Monday, November 17, 2014

Justine

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Today I wanted to share a stitch along I started back in February with my friend, Sylvia.  We wanted to choose something to start while we were in Paris as a remembrance of our trip.  After looking at a few options, we decided to go with Le Marquoir de Justine.  Sylvia had some lovely 40ct HDF linen that she aged for us.  The chart calls for NPIs, but I decided to do my own conversion, using some overdyes, but I of course wanted to use silk.  Sylvia converted hers to HDF silks and you can see my floss toss above using a combination of AVAS, Gloriana, and Soie Cristale.  

We took our first stitches on the first night in our little rented apartment in Paris, although I have to admit that most nights I had just enough energy to fall into bed.  We did, however, have some time to stitch on the train back to Germany from Paris.  And yes, I was even attempting to put my hoop to good use!

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In Germany we were able to spend a bit more time with Justine.  Here's a look at our progress.  

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And, as coincidence would have it, if we positioned our two samplers together they completed that entire left border!  Too funny.  

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Of course, our time together came to an end and I've been working a bit here and there on Justine.  You can see of course that no two photos of this fabric look the same.  The top two photos are the most accurate.  I also treated myself to some Eiffel Tower scissors from Sajou while we were in Paris.  How could I not?

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And lest you think I have given up matching my nail polish to my stitching...
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And yes, you're not seeing things, I originally stitched the word "agée" in red, but then ripped it out and restitched it in the pale yellow.  What I've found is that the chart I have is not the most accurate.  So, there have been a few spots where I've gone by the photo rather than how it's charted.  But, she is a beautiful sampler and I absolutely adore stitching on her.  I've gotten a bit more done since this last photo, so I'll have to post an updated progress photo soon.  

If you're wondering what the entire sampler looks like, please take a look.  She really is a beauty!

I am grateful for adventures with my PIC.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Modern Slant


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Back in the Spring I treated myself to a day at the Dallas quilt show.  Last year was the first year I'd been in a long time and had such a good time that I vowed to go again this year, even though I was going by myself.  I ended up getting to meet up with KwiltyKim, which was a ton of fun to finally get to meet her in person.  

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We had a fabulous time and got to see some amazing things!  This year's show had a theme of Modern quilts, which was exciting.  As you know I've been spending a lot of time working with more modern fabrics and patterns.  So, most of what I wanted to share with you has a focus on the modern quilts, but there were certainly a lot of more traditional quilts, and those Civil War repro fabrics that make my heart go pitter patter (like the quilt we're standing in front of in the photo above!).  You can see more photos of the show on her blog post.

Of course the quilt that fits in the "most amazing thing ever" category is this quilt portraying the Chihuly sculpture from the Dallas Arboretum installation.  Mostly pictorial quilts don't do it for me, but this was stunning.  And since Chihuly is a favorite - double whammy!  

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This was a fun quilt made with Lily Ashbury fabrics - don't you love the negative space here?

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And a closeup...

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I loved the teal background in this one.  And who can resist a striped binding?!

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And they even had this one displayed so that you could see the back too.  I seriously love backings like this that complement the quilt top.  

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There were several quilts that (to me) were more traditional patterns, but when paired with bright modern fabrics they completely bring it to a new level.  I love the fussy cut flowers in that border especially.  

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And if you've been on Instagram for any length of time you probably remember all the quilters making "x plus" quilts.  What I loved about this one is that the quilter took that single x plus block and enlarged it to make a quilt top.  What a great way to showcase fabrics you love and the block pattern.  

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This one used all solids and I loved the impact of the improvisational piecing.  Horizontal straight line quilting on this one too.

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I do love me some Kaffe Fassett.  I seriously fell in love with this one because of the diamonds.  

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That brilliant blue border is killer though.  I couldn't take my eyes off it.  Coincidentally I signed up for a Tula Pink mystery workshop on Craftsy a couple months after seeing this that turned out to be a similar diamond pattern quilt.  So fun!

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This one was pieced strips that were all like 1/2" wide.  I think the name of this quilt was Voldemort.  Appropriate, no?

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Ok, this one is definitely not "modern" but I had to include it because I've never seen anything like it before.  This is what appears to be a lace tablecloth that has been appliqued or quilted to a whole cloth panel.  I love how it shows off the lace pattern being able to see through the base fabric through the lace.  And the quilting really showcases the lace as well.  What a fantastic way to repurpose!

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A closer look.  I was really blown away by this.  

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Ok, back to modern.  This one was one of my favorites.  I love love love the feathers.  And then quilting it in concentric off-center circles and adding a scrappy pieced border - love!

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I love the colored "shards" in the background.  They give the quilt such movement and interest in what could have been plain white triangles.  Fun pebble quilting on this one too.

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I love the colors in this one.  

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Horizontal matchstick quilting.  Another stunner in solids.  

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This one was made by a friend of mine.  She claims that it's the striped fabric she used that really makes this quilt look more complicated than it is, but I still think it's gorgeous and has a ton of visual movement.  Plus look at that binding!

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Fantastic quilting here as well.

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So 1) yellow 2) hexies - seriously can't get enough of this.  

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I like the kind of whirligig/pinwheel pattern these make.  And yellow binding, of course.

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Of course one of the best things about the quilt show is the vendors.  I wanted to take the kit for this Steampunk quilt home with me so bad!

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This same shop also had a kit for Midnight at the Oasis.  

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I brought a few fun things home with me, but as always the best part of this is the experience.  And of course, I came home wanting to sew ALL THE THINGS!

I'm looking forward to next Spring's show for sure!

I am grateful for meeting up with new friends.



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Unfinished Finishing

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I have a confession.  I have a very bad habit of taking classes/workshops and then the project never sees the light of day again.  Maybe.  Ok, yes, seriously I do.  It may be a problem.  There is more than one instance where the only stitches I have in some pieces are the basting stitches.  Anyone else?  No?  Just me?  

So, in order to try to break this horrible habit of mine, I've been working on finishing my Hare Pyns piece.  Some friends and I have occasionally gotten together to work on our finishing together, which is very helpful.  I admit that I am a complete amateur when it comes to finishing, I'm actually a little afraid of it.  Which is why it requires moral support.  

So, when last you saw this piece it was newly stitched and I'd attended the class.  I had the main sewing pocket stitched, and then the pinkeep and needlebook.  That was November 2011 and I believe my statement in that post was "I hope to have this finished by the end of the year."  Oh the shame.  

Moving on.  

I have the pinkeep attached to the main piece, as you can see in the photo above.  I have the inner lining attached and the angled pockets attached. 

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I have the gussets made, the divider with the ribbon made, and the little pocket made.  Oh, and I have the pretty glass button sewn on. 

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I have sewn the little pocket onto the reverse side of the ribbon divider, and then attached the gussets to both sides of the divider. 

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It is coming along very slowly.  But it is coming along.   I'm in fact almost to the point where I need to actually get my scissor sheath and fob stitched.  Yes, I know...sad that I still don't have those stitched even.  I do actually have that divider and the gussets sewn in and it's starting to actually look like a pocket now, which is kind of exciting.  

Lately, I've really been in the mood to finish up some of these longstanding pieces that have been sorely neglected and hanging around unfinished for-evah it seems.  This piece definitely falls in the realm of things that are on my Dude, Get On That Already list. 

So, more to come on things of the finished variety, and definitely more to come on the Hare's grand adventure. 

I am grateful for podcasts keeping me sane.



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rolling Along

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Thanks for all the comments on my last post.  It's been fun working on some summery projects while the mood strikes.  Although I haven't worked on it in awhile, I thought I would share my latest progress on And They Sinned.  The photo above is basically the middle (the fold) on page two.  I've been tracking my progress by when I need to roll my fabric on the scroll rods.  The layout of the chart is on basically legal size paper, so I roll my fabric when I get to the fold on the page and when I get to the bottom of the page.  I thought for sure page two would go so quickly because of the alphabets.  Not so much.  I got bogged down in it and it sat for quite awhile.

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I picked it back up around March of this year and got the alphabets finished up and that strawberry band.  Then it was on to the fun stuff.  I've been wanting to stitch those crazy birds on the flowers for so long!

This section was actually my favorite so far.  I loved the birds and the funky flowers, the grapes, and the bright colors.  It just made me super happy and excited to stitch on it.  And this section actually went really fast for me compared to how the rest has gone so far.

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And as you can see, I hit the bottom of page two and went a little past it.  Time to roll my fabric again (and give those guys pants!).

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This is where I currently am on page 3 (my color is really off in these two photos).  I'm excited to get down to the lion.  Sylvia (who I was stitching this with as a SAL - but she has finished hers) said the lady and the lion were her favorite part of the piece, so I'm looking forward to it.  

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As you can see, I'm down at the halfway mark on page three and ready to roll my fabric again.  Plus, the guys have pants now, thank goodness.  But the best part?  I'm at the end of the vines on the sides.  They morph into trees on either side from here.  One issue I ran into, I ran out of Cherry Bark.  I'm stitching this on 40ct Elegant Bean, with the called for GAST threads.  I bought brand new skeins of everything for this project specifically, so I was a little surprised that I ran out of thread.  It wasn't one of the threads that was identified as needing more than one skein.  But, luckily I had some on hand. 

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I've had some other things taking my attention away from ATS over the past couple of months, but now I'm excited to get back to working on it.  Maybe a 2014 finish?

I am grateful for Crow's Toes nail polish.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Stitches


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Hi, everyone!  I hope you're all having a wonderful summer.  I've been working on a couple of projects that just seemed like the perfect thing for summertime.  You may remember a while back I started the Tula Pink Hex on the Beach quilt.  It was an English Paper Piecing (EPP) kit that was offered at the time her Saltwater line was released in very limited quantities.  I pre-ordered the kit when I went to meet Tula a couple of years ago.  The kit comes with the pattern, the paper templates and all the fabrics precut.  Add needle and thread and you are ready to go.  So, last summer I started mine. 

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I'm thread basting my pieces, although I know some folks swear by glue basting.  Basting actually goes pretty darn quick and you kind of get into a rhythm with it.  Once you start sewing the hexies together in rows, you do have to keep track of your pattern, but it goes pretty fast too.  Where I got kind of stuck was in sewing the rows together.  It's a little fiddly and you definitely don't get that instant gratification of seeing a row come together.  So, that's kind of where I left off with mine - sewing rows 1 and 2 together.  

Well, summer rolled around again and I decided to pull this back out to work on.  It's been really nice, and is very portable, so that is a huge perk. 

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And my new obsession - binge watching Suburban Stitcher podcasts.  Y'all, I can't even tell you how much fun I've been having watching Dianne's podcasts, and I don't even knit.  I own yarn, I've attempted knitting twice, it didn't work out.  But now I'm obsessed.  Again. 

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I now have rows three and four assembled and sewn on.  It's fun because now you can see the beginnings of the pattern.

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There's 40 rows total, so I'm 1/10 of the way there!  It will be exciting when I move out of the corals and into the seaweed colorway. 

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And my other summer project, something else that was resurrected from the closet of lost WIPs...my Shores of Hawk Run Hollow.  Sylvia is stitching this over one.  Let's take a moment for that to sink in.  OVER ONE.  So, seeing hers made me want to get mine out and work on it.  Here's a couple of photos of how it looked when last we saw it.  Block 1 in progress.

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And block 1 completed.

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So here's why this was banished to the closet.  It's on 36ct.  I have since learned that I hate, like hate with a passion, 36ct.  I love 40ct.  I like 32ct.  36ct is that weird limbo halfway count that the coverage with one thread isn't enough, but two threads is too much.  So, when I started this I was having such an issue with the coverage using one thread over two that I couldn't stand it.  So, I started block two (you can see the little bit of it above) with two over two.  Coverage was better, but it was really too thick.  So.  Into the closet in disgust.  

When I pulled this back out, the thought of starting over wasn't really an option for me.  The piece of fabric I have (which these photos are not anywhere close to showing the actual color) is so so gorgeous that I couldn't bear to ditch it.  And after looking at my stitching again I decided that moving forward with one over two was what I wanted to do.  But first....block 2 had to be ripped out.  So, it took several nights to get the black border and the inner blue border ripped back out.  Sigh.  painful.  But, I got that all ripped out and then stitched it back in and look!  Now there's coral, and a crab, and fish, and seaweed!  So fun! 

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Here's both blocks together.  I am really happy on the decision I made and that I'm now moving forward again.  And it really is the perfect summer stitch.   

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Summer is such a great time to hibernate in the A/C and work on some fun projects.  I hope you all are enjoying your summer stitches too!

I am grateful for watermelon, lemonade, and outdoor jazz concerts.