Patchwork+Quilt Maker+Craft NAPA 2016 Blog Hop

It is so much fun to piece and use my hand printed cloth.

The nature of the printing process dictates that I print small pieces, fat sixteenths-I think, which is somewhere around 9×11″. I rip two yards at a time, and print all as quickly as possible. So when it comes time to begin piecing, I have many similarly colored squares, scraps really, all of which relate to one another color-wize.

But, they are small!

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My attention span for cutting and piecing blocks is short. This ‘attribute’, if I could call it that, plays into my ‘quilt building skills’. These skills are reprehensible by anyone else’s standard!!

My bottom lines:

  1. It must lay flat
  2. Use as much of the handprinted cloth as possible, even if this dictates wonky cutting or piecing… ‘techniques’! (Yeah, that’s it!)
  3. My quilt, my rules. My friend Teri reminds me of this often and I like it. 

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So I make blocks in batches, I might cut as many 3″ squares for Half Square Triangles as possible, given the tiny size of my scraps. I sew, iron, and join these together and then, maybe I will cut some 4″ squares for Half Square Triangles, in slightly different colors.

My process is willy nilly. And fun. My blocks never match up, or sometimes they do and I don’t care either way. I just build them out and keep on sewing! Because it is so much fun to do! I have been so deeply immersed in piecing, I am thinking deep thoughts. I like the term Quilt Maker. I am a Quilt Maker. I like this better than Quilter. What do you think? Do you think about this at all?


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Here is a shout out to the wonderful CRAFT NAPA sponsors, BERNINA and Meissner Sewing and Vacuum Centers

BERNINA Made to Create Right

 

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I am participating in a blog hop that starts today! Comment on every post and your name will go into a hopper with great incentives. I will post my contribution on the 5th and will be giving away a copy of Dreaming from the Journal Page! Below is a list of participants, and it all starts with Jane LaFazio.

The grand prize is a $500 Gift Certificate from eQuilter.com! WOOT! And do not hesitate to sign up for a class!!!


Nov 30- Jane LaFazio – http://janeville.blogspot.com/

Dec 1 – Lynn Krawczyk – http://smudgeddesignstudio.com/blog/

Dec 2 – Judy Coates Perez – http://www.judycoatesperez.com/

Dec 3 – Jenny K. Lyon – http://quiltskipper.com/blog/

Dec 4 – Jamie Fingal – http://JamieFingalDesigns.blogspot.com/

Dec 5 – Melanie Testa – http://melanietesta.com/blog/ (Here you are!)

Dec 6 – Elizabeth St. Hilaire – http://www.paperpaintings.com/

Dec 7– Leslie Jenison – http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com/

Dec 8- Carrie Bloomston – http://www.carriebloomston.com/blog/

Dec 9 – Cheryl Sleboda – http://blog.muppin.com

Commenting closes on:

Dec 10 – Pokey Bolton – http://pokeysponderings.com/

And do comment, because the prizes are snazzy!

Somewhat Obsessed

I love the concept of the jelly roll quilt, simply accepting what happens when you sew strips together, fast, simple, almost mindless piecing and quilting in order to wrap yourself in ‘warms’ while watching tv, during the cold winter months. You can purchase strips in prearranged bundles or cut your own, in color groupings to your liking. It is like opening a bag of potato chips and devouring them, except, you get a colorful quilt out of this! It kinda feels like cheating, but I like to think if it as a reprieve from the other creative stuff I do. It is ‘weekend quilting’ and I love doing it. It really does relax me!

I sewed this one up a few weeks ago, during my retreat weekend. Each gal pal gave two strips of cloth to each person participating, we could use the cloth at our discretion, so long as each person and their fabric was represented. This quilt top, both front and back, contains fabric from each of my gal pals. Later in the week, I will update the blog with a picture of the other side. David and I have been using both of our jelly roll quilts to make ‘nests’ while we curl up and watch tv each night. What could be better? 

So In the spirit of easy, fun piecing and in an effort to start using my own hand printed cloth, I gathered some of my cloth and cut 60 degree triangles, pleasingly arranged. I sewed them together without thinking too much about color, placement or composition. I just wanted to piece and see how my fabric looks alongside each other in a mindless manner.

This quilt top taught me to enjoy simply pieced blocks. The 60 degree triangle block is easy to cut, simple to piece and it looks pleasingly more difficult than it really is. It is a win-win sort of block.

As you will see below, I went on a cutting tangent. This quilt top (I am on a mission to make two sided quilts, I want to stash bust!) is predominantly commercially printed cloth, there are a few low water immersion semi-solids and a few of my latest multicolor prints, but they are in the minority. Anyway, this quilt top has really been an eye opening experience for me. The cutting tangent helped me to understand how to group colors while cutting so that sewing four patches together is pleasingly mindless and effective! See. I am on a mission to mindlessly make!

I am in love with this quilt top, it is teaching me something. I haven’t heard the full story yet. The opposing side of this quilt top will be very similar but will feature my own printed cloth, predominantly. 

Anyway, I am piecing, machine quilting and sewing bindings like it was 1994! Hey wait, did they do that, like this, back then? Now, I am just making things up!

 

My Mom gave me this sparkly, glow ‘riddled’, stained glass art piece featuring the Wonky Star. This is happy making. It links my Mom, Wonky Star quilt blocks and me! I love owning a piece of my Mother’s work, she has been working to improve her skills and sell her work, I love her dedication and her wares. Thanks Mom.

Big Sigh.

MellyFatStacks

Hello. I have been a long time gone. Welcome. I am back.

I did it.

Heave a sigh.

Please! 

 

One day, in the very near future (May!), there will be a line of fabrics with my name on the selvedge. This is a dream come true. I am romantic about this step, I have wanted to ‘be’ a ‘textile designer’ for a very long time, so long, in fact, the idea has become personally mythical. To have actualized this dream feels good,

really good.

To say that I will have a line of fabrics? I need to pinch myself to remind me that I did it. This is real.

I will be part of printed textile history!

I love to paw through photographic repesenations, collections of textile designs. I love to read up on the artists, styles, color choices. Maybe one day, my prints will end up in books similar to my favorite. 

As a result of this hard work, I have lost my blogging voice in the process. All this activity and making stalls my ability to share and upload and post to my blog-but oh! My! Goodness! Soon, you will see what I have done! I am very excited. But, I miss sharing with you.  It isn’t that I don’t think about posting, I have just been very busy fulfilling deadlines. It has been great. I am doing the work I have always wanted to.

This means, life is good. Really good.

I am piecing and making quilts, using -my- printed cloth, which turns out to be

magical!

I love piecing, I love seeing the prints made smaller, cut, fitted and nestled against their fellows, once sewn, a simple four patch. I am on a mission to economically use as much of my printed cloth as is possible. I am cutting squares in 1.25″, 2″, 2.5″,25″ and 3.625″ squares.

Big fat stacks!

I want all of the usable cloth in this studio to be ON the chopping block. I am going to arrange them in gradations. I need more. Much more! Fat, fat stacks.

(I use the words ‘fat stacks’ in honor of Jessie Pinkman on Breaking Bad-I am somewhat obsessed with Breaking Bad.)

Oh! Plus there are soy wax resisted silk velvet squares mixed in there!

I need some wide whale corduroy…

 

 

Learning to quilt again

MultiPatchwork

 I have finally gotten to the point where I am using the cloth I have been printing all year long. I am very excited about this for several reasons. The most surprising of which is, I forgot how very much I like piecing and quilting. For years I have been ‘art quilting’, using thickened dye to create one of a kind wall art in a figurative style, as I wrote about in Inspired to Quilt . Over the years, I stopped making surface designed cloth for the fun of it, while looking at my storage bins and wondering for what or why I should keep them. Now, I look at those bins and I see potential. I want to tear through these bins and make throw quilts. I want a stack of throws, folded, stacked, pretty and ready for use! 

The photos you see here are the back of a quilt. I like two sided quilts and I think the backs should be as fun as the fronts, although I think backs should also be quick and easy.MellyQuiltsBernina

Because I have been focusing on multicolor printing this year, I have a criteria for what I would like to accomplish while piecing and quilting my cloth. I want the cloth and my designs to really show themselves off, it takes commitment and time to print cloth and I want my quilts to really show my cloth off to its best advantage. I am exploring different quilt blocks and settings to do this. Right now I think it is a good idea for me to work with bigger blocks of a simple nature, like 6″ half square triangles, 1000 Pyramids. I bet as I cut, piece and quilt the throws I am working on now that I will begin to see my way through the quilt block forrest a little better.

I am oh-so-happy to say, today I am heading over to Victoria Findlay-Wolfe‘s house for a day long class in 15 Minutes of Play . This book has been following me around for weeks, if not months. Victoria uses a technique she calls Made-Cloth, where she sews cloth together improvisationally, and figures out how to use it later. For my part, this is useful in that, because I have printed all of my own cloth, I want to use every last bit of it. Many of my multicolor printed cloth pieces are quite small, so I have been making Made-Cloth with it, but I am sticking with the same prints and colors, rather than using many prints in one Made-Cloth piece. Brilliant.

I will post and let you know about what I have learned in Victoria’s class. I look forward to meeting quilters, I can’t wait to see the synapse connections I make. I love learning.IMG_2583I uploaded this image because I like the hash marks. I also really like graffiti and poster art, so there! Enjoy.