Friday, February 17, 2017

I built this city.......

"I built this city - Lincoln"
Project Quilting season 8:4 theme=brighter the better
Made in Ne. 34.5" x 20.5
Lincoln Ne skyline pattern designed by Shannon Brinkley

I built this city from the tiny bit scraps triangles leftover from making binding. I knew I wanted to make something scrappy for this bright/bold challenge. I already committed my smallish scraps to another random improv piece. I knew for this piece I would have to 'very' small. I decided to make my own fabric. 

I randomly laid my tiny bits onto a sheet of heat and bond. I tried to not overlap too much but butt them up against each other.  As you can see there are no straight lines to this just cut and butt. Once I had an area full I pressed them down with a hot iron using a craft sheet over top and below just in case of sticky bits. 
Once the fabric was made I cut it into 1" strips and then down to 1" squares. I took the pattern and traced it onto a sheer interfacing. This is what I used to layout and then fuse down my 1" squares. You can see from the photo above that some squares are random slivers and pieces.  I thin for this small scale it looks really cool all lined up. 
This is where the title of the piece comes in. Some time while laying out the squares and listening to some classic 70s,80s, and 90s music, Jefferson Starship came on and I got "we built this city" on rock and roll in my head. Truthfully that is just about the only line of the song I know and I just kept singing it while building the city skyline of Lincoln.  Kinda like an earworm if you know what I mean?

I knew the colors and squares were busy but they would pop once I put them on the background.   I fused this all down to the interfacing and then cut out the details of the top of the skyline.  Made my background and started quilting. I did the quilting in two stages. First round was before fusing the skyline. I wanted the feel of city lights so straight line quilted random lines at various angles. Then fused the city in place. 
I did some quick thread sketching around the whole cityscape in black.  Every time I try this I just end up smiling to myself. It is so amazing to try to draw with a sewing machine. I just love what happens.   After the outline I went in with clear thread and did a wavy basket weave in each block alternating directions. Everything stayed in place and is secure, even the tiniest bits. 

In playing along with the theme 'brighter is better' I stopped at a lovely blue painted garage near my local library and asked if I could take a photo of my quilt for this bright challenge.  3 guys working there gave me the okay. 

Even the sidewalk was blue. Love this outing.  Love this quilt. It was so fun to make your own fabric out of literally tiny tiny bits.  I might go back to this at some point and add "Lincoln" to the layout somewhere. 

Linking up with Project Quilting Persimon Dreams and Crazy Mom Quilts finish it up friday and Confessions of a fabric Addict Can I get a whoop whoop friday

Friday, February 10, 2017


"Hygge "
12.5 x 37.5
freemotion quilting random designs
Hygge - Danish word roughly translates to coziness. I came across a news show one night about a year or so ago that was talking about searching for Hygge. I fell in love with how this little word can be and mean so much. 
Hygge pronounced hoo ga, can mean an atmosphere of relaxation and gratitude. 
A feeling of contentment or well being, a sanctuary. 
Hygge can be the smell of cinnamon buns baking or the warm toasty feel of a fire place on a cold night. 
Hygge can be a smile in passing or a tip of the hat in greeting.
Hygge can be taking pleasures in the presence of gentle soothing things. That is why I made this word banner to hang in my sewing room.  

Linking up with crazymom quilts

and can I get a whoop whoop

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

"Woven" - a Nebraska 150 celebration

This year my state of Nebraska will commemorate its Sesquicentennial (150 years) of statehood.  A challenge went out to make a 24" wall quit with the theme Inspired by Nebraska's Diversity.  Our local modern quilt guild was already working on a project to tie in a charity fund raiser quilt and while I was participating in that I thought it would be fun to try my hand at a personal wall quilt. 

My thought process was to present a sort of history woven in fabric.  I started improv piecing scraps, in the lightest fabrics I had, creating a grid of the farm land I grew up with.  The textures of the warp and weft are created by tiny inserts of fabric, some less than 1/2" wide.  Part of the aerial landscape is a bit of my journey. Born near the South Dakota/Nebraska border and slowly making my way south in the state and ending at the our state capital, Lincoln.  The colors darken as you go down from top to bottom, representing a history faded from the past down to much more earthy tones of present day. 

-State bird is the Western Meadowlark
-State flower is the Golden rod
-We are the 37th state into the Union on March 1, 1867
-J. Sterling Morton founded the first Arbor Day in 1872. By 1920 45 other states adopted this holiday.
-Eagle Rock was the most mentioned rock formation in diaries of those who traveled on the Oregon Trail. 
-Migration of the Sandhill and Whooping Cranes have an important river stop-over here in Nebraska. I have seen this and it is spectacular.
-Only state with Unicameral legislation, influenced by Senator George Norris in 1937.
-The Great Platte River Road Archway monument, the "Kearney Arch" is a museum directly over the Interstate. 
-Homestead Act of 1862. Because of this law signed by President Lincoln to open up the western territory of the nation, 160 acres to anyone 21 years or older for 5 years.  5 years later Nebraska became a state. 
-We have 93 counties. 
-Our capital of Lincoln was named after President Lincoln. 

And now you know too much about Nebraska!! 

Match stick organic quilting added the final texture.  After appliqueing the state capital pieces on the quilt I thread sketched over the parts I wanted to highlight. 

When you look at this piece from afar you will see that the darker fabrics meant to be part of  the aerial view of the land now appears to be more of a cityscape (the bottom foundation of this piece beside the capital building). It is meant to change your view point of the quilt to reflect a cityscape of industry that represents the present day Lincoln Nebraska. 

All of this history is "Woven" into this quilt through the depiction of the land, the people and industry that make this state the diverse state that it is today.  My personal journey (slightly shown in the quilt) represents such a tiny bit. I am fortunate that my family has farmed part of this land for over 100 years. 

I am so excited this exhibit is hanging at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum right now.  The wall quilts will be judged next monday and the winners will be revealed at a luncheon in February. Wish me luck. There are some really beautiful quilts in this challenge. 

Linking up with: 
Let's Bee Social @Sew Fresh Quilts 
and Fort Worth Studio Fabric Frenzy Friday
Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for can i get a whoop whoop friday
and Amanda Jean at Crazy mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday
and Caroline at Showoff Saturday SewCanShe

Thursday, January 19, 2017

PQ. 2" Lily" Stitch and Slash

This weeks challenge was a Carolina Lily. I researched the flower, the quilt block and set out on EQ7 to make my own design.   

Not sure what I think of it. If I would finish coloring it in, I think I might like it. I have been wanting to play with my EQ7 program for a long time and I am trying to find ways to do it.  My lqg has group starting the end of the month and I want to play a bit before the class.  

So I decided against this quilt as you see from the pic above.  Next on my mental list of things to do this year ...finish watching some of my Craftsy classes that I signed up for.  Is it just me?  I get a class and get all excited about it and then never get around watching it.  Well.......... I now have one under my belt. Carol Ann Waugh's "Slash and stitch" class.  I watched, I found 4 fabrics, ironed, layered, and stitched.  Found a seam ripper and .....let it rip. So much fun!

I am already down to the 3rd layer where you see the red/orange dots.  Backing up a bit. I picked the colors of these layers by using my color wheel. (another thing I want to try to do more this year) I chose analogous colors orange, red, purple and a light blue purple that is in just the outline pieces. 

I added couching to my outline pieces. (I am so glad I found that foot in my sewing room organizational challenge)  The focus on the center is beads and quilting and layered threads. Freemotion stitching on double batting (scraps) to make the petals really stand out.  

I am not sure. I think I sort of like it. It has interest and you can sort of tell what it is. :)

Linking up to Persimmon Dreams for Project Quilting. 2 2017

and Quilt Infatuation for NTT and
Crazy mom Quilts

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Playing with the QCR mini

Our weather has been pretty crazy with the ice and cold and warmth the last few days. I decided to work at playing with the Quick Curve Ruler mini that I have. I wanted to make some plain drunkards path blocks and then play with layout.  I decided a pillow was a great way to accomplish something. I chose colors that would work in my living room and set out to play. 
I came up with many layouts but our guild is going to focus on circles and curves as we start our new year so I went with this layout. 
I was not able to achieve a perfect circle with the mini ruler but I like the sort of organic feel this layout has. I added uneven logs around the edges to keep that feel. 

I am going to try something similar with the regular size ruler to help with a demo I will be giving soon. The Quick Curve Ruler by SewKindofWonderful is a really easy tool to use if you want to try your hand at curve sewing. The slope of the curve make it an easy sew with no pins required.  Normally I don't buy many specialty rulers but I love these as I was able to build up my confidence in curve sewing. This has helped me tremendously when I do improv curve piecing.   This is not a paid ad...I just love the rulers.   If you have one sitting around and have yet to try it...please give it a go. Let me know if you do. 

Here are some of my other pieces using the rulers: 

Linking up with Let's Bee Social today over at Sew Fresh Quilts 
also Kelly at My Quilt Infatuaion

Friday, January 13, 2017

Finish it up Friday - Random Logs

"Random Logs" finished UFO woohoo
I made a quilt with some of this fabric for a charity a few years ago. (below) In keeping with my organizational challenge to not just move things from place to place but to finish things, I decided to just sew. I had 6 small 8" blocks and a bunch of scrap strips cut in a bag with backing fabric tucked in there too. I literally just started sewing strips on to the blocks and made 3 more just from scraps. The most fun was that I didn't once measure the blocks just squared them up after adding each log. I marked on my design wall the desired size I wanted for this crib size quilt and just kept sewing until I got within range. Totally mindless and very enjoyable sewing. Yay!!!  ....another one bites the dust and another one is gone!!  

This was on my 2017 UFO challenge on a secondary list, still, it is a goner!!

I made more log cabin blocks but didn't fit them in because I wanted to hurry up and finish this off before the charity sew day. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

"On the farm" memories

After I took the pic at the top I was out at my recycle center and there was this little bobcat parked. I am sure if anyone saw me they thought I was nuts. I looked all over it for a place to clip my little mini. Luckily I had some clothespins in my car. 
The fabric colors are not my usual favs. I had this cute FQ with slogans and text on that a friend gave me. I grew up on a farm and milking cows and caring for the chickens and garden were a big part of early years. This has cute little chicks, a jug of milk and a farm fresh strawberry. Ah the memories......
I used only fabrics that were near by because I am in the process of trying to organize my sewing. I think these fabrics worked out okay.  I used up another scrap piece of batting not to mention some swirl practice freemotion quilting. All in all a fun little piece. 
Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday  My quilt infatuation