Sunday, December 15, 2013 way.

 (Yes way?!)

I think I've sufficiently refreshed (and re-refreshed) the NYC Metro MOD Quilt Guild's post enough times to accept that my equality-inspired dwr actually placed* in their Double Wedding Ring Challenge.  (Alongside some pretty brilliant pieces, I have to say, so be sure to check them out if you haven't already.)

Thank you to everyone who whispered even the tiniest ounce of praise about this quilt.  Whether you've been around since the crazy spark ignited this summer, or just found me through the challenge, I'm truly overwhelmed by your support.

Thank you.


*While I won't be crossing "Juki" off my wish list anytime soon, looks like I'll be keeping my current machine threaded with colorful hues for what could be a very, very long time.  And more EZ templates?  And fabric? And notions? And books?!  …Good luck topping this one, Sa(m)ta.  ;o)

Friday, December 13, 2013

and the oakshott/aurifil/diamond trio goes to...

Lucky no. three hundred and fifty-seven of one thousand, two hundred and four(!*)Quilting Tangent!

Come Monday, this bundle of goodies will be headed your way.  (Emailing for your address as we speak.)

As for all the other wonderful commenters, while it's not exactly free fabric delivered to your doorstep, Oakshott** is running a bit of sale at the moment so I encourage you to take a look, even if it is just to add it to your wishlist.  ;o)

*Thank you to each and every one of you who offered such beautiful words about my dwr.  You're amazing.  I'm speechless.
**This post is not sponsored by anyone other than me, myself, (my husband) and I; I just freely encourage savvy, ethical stashing habits.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

marley of the sea {do.good}

Anyone who follows me on IG—@nohatsquilts—has probably caught a snippet or two of this design the past few days.  You see, with the last of my circle's September blocks in hand, Sunday seemed like a perfect day to get started on a layout.  But because I'm me and can't really steer clear of some generally organized scheme, first I had to do a little sorting.  So into three stacks these little fish went:  light, medium, and dark (by background).  (I think you can guess how those piles came into play.)

Much thanks to Allison, Ben, Big Mama Quilts, Debora, Lisa, Nicole, Tara, and Vanessa.
This literally couldn't have been done without you all :o)

This quilt was originally inspired by Julie of 627handwork's Marley pattern (part of her *free* block rock'n series), but when I arranged them in the proper Marley sequence, the result was a little too chaotic for my liking.  So instead of flocks of three little birds, I opted for one big school of fish.

Swimming in a sea of Aurifil 2021 :)

I'd say my Believe Circle mates followed the "channel your inner Cath of Wombat Quilts" directive to a tee :)  Added bonus?  This finish comes in the nick of time for Rachel of Stitched in Color's annual Celebrate Good Stitches, an event that honors the 250 volunteer stitches and quilters who make up the 25 circles of do.Good Stitches.

Now it's off to be washed, wrapped, and posted to My Very Own Blanket—a midwestern charity that benefits foster children—just in time to spread some warmth this holiday season.

Now that's something to celebrate.

Monday, December 9, 2013

aurifil + oakshott + diamonds, oh my {giveaway day!}

When it came time to decide how to partake in Sew Mama Sew's semi-annual Giveaway Day Week this time around, you might say I was inspired by the sparkly liberty+oakshott+aurifil doozy I recently crossed off my list (…for now, anyway):

Since I already gave away some of my coveted liberty lawn in September, I'm thinking some other DWR-inspired faves are in order for the SMS wintertime giveaway extravaganza:  oakshotts, precious stones, and aurifil.

Specifically, one delectable F8 stack of oakshott elements {water}:

I don't know about you, but I'm seeing shimmers of aquamarine, emerald, sapphire, and blue topaz in this water :)

Two birthstone block paper-piecing e-patterns {princess + round}:

And three of my go-to Aurifil 50wts {2000, 2021, 2024}:

So let's cut to the chase.  In keeping with the trio theme, you have three chances to win*:
1.  Leave a comment on this post.  (Done and done.)
2.  Leave a second comment if you are a follower (old or new, just tell me how you follow:  Instagram? (@nohatsquilts has finally gotten with the program!)  Bloglovin'?  Feedly?  Email?) (optional second entry)
3.  Help spread the word!  Then leave a third comment telling me how you did that. (Pinterest? Instagram? Facebook?  Quick one-word explanations 100% okay by me!) (optional third entry)

*A word of warning to all "no-reply" bloggers:   I am not a PI, so please(!) include your email address in your comment so I can track you down :)

All entries welcome, near and far.  This giveaway will be open until 8 pm EST (5 pm PST) on Friday, December 13.  A winner will be announced and notified shortly thereafter.

Edited to add:  Thank you (truly) for all the entries.  The giveaway is now closed, and this bounty will be making its way to commenter 357/1204, Quilting Tangent.

Bon chance.  And be sure to check out all the other amazing giver-awayers's posts :)

-- Sarah

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

oh dear, what to do with these diamond wedding ring remnants?

After spending every waking (…and sleeping) hour working away on my NYCMQG dwr entry, I can promise you one thing—I've got more to show for it than this:

Much more.  In fact, five times more, to be exact.

As some of you may know, I originally envisioned this as a king-sized, 8x8 ring quilt (64 in all).  I don't know if it was tunnel vision or merely blind optimism, but until Sunday afternoon I persevered, up to that point having cut 7776 pieces from about a dozen gray oakshotts,

pieced said oakshott confetti into 648 diamond eighths to yield 81 round cut gems,

Yes, lots of the 'shotts were lost in the seams.  The silver lining?
Their thin weight actually lends itself quite well to small-scale paper piecing ;)

cut background pieces and "letterpressed" a select few of 64 centers,

(Sidebar:  The letter-pressed element was lost in the challenge quilt.)

cut 1728 A, 576 B, and 576 (of my own) C template pieces from over 200 liberty prints,

I sorted the arc wedges by value to ensure plenty of glow (with the lowest value prints bordering the diamonds).

pieced 288 arcs,

pressed 288 arcs,
Tip:  Even if you're piecing the arcs, do yourself a favor and get the solid arc template, too.
You can use it to trace "cheat lines" onto an old ironing board cover for simple, accurate pressing.

and assembled nearly every last one of 144 "melons."  At which time an unfortunate light bulb went off in my head:  there was absolutely no way I could quilt and bind a king-sized top in one afternoon, let alone assemble said top.  Gasp.  How could I have let months of planning and preparation result in such so-close-yet-so-far failure?

After all, I had known about the competition since first stumbling upon Faith's post in July during a study break from my con law outline.  And then during a September trip to England, I hijacked any sightseeing plans my husband potentially had in mind and replaced them with (my) high-priority supply trip to Liberty and Shaukat (fortunately my husband, cousin and her boyfriend were all uber-impressed with Liberty).

The fix?  Use 24 of the 144 melons (three from each colorway) to piece a 3x3 ring design, maintaining the integrity and spirit of the original concept without the excessive (albeit symbolic) number 8.

But you already knew that (hence the entry post and opening photograph).  But what you likely didn't realize before reading this is that I have 120 (24x5) pieced melons leftover from this madness (15 each in 8 colorways:  hot pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, indigo, violet).

Which means I can:

(1) make a queen-size quilt (7x7 rings) without have to cut into any more fabric
(2) replenish the melon supply using some leftover arc wedges and move forward with the king quilt as previously planned
(3) make several more smallish quilts to (a) giveaway as gifts, or (b) sell to recoup some of my outlandish material costs.  ...No joke.  I'm aware that all sorts of talented and lucky bloggers get free fabric delivered to their doorstep these days, but I can assure you I am not one such individual (yet).  (Hey, a dreamer can dream, right?)

So.  What do you think I should do? 1? 2? 3? None of the above?  Your help, as always, is greatly appreciated :)

Linking up with Lee!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

liberty (of london) and justice for all

Without further ado, here is my entry for the NYC Mod Quilt Guild DWR Challenge {traditional category}.

Massive thanks to Amanda for helping me get these (much-improved) photos :)  AND for sharing her gray lipari F8s :o)

I actually used the EZ templates and I have to say they made this challenging design quite approachable (…and then I went and overcomplicated things by swapping the squares for 96-piece ~4" diamonds).

Simple ¼" quilting with Aurifil. (I'm waiting for AW's sewdown Nashville session before attempting anything more daring.)

The arcs are pieced entirely from Liberty of London {tana lawn} fabric (each hue represents one of the eight stripes in Gilbert Baker's original 1978 pride flag design).  And quite serendipitously, this awareness campaign was circling the streets of London during our fabric excursion to Liberty and Shaukat in September:

The background is a variety of Oakshott and text prints (but because I wanted to very much be in control of what that text was saying, I opted for fabric printed with the Declaration of Independence and Lincoln's ever-still-relevant Gettysburg address (I, too, believe Goodwin got it right.  Edited to note:  Turns out others, including the President, agree.)).

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. . . . 
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. . . ."

I want to add that if you disagree with or question the inspiration for this quilt, I would encourage you (as no doubt my former Law & Social Change professor would) to reflect on why it is that you feel and react the way you do.  And to those of you who see the hypocrisy of a diamond-studded quilt being paired with the notion of "liberty and justice for all," I can tell you I struggled for months over whether or not to include the stones.

But I will say that one thing that helped to allay my concerns about the conflict surrounding the diamonds was finding a fabric whose namesake prides himself on ethically sourced materials: Oakshott.

For me, knowing these shimmering gray shades were handwoven by cooperative weavers made the choice to keep the design concept an easy one.

Edited to add photos and this note:  I left out a very important detail when I posted this the other night.  Above all else I want to acknowledge my husband for his support and (enduring) patience when it comes to my creative endeavors.  (And all other impossibly zany facets of my being.)  One might say that the strength of my own marriage was the true seedling for this design.  After all, when you're blessed with the lifelong partnership of someone so remarkably genuine and thoughtful ( his own forgetful way), it's impossible not to insist on that same opportunity for any other loving couple.