Monday, July 15, 2013

Stashbusters YouTube for Craftsy

This was one of the funnest parts of my Craftsy experience, filming the "Stashbusters" video.  They gave me one hour and a basket of fabrics to choose from to make a block on the fly...then they edited it down to 2 minutes.

It's what I do anyways so it was kind of surreal to be doing it in front of a camera.  But once I got going I forgot about the film crew. ;-)

Crazy quilting has surely given me some crazy experiences!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Lace Bouquet

I have lace on the brain, definitely!

This time I wanted to play with painting it for a small composition....the project was for an upcoming episode of QNN TV's "Quilters Newsletter Workshop", airing in April of 2014.  I just got back from taping it in Denver with the wonderful Jodie Davis.

So I started with some vintage blocks.  You know me and vintage blocks, I'm in love.

These blocks gave me my palette.
I then went out to the garden to pick some flowers in the same colors, for painting inspiration.

You can tell, I was having a lot of fun!

When the laces were all painted, I arranged the bouquet on the background and sewed them on with my machine.

This is really quite quick using clear thread...I just had to be mindful of all those pins.

I liked it alot, but it still needed something.....

Of course!  The stipple quilting really helped the bouquet and blocks pop out.

What a fun project!  You'll be able to see a lot more about it when the Quilters Newsletter Workshop episode airs next spring.

Thanks, Jodie, for having me!

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Lace Quilt

While I was in the middle of preparing for my Craftsy class I decided to take a time out to make a quilt using one of the methods of building a block that I was covering in class.
I called it "Intuitive Applique"; it is Method 4, in Lesson 5.

This is my all time favorite way to work, making up each block as I go along.  And I don't get to do it all that much!  Because while a crazy quilt's blocks' construction goes quickly, embroidering and embellishing them takes weeks if not months. The "piecing" part---working with fabrics and the blocks' compositions--is just a small part of the process of making a crazy quilt.

Not this time!  My goal was to make a bona fide crazy quilt with no embroidery at all.  The only handwork involved sewing on some pre-made fabric flowers from those folks I love at M & S Schmalberg. Otherwise, everything was done on machine, including quilting and binding the quilt at the end.  The intricate patterning in the laces and all their variations would fill the role that embroidery normally does.

And this quilt was completed quickly.  I started it on April 25th, and finished it on May 3rd. What a deliriously fun time I had!

I took pictures along the way so I could share my joy.....

This is where all my quilts start, with "blank pages" on the design wall.  These are interfaced muslin foundation squares.  The lace in between the rows will be my sashing strips.  I'll take each square down and work on it, then pin it back up.  This helps me see the quilt as a whole, all the way along.

One of the first blocks is getting underway here.  Working with that textural crocheted lace was making me swoon, for real!

I stayed with my "Craftsy palette" the whole way through this quilt, using the same "Paris Flea Market" fabrics from Moda that my class project used. (The designers are 3 Sisters.) I fell madly in love with these fabrics, and it was extra cool that they are about Paris, where I'll be traveling in September.

I've got the block roughly laid our here.

 That block sewn up is fourth from the top in the row on the left. 

Although this quilt has very little structure, other than having a strip-and-sashing lay-out, I still wanted to organize it's randomness a little bit.  A mandala block in the center seemed a perfect way to accomplish this.

From this point on, all the blocks I made were in response to the ones already there; that is, I was working on keeping the quilt balanced.  I especially had to pay attention to that dark red rose fabric, and try to keep it distributed fairly evenly across the quilt.

I had to pay attention to the lines within each block as well, so that the curves would flow nicely from block to block.  So I decided to lay out the laces first!  (Notice that I layered them sometimes too.)
That strategy worked just fine and even made the block go together quicker.

See that map of Paris fabric in the upper right?  As I worked I imagined going to the places on the maps as I cut and sewed...

The blocks are almost all done here, and I was sad that my whirlwind week of piecing was almost over.

When it came time to add the sashing between the rows of blocks, I didn't want them to be static..and thought that alternating the background fabrics behind the lace strips would be a subtle way to add a hint of pattern and interest.

When all was assembled, I quilted along the sashing and between the quilting inside the blocks.
I did use a lovely backing fabric and lightweight cotton batting; this is intended to be a functional throw.

And here it is, finished.  I used a linen burlap ribbon for the binding...that made it very fast and the texture fit the quilt very nicely.  It measures about 64" X 64".

This was like a week's vacation for me!  I loved working with my lace collection so much that I'm going to have to make another one of these someday.  Hope you enjoyed reading about it!