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I seem to have a recent obsession with one inch hexagons…. It started with this sewing machine cover

07 sep 11 014

I made it for my partner in the “For the Love of Solids” swap on Flickr. The color scheme was a little mellower than I think she would prefer so I added bit more pop on the back (sans hexagons)

07 sep 11 016

And because she commented on a lot of rainbow items in the pool I made this little mug rug.

Rainbow Mug Rug

Finally I made this from my Modern Meadow scraps. It’s handsewn onto linen and is intended as a present for someone else.

07 sep 11 010

Eventually I guess I’ll need to make something for myself!

I’m thinking about something like this

PTS5 Experiment

or this

pts4 done front

What are you in love with today?

In celebration of my recent birthday I’ve decided to clean out the WIP (work in progress) pile. I’m someone that prefers to finish a project before moving on to the next but for a variety of reasons these projects all got set aside.

Except for the quilt tops which needs to be quilted (those are completely out of hand) the pile isn’t really too bad.

Starting from the oldest I have this quilt top from Bee Modern 1 (I bowed out 2/3 of the way through but some of the other ladies went on to finish a second round) which still needs a back. I started piecing the middle strip but couldn’t decide how I wanted to piece the navy blue sections. I thought about piecing a variety of blues in a variety of widths and lengths (the same way I did the border on the front) but that just feels like too much. So this weekend I went a purchased yardage of basic navy blue and I’m going to use that.

canonjuly09 004

Next up is the Amy Butler Weekender Bag. I started this before we moved! I originally got frustrated with the cording and then put it away “for the move.” My new goal is to have this finished and use it on my upcoming trip to Denver. I got quite a bit done on it this weekend but it certainly involved a lot of four letter words! Me and my sewing machine were made for quilting not luggage making.

07 sep 11 034

Third is this quilt made from the Echino bird print. Since it’s small I thought it would be a good time to try my hand at free motion quilting on my regular machine. I made it through three flowers and while I was certainly getting better it was not an enjoyable experience for me and this quilt has sat for months waiting to have the quilting finished. This weekend I admitted that I will never finish free motion quilting it so I ripped out all of the quilting and plan to do random straight lines.

Finally I have

1)

03 apr 11 004

2)

Lush Rubik's Cube [expored!]

3)

Kona Curry and Modern Meadow

07 aug 112 020

4)

29 aug 11 003

Quilt tops that I paired with quilt backs and now need to take some time on the longarm to complete.

Once all these projects get done the only outstanding work in progress I will have is the hand quilting on my Single Girl but I’m not planning on rushing my way through that.

I’m trying to make myself finish all this before I start anything new but it’s hard! TH got me a framed purse kit for my birthday and since it’s such a quick project I could definitely finish it before Denver. And those quilts…. considering my work travel schedule it will take me weeks to finish longarming them. Do I really want to wait? Of course if I don’t and I do start another quilt I’ll just have that many more to get through. Hmmm… Maybe I’ll try to stick to non quilt projects until I work through my pile. We shall see.

What’s on your worktable today?

DSCN1135

Since I travel so frequently for work I have the opportunity to check out fabric shops all over the northeastern United States but I’ve been remiss in posting about them. This week I went to Quilted Threads in Henniker, New Hampshire. It was about an hour out of my way but I had seen it mentioned in a recent quilt magazine as a place to find “modern fabrics.” I had actually stopped trying to find quilt shops during my travels because so many of the ones I had gone out of my way to check out had been full of “traditional fabrics” that I would never use. The magazine article (and I must apologize I don’t remember which one it was) included some photos of the inside of the store and it looked pretty promising.

Selection:

I was astounded when I first walked in by the selection of Japanese craft and sewing books (about a dozen of them, some translated to English and some in Japanese) as well as the Sashiko kits and sashiko thread. The fabric selection was nicely varied. While there was a large selection of what I consider more “traditional” fabric motifs and manufacturers there was also a wide variety of modern designers and a variety of types of fabric. I was thrilled to see a nice selection of new and old Echino prints and five or six solids. They also had a number of voiles- Tula Pink and Anna Maria Horner. They had a decent selection of solids- as large or larger than most brick and mortar fabric shops. I guess the one thing that I thought was a bit lacking was their selection of home decorator weight fabrics. They did have lamininated cottons and suprisingly they had three of the new super wide Melody Miller prints. Unfortunately they didn’t have the large bee print which I’ve been dying to see in person…

Pricing:

Pricing was varied because they carried so many different types of fabric. I didn’t look at the solids so I’m not sure what they cost but the standard quilting weight fabrics were around $10 a yard and voiles, Echino, and the few home decorator weights went up to almost $20 a yard.

Fat Quarters:

In some sections there were baskets of fat quarters and along one wall there were shelves of them. I prefer my fat quarters to be organized all by color or all by collection but they seemed to organize the fat quarters differently on different parts of the shelves. It also looked like the fat quarters were mostly prints they no longer carried yardage of.

Customer Service:

I didn’t buy anything (shocking I know) but a couple of ladies asked me if they could help. The only thing that suprised me a bit was when a lady asked if she could put a stack of bolts down on the cutting table and at first the woman working there wasn’t going to let her. Allowing customers to stack fabric is a pretty common practice for fabric shops as it encourages customers to buy more. If you have to schlep three bolts of fabric around you aren’t likely to keep shopping or want to pick up and carry around more. The worker did eventually make room and allow the customer to leave the stack but it was still odd.

What I like about brick and mortar fabric shops is that they often have fabrics in stock that have long since sold out of the online shops. The downside is that their inventory is much slower to turn over so I doubt I’ll go back again any time soon. I didn’t buy anything because I didn’t see any “must haves” and what with the economy being what it is I’m trying to restrict my buying. But I did see plenty of “like to haves” and if I was making more in commission I certainly would have purchased a few yards if for no other reason than to support a local quilt shop that is so obviously trying to cater to “modern” quilters.

If you are going to be in the area it’s definitely worth a bit of a drive.

29 aug 11 004

I know that sometimes the fabric can make the pattern and vice versa so I imagine when someone makes a quilt in a pattern that makes people fall in love with the fabric the designers are both very happy. But when someone takes a quilt pattern and goes in the opposite direction of the designers aesthetic I have to wonder if that makes the pattern designer happy or horrified.

29 aug 11 003

This quilt pattern is from Boo Davis’ book “Dare to be Square” and her style can probably be summed up as modern rock and roll with a tagline of “made with hate”. I have to think a rock and roller would not want her edgy mostly solid owl turned into a patchwork of pastel florals copied from vintage sheet designs. But I guess that’s the risk you run when you publish a pattern or release a fabric line.

The designer’s preference aside I think the fabric and pattern work beautifully together. It’s actually not at all my usual style either…. But something about these not to sweet prints were calling my name a year or so ago and I went ahead and purchased a fat quarter set of the entire line! This quilt (in case you were curious) barely put a dent in my stack.

The book was a Christmas present last year and I always knew the first project I would tackle would be the owl. But until now I couldn’t decide on a color scheme and while I like the two-color mostly solid with edited addition of monochromatic prints featured in the book I didn’t have any small scale prints that would suit. So I went to the complete opposite end of the spectrum and fell in love!

I thought about gifting this to my sister if she is having a girl but I think I might just have to keep it instead…

Do you come here often?

My SIL has entered her son into a modeling contest and while we are sure he’s got this in the bag (could you really say no to that face?) we would appreciate it if you could help us out and cast your vote for him. You go here and cast your vote for 385148.

Thanks, and in return for your votes I promise to actually post something crafty by Sunday!

Have you been to Design Seed yet? It’s my latest addiction and a great source for color combinations. I’ve been trying to do more solid fabric project but I have a hard time pulling together fun color combinations. It’s strange because I don’t have this problem with print fabrics… Well I won’t have a problem anymore because there is a wealth of information to be found on this site.

The top color scheme is exactly what I had in mind for the bed quilt I will (eventually) make. I was having some trouble deciding on tones of purple to use but no more.

The bottom color scheme is another favorite, I’m not sure what I’ll make but I love it too much not to do something with it!

07 aug 112 016

In addition to working on my swap project I also finished piecing a quilt top/back. It’s my first two sided quilt. There is really is no back to it although I suspect the blue side will spend more time facing up on our couch. I love the curry yellow especially during the dreary winter months but it can be a bit overwhelming on sunnier days.

07 aug 112 020

I went back and forth on how to quilt this. Since the two sides are so different I really had to find a design that would work equally well on both sides. I finally decided to do circles radiating from the center of the wheel (which I intentionally offset to the side and bottom). I’m thinking I’ll space the lines about two inches apart but we’ll see once I get started. First TH needs to make me a giant compass so I can draw the lines to follow. I in no way trust myself to freehand or eyeball it!

07 aug 112 015

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