I have just been a very bad bear when it comes to uploading photos and blogging. Somehow I seem to lose things more easily in the new, smaller place. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been here for 7 years, so I don’t have the best places for everything to be stored *quite* figured out. I keep misplacing things like my camera, my battery charger, or the card-adapter-uploader-thingy for the Mac. Oh, yeah, I switched computer teams when I switched careers & cities. I am now in an all-Mac household AND office. (When in San Fran, do as the San Franciscans do….)
For the LA MQG origination Bee Happy, I made for Katie:
a white and blue Christmas tree and a yellow & muslin tree of any other kind (ok, these I made in July 2011, in the old house, in So Cal, not quite sure if my whole life would soon be changing…so we can blame being unsettled on not posting. Kelly’s house blocks got their very own post the month before.)
a pink & orange string block from the Film in the Fridge tutorial (Aug. 2012. First bee block made in the new place, the day before I started my new job)
For Yolanda, in September 2011, when we still thought all was right with the world:
2 ‘Garden Square’ blocks for a surf-themed quilt for her nephew.
(my man really liked these! This from a man who ‘doesn’t like prints’.)
a big Denyse Schmidt ‘Drunk Love in a Log Cabin’ block for a quilt she & her hubby will sleep under.
We took November and December off to focus on the holidays with our families.
In January of this year, for my friend Janice, I paper pieced (my choice) 2 blocks, one of which was inset into a white circle, for quilts for ladies in her families. Janice finished these right up with some awesome sashing into gorgeous modern vintage quilts!
For Rosanna, who asked once once again to help use up her stash that she no longer loves, I made a heart (because it was February!):
For Natalie, who possesses wisdom beyond her years, a bookshelf block of which I sadly cannot find a finished photo:
For Nicole, who had her first year (and what a year it was!) in Bee Happy, a Gee’s Bend inspired block where I think I was channeling a furious Nancy Crow:
I have made one (of 2) blocks for Melissa’s Mod Mosaic quilt (another Elizabeth Hartman design – gotta love her!)….but Melissa is the most understanding bee, and she knows it’s not b/c I’m lazy…
And that catches me up the end of round two of Bee Happy….oh, but what about me, you ask, imaginary reader? My month was May….not exactly the merry, merry month it should have been….Maybe I’ll get to posting about that in, say, spring 2014? (in the book world, that’s right around the corner. )
This post was orginally titled ‘Scrap Happy!’ (a blog post that got lost in the moving shuffle)…the subject is kind of funny now, as I am back to the laundromat life…but still a pre-washer!
In addition to the 4 underbed storage boxes of non-quilting fabric, and the neat 6″ wide folded stacks of prewashed and ironed quilting cottons, I have bags of scraps. I have a highly technical storage system: reused clear bags, some with zippered tops that originally held new sheets or pillowcases, some leftover, but clean, Ziploc bags from bee members, and a few even in vintage plastic bags that once held men’s pajamas or ‘Mr.Roberts Fashions – Styled for the Smart Young Junior’ (I have a bunch of these that held vintage patterns that I found in a big box one very good day at Goodwill.)
I also recently acquired three bags full of Robert Kaufman scraps, thanks to their generosity and Lauren’s at the grand opening party for Sew Modern. Have you seen these ‘Striptease Bags’ before? They are a pound or so of mostly strippy scraps packed into a neat little cardboard pouch. I got mostly batiks because no one else in the LA Modern Quilt Guild seems to like batiks…..
There were some really cool scraps of striped batiks!
But I am a prewasher, and all these vivid batiks made me nervous. So when I had some time and it was sunny, warm, and a little bit breezy,
I washed them all in my sink by color family ,
- I’m a pre-washer
and they didn’t really bleed at all. The water turned colors, but nothing rubbed off the wet fabrics on my white test cloth. I still couldn’t have used my washer, though, instead of my own elbow grease, because that would have been a tangled web of mess!
Then I hung them all out to dry in the sunshine.
I <3 color order!
Looking at the rainbow forest of scraps was very satisfying!
- More color!
Then I had to iron them all!
Not as much fun!
But now I have enough strippy scraps that I could really jump right in and make a string quilt….if I were in the mood to add to my never-ending project list….
me & my quilt at the opening reception at Stitch Modern
Last night I got to talk quilts! (note to self: wear more comfortable shoes next time, even if it requires hemming pants at the last minute). The East Bay Modern Quilt Guild is putting on a show of members’ work. It was fun (although a bit tricky – mine fell down 3 times) to fit & hang all the various quilts into the available space earlier this week, and so exciting to walk into a room full of people all there to view modern quilts.
Here’s the show flyer:
Stitch Modern at the Piedmont Center for the Arts
Even if you missed the (crowded!) opening reception last night, it’s not too late to see the quilts on the flyer and more on display.
February 1-26, 2012, open Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays from 12 noon – 3pm
Piedmont Center for the Arts, 801 Magnolia Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611
Feb 8: 6pm What is Modern Quilting? Public Conversation
Feb 12: 12:30pm-2:30pm Family Event: Make Your Own Quilt Square Ages 4+
More about the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild is here.
…actually, I’m just cheating a little bit on this blog…I wrote a little post about quilting bees over here at the work blog……
…but I am now one step….or 150 watts…closer to more sewing time – thanks to a new uplight from Ikea. It’s amazing what $20 bucks and the strongest lightbulb at Lucky can do to a room with no ceiling light fixture. I could sew all night if I needed to (or was crazy enough!) I think those all-night-sews are definitely in my past now that I am not in the crazy working-all-hours entertainment industry.
Kroby Floor Uplight
Now I can get on with my goal for January:
Don’t commit to or start any new projects until I finish what I have going on.
#1 secret block. Finished and ready to be mailed.
two kinds of drafting!
#2 secret block. Ideas mulling around, fabric on its way to me in the mail.
#3 secret block. Plan set, fabrics to be pulled from stash. This one could be the next one completed , but has more time in the schedule.
#4 Bee Happy: 2 blocks for Janice from Hope Valley fabrics.
I got the pink & orange colorways.
Have the fabrics, still mulling around circle & triangle ideas. Due mid-February.
#5 Buzz block for Sandy B. – It’s the Uneven Coins quilt from the book Block Party. Super quick & fun to make. Half-way done, and it’s due beginning of February.
I should have this one easily finished this evening.
#6 baby quilt. Two more blocks to hand quilt (just a little).
Vintage safety pin fabric! Precious!
Gotta find the binding I cut last year (was it only last month? Seems like ages ago…) so I can stitch it all together and on and call that baby done!
…A little more than an evening’s work left on these:
#7 baby quilt. Designed. Fabrics bought, washed, ironed, partially cut, sewing is started.
#8 quilt my Bee Happy top. It’s finally all sashed, all 24 blocks. I have backing fabric chosen, too! (still has to be washed)
Photograph taken by C&T Photography Services
#9 quilt my Bee Happy sampler top. This one I’ve already washed the backing fabric, but it still has to be ironed and pieced.
(It’s been mostly folded up on a shelf since I moved up north. I don’t even have a photo – I took it out to 2 guild meetings, and it was photographed there…but not by me!)
#10 Finish up those darn Wonky Yule Log Cabins…..I can really only look at them at winter time. Good thing it’s really fireplace & wooly scarf weather up here in the Bay area. I feel a finish coming on for my oldest UFO.
…the others are so far from completed they don’t even get onto the January list. Wedding quilts for others, personal quilt ideas for me, a cal-king quilt for the bed I now share, the Daisy Janie project….. My mental list of projects I want to make is too long to even commit to black&white….it’s going to stay in my head.
Are you in my sewing room? Because based on the number of UFO’s in there, it might just be alien breeding ground.
Here are astack of photos of well-thought out projects that are certainly not stalled for lack of fabric… I am hoping this serves to get me sewing *every day* til Christmas!!!! (ok, maybe I set unreasonable goals for myself…)
another wedding quilt that is still within that one-year gift-giving timeline.
….I’m sure the recipients won’t be able to tell it’s for them from this messy pile of pieces.
…now I am no longer a single girl, and this quilt is going to be too small for our new bed!
whole lotta pins for 3/4 of the rings for my 'Single Girl'
..this will still look great on my sofa when it’s done!
wonky lattice quilt that has about 16 out of over 100 blocks made
…I’m sure someone else I know will have a girl and then I will be halfway there with a quilt.
quilt for a neighbor's baby that is about 3 years old now and two moves away
…I think the original project was to be a topper for my new (1.5 yrs ago) washer & dryer that I left behind in Los Angeles….so these blocks may go into the back of a finished top that is ready to be quilted…I have two new places to possibly rent long-arm time on up in Northern California, so I MUST get some quilt tops finished!!!
- …so old I am not even sure what this UFO is going to become….
I have an organized stash closet!
I <3 rainbow order!
The closets go all the way up to the ceiling, so I intend to make as much use of them as possible.
There are a few things that will come out of hiding and go on shelves when I get to the ‘make it pretty stage’, but for now the closet is packed full. Not much room for new stuff…
the other side is not as neat yet.
No, this is not all my fabric. This is just quilting fabric. There is a (small) stack on the floor to be pre-washed, and then vintage sheets are stored in drawers below the daybed in this room, and the garment fabrics and flannel are in plastic bins under my own bed. I am so glad to have sorted them out earlier this year – it was one thing that was ready to go when I decided to move.
3 drawers of vintage sheets
The drawers on the bottom of the Ikea daybed are SO useful. One has vintage sheets that actually go on this bed. One has new-in-package vintage sheets I inherited from my nonna, and the last has all the cutters I have thrifted and FQs that I have gotten through swaps.
My sewing machine is out and set up, I am working on fitting in the office-y stuff like the laptop and printer (not really room for them anywhere!), and I think I may have found a better solution for my sewing & cutting table than my Ikea tabletop ….that is to work on this weekend.
It’s good to have projects when you don’t know too many people in the area…
Well, I’m still in California, but other than that, my life and my sewing room is a big messy jumble of boxes.
- looking towards the closet
Actually, that’s not completely true. The kitchen is organized, the dining room only has one neat row of boxes along the floor, and the living room and master bedroom are functional, with a stack of boxes in each to be emptied. Of course, the 2nd bedroom/sewing room is last. However, I need me some endorphin-rasing sewing time before I start my new job (hell, my whole new career – more on that to come) on Monday, so I think I am going to tackle it this morning.
view towards the windows - actually looking down on trees & grass!
In the past month and half, I have chucked the ‘dream career’ of the past 13 years that was no longer satisfying, and got an awesome new job that required a move up to the San Francisco Bay area. I will miss my friends and LA MQG buddies down south, but I am excited for the fresh air and new challenges! And there are TWO Modern Quilt Guilds up here! Both of their next meetings are on my calendar.
First, I have to clear one wall of boxes so I can put the Ikea Hemnes daybed back together. Not only is it needed for guests, but I like to sit there and hand-stitch while watching TV. The other wall will have my 2 Ikea Vika tabletops mounted on Ikea Trofast kid’s storage cabinets. It will give me a 2 1/2 by 10 foot standing-height counter to cut/lay out work, and my Ikea chair ratchets up high enough to sit at my machine on the same table. The thing I love about Ikea furniture is that you can take it apart, move it around yourself, and put it together in different configurations when your needs change.
Then comes the fun of fitting all my stuff – fabric, sewing supplies, books, into the bookcases & the closet. I gave up some storage space in the move, but I will make it work! Then the closet doors will get covered with white flannel and be my new design wall! I can’t wait to get sewing again. But first, I have to test out the oven by making a batch of brownies!
I entered a quilt in The Modern Quilt Guild’s year-long Project Modern and it was selected as a winner!
The contest was a word challenge and the word was ‘organic’.
You can see all three of the winning quilts here and all the entries on Flickr.
You had to write a brief essay explaining how your quilt met the word challenge. I think I had a more difficult time cutting my ‘brief’ essay down than I did writing it in the first place.
Here it is in its entirety:
One of the definitions of the word ‘organic’ is ‘developing naturally’. I started this quilt with one basic idea: quilting is about cutting fabric into little pieces and sewing them back together again. I was inspired by a quilt created by Joelle Hoverson in her book Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts called the Little Bits Quilt. I had no other ideas where I was going to go. I started with several strips of little bits and pieced the rest of the quilt completely improvisationally. I laid out my first pieces on a design wall, and stared and thought, and added in some long strips of green, trying to balance out the colors and move your eye around the canvas….quilt. This is just what comes naturally to me, and my favorite way to put a quilt together. I had a lot of negative space to fill between the little bits, and started building my canvas with long strips of leftover green fabric, because that’s what I had on hand. I had my linens that were left over from making the ‘little bits’ strips, and some other fabrics that felt like they belonged in the same world. I would cut and hold and eyeball and pin, starting from one ‘little bits’ piece and trying to make the quilt grow to touch the next. Since I did it mostly by touch and eyeball, sometimes a piece ended up too short,and I worked some other fabric in to enlarge it. Sometimes a piece was bigger than needed, and I trimmed it to fit, leaving me with some interesting pieced off-cuts to work back into another area. The bigger pieces of fabric seemed dull to me, next to some of the more intricate piecing, so I sometimes added a large diagonal slash through a chunk of fabric and worked in some value contrast. I think my favorite part of the quilt is actually the more subtle wide stripes in the center made up of even strips of a solid tan linen and a Moda crossweave in brown/tan where you can see every thread that makes up the cloth. When I quilted this quilt on a long-arm machine, I wanted something curvey and natural to balance all the lines and angles in the piecing. I kept finding myself using the word ‘organic’ when I was trying to explain how I wanted the quilting to look. I guess I can’t think of something ‘organic’ without thinking of the natural world, whether that’s the bright green new leaves or the varied tans and browns of tree bark, or the patterns we see in nature. I tried to mimic the ripples that wind makes on a body of water with my stitching, and I think it looks just right for the quilt, a natural choice. I believe my entire process making this quilt was organic, doing what I enjoy and what just felt right at the time.
Thanks to the Modern Quilt Guild for organizing such a great series of contests, Pokey Bolton (the judge for this challenge) for her kind words, and the sponsors Daisy Janie, Cloud 9 Fabrics, Quilting Arts, and Janome America.