2.26.2014

Hexie-Flowers Quilt

Faithful readers may remember back last summer when I started (obsessively) piecing hexies together.  You can read about it here. At the time I wash't quite sure where I was headed with the project.  Thoughts and possibilities  of what to make with the hexies flew in and out of my mind on a daily basis.  My pintrest board is full to bursting with Hexie ideas.  Somehow none of the ideas that flitted through my mind stuck.  Until now.

I purchased a Moda Honey Comb pack from Craftsy in Scrumptious by Bonnie and Camille. And Scrumptious it is!  All the beautiful pastel florals and prints.  It all called to me to be made into a beautiful baby quilt for my soon to be niece.

I drew up a couple of preliminary sketched prior to starting, so I had an idea of where I was going with it.  Let me say it is turning out so much better than I had envisioned.  Love it when that happens.


I envisioned all of the hexies surrounded by a white back ground with my hand pieced hexie flowers dispersed randomly throughout.  Slowly over the course of the past two weeks, amid my other mommy jobs I have been piecing it together.  I cut out white hexagons 2 inches larger than the Honey comb templet.  I then hand appliqu├ęd the 6 hexie-flowers I planned on using for the quilt.  I bordered each Honey comb with 1 inch strip of the same white fabric.  Then slowly pinned and sewed each set in seam together.  Time consuming yes.  But totally worth it!



I am now down to deciding on the last 2 borders, and then sewing the back together.  I cannot wait to get this onto my Long-arm.  Flower designs here I come!

2.21.2014

Color Combo Project.

This weeks Color Intensive Project was to create a tote bag with either complementary or analogous colors.  (Okay, technically it was last weeks project but I'm moving a little slower than usual)  I have been struggling with my choices.  I even went to the fabric store to pick up a few fat quarters thinking that would help.  It did help, more with my mood than with the actual project but perhaps that's a story for another day.  :)

I have two choices both of which I like, but then also don't like. Perhaps I am not doing to well with commitment this month.

The first is my analogous color scheme.


I received this print in a scrap bag I ordered sometime last year or the year before.  I really like the print and the colors I just have never found the right project to use it in.  Could this be the one?

The second color scheme is my Complementary colors.



For this combination I tried to pick out a print that had several different colors to work with.  The main color in this fabric being this yellow-orange.  I have this trim that I love and want to use which doesn't work at all with the analogous color scheme but works fairly well with this print.  The teal looks nice with print but isn't complementary to the yellow. Although the teal does complement the red in the print.  The green is complementary to the orange in the print but not so much with the yellow.

Either way I am not "in love" with either selection.  Perhaps it is time to dive back into my fabric stash or better yet head out to the store. I believe I am in need of a few more fat quarters.

2.20.2014

Neutral (Blah.)

Don't get me wrong.  I love neutrals, in when used in combination with color.  Neutral do indeed have a place in the quilting world, even if it is mostly in backings and borders.  I just cannot get excited about them.  They are after all  neutral (like Switzerland) .

This weeks Color Intensive Mosaic is all about neutrals.  I played around with both prints and solids in my mosaics but in the end settled on mostly solids.



I chose two.  A cool neutral mosaic and a warm neutral mosaic.  That was just about as creative as I was going to get with neutrals.




2.19.2014

Coloring outside the lines.


I quilted this for a friend last weekend.  She designed and embroidered this quilt for a charity at the school where her children attend.  I really love the bright colored pencils and the rainbow border makes it cheery and bright.  When I saw this quilt I knew exactly what I wanted to do!  Quite a contrast to Aunt Tony's quilt which I fretted over for weeks.



For this quilt I quilted a basic swirl (my new go to pattern) around the border.  The inner black sashing is a meander.  I didn't want the background pattern to take away from the bright and playful look of the quilt so I left it simple.  To the Pencils I added straight lines in a vertical and horizontal fashion to give them the feel of the real thing.  They turned out "less" real looking to me after this addition.  Funny how sometimes what you see in 'real' life doesn't translate in art.  I will have to look for an alternative quilting method with the next pencil quilt I get.



My favorite part of the quilt was the rainbow border! I wanted to do something to highlight the border.  I chose letters and numbers and free hand quilted them inside each colored block.  I think the letters add an additional spark that screams elementary school.  But maybe that's just me.

2.14.2014

Color Mosaic (A rainbow of fruit flavors)

Another Color Mosaic challenge from my Color Intensive Class.  This time we were challenged to make a Rainbow Mosaic.  Seemed simple enough of a task.  Would you believe it took me over 90 minutes to make 2 simple mosaics!  We were told choose our fabric selections from Pink Chalk fabrics.  Boy do they have a large selection!  Simple task. Ha!

When I think rainbow I think of the cute little semicircular shapes that I drew when I was in elementary school.  When we had 10 or so colors to choose from in our box of crayons the task was simple.  Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple.  Even with the big box of Crayola 64 it wasn't a difficult task.



Somehow when you transform those colors into fabric, give them texture, patterns, designs, it befuddles my mind.  I did manage to finally come up with 2 mosaics although I cannot say that they are the best representation of a rainbow.  What is truly amazing is that when all of the students post their mosaics onto the blog, all of the rainbows are beautiful, and they are all different.  Sure some of the fabric choices overlap but just like in nature, never are their two that are the same.

2.13.2014

Swirl-ly, Twirl-ly

Two nights ago I got the bug to quilt. I fired up my Long-arm, took a deep breath and jumped.  I have been fretting for weeks over how to quilt my Aunt Tony's quilt.  You may remember the post here.  When I get stuck I draw up a 'map' of the quilt and I photocopy it multiple times.  Once I have the photocopies proceeded to doodle quilting designs all over.


 This time it was very helpful in eliminating designs but not so helpful on choosing one. Desperate times my friends call for desperate measures.   Well, you may recall that my son declared the quilt looked like a giant eye, with the colors around the center representing the iris (at least in his mind's eye)  Throughout the weeks that the quilt hung on my quilting machine, Jack would insist that I quilt the quilt with swirls.  Swirls?  Really?

I hit the internet and starting looking for quilts done with swirls, curls, swizzles or other curvy type designs.  I began practicing them over and over and over, until I was satisfied I had a swirl that would work.  Then, yep, I went for it.



I have to say I am quite amazed that the swirls look so good.  Let me clarify.  I knew that the swirls would look good on the main body of the quilt. For some reason I got it stuck in my head that the borders needed to be a separate quilting pattern.  I am not sure where this idea came from but I was entirely wrong.  The allover swirls look fantastic and they do not take away from the quilt at all.  Yay.  So happy this quilt is behind me.


Sometimes it takes the mind of a child, or teen to make you step back and look at something from a fresh perspective. I am so glad I did!

2.12.2014

Tile {revisited.}

I have had many questions about the tile backsplash we installed in our kitchen.  I realized I never posted a finished picture.

backsplash over range


backsplash around counter

Okay for those who asked we used Travertine tile mosaic that was in 12 X 12 inch sheets.  I cut the sheets in half and ran a 1.5 inch glass tile border in between the travertine.  I also used the glass tile mosaic to create the 28 X 16 inch frame that is over the range.  I purchased the travertine and the glass mosaic at Lowes.  I used pre-mixed mastic and a V-knotched trowel.  All tiles were sealed twice with water-based Stone and Tile sealant once before installation and once before grouting.

Pitted Travertine.

We used SpectraLock stain proof grout. I enjoy cooking and am proud to say, I am not neat about it.  My DH was insistent in the use of Stain proof grout. If you have never used a stain proof grout before I found quite a bit of advice on the internet.  We found it is different from working with regular sanded grout in two aspects. 
 One. The working time is only about 30 minutes.  Because the grout uses a two part epoxy in the mix it drys very fast.  We would mix the grout and place approximately 1/2 in the freezer while we worked with 1/2.  The cooler temps in the freezer will prolong the work time. 
Two.  This grout is a two part mix.  The epoxy and the color powder.  We found that the best way to mix this particular grout for spreading on wall tile was to leave out about 10% of the color powder, which the manufacture recommends.  If all of it is added to the  epoxy the grout is almost to thick to spread with the float.  In some places I actually did spread it with my fingers.
  

Even with the sealant it was impossible to keep the grout out of the hundreds of natural holes in Travertine.  I purposely chose a grout which was in the same color family as the stone to minimize the look of the grout in the travertine.

To finish up we purchased the tinted calk from SpectraLock as well.  Did not grout the area between the counter and the tile and the cabinets and the tile. The caulk is an identical match to the grout which looks beautiful.

Hopefully this answers all of the questions I have had on the Tile project. Feel free to leave any questions in the comment section!

2.06.2014

Color me confused.

I love color!  I mean who doesn't?  Can you imagine seeing only in shades of gray?  How ordinary every thing must look. Very blah indeed.  The thing is I am not aways very good when I mix colors.  I took several art classes when I was in High School and College, but never took a class specifically on color.  Sure their was the color wheel, primary, secondary and tertiary colors.  I get that.

When I paint and draw the colors can easily be blended, mixed or completely covered to get exactly what I want.   But when it comes to fabric sometimes I'll admit, I am a mess. Fabric is not so easy to manipulate.  Once it is sewn, you get what you get.  And what I get is not always what I thought I would get or what I wanted.

So imagine my surprise when I saw Rachel at Stitched in Color was offering a class on Color.  Well color me happy!  Another chance to learn and grow as a 'fabric artist'.  And if it just happens that I might need to go purchase more fabric, well that is something I'll just have to live with.  I have taken a couple of her classes and they are always well planned, thought out and informative.

The Color intensive class started this week and our first assignment was to come up with a color mosaic that exemplifies "Spring."  Well, that turned out to be much harder than it sounds.  She sent us over to Fabricworm to choose fabric selections for our mosaic.  They have so many fabrics!  Overwhelming to say the least.

I selected, sorted, selected more, sorted more, threw some out, added some and came up with what I thought was a fair representation of spring.  Then when I added it to the hundred others over at Rachel's blog, I felt terribly adequate.  Is this really what spring looks like?  So I tried again.  Again, still just adequate.  If I were to make a quilt from these fabrics would I really think Springish or would I think Drizzly Rain Day?  I am not sure what to make of it.

Here are my two mosaics.
Springtime

Springtime2


What do you think?