#diamondhexquilt

IMG_9240

For years, I’ve been collecting Liberty fabric pieces – at Liberty’s seasonal sales, at Shaukat on special visits, on little eBay splurges, and especially at the Festival of Quilts. The truth is, I rarely use them, except for the occasional project using teensy pieces of my precious stash.

But I keep buying them. I’m sure some of it is just for the sake of it – I mean, they’re lovely just to look at, neverminding what the planned use is. In a sense, the stash kind of exists just to be a stash. Liberty fabric is special that way. BUT, in the back of my mind, I’ve always assumed it was really destined for a long-term, all-Liberty EPP project. I’ve mentally auditioned a few ideas in my head – clamshells, the current Sew & Quilt Lucy Boston EPP BOM, drunkard’s paths – but none really took hold.

When Heidi of My Paper Crane posted her Diamond Hex project on Instagram, I knew immediately it was The One. Modern and bold and fun to piece – and so perfect for a stash made of a zillion wee pieces of a zillion different prints, I could hardly believe it.

IMG_9242

I finished a couple of things off and made some good progress on others and after a couple of weeks of daydreaming, I finally allowed myself to begin. This project is supposed to be restricted to the weekends until I finish up something I have going in the background, but it will be hard to resist. And it’s possible I already added to the Liberty stash in excitement, despite the fact that I have enough of a stash to keep me stitching for many, many months already. Oops, don’t tell. :)

I am perfectly content that this is the ultimate slow craft – I’ve craved this kind of project for a long time now, one that I can add to from time to time and enjoy the stitching of for many, many years to come.

Liberty Skeletor is Scary. And Pretty.

Liberty Skeletor FO

Oh man, you guys are awesome! Thank you all for letting me know you’re still out there, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. Emoji kissy faces to you!

One of you lovely readers recently left me a comment asking, hey, how did Liberty Skeletor turn out??? Why, thank you so much for asking, dear reader!

Liberty Skeletor FO

As you can see, Skeletor has certainly never been this pretty. Ah, such lovely floral evil. He-Man doesn’t stand a chance now, does he??

I think he came out pretty well, actually! I have NO CLUE what I’ll do with him, but as an experiment, I’d say Liberty Skeletor was a success!

(Cross-posted this project on &Stitches today – go over there to check out loads of stitchy goodness, and see the rest of the villains from our stitch-along here.)

Bee Adventurous 2016

IMG_9150

So, sometime last summer, or maybe even last spring (insert redface here), I was email-chatting to a friend, and then another friend, about possibly starting a little online quilting bee. The idea was to form a group that would focus on design challenges rather than contributing a block based on an existing pattern.

These friends were, for some crazy reason, willing to join me for this insanity, and the idea for Bee Adventurous 2016 was born. A few others were gathered to form a wee group of six members, and we decided on a round-robin / traveling bee for our format. It works like this: each of us make a piece of patchwork in whatever style we like, and send it on the next person with some loose instruction (perhaps you want a medallion quilt, or a row-by-row design, and you hate / love certain colors). Each project will travel through the group, one by one, and be added to in some way along each stop.

IMG_9141

For me, the whole idea is to stretch my design legs, to see past instructions for a simple block and look at the project as a whole. This is a fun challenge for me, to be given something that I did not design, and build on it in a cohesive way – that is still in my own style. Exciting!

IMG_9146

My project has been sent off to the next member for the first addition – as you can see, I’m going for a non-liner sampler style. I honestly have no idea if this sort of sampler quilt has a name, but you know what I mean. You just stick somethin’ on one side that looks like it might go there. I’ll call it an improv sampler, because it doesn’t have to have any clear layout plan. I have given as few guidelines as I could manage for my quilt, only encouraging the others to use my project as an excuse to try something new or play with a block they’ve always wanted to try. Whatever their quilty little brains can imagine. I can’t wait to see what they do!

IMG_9139

I’ve received my first project to work on as well – I’ll wait to show you that until I have a bit of a plan, but in the meantime, you can follow our group’s progress on Instagram by checking out the tag #beeadventurousquilts.

Holy Heck. It’s 2016 now??!

Where the crap has time gone, guys?? 2015 was a good year in a lot of ways, but so many things got away from me, including my blogging schedule. I absolutely hate reading blogger apologies because I kinda think, if it’s hard to write posts, why are you doing this to yourself? You honestly don’t have to. But I love my blog. I love writing to you guys. Between adjusting to a new, post-grief (or, maybe more accurate, middle-grief) life, and a new job (the first one I’ve had in a long time that wasn’t for myself / at home / freelance), it did simply get away from me. Not to mention the last nearly two months with no blogging capability, while my formerly trusty laptop needed medical attention.

So. Yeah. I missed you guys. Is anyone still out there?! I wouldn’t blame you for jumping ship, if you were sick of waiting for me to get my crap together, but I’d be overjoyed to hear from anyone still reading along. Leave me a comment! You’ll make my day AWESOME.

In order to help catch up quickly and get back to business, let’s look at some fabric-y / stitchy stuff that was great about 2015:

Best of 2015

That stuff was pretty good, it makes me happy to see all those pretty things all in a row like that. Stuff I made with my hands. ‘Snice.

But what was missing? Well, there are some things I’d like to do better in 2016:

– Keep to a better balance between my various activities. I’m taking a month or so out of doing anything social (so sorry, real-life friends, I really hope you understand) and try to get my rest / work / sewing / life balance back to something a bit more normal. I miss not being exhausted all the time.

– Get more patterns out there, in the world, published. I’m sure I’ve made this resolution before, but something always comes up that changes how the year goes. That’s just how life rolls, that tricksy jerk, but I can still keep making it a goal. I have some ideas that I can’t wait to work on, so hopefully I’ll be on this resolution’s ass pretty much from the start.

– Sew from my stash more. Everyone says this at the beginning of a year – for most, it’s part of being determined to spend less. Actually, that’s not why I want to it. I like spending money on fabric. It’s pretty. And fun. But then I stick all that beautifulness in the cupboard and it sits there. It wants to be loved! I will use some of those special cuts of fabric in the cupboard and let it get the attention it deserves.

– I also have two secret goals, things that seem a little out-there that I want to try. But I’m not gonna tell you. I’ll keep these ones close to my chest for now, but I promise I’ll tell you once I’ve tried, whether I succeed or fail. Promise.

So 2016. I’m ready, yo. I really hope you’re still with me, and I thank you most sincerely if you are – what are you going to get up to this year??

Hand-Pieced Mini Swap FO

IMG_7205

It just occurred to me, right now, that I never showed you the finished mini-quilt I made for the Hand-Pieced Mini Swap. That was, like, a millionty years ago, but I still really wanted to show you how it turned out!

IMG_7211

I’m so, so, so happy with this mini – it’s the first time I really played with layout and EPP, seeing what shapes matched well with others. What I ended up with wasn’t the most adventurous EPP design or anything, but it suited my partner (it was the first one she responded excitedly to when I was sharing doodles on Instagram), and I got to play with fabric placement to really pull out repeating shapes. Getting going was a struggle, but I loved this project once I got down to sewing.

IMG_7210

It really inspired me to play with EPP a little more, and I bought a big stack of shapes at the Festival of Quilts this summer. Now all I need is the time to sit down with them and plan myself a new project!

1 2 3 4 5 95