Sunday, December 9, 2018

Sewing inspiration from Topstitch Studio

It often feels like there are too many project potentials, inspiration and WIPs [works-in-progress] filling my world... and my studio. "The point is?" you ask.... 


Recent inspirational finds at Topstitch Studio and Lounge (from left): Selvedge magazine,
the Collins Top pattern from In the Folds, and Frankie magazine

I recently re-fueled my inspiration with these goodies I found at Topstitch Studio and Lounge at the Ponce City Market in Atlanta. I was familiar with Selvedge magazine, but the Australian publication, Frankie, and patterns from In the Folds were new to me. 

The diagonal seams and the potential for using multiple fabrics (see the line drawing below) led me to the purchase of the Collins Top pattern. It's also designed for wovens, rather than the usual knit fabric (but I'm sure it could be adapted to a knit if one chose).

Pattern back of the Collins Top showing line drawing.

Topstitch is located on the second floor of the Ponce City Market complex. The Ponce Market is housed in a wonderfully adaptive makeover of a former Sears, Roebuck & Co. building on the city's south side. Not unlike the remake of the Sears building in Memphis.

Ponce City Market, Atlanta, GA.

The proprietor of Topstitch, Leigh Metcalf, makes it a point to stock garment and project patterns from "indie" [independent] pattern designers. The store's pattern wall contains printed patterns from companies such as Merchant and Mills, Grainline Studio, Deer and Doe, True Bias, and Untitled Thoughts (which has THE coolest recycled packaging—a fabric drawstring bag). I also met the designer behind the Untitled Thoughts brand, Brittani Bumb, who designs and creates patterns and cranks out beautiful garments at the blink of an eye (follow her at @untitledthoughts on Instagram).

On a side note, here is a recent "finish" from my garment WIP pile. A long sleeve knit top made from Vintage Florets Trinkets knit from Art Gallery Fabrics. I love its warm red color.

Long sleeve knit top. Knit fabric: KF-1402 from AGF.
The pattern I used for this top is one drawn from an existing top. I've made it several times and it gets easier and quicker with every make.
My latest long sleeve knit top.
So, can one have too much inspiration?   
OK, what's next on the pile...

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Winter weather sets the mood for scrappy patchwork

While tidying my studio space earlier this year, I uncovered a small stack of 3.5" squares amidst the plastic boxes and grocery bags of fabric scraps and UFOs. They were cut several years ago... for a project I can't recall. (Can you relate?)
Red and green 3.5" squares from scraps and leftovers.

Devising a Plan and a Process
As quilters, we don't throw any scrap away. As a former corporate Project Manager, I needed to devise a simple—yet functional—plan to use these pre-cut squares: Red and Green 4-patches.

I also implemented a process to use them as "leaders" and "enders" [Bonnie Hunter terms for patchwork multi-tasking] when working on other chain piecing projects. First, they are sewn into 2-patches... and then they become 4-patches.
Pairs of 2-patches eventually get sewn together as 4-patches.

The auditioning process of pairing the red and green prints is fun... and sometimes becomes a stroll down Fabric Lane when one is pulling from a "deep" stash.
Auditioning the pairs of red and green prints for 4-patch assembly.

Occasionally I cut more patches from leftover fabric chunks and trimmings... feeding my red and green piles. The scrap piles get diminished and the 4-patch block collection grows. The fabrics in these blocks have become a mix of older and current prints—but all reds and greens.

With this year's guild Challenge behind me, the design wall was available to see what my eclectic group of 4-patch blocks looked like so far.
4-patch progress on the design wall.

The weather outside is frightful... Let us Sew, let us Sew, let us Sew!
Last week's wintery weather certainly must have put many sewers and quilters in a patchwork frame of mind because the quilt shops I visited had a steady stream of customers. This photo shows the beautiful snow covered landscape of eastern Kentucky.
A late November snowfall covers the eastern Kentucky landscape.

Visit YLQS [your local quilt shop] and infuse your scraps with a few new fabrics to bring a twinkle to your quilts. Snow or sunshine... it's always good weather for patchwork.

(Isn't that right, my blog stalker friend??)

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