studio's video

YouTube link here if the video doesn't play properly.

I assembled my tools: spray starch, brand-new bias tape maker, washable glue stick (not used in the video, but recommended to me by my LQS), and the teeny-tiny bias strips I had cut out
(1/2" + 1/2" + 1/8" = 5/8")

Really, it all went very well.  Even the machine stitching part, which usually is a pain for me to be accurate.  I credit the glue stick for basting that little fabric strip so securely.  Yay!

Here's my sneak peek: Have a Latte fabric (steamy mocha swirls) on the left, and finished applique on the right.

I love learning new things, and am so glad this adventure turned out for me.  Have you done this sort of applique?  What might you use bias tape for in other ways?  I can already think of another project that needs this technique!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Growth Cycle

Moving can be such a growth experience!  I thought we had purged and downsized our belongings before the move, but as I unpack box after box of stuff, I'm not so sure we got rid of enough.

Came across a stash of USB memory sticks full of pictures.  Where did all these pictures come from?

Thought for the day:

Almost like reading the tarot cards...

Friday, April 10, 2015

Feeling Caffeinated

Just before my move to California, a fabric package arrived in the mail.  I had to pack it away (of course), and found it in one of today's unpackings. Yay!

All of the fabrics in the package were part of the Have a Latte line by Dan DiPaolo for Clothworks.  The photo above also includes a fat quarter of a locally purchased random coffee-themed fabric.

Why would I mail-order?  Well, you see, I needed these particular fabrics.  I am participating in a blog hop that uses this fabric line; I went looking for them at several Oregon stores, to no avail.  Internet to the rescue!

The Have a Latte blog hop takes place April 13-23, hosted on Sew We Quilt Stitch. The amazing Joan at MooseStash Quilting is the cheerleader for this hop, and she graciously scheduled my reveal day for the end of the hop, due to my move (and my propensity to procrastinate).

Which fabrics would you choose to use?

The full schedule for the blog hop is posted here.  I can't talk too much about what I am creating, but you can see in my purchases the palette that I have chosen!  I decided to use more of the "blender" fabrics from the line--which means I will have to let my design spell out the coffee theme.

One sure bet is that this tea coffee cup shape will appear somewhere. It is a favorite design of mine, and the ability to use it yet again was the impetus for signing up for this blog hop.  April 22 is less than 2 weeks away--Yikes!! 

I better brew up some beans and get to sewin'

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Ugly Fabric Hides Again

My last sewing act before moving away from Oregon was to make a block for the Ugly Fabric Block Challenge.  This challenge is held every year at Something to Crow About, to celebrate April Fool's Day. The staff picks out a fabric they deem "ugly", and customers are given a free square of the fabric with which to create a 12" block.

2013 Uglies -- sashed and sewn together

I have participated the past 2 years. Challenge blocks get hung up in the shop. Hoppers on the Quilter's Safari shop hop vote on their favorite.  The winner gets pretty fabric from the shop, and all the blocks get sewn together into a charity quilt.

Why does "ugly" = browns?
This year, a Hunter's Star pattern caught my eye (on someone's blog--sorry I didn't keep track of it).  An online pattern search led to directions for a 12" block--which included both a template version and a paper-pieced version (yay!) 

Thank you to Marcia Hohn at the Quilter's Cache for her many many FREE patterns.

Hunter's Star is a dark/light contrasting block. I let the ugly fabric form one of the dark choices, and dove into my scraps for 7 other fabrics.  I used some pretty bold patterns (cringe--would they play together well?) but tried to balance with low-volume.  This has/has not worked out for me in the past.  I am a risk-taker, for sure.

What do you think?  Did I manage to create a block that was not-so-ugly?

And how might you have used this brown-and-pansy-purple fabric?