Saturday, April 19, 2014

Briar Rose 6-point Star Quilt Top

Happy Easter weekend! After having the chance last weekend to travel and see a bunch of family in Portland, OR at my sister-in-law's wedding (it was beautiful, sunny, and lots of fun), we're taking it easy this weekend and staying close to home. We have dinner planned for tomorrow--the traditional ham with scalloped potatoes and asparagus--but other than that, just lots of time to relax and enjoy a break together.

I thought I might also drop in today with a quick post about a recent quilt top finish. I haven't had the chance to share it here yet, although you may have seen this on Instagram. Late last summer, I began working on an all EPP quilt top using Rachel's 6-point star templates. After having the chance to use these templates for a couple bee blocks in 2012 (I posted about mine here), I knew that I wanted to make an entire quilt with them--most likely in bright, saturated colors. After winning the perfect fabric for this project in a giveaway, a fat eighth bundle of Briar Rose by Heather Ross from Westwood Acre, I decided to pick some solids and get started.

  Briar Rose 6-Point Star Quilt

This was a long-term project for sure. I hand sewed this off and on for about 6 months, taking my time so as to NOT end up with too sore of hands or too many holes in my fingers. ;) The most challenging part of this project was wrangling the larger sewed-together sections of blocks into the finished top, which is about 66"x 56". I could have used an extra arm during that process, but was glad I had my trusty Clover clips to help instead. All in all though, it was a really fun and meditative quilt to work on. I brought the pieces with me everywhere, which started some fun conversations and even allowed me to share my creative side with my co-workers at lunch.

Briar Rose 6-Point Star Quilt

I do have one note about an issue I ran into with this project and I thought I might share in case it would help anyone embarking on a similar project. To finish the edge of my quilt top, I cut partial diamonds to fill in around the hexagon-shaped blocks. This worked really well, but in hindsight, I should have taken extra care when sewing these partial components together at the very edges of the top and left their fabric flaps open on the outside edge of the quilt rather than wrapped (if that makes sense). When it came time to press the fabric out around the outside of the quilt top to trim it and prepare for basting, I had some issues with the fabric being sewn together in such a way that I couldn't evenly press it open. It necessitated taking the seams back and re-sewing them in a few small places, which wasn't a ton of work, just kind of tedious.

Just in case anyone is interested, after googling how to fix this issue, I found a great EPP resource from the Lizard of Oz that was really helpful to me. There is a wonderful section in this doc about how to finish the edge of your quilt using several different methods. It also explains the issue I ran into with this project in case my description is a little unclear on how to avoid it.

Anyways, I still have two sides of the quilt to finish the re-sewing process on before I can completely square it up and get it ready to quilt, but I am really excited to finish this soon.

Quilt Notes:

-  Pattern: 6-point Star Template by Rachel of Stitched in Color
-  Size: 66" x 56"
- Fabrics: Briar Rose by Heather Ross; Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Lipstick, Venus, and Limeade; Moda Bella Solids in Clementine, Pistachio, and Mustard; Kona Solids in Clover and Palm.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Long Overdue Update

With that long bout of radio silence I'm not sure if anyone is still here, ;) but I did want to drop in and let you know what's been going on in my life over the last months. I didn't intend to be away for so long without an update. It's just that I didn't know exactly how I wanted to write this post, especially since I am still unsure how active I will be in social media/ blogging in the future.

I've found myself being moved in new directions lately and it's involved thinking about and making some changes that at first seemed impossible, but now seem more and more right for what I want to be doing in the future. I've been looking into PhD programs and rekindling my passion for research and teaching. It's been in part because of my work this past year with a couple fantastic non-profits, helping with their science and nature-based education programs. It's reminded me of why I initially chose to focus my studies on the environment and how people interact with it. I feel like I'm getting back to what really matters to me.

I've felt so drawn to exploring this other area of my life, that naturally I've let some of my focus on making things shift a bit. I've still been doing some hand-sewing for relaxation, but I've really slowed down with my projects and just given myself permission to work on things only when I really want to. When my sewing machine broke over the summer, I was without it for about a month. During that time I felt a sense of freedom, which is kind of hard to explain. I was sad that my machine was broken, of course, but it also meant that I had to take a break. I didn't stress about deadlines or unfinished projects during that time, I just accepted the situation. I realized that maybe I really needed to take longer, self-imposed break from sewing and from blogging, especially since it seemed that I had lost some of the joy for it.

Right now, I'm only making things when I feel inspired to and it's been a great experience for me to take some of the pressure off producing. I'm still unsure whether or not I'll start blogging on a regular basis again in the future, but I do know that I miss sharing in the community that we've created online and I hope to get back into it, perhaps through other social media venues like Instagram. (I'm pretty new over there, but you can find me here.) For right now I really like the idea of posting a quick photo here and there, and it seems like it would be a great way to stay in touch.

The only other update that I have for now is that I'll be closing my pattern shops before the end of the year. In Seattle, even small craft businesses are required to register for a full business license in order to operate. I decided not to renew mine for next year since the cost didn't seem to match up with the amount of time that I would have available to work on the shop and develop patterns. I have currently closed my shop on Etsy, but my Craftsy shop will remain open until December 20th. I wanted to give anyone who would like to purchase a pattern time to do so before they are no longer available. Thanks for your understanding and your support!

I know this was a very wordy post with no eye-candy ;), but I'm glad to have had the chance to give you an update on what's been going on.  Thanks for reading and I hope to be sharing more over on Instagram soon.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Guest Posting at Clover & Violet

a season by handI wanted to stop in to let you know that I'm guest posting today at Clover & Violet as part of their Season by Hand Series. We're talking about adding embroidery to pieced projects today and I'm sharing all of my favorite makes that incorporate that. Hop over to check it out and make sure to leave a comment while you're there to be entered into the weekly giveaway!

Honeycomb Pillow

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Clashy Brights

I'm excited to share that my mosaic was selected for voting in Rachel's most recent fabric pairing contest! This time the theme is Clashy Brights, and I have to say I feel pretty at home in this type of color scheme. The brighter the better! ; )

Bollywood Bundle

This palette reminds me a lot of India actually, with the over-the-top infusion of beautiful color that is everywhere there. I titled this palette "Bollywood" in honor of that. I really went for highly saturated colors in this bundle and based a lot of my color decisions on the rose print from the Hand Drawn Garden collection (in the upper left-hand corner). I even threw in some sparkle, via the mirror ball dots, to add a little extra glamour. 

Voting is now open for all of the mosaic finalists over at Stitched in Color. Hop over to select your favorite.

P.S. If you'd like to see a list of all the specific fabrics in the mosaic, click on the image above to be whisked over to flickr, where I made a note of each fabric choice.

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