Wednesday, March 20, 2013

"Vintage Modern" + Craftcation!

Last Sunday I had the chance to head over to the Long Beach Antique Market and I wanted to share with you one of my finds! I like to look for sewing and quilting related things. I can't resist an old sewing basket, I always have to stop and look inside. Yesterday I was inspired to look at old quilts and quilt tops in hopes to find something "vintage modern". What I chose was this Pinapple quilt, a variation of a log cabin, in pink and white.

 A few things about this that I Love: I love the improvised mixing of light and dark pinks, not with the plan to make a secondary design, but very much a make-do "I ran out of light pink and the quilt wasnt big enough and this was the only other pink I had".

I also love that although the piecing is very precise, the edges of the quilt aren't square, it was bound with all its soft curves and wonkiness.

Also, this quilt was very densely hand quilted in a grid of beautiful straight lines - it's quite impressive. The stitches are so tiny and precise!

In other news, I'm heading up north this weekend to Ventura to attend Craftcation, an conference for makers that promises to be very inspiring and educational. I am originally from Ventura so this trip will also be time spent with family.

Craftcation Conference - Craft Convention and Small Business Conference

If you are interested in learning a bit from the conference as well, they are streaming a workshop
with: KARI CHAPIN: author of the handmade marketplace
KAYTE TERRY: author of applique your way
LISA TAUBER: editor at chronicle books
MELANIE FALICK: author of five knitting books & publisher at stc craft
access to our livestream workshop and more is available on Craftcation's homepage 

Friday, March 15, 2013

FMQ play

Happy Friday! I wanted to share a small finish with you  - don't you love a quick and easy project? I found this beautiful Sarah Jane "Children at Play" fabric in flannel and I had to snatch it up for a baby blanket. When I found the coordinating orange knit binding amongst my vintage fabric and notion goodies, that sealed the deal!

I used this little project to practice my free motion quilting. It turns out that the  print itself of boys throwing paper airplanes, makes the perfect pantograph to trace meandering loop-d-loops!

Viviana has claimed this one for herself. She is growing up so fast - 7.5 months old now!
I'm linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish it up Friday.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Travel Handmade to Quiltcon!

I'm happy to say I finished one last project before packing up and flying out to Austin! This was an abandoned UFO that I found last week as I was reorganizing my sewing space. This is the "Modern Diaper Bag" by Amy Butler featured in her book Little Stitches for Little Ones. I had made Amy Butler's "Everything Bag" from the same book when I had my son, in fact that was the second thing I had ever sewn (nevermind that it was a 4 out of 5 in difficulty rating, I was a 'confident' beginner).
When I was expecting my daughter I decided I wanted to make a new diaper bag with a more feminine print, so I bought this beautiful Dear Stella print in heavy canvas, cut all the pieces, fused the interfacing... and then had the baby before I could finish. The pieces had been packed away in my closet the past 6 months waiting for me to have time to come back to it.

Seeing all the gorgeous handmade travel bags coming to QuiltCon gave me the motivation to finish it up and have a new bag to bring myself. I love that this bag is HUGE and has lots of pockets. It is also lined in a Dear Stella print. Look for me carrying this beauty at QuiltCon and say hello!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday

 This past Sunday I joing the OCMQG for our monthly sew and was happy to make progress on a few projects!

First, as promised last week I did make some progress on my February blocks for the Green Tea and Sweet Beans BOM. These churn dash blocks came together fairly easily. I still need to tackle the orange peel blocks; I got some good advice from my guildmates on applique and I'm excited to try it for the first time.

I was excited to receieve my blocks back from our OCMQG 'A Particular Kind of Bee' and I spent some time figuring out a layout on the design wall. The original plan for this quilt was to have each hexagon honeycomb made up of six different triangles to give it a very scrappy look. Then I decided to make some of the hexagons solid and mix them into the quilt. I look forward to making some progress piecing this top together.

And next, a new quilting bee! At our January LAMQG meeting I joined together with a few other members to for a new quilting bee, Bee Adventerous and Megan started us off by making some scrappy X and O blocks. I have to say I really loved making these! I see some more of them in my future.

Lastly, I have to share with you an antique shop find! It' a twin sized unfinished quilt top, I'm calling this Grandpa's Garden since it's made entirely from wool suitings! The hexagons are hand pieced from cut up bits of suit coats. Some of the hexagons actually contain garment seams. I'm guessing this was a memory quilt for someone's father or grandfather that just never got finished.

My plan is to handquilt it and I'd love your advice! I'm concerned since it's made from wool knits that are 1) a bit more stretchy than quilting cotton and 2) can't be machine washed I need to make some different choices about the batting and backing. I was thinking of selecting wool batting and maybe flannel or wool suiting for the back - would that work?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Green Tea and Sweet Beans

Photo from Sewing Party
 My New Year's sewing resolution is to make 2013 a year of learning. I consider myself an intermediate sewer at this point and I'd like to challenge myself to learn new things. I had never considered joining a block-of-the-month, never really saw one I liked, until I saw this at my LQS, Sewing Party. The pattern is Green Tea and Sweet Beans by Jen Kingwell and I was first drawn to it by the beautiful combination of low volume text and brights prints. Second, it has a lot of things that I don't know how to do: partial seams, Y-seams, applique, etc. Jen's pattern instructions are written intending for this to be handsewn, but Cecile, the shopowner of Sewing Party, is offering a BOM class where she shows how this can be accomplished by machine.

January's class kicked off with teaching us Y-seams and tackling 2 of the blocks, First the hexagon panel:

having recently completed my first EPP hexie project, I was curious to learn how hexies were machine sewn with Y seams. The answer: very tediously! But probably still faster than EPP. And  look at this beautiful pressing on the back! Opening up the points where the three hexies join reduces bulk and allows the block lay flat.

The second thing we tackled were the propellar blocks:

They look easy, but my seam ripper will tell you that they were not!

So there you have it, January blocks done. Oh wait, is it February? Right - well this weekend I'll be tackling the February blocks, churn dash and orange peel, and I'll update you on that.

If you're interested in joining in with making Green Tea and Sweet Beans, you can order the pattern from Sewing Party, or find it at their booth at QuiltCon. There is also a Flickr group for this pattern.

Speaking of QuiltCon, check out this cute charm I got from Pin Peddlers a couple of weeks ago. It's an improv log cabin in the QuiltCon colors and has 2013 on it - not official MQG swag, but I'd like to think of it as commemorating the inaugural conference. It'll be be travelling to Austin with me on my rotary cutter!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Who's going to QuiltCon?

It's now just weeks away my friends! In less than 3 weeks I'll be in Austin, TX for QuiltCon! I'm super excited to meet so many blog friends in person. The MQG kicked off a linky party/blog hop to help us mingle beforehand and get to know each other.

So here are 5 things to know about me:

1. I belong to two modern quilt guilds - both Los Angeles and Orange County chapters. I live right in between the meeting places of the two guilds and it takes me about the same amount of time to get to the meetings for each. It has been so fun to be involved the past two years and see each guild grow. My favorite thing has been making new friends and learning from these talented members!

LAMQG retreat, Feb 2012

2. I may be a 'modern' sewer but I love vintage machines! It started when I inherited my grandmother's sewing machine, a slant needle Singer 401A -widely regarded as one of the best machines Singer ever made! That lead to me looking for attachments at garage sales and flea markets and taking in other machines. I have been reading more blog posts lately about quilters who have spent $$$ on new, top-of-the-line computerized machines lately, only to be disappointed for one reason or another. What I love about my vintage machines is that they are easy to maintain and consistent workhorses.

Grandma's 401A

Singer "Rocketeer" - currrently living with a friend
Teaching a class with my two Singer featherweights!
3. I'll have a travel partner with me at QuiltCon! While I'm leaving my husband and 3 year old son at home, I'm bringing my 6 month old daughter! My mom lives in Houston, TX and will meet me in Austin to have some quality time with her grandaughter while I take workshops. But don't be surprised if you see this cute baby on the show floor, the lecture hall or the vendor expo. Be sure to say hi!

 4. I'm a foodie! My favorite things to do when I travel is eat at great restaurants! I'm looking forward to seeing what Austin has to offer. What do I love? Coffehouses where beans are roasted fresh and the baristas can pour a pretty latte, restaurants where food comes from local farms and the menu changes according to whatever is in season, bars that feature local wineries and microbreweries. Anyone else want to partner up and come eat with me? I'd love to plan some dinners out for Wed-Sun nights!

5. I'm working on a special project for QuiltCon! I was thinking about all the people I will have the chance to meet in person and how nice it would be to commemorate the experience of QuiltCon with a quilt. I've pulled some fabric insipred by the QuiltCon colors and also have some Kona white. Here's where you guys come in: I'll pack and have with me at QuiltCon these markers, also in QuiltCon colors, and a bunch of white squares cut. If we cross paths, will you do me the honor to sign one of my  blocks?

Now for the rest of the blog hop, here is your chance to meet some of the other QuiltCon attendees! If you're going to QuiltCon, feel free to add your link and remember to tell us 5 things about yourself.


Modern Quilt Guild Madrona Road Challenge: Starlight

Introducing my first finish of 2013, Starlight! This is my entry for the Modern Quilt Guild's Madrona Road Challenge. Michael Miller generously donated this fabric with the challenge to make something from the Madrona Road line adding only solids.

Starlight was inspired by the "Jazz Hands" quilt made by Sarah Fielke in her book Material Obsession 2. I LOVE the quilts in this book and in fact I made myself a template and started to cut and piece myself a Jazz Hands block, but it was just too tedious! After taking Sarah's Craftsy class (which is amazing, btw!) I got the idea to make this simplified version. 

Starlight is handquilted using three different colors of 12 weight thread: white and two shades of blue pulling inspiration from the fabric.

The quilt back is pieced using some prints from Madrona Road and solids.

The binding is a yellow from Michael Miller Cotton Couture - wow! This base cloth is so soft and wonderful to work with!

If you want to see some more SERIOUSLY amazing quilts, check out some of the other entries for the Madrona Road challenge here