Tuesday, February 25, 2014

jklm_op {gypsy alphabet}

I'm sure you've all heard of Jen Kingwell by now.  I know I've had my eyes peeled for her gypsy wife pattern ever since seeing Lynne of Lily's QuiltsBOM version last year.  Well, weeks turned into months, until I *finally* spotted the pattern out and about in the wild.  And by "wild" I mean on IG.  And by "finally" I mean I basically had Miranda Lambert's "Airstream Song" on repeat in my head for most of 2013.  (Fortunately she's one of my faves.)

As if cued by that carefree tune, universe-messenger Anne of Play Crafts delivered the booklet at my workshop the other weekend.  (Ironically, Anne is not the biggest fan of country music.  I forgive you, Anne.)

Of course such a free-spirited design deserves some storied textiles, so I'm relying on an edited selection from my coveted collections of liberty and oakshott to weave this untamed tale.  (Sneakered giraffes and all.)

And like many others in our community, I'll be joining in with Michelle of Factotum of Arts's Gypsy Wife Quilt Along.  (My seven February blocks are scattered throughout this post).

You can check out the leisurely schedule here and join (or just follow!) our flickr group here.  Michelle has also called out for monthly link-ups to keep everyone in line (and incentivized).


So as if you needed any other reason at all to jump on the gypsy-wagon, the charismatic Heather of Indy-based Crimson Tate and the incredible Michael (the Mr. of Oakshott) have generously agreed to sponsor the giveaway of all giveaways here in November (we don't take leisurely lightly, people!).  The prize?

(Hold onto your hats folks, 'cause their generosity just might blow your top off.)

Heather (and David!) put together two uhhhhmazing rainbow bundles of nearly a dozen liberty lawn F8s from Crimson Tate(Pssssst:  they assembled extras, nudge nudge.)

Michael has provided a $100 voucher (plus free shipping) for one lucky participant to start an Oakshott stash of her own.  (Or his own.  And no, I did not accidentally add an extra "0"!  Which means you'll be well on your way to getting your hands on this rainbow of new colourshotts if luck is on your side come November!)

It goes without saying there will be at least two winners.  Intrigued?  Want to be one of them?  Excellent.  You officially have nine months to give in to the gypsy temptation and check in back here at the house with your completed November blocks.

...Or you could just get a head start now on those HSTs and squares within squares (...and squares within squares within courthouse steps).  Just sayyyin', this is one link-up you *won't* want to miss.

In the meantime, I'll be trying to avoid the temptation in this drawer...

Wish me luck!

linking up with Lee!

Monday, February 24, 2014

seeing purple {pantone in sketches}

A couple years ago when my husband was out of town on business, I decided our house needed a little sprucing up.  Naturally, I painted the master bedroom purple in his absence ;o)  So it should come as no surprise (whatsoever!) that this year's pantone color of the year has me a bit giddy.  (As do the prizes for the 2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge.  Eep!)

On the cutting table in anticipation of both?

Last summer's stack of succulents+sunrise-inspired fabrics for a pseudo-clamshell quilt made using an old school block called "Grandma's Fan" (BB# 4096), which (when set on point) bears a certain resemblance to the succulents that brought about the original pull:

Needless to say I haven't quite figured out a name for this one, but pretty sure Grandma's Fan is not it.  If you have any suggestions for me, please do share!

Also in the cutting line-up is an array of low volumes and purples, which will soon be transformed into some fave-b-c's inspired by my little one's rather large personality:

I can guarantee the finished quilt will be a step up from this sketchy mock up.  Just how far of an upgrade will depend on whether I'm suffering from tunnel-vision in thinking this was a worthy concept to begin with ;o)

2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Radiant Orchid

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Pantone Quilt Challenge, this year it's newly hosted by my friends Anne of Play Crafts and Adrianne of On The Windy Side.  You can find everything you need to know (and more!) on either of their blogs: Play Crafts or On The Windy Side.

Hope you'll be joining us on this red-violet adventure!

Friday, February 21, 2014

m+m+m+m {layer cake alonging}

material girl quilts + moda + malka dubrawsky + michael oakshott 

Have you heard about the Layer Cake Sampler Quilt Along hosted by Amanda of Material Girl Quilts?  As many of you may or may not have figured out by now, Amanda works across the hall from me.  (And not in some strange, figural sense.  I mean her office is quite literally twenty feet away from mine.)  So when she mentioned she was asking Moda to supply a few layer cakes for her QA, I may or may not have started making my wish list immediately.

At the top of that list?  Malka Dubrawsky's latest line, "From Outside In."  I always admired her first collection ("A Stitch in Color") but was never lucky enough to get my hands on any.  Well, thanks to Amanda and Moda, my luck certainly changed this time around :)

Naturally the first order of business once I had these in hand was to sort "From Outside In" in color order (by moonlight, no less, as that's when most items get crossed off the creative agenda in this house).

I then trimmed my earthy oakshott elements into forty 10" squares (read:  I made my own multi-gradient background layer cake), matched up the two stacks, and X'd away per the hostess's instructions.

Next up on the to do list?  Sewing, cutting, and trimming forty sets of squares into 320 (!) 4½" HSTs.  Good thing I've got a perfectly-sized square ruler on standby?  ;o)

This quilt is definitely unlike any I've done before ('along or otherwise), and I think that's why I was so happy to try it out à la {no} hats.  (I'm loving the opportunity to play around with Malka's vibrant color scheme in the comfortable context of my trademark gradient style.  My husband is just thrilled that we'll finally have a bed-sized quilt that won't take ages to finish.  Win win?  I think so!)

So, will you be sewing along with us?  If you haven't already, you should take a look at the background information here.  If you like what you see, join the flickr group over here to share your progress, or use the hashtag #layercakesamplerqal on IG.  Or both :)

Hope to see you around those parts, and looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

midwest quilter meets west coast guild

And they all lived happily ever after.

The end beginning.


I recently returned from a whirlwind weekend in Orange County, CA and I have to say it was unexpected in the most wonderful of ways.  I flew out early (as in, #neveragain) and basically time-traveled back to daybreak as I made my way west.  When we landed I was greeted by the incredibly welcoming program director Gail, who treated me to breakfast (and coffee!) before we made our way to Hoffman Fabrics' warehouse for a tour with the vibrant Michelle.

After a quick stop by the hotel I was off to dinner with some members of the guild before heading to the meeting that night.  Aside from the fact that I hadn't sleeved any of my quilts, I'd say the lecture went off without a hitch ;o)

My workshop the next morning was all about diamonds.  And amethysts. And citrine. And blue topaz...

Mad photo props to Anne ;o)

And wacking out any frustration (and seam bulk!) along the way.  (All credit goes to Jean for sharing that now-indispensible notion.)  Also, batiks make for some pretty gorgeous stones!  I'm seeing sapphires and sandstones in my future thanks to Michelle and Hoffman ;o)

Some goodies from my field trip! More on my challenge concept to follow :)

I'm also happy to report that that night Anne and I had quite the friend date for Valentines' Day:  strolling on the beach at sunset, perusing local art shops for my (now) two year old, talking about our dream futures in this community-based industry, and treating ourselves to some zesty Mexican food with a side of homeopathic (also, useless) allergy medicine.

Saturday's session got a little loopy as attendees pieced arcs,

played around with backgrounds,

...I really should have taken more pictures. (Yep! Most of these are courtesy of Anne, too!)

and started stitching towards the class sample.

Credit:  Resident photographer Anne, of course!

That night, Jean—my raison d'être for being in Southern California to begin with—took me out and about before my flight home.  As I write this I find my fingers pausing for the right words to describe this woman to whom I owe my maiden foray into guild speaking and teaching.  Jean is a mother, a wife, a business woman, an artist, a teacher, a giver, and above all else an incredibly warm soul.  Though our paths crossed for only a brief moment in the grand scheme of things, I can already tell she's going to be an amazing source of inspiration and support as I continue to find my way in this creative world.

Suffice it to say, by the time my flight crept up on Saturday I was full of a joy, gratitude, and a wealth of self-reflection to build upon my craft and my career.

...And I may or may not have been a little ecstatic to have made a new (in real life) friend in Anne.

We really should have used her camera for this one though.

(Clearly I'm not the most photogenic, which explains why the expression I'm making in both of these photos happens to be pretty much identical to my old law school ID.)