Saturday, July 31, 2010

English Paper Piecing: Hexagons

I think everyone is making hexagons. {Handsome} Hexies, a flickr group, shows us that at least 470 have taken up this addictive pastime!

Twice this summer I've made a short three day visit someplace. One might think that three days away from crafting and/or sewing is no big deal. So I'm not sure what it says about me that, even for that short amount of time, I felt it necessary to take handwork with me and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try these hexagons.

I found a tutorial from The Sometimes Crafter and discovered a wonderful way to pass the time while riding in the car.

And I haven't stopped since, can't stop! Like I said, it's addictive!

I'm making 2" hexies...

and 1" hexies...

And I'm not alone. Or rather, I like to think I'm in good company. Britt has posted tips on joining hexagons left in comments from her readers. She asked to use one of my photos for her blog post---she's moving and all of her hexagons are packed up---and in her email to me she happened to mention that it's driving her crazy not having something to do with my hands! Sounds familiar:)

This is how I store and travel with everything I need. I bought this inexpensive storage container. I like it because the sections come apart and it's easy for me to work directly out of them.

When I want to take my hexagons with me someplace, the sections stack up and snap together securely...and the container fits perfectly in my KC Modern Quilt Guild tote--cool, huh?

Are you looking for a reason to give hexagons a try? Or a reason to make more?!

Sign ups have just started for a Modern Holiday 2 1/2 inch square swap. This is the size used for the 1" hexagons in The Sometimes Crafter's tutorial. Send 50 of the same fabric squares and receive back 50 different fabric squares for making something really wonderful for the holidays. ETA 8-11-10: Swap cancelled...perhaps to be offered at a later date.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Your Vintage Gluebook"

Craft day at Karla's is always fun and we usually get some good crafting in too. It must be the creative surroundings of her studio and the creative energy of everyone there! On Tuesday, it was Karla, Beth, Mary and me.

I worked on a lesson from Mary's Your Vintage Gluebook Online Class.

It was lesson 8 and one I've been struggling with for weeks. The challenge was to use a photo that was less than perfect in a collage and "make it work". Thanks to that creative energy flowing and bouncing around the studio, I completed the lesson and I think it does work!

I've enjoyed the class immensely! It's self-paced and I learned a lot in nine lessons.

Lesson 1: Color in composition...

Lesson 2: Size in composition/3 piece collage...

Lesson 3: Image and pattern/2 page spread...

Lesson 4: Position in composition...

Lesson 5: Pieces in composition...

Lesson 6: Visual weight in composition...

Lesson 7: Collage with original paper only...

Lesson 8: Making it work...

Lesson 9: Making patterned papers...

This lesson was especially fun--the possibilities are incredible! If you would like to use this background I made in your own collage work, please feel free to do so.

And if you would like to see the work from others in the class, check out Your Vintage Gluebook flickr group.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Quilt Blocks In - Quilt Blocks Out

It seems I've been making a few quilt blocks recently...

For the Modern Siggy Swap, I sewed up one hundred and one 4.5" squares and signed them with my name, city and state.

In return, I received these!

All made with modern fabrics and all different -- from all over the US, Canada and Australia. I can't wait to start playing with them!!

Two of my virtual quilting bees finished up last month but there is still lots of fun going on in Bee Obsessed! Sara requested orange and pink asterisks for July -- 9.5, 6.5 or 3.5 inch blocks. I got so caught up in them that I ended up making all three sizes. I think I enjoyed the two smaller sizes the most.

KC Modern Quilt Guild started a project last month making baby quilts for the NICU at St. Luke's of KC. The goal is to complete 15-20 quilts by mid-October.

We could sign up for blocks in any of four color schemes:


I chose to make 3 blocks each in pink/green.....

and purple/lavender/brown/white.....

It was fun to work with girly colors and patterns...I've been limited to colors and patterns geared to boys lately;) But don't you worry, sweet grandbabies, that's no complaint;))))


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Completed Quilts--Then and Now

This is a picture of my first completed quilt (June 2004)...

During part of the KC Modern Quilt Guild meeting this week, we shared a bit about our quilting journeys and our first quilt---either the quilt itself or a photo or sketch. It was really interesting and fun seeing the quilts and hearing the stories.

So, I still had mine out from Thursday night and thought I'd photograph it and show you too.

My grandmother was a quilter and I've always loved quilts. I took a quilting class in 1982 to make a quilt for First Daughter's bed. The class taught hand piecing and quilting, fabric pieces were cut with scissors and cardboard templates--very time consuming. I never finished that quilt:(

Fast forward to interest in quilts continued. While planning a trip to Charlotte, NC I remembered an aquaintance telling us about the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY! What a wonderful stop that was--exciting designs and vibrant colors--talk about inspiration!!

I started buying quilting magazines and books, including Glorious Patchwork by Kaffe Fassett. I was even more inspired and was especially drawn to scrappy quilts. So in the fall of 2003 I decided that's where I'd start, hand piecing and quilting it since that's all I knew. It took a while to finish, but I did it!

During that same time I found out about rotary cutters and mats and rulers and sewing quilts on a sewing machine--and now I'm hooked!!

Here is my most recent...a baby quilt, finished today, for a baby shower tomorrow;) The baby is a boy due in September (a someday playmate for Liam) and the theme in his nursery is vintage cowboy--cute!

Front (34 x 44 in.)



Saturday, July 3, 2010

Craft Day and Babies

We had a craft day at Karla's earlier this week.

Mary brought the "Your Vintage Gluebook" swap ATC's to sort for mailing. What an amazing sight, and how lucky was I to be there to see them all!

These are the beautiful ATC's I received in the swap...

Vintage Figments






Beth brought her new puppy, Button, with her. Between naps, and other necessities, he found plenty of things to, he's helping Karla choose papers;)

We've missed Shawn and Bethany at recent craft days, but they were back this time with their family's newest addition, Ford! His first craft day and, at 8 weeks old, he too filled the afternoon with naps and other necessities. He's a sweet little boy! I can't believe I hardly took any pictures that day but fortunately Shawn took some, including one of Ford on this quilt I made for him...

The question now is whether he will be the productive crafter his big sister has become--Bethany was busy cutting and glueing before Shawn could unload everything from the car to the studio, lol!

Have a safe and happy July 4th!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

June Quilting Bees and Swaps

In Bee Obsessed, one of my virtual quilting bees, June was my month to receive quilt blocks. I requested 12.5" blocks using reds, oranges and blues. Here are some created for me so far:

1. First block-June, 2. Bee Obsessed-June, 3. June "Bee Obsessed" block from Cyndi, 4. Block #2 for Bee Obsessed, 5. Block #1 for Bee Obsessed, 6. June Bee obsessed, 7. June Block - Bee Obsessed, 8. Bee Obsessed block for Marylinkb, 9. Bee Obsessed June Block, 10. Bee Obsessed #6.1, 11. Bee Obsessed #6.2

Aren't they amazing?!

I've had fun making quilt blocks too. For Stash Busting Bee International, Adrienne requested this block in blues and greens:

And in Sew Connected 2, Kristen sent out men's shirting fabrics and asked for Gee's Bend style blocks:

Modern Siggy Swap is something new for me...

I've seen some signature quilts made with blocks signed by members of a group or family, but frankly found them to be kind of ho-hum. They were made with fabrics I considered dull and uninteresting, although I guess my love for vibrant color and/or pattern could be the reason for that.

So when this swap called for fresh, modern fabrics, I was excited...make 101 4.5" blocks (using this tutorial) and receive 100 blocks back! Can't wait:)

Also new is The Bitty Block Committee on Flickr, a group swapping 3.5" quilt blocks with a theme.

June's theme was "Picnic/BBQ"...

...and a "Beach/Underwater" for July/August...

I've also purchased my fabric for Doll Quilt Swap 9.

I have some ideas for it, one I particularly like, but I usually live with an idea for a bit before starting. The deadline is early September so no rush:)