Saturday, January 9, 2010

Quilt #3 - Caleb's Forest, finished December 2009

I made this one for my friend Caleb, who loves animals and walking in the woods.  The animal and green prints are "Frolic" by Wendy Slotboom for In the Beginning Fabrics, and the back is from "Full Moon Forest" by Tula Pink for Moda, and the backings for the rough applique pieces are from "Flutterby", Tula Pink.  I used a nameless red solid for the front strips, and the red with white polka dot binding is "Housework Whenever", In the Beginning Fabrics.  The red strips and the little animals on the back are all meant to fray at the edges after a couple of washings.

Quilt #2 - Springtime for Isabelle, finished December 2009

I made this quilt for Isabelle.  The colors don't look very good in this photo, unfortunately.  Info for fellow fabric freaks: on the front I used various Amy Butler prints and "Wildwood" by Erin McMorris for Free Spirit, and the front strips and the binding are Jennifer Paganelli from the "Bell Bottom" line for Free Spirit.  The back has a piece of "Leanika" by Dena Fishbein for Free Spirit (love those lovebirds),  "Par Avion" by Paula Prass for Michael Miller, another print from "Wildwood", and Kona solids.  I can't remember what the pink floral is.

December project #4 (out of order)

I used the scraps from my first quilt to make this throw pillow cover.  This is a simple envelope-style cover.  I would have done it differently if I had started from scratch, but the scraps were already sewn together.  Quilting thriftiness.  This went to my mother-in-law, who requested a quilt similar to my first one.

My new hobby

I started quilting at the end of fall 2009.  Here are some photos of my first completed quilt, finished in November.  New Year's resolution: get better at photography.  I used a jelly roll of "Arcadia" by Sanae for Moda.  The sashing and backing is Moda Muslin Mates, and I used the wrong side for a softer tonal effect.  I can't remember what the orange floral binding is.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2009 favorite fabrics

Kim at True Up is having a 2009 fabric round up, where people are blogging about fabric "best of 2009", plus she's having a lovely give away.  So as brandy-new fabric aficionado here are my thoughts for best of 2009 (and I totally took advantage of True Up's fabric round up - thanks, Kim!).

Favorite Juvenile Print: Wendy Slotboom "Frolic" for In the Beginning Fabrics
Favorite Trend (Motifs): leaves or sprouts on vines in a stripe pattern, a la Orla Kiely (see Taxi Trio, Bloom and Grow, and the Sunny Tender Sprouts pattern in Art Gallery Fabric's new "Filigree" line)
Favorite Trend (Motifs):  Runner Up - Owls - love all those owl fabrics
Fabric Motif Trend Prediction: Foxes (this has nothing to do with anything in the True Up categories, though)
Favorite New Designer:  Laura Gunn "Lantern Bloom" for Michael Miller
Favorite Quilting Weight Cotton Collection:  a tie - Art Gallery Fabrics' "Revive" line (I think it's 2009, let me know if I'm wrong) and Sanae "Arcadia" for Moda
Favorite Fabric Shop (bricks and mortar) - Franklin Mill Store in Franklin, Massachusetts (luckily for me, my in-laws live a short drive away)
Favorite Under the Radar/Sleeper Collection - Sanae "Arcadia" for Moda
Favorite New Fabric Worked With - double gauze, even though it frays fiercely if you're not careful
Favorite Print From Country of Choice - Heather Ross "Far, Far, Away" for Kokka (Japan) - yes, even though she's an American designer.  Second choice - Asuka "Girly and Bitter" double gauze for Nina's Sewing Factory (Japan)
Favorite Overall Designer - Anna Maria Horner, because of the colors, the designs, and most of all, because of the variety of fabrics.  Quilting weight cotton, cotton voile, textured voile/dobby, home dec weight, oilcloth, and flannel - come on, how can you not LOVE IT  LOVE IT LOVE IT!!!
Wild Card Category - Favorite Fabrics from 2008 I'm still working with and loving: "Lush" by Erin Michael, "Mendocino" by Heather Ross

Character spotlight on: Ernst

Ernst possesses the soul of a dark and tortured poet.  Often acting the part of a quiet loner, he tends to stick to his own lilypad.

Favorite drink:  Glenlilliepadh, an obscure single malt scotch, served with dram of pond water.

My end of year holiday

So very nice to have time off at the end of the year.  All the frogs are thriving, more about them later.  I've been sewing quite a bit, and making soup when I take a break from sewing.  Embracing the craft of sewing has been a total kick this fall, mainly because I've started making quilts.  I started quilting about 15 years ago, and didn't get very far.  Why?  Probably because the fabrics available then didn't really turn my crank.  I still have that first quilting project sitting in my sewing room, and honestly?  Not going to finish it.  Because it's super boring.  I'll re-purpose it into doll quilts or similar, I suppose.

So about a year ago, I broke out my 15-year old $100 Kenmore beauty from Sears.  I made a few things, picked up some nice apparel fabric over the next few months from the ONE non-chain, non-quilting fabric store within driving distance.  Then that lovely fabric store, the late, lamented Threadneedle in Essex, Vermont, closed its doors last summer.  That's when I started exploring some local quilt shops, and the new fabrics blew my mind.  New (or new to me) designers like Heather Ross, Tula Pink, Denyse Schmidt, Erin Michael...holy cow!  Cotton fabric is so much fun now!

And the crafting, sewing, blogging, selling - the sheer volume of artistry happening now is fantastic.  I've been  inspired by blogs like Oh, Fransson!, Film in the Fridge, The Selfish Seamstress, and so many others.  So off I go with my rattly little machine, having a blast.