Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I want to go to there.

via the long thread
I have a lot of favorite fabric designers, but if you put a gun to my head, my #1 is Melody Miller.

Melody, via Generation Q Magazine

In fact, my most embarrassing "celebrity" encounter at last Quilt Market was with Melody.  Unbeknownst to me, she was sitting 2 seats away from me in a very packed presentation room.  I was totally oblivious, but my friend Alice spotted her, and loudly introduced me as her biggest fan.  Seats were shuffled and pictures were taken.
Me (losing my shit) with Melody,
via alidiza

It was awesome, but at the time I was so flustered I thought I was going to die.  I can't even remember what I said, but I know there was a lot of sweaty redness and stammering.   Melody couldn't have been nicer.  I think she felt bad for me, because she dived into her purse and thrust a couple of not-yet-released fat quarters into our hands.

It occurs to me that I love her fabric so much that while I own quite a bit, you would never know this from my finished work.  I've hardly cut into any of it!   It just feels like sacrilege.

there has never been a better fabric than this.
If my house ever burns down,  my 2 hoarded yards
are my first grab after immediate family members

This is a long way of saying that when the pictures of her booth popped up from this QM, I plotzed.

via the long thread

In a perfect world, this room would exist in my basement, connected to my sewing room.  I would have sew-ins with my guild friends here.  We would sit on that kick-ass couch, blab about blogs, and watch Ricky Timms videos while snarfing oatmeal cookies and pinot.

Melody would totally be invited.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sparkle mailed

My long nightmare concluded late last month, when finally I finished this monster:

Sparkle punch quilt (Oh Fransson quiltalong)
April 2012
I love the way it turned out, but I won't lie - it was painful.  It took a lot longer than I expected, and I had to take a few breaks from it.

I used the instructions from the Oh Fransson quilt-along to piece the top.

My main stumbling block was the block count.   Specifically, there are 480 individual 3.5" blocks in the final quilt.   Which required cutting ~400 white squares, plus ~400 colored squares for the stars.

maybe 25% of the white squares

The 400 star-point blocks had to be pieced, pressed, and trimmed to square.  Which took for-FREAKING-ever and was (let's not sugar-coat) complete drudgery.

Luckily, I have HBO in the basement.  At times, I even had company.

sadly, he's too young to iron for me.
he is getting great at the foot pedal.

Another annoyance was that once this was arranged on my design wall, I really couldn't move any part of it, for fear of messing up the layout.   This made working on other projects harder, which didn't help my flagging morale.

chunks coming together

But it's done, so I won't dwell.  (too late!)

actual sunshine, people

Elizabeth Hartman suggested a spiky stipple for the quilting.   I'm new to free motion and am trying to get comfortable with traditional stippling, so I went with an overall traditional curvy stipple instead.

did a few fussy star centers, like this pretty cameo

For the back, I found a really pretty grey print from Tanya Whelan's Dolce line.   I love using large-scale prints like this as backings - would've been a shame to hack this up.   

 I bound the quilt in Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley Wallflower print (piney woods colorway).

 I was so relieved to be done, I threw the quilt right into my yard.   Just kidding.

This one's on my way to my friend Arielle in Kansas City.  She is the only person I know who could be trusted with a couch-sized white quilt!   (certainly not safe in my house.....)

Monday, May 14, 2012

For Lela

2012 may go down as The Year of the Baby Quilt.    This one's for Lela, a friend from work.

quilt is even nicer when juxtaposed
against forsythia and adorable husband.

This quilt was inspired by a beautiful one that I found on Helen's flickr page.    It's my 3rd baby quilt of the year.   (2011 boasted zero baby quilts, by contrast.)

I pieced this top during The Boston Modern Quilt Guild retreat in Kennebunkport, Maine, in March.   It was the perfect smallish piecing project to have with me for the weekend, especially since laying it out took a while and it was handy to have other eyeballs around to opine on the arrangement!

I think the other ladies didn't totally know what I was up to with all the squares, at first.

It took for freaking ever to get this far,
and still it looked like nothing!!
Thankfully there were walls and walls of felt, because it took me forever to get the placement finalized, which had to be done prior to sewing anything.  There was lots of backing up and walking forward.   Also, squinting, rearranging, and rearranging back.   I kept moving to label something, only to have my self-generated air gusts blast an entire row off the wall.  Doh!  But slowly, it took shape:

see?  something begins to emerge.

Helen's original quilt also has a fade-out effect, which was what I loved most.

I wanted to replicate the idea in more overtly "boy" tones, since my friend Lela is expecting a little dude.   Aside from the backing, everything here was from stash.  The field is a blue chambray fabric (Carolina?).   The colors include some Joel Dewberry acorns and yellow woodgrain, a few konas (ash and medium gray), a few of the muted Denyse Schmidt greens and blues from her Joann's line, and a Momo blue-on-white dot from It's a Hoot.  Plus just some random stuff from the scrap heap.

The quilt is bound with a white on grey dot fabric (also Momo) and backed in a yellow-on-green dot fabric I found at Marden's in Sanford, Maine, on the way home from retreat.  It was something like $2.99/yard and is ultra-soft when washed.

I did a semi-directional, meandering, semi-square stipple and left the triangles unquilted.

Overall, I really like this quilt.   I was sad to see it go, but am excited to see the little man on it - Lela's due any minute!