Saturday, April 14, 2012

Color inspiration

I'm still working on quilt backs for old projects.  Or at least I'm still thinking about quilt backs.  In the last week I've mostly been pulling fabrics and calculating yardage to buy.  
I love this stack of Jennifer Paganelli fabrics for the back of my Mod Valentine quilt. 
Just looking at the gorgeous colors and mix of prints inspires me to get this quilt finished!

I'm also still swooning. 
Slow and steady.  Slow and steady.
This is Swoon block #4, made at a Portland Modern Quilt Guild sew day at Fabric Depot last Saturday.

And this is Swoon block #5, made at my sewing circle.  I just kept my head down and soldiered on while hilarity ensued all around me.  
Nothing is more entertaining than the shenanigans that take place at sewing circle.

My Swoon blocks so far....
The Swoon colors are so soft and lovely.  Peaceful and springlike.

However, as we start to see a little more sunshine each week in the Portland area, I am starting to really enjoy and crave color.  Rich, saturated color.  

No one enjoys the sun more than Portlanders.  Yesterday we had a real variety pack -- rain, hail, and sun.  As soon as a few rays would break through the clouds, everyone was outside and in high spirits. 

I love the colors of these Kaufman Pure Organics!

"Oh, did you not want me to sit on this stool where you so carefully placed your Swoon blocks and Pure Organics to avoid cat hair?"


 A friend is planning on making her daughter's wedding invitations, including some stitching and decorating with fabric flowers.  I pulled a few fabrics from my stash and now can't stop looking at the beautiful color combinations.  I'm not planning on using the Paradise Gardens on any particular project in the near future (at least not until I finish those UFOs), but I'm really enjoying the colors and prints.

My collection of red and white prints for my Christmas in July quilt is really growing now.  You may remember that I started collecting them for my Swoon quilt, but couldn't wait and went a different direction with fabrics and colors.  I'm still planning on my red and white Christmas in July quilt; however, now I can't decide if I want to make another Swoon quilt (which I think would look fabulous) or go with another pattern.

The red and white idea came from Christmas 2010 when my daughter bought all red and white paper for gifts.  It looked beautiful!

In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy a variety of other colors

 and beautifully cut and stacked fabrics all tied up with a bow. 
I just love it when fabric stores take such obvious thought and care when cutting and packaging fabrics.  This stack was purchased from Sew, Mama, Sew, and they always do an exceptional job.

Sometimes I have to just leave these pretty little stacks all around in the sewing studio for inspiration.

With wishes, true and kind -- Joan

Friday, April 6, 2012

Springtime determination

It is finally starting to feel like spring around here -- sometimes for just a few hours at a time -- but the sun is so welcome, and plants and trees are starting to bud and blossom.  

I'd love to start some new sewing projects, but I'm determined to keep up on my Yamtastic Quilting Bee and finish up some long neglected projects.  First.

 Yamtastic Quilting Bee block for Sally -- March.

Yamtastic Quilting Bee block for Gabrien -- February.

Growing wall of granny square blocks.

It's difficult to choose my favorite part of making a quilt.  I love the planning, choosing the colors and fabrics, playing around with pieces on the design wall, sewing the pieces together and watching the design take shape, taking those last few stitches to complete the top, and even hand stitching the binding to the back.  But I always, always, always put off making quilt backs.  
I'd even rather baste than make a quilt back.  

Sooooo-- I have a nice collection of quilt tops with no backs.  Sitting, just sitting, for a long, long time.
I have been working on them for the last two days, and I only have three finished.  Sigh.  
Here are some sneak peeks of my progress on two very old projects:

 City Park Quilt (Cherry House Quilts)

 Back for City Park Quilt

Wonky Cross Quilt
 Back of Wonky Cross Quilt

I want to thank you all so much for your congratulations on and interest in my new Juki.  I am still madly in love with the automatic foot-controlled thread cutter and the knee lift for the presser foot.  Several people asked about a special foot for 1/4" piecing.  
 I actually just use the foot the came on the machine.

 I noticed when I started using that machine that the seams appeared to be about 1/4"so I measured: a scant 1/4".
 I grabbed a charm square, cut it in 1/2, and then sewed it back together.  As you can see it measures exactly 4.5"
It doesn't get any better than that!

Happy Spring!

With wishes, true and kind -- Joan