Another month has come and gone, and once again I feel like I don't have a whole lot to show for it...other than a bunch of new fabric. BUT, now that I'm looking back through photos from April, I'm realizing that I did actually sew a fair amount. It just maybe wasn't in my actual sewing room that I did the sewing. Read on!
In April I attended my 5th Sewtopia retreat. This time it was in Salt Lake City, UT and the teachers were Libs Elliott and Jacquie Gering. Libs taught curved English Paper-piecing (EPP) and we made a hexie/heart block using in her Heartbreaker EPP pattern. This was my first time trying out EPP, and I was skeptical about liking it. Thank goodness for lots of friends who do lots of EPP and all of their advice and patience in answering my questions. After getting through the hard part (the curves of the heart and the skinny triangles that make up the rest of the heart hexie), I actually liked the process of hand-sewing. I really like how the hexagons (hexies) are so big so the projects go quickly. In fact, I liked it so much, that I came home and decided to start a whole hexie quilt! Summer = road trips in my house, and these hexie blocks are going to make the perfect on-the-go project.
But back to Sewtopia: Jacquie Gering showed us how to use improv piecing (no pattern) to make house blocks. I started off with a bunch of low-volume fabrics to make up the interiors of my houses. Jacquie kept encouraging me to add fabrics with more contrast, but honestly I wasn't feeling it with the combination of fabrics that I had brought along. I finished the three houses shown below, then added a little tree for some contrast. That injection of green helped me like the project a little more, but I still didn't love it.
When I had three blocks done, I grabbed some deep "orchid" fabric and played around with that and my acid green and low-volume gray fabrics. The result: I love it! See below.
While in Salt Lake City, the only other project that I had time to work on was my Tangelo quilt that I started at Sewtopia in New Orleans (#sewtopianola). This guy is all foundation paper-pieced and takes a loooong time to put together. I think that I had two rows from NOLA, and manged to make three more in SLC. (Tangelo quilt pattern is by Carolyn Friendlander.)
When I get home from sewing retreats, I always feel super motivated to sew and create more. This time around I experimented with a second method of making string blocks (this method is way quicker, and I'll talk about it more later), and I sewed together a whole bunch of half-square-triangle scraps in to a small quilt top.
The other thing that I did at Sewtopia was buy fabric! Here are how my tallies look for April:
Fabric Diet Standings
Fabric Purchases: 46.5 yards
Fabric Used in Projects: 13.25 yards
Net for the Month: 33.25 yards
Net for the Year: 37.25 yards up
It was a big buying month. I bought 16 yards at Sewoptia, but then I also decided to treat myself to a large cut (8 yards) of my favorite fabric (maybe ever): Lizzy House's 3 blind mice in the whisper palette. I also added 4 yards of white fabric to my stash and 4 1/2 yards of the new sheep from Cotton + Steel's Panorama collection. On to May!