Sunday, July 12, 2020

100 Days 100 Blocks 2020 with Paintbrush Studio Fabrics

For the third year, I'm participating in the 100 Days 100 Blocks 2020 sew-along. This year, the majority of my fabrics are from Paintbrush Studio Fabrics [PBS Fabrics]. The quilt pattern is called "Make the Cut." The blocks finish at 6 inches (yep, ya learn how to nail your 1/4 inch seam!).

100 Days 100 Blocks 2020 Sew-along. #100days100blocks

Working with solids and prints
I started the 100 Days with two fat quarter bundles from PBS Fabrics, but quickly added these lovely Painter's Palette solids (this is the Jacquie Gering bundle)...

Jacquie Gering's Favorites bundle from Painter's Palette solids collection by Paintbrush Studio Fabrics.

... and some neutrals (April from the Birthstone series). The April birthstone is the diamond. 

Painter's Palette solids: April Birthstone bundle. 

I'm taking this Sew-along opportunity to work with both solids and prints, which is not my norm. I will say that the solids from the Painter's Paletteand all the PBS fabricshave an extremely soft feel to them! The solids, in particular, are much softer than some of the other solid fabrics I have in my stash. This is certainly going to be an enjoyable patchwork process!

Block progress
These are the first six blocks with prints from Flutter and Food Trucks. Both of these fabric lines have fun images—ice cream cones, donuts, burgers and butterflies—for fussy cutting, and they are size-appropriate for the 6 inch blocks.

Make the Cut Blocks 1 - 6.

My blocks are pieced in batches, however, I post daily photos on social media per the guidelines of the sew-along. Several blocks were pieced or cut out before I got the Painter's Palette solids. So when the solids arrived, I started incorporating them... in Blocks 9 and 12. 

Make the Cut Blocks 7 - 12.

Blocks 13 through 16 have incorporated more solids with the prints.

Make the Cut Blocks 13 - 16

Should the mood strike, I may re-make a few of the earlier blocks and incorporate solid fabrics. Time will tell.

Painter's Palette solids from Paintbrush Studio Fabrics.
April Birthstone, Diamond bundle.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Stitching Success Tracker status and kantha revisited

Half of 2020 is behind us. (not sure if this is a relief?... or not)

Either way, I'm sure many of you quilters, stitchers and makers have immersed yourselves in fabric, thread and stitch activities to soothe the mind and soul during the turbulent, on-going, coronavirus attack. 

2020 stitching calendar. Six month status.

This is my stitching success tracker for the first 6 months of 2020—color coded by stitching activity. The turquoise areas are my Make Nine 2020 finishes.

A revisit to kantha slow stitching
Yesterday, I posted a picture of my kantha stitched Flag Girl in honor of Independence Day. 

Flag Girl. Kantha stitching and hand embroidery.

This prompted a revisit to a nearly-complete Sunshine Girl kantha stitching project that was started about 2-3 years ago. While watching the Hamilton musical on TV with my husband yesterday, I enjoyed a couple hours of relaxing kantha hand stitching on this piece.

Sunshine Girl hand stitching project (detail).

The stitching part of this project is almost complete... just the upper corner areas remain unfinished. I do love hand stitching with yarn-dyed wovens from Diamond Textiles.

Sunshine Girl hand stitching project (full).

I guess this is why my Stitching Success Tracker is so colorful. I bounce between several "types" of machine and hand needlework... and between new projects and a multitude of WIPs [works in progress]. 

I think each one feeds a specific need.

My Stitching Success Tracker color legend.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

The fruits of small compositions

I connected with two quilting friends this week—one via social media and another in person. 

Block 37: Monette. Center fabric from M&S Textiles Australia.
Coordinates from Forest Fancies by Lisa Kirkbride for P&B Textiles and Meridian [P&B Textiles].

Tari, my quilting friend in Florida, commented on all the fun fabrics in my EPP [English paper pieced] Glorious Hexagon blocks I've been working on since the lockdown. Using scraps and discontinued fabric samples for the blocks, I'm reacquainting myself with fabric collections and taking solace in the hand piecing process.

Variation of Block 3: Sarah.
Fabrics from Art Gallery Fabrics, Lewis & Irene.

Some blocks are from The New Hexagon book. Others are cobbled together from various pieces and unused paper templates.

Block 49: Irene
Fabrics from P&B Textiles.

I don't have a big picture plan, layout, or color scheme for this EPP project. I'm just creating one small composition at a time: choosing fabrics from the scrap basket and coordinating colors and prints as I go. 

There is feeling of success and accomplishment with each completed hexagon.

Improv Star in batiks

I ran into the other quilting friend, Jamie, in a quilt shop. She follows my blog and we're friends on social media. She told me that my blog posts have inspired her to start sewing garments. 

Block 5: Caroline
Fabrics from Lewis & Irene, P&B Textiles.

Jamie was wearing a lovely denim-blue dress she had made using a border print fabric. She did a great job and the dress looked so cute on her. Her pattern hack was the addition of pockets in the side seams.

Block 41: Betty
Fabrics from Lewis & Irene, Art Gallery Fabrics, P&B Textiles.

I commended her for making an outfit to suit her creativity, needs and lifestyle. It's a few of the many perks to sewing one's own wardrobe!

Small compositions.

We chatted briefly about our current fabric passions—mine was rayon and hers was linen. As we parted, we encouraged each other to keep sewing and looked forward to each other's next makes. 

A gallery of small compositions. 

Enjoy the successes of small compositions

The world today is overshadowed with severe health threats, political chaos, physical and emotional trauma... it's stressful, draining and so tiresome. It's a relief that our crafts and hobbies can deviate and distract from the news of the day—providing stability and calmness, if only for a short time. With each project or composition, we get to learn or see something new. We can make choices to modify a pattern—add pockets, change the sleeve length, omit a collar, rearrange the pieces in the patchwork. 

I am enjoying the creation and success of my small hexie compositions. It's refreshing to have choices, make decisions, express a personal vision, and have control over the process and outcome. 


Saturday, June 20, 2020

Not shopping at big stores? Make your summer wardrobe yourself!

The grass didn't have much chance to grow between my first rayon MixIt Top and my second. This is MixIt Two in another Art Gallery rayon fabric... this one from the Abloom Fusion collection.

MixIt Top from The Sewing Workshop.
Rayon fabric from Art Gallery Fabrics.

I love the summery colors of this floral rayon print. For this second make from my MixIt pattern, I added another inch of length to the sleeves. The other pattern modifications are in this post.

MixIt Top in Budquette Abloom print from Art Gallery Fabrics.

I was talking to Kim, the owner of Chattanooga Quilts this week. She was telling me that she and her daughter have decided to sew some summer dresses for themselves... since it's not quite comfortable to shop at the malls just yet.

To be honest, I can't remember the last time I shopped for clothes—either at a mall store or online. I would rather support and buy fabric at the small business quilt shops and fabric shops that I do business with... and make my own wardrobe. #lovedclotheslast #memadewardrobe

Dressed for summer in a rayon MixIt Top and the Valencia pants with pockets.

I'm wearing this second MixIt with one of my Valencia pants (pattern also from The Sewing Workshop). The fabric is a yarn-dyed woven from Diamond Textiles.

So, Yes! You CAN get fabrics for garment sewing at quilt shops—rayon, knits, linen, and top and bottom weight wovens! Art Gallery Fabrics and other fabric companies that cater to the quilting industry not only produce beautiful quilting cottons, but also fabrics suitable for garments and wearables.

If your local quilt shop hasn't stepped into carrying these substrates yet, tell them you are interested! As quilt shops and independent sewing centers begin to reopen from the lockdown, they want to know what consumers are interested in learning/making/buying so they can restock their shelves accordingly.

Reach for a rayon on your next visit... and make something summery to wear!

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