Thursday, March 29, 2012

Japanese Taupe Fabrics: perfect for applique

When you enjoy hand applique, quality of the fabric itself becomes important.  The tricky areas, like points, curves, concave shapes...lend themselves to little bits of frayed edges.  If the fabric you are using is a high quality one with high thread count and tight weave, it minimizes these little threads that can lead to making your applique look sloppy.

Quite a few of the fabrics I used above are from D's Selection fabric brand.  I bought them ages ago in Carolea's Knitche Quilt Shop, which has not existed in many years unfortunately.  Anybody who has ever visited there would tell you it was an incredible place.

Anyhow, the block above is the next in my applique modern house quilt series.  It's been fantastic to design and create.  I'm so excited that it is done and ready for my next class.

In other wanderings:

Purse addiction:  Clare Vivier's fold over clutch.  Be mine.

Finnish Design shop:  Perhaps I should be kept away from here.

Weak for earrings:  Julie Burton at Verre -must resist temptation.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Stripe Invasion: Socks = Twisted Limone, Quilts, Walls...

My fondness for self-striping sock yarn has landed most folks in my family a new pair of hand knit socks using custom dyed yarn by Twisted Limone.  I'm working on a pair for myself in green and purple.  

Why are the colors kelly green and dark purple always saved for the villains?  Joker, Riddler, Lex Luthor...and shortly me, if I ever finish knitting these.

My stripe baby quilt is still in the hoop.  I wanted to finish it by Easter, but it is probably not trending in that direction unfortunately.

I have been looking at the work of Markus Linnenbrink lately and wondering if the colors he uses could be applied for inspiration to a quilt.  Would love to see his work on my wall someday.  Maybe I'll buy one someday if I have a mid-life crisis (instead of a sports car?).

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pins: more is more

I picked up some glass head pins from Sajou recently.  They feel very timeless in my hands and if you iron them, they don't melt like pins that have plastic heads.  I could not find a good link to get them at Bagsmith, but I purchased them there in a convention show booth.

Collecting and using beautiful tools is something I love to do as it makes the quilting process all that more enjoyable.  I started a flickr set for my photos of pin cushions.  Feel free to add a photo of your favorite to the pincushion group if you have a cool one.

Since Easter is coming, this year I want to try and make some neon dyed Easter eggs

I also saw a recent Lego creation where the builder made little collections of figures out of very simple Lego towers.  I am not sure I can guess who all of these are, but they were pretty cool.  I can get some of them...Simpsons, Bert & Ernie, Smurfs...

I was wondering if this Japanese Cat Camera called Necono might be an interesting first digital camera for my son.  The camera itself is in the shape of a cat.  I'm a huge sucker for Japanese plastics. 

For the last couple of issues, I have been enjoying a Japanese magazine called Giorni.  Have you ever read it? They even did an article on Liberty of London recently.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Voices in Cloth 2012 - more peaks, and Bricks By the Bay 2012

Yes, that was Roberta Horton in my last post, good eye smartie pants Kathie and Quilt Inspiration.

I enjoyed the Voices in Cloth 2012 Quilt show so very much.  I ran around with my trusty friend Marianne and my camera shooting grab shots here and there.  Here we are above (I'm on the right) in the Verb booth.  

Those quilts behind us are mine.  Left one may surprise you - yes, finally I assembled all the modern house applique blocks I had into the start of a quilt top.  Right one is hand applique using Oakshott fabrics.  They shimmer.

I put photos I took of the quilts in a flickr set for you here, so enjoy.  Click here for slide show of all photos.

We also attended the first ever Lego convention to hit the California Bay Area over last weekend.  Some of the creations were awesome.  I cannot help myself from uploading another flickr set of that - check it out here - Bricks by the Bay.

In other quilty news:

I love this print from the To Market To Market by Robert Kaufman - Apple fabric: sometimes I find their fabric lines very mainstream and not unique enough for my taste, but not this time.  I'm a sucker for apples.

Have see seen reviews yet out there on Denyse Schmidt's new book Modern Quilts: Traditional Inspiration? I'm sure folks are in love.  I don't have a copy but her work is stunning and unique.

If you're thinking of a re-org of your fabric stash, check out the inspirational stash of Sarah Fielke over at The Last Piece blog - very pretty.

I also ran into photos of Nani Iro's fabric collection for 2012: oooh-la-la, pretty.

Lastly, not quilt related, but due to my obsession with Polaroids, I just adore this candle in the shape of a retro Polaroid.  I can almost hear the noise that the camera makes when a photo comes out.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Voices in Cloth 2012

Today I spent the greater part of the day at the Voices in Cloth quilt show.

It was located in Richmond, CA, just north of Oakland and was put on by the East Bay Heritage Quilt Guild.

Lucky for my sons and husband, they were 'saved' by a tour of the U.S.S. Iowa (a battleship) that was literally just across the street.  I think they had a great time there, and I will confess that I actually enjoyed having some time to look at the quilts with my friend Marianne.

I ran into this extremely famous and talented quilter(above) and she gave me the pleasure of photographing her next to one of the quilts she had in the show.  Anybody know who she is?  I'm sure you have at least a book or two that she has written.  I probably have more than 2 of them.

More on the story behind this mystery quilter's awesome quilt, and the show itself soon, including a flickr set of quilt photos...some ideas for upcoming take on vendors there.  If you have the chance, get over and visit there tomorrow.  I have a couple of quilts up in the vendor booth by A Verb for Keeping Warm.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Oakshott fabric: cheaper than other addictions, right?

Once the daffodils start showing up, you gotta think that spring is not that far away.

These little beauties are brightening up my kitchen.  Can you see my doll quilt collection behind them on the wall?  

Finally, my friends at A Verb for Keeping Warm have in their stock some awesome fabric from Oakshott.  This fabric glows from the inside.  It's almost impossible to imagine how it looks when you see it in person, but you really have to see it, feel it, and quilt with it in order to understand why one could (hypothetically of course) become addicted to it.

I have of course talked about this fabric before...

Anyhow, if you are at the Voices in Cloth show this weekend, pls do say hi to me if you see me there.  I hope to be floating around on Sat. and perhaps in the Verb booth at times if I get lucky.  To keep the Oakshott fabric company, of course.

Been reading I'm a Ginger Monkey blog and have a hankering for some plastic templates to make a new quilt...can I resist them?  Only time will tell.

Which Came First...and an upcoming quilt show: Voices in Cloth

I know, I know, we'll never know which came first.  Firstly though, I am addicted to these teenie MochiMochi knits.  I will have to be restrained in order to stop making them.  I knit one for my mom as a thank you gift for her every time she visits me.  I would love to figure out how to knit a super tiny R2D2 robot.  She got this little golden chicken in the mail today.  I don't think it actually lays golden eggs, but you probably don't need to feed it either.

Raise your hand if you are heading off to the East Bay Heritage Quilt show called Voices in Cloth this weekend!  

I hope to go and take some photos for you.  There is a special exhibit by the Oakland African American Quilt Guild that I'm excited to check out.

With any luck, my modern quilt block patterns will be for sale there at the Verb for Keeping Warm booth.  They are a little difficult to print and mail out without bending them, so it's a great chance to get them if you're so inclined...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Socks - on the run

I knit the above socks for my DH from Twisted Limone yarn.  This yarn is addictive.  I have been working on socks during swimming lessons, piano lessons and basically whenever I'm on the run with the kids.  Amazing how quickly they knit up when it's self-stripe yarn.  Only need to carry around one ball with you.

I used the afterthought construction method to make the heel  in case you're curious, in order to make a cute little bull's eye on the heel.

Check out these awesome Yoko Saito blocks over at Isadarena Passions Blog - so pretty.

Want to see the cutest teenie quilt/mug rug ever?  Small but adorable by my friend So Sue.

Tanis Fiber Arts just posted a cute way to photograph her yarn balls.  I'm thinking it would work well for quilt blocks too.  Never enough good photography tips!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Quilting Videos: Yoko Saito vs. Liberty of London

Would You Rather see a video by Yoko Saito about hand quilting, or a video about all the amazing artists that design fabric for Liberty of London?

I couldn't decide, so I watched (and loved) both:

Does anybody out there already have Yoko Saito's book called Floral Bouquet Quilt?  (I think that's the title anyhow...)  Check out this cute video of her on her site talking about some patterns in the book and watch as she demo's her method of hand quilting.  She doesn't use a hoop which I think is very interesting. 

In the Liberty of London video you can hear a bit about how the designers work as they create these amazing (*warning* and addicting) fabrics.

Have you tried the Quilter's Dream batt in wool?  I love their cotton bats, so low loft, so easy to quilt through.  I'm really interested to check out this stuff.  It looks a bit like it might be on the thick side though...hard to tell from a photo, but there is one up on Purl Soho.

The above blossoms were hanging over my side of the fence in my yard.  That makes them my property, right?  Considering they are now in my kitchen...they certainly are!  Let's hear it for the sakura.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hand Quilting: Feathers

First thing's first.

The winner of the Lego "quilt studio" giveaway is...(drum roll)...AnnVallance of Rupert Girl Blog.  Congrats Ann.  Shoot me an email at "quilt (dot) baby (at) hotmail dot com" and I'll send your amazing and teenie studio out your way.

It's no secret that I love hand quilting, and feathers are my favorite.  I like to quilt other patterns, but there is something very appealing about the intricate detail of them and the antique feel they give a quilt. 

They are, however, not the fastest method of quilting, so my blocks are getting finished at a more relaxed pace.  

As long as the baby recipient is still a baby when she gets it, I'll be pleased.  She may have the ability to actually crawl off of it at the rate I'm going (and the rate she's building muscle!), but it will be fun to try and catch a photo of her sitting on it.

In other local news, we have a local non-profit teaching/learning farm called Hidden Villa.  Check out their calendar for a sheep shearing event coming up on 4/14.  My knitting friend and I are going to check it out to see where all that fluffy stuff really starts.  Sounds like good clean (or not so clean?) fun.

Have you seen the video that Pinwheels posted yet on their site?  Maria Tamaoka (owner) posted a really cute BOM instructional clip that is about 9 min long and features inspiration from Yoko Saito.  She talks about Daiwabo fabrics, and it is really cute and informative video. She mentions that you do not need to pre-wash the fabrics. 

Hm...I don't like to work with fabrics unless they are washed first, so I'll probably keep up my usual procedures (cold washer, gentle cycle with a color dryer...directly to a hot iron with no steam...air dry