Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Vintage Love

vintage hankies

Found these cute vintage handkerchiefs at a local fall festival.  Can't decide what to do with them!  Quilt or something else??

Friday, September 21, 2012

Quilting with Liberty and Jacquie Gering

Quilting Modern

Last weekend I had the privilege of meeting Jacquie Gering of Tallgrass Prairie Studio.  She has also recently co-authored a book, Quilting Modern.  I got to see her trunk show and see up close all of the beautiful quilts she makes, but the most interesting part was the story behind each quilt -- which makes the quilts all the more beautiful.  I was so engrossed in her stories, I forgot to take pictures -- but you can see (most) of them on her blog or in her book.  She is so nice and sweet, you immediately feel like she's a friend.

She signed my copy of her book and I got a chance to chat with her about the negative space in quilts -- I had a few questions for her!

just for me

The next day she taught a seminar on how to machine piece hexagons together.  (She also has this as a tutorial on her blog.)  She's teaching this also at QuiltCon and we were happy to be her test subjects.  Jacquie is a great teacher.  Plus I splurged and decided to use fabric from Liberty of London's new line for this project.  Aren't they pretty? 

Liberty stash

The day flew by very quickly, but I did manage to get all of my 200+ hexagons cut out and about half of my project layed out on the design wall and start sewing them.  It was a great day!

Liberty hexagons

I've never used a design wall before.  I've just always layed it out on the floor and tried to keep the kids away until I was done, but I'm converted!  I loved the design wall and now I need one for my house.

on the design wall

Only a little bit is actually sewn together yet, but it does look nice. . . . you'll just have to wait and see!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Color love

hand dyed fabric

One of the best things about joining the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild (MMQG) is that I've made many friends who share a love of all things fabric and quilts.  One of the members, Kristin, comes every month with a new quilt made using her own beautifully dyed fabrics.  Kristin doesn't have a blog, but you can check out her beautiful quilts on her flickr page:: here.

hand dyed fabric

Kristin and I finally got together last week to dye some fabrics together.  I was impressed with how organized her notes were and how many color samples she has already made (three large binders full)!  Like myself, Kristin has a chemistry background, and so needless to say, we had lots of fun.

dye catalog

The fabric we started with was Kona PFD (Prepared for Dying) so it's got that great Kona quality of fabric, but we controlled the color completely.  We started with four yards, cut into fat quarters, so we could make 16 different colors.


The dyes we used were fiber reactive (procion) dyes from Pro Chemical and Dye which are perfect for cotton fabric.  These dyes form chemical bonds (covalent bonds to be precise) with the cotton fibers of the fabric which makes the dyes extremely difficult to remove once attached, so your fabric won't bleed.

fabric dyes

We dyed the fat quarters in little cups (yup, that's a whole fat quarter in there).  I chose four colors from Kristin's color books (a red, blue, green and purple).  We mixed the four dyes and did a gradation for the rest (i.e., lighter and lighter shades of the same dye by simply adding water to it to dilute it).

Dye baths

The finished product is beautiful, however we did make a miscalculation along the way and the dye wasn't as uniform as we had planned (we did have three children with us, ages 4, 3, and 2 and two dogs, so with that in mind, we did pretty well).  Even though the fabric wasn't quite what we were expecting, they are beautiful.

blue dyed fabric

Oh, and we couldn't waste the leftover bits of dye! 


green + blue


red + purple


purple + blue


green + red

Can't wait to figure out what I'm going to make with this fabric and to dye some more!  Maybe orange and pink next!!  Thanks again Kristin!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

On my cutting table

Monaluna - Havana

Last August I was fortunate enough to meet Jennifer of Monaluna.  Jennifer designs beautiful organic fabrics and she's sent me some of her newest line Havana (which will be available in October) to play with!

Aren't they beautiful??

Monaluna - Havana

Monday, September 17, 2012

Modern Granny

granny square, tree

I finally finished this granny square quilt!  Yay!  I started the blocks back in May.  I originally made twelve of them for a block exchange with the MMQG, but alas, I had out-of-town company, kiddos to watch, and a big house project going on that weekend, and I wasn't able to drop them off by the deadline (or even the extension), so I made more blocks (25 total all using the strip piece method) and squared them up and they sat for a bit.  

granny square

I couldn't decide upon a cleaver way of  joining them together.  Finally I just decided on some simple sashing and got started.

granny square, corner

The fabrics used were from Fresh Aire by Studio-e, Heather Ross Mendocino, and Oliver+S City Weekend.  I love the turquoise blocks and the octopi.

granny square, close-up

The back is just some leftover yardage of Studio-e and a solid pieced together.

granny square, back

I made the binding -- love the plaid.  (If you'd like to see how I made the binding, go here.)

granny square, full

The quilting was very simply stitch in the ditch -- I didn't want to distract away from the fabrics too much on this one. . . . and I was being lazy.  (Wink).

granny square, tree 2

Friday, September 14, 2012

For the Wolves

My son is a cub scout, a wolf to be exact.  Last year I made them a flag to decorate for their den and they loved it so much, they wanted another this year.

wolf flag

The flag is made of Kona cotton - bone on the top and a red on the back.  I also added a flange of yellow near the pole seam to match the patch.

wolf flag, back shown

The wolf patch in the center I got at the boy scout shop.  So, set with some fabric markers and a new flag and pole -- the flag went off to be decorated by some scouts to make it their own.

wolf flag patch

Monday, September 10, 2012


ZOOM hoodie

My little nephew just turned three!  He loves all things related to cars and trains.  Among his presents, I made him a little hoodie for fall with race cars on it!

ZOOM hoodie, detail

The hoodie is made of knits using the Lil Blue Boo Hoodie pattern (which I've used many times before).  It should be nice for cool fall days playing cars in the back yard.  Also the pocket will be great for hiding leaves and rocks (and little cars too)!

ZOOM hoodie, pocket

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Split Rock and a flag

It's been a busy week here -  last Friday I took the kiddos to the MN state fair and Saturday we drove up north and did a bit of exploring and hiking.  Here's a photo of the kiddos playing on the rocks on the edge of Lake Superior with picturesque Split Rock Lighthouse in the background near sunset. 

kiddos and split rock

We also hung out with family and went to my nephew's 3rd birthday party.  I even managed to work in a bit of sewing making the birthday boy a hoodie (you'll see it soon) and I made a flag for Gwyneth's preschool that I was recruited to make.

flag for preschool

I used Kona cotton in purple (the school color) and used freezer paper to put the school logo on.  (If you'd like to read about using freezer paper go HERE.)  I also cut a new flagpole from a wooden dowel and spray painted it white to match the color of the school logo. 

preschool flag

Both kiddos have now started school -- Connor's in second grade and Gwyneth is in her second year of preschool (still to young for Kindergarten).  I've been asked make a second flag for my son's cub scout den - which of course I said yes to -- it's hard to say no to the den leader, especially if it's your husband.  :D  So, you'll see another flag very soon!!


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