Monday, September 29, 2014

Forging Ahead with More Fusing Frenzied Fun

This fusing the grid series is seriously addicting!  I find myself dreaming of different grid variations and anxious to implement them into fabric.  So I went to work continuing the Fusing the Grid series with #3 and #4...since I had already done the prep work thinking I would be attending both days of Sue Benner's Fusing the Grid workshops.
Fusing the Grid #3 Background Grid

Fusing the Grid #3:
Fusing the Grid #3
For this background grid, I used 2 strips of fabric to create my 3" background squares creating a modern/wonky rail fence effect.  After lusting over so many of my fellow workshop attendee's fun fabrics, I treated myself to a fabric trip to select non-quilting fabrics;  sheers, swimsuit wear, and more!  Imagine my delight when I realized the holographic swimsuit fabric used a 3" perfect!!  I then added some swatches of black and white prints along with more of my plaid fabrics at the various intersections to help disguise the background grid and add another layer of interest, color and texture.  

Fusing the Grid #4:
For this series, I started with four 3x3 mini grids for my background.  I had originally wanted to add some circular shapes to break up the square grid, and started by adding some pumpkin seed petals, which you can see layered around a center black and white square.  But I was unsure how to continue this design further and tried to create some radiating triangles around the circle as you can see in the lower left lime and pink quadrant.  I just wasn't as excited about this direction and waited a day to see if it might grow on me and/or I might see it with fresh perspective the next morning.  After "sleeping on it," I quickly decided to scrap this design, but still wanted something circular radiating out within each of the colorful quadrants.  So I created some various layered wedges from my fun new fabrics, along with some scraps from the failed pumpkin seed design, that just explode from the center and really liked this new direction and design...
Fusing the Grid #4
This may very well be my favorite design of the 4 so far (note that I said so far, as my brain is still swirling with design ideas and I've got a stack of fused fabrics ready to play!!)  Soon I hope to start quilting and finishing the four that I've fused thus far...but who knows whether I may start fusing up some more grids first?!?  Time will tell!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fusing Frenzy: Fusing the Grid with Sue Benner

My iron has been busy fusing a fun and colorful assortment of fabrics in preparation for Sue Benner's Fusing the Grid workshop (along with another top secret project).  Sue's supply list called for an assortment of fat eighths or fat quarters of fun fused fabrics.  When it came time to start pulling fabrics, I drew inspiration from this recent clipping from a Bed, Bath and Beyond mailer.
You never know where you might find quilty inspiration...
Tower of Color
And ended up with this fun stack of fabrics in lime, teal, blue, rasperry--along with some black and white cotton prints, plaids and madras, sheers and even some holographic performance fabric.

With my fabrics selected, it was time to fuse, fuse and fuse some more.  In fact, I think it took me 3 sessions (and several tv episodes) to fuse everything in time for the workshop!

Background Grid #1

Sue Benner did a great job of teaching us how to start with a background grid and develop the midground and foreground of our quilts with different layers of interest--and with a few simple variations-totally disguising the foundation grid.

Here is my first gridded background...starting with a glowing lime center surrounded by darker teals and blue squares.

Then the fun started by layering with more fused fabrics shapes and colors.  I started by cutting thin strips of black and white prints--thinking about a Tic, Tac, Toe game.  I kept this X and O theme in the outer border and then created a smaller grid within the 4x4 center adding layers of interest with plaid squares, strips of black and white print and sheer diamonds and inner borders.
Fusing the Grid Top #1
Background Grid #2
Now that I had my first piece done, it was time to move onto further exploring this grid concept.  The second grid played with a four patch background--each with matching black and white printed squares and similar bright colored squares.

For this piece, I continued to layer the 4 patches with a bright square within a square at the intersection.  And then I added smaller squares at the remaining intersections.  And I am thinking of adding even more embellishments (either buttons or fabric paint) after it is quilted for yet another layer of interest.

Fusing the Grid #2
I had so much fun just playing and experimenting.  What is nice about fusible is that you can just keep cutting it up, moving it around and nothing is permanent until you actually iron it down (and even then--you always have the option of covering it up with more layers!).  That night I had vivid dreams of more grid work!  Lucky for me, I have plenty of fused fabrics remaining to just play and explore.  While at the workshop, I was exposed to other fun fabrics that can add interest, so I treated myself to a fun trip to Joann's to purchase additional sheers and other fun fashion fabrics to incorporate into future pieces in this series!!

Sue also did a presentation on quilting ideas using the grid as a lots of ideas to add yet another layer of interest with threadwork and quilted texture!
Let the Fusing Frenzy Continue!

Believe it or not, I actually went through 15+ yards of Wonder Under this weekend!!  Last night--this was all that was left in my studio...mere scraps and an empty bolt!

Lucky for me, today's post contained the 2 new 10 yard bolts I ordered online...phew!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

My Challenge Quilts: Where Are They Now?

While I've been a busy little quilting bee in the studio, several of my quilts are out and about traveling the country.  Where are they now?!?  

Owl You Need Is Love

My "Owl You Need Is Love" quilt for the Hoffman Challenge had one of its first stops in Sarasota, Florida.  So my mother attended the local quilt guild's meeting to see my quilt in person.  When checking in, she explained that she was there to see her daughter's quilt that was included in the Hoffman Challenge trunk show--and they were so welcoming and gracious.  They helped pull out my quilt so she could see it up close and personal.  Then when it came time to the quilt show--they actually started with my quilt and had her come up to the front of the room and help hold and display my quilt!  She was quite the local celebrity that night and they even offered to take pictures of her holding my quilt...too cute!  Maybe they will be able to lure her back into the quilting world?!?    
A few days later, my copy of the Hoffman Challenge exhibit photo booklet arrived in the mail, so I could admire all the fabulous quilt entries that were accepted into the travelling exhibit.

And a few weeks ago I got my little participatory pin, complete with a free spool of Sulky Thread and a preview of the 2015 Challenge fabric--which will certainly be a challenge developing a fun and creative quilt design.
Wicked Windy & Winding Ways
Another fun package arrived in this week's post:  my Wicked Finalist ribbon and a beautifully handcrafted Wicked necklace.  My "Wicked Windy & Winding Ways" quilt is still hanging out in NYC--where it was spotted photo-bombing a photograph of Yvonne Porcella--too funny!

I hope my brother may be able to visit while it is making its rounds in NYC, as he has several connections in the NYC theater community.  
Mystery Quilt
And I just shipped off another "secret" quilt to be displayed at Houston, TX for the International Quilt Market and Festival.  Unfortunately, I cannot reveal any more details at this be sure to check back in early November to learn more about this mystery project.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Fat Quarter Frenzy

These are a few of my favorite things
After some intense quilting sessions, lots of late nights and early mornings, I finished and submitted my Farm to Fabric Challenge quilt entry with just 6 hours until the deadline.  Phew!  Since I can't share pictures of my quilt entry, I will instead share some pictures of recently acquired pretties...

Each month, our guild hosts a Fat Quarter Frenzy, with a fun new theme posted each month for members to bring one or more fat quarters to be entered to win a bundle of fat quarters.  August's theme was Batiks, so I brought 2 fat quarters and was delighted to hear my name drawn to win half of the batiks collected.

Skippy's not too impressed to be wearing a cone of shame or the fun bundle in front of him.
Not bad for one night's loot!
And shortly after my name was called, my friend Tiffany had her name drawn to win one of the Lucky Day Baskets containing dog-themed fabrics and patterns.  Hot diggity dog did we have some extraordinary luck in the front row!

And our guest speaker, Sherri Lynn Wood shared some fabulous improv quilts featuring mostly solid fabrics.  I was so inspired by her talk, improv techniques and trunk show that I purchased some solid fabrics this weekend and can't wait to start cutting into them (sans ruler) for some improv quilting fun!!