Friday, February 27, 2015

RJR Cotton Supreme Solids Blog Hop + Giveaway

I have discovered a new fabric-line love.  Well, obsession, really.  When some of my favorite fabric designers joined forces to create Cotton + Steel, a division of RJR Fabrics, I knew it was going to be fabulous.  I may have underestimated just how sewing studio is now overflowing with gorgeous prints that I have been using in just about every project lately.  When RJR Fabrics saw some of my work on Instagram and asked if I'd like to participate in their What Shade Are You Cotton Supreme Solids Blog Hop, I immediately agreed.  And then realized that I don't often create with solids.  In fact, I usually only use them as zip pouch linings.  Uh oh.

When I got the Cotton Supreme Solids color card in the mail, I may have done a little dance.  I was hoping to create a wallet using one of my new favorite Cotton + Steel prints (Memory in Aqua from Playful by Melody Miller) and coordinating solids.  But I had NO idea how many gorgeous solids there are in the collection, or that they go so beautifully with my favorite prints.  As I stitched up my wallet, I realized that I had to show off these colors more.  So I made a second project.

Inspired by the hexies in the Cotton + Steel print and the English paper piecing project I have been working on, I decided on a mini quilt to showcase the amazing colors of the Cotton Supreme Solids.  Using the English paper piecing glue basting method from Katja Marek's The New Hexagon, and the hexie quilt gluing method from Modern Handcraft, I was able to put this together rather quickly.  I think it may be my favorite project.  Ever.

These fabrics quilted up amazingly well.  I used Aurafil 50wt, and it was like sewing through butter. The background is Cotton Supreme Solid in Moonlight.  I also used Toyboat, Hot Pink, Kelly Green, Redwork, and my new (surprising!) fav, Goldilocks.

The back (in Goldilocks) came out just as awesome as the front.  Did I mention that I love math and geometrics?! Binding is Arrows in mint by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cotton + Steel.

So now I have a fab new wallet and matching mini.  This baby will be going on the wall in my studio.    This project has inspired me to look at solids in a whole new way.

Inspired to make your own?  RJR is giving away a fat quarter bundle of the solids that I used in my projects.

Just enter below.  Open to residents of the US and Canada.  Winner will be announced here on Monday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Finishes

This week, I finished a mini quilt for the Ocean Wave Quilters Guild scholarship auction.  I have never made a true mini quilt.  I was inspired by this half-square triangle mini on Pinterest.

I decided that if I was going to make a mini quilt, it was going to be very mini.  I started with a design made on a grid.

My final blocks are 1" squares.  I continued the 1" white squares through the whole quilt, rather than adding on a large triangle to the bottom right corner (which would have been SO much easier!).  I underestimated the difficulty of lining up 1" square rows!  It's not perfect, but it's art, and art isn't perfect.  The quilt measures 17" x 18".

 I used all scraps for this project, aside from the Moda white solid.  There are bits from Cotton + Steel, Tsuru by Rashida Coleman-Hale, and some Art Gallery Lace Elements.

I love how the quilting turned out.  I struggled with tension on the back for awhile before getting it right.  Well worth the effort!

If you'll be in Sitka the first week of March, stop by the auction!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WIP Wednesday

It seems that I always have at least 3 projects going at a time.  Usually more.  Here's a look at what I have in progress this week.

First up, I finished the January portion of The New Hexagon Millefiore quilt-along.  Whew.  It measures about 36" across.  It's been fun so far, and great to have a project that I can work on practically anywhere.  Now that I'm waiting for the February block instructions to be released, I don't quite know what to do with myself while waiting at piano lessons and wrestling practice.

I'm also working on this tiny quilt.  It's the first true mini quilt that I've made, and it's for my local quilt guild's mini quilt auction in March.  The guild raises money for scholarships each year.  I decided to torture myself with 1" blocks.  Some of them are made up of two half-square triangles.  Eek.  It's turning out well, and all that's left is binding. If I finish it up this week, I'll share more about it on Friday!

I initially wanted to quilt in a rainbow of colored thread.  But I couldn't get the thread tension quite right for some reason, and the stitching on the back was not good.  Oh well.

The back, with quilting complete

I'm also still working on a new quilt for my bed.  I started it in September and meant to finish it up this month.  Oops.  Not gonna happen.  It includes gorgeous fabric from the Indelible collection by Art Gallery Fabrics.  And it's all straight lines.  You'd think I would be able to zip right through it, but I keep getting distracted by other ideas.  More on that next week!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt-Along

It's been quite awhile since I've blogged, mainly because I've been busy sewing things for my shop.  Now that the holidays are over, I'm taking a break to work on some projects for myself.  I use Instagram on a daily basis, for ideas and inspiration.  I've been admiring some pics of Millefiori-style quilts for months.  These quilts are meant to represent Italian glasswork that has a kaleidoscope effect.  They are also sewn ENTIRELY by hand.  Yikes.  If you know me, you've probably heard me say how much I dread hand-sewing.  If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably also noticed my obsession with the gorgeous, modern prints from new fabric company Cotton + Steel.  I just want to buy it all up and use it for everything.  I've probably become one of Hawthorne Threads' best customers.

Thanks to Instagram, I stumbled upon The New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt-Along.  Created by Katja Marek, author of The New Hexagon, it's a Millefiore-style quilt composed of English paper pieced hexagons.  I thought this might be my only chance to actually complete a quilt like this, one portion a month.  And since I am using only fabrics that I absolutely love from Cotton + Steel, I have a great motivation to work on it.

Just a small portion of my fabric selections! is putting together packs of the correct shapes for each rosette (what they are calling each monthly section of the quilt).  You can also copy them out of The New Hexagon  and then cut them all out yourself, but it's SO worth it to have someone do that all for me.

Here are some pics of my progress this month. January has the largest rosette of all the months, and it was a bit overwhelming at first to think that I might not finish before February!  But it's now looking like I will be done within the next few days.  Katja suggests the glue-basting method, which is a huge time-saver.

I have been loving this portable project more than I thought possible.  I sew every evening while watching TV, bring it to my son's wrestling practice, and even to my daughter's piano lessons.  There is a fabulous group on Facebook (with over 1000 participants!) where others are showing their progress.  It's an open group--stop on by and browse through the amazing photos, and remember that most people are doing this entirely by hand.  Wow.