Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Good Morning Beautiful - Design Wall Notes

Good Morning Beautiful
Each Saturday and Sunday morning I wake up and watch the sunlight come across my design wall.  The colors take on inspiring shades and tones as the sun rises.  In a very real way, it relaxes me. 

It makes me want to say: "Good Morning, Beautiful." (and even start singing one of my favorite country songs of the same title)

Is this always the case?  The answer is no.  Sometimes the quilt layout gets frustrating because:
1. The vision isn't coming into reality
2. An unrealistic deadline
3. You're simply not "loving" it
4. You're missing your "sew-jo" (your sewing mo-jo)
5. Uggghhh... you're not even sure what's wrong...

But how do you get from "ewww" to "you had me at, hello?"

Purpose of a Design Wall
This is definitely where the design wall comes into play for me.  It allows you mix and try different layouts and combinations, and then stand back and evaluate.  The wall gives you the opportunity for a quilt to "simmer" much like a fine marinara sauce.  I find that one of my quilts can be up on the design wall for weeks as I "tweak" the layout. (Obsessive, much? Yes!)

For example, I played around with a set of Tula Pink EPP (English Paper Pieced) hexagons for a long time on my design wall before I finally settled on a design.


Here is a picture of me sharing my hand-quilting progress at a PHXMQG (Phoenix Modern Quilt Guild) meeting in March 2015.

Design Wall Inspiration
Do you want a new or improved design wall?

Mine is a tattered picnic table cover that is pinned to our bedroom wall.  I like that I can roll it up for easy transport to another room, or even a place across town.  It's a quick fix, perfect for an apartment dweller, but there are other options like these here:

For a quick, portable design wall try Nickel Quilt's Tutorial Here.
Avid / Ambitious Quilter?  Try this one from Cut to Pieces.
Want more ideas?  Check out this Pinterest board.

Thank you for indulging me as I pass along some of my notes regarding design walls.  There are plenty of resources available out there and I appreciate your thoughts and input!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hello March: Baby Boy Quilt Top

First of all, some news:

It's been rather slow over here on the blog for one rather big reason:

A baby boy will be joining our family end of June!

So in preparation for our little one's arrival I pulled out some fabric from my stash and picked out the Hello March pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew.

I love the cheery, bright colors!  The combination of the warm yellows and reds mixed with the cool blue remind me of summertime.

Hello March was the perfect pattern for a woman with "pregnancy brain."  The directions were straight forward and the quilt come together quickly.  Although, I did make a mistake still and had to re-do roughly 10 blocks... live and learn!

To make it look a bit scrappier, I went with 9 different prints rather than the 6 recommended for the crib size.  This provided me with some extra blocks for a future project.

The top finished at 42" x 56" which will be perfect for dragging all around the house by a little boy.

Now I need to piece a backing and then it's off to be quilted!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Noodlehead 241 Tote: A Finish

What can I say that hasn't been said before?  Look up "241 Tote review" online and you'll get hundreds of reviews of this excellent pattern.  There will also be some fun modifications to the pattern if you're curious.

Sneak peek of progress I sent to my sister

As always, Noodlehead patterns have easy to follow directions, complete with illustrations.  It's recommended for beginners to intermediate.  I suspect the intermediate is due to the curves, darts and the zippers (a modification to the pattern if you wish, instructions included with the pattern).  Also, I would readily recommend using a heavier interfacing if you're using quilting weight fabric.

For Christmas, we rotate names and this year I got my younger sister.  I had her select several fabrics from which I would create her something handmade.  Out of her picks, I went with the following three fabrics:

1. Robert Kaufman Yarn-dyed Essex Linen, Charcoal (sides and strap)
2. Michael Miller Cotton Couture, Ocean (side pockets and lining)
3. Robert Kaufman, Quilter's Linen, Delft (main panel)

Seriously, a great gift that my teenage sister loves!

I recently switched to a new computer (woohoo for me!) and so I'm working on finding the photos of the finish.  I'll post the results soon!