Monday, February 27, 2017

QuiltCon 2017

Even if you didn't attend QuiltCon East in Savannah last weekend, if you've been on social media at all, you've seen alot of quilts from the show. It's been great, hasn't it? I've thoroughly enjoyed them all. And just for the sake of history, I'm posting two I had a hand in here on the blog.

photos by Louise Wackerman

First was my Yay or Nay, which hung in the show in the Improvisation category. This one has a pretty personal story, so it meant alot to me to have it included.

The second was Stephanie Ruyle's Direction Optional, a Bee Sewcial quilt, to which I contributed two blocks.

photos by Kristin Ballou

It was very exciting to have Stephanie's quilt win first place in the Group or Bee Quilts division! After having my Mod Mood - another Bee Sewcial quilt - win the same prize last year.... well it was pretty cool!

Anyway, thanks for humoring me. If you haven't seen the collection of winning quilts yet, do take a look! And on Instagram, see all sorts of quilts and good fun under #quiltcon2017 and #quiltcon.

Monday, February 20, 2017


Reading the latest Bee Sewcial prompt is always a trepidatious moment, following by a time of waiting and pondering. At some point, I gather a pile of approved fabrics and just start cutting.

With Karen/@capitolaquilter's theme of EYE(S), I finally came up with a vision for the first block, but after getting just so far, I needed a break. See, I really need to be in the right head-space to tackle these blocks, and that was depleted pretty quickly on this one. 

Fortunately, several days later, the time and head-space returned, and I was able to finish the block at 11.5" x 14.5". Acutally, the flow of the curves was going well enough, but actually calling it done was hard. So finally, I just trimmed it once the block seemed relatively balanced.

I had a rough plan for the second block, but somewhere in the finishing of the first, it came to mind that I had a personal eye-story of my own. When I was born, I had a blue eye and a brown eye. Thinking of that immediately led me in another direction, and I came up with this block, which measures 12.5" x 15". Dare I say I love this block enough I may need to explore with it more some day.

Whew. It's always a relief to have survived another month, but the prompts are always such a good stretch! See more of what the bee is doing on Instagram at #beesewcial, and also what others are creating at #inspiredbybeesewcial.

Friday, February 17, 2017


I'd taken a break from sharing quilt photoshoots here, but lately, several have gotten my attention and I couldn't resist bringing the feature back. After perusing through, I think you'll see why!

Scattered Hearts by Ashley/Film in the Fridge [filminthefridge]

Granny Square by Karen/quiltaposy [quiltaposy]

Australia Modern Medallion by Alyce/Blossom Heart Quilts [blossomheartquilts]

East Street by Bobbi/Snowy Days Quilting [snowydaysquilting]

In the Badlands by Arianna/[quiltkween]

All lovely, right? Makes me long for a quilt finish and for the rain to stop. Until then.....

Monday, February 13, 2017

Minimal Day :: Quarter Opals

One of the perks of being a part of the Seattle MQG is the annual block-of-the-month. In 2015, we did medallion quilts [here's my Confectionery], last year was improv [mine is currently in the quilting phase], and this's all about needle-turn applique!

Jonna/@bespokeoutlaw is behind it all, and our project is inspired by two pieces of jewelry designed by her great uncle, Russell Day. Intriguing already, right?


In January, we gathered supplies, and now in February, we have the the instructions for our first blocks: Quarter Opals. With the option of making a wall-hanging or a lap-sized "Minimal Day Sampler," I'm choosing the smaller project. After rummaging in my stash, I chose a piece of Carolyn Friedlander's euclid as my background fabric, and a bundle of Anna Maria Horner voile scraps for the applique. [The prints are from her Little Folks line; the brown, I'm not sure.]

Having done plenty of applique back in my early quilting days, at least these gentle curves were quickly accomplished. Now I'm anxious for next month, though Jonna has already uttered that dreaded word.... templates!

If you want to follow along, a supply list and each month's blocks instructions can be found on the Seattle MQG website. We're tagging our Instagram posts with #seamqgbom2017 and #minimaldaysampler.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Cut It Up?!

After posting about Labeling Solid Fabrics the other day, there was alot of mention of folks depending on their solid swatch color cards rather than actually labeling their fabric. And I knew there were a variety of ways to do that. Of course, you could leave your color card as is (which is what I do), and use it as a resource that way. Or, you could CUT IT UP.

The first time I heard about doing that, I was shocked! (really) But this works for many of you, and here are some of the ways people store their individual swatches:

Silvia/@astrangerview purchased a Box Box transparent box from The Container Store. I couldn't find that exact product still available, but you get the idea. I've heard that an Aurifil thread case also works well.

Then there's Felice/Sew scatterbrained, who punched a whole in each swatch and keeps them on a ball chain to create a swatch ring, keeping them in order as they were on the card for side by side comparisons.

Velcro was the answer for Melanie/Mell Meyer, who created her own Velcro Kona Color Card. Melanie has placement sheets available for you to print out to make your own on cardstock.

And then Sheila/thought & found's idea is a hybrid of labeling fabric vs. cut-up color card in that she makes swatch cards that offer larger fabric samples. The cards are available for a small fee on Craftsy.

What clever ideas, right? Anything here similar to what you do? Or is your color card still in one piece like mine? Do share what works for you in the comments. Oh, and I've started a Kona color card pin board with these ideas as well as quilts based on them. Here's to color!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tuesday at the Table

Right up front, I'm going to tell you that today's post is a fact-finding mission. I want to know what you know about "sous vide."

My first known encounter with sous vide was a new product at Starbucks (I live in the Pacific Northwest, remember?) - Sous Vide Egg Bites. Let's just say I like them way more than I both expected to and want to.

The sous-vide method involves vacuum-sealing and cooking either in a water bath or steam. I've heard of folks doing it at home either with a specialty oven made for that purpose or with what's called a precision-cooker, such as AnovaI even found a recipe for homemade sous vide egg bites on the Avona website!

So what do you know about cooking sous vide? Do share...

Monday, February 6, 2017

ColorS of the Year

I very nearly forgot that I was up for Faith Circle's quilt plan this month. Seriously, about 5PM on January 31, just out of curiosity, I went to check the quilter schedule, and there was my name for February. Oops!

Some quick scanning of my Quilt Blocks Pinterest board led me to Jodi/Tales of Cloth's Squash Blossom block tutorial. And without much more thought than that, I also chose a palette focused on the Pantone Color of the Year, Greenery.

Here's my sample block, which I think is really striking in a finished quilt, and I can't wait to see it in a mix of greens!

I fully intend to explore Greenery more this year, but this is a start. I've heard rumors that a 2017 Pantone Quilt Challenge is in the works, hosted by Rebecca/@bryanhousequilts and Sarah/@nohatsquilts, so I'm watching for that.

And then there's the other Color of the Year - Kona's Pink Flamingo.

My guild Giving Committee co-host Louise/I'm Feelin' Crafty and I decided an improv quilt in Pink Flamingo would be a great way to start off a new year's giving quilt. Circa15 kindly gifted the guild with a generous supply of Pink Flamingo, and each participant will get a 9" x 11" piece at our next meeting, to mix with gray and white to create a 12 1/2" block of their own design. Doesn't that sound fun?

So I'm looking forward to using both of these colors - one (Greenery) which is right up my alley - and the other (Pink Flamingo) not quite. Do you have any plans to incorporate either in your creating this year?

Friday, February 3, 2017


A Dresden block is something I've tackled just once or twice - I think as bee blocks - but when I saw Ellyn/ellyn's place Funky Dresden I was enticed to give it a try. With her two-piece tutorial (cut/sew) it went together easily, and I really enjoyed the process.

Carolyn Friedlander's Euclid was chosen as my Dresden focus fabric, with a background of Kona Bone and an unidentified stash blue. (Sidenote: I found it equally frustrating and amusing that though I own several color cards, I still couldn't figure out what that blue was. So yeah, I don't label all my solids either.)

Ok. True confession: I was so anxious to make the Dresden itself, that I didn't totally follow the front-end of Ellyn's tutorial. I think what I actually did was grab a half-yard piece of fabric, thinking it was a full yard. At any rate, when it came time to cut the rest of the background, I didn't have enough. SO, enter Kaufman Essex in Natural behind the Bone, and a lovely Moda Cross Weave in Storm behind the blue. A different look to be sure, but I'm good with it.

I went with hand-applique to attach the center to the background, and then got to quilting. After rummaging through all my Aurifil 50wt, I settled on two unlikely-named colors: #5021 (light grey) and #1158 (medium grey), though they ended up working just fine.

Confession #2: I marked the quilt top with my hera, fully planning to echo in between each spoke of the Dresden. But I got to the machine and changed course, echoing the shapes on each half. Unpredictable much?

Add a little matched binding, and the quilt finished at 29" x 31". It was a fun little diversion. Thanks for sharing your tutorial, Ellyn! Dresdens really aren't as intimidating as they look!