Bits and Pieces

November really flew by this year, particularly with the deadline for QuiltCon entries looming at the end of it!  Here is an overview of the projects that have been happening in the last few weeks.

First, I want to thank everyone who visited during the Blogger’s Quilt Festival hosted by Amy from Amy’s Creative Side.  (Thank you for all of your work in hosting this fantastic event!)  It is so exciting to have the opportunity to see so much wonderful work gathered in one spot.  Each time I discover even more talented people to follow.  This time around I was ecstatic to receive the prize for the Mini Quilt Category.  (My quilt actually came in second, but the first place winner had already received a larger prize, so the quilty love was spread around.)Simply Starred front view

Moda sponsored this category and they really outdid my wildest expectations with this box!Moda gift package

Inside the box was a tote bag filled with a large fat eighth bundle, two layer cakes, three charm packs, a tin of more fabric, Aurifil thread, spray baste, pins & needles, and lots of other notions.  I am so excited to start creating with all of these amazing products.  (Actually I have already used some of the fabric!)  Thank you, Moda!

The past week held deadlines for entries to both the Modern Quilt Guild’s (MQG) QuiltCon and the American Quilter’s Society (AQS) show in Paducah.  My entries were similar to both shows, and I will be writing more in depth posts about each quilt in the coming weeks.

Two of my QuiltCon entries were made specifically for challenges.  The first is the Michael Miller Challenge quilt.  It is hand appliquéd and free-motion quilted on the longarm.

Moroccan Star: A MQG Michael Miller Challenge Quilt Entry

Moroccan Star: A MQG Michael Miller Challenge Quilt Entry

The other challenge quilt was for the EZ Quilting triangle challenge.  The entire top is English Paper Pieced triangles and is longarm quilted with ruler work and free-motion techniques.  I also entered this quilt in the AQS show in the category: Small Wall Quilt, Longarm Quilted.

Star Crossed Triangles:  A MQG EZ Quilt Triangle Challenge Quilt

Star Crossed Triangles: A MQG EZ Quilt Triangle Challenge Quilt

My third QuiltCon entry was based on a mini quilt that I made earlier this year.  It was machine pieced and matchstick quilted on my domestic machine.  This was also entered into the AQS show in the Large Wall Quilt, Modern category.

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

This quilt was a fairly last minute addition to my entries.  It is a block based, machine pieced quilt finished with an edge to edge computerized quilt design that I designed using AutoCad.  For AQS I entered this in the category: Small Wall Quilt, Pictorial.  This is definitely a representation of an object, but it is also well outside the box for the types of quilts typically entered in this division.

Can You See (m)E Now?

Can You See (m)E Now?

The final entry for QuiltCon is one of my favorite mini quilts and it went into the small quilt category.  It is also entered into the miniature quilt category for AQS.

Rainbow Roundabout

Rainbow Roundabout

I have also (finally) set up a business Facebook page.  I hope you will like and follow along with me there, too.  The link is also available toward the top right of this page.

I hope you have had a wonderful November and are enjoying the rest of the upcoming holidays!  I am looking forward to checking more projects off my WIP list this month and catching up on blog reading as well!

2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

This summer, I am thrilled to have joined up with a group of amazing new quilt bloggers for the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop.2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

The hosts this year are:

2015 New Quilt Bloggers Group

I am so happy to be a member of Cheryl’s group, The New Bees.

New Bee Button

I really encourage you to stop by the other New Bees members who are posting this week:

I started blogging in December of 2014 and the first quilt that I shared, Petals in the Wind (Low Volume Fail, Pastel Win!), is still one of my favorites.  This quilt has been accepted into the American Quilter’s Society shows in Syracuse, Grand Rapids, and Chattanooga this year.

Petals in the Wind

Petals in the Wind

Modern Log Cabin is the first quilt that I made after I returned to quilting last year.  It is a “potholder” style quilt that reverses from grey to blue.  This quilt was exhibited at the AQS show in Paducah earlier this year and will also be in the Modern Quilt categories at Grand Rapids and Chattanooga.

Modern Log Cabin

Modern Log Cabin

My pet project for 2015 is to make 50 mini quilts over the course of the year.  So far, I have completed 23/50.  Mini Quilt Mania gives me a format to experiment with a variety of quilting techniques without having to commit to a large project- it’s like keeping a sketchbook!  Details about this project as well as a full list of the mini quilts can be found in the Mini Quilt Mania post.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Winter Trees

Winter Trees

π, pi, PIE!

π, pi, PIE!

Embellished Spring

Embellished Spring

Marsala Mini Quilt

Marsala Mini Quilt

Rainbow Roundabout

Rainbow Roundabout

Fruit Crush

Fruit Crush

May Flower

May Flower

Yellow Rays

Yellow Rays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that you’ve seen a bit of my work, would you like to hear how I got here?

How did you learn to sew?  My Mom started teaching me to sew before I was even in Kindergarten, so the details are a little hazy.  My first quilt was completed when I was about eight, and once I was old enough for 4-H,  I did sewing projects every year for the next decade.  As I grew older, I moved away from quilting and toward clothing construction.  Quilting by hand was just so painfully slow, and after finishing one twin sized quilt, I was done.  In high school I did make a couple of machine quilted jackets that I received student awards for at the American Quilter’s Society Fashion Show in Paducah.

What did you do then?  I went off to college to get a BFA, and since I could sew, I was assigned to do my work-study job in the costume shop of the Drama Department.  I ended up double majoring in Painting and Theatre Design and Technology and later went on to earn an MFA in Scenic Design.  I have worked with many theaters over the years, including ten seasons with the Utah Shakespearean Festival, and have worked at a few universities as well.

What has Theatre taught you about sewing?  I am pretty sure I can sew almost anything at this point.  I have created custom patterns and constructed clothing for almost every historical period, sewn stage curtains and drapes, done upholstery, and devised stage props ranging from drawstring bags to a 25′ long pleated, cylindrical (and very phallic), pink velour pillow with tassels at the ends.  Knowing that something very specific has to be created within a certain time frame means  there is little time to worry about messing it up- at some point you just have to dive in and make it happen.  You also become really adept at solving the “challenges” that seem to develop with each project.  This is excellent preparation for devising quilt patterns!

How did you return to quilting?  I was at a job where I wasn’t required to sew a lot, and I thought that maybe I would sew something for myself.  I wandered into a locally owned shop and was stunned to see all the new quilting fabrics.  Pair that selection with fact that machine quilting is now far more acceptable (even expected!), and I was hooked!

Quilting Tip:  Every once in awhile create your own challenge.  Limit it to a small, quick project like a mini quilt or simple bag.  Restrict parameters  so once you start so you will have already limited the choices you have because sometimes having infinite options can really slow us down.  I like to preselect a project, color scheme, and time frame.  An example could be:  One weekend to create a quilted bag using only the colors of black, white, grey, and green using fabrics and supplies already on hand. These small projects can force us to think creatively and can help improve our problem solving “toolbox” for other larger projects.

Blogging Tip:  At the beginning of the year  I created a eight inch square mini quilt that I have used as a background image for all blog “signage” that I have needed.  It provides a consistent element within the blog, and I always have an image available for posts that don’t have a feature quilt picture.

Random Facts:

  • Right now I do freelance work.  Most recently, I worked as a draper (costume pattern maker) for the Summer Nutmeg Series of the Connecticut Repertory Theatre.  If you would like to see photos, please check out their Instagram at https://instagram.com/ctrepertorytheatre/  This summer we did Les Mis, Peter Pan, and Xanadu.  The metallic silk chiffon dresses for Xanadu are especially fun- so shiny!
  • I have traveled to 29 US states and lived in Ohio, Missouri, Utah, Kentucky, Connecticut, and Indiana
  • My favorite food is a pretty even tie between pizza, saag paneer, and any sweet baked good
  • Growing up I raised chickens (mostly White Plymouth Rocks)
  • When I sew I almost always watch Netflix (Downton Abby is a favorite) or listen to a podcast (I’ve been catching up on Modern Sewciety)
  • My most commonly requested baked good is a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter filling and chocolate cream cheese frosting.  Yum!

I have been thinking a lot about gathering inspiration for quilt designs and color schemes and will probably be writing a post on this soon.  What are your thoughts?  Where do you find your inspiration?  Do you tend to be more inspired by quilt related items (books, magazines, quilt shows, etc.)?  Or do you tend to draw more inspiration from seemingly unrelated sources (art, nature, architecture, etc.)?  Is it a combination of these?

Thank you so much for coming by, and I hope to have you visit again!

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day: Zippered Pouches

Today, in conjunction with Sew Mama Sew‘s Giveaway day, is the first giveaway I have done on this blog.  My blog is about five months old now, and I am excited to offer the chance to win these zippered pouches to all of my visitors.  I am very grateful for the kind words and support offered by those who have joined me in these early months, and I am excited to welcome new friends as well!

SMS Pouch Giveaway

I am trained as a theatrical scenic and costume designer and technician, but this blog focuses on my life outside of the theatre- The (not so) Dramatic Life.  Most of the work I share here is quilting related, but other sewing projects pop up from time to time.  My big project for the year is Mini Quilt Mania, for which I am creating a new mini quilt almost every week of the year for a total of 50 quilts.  I have done 18 so far, and I am thoroughly enjoying the process!

Pouch Lining

Pouch Lining

There are two zippered pouches in this giveaway.  They each have a blue denim exterior and are fully lined and trimmed with a cotton print from Amy Butler’s Violette fabric line.  The larger pouch is 6″x10″x4.5″ and would be a great container for carrying small projects or corralling toiletries when you travel.

The smaller pouch is an octagon measuring about 3.75″x3.75″ and is grommeted for use as a key ring.  This is perfect for carrying a little money, a phone charger, or thumb drive.  I have written a tutorial for creating this cord/coin pouch if you would like to make your own!

Would you like to enter to win this pair of pouches?  It’s easy- here’s how:

  • Leave a comment on this post telling me what project(s) you are working on right now and/or what your quilting or sewing goals are.  Is there a pattern you want to make? A technique you would like to try? A fabric line you are eager to use?  Is there a tutorial you would like to see made?  I love hearing what you are up to and interested in!
  • Followers, both long time and new, get a bonus entry!  Near the top of the sidebar there are several options for following me including Bloglovin’, Instagram, and Pinterest.  To get the bonus entry please leave a comment telling me how you follow.

This giveaway is open through 5pm PST on Sunday, May 10.  All comments on this post received by that time will be included in a random drawing.

I will email and post the winner on the blog on or before Wednesday, May 13.  Once I have the shipping address for the winner, your package will be in the mail by Friday, May 15.  (Should the winner not respond with a shipping address by Friday, May 15, I will draw a new winner and contact them via email and the blog)

There are lots more fantastic giveaways of both hand crafted items and supplies at Sew Mama Sew, so be sure to check those out as well!  Good Luck!

Update from May 11, 2015:  The winner of this giveaway is Catrin Lewis- Congratulations Catrin!  

Here are some other posts you may enjoy!

Mini Quilt Mania

Mini Quilt Mania

Rainbow Roundabout Mini Quilt

Rainbow Rotary

Marsala Mini Quilt

Marsala Mini

Winter Trees Mini Quilt

Winter Trees

Cord/Coin Pouches

Cord/Coin Pouches

Create Your Own Tote Bag Tutorial Series

Create Your Own Tote Bag Tutorial Series

Oh Scrap! Feature

I am really excited that today my tutorial for cord/coin pouches is featured in Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.

Cord/Coin Keyring Pouches

Cord/Coin Keyring Pouches

Oh Scrap! is a terrific link up to share your ideas for making good use of the bits of fabric we all have laying around.  I hope to read some of your scrap-busting ideas there!

Quilting is more fun than Housework

Cynthia creates so many beautiful designs, and I hope you will check out all of her wonderful work!

If this is your first time visiting, I am thrilled to have you here!  Please take a look around to see more of my work.

This year I have embarked on a project to create a mini quilt a week, so I hope you will continue to visit as this project progresses.  I enjoy creating quilts in a wide range of styles, particularly “art” and “modern” quilts, and I like to share the design process as well as finished quilts.  In the coming weeks, I will also be releasing an in depth multi-post tutorial on creating a custom tote bag.

I love sharing my work with you, and I am so happy to welcome you to my online home.  Thank you for visiting!