Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tiny Neon Flying Geese

This little flying geese mug rug has been a WIP for so long. It had been lingering for more than two years! 
Flying geese in a circle. 8" x 8" using neon fabrics and kona coal.

I started this little guy right after QuiltCon 2013, I was really inspired to use the bright neons I'd bought at the show. I whipped up this little 8" x 8" block using the free paper pieced pattern from Briarpatch Studio. I shrunk the paper pattern by 50% (I think...). The little flying geese measure just 1" x 1/2"! 

It's just one block - why did it take me two years to finish? First it was because I wanted to make it into a mini quilt, and I couldn't decide what else to add to it. Then I was using it as a sample in my foundation paper piecing demos at IQF. When I pulled it out to use during my IQF demo last month I noticed that it had faded. FADED. The neon pink in the block was half as pink as the leftover scraps. The block had never spent much time in the sun, and had been packed away with my paper piecing things for most of the two years but it was so faded. 

I decided the only real use for this block is to be a sample during my demos. I suppose that will have to do. I'm sad to have spent the time precisely piecing it only for the fabric to fade. It's a lesson learned, neon fabric is just not that stable. 

I finished this up at the Chicago MQG retreat a few weeks ago. Adding a bit of fancy free motion quilting seemed just right for it. I'm sure I'll make another with better fabrics one day, but until then, this is my little paper pieced demo sample. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Reclaiming my blog -- Did you see my new tattoo?

I haven't been blogging very frequently. I hold no obligation to this blog, other than a personal obligation to catalog my work. ... but I still feel the need to mention my absence. 

Shruti and I's Quiltcon tattoos Quilt Blocks & Expecto Patronum
For the past two years I have been spending time working on the Chicago MQG blog. I was the Technology Director for the guild, and this required lots of blogging and coordinating info... and less time available here. Plus, I've been back to working (nearly) full time for two years now. Whew! Blogging was easier when I was home more! Anyway, my time as Tech director is now over, and I'm ready to get back to at least blogging about finished projects! lol. I'm so behind!

It's important to me that I keep a documented list of the quilts that I make. Most of my quilts are given away, and I don't want to forget them! 


There might be a few fairly boring posts in the next few weeks. These posts will hold at least one photo of a finished quilt, and hopefully some additional details regarding the quilt. Bear with me as I get caught up on the quilts of the past few months.

The good side of all this -- while I wasn't taking the extra time blogging, I was still quilting up a storm! I've published several projects in magazines, and there are several more to come. I've finished five mini quilts, one baby quilt, and several other projects so far this year! 

This post would have been awfully boring without pictures. So here are some photos of my Quiltcon Tattoo! 

My tattoo (left) and Nikki's tattoo (right)
At Quiltcon 2013 I saw Nikki's quilt block tattoo (the day after she got it!). I fell in love with it immediately! Over the course of the next two years I daydreamed and sketched my version of it. Finally when Quiltcon 2015 was close, I started looking for a tattoo artist and researching allergy info. See, I'm allergic to a chemical, Glycol, which is often used as an additive in just about anything - especially liquids. Luckily my friend Jessica suggested Affinity Tattoo - and they were FANTASTIC! 

My tattoo was done by David Guy, and he was excited to take on the challenge. His preferred ink contained no glycol, and he went out of his way to contact the companies of all the products he used - to verify that there was no glycol present in them either. I can't tell you how exceptional this is. David was also excited for the challenge of my quilt blocks! He did great! I had almost no swelling, and very little pealing, no scabbing. The whole thing was amazing! 

Shruti and Emily came with me to my appointment. Shruti also got a tattoo (Expecto Patronum!). It was a fantastic experience overall. (Especially when Shruti glared at me while her tattoo was being done -- apparently mine didn't hurt as much as hers!) 

I absolutely love this tattoo - it's everything I wanted it to be. :) Oh and the quilt blocks are spaced a scant 1/4" apart - just because I could! 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Afternoon Tea Mug Rug


Check it out! A tiny fussy mug rug. Of course on such a tiny project it's pretty easy to rationalize using tiny bits of my tiny tiny Liberty stash. These little flowers were lounging in my stash for years - given to me by a dear friend, they were always too precious to use. There comes a time where it just seems right, so that's how this mug rug was born. 


This mug rug was featured in issue 7 of Quilt Now Magazine. You can get a copy by following this link. It's always a joy to have my projects in Quilt Now - there's something much more real about seeing my project in print! 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

50 Shades Quilt

Another publication! This baby quilt was included in Quilt Now Magazine, issue 8. I am quite proud of this quilt - it is my first actual quilt to be published in a magazine (all the previous magazine projects were pouches, pillows, and small things). 

I started with a general idea of color saturation and low volume fabrics, and it turned out just how I had envisioned it! The fabrics are from Art Gallery fabrics, and they were perfect. I picked them all by looking at the Art Gallery website - it's always a bit of a gamble when picking fabrics based on the small pictures online - but this time it worked just right! 

Seeing Stars Cushion - Quilt Now Magazine!



Photo credit: Quilt Now Magazine

I'm excited to share that my Seeing Stars Cushion is featured in this month's issue of Quilt Now magazine! Go check it out by purchasing the digital copy here, or grab a copy at your local Barnes & Nobles!

I'm so happy to see this one in print. I am in love with the prints and dense quilting, and those pom-poms! So awesome! If you make one of these pillows I'd love to see it! Please drop me a line if you do.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Social Tote

This week I made a Social Tote!

social tote anna maria horner fabric, anna maria horner folk song, noodlehead, carolyn friedlander,
Social Tote
I had picked up this pattern at Quiltcon. I always get it into my mind that I want to make a thing, but then I waffle on buying the pattern - thus I don't make it. In truth buying this pattern was an impulse buy. I saw it at Alyssa / Pile of Fabric's booth, and I love Alyssa's shop and wanted to buy something. So impulse had me, and I bought this little pattern. 

Social Tote
I really love how this turned out. I love sewing projects with a bit of a challenge. Once I decided to sew the Social Tote, I was directed to some links online to make it easier. First and foremost, Carolyn Friedlander has step by step photos for sewing the lining. Also, an instagram friend directed me to the tips over here on this blog. Once I got down to sewing, it really wasn't too hard. The best tip is to follow all the instructions!

As an added bonus, my existing pin cushion fits in the pincushion section. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Thoughts about leaving quiltcon



Friendship.

For a long time, as a child, I wished and prayed for a really good friend. I always had friends, but never a best friend. For years and years, I felt like the only one without someone to confide in. As an adult I found myself in a similar state - I'd had such close friends in college, but they didn't translate into the kind of everyday friendship I needed. Moving away from home, and starting a family didn't make it very easy to make friends. 

At some point I reached out and joined the Chicago MQG. Almost immediately I had formed a close friendship with Em. What a gift our friendship has been! Many more friendships formed through the MQG.

Now somehow I find myself surrounded by friends. Some new, some old. Local guild friends, swap friends, and people from online. This was unexpected, it's as if I didn't know I would have such close friendships in my lifetime.

So now it's time for QuiltCon, and it's finally time to meet one of my closest friends, Shruti. Somewhere in the course of the past five years we'd become close friends. It started with me receiving a doll quilt from her way back then. Now it's a pretty regular string of facebook messages - nearly every day - sometimes more than every day. And we meet. And it's just like it always has been - friends. 

The weekend went by in a blur - so much fun, so many memories. Now it's time to head to the airport - but first I text Shruti so we can say goodbye. Who knew this would be so hard? Standing in the hallway of the convention center, hugging, crying, then laughing because it's so silly to be crying, then hugging and crying some more. We'll make it happen. We'll see each other again. We'll work hard, we'll become famous quilters. Guilds will want to pay us to travel and teach together. We'll write a book. We'll chat online. It doesn't seem like enough. It's hard to know when we'll see each other again. More hugs, more tears. Someone walks by and we ask them to take our picture. It's a photo raw with emotion. 

I write this with the lingering rawness in my heart. I can't forget how important this trip has been. Some day I might forget the rawness. I hope I don't forget how it feels to be loved by friends. 

Thanks to Shruti, Emily, and all the amazing friends who made Quiltcon the best. I'll never forget all the smiles, the hugs, and all those great memories. These friendships inspire my quilting even more than anything else. I'm so grateful for all of you!!