Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Oh Kaffe, Kaffe, Kaffe. How you inspire me so! My newfound thrill at my newfound skill of pinless circle piecing met up with my fabric design hero for this cute lil' wall hanging I'll call Targets -- after the lovely Kaffe Fasset-designed fabric of the same name.

Delighted as I was at learning this new technique, I immediately started grabbing and pulling fabrics out of the Stash of Density. The size of my creation hinged on the amount of linen fabric I had, so taxing my brain with math, I figured I could cut 25 6-3/4" squares of the stuff, which meant I'd need to unearth 25 disparate orange-themed fabrics. I tried, Lord, I tried, to do it all with stash, but ended up sneaking of to my LQS for  3 or 4 other little hunks of orange-y goodness..

Initially, I had intended to have the colors radiate out from dark to light, but I ultimately didn't have enough range of value to achieve the look I wanted. So I scattered them randomly, ultimately satisfied with the way the values helped the eye to move.

I was trying for a sort of plaid look with the quilting - and used a range of colors, some variegated, some not, the result I thought, although simple, seemed to serve the quilt well, as it didn't detract from the kind of homespun look of the linen.

And oh! The back. Sheesh, did I overdo that! First I stitch basted some crisp white Quilter's Cotton Sateen, and then I tried tea-dyeing it in a dark bath of way-expired English Breakfast (I guess I don't drink that much caffeinated tea.) The shibori effect didn't show up that well, and the tea-dyed portions were very subtle. So, I rinsed the tea out, pulled out all the stitch-basting, and threw the fabric into some Dharma Trading deep orange. It's a little eye searing now.

Just for fun, I made and stitched on an entire bias binding made out of the lavender and orange font fabric before deciding I hated it and ripping it all out. Using some of my precious remaining Targets for the binding instead -- pleased me. Yay! I'm glad I made the change.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Circle Time*
What do freezer paper, an Exacto knife, a glue stick, and a blank CD have to do with quilting? That’s right, it’s circle time. Here at Naptime Studios I have been having a lot of fun with a brand new (to me) technique for making inset applique´ circles. After creating my Kerr and Ringle Eclipse quilt, I was eager to try more circle work and began hunting around on the internet. I finally found this tutorial, that although at first it seemed confusing, I found that if I followed it step, by step, I could actually achieve it!
Of course this new-found skill had me grabbing fabric out of the cupboard to try out different looks. Bright Kaffe Targets and white? 
Bright Amy Butler and white? 
How about a little Kaffe Targets in the brown colourway with linen? 
Finally, I grabbed some hand-dyed cotton for a more atmospheric look. 
All I can say is, it sure is fun to learn a new technique and to try things out. Anyone else want to give it a go?
*I also have been lucky enough to be a part of the occasional child-centered 'circle time'. There’s nothing quite so lovely as adorable moppets sitting together and listening to a story, or singing a song, or yes, doing the Hokey-Pokey. I love the Hokey-Pokey!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It is just a simple little exercise I put together for teaching My Very First Quilting Class! I taught four lively ladies last Saturday how to cut fabric, strip and chain piece nine patch blocks. I had quickly grabbed the two fabrics and pre-cut the strips and pre-sewn a few and demonstrated a little bit more during class. The boys were finally back in school after spring break and so I had a chance to sew the blocks together yesterday afternoon.
I was also doing this quickly, as I felt kind of guilty to finally be sewing after many interruptions and fun, fun trips (to Portland! to Yakima! to Puerto Vallarta!) so decided to sash with skinny white strips. I liked the way I rotated the blocks and the stripes and thought it all went together pretty nicely until I slapped the finished project up on my design wall. And there it was, regret. How could I have missed the totally cute option of putting  setting squares of the striped fabric in the sashing? I kept looking at it and ruing my choice, and now it’s too late.
I think I’ll get over it -- I can always put setting squares in a border!