Saturday, October 28, 2017

Solid Foundation

Mail was delivered this week, but I've been afraid to open up one of these books. The Red and White book is fabulous and will be a great inspiration for another two color quilt.  I just boxed up a 90 x 90 quilt and shipped it off for a photo session, so I'm in resting mode with solids.  As for Maria Shell's new book, Improv Patchwork, well, I still haven't opened it yet. 

Before I can let my mind go down this crazy train of a new start, I felt it was time to make this happen.  THIS is prewashing my stash of solids. Yes, it's been laundry day in my studio for the last few WEEKS!  Drying rack has been a fixture in the hallway outside my laundry room.
Piles of pressing have been reduced and replenished beside my ironing board.  This has been ongoing for literally weeks.  But it's years of buying solids that has caused this explosion.
I'm a prewasher, a die hard prewasher for all quilting fabrics.  They go to the laundry room before they get into my sewing room......with the exception of my solids.  For some reason, I just didn't prewash my solids.  I ran out of drying rack/shower bar/ironing board space so I resorted to the lid of the washing machine and all around it!  Quilters will understand this.
Pressing has been an intermittent process.  I would press a binding, then grab a few pieces and press. Iron was plugged in as soon as I entered the studio, and I would press a few pieces while my coffee dripped. Before leaving at the end of the day, a few more pieces would get lightly pressed.
And now most of them are folded up and back in my storage bins.  Loosely organized, but that's for another day.
There *might* be another stack or two left to migrate from the cutting table to the storage bins.
I might need an intervention, or maybe I need to read Maria's new book, put a new blade in my rotary cutter, and get busy.  OK, I have been busy, it's all been on the down low, but let's just say, 2018 is going to be exciting!

It's Saturday, it's sunny and glorious in the Pacific Northwest.  A perfect day to be outside, checking out all the amazing colors Mother Nature has provided us with.  And of course, I have a few more solids to press and fold.

Keep stitching,

Monday, October 16, 2017

Sujata Shah - Paper Beads Workshop

Sujata Shah, aka The Root Connection was in the PNW this past weekend and I had a blast creating with a fantastic group of quilters.  The workshop was advertised as Rail Fence, from the cover of Sujata's book, Cultural Fusion.

 I was excited to meet Sujata, see her quilts, and hear her quilting experiences.  I was also excited that this project needed LOTS of fabric and I had a bin of blacks and whites that have been begging to get cut up and put into a quilt top.  I'm a pre-prepper so I had all my 16 sets cut, pressed, and ready to go......
.....and then Quiltmania put out Simply Moderne with Sujata's Paper Beads on the cover.  Class got switched up and everyone was moving down a different track.  Here are some of the fabulous creations that came from this weekend in Mt.Vernon, WA

Creativity starts here.
Beads are on the wall and backgrounds are being auditioned.
Some choices have been made and we were grateful for having a quilt shop next door.  Bolts were brought over, many rejected, but as quilters, everyone  persevered and found just the right background.
*all photos can be enlarged by clicking*
K decided she couldn't decide so she pieced the backgrounds and it is fabulous.
Here K has added in her vertical strips, which have also been pieced.
Close up of fabrics. 
Mary, (one of 3 in the class) was on task and had lots of beads together and was using a fabulous neutral woven background.
No sashing yet, but auditioning some border strips.  This pink was fantastic.

Cherrywood always looks like suede to me.  Mary adding in some piecing in her piecing, and is going to use a brown grunge for backgrounds. 
J is using an orange grunge for her beads. Grunge and grunge dot were popular options for this project. The fabrics in the beads were amazing.  Every bit of design wall had my head spinning, picking out and pointing at so many GOOD fabrics. We really are blessed to have such an abundance of product to work with.
S got into the October mood and was using Hallow'een fabrics.  Her background was perfect for her beads, BUT............once you start cutting up the backgrounds, the prints can be a bit muddled and mixed up and detract from the string beads.  A few ideas got tossed around at that end of the room, and pretty soon several makers were going to raw edge applique their beads onto the backgrounds.

A dotty grey was chosen here.

C couldn't decide between the brown or the red dot so she chose to use both.  She was also part of the applique discussion and after getting her beads sewn, she added a little square as a connector.  Then her featherweight got to work and she raw edge appliqued her beads onto the grunge dots.  There were pins and glue and extra hands used in getting this under the needle, but WOW!
Auditioning  top and bottom sashings.....
close up of fabrics used.
Something to crow about!  I'd say, C had her top finished, except for borders. 

Me, well, I was invested into the original Rail Fence project and I decided to stick to that plan. After making a test block a few months ago, I was sold on rectangle blocks and I loved the block layout.  After getting each block on the wall, this was my final design, and I couldn't be happier with this. I got all the blocks pieced and designed into my finished vision.  There *might* be a sliver of lime added in while putting the blocks together.  In the process of doing all this piecing, I did manage to produce 5 -6 black and white beads by using left over strips as leaders/enders.

I have just come out of a few intensive string pieces, and didn't want to get into another one just yet.
It was definitely a weekend of intensive piecing; machines were humming, bobbins were emptied and rewound, minds were spinning with ideas and the sharing of fabric and friendship was the best part of the weekend.  Life is GOOD!