Friday, March 30, 2012

CMQG retreat

Last weekend I went with the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild to our retreat in Wisconsin.  I had such a lovely time.  There was lots of sewing, laughing, and just plain relaxing (for me at least!).  The setting was gorgeous, as we were right on Lake Michigan with beautiful views. I went down to the beach one day just to breathe in the fresh air.

Unfortunately I forgot my camera, but a few of the other ladies did not, so you can read their posts here:

Official CMQG Blog Part I
Official CMQG Blog Part II

I'll be writing up some posts to showcase what I worked on.  I'm glad I brought a variety of projects though.  I was working on quilting a very large quilt and it got to be SO exhausting I needed a break.  I needed to finish something quickly, and feel a sense of accomplishment.  Some people think I accomplished a lot on the retreat. I'll let you decide:

pinafore for my daughter
zippered wetbag for a friend
quilted half of a full size quilt
pieced a quilt top (the party of four color variation here)

Pictures to come soon!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

forest quilt finished!

I finished this quilt top at the Beaver Island Quilt Retreat in October 2010. It was inspired by a photograph of a carpet, but I found it ended up reminding me a lot of a walk in the woods. It is completely done improvisationally--I just started putting strips of different sizes on the design wall and came up with it.

Ebony got her long arm machine around the time I finished this quilt and had her "free quilting" offer, so I prepared it and handed it off to her.  She finished it much quicker than I expected, and so I've been leaving it around to finish binding for awhile now.  I finished this in March 2011 (before baby L).  It took me a while to blog about it!  The quilting Ebony did is fantastic.  It's hard to believe that she was "practicing" because it looks very professional. 

I didn't really have a plan for the quilt when I made it, but it turns out the my DH really loves the colors and the quilt in general, so it has made a good lap/napping quilt for him (we take a lot more naps now that we have a baby around!!!).  I see so many quilts and fabric collections on the internet, and I have to say I am always a little disappointed that there aren't more options that appeal to men/boys.  I know that you can take any quilt  pattern and change the color scheme, but finding inspiration for "manly" quilts is sometimes hard.  The same could be said for fabric collections--so many collections out there are very "girly" and although I love them, I think there is a lot of room for that area of the quilting fabric industry to grow. I'm actually pretty excited to hear that Amy Butler's husband David has started his own brand, Parson Gray, with all sorts of awesome fabric. There may be some in my future....

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Handwork: Sashiko

One of my goals for 2012 was to finally do some handwork.  I have always loved Sashiko, a Japanese style of stitching.  I finally took the plunge and ordered a pre-printed panel from Purl Soho. You don't need a pre-printed panel, but you would then have to transfer the pattern onto your fabric with a white marking pencil. There are a lot of different traditional patterns out there. The one I used is called shippo-tsunagi or "Linked Seven Treasures"--I think. I don't know for sure.

Once I started, it was very easy and meditative.  It was so nice to have something to do that didn't require pulling out my machine, especially because my sewing room is through baby's room.

And it turned out great, if I do say so myself.  Now I'm going to turn it into a pillow. This definitely won't be the last.  I really enjoyed it!