Quilting Happiness: The Web Site

My story about volunteering  at the CCC is up over at Quilting Happiness.

If you have a chance to check out the web site, with not only stories but quizzes and helpful data to get your creativity flowing.  Are you getting what you want/need from your making? The web site will have projects and inspiration to create a more Joyful making experience.

I just love the idea of this book.

Sticks and Stones

"The details are not the details. They make the design."  - Charles Eames
"Art resides in the process of doing, process is not magic" - Charles Eames
"The real questions are:
Does it solve a problem?
Is it serviceable?
How is it going to look in 10 years?" Charles Eames

These quotes are what this quilt is about. I mean, sure, it's about all kinds of things, but mostly and intentionally, its about Design and Craftsmanship.

The background is Linen, so that it will have a long life, and provide a nice contrast to the cotton applique.
Its all turned appliqué so it wont fray. It's not fused, after all a quilt is for cuddling, for using.
The back is a great modern print from Ikea.
We recently welcomed the first grandchild into our family and this is the quilt I made while we waited for the child.  Clearly, its for a little girl, a modern little girl, a wee little me.  But no, my stepdaughter had a boy, with a green and yellow frog theme for the nursery.   They're expressing a different vision for him,  one that I'll interpret into a quilt for them and the baby. 
This quilt is designed to go into the washer and the dryer. Its all machine made.

It will hold up to the toughest cuddler. It's quilted with 2 patterns that will give contrasting touch and a good hand after repeated washing. In the quilting, I try and focus on creating a sense of intention and  I go for a more painterly quality, less uniformity. I want the quilt to be usable and comfy, not stiff or precious like a show quilt. 

Binding is low contrast and from a distance will not distract from the center, but up close it's a color coordinated stripe from Lizzy House.

This quilt is also really an homage to Eames. From the design, to the making, to the finishing. 
It's machine made. Machine quilted. Machine finished.

 After years of a dedicated focus on quilting, what it means to me, how I want to add to the legacy, and how I hope to have my work interpreted, I finally feel like Im starting to more closely hit my mark. My choices are purposeful, and intentional as part of the design.

 If your visiting my blog for the first time after seeing this quilt at Sisters Quilt Show. I hope you'll follow me here or over at Instagram or Flickr. If your interested in seeing whats going on, WIPS, Studio shots, etc.. Instagram is where I spend the most time.
Quilters Rock!

Quilt Hexing Beast

I love Hexes. Love them. I read Jacquie's Post about machine piecing a Hex Top and had to try it.

I first did this red and aqua "trial".  I decided in my infinite wisdom failure to read directions that I should put aqua "petals" around red "centers" and join those. Don't do that. Just follow directions and sew rows, then join the rows.
 I also never did manage to press it.  I decided to just quilt it and it worked out okay, better than I expected. Folks trust me when I say this: Do not try this at home! Full disclosure I also think I loaded it onto the quilter side ways and the rows go top to bottom. Boo. Hiss.  But it was my first attempt.
The  next Hex I made is larger both in hex size and finished top size. crib sized vs baby.  It was a snap and after I got a few rows together I started pressing the "done" rows so it more manageable. I get easily overwhelmed with pressing, what can I say. So, the directions say "its easier to not press". I know this because I went back and read them completely.
 I would leave the row I was going to attach to unpressed but press finished seams.  Oh this top is Flat and Happy. Its going next to be loaded onto the quilter.

The latest quilt to get finished and off the quilter is this... another string quilt. Im calling it Spring Rain.
 I also finished quilting this for charity.

It includes some vintage alphabet fabric that I think really sparkles with other low volume fabrics.

The stitching is that great Denyse Schmidt inspired figure eight. Oh that is this years charity stitch of choice. It goes so fast. Nails everything down. Washes up great and looks so good.

That's all the Quilty news from my studio.  A couple of Weeks ago I went to Quilt Market and met so many great folks. My IG has jumped to 300 followers, which for me is amaze balls, I'm so happy at the response to my making.  I love quilting and am so happy to have found like minded folks. yay!
On IG im 2ndavestudio- come follow me, meet my dog and see what I'm eating! 
Quilters Rock!

first one done

photo.JPG by Rachel @ 2nd Avenue Studio
photo.JPG, a photo by Rachel @ 2nd Avenue Studio on Flickr.

well, my first Charity Quilt for the year is done. Its not bound but its off the quilter and trimmed.
Im happy about that. I need to be quilting a couple of these a month to stay on track. I've been slacking. Doing other things and other projects. I used this as a practice piece for my Sticks and Stones Quilt that I'm about to quilt.

What I'm working on today

Im loving all this color. It's got zip, zing, pow!
Ive just thrown the blocks up on the design wall and Im working away. Some may have to be edited out (sorry henna garden, I love you but maybe not for this project), but over all I'm excited to see where this goes.
Quilters Rock!

Edit! Redo! and Revisit!

So, I had been working on these letters. Using some of my favorite fabrics, it was going gang busters. Then, BAM! I realized I didn't have enough room. It wasn't working, Some letters were too thick and others, as my skills grew or by luck, were artful and delicate.
I sat and looked at it for a couple of days and came to the conclusion that this project was shelved. Oh I'll go back to letters and may even do this project but I need to edit my out the losers and remake a fair portion.
I do this alot, start a project, learn a skill ( like letters) struggle with it, then drop it.  Going back a while late later and finally finishing something happens too. 

So this is on my pile... I'll cannibalize it for parts I'm sure and the strings I have can go back to the string drawer.  And once I've processed the lessons learned, I'll return to letters and make something I'm proud of.
I had a ceramics teacher who was a fanatic about editing. He thought it was wasteful not to recycle projects that sucked. Why fire and glaze something that in 2 months your eyes would outgrow?
Now that I have a several years of quilting under my belt I can more clearly see the my own need to edit my first tries. To get the fluff out of the way and get to the better quilt that is lurking behind that fluff. I struggle to find that space that captures whimsical improvisation and artful piecing, while leaving out that clunky forced look of homemade crafting. 

So now you what I'm not working on. What am I doing?  Playing with some Liberty Scraps, going to the dog park, hanging out with my elder,  playing with 60degree triangles and teaching classes over at Modern Domestic.

Quilters Rock!

I like to quilt in the dark

with a side light so I can see my marks. This is going to be awesome and soft. So soft is the Chambray in lavender.
I'm back quilting, I've been able to spend some time in my studio. This week I was able to get in a couple nights worth of sewing.
My Elder is back to independence, My Hubs is feeling better and finally my energy is back up after my Dental Adventure. I get sutures out in 2 weeks and feel pretty good.

I finished my Hubs Xmas present, just in time for his birthday. Groan, isn't that the way it goes sometimes? He isn't upset, so I'm okay with it too.
Ive decided this is THE year to finish up UFO/WIPS or get rid of them.. so this is the first. And there will be more, many more. Tucked in around New Work, Charity Work and Paid Work.
Im clearly overly optimistic and over scheduled but Who Cares?? I'm going for it!

Quilters Rock!

A New Dog

Well its 4 months almost since I posted. That long really? yup. err I have no good excuse. Nope non at all.
Lets see; .. 
I finished the the above top and have been quilting it for weeks. I think I've been working on it since October.  Wha?
I started another top.

A  letters quilt. 
I've made some baby charity tops.
There was the week I got the flu and the week it took to get better. 
Holidays and hanging out with my friends. 
Teaching Frame classes over at Modern Domestic.
But mostly, Ive been hanging out with my Mom and our new dog Dieter Diaz.

I'm also micro blogging over at InstaGram quite a bit - @2ndavestudio, that's me so if you want to follow me there, that's where I am.
As I get things finished, and do more than walk the dog, lunch with my elder, and sew projects in process I'll be back posting.  
Quilters Rock!