Archive for the 'colour' Category

MY PERSONAL QUILTING STYLE

Quilting Happiness

I’m really honoured to be taking part in the Blog Hop for Quilting Happiness by Christina Lane and Diane Gilleland. The book hits stores on August 27, but you can pre-buy it now! Quilting Happiness is a collection of 16 quilts and 4 small projects, interspersed with creative exercises, quizzes, tools, and stories to help you explore your delight in quilting.

We were given the exercise of creating a collage to help determine our personal quilting style. I decided to use my Pinterest Boards to find my most recent images and create a digital collage. I very rarely buy magazines anymore and I use Pinterest ALOT. It has really become a huge resource of images, colour palettes, ideas and recipes for me. I took a look through my recent pins and could immediately see that many of the images were coordinated in colour palette and feeling. Lots of soft colours and shades of orange and peach right now. I really like clean lines and simplicity. I’ve been trying to be more colourful with my palettes this year to break out of my grey & blue tendencies which is really difficult for me! I’m getting slightly more adventurous with my colour choices, but I still tend to choose softer colours.  I can see clearly that I’m drawn to nature and floral imagery, as well as painterly textures. Art has always been a big inspiration for me.

I thought it would be interesting to pull out my visual diaries from about 10 years ago to see how I felt about those paper collages and whether or not my taste and style has changed since then. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was still really excited by collages I had made so long ago. Most of the pages are still very inspirational to me and I even see lots of similar colour ideas.

I can’t wait to get a copy of Quilting Happiness, I love the idea behind this book. Taking time to explore and appreciate how quilting can bring you so much joy and happiness in your life seems like the perfect thing to do.

Visit all the other blogs that participated in the Blog Hop this week. I’ve loved getting to see everyone else’s collages.

From my Pinterest collage above : Courthouse Steps Quilt, Chair, Floral Embroidery, Floral Stationery, Vogue Dress Pattern, Yellow Filing Cabinets, Landon Metz Painting, Girl with Umbrella, Shibori Dress, Japanese Smocking, Crafty Desk

Visual Diary

Visual Diary

Visual Diary

Visual Diary

FABRIC STACKS

Feather Bed quilt fabric stack

Without a doubt one of the best parts of making a quilt is choosing the fabric. What’s even better is if you can just ‘shop your stash’ for the fabrics. I didn’t really understand the importance of having a stash as a quilter when I first started out. All these stacks were made from just what I have at home. They represent a range of time and memories and they are all fabrics that I really like. My fabric purchasing strategy is to buy fat quarters of fabrics that I like. If I like it a lot then I’ll get a half metre. If I think a fabric is amazing, I’ll get between 1-3 metres so that I’ll have enough for a large project or for lots of projects and not have to worry about it running out. I’m also always on the lookout for great neutrals (greys! whites, creams) or background type fabrics – when I find those, I’ll usually get between 2-3 metres.

Let’s take a look at these fabrics stacks.

First up is a stack for an Anna Maria Horner Feather Bed Quilt. This quilt has been on my mental list, but last week I saw Lalu’s version and suddenly it’s at the top of the list. I started a test block on Sunday to see what it would look like. Love it! The background fabric is a Lecien Vintage Paper print that I got recently, knowing it would be amazing as a quilt background fabric.

Next is a stack that is mostly Lizzy House Constellations. I wanted to do a quilt that would showcase Constellations. I feel particularly sentimental about this collection. I have lots of wonderful memories of seeing this collection emerge from our visit to Salt Lake City and a year’s worth of Skype dates with Lizzy. I searched around for ages and finally found Sheila’s Oh My Stars! Quilt pattern. I love the layout and I’m looking forward to making this quilt and spending time with these fabrics that I adore so much.

The Hand Pieced Star Sampler class is coming up and these are my choices for the class. I’ve wanted to do a quilt with red for a while and I’ve also got lots of star fabrics that I’ve been collecting. I used the red & navy plaid as my inspiration for these fabric selections.

Superstar Quilt is Johanna’s version of the Lone Star. My idea for this quilt is peach and grey. I wanted to use some of my favourite prints from the new Architextures line. The pieces in this quilt are larger, so it’s the perfect place to showcase fun prints.

The last stack is for the Learning Curves Table Runner class. I’ve picked out fabrics to make two different runners. I plan on getting really good at doing curves!

I started a list in ‘My Crafty List of Things to Do‘ for my ’12 Quilt Tops in 2013′ goal (scroll to the bottom of the page). I’ve got fabric here for four, so I’m off to a good start!

My fabric stash

Oh My Stars! quilt fabric stack

Hand Pieced Star Sampler fabric stack

Superstar quilt fabric stack

Learning Curves Table Runner fabric stack

FARMER’S WIFE : COLOURS

Blue + White

I’ve been thinking really hard about what I wanted to do for a colour palette for my Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt. With so many blocks to make and such a big time commitment, I wanted to settle on a range of colour to create a framework for all the blocks.

I had quite a few ideas. The front runner was a rainbow palette with each block being tonal in just one colour. For instance, three shades of pink, red, purple or yellow. Then I could arrange the blocks in a rainbow gradation in the end. My other idea was solids only. This was completely inspired by how amazing these blocks look. I also considered doing the City Rain palette that was inspired by this photo. My last idea was to do white + one colour. This was inspired by this red and white vintage quilt and this quilt exhibit that I really wish I could have seen in NYC.  See some great photos of the exhibit here.

Here’s how I finally decided. I got out all my boxes of fabric and started to pick out fabric for each of those palettes. I knew right away the City Rain palette would be impossible for me for 100+ blocks. It felt too limiting and difficult. The rainbow palette seemed fun and would give me so many options, but I realized that I had more than two boxes full of blue fabric. I really like blue. I also really like the idea of creating a quilt that will have a bit of a traditional feel with the colour but will hopefully also look modern with my fabric choices. I’ll be doing all shades of blue + white.

I feel so good now that I’ve got my colour choice sorted out. Have you decided what colours you’re going to use? Please feel free to post a comment here to tell us what fabrics you’ve chosen, or even a link to a photo or blog post you’ve written about the topic. I can’t wait to see!

Blue + White

Blue + White

Blue + White

Blue + White

Blue + White

COLOUR THEORY + MINI QUILTS

Karyn's Mini Quilt

Somehow I was catapulted out of August into the middle of September, (WTH?) so don’t mind me while I reminisce about the last bits of summer.

Colour Theory + Mini Quilts with Lizzy House was a phenomenal class. The first class was spent mixing paints and learning about colour theory. It felt like being back in art class, but it truly drove the lesson home. Right away we were putting together dynamic colour palettes that surprised us. I saved mine and I’m making a mini quilt out of it this weekend.

For the mini quilt portion of the class we had to design something from scratch. I’ve done lots of improv quilting, but never really planned a design, so this was a challenge. We were also supposed to try to only use solids. Another challenge for me since I rarely use solids.

I added one more personal challenge on top of all that. I wanted to try to convey transparency with my design where parts were overlapping. Let me tell you, I was frustrated by the whole thing. But for me, I know that this means that I’m actually learning something!

My mini turned out to look just like my sketch and I can’t tell you what a thrill it was the first time I pieced together a component with the transparency layers.

It was really special watching each individual mini quilt come together from a sketch to a little mini work of art. It was even more special to see everyone achieve little milestones of personal challenge and achievement. I’m not going to lie, there were some joyful tears at the end of this class. Yep. That’s the kind of teacher Lizzy House is.

Karyn's Mini Quilt

Colour Theory

Colour Theory

Karyn's Mini Quilt design

Debbie's Mini Quilt

Vida's Mini Quilt

Diane's Mini Quilt

Marilou's Mini Quilt front

Katherine's Mini Quilt front

Carolina's Mini Quilt front

Marion's Mini Quilt front

MANNISH STYLE : DRESS 12

Mannish Style : Dress 12

Mannish Style – available at the workroom
Dress 12 : silk shibori dyed in logwood

Oh boy, was I ever excited last week when I remembered that I had this piece of silk from my Advanced Natural Dyeing class. This pattern from Mannish Style is exactly what I had hoped to find to make a dress from this shibori fabric that I dyed in logwood. I love the drapey folds.

This pattern was also very easy! There are just 2 pieces (front & back), with the front being cut on the bias to give it that nice drape. The neck and arms are finished with bias trim. The pattern was intended for a knit fabric which you can see would have even more drape. Because of that, the dress is a bit snug around the hips and I would adjust the pattern next time to be a bit looser.  I would also love to make this in a fun knit fabric.

This silk is my most favourite piece of fabric that I have dyed myself. The super dark, inky purple colour we got from this logwood bath is so amazing and so much deeper than any other colour I’ve done in the past. There is still some of this silk leftover and I want to try to use every bit of it. I’m trying to figure out what else I can make with it, perhaps a tank top or camisole?

Mannish Style : Dress 12

Mannish Style : Dress 12

Mannish Style : Dress 12

Mannish Style : Dress 12

CHEVRON FRIENDSHIP BRACELET

Chevron Friendship Bracelet

Looks like friendship bracelets are making a huge comeback this year. Personally, I’m really excited about it because it’s a sweet little gift that requires very little supplies and really no tools (except for a safety pin and scissors!) Portable, small crafts are also a bonus in the summer when you might want something to do in the car (as a passenger!), sitting in the park or hanging out with pals.

I started this bracelet a couple nights ago while watching tv. I went through my Cosmo floss collection and found that I mostly have pink and grey! I’m trying to do a super wide chevron pattern, using 8 different colours. I’m following the tutorial from Honestly WTF, but there is also a tutorial on Purl and if you’re really serious about it, we have a Japanese book dedicated to Misanga, which is what they call friendship bracelets. I’m working my way up to doing some of the fancy patterns like flowers and hearts!

Have you seen our Cosmo floss palettes? They are kinda perfect for this. We’ve selected some super cute combinations of colours. Just pick one of the sets and you’ll be ready to make a bunch of bracelets. I just created two that I’m totally in love with – City Rain and Lavender Fields. City Rain was inspired by this incredible photo of city lights reflecting off the pavement of a dark rainy night here in Toronto. My next bracelets will be using this palette. I can’t wait.

We’ve been having fun packing up orders from our new online shop and sending them out to new friends in Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Calgary, the US and all over Ontario. We’re learning lots, especially about shipping costs. Canada Post is so tricky. Our original shipping estimates were coming out really high, so we’ve been adjusting them as we figure out this new system. No matter what, we have been refunding everyone with the difference between the actual shipping cost and what they may have over paid. If you tried to buy something, but were worried when you saw the shipping totals, try again. They should be much more realistic now.

Also, I’m thinking that a friendship bracelet party would be a fun thing to do….

Cosmo colours in my bracelet : #475, #2222, #476, #472, #2224, #431, #226, #224

Cosmo Embroidery Floss Palette

Cosmo Embroidery Floss Palette

SUNDAY PATCHWORK #8

Sunday Patchwork #8

The beauty of a mini quilt is that you work through a colour palette or style on a very small scale and feel like you’ve checked it off your list. It would be impossible for me to work out every colour combination I’m in love with as a full sized quilt. Plus, I’ve recently decided that my life needs a wall filled with mini quilts.

This melon and grey combination has made several appearances on my Pinterest colour board. (1, 2, 3, 4!) Grey plus anything is always a favourite for me.

I’m testing out some new ways of doing improv patchwork. For this piece, I made up a rule that I must use equal amounts of all the fabric I chose. I cut a strip of fabric that was 6″ x 2″ of each fabric and started sewing. I wanted to keep it really simple, so I didn’t chop up my sewing too much as I went along. I like how it just ended up being equal squares and rectangles. So simple.

I’m feeling like I need to be more experimental with my quilting designs. I have not yet braved the world of free motion. (soon!) So, I’m still exploring the world of straight lines. I decided to take out my Hera Marker for this and see how it worked for marking my quilting lines. It was perfect!! It allowed me to quickly mark my design with a ruler as I went along without leaving any chalk or ink lines behind. I was surprised at how well the indentations marked the lines for me. This is definitely a new favourite notion to use.

I finished this mini quilt in four days from start to finishing the binding. Wall full of mini quilts should be a breeze, right?

Sunday Patchwork #8

Sunday Patchwork #8

Sunday Patchwork #8

Sunday Patchwork #8

Sunday Patchwork #8

Sunday Patchwork #8

SUNDAY PATCHWORK #7

Sunday Patchwork #7

This Sunday Patchwork spans the last three Sundays and lots of hours in between. It started with an idea to do a mini quilt in aqua, yellow and cream. A big part of my love for this colour palette was this Windham fabric. I picked out a selection of fabrics from my stash and had it in my mind to ‘whip up’ this mini quilt top in a night. I also had it in my mind to do it all in tiny half square triangles (HSTs) rather than my usual improv piecing style. I wanted structure and repetition for this mini quilt.

Well, that first Sunday night, I barely got through cutting all the squares of fabric, marking lines, sewing, slicing and ironing over 150 HSTs. The next morning when I got up, I jumped on the sewing machine and started to sew them together, but I didn’t get far. Those teeny tiny HSTs (they are 1″ finished) got really wonky, really quickly when I started putting them together. I could see right away that in order for me to get all my points perfect and to keep things square, I was going to have to hand piece this mini quilt.

I learned about the joys of hand piecing from Carolanne. It is an amazing way to sew incredibly accurately. When I made my patchwork skateboard last year, it was all pieced by hand. It might take a bit longer, but it’s so satisfying and you can do it on the couch or tucked in bed.

This hand piecing project couldn’t have come at a better time, it has been the best therapy for some long, stressful days. Completely focusing on the stitching gave me a great escape to clear my mind.

I put the top together with no plan and just randomly sewed the pieces together. I originally thought I would have all the HSTs facing in the same direction, but decided to do some alternating to create some movement within the piece. It will finish at 12″ square and is made up of 144 half square triangles.

I love to take photos of the back of my work, especially when all the seams line up and create perfect little shapes. That is the best!

I gotta say, I love it. A LOT.

Tonight at the Stitch n’ Bitch, I’m going to baste it and figure out how to quilt it. I’ll probably also be thinking about my next mini quilt, which is going to be inspired by ice cream colours!

Sunday Patchwork #7

Sunday Patchwork #7

Sunday Patchwork #7

Sunday Patchwork #7

Sunday Patchwork #7

Sunday Patchwork #7

Sunday Patchwork #7

ADVANCED NATURAL DYEING

Solar Dyeing

One of our many new classes is an Advanced Natural Dyeing class. Many of the past Natural Dyeing students wanted a next level class where they could explore more dyestuffs and different techniques. Also, we just love taking classes from Julie. The advanced class is completely self directed, so each student has their own personal projects and develops a plan with Julie ahead of time.

Natural dyeing is really exciting. I love when the back area and kitchen of the workroom changes into a laboratory with pots everywhere that are bubbling up with bundles of fabric inside. It’s messy and chaotic and thrilling. Also, dyeing with a group of people is so much fun.

I had two projects that I wanted to work on. The first was a very simple natural dyed quilt. I took some organic cotton brushed sheeting and randomly cut it into pieces that I dyed and over-dyed into various colours. My plan is to simply stitch all the pieces back together to create a front and back of a quilt. I’ve kept pretty good notes on what each piece was dyed in, so the quilt will be a bit of a map of all the dyeing I did in class.

My second project was to dye a piece of silk for a dress. I’ve been pinning all kinds of inspirational dyeing images on Pinterest. In particular, I really loved this super dark, inky dress and wanted to try to replicate that depth of colour. A lot of the natural dye colours end up being very soft and muted, so I thought I would have to do some over-dyeing to build up that kind of colour. By accident, I ended up creating a very dark logwood bath using an older bundle of logwood chips that had been previously used and I had kept for the past few months in a plastic bag. I think something about the wood staying wet for so long, released a lot of colour into the bath and we got a purple that was almost black. There are so many great surprises in natural dyeing. I twisted up and tied my bundle of silk and cooked it carefully in the bath for a while. I’m so happy with how it turned out in the end and love the shibori pattern it created.

Arounna made all kinds of lovely scarves and bags from her class work. Margie had all kinds of shibori, yarn and even her beautiful crochet stones dipped into the pots. Carolanne was working on an indigo shibori dyed piece of washi paper that she is hand quilting. Brian was working on creating fabric samples to make quilt blocks from. Susan did some fun solar dyeing, yarn and shibori experiments. Even Julie bundled up some fabric during class for solar dyeing. We had such a great time in class together and I think there will have to be a little dye party reunion during the summer. I want to do more dyeing!

Arounna's mordanted fabric

Dye samples

Karyn's Dye Samples for a Quilt

Karyn's Logwood Shibori on Silk

Margie's Dyed Yarn + Crochet Stone

SUNDAY PATCHWORK #4

Sunday Patchwork #4

I’ve been patchworking every Sunday, but for the last ten weeks have been focusing on my Quilt Sampler 2 homework. The class just finished last Thursday, so I’ll post up photos of our finished quilt tops this week.

Yesterday, I spent a few hours ironing and organizing my fabric stash at home. It’s gotten a bit messy and also spread out over the house, so I wanted to wrangle it into one location. It’s so fun to re-discover forgotten fabrics and make things all tidy. Handling all my fabrics, really got me inspired to work with some with new colour palettes.

I’ve really been in the mood for some improv patchwork, so last night I started by using some scraps of purple nani IRO double gauze and threw in other scraps of dark grape-y purple, navy and light blues. I wanted to keep it fairly simple, but kept adding more and more scraps. It’s hard to stop, once you get going! I built two separate, but similar blocks so that they would be the right size for me to make myself a travel hoop bag.

Tonight I’m going to baste the two blocks and start doing some simple hand quilting on them. I’ve been missing having a little hand work project, so this is going to be perfect!

Sunday Patchwork #4

Sunday Patchwork #4

Sunday Patchwork #4

Sunday Patchwork #4