Saturday, August 9, 2014

It Only Took 14 Months

Yes, that's right. 14 months to make a 15" sq block.


I have to justify that, though. This started at my last Gwen Marston workshop in June 2013. It was her Medallion workshop and I finished one piece on day 2. Then I spent the rest of the time making all sorts of little blocks, testing them out for value, size, technique, etc. I also knew, from studying Gwen's quilts, that I wanted a round in my piece to be flying geese. My focus fabric is a gorgeous red with cheddar and I was advised to make the triangles on my FG from a variety of cheddar. Although scrappy, it will show off as a round of cheddar.

Since I had to sew my FG one by one, and put squares on the corners of the rectangle, I got busy and made bonus blocks, ala Bonnie Hunter. All these little 1/2 square triangles finish out at 1 1/4" and there are 288 pieces in this block. It also means I have over 100 FG all stacked up and ready to go into this quilt. It won't be the next round, but when I add in the FG, all the same fabrics will be represented in the center of the quilt and I think this will really pull the whole thing together and give the piece some continuity, even though it will be very scrappy.

A lot changes in a year, my life is proof of that. But what hasn't changed is my enthusiasm for this piece, for being grateful to study quilt making under Gwen Marston, and constantly being reminded of the amazing quilters/artists that shared 4 days with me on Lopez Island. I can't wait until March 2015 when I can spend another 2 days with Gwen, gently nudging me, encouraging me, sharing her amazing knowledge of quilt making, and pushing me outside the lines of my own, self imposed boundaries.

Who has done that for you in your quilt making?

Enjoy the day!
Sharon

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Making Progress

It might not look like much, but seriously, this is a huge accomplishment for me these days. I've been poking along with the center of a medallion quilt from June 2013. I now have all the strips sewn together and I'm ready to create the center. If you have made a quilt like this, you know that you can't go anywhere without the center. I have no idea what the next round it going to be, how big or how many blocks or what. Once this center is together, I will finally be able to move forward on this. I have a feeling it's going to be one of my favorite pieces once it's done. Interesting that I think that when I don't even know what is coming next. But I am excited and have not lost my mojo for this piece.


What Not's are F-U-N. I'm working on the second in a series of six pieces.  This next one finishes at 12 x 18 and has 42 yo-yo's on it. I've got a good start, but still have a stack of circles left to gather up.


Every piece in these little quilts is a decision and I love that everyone who joins in on the fun will use the same collection of prints/colors and yet all of the quilts will be different. Have you signed up yet? It's not too late, Carol at Fabric Etc has extended her sign up as she was able to order more fabric. If you pick up your package each month, a free tutorial will be held at her shop from 10:30 to noon with tips and tricks.

We've been enjoying an amazing summer here in the Pacific North West.  This has been the typical day here at Birch Bay, WA


And just for some cat cuteness............





Hope you are having a fabulous summer, Skids is enjoying himself, how about you?

Sharon

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Blast from the Past

Circa 2002
I couldn't imagine making this quilt today. Row after row of the same simple applique. However, it was my first venture into "invisible" machine applique and I learned a ton in the process of making this quilt.

Skills developed:
Freezer paper machine quilting
You can't see the bumps and bruises from your chair to the design wall, so quit saying. "oh crap" in the classroom
Many creams make for an interesting background/border
How to make tiny stop borders and keep them straight, that fuchsia border is 1/4 "
Double up on the batting under the hearts, stipple around them and they will puff up
Free motion quilting around the borders on my DSM - first time to machine quilt
It takes some patience and pins to line up the sashing all down and across the quilt top

Would I make it again? never.   Do I love it? Yes.

 The fabric I chose for the hearts is still one of my favorites, I love working with scrappy backgrounds in creams or whites and I can see how much one quilt taught me. I am grateful for teachers who take the time to share their skills and knowledge. It takes a lot of time to prep for a class and to have samples made up.

Put a class on your fall to-do list. I'm sure you will learn one new thing, and that makes it all worth it!

Take time to stitch today,
Sharon

Sunday, July 27, 2014

I'm Back

Even though I've been in La La Land the last while, I am still piecing and quilting. I'm continuing to work on samples for my Wedge Workshop, and along the way I've been encouraged to submit some of my pieces to magazines.

Because of that, I cannot share much with you and I'm having to continue to make new samples, with new designs and fabrics since I can't share what I've sent in.   I'm sure it's ok to show the backs, so here are two quilts that have been submitted as a pair.
They are from the same workshop, and very similar in design.  However, I quilted them totally different.

Trying to take a few different pictures, but an iPhone truly is not the best camera, especially in the sun when I can't see the screen.
This got an all over freehand feather, flower, spiral design.  I love how it turned out.  I used a soft variegated yellow thread and it was perfect for this, but this type of quilting sucks up the thread.  I have about 500 yards on this 38 x 48 quilt. 
Here is the second version, with completely different quilting.  I did feathers going up and down along with ruler work.  Both are nice, just a different way of quilting.


Second direction.  I pieced this back, three 1/2 yard cuts sewn together and I had a backing.  Plus I used up pieces that have been kicking around for quite some time.  I'm really trying to use up what is at hand.  The bonus of these smaller pieces is that I have been able to use up bags of those left over strips of batting. 
My quilt studio is open for business, so if you like my style of quilting and would like to me to help you turn some of your flimsy's into quilts,  please contact me via email or leave a comment and I will get back to you with details. You can see my pricing at my website, www.grassrootsquiltstudio.com

Wishing everyone a sunny Sunday, wherever you are!
Sharon

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Happy Girl

 We had an amazing sunset last Sunday night when I got home from Sisters.  However, the sun sets behind Tims' house so we rarely enjoy them.  On this particular night, the sunset was reflecting off the clouds and mountains, the water was painted with amazing colors, and we sat on the bench, mesmerized by Mother Nature at her finest.  I hope you have enjoyed some of what the outdoors has to offer in your area this summer.

Birch Bay, WA with Mt Baker in the distance.












It was the perfect night for Tim to give me this.  *VBG*  It was his mothers and we had it reset for me.

We have set a date, Sept 21, 2043  That will be when my 30 year mortgage runs out on him.  :-)

I couldn't be happier!

Sharon

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Why Not........WhatNots

Kim Diehl has a wonderful line of fabrics out called Vintage Farmhouse.  With this collection comes 6 fabulous little quilt patterns, released each month, called What Nots.

My LQS, Fabric Etc is kitting up each of these little quilts so if you want to join in the fun, just give them a call and Carol will be happy to add you to the list.  If you are living in the Bellingham, WA area, then you can partake in a free demo the first Sat of the month starting in September, all part of the What Nots.  Each month I will showcase a method that I used to piece that particular quilt.  Kim also is including recipes, tips and tricks.

Here is the first one, called Meandering, and it contains every print in the collection.  I'm still hand quilting it, but it is very cute.  Disregard the orange basting threads while I do the quilting. Using YLI 003 brown to quilt this one.

 There will be a variety of tops, but all will be small.  I think the biggest one is 24 x24 so very doable in a month.  Join in the fun, I'll be posting along the way.

Sharon

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sisters, Final Chapter

Here is the last of my Sisters photos. I hope you have enjoyed the show.







 WAY too cute!

 Loved these wedge quilts.


 Very interesting piece.  The lime background was striking.





 One of my favorites of the whole show.  With 1401 quilts on display, its amazing how some just stand out and sing to me.


 Vintage quilts, would have loved to see this spread out.  The pink is fabulous with the blue and white.


 Me and Lori from Humble Quilts.  We met up in NYC and now in Sisters. 


 Lori, Claire and Randy.


 Cow quilts.  Thought this was a fun section.




 Vintage quilts............ No I didn't buy one.






That's all folks,
Sharon