Friday, April 21, 2023

Midway Through The 100 Day Project

Yes, I'm a little late reporting in at the half-way point of The 100 Day Project, but considering I've missed a handful of days, it's about half-way for me. So here's a quick round-up of projects I've used scraps in!

  • Adjunct - a mini (18" x 22") quilt made from the scraps The BOM quilt

  • Whisper - a 30" x 40" quilt made from my neutral scraps (backing pulled from stash)

  • Brown Crush - a 41" square quilt made primarily from scraps (Kona Crush background and several fabrics for the backing from stash)

  • scrappy hourglass blocks - a work in progress, at this point entirely pieced from the scrap basket; currently have 32 blocks pieced

So that feels like quite a bit! I've kind of been jumping around, project-wise, but that's working for me. The scrap basket is still very full, but let's see what else I can come up with in the next 50 days!

Linking up with Patchwork & Quilts linky party!

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Brown Crush

Still plugging along with my 100 Day Project, aka 100 days of scraps, I dumped my scrap basket out and gathered all of my brown scraps and pieced them into a big ole slab.

Then I used my 12" Clammy ruler, and cut out circles, not quite sure what I was going to do with them.

After auditioning several solids (I was originally thinking blues), I settled on Kona Crush, the Kona Color of the Year, as the background fabric, and then played around with layouts. Here's the one I finally chose:

I'd purchased two yards of Crush when it was released, where normally, I just purchase fabrics in half- or one-yard increments. So having two yards on hand was fortuitous, considering I thought it went really great with the browns.

For the quilt back, I went with a pieced back, using both scraps and stash finds, amazed I had some multi-colored prints that were perfect with the Crush + brown mix.

For quilting, I used Aurifil Forty3, a 40wt 3ply thread, 2360 [Chocolate] with 40wt 2360 in the bobbin on all the brown fabrics, and 50wt 2230 [Medium Peony] on the Crush. Considering this was a scrappy quilt with no end purpose in mind, I decided to play a bit, and actually did free motion organic circles in the brown pieced circles, seven in each. I marked them with a chalk marker, using a water glass as a template, then just kind of went for it. Perfect it's not, but I love the look. 

In the background, I went back with my walking foot and did a combo of echoing the circles, and straight lines in all the Crush sections. After all that was done, I went back and used coordinating thread to stitch a simple outline in each of the 'corner' sections. Three quilting designs in one quilt? That may be a record for me. haha

And just for fun, I overlabeled this one - my personal labels from gutenTAGs; as well as other fun ones from SarahHEARTS.

So I really enjoyed this one, making up the design as I went, and trying a few things that weren't my norm. At 41" square, it was a perfect project during my focus on using up scraps.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Diamond Flare :: April

Happily, the Diamond Flare BOM with Seattle MQG is proving to be very popular! (Take a quick peek!) And after completing March's blocks, I confess I was eager to see what was next.

A mystery quilt designed by guild member Taylor Krz @toadandsew, I was questioning my chosen palette just a bit after adding this month's blocks (the stripes). But Taylor assured me it would all turn out great, and I'm confident it will. This block will become the center of my quilt and currently measures 31" square. Now to pack it all away and wait patiently for May's block release. 

Monday, April 17, 2023

Aurifil Artisan Challenge :: Neon Threads

The Aurifil Artisan Neon Challenge was an 'extra' challenge available to the artisans as Aurifil was working closely with Freespirit Fabrics and Tula Pink on an influencer tour. Our challenge was separate from that, but still highlighting the new limited edition 50 wt neon threads7000 [Neon Orange], 7001 [Neon Yellow], and 7002 [Neon Pink].

We each received three small spools of the neon threads, and our challenge was to use all three - in one project or several. I chose to combine them in one project - a small quilt inspired by Minimal III from Gwen Marston's Minimal Quiltmaking. I thought a simple solid quilt design would be an ideal vehicle for showing off those neons. The fabrics I chose were Kona Black, Key Lime, Persimmon, Acid Lime, and an unknown pink. 

Once my simple design came together, I created a pieced quilt back with project leftovers and a few coordinating stashed prints.

Early on, I had a quilting plan in mind - both vertical straight line and 'fancy' zig zags across the quilt. 

I'm really pleased with that choice, though I learned as I began that the threads showed up best on the black fabric. In retrospect I would have used more black fabric in my design, but still, I'm happy with the resultant look. And of course, the texture is divine.

The quilt finished at 40.5" x 41.5" with matched binding, an obvious choice. It's a fun one, and I'm really glad I got the chance to play with those neon threads.

Linking up with Meadow Mist Designs' Favorite Finish Monthly Linkup!

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Selections from QuiltCon 2023

Imagine my surprise when I received an email towards the end of QuiltCon 2023 asking if The MQG could hang on to my "Tears" quilt and include it in the Selections from QuiltCon 2023 exhibit that would travel over the coming year. Of course I said, "Yes!"

So the first stop for the exhibit is of all places, Melbourne, Australia, for the Australasian Quilt Convention, held April 13-16. Thanks to Tara Glastonbury @stitchandyarn for snapping a photo of my quilt in the exhibit. It looks a little worse for the travel, but it's still an honor to have it included.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Pantone Quilt Challenge Inspiration and Progress

They say inspiration is everywhere. So it's not weird at all to get quilt inspiration from a drink coaster, right? I saw a quilt in this right off months ago and finally am planning to use it as my initial inspiration for the Pantone Quilt Challenge 2023.

AND I've chosen my fabrics to start (L-R):

I began my Viva Magenta project by making some striped slabs, with no end vision YET. 

I DID decide to add Kona Coal to my original palette though, and will use less Kona Silver going forward. So there's that, plus I've been cutting the pieced strips into angled sections. Anything more than that remains to be seen.

I confess I'm jumping around between projects lately, but I have oodles of fabric strips cut out and ready to sew, so hoping to see progress on this one soon.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Strawberry Needle Book

When I started my latest Dropcloth Sampler, I had no idea I'd end up stitching one of my favorite things ever! That strawberry took a while but was so fun to stich.

The project is the Strawberry Needle Book, just 2.5" x 3.5" when finished.

I actually started with the rain on the back, and that rainbow, which was what called to me in the first place.

I chose to construct the actual 'book' a little differently than the pattern suggested, lining it with a coordinating print and then sewing in the felt pages. I'm pretty sure that sweet fabric is a Lecien Minny Muu print from way back.

It felt good to be working on another Dropcloth sampler, even though it was tiny. And I'm looking forward to another - the new Garden Path, though I've also got some hand-quilting planned. Always plenty to work on, right?

Monday, April 3, 2023

March Fabric Usage

March was a good sewing month. Two quilt finishes, with two more very close, added up to some decent fabric usage. Then there were a potholder pair, BOM and bee blocks, and even a couple of gift bags.  All that more than compensated for the fabric intake, which was primarily being curated for very specific projects - the aforementioned BOM and the Pantone Quilt Challenge.

There was another, quite unexpected, acquisition - a "jelly roll" of original Cotton + Steel from my daughter Rachel @snippetsofsweetness. I couldn't resist saying yes to her offer. I estimate that the roll contains a little over a yard and a half worth of fabric, and can imagine it maybe becoming a scrappy binding for a C+S quilt, or who knows. For now it's stashed for a future project.

So even though I brought in a nice stack of fabric, the month's busy-ness made the stats look pretty good. On to April!

March Fabric Usage
Used up: 21.66 yards
Brought in: 10.15 yards
Net: -11.51 yards

Saturday, April 1, 2023


Once again, it's my turn to put forward a prompt for my Bee Sewcial mates, and after much internal debate, I've decided that we will spend the month being inspired by the work of Josef Albers, making blocks in a style I've dubbed 'Albersesque.' "Josef Albers was an American-German artist best known for his iconic color square paintings, also know as his Homage to the Square series. These works, along with his writings, are considered invaluable contributions to color theory." []

I've created a small Pinterest board with several of Albers' pieces, though my mates are welcome to be inspired by others of his works. Another good source of inspiration would be Josef Albers' book, Interaction of Color. I'm just looking for inspiration images with basic shapes, not necessarily the ones illustrating transparency.  I'm also ok if they create their own Albers-like block to recreate, rather than an actual one. The key focus should be on simple shapes and color.

I'm asking for three 9.5" square blocks from each member. No gray/black/brown or white/ivory, but all the other colors are welcome. 

Each block should be its own palette, though there would preferably be some minimal crossover between blocks. And each block should definitely be improv, preferably ruler-free (until final trimming), and inspired by a Josef Albers or "Albersesque" piece - maybe even recognizable as such, but not necessarily. 

Each of the three blocks should follow the same inspiration piece. I made my first block quite similar to my chosen inspiration, hoping to illustrate clearly my intent with the prompt, though it isn't necessary to be quite so obvious.

I usually choose a narrower color palette for my Bee Sewcial prompt, so I feel like I'm going out on a limb here. But I wanted a prompt that wasn't overly demanding, yet fun, and I hope this one will prove to be so. You know I'll share more as blocks start rolling in!