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!
In March, I finished my Pumpkins Quilt that I started in October 2017. The original quilt and pattern are designed to make this quilt a "fall" quilt, but I decided to make mine specifically for Halloween. I had fun using up lots of orange scraps, and didn't exactly follow the pattern's assembly method (since I was using scraps that I had pre-cut in to squares and not strips or fat quarters). Usually I end up adapting a pattern in some way tho, so that wasn't a surprise.
I can't wait to bring this quilt out in October. Only 6 months to go...
- Pattern is Pumpkins from Cluck Cluck Sew
- Finished quilt size is 58" x 72"
- Panto (quilting) is Spiderweb from Urban Elementz
- Orange fabrics are an assortment from my stash and scrap bin
- Background fabric is Sketch from Carolyn Friedlander
- Backing fabric is Niko from Cotton + Steel's Lil' Monsters Collection
It is time for another monthly Fabric Diet summary! The first two months of 2018 had me buying more fabric than I was using (see my January and February posts), so I went in to March with lots of motivation to make some things and use lots of fabric.
This month I managed to finish blocks for two different quilts in my traveling quilt group (above), and then got started on a donation quilt kick. I started by going through some larger cuts of fabric from my stash and putting together some "whole cloth" quilts to have long-arm quilted. While going through my stash, I came across left overs from a fat-quarter bundle I bought a few years ago. (Click here to see the original quilt.) I decided to cut all remaining fabric from this collection in to square and sew them together as two more donation quilts (shown at the top on my design wall).
Since I was taking a pile of donation quilts to my long-arm quilter, I also prepped some bindings and took a few of my other finished quilt tops. I think that binding always looks so perfect when it's all done and rolled up, so I had to take a picture.
This month I also had a fair amount of secret sewing that I can't yet show. Look for pictures of those projects on my Instagram feed by Monday of next week (April 9, 2018).
Here is the summary of what I bought, what I made, and where my stash stands for the year:
Fabric Diet Standings
Fabric Purchases: 15.75 yards
Fabric Used in Projects: 35 yards
Net for the Month: -19.25 yards
Net for the Year: 4 yards up
**I should also mention that in March I pulled lots of fabric for projects and classes I'll be working on in Salt Lake City for another Sewtopia Retreat. I fully expect that I will not actually use all that fabric, and some of it will be entered back in to my stash next month.
Last month I was lucky enough to attend the Modern Quilt Guild's 5th annual QuiltCon in Pasadena, CA. I spent my 4 days volunteering a lot, attending a few lectures and classes, and looking at all of the quilts. So many quilts! For me, one of the most interesting things about attending a large quilt show is seeing all of the quilts in person - up close and in detail. So many times you see a picture of a quilt on social media and don't realize the size of the quilt, you don't see the quilting and piecing, you miss all the little things that make the quilt amazing.
This year Carolyn Friedlander was the keynote speaker and there was a special exhibit of her quilts and design process. I really enjoyed seeing her preliminary sketches and spent more than a minute studying the quilting that she did on her Tangelo quilt.
The quilt below is Carolyn's "Aerial Grove" quilt from her book "Savor Each Stitch." I had seen innumerable pictures of people working on their version of this quilt, but until I saw this quilt in person, I'm not sure if I ever really saw Carolyn's version. I absolutely love the simplicity of the negative space in her sketch, and also love how the quilt ended up - even though it actually doesn't have all the plain negative space. It has lots of negative space, but that space is all pieced with low volume fabrics and has a lot of multi-directional straight-line quilting.
In addition to the show quilts (which have been so photographed, that I won't bother to cover them here), and the special exhibits, there were also many, many charity quilts made by guilds across the world. All of these quilts had to use a set palette, and the theme was "modern traditionalism." Again with these quilts, I was struck by how much detail one would discover when you got right up close to the quilt.
The quilt below was made by the Tulsa MQG and is a play on the traditional "Trip Around the World" quilt. I found the design striking, but after passing by the quilt on my way to a class or lecture several time, one evening I actually stopped and looked at the quilt up close.
Look at what I discovered!
All those orange squares are actually 9-patch blocks, all the purple squares are made up of 9 little flying geese blocks and on and on. Each color in the quilt is made up of a different 9-patch mini-block. There are 9,999 pieces in this quilt. Wow.
The quilt above was made by the Melbourne MQG. There is a lot going on in this quilt, and it took several times walking past it before I stopped and studied all those tiny stars and the details they contained. See that striped star? At first I thought that was just made by strategic cutting of a purple and pink striped piece of fabric. But no - those are tiny little pieced half-square triangles making those stripes. Then see that little white star in the orange and yellow block? That was about the size of my finger nail.
These purple and magenta stars were amazing too. The strips that were used to make them were so thin. I could go on and on with pictures of detail in all the quilts I saw in Pasadena, but I won't. My main point here is that so much is shared on social media these days - everyone enjoys seeing beautiful quilt pictures, but if you get a chance to see a show in person, you need to do it! You'll come away with such a deeper appreciation of the quilts you saw.
The next QuiltCon will be in Nashville, March 21 - 24, 2019. I'll be there. You should go too!
February fabric diet totals are in the book, and full disclosure - I've been sortof avoiding writing this post. Why? Because I bought a lot of fabric this month, and didn't sew a whole lot. But more on that in a minute. First, let's celebrate the little bit of sewing that I did this month. Shown above is my "Blue Strings" quilt. I made this quilt to test a technique for sewing string blocks. For this project, I used 7 1/2" squares of printer paper as my foundation. This method worked just fine, but I don't love ripping out the foundation paper once the blocks are assembled. Before I start my big memory quilts using this method, I think I'll try another technique. Stay tuned. I do love how this baby quilt top turned out though. I am still very much in love with navy and dusty medium blues mixed with gray and off white.
So what did I do this month if I didn't get much sewing done? I went on a glorious family vacation to the Bahamas, and then went to QuiltCon. Both were amazing, but for very different reasons. I plan to write a separate blog post for my 2018 QuiltCon experience, but let me just say here that I knew that I would buy fabric at QuiltCon and I was ok with that. It's so rare that I get to buy fabric in person (not online), so I let myself go with it. Plus, as I said last month, I'm feeling like my stash needs to be rounded out a bit after using up/giving away so much last year. Shown above is what I brought home from QuiltCon (plus a little bit of canvas fabric that wasn't included in the photo). I went a bit nuts at the new Crafted Moon booth and had fun picking up some notions, pins, and things in addition to lots of fabric.
Here is how the month of February finished out:
Fabric Diet Standings
Fabric Purchases: 21 yards
Fabric Used in Projects: 3 yards
Net for the Month: 18
Net for the Year: 23.25
I really hope to sew a lot more in March, and have already finished a few projects. Make sure to follow me on Instagram (Handmade Myrth) to see what I'm working on currently. In April, I go to Sewtopia in Salt Lake City. I am sure I'll be purchasing fabric there at the shop hop and at the pop-up shop, so I need to have a big sewing March to justify more fabric shopping.
Thanks for stopping by!
It's time for the 2018 round of the "I wish I could go too traveling quilt bee" and I'm so excited. For 2017, I chose to have members make me a block to go in my Christmas quilt. (Click here to see a pic of the top.) This year I'm going with another holiday: Valentine's Day! I usually take down my Christmas decorations in mid-January and would love to have some Valentine's Day decor to put out: like a Valentine's Day quilt!
For this quilt I am asking for small (3" - 5") heart blocks. I will assemble all the small squares myself when everything makes it's way back to me. I plan to mix up all the different small heart blocks and intersperse them with square of pink fabric (negative space). I found a couple of tutorials or patterns for small heart blocks. Below are two from Happy Zombie (right - pic from Natalie of Sew Hungry Hippie) and Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew (left). More inspiration pics and tutorials/patterns can be found on my Pinterest page for this project. My starter block is shown above, and can be seen in it's entirety here. I was inspired by a pillow that Cath of Wombat Quilts made and used her paper-piecing pattern.
The inspiration for the color palette for my quilt is Jeni's (from In Color Order) Monochromatic Quilt. I love the deep red on the light pink background I would even add some medium purples for my quilt blocks.
I'm sending my package off tomorrow and can't wait to get it back in 2019! To see the blocks and quilts that we made last year check out #IwishIcouldgotootravelingquiltbee.
We will be posting progress shots for 2018 under the hashtag #iwishicouldgotootravelingquiltbee2.
Thanks for stopping by!
First Fabric Diet post for 2018!
I started January off very excited to make a heart-themed block to kick off the second round of the "I wish I could go too traveling quilt bee" (#iwishicouldgotootravelingquiltbee2). I loved my Christmas quilt from 2017, and decided to go for a heart-themed quilt for 2018. I'll write a separate blog post for the round robin, but I will say that I played around with heart blocks for a while before I settled on the above bock as my "starter" block. This block was inspired by, and uses a pattern from Cath of Wombat Quilts.
While I was working out what I wanted for the round robin, I also had in the back of my head that I wanted to make something for a Valentine's swap with my traveling-quilt group ladies. I can't show the swap projects yet (they haven't been received), but I can say that I ended up with a few extra big red scrappy heart blocks. So I made myself a little Valentine's Day wall hanging.
Making these projects made me realize how small my red fabric stash had become. (See my post from January for a visual.) So...I used my Christmas gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop and rectified that problem. (See below!)
Yes - I bought a fair amount of fabric this month, and I am happy about it. In working on projects this month, I realized that I was lacking in a few colors in my stash. So I replenished - with intention!
Fabric Diet Standings
Fabric Purchases: 15.75
Fabric Used in Projects: 10.5
Net for the Month: 5.25
Net for the Year: 5.25
I don't feel like I sewed a whole lot this month, but I did have fun with the seasonal projects that I worked on. February is going to also be a month with not a whole lot of sewing - and I'm going to Quiltcon! So there will be not much sewing, and there will probably be fabric purchasing. That means that March is going to have to be a big sewing month to make up for it all!
Last fall, I decided that I needed a few more Halloween quilts. This is the second of two new ones that I made (but the first to be actually bound and finished). Honestly, the purpose of this one was to use up my seemingly never-ending stash of Halloween fabrics.
For this quilt, I simply cut strips from each of my Halloween fabrics and sewed them together in 3 sets that were each at least 64 inches long. Once I had my strips sets all sewn together, I cut them in to smaller sections, flipped them around to have some more variety, and sewed the long pieces together. Voila - quilt top!
For the backing, I treated myself to some fabric from Cotton + Steel's 2017 Halloween line: Lil' Monsters. I love this fabric! In particular, I like how this fabric is lighter than the top with all of its saturated dark fabrics.
This is another quilt that I had quilted by my local long-arm quilter (Quilts by Grace). I knew I wanted an all-over spider web edge-to-edge panto, but I didn't want spiders included with the webs. I searched for a while and then came across this pattern from on the Urban Elementz site, called "Spiderweb".
With all of the crazy scrappy-ness happening on this quilt top, I wanted a pretty solid, visually heavy binding; so I chose this black and white spider web fabric from Timeless treasures. I'm sure this is long out of print, as I feel that I have been staring at it for a while!
This quilt finishes at 60" by 64" and I am excited to pull it out next October.
You know what tho? I STILL have Halloween fabrics left over. This one didn't kill my stash as I had hoped. I don't think that I have it in me to make another one in 2018, so I guess that the remaining fabrics will continue to sit until next year. Who knows.
Here are a couple more quilting pics for you.
Thanks for stopping by!
This is my Bright Sawtooth Stars quilt and it is currently listed for sale on my Etsy site. This guy is 52" square and would look great on the end of a bed, or as a small throw quilt.
The color palette in this quilt is so unlike what I normally gravitate towards, but I really like it! It was inspired by a couple of yards of fabric that I'd had in my stash for a while. One day I was feeling like I needed to use up a bunch of stash fabric, so I went to the shelf that holds my longer cuts of fabric, chose one with bright, fun colors, and began to pull coordinating fabric.
The quilt top was finished in July, but only recently did I take it to my local long-arm quilter (Quilts by Grace). I chose the "modern waves" pantograph by Anita Shackelford for the quilt and love how it turned out. I also used this quilting pattern on my son's pinwheel quilt.
The backing for this quilt contains a section of patchwork squares using the same fabric as the sawtooth blocks on the front of the quilt. The quilting really shows off nicely on the back of the quilt.
The quilt is bound with one of the greige background fabrics from the front of the quilt.
I'm so happy with how this quilt turned out and think that I need make some more quilts with inspiration from my stash of fabrics for backings!
Thanks for stopping by!
In 2017, I really enjoyed the focus that my fabric diet gave me. Purging a lot of my stash, using a lot of it, and attempting to be very deliberate and thoughtful about my fabric purchases was a big learning experience and actually left me with a stash that I like (mostly), but which may not be big enough. Look above - see how much smaller the current stack of red fabrics is?!
I'm a person who likes to pull from stash, and who doesn't like to use bundles of collections for quilts. I like to mix it up, and I like a lot of different fabrics in a quilt. But recently I went to pull red fabric for a project and I found that I really didn't have much.
In 2018, I want to continue refining my stash, and I don't want to spend a ton of money on new fabric, but I do anticipate getting rid of some fabric, and making some new fabric purchases. I am going to once again focus on really making sure that I'm purchasing fabrics that are usable and are "me;" and aren't just trendy or cute. First up: reds! I need more red fabrics.
For 2018 I plan to continue my fabric diet, but I also have a few quilt goals that I want to accomplish this year. They are as follows - in no particular order:
Quilts to make or finish
1. Tangelo Quilt - I want to finish: my "Tangelo" quilt top (pattern by Carolyn Friedlander). I started the quilt at the Sewtopia retreat in New Orleans, and I plan to finish it this year. Maybe that'll happen at the next Sewtopia retreat in April. (A depiction of my Tangelo quilt can be see above, lower right.)
2. Polka dot quilt - in 2017 I really enjoyed making several scrap quilts. This year I think that I might choose to make a polka dot quilt as my scrap quilt. I really enjoyed making a few polka dot blocks for a traveling quilt bee project last year. (Click here to see them on Instagram.) My depiction of a potential polka dot quilt is shown above, lower left.
3. At the end of last year, I purchased several yards of Robert Kaufman Linen, and I hope to use it this year. I haven't used their linen before, but I think I'm really going to like it. My current thought is that I'll make a scrappy off-set star quilt (shown above, top right) - maybe for my own bed!
4. Memory quilts (2). I've never attempted to make a quilt with clothes before, but I have a definite idea, or two, in my head for what I want to do with some shirts from a special loved one who has passed away this year. One idea is shown above, top left.
5. My local guild is going another challenge this year and this year the theme is "Stars." I have an idea for this project which is a little bit out of my comfort zone.
6. Range backpack - I would love to have a completed Range backpack (pattern by Anna Graham of Noodlehead). At Sewtopia New Orleans, I purchased the pattern from Pink Door Fabrics. Originally my thought was to have it prior to Quiltcon in February, but I have since realized that is an unattainable goal.
7. Tone it Down quilt pattern. For a few years, I've been toying with the idea of making one of these quilts. Currently I'm in love with the idea of doing it in red and green for Christmas. Pattern can be found at All People Quilt (click here).
Whew - that makes 7 quilt/sewing projects PLUS I have four finished quilt tops that need to be wrapped up.
I'm a big believer in goals, and I'm excited the projects I've picked out, but I also really enjoy going off on whim or tangent when it comes to quilts. I hope to finish the quilts and projects listed here, but I also look forward to where this year may take me. Here's to lots of sewing time and accomplishments in 2018!