Saturday, July 5, 2014
Happy Fourth of July everyone in the States! It's also the day we were married, but here in Australia it's tomorrow, so we celebrated yesterday. Did you follow that? I'm having a bit of a laugh as I write this because I'm always getting my celebration wishes, birthday, Christmas, anniversary, etc a day late since Australia's time zone is ahead of North America. :)
Friday, July 4, 2014
I finished this New York Beauty Circle of Flying Geese last night. I'm so pleased with the result. I was determined to practice a bit of my free motion skills on the machine with this piece, which I find fun but yet still intimidating. I think I just need to practice, which is hard to do when I'm loading quilts for clients everyday. I've decided to reserve the machine one day a week just for working on my own quilts so that I can get a bit of time to practice. I think the key to getting a handle on the free motion quilting is to learn a few quilting designs that are easy and that you are comfortable with and then gradually add from there.
Thursday, July 3, 2014
In the meantime I have finished this little mini, a New York Beauty Circle of Flying Geese. You can find the pattern by Better off Thread here. I had a lot of fun with this pattern, I used up the tiniest bits of scraps of Liberty that I had leftover from cutting hexies for another project and combined it with the Melange Yarn Dye fabric that I got from here. The Melange is beautiful to work with as it has the look of linen but is 100% cotton and sews beautifully without the fraying that occurs with linen. I adapted this pattern by appliqueing the centers instead of the four separate pieces.
Originally I had wanted to make this into a cushion cover as I've been told I make all of my projects too big and that it is ok if I do a few smaller ones once in a while. So, what happens? I try to make a small cushion cover and even that ends up too big! I have to laugh. Oh well. I hope to quilt this this afternoon once I decide how I will do it. This could be a bit of a challenge for me.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Polka Dot Tea. I wanted to make something simple that would showcase the lovely Yuwa and Kei fabrics. I couldn't help myself, I had to add in the Michael Miller Cotton Couture as well. Have you worked with Cotton Couture yet? It is sublime! It isn't your ordinary solid, the base fabric has a fine weave and it silky to the touch, the colors are rich and vibrant. Trust me, Danielle and I only sell what we think quilters like to use, in other words, we buy what we like to use!
I'm also moving towards using a lot more modern quilting designs for my long arm quilting business, I like all over texture with lots of geometry. I had used this Modern Waves pattern several times and decided I needed to have one of my own quilts done in this pattern as well.
If you like the look of these fabrics, come check our shop out. We are also having a 15% off with the coupon code HAPPYDAYS with $20 minimum purchase until Friday the 18th.
Saturday, April 5, 2014
I have to say, that though this quilt looks so deceivingly simple in design, there is actually quite a bit involved. I had it on the design wall for two weeks, cutting and adding to it, rearranging the layout nearly everyday before I was satisfied enough with the layout to sew it up. Perhaps I did get to the stage where I started to over think the process, but I feel like I learned a lot from making this quilt. I may try it again in a different colour combination to see if the process is easier the second time around. I also feel inspired to finish off some old Kaffe Fassett projects started years and years ago and possible start another one!
Sunday, February 23, 2014
I have had the opportunity to attend two workshops the last two weekends. Considering that I have only attended four workshops in my quilting career up until now, it felt like a very busy week! Last weekend's workshop was with Chris Jurd, which I will blog about next. This weekend's workshop was with none other than the wonderful Kaffe Fassett! Nearly as long as I have been quilting, I have wanted to attend a Kaffe Fassett workshop. I have spent many many hours over the years pouring over his books and dreaming of quilts to make inspired by him.
When I heard that Addicted to Fabric in Canberra was going to host Kaffe Fassett and run a workshop for the Bordered Diamonds quilt from his book, "Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts", I jumped at the chance. And I have no regrets!
If anyone is unfamiliar with how Kaffe runs his workshops with his partner Brandon Mably, they are all about the design process and colour placement. There is no sewing involved, but rather a lot of cutting and placing of fabrics on a design board and then moving and arranging the fabrics around. For me, this is the most exciting part of quilting, so a workshop dedicated to this process was extremely interesting to me.
The morning started out with a brief introduction and discussion on how it is important that we work quickly and not hesitate or over think what we put up on the design wall. Their mantra is the same as the Nike commercial, "Just Do It". Most important was that we get something up on the design board and then stand back from quite a distance to look at our work. They suggested using a reduction glass to look through so that we could see what was working and what wasn't working easily.
For the Bordered Diamonds quilt they suggested that large prints would be most effective and that smaller scale fabrics would be effective to use as the frames for each diamond. We were to cut the large diamonds out first and get them on the board first and then go back and work on filling in the frames for each large diamond later.
Neither Kaffe or Brandon teach the workshop in a manner that they spend time babysitting what you are doing, but rather there is the feeling (particularly of Kaffe) of someone standing in the background parenting with a bit of gentle guidance here and there. This method I feel allowed me to be able to work and gain confidence as the day progressed. After I had placed about 15 diamonds up on my board, Kaffe did wander over and was quickly able to see what the color palette was that I was mainly using. He picked out about three or four of the darkest diamonds and said that they created too much contrast--too dark against the lightest of the fabrics that I had already had on the board. It surprised me how simply taking out those diamonds, suddenly made the start of my quilt seem clear and gave me direction as to where I wanted to go with it.
I had brought with me a range of blue/purple, red and yellow/gold fabrics with a desire to try to use yellow in my version of his quilt. I told Kaffe that I find it tricky to use yellow in general and wanted to concentrate on this as an exploration on how to use it! Brandon mentioned that next to black and white, yellow is the most difficult color to work with. Kaffe's suggestion was to add in green, which I didn't bring with me, so I did get the opportunity of having him go "shopping" with me to pick out possible fabrics. That too, was an educational experience to see how his mind works. I suggest that if anyone ever gets an opportunity to do a workshop with them to take them up on their suggestions! It's the easiest way to begin to see what they already know.
Close to lunch time I had already starting working on my borders for each of the diamonds. The suggestion was not to try and match the border fabric to the large diamond, but rather use instinct and choose the fabric based on what we feel works. Using a single or two color fabric seemed to work better than using detailed fabrics with many colours. Here is where I was up to when we broke for lunch:
After lunch we kept working and trying to fill in as much as we could. Kaffe would walk around the room, sit down on a chair looking very relaxed and just look. Then he would walk up and point to an area and say, try this here, or this here. What I got from it was that where there is high contrast next to each other creates a starkness and doesn't let the colours dance together. Neither should the fabrics blend into each other. It was effective to choose a different colour for the border than the centre diamond. There is a subtle play and harmony when it works which allows the integrity of the shape of the diamond to remain clear. Below is a photo of where I was at at the end of the day.
He then goes around the room and talks about the process each student went through to create their own palettes. This was an extremely interesting part of the workshop and fun to see how each person came up with really beautiful palettes of colour. This is a quilt I would like to try again to see how I could make it work in a different palette. Maybe next time I will try a darker palette.
Here are some photos of what some other ladies in my workshop made during their day at the workshop:
If you ever get an opportunity to attend a workshop with Kaffe and Brandon, don't hesitate, just do it!
Sunday, December 29, 2013
The fabrics I used in this quilt are a little off my usual beat of late, they are mostly by Tilda with some Modern Meadow by Joel Dewberry thrown in. I am loving the soft feminine look of this quilt. I hope to get the blocks sewn together soon and on the long arm as I plan to free motion quilt this one and have been looking forward to the practice.
In other news, our shop is having a 20% off of everything sale with a minimum purchase of $24. Use the code "January" at the checkout. We would appreciate your business and hope to continue to offer exciting new fabrics in 2014.
Saturday, December 7, 2013
As far as the fabric selection goes, I have substituted out a couple of the Jen Kingwell fabrics out for fabrics from my own stash here and there just to give it the little bit of extra pop of color that I like. I'm caught up now and anxiously waiting for the next blocks to arrive!
In the meantime, I've been moving at a glacial pace through the easiest of the borders (the checkerboard border) of my Midnight at the Oasis quilt. I have half of one side finished and I'm determined to make finishing this border my sewing goal for the week.
Friday, November 29, 2013
Lily Quilt's blog post here. Visit our shop here.