Thursday, August 27, 2015

Click Away

I've mentioned recently my waning interest in sewing. Something I used to love simply doesn't have the appeal to me like it previously did. This isn't about mojo. I think it's more about the dozens of quilts we already have piled around our house and in boxes. It's also about the dozens more I've given away and the bags I've made that I never use. My heart just isn't in it like before. I've made everything I want to make (at least for now). I'm very aware I need a change of pace and scenery. I'm not quitting sewing completely, but just giving it a backseat for a while. I'm pulling out my dusty camera and giving photography a go again!

I've been lucky enough to attend a sewing conference about once a years for the past few years. It's a great experience and so much fun to mingle with like-minded people as crazy about buying fabric as I am. Although, this year I've decided to invest myself in different direction. I'm attending the Click Away Conference in San Antonio in just six weeks! I am so excited for this! It's something I've never done before. I've taken one short photography class and am basically self-taught on my DSLR. As I've considered where I want to head with my creative self, I keep coming back to photography. I'm taking the next year or so to re-devote myself to this hobby.

I started getting excited about photography again when my sister introduced me to Clickin Moms about six months ago. I have been so focused on the world of quilting that I haven't researched and discovered much beyond my social network of quilt blogs and instagram accounts. I love this site! It is fueled by amazing content from fabulous female photographers. Many of them are just like me--women who bought a DSLR to take pictures of their children, but they have moved far beyond my skill level and many are now professional photographers. These are women I've come to admire greatly. They have amazing skill and knowledge and share it.

I've recently subscribed to Click Magazine which is published by Clickin Moms. I look forward to each new issue. A subscription also allows readers to access all past issues digitally which is fantastic. I also purchased their beautiful book, Capture the Moment, which is filled with amazing photo inspiration and tips.

This is not a sponsored post. I'm simply sharing info about Clickin Moms because this site gave me the boost I needed to begin recognizing my potential as a photographer. Their content (between the blog, magazine and book) got me excited about being creative again. I'm once again motivated to make something. My mojo is returning, but it looks completely different. All of the pictures in this post are ones I've taken over the years. I look forward to many more chances to create images I love.

I have a long way to go and so much to learn, but I'm so thrilled to dive in. Just a heads up, the content on my blog may be shifting a bit. I'll still share some sewing projects here and there, but I do intend to begin sharing my photography journey as well. That may or may not appeal (which is totally fine). You'll likely be seeing less sewing and more photography as different projects come from the blue chair. I do hope you stick around as I shift gears just a bit!

(**There are no affiliate links in the above post content, but if any of you are interested in registering for the Click Away Conference, October 8-10 in San Antonio, I can receive a referral commission. Please use this link if you register. I would appreciate it! Thanks for your support!)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Vignette Quilt

A couple months ago I received a fun package from Laura Gunn of her new fabric line, Vignette. This line has several large scale prints which threw me a bit. I don't often work with large scale prints, and I didn't want to cut them too small to lose the designs. I finally opted to upsize a single block. This simple HST block, LynneBobSquarePants, from Lily's Quilts was perfect!

I made the blocks as large as possible with the fabric I had. These blocks are 9" finished. The competed quilt is 54" square.

I used the leftover fabric on the back in what has become a very standard back for my quilts. I love using up the excess fabric and find this a simple, quick pattern to effectively use it.

I quilted it in a simple loopy design.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Maker Plus Quilt

I adore the Maker line from Art Gallery. I only had fat eighths of the prints. Originally, I intended to make a small baby quilt with the fabrics I had on hand, but decided it needed to be bigger. I filled in the additional space with various Art Gallery Pure Elements. These solids coordinate perfectly with the prints.

The finished blocks are 3" square. The finished quilt size is 57" x 72" (19 blocks x 24 blocks).

I used a boxy quilting design on this quilt. It is backed with a piece of gray minky I've been holding onto for a while. It was perfect for the back of this project. I love how the quilting shows up on the back.

I really love this one! Once it is washed it will be a perfectly snuggly quilt.

Friday, July 10, 2015

MIchael Miller Challenge Quilt...Finally

I finally finished this quilt! It has been in the works since last summer when I started working on it for the Michael Miller Challenge through MQG. I wasn't in love with it the entire time I was making it, which explains why it took me so long. This is one of the problems I have with challenges. Sometimes the fabrics and colors just aren't me. Although, now that it's finished I'm quite happy with it how it came together.

I quilted this project several months ago, and it took me until just last week to finally bind it. I love the quilting on this one, although, don't look too close! This arch design is hard to execute smoothly on a standard machine.

I'm still unsure of how this embroidery pattern will wear over time, but I love this addition to the design. It's something unique that I've never attempted before.

I originally intended to back this quilt with minky, but ultimately opted to back it with a Target sheet I've had in my stash for a long time. I also pieced together a few sections of the leftover fabric. I really didn't want any of this left. These prints are not ones I see myself using again. Making quilt backs like this are my favorite because it uses up the leftovers in a constructive way without wasting anything or increasing my stash size.

I bound it with a sketch print in orange. I was leaning toward aqua, but with the backing of the same color, decided to frame it with something that would provide more contrast.

The final size is 60" x 72", which I think is the perfect throw size.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The No-Good, Very Bad Sewing Month

Remember how I'm a quilting blogger? Yeah, I forgot too...

June has actually been quite a rough sewing month around here. I forgot how little I accomplish in my life when my kiddos are home all day from school. When they sleep I have been working on a quilt and pattern that will be coming out next spring. I'm so excited about this one! I can't wait to share it down the road. This means that I have very little else to share lately. All my excess time and energy (of which there has been little), has been devoted to this quilt.

On to the "No Good, Very Bad Sewing Month":

First there was this:

My daughter was working on a bead bracelet at my sewing desk (alone and without asking permission to be in my sewing room). A bead rolled innocently under my sewing machine. To get it out she started to push my machine. She kept pushing and it eventually fell off the desk. See that little crack in the touchscreen in the bottom right corner? That little crack has made it next to impossible to use my machine. The touch screen no longer works. With the touch screen dead, I can't adjust any settings on my machine. Nearly everything is controlled by that screen (tension, feed dogs, needle position, stitch length, stitch design, etc). I can't change anything. I've decided it's not worth repairing, so now I'm in the market for a new machine. It's been so discouraging to lose my machine mid-project. It does start up into a basic straight stitch that I use for piecing, so I was luckily able to finish piecing my current project. The tension goes crazy when I sew fast and there are some other issues internally, but I babied it along to make it through this quilt.

Then there was this:

Make sure you watch where your rotary cutter is headed! I looked up at my son when he asked me a question and my cutter jumped the ruler edge and left a nice little slice in my finger. Luckily it has healed up nicely. I pulled out my own stitches the other evening and am glad to have them out.

In some ways I feel like the universe has been trying to tell me something. I haven't been motivated to sew much in recent months. Sometimes I miss it, but sometimes I feel like I need to stop sewing. I've debated if I should just move on and not replace my machine. I have my small starter machine that works fine for little projects and repairs, but would drive me bonkers to use on a quilt or large project. In the end I know I can't let it go completely. I need to replace my machine.

I do very little to monetize my blog anymore. I'll be raising funds for a new machine in a few other ways.

Pattern Sale!

First off, all of my patterns are on sale through the end of the month! Please stop by and check them out on Etsy or Craftsy!

Second, I will be listing quilts for sale. If there is a blue chair quilt you've been dying to own, please email me at fromthebluechair at gmail. Otherwise, I'll list some quilts at very reasonable prices in the next week or so.

Finally, I'll be doing a bit more destashing over the next week or so on Instagram. You can view my main account @thebluechair or my destash account @bluechair_destash.

Thanks for all your support!

Friday, April 24, 2015

On the Design Wall

I haven't shared the contents of my design wall for a long time. This one is almost done! After finishing my Sparkle Punch quilt I decided to pull out a WIP that has been sitting in a box for a while. I started this project more than a year ago for the Michael Miller Challenge through the Modern Quilt Guild. Obviously, I didn't finish in time. I wasn't really that interested in the competition this time. I just wanted to make something with equilateral triangles. I have to finish piecing the top three rows, and then I'm done! I will likely piece a simple back for this one. I want to use up all my leftovers and will incorporate them into the design.

The whole quilt was based around this embroidery project. I needed a summer roadtrip project last year and started this. I traced the design from the large scale print from this line. I chose matching colors and just started stitching. I debated actually including it in the quilt, but knew it would just get put in a box otherwise, so it is placed in the bottom right corner where I often place something unique in my quilt designs.

So close!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Sparkle Punch Quilt

I finished a quilt! This is a big deal since I haven't finished a quilt since December (which my sister assures me still exceeds normal for the rest of the population. She likes to remind me that I'm a tad bit crazy sometimes).

I created this quilt basically using the Sparkle Punch quilt tutorial on Oh Fransson. (I am not linking directly to the posts about this quilt-along because, honestly, I can't find them. This site is under construction, and some content is currently unavailable. I will update links when available). This tutorial requires the squares to be 3 1/2" cut. I chose to make mine 4" cut since that works better with fat quarters. I adjusted the number of stars for the quilt based on the backing I planned to use. I wanted to back this one with minky. I was able to get 17 x 22 finished squares in for the piece of minky I had.

All fabrics used in this quilt are from Cotton & Steel. I love the colors of their basics lines and find myself using them in place of solids. The stars have just enough pattern to be interesting without being overwhelming. I also mixed in just a few of my favorite prints from various lines.

I used this bright plum print from the Mochi line for my binding. I really like how the small circle groups look when wrapped around as the binding.

I used a swirl design for my quilting. The quilting tended to be a bit more frustrating with this quilt. I think a combination of the minky plus the metallic print I used for the background fabric made for an unhappy sewing machine. I had tension issues that were difficult to correct and lots of thread breakage. I was glad when I finished this one up, but I do love how the quilting looks, especially on the back.

The final size is 60" x 77". Just right for wrapping up in on the couch!

Photo lightened to show detail.