Weekend Sew!

Earlier this week, I finished the binding and the label on my sister’s crazy nine patch (tutorial from Oh Fransson!). So it’s officially ready to mail. But I wanted to bring it with me to the weekend sew to have a show and tell, and I still needed to flickerize it. So here are some photos:

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crazy nine patch-5

I had a ball yesterday sewing with some of the girls from the LA Modern Quilt Guild. Did I accomplish all the projects I hoped to? Of course not. Too much talking, not enough sewing. But I definitely had fun, and I always over plan what I can accomplish at these things. So here’s what I did accomplish – I got a good head start on my hot cross quilt. I have been inspired by Latifah’s amazing color choices, and am doing all kona solids, using coal as my base. These are 6″ blocks, and they’ll be sashed with more coal so the crosses don’t touch. I may offset them also, I’m not sure yet.

hot_crosses

Over the weekend, I also assembled all the packets for my Bee Happy spiderweb blocks! Can’t wait to see how they come out. I’ve asked everyone to make one block each, and I’ll make the rest. So everyone got their 12.5″ coal square and 8 random strips. I tried to include some special fabrics – some of my prize Heather Ross prints and someone got a strip of FMF yellow seeds. Everyone got totally different fabrics, so I think it’s going to be great. I think I’ll need 20 blocks for a good nap size quilt. Also using coal on these – I’m going coal crazy, but I think it’s a nice departure from my white craze.

Bee Happy-2

Introducing the Bee Happy Quilting Bee

Rather than maintain a group blog, we’ve decided to house our fun bee contributions over on Flickr. I hope you’ll visit our Bee Happy Bee photo pool.

Here’s my first try at our web button – which may change as the group hasn’t seen it yet :)

button

Members, you can copy and paste this code to put the button on your own blogs:

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/groups/beehappybee/” target=”_blank” title=”Bee Happy Quilting Bee”><img src=”http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4001/4431874549_bfe6c5ba41_o.gif” width=”218″ height=”160″ alt=”Bee Happy Bee” /></img></a>

Bee Happy

I just checked in over at Wondermommy and filled in my stashbusters yardage and project totals for the week. Not very impressive – 2.5 yards used and 18 items made. 18 sounds like a lot, but camera straps just don’t use much yardage. I just need more sewing time!

Someone sent me a convo today on my Etsy shop asking if I had any of MY fabric for sale. My little unicorn and dragon! How awesome is that? She didn’t actually buy it yet, but I set up her custom listing, so I’m hopeful. I’ve also been working on some other fabrics – still costume dudes. Here’s a preview:

antelope

rhino

I love those guys! I think my addiction to grey and mustard is seeping into my new fabric design, as is our frequent visits to the San Diego Wild Animal Park. The only other thing I can tell you is that the theme is “watering hole”…it needs a lot of work, but so far, I’m liking my dudes.

I’m also working on organizing a virtual quilting bee. We are all members of the LA Modern Quilt Guild. We’ve got all our members, so now I’m just gathering all the contact info and figuring out who has which month. So far so good. We’ve got a name – Bee Happy. I’ve got to make us a button for all of our blogs and set up a flickr group for our finished projects. Easy enough.

I volunteered to be March, and I already know what project I want to do – a little village. I’ve been eyeing these quilts all over the place, and I think I NEED one.

Blabbery

**Update, 3/7/2010: I noticed yesterday that they removed the plum gnomes from the lineup. I guess they’re working on the dye!

I’m still plugging away at stashbusters. I did a lot of sewing this weekend, but unfortunately, camera straps don’t use much fabric. I would say I used 2 1/4 yards of fabric this weekend, though! Not bad.

My friend Alison wants to go in on some Heather Ross fabric from Spoonflower. We’ll purchase 3 or 4 different prints, and divvy up the yardage, so we all get some of each print. I’m all for it! But I’m being a good girl and waiting for April 1st.

mushroompurple

One bad thing about those $20/yard prints is that apparently they really fade. Banquopak on Flickr has been doing some wash tests, and the fading is pretty bad on the dark plum. I’m not sure I care all that much. The only thing that concerns me is that I don’t prewash, and I use a lot of white. So if they’re fading that much, that dye is going somewhere, right? Will a color catcher catch that much color? (that is your tongue twister for the day :))

I still want all the mushrooms and the gnomes, anyway.

sweat shop

Big production line weekend around here. I managed to make a bunch of new straps for the shop. I didn’t manage to make half of what I hoped to, so I clearly need to speed up the process. My slow progress may be caused by watching the whole first season of LA Ink on Netflix while sewing :)

strap stack

The good news is that I finally figured out how to make the vinyl move a little more smoothly under my foot (sewing machine foot, that is). Apparently, my trying to FORCE it or sew it really fast is all wrong! Which I learned by doing that repeatedly, having terrible results, and having to seam-rip the vinyl off and start over.

So, then I started sewing very slowly, and barely holding on to the vinyl, not pushing at all, and it fed through just fine! Who knew?!

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I also had my quality tester make sure all the straps were up to standard :)

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Sold! And Treasure, too!

I’m pretty excited – I sold 3 camera straps yesterday!!! The two Denyse Schmidt ones went right away, which doesn’t surprise me. I need to make some more of those RIGHT AWAY. And an owl strap is making its way to Poland! So awesome! My sales were to NY, LA and Poland…how’s that for a little internet shop? Super cool.

I’m working on my packaging – what do you think? It’s not perfect, but without making any kind of big investment – I think it looks nice.

moxywares-1

And even more exciting, my most wonderfullest friend, Pancockies, sent me a box of Munki Munki treasure. When I was on my serious Munki hunt a few weeks ago, she took up the challenge and scoured her own Marshalls…all the way in the Sunshine State! She found these adorable kittens, which I believe, are the find of the century. She also found a lovely shoes robe and a couple sets of coffee pjs. She is the BEST! Think a coffee camera strap is a good idea?

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Heather Ross on Spoonflower

mushroomyellow

Gnomes!!! Mushrooms!!! Wildflowers!!!

I want all of the fabrics but I can’t afford them! My fingers are crossed that anyone will be able to orderĀ  a swatch collection from anyone soon. Right now, only designers can order their own swatch collection. But why would I want my own fabrics when I can have Heathers???

No matter what, I think those yellow mushrooms and gnomes on plum will have to be mine.

what does modern quilter mean to you?

snake charmer hand quilting-3

I’m a little late on this, but this discussion has been going on over at the Modern Quilt Guild blog. Today someone posted a great recap of the discussion, complete with VERY cool pictures. I wanted to add my two cents to the din because, of course, I have an opinion. As usual.

I just got one of Nancy Crow’s books from the library (talk about ahead of her time!), and she was talking about how (in the early 1990’s) it seemed like everyone was using fusible web to put quilts together, and she thought that machine piecing might soon go the way of hand piecing and be a thing of the past. I’m so glad she was wrong and that today’s quilters have so many methods to choose from.

When I think about what it means to be a modern quilter, I think about my own way of picking and choosing methods. I like to see what’s available (taking classes, listening to lectures, reading a billion blogs), and then cherry pick what suits me best. As a member of a traditional guild and now the LA Modern Quilt Guild, I’m surrounded by quilt makers of all skill and experience levels. People who love tiny details and people who hate tiny details – only loving big (fast) results. Some people love the tiny details and still have big, fast results!

I think it would be wrong to say that modern quilters aren’t precise or meticulous, because I know that to be false. Although many modern quilts do end up with a free or even haphazard look. It took skill and planning to get them that way. An eye for color, a certain whimsy…whatever it is.

To me, modern quilters are this: the ones doing the sewing. That’s all of us. The ones who find the time in their busy lives to create beautiful, useful keepsakes. Fabric hugs for family and friends.

I do think that the connotation ‘modern’ represents a certain aesthetic: bold colors in prints and solids, large geometric shapes – sometimes off-set, good use of negative space. This is just what I think of. And in my mind’s eye – I see quilts made by Elizabeth Hartman and Ashley at Film in the Fridge and a whole slew of other quilters setting the internet on it’s ear with all their gorgeous pictures.

I also think modern can refer to the seemingly thousands of quilters coming together online, naturally grouping because of similar tastes and styles and using every bit of the current social networking technology available to share ideas and accomplishments. I love watching what’s happening and being a part of it!

Its a great time to be quilting. No time like the present!

LAMQG Saturday Sew

I had a ball sewing with the LA Modern Quilt Guild yesterday at the Saturday Sew. I got all 45 blocks done for my crazy nine patch (thanks to Elizabeth at Oh, Fransson! for the awesome tutorial.)

crazy 9 patch-1

Although, somehow, I managed to mix up the stacks and ended up with two of the same fabrics in a bunch of blocks. I’m still not sure how I managed that.

I had planned to forgo the lattice layout and do white sashing instead…to make the quilt bigger and to calm down the craziness of my blocks. But it turns out that they lose most of their charm with the white sashing, so I’m going with the lattice. I also think my mistakes are VERY hard to find in the lattice layout…not that my sister would complain about them anyway. And this is for her. I may still have to add a border to make it a good nap size quilt. We’ll see. What do you think?

With sashing:
crazy 9 patch-2

Lattice:
crazy 9 patch-5

I also got a couple of string blocks done for Urban Craft Center’s collaborative Haiti quilts. Thanks again to Latifah for picking up the fabric and instructions so I could participate!

Haiti blocks-2