Showing posts with label Amy Butler. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amy Butler. Show all posts

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Big Hapi Quilt Top Finish

Hapi Quilt

My design wall has been dominated by this large quilt for a few weeks while undergoing a slow design process. Slow design is just that at times. Slow. But when you do figure out what a quilt is asking for, you'd like it to happen right then--that day, and have it done! Unfortunately, big quilts take a long time simply because they're much bigger. This one finishes at 92.5" x 93.5". That's the same size as about 4 baby quilts. I asked myself how long 4 baby quilts might take to finish, and relied on patience.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Exploding a Standard Block Setting

Flower Power Prints

The print is a past line named Hapi from Amy Butler. It's been on my design wall for a few weeks while I tried to decide what to do with it. I'm glad I waited.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Doing the Quilting Shuffle

An Embroidered Beauty

One day early this winter I visited my friend, Irene, and we put our heads together on different ways to finish up some of her numerous 'outstanding' projects. I saw this top across the back of her chair, and asked what she was going to do with it. It was headed for a local longarmer that only did pantographs, she said. Hmm. I thought and I wavered. I was not taking any customer quilts at that time, but I positively could not allow someone to quilt over top of that embroidery either. On the way out the door I told her I was taking it, I was quilting it, and that was that.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Improv Work On the Design Wall

Not So Serious Sewing

Sunday was peaceful, and I'd finished up several projects the week before. I was after something relaxing, low-key, and just fun. I pulled out this WIP that I started early last spring while attending an Amy Butler & Hilde Dunn retreat. It was an exercise in improvisational piecing, and on my list of 2015 Q3 Finishes on the Windy Side. The initial slab was built by a partner blindly picking out pieces of fabric from a pile, and handing them to me. I had little control over the color scheme to start.

The center was done yet needed a frame, and I pulled this muddy pink out of my solids stash. It's an odd color, but it played well with the mishmash in the middle. Then I pulled strips from my scrap bins to make into the next pieced border. I pieced my scraps without squaring up, and it got interesting and more exciting. 

TIPS & TRICKS-Mitered Corners

I mitred my corners by creating 4 strip-pieced squares for each corner. The borders were 5 1/2" so I made each square 6". I went 1/2" larger than needed, and cut two diagonally with my stripes vertical, and two with my strips horizontal to create 8 HST's. I sewed these into 4 squares, and THEN I sewed these with to my top and bottom borders. Now I was dealing with 4 typical borders that looked like I spent a ridiculous amount of time making them. Easy peasy!

The narrow dark blue border anchored the multicolored piecing, and I looked around for some serious bling fabric to set it all off.

It's shiny, stripey, and I have lots of yardage. It sets off the center like neon lights, and fits the improv them to a T. Although I don't know the content, it presses well, is a higher grade than acetate, and you'll never believe where I found it!

Would you believe this was an old dress in that wonderful vintage stash I showed you? I asked several people when they would estimate the pattern of the dress, and they guessed late 50's-60's. Tightly fitted bodice and 3/4 sleeves, and close to 5.5 yards of fabric in the fully gathered skirt. The integrity of the fabric is solid with no funky smell--things you need to check for using vintage material, so it's going in today. 

I can't help but feel connected to the quilter/sewist that saved this garment for decades knowing it might have another life. I challenge you to add something repurposed, upcycled, reused, or vintage to a project. Hunt your Goodwill, resale stores, and garage sales for treasures. You may be deeply rewarded by the feeling of creating a unique piece while preserving a saver's vision. 

Also, I must admit there is something deeply satisfying to really understanding how the first quilters used the resources they had, and weren't able to run off to their LQS for the 'perfect' fabric. I can't wait to see how this turns out today, but what are your thoughts of working like this?

Linking up with~
The Quilting Room with Mel at Fiber Tuesday 
and last week I was the most clicked 
link with this post: 

Zipper Bags Simplified Tutorial
The Quilting Room with Mel

Podunk Pickin's--A brand new linky!

Freemotion By the River
Quilt Story
Blossom Heart Quilts
Late Night Quilter

Friday, May 15, 2015

'Chicago, 2007' QST Quilt--Entry for Blogger's Quilt Festival 2015

'Chicago, 2007' 
Quarter Square Triangle Quilt

Stats: Made from a 100% cotton mixture of 
whatever was in my scraps and stash when I 
started, plus a few special fabrics found just 
for this quilt. Contains more than 180 different 
fabrics. The final dimensions are 85"x95". 
The batting is Fairfield's 50/50 
bamboo/cotton blend. 

This marks the first time I've entered 
Nomination for viewer's choice runs 
May 15-21, and voting May 22-29. 
Winners are announced May 30, 2015.
I encourage you to visit, and see the 
collective talent of quilting bloggers
from around the world. You can 
find me in the large quilt category.

The setting triangles and pink backing are
both from Tula Pink's Acacia line. The sari
fabrics are cottons from Amy Butler.

Several years ago my youngest daughter and 
made a trip to Chicago to visit a dear friend, 
Betty. A seasoned tour guide, she told us 
there were a few things we must do while in the 
Windy City. One was visiting the Bahai Temple.
I've visited this sanctuary many times with her, 
and it's one of my favorite places. Popping up in 
the midst of a residential neighborhood, it stands 
like a beacon shining its light. It was my young
daughter first visit, and as she was quite taken in 
with it, we spent hours there.

Its gardens are amassed in flowers,
and the colors and lights are 
reflected in the pool.

Another of her goals was to find a lehenga 
choli for my daughter so the 3 of us headed 
to Devon AvenueDevon Avenue is a 
melting pot of mom and pop stores, groceries, 
and restaurants from many ethnic groups. We 
sipped mango lassis, and ate Hungarian 
pastries fresh from a beehive oven while the 
wind whipped by us on the sidewalk. We 
eyed up bolt after bolt of sari fabric, and my
young daughter tried on half a dozen little 
dresses before finally deciding on this one. 

That evening we sat in the garden of 
their brownstone enjoying Peruvian takeout 
and wine while reliving our perfect day. I
have frozen those memories in my mind.

 I believe that one day deeply imprinted
my mind and senses, and is expressed
in this very quilt these many years later. 
It wasn't until I was making the binding that 
it came together. My thoughts have been 
filled with memories of my friend these past 
months, and my longing to see her since
she's moved so far away.

Whether we realize it or not, something in 
our psyche guides our choices when we design. 
I believe it is important for me to focus on 
what is good, and beautiful, and true. Our
art and creations become an expression
of our consciousness at that moment. 

This quilt started as a simple experiment in 
making half square triangles, then continued to 
quarter square triangles. Visit these recent 
posts documenting the creative process, and 
 the many changes of direction.

I spent the morning with my domestic Janome
 FMQ the setting and corner triangles using 
my favorite pink Aurifil thread, #2425.
I turned the machine so I could work from
the end feeding smoothly through, and not 
have to push the bulk up and under it. I used 
a small, portable table to help support the 
weight of the quilt as I stitched, moving
it as necessary from one side to the next.
This is a very heavy quilt.

The pink Aurifil shows up nicely on the teal blue.

I ran into one small problem. Although I allowed
3 extra inches on the sides of the backing, I had
only 2 on each end to spare before quilting. The
long arming took up quite a bit of that, and left
me 1/4" short on this end. I trimmed the other
end as it was a match with the pieced fabric,
and sewed it to my short end. It was a pretty
close fit, but I was lucky.

 I love to machine stitch binding on. Or should I
say, I hate binding quilts by hand? I do. Here's
a trick. Sew it to the back of the quilt first, then
bring it to the front, and stitch it down. I used a
pale blue in my top thread to match my binding,
and a fushia in my bobbin to match the backing.

If you're careful to pin, pin, pin the front,
it works beautifully.

I was a little bit off where I sewed my
tag on, but I made sure to have it sewn
into the binding to make it extra secure.

I was cautioned against sewing on my binding
by machine, but it seems to be lying flat. I 
always cut my binding fabric perpendicular to 
the selvage, and that seems to be key.

This is a memory quilt sewn with love. 

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's have us a snuggle,
and ring a friend today.

Creative Space Tag continues with
Judy at Quilt Paradigm. She's put a 
lot of time in analyzing her space,
and how she uses it. Wait until 
you see her design wall!

This also is a finish for
my list made for Adrienne's
2015 Finish-Along On the
2015 Finish-Along On the Windy Side.

Thank you all for the linking

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Quilt Lovely 'She Loves You' Blocks

Cleaning up the studio is always my priority
after finishing a big project. I couldn't bear 
sorting such a mess, and I decided I needed a 
color fix instead. Out came Jen Kingwell's 
Using Piecing and Applique, and I turned to 
this heart block I had been playing with for a
few days. Perfect for your tiniest scraps,
pieces ranges from 1" squares to 1"x4".

Although I am inspired by her designs in the
book, I am most intrigued by Kingwell's wide 
use of fabric variety. Most of us have both
vintage and modern fabrics in our stash, and 
if you're like me, it's mostly an Either/Or Thing.
Let's face it, our old dark green, navy, and 
maroon, are not easily blended with our
aqua and orange. Surprisingly, she does 
this a lot in the book, and it looks good!
Part of my book lovin' here is in breaking
down and analyzing how she blended
them so well. I already see a 'Daisy Do' 
in my near future.

My first block was totally botched. My 
mind was wandering to 'How was our Lucy
dog doing having 2 teeth removed?' to
'Did the new baby arrive yet?' You have to
keep your head in the game here.

I didn't view it as a total loss, though, when I 
saw the outer piecing needed to have more
contrast. Taking pictures helps me more than

Next try below: The low-volume background 
needs to be more uniform. The khaki strips are 
bit too dark in the block, I think.

I switched from the Anna Marie Horner scraps
to some strips of Amy Butler's new Violette.
Both warm and cool tones in the palette, I
looked for a background fabric to unify it.
The paisley is very traditional while the 
Butler line steps toward the modern side.
Very subtle contrast, but I'll try framing
it out today. A zipper bag in the making.

Even though I left yet another mess to deal
with tomorrow, it was time for a walk in the 
garden with the dogs. 

Lucy was home and recovered when I snapped
this picture of my orris root in bloom. It looks
like a common iris. Something moved across
my feet, and it wasn't a Doxie girl.

It was this not-so-little guy. Two dogs stepped 
right over it on the way to see me so
I felt safe.

Every year I think it's the last for my tree peony,
and every year the gnarly thing blooms.
Gorgeous, short-lived, giant blooms.

Today I'll be a slave to the house and yard,
but I'll be back Friday for the big reveal of
the QST quilt. I've been dragging it around
to local quilt groups playing Show and Tell.
Thank you all for bearing with me.

I hope you make time for yourself during 
this busy season, and better yet if it
includes time to sew.

Congratulations on a new baby boy in the
family to all the anxious relatives that 
awaited his arrival! Welcome!

Come on, Doxie girls.
I'll make up a thermos of tea,
and then let's go sew for just a bit.

Linking up with~
My Quilt Infatuation
Quilting Jet Girl
Freshly Pieced
Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, May 11, 2015

What's Next? Dealing with It.

An artsy friend sent me this card last week, and 
I'm stuck on it. It pushes me to think. She 
would never call herself a great motivator, but 
she has a way of dropping Thought Bombs 
that stops me in my tracks.

Neither of us are empty nesters, but it's on our

 horizons. (I'm laughing because we have 11 kids 
between us. Will either of us ever be?) But we are 
mentally preparing for the next season of our lives, 
and it comes up in our conversations a lot. I know 
many of you who visit Pink Doxies blog are 
thinking this, too.

So, we ask ourselves, What's Next?

Which Road are we Taking?

How will we Know when we've Arrived?

 I got back into quilting because it fit easily 

into my life, and made me happy. Now I get 
my color fix, make neat things, and meet the 
most wonderful people through blogging. 
Sounds so cozy, doesn't it? Then what? 
What if I want more than that?

When we reach uncharted territory, it

gives us pause to think. The unknown can
be scary. We're now at the End of 
our Comfort Zone. I've been coming up
against this for the past few months. 

Where I'm At--One Place

I want to be able to create entire 

quilts from start to finish no matter the size. 
I'm making bigger projects now, and like this 
one, they don't fit in my domestic machine 
anymore--even my Janome with an 11" throat.

I felt like one thing I needed to learn 

was long arm quilting. It scared me, yet I spent
a lot of time looking into it. I visited stores, 
talked to friends, and even priced machines. I 
tried it a few times, but the learning curve was 
steep! I could do so many things on my domestic 
Janome, but it didn't transfer to a long arm. It 
was like riding a bike and rowing a boat--a 
totally different skill set. Was it a road I wanted 
to even go down? Was it worth it for me?

I have a neighbor just houses away with a
Tin Lizzie. She quilts commercially for clients, 
and was kind and willing to show me her machine
the day after my phone call. She even let me 
have a try at it. The next day my QST quilt was 
on her machine, and I was going to quilt it 
myself. She had faith in my skills when I didn't.

We drove an hour away to buy thread as she
does mainly Traditional quilts, and had nothing
in my color palette. We came home, pinned it
on, and after a few minutes we both knew the
color wasn't working. I couldn't see it enough
to follow the pattern. She happily helped me
rip out stitches for half an hour. At that point
I went home to sleep on it, but I kept waking 
up wondering if she'd be upset if I just wanted
to take it out of the frame. I was panicking I
would screw it up beyond saving. I loved this
colorful quilt.

The next morning, Mother's Day, she called
to ask if I wanted to try again. I had looked
at more patterns, watched some videos,
and drawn page after page with 2 hands
on my pen moving it at the same time.
I found this pattern on a porch chair, and
thought it was easiest enough to begin.

We re-evaluated thread color, and chose a
darker color even though I would have liked
a paler one. I needed to see it! This is a
lavendar shade, and she had a matching
So Fine for the bobbin thread. 

Away I went, down my first run, and by the end 
was in tears. Good tears! It was so terrifying,
and I had managed to do a passable job, 
and not ruined my quilt.

You might be laughing to yourself that I'm

being overly dramatic, but you have no idea
how afraid I was of botching this. I've done 
that before, and have the mess to prove it.

With the adrenaline rush going, I kept on.
Sandy helped to coach me by checking if
thing were in place after each pass, but she
stayed out of the way. I'm a good 7" taller
that she is, and I'm sure it was quite a 
sight with me scootching down to run the
machine at her height adjustment.

A quick break for lunch, a minute to smell 
my gorgeous Mother's Day bouquet, and I 
told my husband I'd be done by 3.

When I returned, Sandy took her sewing 
upstairs, and left me on my own. I managed
fine, and in my head kept saying,
"I can do this. I can do this."
It was an empowering moment for me.

My work was not perfect. Shoot, I
even ran over my design a few times
trying to see under the machine head, 
but the whole quilt was done
in one day. I'm so, so pleased with a
passing job this time.

The lavendar thread was a solid choice 
for the backing.

Effy had to have a quick try at it right off.

I still have the edges to quilt on my Janome.
I've chosen to use my sit down domestic

for the control it allows me, and then the
binding. All can happen this week.

I don't know if I'd ever have done this had
circumstances not been what they were.
It all fell into place when it did, and I 
didn't have as much time to over-think it.
Thank you, Sandy.
Fear nearly stopped me from this uber-
thrilling adventure. I'm totally wiped out,
and have come down with a cold or
something already, and I wonder if it's 
from stressing over it all.

As for my card above, I think I would 
rephrase it to say, 

"Growth begins at the end 
of your comfort zone."

Gardeners who start seedlings know it helps 
to brush your hand across them once a day. 
You're simulating nature brushing by them. It 
makes the whole stem structure healthier, 
I understand, when the seedling pushes 
back against the stimulus. In turn, it 
causes it to grow stronger

As for the biggest questions I have
above, I still don't know. Perhaps
I never will. My answer for today
is simple.

Let me grow.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's all go sew.

Linking up today with~
Freemotion by the River
Quilt Story
Blossom Heart Quilts
Late Night Quilter
She Can Quilt
Cooking Up Quilts
Monday Makers
Show and Tell with Bambi
Hug-a-Bit Quilts