Friday, June 27, 2014

A Sampling of Quilt MN

Several of us have been donning our creative thinking caps to come up with some totally amazing projects using our 
Quilt MN 2014 fabric.  Here are just a few examples:

There will be plenty more to come so stay tuned!  And don't forget to visit our store to see these and plenty more August 1-17.  
Plus treats!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

36, 37. 38

We are a little overdue here for new blocks!  Sorry, I have been away from work and home quite a bit recently, and without internet service some of that time.  Well, not totally without, but the type of service which would have me still standing up on the shores of Lake Winnibigoshish 1 week later while waiting for the pictures to load!  We have all been there, right?!  Thankfully, the fishing was much better than the internet connection, so that's what really matters.

Just 3 blocks in this posting, because, well, that's the way it ended up!  This is the end of the first big batch of Kristina's blocks for the City Sampler from Tula Pink's book.  Have no fear, she has finished quite a few more and the pictures are already filed and ready for sharing.  Just an FYI, all my pictures are taken via my iPhone camera, which does a fine job.  I usually do some editing after I get them into my laptop, so I can brighten and saturate the colors for you.  Generally, I crop out all of the unnecessary background, but this camera has a neat little square photo setting that works perfectly for the block groups.

And today we visit Kelle's sewing kingdom!  Kelle moved into a new home last year, and she has the place to herself to arrange as she pleases.  I sorta envy that.  Even though I try to keep culling out excess fabric, knitting and craft stuff, I still think I would feel a lot better if I had much less clutter.  Less clutter in my environment = less clutter in my brain = clarity of thought.

Some really good space here for cutting, pressing, stitching and storage.  I should check out where she came up with those nifty white tables.

What a great storage spot, and so well contained!

Thanks, Kelle, for inviting us into your home!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Begging Works

In my last blog post, I told you that I was looking for more of this:

Actually, I told you I was begging for someone to help me find it, and it worked!
I got a response back from a reader, Mina, who not only had a little piece of it but also knew where it had come from:  Little Apples by Aneela Hoey for Moda.  From there, I was able to locate a seller on eBay, so I can be sure to get what I need to finish my project.  Which I will be sure to share at some point in the future!  Thank you so much Mina!  

Also on that day, I put up a picture of the pile of bolts that is the basis for the fabrics in the City Sampler blocks that Kristina is making.

This is sort of like a guest post, since Kristina is sharing a little bit about how these colors work for her, in her own words.

 Sometimes color inspiration comes from 
things in front of your face.

Then there are times that you stick to your
 favorite color palette....this one is my favorite.

And sometimes you see a color way in art or other design that absolutely makes your heart sing.

 And sometimes someone else has built a color palette that you just want to employ.

So choosing color doesn't have to be complicated nor intimidating.  Look around you, figure out what pleases you.  Maybe it is a picture, a couch pillow, a piece of fabric, or the clothes hanging in your closet.  Someone else might have already done the work for you, all you need to do is take that inspiration to the store.  And let us help you sort it out!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Begging For Your Help

First of all, I am going to do something that is entirely self-serving--
I really, really, really would like a bit more of this fabric!

I used up all that I had when I was cutting these diamond shapes.  Unfortunately, I forgot that when I cut them on 2 thicknesses with wrong sides together, half of the diamonds have lines running a different direction.  So instead of having just enough, I am now short.  I don't know for sure where I bought it, nor who made it, but if it looks familiar to someone out there, please leave a comment.  
I don't need much!

Now, on to the real business here--- another sewing room visit!
My co-worker, Eileen, has shared these pictures.  Eileen has a good sense of humor!

The entrance to her "studio" explains what many of us feel!

Now, as you look at next 3 pictures, aren't you amazed by how Eileen was able to hang from the ceiling and get these shots?  Well, the truth is, Eileen's daughter made this little doll-house size sewing room!  Notice the papers all over the little tiny bulletin board in the 3rd picture. 

Now look at the real life bulletin board!  I would say that the teeny tiny room is a pretty good depiction!

Thanks for sharing, Eileen!  And that lovely new Bernina looks great in there!

And now for 4 more blocks of our City Sampler selection by Kristina--
Blocks 32-35

Wondering how she decides what colors to use?
She started out with this pile of bolts--

And from there, the rest is history!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

28, 29, 30, 31

The saga continues with blocks 28-31 of the City Sampler from Tula Pink's book 100 Modern Quilt Blocks.  Kristina has combined more interesting prints from her scrap bag (box/bin/room).  The theme of rectangles is present here.  So many combinations and arrangements of the simple rectangle!  One thing you see as we go through these blocks is that they are not highly complicated, but take some planning to get colors where you like them best.  The good news is that even if you end up with a color in a less desirable location, either you can let it be because there are so many blocks to look at, or you can do it over because it's just one block, not a whole quilt!

And onward with our tour of sewing rooms!  Thank you, Jeanne, for these pictures.  Only 1 thing missing--sewing machines!  Have you converted to hand work only?  I think not.  Jeanne works in our Bernina Sewing Center and teaches classes, both for the Sew Center on the machines, and for the Quilt Shop on quilts and techniques.  That's Jeanne, below, on the left, getting ready to demonstrate machines at the Minnesota Quilters' Show a year ago (or maybe 2).  And wouldn't you know, there's Carrie in the pinkish shirt doing a photo bomb!  She shows up everywhere!
And in the picture on the right, Jeanne is at one of our retreats and using the Bernina software on her laptop to give directions to her machine.

Jeanne's sewing area does double duty as a guest room, and the last time she had to clean it up for guests she snapped these pictures.  Shelving units full of organized fabrics and projects.  And the cabinet on the far right is a Murphy bed.

The slide-out baskets hold a lot of stuff and nothing gets lost in the back of the shelf.

 Something tells me there's a machine (or 2 or 3) in there somewhere, and I think Jeanne owes us a couple more pictures, right?  Jeanne helps facilitate our store machine embroidery retreats (read about them here and here)and does a fantastic job of answering 20 questions all at once.  She has been a godsend to me as I learn about machine embroidery, always patient with my questions and never making me feel like an idiot!  That's a special talent.

And just a little more inspiration!   A report on Works In Progress.  Kristina likes to do just a bit of English Paper Piecing, another good use for all of those little random scraps.  Just look at what she has made--

With the traditional little hexagon templates, she has been making these "flower" blocks.  This is the basis for the traditional Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt.  I am not sure, but I think that Kristina's pieces are the 1" size, meaning that each of the straight sides of the individual hexagon measures 1".  Sometimes she works with smaller sizes.
A calm color palette
A more whimsical color palette.
And her little storage box with neatly filed little hexies ready to go.
6-pointed stars made from diamonds.  This is an entire kit, Diamonds in the Sky,
of conveniently pre-cut diamonds and papers.
There is a picture visible of the quilt pattern underneath.  
And non-paper-piecing related--
a great scrap quilt that is a log cabin variation, random strip widths added to reach the size that Kristina has chosen.  Bright and colorful!