Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Confessions of a Noncompliant Threadender

Collection of thread from napkin project.  Any ideas?
jill here....

When I get the creative spirit, I loose the neatness element.  Thread ends are trimmed and eventually find their way to the little trash collector. Well, some do! In the mean time there is thread all over the ironing board...or hitch hiking on my velour.

New year's commitment:  deal with trimmed thread ends!  I frequently run around with dog hair and tread on my sweat (sewing) pants.  Can't do much about the magnetic dog remnants.  I have vowed to use those little fabric scraps to start and end my stitches... less waste and much neater. It is soooo hard to change old habits.

As you can see, lots of encouragement!
 Not too successful using them...
Maybe it's because they're just boring white!

The thread collector!

 Anyone have any sewing behavior modification ideas?   I'm open to suggestions or just a comment on what you would like to change in 2014!

'till Tuesday...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More on Riley Blake Challenge

Marny here…more about the Riley Blake Challenge
Substituting a photo from Hawaii here, trying to give you a warm Florida feeling.  We need all the warm memories we can get this winter.   

Once upon a time, actually just a couple of years ago, Linda Hungerford was a founding member of our very own Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild.  She has since relocated to Florida (hence the above attempt to get you all thinking about warm Florida).  Linda is a prolific quilter with technically superb piecing and free-motion quilting skills.  We miss seeing her quilts up close and personal. Many of you would enjoy a visit to her blog, Flourishing Palms, where you can see her quilts.    

Not too long ago she asked us if we would judge her new Central Florida Modern Quilt Guild's Riley Blake Challenge.  Last week eleven great entries were photographed and sent to us.  We only had a single, all over shot to go by and no close ups.  Our critique and judging was based on modern design and not on technique.  Technical skills need to be seen in person to be judged fairly.  

We offered each quilter a positive critique of their entry.  Engaging the edge, utilizing negative space and asymmetry, interesting use of shape, color and a variety of value were rewarded.  Choosing just one winner was very difficult!  But that was the task given us, so we buckled down and got 'er done.

I had to laugh at the end of our second meeting about the judging, how would my own challenge pillow have fared?  

So we encourage you to head on over to the Central Florida Modern Quilt Guild reveal and take a look at their ten quilts and one quilted bag.  The variety is really fun to explore.  Each entrant had their own unique vision.  Enjoy!

I'll leave you with one of my all time favorite personal views…rainbow and all, high above the Pacific on Maui.

Till Tuesday…  


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Duvet Buffet in Benartex's Dwellings

jill here....The new year brings an attempt to tie up some unfinished projects!  This queen duvet was mostly sewn last summer in hopes of rephotographing our "Duvet Buffet" cover.  Benartex was generous to share some of Michelle D'Amore's Dwellings collection.  We've sewn several projects from Michelle's fabrics; we love her designs for their contemporary flare, variety of scale, pattern and color.

I have to say that photographing a duvet is a challenge (at least without a studio set-up).  When you add a down comforter, it's pretty heavy.  This autumn my husband assisted in an photo attempt...too heavy for binder clips, too heavy for skirt hangers and too flat for just laying out on the ground.  It was put aside.

With the cold during the Christmas holiday, my son's comfort was enhanced by the duvet's warmth!  And now I am seeing ads for this wonderful collection.  I made some coordinating pillow cases and set out to photograph, not looking for perfection.

Duvet Buffet in Benartex's Dwellings, color way Guest House.
(Queen sized duvet on a double bed)
Left side view.

Five fabrics with variety of scale and coordinated color combinations.
The separator strips are sewn with a special technique
that keeps them flat and laundry friendly.

Reverse side... an entirely different combination of fabrics

Separator strips are the foundation for the hidden hook and loop tape closure.
The duvet recipe was developed for efficient use of fabric.  All in all, it takes a lot of fabric for the front and back...but when you're done, there's not a quilting or binding challenge.  And when you have a couple of pets that feel entitled (only on occasion), it's quick to launder and flip for a fresh clean look!

Hey, we're half way through January.  'Till next Tuesday...

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

News for Brioche & Baguette and meeting the Riley Blake challenge

Marny here…
 My Riley Blake challenge 2013 project, more below
Temperature seen on my favorite weather site Monday 1/6/13

Really cold temperatures make for good sewing weather in Ames!  Looking at the map nationwide it seems that many of you might be staying busy indoors.  North of us, people are taking special precautions just to get the newspaper off their driveways. -23 in Minneapolis.  The windchills predicted are scary. 

Screenshot of the Jolly Jabber blog from the Fat Quarter Shop.

We received an email this week from the Fat Quarter Shop that warms us up just to think about it.  Our pattern, Brioche & Baguette, is being featured as their January 2014 pattern of the month.  It is 20% off all month.  Take a look.  Enjoy getting lost in their expansive collection of fabric.  Exploring their site is a great way to pass some time on a cold day. 

Now back to the pillow…

I started my Riley Blake challenge project some time ago.  The Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild is a participant and I said yes thinking oodles of time stretched before me and surely there would be plenty of opportunity to get it done.  The deadline is just over a week away, and other projects take precedent between now and then, so today was the day to complete my pillow.    
Our rules and the Riley Blake deadline.  I think ours is January 16th while the overall deadline is in February.  
I actually got the top pieced and quilted in the first session of sewing.  The "discordant" set of fat eighths handed me needed a structure to be set against.  A plummy dark gray (part of the challenge) and a putty gray (added solid) make up the background.  I like the quilting.  To the right of the Riley Blake fabrics on the right side of the pillow and to the left of the fabric strips on the left side of the pillow.  Note the center strip has stitching on either side.  I think it helps with the overall balance of the design to work out from the center with symmetrical stitching lines. 

Remaining fabric stitched into the left half of the back.  The yellow polka dot fabric has a finished edge. (¼" folded over, pressed, folded over again, pressed and stitched)
Right half of the back.  Again, the yellow fabric has a finished edge as above.
The right half of the back overlapped over the right half.  Mine is overlapped about three inches.  
The quilted front of the pillow, face down (right sides together) on the overlapped back halves and pinned into place.  
Stitch all the way around the pillow.  This photo shows the pillow being turned right side out.

Happy sewing in the New Year to you all! (and stay warm and safe!)

Till Tuesday