Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mondo Bag

Teal and Tangerine Squares

My quilting progress has been slow...and not much to report until today following my class to assemble my Mondo bag, by Quiltsmart.  I've been wanting to make a teal and tangerine quilt for some time--to celebrate the Year of Tangerine.  So this was the perfect opportunity to test out the color combo using lots of 2.5" squares.  As I cut out the squares, I really fell in love with the combination and knew it would be a fun summer bag and couldn't wait to see it all come together!

These Quiltsmart fusible patterns are amazing.  They do all the planning and word for you...so all you have to do is lay out your squares, fuse, and then sew along the prescribed lines...achieving perfect seams along the way.  Last week we prepared our 4 panels.  The hardest part of the process may have been deciding the layout of the squares--to achieve the perfect balance of randomness without any of the fabrics too close to themselves.  Fortunately our instructor pointed out how the panels will ultimately come together so we could avoid duplication along the seamlines.

Then in today's class, we assembled the bag with handles and optional inside pocket and key hook.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the end finished product.  This morning I read the pattern and saw an option for using leftover squares to create the handles--carrying out the scrappy effect.  And while I was nervous about not having the 1.25 yard of the cute Kate Spain good fortune dragonfly fabric as called for by the pattern--I not only managed to have enough without any need for scrappy piecing, and I even managed to have a fat eight leftover!

10" square base

Hidden pocket
This bag's interior certainly lives up to the Mondo size.  The base 10" base is big enough to lay a quilt book flat!You can also see the little key fob with a little carabiner, so kindly provided by our instructor for easy catch and release.  Just think of all the fabric and quilting books this baby can hold!

There's a large pocket to organize the interior and keep everything from settling along the bottom.  I only wish I had made 2 or more pockets as they are super handy!
This summer's hottest fashion accessory!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Saturday Art Therapy

Saturday was my Art and Quilt Therapy Day...

CQFA (Contemporary Quilt and Fiber Artists)
A whole lotta embellishment fun
Beginning early Saturday morning, the first half of the CQFA meeting was spent embellishing sheets of fabric layered with scraps of tissue paper and napkins made by members at an inbetween meeting.  As soon as I dived in with painting and embellishing, I realized I should have taken a "before" picture...d'oh!  I was drawn to this particular sheet because of the black and white roses, the star which had some texture around it, pattern template and the sur la table print.  After some colorful paint, rubber stamping and buttons--this is my "after" photo...   
I have absolutely no idea what will become of this project.  There may be more embellishment in its future.  Or I might cut it up and turn it into stationary or frame smaller sections...to be determined...  
Rhonda's Raffia Ripple

My neighbor Rhonda, fellow CQFA and BAMQG member, made lots of fabric/paper sheets and was very generous in sharing.  I immediately fell in love with this sheet of simple white swept with strips of bright raffia ribbon.I just loved it so much that I didn't want to clutter its simple beauty with paint, rubber stamping or any other embellishment.  Before leaving the meeting, I asked Rhonda to sign it, as I want to frame it for my studio wall!

The remainder of the meeting was just as inspiring.  Everyone shared their Under the Sea challenge projects.  Even though we all started with the same scraps of fused fabrics, I was amazed at the diversity of finished projects and techniques:  tulle for the impression of depth, clear plastic zipper bag that looked like a mini fish tank that is both fun and functional, a pillow (Rhonda), totebag and of course wall hangings!  It was fun to see the same fish fabrics reappear with totally different backgrounds!  And of course-there was lots of other show and tell and ATC swaps. 
ATCs (L to R) made by Maureen, Bron, Angela and Jaye
BAMQG (Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild)
As soon as CQFA wrapped up, I had to hit the highway to get to the BAMQG meeting.  We started with a fun demonstration of quilt as you go.  This is a great little technique that I will keep in mind with the next large quilt project.  And there was lots of show and tell, which is always fun to watch. 

Fabric Shopping
Feeling super excited, I decided to visit one of the LQS in that area to admire and of course, buy some fabric.  This time I was on the hunt for magical fabrics for my upcoming retreat with Christina Barnes:  "Magic Fabrics, Special Effects."   I had a few fun finds to add to my stash.

Studio Mini Makeover
I was absolutely exhausted on my way home, but my spirits raised when I entered the house to see Doug had hung a new wire in the front walkway and proudly displayed his tool quilt (which was so big, a foot or so was on the ground).  Not only that, but he also hung 3 new and much needed ceiling lights in my studio--replacing the floor lamps that were ALWAYS in the way and being knocked over (resulting in several broken bulbs!).  And we then tackled organizing all the electrical wiring, which led to a full blown dusting/cleaning/organizing of the entire studio...which was long overdue.  I've been reluctant to mess up all that hardwork, so I haven't done any sewing since! 

 But that sew-free streak ends today...   ;-)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Artist Trading Cards

Today, I tackled making my first series of Artist Trading Cards.  I found this bright and cheery peace sign fabrics (keeping with my peace, love and happiness motto) and used scraps from my stash bin to accentuate. 
Artist Trading Cards
I only needed to bring 4, but they were pretty easy to make...and I owe one to a fellow CQFA member who kindly shared one of her ATCs at my first meeting to use as an example.  I can't wait to see more from my fellow members.  Now that I have the anatomy and basic construction broken down, I will be ready to make more for the July meeting.