Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bubbles and Bubblettes

Doesn't it seem like I should like champagne? I'm the kind of person that's into celebrating and bubbles and funny, heartfelt toasts.  I won't drink it though. I hate the glasses - they tip over too easily, they're awkward for those of us with more substantial noses, and the flute is my least favorite instrument. Also, I'm prone to migraines, which follow a glass of champagne within the hour. I always admire those pretty yellow bubbles from afar, though.

Maybe I'll just have a sip of yours and we can toast to this quilt that I *almost* finished last summer.  I had it all tied but had not sewn up the bottom, and nothing goes on the blog until it's really finished! The last couple of weeks have been really productive for me, even if it feels like the creativity peaked a couple of weeks/months ago and now I'm just doing the menial work.  I've completed my last three niece and nephew quilts and this is one of them.  The champagne connection is that I wanted to use all these fabrics that I love from my scraps to make circles that would look like bubbles, and champagne bubbles seem more fun than the sodastream variety. I arranged the big bubbles on the bottom and the bubblettes on top.  For the circles I just traced lots of round stuff I found around the house - mugs, salad bowls, lamp shades.  This has ended up being one of my favorite quilts.  If I ever felt like doing the same thing twice I'd make myself one right now.

This is the back - the flower fabric was what I started with and worked around:

I tied it with embroidery floss in the center of each flower, how cute is that?

This niece has a birthday in April - hopefully she'll like this as much as I do!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Turtle Time

I just got back from Quilt Camp.  It was like if you were in a really nice sewing room working on a quilt and forty ladies with wine and dessert joined you to chat and sew, but didn't crowd you, and you didn't have to leave the room for 72 hours. Oh, and someone had replaced your crappy rotary cutter and slippery rulers with really good ones!

Best things about quilt camp:
1. My room was so unattractive I wasn't even tempted to lie in bed reading past 7:00a.m.

2. People change into their PJs after dinner and bring their own wine glasses ("Once you start drinking, no more cutting.  Sewing can be undone, but what's cut is cut," was a good piece of advice).

3. This table that totally demolished any self-control I came with  (I was halfway through a brownie when I realized I was actually eating a whole candy bar that had been BAKED INTO A BROWNIE).

4. But by far the best part, was the input from people who are just good at this stuff.  I managed to finish two quilt tops - one of which I'll share now because I FINISHED it today!  This is for my nephew who is really into turtles and garbage trucks.  You'll never guess which obsession I'm supporting.  Anyway, I found some turtle quilts around the internets that used a drunkard's path pattern, and I was especially enjoying this configuration where it looks like they're doing Ring Around the Rosie. I just added appliqued heads and tails to make them more obviously turtles.

I was more or less satisfied with the end result, but I wouldn't say I was excited about it until a couple of people suggested a fun border.  With a little input, the quilt changed to this, which I think is so much better:

After I sent a picture to my nephew his only question was whether the turtles had eyes, so I added a variety of those:

This is the back - I had to join two panels of fabric together.  Don't bother looking for the seam, it's so perfectly matched you won't find it.  Learned that at quilt camp too. (The trick, not the lack of modesty!)

No, seriously, can you find it?

It really makes me wonder how much better my quilts would be if I had this kind of input all the time.  It was a totally inspirational weekend.  I feel like the things that most impressed/inspired me were the color and pattern combos people were putting together (developing an eye for color and contrast is a skill I'd like to work on) and just how fast some people can quilt.  No wonder I tie everything, I'm so slow and it's impossible to mess up!  But it also inspired me to get practicing.  I'm sure it's much more enjoyable when you can whip through stuff and it looks good.

With all that productivity I'm hoping to have a couple more quilts to post about in the next couple of weeks. Until then, you can find me back in front of the sewing machine.  I missed her!