Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sew South!

I'm so excited to finally announce that I am teaching improv piecing at Sew South 2014!

Sew South is a modern sewing retreat hosted by the adorable Jennifer from Ellison Lane. After seeing how much fun all the attendees had earlier this year at the first Sew South, I knew I needed to go. One of the things that most appeals to me about this retreat is the small size. What a great chance to get to know people I would rarely have an opportunity to meet! With only 50 slots for attendees, space will sell out fast. Tickets go on sale October 1 at 11:00 AM EST. Set your alarms to register and come sew with us!

Friday, September 20, 2013

A new quilt

Sometimes it's fun to make a quilt from color combos you'd never choose yourself. I'm making a quilt for my sister for Christmas. She requested navy, aqua, and coral. Most of the navy and aqua is from my stash, but all that coral is new. I didn't have any in my stash. Now to decide what to make!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Splash Olfa Cutter

A few months ago when I did a "My Favorite Things" week here on the blog, I featured my favorite rotary cutter. My favorite is the 45-mm Quick Change Cutter

When I contacted Olfa about donating a rotary cutter for the giveaway during that week, they asked if I was interested in trying out a new cutter coming out soon. Of course I said yes, and a few months later the Splash cutter showed up on my doorstep. 

I immediately started trying this guy. I love the fun bright color. There were a couple things I noticed. It felt different in my hand as was definitely lighter. It took some getting used to. Also, it's pretty slick to hold. I missed the black rubber that wraps around the handle to provide a better grip on my other cutter. Other than that it's a great Olfa cutter. I've said before, but Olfa is my favorite brand for rotary cutters. I also love the quick change feature of both of these cutters.

Here they are side-by-side:

With the blade open, you notice it's fully exposed on the Splash. The other cutter has a split guard that provides protection from the top of the blade while cutting. I do prefer having the extra protection from the blade.

They both have the quick-change blade feature which is fantastic to use.
The 45-mm Quick Change Cutter retails for $31.49 vs. the Splash that retails for $17.99. After using the Splash for several months, I'm equally comfortable using either one. They both sit on my cutting mat, and I simply grab whichever one is closer. I still have a slight preference for my old cutter over the Splash, but both are great options. Thanks to Olfa for letting my try out the new Splash!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Stars Quilt--Finished!

More than 20 amazing quilters contributed blocks to this quilt! I participated in two different quilt bees last year. Both groups sent blocks for this quilt. I requested they make a 12" paper-pieced star block using yellows and grays. One bee group used their own stash. I sent fabric out to the other group.

I admit when I received all the blocks back, I just wasn't feeling this quilt. I struggled with how I wanted to put it together and how all the blocks would work together. They went in a box for almost a year. I'd occasionally pull them out and give it a try, but nothing clicked for me until last month. I decided to make a few extra blocks so I could do a 5x5 layout rather than 4x5 that I originally planned. I posted a pic on Instagram requesting ideas. One person suggested making a few blocks with dark grey backgrounds to make them stand out. I'm so grateful for that comment because those few darker blocks really pop and make a huge difference in this design.

Final dimensions are 76" x 76". The blocks are 12" finished. Sashing is 2" finished, and the outer border is 4" finished.

I quilted an all-over swirl. I wanted the quilting to tie the blocks together rather than emphasize the differences. Originally, I was thinking of trying to do some type of custom quilting on each different star. I knew there were two problems with that. First, I didn't feel my quilting skills were up to the task. Second, I worried that it would divide the quilt and make it look disjointed.

Unlike my normal style, I chose a very simple back. I pieced just one block in with 4 yards of yarn-dyed essex in black.

I have no specific plans for this one as of yet, but it's nice to have another quilt off the WIP list. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Pixelated Color Wheel Quilt is home!

This quilt has been traveling for a year. That's a really long time. I missed it and didn't even realize how much until I opened the box the other day when it was shipped back to me. It traveled to several quilt shows with a modern quilts exhibit organized by the Modern Quilt Guild. I was honored that it was included in the exhibit with so many amazing quilts.

I debated on hanging it back up in our front room again, but finally decided it needed to be on display in my home. This quilt represents a lot of things to me. It was so much work, but such a fun project. This quilt helped fuel my desire to create unique, colorful quilts. In many ways, creating this quilt changed the way I look at quilting.

So glad it's home!