Friday, December 19, 2014

Quilt Retreat


Back at the beginning of summer (why do all my blog posts start with "way back six months ago"?!?), I was invited on a weekend quilting retreat in Van Alstyne, TX.  I've never been on a quilting retreat before, so I was super excited.  So excited, in fact, that I brought five different projects with me to work on.

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I can get all those done in three days, right?

On the way there, my friend Ava and I stopped in McKinney at two quilt shops.  First stop was Happiness is Quilting.  They always have the most beautiful things.  Look at this super gorgeous quilt.

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It is pieced but then has wool felt appliqué in the blocks and in the border.  Really stunning - this photo does not do it justice.

We also stopped at Quilt Asylum, and I picked up a few FQs for using in my Marcelle Medallion.  All my favorites - Lizzy House, Anna Maria Horner, Tula Pink, Alison Glass, Carolyn Friedlander, etc.  I maybe went a little crazy.

Fat Quarters

The Alford Inn, where the retreat was held is a great place.  They have room to sleep about 16 people, I think, and plenty of room for sewing.  I had my crap spread out over two tables, I think.  Of course being a quilt shop and a retreat space, they had some beautiful quilts on the walls.  This quilt was fun to see.  A woman I used to work with made this quilt and I absolutely fell in love with it and bought the pattern for it.  It's been sitting on my bookshelf for probably 10 years.  I think I need to get it out, don't you?


And I loved the straight line quilting on this one.


Anyway, here's a look at my "area".  My main focus was my Kiss Kiss quilt.  It's been languishing far too long and I really wanted to get the top finished.  It's been so long since I've worked on it, just getting the blocks out made me happy.


And the fun thing about a retreat in a quilt shop?  You can shop the whole weekend!  I could have gone really crazy, but I restrained myself (after the FQ extravaganza!).  But, they had a big metal washtub full of clearance fabrics.  And look at the treasures I found in there...


Tula Pink Nest flannels!  Such a score!  No idea what I will do with them - but I certainly couldn't leave them there!!!

On Saturday afternoon, we took a little road trip to another quilt shop - Kaleidoscope Quilt Shop in Whitesboro, Texas.  They had some fun things to drool over!


Oh, French General, how I love you.


And on Sunday, with barely an hour to spare before we had to check out, I finished my Kiss Kiss quilt top (minus the borders).  So happy with it!


Isn't it lovely?!


And an empty spool to boot!


I'm using the pomegranate Eye Drops print (under the spool) for my borders.  Won't it be fantastic???

Such a fun fun weekend and I'm so glad I got to go.  Now, I just need four more of these weekends so I can get my other projects done, right?!

I am grateful for Parisville fabric.  

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Broken Bow Retreat


I've been meaning to share with you a little bit of seasonal stitching I worked on in the fall (which really wasn't that long ago, although now being full on in Christmas mode it seems like forever ago).  Back in the fall of 2012 I was invited to Broken Bow, Oklahoma for a long weekend with some girlfriends.  I'd never been there, so it was fun to venture out with my camera and take in the beautiful fall colors.  


One of my friends, Lori of The Accidental Stitcher blog, designed a beautiful sampler to commemorate the occasion.  She kitted it up for us (seriously, her presentation is always amazing) with GAST and Weeks threads as well as 40ct Antique Cotton by R&R.  


She chose the perfect fall colors for the piece, don't you think?


I actually didn't start stitching on this until fall of last year.  But it was the perfect thing to start when I was in need of some seasonal stitching.  




I stitched on it basically through the fall of last year and left off with beginning to stitch the house.  Here's where I have to laugh at myself.  I started stitching the house with the Dove thread and after a few stitches I thought it was looking really grey and not blue at all like it looked in the skein.  So, I went through my thread and pulled some other options of blues to try.  But at that point in the year, it was time to start on Christmas stitching, so I put it away.  

This fall I decided to get it out and get it finished.  I looked at all those blue thread options I'd pulled out and decided to just throw caution to the wind and use the Dove thread she'd kitted it with.  After I put in a few rows, you know what?  It was blue!  Just goes to show that sometimes it takes more than a few stitches to really see how something's going to stitch up.  So silly.  I could have had this finished a year ago!!


See what I mean?  It is the perfect shade of blue!!  And it looks so pretty against the oranges and browns and cranberry colored birds.  


Minus the house debacle, where I had to make things harder than they need to be, this was a joy to stitch and the perfect choice for the season.  

I finished it up at the end of October and I love the way it turned out.  


Thanks so much for a beautiful design, Lori.  


I am grateful for seasonal stitching.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Le Printemps

One of the things I purchased at the Dallas quilt show was some small charm packs of the Printemps line from 3 Sisters.  I loved the colors and how perfectly French it looked to me.  It was the perfect choice for a little thank you gift I wanted to make.  I saw a photo on Instagram of a table runner someone had made using patchwork squares in the middle, a thin border, and then a wider border, and I loved the look.  I knew a table runner would be a perfect choice for the gift.  I complimented the 2.5 inch squares with some yardage for the borders, binding, and backing.    
It went together pretty quickly (a couple of sewing sessions) and then I was ready to baste and quilt it.  


I chose to do some straight line quilting in one direction spaced further apart in the center, and closer in the borders.  
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I had a marathon binding session over a few nights between binding this table runner and the mini quilt I made for a swap.  
Et voila, c'est fini! 


I love how it turned out.  It was truly a gift from the heart as a thank you for having me in their home and I wanted something that represented the idea of home and family and gathering together.  


And true to form, I rushed out the door to meet her in order to present my gift and my heartfelt thank you, only leaving time to stop and snap a few quick photos in the park near my house on the way.  


A little view of the backing fabric, which matches the outer border.  I used the same fabric for the binding as I used on the inner border.  


And the whole thing again...



Thanks so much for visiting my blog and checking in to see what I've been up to!

I am grateful for secret projects.  

Monday, November 17, 2014



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!


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


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


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?


And lest you think I have given up matching my nail polish to my stitching...

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


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.  


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!  


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


And a closeup...


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



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.  


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.  


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.  


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


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


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!


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


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!


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


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!


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.


I love the colors in this one.  


Horizontal matchstick quilting.  Another stunner in solids.  


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!


Fantastic quilting here as well.


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


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


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!


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


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.