Sunday, December 25, 2011

I've been working on a ton of stuff...

...but some of it is meant to be a surprise, so I can't share pictures until the holidays are well past.  In the meantime, I have found an amazing way to use scraps of fabric that are too precious to throw away but too small to put into a quilt.

Behold: flannel fabric note cards.

I love the way these look and feel.  This first batch is made using Anna Maria Horner's Folksy Flannels line (oh, I'm making MYSELF a quilt out of that fabric, by the way).  There are four sets of cards (four in a set) available on at

Hope you all had a great holiday! 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Echo Quilt: Letting the Fabric Talk!

Some fabrics are best left to speak for themselves.  While it's a fun challenge to do an ultra complicated quilt, just sewing together some strips can be more effective.  Lotta Jansdotter's Echo collection (available here) is a distinctly Scandinavian collection that, in my opinion, shouldn't be sliced into too small of pieces.  Instead, I sliced mine into strips of varying widths and sewed them together into this simple lap quilt:

This was a relaxing project, and  I love the result.  The layers are stippled together and then bound in navy fabric, with a little strip of one of the aqua prints.  I could see this fabric collection becoming the basis of an entire bedroom set --- curtains, pillows, bedskirt etc. etc. with some Ikea furniture.  Alas, I am in no mood to repaint a room, so the quilt will be available in my etsy store.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Lou Lou Thi Quilt

I've been vewwwy vewwy quiet for the last several weeks, but I HAVE been working.  Right now, I'm about to begin a post-Thanksgiving, long weekend marathon to finish this quilt.  The quilt is another custom job through My Etsy Shop, this time for a lovely customer in Montreal.  She sent me a some of Anna Maria Horner's Lou Lou Thi collection which I matched with some Kona solids including a few new favorite colors: Amber, Yarrow, and Cayenne.  Ever notice how nice names can make you like a color even more?  Here are some photos.  I hope to post some pictures of the finished product within, say, 72 hours.

Wonky block quilts like my Abstract Big Blocks are fun to make.  You don't have the same amount rules and geometry as other quilts, like the City Block Quilt.  Don't get me wrong, making that quilt is a joy as well, and the final result is absolutely stunning, but sometimes it's nice to just piece together some crazy strips of fabric.  As usual, I'll be a little sad to ship this away to it's new home up north.  I hope it will be loved!

Also, I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Some pieces in their "forever homes"

Fortunately, the first few days of my trip to California have coincided with a [brief] lag in my custom quilt orders.  I'm going to be starting back up in a few days, and some photos from recent customers have provided some inspiration.  Here we go...

First of all, how great does this quilt look on the Case Study Bed from HiveModern?  The soft, handmade appearance contrasts so well with the angular bed frame.  And kitties, I find, are the ultimate quilt accessory.

Next, you'll remember this one from my previous post.  The customer, Julia, sent me a great suggested layout for the quilt back, and it turned out to be nearly as nice as the front.  Toddlers and quilts are a good combination too.  What a cute kid.  I hope he loves his new bed!

And finally, since I'm on my way up to Cambria to visit my aunt, here is the lovely quilt I made for her a few months ago.  The colors and fabrics are pretty cool... kind of Gauguin-esque.  I'll be offering this pattern as yet another queen size custom offering on my etsy store as soon as I have a moment to write up a description.  Again... cats and quilts:

Happy Halloween, folks!  Stay warm!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Now what am I working on?

Hi!  I've been working on another custom City Block quilt.  I've finished the quilt top, picture here, as well as the quilt back.  Now I need to sandwich it together, do the actual "quilting" (when the layers are joined together by thread), and bind the quilt.  Good time for a break, I'd say!

I'm finding that this pattern is very versatile.  It always looks modern, but it can be very cute at the same time.  Here's a snap shot of the quilt top.  It isn't quilted yet, so it will look more cuddly and crinkly once it's finished:

This quilt is for a little boy who is moving from his crib into a big boy bed.  His mom chose 7 fabrics instead of the 10 that I recommend in the listing.  This is just fine, and still gives the quilt plenty of variation.  I'm probably going to adjust the listing so it says something like: "send me between 6 and 14 of your favorite fabrics" since I can see it working in either direction.  There just needs to be some solid fabric in the design or it becomes way too busy.  The eye needs a place to rest.

Look at what my customer did here: she chose one "focus fabric" (Michael Miller Zoology), two "solids" (one is a linen that has some visible texture, but it still looks solid overall), two "small" prints (dot n' square and stripes), and two "large" prints (Ellis Turquoise and the quarter dots).  Really, this is a perfect fabric combo, and I'm going to use it as an example for future custom work if someone needs help choosing their fabric. 

More pictures to come as the quilt is completed!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Habitat" preview

In addition to other projects, I am working on a series of wall hangings using Jay McCarroll "Habitat" fabrics. I am doing this partially because of the Modern Quilt Guild fabric challenge, but also because the fabric designs are amazing and a tiny bit of them pack a huge punch.  There will be lots of straightline quilting and negative space.

These are going to be "painting sized" so that you can put them pretty much anywhere you'd hang a painting.  Textiles add a lot of warmth to a room.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A finished product

Working on this piece  has been a pleasure, and I'll be a little bit sad to see it leave for its new home in California.  I know it will be loved.

Here's the best of my early afternoon photoshoot in the beautiful Agnes Reynolds Jackson Arboretum in The Old West End.  I am so lucky to live here, and I definitely need to do more outdoor photography for my quilts.  Oh, and if you're concerned about the picture in the top left, I assure you that I didn't just plop the quilt in some dirt... there's a layer of plastic tucked carefully underneath!

Now on  to my next commissioned project!  The same pattern, but in a blue/grey/brown palette for a little boy.  More on that soon.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Keeping it [kind of] simple

I try to be zen.  I would love to live in a big empty house with bright lights, a mattress, and a few pieces of art.  But I also love to collect and people keep giving me things!

On Monday night I went to a meeting for the Northwest Ohio Modern Quilt Guild and received a set of Fat Quarters from Jay McCarroll's "Habitat" line along with a challenge to create something using most of the fabric.  Here are the rules:

1. Item made must be quilted
2. May add other Habitat fabrics, otherwise – only solids
3. Due at our October meeting
4. Make something you like and want!

I appreciate the collection and wouldn't want to add to the busy-ness anyway, and I think that only using a white or cream solid will showcase the design.  Since I'm currently work on City Block quilts that have 132 blocks (each of which is made up of 3 smaller blocks and white sashing, so what's that - a million pieces???), I want to keep this one relatively simple with a lot of negative space.  Here are the fabrics and my design idea.

What do you think?  Definitely a take on my old pal Mondrian.  It's going to be awhile before I can get started on this guy so there may be a few other iterations of the design.

The other colorway of this fabric is pretty cool too - take a look and purchase it at this link.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What am I working on?

Take a look at these amazing Japanese fabrics.  Doris from Minimodernistas has commissioned me to make a City Blocks Quilt (order yours here) featuring her fabric collection.  Yesterday I received a box with more than enough fabric and I had to resist the urge to leave my other job early to start cutting into these beauties! 

I love working with other people's fabric collections.  It allows me to expand my horizons beyond the colorways and fabrics that I would usually choose.  Doris' collection is high quality and just lovely.  I have a feeling that I'll be finished with her quilt much earlier than my promised 4 week turn around.

Hey readers!

Do you love quilts or at least love looking at quilts?  Cool!  Me too.  I started sewing a long time ago, but was always overwhelmed by the idea of quilting.  My perception was colored by the image of 10 amish women gathered around quilt-stretcher, stitching everything by hand.  Romantic, but totally terrifying.  That is, until one cold winter night when I was feeling irritated with an ugly green poly-fleece blanket and decided to fire up the sewing machine and make myself something of higher quality.  Hence, my very first quilt was born.  And my obsession was born.
I started an etsy store in early September to sell my quilts and the sales have just started to roll in.  Some of the items are right over there in my sidebar ------->

I have two main areas of inspiration: American Arts and Crafts and Mid-Century Modern.  I try to integrate both aesthetics into my work.  Mid-Century is fairly easy given the current fabrics that are available/popular.  Arts and Crafts is more of a challenge for quilting - since the architects, designers etc. from that era would've preferred a tapestry or a whole cloth textile over a quilt.  I'm brainstorming ways to overcome that obstacle, so look for some cool experiments in fabric dyeing and printing as soon as I get a chance!

I do other creative stuff in addition to quilting, so I will post about those things from time to time as well.  I plan to post pictures of my current projects, ideas, and challenges.  I'm also looking to make friends and build community amongst Toledo area artsy-crafters.  Send me a note if you're one of them!

I hope you'll stick around and watch this blog grow.  I'll be posting about my current commissioned work, featuring some GORGEOUS Japanese fabric, later today.

Here's a picture of me turning a corner on quilt binding... not really the most opportune time for a picture, but it's pretty cute: