Saturday, September 29, 2012

Inspiration!

Where does your inspiration come from? Magazines? Internet? Spontaneous brain waves? My inspiration comes from all of these; but one of the most important areas of inspiration is people! Recently, my Colorado knitter friend Judy introduced me to her quilter friend.  You never know where these introductions are going to lead.  I fortunately had two quilt tops that needed to be quilted, so Judy and I met Alycia of Quiltygirl to hand over our tops for her magic touch.
Then came the email--"your quilts are finished"!  Hurrah!  Another chance to spend time with Judy and meet Alycia again to see our tops in their finished state.  Here is Judy's black, gray and white quilt.  Alycia said she wanted to keep this one and I totally agree!

This is the back--really like the way Judy fragmented the back and pulled some of the front to the back.

This is the front of the top before it was quilted.  Judy was given this -panel- (yes, it's a panel!) and she made it work with her piano border.  Alycia and I both thought it was pieced!

Close-up of Judy's monkey quilt back

And the front--a simple block that is great fun!

This is Judy's charm pack quilt--super idea!  love the positive and negative features in the blocks.
And the back--very 'girly'
Close-up of block and feather work of Alycia's hands
And if that isn't enough inspiration on how to use charm packs, jelly rolls and layer cakes, then here is another inspiration for you--Alycia had these quilts tucked into the back of her SUV--Quilts of Valor made by local volunteers.  Alycia is the coordinator for this active organization and she is a huge inspiration in my book! 
As she pulled these quilts out for us to see, she told us stories of the recipients and their stories they have to give us for more inspiration!


Check out her website--she has some free patterns to download that will inspire you to create for our military.

I had seen quilts of valor at International Quilt Festival, but they can become a blur when you are viewing so many other quilts in one venue.  This really brought it home to me!

But, seeing these up close and hearing first hand from Alycia the words from soldiers of how these quilts affect their life--I'm in! 

Volunteers work tirelessly to bring some comfort to those who have served our country so well.  Some have sacrificed so much and this is the least we can do to repay them for their dedication.  Thank you Judy for introducing me to another great inspiration!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

SWAPS!

Do you like swap meets? How about fabric swaps? Or block swaps? Some of the many quilts that have been made to this date have been from block swaps. It's a good way to get interesting fabrics and unique blocks. It works like this--you make so many blocks, send to a central person, who swaps them around and you are returned the same amount of blocks you sent--only different ones. Some swaps will let you make all the same color of blocks; that way, you get back different colors. And swaps are great even if you don't have a local guild membership to swap with, through the use of the Internet! I have done dye sample swaps, folk art block swaps through Internet friends. Okay, here are a couple of swaps that are going on right now through the Internet.
This is the current one sponsored by Sindy at Fatcat Patterns.  It is through the Scratching Post and requires that you join a yahoo group.  It is called "Laundry Swap".  Sindy has designed a great pattern for these shorts and shirts to be hung on a line.  The deadline to get your swaps in is into November 3rd--so plenty of time to join the group, get the pattern and join in on the fun.  I'm thinking of making this hanging for--what else--but the laundry room!

Sorry, but this swap has been completed.  It was also through 'The Scratching Post' on Sindy's website--it was jars!  These jars are exchange swaps.  Anything that could be contained in a jar was fair game!
Since I've received food as well as bugs, I'm thinking there will be two wall hangings from this exchange.


This is the one that got away!  It is being sponsored by Just Quilting with Denise Russart.  It was such a cool pattern--Batik Lifesavers!  I printed off a copy of the pattern and went to join in the swap and would you believe it was closed--had plenty of swappers!  I was left out of the swap, but I can still make the block for my own personal use.  I think I'll keep a closer eye on the deadline next time there is a swap.
For proper etiquette on swaps, check out this info: 
Quilt Pox

Some other swaps going on the Internet:
Block Swappers
Nifty Fifty Quilters
Block swap Adventure


 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chickens! Angels!

Fatcat Patterns has done it again! Sindy just keeps rolling out those cute patterns. And we keep right on working them up!
Here is the latest batch of chickens--love this one with her nose in the air!  She must be the 'top' hen in the house!

These chickens have been so much fun putting together, just looking though the stash for these colorful fabrics has been half the joy.

Just another chicken in the henhouse!

What got into my mind that I need to make these angels?!!  Don't have a clue, except they are so cute and easy to assemble.

I'll only be making six of these angels as only have enough background fabric for that and replacement fabric is nowhere to be found--so I'm thinking these will make a little girl's Binky quilt.


Hard to pick a favorite--have two more to complete and then we'll chose--all these blocks will need to be buttonhole stitched when we return to our winter home--join in the fun at Sindy's website--she has alot to offer! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Messy! But Worth It!

When packing to head north (in May), I found two quilt patterns that I wanted to accomplish over the summer. Both of these patterns were designed by Paula Stoddard of Pacific Patchwork.  So into the packing box they went.  Well, it took awhile to get around to working on those patterns.  Every time I pulled it out and looked at it--there were all those HST (half square triangles) to make and I would put it back into the box--thinking another day!
Another day was fast approaching! as well as the end of summer and I had to set my mind to making those HSTs!  Finding these papers online was a bonus--Quilting and Whatnot.  Of course, I've used pre-printed papers before--have a whole stack of them in Texas location but not at summer homestead.  Printing off the right size and off we go..............

Setting the stitch length to shortest possible and stitching is easy.  Then comes the tearing off all the papers and you have a massive amount of HSTs.

Press and you have the correct size--no need to measure or trim--except for all those little 'dog ears'.

Here are the completed blocks--neat and tidy!  And we are glad we tackled those HSTs!

And the finished project!

The other pattern from Paula was this 'bunny' one and it used HSTs also, but I found a quick way to make those pinwheels--Quick Easy Pinwheels and it's on Youtube too! The only problem is all the bias edges, but that is taken care of when the blocks are sewn together.  So much fun to put this one together.  Thanks Paula for some really cute patterns!  Now, to tackle the other letters of the alphabet in my stash!  You see, Paula has patterns from A-Z...........................


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

TACtile

An outing with friend Judy brought us to this out of the way site--TACtile Denver's premier location for the arts:  Their "mission:
TACtile is the premier
art center and gallery inspiring growth, visibility,and creative excellence in textile arts".  The location is not easy to find, but once you do, you'll know exactly how to return.

Up the elevator to the second floor you will see as you exit this nice board room.
Here you can find: 
 Art gallery exhibits Classes with expert instructors
Meeting location

Workspace and equipment
Dye studio space
Shop for books, magazines and supplies
Buy one-of-a-kind artists' gifts, fashion and home decor
A place to make friends with fellow textile artisans


This is a look at their large meeting area and workshop space.  Along the wall and on removeable boards, art pieces are displayed.

Mona Doering is exhibiting her two quilted pieces.

 
Here is a close-up of the larger piece.

More of Mona's work--"Triple Sunshine"

 
Sarah Campbell exhibits "Pieced Silk Canvas"

 
Two more pieces from the hands of Sarah

This is a place for all those who are interested in the fiber arts.  Their is a membership fee for individuals and organizations but it's free to visit.  There is also a free to use their classrooms, but it's worth the price to have a central location for all fiber artists.

We came to see this special fiber exhibit:

Elfriede Style: A Retrospective of Colorado Couture, featuring garments from Elfriede’s collection, made from beautiful fabrics with the best couture construction circa 1974 to the present. This exhibit is an educational experience as well as a celebration of beauty in fashion design.
Elfriede, the owner of Efriede’s Fine Fabric shop in Boulder, Colorado has made an impact in the sewing and design community. This started when she made two huge steps in her life that have helped her share her knowledge and love for fibers with us. She left Germany in 1957 and changed her promising career in as a PhD research Biologist to bring fiber arts to all those around. She has kept her shop the same as when it first opened, keeping everything hands on and personal

The gallery space was filled with Elfriede's displays--what wonderful clothing pieces!  Take a walk with us as we admire the fashions--we could touch, stroke and even photograph these lovely creations!



close-up of the dress--what a great way to use directional fabric.




Elegant and stylish!

All made with extreme tailoring and caution!



What a super exhibit of fashion wear!  We were in awe and delighted that we came to see this exhibit before it closed.  Another exhibit was upcoming within the next week--never a dull time at TACtile!  Make plans to visit while in Denver!  and if you live in Denver, what a perfect place for fiberists!  Other cities are green with envy!