Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Drowning in Fabric - Please Help

Well I'm still going through my fabric stash and trying to organize it. I'm also deciding to part with some (rather large) pieces for the sake of space. So I have a destash going on in my shop now.

These are a few that I pulled out, and I have more coming... I have a large Ikea bag full of fabric to sort and weed still. I can't believe how much fabric I have. It's actually a bit embarrassing. So if you want to help out a junkie...  BUY FABRIC HERE  :) I have more than I could ever use in my lifetime.

I may need to join a support group.

On a different note, we've been enjoying our last bit of summer vacation here. School starts up on Monday (and I can't wait - I mean I'll be so sad).

My beach bums enjoying the last trip before school...

Cheers all

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Millard Quilt Top - A Design Process

As a kid, my Mom and I took a bunch of road trips (just the girls), to visit different cities and buildings of historical / architectural significance in those cities.  I grew up in Buffalo, NY - and before you say it, I know, I know, armpit of America yadda yadda yadda. Anyway, all jokes aside it was a really good place to grow up - great schools, lots of good people (and my huge extended family), and a ton of history, affordability, diversity. There's a lot more I could get into, but I won't - because this is a quilt blog, right?

OK, where is this going... oh, Frank Lloyd Wright, right. So I visited a LOT of his buildings as a kid / teenager and really grew to love and appreciate his style, and what it means to be in a "designed" space. It's something you feel, and you'll never get that feeling from a typical suburban (or even most urban) home(s).

I still thumb though my architecture books from time to time. (I spent 6 years in Architecture school, so I've acquired quite a collection.) Frank Lloyd Wright's work is still very meaningful for me. I came across this house recently, the Alice Millard house, it is one in a series of his "textile houses" made from concrete blocks designed by him.

This is the "block", concrete by design but I thought it would lend itself well to a quilt block. I did a quick sketch in AutoCAD, and came up with this:

It's made from 9 large (24"x24") blocks. Yes, there are many ways this could have been interpreted and constructed, but I chose the way that interested me the most. Here you can see the simple block construction:

Here is the whole top put together:
(I know I need some serious help in the photography department!)

I really like the way this top came together, it's so simple yet has a real visual impact - for me at least :)

Now comes the hard part...  There's no way I can quilt this baby on my teeny tiny Janome, so I'm going to have to bite the bullet and head into Modern Domestic to make use of that quilt frame class I took. Why I'm so terrified of it, I have no idea. It was a great class, fantastic instruction - and I used it in the class with a certain degree of success for a first timer. Just do it Jill!!

OK, enough words for now, Cheers all!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ahhh... Lazy Summer

So I haven't been sewing much, or on social media much, but it is summer.
What I have been doing is a slow purge and re-org of my office/ sewing studio/ guest room/
whatever you want to call it...

it all started with a sorting of the scraps

which led to a complete re-vamp of the fabric storage 
(this is going to be a long term project!)

then I decided that I needed to organize all of my office storage
I'll do an update when the room is in good order and "finalized".
I'm working on this in bits and pieces in between all of our other busy summer activities.

I was lucky enough to be able drive up to the Seattle area to meet up with

Here's some pics from the ferry to Vashon Island.
What a beautiful day it was!

What a wonderful setting too! Vashon Island is gorgeous, and
Island Quilter is a dream of a shop.

My garden is ridiculous,  and I love every bit of it.
The chard won't quit producing. It makes a wonderful pesto,
I'm planning on freezing a bunch for the long winter ahead.

People keep giving me cucumbers, so I tried a recipe for refrigerator pickles
for the first time. Holy yum! Cheap, quick, and EASY.

We've been eating zucchini by the bucket-full (it's great sauted with pesto on it!), and my
3 yr old is loving helping me cut things - terrifying.

Did you know that zucchini's can also be used as 'portal guns'?
I'm sure most 5 yr old boys already know this, but it was news to me. 

Otherwise we've been spending alot of time hanging out outside

100 degrees + Pool = Happy kids....
Happy kids = Happy Parents

Hope you're all having a wonderful wrap-up to your summer. I'm sure I'll be around
alot more once school gets back into full swing (which isn't until mid-September!).

Cheers all

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sisters part 2 - I made a quilt top!

I forgot to mention that 5 of us brought our sewing machines with us on our recent trip.  I almost finished a whole quilt top while I was there. I finished it yesterday, here it is:

I'm pretty excited about this one.  See, I was super excited about the re-release of Flea Market Fancy because I only had a few of the original prints, and I have been in love with the collection since seeing some quilts made by guild members. I usually don't like to take a fabric collection and use only those prints in a quilt, I generally like to mix 'n match between collections and colors. There's just something about FMF that looks so complete on it's own without interference.

So I couldn't go and order a whole FQ set or anything because I just didn't have any extra in the "fabric spending" account at that time, but I was totally excited to find a shop that was selling 10" square (layer cake sized) sets of the whole collection. I quickly decided it was a worthwhile (small) expense that would get me a piece of the whole set. I laid them all out and drooled over them, and petted them a bit.

At the time I was working on the Portland Peel template set with Rachel, and was soooooo excited to see that the tester template set (hot off the laser cutter) fit all 3 pieces perfectly on the 10" squares. So I cut. Yes, the whole stack! It actually took no time at all. Look at the seriously minor waste from cutting up in that top left corner of the pic - barely a 1"x1.5" rectangle was the biggest piece of waste. I was so determined to use every bit.

Flash forward several busy months, and I was looking around my sewing space for a quick project to sew up while I was in Sisters for the quilt show. I found the lovely cut stack of FMF, grabbed a big piece of some white(ish) fabric to go with it, and some templates, and off I went.

Even through all the chatting and margaritas I was able to piece most of this quilt while I was there, and I just put the blocks together yesterday. It's a bit of a wrinkly mess, but I just love how it turned out. There's 2 squares for each FMF print, I feel like I got alot of mileage out of that 'layer cake'.

Oh, and here's my quilt hanging at the Sisters show.... can't believe I forgot to post this pic yesterday.

Oh, and here's my artichoke plant in full bloom! Artichokes are pretty crazy aren't they? I'm always amazed. We ate 7 HUGE artichokes from this plant and I left the 2 biggest ones to bloom because they're so gorgeous.

Cheers all!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

Well last Thursday I took off on an adventure to Sisters, Oregon to see a quilt show and hang with PMQG friends. We loaded up four fat Elecktra cruisers and headed for the high desert. About 3-4 hours later after a gorgeous drive over Mt. Hood and through the changing landscapes we arrived.

The house we stayed in (thanks to Petra), had a fabulous view of the Three Sisters Mountains, this is what we woke up to every morning. Gorgeous!
We had our own deer friends that hung out in the shade near the house, which was about 4 miles north of the city center.
I biked into town and back each day, it was lovely and beautiful - after all, this was my view:
The actual quilt show is outside - quilts are hung on all of the buildings in the town. It's so cool to just be able to stroll around town and check out the quilts. Here is a view of the outside of one of the buildings in town with quilts all over it.
So, I guess there's a first for everything - there was actually a crazy thunder/lightning/hail storm at about 3pm, and they closed down the show about 2 hours early - all of the quilts were taken down and 'rescued' in about 15-20 minutes. Awesome. Here's our fearless leader Susan rescuing some of the PMQG special exhibit quilts.
I'm glad I was able to see the show before the abrupt ending, and I'm also glad I was in town a few days early to check out the shops - in particular the local quilt shop - The Stitchin Post. Here's a couple shots of the inside of the store. This is one lucky little town to have such a cool shop.

...and this is Ruby Bliss - she's a watermelon. Obviously.  She had some great adventures with the Elecktra Gang.  I'm hoping she comes to our guild meeting this Thursday, I'd love to see here again ;)

Hope you're all enjoying your summer, cheers, Jill

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Quilt Show and a Sale

Hey Peeps! How are you all doing? I'm totally overwhelmed in crazy kiddom. But I'm also loving it. 
3 & 5 is so much better than 2 & 4 for me. Still crazy though :)

So coming up a week from today I'm leaving for Sisters, Oregon for 3 nights. Never heard of it? I wouldn't expect many people have.  However, they have a super cool outdoor quilt show every summer. I went last year, and can't wait to go again.   It's about a 3 hour drive from Portland, and gas isn't cheap these days. So, I'm having a sale in my Etsy shop to hopefully raise a few bucks to put in my gas tank.

Need some templates? Want to add to your fabric stash? Everything that's in stock is 15% off starting today though July 15th (Yes - even that Aurifil set, it's a steal!!-tell your friends). Now I'm going to be in Sisters from the 12th through the 15th, so any orders placed during those days will be shipped on the 16th. 

PLUS Every order placed today through the 11th gets a free 'surprise' added to their package!
(provided that you use the coupon code upon checkout)

I have actually done a bit of sewing too.  I made the above quilt with the Portland Peel template set, it's going to a special baby girl.

And I started the quilt below based on an architectural inspiration that I will go into in another post.

I hope everyone is enjoying their July so far, I know we are. My birthday, my Hubs birthday, and my Son's birthday all occur in the next 2 weeks, so we'll be busy partying and getting older (and maybe more tan - come on sun!).   Cheers all!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

And the Winner is...

Number 97, Kellie who said:

I love Starbucks Unsweetened Green Tea. Thanks for the chance to win. Love that quilt!

Thanks all for playing along! Hope you all won something this week!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

Hey Peeps, it's that time again! Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day! Yay!

Anyone interested in a Portland Peel template set? I hope so, because that's what I'm giving away this time (unless of course you've already purchased one - then you can choose another template/set in my shop).

How to enter:
Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite summer cocktail or beverage - that's it! Open to domestic AND international readers. 1 entry per person. Make sure there's a way for me to get in touch with you. I will leave comments open until May 25th at 5pm.

Then go back here and enter more giveaways!  Cheers all :)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

the Portland Peel listing is finally live!

Phew - after a whirlwind of writing up materials and documents I finally have the listing for the "Portland Peel" template set up in my shop.

What is the "Portland Peel"?  It's an easy way to make an orange peel block, or many variations thereof. Check out the PDF ideabook available on my sidebar. Print some pages out and color them in - maybe you'll catch the Peel fever too!

I can't stop cutting and making these blocks, they're just too damn easy to sew up - 2 seams per peel, simple. It's an easy curve, so "advanced beginner" sewists can do this in a snap. As long and you can sew a 1/4" seem pretty consistently, you can make this block.

So, all you local Portlandians - Did you know that Modern Domestic is doing a curves 101 class featuring this 'pattern'?  AND they'll be carrying the template sets there starting this Tuesday I believe, so save shipping and buy local!