Saturday, May 2, 2015

Minimalism Game the Month of April!

One month and 465+ items later my house is feeling so good! The Minimalism Game has been just what I needed!! 

Drawers are really organized so I know where to put everything which is making it easier to keep the house tidy. There is still a long way to go though so I am going to keep it up in May moving down to the basement and finishing the final stuff in my bathroom. I am also starting the quilt for my sister's 10th Anniversary and I'm so excited about that so fabric post coming up soon!! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Halfway There!

I can't believe I am halfway through the month of my Minimalism Game. It's flown by! For me this has been easier doing a little bit every day with a very specific target for the day rather than trying to tackle a big project or room all at once. I have set some guidelines for myself I am not doing anything in my children's rooms (not this month), I'm not going to the garage, and I am trying to avoid my sewing room because it gets more attention than the rest of the house. Today I am taking the game on the road while I am in Arizona at my Granny's house there. We are making some changes to the house and it will be a challenge to do some of the bigger numbers there but I'm going to keep it up! 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Auction Quilts

The largest quilt made with a Moda Layer cake and a little extra,
 Daydreams by Kate Spain.

If you've followed me for awhile you know I always make Auction Quilts for my kid's schools and now that they have been at different schools that means two quilts. For some reason in the past I have ended up making very complicated quilts from patterns for the auction and it can end up being very stressful and/or they don't go for that much at the event. This year I thought I would just make some fun baby and throw quilts instead. Working with some layer cakes I had around I whipped them up pretty quickly and also was able to practice on the long arm. It was so much fun! So much fun I made 3! 

Loving working on the long arm! Nancy has an amazing space at Just Quilting and you can take lessons there now. Above is one the two baby quilts I made using Violet Craft's fabric Brambleberry Ridge.

Here is the second one. Next year my children will be at the same school which will be nice for so many reasons! Now to start on something very special that is a little more modern.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Minimalism Game!

While we were in Sacramento for Spring Break my Aunt told me about a challenge she's doing for the year. For each day of the month she donates, throws away, or sells an item for what day of the month it is. The first day ONE item the second TWO items etc. which will equal 465 items by the end of the month! She said she found something on the internet about it and I found this post by the Minimalists which is where I think it all started. I haven't watched the TEDx Talk yet but I'm planning to check it out. I'll be starting on the first of April and if you'd like to join along I'll be posting photos of item's every day on Instagram with #minsgame. I'm CreativeMomPDX in case you haven't seen me on IG. 

  Can't wait to get started although I know it will be hard!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Hazle the Hedgehog Quilt

Isn't Hazel the Hedgehog the cutest! This is the first one of Elizabeth Hartman's quilt's I've made from her animal patterns and I love it! It all started when I was carrying my niece Cecilia around tucked up in a little ball and called her my little hedgehog. When Elizabeth's pattern came out I offhandedly mentioned to CC that I could make her a Hedgehog Quilt. Well she was 5 at the time and wouldn't let me forget that I was making a Hedgehog Quilt for her so how could I not! 

After lots of cutting I was ready to go and as usual Elizabeth's patterns are really well written and illustrated! 

I was on a deadline to give this to CC for Christmas so I didn't get all the process shots I would have liked. I did have so much fun quilting this one the same way Elizabeth did. 

Not all of my little guys have pointy noses but this one turned out really well! They're so cute but then so is CC! 

The addition of the glasses to the pattern came out just in time it's perfect for her! 

The kids and I are off on Spring Break together for adventures in Sacramento and San Francisco! 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

QuiltCon Class and Lectures

Bias Strip Curves with Sherri Lynn Wood

This go around at QuiltCon I signed up for fewer classes and lectures. I wanted to be sure to have time to see the show, vendors, and also eat and drink my way around Austin! That's a good tip for anyone planning to attend their first QuiltCon next year in Pasadena, don't over schedule yourself! 
One of the classes I signed up for was canceled so I was left with just one but it was so amazing. Bias Strip Curves with Sherri Lynn Wood. If you've been following me for awhile you know I love improv piecing and quilting and that's what this curve piecing, and a lot of Sherri Lynn's work, is all about. Sherri Lynn  acknowledges that there will be mistakes in quilting and especially learning this new challenging technique and she encourages those mistakes as taking you in a new direction if you are really embracing improv. I thought it would be a piece of cake for me because I am so comfortable in that place of improv but I was surprised what little crutches I had hidden to fall back on.  

My first "petal"
 Despite how this "petal" looks on the design wall it was laying pretty flat I promise you. The whole technique is based off of cutting the fabric on a bias and stretching and manipulating the fabric as you sew. I also was able to get my hands on one of her books The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters and even though I need another book like a hole in the head I am so happy I bought it because it is really amazing!!! 
All of the classes work fitting well together despite the mix of fabrics.

Also in class I met Petra (Tinkaqueenofsheba on ig) a rare occurrence! The funny thing is we both thought we'd met each other before but we hadn't. 

For my lectures I took
Take Better Quilt Photos NOW! With Meg Cox
How to Design Fabric: Things I've Learned along the Way with Heather Ross
The Changing Social Media Marketing Landscape with Christen Barber
Modern Quilt Documentation with Susan Beal
The Keynote Address with the Quilters of Gee's Bend

Take Better Quilt Photos NOW! With Meg Cox

Honestly I wasn't sure about taking another Quilt Photo class but I am so glad I did. Meg Cox was brilliant and it wasn't a class about what f stop to use but inspiration for our photos, lighting and staging information, and more importantly industry requirements for print. Meg interviewed Blogger's, Professional Photographers, and added her own experience in journalism to create a really interesting lecture!

How to Design Fabric: Things I've Learned along the Way with Heather Ross

I think I have a biased view of the Heather Ross lecture because I think she could be talking about baby puke and make it good, wait maybe there was baby puke in the lecture. At the first QuiltCon I went the the Fabric Design Panel which I really enjoyed but this was nice to just experience one Artists perspective on fabric design and their process. She also just had an ease about her and made it seem very personal. I was a big dork and sat in the front row middle but didn't even get a photograph. I loved her sharing about her process and personal color palette and style. Also she shared industry information regarding contracts and negotiating which isn't talked about as frequently. I went and stood in line at her book signing after the lecture although I have all her books so I didn't buy one she said I could mail a book to her and she would sign it for me and send it back yay! 

 The Changing Social Media Marketing Landscape with Christen Barber

This was a really informative lecture and being the last one of the whole event still drew a good amount of people. I would recommend everyone checking out this blog post which relates to what was covered. Christen has loads of experience and made me look at social media with new eyes. 

Modern Quilt Documentation with Susan Beal

So while it's true Susan was my roommate at QuiltCon there's no denying her skills as an author and lecturer! The lecture covered documenting, labeling, and planning quilt documentation events. While we have a tool now, blogs, that was never a part of traditional quilting there is still a need to have our quilts labeled properly and to have a real history registered that can be linked directly to them. The Quilt Index is a good place to start if you would like to have a resource to view tens of thousands of quilts and also find a group registering and documenting quilts in your area. 

Keynote with The Quilter's of Gee's Bend

I am so glad that I had the opportunity to hear these amazing women speak and sing! While I would have enjoyed seeing more examples of their quilts during the speech their story is amazing. I felt that it was such an authentic look into their lives and their strong belief in God and how that ties into their work, it was wonderfully uplifting. 

Now that I'm back I'm ready to get to work!! 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

QuiltCon Love!

You know it was a good trip to QuiltCon if it takes you a week to recover! Well I'm exaggerating but it was a full 6 days and then I had an extra travel day tacked on due to a flight cancellation. For me one of the highlights of QuiltCon was reconnecting with so many wonderful people. I really didn't realize how much I needed it after being a little removed with all I had going on last year. We are so lucky to have such a supportive amazing community even if there's a little drama sometimes!!  

A lot of the Pacific Northwest crew going down to make a quilt fort in the hotel lobby one night.

My roomie Susan Beal and I at the Moda party. We were on the PMQG board a few years back and it was so nice to have time with her and catch up!

I'll break my post up into two parts, today will be quilts and the next will recap my classes and lectures, I was very inspired this year! 

I know you've see a ton of pictures already but please indulge me as I share some of my favorites hopefully you'll see a few new ones in the mix. I was gravitating to the solid quilts this year and improv which shouldn't have been a surprise. 
 These two are from the MQG challenge, non of the quilts were labeled so I'm sorry I don't know which guilds made these. There were so many beautiful ones this year. 

The Show

Eggs and Darts by Amanda Leins in the Use of Negative Space category, I love the color palette and bold design. 

 Totally Biased by Lucy Vail. This was from the Bias Strip challenge and I am just in awe of this quilt! 

Peek by Melonie Tuazon in the Use of Negative Space category. Beautiful wavy quilting juxtaposed with the straight lines of the design.  

Squaring the Circle by Jo Avery in the Piecing category. One of the only pictures I have of a quilt with prints used but I love the bright colors and again with squares and circles.

Dear Gunta by Carrie Strine in the Piecing category. This quilt is a reference to Bauhaus textile designer Gunta Soltlz.

Also in Piecing Wakefield by Liz Harvatine. Being from Oklahoma I love the Native American rug inspiration of this quilt and how modern it feels at the same time.

Catenary by Carolyn Friedlander in the Appliqué category. I love her fabrics I love her color choices it's just beautiful! 

Long Island Modern Sampler by Kim Soper in the Modern Traditionalism category. This quilt won first place! 

Refresh by Anna Bonish. Won 3rd Place in Modern Traditionalism. I was really struck by the large scale of the design and the quirky choices of color and pattern.

Sunset Waves by Laura Hartrich in the Handwork category. This is a beautiful example of improv and is machine and hand quilted.

Emergent by Kari Vojtechovsky won 3rd place in Piecing. Another bold solids quilt I couldn't stop looking at.

In Anniston by Chawne Kimber in the Improvisation category. This is another one of my favorites!

Orbits by Amy Stevenson quilted by Kathy Koch, this was in the Bias Strip challenge. This is another quilt that I just loved the colors and the pop of the bias tape.

City Center by Angie Henderson in the Piecing category.

This is my kind of piecing!! Angie was inspired to make this from a quilt in Generation Q magazine from Art Gallery.

Faraway Fields - Full Circle by Jules McMahon also with blocks by Cheryl Arkison. Quilted by Heidi Bruce. In the Group or Bee Quilt category.

So much nice piecing and quilting in this quilt I could look at it for hours! 

Improv Double Wedding Ring by Natalie Sabik in the Modern Traditionalism category. Wonderful color choices and I'm so into the low volume background as well.

Breathe by Leanne Chahley won 1st place in the Minimalist Design category. 

The variation in thread color used in quilting gave an added depth to the color and low volume.

A wonderful little group of Small Quilts. Upper right and below Dizzy Geese by Kathy Beltz and Bougainvillea by Alexia Abegg. Upper left and below Pop Pop by Charlotte Newland and Sparkle by Nicole Neblett.

Finally this gorgeous quilt The Dishes Can Wait by the awesome Rachel Kerley one of my Portland friends but I'm not bias or anything. Her quilt won 2nd place in the Appliqué category. 

I hope you've enjoyed seeing all these as much as I did!