Monday, February 16, 2015

Inspire your Heart with Art

I have been seeking inspiration--things that uplift my heart.  It's been a heavy couple of weeks, so I'm looking to lighten my spirits.

Connie's Twisting Heart Valentine (tutorial available)

Found out about Inspire Your Heart with Art Day--January 31--I'm a little late to the party.  Nevertheless, I will plunge ahead and feature some art and artists that inspire me.

1) Mary Engelbreit

Whimsy; cheerful colors and graphic geometric patterns; positive, uplifting sayings.  What's not to love?

2) Shanna Trumbly
Trumbly is a local visual artist in Oregon.  I have long admired her work, especially one where the queen is eying the beet.  (It was hanging in the winery where we had our wedding.)

And my dear Sweetie just got me a Trumbly print for Valentine's day.  *swoon*

3) Patience Brewster
Patience is a one-artist company producing small-batch whimsical art; I love her images, but I especially love that her art often adorns useful things (I am not much of a nick-knack  person).  So, although her Christmas ornaments are the most popular part of her business, I am drawn to her tea towels, and purses, and even furniture.

 Embroidered tea towel (above) and clutch purse (below).  Yeah, that's my kind of art--the daily delightful kind.

4) Yarn bombers everywhere

 This image from Knits for Life.  Installed in San Francisco Ferry Plaza in 2014.  I do so love public art--of all different kinds.

5) My own humble artistry

Okay, so technically I didn't make this tissue cover/couch; but I have made several others.  I have to credit one of my fabulous Sewing Sisters with this version, which was done to adorn our wedding.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sunday stash: memorial

Went with my nieces to some of Mom's quilting haunts in Albuquerque.  And I didn't restrain myself (or berate myself) for collecting even more things for my stash.

Shop #1: Southwest Decoratives/Kokopelli Quilting Company
I bought a mere touch of fabric--after drooling over many, many possibilities.  And all of the fabrics came from the sale area!

The blue stripe was just a remnant, bought because blue was Mom's favorite color.  It is from the Stonehenge Starry Night 2 collection by Deborah Edwards of Northcott Studios.  Surprise! I take it out of the plastic remnant bag and discover silver metallic in them stripes.  Good one, Mom; a little glitter never hurt anyone.

The turquoise geometric print is Maze from Michael Miller fabrics.  It will help finish my wordy wallhanging (a 2011 WIP--ouch).  And the ever-so-blendable dark chocolate is Simpatico by Maywood Studio.  I bought it in preparation for a java-themed quilt I am lazily designing.  Doesn't it seem like a good choice for something coffee-like?

Shop #2Quilt Works

Never been in this store before, but it is cute and I like their aesthetic.  I was inspired by the many shop samples, so I went straight toward the books and patterns.

 First purchase, the book Felt Toys for Little Ones, by Jessica Peck.  I am a sucker for kids stuff; I just can't help it.  My favorite designs from the book at this moment are the sugar cookies, the lemon curd tart and the bakery box.  Ohhh, what a crazy old woman I am!  (At least there are no calories in these treats.)

The shop offers a class titled Forever in Blue Jeans: make a cathedral window quilt out of recycled denim jeans.  Cathedral window is on my quilting bucket list, and this one just reached out and grabbed me.  SOLD.  I couldn't get the multi-size version of the pattern without taking the class, but the store sold me the Spring 2014 issue of Fons & Porter's Easy Quilts magazine that held the original pattern.  Mine, all mine.

Final purchase: Love pattern #674 by Country Threads.  This purchase was heavily influenced by both the almost-Valentine's-Day vibe, and the 3 different shop samples of this pattern that were on display (1930's prints, solid brights, and red Asian prints).  Reminds me of the LOVE postage stamps from the 1970's.

As I was purchasing the pattern, the cashier mentioned that the Country Threads Quilt Shop and Pattern Company had recently gone out of business, but that their entire stock of this particular pattern had been procured by Quilt Works.  (So if you want your own copy of this pattern, you can buy it here.)

In honor of Valentine's Day and in celebration of my recent acquisitions, I went ahead and sewed up a bit of LOVE from my scrap bin.  Yay!

Molli Sparkles

Linking up with the oh-so-lovely Molli Sparkles over at Sunday Stash.  What fun new things has everyone else drawn into their sewing world this week?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Rockin' the quilt back

Just dropped Technicolor Sky off at the long-arm quilter.  Woot.  Definitely my fastest quilt finish to date: started in October and finished the top in November. 

Needed to piece fabrics for the back, as I was determined to make every part of this from my stash.

So, in typical me fashion, I studied up on quilt backs...

My second-ever Craftsy class, taught by the wonderful Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson!
A well-thought-out back

Pretty good result, I believe.  I employed work-arounds in using the large-scale floral fabric, as it was mostly pre-cut pieces from a 1990's romper pattern.  I had lots of appropriately-colored batik fabric (the on-point squares from the quilt front), but I didn't particularly want to use it; I can still be stingy when dipping into my stash, don't you know.


Gallery of other pieced backings (always run short of fabric, it seems)

Blue baby quilt.  Another project where I was determined to use up all of a long-stashed fabric (the teal zebra).

Backing of queen-sized stack-n-whack.  It makes a very nice alternative side.