Monday, April 20, 2015

La Passacaglia - The Beginning

A few weeks ago, I blogged about my latest obsession quilt love, the La Passacaglia quilt from Millefiore Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein.  I started my project last week and have the center of Rosette #1 finished.  

Here's the center star; those bobbins on the right give you an idea of the size.  The pieces are tiny.

I did a lot of fussy cutting for this one.  It is time consuming but I like the look it gives, especially for the central 5-pointed star.  

This project will be entirely hand pieced, using the English Paper Piecing (EPP) method.  I will probably work on a machine pieced project at the same time, because sometimes you need to finish something in less than 2 years!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Little Butterflies - Project Update

I don't like to have too many quilt projects going at once so before beginning my EPP project, I thought it best to finish Little Butterflies.  In my last post on this project, I had decided to machine applique the blocks using fusible web and invisible thread (Superior Threads Mono Poly).  That decision worked out well and it didn't take long to get all 35 blocks finished. 

Here they are sewn together.  Right now, the top is 30" by 42" but I plan to add a narrow border, probably in the background color.  Then I will hand quilt it to finish.  

The original pattern from Laundry Basket Quilts has you cutting your background squares 5" but I wanted my butterflies to be a little less crowded together so cut my backgrounds 6.5" square.  When I started, I thought I might trim them before sewing together but after trying a few layouts, I decided to keep the blocks at the larger size.  

As you might have noticed, I used a variety of neutral tone-on-tone prints for the background, seven different fabrics in total from my stash.  I used a set of Bali Pop batik strips from Hoffman for the butterfly wings and a very dark brown for the body (with dark brown matching thread to applique the bodies), I drew the antennae with a permanent pen (Pigma Micron).  You don't need a jelly roll to make a quilt this size; a couple of charm packs would be enough fabric.

There is also a larger version of this pattern, with the butterflies cut from layer cake squares.  The fabrics used in the original design are from the line Sticks & Stones, which is supposed to be in stores this month.

Between this top to quilt, a finished quilt to bind, and my EPP project, I have a lot of handwork ahead!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Friday Find - the KonMari Method

I've been doing some business travel recently (the reason for my extended absence from the blog; lots of work, not much quilting) and on a flight last week, I read this book:

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo. It is subtitled, the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing, but really focuses on decluttering.  If you are looking for organizing tricks and clever items that will allow you to cram more into your closets and cupboards, this is not your book. Instead, Marie Kondo's philosophy is to get rid of the stuff that does not give you joy.  

I found it a fast, easy read and at the end, I immediately wanted to tackle my clutter.  Unfortunately, I was in an aluminum tube somewhere in the air over the mid-West so the sorting had to wait until the weekend.  But I started last Saturday and sorted my current wardrobe (fall/winter clothing), with the aim of tackling my spring/summer clothing this weekend or next, depending on whether the forecast indicates it is safe to put my sweaters away for the season.  I have bags of stuff to take to the thrift shop and much more attractive looking and functional closets.  

The author's advice is to tackle decluttering by category, starting with clothing and ending with hobby items.  I'm sure I'll have plenty of quilting stuff to cull, but will cover office paper, books, and kitchen stuff first, so it will be awhile before I get to my sewing space.  

In the meantime, if your stuff has taken over, I recommend you sit down with The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and adopt the KonMari method for yourself.