Sunday, November 27, 2011

So Many Blocks - So Little Time!

I am a bad bad bee block person.

My life is kinda turning upside down right now as I am attempting to make some HUGE changes.  So I am now so late and so sorry!

Seriously, I am totally hanging my head in shame over here.

But I am caught up now!

First off the one I was most behind on, do. good stitches.   For September we made green monochromatic blocks with a pop of color that was our choice so I used some scraps of Flea Market Fancy gold seeds.

do Good Stitches - September

For October we made rectangle and cube blocks using a pattern from Ashley at Film in the Fridge.

do Good. Stitches - October

Finally for November we all made mod circles blocks using a pattern from Moda Bake Shop that is just adorable. Sadly though my machine doesn't do a blanket stitch as called for in the pattern so I had to use a satin stitch.

do Good, Stitches - November

Next up are the blocks for my String Me Along bee. Back in September we were asked to make half square triangle blocks using all Amy Butler fabrics. And can I say how much I LOVE HST!! Seriously, that is easily my favorite quilt block. So simple, so versatile, and so pretty!

String Me Along - September

Then in October we were asked to make more Nicey Jane string blocks, which are always a pleasure to make. So easy to make, yet it makes wonderfully complex blocks.

String Me Along - October

Finally we have the Neptune Bee, which uses my favorite fabric line ever!! Oh Tula how I love your fabrics! Back in September we were asked to make hexagon blocks - one hand pieced hexie block and one using the awesome Lee's tutorial. This one took me a while simply because of the hand piecing but I loved making them!

Neptune Bee - September

Then in October we were asked for 2 dresden blocks, but sadly I really only had enough time to make 1. This was my first dresden block, and while I love the outcome, I did not like the process. I had so many complications with this block. I couldn't ever get it to lie flat, the circle just barely fit. Overall it was just frustrating.

Neptine Bee - October

Finally for November we were asked to make Rain or Shine blocks from Elizabeth Hartman's book Practical Patchwork. I loved making these, and I love the outcome, but good grief I had issues making that center point come together, and still obviously failed. Thank goodness the lady these are going to has plans to cover the centers with some awesome buttons.

Neptune Bee - November

Finally I did a little bit of secret sewing!  I tried out an X-block and it was a ton of fun!  Sadly though I think I didn't choose my fabrics very well so the contrast isn't quite what it should be.  Still I do love this block!

X Block!

So there you have it - 3 months of blocks that I have been working on the last few weeks and have finally finished!

So many blocks!

Now I just have to get them mailed out on Monday so they can fly their ways home!

Bee Blocks ready to ship!

Also this weekend I have finished a quilt and finally photographed another that I actually made in 2008 but is my favorite quilt ever that I want to share with you, so there's more to come!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Warning! Warning!

Not only is this post super picture heavy but it is full of wonderful and fantastic goodies that might make you pull your credit card out and commit a serious online shopping spree.

This year at the International Quilt Festival I was determined to be better than in years past - when I exercised NO CONTROL whatsoever and came home with a HUGE bag full of fabric. So this year I kept asking myself do I need this, will I use this, and I am happy to report I put SO MUCH back on the shelves.

Yet, somehow I STILL came home with all this.


Fist off I got Yoko Saito of Quilt Party Japan's 156 Patchwork Designs book which is STUNNING. Seriously y'all this book is awesome and worth every shiny penny. Plus she signed it for me!! (And photographing that liquid pencil she used sure was difficult!) I also picked up a copy of Carol Doak's 50 Fabulous Paper Pieced Stars which I have been wanting ever since seeing this epic mini quilt.

Goodies from Quilt Festival

Goodies from Quilt Festival

Then my most epic find of the day was these 3 yard bundles of Tula Pink's Neptune line which is one of my favorite lines of fabric EVER. Plus these are 2 of my favorite prints from the lines EVER! And they weren't crazy over priced like some rude people on ebay, and I only paid $9 a yard! LUCKY!!!

Goodies from Quilt Festival

I got 2 charm packs of Cosmo Crickets 1934 line which I love, a fat quarter bundle of these gorgeous South African fabrics from Coral Tree fabrics, and a GORGEOUS oakshott fabric bundle that is my favorite range of colors.

Goodies from Quilt Festival

Being that I adore all things English and Irish I totally jumped on these British themed prints from Kokka, Echino, and who knows what!

Goodies from Quilt Festival

Oh course I kept my eye out for some Japanese fabrics that I couldn't bear not to take home and I was not disappointed. I have been looking for these little blue bunnies for a month! I also got these lovely cotton square with this fabulous design and color scheme that I want to use as a center panel in a quilt. This is my favorite brand of shasiko thread. It is strong, brilliant white, and a good price.

Goodies from Quilt Festival

Another Japanese print I got was this awesome Kokka print that has large stripes of different prints. I love the burnt orange color scheme and especially the washing labels!

Goodies from Quilt Festival

Another fabric love of mine is cutsie type fabrics that are great for small projects and fussy cutting, and I managed to find tons of those! My special fabrics is the aqua sushi print on the right, and those cracked out looking bunnies on the bottom. I mean come on their eyes are bulging and their little tails are all fluffed up like a really pissed off cat. That just says cracked out to me!

Goodies from Quilt Festival

Finally I got a couple more random prints without much rhyme or reason. Those stripes were just lovely colors, the etchings print of the architectural drawings were just pretty, and the Japanese buttons too sweet. That fun truck print is going to become the backing for a quilt for my dad (someday).

Goodies from Quilt Festival

All in all by the end of both days that I spent at festival it is safe to say my shoulder was hurting from carrying around sacks of stuff and my wallet was much lighter, but it was all oh so worth it!

Geeze I LOVE quilt festival!!

Goodies from Quilt Festival

Also today I went to the opening of the Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange, Texas but more on that later in the week!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Why do you create?

Ever since my craftiness (nerdiness, or whatever you want to call it) was revealed to everyone I know with the Houston Chronicle article I have been asked several times why I like to quilt, why I like crafting, why I like being creative. 


I have had several answers and no answers all at the same time.  I just boiled it down to this generic "because I like it".  Can we same LAME.  I just can't seem to come up with a concise, meaningful answer to any of these questions. 

Into Wonderland

One of my favorite photographers, Zhang Jingna, whose work I have followed for years, was able to sum it up for me perfectly.

"I pursue a beauty that to me makes being alive more bearable even if just for a little while.  This is the reason I create."

Her works (as seen all throughout this post) is a true testament to that powerful statement.
 The Haunting.

So tell me, why do you do what you do?  Why do you risk cricks in your neck from hours over a sewing machine or hand work, why do you risk cuting off fingers with a rotary cutter, why do you risk sleep deprivation trying to create an entire quilt in 2 days because someone asks for a baby quilt at the last minute??

Buried Memories

Why do you create?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Is it Halloween 2012 yet??


Tula, Tula, Tula - how can you do this to me?! 

How can you tell me about these fabrics when they won't even be available until Halloween of 2012?!?! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Oh my goodness, I am exhausted.

Quilt Market and Quilt Festival have come and gone leaving me in a whirlwind of exhaustion! 

The Houston Modern Quilt Guild Market Meet Up was a bundle of awesome-ness.  So many people showed up, so many prizes were given out, so many great conversations were had.  Then in the middle of the week I got interviewed by the Houston Chronicle.  Then I spend wednesday and thursday shopping till I literally dropped (pics of all those goodies are coming!) Wow my feet were killing me at the end of both those days! Then friday-sunday I attended a conference for work in the Hilton Americas next door to the quilt festival meaning half the time I was at my conference I was wishing I was at the festival!  Then saturday night was the HMQG Festival meet up!  Not as many people came but it was still a blast with new friends made, prizes galore, and a fantastic chocolatini!

Sadly though during this crazy week I took almost NO PICTURES!! Argh!  It was just too hard to shop, chat, laugh, drink, and enjoy myself all while taking pictures.  And the few I did take were half blurred and pretty crappy. 

I do have to share this AMAZING FIND with you all though!  3 yard Neptune bundles!! OMG be still my heart!


All in all though it was the most awesome week ever.  And I need a 3 day nap.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Embracing Modernism

Embracing Modernism by A Blond Quilts
Photo by Nick de la Torre of the Houston Chronicle
Cherri House and I were interviewed by the Houston Chronicle about modern quilts and the International Quilt Festival since she is the founder of the Houston Modern Quilt Guild and I am the current president.

You can read the article here if you are interested!