Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tasting Table Tuesday - I'm back...

I just returned from sunny Florida this afternoon.  Ughhh...  back to the cold of the North East.  Even though Florida was a little cool for their standards, it was still SO much warmer than it is here.  But there were some storms mixed in with that sunny, warm weather!  We were visiting our grandson and his parents, who live very close to Orlando International Airport, where they clocked wind speeds in the 80-90 mph range during a nasty storm on Sunday that passed through quickly, leaving downed trees and power outages.  Of course, I was out shopping with my DIL when it happened and we were pretty much oblivious to the storm until we came out of Target and saw all the damage.
But the next day was sunny and very pleasant, although not super warm.  But warm enough to sit outside and soak up some of that wonderful Florida sunshine.  I wish I could have bottled some and brought it home with me - although I'm sure TSA would have found a way to prohibit it...

I missed last Tuesday's Tasting Table post because I was up to my eyeballs in projects, packing, and lots of other things too numerous to list.  But I did manage to make a birthday gift for my daughter, and now that she has received it, I can share it with you without ruining the surprise.  I made another one of my downsized City Bags for her.  She admired this grey & white paisley fabric when she was here visiting a couple of months ago, so I decided to pair it with her favorite shade of dark periwinkle blue.  I really wanted to find it in a faux leather, like the brown I've been using on other bags, but couldn't find anything.  So I resorted to using Duck Cloth (kind of a light-weight canvas) and I sprayed it with a fabric protector to make it more durable.  From what I hear, she loves it...  :)
Now it's time to get back into the swing of things, and get work done.  Hopefully I'll have more to share next week!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tasting Table Tuesday - 10 Minute Blocks

I saw a quick demo of this block at last month's meeting of the Ithaca Modern Quilt Guild and just had to give it a try before I forgot how to do it.  You need 5 squares (any size as long as they're all the same size), and with only THREE SEAMS you have a completed block in about 10 minutes!  I'm using another pack of the charm squares I won from Andover (I think it's the French Twist collection) and the center squares are silver and gold striped silk from my stash.
The center square ends up folded along the bias edges and they can either be top-stitched down to secure the diagonal edges, or you can roll them back like a cathedral window block and top-stitch them, which is what I plan on doing - like this one that I've pinned...  still needs to be top-stitched.
Fun, fast & easy!  Here's a link to a demo by Suzanne McNeill if you want to learn how to do this.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Play Day - Zentangle Stitching

It's been a busy week and I've gotten lots accomplished (pictures of my latest projects are at the end of this post).  So today I gave myself permission to play.  You may remember me writing about Zentangle drawing last summer, and I've been doodling on paper from time to time, practicing some designs, but hadn't yet tried stitching out the designs on fabric.  Afterall - that's what attracted me to Zentangle in the first place - the designs lend themselves so well to free-motion quilting.  So I stitched my first Zentangle quilt block.  The design is called Paradox.  This is what it looked like after stitching it...  Not bad, but look what happens...
...when you add some shading with a colored pencil...

Isn't it amazing what a difference the shading makes?  (Lighting too - the first one was taken under a fluorescent light and the second and third ones were in natural daylight - huge difference in color!)
I can really see myself having some fun with this!  Do you Zentangle?

In case you're interested, here are the "work" projects for the week.  Two custom purse orders in one week!  Woo hoo!!!  First up is a Two-Zip Hipster in Juggling Summer and lined with orange swirls.  The combination of fabrics and stabilizers in this bag is just perfect.  I wish you could feel this bag.  It has lots of body without being stiff, and feels so nice!  My customer will be picking this up later today and I can't wait to see how she likes it.

And this work-in-progress is a City Bag, at 90% of the original size.  I'm still waiting for the strap hardware to arrive in the mail, so it's not quite done yet.  I used a multi-colored batik for the top and faux leather for the bottom and the strap.  Now I get to Zentangle (aka play) while I wait for my package of hardware to arrive!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tasting Table Tuesday - Modern Quilts

Are you a modern quilter?

Ithaca Modern Quilt Guild

I always considered myself a traditional quilter, but over the years, my taste has slowly been changing and I find myself more and more drawn to modern quilts.  I am attracted to simple lines, graphic shapes, artistic expression, and most importantly, color! -  as opposed to traditional quilts that are typically made up of very complex blocks.

So last Sunday, when a friend invited me to join her, I attended a meeting of the Ithaca Modern Quilt Guild.It was so inspiring to see what everyone was working on, and the sharing of information in the discussion period was great.  (Besides - the meetings are held at Quilters Corner Quilt Shop, so who can resist a little extra shopping time!)

Just to give you an example of when and how my taste in quilts started to turn, here is a picture of a quilt I made for my niece and her husband as a wedding gift in 2007.  I stepped "out of the box" a little with this quilt and did my best to blend the photo of the Eiffel Tower into the borders of this quilt.  It's not the clearest picture, but you get the idea.  My niece and her husband got engaged at the top of the Eiffel Tower, so I thought this would make a wonderful wedding gift.  It's not super-modern, but not totally traditional either - clearly my first steps into this modern quilting phase.
I was just starting to do my own machine quilting, and created a sunburst effect of straight lines radiating out from behind the Eiffel Tower.  I used monofilament thread to just add the texture without the distraction of more color.
So that's my start as a modern quilter.  I still love traditional quilts, but sometimes a little change is good.

As far as my Tasting Table goes, it's a mess today.  I've got lots of little things going, but nothing really worth sharing at this point.  Hopefully I'll have more progress to share with you next post.  If not, I'll just dig back into the archives again and share a past project like this one.