Friday, September 26, 2014

... And I Helped

Earlier this summer, I shared some of the Tula Pink sampler blocks I made for a group quilt being made by the Chicken River Modern Quilters in Las Vegas (New Mexico) for a fund-raiser for their guild.   I ended up making 11 blocks.  Now, the quilt is finished and it is fantastic. 

The setting is the one called Urban Planning.  When I flipped through the book, it wasn't my favorite option, but now, I think it's pretty perfect for showing off our collection of diverse blocks.  It's a lovely group effort and I'm happy to have been part of it. 

If you are in the area, it's hanging at Thread Bear in Las Vegas. 

I'm sharing this great group finish on the lists for: 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Moira tagged me to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop.

Does anyone know who started this?  Or why there isn't a nice long list somewhere of everyone who has blogged an Around the World Blog Hop post?

Like Kate, I found the hardest part of saying yes was to find quilters to tag who haven't already been tagged ... so I suggest, especially since there's no master list anywhere, if you'd like to play along and answer the questions, just do it. 

Here are the questions and my answers: 

What are you currently working on?

As usual, I am working on next month's block pattern for the Block Lotto.  I can't share it with you, yet, but the sneak peek will go out later oday to those who have made September lotto blocks. 

I'm also very behind on finishing this quilt ... my September goal for a lovely finish and one I plan to enter in the local guild show early next month. 

A Whole Lotta Love

How does my work differ from others?

I'm not at all sure it does except in the way that each of us creates quilts that represent our unique way of seeing color, fabric, shape and design.

I almost never use a quilt pattern, I often come up with my own patterns for the individual elements (blocks, borders), and I think as much about value as color when choosing fabrics and placing elements in the quilt. I often include traditional blocks. I prefer asymmetry over symmetry and I like mixing blocks, styles and techniques within a single quilt design. 

I think my quilt Cock-a-Doodle Tea Towel is a good example of my approach to quilt design. 

Cock-a-Doodle-Tea Towel

Why do I write/create what I do?

I am fascinated by understanding how thing are made and creating has been part of my life as long as I can remember. It is my therapy, my unstructured outlet to a structured job, the 'high touch' that balances what has been a mostly 'high tech' career. 

Quilting is a path to creating something that is both beautiful and functional. 

Creating the Block Lotto is a way to share the joy of quilting and help others try new things. 

What is my creative process?

This question is almost like trying to describe, how do you think? 

My quilts start with something and once that fixed something is decided, build upon it by pushing the boundaries of what is not fixed.   

That something might be a tea towel, like the one in the challenge quilt above that defined the theme and the color palette for the quilt, or the one below which a friend from the Block Lotto recently sent because she knew I'd love it. 

Tea Towel in my Post Box

That something could come in the form of a challenge, like the word challenge on the 15 Minutes blog that specified choosing a word and using made fabric.

Double Dare

That something might be an idea for blocks, like this year's lotto blocks (and the Mod-Mod sampler quilt I designed from them) where I designed blocks and created patterns that I thought would lend themselves to Modern Quilting design. Here's my quilt-in-progress at the half-way point

Half-way through the Mod-Mod QAL

I know it sounds kind of simplistic, but that's me ... I start with one fixed something, push the bounds of what's not fixed, and see where it takes me.

Tag–they're IT

I've tagged these three quilters.  Look for Bridget's and Cathy's posts next week.

Bridget at Nickel and Dime Ranch - Bridget is a New Mexico quilter that found me and invited me to go meet the Chicken River Modern Quilt Guild--a great group in Las Vegas (New Mexico). 

Renee at Quilts of a Feather - Renee is a New Mexico quilter that I found in the blogiverse.  I love her quilting! She's already posted her Around the World questionnaire (in response to being asked multiple times and finally saying yes.)

Cathy at Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting - Cathy is one of the wonderful quilters I have come to know from the Block Lotto. I love the way she works with saturated colors.  Here's a peek at Wild Thing, her Mod-mod quilt in progress.  I think our two quilts may represent the two ends of the spectrum in terms of color and feeling.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Projects in Progress

I'm getting back into the swing of things and my design wall is filling up with signs of my progress.

 Miscellaneous Blocks

I've got last month's Little Windows Lotto Blocks to be mailed and 14 more, made for my Mod-Mod Sampler. Some more words and a Rose, to be added to the back of the quilt I shared on Monday, a couple of this month's Sweet Dreams Lotto Blocks, waiting for some friends and the twin center I made for my Cotton Robin quilt, still waiting for me.

And that's what in-progress on Wednesday at my house.

Monday, September 01, 2014

September's Goal and my Design Wall

This top has been finished for a while ... and this month, my goal for a lovely finish in September is to quilt, bind and label it and deliver it to the organizers of the local guild show.

A Whole Lotta Love

It's already off the design wall and waiting for me to piece the backing and get started.  The only thing left on the wall at the moment are a couple of blocks for the Block Lotto: 

Sophie - 2 September Lotto Blocks

This is Marcia Hohn's block pattern for a 7-inch (finished size) paper-pieced and appliquéd block, Sweet Dreams. For the Block Lotto this month, we're making it in a controlled scrappy color-way that includes a red background and a print on white background for two of the points. The circle can be appliquéd (block on the left) or pieced into the block (the one on the right).  For my notes on making these blocks, see my post on the Block Lotto, here:

Sophie's Blocks (and How I Made Them) 

If you are curious about joining us, you'll find the guidelines for the month and a link to the pattern here:

Paper Piecing and Appliqué in September - Sweet Dreams

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Finding my way back to quilting projects ...

I can't say what happened, but not a lot has been happening around Sophie Junction in August ... I thought this signpost image–found on Susan's blog–pretty much reflects my creative state for this month.

Among the confusing elements was Angela's choice for the Rainbow Scraps Challenge this month ... it was green, but not like the green that had come before.  Unfortunately, because I had chosen a broad interpretation for my scrappy blocks, I had effectively painted myself into a corner. I did manage to make a yellow-green oak leaf block today (second from the left in the bottom row) that comes close to being distinctive enough from the green block beside it.

8 Oak Leaf Blocks

I didn't need any more green broken dishes stars and I decided to wait and see if a bunch more green paper pieced Briar Patch blocks makes sense, rationalizing that it might be a good thing to wait until the end of the year, or whenever it's time to lay them out and see what color blocks I need to make them play happily together. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Modern Quilting Design Inspiration

Lately, I've had my eyes open for examples of great quilting design that feels fresh and Modern.  At the local guild meeting this morning, I picked up a book from the table of old library books for sale and bought it, mostly because of the quilting on this quilt.

Carol Armstrong's Crane Quilt

This is Carol Armstrong's Crane quilt.

The quilt appears in her book Wildflowers: Designs for Appliqué & Quilting, published in 1998.  It is still available on Amazon in paperback or electronic (Kindle) format–clicking the link or the book image will take you there. 

Carol's work is hand-appliquéd and hand-quilted.  I doubt that she thinks of herself as part of the Modern Quilting movement or that many Modern Quilters are familiar with her work, but I think there is much inspiration to be found there.

I came home from the guild meeting and pulled out some of Carol's other books from my bookshelf–including Wild Birds: Designs for Applique and Quilting, which has the pattern for that crane–and really enjoyed re-reading them with new eyes.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Do you remember your dreams?

I woke up this morning, an hour before the alarm, feeling really well rested–a good thing because some of my old fatigue issues are back and kicking my butt.

But a funny thing this morning happened as I was becoming fully awake.

I don't know what I dreamed about, but I'm guessing I didn't just dream it, I must have been acting it out, too:  my legs were sore, my back hurt and it felt like I had jammed a couple of my fingers on my left hand.

... and neither cat was sleeping at the foot of the bed or coming to wish me good morning (and bug me until I got up and let them out on the deck) as usual.

I usually don't remember my dreams, but my physical side effects make me wonder ... and reminds me of when I was married and talked in my sleep.  Back then, my husband could at least give me a clue about what I was dreaming/talking about.

Do you remember your dreams?  Talk in your sleep? Wake up with mystery aches and pains?
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