29 March 2013

Proud as a...

'Only' 11 months after checking out the book from the library and working on it here and there, I finally finished up this little project.
I thought this project absolutely PERFECT for my friend whose pseudonym is Gwendolyn Peacock. 

It took me a bit of time to collect the fabric I wanted to use. I quickly discovered I would not be able to find the Liberty fabrics specified. At the time, I was well in the throes of my batik phase. The body fabric was a pretty easy decision, but I didn't know how I planned to replicate the tail feather 'eye' look. I even went so far as to buy some feathers to use.

Every so often, I'd find a fabric that I thought might work, and would buy a fat quarter here and there. I also needed to find the pins and sequins I'd use. At the beginning of March, I felt my prayers were answered when I came across this exotic piece of Ombre Marrakesh by Michael Miller. I saw lots of peacock feathers and a varied range of tones. As it turns out, this beautiful print is only seen if your look at the underside of the 'feathers.' The wrong side has smaller batik pieces appliquéd onto them.

For the eyes, I finally cut into my new felt collection. I once imagined I would plan my first cut into the pristine pieces of felt as a ceremony or sacred event. Reality—I tugged a corner big enough to use from the stack, chopped off each color, and smushed the remainder back into the stack. How quickly we forget the once regal and revered.

This is the finished project, only a mere 50 weeks later! I gave it to Gwen this past 'Gwendsday' and she loved it! I know it'll have a good home. We both remembered one of the first gifts I gave her was also a homemade pincushion—an Araucana chicken.

An extra treat was that my project was mentioned in OKCMQG's March Flaunt Your Finish post. Special thanks to Leslie for doing such a wonderful job gathering our write-ups and photos, editing, and sharing our finished projects! Unbeknownst to me until recently, I've been a big fan of Leslie's for a couple of years. She's done a couple of houndstooth quilts, including a PLAID ONE—the first one just a month or so before I did mine for Baby Cairo. I bet I came across her blog way back then while doing research and was duly amazed and inspired.

18 March 2013

Closer to done, and just beginning...

I'm happy to report Juggling Summer Shortcake quilt top is done! A couple of weeks ago, it was still a computer image. It went together pretty easily. Once all the blocks were done and I laid them out on the floor following my computer design, I knew I wanted to rearrange the single-pattern ones. I'm pretty pleased with it. I've no idea when I'll finish (back, quilt, and bind) it, or where it will find its home, but I'm glad to have this much done. I'm also liking the idea of photographing against a stockade fence. (This appears to be a popular option of which I just recently became aware. Thanks Amanda and others.) I've tried indoor options up until now—the hot tub cover, a folding screen, and a slide projector screen. So, weather permitting, I'm liking this option as long as I don't mind the wind. Hey, it's Oklahoma, folks!

For at least a couple of months, I've been wanting to check out the Oklahoma City Modern Quilt Guild. They hold their monthly meetings the same night as another sewing group I've been considering. Last Monday evening, I held to my plans of attending an OKCMQG meeting and found it to be quite delightful. I knew a couple of the members in person and a couple others via their blogs or Facebook. Lucky me—it happened to be the night they were sharing the swag they brought back from QUILTCON in Austin, Texas, February 21-24. There were great stories from the event, and I'm already dreaming about the next one in 2015! (They spoke highly of the lectures which are now available for FREE on Craftsy!) Some brought some truly beautiful show-and-tell items. I also enjoyed that members spoke of their favorite fabric lines with the same glee and excitement I've been known to possess. (Posessed—that's me!) Within 24 hours, I signed up to become a member. Tah dah! 

One of the projects OKCMQG is doing their own Madrona Road Challenge—theirs a mini-quilt using several fat eighths from the line supplied by Michael Miller Fabrics. I picked up my bundle of fabrics last Friday and came up with what I wanted to do pretty quickly. As usual, I worked out my design on the computer first—Illustrator and Photoshop. I took three good stabs at it, refining details along the way, and I am finally happy with my layout. I have some of the fabric cut and still need to go buy some solid white to use as a background. We're all bringing our submissions to the April meeting. I can't wait to see what everyone else has done! I expect to get it put together in the next few days but may wait to post it until after April 8th. I'm pretty excited about it!

OH, and I almost forgot to mention it—I signed up for The Local Quilt Block of the Month at Quiltworks. It's that wonky piece with those fabrics I love from Carolyn Friedlander. So, starting in April, I'll have another something to keep me company for nine months. (I'm still thinking about creating some blocks based on my own homes over time.) It's lots of paper piecing and I've only had limited experience with that process in a class I took in May 2011. Here's to jumping into the deep end—head first!

06 March 2013

In the works...

This is the Photoshop layout of the quilt I'm working on right now. The pattern is Shortcake and it's made for jelly rolls. I am using the Zen Chic Juggling Summer jelly roll I bought about five weeks ago. I discovered/fell in love with the fabric line just before this past Christmas and used it it two of my favorite pieces.

Quiltworks offered a class in this quilt pattern but I decided to download the pattern online and set out on my own. I wanted a 'modern' vibe, so opted for using a medium gray as my neutral—new concept for me. This is the second quilt top in a row in which I've used significant areas of solid color(s).

Although I've managed to streamline the process a little, it's a bit more tedious than quick-go strip piecing. Yesterday, when Savage Quilter (moved two doors north into far more spacious and better lit space) had its 5th Birthday sale, I bought the fabric for the binding. I haven't really thought about the backing yet. I've only done a dozen blocks so far. I'll keep you posted as it comes together.

<— Oh, and here is the original pattern. It's a much different and daintier look.