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!

Blogger’s Quilt Festival: Petals in the Wind

My second entry to this Spring’s Blogger’s Quilt Festival is Petals in the Wind (also known as Low Volume Fail, Pastel Win!)  This was the very first quilt I shared on this blog, and I am really happy to be able to show it again!

Petals in the Wind blog full view

With this quilt, I was interested in creating a sense of movement and explore the use of negative space.  In this instance, the idea of negative space has a very literal interpretation.  Each area of the quilt was created as a separate segment.  When these pieces combine, there are open area designed into the quilt.

Cassandra I Beaver Low Volume Fail Detail B

 

Each section is constructed using curved improvisational piecing, heavily quilted with lines that emphasize the curves of the piecing, and the edges bound prior to joining it with other sections of the quilt.  If you are interested in reading more about the design process involved with this quilt, please stop by the original post for Petals in the Wind.

Petals in the Wind detail a

A Spring breeze has many small gusts which join together to gently rustle through young foliage and toss colorful petals through the air.  By creating the quilt in sections, I hoped to add to the visual movement of the piece and create a feeling of that Spring breeze.  The open spaces represent moments of calm on a windy day.

Petals in the Wind detail b

In this quilt, the petals are represented by hexagons appliquéd throughout the quilt and in the spaces between segments.  The hexagons are created by folding a circle (I have shown a very similar technique in this post), then embellishing the shape with a fabric yo-yo, cotton and silk threads, and glass beads.

Petals in the Wind detail c

This quilt will be in the Art Quilt Category of the Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  The Festival is currently open for entries and nominations for viewer’s choice.  Please stop by to see all of the lovely quilts that have been entered, and come back between May 22-29 to vote for your favorites in every category!

Quilt Stats

Title:  Petals in the Wind

Size: 66″w x 47″h

Techniques:  Machine Improvisational Piecing, Hand Appliqué, Hand Embroidery, Glass Bead Details

Quilting:  Machine quilted using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics: 100% cotton prints and batiks

Batting:  Warm and Natural cotton batting

Thread:  Cotton machine quilting thread

Binding:  Bias, cut in 2″ strips from fabrics used in the quilt.  Machine stitched to the front, and hand stitched to the back

What’s Next for this Quilt?  Look for this quilt at the American Quilter’s Society show in Syracuse, NY later this year!

 

Blogger’s Quilt Festival: Rainbow Rotary

I am excited to make Rainbow Rotary my first entry into The Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  This was my first rainbow quilt, but I didn’t make it too easy-  There are 72 different fabrics creating the circle of color!

Rainbow Rotary

Rainbow Rotary

Rainbow Rotary is a re-interpretation of a traditional Courthouse Steps block that I turned into a wedge.  Eight wedges combine to form this circle of color.  If you would like to see more on the development of this design, please check out the original Rainbow Rotary post.  In this detail photo you can see some of the block construction as well as the quilting detail.

Rainbow Roundabout detail a

 

Each of the 72 sections of color has a single line of echo quilting in a coordinating thread.  The white sections of each wedge are quilted using a thread color which matches the dominant color of the wedge.  Nine different threads were used to quilt this project.

Rainbow Roundabout back view

One of the most exciting aspects of using so many different threads is that the back of the quilt has a subtle thread rainbow on the solid white backing fabric

Rainbow Roundabout back quilting detail

This quilt will be in the ROYGBIV category of the Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  The Festival is currently open for entries and nominations for viewer’s choice.  Please stop by to see all of the lovely quilts that have been entered, and come back between May 22-29 to vote for your favorites in every category!

Quilt Stats

Title:  Rainbow Rotary

Size:  18.5″x18.5″

Techniques:  Foundation paper piecing

Quilting:  Echo Quilting within each area of the quilt using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  74 different fabrics:  72 colors from scrap and stash, Kona cotton in whiter for background and backing, Lotta Jansdotter stripe for binding

Batting:  Warm and White

Thread:  Pieced using white Gutermann Mara 100.  Quilted with Connecting Threads cotton Essentials quilting thread in Red, Grape Juice, Peridot, Persian Blue, Persimmon, and Sangria as well as yellow, teal, and green in Gutermann Mara 100.

Binding:  Striped fabric, cut on the bias in 2″ wide strips, machined stitched to the front of the quilt, hand stitched to the back.

Up Next:  I am currently writing a pattern for this quilt!

If you like this quilt, you may want to take a look at Mini Quilt Mania– I am making a mini quilt a week for 2015!

Modern Log Cabin is Back!

Modern Log Cabin” has spent the last few weeks in Paducah for judging and exhibition in the American Quilter’s Society Quilt Week show.  It was exciting to have one of my quilts hanging in a national show, and I was so glad that I was able to go see it there.  (I will be posting more about the show as I work my way through the photos I have taken.)

"Modern Log Cabin" at the American Quilter's Society Quilt Week Show in Paducah, Kentucky

“Modern Log Cabin” at the American Quilter’s Society Quilt Week Show in Paducah, Kentucky

Last week my quilt arrived back home, which is always a relief.  Even though I know that it is pretty rare for a package to disappear in transit, I am always just a little worried whenever I send something that is not easily replaced.  Does anyone else feel that way?  Has anyone ever actually lost a quilt while with a shipping company?  If so, did it ever turn up again?  Maybe I don’t want those answers- no- I do . . . I think :)

Included in the return package with the quilt was the show book, display card, judging sheet, and cloth tag for the quilt.  This picture also show the Catalog of Show Quilts open to “Modern Log Cabin.”

AQS Quilt Show Tags and Books

I always like to see judge’s comments that people have shared for their show quilts, so I thought I would share mine as well.  I wasn’t sure what to expect since this was my first time receiving a comment card.  My quilt was also in the Modern Category of Large Wall Quilts, and much more simple in appearance than most of the quilts at this particular show.

AQS Judging Card

Best Feature(s):

  • Clean- Fresh accent
  • Fabric Choices
  • Quilting

Area(s) to Improve:

(nothing)

While I am most likely in the minority, I am always surprised and even slightly disappointed when there are no suggestions for improvement.  There is something strangely comforting to have a tangible goal to work toward.  I will qualify this by saying that my BFA is in Painting and my MFA is in Theatre design, so over the years I have become accustomed to pouring myself into a project only to have it painstakingly critiqued and/or ripped apart (sometime literally).  Repeating this process  weekly over the course of seven years results in a pretty thick skin.  It almost feels like I’ve been cheated if there is nothing to improve upon! A bit sick- isn’t it!

I consider it a great honor to have a quilt displayed in a national venue.  I have entered this quilt in a few more shows, so I hope it may have some more travel in its future!

I’m linking up with Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts this week.  Please drop in to see all of the lovely work being created!

Quilted Name Tag: Mini Quilt #14

I recently got up the nerve to go to a local quilt guild meeting (a goal for this year!) Everyone there was lovely and shared such amazing work.  I am really looking forward to becoming involved with a group of such creative and inspiring people.  This group encourages name tags, so this week’s mini is going to serve that purpose.Name Tag front

My quilt of the year for 2015 is red, orange, and pink flying geese on a white background.  While I didn’t want to make a copy of this quilt, I thought it would be fun to incorporate the same colors and some triangles into the design.  I also knew that I would probably want to put a few of my quilt pins on this little quilt.  I hadn’t looked at my pin collection in years, and I had a lot more than I remembered.  Not all of them made the cut- just the membership pins, my blog pin, and a couple show pins with sentimental meaning.

As I worked on the design for the quilt, I decided that I wanted to break up the overall shape so it wasn’t just a rectangle.  Then it came to me- prairie points!  I feel like I have made prairie points at some point in my past, but I cannot remember what project it would have been for!  These tiny prairie points across the bottom of this mini quilt make me very happy, and I hope that the rounded top corners won’t flop down quite as quickly as square corners may./Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilting/My Quilts/Quilt Drafti

I considered several options for adding my name to the quilt.  Embroidery, fused lettering, writing with a fabric pen, and printing all seemed to be within the realm of possibility.  I wanted the lettering to be clear, bold, and easy to read.  I ended up deciding to go with the printed name.  I had drafted the name tag to scale and then used Photoshop to experiment with font size and style.  To print the name I used white Kona cotton which had been soaked in a Bubble Jet prep liquid, dried, and then ironed to freezer paper to stabilize it.  Once trimmed to the size of letter paper, all I had to do was hit print and watch the lettering appear directly on my fabric.

Since the pieces were so small on this project, the top was foundation paper pieced.

The backing fabric is a reprise from the quilt of the year.  Since this project is so small, I “bagged it out” prior to quilting so I wouldn’t have a binding strip taking up any space on the front of the quilt.  Simple, linear quilting finished off this little project.

 

Name Tag back

Quilt Stats

Title:  Name Tag

Size:  4″x4.5″

Techniques:  Foundation Paper Piecing, Prairie Points

Quilting:  Straight line quilting with a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  White Kona cotton and assorted scraps of prints and batiks

Batting:  Warm and White

Thread:  Pieced with Gutermann Mara 100 in white, and white cotton machine quilting thread

Binding: None! (quilt was stitched with right sides together and then turned out)

What was new:

A wearable mini quilt!

Small prairie point edging

Quilt 14 / 50

Quilt 14 / 50

 

I’m linking this up with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework, and Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.  Please stop by to see all of the fantastic work being shared!